This is still a page in progress.
>>From the editor<<
I originally wasn’t going to debunk the ludicrous “Sandy Hook was entirely staged” conspiracy theories. I didn’t want to give them unwarranted attention. The original article to this post is below where I say as much, but after ranking well in Google I’ve realised we have a good platform to help other others from falling for these sick theories and thus hopefully preventing them from being unjustly spread further. And that can’t be a bad thing.
Here we detail and debunk some of the main talking points that conspiracy theorists use to “prove” that Sandy Hook didn’t happen or that it was staged in advance by the government for some hidden agenda.
Firstly though we need to point out that there are dozens of different Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists, discussing and presenting a wide range of different stories. Most conspiracy theorists contradict each other and no one theory has seen any substantial following. Various theories range from attacks on 2nd amendment rights, attacks on 1st amendment rights, secret Israeli hit squads, the Illuminati, The Hunger Games, multiple shooters, the Freemasons, the anti-Christ and Satan worshippers. Many of these theories we’re not going to go into detail on, because there really is no point, but we do address the most popular talking points.
Sandy Hook was staged because …. There are websites in Google that discuss the massacre before the shooting even took place!
The assertion that there are websites on the Internet clearly marked by Google as being published before the date of the shooting.
We start here because this is the easiest to debunk. Google timestamps are incredibly inaccurate, especially when dealing with pages that use dynamic content – what we mean by this is the dates next to the search results do not accurately reflect the date that webpage was created. The easiest way to debunk this theory is to test it yourself. Go to Google.com and type in “Sandy Hook Massacre” and used Google’s Advanced Search to search only between the dates Jan 1 2012 and Dec 10 2012 – you will see thousands of results related to the massacre, dating as far back as January.
Sandy Hook was staged because … Emilie Parker can be seen sitting on President Obama’s lap after the shooting, even though she was a victim.
One of the sicker yet most popular talking points is that victim Emilie Parker can be seen sitting on President Obama’s lap after the shooting. Conspiracy theorists claim that the killing of Emilie Parker was staged
This is not Emilie, rather her younger sister Madeline, who closely resembles Emilie. The photo below is the one used by conspiracy theorists, who used the fact that Madeline is wearing an identical dress (most likely the same dress) Emilie wore in a previous family photo a year or so prior.
And this photo below is said family photo. As you can clearly see using the comparison below that the girl on Obama’s lap is Madeline, not Emilie. The assertion that not only Emilie’s death was staged but she was then later seen posing for Whitehouse photos after she supposedly died is as preposterous as it is offensive.
Sandy Hook was staged because … police can be seen on video arresting a second man, thus proving multiple shooters.
The explanation here is simple – the second man is Chris Manfredonia, who was briefly handcuffed outside of the school by the police when they arrived and were unsure of the identity of the shooter. He is the father of a student at the school. The incident was given brief coverage by some media. See this article.
Chris Manfredonia was arrested in the woods outside the school and was led from the woods and placed into a squad car at the staging area at the firehouse, as reported by multiple witnesses.
This is why some early, inaccurate news reports claimed there were multiple shooters and witnesses reporting seeing a man handcuffed and led back to a squad car.
Sandy Hook was staged because… crisis actors played grieving parents, law enforcement officials, witnesses and media personnel.
This is one of the most absurd allegations and a key component holding many of the more popular theories together, yet this is an incredibly difficult claim to debunk considering conspiracy theorists don’t provide any real evidence of this to be true, instead relying on completely superficial similiarities between those involved in the shooting and completely unrelated photos/videos of others. So instead of debunking evidence we have to look at common sense and logic.
Many YouTube videos and websites have claimed that such actors have been inserted into Newtown to help convince viewers that Sandy Hook happened the way it was reported. However of all the videos we have seen the “evidence” of crisis actors being used is demonstrated merely by comparing photos of the people involved with the Sandy Hook shooting to photos of other people taken elsewhere who have vague similarities, and to then bizarrely conclude that they must be the same person. Of course this method of reasoning is absurd and completely irrational. If you look through enough photos of people you will inevitably find photos of others who look similar to the people involved with Sandy Hook. This does not mean you have found two photos of the same person.
Some videos even resort to finding these lookalikes from “America’s Funniest Videos”.
