17 “Bones” Conspiracy Theories, Ranked By Quality

“Thank god I am a conspiracy theorist and not a doomsday hysteric.” —Jack Hodgins, Bones

Dr. Jack Hodgins (TJ Thyne) is famously paranoid and leery of institutions.* Throughout Bones’ nine-season run, he’s let us in on many of his wilder conspiracy theories. Those theories are presented here, in order of quality.

*It is unclear how Hodgins reconciles his distrust of the establishment with his position at the government-funded Jeffersonian Institute.

17. Theory: Cryptids are real.


“A creature yet unrecognized by scientific consensus!”
Mentioned: Season 6, “The Truth in the Myth,” when a victim appears to have been relieved of his heart by a chupacabra.
Quality of theory: Chupacabras are child’s play. Where’s the corrupt institution? Where’s the sinister plot? Terrible theory.

16. Theory: The government is conspiring against him personally.


“You’re telling me that my toe-chewing moron cousin was appointed to a secret post in a secret part of the government you can’t tell me about, so you compiled a secret dossier on me, but I’m the one who’s paranoid?”
Mentioned: Season 1, “The Woman in the Car,” when the Jeffersonian team is undergoing a security review.
Quality of theory: Good use of the word “dossier.” Unfortunately, conspiracy theories are best served shadowy and far-reaching — this is too targeted a conspiracy to be that good.

15. Theory: Area 51 is an alien visitation site.


“There are still a lot of questions remaining about the events at Area 51, you know. Do you know that UFO spottings…”
Mentioned: Season 8, “The Bod in the Pod,” when they’re examining a body that was found in a decomposed state in a hard plastic pod.
Quality of theory: While some classic theories are still fresh, Area 51 theories are stale. Poor theorizing, Hodgins. No one wants to hear about Roswell anymore.

14. Theory: Government spying on civilians.


“The government keeps secret black illegal files on every U.S. citizen. It’s called spring cleaning because everything’s brought out into the light and turned upside down.”
Mentioned: Season 4, “The Hero in the Hold,” while they’re trying to catch the Gravedigger.
Quality of theory: This is not even a conspiracy theory, right? I mean, it’s more or less the plain truth (‘sup, NSA?). This one’s duller than the Google search history of a harmless American citizen.

13. Theory: “Little green men” is a lie.


“Gray. They’re gray. Not green. Gray.”
Mentioned: Season 2, “The Spaceman in a Crater,” when they’re investigating a victim who apparently spent time in space.
Quality of theory: Why would there be a cover-up related to the color of aliens? I admire his conviction, but this seems too baldly ridiculous to be a great conspiracy.

12. Theory: The FBI is conspiring against the Jeffersonian team.


“You trust the FBI? You realize those guys are gonna suppress whatever they need to cover their asses… They have a separate division, you know. That way their hands are always clean.”
Mentioned: Season 1, “The Man in the SUV,” when they’re investigating a bombing.
Quality of theory: This is from the good old days, before Hodgins trusted Booth, when all was rightly wrong with the world. This is not that creative a conspiracy theory because it sounds pretty plausible. However, I can’t help but fondly remember when even the FBI was under Hodgins’ suspicion.

11. Theory: Aliens are real, and they visit Earth.


Hodgins: “This guy is wearing loafers. Aliens don’t wear loafers, people.” Cam: “Even if they want to pass unnoticed amongst us?” Booth: “Before taking us over?” Hodgins: “Oh, oh. This is harassment. You know, it’s illegal to mock people for their fundamental beliefs.”
Mentioned: Season 2, “The Spaceman in a Crater” (see 13)
Quality of theory: Aliens among us may be an oldie, but it’s still a goodie.

10. Theory: The FBI is hiding evidence of a serial killer.


“Prominent public figures being murdered and eaten. Evidence that secret societies are being targeted, societies that have great influence in the halls of power, like the Bureau. You don’t think that’s a bit extreme?”
Mentioned: Season 3, “The Pain in the Heart,” as they’re closing in on Gormogon.
Quality of theory: Secret societies always get bonus points. Suspicion of the FBI is also appreciated.

