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Sandy Hook Conspiracy Experts Weigh In On Evidence

sandy hook truthers

In recent weeks, Sandy Hook conspiracy theories have cut into an ever growing share of attention focused on the tragedy, with many on the web “questioning the official narrative” regarding the sad event — positing that the Newtown school massacre didn’t happen as reported or, as they have also suggested, didn’t happen at all.

The Sandy Hook conspiracy crowd has been referred to as “Sandy Hook truthers,” and, in a digital age, they amplify their message via Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook as they connect with one another and share theories and conjecture about the tragic murders at the Connecticut elementary school.

The Inquisitr has addressed these Sandy Hook conspiracy theories individually in separate and cumulative posts. The “evidence” ranges, including but not limited to, levels of grief deemed improper from parents of the murdered children, the involvement of Newtown resident Gene Rosen (who sheltered six children that fled from the school and has subsequently been harassed by Sandy Hook truthers), the seeming pre-event existence of websites and Facebook accounts memorializing the victims and raising funds, and the alleged involvement of “crisis actors” on the scene in Newtown and in subsequent media appearances during which they purport to be witnesses or grieving parents.

Sandy Hook conspiracy theories are, under a modicum of critical consideration, an amalgamation of conjecture, faulty reasoning, inaccurate early reporting, and ignorance about the mechanics of the workings of Google — but despite their flimsy premise and ultimately vague end-game, Sandy Hook truthers seem to be growing in rather than declining in number — even drawing in MLB star Denard Span, who tweeted yesterday:

In the realm of conspiracy — whether it’s Sandy Hook truthers, Birthers, 9/11 deniers or otherwise — some common behaviors and attributes exist including a strong level of resistance to any evidence that conflicts with their worldview. Another is the lack of clear direction in conjecture like the Sandy Hook conspiracy — no clear picture ever emerges, and doubts are sold to the gullible through the guise of narrative questioning.

After the Sandy Hook conspiracy phenomenon blew up, Skeptical Inquirer‘s Benjamin Radford spoke to the Huffington Post, telling the site that the “questions” frame makes the subterfuge line easy to buy as the simple act of asking questions in and of itself is not problematic:

“The video begins with something that really everybody can accept — ‘We are just raising questions,’ … The whole subject is framed like, ‘Don’t look at us, we’re not saying this crazy stuff, we’re just asking questions.'”

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As Radford explains above, Sandy Hook conspiracy merchants are then absolved (at least in their own minds) of responsibility for their rhetoric, jettisoning their role in promoting baseless theories as just curiosity. He illustrates:

“All they offer are tantalizing ‘could be’s’ … The classic conspiracy theorist sees the hidden hand in everything. Nothing is as it seems. There’s something bigger that’s going on. They dont know where it is, but they are willing to tantalize people and throw out any number of suggestions, which are oftentimes contradictory.”

David Mikkelson, one half of the internet urban legend busting team behind Snopes, has seen a few conspiracy theories in his long tenure getting to the bottom of things on the web. Commenting to HuffPo, Mikkelson explains that the Sandy Hook truther trend is not unlike those that came before it and that the conflicting reports in the news do not a massive global conspiracy make.

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Mikkelson explains:

“In any kind of disaster or tragedy like this, if you go through things with a fine-toothed comb, you will find a number of contradictory statements … Of course, most of them are cleared up within a few days of the initial reporting, but it’s not something you’re going to see in these [conspiracy] videos.”

Both Mikkelson and Radford speak to one weak Sandy Hook conspiracy theory that murdered student Emilie Parker later appeared during a photo-op with President Obama in Newtown. (The child depicted was actually the younger sister of Emilie.)

Putting aside the obvious question of why the government would be so sophisticated as to pull off a world-tricking Sandy Hook conspiracy but overlook a key detail like hiding one of the alleged false victims, the pair explain that this sort of claim is common in “truther” rhetoric. Radford told HuffPo:

“They’ll see things that have double meanings … What the rest of us see [in that photo] is Emilie Parker’s sister, but they’re looking at the exact same photograph and they are interpreting it very differently.”

Mikkelson adds:

“You can get a lot of mileage out of vague physical similarities.”

Connecticut School Shooting Victim

Of Sandy Hook conspiracy pushers, fellow skeptic DJ Grothe says that the conclusions are often wrong even if the base evidence is correct. Citing a human desire to make sense of the nonsensical, Grothe says Sandy Hook truthers and their brethren in other, similar groups often make the mistake of assuming that all the pieces are part of a larger thing, which is not always the case:

“Political conspiracy theorists are completely wrong [in their conclusions], but they’re not crazy … The leading conspiracy theorists … are right on many of their initial factual claims. Depending on what the theory is, they might even be correct in all of their claims. Where they are wrong is connecting the dots that aren’t there.”

