When people hear the word conspiracy, their mind immediately goes to the meme of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos saying “aliens”, shaking his hands and looking like he’s stood in a wind tunnel, from the History channel show, Ancient Aliens.
Conspiracy theorists are often brushed off in society. They seem to have crazy ideas that world governments are behind major events that happen, ideas that the United States government is hiding something from us.
“The two responses I receive sharing my conspiracies are either ‘the shutdown’ or ‘tell me more’,” said UNT advertising student Charles Haskell.
Conspiracy theorists come up with popular theories such as the moon landing being faked and that the NSA is spying on you over webcams and cameras on our phones. Other theories that aren’t as widely known are those such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake, Nazis living in Antarctica, and the Boston Marathon bombing.
There are two popular types of theorists, Rothbard’s Shallow Vs Deep theorists. Shallow conspiracy theorists only observe questionable events or evidence and jump to conclusions. Deep theorists search for evidence and facts to hold their theories together.
“I have heard the want for disbelief causes many conspiracies,” said Haskell.
Patrick Nolan is a forensic historian who believes in a JFK conspiracy. Nolan believes that the CIA shot Kennedy and insists that four high-level agents planned the shooting in Dallas the day of the JFK assassination. Nolan believes this to be true because there were disagreements within the CIA with how Kennedy wanted to approach Cuba.
They could be a very notable person, but if they believe a conspiracy has the possibility to be true, they’re deemed looney.
“I try to have an open mind when I hear about other’s conspiracies,” said Charles. “I hope they feel the same.”
People’s problem with conspiracy theorists is how convincing they sound and how much evidence they provide or don’t provide.
“If I don’t believe in what they’re saying, I want them to leave me alone,” said UNT student Cassidy Cook. “I won’t be convinced.”
A popular conspiracy is that the moon landing was staged because we wanted to be the first people, nation, or country on the moon.
Among the reasons presented about the moon landing being faked, some of the most popular are the movement of the flag, the footsteps being printed and not being able to see the stars in the photos taken from the moon.
“NASA isn’t the government agency that I think lies to us,” said Cook.
You have those who believe in theories, skeptics, and the nonbelievers.
People who don’t believe, usually won’t stand to hear theories and won’t put up with any of these kooky ideas.
“The research I do on these theories is limited to a Wikipedia article, YouTube videos, or a read of the conspiracy on the conspiracy website,” said Charles. “But, I do take time to look into many of them in that fashion.”
The first instance of something being labeled as a conspiracy theory was in 1909 in an article in The American Historical Review.
The flat-earth theory is one that causes a lot of confrontation, believe it or not – there are people that believe the earth is flat. The leading theory? The earth is a disk shape, not a sphere, and a 150-foot-tall wall of ice surrounds the outer rim of the earth. They say that NASA employees guard the wall to stop people from climbing their way over the wall and falling out into space.
“I remember my first encounter with conspiracies was through television,” Charles recalls. “I remember seeing an ad for a special about how Elvis was not dead.”
The ones that we hear about mostly seem to be more shallow theories, people making these accusations that sound like a stretch and like they’re just overreaching, which is why they’re all jokes to us.