Conspiracy theories and misconceptions shake teens


By Sage Tippie

Photo illustration by Mrs. Thompson
Photo illustration by Mrs. Thompson

Conspiracy theories and misconceptions can be thought of in a number of ways; complete fiction for some, while others believe them wholeheartedly, living by the rules of a complex (some may say imaginary) theory. These theories may not completely change someone’s life, but this doesn’t stop people from reading into every one, intently deciphering the more believable from the completely unrealistic.

The Mandela effect may be the result of travel through a different dimension or just a faulty memory. The Mandela effect, popularized by youtubers like Tana Mongeau and Shane Dawson, theorizes that when a large group of people remember something differently than how it truly is; something has been changed in the past altering the future, thus creating a domino effect. The namesake comes from Nelson Mandela, who many believed died years prior to his actual death in prison.

There are countless theories to explain the change, including time travel or switches from different dimensions. One of the most popular instances is the “Berenstein Bears” branch of the Mandela effect , in which people remember the actual spelling “Berenstain” as “Berenstein.” Other popular examples of this conspiracy theory include “Fruit Loops” being spelled “Froot Loops” and the line in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” truly being “Magic mirror on the wall” instead of the iconic “Mirror, mirror on the wall.”

“I definitely think the Mandela effect is the most believable misconception. One example of it that I believe is the branch about the color chartreuse. I remember it as a maroon, but apparently it’s a greenish-yellow color. It doesn’t make sense to me how a color could just change other than something like time travel,” Olivia Oh, 10, said.

The Beatles are undoubtedly one of the most iconic bands of the century. Two out of the original four members of the band still are alive today, but many believe that there could be only one true survivor from the group. This theory supports the idea that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966 in a car crash and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike. There is “evidence” of this belief, including lyrics in songs and differences in physical appearance. The phrase “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him,” can be heard in Lennon’s “A Day in the Life” when played backwards. Album covers of “Yesterday and Today” and “Abbey Road” may also allude to McCartney’s death.

TV shows may give us a glance into the future. Shows have predicted the future with scenes that have come true in real life, including “The Simpsons,” “Star Trek,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Lone Gunmen,” and more. “The Simpsons” predicted Trump’s presidency, the Ebola outbreak, The NSA scandal, 9/11, a nobel prize winner, and countless other events within the scenes in the show. The American political comedy, “Parks and Recreation,” predicted the Cubs’ win in the 2016 World Series in episode two of season seven, which premiered in 2015. There is no explanation of the predictions, but one theory involves the Illuminati’s involvement in time travel.

“I don’t believe in most conspiracy theories because most of them are just too ridiculous to be true. The only conspiracy theories I kind of believe are the ones about the zodiac killer, because there is a lot of evidence to back them up. Other ones though, are too crazy to read into,” Jasmine Moreno, 10, said.

Some think adding fluoride to our water could be for more than just promoting dental health. Theories support that there may be an alternative motivation other than just keeping our teeth strong, the most popular supporting the idea that fluoride is contributing to mental health and behavioral issues. Is our government really so concerned about dental health as to add this substance to our water? The substance could be a tranquilizer in disguise or people could just be too suspicious.

Nearly four decades ago existed the “Space Race”, which the USA decidedly won after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, but some argue that the 1969 moon landings were faked. In a strenuous effort to beat the Russians, the USA may have faked the landings on the moon in an attempt to easily win the competitive race. In the video of the landing on the moon, spectators can see the flag waving, which is technically impossible because wind does not exist in a space vacuum. The “2001: Space Odyssey” is enough proof for some that technology did in fact exist at the time to create an artificial spacelike set. A 1999 Gallup poll showed that 6% of Americans said they thought the lunar landings were fake.

“I definitely consider myself a believer in conspiracy theories. Everyone says it as a joke, but I really do believe Bush did 9/11, because there is actual evidence to support it. I think most conspiracy theories are worth the hype as long as there is reasonable information to support them. I would tell people who don’t believe in conspiracy theories to do their research because numbers don’t lie,” Justin Balanga, 12, said.

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Sage Tippie is a senior, and this is her fourth year as a member of “The Roar” staff. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief and manages all of the newsteam’s social media. Her favorite pieces to write are trends and lifestyle features, as well as humorous opinion articles. The majority of her free time is usually spent hanging out with friends or re-watching her favorite TV shows like “New Girl” and “That ‘70’s Show.” Her favorite things include dogs, shopping, and anything chocolate. She hopes to major in communications and pursue a career involving her two passions: fashion and journalism.