The City of Bielefeld in the North Rhine-Westphalia State, Germany had a population of 323,076 as of 2011. However, according to the Bielefeld Conspiracy, a satirical joke among some German and American Internet users, the city does not really exist. Rather, the illusion of its existence was propagated by a fictitious entity that had conspired with authorities.
As a proof, it was pointed out that a super majority of people would answer "no" to all of the following three questions:
- Do you know anybody from Bielefeld?
- Have you ever been to Bielefeld?
- Do you know anybody who has ever been to Bielefeld?
While the reasons of the conspiracy theory were unknown, the CIA, Mossad or aliens who use the Bielefeld University as a disguise for their spaceship had been mentioned in the speculation. The theory was first made public in a post to the newsgroup de.talk.bizarre by Achim Held, a student of computer science at the University of Kiel, on May 16, 1994. It went viral during the pre-facebook and pre-twitter era.
One month before the 20th anniversary of the first posting of the Bielefeld Conspiracy, I got this postcard DE-3065423 from Bielefeld, Germany. Now I can answer "yes" to at least one of those three questions. Wait! What if the sender were the part of the conspiracy? Or was I deceived...?