What You're Searching For
July 15, 2013
A few days ago, I tweeted a search term that someone used to find Skeptoid Blog that had caught my eye for its sheer weirdness. Twitter follower Graeme Perrow replied that a post based on some of the most memorable searches that led people to the blog might make a good post itself. We get some fascinating searches around these parts, so I wholeheartedly agreed with him. All search terms are [sic].
alexandria's genesis - 655 searches all time
I had never heard of this supposedly bizarre mutation that causes people's eyes to turn purple, their skin to turn bright white and their hair to fall out. At least not until Skeptoid blogger Mike Weaver wrote a piece on it back in April. But it seems to be quite well known and something people are truly curious about, given the number of searches for it. Like most of the urban legends and conspiracy theories explored on Skeptoid, this one traces back to one person: in this case, the author of a piece of fan fiction based on the late, lamented animated TV series Daria. It's great to learn new things, and even better to learn where those things come from — and why there's no reason to fear them.
agenda 21 death map - 100 searches all time
Agenda 21 is the United Nations policy statement regarding sustainable growth and health in the developing world. It's also thought of by some conspiracy theorists as a plot by the New World Order to depopulate the planet and cram the survivors into urban ghettos. Needless to say, this plot doesn't exist, and I wrote about why for a blog piece back in January.
One particular element used to move the conspiracy narrative forward is a map with the unwieldy name of "Simulated Reserve and Corridor System to Protect Biological Diversity." Basically, it's part of a study on animal preserves and wildlife areas that Agenda 21 activists are pretending is some kind of plan for where we're all going to be herded or imprisoned or killed or something. The piece I wrote doesn't reference the map, but does use all of those words, so it comes up on the first page of Google when the phrase "Agenda 21 death map" is searched for. I can only hope that some of the people looking for the "death map" read my piece and felt a little less afraid.
dulce base - 92 searches in the last 30 days
In June I wrote a piece on Dulce Base, the supposed underground research facility where humans and grey aliens are experimenting together. Last week it started showing up as something getting searched for a lot, and I wasn't sure why. All I had to do was check my DVR, because the answer was right there: Dulce was mentioned on an episode of my new favorite TV series Unsealed: Conspiracy Files.
If you've never heard of it, Conspiracy Files airs in a syndicated hour long block with its companion show, the equally awesome Unsealed: Alien Files. Both shows are fantastically cheeseball examinations of the "truth" behind conspiracies, alien encounters, bad history, pseudoscience, the New World Order and various cover-ups — all based on "recently declassified FBI files." They back up these revelations with ominous voiceovers, weasel words like "said to have" and "alleged to", talking head interviews with various "experts" and fantastic graphics straight out of B-grade sci-fi movies.
Obviously, both shows are for entertainment purposes only, and are more or less full of crap. But as crap goes, it's pretty fun, and there are worse ways to spend an hour of TV watching. As for Dulce Base, it almost certainly doesn't exist. Not that Unsealed mentioned that, of course.
290 unarmed indians snopes - 7 searches in the last 90 days
This completely baffled me. I can't recall any Skeptoid Blog piece mentioning "unarmed Indians." So what does it mean? Searching for "290 unarmed Indians" does lead to a very real blot on history: the Wounded Knee Massacre, where a group of US cavalry attempted to disarm a band of Lakota Indians. Shots were fired and a killing spree broke out that left close to 300 Lakota — most of them women and children — dead. While historians still dispute exactly what happened that day, there's absolutely no question that it happened.
I dug a little deeper and found where Snopes comes on. Around the time of the Sandy Hook shooting, a graphic started showing up on Facebook. It's a picture of what look to be Native Americans with text reading:
Sandy Hook the deadliest school shooting in U.S. History...?This is a bizarre attempt to link a military massacre with an individual gunman and wrap it in the guise of pro-Second Amendment propaganda. The Wounded Knee Massacre didn't take place at a school, full stop. And though most of the Lakota were unarmed, lumping it in with the Sandy Hook shootings distorts and devalues both events — as if they're both just more examples of the government taking your guns away.
