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Skeptoid Episode Guide - Conspiracy Theories


9/11 Truthers, 20 Years Later (Skeptoid #796) - Following the events of 9/11 way back in 2001, it was inevitable that a few wacky conspiracy theories were going to arise, as happens around nearly every major world event. But something sets 9/11 conspiracy theories apart from all the others: their unique longevity. And it turns out there's solid science behind why a fantasy like 9/11 Truth is the one that endures.
September 7, 2021
Read | Listen (12:51)
Your Turn Yet Again (Skeptoid #793) - On Skeptoid we're always digging into the true science and true history behind some of the weird phenomena that a lot of people believe in, but sometimes bizarre events happen closer to home. Today we're going to examine some of your own personal strangest experiences to see if we can find a science-based explanation.
August 17, 2021
Read | Listen (13:23)
The 2019 USS Kidd Incident (Skeptoid #777) - In 2019, a US Navy destroyer and some other ships off the coast of Los Angeles were illegally swarmed by what appeared to be drones, however they were said to be much too far offshore for this to have been possible. The UFO community attributes the episode to aliens, in the spirit of all the Pentagon UFO videos. Today we're going to dissect what's known to have actually taken place, and critically examine whether aliens are indeed the most probable explanation.
April 27, 2021
Read | Listen (17:19)
Percy Schmeiser vs Monsanto (Skeptoid #759) - Everyone's heard about how Monsanto, the world's largest producer of genetically engineered crop seeds, is notorious for suing any farmer whose field happens to become accidentally contaminated when the wind blows seeds onto their land. But, as is the case with so many things that "everyone has heard," there's no truth at all in this one.
December 22, 2020
Read | Listen (14:09)
The Montauk Project (Skeptoid #757) - An entire mythology has risen around one author's creation, a gigantic secret underground military research facility on Long Island, New York. The story has grown to the point that many people believe it's real, and new chapters are being added all the time by other authors. This is is the story of how one relatively obscure creation can grow into one of our richest fictional universes, and yet still be taken seriously.
December 8, 2020
Read | Listen (14:46)
How to Extract Adrenochrome from Children (Skeptoid #750) - Among the most eyebrow-raising conspiracy theories to arise from the past decade of QAnon and Pizzagate is the idea that elite globalists run a pedophilia ring. They even have their own designer drug, Adrenochrome, which can only be obtained by extracting it from the bodies of children -- but for it to work, the children must first have their adrenalin raised by being tortured and frightened. I wish I could report that people don't actually believe this, but they do. Are they right?
October 20, 2020
Read | Listen (14:20)
Australia Doesn't Exist, and Other Geographic Conspiracy Theories (Skeptoid #745) - The crazy conspiracy theories people come up with can really blow your mind: Finland doesn't exist, Australia doesn't exist. But did you know geographic conspiracies like these go back centuries? Even before the dawn of the Internet! But why would people make up false continents, false islands, and erase other places from maps when they clearly exist in reality? Turns out there are sometimes good reasons.
September 15, 2020
Read | Listen (13:02)
The QAnon Conspiracy (Skeptoid #738) - It's one of the craziest-sounding conspiracy theories to come out of the past few years, but no matter how crazy it is, the data shows that more and more people are embracing it. We can only be talking about QAnon, the fantasy universe in which a shadowy government insider broadcasts shattering predictions to the world, using an Internet forum best known for pornography and racist content.
July 28, 2020
Read | Listen (14:49)
Bill Gates Conspiracy Theories (Skeptoid #735) - Few people are as maligned as Bill Gates -- the richer you are, the more criticism you attract, even you are history's most generous philanthropist and advocate for world health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, much of Gates' criticism focused on finding him to be somehow to blame for the pandemic. Today we're going to dive into the specific claims to fact check them for validity, including an especially close look at exactly how he might have gotten microchips into your vaccine.
