Thinking about Sandy Hook: Was it reality or an illusion?

“When one hypothesis makes the evidence more probable than the other, it is more likely to be true and the alternative false”–the author

All results for James Mattioli - No Match
All results for James Mattioli – No Match

The Sandy Hook event has divided Americans, most of whom have been convinced by media coverage that it was a real event, where a young man massacred 20 children and six adults before killing himself.

Another substantial segment of the US population has taken a close look at the evidence and drawn the opposite conclusion that it was a hoax, where no children died: it was an elaborate psy-op.

Americans are hard pressed to sort these things out, because they are hit with a blizzard of reports that appear to confirm the official account, leaving them in the predicament of not being able to tell if it was real or fake.

In Veterans Today, I have published a series of studies–now a dozen or more–presenting evidence about what did or did not occur that day.  These include “Top Ten Reasons: Sandy Hook was an elaborate hoax”“Sandy Hook Redux: Obama officials confirm that it was a drill and no children died”, and “Sandy Hook: My pick of the ‘Top Ten’ articles / videos / interviews“. They present (what appears to be) a powerful case for the conclusion that Sandy Hook was a hoax.

But that does not mean that I have convinced everyone to my point of view. Today, for example, I received an email from  ”Meta men”, who attacks my research on Sandy Hook and also take a swipe at my research on 9/11, about which he did not elaborate. (For a sample of what I in collaboration with others have discovered about 9/11, see “The Complete Midwest 9/11 Truth Conference”.) When I asked if he had read my articles about Sandy Hook, he sent me this reply:

Meta men critique of my research
Meta men critique of my research

This is a fairly typical example of its kind, where he attempts to undermine appeals to The Wayback Machine (which I cite in “Sandy Hook Elementary School: Closed in 2008, a stage in 2012″), an analysis of the identity of “Robbie Parker” (“School closed, actors used: Robbie Parker, entertainer, exposed”) and Sofia Smallstorm’s interview with Paul Preston (“Sandy Hook Redux: Obama officials confirm that it was a drill and no children died”).

He tosses in a smear against Wolfgang Halbig for good measure, where he doesn’t know that Wolf has closed one of his web sites because of a seemingly endless series of harsh comments, most a lot like this one. Many encountering a post like this from Meta men might be at a loss to appraise which side is right and which side is wrong. My purpose here is to enable you to do that just the least bit better than you may have before you read this article.

Probabilities vs. Certainties

Empirical knowledge (based upon documents and records, photos and videos and witness testimony, for example) can never be “definitive and certain”. You only know your own origins in life (where and when you were born and the parents who brought you into this world) on the basis of information that could have been faked. Even DNA comparisons can be invalid or mistaken on purpose or by accident. Your belief about today’s day/month/year is something else of which you have no direct and certain knowledge but rather have a host of sources of information, such as newspapers and television reports, which collectively confirm your belief but could be fabricated or faked, but which are almost always accurate and true.

The occurrence of an elaborate hoax intended to fool the people does not occur often, but there can be no doubt that it does sometimes occur. The Warren Report (1964), for example, provides an indictment of Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin of JFK, where the evidence for that conclusion was carefully selected and, in some cases, completely fabricated. The backyard photographs were faked, for example, and the home movies of the assassination were edited. That he had been captured in a famous photo taken during the shooting was suppressed. These things can and sometimes do happen.

If you only read the government’s account, you might very well be convinced  that JFK had been killed by Lee Oswald. Once you acknowledge that some of the evidence has been fabricated or faked, however, the case begins to assume a completely different character. This does not mean we cannot know what happened in this instance, but it should not have been necessary to frame a guilty man.  New evidence or alternative hypotheses may thus require us to revised our position by rejecting hypotheses we previously accepted, accepting hypotheses we previously rejected and leaving others in suspense.

Check out "The gift that keeps on giving" and you can prove this photo was not taken the day of the "shooting"
Check out “The gift that keeps on giving” and you can prove this photo was not taken the day of the “shooting”

Indeed, scientific reasoning specifically and rational inquiries generally must satisfy the requirement of total evidence: in the search for truth, reasoning must be based upon all of the available relevant evidence, where evidence is relevant when its presence or absence (or truth or falsity) makes a difference to the outcome, typically on the basis of considerations of probability.  His own example is appropriate here: just because you don’t see pictures of 600 kids doesn’t mean 600 kids were not evacuated. But if 600 kids had been present, it isextremely improbable that they could have been missed.

The claim is often made that “You can’t prove a negative!” But that is obviously false. When evidence that ought to be present if an hypothesis were true is absent, then the absence of evidence qualifies as evidence of absence. Suppose you were told there is an elephant in your living room. If you go there and find no indications of the presence of an elephant, you are completely justified in inferring that there is no elephant in your living room. If 600 kids who should have been there are not there, if the event was real, but they are not there, you are completely justified in inferring it was not real.

