We live in an age of conspiracy theories and fake news. From mind control to trackers in vaccines to lizards ruling the world; we can easily disprove most theories, but occasionally, a theory turns out to be true. Judging by the following, perhaps we should take conspiracy theorists more seriously next time. Here’s some of the craziest conspiracy theories that turned out to be true.
7 of the Craziest Conspiracy Theories That Were True
1. Governments test deadly nerve gas on citizens without telling them
The first of my craziest conspiracy theories is the stuff of nightmares. It involves medical experiments on unsuspecting victims. Surely a government wouldn’t test deadly chemicals on its own citizens? Well, that’s exactly what happened in the UK in 1953. RAF engineer Ronald Maddison arrived at a government facility in Porton Down.
He had volunteered for a mild experiment to find a cure for the common cold. Instead, he was an unwilling guinea pig for the UK government. Officials were testing the lethal doses of deadly nerve gases. MoD scientists poured 200mg of liquid Sarin onto his uniform. Witnesses describe Maddison’s horrifying death.
“I saw his leg rise up from the bed and I saw his skin begin turning blue. It started from the ankle and started spreading up his leg. It was like watching somebody pouring a blue liquid into a glass, it just began filling up.” Alfred Thornhill
Maddison was planning to spend the 15 shillings he got from taking part on an engagement ring for his girlfriend.
2. The US recruited Nazi criminals after World War II
After WWII, the world reeled from the images of the Nazi death camps. The Nazis used these camps for human experimentation, as well as extermination. Who would want to hire these barbaric doctors and scientists? It turns out the Americans did. Operation Paperclip was a secret intelligence program devised by the US government to spirit over German scientists, engineers and doctors to the USA.
They transported around 1600 Germans to America to use their knowledge against Russia in the Cold War. President Truman gave the go-ahead for the operation but forbade Nazi war criminals to enter the country. However, officials doctored records for those Germans they believed could assist with America’s war efforts.
3. The world’s most powerful people meet in secret
Who runs the world? Not our elected officials, if you believe this story. The third of my craziest conspiracy theories is the Bilderberg meetings. Many people believe that society’s richest and most powerful run the world. So, these powerful global players must meet in secret and discuss world events. Except it’s true, and not so secret.
The Bilderberg meetings are an annual occasion and include the most powerful people in Europe and America. Previous attendees include members of the UK parliament, royalty, ambassadors, billionaire CEOs, Pentagon staff, and more. What they discuss is a secret, but the fact they meet is not.
4. Dead babies were used to test the effects of atomic bombs
What is worse than losing a baby? Having the body of that precious child butchered in the name of science.
In the 1950s, the US government wanted body parts. They wanted to test the effects of radiation poisoning on bones. However, how do you get the body parts of young children? The US launched Project Sunshine and secretly asked other countries for supplies. Australia, the UK and others obliged, sending 1500 cadavers to America.
The 1995 documentary ‘Deadly Experiments’ told the story of Jean Prichard. In 1957, Jean gave birth to a daughter who was stillborn. Jean wanted to christen her daughter, but doctors had already cut her daughter’s legs, ready for Project Sunshine.
“I asked if I could put her christening robe on her, but I wasn’t allowed to, and that upset me terribly because she wasn’t christened. No one asked me about doing things like that, taking bits and pieces from her.” Jean Prichard
5. Weaponizing the weather to create chaos
Can you turn the surrounding atmosphere into a weapon? It sounds crazy, but many people believe that’s the purpose behind the HAARP Institute in Alaska. HAARP stands for High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. The institute contains 180 radio antennas which transmit extremely low-frequency waves into the ionosphere.
In 2010, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed HAARP for the Haitian earthquake. However, weather modification is not new. Cloud seeding has been around for decades. Cloud seeding adds particles such as silver iodide to a cloud, which allows condensation to collect around them. These larger particles drop as rain.
6. USA silenced whistleblowers reporting on contaminated polio vaccine
This crazy conspiracy theory is quite topical thanks to the recent pandemic. Many of us remember having vaccines at school alongside an innocuous-looking sugar cube. What if I told you that the sugar cube was infected with a cancer-causing virus? In 1960, vaccine safety scientists discovered the simian virus SV40 in polio vaccines. SV40 is a monkey virus that causes cancer in animals.
Estimates show that 30% of all polio vaccines contained SV40. Between 1956 and 1961, over 90% of children and 60% of adults had already received a polio vaccine. So, how did a monkey virus infect a human vaccine?
Jonas Salk, the scientist who developed the polio vaccine, used organic material from rhesus macaque monkeys. However, this type of monkey carried the SV40 virus. Bernice Eddy worked for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She worked in vaccine safety. Eddy tested the monkey material used to manufacture the polio vaccine.
She found that animals given monkey cells developed cancer. Eddy took her findings to her boss, immunologist Joe Smadel, who was a vaccine advocate. He was furious.
“Its implications—that something in the polio vaccine could cause cancer—was an affront to his career.”
Eddy was silenced and stripped of her laboratory. Government officials buried her findings. In 1961, the federal government stopped using Salk’s vaccine, using SV40 as the reason. However, some medical professionals were still using contaminated vaccines.
By 1963, health organizations had switched to African green monkeys who did not carry the SV40 virus. Officials were confident they had eliminated the problem, but the virus was still showing up in human tumors.
The World Health Organization launched an investigation. It gathered samples of vaccines worldwide. None contained SV40, apart from some manufactured in Eastern Europe.
In 1990, Michele Carbone was testing tumors at NIH and discovered the presence of SV40. The virus was still active. NIH refused to publish his findings. He moved to a different university to carry on with his studies. He found that the monkey virus affects the natural human tumor suppressors.
Other scientists found a direct correlation between the number of SV40-positive tumors and populations with the highest contaminated Salk vaccine. The role of SV40, polio vaccines and the connection to increased tumors divides medical experts to this day.
7. US government deliberately lied and withheld treatment to black syphilis patients
The last of my craziest conspiracy theories has sinister reverberations to this day. In 1932, the US Public Health Service wanted to gather information on syphilis, particularly those affected in the black community. They recruited 600 black men. More than half had the disease, and the others did not.
All men were told they would receive treatment, but none did. By this time, doctors knew that penicillin was an effective treatment against the disease. However, none of the men received medication.
In fact, the medical officials ignored several important ethical rules governing experiments. None of the men gave their informed consent. Doctors lied about the reasons for the studies and the men were incentivized with free meals, medical checkups and funeral costs.
The experiment was initially supposed to last for 6 months, but in 1972, a reporter broke the story that has consequences to this day. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was still going on, and black men were still being lied to. Thankfully, a public outcry stopped the trial in its track three months later.
The victims of the experiment petitioned against the government and won a $9 million settlement. Decades later, President Bill Clinton issued an apology to the Tuskegee men. Many people believe this experiment is the reason most black people refuse to take part in medical tests and are reluctant to receive vaccines to this day.
I think there are two kinds of people; those who believe in conspiracy theories and those that think they are farfetched and ridiculous. The above stories were considered some of the craziest conspiracy theories at one time. Now we know they are true, and I’m not sure whether to feel relieved or worried.
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