In addition to being a bit of a moron, Wolfgang Halbig is also roughly one thousand years old, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he… let’s say struggles a bit with even the most basic technology. So when he attached the following image…

…to an e-mail regarding his Chalk Hill shenanigans, I had a few immediate thoughts/questions:

1) What in the holy hell does this have to do with Chalk Hill?
2) How in the world does this prove that Lenny Pozner is a “fictitious character”? My God, what a leap.
3) Of course Wolfgang Halbig does not understand Exif data. Because why would he?

While the photo itself is roughly postage stamp sized, it’s not too difficult to discern that it is of Lenny Pozner and his two daughters, taken outside of Sandy Hook School on the day of the shooting. It is one of nearly forty photos taken on the scene that day by New York photographer Matthew McDermott, all of which carry the same, incorrect creation (or “Date created”) date:

With so many photos to choose from, Lenny and his children were undoubtedly singled out for no other reason than he is a frequent target of denier harassment.

Predictably, Wolfgang insists that this obvious date snafu is no mistake, and that the events depicted in McDermott’s photos really did take place on December 13th, 2012 rather than one day later. Why would it have been necessary to take them on any day other than the 14th? Who knows? And it appears as if that’s another one of those pesky details Halbig doesn’t believe is important enough to delve into.

But there are at least two very simple ways to fact check this nonsense, neither of which appear to have been done by Halbig or his team of master investigators:

The most obvious first step would be to see any of Mr. McDermott’s other photographs exhibit this same issue. That’s simple enough to do using Polaris Images’s website where you can limit your search to a specific photographer and timeframe. In this case I started by looking for any photo taken by Matthew McDermott in 2012. Note: if you’re going to attempt to replicate my results, pay close attention to Polaris’s date format (DD.MM.YYYY) or else your search won’t work properly.

Looking through the results, I quickly noticed a familiar problem with a number of Matthew’s creation dates, beginning in August, 2012:

In this example, the date on the photo of Sinatra’s penthouse (bottom) – July 30th, 2012 – is correct. However the date on the gun buyback photo, which was taken in August, is not. While the creation date reads August 19th, 2012, the gun buyback press conference was in fact held one day later, on August 20th:

Queens Buyback Program Nets More Than 500 Guns

Another photo from the same event shows a creation date of 00000000:

I probably don’t need to tell you that this is not a real date.

These photos, both taken on the same day and at the same event, have two different created dates:

This event is confirmed to have happened on October 11th, 2012, yet the top image has a created date of October 10th, 2012, or – like the Sandy Hook photos – one day earlier.

Here’s one last example:

So how does this happen? Simple: human error. Unlike your cell phone, which gets the date and time from a set of incredibly precise atomic clocks located in the US Naval Observatory, the date and time on digital cameras is entered manually, and of course any time something needs to be entered manually, you run the risk of making a mistake. I know I’ve done it probably a number of times, and if you’ve ever owned a digital camera or similar device, you’ve likely done it too.

Suspecting such a simple misconfiguration was to blame for the discrepancies in the above photos, I e-mailed Matthew McDermott for confirmation and to let him know that his mistake has been seized upon by deniers and he replied rather quickly:

Hello Sir
With all good there also comes bad, and unfortunately with all the usefulness of the internet it has also given a platform for those that should never be heard. To think that anyone could even suggest let alone believe that Sandy Hook never happened is beyond disgusting. I thank you for bringing this to my attention, and yes that camera’s date settings were messed up at that time. I can assure my copyright attorney has been contacted and we will be pursuing this person in full as I’m sure the individual did not get my image from my agency and is using it illegally. If you wish to discuss this further please feel free to contact me-#[redacted].
Again, thank you and may have a safe and happy New Year.
Matthew McDermott

A second way in which we can easily determine whether or not Mr. McDermott’s photos were taken on the 14th is by cross-referencing them with material from other photographers on the scene that day. Are there any that depict the same scenes or people? In this case there are quite a few. Let’s start with one of Matthew McDermott’s photos of Robbie and Alyssa Parker:

But this almost exact scene was captured by other photographers, such as Howard Simmons with Getty Images:

Note the Parkers are wearing the same exact clothing and we can even see the nuns from St. Rose of Lima just behind them in both photos, only this one has the (correct) creation date: December 14th, 2012.

Here’s another photo of the Parkers from Getty Images, this one taken by Tim Clayton:

Like the previous photo by Howard Simmons, this one shows that it was created on December 14th, 2012.

Here’s another example:

Here we see a couple being accompanied by an officer, walking away from the school on Riverside Road. The man’s wearing a red shirt and a brown jacket. The woman he’s with is wearing a black Nike hat, a black jacket, and is carrying what appears to be a white iPhone cable. This very same couple (and officer) were also captured moments later by photographer Don Emmert of AFP Photo:

Again, this photo shows the correct creation date: December 14th, 2012.

I was able to find even more examples of this, but hopefully you get the picture.

So we have multiple photographers (in one case three) taking nearly identical pictures of the very same people in the same location on what is clearly the same day. Certainly any reasonable person would look at the above and fully understand that user-defined Exif data is in fact fallible and that the outlier in this situation, Matthew McDermott, is telling the truth when he says that there was a problem with his camera’s date and time settings when he photographed the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting on December 14th, 2012. But we’re not dealing with reasonable people here, are we? So what do they believe? If someone like Halbig wants to continue to insist that a mistaken created date is impossible, then does that mean the Sandy Hook shooting was elaborately staged two days in a row? He can’t suggest that every other photographer had screwed up their cameras because then he’s admitting that the created date can be misconfigured. But, as it turns out, he has a history of doing just that.

