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Bound By Darkness

by:Joshua

T’was the eve of Halloween, the sky was covered with clouds, blocking out the crescent moon. The trees had shed all their leaves, standing bare against the cold wind. The yellow streetlights had cast their gaze around the silent street, leaving the shadows of the autumn trees to look like hands emerging from the depths of hades, waiting for an opportunity to drag you with them. The clouds began to rumble and the wind wailed like a banshee. At that moment, the sky split as lightning tore across it. Devilish thunder accompanied the lightning just seconds later. 

Damien who was asleep in his bed, jerked awake as the thunder rumbled in the night sky. His heart, pounding so hard he could feel the pulse in his throat. He sat upright in a cold sweat and reached for the bottle on his nightstand. As he quenched his thirst, his phone began vibrating viciously. It was his girlfriend Anna calling him. They had been dating for a while now but had known each other since they were children. As the light from the phone hit his eyes, he squinted. The darkness had not yet left his eyes. He picked up the phone and her soothing voice calmed him down instantaneously. She asked him if he had left home yet. They had planned to roam around together on Halloween eve, as it would be one of the few chances they would get to spend together before they left for college in the summer. He replied with his rough but gentle voice, “Sorry, I fell asleep. I’ll be there to pick you up in 10 minutes”. He told her he loved her and got up to get dressed. 

He placed his feet onto the cold floor and stood up. The wood underneath creaked eerily. The rains had turned the entire house into a creaking wonderland and the sound always made him uncomfortable. Switching on the lamp by the corner, he stood in front of the dusky framed mirror and fixed his dark brown hair. His purple eyes gleamed through the dull light the lamp gave off. He put on a pair of torn jeans and wore the T-shirt that Anna had given him for his birthday. Leaving the room, he pulled his leather jacket off the back of the door and snuck out of the creaking house, and made his way towards Anna’s house. She lived few blocks away, in a small and dingy-looking house. It was just her and her dad. 

Damien walked to her front door and before he could knock, she had opened the door and flung herself into his arms. The cold weather made his warmth more prominent and comfortable. He was happy to see her. He looked into her blue-ish green eyes and saw her soul. Her golden-brown hair fell back as she looked up to see his face, revealing her captivating smile. She was everything he was not. She was clumsy and always had a smile on her face, even through the tough times. Her laugh was beautiful and she danced her worries away, like a graceful swan surrounded by a multitude of lotuses. But alas, this would be the last time he felt her happiness, for the night ahead was not going to be a pleasant one.

They began to walk down the street towards the lake, where they always sat down and stared at the sky while talking about nothing and everything. The cold wind pushed them closer to each other. The wind had an uncomfortable feel to it, like as if it had a presence of its own. The yellow-lit streetlight had begun to flicker and slowly take a reddish hue. The feeling of being watched only grew more intense as time passed. Carved pumpkins, that were placed outside the doors of the many houses on the street began to turn towards our young couple. The carvings on the pumpkins lit up as if they were on fire but they weren’t burning. Damien held Anna’s hand firmly and they started running towards his house. The ominous presence seemed to follow them or rather, it never left them. 

The thing about Damien was that he always felt out of place. Like every other teenager, he felt that there was something fundamentally wrong with him. Every Halloween, he felt like there was something inside him. No, he knew there was something that was trying to come outside and every year, the presence only grew stronger. He would call Anna up and listen to her melodious voice, which calmed him down to a point where his fears could no longer reach him…

As they ran for his house, the blood-red lights went off. The darkness of the night had surrounded them and all the pumpkins were facing them. One by one, all the pumpkins simmered down. Damien knew that this time, nothing was going to stop the presence, it overpowered him…

It took over his will while Anna took few steps back in fear… She could hear whispers around her, like an enchantment, slowly growing louder and louder until it was unbearable. She fell to the ground, holding her hands against her ears to keep them from bursting.

