Archive for March, 2020

TBR News March 26, 2020

Mar 26 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 26, 2020: “The storm is weakening and in places, the sun is breaking through the thinning clouds. I am speaking here of the invented stories of a deadly plague sweeping across the globe, threatening all with death and destruction and resulting in outbreaks of panic and official overreactions. It was know all along that Coronavirus was a mild flu and not a deadly 1917 epidemic but the media, on the verge of economic collapse, seized on it like a starving man snatching a horse turd and used it in a vain attempt to gain paid subscribers. The economic and social chaos they caused by their rampant fictions was of no consequence but when, in time, their large office buildings are turned into day care centers for autistic children, it will be too late to mourn.”

Agitation From Reuters

• U.S. weekly jobless claims surge to a record 3.28 million as coronavirus spurs mass layoffs
• ‘All we have left is to hope and pray’: Travellers stranded in airport by coronavirus
• Grid operators turn control centers into campsites to keep coronavirus at bay
• Newly jobless Americans worry about making ends meet
• Two more weeks of lockdown as Spain’s coronavirus crisis worsens Fresh produce in Europe set to be more scarce as coronavirus strikes
• In Europe, tech battle against coronavirus clashes with privacy culture
• U.S. Senate passes $2 trillion bill for ‘strange and evil’ coronavirus crisis
• World stocks slip as U.S. jobs angst outweighs $2 trillion stimulus
• Belgium says coronavirus peak still ahead

Agitation From The Guardian

• Record 3.3 million Americans file for unemployment as the US tries to contain Covid-19
• US may be in recession amid Covid-19 crisis, says Fed chair Jerome Powell
• Return to normal activity depends on health experts’ advice
• Central bank will not ‘run out of ammo’ to support economy
• It’s all Covid’: New York medical staff brace for a surge of coronavirus patients
• The governor has warned that efforts to slow the spread of the virus have so far failed; hospitals will no doubt be overwhelmed
• ‘We’ve got two weeks before we run out of food’: Americans trapped between coronavirus and poverty
• In Kansas City the deadly threat of the pandemic looms on the horizon but livelihoods have already been destroyed
• The ER Diaries: inside a California hospital, a sneeze can cause a panic
• Coronavirus pandemic has delivered the fastest, deepest economic shock in history

Agitation From the New York Times

• U.S. Jobless Claims Are Highest Ever; House to Take Up $2 Trillion Stimulus
• New Orleans Facing Deadly Virus Outbreak
• What You Can Do About Coronavirus Right Now
• Europe’s Leaders Ditch Austerity and Fight Pandemic With Cash
• ‘God Will Protect Us’: Virus Infects an Already Struggling Pakistan
• Afghans returning from Iran crossing into Afghanistan at Islam Qala on Sunday.
• Fresh From Iran’s Coronavirus Zone, Now Moving Across Afghanistan
• Doctors Are Writing Their Wills
• God Doesn’t Want Us to Sacrifice the Old
• Coronavirus Has Brought New York to Its Knees. Here’s What That Looks Like.

Agitation From the Washington Post

• As New York’s crisis deepens, experts split over how to contain its spread to new areas
• Hospitals consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for virus patients
• Some health-care workers resist orders to work without adequate protection
• Our domestic health-care system is stretching past the breaking point
• In some states, oil-price collapse brings back 99-cent gas
• What lockdown orders mean when it’s not your hometown
• Why cruise ships kept sailing even as the virus spread.
• Soldiers around the world get a new mission: Enforcing coronavirus lockdowns
• Much of the world is under virus-related restrictions
• Army seeks retired medical personnel to rejoin service to fight virus

The Table of Contents
The Great Disaster Blog
• After Senate vote, massive U.S. coronavirus bill moves to the House
• How lethal is Covid-19 REALLY? Why massive fatality rates from Italy are MISLEADING
• In China, life returning to normal as coronavirus outbreak slows
• It’s Time for the US and Saudi Arabia to Break Up
• National Commission Recommends Extending Draft Registration to Women
• The Roosevelt-Churchill Conversations
• Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

TBR News March 25, 2020

Mar 25 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 25, 2020: “Hysteria marches on! The panting media has been filled with overlapping horror stories about a Deadly New Disease that is sweeping the world, killing everyone in sight. The Coronavirus is a flu virus that is contagious and, in some cases, can kill the victim but it is far less dangerous than the regular annual flu that kills 50,000 people a year at the least. Like the lunatic frenzies that erupted following the 911 attacks, the hysteria over Planet X, lesser shouting over the BitCoin swindle, the story about Coronavirus became a football for the media which created an artificial hysteria that, unlike Planet X, cost many people their jobs, others their business, disrupted entire nations and created a wave of false fear that only now is beginning to subside. The animal flu will fade away and the planet will wait, breathlessly, for the next periodic eruption as armies of the self-important and ignorant lurch out of the woods like zombies with some new lunatic theory to terrify others. This eruption, especially in the media, was so destructive that the next time more caution might be used and the theory that all the world’s cats were infected with a rare disease they got from munching on mice and this disease would kill everyone whose first name was either Henry or William, would be given less publicity than Coronavirus although the former was more sensible.”

Agitation From Reuters

• Delivery drivers face pandemic without sick pay, insurance, sanitizer
• Layoffs and food lines: How the pandemic slams the poorest workers
• U.S. companies, labs rush to produce blood test for coronavirus immunity
• Thailand records 107 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 934: health official
• Saudi Arabia tightens curfew imposed to contain coronavirus: SPA
• As coronavirus hits Venezuela, Maduro further quashes dissent
• U.S. cybersecurity experts see recent spike in Chinese digital espionage
• Iran to impose tough measures as coronavirus death toll rises
• European shares take U-turn on rising virus death toll
• India struggles with coronavirus shutdown; Pakistan cases hit 1,000

Agitation From The Guardian

• Death toll in Spain overtakes China, and India locks down
• Belgium sees 50% increase in hospital admissions on previous day.
• Iran to impose social distancing
• Macron told: ‘lockdown should last six weeks’
• California scrambles to avoid Covid-19’s worst-case scenario: ‘It will take a heroic effort’
• Coronavirus pandemic has delivered the fastest, deepest economic shock in history
• The financial crisis and Great Depression took three years to play out, this crisis has taken three weeks. The Greater Depression beckons
• The US is experiencing an unprecedented rise in unemployment as industries including hospitality and food service grind to a halt
• Doctors across North America are worried about bringing coronavirus into their homes, separation from loved ones and the basics of running a home
• ‘Could you buy a little less, please?’: panic-buying disrupts food distribution

Agitation From the New York Times

• New York Considered ‘High-Risk Area’
• The pandemic has caused taxi rides in the city to plummet by two-thirds or more.
• Inside American Airlines’ Scramble as Virus Grounds Jets by Hundreds
• Slow Response to Virus Means Long Wait for Ventilators
• Pentagon Takes Restrained Role in Coronavirus Response, Despite Calls for Help
• The Long Goodbye: Funerals Are Another Thing That Now Must Wait
• Virus Knocks Thousands of Health Workers Out of Action in Europe
• Restaurant Workers Get a Final Paycheck and a Meal
• Virus Brings States to a Standstill
• Coronavirus on Campus: Like a Bad Bridge Hand. No, Like an R.E.M. Song.

Agitation From the Washington Post

• Scramble for medical equipment descends into chaos as U.S. states, hospitals compete
• The heartbreaking silence of a city at night, when nightlife has been outlawed
• We should plan for the next phase now — or the coronavirus could come roaring back
• The coronavirus threatens all of humanity. All must fight back.
• Shutting down the city that never sleeps
• Stop hoarding hydroxychloroquine. Many Americans, including me, need it.
• Justice Dept. issues warning to those hoarding masks and drugs that Trump touted
• The quiet genius of a zombie virus, which has seen a growing number of U.S. cases
• The new sick leave law doesn’t help the workers that need it most
• Senate, White House reach deal on $2 trillion stimulus package

The Table of Contents
US Senate leaders reach deal with White House on $2tn coronavirus package
• COVID-19 Deaths and Incredible WHO Estimates
• The language of fear used in media reports about the coronavirus is stoking prejudice
• Report of the National Intelligence Council Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News March 24 ,2020

Mar 24 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 24, 2020: “The public, domestic and foreign, initially were horrified by the media-created horror stories about a purported deadly Chinese plague that was descending on the world and which would kill millions in its progress.
All of this hype, which was initially very effective, was not designed to alert the public to coming dangers but solely to increase public interest in a serious subject and to gather paid readers (or subscribers)
This worked to a degree but the results of the wholly-invented fear campaign were that many American, and foreign, businesses and their employees suffered severe economic losses.
The media obviously does not care about damage to the public but they do care, very seriously, with the loss of paid readers and the resulting loss of advertising income.
This death-plague fiction will eventually vanish but the wreckage of the economic and social structures severely damaged by it will take a long time to recover.
A solution? If you subscribe to media that publishes scare propaganda, unsubscribe at once.”

Agitation From Reuters

• The United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organization said
• Britain goes into lockdown
• The Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed.
• Hopes high massive coronavirus bill will pass
• Italy cases “10 times higher than reported”
• Comcast shuts theme parks, delays film distribution due to COVID-19
• UK banks scramble to protect customers from wave of coronavirus scams
• India, Nepal lock down to stave off coronavirus
• NATO troops in Afghanistan infected
• Coronavirus sinks U.S. business activity to record low: IHS Markit

Agitation From The Guardian

• US, UK, eurozone and Japan head for deep recession as economic activity slumps
• UK PMI survey shows economy is slumpingEurozone PMIs bleak…. as in Japan
• Older people would rather die than let Covid-19 harm US economy – Texas official
• Wartime’ coronavirus powers could hurt our democracy – without keeping us safe
• During a war, the liberal democratic order is temporary suspended
• This is life or death’: homeless families reclaim vacant homes to survive virus outbreak
• Spain death toll jumps overnight
• Indonesia reports biggest daily increase in cases
• South Africa cases rise to 554 as nation prepares for 21-day lockdown

Agitation From the New York Times

• How a Soirée in Connecticut Became a ‘Super Spreader’
• Virus Brings States to a Standstill
• Fourteen Days. That’s the Most Time We Have to Defeat Coronavirus.
• Here Come the Death Panels
• Dip in Italy’s Cases Does Not Come Fast Enough for Swamped Hospitals
• New York Braces for Deluge of Cases
• Senator Sees Progress on Reaching Stimulus Deal
• Republicans Add Insult to Illness
• Feeling Powerless About Coronavirus? Join a Mutual-Aid Network
• Officials warned that New York was experiencing a virus “attack rate” five times that elsewhere in the United States

Agitation From the Washington Post

• WHO official warns U.S. could become next virus epicenter
• New evidence emerges of a coronavirus seasonal cycle
• Europe’s Ryanair prepares for a continental shutdown that could last until summer
• ‘Stay on the mainland’: Tensions grow as affluent city dwellers retreat to second homes
• ‘It’s going to get bad’: As outbreak surges, nation faces tough start to a grim week
• Restaurants closed by coronavirus won’t reopen without economic assistance
• NRA to cut salaries, brace for layoffs as coronavirus disrupts fundraising, internal memo states
• The new sick leave law doesn’t help the workers that need it most
• A man thought aquarium cleaner with the same name as the anti-viral drug chloroquine would prevent coronavirus. It killed him.
• For the first time, the United States reported more than 100 virus-related deaths in a single day.

The Table of Contents
• The hidden cost of causing a panic over coronavirus
• Coronavirus Hysteria: The Numbers Don’t Warrant the Media Hype
• Irresponsible journalism is contributing to coronavirus hysteria
• 13 Coronavirus myths busted by science
• Decline of Print Media
• Over 2000 American Newspapers Have Closed in Past 15 Years
• The Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

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TBR News March 23, 2010

Mar 23 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 23, 2020:“ The Coronavirus is a mild flu of relatively short duration. It is highly infectious and spreads rapidly. From a statistical standpoint, this virus is almost at at the bottom of the list of fatal diseases. But it is capable, like all forms of influenza, of killing people with breathing problems, the aged and the very young.
The Internet has a number of analysis of the disease that more than bears out these contentions but the print media has begun a loud campaign designed to frighten the public into reading their failing newspapers.
This campaign is not successful in gaining enormous numbers of new subscribers (on which ad revenue is based) but it has been very successful in terrifying large sections of the population and has, directly, caused the shut-down of a large number of retail stores and restaurants and the firing of their employees.
It is a greedy and failing media that has caused the Coronavirus panic, not the illness itself. For their economic and social disruption, the print media deserves to go bankrupt and its instigtors jailed.”

