Secrets, Lies and Deception.. and Other Amazing Pieces of History
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Conspiracy theories are a staple of television, books and movies about government plots and coverups.
An author from Prescott, Arizona just published a new book about this topic, but in the book, every story is backed up by documents that took years to uncover.
Mike Rothmiller worked for the Los Angeles Police Department. Five years in the organized crime intelligence division.
"I think it would be kind of interesting for people to really know what goes on in law enforcement especially intelligence gathering," he said.
His first book, LA Secret Police, was a look inside an elite spy network. It was a New York Times bestseller.
"As a result of that, the police commission changed all the rules regarding LAPD intelligence gathering," he said.
14 books later, Rothmiller has published a new book, Secrets, Lies and Deception -- stories from history pieced together over 20 years.
"It's not me saying this is what the president said, it's the president's actual word."
A book about conspiracies, but this time documented by government agencies. 85 different stories -- every one of them backed up by actual government documents.
"I filed hundreds of freedom of information requests and probably several hundred mandatory reclassification reviews," explained Rothmiller.
Some CIA documents explain its search for Noah's ark.
"This came at the request of senators and military officers.. they said, hey I want Noah's ark."
The CIA also searched for the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant.
"If you can control the ultimate power, you can control the world."
Other documents reveal how many nuclear weapons the United States has simply lost.
"It's not one if you go through.. there's probably seven or eight nuclear weapons that have been accidentally dropped or intentionally dropped in the water somewhere.. they've never recovered the bombs, they are still out there," said Rothmiller.
And there's the one memo about a future German leader. Written by a miliary attache in 1922, 17 years before the start of World War II.
"He was basically projecting the future.. he said if this happens, we got to watch him."
There is one that took years to expose -- about a Mexican drug lord -- the "El Chapo" of the 1980s.
"I was tasked, along with my partner, to meet with him to set up an intelligence network for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles."
Arturo Durazo was a drug smuggler. At the same time, he was the head of Mexico's federal police force.
"We knew that Durazo was already under a secret federal indictment for cocaine trafficking in Miami."
But he was still allowed to travel freely within the United States.
"He possesed a wealth of information about corruption in Mexico at the highest levels there and also within the United States."
The stories took Rothmiller 20 years to document because sometimes the government doesn't like to give up its secrets.
"You tell them what you want and you have a right to receive it and then they have to go through the process of either giving it to you or redacting, or as they have done to me in the past, say I don't know what you are talking about."
Of course, no government conspiracy book would be complete without an investigation of the Kennedy assassination.
"I have President Johnson's telephone transcripts within hours of JFK being killed."
Rothmiller hasn't come up with any documents describing a government conspiracy to kill the president, but in one phone record, Johnson discussed autopsy results with Attorney General Ramsay Clark, four years after President Kennedy was killed.
"Why is the president [Johnson] and the most powerful law enforcement officer in the country [AG Ramsey Clark] worrying about the autopsy four years after it occurs when they say there's nothing to see here, it's over and done with."
Rothmiller adds, "When you see the government doing this, you can't help but believe there are conspiracies."
Rothmiller also details phone conversations President Clinton had with world leaders, worrying about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and his concern over an impending al Qaeda attack on the U.S.