Following the Chemtrails IV: A Timeline of Significant Chemtrail Events

Part IV of Following the Chemtrails

Where did it all begin?

In researching chemtrail sightings and theories, I was stunned to learn that this phenomenon didn’t begin with people noticing persistent contrails in the sky, wondering what they could be, and searching for explanations. Chemtrail theories actually began as a horror story about deliberate world depopulation, crafted and spread by a small network of Christian Patriot conspiracy researchers – including one rather infamous anti-Semite.
There are strong indications that at least some of these guys were trying to create a contrail cash cow for themselves, which has forced me to rethink the entire chemtrail phenomenon. It was my original view that the chemtrail issue is not, as the U.S. Air Force contends, a hoax. I believed that like most conspiracy theories, chemtrail theories evolved in organic fashion from various anecdotes and incidents.
That’s not to say there haven’t been hoaxes. Photos have been altered, then distributed among chemtrail researchers. Less than credible “whistleblowers” have told bizarre stories that can’t be verified. Clearly, anyone who engages in this sort of fraud isn’t searching for the truth. In my experience, the average chemtrail-watcher is searching for the truth. He is concerned about the potential effects of chemtrails, and he wants answers.
Now, after looking into the history of the phenomenon, I suspect the hoax allegation has some merit, after all. I still believe the average chemtrail-watcher is a genuinely concerned citizen who honestly believes he is seeing strange, unexplained vapour trails, and doing what he thinks is right. But I do not trust the motives of those who started the rumours of death-by-contrail.

To see why I reached this conclusion, let’s examine the history of chemtrails.

Early 1980s

Farmers, environmentalists, and others in the eastern U.S. report that ground water is contaminated with ethylene dibromide (EDB), a carcinogenic chemical used as a pesticide and as an anti-knocking agent in leaded aviation fuel (“avgas”). EDB has been never a component of jet fuel, because jet fuel does not contain lead.

1984

EDB is banned for pesticide use in some places, phased out in others (in remains in use to this day in some areas).

Late 1980s

EDB use in avgas is phased out.

1994

HAARP installation begins in Gakona, Alaska.

1995

Concerns about EDB contamination resume among some Christian Patriots. They suspect that the newly-introduced military jet fuel JP-8 contains some contaminant, or combination of contaminants, that are intended to kill us. The prime suspect is – guess what? – EDB. These concerns rapidly spread throughout the country via online message boards and mass emails.

The Contrail Science website contains links to what appear to be some of the earliest known online references to unusual contrails, which would later be called chemtrails. This material was originally published on The Patriot Page (the now-defunct website of Clarence Napier, still accessible via the Wayback Machine).
In emails distributed through BIOWAR-L (an email list service dealing with biological weapons), people exchanged information about “mysterious” persistent vapour trails left by military jets throughout the U.S., the health effects of EDB, and the depopulation conspiracy theory.
A few people submitted soil and water samples for lab testing, which confirmed the presence of EDB (not surprising, as it is known to persist in ground water). They concluded that EDB was coming from the sky. These test results, if they ever existed, were never actually reproduced.

Acting on information he allegedly received in 1993, Larry Wayne Harris of Lancaster, Ohio begins selling a self-published booklet (Bacteriological Warfare: A Major Threat to North America), warning that Iraqi sleeper cells will launch anthrax attacks against multiple cities in the U.S., aiming to reduce the U.S. population to 50 million by 2025. He conducted research for this booklet at the library of the Aryan Nations compound. He was a card-carrying member of Aryan Nations, which is not only America’s largest white supremacist organization, but also the nation’s largest and most violent prison gang.

dafuqreally

I’m sure we can trust their impeccable research skills.

At the time, Harris believed Jews controlled the world and had to be opposed (according to the Anti-defamation League, he later renounced these views).

Harris claims the information about impending anthrax attacks was given to him by the daughter of a former Iraqi president. She allegedly told him that Iraqi women were smuggling massive amounts of weaponized anthrax into the U.S. in their vaginas, preparing for synchronized biological assaults on numerous U.S. cities that would reduce the nation’s population to just 50 million souls by the year 2025.
In the spirit of goofy FBI code-names, let’s call this plan VAGTHRAX.

Harris makes some cash selling his booklet about VAGTHRAX at gun shows and conspiracy conventions, scaring the hell out of his fellow Patriots and Aryan brethren.
Though Harris was supposedly teaching people how to defend themselves against terrorist attacks, it has been noted that his booklet appeared to double as an instruction manual for terrorism. For instance, it laid out in considerable detail how to sabotage power lines and launch large-scale biological attacks. Not exactly information the average American would need.

toxic virgins by Doug Brinkman

Coming not-so-soon

Harris is arrested and charged with mail fraud after posing as a research microbiologist to obtain bubonic plague from the American Type Culture Collection. He had stolen some stationery bearing the letterhead of the Ohio lab where he was employed as a water inspector to do this. Convicted of mail fraud, Harris is placed on probation.
Harris claims to be a CIA asset and a licensed microbiologist throughout most of the ’80s and early ’90s. He also boasts that he has scientifically proven the existence of God. None of these claims are true.
He continues to warn about impending Iraqi bioattacks for the next three years.

Most of the early Internet communications about poisonous contrails mention Harris as a good source of information on the topic. Christian Patriots are advised to submit soil and fuel samples to him for testing. At least one EDB/JP-8 researcher, radio evangelist Bill Brumbaugh, submitted a JP-8 sample to Harris for analysis in the late ’90s. Harris, without supplying any documentation, reported that the jet fuel contained EDB. Questionable results like these were trumpeted throughout the Patriot/conspiracy community, adding literal fuel to the fire.

1996

The Defense Department publishes a study, Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025. This paper will become central to the weather control/geonengineering theories about persistent spreading contrails, which gradually overshadow the EDB/depopulation theory.

September 17, 1997

Richard Finke of Ohio distributes an email with the heading “Lines in the Sky Identified!”. This may be the first mass email on the subject of “deadly” contrails. In it, Finke declares that lab testing of samples from “JP-8 contaminated fields” in Maryland and Pennsylvania have revealed the presence of ethylene dibromide (again, not surprising, as EDB has been used as an agricultural pesticide for years). The testing was conducted by Aqua-tech Environmental. Finke wrote of contrails, “The lines are dispersed and may linger for hours, slowly filtering down to unsuspecting pests, and I guess we’re the PESTS.”

1998

Richard Finke and Larry Harris set up a “defensive biowar and disaster recovery” consulting firm called LWH Consulting. They promote their services by sending out mass emails warning that a biological attack on the U.S. is imminent, and posting information about poisonous contrails on message boards.
LWH Consulting was legally incorporated under the name of Harris’ attorney, Curt Griffith, who was suspended from practicing law in the state of Ohio in 2004 for ripping off two of his clients. Griffith also defended Harris in court.

Just as the biowarfare threat helped Harris sell his VAGTHRAX booklet, the EDB contamination scare may have helped Patriot radio broadcasters sell colloidal silver. You can’t read any of the early chemtrail reports without running into mention of colloidal silver as a defense against contrail-created illnesses. Later, chemtrail researcher Will Thomas began selling USANA brand vitamins and mineral supplements on his website, writing, “You don’t have to be a Gulf War veteran to be suffering daily effects from Chemical Warfare (CW) exposure. As a frequent writer on environment and health, while researching a major article on chemical sensitivities, I learned that Multiple Chemical Sensitivity can be triggered by massive repeated low level exposure to oil and other chemical releases…”
In 2000 and 2001, Larry Harris hawked a line of Solutions-4-You® anti-microbial products and a lichen-based herb called Lechenya Meera that could supposedly protect you from anthrax and other biochem warfare agents. He claimed a Ph.D at that time, though I can’t find any confirmation that he has one, and billed himself as “one of 17 registered microbiologists in the US” (I rather doubt this, as the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists certifies dozens of registrants each year).
Because chemtrail information is so closely tied to product placement and dishonest self-promotion like this, we should not eliminate the possibility that chemtrail theories are driven – at least in part – by profit motives.

February 18, 1998

Harris and a cohort, William Leavitt, are arrested in Vegas for possessing anthrax. When the anthrax turns out to be an avirulent strain, Harris is charged only with probation violation and receives a longer, more restrictive probation for impersonating a CIA agent.
After the hearing, Curt Griffith reportedly warned him, “Don’t let the word ‘CIA’ come out of your mouth.”
Though Harris wasn’t in possession of any dangerous biological agents this time, the Vegas anthrax arrest scared the hell out of people and made national headlines. It was alleged that Harris wasn’t just warning the world about impending biological attack – he was planning one himself. A cohort had reported to authorities that Harris boasted about possessing enough anthrax to poison a U.S. city.

After Harris’ second arrest, the speculation about persistent contrails gradually shifted from EDB to other toxic ingredients (mostly metals). But the legend of EDB-contaminated jet fuel lives on. Joseph E. Mario, in his Anti-Aging Manual (1998), declared that EDB was being dispersed over the U.S. via JP-8 jet fuel exhaust (contrails) for the purpose of indiscriminate population reduction. As “evidence”, Mario noted that EDB had been detected in Cape Cod cranberry ponds, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Again, this can be explained by agricultural fumigation. There was no need to bring aircraft into the equation at all.

February 1998  

Tommy Farmer collects samples of what he calls “angel hair”, a fibrous material presumably deposited by aircraft on six occasions between February, 1998 and January, 1999. The term might be familiar to UFO buffs, as “angel hair” was a common feature of early close encounter reports. Farmer claims he fell ill after his first contact with the “angel hair” (today, sticky filaments known as “chemwebs” are still being reported).

After the initial hubbub of 1997 and early 1998, the poisonous contrail theories went sub rosa for several
months, kept alive by only a handful of conspiracy researchers like Clarence Napier, John Hammell, Chip Tatum, Dot Bibbee, and Joe Burton.

1999, on the other hand, would be the Year of the Contrail.

January 1999

Canadian journalist Will Thomas publishes his first two articles about the dangers of contrails, “Mystery Contrails May Be Modifying Weather” and “Contrails: Poison From the Sky”. In these two short pieces, Thomas laid out a number of suppositions that have since become entrenched as chemtrail factoids:

  • The “poisonous” contrails are sprayed by “fleets” of aircraft flying in gridlike patterns.
  • The “spraying” is done by military jets. Thomas described the work of Tommy Farmer, a former engineering technician with Raytheon Missile Systems who had been tracking the patterns of jet contrails for more than a year. Farmer “positively identified” two of the aircraft most often involved in aerial spraying as the Boeing KC-135 and the Boeing KC-10, both used by the U.S. Air Force for air-to-air refueling.
  • The “spraying” is also done by unmarked military jets.
  • Contrails may be part of HAARP-related experiments.
  • Contrails may contain substances that facilitate weather modification, and substances that are harmful to us, such as bacteria.
  • Contrails may cause a variety of ailments, ranging from respiratory difficulty to lupus. No direct evidence of a link between contrails and these ailments is provided by Thomas; he is content to rely upon anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is a great place to start. It is not a great place to finish.

Thomas also rehashes the EDB-in-jet-fuel theory, and mentions public concerns about fuel dumping (discussed in Part III.5 of this series).

January 25, 1999

Art Bell discusses contrails on the popular paranormal-themed radio show Coast to Coast AM for the first time, with guest Will Thomas.