The whispers suddenly stopped, Damien started walking towards her and picked her up, and waited until she could steady herself. The crescent moon began to peek through the clouds, shining onto our couple. Damien moved his hand upwards slowly like he was making for her cheek but at that moment, he stabbed her through the chest, his hand emerging from her back, with her beating heart in his palm. Anna was losing her strength and as the moonlight fell on Damien’s face, she looked into his eyes, but they weren’t purple anymore. It was as if there had never been any eyes in there, empty, hollow… 

Damien pulled his hand out of her writhing body and watched her fall onto the ground. Her heart was still in his palm. Blood spurted out of the slowly beating heart and onto his clothes. The T-shirt she had gifted him, was now covered in her blood. Her now lifeless body started going pale as she bled out all over the moon-lit street. Her golden-brown hair, covered with her blood now had a crimson glow. Even though it was Anna who died, it was Damien who lost his heart… The clouds began to cover the night sky, hiding the crescent witness. The street lights began to glow yellow again. The presence had left him, all alone… Seeing what he had done he broke down into tears and wailed loudly. His pain was immeasurable. At that moment, the sky split as lightning tore across it and Damien woke up in his bed in a cold sweat. He looked at his hands and found no blood. He was relieved that it was all a dream and went back to sleep but… his shadow moved across the wall and onto the ceiling, covering it in its darkness and staring at Damien with a devilish grin…

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Pronounsville

by:Tharun

There once lived a people, in a quaint little town. Called by the name Pronounsville, on no map could the place be found. The people couldn’t care less about, because neither was anyone moving in and nor anyone moving out.

Every facility here was common for all, be it the gym, the school, or the newly opened mall. The people of Pronounsville were an interesting lot. “Our is the mechanic, sturdy and tall.”, shouted out Them, spouse to It and chairperson at the Pronounsville Town Hall.

“Nothing in this town is owned, yet nothing is free ”, is the motto every Provillian follows to the T. Everyone looks out for Eachother, partially because Eachother makes Everyone’s heartbeat with glee. “Please do not mistake us for communists!”, peeped out Who, trying a hand at comedy.

But just as every happy story has to come to a close, the people of Pronounsville were leading down a rocky road. Out of nowhere, Us, the gatekeeper of the town heard a knock on the door. “Can I get your name to alert the chairperson?”, asked Us with an unassuming force. “The name is I. That’d do the job I suppose.”

“Pronounsville is a place unknown to most and visited by none”, said a puzzled Them, trying to put together one and one. “We have our own means and sources to get the job done.” We? “Yes of course! It’s not just I who’s come. Along with I are Me and Myself, and we’re here to have some fun.”

“The town’s motto is quite nice and sweet. But if I were, to be honest, this motto has become slightly obsolete.” For the first time ever, the Provillians were outraged and fuming with heat. “Please do not get offended, by all of this nothing personal do we mean. With Me in town, I (and) Myself will spruce things up and get Provillians back on their own two feet!” 

As naive as they come, Provillians entrusted the trio to complete the task. With no one to object and no one to ask, Me, Myself, and I tore the town apart. Now nothing was common and nothing was shared, “mine is mine and yours is yours” was the new motto to chant.

Soon enough Pronounsville fell out of rhyme.

I was oblivious.

Nothing mattered to Me.

There wasn’t anyone but Myself to blame. In the process of playing with Prounsville’s future, I had forgotten the name of the game.

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Making Meaning Out Of Madness

by:Harika,Netra and Sakshi

In recent years, conspiracy theories have been running rampant (thanks to WhatsApp university, viral Facebook, and blush-pink Instagram posts). We have all talked or heard about the famous myths surrounding the Holocaust, the CIA’s hand in JFK’s assassination, or 9/11 being an inside job and numerous other theories. We even made conspiracy theories out of fictional stories of cartoons and TV shows be it ‘Scooby Doo’, ‘Stranger Things’ or any other Alfred Hitchcock movie. Time and again, people have proven to love picking up clues, recognizing patterns, figuring out things for themselves, and ultimately enjoying the thrill that conspiracy theories have to offer. But is there more to it? Weaving conspiracy theories into real-life events makes them even more deceptive as they are all strung together in a dramatic and fictional manner. So, in some instances, these theories might make sense. But when you dig deeper, you begin noticing the lack of consistency and fact-based proof. And no, lack of proof shouldn’t be taken as evidence for the conspiracy. That’s the whole point. So what drives people to believe these poxy explanations or theories for such significant events? 

Conspiracy theories often take flight during unsettling times, for instance in a pandemic, after a terrorist attack, or during an election in a politically divided nation. It is natural and understandable to feel angry, frustrated, or saddened by these agonizing situations which lead people to find alternative ways to make sense of the situation. When people feel threatened and out of control, it’s natural to want to feel more control and bring order to the randomness. By cooking up a conspiracy theory, people try to understand the events and alleviate some uncertainty and anxiety. However, there’s more to conspiracy theories that we just need to make sense of.