We can only highlight how illogical this theory really is. This theory relies on the assumption that these actors are inserted into the scene to play out certain roles without anyone from the public realising what is going on. For example one popular example claims that Nick and Laura Phelps (parents of 2 children at Sandy Hook) were portrayed by actors. Of course for this to work it would involve families, friends and people who work at the school to keep quiet to the fact that they did not know who these “actors” were and thus exposing the truth. Other crisis actor theories suffer the same illogical downfall, for example the students who gave eye witness accounts who were also accused by conspiracy theorists as actors.
Sandy Hook was staged because … many of the parents display a lack of visible grief.
This point certainly wins the prize of most ignorant and narrow minded. Anyone who has been around people who are in the grieving process will explain that there is no one way – or correct way – to grieve and people display grief in many different ways. Some parents of Sandy Hook appear more upset than others during TV appearances.
These vile claims in particular highlight how twisted, ignorant and narrow-minded some of these conspiracy theorists can be and we have seen firsthand some sick and frankly bizarre posts made my individuals who question the “lack of tears” and composure of certain grieving parents and [even more bizarrely] try to claim that this is proof that they are crisis actors, not grieving parents.
Sandy Hook was staged … as a cover up to the LIBOR scandal
This assertion claims that Peter Lanza, Adam Lanzas father, was involved with the LIBOR scandal and was about to give testimony to the US Senate committee. Snopes.com notes that the company Peter Lanza works for is not involved with the LIBOR scandal and was not about to give any testimony. Conspiracy theorists have not provided any documentation that claim Peter Lanza was due to give any testimony.
Sandy Hook was staged because … the name Sandy Hook appeared in the new Batman movie.
Whilst it is true that the name Sandy Hook does appear on a map seen in the new Batman move The Dark Knight Rises, we cannot see how this is proof that Sandy Hook was a staged or planned event.
The south part of Gotham, near the sport stadium has been named Sandy Hook in what appears to be a creepy coincidence. If Sandy Hook was staged, why would the powers that be plant the town name in a Hollywood movie? What would this achieve? Further claims that the term Aurora also appeared in the movie are false – a building with the lights Aurora can be seen in the movie Skyfall.
Sandy Hook was staged because… the principle was interviewed by the Newtown Bee after she was killed.
This was a mistake. The Newtown Bee offered a retraction and apology here.
Sandy Hook was staged because … There are no records of Gene Rosen in Sandy Hook, proving he is an actor – furthermore he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild
The search that claimed he was a member of the Screen Actors Guild was done on Intellius, which is notoriously inaccurate. Searching for Gene Rosen in Connecticut does show a result for a person who attended the Screen Actors Guild – however this person is the incorrect age (62, when Gene Rosen is 69) and there is no indication that this person lived in Sandy Hook. Typing in Eugene Rosen (Gene is short for Eugene) then you can retrieve a correct result – a 69 year old man who lives in Sandy Hook.
The record can be seen here.
Sadly Gene Rosen has been the target for harassment by “truther” conspiracy theorists since the shooting.
Sandy Hook was staged because … there are no (or little) ambulances or other emergency vehicles at the scene, as well as no (or little) photos of evacuated students at the scene.
This point again is very easy to debunk. Simply doing a Google search provides ample images of both dozens of emergency vehicles at the scene, as well as multiple photos of students being reunited with parents at the firehouse staging area. For many of these photos you can check this NewsTimes.com article.
Sandy Hook was staged because … there are inconsistencies in the media report surrounding details of what happened
When breaking news occurs and competing news channel rush to gather the facts and break the news as soon as they can, mistakes will be made. It is an inevitability and occurs in almost every major breaking news story. Sandy Hook has probably got more than its fair share of mistakes, that include the identity of the shooter (initially identified as Ryan Lanza, the shooters brother) the weapons used in the shooting (discrepancies with automatic weapons, shotguns and rifles) and which classes the victims belonged to (some accounts claimed all of Victoria Soto’s class died, others claimed she managed to save her students)
In the case of Sandy Hook you have these competing news channels aiming to be the first to break the details, and for the most part the only people they can initially acquire details from is people in a very emotive, panicked state, meaning much of the information that gets published on the media is going to be inaccurate.
