What Lies Below, Day Forty Six
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
Welcome back! We’re into Tier Nine now; decent mix today. As you’ll see today and going forward, Stanley Kubrick is really big in the conspiracy scene. It’s not that the theories are any more outlandish than much else, and he’s obviously fantastic, but it is interesting that he’s the one that got fixated on.
SMITHSONIAN SUPPRESSION — This all sources back to a tabloid. Allegedly, the Smithsonian had at some point come into possession of lots of ‘giant human skeletons’ and had destroyed all of these a long time ago. This was done to conceal the real history of earth, which was either an ancient aliens thing or a young-earth creationist thing depending on your flavor. There was a claim that the Supreme Court had demanded the Smithsonian declassify(?) this stuff. This wasn’t too long ago, so it quickly made the leap into social media and picked up lots of photoshopped or misrepresented images as ‘proof’ while making the rounds. There’s no evidence of any such SCOTUS ruling or any of these skeletons or anything else, but this one is very tenacious and still pops up from time to time. ‘Extinct race of giants’ is a popular ingredient in a lot of theories, so tapping into it usually guarantees something will stick around.
MORGAN INGRAM STALKER — Morgan Ingram is a young woman who was found dead in her bedroom by her parents. Doctors originally thought it was due to a rare genetic disease, then later changed this and declared it a drug overdose. Many, including her parents, have come to believe this was murder and not suicide. They say her clothing and room were out of order, that she’d been acting a bit odd, that she’d shown signs of physical trauma on discovery, and even that while dying she’d positioned her hands to spell out sign language letters identifying her killer.
Morgan had had issues with an apparent stalker for some time, an issue the family had gone to the police about without much luck. They knew the identity of this person and had been dealing with it for quite a while, but the stalker(a guy named Keenan Vanginkel) was never arrested or charged. The police closed the case, infuriating the family and many others.
Some think the stalker thing is entirely fabricated, though, or being used as a smokescreen for something else.
KRISTINE AMBROSIA — I suppose the best term for her would be ‘performance artist’, though that doesn’t quite fit. She mixed art and music and performance into a collective sort of ritual, which she’d blend with shamanism and other mystic beliefs. Whether this was to induce a sort of collective trance or just shake people up a bit, she made an impression on the late 20th century occult art scene. I don’t know that there’s much conspiracy here, but she definitely had a unique perspective and skillset.
DEATHS OF LAS VEGAS WITNESSES — Not too long ago, a gunman opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas and killed 59 people. Because America is a totally healthy country, everyone just sort of shrugged and moved on and we don’t even talk about it anymore. Isn’t that wild? It didn’t even take long, it was like a couple weeks before we forgot about it! What’s more, the case seems to have all been but memory-holed by both sides of the political spectrum and all associated law agencies. All of this is enough to make you wonder even if you’re not conspiracy-minded. But there’s more!
Within a month or so of the attack, eight different witnesses died. A couple in a car accident, a couple seemingly of sudden illness, another of a different shooting, and so on. This has led to folks digging into their associated social media accounts and determining that they were all silenced for having seen too much. You know the drill. While the witnesses of chaotic events like the Vegas shooting will often give contradictory or confused reports, the cops/government/everyone basically pretending this shooting never happened leads to people really digging in on conspiracies about it. Without much of a solid ‘official story’ to go off, folks are going to put one together for themselves — and most of them will do that by combining the 10 most recent things they head about it on social media. But I don’t want to sound dismissive because it seems pretty clear there’s some level of cover-up happening, though as to the reasoning behind it, your guess is as good as mine.
VOLCANOES=NUCLEAR POWER — This isn’t really a thing, I don’t think? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it really discussed, nor do I see anything online. This may be a sort of bastardized version of Scientology’s thing with volcanoes, which are where Xenu(bad guy) imprisoned and/or blew up the souls of aliens with nukes.
FIELD CONSCIOUSNESS — There are some different varieties of this, but the basic gist is that our brains create an electromagnetic field and that field is what we consider our consciousness or soul or whatever. Now whether it’s something that persists without a body, whether our brain is basically just channeling it from elsewhere, etc are all up to individual theorists. A lot of genuine scientists look into this too, but from a far more clinical perspective.