February 10, 1999

Will Thomas sends an email to John Hammell, warning that people throughout the U.S. and the U.K. are falling ill with flu because of contrails. He speculates that a virus may be in the jet fuel along with EDB, and strongly urges people to stay indoors when jets are flying overhead. The email is widely distributed. It is so hysterical in tone that I reproduce it here in its entirety to show you how speculation and misinformation were disseminated in the early days of the chemtrail phenomenon:

“Tell everyone to STAY INDOORS when contrails are being woven overhead. I’ve got a BBC photo of a freezer-semi filled with dead bodies in England – all from sudden respiratory ailments. We’re talking (according to the BBC) 6,000 deaths from respiratory failure in two weeks. People are VERY SICK here. And spraying continues, after heavy spraying last Friday over Asheville, Knoxville, Dallas and other US centers. I have this morning received reports of ‘many deaths’ from a ‘cough that never leaves’ in Louisiana. This is big. This is real. I have positively verified that Emergency Rooms are overflowing with acute respiratory cases from coast to coast. Doctors are telling the New York Times that this is NOT the flu. The only lab test I have shows JP8 present in soil samples after spraying. The ethylene dibromide in JP8 is banned by the EPA as a known carcinogen and an extremely toxic substance that attacks the respiratory system at very low doses of exposure. There may be a viral component to the spraying, as well. I am tracking this and will get back to… STOP PRESSES! I have just this minute received a call that confirms my worst fears. According to a source within the Canadian Intelligence Service, heavy spraying taking place over Victoria, BC (near me) and other population centers throughout North America are classified ‘tests’. I now know what the ‘tests’ are aimed at achieving. And it is not pretty. This is a MAXIUMUM RED ALERT for everyone on your list, John. TAKE COVER! Stay indoors during spraying. This is NOT ‘woo-woo’. This is NOT a drill.”

The most astonishing thing about this email is that the epidemic Thomas describes didn’t exist. There were no reports of a “mystery” respiratory illness published by the New York Times or the BBC in 1998 or 1999. Rather, there was one article in the Times about a well-known virus that affects infants and young children (respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV). If 6000 people in England alone had perished from the same illness in two weeks, this would have been an epidemic on par with the influenza outbreak of 1918. Yet I could not find a single 1998 or 1999 article (BBC or otherwise) that included information about 6000 sudden deaths in the UK. There were plenty of media releases concerning outbreaks of respiratory illnesses that occurred that year (see this one on an illness in Afghanistan or this one about  Nipah virus in Singapore and Malaysia, for instance). In these cases, dozens or even a few hundred people fell ill. But 6000, in a single country? No, nothing on that scale happened in 1998-1999.  If Thomas did, indeed, see a “BBC photo” of a truckload of corpses, it was either unpublished or misrepresented to him. As for the “many” coughing-related deaths in Louisiana, Thomas provides no verifying information. My own search for a ’99 Louisiana outbreak of respiratory illness came up empty. In short, this terrifying email does not contain any verified information.  In the winter of 1998-1999, neither the flu nor respiratory illnesses other than RSV were particularly serious. In 2000, the CDC reported the “numbers and types of circulating influenza viruses are similar to the previous two seasons (1997-98 and 1998-99). These findings suggest that this year’s flu season has not been unusually severe.” Even if the flu or respiratory illnesses had been worse than usual in 1998-1999, the connection to contrails would not be a given. Such outbreaks are not uncommon.
In another post, we’ll look more closely at Will Thomas’s chemtrail research and some of the other bizarre misinformation he has been disseminating. It will be obvious that his scientific knowledge is extremely limited. This is not an insult; it is a statement of fact. Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of, because it does not have to be a permanent condition. Mr. Thomas can brush up on his science skills anytime he chooses.

March 30, 1999

Clarence Napier, a Christian Patriot conspiracist, claims to have located the “hidden” HQ for the death-spraying “United Nations” planes in Arizona. He declares that Arizona is the epicentre of contrail-poisoning activity (to this day, Pheonix remains a central hub of chemtrail-watching and activism). In the last post, we explored how firefighting planes (particularly Everygreen Aviation’s Supertanker) have been repeatedly mistaken for “chemtrail-spraying” planes.
In his email, Napier wrote:

“To every one in the Phoenix, Tucson, and Chandler, Arizona area, should try to check this  location out. I’m shure [sic] I have located the airfield were [sic] the planes spraying the contrails  are based in Arizona. If you get on my Web Page you will see a photo of the planes in the field,  William Thomas said people have reported to him that they looked at these planes through  telescopes, and reported that they are painted all white with no markings, and that is how I spotted this field, and the entrance to it is well hidden.”

Napier postulated that these unmarked planes were United Nations aircraft, and that the purpose of the spraying was to sicken and kill people all over the world. He posted photos of the “hidden” airfield on his website without identifying it.
One diligent researcher investigated and learned the airfield was Chandler Memorial Airport, an airfield owned by the area’s Pima and Maricopa Indian Nations. Since 1978, the airfield has been leased to International Air Response, an aviation outfit that had been contracting with the U.S. Forest Service to fight forest fires since the late ’60s. The entrance to the Chandler Memorial airfield was not hidden, and its operations were not secret.

March 1999

The word “chemtrail” begins appearing online. A portmanteau of the words “chemical(s)” and “contrail”, its exact provenance is unknown (I have been told by many chemtrail-watchers that Will Thomas coined the word. This may be true, but all I know for certain is that the word didn’t emerge until the spring of 1999. I have found no appearances of the word prior to March of that year). Jay Reynolds, who has been researching the contrail-related conspiracies since the late ’90s, has stated the word was coined by former USAF captain John Grace, who used the pseudonym “Val Valerian”.
In the early days, when the contrail theories revolved around a chemical pesticide, “chemical contrail” made sense. But today, when the theories are focused on metal oxides, “nanobots”, and fibers, “chemtrail” is a bit of a misnomer.

November 20, 1999

Art Bell again discusses chemtrails on Coast to Coast AM, with guest Clifford Carnicom.

1999

The white supremacist/conspiracy publication The Spotlight begins publishing stories about contrails, promoting the theory that they are part of a secret military operation.

Clifford Carnicom sets up his first website about chemtrails.
When it comes to chemtrails, I don’t think it would even be possible to overestimate the work Clifford Carnicom. He is, quite simply, the leader in the field of chemtrail research. Will Thomas and others are certainly influential, but it is Carnicom who has introduced each new “discovery” about chemtrails. Carnicom was the first person to produce a documentary about chemtrails (Aerosol Crimes, 2004). His was the first major website devoted to chemtrails. He was the first person to publish articles on the alleged links between chemtrails and Morgellons disease. He was the first to document what he believes are “nanotech devices” in Morgellons sufferers. It’s safe to say that whatever theory Carnicom comes up with next, the majority of chemtrail-watchers will accept as probable.

2001

Chemtrails are mentioned under the heading of “exotic weapons systems” in a bill sponsored by Dennis Kucinich, H.R. 2977 (107th): Space Preservation Act of 2001. They are removed from subsequent versions of the bill.

2002

On Coast to Coast AM, guest Will Thomas discusses the theory that the military is using jets to spray aluminum oxide and/or barium stearate into the air for weather modification and advanced radar/HAARP experiments.

2003

The biowarfare theory of chemtrails, introduced to the public by Will Thomas in ’99, becomes much more popular in 2003. It is reinforced by the claims of Clifford Carnicom, who says he heard important information from another researcher, who heard it from a military source.
According to Carnicom’s source, airplanes are dispersing polymer filaments with freeze-dried bacteria or viruses and metals (barium, aluminum) attached. The metals heat up from the sun, allowing the pathogens to survive in the cool air.
The ultimate goal of the spraying, Carnicom states, is the “control of all populations through directed and accurate spraying of drugs, diseases”. He declares that people who have “tried to reveal the truth have been imprisoned and killed”, but does not provide any names for verification.

2004

The incredibly weird “sylph” sightings begin. Chemtrail watchers report seeing cloudlike forms absorbing chemtrails, then vanishing. Some believe the sylphs are living creatures. Others suspect they are supernatural entities along the lines of angels, or nanobot swarms that can be manipulated remotely (like the Smoke Monster in Lost).

Clifford Carnicom releases his self-produced documentary Aerosol Crimes, the first feature-length film about chemtrails.
As with any conspiracy theory that gains some traction, infighting and suspicion among researchers soon surfaces. Chemtrail-fighter Don Croft declares that Carnicom’s Aerosol Crimes is disinformation. Croft tries to eliminate chemtrails with Reichian orgone devices (bits of metal).

2007

Lydia Mancini starts the website Barium Blues to document the “barium chemtrails” she has been seeing since about 2003.

Will Thomas publishes his book Chemtrails Confirmed.

August 2007

The Discovery Channel program Best Evidence airs a show on chemtrails.

2008

The Carnicom Institute becomes a registered non-profit organization

Toxic Skies, a fictional movie dealing with chemtrails, is released in Australia. The second film from Canadian thriller/horror director Andrew C. Erin is a medical thriller, starring Anne Heche as a virologist struggling to identify a mysterious disease.
As a medical thriller, the film is deeply uminpressive (at one point Heche’s character declares, “We don’t know if it’s Avian Flu or bubonic plague”). The film receives attention in the conspiracy community for three reasons: It explicity mentions chemtrails, the context is profoundly negative, and it was “banned” in North America.
Spoilers: The virus is being spread via pellets that have been mixed into jet fuel (must be one tough virus to survive not only the temperatures of a jet’s fuel system, but the cold temperatures of high altitude). The virologist develops a vaccine to inoculate people against the virus, and must race against the clock – and the bad guys-  to deliver it.
The film was shot in Spokane by a mostly Canadian crew, but premiered in Australia, causing some chemtrail researchers to cry out that it had been “banned” in the U.S. In reality, the film was simply picked up by a foreign distributor. The highest bidder gets distribution rights, and the American distributors evidently weren’t impressed. After being screened in Australia, Toxic Skies began showing up everywhere else. It is available in the U.S. and Canada. It’s even on Netflix.
Then there were those who believed Americans were supposed to see the movie. You see, many conspiracy researchers believe in something they call “predictive programming”. In essence, they contend that the world’s elite (the Illuminati, the globalists, the lizards, etc.) are required by some ancient code of conduct to have willing victims (I mentioned this briefly in a Wednesday Weirdness Roundup, in relation to Beavis and Butthead “predicting” 9/11). In other words, They have to tell us what They’re going to do to us before They do it. So They seed clues into TV commercials, cartoons, magazine articles and even low-budget medical thrillers. Chemtrail researchers who look for predictive programming would probably point to the vaccine in Toxic Skies as just another ploy. First, the Illuminati poisons you with a chemtrail virus, then they dupe you into taking a vaccine that will also kill you.
To my knowledge, no one has asked the director himself how he feels about chemtrails. Perhaps Mr. Erin just picked an interesting conspiracy theory to hang a thriller on, as so many screenwriters do. I challenge you to scan the list of conspiracy theories at Wikipedia  and find a single one that hasn’t become fodder for entertainment. FEMA camps? X-files. Fluoride? Dr. Strangelove. Morgellons? Bugs.

