What Lies Below, Day Forty Eight
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
This is What Lies Below, I’m Rob, and you’re here to see 13 more bite-sized explainers on topics carved off the Conspiracy Iceberg meme. Not a bad mix today. I’m seeing a high density of stuff that isn’t really all that conspiratorial or weird, though, but rather just kind of philosophies or scientific theories that sound cool. Still neat, but doesn’t leave a lot of room to chit chat about. Oh well!
INSTITUE OF NOETIC SCIENCES — A “scientific” organization founded by a former astronaut, among others, that look into supernatural phenomenon — mostly parapsychology things like psychic abilities, alternate healing techniques, and so on. They do research, hand out grants, and publish articles. Known for appearing in a Dan Brown novel(the contents of which people often tend to just accept are real) and also for the ‘Global Consciousness Project’, in which random number generators run continuously and are then compared to real world events to see if certain patterns emerge — i.e. when the whole world’s mood changes or attention shifts, if there is some measured shift in the ~energy~ of the planet.
ANTI-LIFE ETHICS — Not very different from anti-natalism further up the iceberg. It takes various forms, but again just the stance that life(sometimes human life, sometimes life in general) is bad. As opposed to being a strictly ‘I hate it all’ view, this is usually filtered through varying perspectives to say that less life would actually be a good thing. Again like anti-natalism, not many people genuinely believe the whole version of this outside edgelord types and a few scattered religious or philosophical fanatics.
ETERNAL PRESENT — This means different things to different people. Enlightenment, Nirvana, Transcendence, etc. You go to a place where time(and often ego and desire and most other things) simply don’t exist for you. This is reached by religious faith, by meditation and trance, by drugs, or sometimes even spontaneously. Not really that obscure or weird for this deep on the iceberg!
SEWER BLOB — About a decade ago, give or take, a video made the rounds of a strange, fleshy object that seemed to be growing on the walls of a sewer tunnel in North Carolina. It was clearly organic and very much alive, pulsing and moving and appearing to react to the presence of the camera. The videos are still all over and it’s definitely bizarre. People ran wild with theories, with most thinking it was some kind of prank(ARGs were getting hot at the time) or some sort of egg sac. It was later confirmed to be a large colony of tubifex worms, though to this day not everyone is convinced.
3RD MAN ON THE ROPE — This (or ‘Third Man Theory’) is a term for the recurring phenomenon of people going through some sort of great difficulty were joined by a spirit or divine presence or something else. The ‘rope’ bit comes probably because it seems to happen a lot with climbers and those engaged in similar rugged outdoorsy adventures. A lot of psychologists think it’s just an automatic coping mechanism for some people.
OLD WEST GIANT GRASSHOPPERS — I think this all boils down to an image that used to make the rounds on the older internet. It’s an old photo of a man seemingly holding up a giant grasshopper he’d shot. The photo is pretty clearly a fake, but folks love giant bug stories. Many decades ago, there was a small cottage industry around postcards of this style — though it’s unclear if this photo is genuinely from that time, or made simply to look like it was one of those.
ABIOGENIC OIL — Oil, as its understood by the scientific community, is created by the breakdown of biological organisms. The process takes a long time and as a result, oil is believed to be a finite resource that we can’t really replenish easily. The counter-theory is that it isn’t made of biological material at all, but is a geological phenomenon(or that there is some of both). ‘Hydrocarbons’ formed by the Earth have been found, but never in significant amounts. It does appear technically possible for such hydrocarbons to form(others believe they came via asteroids), but no one has been able to show that oil(or natural gas) is abiogenic. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the theory has generally only reached the mainstream when being boosted by right-wing types like Limbaugh who have ideological(or financial) reasons for trying to convince people that oil is infinite, abiogenic, and nothing we should break our dependence on.
‘THE OCEAN AT NIGHT’ — This is a little broad so I’m not sure exactly what it is. Did a little digging to try and find out and it seems narrowed down to two possibilities.
First is that an artificial sun was/is built in the Gulf of Aden by an assortment of possible governments and agencies, and this attracted the attention of deep-dwelling ocean entities best left undisturbed. Believe it or not, there are even Wikileaks emails from Very Important People in the Intelligence Brokering business talking about the phenomenon in the Gulf of Aden(not so much the sea monsters though).
The second, and what I think is probably more what was intended, is that the ocean is scary and huge and mysterious and that all is amplified by many orders of magnitude at night. At night, there is a bit of a change of behavior in the ocean. Little things come up closer to the surface, bigger things that eat them come up and flourish, predators who rely on vision make themselves scarce, and other things come up to replace them. This forms a chain of increasingly big and strange things chasing one another up from the deeper and deeper parts of the sea.
SHIRLEY CROMATIE’S ‘TRANCE’ — In the 70s, a woman named Shirley Cromartie got busted for shoplifting some clothing. The thing that stands out is her story: she had been approached by a woman wearing a wig who released a ‘jasmine’-like scent into the air, then commanded her to commit these thefts. She’d fallen into a trance as a result and done as told. Most people don’t take this seriously, but she has a tenuous connection to President Nixon(she worked at one of his retreats) and so it kind of hangs on at the edges.
LOST WATERGATE TAPES — We kind of already covered this earlier with the Missing 18.5 Minutes thing. Whereas that one is more documented, this one is a bit more of a conjecture thing. Are there Watergate tapes that were never released? Maybe! What they are, why they went missing, where they are now, etc are all sort of just open to speculation.
OJ COVERED FOR SON — Pretty clear by the title. There’s a theory that OJ’s son Jason committed the crimes and OJ took the heat off him. The reasoning is circumstantial but not absurd: he had ex girlfriends who said he was violent and his alibi didn’t hold water. Still, it’s generally not given much credit and is largely based around the efforts of one former detective who made a bit of a name for himself pushing this theory.
KALLARA B — I’m pretty sure this means “Kerala B”. Kerala, India is home to the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. It is old and held in high regard, and has six ‘vaults’ within. Five of them have been opened over the years, and contained all sorts of treasures and riches. The sixth, ‘Vault B’, has been kept sealed by the family stewarding the temple because it is allegedly cursed. There is an ongoing local debate there on whether it should be opened or not, but so far it remains sealed. Most people think it’s just more gold/stones/etc, but some think there may be other powerful relics or items of mystical importance inside.
US FORCES BOMBED BAGHDAD AIRPORT — I’m going to be honest; I’m not 100% sure what this is referring to. The US bombed the airport recently when it assassinated Qasem Soleimani, but that’s an openly reported thing. Maybe the suggestion is that the earlier ‘missile strike’ he was blamed for was an inside job? There have been other minor attacks on the airport over the years from various factions. The US ‘captured’ the airport during its initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, so maybe this is suggesting they bombed it then? I’m not saying the US wouldn’t/didn’t do a lot of major bad stuff at that time(to be clear, they didn’t belong there and they did lots of war crimes!), but I think they tried to keep the airport in one piece so they could use it.
It’s a little strange to see such mainstream things like OJ and Watergate still crop up here and there at this depth. I suppose we’ll see what happens after we breach the halfway mark!