The truth is out there, but you probably won’t find it in this article. What you will find is a look at some of Nevada’s most widespread conspiracy theories. From the existence aliens to the death of Tupac, here are seven Nevada conspiracy theories that will likely make your head spin.
1. Area 51 and aliens
One of Nevada’s—and the world’s—most pervasive conspiracy theories pertains to a top-secret United States Air Force base commonly called Area 51. It is located 83 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas, within the Nevada Test and Training Range, near Groom Lake.
While the heavily-secured Area 51 is assumed to be used for development of experimental aircraft, conspiracy theorists allege it contains evidence of aliens on earth. Their beliefs are partially based on the 1947 Roswell controversy, when the Roswell Army Air Field claimed they recovered a silvery “flying disc” from a ranch in New Mexico–and quickly redacted. The U.S. government’s reluctance to confirm the military base’s existence until 2013 has only served to strengthen their theories.
Meanwhile, a couple of men who claim to be former workers at Area 51 have publicly stated they worked on alien aircraft at Area 51. One even said he worked with an extraterrestrial.
Even though a tourism industry has evolved around the alien lore of Area 51, you will see in this video, that security is still taken very seriously:
The truth may be beyond the warning signs, but not without consequences.
2. Area 51 and the Apollo moon landing
Here’s yet another conspiracy theory pertaining to Area 51.
On July 20, 1969, America watched as U.S. astronauts landed on the moon. Some conspiracy theorists believe it was a hoax, staged in order to win the space race against Russia. They also believe the moon landing was actually filmed at Area 51, possibly by Hollywood filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Here are 10 reasons people believe the moon landing was a hoax:
A few years ago, NASA released images taken by their orbiter showing astronaut footprints, the lunar rover and scorch marks from spacecraft on the moon's surface. It has done little to placate conspiracy theorists.
3. The “suicide” of Marilyn Monroe
Actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home in 1962. The death was ruled as a “probable suicide,” but it’s widely believed she was murdered. Possible “murder suspects” include the Communists, the CIA and the Mafia. Most these conspiracy theories revolve around her love affairs with the Kennedy brothers. Inconsistencies in the coroner's report have added to people’s suspicions.
One prevalent conspiracy theory is that Monroe actually died in Nevada. She was staying at Frank-Sinatra’s Cal-Neva hotel in Lake Tahoe the weekend before her death. It his believed her body was moved to her home and the death scene was staged.
This video covers some of the conspiracy theories behind the blonde bombshell's death:
Goodbye, Norma Jean and rest in peace.
4. Elvis is alive
This conspiracy theory is so well known, it’s almost a parody of itself. There’s even a Las Vegas street named after the iconic musician and Vegas entertainer called, “Elvis Alive Street.”
Elvis Presley died at the age of 42 from a supposed overdose of prescription drugs. He was found dead in his bathroom at Graceland in 1977. Suspicion surrounds his death due to conflicting coroner and autopsy reports, as well as the misspelling of his middle name on his gravestone. To further stoke the conspiracy fire, his father had his autopsy and toxicology reports sealed for 50 years.
Alleged sightings of The King are common and as recent as this year, when video was recorded of a Graceland groundskeeper who many believe is actually Elvis.
If Elvis is alive today, he would be 81.
5. Tupak is alive
Rapper Tupac Shakur was the victim of a fatal drive-by shooting, allegedly by a Compton gang, at a Las Vegas intersection in 1996.
Many conspiracy theorists believe he is still alive. They assume he faked his own death in order to escape his assailants and legal woes. Among their suspicions: Tupcac was cremated the day after his death with no memorial service. Other theories involve the Jesus-like imagery on his final album (suggesting a resurrection). Then there’s his use of the stage name Makaveli, an Italian war strategist who favored faking one’s death to allude enemies. Some point to the fact that the case remains unsolved. There’s even speculation that he is in the FBI’s Witness Protection Program.
Here is a recent video about Tupac faking his own death:
In addition to conspiracy theories that he’s still alive, some believe he’s planning to resurface this year
6. A government land grab
The conspiracy theory that Nevada Senator Harry Reid is behind a standoff between federal agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been debunked on Snopes. Still, it is part of a lawsuit filed by Bundy against President Barak Obama and Reid, according to NBC.
Bundy, whose cattle graze on public lands south of Mesquite and Bunkerville, stopped paying government grazing fees (about $1 million) in 1993. Bundy claims an inherent right to the land as well as a desire to eradicate the government’s control of it. The result: a standoff in 2014 between armed Bundy supporters and rangers sent by court order to confiscate his cattle.
Soon a rumor surfaced that the entire situation was actually a plot by Reid to take over the land and sell it to a Chinese company called ENN for a solar power plant:
Bundy, who is currently in jail for inciting the standoff, was arrested in February while on his way to see his sons; they are in jail for their role in the January armed occupation of an Oregon federal wildlife reserve.
7. Smart Meters
In 2010, Nevada Energy started installing smart meters at the homes of metered customers, promising results like improved service and the possibility of lower bills. The public outcry was almost instant, with many households claiming these devices were a product of Big Brother. Criticism ranged from concern about radiation emissions to the possible collection of private data by the government or hackers.
The yearlong battle ended with a compromise; households were allowed to opt out of the smart meter program by paying a monthly charge and a one-time fee.
Today 95 percent of Las Vegas homes have smart meters, according to Fox 5 Vegas. The original concerns about health and spying remain.
Are there aliens among us? Is Elvis alive? Are our smart meters spy devices? Leave your thoughts on Nevada conspiracy theories in the comments below.