Death of Max Spiers

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The death on 16 July 2016 of the conspiracy theorist Max Spiers (or Maxwell Bates-Spiers,[1] born 1976) caused controversy among some conspiracists, which led to reports from BBC News and other news outlets.

Spiers died on 16 July 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, while visiting a friend.[2] In a multi-part short documentary series on his death, made by the BBC, his mother stated that she had been concerned about Spiers's mental health prior to his death, and that she believed he had "gotten involved with the wrong crowd." A final video taken of Spiers before his death revealed what his mother interpreted as signs of substance intoxication;[3] she had seen him in a similar state in the past after he had taken heroin.[4][5] Another conspiracist, who was close to Spiers, suggested that his drug use was controlled by extraterrestrial life.[6] A message from Spiers's phone stating "your boy's in trouble. If anything happens to me, investigate" was sent to his mother before he died. Spiers vomited black fluid prior to his death.[7]


Spiers had been interested in conspiracy theories from a young age. He later recalled various events including out-of-body experiences which he used to justify conspiracy theories, including the belief that he had been given supernatural powers at birth.[citation needed] Spiers also suffered severe anxiety, which sometimes left him completely debilitated.[citation needed]

Spiers believed in a variety of paranormal events, such as that he had been altered as a child to become a supersoldier (a term he disliked). Spiers's credibility as a conspiracy theorist has been doubted by other conspiracists, including Adam Borowski from Radio Paranormalium, a Polish independent journalist who stated Spiers "seemed to collect the research of other people and present it as his own" and that he had never proven any abilities related to his claim of being made a supersoldier at birth.[8]

While in the United States he had an accident which resulted in a crack to his pelvis. This led to a prescription of potent opiate pain relief. Spiers later developed an opioid use disorder. Unable to acquire more prescription opiates, Spiers began to take heroin.[9] There are claims that Spiers relapsed while in Poland, and a video taken shortly before his death seems to provide grounds for this, as according to his mother, he behaved as he had done after taking heroin.[10]


On 16 July 2016 Spiers died on the sofa at a friend's house in Warsaw, Poland. According to the Polish prosecutor handling the case, Spiers's friend called an ambulance. A doctor attended the scene but was unable to revive Spiers. He did not take steps to inform police about the incident. Information regarding Spiers' death did not reach the prosecutor's office until 30 August 2016, after his body had been handed over to British authorities. Due to this, Polish authorities could not conduct an autopsy.[11]


On 30 August 2016 an investigation was launched into the circumstances surrounding Spiers' death. The investigation by Polish authorities is looking into the involuntary manslaughter of Spiers.[12][13] In December 2016 British authorities announced they would launch an inquest into his death, which is distinct from an investigation with an aim to convict. (Conviction is undertaken by the Polish Prosecutors' Office, who may choose whether to accept the inquest's findings.) A coroner told the inquest he was waiting to receive a report from Polish authorities. As a result, the proceedings were adjourned until February 2017.[14]

On 7 January 2019 the cause of Spiers's death was released as drugs and pneumonia.[15][16]


  1. ^ ["Maxwell Bates-Spiers inquest: Polish police probe criticised", BBC, 9 January 2018.]
  2. ^ "Max Spiers: conspiracy theorist's friend Monika Duval to be quizzed by Polish police". Kent Online. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  3. ^ Could Max Spiers's last interview help explain his death?, 2017-02-25, retrieved 2017-03-02
  4. ^ "Fractured: The Death of Max Spiers". BBC iPlayer. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  5. ^ How fear and suspicion haunted the last days of Max Spiers, 2017-02-25, retrieved 2017-03-02
  6. ^ Calzado, Tatiana. "The unsolved death of a conspiracy theorist – The Hawk Eye". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  7. ^ "A conspiracy theorist 'vomited black fluid before he died'". The Independent. 2016-12-16. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  8. ^ BBC Stories (2017-02-27), Max Spiers: How fear and suspicion haunted his last days (Part 3) - BBC Stories time stamp 220s, retrieved 2017-03-02
  9. ^ BBC Stories (2017-02-25), Max Spiers: Could the last interview help explain his death? (Part 2) BBC Stories time stamp 318s, retrieved 2017-03-02
  10. ^ BBC Stories (2017-02-25), Max Spiers: Could the last interview help explain his death? (Part 2) BBC Stories time stamp 465s, retrieved 2017-03-02
  11. ^ BBC Stories (2017-02-25), Max Spiers: The mysterious death of a conspiracy theorist (Part 1) - BBC Stories time stamp 498s, retrieved 2017-03-02
  12. ^ BBC Stories (2017-02-25). "Max Spiers: The mysterious death of a conspiracy theorist (Part 1) - BBC Stories time stamp 116s". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  13. ^ "Sci-fi writer to be quizzed over death of Kent UFO hunter". Kent Live. 2017-02-26. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  14. ^ "UFO expert Max Spiers 'vomited black fluid' before his death, inquest hears". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
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