Back when I used Exif data to prove that photos of the 2012 Sandy Hook Veterans Day breakfast were in fact taken in 2012 in order to claim Halbig’s $1,000 reward, the evidence simply wasn’t good enough for him. When his money and reputation were the line, Exif data was unreliable, even after he himself demanded to see it. But he’s since done a complete 180, wielding that very same user-defined Exif data – the created date – in a bizarre attempt to prove that Lenny Pozner is “fictitious”… whatever that means. Classic Wolfgang: a liar and a hypocrite.

So there you have it: another Wolfgang whopper laid to rest by 10-15 minutes of relatively easy work.

50 Thoughts on “Wolfgang Halbig’s Complicated Relationship With Exif Data

  1. Confused person on February 12, 2019 at 6:52 am said:

    Sorry if this is a bit off topic for this particular post, but I can’t find an email at which to contact you directly with the following.

    Here’s what I find to be the greatest mystery concerning the Sandy Hook denier fiasco: the psychology of James Fetzer. It’s painfully clear that Halbig is a pathological liar and as dumb as a pile of bricks. This has been so thoroughly demonstrated that it’s beyond my comprehension how anyone acquainted with the relevant facts could deny it.

    But Fetzer has an Ivy League education and did respectable work as a philosopher on various complex problems. What the fuck happened to his brain? How is he still going on about the transparently fake “FEMA manual”? How did he fail to try to authenticate it when he first saw it, and instead clumsily rush to bloviate about it as if it were incontrovertible? Are we seeing dementia at work here? Psychosis? Sociopathy? I just don’t understand. Has anyone convincingly explained his degeneration to this state?

    • I have wondered the same thing about Fetzer. As far as I know, he was quite a well-respected philosopher of science. I’ve spoken to a former colleague of his and he said Fetzer was quite good in technical issues of philosophy but completely off his rocker when it came to swallowing far-fetched conspiracies. I do wonder if he is a paid dis-information agent of some sort considering his past service to the government. More people will believe a person with a PhD behind his name than some random kook on the internet. Hopefully the Sandy Hook lawsuit puts him behind bars for the rest of his life.

      • Less confused person on February 12, 2019 at 7:25 pm said:

        Very interesting point, and it’s central to the only plausible explanation of Fetzer’s behavior that I can now think of, thanks to your observation. (Alas, I don’t think psychosis, dementia, etc. will cut it because his history with this stuff is so long, and because he doesn’t clearly match the diagnosis for any of the conditions that I listed.)

        It’s conceivable — let me stress that this is speculation — that people such as Fetzer are paid to push this outrageous nonsense so that those with an interest in reducing protections for free expression have “ammunition,” i.e. apparently good justifications for efforts to limit the types of expression that are legally protected.

        I realize that I’m engaging in conspiratorial thinking here, which may seem hypocritical given how strongly I disapprove of Fetzer’s claptrap. But it should be kept in mind that conspiracy theorizing is not necessarily outrageously dumb in the way that Sandy Hook denialism, for instance, has proven to be: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02691728.2017.1352625. One just has to be sure that any conspiracy theory offered is held to the same theoretical and empirical standards as ordinary social-scientific explanations, and thus that one completely avoids the tendency of the most visible conspiracy theorists to make confident and extravagant claims that have no basis in fact. In my case, I’ve indicated that the above explanation of Fetzer’s behavior is speculative, therefore lacking adequate empirical substantiation, but worthy of further investigation because it seems to better fit the pertinent observations than any other explanation I know about.

  2. So when did he change his shirt

  3. Anonymoose on March 4, 2019 at 1:24 pm said:

    I see people link to this site on Fetzer’s blog and he always calls it disinformation without ever addressing the substance. It’s almost as if he won’t read it because he knows he is wrong. Astounding that he was a Professor of logic and critical thinking in this country for 35 years!

    • Shill Murray on March 22, 2019 at 1:55 pm said:

      Of course he does. He’s a liar and a coward, so I wouldn’t expect anything less.

      Personally, if I had written a book (or more accurately assembled a collection of old blog posts in this case) and someone went on to claim that they had debunked nearly every page of it, I know that I would take the time necessary to address those claims, even if it’s just the big ones. Shit, I made a post outlining the top ten lies in “Nobody Died…”. At least start there. But no.

  4. Do you seriously expect me to re-read all your nonscience on this website, to find out if my questions have been answered.

    I’m not sure I can bring myself to even formulate a question that you could handle with any degree of integrity. The tone of the first 3 heading titles indicates you’re in it for the fight?

    Right?

    • Shill Murray on March 27, 2019 at 4:43 pm said:

      Who are you and what on Earth are you talking about? Did you misspell “nonsense” or did you actually mean to accuse me of writing “nonscience”? If the latter, I gotta say that’s pretty rich.

  5. Michael Browers on March 28, 2019 at 3:01 pm said:

    Brilliant work!

    One very similar claim I couldn’t yet debunk myself: hoaxers say there is a video on the youtube channel of the Newtown Bee showing photos by Shannon Hicks, but the encoding time is again December 13, 2012, one day before the massacre.

    I checked it and it’s indeed true. How is this possible? The encoding time is apparently set when you upload a video to youtube or last edit it on youtube.

    Has this claim already been answered/debunked?

    This is the video in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmSBqLoXqA0

    • Shill Murray on March 28, 2019 at 4:44 pm said:

      Hi Michael,

      I’m looking at the video now, and I don’t see any encoding information. Where am I supposed to be looking? I do see that the “published date” says December 14th, which is of course correct. Additionally, the few copies of Shannon’s evacuation photos that I could find with the Exif dates still intact all had the correct date of December 14th, 2012, and obviously it would be extremely difficult to create a video using photos that had yet to be taken.

      Exif data is usually right, but occasionally incorrect, as is the point of this entry.

      • Michael Browers on March 29, 2019 at 2:08 am said:

        Hi, you have to download the video and then view its media information (encoding time/date). It was encoded (=uploaded) in the evening of December 13, then published on December 14.

