One of the more pervasive zombie myths still being propagated by the Sandy Hook denialist cult is the lie that Sandy Hook Elementary School quietly closed in 2008 and was therefore empty when Adam Lanza (who may or may not have even existed, depending on which wackadoo you’re dealing with) carried out his deadly attack on December 14th, 2012. This alleged closure was so quiet, in fact, that not a single local media outlet covered it.

This absurd fantasy seems to have originated with professional conspiracy theorist James Fetzer, a bloated carny who has been supplementing his retirement income with a series of increasingly insane (and lazy, based on the fact that nearly every word in “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook” was lifted from an existing blog entry) books declaring everything that has ever happened – from the moon landing to the Boston Marathon bombing – to be an elaborate fake. And despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary (including numerous photographs depicting a bustling school, years worth of PTA meeting minutes, school facilities surveys, news articles, job listings, etc.), Fetzer has seemingly based this outrageous claim entirely on a combination of outdated information and a total – and possibly intentional, though that may be giving him too much credit – misunderstanding of how the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine functions. That’s it.

But what is the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (“The Wayback Machine”)? From Wikipedia:

The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet created by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization, based in San Francisco, California, United States. The Internet Archive launched the Wayback Machine in October 2001. It was set up by Brewster Kahle and Bruce Gilliat, and is maintained with content from Alexa Internet. The service enables users to see archived versions of web pages across time, which the archive calls a “three dimensional index.”

Since 1996, they have been archiving cached pages of web sites onto their large cluster of Linux nodes. They revisit sites every few weeks or months and archive a new version if the content has changed. Sites can also be captured on the fly by visitors who are offered a link to do so. The intent is to capture and archive content that otherwise would be lost whenever a site is changed or closed down. Their grand vision is to archive the entire Internet.

Hopefully you caught that. The Wayback Machine revisits sites “every few weeks or months”. This concept is reiterated later in the same article:

The frequency of snapshots is variable, so not all tracked web site updates are recorded. Sometimes there are intervals of several weeks or years between snapshots.

And just in case it wasn’t already incredibly obvious, this is again stated very plainly – as a disclaimer – right there on their calendar view page:

So with that in mind:

“Arguably, the most compelling evidence that SHES had long been abandoned before the 2012 massacre is the testimony from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine of the school’s lack of of Internet activity from the beginning of 2008 through all of 2012.” pg. 34

Oof.

I can’t stress this enough: archived versions of websites, sporadically crawled by the Wayback Machine, are not at all synonymous with “Internet activity”. This claim demonstrates a level of technological ignorance best described as “absolutely staggering” (although it’s still not as egregious as the commenter who claimed “all internet connections” were “severed”, as if someone had walked into the school’s networking closets with a pair of gardening shears and just went to town).

“The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the Internet which uses a special software to crawl and download all publicly accessible World Wide Web pages. It was Jungle Server who first discovered that the Wayback Machine shows an absence of Internet activity from SHES since 2008 — the same year when the school was found to be contaminated with asbestos.” pg. 34

There is absolutely no evidence that Sandy Hook Elementary School was any more “contaminated” with asbestos in 2008 than it was in 1956, which is when the school was built. Just as my own home was no more contaminated with asbestos when I had the original siding replaced a few years ago than it was when it was built, which was sometime in the mid-50s (when asbestos building materials, including siding, were commonplace).

Since the book predictably does not provide a source for the asbestos claim, I was forced to trace it back to an entry on Maria Hsia Chang’s completely wretched “Fellowship Of The Minds”. Chang’s source is a single, short paragraph from the Newtown Bee’s website, published on November 7th, 2008. While no longer available at the provided URL, it is still accessible via – you guessed it – the Wayback Machine. You can view it for yourself here.

It reads:

The asbestos levels in Newtown schools pose no threat to the health or safety of those using the schools, according to Superintendent John Reed. The areas in the schools where there is evidence of asbestos — the ceiling above the high school pool, areas of the upstairs floor of the Middle School A wing and the girls’ and boys’ locker rooms, are also considered acceptable and safe.

Hopefully your reading comprehension is not as poor as Maria Chang’s, but if you’re at all confused, I’ll reiterate: in November of 2008, the asbestos levels in Newtwon schools – which presumably included Sandy Hook Elementary, although it is not mentioned by name – presented no threat to students or faculty. So Chang’s own source does not corroborate her claim. And if Sandy Hook was “contaminated” enough to be closed (which it wasn’t), then where did that leave the high school and middle school, which were specifically called out for showing “evidence of asbestos”?

