What Lies Below, Day Twenty Three
Exploring the Depths of the Infamous “Conspiracy Iceberg”
Hello again! Brief refresher: there’s a notorious old image floating around the internet dubbed the ‘conspiracy iceberg’, a collection of well over a thousand increasingly bizarre and obscure topics. I’m covering them all, 13 a day, until we’re through. Consider this a permanent blanket content warning that while I avoid grisly details, some items touch on all kinds of disturbing material. I’m just here to give you a little bite-sized intro for each, so don’t yell at me if I undersell one of your pet theories. If I really screw something up or if you have some ancient secret of the universe to share, get in touch!
WETIKO — This is kind of two things that are tied to one another. This is the origin word for ‘Wendigo’, a sort of cryptid/spirit from indigenous folklore that is serious bad news and lurks in deep forests, but that may not be what they’re going for. ‘Wetiko’ is also a term used for a sort of…spiritual disease that exists in the realm of thought and is talked about by shamans; and can drive one toward darker impulses such as cannibalization. The Wendigo myth is also tied to such impulses, so there’s a lot of crossover here. Also, the ‘cannibalization’ thing sometimes takes on a life of its own and every so often you hear the Qanons or similar crowds touch on this sort of theory, even if not by name.
MKULTRA — This one is real and pretty famous. As a result, it winds up being thrown around a lot in discussions and arguments and isn’t always used accurately, but is sort of pointed at as proof anytime someone doubts any other conspiracy. Anyway, this was the CIA’s mind control experiment! You’ve definitely heard of it and seen some tv/film/writing influenced by it. It “ended” in the 70s but, I mean, probably not. And even if it did, it just happens now under different names. Anyway, MKULTRA was the CIA hitting people with heavy drugs(especially LSD, which some claim they invented just for this), hypnosis, and literal torture. It was all meant to help them learn better tactics for interrogation, manipulation, etc. Discovered documents suggest they were even toying with surgically implanting brain chips in dogs that could let the animals be remote controlled. Not great! Needless to say, most of this was illegal. There was a lot of press yammering over the years, Senate hearings, etc. No one ever got in real trouble and nothing of substance was done to prevent it from happening again, obviously. They targeted college kid ‘volunteers’, people in hospitals, prisoners, you name it. The whispers about how much wider the scope was and how much worse the tests were are as numerous as you can imagine. Wayyy too big a topic for the format I’m doing here, but worth reading up on.
BELL ISLAND BOOM — Bell Island is a small lightly-populated island near Newfoundland, once the site of an extensive iron mine. In the 70s, there was some sort of explosion that damaged some houses and -oddly- made nearby television sets break or even explode. People thought it was the Russians because everyone was the Russians at that time, and they also thought it might have been Ball Lightning, but no one would waste three red mana just to fry a couple TV sets. They never really did figure it out, though some people think it was just a big chunk of the island falling off and hitting rocks below.
NO RIGHT ANGLES — I do not know. It’s often said there’s no right angles in nature? The capitalization on the iceberg is all weird, too: “NO RIght ANgels”. I don’t know if that means something I’m missing. The capitalized letters, NORIAN, didn’t ring any bells either. I don’t know! This is very frustrating! Tell me if you know!
WET SKINE “BEAR” — A cryptid(?) bear of 1700s folklore who was ‘wet’ or ‘slippery’ in that no one could catch or trap it despite all sorts of attempts. The bear was apparently a real asshole, going out of its way to harass people, mess with livestock, and cause general problems. Maybe a forest spirit, maybe people pulling pranks, hasn’t been seen in quite a while.
BOYAJIANS STAR — A star(also called ‘Tabby’s star’) that has been observed to dim and brighten in ways that are yet to be explained. Most science-brains think it’s due to nearby astrological phenomenon or dust/rocks somewhere in the orbit, but obviously a lot of other folks think it is evidence of some sort of intelligence: there’s some sort of construction happening around the star, a vast fleet, or even the star itself is an artificial construct.
SPUNKHOMONCULOUS — A ‘homonculous’ is basically a little living thing you create for various purposes. Like the ‘tulpa’ above but in physical form. And you know what ‘spunk’ means. So that’s all I’m going to write on this one. Not having a good time right now!
