CONSPIRACY theorists wildly claimed that Hurricane Ida was a manmade disaster while others believed that JFK Jr would return from the dead – decades after he was killed.
Several wild theories swept the nation in 2021 as some QAnon sympathizers peddled the unsubstantiated “pizzagate” theory during the trial of shamed British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
The withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer saw the resurgence of the Taliban and US forces hastily evacuated.
Biden was heavily criticized for his handling of the crisis from both Democrats and Republicans, but some conspiracy theorists ludicrously claimed that the Taliban's resurgence was orchestrated by the president himself.
One Telegram user said: “Wait until everyone realizes that the Biden administration conspired to reinstall the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
“Notice how easy it was to take over the country. Does it seem a little staged? The US literally handed over the country & all the U.S. assets. Why?”
They baselessly claimed that it was an attempt to distract from an election audit that was underway in Arizona.
The wild theory was shared by figures such as Ron Watkins on his Telegram and Gab accounts.
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Watkins is the former administrator of 8kun, a website that facilitated the rise of QAnon, according to Vice.
“The ongoing failure in Afghanistan is just the beginning of a planned distraction campaign so they can ignore the Maricopa County audit results. All eyes on Maricopa County!”
Watkins believed that the audit in Maricopa County would expose allegations of election fraud, sparking a string of similar audits.
The theory claimed that the results of these audits will then reveal Donald Trump won the election but that it was stolen from him by Biden.
A Republican-backed review found no proof that the election was stolen from Trump in Maricopa County.
Some QAnon supporters shared a widely-publicized video of a US military plane surrounded by desperate Afghans on the tarmac at Kabul airport.
They claimed the jet was numbered 1109 and wildly suggested that the number flipped is “911” or 9/11.
Believers also claimed that Trump’s statement on the Taliban takeover contained a QAnon message.
They said the use of the phrase “fall of Kabul” is a reference to “Fall of Cabal,” a QAnon video series considered a foundational text.
Supporters of the discredited far-right movement used social media networks to claim that Hurricane Ida was created to distract from the chaos in Afghanistan.
The disaster was blamed on the “deep state”.
One person said: “Man-made storm from the Deep State Cabal. Blood will be on their hands. Praying."
Another commented: “Look throughout history. When the deep state cabal is about to be exposed something big related to weather happens as a major distraction to flood (no pun intended) the news cycle. Wake up people.”
"Weather manipulation" is often cited by QAnon supporters, who believe it is being used by the crime ring to control the world.
One QAnon supporter claimed that it's "mathematically impossible" that hurricanes Gustav, Isaac, Harvey, and Ida all hit the US on August 29 in the years 2008, 2012, 2017, and 2021.
She claimed: "The Deep State has been manipulating and controlling the weather for decades."
But, the storms hit during the normal hurricane season in the US, which is affected by the earth's air currents and jet stream.
They were all also between the seventh and ninth hurricanes to hit the US that year – given their names in the alphabet – meaning they were not out of the ordinary for the time of year.
Others have claimed that many large hurricanes to hit the US always run the same path through the country, leaving cities like New Orleans hardest hit.
"The same pattern the hurricanes created by Nasa, DOD, CIA always go like," one supporter said, sharing a map and branding it "weather warfare."
However, the path of hurricanes is also controlled by the air currents and streams.
JFK JR'S 'RETURN'
QAnon diehards believe that Donald Trump will be catapulted back into the Oval Office before 2024 as they remain wedded to unfounded allegations that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
In November, hundreds gathered at the site of JFK’s assassination spot in Dallas, Texas for the “arrival” of his son, who died in 1999.
JFK Jr was among three people who were killed in a light aircraft crash.
Pictures circulated on social media of supporters carrying American and MAGA flags standing on a bridge over Dealey Plaza.
They believed JFK Jr's "return" would somehow trigger the return of Donald Trump to the White House and make him the "King of Kings". JFK Jr didn't return.
And, some believed MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's wacky prediction that Trump would be reinstated on August 13.
In June, he jubilantly declared that the Republican’s return to power would bring about the “greatest rebirth in US history”.
The theory was completely baseless as GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has since distanced herself from the QAnon theory, rubbished reports that Trump would be reinstated.
She told Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic show: “It’s going to be very difficult to overturn the 2020 election and so I’d hate for anyone to get their hopes up thinking that President Trump is going to be back in the White House in August.
“Because that’s not true. I’m telling you as a member of Congress – that’s a very difficult thing to make happen.”
As Covid jabs were being rolled out, TikTok videos of vaccinated people sticking magnets to their arms circulated online.
Conspiracy theorists claimed that the vaccines contained microchips or devices that would be used by the state to track Americans.
Boffins at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention debunked the ludicrous theory.
They said: “Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you magnetic, including at the site of vaccination which is usually your arm.”
Vaccines do not contain metals such as iron, nickel, lithium, and cobalt that could create an electromagnetic field.
Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.
While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare.
In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus.
Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.
Yet the spread can be offset by all vaccinated Americans receiving a booster shot.
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.
With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
Studies have also shown that side effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.
QAnon supporters are not just known for their wacky theories relating to former President Donald Trump.
The far-right group alleges that cannibals and pedophiles secretly control the world and have been involved in a number of violent incidents.
They also claim a worldwide network of celebrities and politicians are part of a child sex-trafficking ring.
It's estimated that around 15 percent of Americans support the main sweeping allegation, according to data from the Public Religion Research Institute.
The bizarre theory originated in December 2016, when Edgar M.Welch entered a Washington DC pizza parlor and demanded to see a basement that did not exist.
According to NBC, he believed the restaurant was part of a child sex ring, a conspiracy known as Pizzagate.
The frivolous “Pizzagate” theory resurfaced during the trial of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell.
Attorney Lisa Bloom said: “Of course, the Q-Anon people are crazy – they think Democrats eat babies – they’re nuts.”
Stephan Lewandowsky, a professor at the University of Bristol, told The Guardian: “I can’t think of a conspiracy theory that wouldn’t involve somebody famous or well-known, because no one cares about your grandmother or your cousin down the road.
“A conspiracy theory about someone no one has heard of isn’t going to be very attractive. You need a famous person as a place-marker.”
Adherents of QAnon are also known for espousing a series of bogus theories, ranging from ludicrous claims that Joe Biden is a robot to frivolous conspiracies that the world is controlled by lizards.
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