July 7, 2020
Read | Listen (14:19)
The LUCIFER Telescope Conspiracy (Skeptoid #729) - Did you know that the Catholic Church operates a telescope named LUCIFER, with which it is actively trying to find alien life in order to recruit their help in taking over the planet Earth? Well, neither did anyone else, until the YouTube conspiracy theory community arose. And neither did any astronomers in the real-life telescope community. Today we're going to find out exactly how the LUCIFER telescope conspiracy theory came to be, and what are the real-world things that triggered it.
May 26, 2020
Read | Listen (14:09)
Draining the Holy Grail (Skeptoid #723) - Everyone's heard that for many centuries, people have been searching for the Holy Grail, the cup that we all suppose has some sort of magical healing powers. But our own search doesn't go very far once we discover that there's no mention of it whatsoever in the Bible -- not a single one. If that's true, what is the source of the stories of this greatest of all artifacts from Christendom? But most of all, where can we find the damn thing?
April 14, 2020
Read | Listen (14:26)
Pandemic Conspiracies and Politics (Skeptoid #722) - COVID-19. Ebola. H1N1. Spanish Flu. Yellow Fever. The Black Death. The Plague of Athens. Pandemics are, sadly, not new to humanity, they've been with us since the beginning, and they'll be with us to the end. And with them have always come conspiracy theories and scape goats -- all these things that you think are new to COVID-19 with the advent of the Internet, well no, they're not.
April 7, 2020
Read | Listen (13:56)
On the Trail of Red Mercury (Skeptoid #713) - Search the Internet and you'll find there's a community of people who believe in the existence of a mysterious, classified substance called Red Mercury, at once a miracle health product and also the most powerful explosive ever conceived. This is the story of a compound that never existed in reality, but did very much exist in the global intelligence community, and then trickled down to feed the conspiracy theory community. Today we're going to find out how.
February 4, 2020
Read | Listen (14:04)
Reactionless Space Drives (Skeptoid #697) - Conspiracy theorists and alternate science believers continue to claim triumph over the laws of nature.
October 15, 2019
Read | Listen (12:45)
Starlite, the Magical Mystery Material (Skeptoid #684) - The real reasons for the disappearance of this amateur material said to be able to withstand even a nuclear blast.
July 16, 2019
Read | Listen (15:00)
Yamashita's Gold (Skeptoid #673) - The facts behind the urban legend that billions in Japanese gold lie buried in the Philippines.
April 30, 2019
Read | Listen (13:48)
Killing Castro (Skeptoid #659) - It's proven the CIA tried to assassinate Castro, but the number of claimed attempts differs wildly.
January 22, 2019
Read | Listen (14:20)
Illuminating the Illuminati (Skeptoid #657) - The surprisingly humble beginnings and even more surprising modern rebirth of the Illuminati.
January 8, 2019
Read | Listen (14:54)
The Electric Universe Theory (Skeptoid #651) - Some believe that everything we know about the universe is wrong — and it's all electric.
November 27, 2018
Read | Listen (14:38)
George Soros Conspiracy Theories (Skeptoid #649) - George Soros remains the focus of many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
November 13, 2018
Read | Listen (14:02)
Parts Unknown: Foreign Conspiracy Theories (Skeptoid #644) - A roundup of conspiracy theories from various countries all around the world.
October 9, 2018
Read | Listen (14:38)
Titanic Myths (Skeptoid #615) - Three of the most popular conspiracy theories surrounding the sinking of the Titanic.
March 20, 2018
Read | Listen (14:14)
Net Neutrality Reexamined (Skeptoid #604) - A skeptic's guide for organizing the issues raised by Net Neutrality.
January 2, 2018
Read | Listen (15:44)
Sonic Weapons in Cuba (Skeptoid #603) - There is a much better explanation than sonic weapons for reported attacks against US diplomats in Cuba.
December 26, 2017
Read | Listen (13:54)
Chasing Malaysian Airlines MH370 (Skeptoid #595) - A roundup of the conspiracy theories and the probable true fate of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.
