For the uninitiated, conspiracy theories are speculations regarding a particular event, usually of some public importance (scientific, military related, assassination of a public figure etc.), as being some kind of manipulative plot by hidden forces with a secret agenda.
Conspiracy theorists are a breed of people who often dedicate a considerable amount of time disproving the occurrence of these events and providing, what they believe is "solid proof" and irrefutable arguments, that dispute the claims made by those connected to the occurrence of the original event.
In fact, some of the conspiracy theories seem to be so convincingly narrated and publicized that even the sanest of minds would pause and think, "that could be true!".
10 Most Famous Conspiracy Theories of All Time
Lenin, the Marxist revolutionary, famously said that a lie told often enough becomes the truth! The elusive details that surface during or after an event, give conspiracy theorists the much-needed gaping hole in the web of "lies" that the event is supposedly based on.
Presented here are ten of the most famous space conspiracy theories. Before you continue reading, you might want to take a deep breath and brace yourself for "facts" that might sound outright idiotic, utterly imaginative or even incredibly spooky!
The Moon Landing Hoax
It was one of the most widely publicized and televised space exploration events in the history of mankind! The Hoax theory states that the entire moon landing adventure was one big fat lie thrown into the face of the world in the cold war era, purely to establish the United States as the ultimate superpower in space technology.
The conspiracy theory was televised years after the moon landing itself, on a popular US TV network. The moon landing conspiracy theory became an overnight sensation and has been the foundation stone for all future space conspiracy theories.
Every subsequent space odyssey and related events have been nitpicked by conspiracy theorists, who are generally convinced that most of them are heavily funded covert military experiments of secret government organizations.
If you look at the "evidence" put forth by conspiracy theorists, you are not likely to debunk them without detailed examination. They can be very convincing!
In the mysterious world of space exploration, some astronauts have been rumored to have flown into space never to return.
Two Italian brothers, Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia, claimed to have intercepted SOS radio transmissions on the erstwhile Soviet Union's space frequencies on more than one occasion, each time coinciding with the Soviet's claims of a failed unmanned space mission.
This particular conspiracy theory aims to expose the Soviet government's embarrassing debacles in their space programs and goes on to "establish" that Yuri Gagarin was not the first man in space, as generally believed.
The lost cosmonauts do not even remain in the death records, as the theory alleges, they have been conveniently erased from all records as if they never existed. Of course, several claims of this theory have been confirmed as hoaxes. An upcoming Spanish science fiction feature film, The Cosmonaut, is inspired by this "believable" conspiracy theory.
Scientists acknowledge that the earth's north and south magnetic poles are constantly in motion and more rapidly so in the last few centuries, at a rate of around 10 centimeters per year.
This scientific theory has been ripped apart, flogged to death and presented as the ultimate doomsday phenomenon by conspiracy theorists and prophets alike. They warn the public that the poles will shift dramatically such that they are reversed, sinking entire continents.
They also claim that top governments and members of the scientific community have full knowledge of this impending catastrophe, but choose to downplay it, supposedly to curb the mass panic that might result from sharing this information publicly.
Scientists agree that pole reversal might have occurred in the past, several thousand years ago but it's not a sudden phenomenon. It might have been a gradual one, spanning centuries and the impact of it could certainly not have been as catastrophic as it is made out to be. The Hollywood movie "2012" was inspired by some aspects of the Pole Shift hypothesis.
Planet X or Nibiru
The end of the world seems to be sadly anticipated very much and there's no dearth of theories about how exactly the events will unfold. According to this theory, our solar system has a "hidden" planet X. Another similar theory gives the name "Nibiru" to the giant planet.
The theory advocates the presence of extraterrestrial beings called "Zetas" who allegedly "contacted" a woman by the name Nancy Lieder, informing her about the upcoming earth changes.
The Zetatalk website goes into vivid detail, with maps pointing locations on the earth that will be flooded or completely submerged and those that will remain safe when the planet comes dangerously close to the earth.
Scientists including those from NASA refute this theory saying that a giant planet so close to the earth should be visible to the naked eye. Of course, the proponents of the Nibiru conspiracy theory allege that it is a deliberate cover-up.
UFO Conspiracy/Roswell Conspiracy/Area 51 Conspiracy
This is probably the most favorite conspiracy theory that has inspired several movies, TV detective and crime series, tales of alien abduction and innumerable sci-fi novels over the years. Well, there's an element of mystery and truth in the origin of this theory.
A rancher named Mac Brazel stumbled upon some strange matter lying on the ground in an area near Roswell, New Mexico back in 1947. Years later, this incident was made famous as the Roswell incident by proponents of this theory.
They alleged that the strange debris was moved to a secret location called Area 51, based in a top-secret military base in Nevada. According to the theory, Area 51 is the site of autopsies performed on dead alien visitors by the U.S. Military.
