14 Famous Conspiracy Theories That Will Shake Your Beliefs

Whenever something shocking happens in our lives, most of the times any simpler explanation of the event doesn’t seem satisfying. We try to scrutinize and dig deeper to find appropriate explanations for that. Sometimes those theories are based on facts and sometimes they are not.

In academic terms a conspiracy theory is just an explanatory or speculative hypothesis suggesting that two or more persons, or generally an organization, have conspired to cover up a secret planning and deliberate action, an event typically regarded as illegal or harmful to society.

Conspiracy theories can attract a wide array of people, from passionate supporters to those who like unusual stories. In this exclusive post, we bought you some of those fascinating and intriguing conspiracy theories.

14. Reichstag fire

Reichstag fireImage source: Wikimedia

The Reichstag fire was a turning point in modern German history, which can be seen as the first step leading towards World War II for the Germans. On 27 February 1933, in Berlin, a young Dutch council communist named Marinus van der Lubbe was arrested, accused of setting fire in the Reichstag building (German Parliament until 1933).

German government immediately suspended all civil liberties and announced an attack on the Communist Party of Germany. The event was followed by the fall of the German President Hindenburg and rise of the Hitler Nazi regime. Not until 1998, when some historians claimed that Marinus was just an arsonist and working on the behalf of the Nazi party.

It is often argued that the infamous Reichstag fire was a Nazi plan to overthrow the ruling government and install fascism and antisemitism all over Germany.

13. The CIA and AIDS

cia and aids

The CIA has been long accused by many theorists and high profile dignitaries for engineering HIV AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s on African nations. Thabo Mbeki ex-president of South Africa once condemned the disputing scientific claims that the virus originated in Africa. He directly accused the U.S. government of manufacturing the disease in secret military labs.

The Nobel Peace laureate, Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai used the international spotlight to support that accusation as well. The WHO was also put under scrutiny after being accused of conducting deadly tests in Africa.

12. Harold Wilson was a Soviet Spy?

harold wilson

Harold Wilson was the two times British Prime minister who served between 1964-1970 and 1974-1976. During his regime, Britain had witnessed many bold changes in the economic and political front. It all started in 1963 when a Soviet defector claimed that Harold Wilson was a Soviet KGB agent, admitting that Gaitskell was murdered by Soviet spies to ensure Wilson’s election.

Although a majority of British high-rank officials refused to take it seriously, some actually believed it to be true. Peter Wright, a former MI5 agent in his book Spycatcher claimed that he had various sources telling him that Wilson was indeed a KGB agent. Due to internal pressure, the British intelligence investigated his involvements with Soviets on several occasions before concluding that he had no covert relationship with the KGB.

11. Global Warming Hoax

Global Warming hoax

We all are familiar with Global warming and its impending fate in our lives. But what if someone says that it’s rubbish or nothing more than a conspiracy? The Global warming denialism or the “Global Warming Conspiracy Theory” (GWCT) refers to the claims that either isn’t happening or isn’t caused by anthropogenic or human factor.

Shortly after 1998, NASA officially admitted that its programmers had a Y2K bug in their source code that processes temperature data, which erroneously bought a positive 0.02% change in 1998 temperature of the U.S.A. Therefore, the temperatures in 1998 exceeded the previous hottest year ever recorded in 1934. This pretty much confuses the global warming deniers, by failing to understand the fact that the world extends beyond the borders of the United States.

Likewise the Y2K bug there is a long list of claims and imprecise evidence that were pointed out by the denialist societies proving that the whole global warming is a scam or just a natural phenomenon.

Read: 15 Facts About Global Warming That Show Climate Change Is Real

10. No Shakespeare?

No Shakespeare

Who is the greatest poet of all time in English literature?. Shakespeare, well you might want to change your answer after reading this. The “Anti-Stratfordianism” is the conspiracy theory which argues that William Shakespeare (of Stratford-upon-Avon) was not the author of the plays which he is credited for.

