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Inside the Great Reptilian Conspiracy: From Queen Elizabeth to Barack Obama -- They Live!

A look at one of the more fascinating alternate universes of belief.
 
 
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Early on a mid-October afternoon in 2009, news broke that 6-year-old Falcon Heene was lost somewhere in the air as high as 7,000 feet, riding an experimental 20-foot Mylar helium balloon that had taken off from his family's backyard in Fort Collins, Colorado. Falcon's father, Richard, a self-described "science detective" and meteorologist, was in the early phase of building what he called a "3D low-altitude vehicle." While Richard was apparently elsewhere, one of Falcon's brothers alleged that he witnessed Falcon untie the balloon, and that it had taken off into the sky. The parents first called a local Denver news station; then they called 911. A child hunt ensued. Police and rescue personnel were sent flying down dirt roads to find the balloon. The National Guard scrambled two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to assist search operations.

Five hours into the search, it emerged that Falcon was never aboard the balloon. He had apparently been hiding in a cardboard box in the rafters of the Heene family garage. Mom and Dad were in on it. A missing child story was now an amateur hoax story.

Reporters digging into the Balloon Boy scandal found that the parents were failed actors and serial publicity hounds, with thousands in tax liens filed against the husband in connection with a failed film company. Eventually, footage surfaced from the family's two appearances on the ABC network's role-reversing reality series Wife Swap, exposing Richard Heene's penchant for "looking for extraterrestrials." Anger over the deception suddenly gained a layer of ridicule in the media.

Even as the balloon hoax and the surrounding family drama continued to dominate the news, few mainstream outlets pursued the details about the Heene's eccentric interests and beliefs. For example, the New York Times mentioned in the 13th paragraph of one article that Richard had made a YouTube video in which he wondered whether Hillary Rodham Clinton was a "reptilian." The UK's Daily Telegraph went a little further, quoting Heene from the same video at more length:

In a bizarre YouTube posting from January 2008 Mr Heene is seen sitting on a sofa with his dog and making strange comments about Mrs Clinton. He says: "Fake or real? I want to know, is Hillary Clinton a reptilian? I see all these videos about Hillary Clinton, her fingers are growing, her face is moving, there all these things going on over here. It looks like CGI to me. "I mean, here's my dog right here. Could this dog possibly shape-shift into me?" He then takes his dog's head and puts it in front of his own, manipulating it with his hands. "No, I don't think so," he tells the camera. "But if you've got some real footage I want to see it. Fake or real?"

Without further explanation, the Telegraph article transitioned to a scathing critique of a YouTube rap video made by Richard Heene's three sons. Had the New York Times or the Telegraph delved deeper, they would have discovered that Richard Heene was demonstrating his intimacy with one of the modern world's most peculiar and elaborate conspiracy theories.

"[Heene] was motivated," his former assistant wrote in a tell-all a few days after the Balloon Boy hoax, by "the idea there are alien beings that walk among us and are shape shifters, able to resemble human beings and running the upper echelon of our government. Somehow a secret government has covered all this up since the U.S. was established, and the only way to get the truth out there was to use the mainstream media to raise Richard to a status of celebrity, so he could communicate with the masses."

Richard Heene, it turned out, wanted more than 15 minutes of fame. He had an important message for the world -- about Lizards and the New World Order. He is far from alone.

Tip Of the Iceberg

Richard Heene is one of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people who adhere to an overlapping series of modern-day conspiracy theories sharing a central thesis: Lizard-like aliens from outer space inhabit human bodies and control the human race.

Videos similar to the footage of the "reptilian" Hillary Clinton that Heene referred to number in the hundreds on YouTube. They join part of a much larger body of thousands of videos uploaded by conspiracy theorists in the reptilian circle that purportedly show proof of live, on-camera, human shape-shifting from human to lizard form. The videos typically feature news interviews with national political figures like Hillary, Queen Elizabeth II or George H.W. Bush, or segments from TV news broadcasts. Some of the footage is doctored to place lizard-like slitted pupils in the eyes of political elites, or is slowed down to mutate the voice of the speaker and enhance the semblance of a lizard-like hiss emanating from the mouth of, say, a local TV news woman's tendency to sustain the "S" in plural nouns.

Amateur reptile video detectives can find lizard traces almost anywhere. Here's one lizard sleuth's account of discovering a shape-shifting event while watching WWE Smackdown posted on AboveTopSecret.com: