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#9: History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time by Brad Meltzer

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I loved the History Channel show Decoded so when I saw this book I had to pick it up. U have to be honest that even as a skeptic I love conspiracy theories because I love seeing where these crazy ideas come from in the first place and how they get blown so completely out of proportion which is often far more interesting and bizarre than the theories themselves. This book definitely takes my approach to conspiracy theories and draws some very interesting and logical conclusions.

SPOILER ALERT… There are no great revelations in this book that will blow open the case for any of these stories, however, what you find is a collection of loose ends that are sorted through by the author with a level head. Most of the stories were known to me and yet I learned new information and enjoyed the “investigative” process displayed throughout the book. In fact, each chapter has an envelope at the beginning with “documents’ to support the research which is a very whimsical and interesting addition. Add to this all of the pictures, graphics and artifacts within the book itself and you’ll find it visually and mentally appealing. I’ll also say that the style and flow of the book is similar to the television series which makes it a fun read.

So, what conspiracies are we talking about?

10. John Wilkes Booth:

Was he really apprehended or did he live decades after Lincoln’s assassination?

9. Confederate Gold:

Was it stolen, hidden or meet some other fate and where is it now?

8. The Georgia Guidestones:

Who built them? Why did they build them? What are they trying to tell us…in the eight most common world languages at that?

7. DB Cooper:

Was it an inside job? Could he have survived the jump?

6. The White House Cornerstone:

Where is it and why is it so tied to the Masons?

5. The Spear of Destiny:

Did it ever leave Europe and if so is it rotting in a sunken U-Boat off the coast of Florida?

4. Leonardo Da Vinci:

What was the genius trying to tell us?

3. Fort Knox:

Where’s the gold?

2. UFOs:

Roswell and Area 51 are clouded in secrecy. The real question isn’t what happened but why does it need to be a secret?

1. JFK:

Could Oswald have acted alone? Do the pieces really add up?

In the end, what I really liked is the harder hitting topics Meltzer confronts. The ones that get at the very foundation of where conspiracies come from in the first place and why we find these stories so fascinating. I’ve said it before but humans cannot be truly random so there is always an underlying reason. Also, many of these stories bring up questions of human behavior and understanding.

So, yes, the Spear of Destiny sounds like something straight out of an action film but in reality the fact that Neo Nazis are still hoping to find it because they believe it will make them unstoppable and help bring about the Fourth Reich is terrifying and speaks less of the “power” of the object and more on how little has changed.

Should the US government be held accountable for the gold at Fort Knox which has not been inspected or technically seen since 1974 or is the “confidence” our current economic system is built on fragile enough to justify falsification of the records regarding that gold?

Leonardo Da Vinci was obviously a genius and hid signs and symbols in many of his works but perhaps his overall purpose was not a prophecy as many would like to believe but rather a message of warning and commission to mankind? His belief that the future is what we make of it and that we should be intentional in our approach whether that be in technology, medicine or ecology.

If any of these tales even slightly pique your interest, I would suggest giving this a flip through. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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