October 31, 2017
Read | Listen (13:46)
The Big Pharma Conspiracy (Skeptoid #589) - Popular claims of a Big Pharma Conspiracy don't stand up to any rational scrutiny.
September 19, 2017
Read | Listen (12:51)
There Is No Finland: Birth of a Conspiracy Theory (Skeptoid #573) - A study of how a conspiracy theory as absurd as "There is no Finland" can even exist.
May 30, 2017
Read | Listen (13:27)
Hitler's Antarctic Fortress Unmasked (Skeptoid #559) - Deconstructing a wild tale about a Nazi military base deep inside Antarctica.
February 21, 2017
Read | Listen (13:58)
Debunking the Moon Truthers, Part 3 (Skeptoid #537) - The hard, testable, scientific proof that we actually did land humans on the moon.
September 20, 2016
Read | Listen (12:36)
Debunking the Moon Truthers, Part 2 (Skeptoid #536) - The science behind many of the specific claims made by Apollo moon landing hoax conspiracy theorists.
September 13, 2016
Read | Listen (12:21)
Debunking the Moon Truthers, Part 1 (Skeptoid #535) - The history of the Apollo moon landing hoax conspiracy theory, and those who believe in it.
September 6, 2016
Read | Listen (12:19)
Autopsy: The Clinton Body Count (Skeptoid #525) - The surprising origins of the claim that the Clintons kill any who get in their way.
June 28, 2016
Read | Listen (12:47)
The New Flat Earthers (Skeptoid #521) - The reinvented Flat Earth fad is less about geology and more about conspiracy mongering.
May 31, 2016
Read | Listen (12:50)
Firestorm in Waco (Skeptoid #511) - The FBI did not deliberately murder the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.
March 22, 2016
Read | Listen (14:10)
Updated: Top 10 Worst Anti-Science Web Sites (Skeptoid #495) - The worst offending sites on the Internet for promoting bad misinformation.
December 1, 2015
Read | Listen (14:37)
Holocaust Denial (Skeptoid #485) - Why some people think the Holocaust never happened, and what to do about it.
September 22, 2015
Read | Listen (12:54)
Jade Helm 15 (Skeptoid #469) - Conspiracy theory that a military training exercise is going to lead to martial law.
June 2, 2015
Read | Listen (14:00)
Agenda 21 (Skeptoid #465) - A look at the conspiratorial hysteria and sensationalism surrounding the United Nations' Agenda 21.
May 5, 2015
Read | Listen (13:15)
Satanic Ritual Abuse (Skeptoid #462) - The history of claims that secret Satanic cults are abusing children.
April 14, 2015
Read | Listen (17:02)
Myths of Alcatraz (Skeptoid #444) - Alcatraz Island is veiled in the fog of myth.
December 9, 2014
Read | Listen (14:57)
5 Conspiracy Theories that Turned Out to Be True... Maybe? (Skeptoid #416) - Skeptoid listeners are always asking for conspiracy theories that turned out to be true. Here are the best I found.
May 27, 2014
Read | Listen (14:04)
Killing Princess Diana (Skeptoid #414) - Some say the death of Princess Diana in 1997 was actually a murder plotted by her government.
May 13, 2014
Read | Listen (12:39)
The Death of Mad King Ludwig (Skeptoid #407) - What we do and do not know about the mysterious death of Bavaria's Mad King who built castles like Neuschwanstein.
March 25, 2014
Read | Listen (11:49)
Hemp, Hearst, and Prohibition (Skeptoid #401) - A popular urban legend claims that William Randolph Hearst conspired to make cannabis illegal in the United States.
February 11, 2014
Read | Listen (12:36)
8 Secret Bases: Real or Fictional? (Skeptoid #391) - Guess which of these secret military bases around the world are real.
December 3, 2013
Read | Listen (13:06)
The JFK Assassination (Skeptoid #389) - After so many decades, the number of incompatible conspiracy theories about the death of JFK continues to grow.
