“Oh my God, you’re crazy, and we love it.”
~AFFotD staff-writers to conspiracy theorists
So here’s a story. We wrote, a few years back, an article about the Kentucky Meat Shower of 1876. It’s a relatively obscure “ha, what?” event that’s slightly less well known among your average American than, say, the London Beer Flood of 1814. Now, recently, the Kentucky Meat Shower has gotten some additional traffic, which is very cool for us because it means we get to buy more expensive whiskeys for next week, or at the very least a gold chalice to drink it from. However, it also started a bit of a conversation in the comments section with an individual who, as far as we can tell, believes that a cloaked alien spaceship that’s 5 miles wide grows human babies as if they were corn to harvest their lung tissue, which is compatible with their species, and a “batch” went bad and had to be dumped, which lead to the Kentucky Meat Shower.
Make no mistake about it, this is a crazy thing to say. This is the kind of thing that a crazy person would say to someone while fully believing that they are not crazy, even though they are. Crazy. So very fucking crazy. We were obviously amused by it (because of the crazy) and terrified by it (when they got to saying “what’s so evil about grinding up babies” we had to get the fuck out of there) but it led us to a realization.
There are a lot of total amazing whack job conspiracies out there. And we should talk about them. So let’s do that.
America’s Whackiest Obscure Whack Job Conspiracy Theories
Now, right off the bat, there are “popular” conspiracy theories that most people are aware of. There are people who vocally believe that, say, JFK was killed by the CIA, or that 9/11 was an inside job, or that we’re ruled by a class of lizard people. These are documented (wrong, crazy, stupid, weird) theories that are believed by more people than we’d like to think, and sometimes pop up into casual conversation whenever a former D-list actress gets off her meds and starts writing about them (looking at you, Tila Tequila’s weird Reptilian Illuminati blogging phase).
We’re not going to talk about those here. The problem with these conspiracies (which include, say, chemtrails and crop circle believers and every damn false flag operation theory out there) is that they’re boring, and every article that tries to write about them in their “crazy things that people believe!” incredulous tone fail to realize that people stopped being surprised that kooks have insane theories around the same time that Google became a thing. So we’re not going to bore you with worn out, overplayed conspiracy theories that are starting to even creep into pop culture. We will, however, tell you some conspiracy theories that are very real, very stupid, and which you very probably haven’t heard before.
Not because we want you to believe. But because we want you to hear how idiotic these sound with fresh ears.
Flat Earth/Hollow Earth Theories
We’re starting with an entry that makes liars out of us, because it is very likely that you’ve heard of the existence of either the Flat Earth Society or the Hollow Earth Theory. That said, most of you probably assume that people have long since given up on that little theory since we, you know, have gone into space, looked down at Earth and gone, “yup, looks round and solid to me.” That said, we had to write about this if for no other reason than the fact that President John Quincy Adams once greenlit an expedition to enter the interior of the hollow Earth (to introduce himself to the mole people living down there or whatever) and the fact that a large reason why we never went through with it was that Andrew Jackson then took over the Presidency and cancelled the expedition because he thought the world was flat.
Now, an important thing to remember with flat earth theorists, other than that being a ridiculous thing to consider one’s self, is that this viewpoint has been considered stupid and wrong for far longer than many often assume. The concept that Columbus believed the Earth to be flat is bullshit, and we figured out the whole “sphere” thing by the 6th century BC. But we’re going to delve into Flat Earth, and Hollow Earth, and talk about the people who believe in it still.
First, Flat Earth. In the Wikipedia page about “modern Flag-Earthers” the opening line states, “In the modern era, belief in a flat Earth has been expressed by isolated individuals and groups, but no scientists of note.” That is the most polite way to call people crazy we’ve encountered yet. There’s enough insanity here to go into a whole AFFotD, but we think that’s giving this too much credit. They basically base all of their beliefs on a guy who, in the 1800s, said, “large bodies of water don’t bend, so they’re flat, so the world is flat” and everyone threw up their hands and said, “Sounds legit!” As a result, they manage to convince themselves that astronauts in space aren’t weightless because of gravity, but because they’re in a constant free fall, hundreds of miles above the flat Earth surface. They think the sun is…a quark-gluon plasma? A spotlight that shines on parts of the flat Earth at a time?
They say that the edge of the Earth is an ice wall, and that temperatures would be below the freezing point of oxygen there. Oh, and NASA or something hires contractors or the Army or something to guard the edge of the Earth so no one can find out the truth. You know you’ve hit the sweet spot of an insane conspiracy theory when armed co-conspirators are involved.
