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Cassandra Truth / Real Life

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  • When German Gustl Mollath was charged with beating his wife and slashing her tyres, he not only claimed that it wasn't true, but that his wife (a banker) had set him up because he had threatened to reveal her involvement in managing shady Swiss bank accounts. Ultimately, the judge declared him a criminally insane paranoiac with a "black money complex" and had him forcibly committed. Naturally, after seven years of mental asylum, it turned out that, no, Mollath had never beaten his wife or slashed her tyres, and yes, his wife had set him up because, yes, she did manage shady Swiss black money accounts.
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  • After seventeen-year-old John Butkovitch, an employee of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, disappeared, his parents contacted the police 100 times urging them to investigate Gacy. They were ignored.
  • Carroll Edward Cole. From the Wikipedia entry: "He attempted suicide at least once, and on a number of occasions, had himself committed to mental hospitals where he confessed his fantasies of murdering women. Although diagnosed as a psychopath, Cole was usually discharged promptly, as he had a personality disorder, as opposed to a mental illness – the former was considered to be untreatable by psychiatrists at the time, unlike the latter." In his later career as a serial killer, Cole claimed 16 victims.
  • Like the example above, this also happened with Charles Manson. Charles spent most of his life in trouble with the law and made it clear during one parole hearing in 1966 that he wanted to stay in prison because he didn't want to follow society's rules, and prison had become his home. Despite this he was granted parole. After a failed attempt at a music career, he would form The Family and became the mastermind behind a series of crimes and brutal murders done by his followers. The most notable being actress Sharon Tate who was pregnant at the time.
  • The War on Terror has several:
    • "Bin Laden Determined to Strike In US" – Memo given to George W. Bush on August 6, 2001 and, depending on who you ask, either ignored or just not given the priority it should have been. Guess what happened 36 days later?
    • Before even that, the situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating very badly with the civil war still ongoing with the pro-Western, “democratic” puppet mujhadeen Ahmad Shah Massoud fighting against the fundamentalist Taliban forces. He repeatedly warned the USA about the dangers of radicals taking over the country and desperately requested aid after being surrounded from all sides, and warned that his enemies were preparing for a large scale attack on American soil. He kept his ground until he was assassinated just two days before the World Trade Center attacks.
    • Members of the outgoing Clinton Administration told their incoming Bush-era replacements that they needed to keep an eye on Osama Bin Laden, who was already on the hook for the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. The Bush people, however, made it clear they saw Iraq's Saddam Hussein as the bigger threat. This thinking repeated itself a year later when, after the invasion of Afghanistan, American forces had Bin Laden trapped in a remote mountain holdout… but instead of sending in more troops to finish him off right then and there, The Pentagon decided to put more resources to attacking Iraq, allowing Bin Laden to escape.
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    • The United States had insisted for years that Bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan. Pakistan vigorously denied it, citing unconfirmed reports that he had probably died in Afghanistan years earlier. In 2011, Barack Obama sent Navy SEAL Team Six into Pakistan to kill Bin Laden, catching Pakistan's civilian government completely off guard and making Pakistan's powerful Intelligence Agency – which was probably harboring him or at least set him up in his safe house – look really bad.
    • Hussein Kamil Hassan al-Majid, Saddam's son-in-law and head of Iraq's WMD program, defected in 1995. He told the world about the extent of Iraq's WMD programs, which was widely believed and widely reported. He also mentioned that the programs were destroyed. /WORLD/9509/iraq_defector/kamel_transcript/index.html He even told CNN that.
    • During the planning for Operation Iraqi Freedom (a.k.a. Gulf War 2.0), General Eric Shinseki (then Army Chief of Staff) warned the Bush Administration that successful liberation and occupation would take several hundred thousand ground troops. The administration higher ups, determined to sell Americans the idea that war could be waged on the cheap with a minimum of forces, belittled him. He was forced into early retirement just as the war started. More than a decade later, America and Iraq are still reeling from the effects of not listening to him.
    • One of Al-Qaeda's spokesmen released a furious attack on 9-11 conspiracy theorists who believe that Al-Qaeda did not plan and execute the 9-11 attacks. They even went so far as to claim the predominantly Shiite country of Iran was backing the conspiracy theorists to discredit Sunni terrorists. Even funnier because The Onion had released a parody news report earlier that year that said the same thing, triggering a Hilarious in Hindsight moment.
  • The book Dead Men Do Tell Tales relates the story of a bitter old man who regularly threatened his neighbors by declaring he had murdered his son-in-law and buried the body in a septic tank, and he would be willing to do the same to them. When the old man died, they cleaned out his house... and found the son-in-law's corpse in the septic tank.