November 19, 2013
Read | Listen (12:48)
The Secrets of MKULTRA (Skeptoid #373) - The urban legend that the CIA conducted unethical mind control experiments has a grain of truth.
July 30, 2013
Read | Listen (12:50)
Listener Feedback: Conspiracies (Skeptoid #364) - Skeptoid answers questions sent in by listeners pertaining to conspiracy theories.
May 28, 2013
Read | Listen (12:56)
Polybius: Video Game of Death (Skeptoid #362) - The infamous arcade game Polybius, said to drive players to suicide or madness, was never more than an urban legend.
May 14, 2013
Read | Listen (11:27)
The Airplane that Wasn't There (Skeptoid #355) - A B-25 bomber ditched in a Pennsylvania river in broad daylight 1956 and, seemingly impossibly, was never found.
March 26, 2013
Read | Listen (13:27)
The Pentagon and the Missile (Skeptoid #354) - Some say that it wasn't an airliner that struck the Pentagon on 9/11, but a missile.
March 19, 2013
Read | Listen (12:42)
Pope Joan (Skeptoid #353) - This apocryphal Middle Ages pope said to be a woman in disguise probably never existed.
March 12, 2013
Read | Listen (12:42)
Men in Black (Skeptoid #351) - A look at the mysterious government agents said to intimidate those who witness flying saucers.
February 26, 2013
Read | Listen (13:46)
Trinity: Interview with Dr. Oz, Alex Jones, and Deepak Chopra (Skeptoid #350) - Skeptoid interviews three of the most popular and controversial figures in modern pseudoscience.
February 19, 2013
Read | Listen (6:18)
The Cult of Nikola Tesla (Skeptoid #345) - The name of Nikola Tesla is associated with crazy conspiracy claims that have nothing to do with his real work.
January 15, 2013
Read | Listen (14:52)
The Hollow Earth Theory (Skeptoid #343) - Throughout history there have been a number of different beliefs that the Earth might be hollow.
January 1, 2013
Read | Listen (13:00)
Free Energy Machines (Skeptoid #341) - Someone somewhere is always claiming to have cracked the secret of free energy forever, no fuel needed.
December 18, 2012
Read | Listen (12:39)
Listener Feedback: A Cacophony of Conspiracies (Skeptoid #340) - How you can convince your friends that their conspiracy theories are nonsensical.
December 11, 2012
Read | Listen (10:58)
The Flat Earth Theory (Skeptoid #338) - The Flat Earth Theory has its origins not in alt-science but in Christian Fundamentalism.
November 27, 2012
Read | Listen (12:41)
The Phantom Time Hypothesis (Skeptoid #332) - A number of theories claim that several centuries never actually happened, and were faked by the Church.
October 16, 2012
Read | Listen (13:17)
Attack of the Nanobots! (Skeptoid #317) - A look at the belief that nanotechnology may result in an army of self-replicating machines that consume society.
July 3, 2012
Read | Listen (13:34)
Deconstructing the Rothschild Conspiracy (Skeptoid #311) - Some believe that world governments and economies are secretly controlled by the Rothschild banking family.
May 22, 2012
Read | Listen (14:40)
Finding Amelia Earhart (Skeptoid #295) - The disappearance of Amelia Earhart is one of the worst examples of television promoting pseudohistory.
January 31, 2012
Read | Listen (13:05)
Wunderwaffen: Nazi Wonder Weapons (Skeptoid #293) - The true history behind the claimed Nazi "wonder weapons" like anti-gravity flying saucers.
January 17, 2012
Read | Listen (13:48)
Top 10 Worst Anti-Science Websites (Skeptoid #283) - My list of the worst offenders on the web in the promotion of scientific and factual misinformation.
November 8, 2011
Read | Listen (14:50)
Finding Shakespeare (Skeptoid #280) - The claim that someone else wrote Shakespeare's works is popular, but virtually indefensible.
