5 Bizarre Conspiracy Theories Around Recent News Events

The conspiracy theory genre has a lot of "greatest hits." The Earth is flat, 9/11 was an inside job, Democrats are secretly lizard people, etc. However, new ones are created every day, and at this point it's getting hard to sift through them all. So if you want to keep up with that dude at the bar telling you that Hillary is an android invented by the Japanese in order to spy on our nation's beef exports, here are five recent conspiracy theories that, as you may have guessed, are completely bonkers.

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5
John McCain Was Actually Executed

In the years before his recent death, Senator John McCain became known as the guy who would take a massive dump on everything Trump said before going ahead and voting along with the dude anyway. He passed away earlier this year due to brain cancer, but to some on the far, far, far right, that didn't really seem like a plausible way for an, umm, 81-year-old man to die. No, according to certain conspiracy enthusiasts, McCain was secretly executed. FOR TREASON.

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Either that or he killed himself because he couldn't bear the shame of being hauled off to Guantanamo Bay -- whichever the morally repugnant think is more morally justified. Regardless, the point is the same: McCain was a criminal and a traitor, and because we live in an era in which political discourse can best be described by the old slogan "Either you're with us or IT'S SCORCHED EARTH, m**********r," McCain's words against Trump made him ripe to be dealt with lethally.

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If you have kept up with the thousands of screeching goblins who have turned the internet into a weird quicksand pit of "Well, ACTUALLY," you probably guessed that this particular theory is an offshoot of QAnon. If you're not, the idea behind QAnon is that Trump, when he's not ruling America like a drunken fourth-grader in the back of a Denny's, is secretly prosecuting a cabal of traitors and Washington elites that include McCain and the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

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What McCain's particular act of treason was supposed to be tends to vary. Either it's complicity in the general cabal or another wildly debunked claim that McCain betrayed his country by being captured, imprisoned, and tortured during the Vietnam War. But the smoking gun here is McCain's use of a medical boot back in November 2017, which he wore after he supposedly injured his Achilles tendon. Those who know the TRUTH know that the boot was obviously meant to hide the tracking bracelet on his ankle.

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Sure, McCain claimed that because he was 81, he switched the boot so that one of his legs wasn't doing all the work. You may have to do that when you find that your body is crumbling under you. But to Q fans, this was obvious proof that he'd switched the boot because ... he'd switched the bracelet? Or did he switch the boot to distract from the bracelet? I'm not sure what this has to do with anything. But what do I know? I'm clearly just another Illuminati stooge out to undermine the president.

Related: Crazy Conspiracy Theories That Sane People Believe Right Now

4
Sesame Street's Autistic Character Is A Plant By Big Pharma

Despite the show being a behemoth of children's television, Sesame Street has been no stranger to sensitive topics, whether it's dealing with bullying or the time Mr. Snuffleupagus devoured a child. So it wasn't too weird when they introduced Julia, their first Muppet with autism. To everyday sheeple, this would merely seem thoughtful, as traditional education tends to be exclusionary and often cruel to neurodivergent people.

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Or, and stay with me here, Sesame Street is promoting the widespread poisoning of children.

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This piece was written by self-described "Health Ranger" Mike Adams. If you're blessed enough to be unfamiliar with him, Adams is a sort of renaissance man of conspiracy theories. He has hosted Infowars, been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, and founded several conspiracy websites, including HoggWatch, which exists solely to harass high-schooler and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. So he knows a thing or two about what's horrible for children.

And when Julia debuted on Sesame Street, Adams echoed the kind of sentiments your crazy, kinda racist uncle posts on Facebook at all hours of the day. I mean, why else would this puppet exist? Because one of Sesame Street's producers has a daughter with autism named Julia and she wanted to see her represented on the most revered children's show on television? That's highly suspect.

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Despite the absolutely crushing mountain of evidence that vaccines have nothing to do with autism, Adams wasn't alone.

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Autistic children are anti-vaxxer boogeymen, and they would rather have their measles-riddled children treat people on the spectrum with fearful disdain than learn to accept them as a part of society. Sesame Street responded to all this with a resounding silent treatment. In 2015, they'd already produced a short clip in which Elmo and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy discussed the benefits of vaccinations. Within the anti-vaxxer community, this went over about as well as you would expect.

Related: Dumb Conspiracy Theories With Awful Real-World Consequences

3
Antifa Has Organized Multiple Mass Murders

In the immediate aftermath of 2017's Las Vegas shooting, right-wing news sites and social media filled with proclamations that the violence was the work Antifa, the collective leftist protesting groups that the right seems to believe are all-powerful. Mind you, Antifa doesn't have any official leadership or organizational structure, but that didn't stop the fear train from running full steam out of the station.

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Unlike the other conspiracy theories on this list, which presumably came after someone taught an evil chimpanzee how to use Twitter, this stuff was deliberately manufactured. Ever the shepherds of monstrous bullshit, 4chan users aimed to flood social media with posts linking the attack with Antifa. Soon enough, the likes of Alex Jones and Mike Cernovich ran with the story as fact, and the rest is history.

