Speculation as to what the government might
be hiding from us is an easy way to bring
a conversation to an end.
But very often the truth is stranger than
Here are ten declassified secrets—things
our governments actually did then went out
of their way to cover up–that make many
conspiracy theories look tame.
In 1997, the CIA finally declassified proof
of their grubby involvement in the Guatemalan
coup of 1954.
But the 1,400 self-incriminating documents
were just a fraction of the 100,000+ thought
to be in secret archives.
Even the CIA’s own historical review panel
described their release–part of a wider
dump of Cold War era documents–as “a brilliant
public relations snow job.”
The coup had been nothing short of evil, violently
reasserting capitalist oppression in a nation
just beginning to recover from years of tyrannical
By the mid-20th century, governmental corruption
had led to an obscene concentration of land
ownership among a tiny minority of people–many
of whom weren’t even Guatemalan.
The US-based United Fruit Company, for instance,
had acquired 42% of the land while paying
zero tax and duty.
Things began to change in 1944 when the country’s
first democratically elected president, Juan
José Arévalo, took office.
Introducing a series of progressive reforms–in
health care, social security, and the protection
of indigenous (Maya) rights–Arévalo was
for most a light at the end of the tunnel.
In 1951, the second democratically elected
president, Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, continued
this progressive reformist agenda by reclaiming
land for the people.
At this point, despite receiving compensation
for the land they had to give back, the United
Fruit Company went crying to President Eisenhower.
And in response the US government (covertly)
went to war, arming and training paramilitary
thugs to overthrow the peaceful, democratically
Although Árbenz actually offered to meet
with the US president to discuss a peaceful
resolution, he looks to have been ignored.
Ultimately, he was overthrown and replaced
with yet another American-controlled dictator.
It’s a little-known fact that Sweden forcibly
sterilized Romani women as part of its ethnic
But they didn’t stop there.
From 1934 to 1976, female Swedes as young
as 15 were forcibly sterilized for having
“no obvious concept of ethics.”
Rebelliousness, promiscuity, “low intelligence,”
and mixed race heritage were all grounds for
One young woman was sterilized simply because
she couldn’t read a blackboard and was therefore
assumed to be stupid.
As it turned out, however, she only needed
Although Sweden may have had the most extensive
program of this type, neighboring Norway and
Denmark had similar programs of their own,
sterilizing 40,000 and 6,000 women respectively.
Canada and the United States were also into
eugenics; North Carolina alone sterilized
as many as 7,700 women before 1973—and most
of them were black.
It wasn’t until 1999 that Sweden finally
began compensating some of its victims.
“internalized the establishment view of
themselves as useless,” had remained silent
Yet the same politicians who publicly denounced
the program when it came to light continued
to support compulsory sterilization of transgender
women until as recently as 2013.
1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash
Barely 15 years after the US nuked Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, two nuclear bombs–each one
hundreds of times more powerful than those
dropped on Japan–were dropped on American
Who was to blame?
The usual culprits when it comes to dropping
nukes on civilian targets: The US military
Apparently, the B-52 aircraft carrying them
had broken up mid-flight due to a right wing
failure and released the two Mark 39 bombs
into freefall over North Carolina.
One of them landed with the aid of an emergency
parachute; the other hit the ground at terminal
But the force of the crash had initiated the
fuzing sequence–a mechanical procedure usually
requiring human action–on both.
Of the seven steps needed to detonate them,
the first bomb was down to the last.
Specifically, the arm/safe switch was still
in the “safe” position.
However, on the other bomb, the arm/safe switch
was in the “armed” position.
By rights it should have exploded—killing
tens of thousands of people immediately—and
nobody seems to know why it didn’t.
Unnervingly, documents declassified in 2014
include a 1959 report from Sandia National
Laboratories stating that “absolute” safety
when transporting nuclear weapons is an illusion–a
necessary sacrifice for designing effective
The report also noted the likelihood that
accidental detonations like this one would
trigger a worldwide nuclear war.
In other words, the United States would probably
have interpreted their own mistake as an enemy
attack and launched nuclear missiles on other
That the 9/11 terror attacks were evidently
planned by the US government is often mocked
by the establishment media for being unthinkably
However, this politically correct position
is essentially just one of faith–a rather
desperate assumption that Uncle Sam would
never plot to harm American citizens, no matter
how much he stood to gain.
But it wouldn’t have been the first time.
