What Lies Below, Day Twenty Six

Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”

7 min readMar 23, 2021

Hello again! As always, we’re going to be chipping away at the massive conspiracy iceberg meme. 13 more items on the agenda today, which officially completes Tier Four and moves us into Five. We’re finally passing beyond the reaches of what most would consider “normie” stuff and getting into things that aren’t particularly known outside of the corners of the net devoted to this kind of thing. Let’s get started!

THE ‘JANUARY FLAP’ CYCLE — Didn’t ring a bell for me, and it looks like I’m not alone in that. Unknown to me, someone has been trying to make a database website of all this stuff — linking old threads and articles. They didn’t have anything on this, nor does anywhere else. Good luck, whomever you are! The only morsel is that it has something to do with an annual uptick in UFO sightings, which I haven’t really heard elsewhere.

SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM 2020 — For the last ten years or so, China(not ONLY China, but they seem to be the leader) has been experimenting with and perfecting a means of collectively ‘scoring’ people on their credit, finances, legal history, and even social reputation. This is tied in with facial recognition software and the like, and already seems to be leading toward some of the obviously worrisome destinations. While at one time it was thought the system would be ready in 2020, it isn’t ‘complete’ yet. Then again, something like this can continuously grow and ‘perfect’ itself pretty much indefinitely. It’s an alarming thing that you’d better believe corporations and governments elsewhere in the world are eyeballing.

RHABDOMANCY — This is just dowsing. You know, they do it in a million tv shows and books: someone holds the branched end of a forked stick and sort of wanders around and the stick leads them to water(or whatever). That’s an oversimplification, of course: it can and does use all sorts of wands or poles or sticks, it can even mean tossing a bunch of sticks in the air and seeing the way they fall. Not that weird for this far down the iceberg!

A drawing of a humanoid figure wearing a blue loincloth and holding a spear as it walks in the forest. The figure has no head, however, and its face is on its chest.

SCIAPODS AND BELLEMY’S — The ‘Mappa Mundi’ is one of many ancient maps or drawings allegedly showing monstrous beings and races that people conjecture were once real and may have inspired certain biblical stories or other legends. Sciapods are…big dudes with just one leg/foot. Seriously! “Bellemy’s” is pretty clearly a mispelling of “Blemmye”, which were big dudes with no heads who had their faces on their chest. These are fairly obscure, but once in a blue moon they seem to inspire a more modern cryptid.

CONSENT MANUFACTURE — This is a real thing! I guess it belongs on the iceberg but, like, Manufacturing Consent is something that happens all the time. It’s happening right now. You’ve probably seen it happen countless times in your life! It’s basically just propaganda. Say the government wants to, I dunno, go to war in Iraq. People might not like that. But what if lots of articles came out for a year or so that seemed completely unconnected, and they all gently explained how awful Iraq is without ever explicitly saying it should be invaded. Maybe some mainstream news organizations chatter about bad things that are allegedly happening in Iraq now and then, again without explicitly saying anything should be done about them. Wow, now video games are coming out featuring you as CoolGrizzle McSquareWhite and you’re fighting nebulous bad guys doing bad things in Iraq. Hey, now late night talk show hosts and SNL are making quips about the bad things that we all know are happening in Iraq. You get the idea.

‘DIRE WOLF’ — Big woof. They’re a now-extinct big type of wolf that more or less resembles what we know; also a bog standard D&D monster. Good for spicing up low-levels when they think they’re about to just do a boring ‘we go to sleep and then wake up’ between days. Anyway, there are a lot of cryptids who are basically just dire wolves. This entry feels like it may have been supposed to mean something else because of the quotes around it, but I dunno. We’re almost done with this tier, no stopping now!

PHLOGISTON — Why is this here? Why is so low? Kind of a wet fart to end a tier on, in my humble opinion. Anyway, this is a ‘substance’ that people thought was a hidden element within anything that could explode or catch fire — and the fire or explosion was the phlogiston reacting. Scientists tried figuring it out for a while and then discovered what oxygen was, the end. Tier Four is done!

Pictures of Trudeau and Castro side by side, a small resemblance is evident
I mean, I guess if you squint.

TRUDEAU IS CASTRO’S SON — I’m pretty sure people saw that a young Trudeau looked a LOT like a young Castro, then just worked backward. There’s conjecture about an official Canadian government trip down to Cuba at the right date(this doesn’t appear to have much support), letters mentioning the situation(again, doesn’t appear to have much support), and so on. There is an endless array of “This Person is Actually This Person’s Child/Parent/Sibling” conspiracies; you can basically madlib any arrangement of famous people. Not a good start for Tier Five!

13 CHILDREN OF CORK — About 150 years ago, Ireland(and the UK) were experiencing both a lot of child abduction and also a lot of panic about child abduction. A newspaper ran a story saying that 13 children from the Irish village of Cork had gone missing, which fed into an uproar where suddenly all sorts of people were reporting similar cases. It later turned out that the newspaper had mostly made it up, with most of the named kids haven come home and one having drowned. A couple had actually been kidnapped, though; their kidnapper being caught and not seemingly part of any larger racket. Still, a lot of the rumors at the time suggested this was part of some sort of enterprise where the kids were being abducted to be put to work or even killed.

SPINOSAURUS BOMBED ON PURPOSE — The most near-complete Spinosaurus skeleton in the world at the time of WW2 was in Munich and wound up being destroyed by a British bombing run. I don’t know of any real theories about this happening on purpose, though. Like, it’s not as if dinosaurs weren’t widely known about and exhibited at the time already. Anyway, there’s also something about a movie by this name from a long time ago that purposefully got shitholed, but I am pretty sure that’s just something someone made up that got cut n’ pasted around a couple times.

Black and white image depicting bones that look like large teeth
Vero Man bones

VERO MAN — Human bones found about 100 years ago in Florida. The bones were fossilized and supposedly from the Pleistocene; but at the time people didn’t think humans were around that area of the world in that era. Eventually, though, this was confirmed and is pretty accepted now — other similar remains have even been found in the area. I guess maybe some people think this can tie into some sort of lost civilization or something? Probably not! Just a real old dead person!

ANCIENT AUTOMATA — There are tons of references to mechanical devices and figures throughout ancient times, ranging from simple machines to independent automatons. The consistent presence in everything from legends and stories to religious beliefs is supported by the occasional discovery of ancient artifacts(see ‘OOParts’ way up in Tier 1), so some folks believe this was a common thing — maybe or maybe not thanks to ancient aliens or lost civilizations. If you haven’t gathered by now, ‘ancient aliens’ or ‘lost civilization’ is sort of a conspiracy theory trump card, similar to “that’s just what the illuminati would want you to think”.

HUNGARIAN SUCKING-PHANTOM — This is what they still call me at a certain bar in New Jersey. Also, basically a regional vampire legend but with a funny enough name that people like to mention it. You know the score: dead rich guy comes back and sucks the blood of people until he’s properly put to rest. Then there is a whole OTHER thing where some guy was caught on video performing oral acts on sleeping homeless people and became a bit of a meme. But I think it’s probably referring to the vampire one.

Good mix today! Tier Five is off to a fair start. We’re almost a quarter of the way down the iceberg; let’s keep the momentum.