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10 Bizarre Conspiracy Theories About Secret Government Operations

by Gregory Myers
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Despite the fact that corruption in governments is almost inevitable, most people believe that the purpose of a government is to care for and safeguard the people under their watch. The average person may disagree quite a bit on how this should be accomplished, but most believe that having a government is a good idea, and that despite the corruption, governments are still trying to do a decent job most of the time.

However, there are some people who have decided that many governments are run by people who secretly conspire to destroy the people they’re supposed to care for. The United States government in particular has been accused of many of these strange conspiracies, and will likely continue to be a favorite target of theorists far into the future.

10Tunnels Under Abandoned Walmarts

1- walmart has secret tunnels
Not long ago, quite a few Walmarts were shut down after it was discovered that all the stores had major plumbing issues. The managers of the stores were reportedly blindsided and had no knowledge of those plumbing issues. Due to the unusual circumstances, conspiracy theories quickly ran rampant. The most popular ones simply suggested that Walmart was trying to pull some subtle union-busting tricks, or perhaps was trying to find a better way to deal with underperforming stores.

However, some people saw the government’s hand moving behind the scenes. The folks at InfoWars theorized that the government may actually be using the abandoned facilities to house immigrants. But the darker evil was the underground network of tunnels beneath the stores. In the event of martial law, they say, the tunnels could also be used as detention centers for American citizens. Some of them believe that many of these tunnels have already existed for years and are only being expanded now. There’s also some speculation that other large buildings, like sports stadiums, may be part of a secret network of government tunnels.

9Men In Black

2- men in black
When most people think of the men in black, or MIB, they think of a wisecracking Will Smith giving attitude to everyone around him just before he flashes them with a red light. However, this phenomenon began long before the film and has much creepier and more mysterious origins. It’s hard to say when the first sightings of these gentlemen occurred, but when the United States was starting to really get into the space craze, reports of these visitors started to become more common. The stories are fairly fantastic, and most of them share a few key details. These men usually wear dark suits, glasses, gloves, and hats—even in the middle of the summer. They say they are government agents (but usually have no specific agency to point to), and they tend to have odd mannerisms.

This has led people to speculate that perhaps the MIB aren’t actually humans and aren’t working for the government at all. The stories of these beings run the gamut of the bizarre. Some accounts describe beings who are able to make a coin disappear without a trace. Others say the men have almost no hair or give off the uncanny valley vibe—almost human, but not quite. Some theorists claim that during the height of the MIB sightings, even the higher-ups in the military issued reports stating that they didn’t know who these people were.

Of course, if these men in black were real, it could just be that they were a very secretive part of the government that not all of the top brass knew about or they could have been civilians playing their own little game—it doesn’t necessarily follow that they were visitors from another planet. There is also the possibility that many of the MIB stories are simply made up by people who want attention.

8Bob Lazar And Area 51

Bob Lazar | UFO Conspiracy Theories | Mental Health & Personality

If you haven’t heard of Bob Lazar, he’s basically the man who made Area 51 famous. In television interviews back in the 1980s, he came out talking about the famous secret base in the American desert far from prying eyes, a base that the government was denying even existed at the time. He claimed to have worked in a special section called S4, and that he was hired for this job after his work at the Los Alamos research facility.

He also claimed to be a graduate of Caltech and MIT and gave a fantastic story in which he explained the inner workings of an alien spacecraft he had allegedly seen. The craft supposedly ran on something called element 115, which we have only recently been able to synthesize with a very strong particle accelerator in Europe. Element 115 has an incredibly short half-life as well.

He claimed that with this element, the aliens were able to efficiently and quickly power their spacecraft across huge distances. He also claimed to have seen aliens that had presumably come from a craft that crashed in Roswell, and he was partly concerned about the way we were treating them. He also felt that the secrets of space propulsion needed to be shown to the world, so he risked his career to bring this information to the public. However, the strangest part is that since then, no one has been able to prove that the man went to most of the schools he claimed or that he even worked at Los Alamos, much less Area 51.

