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The Biggest, Most Notorious Government Cover Ups Ever

Updated March 27, 2020 18.8k votes 3.1k voters 357.6k views18 items

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.

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  • 5

    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.

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  • 6

    The My Lai Massacre

    The My Lai Massacre was a mass killing of around 500 unarmed civilians that took place during the Vietnam War. Initially, the massacre was reported as a routine battle. But after a helicopter gunner sent a letter to Congress asking them to investigate the incident, the story blew open.

    Unfortunately, many military officials still see the My Lai Massacre as collateral damage.  

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  • 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

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  • The Iran-Contra Affair is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Biggest, Most Notorious Government Cover Ups Ever
    Photo: White House Photo Office / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    This scandal from the presidency of Ronald Reagan continues to be one of the biggest cover-ups in recent history. Initially, the Iran-Contra deal began as a way for President Reagan to free seven American hostages being held in Lebanon by facilitating the sale of arms to Iran. But after the sale was made, a portion of the money went to fund anti-Sandinista and anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua.

    Even after all of this information was released, Reagan's involvement with the deal has remained classified, and the few convictions that were handed down to lower-level government agents were either overturned or the men were pardoned by President George H.W. Bush during the final year of his presidency

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