A lot of theories are written off as conspiracy by the public because they are just too wild to believe, or if they were to be true, they are too shameful and shocking to comprehend. Sometimes these theories spread like wildfire because they sound so crazy, but a recent study by political scientists Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood showed that 50% of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory. Though they may seem unreal, some of these conspiracy theories end up being true, and test the limits of possibility. Here are ten of those theories that, as it turns out, weren’t just a figment of someone’s imagination.

The CIA Pays Off A Witness

In 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwait girl, Nayirah al-Sabah, testified on behalf of the US government that she had personally witnessed Iraqi soldiers do horrible things to infants in Kuwait. Her testimony helped convince the American public that military force against Iraq was justified. The CIA was so determined for this to work they even paid Sabah to take acting classes in preparation for her lies. So successful was her testimony that in 1991 the US launched “Operation Desert Storm” against Iraq. By the next year, a clever journalist had a theory about this testimony. He uncovered the truth and outed the CIA for paying witnesses, showing that he was correct all along.

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