What Lies Below, Day Nine
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
Hello fellow weirdos, welcome back to What Lies Below. We’re getting started on the Second Tier today, and we’re finally getting away from the lists being dominated by very well-known conspiracy theories. We’re still seeing a lot of fairly standard terminology, though; things like ‘panspermia’ which are just old theories that aren’t terribly weird compared to their list-mates. Nonetheless, it’s overall trending in the right direction!
A DAY WITH SPONGEBOB — This is one of our first ‘Lost Media’ things, but I don’t think it was ever actually made. Some guy wanted to make a weird Spongebob “mockumentary” that would be live action, with Spongebob living on the surface and doing normal person things. It apparently got pretty far along in preproduction(it even has an Amazon listing!), but funding kept becoming an issue and so vague promises of future crowdfunding projects were made. Small traces of it exist here and there have been plenty of hunts for the film, but so far only scraps of script and info from the creator have turned up. Because it has proven so ephemeral, it seems to have a Holy Grail status in certain corners — though in the last couple years the hunt seems to have cooled.
DOLPHIN INTELLIGENCE — Dolphins are smart! I’m sorry, there’s just not much to this one. They’re smart though, and cool! Some people think they’re smart because of aliens or they have special powers. A lot of this stems from the experiments and findings of Doctor Lilly, a guy who from the 60s onward was extremely interested in two things: psychedelic experiences and communicating with dolphins. He made great leaps in both fields, and created ‘The Dolphin House’: a half-flooded house where a dolphin co-habitated with his assistant Margaret for several months. During this time she’d work to teach the dolphin language while Lilly observed OR did a bunch of LSD and sealed himself in a sensory deprivation tank and communed with the dolphins telepathically. You know, sometimes one and sometimes the other. Also this resulted in human/dolphin sexual contact. Okay done with this one, moving on!!!!!!
KALI YUGA — This is part of a Hindu teaching reagrding cycles the world goes through. The Kali Yuga is the fourth and final one, and is bad news: strife and conflict and terror as far as the eye can see. We’re about 5,000 years through it. The bad news is that we still have 425,000 or so years to go. The good news is that after that, it’s smooth sailing!
SEX MAGICK — Hey I don’t know who needs to hear this but you can just say ‘Magic’ when talking about real magic now, it’s fine. We’re not 14 year olds reading our first Wicca book anymore! Anyway, this is real broad and can mean a variety of things! It might be using sex as part of ritual, it might mean using the moment of orgasm to ‘charge’ a spell. You get the idea. If you’re new to magic and that considerably older person teaching you about stuff keeps mentioning this, please distance yourself!
OZ FACTOR — This is a term started by and used mostly by UFO people, but I have heard it used in other instances. It’s a little hard to describe, but basically it’s that sensation you’ve been ‘shifted’ into a world much like yours, but different in subtle ways you pick up on. It’s supposedly something often experienced by people who’ve seen UFOs or been abducted, but a lot of people in paranormal and occult circles describe similar phenomenon. Even a lot of less-overtly-metaphysical conspiracies will push a flavor of it by suggesting that once you buy into their theory, the whole world changes around you. I think the term “liminal” has become a lot more popular for capturing this phenomenon now.
PETRODOLLAR — This is a weird thing to be on the list. It’s any US dollar paid to oil producing countries for oil. I mean obviously there’s a lot of conspiracy around oil and the way the US handles foreign policy, but I don’t know of anything specifically about this term. NEXT!
UEMIYA — I think this means Tomoki Uemiya, a prolific Japanese author(if I’m wrong do not yell at me). He’s allegedly able to channel with spirits and aliens and all sorts of beings, and just so happens to make a lot of money doing so. Just about all his work seems to only exist in Japanese and he’s fairly obscure outside of the country. Not too much to say here!
MALTHUSIANISM — At the core, it’s just believing that population growth will outpace the things required to sustain it and lead to bad stuff. They think that due to finite resources, growth needs to be kept in check. This one gets pretty close to eugenics and you can guess the sorts of people who like to use it as a fancy camouflage for their ideology!
HAARP — The “High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program”, established in the 90s. It’s weather control. The government sort of couches it in all kinds of language suggesting it’s just about studying the atmosphere and helping develop communication technology and bla bla bla, but it’s weather control. There’s a lot of conspiracy theories that touch on it but at this point the whole ‘president used haarp to do a hurricane lol’ joke is just part of popular culture.
LIMBIC BRAIN — The limbic system is just part of the brain so I don’t know why this is on the WEIRD STUFF list??? It handles emotional responses to things. I’m sure there are conspiracy theories out there about how this part is being stimulated or controlled but I haven’t really heard any. Dumb! NEXT!
AIDS SPREAD BY CIA — I mean, yeah of course. Just about any disease or drug has a “CIA did it” story attached. Given how little interest the US government took in even recognizing AIDS was an issue, it’s easy to see why a lot of people believe this to some extent. This specific “CIA did it” theory has a little extra spice, though. Specifically, there was apparently a serious KGB disinfo op in the 80s specifically designed to plant this theory in American minds.
PANSPERMIA — A very old (like, 500 BC old) theory of life throughout the universe, or rather how it spreads. Panspermia suggests that life travels as seeds via meteors or spaceships or even just stray space dust and is sprinkled everywhere sooner or later.
POLYBIUS — Hell yeah video game stuff! This is an urban legend(probably) that popped up in the late 90s/early 2000s when the internet was still fun. It even has a little mandela effect going on because some people swear they remember this game being real and having seen it. So the legend goes, Polybius was an arcade cabinet that had shadowy origins, was hyper-addictive, and damaged the mental health of its players. Even the urban legend itself has mysterious origins: there’s debate over when and where it first popped up, something that almost helps to legitimize it. Since it’s one of the older internet urban legends, a lot of people remember having seen the name once 10–20 years ago and think it’s legit.
Over the years, people have come forward and claimed to have actually been part of the programming team. Others have built whole arcade cabinets for it. A variety of ‘Polybius’ games have appeared online, too. A lot of effort has gone into digging up proof, but without much luck. Still, it has always had the feel of just maybe being real — video games in the early days were a complete wild-west situation.
There you have it, folks. Not our most exciting list; but I think the “this isn’t that weird” terms will start to thin out soon enough. Here’s hoping for more lost media and weird video game stuff, those are fun.