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Conspiracy Theories

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On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission was a huge success for the United States and humanity as a whole, but many conspiracy theorists believe the landing was a fake.
The belief that aliens have visited Earth is based on countless sightings of UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects), reports of alien abductions, and other mysterious phenomena such as crop circles. Skeptics believe the evidence for these claims is weak.
The standard account of the September 11th Attacks is that they were orchestrated by Al Qaeda. However, some people, particularly critics of the United States, have argued that the US Government knew about or even planned the attacks.
Seth Shostak
It's hardly likely to amaze you, but I'm skeptical. I don't think the evidence laid on the table as proof of extraterrestrial visitation is compelling, and I certainly don't buy the argument that better evidence (in fact, all the really good evidence) has somehow been collected by the governments of the world and stacked up in secret storage lockers.
Eliezer Yudkowsky
I don't believe that UFOs are alien visitors, but my skepticism has nothing to do with all the crazy people who believe in UFOs - the existence of wacky cults is not much less expected in the case that aliens do exist, than in the case that they do not. ... I don't believe aliens would (a) travel across interstellar distances AND (b) hide all signs of their presence AND THEN (c) fly gigantic non-nanotechnological aircraft over our military bases with their exterior lights on.
On [the] morning [of September 11, 2001], 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others.
9/11 conspiracy theories are claims that the September 11, 2001 attacks did not happen in the way they are traditionally thought to have happened. Most theories state that, in one way or another, the United States government attacked its own country ... The evidence provided by the conspiracy theorists, also known as Truthers or "9/11 truthers" has been widely debunked by many famous researchers and even some 9/11 sympathizers.
Jessie Ventura
When I finally did watch [Loose Change, the film arguing that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by the US Government] I went through every emotion you could imagine, from laughing, crying, getting sick to my stomach, to the whole emotional thing.
Eliezer Yudkowsky
[Satirical reenactment of government officials:] It's done. The plane targeted at Congress was crashed by those on-board, but the Pentagon and Trade Center attacks occurred just as scheduled. ... Congress seems sufficiently angry in any case. ... I don't think the further steps of the plan will meet with any opposition. We should gain the governmental powers we need, and the stock market should move as expected. ... Have you prepared the conspiracy theorists to accuse us?
Robin Hanson
Since the universe is thirteen billion years old while human civilization is only a few thousand years old, alien civilizations out there would most likely be millions and perhaps billions of years more advanced than us. Given such a lead, it is quite plausible they could make devices able to display all of the phenomena reported for UFOs. There is nothing in physics that suggests UFOs are not aliens. No, the main argument against UFOs as aliens is that this is an implausible social scenario.
Edgar Mitchell
I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real.
Whoopi Goldberg
I love great conspiracy theories and these are better than a lot of them because they [ask] why is the flag rippling? There's no air!

New Comments

1 Point       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Was the moon landing a hoax? Disagree
I think the best argument against the conspiracy theory is the sheer number of people that would have to be keeping quiet about it if it were a hoax.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Did the US Government play a part in the 9/11 attacks? Disagree
All evidence points to the fact that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Islamist terrorists.

0 Points       MTC       23 Feb 2013     Have aliens from outer space visited Earth? Disagree
Extraterrestrials almost certainly exist (you would have to be incredibly arrogant to believe this is the only planet in the universe where life exists), but have almost certainly not visited Earth.

0 Points       blacktrance       10 Feb 2011     Did the US Government play a part in the 9/11 attacks? Disagree
It's been conclusively shown that the events of 9/11 were a result of terrorist activity, not government conspiracy.

0 Points       Benja       04 Dec 2010     Have aliens from outer space visited Earth? General Comment
"I believe there is so much more to know than is known."
One's lack of knowledge is not evidence for the way the world is.

"open minds are few and far between"
See Are people who reject theories as unscientific closed minded?.

