The Harold Holt Conspiracy

The Harold Holt Conspiracy

This article will be taking a look at Australia’s Harold Holt conspiracy – what was behind the disappearance of Australia’s 17th Prime Minister in December, 1967, and why was his body never found?

Let’s take a closer look…

A Short Harold Holt Wiki

Holt was born on the 5th of August 1908 – he was the eldest child in his family (he had two younger brothers). His initial education was spread between three different schools in Sydney and Adelaide (between the years of 1913 to 1919).

He eventually qualified in his studies and moved on to the Wesley College in Melbourne, in 1921.

In 1924 his beloved mother died suddenly and this apparently had a profound effect on the remainder of his life. Those closest to him insisted that the loss started a sense of loneliness within him that he couldn’t shift.

He signed up for the University of Melbourne in 1927 and took a law degree – he managed to graduate in 1930.

Unfortunately the Great Depression got in the way of his plans to work as a Barrister, and he ended up developing an interest in politics instead.

Harold Holt Wiki

When Robert Menzies established the Liberal Party in 1945, Holt became one of the youngest MP’s in Australia. He went on to hold many titles with them – Minister for Air and Civil Aviation, Labour and National Service and Minister for Immigration, to name but a few.

When Menzies eventually retired, he backed Holt to take over the party, which he did (he was successfully elected as leader).

On Australia Day 1966, he was finally sworn in as Australia’s new Prime Minister.

During his short time in power, he managed to attract a fair amount of controversy. He opted to back the Vietnam War and the US president, Lyndon B. Johnson. His public image was also frowned upon by various supporting members of his own party.

The Harold Holt Disappearance

Holt was well known for being a rather strong swimmer, and on the morning of Sunday the 17th of December, 1967, he arrived at Cheviot Beach. He was joined by three friends and two bodyguards.

The area of the beach he chose to swim, was slightly infamous for being quite dangerous with strong natural currents.

He entered the water….and minutes later was dragged under an approaching wave…he never surfaced.

A huge search was carried out by the Police, the Army, Navy divers and the Air Force – his body was never found.

The Harold Holt Disappearance

The investigation was, for some reason, cut short, due to authorities claiming it was a waste of time and money. But the Victorian Police ignored this and managed to compile a 108-page report on the mysterious incident.

This report was eventually used in 2005 when a coroner ruled that Holt had drowned in accidental circumstances.

People closest to Holt at the time, suggested that he was in rather poor health – some claim that he had been collapsing due to vitamin deficiencies. A doctor also came forward and pointed out that the PM had a bad shoulder injury, and was on morphine when he entered the water for a swim.

The Harold Holt Conspiracy Theories

It wasn’t long before the conspiracy theories started emerging…

Many people believe that Holt was in love with another woman – his wife even admitted that he had had extra-marital affairs. Did he fake his own disappearance to be with the real love of his life?

A British Journalist named Anthony Grey threw another theory on the table, and published it in a book in 1983. He suggested that Holt was actually a spy for the People’s Republic of China.

He then went on to claim that Holt was probably picked up by a Chinese submarine, beneath the waves that day.

The Harold Holt Conspiracy Theories

Numerous ufologists have also come forward with suggestions that the PM was snatched by an underwater UFO vessel. However, most people believe that Holt was simply attacked by a shark, and eaten.

Speculation eventually surfaced on Holt’s state of mind when he disappeared – was he depressed and did he take his own life?

His son and his biographer claim this was not the case, and Holt was happy enough when he disappeared.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Harold Holt disappearance, please leave them in the comment section below.

18 comments on “The Harold Holt Conspiracy

  1. Being an Australian, I’ve always been curious about this disappearance. You’ve presented some interesting conspiracy theories here – Chinese submarine, extra-marital affair, spy for China, UFO vessel?!? Took his own life?It is ripe for conspiracy theories when a body is never found with so many around at the time.Very unusual.  Could he have been eaten by a shark? – all to common in Australian waters

    1. Hi John, 

      When we were writing the article, somebody actually mentioned the possibility of a shark attack – it’s a good angle really considering it was Australian waters.

