An unconfirmed conspiracy theory is one thing; there's no proof behind them, so most sensible people don't have to be scared by them. It's just some crazy theory cooked up by paranoid people, right? We can all sleep soundly at night. But what about when a totally chilling conspiracy theory turns out to be true?
Well, in that case, we all have a harder time getting a full night's rest. At least it's a fascinating discovery, though!
So, which conspiracy theories are false, and which are true? Luckily for you, we've got a list of the creepiest (and completely real) conspiracies right here. Check out the list below, and get all your facts straight. After all, the truth is out there!
As conspiracies go, MK Ultra is kind of a classic.
CIA putting LSD in the water supply.
Except it was only a handful of extremely small (<800 pop.) towns in the American Southwest, and the outcome was not, "we have a mind-control serum," but instead, "that deeply troubled a lot of rural elderly people, who had no idea what was happening to them."-kwalshyall
Can you imagine living like this?Fun fact: my university was heavily involved in the program [MK Ultra] and I now live within walking distance of the now unused asylum where many of the experiments took place. -0wnzl1f3
The sinister secret of Colombian corruption:
Colombia’s government and high-ranking military officials killed farmers and poor people just to get personnel promoted and support from people.
The bodies had uniforms just like the ones guerrilla soldiers used to wear.
People started noticing that something was wrong with these "guerrillero bodies" when the boots in some of the bodies were backward and a lot of people went missing from villages.-Faukain
It goes deep.
via: GettyThe former president of Colombia (named Álvaro Uribe) ran a "death squad" in his home state and is being investigated for witness tampering and bribery. The Colombian intelligence service wiretapped his phone. And that's the former president.. imagine how deep that type of stuff goes. -jwf478420
Ernest Hemingway was an odd guy...but he wasn't wrong about this.
via: GettyErnest Hemingway believed he was being followed by the FBI. It was passed off as paranoid delusions by the medical community and the world at large. But the freedom of information act revealed that Hemingway was an amateur agent in Cuba during the war, but also seen as a potential communist sympathizer by the FBI, who did later follow him. It played a major role in his suicide, though obviously there were many other factors. -CaptainKasch
Dad was right!
My father, who I previously thought was insane, was convinced the meds the military used to prevent malaria caused serious and permanent behavioral health issues. 30 years later, I was prescribed a different malaria med as a preventative before a trip, and I jokingly mentioned my father's theory to the doc.
"Mefloquine? Yeah, that's actually true. That's why we switched to this one."-crissaboo
And here's the REAL conspiracy part to that:
via: GettyThe conspiracy part is that the Department of Defense has known for a very long time -- at least as far back as the 80s -- that Mefloquine causes psychiatric problems, in some cases permanently. They vehemently denied the issues were caused by Mefloquine and instead blamed PTSD, stress, and pre-existing issues. They have since conceded (albeit not formally) that Mefloquine causes serious issues and now use doxycycline and Malarone. -crissaboo
Here are the real-life implications of that.
via: GettyThere was a girl from the Uk who recently jumped out of a plane over Madagascar, completely out of character for her and it was a shock to everyone. She fell into the forest and her body was recovered a week later. "She suffered severe paranoia and delusions before the fall on July 25 — possibly caused by anti-malaria medication." Now after reading this I'm a bit more convinced that was at play. Crazy stuff. -1QUEEN12
The CIA controlled a US airport.
via: GettyI lived in Oregon in the '70s and '80s. Everyone always talked about how the Evergreen Airport was used by the CIA but they always denied it. The truth finally came out and the airport ended up closing afterward. -Demonae
And the CIA wasn't kidding around.
Hey! I worked there for a while. After my boss got fired one of our jobs was to shred her files. (Well, we took them out of folders and put them into "shred" bins, no idea what actually happened to them.) We were given instructions not to actually look at anything. Two guys stood there while we shredded them to make sure we didn't.
