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As you can see from the index page, I have been writing quite a lot about conspiracy theories in general, but not much about any conspiracy theories in particular (except something about the Moon landing hoax conspiracy theories). So I decided to make a list of some concrete conspiracy theories I don't believe in, with some arguments why.
Note that this is not a debunking article (you can find those easily with google), simply a brief summary of some of the reasons why I don't believe in those theories. The list is not by any means comprehensive (about either which conspiracy theories I don't believe in, nor about all the reasons why I don't believe in them).
The conspiracy theorists claim that man has never been on the Moon and, in fact, not even outside of low Earth orbit, and that all six Moon landings were staged on Earth (and maybe partially on low Earth orbit).
A small minority of conspiracy theorists claims that only the first landing was staged and the subsequent ones were genuine. An even smaller minority claims that all the landings were genuine but the photographs and videos were staged.
I have written about some of the reasons why this is basically impossible in this other article. However, here's a brief summary of some of the reasons why I don't believe in the conspiracy theory:
There is no plausible evidence in favor of a hoax in either the photographic material nor in the claims made about the physics of the landings, plus there's no plausible explanation for the radio transmissions, reflectors nor lunar rocks if the whole thing was a hoax, plus there's independent evidence of the lunar landings (eg. by the the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).
Thus there is absolutely no reason to believe in the hoax theory.
Conspiracy theorists claim that the terrorist attacks were actually put forward by the United States government, killing thousands of their own people, and that the two World Trade Center towers were brought down by controlled demolition rather than any damage caused by the planes. Many also claim that what hit the Pentagon was not a plane but a missile.
The flagship of the whole conspiracy theory is the "documentary" called Loose Change, which is a quite cleverly edited video with a huge amount of claims of "evidence" that the whole thing was an inside job of the US government.
While quite cleverly done, this "documentary" is nothing but a bunch of cherry-picking and misdirection which has been debunked over and over. While it pulls all this off quite convincingly, studying the claims further shows huge holes in them. Curiously, even some 9/11 conspiracy theorists criticize Loose Change.
Other claims made by conspiracy theorists don't stand much scrutiny either. People who are actual experts in the involved fields have debunked these claims over and over. Many of the experts are from countries and cultures which have absolutely no reason to defend a possible conspiracy of the US government.
Claims by conspiracy theorists on this subject are varied, but all of them agree at least on these claims:
Yes, I have seen "JFK", the film by Oliver Stone (and yes, when I first saw it, it was pretty alluring). Yes, I have read numerous conspiracy theory websites.
I have also read debunking websites as well as relevant parts of the Warren Commission report, and I simply find these counter-claims more plausible and rational, and the Warren Commission report sound and competent.
It is perfectly possible for one single shooter to cause all the wounds and damage resulting from the incident, from the alleged 6th floor window, and this has been corroborated countless times. Unlike the JFK film claims ("back and to the left, back and to the left, back and to the left"), Kennedy's head movement after being shot is not indicative of the direction where the bullet came from; that's not how being shot works, and this has been corroborated countless times and is a fact known for a long time even before this event. None of the other claims made by the conspiracy theorists withstand any scrutiny either.
As long as actual convincing evidence is not presented, with no rational explanation other than there being two or more shooters or other type of conspiracy, and which causes peer-reviewed scientific publications to be accepted by the scientific community, I have no rational reason to believe there was any conspiracy.
There are two versions of this conspiracy theory, and it doesn't seem like the theorists can even agree on which one is correct:
The funny thing about this conspiracy theory is how much it resembles the Moon Landing and the 9/11 conspiracy theories, as well as creationism. The exact same tactics are used to craft meticulously made pseudodocumentaries, literature and lectures. You can see all the same dishonest means.
Such a conspiracy is basically impossible. It's even more impossible than with the Moon Landing and 9/11 conspiracy theories (because it's not something that just happened somewhere in the past and which we have little evidence of anymore; it's something that's happening right now, and can be studied and measured by anybody). There's no reason to doubt the scientific findings on this. (And yes, I have seen those pseudodocumentaries and lectures. No, they do not convince me. I have also seen the actual explanations, something that most believers don't bother to even try to find out.)
The most ridiculous thing about this conspiracy theory in particular is the alleged motivation behind it, as well as the potential consequences even if we assumed that it was indeed a conspiracy. ("OMG! They are trying to make us pollute less and care about the environment... How dare they! Those monsters! Have they no shame?")
Ufology is a very wide field of quackery, with an ample range of different claims, but some of the claims made by believers are, roughly from more generic (accepted by more believers) to more outlandish (there may be more difference of opinions even among ufologists):
The major problem with the entirety of ufology is that it relies solely on eyewitness testimony, besides photographs and videos, all of which can be faked or staged. There is not a single piece of actual physical evidence which has ended up in scientific laboratories for study.
Eyewitness testimony on UFOs is plenty. The problem is that eyewitness testimony is extremely unreliable. Even when the reports are honest (in other words the witness is not outright making things up), eyewitness testimony is greatly affected by assumptions, optical illusions, false memories, and arguments from ignorance ("I don't know what that light is, it must be something supernatural or extraterrestrial"). Most "eyewitness testimony" is, in fact, people who actually haven't seen anything themselves but are only repeating what they have heard from others (the Roswell incident being a good example). And naturally repeating what other have said always causes the claims to be changed just so slightly...
The amount of reported UFO sightings is significantly lower among the people who watch the skies the most, ie. amateur astronomers. That's because amateur astronomers know what they are looking at and thus fewer things are unidentified to them. They do not confuse Venus for an UFO because they know when they are looking at Venus.
Argument from ignorance is a completely bogus argument. Even if a photo or video is completely untampered and genuine, and it truly shows a genuine phenomenon which happened (instead of the phenomenon being staged), and even if it's truly something that scientists have no plausible explanation for, nothing at all can be concluded from that. Making any claims at all from that is argument from ignorance, and thus completely bogus. If you don't know what it is you just can't conclude that it must be an extraterrestrial spacecraft or a supernatural phenomenon. It simply means that it's a phenomenon which scientists have not had a chance of studying in order to get an explanation (which might often be rather mundane).
Most UFO photographs and videos can be demonstrably faked or staged without problems, so their value as evidence is questionable. Some of them present natural phenomena, even if unusual.
As said, so far there is no actual tangible evidence of UFOs visiting the Earth other than eyewitness testimony and photographs which are easy to fake or stage. As long as this is the case, there's no rational reason to believe that UFOs have ever visited Earth (if they even exist).
And that's just the least outlandish of the claims.
There's plenty of material debunking the Roswell extraterrestrial spacecraft crash-landing out there, so I won't bother repeating that here. Suffice to say that there simply is no convincing evidence.
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