  2. Hi Chris – well, I had never heard of Harold Holt before, so thanks for sharing this mystery. So many theories it makes you wonder what to believe. How odd that he vanished right in front of his own friends and bodyguards, and he must have been a bit crazy to go swimming with an injured shoulder. I love the idea of a Chinese submarine picking him up and I would love that to be true! Happy holidays, all the best, Diane  

  3. I am just stating my opinion here without knowing all the facts, but from the information you have provided in your article, I would say I have to agree with the Coroner. An accidental drowning makes sense, as if it was deliberate, as in he took his own life, his body would have likely been found. The fact that he disappeared under a wave and never surfaced and the area was notorious for dangerous currents, suggests he was caught in a strong rip and pulled out to sea, hence why his body was never found. If it was a shark attack there would likely been some blood and likely some remains found.

  4. I hate to be a sceptic, but it sounds to me like the poor man just drowned that afternoon, possibly eaten by a shark or some other big fish, or even just carried further out to sea by one. 

    I seriously doubt that he encountered a submarine under the water and entered it, as that is not possible. At least not to my knowledge, I have done a bit of research on submarines in the past, and they have to be above water to open any hatches that enter the vessel, as they are pressurized. 

    What is your opinion on this?


    1. I don’t think they were angling at the submarine being under water when he boarded it Stacie…as it probably would have flooded if they opened the hatch!!!

      Still, there are ways of getting in and out of a sub once it has dived. 

  5. There are too many unanswered questions surrounding the death of Harold Holt. There is always something fishy when investigations surrounding the death of a political figure is not brought to a single cause and a logical conclusion. Varying reports are sometimes meant to confuse issues. The recent murder of a Saudi Arabian journalist comes to mind.

    1. Hi Zuchii,

      Yeah that’s a good call – great comparison with the recent Saudi murder. Unfortunately in many of these cases the truth never really manages to rise to the surface, due to purposeful confusion! 

  6. People like these conspiracy theories even when the facts suggest something as simple as drowning under the water currents. But we are excited by the unknown so we like to create unplausible scenarios about mysteries as this to make them more interesting. Nice reading, I didn’t know about this story, thanks for sharing. I will read more articles from your website.

  7. That’s an intriguing story and well presented.  The wild conspiracy theories are interesting, but can they show evidence of spying, submarines and UFOs?  Just sounds like the sort of sensationalism to bring attention to the person talking, like so much in the “news” today.  For me his health situation and the sea itself seem most plausible.  As a scuba instructor I’ve seen trained divers die due to problems they encountered.  As is mentioned by another commenter, sharks are well known in Australia as occasionally, though infrequently, causing problems for people on the surface.  Thanks for the story.

    1. No problem mate – glad you stopped by to read the piece. There’s no real evidence behind the UFO or spy/submarine angles, just rumours really. 

  8. If this was accidental drowning the body would have turned up within week of Harold Holt’s drowning like most bodies are found,

    Secondly if he went under as a wave rushed in then his body would still have turned up within hours.

    It is more likely he dived under the waves and got caught up in a strong cross current drifted into the many cave systems in the region of Portsea’s ran out of oxygen and died within these complex cave systems and simply never found due to the technology understanding of currents of that era,

    I believe there would be evidence in existence today that could explain where his body is if someone was to explore the cave complex’s with the news technology today,

    Yes there is sharks in Port Phillip bay which resides down into Portsea heads some were very large and caught in the mid 70’s and 80’s but given the location it is very unlikely a shark was respondable I would look more at octopus having greater influence over body disappearing so close to shore line than a shark.

    As we do not know the extent of how large Octopus in Australia grow in and around Portsea region more or less these reefs and caves systems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *