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Black Backpacks and Colored Circles

The Boston Marathon bombings may be fading from the front pages, but the numerous conspiracy theories that sprang up in the wake of the incident continue to rage on, spurred by professional conspiracists such as Alex Jones. Book reviewer and skeptic Anita Dalton (previously), at her new website devoted to skeptical examinations of conspiracy theories and paranormal claims, has kicked off a meticulous and in-depth series of posts comprehensively debunking the Boston Marathon conspiracy theories. (Related: Why rational people buy into conspiracy theories.)
posted by El Sabor Asiatico on May 23, 2013 - 72 comments

This post is just in time for the annual spaghetti harvest.

In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 20, 2012 - 22 comments

In the name of Defense.

In December 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh's front-page account (paywall) of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program documented their illegal domestic intelligence operations against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States. The article eventually prompted investigations by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church and Pike committees. "There have been other reports on the CIA's doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of [George H. White,] an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation." SF Weekly: "Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA doped San Francisco citizens with LSD." MK-ULTRA: Previously on Metafilter. (Via)
posted by zarq on Mar 26, 2012 - 29 comments

How to make sense of Conspiracy Theories

"How to make sense of Conspiracy Theories" [Part 1 of 9 from YouTube] Rob Ager is best known for his very thoughtful analyses of films such as The Shining [see also this analysis of the Overlook's geometry, previously], A Clockwork Orange [and supplement], Psycho, Pulp Fiction, Aliens, Taxi Driver and others. He has recently completed an analysis of the subject of conspiracy theories. "All of us, from time to time, will believe that two or more people in a particular context have conspired to achieve a mutual aim – be it cheating in a card game or engineering an international war. It isn’t by definition a lapse in logic to believe that a conspiracy has or is going to occur in a given situation. Conspiracies do happen and it is a natural facet of healthy thinking and self-preservation to seek out awareness of conspiracies that may affect our lives." [Text version, Ager's Collative Learning site]
posted by McLir on Jan 18, 2012 - 53 comments

Something Still Stinks in New Orleans

New Orleans detective pleads guilty to major coverup of police shootings in aftermath of Katrina. Among other things, Lohman has admitted involvement in planting a handgun at the scene, drafting fake police reports, and lying to federal agents as part of a conspiracy to cover up the truth about a shooting incident in which six unarmed civilians were shot by New Orleans' police. With news of Lohman's guilty plea announcement coming amid a renewed DOJ push to investigate allegations of police abuse in New Orleans, some are wondering who'll be next in front of a jury. (Via TPM.)
posted by saulgoodman on Feb 25, 2010 - 113 comments

Wonder what this will do for book sales?

Bin Laden's Reading List for Americans [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Sep 15, 2009 - 50 comments

The Pope with the Robotic Head

Gerbert D'Aurillac: mathemetician and engineer, Pope, ghost, and meddler with dark forces. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 1, 2007 - 17 comments

October Surprise

Something wicked this way comes. There are a huge number of October 6th put options for the big indexes, just like the massive put options that took place just prior to 911. Fear the "October Surprise."
posted by augustweed on Oct 1, 2006 - 44 comments

What Really Happened

What Really Happened. The history the government hopes you DON'T learn!
posted by srboisvert on Jun 27, 2005 - 39 comments

A stunning vaccine cover-up

A "stunning" link between an ingredient in childhood vaccines and autism leads to a cover-up conspiracy. "But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line." An earlier post (concerned only with fish) asked, "Got mercury?" Why, yes you do - and fish is the least of your problems. Interestingly, hints of this story surfaced in the media in the Spring/Summer of 2005. There may also be a link between thimerosal and Alzheimer's, A.D.D., and Asperger's Syndrome. A thimerosal resource guide. Maybe we'll take notice this time around?
posted by spock on Jun 16, 2005 - 137 comments

Tony's Rap

Tony's rap. Blair, Bush, Blunkett and co, with a little help from Michael Jackson. By way of Counterpunch, where Alexander Coburn has unearthed a woodpecker conspiracy. Someone is being kept out of the news, he says, because it doesn't make a good story to have an extinct bird discovered by a member of the NRA.
posted by TimothyMason on Apr 30, 2005 - 15 comments

