Professional crank James Fetzer and his band of loopy dipshits put a lot of stock in Twitter updates (or “tweets”, as the kids call them), citing them as evidence a handful of times throughout the despicable “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”. In fact, in Chapter Five, Vivian Lee considers a handful of confusingly time-stamped tweets (the product of a well-known Twitter “bug”, as discussed in Chapter Five) to be one of the “top ten reasons Sandy Hook was an elaborate hoax”. On page 67, under “4. There was foreknowledge of the event”, she writes:

In addition, tweets about the shooting began before it occurred, a tribute was apparently uploaded one month before the event, and web pages honoring the victims, including a Facebook page R.I.P. Victoria Soto, were established before they had “officially” died.

Much has also been made of a single seemingly innocuous tweet originating from Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung’s Twitter account, posted on October 17th, 2012, showing the school’s students participating in their annual evacuation drill. Despite not looking anything at all like the chaos that unfolded less than two months later (which should come to an enormous shock to no one, ever), this is somehow supposed to be proof that what occurred on December 14th, 2012, was actually just a drill:

Of course this would not be at all noteworthy if the authors had any doubts whatsoever regarding the legitimacy of the account, just as tweets from the morning of the 14th could not possibly be considered one of the “top ten reasons Sandy Hook was an elaborate hoax” unless they also had total faith in the site’s ability to accurately time-stamp its user-generated content. With this in mind, Fetzer and his “expert researchers” logically have no choice but to accept the fact that all of the the photographs shared by Dawn Hochsprung on Twitter between September and December of 2012 must also be genuine. As these photos depict a busy and bustling elementary school, this would obviously deal a devastating blow to Fetzer’s absurd claim that Sandy Hook had been closed and unoccupied since 2008; an idea which acts as the foundation for his entire theory (and, as such, this book). So it shouldn’t come as much as a surprise to anyone who understands how these hucksters work that the book make no mention of Dawn’s timeline outside of the evacuation photo and, in their attempt to hide it from their readers, even cite their own blog entries about the evacuation photo in the footnotes rather instead the actual source. An example, from page 96:

Why wouldn’t they provide the URL to the photo on Dawn’s timeline as their source? What is it they don’t want their readers to see?

October 9th, 2012. Dawn tweets a photo from a “Pathways to Common Core” conference. While it doesn’t offer us a glimpse inside Sandy Hook, the event is corroborated by the November, 2012 edition of the Newtown’s Public Schools “Superintendent’s Newsletter”, which includes the following quote by survivor Natalie Hammond:

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“Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”
Chapter Eleven
By: James Fetzer and Kelley Watt

When I saw that the title of this chapter was “Are Sandy Hook skeptics delusional with ‘twisted minds’?”, I thought “Great! This will be the easiest chapter yet! I’ll answer ‘yes’ – or ‘yes, of course’ if I’m feeling particularly chatty – publish, and move on!” But it turns out that there are actual claims being made here and while the majority of them are rehashed from earlier chapters, a couple of new ones rear their ugly head… heads?

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“Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”
Chapter Ten
By: “Dr. Eowyn” (aka Maria Hsia Chang) and James Fetzer

Chapter Ten is an interesting one; not because it finally, miraculously offers up even a sliver of compelling information (it doesn’t, not that there was ever such a possibility), but because its content was very thoroughly debunked long, long ago (by Metabunk, by Snopes, by USA Today, etc). And while the same could be said for nearly every other chapter in this completely asinine book, this time the authors openly acknowledge it. And they do so within the very first paragraph! But somehow the chapter doesn’t abruptly end there. Instead, James Fetzer and Maria Chang awkwardly fumble their way through a counterargument that basically boils down to “nuh-uh”.

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A couple of smarty pants researchers from Dartmouth College have spent considerable time and energy studying what is commonly referred to as “the backfire effect”. The fruits of their labors resulted in a paper titled “When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions”. I’m simplifying their work for the sake of brevity (if you’re really interested, just go read the paper), but the basic idea, which I’ve cribbed from RationalWiki, is: “the backfire effect occurs when, in the face of contradictory evidence, established beliefs do not change but actually get stronger. Kind of really crazy, right? Knowing this, it can sometimes be difficult to muster up the willpower to confront conspiracy theorists, because you know that you’re incredibly unlikely to sway them, no matter how well-prepared or well-spoken you are.  So I was pleasantly surprised when, after a relatively short back-and-forth, I was able to get a fanatical Sandy Hook denier to actually admit that they were wrong about something.

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As demonstrated in parts one, two, and three, there is plenty of evidence that Sandy Hook Elementary was open and fully operational when Adam Lanza (and Adam Lanza alone) shot his way into the school and murdered twenty-six people. Since I’m limiting myself to the same exact collection of crime scene photos used by deniers to argue that the school closed permanently in 2008 in order to prepare for a fake shooting spree four years later, I haven’t even touched the mountain of official documents uncovered by the researchers over at Metabunk, Sandy Hook: Focus On Facts, and more.

This time I’m going to talk a bit about the SMART Technologies products found within Sandy Hook Elementary. While SMART Tables and Boards can be found in multiple classrooms as well as the library (as seen in the video walk-through and briefly discussed in Chapter Eight), I’m going to limit the discussion to those seen in classrooms six (special education) and eight (1st grade).

