There is little scarier in the world than a harsh truth…
We live in a world full of misinformation. You may have seen the conspiracy theory floating around online that claims 5G is responsible for the Coronavirus. I will admit that I don’t understand the difference between 3G or 4G on my phone or how it works but I do know that 5G is not linked to the pandemic. I know this because I watch the news. I’m sure if there was a link it would have been discovered by now and been plastered on front pages across the globe. What surprised me, and greatly worried me, was how many people were blindly sharing this theory online, including one of my old teachers! However, if you pardon the cliche, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Occasionally one conspiracy theory will be proven correct and send shockwaves across the globe.
I thought for halloween we could touch subjects that are truly horrifying. Here is a general trigger warning for this article.
Here are five examples of conspiracy theories that were proven true:
1 – Project SUNSHINE
Between the years 1953 and 1956 there were rumours that the American Government were stealing human corpses from morgues and cemeteries around the world in order to experiment on the deceased. Allegedly, the purpose of these experiments was to see what the effect of a radioactive fallout would be on the human body as the only other way to accurately test this was to launch a nuclear bomb. The experiments were said to take place at the height of the Cold War when both sides were conducting research into nuclear weapons. It is always hard to find the exact starting point for a conspiracy theory but this one seems to have emerged from a quote by Dr Willard Libby, an American scientist.
“I don’t know how to get them, but I do say that it is a matter of prime importance to get them, and particularly in the young age group. So, human samples are often of prime importance, and if anybody knows how to do a good job of body snatching, they will really be serving their country.”
– Dr Willard Libby, 1953.
Unfortunately this conspiracy theory proved to be correct but even the theorists did not realise the full extent of the project. American scientists were importing corpses from across the globe, without permission from the deceased’s family but they were stealing the bodies of children and infants in particular. The experiments were revealed when Jean Prichard, a mother in London, was prevented from dressing her daughter before her burial. Unknown to Prichard, her daughter’s legs had been separated from her body and shipped to America. After Prichard reported her story to the media the experiments were immediately halted. Global leaders condemned the scientists involved while denying all knowledge themselves.
The practice of performing medical experiments on the deceased without their permission still takes place in the modern day. I used to work in the science department in a well known university in London which ran surgery workshops for medical students. My boss would order human cadavers for the students to dissect and the bodies would be sourced from American prisons. In some states of America, when an inmate is incarcerated for a life sentence, they lose the right in what happens to their body after death.
Side note: It should be noted that there is now an organisation called Project Sunshine that help paediatric patients. This project Sunshine has no link to the above.
2 – The first female president of the United States
This entry is less scary but still an interesting read.
In 2016, the world was engrossed in the American presidential debate. The two candidates were Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton and it was a forgone conclusion that the winner of the election would be “first” in at least one respect. If Obama won, he was to be the first Black president. If Clinton won, she would have been the first female president. As we all known, Obama won the election and later went on the serve a second term but interestingly if Clinton had won she would have been the first “official” female president. A conspiracy theory among American historians states that President Woodrow Wilson’s wife, Edith Wilson, ran the United States of America for almost a year after her husband suffered a stroke in 1919. They claim that this fact was hidden from the public at the time because the Government feared that their citizens would revolt if they knew they were being lead by a female. After Wilson’s retirement both Edith and the President claimed that she had only acted as her husband’s steward and had a very limited impact in the running of the country.
Historians have unearthed documents that prove the opposite. Although some members of congress were aware of Wilson’s stroke, none were aware of how severe it was. The stroke left him paralysed on his left side and completely bed bound. Due to this, America did not sign the Treaty of Versailles marking the end of the First World War or join the League of Nations, even though the League had originally been Wilson’s idea. Between October 1919 to March 1920 Edith became the only link between her husband and his staff. She choose what matters were brought to his attention and added her own notes to official documents for Wilson to sign. She even directed her husband on what staff to fire and which applicants to employ, filling the Whitehouse with people sympathetic to her. Some historians have argued that Edith Wilson was the President of the United States in everything but name.
3 – The Government’s mind control project
Mind control has always been a common stable in Science Fiction. While certain aspects of mind control do exist in real life, subliminal messaging and hypnosis being two aspects of this, the idea of completing controlling someone was considered absurd. Yet in 1952, during the height of the Cold War, the American Government heard stories of POW’s being mind controlled into working against their homeland. Whether these stories were true or not is unknown but it resulted in the American Government creating the MK-ULTRA programme. The purpose of the programme was to discover what the most successful methods were to extract intelligence from captured enemy agents.