If such theories are captivating and everyone wants to throw in their two cents, is everyone vulnerable to conspiratorial thinking? Not necessarily. It’s interesting to know that the people who believe in them have certain cognitive styles and personality traits. 

Researchers have found that people who believe in conspiracy theories tend to show characteristics such as eccentricity, narcissism, not being open to new experiences, low trust in others, a stronger need to feel special, a strong belief that the world is a dangerous place, and figuring out meaningful patterns when none exist. In a world where you are always hustling and battling for your position on the top of the rat race, it is logical to feel the want of being special which explains the increased belief of people in such theories. The higher the need to feel special and unique, the more likely a person is to believe in a conspiracy theory.

Just like how you need to plant a seed to grow a tree, you need to plant suspicion to build a conspiracy theory. Human minds seem to be prone to suspicious thoughts and paranoia which is considered to be an important evolutionary advantage. The paranoia that drives individuals to constantly scan the world for danger and suspect the worst of others probably provided a survival edge for humans.

So how do we plant this suspicion? 

There’s a mathematical explanation stating that any large structure will implicitly contain patterns if you pay attention. And here is where illusory pattern perception comes into play. Most of us, consciously or otherwise, have fallen prey to illusory pattern perception at least once in our lives. In my case, I’ve been going to sleep facing my left side for the past few days as I noticed that I tend to wake up earlier if I slept that way. There’s no logical reason behind that, except that, because it worked too often it felt like a pattern. Thus my mind unconsciously believed in this cooked-up theory of going to sleep facing my left side.

Pattern perception is the ability to perceive patterns and form meaningful connections between stimuli in our environment. These patterns can be real or something spun up by our creativity. While most of us seldom make huge decisions based on such patterns, we tend to take that direction in uncertain and desperate situations. In the case of conspiracy theories, conspiracy theorists carefully craft these theories, specifically highlighting these patterns. The more you think about these patterns, the more believable they start to sound and in no time you find yourself leaning further towards a claim that has no logical proof whatsoever. 

(Chuck E cheese conspiracy theory would be a great example if the article isn’t long already)

Pattern perception, despite being evolutionarily advantageous, ends up being a huge setback when unable to differentiate between real and illusory patterns.

But to talk about these particular traits and stimuli that drive people into believing in conspiracy theories, they can be broadly classified into three motives- epistemic, social, and existential.

The epistemic motive categorically deals with seeking causal explanations to something unanswered or uncertain. These explanations serve the need for people to feel safe and secure in their environment, giving them a sense of control. A related property is that they can protect cherished beliefs. The belief that vaccination is harmful or that climate change is a trivial concern falls under this category.

The social motive, on the other hand, is a consequence of our tribe mentality. We may find a social connection with like-minded people by being part of a community of believers. We also tend to identify with ideas held by those we find similar to us or feel obligated to agree with baseless beliefs to maintain a positive self-image in a group.

The existential motive justifies the behavior of folks accepting theories as a compensatory satisfaction when their needs are threatened. This motive is predominant in situations where people feel they have a lack of sociopolitical control or psychological empowerment. For example, in the conspiracy surrounding the 2020 US presidential elections, Trump supporters were overwhelmed when he lost the election. Fearing financial and social vulnerability, they endorsed theories that made them feel more comfortable.

Conspiracy theories are hardly based on facts, rather, they serve the purpose of confirming things we already believe in. Illusory pattern perception is one of the tools used in crafting these theories, in addition, theorists often build gripping narratives centered around you, the protagonist bound to propagating the truth, and the other believers play mentors and guide you through your journey. This storyline is one of the principal methods used by theorists to get you to join communities of believers. When people get too submerged in these stories, existing shreds of evidence become part of the conspiracy theories themselves. 

While the conspiracy theorists are responsible for conceiving an alluring and captive story, the internet promotes them. By prioritizing the most liked and shared posts, baseless theories end up being circulated uncontrollably.

Although it is difficult to keep calm during times of uncertainty, here are a few ways to avoid falling for conspiracy theories. Turn off the news, gadgets, or whatever is making you anxious. Stay away from social media or anything that repeatedly brings up concerning situations. Closely examine evidence and consciously tell yourself to think critically. Sometimes, even changing your perspective can help better your anxiety. Try to look at things more positively and visualize positive outcomes.