  • The Monty Hall problem. Magazine columnist gives an answer to a math problem. Mathematicians around the country tell her she's wrong. So what does she do? Write a letter of apology? No. She asks elementary schools around the nation to prove that mathematicians can't do math. She's right! The difficulty of the problem aside, they said she was wrong and she proved they were wrong about her being wrong. The problem is both simpler and more complex than this. If treated as a straightforward math problem where everyone acts without foresight, the mathematicians would have been right. What vos Savant recognized was that because of information asymmetry involved, this was no simple math problem that the mathematicians assumed it was. Her answer can be derived easily if the information asymmetry and foresight are taken into account. But mathematicians might be justified in questioning whether the information asymmetry really exists in some variations of this problem.
  • During the 1964 Republican National Convention, Presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller was met with a chorus of boos when he made a speech warning that fellow candidate Barry Goldwater was too far to the right to be elected. The Republican nomination went to Goldwater anyway, who was eventually defeated in a landslide by incumbent Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson's campaign featured the "Daisy Girl" ad which hinted that Goldwater was belligerent enough in his politics that he'd lead the country into a nuclear war that better diplomacy would have avoided.
    • More generally, Rockefeller's speech was a warning against the conservative takeover of the Republican Party, and the marginalization of its liberal wing, a prediction which proved extremely prescient.
  • Martha Mitchell, wife of Nixon Attorney General John Mitchell, claimed that President Nixon and the White House were engaged in illegal activity. She was diagnosed as being mentally ill.
  • In March 1948, in response to the British submitting to the United Nations their partition plan for the Mandate of Palestine, US President Harry S Truman made a counterproposal for a United Nations trusteeship over Palestine. Quoth Truman, "it has become clear that the partition plan cannot be carried out at this time by peaceful means. ... Unless emergency action is taken, there will be no public authority in Palestine on that date capable of preserving law and order. Violence and bloodshed will descend upon the Holy Land. Large-scale fighting among the people of that country will be the inevitable result." The British partition plan was accepted. Guess what happened?note 
  • In 1992, Sinéad O'Connor tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II during a performance on Saturday Night Live to protest sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church. At the time it was enormously controversial and ended her career. Less than twenty years later, multiple incidents (going back decades) of priests and bishops abusing children, and the Church's coverup of the abuse, became an international scandal that eventually became (as far as anyone can guess) a significant factor in Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign – only the second pope in history to do so.note 
  • Strangely, famous magician Harry Houdini sometimes became the Cassandra. He consistently told people that everything he did was a trick and not magic. Still, many people, like Arthur Conan Doyle, insisted that his tricks were magic.
    • Houdini's Spiritual Successor James Randi is notable for consistently saying the same thing, with similar results.
  • When he was young, a hypnotist visited Mark Twain's town. His friend went up, but was less than a perfect subject. Just to get attention, young Samuel went up and did everything the hypnotist told him to, even hurting himself. When he went back to visit his elderly mother, decades later, he confessed, only to find that she actually argued with him that the hypnotism was real.
  • During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington was prepping for his famous attack on Trenton. The entire attack could have been derailed had Johann Rall, the Hessian commander, listened to the spies and deserters who repeatedly warned him of the impending attack.
  • Pearl Harbor has several connected stories:
    • A strategist told the Navy that, thanks to advances in aircraft carriers, Pearl Harbor would be highly susceptible to aerial attack, especially if the Honolulu-area airbases kept their aircraft so close together. The people in charge said that such an attack was impossible, and if it did happen, it'd be unlikely to be very large. Sabotage was the bigger threat. The aircraft were kept together, in the middle of the field, where they could be watched. The result: the QUITE LARGE Pearl Harbor attack was able to wreck virtually all of Hawaii's USAAF aircraft on the ground.
    • It gets worse: an aviation-minded admiral, Harry Yarnell, "attacked" Pearl Harbor with carrier-based planes in February 1932 (on Sunday the 7th, no less) during a war game. If the bombs and bullets had been real, the place would've been a wreck… and the opposition were unable to find his fleet for 24 hours, ample time to get away for a real enemy. The powers that be lied, claiming that his planes were never in the right positions to do that much damage, and they kept this line even after Admiral Ernest King duplicated the attack in a later war game in 1938. The 1941 Japanese attack came from the same direction Yarnell took and used the same persistent cloudbank for a concealed approach.
    • Billy Mitchell, an early advocate of airpower, predicted in the mid 1920s that Japan would attack Pearl Harbor, with an eerie degree of accuracy. He warned that militaries neglect airpower at their own peril, only to be court-martialed for insubordination when the established brass, who adhered to then-conventional-wisdom, bristled at Mitchell's radical positions.
    • On the other side, the Japanese architect of the attack, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, warned that if Japan waged war with the USA, they would have the advantage for six months, after which the USA – due to its superior resources – would gain the upper hand and keep it. Japan's miltarist government, absorbed in their own groupthink, ignored him. Sure enough, exactly six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, American forces irreparably crippled Japan's Navy as an offensive force at the Battle of Midway.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: In both that trope and its inverse, this trope is in effect. Legitimate concerns about certain groups may be classed as bigotry and legitimate objections to bigotry may be dismissed as idiotic.
