1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There seem to be just two pieces of evidence that are used to back the idea that there was some kind of drill being run on the same day as the Boston Bombing.

    1) The Natural News claim about a bomb disposal drill
    2) Ali Stevenson's interview

    For #1, they simply conflated the JFK Library with the Public Library, and then ran with it. This was full debunked here:
    https://www.metabunk.org/threads/1395-Debunked-Natural-News-Boston-controlled-explosion-exercise

    For #2, the source is:

    In the interview Stevenson says "at the start line this morning, they had bomb-spotters on the roof of the buildings, and they had bomb sniffing dogs coming up and down at the start line, and [my wife] said they were bomb sniffing dogs at the finish line" ... "The kept making announcements, saying to the participants, 'do not worry, it's a training exercise'. Evidently I don't believe they were having a training exercise, I think they must have known, they must have some kind of threat or suspicion called in."

    Firstly the thing that leaps out to me about this story is that it's just one guy. There were 23,000 runners. But nobody else is talking about this heightened security. Nobody else is commenting on people talking about a "training exercise". And with thousands of people taking video at the start, why has nobody got it on tape? It's just Stevenson's paraphrasing of what he saw and heard.

    Secondly, heightened security seems to be all it is. There's no "drill". Nobody said the word "drill" If anything it was simply what they said, training.

    And all big events have bomb sniffing dogs. It's to be expected. It's also quite expected that they will use large events as training exercises for those dogs. I myself once randomly participated in sniffer-dog training when getting off a plane - a TSA officer asked me to carry some scented object into the next room where a dog was going up and down the line. The dog correctly nosed me, and got a reward.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  2. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    I haven't looked at this, no time, but it showed up on my wall, via a friend (that sort of debunked it)

    http://www.integratedtrainingsummit...nned_mass_casualty_event_-_serino_richard.pdf

    Some of the comments are interesting.

     
  3. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    I glanced at it. Serino (who is now deputy administrator at FEMA) suggested that first responders use planned events as training. A scheduled disaster in other words. Seeing the response on TV by the first responders, quickly setting up a triage tent, using golf carts and wheelchairs to evacuate the wounded, etc., it appears to have been successful.
     
  4. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    I have now downloaded it. and you are right. Just a common sense use of a planned event.
     
  5. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Senior Member

    This point seems reasonable - how many public events are used as convenient opportunities for running exercises? It's handy having a ready-made crowd you don't have to hire. Of course there must be some form of protocol so if something does happen they know it's for real. I imagine the drill's at such events are relatively low-key so as not to cause disruption.
     
  6. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    It's not so much that you run a drill during the event it is that the event itself has some of the same responses as an unplanned event. It's not just about moving people around as it is about unified command, using the Incident Command System (ICS), identifying potential communication problems and identifying items (golf carts, wheelchairs, etc.) that can be used in the event something bad happens. All of this was outlined in Serino's presentation.
     
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  7. Melbury's Brick

    Melbury's Brick Active Member

    A minor point perhaps, but how does a "bomb sniffing dog" differ in appearance to a drug sniffer or indeed any other canine involved in law enforcement? Do they, in Boston, wear some kind of ID coat? If not, assuming they're there for the purpose of locating explosives may be a leap of judgement.
     
  8. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    What other uses are there for police canines in a large crowd? I'm not being snarky I don't know.
     
  9. Melbury's Brick

    Melbury's Brick Active Member

    I wouldn't for one moment have thought you were being "snarky" :). I would think they're used for drug and bomb sniffing (bodies too, but that wouldn't apply here) and general crowd control "Get back or wave goodbye to your gonads"!!
    I'm in the UK and they are used for those purposes there. ! didn't mean to imply they weren't "bomb dogs", that would seem logical, but it hasn't been confirmed yet. Here's a point....I assume the Boston Marathon is an annual event....Are there police dogs there every year?
     
  10. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    The only 'give away' might be breed. Most police dogs, that might need to attack are German shepherds/Belgian Malinois type breeds. Labs are often used for drugs and sometimes bombs. That said, most police depts can't afford special use dogs, so they will have cross trained dogs. School districts will often have labs or even beagles for drug dogs, since they are less threatening to children. Beagles are often chosen for baggage searches in airports, since their small size lets them move around quicker in baggage handling areas.

    We are seeing a wider variety of dog breeds being used because of high demand for them. Many of the police dogs are still being imported from Eastern Europe.
     
