November 7, 2001
11:21 PM   Subscribe

Conspiracy theorists on your mark: William Cooper has been shot dead!
posted by kittyloop (17 comments total)
Great. Who was he?
posted by salmacis at 2:04 AM on November 8, 2001

It appears that Cooper was headed for a shootout with a government official for a long, long time; the specific agency and circumstances probably not as relevant to Cooper as the "martyrdom" he seemed to seek...don't think he would have wanted it any other way. "Careful what you wish for..."
posted by davidmsc at 3:02 AM on November 8, 2001

Wasn't Cooper the guy that was "catching" Mexicans as they ran across the border, making a citizen's arrest and taking them down to the INS border patrol?
posted by Totally80sGirl at 4:01 AM on November 8, 2001

I don't know, sounds to me like one less crazy evil mother fucker alive.
posted by tiaka at 5:46 AM on November 8, 2001

"William Milton Cooper, 58, whose apocalyptic, constitutionalist shortwave radio programs were a major influence on Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, was shot to death ..."

What the hell do they mean when they call him a constitutionalist? Does that mean he liked the constitution and he wanted the government to follow it? And I hardly put "constitutionalist" in the same category as "apocalyptic." Hey, I like the constitution as much or more than the next guy, but I'm not shooting up federal officers.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:58 AM on November 8, 2001

Ah, Kittyloop, you found a good one here ... Milton William Cooper is the archetype of conspiracy theorists, and had one of the most convoluted conspiracy theories in modern America. When I first started cooresponding with Cooper, it was 1988 and I was a researcher with ParaNet and got "assigned" his case to do some preliminary analysis of. After a year of poking into the nooks and crannies of his beliefs, I actually gave up working with ParaNet, deciding that some truths & untruths are just unverifyable.

To explain his belief system now actually would make him sound cliche ... but in the 1980s when he argued that the Bush regime secretly wanted to establish a "New World Order" (Bush starting using the phrase shortly thereafter) and that FEMA was the apparatus to accomplish it, it didn't sound X-File-ish at all (of course, this was long before the X-Files.) The fact that government wanted to do this because they had secretly made a deal with visiting space aliens to allow them to abduct American citizens in exchange for alien technology (like stealth technology) made it even stranger. Like most good UFO-based conspiracies, these details could never be confirmed ... he claimed to have seen a copy of the imfamous Blue Book vol. 13 (the Airforce report on UFOs officially published vols. 1-12 and 14, claiming to have skipped 13 because of the unluckiness of the number.) Add in a bunch of good reinterpretations of existing conspiracies (like Kennedy was killed by his own driver because he had demanded that the CIA release information on our treaties with the aliens) and you've got the mother of all conspiracies.

Milton William Cooper was a fringer ... call him a militia leader if you like (he certainly was a member of the "freeman movement" and didn't trust the government at all) ... call him a UFO conspiracy theoriest (although most in the UFO community disown him, in part because Cooper said most of them, such as Whitney Strieber, were secretly CIA disinformationists) ... but I can't help but think of how his first email to me in 1988 started:

"I'm sharing this information with the public to try and help safeguard my own life. The more who know what I know, the less likely the government will be to assassinate me."

R.I.P., Milton William Cooper. Who knows how much of what you believed was true.
posted by bclark at 6:31 AM on November 8, 2001

For those of you "interested" in Cooper's conspiracies, you might try reading: The Secret Government by WMC, another ParaNet researcher's take on Cooper's 1988 activities, a piece on why the UFO community didn't trust him any longer, and Robert Sterlings' take on how Cooper never let the facts stand in the way of a good conspiracy.

Be warned, though ... the rabbit hole goes pretty deep on this one.
posted by bclark at 6:39 AM on November 8, 2001

as far as conspiracies and wackos go, i think timecube is the tops.
posted by moz at 8:27 AM on November 8, 2001

Yes - I can confirm moz's thought about that timecube thing. I could tell it was done by a wacko becuase, for some reason, all sites done by crazies HAVE to use an ENORMOUS font!
posted by bradlauster at 10:08 AM on November 8, 2001

all sites done by crazies HAVE to use an ENORMOUS font!

I was choking back laughter at that one.
posted by SiW at 11:43 AM on November 8, 2001

I still have a videotape featuring Cooper which details the Zapruder Film. Very low quality by today's standards. Several years before Oliver Stone's movie. Cooper manages to tie the assassination in to drug trafficking and - you guessed it - government knowledge of UFOs. He claimed William Greer, the driver of the car, fired an exploding bullet with shellfish toxin into Kennedy's brain. Then his brain was removed and replaced while en route to Bethesda, Maryland.

"Keep your eyes on the driver."

Try to rest in peace, you crazy old blowhard.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:21 PM on November 8, 2001

I'm not dead yet.
posted by websavvy at 12:34 PM on November 8, 2001

File under: suicide by cop.

Glad to see whoever's running his website posted the affidavit. Someone could have take the opportunity to make things even worse.
posted by sacre_bleu at 1:42 PM on November 8, 2001

From Timecube:

MIT cancels my lecture invite
due to ulterior devious motive.
I will pay MIT  $1,000.00  to
sponsor a MIT publicly open
Time Cube debate or lecture
on its scientific mathematics.
                                                                                         Gene Ray

Wow. A thousand bucks? How could MIT turn down an offer like that?
posted by ColdChef at 2:23 PM on November 8, 2001

I was introduced to William Cooper via the kooky record store I worked at in the 1980's. The owner gave me his book, Behold a Pale Horse (rank #307 at Amazon, for god's sake!), to "get the information out there". I wouldn't dismiss everything he said out of hand - the above store owner did a lot of research into what Cooper said that seemed to corroborate some of the governmental information, but his alien stuff was a little, um, out there. He was certainly interesting from a kookology point of view, and he was a legendary figure in conspiracy circles. RIP.
posted by kittyloop at 4:14 PM on November 8, 2001

From just now: Remain Calm! This is in no way a cause for action, but all patriots should be on high alert at this time.

Yikes! Sounds just like Tom "deer caught in the headlights" Ridge and John "Great Caesar's Ghost" Ashcroft!
posted by Carol Anne at 4:26 PM on November 8, 2001

"Great Caesar's Ghost" ya?
posted by clavdivs at 5:25 PM on November 8, 2001

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