Inference to the best explanation

The principle known as “inference to the best explanation”, has the potential to turn every American into a critical thinker  in comparing alternative hypotheses. In relation to Sandy Hook, there are two alternatives, which have consequences that would also be true (or probably true) if they were true and others that would be false (or probably false) if they were not:

(h1) Sandy Hook was a real event, where 20 children and 6 adults were killed at a school;

(h2) Sandy Hook was an elaborate hoax, where a drill was conducted and no children died.

But the key to understanding is making an appraisal of which of these hypotheses is better supported by the evidence. We can think of the evidence as effects of one or another hypothesis as their cause.  When one hypothesis makes the effects more probable than the other, it is more likely to be true and the alternative false. If the shooting had been real, then since some 626 students were enrolled there, if we subtract 20 for those allegedly killed, then there should have been 600 more who had to be evacuated.  And if no photos show them, that they were present is probably–very probably–untrue.

Analogously, we know from past experience that the names, ages and sex of victims of crimes are almost invariably printed in newspaper accounts of crimes. In this case, however, the final reports coming from the Connecticut authorities did not include them. That is a very odd aspect of this event, but an attempt has been made to explain it away on the ground of preserving the privacy of the families of the victims. But if there were victims, their families already know they are dead. There is no evident benefit to the families, if it was real, but a major element of the cover up, if it was not. There is more:

* the Attorney General of Connecticut argued against releasing the 911 calls, where the court ruled against him;

* the Clerk of Newtown entered into secret negotiations with the state legislature to avoid issuing death certificates;

* a special panel of the state legislature recommended that any state employee who released information about Sandy Hook other than via Freedom of Information Act request be prosecuted as an E-felony with a five year sentence; and,

those who were hired to participate in the demolition of the school building were required to sign life-time gag orders that prohibit them from talking about what they saw or did not see during its destruction.

Each of these qualifies as a “fact” insofar as its truth can be confirmed by research you can conduct yourself. Admittedly, if all the information accessible via the internet about Sandy Hook were fabricated or faked, that would not be the case. But I know of no one who seriously contests any of these points.  So ask yourself, what is the probability that these five claims (including the missing names, ages and sex from the final reports) would be true if Sandy Hook had been a real event? and by comparison what is the probability these five claims would be true if Sandy Hook had been a hoax? Which is more likely to be true?

Questions of birth and death

Meta men’s assertion, “Like your 9/11 stuff, not one aspect of your SH stuff has stood up to rudimentary scrutiny”, exemplifies a gross overgeneralization that cannot be sustained. I have a dozen or more articles about Sandy Hook, where he has only mentioned a few and has disproven none. He seems to think that the improbable claim that 600 kids could have been there, yet not been photographed or otherwise recorded, bears weight. He is taking a remote possibility and treating it as though it were a probability or even a verified fact!

Among the many points I have made are that we even have a photograph taken from a CT State Police chopper at 9:15 AM/ET, which is 20 minutes  before the first 911 call came in; there was no surge of EMTs into the building to rush those little bodies off to hospitals, where doctors could pronounce them dead or alive; virtually all of the emergency vehicles were kept at the Fire House, which became the center of activity as opposed to the school; the parents were not even allowed to identify their children, which was done using photos.

He addresses none of these points–but then again, my colleagues and I have undoubtedly made more than 100 (even 100s) of assertions about what did and did not happen that he has not mentioned, which makes his assertion a nice case of begging the question by taking for granted what needs to be determined on independent grounds, such as that 20 children actually died at Sandy Hook. Beyond the issues I have raised about their deaths–and there are many others–new questions have now arisen about their births, where a systematic search has failed to reveal birth records for any of the children that are said to have died:


This is pretty fascinating stuff, because what is the probability that, if this had been a real event, birth records for the deceased would be so difficult to find? On the other hand, if this had been an illusion where no children had actually died, then it would be highly probable on the assumption that it would be easier to make them up than to have to deal with real, living children, who could grow up to ask embarrassing questions of their parents. Watch this video, evaluate his research, and ask yourself, “How can we have been so dumb?”

The Paul Preston interview

One of those whose death appears to be unaccompanied by their birth is the daughter of the McDonnells, who were interviewed on CNN by Anderson Cooper, where the presumptive mother of Grace displays no apparent grief or sense of loss, which makes excellent sense if she had not actually lost a daughter but was only playing a role. Watch this interview and ask yourself, “Are these reactions more probable if the event was real or if it was a hoax?”


Meta men also takes a swipe in passing at Paul Preston, a Los Angeles school expert who was struck by the lack of intensity, the absence of any EMTs rushing into the building and a host of other issues, including the missing 600 children.  I regard this interview (which was done by Sofia Smallstorm) as among the most important, if not the most important, in the history of research on Sandy Hook. Notice that, when I go through the transcript (which was prepared by Jeannon), I present the evidence that he is talking about in the course of his conversation with Sofia.  So what is the point of attacking Paul Preston?  What matters in this context is what he observed and has to say about Sandy Hook but, as in the case of Wolfgang Halbig, personal ad hominemattacks appear to be the best their critics can do.