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Is there a more exciting subject than trees? I submit that there is not.

Throughout Chapter 8 of “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”, expert in absolutely nothing whatsoever Allan Powell leans heavily on the premise that the crime scene photos taken both inside and outside of Sandy Hook Elementary School were actually taken sometime in the fall; “late October or early November” is his estimate. “Dr. Eowyn” (aka Maria Hsia Chang) also posits this asinine theory in the similarly ridiculous Chapter 2, “Six Signs Sandy Hook Elementary School Was Closed”.

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Or “James Fetzer And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ask Me Anything”

For the uninitiated, Reddit is a user-driven content aggregator, broken up into what is referred to as “subreddits”. These subreddits are organized by area of interest and truly run the gamut, covering news, politics, culture, and absolutely everything in between. Seriously, there are thousands of them. And based on the number of total subscribers, the conspiracy subreddit is currently ranked the 108th most popular on the site (nestled comfortably between the NBA and anime). Sandy Hook denial is unfortunately yet predictably a popular subject there, so even a clueless doofus like James Fetzer manages to receive regular praise (as well as occasional scorn as conspiracy theorists love to eat their own almost as much as they love conspiracies).

While it struggled to find an audience, the “conspiracyAMA” – or conspiracy “ask me anything” – subreddit was created as a way to take the incredibly popular “ask me anything” format regularly utilized by celebrities and other public figures looking to interact with Reddit’s enormous userbase and make it a safe space for conspiracy folk. And while it ultimately paled in comparison to its inspiration, it did play host to one of the most disastrous AMAs I’ve seen this side of Woody Harrelson. The guest of honor was – you guessed it – bloated clown James Fetzer, there to take full advantage of the fifteen minutes allotted to him by his then-recent Amazon ban.

I really recommend that you mark out some time and attempt to read this beast in its entirety (it eventually grew to 371 comments before running out of steam) as it’s pretty amazing, but I’m going to touch on some of my favorite moments, full of Fetzer’s baldfaced lies, furious backpedaling, and even his predictably asinine thoughts on other topics (but especially Jews). All answers are given by James Fetzer, transcribed by the moderator. It may not mean much to you if you’re unfamiliar with the site, but it’s worth noting that Fetzer’s answers were rated so poorly by the audience that many of them are hidden from view. That’s how badly things went for poor James… in his own AMA! But don’t feel too bad for the guy; he seems to think it went swimmingly. Seriously! Just look at this Facebook post!

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“Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”
Chapter Nine
By: “Dr. Eowyn” (aka Maria Hsia Chang)

It’s been a frustrating yet oddly satisfying process parsing through James Fetzer’s bullshit page by page. So it’s an enormous relief and yet still kind of sad when there’s no real need for me to eviscerate another gross chapter because someone else has already done such a thorough job that it would be a total waste of my time (as well as kind of disrespectful to them) to repeat their work. And in this case, that person is CW Wade from Sandy Hook Facts. CW has done such an excellent job taking “Dr. Eowyn” (otherwise known as Maria Hsia Chang) up on her challenge and eviscerating the lies in Chapter Nine that I’m just going to direct you to his article on the subject. CW also wrote another article that works as an excellent supplement to that takedown, and you can find that one here.

While it’s probably out of the scope of his work, it’s a shame that CW did not spend much time talking about just how often the SSDI (social security death index) makes mistakes. In fact, CNN reports that 1 in every 200 deaths are incorrectly entered into its Death Master File. In an article from the Daily Republic regarding 3,000 victims of the 9/11 attacks missing from the MDF, Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle says, “We make it clear that our death records are not perfect and may be incomplete or, rarely, include information about individuals who are alive,” he said. “Because we do not receive reports for all deaths and cannot release all of the reports we do receive, the absence of a particular person (in the Death Master File) does not prove the person is alive. Our error rate is about 0.5 percent.” Nearly every search engine providing results from the SSDI (or MDF) makes specific mention of this potential for errors. Here’s what Genealogy Bank, which is what Maria Chang used to conduct her “research”, has to say about it:

GenealogyBank updates the SSDI database each week. The updates include corrections to old death records, as well as new names of the recently deceased. If a person is missing from the index, it may be that the SS death benefit was never requested, an error was made on the form requesting the benefit, or an error was made when entering the information into the SSDI.

After powering through chapters seven and eight of “Nobody Died At Sandy Hook”, I wanted to reach out to Allan Powell – who contributed both chapters – to see whether he was willing to clarify a couple of things for me. Mainly, with so many pictures that were not taken on December 14th (according to Powell, of course), I wanted to know when he believed they were taken as well as whether or not there were any photographs in existence he believed were actually taken that day. By forcing him to establish a timeline, I wanted to give him enough rope to hang himself.

Like so many Sandy Hook deniers, Allan’s information wasn’t particularly easy to find. But I was able to locate an e-mail address and I wrote him a short, non-confrontational e-mail. I was surprised not only that he replied, but that he appeared even more clueless than I had expected.

I’ll present the entire e-mail chain, in chronological order. So read from the top down. Powell’s replies are in brown (because what other color would he be?).

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