        Image exif data can easily be wrong (camera settings) or even altered, but I don’t understand how the video encoding/uploading timestamp can be wrong? After all, the encoding is done by Youtube when you upload the video.

      • Michael Browers on March 29, 2019 at 3:21 am said:

        You can test this yourself: take an old video, check the encoding date, upload it to Youtube, download it, check the encoding date again. It is going to be the date of your upload, because Youtube is re-encoding the video.

        The encoding timestap of the Newtown Bee video is UTC 2012-12-13 22:43:26, that is early evening in CT, the day before the massacre, even though it was published (made public) on December 14.

        Unlike Exif data, we can’t dismiss this by referring to a false local camera or computer date setting, since the (re-)encoding is done by Youtube.

        There must be a fallacy here, but what is it?

        (You can use MediaInfo to check the encoding timestamp: https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo )

        • Shill Murray on March 29, 2019 at 9:48 pm said:

          Thank you. That worked.

          Interestingly, I had to download that video a couple of times before I got the 12/13 date. The first time I downloaded it, the encoded date was 8/11/16. So then I downloaded a bunch of other videos and if I downloaded ten, only one of them had an encoded date that matched the published date. More often than not, the encoded date was years after the video had been uploaded. So that was strange.

          Then I performed an experiment: I changed the clock on my PC to two days from today (with today being March 29th). Then I created a quick video using my webcam, which I saved with the default name, which included the date I had just set:

          Then I checked the encoded date using MediaInfo, which was April 1st:

          Next, I uploaded it to YouTube:

          I had originally set it to Private, but that made it difficult to download via the same third party site I had used for the Newtown Bee video, so I switched it to Public and downloaded. Once downloaded, I checked the info again using MediaInfo and the encoded date was now 3/30:

          So by changing my system clock, I achieved the same results at the Newtown Bee video. It’s wholly possible (and I’d say likely in this case) that whoever created this video, which looks like it was created with Windows Movie Maker, simply had their system clock set incorrectly.

          That’s just from a technical perspective. There are other reasons it’s not possible that this video had been created on the 13th, such as the aforementioned included photographs that we know were taken on the 14th.

          • Michael Browers on March 30, 2019 at 3:01 am said:

            Hi Murray, thanks for documenting your test.

            The later encoding dates are due to editing or re-encoding videos after publication, by the channel owner or automatically by Youtube. This is not to worry.

            In your example, the encoding timestamp after downloading is UTC 2019-03-30 01:38:59, which in local US time is actually March 29.

            This confirms the encoding time is set by Youtube, not by your local computer clock (which may be wrong, as in your example).

            So the problem persists, doesn’t it? It looks like the Newtown Bee video was uploaded in the evening of December 13 EST, no matter what time/date they set on their local computer.

            Hoaxers are convinced the massacre was staged the day before, so we cannot convince them by saying the photos prove otherwise. They simply say EXIF was manipulated.

            What do you think? I may try to contact YT to get answer to his. It’s the only claim I could not yet find a satisfactory answer to.

          • Shill Murray on March 30, 2019 at 8:06 am said:

            You’re absolutely right, and I started to realize I may have screwed up as I was getting ready for bed last night. So I just re-tried my experiment, this time creating two videos: one recorded while my system clock is correct and one with my system clock set a month ahead. Both videos, after being uploaded to YouTube and then downloaded, showed the same encoded date in MediaInfo.

            With that said, based on what I can see and the little work I’ve done, I don’t know why that video in particular would show an encoded date of the 13th. The other video on their page that was taken that day (the one titled “Shooting Reported At Sandy Hook School December 14, 2012”, which is short video shot on a cell phone rather than a collection of photographs) shows an encoded date of 9/2/16, which is obviously wrong, so who the hell knows. I tried with maybe half a dozen or so videos from different sources and while the encoded date was almost always wrong, none of them showed a date that was earlier than the published date. I also can’t seem to get a straight answer on when the ability to publish videos on a schedule (which the Newtown Bee would’ve had to have done in order to upload the video on the 13th yet have it published on the 14th) went live to the general public. It looks like it was available as early as the summer of 2012, but only to “YouTube Creators”, which I believe meant you had to have at least one monetized video. But I’m not 100% certain.

            Of course there are a lot of other problems with the claim that this was just a “drill” that took place the day before or that the Newtown Bee compiled and uploaded this video the previous night rather than just waiting until Friday morning. For starters, you’d have to believe that A) everyone on the scene that day is lying and B) literally all other photographic and video evidence from all other sources has been faked as some of the events depicted in the Newtown Bee’s video can be corroborated by other sources (the arrival of the fire truck seen at :42 or the appearance of the small triage at :54 for instance). Though I guess I can’t put passed the kind of folks we’re dealing with here.

            Hoaxers are convinced the massacre was staged the day before, so we cannot convince them by saying the photos prove otherwise. They simply say EXIF was manipulated.

            Sure, but couldn’t we also say that if Exif data can be faked, then there’s no real reason that the encoded date on this video couldn’t have been altered at some point? After all, once you’ve opened that can of worms, and suggested that literally anything can be faked, then where do you draw the line? If you were to adopt a conspiracy theorist’s mentality, then you could just as easily propose a scenario wherein someone at YouTube modified the encoded date on this specific video. Obviously I don’t believe that’s what happened here, but if your argument hinges on the idea that anything can be faked, then anything can be faked.

            Anyway, as for reaching out to YouTube, that’s admirable as their insight could easily clear this up, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. They banned my account for some ridiculous reason a couple of years ago and it took me months to get in touch with an actual person. I’ll keep digging when I can.

