“Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”
Chapter Four
By: James Fetzer

James Fetzer, exploring the upper limits of hyperbole in one of his long-winded blog entries, refers to his warped interpretation of the infamous Shannon Hicks evacuation photos as his “smoking gun”. I’m assuming that he continues to stand by that claim as he’s essentially taken that article, peppered it with a few stolen photographs, and stretched it out in order to fill an entire chapter of his book. So what is it about this photograph that’s so damning?

“A little girl is at the front of the conga line of students led by a police woman in uniform. But she is missing in Shannon’s ‘iconic’ photograph.” pg. 47

That’s because they’re two different photos capturing two different groups of students being evacuated from the school.  None of these children are seen in Shannon’s other photograph. Because they’re different kids.

It looks like the first shot from this “smoking gun” is a blank.

“If this was taken in real time under emergency conditions, how could she have taken more than one?” pg. 47

I don’t understand the implication. It takes less than a second to take a photograph. If Fetzer were on to something here, there would be no war photography.

“There should have been around 469 students and 83 faculty and staff to evacuate: Where are they?” pg. 47

So now it’s only 469? Back on page twenty-five, James Tracy claimed that it was 600:

But while Fetzer may be getting closer, he’s still wrong: As of November 30, 2012, there were 456 children enrolled at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

So where are all of those kids? Why aren’t they all visible in this one photograph? Well, either they have already been evacuated or they are about to be evacuated. Does Fetzer actually think that they evacuate everyone (especially children) all at once in situations like this? Another absurd claim made with absolutely nothing to back it up.

“The ‘iconic’ photograph that was taken by Shannon Hicks, Associate Editor of The Newtown Bee, which Dennis Cimino and I have subjected to an extensive and detailed analysis. It is the only photo we have of any children being evacuated from the school” pg. 48

Ooh, an extensive and detailed analysis! That sounds very fancy!

In reality, Fetzer and his crew have absolutely seen other photos of students being evacuated (in fact, Fetzer makes reference to one of these photos later, on page fifty-one); they just refuse to believe that they’re real. Sandy Hook Facts has produced a large number of photos showing students being evacuated on their website, which I’ll link to here rather than repeat their work.

“On the basis of a shadow analysis, Dan concluded that the Shannon Hicks’ photograph was taken at 9:45 AM on 12 November 2012, over a month before Sandy Hook.” pg. 48

In the previous chapter, a mere five pages earlier, Wolfgang Halbig claimed that Governor Dan Malloy was first informed of the Obama administration’s plan to fake a school shooting at an abandoned school in Connecticut by Attorney General Eric Holder on November 27th, 2012. Yet these allegedly staged evacuation photos were taken fifteen days earlier? For a “drill” that they didn’t know was happening?

Additionally, according to Weather Underground, it was approximately 52°F at 9:45AM on November 12th, 2012. So why is the little boy in the middle wearing an enormous scarf? Could it be because it was actually a bit colder than that? Because it was actually December 14th, 2012?

Anyway, once again, someone else has done the heavy lifting here. In this case it’s Mick West, the administrator over at the excellent Metabunk as well as the author of “Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect”.

“The cars there on 14 December 2012 don’t look the same as in Hicks’ photograph.” pg. 49

I can only assume that when Fetzer writes that the cars “don’t look the same”, he means that they aren’t the same cars. I’m not really sure as he doesn’t elaborate or bother to provide any proof. Regardless, this is a strange direction for him to go in as he also makes the claim back on page twelve that the parking lot was filled with “used or abandoned cars”. If this photo was actually taken in October or November of 2012, as Fetzer claims, then why not just leave them in the same spot for a month or two?

