Conspiracy Theories (The Take)

When faced with a shocking or catastrophic event, a simple explanation sometimes simply isn’t enough. As human beings we often require deeper meaning or reason behind an event and if that isn’t given to us we often take it upon ourselves to create our own. Whether it’s the cause of death of a public figure or the reason behind a life-threatening illness we’re all fascinated by the concept of a conspiracy theory.

In the high-octane action thriller The Take, starring Richard Madden and Idris Elba, a conspiracy unravels before our eyes.

Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realises that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy.

To celebrate the release of The Take – out now on EST,DVD, Blu-ray and VOD – we take a look at ten of the world’s biggest conspiracy theories.

NASA faked the moon landings
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Some 47 years later, many people believe that the United States did in fact fake the landings in a film studio here on Earth. Although NASA has firmly denied all claims that the moon landing is a fake, many theorists believe that the whole thing was staged. They argue that photos of the mission are not real and that the radiation from the Sun would have killed the astronauts, furthermore it is believed that NASA didn’t have the technology it would take to actually land on the moon back in the 1960s. But why would such a monumental moment in history be staged? Theorists believe that the event was staged because NASA desperately needed the glory and that the U.S. refused to lose the space race to the Russians.

September 11, 2001
This is currently the most talked about and researched conspiracy theory on the Internet. There are a number of theories about the role of the U.S. government in the events of September 11, 2011 but the two most popular are that the attack was either orchestrated by the Bush administration or that they had previous knowledge of the attack but didn’t act on them. Both of these theories come from a belief that Bush wanted to gain more power very quickly and that such a tragedy would get the support of the people the world over. It has been claimed that the towers collapsed as a result of planted explosives, that a plane didn’t crash into the Pentagon and that Flight 93 crashed because it was shot down. The latter is a theory that has gained further discussion since Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld accidently quoted during a 2004 speech that terrorists shot the plane down.

The assassination of John F Kennedy
When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, it didn’t take long for a number of conspiracy theories to surface. Theorists claim that there was in fact more than one shooter involved and that Lee Harvey Oswald was not solely responsible for the murder. While Lee Harvey Oswald was identified as the gunman in the Texas School Book Depository that day, he was also shot and killed just two days later, which created a great deal of suspicion. Some believe that Oswald was either a pawn or that he worked for the FBI, KGB or the mafia.

Elvis Presley faked his own death
Is it true that Elvis never really left the building? It is said that many of his fans still believe that The King is very much still alive. The two key pieces of evidence that lead people to believe that he faked his own death are that there have apparently been numerous Elvis sightings throughout the years and that his gravestone is incorrect – it says his middle name is “Aaron” but it is spelled “Aron” on his birth certificate. But why would Elvis fake his own death you say? Many believe he wanted to step away from the public eye while the more imaginative believe he was put on witness protection by the FBI for being a drug informant, a rumour which was started when he met Nixon in 1970 and told him he wanted to help eliminate drug abuse.

Harold Wilson was a Soviet agent
Despite winning four general elections between 1964 and 1976, Labour leader Harold Wilson often found himself at the centre of a number of conspiracy theories. The most prominent of such theories was that the Prime Minister was acting as a Soviet agent. Soviet defector Anatoliy Golitsyn is said to have claimed that Prime Minister Harold Wilson was a KGB spy and that Hugh Gaitskell was assassinated by the KGB so that he could be replaced by the Labour leader. To add fuel to the fire, former MI5 officer Peter Wright claimed in his memoirs entitled Spycatcher that he had in fact been told that Wilson was a Soviet agent. The claims were thoroughly investigated by the MI5 over a number of years before they concluded that he had no relationship with the KGB.

The Aids virus was created in a laboratory
Thanks in part to the theories of Dr William Campbell Douglass, many believe that the AIDS virus was genetically engineered in a laboratory by the World Health Organisation back in 1974. Dr Douglass believed that it was a callous attempt to create a killer virus which was then used in a successful experiment in Africa. Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president, believes that the scientific claims that the disease originated in Africa is false at that the U.S. government actually created the virus in a lab and is trying to place the blame on Africa. Theorists believe that the AIDS virus was created by the CIA to rid the country of African-American and homosexuals while others claim it was created by the CIA or the KGV to reduce world population.

The Death of Princess Diana
Following her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981, Princess Diana became the People’s Princess, a beloved figure of the Royal Family celebrated throughout the world. Nearly two years after her divorce to Charles, shortly after midnight on August 31st 1997, Diana was killed when her limousine collided with a pillar in the Alma Tunnel in Paris. Despite the cause of death being ruled as an accident, a number of conspiracy theories have remained. Some think the MI6 caused the crash because Diana was pregnant and planning to become a Muslim and marry her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed, something which given her influence on people worried the British Royal Family. Others believe the Royal Family wanted her out of the way so that people would support Prince Charles’ remarriage to Camilla Parker Bowles. There are also some optimists who believe she faked her death to escape the public eye.

Global warming is a hoax
Despite the beliefs of most scientists and Al Gore’s hugely influential Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, some people believe that global warming is nothing but a myth. There may well be proof that the Earth’s temperature is steadily rising but advocates of this such theory believe that the rise in the Earth’s temperature is due to technology created by those in charge as a way of keeping the public in a state of panic as well as decreasing world population. Such theorists believe that Gore, diplomat and oil businessman Maurice Strong and the United Nations are all figureheads of the global warming myth.

The Kidnapping of Shergar
33 years after his kidnapping, the disappearance of champion racehorse Shergar remains one of Britain’s most baffling whodunnit’s. For more than three decades the disappearance of the celebrated Derby winner has been at the centre of a number of conspiracy theories. Shergar was a highly acclaimed racehorse and winner of the 1981 Epsom Derby by a record 10 lengths, the longest margin in the race’s history, which went on to earn him a spot in The Observer’s newspaper’s 100 Most Memorable Sporting Moments of the Twentieth Century. Two years after his infamous win, the horse was stolen from the Ballymany Stud in Ireland by a masked gunmen and was never seen again. The story of the missing horse gripped the world and resulted in a number of high profile conspiracy theories, with the IRA, the mafia and Colonel Gaddaffi being touted as potential kidnappers. One story suggest that the IRA kidnapped the horse for Gaddaffi in return for weapons, another is that the New Orleans mafia took Shergar. The most popular and perhaps feasible theory however was that Shergar was taken by the Provisional IRA who demanded a huge ransom to help fund the purchase of weapons.

Shakespeare didn’t write all those plays
He is considered one of the most famous playwrights in the world but many say that the Bard might not have existed at all. Conspiracy theorists have been arguing about Shakespeare’s authenticity for years with some claiming that William Shakespeare was in fact a pen name used by a group of writers. Such a theory could explain why his signature is so varied throughout his career. Others believe that the writer did exist, but that he was purely a figure for another person to write plays. The most plausible author is argued to be either Ben Johnson, Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon or Sir Walter Raleigh. The main argument against Shakespeare is that he was uneducated so couldn’t possibly have penned the likes of Hamlet, Macbeth and Much Ado about Nothing. To be or not to be – that is the question.

Discover the must have action thriller, when THE TAKE is out now EST,DVD, Blu-ray and VOD.

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Paul Devine

The founder of The People's Movies, started the site 20th November 2008.The site has excelled past all expectations with many only giving the site months and it's still going strong. A lover of French Thrillers, Post Apocalyptic films, Asian cinema. 2009 started Cinehouse to start his 'cinema education' learning their is life outside mainstream cinema. Outside of film, love to travel with Sorrento, Guangzhou and Manchester all favourite destinations.Musically loves David Bowie, Fishbone, Radiohead.

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