What Lies Below, Day Sixteen
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
Hello again and welcome to What Lies Below! You know the drill: every day we chip 13 items off the enormous ‘Conspiracy Iceberg’ image until we run down the whole thing. Some items are just uninteresting terms, some are pretty clear hoaxes, and some things I genuinely just don’t know and can’t find anything about! Feel free to dig into specific things I got wrong and then yell at me! I may even interject a “corrections” article or two here and there if I screw up enough items!
R2–45 — This is a cinema urban legend regarding an astromech droid seen in the background of Empire Strikes Back that is actually a Jedi and — oh, no, sorry it’s the term Scientology uses for “exteriorating” someone with a .45 pistol. “Exteriorating” means someone leaving their body behind. Are you suspecting the direction this is headed yet?
It’s their official term for shooting someone in the head!!! They have an official term for that! Someone should do something about these guys! I like my droid one better; that feels like an urban legend you could definitely start imo.
APPENDIX MONKEY TAIL — I don’t know, folks. The appendix may be vestigial and sometimes people have a little vestigial tail too? Maybe there’s a connection? I tried! Still think a lot of these items are just something someone saw fly by on a website one night and it stuck in their head. Or maybe this is one of those things I’m just an idiot about! You tell me!
INTROSPECTION RUNDOWN — Another Scientology thing! Boy that group seems bad huh! This is their term for how they officially handle a member having a nervous breakdown or something similar. In short: extended solitary confinement. It wound up killing someone! Bad!
MOWGLI’S PALACE — Another theme park legend! This one is real, too. Disney wanted to open a ‘jungle’ resort in North Carolina, and even did so. It was, uhhh not great. It managed to open, then closed soon after without much stated reason. An abandoned Disney resort was going to spawn a lot of interest regardless thanks to urban explorers and theme park buffs, and it also became the subject of some spooky stories told online.
1999 APARTMENT BOMBINGS — Four different apartment blocks spread over a wide area were hit by bombings in Russia. This, along with a couple other issues, was used to justify the second Chechen War(the Chechens denied responsibility). It also just so happened to boost the career of a certain Vladimir Putin so much that he was soon President. Any situation of the sort is going to come with ‘false flag’ conspiracies, but in this case a lot more ‘legitimate’ experts and officials agree with the conspiracy than usual. The counterargument is that a lot of powerful people want to discredit Putin and, by extension, Russia. But I mean, Putin would 100% do false flags. Good luck ever getting to any official documentation that helps prove or refute it, though.
WILLIAM REICH — It’s ‘Wilhelm’, not ‘William’. Cool psychoanalyst! He knew Freud, came up with ideas like our personality being expressed in the way we move, and he looked weird! Also, the term ‘sexual revolution’ that is forever tied to the 60s cultural movement was his creation. Toward the end of his life he decided that he’d discovered an otherwise unknown ‘orgone energy’ that we generate somehow and he invented boxes you went in that would collect the energy. He wound up in jail and died there, the end.
MCMARTIN TUNNELS — This is one piece of a situation that unfolded over most of the 1980s. The McMartin family operated a preschool in California and were accused of sexually abusing the children. There was a lot of media and public scrutiny(Satanic Ritual Abuse!!!), and the investigation wound up all over the place — and with so much riding on the testimony of preschool-age children, all kinds of speculation and theories cropped up. It was a long, ugly affair and ultimately ended with no one being found guilty. Some of the testimony of the kids mentioned ‘tunnels’, which most adults dismissed at the time(the kids had also talked about people flying, taking hot air balloon rides, etc). After the trial, a private investigation into the tunnels took place and did find some evidence that such tunnels might exist — which seemed like it might even be backed up by FBI investigations into an unrelated cult. But this was disputed too, and no real conclusion seems to ever have been reached. People still discuss this because it has a little bit of everything, and the pizzagate/qanon wing of the current conspiracy community has been eager to re-examine this sort of story. A lot of ‘independent investigators’ have tried to look into it but with little conclusive luck; and the longer we get from the original incident, the harder it’ll get to ever figure out what happened.
DARK DAYS — These two words pop up so often in the world of conspiracies and weird stuff that I can’t begin to tell you what specific thing this is supposed to reference. The ‘Dark Days’ are usually a reference to the really bad period after a collapse of civilization, but may also mean the time during or after a major religious event occurs, or it could mean the civil war period many right-leaning conspiracy theorists see as inevitable. In recent years, it seems to pop up mostly in Qanon circles to either describe some upcoming bad event we’ll have to live through or to explain the periods in which Q would go silent after woofing yet another prediction.
NIMITZ — As in the giant aircraft carrier? There was an interesting UFO sighting with it, though. One of its fighters saw some sort of something in the sky that moved in ways no known aircraft can, and seemed to purposefully evade the fighter. The footage is all over and looks very authentic, though some believe it was the work of German film students(a forum for which is where the video seems to have first appeared). Aside from that possibility, it’s largely unexplained. Go youtube it and you be the judge!
KRYPTOS CODE — A sculpture set up in 1990 with four coded messages on it. It sits, of course, at CIA headquarters. Three of the four messages have been decrypted, with the fourth remaining a big thing for online hobbyists to fiddle with. Supposedly there’s a bigger riddle to be solved once all four messages are figured out, bla bla bla. While it’s probably way too public and ‘official’ to be half as interesting or weird as most of what the CIA does, some people think it’s part of a larger message or ‘test’.
XEROXLORE — Xeroxlore is, or at least once was, a phenomenon common to any big office building or complex; college campuses could be popular for it too. Phrases or drawings, sometimes handmade, would be xeroxed and put here or there — and then the xerox would be xeroxed and so on it would go, each time reducing the quality a bit and sometimes adding stuff. They could be the usual ‘this job STINKS’ sort of things, or could be far more subversive or offensive or even pornographic. There’s a certain nostalgic charm to this sort of thing; pre-social media memes that tended to be unique to whichever specific place they were born. There was also ‘faxlore’, which is the same thing but spread via fax machine. Old school ‘zines had this vibe to them, and subculture types often relied on this sort of thing to organize or spread messages. Probably all but extinct in most places now.
GOBEKLI TEPE — A large site unearthed in southern Turkey, containing what may be the oldest known megalith structures(think Stonehenge). The site seems to be a ritual one, and is old. Like OLD old. 10,000 B.C. old. It raises a lot of questions about how people lived at the time, and how they managed to construct something like this using stones that weighed several tons. There are carvings in places that some people conjecture are of dinosaurs or other extinct critters, and it comes up a lot in ancient alien/lost civilization discourse.
OCCAMS RAZOR — Why is this here?! Occam’s Razor is just a term for the ‘rule’ that the simplest explanation is usually the right one. A lot of things here, obviously, are not exactly abiding by this rule. The rule also is far from universal and people on the internet have overused it(often incorrectly) to the point that it’s almost a meme. Not sure why it’s on the iceberg! Maybe the creator has a sense of humor!
That’s our list for today. I have a real fondness for Xeroxlore and things like it; the primordial versions of social media that subculture thrived on back in the day. There’s still some BBS sites running, I think. I should post this on those. Anyway, see you tomorrow!