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No End to Conspiracy Theories
This article is not designed to prove or disprove any conspiracy theory. Rather it’s an attempt to explain how they originate and still persist. Wikipedia defines a conspiracy theory as the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or belief important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots largely unknown to the general public.Conspiracy theories, once limited to fringe audiences are now commonplace.
As a result they have become a subject of investigation for sociologists, psychologists and experts in folklore. Most researchers agree the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s is the catalyst that spurred serious public interest in conspiracy theories. It was prompted by public disagreement with the official version of the Warren Commission’s report.
The term "conspiracism" is thought to have originated by academic Frank P. Mintz in the 1980s. Mintz writes, "Conspiracism serves the needs of diverse political and social groups in America and elsewhere. It identifies elites, blames them for economic and social catastrophes, and assumes things will be better once popular action can remove them from positions of power.”
So, are we to assume conspiracy theories are little more than a way to place blame or explain the unexplainable? No, since many throughout history have shown there was one.
But by and large, many haven’t been proven. UFO’s, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Illuminati, Masons, 9/11, Area 51 and many more continue to pique our interest. Consider the Stargate Project which ran from the 1970s to 1995. During the Cold War, it was rumored the Soviets were attempting to spy using paranormal abilities. Although Soviet success was never proven and results based largely on rumor and unreliable second-hand sources, conspiracy theories still cropped up.
And what about ghosts, do they exist? There is scientific evidence they do, at least according to Time magazine’s Man of the Century, Albert Einstein. He said energy cannot be created or destroyed, it only changes form. The human body decomposes after death, but the electrical energy it contains has to go somewhere. On another occasion however, he came just short of making a positive statement. When asked if he believed ghosts were real, he replied, “When twelve other persons have witnessed the same phenomenon at the same time, then I might believe.”
Then there is the ever popular Roswell, NM, UFO incident. A poll in 2002 found 72% of Americans believed the government is withholding information and only 28% believed the weather balloon story. There were many witnesses to Roswell. Some can’t be found. UFO investigators asked a retired Navy SEAL officer to give names and service numbers of more than two dozen servicemen stationed at Roswell in 1947. Neither the Veteran’s Administration nor Defense Department could find a record of these men. And many other testimonials contained inaccuracies.
For example, Glen Dennis, a mortician at Roswell’s Ballard Funeral Home, was asked to provide hermetically-sealed, child-sized coffins and said nurses present at the base told him they were to be used for the bodies of recovered aliens. His account contains many flaws. He mentions an airman’s rank before the rank existed, a black sergeant and a red-haired colonel, neither of which served at Roswell.
No one doubts that Mark Chapman pulled the trigger on the gun that killed John Lennon in New York during 1980. There were eyewitnesses who saw him do it. What is in question is who gave him the idea and motivation. The most logical theory is the FBI considered Lennon a trouble maker, political activist and therefore, as his file reads, “dangerous.” Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover were said to be planning his deportation. The FBI had him under constant surveillance. Did they go one step further and hire Chapman to assassinate him? Others believe it was another Beatles band member, Paul McCartney, who supposedly had a grudge against him.Why would Chapman kill the famous musician just because he made a remark about Jesus he didn’t like? It makes no sense therefore the event becomes fodder for numerous conspiracy theories.
Since Elvis’s death on August 16, 1977, he has reportedly been seen thousands of times and other singers have been said to sound exactly like him. Any conspiracy to fake his death would have required extremely elaborate planning with family, friends, business associates, medical personnel and funeral home employees. It’s obvious Elvis didn’t fake his death. He was abducted by aliens.