A planned military training exercise has sparked fears of martial law, FEMA camps, and secret underground tunnels between abruptly closed Walmart stores.
Elite forces from all four branches of the military will take part in Jade Helm 15 across seven states between July 15 and Sept. 15 – one of the largest such exercises ever undertaken.
Texas, Utah, and portions of California will stand in for hostile territories in the exercise, while New Mexico will be considered unfriendly, according to media reports confirmed by military officials.
Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and other portions of California will also take part in the two-month training exercise.
Internet conspiracy theorists have raised alarms over Jade Helm 15, warning that it could be intended to impose military or foreign control over Americans.
“From the Boston Marathon bombings to Sandy Hook, the government has been executing false flags for purposes of imposing absolute NWO control over its citizens,” warned Joachim Hagopian, a blogger for the Centre for Research on Globalization.
He warned that “neocons” he believes to be responsible for staging the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks will enact “draconian Orwellian laws of tyranny and oppression to conveniently vilify citizens bold enough to demand their civil liberties and privacy rights back.”
Other conspiracy theorists warn that the "Russians have penetrated the territorial boundary of the lower 48" states to build "death domes," although there is apparently some disagreement over whether they are arming insurgents here, while others warn Yemen is somehow involved in the alleged plot.
Most of the conspiracy theories float lurid scenarios but allow for the possibility that military officials are not lying about the training operation, then ask the reader to draw their own conclusions.
“Either way, considering the escalating lawlessness permeating the federal government, and the vicious hostility displayed by the administration toward those who disagree with it, Americans would be wise to get educated and active in restoring the U.S. Constitution,” writes blogger Alex Newman at The New American. “Everything may seem fine now, but one crisis could easily bring about irreversible changes.”
Some of the theories involve Walmart, which recently closed five stores in California, Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas due to what the retailer described as plumbing problems.
Employees accused Walmart of closing stores with a history of union activism – but the Internet conspiracy theorists suspect the government may use tunnels between the shuttered stores to transport troops.
Another theory holds that the stores will be turned into FEMA refugee centers in preparation for a massive earthquake on the New Madrid fault line along the Mississippi River.
The nation’s largest retailer, which is ubiquitous in many regions, has spawned previous conspiracy theories connected to martial law and FEMA-run detention centers.
The military frequently conducts training exercises – including Bold Alligator, Robin Sage, and Derna Bridge -- in which U.S. states stand in for fictional countries.
Local law enforcement have been notified about training activities planned in their areas, military officials said.
"It's a training exercise, just a regular training exercise," said Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, a U.S. Army spokesman.
Listen to this Walmart conspiracy theory posted online by the Pete Santilli Show: