Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? These theories have seemingly been around as long as there have been societies, at least according to the political scientist Michael Barkun who broke down conspiracy theories into three principles. First, nothing happens by accident; second, nothing is as it seems; and third, everything is connected. So, with that, let’s delve into the top 15 most popular conspiracy theories of all time in an article that is definitely an accident, exactly as it seems and isn’t connected to anything!
15. Paul is Dead
Countless times over the years, a band has been referred to as the “Second coming of the Beatles.” But unless you were alive back then, you really don’t understand how big the Beatles were.
The best way to explain it is that the Beatles had to stop touring during their prime because crowds screamed at the top of their lungs during shows. According to some, after being escorted out of a concert in the back of a Brink’s truck, Paul McCartney looked over at the other three and said, “Yeah, you guys are right, this is out of control.”
Now, some people argue the Beatles stopped touring because McCartney died in a car accident. They say he was replaced by a lookalike who somehow was even more talented than Paul. They contend that the alleged time of death occurred before the release of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band — coincidentally the greatest album ever released depending on whom you ask.
There are countless things that “point this out” from forward lyrics — “He Blew his Mind out in a Car” — backward lyrics and especially album art — specifically the art on the cover of Abbey Road —where the Fab Four cross a road looking like a priest, a coroner, a grave digger and a dead body.
McCartney discussed this on David Letterman about 10 years ago. But, it makes no sense as plastic surgery in the 1960’s was terrible and no two people look THAT alike. Sure his face changed a bit but there’s another word for that and it isn’t death it’s… AGING.
14. Elvis & Tupac Are Alive!
On the other end of the spectrum are two other celebrities who personify the early genre of music they inhabited, Elvis in Rock and Roll and Tupac in “Gangsta Rap.” Both died young — Tupac especially — and thus fans refused to accept their deaths. Elvis was in terrible shape, had a bad diet and an even worst diet of pills, so his heart or body in general gave out, even though he was only 42 years old. In addition, he really had no incentive to fake his own death, even if he was one of the most famous people on the planet.
Tupac, on the other hand, definitely did. Assuming he survived the shooting in Las Vegas that “claimed his life,” that would’ve been the second time he was shot at — with a grand total of 9 bullets entering his body across both shootings. He was also out on bail pending his appeal on a rape charge that initially garnered him 3-9 years in prison and had assaulted a gang member the night he was shot — an altercation that sent the driver of the car he was in, Suge Knight, to prison for several years.
He also had money issues in general but specifically with Suge, who wasn’t paying him for the sales on his diamond album, All Eyez on Me. So the incentive to fake his death — either to escape danger or prison — was there. He could have entered the witness protection program after turning on his boss and former friend, Suge.
But, nah. He’s dead like Elvis.
13. Princess Diana was Murdered
Another celebrity who died before their time, Princess Diana shook the earth to its core when her car crashed in the summer of 1997. After going on vacation with her new boyfriend Dodi Fayed — whom she had only been seeing for a few weeks at that point — she died in the backseat of a Black Benz that wrapped itself around a pole in a Paris tunnel in Paris fleeing paparazzi. The vultures caught up with the Benz after the crash, took pictures and left — some were arrested.
Yet, there are conflicting reports as to whether or not they were fleeing the paps who were far behind their car. Apparently, Diana’s driver was drunk. It is said that he was so drunk he couldn’t even walk to the car prompting may to suspect foul play.
Other elements of this so-called conspiracy have come from Fayed’s father, who was the owner of the hotel Diana and her son were staying in at the time. He believed the British royal family forbid Diana from marrying Fayed, a Muslim, and once they found out she was pregnant they decided she had to die. Assuming they knew she was pregnant and wanted to marry the man she had only been dating for a short while.
However, this case has all the ingredients needed for a juicy conspiracy theory. It was recently said that Queen Elizabeth thought perhaps someone had “greased the brakes” on her daughter-in-law’s car. Furthermore, video footage and forensic evidence — paint scraping — show the black Benz was hit by a small, two-door white Fiat — the culprits were never found — before careening into that guard rail.
12. The Disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
This conspiracy theory would’ve ended up much higher on this list if not for the debris found in the Southern Indian ocean confirming that the plane crashed. Nevertheless, how or why it seemed to divert from it’s original course — from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China — is still unknown. The impending search for the flight 370 ended up becoming the largest and most expensive in history. We’ll never know what happened to the plane for sure, and that makes the story ripe for all sorts of conpiracy theories.
After the airplane left Malaysian airspace it was expected to make contact with Vietnamese air traffic control. When it failed to do so, another flight’s captain attempted to make contact with MH370, but only heard what he described as “mumbling and static.”
Calls after that went answered leading people to believe that the plane was either hijacked or essentially taken over by the flight crew — or the pilots in a bizarre mass murder-suicide plot not unheard of in aviation history. Because of the mumbling, though, it is thought the plane lost pressure creating a hypoxia event in the cabin. Without pressure, the pilots would’ve become disoriented and would have died without oxygen. The plane is thought to have then flown off course and crashed into the sea.
