(Photo: Reuters/Eric Thayer)
The Sandy Hook hoax video creator has spoken out, offering more details about the motives behind the controversial truther video into the Newtown, Connecticut shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month, and why they believed it was necessary to make the videos despite knowing they would receive strong backlash.
The creator has corresponded with popular site Gawker to answer some questions, but has requested to remain anonymous "due to the sensitivity of the channel and my concern for my security," and asked to be known only as the YouTube user name that uploaded the videos, "ThinkOutsideTheTV" (TOTV).
TOTV has created two videos so far, the first of which went hugely viral garnering millions of views on YouTube in a matter of days. The video sparked strong backlash from those who believe the video is insensitive to those suffering in the tragedy, however, the videos have also had their share of supporters offering support and saying questions need to be asked and should be asked.
Speaking to Gawker by email, TOTV explained when conspiracies first grabbed his attention, "[I]t all started when me and my friends used to research 9/11 in high school. That's what really got me started when it came to researching government cover ups [...] Once I learned about all the false flag attacks in history that have been proven to be true, I knew it was only a matter of time before another came a long."
Specifically about the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 20 first grade children and 6 adults were gunned down by lone shooter, Adam Lanza, TOTV told the publication: "When Sandy Hook first happened i just had a feeling like it was all too perfect. I just had this feeling deep down that these people and the whole town had this artificial vibe about them."
The video has been criticized by some experts in conspiracy theory circles as just asking questions and not actually unveiling any kind of hoax or conspiracy. However, to that TOTV explained, "I never intended to expose who was behind it because I dont know, and I could be wrong. But history repeats itself and i'm really glad people are waking up to it. [...] People seem to mistake my video for exploitation of victims and children and that is totally wrong."
TOTV added, "As I said in the beginning of the video, we in no way claim this shooting did not take place and our hearts go out to anyone affected by the tragedy, weather one person was responsible or another."
The second "truther" video was labeled "Sandy Hook Fully Exposed - OFFICIAL PART 2" and was uploaded on Jan. 19, 2013. It continues to pose similar questions as the first video, questioning why some website pages related to the tragedy were seemingly created prior to the incident, and why there was no extensive coverage of the hundreds of children being evacuated from the school that day.
The description uploaded to the new video reads: "This is the sequel to the viral monster "Sandy Hook - Fully Exposed". We will admit it was not as polished as we would have liked. We never thought it would go viral and since the time it was made, some points have been debunked. That does not mean there is not still a ton of evidence and information not only in this video, but in future videos. Try to put a negative spin on this media!"
In the video the makers ask: "With almost everyone owning a camera phone, and with everyone sharing pictures and video, where are all the clips and pictures of 600 children being evacuated and the chaos that went on all day? There should be at least a handful."
The video also goes on to highlight comments by a claimed Graphic Designer, who points out a number of issues with a photo of the Parker family, who lost a daughter in the Newtown tragedy. The Graphic Designer claims Emilie Parker has "clearly" been Photoshopped into a publicized family photo, highlighting a lack of shadow and that she seems "color-adjusted." He also states she is not in a "natural position," and that her head is smaller in comparison to her younger sisters in the photo, indicating she was pasted into the photo.
The video continues to highlight the Parker family, and then shows the same footage from the first video, which shows Emilie Parker's father smiling prior to giving a public statement after the tragedy. As the official statement begins the father starts breathing deeply and quickly and as he starts to speak his voice wavers as his face takes on a more distressed look.
The video makers then highlight a comment by "David, Professional Screen Actor," who states: "I can tell you as an actor, and most actors will agree with me, that is exactly how we would get into an emotional scene."
The original viral Sandy Hook hoax video was posted onto YouTube on Jan. 7 and immediately attracted a lot of attention. The video has snowballed and gathered more and more viewers, and has increasingly caught the attention of others who regularly speak on conspiracies and their authenticities.
Despite the huge attention the first video received, some experts have stepped forward to rebuke the viral video as merely a marketing tool, which just "asks questions" rather than offering any clear-cut evidence of any conspiracy, according to a Huffington Post report.
The video lasts for more than 30 minutes and goes through various news reports from the Newtown massacre and interviews conducting in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.
At the start a disclaimer is posted stating, "This is a simple, logical video. No aliens, holigrams [sic], rituals or anything like that, just facts."
Benjamin Radford, author of "Media Mythmakers" and deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, has said, according to the Huff Post: "The video begins with something that really everybody can accept -- 'We are just raising questions. The whole subject is framed like, 'Don't look at us, we're not saying this crazy stuff, we're just asking questions.'"
He added, "The classic conspiracy theorist sees the hidden hand in everything. Nothing is as it seems. There's something bigger that's going on. They don't know where it is, but they are willing to tantalize people and throw out any number of suggestions, which are oftentimes contradictory."
The Huff Post also spoke to David Mikkelson, founder of "Snopes.com": "In any kind of disaster or tragedy like this, if you go through things with a fine-toothed comb, you will find a number of contradictory statements. Of course most of them are cleared up within a few days of the initial reporting, but it's not something you're going to see in these [conspiracy] videos."
The video points to discrepancies in reports to do with the guns used in the shooting, with a rifle said to have been used by Adam Lanza in the school, but then later found in the car. It was reported later than there was a separate shotgun in the trunk of Lanza's car.
The hoax video also claims that some of the grieving parents are actors, and do not act appropriately following the horrific event.
The video maker also points to a number of memorial and fundraising websites for the Sandy Hook shootings set up a number of days before. However, some have suggested that search engine results do not always reflect accurately the date things first appeared on websites.
Towards the end of the video the truther commentator suggests there is an agenda why this "hoax" had been set up; to "disarm" Americans of their guns, and erode their Second Amendment rights. The video flashes up numerous articles, including one from The Christian Post, reporting on gun control proposals, and the debate surrounding new legislation on gun laws.
The video invites viewers to research the facts themselves and to look out for more postings in the future as more information emerges.
Of course, many have rebuked the original video, calling it "insensitive" to the families involved in the tragedy, and especially those highlighted in the video as allegedly not grieving enough or in the appropriate way.
The second video, however, addresses doubters who have rebuked their first video, and posts a message towards the end of the new video stating: "It's not fair to label a group as "Truthers" or "Conspiracy Theorists". That implies they are over the top, crazy, and against everyone else. These are millions of everyday people that deserve answers to their questions. And it seems by labeling them like that, it's easier to dismiss them and not have to look at the facts."
The new video also highlights a "response to the original video" which states: "I want to thank you guys for doing what you are doing. I personally know people that were affected by the tragedy and they are looking for answers as well."
The makers also say another video will be coming out ASAP.
Here is a video of the new second Sandy Hook hoax conspiracy theory video:
Here is a video of the first Sandy Hook hoax video that has received more than 11 million views: