Was Sandy Hook a Hoax? Part 2

Analysis of the Second "Truther" YouTube Video

Earlier this week, the same poster responsible for the first YouTube video claiming that Sandy Hook was a hoax uploaded a second video.  This new video, which was posted on Jan. 19 with the title "Sandy Hook Fully Exposed - OFFICIAL PART 2", doesn't provide much more evidence than the original video, which has now garnered more than 11 million views.

For those who have not had an opportunity to watch this second video, here is a quick synopsis:

0- 0:45  Screenshots of angry comments made toward the Truthers, intended to convey the message "Look at all the mean things people are saying about the Truthers!  We must be on to something!"  To us, this comes across as a cheap stunt in attempt to discredit the skeptics.  The creator of the video does very little to gain credibility with this tactic.

1:32  Text reading "Our video clearly stated in the beginning: we are in no way saying the shooting did not take place and in no way claim there were no real victims."  This is very revealing language, because it seems to suggest that the biggest "Truther" of them all either doesn't believe that Sandy Hook was a hoax or the creator believes that the Truthers themselves are the real "victims".  This video is now looking more like a cry for attention than "Sandy Hook fully exposed".  It seems the only thing exposed so far is the hurt feelings of the Truthers.

2:00  Creator presents first piece of evidence, claiming that a manual on how to talk to your kids about the Sandy Hook shooting came out 4 days before the shooting.  Cut to a shot of a school's website (the school's website that is shown is not that of the Sandy Hook elementary school), which shows that the manual does appear to have been created four days prior to Sandy Hook.  Other screenshots show similar websites bearing the same creation date- December 10, 2012.

On the surface this may seem compelling, but the date shown in a website's URL does not necessarily indicate the true creation date.  Instead of creating a new website from scratch, many of the websites in question were pre-existing websites reconfigured to address Sandy Hook.  Anyone with any blogging experience can tell you that this is not uncommon.  For instance, if we were to redesign Journal of the Bizarre into a blog about Sandy Hook, it will show the creation date of 2011- long before Sandy Hook happened, thus giving it the appearance that it was made before the incident.

Also, it seems interesting that every one of these sites created before the shooting all bear the same date of December 10.  This would indicate that the date discrepancy has something to do with Google's indexing, since we do not see one site mentioning Sandy Hook made on 12/10 and one on 12/4 and still another on 12/6, for instance.  If there was a conspiracy, it was not concocted all in one day- yet all of the evidence presented by the Truthers (thus far) implies that the conspirators all seemed to "goof up" on the exact same day.  We'd be more inclined to believe there was a conspiracy if a broader range of dates was presented by the Truthers.

Think about it.  If Sandy Hook was an elaborate hoax involving hundreds of co-conspirators, why would the conspirators be so careless as to make a half dozen fake tribute pages showing a creation date prior to the shooting?  Anyone crafty enough to fake a mass shooting surely is also smart enough not to make such a rookie mistake. 

5:00  Creator claims that news networks aired fake footage.  This is true, but in reality this is not uncommon.  Occasionally a big news story will break and the media will use "canned" footage just so they can get the story on air (Rule Number One of Journalism- you don't need to be correct, you just need to be first).  For example, I live just down the road from Bellefonte, which was a madhouse during the Jerry Sandusky trial.  Many newscasts claimed to be airing "live footage" during the trial, but I could look out my window and see that this simply was not the case.  While this practice is dishonest, it is not uncommon, and is not evidence of a conspiracy.  With a story as big as Sandy Hook, you can bet that there was a race to be the first to report on the event.

5:40  Creator wonders why, in this day of cellphones and digital cameras, there aren't any clips or pictures of the chaos from that day.  Creator then accuses skeptics of bashing the Truther movement for not addressing this matter.  It seems hard to believe that someone would have the wherewithal to film a mass shooting in progress.  There are dozens of recent mass shootings which we have not seen clips of, yet we do not question whether or not these shootings occurred.   

6:00 A graphic designer questions the authenticity of a Parker family photo, claiming that Emilie (who died in the shooting) was Photoshopped into the family portrait.  This does appear to be true.  Verifying the authenticity of photographs is something we do on a daily basis, and it is our belief that the graphic designer in the video is correct in his assessment.  This could be terrific evidence if the photo was taken after the shooting, but we do not have any proof of that (yet).  All we have is a family portrait in which one of the family members was absent and added in at a later date- which is not an uncommon practice.

8:20  Mr. Parker is shown smiling before going on camera to speak about his daughter's death.  Odd, yes, but still not hard evidence.  One "trick" often used by everyone from public speakers to telemarketers is to smile or laugh before speaking or answering a phone, because it helps put the speaker at ease.  (Side Note:  I once had a receptionist who used to bust out in laughter whenever the phone would ring.  When I asked her about it, she explained that by laughing before picking up the phone, the caller would be greeted by a pleasant voice rather than a cranky one.  Not surprisingly, she was the best receptionist I ever had).  Perhaps Mr. Parker was using the same technique.  At any rate, it's still not definitive proof of anything "conspiratorial".

