The Zombie Apocalypse – It’s Not Real, Right?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
May 11, 2018
Last Updated
September 23, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
8 min read
Posted in
Conspiracy Theory Analysis, Government

Most of us have heard the phrase the “Zombie Apocalypse”. Usually in connection with a film or television series, for example. For most of us, even those open to all manner of weird and wonderful phenomena, the notion of the lifeless bodies of the deceased “rising from their graves” lies somewhere between fiction and absolute nonsense. And while in the traditional sense of our collective understanding of such a term, it is. Perhaps it is worth noting that according to the Collins Dictionary, someone might be described as a zombie or of being zombified “if their face or behavior shows no feeling, understanding, or interest in what is going on around them”. You could argue that huge portions of society meet at least some of those criteria.

A picture of The walking dead in a burnt out city

The Zombie Apocalypse

With all that in mind then, it is perhaps surprising that many governments around the world have “measures” in place to deal with such an outbreak, regardless of how they may mask those measures. And many academics have researched and contributed several theories to the notion of zombies and an outbreak thereof. While it might not be as it is portrayed in blockbuster movies, such an outbreak of “zombies” is something that at least has the potential to happen. Whether through esoteric knowledge, or through the manipulation of modern medicine and insights into the human brain, or, if you subscribe to some of the conspiracy theories out there, a combination of both, the “Zombie Apocalypse” might take on many forms.

Although most believe it a hoax, a bizarre broadcast that went out over the airwaves in Montana in February 2013 is perhaps worth looking at. During an episode of “The Steve Wilkos Show” on KRTV a bizarre “emergency warning” came across the screen. It would state, “Authorities have reported in your area that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living!”

While it is hard to disagree that this particular incident was indeed a hoax, some trains of thought suggest it was a “test-run” to gauge the public’s reaction. It might be easy to dismiss that notion entirely if it wasn’t for a US government document that arrived in the public arena via the Freedom of Information act in 2014. Before we look at that, check out the video of the aforementioned incident below.

CONOP 8888 – Counter-Zombie Dominance

Dated 30th April 2011, the CONOP 8888, an unclassified document, [1] was brought to the public’s attention by Gordon Lubold of Foreign Policy. The document was originally “buried on the military’s secret computer network” and goes into a bizarre amount of detail. It speaks of how to “isolate the threat” from “chicken zombies”, “Symbiant-induced zombies”, and “evil magic zombies”.

Again, like the above “emergency announcement” there is a caveat of sorts to this official military document. It states that it is in place for training purposes only. Furthermore, the use of the word “zombies” is in place of a more realistic enemy. Aside from the obvious reasons of diplomatic relations, they further state this was done so as to avoid members of the public becoming confused when training drills go live and so believing the training exorcises are real events.

This makes sense, right? However, when we look at some of the “academics” whose theories suggest creating “zombies” could be a very real process, it is perhaps reasonable, however paranoid, to ask if the US military knows something the general public doesn’t. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that such authorities have used the public as test subjects without their knowledge.

While that prospect is unlikely, perhaps even more sobering is that it wouldn’t necessarily take an entire government to unleash such a virus on humanity. Such an act, in theory, could be down to the actions of an individual. And in a world of axes to grind, increased division and, on occasion, warped perspective on society and its direction, it is perhaps even more unnerving to think that such a scenario is not quite as unlikely as we might think.

And with that thought in mind, we look to the claims of Samita Andreansky.

Depiction of zombie outbreak on ruined street

Depiction of zombie outbreak

Mutation of Established Viruses

Although University of Miami virologist, Samita Andreansky doesn’t claim that a zombie outbreak in terms of the dead rising from their graves is likely to happen, she does believe the potential for an unstoppable zombie-like plague to spread, [2] as unlikely as it might be, is very real.

In 2010 she would claim that should such viruses as rabies and influenza mix, not only would it pass over the population like wildfire, but the rabies part of the infection would essentially turn people into crazed, rage-filled zombies. Should something such as Ebola find its way into the mix, it would become even more highly contagious. As well as further mutating the killer virus again.

Some estimates state it would take a matter of only weeks from such a virus first entering the public, to an almost complete wipe-out of humanity. Perhaps of more concern, as we mentioned above, is that it is perfectly possible for anyone with access to a laboratory and a slightly better than basic understanding of chemistry and biology to prepare and unleash such a virus. Suddenly, films such as “Twelve Monkeys” and even “28 Days Later” – the latter Andreansky sites herself as being a perfectly plausible scenario – don’t seem too much like science-fiction anymore. And while it might mean we redefine what “zombie” means under Andreansky’s assertions, it makes it no less terrifying.

Maybe those plans discovered on the US military computer are based on more credible potential threats than we would think. Maybe it is a case of such plans, even if they are well-intentioned, being hidden in plain sight. After all, who is going to claim they are real and be taken seriously?

The short video below looks at five ways such an outbreak might begin.

Intriguing Theories On “Space Zombies”

Perhaps one of the most bizarre theories on zombies and if they exist is that of Professor Stephen Kane [3] from San Francisco State University. In a 2014 paper titled A Necro-Biological Explanation For The Fermi Paradox, Kane argued that the reasons extra-terrestrials hadn’t visited us on Earth, is essentially they were zombies unable to leave whichever cosmic body they resided upon.

