Conspiracy theories invoke excitement in our minds. They are often so convincing that even cautious people will suspend rational thought just to believe that something remarkable could be true. Unfortunately, most ultimately have to step back into logical thought and accept that a given theory has flaws that make it unlikely to be true. It’s easy for almost anyone to get wrapped up in a good story, and that’s the strength of most weird conspiracy theories. However, science and common sense prevail as we can debunk most of these popular theories with a few logical facts.
These are our top 5 weird conspiracy theories:
5. Russia planned to hitchhike back from the moon
In 1969 the Apollo 11 astronauts were making their way to the moon. At this time Russia had sent their own unmanned probe called ‘Luna 15’ to the lunar surface. That part is verified fact and can be verified with a transcript from the moments when Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK tracked the mission. The question that is part of the conspiracy theory is, was that really an unmanned probe? The theory goes that ‘Luna 15’ actually carried a Soviet cosmonaut. However, due to massive oversight, the Soviets didn’t have the means to bring him back from the moon. Their plan was to land the cosmonaut near ‘Apollo 11’, get the cosmonaut to approach Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and ask for a ride back to Earth.
It takes imagination to picture the scene in this theory: Neil and Buzz working away collecting lunar rocks when a figure appears on the horizon. Bedraggled, tired and thirsty the cosmonaut approached the Americans, hailing them desperately with a wave. Unable to communicate he may not have even been able to speak or hear through the spacesuit, leaving them to wave at each other and try and figure out if this is some strange alien or an actual human. The lunar module wouldn’t have likely been able to carry the weight of an extra person anyway. The Americans would be forced to head home and leave the sad Russian hitchhiker to perish on the moon, ironically, alongside the American flag.
4. Planet X/Nibiru
It’s a well-established fact that the Mayans had a series of calendars. The facts surrounding these are often the source of rich conspiracy theories. One of those involves the ‘Long Count’ calendar which ended on December 21st. It started again on December 22nd, just as many culture’s calendars reset on New Year’s day. That doesn’t stop many conspiracy theorists from proclaiming that the world is soon going to meet impending doom. The Planet X/Nibiru theory suggests that there is a hidden plant on a collision course with Earth. The usual reason given by such theorists about how we cannot currently view this planet is that it’s behind the Sun, obscured from our view in some unknown way or beyond the outer orbit of our current Solar System. They claim it’s rapidly making its way toward Earth and is apparently destined to collide with us on the fateful Mayan-predicted doomsday.
The likelihood is that this is false. The motion of every body in the Solar System is intricately tracked by astronomers. They know the gravitational influence every body has on another and know how the planets and other objects interact. Events can be predicted so accurately that we know exactly when planets will transit the Sun or come into view in the night sky thousands of years into the future. It seems that if there was a mystery objects in the Solar System the size of a planet, close enough to collide with the Earth on a given day, that it wouldn’t be a mystery. We’d probably be in the shadow of it and know about it immediately.
3. The Moon landings were faked
To take the idea of the Moon landing even further, some conspiracy theorists believe NASA only convinced the good people of Earth that they landed on the moon in the 1960s. According to this theory, they spent ten years carrying out fake missions within Earth’s orbit and then, under the direction of President Kennedy, created a fake launch event (watched by millions). They claim that a studio was created to film the “lunar landings” and that the entire Moon landing event was created to deceive us all. It is claimed by these theorists that all the people who worked on the Apollo missions (upwards of 400,000) were kept quiet in some way by the government, perhaps monetary bribes or brainwashing.
This theory is full of inconsistencies that are fairly obvious. Suffice to say the theory does not really make much sense given the scale of NASA’s Moon missions or the scientific proof brought back to Earth from the Moon’s surface.
2. Aliens visit us
There are many Alien conspiracy theories such as crop circles, the Roswell Incident where an ‘Alien spacecraft crash landed in Area 51 or claimed alien abductions by everyday citizens who say they have visited or been kidnapped by creatures from another planet.
The crop circles were revealed to be an elaborate hoax, the Roswell incident has been shown be a weather balloon and the claimed alien abductions are explained as a simple mind trick. It is exciting to believe that life might exist in another world and those creatures would desire to visit Earth. However, could an alien race have paid us a visit? The answer is sadly, no. Logically, would an alien race travel thousands of light miles to our little insignificant planet only to draw circles in our crops, frighten the locals or somehow crash their craft (despite being able to travel through interstellar space unhindered)? It’s not only extremely unlikely, it’s downright impossible.
1. The Earth is flat
This conspiracy is our favorite due to it’s absolutely absurdity. In 1956 Englishman Samuel Shenton started an organization that claimed the Earth was flat, rather than a spherical planet. However the beginnings of this theory actually reach much further back into history, before 4th century BC, when the general consensus was that the Earth was flat. This was held true until the Ancient Greek Philosophers suggested that the Earth was in fact, round. This ‘Flat Earth’ organization still exists, despite widely held scientific proof to the contrary.
One can forgive humans living before 4th Century BC who, in observation and without better tools, accepted that the Earth was flat. Today it’s difficult to imagine how anyone could believe this theory since there are pictures of Earth from orbit that clearly show it’s spherical shape. One can travel, on a plane, around the globe which indicates that the Earth is in fact, round. It figures that ‘Flat-Earthers traditionally, also believe some of the other bizarre conspiracy theories on the list.