False Flags: Conspiracy Theory Or Reality?

First Published: September 3, 2016 Last updated: April 2nd, 2018 Written by Oliver Grant Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes 2 comments

If you’ve just fallen into the conspiracy theory rabbit hole, chances are, you won’t be too long down there before you bump into the term false flag. Most likely in the context of terror attacks that have taken place in recent years — the 9/11 atrocity chief among them.

What does the term false flag mean?

Essentially, a false flag attack is a government-directed military operation to stage an attack on its own side and blame it on an enemy so the government can declare they’re fully justified in attacking that enemy.

False Flag intro artwork featuring the 9/11 attack.

False Flag intro artwork featuring the 9/11 attack.

Historian and author Richard Dolan, who’s shortly to publish A History of False Flag Operations offers this more contemporary definition:

“…a false flag is an act of deception designed to elicit fear or anger from a target audience (that usually means you), with the aim of justifying actions (wars, repressive laws, etc.) that could never otherwise be justified. And of course, something which is blamed on another party. These days, that usually means ‘terrorists’ or certain other nations…”

Historical Context

The term false flag actually originated centuries ago in the era of wooden warships. A ship would fly the enemy’s flag, approach an enemy vessel — seemingly as friend, not a foe — before engaging in battle. The flag wasn’t ‘true’, so was deemed ‘false’.

The tactic didn’t sink into the depths of history along with wooden ships, though. Far from it. False flag attacks have been perpetrated throughout the intervening centuries, becoming ever more sophisticated, particularly since World War One.

Take the Gleiwitz incident, for example. On 31st August 1939, seven German SS officers posing as Polish partisans took over a German radio station in Gleiwitz… broadcast an anti-German message in Polish… then departed, leaving behind a dead Pole as evidence of who did it. Only, the Pole was a German the Gestapo had arrested due to his Polish sympathies and then murdered and dressed up to look like a Polish saboteur. The incident was used by the Nazis to justify invading Poland — which they did the very next day. [source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/6106566/World-War-IIs-first-victim.html]

Yet false flag attacks aren’t the preserve of evil regimes. The U.S.A. has the Gulf of Tonkin incident blotting its war record in Vietnam. The Americans claimed that on August 2nd 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, whilst on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin, had exchanged fire with three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats. They also claimed that a second naval engagement occurred on August 4th.

The incident led to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in Congress, giving legal justification for the U.S. to ramp up its direct military involvement in the war. However, in 2003 Robert McNamara, the U.S. Secretary of Defense in ’64 admitted that the August 2nd encounter happened but with ‘no U.S. response’ and the one on August 4th never happened at all.:

VIDEO: Gulf of Tonkin: McNamara admits It didn’t happen.

Then there was Operation Northwoods. Unclassified Top Secret documents released in 1997 prove that in 1962, the U.S. military hatched a plan to have the CIA commit acts of terrorism against American targets and blame the Cubans so as to justify going to war with them. (Fidel Castro’s communist regime had recently taken power.) [source: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/20010430/northwoods.pdf]

James Bamford’s book about the operation, A Pretext For War, states that the plan involved an American airliner full of CIA operatives posing as college students taking off in Florida… being switched en route with an identical but empty, remotely piloted airliner… and that plane, after flying across Cuba and emitting a false pre-recorded “Help, we’re being shot at!” distress call, being remotely exploded over the Caribbean Sea. The objective? Accuse Castro of murdering a planeload of American students — which, of course, didn’t exist.

VIDEO: Operation Northwoods

Although signed off by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, fortunately — and sanely — the plan, which also included blowing up a U.S. ship and bringing terrorism to U.S. cities, was rejected by President John F. Kennedy. But what if, instead of the liberal Kennedy, the plan had been presented to a much more right-wing, hawkish president? Could it have been sanctioned and enacted?

Unfortunately — tragically — the 9/11 plot, also involving airliner hijacking was sanctioned by someone somewhere in authority, resulting in 2,996 deaths. [source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/911-death-statistics]

The above are three well-known, well-documented false flag operations designed to start or escalate a war with a country. But the tactic is proven to be highly adaptable, and in more recent decades it’s morphed into a very sophisticated, multi-purpose weapon of mass deception, targeting nations, groups, ideologies and individuals.