Hollow Earth theory, however, is fun because it basically says that the Earth is completely hollow, with a whole (foreshadowed pun) other society living under our feet that’s only accessible through giant holes in the North and South Pole. This general concept might sound familiar because it was in the book Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Jules Verne book which has most recently has been featured in pop culture as a shitty sequel to a Brandon Fraser movie starring The Rock. The theory is less convoluted than Flat Earthers, probably because they don’t have as many people who vehemently agree with it enough to make up explanations. They just say, matter-of-factly, that the Earth is hollow, there are like, mammoths and people that live thousands of years inside Earth, and also there’s a miniature sun in the middle down there? Apparently?
Some people also think that we live in a convex Earth where it would be like the ground being the inside of a chicken shell, and all of space and the universe would be the egg’s white and yolk. If that analogy sounded stupid to you, us re-phrasing it won’t help, because it is stupid. Our head hurts. Let’s go to the next cuckoo idea.
The Illuminati Killed Stanley Kubrick Because of Eyes Wide Shut
Stanley Kubrick was one of the greatest directors in the history of film. He was, by all accounts, a brilliant, somewhat sadistic perfectionist whose focus on details both added rich symbolism to his films, while making it surprisingly easy for disturbed individuals to center his films around their warped worldviews. Hell, you can even find a documentary on Netflix that follows all the theories centered around just The Shining (most prevalent of which is the belief that The Shining saw Kubrick subtly informing the public that the government went to him and had him fake the moon landing).
And since Kubrick is such a great lightning rod for conspiracy theorists, and everyone can’t shut the fuck up about the damn Illuminati (thanks, Dan Brown), it’s not surprising that when Stanley Kubrick died in 1999 at the age of 70, just three days after sending the final print of his final film (Eyes Wide Shut) people began pointing fingers and saying, “He was killed by the Illuminati! They did it to keep him quiet!” Now, you might remember Eyes Wide Shut as a time capsule of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s doomed marriage that doubled as Kubrick’s worst reviewed film, or if you were a teenage boy when it came out you might remember it as that movie with a bunch of naked lady scenes that you fast-forwarded to on the VHS copy of it you rented from Blockbusters that showed less of Nicole Kidman than you were hoping, but you’d be wrong.
No, apparently Eyes Wide Shut was a damning portrayal of the elitist members of the Illuminati and how they live their lives that was a bit too close to the truth so Kubrick was dispatched in such a manner as to make it look like he had a heart attack in his sleep. Of course, a 70-year-old man of a heftier build having a heart attack with no pre-diagnosed condition is a pretty difficult scenario to fathom, and secret murder definitely meets the criteria of Occam’s Razor in this case. Either way, everything from “Nicole Kidman’s legs look like Illuminati pillars” to “the Illuminati use mind control drugs on our women, with pop music, to control the population, which is somehow represented in this film” is supposedly represented by this film, if you believe this extremely long, rambling, and unnecessarily detailed article that you don’t really need to click on. So while there are many ridiculous, crazy Illuminati theories out there, and we explicitly said we wouldn’t cover the Illuminati because of course you’ve heard of it, we’re sticking to our guns putting this on here, because it takes a pretty massive leap of the imagination to think that they straight up sleep-murdered Stanley Kubrick over a movie he had already finished filming.
Nuclear Warfare in Ancient India (The Ancient Astronaut Theory)
The Ancient Astronaut Theory is a loosely formed amalgamation of crackpot theories about aliens visiting Earth in the distant past at various times to influence our culture, technology, and religions. It’s not that much crazier than, say, alien abduction hypotheses, except for one very notable supposed historical event. Ancient Astronaut Theorists claim that an ancient city in India exists that remains irradiated to this day as the result of a massive nuclear explosion, which the Mahabharata describes explicitly. There’s also a giant crater near Bombay less than 50,000 years old that could have been caused by a nuclear detonation, because there has been no meteor material found there, and it’s a scientifically proven fact that all holes in the ground are created by either A: meteors or B: prehistoric atomic warfare brought over by aliens. It’s the only explanation that fits.
Oh and the whole “section of the Mahabharata that talks about a giant detonation with the flash of a thousand suns causing buildings to shatter and survivors to lose their hair and nails” bit that backs this theory up? Yeah, doesn’t exist. But there’s a motherfucking crater, man.
Nazis in an Antarctica Base (Currently)
Oh, Nazis. The fact that Nazis are still out there, Nazi-ing their Nazi hands all over every Nazi thing is a favorite pastime of conspiracy theorists. One of the more well-known theories involves Hitler faking his suicide and running off to Argentina (where he lived until 1990, living to the ripe old age of 101 Hitler years, which are just like normal years, but much more assholish). Now, there are Neo-Nazis out there, which are less “whacky conspiracy theories” and are more “fucking dickweeds who have a problem with people who aren’t the right kind of white” but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about people who believe in the existence of real, honest to God, 1940’s vintage Nazis, who are hiding, ready to rise up again and create, what, a Fourth Reich?
