Skip to content
things that go boom podcast the wrong apocalypse foreign policy national security china russia trump coronavirus covid-19

Aliens Among Us

We all love to laugh at a good conspiracy theory. Maybe that's why this one took the US government by surprise.

Words: Laicie Heeley
Pictures: Marc Johns/Cast from Clay

Conspiracy theories are as old as time. And, they’re not all bad. Sometimes they bring us together for a subpar party in the desert. Take, for example, that one time in 2019 when more than 2 million people RSVP’d to ambush Area 51.

But when they take a turn to the dark side, conspiracy theories can be as dangerous as any other threat we face.

On this episode of Things That Go Boom, we talk about how the internet has fueled a rise in that dark side, and how it caught the US government by surprise.

Listen and subscribe now on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyPocket Casts, or wherever you get your podcasts to receive a new episode every two weeks.

GUESTS: Elizabeth Neumann, Former Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention at the Department of Homeland Security; Oumou Ly, Fellow, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard Law School


Leaving Trump in Office Now Will Just Encourage White Nationalists, Kathleen Belew and Elizabeth Neumann.

When Disinformation Becomes a Political Strategy, Who Holds the Line?, Oumou Ly.

QAnon Believers Are Obsessed With Hillary Clinton. She Has Thoughts., Michelle Goldberg.

Laicie Heeley

Editor in Chief

Laicie Heeley is the founding CEO of Inkstick Media, where she serves as Editor in Chief of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick and Executive Producer and Host of the PRX- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom. Heeley’s reporting has appeared on public radio stations across America and the BBC, where she’s explored global security issues including domestic terrorism, disinformation, nuclear weapons, and climate change. Prior to launching Inkstick, Heeley was a Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program and Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Her publications include work on sanctions, diplomacy, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, along with the first full accounting of US counterterrorism spending after 9/11.


Hey there!

You made it to the bottom of the page! That means you must like what we do. In that case, can we ask for your help? Inkstick is changing the face of foreign policy, but we can’t do it without you. If our content is something that you’ve come to rely on, please make a tax-deductible donation today. Even $5 or $10 a month makes a huge difference. Together, we can tell the stories that need to be told.