What Lies Below, Day Sixty

Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”

7 min readMay 18, 2021
Poorly drawn MS Paint image depicting items from the article

Welcome back! We’re diving into Tier 10 of 20 today. That brown thing in the banner is supposed to be a weird footprint and not a vagina! I’m not very good at drawing monster footprints!

1962 PENSACOLA INCIDENT — Hell yeah, sea monster! There has not been NEARLY enough sea monster stuff on this iceberg. Modern conspiracies are all so damn serious and political, give me more cryptids please. Anyway, the story is a little disjointed. In 1962 some kids went diving from a raft, but somehow things went wrong and only one survived. This was initially chalked up to the raft sinking and, in poor conditions at night, only one managing to make the swim to shore. But THEN a few years later an article came out with the survivor’s account, describing in detail that some sort of sea monster had surfaced and scared the hell out of them and sent them fleeing — ultimately causing the deaths of the others. Skeptics think this was just made up or perhaps a surfacing whale, but no one really knows and it’s now just mostly forgotten history.

MEN WEARING PLAID SHIRTS/BIGFOOT WEARING PLAID SHIRTS — I honestly don’t know. There are some old scattered reports of Bigfoots wearing bits of clothing, including plaid patterns. But that doesn’t feel like it’s what this entry is getting at. Couldn’t tell ya! Yell at me!

PLASTIC RAINDROPS, 1965 — This specific incident happened in a small Pennsylvania town in 1965, in which little plastic things(later determined to be polyethylene) rained down for a while. It’s part of a larger phenomenon in which weird stuff will rain — from the illness-inducing blobs mentioned earlier in the iceberg to sea life to frogs. There’s also more and more cases of bits of plastic being in rain, something that’s probably only going to get worse in time. The 1965 case was never really explained.

A frame of the Zapruder Film showing JFK’s car and the crowd attending just before he was assassinated.
This Zapruder film. You know the one.

ZAPRUDER FILM WAS FAKED — The ‘Zapruder Film’ is the famous short film that shows President Kennedy being shot. Pretty much everyone has seen it and it has influenced essentially every bit of contemporary discussion about the event. Every single frame has been exhaustively studied for decades and is cited in pretty much every theory about the assassination. It seems only natural that there’d also be a theory that the film itself is either doctored or altogether faked, generally to serve as distraction or diversion from what really happened. The ‘evidence’ is a mish-mash of alleged inconsistencies in witness testimony, things wrong with the layout of the area shown in the film, and so on. Not widely accepted in the JFK conspiracy crowd.

SIVATHERE OF KISH — An Out Of Place Artifact mixed with a pseudo-cryptid. A figurine discovered in the Sumerian Ruins of Kish(in Iraq) that showed a carving of a strange animal that doesn’t appear to match anything we thought was around at the time. The horned mammal seems to be a sivatherium, an extinct giraffe-ish type of creature. Some people think we’re just misinterpreting, but I like the idea of thought-extinct animals popping up way forward of when they supposedly vanished. Gives one hope that the planet will recover from what we’ve done to it.

MANATEES=HUMAN OFFSHOOT — I guess some people think we’re closely related to them based on, uh, that they look a little more humanoid than most aquatic creatures. Look I’m sorry, I know you want all this stuff in the latter half of the iceberg to be super weird and deep — but some of it still doesn’t have much substance! Next!

FRENCH CLAIM TO NEW ZEALAND — France had some settlements in New Zealand but the Brits wound up with it, which is interesting history stuff but not that weird. There’s supposedly a legend, though, that there is some sort of genuine legal(?) French claim sealed in a box or bottle that is sunk in the ocean somewhere near NZ — and if ever found, would legitimize the claim and make it official. Now, this proooobably isn’t how things would actually work and I can’t find much basis for this rumor beyond people online claiming it exists, so grain of salt.