Issues with logic aside, this is an especially stupid claim to make as we can easily compare the cars seen in the evacuation photos to those in the raw helicopter video feed taken shortly after the evacuations. There’s a small caveat here in that the video from the helicopter (naturally) shows mainly the tops and occasionally the sides of these cars and from a substantial distance while the evacuation photos, taken on the ground and from only a few yards away from most of the cars, show mainly the sides and rears. However, in spite of this, it’s still clear that the evacuation photographs and the helicopter footage (as well as the crime scene photographs, which I’ll also include) depict the same exact cars.

To demonstrate, I’ll start with what I’ll refer to as “evacuation photo #1” by Shannon Hicks:

The vehicles seen in the above photo 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 let’s compare that to the following still from the helicopter footage. The yellow star represents the approximate location of Shannon Hicks when she took “evacuation photo #1” earlier that morning:

Now compare both to this photo from page eight of Meehan’s parking lot photos:

#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

Here’s another evacuation photo, which I’ll refer to as “evacuation photo #2”, also taken by Shannon Hicks:

The four most visible vehicles in the above photo are:

#1: Green Ford Expedition
#2: Silver Lexus GX470
#3: Green/blue Chevy Malibu
#4: Black Subaru Impreza

Here’s a still from the helicopter footage, showing those same cars:

While I didn’t mark it in either photo, you can make out the black Nissan Rogue to the right of the black Subaru Impreza (#4).

And here’s page 160 from Farr’s nighttime exterior photos:

#1: Green Ford Expedition
#2: Silver Lexus GX470
#3: Green/blue Chevy Malibu
#4: Black Subaru Impreza

Here’s one last crime scene and helicopter footage comparison.

From page 137 of Farr’s nighttime exterior photos:

#1 Silver Toyota Minivan
#2 Beige Toyota SUV
#3 Blue Honda CRV
#4 Silver Nissan Maxima
#5 White Subaru Outback (?)

Compare that to this still from the helicopter footage:

Here’s a closer look:

While the Toyota minivan is cut out of the shot, the rest of the cars are the same:

#2 Beige Toyota SUV
#3 Blue Honda CRV
#4 Silver Nissan Maxima
#5 White Subaru Outback (?)

It’s undeniable that these are the same exact cars. Once again, Fetzer is guilty of either abysmal (or non-existent) research or lying to his readers. There is no other explanation.

“I was taken to a web page with the following (now familiar) photograph, accompanied by a caption stating, ‘Picture at Sandy Hook taken on October 17, 2012, during emergency drill at the school’, which reinforces the question it raises” pg. 50

It’s almost unbelievable that this made it into a book, but what Fetzer is referring to here is literally just a caption added by conspiracy theorist Dan Hennen on a photo that he admittedly did not take, posted to his personal Flickr account. Dan rightfully credits Shannon Hicks with taking the photograph but then refuses to accept that she took it when she says she did. There is zero proof to back up the claim being made here. None.

When I visited Dan Hennen’s Flickr photostream, which is where this photo was uploaded (again, in nearly microscopic resolution), Dan’s caption claims that it was taken on October 17th, 2012, but Flickr says it was “taken” (I assume they mean uploaded) on December 14, 2013; a full year after the shooting and when Shannon Hicks says she took the photo:

Again, what we are looking at is a conspiracy theorist taking someone else’s work, hosting it elsewhere (in this case Flickr rather than the Newtown Bee, where it originally appeared), and slapping their own caption on it that says “nu-uh, this is when it really happened”. That’s it. This is James Fetzer’s promised “smoking gun”.

“There are some photos of kids walking along Dickinston Drive (who are not K-4th graders) and others beside a car, but those are not ‘evacuation photos’.” pg 51

Since Fetzer doesn’t bother to publish or even provide a source for the photo he’s speaking of, I can only assume that it’s this one:

If this is indeed the photo he’s referring to, how did he determine it does not depict an evacuation? It certainly looks like one to me. Why else would a group of children be walking down Dickinson, away from the school? But Fetzer can’t be bothered to elaborate.

