The Biggest, Most Notorious Government Cover Ups Ever

Over 3.7K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Biggest, Most Notorious Government Cover Ups Ever

Area 51, Watergate, MK Ultra - as different as these three topics may seem, they’re all part of a series of massive government cover-ups. In the world of government conspiracies, something doesn’t have to be completely outlandish to get covered up. It just has to be kind of illegal, or at least make someone in the government look bad. For instance, whether the bomb lost near Tybee Island was an armed or unarmed nuke depends on who you ask, and who you believe.

For every whisper of a downed UFO, there are hundreds of real secret government projects that we’ve never heard about, and that may never be declassified. That's why it’s always interesting to read about the secrets of the government that have actually been revealed. This list of the most successful government cover-ups covers a wide range of government secrets ranging from assassination attempts to mind control. Put on your tinfoil hat, it’s time to get weird.

Whether or not you want to believe it, every president (whether Democrat or Republican) has knowledge of hidden government secrets. Some of them have to do with illicit military tactics, while others involve hidden railroads and alien conspiracies. It’s entirely possible that some of the government secrets on this list are fabrications or extensions of the truth. But the scariest stories are the ones that are 100% verified and true.

Check your phone for wiretaps and dig into this list of the most successful US government secrets leaked. Vote up the biggest government cover-ups, and leave us a comment full of your craziest super real conspiracy theories.

Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

  • 1
    1,285 VOTES

    CIA Mind Control

    CIA Mind Control
    Photo: United States Federal Government / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    When the Cold War was at its peak, the CIA began testing the possibility of using mind control to create sleeper agents that would infiltrate communist Russia. The project went by numerous names, but the most famous was Project MK-Ultra. It involved government scientists using methamphetamine, barbiturates, LSD, and hypnosis to break down a subject and then rebuild them with very specific qualities.

    Needless to say, it didn't work how they wanted it to. The project was scrapped, but not before CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all documents from Project MK-ULTRA to be destroyed

    1,285 votes
  • The Watergate Scandal
    Photo: Ollie Atkins / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Watergate Scandal, named after the building where much of the scandal took place, is the most well-known government scandal of them all. The basic story goes like this: Under President Nixon's orders, a group of men broke into the DNC headquarters at the Watergate complex in order to find dirt on the Democratic party that could be used in upcoming elections.

    The men were caught, and money that they had on them was traced back to a slush fund used by a committee to re-elect the president. Nixon did his best to cover up the scandal, and even succeeded for a while, but the entire plot unraveled when a tape was released that proved Nixon was trying to cover up the scandal. And the rest is history. 

    1,194 votes
  • It probably goes without saying that the JFK assassination is one of the biggest suspected government cover-ups ever. Whether or not you believe the numerous conspiracy theories, you probably don't think that the government was completely transparent with the American people.

    With theories ranging from the presence of multiple gunmen to a rogue secret service agent who accidentally shot the president, it's safe to say that we'll never know the full story of President Kennedy's end. 

    1,540 votes
  • 4
    1,198 VOTES

    Area 51 has long been considered a Mecca for conspiracy theorists, and while there have been a few legit cover-ups at Area 51 (spy plane tests, the SR-71 Blackbird, etc.), the Nevada-based government site is still a hotbed of secret activity.

    It probably goes without saying that we'll never know exactly what's going on out there in the desert, but that won't stop people from speculating

    1,198 votes
  • 5
    877 VOTES

    The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA Torture

    The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA Torture
    Photo: US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In 2014, the Senate Report on CIA Detention Interrogation Program was released after five years of preparation. Inside, we finally saw that the CIA had not only been using illegal interrogation techniques, but that those so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" hadn't even worked all that well.

    We're not sure what the government wanted to cover up more: The fact that they'd been torturing people or that it was essentially useless.

    877 votes
  • 6
    929 VOTES

    The CIA Tried To Take Out Castro

    In the '60s, America tried to assassinate Castro SO MANY TIMES that things kind of got out of hand.

    So much so that when the information on our many assassination attempts (which included everything from exploding cigars to mafia hits) was declassified almost 40 years after later, it made our government look like writers for Get Smart.

    929 votes