#10 – “There Was An Emergency Preparedness Drill/Exercise Nearby”
Mentioned at least three times in “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”, FEMA’s “Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters” is alternately mischaracterized as a “drill” or an “exercise”. In reality, “Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters” is a six hour independent study course, based on material taken from this document by Save The Children. While FEMA offers the course online, some state organizations also teach it in a classroom environment, which means that it ends up looking a bit more like this:
If you’ve got a sharp eye, you may be able to spot a couple of differences!
The “disasters” covered by this course are almost entirely of the natural variety: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc. And while it does include some discussion of caring for children in war-torn areas, conspicuous in its absence is any mention of or information pertaining to school shootings. So while this course was in fact being held by Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection at a hospital roughly thirty-three minutes southeast of Newtown on the morning of December 14th, 2012, its continuous and intentional misrepresentation by folks like James Tracy is what earns it a spot on this list.
#9 – “The Triage Tarps Were Empty”
Most victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds and were obviously deceased, legally declared so by the EMS personnel who first made multiple attempts to revive them:
Cassavechia stated that four separate patient assessments were made to guarantee no one was resuscitatable.
– Matthew Cassavavechia, Director of Emergency Medical Services for Danbury Hospital
Source: Book 6, 00002113.pdf
Reed stated they then assessed the two adult victims in the hallway and utilized the cardiac machine. Reed stated that Cassavechia had spoken to the Emergency Medical Control Physician D. Pat Broderick and they decided that all the victims with obvious non-life sustainable head wounds would be checked with the cardiac machine. Reed stated they re-assessed the victims in the rooms utilizing the cardiac machine.
– John Reed, Paramedic Supervisor of Emergency Medical Services for Danbury Hospital
Source: Book 6, 00002358.pdf
The deceased were then triaged inside of the school:
Cassavechia said that the victims were formally triaged using the SMART triage program.
– Matthew Cassavavechia, Director of Emergency Medical Services for Danbury Hospital
Source: Book 6, 00002113.pdf
Reed stated that all the victims were given a triage tag, except for the victims in the bathroom. Those tags were put on the thermostat outside the bathroom door. Reed stated they did not want to disturb the crime scene any more than they already had.
– John Reed, Paramedic Supervisor of Emergency Medical Services for Danbury Hospital
Source: Book 6, 00002358.pdf
Three of the four surviving victims were rushed directly to Danbury Hospital via ambulence. The sole remaining victim, substitute kindergarten teacher Deborah Pisani, was first treated at the secondary triage area (before also being taken to Danbury), located in the firehouse parking lot:
I exited the vehicle and proceeded to remove any medical equipment we might need into an area that would be called a triage station. EMS Captain Halsted Firefighter Berressi and myself were notified of a potential patient located at the comer of the parking lot furthest from the school. We found and rendered aid to the patient with a laceration to the foot. After wrapping the wound we transferred care to a female member of Newtown EMS. We then returned to the triage station area to continue preparing for the possibility of more patients.
– Ryan Clark, First Responder/Firefighter with the Sandy Hook Fire Company
Source: Book 6, 00256439.pdf
Deborah Pisani (with her left leg wrapped and elevated) can be seen being treated at the secondary triage area in the Channel 12 helicopter footage:
As well as in this footage from the Wall Street Journal:
The Channel 12 helicopter footage seen above is referenced a number of times throughout “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”, which means that the authors saw the footage of Ms. Pisani being treated and chose to hide it from their readers.
#8 – “Adam Lanza Was Too Novice A Shooter”
Adam Lanza’s admiration of and experience with firearms is very well-documented.
As Adam’s parents Nancy and Peter were both avid, longtime shooters, they were happy to share their hobby with their two sons, and they shared it with them very early on. According to family friend Jordan LaFontaine, the younger Lanza “was four at the time he shot his first gun” (Source: “Newtown: An American Tragedy”). It was at the LaFontaine residence that Adam was taught how to fire a .22 as well as a “high powered air rifle” by his mother, Nancy, as well as Jordan’s father, Marvin (Source: Book 7, 00196017.pdf).