11. Chemtrails #FML
When Prince died in 2016, some people dug up an old interview he gave years prior. Speaking with Travis Smiley of PBS about chemtrails, the singer said that after he saw the lines in the sky, later that night, his friends and family all started fighting one another randomly like that Church scene from Kingsmen.
According to this theory, the government hires planes to drop chemicals all over cities. The trails of condensation that you see when a jet is flying high up in the air are used to either depopulate urban areas by screwing with sex hormones. They can also cause violence in inner-cities by spreading mind altering chemicals — Prince favored this version.
Because why look in the mirror and attempt to change one’s behavior when you can just look up in the sky and blame some lines? Of course, scientists and pilots have explained where these things come from and why they can last for a minute or two — or much longer. But who needs facts when it’s a lot more fun to blame everyone else for everything.
10. Fluoride in Drinking Water
Speaking of which, another way that the government is getting its depopulation agenda into our bodies is by adding fluoride in our drinking water. The Nazis came up with it, too! Apparently, it turns men gay and averse to sex with women. Other theories say it’s a way to control our minds and make us LESS apt to resist or get violent — how else would you prescribe we offset those chemtrails.
Considering the fact that only a handful of countries add fluoride in their water systems — The United States, the UK, Canada, Australia — and seem just fine in terms of stability and population growth, you’d think this theory would go away. Then again, it does have everything a good conspiracy theory needs. Chemicals? Check! From the government, no less? Check! IN THE WATER SUPPLY?!? Check! Triple Check! Nazis?!?!? Connect Four!
9. Reptilian 1%
At some point you knew aliens were going to show up on this list even if you’re a layman when it comes to conspiracy theories. Popularized by former BBC television sports presenter David Icke, this theory espouses that the ruling elite, including politicians, aren’t actually human beings or mammals at all but some sort of extraterrestrial reptilian humanoid race wearing make-up or even better, shape-shifting.
Referred to as the Reptoid Hypothesis, Icke and company argue that humanity has been genetically manipulated by reptilian space creatures for thousands of years. Known as the Babylonian Brotherhood, this race isn’t solely Reptilian as some believe. In fact, they’ve interbred with humans — because, you know, reptiles and mammals do that all the time in the wild — to create a race of human/extraterrestrial reptilians. They even comprise the nefarious Illuminati.
If any of this sounds familiar it’s because a lot of it overlaps with the “fallen angel” hypothesis, in which angels walked the earth — as giants — and interbred with humans. When not ruling the world, these reptilian humans live deep within the earth in caverns and can shape-shift. There are countless videos on Youtube that make strange looking people feel bad about themselves while attempting to show a shape-shifting reptile in-between forms. But at least it’s inspired the crab people on South Park. So, silver lining?
8. Pearl Harbor
Whenever there’s a large, world changing event, you just know that a conspiracy theory isn’t far behind. World War II was the largest event in recent history and because of that, it spawned all kinds of BS. According to a theory, the United States government, with its isolationist policy following the horrors of World War I, wanted to enter the war. However, it needed a false flag event to get the population behind the idea of sending its youths to their deaths. So it bombed Pearl Harbor while posing as the Japanese Air Force and Navy.
The idea that soldiers slapping some Japanese stickers on its planes to attack their fellow men is ludicrous at best. It would’ve also required the Japanese government to go along with the lie for 75 years and counting.
A second theory involves then President Roosevelt, who is suspected of knowing about the attack in advance but failing to get Pearl Harbor ready. He apparently expected the slaughter to galvanize public support. Yet, even with soldiers ready, this sort of attack would’ve sent the United States military to war anyway.
7. Subliminal Messages
This theory was so prevalent it made its way to court. It was the first time that the idea of subliminal messages in popular music was considered in a court of law. Heavy metal band Judas Priest had to fight a civil lawsuit after the suicides two young fans.
The pair — a 19 and a 20-year-old — shot themselves after getting drunk/high and listening to the song “Better by You, Better than Me”. After jamming out, hardcore to the song, they went to a nearby park with a shotgun, placed it under their chins and pulled the trigger. One died instantly while the other survived. Horribly disfigured, he would succeed three years later thanks to a lethal dose of painkillers.
It was argued, that the lyrics “do it” spurred both to off themselves. Because of the possible precedent, the entertainment industry and constitutional lawyers watched the trail closely. The lawyers for Priest attempted to have the lawsuit thrown out by stating that subliminal messages were protected by free speech. The judge stated that they weren’t protected since they were by definition not noticeable and thus could not form part of a dialogue.
The case was dismissed after all though. The court found that any subliminal messages within the recording, should they actually exist, were not responsible for the suicides. Despite that, many people still believe subliminal messages are everywhere. Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford said in an interview after the trial that it would counterproductive to have their fans kill themselves. But if they could figure out how to send subliminal messages they would suggest to “buy more records.”
6. Holocaust Denial
This theory is so horrible that it’s illegal in 16 countries. Holocaust deniers often have an ulterior motive — racism. They might say that while a lot of people did die — in what they call POW camps,— it was caused by disease, namely typhoid. Also, deniers will argue that pictures of people going naked into gas chambers weren’t gas chambers at all, but sanitation chambers, where people were given either medication to combat lice or to ward off typhoid.
