What Lies Below, Day Forty One
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
Welcome back! What Lies Below is a daily list of 13 bite-sized writeups from the vast Conspiracy Iceberg meme. There are so many podcasts and youtubers and blogs covering this stuff that I honestly don’t know if there’s much I could add in the way of big detailed explorations, so the purpose of WLB is more to give you a quick taste of all this stuff. If something holds your interest, take a look and odds are you can find more about it!
HUMAN INTELLIGENCE COMES FROM CANNIBALISM — Kind of self-explanatory. This idea pops up here and there from different angles, though a book in the 70s called ‘The Beginning Was the End’ is kind of the tip of the spear for most of it. The idea is that our ancestors stumbled onto the addictive effects of eating brains and kept at it so much that they began evolving more intelligence and abilities and basically turned into what we now consider humans. Oscar Maerth, the author of the book, went on to suggest we also gained psychic powers back then but have since lost them and all of our current faults are due to this disconnect and having brains too big for what nature intended, and that we’d go back to being cannibals soon. Maybe so, Oscar. Maybe so.
MODERN CORRESPONDENCE WITH PRESTER JOHNS LAND — Prester John is a legendary Christian ruler who may or may not have really existed. His kingdom was allegedly somewhere in Africa or Asia and was very strong and lucrative. Mentions of him pop up throughout history, though there are a lot of variations — and it seems like scholars lean toward him being probably just a coagulation of various stories about early missionaries and church leaders.
Others say it was less a physical place and more a kingdom on the edge of normal human perception, somewhat in the way Arcadia/the Fae world is often portrayed as hovering just a little beyond our reach.
As far as modern correspondence with this land, I don’t know of much talk about this. I’ve seen it thrown around a little by people on the periphery of Christian mysticism as a sort of astral-plane type of thing, but that’s about it.
SHIPWRECK VANISHINGS, JAVA SEA FLOOR — The Java Sea is between Java and Indonesia, and was the site of some WW2 naval conflict. Three Dutch vessels were sunk and now they’re gone. These aren’t exactly rowboats, either. It’s one thing to scavenge parts or cargo out of a large sunken ship, but to completely remove three such ships is a huge operation.
There’s conjecture about what could have happened but the leading theory, and honestly what makes the most sense, is that scavengers from various places just pulled them apart over the years and enjoyed relatively un-policed waters. Salvaging old crashed vessels is big business in some corners.
That said, the ships were deep and large so it is a really curious situation to see them seemingly completely gone. Worth at least raising a brow at.
ALIENS CAUSED BUBONIC PLAGUE — I’ve never really seen this anywhere. Some people during the Plague blamed it on a celestial lineup of planets, which maybe sort of counts? And if you think that sounds ridiculous, like 75% of people think where a planet was when they were born decides what kind of movies they like.
GHOST CONDENSATE — This isn’t what you probably think it is, and I’m sorry about that. It’s very complicated astrophysics stuff, though, so I cannot explain it well. ‘Ghost Condensate’ is a proposed ‘fluid’ of ghostly particles with no mass. Supposedly, it is basically filling space — all the dark empty parts that we think are void. Kind of like the aether stuff much further up, maybe? I don’t know! It’s not a widely believed theory.
GULF WAR DID NOT TAKE PLACE — Title of a book(which is a collection of essays) and a theory of the same name. It’s not a widely believed thing, at least not in totality. The thing is, the book isn’t exactly saying “it was all made up”. Rather the point is more that the things depicted by the media were largely happening, but were repackaged and resold as a ‘war’ when the events were not a war and instead just unchecked imperialism. Which, yeah, correct. I was jussst old enough during the Gulf War to recall how it played out, and it was basically presented like action television. Just a nightly recap of Uncle Sam kicking some vague bad guy’s ass in an easy, quick operation. Even as a kid you got the sense it wasn’t attached to reality.
AMERICAN EUGENICS SOCIETIES — There have been multiple US organizations promoting this, though the most well known was the ‘American Eugenics Society’ which ended sometime in the 70s. It was, uh, pretty much about promoting eugenics. Eugenicists are often but not always deeply racist; sometimes they target people with disabilities or just people who they think fail to reach varying criteria. But, mostly, it’s just people being really racist. They had enough sway in the US to get a lot of people sterilized and to otherwise make life harder for a lot of folks. This is still happening, by the way. ICE got busted for sterilizing inmates of one of their camps pretty recently. You’d think people would care about something that wild but most people have already forgotten. Weird how presidents of both parties seem fine with it!