The notion was first developed in the mid-19th century in late Victorian times. Conspiracy theorists have been debating Shakespeare’s life for years, arguing that William Shakespeare was just a pen name used by a group of writers, such as Christopher Marlowe, Sir Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford or Queen Elizabeth I, which might explain why his signature varied throughout his career.

Anti-Stratfordians insist that Shakespeare by any means could not have gained necessary education to write sophisticated plays that include knowledge of foreign languages, military and nautical terminology, familiarity with courtly maneuvering, legal terms, medicine, and other abstruse matters.

9. Roosevelt and the Perl harbor

Roosevelt and the Perl harbor

The Second World War turned on its head when America joins the allied forces against axis armies. The history clearly indicates that the Pearl harbor incident was the single most influential factor behind the U.S decision to participate in the war. On December 1941, the Japanese Army took the American base in a surprise, demolishing almost the entire Pearl harbor. The destruction of the American fleet was the greatest tactical victory of Japanese armies in World War II.

On the other hand, several conspiracy theorists have acquired a very controversial notion, claiming that the whole attack was planned and having a false flag operation motive. According to them the then President of United States Franklin Roosevelt had foreknowledge about the attacks and deliberately allowed them to take place.

They largely believed that FDR (Roosevelt) knew about the possible Japanese strike and yet didn’t prevent it from happening because he was willing to jump into the ongoing war and just need a valid reason to do so. They further assert that the great depression of 1929 and the weak economy had restrained him to make any foreign blunder, but his concerns with Germany had forced him to take such actions.

8. Hitler’s Suicide

Hitler's suicide

Death of Adolf Hitler has been at the center of many conspiracy theories. According to official reports, he committed suicide in his safe house on 30 April 1945. One thing that most of these theories have in common is that Hitler and his wife not only survived but escaped Berlin in a timely fashion. The theory was initially boosted by the Soviets part of its state policy of misleading information.

Marshall Georgy Zhukov was one of the few Soviet commanders who announced the “myth” in a press conference under the influence of Joseph Stalin. The Soviets were so reluctant that even during the Potsdam Conference in 1945, the American president Harry S. Truman received a flat denial on Hitler’s death from Stalin.

Many detailed investigations were conducted by Allied powers to testify whether the Soviet claims are indeed true or not. In 2011, things were once again caught media attention when two British authors Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams, proposes that Hitler and Braun did not commit suicide, but escaped to Argentina, in their book Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler.

7. UFO at Roswell

UFO at RoswellImage source: Wikimedia

UFO siting claims are not new. For more than five decades, conspiracy theories regarding UFOs have acquired a major buzz. Throughout the world, there were many reports of sightings of the alien ship and one such place was Roswell in New Mexico.

On July 7, 1947, many locals reported unusual debris of metal scattered over a huge area. Some even reported a blazing craft crossing the sky shortly before the crash.

Within hours, the military told the reporters that the thing that had fallen from the sky had been a weather balloon. Several years later with similar witness accounts and growing UFO rumors led to the conclusion that the wreckage in Roswell was indeed an extraterrestrial flying object.

6. Moon Landing Hoax

Moon Landing Hoax

The Moon landing hoax refers to a set of beliefs practiced by a certain group of persons who tries to prove the fact that the Apollo Moon landing of the late 1960s and 70s were nothing but a fake stunt pulled out by NASA and the United States of America in pursuit of humiliating USSR during the Cold War.

It is a common notion that the whole idea was first originated by the libertarian writer Bill Kaysing in his book ‘We Never Went to the Moon’ in 1976. As we said earlier, there is a set of beliefs, meaning the exact form of the hoax can vary slightly, but the conclusion will be largely the same, you can imagine it as a different edition of the same book.

A certain group of followers questions the possibility of space travel. According to flat earth societies, the Earth is flat and due to some reasons it is impossible for the astronauts to leave the Earth and it is self-explanatory that the whole thing was filmed on the earth grounds.