  6. Michael Browers on March 30, 2019 at 12:43 pm said:

    Thanks. The videos that show a later encoding date were edited/re-encoded by the channel owner or Youtube (e.g. to add features or different resolutions). You also find some videos (not about current events) with an encoding date earlier than the publishing date, these were simply uploaded prior to being published.

    Of course I totally agree with all your points, I just can’t stand it if there is even one unexplained claim by these dishonest Hoaxers. They say if they find even one unexplained anomaly, the whole event must be staged. That’s why I hope to debunk this very last mystery.

    I’ll try to find an answer in a google / tech forum and keep you posted.

    Thanks for all your meticulous work!

    • Shill Murray on March 30, 2019 at 1:33 pm said:

      You also find some videos (not about current events) with an encoding date earlier than the publishing date, these were simply uploaded prior to being published.

      Yeah, I had mentioned this in my previous reply, but I would love to find out whether or not this feature was even available to the Newtown Bee at the time. If not, obviously it could not have been uploaded prior to the published date. But in my (admittedly hasty – it’s the weekend) research, it seems as if the feature may have only been available to “Creators” at the time. Even now, The Bee has less than three hundred subscribers and some of their videos – even those that have been up for years and years – haven’t even broken 100 views. And I’m not sure what the standards for monetization were back in the summer of 2012 when this feature was introduced, but they certainly don’t meet them now, so I can’t imagine that they were ever able to become “Creators”.

      • Michael Browers on March 30, 2019 at 5:19 pm said:

        Well to my knowledge you don’t need to be a Creater or publish on a schedule, every youtuber can publish and unpublish videos manually anytime. But I don’t know how it used to be in 2012.

        Of course it makes no sense at all to upload a video prior to the event (as Hoaxers claim/suppose), but it’d still be great if we could fully debunk this issue.

        • Shill Murray on March 30, 2019 at 6:39 pm said:

          You don’t now, but according to multiple blogs I found a bit earlier today (here’s one example) it was a feature available only to Creators back in the summer of 2012. Of course things could’ve changed in the roughly six months between that blog post and the shooting, but I’m having a hard time finding additional information during my limited free time.

          • Michael Browers on March 31, 2019 at 3:31 am said:

            Alright. I don’t think this is about scheduled publishing (which may have been a Creator feature), but simply about manually setting a video private/public, which as your reference confirms was always possible.

            The troubling issue remains that we have an encoding date, set by youtube, one day earlier than the massacre.

            A possible answer: back then youtube didn’t re-encode the uploaded videos, so the encoding date was indeed set by the local computer clock, which may have been off.

            Anyway, thanks for your help in solving this riddle!

          • Shill Murray on March 31, 2019 at 10:06 am said:

            Sure, I definitely understand what the main concern is, but since I haven’t been able to solve that riddle just yet, I was trying to think of other ways in which it would be not just implausible but totally impossible that the video was uploaded prior to the 14th. But I didn’t take into consideration what initially setting a video as private and then public would do to the published date. I’m not a power YouTube user/creator by any means, so I really don’t know a whole lot about how the site works from a creator’s perspective. I do have a number of unlisted and private videos on my channel that I experimented with though unfortunately my results were a little skewed as all of my older videos now carry an encoded date of the day that my channel was reinstated. But at the very least it shows that marking them as public does not change that original encoded date set by YouTube. The only remaining experiment that I can think of, that can be run without some input from someone at YouTube, would be to find another breaking news type event from 2012 or even earlier where the encoded date is earlier than said event. Of course conspiracy theorists will then say that those events were faked as well. Rinse, repeat.

          • Shill Murray on April 4, 2019 at 3:02 pm said:

            After some additional experimentation, I believe I was able to replicate the issue using older videos from the Bee’s YouTube page. First I checked the encoded dates on three videos from 2009, which were some of the oldest on their channel: “Newtown CT Board of Finance Hearing, 2/25/09 Part1”, “Newtown CT Board of Finance 3/5/09 Part 1”, and “Newtown Historical Society Taikes Aim At A History Lesson” (and yes, they misspelled “takes”). With all three videos, the encoded date was from the day before the video was published. I took and can share some screenshots, if for whatever reason you don’t believe me. Or you could also try it for yourself.

            Of course it’s entirely possible (and deniers will undoubtedly insist that this is the case) that these videos were all uploaded the day shown in the encoded field, marked as private, and then made public the next day, but that strikes me as incredibly unlikely. Take the Newtown CT Board of Finance Hearing video for instance: it was filmed on February 25th, 2009, but it was not published until March 5th, 2009. Why on Earth would they upload it on the 4th – already a full week after the meeting took place – only to make it private for one night? What would be the point? It doesn’t make any sense.

            And while I thought that was pretty convincing, I really wanted to find a video of an event that, like Sandy Hook, could’ve only been filmed and uploaded the same day. I scrolled through their channel (sorting oldest to newest), and while there were a couple of other videos that met this criteria, unfortunately their encoded dates were much later (in most cases years) than the published dates. Then I found “A Snowy December Morning In Newtown 12/9/09”, a video featuring photos of “wet snow and rain” from Wednesday, December 9th, 2009, published that same day:

            This had the added bonus of depicting an event so totally insignificant that no one in their right mind (and I realize that disqualifies all Sandy Hook deniers outright) could ever suggest that it needed to be staged or covered up or whatever. And wouldn’t you know it, after downloading, the encoded date was “UTC 2009-12-08 19:06:24”, or 3:06PM on the 8th in Newtown:

            But even though the video’s title is “A Snowy December Morning In Newtown 12/9/09“, and the title card reads “Wednesday’s Wet Snow & Rain December 9th, 2009″, isn’t it possible it was actually filmed and uploaded on Tuesday the 8th, marked private overnight, and then made public in the morning? Not according to Weather Underground’s historical weather data, which says there was zero precipitation on the 8th and 1.15″ the next day. Unless of course they’re in on it too!