In 1959, when Fidel Castro came to power in
Cuba, tired of American corruption, he booted
out the oligarchs for good.
In response, having lost their favorite brothel
and casino paradise, the US wanted revenge.
Specifically, they wanted to invade; they
wanted some reason–any reason–to remove
Castro as head of state.
But even the arrival of Soviet missiles on
the island could only be seen as a reasonably
justified response to America placing its
own missiles on the Soviets’ borders first.
By 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had had
If Cuba wasn’t going to do anything wrong,
then America would just have to frame them.
Ideas actually committed to paper as part
of their proposal to the Secretary of Defense
included (in their own words):
“We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo
Bay and blame Cuba.”
“Exploding a few plastic bombs [in Florida
“Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause
a helpful wave of national indignation.”
When he saw them, President John F. Kennedy
was reportedly appalled and rejected the plans
outright–which may have been among the reasons
for his assassination the following year.
Meanwhile, Castro “got to thumb his nose
at the US for four more decades, a constant
reminder … of the limits of US power.”
The Nazino affair
In the spring of 1933, 3,000 prisoners (some
of whom had died en route) were dumped on
Siberia’s remote Nazino (or Nazinsky) Island–a
narrow, flood-prone strip of land in the frigid
They were given next to nothing–no tools,
no shelter, and only a couple of handfuls
of rye flour each once every 4-5 days.
This they tended to consume right away, either
dry as a powder or mixed with river water
in their hats.
Needless to say, the malnourished prisoners
had little strength for anything, let alone
building a self-sufficient community from
scratch–the official reason for them being
Some became so sick and numb that they slept
too close to fires and burned to death in
But those who tried to escape were shot on
the spot by the guards.
It wasn’t long before cannibalism took hold.
Women, in particular, appear to have been
targeted, many having been tied to trees so
the flesh could be stripped from their breasts,
calves, and other body parts.
It was “just like shashlik [kebab meat],”
said one of the surviving cannibals; “we
made skewers from willow branches, cut [the
meat] into pieces … and roasted it over
Tragically, many of these “settlers” had
been sent to the island for little more than
failing to produce identifying documents when
asked by the secret police.
And despite this sadistic “social experiment”
being doomed from the start, officials continued
to supply thousands more “settlers” until
the project was exposed in the summer.
By this time, of the 6,700 sent there, only
2,200 remained alive—and only 300 were fit
for further work.
Based on the crusading, investigative reports
of local Communist Party head Vasily Velichko,
the island was evacuated within months.
But it wasn’t until 1993 that Velichko’s
reports were finally declassified for the
Vietnam war crimes
The My Lai Massacre is one of the ugliest,
most unforgivable stains on the conscience
of the US Army.
On March 16, 1968, American soldiers raped,
mutilated, and slaughtered more than 500 innocent
civilians, including 173 young children, in
a village in South Vietnam.
Army officials tried to hide the war crime
from the public, but it was exposed the following
Before taking his story to the press, the
soldier who blew the whistle, Ron Ridenhour,
had attempted to raise the issue with President
Richard Nixon, the Pentagon, the State Department,
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and several congressmen–all
to no avail.
Crucially, the massacre was not committed
by rogue soldiers.
They had actually been ordered to wipe out
the village–despite meeting with no resistance
and finding no military-age males therein.
Only one of the American soldiers was imprisoned,
but he was released three years later; his
commanding officer was never tried for the
Thankfully, the massacre contributed to anti-war
sentiment not only among the American public
but among other US soldiers as well.
However, it was far from the “isolated incident”
that officials claimed it to be.
According to an archive of more than 9,000
declassified documents, hundreds of similar
attacks took place–again on orders from
above (such as “kill anything that moves”).
Slaughters of ordinary Vietnamese families
were commonplace and included the rape and
torture of men, women, and children.
Very few of those responsible were court-martialed
or convicted, but not for a lack of evidence.
And those who were sent to prison were generally
acquitted before serving their full sentence.
An interrogator who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old
girl, for instance, served just six months
of his 20-year jail term.
But the cover-up continues.
After The LA Times reported on the archive
in 2006, the government reclassified and closed
it to the public.
It’s not entirely clear why.
But perhaps it’s because such war crimes
continue to this day (including the rape and
murder of a 14-year-old girl by American soldiers
in Baghdad before she, her 5-year-old sister,
and the rest of her family were shot to death),
exposing something twisted and dark at the
very heart of US foreign policy.
