Guest post by Declan Milling, author of Carbon Black.
- Pope John Paul I was murdered conspiracy theories.
Pope John Paul I was a surprise choice and died only a month into his papacy. Various conspiracy theories have been propounded, including that he was murdered by Vatican insiders unhappy with plans to clean up Vatican financial management. This event is a rich source for such theories, having all the right components for a great story: the contemporaneous, apparently suicide, death of one of the Vatican’s bankers (found hanging from Blackfriars Bridger in London); alleged mafia involvement with that bank; involvement of the secretive P2 masonic lodge; corruption at the highest levels of Vatican bureaucracy; disgruntlement with the new pope’s early pronouncements. Secret organisations, political intrigue, money laundering, corruption – fertile ground indeed!
- Pan Am flight 103 Lockerbie bombing conspiracy theories.
In December 1988 Pan Am 103 blew up over Lockerbie in Scotland. Although a Libyan (Megradi) was convicted of the bombing, the evidence was circumstantial and there were a lot of unanswered questions, not least who was the real party responsible – Iran, the Palestinians, various other Arab terrorist organisations, the South African government. There were also claims (unsubstantiated) that the flight having been fully booked, had a lot of seats become available at the last minute, as certain people were warned against taking the flight. This event resonates as I had the misfortune of needing to drive through Lockerbie only six days after the event.
- Global warming conspiracy theories.
These are multiple and generally revolve around the thesis that the scientific consensus of climate change due to human activity is a hoax. The reasoning for the hoax is variously financial, ideological, political or economic – or all of the above! These conspiracy theories are intriguing as they are generally so ‘left field’ that they’d be funny if they weren’t so damaging and disruptive to genuine action to address the problem, which in itself is a problem as for some commentators being so way out makes it more plausible that they might just be true. What I think is the more interesting conspiracy theory relates to who is funding the proponents of these theories and why…
- Death in Singapore conspiracy theory.
On a more individual level, in 2012 a US electronics engineer working in Singapore was found hanging by the neck in his apartment. While his apparent suicide is a tragedy for his family, the case has many elements that raise suspicions and fuel conspiracy theories. The case is intriguing as it is almost a template for an industrial espionage conspiracy story involving complicit police, a cover up, foreign country trying to get US industrial secrets, lots of facts that don’t add up (or correspond to the police report), including a second opinion on cause of death, and evidence being destroyed by the authorities. Singapore considers the case closed, his family does not.
This post is part of the Clink Street Summer 2016 #blogival, which is taking place all this month. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts, which cover a wide range of reading tastes.