Kane speculated that given the number of planets and other galaxies (in relative terms) that are nearby to us, that some of them, statistically speaking should have life on them, and in turn, we should have had some indication of this, either through visitation or some other means of definite communication.

He would then look at the multiple plagues and global illnesses that have overtaken the populations throughout history on Earth. This would include how quickly such disease spread. And, in turn, the fatal consequences to huge portions of the respective populations. Using something similar to the Drake Equation he then projected how many planets in our part of the cosmos would have had similar developments. He theorized, given the statistical probability of a race somewhere in the cosmos almost certainly having conquered space and managed to venture out into it, that had they had the unfortunate timing of landing on a planet amid one outbreak or another, they could have fallen victim to such “plagues”. In turn, is the possibility of such space travelers inadvertently passing such viruses onto another planet. And then another planet. And so on.

It is an interesting theory if a little far-fetched for some. Perhaps, however, it is a theory worth bearing in mind, if only the basis of it. Particularly when you look to the roots of such mysticism on Earth.

Depiction of zombies roaming the city

Depiction of zombies roaming the city

Zombies And Their Tribal Roots

Many native tribes of Africa, particularly in the west of the continent, practice Voodoo. This would include conjuring up the dead and turning them into zombies. This practice goes back to antiquity. Furthermore, their creation stories state that knowledge of such practices came from “the gods!” To them, it isn’t “magic” or “the occult” but a more religious, spiritual practice.

While many see these claims as legend or folklore, the tribes themselves treat them as fact. Many Native American tribes and many descendants of indigenous peoples of the South Americas do likewise. Many in the ancient astronaut community will tell you these “gods” were extra-terrestrial.

Was the practice of turning someone into a “zombie” an ancient “science” passed on from space-travelers in pre-history? It seems a bizarre thing to learn from an allegedly advanced civilization, no doubt. Or might there have been some misinterpretation or misuse of such a knowledge over the many centuries since?

As the slave trade took hold, many African men and women, along with their religious practices, were ripped from their homelands and transporting to the West Indies, in particular, Haiti, where belief and practice of such ritual is still widespread today. Ultimately, as the slave trade reached the shores of what would become the United States, so did such ancient practices. Perhaps it is most associated today with the American South, most prominently in New Orleans, Louisiana. You can, however, find practitioners and followers of the religion all over the US, and indeed the world.

Zora Neal Hurston, “Zombies Are In Haiti!”

Respected author, Zora Neal Hurston very much believes in zombies. She would state publicly that she knew there were “zombies in Haiti. People have been called back from the dead!” [4] Hurston’s claim stems from her time studying Hoodoo in Haiti. After observing from afar, she would receive an invite from a Hoodoo priest to watch the rituals up close.

Hurston, at the time, was one of the few academics who treated the idea of Voodoo and Hoodoo with much more respect than most in the mainstream. Perhaps because of this, Hurston soon built up trust with the priests. She would even undergo and take part in several rituals herself.

Hurston would eventually meet a woman named, Felicia Felix-Mentor. At least that was her name when alive. She was, according to the Hoodoo priest, a zombie who they had “risen from the grave”. In her 1938 book “Tell My Horse” she would speak of the encounter in detail. She would describe the incident taking place in the “strong sunlight of a hospital yard” and of how she “listened to the broken noises in its throat!”

Hurston would continue to tell how the “sight was dreadful”. And of how disturbing the “blank face with the dead eyes” was to look at. Furthermore, underneath the eyelids were complete white “as if they had been burned with acid!” She would further claim, that as well as seeing the events, the authenticity was “vouched for by the highest authority!” You would think, a respected person like Hurston would have had more to lose than gain by speaking so openly.

You can check out the video below which features Hurston speaking a little more about the experience.

The Claims of Wade Davis

Another academic, ethnobotanist, Wade Davis, who learned his craft at Harvard University no less, would claim in 1983 to have unlocked the secret to how the Haitians create zombies. [5] Davis would spend several years in the country. And after gaining their trust learned from “Hoodoo men” the secret mixes they used to create such a state.  He would claim that tetrodotoxins from the puffer fish was the common key ingredient. Tetrodotoxins have hallucinogenic properties and, in large enough doses can indeed create a “zombie-like” appearance. Davis would also state that this mixture was often used to “inject criminals” with in ancient times. This would turn them into zombies and effectively was a death sentence.

Furthermore, Davis states that he has created a mixture that would have such an effect on anyone exposed to it. Whether this creation would be of interest to the United States government is up for debate. Many dismiss his work, although not as widely as some would have you believe. For as many who dismiss his theories, an equal amount will defend them.

It would certainly appear there is more to study in relation to zombies. What they might be. If, how, and when they arrive. And just what truth about such things is hiding among the myths, legends, and folklore of antiquity.

The short video below features Davis speaking about his work in a little more detail.


1 Exclusive: The Pentagon Has a Plan to Stop the Zombie Apocalypse. Seriously., Gordon Lubold, Foreign Policy, May 13th, 2014
2 “Zombie Virus” Possible via Rabies-Flu Hybrid?, Ker Than, National Geographic News, October 27th, 2010
3 A Necro-Biological Explanation for the Fermi Paradox, Stephen R. Kane and Franck Zelziz
4 Zora Neale Hurston, Zombie Hunter, Kelly Faircloth, Gizmodo, July 23rd, 2011
5 The ethnobiology of the Haitian zombie, E. W. Davis, National Library of Medicine (1983)

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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