9. Theory: The government is covering up space flights.


Zack: “The longest shuttle flight was STS-80 — 17.66 days in 1996.” Hodgins: “The longest we know of.” Zack: “The man who spent the most time in space was a Russian cosmonaut.” Hodgins: “That we know of.”
Mentioned: Season 2, “The Spaceman in a Crater” (see 13)
Quality of theory: Secret space exploration? What’s not to love?

8. Theory: Aliens abduct people.


Hodgins: “These two farmers from South Dakota, right? They claimed to be abducted, encased in this solid glowing container, and then deposited into this landfill.” Arastoo: “They had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit.” Hodgins: “I like to believe that the aliens were wonderful hosts.”
Mentioned: Season 8, “The Bod in the Pod” (see 15)
Quality of theory: It didn’t look good for this theory once Arastoo came in with his debunking attempt, but then Hodgins saved it with his colorful explanation. It is nice to think that aliens would abduct you so you could all party together, isn’t it?

7. Theory: The military is secretly making super soldiers.


Angela: “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Hodgins says they’re into some pretty weird stuff, like creating super soldiers who don’t need sleep and can kill with their laser-beam eyes.”
Mentioned: Season 5, “The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken,” when they’re investigating a possible military testing angle on a case.
Quality of theory: Military industrial complex? Human testing? Laser eyes? WONDERFUL.

6. Theory: The government is monitoring us from space.


“If the Lansing [telescope] was pointed away from the Earth, why would they need to black out all this material?”
Mentioned: Season 2, “The Spaceman in a Crater” (see 13)
Quality of theory: This theory gets back to the paranoid roots of conspiracy theories, then adds a sexy space twist.

5. Theory: The Catholic church put a hit on President Abraham Lincoln.


“I actually think the Vatican was in on the Lincoln assassination. They hated Lincoln since he defended a former priest against the bishop of Chicago… Look, all I’m saying is that John Wilkes Booth was secretly a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, affiliated with Rome.”
Mentioned: Season 7, “The Crack in the Code,” after a serial killer leaves human remains at the foot of a Lincoln statue.
Quality of theory: High marks for convolution and crackpottery.

4. Theory: The mob took down Marilyn Monroe.


“These guys have been involved in conspiracies a lot more complicated than this. They set up Lee Harvey Oswald, worked with the CIA to kill Castro. Forget about what they did to Marilyn Monroe.”
Mentioned: Season 1, “Two Bodies in the Lab,” when Hodgins is suggesting the mob may be involved in a crime.
Quality of theory: This trifold theory goes from tried-and-true (JFK) to fresh (Castro) to brand-new (MARILYN MONROE). Grounded in the grand American tradition of conspiracy theories, it doesn’t limit itself to the classics. Exquisite craftsmanship.

3. Theory: Celebrity news is a vast diversion.


“Every time there’s a big story, and I mean like, an earthquake or government corruption, there’s always some celebrity story that takes focus. You know, the BP oil spill, Lindsay Lohan goes to jail, and the country takes their eye off the ball.”
Mentioned: Season 6, “The Couple in the Cave,” the first time Hodgins talks to Booth’s journalist girlfriend.
Quality of theory: Celebrity is the opiate of the masses? What’s not to love? Excellent work on this one, Hodgins. Creative and disquieting.

2. Theory: Giant moths exist.


“Reports indicate that moth man is a flying creature with a 10-foot wingspan and red eyes.”
Mentioned: Season 8, “The Archaeologist in the Cocoon,” as they inspect a body in a giant cocoon.
Quality of theory: Moth man! Giant moths! Giant moths flying around unseen! Yes. More. More!

1. Theory: The FBI conspired to kill a civil rights activist and one of its own agents.


“1970s. Ohio. There is a task force made up of FBI, state police, and local cops. Goes bad. Starts taking a cut from the same bank robbers they’re supposed to be catching. Well then they conspire to plant a stack of stolen money on Marvin Beckett. Well then this young agent, right, Harper? He decides he can’t live with that, and decides to blow the whistle… The same guy who was gonna blow the whistle on them for framing Marvin Beckett then gets murdered by Marvin Beckett? Come on. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.”
Mentioned: Season 2, “Judas on a Pole,” when a case has a connection to slain FBI agent Augustus Harper.
Quality of theory: An excellent and frightening theory that is also completely accurate. Fuck the police.

Stay freaky, Hodgins.

“I’ve loved combustion variables ever since I blew up the multipurpose room for my middle school science fair project.”

FOX

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