  • One of the main reasons sexual assault is an often unreported crime is the fact that people who bring up sexual assault often aren't believed. Inversely, many people accused of sexual assault have difficulty getting public opinion on their side to the idea that they may not be guilty.
  • The tragic story of Robert Turner, a six-year-old who dialed 911 when his mother passed out, only for his call to be treated as a prank, leading to the death of his mother.
    • This trope, along with the Crying Wolf trope, is why they tell people not to call 911 unless there's a real emergency and that prank calling them will earn one criminal charges.
  • A general meta-instance of this can happen if one tries to explain a series with high levels of Mind Screw to someone who has no knowledge of it, particularly if they've actually asked for information. It's not uncommon for the reaction to a completely truthful answer about Metal Gear Solid or Neon Genesis Evangelion to be something like, "You're just making all this up."
  • Theresa Knorr. You might want to sit down, cause this ain't gonna be pretty. Theresa Knorr shot her first husband In the Back after he threatened to leave her due to her jealousy and possessiveness. Despite his relatives testifying that he would never abuse her, she was found not guilty by way of self-defense. Afterwards, she had six children over three more failed marriages. She became extremely abusive towards her children after her fourth marriage and descended into alcoholism, eventually causing her oldest son to go Screw This, I'm Outta Here!. Her second child Suesan ran away from home and reported her abuse, but the police believed Theresa when she claimed that Suesan had mental issues and returned her to her custody. Afterwards, Theresa deluded herself into believing Suesan was a witch who was casting spells to turn her fat, shot her in the gut, stabbed her in the back with a pair of scissors, and accidentally gave her septicemia while attempting to remove the bullet. She then doused her with gasoline and burned her alive. And then it went From Bad to Worse!

    Theresa turned on her third child Sheila and forced her into prostitution to earn money. She eventually accused her of contracting an STD, locked her in a closet, and left her to starve to death. Theresa's youngest daughter Terry ran away and tried to tell the police and a therapist what happened, but was dismissed both times. Fortunately, America's Most Wanted finally took her seriously and started an investigation that finally put Theresa in jail where she belongs.
  • World War II:
    • After World War I, most people in France's military establishment believed that the best way to defend against a future German invasion was to build a large fortress wall across the border to defend against it. The result was the Maginot Line, a barrier that Charles De Gaulle repeatedly insisted was ineffective and would not protect France from German attack, as they could simply go around it. No one believed him, and then World War II started.
      • Actually a subversion. The French planned for the Germans to try to go around the wall. All the wall was supposed to do was reduce the strength disparity between the German and French Armies (the Germans had a much larger population), as the French could lightly man the area, but the Germans, without the advantage of fortifications, would have to man the area much more heavily in case of a French Offensive.
    • Winston Churchill had been warning since 1933 how much of an issue Hitler might be, but he wasn't believed until it was too late to avoid war. Later CYA stories said that the French and British had known all along and tried to build up a military for when the final confrontation would come. However, this ignores that Hitler started breaking international law, abusing his population and doing openly antisemitic stuff virtually from day one and in 1933 Germany was still limited by the Versailles Treaty to a 10 000 men purely defensive professional army with no conscription and significant arms limitations. Not only did Britain and France not act when Hitler was doing dubiously legal stuff, they let him get away with illegal stuff. Yes, hindsight's 20/20 but the sheer egregiousness of the Head-in-the-Sand Management of the 1930s is one of the main reasons why "Munich 1938" is so often used as a metaphor for failing to stand up to aggressors - whether it fits or not.
    • Hitler himself made his goals very clear in Mein Kampf, but almost no one took him seriously.
    • Ferdinand Foch, Marshal of France in World War I said that the Treaty of Versailles that officially ended the war in 1919 was not a peace treaty but "an armistice for twenty years." The Germans crossed the Polish border 20 years, 2 months, 2 days afterwards.
    • The Holocaust itself was, initially, an example of this trope. When word of extermination facilities and mass-slavery began trickling out of Europe, skeptical Anglo-American news agencies buried the stories in one-paragraph blurbs in the middle of the newspapers.note  Alarmed western Allied citizens who contacted their congressmen about the story were assured that nothing like that could happen in this day and age, whatever the Soviets might have been saying (and probably lying, of course!) about 'extermination facilities' in January 1945 (liberation of the former sites of Trelinka, Madjanek, Chelmno, and the Auschwitz Complex). It was only when the British and Americans liberated concentration camps full of malnourished prisoners and corpses in February-May 1945 that western Allied citizens realised that the Nazis truly had been killing a lot of people and it wasn't just communist propaganda. That said, the British and Americans and Soviets all tried to avoid drawing too much attention to the atrocities. note 
    • And As You Know, right after the war was over, the Soviets were accused of doing similar but slightly less bad things to their prisoners in Gulags, and again people didn't want to believe it since they were part of the Allies taking down Nazi Germany. This revelation, along with the fundamental philosophical difference, severely soured relations and lead straight to the decades-long Cold War and nuclear arms race.
