“Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”
So this is it. This is the infamous “FEMA manual” that James Fetzer can’t stop gushing over. I don’t blame you if you find it kind of really underwhelming. Probably due to the fact that it’s an obvious forgery, more so than anything else. But before we take a deep dive into this thing, a little background…
Tony Mead, owner of “Absolute Best Moving Company” (winner of the prestigious “Least Creative Company Name” award for twenty-four consecutive years now), is a loud and proud (emphasis on loud) Sandy Hook denier from the sad and ugly swamp-lands of Florida… because where else would he be from, right? Perhaps a bit jealous that his good buddies James Fetzer and Wolfgang Halbig were getting all of the attention (as well as the donations), Tony – an exposed liar and generally awful piece of human garbage – just so happened to get his greasy mitts on the aforementioned “FEMA manual” and uploaded it to his personal Mediafire account in October of 2014. Where did it come from? Who the fuck knows! Predictably, the document was never authenticated, nor did it ever appear on any actual government site or server. For all intents and purposes, it originated solely with Mead. Of course this didn’t matter much to anyone in the denier community, but it never really does though, does it? James Fetzer – a man who claims to have taught courses in critical thinking to other adults but clearly holds it in the same regard as portion control – took a particular shine to it, mentioning it six times throughout “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook” before re-printing it, in its entirety, as one of the book’s four appendices.
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 Tony (or whoever it is that duped Tony, which is something that does not seem all that difficult to do) 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.
Update 04/09/16: Group harassment organizer and zany hat wearer Tony Mead unleashed a load of binary diarrhea on the Crisis Actors Guild Facebook page earlier today, claiming that the fake FEMA document did not originate with him, but with someone named “JB Lewis”. The only problem with this story is that the link he provided (from a user with exactly one video… of course) shows that the video was uploaded on October 8th, 2014:
Which is one day after it appeared on his Mediafire account:
By the way, where was this TOP SECRET, CONFIDENTIAL document found? On Webs.com, which allows anyone to create a free, anonymous website. Definitely very legit!
Anyway, better luck next time, Tony!