Most Famous Picture of Bigfoot

Conspiracy Theories and their Significance in Pop Culture and Media

Looking back on history, there are some things that really can not be explained. Others tend to agree. When there are things that do not add up, it leads to people looking for answers. Since people need answers, they look for connections in any place that they can. This has led to some of the most outrageous conspiracy theories. These theories have become the focus in pop culture and are a favorite pastime among Americans.

What is a Conspiracy Theory?

Charlie Day uses conspiracies in the show "Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
Credit: The Guardian

For those that are unaware, conspiracy theories are a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators. Or in other words, finding an outrageous connection to explain why an event has happened. Throughout this blog I aim to cover some of the most famous and interesting theories which many people have talked about. Since they are so popular, I also want to examine how these theories are important in the media.

Some of the Most Popular Theories

The Bermuda Triangle Conspiracy

Even though there are planes and ships that have disappeared without being in the Bermuda Triangle, there is still a fear of going into that area. I have done research on this previously and have found lots of ideas on why it happens in this area. It could be reasonable, as that area is more likely to have bad weather. Not that it is a passageway into the lost city of Atlantis. To read more about other theories and coincidences in the Bermuda Triangle, check out my other blog on it.

People have also said that there is nothing to do with Atlantis or any of the very out there theories. More or less it is due to errors, weather and other very, explainable things. While this could be true, it is certainly not as fun to believe in. Also, as I have mentioned previously, it is very hard to ignore the many times this has happened in the same place.

Moon Landing Hoax

There was a time where you could walk along the street and ask someone “was the moon landing real?” This would spark a huge debate. I’m sure there are still people today who are interested in this conspiracy.  This conspiracy is just how it sounds. In 1969, July 20th to be exact, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. Being the first person to ever do so. A lot of people did not buy this actually happening.

Moon Landing conspiracy
Credit: Space.com

William Kaysing was the first person to cast doubt on the claim of landing on the moon. He was an engineer and said that the United States was not technically advanced enough to do such a thing. He published a book on it and claimed that in Area 51. The reason for this was basically to beat Russia to it. Kaysing claim had many people built on this and it was the basis of many movies, like Capricorn One.

Oujia Board Conspiracy

This is not as much of a conspiracy, but a fear. The Oujia board is meant to be a parlor game. But somehow along the way, this was no longer the case. Somehow, the game became something much more sinister. In a previous blog I fell down the rabbit hole of trying to learn more about it.

Many scary movies have made it seem like it and there have been reports about the board inviting malicious spirits into a house. There is a whole reddit thread dedicated to people sharing their own stories and experiences. Many people have shared what they think and there are countless people I have encountered who refuse to play. To read peoples stories, here is the thread.

Bigfoot

Mythical creatures have always been head scratchers. Sometimes I think that the mind will create images to make us think we see something. For example, bigfoot has been a conspiracy for a very long time. So maybe the mind was playing a trick on the man, or maybe people were just dressing up in a gorilla costume to get

Most Famous Picture of Bigfoot
Credit: History.com

a reaction. Both very likely explanations, but like any conspiracy theory, where is the fun in that?

Bigfoot is more or less a wild man in the woods. It resembles an ape and walks on two legs like a man. There have been many sightings around the globe of a being that fits that description. Most commonly the sightings are within the United States, but there are reports all the way in London, England. It could very easily be someone dressed in a costume, but there are some pictures that make this questionable. Some collections of photos that have come to light contradict this. There have been pictures which show huge footprints that are unlikely to belong to any man.

Bigfoot is a big thing in popular culture today, as are the others we have discussed, but before we get into their representation we still have a few more to talk about.

The Illuminati

Secret societies are very interesting in the world. There are so many different ones. With

Illuminati symbol
Credit: The Sun

that being said, there is no way one can talk about conspiracy theories without mentioning the idea of the Illuminati. The idea of the Illuminati dates back to the French and American Revolution. Since the symbol of the illuminati, the pyramid with the eye on top (which is also on the back of the American dollar), people believe it has been around since the pyramids.

Since the belief goes back centuries, it is one of the longest standing conspiracy theories. Also a very popular one. Granted that this is a part of a secret society, it is hard to find anything concrete about it. It started as a new world order, and now it appears to be something more sinister. Now it is seen as a form of control. It is mostly connected to the music industry, since that is a way it can reach most people. And at one point, a youtuber Shane Dawson, gained a lot of popularity through his investigations into conspiracy theories. That was short lived though and was eventually cancelled for past behavior. But his videos go into depth and really make you think about the validity of these theories.

Pop Culture showing Conspiracy theories

Youtube

As I mentioned before, especially with Shane Dawson, he went through an era where he really blew up into fame. He was always a youtuber and was always able to make money, but between the years 2017-2019 he really found his niche. If looking on his YouTube channel, the videos that had millions of views were his multiple series parts and the little conspiracy theory videos. They became so popular that he was able to collab with his friend, makeup artist, Jeffree Star to create his conspiracy pallette of eyeshadows.

