Thousands of books and articles have chronicled the cyclical rise and fall of a never-ending parade of conspiracy-based philosophies that, at different points in Idaho and American history, have warned against imaginary and unfounded threats. Idaho, like the vast majority of the states, is no stranger to its own set of strange, paranoid, and misguided ideas of every kind and origin which, whether you subscribe to them or not, make for a fascinating peek into modern culture.
Check out some of Idaho’s most infamous theories, both past and present.
1. Idaho doesn't exist.
Every now and then, someone (this writer included) will refer to Idaho as if it were an "actual" place. But in an Americanized form of the Blielfeld Conspiracy and according to dozens of webpages which have genuinely (as well as facetiously) called into question the very existence of Idaho as a physical location, the Gem State simply
We're not alone, mind you - North Dakota doesn't exist either. But like the original Blielfeld movement overseas, the rationale against Idaho's actuality can be boiled down to three premises: Do you know anybody from Idaho? Have you ever been to Idaho? Do you know anybody who has ever been to Idaho? For most, the answer is no. Therefore, Idaho cannot be.
To many, Idaho is simply an urban legend, much like the idea that the earth is round. In fact, the general consensus is that Idaho was put on the map because cartographers needed a barrier to separate Utah from Canada, and protect Montana from Washington. Or vice versa. But to those of us who live here in Idaho (or do we??), one explanation is that Idaho is a government-operated mind-control vacuum; another postulation is that Idaho exists, "but only as a state of mind."
The whole debacle stirs up a plethora of very real philosophical arguments. But according to conspiracy logic, if you feel like you're living in Idaho right now, odds are it is simply the result of other conspiracies at work, like those below.
2. Chemtrails are proof of a military-goverment plot.
In a nefarious attempt to manipulate and control the unwitting population of Idaho, resurfacing "chemtrail" theories have suggested that the Gem State is the government's testing ground for biological warfare, population control, weather manipulation, and good ol' fashioned human extermination.
The idea sounds ridiculous, but this local conspiracy quickly gained momentum in the late 90s with reports of a suspicious fibrous tissue falling from the sky in Caldwell. Paranoia particularly set in when a small-scale epidemic of illnesses (namely, collapsed lungs) occurred around the same time frame. From what we could gather, the incident was a rare weather phenomenon and the tissue wasn't toxic, although no reports have specifically stated what the fibers were.
3. The "myth" of Bigfoot is a large-scale cover up.
Normally considered a classic piece of folklore, Idaho is no stranger to sightings of this immense man-beast, especially up North. How is Bigfoot a conspiracy theory, then, as opposed to a legend?
In an age when very little of ordinary private lives are kept secret anymore, the conspiracy is simply in the cover-up of the anthropoid's existence, according to theorists. A combination of authentic footprints and detailed sightings are said to be swept under the rug...but for what reason? Since sightings of the creature in Idaho are too vast and varied to report, simply note that were a Sasquatch-like creature to exist, the solitary, rural being has thus been found to be harmless. Some suggest that the afore-mentioned biological tests gave rise to the Bigfoot species, and that the government is concealing its mistake under the guise of an urban legend.
4. Idaho is purposely drugging its residents.
In 1947, Lewsiston began adding fluoride to its water, as did the vast majority of US cities - a practice which still exists today. Many suspected, however, that the addition of fluoride, which was touted as an easy way to cut down on widespread tooth decay, was in fact a large-scale attempt to underhandedly medicate Idaho citizens, as well as a means of covering up the drastic lack of dental care provided for the Gem State's working poor.
The dramatic decrease in childhood cavity levels recorded by 1950 supported the practice as a whole, but to this day, fluoridation is still majorly opposed for a variety of reasons, including links to cancer and bone loss.
5. You won't believe what deformed this Idaho cougar.
Idaho made headlines recently with the discovery of a strange mountain lion (or cougar, depending on your preference) with a second set of teeth growing out of its skull. The animal was legally hunted, and the individual brought in the body for identification.
On the logical side of things, the unique and highly developed deformity is thought to be either a "chimera" - the remnants of a conjoined twin - or more likely a "teratoma," which is a unique tumor capable of growing distinguishable features. (Warning: don't Google images of the latter!) This type of physical abnormality, whose Greek name translates literally to "monster tumor," can even grow fingers and toes in humans.
Since the cougar was discovered in December, however, conspiracy theories have been swirling, particularly with regards to the cougar's location. Close to the Utah border in Preston, and with territory that no doubt reaches unquestionably close to the Idaho National Laboratory, radiation as a cause of the growth has been posited. Whether directly, or indirectly due to the animal's consumption of smaller, contaminated critters nearby, the answer isn't known.
Mind blown. What do you think? Are there any other local theories out there?