January 2008

Local news station KSLA in Shreveport, Louisiana broadcasts a report on chemtrails. Producers sent water samples collected in August 2007, in Stamps, Arkansas to a lab. The man who collected the samples suspected that jets flying over his property were spewing chemicals or metals. The results showed the water to contain 68.8 parts per billion (68.8 µg/L) of barium. The EPA limit is 2 ppm (2000 µg/L), and the tests found 0.0688 ppm (68.8 µg/L), just 3.4% of the allowable limit. But the KSLA reporter misread 68.8 µg/L as 6.8 parts per million, over three times the EPA level.
When the mistake was pointed out, KSLA issued a correction to its report.

October 2008

The chemical depopulation theory persists. MythicShadow posts the following on an online forum:

“STRANGE DAYS STRANGE SKIES YOU ARE NOW BREATHING ETHYLENE DIBROMIDE, NANO-PARTICULATES OF ALUMINUM AND BARIUM AND CATIONIC POLYMER FIBERS WITH UNIDENTIFIED BIOACTIVE MATERIAL: “We the people have not been warned, advised or consulted but are certainly vulnerable to the outcomes.” Lightwatcher.com “Biologic components have been reported in airborne samples that include: modified molds, desiccated red blood cells and exotic strains of bacteria” Additionally, award winning investigative reporter, Will Thomas, has reported findings of over 300 types of virally mutated fungi in the chemtrail fall out. The Idaho Observer has reported findings of 26 metals including barium, aluminum and uranium, a variety of infectious pathogens and chemicals and drugs including sedatives in chemtrail fallout. Dr.R. Michael Castle reports the finding of cationic polymer fibers. Others have reported findings of tiny parasitic nematode eggs of some type encased in the fibers. Welcome to the brave new world of toxic barium skies, weather control, mind control and population control through the use of chemtrails modulated with electromagnetic frequencies generated by HAARP. Our health is under attack as evidenced by the skyrocketing rates of chemtrail induced lung cancer, asthma and pulmonary/respiratory problems as well as the emergence of a new plague, Morgellons Disease, an infection with a new and unknown pathogen that is seriously disabling and disfiguring. Over 12,000 families in the U.S. are now infected with Morgellons. I am one of the infected. Our skies are increasingly hazed over with fake barium/ aluminum particulate, ethylene dibromide chemtrail clouds. Whether in the atmosphere or in the Ocean this added particulate matter is a hazard to the health of every living thing on this planet. My health and the health of my family has already been drastically affected. There is a main-stream media blackout on this subject so the only way to get the word out is by word of mouth. People are already dying because of the chemtrails. Life expectancy is down. This situation presents an immediate and serious threat to you, your family and loved ones. We must join together to stop this insane program of chemtrail spraying now. Please do what you can to help.”

2010

The first professionally produced, feature-length documentary about chemtrails is released. What in the World Are They Spraying?, directed by Michael J. Murphy, draws more attention to chemtrails than anything to date. The film centres on the geoengineering theory of chemtrails, though depopulation and a few other theories are mentioned.

Once again, a racist connection to chemtrail theories rears its ugly head: The executive producer of WITWATS is G. Edward Griffin. A disciple of Hitler-adoring conspiranoid Eustace Mullins, Griffin was a speechwriter for George Wallace’s presidential campaign. Like Mullins, he has made a career out of promoting a broad array of conspiracy theories and quacky medical “cures” while warning about the Commie menace.

WALLACE

George Wallace wasn’t a racist. He just didn’t like black people, that’s all.

Next to the work of Clifford Carnicom, the release and distribution of WITWATS is probably the single most important event in the history of the chemtrail phenomena. We’ll examine it in detail in a another post.

2012

Paul Wittenberger, co-director of What in the World Are They Spraying?, releases a documentary about depopulation, The Great Culling. It is promoted as a follow-up to WITWATS, but Michael J. Murphy and his Truth Media Productions distance themselves from it. Other chemtrail researchers, like Rosalind Peterson, ask not to be included in the film. Francis Mangels, a retiree who threatened to shoot down jets to preserve his veggie garden during a county meeting, also distances himself from the “culling” theory of chemtrails and the Wittenberger documentary.

 

The Swallowing the Camel Comment Hall of Fame

A friend recently inspired me to gather up some of the funniest, weirdest, creepiest comments I’ve received at this blog and at Leaving Alex Jonestown over the years.
Aside from some necessary minor adjustments (abridgement, clarification, punctuation, etc.), the comments below have not been altered. The original spelling, cusswords and grammatical errors remain intact.

Keep in mind, as you read, that I am religiously unaffiliated, do not accept donations to this or any other blog, and have not endorsed any political figure or agenda in any of my posts.
When I started this blog back in…2006?…I was, indeed, a housewife with stepkids. I was also a volunteer and an avid reader. As is still true today, I didn’t watch television. I was and remain a vegetarian who likes to eat simple, natural foods.
I have since returned to school as planned, and am working toward a legal career. So for everyone who said I sat around watching Oprah and eating junk food: Screw yourselves.
I’m cool with being called a mass-murdering New Order shill, but you do not accuse me of watching Oprah.

To the rest of you: Happiest New Year!

twilight_zone_door

from “goodguy”: “Now why is there people name calling David Duke a ‘racist’ when clearly he’s not, perhaps it’s left-wing/communist whites, who knows?
I think David Duke is ok he’s just not as good as Kevin Macdonald though.Alex Jones is clearly a liar connected with zionists so don’t fall for his tricks.”

from “true_believing_martian”: “You dismiss the Martian colony out of hand, but you were never there!
I travelled there multiple times through Astral Projection and saw Russians, Chinese and Americans working together.
Perhaps you should do some more research and do some Astral Travelling of your own before you make fun of the most successful conspiracy to date.”

from “Honk Bonk Man”: “Well, this Illuminati lunacy is mainly created by Jews, old hippies from the 60’s that cooked their brains in LSD. Jews always find a way to make a buck out of anything. It is hard to believe that anyone would take these kind of conspiracies serious. Jews are the master of diception. I bet all these conspiracies publishing houses are owned by Jews.”

“I just found your blog while google image searching ‘nazi zombies’ for source material for some douche bag’s tattoo. Shit goddamn! You’re as funny as Alex Jones is dangerous to the gullible.”

“GEORGE BUSH IF YOUR READING I THINK YOUR A CUNT, MY SISTER COULD RUN THE COUNTRY BETTER AND SHES 4 AND A HALF. YOU HAVE THE BRAIN SPAN OF A FISH. OH AND ANY OTHER SECRET AGENTS READING, YOU ARE ALSO CUNTS. good day.”

“oh guys the info is taken out of context. do your research. be intelligent. you cannot exactly dismiss everything [Kurt] Koch said. I dont believe in the boodie man but have seen with my own eyes many things demonic. what makes ghost hunters so popular today on the T.v.??? How about celebrity ghost stories? Are they alll bonked as well? If your going to discredit some one read their work in full. Any one can debunk some one by taking one statement out of context and leading their reader to their conclusion. Verbal manipulation is not a magic trick afterall.”

from Cheryl Meril: “How sad that you view Obama as legitimate and Alex Jones full of nonsense. You’re pure evil. Obama supports out of womb infanticide and that doesn’t bother you among the hoards of things he’s doing to our country to destroy it? You’re totally absurd to be supporting Obama. I won’t waste another minute on your blog.”

“Doweenkies have taken over S, Calif. Puffy waffy’s must be dispatched “forth with” ….. Ownllyy they can pr0tect the Logical’s from a fate werser then bowing bowing …..yep!”

from “Raju”: “WHAT ALL BILL [Schnoebelen] SAID WAS ABSOLUTELY TRUE. ONLY A PERSON WHO DOEST’NT KNOW THE POWER OF WITCHCRAFT OR A PERSON WHO WANT TO TRAP INNOCENT PEOPLE WILL DENY THIS. What all he said is prevalent in Asia since centuries.”

“Dear me, how intellectual you all sound! (Except for the one person who is willing to admit to the possible existence of real psychic phenomena.) I might sound the same, were it not for the strange occurrences that took place in my own family some years back. If you’ve never had first-hand experience with some of these occultic uglies, you can be happy for it. I can tell you, however, that they can be most unpleasant. We are grateful for those kind people who helped us recognize those things for what they were, and who also taught us how to be free and how to stay free from them. Ignorance is not always bliss.”

“You are a fine upstanding mormon, helping them to achieve their goals for world domination, and lull the public into believing they never killed kids in Mountain Meadows. “

“Also, I am doubtful of a person’s relationship with Christ who continues to use profanity like I have seen in your posts! Out of the same spring, bitter and sweet water cannot come..neither from the heart cursings and blessings! Just saying…”

from “Miki”: “The biggest danger for me when leaving [Satanism] was not a bunch of satanists that I was leaving but local Christians. I have been bullied, blackmailed and stalked by Christians at various Churches and one lady tried to set me alight during a Church service and no-one tried to stop her.”

“Well, first of all Mormons are god seekers and god makers. They are an occult organisation bar none. This is who you get with Mitt Romney. A secret society of witches who’s creed is to behead all none believers just as the Muslims believe and do.”

about the Paul is Dead hoax: “Even if William Campbell didn’t win this contest, they MI5 plotters behind this cover up would have found a man who looked very much like Paul McCartney, so regardless… the replacements actual children could very well look like the real Paul. I think the best and easiest way to disprove this matter from being a ‘hoax’ is to have the current Paul/Faul McCartney thoroughly medically examined by various top-of-their-field medical experts from different regions of the world…”

“Jimmy J farmeth is a good 10 year old boy everliving flesh non robot. negress want a time portal to erase his genetics from hister y all kinds of beam weoponsd a poltergiest that could kill 9 people 9 people, some kind of raybeam that makes everyhting thousends below farenhite temp used on his matreess white boys are life force not scum. they amade hundred of holograms in his path of strength bot the home and school where he was at to leave his essense without a breath oxy gen breathers like jimmy J are life force he only had 5 minute dreams of floating every seven hours eyes closed, everything in this hounting is speedid up so 5 seconds is 20 minutes including the tv and radio”

from “East Coast Info Warriors”: “If you find it is to much to fathom that the country of Canada is filled with Tyranny, you should read more news papers and not believe everything that oblong box in the corner of your home tells you is real. I am just trying to help you break away from the brainwashing, that the schools, the government and so many others have apparently achieved. Chem-Trails 2012 Composed of Barium and Aluminum Phosphate (Main stream media confirmed) Monsanto 2012 Genetically Modified beef, Poultry and vegetables…”

“The Roman Constantine Pedophile Catholic Cult has nothing in common with Jesus of Nazareth & His Gospel! GET IT?
Now Google www.tridentinum.com and see what it takes to dress the Papacy, remembering what Jesus said about, ‘Foxes have holes……,but I the Son of Man have nowhere to lay my head.’

from someone claiming to be Fredric Bourdin: “Tapazole, come and try to kill me whore, I fuck your family and your mother is my bitch, how about that, I live in ‘Le Mans’, please come, so easy for you behind a computer screen to play tough guy :))) and fuck your fucking US beheaded dead army. Remember to ask your mum why she sucked so hard the cock!!!”

from Dave in Queens (“Socrates”): “You’re a bit late to the chemtrail show. Too bad you’re a predictable know-it-all idiot taking the easy way out in your debunking. I did notice one lie while skimming. There does need to be about 60-70% relative humidity to account for certain events. So when you push 10% being all that’s needed, you are flat out wrong. I emailed with Patrick Minnis of NASA. He said radiosondes can give false readings. Yet here you are moving the goal posts. Since you are late to game and regurgitating nothing new while debunking nothing from my website All Aircraft Are Not Involved, I will not be coming back to see if you respond. To repeat, you are a pompous, predictable debunker leaching off of obvious strawman arguments. You should do something about that authoritarian personality disorder you are suffering.”