Peter Lanza further elaborated on his son’s relationship with guns during a police interview:
S/A Shibley asked Peter “if he transferred any firearms to Nanoy Lanza and documented the transfer in the Connecticut State firearm registry, to which Peter replied no. S/A Shibley asked Peter if he ever gave a firearm to Adam Lanza to which he replied no. S/A Shibley asked Peter if he was aware of Nancy Lanza purchasing and owning firearms to which he replied yes. S/A Shibley asked Peter if he was aware of Nancy Lanza purchasing firearms for Adam to which he replied no. Peter stated he assumed Adam had access to firearms purchased by Nancy because on one occasion he took Adam to Wooster Mountain Shooting Range and Adam possessed two long guns that he believed were purchased by Nancy. S/A Shibley asked Peter if he ever purchased ammunition for Adam to which he replied yes. Peter Lanza stated he would purchase a box of ammunition for Adam when they went to shooting ranges, but they would shoot all the ammunition at the range. I asked Peter if he was aware of how Adam obtained so much ammunition and Peter stated that he did not know.
Source: Book 7, 00006579.pdf
Nancy and Adam can be placed in three area shooting ranges, including the aforementioned Wooster Mountain, which is where one witness – a former police officer – recalls giving Adam “pointers and tips” on how to shoot, at Nancy’s request. The witness states:
[redacted] stated that he was at the Wooster Mountain Shooting Range in Ridgefield (Danbury) approximately 2 years ago. He stated that he saw Nancy and Adam there shooting the Bushmaster AR-15 as well as what he believed to be a Glock Model 19 .9mm handgun. [redacted] stated that Nancy asked him if he would be willing to give Adam some pointers and tips on how to shoot. [redacted] stated that he agreed and gave Adam a quick lesson in controlling his breathing and proper aiming techniques.
Source: Book 7, 00256256.pdf
Christian Hansen, a certified NRA instructor who worked at Fairfield County Indoor Range/Arms And Munitions from 1986 through 2010, recalls not only instructing Adam in a basic NRA rifle safety course, but seeing him (along with his mother) return to the range “two or three times within a year of taking the class”. From Mr. Hansen’s statement:
When I saw the media picture of Adam Lanza, I recognized him. I believe it was about 4 years ago when he and his mother took a basic safety class from me. I remember the mother to be a nice person and Adam to be extremely quiet and polite. To the best of my recollection, the mother took the basic pistol certification class and Adam with his mother took the basic NRA rifle safety course. After they completed the safety course, they came back two or three times within a year of taking the class and rented rim fire pistols and rifles. Both the mother and son were actively shooting when they came to the range. I was working part-time at that time, they could have been there more times. There was a possibility that they brought their own ammunition.
– Christian Hansen, certified NRA instructor
Source: Book 7, 00029167.pdf
The third area shooting range to host Adam Lanza was Shooters Indoor Pistol Range in New Milford. Investigators were able to locate a sign-in sheet from 2011 bearing the names as well as signatures of Nancy and her son:
Source: Book 7, 00222826.pdf.
#7 – “Websites Were Set Up And Tweets Went Out Before The Shooting”
The result of willful ignorance regarding all things technological, the claim is often made that tweets referencing the shooting went out hours in advance while donation websites were set up days ahead of time (based on the date they were reportedly cached by Google). Neither is true.
