18 of the Craziest Conspiracy Theories People Actually Believe Are True
Conspiracy theories are the belief that powerful forces or sinister political groups are the masterminds of situations, crises, or events. According to these theories, these ominous groups are the puppet masters secretly pulling the strings to make events occur as they wish. But as is often the case, there’s usually a logical explanation for the circumstance. Conspiracy theorists base their beliefs on emotional reactions with little evidence to support their claims. There is often a distrust of mainstream media and scientific evidence. Any evidence that suggests their theory is wrong only convinces them that the theory is correct.
For example, evidence that disproves a conspiracy theory or lacks evidence proves the conspiracy is real. In some cases, individuals use conspiracy theories as motives to carry out mass shootings or terrorist attacks, while other conspiracy theorists use their beliefs to explain election results, assassinations, and public health crises. Let’s journey down the rabbit hole to discover the most extraordinary and widespread conspiracy theories people actually believe are true.
1. Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Conspiracy Theory
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered six adult staff members and 20 children between the ages of six and seven. The heartbreaking tragedy shocked the United States as they mourned the devastating loss. However, the tragic events resulted in several conspiracy theories.
According to Alex Jones of Info Wars, the government staged the shooting, claiming the parents were crisis actors using pictures of their grown-up children or child actors. He said the entire shooting was totally fake and a “hoax.” Jones claimed the government aimed to use the shooting to challenge the second amendment.
The theory spread like wildfire leading to Jones’ listeners harassing several victims’ parents. The parents and families sued Jones for defamation, receiving roughly $1.5 billion in compensation. Jones has since acknowledged the Sandy Hook Shooting was real and not a hoax, although his reputation is in tatters.
2. The Killing of Tyre Nichols
The killing of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five police officers on January 7, 2023, spawned several conspiracy theories and rumors. Authorities claim they pulled over Nichols for recklessly driving, but it quickly escalated, resulting in the violent beating death of Nichols. The officer’s account of events contradicted their body camera footage, leading to their firings. Eventually, authorities arrested the five officers and fired several others.
The brutal beating appeared unprovoked to many observers, resulting in numerous conspiracy theories. One rumor circulating implies Nichols had an affair with one of the officer’s wives, with the officers targeting Nichols in a planned attack. While the rumor gained traction on social media, Nicholas’ father denied his son had an involvement with the officer’s wives.
3. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy took place on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. As he waved to the crowd with his wife, Jackie Kennedy, by his side, a bullet struck Kennedy in the head and neck. The murder, ensuing panic, and aftermath were all captured in the famed Zapruder film. Authorities quickly arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, who was murdered a few days later by Jack Ruby.
Conspiracy theories rapidly arose that Oswald was a patsy with multiple shooters executing the murder. Furthermore, several theories implicate the CIA, then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Mafia, KGB, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Cuban government. One theory even suggests that all groups worked together to execute JFK’s assassination.
4. COVID-19 Pandemic
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic changed the way of life with masks, social distancing, and lockdowns. It also resulted in hundreds of conspiracy theories blowing up social media.
Like most conspiracy theories, each one contradicts the other theory. Some claim COVID-19 was created in a lab and released for gain-of-function research or population control. At the same time, other people believe COVID-19 is a side effect of the 5G upgrade to cell networks.
5. The Roswell Incident
On July 8, 1947, a military balloon crashed over Roswell, New Mexico. Rancher Mac Brazel discovered debris from the wreckage of rubber and tin foil across his property. At that point, Lieutenant Colonel Jesse Marcel accompanied the debris back to the nearby army base. When the authorities sent a press release, they described the wreckage as a “disc,” causing some to believe it was an alien spacecraft. There was a little chatter about UFOs crashing in the area, but the incident soon faded into the background.
In the 1970s, Marcel gave numerous interviews implying the material he accompanied was alien. The Roswell incident quickly blew up, becoming a widespread story and entering pop culture. Several ufologists have attempted to prove that UFOs crashed in the area without much success.
Over the years the story of the mysterious crash has gone from an aircraft losing control and crashing to Earth to a hazardous spaceship crash resulting in the deaths of several extraterrestrials, with two aliens surviving. The Roswell theory is the most popular and debunked alien conspiracy.