“I gave up all hope on every seeing my feet again until my friend took me for a spa day… After a 30 minute massage and an ionic foot bath I felt amazing. I returned once a week for 4 weeks and have lost 28 pounds and I eat so much more food (now that I’m hungry again). I eat pizza junk food soda and I drink alcohol and I’m still losing fat. I still don’t exercise. I have seen a huge difference in my bowel movements now…they’re normal! Call it what out will but it works for me when nothing else did.”

“This is the letter i writed to Lenon Honor: Good morning Lenon, i’m one of your former follower. I used to like what you produce like documentaries. You contribuited to open my eyes about what really happens in the spiritual world. BUT… there’s a big BUT! You deny Jesus Christ as the savior of humanity. Let me tell you something, whatever you do, if you don’t confess Jesus-Christ as your saviour, you are just making your path straight to hell. Dear Lenon, you’re an antichrist, i’m sorry to tell you that truth…
Then, you practice demonic arts like Reiki, Transcendental meditation which allows you to bring demons into your body, doing so you’re deceived by these spirits who give you a false sense of security and peace…
You’ll soonly see a video about you on youtube, i’ll warn christians and other to not follow your teachings, because you got a poison inside you. Repent before it’s too late brother! See you soon! I repeat : Repent before it’s to late for you and your family in front of the true God, father of Jesus-Christ!”

“Since you are adamant that your facts of the Lauren Stratford case are accurate, is debunking all you do on this blog. Certainly Satanism exist, only an ignorant fool would say that it did not. Have you never had a case that WAS true? I would find that as hard to believe as you do Lauren’s book. So here’s a challenge for you S.M.Elliot. Research and tell us a story that you found to be TRUE. For there must be some out there somewhere. Then it will not appear that you are simply trying to cover us what could be the most horrendous crimes known to mankind.”

“You say Catholics cannot be Freemasons. I know for a fact that is not true from personal experience with a group of professionals (medical) who were all Catholics & they all were Masons. Not only that, but the head honcho doc in the office was prez of the local ‘Catholic Medical Association.’ After noticing several Masonic clues around the offices, I flat out asked them if they were Freemasons which they readily affirmed, ‘Yes! How did you know'” Reply: ‘Because of that cartoon there on your wall.’ (Masonic cartoon re ‘midnight raids.’) He: ‘Ohhhh, yeah.’ Me: ‘Dr. xxx says you guys know all about the New World Order.’ He: (freaking) ‘HE TOLD YOU THAT?????’ Me: ‘Yes, why?’ (why was this guy so surprised? I had flat out asked the head honcho doc previously if he was aware of the NWO, & he did not hesitate at all but said, ‘OH YES, We are VERY WELL AWARE of the New World Order!’) From then on I started taking printouts to them of Historic Masonic Quotes FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE proving Freemasonry is Luciferianism based on the Jewish Kabbalah, quotes by Manly P Hall, Pike, Rabbi Weiss (founder of Reformed Judaism), etc. etc. can’t remember them all now. Some time goes by & I revisit & the nurses tell me the one doc (who freaked) had up & left town & moved away. Hmmm.”

“Am I as a reader being forced into off the wall assumptions about your disappearance, such as the idea that the motivation behind creating LEAVING ALEX JONESTOWN was a result of a Rockefeller mind control program designed to smear the good name of Alex Jones? Have you just woken up from being a pawn of Rockefeller thanks to Jones uncovering this malfeasance, and wonder where the hell you’ve been, and why you’ve been writing two blogs?
Should I be making infowars aware of this possibility? It would sure make for a swell story over there.”

“I apologize if the previous comment seemed too harsh. In truth, your blogs are well written and quite informative, and it was rude to call you a statist troll. I still dislike your blogs (especially the Alex Jones one), but there was no need for me to be rude about it. If the comment offended you, I apologize.”

from Greg Bucceroni: “FYI I disassociated myself from Richie Kuklinski [“the Ice Man”] back in 1982 after I was warned that Roy DeMeo wanted Kuklinski to kill me after I complained about child pornography and child snuff films that we were trafficking from New York City to Philadelphia. As a victim of child sex trafficking and abuse I wanted no criminal part in trafficking kiddie porn and I made a big fuss about it which got Roy DeMeo pissed off at me. It was the big fuss that I initiated that eventually got Roy DeMeo murdered 1983 that also eventually gave John Gotti another excuse to murder Paul Castellano and Robert ‘DB’ DiBernardo during the rise of the John Gotti era for which I was not a part of.”

from Dale Larner: “Thanks for the inclusion of Vincent Alias Jack in your list. There will be another list some day soon, but with only one on the list, and it will be Van Gogh. He was the killer, and the evidence proves it. The website is only a small taste of what is presented in the book. Something important to understand that helps dispel the disbelief—Vincent was a nobody during his life. He blended in well with the East End crowd.
Vincent van Gogh was Jack the Ripper.”

“Boston is proof of cover up. There is too much evidence and too many fake, bloodless victims. You have to keep your eyes closed not to see it on purpose, and that is the right of those who don’t want to know. Hell, I wish I didn’t know sometimes too. It’s a difficult thing to come to terms with a world playing by a different set of rules. I will only say the time is rapidly approaching when knowledge is going to be a key to survival. Those who place their faith and trust in the official narrative… well, God help them.”

“Yeh there must be some really stupid people out there but I have to say this going to the moon thing bothers me. A friend of mine who knows someone REALLY important in NASA says that by pretending that the world is not flat they will still get their funding. Far fetched, but think about it…we only have their word. And then there’s the John lennon thing …”

“There is a worldwide depopulation effort going on. Everything that sounds strange is not a conspiracy theory. It just means you are too stupid to know the difference. 9/11 was a false flag and anyone with half a brain that has seen the evidence agrees. Get a grip on reality. The elite don’t care if you and your families die. They want complete control of everything and they are going to get it with all these conspiracy theories about conspiracy theories.”

“It sounds to me, tshsmom, as if you and sme have set up this blog for the exclusive purpose of scoffing at persons who are being subjected to organized stalking and electronic harassment.”

“Your entire view on the twin towers and WTC 7 is EPIC FAIL. Stored and kinetic energy are equal. The buildings cannot fail in this manner and with this speed without assistance.Here in Sweden, this is taught in school when you are 14-15 years old (kinetic and stored/potential energy). Congratulations. You’ve destroyed your entire 9/11-section and for that matter much of the rest of your blog by failing to apply one of the most basic principles of physics.”

“You are an idiot at best. That is why you’re a housewife. But maybe you’re right, let’s just stay in denial about reality, even though everything is documented. It is so much easier to keep shopping, watch TV, and go back to sleep…What a bunch of fools. At some point though you’ll be forced to wake up. And you’ll e begging your leaders for help, but it’s not going to come.”

“You can believe or not but I knew lots of info that Dr. Deagles said and proofed. After I saw his interwies I just can’t beleive that there are more people that know all those facts. You just don’t know and you try to deny it. At first read the Bible, but i’m sure that you just don’t understand what is written there becouse it’s written ‘That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them’ You can believe what you want to beleive but I know in whom I believe.”

“I agree with much of what you have said SME, however I know from my own experience that we humans are evolving and are capable of abilities that the average person is not. I am 54 years old so I am no Indigo Child, but over the past 5 years I have discovered that I am capable of thought transfer/telepathy. I have picked up the thoughts of people around me and I have discovered that I can also send my thoughts to other people. When this happens, I respond verbally to people who I have picked up their thoughts. It blows their mind because they did not verbally speak a word to me.”

From LikaValentino: “You are carrying as posting my name on your site, so a federal complaint has been filed against you.. by me…, and than next time pay close attention to my age in the picture on the site and my name with that face should not have been placed on your 30ish age site with no name…, you heard it correctly on the state of an address to the Nations…, you should have done your homework also in addition before you spoke of me by illegal use of my name on your site…,”

My reply to LikaValentino: “Pleasing to learn of the some of the England language before the time you have of complaining. My understanding of the words of which you have write is difficult.Also to learn of law, for which the posting of names and the linking of sites is not incorrect in the law.”

“What a Bullshit of story, desperate Canadian Housewife! ^^Bob Lazar is no hoaxer.”

“Bruce [Goldberg] is a fake because he claims to have tele ported to a tropical beach and back on the art bell coast to coast show when asked to come here in Thailand for a seminar we are paying 30,000 dollars U.S he said the flight will be expensive we said what BETTER WAY TO PROVE YOUR THESIS ON TELE PORTATION than to tele port here and save the flight cost and as he is a true fake he declined these little Jewish money grabbers have no limits as to what they will go to get money and the gullible Americans lap it up like a thirsty cat presented with a plate of milk NO WONDER AMERICA IS IN SUCH DEEP SH*T”

“Keep reinforcing each others pseudointellectual analysis of affairs from your skeptical ‘common sense’ point of view. Don’t worry, the US isn’t being destroyed from the top down. The Protocols aren’t happening word for word and International Banking, who’s members don’t worship the same deity you do want whats best for you. Your the ones that will hit the fan first, because you remind me of the people who laughed at the Peter Schiffs of the world in early ’08.”

from “Shecky blue”: “hey fuckface since when do buildings being on fire make them fall down? you fucking piece of slimeat least the fuckers who did it got money and the US military duped what do you get out of it? a smirk on your face as you mentally masturbate yourself? you probably get the same smirk when you count past four go fukk yourself”

“Such a blatant display of guilt by association. You imply that since Mr. [Ahmadinejad] wears a Walmart jacket all the time (plus his other rep and image issues), then the 9-11 truth movements is nuts.”

“Now as far as the silly comments you made in regards to Chem-Trails, at this time September 11, 2012 I would like to give you the opportunity to retract your statements. As maybe, when you posted it the main stream media was not reporting on it. (and not in the ha ha sense.) If you find it is to much to fathom that the country of Canada is filled with Tyranny,you should read more news papers and not believe everything that oblong box in the corner of your home tells you is real. I am just trying to help you break away from the brainwashing, that the schools, the government and so many others have apparently achieved.”

from Minister Dante Fortson: “I find it interesting that you would write a post about the Nephilim while admitting that you didn’t even pay attention to the radio show. As the lady above stated, you should do some research. The Nephilim were the offspring of fallen angels and human women. The church completely changed the teaching on this in the 3rd Century. It’s historical fact, not something made up.”

On the Paul is Dead hoax: “This theory makes sense on so many levels, and IT FEELS RIGHT ON, and single-handedly EXPLAINS SO MUCH WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY A MYSTERY, that essentially, it must be true…so, though it is irritating for people to want to make a profit off of such a tragic tale, and further complicate matters by blatantly lying, it is a good thing that this theory / fact is being brought to more and more peoples’ attention. I want to know the Truth. And if this is true, it means that Faul, and George, and Ringo, and George Martin, and Mal, and Neil, and whoever, and JOHN, ARE ALL LIKE JUDAS.” 

