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The world is a wild place. History is a cyclone of what was, what was not, and what could have been. We’ve all heard conspiracies about the truth behind major historical events or state-held secrets: Bush did 9/11, the Illuminati control the world governments, the truth behind the JFK assassination, etc. More than likely, the majority of belief in existing conspiracy theories are derived from a sense of powerlessness.
But that’s not to say they’re all wrong.
There have been plenty of conspiratorial plots that come unearthed through viable, admissible evidence to turn conspiracy into cold truth. The foiling and revealing of these conspiracies become some of the most intriguing historical contexts we know of, like Watergate. We’re going to be talking about a few of the conspiracy theories that turned out to be true.
What Makes A Conspiracy?
There’s a certain recipe that goes into creating a conspiracy theory. The most important quality that these theories share is the concept of a greater truth behind what we are being told. Most conspiracies are focused around a powerful body, person, or a series of anomalous events leading to a greater story. The purported truth is, more often than not, a seemingly unbelievable claim, such as a separate shooter behind a grassy knoll being responsible for JFK’s death.
These conspiracy theories are wrapped in suspicion, deception, and an ongoing hunt for compounding evidence to make a case for their claim. There’s usually a sense of malicious intent behind the reason for the conspiratorial cover-up, but that’s not necessarily required. There are plenty of conspiracy theories that carry lower stakes than governmental corruption or the like. For instance, there’s a following behind Paul McCartney having died decades ago and surreptitiously replaced.
What About the Conspiracies That Are True?
We’re not here to talk about conspiracies that are ongoing or have been debunked. The ones that are true are, more often than not, much more compelling regardless. As far as conspiracy theories that turned out to be true go, we’re only going to be naming a few. There are plenty more still out there.
The 8 Goddesses Cabal
The concept of shadow governments has been in circulation in conspiracy theorist circles and television shows for a long time. We can’t concretely make any reasonable deduction toward where these sorts of governments may lie, since they’re by nature secretive and difficult to root out. However, in 2016, a shadow government was rooted out.
In South Korea, a conspiracy theory spanning a few years back came to a mainstream realization. The South Korean President at the time, Park Geun-Hye, had been suspected of corruption primarily from online sources. There wasn’t so much validity to the matter until a whistleblower leaked documents that supported the claim. Not long after, President Park publicly confirmed the truth of the matter.
The story breaks down something like this. The 8 Goddesses Cabal, being the shadow government in question, influenced and indoctrinated Park Geun-Hye from an early age until she came into power. From there, they continued to operate as the de facto power behind the throne. The more intricate details behind who controlled what are too numerous to include in this list, but warrant a further look.
Following the whistleblowing and a public apology, Park Geun-Hye was removed from power in 2017. While South Korea doesn’t appear to be under the grip of a shadow government now, the fact that such a convoluted system was extant in the first place is disquieting.
Government Mind Control
It’s safe to say that a majority of conspiracy theories revolve around governmental bodies. This stems from an innate distrust of the powerful institutions that preside over us, for the most part. This makes instances where conspiracy becomes truth so much more alarming. That’s not truer than learning that the CIA attempted to replicate mind control.
The project was called MKUltra. It was an experiment taken place between 1953 and 1964, using subjects in prisons, hospitals, and universities across the United States. While, when it began, they had volunteers in the program, when they went off the book with unsuspecting participants the results became disastrous.
LSD was only one among the cocktail of drugs utilized in the experiment, designed to alter human behavior and control human action. Among the thousands of unwilling participants, many were permanently disabled by the experiment, and suicide attempts were not uncommon. Ultimately, the CIA succeeded in altering human behavior, but lacked control and ultimately left their subjects with massive damage.
The NSA Spies on the American People
The discovery that the NSA was spying on the American people through phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication shocked the American nation. It long been hypothesized, but it was another thing entirely to be a conspiracy theory that turned out to be true.
Since 2005, the NSA had been intercepting, recording, and compiling communication with the purpose of spying on the American people. While the illegal activity had been uncovered as early as 2006, it wasn’t until 2013 that the story made front-page news. What was previously nothing more than a conspiracy theory immediately became a fact that private communication was no longer safe.
The Gulf of Tonkin Conspiracy
The year is 1964. On August 2nd, the USS Maddox was attacked by Vietnamese forces and sustained no more than a single bullet hole in their ship. Two days later, they were attacked again, and it wasn’t long after that the United States became directly involved in the Vietnam War. However, questions persisted regarding the incidents, and suspicion arose that they were entirely fabricated. That would be one of the conspiracy theories that turned out to be true, but only half so.
These conflicts would come to be known as the Gulf of Tonkin incidents. However, the record provided was partly fabricated in order to influence the USA’s involvement in Vietnam. While the first incident on August 2nd did take place, it was reported that the Vietnamese forces fired first. However, when the incident was declassified, it turns out that Captain Herrick took the first shot.
The incident that allegedly took place on August 4th, which came to be the nail in the coffin for USA’s introduction to the Vietnamese theater, was entirely fabricated. The deciding factors that took the United States into a widely controversial conflict proved to be grounded in evidently false justification.
Atari Buried E.T. in the Desert
Following Spielberg’s blockbuster hit E.T. the Extraterrestrial, a video game adaptation was made for the Atari 2600 system not long after. This game would come to be regarded as one of the worst video games ever created. The controls were terrible, the graphics were nonsensical, and there was no order to its design. Even for early game design it was bugged and nigh unplayable. It nearly single-handedly bankrupted Atari.
The problems that Atari ran into when they came out of production for E.T. were too high of expectations. With only five and a half weeks of development, Atari ordered millions of copies to meet an assumed demand. That demand did not come. Instead, Atari was left with warehouses full of their E.T. videogame.
It was around this time that a rumor circulated about what Atari did with their surplus of games. The most popular conspiracy theory was that they ended up burying their excess stock in Alomogordo, New Mexico. This theory maintained a presence in the gaming community for decades, being the subject of criticism, opinion, and postulation about whether that story was true or not.
Turns out, it was.
In 2013, plans were laid out to investigate the landfill where the cartridges were alleged to be buried. The next year, after extensive excavation, the pot of gold was discovered. Thousands upon thousands of E.T. cartridges were found, dumped along with various other titles that Atari attempted to leave to rot.
While this is one of the conspiracy theories that turned out to be true, it’s on the lighter side of things. In comparison to shadow governments, war crimes, and other dastardly human deeds, it’s harmless. That’s alright, though. Not every conspiracy theory needs to have a political impact.
The Theories Don’t End Here
There are some conspiracy theories that are really far out there. Celebrity replacements, aliens secretly controlling the earth, even the earth being flat are on the table. For the most part, many of them come off as absurd. However, just because they may seem beyond the scope of imagination doesn’t mean there’s not a nugget of truth in there.
Discovering conspiracy theories that turn out to be true is part of the human need to regain control. Despite how wild they might be, there are going to be some that reveal frightening truths about our world. It’s important to try and keep an eye on what’s really going on behind the scenes.