Wake up, folks. The Moon is fake.

The Moon, it’s said, is an anomaly with so many freakish coincidences surrounding its existence that it must be a big, fat fake…

Even to the world’s best scientific minds, the Moon is a mystery of gargantuan proportions. Nobody knows how it was formed, and the most popular hypothesis—that a planet-sized rock called Theia smashed into Earth, ejecting a lump of rock into space that later became the Moon—has recently been thrown into doubt.

Even Irwin Shapiro, an astrophysicist and former director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said:

“The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties and none of them could be considered remotely watertight.”

There’s no escaping the fact that the Moon is damned odd. Here are some examples of its weirdness:

  • It’s too big. The Moon is bloody huge compared to all the other moons in the Solar System. Author and professor of biochemistry Isaac Asimov argues that the Moon ought to be tiny, only about 30 miles in diameter, yet it’s actually 2,160 miles.
  • The Moon is responsible for 80% of the Earth’s constant rotation. In relation to all the other planets and moons in our Solar System, the value’s less than 1%.
  • Every planet and moon in the Solar System has different, unique isotopic ratios, and yet the Moon’s are the same as Earth’s. You might think that the ‘giant impact’ hypothesis or ‘whack theory’ explains this—because the Moon is a bit of Earth that broke off. But, in laymen’s terms, whack theory says that the impact would’ve caused the Earth and Theia to melt. The molten debris that eventually became the Moon would’ve mixed with Theia and re-formed in a completely different way to the Earth. This should’ve resulted in different isotopic ratios, but didn’t. Because, well, the Moon’s weird.
  • The mother of all coincidences is the very nature of a total eclipse. The Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun and 400 times closer to the Earth, which is why it completely obscures the Sun during an eclipse. Its size and orbit are just right. What are the chances?

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Nicolas Cage is a vampire

A few years ago, online entrepreneur Jack Mord made a curious discovery in an album of American Civil War-era portraits — a 140-year-old photograph of Nicolas Cage!

According to Mord, the photo is an original carte de visite (a type of small photograph) from circa 1870, taken by Professor G.B. Smith, a Confederate Civil War prisoner of war photographer. It shows a man, apparently from Tennessee, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Face-Off and National Treasure star. Jack Mord believes it really is Nicolas Cage and that Cage is a member of the “walking undead” or an immortal vampire who “reinvents himself once every 75 years or so”.

It’s true that the man in the photo does look remarkably like the Hollywood actor. Jack Mord also noticed an inconsistency between this photo and the rest of the photos in the album — everybody else was named, this man was not.

So could this mysterious nameless man actually be Nicolas Cage?

On discovering the photo, Mr Mord stuck it straight on eBay, selling it for the princely sum of $1million because he believed it constituted proof of a major Hollywood star’s immortality. He also said he’d allow the buyer to authenticate the photo’s age before the sale went through.

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Does Holbein’s “The Ambassadors” contain clues to a Tudor conspiracy?

Everybody’s seen a Hans Holbein. His portraits of Henry VIII and the Tudor court are some of the most famous works of the Renaissance. But his 1533 masterpiece The Ambassadors is not just a painting. It’s a nest of puzzles and codes that hints at a conspiracy to change the course of history…

At first glance, The Ambassadors reflects the glory of the Tudor age, showing two noblemen with an array of musical and scientific instruments, all painted with beautiful photographic precision.

But look closer and you’ll realise that there’s a lot more going on here than just a show of wealth and knowledge.

The clues

  • The most obvious oddity is the distorted shape in the foreground. You have to look at the painting from low down on the left side or high up on the right to see the shape as an accurate rendering of a human skull (turn your computer/phone to the side and you’ll see what I mean). It’s called anamorphic perspective, an invention of the Early Renaissance, which has since been used by artists to disguise all kinds of furtive images in their work. The skull has been interpreted as a memento mori, a reminder of death.
  • In the top left corner you can see Jesus on the cross, half concealed by the green curtain.
  • The lute on the bottom shelf has a broken string, a symbol of discord and disharmony.
  • One of the flutes is missing from the case, reinforcing the discord symbolism.
  • The mathematical textbook begins with the word “divide”.
  • The hymnal next to it is in Martin Luther’s translation.