FRACKING DEATHS — I don’t know if this is supposed to be saying that fracking is killing lots of people, or if it’s saying fracking isn’t actually killing anyone. There’s been some studies suggesting that fracking-related pollution has killed a couple dozen people or so in a direct way, but this gets pushback by the bajillionaire fracking companies and the internet pundits who cash paychecks from them. You know the ones. It’s also obliterating the environment and probably going to create cumulative harm on all living things as the planet spirals toward collapse, BUT on the other hand a couple capitalists will have a little extra money they’ll never even spend anyway.
THE PARKLAND CONSPIRACY — You can probably guess. Every time there’s a mass shooting in the US, especially a school shooting, we get basically the same theory from all the same people. This time around, a shooter killed 17 people at Parkland High School and the boring old “false flag crisis actors takin our guns!!!!!” stuff was instantly out there. There is a variation on this one, however, as a number of Parkland survivors became fairly politically active in the aftermath. The most famous of them, David Hogg, was the son of an FBI agent. You can probably guess the general flavor of what followed: it was all orchestrated via the usual means in order to not ONLY take our guns, but create a new crop of liberal propaganda agents empowered by the tragedy and bla bla bla. This one got extra horsepower because some of the people in Trump’s orbit would occasionally give it a boost. Hell, there’s a current sitting Congresswoman who is on tape harassing David Hogg about this stuff.
It’s now several years and several mass shootings later. David Hogg is busy having twitter fights with the MyPillow guy and everyone still has their guns. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this theory pans out!
ANCIENT HISTORY HAPPENED IN MIDDLE AGES — Just a variation of creationism/young earth, though this one is usually tied to the ‘Phantom Time’ item higher on the iceberg. According to that theory, the church made some arbitrary ‘adjustments’ to dates and things when creating the calendar. It isn’t highly considered by many historians or scientists and doesn’t stand on a whole lot of evidence. Still, variations of it persist.
MY IMMORTAL TRUE AUTHORSHIP — Sure, why not.
‘My Immortal’ is a legendary piece of fan-fiction that appeared online in the mid 00s. I’m not going to spend a lot of time summarizing it, so we’ll stay simple: it is an incredibly long piece telling the story of a self-insert author character’s adventures at Hogwarts, but run through an edgy goth filter where everyone is an emo satanist in love with everyone else. Everything I just wrote doesn’t necessarily make it unique, however. Horny emo self-insert pieces are a dime a dozen. This one stood out due to length and due to being, in the opinion of a lot of people, perhaps the worst piece of fanfiction ever. I would give that title to 50 Shades of Grey or Fallout: Equestria, but that’s a story for another day.
The author’s identity has long been in question, with there seemingly being multiple editors and writers at the helm. Mostly, the quest is due to people wanting to know if it was all a purposefully bad goof or not. I’m of the opinion that yes, it is obviously written like this on purpose as a goof. But who knows! Anyway, lots of leads have appeared and plenty of people have taken credit. If anything, the weirdest part of this story is that there has been a small but dedicated community revolving around this mystery for 15 years. But WAIT! There is new conjecture that, allegedly, a significant part of all of this has all been one person just making lots of identities over the years to argue with themselves!
There are a couple in-depth youtube essays on this that are probably worth the watch!
BENJAMIN BATHURST’S FATE — British diplomat around 1800~ who just vanished one day. He was in a room in an inn one night and then he was gone, according to accounts. There was a lot of conjecture about what may have happened, though most people thought(and still think) he was murdered. Supposedly, bits of his clothing were found in days and weeks following — but no Benjamin. He was a fairly important sort of fellow, and there was a manhunt, but no dice. I mean, there’s mystery around what happened but it’s honestly not THAT weird. There’s nothing pointing toward like, cryptids or UFOs or anything supernatural.
THE NUKE IS THE ALCHEMICAL HERMAPHRODITE — I’m not sure. I think that this is based on the idea that nuclear fission is like fusing the male and female. There’s tiny little snips of articles and texts hinting at this idea out there, but that’s about all I know.
Wasn’t expecting the My Immortal thing on here. Not quiiiite a conspiracy, but I guess that’s also part of my age showing. Internet legends with murky origins will probably make up the bulk of weird stories in ten years.