6. Attack on Paul Pelosi
On October 28, 2022, 42-year-old David DePape attacked Paul Pelosi in his home with a hammer. DePape had intended to kidnap Paul’s wife, former speaker of the house, Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Fueled by conspiracy theories, the attack on Pelosi generated even more theories, mainly in right-wing circles. While struggling with his mental health, DePape adopted numerous far-right conspiracy theories, such as Pizza gate, QAnon, and the 2020 US Presidential election voter fraud claims.
These theories messed with DePape’s head and he broke into the home and attacked Pelosi with a hammer. Pelosi suffered severe injuries, including a fractured skull. That led to right-wing personalities and Republicans deflecting the story, claiming the attack was a false flag operation. Other debunked theories claimed Pelosi had an argument with a male prostitute which set off the confrontation.
7. The Death of Princess Diana
Princess Diana was a larger-than-life figure in the 80s and 90s. Her shocking death led to numerous conspiracy theories, notably about the Royal Family arranging her death. In the early 80s, Diana became the Princess of Wales upon her marriage to then-Prince Charles. She would have become Queen Consort with King Charles III’s ascent to the throne, however, their controversial 1992 separation and 1996 divorce ended that possibility.
Sadly, Diana died in a car accident in a Paris tunnel while evading the paparazzi on August 31, 1997. In the car with Diana was her then-boyfriend Dodi Fayed. Since the crash, Dodi’s father has alleged various conspiracy theories to explain their crash. One popular theory claims that Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and the rest of the Royal Family conspired to kill Diana. Some theories indicate they wanted to kill her because of her popularity, possible engagement with Dodi, or a pregnancy announcement.
8. Flat Earth Conspiracy
The flat Earth conspiracy is the belief that the Earth is flat and not spherical. Flat Earthers suggest the North Pole is at the center, with Antarctica at the edges. Greek philosophers first began writing about a spherical Earth in the 5th century. Additionally, Hellenistic astronomy cemented the spherical Earth during the 3rd century BC. Until that point, everyone believed the Earth was flat.
By the Middle Ages, the population accepted that the Earth was spherical. The flat Earth conspiracy reemerged in the 19th and 20th centuries with a religious connection. The flat Earth conspiracy theory recently returned, with many supporters doubting science, the airlines, and astronomers that the Earth is a sphere.
9. 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud Claims
Former President Donald Trump is no stranger to conspiracy theories. Even if he knows the truth, Trump is known for pushing wild conspiracy theories to further his agenda. Since losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden, Trump has made baseless claims that he’s actually won the election, with Biden stealing it due to widespread voter fraud. Trump made claims of a conspiracy to steal the election from him before, during, and after the voting took place.
Trump and his supporters made accusations against Democrats for rigging voting machines, bringing in garbage bags of fake ballots, and having dead people’s votes count. Despite the proof debunking each theory, Trump continues to push these false claims. His loyal supporters believed Trump’s claims that the Democrats stole the election from him. The aftermath culminated in the January 6 Capitol Attack, one of the most disappointing days in American history.
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10. The Faking of the Moon Landing
Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. The famous Apollo 11 Moon landing was a groundbreaking historical moment that marked the U.S.A. beating the Soviet Union in the space race. By the late 70s, conspiracy theories regarding the faking of the moon landing became widespread. With several theories emerging, the most popular claim is the moon landing was an elaborate Hollywood hoax shot on a soundstage.
Americans were desperate to win the space race and figured shooting a fake landing was easier. The theory claims Walt Disney, writer Arthur C. Clarke, and director Stanley Kubrick joined forces to deliver the epic moon landing. Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists, there’s abundant proof that the moon landing occurred, including the American flag Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted on the moon.
11. Clinton Body Count
Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have been a political force since the late 80s and 90s. Their time in the spotlight means they’ve been the targets of conspiracy theories for years. One of the most well-known is the Clinton body count theory which claims the Clintons had over 50 political opponents murdered.
Believers of the outlandish theory suggest the tragic 1992 suicide of Deputy White House counsel Vince Foster was cover for murder because he “knew too much” about the Clintons. Fox News also claimed the Clintons were behind the tragic murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich during a robbery gone wrong. They supposedly had him murdered because he was behind the DNC email leak. Fox News later retracted the story. The theory claims the Clintons have links to the deaths of Jeffery Epstein, John F. Kennedy Jr., Kobe Bryant, and many more high-profile politicians and celebrities, despite there being no proof.
