Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Conspiracies Make Good Fiction-The Top Five

To believe or not to believe, that is the question and one pondered by millions. Here are five of the top most hotly debated conspiracy theories.

5. The End of the World, December 2012--The ancient Mayan calendar (claimed as amazingly accurate) has an end date of 2012. Many researchers believe "something significant" will happen on this end-date, perhaps even a cosmic catastrophe. Plausibility Level: Low. If the Mayans had such prescience, why couldn't they prevent their own civilization from being destroyed? Spawned many books and movies about 2012, though.
4. The Third Secret--The Three Secrets of Fatima are three prophecies given by an apparition of the Virgin Mary to three shepherds in 1917. The secrets were said to be a vision of hell, the end of World War I, leading to World War II and the shooting of Pope John Paul II in 1981. However, much controversy erupted over the third secret, with some alleging the entire contents were not completely disclosed, and could contain information about the apocalypse. Plausibility Level: Low, but fascinating. Great fodder for a story. Novelist Steve Berry had a hit with this one.
3. Aliens at Roswell and Area 51--Were aliens really discovered after a crash in Roswell, New Mexico? Were their bodies taken to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio? Is alien technology being used to develop new weapons and aircraft at Area 51? Plausibility Level: Maybe. It's hard to believe we're alone in this vast universe. Besides, many respected scientists, politicians and military men have provided compelling evidence of UFO sightings. Think about all the movies and books written about this one! Try X-Files!
2. JFK Assassination (and RFK's)/Connection to Watergate--Was there a conspiracy to murder JFK in Dallas and was the assassination of his brother, Robert Kennedy, and the resignation of Richard Nixon connected? Some claim the disasters occurred because all three were involved with the plan to oust Castro from Cuba. Plausibility Level: Likely. Thousands of top-secret documents have revealed the existence of multiple plots to topple the Cuban leader. The subject of countless books, "The Legacy" by Stephen Frey; "Promises to Keep" by George Bernau, documentaries and movies, (JFK) and many TV mini-series, most recently "The Kennedys" on cable.
1. Shadow Government--The New World Order is the name for a global elite believed to be behind the events that have shaped history and current events. Secret societies such as the Bilderbergers and the Illuminati include the who's who of leaders in international politics, industry, and finance. Plausibility Level: Maybe. Powerful people can do powerful things. Most of the thriller writers, including David Baldacci and Dan Brown have used this concept to captivate millions.

Fun to speculate, even more fun to write about. The important thing is not to take any of them too seriously. After all, they're just theories.

Next week: The Top Ten Missing Treasures

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