- Coverups have been the theme of not only
"The Da Vinci Code" but a whole cache of films from "JFK"
to "The Manchurian Candidate" to the all-encompassing "Conspiracy
Theory." The topics have ranged from Area 51 ("Independence Day")
to time-traveling ships ("The Philadelphia Experiment").
- Conspiracy theories make for Big Box
Office because, "on a personal level, creating your own explanation
for reality feels more valid than the often-arbitrary and lame excuses
doled out by our institutions," says Milwaukeean Richard Hendricks,
news editor for The Anomalist Web site, www.anomalist.com.
- "They're personally satisfying.
They make sense to us and reflect who we are."
- So now that "The Da Vinci Code"
has vast numbers of moviegoers getting paranoid all over again, what strange
conspiracy theories might be left to make good major-motion-picture fodder?
- According to Brad Steiger, co-author
of the recent book "Conspiracies and Secret Societies" (Visible
Ink), the criteria are: "We have to have something that everyone suspects
they haven't heard the truth about. In conspiracy theories, nothing happens
by accident. Nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected."
- Luckily for producers, there is a deep
fount of such theories. Here are a few of the fun ones out there just waiting
to be filmed.
- Are any of them real? Believe what you
want. Just don't look behind you . . .
- Eisenhower and the Extraterrestrials
- Did President
Dwight D. Eisenhower really meet with ETs and inspect their spacecraft
in 1954? That's what some conspiracy theorists allege, holding that the
president "went missing" on a February night to make the rendezvous,
which has, of course, been covered up.
- "Eye witness" reports from
those who say they watched the meeting at Edwards Air Force Base in California
have been carried on such Web sites as "The 50th Anniversary of America's
First Treatise with Extraterrestrials." (www.thewatcherfiles.com/eisenhower.htm.)
- The Reptilian Conspiracy
- One of Steiger's favorites, this theory
holds that "shape-shifting aliens are among us - as our presidents,
our royalty, or diplomats and even our entertainers," according to
"Conspiracies and Secret Societies."
- What's more, the lizards have run human
history for thousands of years. The primary proponent of this notion is
Englishman David Icke, a former sports announcer for the BBC.
- Monoatomic Gold
- Linked with alchemy, the "secret"
capabilities of this substance allegedly include imparting perfect health
and spiritual enlightenment.
- On a more cinematic level, it is also
an alleged weapon of dark figures from the Fourth Dimension who plan to
use it to enslave the earth. (www.conspiracyplanet.com)
- The Rock Lake Pyramids
- Located at the bottom of Rock Lake in
Lake Mills, these formations may be Wisconsin's best chance at a major
Hollywood conspiracy movie.
- Are they natural, man-made or even designed
- Says Hendricks, "Some people believe
that these piles - obscured by poor water quality, sitting in mud - were
built either by American Indians or perhaps Europeans who pre-dated Columbus'
landing in the new World.
- "Others see the piles of rock as
nothing more than glacial deposits."
- Project ELF
- Another Wisconsin cover-up candidate.
The U.S. Navy's extremely low frequency (ELF) radio transmitter site in
the Chequamegon National Forest allowed the Navy to send coded messages
- And though the Navy allegedly has discontinued
the project, conspiracy theorists aren't biting. They believe the project
is still responsible for mind-control experiments done by that global clan
of evil, "The New World Order."
- Steiger says that he visited a "former
scientist who did nothing but have his computers kick out ELF readings
from all over the U.S., and he was convinced the nation was slowly being
driven mad by ELF."
- Seems to be a built-in audience.
- The Montauk Project
- According to "Conspiracies and Secret
Societies," Montauk Air Force Station on Long Island may have it all:
aliens, Atlantans, psychic energies and time travel.
- Some conspiracy theorists claim U.S.
government officials secretly have used the base as a center for extraterrestrial
- Or maybe to investigate energy links
with the lost continent of Atlantis. Or maybe as a time portal. Or maybe
as a trans-dimensional worm-hole.
- Or maybe - hey, just get Steven Spielberg
on the phone.
- From the May 23, 2006 editions of the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- © 2006, Journal Sentinel Inc.
All rights reserved.