  • Starting in 2000, financial analyst Harry Markopolos spent approximately eight years trying to warn the Securities and Exchange Commission that Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. He went so far as to send them a detailed memo entitled "The World's Largest Hedge Fund Is A Fraud" that listed 29 reasons why he was suspicious of Madoff. The SEC paid very little attention to Markopolos, leaving Madoff free to keep swindling people out of their money until his 50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme finally collapsed in 2008. He later wrote a book about his experiences, fittingly titled "No One Would Listen".

    There was a documentary on the subject where a number of people had stated they saw this coming, but when they warned others, specifically in the Jewish community, they were shouted down for their statements because Madoff had kept up the appearances of being an affluent philanthropist, especially to charities geared at the Jewish community.
  • Poor Sesame Workshop just can't convince people that Bert and Ernie are only friends, no matter how hard they try. They've spent years telling people that Muppets don't have a sexual orientation.note  When Bert and Ernie were featured as a gay couple on the cover of The New Yorker in June 2013, Sesame Workshop remained silent, in obvious exasperation.
  • There's an old story about Richard Feynman (he recounts it himself in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!), about two guys in his college dorm who were noisily obsessive about the door to their workspace being closed at all times. So one day, as a prank, Feynman stole the door. Eventually, after several days of no one being able to find it, a meeting was called and all the residents were charged on their honor to admit whether or not they stole the door. When it came around to Feynman, he said, "Yeah, I stole the door." "Stop joking around, Feynman, this is serious." When Feynman finally returned the door and once again reiterated that he'd stolen it, everyone asked him why he hadn't owned up at the meeting; all anyone could remember was that they'd gone away under the impression that no one had admitted to taking it. Feynman noted several times to have had trouble with this. He apparently tells the truth in such a way that people think he's joking.
  • A prime, and quite disturbing, example of this kind of Cassandra Truth is the very unfortunate story of journalist Gary Webb. In the late 1990's, he published a series of articles that detailed CIA drug smuggling from Nicaragua and other countries into the USA and how many of the drug dealers involved seemed to target poor blacks. The mainstream media, and some alternative news sties, went absolutely haywire. They viciously attacked and smeared Webb, and caused him to lose his career and his reputation. The kicker? Less than a year after Webb's articles were published, a investigative committee led by federal prosecutor Fredrick Hitz published a report that confirmed everything Webb had talked about. Yet it wasn't until after Webb's death in 2004 that any of the media acknowledged they had really dropped the ball. Worse still, many more people, media or otherwise, continue to selectively forget the entire affair. Almost the exact same thing happened with college professors of Arabic who were discouraging people from entering into Arabic classes to thwart the CIA (who was funding students to recruit Arabic speakers in their War on Terror). The whistle-blower was unable to convince anyone that the story was true; it simply seemed outrageous… until six months later they found emails between language professors all across the US detailing the truth of it all.
  • Happens frequently on the show Untold Stories of the E.R., which is about real E.R. doctors and nurses and the weird situations they encounter. For example, one episode had a schizophrenic patient who kept claiming that he had someone else's face. The doctors just assumed that he was off his meds and hallucinating until he showed them his drivers license and the picture actually looked different. Turns out the poor guy had lung cancer. Another one was a father who claimed worms were coming out of his infant daughter's hands and he turned out to be right.
  • During World War II on the New South Wales South Coast there were once two brothers at a remote beach and they witnessed a Japanese submarine's crew land to take on more water. The older brother hid the younger one while he ran off to the nearest police station to tell the authorities. The police did not believe him and locked him up over night while the other brother was still out there. Needless to say this story has become legendary in the local Eurobodalla Area.
  • Former baseball slugger Jose Canseco wrote a book about his time in baseball which pointed the finger at several of his teammates taking steroids. He goes into detail about how certain players, including most of the All Stars, would go about using them. Due to Canseco's less-than-pleasant personality, this all was completely brushed off as him trying to make some money. Then came the Mitchell Report and it turns out Canseco was telling the truth.
  • When Ferrari first tested their 2004 Formula One car, the F2004, they expected it to be about half a second faster than its predecessor, the F2003-GA. They found, to their astonishment, that it was actually faster by two whole seconds. Ferrari were so taken aback that they decided there must be some other explanation, such as the car being underweight or the timing data being wrong, even as drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello insisted that the F2004 really was that quick. Only after they had exhausted every other possibility did they accept that Schumacher and Barrichello were right about the car's pace, and the F2004 proceeded to dominate the season in spectacular fashion.
