Top 10 Infamous Cover-Ups (That May or May Not Be TRUE!)

Script written by Shannon Stovall.

There are some weird government secrets in history, and lots of things the government has tried to hide from us. Whether it’s a mind-control project like MKUltra, the fact that John Lennon was on Richard Nixon’s watch list or the fact that Winston Churchill believed in aliens, these are some secrets the government didn’t want you to know. WatchMojo counts down ten famous (alleged) government cover-ups in history.

Special thanks to our user Muppet_Face for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Most%20Famous%20(Alleged)%20Cover-Ups%20in%20History


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Script written by Shannon Stovall.

Top 10 Infamous Cover-Ups (That May or May Not Be TRUE!)

The bigger the lie, the more likely they’ll believe it. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Infamous Controversial Cover-ups.

For this list, we’re focusing on notorious cover-ups that spawned significant debate and discussion before and after the fact, regardless of whether or not they’ve been proven true or false.

#10: Winston Wants to Believe

An eloquent orator with nerves of steel and a steadfast persona – that’s how Winston Churchill is generally remembered by history. So, many would be surprised to learn that as he led Britain into WWII, he was also wondering and writing about the existence of extraterrestrials. During the war, he ordered a reported UFO citing by the Royal Air Force be kept secret for fear of mass panic. Many feel this was one of the first times a government covered up proof of alien life. Combined with an essay he wrote exploring life on other planets and his friendship with H.G. Wells, it’s easy to see why this cover-up is so intriguing.

#9: Grand Central Secrets

Track 61 is a secret set of train tracks beneath New York’s Grand Central Station, which were created for the private use of dignitaries and VIPs. The tracks lead to an elevator leading to the garage at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. While many have speculated about possible other uses of the train, one of its primary functions was to help minimize awareness of how polio was affecting Franklin Roosevelt. It was important for Roosevelt, as President of the United States, to be seen as strong and capable, so the government limited sightings in his wheelchair. As a result, the government supposedly went to great lengths to ensure the track never appeared on any blueprint.

#8: Bad Blood

Medical advances often hinge on experiments and studies, and nowadays there are stringent rules and regulations about how these are to be done. Rewind several decades though, and this was not the case. One of the longest running medical studies of the 20th century was the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. It ran from 1932 to the early 70s, during which time 399 black men were treated for what was termed “bad blood.” In 1972, a whistleblower came forward and drew attention to the experiment, which had continued under several US Public Health supervisors. All had overlooked the fact the men were not being treated appropriately, despite the proven success of penicillin for the disease within the timeframe of the study.

#7: Listening in on Lennon

It was no secret that John Lennon was fascinated by politics – and that his political views didn’t jibe with those of then-President Richard Nixon. Fearing Lennon would influence the newly enfranchised youth vote in the 1972 election, the FBI began an orchestrated campaign to deport him. This campaign included surveillance and possibly wire-tapping – none of which was admitted by the government, of course. Following Lennon’s murder, a University of California professor named Jon Wiener launched a lawsuit against the FBI, requiring the bureau’s Lennon files be released under the Freedom of Information Act. The last of the files was ultimately unveiled in 2006, almost 7 years after Wiener presented copies of the FBI documents he’d been able to obtain in the book “Gimme Some Truth.”

#6: A Clockwork Orange

This next cover-up may seem eerily familiar. For Project MKUltra, the CIA took unsuspecting individuals and experimented on them to try to control their minds. The project had several goals, including developing methods to force erratic behavior on an individual or to brainwash them to carry out specific commands. Many believe the project was an attempt to make real life Manchurian candidates. Kind of makes you wonder if Anthony Burgess grabbed inspiration for his twisted tale from rumors surrounding this project. Just to be safe, we recommend avoiding staring contests with goats. To top things off, the head of the CIA ordered all files on this project destroyed in 1973, after it was officially halted.

#5: Trouble Is Brewing

The Teapot Dome scandal is one of the first and biggest examples of government corruption in the United States, and may have gone all the way up to the White House itself. When monitoring of naval oil reserve lands at Teapot Dome, Wyoming, was switched over to the Department of the Interior, a few shady deals occurred. Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall leased the rights to several fields without engaging in competitive bidding – and was personally enriched for his efforts. Fall had done a good job of hiding his trail, but a thorough investigation uncovered his secrets. Was President Warren G. Harding also involved? He died before that could be answered conclusively.

#4: Going Radioactive

When it comes to the tragedy at Chernobyl, the alleged cover-ups continued to occur, even after the incident. Some have speculated that the accident, which led to the immediate death of 31 of the workers and long-term effects like cancer for others, was intentional. Additionally, it’s been speculated that the government continued to hide the extent of the damage, and over-exaggerated the efforts to clean up and make the area safer. Still others have proposed the idea that the area is in fact safe, but that the government wants to keep people out for other reasons.

#3: Castro Catastrophes

If one can believe figures from a Cuban intelligence source, there were over 600 reported assassination attempts by the USA on Fidel Castro. Ranging from exploding cigars to fungus filled diving suits, they were certainly not lacking in imagination. The Church Committee looked into and confirmed some of these attempts as factual, but for many, the attempts were just there to camouflage other issues. Some have theorized that the government used these unsuccessful attempts to keep tensions high, helping to promote a negative view of communism. However, if they really bungled the job over 600 times, the biggest cover-up in this fiasco may just be how incompetent they were...

#2: Alien Nation

Just what exists in Area 51? The government’s official stance is the desert area is a classified military base, but the restricted land has long sparked more questions than answers. Rumors of top-secret experiments and classified operations abound. But Area 51 is most frequently connected with conspiracy theories concerning UFOS and extraterrestrial life forms. A shroud of mystery surrounds this Nevada location, even after the powers that be finally confirmed the base even existed in 2013 – and it took a Freedom of Information Act request just to get that much information.

Before we uncover our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions
- The Death of Marilyn Monroe
- Waco Siege

#1: World Trade Terrorism

On September 11th 2001, almost 3,000 individuals lost their lives as a result of terrorist attacks. After an event of this magnitude, a great deal of time, effort and exploration are devoted to understanding how it happened and how it might have been prevented. One theory holds that the government knew the attack was about to occur but refrained from acting on it. Why? Perhaps in order to justify launching a war and invading Iraq and Afghanistan… which happened. Ultimately, because these theories have yet to be proved or disproved conclusively, talk of a cover-up will likely continue.

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