Mick West

Debunked: Crowder's "Fraud Week" Title Graphic (and Why it Matters)

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Steven Crowder, a political comedian, has a logo currently being used to introduce segments of his show where he promotes false or unproven claims of election fraud. It shows a red line for Trump and a blue line for Biden. Red is safely ahead, but then blue suddenly jumps up into the lead with no change in red.

This graph is based mostly on actual data, but with a little twist that makes it into a lie.

Have a look at the actual graph that spawned this theory, back on Nov 4.

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Same graph? Have a closer look:
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The red line used to make the bar of the F is missing in the actual data. Where did it go? It went up. Trump's vote actually went up at the same time as Biden's, just not as much...
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Explained: Trump's Claim of Suspicious Early Morning Michigan Bump [It's Detroit]

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Trump Tweeted two graphs today from the NYT data.
Source: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1329602736053252107?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1329602736053252107%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsweek.com%2Ftrump-makes-new-unverified-claim-about-michigan-votes-after-meeting-state-republicans-1548896

The Wisconsin one was already discussed, and is generally agreed to be the Milwaukee City mail-in returns.

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The 149,772 number seems wrong in the Michigan example. But the 96% figure is correct based on the data. This comes from:
Code:
...
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A Skeptical Call To Arms

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I am deeply concerned by the direction that Donald Trump is taking the country with his refusal to admit his clear defeat and his promotion of disinformation regarding election fraud. I am taking action.

While Trump's claims have been largely rebutted by bipartisan election officials, and his lawsuits are being rejected by a bipartisan judiciary, millions of people believe in his incendiary Tweets claiming victory and alleging widespread evidence of interference in the election.

It seems probable that he will leave the Whitehouse on January 20th, 2021, but he is not going quietly, and the damage that his rhetoric is both causing and enabling will last for many years, perhaps decades to come. Trust in the institutions of this country - elections, judges, the intelligence services, newspapers, and science - have steadily been eroded, and this last great assault by Trump will seal the deal for millions of people. Significant damage is being done to the fabric of society...
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Debunked: Suspicious "Biden Only" Ballots in Georgia

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Steve Cortes, claims that if you subtract the number of votes cast for senator from the number of votes cast for president, then this gives you votes that were ONLY cast for that presidential candidate. He then claims that in the Georgia race, this number is suspiciously high for Biden, and this is "far too wide to be believable".

He does the math with Georgia, and comes up with 818 votes for Trump (claiming these are people who voted for Trump only), and +95,801 votes for Biden (claiming these are people who voted for Biden only.)

The simple math checks out, although now with updated numbers, it's -789 for Trump and +99,868 for Biden
2020-11-10_20-39-27.jpg

But wait, LESS...
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Trump's Claim that "THE OBSERVERS WERE NOT ALLOWED INTO THE COUNTING ROOMS."

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Trump has been claiming a bunch of things, but one that seems to be foundational to his argument, and repeated by Giuliani at the Four Season Total Landscaping press conference is the one about observers not being allowed in the counting rooms.

This is, of course, false. And so it has been addressed many times by different outlets. So I thought it would be useful to gather those analyses here:

The best account is the one from the Detroit Free press, which tells of far TOO MANY challengers, of both parties, and disruption of the process coming from some of those challengers.
Article:
"Help needed now," Tweeted a group called Stand Up Michigan. "Go as soon as possible. We are attempting to mount...
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Who Owns Dominion Voting Systems Corp? Not Avid Technologies. Not Richard Blum.

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Someone shared a link to this Drudge-Report themed site that's pumping a lot of election-related disinformation. They make this claim:
Article:

Sen. Feinstein’s Husband Owns 60% Of Software Co Used To Steal Trump Votes In Swing States​


A so-called computer ‘glitch’ in one of Michigan’s counties that caused 6,000 votes for Trump to be counted for Biden, which, when fixed, switched the county from a Biden win to a Trump win, is now looking even more corrupt. The Dominion software responsible for this incredible error was not only used exclusively in other swing states, but has a curious investor who holds a majority ownership in the company. California Democrat Senator Diane...​

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Debunked: Wisconsin Turnout 89% Impossible High [Actually 72%]

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Article:
The real turnout numbers
Wisconsin had more than 3.6 million registered voters heading into Election Day, and more than 3.2 million Wisconsinites voted in the presidential race.

But those aren’t the numbers used to calculate turnout here.

For starters, Wisconsin allows same-day voter registration, so that number of registered voters goes up throughout the day. In 2016, for example, 12.7% of voters registered on Election Day, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Even more important, registered voters is the wrong figure entirely for calculating turnout. Voter turnout in a same-day registration state is based on the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot.