The point being, of the “escaped Nazis, biding their time, always watching the government is always watching” theories, our favorite/silliest one is easily that they’re hiding in a secret ice base/fortress of solitude down in Antarctica. This particular notion was founded on the fact that, woah, Nazis launched an expedition to an area of Antarctica they dubbed New Swabia back in 1938, so let’s just assume they built a sprawling underground base there, why not, assumptions only make an ass out of umptions, no big deal.
Our favorite thing about this theory, mind you, is that it involves one Admiral Byrd, who also is part of the Hollow Earth conspiracy theory! In a Wikipedia sub-section that the rest of us could only dream to someday have labeled “Exotic beliefs about Admiral Byrd” it’s stated that, on top of people thinking he flew into Hollow Earth in 1947 and kept a secret diary, that he also was on an expedition to find the last Nazi stronghold in Antarctica.
And guess what? Not only are the Nazis still going strong, they’ve enlisted the help of aliens! With UFOs! And, we shit you not, it’s possible, possible mind you, that the Nazis and the aliens have teamed up with the CIA to perform abductions and ohhh lord, we love this theory so much it’s so kooky and so dumb, this is our favorite thing. Also, if you’re reading this and thinking of naming your new band “Alien CIA Nazis” too late, we already called dibs.
Mark Twain Conspired to Assassinate President McKinley
Mark fucking Twain! Assassinating presidents! This is what we’re fucking talking about, crazies of America!
Basically, around the time that McKinley was shot, America was mired in a little habit called Manifest Destiny which pretty much consisted of starting wars to add land to their Pog collection. This was around the time of the Spanish-American War, and the eventual annexation of Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and so on. Mark Twain wasn’t a big fan of this, saying that these wars were being fought for imperialist motives. So, the biting satirist picked up his mightiest weapon to deal a blow to the American Presidency for such acts by, you know, convincing some dude to shoot the president or something. This one isn’t too widely believed, but we just love the mental of image of Mark Twain as basically a villain from one of the only-okay seasons of 24.
We Have a Motherfucking Stargate (Because Saddam Had One First)
Alright, conspiracy theorists, we’re cutting you off, you’ve had a few too many and you’re starting to get a bit too belligerent towards the regulars. Now, before we get started, we should note that there was a Defense Intelligence Agency program called the Stargate Project that existed until 1995. It unsuccessfully was focused on investigating psychic claims in the hopes to find people who could perform “remote viewing” for military and defense purposes. Basically, it was hoping we could build ESP-equipped super soldiers. This was unsuccessful because remote viewing is not a thing that people can actually do. This entry is not about the Stargate Project.
This is about an actual motherfucking Stargate. Yes, like the movie. Yes, like the TV Show(s). This is about portals that aliens placed on Earth so they can travel through wormholes to other parts of the universe instantaneously. And apparently you can find them on Earth, in real life, and not in a James Spader movie or even a better-than-the-movie-surprisingly-enough science fiction TV show! Did Apollo 17 find a Stargate on the moon? Sure, that’s a question you can ask! It has words, and ends with your voice going up, so yes, that is a question. Not necessarily a good question, or a question a sane person would pose, but we work with what we’re given.
Now, when America went to war with Iraq against Saddam Hussein in 2003, many of us probably thought to ourselves, “What if, like, Saddam Hussein has a Stargate, and that’s the reason we’re invading, oh shit man, I’ve got to lay off for a while, this Peyote is really fucking with me right now.” Apparently, the Anunnaki, which were Mesopotamian Gods but were really space-traveling aliens, left a Stargate in Iraq, which they abandoned when they left Earth at 1,700 B.C. The Stargate was uncovered in the 1920s, though we didn’t have the technology to activate it until we obtained some technology from the Grays from Zeta Reticuli, which apparently just refers to gray aliens from the Zeta Reticuli star system.
But let’s just get past that and just focus on the important thing—we invaded Iraq for a Stargate! People think that! Like, honestly believe it! Not to marginalize those who would have this opinion (read as: we’re totally aiming to marginalize them) but these people really let themselves get carried away with this theory. Take it away, slightly out of context quoted segment of an article about Saddam’s Stargate!
The author of this article is skeptical about that particular tidbit, but holy fuck, this is the craziest goddamn thing we’ve ever heard. The craziest.
You at least gotta hand it to the conspiracy theorists. They’ve got a wonderfully healthy imagination.