My boss had told me that the airline had done "hush-hush" work for the government, but wouldn't go into detail, and I really didn't believe her until this happened.-Jason207
There was more than one airport like this, too!
via: GettyThere were several of these black CIA airports. One of the most infamous being the one in Mena, AR. Same deal, it was a conspiracy theory until the court documents came out. -Arkfort
There's an actual heart attack gun.
via: GettyThe CIA has a special gun that shoots dissolvable darts that leave no trace and cause people to get a heart attack. It was dismissed as a conspiracy theory before the gun actually turned out to be true during a trial where it was demonstrated by CIA operatives. -Olzar
Ever heard of an "Angel of Death" serial killer?
via: GettyMy grandfather was afraid of moving into a nursing home or living alone, he was convinced people working in elderly medical care were out to get him. A few years later a local nurse is in the news as a serial killer who believed she was doing the right thing ending lives early. Around the same time a home visiting nurse, who was supposed to help him, got frustrated and hit him, so I removed her from the house which was something he wouldn't have been able to do. After reporting that nurse everywhere she was still doing home visits for an acquaintance (until I told him too). -GreatScottEh
The weird thing about this is...we all kinda know it already.
via: GettyGovernments and corporations are actually spying on us. -CouleursCPA What's sad about that is when it was revealed to be true, we all just shrugged because it was something we all believed anyway. -Sanctimonius
The real question is: what are you afraid of the government hearing?
via: GettyMy grandma and great aunt would speak in code to each other because they thought the government was listening to their phone conversations. We rolled our eyes at them...until the Snowden NSA leak happened. -curly687
Remember that Watergate started as a conspiracy.
via: GettyWatergate. It started out as a conspiracy theory but gained enough evidence to tun into the scandal that we all know today. -not-my-dsi
Need a Watergate refresher?
Watergate refers to the Watergate Office Complex/ Hotel in Washington DC. During Nixon's presidency, The Democratic National Committee had an HQ there. Some people from the Republican National Committee broke into their offices and stole some information.
Okay, kind of tame, but not really. However, where the "scandal" comes into play is that President Nixon knew about it before it happened. He apparently discussed it inside the Oval Office, where everything is recorded for the government record, as required by law.
There was a congressional investigation into Watergate to find out who knew what, and how much? The recordings from the Oval Office were requested and approximately 13 minutes had been edited out.-NancyLouMarine
And here's the Watergate nitty-gritty.
In the end, Nixon, being the honorable man he was, when it came out about the edited recordings, threw himself on the sword and took all the blame, thereby resigning from the office of President, effective immediately. This is how Gerald Ford came to become president. (I"m oversimplifying all of this in the interest of space/time)
The person held responsible for the entire break-in, along with some other charges related to it such as wire-tapping, was G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent who spearheaded the whole thing. The journalists who broke the story were Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, both of the Washington Post and it made their careers.
There was an alleged insider who was the information for Woodward with the code name "Deep Throat" and no one's 100% certain who it is, though in 2005 Vanity Fair said it was FBI Assoc. Dir. Mark Felt. Felt's attorney, Woodward, and Bernstein all agreed this was the truth.-NancyLouMarine
Let's take a quick turn to the lighter side of conspiracies.This is on a lighter note but in 2013 (during the twerking craze), there was a viral video which features a girl named Caitlin Heller twerking against a doorway. When someone opens the door, Heller then falls on a table with a candle thus setting her on fire. Not only was it being shared online but news media like CNN were picking up on the story. While people were having conspiracy theories that this video may be fake, those people were often mocked. Eventually, Jimmy Kimmel came out and revealed that the video was fake and Caitlin Heller was actually a stuntwoman named Daphne Avalon. -leqant
Believe it or not, the US once almost suffered a facist coup.
The Business Plot: the 1930s robber barons attempted a violent overthrow of FDR's government, with the intention of installing fascism. Smedley Butler, the man they had hoped would lead their coup, exposed them, making them look ridiculous and leading to a coverup (but nonetheless rendering the plot a failure). They destroyed his career, which never recovered, and he died in obscurity in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
There's a good chance that we would have seen a fascist/Nazi takeover of the country had one man not sacrificed his career to prevent it. Despite his heroism, few people today know his name.-michaelochurch
Although, Smedley Butler wasn't entirely forgotten.
via: GettyI wouldn't say he sacrificed his career. He was a two-time Medal of Honor recipient and had a decent lecture circuit going after retiring from the USMC. I think the reason he's not so well remembered is that his lectures and book based off of it were literally called War is a Racket. He also ended up dying fairly soon after in 1940, and then we entered WW2. I imagine his views quickly fell out of favor with Pearl Harbor happening. If he hadn't gotten cancer he very likely may have been recalled and be known for something entirely different for all we know. -redpandaeater
The US has done some seriously shady stuff.