And then there's the bullshit around the Sutherland Springs shooting. (Remember, the one in the Texas church? It was November 2017? Yeah, there are a lot of these.) Months before, some guy posted a YouTube video in which he claimed that Antifa planned to launch a new Civil War before the end of the year. This was swiftly picked up and beamed across all the same paranoid channels. And if you doubt the sincerity of their panic, watch this stern grandfather tell people to lock up their children and stay indoors:

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Things escalated further when Twitter comedian KT Nelson poked fun at the hysteria:

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People took this gravely seriously. Gullible idiots who lack self-awareness got Nelson's Twitter account suspended and conducted some intense social media fearmongering. And then the prophesied day of war came and went without any white parents being beheaded in the streets. After this, though, everyone calmed down, realized that they had been getting worked up over nothing, and came together as a society.

Ahh, just kidding! The Sutherland Springs shooting happened the very next day, and the bullshit happened all over again.

Related: The 36 Weirdest Conspiracy Theories On The Internet

2
Bitcoin Is A Conduit For Alien Messages From The Future

Right now you might be thinking, "GOD, CRACKED. STOP GETTING SO POLITICAL." Well good news for you, because we're ditching politics and heading into an even more serious subject: how aliens are f*****g up our cryptocurrencies. See, according to the crazier subsection of those willing to explore the art of magic internet money, Bitcoin is proof of artificial intelligence and/or aliens and/or time travel.

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That seemingly incomprehensible string of numbers and letters is a block of Bitcoin code. And when that 00000000000000000021e800c1e8df51b22c1588e5a624bea17e9faa34b2dc4a block was generated, it created waves in the Bitcoin community that threatened the very fabric of space and time. But why is the code so significant? Ah, well, it has a lot of zeroes, you see, and almost nothing else.

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The 18 leading zeros is close to the amount of zeros in the first Bitcoin block ever, the so-called "genesis block": 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f. Do you see the significance yet? Don't worry, it will all make sense soon. Maybe. The second mind-blowing part of the block was what came right after the zeros: the 21e8. According to stunned Twitter cryptographers, the 21e8 refers to a unified theory of the Universe called "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything."

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The logical conclusion from a subset of the Bitcoin community was that the code must be a message from an advanced intelligence/alien from the future. The obvious suspect was Bitcoin's enigmatic founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. After all, no one really knows who (or what!) Nakamoto is. Suspecting that he's a time-traveling

alien robot is on par for people who tend to compare him to God.

Of course, there is the fact that the "simple theory of everything" has largely been ignored by the scientific community. And that the 18 zeros and the reference to e8 aren't exactly a rare occurrence. In fact, that sort of combination of rare code has a probability of occurring about once a year. So once a year, we either have something relatively common happening, or we're getting messages that the creator of Bitcoin is an extraterrestrial time traveler. Honestly, this one could go either way.

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Related: 5 Boneheaded Conspiracy Theories You Had No Clue Existed

1
California's Wildfire Epidemic Is Being Caused By Space Lasers

Without exaggerating, it's safe to say that California has become a raging furnace of never-ending hellfire, as 2017 and 2018 were the state's worst wildfire years on record. And after years of drought, and with more and more people moving into fire-prone areas, it makes sense that fires are more deadly and costly than ever. Yeah, makes sense to a TOTAL IDIOT. It's really being caused by directed energy weapons, aka DEW, aka m***********g space lasers.

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Directed energy weapon conspiracy theorists (hitherto referred to as DEWbags) believe that somebody (the government, Russia, Illuminati, etc.) has commanded giant lasers to vaporize various small-town suburbs and surrounding forests. And to be fair, the concept of directed energy weapons is not entirely out of the realm of possibility. The technology does exist. However, it's not up to the doomsday standards that theorists think it is.

Most of their evidence, which is frequently delivered in rambling, overlong YouTube videos, is based around how some stuff on the ground appears burned and other stuff ... burned ... less? Like a metal guardrail might be heavily burnt, but a tree nearby may only be ridiculously charred. This kind of thinking leads some people to the conclusion that the lasers are microwave or electromagnetically guided, and thus work way better on metal, or whatever element happens to fit the theorist's particular obsession at the time.

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You might be trying to figure this out yourself now, but please don't, as this is just a subgenre of the "CAN IT MELT STEEL BEAMS?" argument that's been floating around since 9/11, the Citizen Kane of conspiracy theory subjects. All of this also implies that humans need even more help starting wildfires, despite the fact that we're responsible for 84 percent of them. Just leave us be for a bit and we'll be sure to set something ablaze.

But of course, that's why conspiracy theories exist. It's depressing to think that kind of destruction could be the almost random result of an elderly couple getting a flat tire and accidentally sparking up some nearby dry brush in their attempt to fix it. No! It was a super cool space-based death ray! Pew! Pew!

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Boone Ashworth has his own website, like an adult. There's really no reason to follow him on Twitter. Oh, but if you want to donate to help fire victims, you should definitely do that here.

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