Last but not least, take good care of yourself. Remind yourself that your life lies in your hands and you’re the only person with actual control over yourself. 

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Mandela Effect

by:Akhil,Vaishnavi and Keerthana

I absolutely love conspiracy theories and everything to do with them. Sometimes they’re over-the-top crazy theories, and sometimes they actually make sense. But in the end, they are the gateways to imaginative and realistic stories that may be real. 

One of my favourite personal conspiracy theories is about the Mandela effect. 

The Mandela effect is a concept in which people, with no relation to each other, believe that a particular event transpired when it actually never did. 

An easier way of explaining the theory is implying that certain people share a memory of an instance that didn’t occur or occurred differently than how they actually remember it in their minds.     

The Mandela effect gets its name from an event in 2013 following the passing of world-renowned leader Nelson Mandela. During this time, many people believed that Nelson Mandela had already passed away in jail in 1980 despite him living on for another few years. The kick here is that the group of people that believed he was dead from 1980 were unrelated and had never met before. 

How then did all these unrelated people share a similar memory that had never happened? False memories?

Ok, let us assume some of them did have false memories of the event. But most of them went on to vividly describe the memorial service for Nelson Mandela and a speech given by his wife during his funeral. How could these then be false memories when each one of them recounted similar events that never transpired?

My conspiracy theory is that the Mandela effect is real (like literally!) and is not a mere play-of-the-mind. Many speculations (crazy people like me) support my stance, and I’ll be exploring the three most feasible and believable of the lot. 

The most appropriate explanation for the Mandela effect is the existence of alternate realities. To be more specific, parallel universes. The scientific approach to this concept is a wary and tiring path to tread, so I ask you this. 

Do you really believe we are the only planet blessed with life in this universe? Is there not a minute chance that there is one more lifeform out there? Is our universe the only one to exist? When we can imagine such a vast nature for the universe, then why not a parallel one? 

Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that parallel universes exist, let’s explore how it actually works.

Basically, events transpire differently in our parallel universes. Different decisions lead to different outcomes and therefore lead to different realities. Like what if Hitler had actually won? That’s definitely not a reality I want to remember. So, sometimes discrepancies occur when these parallel universes accidentally spill into our reality. What causes these accidental merges? I don’t know. But are you seriously going to tell me that everything that has happened in history till now was supposed to be precisely that way? I don’t believe that. A small change anywhere in the past could cause changes in the future, and it would become so different that it would have to exist separately as an entirely new entity. 

That is why parallel universes, although with no proof of existence, are such a convincing way of explaining the Mandela effect. 

Next in line, we have an all-time favorite that is absolutely bonkers but also believable. Time travel.

The concept of time travel is reasonably straightforward. If someone traveled through time to the past or the future and changed the events of what had occurred or what was supposed to occur, the history of that reality would change. 

This concept actually ties into our previous claim of parallel universes. But here, instead of looking at reality like separate lines of existence, there is only one reality with an uncountable number of branches. Each branch, representing a change in that reality, would eventually grow into its own reality with branches of its own.  

Explained well by movies like Back To The Future and Tenet and novels like A Wrinkle in Time and The Time Machine, time travel caused different events to transpire in a particular reality. These events resulted in the creation of new realities. The interaction between these various realities is what causes the Mandela effect. 

In an iconic scene in the movie Star Wars, the character Darth Vader reveals that he is the father of Luke Skywalker to Luke himself. The original line goes, “No, I am your father.”, whereas most of the fanbase remembers the line as “Luke, I am your father.”. The fanbase swore that the line began with the word Luke, but on rewatching the film are bewildered to find out that that is not the case. They even found merchandise as evidence that supported their view, but it was never proven.  

This is a small but plausible example to prove the Mandela effect through the merging of realities.

Finally, the theory that even I would say is a bit far-fetched is the ideology that we are all living in a real-life simulation. 

Two factors question this theory but don’t disprove it. First, it would mean that everything we do to the smallest detail, like dropping a spoon, is written down and executed like a movie script. This, to me, is highly unlikely. Second, for us to be in a simulation, someone would have had to create everything in our simulation and would be controlling everything. This also seems too complex to imagine as it implies someone is controlling our whole lives. 