The Anne Boleyn conspiracy

At the beginning of the 1530s, Catherine of Aragon had been unable to give Henry VIII a son and heir, and Henry had become determined to marry his latest mistress Anne Boleyn. At the same time, the Protestant Reformation was in full throttle across Europe, sparked by Martin Luther’s criticisms of the Catholic Church and his calls for reform.

And while Henry VIII was a devout Catholic who despised Luther and considered him a heretic, the King was surrounded by a close-knit cabal of secret Protestant supporters who wanted to end the Pope’s dominion over England.

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Princess Diana’s secret daughter Sarah is the true heir

A real-life game of thrones is upon us. We’ve always believed that Prince Charles is next in line for the throne, followed by his son, Prince William. But it’s come to light that Prince William has an older sister, Sarah, who is the true heir to the Iron — uh — British throne…

Diana, Princess of Wales, is no stranger to conspiracy theories. Normally they’re to do with her untimely and tragic death 20 years ago, the official story of which has more holes than a colander. This one’s a lot weirder.

This one alleges that during a recent trip to the United States, Kate Middleton had a secret meeting with a woman claiming to be her husband Prince William’s long-lost sister. This was at the behest of William, who thought it inappropriate to meet her himself and wanted Kate to scope her out first. Reportedly Kate and William have since requested DNA tests.

This woman, ‘Sarah’, told a fascinating story: in December 1980, 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer, then a virgin, was ordered by the Queen to undergo gynaecological tests to establish whether she was capable of bearing Charles’s children. Diana’s eggs were harvested and fertilised with Charles’s sperm. After the tests proved successful, their engagement was announced and the embryos were destroyed.

Or so everyone thought. As it happened, a ‘rogue doctor’ secretly held back one of the embryos and implanted it into his wife, who unknowingly became the surrogate mother of Charles and Diana’s biological child.

This child, a girl, was born 10 weeks after Charles and Diana’s wedding, in October 1981 — 8 months before the birth of Prince William. Not only does this make her William’s older sister, but it also makes her legitimate, since Diana and Charles were married when she was born. She is, therefore, the rightful heir to the throne after Charles.

Jaw off the floor yet?

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Podcast with Oliver Mell – “Million Eyes”, Black Death conspiracies and Princess Diana’s death

I’ve just taken part in my first podcast! I chatted with Oliver Mell, author of horror novel Godless, about Behind The Curtain, my reasons for creating it, and my forthcoming novel Million Eyes.

We talked specifically about some of the conspiracy theories and unsolved mysteries that feature in Million Eyes, as well as whether the Black Death might’ve been a deliberate plot to wipe out the West. We also touched on several other conspiracies that I’ve written about, including the Royal Family being reptilian aliens, Watergate, Karen Silkwood and Princess Diana.

And Oliver’s invited me back at the end of next month to talk more about Princess Diana, since it’ll be the 20th anniversary of her death on 31st August (can’t believe it’s been that long).

Go to this page of Oliver’s website if you’re interested in having a listen!

Karen Silkwood: How to silence a whistleblower and get away with it

Remember Erin Brockovich? She’s the file clerk who famously uncovered evidence that a huge Californian gas and electric company was poisoning people. Karen Silkwood’s story is similar, but the big difference is that Erin Brockovich’s story had a happy ending and Karen Silkwood’s… didn’t.

Karen Silkwood was hired to work for the powerful Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel Fabrication Site plant in Crescent, Oklahoma in 1972, where she made plutonium pellets for nuclear reactor fuel rods. There she met her boyfriend, co-worker Drew Stephens, who expressed concerns about working conditions at the plant, putting health and safety on Silkwood’s radar.

Just 3 months into her employment, she joined the local Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union and took part in a strike at Kerr-McGee calling for better wages and safer working conditions. After the strike ended, she was elected to the union’s bargaining committee — the first woman at Kerr-McGee to achieve such a position — and was charged with investigating health and safety issues.

In 1974, Silkwood found numerous violations of health and safety regulations, including faulty fuel rods, exposure of workers to contamination, improper storage of samples, falsified inspection records, and more than 40 pounds of missing plutonium.

That’s when strange things started happening.

