10 Conspiracy Theories that Turned out to Be True

Most people may think conspiracy theories are not true but only rumors. Nobody can blame them for this. Moreover, there have been such disturbing and horrible incidents that it is normal to consider them as just a theory. But, as time passes by, some theories turn out to be actually true thanks to the evidence from whistleblowers, responsible politicians, and investigative journalists. Although most conspiracy theories are still unproven, some of them have been proven with documents and testimonials. Here we have documented ten conspiracy theories that turned out to be true.

1. The Business Plot, aka The White House Coup

In 1933, a group of America’s wealthiest businessmen and powerbrokers including the grandfather of George W. Bush, Prescott Bush, planned to stage a coup against then-president Franklin Roosevelt to change the regime. One year later, a retired Marine Corps Major General, Smedley Butler, revealed the plot. 

Shacks being burnt by the US Military, Smedley Butler
Image credit: Signal Corps Photographer/Wikimedia, screengrab via Universal City Studios/Wikimedia

The Business Plot, aka The White House Coup, was a political conspiracy in 1933 in the US. The purpose of the alleged conspiracy was to replace the Roosevelt administration with a fascist dictatorship. A coalition of many influential billionaires and power brokers led by Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the former president George W. Bush, planned the coup. The reason behind this attempt was the policies of the Roosevelt administration towards the business world. The owners of some big corporations like General Motors, Goodyear, Chase Bank, and Heinz thought the government would destroy private enterprise. Thus, they wanted to bring a business-friendly regime so that they could preserve their power.

However, the coup plan came to light when Smedley Butler, a retired Marine Corps Major General, alerted the authorities in Washington D.C. of the conspiracy. According to his statement, some mysterious bankers and businessmen approached him and asked him to command an army of veterans who fought in WWI in order to stage a coup and overthrow the democratically-elected president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Butler was a popular military figure then, and he also had influence over the veterans. That’s why they chose him. A committee investigated the allegations and declared that some Wall Street elites were involved in the conspiracy, but, nobody was charged.(1,2,3)

2. 20 July Plot

In 1944, a group of German officers tried to kill Adolf Hitler in order to take the control of the armed forces and Germany in order to finish the war and make peace with Allies and other countries. Although they executed the plan, they couldn’t achieve their goal. 


The Wolf's Lair conference room soon after the explosion, Claus von Stauffenberg
Image credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1972-025-10 / CC-BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia, Image source: Rupert Colley/Flickr

On 20 July 1944, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and some other high-ranking German officers, like Generals Friedrich Olbricht and Henning von Tresckow, attempted to kill Adolf Hitler. They were going to take control of Germany, disarm the SS soldiers, and arrest all Nazi leaders. The goal of the plot was to eliminate Nazis and make peace with Allied Forces as soon as possible. The German officers who were involved in this plot wanted to show the world that not all Germans were like Nazis.

Stauffenberg joined a military conference with Adolf Hitler on 20 July with a bomb in his briefcase. He put the briefcase under the table and left the room after making an excuse. After he left the room, the bomb exploded, but Hitler managed to survive. As a result of the failed assassination attempt and the intended coup, the Gestapo, the secret police of Nazi Germany, arrested about 7,000 people and executed 4,980 of them.(1,2,3)

3. Operation Mockingbird

The CIA tried to manipulate the media in the US. Starting from the 1950s, the CIA implemented an operation with the aim of controlling major news media like Time, NBC, etc., and well-known journalists for propaganda purposes during the Cold War. The documents about the operation were declassified in 2007.

Operation Mockingbird document, CIA
Image source: theblackvault.com, Image credit: Fry1989/Wikimedia

The CIA executed a covert operation in order to manipulate, control, and use the domestic media during the Cold War. The name of the operation was Operation Mockingbird, and it included lots of major media corporations and celebrated journalists. The operation was created by the Office of Policy Coordination, a unit for covert operations, and its first director Frank Wisner, a Wall Street lawyer. According to Deborah Davis who wrote about the operation in 1979, Operation Mockingbird was a response to the International Organization of Journalists which was a communist organization and funded by the Russians. The usual method followed in the operation was to place reports from the CIA-provided intelligence with cooperating reporters. Then, those reports would be promoted by the recipient reporters, and thus, they would be mentioned throughout the media.