There is some evidence that he did study physics at Pierce Junior College, but there is little else that can be proven about his credentials. Conspiracy theorists claim that the government messed with his credentials in order to discredit him, while others say Lazar was clearly a serial liar who couldn’t even be honest about his education.

7The Columbia Was Destroyed By Aliens

This Day In History: Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster

The Columbia disaster was a horrifying tragedy, and the world lost several highly skilled astronauts that day. After a 16-day mission, the Columbia was reentering the Earth’s atmosphere when everything went wrong. The official report stated that, during takeoff, a rogue piece of insulating foam had put a hole in the ship’s wing. Upon reentering the atmosphere, this hole allowed the heat to spread to the rest of the shuttle, which basically tore it to pieces in the upper atmosphere. It was a major setback for NASA, and it served as a lesson that even the smallest mistake can lead to catastrophe.

However, conspiracy theorists had an entirely different idea on what had actually happened. They pointed out that strange lights were seen near the Columbia before it exploded. These theorists also helpfully clarified that the craft was too high up in the atmosphere to be shot down from the Earth, which they said leads to only one conclusion: Aliens blew it up. They believe that either the aliens came up to the craft with peaceful intentions and the electromagnetic field of their ship accidentally ruined the Colombia or—more likely, in their eyes—the aliens simply shot it out of the sky. As to why the aliens would do this, the theorists posit that perhaps they were trying to teach us to stop using oil in our engines.

6A Secret Alien Moon Base

5- moon aliens
The Moon landing has long been shrouded in controversy. But while the prevailing conspiracy theory is that we never went to the Moon at all, some people believe that the Moon landing was real, but the footage was mostly faked in order to hide what the astronauts really saw. UFO conspiracy theorists claim that unconfirmed sources within the US military said that NASA discovered an entire base on the far side of the Moon. To make matters even more eerie, the claims also say that the astronauts saw several spaceships lined up on the horizon when they landed, something which totally blew them away.

Conspiracy theorists claim Neil Armstrong once opened up about there being no question that there was a base there, or that there were UFOs visible there when they landed. Of course, he was also careful not to give too much information, because he really wasn’t supposed to be talking about it at all.

A former Chief of Communications at NASA also allegedly claimed that UFOs followed all flights to the Moon. When the astronauts reported what was happening, they were told to just keep flying and not to do anything that might provoke the strange beings who were stalking them in the background. As for the proof, theorists say that the fact that there isn’t any simply proves that the CIA destroyed the evidence.

5The California Drought Is A Government Conspiracy

6- the california drought chemtrails
You’ve probably heard about chemtrails, the conspiracy theory that the US government is secretly spraying chemicals all over the upper atmosphere. There are varying theories on why the government is doing this. For some it’s a means of population control, but for one conspiracy theorist from California, it’s another reason entirely. The ringleader behind this new theory, Dane Wigington, believes that the government is directly responsible for the ongoing droughts in California. His background is in solar power, and he believes that, somehow, solar rays were being blocked from his power unit. After doing some investigating on his own, he is convinced that the United States government is seeding the upper atmosphere with heavy metals like barium and aluminum.

Allegedly, these toxic heavy metals are a last-ditch attempt to slow down climate change by reflecting the Sun’s rays back into outer space. According to Wigington, this massive climate engineering has had the effect of causing California’s rain to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have an explanation as to why bits of aluminum and barium would prevent it from raining. His key piece of “evidence” is that he has talked to government officials—who wish to remain anonymous—who confirm that the government is seeding the atmosphere in an attempt to push back the effects of climate change.

Of course, anyone who understands the mechanisms of climate change knows that this doesn’t make sense, but it hasn’t stopped a growing number of Californians from believing his crazy theory.

4The Raid On Osama bin Laden Was Staged

7- osama bin laden raid was staged

Photo credit: Hamid Mir

In 2011, the world uttered a collective cheer at the news that Osama bin Laden had finally been tracked down and defeated. At last, the terrorist leader that had orchestrated the 9/11 attacks had been brought to justice. The stories say that after a lot of careful CIA spy work, the United States government tracked him to his compound in Pakistan. They went on a daring raid across Pakistani borders, and a SEAL team managed to finally take out the terrorist leader. Despite encroaching on sovereign foreign soil, there was no major diplomatic issue over the situation, and everyone moved on happily.

