Between mounting tensions with North Korea, attacks on Syria, possible infiltration of the Trump campaign by Russian intelligence, and endlessly conflicting leaks from anonymous intelligence agency officials (who may represent an even more inscrutable Deep State), creating a coherent narrative of U.S. political power is tougher than ever. With so much classified, under investigation, in dispute or unknown unknowns, swathes of an alienated populace have become like Kremlinologists in their own country, reading between lines and picking through tea leaves for any indication of what’s actually ahead in unstable times.
And now, like planets aligning in an astrological house, a number of seemingly separate events appear to be cohering into a single inescapable conclusion: something bad is going down on April 26. Though the so-called “4/26 Conspiracy” is rocking many segments of the worldwide web of conspiracy theorists, leave to subreddit r/conspiracy to aggregate all the suspicious circumstances aligning.
Earlier this year a YouTuber believes he caught FEMA’s Emergency Alert System broadcasting “Trump April 26” (though I suspect auditory pareidolia). Could it be a coincidence that Operation Gotham Shield united federal and local agencies to run nuclear response drills… on 4/26? That a missile test occurred the morning of, wait for it… 4/26? And isn’t it just a little weird that the Chernobyl reactor meltdown happened 31 years ago… on 4/26?
There’s a lot more evidence too, though it’s even less convincing than the examples above. After sifting through the data points, conclusions have varied. Could it be the United States is girding itself for nuclear assault from North Korea, timed to the arrival of the USS Carl Vinson in the waters around the Korean peninsula? Or, more drastically, perhaps this is all cover for a false flag nuclear first strike on New York? But there’s one coincidence conspiracy theorists at r/conspiracy, InfoWars and ZeroHedge have neglected.
April 26 is also Alien Day.
Alien Day commemorates the release of Alien, but it’s not celebrated on the movie’s release date. Just like conspiratorial numerology (is it a coincidence that the enigmatic number 23 + the number of the unholy trinity, Jahbulon, equals 26?), Alien Day is an esoteric-ish derivation of LV-426, the name of the moon on which the alien facehuggers were first discovered.
While 4/26 was more strictly about Alien when it was concocted in 2016, the artificial marketing holiday has become, in 2017, a day to celebrate aliens and UFOs in our pop culture generally, rather than just to the degree it benefits Alien: Covenant’s weekend box office. But even here, where no more explanation is needed than capitalist commodification, the specter of conspiracy looms.
In UFO enthusiast circles a frequent focus is the presumptively inevitable disclosure of the truth — when the government finally fesses up and reveals what they’ve known about aliens for decades. In the UFO community it’s capital-’D’ Disclosure and there are often signs of its imminence to be read in our pop culture, which is slowly acclimating us to aliens and UFOs, so as not completely blow our minds.
If 4/26 is both a day of conspiracy and a day of aliens, then the conspiratorial possibilities are multiplied. Or, rather than fitting together in a grand scheme, all of these disparate facts could fit neatly into our understanding of how conspiracy theories deceive and spread.
One of the hallmarks of a good conspiracy theory is an overwhelming number of data points that collectively form a cloud of suspicion. This “where there’s smoke there’s fire” strategy treats causal links and connective tissue as incidental. A miasma of independent factoids takes on the silhouette of a solid shape. The lack of an actual coherent narrative becomes a strength, rather than a weakness. Where minor inconsistencies exposes real-world events as cover for vast conspiracies, conspiracy theories have no consistency to assail. A conspiracy theory claiming controlled demolition brought down the Twin Towers is served, rather than discredited, by conflicting accounts on whether the hijacked planes were holograms or merely remote-controlled dummies. Rather than spreading because of their merits as a claim to real-world verisimilitude, conspiracy theories, even conflicting ones, flourish together for their subversion of an “official” narrative.
As 4/26 draws to a close, it seems less and less likely that nuclear war of alien first contact will make the date. But there’s always next year.