This month is the anniversary of the Moon landing – or is it? Despite widespread debunkings by exasperated experts, many still think Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin never actually stepped on the lunar surface, and that the whole thing was a vast PR stunt to “beat” the Soviets in the Cold War space race.
But, while everyone’s heard of the Moon landing conspiracy theory, some others are less well known – despite becoming part of contemporary folklore…
The Secret of Denver Airport
Built in the mid-1990s, Denver International Airport has inspired its own sinister mythology. Conspiracy theorists point to an array of “evidence” suggesting the airport is actually one of the headquarters of the secret rulers of the world.
Take the sheer scale of the airport. Does it really NEED to be twice the size of Manhattan? Could this be because the airport is actually a mere front for a secret underground bunker complex, ready to be used as a concentration camp for US citizens when the one-world government takes over?
Then there’s the ominous art dotted around the place. One is the Blue Mustang, a genuinely sinister sculpture of a blue horse with blazing red eyes. If Hell had horses, they’d look like this. Damningly, the Blue Mustang, or “Blucifer” as some call it, also killed its own creator. Artist Luis Jiménez bled to death when a section of the sculpture fell and impaled him in his studio, like in a scene from The Omen. And now this demonic structure stands vigil at Denver Airport – why?
Conspiracy theorists point to an array of “evidence” suggesting the airport is actually one of the headquarters of the secret rulers of the world.
And why are there murals inside the airport depicting terrifying soldiers with gas masks, along with images of suspiciously cheery-looking children from around the globe? Debunkers claim the murals are simply works of protest art heralding a utopian future, but conspiracy theorists say it’s a visual representation of the imminent one-world government. And then there’s the stone slab in the airport engraved with a Masonic symbol, along with the words “New World Airport Commission”. More proof the New World Order is at work?
Paul is Dead
To most music lovers around the world, Paul McCartney is a living legend. To a minority, he’s been dead for more than half a century. This is the notorious “Paul is Dead” urban myth, whose exact origins are still a matter of debate. What we do know for sure is that, sometime in the late 60s, a rumour started going around university campuses that the Beatle had been killed in a car accident and replaced with a lookalike.
The random rumours coalesced into a tangible myth thanks to an article by young journalist Fred LaBour, called “McCartney Dead; New Evidence Brought to Light”. It opened with the words, “Paul McCartney was killed in an automobile accident in early November, 1966 after leaving EMI recording studios tired, sad, and dejected”, and pointed to coded messages in Beatles music and merchandise.
Take the Abbey Road cover on the zebra crossing. Is this really a funeral procession, with John Lennon as the white-clad priest, Ringo Starr as the black-clad undertaker, George Harrison as the denim-clad grave digger and the barefoot, suited Paul McCartney as the corpse? Then there’s the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band imagery, featuring Paul wearing an arm patch reading OPD – which allegedly stands for “Officially Pronounced Dead”. Playing certain Beatles songs backwards was also thought to yield clues that Paul is, indeed, dead.
"Paul McCartney was killed in an automobile accident in early November, 1966 after leaving EMI recording studios tired, sad, and dejected."
Fred LaBour later admitted his article was entirely made up, and was shocked that his satirical allegations were picked up by the mainstream media, creating a conspiracy theory that persists to this day.
The Lost Cosmonauts
A lesser-known cousin of the fake Moon landing theory is the “Lost Cosmonauts” theory. Its proponents claim Yuri Gagarin was NOT the first human in space, and that previous Soviet missions were covered up when they went catastrophically wrong. The rumours date back to 1959 – a few years before the Gagarin mission – when top space scientist Hermann Oberth claimed he’d seen US intelligence reports stating a number of cosmonauts had died while attempting to enter space.
A year later, Robert A. Heinlein – author of Starship Troopers – published an article claiming that, while visiting the Soviet bloc in 1960, he was told that a manned mission to space had been launched. It was later speculated that such stories were honest mistakes based on early missions which used dummies in place of real humans.
Yuri Gagarin was NOT the first human in space, and that previous Soviet missions were covered up when they went catastrophically wrong.
That said, one name often linked to the theory is Vladimir Ilyushin, a pilot some say was actually the first man in space, but whose success had to be covered up when his space capsule flew off course and landed in China rather than the Soviet Union. He was promptly imprisoned, forcing the Soviets to conceal the whole story to avoid international embarrassment and later launch a new mission – this one with Yuri Gagarin.
The Deliberate Sinking of the Titanic
We know the Titanic sank after being torn open by an iceberg. But was this a deliberate act to murder a trio of important passengers? According to this outlandish theory, a sinister organisation – perhaps the Illuminati, perhaps the Jesuits – wanted to get rid of business magnates Benjamin Guggenheim, Isa Strauss and John Jacob Astor IV, because they apparently opposed the formation of the US Federal Reserve.
This major change to the US banking system took place in 1913, a year after the Titanic sank. By removing those three prominent, outspoken voices, the powers-that-be were able to take unprecedented control of the nation’s finances. Captain Edward Smith was a willing henchman of these forces, deliberately ramming the ship into the iceberg on what was effectively a suicide mission to eliminate the three millionaires.
Evidence for this is non-existent, with the theory finding a new lease of life in the meme-filled corners of the Internet. Some point to the presence of Father Francis Browne, a Jesuit who took a number of photos on board before leaving the ship when it docked briefly in Ireland. Browne was given a telegram saying “GET OFF THAT SHIP”. This was sent by his Jesuit superiors who knew the Titanic was doomed (if you’re a conspiracy theorist) or was just an innocuous message which took on darker significance in retrospect (if you’re not).