Frank Wisner recruited Phillip Graham from the Washington Post to help the CIA run the operation within the industry. Graham also recruited lots of people then. According to Deborah Davis, “By the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS, and other communications vehicles.” As well as the New York Times and CBS, the CIA had influence over ABC, NBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, United Press International, and many others. Also, the CIA had relationships with many respected journalists such as Joseph Alsop and Ben Bradlee. The operation was revealed in 2007 when the documents about it were made public.(1,2)

4. Big Brother Conspiracy

The US government tracked and spied on people through their electronic devices. This fact came to light when Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, leaked the proof in 2013.

PRISM - a clandestine surveillance program under which the NSA collects user data from various companies, Edward Snowden
Image credits: US National Security Agency/Wikimedia, Laura Poitras / Praxis Films/Wikimedia

The Big Brother conspiracy was a mass surveillance of people by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US government. A former NSA/CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, made all documents public about the global surveillance. According to those documents, the NSA conducted a global surveillance program named Prism starting from 2007. Within this project, the agency tracked the internet traffic of major internet corporations like Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. Also, the documents showed that the NSA made Verizon hand over all its telephone records on a daily basis.

After going to Hong Kong, Snowden stated that the NSA had conducted 61,000 hacking operations throughout the world. Germany, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, and Colombia were some of those countries. Apart from the US and other countries, the NSA also spied on the embassies of 38 countries like Japan, India, France, and Italy. After leaking the documents, Snowden was accused of treason, but he couldn’t be captured as he had fled the country previously.(1,2)

5. Nayirah False Testimony

Nayirah said that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti babies after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The purpose of the testimony was to justify the support of the US for Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1990. Two years later, when her last name was revealed, it was understood that she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US.

Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ, Iraq Kuwait Map
Image source: Wikipedia, Image credit: CIA/Wikimedia

On 10 October 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl named Nayirah gave a testimony before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. At that time, Nayirah only told her first name, and her last name was kept a secret. She stated that she had seen Iraqi soldiers killing babies in a hospital after the invasion of Kuwait. The media gave wide publicity to her statement then. Furthermore, most senators and the president of the time, George H. W. Bush, cited Nayirah’s testimony many times while explaining their reason why they supported Kuwait in the Gulf War.

Two years later, the last name of Nayirah was revealed. It was al-Sabah, and she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, Saud al-Sabah. Although cited numerous times by the president, her testimony had never been verified. Then, it was understood that it was false and arranged by a US public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton. The firm had organized Nayirah’s testimony as part of the public relations campaign of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait Project supported by the Kuwaiti government.(1,2)

6. Bat Bombs

During the WWII, the US government worked on an experimental weapon often called “bat bombs” to destroy Japan cities without causing US casualties. After a three-year-effort and $2 million, the government canceled the project in 1945. 

Mini Bat Bomb prototype, bomb canister - built to hold over a thousand bats, New Mexico Army Air Base - post bat bomb test
Image source: atlasobscura.com, Image credits: United States Army Air Forces/Wikimedia, United States Army Air Forces/Wikimedia

In 1942, Dr. Lytle S. Adams, a dentist and a friend of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, came up with an interesting idea after the Pearl Harbor attack. He had studied bats which could fly long distances, withstand high altitudes, and carry heavy loads. He also knew the Japanese buildings were mostly made of wood and other flammable materials. Therefore, he thought little bombs attached to the bats could rain fire on Japanese cities. The president of the time, Franklin Roosevelt, approved the idea too.

The official name of the project was Project X-Ray. Adams and a team of scientists started working on the bat bombs. The plan was to inject copper chloride into the side cartridge and tie the bomb to the bat’s chest. Then, they would load the bats into trays, and then the trays into a bomb. Then, a team would transport the bats in a plane, and when reached target locations, they would drop the bombs. The US army conducted many tests, and some were successful while some others were not. Also, the tests showed that the bat bombs were much more effective than regular bombs. They would provide 3,625 to 4,748 fires per bomb, whereas the number was between 167 and 400 for regular bombs. The US government canceled the project in 1944 in order to redirect the resources to the atomic bomb.(1,2)

7. The Enterprise: The Secret Government

There had been a secret government above the law in the US for a long time. This clique manipulated world politics, sold guns, funded covert operations, and overthrew democratically-elected officials. A documentary on PBS in 1987 revealed this group. 

Ronald Regan, Time Magazine Cover
Image source: Wikimedia, content.time.com/Cover Credit: REAGAN BY DENNIS BRACK; RAFSANJANI BY KALARI-SYGMA

The US government established a secret organization which had abused US laws for a long time. This was a part of a project called “The Enterprise” created by the White House. It was a group of companies gathered to control the covert operations and conceal the involvement of the US government. Along with the CIA, this secret organization conducted a series of secret operations in Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Iran, and Vietnam. The most well-known operation the secret government involved in was the Iran-Contra affair, where then-president, Ronald Regan, secretly helped to sell weapons to Iran to support a terrorist group called “The Contras”.