Agitation From Reuters

• Western supply chains buckle as coronavirus lockdowns spread
• New York begs for federal help over coronavirus as Fed sets up fiscal supports
• Central banks deploy record sums to break financial logjam, but may need more
• UK calls in army and warns people to stay home or face lockdown
• EU urges nations to unblock borders, let freight cross in 15 minutes
• Germany launches 750 billion euro package to fight coronavirus
• A ‘bailout’ for Main Street
• Policy vs pandemic: Virus outpaces consensus
• Senate looks to strike deal on relief package
• Boeing to halt Washington state production temporarily due to coronavirus risks

Agitation From The Guardian

• New York ordered to increase hospital capacity as surgeon general issues warning
• Panic-buying disrupts food distribution
• What happens to people’s lungs if they get Covid-19?
• New York has 5% of Covid-19 cases worldwide as city becomes battlefront
• Can kids catch coronavirus? What we know about Covid-19 and children
• London Covid-19 doctor says soon staff will be forced to choose whose life to save
• UK coronavirus live: 7,500 former medics to rejoin NHS, Hancock says, as death toll rises across the country
• Don’t panic over your 401(k)! It’s time to emotionally distance from the markets
• The UK expects thousands of deaths, and dangerously mixed messages risk making an already grave situation worse
• The Fed is running out of options to stave off a coronavirus depression
• Nothing is working as the US central bank tries to pull the markets out of a slump

Agitation From the New York Times

• The Virus Can Be Stopped, but Only With Harsh Steps, Experts Say
• Pandemic Drives U.S. and China Deeper Into Global Power Struggle
• How to Prevent a Coronavirus Depression
• 1,000 Inmates Will Be Released From N.J. Jails to Curb Virus Risk
• ‘Our Industry Will Fail’: Retail Leaders Ask for Emergency Aid
• Warmer Weather May Slow, but Not Halt Coronavirus
• Exercising During Coronavirus: Can I Jog? Is That Water Fountain Safe?
• Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese-Americans Fear for Their Safety
• The Economic Pain Is Universal. But Relief? Depends on Where You Live.
• ‘Our Industry Will Fail’: Retail Leaders Ask for Emergency Aid

Agitation From the Washington Post

• U.S. surgeon general warns of worsening crisis as more states tell residents to stay home
• Resume talks on stimulus bill
• Demorats say bill doesn’t do enough to help households, health-care workers
• The coronavirus isn’t alive. That’s why it’s so hard to kill.
• U.S. stocks tanking despite unprecedented Fed action to shore up economy
• Number of infected Grand Princess passengers is still a mystery
• Perspective: Will coronavirus intimacy lead to a baby boom? Or a divorce tsunami?
• A doctor’s urgent appeal for more coronavirus tests: ‘We need them today’
• Grief amid the pandemic: Live-streamed funerals, canceled services and mourning left ‘unfinished’
• There have been more than 350,000 confirmed cases of covid-19. The virus has killed more than 15,000.

Agitation From Deutsche Welle

• Coronavirus latest: Italian deaths slow for second day
• Coronavirus: Germany counts costs of economic shutdown
• COVID-19: Recovered patients have partially reduced lung function
• The rising number of victims in the COVID-19 pandemic is shocking Europe, much as the Lisbon earthquake did 265 years ago.
• Pressure mounts on food delivery workers amid COVID-19
• German man licks ticket machine ‘to spread coronavirus’
• Coronavirus: Canada to withdraw athletes from Tokyo 2020, Australia also acts
• Airbus cancels €1.5 billion in dividends over coronavirus
• What are Germany’s new coronavirus social distancing rules?
• Hands off! What can we touch during the coronavirus outbreak?

The Table of contents
• Decline of Print Media
• Over 2000 American Newspapers Have Closed in Past 15 Years
• FBI’s facial recognition program hits ‘full operational capability’
• FBI Facial Recognition System Gives Officers an Investigative Lead
• The Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

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TBR News March 22, 2020

Mar 22 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 22, 2020:“
Commentary for March 22, 2020

I have on my desk, a report from a leading American alphabet agency tasked in the field of domestic counterintelligence. It relates directly to the firestorm of invented coronavirus media hype and its total contravention by official medical records and published reports.
If I pubished this, in toto, believe it, the next day my website would vanish from the view of living men and several gentlemen with black baseball caps would be knocking on my door.
I will attempt to condense the report while keeping all its facts and conclusions completely intact.

The disease was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, Central China, and has since spread globally, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, sputum production and sore throat are less common. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea have also been reported While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, [some progress to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure ) As of 20 March 2020, the rate of deaths per number of diagnosed cases is 4.1%;-

Regular seasonal influenza in the United States 2019-2020
Levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) (Standard influenza) in the United States remain elevated for the 21st consecutive week—the longest season in recent years—but the disease is on the decline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in its weekly update.
Still, the agency says influenza has caused up to 57,300 deaths and sickened up to 41.3 million people, according to new estimates.
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy March 21, 2020

Reported coronavirus death toll in U.S. tops 100
March 17, 2020

Total number of U.S. coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and deaths as of March 19, 2020
March 20, 2020
by John Elflein,
As of March 19, 2020, the number of both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of the COVID-19 disease reported in the United States had reached 10,442, with 150 deaths reported among these cases

Coronavirus originated in China.
Chinese peasants live with hogs in their back yard, chickens in the kitchen and on and on.
A flu based on some animal disease is very common in China.
The current flu, Coronavirus, is a very lightweight flu, very contagious and of short duration.
An FBI report under date of March 20, 2020 states that the Chinese were very angry with Trump for upsetting their economy; issuing bombastic threats one day, being pleasant the next.
They took a common virus, no more deadly than a severe common cold, and used it as an excuse to shut down factories that were supplying America retail business with parts.
This was to send a warning to Trump to back off.
Then the Democrat leadership, frustrated because they could not impeach Trump, took the Chinese virus story and, in conjunction with an anti-Trump media, pushed the idea of a probable world-wide plague coming upon the public and having pointed editorial comments about Trump’s inability to deal with it in America.
Unfortunately for this thesis, Trump handled the issue in such a way as to encourage the public that he, and Congress, were very supportive about public economic problems and were immediately dealing with them in a manner that has convinced the bulk of the American public that both Trump, and a unified Congress, are swiftly, and positively addressing their concerns.
The cooperative media is facing problems in that they have been rapidly losing paid subscribers to free Internet news, and loss of circulation means loss of advertising dollars, the one real support of the print media.
The press, entirely on its own, is now howling like a stuck pig, claiming forthcoming economic and social disorders of the most devasting kind. This is not in support of the initial Democrat attacks on Trump but solely intended to increase readership and paid subscriptions..
Yes, people die of Coronavirus. But last year, 57,000 (!) Americans died of the standard flu and there was no mass hysteria such as the lunacy we see today.
When, and not if, the general public discovers they have been tricked, there will be serious trouble.
Elections are coming up and an enraged voting majority will easily sweep Trump into another term and, to his advantage, boycott a negative American print media that has been anti-Trump since the beginning of his present term.

2 responses so far

TBR News March 21, 2020

Mar 21 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 21, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Commentary for March 21, 2020

More scare propganda from Reuters

• Stay-at-home directives multiply in major U.S. states
• New Jersey’s governor is expected to follow four other states – California, New York, Illinois and Connecticut – demanding that millions of Americans close up shop and stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus infections.
• Senators defend selling shares before coronavirus crash
• Member of Pence’s office tests positive
• Drive-through tests: coming to a store near you
• Coronavirus drives up demand – and pay – for temporary U.S. nurses
• Starbucks closes most U.S., Canada cafes, moves to drive-through
• Singapore reports two deaths from coronavirus, first fatalities in country
• Virus poses new threat for Games
• Italy’s coronavirus deaths surge by 627 in a day, elderly at high risk

and from The Guardian

• Up to 1,000% increase in claims: jobless New Yorkers overwhelm system
• Coronavirus layoffs see 400% increase in logins to website
• Claimants say phone and online contact nearly impossible
• Fears of catastrophe as Greece puts migrant camps into lockdown
• Doctors say coronavirus outbreak could be disastrous amid ‘horrific’ conditions
• America is in crisis. We need universal basic income now
• ‘We were on borrowed time’: coronavirus could strike final blow to local newspapers
• A number of west coast papers have suspended publication as ad revenue from local events and businesses plummets
• Spain death toll passes 1,300 as Singapore reports first two deaths
• New York announces all non-essential workers must stay home

and from the New York Times

• With New State Decrees, 1 in 5 Americans to Be Ordered Home
• U.S. Is Plunged Into Deeper Disruption and Paralysis
• The Coronavirus’s Rampage Through a Nursing Home
• Coronavirus Recession Looms, Its Course ‘Unrecognizable’
• 1,200 Airport Workers in N.Y.C. Area Abruptly Laid Off With No Severance
• How to Avoid Complete Economic Destruction
• What to Watch, Listen to and Cook During Self-Quarantine
• The weekend is upon us. You’re home, and you need a distraction. Let us help.
• You Can Take Care of Yourself in Quarantine, Starting Right Now
• How Coronavirus-Weary Americans Are Seeking Joy

and the Washington Post
• States increase restrictions as U.S. cases surge toward 20,000
• Americans stranded in Honduras are scrambling to find a way back home
• UAE reports first two deaths, both elderly patients
• Los Angeles County tells doctors to limit coronavirus testing
• Economy deteriorating faster than anticipated as 80 million Americans are staying at home
• How coronavirus will radically alter the U.S.
• America needs to be on a war footing
• Prepping for coronavirus is just like prepping for Doomsday
• Laid-off restaurant workers face uncertain futures with looming rent and plenty of worry
• Homeowners are getting federal mortgage relief. Renters aren’t so lucky.

and, finally, from Deutsche Welle

• Coronavirus latest: Germany reports over 20,000 cases
• The coronavirus is the end of the ‘entitled millennial’
• Coronavirus and the homeless: Washington risks ‘people dying in communal shelters’
• German states move closer to near-total lockdowns
• Coronavirus: Germany plans to mobilize military reservists
• Aside from a Coronavirus vaccine, antibodies from recovered patients could provide a short-term “passive immunization.”
• Coronavirus can damage lung function after recovery
• Coronavirus strands refugee children
• Traffic chaos at German-Polish border a threat to local supply chains?
• Toilet paper as a symbol of the coronavirus crisis

Or How about …..

• Thousands of dead pile up in New York subway stations
• All citizens of Denver to be locked in their homes this week
• Food stores close in New Orleans; locals turn to cannibalism
• AMTRAK trains and passengers to be sanitized with nitric acid
• Boy Scout shot by deputy for forcibly stealing sanitary napkins
• Death toll in Madrid to reach 20,000,000 by Sunday
• Breathing forbidden in Mont Royal after 9AM
• Huge Saudi camel die-off caused by plague
• New evolution of coronavirus causes massive incontinence in pets
• In Miami, hundreds of sceaming coronavirus cases thrown into alligator pen at zoo

The Table of Contents
The Loony Tunes News
• One in five Americans under strict stay-home orders to slow coronavirus spread
• ‘Inducing panic’: Media under fire for driving coronavirus hype to epidemic levels
• Toning down the 2019-nCoV media hype—and restoring hope
• It is near; it is at hand. Maybe tomorrow but probably never
• The Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News March 20, 2020

Mar 20 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 120 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Commentary for March 20, 2020
Hysterical myths versus reality
Coronavirus originated in China.
Chinese peasants live with hogs in their back yard, chickens in the kitchen and on and on.
A flu based on some animal disease is very common in China.
The current flu, Coronavirus, is a lightweight flu, very contagious and of short duration.
My informant in the FBI told me that the Chinese were pissed off at Trump for messing with their economy; issuing bombastic threats one day, being pleasant the next.
They took a common virus, no more deadly than the common cold, and used it as an excuse to shut down factories that were supplying America retail business with parts.
This was to send a warning to Trump to back off.
But someone got their hands on the virus and blew it up out of all proportion to reality and has been creating social havoc world-wide.
Yes, people die of Coronavirus. But last year, 55,000 (!) Americans died of the standard flu and there was no mass hysteria such as the lunacy we see today.
Now Coronavirus could mutate very dangerous but to date has not done so.
Either the global media is packed to the Plimsoll line with drooling idiots or there is a general plan to create economic and social havoc in their readers.
Perhaps this is a methodology to increase circulation in a media that is shrinking slowly into economic oblivion.
If so, when the general public discovers they have been tricked, there will be serious trouble.
Elections are coming up and an enraged voting majority has a strong influence with Congress.
Recall, sir, that he who touches pitch shall be defiled.
John Hopkins has published an excellent study of the relatively harmlessness of Coronavirus and Google is beginning to publish more such articles.
A friend who holds a position of importance at Google (in Mountain View, California) has told me, under strict confidence, that his firm has been told to minimize articles that downplay the purported deadliness of the Chinese virus and to bury articles that run counter to the hype thrust.

