Illustration: Peter Hoey

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the conspiracy: Iraq is home to ancient “stargates,” portals into distant galaxies built by the Anunnaki, the same aliens who constructed the Sumerian ziggurats. For years, the United States unsuccessfully tried to get these teleportation devices out of the hands of Saddam Hussein. So George W. Bush cooked up an elaborate excuse to invade Iraq, depose Saddam, and liberate the ET technologies.

the conspiracy theorists: Various ufo watchers, including “investigative mythologist” and radio host William Henry and Michael E. Salla, an expert on “exopolitics”—the political science of human-alien interaction. Salla claims that as many as 17 extraterrestrial civilizations are currently in direct contact with humans.

meanwhile, back on earth: If Saddam knew all about the stargates, why did he end up in a spider hole instead of a wormhole to another galaxy? And now that we’ve got them, can we use them to bring the troops home?

Kookiness Rating:  
(1=maybe they’re on to something, 5=break out the tinfoil hat!)

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