8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True

8 Scientific Conspiracies That Turned Out To Be True

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True

The past couple of years have watched the resurgence of the conspiracy theoretician, but instead of the foil hat wearing, megaphone-wielding whack chore of old, the conspiracy theoretician of 2018 sits behind a keyboard and defines up GoFundMe pages raising money to launch homemade rockets.

Vaccines cause autism. Man-made climate change isn’t real. Nibiru will crash into Earth, wiping out all life. And Stephen Hawking is an imposter. There are plenty to pick and choose from. Recent research has linked this sort of behavior to gullibility and the need to feel special, but conspiracy theorists will tell you this is simply another cover-up.

There are some occasions, however, when real life is just as strange as fiction. From sinister research programs to health-related cover-ups, here are eight instances from the annals of history that voiced so extraordinary they could have been cooked up by a conspiracy theorist.

The CIA truly did experiment with mind control and psychedelics

The Central Intelligence Agency( CIA ) crops up in many a conspiracy theory, but its shady reputation is not entirely undeserved. Papers released in the seventies uncovered the secret service actually had been dabbling in intellect control, psychological torture, radioactivity, and electric shock therapy in a series of studies into behavioral adjustment known as “Project MK-ULTRA”.

More than 150 human experiments took place between 1953 and 1964, many of which involved administering medications to US citizens without their knowledge and permission, and under no medical supervision. The purpose of this research was to develop techniques and substances to utilize against the Soviet Union and its friends- think truth serum and Bourne-like super agents.

But things get more sinister. Then CIA Director Richard Helms ordered the extermination of all records relating to MK-ULTRA in 1973, which means there is little evidence of the intelligence services’ nefarious activities around today. We know the research was responsible for at least one hospitalization and two deaths but the true cost could be much higher.

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
MK-ULTRA has inspired several Hollywood blockbusters. overturefilms/ Youtube

Politician and industry leaders purposefully misled the public over the health risks links with smoking

Smoking increases the health risks of stroke, emphysema, infertility, and a whole host of cancers. But back in the working day, Big Tobacco tried all it could to persuade customers that cigarettes weren’t bad for you. It didn’t be brought to an end. They even tried to convince the public that smoking was healthy. Just take a look at some of the dangerous , not to mention highly sexist, vintage ads from the sixties and earlier.

Tobacco companies were major lobbyists and generous donors to political campaigns. Essentially, they were able to buy favor with politicians and others in positions of power, meanwhile refuting the science behind the health risks, claiming it was uncertain. It was not until the nineties- at which point, the evidence against smoking was irrefutable- that corporations began to admit there were health risks links with cigarette smoking.

And in 2006, after a seven-year-long lawsuit, Judge Gladys E. Kessler discovered the tobacco companies guilty of conspiracy, having “suppressed research…destroyed documents…manipulated the use of nicotine so as to increase and perpetuate addiction”.

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
Luckies get the physician’s stamp of approval, apparently. clotho9 8/ Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

… and sugar

But it wasn’t merely the tobacco companies that were guilty of these types of malevolent activity. The sugar industry also expended years concealing data and bribing scientists to keep inconvenient research under wraps, all the while advertising Lucky Charms and Kool-Aid on children’s TV.

In 2016, a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed the sugar industry had funded research in the sixties underplaying health risks links with eating the white stuff, instead pointing the thumb of blamed at fat. According to the article authors, sugar bigwigs have been attempting to control debate around the dangers and merits of sugar and fat consumption for the past five decades.

For example, a 2011 study constructed the shocking( and entirely unscientific) assert that children who feed candy weigh less than those that do not. Dig a little deeper and it turns out that studies and research was funded by the National Confectioner’s Association, a group that represents companies like Hershey and Skittles. Then, in 2015, it was revealed that soda giant Coca-Cola had funded analyzes connecting weight loss to exercise to undermine the important role poor diet plays in obesity.

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
Companies like Coca-Cola have been covering up the health risks associated with sugar for the past 50 years. Physics_joe/ Shutterstock

The US government truly did investigate UFOs

So much for Area 51 being a fiction conceived by conspiracy theorist loons. Last year, the Pentagon confirmed that the US government had been investigating “anomalous aerospace threats”, or what you and I might refer to as UFOs.

Between 2008 and 2011, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program received closely connected to $22 million, which, admittedly, isn’t precisely a large slice of the Defense Department’s annual budget of $600 billion. Ultimately, the experimentation came to nothing and the program was closed down- at least, that’s what official sources are saying.