More scare propganda from Reuters

• California issues ‘stay home’ order as U.S. deaths hit 200
• World’s top debt funds lose billions
• U.S. power industry may ask key employees to live at work if coronavirus worsens
• Come back to fight coronavirus, UK begs 65,000 former nurses and doctors
• Global economy already in recession on coronavirus devastation: Reuters poll
• Coronavirus deaths in Italy overtake China as economic damage mounts
• YouTube to reduce streaming quality in Europe due to coronavirus
• Nissan’s UK factory closed until further notice over coronavirus
• France sends warship to evacuate coronavirus patients from Corsica
• Coronavirus takes brutal toll on small U.S. eateries

and from The Guardian
• Death toll in Spain reaches 1,000 as Germany threatens further curfews
• EU ‘open’ to Brexit delay request from UK – Von Der Leyen
• Mixed day for global stock markets
• UK train services to be reduced
• UK’s key workers allowed to keep children in school
• World’s most vulnerable in ‘third wave’ for Covid-19 support, warn experts
• Fears that lack of coronavirus testing and supplies could mean refugees and those caught in crises are left behind
• Coronavirus credit crunch could make 2008 look like ‘child’s play’
• Southern Italy braces for ‘tsunami’ of coronavirus cases
• ‘We were on borrowed time’: coronavirus could strike final blow to local newspapers
• A number of west coast papers have suspended publication as ad revenue from local events and businesses plummets

and from the New York Times
• Hospitals Struggle to Prepare for Surge of Coronavirus Patients
• As Global Toll Passes 10,000, Medical Workers Brace for Worst
• On both sides of the Atlantic, policymakers sought an effective response to both a public health disaster and a growing economic crisis.
• Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to stay in except for essential trips. Many businesses will be closed.
• Officials in Australia are tracking down thousands of passengers who left a Princess Cruise ship.
• All 40 Million Californians Ordered to Stay In
• New York Has Over 40 Percent of U.S. Coronavirus Cases
• A huge increase in testing capacity in the state and the quickening spread of the virus have yielded sobering news.
• Search for Vaccine Becomes a Global Competition

and the Washington Post
• ‘We’re about to be overwhelmed,’ L.A. Mayor Garcetti says
• New York to close hair salons and tattoo parlors, mandates 75 percent reduction of all nonessential in-person workforces
• More Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the crisis, poll finds
• Death toll in Spain surges by 30 percent in one day
• The coronavirus has thrown us all in the mud
• The week the coronavirus ground the sports world to a halt
• Italian doctor dies of coronavirus after reportedly having to treat patients without gloves
• The danger of a second wave
• Mapping the virus’s spread
• What if I think I’m infected?
• We could all soon be in California’s situation

and, finally, from Deutsche Welle
• Coronavirus latest: Bavaria announces lockdown
• As the global COVID-19 pandemic worsens, businesses across the globe are being forced to dramatically change operations both to stay afloat and to do some wider good for a stricken society.
• Coronavirus and basic rights: What is the German state allowed to do?
• Hands off! What can we touch during the coronavirus outbreak?
• What does the coronavirus do when it infects someone?
• Coronavirus: Germany plans to mobilize military reservists
• Coronavirus compounds problems for German carmakers
• Coronavirus: Fears of domestic violence, child abuse rise
• Coronavirus latest: Italy deaths surge past China
• Will the coronavirus change the way we work from home?

How about …..

• All paper money to be confiscated and burned by DHS
• How locking up your mother-in-law in the closet can save lives
• Millions die in Outer Mongolia
• All US motels to burn bed sheets after guests leave
• Germ laden Tablets to be seized by FBI
• Montenegro death toll at seventeen, European health authorities horrified
• All infected witches to be burnt at stake in England
• Bat urine coronavirus tester to be produced in Florida
• Sulfuric acid skin tests tried in Austin
• Picture of Jesus cures hundreds of deadly virus victims in Chicago

The Table of Contents
• Coronavirus Death Rate in Wuhan Is Lower than Previously Thought, Study Finds
• The Coronavirus Crisis
• Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)
• Coronavirus Death Rate in Wuhan Is Lower than Previously Thought, Study Finds
• The Coronavirus Crisis Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News March 19, 2020

Mar 19 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 19, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Commentary for March 19, 2020 : The coronavirus frenzy seems to have peaked in the press but there is always the military, ready and eager to Defend America from the Unwashed Ones. Most of the repression talk is theory at this point but there are those, fanatical Christian-types and far righters, who lust after it as a whore lust after respectability or a professional politician after votes. Here are the latest Gloom and Doom headlines and one will note that they are less lunatic than the ones posted yesterday.”

More scare propganda from Reuters
• ‘There are no funerals:’ Death in quarantine leaves nowhere to grieve
• Coronavirus upends livelihoods across Europe
• U.S. life insurers impose waiting periods to skirt coronavirus risk
• For U.S. small restaurants, coronavirus impact is swift and brutal
• Mexican migrant shelters brace for coronavirus
• From a trickle to a steady flow: Coronavirus caseload tests U.S. military
• Coronavirus conspiracies go viral on Whatsapp as crisis deepens
• Airline industry crisis deepens as coronavirus pain spreads
• Credit markets flash red as coronavirus hits corporate America
• Dutch confirmed coronavirus cases at 2,460: health authorities

and from The Guardian
• Spain death toll up to 767; EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tests positive
• Italian province struggles to bury its coronavirus dead
• France may refuse entry to Britons if no UK lockdown
• Russia reports first Covid-19 death
• New Zealand closes borders to foreigners from midnight Thursday
• Australia closes borders to non-residents and non-citizens
• Pandemic hits car industry
• Colombia has become the latest country to block the entrance of all non-citizens
• ‘This is a war’Cuomo warns coronavirus could overwhelm New York healthcare
• Suddenly I have no paycheck’: layoffs and cuts for workers rocked by coronaviru

and from the New York Times
• As Pandemic Spreads Swiftly, China Reports Zero New Local Infections
• White House Seeks $500 Billion in Checks for Taxpayers
• Britain, bracing for a surge, put 20,000 troops on standby. Follow our updates.
• More Turmoil on Wall Street as Jobless Claims Surge: Updates
• Stocks fell even as global governments took steps to offset the sharp decline gripping their economies.
• The coronavirus will overwhelm New York’s health care system, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
• Need a Coronavirus Test? Money and Fame May Help
• Limited testing has left many Americans without answers, yet the list of celebrity patients grows.
• Virus Ravages 7 Family Members, Killing 3
• A Promising Treatment for Coronavirus Fails

and the Washington Post
• As U.S. layoffs skyrocket, unemployment safety net is underprepared
• Billions in bailouts, checks for every American … but will that be enough?
• Will coronavirus kill off movie theaters?
• What to consider before canceling a flight because of coronavirus
• ‘If I get corona, I get corona’: Miami spring breakers say covid-19 hasn’t stopped them from partying
• This is everywhere you should be sanitizing in your hotel
• While coronavirus ravages Iran, U.S. sanctions squeeze it
• Hospital workers battling coronavirus turn to bandannas, sports goggles and homemade face shields amid shortages
• More lifesaving ventilators are available. Hospitals can’t afford them.
• Americans must relearn to sacrifice in the time of coronavirus

and, finally, from Deutsche Welle

• Coronavirus latest: Spanish deaths surge
• Merkel: Coronavirus is Germany’s greatest challenge since World War Two
• Coronavirus and basic rights: What is the German state allowed to do?
• Hands off! What can we touch during the coronavirus outbreak?
• What does the coronavirus do when it infects someone?
• Is Pakistan taking COVID-19 too lightly?
• Blood in the time of corona: Why donations are needed more than ever
• Coronavirus travel chaos as Latin America barricades itself
• Coronavirus latest: Spanish COVID-19 deaths surge
• Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said Italy’s lockdown must be extended

How about …..

• As scientists have proven shoes carry coronavirus, Americans must go barefoot in public
• Army to shoot coronavirus protestors making public displays of anger
• A shocking case in Maine where hit-run victim falsely said to have died of coronavirus
• Hospitals in Texas throwing new coronavirus patients into heating furnace to protect others
• Giant bats seen in California park might carry deadly virus
• Iowa to brand foreheads of coronavirus patients to warn others to avoid
• Only one passenger to be allowed per bus in Chicago
• All public schools in Florida to be permanently closed and turned into shopping malls
• Florida school students forced to work in lead mines for twelve hour shifts
• Santa Claus will be permanently banned from entering American homes on Monday

The Table of Contents
Exclusive: Inside The Military’s Top Secret Plans If Coronavirus Cripples the Government
• Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown
• Minerva Project

No responses yet

TBR News March 18, 2020

Mar 18 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 18, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Commentary for March 18, 2020 : “Like a flock of sheep,high on speed, the general public are bleating at the top of their lungs while stampeding back and forth in their pens. The brainless media are shrieking horror stories about the relatively harmless Corona virus and an imbecilic mass of the public are in a state of hysteria, wearing useless paper masks, washing their hand ten times an hour, often hiding under couches or locking themelves in a closet with a supply of toilet paper and canned soup. It ought to be obvious that this new flu is not deadly and there is a good body of legitimate reporting on the Internet to support this. In spite of it, the mass of sheep bleats and surges about in their pens, hysterical with useless fear. The media is still thundering away about the global terrors of coronavirus but on Google there are an increasing number of stories about the relatively harmless nature of the virus. For some unexplained reason, none of the main line reporters ever seem to read these stories and we are pubishing a uproarious selection of gloom and doom stories.

More scare propganda from Reuters

• Stunned world grapples with ‘once-in-100-year’ battle
• Hundreds of millions of people worldwide were adjusting to once-in-a-generation measures to battle the coronavirus crisis that is not only killing the old and vulnerable but also threatening prolonged economic misery.Coronavirus can persist in air for hours: study
• Coronavirus spreads across the U.S.
• Russia deploying coronavirus disinformation to sow panic in West, EU document says
• No coronavirus party: U.S. spring break destinations crack down on revelers
• Governments scramble to prop up airlines as virus forces more flight, job cuts
• Global powers unleash trillions of dollars to stem spiraling coronavirus crisis
• Coronavirus forces U.S. lawmakers to overcome divide

and from The Guardian

• Trump closing Canada border for ‘non-essential traffic’
• Spain to close all hotels as tourists advised to leave; worldwide cases pass 200,000
• Belgium goes into lockdown; EU implements strictest travel ban in history; outbreak reaches every US state.
• UK coronavirus live: schools in Scotland and Wales to close from Friday
• More than 250m in lockdown as European measures widen
• UK presses US to ease Iran sanctions amid virus crisis
• Tests, masks, beds: health workers grapple with shortages as coronavirus crisis grows
• Two Canadian provinces declare state of emergency as Covid-19 fears deepen
• Cases in British Columbia almost double in one day, while Ontario premier says it faces ‘danger of major proportions’
• New York shuts down over coronavirus

and from the New York Times

• Layoffs Are Just Starting in the U.S., and the Forecasts Are Bleak
• Coronavirus Is Closing Social Security Offices. Here’s How to Get Benefit Help
• I’m a Doctor in Britain. We’re Heading Into the Abyss.
• How to Protect Older People From the Coronavirus
• Stock Markets Fall as Alarm Persists:
• New Yorkers Brace for Months of Restriction
• Can California Keep 9 Million People at Home?
• Nations Pledge Trillions to Stave Off Economic Catastrophe
• Virus disrupts U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan.
• America’s hospitals are danerous low on ventilators
• Belgium goes on total lockdown, and European officials warn against flouting rules.

