It isn't all fun and games being a conspiracy researcher or whistleblower. In fact it can be a very dangerous occupation; Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have gotten off pretty light so far.
Cynics and 'debunkers' of conspiracy theories often put up the argument 'Well, if they're putting out such dangerous information, why haven't they been silenced?' While it's true that some of the most prolific and high-profile conspiracy writers and speakers, like shouty Alex Jones or Britain's own David Icke, have established lengthy careers without coming to harm, that isn't true of everyone.
Some of those who've made it their business to speak out against the establishment haven't gotten away with it. And just to give the matter some wider historic context, it isn't just outspoken researchers at risk; even innocent witnesses to major (alleged) conspiracies often have a shortened life-expectancy.
For example, you can read about how many 9/11 witnesses have died in the last ten years, while it has been established for decades that at least 103 known witnesses to the 1963 JFK assassination died in various mysterious circumstances between 1963 and 1976. These are 10 of the most notable writers, researchers and speakers in the fields of conspiracy research of 'truth seeking' who've been silenced under questionable circumstances.
Make of it what you will...
A former airline pilot who admitted having once worked with CIA drug smugglers and one of the most prominent voices in the area of 9/11 conspiracy theories, Philip Marshall's work included the books False Flag 911: How Bush, Cheney and the Saudis Created the Post-911 World and The Big Bamboozle: 9/11 and the War on Terror. He forwarded the hypothesis that it was American and Saudi officials, not Al-Qaeda, that had orchestrated 9/11.
Marshall was found dead early in 2013 in his home in California, along with his two children and their dog, all of whom died of gunshot wounds to the head. The official verdict was murder-suicide. But what officials call a murder-suicide others call a Black Ops hit. Among those calling it an assassination include former US National Security Agency Officer Wayne Madsen, who says the author was working on his fourth book at the time; a book he claimed was going to 'blow the 9/11 conspiracy wide open'.
The 33-year-old author, reporter and Buzzfeed contributor died in a car accident in Los Angeles in 2013. Curiously, Hastings was researching extensively about the CIA at the time of his fatal accident. And his final article for BuzzFeed was a piece on the NSA and on the Democrats’ excessive surveillance of American citizens.
Conspiracy speculation concerning his death has been further fueled by a WikiLeaks tweet claiming that, merely hours before his fatal accident, Hastings told a WikiLeaks lawyer that the FBI had been investigating him. In his 2012 book, “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” Hastings wrote of having been seriously threatened by figures involved in the military and intelligence; “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write," he was allegedly told.
Those sceptical about the official narrative of Hastings' death point to, among other things, eye-witness accounts stating that Hastings’ Mercedes didn't merely crash but “exploded” (indicating a planted explosive). Images of the wrecked vehicle appear to show more damage to the rear, around the area of the fuel tank, than to the front, inviting more speculation that a bomb igniting the fuel could have been responsible for the incident.
Milton William Cooper
One of the most famous and influential figures in conspiracy research, the notorious American radio broadcaster and author Milton Cooper was best known for his 1991 book Behold a Pale Horse' in which he warned of numerous, complex global conspiracies going on (and to come). Cooper's conspiracy theories encompassed everything from the JFK assassination, the 'secret government' and the 'Illuminati', the AIDS conspiracy and the alleged aliens/UFO cover-up. Among his theories is the claim that AIDS was a man-made, 'population control' virus unleashed to deliberately decrease the Black, Hispanic and gay communities in America.
By the late nineties Cooper became convinced he was being targeted by US President Bill Clinton and the IRS (an institution Cooper had already claimed in his writings was engaged in a widespread conspiracy to defraud American citizens). In 1998 he was charged with tax evasion and an arrest warrant was issued, resulting in the author being branded a "major fugitive" by the US Marshalls Service. In November, 2001 Apache County sheriff's deputies attempted to arrest Cooper at his Arizona home on charges of 'aggravated assault with a deadly weapon'. After an exchange of gunfire during which Cooper allegedly shot one of the deputies in the head, the author was himself fatally shot.
Something of great note to bear in mind: in June 2001, three months ahead of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre, Cooper publicly warned people about an imminent false-flag terrorist attack, warning specifically that Osama bin Laden would be blamed for it. "It won’t be Osama Bin Laden. It will be those behind the New World Order," he said in June that year. On 9/11 itself, Cooper said “what we’re witnessing today is most probably the herald of the, at least, the redefinition of freedom, and probably its death.”
Beverly Eckert was a high-profile activist and one of the better known advocates for the creation of the 9/11 Commission to officially investigate the truth about the attacks on the Twin Towers (in which her husband was one of the many victims).
However, like many of the 9/11 victims families, she was unconvinced by the conclusions of the official 9/11 Commission. Eckert met with Obama in 2009 at the White House, asking for him to create a second 9/11 investigation. She is said to have refused 'hush money' on more than one occasion and refused to let the matter slide. Eckert was killed in an airplane crash (a common cause of death for inconvenient researchers and activists, it seems) just six days after her meeting with Obama. Needless to say, a second 9/11 investigation has yet to happen.
Hunter Thompson wasn't a conspiracy theorist, nor even just a writer, but a highly significant counter-culture figure from the sixties onward. He was a major influence on modern journalism, having pioneered his own style of New Journalism that he called "Gonzo"; an experimental style of reporting where journalists involve themselves in the action to such an extent that they become central figures of their own stories.
The work he remains best known for - 1971's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream - was a study on the failure of the 1960's counter-culture movement to defeat the conservative establishment or create any lasting change. It was much later made into the 1998 film starring Johnny Depp and directed by Terry Gilliam.
Thompson shot himself in the head in February 2005. Prior to this, he had been working on a story about the 9/11 attacks and is said to have stumbled across what he felt was 'hard evidence' showing that the Twin Towers had been brought down not by explosive charges in their foundations and not by the hijacked planes (a view shared by numerous other 9/11 conspiracy theorists, including a significant number of architectural engineers).
According to the February 26th 2005 Toronto Globe and Mail, Thompson believed someone was trying to stop him from publishing his views. "They're gonna make it look like suicide," he said, according to the article. "I know how these bastards think." Curiously, we've found that that article is no longer available on the Toronto Globe and Mail online archives - but several conspiracy-based websites at the time recorded the details of the piece.
According to the 'official' narrative, Thompson killed himself so that he could go out while "still at the top of his form"; even if this meant not finishing what would've been one of the most important articles of his career (his piece on a 9/11 conspiracy).
William Colby was the Director of the CIA between 1973 and 1976. Colby allegedly was privy to numerous potentially damaging secrets about the CIA and heroin, Israeli spying, alleged CIA involvement with child sex abuse scandals and more. He was scheduled to testify before a congressional committee when he suddenly drowned while canoeing at night near his home.
Colby was said to have more enemies than friends. In the period between September 1973 and his dismissal from the organisation in November 1975, Colby testified before congressional committees 56 times. When Congress asked him a question, he was known to always give a straight answer. The Intelligence community allegedly hated him for it, considering his honesty as a breach of established Intelligence-community protocol; in other words, anyone involved in Intelligence agencies is expected to lie when questioned even by government. He was allegedly fired from the CIA for revealing what were called “the family jewels”; assassination plots and various other dirty deeds.
A curious side-note to the Colby controversy is the theory forwarded by some that Colby was involved in the 'assassination' of Bob Marley. Among others, Lew Lee, a documentary filmmaker talks about a pair of football boots given to Marley as a gift. According to this story, Marley put his foot in one of the boots and reacted in minor pain. A friend of his examined the boot and found a piece of copper wire embedded in the toe area.