Human radiation experiments
Between 1944 and 1974, the Atomic Energy Commission,
Department of Defense, National Institutes
of Health, and other government agencies deliberately
exposed millions of US citizens to nuclear
fallout and other dangerous radiation without
their informed consent.
The purpose of these experiments was to evaluate
the risk faced by nuclear scientists working
on the Manhattan Project.
Naturally, they were shrouded in secrecy–often
to the point where those administering the
radiation to subjects were not even aware
they were doing so.
When Eileen Welsome, a journalist for The
Albuquerque Tribune broke the story in late
1993, it caused public outcry and forced the
Clinton administration to release 1.6 million
classified documents pertaining to the tests.
The details were extremely disturbing:
In Tennessee after the Second World War, hundreds
of pregnant women were fed radioactive iron,
resulting in the early deaths of their children
from conditions such as synovial sarcoma and
acute lymphatic leukemia.
In Massachusetts, MIT scientists fed radioactive
iron and calcium to students with learning
In New York, terminally ill patients were
fed radioactive calcium and strontium.
Highly regarded hospitals throughout the country
injected patients with plutonium during otherwise
Orphanages gave radioactive material to children.
And the corpses of the victims were secretly
snatched from cemeteries for testing.
Most subjects were disadvantaged in some way,
whether that meant physically or socioeconomically.
It was, for example, common to prey on the
elderly and sick, as well as prison inmates
(although many of those deemed terminally
ill had in fact been misdiagnosed).
However, some weren’t even American citizens.
One subject, codenamed CAL-2, was a four-year-old
Australian boy flown in to UC San Francisco
to receive “special treatment” for bone
cancer, only to be injected with plutonium
that killed him eight months later.
Whatever justification might be offered for
these tests–such as the stresses of the
Cold War era, or the ends (scientific knowledge)
justifying the means–they were in clear
violation of the 1949 Nuremberg Code.
This set of research ethics principles had
been laid out to ensure that no-one ever repeated
the atrocities of Nazi “doctors of death”
like Josef Mengele and Aribert Heim.
If their scientific contributions failed to
justify the means, there’s absolutely no
reason (besides American exceptionalism) to
forgive the US its directly comparable crimes.
In addition to dropping nukes on, irradiating,
compulsively lying to, and terrorizing their
own citizens, the United States government
has also–repeatedly–used germ warfare
From September 26, 1950, a US Navy minesweeper
ship spent just under a week spraying Serratia
marcescens—a bacteria with a bright red,
easily detectable pigment—into the air two
miles off the coast of Northern California.
The aim was to simulate and measure the effects
of a bioweapons attack, and in particular
the susceptibility of big cities like San
After the bacteria had been sprayed, the military
covertly collected samples at 43 sites to
track its spread.
And they found that most, if not all, of the
city’s 800,000 residents had been infected.
And the virus had also made its way out to
Naturally, the military hadn’t bothered
to ascertain the safety of S. marcescens before
using it so indiscriminately.
Although the scientific literature hadn’t
linked the bacteria to disease, neither had
it conclusively found it to be harmless.
One week after the test, 11 San Franciscans
were hospitalized with urinary tract infections,
and one man actually died.
Furthermore, the test apparently left a permanent
scar on the region’s microbial ecology.
And since the military didn’t own up to
their blunder, civilian scientists wasted
a great deal of time trying to figure out
the cause of the outbreak—the first of its
kind on record.
Even so, it wasn’t until 1969 that President
Nixon finally brought a halt to such testing
(although Operation Sea-Spray wasn’t declassified
In the intervening years, the military conducted
hundreds of similar tests in cities across
They sprayed bacteria and chemicals from trucks
in Minneapolis, from airplanes over the Midwest,
and released germs into the New York City
subway system—exposing millions to potentially
deadly viruses without their permission or
even their knowledge.
As The New York Times has noted, such tests
weren’t even scientifically justified; the
results were blatantly obvious.
And, since the Army didn’t monitor its victims
long-term, it’s unclear whether anyone else
Interestingly, the British did the same to
their own citizens—not only with S. marcescens,
but with other bacteria to simulate anthrax—leading
to birth defects and miscarriages throughout
Stargate was one of a number of projects set
up to investigate whether psychics could be
used by the military.
Evidently, the CIA, DIA, and other government
agencies took telekinesis, telepathy, and
especially clairvoyance or “remote viewing”
seriously enough to continue funding the research
for at least 23 years (1972-1995).