and the Washington Post

• Cases top 200,000 worldwide; disruptions may last for months
• California schools are unlikely to reopen this school year
• DIY nasal swabs, drive-throughs, labs in overdrive: Americans are desperate for more virus testing
• Dow drops more than 1,300 points at open
• Experts expect U.S. death toll to rise quickly
• China’s coronavirus propaganda campaign is putting lives at risk
• Spain orders hotels to close
• Germany suspends refugee resettlement programs
• White House plan aims to send $2,000 to many Americans, includes $300 billion for small businesses
• Dow drops more than 1,300 points at open

and, finally, from Deutsche Welle

• Coronavirus latest: Eurovision Song Contest canceled
• European stock markets nosedive at open
• Russia denies EU allegations over coronavirus disinformation campaign
• Price hikes in Africa aggravate coronavirus crisis
• Germany coronavirus threat raised to ‘high’ alert
• Euro 2020 postponed until 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic
• Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism
• What does the coronavirus do when it infects someone?
• Russia denies EU allegations over coronavirus disinformation campaign
• Germany coronavirus threat raised to ‘high’ alert

How about

• Coronavirus might be responsible for fallen arches doctors say
• All funeral homes closed due to coronavirus
• China death toll is now ten
• All breathing forbidden in public: New York mayor’s office
• Coronavirus breaks out in Antarcticia; many penguins threatened
• Congrress to establish position of Roadkill Examiner
• Coronavirus sweeps through Michigan; three dead
• All public lavatories in Miami closed for two months due to virus
• Every American to be issued one free roll of toilet paper because of Congress bill
• Arctic polar bears might be carrier of virus. Forbidden to enter Canada
• WHO said all sexual activity must cease at once. Masturbation forbidden in Michigan

The Table of Contents
Hand off! What can we touch during the coronavirus outbreak?
• Coronavirus confusion about safety of ibuprofen
• Experts condemn ‘rumors and misinformation’ about coronavirus
• A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data
• Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus
• The Bunche Report
• Encyclopedia of American Loons Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News March 17, 2020

Mar 17 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. March 17, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Commentary for March 17, 2020 : “The media is still thundering away about the global terrors of coronavirus but on Google there are an increasing number of stories about the relatively harmless nature of the virus. For some unexplained reason, none of the main line reporters ever seem to read these stories and we are pubishing a uproarious selection of gloom and doom stories.

Fantasy stories from: Reuters

• Global powers throw cash at spiraling coronavirus crisis
• The world’s richest nations prepared more costly measures to combat the coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands of people, triggered social restrictions unseen since World War Two and sent economies spinning toward recession.
• Facts versus fiction
• Trump seeks big economic stimulus
• Fear and loathing in America
• How networks are coping
• Amazon warehouses receive only vital supplies in U.S., Europe amid coronavirus Trump administration aims to ensure markets stay open, Mnuchin says
• Coronavirus-stricken airlines call for aid to limit bankruptcies
• France under lockdown as coronavirus crisis worsens
• Adidas joins Nike in announcing store closures over coronavirus
• China retaliates against U.S. restrictions on journalists
• Iran temporarily frees 85,000 from jail including political prisoners
• Wells Fargo implements work-from-home policy amid coronavirus outbreak Trump says U.S. government will provide assistance to Boeing
• Boeing shares plunge 22% to six-year low on S&P downgrade
• Trump administration aims to ensure markets stay open, Mnuchin says
• British-Iranian aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe temporarily released from Iran jail
• Can networks cope with millions working from home? So far, yes
• UK’s Johnson puts government on war footing to fight coronavirus
• Preparing for war’: Africans scramble for groceries
• Italy rushes to promote new doctors to relieve coronavirus crisis
• Canada to give income support during coronavirus outbreak
• Italy reports 345 new coronavirus deaths, lifting total death toll to 2,503
• Voters contend with coronavirus pandemic on key day for Biden’s presidential ambitions
• U.S. tech firms work together to combat virus misinformation
• Spain unveils ‘unprecedented’ 200 billion euros coronavirus package
• Exclusive: Amazon warehouses receive only vital supplies in U.S., Europe amid coronavirus

Fantasy stories from: The Guardian
• Coronavirus US live: taskforce chief says ‘stop going out’ or containment will fail – live updates
• Coronavirus exposes absurdity of vote by mail restrictions
• States delaying primaries may face delegate penalty
• States improvise rules in absence of federal leadership
• ‘We’re scared’: US service workers see livelihoods vanish amid coronavirus
• The global pandemic is dealing a devastating blow to workers who rely on tips and service fees to pay their bills
• When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready?
• Human trials will begin in April – but even if they go well, there are many barriers before global immunisation is feasible
• Three states hold primaries as coronavirus upends 2020 election
• Social distancing is a must – but many are ready to contribute even more

Fantasy stories from: New York Times
• Mayor Warns of Crisis Akin to Great Depression in New York City
• Hundreds of Scientists Scramble to Find a Coronavirus Treatment
• Tracking the Effect of the Coronavirus on Daily Life in the U.S.: Live Updates
• Grieving for My Sick City
• ‘All Around Us Is Chaos’: How One Town in Kentucky Is Coping
• After Days of Anxiety and Confusion, Government Workers Told to Stay Home
• How long will the coronavirus shutdown last?
• A list of canceled events
• Travel restrictions across the globe
• How to Be Alone Together in the Time of Coronavirus

Fantasy stories from: Washington Post
• Rapidly spreading outbreak continues to upend life across world
• What you need to know about coronavirus
• Q&A: What if I think I’m infected? How can I get tested?
• Mapping the spread of the virus
• How to prepare for the virus’s further spread
• Covid-19 hits doctors, nurses and EMTs, threatening health system
• There really was a ‘Typhoid Mary,’ an asymptomatic carrier who infected her employers
• With their business evaporating, restaurants use their kitchens to feed those in need
• Celebrities, athletes and other notables who have said they have coronavirus
• Inside Delta’s command center the week the coronavirus devastated the airline industry
• How to manage screen time for kids as coronavirus closes schools

Fantasy stories from: Deutsche Welle
• Germany coronavirus threat raised to ‘high’ alert
• Coronavirus latest: Europe nears total lockdown
• The Robert Koch Institute has raised the COVID-19 threat level in Germany from “medium” to “high.”
• German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced an “airlift” for thousands of German citizens stranded abroad.
• French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered a nationwide lockdown and closed France’s borders.
• The Euro 2020 football tournament has been postponed until 2021.
• Numerous carmakers have said they will suspend production in Europe.
• Berlin to build 1,000-bed coronavirus hospital
• Coronavirus: Germany initiates emergency plan to fly back stranded tourists
• Is Egypt suppressing the true outbreak figures?
• Coronavirus: The consequences for tourism

How about:
• Italy empties as all flee to Cairo, Illinois
• Diseased elephants roam streets of London, terrifying many
• Coronavirus might last 20 years says Russian scientist
• Two dead in Greece!
• Masks to be mandatory in all US shoe stores
• Dogs and small badgers at risk in Moldava
• Coronovirus roars into Corsica, two die
• Mexico depopulated: Trump cheers!
• Coronavirus spreads to cornbread
• One dead in Alviso, California; town flees in terror
• Coronavirus might last 20 years says Canadian scientists
• Dead goat found in White House swimming pool had coronavirus!

Coronavirus myths explored
March 6, 2020
by Tim Newman › articles › coronavirus-myths-explored

As the coronavirus continues to make the news, a host of untruths has surrounded the topic. In this special feature, we address some of these myths and conspiracies.
A variety of myths have sprung up around the novel coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, has spread from Wuhan, China, to every continent on Earth except Antarctica.
As we write this feature, there have been more than 92,000 confirmed cases and over 3,100 deaths.
As ever, when the word “pandemic” starts appearing in headlines, people become fearful, and with fear come misinformation and rumors.
Here, we will dissect some of the most common myths that are currently circulating on social media and beyond.
1. Spraying chlorine or alcohol on skin kills viruses in the body
Applying alcohol or chlorine to the body can cause harm, especially if it enters the eyes or mouth. Although people can use these chemicals to disinfect surfaces, they should not use them on skin.
These products cannot kill viruses within the body.
2. Only older adults and young people are at risk
SARS-CoV-2, like other coronaviruses, can infect people of any age. However, older adults or individuals with preexisting health conditions, such as diabetes or asthma, are more likely to become severely ill.
3. Children cannot catch COVID-19
All age groups can become infected. Most cases, so far, have been in adults, but children are not immune. In fact, preliminary evidence shows that children are just as likely to become infected, but their symptoms tend to be less severe.
4. COVID-19 is just like the flu
SARS-CoV-2 causes illness that does, indeed, have flu-like symptoms, such as aches, fever, and cough. Similarly, both COVID-19 and flu can be mild, severe, or, in rare cases, fatal. Both can also lead to pneumonia.
Estimates vary, but its mortality rate seems to be between about 1% and 3%.
• CDC estimates that common influenza was associated with more than 35.5 million illnesses in the US, more than 16.5 million medical visits, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season

2 men claim to see Bigfoot in southern Ohio park
February 11, 2020
by Alan Rodges
GUERNSEY COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) – Two men hiking through a southern Ohio park claim to see Bigfoot or a Bigfoot-like creature.
Yes, you just read that right. Sasquatch is in Ohio.
Well, kind of.
Is this an actual Bigfoot sighting or someone in a Bigfoot costume?
Two men took a drone out to Salt Fork State Park. It’s a park located in Guernsey County, Ohio, that is east of Columbus.
While shooting video at the park, the two men claim to see a tall creature covered in hair, walking on two feet and making strange noises.
The production quality of the video is pretty well done, and the men describe their journey through the park.
One of the hiker’s names is Eric. He was the first person to spot the creature.
He did not want his last name to be used.
About four minutes into the video, the men see a tall hairy creature walking around the park, wandering.
Now, it is unclear what they witnessed in the park, but scientists have since discredited the legend of Bigfoot calling it a hoax and folklore.

North America’s ‘Loch Ness Monster’ Spotted Again
March 7, 2006
by Joe Nickell
Dubbed “North America’s Loch Ness Monster,” the purported leviathan of Lake Champlain, “Champ,” has just resurfaced. On Feb. 22, 2006, Good Morning America aired exclusive video footage of “something” just below the surface of the water, possibly the lake’s fabled creature.
A pair of Vermont men, Dick Affolter and his 34-year-old stepson, Pete Bodette, had made the digital recordings the previous summer while salmon fishing. ABC consulted two retired FBI forensic image analysts, who concluded that the video appeared authentic, although they could not say what it depicted.
The incident added to a long list of Champ sightings, which have described a chameleonesque creature that is black, gray, brown, moss green, reddish bronze or other colors, and is between 10 and 187 feet long, with multiple humps or coils as well as horns or a mane or glowing eyes or “jaws like an alligator”—or none of those features.
Such sightings may be due to large fish like sturgeon, schools of fish, and other marine creatures. For example, otters, swimming in a line, can mimic a single long, serpentine creature moving in an undulating fashion. Other Champ suspects include wind slicks, boat wakes, driftwood, long-necked birds, and many other possibilities. A contributing factor is “expectant attention,” the tendency of people who, expecting to see something, are misled by anything resembling it.

February 14, 2002
by Christopher Bollyn
American Free Press
Directed-Energy Weapons
A former East German physicist who studied Soviet infrared technology and plasmoids during the 60s and 70s, and who was directly involved in a demonstration of a Soviet laser beam weapon in 1991 for the U.S. Air Force in Weimar (DDR), told AFP that there is evidence that a directed-energy weapon using “deep infrared” radiation was used to bring down the WTC. Although infrared weapon technology is not widely discussed in the West, the Soviet infrared beam weapon is nothing new and was already used during a Soviet dispute with China in 1969 to destroy “a wall” at the Ussuri River, which separates Manchuria from Russia’s Far East, according to the physicist.
The physicist told AFP, “From my experience as a physicist and research scientist with the GRU (Russia’s Central Intelligence Agency)* I have enough experience to judge that the WTC towers have been burning too quickly, too hot, and too completely to have been caused by the kerosene [jet fuel] fires that resulted from the crashes. Furthermore, the demolished buildings nearby [the 47-story Salomon Bros. Bldg.] are an indication that there was a plasmoid cloud involved, which probably affected the buildings nearby.”
A plasmoid cloud is a heated and ionized gas that can be created and projected using far infrared thermal waves. Plasma occurs when a gas is heated so that some electrons have been separated from their atoms or molecules. Ball lightning is considered by experts to be a plasmoid phenomenon.
The physicist told AFP that he believes that a plasmoid may have been projected onto the towers before the planes struck. “The planes may have had a plasmoid in front of them. Just two or three seconds before the planes hit the towers, a plasmoid on the towers would have caused the Faraday cabin effect, like a car being hit by lightning.”