October 18, 2011
Read | Listen (12:25)
The Zionist Conspiracy (Skeptoid #271) - There is no plausible reason to think a conspiracy of Jews plans to take over the world's banks and governments.
August 16, 2011
Read | Listen (12:47)
Conspiracy Theorists Aren't Crazy (Skeptoid #264) - We usually dismiss conspiracy theorists as crazy people; but that doesn't tell the whole story.
June 28, 2011
Read | Listen (11:52)
Military Dolphins: James Bonds of the Sea (Skeptoid #260) - The facts behind the stories of military dolphins trained to attack divers and plant mines on ships.
May 31, 2011
Read | Listen (12:14)
The Secret of Plum Island (Skeptoid #257) - This secret government lab was said to create genetic mutants. Here's what they actually did.
May 10, 2011
Read | Listen (12:26)
Finding the POW/MIAs (Skeptoid #254) - American POW/MIAs are probably not still being held captive inside Vietnam.
April 19, 2011
Read | Listen (12:50)
The Port Arthur Massacre (Skeptoid #253) - The 1996 mass murder in Tasmania was not secretly a plot by the government to get firearms banned.
April 12, 2011
Read | Listen (12:09)
The History of Knowledge (Skeptoid #250) - A trip through the centuries to see how human knowledge is reflected through music.
March 22, 2011
Read | Listen (11:33)
Beware the Bilderberg Group! (Skeptoid #225) - The annual meeting of the Bilderberg Group is not to plan global domination.
September 28, 2010
Read | Listen (11:56)
Stalin's Human-Ape Hybrids (Skeptoid #219) - Josef Stalin did not order the creation of an army of half-ape, half-human hybrids.
August 17, 2010
Read | Listen (13:14)
The Astronauts and the Aliens (Skeptoid #218) - A close look at some of the stories of UFOs said to have been reported by NASA astronauts.
August 10, 2010
Read | Listen (12:53)
Attack on Pearl Harbor (Skeptoid #211) - The American government did not have advance knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack, and did not allow it to happen.
June 22, 2010
Read | Listen (13:29)
The North American Union (Skeptoid #210) - The United States, Canada, and Mexico are not planning to merge into a single huge police state.
June 15, 2010
Read | Listen (12:52)
The Westall '66 UFO (Skeptoid #208) - 200 students watched a strange craft fly near their school in Australia in 1966 -- or so the story goes.
June 1, 2010
Read | Listen (14:35)
Morgellons Disease (Skeptoid #206) - In this newly described condition, some patients report strange plastic fibers growing from their skin.
May 18, 2010
Read | Listen (11:57)
The Georgia Guidestones (Skeptoid #198) - Dubbed "America's Stonehenge", this granite monument in Georgia appeals to all sorts of conspiracy theorists.
March 23, 2010
Read | Listen (12:33)
Zeitgeist: The Movie, Myths, and Motivations (Skeptoid #196) - The Internet movie Zeitgeist uses dishonesty to make an ideological point that could have easily been made ethically.
March 9, 2010
Read | Listen (12:08)
The Denver Airport Conspiracy (Skeptoid #194) - Is the Denver International Airport a headquarters for the New World Order? (Hint: no)
February 23, 2010
Read | Listen (14:25)
The Bell Island Boom (Skeptoid #190) - This shattering boom in Newfoundland was more likely a natural phenomenon than a superweapon test.
January 26, 2010
Read | Listen (12:02)
Vaccine Ingredients (Skeptoid #180) - The claims made about the dangerous chemicals in vaccines are all either false or misrepresented.
November 17, 2009
Read | Listen (12:50)
Screwed! (Skeptoid #150) - A secret recording of an actual meeting of the Illuminati.
April 21, 2009
Read | Listen (9:40)
FEMA Prison Camps (Skeptoid #145) - A skeptical look at the claim that FEMA maintains a network of prison camps in readiness.
March 17, 2009
Read | Listen (11:50)
The Lucifer Project (Skeptoid #143) - Some believe that NASA is trying to turn Saturn or Jupiter into a small sun.