Furthermore, Sandy Hook Elementary School was given a 4 (out of a possible 4, indicating that there was “Not a problem”) for “Asbestos remediation” in the Connecticut Department of Education’s 2011 school facilities survey:

“To verify Jungle Surfer’s claim, I searched for SHES’s website, http://newtown.k12.ct.us/~sh” pg. 34

Here’s where things really go south: Sandy Hook’s website has not been located at http://newtown.k12.ct.us/~sh since the summer of 2006 (and it would change again in 2011). That’s when the webmaster for the Newtown public school district changed the address of every school’s site, not just Sandy Hook’s. And if you search The Wayback Machine for any of those old addresses, it returns very similar – if not even more extreme – results:

That Newtown changed the addresses for all of their school’s websites is not particularly difficult information to find – which I’ll show you in a moment – and it once again hammer home just how incompetent or deliberately dishonest this book’s researchers really are. They simply cannot be trusted to report the truth to their readers, and this is especially egregious when so much of this book is dedicated to vilifying the mainstream media.

Even though the address for Sandy Hook School is incorrect, the website for all of Newtown’s public schools was in fact http://www.newtown.k12.ct.us back in 2008. And plugging that into the Wayback Machine returns the following results:

The first thing that likely jumps out at you is – with the exception of a single snapshot taken in January of 2010 – a gap that exists between November of 2007 and July of 2011. I’ll explain the reason for this later, but for now, if you take a look at the very last snapshot before the break (taken on November 20th, 2007), you’ll see that the link provided for Sandy Hook Elementary School is http://www.newtown.k12.ct.us/shs:

This address is corroborated by the earliest edition of “The Sandy Hook Connection” (Sandy Hook’s official newsletter) that I was able to find, which is dated January 8th, 2009:

When you enter that address – the correct address – into the Wayback Machine, you got the following results:

This narrows the gap considerably, whittling it down to April of 2008 (April? Do these goons think they closed the school with two months left in the school year?) through October of 2010, or a full year and a half shy of the original claim of four full years. But even taking into consideration the inconsistent nature of the Wayback Machine, two and a half years still seems like kind of a long time between snapshots. So what gives? As is usually the case with these things, there’s actually a very simple, technical explanation. From The Wayback Machine’s FAQ:

How can I have my site’s pages excluded from the Wayback Machine?

You can exclude your site from display in the Wayback Machine by placing a robots.txt file on your web server that is set to disallow User-Agent: ia_archiver. You can also send an email request for us to review to info@archive.org with the URL (web address) in the text of your message.

And what is a robots.txt file? From Wikipedia:

The robots exclusion standard, also known as the robots exclusion protocol or simply robots.txt, is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. The standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned.

Sure enough, we can see that on June 4th, 2008, the webmaster for Newtown’s public schools added the following to their robots.txt file:

And what do those two lines do?

This “User-agent: *” means this section applies to all robots. The “Disallow: /” tells the robot that it should not visit any pages on the site.

Once those changes were made, the Wayback Machine – by design – stopped crawling and archiving the sites for every school in the Newtown public school district, not just Sandy Hook. This is not debatable, and anyone with a few minutes of free time can easily replicate the steps I took above and achieve the exact same results. Unlike the unscrupulous contributors to this cretinous book, I fully encourage you to do this research for yourself.

If this is truly James Fetzer’s “most compelling evidence” that Sandy Hook Elementary School was shuttered in 2008 in preparation for an imaginary drill, what hope is there for the rest of his claims?

13 Thoughts on “Why “The Most Compelling Evidence” In “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook” Is A Total Bust

  1. Mike Smith on January 1, 2017 at 9:00 am said:

    That the school district prevented the Internet’s robots from crawling its pages producing the long web inactivity gap it did is very interesting, but doesn’t provide “fool-proof evidence” that any of the schools, including SHS, were fully or partially closed prior to the alleged Sandy Hook Elementary shooting of 14.Dec.2012. If anything, this lack of web activity on the part of the schools involved only adds to the massive confusion surrounding the event and provides debunkers ammunition to ridicule inexperienced investigators who admittedly jump into risky, unproven conclusions quite often.

    The David-and-Goliath-style duel we’re witnessing between independent, rising, often crude investigators and the almighty mainstream media over the Sandy Hook event is far from over. Debunkers do well and score points at the expense of the obvious mistakes the young investigators make, but the sheer power of the incontestable evidence available on the web in the form of videos and photographs — captured and propagated by MSM itself — is turning millions of viewers’ heads towards a bright, clear sign that reads “HOAX.” I’m referring to the likes of laughing Robbie Parker, joking Wayne Carver, or sloppy-sniper David Wheeler playing the double roll of victim’s father and faux FBI agent the same day of the event.

