In the first chapter of Wolfgang Halbig’s unhinged manuscript (currently titled “ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING ILLUSION”… I think), and after complaining about GoFundMe suspending his account back in 2014, the author shares the following screenshot:
This is presented without explanation and then quickly dropped for something about a different, allegedly prescient GoFundMe campaign. There isn’t even a source for the video that allegedly contains this suspicious metadata. And without access to the original, how do we know that Halbig didn’t simply edit the date himself, something so simple that even a Luddite such as himself could pull it off? Or find an unrelated video that was actually filmed on December 13th, 2012 (also incredibly easy to do) and rename it? Without access to the original, there’s no way to be sure, and both possibilities should be seriously considered. Halbig is, after all, an unabashed scam artist.
However, and with that in mind, I think it’s fairly clear what’s happened here: Halbig downloaded some video of Sandy Hook news footage from YouTube via one of the many shady websites that allows you to do such a thing and then analyzed the resulting file’s metadata using Jeffrey’s Exif Viewer (offline as of this writing), which reported an incorrect encoded or created date. If this all seems a bit familiar, there’s a good reason for that.
In order to reproduce the above, I first needed to try and find the video in question, since Halbig didn’t think it was necessary to share that rather vital piece of information with his readers. As many of the sites that allow you to download videos from YouTube will typically use the video’s title as the filename, it’s relatively safe to assume that, as long as Halbig did not rename it, the video we’re looking for is called “Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Sandy Hook, Connecticut”. In this case, Google returns two results:
Both links led me to videos that had been published to YouTube by the Newtown Bee on the day of the shooting, something supported by the date shown in the search results. I started with the first video as the title was an exact match, using SSYouTube to download it in the same resolution (360 x 480) as Halbig. Once I had a local copy saved, I needed to check the file’s metadata. With the aforementioned Jeffrey’s Exif Viewer currently unavailable due to hosting costs, I had to settle for Metadata2Go, which provided the following output:
Locally-installed metadata software — in this case, MediaInfo — returned the same results:
So while we don’t have a match, this is still clear evidence that the metadata retrieved from these files can be inaccurate and as such should not be trusted. After all, how could a video created on May 14th of 2022 be published to YouTube nearly a decade earlier, on December 14th, 2012? It’s impossible.
But what about the second video? The name isn’t an exact match, but it’s close enough. Unfortunately, following the same process results in a created date of 12/13/2019:
So same date, different year. But the same question remains: how could a file created in December of 2019 be published to YouTube seven years earlier?
Of course while still incorrect, these dates are all from after the shooting, which was not the claim (presumably) being made. What I really needed was a video from Sandy Hook in which the created date in the downloaded video’s metadata was from before the event. And I was eventually able to find one: a video with a name quite similar to the one found in Halbig’s screenshot, obviously lifted from News 12 New Jersey and re-uploaded to YouTube by someone calling themselves “Destiny Shaw”:
The catch here is that while both Metadata2Go and MediaInfo return a created date of 12/14/2012:
Windows file properties show a “Media created” date of 12/13/2012, or a day earlier:
That will have to be good enough.
So while we now know that the metadata on these files is often wildly inaccurate, this is the first time we’ve seen one with a created date that precedes the YouTube published date, even if it is only when viewing the file properties through Windows. The real test is whether or not we can find any non-Sandy Hook videos — videos of completely mundane events that no one could ever reasonably suggest were filmed in advance for the purpose of some grand conspiracy — that produce similar results. That’s the scientific method. That’s the shit Halbig didn’t do.
My search for the mundane somehow led me to a promotional visit late American author Mary Higgins Clark made to a small library in Pennsylvania.
In two brief videos published to YouTube by “Montgomery Media” on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, we see Clark in the parking lot of the Wissahickon Valley Public Library in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, where she was scheduled to speak and sign copies of her book “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” that afternoon:
The date of Clark’s appearance is corroborated by multiple sources, including Chestnut Hill Local, Patch, and The Times Herald. A Facebook user also posted about interviewing the author during her visit:
Notice she’s wearing the same outfit seen in the Montgomery Media videos. Obviously this is all from the same day: April 16th, 2014. However, if we download these videos from YouTube and review the metadata either online or locally, they both show a created date of April 15th, 2014, or one day prior:
Is this further evidence that the metadata on these files downloaded from YouTube by way of a third party website is unreliable? Or are we to believe that Mary Higgins Clark’s promotional visit to the Wissahickon Valley Public Library in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania was also a false flag? What about Spider-Man visiting the New York Stock Exchange?
On June 28th, 2012, “Spider-Man” rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange to promote “The Amazing Spider-Man”, which was released five days later, on July 3rd. This little publicity stunt was covered by Insider the day it happened:
As well as on the New York Stock Exchange’s Facebook page. It also just so happened that someone on the floor took a brief video of it — presumably with their cell phone, given the quality — and published it to YouTube the same day:
Yet again, when this file is downloaded from YouTube and its metadata analyzed online, it shows a created date of — you guessed it — one day prior:
But that is not the case for another video of what is indisputably the same event, published to the New York Stock Exchange’s official YouTube channel on the 28th:
But downloading this video and analyzing its metadata in the exact same fashion returns much different results, showing a created date of July 29th, 2021:
Same exact event, two different created dates, one of which is impossible. It would be beyond absurd to even attempt to argue that both dates are somehow accurate. Are we expected to believe that “Spider-Man” returned to the New York Stock Exchange to promote a nine-year-old movie by performing the exact same moves while surrounded by the same exact people and a ticker that displayed nine-year-old data? Of course not. It even shows the date right there in front of him. As such, it’s unarguable that the above metadata is incorrect, which means that the metadata on any YouTube video obtained using the methods outlined above may very well be incorrect as well. And yes, that includes any video of Sandy Hook. Of course, this would’ve been much easier and more succinct had Halbig chosen to be more transparent with his “research”, but this is all par for the course with Sandy Hook hoaxers.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Halbig has struggled with file metadata. For more on this subject, please see Wolfgang Halbig’s Complicated Relationship With Exif Data.
I sent Halbig the following e-mail two days after publishing this entry, and will update accordingly if he ever replies, which he won’t: