It’s time to put on your tinfoil hats and question whether your government is up to no good! Everyone has some kind of crackpot conspiracy theory that they either believe in, or at least think is feasible. These days it seems like the only people who don’t believe in at least one conspiracy theory are the ones trying to cover them up, but the wool won’t be pulled over our eyes any longer. There are many conspiracies out there that thousands of people still adamantly believe, from 9/11 being an inside job, to the mysterious “Illuminati” controlling everything from the government, to the music played on the radio (you’d think they’d pick better music).
Over the years there have been quite a few conspiracy theories that have surprisingly been proven true: while some of them have taken decades to be exposed, they have provided some much needed vindication for the people brave enough to speak up.
Some conspiracy theories are quite scary, and will show you just how far the government is willing to go to cover up the truth, but which factual conspiracies have shocked us the most? Here are the top 16 shocking conspiracy theories that were proven to be true, and made us all second guess whether there really are Lizard People in the government.
#16 – The Dreyfus Affair
Alfred Dreyfus served for the French military as an artillery officer, until he was charged with treason in October of 1894, after information about new military technology was somehow acquired by the Germans; People were accusing Dreyfus of leaking the information from all sides, but many people believed that Dreyfus was actually innocent and was being used as a scapegoat because of his Jewish heritage. It turns out the suspicions were true, and Dreyfus was just an incredibly unlucky fall boy set up by the real traitor: Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy (whose name stands out immediately as a Bond villain).Dreyfus re-entered the military during World War I, although after being accused of being a traitor, I may have just told them to shove it.
#15 – The Mafia
Everyone knows about the Mafia now, but during the time of its formation it was seen as nothing more than a kooky theory. Many people were making wild claims that there were secretly groups of people around the nation that were working together to run organized crime rings, as a family calling themselves the Mafia (sounds crazy, right?) Several years ago the government would adamantly deny the existence of organized crime; the reason for that is as a result of the Mafia working in connection with several of the biggest politicians and businesses around the globe. By the 1960s, everyone knew who the mobsters were, but by that point the prohibition of alcohol had come and gone, so they were pretty much everyone’s best friends.
#14 – MK-ULTRA
A lot of conspiracy theorists believe that the Federal Government is secretly trying to control our minds, and have been developing mind-control devices for years. While they might not be trying to control all of our minds (which is a shame, considering some people I know should have their mind controlled), they have tried to control the thoughts of a select group in the past; the CIA was revealed to be working on a covert operation called “Project MK-ULTRA,” which was meant to design a drugs that was capable of forcing people to tell the truth. The existence of MK-Ultra was a conspiracy that was proven in 1977, and later again in 2001, when the remaining documents were declassified. I hate it to break it to the Government, but there is already something that exists which is practically a truth serum, and it’s called alcohol.
#13 – Operation Snow White
People have been claiming that the Church of Scientology has had their hands in some shady business for years, and it was finally shown to be true when “Operation Snow White” was uncovered; the operation conducted by the church was meant to erase public records about Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Operation Snow White used thousands of agents to successfully steal important documents and destroy any of the damning evidence against them Is any surprise that the Church of Scientology succeeded when they had Tom Cruise on their side? That guy was in “Mission Impossible” for crying out loud.
#12 – Manhattan Project
The United States government was being asked a lot of questions about the possibility of using nuclear weapons in World War II; No matter what they were asked, they simply would not acknowledge that the U.S. had nuclear weapons on the forefront, and it would take nearly a quarter century before they admitted having worked on “The Manhattan Project..” The Manhattan Project was the operation responsible for the development of the first atomic bomb, which was being created because the government feared the possibility of Germans using nuclear weapons first. All in all, the US spent $22 billion (adjusted for inflation) on the project, which ended up making a big impact on the course of history.
#11 – 1919 World Series
The Chicago White Sox were favored to win the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in a best of nine series, but the surprise of everyone (even Reds fans), the Reds were able to win the series in the eighth game. Many people (who most of the time we call sore losers) not only thought that the White Sox didn’t try very hard, but that they actually had intentionally threw the game: it turned out, they did! The White Sox’s act was considered so dirty that they were known as the “Black Sox” afterwards, and eight of the players on the team received lifetime bans from the sport (strike three, you’re out)..
#10 – Watergate
People did a lot of grumbling back in 1972, and spitting out insane theories about how some of the highest ranking Republicans were trying to get a political edge, by spying on Democrats from the infamous Watergate Hotel! People were called nuts, but it turned out the spying was actually happening, and it wasn’t revealed to the public until two years later, when tape recordings were leaked. President Richard Nixon was linked to the Watergate affair, and this ultimately led to the resignation of Nixon’s presidency (never trust a man who has to tell you he’s not a crook).