VERDE TREASURE — A millionaire named Forrest Fenn gathered together a bunch of treasure(gold coins, precious stones, etc), put it in a fancy box, and hid it somewhere. It’s allegedly somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, and Fenn gave out clues that he claims will lead someone right to it. A lot of people have gone looking for this treasure, which is worth millions, but no one has found it(or at least not come forward about it). A number of people have even died in the hunt. It’s probably still out there!
‘STINGRAY’ TRACKERS, DC — Stingrays are devices that can track cell phones, interfere with calls, etc. Cops and the government use them all the time and in recent years rumors of their deployment against protestors have become common. Still, the government got real huffy a couple years ago when they found some of these in DC. The Department of Homeland Security and other government branches were quite offended that other people or organizations might be using the same spy gear used by the Department of Homeland Security and other government branches. Not too much of a conspiracy here, every agency and government is using this kind of stuff all the time against one another and their own citizens.
HIGHWAY TROLLS — There’s a sort of subdivision of haunting/cryptid lore specifically built around highways. Endless, vast, often in the middle of nowhere, sometimes very lonely, traveled for years by all sorts of people — highways are a weird sort of liminal world. You get your usual ghostly hitchhiker stories, your stories of serial killers and phantom trucks and things too. More than a few stories revolve around ‘trolls’ lurking around certain highways(sometimes treacherous curves, sometimes out in the open), which look somewhat humanoid but very haggard and strange. Now, could this be weary truckers catching a glimpse of a hitchhiker or homeless person? Possibly. But there’s a lot of open road out there and a lot of strange things hovering around it.
TSAVO GHOSTS WERE WERELIONS — In turn of the century Kenya, a construction experiment ran into trouble when a pair of lions(male, though neither had manes, called Ghost and Darkness) started killing workers. This continued for some time, and it wasn’t just attacks of opportunity — the lions allegedly dragged people out of tents and went to great lengths to go over or through erected barricades. While it’s generally believed the death toll was in the couple-dozen range(which is still a lot!), some stories put it up past 100. There’s still debate over just what drove the lions to this, as such behavior is pretty uncharacteristic. More mundane suggestions include them finding dead corpses in the nearby river and getting a taste for it, or being driven to it by a shortage in other prey.
But you’re not here for the mundane. Some legends suggest that they were werelions, perhaps indigenous people trying to push out the British colonizers or perhaps workers rebelling or perhaps just predators who’d come from elsewhere. This isn’t a widespread theory, but it would explain why the lions seemed so much more intelligent and determined than one would expect. I think this also made it into games like World of Darkness which like to add supernatural twists to real life events, which sometimes then leaks back into urban legend.
ANTI-NATALISM — Not really a conspiracy! Anti-natalists are against procreation. This comes in varying degrees, and the label is sometimes applied to people who are celibate but don’t actually have an issue with procreation. While it can crop up in a religious context, it’s usually more a philosophical one. You see it among younger edgelords and very-very-very hardline environmentalists the most, in my experience.
TWIN TOWERS NUKED — Just another one of the more fringe 9/11 theories. While 9/11 conspiracies are pretty mainstream and widespread, most people never encountered more than the “inside job” level. It goes a lot deeper, with missiles and holograms and extra planes and, yes, even nukes. Why? Generally the ‘evidence’ for this one is that there wasn’t enough debris so some of it must have been vaporized which means a nuke was used. Also, a lot of people in the area got sick with various things afterward, which would happen if a nuke had gone off. Case closed!
EYES WIDE SHUT KIDNAPPING ENDING — Spoilers ahead, obviously. This isn’t really that weird? Unless there’s some sort of rumored lost media piece I am totally unaware of, I think this is just a theory about the movie. There’s a part toward the end where three men(all characters who appear earlier in the film at different bits) walk past Helena, and that’s the last time you see her. It’s been theorized(not by many) that this was because they were kidnapping her. I…guess? Kubrick isn’t above all sorts of subtle things, but it’s still kind of a stretch in my opinion.
And that’s it for today, folks! Thanks for swinging by. We’ll have 13 more tomorrow, see you then!