12. Bill Gates Invented COVID-19 To Put Microchips in Humans
Bill Gates is the genius co-founder of Microsoft and an innovator in technology. According to conspiracy theorists, Gates is also the mastermind behind the coronavirus pandemic. As COVID-19 spread rapidly, forcing lockdowns and masks, conspiracy theorists pointed the finger at Gates. They claimed Gates funded and created the virus so he could use the vaccine to implant microchips into the world’s population.
The chip would allow the government to know who does or doesn’t have the vaccine. Presumably, the government could track a person and know all their information due to the chip. The theory took off when social media users misrepresented Gates’ words in an interview when he was talking about a hypothetical ink tattoo.
13. George Soros Is a Puppet Master
Hungarian-American George Soros is one of the most generous people in the world. Soros is known for donating a large portion of his fortune to various organizations that have led to a long list of conspiracy theories regarding Soros. The Hungarian government claims he leads a cabal of influential Jewish people and is a puppet master controlling the world economy.
By 2018, conspiracy theories had moved from the fringes of the dark web to mainstream media. Fox News often warns viewers about the dangerous Sorors. In other words, anything right-wing media doesn’t like, they blame Soros. They claim he funded Antifa, the Black Lives Matter protest of the George Floyd murder, the 2017 women’s march, and protests opposing Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. He remains at the center of several right-wing conspiracy theories today.
14. Tucker Carlson’s Misinformation and Conspiracy Theories
The Great Replacement theory is a white nationalist conspiracy theory that claims Democrats are trying to replace white voters with favorable legal and illegal immigrants. The theory has reached a wider audience through Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Carlson denies that white supremacy is a problem in America, pushing that Democrats want to replace the current Electorate with voters from Third World countries. Critics of Carlson have called out his conspiracy theories as racist and supporting white supremacy.
15. New World Order
According to conspiracy theorists, the New World Order is a mysterious group of influential globalists aiming to rule the world with a one-world government. The authoritarian government will eliminate all countries, establishing a universal doctrine using propaganda. The theory suggests that history’s most famous figures have played an essential role in the New World Order.
To implement a one-world government, the group works together to cause financial crises, disasters, and controversial political events. Some believe the Freemasonry or the Illuminati are behind the New World Order, while other groups assume the rise of the New World Order signifies the end of the world.
16. 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
On September 11, 2001, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four planes early in the morning on the East Coast of the United States. The first two planes crashed into the North and South World Trade Center Towers in New York City. After burning for several minutes, both towers collapsed. A third plane hit the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crashed in a field after passengers fought back. The tragic event rocked the country, resulting in the war on terror and changing the world forever.
Several conspiracy theories claim the United States government attacked its own people in a false flag operation to justify invading Afghanistan and Iraq. The theory suggests the collapse of the 7 World Trade Center and Twin Towers was a controlled demolition. The theory also implies the government hit the Pentagon with a missile. Since passengers fought back on the fourth flight, the military shot the plane down over Pennsylvania. Despite the evidence to the contrary, the theory is still popular among believers.
17. QAnon Conspiracy
The QAnon conspiracy theory claims that Barack Obama, the Clintons, and George Soros are members of a child sex trafficking ring that performs sexual, abusive, Satanic, and cannibalistic acts. They also conspired to end Donald Trump’s presidency. The theory claims that Trump started the Russian hoax to trigger the Robert Muller investigation to reveal the sex trafficking conspiracy.
With its roots in the infamous pizza gate, the rumors exploded when a person with Q-level clearance posing as Q appeared on 4Chan and 8Chan, leaving cryptic messages. They even claimed that a mass arrest event known as “the storm” would soon occur. Some believe that Q is Trump himself or 8Chan administrator Ron Watkins. Most QAnon followers are Trump supporters who pushed the election voter fraud agenda and participated in the January 6 riot. Many far-right personalities and politicians push the QAnon theory.
18. New Coke
The original Coca-Cola recipe first took shape in the late 1800s. By the 1970s, Coke was the number one soda pop around the globe. As the brand entered the 80s, it faced stiff competition, notably from Pepsi. So the company reformulated the recipe to create the infamous New Coke.
Hitting shelves in 1985, New Coke was an immediate failure, prompting the return of the original Coca-Cola Classic recipe within months. Sales spiked and went through the roof with the return of the original Coke. Coke’s sudden return prompted a slew of conspiracy theories. The leading theory suggests the company changed the formula to purposely upset customers so they’d demand the original’s return, spiking sales. Sounds like good marketing to us.
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