500th For The Record

Anti-fascist researcher Dave Emory: George Seldes was inspiration to Mae Brussell,whose first computer was donated by conservative Frank Zappa. Dave Emory continues the tradition of investigative muckraker in his weekly program on the great WFMU. Key to the for the record material:Paul Manning. annotated program descriptions here Dave's 500th show real&mp3
posted by hortense on Mar 16, 2005 - 15 comments

Elvis is probably in charge

What is going on in Dulce, New Mexico? The federal government is apparently working in tangent with several species of extraterrestrials in a gigantic underground base the size of Manhattan. This came to light with the release of the Dulce Papers, a set of documents explaining the whole conspiracy. An alleged former guard at the base has also spoken out against it and revealed more information. Of course, a lot of this relates back to the shadow government and Jesus having been genetically engineered by the Greys, but really, what doesn't these days. Want to take a relaxing holiday to Dulce Base? Well, you'll probably be shot, but there's always this nice video footage.
posted by borkingchikapa on Mar 1, 2005 - 27 comments

9/11: Debunking The Myths

9/11: Debunking The Myths is a study from the March issue of Popular Mechanics in which the 16 most prevalent 9/11 conspiracy theories are scrutinized by aviation experts, engineers and military analysts. "In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense."
posted by jenleigh on Feb 16, 2005 - 84 comments

elegant universe

Yikes! In light of approaching finals do you find yourself excogitating WTHHIBD (what the hell have I been doing) over and over, and wondering if your lost time may have been due to circumstances beyond your control? While the vindicating qualities (obviously you would have been more productive if you hadn't been somebody else's science experiment) of this alibi are usually ephemeral, it is still curious to think is all this talk of sightings/abductions/misplaced keys just a hoax, an elaborate cover up, or some yin yang amalgamation of the two? Is the mystery surrounding Area 51 nothing more than conspiracy, (even if well positioned)? To what extent are we inexorably skeptical or prepared to sort through the overflowing, spooky coffers of galactic mystery?
posted by superposition on Dec 7, 2004 - 6 comments

These microwaves... they vibrate?

Best Conspiracy Site Ever. It covers just about everything, from microwave mind-programming to aliens who want to assimilate us and, of course, the Matrix. Also, a guest article about why Arnold Schwartzenegger might just turn out to be the Antichrist.
posted by Masi on Aug 31, 2004 - 16 comments

The

The "Bilderbergs" meet today. Participant list and more info (slightly tin-foil hat-ish) here.
posted by skallas on Jun 3, 2004 - 19 comments

Nicholas Berg

The Orange jumpsuit, couch potato Al Quida members, flawed timelines, the freepers connection, and the outspoken father. Nicolas Berg conspiracy theories abound on the Internet.
posted by thedailygrowl on May 13, 2004 - 98 comments

conspiracy theory 911

September 11th panel working to overcome conspiracy theories.
posted by thedailygrowl on Apr 25, 2004 - 33 comments

George Bush Conspiracy Generator

The George Bush Conspiracy Generator...is long overdue, and will make the lives of certain Mefi'ers just a little easier. Still, I think it needs some work. It's nowhere near as clever as an old favorite, Web Economy Bullshit Generator, the output of which I've actually inserted in proposals.
posted by mojohand on Jan 19, 2004 - 11 comments

September 11th And The Bush Administration

«Clearly, one of the most critical questions of the twenty-first century concerns why the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were not prevented. As I outline below, there are numerous aspects regarding the official stories about September 11th which do not fit with known facts, which contradict each other, which defy common sense, and which indicate a pattern of misinformation and coverup. The reports coming out of Washington do very little to alleviate these concerns.» 22 questions to chose from and decide which ones are nightmares of a conspiracy theorist and which ones must be answered.
posted by acrobat on Sep 4, 2003 - 70 comments