#9 – The Tuskegee Syphilis Study
In a very questionable case of research, the Public Health Service of the United States enlisted hundreds of African American males below the poverty line, and who suffered from syphilis; for four decades, the department studied these men by knowingly withholding proper treatment and information in order to observe the effects on the human body. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was a popular theory before it was uncovered, and those who believed it were accused of having Syphilis themselves, since late stages of the disease can cause damage to the brain. The closest I have come to research is being paid to try out a new flavor of liquorice, but I draw a line in the sand at medical studies (I don’t want my kidneys to wind up in a freezer).
#8 – Operation Northwoods
As a communist country, Cuba was a major threat to the United States (especially with their Soviet ties); the US Government wanted to gain traction by supporting a war against Cuba to get rid of Fidel Castro. It was revealed that at one point the American government was considering committing terrorist acts on their own cities, so that nobody could possibly oppose a Cuban war! The Northwoods Operation made it all the way to the top of the political chain before (finally) being rejected, and it wasn’t until almost four decades later that the devious plan was found out. It would have really sucked to go to war with Cuba again, because where else would I import my quality cigars from?
#7 – Testimony of Nayirah
In 1990, the United States Congress called for a 15-year-old girl to testify in front of them, and her name was Nayirah; the girl spun a story about how soldiers from Iraq were intentionally killing sick babies in Kuwait. Nayirah’s claims were a major turning point in gathering support for the impending Gulf War Many thought Nayirah’s story was a little too cruel to believe, and it turned out that Nayirah was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. You would have been called a heartless jerk for accusing a young girl of spreading lies about the systematic murder of infants, but can you imagine the relief (and smug satisfaction) of finding out you were right?
#6 – COINTELPRO
COINTELPRO is the shortened version of the “Counterintelligence Program” that was used by the FBI in order to silence some of the most ‘unwanted’ political groups in the United States. Between 1956 and 1971, most of the time spent on COINTELPRO was dedicated towards bringing down and dismantling groups such as black nationalists, civil rights movements, and women’s rights movements; the rest of the organization’s resources went toward attempting to tear down hate groups such as the KKK. You would probably think that hate groups would be a much higher priority for a secret FBI team clearing out dangerous groups, but that’s simply too much work, and my lunch break starts in 15 minutes.
#5 – Iran-Contra Affair
The United States has a very clear policy that they do not negotiate with terrorists, however this rule was broken in the mid 80s when Ronald Reagan’s White House cabinet approved a trade with Israel that US hostages would be released for weapons. Some of the information from the Iran-Contra Affair started to leak to the public, and the conspiracy theory started to gain steam: after being pressed about the issue repeatedly, Congress made it publicly known in 1987. My best advice is to try not to take our rules so seriously, what we really mean when we say “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” is “we don’t negotiate with terrorists unless there is something we really want.”
#4 – BCCI Scandal
The BCCI stands for the “Bank of Credit and Commerce International;” the bank was founded more than 40 years ago by Agha Hasan Abedi of Pakistan, and was one of the 10 largest private banks in the entire world. It turns out what made BCCI so profitable was a series of illegal inner workings that were unraveled over the course of a two year investigation by United States Customs; many of the bank’s officials were given prison sentences, so if anyone still doubted this one, then you can check public arrest records. Anytime someone accuses a business of getting ahead by breaking the law, they’re usually accused of being biased, but in the case of BSSI it turned out they were both biased and correct.
#3 – CIA Drug Running in Los Angeles
There have always been crazy theories about how the government was secretly distributing crack cocaine in the ghettos of America during the 1980s, and most people thought the conspiracy theorists were the ones who were actually on crack; but Gary Webb, Michael Ruppert, and Terry Reed, all revealed that the CIA had been covertly working with drug smugglers from Nicaragua to sell drugs on the streets of Los Angeles. The money that was generated from the Los Angeles drug trade was used for the Contras in Nicaragua, and the CIA was well aware of what had been happening the whole time. Just remember if you ever get arrested for drug possession to shout this story at the top of your lungs: that’s sure to make them release you!
#2 – Gulf of Tonkin
Many people were opposed to military action in Vietnam, so the government had to figure out a way to somehow influence the citizens in order to gather support; the result was a fabrication of a battle known as the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident”. In the ‘faux’ 1964 Tonkin story, two American ships got into a fire fight with three ships from North Vietnam, which caused Americans to raise a major stink about people attacking our soldiers. A report would later come out which not only said that the Tonkin engagement never happened, but that the American military might have actually been practicing on Whales, instead of the Vietnamese (boy that went south faster than we did).
#1 – Hitler’s Assassination
During World War II there were several (obviously unsuccessful) attempts to assassinate the German leader Adolf Hitler. When things started getting out of hand for the Germans during the war, there was talk between many high ranking Nazi officials to kill off Hitler as a way of saving face; this plan was known as “Operation Valkyrie,” and the story would later be made into a big budget Tom Cruise movie. Hitler survived Operation Valkryie, but would die a year later when he took his own life (at least that’s what the government wants you to think).