New Twitter accounts default to Pacific Time, no matter where the user is actually physically located. You can confirm this for yourself by creating a brand new Twitter account and checking your settings. For example, despite being located in the Northeast, this is what mine looked like immediately after creating my account (with identifying information scrubbed out):
So if someone in charge of a newspapers Twitter account, for example, didn’t think to change this setting, all of their tweets would appear to be exactly three hours early. And wouldn’t you know it, all of these seemingly prophetic tweets just so happen to be exactly three hours early, every single time:
And if you go back and look at the Hartford Courant’s tweets from February 2nd, 2014, you’ll see that they also seemingly predicted the winner (as well as final score) of Super Bowl XLVIII, a mere twenty minutes after kickoff:
For further confirmation that this is in fact what’s happening, all you’ll need to do is visit the Hartford Courant’s Twitter page and find their most recent tweet (as long as you’re in the Eastern time zone). Hover over the timestamp and compare that time to yours. The example below shows their most recent tweet is only twenty-one minutes old, which is accurate. But when I hover over that timestamp, it says that it’s from 12:24PM, which – as you can see from the browser window displaying the time directly from NIST – is most certainly not twenty-one minutes ago. At least not on the East Coast. Do the math and you find that there’s an exactly three hour difference.
As for websites such as the United Way, Google has inconsistent and occasionally inaccurate time stamping when dealing with active websites, as admitted by a Google engineer, Matt Cutts:
Replicating this issue is as easy as searching Google for information about a “sandy hook conspiracy theory” and limiting the results to anything from 2011. As you can see in the screenshot below, a number of conspiracy sites pop up (including links referencing James Tracy’s firing from FAU, which didn’t happen until January of 2016), all displaying dates from well before December 14th, 2012. Surely no one would believe these sites had foreknowledge of the shooting, would they?
#6 – “There Are Different Cars In The Parking Lot”
The claim is that, depending on which photograph you’re looking at, the cars in the school parking lot change. I have yet to see anyone present any evidence of this claim, likely because it is demonstrably false. As proof, let’s look at the position of these nine cars, using four different pictures from four different sources (click any photo to enlarge in a new tab):
Source: Shannon Hicks’ infamous evacuation photo from the Newtown Bee.
Source: Meehan’s parking lot photos, page eight.
Source: Michael McAndrews of the Hartford Courant.
Source: Helicopter footage from YouTube.
The vehicles seen in the above photos are:
#1: Green Saturn Vue
#2: Silver Mazda 3
#3: Maroon Honda Pilot
#4: Blue Ford Edge
#5: Red Subaru Impreza
#6: Grey BMW X5
#7: Green Volvo S60 (?)
#8: White Chevy Traverse
#9: Maroon Honda Pilot
Now here’s another angle showing even more of the parking lot. Again, we’ll look at four different photos from four different sources. This time we’ll focus on four more cars, all of which remain in the same position throughout:
Source: Shannon Hicks of the Newtown Bee.
Source: Farr’s nighttime exterior photos, page 160.
Source: Michael McAndrews of the Hartford Courant.
Source: Helicopter footage from YouTube.
The vehicles seen in the photos above are:
#1: Green Ford Expedition
#2: Silver Lexus GX470
#3: Green/blue Chevy Malibu
#4: Black Subaru Impreza
#5 – “A Sign Declaring Everyone Must Check In Appeared Before The Shooting”
The very real large, electronic sign that appeared in front of the firehouse is often touted by deniers as some of their best evidence that what took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, 2012 was not premeditated murder, but an “active shooter” exercise in which no one was killed. But such an argument could only be valid if the sign was in place prior to the alleged drill, which it was not. Once again, we can demonstrably prove that this is not the case and that the sign did not appear until sometime the next day, on December 15th (thus making it absolutely worthless for a drill).
For starters, we need to establish the approximate location of the sign. In order to do that, we’ll take a look at a composite image created by Mick West of Metabunk which overlays the photo of Gene Rosen used on the back cover of James Fetzer’s book (taken from an interview with Megyn Kelly on December 18th, 2012) with a more recent street view of the firehouse:
The next step is to establish a timeline using photos and videos from a number of different sources. One of our earliest views of the firehouse comes from the Channel 12 helicopter footage, taken sometime around 10:45AM on the 14th. As you can see, there is no trace of the sign in that location:
There’s also this photograph from Tim Clayton, likely taken at around the same time (if not shortly after) as the helicopter footage above. Again, no sign:
This alone should be enough to effectively silence any speculation surrounding the “check in” sign and, in turn, disprove the entire “it was just a drill” narrative in one fell swoop. But let’s see if we can’t narrow down this timeline any further.