But some factors support the theory of a simulation. The number of reports and actual captured footage that show abnormal events like people appearing out of nowhere or objects strangely duplicated could all be ‘glitches’ in the system. These could all be errors that the ‘people’ running the program forgot to correct.  

Our constant development in the type of technology that humankind can create is another factor that proves that we may be able to actually run simulations like our world in the future. So, what if we are a simulation running in the future, being controlled by really advanced beings?

The story of The Matrix explores this unique, abnormal perspective on our reality and does an admirable job of convincing the audience that we are actually living in a simulation. 

Now that I’ve finished ranting about the Mandela effect and trying to convince you that it’s true, I’d like to end this by saying that the Mandela effect, at the end of the day, is a conspiracy theory. It may be true, although it has a higher chance of not being legitimate. But there is also no proof otherwise to state that the Mandela effect is not real. 

There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be either true or false.

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CIRCE: THE CURSED GODDESS

by:Sutanuka

The first time I realized Greek mythology was something I could click with, I was fifteen. I was mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest and I came across an Anais Nin poem on Hades and Persephone. I barely remember the poem but I can recall that it revolved around Persephone’s willingness to walk down the dark and deathly – pun intended – paths of Hades’ Underworld. Those were the days where I was blissfully unaware that the pomegranate seeds were used as a symbolism for Hades’ seeds.

Fast forward to when I am nineteen and bawling my eyes out, reading Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles. The years in between have helped me shape my flimsy knowledge of Helen of Troy, Aphrodite’s vanity, and Zeus’s ever-growing family tree that is hard to keep track of unless you are sixty and a Historian, specializing in Greek Mythology. The story of Achilles and Patroclus is best described as gut-wrenchingly sad, and sprinkling in the fact that Alexander The Great believed in their love story, defying many historians who say it was platonic (cue snorts), just makes their love story even more precious.

But this is not a book review on The song of Achilles where I go on and on about Madeline Miller’s brilliant quality of making me cry every twenty pages. The trojan war is a tree that sprouts many branches – all of them equally important – and has tragedy written in every breath of it. But as tragic as the elopement of Helen and Paris was for millions of people, this is not what I want to focus on.

Under the shadows of Miller’s pen, resides Circe. Circe is a goddess, the daughter of the Sun God Helios, and a nymph. She is more of a sorceress than a goddess, but more than anything, her heart is mortal. All of this becomes achingly apparent when Helios exiles her for witchcraft. Circe has never had a life befitting that of a goddess. She was shoved and bit and ridiculed for everything because Gods are vain and ruthless and she looked like a mortal.

Circe falls in love a lot; failingly. The first man she loved was a sailor who ached in his bones, living the common life of a poor Greek. She wished upon a flower growing on the land of Kronos’s blood and turned him to a God; her first signs of witchcraft. She dreamt upon patches of grass of life of immortality filled with love but a spear pierced through that dream when that man revealed his fickleness and left her heart in the dust.

The second man was Daedalus and he was an engineer in every way that matters. Strength flowed through his fingers and Circe was drunk on it and every moment she was acutely aware of his mortality and her lack thereof. This is the love that affected me the most. Years down the path, after they went their separate ways, on a turbulent day after entertaining Medea and Jason, when Aetees comes, she talks of Daedalus and he reels back in curiosity,

                                      “He’s been dead for decades.”

I think this was the moment Circe became painfully aware of the fact that she will never die with her love, something she has been yearning, for years, that her immortality is a curse. It was definitely the moment I became painfully aware of how time slips through my hand like grains of sand.

Daedalus spent his last years in Egypt after his son Icarus went down with Apollo. But we don’t know that. Circe doesn’t know that.  What I do know is that I am on borrowed time, and I don’t have the power to shift the ropes of fate according to my wishes.

It’s a terrifying thought. Reading about how Circe suffers because of her immortality and yet it doesn’t lessen the weight of time slipping on my back. At this moment, when I am writing this, I could drop dead. In the next moment, when I am submitting this, I could drop dead. At the moment this comes out, I could drop dead and I wouldn’t have done a thousand things that I haven’t even solidified on paper. But Circe had all the time in the world and she was hurting every second.

At the end of the book, Circe denounces her immortality in favor of a life with a mortal man. She is scared and she has no knowledge of how frail mortality is, but she gives it all away so she can die. So she can live a life knowing that she lived every day on borrowed time; giving her the push.