Shane Dawson Conspiracy Pallette
Credit: Insider

His last really popular series was one where he was chasing conspiracies before the pandemic. Each video has over 20 million views and for quite a while everyone was talking about what he was going to do next. And what theory he was going to test. For quite a while, his series on hunting these theories was very popular. It was all anyone would be talking about. Since this was on everyone’s mind, there was a surge in their popularity, but their significance does not end there.

Conspiracies in Television

Some of these theories are so insane that television can’t help but showcase them. For example, in the kids’ show Wizards of Waverly Place which was on Disney Channel, it had a whole episode dedicated to the Bermuda Triangle conspiracy. Since they were wizards when wearing a pair of “bermuda shorts” (side note they were very ugly) they were able to travel to the triangle.

The episode follows trying to reunite a teenage couple, half of whom are stranded in the triangle. But once arriving at the Bermuda Triangle like in real life, it’s a place with weird energy. Magic does not work, so Wizards would go to the triangle and then have no way of returning. So, in that fictional world, the people who had gone missing in the Bermuda Triangle were actually Wizards. This was then the first time children were able to learn about the myth. Even though it is a stretch that it has to do with wizards, the impressionable minds of children will associate something with being off about the Bermuda Triangle.

Capricorn One

Capricorn One movie Poster
Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

The year is 1977, and Neil Armstrong had presumably landed on the moon not too long ago. People have a really hard time believing this for some reason. So much so that this became the basis of movies. Due to its popularity as a conspiracy theory, this paved the way for Capricorn One. It became the first movie on screen to challenge the idea of the moon landing without coming right out and saying it.

The movie follows a group that is the first one to travel to Mars. This was not the case. The two main characters do not end up leaving with the spacecraft. The aircraft had taken off and was empty of passengers. The reason for this was to keep NASA’s funding the same and they needed a successful mission. So, throughout the fake trip to Mars, the news broadcast was showing the two main characters after landing. When the reality is, they were filming at the base, just like a television show. It did very well at the box office and is an interesting topic. To watch the movie itself, it is available on Hulu to stream with a subscription.

Free Brittney Movement

I felt that this needed its own section, especially following the latest news. The music industry is full of conspiracies. Did you know that the rulers are Beyonce and Jay-Z? Another one is that the singer (one of my favorites), Avril Lavigne, is actually dead and her body double has taken over her career. While I hope this is not true, some theories and their “evidence” is hard to ignore. But, what is now gaining a lot of publicity is the “Free Britney Movement”.

The conspiracy that started it all

Free Britney Movement
Credit: BuzzFeed

I feel like this is a great example of what can come from a conspiracy theory. Britney Spears was able to get to the top of superstardom in the 1990s at the age of 15. Ever since the start of her career, Britney has been under the microscope and controversial all around. It seemed that no matter what she did, everyone had something to say about it. Whether it was what she wore or the lyrics she sang. Everyone had an opinion on it and a lot of them were not good.

So how it began started with her voice. In the video here, one can hear the signature baby voice she has is not present. And in this video she is just a kid. So how did this voice that you hear in “Hit me baby one more time” come to be? Many fans analyzed her actions to the point of making theories. There are videos like this one where they all have theories that she is held against her will.

Free Britney

The free Britney movement gained acknowledgement in 2018/2019. That was when news of her conservatorship was made known. So, her life has not been her in a very long time. There are videos showing that she needs to put on a persona. She needs to remain that popstar from the 90s.

Many parents judged Spears for her past actions, like when she shaved her head or broke the papparzi window.  In 2021, the “Framing Britney Spears” special goes into detail about most of her career and behind the scenes. You can see the documentary on Hulu. When everyone learned about her conservatorship, it was when she was finally fighting it. Brintney is well into adulthood now, but none of her money belongs to her, but to her father.

June 23rd , 2021

After the theory of Brintey’s life not belonging to her was actually true, due to her conservatorship, the public started fighting for her. There were marches and the “Free Britney Movement” gained a lot of popularity. It became a trend, many people were speaking about it on Twitter and other celebrities spoke out in support. Just within the past two weeks there was a hearing about her conservatorship.

It gained a lot of airtime on the news and social media went wild. There is a quote which Spears said in her testimony, “I would like to progressively move forward and I want to have the real deal, I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told, right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby, I have an (IUD) inside of myself right now, so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the (IUD) out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children – any more children.”

I linked her whole testimony against her conservatorship, which is very moving. But, even after that, the judge still denied her freedom from her controlling team. To believe that this whole movement started with a conspiracy theory that her career was not her own, makes me wonder how much truth other theories hold as well. All in all, the way people connect things is amazing. Something so bizarre can somehow make sense. Who knows, maybe the Illuminati does control everything, or people are just that easily manipulated.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the conspiracy theories that have been at the center of attention recently. But these theories have gained so much popularity that they are now a part of culture. These theories have been shown in movies, TV shows and so on and have become popular in mainstream media and pop culture and will likely be perpetuated whether they are true or not. Many people feel the need to weigh their two cents in and make sense of the world, and it has been an interesting anthropological phenomenon throughout history.

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