This photo, taken by John Woike of the Hartford Courant, shows the intersection of Dickinson Drive and Riverside Road “as the sun sets” on Friday, December 14th. There is still no sign:
In an interview filmed very early on the morning of the 15th, Gene Rosen speaks with reporters from “CBS The Morning” while seated across the street from the firehouse. This interview provides with a nearly unobstructed view of where the sign would be… you know, if it had actually been there sometime before the 15th:
Taken shortly before 9AM on Saturday the 15th (according to the image’s EXIF data), this photo by Spencer Platt of Getty Images shows that the sign has still not arrived:
The sign finally appears sometime later than morning or afternoon, based on this photo by Robert Nickelsberg of Getty Images:
#4 – “The Children Were Rearranged For The Evacuation Photos”
No, they’re just different students.
This claim is based off of the idea that the same two children appear in both of Shannon Hicks’ infamous evacuation photographs. Why re-use two of the children and swap the rest? Did they run out? Who knows? But this is what James Fetzer, “Vivian Lee”, and a disheartening number of other conspiracy theorists actually believe.
Fetzer and Lee, in Chapter Five of “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”, make the absurd claim that these two children…
Are the same as these two:
Besides some superficial similarities in their clothing, it should be obvious that these are different students. Let’s compare:
Set #1 – The children in the black shirts:
A) The boy on the left is wearing a long-sleeved black shirt or sweatshirt with a large design printed on the front. The design appears to be of some unknown character, posing with a red skateboard. There doesn’t appear to be any writing. The other boy’s shirt or sweatshirt has a school logo or something similar printed on it: you can see the word “South” at the beginning and it looks like “Fat” or “Fal” on the second line. B) The boy on the left has bangs that sit evenly across his forehead. The boy on the right has his hair swept up in the front, off of his forehead. C) The boy on the left is wearing light blue running shoes/sneakers with a sole that tapers off at the front, like a New Balance sneaker would. There’s nothing in his right hand, and likely nothing in his left hand either. The boy on the right is wearing dark grey sneakers with a uniform sole and holding papers in his right hand. His jeans are also noticeably darker.
Set #2 – The children in the grey shirts:
A) Both boys are wearing long-sleeved grey shirts or sweatshirts. The boy on the right looks like he may have a collar. B) The boy on the left has light brown hair. The other boy has much darker hair, though they are cut and styled in a similar fashion. Their facial features are drastically different. C) The boy on the left is wearing black or very dark blue athletic pants with a bright blue stripe that goes at least halfway down the leg. His sneakers are light grey and the large, white sole is very noticeable against the asphalt. The other boy is wearing dark blue athletic pants with what looks like silver strips just below the knees, at least on his left leg. His sneakers are black with a very thin sole.
You’d have to be a lunatic to think that these are the same kids.
#3 – “There Was No ‘Internet Activity ‘ From The School Between 2008-2013”
This outrageous claim entirely on a combination of outdated information and a total (and possibly intentional) misunderstanding of how the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine functions.
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”. The more popular a site, the more it’s crawled (which would explain why even the elementary schools surrounding Wolfgang Halbig’s home in Florida suffer from the same fate). 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.
These snapshots 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”. It certainly doesn’t help matters much when your information hasn’t been relevant in six years.
The web address James Fetzer and his co-authors used to reach this conclusion – http://newtown.k12.ct.us/~sh – has not been the home of Sandy Hook School’s website since the summer of 2006, which is when the webmaster for the Newtown public school district changed the address of every school’s site. And if you search The Wayback Machine for any of those old addresses, it returns very similar (if not more extreme) results:
The fact that Newtown changed the addresses for all of their school’s websites is not particularly difficult information to dig up – as I’ll show you in a moment – and it once again hammers home the now indisputable fact that this book’s contributors are either totally incompetent researchers or being deliberately dishonest. Or maybe a little bit of both! Either way, it’s abundantly clear that they cannot be trusted to report the truth to their readers.