  • "One day, the Great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans." – German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, nearly twenty years before the start of World War I. In 1916 the Italian chief of staff Luigi Cadorna received warnings of an impending Austro-Hungarian offensive in Trentino, including a detailed report from a deserter that detailed the date, location, goals, troops, and the name of the operation (Strafexpedition, "punitive expedition"). He dismissed it all, as he thought that nobody would launch a major offensive through the mountains. The Austro-Hungarian offensive was halted only because the Russians attacked on the other side of Austria's empire, forcing the redeployment of the reserves. And yet, Cadorna wouldn't learn: Over a year later he started receiving warnings from the Italian Second Army, the intelligence, and another deserter about an impending Austro-Hungarian offensive at Caporetto supported by German troops but, believing the Austro-Hungarian army was about to break from attrition (exactly what he had tried to accomplish during the war), he decided they were too weak to try a major offensive. The Italian defeat at Caporetto was so devastating that the Italian word for "absolute and total defeat from which you won't recover so easy" is Caporetto, and Cadorna was sacked even before the Allies requested it as condition to send support.
  • Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the company's flagship wide-body airliner and intended replacement for the venerable 747, ended up grounded due to lithium ion battery failures (which resulted in at least one pop-the-evacuation-slides emergency landing). It later emerged that Boeing's biggest competitor, Airbus, warned them of the risks associated with the batteries but were ignored. Oops.
  • The Challenger shuttle disaster. Shortly after launch, one of the booster rockets partially separated from the launch assembly and ruptured its fuel tank; the laws of physics took over and tore the whole thing apart, resulting in loss of all hands. The culprit – cold weather caused a sealing O-ring to contract and allowed fiery hell to leak out of the rocket – had been discovered months earlier by an engineer during testing. The rush to meet deadlines, make the launch window, and impress the government and the public resulted in his warnings being silenced. In addition, technicians inspecting the launch site that morning noticed a lot of ice on the launch tower. Engineers at Rockwell were horrified when they saw the amount of ice and recommended not launching. They were ignored.
  • Some of Jeffery Dahmer's victims could have been saved. A 14-year-old boy apparently escaped from Dahmer's apartment, and was found by two women who recognized him as a local child who didn't speak English. The police insisted nothing was wrong, and turned the boy over to Dahmer, who claimed it was his 19-year-old boyfriend and that the two had had an alcohol-fueled dispute. That the boy was naked, drugged, and bleeding rectally did not sway the officers. Nor did they make any attempt to communicate with or identify the boy. Nor did they run a background check on Dahmer, which would have revealed that he was a convicted child molester. Nor did they investigate an unusual smell in Dahmer's apartment, which would have revealed a decomposing body. Dahmer would kill the boy that night, and four more people before being arrested.
  • The Titanic had several of these. At various points people spoke about many of its most major design flaws – not just the ones that made it sink – but they were ignored. Most notably out of these were the fact that its watertight door compartments only extended up a few decks, which could allow water to simply spill over the top into the other compartments if the situation got bad enough (which it did), and that there were not enough lifeboats for all the people to escape if rescue did not arrive on time (which it didn't). Correcting both of these would be expensive and cosmetically unappealing, so no corrections were implemented.
  • An episode of Mystery Detectives (once known as "Forensic Files") focused on the murder of an escort. The woman had been called from a phone that was traced back to a house. In the house, the cops found the gun that had been used to shoot the woman, and her blood on a pair of shoes in the owner's closet. When the man was arrested, he claimed that someone must have broken into his house to use the phone, stolen the shoes and gun, then replaced them after the murder. The man's explanation seemed ludicrous… until testing revealed that his DNA and fingerprints didn't match what was found at the crime scene and that his alibi was solid. Further questioning of the man revealed that several of his friends had a spare key to his house. When DNA and fingerprints were matched to one of them, it became clear that what the man had suggested was in fact true, though whether this was a deliberate attempt by the real killer to frame him or to merely cover his tracks is unclear.
    • Many episodes have moments like this. Occasionally, an utterly implausible story told by the prime suspect turns out to be true.
  • During the 1972 US presidential election contest, Democratic nominee George McGovern said the Democratic party's headquarters at Watergate had been burglarized by members of Richard Nixon's reelection campaign – the break-in had been reported, but the burglars had not yet been connected to Nixon. Because Nixon had been polling so well (indeed, he crushed McGovern by even more than Johnson had crushed Goldwater), few people believed the President had anything to do with it. This was technically true; Nixon didn't know about it, but tried to have this covered up. Despite his comfortable victory over McGovern, knowledge of the cover-up led to the Watergate scandal that brought down Nixon's presidency.
  • Examples related to the Great Recession of 2008:
    • Economist Paul Krugman invoked this trope in discussions in the wake of the recession, stating in a blog post that he felt he was doomed to be a Cassandra, ever telling the truth but never being accepted for it. His argument is the counterintuitive point that a government should spend more money when the economy is bad and spend less when the economy is good. This idea was developed by John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression and only really implemented when World War II began and everyone was building weapons with massive government spending. Despite rationing, this actually led to increased consumer spending in America. Krugman later insisted that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. "the Stimulus") was only about half to three-fifths of the size it should have been to be truly effective. Unfortunately, both the Stimulus and his columns happened during the rise of the far-rightwing Tea Party, which despises any government spending at all (except occasionally military) and used their newfound power in Congress and the States to block any further investment. That the US's "recovery" from the Great Recession has been shallow at best for everyone except the ultra-wealthy (who have done quite well thank you very much) shows that Krugman had a point.
