PCS Blog

The North Plan: All in Theory?

Posted by JessicaStuhr | 15 December 2011

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
With so much information whizzing through the airwaves it’s no wonder that suspicious government activity or seemingly unsolvable mysteries can secure a foothold in our minds. We make extreme excuses in order to believe something has gone awry. Well, perhaps something has. Is it so hard to believe in government secrecy and conspiracy? Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North wrote Readiness Exercise 1984, a secretive “scenario and drill” that described the circumstances under which more than 100,000 American citizens – deemed threatening to national security – could be detained. Conspiracy theory or truth? While most will remain theories, some of the most famous and talked about conspiracies present astounding evidence that begs you to believe, but mostly it has made for some awesome entertainment, both on newsstands and in the movies.  
 
Did you know that Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong didn’t actually land on the moon on July 20, 1969? According to skeptics, it was staged by NASA and filmed in a Hollywood studio with their feet firmly on the ground. Arguments supporting this theory are numerous. In photos the flag appears to be blowing in the breeze. What breeze? Also, where are the stars? Scientists say that a rolled-up piece of cloth with “stored angular momentum” will naturally ripple and wave when unrolled and that the sunlight-reflecting lunar surface would have made stars hard to see due to the glare. Other arguments include odd shadow placement, a lack of indentation on the moon’s surface where the shuttle landed, and a dispute over the famous photo of Aldrin where no photographer is visible in his visor reflection. All of these critiques have a counter argument but still people are divided. Despite the controversy, NASA maintains that Apollo 11 landed Buzz and Neil on the surface of the moon. In that case, the USA beat the USSR in the great space race. But, let’s not forget that the USSR did send a dog to space in 1957. Truce?
 
Don’t be too disappointed that Buzz and Neil returned with a big rock instead of green aliens. Extraterrestrials supposedly came to Earth 22 years before we were lunar bound. The most famous UFO conspiracy is the supposed recovery of a crashed alien spacecraft and its occupants in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The US Armed Forces says it was debris from an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon. Ufologists are convinced that the military engaged in a cover-up and Major Jesse Marcel, who was involved in the original recovery of the debris, said in a 1978 interview that he believed in the alien theory, too. Let’s just hope the 1996 film Independence Day wasn’t foreshadowing.
 
As far as earthbound conspiracies go, they are nearly endless; but some have hit the charts as the most controversial in history.
Consider the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, who was fatally shot on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas while riding in a motorcade. The official investigation found Lee Harvey Oswald guilty, but assassination theories state that Oswald did not act alone. So who was the second gunman on the grassy knoll? There is a laundry list of high-ranking officials and agencies supposedly involved in the conspiracy, including the CIA, KGB, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Fidel Castro, Cuban exile groups and more. Phew! If this one is true, you can’t trust the government ... or your chauffeur for that matter. Many believed Secret Service agent William Greer shot Kennedy from the driver seat until restored footage came out years later. What looks like a handgun in old film was actually the sun’s glare atop Texas Governor John Connelly’s gel-smoothed hair. Leave it to Elvis to debunk this one. He said “truth is like the sun,” glaring off of a 1960s comb-over.  
 
Speaking of Elvis, did The King actually die in the mid-90s after faking his own death in 1977?  Many sing “uh huh” and some say he just went home. Fans and theorists have a few good reasons why the hip shaker may have faked his death. He was the most famous man in music; fans believe he couldn’t handle the pressure. Along with some dispute over the middle name on Presley’s grave stone, so-called sightings are to blame for this theory. The tabloids aided with post mortem articles that kept believers happy. Elvis apparently broke his leg in a motorcycle accident after his death. Maybe he revolutionized more than music, like … magic? But it was The King of Rock and Roll who said, “You only pass through this life once; you don’t come back for an encore.” Thank you very much, Elvis.
 
 
So, how many conspiracy theories exist? They are uncountable, but some have gained more popularity due to new evidence or the involvement of public figures; a few have even been made into books or movies. Possibly the most popular product of a conspiracy theory is the novel The Da Vinci Code and the movie by the same name. This book stems from religion-based theories surrounding the life of Jesus and the Illuminati. In the film The Da Vinci Code, Tom Hanks’ character Robert Langdon discovers clues in Da Vinci paintings following a murder in the Louvre that illuminates a protected religious mystery and threatens the very foundation of Christianity. Other conspiracy films include JFK (1991), starring Kevin Costner; The Manchurian Candidate (1962, 2004), a film about a communist plot to assassinate American political figures; All the President’s Men (1976), recounting the events and conspiracies surrounding the Watergate scandal; The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum starring Matt Damon, a film trilogy about a secret CIA assassination program; and many more.
 
Is our society obsessed with the possibility of government scandals and wrong-doing? For years there has been evidence presented on both sides of every issue and many theories have not been debunked or proven. But with all of the hullaballoo, it does make you wonder…could it be true? It’s your call.
 
 
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