On July 20, 1969, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong stepped upon the surface of the Moon, while Michael Collins piloted the command module in orbit, marking the first time humans had reached the celestial body…that is, if you believe the “official story.” If you’re skeptical, you’re not alone. Anywhere between 6% to 20% of Americans believe the event was a fabrication. The Flat Earth Society has accused NASA of filming a staged landing, in a conspiracy involving Walt Disney Studios, Arthur C. Clarke, and Stanley Kubrick.
Lunar landing hoaxes are not the only space-related conspiracies stoners have been reading and debating about for the last 50 years. Theories about alien contact, flat Earth and elaborate cover-ups abound, but the following are some of the more popular conspiracy theories that have endured for decades.
Nibiru, 12th Planet
Many conspiracists contend that our history and current society has been influenced by alien astronauts, one of those were Zecharia Sitchin, who promoted theories surrounding a planet called Nibiru. This planet is home, according to Sitchin’s theories, to a race of ancient astronauts called Anunnaki, responsible for the creation of Sumerian culture on Earth. Stitchin also contends that the Anunnaki genetically engineered Homo sapiens to enslave them and replace Anunnaki gold miners.
In the summer of 1947 a flying object crashed at a ranch near the New Mexican town of Roswell, which the US military eventually identified as a weather balloon. Initially, the military itself announced recovery of a “flying disk,” later clarifying it was a weather balloon, which we now know was actually observing Soviet atomic weapons tests. For decades the incident lied mostly dormant until Charles Berlitz and William Moore’s book “The Roswell Incident” was published in 1980. Their version of events holds that aliens were observing nuclear weapons testing in New Mexico when lightning hit their craft, causing it to crash, killing the extraterrestrials on board, which was then followed by a government cover-up.
As time went on, the conspiracy grew in complexity, and culminated in a fabricated 17 minute film of a purported autopsy of one of the alien bodies recovered at Roswell. Released in 1995, the film was broadcast nationally by the Fox TV network, airing 3 times, seeing ratings go up with each subsequent broadcast. Eventually, the source of the footage, Londoner Ray Santilli, admitted it was a fake, but says it’s based on real footage provided to him by a retired military cameraman who wished to remain anonymous. Santilli says the film has degraded to point of being unwatchable, save for a few frames, which he claims are embedded into the staged reconstruction, but has never identified which frames are from the original film.
The notion that the Earth is flat rather than a globe, despite overwhelming confirmation to the contrary, has roots in fringe interpretation of the Bible. English author Samuel Rowbotham published ‘Zetetic Astronomy: Earth is not a Globe’ in 1865, motivated by his particular interpretation of the Bible, he and his followers aimed to defend their notion of astronomy, believing contemporary astronomy incompatible with the Bible, and that Antarctica is an ice wall along the edge of the planet.
Religious inspiration for belief in a flat Earth has waned over the years, with modern believers more likely to be motivated by a distrust of government and international bodies such as the UN. Many “flat earthers” believe in vast conspiracies involving groups, from governments to private airlines, in on the cover-up and the dissemination of what they believe to be lies. Last year, this conspiracy theory led daredevil Mike Hughes to spend $20,000 to home-build a rocket, in order to observe the Earth’s shape from a higher vantage. Hughes reached 1,875 feet before hard landing, but remains resolute in his belief in a flat Earth.
In the same vein as Stitchin’s claims, British conspiracy theorist David Icke believes that blood-drinking, shape-shifting, reptilian aliens, or alien-human hybrids, live in underground bases and secretly run the world’s governments and economies. These aliens come from the Alpha Draconis star system, about 300 light years away, and Icke has connected the supposed alien overlords to powerful families, such as the Merovingians, the Rothschilds, Bushes, and the British Royals.
Perhaps one of the weirdest alien conspiracy theories, Esoteric Hitlerism combines mysticism, Biblical scripture, extraterrestrials, and white supremacy. One of its more prominent proponents, Miguel Serrano, was a Chilean-born Neo-Nazi, and believed that an ancient race of aliens lived in an ethereal state until they saw decided to take human form, as the Aryan race, to magnanimously rule the other races. This golden age, according to Serrano’s works, was the Bible’s Eden, the fall from grace came as a result of miscegenation, and that in order to restore paradise, those of Aryan descent must work to purify their bloodline. Oh and Hitler survived WWII and is living in Antartica.
Cannabis can inspire deep thought and critical thinking, but before diving deep into weird space theories on YouTube, remember, anyone can say anything on the internet, it doesn’t necessarily make it true.