“One person commented that McCartney’s children look a lot like him, so does that mean they had plastic surgery as well??? To Answer that question: no you f@$%*^g moron, Faul/aka William Campbell did win the look alike contest, so that shows he had enough naturally born physical features to closely resemble the original/real Paul McCartney, and therefore if he had children they could very well look similar to their father, just like their father looked when compared to the real Paul.”

“This is the biggest bunch of lies on someone I have ever seen .. Don’t believe this .. They are devils..Even if he is a wacko you are spreading false info on here . Freemasons come on do your research . They are Not good people .. You are a Liar you have no facts to back up this information.. Your attacking the messenger .. Listen to the message .. The Satanist Devil Worshiping Gnostic Anti_ Christ God Men Are Real They hate Any one who exposes there Lies They will kill anyone in there way.”

“Now I KNOW for sure you’re just like that idiot QuackWatch guy. What do you know about fasting? Zilch, obviously, from your ignorant comment re 40-day fasts. It is NOT dangerous & people do it all the time (water only fasting). ..Seriously, you really should keep your opinions to subjects you actually know something about. Otherwise, you come across as an ignorant dummie. Are you one of those meat & potatoes gals who thinks they will die without 3 square meals a day? You’ve got a lot to learn Missy.”

from Ed Chiarini: “AGAIN, just like every other time you attempt to tell your readers my position, you miss quote and misrepresent along with just plain out fabricate your content. On top of that you dont even offer links to THE REAL evidence that I present on Wellaware1.com. But thats what you anonyPUSS frauds do. You dont have the balls to use your real name and stand behind what you believe because you dont believe it you are told what to write by the rest of your Greenberg family members. I piss on your site, and if you had any bit of intestinal fortitude to stand by your words, you too.”

“Well, first of all Mormons are god seekers and god makers . They are an occult organisation bar none. This is who you get with Mitt Romney. A secret society of witches who’s creed is to behead all none believers just as the Muslims believe and do.”

“Typical someone EXPOSING darkness & someone sent to defend it & say that the person is lying crazy absurd & so on!!! That’s how the illuminati work they do that to plenty ppl before they kill them that are exposing their evil plans! But the reason those ppl die is because they aren’t saved.”

“Since I don’t know [Stephen] Dollins personally I can’t say the accuracy of what he is saying but I can confirm that Christians hold great power in the blood and name of Jesus. I was once trying to do a seance at my birthday party and I couldn’t because there was a Christian praying against it. I can also back up his claims about fairies since a girl came to school one day to to teach on Wicca and she shared that fairies were used for their practices. You can bury your head in a hole but the truth is witchcraft is real but Jesus’ power is stronger so I serve Him.”

“I agree with the previous ‘anonymous’. I once invoked a third level demon to help me levitate, but I didn’t know there was a religious leaflet on my doorstep.The power of that leaflet was so great that I couldn’t lift off.”

“Actually Harry Potter’s life mirrors that of satanist Aleister Crowley quite a bit. also the author admits that she got all the characters automatically out of knowhere (aka similar to automatic writing) occultism is satanic and that’s it..and anything that deals with supernatural and magic can get kids interested in witchcraft at a young age…even if it take a while before they experiment; it’s still planting the seed. Far from harmless…”

“No their right in front of us discription reptilian like humanoids ( snake like) human that acts like snake but brain washing and hyptnotizing that’s not illuminati thats government and politics and the church. For the people by the people if you dont do what they want they lock you up. Come on overnight new laws for real and when was the vote here in my City they’ve decided to build a customs office and no one voted for it. Guess what its not jobs for us there givin them go the foriegners and we are no where near a border. There opening a super highway. We have to pay tbe taces [the taxes?] for this custom office here on Kansas City and we didnt even get to vote.”

“Alex Jones pushed the TSA issue until the Drudge Report picked up the story- now its everywhere. Hooray!
Those pervs at TSA and higher up need to be removed. Jones aims the infogun and here someone tries to knock it out of his hand. Down with TSA naked body scanners. This is just an attempt to break our will. Saviour Jones beats up on the molester gang, if you are against him you are for the perverts, if one had been wildly successful awhile back and knocked Jones down then the TSA thuggery would be marching on largely unopposed, we might win due to Jones and despite you. Shame on you TSA enabler. 
They cant make us safe – five or six jujitsu kung fu terrorists can take a plane with just their bare hands”

“Jones battles the gate-rapers and shredders of Posse Comitatus, while you cherry pick him, thus you are a gate raping enabler.”

from “PilotDave”: “There is way too much evidence of a global takeover than a FEMA camp… even without the FEMA camps, tons of folks, not Alex Jones are catching on to HAARP and Chemtrails… without being in anyway involved with any Alex Jones information. 
So enjoy the aluminum oxide… as a pilot, I see it occasionally.
Thank you for your non-chalante and humorous attitude to the horrible things that are happening to our plaent and species. 
Enjoy your stem cell meat!”

from Sakeeta Rosen: “You are so wrong about everything. you stupid sheep will never wake up. Why would the cartoonist be thrown in jail, when the court system is just as corrupt? They are the ones helping cover everything up.
You are so stupid. The president is part of it, the media is part of it, all celebrities are part of it, all government people are part of it, all doctors, all dentists, all police. EVERYONE
when will you all fucking get that? OH you wont. Maybe you will when FEMA takes your pathetic asses.”

“adam lanza is not dead. cause he never existed. he’s the brother ryan. they took photo of ryan and like photoshopped it a bit to look like an insane man or some kid.
these guys love using doubles, they love playing ‘dress up’ and they can’t fool people.”

from “Shawmick”: “How many sheeples surf the internet? I think almost 70% of internet viewers are sheeples. Every genuine UFO disclosure evidence/video will have a profusion of profane comments of disbelievers. How to make them believe? I think their great grand-children will make them believe (the hard way).”

Ed Chiarini again: “Do you think you are the first to attempt to call me a liable name? 
You are nothing more then the toilet paper I wipe my ass with then flush along with the rest of those I ate for breakfast.
You game, or are you just another road hump? burp.”

from “Newspaceman”: “Once you have read [James Shelby Downard’s “King Kill 33º”]…what do you make of Prince Harry visiting Hurricane Sandy’s remains today, whilst David Cameron (British Prime Minister) visits Boston. Given today, May 14th, is the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown – the first UK colony in the USA, named after James 1st (and 6th of Scotland) – the Bible reviser? (I can expand, being Scottish)”

from “Sherlock”: “Too many paid government shill confuse-bots posting in this thread.”

Media Lookalikes: Enough Already

The media lookalikes conspiracy meme started by Ed Chiarini of WellAware1, which I’ve covered here and here, is getting out of control. I thought it was restricted to the fringiest fringe of conspiranoid kooksters, but the picture below has gone viral in a minor way among conspiracy folks, even ending up on Snopes along with other Sandy Hook-related weirdness. On one Facebook page alone, it has received well over 1500 likes, and roughly half the commenters seem to think the whole media lookalikes theory could have some validity (the other half are dumbfounded that anyone would fall for it).

actors

Yes, Nick and Laura Phelps are real people. Obviously. They live in Newtown, Connecticut. They have two children enrolled at Sandy Hook Elementary, and in news reports they have mentioned that they don’t know how to explain the shooting to them.
Seriously, people, why would the media need fake parents when there are dozens of real grieving parents in Connecticut right now? Who would risk putting fake parents on TV, knowing that teachers and other parents and neighbours will immediately blow the whistle on a pair of shameless hoaxers?
Ed Chiarini (AKA “Dallasgoldbug”) is suffering from the Fregoli delusion, or something very much like it. He thinks Winston Churchill and Lionel Barrymore were the same man, that Walt Disney was literally Hitler, that Freddy Mercury became John Stossel, and that Steve Carell is also Alice Cooper.
This is just absurd. It is the stupidest and least credible conspiracy meme I have ever encountered. Satanic bloodsucking lizardpeople from Mars make more sense than this.

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup: More media lookalikes

Sadly, Ed Chiarini’s bizarre “media lookalikes” theory appears to be part of a larger trend in conspiranoia. I wouldn’t call it a meme, exactly. It’s really more of a method. A very weird, stupid and useless method. Or perhaps, as my anonymous commenter helpfully pointed out, it’s the Fregoli delusion.

It seems that a dedicated corps of stay-at-home conspiracy researchers is scouring the Internets for evidence that the people they see on TV are…well…other people they see on TV. Aaron Fleszar, on his blog Exposing the Coup, explains that most of the get-rich-now scamsters you see online or on late-night infomercials are actually infamous terror suspects who are being sought by the FBI. Of course, this doesn’t mean the dudes have been successfully evading the FBI on national television. It means the FBI is in on it. And it all has something to do with Castro and Sarah Palin.

Examples:

  • The guy in the Rich Jerk videos is actually Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Fleszar writes, “Sarah Palin claims to be a maverick and a mama grizzly. Mark Cuban came under investigation by the SEC for insider trading of a search engine company named Mamma.” Oh, and both Obama and Sarah Palin claimed to have played basketball in their youth…”this isn’t a coincidence.” And to add some extra weirdness: Robert Johnson, a YouTuber who did parodies of the Rich Jerk videos, is actually Chicago fraudster Tony Rezko.
  • Mark Joyner, star of the 2007 online reality show The Next Internet Millionaire, could be Egyptian-born terror suspect Saif al-Adel.
  • Ted Cuiba (that’s Cuba with an “i”), author of How to Get Rich on the Internet, is probably Abdul Rahman Yassin, an alleged accomplice in the ’93 bombing of the World Trade Center.



I think it goes without saying that if you select the photos carefully, you can make two different people look like the same person.

Another lookalike has been found by a collector of Victorian photos. For a mere $1 million, you could have bought a portrait of Nicholas Cage (c. 1870) on eBay. The seller said Cage is probably one of the undead, reinventing himself in each century, but I think a likelier explanation is time travel. If Travis Bickle can do it, anybody can.

Weird/Stupid Conspiracy Theory: Media "Lookalikes"

Same dude, or paranoid delusion? You decide. 

I’m still working on the Bill Schnoebelen post, so in the meantime take a gander at this site, maintained by Texan Ed Chiarini: wellaware1.com. It is, quite simply, one of the strangest and least convincing conspiracy sites I have ever seen. Mr. Chiarini believes that many of the people we see in the news, including most of the major players in the Arizona shooting, are actually actors. The events didn’t really occur at all. He spends hours combing Facebook and other social networking sites in search of “lookalikes”, and he invariably finds them. The website is full of “lookalikes” of missing young women. Chiarini also has a YouTube channel full of explanatory videos.

It is remotely possible (though certainly not likely) that folks like Bradley Manning and Jared Loughner could be fake. But the sheriff of Henderson County, Tennessee? How is that possible? And just why would the shadowy powers behind this gigantic hoax allow several of the Arizona shooting “actors” to appear on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy together? And why on earth would these “lookalikes” leave photos of themselves and their co-conspirators on Facebook and Myspace for all the world to see? (Chiarini says it’s because they didn’t realize he would be hot on their trail, exposing their epic scam)

Sadly, Chiarini’s ill-thought-out theory has been embraced by Joyce Riley of the radio show Power Hour, and a few other members of the fringe conspiracy/Ron Paul community (yes, I’m lumping them together – deal with it). Riley seemed convinced that Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden could be played by the same man.