And how did he conclude that those are not “K-4th graders”? Again, no reasoning or evidence is provided. Maybe he’s suggesting they’re too tall to be elementary school students. Since he didn’t explain, one can only speculate. But if that’s the case, the best we can do is use their surroundings to try and determine their height and see whether that’s true. These children are walking past what appears to be a Ford cargo van (either an E-150, E-250, or E-350) though some of the kids are closer to the camera than others, screwing up the perspective a little bit. However, according to Ford’s own documentation, the height of their cargo vans is between 82-85″. If we went with an average height of 83.5″ and split that into two 41.75″ halves, that would get us to right around the area of the door handles.

Fourth grade children are almost always either nine or ten-years-old. And according to the World Health Organization as well as the Center for Disease Control, the average height for nine and ten-year-old boys and girls is exactly the same: 54.5″ for ten-year-olds and 52.5″ for nine-year-olds. If the door handles on the van are 41.75″ off the ground, fourth grade children would average out to be about a foot taller than those handles. Even though the children closest to the van vary a bit in height (as do normal children), most of their heads, necks, and shoulders line up with that handle. It’s entirely possible that they’re even third graders, as your average third grader is somewhere around 50″. So there’s absolutely no reason, based on height, to believe that these children are not 4th or even 3rd graders.

“It’s obvious that this photograph was staged, as can also be seen from this photo on that day with frost on the ground and exhaust from the cold:We have no frost on the ground or visible exhalation from the cold in the Shannon Hicks’ photograph, which makes the date of 14 December 2012 no longer even remotely plausible.” pg. 52

The “frost and exhaust” photo Fetzer is referring to, and includes in his book, is this one:

That’s exactly how it’s presented on page fifty-two, with no source or other identifying information. Fortunately, it’s not all that difficult to find the original, which was taken by Spencer Platt for Getty Images.

Here’s how the photo appears on their site:

This photo was taken on December 15th, 2012; a fact that is mentioned not once but twice. That’s in case the white balloons tied to the school’s sign as well as the cars exiting Dickinson Drive – which was completely closed to traffic on the 14th – didn’t make it obvious. Hilariously, five chapters in, Fetzer finally shares a photograph that he contends was taken on the 14th and it’s totally wrong.

Where was Fetzer expecting to see frost in Hicks’ evacuation photo anyway? On the asphalt? On the fallen leaves off in the distance? If the evacuation photo was snapped sometime around 10AM, then according to Weather Underground’s historical data, it was 37.9 °F in Newtown, CT. Frost forms at 32°F and Newtown rose above 32°F some time around 9:30, which is roughly five minutes before shooting began.

While we have no way of telling what time it was when Platt took the above photo, it was nearly four degrees colder at the same time on the 15th. My guess would be that this photo was taken well before 10AM.

“What is this officer doing running away from the scene of the crime, for example?” pg. 52

Evacuating children and staff.

“Notice the officer whose silhouette can be seen in the background in front of the school. He appears more concerned with what’s going on in the parking lot than with what’s going on inside the school.” pg. 52

This photo captures a single second in time. It’s entirely possible (even likely) that he’s concerned with both, but this particular photo catches him while he’s paying attention to the evacuations taking place in the parking lot, which is absolutely something he should be concerned with.

Next: Chapter Five

6 Thoughts on “Fact Checking “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”, Chapter Four

  1. Chad.Brown on September 6, 2016 at 12:13 am said:

    How would I include a photo (jpg file) in a comment for this website?

  2. Cheeseball on March 15, 2018 at 2:52 pm said:

    Why are the photos uploaded way before the shooting? http://insanemedia.net/sandy-hook-evidence-strange-victim-photo-dates/3423 I think that’s what I find strange about this shooting.

    • Shill Murray on March 16, 2018 at 8:26 pm said:

      Why are the photos uploaded way before the shooting?

      They weren’t, and that’s not the upload date.

