It’s been a special year for conspiracy theories, one in which it has become increasingly difficult to tell the crazy from the genuinely unbelievable things that actually came true in 2016.
While some may wish that Brexit and Trump never really happened, here are five stories that did the rounds that definitely weren’t true.
5) The Fabians is actually a branch of the Illuminati.
The Fabian Society is a Labour think tank that amongst other things, seeks “to improve black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation”. promote “sustainable development” and a “accountable, tolerant and active democracy”.
The Illuminati is a secret group formed centuries ago intent on establishing a socialist New World Order.
These rather major differences have not been enough to convince many people this year that they are in fact one and the same.
Their alleged conspiratorial deeds include manufacturing the refugee crisis in order to further their malevolent agenda.
4) The Queen is dead and the media is covering it up so everyone can enjoy New Year’s Eve.
This one happened just this morning.
The hashtag #MediaBlackout was top trend on Twitter as people collectively lost their shit after a fake BBC News account announced the Queen had died.
Not content with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it was then assumed that Her Majesty was dead and the media was covering it up so as not to ruin everyone’s New Year’s Eve frivolities.
One gent even ran to Buckingham Palace to check.
3) The Queen is still a lizard
An old classic this one but worth revisiting in light of Andrew Neil’s incredible interview with David Icke earlier this year.
He asked Icke: “Do you still think the Royal Family were shape shifting lizards?”
Icke answered firmly: “Yes, I do.”
Neil continued: “You also want us to believe that 9/11 is a conspiracy?”
Again, Icke responded: “Yes.”
The bemused presenter said: “I can see the point that you might question 9/11 but if you also think that Buckingham Palace is inhabited by lizards, it kind of undermines you.”
But Icke defended his views saying: “It’s not that simple. The whole big back story before you get to what I’m saying, if you deliver it in one line - ‘the world is run by reptiles’ - you meet on one level.
“’Oh that’s crazy’, immediate reaction.
Some people appeared to take the claims seriously...
Others took it slightly less seriously...
1) The Portland Communications saga
In June pro-Corbyn website The Canary outlined a series of loose connections and statements made by Portland Communications employees and advisors in a much derided article claiming to be some sort of explosive exclusive.
While Corbyn fans avidly shared the piece, it came under much criticism from elsewhere.
The Canary’s strange, yet popular, theory goes like this: Portland was set up by Tony Blair’s former deputy communications chief Tim Allan. On its books are a number of Labour types, many of whom dislike Corbyn and also have links to the Fabian Society. The PR firm also has “countless links to the media” and the BBC recently interviewed a Portland consultant. Err, that’s it.
People then began to suggest other things Portland could be behind.
What a year.