Although most conspiracy theories really are nothing more than just wishful thinking, every once in a while someone comes along who makes a legitimate (albeit unpopular) prediction that is eventually vindicated by history. Today we are going to take a look back at some of the most well known cases. These are 25 people who turned out to actually be right.
He accused Lance Armstrong of doping long before anyone believed him. Trek bikes even made him apologize for saying it.
“Pistol Pete” Maravich
He once told reporter Andy Nuzzo that he didn’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and then die of a heart attack when he’s 40. He went on to play 10 years in the NBA and then die of a heart attack at the age of 40.
A German scientist, Alfred first discovered and hypothesized continental drift. It wasn’t until we developed sonar and could actually map the ocean floor that we stopped laughing at his “ludicrous” ideas.
A Hungarian physician, he suggested that doctors should wash their hands more often to prevent the spread of disease. He was basically laughed at. It wasn’t until we discovered germ theory that we started to take him seriously. Unfortunately, Semmelweis died rejected and alone long before this point.
He advocated for cockpit security and locks years before 9/11 happened.
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Her daughter, Azaria, disappeared on a family trip to Uluru in Australia. Lindy claimed that her daughter was taken and eaten by a dingo. Authorities disbelieved her story and arrested her for murder. 30 years later, it was proven that a dingo had in fact eaten her baby.
A retired soldier, Rick foresaw the very real possibility of an attack on the World Trade Center and implemented a detailed escape plan. In spite of dying during the attacks, many lives were saved because of his foresight. (John P. O’Neill, who also worked security at the World Trade Center and died during the attacks, should be mentioned as well. He had worked previously for the FBI and was basically laughed out of the organization for his ideas that an attack was imminent.)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
He warned us about the military industrial complex in his final speech.
Clair Cameron Patterson
After discovering the health issues posed by lead in gasoline, he faced an uphill battle against lobbies and corporations.
He claimed that the FBI was spying on him. Turns out he was right.
George Bush Sr
In spite of the media, the government, and even the public telling him to keep chasing the Iraqi military across the Kuwaiti border, he refused, citing the fact that eliminating Saddam would lead to a power vacuum. His own son proved him right.
Sometimes it’s good when politicians don’t listen; wait until you see number 4!
He knew that Britain would be at war with the Nazis long before any other higher ups did. While Chamberlain was talking about “peace in our time,” Churchill was convincing the government to start cranking out war machines.
People who claimed that citrus could prevent scurvy
This honor belongs to numerous unnamed people dating all the way back to the 1400’s. It wasn’t until we discovered what vitamins are that these claims began to be taken seriously.
They kept saying that the democratic party was conspiring against Bernie. They were right.
People saying the government is spying on us
After Wikileaks and Edward Snowden, it has become pretty clear that the tin foil hats were justified.
He figured out the Madoff ponzi scheme many years before it actually fell apart. The SEC, however, refused to listen to him.
After creating the modern periodic table, he theorized that the gaps were elements that hadn’t been discovered yet. For the next 20 years, people made quite a bit of fun out of him, that is until they started discovering the missing elements.
He said in an interview that he thought someone was trying to kill him. Moreover, his first album was titled Ready To Die.
A NASA engineer, he strongly objected to the launch of the Challenger because his calculations showed the O-rings would fail in cold weather. We all know what happened next, but Roger was blacklisted from the industry and shunned by colleagues for speaking the truth.
Otto Von Bismarck
He predicted the date and starting location of World War I.
We laughed at the theory of relativity. In fact, even Einstein thought the cosmological constant was the biggest blunder of his life.
While he was the premier of Manitoba, Duff built a floodway to protect Winnipeg from flooding. He was constantly derided for wasting money on something that came to be labeled “Duff’s Ditch.” Since 1968, it has saved Winnipeg from floods nearly 20 times.
William Tecumseh Sherman
He predicted the fall of the Confederacy with these words: “The North can make a steam engine, locomotive, or railway car; hardly a yard of cloth or pair of shoes can you make. You are rushing into war with one of the most powerful, ingeniously mechanical, and determined people on Earth — right at your doors. You are bound to fail.”
He famously said the following: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
He’s the unknown white guy in the famous Olympic photo of two black American sprinters doing the Black Power salute on the podium. What most people don’t know is that he wore the same badge as Tommie Smith and John Carlos as he stood with them in solidarity. Because of this, his life in Australia was basically ruined. At one point, the government gave him the option of condemning the American sprinters but he refused. When he died in 2006, Smith and Carlos were the pallbearers at his funeral. The Australian government issued a posthumous apology for the way he was treated.
Photos: 25. Benjamin Werner, GregLeMond.1989 Tour de France st 21.TT-crop (2), CC BY 2.0
, 21. Sage Ross, Ralph Nader in Waterbury 9, October 4, 2008, CC BY-SA 3.0Sage Ross via wikimedia commons, 20. Corey Leopold via flickr, 17. Joe Mabel via wikimedia commons, 15. AJ Guel via flickr, 13. Aleph via wikimedia commons, 12. Phil Roeder via flickr, 11. Kai Hendry via flickr, 8. Phillip Pessar via flickr, 4. US Army Corps of Engineers via flickr