Another group of believers is convinced by the fact that the astronauts only went into a low orbit around the Earth as space outside the low orbit is filled with the deadly radiation. They further provided some vague, unproven evidence, which led them to the conclusion that the conspiracy is true.

5. Aurora Aircraft

Aurora Aircraft

It all started on March 1990, when the Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine revealed that the term “Aurora” had been included in the U.S budget with an allocation of $445 million for “black aircraft production” in the financial year 1987. By the late 1980s, military aviation experts were sure that U.S had the technology to build a Mach 5 aircraft that can replace the old Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

Things became more critical in 1989, near the North Sea when Chris Gibson a retired Royal Observer Corps was unable to identify an aircraft. He witnessed an unfamiliar isosceles triangle-shaped aircraft refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker alongside a pair of F-111, which he recognized momentarily.

Similar sightings were also reported in Southern California. A series of sonic bombs were recorded by the United States Geological Survey Sensors in the year 1991. Those sonic bombs were characterized by much smaller vehicle rather than a 37-meter Space Shuttle Orbiter.

4. Area 51

Area 51 warning signs

For a couple of decades, Area 51 has been the most kept secret military installation around the world. It’s been subjected to many conspiracy theories – its connection to objects from outer space.

3. The Reptilian Elite

The conspiracy theorist and New Age philosophers state that members of an ancient reptilian bloodline secretly rule the world. The theory was popularized by former BBC sports writer and later self-proclaimed “son of God” David Icke in his 1999 book, The Biggest Secret: The Book That Will Change the World. In his book, he claimed that the so-called human society is actually controlled by the reptilian humanoids.

Today it may sound outlandish or bizarre, but almost 12 million people all over the globe actually believe that reptiles secretly rule the world. There are various explanations of where they came from, but the majority believes they interbreed with the humans by altering our DNA, which helped them to create a perfect disguise among us.

They further argue that as humankind started to colonize the planet, the elite reptiles spread across the Earth and became the royal families throughout the world. By having power in every single country, the Reptilians have created a global prison that people don’t even realize they’re in.

2. The 9/11

9 - 11

It was the blackest day in modern American history when a group of 19 men hijacked four passenger airplanes in order to crash it into the high profile locations at the very heart of the United States. As the result of the 9/11 massacre American forces invaded Afghanistan to destroy Al-Qaeda and hunt down Osama Bin Laden.

Amidst of the hostile environment, some conspiracy theorist starts building their own version of the story, claiming that the attacks were condoned by the American Government as a false flag operation, as a pretext for carrying out the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq.

Read: Top Secret U.S Military Programs

1. John F. Kennedy Assassination

John F. Kennedy Assassination

Perhaps one of the greatest political murders ever occurred on the earth which is still a hot topic and attract lots of attention even to this day. Conspiracy theorists have come forward time to time in the favor of the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was not alone in this act.

He was arrested and charged for murdering the president J.F Kennedy on 22nd November 1963 during a rally near the Dallas’s Dealey Plaza at about 12:30 p.m. Oswald was later shot down in police custody after 2 days by Jack Ruby. The conspiracy theorists are enthusiastic over the fact that Oswald was not acting alone, he was just a face and some even reached the conclusion that Oswald didn’t commit the murder at all.

Read: Researchers Are Creating Human-Monkey Hybrids | A Controversial Breed

Recent developments in conspiracy theories put forward the involvement of CIA dignitaries, the then Vice President Lyndon Johnson, Cuban President Fidel Castro and KGB with individual purposes or a combination of those entities to some extent.

Written by
Bipro Das

I am a content writer and researcher with over seven years of experience covering all gaming and anime topics. I also have a keen interest in the retail sector and often write about the business models/strategies of popular brands.

I started content writing after completing my graduation. After writing tech-related things and other long-form content for 2-3 years, I found my calling with games and anime. Now, I get to find new games and write features and previews.

When not writing for RankRed, I usually prefer reading investing books or immersing myself in Europa Universalis 4. But I am currently interested in some new JRPGs as well.

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