Conspiracy theories used to be written off as the stuff of harmless eccentrics and the bizarre expressions of non-conformists.
But not anymore. Gone are the days of wacky theories about Roswell’s UFOs and the “hoax” moon landings.
In today’s world, conspiracy theories have taken the form of political weapons powered by social media. They spread with astonishing speed, using death threats as currency.
The latest conspiracy theory fuelled by celebrities and even clergymen is the rhetoric linking the COVID-19 pandemic to the rollout of fifth-generation (5G) technology.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, one of the biggest Pastor in Africa and probably in the world is also pushing this 5G “New World Order” #COVID19 conspiracy. Its going to get people killed, & he’s also pushing anti vaccination. WTF pic.twitter.com/vuy44eJDm2
— Wale Gates 🇳🇬🇬🇧 (@walegates) April 4, 2020
The theorists claim that the novel coronavirus which has caused over 72,000 deaths globally and infected more than 1.3 million persons has something to do with biological cellular interference caused by 5G technology.
There is even another misguided talk of the vaccine for COVID-19 being an essential tool for the “New World Order,” which is, by itself, another conspiracy theory.
While nothing could be farther from the truth, this hoax message still had to be debunked by health organisations and medical associations across the globe.
But still, the misinformation still keeps spreading faster than the virus itself via WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social platforms. And the situation is not helped by the fact that there are people in positions of authority who believe in and are spreading the conspiracy theory, making new believers out of a naive audience.
The 5G Conspiracy theories is complete and utter rubbish, it’s nonsense, it’s the worst kind of stupidity have ever seen displayed by idiots.
How can a grown-up believe they locked FCT and Lagos down to install 5G?
The sawdust in Chris Oyakhilome’s head needs a refill. 🤦🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/r4QBvdq4ns
— sαℓмαη سلمان ∂υкε 📸 (@SalmanDuke) April 6, 2020
Well, that’s the world we live in now and it’s not like tech developments have never been the target of the ‘hoaxers.’
As a matter of fact, science and technology have been haunted by conspiracy theories throughout the ages. And we made a compilation of some of the most absurd ones which are obviously just what they are: a boatload of concocted tales of things that never happened (or B.S. in street lingo, if you like).
Flat Earth theory first emerged in 19th-century England, despite the Earth’s spherical nature having been known since at least the time of Pythagoras. It has in recent years been promoted by American software consultant, Mark Sargent, through the use of YouTube videos.
Flat-earther conspiracy theorists hold that planet Earth is not a sphere, and that evidence has been faked or suppressed to hide the fact that it is instead a disc or a single infinite plane.
The conspiracy often implicates NASA. Other claims may include such allegations as that GPS devices are rigged to make aircraft pilots wrongly believe they are flying around a globe.
Radiofrequency identification chips (RFID), such as those implanted into pets as a means of tracking, have drawn the interest of conspiracy theorists who claim that this technology is secretly widely implanted in humans.
Former Whitby town councilor, Simon Parkes, has promoted this theory, which may be related to conspiracy theories concerning vaccination, electronic banking, and the Antichrist.
Numerous conspiracy theories point to real or alleged weather-controlling projects. Theories include the debunked assertion that HAARP, a radio-technology research program funded by the US government, is a secret weather-controlling system.
Some theorists have blamed the devastating Hurricane Katrina of 2005 on HAARP.
HAARP has also been suggested to have somehow caused earthquakes, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami or the 2013 Saravan earthquake. Some HAARP-related claims refer to mind-control technology.
Also of interest to conspiracy theorists are cloud-seeding technologies. These include a debunked allegation that the British military’s Project Cumulus caused the fatal 1952 Lynmouth Flood in Devon, England, and claims concerning a secret project said to have caused the 2010 Pakistan flood.
Numerous theories allege the suppression of certain technologies and energies.
Such theories may focus on the Vril Society Conspiracy, allegations of the suppression of the electric car by fossil-fuel companies (as detailed in the 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?), and the Phoebus cartel, set up in 1924, which has been accused of suppressing longer-lasting light bulbs.
Conspiracy theorists claim that government agents are utilizing directed energy weapons and electronic surveillance to harass members of the population.
Theorists often cite research into psychotronic weapons, the Cuban Health Attacks, and the Microwave Auditory Effect as proof of their theory. There are over 10,000 people who identify as targeted individuals.
Conspiracy theorists often make targets out of new military technologies, both real and imagined.
Subjects of theories include: the alleged Philadelphia Experiment, a supposed attempt to turn a U.S. Navy warship invisible; the alleged Montauk Project, a supposed government program to learn about mind control and time travel; and the so-called “tsunami bomb”, which is alleged to have caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Other theories include Peter Vogel’s debunked claim that an accidental explosion of conventional munitions at Port Chicago was, in fact, a nuclear detonation, and a theory promoted by the Venezuelan state-run TV station, ViVe, that the 2010 Haiti earthquake was caused by a secret U.S. “earthquake weapon.”