However to imply these inconsistencies somehow show that Sandy Hook never happened is simply irrational. If Sandy Hook was a staged event, or if it was pre-planned by the government then why would these inconsistencies happen? It seems less likely for these inconsistencies or mistakes to occur if the event was planned in advance. One could argue (and conspiracy theorists probably would argue this) that it would be more suspicious that given the circumstances there were no inconsistencies, discrepancies or mistakes made. That everything went perfectly, just as if it were scripted…?
Whilst there are still questions that need to be answered, the primary components to most of these conspiracy theories are easily “debunkable” or are so irrational and illogical that they border on lunacy (Newtown is not full of Satan worshippers) When you are left with the inconsistencies that do still need answering you are not left with a massive government cover-up and conspiracy, rather just an example of sloppy mainstream media reporting and natural human error.
Conspiracy theorists will always be conspiracy theorists. There are some questions that need answering, and when they are answered then these theorists will see it as the government covering up the cover-up, but then again if they leave the questions unanswered the theorists will derive the same conclusions. Conspiracy theorists will always be conspiracy theorists.
Whilst we are strong supporters of independent thought and not relying on blind faith these conspiracy theories are nothing but irrational, unreasonable, illogical and deeply offensive to anyone affected by the massacre.
We will continue to update this page pending further investigation and when more facts come to light, so remember to check back!
My site has been asked a lot over the last two weeks about Sandy Hook. To be more specific, my site has been asked about the allegations that Sandy Hook was staged, that it never happened. Just a ploy to create stricter gun control laws, or how someone I talked to so eloquently described it, “to take our f***ing guns.”
We rarely delve too deeply into these twisted crackpot theories because doing so lends undeserved authority to them. Ideally they should stay in the murky corners of the Internet where only the delusional stray.
However ThatsNonsense.com has been contacted a few too many times from concerned readers ominously asking us if the rumours are true. Did the Sandy Hook massacre actually occur? Was it staged? Was it the government?
Now I have neither the time nor the disposition to debunk rumours such as the preposterous assertion that Sandy Hook was all staged. This article isn’t about proving that it happened because, frankly, I don’t need to, and I certainly don’t want to. I’m not lowering this site into the cesspool of these disgusting conspiracy theorists by engaging their ineffable theories whilst at the same time giving them unwarranted attention. Whilst I’d agree that certain questions need answering and some inconsistencies need sorting out (and I applaud those who ask those questions) to jump to the conclusion that Sandy Hook was entirely staged, that the parents were actors and the children still alive, is beyond words.
These conspiracy theories have those few that believe them and those many that don’t. Writing an article that sets to prove that Sandy Hook really happened is like writing an article proving that aliens aren’t controlling us telepathically from millions of light years away – i.e. it’s an entirely pointless exercise because despite what we say the conspiracy nuts will still wear their tin foil hats and the rest of us will still laugh at them. Nothing changes.
Eccentric conspiracy theorists will never change their minds or alter their perceptions, and I don’t want to waste my time trying. Their warped, twisted reasoning is practically hard coded into their minds and if I write an article explicitly disproving their ludicrous assertions then that same warped reasoning can be used to illogically deflect any evidence I would provide, and thus protect their way of thinking. These half-baked nuts jump effortlessly to absurd assumptions to fit their own agendas, even if those assumptions are the least likely to be true.
So whilst I could tell them that Google’s publication dates are notoriously imprecise , and that just because two people share physical similarities it doesn’t mean they are the same person, or that it’s Emilie Parkers sister sitting on Obama’s lap, or that it’s normal and inevitable that different breaking news stories may contain inconsistencies, ultimately it simply doesn’t matter. In their world Sandy Hook didn’t happen, and there is nothing anyone can say that will change their mind.
ThatsNonsense.com is here to help, but we can’t reason on your behalf. Ultimately I am just the editor of a blog and our site does it’s best to give you the facts but we cannot, or rather we shouldn’t, think for you. We’re strong advocates of independent thought. Never rely on a single source and don’t always take facts for granted. Do your own research and derive your own conclusions from logic and common sense. If necessary, question the facts but don’t be a conspiracy theorist just to be conspiracy theorist.
“There is no group of people this large in the world that can keep a secret. I find it comforting. It’s how I know for sure that the government isn’t covering up aliens in New Mexico.” – CJ Cregg, The West Wing