    • Economist Robert Shiller, one of less than a dozen who successfully predicted the financial crisis. He sat on the advisory board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which had a great deal of control over interest rates which if raised could have stopped the bubble cold in 2003. Given that position it would seem logical that he would have had enough influence to do something. Unfortunately as he was the only economist present that had any serious concerns, he avoided becoming the sole voice opposed. He thus failed to speak as vocally as he should have in hindsight, out of concern that he would be ignored in the future. This was despite the fact that he had already predicted the tech bubble popping in 2000.
    • John Maynard Keynes himself avoided this. He first presented his ideas to President Roosevelt in 1934, but – New Deal (which had many parallels to Keynesianism) aside – Roosevelt did not fully come onboard until around 1939, when the march to war made increased government spending inevitable.
    • Senator Byron Dorgan, a populist Democrat from North Dakota, gave a speech on the eve of the 90's-era vote to do away with the Glass-Steagal Act – a series of finance regulations passed in the wake of the bank failures of the Great Depression – in which he warned that allowing banks free rein would lead to consolidation, speculation in the credit market, and risk-taking resulting in banks taking on unsustainable debt that would cause the entire system to collapse (the repeal passed with cross-party support). Sure enough, that's exactly what happened in 2008. Dorgan was still in office at the time and basically said, "I told you so."
    • During the mid-2000s Peter Schiff frequently appeared as a guest on numerous financial television shows. Each time he would come on and warn that the United States economic growth was entirely due to an unsustainable bubble and that the country was headed for an economic crash. Other commentators ignored his viewpoint calling it absurd and off base. Some of those commentators are even on video laughing at the possibility that a recession was possible, using the housing and automotive market earnings as examples of how strong the economy was.
  • When Fall Out Boy was working on Save Rock and Roll, they didn't want the fans to know until they were ready to come back officially, as they were still technically “on hiatus” and didn't want to cause a fuss if the album didn't work out. When 2Chainz, who they were collaborating with, posted a picture of him with the band, they thought their cover was blown… turned out most fans didn't believe him, in part due to 2Chainz working with Fall Out Boy seeming odd to some (despite the band's history of having Odd Friendships with rappers), but mostly due to there having been so many rumours of them getting back together already, fans were a lot more skeptical.
  • People with disorders, symptoms, or any other illness that doctors can't figure out will feel like no one will believe them; it isn't unheard of for these kinds of people to go from doctor to doctor and be told that they either don't know what's going on or the patient's illness is "just all in their head".
    • A similar thing can occur with mental illnesses. Especially tragic in cases where someone reports suicidal ideation, isn't believed or taken seriously, and then kills themselves.
  • Parents and teachers can both find this happening if they suggest a child may have a learning disorder. Teachers may be disbelieved by parents who don't want to think something may be "wrong" with their child; parents can be brushed off as being overprotective or making excuses for their child's performance if they bring it up.
  • The spinosaurus fell victim to this. Ernst Stromer, an archaeologist who was a critic of the Nazis, tried to move the creature's bones from the museum where it was housed, but the curator, a Nazi, refused, effectively sacrificing a piece of history to the Allies when they bombed Munich in 1944. As a result, the spinosaurus remained a mystery for over six decades.
  • Regarding Batman: Arkham Knight, developer Rocksteady kept saying the Joker would stay dead, but given the Joker tended to hijack the games and this being the Joker, no one believed them. While they did turn out to be lying about the Arkham Knight being a completely original character, the Joker is indeed dead by appearing only in flashbacks and as a malicious Spirit Advisor.
  • In 1980, Charles Antony "Tony" Hoare, one of the great pioneers of modern computing, won the Turing Award, the highest award for the field of Computer Science. It's customary for a Turing Award winner to present a lecture as part of his acceptance speech, and in his lecture, Professor Hoare warned that it's disastrous for programming languages to neglect to provide proper type safety, and he specifically singled out a lack of array bounds checking as an Egregious issue. He memorably said that "in any respectable branch of engineering, failure to observe such elementary precautions would have long been against the law." The prime offender was the C language, and if people had listened, they would have stopped using it. 9 years later, the Morris Worm brought the Internet to its knees by exploiting an array bounds overflow bug in the C code of the Unix operating system that powered many systems on the Internet. People still kept using C. Since then, billions of dollars of damage has been done by hacks caused by array overrun bugs, including the Heartbleed exploit, but the programming world is no closer to abandoning C than it was in 1980.