9/11: Debunking The Myths
PM examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most persistent conspiracy theories of September 11.

Published in the March, 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics
FROM THE MOMENT the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, the world has asked one simple and compelling question: How could it happen?
Three and a half years later, not everyone is convinced we know the truth. Go to, type in the search phrase “World Trade Center conspiracy” and you’ll get links to an estimated 628,000 Web sites. More than 3000 books on 9/11 have been published; many of them reject the official consensus that hijackers associated with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda flew passenger planes into U.S. landmarks.
Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into paranoia. Wild conspiracy tales are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in other media. Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories: The Pentagon was struck by a missile; the World Trade Center was razed by demolition-style bombs; Flight 93 was shot down by a mysterious white jet. As outlandish as these claims may sound, they are increasingly accepted abroad and among extremists here in the United States.
To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.
In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense. We learned that a few theories are based on something as innocent as a reporting error on that chaotic day. Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims with irrefutable facts can we understand what really happened on a day that is forever seared into world history.–THE EDITORS

The widely accepted account that hijackers commandeered and crashed the four 9/11 planes is supported by reams of evidence, from cockpit recordings to forensics to the fact that crews and passengers never returned home. Nonetheless, conspiracy theorists seize on a handful of “facts” to argue a very different scenario: The jets that struck New York and Washington, D.C., weren’t commercial planes, they say, but something else, perhaps refueling tankers or guided missiles. And the lack of military intervention? Theorists claim it proves the U.S. government instigated the assault or allowed it to occur in order to advance oil interests or a war agenda.
Where’s The Pod?

CLAIM: Photographs and video footage shot just before United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) show an object underneath the fuselage at the base of the right wing. The film “911 In Plane Site” and the Web site claim that no such object is found on a stock Boeing 767. They speculate that this “military pod” is a missile, a bomb or a piece of equipment on an air-refueling tanker. points to this as evidence that the attacks were an “inside job” sanctioned by “President George Bush, who planned and engineered 9/11.”
FACT: One of the clearest, most widely seen pictures of the doomed jet’s undercarriage was taken by photographer Rob Howard and published in New York magazine and elsewhere. PM sent a digital scan of the original photo to Ronald Greeley, director of the Space Photography Laboratory at Arizona State University. Greeley is an expert at analyzing images to determine the shape and features of geological formations based on shadow and light effects. After studying the high-resolution image and comparing it to photos of a Boeing 767-200ER’s undercarriage, Greeley dismissed the notion that the Howard photo reveals a “pod.” In fact, the photo reveals only the Boeing’s right fairing, a pronounced bulge that contains the landing gear. He concludes that sunlight glinting off the fairing gave it an exaggerated look. “Such a glint causes a blossoming (enlargement) on film,” he writes in an e-mail to PM, “which tends to be amplified in digital versions of images–the pixels are saturated and tend to ‘spill over’ to adjacent pixels.” When asked about pods attached to civilian aircraft, Fred E. Culick, professor of aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, gave a blunter response: “That’s bull. They’re really stretching.”
No Stand-Down Order

CLAIM: No fighter jets were scrambled from any of the 28 Air Force bases within close range of the four hijacked flights. “On 11 September Andrews had two squadrons of fighter jets with the job of protecting the skies over Washington D.C.,” says the Web site “They failed to do their job.” “There is only one explanation for this,” writes Mark R. Elsis of “Our Air Force was ordered to Stand Down on 9/11.”
FACT: On 9/11 there were only 14 fighter jets on alert in the contiguous 48 states. No computer network or alarm automatically alerted the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) of missing planes. “They [civilian Air Traffic Control, or ATC] had to pick up the phone and literally dial us,” says Maj. Douglas Martin, public affairs officer for NORAD. Boston Center, one of 22 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regional ATC facilities, called NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) three times: at 8:37 am EST to inform NEADS that Flight 11 was hijacked; at 9:21 am to inform the agency, mistakenly, that Flight 11 was headed for Washington (the plane had hit the North Tower 35 minutes earlier); and at 9:41 am to (erroneously) identify Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 from Boston as a possible hijacking. The New York ATC called NEADS at 9:03 am to report that United Flight 175 had been hijacked–the same time the plane slammed into the South Tower. Within minutes of that first call from Boston Center, NEADS scrambled two F-15s from Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Mass., and three F-16s from Langley Air National Guard Base in Hampton, Va. None of the fighters got anywhere near the pirated planes.
Why couldn’t ATC find the hijacked flights? When the hijackers turned off the planes’ transponders, which broadcast identifying signals, ATC had to search 4500 identical radar blips crisscrossing some of the country’s busiest air corridors. And NORAD’s sophisticated radar? It ringed the continent, looking outward for threats, not inward. “It was like a doughnut,” Martin says. “There was no coverage in the middle.” Pre-9/11, flights originating in the States were not seen as threats and NORAD wasn’t prepared to track them
Flight 175’s Windows
CLAIM: On Sept. 11, FOX News broadcast a live phone interview with FOX employee Marc Birnbach. states that “Bernback” saw the plane “crash into the South Tower.” “It definitely did not look like a commercial plane,” Birnbach said on air. “I didn’t see any windows on the sides.”
Coupled with photographs and videos of Flight 175 that lack the resolution to show windows, Birnbach’s statement has fueled one of the most widely referenced 9/11 conspiracy theories–specifically, that the South Tower was struck by a military cargo plane or a fuel tanker.
FACT: Birnbach, who was a freelance videographer with FOX News at the time, tells PM that he was more than 2 miles southeast of the WTC, in Brooklyn, when he briefly saw a plane fly over. He says that, in fact, he did not see the plane strike the South Tower; he says he only heard the explosion.
While heading a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) probe into the collapse of the towers, W. Gene Corley studied the airplane wreckage. A licensed structural engineer with Construction Technology Laboratories, a consulting firm based in Skokie, Ill., Corley and his team photographed aircraft debris on the roof of WTC 5, including a chunk of fuselage that clearly had passenger windows. “It’s … from the United Airlines plane that hit Tower 2,” Corley states flatly. In reviewing crash footage taken by an ABC news crew, Corley was able to track the trajectory of the fragments he studied–including a section of the landing gear and part of an engine–as they tore through the South Tower, exited from the building’s north side and fell from the sky
Intercepts Not Routine
CLAIM: “It has been standard operating procedures for decades to immediately intercept off-course planes that do not respond to communications from air traffic controllers,” says the Web site “When the Air Force ‘scrambles’ a fighter plane to intercept, they usually reach the plane in question in minutes.”
FACT: In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart’s Learjet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed. Even so, it took an F-16 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the stricken jet. Rules in effect back then, and on 9/11, prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts. Prior to 9/11, all other NORAD interceptions were limited to offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). “Until 9/11 there was no domestic ADIZ,” FAA spokesman Bill Schumann tells PM. After 9/11, NORAD and the FAA increased cooperation, setting up hotlines between ATCs and NORAD command centers, according to officials from both agencies. NORAD has also increased its fighter coverage and has installed radar to monitor airspace over the continent.
The collapse of both World Trade Center towers–and the smaller WTC 7 a few hours later–initially surprised even some experts. But subsequent studies have shown that the WTC’s structural integrity was destroyed by intense fire as well as the severe damage inflicted by the planes. That explanation hasn’t swayed conspiracy theorists, who contend that all three buildings were wired with explosives in advance and razed in a series of controlled demolitions.
Widespread Damage
CLAIM: The first hijacked plane crashed through the 94th to the 98th floors of the World Trade Center’s 110-story North Tower; the second jet slammed into the 78th to the 84th floors of the 110-story South Tower. The impact and ensuing fires disrupted elevator service in both buildings. Plus, the lobbies of both buildings were visibly damaged before the towers collapsed. “There is NO WAY the impact of the jet caused such widespread damage 80 stories below,” claims a posting on the San Diego Independent Media Center Web site ( “It is OBVIOUS and irrefutable that OTHER EXPLOSIVES (… such as concussion bombs) HAD ALREADY BEEN DETONATED in the lower levels of tower one at the same time as the plane crash.”
FACT: Following up on a May 2002 preliminary report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a major study will be released in spring 2005 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST shared its initial findings with PM and made its lead researcher available to our team of reporters.
The NIST investigation revealed that plane debris sliced through the utility shafts at the North Tower’s core, creating a conduit for burning jet fuel–and fiery destruction throughout the building. “It’s very hard to document where the fuel went,” says Forman Williams, a NIST adviser and a combustion expert, “but if it’s atomized and combustible and gets to an ignition source, it’ll go off.”
Burning fuel traveling down the elevator shafts would have disrupted the elevator systems and caused extensive damage to the lobbies. NIST heard first-person testimony that “some elevators slammed right down” to the ground floor. “The doors cracked open on the lobby floor and flames came out and people died,” says James Quintiere, an engineering professor at the University of Maryland and a NIST adviser. A similar observation was made in the French documentary “9/11,” by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. As Jules Naudet entered the North Tower lobby, minutes after the first aircraft struck, he saw victims on fire, a scene he found too horrific to film
“Melted” Steel
CLAIM: “We have been lied to,” announces the Web site “The first lie was that the load of fuel from the aircraft was the cause of structural failure. No kerosene fire can burn hot enough to melt steel.” The posting is entitled “Proof Of Controlled Demolition At The WTC.”
FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength–and that required exposure to much less heat. “I have never seen melted steel in a building fire,” says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. “But I’ve seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks.”
“Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F,” notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. “And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent.” NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.
But jet fuel wasn’t the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.
“The jet fuel was the ignition source,” Williams tells PM. “It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down.”
Puffs Of Dust
CLAIM: As each tower collapsed, clearly visible puffs of dust and debris were ejected from the sides of the buildings. An advertisement in The New York Times for the book Painful Questions: An Analysis Of The September 11th Attack made this claim: “The concrete clouds shooting out of the buildings are not possible from a mere collapse. They do occur from explosions.” Numerous conspiracy theorists cite Van Romero, an explosives expert and vice president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, who was quoted on 9/11 by the Albuquerque Journal as saying “there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.” The article continues, “Romero said the collapse of the structures resembled those of controlled implosions used to demolish old structures.”
FACT: Once each tower began to collapse, the weight of all the floors above the collapsed zone bore down with pulverizing force on the highest intact floor. Unable to absorb the massive energy, that floor would fail, transmitting the forces to the floor below, allowing the collapse to progress downward through the building in a chain reaction. Engineers call the process “pancaking,” and it does not require an explosion to begin, according to David Biggs, a structural engineer at Ryan-Biggs Associates and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) team that worked on the FEMA report
Like all office buildings, the WTC towers contained a huge volume of air. As they pancaked, all that air–along with the concrete and other debris pulverized by the force of the collapse–was ejected with enormous energy. “When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it’s going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window,” NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder tells PM. Those clouds of dust may create the impression of a controlled demolition, Sunder adds, “but it is the floor pancaking that leads to that perception.”
Demolition expert Romero regrets that his comments to the Albuquerque Journal became fodder for conspiracy theorists. “I was misquoted in saying that I thought it was explosives that brought down the building,” he tells PM. “I only said that that’s what it looked like.”
Romero, who agrees with the scientific conclusion that fire triggered the collapses, demanded a retraction from the Journal. It was printed Sept. 22, 2001. “I felt like my scientific reputation was on the line.” But saw something else: “The paymaster of Romero’s research institute is the Pentagon. Directly or indirectly, pressure was brought to bear, forcing Romero to retract his original statement.” Romero responds: “Conspiracy theorists came out saying that the government got to me. That is the farthest thing from the truth. This has been an albatross around my neck for three years.”
Seismic Spikes
CLAIM: Seismographs at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., 21 miles north of the WTC, recorded the events of 9/11. “The strongest jolts were all registered at the beginning of the collapses, well before falling debris struck the earth,” reports the Web site
A columnist on, a Web site run by radio talk show host Alex Jones, claims the seismic spikes are “indisputable proof that massive explosions brought down” the towers. The Web site says its findings are supported by two seismologists at the observatory, Won-Young Kim and Arthur Lerner-Lam. Each “sharp spike of short duration,” says Prison, was consistent with a “demolition-style implosion.”
FACT: “There is no scientific basis for the conclusion that explosions brought down the towers,” Lerner-Lam tells PM. “That representation of our work is categorically incorrect and not in context.”
The report issued by Lamont-Doherty includes various graphs showing the seismic readings produced by the planes crashing into the two towers as well as the later collapse of both buildings. chooses to display only one graph which shows the readings over a 30-minute time span.
On that graph, the 8- and 10-second collapses appear–misleadingly–as a pair of sudden spikes. Lamont-Doherty’s 40-second plot of the same data gives a much more detailed picture: The seismic waves–blue for the South Tower, red for the North Tower–start small and then escalate as the buildings rumble to the ground. Translation: no bombs.
WTC 7 Collapse
CLAIM: Seven hours after the two towers fell, the 47-story WTC 7 collapsed. According to “The video clearly shows that it was not a collapse subsequent to a fire, but rather a controlled demolition: amongst the Internet investigators, the jury is in on this one.”
FACT: Many conspiracy theorists point to FEMA’s preliminary report, which said there was relatively light damage to WTC 7 prior to its collapse. With the benefit of more time and resources, NIST researchers now support the working hypothesis that WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated. “The most important thing we found was that there was, in fact, physical damage to the south face of building 7,” NIST’s Sunder tells PM. “On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom–approximately 10 stories–about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out.” NIST also discovered previously undocumented damage to WTC 7’s upper stories and its southwest corner.
NIST investigators believe a combination of intense fire and severe structural damage contributed to the collapse, though assigning the exact proportion requires more research. But NIST’s analysis suggests the fall of WTC 7 was an example of “progressive collapse,” a process in which the failure of parts of a structure ultimately creates strains that cause the entire building to come down. Videos of the fall of WTC 7 show cracks, or “kinks,” in the building’s facade just before the two penthouses disappeared into the structure, one after the other. The entire building fell in on itself, with the slumping east side of the structure pulling down the west side in a diagonal collapse.
According to NIST, there was one primary reason for the building’s failure: In an unusual design, the columns near the visible kinks were carrying exceptionally large loads, roughly 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor. “What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors,” Sunder notes, “it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down.”
There are two other possible contributing factors still under investigation: First, trusses on the fifth and seventh floors were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another. With columns on the south face apparently damaged, high stresses would likely have been communicated to columns on the building’s other faces, thereby exceeding their load-bearing capacities.
Second, a fifth-floor fire burned for up to 7 hours. “There was no firefighting in WTC 7,” Sunder says. Investigators believe the fire was fed by tanks of diesel fuel that many tenants used to run emergency generators. Most tanks throughout the building were fairly small, but a generator on the fifth floor was connected to a large tank in the basement via a pressurized line. Says Sunder: “Our current working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time.”
WTC 7 might have withstood the physical damage it received, or the fire that burned for hours, but those combined factors–along with the building’s unusual construction–were enough to set off the chain-reaction collapse.
At 9:37 am on 9/11, 51 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was similarly attacked. Though dozens of witnesses saw a Boeing 757 hit the building, conspiracy advocates insist there is evidence that a missile or a different type of plane smashed into the Pentagon
Big Plane, Small Holes
CLAIM: Two holes were visible in the Pentagon immediately after the attack: a 75-ft.-wide entry hole in the building’s exterior wall, and a 16-ft.-wide hole in Ring C, the Pentagon’s middle ring. Conspiracy theorists claim both holes are far too small to have been made by a Boeing 757. “How does a plane 125 ft. wide and 155 ft. long fit into a hole which is only 16 ft. across?” asks, a Web site “dedicated to discovering the bottom line truth to what really occurred on September 11, 2001.”
The truth is of even less importance to French author Thierry Meyssan, whose baseless assertions are fodder for even mainstream European and Middle Eastern media. In his book The Big Lie, Meyssan concludes that the Pentagon was struck by a satellite-guided missile–part of an elaborate U.S. military coup. “This attack,” he writes, “could only be committed by United States military personnel against other U.S. military personnel.”
FACT: When American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon’s exterior wall, Ring E, it created a hole approximately 75 ft. wide, according to the ASCE Pentagon Building Performance Report. The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minutes after impact, but ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the number of first-floor support columns that were destroyed or damaged. Computer simulations confirmed the findings.
Why wasn’t the hole as wide as a 757’s 124-ft.-10-in. wingspan? A crashing jet doesn’t punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University. In this case, one wing hit the ground; the other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon’s load-bearing columns, explains Sozen, who specializes in the behavior of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass. “If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building,” Sozen tells PM, “it didn’t happen.”
The tidy hole in Ring C was 12 ft. wide–not 16 ft. ASCE concludes it was made by the jet’s landing gear, not by the fuselage
Intact Windows
CLAIM: Many Pentagon windows remained in one piece–even those just above the point of impact from the Boeing 757 passenger plane., an online animation widely circulated in the United States and Europe, claims that photographs showing “intact windows” directly above the crash site prove “a missile” or “a craft much smaller than a 757” struck the Pentagon.
FACT: Some windows near the impact area did indeed survive the crash. But that’s what the windows were supposed to do–they’re blast-resistant.
“A blast-resistant window must be designed to resist a force significantly higher than a hurricane that’s hitting instantaneously,” says Ken Hays, executive vice president of Masonry Arts, the Bessemer, Ala., company that designed, manufactured and installed the Pentagon windows. Some were knocked out of the walls by the crash and the outer ring’s later collapse. “They were not designed to receive wracking seismic force,” Hays notes. “They were designed to take in inward pressure from a blast event, which apparently they did: [Before the collapse] the blinds were still stacked neatly behind the window glass.”