By the (official) end of the project, the
CIA concluded that psychics had no military
value; but that didn’t mean their powers
had been debunked—far from it.
All it meant was that psychic abilities were
too unconventional for use in military or
In fact, the research strongly supported the
reality of psychic phenomena and convinced
many of the researchers involved.
From describing hidden objects in detail and
the interiors of enemy bases to spying through
space and time, remote viewers’ observations
were often surprisingly accurate.
Two psychics even detailed the appearance
of Jupiter, independently describing the same
thick, rolling gas clouds and “tremendous
winds” all before Pioneer 10’s 1973 fly-by
returned the first ever close-ups of the planet.
Such accuracy makes some of the psychics’
other, at-present unverifiable observations
all the more compelling.
In 1984, for instance, one of the psychics—Joe
McMoneagle—described the surface of Mars
circa 1,000,000 BC.
Among his observations were vast pyramids
and other structures at a time of geological
upheaval—severe dust storms, climate change,
and the extinction of organized life.
At first, he saw only the “shadow” or
vague perception of beings that had ceased
As he regressed to an earlier time, however,
he saw the beings solidify; they were tall,
thin, and dressed in light, close-fitting,
The researcher instructing McMoneagle also
gave him a series of oddly precise coordinates
to investigate and wrote down what he saw
at each: warren-like caverns; an enormous
obelisk; reflective squares; channels cut
into valleys; and shelters for hibernation.
McMongeagle was also instructed to approach
one of the beings and ask them what was going
“They’re ancient people,” he related,
“They’re … dying … they’re looking
for … a way to survive and they just can’t.”
According to the being he spoke to (who considered
McMoneagle’s astral form to be a hallucination),
they were waiting for the return of some kind
of scout ship sent to find another habitable
planet to move to.
When McMoneagle turned his attention to where
that scout ship had actually gone, he described
a “really crazy place with volcanos and
gas pockets and strange plants.”
Of course, it’s easy to dismiss such an
unverifiable account as mere fantasy—or
it would be were it not for one important
detail: McMoneagle wasn’t told to go to
The target and time period (“The planet
Time of interest approximately 1 million years
B.C.”) were written on a small card in a
sealed envelope that remained unopened until
after the session was complete.
McMoneagle later told a journalist that he
thought he’d been looking at Earth and was
deeply confused about what he was seeing.
In fact, had he known the actual target beforehand,
he probably would have refused to view it—just
as he had done when asked to mentally examine
Apparently, he deemed such unverifiable targets
useless for the purposes of the Stargate Project.
As for the precise coordinates, and the interest
in prehistoric Mars in the first place, they
had come from an unnamed official in the Army.
The session had been especially requested
by this individual and sprung upon McMoneagle
while he was napping in the “black box”
containment room at Virginia’s Monroe Institute.
Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program
For many, the holy grail of declassified secrets
would be the disclosure of extraterrestrial
Hence a lot of people were excited when, in
July this year, the British government finally
released the (alleged) last of its files on
Unfortunately, there was no proof of aliens—but
the reports do show how seriously these unidentified
aerial phenomena were taken.
In fact, the UK operated two dedicated desks
for decades—one to receive calls from the
public, and the other to investigate sightings.
They were both (officially) closed in 2000,
despite there being no let-up in convincing
reports from the region—such as this one
from just last month.
The US government, meanwhile, apparently continues
As it turns out, they have been secretly funding
the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat
Identification Program to the tune of $22
million a year—despite having officially
claimed to have shut the project down in 2012.
And Luis Elizondo, the official in charge
of the department, found the evidence so compelling
that he became frustrated with the government
for not allocating more resources to its study.
Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
who helped to set up the program, agreed—even
going so far as to request heightened security
to protect what he considered extraordinary
These have included strange metal alloys and
other materials recovered from UFOs (and stored
at Bigelow Aerospace in Las Vegas).
Researchers studying these items claim to
have experienced certain “physical effects”
from their encounters.
One likened their bewildered approach to the
materials to “what would happen if you gave
Leonardo da Vinci a garage-door opener … He
wouldn’t know anything about the electromagnetic
signals involved or its function.”
Another official declared that “what was
considered science fiction is now science
And, alarmingly for some perhaps, he went
on to admit that the United States is completely
incapable of defending itself against some
of the technologies found.