Tag Archives | Conspiracy Theories

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: The Inevitable Conspiracy Theories

The usual suspects are surfacing with unlikely conspiracy theories about the latest disaster to affect Malaysia Airlines, the shooting down of its flight MH17 above Ukraine. The “Conspiritard” sub-Reddit has plenty of MH17 craziness, including a link to this story from The Independent:

As the Ukrainian military and separatist rebels continue to deny shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, people have been offering their own theories about the tragedy.

One prominent accusation is that Russia attempted to start “World War III” by ordering rebels in Ukraine to fire at the plane.

A pundit on Before It’s News claimed the tragedy was “clearly” an attempted false flag to launch a new global war by the “New World Order” (NWO).

The post read: “The occult/illuminati connection to this plane crash are laid out in the video below and are absolutely stunning as the NWO attempts to start WW3 as their grip on power falls apart as the US dollar dies and on the same day TWA Flight 800 was shot down in 1996.”

Others believe the Ukrainian government was behind the attack but had aimed to kill Putin, believing the passenger aircraft was his personal jet.

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Hollow Earth Conspiracy Theories: The Hole Truth

Concave hollow EarthsAh, the old Hollow Earth “conspiracy theory” … the Telegraph rolls it out once again:

Late at night, on October 4 2002, a strange guest appeared on a cult American radio show. Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell had a reputation for exploring weird themes with fascinating guests, but few had ever sounded as excited as this one.

Dallas Thompson was a former personal trainer who had spent his youth in Hawaii but now lived in Bakersfield, California. His life had changed forever following a terrible accident, five years earlier. He’d been driving along Highway 58 during heavy rain when his car had aquaplaned, spinning four times, only to plunge backwards down a 250ft drop.

When Thompson was found, the roof of his blue Honda Accord had been crushed almost to the floor. The fireman who rescued him was amazed he hadn’t been decapitated. As he’d been sitting, helpless, in the wreck, Thompson had had a vivid near-death experience.

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Why Americans Are Suckers For Conspiracy Theories: The Country Was Founded On Them

463px-Lee_Harvey_Oswald_being_shot_by_Jack_Ruby_as_Oswald_is_being_moved_by_police,_1963So claims Cambridge University Professor Sir Richard Evans speaking at Britain’s Hay Festival, as reported by the Daily Mail:

A British academic has said conspiracy theories are built into American culture because the country was founded on them.

Professor Sir Richard Evans, of the University of Cambridge, is leading a project into conspiracy theories and is Britain’s leading authority on the subject matter.

Speaking at the Hay Festival yesterday, he said conspiracy theories are more common in the United States compared with other countries.

‘There is an argument that conspiracy theories are built into American culture because that is how America started. The United States was founded on conspiracy theories: the London government was conspiring to deprive America of their liberties.’

Mr Evans cited the JFK assassination, the 9/11 attacks and even campaigns which claim President Obama is not American.

He also believes the internet has not led to an increased belief in such theories.

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It’s All a Conspiracy

JFK limousineJesse Walker discusses the limitations of research into paranoia and conspiracy theories at Slate:

In the run-up to last year’s Italian elections, the country’s senate did not—I repeat: did not—pass a bill giving legislators 134 billion euros “to find a job in case of defeat.” But a satiric story along those lines spread on social media, and not everyone who passed it along understood that it was a spoof. In just one day, 36,000 people signed a petition against the alleged law. Soon it was being invoked at anti-government protests.

Their confusion caught the eye of a quintet of scholars, who were observing how a large sample of Italian Facebook users engaged with different sorts of stories: articles from the mainstream media, articles from alternative outlets, articles from political activists, and fake news crafted by satirists and trolls. In March, MIT’s Technology Review covered the researchers’ work in a piece headlined “Data Mining Reveals How Conspiracy Theories Emerge on Facebook.” The article began with the tale of that imaginary Italian bill and the people who believed it was real, wrapping up the anecdote with the line, “Welcome to the murky world of conspiracy theories.”

This was an odd way to frame the issue.

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Will We Miss HAARP When It Shuts Down This Summer?

Yes, you read that right, the U.S. military installation in Alaska known as HAARP is going to be shut down this summer. What will conspiracy theorists blame weird weather anomalies on now, one wonders. From io9.com:

Can a facility that has inspired global conspiracy theories be designated a World Heritage Site? If so, that might be the only way to prevent the shutdown of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska, which studies the ionosphere—or creates lethal hurricanes—depending on whom you talk to.

HAARP20l

The HAARP installation, not unlike the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is a peculiar hybrid of military and civilian science. It was conceived during the mid-1980s, but found itself without a clear mission by the time construction began in 1993 and the Cold War had ended. Jointly funded by the Air Force, Navy, DARPA and the University of Alaska, the $290 million facility’s principal instrument is an array of 180 crossed dipoles that are spaced over an area of about 30 acres.

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The Plots to Destroy America

newsweek coverThe title above is from this week’s cover story of that rare beast, the print edition of Newsweek (see image at right). Subtitled “Conspiracy Theories Are A Clear And Present Danger,” it’s essentially another mainstream media attempt to ridicule Agenda 21 activists:

In Baldwin County, Alabama, an award-winning plan to provide guidance for private-sector developers was spiked—it was, constituents complained, part of a United Nations plot to end property rights, impose communism and force locals onto rail cars heading to secret camps. When the blueprint was voted down, residents cheered and sang “God Bless America.” Every member of the zoning commission resigned in disgust.

A federal proposal that would have paid physicians for time spent discussing elderly patients’ medical and personal priorities in their final days of life was shelved. Some conservatives, led by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, slammed the idea as creating “death panels” of bureaucrats to decide who would live and who would die.

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The Birth of a Conspiracy Theory

Deep Ellum - Conspiracy Bar sign 01Watch LIVE as a conspiracy theory is born (courtesy of Andrew Rosenthal in the op-ed section of the New York Times):

If you spend enough time on the Internet you’ll eventually encounter a conspiracy theory. If you watch closely enough, sometimes you can actually see one being born.

For years now some on the right have speculated that the Obama administration is trying to politicize the national census. Yesterday, Noah Rothman argued on Mediaite that the theory was proven correct by a New York Times article about changes in the way the Census Bureau plans to ask about health insurance coverage.

The idea is that the new questions will show a reduction in the number of uninsured people starting in 2014, which may make it seem as though the Affordable Care Act is working better than it really is. The change in questions will also produce a “break in trend” within the census surveys and thus make it impossible to statistically compare 2013 and 2014 with earlier years.

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Fareed Zakaria: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories

CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria thinks he’s cracked the enduring appeal of conspiracy theories:

For those of you tired of the coverage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, I want you to try an experiment.

When you’re with a group of friends – whose eyes might roll over when you even bring up the issue – ask them what they think happened to the plane. Very quickly you will find yourselves in the midst of a lively discussion – with many, different, competing theories, each plausible, each with holes.

The plane was hijacked, someone will say. But then why were there no demands? It was an accident, someone else will say. But then why were there no distress signals? This mystery of what actually happened is at the heart of the fascination with this story. And the mystery has now morphed into an ever increasing number of conspiracy theories about what actually happened that fateful day last month when the aircraft disappeared.

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