PILTDOWN MAN STILL ALIVE — The Piltdown Man was a proposed ‘missing link’ figure for human evolution, but it was exposed as a fraud in the 50s after being pretty influential in scientific thinking for some time. Some folks don’t buy the fraud story though, but I’ve never heard anyone specifically saying there’s still Piltdown-era humans rolling around. This is probably a subdivision of a somewhat larger theory that there are small pockets here and there(sometimes on islands or in cave networks) of what would be considered the evolutionary ancestors of modern humans.

SOVIET HURTCORE/CRUSHPORN — Pretty much what it sounds like. Not exclusive to former-Soviet states, though I imagine the label was attached because a fair amount of it is said to have appeared from various eastern-European locations. Plenty of verified cases have happened in Europe and the US, though the specific nature of the ‘hurtcore’ varies. It can be the borderline snuff-film content the name implies, but it is often more along the lines of extreme blackmail generated via various online scams and manipulation tactics. It is often targeted at children.

SUSPICIOUS DEATHS OF HOLISTIC DOCTORS — This one reappears every so often and is extremely popular with that specific market of facebook-addicted semi-new-age metaphysical “natural news” types who aren’t the traditional type of conspiracy theorist, but a new breed that seem more like a hippy than a grizzled Dale Gribble type. This one is tough to really ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ because the label of “holistic doctor” is pretty flexible, as is the “suspicious” tag. Depending on how you’re willing to use those two terms, in a given chunk of time there will seem to be some deaths of holistic doctors that could have nefarious motivations. You don’t need me to tell you the rest: an assembly of the usual supervillains is offing these doctors at random to suppress the truth that a given holistic technique actually cures some/most/all known diseases and is thus a threat to the Establishment. Sometimes the deaths are suspicious, by the way! Alleged suicides from people who didn’t appear likely to do so, for example. But not in the vast numbers you might suspect from the memes.

A photo of what appear the be fossilized three-toed footprints
Paluxy Tracks

PALUXV TRACKS — The Paluxy is a river in Texas. The big thing about it is that there is an area where dinosaur tracks were found alongside human tracks, allegedly, which were all from the same rock layer and thus approximately the same age. This would be evidence humans co-existed with dinosaurs, which is a big thing for the Young Earth/Creationist crowd. They are generally thought to be a mix of fakes(made over time to capitalize on interest) and a few “originals” that were not human tracks. Still, anything that can support the young earth thing will always find a zealous level of support from that community and as a result will never be completely dismissed.

NON-SPACE — I think this is the same basic idea as a ‘non-place’, and I see the terms used fairly interchangeably. Very similar to ‘liminal space’, which is a more recent term that’s grown in popularity online to describe this general phenomenon. Originally as described, these were places of transience that didn’t quite count as ‘places’, places where we are anonymous passerbys one and all. It is highly subjective, and as such is something you more feel than anything else. A hotel can be one, the long hallways all lit up but empty late at night. A dying shopping mall. Alternatively, some see it in a bustling airport or a hectic city street. Or out on a highway. More recently, the “liminal space” thing has come to define places with a fairly empty, surreal, unnerving aesthetic. It isn’t necessarily a creepy place in a strict definition of the word, but does feel off. It’s hard to describe and it’s going to feel a little different for each person — so I’d recommend just looking up some liminal space images, non-space images, etc and you’ll probably get an idea for it soon. You have occupied places like this before and you will again. Some people seek them actively, some even think they represent places where you can travel certain dimensions or get a little closer to spiritual planes.

MOONLESS NIGHTS — This one is tough because there are countless urban legends and ghosts stories featuring moonless nights — these being when all sorts of spirits and creepy phenomenon allegedly happen, when barriers between worlds thin, and so on. Depending on who you listen to, these are nights of significant magical power or not much at all, or only “bad” magic. Sometimes these are when certain “real” supernatural individuals like those who consider themselves fae or vampires suggest they are either most or least in-tune with that side of themselves. I’m gonna level with you, it’s just a catch-all thing that fits into just about any mystical-themed conspiracy so I can’t nail it down here.

That’s all she wrote. Not as weird as I expected this thing to be at this depth, but most of the items are pretty obscure. Long way to go!