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Favorite conspiracy theory?Conspiracy theories are some of those guilty pleasures in...

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 28, 2012 at 7:51 PM via web

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Favorite conspiracy theory?

Conspiracy theories are some of those guilty pleasures in which we indulge when real facts seem just a bit too bland. Sometimes we do not share our beliefs for fear of being considered ignorant or blind to reality. However, somethings are just too curious not to consider an alternative...

My particular favorite conspiracy theory is the Nicola Tesla/Tunguska connection. I cannot help but read about it over and over and come up with all sorts of conjectures.

The idea is that Tesla's "Wardenclyffe Magnifying Transmitter" was powerful enough to produce over 100 billion watts of electricity. For a number of reasons (too many to list) Tesla supposedly found himself desperate to demonstrate the power of what he later dubbed his "Peace Beam". From the transmitter's site in Long Island, Tesla supposedly directed the beam toward the North Pole, where there are no inhabitants. However, by "divine providence" he missed and, instead, hit the deserted area of Tunguska, causing a massive explosion whose shock went around the globe twice over. Many call the explosion a meteorite, some a UFO. Personally, I want to think that it was the beam because Nicola Tesla is my favorite of all the scientific masters (and the most misunderstood), and I think his intelligence knew no limits. 

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 28, 2012 at 8:38 PM (Answer #2)

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My favorite conspiracy theory is the idea that the United States was aware of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, but chose to ignore the warnings.  The government was well aware of the dire situation Europe was in, but also knew the public was against sending troops into another European conflict.  A Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would certainly change the pacifist views of many Americans and all the United States to send more that military supplies to Europe.  There have been many books and studies into this conspiracy, with one some of the main causes for questioning being the absence of American aircraft carriers during the attack, various ignored radio/ radar reports, and possible military codes that were already deciphered.  While I don't really put stock in this conspiracy theory, it has always captivated me.  Perhaps it's out of a desire to believe we America isn't as vlunerable to attack as Pearl Harbor makes us out to be.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 28, 2012 at 9:26 PM (Answer #3)

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I'm afraid that I can't really get into conspiracy theories.  I sort of feel like they promote cynicism about the government, which is not something we really need.  (I suppose I should note that the Tesla/Tunguska one does not do this.)

The only conspiracy theories that I can get into are ones involving sports.  I guess those are relatively irrelevant and so there’s no harm in believing them.  I particularly like the conspiracy theories about the NBA’s highest officials rigging various events (games, draft lotteries) in order to get the “right” teams to win or to get high draft picks.  They are said to have pushed referees to get the Lakers into the finals in 2002 and they are said to have rigged the 1985 draft lottery so that Patrick Ewing would go to the Knicks.

So, I’ll go with the super low-brow and cite this sort of conspiracy theory as my favorite.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM (Answer #4)

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The 1988 movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream presents a conspiracy theory at the end that certainly seems plausible, especially in light of standards established well after the manufacture of Tucker's automobile. The conspiracy holds that the major automobile companies, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, known as the Big Three, orchestrated bad publicity and setbacks for Tucker such as when

his bids to obtain two steel mills to provide raw materials for his cars were rejected by the War Assets Administration under a shroud of questionable politics.

In addition, there was much negative media promoted against Tucker.

The 1948 Tucker automobile--fewer than twenty-five of which remain--featured such things as safety belts, disc brakes, a center headlight, so that a turning car would have a lighted path; a parking brake with a separate key to lock the brake in place in order to prevent theft, a windshield of shatterproof glass that also would pop out in case of front end collision; a dashboard that was padded for safety; a roll bar built into the roof of the car; and a steering box put behind the front axle to protect the driver in front end accidents.  Interestingly, it was years and years before these safety devices became standard in automobiles made by the Big Three.

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beefheart | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:07 PM (Answer #5)

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When it comes to conspiracies I am negatively fascinated by them. I don't accept them, but I am constantly amazed by some of the things that people are willing to believe. Especially because they usually believe ALL of them. 

Some of my favourites are ...

  1. The 9/11 inside job CT.
  2. The chem-trails CT.
  3. The 'aliens walk among us' CT
  4. The moon landing hoax CT
  5. The 'ancient civs knew really advanced stuff' CT

But my all time number one, favorite, crazy, crazy, insane CT is the 'illuminati' CT. The idea that the whole world is run by a secret cabal of all-powerful, invisible elitists who control absolutely everything in the whole world.