It’s hard to say which is a bigger burden to carry – to have it all or to have it in scraps.

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Crack of Dawn

by:Siddaarth

National Anti-Terrorism Day is remembered on the 21st of May and gives us all a chance to stand together as one united front against the evil force of terrorism and tells us to salute every single life. It is also a day where we remember all those soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the protection of the Nation. 

The message of humanity and harmony must be spread widely and the Indian Government took this initiative to spread these messages across the people to emphasize the importance of combating terrorist activities. The objective of the  National Anti-Terrorism Day is to help spread the feeling of harmony, peace and unity amongst the people.

The National Anti-Terrorism Day is remembered on the 21st of May to commemorate the assassination of India’s former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi that occurred on the 21st of May 1991 at an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. During the campaign, a lady who was a suicide bomber and was a part of the terrorist organization Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE), had approached him. The lady had explosives under her clothes and approached Rajiv Gandhi with a garland and then touched his feet. She denoted the bomb as soon as she approached him and touched his feet. Around 25 people were killed along with the youngest Prime Minister in Indian history was assassinated on this day. Ever since then, the National Anti-Terrorism Day is commemorated every year to ensure that no innocent soul would be killed from any sort of terrorist activities. 

Even after the tragic assassination of Mr Rajiv Gandhi, many terrorists have tried to attack India, its various sights and its people. But we as Indians have always shown a sense of pride, belonging and a feeling of bouncing back from any sort of difficult situation. After the 1991 assassination, India faced many such acts of terrorism on its soil like the 1993 blasts in Bombay in which 13 locations across Bombay were bombed and around 260 people were killed. The terrorist groups known as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed attacked the Indian Parliament building on the 13th of November 2001 in which many police officers and parliament workers were killed. Three other terrorist attacks have occurred after these, namely the blasts on the Mumbai suburban railways, the 26/11 attacks and the Pulwama attack. 

Even after this, India has truly bounced back from these heavy scars on our nation. Though India follows the policy of forgiving but not forgetting, though in the case of terrorism India would never forgive the perpetrators and would never forget about the wounds. To conclude, I would want to quote the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi who stated the following: 

So many nations have suffered due to terrorism. Terrorism is not a challenge to a nation, it’s a challenge to humanity.

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England’s Rose

by:Akhil

On the fateful day of August 31st, 1997, Princess Diana, also known popularly as Lady Di, sadly passed away in a car crash in Paris. Her death shook the world and, the people were in utter disbelief as to her sudden and unprecedented death. She had been only thirty-six when this happened, killing her film producer-boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, and her driver, Henri Paul, along with her.

The people’s princess had always been more of a down-to-earth person compared to her royal counterparts. She openly spoke of the difficulties and illnesses she faced in life, portraying that she was a normal human being just like everybody else. Her being able to express herself openly was one of the main reasons people found her so inspiring. So naturally, when someone loved so much by the public died in a random car crash, the result was denial and conspiracy theories.

To this day, the conspiracy theories live on, even after an official British Metropolitan police investigation called Operation Paget (investigated over four years from 2004-2008) ruled the case an “unlawful killing” by the driver and pursuing paparazzi. But there is a good reason that these theories still live on even today. First of all, let’s take a look at what happened that night.  

Earlier on that fateful day, Diana was with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. At around four-thirty, they arrived at the Hotel Ritz Paris. Later that night, at ten, Diana and Dodi went to the L’Espadon restaurant. Later on, they took their meal back to their room, suspecting that a few diners were photographers.

At around twelve-twenty, they left the hotel and started heading towards Dodi’s apartment. They got into a black Mercedes S-280 with security  Henri Paul as the driver and security Trevor Rees-Jones in the front passenger seat. Police confirmed later on that the driver Henri Paul was drunk that night. At twelve-twenty-three, Paul was driving at an estimated speed of 105 km/h, trying to shake off some photographers chasing the car. Paul lost control of the vehicle at the entrance to the Pont de L’Alma tunnel. Then, the Mercedes collided with a concrete pillar inside the tunnel, killing both Dodi and Paul on impact. Diana and Trevor survived the crash. At around one-twenty, Diana suffered a cardiac arrest when she was in the ambulance en route to the hospital. At two-one, she arrived at the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital and immediately underwent surgery. At four in the morning, she was pronounced dead.