Update (September 2012): Chiarini’s website has a slick new look (no more eyeball-busting red), but his world got quite a bit weirder after he he was interviewed on the online radio show Late Night in the Midlands, hosted by Michael Vara, last March. Though the interview was conducted via phone rather than in person, Chiarini decided the day after the broadcast that Vara was actually Adam Walsh, the Florida boy murdered in 1981 whose father, John, went on to become a victims’ advocate and the host of America’s Most Wanted. Chiarini’s theory is that Adam’s death was faked in order to give the show a ratings boost. Never mind that AMW premiered a full six years after Adam was killed.

The interesting thing about this is that Michael Vara, unlike Joyce Riley, was not sympathetic to Chiarini’s lookalike theories, and asked a few straightforward questions that Chiarini didn’t want to answer (he eventually terminated the interview by hanging up). So it seems the Adam Walsh theory that popped up on Chiarini’s website just one day after the aborted interview is some peculiar form of revenge.
The rest of the site is just bursting with WTFery, of course. Walt Disney was Hitler (literally). Chris Stevens, the diplomat recently killed at a U.S. embassy in Libya, was portrayed by the same actor who plays Gary Condit. Michelle Bachmann is actually Caroline Kennedy. My personal fave: John Stossel was also Freddy Mercury.

Also:

  •  JFK and Jimmy Carter? Same dude. It’s all in the ears.
  • Alice Cooper is also Steve Carrell.
  • Winston Churchill was Lionel Barrymore, and Barrymore’s wife was Clementine Churchill. So right after he wrapped up WWII, this guy hauled ass to America to film It’s a Wonderful Life.
  • Mitt Romney is Richard Jenkins, the actor who portrayed the Hardbodies gym manager in Burn After Reading and one of the operators in The Cabin in the Woods. That’s a shame. I really liked Jenkins.

See also: More “media lookalikes”

Fake Teens VI: Online Teens

Spoiler warning: This post contains complete spoilers for the film Catfish.

Caught

The Truth 2.0

In 2007, 22-year-old New York photographer Yaniv “Nev” Schulman received an adorable Myspace message from a young girl in Michigan. Abby Wesselman, 12 years old, wanted to show him some of her paintings, including one based on one of his recent photos, a striking image of a ballet dancer holding a ballerina aloft in a field.
Then Nev received a message from Abby’s mom, Angela, informing him that Abby was really 8 years old and wasn’t supposed to be online by herself. Now Nev was even more impressed by Abby’s art. This kid had talent! Real talent, not Marla Olmstead talent! Soon, he was taking ballet photos specifically for Abby’s paintbrush, and getting acquainted with Angela’s fascinating family via Facebook and phone calls.
The Wesselmans lived in the microdot community of Ishpeming, Michigan, and were a lot like the family in You Can’t Take It With You. Angela, a beautiful sloe-eyed brunette, painted and rode horses. Her son Alex was a rock musician. Daughter Megan was a veterinarian who danced, wrote songs, painted, played multiple instruments, kept horses, and did some modeling in her spare time. Abby, of course, was an art prodigy whose paintings sold for up to $7000 apiece. The family had recently purchased an old warehouse on Ishpeming’s main street, and were turning it into a gallery to showcase Abby’s work.

Nev’s brother Ariel (“Rel”), a filmmaker, was intrigued by Abby’s artwork and her talent-laden family. He decided to document the creative process going on between Nev and Abby, though Nev wasn’t enthused about the idea. He went along with it, he later said, because he felt aimless and bored. He had recently dropped out of college to pursue a full-time career in photography, and had to film bar mitzvahs on weekends to make ends meet.
They didn’t have the funds to actually travel to Michigan, so for the next several months, Rel and his creative partner Henry Joost basically just filmed Nev’s phone conversations with the Wesselman family and recorded Nev’s thoughts on Abby’s art.
Angela considered Nev an artistic mentor for her daughter. She even offered to pay him for his advice. When he declined, Abby sent several of her paintings to Nev as gifts, along with half of a $1000 prize she won in an art competition.

Rel and Henry also began to document the burgeoning romance between Nev and Angela’s 19-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, Megan Faccio. Megan, the vet, lived on a small farm not far from her parents’ house. The photos she posted on Facebook and sent to Nev showed a lovely girl with luxuriantly long, honey-gold hair. She had the lithe body of a dancer and the soulful eyes of an artist. Intriguingly for Nev, she hadn’t dated much and remained a virgin.
Chatting online soon led to flirting, exchanging photos, and a little sexting. They talked longingly of Meeting in Real Life someday.

There were warning signs along the way, of course. Curiously, though Angela had posted a video of Abby painting wild horses, the family never webcammed. Angela’s husband, Vince Pierce, looked young enough to be Megan’s brother. There were lots of photos of Megan on her Facebook profile, but no family photos – and few photos of Angela. The only clear image of Angela the New Yorkers had ever seen was a painting done by Megan.
Nev’s mother was skeptical. She pointed out that Megan seemed too young to be a veterinarian with her own home. Nev waved away her concerns.

That summer, about eight months after the first message from Abby, a MIRL started to look possible. The Schulmans and Joost were traveling to Colorado to film dancers at the Vail International Dance Festival, and if they drove they would be able to swing through Ishpeming on their way home. Rel and Henry packed up their film gear and mounted a point-and-shoot cam on the dashboard of the car to capture the road trip.

Spoilers below

In their Colorado lodgings, Nev chatted with Megan on his laptop. She had been posting MP3s of herself and Angela singing some favourite songs and playing various instruments, so one evening the three guys listened to them. One song sung by Angela, “Downhill”, was fantastic. Megan accompanied her mom on guitar.
When Megan offered to take requests, Ariel and Henry asked her to record and post “Tennessee Stud”. She was a horsewoman, after all.
Within thirty minutes, Megan’s rendition of the song appeared on Facebook. It also sounded good, but the guys were still crazy about the song “Downhill” and wanted to know more about it. Nev googled some of the lyrics and found Amy Kuney’s original recording of “It’s All Downhill from Here” on iTunes. The song had been featured on the soundtrack of the teen soap opera One Tree Hill.
To their astonishment, the guys gradually realized that Kuney’s version sounded identical to Megan and Angela’s.
Rel began searching for covers of “Tennessee Stud”, and on YouTube he found one by Suzanna Choffel that perfectly matched Megan’s. Clearly, she and/or Angela had been snagging songs from the ‘Net and posting them as their own.
It would be all downhill from there.

The three men agreed not to confront Megan or Angela right away. They would continue to play along, and do some investigating.
On camera, Nev accepted the situation with good humour. He laughed in embarrassment over the sexting, and joked that he was probably having an online relationship with another guy. But discovering Megan’s deception had been traumatic for him.
Phone calls from Megan were now decidedly awkward and strained, with Nev keeping his end of the conversations as brief as possible.

Nev and Ariel investigated the warehouse gallery at 100 North Main Street in Ishpeming. It was a former department store that had been vacant for four years, and according to the real estate agent, it was still on the market.

The group traveled fom Vail to Ishpeming with a lot of questions on their minds. When Nev told Megan he might be in her area very soon, she said one of her horses was giving birth. She would have to be in the stables all night.

Upon reaching the outskirts of Ishpeming after dark, the trio’s first stop was the rural mailbox used by Megan. This was supposedly her home address, but the box stood in front of a lot occupied only by a barn, which was completely empty.
The rest of the family lived in a comfortable, farm-style house in town, with bay windows and a cheery red door. Angela responded to Nev’s knock the next morning, hesitantly. She was a rather plump woman with waist-length auburn hair; pleasant-looking, but hardly the elegant beauty of Megan’s painting.
Angela nervously explained that Megan was many miles away, at her farm. Moments later, Vince showed up on the porch and introduced himself. He was an average middle-aged man, not the young guy in Megan’s photo. He seemed to know nothing about his wife’s online deceptions; he was under the impression that Nev was his wife’s “primary customer”, having purchased a number of her paintings (which were actually sent to him as gifts).
Inside the house, Angela gestured to a partially-completed painting of a woman in a dress and said it was Abby’s latest work.

As it turned out, Abby was not a miniature Degas. The paintings were Angela’s. This became evident when Abby told Nev she didn’t paint very often, and identified “her” wild horse painting as her mother’s work.
There was no sign of Angela’s son, but it turned out she and Vince were the sole caregivers for Vince’s profoundly disabled twin sons. Angela had never mentioned them.

At one point during the visit, when Angela was out of sight, Megan texted Nev to explain that the horses were keeping her very busy, but she would try to see him as soon as possible. “Don’t leave!” she pleaded. Nev wondered why she wouldn’t phone him.
That night, while the guys rested at a local hotel, Megan sent another message revealing that she was an alcoholic. She wouldn’t be able to see Nev because she had just checked into a rehab clinic.

With Angela’s “perfect” life lying unraveled at their feet, the guys decided it was time to put an end to the game.
On the second day of their visit Angela, still seeming quite shy and reticent, took her guests to a horse farm to watch Abby ride. Nev gently asked her why she had created so many stories about her life.
She let go of the deception with surprising ease…almost. She still insisted that Megan was real, though her photos were those of a “family friend”, and that she really was in rehab. This turned out to be false. The lovely girl in the photos was a professional model/photographer from the Northwest, Aimee Gonzalez. She had no knowledge of the Wesselman family and was completely unaware that Angela had been using her Facebook and modeling photos to flesh out “Megan Faccio”.
The previous day, Angela said she was undergoing chemo for uterine cancer. Also false.

Nev was forgiving, and it’s easy to understand why. It would be nearly impossible not to sympathize, to some degree, with this woman. She was living a demanding, isolated life full of imperfection and frustrated dreams.
Angela was embarrassed and seemingly contrite about her behaviour. With admirable candour, she explained how she created at least a dozen Facebook profiles to give the appearance of a small network of family and friends, used a second cell phone for “Megan’s” calls, and adopted a high breathy voice for Megan. Like Mary Shieler, she cited boredom as her primary motivation. “I didn’t have anything else in my life… I didn’t have anything else to do,” she told 20/20.

But unlike Mary Shieler, Angela Wesselman-Pierce didn’t leave a trail of death and devastation in her wake. In fact, just as Vince conveys in the anecdote that gives the film Catfish its title, her deception and its unmasking made everyone involved a little better and stronger. Angela began to sell her paintings online. Schulman and Joost created an acclaimed documentary that premiered at Sundance.

Nev didn’t fare so well, at first. Even though the physical distance between himself and Megan would have made a long-term relationship almost impossible, he had strong feelings for her. The realization that this girl was a figment of someone’s imagination hit him hard.
Upon returning to New York, Nev got back together with an on-and-off girlfriend, Katie, and told his brother he needed some time to recover.

Catfish chronicles Nev’s artistic collaboration with Abby, his romance with Megan, and the fateful trip to Michigan. Much like TalHotBlond, it was marketed as a suspense thriller documentary full of shocking twists. The filmmakers and their subject, however, view it as a story of love, loneliness, and the complexities of online relationships. They clearly made an effort to portray Angela Wesselman-Pierce as a woman worthy of sympathy and understanding. The film even ends with a coda that despite Angela’s false claims of having cancer and having a daughter in rehab, she and Nev remain friends on Facebook.