            Admittedly that doesn’t answer the core question of why these encoded dates are wrong, but it shows that it’s not an isolated incident. And that – unless someone from YouTube is able to shed some light on the situation – is probably about as good as we’re going to get. I’m sure it still won’t meet denier standards, but nothing ever does, so there’s no real point in worrying about it all that much. Hell, there are people who still think David Wheeler played an FBI agent or the victims performed at the Super Bowl, in spite of all of the work I’ve done.

  7. Michael Browers on April 9, 2019 at 8:10 am said:

    Thanks. I also observed the effect with other videos of Newtown Bee. Actually there is one video by Shannon Hicks, also in December 2012, that was encoded about 10 days earlier than the event!

    But the problem is indeed that the Newton Bee is not a good reference, because Deniers/Hoaxers believe it’s a CIA front anyway. The historic weather data is interesting for sure, but no final proof either.

    So what we need is an unrelated video by another (news) channel. I found none so far. As you say many videos feature much later encoding dates, as they were re-encoded by Youtube or the channel owner.

    I did find some videos with an encoding date a few days earlier than the publication date, but these were not news-related, they were probably uploaded prior to publication.

    The final mystery of Sandy Hook! 🙂

    • Shill Murray on April 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm said:

      I really wouldn’t concern myself with what deniers say because you’ll never satisfy them or their criteria as it’s always changing. The goalposts are on wheels. I know this all too well, unfortunately.

      The main problem that I see with trying to replicate this particular issue elsewhere is, if the results are due to an incorrect system clock – one that is off by a day, in this case – then you’re going to have to find another news agency that has had that specific, likely relatively uncommon issue at some point in time. And on YouTube, where there are God knows how many channels, with God knows how many videos, you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. I’m not saying I won’t look around for myself when I have the time, but it’s a daunting task and a low priority. It’s a lot of work for little-to-no real payoff because again, deniers won’t accept anything. If either of us did manage to find another news agency with the same exact problem, then we’d be told that they were obviously in on it too. After all, there’s an almost endless number of co-conspirators already, so what’s one more?

      As far as I’m concerned, the snow video sufficiently debunks it. Like the other videos, it demonstrates a long-standing and persistent problem with the Newtown Bee’s YouTube videos, but does so in a way that I believe would be virtually impossible to hand wave away. And in order to write it off as another part of the conspiracy, then you’d first have to believe that the Bee began fudging the dates on their videos the second they started uploading them, all the way back in early 2009, or over three years before the shooting. You’d also have to believe… actually, I don’t even know how you’d explain the fact that it is corroborated by historical weather data. I guess if you stand by the encoded dates as scripture, then that video would’ve had to have been put together before the 8th, right? Because there wasn’t any snow that day, so it couldn’t have been filmed then. But then what? Did the Bee hold onto the video until the next snow day? Then how do you explain the title card? Did the Bee, knowing there was snow in the forecast, create it on the 8th and then pray that there was just the right amount of snow the next day (as it would have to match the amount of snow in the footage you’ve already taken)? Then of course after all of that, they’d have to take that video, upload it privately on the 8th, and then make it public on the 9th. And I guess all of this would’ve been done so that they could… upload the original video in question (the one taken at the school on the day of the shooting) a day early, wait for people to catch on, and then wait for someone like me or you to pore through their early videos in an attempt to explain the anomaly… ? Rather than just waiting a day and uploading the video on the 14th? I honestly don’t even know. It hurts my brain to even think about it. It’s like the opposite of Occam’s razor.

  8. Michael Browers on April 10, 2019 at 5:28 am said:

    Well the problem with the weather data is that it shows virtually no precipitation on both December 8 and 9, 2012 (the snow must have been there by the morning of December 9), while the video actually shows lots of snow (much more than an inch). So this doesn’t make sense anyway.

    The probem is, we don’t really know when these images were taken. If in the morning of December 9, both the weather data and the encoding date are incompatible.

    We also don’t know if in 2012 the encoding date wasn’t set by youtube, as it is nowadays. If it was set by youtube, the whole issue is even more mysterious. In fact this is why I broght this case up: it’s easy to explain a false local exif timestamp, but much harder to explain a youtube encoding timestamp.

    • Michael Browers on April 10, 2019 at 9:19 am said:

      Btw, as you know some Hoaxers claim the Sandy Hook images were taken in autumn (during a “drill”), not in mid-December. I always thought this is one of the most ludicrous claims.

      Now I must admit that these December 9, 2009 images look much more like winter than the Sandy Hook images three years later, which in comparison really look more like autumn.

      Has this season/temperature issue already been addressed/debunked? I mean, can we show it was indeed very mild in mid-December 2012?

      If I look at the images of the evacuation, I see many people with light shoes and clothing, even short sleeves. It looks rather unusual to me.

      • Shill Murray on April 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm said:

        I’m worried we’re starting to get a little off-topic here, especially since I’ve already addressed a lot of this stuff elsewhere on the site (here, for example). Regardless, the claim that everything was staged/photographed/filmed sometime in the fall rather than on December 14th was absurd then and it’s still absurd now. Maybe even moreso, given all of the research that’s been done since. It’s nonsensical, completely baseless, and really just creates more questions than answers. Furthermore, the first person I ever saw pitch this gobbledygook was Allan Powell, and he lives in fucking Australia, so what does he know about weather in the northeast United States? But moving on…

        You’re comparing a single day in 2009 to a single day in 2012, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Weather is crazy, and it can vary wildly from year to year. Hell, it can vary wildly from day to day. Just look at this photo someone from Minnesota submitted to Reddit yesterday:

        https://www.reddit.com/r/minnesota/comments/bc11du/let_me_enjoy_my_coffee_in_peace/

        And it really doesn’t matter how mild the month of December, 2012 may have been as a whole; you can absolutely experience a single warm or warmer day during an otherwise average or even colder-than-average month, just like you can experience a single cold or colder day during an otherwise warm month (again, just reference the above photo from Reddit). Although, for the record, December of 2012 was on average warmer than December of 2009 in Newtown, CT. In fact, looking at the average temperature of Newtown in December, from 2009 to 2018, 2012 was the third warmest.

