According to reports in August 2019, the FBI warned that lurid conspiracy theories can lead to domestic terrorism in some cases. However, perhaps ironically, the FBI itself has frequently been the subject of conspiracist conjecture. But in some cases it turns out that the speculation was actually based on fact. Read on to learn about some of the most notorious examples.
4. Comey tapes over his webcam
In a Q&A session at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 2016 the then-head of the FBI James Comey admitted that he taped over the webcam on his laptop. At the time, he told the audience that, “I saw something in the news, so I copied it…Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.” So was this a case of the FBI boss being duped by a conspiracy theory?
3. Walt Disney was an FBI informant
Americans and the world have a lot to be grateful for when it comes to Walt Disney. After all, it was his genius behind a plethora of magical movie moments that defined childhood for so many. But few know about a less savory Disney sideline. He did in fact act as an informant for the FBI during the height of the McCarthy witch hunt. Disney even denounced some of his own animators as communists.
2. The FBI experimented with psychics
The FBI, you’d think, has mostly been staffed by hard-headed practical agents over the years of its existence. But in fact it seems that some personnel were of a more whimsical bent. Towards the end of the 1950s, the FBI actually investigated the possibility of harnessing the supposed power of extrasensory perception (ESP). However, they were unable to find any credible evidence for the phenomenon and knocked the idea on the head in 1960.
1. The FBI had some unlikely suspects
The FBI’s job, of course, is to keep American citizens safe, partly by keeping tabs on the bad guys. Especially during the Cold War, “bad guys” often seems to have meant anyone with the least whiff of communism about them. Perhaps one of the most unlikely communists since the Russian Revolution must have been Marilyn Monroe. But apparently that’s not how things looked to the FBI and they kept a close eye on the dangerous actress from 1955 until her death in 1962.