20 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out to Be True

Throughout history, people have dreamed up some pretty out-there conspiracy theories about secret government programs, the Illuminati, aliens, you name it. That’s why it’s especially alarming when some of those crazy premises turn out to be true. Here are 20 conspiracy theories that, despite their ridiculousness, turned out to be more than just theories.

Watergate

What began as a sneaking suspicion about underhanded election dealings turned out to be one of the biggest presidential scandals in American history.

In 1972, Republican officials burgled and bugged the Democratic National Headquarters located at the Watergate Complex in Washington DC. In 1974, leaked recordings revealed that President Richard Nixon’s administration had helped cover up the crime, causing widespread outrage and forcing his resignation.

Public Domain

Public Domain

Asbestos

Once touted as a miracle fire-resistant mineral, asbestos was used to insulate most buildings until the 1970s when it was found to cause fatal diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Turns out that the dangers of asbestos were known as far back as the 1800s and that numerous studies in the earlier 20th century found it to be cancer causing. Asbestos companies purposely supressed this information for decades in order to maximize profits and avoid prosecution.

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farbled / Shutterstock.com

farbled / Shutterstock.com

COINTELPRO

In an attempt to stamp out “radical” groups, the FBI’s COINTELPRO initiative spied on thousands of activists in the civil rights, women’s lib and student movements of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. A 1999 civil trial brought against the state by Martin Luther King Jr.’s family found that COINTELPRO waged an aggressive war against King leading up to his assassination and even ruled that the state likely had a hand in the leader’s tragic demise.

Public Domain

Public Domain

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