The address for Newtown’s public schools is http://www.newtown.k12.ct.us, and plugging it 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 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 actually http://www.newtown.k12.ct.us/shs (they would go on to change their address once more, in 2011):
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
#2 – “The School Was Being Used As Storage And Staged To Look Like A Real School Shortly Before The Attack”
Here is how contributor “Dr. Eowyn” AKA Maria Hsia Chang (who maintains on her own crank website where she frequently writes about Sandy Hook as well as the idea that Barack Obama is secretly gay) describes the state of the classrooms and hallways at Sandy Hook Elementary School on page 32 of “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”. I’ve highlighted the relevant bit and cropped out everything else. I’ve also added the location of the source photos (in Walkley’s scene photos, available as part of the official report, included in the “22 Assorted Files” archive):
I want to start out by discussing the bottom photo first, which Chang (erroneously) claims is of a hallway being used as “storage”. Firstly, it’s important to note that Walkley’s scene photos are presented in chronological order and there are 760 total pages which places this particular photo, found on page 759, very far along in the investigation process. An almost identical photo, taken of the same area at around the same time, can be seen on page 953 (of 970) of Tranquilo’s back up scene photos #2 (also included in the “22 Assorted Files” archive). Just like Walkley’s photos, Tranquilo’s are also in chronological order.
Here is a much larger, far more readable version of the photo taken from Walkley’s scene photos – the one that Chang presented entirely out of context – with some annotations provided by me to act as reference points. Again, this is page 759 of 760. As is the case with all of the photos here, you can click to enlarge in a new tab:From this perspective, the odd numbered rooms are on the left and the even numbered rooms are on the right, with the numbers ascending as they get closer to the lobby. I’ve labeled the height markers that were posted on the lower half of the wall between rooms #3 and #5 as well as the “Warm up to a good story” display between rooms #10 and #12, for further reference.
A blue tarp has been hung between the lobby and hallway while red biohazard bags can be seen on the floor between rooms #10 and #12. Some of the other items here can also be seen in earlier photos: white and blue portable storage racks, like the one seen on the very right, can be seen in Walkley’s scene photos, pages 161-162 (in room #10, which is Victoria Soto’s 1st grade classroom). They can also be seen in Tranquilo’s back up scene photos 1, on pages 167 and 200. Those same photos also show what are likely the same two desk chairs (as well as accompanying computer desk) seen on the left.
Here is the view seen above, represented on Sandy Hook’s floor plan:
And here’s what that hallway actually looked like on December 14th, 2012, not long after the shooting took place. This is page 88 of the Walkley scene photos, cropped slightly in order to make it look more like the photo on page 759. Walkley took that photo while standing between rooms #6 and #8 (or rooms #3 and #5), and this photo was taken a little further away from the lobby, between rooms #4 and #6 (or room #3 and the hallway). You can see the height markers between rooms #3 and #5. I’ve also circled one of Adam Lanza’s clips on the floor and placed a yellow star right around where the photograph on page 759 would have been taken. Mary Sherlach’s body can be seen in the distance:Visible on the floor by room #5 is SWAT gear (including a helmet), a LifePak 15 defibrillator/monitor, an EMT’s backpack, and a bag containing MCI (mass-casualty incident) equipment. Here’s a closer look at it from page 70 of Tranquillo’s back-up scene photos 1. Again, I’ve marked the height markers between rooms #3 and #5, circled the cartridge, and marked where Walkley would have been standing when taking the picture used by Chang:It should be obvious at this point that the photo used by Chang was taken while these rooms were being emptied out, their contents temporarily stored in the hallway, so that investigators could continue their work inside of the rooms, unobstructed. An example of this can be seen in Walkley’s scene photos, pages 563-574, as well as Tranquillo’s back up scene photos 2, pages 151-152, which show a nearly empty room #8. This is corroborated by CFS 1200704597, 00118939.pdf:
And just in case the above was not enough, here’s a photo from Sandy Hook’s 2011-2012 scrapbook, which shows this exact hallway as it was on January 23rd, 2012. There are no boxes, chairs, or bags to be found:
With all of the above in mind, there can be no question that the hallways were not used for storage. Maria Chang and James Fetzer presented these photos out of order. With a reported nine researchers collaborating on this book (including five alleged PhDs), what’s the more likely explanation: that this book was so poorly researched and edited that such an obvious error slipped right by every last one of them or that you’re being lied to?
