Conspiracy Corner – Iranian Space Monkey

Is there any better combination of words than “Space Monkey?” I can’t help but picture an imaginary Brad Pitt utter those words, such is the joy “space monkey”, as a phrase, gives me.

Space monkeys is what I was all about this morning, specifically the Iranian variety (although I don’t believe Iran has any indigenous monkeys, space-variety or otherwise), which may, or may not, have been on a round trip through the outer atmosphere of the Earth.

The issue can be illustrated thusly. This is a space monkey before heading out on a spot of space flight:


This is a space monkey after said flight.


Spot the difference?

What happened to the space monkey?

To my mind there are at least six possibilities:

  1. There was a successful launch, the monkey survived and returned to Earth but there was a photo mix-up (this is quite possible – five monkeys were rumoured to have been trained for space flight – and this is the official position of Iran).
  2. There was a successful launch but the monkey died before returning to Earth; Iran’s space agency, however, wanted to suggest it returned to Earth alive. If this is the case we have a relatively minor conspiracy on our hands.
  3. The launch was unsuccessful launch and the monkey died – conspiracy
  4. The launch was successful launch but the monkey did not go – conspiracy (but an unlikely one since you then have to spin a story as to how the Iranian spaceflight agency managed to cock up the photos).
  5. There was no launch at all – a major conspiracy but also an unlikely one.
  6. There is no such place as Iran (like the other pseudo-country, Belgium, or the pseudo-state of the US, Idaho.

More thoughts on the matter below (warning: this segment was literally phoned in, so the audio quality is a little shoddy and my thoughts, when transmitted by phone, always seem a little more scattered than usual).

About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.

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