March 3, 2009
Read | Listen (12:33)
The Rendlesham Forest UFO (Skeptoid #135) - Hard to believe, but it wasn't space aliens that caused blinking lights in Rendlesham Forest in 1980.
January 6, 2009
Read | Listen (16:08)
The Bohemian Club Conspiracy (Skeptoid #131) - Wealthy and powerful men gather annually at the mysterious Bohemian Grove -- but not to plot global domination.
December 9, 2008
Read | Listen (12:56)
The Truth about Aspartame (Skeptoid #127) - The artificial sweetener aspartame is falsely accused of being the cause of nearly every disease.
November 11, 2008
Read | Listen (12:29)
Ten Most Wanted: Celebrities Who Promote Harmful Pseudoscience (Skeptoid #125) - A critical look at the pseudoscientific antics of some of today's celebrities.
October 28, 2008
Read | Listen (13:30)
HAARP Myths (Skeptoid #122) - A close look at HAARP, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, and the claim that it's a superweapon.
October 7, 2008
Read | Listen (12:59)
Search for the Missing Cosmonauts (Skeptoid #115) - A pair of young Italian brothers probably didn't uncover evidence of Soviet cosmonauts dying in space.
August 19, 2008
Read | Listen (13:38)
Spy Radio: Numbers Stations (Skeptoid #107) - A look at mysterious shortwave "numbers stations" around the world.
July 1, 2008
Read | Listen (10:28)
When People Talk Backwards (Skeptoid #105) - Some people believe that your brain encodes its actual meaning in reverse within everything you say.
June 17, 2008
Read | Listen (11:10)
Reassembling TWA Flight 800 (Skeptoid #99) - TWA Flight 800 was not shot down by US friendly fire.
May 6, 2008
Read | Listen (11:22)
World Trade Center 7: The Lies Come Crashing Down (Skeptoid #85) - The collapse of 7 World Trade Center was not a controlled demolition.
January 29, 2008
Read | Listen (10:17)
Aliens in Roswell (Skeptoid #79) - Pop culture says it was an alien spaceship -- but history tells us what was really found in the New Mexico desert.
December 18, 2007
Read | Listen (12:48)
Irradiation: Is Your Food Toxic? (Skeptoid #61) - Food that has been sterilized with irradiation is not radioactive and will not hurt you.
August 14, 2007
Read | Listen (8:32)
All About Fluoridation (Skeptoid #58) - A few fringe activists claim that fluoridation of water carries more danger than benefit.
July 30, 2007
Read | Listen (9:20)
The Twin Towers: Fire Melting Steel (Skeptoid #54) - The Oakland freeway collapse was not a government ploy to prove that the Twin Towers collapsed from fire.
July 10, 2007
Read | Listen (9:35)
Support Your Local Reptoid (Skeptoid #46) - The conspiracy theory that reptilian beings control our governments has a fascinating history.
May 21, 2007
Read | Listen (9:52)
The Alien Invasion of Phoenix, Arizona (Skeptoid #41) - Despite what many UFOlogists want, the famous Phoenix Lights were not alien spacecraft.
April 26, 2007
Read | Listen (11:25)
Blood for Oil (Skeptoid #32) - The claim that the wars in the Middle East were about oil don't stand up to economic scrutiny.
March 12, 2007
Read | Listen (8:23)
Chemtrails: Real or Not? (Skeptoid #27) - Some believe that airplane contrails are really dangerous chemicals being sprayed by the government.
February 15, 2007
Read | Listen (9:06)
Skepticism and Flight 93 (Skeptoid #22) - Flight 93, which crashed in a field on September 11, was not shot down by the military.
January 19, 2007
Read | Listen (8:13)
The Real Philadelphia Experiment (Skeptoid #16) - The US Navy did not make a warship completely disappear in 1943.
December 24, 2006
Read | Listen (6:50)






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