It’s difficult not to have mixed feelings about Catfish. On one hand, it’s possible that being caught has provided the impetus for Angela Wesselman-Pierce to re-evaluate her life and make changes to it that would not otherwise have occurred to her. Reaching out to a photographer indicates that she wanted to forge some connection to other artistic people, and she now has the opportunity to do that.
On the other hand, one has to examine the ethical dimensions of filming a woman who may have mental issues that prevent her from making sound decisions, a woman who (as Nev realized) was probably infatuated with a much younger man she had never met. This is underlined by the fact that the deception didn’t end when Nev left Michigan. Angela was still insisting she had a daughter named Megan in rehab, and back in New York Nev received an email from the real Megan. He asked her to call him at the office of his brother’s production company. He never received a call. The email account, he learned, was another of Angela’s fronts. Confronted, she confessed that she didn’t want the relationship with Nev to end.
Will Angela Wesselman-Pierce someday regret her participation in the film? One wonders, too, how little Abby will fare when she’s older. Will having her mother outed as an online master of deception become embarrassing and burdensome to her, if it hasn’t already? Where, exactly, should we draw the line between private drama and public accountability?

These certainly weren’t the only questions raised by reviewers of Catfish.

The Truth 2.1

Catfish premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. From its very first screenings, viewers expressed skepticism about the entire film. How could it be, they asked, that three New Yorkers were genuinely duped by a Michigan housewife for almost a year? How could anyone believe “Vince” was old enough to be Megan’s stepdad? Why would a director want to film his brother’s daily life in the first place? And isn’t it convenient that some of the film’s most startling revelations, like Megan’s bogus song covers, just happened to take place when the camera was rolling?

Morgan Spurlock called it “the best fake documentary I’ve seen”. The New York Times review described it as “coy about its motives” and full of “faux-naïf manipulations”. Movieline.com’s Kyle Bucchanan bluntly accused the filmmakers of knowing Angela was lying all along. A reviewer at the blog Very Aware pointed out that the photo of Vince and Megan was posted to Facebook in March 2008, months after the events of Catfish took place. In comments attached to these reviews, people have speculated that Angela, Aimee Gonzalez, and the Schulmans/Joost are fame-hungry artists who collaborated on a hoax. One Movieline commenter claims Angela Pierce is not only a professional artist, but a filmmaker whose work has appeared at small festivals. She even has a production company: Panorama Management Group, LLC in Ipsheming, Michigan. While it’s true that Panorama “respresents” Angela, the operation appears to be a one-woman show. And though Angela listed herself as a filmmaker as late as October of this year, I have found no films to her credit.
On the other hand, Dana Stevens of Slate expressed the view that the events in the film were probably real, though possibly re-created or compressed to some extent.
Other reviewers, like New York magazine’s David Edelstein, freely admitted they didn’t know whether or not there was hoaxery in the film.

The Schulmans and Joost have emphatically denied any fakery. In fact, they insist, they weren’t even planning to make a feature documentary until they discovered Megan’s songs weren’t her own. They just wanted to film interesting events in Nev’s life. Once they decided to make the movie, they re-created only the computer screenshots.
Nev’s mom vouched for him. But then, so did James Frey’s mom.

If the filmmakers did any hoaxing in the production of Catfish, their film’s pivotal scene may prove its undoing. This month, Threshold Media filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers, their producers, and their distributors, maintaining that they should pay licensing fees for Amy Kuney’s “All Downhill From Here”. Schulman and Joost justified their inclusion of the song as fair use, since Catfish is a documentary. With the lawsuit, Threshold is basically challenging the film’s “documentary” status.

These days, who wouldn’t be jaded? We’ve been inundated by mockumentaries like Fubar and Incident at Loch Ness, recreated “reality” shows like Operation Repo (which airs, ironically, on TruTV), Hollywood thrillers “based on true stories” that never happened (The Fourth Kind), movies that convincingly blend truth with fantasy (The Social Network), and PR stunts cleverly disguised as home movies or nervous breakdowns (Lonelygirl15, the tantrum-throwing bride who hacked off her hair, Joaquin Pheonix). Not to mention the rash of “autobiographical” novels and phoney memoirs: Love and Consequences, Sarah, A Million Little Pieces/My Friend Leonard, An Angel at the Fence, Surviving with Wolves.
Then there are credible allegations that Michael Moore staged and fabricated incidents in his award-winning documentaries Roger & Me and Bowling for Columbine. And a revealing statement by Aaron Sorkin, screenwriter of The Social Network: “My fidelity is to the story I’m telling, and not to the who, what, where, why of the story.”

So skepticism is definitely warranted. After reviewing the allegations against Catfish, however, I don’t think the Schulmans and Henry Joost perpetrated a full-on hoax. The deception at the core of the movie is real, in my opinion. The youthful inexperience of the filmmakers can account for many of the “red flags” noted by reviewers. It seems quite likely that in their determination to make a gripping first film, they left too much of their own skepticism and doubt on the cutting room floor, leaving audiences to believe they were either gullible buffoons or cruel hoaxers.

The most problematic issue surrounding Catfish remains its ethical dimensions. Thrusting an unbalanced, small-town housewife onto the international film scene is not without its risks, and Angela Wesselman-Pierce’s response to her celebrity has been mixed. She did not attend the film’s premiere at Sundance, and for several months declined to be interviewed. Her only media appearance was on 20/20 in October.

Other Online Teens
Two other fake teens bear mentioning here: Anthony Godby Johnson and Kaycee Nicole Swenson. Both were desperately ill teens created by middle-aged women.

Fake Teens VI: Online Teens

One of the following two stories ends in tragedy. The other ends somewhat happily for everyone. But both shine a bright light into the depths of online deception. I see these cases not so much as suspense thrillers (like the documentaries made about them), nor cautionary tales (as the media presents them), but as reminders of just how far a few people will go for attention.

Jailbait

Four years ago, two families and two innocent young people fell victim to the fantasy lives of two incredibly manipulative, unbalanced chat addicts.

In 2002, college student Brian Barrett began working at the Dynabrade factory in Clarence, New York, to help pay his tuition. A quiet and good-natured former athlete with wholesome good looks, the 18-year-old wanted to become a shop teacher. By 2006 he was studying industrial arts at Buffalo State.
Brian had an unlikely friendship with one of his co-workers, 45-year-old former Marine Thomas Montgomery. Tom had left the Marines as a young man with a drinking problem. When Brian Barrett met him, though, Tom was a dry, thoroughly reliable family man who taught Sunday school, volunteered on his daughters’ swim team, and had not so much as a speeding ticket on his record. He found his work as a machinist monotonous and uninspiring, but the pay was decent.
The only problem in Tom’s life was that he felt disappointed in himself, and craved more adventure. He started gambling and gaming online, and in mid-2005 he began chatting with a 17-year-old girl from West Virginia who called herself “Talhotblond” [sic]. Jessi sent him a few sexy photos of herself, and she was indeed tall, hot, and blond – perfect in every way.
Tom, who called himself “Marinesniper“, sent Jessi a 30-year-old photo of himself in uniform and told her he was 18-year-old “Tommy”, heading off to boot camp.

Jessi was an intriguing blend of woman and girl. She was an outrageous flirt and sent “Tommy” slideshows of herself posing provocatively in miniskirts and bikinis, but she lived with her parents and brother in the little town of Oakhill, West Virginia, where she played softball and basketball.
She and Tommy had cybersex and talked to each other on the phone daily.
Tom quickly fell in love. Not only with Jessi, but with his own online persona. He had given Tommy the Marine a chequered backstory: He hadn’t felt real love since his mother’s untimely death, and became a Marine to assuage his guilt over raping a girl when he was younger. Sometimes he felt suicidal.
Letters Tom Morgan wrote to himself in early 2006 indicate he was fantasizing about becoming the “good looking, battle hardened” Tommy, with a fake birth certificate and Social Security Number. Tommy would look like a redheaded Harrison Ford, sport a 9-inch penis, and have $2.5 million in the bank. He would have a black belt in karate.
Jessi called him her “sweet, sexy Marine”. On Christmas Day 2005, just six months after they met online, Tommy told her he was shipping off to Iraq and asked her to marry him on his return. She said yes.

Bizarrely, Tom also pretended to be “Tom Senior”, Tommy’s military dad. He chatted with Jessie online when his son was unavailable in Iraq, and shipped Jessi’s snail mail to him via “military contacts”.
When Tommy flipped out over Jessi flirting with other guys online, Tom Sr. was angry with her too, because his son really cared for her and would believe her “lying ass”. He remained angry with Jessi long after his “son” forgave her.

When Tommy, facing death in Iraq, lapsed into suicidal depression, Jessi coaxed him out of it.

By the summer of 2006, the guilt was getting to Tom Montgomery. He had an anxiety attack that he mistook for a heart attack. He tried to stay offline, but that made him even more anxious.
His wife of 17 years, Cindy, had been suspicious for a while, asking questions about who Tom was chatting with for hours. He gave her vague, reassuring answers that comforted neither of them.
Then Cindy discovered one of Jessi’s photos, sent by mail along with a pair of panties, and the jig was up. She was deeply weirded out that her husband was posing as a soldier (and a soldier’s dad) to seduce a girl not much older than their daughters.
She fired off a letter to the girl, explaining that “Tommy” was a 46-year-old married man. She warned Jessi to be more cautious online so she wouldn’t again be hurt by someone who had “mastered the art of manipulation and lies”. She enclosed a Montgomery family photo.

Jessi was just as shocked and wounded as Cindy. She demanded to know why Tom had deceived her. Incredibly, though, their relationship didn’t end. Jessi either wanted to learn more about the real Tom, or she wanted to get even: She turned to one of Tom’s online friends – Brian Barrett (“beefcake”). Soon, she began sending Brian photos of herself and calling him “Sexy”, an instant replay of her romance with Tommy. They fell in love, sort of.
Jessi threw her new “relationship” with his young coworker in Tom’s face, praising Brian’s honesty. Of course he realized she was trying to make him jealous, but as soon as she re-initiated contact, Tom knew he wanted her back. He apologized for his lies again and again, pleading for a second chance.


On the surface, Brian and Jessi were a good match. They both loved playing sports, and he was just a few years older than she was. Best of all, Brian wasn’t a middle-aged dad posing as a suicidal teenager. But Jessi craved drama and risk, just like Tom. She finally agreed to resume her relationship with Tom, on one condition: He had to continue pretending he was the 18-year-old Marine she had agreed to marry. “Don’t let Tommy die,” she begged him. At first, Tom refused. That’s when Jessi and Brian began taunting him in the online game chats, calling him a loser and a predator. The harassment amused Brian for a while, but then he began to feel Jessi was taking it too far. He could see a vindictive, manipulative side to her that didn’t appeal to him at all.

By this time, of course, the camaraderie between Tom and Brian was at an end. Brian was creeped out by Tom’s pursuit of a girl young enough to be his daughter, and Tom was extraordinarily bitter that Brian had chosen Jessi over their friendship. More than that, he was threatened. How could he possibly compete with a single guy in his early twenties? He was anchored to a home and family, while Brian could do pretty much as he pleased.
This hit home hard when Brian accepted Jessi’s invitation to visit her in West Virginia. Tom wrote to him, “tell ur little whore to stay the fuck out of my life.”
Before Brian packed his bags, however, Jessi broke it off. She accused him of only being interested in sex. She drifted back to Tom and tried to woo him, but he was still furious with her. “You mean shit to me these days,” he wrote.
She was finally able to melt him somewhat by writing, “U and only U are my connection to Tommy and I will love him till I die.”
Their renewed friendship was an uneasy one, clouded by Tom’s overwhelming hatred for Brian. In one chilling exchange, Tom claimed he had come very close to actually murdering Brian.

