5 Boneheaded Conspiracy Theories You Had No Clue Existed
When you ask people what their favorite conspiracy theories are, it's always the same old songs -- the moon landing was fake, the British monarchy are all lizards, Tom Cruise is actually two small border collies in a tall coat, etc. People love tuning out the classics, but what about all the new conspiracies? Here's a hipster's guide to the indie darlings that are making their way onto the tinfoil hat scene right now. This is your chance to catch these up-and-comers before they start popping up on pieces of cardboard near you.
Anti-Vaxxers ... For Pets
Of all the conspiracy nutjobs, anti-vaxxers are the most dangerous. Sure, Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers rant and rave like their skulls got infested by an ant colony that has figured out the tastiest parts of the brain are the ones that govern logic, reason, and how to speak at a normal volume, but words are all they have. Anti-vaccination advocates, however, are often parents who consciously put children in danger, all to prove that they're smarter than nine out of ten doctors. But what about anti-vaxxers who don't have children? How can they inflict their irresponsible delusions of superiority on someone too small and stupid to defend themselves?
They get a pet.
As long as some pet owners treat their domesticated beasts like the children they should never have, it shouldn't come as a surprise that human medical trends have a tendency to spill over to the world of veterinary medicine. The anti-vaccination panic is no exception. Over the last few years, some vets started noticing an increase in pet owners refusing to inoculate their puppies and kittens against serious illnesses. Dog owners in particular are being overprotective, believing that vaccinating their precious pooches could cause them to develop arthritis, epilepsy, cancer, and even autism. A creature that gladly shits on the floor having a hard time picking up on social cues? How do you even diagnose that?
One of such prominent dogshit spreaders is Catherine O'Driscoll, founder of the Canadian Canine Health Concern nonsense foundation. O'Driscoll keeps an extensive blog in the hopes of convincing other pet owners to let their dogs experience "natural canine healthcare" -- which is just Darwinism. She believes firmly that because of wanton injections, her "dogs are becoming allergic to life," but we're sure Catherine has that effect on people as well. How else could she explain how her dogs were all dying before their time? Definitely has nothing to do with the fact that her Labrador purebreds are riddled with genetic defects like they're incestuous Spanish nobles from the 17th century. No, it must be all that medicine that's making them sick.
But the people most drawn to the anti-pet-vaxxing lifestyle aren't who you'd expect. "It's actually much more common in the hipster-y areas," notes one Brooklyn veterinarian. Hipsters, who use the word "organic" like it's a verb, have started extended this au naturel mentality to their dogs and cats. After all, if they refuse to let their artisanal kale be chemically altered, why would they let a needle get anywhere near their beloved Allen Ginsbark? It's always better to let nature take its course. That way, they can get into the next pet epidemic way before anyone else does.
There's A Slave Colony On Mars
Whatever happened to the good old days of space conspiracies? The days when we thought that Neil Armstrong was an actor, the government had a few UFOs in a basement somewhere, and the worst thing an all-powerful alien species would do was poke at our butts for treasure. Gee whiz, moon madness sure seemed a lot more innocent back then, huh? Not like today, when it's all space vampires this and child slave colonies that. Times, they are a-changing.
In June 2017, during on one of Infowars' nationwide broadcasts, Alex Jones, ringmaster to the criminally insane, was joined by the esteemed Robert David Steele. Steele is a former CIA operative, Marine Corps major, and proof you can get far in U.S. government with a winning smile and only half a brain. He was there to discuss some pretty standard Infowars fare -- how most child molesters are in fact cannibals who scare children in order to adrenalize their blood so that they can suck their bone marrow in order to stay eternally young. Then the conversation took a weird turn.
Out of nowhere (which is how Steele and Jones form most of their thoughts), Steele went on a tangent about NASA's slave camp on the Mars colony. Hmmm? You didn't know there was a colony on Mars, let alone that it's populated by slaves? Get with the program, liberal. According to Steele, who was once licensed to kill people by the government, NASA has been categorically kidnapping children for decades, gathering them up and shipping them off to Mars. Then, after a 20-year trip, these astro-Gollums are used as slave labor to build NASA's hidden Mars colony. That's a lot to process, but let's not lose sight of the most important question: Why does it take 20 years for those kids to get to Mars? Did their Challenger break down, and did they have to take a replacement bus service to the Tharsis plateau? That's somehow a weirder lie than the slave colony.
