The only thing one might say besides “Really?” could be, “Well, I guess it was bound to happen in these days and times.”
Conspiracy theories are as common as water these days, so it stands to reason that the ocean would not have reason to be exempt from one. There’s an oceanic conspiracy theory gaining traction among the big game fishing community. It is known as “MAnon” which is short for Marlin Anonymous. True to form, MAnon appears to be the product of a shadowy figure known only as “M.”
Conspiracy theorists are known to pray on people’s fears and a need for answers to questions that have long been mysteries unsolved. The subscribers of MAnon purport that M is a messiah like leader who they believe has everything figured out.
M is also benevolent and is said to be battling the sinister elements controlling the fishermen of the world, on their behalf. Those in control are known as “They” and They are blamed for everything that has been considered heretofore simply as “bad luck.”
More specifically, MAnon has convinced thousands of marlin fishermen around the world that the reason why there has never been one single “perfect fisherman” who can and does catch every single marlin that bites is because the tackle, electronics and boat manufacturers have conspired together to keep fishermen from ever achieving this nirvananic state of perfection.
M says that products like hooks and sonar have created a perpetual cash cow for the industrialists making billions off of the hungry fishermen. MAnon captures the imagination of frustrated fishermen by claiming to know the answers to those questions that have perplexed fishermen down through the ages. Questions such as;
Why does every third marlin get away, on average?
Who controls the controllers?
And the question that really torments fishermen: “Why do we have to use these clumsy fish hooks when we know they suck?”
Why indeed, says M. “It is because “They” have convinced fishermen that is what must be used.”
“Why have They done this?”
“Because hooks don’t work 100% of the time, they keep fishermen frustrated and constantly turning to new products, gadgets and boats in search of an advantage that may lead to perfection some other way.”
M states that he has high security clearance secret information. He communicates with his followers through a maze of web pages and chat rooms — forums where fishermen share their experiences with new boats and gear. M has infiltrated these forums by inserting short cryptic messages that cast suspicion on the producers of the endless supply of new gear that hits the marketplace. To learn more from M, one must make a donation.
According to M, on top of the fact that hooks will never work 100% of the time, another example of the control exerted by They is the 360-degree sonar that is all the rage on fishing boats these days. M points to this as an example of the level of cynicism that the manufacturers show through their offerings. M points out that many skippers say that marlin appear in the shape of hotdogs on the screen of these sonars. M tells followers that this is mean spirited subliminal messaging meant to symbolize how consumers are being duped because they are “hungry” to catch a fish.
M also points out that these sonars help skippers actually see marlin under the surface that they have never been able to see before, and that it’s addictive. Diabolically, manufacturers have installed software on these machines that keep track of how long it has been since a real marlin was spotted on the screen. If too much time goes by the device generates a “fake” marlin hotdog on the screen. M says that seeing these marlin hotdogs only leads to more salivation by fishermen, but cynically, in the context of Pavlov’s dog.
Predictably, the M conspiracy theory has a sinister government actor. M says that retired Navy officers have been recruited by the manufacturers to repurpose and train spy dolphins that have been idled in peacetime. Bored, the dolphin are happy to work and many of their wild cousins helped them learn tricks of the trade, in the field.
M claims that the dolphins have been fitted with prosthetic marlin bills and trained to follow the boats pinging away with sonars. When the machine generates a fake marlin hotdog, it also emits a high pitched tone that only a dolphin can pick up That is the cue for the dolphin to crash a bait so fast and so hard that everyone on board the fishing boat just about has a heart attack. The wild dolphins taught the Navy dolphins how to grab baits so as to not get hooked. After peeling off an unbelievable amount of line in a blistering run, it simply lets go and swims away. With that trademark dolphin grin hidden by the prosthetic marlin bill, the fishermen are none the wiser.
“Dadgummit! yells a frustrated deckhand. “I thought I had the perfect hook, but these hooks suck too!”
MAnon grew its audience when fishing publications expanded into TV and video, profiling the addictive gear and gadgets on the silver screen. This expansion attracted some people who claim to know M. Some of the “enlightened ones” report that M will be unveiling all the answers very soon, and to be patient.
Believers say, “Okay. M is real. But who is M?”
Many believe M is Fran O’Brien. Those loyal to M say no. Those “in the know” honor M’s wish for anonymity, and always say, “No one cares who M is. WE care about the TRUTH.”
After that, they always sign off in a know it all fashion, “YOU’LL see.”
Well. We’re waiting …