How to lose a never-ending war against nothing

Graham Alleges a 9/11 'Coverup' Long a favorite issue of alternative (and tinfoil-hat-oriented) media, now this is getting picked up by a prominent Democrat. It would appear that Graham is the only moderate Democratic candidate to even approach topics that reflect negatively on the Bush administration. Certainly, when even the US military speculates that yesterday's attacks in Saudi Arabia were started by Al Qeada, and people in Chicago and Seattle are reminded of the reality of ongoing threats, it is reasonable to ask if the "War on Terror" is indeed being won. Is Graham someone with the power and place in the spotlight to make that a serious issue for voters?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on May 13, 2003 - 11 comments

Feds Anticipated (Different) OKC Attack?

Did the Feds bungle intelligence on the 1995 OKC Bombing? FBI officials feared that white separatists might lash out on April 19, 1995 -- the day McVeigh chose. They were so concerned that a month earlier they questioned a reformed white supremacist familiar with an earlier plot to bomb the Murrah federal building, the one McVeigh selected. Does this affect earlier theories on OKC? Does it make the current advisories more significant?
posted by subgenius on Feb 11, 2003 - 6 comments

While scientists like Einstein and Heisenberg are familiar names, others like Nikolai Tesla have been largely forgotten by history, despite the fact that some of his work with electricity still cannot be replicated to this day. Despite this, claims of governmental conspiracies are probably fairly far from the truth.
posted by nick.a on Oct 12, 2002 - 19 comments

DID YOU

DID YOU EVER WONDER HOW THE FBI KNEW ALL THESE NAMES FIVE MINUTES AFTER THE ATTACK ON AMERICA? I know its just another anonymous site about 9-11 but it does highlight some interesting facts and prompts some questions about what the US government knew prior to the attack.
posted by JonnyX on Oct 10, 2002 - 26 comments

If you find the events of the Lindbergh kidnapping too convoluted and confusing (since Bruno Hauptmann may have been innocent), clear up the mystery by reading this really biased series of contemporary comic strips. And on a semi-related note, did you know that Norman Schwartzkopf's father was the main policeman in the case?
posted by interrobang on Sep 17, 2002 - 6 comments

CNN Refuses to Run Connie Chung's Skull & Bones Broadcast

CNN Refuses to Run Connie Chung's Skull & Bones Broadcast - well, at least according to that article. I haven't found anything else about it, but the implications are clear. IS THERE something afoot here?
posted by eas98 on Sep 5, 2002 - 26 comments

Michael Rivero,

Michael Rivero, formerly an digital effects worker for Final Fantasy and Coneheads has walked onto the scene and stood out when it comes to the conspiracy genre, with his site WhatReallyHappened.com. He has been claiming that 9/11 was the work of the Israelis and the US government to cause a war for Oil in the Middle East, while also making other comments on the War on Terror.

While he seems to boast that his site's Alexa rating is higher than Newsweek's as affirmation that he is popular, no matter how flawed Alexa may be.

Is this what really happened? or merely the posted viewpoints collected by a person who distrusts the Government?
posted by RobbieFal on Aug 29, 2002 - 36 comments

Is Freemasonry Satanic? Cuttingedge.org replies with a resounding yes! and supplies this ominous map. Other sources are more explanatory and reasonable. Myths about the founding fathers of the United States are too numerous to count, yet there are some pretty spooky assertions, and musings on The Great Seal. Opponents include Antimasonicinfo.com, and the exhaustive Freemasonwatch.
posted by hama7 on Aug 11, 2002 - 33 comments

The "Other" Kennedy Conspiracy:

The "Other" Kennedy Conspiracy: there was someone on that knoll. (but we did go to the moon)
posted by owillis on Mar 26, 2001 - 9 comments

Is it time to be scared of seven year olds now?

Is it time to be scared of seven year olds now? Muderous plot? From children? Sounds like a reporter using strong words for some playground craziness, and everyone overreacting. Reminds me of a certain show I saw last night...
posted by mathowie on Apr 13, 2000 - 7 comments

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