Lizard People and Other Ridiculous Conspiracy Theories Many Americans Still Believe

We all love reading good conspiracy theories, but a surprising number of American actually believe one or more of them. In one study, researchers asked participants to remember instances over which they had no control, like the weather. Those people ranked more likely to believe conspiracy theories than those who remembered one they did control, like their outfit.

Some of the theories this out-of-control mindset creates might sound pretty implausible. Others, not so much. Maybe you even hold some of these controversial beliefs yourself. We can sort of understand why people believe this one (page 7).

1. Who really killed John F. Kennedy?

John F Kennedy, 35th president of the US, and his wife Jackie Kennedy travelling in the presidential motorcade at Dallas, before his assassination

John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy travel in the presidential motorcade in Dallas. | Keystone/Getty Images

A 2013 poll showed that every second U.S. citizen questioned believed a conspiracy resulted in the assassination of JFK in 1963. In addition, 25% think the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner, shot point-blank Oswald on live TV. Since we can never know Oswald’s true motives, the assassination sparked a slew of theories. Many of those also persist today.

Next: The following conspiracy sounds a little weirder.

2. Do lizard people control our country?

A person sports reptilian face paint.

A person sports reptilian face paint. | sundikova/iStock/Getty Images

A disturbing 4% of people believe “shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining power.” That works out to about 12 million people who hold this unusual belief. Prominent lizard people theorist David Icke said reptiles from space invaded Earth and began breeding with humans by manipulating human DNA.

The Atlantic explains that lizard people often have a few characteristics. Those include green or blue eyes that can change color, red hair, a deep compassion for humans, and psychic abilities. Unexplained scars, alien contacts, and low blood pressure can also point to lizard invasion.

Next: These pair of conspiracy theories also contradicts each other a bit.

3. Did Navy SEALs really kill Osama bin Laden?

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden | Salah Malkawi/Getty Images

The survey also revealed those who believe Osama bin Laden had died before the Navy SEALs shot him hold another, contrary belief. They also rank as more likely to consider it plausible that bin Laden still lives, somewhere.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden gave credence to that theory in 2017, according to The Nation. “I have documents showing that Bin Laden is still on the CIA’s payroll,” Snowden told the Moscow Tribune. He also explained that Bin Laden lived in a villa with five of his wives and many children, as of 2013.

Next: This theory also gives rise to some scary political ideas.

4. Does a New World Order want to take over the world?

United Nations flag

United Nations flag | Comstock/iStock/Getty Images

The Public Policy Polling survey found 28% of voters believe that a secretive elite with a globalist agenda wants to rule the world. Called the “New World Order,” 34% of Republicans, 35% of independents, and 15% of Democrats believe in the authoritarian government.

According to New York Magazine, the New World Order conspiracy theories date at least back to the 1700s, when the Illuminati and Freemasons originated. Its influence ranges from historical to outright bizarre. For example, the birth of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Blue (Born Living Under Evil) Ivy (Illuminati’s Very Youngest) apparently indicates their involvement.

Next: This next debate also divides sharply down partisan lines.

5. Is global warming a hoax?

Imaginary view of the Earth in outer space

Planet Earth |

A total of 58% of Republicans agree that global warming represents a conspiracy, while 77% of Democrats disagree with that theory. President Donald Trump also keeps contributing to that theory. He tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

The president also said, “Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air — not the same old climate change (global warming) bullshit! I am tired of hearing this nonsense.” Despite the president’s claims, scientific evidence of global warming does exist.

Next: Another president also factored in to these creepy conspiracy theories.

6. Who really calls President Barack Obama the Anti-Christ?

Barack Obama speaking in a dark suit against a dark background

Barack Obama | Alex Wong/Getty Images

The survey also found that 20% of Republicans believe that Obama is the Anti-Christ, compared to 13% of independents and 6% of Democrats. A number of extremist sites brought up the idea. Those included a video breaking down the theory, and an email chain shared by Politifact.

The email reads: “According to The Book of Revelations … The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal … is it OBAMA??” The insane theory subsequently grew legs. Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez even attempted to assassinate Obama by firing rifle shots at the White House. When asked about his motive, he said he “needed to kill” Obama, the “Anti-Christ.”

Next: A surprising number of people also believe the following conspiracy theories.

7. Do aliens really exist?

UFO flying below plane's wing

UFO | ktsimage/iStock/Getty Images

A full 29% of Americans also believe aliens exist and an additional 21% believe a UFO crashed at Roswell, Mexico in 1947. According to The Week, the Roswell theory stemmed from a July crash related to then-classified Project Mogul. The mission to detect Soviet nuclear tests resulted in a weather balloon crash, which the government tried to keep quiet. All of the secrecy subsequently gave rise to UFO reports.

Secondhand reports from Glenn Dennis in 1989 further fueled theories. He claimed a nurse friend at the Roswell Army Air Field accidentally walked into an examination room. There, she said she saw doctors bent over the bodies of three human-like creatures. They evidently resembled humans, but with small bodies, spindly arms, and giant bald heads. No credible evidence of aliens has ever really emerged.

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