With that settled, it was time to find the Skeptoid connection. It turns out that searching for "290 unarmed Indians snopes" actually leads to my Skeptoid piece on Kitty Werthmann and her equally distorted attempts to link Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. Which has nothing to do with the Wounded Knee Massacre, but does contain all of those words, some of them in comments regarding the Massacre or the number of Congresspersons needed to propose an Amendment.
And in one last twist, the 290 Indians meme isn't even on Snopes. So searchers of this term found something they weren't looking for while searching for something that doesn't exist about something that didn't happen.
humanoid contacts on 11-22-63 in relation to jfk assassination - 3 searches in last 30 days
This is the search term that inspired this post, and I have to admit it totally gerflunks me. While there are a number of conspiracy theories about who "really" killed President Kennedy, I don't know that any involve contact with aliens or human/alien hybrids. But maybe it's coming up on the next episode of Unsealed.
amelia's xxx man and goat — 5 searches in the last 90 days
*backs away slowly*
did hitler call the halt orders at dunkirk because he loved the English - 3 searches in the last 30 days
This is a reference to the conspiracy theory that Adolf Hitler allowed the British to evacuate over 330,000 troops from France, which I wrote about back in April. Historical revisionists have any number of reasons why Hitler made the infamous "halt order" that stopped his tanks from crushing the Allies on the beaches of Dunkirk, but legitimate historians recognize that it came down to a mixture of logistics (German troops were badly overextended and needed a break) and arrogance (he thought the German air force could do the job). Whatever the case, I shudder to think of anyone so poorly taught that they could believe Hitler "loved" the English. If he did, he had a pretty strange way of showing it, what with the years of bombing and rocket attacks on the UK.
Now we come to searches that have only been entered once in the previous seven days. What were these lonely souls hoping to find in their Google adventures? Let's find out!
how to tell if you're an anti-semite
There's a really easy way to answer this question. "Do you hate Jews?" If you say yes, you know you're an anti-Semite. Glad I could help.
dulce base we should free the people there
If anyone were being held captive in Dulce Base, we should absolutely do everything in our power to free them. But since they're not, rest easy.
how will they choose who gets to live and who dies during the take over of agenda 21
If you have to ask, you're not getting chosen.
elderly naps sleep restriction 2013
A little-known provision of Agenda 21: restricting the amount of time old people can sleep in the afternoon. Fascist UN pigs.
rothschild rule the world
Yes. Yes, we do.
man impregnates sheep
This seems as good a place as any to stop. Happy searching!
Edited on July 23, 2013
jeremiah steepek - 7 searches today
This caught my attention today, and I thought I'd add it to this list, since it seems to be an urban legend in its nascent state. Who the heck is Jeremiah Steepek? And what does he have to do with Skeptoid?
As with the "290 unarmed indians," it was actually comments in the Kitty Werthmann post that lead from "jeremiah steepek snopes" to Skeptoid. Speficially, a reference to the book of Jeremiah and several uses of the word "steeped."
And Jeremiah Steepek himself? It turns out that he's the lead character in a story going around Facebook:
Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured below) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service....only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food....NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him."Pastor Steepek" then lectures his church on how what they do unto the least of them they do onto Jesus, and everyone is suitably chastized for ignoring someone in need.
As nice as the story sounds, it's not true, at least not involving anyone named "Jeremiah Steepek." It seems the name was invented, as it doesn't appear to exist outside this tale, and brings up less than 100 hits on Google. Also, the picture that accompanies the story isn't that of a pastor disguised as a homeless man, but of an actual homeless man, a gentleman in England, photographed by Brad Gerrard. Needless to say, Brad wasn't credited for his excellent photo. And whoever put the story and picture together has chosen to remain anonymous, lest their fakery be found out.
This is how crap gets started. A false story, cribbed from bits of truth and heaps of falsehood, passed around unthinkingly on social media.
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