Tom: “I hate him with a passion and for 10 cents I would eliminate him.”
Jessi: “that’s a little drastic isn’t it”
Tom: “payback is a motherfucker, Jessi. I am the ultimate weapon. I am a Marine.”
Jessi: “what are u going to do?”
Tom: “Let’s just say ur piece of shit boyfriend came with a hair of dying… the day after U 2 assholes told me you were fucking with me… had I pulled a little harder he would gone… Brian will pay in blood.”

Now for the average person, declarations like “he will pay in blood” would be alarm bells. Not for Jessi. Tom’s fury and threats of homicide only drew her closer to him. She pledged never to betray him again, and began having cybersex with “Tommy” again.
But Jessi’s promises didn’t last long. Very soon, she was flirting with other guys on the online chats right under Tom’s nose.
Finally, Tom had enough. He ordered Jessi to leave him alone, or he’d physically harm her and her mother. (Earlier, he had threatened to post Jessi’s home address online so “the niggers can find you”.) This is when Jessi’s mom appeared online for the first time. She told Tom to keep away from her daughter. He agreed.
Two weeks later, Jessi was back in his life. “I have totally defied my ma to be with you,” she wrote.

While renewing her ties with Tom, Jessi began writing to Brian again, too. Tom discovered this through Myspace and was enraged. He wrote to her, “U will pay now bitch. U better be very afraid now. I told u what would happen if u and Brian got together.”

Jessi informed Brian that Tom was furious with both of them, and that’s as far as it went. Authorities weren’t notified about the repeated threats against Brian, Jessi, and Jessi’s mother at any time. Privately, though, Jessi and Brian expressed concern about Tom’s anger. Brian mentioned that Tom had tried to hit him with his car in the Dynabrade parking lot.

Jessi: “Brian I am really afraid of him.”
Brian: “Yea me too he’s crazy”

On September 15, 2006, Tom phoned Jessi to scream in an incoherent rage. She hung up on him.

That night, Brian finished work around 10:00 PM and headed out to his truck. When he was in the driver’s seat, Tom snuck up on him from behind and fired three shots from a .38-calibre rifle through the window. Because it was a Friday, Brian’s body remained undiscovered for two days.

When police learned about the sick love triangle and couldn’t locate Tom Montgomery, they feared the worst: He could be on his way to West Virginia to harm Jessi. Erie County Lieutenant Ron Kenyon phoned the girl immediately, informing her of Brian’s death and warning her to be cautious. Then he dispatched West Virginia police to her home.When Officer J. L. Kirk and a partner arrived at the little white house in Oakhill, Jessi’s mother answered the door. Mary Shieler already knew about Brian’s murder and seemed distressed about the situation, yet claimed her daughter wasn’t home.
“She was just here,” Kirk pointed out.
Something about Shieler’s attitude triggered his suspicion. After some fruitless back-and-forth, he asked her bluntly if she was “Jessi”.
The woman explained she did have a teen daughter named Jessi, who really wasn’t at home. But, yes, she was the Jessi known to Tom Montgomery and Brian Barrett.
Later, Mary would claim she never had any intention of disrupting her “happy” marriage for either of these men. With her kids nearly grown and Tim at work, she was lonely and bored. She cast herself in something like a heroic role, telling reporters she played along with Montgomery merely to keep him away from actual teen girls. And Brian Barrett? Well, he just got caught in the middle.

Mary Shieler was a 45-year-old housewife, known in her community as a devoted wife and mom. She went to all of Jessi’s games and volunteered at her daughter’s school. Mother and daughter were reportedly quite close, shopping and getting manicures together. Mary was clearly very proud of her lovely daughter, and spared no expense when it came to Jessi.
No one knew that the photos she continuously took of Jessi were being distributed to strangers over the Internet. Her husband, Tim, was mortified when he learned what she had done. He quickly filed for divorce.
Jessi was equally appalled. Mary never apologized to her, nor attempted to explain her actions. Jessi severed all ties with her mother.

Tom Montgomery, as it turned out, didn’t head for West Virginia. He remained at home, and on September 18 was taken in for questioning by Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Weiss and Detective Charles Tirone. He was shocked and upset to learn that his beloved, virginal Jessi was really a 45-year-old mother of two.
Tom said he took his two daughters, 12 and 14, out to dinner on the night Brian was murdered, and returned home at 10:15. His daughters supported his alibi, but Lisa Montgomery stated Tom arrived home around 11:00. That left plenty of time for Tom to go to the plant in Clarence and shoot his rival.
Worse yet, Tom’s cell phone records placed him near the plant around 10:00.
He denied owning a .38 rifle, even though a photo of it was discovered in his home along with a .38 handbook.
His DNA was found on a peach pit left near Barrett’s vehicle. He had purchased a bag of peaches shortly before the murder.

Charged with Brian’s murder on September 27, Montgomery pled not guilty. Initially, he said Brian had several other enemies who made threatening phone calls to him at work.
But he had no real defense other than the word of his two young daughters. In July 2007, he took a plea deal: 20 years for manslaughter.
He attempted to change his plea again at his sentencing.

Brian Barrett’s parents, Dan and Deb Barrett, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Montgomery, Shieler, and Dynabrade. After the suit was dismissed, they campaigned for the development of “Internet accountability laws”.

In 2009 the documentary TalHotBlond, produced and directed by reporter Barbara Schroeder, aired on MSNBC. The instant message excerpts above were taken from that film.
Some of the more disturbing details were left out of the film, including Montgomery’s impersonation of “Tom Senior”, Montgomery’s racist threat to Jessi, and “Tommy’s” confession of raping a cheerleader.


Other Sources:

– “An IM Infatuation Turned to Romance, Then the Truth Came Out” by Nadya Labi. (Wired issue 15.09)
– “Thomas Montgomery: Bizarre Love Triangle” by Kristal Hawkins (TruTV.com Crime Library)

Online Teens Part II

Spoiler warning: Part II of this post contain complete spoilers for the film Catfish.



At least she didn’t say a dingo ate it…


Some hoaxes are stupid. Some are weird. Some are boring. And some are completely freaking evil.

For the past six months or so, a blogger called April’s Mom has been keeping hundreds of readers on the edges of their seats, awaiting the birth of her baby girl. In her first post, A.M. explained that prenatal testing had diagnosed April as having a potentially fatal form of brain damage. A.M. bravely decided not to abort, and to raise April herself. Her blog was filled with inspirational Christian quotes, messages, and songs, because A.M. had been born again earlier in her life.
Her blog is now closed to uninvited readers, but this page is still accessible for some reason. Her tags include “the ugly side of blogging”, “oh the medical jargon”, and “holoprosencephaly (I assume this is what afflicted April).
She provided extremely detailed medical information about the progress of her pregnancy and April’s chances for survival, and reflected on her fears for the future.
Those in the pro-life community were strongly drawn to her; some even sent gifts and letters of support to a Chicago-area P.O. box. They sweated out her pregnancy alongside her. Her optimism, faith, and pluck were irresistible, and made the end of the story even more heartbreaking.

Last Sunday, April Rose was born at home. Though she appeared physically healthy, she died within a few hours. Her mom posted black-and-white photos of the newborn.

This was her mistake. At least one reader instantly recognized the swaddled, adorably scrunchy-faced infant as a reborn doll manufactured by Bountiful Baby. (As dolls creep me out in a big way, I have no idea what a “reborn” doll is, and the website slogan is kind of unsettling: “Where Dolls Become Babies!”)

A very small amount of digging revealed that April’s Mom was 26-year-old Beccah Beushausen. She promptly confessed to a hoax and apologized to her readers, but continued to lie. In fact, about the only truthful thing she has said so far is that she lives in Illinois. She said she was a social worker, but is not licensed as one in the state of Illinois. She also pulled out the Kaycee Nicole defense, explaining that this really did happen to her – she lost an infant son – just not in the way she described.

She hasn’t committed any crime, so Beuschausen is free to mind-freak lots of other kind strangers. Beware.

Wal-Mart Gang Initiation Text Warnings: Groundless

If you’re about 15 years old and living in the U.S., you might have received text messages warning you to stay away from your local Wal-Mart because wannabe gang members are planning to attack women and children shoppers as part of their initiations.

Law enforcement agencies in multiple states are trying to quash the rumours, because no such attacks have ever occurred, even though similar rumours have been floating around since ’05.

There are plenty of valid reasons not to shop at Wal-Mart, but gang initiation isn’t one of them.

2 Strange Hoaxes. Or Not.

A couple of extremely weird hoaxes have been exposed recently. Or maybe they haven’t. One might have been was a 9/11 Truther pseudocide, the other isn’t really a hoax but might be a hoax by way of its non-hoaxiness.

Update: The Truther, Ace Baker, is alive and “well”. Scroll down for info.

On January 6, California sound technician and 9/11 Truther Ace Baker was a guest on Jim Fetzer’s radio show. (I’m not sure what show this is, as Kevin Barrett quit co-hosting GCN’s “The Dynamic Duo” with Fetzer last year.)
Fetzer is the University of Minnesota-Duluth philosophy prof who insists the Zapruder film is fake, and has embraced no-plane, space-laser theories about the destruction of the World Trade Center. Ace Baker is also a no-plane theorist, and a proponent of the idea that most (or all) of the TV footage on September 11 was altered and/or faked. You can see lots of his “research” on YouTube.
As you may know, no-planers and TV-fakery people are at the very bottom of the Truther food chain. Other Truthers will cross an entire continent just to avoid walking on the same side of the street with one of them.

Perhaps this ostracism was one reason that Baker seemed so depressed on the air. He complained bitterly about criticism he has received from other Truthers. Then, tearfully, he apologized to his wife and daughters for being away from them so often due to his 9/11 work. “I hope you will forgive me someday.” He told his parents he missed them. All the while, Fetzer tried to cut in with comforting words and assurances that Ace’s troubles will pass; haven’t all great thinkers been persecuted in their time?

“We need you, Ace.”

Seconds later, Ace blurted, “I’m comin’ home!” This was followed by a percussive sound that could have been a gunshot. Then silence.

Horrified listeners waited as Fetzer called for help and tried to reconnect with Ace. The show was abruptly cut short.

Ace Baker Suicide (?) on Fetzer’s Show

So it came as a rather nasty shock when Matt revealed to an audience at the December ’08 Entertainment Gathering that the whole thing had been staged. Calmly and humourously, he explained that the YouTube commenters who had been pointing out suspicious flaws in his film were right all along: Matt was an actor hired to do his jig in front of a blue screen. The exotic locales were added in later, along with animatronic mannequins made to look like dancing natives.

Wait, what? And did he just say this was all done with Photoshop?

You’ve been punk’d, ladies and gentleman. And so have all the news outlets who soberly reported the non-hoax hoax. Matt Harding may or may not be an actor, but those dancing kids are certainly real. Harding was having some fun with all the cynical, nitpicky armchair video analysts who said it was all fake. See for yourself…

Matt “Confesses”

The question is, does Matt’s hoaxily confessing to a hoax that wasn’t a hoax constitute a hoax?