Of course, Steele doesn't furnish the audience with any real information, but that's not what's important. Steele didn't come on Inforwars to make people believe in vampiric molesters or Spartacus on Mars; he's there to make Alex Jones look good. After his crazed rant, Jones, having gotten his jumping-off point, immediately starts talking about how "top NASA engineers" have indeed told him that 90 percent of all NASA missions are kept hidden from the public. Like the lunatic bear that he is, Jones often invites crazy guests to serve to induce some type of Goldilocks effect on his base of conspiracy theorists (i.e. losers too atheist to blame their shitty lives on gay people).
Hearing someone call NASA a bunch of covert ops Deep State agents working on a secret agenda sounds utterly insane ... unless you've just heard some nutjob talk about them being a bunch of seersucker-suited slave masters building a new world on Mars by turning molested children into space Oompa Loompas. Then it's downright reasonable by comparison.
The National Parks Service Is Covering Up Disappearances
Sometimes people disappear in the woods. That's not surprising. There are plenty of hidden alcoves, lake beds, and animal stomachs for the lost or hurt to disappear into. What might be more surprising, however, is the sheer number of people who wander into national parks, never to be seen again. Since records began, over 1,600 people have gone missing on public land, and no one seems to be paying attention. That's why a retired cop is going on a one-man crusade to raise awareness -- not of the dangers of hiking, but of how rangers are refusing to tell us how many of those missing people were kidnapped by fairies.
David Paulides is an former police detective who moved to Colorado for two reasons: skiing and Sasquatches. After his time on the force, he became an avid Bigfoot hunter, founding the North America Bigfoot Search. But his life changed when Paulides (according to Paulides) was approached by two park rangers who asked him to look into their agency covering up strange disappearances. Why they came to a guy who had spent years tracking something he never found, we won't know, but what followed was a tale of general incompetency, so that might have something to do with it.
In 2011, Paulides started the CanAm Missing Project, his goal being to figure out the possibly occult cause of all these mysterious disappearances. What qualifies a missing person's case to be labelled "mysterious"? Just about anything.
For example, when writing about two women disappearing near the same river, he noted that "both of their names start with A, and their first names only had three letters," as if the river was only trying to sweep away people with low Scrabble values. He also remarks that "that berries and berry bushes play a common role in many disappearances" which he finds "quite intriguing," as if park rangers aren't the only people in the world who like that their phones autocorrect "Wanna get some beers?" to "Wanna see some berries?"
He also has a map pinpointing 59 wildlife areas where all these disappearances occur. There are 59 federal parks in the United States. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Did he simply make his own map of all the parks?
But for all his foibles, we should be commending Paulides. He isn't like other conspiracy theorists, in that he does vastly more good than harm. His CanAm Missing Project and his Missing 411 books, while delusional, have grown to be the most comprehensive collection of data on missing people in national parks in existence. Paulides isn't exactly making anything up, either. "I don't put any theories in the books -- I just connect facts," he says. And his facts can't help but involve teleporting and magical murder berries. At his worst, he's a Deep Throat looking for the Woodward and Bernstein of exposing centaurs. At his best, he's exactly the kooky conspiracy theorist the National Park Service deserves: well-meaning, a bit bland, and obsessed with berries.
Hurricane Irma Was A Liberal Hoax
Hurricane Irma was one of the worst calamities to ever hit the Caribbean and Florida Keys. In Florida alone, it did millions of dollars of damage, destroyed tens of thousands of jobs, and caused the deaths of 75 people and counting (with thousands still at risk).
And if you believe that, the liberals have some Benghazi emails they'd like to sell you.
As Hurricane Irma neared the East Coast, a horrific encore to the tragedy that was Hurricane Harvey only weeks prior, the media offered dire predictions for the devastation to come.
But some people were getting tired of the MSM pushing its hurricane fearmongering. One of these skeptics was Rush Limbaugh, a man named after the way air moves between his ears and the best possible afterlife he could hope for. From his home in Palm Springs, Florida, the right-wing radio personality could feel a liberal conspiracy brewing.
To be clear, Limbaugh isn't a hurricane denier; he just doesn't think they're a big deal. On his show, he proclaimed, "there is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic." And if there's anyone who's an expert on creating fear and panic to further a political agenda, it's Rush.