The fact that lots of people believe this breaks my heart and makes my head spin. But I can't stop being fascinated by them. How could they be so blind to their own wishful thinking. Are people really that stupid??? 

 

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discussion1984 | Salutatorian

Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM (Answer #6)

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My favorite is the one where people are told they have rights and that they determine where society goes (democracy).

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 28, 2012 at 10:44 PM (Answer #7)

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My favorite conspiracy theory has to do with 911. As a "military brat," I find it had to believe that America would cause such devastation to its own country and citizens.

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 28, 2012 at 11:16 PM (Answer #8)

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Like No.5, I have a love/hate relationship with conspiracy theories. I think they are generally ridiculous and I don't subscribe to them but I am extremely interested in them.

For me, the biggest and most fascinating conspiracy theory is Creationism. It is not generally described as a CT, but it has all the classic hallmarks of one. They deny very easy to find evidence and overlook vast mountains of facts in favour of a fixed and pre-accepted conclusion. They claim there is a huge, government-backed wall of silence against their ideas. They have a whole industry of products and spin to feed the credulous. The chances that they are right are phenomenally minute, but they act like they are winning etc, etc, etc.

Intelligent Design / Creationism is a conspiracy theory that has evolved inside of various religious institutions.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:28 AM (Answer #9)

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One of my best friends is absolutely obsessed with the 9/11 theories that claim there were no jet liners and that it was a gigantic explosion(s) set in the WTC basement(s) that caused the destruction. According to him (and the theories presented), everyone from President Bush to the actual owner of the WTC was in on it.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:32 AM (Answer #10)

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My favorite conspiracy theory is Area 51.  I used to be a huge X-Files fan when the show was on the air.  I really enjoyed the idea of a secret government operation that has been hiding aliens and UFOs.  

Some people really believe that the United States government is keeping UFOs a secret in a military base in Nevada.

Further research by Dean revealed that the U.S. government knows of ongoing human contact with alien multidimensional beings. Such knowledge has been kept from most U.S. government and military officials and from the American public. (see second link)

I even read a story about a group of filmmakers that were arrested there.

A BBC film crew was detained after it breached the back gate of the top secret military facility known as Area 51 while filming a new documentary about UFO conspiracy theories. (see first link)

Many people seem to think that the government knows about UFOs and even has one, or a little green alien, at Area 51.  Personally, I believe there are secret military operations, probably planes, at Area 51.  I do not think aliens from outer space were really there, or are there now.

I actually think it is possible that there is intelligent life out there somewhere.  However, I do not think it has made contact with us.  If it did, it would have to be smarter than us—or how would it be able to travel farther than we can?

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted October 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM (Answer #11)

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The detailed research book by Gordon Prange At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor pretty well put a definitive end to the "conspiracy theory" part of the "they knew something" theory. Having interviewed participants from both sides, US and Japanese, and having gotten access to government documents and records from both US and Japanese governments, he presents actual documentation--thus eliminating theoretical labels--of precisely who did, saw, and kniew what, when and why. So this favorite conspiracy theory is now fact.

There is difference between being skeptical about speculated or suspected possibilities and rejecting documented, verified revisions to historical records.

What about the Canadian and other government and military persons who have now come forward and documented unauthorized air occupancy and landings of aircraft that have no known association with any of the planet's nations? Is this too a "theory" and part of a "conspiracy"? In both these cases persons with "need to know" knowledge have risked everything from reputation to career to personal safety and the safety of their families to make dark secrets public.

Perhaps it is time to eliminate the "conspiracy" part of "conspiracy thoery" and to remove the "theory" part of "conspiracy theory" and get a better grasp on "documented fact." Remember, "conspiracy theory" came into its own during the Vietnam War era, and I don't hear anyone denouncing and claiming incursions into Cambodia as "conspiracy theory" any more.

Now, it is well known that I don't go in for cut-throat verbal wars in DB or anywhere else, so if any disagree with or wish to ridicule what I've just said, kindly restrict yourself to stating your own point of view without going for the jugular. Good? Good. Merci!

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