9:19 The creator does bring up a valid point here by claiming that, out of all the families of all the victims, it's always the same handful who appear on camera.  This is a matter we tend to investigate in the future.

10:00 Radio show host claims there are glaring holes in the official Sandy Hook narrative, such as the two men who were seen fleeing from the school, and conflicting reports about the guns used in the shooting.  The creator of the second YouTube video then presents audio from a Connecticut cop who claims that things "just don't add up".  Nice touch, but again, no hard evidence is to be found- just someone's opinion.  The mystery men fleeing from the school have already been identified by other sources.

11:00 Creator points out other discrepancies in the Sandy Hook narrative.  Unfortunately, this does more to discredit the conspiracy allegations than to confirm them.  The whole point of a conspiracy is to have everyone who is "in on the joke" using the same narrative.  It is true that many false facts have been reported, but that is to be expected during any legitimate crisis.  It is the absence of discrepancies which make for a legitimate conspiracy.  Nonetheless, we will investigate these discrepancies in future installments.

13:05 Creator shows text of a statement made by a local resident, which reads: "If I did not watch the news, I would have sworn to you that this was some kind of drill, when did these 600 kids evacuate?  To this day there is only a single picture of about 10 children walking in the parking lot."

Wait a minute... at the 5:40 mark, the video's creator emphatically stated that no pictures from that day existed!
13:20  Another quote is shown, asking where the footage is from the school's security cameras.  This could be the ultimate smoking gun, and is something we intend to investigate.  Obviously, if such footage exists, it is in the hands of the authorities and would not have been leaked to the public.  If the skeptics can obtain any security camera footage from that day showing children inside the school, it would blow the entire conspiracy theory out of the water, since the Truthers seem to have built their case around the implication that the school was empty.

15:00  Creator brings up Laura Phelps, pointing out that an amateur actress looks like the mother of one of the slain children.  If there are 600 children in the school, that means there are 1200 parents floating around out there, and it's not unreasonable to assume that at least a handful of the 1200 parents would have had some acting, theatre, or performance experience in their lives.  A handful of actors in a town does not prove a conspiracy, but an inordinate amount of actors in the same small town would certainly help make the case.  Strangely, many of the Sandy Hook "players" do appear to have some background in acting.  For instance, the man who sheltered some of the children on the day of the shooting is said to have belonged to the Screen Actor's Guild. 

The creator believes that Laura and Nick Phelps- who appear on the news as parents of two children at Sandy Hook- are, in reality, Richard and Jennifer Sexton, actors from Florida who were brought to Sandy Hook to take part in the hoax.  This seems easy enough to investigate.  All you need is a known legitimate resident of Sandy Hook who can vouch for their identity.  The creator shows several photos of the Sextons, said to have been copied from a photosharing site which has since been deleted.  One thing that would tremendously help the Truther movement would be photographs of the Sextons which show some evidence of them having been in Florida, such as a car in the background with a Florida plate.  Otherwise, all we have at this moment is a claim made by an anonymous person stating that the Phelps' are really the Sextons.  We need more corroborating evidence.  Perhaps the Truthers can dredge up a picture of the Phelps' car with Florida plates taken in Connecticut.  That would certainly bolster their claim.  

The video's creator promises to reveal more information about the Sextons in a future video.

Perhaps the most revealing thing about this new installment is something that has nothing to do with the video itself, but with the description of the video, as written by the video's creator: 

"This is the sequel to the viral monster "Sandy Hook - Fully Exposed". We will admit it was not as polished as we would have liked. We never thought it would go viral and since the time it was made, some points have been debunked. That does not mean there is not still a ton of evidence and information not only in this video, but in future videos."

Unfortunately, the video is lacking any solid evidence, although it does raise some valid questions to which deserve to be answered.

With 11 million views and counting, it's fair to say that the creator of this "viral monster" is certainly reveling in his newfound celebrity, promising more videos to come- which leads us to wonder: What is the real motive behind the Sandy Hook Truther movement?  If the goal is to financially profit from a massacre in which children were actually killed, that would make them among the most dispicable low-lifes the world has seen in decades.  If the goal is to prevent the government from taking America's guns away, that would make a wonderful argument for greater gun control, since paranoid conspiracy kooks probably shouldn't have access to firearms in the first place.  However, if the Truthers can definitively prove that Sandy Hook was a hoax by presenting some actual hard evidence- rather than opinion and coincidences- well they just may blow the lid off the grand-daddy of all cover-ups.