John F Kennedy’s Mistress Reveals Startling Facts in New Book
Theorists believe Lee Oswald did not act alonewikimedia commons

If you have ever wondered why Americans are obsessed with conspiracy theories it's due to their culture dating back hundreds of years.

America was founded on conspiracies being hatched by politicians in London to take away liberties of people, according to Britain's leading conspiracy theory expert.

Professor Sir Richard Evans of the University of Cambridge, who is leading a research project due to be published in 2017, told the Hay Festival: "Conspiracy theories are very widespread in the United States. It seems to me that they are more widespread than in other countries.

"There is an argument that conspiracy theories are built into American culture because that is how America started. The United States was founded on conspiracy theories that the London government was conspiring to deprive America of their liberties."

His research also goes contrary to belief that the internet is the main cause for the proliferation of conspiracy theories.

He cites an array of conspiracy theories in the United States including John F Kennedy's assassination in 1963. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, a clear majority of Americans (61%) believe others besides Lee Harvey Oswald were involved. This percentage, however, has now been reduced since the rise of the internet.

"There is now a lot more scepticism," Evan said.

Other theories include the 9/11 attacks and campaigns to prove that President Obama was not American. He said that opinion polls recorded 28% of Republicans believed the President was the Antichrist, along with 6% of Democrats.

Conspiracies, he said, tended to proliferate after traumatic incidents, such as the disappearance of missing MH370 this year. The McCarthy "witch-hunts" against communist sympathisers followed the end of the Second World War and had taken on "a life of their own" were another example.

He also pointed out that while in earlier financial crises, conspiracy theories were directed at big business, during the recent crisis, anger and theories had been aimed at governments.

"In the late 19th century conspiracy theories were directed against big business and cartels", he said.

"This did not happen so much in the recent economic crisis where conspiracy theories have been targeted much more at government. Is it because governments play a much bigger role in our lives than they did a century ago?"

The Top 10 World's Most Enduring Conspiracy Theories

1) 9/11 Attacks 'Cover-Up' – In 2006 a poll found 42% of Americans believed the government and the 9/11 commission "concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence" that contradicts their official explanation of the September 11th attacks.

2) John F Kennedy Assassination – The president was assassinated on 22 November 1963. He was shot by two bullets – one in the head and one in the neck – while in an open-topped limo in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with killing him. A 2003 ABC News poll found that 70% of Americans believe Kennedy's death was the result of a broader plot.

3) Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have been married, or so says the Gnostic Gospel of Philip. Mary Magdalene, who is referred to as Jesus 'koinonos', a Greek term for "companion" or "partner," is depicted as being closer to Jesus than any other apostle.

4) Holocaust - Revisionists continue to claim that nearly six million Jews were not killed by Nazis during the Holocaust.

5) Moon Landings Were Faked – Doubters say Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin acted out the landings in a secret film set as part of the the U.S. government desperate move to beat the Russians in the space race. Photos and videos of the Apollo missions were only available through NASA. A 1999 Gallup poll showed 6% of Americans said they thought the lunar landings were fake, and 5% were undecided.

6) Area 51 and Aliens - Conspiracy theorists believe that the remains of crashed UFO spacecrafts are stored at Area 51, an Air Force base about 150 miles from Las Vegas, where government scientists' reverse-engineer' the aliens' highly advanced technology. Supposedly, UFOs were sighted in the area and come from a testimony from a retired Army colonel who says he was given access to extraterrestrial materials gathered from an alien spacecraft that crashed in Roswell, N.M.

7) CIA and AIDS - Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first reported the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1981, rumours have persisted that the deadly virus was created by the CIA to wipe out homosexuals and African Americans. South African President Thabo Mbeki once supported the theory and disputed scientific claims that the virus originated in Africa and accusing the U.S. government of manufacturing the disease in military labs. Most members of the scientific community, however, believe the virus was passed from monkeys to humans some time during the 1930s.

8) Global Warming - Al Gore brought it to the world's stage but many theorists believe this to be a ruse in order to control the populations way of life, raise taxes and intended to lead to more controlling, tyrannical government.

9) Death of Princess Diana - Theorists claimed the Princess was murdered by the Royal Family to stop Diana from releasing embarrassing and damaging information about ex-husband, Prince Charles. In 2013, Scotland Yard announced that it was reopening the case of Diana's death on the basis of a claim that the fatal car accident was set up by the British Special Forces. Her death has been ruled as an accident by the British and French governments, conspiracy theories that Diana was killed to be silenced, still remains.

10) Paul McCartney is Dead - Conspiracy-minded Beatlemaniacs say, Paul McCartney secretly died in 1966. Theorists claim the other Beatles covered up his death and hid clues within their music including in albums — hiring someone who looked like him, sang like him, and had the same happy personality. In the song "Taxman," George Harrison gave his "advice for those who die," apparently meaning Paul. The entire Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album is said to be awash with Paul-is-dead clues.