Students share their favorite conspiracy theories

Art by Nery Sanchez

Art by Nery Sanchez

The world of conspiracy theories is vast and full of unique theories from believing the Earth is flat to the details of the John F. Kennedy assassination. Conspiracy theories are often controversial and can lead to heated arguments.

 According to The Public Science Library, 73% of Americans believe that conspiracy theories are currently out of control and 59% agree that people are more likely to believe conspiracy theories. Approximately 77% of Americans believe that social media and the internet are responsible for these increases.

“John F. Kennedy killed himself, Mount Rushmore is a bunker, The Rapture is coming and has nothing to do with Jesus Christ and I don’t believe in balloons,” sophomore Vaden Kumar said. “Mount Rushmore is a bunker because it’s meant to store the president. Why do you think they have the faces on there? I started believing in this conspiracy theory straight out of the fetus. I want to find the truth.”

Conspiracy theories can be believed by different types of people and have many different layers, with each one holding different information..Some theories can be believed by people even with little amounts of information.

Junior Landon Lunsford said “I personally believe that our universe is just one of infinite multiverses, each of which are different from the last in some way, no matter how small. And I do believe that we are not alone in this universe, it’s such a big thing so it’s highly unlikely that we are alone.”

Conspiracy theories can be believed not just by high schoolers, but can also be believed by adults. Conspiracy theories can relate to people, and Kynda Faythe an English teacher here at NHS is no different.

“Conspiracy theories is one of the most fascinating rhetorical devices to me,” Faythe said.”It has been a while since I’ve researched it, but I do recall a friend of mine completing his undergraduate thesis on the topic. I remember that these types of theories can actually help one satisfy his/her needs with safety, control and society. When a person feels like his/her safety or autonomy is compromised, then the person relies on conspiracies to help him/her feel better about the surrounding environment or maintain a positive image of his/her social group.“

Conspiracy theories often install distrust in people and what they believe in. Conspiracy theories can also lead to people trying to solve conspiracy theories.

“It always amazes me how conspiracy theories can instill so much distrust.  Honestly, I think distrust drives these theories because people want to believe or cannot believe that someone or something is the reason why something happened. I don’t necessarily believe in any conspiracy theories at the moment. I am not losing sleep that I don’t know where Bigfoot lives and I don’t believe that the Sandy Hook shootings were a hoax. I do believe that there are many happenings in the world that do not have rational explanations,”  Faythe said.

Conspiracy theories can be believed by anyone regardless of how absurd it may sound to some people. 

With conspiracy theories gaining popularity throughout the world in recent year’s people have begun to bond and connect with each other over these theories. Here at NHS, students, teachers and staff might connect with others over them.

 Roger Cohen, a journalist who worked for the New York Times said “Conspiracy theory is the ultimate refuge of the powerless. If you cannot change your own life, it must be that some greater force controls the world.”

With conspiracy theories people have to find their own information and dig deep to try and find new information regarding the specific theory. The conspiracy theory of chemtrails is one where a lot of information is available. 

According to Harvard University, “Chemtrails refers to the theory that governments or other parties are engaged in a secret program to add toxic chemicals to the atmosphere from aircraft in a way that forms visible plumes in the sky, somewhat similar to contrails. Various different motivations for this alleged spraying are speculated, including sterilization, reduction of life expectancy, mind control or weather control.”

Another conspiracy theory with a large following is the belief in aliens. The beliefs of extraterrestrial life has spiked due to recent events. According to the New York Times, the United States recently shot down an Unidentified Flying Object and is currently being investigated by The US and Canada.

According to the New York Times “The U.S. and Canada are investigating three unidentified flying objects shot down over North America in the past three days.”

Another famous conspiracy – The Illumanti – is the belief they are running the world from the shadows. The idea of the Illumanti has been around since 1776 according to BBC. 

According to Brittanica, “It was on May 1, 1776 that Adam Weishaupt, a professor of law at the University of Ingolstadt, founded the Order of the Illuminati, a secret organization formed to oppose religious influence on society and the abuse of power by the state by fostering a safe space for critique, debate and free speech.”

Another ancient theory – the belief in Spirits, Phantoms, or Ghosts – has been a part of American culture for centuries.

According to BBC “According to recent surveys, as many as three quarters of Americans believe in the paranormal, in some form, while nearly one in five claim to have actually seen a ghost.”

“I cannot confirm or deny anything about extra-terrestrial beings, who actually shot Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Tupac. If one keeps that in mind, no wonder people believe that there are greater forces who control the world.” Faythe said