To Limbaugh, it all sounds too convenient. A violent meteorological demon that thrives on the constantly warming ocean water like it's a Monster energy drink and then lays waste to our industrial zones? That's obviously some hoax dreamed up by what he calls the "official meteorological circles," like he's referring to a sinister cabal of druids which secretly controls the Weather Channel. Why else, he illogicked, does the media always scare people by saying each and every hurricane will hit a major city center? That's not balanced and honest reporting! Where's the 24-hour news cycle dedicated to the ones that merely swirl around on the ocean for a few days and slightly inconvenience some gulls? Typical media bias. Gull Lives Matter, too.
But then, to his great surprise, the liberal hoax caught up to him. As Irma started to lay waste to Southern Florida, Limbaugh was seen fleeing his home with nothing but the clothes on his back and his words to eat, desperately searching for the one Marriott in Northern Florida that doesn't have his picture behind the front desk. So in the end, Limbaugh did not convince us to stop believing in storms, but he did bolster our belief in silver linings.
300 Years Of History Never Happened
This story begins where all wild stories begin: during a German archaeological conference. In 1986, a large collection of historians gathered in Munich to discuss how pissed off they were getting at Medieval con artists making their jobs harder. Medieval experts, unlike their peers, have to deal with a lot of fake news. Scholars and clergymen of the Dark Ages had this tendency to forge the hell out of documents, writing any old nonsense to further their own agendas. When you're one of 20 people in your country who can read and write, you don't really have to worry about peer review.
But some of these forgeries shared something remarkable: They were seemingly written centuries before the events they detail. This blew one mind in particular: Heribert Illig, who jumped to quite a shocking conclusion. You see, instead of these documents being badly dated or made to look older to raise their authenticity, the answer was much simpler: The past didn't exist.
The foundation of Illig's "phantom time hypothesis," which denies that the period between 614 and 911 CE ever happened, lies in the fact that the Dark Ages were really, really boring. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe went through a bit of a burnout / mild apocalypse, so most dark agers didn't get around to doing much else besides trying to survive to the ripe old age of 17. Then Illig discovered that when the Catholic Church decided to switch from the wildly inaccurate Julian Calendar (which was off by about one day per century) to the Gregorian, they only added 10 days instead of 13, revealing they knew there were three centuries fewer than what everyone else was told. Of course, Illig was dead wrong, but you can't let something like a bit of bad math stand between you and claiming that a dozen generations of our ancestors never existed.
But with that realization, the real conspiracy theory kicked in. Surely, adding three extra centuries isn't some accidental fuck-up made by some faulty monk copiers. This was the work of powerful and holy people -- someone like Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. Otto, according to Illig's new math, was a 7th century emperor who really wanted to rule in the year 1000, because he wanted to be easily remembered by German fifth-graders. So Otto and Pope Sylvester II set out to create three centuries of fake past to plug the gap. Then they went about filling this newly created 291 years with a bunch of worthless duds of kings, except that Otto got a bit carried away with his fanfiction and created Charlemagne, the Mary Sue of Medieval rulers.
There's only one teeny tiny problem with Illinger's hypothesis: It forgets that there's an entire universe outside of European history. If the Dark Ages didn't happen, then neither did the birth and dissemination of Islam in the Middle East, or the well-documented feudal renaissance of the Chinese Tang Dynasty. And even if you could believe that Otto toured the world convincing foreign leaders he didn't know existed to get in on his epic prank, exact sciences like carbon dating, tracking astrological phenomena, or even counting tree rings like an Eagle Scout prove we're right on schedule.
Yet despite the myriad of logical and fact-based arguments made against the phantom timeline, the idea won't die. But we don't have to explain to you why, right? Can't you feel it? Doesn't part of you want to believe that we set our civilizations' alarm clocks three centuries too early? Takes the pressure off, doesn't it, pretending to be living in 1720? We could all coast for the rest of our lives, knowing that we did amazing just by saying no to slavery and not dying of polio.
C'mon, it's nice and warm here off the deep end.
Cedric would feel a lot better if hyper-intelligent lizards secretly ruled the world. You can follow him on Twitter, or directly contact him by tuning in to the frequency of his tooth fillings.
If you're getting the feeling that you need to start living in paranoia, well, luckily you don't have to worry about making your own tinfoil hat. You can just order one.
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