      Look, it’s entirely possible that you are honestly seeking out the truth, but if that’s the case, then “Insane Media” is a really, really bad place for you to do any kind of research. Into anything. This article is particularly stupid and, even worse, likely intentionally deceptive. When you repeat the author’s steps on AP’s image site (searching for “Sandy Hook” and then sorting by oldest), the very first relevant results include photos of Barack and Michelle Obama lighting twenty-six candles in remembrance of the victims at a White House ceremony. The date on these photos is January 01, 2000. Nobody in their right mind would suggest that these pictures were taken twelve years before the shooting. Obama wouldn’t even be President for another nine years, so obviously the date on these photos is incorrect. Occam’s Razor, etc. But why did the author leave these results out of his findings? It’s entirely possible that he missed them, but I think it’s safe to assume he fully realized that their inclusion would clue his readers (some of which I’m sure are much more critical thinkers than he is) in to what is really happening here, and that is nothing more than inconsistent Exif data.

      Fortunately, you don’t need an in-depth explanation of Exif data in order to understand how it works, just know that Exif data includes “Date and time information. Digital cameras will record the current date and time and save this in the metadata.” It does not include “uploaded date”. That information would have to be added independently.

      Now I know that digital cameras have fallen out of favor with the general public, but professional photographers still use them, and if you ever have, then you probably know that you’re responsible for setting the date and time. They’re not automatically synced with atomic clocks like your phone is. Shockingly, not everyone does this correctly, or even at all. I’m not sure if you’re old enough to remember personal camcorders, but if you’ve seen more than one home video, then you’ve likely seen an incorrect timestamp flashing in the corner. This is the same thing, and it is simply the result of carelessness or technological ignorance. Just Google “incorrect date on digital photos” and you’ll see a lot of people struggling to understand why their digital photos appear to be traveling through time.

      I’m not going to tell people how to write their blogs, but instead of copying and pasting the Wikipedia entry for “Associated Press”, maybe it would have been a better use of the author’s time to experiment a bit more with the AP’s search engine before jumping to such absurd conclusions. For instance, if they had searched for “Donald Trump inauguration” and sorted by oldest, much like they had done for Sandy Hook, then they’d find photos of protesters in Mexico City burning Donald Trump in effigy on the day of his inauguration. But the date of the photo is listed as “December 31, 1999”. Obviously that is incorrect, yet it would be ridiculous to suggest that the photo was actually taken seventeen years earlier, wouldn’t it? Scroll down a bit further and you’ll see photos from the 2018 Women’s March, yet the date is listed as “February 02, 2012”. Just one row below that, there’s a photo of Barack Obama talking to Donald Trump as he leaves the latter’s inauguration, yet the date of that photo is listed as “July 05, 2012”. Does the author believe that these photos were actually taken four years before Donald Trump was elected President? No, of course not, because that’s insane.

      You’re likely to find similar results for any major event. I also tried “Hurricane Harvey” and, sure enough, the second row shows a number of photos taken in 2017, yet they carry a creation date of “December 31, 1999”. Can I expect an “Insane Media” entry describing how Hurricane Harvey was staged eighteen years in advance? Come on.

  3. AnywhereButHere on June 3, 2023 at 6:58 pm said:

    Do you know the original source of the photo of the class walking down Dickinson? I thought it was Libor Jany but having a hard time proving that.
    Oh, and it’s totally apart of the evac. The white van that’s in the photo was the SNTF raid van. They were recorded arriving at the school at 10:19 (Book 4 00184096 p. 20) which was during the time of the evac (10:00 – 10:33ish). The van can be seen in numerous aerial photos and it was described in their statement as being parked in that general location (Book 6 00006484).

    • Shill Murray on June 5, 2023 at 1:33 pm said:

      Unfortunately, I do not. I’m not sure if I was ever fully aware of its provenance, though I did not have any doubts that it was from the evacuation. After all, you can clearly see the emergency lights of a cop car just to the left of the van. Furthermore, why in the world would there be so many cars parked on Dickinson otherwise? But thank you for the additional context. I had not realized that that was the SNTF van.

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