  11. RolandD

    RolandD Active Member

    Do you really want a dog cross trained in drug and bomb sniffing? At a crowded event, when you're looking for bombs, you wouldn't want to have to treat every stoner as a potential bomber. Dog smells a joint on some kid and you have to evac a two block radius.
     
  12. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    I wasn't clear. You are correct, the same dog is NOT trained for both. The cross training I was referencing was 'police work', including attack and hold and either bomb or drugs. I believe a trained police dog is $40-50,000.

    There is an interesting program now for smaller school districts where officers are training with their personal pets. Some dogs wash out, but some 'pass'. They are not as accurate as a properly trained drug dog---they may get more easily distracted. Of course one does not expect a miniature poodle or a Miniature Schnauzer to be a drug dog. To me the schnauzer makes some sense, since the Giant and Standard size ones are used in Germany as police dogs.
     
  13. Melbury's Brick

    Melbury's Brick Active Member

    Is it odd that Mr Stevenson hasn't been interviewed by anyone else as yet? We still have just this one account of "bomb sniffer dogs" and "stay calm" announcements. I would have expected that, by now, people would be falling over themselves to confirm this or find others that would. How many announcements were made? When? For how long?......How many dogs? (Would they be referred to as "Bomb sniffer dogs" if no explosions had happened?) So far....nothing.


    Situation unfolding as I write this. BBC News (live) reporting police searching Watertown area for second suspect. Other killed by police. One officer also dead.
     
  14. AluminumTheory

    AluminumTheory Senior Member

    Stevenson said he was a verteran marathon runner and has never seen bomb sniffing dogs at the Boston Marathon or other marathons that he has attended.


    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps...WS/304169939&cid=sitesearch&template=printart

    http://www.sunjournal.com/node/489475

    Apparently this guy is either outright lying or is just not an astute individual because anyone who things that bomb sniffing dogs and heightened security arent the norm for large public events in the post 9/11 world is either an idiot or a conspiracy theorist, but I repeat myself.
     
  15. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    20,000 people at the Boston Marathon are experienced marathon runner who have run at least one marathon before. Most have run several.

    Exactly how many are reporting something suspicious?
     
  16. AluminumTheory

    AluminumTheory Senior Member

    As of right now, he is still the only one. I've searched and searched and found no others.
    Of course the conspiracy theorists will tell you that msm is just covering it all up. But I wouldn't be too surprised if some other guy doesn't come out of the woodwork and corroborate Stevenson's story to infowars.com at some point in the future.
    '
    Also worth mentioning, is that bomb sniffing dogs DOES NOT INDICATE a 'terror' drill was taking place...

    One thing that I find amusing about conspiracy theories is that any evidence of preparation for a possible attack is considered 'proof' that it was staged. But yet if there were no drills, no security, and no emergency plan, it would be seen as 'proof' that the government allowed it to happen instead.
     
  17. AluminumTheory

    AluminumTheory Senior Member

    Just found this....

    http://www.marathonguide.com/results/browse.cfm?MIDD=15020415

    This website has ALL of the participants of the Boston Marathon going back to 2000, and Alastair Stevenson only shows up in 2013 out of 14 different years..... And I only searched under the last name "Stevenson" in the event someone may have mis spelled his first name as it is rather uncommon.

    http://www.virginlondonmarathon.com/marathon-centre/race-results/race-results/
    Found him one other time in the London Marathon in 2011 out of 6 available years. And I'm farly certain that the London Marathon has tighter security than the boston marathon....

    http://www.marathonguide.com/results/browse.cfm?MIDD=472001105
    Found him ZERO times in the New York marathon.

    http://www.marathonguide.com/index.cfm#Results
    Serached him on the main page, and found that he mostly ran in small marathons like the "Disney World Marathon" and the "Rock and Roll" Marathon. The London and Boston marathons are one of 6 world marathons and so security is going to be a little tighter there than in Disney World.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. BriscoMoss

    BriscoMoss Banned Banned

  19. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

  20. BriscoMoss

    BriscoMoss Banned Banned

    That they're the same person...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  21. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    No they are not
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  22. Soulfly

    Soulfly Banned Banned

  23. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    Look at the shape of the nose, the ears and Ali looks to have a small gap between his from teeth. They are not even close, except in hair color and cut.
     
  24. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Senior Member

    Is Bill Richards someone of note or just another random civilian?
     
