File number: EXB005-Bielefooled
THE FACTS: Bielefeld is a municipality in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen with a population of over 325,000 people, which is known for its heavy industry, home-appliance construction and lovely castle.
THE THEORY: But… is it really there? The story was first posted to the newsgroup de.talk.bizarre on Usenet, a globally distributed internet discussion system, on May 16, 1994, by University of Kiel computer science student Achim Held. His theory began with the realisation that you never meet anyone from Bielefeld, you never go to Bielefeld and you have never met anyone who has gone to Bielefeld.
Subsequent analysis led him to declare that instead of being a quiet town in the west of Germany, Bielefeld is actually a training ground for the CIA, Mossad and/or alien life forms – or just simply a town run by SIE (them), depending on whom you believe. The groups allegedly use Bielefeld University as a disguise for their spaceship.
The ‘town’ lies on the key A2 Autobahn route from Dortmund to Berlin, but neither the Autobahn nor the railway run through the centre of the xxxxxxxx town, adding fuel to the fire as Berliners slide past the town curiously on their way back from the west. According to proponents of the theory, anyone who declares to have been there or to be from there is simply a part of the conspiracy too.
ANALYSIS: The theory has gone worldwide and, due to the fact that hardly anyone actually goes to Bielefeld, it has gained more and more currency.
In 1999, Bielefeld city council released a press statement titled ‘Bielefeld gibt es doch!’ (Bielefeld does exist!) in order to try to quash the rumours. Theory proponents only saw this as more proof that the city wasn’t actually there, as the release was dated April 1 – April Fools’ Day. The Bielefeld mayor’s office still receives phone calls and emails from people doubting the city’s existence. But who knows if it is the mayor responding or the CIA?
Even the Arminia Bielefeld football team is alleged to be a group of actors – which might explain their legendary poor showings in Bundesliga finals. In 2009, a film depicting the background behind the fictional conspiracy was made by students at Bielefeld University – propaganda from the aliens maybe?
After talking to a number of ‘Bielefeld’ residents in Berlin, it seems the city is actually there and is quite nice. Or maybe they are just being paid by the CIA to tell us that.
BELIEVABILITY (out of 10): X X X X X