Brad Meltzer’s Decoded
The Lincoln Assassination
Best-selling author Brad Meltzer and his Decoded team examine claims that John Wilkes Booth actually escaped to freedom after murdering President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. The "official" version of events says federal agents cornered Booth and killed him just days after the assassination. But Brad and the team uncover glaring inconsistencies in that 150-year-old account: Why did the authorities hide Booth's body from public view? Why was Booth autopsy's conducted in complete secrecy in the cramped confines of an ironclad gunboat? Searching for answers to these and other troubling questions, the team finds startling evidence that strongly suggests Booth may indeed have lived into old age without ever facing punishment for his crime.
April 14, 1865--Actor John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln in the back of the head at a Washington theater. Days later, Wilkes died in a standoff, and eventually, eight Southern sympathizers were tried for conspiracy. This much we know to be true. But many conspiracy theories arose--pointing to the Confederacy, the Union, and even the Catholic Church! Once again, new theories have sprung up, based on recently found documents and forensic technology. Historian Edward Steers Jr. connects Booth to the Confederate Secret Service in Montreal, which indirectly links him to Jefferson Davis and the Confederate government; while biographer Charles Higham places Booth in a larger conspiracy. Historians, biographers, and researchers, who take issue with Steers and Higham, counter their arguments here.
A mysterious, stark terrain, 90 miles north of Las Vegas, goes by many names: The Box, Paradise Ranch, Groom Lake, Watertown Strip, and Dreamland. But most refer to the region as Area 51. Since the late 1950s, an array of UFO sightings has been reported above its skies. In 1989, revelations of Las Vegas resident Bob Lazar brought Area 51 to national attention. Lazar claimed to possess amazing inside information, but he wasn't the first to state that something strange was going on. Those who discount Lazar's theories think the government kept its activities from the general public for a more plausible reason. The base, built at the Cold War's height, housed testing of cutting-edge aviation technology. The cloak of secrecy was to keep the Soviet Union in the dark, not the American public, and experts expostulate that the government perpetuated these theories to disguise its real activities.
What came down in the forest outside the sleepy hamlet of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania on December 9, 1965? Some residents claimed to see an acorn-shaped metal object with strange, hieroglyphic writing on its side, half-buried on the forest floor. Astronomer Von Del Chamberlain wrote that the Kecksburg object was a meteorite. NASA consultant James Oberg theorized that it was a failed Russian probe, but now also thinks it was probably a meteorite. Often called the "Pennsylvania Roswell" in UFO circles, the debate raged until, in late December 2003, NASA finally released 39 pages of material and the Air Force released 2,800 pages on the case from its files. The only thing the government documents conclusively prove is that the object was not a Russian probe. But for UFO enthusiasts and researchers, many questions remain unanswered.
Majestic Twelve: UFO Cover-Up
What really happened in Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947? Did a flying saucer crash in the vast desert scrubland? The initial Army Air Force press release claimed they had recovered a flying disk. But a day later, the story dramatically changed--now they called it a weather balloon! In 1987, secret documents surfaced indicating the existence of the "Majestic 12"--an elite group of scientists and military and intelligence officials, allegedly brought together by President Harry Truman. Did the MJ-12 truly exist? If so, did these men forever trivialize the most talked-about UFO event in history, as well as all UFO sightings thereafter?
Time Beings: Extreme Time Travel Conspiracies
This special explores the evidence, questions, conspiracies, and eyewitness accounts surrounding the theories of time travel that have captivated the world.
The Dark Files
An investigative special chronicling former CIA operative Barry Eisler, journalist Steve Volk, and filmmaker Chris Garetano's exploration into the conspiracies and accusations that surround an abandoned military base known as Camp Hero.