  25. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Brisco banned for trolling.
     
  26. Josh Heuer

    Josh Heuer Active Member

    A quick image search of Bill Richards led me straight to NoDisinfo's site about the two, which is probably where he got this idea.
    I remembering seeing videos all over the net about Ali Stevenson pretty shorty after the bombing, either claiming he was Bill Richards (Bill Richards, for those that are wondering, is the father of Martin Richard, one of the three deaths from the bombing.) or plastering his testimony all over like it was the gospel truth. But those flames died out quickly, for obvious reasons.
    Although people still genuinely buy into these things, they're now just kind of back stories in the conspiracy world it seems.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  27. Tobes

    Tobes Member

    1). Here is Stevenson's bio at the Alabama-Mobile site:
    http://www.umobilerams.com/coach/0/4.php
    2). I'm pretty sure there's nothing unusual about bomb-sniffing dogs at major sporting events. In 1998, when I was at the Lenox Lewis/Zeljko Mavrovic heavyweight title fight at Mohegan Sun, I saw police officers with dogs going through the press room. I'm certain they're used at Olympics, World Cup, Super Bowl, etc.
    3). The whole thing about the "drill." I'm not sure if this is exactly what this thread is about, but I know James Tracy claimed the bombing itself was a drill. It's my understanding that when there's a mass casualty drill, everyone knows it's a drill. It's never passed off as a real-life event. You don't have civilians unwittingly participating in the drill and those unwitting participants certainly do not end up seriously injured or dead.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  28. ColtCabana

    ColtCabana Active Member

    Security has been heightened since 9/11. I remember being at the 2002 Marathon and things were very heavily monitored. Bomb sniffing dogs, however, have been there for years, even prior to 9/11. What people don't understand about the Marathon was that it is such an easily accessible event. You can literally walk right up the barricade and watch. Pulling off the bombing wasn't very difficult if they didn't look suspicious or run into heavy police detail.
     
  29. Libertarian

    Libertarian Active Member Banned

    No-one seems to have disputed Landru's assertions that the Boston Bombing was a good candidate for a drill. It seemed as though most of you agreed with him...but the thread is marked "debunked". I don't understand. I remember watching Stevenson on the news...he clearly said someone indicated there was a drill going on. And this FEMA fellow seems to be suggesting that one could easily have been going on as a matter of routine.

    So initially we had these claims:
    1) The Natural News claim about a bomb disposal drill
    2) Ali Stevenson's interview[/quote]

    And then you added this one:
    3) FEMA deputy administrator acknowledges that they use planned events for training.

    There was a crap load of military looking people there...all those guys with the black jackets and the tan pants and the army boots...and they were pictured there as the bomb went off...so they were there already. I don't think that there is that many National Guard people at every marathon, is there? It makes logical sense that they were conducting the drill that Stevenson said was acknowledged.

    Am I missing something? I'm new to the site. Maybe I don't understand the initial claim being debunked. But I thought it was whether or not a drill was conducted that day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  30. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    Rich Serino is a current FEMA deputy administrator but he was part of Mass. EMS when he made the PowerPoint.

    Later research indicates that he recently left FEMA.
     
  31. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    The stuff that was debunked is outlined in post #1 by Mick. Those specific claims of drills.
     
  32. ColtCabana

    ColtCabana Active Member

    "Military-looking people" have been at the Marathon since 2002. As I stated, security since then has been heightened and since the Marathon is such an easily accessible event with thousands upon thousands of people attending, it's understandable that they would contract the National Guard to be there. Considering also that the entire Boston PD couldn't possibly all be at the race, it makes sense. When at the event this year, I noticed nothing peculiar about increased security. In fact, I'd say it was about average for any Boston Marathon I've attended since 2002 (which is probably 7 or 8 Marathons).

    Personally, I never heard anything about a drill being announced.
     
  33. robertsskin

    robertsskin New Member

    Alastair Stevenson Running In London Marathon
    Cross Country - Mon, Apr. 18, 2011
    "This will be my 10th marathon overall and my 3rd London Marathon, so I am very much looking forward to it," Stevenson said. The Dover, England native has also run in marathons in Washington D.C., Disney World, Chicago, New Orleans and Memphis.
     
  34. ColtCabana

    ColtCabana Active Member

    I'm sure there are multiple reasons for this, but it is hardly evidence for any type of "conspiracy"...
     
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