A man photographed walking on a balcony in a building near the explosion went viral, even though the area is a place where workers commonly take breaks. Dan Lampariello

It took no less than 30 minutes after the Boston Marathon bombings, before conspiracy theories started wildly circulating around the Internet. From the totally absurd to the suspiciously plausible, here's our wrap up of the most popular theories being thrown around.

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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones posted one of the first "false flags" tweets.Twitter Screen Grab

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who runs the websites InfoWars and PrisonPlanet, launched the first shot across the bow with a sympathetic and skeptical Tweet ending with the hash tag "falseflag." The term originates from the days of naval warfare when ships would fly different national flags to subvert or escape enemy vessels. In conspiracy parlance, "false flag" refers to any situation where an attack is presumed orchestrated by a government or organization pretending to be someone or something else.

InfoWars radio host Dan Bidondi raised the "false flag" theory during a Boston Police Department press conference. Youtube Screen grab

InfoWars radio host Dan Bidondi also brought up this theory during the Boston Police Department's final press conference. Bidondi accused the U.S. government of pretending to be a terrorist organization and staging the attack when he asked, "Is this another false flag staged attack to take our civil liberties and promote homeland security while sticking their hands down our pants on the streets?"

"Conspiracy theories don't just pop out of nowhere," Benjamin Radford, a conspiracy theory expert and Discovery News contributor, said. He calls people like Jones "opportunists" who used tragedies to push their anti-government agendas. "They see evidence of this in everyday events that the rest of us simply don't see because that's not how we're thinking about it."

Also adding to the false flag theories was an April 15 tweet by the Boston Globe that stated “There will be a controlled explosion opposite the library within one minute as part of bomb squad activities.” However, this tweet came an hour after the marathon explosions and referenced a fire that broke out at the JFK Library and Museum.

Jeff Bauman Jr. is rushed to safety in a wheel chair after his lower legs where injured in the blast. Lowell Sun

As happened with the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, conspiracy theorists accused the government of hiring “crisis actors” to pretend to be victims and help pull off the event. In one of the most gruesome post-bombing images from Boston, Jeff Bauman Jr. can be seen being rushed to safety in a wheel chair after his lower legs where blown off. Conspiracy theorists accused Bauman of really being Nick Vogt, a former U.S. Army officer who lost his legs in Afghanistan. Those claims were debunked when the Jeff Bauman Sr. identified his son in the Lowell Sun.

Of the numerous fake Twitter accounts that popped up, @Hope4Boston published a photo falsely claiming the 8-year-old victim killed in the blast was a young girl who attended Sandy Hook. But the photo was taken at a race in Virginia last May and the victim was identified as Martin Richard. The Twitter account has since been suspended.

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An image of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the school principle killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, was manipulated to make it seem as if she was interviewed by the media.Youtube Screen grab

This photo of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the school principle killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, also surfaced. The manipulated image appeared as if Hochsprung’s photo was used in a media interview with a woman named Donna. Some conspiracy theorists believed the photo proved the government was being sloppy in their cover up.

This tweet went viral, yet the information was almost immediately proved incorrect. Twitter Screen Grab

A photo of Sydney Corcoran, an 18-year-old high school student whose legs where severely injured by shrapnel, also made the rounds. While the photo of a red-shirted man crouching over Corcoran is legit, a rumor spread that the man was kneeling over his dead girlfriend, who he’d planned on proposing to after she finished the race. However, that man remains unidentified. Corcoran did not participate in the marathon and she was not killed by the blast.

Radford says it's a mistake to lump all misinformation and conspiracy theories together. "There's obviously a very serious conspiracy element to these events -- Sandy Hook, The Boston Marathon -- but what you have blended into that are people who make distasteful jokes," he said.

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Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane responded to a digitally manipulated episode that supposedly predicted the attack. Twitter Screen Grab

Twelve hours after the bombings, a digitally manipulated clip of Family Guy hit YouTube, purporting that a March 17 episode predicted the attack. The episode ends with Peter Griffin accidentally blowing up a bridge after calling a terrorist’s cell phone. Footage was doctored to make it seem like Peter made the call after an unrelated moment in the episode when sports anchor Bob Costas asked Peter how we won the Boston Marathon. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane responded with the Tweet “The edited Family Guy clip currently circulating is abhorrent. The event was a crime and a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victims.”

Radford says the public rarely makes the distinction between conspiracy and misinformation, but people like Jones are happy to take them in. "They're grasping at straws anyway, so they're happy to corral in any wild claim, including obviously bogus Family Guy clips."

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A man photographed walking on a balcony in a building near the explosion went viral, even though the area is a place where workers commonly take breaks. Dan Lampariello

Perhaps the most reasonable of all the theoretical misinformation involves the suspicious “man on the roof” photo. Taken by college student Dan Lampariello, the photo shows a figure walking on the rooftop of a building near the finish line, just as the bomb exploded. However, a correspondent with the International Data Group (IDG)news service told Snopes.com that the man photographed was walking on a balcony that adjoins IDG offices, an area where workers commonly take breaks. When asked about the image, authorities said they're processing a lot of photographic evidence, but could not comment on specific leads at the moment.

Although authorities say they're "very close" to identifying a suspect, there appears to be no shortage of conspiracy theories, misinformation and jokes.

"You see this after every tragedy," Radford said. "After 9-11, there were jokes. After the Space Shuttle Challenger, within days, there were jokes...That's just how people are."