Despite a wealth of evidence to cast doubt on claims of a Sandy Hook conspiracy, the truther movement seems to grow louder each day.

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Comments

40 Responses to “Sandy Hook Conspiracy Experts Weigh In On Evidence”

  1. Anonymous

    There are plenty of people who don't believe that Sandy Hook was a complete hoax, but who also don't believe the official story either and there is no place to go to find out what really happened. The problem is that the mainstream media has taken over most of the smaller news stations and newspapers, so you see the same ol' "official story" posted everywhere, even though many questions remain. Questions, that do not get answered, that instead get "poo-pooed" instead. These questions will not go away. The parents of those children deserve some real investigative reporting: remember that? Who, What, Where, When, Why?

  2. Anonymous

    Ah, I noticed you did not put those two pictures side by side on this article so people could judge for themselves?

  3. Keith Campbell

    "IF" there were not so many lies, omissions of the facts, and manufacturing untruths there would not be the doubt which exists surrounding Sandy Hook like an AR-15 as the weapon used in the alleged slaying when in fact it was four hand guns.

  4. Colin Korson

    Finally an article regarding the "conspiracy theories" that makes sense. It would be pretty far-fetched to believe that the entire thing was a hoax, but there are quite a few legitimate questions that have been raised regarding this story and people just want to know the truth. For example, what type of gun was used for the attack and how many attackers were there actually?

    If there is anyone to blame for the confusion and uproar that has taken place in the wake of this tragedy, blame the media and the Obama administration for using such a terrible event to promote gun control. Cars, cigarettes, alcohol, prescription drugs, fuck even kitchen knives cause more deaths per year than gun violence. Maybe we should ban all those things.

  5. Kim LaCapria

    It makes sense to talk about guns now. Why not? Honoring these kids by making more sensical policy is not evidence it was a problem from "the Obama adminstration."

  6. Kim LaCapria

    Those questions have been answered as much as they can be. Part of the problem is this isn't an episode of SVU. Investigations take time. There is no coverup. What would there be to coverup?

  7. Colin Korson

    Look, all I'm saying is that it would be nice to get one solid concrete story of what happened (with actual physical evidence) from a credible source. It's been over a month now, why no police report? Is there still an ongoing investigation? If so, wouldn't the media be ruthlessly extracting details about the progress of the investigation?

    Majority of the public was fine with current gun laws until columbine.. then that wore off and people were fine again.. until virginia tech.. then that wore off and people were fine.. until sandy hook.

    Creating government programs, increasing restrictions, adding new laws, etc. requires a large amount of governmental monetary investment (some people think this stuff just "happens" out of thin air), something that I am not a fan of, especially with the economic situation that our country is in.

    I'm sure every anti-gun lobbyist felt the same sense of disgust and empathy upon hearing about the shooting at sandy hook, but the next thought was probably somewhere along the lines of "oh, we can use this". This kid could have done more damage by going to walmart and buying supplies for a homemade bomb than he did with a gun. He had a intent to kill people, whether he had access to guns or not. That is the issue here. Not guns. Just my opinion.

  8. R Lee DeJaynes

    This is not a good article, and is part of the reason people question. All it does is say, "Wrong, wrong, wrong," with NO explanations. If anyone questions anything, liberals only have to say, "You're wrong," because they say it's so. I don't buy the liberal bullying any more. Yes, many of those videos are just plain weird. But…there ARE some that raise some very important quesitions and point out glaring errors. Watch the video of Robbie Parker for yourself. It's NOT right. I was more upset than that when my dog died, and I sure WAS NOT laughing less than ten hours after. Six hundred kids in the school? We don't see a fraction of that many kids! Watch the news clips…people are milling around like it's a county fair. People are afraid to think any more. Much easier to accept what the liberal media says, cry a few tears, and be done with it. I trained as a journalist over 40 years ago. We were told, "Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see." That used to be the rule for journalists. Now the rule is, "Tell them what to believe because they're all mindless morons who need to be told."

  9. Kim LaCapria

    I am perplexed as to how this is liberal bullying. It is the facts as we know them to be. You are not a mental health professional, you cannot speak to what grief looks like, so stop.

  10. R Lee DeJaynes

    And what are your mental health credentials? Or any credentials, for that matter. Read Ben Shapiro's book, "Bullies." This is certainly an example of the left's way of "shutting down" anyone who dares to question what they say, do, or demand. You haven't looked at ANY of those videos, have you? You are the type of person who invests "emotion" in an issue, and then refuse to see anything beyond that emotion. I do feel sorry for that.

  11. Kim LaCapria

    Again, this is nothing to do with left or right. The fact you keep pushing that idea reflects what's shaping your judgment here.

  12. Adam Syed

    "Sandy Hook Truthers," but "9/11 Deniers?" Hey! WE in the 9/11 movement coined the term Truther; give it back!

  13. Adam Syed

    But on a serious note: this article doesn't really debunk anything. It takes what I consider to be the flimsiest of speculations (Emilie alive, everyone actors) and claim to represent the entire conspiracy theory; then it simply knocks down those straw men. Also, anytime you see an article engaging in armchair psychologizing into the mindset of "conspiracy theorists," it's a strong sign that the theory they're trying to silence is gaining real traction.

  14. Adam Syed

    This has nothing to do with right vs. left. Or a "liberal" media. I'm not sure what to think about Sandy Hook, but 9/11 WAS an inside job. But I certainly didn't see conservative Fox News expose that scam!

  15. Kim LaCapria

    Adam, it's very difficult to provide counterevidence to a claim that can't really be disproven in that specific manner. I can't prove to you I'm not an alien, a CIA operative or any number of things. The problem is that these claims are being presented as evidence when they're just claims. All we can do is point out why they are unlikely- we can't actually show any evidence that something that didn't happen didn't happen.

    Like, here's a picture of the event you say happened not happening, here is audio of a conversation not occurring- it's just not possible.

  16. R Lee DeJaynes

    You are obviously one of those who likes (needs) to have the last word, so you may. I am entitled to my own opinion, as much as anyone else. As a journalist (degreed), I am telling you that there is more here than meets the eye, and it will eventually come out. So, have at it, Kim LaCapria, and feel secure in your ability to pooh-pooh free thinking…but it won't affect mine! Have your last word. I won't be reading it.

  17. Denise Maryniak

    aurora, did they ever find the person who opened the door for the shooterr? why was he so drugged? sandy hook who was the guy in the woods? some cop who heard the gun fire? so he got on his camo and ran through the woods and sat at the fence line? watch this video go to 13:13 this expert in mind control from Belgium talks about how they list there gun rights, it might sound familuar, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oacK1pxIw4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  18. Anonymous

    Kim LaCapria why are you trying to suppress people asking questions on something that doesnt seem right? You should question everything…Unless your're one of those Obama zombies….just saying…..

  19. Mike Scott

    It is a joke to believe what we are told we should only believe what we have seen… I mean controversial videos taken down in mass… coverups happen everyday… check history I mean the government has admitted to knowing of tragic things and not wanting to do anything about it for personal gain… people with no logic believe what they are told by leaders of this handful of people ruled world… ignorance is bliss

  20. Russell Good

    I agree. the incident is played into the contrived left/right paradigm. Divide and rule. It's the same game that's maintained the criminal elite for centuries. Every issue is played out this way.

  21. Jonathan Darrel Woodruff

    Don't dare lump such a precious term in with the pejorative "Conpiracy Theorist". You people are theorizing based on faulty logical premises and conjecture. This is not the mark of a free thinker.

  22. Jonathan Darrel Woodruff

    I've actually read Shapiro's book. I'm a moderate conservative who is disgusted by the left's silly political games. I'm not so sure you've actually read it, though. I think you just paraphrased the books premise to seem well-read.

    Ben Shapiro wouldn't dare associate himself with conspiracy theorists, by the way. He's distanced himself from Alex Jones repeatedly. Don't take his work out of context, loon.

  23. Jonathan Darrel Woodruff

    Nobody is refusing to show you loons anything. You are an infinitesimal percentage of the population on the margins of society. Nobody cares about you. You think "they" would release anything simply to appease YOU?

  24. Xerxes Longimanus

    The documentary really falls apart at the seams! We're the other suspects "clergy" or "nuns?" I think one can tell the difference. What the man who supposed to help with the ginger bread houses supposed to be there at 11 or 2? Did the teach changed the schedule? Was I supposed to see the police in the background snickering behind the doctor? Were those shadows suspects, children, teachers, police, who?

    Ok if this schmuck doesn't trust the main stream media then what makes him more reliable if we put his video under the same scrutiny? What makes these videos the bastion of truth? Are we sheep if we question these guys?

  25. Alexander Rogers

    the thing that bothers me is that when there's some major incident like this, there always seem to be holes, inconsistencies, confusion. if there was nothing to hide, the government could simply release all evidence. why won't they release all videos they have? it's not surprising people don't trust the governments anymore. the school had top security according to official sources, how could no video be released of the incident, how could no person have recorded some proof with a phone or something like that?