Skip To Content

    16 Batshit Space Conspiracy Theories That Will Freak You The Fuck Out

    The truth is out there, and so are dead astronauts and 13,000-year-old satellites.

    1. The Black Knight satellite / Creative COmmons

    This 1998 photo allegedly shows the "Black Knight satellite", a so-called alien artefact said to have been orbiting the Earth for 13,000 years. Theorists claim the satellite was the source of the anomalous extraterrestrial signals picked up by Nikola Tesla in 1899. NASA claims that it's just space junk, but we all know the truth: it's definitely an ancient alien beacon like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    2. KIC 8462852

    Something is blocking around 20% of the light from this baffling star in the constellation Cygnus. The thing in question isn't likely to be a planet, as even a gas giant like Jupiter would only block around 1% of its surface. Some scientists have suggested that the anomaly might be a hypothetical alien megastructure called a "Dyson Swarm", which surrounds a star and harvests its energy output. Nice.

    3. Radio Source SHGb02+14a

    This radio signal detected by SETI in 2004 isn't as well known as the 1977 Wow! Signal, but it's almost as puzzling. It was broadcast in the "waterhole region", thought to be a good candidate for frequencies used by extraterrestrial intelligence, and was repeatedly observed by SETI in subsequent weeks. However, the signal may simply be a natural phenomenon of a previously undreamed-of kind.*


    4. Project Solar Warden

    In 2002, a British hacker called Gary McKinnon broke into U.S. Space Command computers and found lists of “non-terrestrial officers”, documents about “fleet-to-fleet transfers”, and references to a classified project called “Solar Warden”. He put two and two together to make five, and decided Solar Warden was a secret U.S. armada of orbiting spaceships. McKinnon is now facing a 70-year prison sentence.

    5. Majestic 12

    Majestic 12 (MJ-12) is the supposed codename of a secret committee of shadowy scientific, military, and government officials formed in 1947 by President Truman to recover and reverse-engineer crashed alien spacecraft. The FBI have spent quite some time debunking the existence of MJ-12, but to be fair similar UFO investigation projects did exist, notably Project Grudge and Project Blue Book.

    6. The Death Star / Creative Commons

    Nemesis is a hypothetical brown dwarf star orbiting the sun at a distance of 1.5 light years. Two astronomers, Daniel Whitmire and Albert Jackson, theorised that this asshole star's elliptical orbit causes regular extinction-level impacts on Earth whenever it passes close to the Oort cloud, sending comets hurtling towards us every 26 million years or so. We're due another apocalypse soon. Thanks, Nemesis!

    7. "Alien lights" on Ceres


    These blinking bright spots were photographed by Dawn, a NASA probe that's currently orbiting Ceres, a small proto-planet in the asteroid belt. Conspiracy fans believe that the "lights'" are actually an alien base sending out a greeting signal, while NASA scientists say that the spots are probably metallic salts reflecting sunlight, though they're still not sure what the lights are. *cough* definitely aliens *cough*

    8. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle / Creative Commons

    This experimental robotic space plane recently spent over 600 days silently orbiting the Earth, and nobody at NASA will say why. *CONSPIRACY KLAXON*. Some people believe it's designed to shoot down nukes in a secret continuation of the Cold War era "Star Wars" program, another theory is that its testing a new form of high-tech propulsion adapted from alien spaceships, which is definitely not true.*

    *It's so true.

    9. Moon landing conspiracy theories / Creative Commons

    These extensive (and largely batshit) theories claim that the Apollo moon landings were hoaxes staged by NASA to win the space race with Russia. A lot of the claims are based on the belief that no astronaut can survive a trip to the moon due to radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt, that the flag fluttered despite there being no wind on the Moon, and that the photographs and film footage were all faked.

    10. The Aurora UFO Incident


    In 1897, a UFO allegedly crashed near Aurora, Texas. The newspaper reported, "the pilot of this ship is supposed to be the only one on board, and while his remains are badly disfigured, enough of the original has been picked up to show that he was not an inhabitant of this world." In 2008, an unmarked grave was found in the area, but the grave was eroded and radar couldn't prove what type of remains it contained.

    11. The Rosetta Mission

    In 2014, the Rosetta probe finally reached Comet 67B after a ten-year journey. However, an anonymous source claiming to be a "NASA whistleblower" said that the "real" reason for the mission was that 67B was actually an alien spacecraft with external mechanical features, and that NASA had detected mysterious signals coming from the comet. That part is true, at least. You can hear the strange signals here.

    12. UFOs on the Live Earth Stream

    NASA / BuzzFeed

    The ISS Live Feed shows almost constant webcam footage from the International Space Station, and people have occasionally reported seeing UFOs or other inexplicable objects on the feed, usually just before the webcam is suddenly switched off. Strange sightings include a "grey object", some blobs, six UFOs flying in formation, and an "alien mothership". Hmm. Take a look and decide for yourself.

    13. Ancient Astronauts / Creative Commons

    Many conspiracy theorists believe that aliens have guided human progress since the dawn of man, and point to artistic representations of astronaut-like figures as proof. As well as these 200,000 year old petroglyphs from Italy (which resemble modern astronauts) fans of the "ancient aliens" theory also think that these Egyptian reliefs and Mesopotamian seals depict spacecraft and advanced technology. Weird.

    14. The Estimate of the Situation

    "The Estimate of the Situation" was a document that's alleged to have been written in 1948 by a U.S. Air Force captain, stating that the extraterrestrial hypothesis was the best explanation for UFOs. The document subsequently vanished, but a similar top secret USAF memo still exists, and states that: "these objects originate from some previously unknown or unidentified technology, possibly outside the Earth." Blimey.

    15. Alien Reproduction Vehicles

    So, what happens after you form a shadowy government body to impound alien spacecraft? Well, conspiracy theorists believe that the U.S. government reverse-engineered those craft and went on to create UFOs of their own, notably ultra-top-secret black project the TR-3 Black Manta, a.k.a. the infamous "black triangle" UFO supposedly created by Teledyne Industries. Damn, those aliens got mad skills.

    16. The Lost Cosmonauts

    Twitter: @gghanepoornews

    The "Lost" or "Phantom" cosmonauts theory claims Yuri Gagarin wasn't actually the first human in space, just the first man to survive the experience and come back alive, unlike his unlucky predecessors. Two Italian amateur radio operators said that they picked up broadcasts from dying Russian cosmonauts as they orbited the Earth, which kind of ruins the whole "in space, no one can hear you scream" catchphrase.

    If that doesn't keep you up all night, nothing will.

    FOX / Giphy