This secret organization sold weapons to terror groups in some other countries causing the death of thousands. Also, the organization had manipulated the world politics with covert operations worldwide. The group did everything in the name of fighting communism and for the national security interests of the US. The organization’s ability to practice this power with impunity was thanks to the National Security Act of 1947. In 1987, a documentary by Bill Moyer revealed the secret organization. Bill Moyer revealed both the history and secret objectives of the group by interviewing respected intelligence, military, and government insiders.(source)

8. The CIA’s Heart Attack Gun

The CIA created a gun that could give an immediate heart attack to a person when targeted, and it would leave no trace behind. The gun was made public in 1975 during the Church Committee hearings.

CIA’s Heart Attack Gun
Image source: Screengrab via The Indegraph Times/Youtube, Screengrab via The Indegraph Times/Youtube

The CIA developed a poison that could cause an immediate heart attack. But, in order to use this on targets, the agency needed a practical delivery mechanism. That’s why the poison was frozen into the form of a dart that could be used with a pistol. Finally, the CIA managed to make a heart attack gun. The pistol would shoot the icy projectile with a speed that could go through the clothes of targets. Then, the poison would melt into the body and cause an immediate heart attack. One of the most prominent features of this weapon was that it wouldn’t leave any trace of poison. In other words, the death of victims would look natural. Its existence came to light during the Church Committee hearings in 1975. Also, a former CIA employee, Mary Embree, confirmed the existence of the heart attack gun in an interview in 1998.(1,2)

9. The United Fruit Company

The United Fruit Company had great power in Guatemala in terms of the banana trade. But, when their power was challenged by the first democratically-elected president of the country, the CIA carried out a covert operation and backed a coup in Guatemala in 1954 in order to ensure the power of the company. The truth came to light when the Operation PBSuccess was declassified in 1994.

CIA's role in the overthrow of Arbenz document, Guatemala in North America
Image credits: CIA/Wikimedia, TUBS/Wikimedia

The United Fruit Company (UFC) was the world’s largest banana exporter as of 1900 and had a domination over the banana trade in Guatemala. The company was very powerful in Guatemala and had control of railroads, communication systems, and docks. The UFC had a capital of $215 million in 1930 and had been one of the biggest employers for several years in Guatemala. Then-president of Guatemala, Jorge Ubico, was favorable to the UFC and made things easy for it. The general policies of Ubico led to an uprising in 1944, and he had to flee the country. The next several years were better than the times of Ubico, but still, there were many problems in the country.

After a largely free election in Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz became the president in 1950. Then, he implemented an agrarian reform bill named Decree 900. According to this reform, the government would expropriate the uncultivated lands of the landholders who had more than 673 acres. This meant the lands of the UFC were in danger since only 15% of their land (550,000 acres) was cultivated. The UFC intensively objected to the decision of the government and asked for the help of the US. The US government authorized the CIA to conduct a covert operation named Operation PBSuccess. Eventually, the CIA supported a coup in Guatemala in order to ensure the power of the UFC. President Arbenz had to resign at the end of the coup. The involvement of the CIA was revealed when the documents about the operation were revealed in 1994.(1,2)

10. Gleiwitz Incident

The Gleiwitz Incident was a false flag operation by Germany in 1939 to invade Poland. The German soldiers posed as Polish soldiers and attacked a German radio station in Gleiwitz. An SS soldier revealed the details of the incident during the Nurnberg Trials in 1946.

Alfred Naujocks, Glivice radio tower
Image credits: US Army/Wikimedia, Smerus/Wikimedia

On 31 August 1939, Nazi Germany conducted a false flag operation. Some German soldiers dressed in Polish uniforms attacked a German radio station to justify the invasion of Poland. After seizing the station, they broadcasted an anti-German message in the Polish language. They even brought some prisoners and killed them there in order to make the attack more convincing. Also, the Germans didn’t allow the US or any other country to investigate the incident in detail. The name of the whole operation was “Grossmutter gestorben” (“Grandmother died”). One day after the incident, Germany invaded Poland and initiated the WWII in Europe. An SS soldier, Alfred Naujocks, confessed to the crime and revealed the details about the operation at the Nurnberg trials. He testified that he organized the Gleiwitz incident and led the team under orders from the chief of the Gestapo.(1,2,3)

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