        Now I’m not sure where you’re from, but I also live in the northeast United States. I don’t live in CT, but the climate is fairly similar. A handful of years ago, it was just a hair under 70 degrees on Christmas Day. We legitimately had a cookout and I straight up wore shorts. It was insane, and if someone like Allan Powell had seen a photo of us all gathered around an outdoor grill in short sleeves, etc, and told that it was taken in late December, it’d blow what’s left of his mind. But just two years before that, it barely cracked 30 degrees, making it one of the coldest Christmas Days in at least twenty-five years. So using past weather as some sort of metric for all future weather is just silly.

        As for people wearing short-sleeved shirts, I’m not sure who you’re talking about, but I’ve seen people mention this in regards to some of the children shown evacuating the school in the now infamous Shannon Hicks photos. Remember those kids were rushed out of the school, understandably in quite a hurry. And it is documented in the final report that – and this should be a real “no shit” moment – they left their belongings, including their jackets, behind. If anything, I would say that’s further proof that this wasn’t a drill, seeing as how there are children who are clearly not prepared to be outside in 43-44 degree weather (the high was 48 that day) for long periods of time. But that doesn’t fit the drill narrative, so goofballs like Powell just decided that fuck it, it’s actually October. However, as shown in my previous posts regarding this subject, the foliage tells a much different story. Octobers in Connecticut are a lot more lush and colorful than people from outside of the northeast may anticipate. The trees in these photos are much more barren than you would see in the fall.

        As for “light shoes”, I honestly don’t even know what that means. Is there someone in like flip-flops or some shit? Otherwise that seems awfully subjective. I wear canvas slip-ons year-round (I’ve only recently stopped wearing them in the snow), but I’ll just throw on some thicker socks if it’s really freezing out. People like me, who live in colder climates, are usually a lot more accustomed to this kind of weather that someone from let’s say Australia may be. So the fact that someone in these photos may just be wearing a sweater and some tennis shoes or something doesn’t even register with me.

    • Michael Browers on April 12, 2019 at 9:25 am said:

      I doublechecked the temperatures: on December 14, 2012 at 10am it was just 22 degrees F at nearby Danbury airport! This is even colder than on snowy December 9, 2009 (34 degrees). WTF?!

      https://www.wunderground.com/history/daily/us/ct/oxford/KDXR/date/2012-12-14

      This really doesn’t match the clothing of the children and adults seen during the evacuation… what is the explanation? I find this totally troubling. Has anyone already explained this?

      • Shill Murray on April 12, 2019 at 1:34 pm said:

        Where are you seeing 22 degrees? Are you looking at the dew point?

        9:50 AM 45 F
        10:53 AM 48 F

        First column is time, second column is temperature. I’m pretty sure you’re looking at the dew point.

        • Michael Browers on April 12, 2019 at 4:25 pm said:

          I’m looking at the very first chart, showing the temperature curve. At 10am, it was still 22 F, wasn’t it? High temperature was 48 F at 5pm. Even that isn’t very mild, though.

          If you check the evacuation photos, you see both children and parents/adults with short-sleeved shirts and similar clothing. You hardly see any warm winter clothing.

          I know it makes no sense. But I also don’t know how to reconcile it. On the other hand, the tree claim by deniers never convinced me.

          Regarding the youtube technical issue, I haven’t received an answer yet as to how they handled encoding back in 2012. If youtube didn’t re-encode, and the newspaper computer clock was off by a day, the case is solved.

          • Shill Murray on April 13, 2019 at 12:25 pm said:

            I really have no idea where you’re getting 22F.

            The temperature curve:

            The temperature listed by hour:

            Both show 45F at around 10AM. And based on the “daily observations” for the 14th and 15th (since the time carries over into the next day for whatever reason), the last time it was 22F that day was 4AM. This is from the Danbury station, by the way. Trying to view that day’s data from stations closer to Newtown (although Danbury’s only about 10 miles out) resulted in a 404 for whatever reason. They may just not have historical information available for those stations. But we don’t even need it, because the data available from the Danbury station is corroborated by the final report. From 00118939:

            At the time of this incident the weather was dry, clear and sunny with temperatures in the 40s.

            Now whether or not 45 is “mild” is totally subjective. What is not subjective is much of the other evidence that indicates these photos were not taken in the fall. For instance, people could wear Speedos in 2F weather, if they’re so inclined, but the trees are not going to be totally barren in the fall. So there’s absolutely nothing here to reconcile; deniers are grasping at straws because they have, for whatever reason, really gone all-in on this “photos and video were taken in the fall, drill was in the winter” nonsense.

            Anyway, take another look at the more infamous of the two Shannon Hicks photos, which is the one with the crying girl in the blue shirt. There’s an uncropped, high (enough) quality version of it here. Each of the thirteen visible children in this photo are wearing long-sleeved shirts and two of them are wearing scarves. Do you really think kids from the Northeast are wearing scarves in October? Especially since the average temperature for October of that year was 62 (although, funny enough, there were eight days that month where the average temperature was between 40-50F). There are fewer children visible in the other Shannon Hicks photo, but as far as I can see, all of them are wearing long-sleeved shirts. Again, none of them are wearing jackets for the same reason none of them have their backpacks; because their belongings were left behind as the fled a gunman. As for anyone that may have been wearing a short-sleeved shirt, I looked through every last photo I have that was taken that day and I only saw one, and that’s Robbie Parker (who, if I’m not mistaken, rushed over from work because there was a shooting at his child’s school, so it’s entirely plausible that he not only did not expect to be outside for an extended period of time, but did not have the time to prepare himself. Or maybe he just doesn’t mind wearing shirt-sleeve shirts in 45 degree weather). His wife on the other hand is wearing what looks like a medium weight jacket and a scarf:

            Most other photos show adults wearing light or heavier winter jackets and plenty of children wearing heavier winter coats. Just let how many of those pics I need to post here so that we can move on from this nonsense.