Flight 77 Debris
CLAIM: Conspiracy theorists insist there was no plane wreckage at the Pentagon. “In reality, a Boeing 757 was never found,” claims, which asks the question, “What hit the Pentagon on 9/11?”
FACT: Blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer was the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the crash and helped coordinate the emergency response. “It was absolutely a plane, and I’ll tell you why,” says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. “I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box.” Kilsheimer’s eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: “I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?”

Cockpit recordings indicate the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 teamed up to attack their hijackers, forcing down the plane near Shanksville, in southwestern Pennsylvania. But conspiracy theorists assert Flight 93 was destroyed by a heat-seeking missile from an F-16 or a mysterious white plane. Some theorists add far-fetched elaborations: No terrorists were aboard, or the passengers were drugged. The wildest is the “bumble planes” theory, which holds that passengers from Flights 11, 175 and 77 were loaded onto Flight 93 so the U.S. government could kill them.
The White Jet
CLAIM: At least six eyewitnesses say they saw a small white jet flying low over the crash area almost immediately after Flight 93 went down. theorizes that the aircraft was downed by “either a missile fired from an Air Force jet, or via an electronic assault made by a U.S. Customs airplane reported to have been seen near the site minutes after Flight 93 crashed.” weighs in: “Witnesses to this low-flying jet … told their story to journalists. Shortly thereafter, the FBI began to attack the witnesses with perhaps the most inane disinformation ever–alleging the witnesses actually observed a private jet at 34,000 ft. The FBI says the jet was asked to come down to 5000 ft. and try to find the crash site. This would require about 20 minutes to descend.”
FACT: There was such a jet in the vicinity–a Dassault Falcon 20 business jet owned by the VF Corp. of Greensboro, N.C., an apparel company that markets Wrangler jeans and other brands. The VF plane was flying into Johnstown-Cambria airport, 20 miles north of Shanksville. According to David Newell, VF’s director of aviation and travel, the FAA’s Cleveland Center contacted copilot Yates Gladwell when the Falcon was at an altitude “in the neighborhood of 3000 to 4000 ft.”–not 34,000 ft. “They were in a descent already going into Johnstown,” Newell adds. “The FAA asked them to investigate and they did. They got down within 1500 ft. of the ground when they circled. They saw a hole in the ground with smoke coming out of it. They pinpointed the location and then continued on.” Reached by PM, Gladwell confirmed this account but, concerned about ongoing harassment by conspiracy theorists, asked not to be quoted directly.
Roving Engine
CLAIM: One of Flight 93’s engines was found “at a considerable distance from the crash site,” according to Lyle Szupinka, a state police officer on the scene who was quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Offering no evidence, a posting on claimed: “The main body of the engine … was found miles away from the main wreckage site with damage comparable to that which a heat-seeking missile would do to an airliner.”
FACT: Experts on the scene tell PM that a fan from one of the engines was recovered in a catchment basin, downhill from the crash site. Jeff Reinbold, the National Park Service representative responsible for the Flight 93 National Memorial, confirms the direction and distance from the crash site to the basin: just over 300 yards south, which means the fan landed in the direction the jet was traveling. “It’s not unusual for an engine to move or tumble across the ground,” says Michael K. Hynes, an airline accident expert who investigated the crash of TWA Flight 800 out of New York City in 1996. “When you have very high velocities, 500 mph or more,” Hynes says, “you are talking about 700 to 800 ft. per second. For something to hit the ground with that kind of energy, it would only take a few seconds to bounce up and travel 300 yards.” Numerous crash analysts contacted by PM concur.
Indian Lake
CLAIM: “Residents and workers at businesses outside Shanksville, Somerset County, reported discovering clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains,” states a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article dated Sept. 13, 2001. “Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake, nearly 6 miles from the immediate crash scene.” Commenting on reports that Indian Lake residents collected debris, Think speculates: “On Sept. 10, 2001, a strong cold front pushed through the area, and behind it–winds blew northerly. Since Flight 93 crashed west-southwest of Indian Lake, it was impossible for debris to fly perpendicular to wind direction. … The FBI lied.” And the significance of widespread debris? Theorists claim the plane was breaking up before it crashed. states bluntly: “Without a doubt, Flight 93 was shot down.”
FACT: Wallace Miller, Somerset County coroner, tells PM no body parts were found in Indian Lake. Human remains were confined to a 70-acre area directly surrounding the crash site. Paper and tiny scraps of sheetmetal, however, did land in the lake. “Very light debris will fly into the air, because of the concussion,” says former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Matthew McCormick. Indian Lake is less than 1.5 miles southeast of the impact crater–not 6 miles–easily within range of debris blasted skyward by the heat of the explosion from the crash. And the wind that day was northwesterly, at 9 to 12 mph, which means it was blowing from the northwest–toward Indian Lake

F-16 Pilot
CLAIM: In February 2004, retired Army Col. Donn de Grand-Pre said on “The Alex Jones Show,” a radio talk show broadcast on 42 stations: “It [Flight 93] was taken out by the North Dakota Air Guard. I know the pilot who fired those two missiles to take down 93.”, citing de Grand-Pre, identifies the pilot: “Major Rick Gibney fired two Sidewinder missiles at the aircraft and destroyed it in midflight at precisely 0958.”
FACT: Saying he was reluctant to fuel debate by responding to unsubstantiated charges, Gibney (a lieutenant colonel, not a major) declined to comment. According to Air National Guard spokesman Master Sgt. David Somdahl, Gibney flew an F-16 that morning–but nowhere near Shanksville. He took off from Fargo, N.D., and flew to Bozeman, Mont., to pick up Ed Jacoby Jr., the director of the New York State Emergency Management Office. Gibney then flew Jacoby from Montana to Albany, N.Y., so Jacoby could coordinate 17,000 rescue workers engaged in the state’s response to 9/11. Jacoby confirms the day’s events. “I was in Big Sky for an emergency managers meeting. Someone called to say an F-16 was landing in Bozeman. From there we flew to Albany.” Jacoby is outraged by the claim that Gibney shot down Flight 93. “I summarily dismiss that because Lt. Col. Gibney was with me at that time. It disgusts me to see this because the public is being misled. More than anything else it disgusts me because it brings up fears. It brings up hopes–it brings up all sorts of feelings, not only to the victims’ families but to all the individuals throughout the country, and the world for that matter. I get angry at the misinformation out there.”

PM consulted more than 300 experts and organizations in its investigation into 9/11 conspiracy theories. The following were particularly helpful.