2003 ANGOLA DISAPPEARANCE — In the early 2000s, a Boeing 727(a jet able to carry around 100–200 passengers) was stolen from an airport in Angola where it had been sitting for a while. This wasn’t a hijacking in the air or anything, it was literally stolen out of the hangar like a car. And then it disappeared! A whole ass jet! This happened not too long after 9/11, so there was a considerable amount of media and government interest in this for obvious reasons. It is ‘believed’ that the identities of the two men who took it are known, but obviously there’s conjecture about this. Regardless, officially speaking there’s still no conclusion here — it was never found. Theories abound: it may have gone awry and crashed, it may have been part of an aborted terrorism campaign, it may have been part of an aborted government false-flag operation, and so on. It also may have also been turned into a smuggling vehicle(with the thieves either in on this or blackmailed into carrying it out), and some people believe the wreckage of a 727 in the Sahara near an apparently burned/torn apart airstrip is proof that the jet had been drafted into service to traffic drugs or even people.
10% OF ART IN MUSEUMS IS FAKE — A general theory based on a fairly significant amount of reporting and investigations. This one is based on a lot of genuine research and credible stuff, though it’s hard to say if the 10% number is truly representative as no one has gone around and independently tested every single piece in every single museum. Sometimes this is a result of a piece being made at the right time and place but being made by a student of the given artist, sometimes it’s a more blatant fraud. I imagine you can get pretty conspiratorial about who is and isn’t in on this sort of thing, but it’s not necessarily very ‘weird’.
TIAHUANACO SLABS — Tihuanaco was the capital of an ancient empire, located near Lake Titicaca. It’s an old site, reaching back to around 500~ AD, and very important in local indigenous beliefs. There are many enormous, heavy stone slabs there — and it’s still debated just how they were moved and set up. Carvings on some of these stones also seem to depict mythological creatures. Obviously, this plays right into a lot of theories about ancient aliens, the nature of ancient civilizations, and so on. It’s believed the site’s construction did line up somewhat with astrological phenomenon, too.
MOON BUILT BY ALIENS — I mean there’s not much for me to add here, huh. This is usually based on hollow-moon theory, which unlike hollow earth theory is a suggestion that the exterior ‘shell’ is basically camouflage for an advanced station or ship of some sort. This is based on…we’ll call it generously interpretations of scientific findings about the moon(i.e. how it seemed to ‘ring’ when struck hard enough). Sometimes the ancient aliens talked about in other theories still live up there, sometimes we’re up there.
AGENDA 21 — Before Qanon, only the luckiest of conspiracy theories would break through from the conspiracy community to the mainstream fox-news-grandpa crowd. Agenda 21 was one of those lucky few. It’s also something a lot of people are absolutely FREAKED OUT over. It’s a really good example of how a big share of the conspiracy youtuber/radio host/influencer crowd will spin nonsense into gold and whip their audience into a frenzy.
Written in 1992, Agenda 21 is a non-binding UN resolution saying the world should swing to sustainable development by the 21st Century(hence the ‘21’). It has no teeth or enforcement, and isn’t even super specific because a key point is that individual nations are supposed to be coming up with their own plans. Over the years, it has been used to look for uneven growth, propose programs, study culture, bla bla bla.
It sounds boring because it is. But, in the case of A21, timing is everything. It was making a lot of news during the ascendancy of the Tea Party, and those guys were looking for anything at all to sink their teeth into. Somehow this wholly voluntary non-binding resolution was sold to them as a plan to repossess property via armed UN soldiers, all while using falsified environmental science as justification. Some states and local jurisdictions even tried to pass legislation officially refusing agenda 21. Once Obama was out of office, most mainstream concern about Agenda 21 evaporated like magic. But you still hear about it from the real cranks, and in their world it has evolved into any number of things — usually being a tool of the ‘cabal’ featured in Qanon theories.
PHANTOM TIME — This is far less sci-fi than it sounds, unfortunately. But it’s still pretty cool! It’s a Church Conspiracy; suggesting that the creation of the ‘Anno Domini’ Calendar(i.e. BC/AD) included a plot to sort of set them much further ahead than they actually were and to just sort of make up a bunch of stuff that would have happened in the 300 ‘phantom’ years. This is not well-received by most historians, believe it or not, and doesn’t have much evidence to support it. BUT this is 100% the sort of bullshit the early church would have done.
That’s it for today. Hell of a mix, huh? It’s only going to get weirder. See you tomorrow!