  • Any page that warns of unmarked spoilers or any of the pages related that warn you not to read any of the spoilers before you've finished the work, such as the pages related to Attack on Titan. Oh no, they killed off your favorite character! We did warn you...
  • Starting in 1986, Michael Jackson's medium-brown skin started getting paler and paler over the next few years until he was basically white. The media speculated that the change was due to Jackson using creams to bleach his skin because he hated being black, further "evidenced" by the noticeable cosmetic surgeries he'd had on his nose, lips and chin. When asked about this in an interview with Oprah in February 1993, Jackson claimed that the skin lightening was caused by, in his words, "a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin," and denied bleaching his skin. No one believed him. Jackson's autopsy revealed that he had a skin disorder called vitiligo, which destroys skin pigmentation. Jackson did bleach his skin as well, but it was only so he could even out his color, since vitiligo causes pale patches to appear on the skin (I mean, would you rather be consistently white all over or have skin looking like a particularly sickly Holstein cow?).
  • Target's IT team ignored repeated warnings from its security software that led to a massive breach of credit card data.
  • In 1967, French president Charles de Gaulle vetoed the United Kingdom's bid to join the European Economic Community (EEC), which later became the European Union, saying that Britain had a "deep-seated hostility" toward European integration. The U.K. finally joined the Common Market in 1973, but voted to leave the EU in 2016, which sent shockwaves through world markets.
  • In January 2014, redditor threewolfmtn posted on the Oculus Rift subreddit that a friend of his who worked in the same building as the Oculus offices had spotted Mark Zuckerberg heading to said offices' floor, wondering if it was a coincidence or if there was something "more devious" going on. Most of the few replies at the time dismissed this as made up. Once Facebook announced their acquisition of Oculus, the thread exploded with people declaring threewolfmtn's post as this trope.
    AnarchoLeduc: You fucking told us and we didn't listen... I feel like a fool.
  • Casino analyst Marvin Roffman was fired for predicting the fall of Donald Trump's Taj Mahal casino. Needless to say, the casino soon took a dire financial hit.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown once got a bill establishing mandatory minimum sentences for cases of college sexual assault of any kind. He vetoed it on the grounds that it should be up to the schools to decide. Then Brock Turner happened. Needless to say, another bill of that type was sent to his desk just a few months after the sentencing, and Brown, having learned from his mistake the year before, signed it almost as soon as it reached his desk.
  • An Orphaned Reference could've been prevented. Irving Thalberg demanded a scene with Rasputin violating the Princess Natascha be added to Rasputin and the Empress and fired a screenwriter who refused to comply. The screenwriter in question, a Mercedes de Acosta, was a close friend of the Russian Prince Feliks Yusupov, and de Acosta was concerned that the scene would get MGM in deep trouble. The scene went in anyway, and as she had warned, a lawsuit did indeed take place, which led to a disclaimer along the lines of This Is a Work of Fiction being mandatory and the film being voluntarily pulled for years until its television premiere in 1956 with the offending scene removed.
  • From the 2016 Presidential Election
    • A few analysts had predicted that Donald Trump would win the elections. However, they were laughed at. Primarily because many other polls were predicting a Hillary win, most likely a landslide victory (the most ludicrous statement was a "98.5% certainty in favour of Hillary Clinton"). Most people were surprised when Trump made a Dark Horse Victory.
    • Many people on the left warned for years that the Democrats' pro-free-trade policies would eventually cost them their working-class support. The Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — previously part of the "blue wall" of stalwart Democratic states — went to Donald Trump with working class voters (most of them white, but also a record number of non-white Republicans) fed up with losing jobs to foreign countries the most frequently cited reason.
    • Margot Kidder wrote an article in April 2016, stating that the Hillary Clinton campaign was encouraging large donations to state Democratic parties, only for the parties to funnel them to the Hillary Clinton campaign. Mainstream media outlets ridiculed the article (It didn't help that it was published on April Fools' Day). During the Democratic Convention, the Podesta email leaks revealed that the state parties were doing just that. However, it was not until Donna Brazile published her book in 2017 that the mainstream media finally covered the story.
  • The DES cipher algorithm contains a step where a set of magical numbers from substitution tables (called S-boxes) are applied to the ciphertext. Magical numbers are constant values (numeric or otherwise) which are used in an algorithm, which usually represent some knowledge which isn't encoded into the algorithm. Since no one outside of the design team knew where these values came from, there was a suspicion that the NSA was using them to provide a backdoor which would allow them (and only them) to read messages encrypted with the cipher. (This is in spite of the fact that the only involvement the NSA had was verifying the cipher was as strong as the creators intended.) The Cassandra Truth comes from a former NSA data scientist who had worked on the project, and had been responsible for the creation of the S-boxes. He repeatedly denied that the S-boxes weakened the cipher; analysis over the decades since has proven that not only do the S-Boxes not weaken the cipher, but they were the cornerstone of the cipher's strength.
