Conspiracy theorists imagine America to be more capable than Americans will allow

By Jonathan Bradley in Sydney, Australia

21 March 2012


A high speed rail link in Taiwan

A high speed rail link. Not in Florida. (photo: jiadoldol)

Arikia Milikan has a fascinating post up about a Haitian conspiracy theory. The claim? The United States is building a tunnel under the Caribbean, from Florida to Venezuela, and the construction work is causing earthquakes in the local area. The tremors are real, of course, with the 7.0 quake in 2010 the best know, but the tunnel only exists inside the imagination of the Discovery Channel.

Milikan:

A simple Google search brought up descriptions of the “Caribbean Sea Tunnel,” otherwise known as the “Florida-Haiti Interstate Tunnel” or “I-95U,” a six-lane tunnel containing a high-speed rail system that floats 75 meters below the sea surface and spans 600 miles to connect southern Florida with Cap-Haïtien, a city on the northern tip of Haiti.

According to what appears to be the original article, hosted on the Constructed Worlds Wikia site, the Caribbean International Highway construction was featured on the Discovery Channel’s Extreme Engineering documentary series, and is a project organized by CARICOM, a multinational assemblage of Caribbean states. In addition to a tunnel from Florida to Haiti, the site claims that this tunnel is but one of the many segments within a network of underground tunnels connecting the United States with Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and eventually Venezuela.

The United States is a powerful nation capable of great projects — think the Hoover Dam, Apollo 11, or the 1150 calorie Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger — and it has a bit of a reputation for riding roughshod over local concerns when pursuing its own interests. Although the Caribean Sea Tunnel is complete fiction, I can understand why it rings true to a population that might not have the means to fact check rumours.

But at the same time, many of the details of this are utterly absurd to anyone who pays attention to US politics. An expensive public works project at a time when Congress is leery about coming up with the cash to fund the national highway system? To Venezuela, the country lead by Hugo Chavez, who in 2009 said “in all history, there was never a government more terrorist than that of the US empire"? (And via Cuba, a communist country that has been the subject of an American embargo since 1962?) 

Yet what really pushes this project outside the realm of reality is the suggestion that it contains a high speed rail link. From Florida! The state that couldn't build a high speed rail line from Tampa to Miami because its governor, Republican Rick Scott, turned down $2 billion of federal government funding!

The US is in a bad way if a conspiracy theory is proved false because it includes the far-fetched notion of fast American trains. And yet here we are.

Tags: Caribbean Sea Tunnel, Conspiracy Theory, Florida, Haiti Earthquake, High Speed Rail, Infrastructure

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