    Debunkers are seasoned sophists, who carefully craft arguments to push whatever case under the sun they’re paid to sell — and they’re quite good. But all we have to say to these snake-oil salesmen is “no thanks.”

    • Shill Murray on January 1, 2017 at 11:15 pm said:

      Oof. Give me a break. First and foremost, there is no debate. None. If there was one – and it’d be almost impossibly generous for me to suggest that there ever was – it’s been over for quite some time now. And it likely wouldn’t have centered around whether or not the tragedy was “faked”, as it’s a ludicrous idea that has never been supported by so much as a shred of empirical evidence. Just because one side of this imaginary argument refuses to accept the facts and move on doesn’t mean that there’s a legitimate debate to be had. That’s silly. Twenty-six people died at Sandy Hook School, the Earth is not flat, etc. Just stop.

      I refuse to accept that there is anything confusing or even all that interesting regarding the changes that were made to the district’s website back in 2008. In my opinion, the only people who are still confused are those who choose to remain so. Literally anyone can take a few minutes out of their day to do some basic research and familiarize themselves with the process, which is not all that technologically advanced. There’s also nothing even remotely suspicious about it. The first thing to keep in mind is that there is no four year gap in snapshot activity. Fetzer – likely intentionally – used the wrong URL to come to this conclusion. When you use the correct address, that gap ends in 2010, or two years before the shooting. That alone is enough, in my opinion, to shut this ridiculous theory down for good. But exploring it even further, remember that this prevented the website for every school in the district from being crawled (though this would have absolutely no impact on their accessibility or usability). So why anyone – and I guess the circle of co-conspirators has now grown to include Newtown’s IT staff – would deem this necessary in order to engineer a successful “false false” shooting at one of those schools four years down the line is well beyond me, and I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation from any denier. And it makes even less sense (assuming that’s possible) that they would take this step while continuing to meticulously outfit the school with thousands of dollars worth of modern technical equipment, up-to-date books and magazines, holiday decorations, even going as far as to start making pizzas for the crime scene walkthrough. Plus the hundreds of photographs taken in and around the school, the nearly two hundred articles that appeared throughout multiple local media sources, the supporting government documents, and so on, all of which appeared between 2008-2012.

      You keep talking about “crude” or “inexperienced” investigators making “mistakes”, but James Fetzer has been promoting conspiracy theories since the early 90s. He wrote his first book on the Kennedy assassination back when I was a teenager. He has been doing this for a long, long time, whereas I have only been at it for a year now. Dismissing him as an amateur, prone to frequent slip-ups, is hogwash. The guy is a con-man, plain and simple. When he dedicates an entire chapter in his book to presenting crime scene photos out of order in an attempt to make the claim that the scene was staged, that is not a clumsy mistake, it is an outright lie. Hold them accountable. Stop making excuses for these goofballs. Be better than that. Be better than them.

      the sheer power of the incontestable evidence available on the web in the form of videos and photographs — captured and propagated by MSM itself — is turning millions of viewers’ heads towards a bright, clear sign that reads “HOAX.”

      No. Just… no. First of all, there are not millions of people who believe in this tripe. If you have any evidence to the contrary, please feel free to share it. I would love to see it. And in regards to this “incontestable evidence”, surely you are not referring to your ludicrous and long debunked claim that David Wheeler “played” an FBI sniper, are you? Come on, man. This one’s just laughable.

      Debunkers are seasoned sophists, who carefully craft arguments to push whatever case under the sun they’re paid to sell — and they’re quite good. But all we have to say to these snake-oil salesmen is “no thanks.”

      This just about sums it up, doesn’t it? A flat-out refusal of the facts (hey, at least you’re polite about it!), based on God-knows-what, and the allegation of paid opposition for good measure. Now is probably a great time to tell you about The Shill Challenge, which I created for people just like you, who are wholly unprepared to argue the facts and need to resort to baseless accusations instead. If you think I’m being paid (and I’m not, as I’ve stated multiple times), present the evidence, and I’ll donate $300 to your favorite Sandy Hook huckster (Halbig, Tracy, etc). It’s an easy way to support the cause and become a hero to the denier cult by discrediting me. But if you fail to back up your claim, you’ll be banned from the site. Do you have it in you?