            I did see one child standing by the firehouse that appears to to be wearing a short-sleeve shirt, but there’s also a photo taken the next day that shows frost on the ground and a child wearing shorts…

            So all that really proves to me is that people respond to weather differently. I personally experience this almost daily because I live with a woman, so there are days where I’m in a hoodie and she’s dressed like she’s heading into a blizzard.

            P.S. – I have every intention on continuing the encoded date conversation, but I’ve spent so much time discussing what people may or may not wear in 45 degree weather when responding to a shooting that I just haven’t had the time.

          • Michael Browers on April 14, 2019 at 9:13 am said:

            Many thanks for clarifying this. The temperature curve and data looked totally different in my standard browser, but when I switched to another browser, it looked the same as yours. Must have been due to the script blocker or something. I was just shocked when I first saw the 22F at 10am. I’m very glad we could settle this. It’s all consistent now, as are the trees.

          • Shill Murray on April 15, 2019 at 9:29 pm said:

            No problem. Honestly, as frustrating as it was trying to figure out how in the world you ended up with such wildly different results, your insistence ultimately forced me to do better research. So while it may have felt like a chore at the time, the outcome was a positive one.

            And now that that’s been settled (hopefully once and for all), I fully intend on revisiting the conversation surrounding the YouTube embedded date at some point this week. I’ll support my findings with some screenshots, etc, but in short I was able to recreate the issue with another small, independent news outlet’s YouTube uploads. And this one is completely and totally unrelated to Newtown (or even Connecticut), so any talk of them being “in on it” is even more absurd than usual.

          • Michael Browers on April 17, 2019 at 7:24 am said:

            If you find another youtube example, this would be truly fantastic. It’s the last issue I couldn’t answer.

            The temperature problem was strange. It looks like the WU website tries to access your local timezone, and when this is blocked, switches to GMT global time, shifting the temperature curve. It shows once more how easily simple IT bugs can lead to totally false conclusions.

            The youtube issue must be similar. It is probably worth a fresh blog post, not just a comment #38 down here 🙂

            Thanks so much for your outstanding work. I’m not someone who automatically believes everything the govt says. But I really wonder what led deniers to put out so many false claims, and not even retract them once debunked. I start to believe they are hoaxers in the full sense of the word, hoaxing their own readers, while insulting the families of victims.

          • Shill Murray on April 18, 2019 at 1:19 pm said:

            Firstly, I want to elaborate a bit on the snow video…

            You’re correct: there’s clearly more than 1.25″ of snow on the ground. For whatever reason, precipitation and snowfall appear to be counted separately in these weather reports. I’m not sure how or why it’s broken up like that, but based on my (admittedly limited) observations, there does not appear to be snow accumulation without precipitation. That’s why I wanted to show that there was no precipitation on the 8th, to further demonstrate that absolutely everything points to this video being filmed and uploaded on the 9th, as advertised. But since posting that reply, I was able to find another, more detailed source for historical weather data; one that shows snowfall as well as precipitation. And, as expected, it shows 3″ of snowfall on the ground on the 9th:

            So I would hope that effectively proves that the video was filmed on the 9th, in spite of what the encoded date says.

            Moving on (please)…

            While it took a few days, I was able to recreate the encoded date anomaly on another, unrelated (to the Bee, Newtown, or Sandy Hook) YouTube channel. I limited my search to small, independent news agencies that, like the Bee, may also be susceptible to the kinds of minor technical snafus that you can expect from these “mom and pop shops”. This was honestly a bit harder than I expected; not finding small news agencies (although that’s not all that easy these days), but finding small news agencies that have a YouTube presence. Eventually I had to expand my search outside of Connecticut and found what I was looking for in Pennsylvania. “Montgomery Media” from Montgomery County, PA had their own YouTube channel and they had uploaded a video in April of 2014 of author Mary Higgins Clark visiting the Wissahickon Valley Public Library in Blue Bell:

            https://youtu.be/eOruGTyeerU

            The video was published on the 16th:

            And a quick Google search confirms that was the day she visited the library:

            http://www.montgomerynews.com/amblergazette/news/video-mary-higgins-clark-visits-wisshickon-valley-public-library-in/article_6d25b61f-aba8-56fb-a6aa-20a5d27412c2.html

            https://www.chestnuthilllocal.com/2014/04/10/best-seller-blue-bell/

            https://patch.com/pennsylvania/abington/tell-your-mom-grandmom-friends-relatives_057fb64a

            However, if you download the video and inspect the metadata, it shows an encoded date of 4/15/14 UTC, or a day before the visit:

            So there you go: another video on another channel demonstrating the very same issue. And interestingly enough, this one was uploaded after 2012.

          • Michael Browers on April 18, 2019 at 3:04 pm said:

            Truly, you’re a genius. I could verify the full Danbury weather data and 6 in snowfall and 3 in on the ground matches perfectly. The WU data was misleading (the site is shaky anyway).

            The youtube encoding example is also confirmed. It’s not a simple one day offset (her visit was at 2pm local time), but it shows the anomaly can be reproduced. Interestingly, newer videos on this channel apparently do not show this issue. I suspect some of the older videos didn’t get re-encoded by youtube.

            Perhaps the youtube issue is worth a blog post of its own. It’s the final nail in the coffin of deniers. It’s a shame we’ve had to spend so much effort debunking their crazy claims, but I think it was worth it.