The reggae legend later broke his toe playing football in London. When the bone wouldn't mend, the doctors discovered that the toe was cancerous. The theory goes that the copper wire found in the boot had been radioactive. The boots had been a gift from Carl Colby, son of William Colby, who was at that time still CIA director. Many of the CIA’s files on Bob Marley remain classified to this day.
One of the more famous 'suspicious deaths' in recent years, Dr Kelly was a British scientist and an authority on biological warfare employed by our own Ministry of Defense and was a UN weapons inspector in Iraq in the immediate lead-in to the Iraq Invasion of 2003.
Kelly was the main source for the claim by the BBC that Tony Blair's government had "sexed up" official intelligence to help justify invading Iraq. Kelly was quickly identified as the source of the damaging leak and was made to make a difficult appearance before a Parliamentary Committee investigating the allegations. Just days later he was found dead in the woods near his home in Oxfordshire. The official verdict was suicide; Dr Kelly had cut one of his wrists (and swallowed over two dozen painkillers).
The mainstream view is that his suicide was a reaction to the intense public attention and scrutiny he suddenly found himself under. But the conspiracy theories began to emerge almost immediately, some claiming he was killed by agents of Saddam Hussein, others making the more likely claim that he was a victim of British government agents wanting to make certain he didn't reveal anything further that would jeopordise the plans to invade Iraq (like, say, that there were no weapons of mass destruction).
Combined with all the other dire outcomes of the invasion of Iraq (including what's happening right now), Dr Kelly's suspicious death continues to leave people wondering.
Dean Warwick, a pioneer in the field of alternative energy and a former US intelligence officer, collapsed and died on 7th October 2006 while speaking at an international conference in Blackpool. Dean had told interviewer Dave Starbuck that he was going to make some highly significant announcements at that conference concerning several controversial matters, including the assassination of Robert Kennedy (the brother of JFK, shot dead in 1968), the identity of the “Anti-Christ”, and most astonishingly a connection between various underground bases and hundreds of thousands of missing children.
Mr Warwick had literally just reached the point in his lecture where he said he was about to expose who was really behind Robert Kennedy’s assassination. But he never got to it. Instead he uttered the words “Bear with me a moment”, leant on a nearby table, then fell flat on his face. He was pronounced dead soon after that.
Warwick was said to have been in good health at the time. However, moments before beginning that final presentation, he is reported by witnesses to have said he felt a “beam” or “burning” on one side of his head. That particular detail has led numerous theorists naturally to speculate that Warwick had been subject to some kind of covert assault, possibly an intelligence agency 'hit'. One theory is that an 'Extremely Low Frequency' (ELF) weapon was used.
ELF and UHF weapons have long been written about by conspiracy researchers in regard primarily to mind-control techniques, though also in regard to a covert and untraceable means of killing someone. Sound waves at very low or high frequencies may be undetectable by our standard human hearing range, but are known to have a potentially harmful effect on our bodies, with various 'Microwave transmitters' said to be the perfect medium for the transmission of these signals.
Theorists have speculated for years that signals transmitted all over modern cities, from mobile phones, television, WI-Fi, microwaves and other technologies, may have a harmful effect on our brains and bodies over time. That refers to a gradual, accumulative effect when the various signals and waves are a general presence in our environment; but what happens when the signals are deliberately concentrated on a specific target or individual? One of the most known researchers into the science of it, a Russian named Vladimir Gavreau, spoke of an infra-sonic "envelope of death" with his subjects suffering damage to internal organs by exposure to an 'infra-sonic whistle'. This technology is said by some to have been secretly perfected by intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA, for a number of years.
Low-frequency, high intensity ultra-sound is believed to effect the central nervous system and various internal organs, with effects including auditory shifts, muscle contraction, cardiovascular changes, central nervous system effects, and effects on the chest wall and lung tissue. Could Dean Warwick have been subjected to something of this kind? And just as he was about to reveal major information? We never did find out about the secret installations and 'missing children'.