REPORTING: Benjamin Chertoff, Davin Coburn, Michael Connery, David Enders, Kevin Haynes, Kristin Roth, Tracy Saelinger, Erik Sofge and the editors of POPULAR MECHANICS.
Air Crash Analysis
Cleveland Center regional air traffic control
Bill Crowley special agent, FBI
Ron Dokell president, Demolition Consultants
Richard Gazarik staff writer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Yates Gladwell pilot, VF Corp.
Michael K. Hynes, Ed.D.,
ATP, CFI, A&P/IA president, Hynes Aviation Services; expert, aviation crashes
Ed Jacoby Jr. director,
New York State Emergency Management Office (Ret.); chairman, New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission (Ret.)
Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority
Cindi Lash staff writer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Matthew McCormick manager, survival factors division, National Transportation Safety Board (Ret.)
Wallace Miller coroner, Somerset County, PA
Robert Nagan meteorological technician, Climate Services Branch, National Climatic Data Center
Dave Newell director, aviation and travel, VF Corp.
James O’Toole politics editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania State Police Public Information Office
Jeff Pillets senior writer,
The Record, Hackensack, NJ
Jeff Rienbold director, Flight 93 National Memorial, National Park Service
Dennis Roddy staff writer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Master Sgt. David Somdahl public affairs officer,
119th Wing, North Dakota
Air National Guard
Mark Stahl photographer; eyewitness, United Airlines Flight 93 crash scene
Air Defense
Lt. Col. Skip Aldous (Ret.) squadron commander,
U.S. Air Force
Tech. Sgt. Laura Bosco public affairs officer,
Tyndall Air Force Base
Boston Center regional air traffic control
Laura Brown spokeswoman,
Federal Aviation Administration
Todd Curtis, Ph.D. founder,; president, Foundation
Keith Halloway public affairs officer, National Transportation Safety Board
Ted Lopatkiewicz director, public affairs, National Transportation Safety Board
Maj. Douglas Martin public affairs officer,
North American Aerospace Defense Command
Lt. Herbert McConnell public affairs officer,
Andrews AFB
Michael Perini public affairs officer, North American Aerospace Defense Command
John Pike director,
Hank Price spokesman, Federal
Aviation Administration
Warren Robak RAND Corp.
Bill Shumann spokesman,
Federal Aviation Administration
Louis Walsh public affairs officer, Eglin AFB
Chris Yates aviation security editor, analyst, Jane’s Transport
Fred E.C. Culick, Ph.D., S.B., S.M. professor of aeronautics, California Institute of Technology
Robert Everdeen public affairs, Northrop Grumman
Clint Oster professor of public and environmental affairs, Indiana University; aviation safety expert
Capt. Bill Scott (Ret. USAF) Rocky Mountain bureau chief, Aviation Week Bill Uher News Media Office, NASA Langley Research Center
Col. Ed Walby (Ret. USAF)
director, business development, HALE Systems Enterprise, Unmanned Systems, Northrop Grumman
Image Analysis
William F. Baker member, FEMA Probe Team; partner, Skidmore, Owings, Merrill
W. Gene Corley, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. senior vice president, CTL Group; director,
FEMA Probe Team
Bill Daly senior vice president, Control Risks Group
Steve Douglass image analysis consultant, Aviation Week
Thomas R. Edwards, Ph.D. founder, TREC; video forensics expert.
Ronald Greeley, Ph.D. professor of geology, Arizona State University
Rob Howard freelance photographer; WTC eyewitness
Robert L. Parker, Ph.D. professor of geophysics,
University of California, San Diego
Structural Engineering / Building Collapse
Farid Alfawakhiri, Ph.D. senior engineer, American Institute of Steel Construction
David Biggs, P.E. structural engineer, Ryan-Biggs Associates; member, ASCE team for FEMA report
Robert Clarke structural engineer, Controlled Demolitions Group Ltd.
Glenn Corbett technical editor, Fire Engineering; member, NIST advisory committee
Vincent Dunn deputy fire chief (Ret.), FDNY; author, The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety
John Fisher, Ph.D. professor of civil engineering, Lehigh University; professor emeritus, Center for Advanced Technology; member, FEMA Probe Team
Ken Hays executive vice president, Masonry Arts
Christoph Hoffmann, Ph.D. professor of computer science, Purdue University; project director, September 11 Pentagon Attack Simulations Using LS-Dyna, Purdue University
Allyn E. Kilsheimer, P.E.
CEO, KCE Structural Engineers PC; chief structural engineer, Phoenix project; expert in blast recovery, concrete structures, emergency response
Won-Young Kim, Ph.D. seismologist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
William Koplitz photo desk manager, FEMA
John Labriola freelance photographer, WTC survivor
Arthur Lerner-Lam, Ph.D. seismologist; director,
Earth Institute, Center for Hazards and Risk Research, Columbia University
James Quintiere, Ph.D. professor of engineering, University of Maryland member, NIST advisory committee
Steve Riskus freelance photographer; eyewitness, Pentagon crash
Van Romero, Ph.D. vice president, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Christine Shaffer spokesperson, Viracon
Mete Sozen, Ph.D., S.E. Kettelhut Distinguished Professor of Structural Engineering, Purdue University; member, Pentagon Building Performance Report; project conception, September 11 Pentagon Attack Simulations Using LS-Dyna, Purdue University
Shyam Sunder, Sc.D.
acting deputy director, lead investigator, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Mary Tobin science writer, media relations, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Forman Williams, Ph.D. professor of engineering, physics, combustion, University of California,
San Diego; member, advisory committee, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Faked Conspiracy Photos
by Robert D. Fiete, ITT Industries
Like it or not, fake images are everywhere and have become a part of today’s culture. Thanks to the popularity of digital cameras and the availability of desktop imaging software that allows users to easily manipulate images, fake images have become commonplace, especially on the Internet. We see many images that defy common sense and it is natural for us to question the authenticity of these images. Most of have seen images that are obvious fakes, such as the 80-foot grasshopper climbing the Empire State Building, but we naturally assume that these images are fake and know that they were created simply for our amusement. Unfortunately there are too many times when a fake image has been created but it is advertised as real, challenging us to decide for ourselves whether the image is real of fake.
A fake image can be defined as an image of an object or scene that wasn’t captured as the image would imply. In general, fake images are created to generate a deception, but not all fake images are bad. The motivation may be simply for harmless entertainment, which accounts for most fake images generated today. Fake images can be generated for research and development purposes, e.g. to understand image quality issues with different camera designs. The fake images that concern us most are those that are created to perpetuate a lie. Some people will generate fake images for profit, such as a picture of an alien, a ghost, or an alien ghost of Elvis that they can then sell to a tabloid. Probably the most dangerous motive for generating fake images is to alter the public’s perception of truth for political reasons. It would be nice a reliable method existed for determining if an image is real or fake, but unfortunately none exists. We can hope to catch most of the fake images, however, if we understand how fake image are made and what characteristics to look for.
Creating Fake Images
Although generating fake images historically originated with darkroom tricks, today almost every fake image is made using a computer. Even though it is getting more difficult to discern a real image from a fake image as image processing software improves, image analysis can still be used to detect traits that can expose many of them as fakes. To understand how fake images can be detected we must first understand how they can be made on computers. The two most common methods today for generating fake images are to “paint” a new image outright or to alter an existing image that has been captured by a camera.
A digital image is essentially a grid of numbers, where each number represents the brightness of each picture element, or pixel, in the image (An 8-bit image can have 28=256 gray-level values, with a value of 0 representing black and a value of 255 representing white. A color image is made by combining a red image, a green image, and a blue image. Adding together different gray-level values from the red, green, and blue image produces the various color values.
Since a digital image is simply a grid of numbers, it is conceivable for an artist to create a computer-generated image by “painting” a grid of numbers to represent any object or scene that could be captured with a digital camera. For a 24-bit color image composed of an 8-bit red, green, and blue image, there are almost 17 million possible colors for each pixel. A 4″x6″ image at 300 dpi (dots per inch) will have over 2 million pixels, thus there are over 36 thousand billion numbers that can be considered to make the color digital image. Realistically all of the possible numbers do not need to be considered by the artist, but serious thought does need to be put into the values that will be used, especially when illumination and edges are considered. If the computer generated image is to look like a real photograph, then the image must be consistent with all of the laws of physics applicable to generating a real image.
Many of the classic painters, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, had an amazing talent to incorporate the proper shading, texture, tone, and color into their paintings that were consistent with the real world thus adding an amazing amount of realism to their work. However, their paintings do not look like modern photographs because they do not contain sufficient detail to match all of the physical properties associated with photographic imaging. (Actually, most artists probably would have been quite unhappy if their works of art looked like a modern photograph.)
In order to create a digital image that looks like a real photograph, the correct brightness values must be determined on a pixel-by-pixel basis to match the physical imaging properties, which could take months to years, depending on the image size, without the aid of computer software to perform the calculation. This problem was solved with the development of computer graphics software, designed to generate images of 3D objects with realistic illumination conditions. A rendering operation adds lighting, shading, colors, and texture to a mesh form of the object that is created by the artist. Ray tracing models produce the best quality by projecting many rays of light and modeling all of the physical qualities between the light and the objects in the scene, including reflection, refraction, transmission, scattering, absorption, and diffraction. The artist must simulate enough rays of light to cover every pixel in the image, which can be very time consuming if many rays of light are used. We have all seen the impressive results of computer animation in many feature films, creating dinosaurs or aliens that come to life on the screen. However, generating impressive detail in fake images using computer graphics, especially in a movie sequence, is still very difficult due to the complex calculations that need to be performed and the software is not accessible to the average PC user.
The most common method of generating a fake image, due to its simplicity, is to alter an existing image that was captured by a camera. The image can be altered by changing the context of the image, such as claiming that an actual image of a lampshade is actually an image of alien spaceship, or the image can be altered by changing the content of the image, such as superimposing an image of a cow onto an image of the moon
Creating a fake image by altering the context of an image has historically been the preferred method for creating hoaxes because it requires no alterations and the image is an actual image captured by a camera; hence the image, and the film negative if it exists, will pass the scrutiny of scientific tests. A famous example of a faked image by altering the context is the “Surgeon’s Photo” taken in 1934 by Robert Wilson who claimed it was a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster The image fooled many experts until an accomplice confessed in 1994 that the monster was nothing more than a toy submarine with the model of a serpent head attached.
The Cottingley Hoax is another example of fake images created by altering the context In 1917 16-year-old Elsie Wright and her 10-year-old cousin Frances Griffiths took photographs of winged fairies near their home in England. Inspection of the images showed no alterations and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famous for creating the master sleuth Sherlock Holmes, deemed them authentic. Sixty years later the girls admitted that the fairies were paper cutouts held in place with hat pins.
Altering the content of an existing image most likely originated when early photographers were compelled to touch up the photographs of their paying customers to remove wrinkles and blemishes. Many people in the 19th century were accustomed to having flattering portraits painted of them and were not very tolerant at seeing the way they looked to the camera, which could not tell a lie. As dark room processes advanced, adding and removing people from images became a standard trick. When photographers were unable to get an entire family together for a family portrait, they would set up the subjects such that the missing individuals could be added at a later time (see Figure 5). Altering images became routine for many political regimes in the 20th century, especially for propaganda. It was not uncommon for some governments to remove people from historic photographs when these people fell out of favor with the ruling party.
Today, altering the content of an image does not require dark room tricks but merely a PC with image editing software. Desktop software is readily available and easy to use, allowing anyone to quickly and creatively alter images. The easiest approach is to simply cut a section from one image and embed it into another image (see Figure 6). The desktop software allows the creator to modify the extracted image to the appropriate size and rotation. The software on the market today is so easy to use that that pre-school children have little difficulty creating impressive altered images.
Identifying Fake Images
If an image is deemed suspicious, then we can first look for clues by visual inspection and then proceed with scientific inspection if necessary. The first line of defense for detecting a possible fake image is our own perception. We have a keen ability to sense that something is wrong with an image and trusting our common sense works most of the time. If an image looks unbelievable, then it probably is unbelievable and is a fake If an image looks real and similar images are easily obtained, then it probably is real since there would be no motive to warrant the time and effort to create the fake image. Unfortunately life isn’t that simple. There are examples of fake images that we believe are real because they do not draw suspicion (see Figure 8) and there are examples of unbelievable images that are in fact real images. These real but unbelievable images are the ones that fascinate us but also make it harder to discount the images that we suspect are fake. Images that we believe to be real but are in fact fake are bothersome because they unfairly manipulate our sense of truth.
Using computer animation software to create a fake image works well in movies but generally does not fool the public when used to pass off a fake image as real. Our perception is very sensitive to subtle details in the composure and texture of objects in an image, especially when viewing images of people. Most computer-generated scenes, especially those involving people or animals, have a “cartoon look” about them when scrutinized. People generally look like mannequins and subtle details are missing. Images that circulated on the Internet claiming to be actual satellite images of the space shuttle Columbia exploding in space could easily be recognized as the work of computer animation when viewed closely (see Figure 9). The ability to generate realistic computer generated people is improving dramatically over time as software technology and mathematical models progress.
A fake image created by altering the context is the hardest to positively identify as fake since the image is real and will pass scientific tests on the validity of the image itself. Most fake UFO images cannot be immediately discounted as fake because they are indeed real photographs of objects that the viewer cannot properly identify, leaving the image subject to interpretation. The key to identifying a fake image when the context is altered is to identify aspects of the image that are inconsistent with the image description, i.e. catch the perpetrator in a lie. For example, the time and date claimed may be inconsistent with the sun’s position or the known weather conditions for that date.
Photographs published in 1932 reportedly showing scenes from WWI dogfights were amazing due to their sharpness and clarity But the amazing clarity was a clue that the images were probably fake because they appeared too sharp given the relatively long exposures required from cameras at the time and the amount of motion and vibration on the airplane. The images were not proven to be fakes until 1984 when the model airplanes used in the images were discovered.
When the image content has been altered, we focus on the aspect of the image that makes the image unbelievable. Images that have had their content altered will usually have physical inconsistencies in the image that may be apparent under visual inspection. Unfortunately, these inconsistencies are not always apparent in the image and the image may not be proven to be fake until the original unaltered image is discovered
The physical traits of the image that can be assessed include the illumination conditions, edge sharpness, resolution, tone, relative scale, and noise characteristics. Many of the computer animated scenes created for movies and electronic games do not adhere to the laws of physics, but this is usually intentional to save cost and to make the scenes more entertaining.
A common inconsistency found when the image content is altered is the mismatch of radiometric or illumination conditions between the altered part and the rest of the image. The altered part of the image may have shadowing that is not consistent; indicating that is was illuminated under different conditions from rest of the image. This is commonly seen when an object captured at one time of the day is added to an image that was captured at a different time of the day. Also, the light illuminating the altered part may not be consistent with the diffuse or specular light illuminating the rest of the scene. This effect is commonly seen when an object captured with a photographic flash is added to an image that was acquired with outdoor or studio lighting. Color, contrast, and tone will also vary for different illumination conditions, thus creating a mismatch of these characteristics between different images
An image claiming to be a satellite image of the Northeast blackout in 2003 circulated on the Internet shortly after the blackout occurred The image was quickly identified as a fake because the blackout area is pure black compared to the other areas with no light sources. Other clues to this deception include the false satellite name, the unlikely lack of clouds anywhere over North and Central America, and the fact that the blackout was not total over the Northeast. The original image is a composite of many DMSP satellite images acquired between 1994 and 1995
One must be very careful when analyzing the illumination characteristics of the scene. The shadows and illumination conditions can be misleading, especially if the three-dimensional aspects of the scene are not taken into account. The Apollo 11 moon landing images appear to contain “anomalies” that some people use to argue that the moon landing was staged in a studio. These “anomalies” include shadows on the lunar surface that are not parallel and objects that appear illuminated even though they are in the shadows, both suggesting that there were light sources other than the sun, as well as the lack of stars in the black sky, suggesting that a black back-drop was used on a studio set. Of course, all of these so-called anomalies are exactly what we expect to see in the images if we truly understand the imaging conditions on the lunar surface. The shadows are not parallel as seen in the images because the lunar surface is not flat and the objects are not necessarily parallel to one another in height, the shadows are illuminated from the light scattering off of the lunar surface, and the stars do not appear in the images because the camera exposure was set for the brightness of the lunar surface.
Creators of fake images usually ignore the known physical properties of creating an image with a camera. The most significant camera effects are edge sharpness, influenced by the lens diffraction, focus, and motion blur; perspective geometry; and noise properties, usually from the detector and compression. Computer animated images are usually created without any camera effects since this will degrade the image quality and make the images less appealing to the audience. This, however, results in images that are physically impossible to capture with a camera in the real world.
When an object is added or deleted from an image, an edge is usually created that has a sharpness that is inconsistent with the rest of the image. Even an in-focus image will exhibit some blurring due to the diffraction of light from the camera aperture. The behavior of the blurring in the image is well understood and can be mathematically modeled if the camera design is known. Even if the camera design is not known, measurements within the image can produce a relatively accurate mathematical model of the camera that can provide reasonable predictions. Cutting an object from one image and inserting it into another image will create a sharp edge at the boundary of the inserted object that is sharper than physically possible. This sharpness is easily seen and creates an obvious sign that the image has been altered, so smudging tools in image processing software are usually used to reduce the visibility of these edges This smudging, however, will usually produce blurred edges around the object that are inconsistent with the rest of the image.
Most images will exhibit some amount of noise, primarily from the detector or from the image compression that was applied. The noise characteristics of an altered portion of an image can be inconsistent with the rest of the image. Magnifying digital images will generally exhibit graininess due to the detector noise and artifacts from the compression algorithm, depending on the level of compression. When images have been altered, the creator usually blurs the edges or other portions of the image to blend in the object, but this changes the noise characteristics, allowing the alteration to be detected
Finally, an understanding of how image processing alters the image characteristics can lead to signs of alteration. For example, when the image contrast is enhanced, the resulting gray-level histogram of the image will usually display “holes” or gray-level values that contain are no longer present in the image. An object from one image that is inserted into a second image may exhibit a different histogram that will indicate that it was not originally part of the second image. However, if an image has been enhanced using an adaptive processing algorithm, then the image characteristics, such as the gray-level histogram or the edge sharpness, can change locally even though no other alteration have been made. Adaptive processing should not be used on real images if the integrity of the image is to be preserved. Unfortunately, if the image is processed after the alteration has been made, such as compressing the image, then the holes in the histogram may be filled in and the histogram will no longer look suspicious
The Difficulty of Detecting Fake Images
Most of the people generating fake images know little or nothing about the physics of the image chain, yet lots of fake images fool us because they seem to have properties that are consistent with real images. How is this possible? Images with altered context are actual images; hence image analysis will not show that the image itself is inconsistent with physics, only that the perpetrator is being untruthful. Images with altered content will usually show signs of alteration if the image is created quickly and carelessly. The anomalies created in an altered image can be reduced by having an understanding of the imaging chain properties and taking the time and effort to ensure that the entire image is consistent at the pixel level, but this is rarely performed due to the knowledge and time required.
The simplest method to reduce the detection of the anomalies in an altered image is to degrade the quality of the image of the alteration. The most common methods are blurring the edges, adding random noise, reducing the size of the image, or compressing the image, all of which will cover up telltale signs of the manipulation. Many fake images have such poor quality that accurate measurements cannot be made to determine if inconsistencies exist. Admittedly, most creators of fake images do not reduce the quality with the intent of making image analysis more difficult, but instead reduce the quality by resizing and compressing the image simply to reduce the file size. However, reducing the image quality to hide the inconsistencies may reduce the impact that the creator of the altered image had hoped for. For example, inconsistent edge blurring can be reduced in altered images if the image is sub-sampled to a smaller size, but this could lead to unsatisfactory aliasing artifacts.
Image steganography offers a method for embedding hidden information into an image. Information pertaining to the unaltered image can be encoded and embedded into the image such that it is not visible. The information can also be encrypted, requiring a key to decode the embedded information so that unauthorized users cannot alter the information. The embedded information can withstand most alterations and processing such as scale, rotation, compression, and cropping. As an example, an edge map of the image can be created, encoded, and embedded into the image itself. If an image is suspected of being altered, then the embedded information can be extracted using the key and compared to the image. Any differences between the edge map of the current image and the edge map embedded in the image can prove if the image was altered
Although image analysis tools can help detect many fake images, currently there is no way to stop somebody from spending the time and resources to make a fake image that is not detectible. All one can do is hope that an inconsistency can be found, thus indicating that the image is fake. Methods currently being developed, such as image stenography and control coding in printers, can aid in the prevention and detection of altered images that are passed off as real images. Two great references for checking the authenticity of images being distributed on the Internet are The Museum of Hoaxes and Urban Legends Reference Pages. For further reading on fake images, a good reference is Photo Fakery, by Dino Brugioni.