  • Thus far the only accident of a high speed train in revenue service on a purpose built line in which speed was a factor was caused by several of this. Deutsche Bahn had tried to cut corners in their new ICE, putting steel suspension into the wheels (the prototype had had air suspension which is more expensive but delivers a smoother ride). Sure enough, the plates would start moving around in the restaurant car. As a "solution" to this problem, DB put streetcar tires on the wheels, where a steel core is surrounded by a rubber ring and a steel ring. This had been done in low speed applications like trams for decades and it did help reduce the vibrations, but it had never been used at the speeds ICEs run at. Fast forward a few years and üstra, the operators of the Hannover tram tell all users of similar tires to their own that they crack earlier than expected. This circular letter also got to Deutsche Bahn but whoever was responsible either ignored it or did not forward it to somebody who would listen, so it sat in some archive for a year. However, as part of the "trial" with the new wheels, they were to regularly undergo measuring during routine maintenance. The wheels on the train which would have the accident were tested and the results were dismissed as impossible so instead of even measuring a second time or pulling the train from service, it was sent out again. Sure enough, the wheel cracked, got stuck in a switch, which happened to be right before a bridge, the train derailed, jackknifed and killed 101 people - still the worst death toll of any train disaster in German post-war history.
    • To add yet another ripple, the wheel pierced inside the passenger compartment and a passenger actually saw that and got up in search for a conductor. Presented with the rather absurd tale that a piece of metal suddenly pierced through the floor, he went to see for himself. By the time he had gotten there, the train had already derailed.
  • Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, went to the Bronx School of Science to learn more about American schools for his role. While there, he was sat next to a pretty girl, who asked him why he showed up in the middle of the year. He told her that he was secretly Spider-Man, and was laughed off.
  • Halle Berry used to chat anonymously on AOL chatrooms before revealing her identity. Nobody would believe her.
  • In 1933 H. G. Wells released his book The Shape Of Things To Come. He predicted a second world war's start in January 1940 (only four months late) plus aerial bombardment of cities, among other future weapons. This was not believed, of course, and he suggested this epitaph for himself later: "Goddamn you all, I told you so." He died just a year after the war ended. In fairness though, the rest of his predictions were way off.
  • If you live in India, the Dalits are a sad example as they are blamed by the upper caste for something that they have not done. They begged the upper caste that they are innocent but no one believes them.
  • People have been predicting the devastating scale of fossil fuel-related climate change since 1912. However, very little was done until the problem had already become an existential threat. That's all we'll say on that.
  • The issue of police brutality an in the United States. Minorities have complained for decades about the police singling them out, subjecting them to brutality and horrifying treatment, and planting false evidence to arrest them on trumped up charges. Their complaints and grievances were often simply brushed aside, ignored, and incidents were swept under the rug because police testimony was considered more reliable. This led to the infamous NWA song, Fuck The Police. Nowadays with the advent of cell phones, social media, and new ways of recording footage, claims of police brutality are being taken much more seriously.
    • This also applies to everyday racism as well. With cell phones being able to instantly upload footage to social media, numerous bigots have lost their jobs after being caught on video harassing minorities for trivial reasons, such as a white Starbucks manager who called the police on two men who were waiting for a business meeting, a white woman who called the police on a group of black people staying at an Air Bn B, a white mother who reported two Native American teens to police because she didn’t think they belonged on a college tour and a white Ph.D student who called the police on a Yale University grad student who was napping in a dorm common room while studying for finals.
  • Roméo Dallaire, the Force Commander of UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda) repeatedly tried to warn the United Nations of an incoming genocide. For various reasons - reluctance to violate the peacekeeping mandate, national interests of some world powers, personal incompetence, jadedness after disastrous involvement in Somalia and similar reports from the field which did not come to pass, bureaucracy, and politics - his pleas were ignored. The result? A 1994 genocide, in which the Tutsi, Twa, and moderate Hutu were killed, displaced, rendered disabled, etc. Dallaire stayed in Rwanda throughout the genocide and tried to halt it. He came out of the experience with PTSD, which majorly affected his life.
  • Courtney Love during a Red Carpet interview: "If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a party at the Four Seasons, don't go." She was blacklisted by her own talent agency, only to be proven right 12 years later.
  • On December 30, 2019, Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist from Wuhan Central Hospital in China, posted on a private We Chat group of his medical school classmates about seven patients who contracted a virus that belonged to the same branch as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and warned them to be alert. Later, Chinese authorities admonished him and other seven medical personnel for "spreading rumors" and "fear-mongering". By early-to-mid January 2020, more patients in Wuhan were infected with the same virus known as the coronavirus or nCoV which eventually spread across China due to people going home to their provinces for Chinese New Year. By January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak as "public health emergency of concern" after confirmed cases rose up in China and abroad. Dr. Wenliang, who blew the whistle on the coronavirus outbreak, also got infected and later, died on February 7, 2020. The Chinese public lauded him as a hero who tried to warn the public about it.


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