Ask yourself, “If Meta men could actually defeat the arguments that Wolfgang Halbig and Paul Preston have advanced, isn’t it more probable that he would do that rather than taking personal pot shots that do nothing to show that what they have to say is wrong?” Suppose that Wolfgang had business problems in the past or that Paul Preston was somehow at fault for some impropriety, how would that show anything they said about Sandy Hook was not true–especially when I have presented the evidence that he is talking about, which by itself confirms what he is saying about Sandy Hook, thereby showing that it is in fact true?

Not the least important contributions of Paul Preston to the investigation of Sandy Hook is that, by virtue of his long-standing relations with members of the Obama administration in the Department of Education, he was able to confirm with them that this had been a hoax: Sandy Hook was a drill where no children died, which as done to promote an aggressive gun-control agenda, which I highlighted by featuring a speech by Attorney General Eric Holder to a National Democratic Women’s Conference in 1995, where he makes a point of stating that the government must “brainwash” the public into changing its attitude toward guns.

The gift that keeps on giving

Meta men also mentions The Wayback Machine, which had shown no computer activity at the school from 2008 to 2012, “Sandy Hook Elementary School: Closed in 2008, a stage in 2012″, which is addressed in a new study of the Adam Lanza home at 36 Yogananda Street and the vehicles parked in the lot at the school. This includes video of the inside of the home, displaying books, photos and momentos, all perfectly arranged, and no crime scene tape surrounding the house, even though his mother’s body had allegedly been found there earlier in the day. What is the probability, if this had been a real event, that the contents of the home would be virtually undisturbed and that there would be no crime scene tape, which showed up the following day? For a fake event, however, routine procedures for a real event could easily have been overlooked.

Notice the row of cars parked in the wrong direction

Even more stunning, a study of the vehicles in the parking lot in front of the school shows that they are parked in the wrong direction (which should have been nose-in), given the arrangement for driving into the lot, and that they have outdated auto tags from 2006 and 2007. But Connecticut seems to have switched to windshield stickers in 2006. The image itself suggests of a group of drivers methodically filling up the lot with used or abandoned cars, driving straight into the designated parking places without regard for how they should have been arranged. Once again we ask, “What is the probability that the lot would be filled with cars parked in the wrong direction, if this had been a real event? What if this had been a drill?” The sticker issue is an example of new evidence coming to the fore, which defeats that specific argument. But when an hypothesis has been confirmed by abundant evidence and no alternative explanation is reasonable, it has been established “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Hypothesis (h2), that this was an illusion, has been established beyond a reasonable doubt.

The gun control agenda

The day of the shooting, Governor Malloy and his Lt. Governor held a press conference, during which he observed that they had been “spoken to” that something like this might happen. That got me thinking about, “something like this”? What could that mean. There are only two alternatives: (a) that he had been told there would be a shooting in a school in his state, in which case he, as governor, should have warned school districts to be on high alter and make sure it did not happen, which he did not do; or (b) that he had been told they would be taking an abandoned school and using it as a prop for a drill, which would be presented to the public as real to promote an aggressive gun-control agenda, which is what happened.

Not only has Eric Holder been enthusiastic about gun control, but Barack Obama himself praised the sweeping gun confiscation that took place in Australia in the late 1990s and said:

“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown,” Obama said. “And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.”

And while they haven’t seen a mass shooting since, local officials say that gun violence on the continent is much worse than it was before the tougher gun policies went into effect.

Meanwhile, the one thing that the President failed to recognize is that gun crime in the U.S. is on the decline.

According to a PEW research study, gun crime is down 49% since 1993.

Another study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that non-fatal gun crime is actually down 70% since the same time.

Even the President’s own study performed by the Center for Disease Control reached a similar conclusion: “Firearm-related death rates for youth ages 15 to 19 declined from 1994 to 2009,” the report states. “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.”

What these studies show is there’s a clear agenda being carried out by the Mainstream Media to make it seem like mass shootings are the norm.

As soon as a mass shooting happens, it reverberates through all the major news networks for weeks, much like an echo after the initial shot.

Because of this, much of the nation seems to believe that gun violence, particularly school shootings, is on the rise even with evidence that points to the contrary.

The reasons behind this aggressive behavior by the administration, even when gun violence has been falling in the United States, involves deep questions about the role of DHS in our society and why America has been devolving into a totalitarian state. Those go beyond the scope of this study, which is dedicated to encouraging readers to think things through about Sandy Hook. And, as a further exercise, given the extremely flimsy and unsubstantial arguments that Meta men has advanced in his critique of my work, ask yourself, “Is he attempting to reveal the truth about Sandy Hook or conceal it?” Just review what I have explained here, then assess the probabilities for yourself and compare it with a serious alternative analysis.

Jim Fetzer, a former Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Courtesy of Veterans Today.

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