Con or convincing: 5 popular conspiracy theories

  1. One small step for mankind?
    1. On the 20th July 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the moon...or did he? Lots of people think that it was all a huge hoax staged in a movie studio to convince the world that in the case of ‘the US vs the Soviet Union: space race edition’ the US had won. The arguments aren’t completely insane - there are some weird shadows on the photos that don’t make sense, the flag flutters oddly. And there are some unanswered questions that certainly raise an eyebrow - why didn’t the sun’s radiation hurt the crew? Why aren’t there any stars? And what’s that lettering on the so-called rocks? NASA, along with a whole bunch of experts from around the world, say it’s all rubbish, and independent scientists say that the rocks brought back from the moon definitely didn’t come from the earth. The actual truth? Who knows...
  2. Science fact or science fiction?
    1. It’s hard not to assume the *face-palm* position when someone tells you that global warming is just a big hoax, but as recently as 2015 one in five Americans didn’t believe it. It’s not just America either - the Chinese still need some convincing too. And it’s no surprise that it’s the countries that use the most fossil fuels that don’t believe it - they seem to reckon that scientists are saying it so they can get paid to do more research about it. In spite of a near-worldwide acceptance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, climate-change deniers still think that the damage that’s happening is as a result of trying to find new, cleaner sources of energy rather than overuse of fossil fuels like coal or gas. So who do we believe?
  3.  A wave of doubt
    1. On Boxing Day 2004 a huge wave with the power of 23 THOUSAND atomic bombs crashed into the coastlines of 11 countries including Thailand, Indonesia, India and Somalia and claimed almost 228,000 lives. Now, no-one doubts that it happened - but there is a debate about why. Most believe it was a result of a huge underwater earthquake, but newspapers in the Middle East thought that the epic wave was caused by a secret nuclear test conducted by the Indian military, helped by the US. There isn’t much evidence of this nuclear test, and scientists at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said it would be impossible for a nuclear test to produce such a huge wave, so it looks unlikely. But never say never…
  4. Flying or lying?
    1. 9/11 - the day that’s remembered for the greatest loss of life on US soil as a result of terrorist attacks. It shocked the world. It was hard to understand the pictures on live TV were real, so it’s no surprise that this horrific day spawned not one conspiracy theory but dozens. One of them is that the Twin Towers weren’t destroyed by the planes that flew into them, but by a series of explosions inside the towers planned and executed by the US Secret Service. And why would they do that? To give them an excuse to go to war with the terrorists. There are a bunch of facts about what happened that don’t quite make sense either. Why didn’t the US shoot the planes down? Is it just a weird coincidence that the plane that crashed into the Pentagon hit a nearly empty part of the building? How can a plane made of aluminium bring down a huge building made of steel? The 9/11 Commission Report was supposed to put an end to these theories, but rather than silence them it’s viewed by the conspiracy theory community as proof that the horrific events of that day were indeed an inside job. 
  5. Seeing the light yet?
    1. Taking the final spot in this quintet of conspiracies is the daddy of them all. The existence of an organisation called the Illuminati, which controls the world and every single important organisation. So what do the Illuminati actually do, other than provide fuel for loads of Hollywood movies and TV shows? Anything that suits them! From manipulating the stock markets to supporting coups and feeding the very news you read everyday. Apparently,  proof of its existence is right under our nose - the pyramid on the dollar bill is, they say, the Illuminati’s logo; the OK sign we make with our forefinger and thumb is their secret sign that their god likes what you’re up to; and the fact that Lady Gaga regularly uses their all-seeing eye symbol on her CD covers and costumes is a sure-fire sign that she’s involved.