However, a journalist named Seymour Hersh, who has a good reputation for breaking stories but is often criticized heavily for leaning on anonymous sources, has a different take on the situation. According to his sources, the United States government didn’t actually find bin Laden at all—the Pakistani government had known for years that bin Laden was there. They just hadn’t been doing anything about it. A member of the Pakistani government eventually went to US officials to let them know where bin Laden was, and they cooperated with the government of Pakistan to stage a “raid” on the compound. Supposedly, this allowed everyone to get what they wanted without making Pakistan look like they were working against Al-Qaeda. The United States government has, of course, unequivocally rejected Hersh’s version of events.

3The Chelyabinsk Meteor Was A Secret Weapons Test

Chelyabinsk Meteor Shockwave Compilation

In 2013, the Internet went crazy when an enormous meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. The explosion happened close enough to the city itself that many windows immediately exploded, leaving everyone in a state of shock and disbelief. Once the dust settled, however, their shock turned to suspicion.

Russians are a superstitious people to begin with, and history has taught them not to entirely trust anything that comes from their government. They also have a healthy measure of distrust for the United States. So it’s no surprise that many Russians in the region quickly abandoned the official story that the spectacle had simply been a meteor and decided that something far stranger must have happened.

Some of them likened it to 1908’s mysterious Tunguska event, and many of the theories included a UFO or extraterrestrials in some way. However, while many believed that there was a conspiracy, some of them felt that it likely had nothing to do with outside visitors from another planet. Instead, they pointed their fingers at the United States government, suggesting that it had been part of a secret weapons test. They justified the region chosen for the attack due to the large amount of military industrial work that is done around Chelyabinsk. Of course, most Russians don’t trust their own government very much either, so some citizens from the area believe that it could have just as easily been a Russian weapons test gone awry, and that a meteor was chosen as a nice “official” story to cover things up.

2Donald Trump Is A Plant

8- donald trump is a republican plant
Donald Trump, also known as “The Donald,” has recently been making more waves than usual due to his run for the presidency of the United States. This isn’t his first foray into the political sphere—he showed up last election riding a wave of support for the idea that President Obama should show his birth certificate and that he may or may not be a secret Muslim. However, Trump’s support quickly died away, and he left the race before it started to get serious. This time, Trump not only has some serious support, but a lot of it has been sticking around, and he has made his way into the presidential debates. Some people still don’t believe he is entirely serious. They see it either as a way for him to promote his various interests or purely as an ego trip.

Regardless of his real reasons for entering or staying in the race, sources like the Washington Post have already published stories espousing the theory that Trump—whether by his own recognizance or under the guidance of someone else—has been claiming the Republican mantle in order to look bad and destroy the party from within. Trump has been destroying the Hispanic opinion of the Republican party, which just so happens to be one of the demographics they will need most in order to win the next election. In the past, Trump’s political donations have been solidly Democratic, and he even invited Hillary Clinton to his wedding. Of course, the most likely reason for all this is simply that Trump is egotistical and doesn’t particularly understand politics or the political parties very well.

1The Government Has Been Allowing Alien Abductions For Decades

10- the government allows aliens to abduct people
While most people might casually argue over whether aliens even exist, some people take it to another level. For the enthusiasts who believe in regular alien abductions, it’s not a question of whether anyone is being abducted, but by whom and for what agenda. One theorist who believes in and investigates alien abductions has noted that many recent abductees claim that the government has a contract with the aliens and is secretly working with them. This contract allows the aliens to abduct people for their research in exchange for technological secrets. If abductions are real, it’s reasonable to assume that the governments would know something about it. There are thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth now, and aliens would have a pretty hard time sneaking past all of them.

However, this theorist is not convinced that the government is even involved. After investigating the cases, he believes that people being abducted later by the “government” are just being abducted by aliens a second time. These aliens are alien/human hybrids who sometimes try to dress up and act like military types in order to confuse people, but they aren’t actually affiliated with the government.

fact checked by Jamie Frater