Six Of The Most Widely-Believed Alien Conspiracy Theories

Want an alien conspiracy with some meat on its bones (or exoskeleton, as the case may be)? Here are six of the greatest real-life alien conspiracy theories.

by Jacqueline Pifer, New York Times

Actually, "real-life" is kind of a dubious term when talking about this kind of thing. The world of alien conspiracies is an improbably complex and interwoven one. It's filled with weird personalities, unexplainable events, half-remembered government secrets, and countless races of alien visitors, all with their own agendas.


So let's start with arguably the grand-daddy of UFO conspiracy events: the supposed Roswell UFO incident. In 1947, the Roswell Air Force Base issued a press release saying that they'd found a mysterious metallic disc on a nearby ranch. The press was, of course, intrigued, but the base quickly changed their wording slightly: they'd found what appeared to be the remnants of a weather balloon.

The change was not quick enough, of course: the local papers ran giant headlines saying that the air force had recovered a crashed alien spaceship. And in the years since, that story has stuck, as accounts surfaced from employees at the base that include multiple crash sites, massive cover-ups, and even a reported alien autopsy (a film released in 1995 purported to depict the actual autopsy, but it its creator admitted that "most" of the footage was fake, thereby sort of discrediting all of the footage).

Die-hards still stand by these scant accounts of fishy dealings at Roswell. The supposed cover-up has permeated public perception of the base, leading to a Star Trek plot, a Futurama episode, and even an entire TV series, among many others. It also launched a veritable squadron of alien conspiracies. Some still believe that the spaceship remnants and alien bodies have been squirreled away in some sort of secret military enclave.

Area 51

And Area 51 might just be that military enclave. The actual base has long been a very closely-guarded secret, including wide "trespassers will be shot" stretches around the base itself and a large no-fly zone surrounding it.

According to conspiracy theorists, what we can see of Area 51 is just the tip of the paranoid iceberg. The base allegedly features elaborate underground labs, hidden tunnels, a dedicated extra-terrestrial runway that can disappear and reappear, and research programs dedicated to reverse-engineering alien technology.

In one particularly colorful and alluring detail, two different alleged former Area 51 employees reported working side-by-side with an alien being named "J-Rod" on cloning alien viruses and on a telepathic translator device (it's funnier if you imagine J-Rod as Jar-Jar; I'd watch that movie).

And the mystery of Area 51 is still only one example of the vast network of supposed government cover-up of alien contact.