One of the bigger lines of “reasoning” they use is that 6 million people would’ve created so much ash there would’ve been mountains of it. Just try Googling “where is all the ash from the Holocaust.” While none of the sites that pop up could dream of monetizing on Youtube, one answer came from the Birkenau Ash Pond. Water washes away ash and the pond behind Krematorium IV at Auschwiz-Birkenau helped hide the ashes of hundreds of thousands of people.
5. Global Warming is a Scam!
The roots in this theory stem from the fossil fuel industry attempt ing to stamp out legitimate concern — ironically first raised by scientists working for oil companies way back in the late 60’s. This theory claims it’s the height of hubris to think that humans could change the climate on Earth. Meanwhile, humans created that gigantic growing hole in the Ozone layer.
One prevailing argument against global warming is that scientists are paid by the government to report on climate and somehow only get paid if they give bad news. That’s like saying a weatherman would only get paid if he was reporting rain. Luckily, these backwards arguments are starting to fall apart because it’s just too damn hot for anyone to continue to argue.
Even though the US recently pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord to curb greenhouse gas emissions, most countries have signed it. A lot of local governments and even corporations in the United States are going to stick by it despite the government’s decision. So, we may just have a future on this planet after all.
4. The Illuminati Controls EVERYTHING
This theory argues that a secret society of elites control everything. Competing theories say a group of elites, oftentimes a set of families across the globe, control certain governments or industries or both.
On YouTube you generally get two types of anti-Illuminati video. One that focuses on religion and how the Illuminati wants to trick people into worshipping the Devil — also known as Baphomet. These videos consider essentially everything to be some sort of sign of the devil. Every music video hides a symbol that confirms an artist has joined the cult. Every reference to a number means they’re shouting out the devil.
Then there’s the political side that focuses on attempts by a global elite —”Globalists”— that are attempting to create a New World Order or Global Community — which doesn’t sound that menacing. This belief is prevalent in minority communities and stems from a lack of control in one’s life and the psychological need to alleviate personal responsibility. They believe they never stood a chance to get their lives together because of some shadowy ruling elite.
3. The Moon Landing was FAKE, Bro!
Regardless of where you stand on the Moon Landing, some say there is credence to the idea that it cost so much money that it was engineered to engage the USSR in a competition it couldn’t afford. Looking back at the Cold War, the USSR was a large country but had about a third of the population of the United States. And because of it’s state-controlled economy, a lot less money.
So, enticing them to spend billions of dollars on a space race the United States could more easily afford made sense from a strategic point of a view. And because of pride — and the fact they had the lead initially — the USSR just couldn’t resist.
So, when the US landed on the moon with those immortal words from Neil Armstrong, it wasn’t only “one giant leap for mankind” but also a kick in the pants of the USSR. Keep in mind that while the evidence that the US faked it is at least a lot more compelling than a lot of the theories on this list, that rumor very well could’ve originated from Russia. So, don’t believe the hype.
2. 9/11 was an Inside Job
Everyone alive at the time remembers where they were when 9/11 went down. Because of the laws that were passed and the perpetual wars that were launched after those attacks, it would make sense to believe this was yet another false-flag type attack — similar to the belief about Pearl Harbor — meant to further a police-state and prop up a war economy.
Consider the staggering amount of circumstantial evidence for a moment: the US Air Force Eastern Seaboard Command was flying drills over the ocean that day, leaving the entire Eastern United States unprotected; the Vice President of the United States in Dick Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton — a government contractor that made billions off of the War on Terror; both Building 7 and the Pentagon contained files pertaining to an audit on military spending that were lost; the towers collapsed in a way that looked a lot like a controlled demolition; and privacy rights haven’t been the same since.
It didn’t help either that, a short time before 9/11, multiple members of George W. Bush’s cabinet were involved with a neo-conservative think tank that published a report that stated the United States needed another Pearl Harbor to modernize the military. There’s a reason this is one of the top conspiracy theories of all time — being part of the YouTube generation didn’t hurt, either.
1. JFK Blown Away, What Else Do I Have to Say?
What makes this the top conspiracy isn’t only how much change it brought to the country. There are a handful of groups that could’ve been responsible. Put your tin foil hat on.
According to some, the Mob had a motive: John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, the Attorney General, were going after the Cosa Nostra HARD. Other say Cubans at home and abroad had a motive: Castro’s communists wanted him gone and those opposed to Castro felt the President abandoned them after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
The military industrial complex apparently wanted it’s war with Vietnam and felt JFK wouldn’t give it to them. Rumors point to Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who supposedly hated the Kennedys and felt they slighted him on numerous occasions. Conspiracy theorists also claim LBJ felt he was destined to be President.
And then there are the unions, led by Jimmy Hoffa. Not to mention the controversial shooting itself — which coined the phrase “grassy knoll.” Lee Harvey Oswald — who had connections to both Cuba and the USSR — must have been one of the best shots in the world. Or maybe he was, like he said, just a patsy. We’ll never know since mob-connected Jack Ruby waited for Oswald’s transfer from the Dallas Police Station to shoot him once in the stomach, killing him.