But what about the “jammed” classroom shown at the top of that same page? Not surprisingly, this one has a similar explanation: intentional deception on the part of Chang and ultimately Fetzer (as this is his book).
What the book doesn’t mention is that this is a picture of room #6, which was the special education classroom. The picture is taken from Walkley’s scene photos, page 249. Chang purposely chose a picture of the most cluttered area, located at the back of the room, by the teacher’s desk. Other photos of the same room show that there was plenty of room to run a class. In fact, here’s a composite that I created using those pictures, found on pages 249-251 from Walkley’s scene photos. These are the three photos that come directly after the one Chang used, so they can’t claim that they didn’t see them:
Not really as described, is it? Unfortunately for Chang, the second composite that I created using four photos taken from the other side of the room, just inside the door (Walkley’s scene photos, pages 244-247), make the room look even less cluttered:You can see in both composites that there is absolutely no fire hazard here as Chang claims. There is a clear, unobstructed path to the door. Furthermore, personal affects, including jackets and water bottles, can be seen everywhere in both pictures. There even appears to be coffee brewing to the left of the previous composite photo as well as a December, 2012 calendar just right of center. Overall, there’s plenty of evidence here that this was indeed an active classroom and school.
#1 – “We Have The FEMA Manual”
They certainly have something, but a legitimate FEMA manual – let alone “the” FEMA manual – it is most assuredly not.
Beyond its very, very questionable origins of the “manual”, there are also a number of serious problems with the actual content. Most glaringly, it’s nearly an exact copy of the following legitimate government document, taken from Massachusetts’ state site:
It’s abundantly clear that whoever is responsible for this forgery simply took that document, found and replaced all of the placeholders, and saved the finished product as a PDF, presumably so that it couldn’t be modified any further… which is a real shame, because this thing is in some desperate need of a proofreader.
First and foremost, this document provides instructions for a “Site Activation Call-down Drill”. In emergency preparation, a call-down drill is “a series of telephone calls from one person to the next used to relay specific information. An established and exercised call down protocol can be used during emergency situations, such as a flu pandemic, to deliver urgent information to and for communication among members and staff”, and they bear absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to what took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Honestly, the fact that the clown who cobbled this thing together couldn’t find a more relevant document to work off of is a feat in and of itself.
Secondly, and just as importantly, there is no “Emergency Response For Mass Casualties Involving Children” mass casualty drill listed anywhere on FEMA’s website. The closest match is “Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for Schools, Higher Education, and Houses of Worship”, which is a short course that absolutely anyone can take entirely online. From the course description:
This course will help you understand the threats and challenges of mass casualty incidents, and present ways you can improve your level of preparedness should the unthinkable occur.
So we’re not even off the first page and we’re waist deep in bullshit.
