The true conspiracy theory--in my own limited definition, that is--is that it remains a theory, without the true smoking gun-style proof. We've all listened to the same conspiracy theories for so many years they have started to lose their meaning. Movies are made of them: Oliver Stone's version of the JFK assassination, Area 51 in the Nevada desert being home to aliens from outer space (Independence Day, et al.), a flying saucer crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 (numerous movies and television shows). On and on. The fiction starts to take over and whatever real evidence there might be left of the event(s) becomes swallowed up by that fiction. Hell, it's more fun to have it that way! You can't prove it anyway. No matter what sorts of documents you produce or evidence you show me another guy will come along with an entirely different context using the same evidence to "prove" his point. But when you see a movie based on the events it takes hold in the public mind as being the truth of the event.
One of my favorite conspiracy theories is the incredible claim that America's rush to the moon in 1969 was to recover alien artifacts found on the moon. There are websites and books about this conspiracy. They all present photos that purport to show structures, not natural but artificial, on the moon's surface, including giant construction projects, towers, glass domes. The photos are blurry, they're taken from far away. People studying these photos can see the structures. I can't. In a 1976 book, Somebody Else Is On the Moon by George Leonard, they are nice enough to make line drawings of what we're supposed to be seeing in the photos.
In the second book I'm reading about many of the same structures and events, Dark Mission, The Secret History of NASA by Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara, published in 2007, I have a hard time seeing anything in the photos. I guess I'll take their word for it, but to me it's like a Where's Waldo book without Waldo. I look and look and I guess I just don't have the same mindset, but don't see what they're referring to.
If they had crystal clear pictures of a glass dome on the moon, or sharp close up images of alien construction equipment digging mines on the moon everyone would accuse them of using Photoshop, so in some ways it's better for them that the photos they show be open to interpretation.
Several people have done a tremendous amount of work to present these theories that NASA and the U.S. Government are hiding the facts of alien beings leaving artifacts on the moon or on Mars. Dark Mission devotes much space to NASA pictures of the face on Mars and other structures showing evidence that alien beings were once there. The rationale for hiding the facts, according to Dark Mission, is that the people of Earth can't handle the thought that they aren't alone in the universe. It's claimed that were these facts known it would cause disruption of our way of life, religious, economic, and scientific. But in order to keep these facts from the public a massive conspiracy has been ongoing for decades. Of course there are some "good" NASA employees who have come forward with information, but NASA just pooh-poohs them.
There's also the disinformation factor. If the government wanted to scuttle these theories then they could just release enough wrong information that sounds good through those employees, and that can be shot down after the conspiracy buffs publish them.
So to the authors of these conspiracy theories, thanks for presenting your fascinating stories and evidence. I believe you believe what you're saying, but I'm a skeptic. Dan Brown's books notwithstanding, I've found that it's almost impossible to keep a big secret for very long. I think we give the people in our government too much credit for being able to hide the truth when many times they don't know what it is themselves. Maybe someday National Geographic will send a ship to the Moon and they'll find big glass domes that enclose the remains of cities or work projects from eons past. Maybe they'll go to Mars and check out the sphinx-like face and the mysterious area known as Cydonia. If someone can get there besides the U.S. government and show it to us then I'll say to you guys, way to go, thanks for telling us about this sort of thing years ago. But, oh yeah, such information would bring about the end of civilization as we know it, wouldn't it? So, on second thought, maybe for now it's just better to read the conspiracy theories.