In 1973 the New York Times leaked the existence of the MK-ULTRA program, to the public. President Ford, hoping to regain the trust of the public after the Watergate scandal, agreed to launch an investigation and created the Rockefeller Commission. Unfortunately for Ford, when the details of the programme came to light they did not restore trust in the government. The Rockefeller Commission discovered that the CIA had been kidnapping members of the public and subjecting them to different levels of torture. These methods included waterboarding, drugging, sleep deprivation and beatings. The CIA would choose test subjects by visiting hospitals, prisons and universities with some experiments taking place on American military camps. When some of the participants died as a result of their torture their deaths were framed as suicides. One famous case was that of Frank Olson who drank a cocktail spiked with LSD and fell from a rooftop. When an autopsy was conducted it revealed that Olson had sustained injuries before he died, he had been tortured by the CIA and then given the drug that led to his death. His family received a $750,000 settlement and a personal apology from President Gerald Ford and the then CIA Director William Colby. Another infamous moment in the history of MK-Ultra was Operation Midnight Climax in which prostitutes lured men to CIA warehouses and drugged them while staff watch the effects of this through a one way mirror. George White, a member of the CIA later commented on this operation.
“Of course I was a very minor missionary, actually a heretic, but I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill and cheat, steal, deceive, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the All-Highest?”
George White – 1971
Most alarmingly, MK Ultra had been running for thirty years. During the Rockefeller’s investigation almost all records of MK-ULTRA were destroyed in a deliberate fire. This means that although the public is now aware of the project’s existence the exact number of deaths will forever remain unknown.
4 – The truth about smoking.
The act of smoking is older than people realise. Smoking can be found in ancient rituals dating as far back as 5000 BC and can also be linked to ancient cultures such as the Native Americans. Smoking, as we know it, became popular in the 17th century when tobacco was grown as a cash crop in North America by British settlers and shipped back to England. Although tobacco was regularly smoked for several hundred years and was even prescribed as a form of medicine, its negative health effects were not realised until the 1990’s. However, if you believe one conspiracy theory, the negative effects of smoking were discovered as early as the 1950’s but this fact was withheld by the tobacco companies and world leaders for fear of lost profits.
There has always been resistance to smoking. The first recorded use of a smoking ban was in 1590 and issued by Pope Urban VII. In 1604 King James the first of England commented on the disgusting habit of smoking. Somewhat surprisingly the first study that proved that smoking was harmful to one’s health was conducted by scientists in Nazi Germany. The third Reich attempted to ban smoking outright but this was met by serious resistance by both the German public and by several leaders of the Nazi party.
Following the war, the first medical report that proved there was a positive coloration between smoking and lung cancer was written by Richard Doll in 1950. Sadly it took several years for other doctors in the medical field to agree with this view and longer still for their results to be presented to the British Government. The Government were reluctant to act on this information. Smoking was popular across the world, for some their first cigarette was seen as a right of passage and banning or restricting this would be unpopular with the public which would effect the next election. The Government were also receiving taxes from the tobacco companies which would be lost and many members of the British Government were active smokers.
In 1964 The Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General published a landmark report on the dangers of smoking. This forced the Government to take action. Warning labels were introduced on cigarette packages and the price of tobacco and nicotine were raised to dissuade people from buying them while also limiting the lost profits. By this point, millions of people had died from smoking related illness and thousands more would continue to feed their addiction and shorten their own lives.
5 – Your Government is spying on you
Have you ever read the terms and conditions? Be honest. I’m confident saying that hardly anyone, aside from lawyers and a few paranoid individuals, have read every line in a terms and condition contract. Comedian Michael Mcintyre once make a joke that we all live in fear that one day an Apple employee will turn up at our door with a contract and declare “Hi, we own your house now. Get out.” Is there any truth in that joke?
While Apple owning your house may be a step too far, it is right to say that Apple, or any of the other tech giants, knows more about you than you do. Do you remember what you were doing on this day, two years ago? Your phone does. In February 2014 Edward Snowdon leaked the existence of Operation Optic Nerve, a joint programme between British and American Intelligence Service. The operation revealed that both governments were collecting data from social media accounts and stills from webcams in order to search for domestic terrorism. In a six month time period the Governments had collected 1.8 million still images, some of which contained nudity. It was also revealed that the American Government had access to most electronic devices such as tablets, phones and computers through in-built back door access points. All information uploaded to social media is also shared to the company in question and the Government. By making a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram account you have given the company the following rights:
- Access both the front and the back camera of your device.
- Record you at any time the app is in the foreground.
- Take pictures and videos without telling you.
- Upload the pictures and videos without telling you.
- Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately.
- Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions.
The reason the Government have this data is to search for terrorists but it is worrying to think what other information they have on you.
Here is a scary fact to end the article. When news about operation Optic Nerve broke, I was in the latter half of my first year at university. Our class only had about ten students in it, including myself, two of those students were American while the rest were British. The two American students were outraged by the news articles and began to Google when and where the demonstrations would be so they could join the protest. Everyone else, myself included, did nothing. We shrugged and then carried on with our work. I remember my best friend at the time commenting:
“Shit, now the Government know what porn I’ve been looking at.”
Thank you for reading this scary article. I hope you sleep well tonight.