So when you divide the number of votes cast in Wisconsin —...
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Election Fact Checking Resources and Tips

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Election Metabunk Header.jpg
It was inevitable that this was going to be a race characterized by rumors, bunk, lies, and disinformation. The closeness of the race makes fact-checking all the more important. Here are some resources that can be used to figure out what's real and what's not.

Tip: many of these sources will be viewed as being partisan, or being run by a "deep state." Where possible dig down and find the most neutral source (such as the state election commission), or a source that's more likely to be accepted by your friend.

GOOGLE - Google should be your first step. Because of the huge amount of attention on this subject, any disinformation is being very quickly exposed as such, often in great detail by multiple sources. Just type in a few key words regarding the subject, include the...
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Debunked: "Tip Top" as a QAnon Clue from Trump [He's said it before]

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Trump-Tip-Top-QAnon-Metabunk.jpg

In the recent media coverage of the "QAnon" conspiracy theory that followed some Q supporters showing up at a Trump rally, one of the pieces of evidence that the Q supporters gave on camera was the idea that Trump said "tip-top" because a Q made him do it.

This actually seems quite compelling as a sound bite on TV. There's the post on 4Chan with an anonymous user asking Q to work "tip-top" into a Trump speech, this is immediately followed with a clip of Trump saying "tip-top". There's even a bonus white rabbit (a reference to the "rabbit hole" in "red-pill" modern mythology).

But it all falls apart when you look at the actual context. Here's a timeline of Trump saying "Tip Top" (or "Tippy-top") and 4Chan/QAnon talking about it. Note the dates...
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Twitter's October Outage

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Twitter has been broken for about 30 minutes.

https://downdetector.com/status/twitter/map/
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Normally this would be chalked up to random failure, and quite possibly it is. But it comes at a time where the role of Social Media in the public discourse, and in particular the election, is increasingly contentious. Twitter suspended the Trump Campaign's twitter account for posting a link to a dispute New York Post article regarding Joe and Hunter Bider, and the conservatives have been highly critical. Possibly someone has decided this is the right time for a cyber-attack.

Or maybe just someone messed up. We'll see. But the atmosphere is certainly going to lead to a variety of speculation.
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Explained: Unburned trees next to burned down structures as evidence of secret "energy weapons"

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkH5I0lXiFs

Why do you sometimes see unburnt trees next to a burnt down house?
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Conspiracy theories would say that this is because the houses were actually vapourize with beams of energy from space. But the actual reason, as many people have pointed out, is simply that the wood in the houses is dry, and the wood in the trees is wet.

If you don't use a wood fire in your house this might be a bit hard to understand, so I set out to do an experiment to demonstrate this.

First stop was my attic, which, like most new houses in California has an internal frame of 2 by 4s.
There was a bit of scrap wood left over from construction. The same wood as the frame of my house, so ideal for testing...
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The Dumbing Down of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri_vlLaCkNM

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is a group that promotes the idea that the World Trade Center was destroyed by pre-planted explosives on 9/11 and that the plane impacts and fires were just a cover.

After years of telling people that they should believe them because they are architects and engineers, they have changed tactics. They now promote the idea that it's OBVIOUS that explosives are used, and that anyone can see this. They promoted this idea over the last month with a series of increasingly silly memes.

Metabunk 2020-08-30 15-47-49.jpg

This prompts a question: if it's so obvious, then what was the point of AE911Truth? What was the point of funding a complicated study of World Trade Center Building Seven for $316,000? What are all those long technical documents on their web site for...
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What does "Off-World" mean to the US Military?

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Article:
The Pentagon’s U.F.O. Program has been using unclassified slides like this to brief government officials on threats from Advanced Aerospace Vehicles — “including off-world” — and materials retrieved from crashes of unidentified phenomena.Credit...Leslie Kean


When asked about the words "off-world" in the above slide, writer Ralph Blumenthal said:
Article:
Ralph Blumenthal
Contributor, former Times reporter
July 28
@leadingfrombehind Off-world means not of this earth. We and our sources refrain from speculating on other questions beyond that.


But what does "not of this earth" mean? Regardless of the meaning, where does this definition come from? If we search the .gov and .mil domains for usages of the term "off-world" the most common usage seems to be, essentially "not on this Earth"...
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Black UFO At Skinwalker Ranch (A Fly)

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FLY-vs-UFO-compare.gif

In episode 7 of The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, an unfortunate cow dies of natural causes. The team of scientists on cast study security camera footage for clues. As the cow is laying there dying small black object whizzes by.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11WVUQ7Lmg8

It's only visible for two frames on the footage, meaning it travels between the two positions in 1/30th of a second. Possible more, as security camera footage is often a low framerate. But let's assume 1/30th.