The Mother Of Them All: 9/11

Details of what happened before, during, and after the terror attacks of 9th September, 2001 have been analysed and debated extensively over the last 15 years by numerous researchers and authors, many of whom have concluded that a large body of evidence points to 9/11 being a false flag — an ‘inside job’, as some say. You may have come across some of this analysis and debate, yourself; it’s hard not to bump into it online.

Image showing the WTC falling.

Image showing the WTC falling.

You may have been engaged by it or perhaps dismissed it as just another nutty conspiracy theory.

That body of evidence is so big and so multi-faceted that it falls outside the scope of this article. But should you wish to delve into it, you could visit ‘9/11 Truth’ websites where architects, engineers, pilots, fire fighters and scholars use their professional expertise to analyse the available evidence:

You may be one of the many people with concerns about 9/11 and its consequences but cannot bring yourself to examine or give credence to the extensive body of evidence supporting a false flag narrative; you prefer to stick with the official narrative perpetuated in the mainstream media, perhaps because you simply cannot get your mind to accept that a government would commit such a heinous act against its own people. But it appears that, as word gets around online, increasing numbers are open to a false-flag narrative. [source: http://www.rethink911.org/news/new-poll-finds-most-americans-open-to-alternative-911-theories]

The experts referenced above are concerned principally with analysing what happened and how; answering questions such as: Could the hijackers have had the skills to fly the airliners and hit their targets? Could the fires have burned hot enough to melt the Twin Towers’ steel framework? And how could the third tower, World Trade Center 7, have collapsed without it being hit by an airliner? What’s easier to shed light on here than the ‘What happened?’ and ‘How did it happen?’ questions is the ‘WHY did it happen?’ question.

The crux of the debate is that the official narrative, promoted by the mainstream media, asserts that 9/11 was perpetrated by Islamist terror network al-Qaeda under the leadership of Osama bin Laden for reasons that include retaliation for sanctions imposed on Iraq, the U.S.’s military presence in Saudi Arabia and its support of Israel.

The alternative narrative suggests that it was a false flag attack perpetrated by a covert cabal of government, military, intelligence, and corporate personnel from the U.S.A., Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Why? For what possible reasons? A pretext for military and political intervention in the Middle East, destabilising the region; for instigating the global and perpetual War on Terror against any enemy, foreign or domestic; for increasing U.S. Homeland Security’s infringement of civil liberties; and for furthering a long-term objective of worldwide military domination. 

When Will It All End?

Since 9/11 there’s been a series of mass-casualty attacks, a number of which have thrown up evidence of a false flag. For instance, the Connecticut Sandy Hook school massacre in 2012, the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, and the Paris Charlie Hebdo attack in 2015.

Whatever our personal view of 9/11 may be — whether we hold to the official narrative or the alternative narrative or somewhere in-between – false flags deeply affect our way of thinking and how we view groups of people, other nations, geopolitics and how the world really works. And, with the current mayhem in the Middle East — barbarous Islamic State, ongoing wars, mass refugee migration, etc. — it would seem that’s going to continue for a long time yet. In the words of former U.S. President George W. Bush in his address to Congress and the nation on 20th September 2001.

“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

About Oliver Grant

Oliver Grant used to be a so-called Mad Man. Meaning he used to work in Advertising. However, he gave up all that corporate malarkey and is now a freelance writer. Six years ago he fell down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole and hasn’t been seen since, but he does send messages and musings about what he finds down there. Seriously though, his years of research and reading equip him well to write informative and accessible articles for UFOinsight.com on a variety of subjects — from ufology to exopolitics to false flags to climate manipulation. And more besides.

Oliver has written a total of 14 articles for UFO Insight. You can contact Oliver via email.


  • Pedro Hand says:

    This is foolishness at its worst. Please consider the possibility of growing up and thinking like an intelligent adult!

  • Julie Diligent says:

    Pedro, please consider the possibility of thinking and commenting with reasoned argument rather than simple ad hominem attack.

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