Conspiracy Theories That Inspired Sci-Fi Favorites

Do you believe in lizard people? The Roswell Crash? Believe it or not, there were many conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites you adore.

Sci-fi authors and directors have to pull inspiration from just about every single corner of their mind that you can imagine. 

For example, The Hunger Games was actually inspired by a Japanese novel called Battle Royale with a similar premise. District 9 was actually inspired by South Africa's Apartheid. Dune was allegedly written after Herbert saw some dunes nearby that just looked incredible, or something.

Considering that there have been sci-fi novels which were sparked by the craziest parts of humanity, it should come as no surprise that there are conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites. Which favorites, you ask? Well, quite a few. 

Here are some of the biggest names you might recognize — all of which had conspiracy theory roots. 

The Roswell Incident

Of all the conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites, the Roswell Incident is definitely king. As everyone knows, this theory claims that aliens crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico, back in the 1940s. This involves an alien autopsy video, as well as a lot of eyewitness accounts that "something" happened that day. 

Despite all the evidence that something inhuman crashed in New Mexico, the military refuses to acknowledge any alien interaction — or that it was anything other than a weather balloon. Suspicious? Absolutely. 

There's a massive list of science fiction books, movies, and television shows that were sparked by this particular conspiracy theory. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Roswell. It's even in the name. Come on. You don't need to be watching the skies in Roswell to realize the name alludes to a larger portion of its inspiration. 
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg openly admitted that this 1977 smash hit film was sparked by the Roswell Incident. The movie also insinuated that we may have started an exchange with aliens — another part of this conspiracy theory.
  • The X-Files. There's a reason why the Roswell Incident keeps getting casual nods in this television series. The constant search for the truth was actually inspired by how avid conspiracy theorists were about Roswell's crash landing. 
  • Independence Day. This 1996 movie made a lot of references to the Roswell Incident conspiracy theory, and that wasn't coincidental, either. 
  • Futurama's Roswell Episode. Remember when Fry and the gang accidentally travel back to the 1940s and get kidnapped by US military personnel? Yep. That's inspired by Roswell — and was actually spoofing the conspiracy theory throughout the episode. 
  • American Dad. Roger the Alien, everyone's favorite grey pear, was an alien that crash-landed in Roswell in the 40s. This only goes to show that you don't need to be human to enjoy alcohol, am I right?

The Philadelphia Experiment

One of the most commonly cited conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites involves the Philadelphia Experiment. This theory suggests that the US military had managed to get a ship called the USS Eldridge to disappear into thin air in the middle of a crowded beach using technology that involved Einstein's Unified Field Theory. 

The scientist behind it, Dr. Franklin Reno, apparently succeeded where Einstein failed. The ship vanished, and reappeared elsewhere 200 miles away, only to reappear back at the original beach. 

When the ship was searched by military brass, they found some pretty horrifying sites. Many crew members were dying after being fused to the ship deck. Some went mad, claiming they saw dead people. Others were just smoldering cinder.

Conspiracy theorists suggest that the US Navy covered it up, and called it the Philadelphia Experiment as a way to avoid saying, "That Time We Made A Ship Go Invisible And Killed Everyone On It."

Several movies were very obviously based off the assumption that the Philadelphia Experiment was real, including a movie called The Philadelphia Experiment. 

A man by the name of Al Bielek saw the movie on television, and claimed he had gone on that ship — but had his memory wiped due to trauma. He went on to write a script for a movie called 100,000 BC

Men in Black

The Men in Black conspiracy theory is a strange one that has had a lot of witnesses throughout the years. Conspiracy theorists who believe in this believe that there are human (or inhuman) beings dressed in black suits that harass and intimidate people into silence after they witness paranormal activity involving UFOs. 

No one really knows who the Men in Black are, since it's become clear that they aren't from the government. Some believe they are time travelers. Others believe they're aliens. Still more believe they are from a shadow government that we don't know about. 

Regardless, this is one of the many conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites. The film franchise they inspired, obviously, is Men in Black. However, they've also inspired a couple of episodes from the X-Files, too. So, it's not just a movie thing. 

The Faked Lunar Landing

You would be shocked to hear this one, but one of the more extreme conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites is the Faked Lunar Landing. People who believe this conspiracy theory believe that we never went to the moon. 

Conspiracy theorists believe it was an elaborate filming setup — and that the moon itself never was walked on by man. A number of science fiction films have made note of this in their plotlines. These sci-fi favorites include:

  • Dark Side of the Moon, a mockumentary that allegedly "exposes" that we were never up there. (It's a sci-fi comedy.)
  • Room 237, which is a documentary that alleges that Stanley Kubric helped film the lunar landing. The film uses symbolism in The Shining to back up the claim that Kubric was the moviemaker. 
  • Apollo 18, which took a twist on the Faked Lunar Landing conspiracy theory by saying that the canceled flight really did go to the moon. In the found footage film, the astronauts were all killed and authorities shushed it to prevent panic. 

Project MKUltra

Unlike other conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites, this conspiracy theory was later outed to be true. Project MKUltra was a series of military experiments that dealt with trying to get mind control weaponized — and also get people to confess any knowledge they had to soldiers. 

In MKUltra, many atrocities happened that would make any sane person recoil in horror. Some people were unknowingly dosed with LSD, with lifelong issues resulting as a result. Others were subjected to extreme verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and sleep deprivation. 

Considering how brutal Project MKUltra was on participants, it's easy to see why it would spark so many science fiction (and horror) films. Some films inspired by Project MKUltra include: 

  • Banshee Chapter, a film which directly calls out the US government on the MKUltra experiments. It's all about messed up government drugs, CIA mind control, and what it did to people. 
  • The Manchurian Candidate, one of the biggest sci-fi hits of last decade. It was all about what happens when the government decides to take control of minds and the consequences of it. 
  • The hit series Stranger Things was directly inspired by Project MKUltra, too. They don't even try to hide it, either. They openly discuss government illegally testing drugs on kids in the episodes, too.
  • Fringe and X-Files both had episodes dedicated to discussing Project MKUltra. 
  • Lastly, Conspiracy Theory, the 1997 movie, was also based on Project MKUltra. 

So, yeah. Those Stranger Things Funko pops you got? You have conspiracy theories to thank them for.

Lizard People

This is one of those conspiracy theories that inspired sci-fi favorites that really does deserve to be in the realm of sci-fi. It's so far-fetched that it just had to be written about. 

Lizard people are, according to conspiracy theories, reptilian aliens who have human shapeshifting abilities that cover up their alien look. If you believe this theory, they are working on a covert attempt to take over the world and enslave humanity. 

According to conspiracy theorists, aliens have befriended world leaders and are slowly taking over things. Some even believe they have a base in Dulce, New Mexico, and that there are hybrids walking among us.

If this sounds a lot like the plot of V, that's because it basically is. We're willing to bet that this sci-fi classic series might have been based on the theory back when it was still nascent. 

Skunk Uzeki
Skunk Uzeki

Skunk Uzeki is an androgynous pothead and a hard partier.  When they aren't drinking and causing trouble, they're writing articles about the fun times they have. 

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Conspiracy Theories That Inspired Sci-Fi Favorites