Part of the reason that conspiracy theories linger is that any contradictory evidence — no matter how conclusive or compelling — can just be dismissed by claiming that it's part of the cover-up.

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But what the conspiratorial mind sees as misinformation and lies, others see as merely perfectly ordinary incomplete and inaccurate information following a chaotic tragedy.

Eyewitnesses can be confused and mistaken, police officers and reporters can make errors, or repeat information that is corrected after further investigation.

Conspiracy theorists are in the business of raising questions, not providing answers — even for their own claims.

Belief in conspiracies Why are some people so quick to believe in conspiracy theories?

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of "Skeptical Inquirer" science magazine and author of six books, including "Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us." His website is Benjamin Radford is the Bad Science columnist for Live Science.

He covers pseudoscience, psychology, urban legends and the science behind "unexplained" or mysterious phenomenon. 11 terrorist attacks, the Sandy Hook massacre and other tragedies, the recent Boston Marathon bombing has spawned several conspiracy theories.Some of the more cynical conspiracy theorists do it simply for attention and ratings, or to promote their books, DVDs and seminars promising to reveal the truth that no one else would dare.An official at the Department of Homeland Security called Beck's allegations "one hundred percent false." What, exactly, is Beck claiming happened?That Ali Alharbi is the real killer, and the Tsarnaev brothers were just innocent patsies?Instead events with international implications, such as the moon landing, terrorism and the deaths of John F.