What Lies Below, Day Thirty One
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
Welcome back! We’re breaking into the second quarter today, so a refresher: I’m Rob, the ‘Conspiracy Iceberg’ is a meme of over 1,000 increasingly strange and obscure topics, and we’re going to explore the whole damn thing 13 pieces at a time. Looks like a good mix today, so let’s dive in!
VOLKSWAGEN MEXICAN WEATHER MANIPULATION — This is objectively real! Isn’t that bananas? Volkswagen has HAIL CANNONS, which yes are a thing that exist, and they fortified a Mexican factory with these. The HAIL CANNONS are shot at THE SKY to prevent hail from falling, ostensibly to protect new cars from aesthetic damage in a storm. Everyone is worried about HAARP but capitalism guarantees it’ll be some CEO clown with a ray gun who melts the sky. Anyway, locals have complained that these things are screwing up weather on a larger scale and creating dry seasons — hurting the farmers nearby. Volkswagen unsurprisingly denies this yet has made adjustments to their weather guns anyway.
FOREST STAIRS — This is just a weird ass phenomenon where people keep finding stairs out in the middle of nowhere. Not usually in larger ruins, just an isolated staircase — almost always leading to nowhere. They run the gamut in terms of quality, construction material, age, size, etc. The general theory is that it’s a bit of this and that — sometimes the remains of some old building or setup, sometimes something put in place by locals at one time or another to make traversing a hill or something easier, some are built by people as part of some kind of shrine, etc. Still, it’s weird — and it fueled a lot of online spooky stories and speculation. They pop up a lot in national parks, but are far from limited to just that.
S.S. WATERTOWN — In the 20s, two sailors were killed aboard the SS Watertown — allegedly by gas fumes on the ship. They were buried at sea but were then supposedly seen not long later as ghosts. Not that big a deal, as far as ghost stories go, but there’s a pretty well-known photo circulating that seems to show their faces as if emerging from the hull(or some other surface of the ship). Lot of conjecture but nothing much proven either way, as is usual with this stuff. Not that weird for the end of Tier Five!
JOHN W. PARSONS SORCERY — An American scientist and, oddly enough, occultist(a Thelemite! There’s Crowley again!). A competent engineer who did make some contributions to his field, he was also really into the whole rock and roll occultist thing — doing hard drugs, hanging out with quasi-cultish groups, and even being accused of espionage. He died young in an explosion that may have been an accident or may have been suicide or may have been assassination, depending on the theory. He seemed to see a kinship between rocketry and the occult as ways for humanity to explore outward, but it’s uncertain how much he worked to connect the two. Some think he found ways to bridge magic and science, which helped his developments in both. Some of his writing still circulates in modern occult communities, and he was a pretty interesting guy — worth more time than I can give. He was probably overshadowed a bit by flashier types like Crowley at the time, and so is not thought of much these days in the same light.
Also I guess worth noting: He left his wife for her sister, who in turn left him for L. Ron Hubbard of scientology fame! Small world!
SPHINX WATER EROSION — Alright, starting off the second quarter of the iceberg with a classic. I like this trend. This is pretty straightforward: some people suggest that the condition of the Sphinx shows water erosion consistent with amounts of rainfall that would require it to be thousands of years older than it is believed to be. Usually this gets folded into other theories about Egypt like our old favorite, Ancient Aliens.
SAJAMA LINES — The Sajama lines are found in Bolivia, and are massive, lengthy phenomenon really only visible from the sky. They are very old and believed to have been made by indigenous people. These are similar to the more-famous Nazca lines, except the Sajama lines are all perfectly straight — no one has figured out how they accomplished this feat. There’s a lot more of them than there are Nazca lines, too. The leading theory is that they were part of a religious tradition, but no one knows.
THE ‘LOVE ROLLERCOASTER’ SCREAM — In 1975, the funk band ‘Ohio Players’ released a song called “Love Rollercoaster”, which was very popular for a time. You know it, it’s the one that goes “Roller Coaster! Of Love! Say what!” But a surprisingly large amount of people don’t know the urban legend: that if you listen closely, you can hear a human scream in the background. People say someone getting killed nearby was caught, or it was an animal, or it was supposed to represent the “roller coaster” killing someone(lol). The band never commented. The timestamp of where it happens varies from recording to recording, but the main album version you’ll find on YouTube has it at 2:32. Give it a listen for yourself!
SYMANTEC PIFTS.EXE — Back in 2009, everyone’s Norton AntiVirus started yelling at them about something called “Pifts.exe”. Norton wasn’t very good about explaining what it was, and it took a while for anyone to really dig into it and analyze it. Supposedly it was just a benign thing that sent program status info back to Norton, but a lot of folks thought(and still think) that it was some kind of sketchy spyware apparatus.
TILA TEQUILA — You know, I was going to say something about Tila being this deep on the iceberg — but I’d forgotten she existed. I haven’t seen her mentioned in years. How is that even possible? Is this a Mandela Effect “Bearenstain/Berenstein” thing?
Anyway. Behold the Avatar of Millennials. Tila was one of the first, if not the first, “social media influencers” of genuine note. She took over MySpace and by the mid 00’s had started doing magazine shoots, music, and of course a bunch of reality shows. I cannot stress enough how fucking everywhere she was for a while. By 2010 or so she was really trying at the music stuff(it didn’t go well), did some ‘adult films’, and went to the Gathering of the Juggalos where she had bottles and stuff thrown at her. By then she was more or less out of the spotlight and had fallen into that nebulous void of pseudo-celebrities that are perpetually on some variation of Big Brother or something.
Then a few years later she started posting a lot of nazi stuff out of the blue. And no, this isn’t me being dramatic about her just saying some right-wing rhetoric. She posted an article titled “Why I Sympathize With Hitler: Part 1”. She also took a selfie in nazi attire in front of Auschwitz. It, uh, went on from there. At some point she offered an apology and said it was due to personal issues and substance abuse, but later she doubled down wayyyy harder. Before long any tv stuff had dried up and her entire online presence became based around this kind of thing. She’s been banned from most mainstream social networks but I imagine she’s on at least one of the various smaller alternative platforms.
A lot of people, especially on the Right, have created an elaborate theory about her being “red pilled” when she became rich and successful, and how she learned “the truth” and then was victimized for speaking out, and so on. Others suggest she got really rich and famous at a young age and fell into some bad habits and bad company and bad coping methods, and it had a corrosive effect on her that is tragic but not entirely shocking.
ASTRAL AMERICA — I found a single claim that this had to do with a NASA plan to bring about some sort of space baby apocalypse(and Jack Parsons from a few entries up was involved!). As far as I know, there’s nothing substantial behind that. I’ve personally heard it used for a sort of plane of existence set on top of ours, one you can sometimes slip into where things are more magic and metaphysical and so on. Take that for what it’s worth, but know that people will often just pull terms like this out of thin air because they sound good.
NEGATIVE BOUANCY — I’m guessing it’s a typo for ‘bouyancy’. Anyway uhhhhh this is just what makes things sink? i.e. something is more dense than the fluid it is displacing? This isn’t a conspiracy. I’ve seen places where flat-earth types suggested that’s somehow the way the earth is, like we’re actually being kept on the planet by this and not gravity. Why is this on Tier Six!?
DISAPPEARING CARS — This could be a lot of things but I guess, given timing, it’s from the 2019 case where someone posted a video of cars ‘disappearing’ and people freaked out and it went viral. It shows traffic slowly turning off what appears to be a bridge and just vanishing, but if you look at it for like 2 seconds you can see that it’s a perspective trick and there’s just a large building in the foreground that the cars are going behind.
There’s also a lesser known, older one from around 2010 when China was reportedly buying millions of new cars and yet their average fuel sales were staying the same, making some people wonder what was happening to all those cars. Skeptics suggest increased fuel-efficiency balances it out.
CIA LOST CHINA, 2010 — I have to assume this refers to a brief stretch of time starting in 2010 when China decided to basically purge all the US spywork going on there. They locked up or killed at least a dozen people, probably a fair amount more. A significant amount of the US intelligence network there was basically batted aside like a toy, which is an impressive feat. The US tried to go for sympathy and paint as China being mean and bad for doing this, but that’s a hard sell, so they basically just stopped talking about it and took the L. There’s a lot of theories about what happened behind the scenes that caused such a sudden and decisive action, but we’ll probably not get the real details for years. No doubt the CIA has spent the last ten years working on getting back in there, but their presence is likely still considerably weaker than it was. Definitely a lot more to this one than meets the eye.
And we’ve entered Tier Six. This is the real heart of the iceberg; it’s dense and gets into really strange territory at times. Looking forward to it! See you tomorrow!