Andrew Breitbart was an American conservative author, publisher and a commentator on various news programs, as well as an editor for the popular Drudge Report website and a key figure in the launching of The Huffington Post. The Breitbart News Network is still a very popular news site. Breitbart wasn't particularly popular with liberals and he had a tendency to provoke people. In 2012 he caused a bit of a storm by harshly mocking protesters involved in the Occupy movement, calling them "filthy, filthy, raping, murdering freaks!"
Breitbart appeared posthumously in Occupy Unmasked, the documentary film alleging that the Occupy Wall Street movement is actually orchestrated by sinister political forces with the purpose destroying the American government. Breitbart's death (officially from heart failure) came allegedly just hours before he was due to publicly release 'damning video footage' that could have potentially destroyed Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. Breitbart claimed to have access to a college video of Obama that would've utterly wrecked his presidency. He died after suddenly collapsing on the pavement near his Los Angeles home. Needless to say, he never got to putting out the video.
Dr Jim Garrow, a friend of Breitbart's and the founder and director of charitable organisation The Bethune Institute, claimed that President Obama himself had ordered the 'hits' that had killed both Breitbart and the famous author Tom Clancy (more on him shortly). Adding fuel to that fire, Los Angeles coroner Michael Cormier died of arsenic poisoning on the day the L.A Coroner's Office released its autopsy report on Mr Breitbart.
A Pullitzer prize-winning author who exposed the CIA’s involvement in the drug trade, Gary Webb committed “suicide” in 2004, apparently shooting himself in the head. Twice.
Webb was an American investigative reporter best known for his 'Dark Alliance' series of articles in 1996 about CIA involvement in cocaine trafficking into the US; these were later published as a book. In the articles, Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA, who had smuggled cocaine into America, to be distributed as crack cocaine in Los Angeles. Webb alleged that this influx of Nicaraguan-supplied cocaine fueled the widespread crack cocaine epidemic that swept several U.S. cities during the 1980s (particularly targeting the inner-city African-American communities), and that the Reagan administration protected inner-city crack dealers from prosecution.
Credible sources who were close to Gary Webb stated that he was receiving death threats, being regularly followed, and that he was worried about strange individuals who were seen on multiple occasions breaking into and leaving his house in the weeks leading to his apparent suicide. The original Associated Press reports stated that Webb had died of gunshot wounds (as in plural) to the face. This was later changed to 'single gunshot wound' when people began to ask questions about why (and more importantly how) a man would shoot himself twice in the face.
It was also claimed by associates that Webb was working on a new story at the time of his death; another expose concerning the CIA and drug trafficking.
Like Hunter Thomspon, Clancy wasn't just a conspiracy theorist, but an immensely popular novelist and cultural figure. Among his many novels, he was best known for Patriot Games, The Hunt For Red October and Clear and Present Danger. Clancy died on October 1st 2013 from an undisclosed illness (it still hasn't been definitively explained).
At the time he was said to have been working on a new manuscript, said to be replete with facts exposing the 'true nature' of Barak Obama as a 'foreign plant' put into the White House by Saudi Arabia and funded through Saudi wealth. The same Dr Jim Garrow who claimed to be a whistleblower on the circumstances of Andrew Breitbart's death also claims it is well known to intelligence agencies all over the world that Obama was placed onto his career path (and Presidential destiny) by the mega-rich Saudis and that this is why Obama's education records have been permanently classified.
Garrow also claims that Clancy had a copy of Obama's real birth certificate, of which Obama's armies of opponents in the US have been making such a fuss about for several years. Garrow and others claim that Clancy was killed by Presidential order, citing the fact that it takes 5 days for plant toxins and most poisons to break down and leave no traces in the human body. Doctors did not perform an autopsy on Clancy's body for 5 days - there hasn't been a satisfactory explanation for this delay. The mystery remains concerning what happened to his final manuscript.