30 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True

These conspiracy theories mentioned on Ask Reddit turned out to be true!

1. The CIA has a special gun that shoots dissolvable darts that leave no trace and cause people to get a heart attack. It was dismissed as a conspiracy theory before the gun actually turned out to be true during a trial where it was demonstrated by CIA operatives.

2. You know the whole “birds aren’t real” conspiracy theory?

Well, it’s funny because there was a thing in the 1960s called Project Acoustic Kitty where the CIA wanted to put microphones and transmitters inside of cats and use them to spy on the Soviets. It cost about $20 million and was a huge failure and allegedly the first cat they wired was hit by a car and killed very soon after they let it go. Now I’m not saying that birds are being used to spy on us, but it’s crazy to think that the government did actually try something like that.

3. Planned Obsolescence by mobile phone companies. People suspected their phones were being slowed down on purpose when a new phone arrived.

4. Your phone is listening to you even when you aren’t using it. Case and point, my friend was telling me, in person, about some alternative to PayPal she found. This same company was then advertised to me later that day despite my never looking it up. It’s not even available in my country.

5. MK-ultra. The government was running massive mind control experiments through American universities. Further, the CIA would kidnap people, load em up with LSD and torture them under this program. They even ran illegal brothels to kidnap the johns. The victims wouldn’t talk because they’d have to admit they were cheating on their wives.

The only reason we know about it is due to FOIA requests and the fact that someone forgot to destroy or hide the documents.

And no one fucking talks about it. No one went to prison for it. It’s very likely that the Unabomber was pushed to his mental breaking point under the auspices of this program and lead to his targeting of universities.

The FBI also ran illegal surveillance through COINTEL PRO and used it to suppress the black panthers, harass social activists, run illegal wire taps, and follow around public figures. And no one fucking talks about it. Hell it’s legal now under the patriot act.


6. That the NSA is basically storing and spying on everything sent across the internet.

Then Snowden came out and told us how they were doing it and suddenly Google etc started encrypting all their inter-server communications and https was universally pushed, hard.

He’s a fucking true blue American hero who should be celebrated as such.

7. My father, who I previously thought was insane, was convinced the meds the military used to prevent malaria caused serious and permanent behavioral health issues. 30 years later, I was prescribed a different malaria med as a preventative before a trip, and I jokingly mentioned my father’s theory to the doc.

“Mefloquine? Yeah, that’s actually true. That’s why we switched to this one.”

8. My grandfather for years told everyone his well water was poisoned. Everyone thought it was one of his (many) delusions. Eventually one of my uncles tested the water from his well and it turns out it was unsafe to drink.

9. Michael Jordan apparently sold so much that when he retired the NBA started losing profits. They started building stars like Kobe. They paired him up with Shaq in LA to recapture the glory days and get that Hollywood money. It’s also one of the reasons that New York never wins because win or lose, New Yorkers shell out money for the Knicks.

The Spurs, being in a small market, were pushed to championships because of their international appeal. Miami was rumored to be the next Hollywood due to lax tax laws and it being a similar party city which is why the first manufactured super team was formed there.

Of course there was also the Laker-Hornets trade that was vetoed by the NBA which would fuck the Hornets out of a solid trade (Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic). David Stern said it was to protect the Hornets but they ended getting less for CP3 (Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al Farouq Aminu and an unprotected 1st round pick). This seemed to be done to tank the Hornets, which the NBA owned at the time.

10. Not really a conspiracy but the author of Hunt for Red October got the story of submarines so accurate that the department of defense investigated him thinking he was a spy.

11. The Gulf of Tonkin incident (Vietnamese: Sự kiện Vịnh Bắc Bộ), also known as the USS Maddox incident, was an international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War. It involved one real and one falsely claimed confrontation between ships of North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005, proved material misrepresentation by the US government to justify a war against Vietnam.

12. Colombia’s government and high rank military officials killed farmers and poor people just to get personnel promoted and support from people.

The bodies had uniforms just like the ones guerrilla soldiers used to wear.

People started noticing that something was wrong with these ”guerrillero bodies” when the boots in some of the bodies were backwards and a lot of people went missing from villages.

13. This is on a lighter note but in 2013 (during the twerking craze), there was a viral video which feature a girl named Caitin Heller twerking against a doorway. When someone opens the door, Heller then falls on a table with a candle thus setting her on fire. Not only was it being shared online but news media like CNN were picking up on the story. While people were having conspiracy theories that this video may be fake, those people were often mocked. Eventually, Jimmy Kimmel came out and revealed that the video was fake and Caitlin Heller was actually a stuntwoman named Daphne Avalon.