Was somebody poisoning Karen Silkwood?

On November 5th 1974, Silkwood performed a routine self-check and discovered that her body contained nearly 400 times the legal limit of plutonium. She was decontaminated at the plant and sent home with a testing kit. The following morning, she again tested positive for plutonium and was given a more intensive decontamination. But on November 7th, dangerous levels of plutonium were found in her lungs, and following an inspection, plutonium traces were found all over her home.

Questions arose over how she’d been contaminated. She believed Kerr-McGee was poisoning her because of her whistle-blowing efforts, while Kerr-McGee accused her of poisoning herself to add fuel to her accusations. What’s disturbing is that the soluble plutonium in her body came from an area of the plant she hadn’t been in for 4 months…

The meeting that didn’t happen

Silkwood decided it was time to go public with her evidence and contacted David Burnham, a journalist at the New York Times. On November 13th 1974, witnesses said Silkwood left a union meeting at the Hub Cafe in Crescent with a binder and a packet of documents and headed for Oklahoma City for her meeting with Burnham.

She didn’t make it.

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Avril Lavigne is dead

Yup, that’s right. In fact, Avril Lavigne’s been dead for years. A lookalike called Melissa Vandella has been impersonating the Canadian ‘Pop Punk Queen’ since 2002…

2002 was the year Avril Lavigne blew up the teen music scene. Her debut album Let Go was certified 6 x platinum in the US while hitting the number 1 spot in Canada, the UK, Australia, Argentina and a bunch of other places. She was winning awards left, right and centre. Meanwhile teens the world over were warbling the words to catchy smash hit singles Complicated and Sk8er Boi.

Ah, but that was the problem. According to a popular conspiracy theory that recently saw a wild resurgence online, Lavigne decided before 2002 was done that she just couldn’t handle the attention, the pressure, or the fame. And so her record label, Arista, hired lookalike and ‘best friend’ Melissa Vandella to pretend to be her in public.

Things went from bad to worse for Ms Lavigne. In 2003, she killed herself while at the very height of her fame. The money-hungry bosses at Arista Records weren’t about to let all that profit go down the crapper, so they decided to cover up her death and continue recording and releasing songs using Melissa.

Now where have I heard this before? Ah yes, a similar thing is said to have happened to Paul McCartney. Some people believe that he was killed in a car crash in 1966 and secretly replaced with a lookalike to maintain the Beatles’ continued success. They cite hidden clues in song lyrics and album covers, cryptic statements made by Heather Mills, and even the assassination of John Lennon as evidence for the conspiracy. (It’s a legend that forms the basis of my short story Paul, one of the Million Eyes Short Stories.)

There’s also the Hillary Clinton conspiracy from last year, in which it was alleged that she’d been replaced by a body double after collapsing and dying at a 9/11 Memorial ceremony.

But let’s get back to poor Avril and take a look at the evidence for her untimely demise…

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Secret snake discovered in Elizabeth I painting – what was she hiding?

In 2010, scientists investigating a 400-year-old portrait of Queen Elizabeth I made a very curious discovery — a hidden snake in the queen’s hand…

The mysterious painting was created in the late 1580s or early 1590s by an unknown artist. In it, Elizabeth I is depicted in a magnificent, jewel-laden gown with a faint smile and a small posy of flowers in her hand, a conventional symbol of virginity and virtue. The painting’s deterioration over time has caused an image beneath the posy to resurface, that of a dark-coloured snake coiled around the queen’s fingers.

Scientists believe that the artist originally painted Elizabeth holding a snake, then painted over it shortly afterwards with the posy. Since nobody knows who the artist was or what the circumstances surrounding the painting were, we can’t be sure what their motivations were for drawing the snake, or for removing it.

What we do know is that snakes and serpents were highly ambiguous in their symbolism. Sometimes they were used as a symbol of wisdom, prudence and good judgment, all good traits for a queen. However, in Christian iconography, their symbolism was a lot darker. Christians associated snakes with evil, original sin and Satan himself, and Elizabeth I was a devout Protestant.

What does this say about how the artist viewed Elizabeth? If they intended to paint her with a symbol of the Devil in her hand, did they see her as evil? As a sinner? As hiding something?

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