Top 10 Declassified Secrets That Will SHOCK You

Script written by George Pacheco.

These shocking declassified documents proved that sometimes, conspiracy theories are true and the government IS lying to you. Whether the government is developing mind-control techniques in Project MKUltra, or the torture of Project 731, or Edward Snowden’s revelation of global government surveillance, or atomic bombs accidentally dropped on North Carolina, there are some national security issues that are kept secret – for a while. WatchMojo counts down ten outrageous government secrets that were revealed to the world.

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Script written by George Pacheco.

Top 10 Declassified Secrets That Will SHOCK You


These were the rumors you couldn’t believe were true – until it was revealed they were. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 shocking declassified secrets.

For this list, we’ll be focusing on pieces of information that were once top-secret, but have since been revealed to the public. For the record, we’re not passing judgment on these secrets, but rather discussing how potentially shocking their declassification was to society as a whole.

#10: Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar

Have you ever seen what you thought was a UFO in the night sky? Well, if the creators of the Avrocar had had their way, there may’ve actually been flying saucers in the air. The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was an experimental military collaboration between the United States and Canada during the Cold War, and it entailed building a fighting aircraft whose design resembled a flying saucer typically found in 1950s sci-fi. Work on the project was reduced over the years, however, and eventually abandoned in 1961 thanks, in part, to disappointing stability performances with its vertical takeoff and landing.

#9: Atomic Bombs Over North Carolina

This former military blunder has gained a higher profile over the years, thanks to a number of major news sources like CNN and Fox News running the story of a near-nuclear disaster. In what is now referred to as the 1961 Goldsboro B-52 Crash, a bomber jet containing two finished nuclear bombs crashed over North Carolina on January 24th of that year, and actually dropped both bombs to the ground during the process. Although a parachute did deploy over one of the bombs, the other fell to the ground. Thankfully, safety pins had been removed from the first bomb, while impact from the crash only damaged the second, sparing the entire country from potential destruction.

#8: The Lost Children of Francoism

The dictatorial rule of Spain’s Generalissimo Francisco Franco was one marred by multiple human rights violations, censorship, and violence. One other shocking secret behind his reign, however, was that some children born to parents who either opposed Franco’s ideals or were otherwise seen as inferior to the General’s racial views, were stolen. An estimated 300,000 children were reportedly stolen by hospital staff, nuns, and priests over the course of 50 years, with some parents told that their babies had died shortly after birth. Accusations of human trafficking and illegal adoption were leveled at Franco’s regime, as well as the Catholic Church, who were said to have sold these children to other parents across the country.

#7: Dark Alliance

The term “Dark Alliance” refers to a series of investigative articles published by journalist Gary Webb in 1996 for the San Jose Mercury News. Webb’s articles called attention to the influx of crack cocaine into the Los Angeles area - specifically its connection to Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua. Webb also accused the CIA of supporting the Contras in his work, leading to a major government investigation and news coverage across the country. There were doubts and criticism leveled at Webb’s work, however, with both the Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times claiming inaccuracies and exaggeration. Webb would resign from his position, working freelance and writing a book on the “Dark Alliance,” before committing suicide in 2004.

#6: Operation Neptune Spear

The U.S. government had a name and face for their “most wanted” list, in the aftermath of the September 11th terror attacks. That name and face belonged to Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, and his death was the subject of a covert, classified operation known as Operation Neptune Spear. In this operation, a group of airborne military, CIA operatives, and Navy SEALs tracked bin Laden to Pakistan, whereupon he was killed and his body buried at sea. The controversy behind Neptune Spear is due largely to the lack of any physical or DNA evidence of this killing, as well as reports that bin Laden was unarmed at his time of capture. These reports continue to fuel conspiracy theories to this day.

#5: Global Surveillance Disclosures

Patriot or Traitor? These are the opposing labels assigned to Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who rocked the world in 2013 when he released thousands of top-secret documents and files from the United States, Canada, Australia and the U.K. These leaks drew international attention and scrutiny, with one of the main takeaways being the individual’s right to privacy from the government. Snowden took temporary asylum in Russia from the charges of theft and espionage laid against him by the U.S. in 2014. Meanwhile, critics of his actions, like President Barack Obama, claimed that Snowden’s actions put the country and its citizens at risk to enemies, and that leaking these secrets did little to keep people safe.

#4: Project MKUltra

Can a government develop mind-control techniques over their citizens? This was what the United States attempted to find out during the 1950s and '60s with a series of experiments known as Project MKUltra. These programs experimented on subjects using psychedelic drugs, hypnosis, and chemical agents, reportedly to acquire some sort of mental control or dominance. Some historians have theorized that MKUltra was designed to create assassins who would be used for long distance espionage, while others just chalk up the whole thing to an expensive study in LSD drug trips. MKUltra’s usage of unwilling or unwitting test subjects, however, led to the project’s ultimate dissolution in 1973.

#3: Unit 731

There are war crimes, and then there was Unit 731. This Japanese research group committed unthinkable human atrocities during World War II, experimenting with physical, medical, and chemical torture on some 3000 people, many of them Chinese prisoners. Furthermore, there’s evidence found in Chinese and Japanese documents that show the U.S. traded immunity for data in the years following the war’s end. This is particularly shocking given the brutality associated with the methods of Unit 731, which were said to have included live vivisection, germ warfare, and use of a gas chamber. The sheer magnitude of Unit 731 and the associated crimes has led some to call the era “The Asian Holocaust.”

#2: Operation Northwoods

A quote from Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta” states that “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” But maybe it’s the other way around. Operation Northwoods was a shocking plan during the 1960s for the United States to actively engage in homegrown terror attacks, in order to incite public demand for a war in Cuba. The U.S. was determined to oust the Communist government of Fidel Castro from Cuba after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and was seemingly willing to do whatever it took to achieve these ends. President Kennedy rejected this proposal from his Joint Chiefs of Staff, however, and Operation Northwoods was thankfully never put into use.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are few declassified honorable mentions.

- Plame Affair
- Operation Gladio
- The Vatican & the Knights Templar

#1: Operation Paperclip

Enemies were turned into allies under the rules of Operation Paperclip; a shocking secret whose details remain almost inconceivable to this day. The program was conducted after World War II by the United States Office of Strategic Services, under the approval of President Harry Truman during the Cold War. Operation Paperclip involved over 1,500 scientists and engineers who originally worked under the Nazi regime in Germany being brought into the U.S. to assist in weapons research and development. Although Truman specified that no Nazi members or sympathizers were to be included, the OSS destroyed the critical evidence that would’ve proven their Nazi status, believing that the results achieved as a result of Operation Paperclip would be crucial to homeland security against the Soviet Union.

Do you agree with our list? Which covert operations do you find the most secretive and shocking? For more illuminating top ten lists, published every day, please subscribe to WatchMojo.com!
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