14. Watergate. It started out as a conspiracy theory, but gained enough evidence to tun into the scandal that we all know today.

15. Drug money is used to rig elections and train brutal, corporate-sponsored dictators around the world.

16. The sugar industry buying researchers to muddy the waters in regards to diet. Coke has paid for these studies to say that sugar is not harmful to the general populace but it generally is. The way that food is processed to hell and back is detrimental to humanity. I’m not innocent of enjoying sugar but the way our food is treated is a huge problem.

17. All FIFA World Cups were purchased from 1998 through 2014. When I know that in 2002, I heard about who would win each year. And it happened!

18. Systematic Pedophilia in the catholic church. It was an open secret that for whatever reason was suppressed by the church, its members and even its victims.

19. CIA putting LSD in the water supply.

Except it was only a handful of extremely small (<800 pop.) towns in the American Southwest, and the outcome was not, “we have a mind control serum,” but instead, “that deeply troubled a lot of rural elderly people, who had no idea what was happening to them.”

20. Operation Northwoods. The Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans to create terrorist acts on US soil to drum up support for a war and invasion of Cuba in the 1960s.

President Kennedy rejected the plan, which included: innocent Americans being shot dead on the streets; boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington D.C., Miami, and elsewhere; people being framed for bombings they did not commit; and planes being hijacked.

21. Jeffrey Epstein was killed and if you think the cameras broke both guards fell asleep and he hung himself you’re an asshole.

22. Playing football causes brain damage. They knew since the 80s but it was becoming such a juggernaut that they climate change denier’d it.

23. My grandfather was afraid of moving into a nursing home or living alone, he was convinced people working in elderly medical care were out to get him. A few years later a local nurse is in the news as a serial killer who believed she was doing the right thing ending lives early. Around the same time a home visiting nurse, who was supposed to help him, got frustrated and hit him, so I removed her from the house which was something he wouldn’t have been able to do. After reporting that nurse everywhere she was still doing home visits for an acquaintance (until I told him too).

24. Ernest Hemingway believed he was being followed by the FBI. It was passed off as paranoid delusions by the medical community and the world at large. But the freedom of information act revealed that Hemingway was an amateur agent in Cuba during the war, but also seen as a potential communist sympathizer by the FBI, who did later follow him. It played a major role in his suicide, though obviously there were many other factors.

25. Political decisions (and frankly, any big decision) are not made by YOU and only you. As it has been proven again and again and again and again, the moment you log into any social media, open a newspaper, look outside or watch tv, your view begins to be manipulated by others. Even if you think you’re above that, you’re not. We’ve all speculated this, but now we know for a fact, our decisions are manipulated and there is no way to stop that.

26. Operation Condor. The USA financed with money and weapons military groups in all South America, to prevent the communism or socialism to impose in any country on the continent. It turns out that they began to establish dictatorships that in some cases lasted for decades, disappearing tens of thousands of people against the regime. One of the most widely known case is Pinochet in Chile and Videla in Argentina.

27. The CIA kickstared the crack epidemic that devastated many US black urban areas in the ’80s in order to pay for death squads in Central America.

There was an investigative series in the mid-90s written by a journalist named Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News where he chronicled the CIA’s trafficking of cocaine on behalf of the anti-Communist Contras in Nicaragua. This got picked up by several other larger newspapers and prompted several official government investigations.

The paper got pushback which eventually led to them retracting parts of the investigative series and the official government reports whitewashed the entire thing and Gary Webb resigned in disgrace. He would later ‘kill himself’ in 2004.

28. The Business Plot: the 1930s robber barons attempted a violent overthrow of FDR’s government, with the intention of installing fascism. Smedley Butler, the man they had hoped would lead their coup, exposed them, making them look ridiculous and leading to a coverup (but nonetheless rendering the plot a failure). They destroyed his career, which never recovered, and he died in obscurity in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

There’s a good chance that we would have seen a fascist/Nazi takeover of the country had one man not sacrificed his career to prevent it. Despite his heroism, few people today know his name.

29. Governments and corporations are actually spying on us.

30. I lived in Oregon in the 70’s and 80’s. Everyone always talked about how the Evergreen Airport was used by the CIA but they always denied it. The truth finally came out and the airport ended up closing afterwards. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.