Conspiracies are almost never real. I’d make a conservative estimate that 99 percent of the time the guys plotting in the bushes you hear about or read about on the internet are completely imaginary. It’s a good idea to keep Carl Sagan’s “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” in mind.
However, once in a while . . .
It seems that back during the Cold War the U.S. Government set up a program that involved orbiting lab animals. The real point of the program, unknown to most of the scientists working on it, was to fly an early spy satellite over the Soviet Union.
Science fiction writers working on stories where scientists discover that their bosses are being massively less than honest about what’s really going on, please take note.
“None of the scientists involved had any inkling as to the true nature of the Discoverer program, in fact their ignorance was integral to the success of the operation. Propaganda photos of the monkeys in training were taken by the Air Force’s Office of Information to be given to the media and press releases were prepared in Washington. Eisenhower and various generals even posed for photographs with one of the Discoverer capsules, the President’s broad grin emphasizing the “peaceful” nature of the satellite.”