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
Area 51 might not be quite so crazy after all – UFO sighting 1937. Malcolm Dee/ Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

… and hired Nazi scientists after WW2

For those who haven’t considered Doctor Strangelove , the film’s titular character is a former Nazi with a severe suit of alien hand disorder working as a scientific advisor to the US president, who he intermittently referred to as “Mein Fuhrer”.

The premise seems farfetched but rumor has it he was modeled on Wernher von Braun, who was just one of the 1, 600 or so Nazi scientists sent to work in the US following German defeat in World War II. The program, called Operation Paperclip, was exposed in media outlets like the New York Times in 1946.

Some of these scientists were involved in Project MK-ULTRA. Von Braun, however, was put to work as director of the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. He was heavily involved in the moon landing and developed the Jupiter-C rocket used to launch America’s first satellite. Before that, he had been involved in the V-2 rocket program, where he employed prisoners from the concentration camps to assist him. Others in the program had similarly dodgy pasts, with some having even been tried at Nuremberg.

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
Former Nazi, Wernher von Braun. NASA/ Wikimedia Commons

Water can affect the sexuality of frogs kind of

Alex Jones, the far-right radio host and conspiracy theoretician of Infowars fame, claimed chemicals in the water are turning frogs gay. While there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of evidence to back up his “theory” that water is affecting frogs’ sexuality, some studies seem to suggest man-made chemicals do have an effect on a frog’s sex.

A 2010 newspaper from the University of California, Berkeley, found that as many as one in 10 male frogs exposed to atrazine, a common pesticide, experience a hormonal imbalance that effectively turns them female. They create estrogen, mate with males, and even lay eggs. More recently, surveys have shown that chemicals found in suburban ponds and road salts can also affect a frog’s sex.

While the role of man-made chemicals in the environment may be problematic from a reproductive point of view, there is nothing unnatural about animals switching sex. Shrimps, clownfish, coral, and frogs all have the capacity required to do so. There is also no proof to suggest that chemicals in the water can affect human sexuality or connote the US government is trying to stimulate children gay with juice boxes, as Jones claims.

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
Painted reed frog chilling on a leaf. feathercollector/ Shutterstock

The Public Health Service watched as black humen succumbed of syphilis unnecessarily, in the name of science

Syphilis is a nasty disease that, if not treated, can result in blindness, paralysis, and/ or demise, and until the discovery of penicillin, there was no cure. Still, that does not excuse the unethical therapy of poor, black men who were recruited to take part in a program to record the natural advance of the disease.

The “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” began operation in 1932, when 600 humen from Macon County, a deprived region of Alabama, were drafted. Of those, 399 had syphilis. The humen were misinformed and told they would receive treatment for “bad blood”, which they did not recieve.

What’s worse, the researchers continued the experiment after penicillin became the accepted treatment for syphilis in 1945. The experiment, initially projected to last six months, carried on for 40 years. For some reason, doctors decided it was in medicine’s best interest to watch the men die a slow and painful demise unnecessarily. The research came to an end in 1972, after The New York Times published a narrative on the study. During the trial, 28 humen died of syphilis, 100 more from related causes, and 40 spouses contracted the disease.

In the forties, similar experimentations took place in Guatemala, where hundreds of men and women were purposefully infected with syphilis.

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
Doctor injecting a subject with what is presumably a placebo. US government/ Wikimedia Commons

The US government did poison alcohol renders, on purpose

Politicians introduced Prohibition in 1920 to kerb the nation’s drinking habit, but speakeasies multiplied and bootlegging( the illegal production and distribution of alcohol) was widespread. Apparently, putting something in law is not enough to actually change people’s behavior, so the US government came up with a drastic, far more sinister answer: poison the illegal liquor supply.

To do this, the government started adding toxins like benzene and mercury to alcohol in the mid-1 920 s. The most lethal, however, was methanol, otherwise known as wood alcohol, a substance commonly found in industrial products like ga and formaldehyde. Drinking this stuff can cause paralysis, blindness, and even demise. In total, it is estimated around 10,000 people succumbed as a result of the government’s moral crusade.

Ultimately, even poisoning the alcohol supplying wasn’t enough to dampen the country’s savour for alcohol and the practice died down. Prohibition ended in 1933, but the government adopted a similar tactic in the fight against marijuana use in the 1970 s.

content-1518192795-5-prohibition-disposa - 8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
New York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, watches as an officer disposes of( probably poisonous) alcohol during Prohibition. Source unknown/ Wikimedia Commons

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8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True
8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True

8 Scientific Conspiracy That Turned Out To Be True

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