Looking back at that night, it was a cut and dry case; drunk driving over the speed limit and no seatbelts. Or was it? It seemed a little too perfect.

Was Princess Diana murdered? Let’s take a look.

Trevor Rees-Jones, Fayed’s bodyguard, was the only one wearing a seatbelt that night. Some doctors say Diana might have even survived if she had been wearing a seatbelt. And on further questioning of the princess’s close friends, the police concluded that it was suspicious that Diana didn’t wear a seatbelt, as she previously never forgot to.

Due to him wearing his seatbelt and the only one in the car who had the protection of an airbag on impact, Trevor-Rees Jones was the one survivor of the crash that night. Some people came up with crazy theories that somehow he knew the accident was about to happen, and that’s why he didn’t die. If this theory was true, he seriously took one for the team. His face got crushed during the accident, turning his bones to powder. Doctors put him in a coma for ten days while reconstructing his face with small pieces of titanium. Adding on top of this, he had a broken wrist and chest injuries that took him years to get over. So implying that the man was willing to sacrifice his life, with no benefits whatsoever,  to stage the murder of Princess Diana was stretching it a bit too far.   

The Pont de L’Alma tunnel had fourteen surveillance cameras, all of which didn’t capture anything that night. Some were in the wrong direction, and some were not working. So, they had no footage of the car crash. Suspicious or not?   

Later on, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi’s father, accused the royals of planning the murder because they thought Diana was pregnant with Dodi’s child. He said the royals could not accept that an Egyptian Muslim could eventually be the stepfather of the future king of England. Naturally, his accusation opened up pathways to various conspiracy theories. But was Diana pregnant with Dodi’s child? That’s where it gets even more suspicious.

In the hospital where they pronounced Diana dead, the body was deteriorating due to the hot temperature of the room. Out of instinct, the doctors decided to embalm her body as quickly as possible to make Lady Di presentable for her funeral.  In doing so, without an autopsy, they couldn’t test if she was pregnant or not. They also tested blood samples of the princess from the crash scene for traces of pregnancy or any other substance. All the tests came back negative. But some doctors confirmed that this was not enough to say she was not pregnant.

Another accusation against the royals was that Prince Charles needed to kill Princess Diana, allowing him to marry again. So, the public made a theory that the royals hired MI6 to take out Princess Diana. Three major conspiracy theories, investigated during Operation Paget, emerged from this speculation. The first being that the driver Henri Paul was in on the murder plan.

His driving the Mercedes was a last-minute decision due to the unavailability of any other driver for Lady Di. Speculations arose that he was working with the secret services to kill Diana. He earned about 35,000 euros per year working for the princess.  The evidence was that he had a large amount of money(nearly 250,000 euros) in his account at the time of the princess’s death. Where did it come from, and why did he have that much?

The second theory was that the paparazzi chased the vehicle down until the entrance of the tunnel and that they tried flashing large amounts of light into the driver’s eyes using their cameras, distracting him and causing him to crash inside the tunnel. Later it came to light that the MI6 was known to use a similar technique to ‘eliminate’ their targets. So, the theory was that the MI6 paid off the paparazzi to cause the crash.

The third theory was that a car had rammed into the black Mercedes as it entered the tunnel, causing the driver to lose control and crash. Later on, the police proved that a white Fiat Uno had collided with the princess’s car, making them crash. A potential suspect with the same car design was suspected but never convicted for the crime.

In a recent update, the hacker group known as Anonymous released a statement informing the public that the royal family had murdered Lady Di. Anonymous is a group of the most famous hacktivists or hackers spread out across the globe. The reason, they claimed, was that she found out about a human trafficking ring linked to the royals of England. They claimed Lady Di was collecting substantial evidence against the royal family and was soon going to release this evidence. They, therefore, declared that the royal family, viewing her as a threat to their monarch, “shut her up” for good.

To conclude, we have to admit that Lady Di’s death was rather suspicious. The number of ‘coincidences’ was way too many. And the lack of evidence only leads to more suspicion. I believe that Princess Diana died of a car crash that the royal family orchestrated. And there is more than enough evidence to support my conclusion. But the power and authority of the royal family overrule the right to the truth. I hope that one day the truth comes out and Princess Diana gets the justice she deserves. Don’t you?