The term ‘zombie’ means different things to different cultures. To the people belonging to the voodoo cults of west and southern Africa and the island of Haiti it is the result of a ritual which is performed by a witch doctor or Bokor which puts the victim into a comatose state through the use of various toxins as in the case of a man named Clairvius Narcisse (more on him here).
But nowadays, thanks to Hollywood, when we think of the word zombie we immediately get the image of a mindless mob of monsters who have a hunger for human flesh and in particular brains or brrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaiiinnnsssss (you just said that like a zombie didn’t you?) and if you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by one of these monsters you will eventually become one as well.
Many of us have seen the classic George A. Romero Night of the Living Dead or Dawn of the Dead movies, the hit TV series The Walking Dead and some of us may even have seen the not so classic Jenna Jameson offering Zombie Strippers. So, from the sublime to the ridiculous, I think it’s fair to say that the zombie idea has been done to death, if you’ll pardon the expression. However, the question remains – What would we do in the event of a real zombie apocalypse?
There have been various stories in the media recently of different law enforcement agencies around the world making contingency plans, there was even a freedom of information request from a member of the public to the Ministry of Defence in how they would plan for an attack by a zombie horde and how they would deal with the aftermath to which they replied: “In the event of an apocalyptic incident (e.g. zombies), any plans to rebuild and return England to its pre-attack glory would be led by the Cabinet Office, and thus any pre-planning activity would also taken place there.
“The Ministry of Defence’s role in any such event would be to provide military support to the civil authorities, not take the lead. Consequently, the Ministry of Defence holds no information on this matter.”
So take what you will from that reply but my understanding is that our first line of defence will be David Cameron and Nick Clegg which means we are doomed. In fact I think I would rather be on the zombie side – where do I sign up???
Like all conspiracy theories the initial idea must come from somewhere and of course these ideas are many and varied but here I will look at three popular zombie conspiracy theories.
1. Dulce Base, New Mexico
Dulce Base is believed by conspiracy theorists to be a secret underground base near the town of Dulce, New Mexico under the Archuleta Mesa on the Colorado-New Mexico border. The base itself could be the subject of a Conspiracy Corner article sometime in the future but for now we will focus on one of the activities that is alleged to take place there. The base is supposedly run by aliens in co-operation with government scientists and in return for information on their advanced technology they are basically given free reign to do whatever experiments they like with whoever or whatever they like – explaining alien abduction and animal mutilation. For example, some believe that they are creating animal hybrids by sewing dead animal carcasses together and then resurrecting them and it is only a matter of time before they start experiments on Humans, in theory creating a sort of Frankenstein’s monster! Other research that is supposedly taking place at Dulce includes research into the cultivation of a virus which can be used to infect living humans in order to turn them into ‘the walking dead’.
2. Nazi Experiments
Nazis and conspiracy theories are no strangers to one another. Whether it’s trivial, such as Hitler dying in Argentina or Hitler only having one testicle as the song goes, or more serious theories such as the Nazis having access to alien technology and constructing fully functioning UFOs, you are never too far away from Hitler and Co when researching conspiracy theories.
It is no secret that Hitler and his right hand man Heinrich Himmler were fascinated by the occult and the supernatural. It is also widely known that SS Officer Josef Mengele who was a physician at Auschwitz nicknamed rather aptly ‘The Angel of Death’ performed sickening and inhumane experiments on Jewish prisoners who were treated as guinea pigs. Conspiracy theorists believe that there was a plan formulated that would create ‘zombies’ out of the prisoners at Auschwitz. This would involve leaving only the base functions of the victim’s brain, namely the Cerebellum, intact. It was believed that this would mean the victim would obey the Nazis’ every order without any hesitation and they believed that it would also show the superiority of the Aryan race over non-Aryans. The Nazis never finished their work and supposedly they burnt all trace of evidence of their plan, however when the war was over the Americans began Operation Paperclip. Operation Paperclip was a program that was used to recruit the best and brightest Nazi scientists and bring them back to the US were they would be pardoned of their crimes and given new lives in exchange for their vast knowledge. They would go on to help the USA in pioneering projects such as the space race so who’s to say that some of Mengeles men weren’t recruited as well?
3. The Miami ‘Zombie’ Attack
Perhaps the most famous ‘zombie’ story given how recently it happened, the Miami Zombie Attack not only shocked America but the whole world! On 26 May 2012, 31 year old Rudy Eugene randomly attacked a 65-year-old homeless man on an on ramp of MacArthur Causeway in Miami. Security cameras observed Eugene crossing the bridge in his car when it broke down. He began walking back across the bridge, a three mile journey which took nearly two hours, during which Eugene stripped himself naked. When he got to the other side he threw away a bible which he was carrying and began his unprovoked attack on the homeless man. He gouged out both of his victim’s eyes, stripped him below the waist and began choking him until he was unconsciousness. He then tore into the man’s face and began to eat it, from his beard to his hairline, including one of his eyes and nose. The assault went on for nearly 20 minutes and was captured on CCTV from the Miami Herald building, and was subsequently posted on the Internet. A police officer who was first on the scene shouted at Eugene to stop, Eugene growled at the officer and resumed the attack. In an effort to stop the attack the officer shot Eugene once in the upper back, however this had no effect on him and he carried on and the officer was forced to shoot four more times, eventually killing Eugene.
According to the official autopsy report the only drug that was present in Eugene’s bloodstream was marijuana, although his actions are not consistent with the effects of marijuana. The mainstream media began to report that Eugene had taken ‘bath salts’.
Bath salts are also known as cathinones. These are psychoactive stimulants similar to methamphetamines. They are more powerful than LSD, and can cause a person to become insane, develop cannibalistic tendencies and appear to gain inhuman strength. According to the autopsy no trace of these drugs were found in Eugene’s system and the story soon disappeared from mainstream media. Conspiracy theorists believe that the story was dropped as part of a cover up operation because the government has manufactured and is stockpiling a drug or airborne virus which causes anyone unfortunate enough to be exposed to it to suffer the same fate as. They also believe that Eugene was a guinea pig used by government scientists to test this new synthetic drug and that all evidence of it was either untraceable or erased from the autopsy records.
So, whether you believe in the impending zombie apocalypse or not,I think it’s fair to say it’s another one of those theories that isn’t going away anytime soon. And why not send in a letter to your local council and ask how prepared they are in the event of a zombie horde overrunning your town or city? Let’s not wait on Cameron and Clegg doing anything about it, eh?