Then on page five, under “Handling Instructions”, the barely literate author of this farce entered the following information:
Federal Emergency Management Agency
And yes, that is exactly how they typed Tom Romano’s e-mail address when they copied his information from this page: with an extra “e” at the end. They also never bothered to look up who he actually works for or what his title is, as Mr. Romano is a “Region 5 Training Coordinator” for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and not employed by FEMA. They also don’t have anyone listed as “Exercise Director”, which presents a serious issue once you get to page fourteen and realize just how important one is to this (imaginary) drill:
- Exercise Director/Controller/Evaluator. This position has the overall responsibility for planning, coordinating, and overseeing all exercise functions. He/she monitors the status of play and the achievement of the exercise design objectives.They declare when the drill starts and ends and manage the flow of the drill. This is the only participant who will provide information or direction to the players. However, because the drill focuses on the collection of time-based metrics, they should not intervene in timed activities while the drill is in progress.He/she is responsible for timing the overall drill, gathering individual call data collection sheets, computing metrics, and taking notes to identify areas for improvement.
Or page fifteen:
If a real emergency occurs that affects the entire exercise, the exercise may be suspended or terminated at the discretion of the Exercise Director/Controller… The exercise is scheduled to run until the Exercise Director/Controller determines that the exercise objectives have been met.
Since they removed the [Exercise Duration] from the original document, and since there’s no Exercise Director, does that mean that this thing runs forever?
These are pretty substantial oversights/errors and go a long, long way towards discrediting the entire document within five pages. But wait, there’s more!
On page ten, the author left “Mass Prophylaxis” from the original document as one of the Target Capabilities, but also added the following:
- Mass Death of Children at a School by Firearms
- Suicide or Apprehension of Unknown Shooter
- Use of Media for Evaluation
- Use of Media for Information Distribution
Jeez… a little on the nose, don’t you think?
Ignoring how far-fetched it would be for a single mass casualty drill to cover both prophylaxis as well as a school shooting (both of which would require drastically different responses), none of the author’s edits represent real Target Capabilities. Of course. Here is FEMA’s actual Target Capabilities List as it would have appeared in 2012 (Source):
I’ve highlighted “Mass Prophylaxis” to demonstrate that the only legitimate Target Capability listed in this document is the one that they left in from the original. But notice that the additional four do not appear anywhere on this list. Because they’re not real.
The author also left the following on page fifteen:
- All communications (written, radio, telephone, etc.) made during the exercise will begin and end with the phrase, “This is a drill.”
The importance of this phrase is emphasized on page sixteen:
- All exercise communication will begin and end with the phrase “This is a drill.” This is a precaution taken so anyone overhearing the conversation will not mistake the exercise play for a real-world emergency.
Of course this phrase is nowhere to be found in any of the written statements, 911 calls, or radio transmissions found in the final report. Not once. Pivoting off of this point, Sandy Hook Facts has an excellent write-up on the multitude of ways in which the Sandy Hook shooting deviated from actual “Active Shooter” drill protocols.
Page eighteen includes the following paragraph:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the RAND Corporation have developed a data collection spreadsheet and scoring metrics computation spreadsheet, for assessing site call-down capability.
Wait… the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? It’s almost as if this was written for a Mass Prophylaxis exercise. Which it was.
Finally, as Kelbel over on the Metabunk message board pointed out:
I’m going to try and keep this as short as possible, because this document is so blatantly fake, it shouldn’t even need to be explained this many times.
The exercises are planned and executed at the above mentioned levels (state, local, tribal, etc.) and NOT the Federal level. The fake document has FEMA and DHS as the Sponsoring Agency(ies). The fake also contains at least 4 different “Exercise Names”, including “National Preparedness” and “National Incident Management System”, which are NOT scenarios, they are actual THINGS.
While exercises are planned with the guidance from FEMA and DHS, those agencies are not those who carry them out:
The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) doctrine consists of fundamental principles that frame a common approach to exercises. Applying these principles to both the management of an exercise program and the execution of individual exercises is critical to the effective examination of capabilities.
- Guided by elected and appointed officials
- Capability-based, objective driven
- Progressive planning approach
- Whole community integration
- Informed by risk
- Common methodology
If you would like to see an example of what an actual “Active Shooter” exercise plan looks like, take a look at this one from Purdue University (from July of 2010). The differences between the two documents are numerous and pretty staggering.