What do you believe?

Students discuss their stance on conspiracy theories

Elie Cajes, Features Copy Editor

From the moon-landing hoax to a Paul McCartney look-alike and Princess Diana’s death, conspiracy theories have taken the world by storm. At Bonita Vista High (BVH), these are only a few of the theories that surface in conversations amongst these students. 

Merriam-Webster defines conspiracy theories as “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.” Conspiracy theories have always been around and typically take place during times of crisis.

As for sophomore Emily Zepeda, she first heard about conspiracy theories in sixth grade. At first she did not believe in them, but eventually she tried to learn more out of curiosity.

“After I hear a theory that seems interesting, I try to hear other peoples’ thoughts on it and if I’m still interested I’ll do a bit of my own research,” Zepeda said. 

Zepeda expressed her belief in the Walt Disney frozen conspiracy theory. People claimed that animator Walt Disney’s body is preserved in a frozen state and buried beneath the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland. All in the hope that technology will become advanced enough to bring him back to life.

I’ve watched a lot of tv shows and movies that make me [think] ‘man have we really been lied to like that?’ but I don’t know until I’ve seen evidence.

— Junior Mitchell Moundraty

“I think Disney made the movie ‘Frozen’ so that it was easier to hide the fact that Walt Disney froze himself, especially since the original name of the movie was going to be ‘The Snow Queen’,” Zepeda said. 

Likewise, junior Elaine Malatag first heard of conspiracy theories in middle school after watching YouTube videos about the moon-landing and the possibility of it being fake. Now, she believes in the Princess Diana conspiracy theory, in which people claimed that she was intentionally killed by the Royal Family. Princess Diana’s plan to marry her long-term Egyptian boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, would ‘taint’ her children, as they would have non-british half-siblings. Thus, a possible reason as to why the Royal Family would want to get rid of her.

“There was too much evidence on why the Royal Family would want her gone, even if it seemed crazy. The amount of time it took [for] help to get to her added more to the suspicions,” Malatag said. 

Malatag noted that she discusses conspiracy theories with teachers, family and peers. One theory in particular is the theory of nothingness after death. Malatag referred to the theory as ‘when we die, we die.’ Once an individual has died, there is truly nothingno heaven, no hell, no conscience.

“‘When we die, we just die’ was a really good theory to talk about because many people had different views. Some agreeing and some disagreeing, partially because of religious reasons,” Malatag said.

Junior Mitchell Moundraty also has discussions about conspiracy theories, but with his father. Moundraty shares that he and his dad were talking about how the moon landing could be fake because the technology was too advanced for that time.

Besides the moon-landing conspiracy, Moundraty believes that there are other humans living on different planets. Astronomers have discovered many exoplanets (planets that orbit stars outside of the solar system), but almost none of them could support human life. However, this doesn’t dismiss the theories that there may be a habitual planet that scientists have not yet explored. 

“If there’s really an infinite amount of planets in the universe, surely there should be other species that are somewhat similar to us,” Moundraty said.

Unlike Zepeda, who expressed that conspiracy theories do not affect anything they do on a day to day basis, both Malatag and Moundraty believe that conspiracy theories have an impact on their life. For Malatag, conspiracy theories make her question things that have happened with no explanation and for Moundraty, they make him more paranoid about what he has been told. 

Moundraty mentioned an article he read about Paul McCartney, a Beatles member, who was involved in a car accident and the possibility of him being replaced by a look-alike. The theory got him thinking ‘wow that’s crazy’ and had him wondering if there are things that he has been told that have been covered up. 

“I’ve watched a lot of tv shows and movies that make me [think] ‘man have we really been lied to like that?’ but I don’t know until I’ve seen evidence,” Moundraty said.