          • Shill Murray on April 18, 2019 at 3:48 pm said:

            Thanks, Michael. I’m just glad we’re seemingly in agreement here that this one is toast. Yeah, it was a bit of a rocky ride at times, but I’m sincerely glad you raised the issue.

        • Michael Browers on April 13, 2019 at 3:08 am said:

          There seems to be a time difference between the graph and the table. But the graph looks more realistic to mee: 22 F until about 10am and then it rises up to 48 F in the afternoon. According to the table, the temperature rose in the middle of the night?

          • Shill Murray on April 13, 2019 at 12:27 pm said:

            I’m no climatologist, but a 20 degree jump between 10AM and the afternoon does not seem at all realistic to me.

  9. Michael Browers on April 19, 2019 at 3:24 am said:

    Btw I also checked NOAA temperature data for December 14, 2012. At 09h53 it shows 38F at the airport. It’s not much (Newtown may have been a bit warmer though), but it’s certainly compatible with the images. Initially I was irritated by photos (adults) such as these (especially when I first saw the 22F):

    http://outsidethunderdome.com/content/uploads/2013/02/0120_nhr_001-925×1024.jpg

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Z55N99EX63w/U8xLBDrWGMI/AAAAAAAAA7k/SoT6mG_easU/s1600/evac9.png

    https://d3ewd3ysu1dfsj.cloudfront.net/images/stories/general/41336.jpg

    • Shill Murray on April 19, 2019 at 12:46 pm said:

      When I scanned through my photos, Robbie Parker was one of the few I saw wearing a short-sleeve t-shirt (but again, his wife is wearing a heavier jacket and a scarf). And again, I believe he has described rushing to the scene straight from work, so maybe he left his jacket behind. I have to imagine a lot of people did the same after they had heard there was an active shooter at their child’s school. The woman in the second photo appears to be wearing scrubs. So maybe they rushed there from work or maybe they just don’t mind colder weather all that much. I work with a guy who wore short-sleeve polos with no jacket all winter. Some of us here in the northeast simply deal with the cold in such a way that may not make a whole lot of sense to people from warmer climates.

      Another problem is that while the NOAA may say it was 38F at 9:53AM, there doesn’t appear to be any real way to know when these photos were taken. 9:53 would only be about twenty minutes after Adam broke into the school, so they were almost certainly taken later in the day, when it was a bit warmer. That said, the girl in the pink in the first photo absolutely looks cold.

      I’m not sure why the data from the NOAA and the Weather Underground doesn’t exactly align as they’re pulling data from the exact same station (Danbury Municipal Airport). NOAA reports a lower temperature for 9:53AM (38F to Weather Underground’s 45F), but higher temperatures at other times. For example, the Weather Underground reports that it was 39F at 12:45PM, yet the NOAA reports that it was 45F at roughly the same time.

  10. Michael Browers on April 20, 2019 at 1:44 pm said:

    Sandy Hook Analysis (CW Wade) apparently debunked the youtube encoding anomaly already in 2015, but his video is gone. If you know him, perhaps you can ask him about his results. While we found another example, we still don’t know how exactly the effect comes about.

    https://sandyhookanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/01/we-need-to-talk-about-sandy-hook-exif.html

  11. Michael Browers on April 26, 2019 at 1:10 am said:

    Have you heard back from CW Wade regarding the youtube issue?

    • Shill Murray on April 26, 2019 at 10:52 am said:

      I have not. His e-mail is wadesvideo at Gmail, if you’d like to reach out to him yourself.

      • Michael Browers on April 26, 2019 at 3:52 pm said:

        Thanks. Another time anomaly, has this one already been addressed? Doesn’t seem to be a timezone issue.

        https://jamesfetzer.org/2019/04/sandy-hook-the-curious-case-of-danbury-hospitals-premature-facebook-message-48-mins-before-police-received-911-call/

        • Of course it’s a time zone issue. Facebook shows the time in the viewers local time zone. This is easily proven. When I look at the post in the eastern time zone, it shows 11:47 am. If I log out of Facebook, change the time zone on my computer to the Pacific time zone and log back in, the post will now show a timestamp of 8:47 am.

        • Shill Murray on April 27, 2019 at 12:07 pm said:

          Like Gina said, this is absolutely a timezone issue. Demonstrably so. And it’s so easy and obvious that Halbig, Fetzer, and Chang should be ashamed of themselves for posting it. I mean, they won’t be, but they should. You’d think they’d know better by now, after making this same mistake countless times before, but then how else would they continue to exploit twenty murdered children for profit?

          I’m already in the Eastern timezone, so here’s what that post looks like to me:

          December 14th, 2012. 11:47AM.

          But here’s what it looks like if I view that post in incognito mode (I don’t even have to change the time on my PC):

          It defaults to PST, as that’s where Facebook is located. And as such, it shows the time as 8:47AM.

          I could probably go on and on about how stupid it is to believe that whoever was managing Danbury Hospital’s social media accounts at the time had advanced knowledge of Sandy Hook, but I’ll just say case closed. If you’d like to try this for yourself (and I’d encourage everyone to), here’s the URL for the post so that you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through Danbury Hospital’s timeline:

          https://www.facebook.com/danburyhospital/posts/10151305730744521

          • Michael Browers on April 27, 2019 at 3:18 pm said:

            You’re right. If it can’t access your local timezone, it shows Facebook’s PST. It’s the same issue I had with Weather Underground’s temperature curve. Good to know.

            These deniers are total fraudsters. Initially they managed to bamboozle me by the sheer amount of “issues” they raised, but if you look into it, every single point is pure BS.

            Of course their story makes no sense anyway, but I think it’s still important to actually refute their points in a factual manner. Because in a sense they already win if they manage to raise doubt.

            So thanks again for your valuable work. Looking forward to your next post 🙂

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