The USA financed with money and weapons military groups in all South America, to prevent the communism or socialism to impose in any country on the continent. It turns out that they began to establish dictatorships that in some cases lasted for decades, disappearing tens of thousands of people against the regime. One of the most widely known cases is Pinochet in Chile and Videla in Argentina.-Lechowski
I mean, it makes sense that football would have a lasting effect.
via: GettyPlaying football causes brain damage. They knew since the 80s but it was becoming such a juggernaut that they denied it, climate change-style. -Leucippus1
Secrets are for the birds.
Do you know the whole "birds aren't real" conspiracy theory?
Well, it's funny because there was a thing in the 1960s called Project Acoustic Kitty where the CIA wanted to put microphones and transmitters inside of cats and use them to spy on the Soviets. It cost about $20 million and was a huge failure and allegedly the first cat they wired was hit by a car and killed very soon after they let it go. Now I'm not saying that birds are being used to spy on us, but it's crazy to think that the government did actually try something like that.--eDgAR-
Tom Clancy did his research well.
via: GettyNot really a conspiracy but the author of Hunt for Red October got the story of submarines so accurate that the department of defense investigated him thinking he was a spy. -manlymanhood
Same for Die Hard, in fact!Same with the Die Hard movie about stealing all the gold bars and how to do it. The information was provided to them during a public guided tour. -Risen_Insanity
This is true...and horrible.
via: GettyThe FBI was actively trying to sow public distrust of Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders. -WesleyPatterson
There are times in history where the US government REALLY wanted a fight.
Operation Northwoods. The Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans to create terrorist acts on US soil to drum up support for war and invasion of Cuba in the 1960s.
President Kennedy rejected the plan, which included: innocent Americans being shot dead on the streets; boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington D.C., Miami, and elsewhere; people being framed for bombings they did not commit; and planes being hijacked.-Being_grateful
Although "plan" is a generous term for what the Joint Chiefs did.Plans? No. A badly written memo that included such sophisticated ideas as "Make the CIA plan the events." Actually read it and it becomes clear why Kennedy rejected it and then demanded the Head of the Joint Chief's resignation. -CitationX_N7V11C
This is...pretty creepy, actually.
via: GettyYour phone is listening to you even when you aren’t using it. Case and point, my friend was telling me, in person, about some alternative to PayPal she found. This same company was then advertised to me later that day despite my never looking it up. It’s not even available in my country. -OnlyJones
For example: how about star witness Alexa?Alexa was, essentially, a witness in a murder trial as the defendant was able to prove he was home. As Alexa records everything, it proved his location was where he stated and not at the murder scene. It was a big hushed though as Amazon didn’t want people to know Alexa was/is always listening in. -ChocolateandLipstick
And...there it is.
via: GettyCorporations, particularly Big Oil, are behind climate change denialism. -sneeds-feed-n-seed Talk about having an agenda, huh?
via: GettyMy grandfather for years told everyone his well water was poisoned. Everyone thought it was one of his (many) delusions. Eventually one of my uncles tested the water from his well and it turns out it was unsafe to drink. Even though it wasn't the Soviets who had poisoned it. -baby_chalupa
Then there's the 2007 NBA betting scandal.
This is actually part of a larger conspiracy. Michael Jordan apparently sold so much that when he retired the NBA started losing profits. They started building stars like Kobe. They paired him up with Shaq in LA to recapture the glory days and get that Hollywood money. It’s also one of the reasons that New York never wins because win or lose, New Yorkers shell out money for the Knicks.
The Spurs, being in a small market, were pushed to championships because of their international appeal. Miami was rumored to be the next Hollywood due to lax tax laws and it being a similar party city, which is why the first manufactured super team was formed there.-TheKidKaos
The CIA is just...wild.
via: GettyThe CIA uses vaccines as an excuse to conduct espionage in third world countries. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries where polio hasn't been eradicated. Post 9/11 conspiracies were ripe that polio and other vaccine workers were just CIA spies collecting data on the citizens they'd bomb. The locals would resist taking the vaccines out of fear. Cue the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the confession of Dr. Shakeel Afridi that his hepatitis vaccine drive was a front for the CIA to collect DNA samples of Osama. -Playear Share these chilling conspiracies (or rather, truths) with your conspiracy-loving friends!