Allegedly the world's most top-secret military base had stored "frozen extraterrestrials". More recently, when information about the secret activities of Area 51 was declassified, no information about frozen aliens was confirmed.
In fact, personnel who were manning secret missions within Area 51 revealed that the hoax in fact, helped to maintain the secrecy of the base. Whatever the truth maybe, this theory has an inexhaustible spook factor that's strangely addictive. Even after decades of the Roswell incident, people continue to be intrigued by these theories.
In the 1980s, William L. Moore, a UFOlogist and his associates informed the public about "secret" documents that indicated the creation and continued existence of a group called "MJ-12" formed by President Harry Truman in order to "deal with" extraterrestrial visitors.
Some theories suggest that these visitors called "illuminati" are regular earth visitors who have infiltrated governments across the earth in their quest for a possible invasion on earth to take control of its resources. The documents described by Moore as evidence of UFO conspiracy literature were investigated by the FBI and declared as forged material.
Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
On February 1, 2003 the space shuttle, Columbia disintegrated during reentry into the earth's atmosphere, all seven astronaut occupants were killed. NASA attributed the accident to the malfunction of the heat-resistant panels on the left wing during reentry into the atmosphere.
The disaster occurred at a time when the middle east region was experiencing escalated levels of political tensions. Conspiracy theorists have put two and two together and allege that the disaster was a deliberate attempt by Israel's politicos and the US government agencies, towards distracting the world's attention from the goings-on in the troubled areas.
They even go on to suggest that Col. Ilan Ramon who was part of the crew, was in fact, a spy collecting information on Iraq. The theories and evidences are often contradictory. Secret government operations are the basis for most space conspiracy theories.
Life on Mars/Face on Mars
A scientist's claims, in support of a conspiracy theory, lends it extraordinary "credibility", especially among conspiracy theorists. One such renowned astrobiologist, Chandra Wickramasinghe, argued that there is evidence of contemporary, microbial life on Mars and (as usual) NASA is covering up the finding.
NASA has sponsored quite a few unmanned lander probes to study the Martian surface, more significantly the Viking probes (from the late 1970s), followed by the Phoenix mission and these have been specifically used as "evidence" by this theorist.
In fact, some of the pictures taken by the Viking 1 spacecraft showed sections of the Martian surface resembling a face with deep-set eyes, something like a nose and mouth.
These pictures went viral on the Internet but were debunked by NASA as merely being an optical illusion. The conspiracy theorists believe that the concealment is executed for political advantage and some even suggest interplanetary politics!
Alien Landings on the Moon
This theory started doing the rounds during and after the Apollo 20 mission undertaken by NASA, back in 1976, to explore the far side of the moon. The conspiracy theory attributes a cigar-shaped object on the lunar surface to being an alien spacecraft.
Some theorists believe, it suggests that an alien spacecraft crashed on the lunar surface, while others are convinced that the moon hosts a secret alien military base! Some websites hosting moon conspiracy theories also report that the first men on moon, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, actually spotted alien UFOs while on the lunar surface.
Recently, there seems to have cropped up "photographic evidence" of possible underground alien military bases. Don't bother looking up at the moon tonight as these are all conveniently situated on the "dark side" of the moon; the side that's never visible from the earth.
The New World Order (NWO)
Are all the mentioned conspiracy theories perhaps parts of a big picture? Is there a mother of all conspiracy theories? Yes, in fact, there's a theory gaining ground that a powerful and elite group of people from across the world, including aliens, are orchestrating a massive conspiracy to bring the entire world under their control as the NWO.
The NWO will supposedly enforce a totalitarian rule with only the rulers and their servants. Apparently, the conspiracy has been plotted decades ago and anyone who does not conform is "removed" from the NWO.
Apparently, assassinated world leaders across the globe including Kennedy and Aldo Moro (from Italy) were killed for being detractors. Supposedly, the Illuminati (discussed earlier in another theory) will be on the highest level of the NWO.
Today, Internet and mobile technology make it easy to instantly propagate these conspiracy theories to millions of people. The truth spreads faster but then, so do the lies. Conspiracy theorists, probably numbering a few hundreds in the last century, have grown to thousands and perhaps, millions thanks to cyberspace forums and websites.
The ability to doctor photographic or video footage of events, have made it exceedingly difficult for space scientists and government officials to disprove conspiracy theories and maintain that the footage captured is original. There's no doubt that while most theories sound almost impossible to be true, some can freak you out, at least temporarily.
Whatever the case maybe, they sure are intriguing enough to provide the script for some blockbuster movies and bestselling literature about paranormal activities, end of the world, extraterrestrial signs and alien life forms and alien abduction of humans.
Everyone loves it when secrets are exposed and that is why it is easy to get pulled into the black hole of space conspiracy theories.