YouTube this week announced it was to crack down on conspiracy theories – in the wake of controversy over vile videos suggesting Parkland shooting witnesses were actors.
YouTube has become the unofficial home of conspiracy theories such as the belief the Earth is flat – if you don’t believe us, just search ‘Flat Earth’ and prepare to be shocked by the sheer number of dead-serious videos on there.
But many, much stranger, ideas are also touted as fact on YouTube – from conspiracies about pop stars who are (or aren’t) dead, to very, very strange theories about our planet.
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Here’s some of the oddest conspiracy theories doing the rounds on YouTube. .
David Bowie is still alive
Conspiracy theorists are convinced that David Bowie’s death was faked – with many touting a music industry executive who looked vaguely like Bowie in interviews after his death as ‘proof’.
Other, even weirder, videos suggested that Bowie foresaw his own death – and predicted the rise of Kanye West.
Among the evidence for this is a sign readable on the front of Bowie’s 1972 album Ziggy Stardust saying, ‘K West’.
Mountains are actually trees
Forget the Flat Earth: conspiracy theorists on YouTube have suggested that mountains are actually trees, and that mainstream geology is all an ‘elite cover-up’.
A YouTube video suggests that ‘the elite’ may have cut down the giant stone trees to stop them reaching ‘the dome’ of the sky above us.
Blogger Wayki Wayki says, ‘What if I told you mountains were not mountains, volcanoes were not volcanoes, deserts were not deserts, and canyons were not canyons?
Stevie Wonder isn’t blind
One long-standing conspiracy theory has suggested that Stevie Wonder is not actually blind – and has (for reasons unknown) been faking it for decades.
The evidence? Well, a lot of conspiracy fans point to a video where Wonder seems to ‘catch’ a microphone stand which is falling towards him.
American sports writer Bomani Jones also says that at one point Wonder ordered three plasma screen televisions.
Other ‘Stevie Wonder truthers’ claim he likes going to basketball games, and gets a courtside seat.
The moon is only five miles from Earth
Conspiracy theorists are obsessed with the idea that the moon isn’t actually hundreds of thousands of miles away – but MUCH closer.
One man armed with a camera claims he has proof, saying, ‘They’re lying to us. Do not believe NASA because they are lying about our entire origin.
What’s the proof? Well, er, it’s how the moon looks through a Nikon camera.
Chemtrails fan Ritchie says that the moon looks no more distant than a nearby Prudential skyscraper – which is 4.7 miles away.
The Large Hadron Collider is run by Satanists
Conspiracy theorists have always feared the LHC – but the fires were well and truly stoked when a video emerged, showing robed cultists stab a woman to death in an unholy ritual.
But while the video is real, and was filmed at CERN, it appears to be a prank.
CERN said, ‘‘These scenes were filmed on our premises but without official permission or knowledge.
‘Cern does not condone this type of spoof, which can give rise to misunderstandings about the scientific nature of our work.’
There are people on Mars
YouTube conspiracy theorists went wild over a ‘confession’ from a woman who claims to be a former NASA employee that she saw human beings on Mars in 1979.
The woman, called ‘Jackie’, called in to American radio station Coast to Coast AM with the claim – which reignited gossip over a ‘secret space programme’ kept from the general public.
Jackie claimed to have been part of a ‘downstairs’ team working on downlink telemetry from the Viking Lander – the first vehicle to send back images from the surface of Mars.
‘I wonder if you could solve a 27-year-old mystery for me,’ she asked the presenter. ‘That old Viking rover was running around. Then I saw two men in space suits – not the bulky suits we normally used, but they looked protective. They came over the horizon walking to the Viking Explorer.’
The Beatles never existed
Since the 60s, conspiracy fans have been convinced that Paul McCartney died and was replaced by a body double.
But that’s not bonkers enough for today’s YouTubers – who now insist that the Beatles never existed, at all.
The evidence is a series of videos in which the Beatles all look quite different – ‘proving’, that they have always been clones or body doubles.
The moon is a giant alien spacecraft
Some fans believe that that eclipses ‘prove’ that the moon is in fact an enormous, hollow spacecraft, piloted by incredibly advanced alien beings.
In a recent YouTube video, Christopher Knight, author of Who Built the Moon says, ‘The same numbers keep popping up. As Isaac Asimov said, the eclipse is the most extraordinary coincidence. We started to look at the numbers – and they all worked perfectly.
‘The Earth rotates 366 times as it goes round the sun once. So you could say that the Earth’s number is 366. The Earth is 366% times the size of the moon. THat struck us as crazy.numbers keep popping up.’
He says, ‘We make a suggestion in the book, it seems most likely that DNA was seeded on the Earth. The Moon allowed Earth life to develop because of its effects on Earth life.’