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Mark Tapson

Mark Tapson is the editor of the “news” website TruthRevolt (remember Badger’s Law), whose mission is “to expose the leftist news media and to hold them accountable for their hypocrisy and bias.” He is also affiliated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Tapson is also a hardcore conspiracy theorist, and his research methodology is rather typical of conspiracy theorists. For instance, when Tapson infiltrated the Muslim Student Association’s annual West Coast conference in 2013, he did manage to find what he took to be evidence of a secret Muslim Brotherhood plot to “radicalize” college students: that is, he admitted that he didn’t find anything “radical” or “damning” at the conference, which “was largely very innocuous,” but for Tapson that is all the proof he needs – that the MSA’s conference was so “innocuous” is just part of Muslim Brotherhood strategy to win “the hearts and minds of the young,” and the very act of community-building “radicalizes them and it steers them toward further radicalization down the line.” Or in short: if you find evidence for the hypothesis you have already decided is true: good; if not, you just found evidence that the conspiracy to hide the truth of your hypothesis goes even deeper than you already believed, thus confirming it but in addition making it more urgent.
In addition to the perceived threat of Islamism, Tapson is concerned about communism: anything to the left of Paul Ryan is communist, and can then safely be dismissed by reminding people of the horrors of Stalin’s Soviet Russia and Mao, and thus warrant drawing conclusions like the “Democrat Party is the face of Moloch, the Canaanite god whom Milton called the ‘horrid King besmear’d with blood / Of human sacrifice.’ It is a cult of criminality and death.” And how do these commie crazies ever obtain any power in democratic societies? Voter fraud, of course. Tapson is, of course, also a climate change denialist because in a post-truth world scientific evidence is just whatever suits your ideological commitments anyways.
Diagnosis: A fairly typical wingnut strawman-basher and run-of-the-mill conspiracy theorist, Tapson may be far from the craziest wingnut political commentator out there. That observation, however, says more about the standards among wingnut commentators than it does about Tapson.

Preston Noell III and the TFP

Preston Noell III is the Chicago bureau director the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, Property (TFP) – a Catholic extremist, fundamentalist, pseudo-military, anti-gay group linked to Brazilian neo-fascists; the American branch is one of many autonomous national TFPs that together claim to form “the world’s largest anticommunist and antisocialist network of Catholic inspiration”, a “counter-revolution” to combat “The Protestant ‘Pseudo-Reformation’ and its rejection of religious authority and inequality,” the “‘Enlightenment’” and “its rejection of temporal authority, in particular the King and nobility”, any “rejection of economic inequality”, as well as communism’s attempts “to eradicate the Church and Christian civilization while […] implementing neo-paganism” (they seem to have read Marx somewhat cursorily). The American TFP accordingly campaigns for gun rights, capitalism, war and theocracy, but as a group it is perhaps even better defined by the long list of things they oppose, including “contraception, abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, the social acceptance of homosexual practice, anti-discrimination laws” of the kind “that give homosexuals a privileged status” [i.e. that actually protects them from discrimination], “homosexual adoption; domestic partnerships, civil unions, and same-sex ‘marriage’, transgenderism,” as well as “homosexual films, theater plays [and] events;” moreover “pro-homosexual clubs on Catholic college campuses [apparently a particularly sore point], public blasphemy, nudism, socialist childcare, socialist healthcare, socialist allocation of federal waters,” and anything that smacks of communism according to how they define communism, which seems to be more or less as whatever they don’t fancy at any particular point for whatever reason. Moreover, they are opposed to “progressivism, liberation theology, […] the enactment of State laws forcing clergy to violate the seal of Confession in cases of child abuse [militant Catholics, remember], […] the ecological movement, pacifism, imprudent [any, really] nuclear disarmament and the Occupy Wall Street movement.” You cannot really parody a group like this. And yes, its arguments against gay marriage are the common ones: gay marriage is an attack on Christianity, “an unprecedented assault on the First Amendment” (an Amendment they explicitly don’t support themselves anyways, as spelled out in the above list), is extremely intolerant (therefore homosexuality should be banned), and poisons “the soul of America”. The arguments are light on the hows, beyond theological handwaving and red-baiting.
The TFP is possibly most famous for Noell’s America Needs Fatima campaign, which apparently visits private homes with a four-foot statue of Mary, opposes all the stuff mentioned above, and focuses in particular on protesting movies, shows and art Noell doesn’t like, including (a small sample) The Da Vinci Code, The Crime of Father Amaro, Dogma, Jerry Springer: The Opera and the A Fire in My Belly art show.
Diagnosis: Profoundly silly and rather scary at the same time. A bit like Pennywise. In all manner of respects, really.

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