1 Point       Benja       27 Apr 2010     Did the US Government play a part in the 9/11 attacks? Disagree
"This is just my opinion and you people might disagree with me but, i dont really care"

A glib attitude like this is fine if we're talking about the color of your underwear. But we're talking about 3,000 lives that were lost and the legitimacy of the US government. It's part of our social responsibility to care about what other people think on matters that we find mutually important. In this particular case, to not care, would be to not care the lives lost on that day, and perhaps far worse, not care about the future of the far great number of lives affected by the US government.

0 Points       Benja       10 Apr 2010     Did the US Government play a part in the 9/11 attacks? General Comment
I did some research as to whether the collapse was physically possible, and did not come to your conclusion. Please check out the evidence in the linked question: "Was the collapse of the twin towers only physically possible by controlled demolition?". The physics supporting the standard account - that the load bearing structures were compromised to the point that they could no longer support the immense weight of the building - seems entirely sound to me. Be wary when people use common sense arguments when physics is involved. Always look at the math on both sides, and only then make a conclusion.

0 Points       OmnipotentRabbit       10 Apr 2010     Did the US Government play a part in the 9/11 attacks? Agree
And, of course, the only people that so far agree with this are hardly literate and do not wish to reveal themselves. I understand the desire for anonymity on this opinion. But it is hardly necessary.

There is a reason for the attacks. There always has been, throughout the last hundred years, a reason to provoke attacks, or create very believable fictions of attacks on the US to initiate wars, which have proved to be a source for economic benefit and political control since World War I. This was done in 9/11 to create a war against the most vague of enemies, terrorism, allowing the US government (and whichever others feared terrorists) to apply whatever laws they wanted to "prevent terrorism". But as anyone can see, these measures have only reduced liberties, and when analysed from a rational viewpoint, do not actually stop any terrorists.

Moreover, from careful analysis of the television footage, most anyone with some understanding of architecture and engineering can see that it is physically impossible for a plane crash to ignite a steel building or impact it with enough strength to cause its collapse. And then there's the lack of plane remains of decent size both there and the Pentagon...

The evidence for this is overwhelming. It is understandable that not many people agree with this, it would be an assumption that the US government is not to be trusted. But it is a reasonable assumption indeed.

0 Points       OmnipotentRabbit       10 Apr 2010     Was the moon landing a hoax? Disagree
Sure, sure. Go ahead and say that we did it to get ahead of the Russians and whatnot, that is perfectly justified considering the viewpoint of most theorists. And sure, the US government usually lies to people. But the technology and the money was there. Heck, the Soviets managed to launch a probe into Venus and recorded data and pictures in 1967 (even landed one probe three years later), yet a man bringing a camera to the Moon and recording it is looked at as impossible. Preposterous!

0 Points       Packbat       09 Apr 2010     Was the moon landing a hoax? Disagree
As the man said, there were six moon landings. Why would we fake it six times?

Besides, it's ridiculous. There were hundreds of amateur astronomers watching the missions through their own equipment, there were entire other countries with a vested interest in monitoring what the Apollo missions were doing, and let's not forget the sheer number of people and amount of money involved - it would be impossible to have a conspiracy large enough to cover every form of evidence available that we did this.

0 Points       Radioactivity       09 Apr 2010     Was the moon landing a hoax? Disagree
I've seen the space shuttle ass hole
It definetly landed on the moon
Do some research...

U don't think we went to the moon
Why not tell Louis Armstrong to his face

0 Points       JGWeissman       27 Mar 2010     Did the US Government play a part in the 9/11 attacks? Disagree
The government had no conspiracy to cause the attack. Their response, however, was horribly incompetent. They should have been able to limit the damage to the loss of the hijacked planes, by shooting down the planes when the hijackers refused to communicate.

The government's use of the attack to justify attacking Iraq, which was not involved, was criminal.

Conspiracy Theories Question Index

Have aliens from outer space visited Earth?
Did the US Government play a part in the 9/11 attacks?
Was the moon landing a hoax?
Has the US military ever considered terrorizing its own citizens?
Is Scientology a scam?