    • Lmao @Mike Smith. This is the typical mind of the truther. He doesn’t have a clue what robots.txt is, he doesn’t understand how archive.org or the wayback machine work, but that doesn’t stop him from typing a novel to expose how ignorant he truly is.

      I’m starting a similar blog though it has a lot more personal opinion than this one. I wonder how many infowars retards are going to say that the government pays me to blog against a group of people they’ve successfully (and rightfully) ignored for years.

      I already get accused of being paid by the government to post YouTube comments LMAO.

      SHES hoaxers are the most intelligent people on the planet.

      • Shill Murray on January 17, 2017 at 1:59 pm said:

        Because of course the only way anyone could ever disagree with their preposterous and offensive stories is if they were paid to. No other possible explanation exists. Shit, I should be so lucky.

        Send me the link to your blog once it’s up, if you don’t mind. I’d like to see it. You can e-mail me at shillmurray at outlook.com.

  2. Hah! ‘Young investigators’. Halbig, Fetzer, Mead, Weigel, Kusznir. Is Mr Smith in his nineties?

  3. Great detailed entry. Thanks, Shill, for doing the work.

  4. NoOne Dieded? on June 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm said:

    interestingly the FBI crime data by year state never seems to come up.

    The FBI says no one died, are they altogerher wrong? Simply overlooked those ‘dead’

    sure…

    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/8tabledatadecpdf/table-8-state-cuts/table_8_offenses_known_to_law_enforcement_by_connecticut_by_city_2012.xls

    Murder and
    nonnegligent
    manslaughter

    Newtown = 0

    probably nothing to see here

    • Shill Murray on June 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm said:

      This nonsense has been debunked about 1,000 times at this point, including here on this site. The zero is not how many murders occurred in Newtown, but how many were reported to the FBI by local police (the murders are in the state totals since it was state police who reported them to the FBI). In total, the shooting is explicitly mentioned fourteen times in the full FBI report. Get your head out of your ass.

  5. Mike Mouse on June 26, 2017 at 5:37 am said:

    Shill, you are a shill as any half awake person can see. You don’t address any of the real issues. The school had been closed for over a year for sure. It was in a state of total disrepair as shown by the FBI photos. Etc. if you are trying to fool anyone you fail. Book bag and body bag. Peopke saying lies like this are a total give away. If you aren’t paid you have some other angle to be so crooked.

    • Shill Murray on June 27, 2017 at 2:44 am said:

      You don’t address any of the real issues.

      James Fetzer referred to this embarrassing misrepresentation of the Internet Archive results as “the most compelling” evidence that the school was closed. Alex Jones himself has cited the very same information on his show on more than one occasion in order to come to the same asinine conclusion. But now it’s no longer a “real issue”? Why? Because it’s been so thoroughly debunked? Give me a break. It’s about as “real” an issue as anything else as that makes up this nonsense theory can be.

      The school had been closed for over a year for sure.

      You idiots can’t even agree on how long the school was allegedly closed! You say “at least a year”, Wolfgang Halbig says four years, etc. This is what happens when you base your goofball claims on total hokum.

      It was in a state of total disrepair as shown by the FBI photos.

      Amazing. The school somehow manages to get worse and worse with every re-telling of this tall tale. First it was “dirty”, and now it’s in total disrepair. That’s obviously bogus, as any reasonable person knows. The truth is that it was a small, 50+ year-old public school in America, and it looked the part. That’s what a lot of public schools look like these days, and it’s unlikely to get much better. If any of you dopes saw some of the public schools in my area, you’d swear they were all preparing for some sort of “false flag”.

      But of course you can continue to believe the alternative, which is that the United States government spent years as well as millions of dollars preparing for a fake shooting at an abandoned public school (a public school housing hundreds of children that managed to close so quietly that there is no mention of it anywhere on the Internet or elsewhere), going as far as to plant up-to-update magazines in a barely visible magazine rack, etc, only to somehow forget to make the place look habitable (or at least up to the lofty standards of conspiracy theorists) before they took thousands of crime scene photos. That one makes a whole lot of sense, right? And of course we’re told by these very same people that obviously the Lanza house was staged because it’s too clean.

      If you aren’t paid you have some other angle to be so crooked.

      My angle is that I hate bullshit and bullshitters, especially the kind that harass the families of murdered children. But if you’re so sure that I’m on someone’s payroll, prove it and I’ll send you $400. That’s the “Shill Challenge”, which I’ve written about a number of times on the Crisis Actors Guild Facebook page. I’ve been offering it as long as the site’s been up (about a year and a half now) and no one has even attempted to collect. Sad, but entirely expected.

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