How fast is it going? That depends on how big it is, or to put it another way, is it small, or far away?

The cast members choose to interpret the object as being at the same distance as the cow is - mysteriously flying over it as it dies, presumably with some intent. I think it's actually much closer to the camera.
[ATTACH type="full" alt="Metabunk 2020-05-22...
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Mysterious Helicopter at Skinwalker Ranch (Power Line Survey)

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Power line survey helicopter.jpg

In Episode 7 of The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, a suspicious helicopter is spotted flying over the ranch. Despite having binoculars they failed to identify it, and said it did not show up on the ADS-B scanner.

[Update] I contacted Corporate Helicopters. Ivor Shier, the director of operations, called me back and confirmed it was their helicopter and that they were just doing a LIDAR powerline survey. This is looking for things like defects in insulators and encroaching vegetation - anything that might be a fire hazard. He said that's all it was. He said they don't turn off the ADS-B, but that area has very poor receiver coverage. They don't rely on only FlightRadar24 style ADS-B, but also have TracPlus monitored from the head office, and also by the powerline company. He sent me some photos:
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unnamed-2.jpg...
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Explained: New Navy UFO Videos

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7jcBGLIpus

Today the Navy officially released three videos of UFOs. They are called FLIR, GIMBAL and GOFAST. The internet immediately took this as meaning that aliens are real. But the videos are not actually new. They were internally declassified back in 2017, and immediately released by Tom DeLonge's To The Stars Academy. I started writing about them in December 2017. With the help of others, I quickly arrived at likely explanations for all three videos.

The FLIR video is most likely a distant plane. The video was taken well after the famous encounter with a hypersonic zig-zagging tic-tac by pilots from the NIMITZ. This object doesn't actually move on screen - except when the camera moves...
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Debunking Correlations Between 5G deployments and Coronavirus

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e0SP53tCqw

There's a false theory that there's some correlation between the location of deployments of 5G networks and outbreaks of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at that location.

To demonstrate that this theory is false, I'm going to use the COVID-19 tracker on bing.com, and the Ookla 5g deployment map on speedtest.net. This will allow us to identify areas of high and low density for both 5G and COVID-19.

Let's start at the starting point, Wuhan, in Hubei province in China. There's a huge difference between Hubei and the rest of China with Coronavirus. Is this reflected in 5G coverage? No, in fact, there's plenty of other provinces and cites with similar or higher deployments of 5G, and hardly any COVID-19. So no correlation there.
Metabunk 2020-04-08 16-25-38.jpg
Just over the ocean, there's South Korea. They have WAY more 5G deployments than...
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Measuring 5G EMF and using ICNIRP Guidelines

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There's a lot of concern about the possible health effects of the new 5G technology. Some of this concern is driven by videos of people with "EMF" meters who show what they claim to be harmful amounts of radiation coming from the 5G cells.

But are those reading accurate? What do they mean? What are they actually measuring? It's easy to simply dismiss concerns like this - after all why would they roll out 5G if it were so obviously harmful? But I've been dismissing it without a deep understanding for a while, so I'm going to do a bit more of a deep dive into the issue of measuring 5G radiation.

First of all, let's get a bit of a baseline with some 5G measurements from experts in the field. Dr Richard Findley, an electromagnetic field exposure specialist was asked by the BBC to measure 5G on a rooftop next to a cell.
Source...
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Why Were There Contrails Today, But Not Yesterday? It's the Weather!

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EDC Contrails today vs. yesterday.jpg
Today (Thursday Oct 6th, 2016) marked the first significant contrail morning for several months here in El Dorado County, Northern California. The above photo on the right of criss-crossing contrails was taken at 7:30AM, and planes continued to leave trails for the next few hours. I took photos of the jets, and they were just regular air traffic, mostly Alaska or other regional jets flying north or south, often to or from Los Angeles. They were all in the range 36,000 to 39,000 feet.

Various Planes over EDC this morning.jpg

But it's Thursday, and the air traffic on Wednesday was pretty much identical. So why were there trails this morning, but not yesterday morning?

The answer is quite straightforward. It's the upper air weather!

Upper air weather is different to the weather on the ground. At 35,000 feet up it's very cold (usually below -40°F/-40°C)...
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Satellite ADS-B Data in FlightAware24 - Blue Planes Prove Globe Earth

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Metabunk 2020-03-13 08-51-56.jpg
https://www.flightradar24.com/-9.86,-93.83/3

The new blue planes in FlightRadar24 are flights that are transmitting GPS coordinates via satellite. These give a near-live position for planes over the open ocean (and some remote land areas), with delays of less than ten minutes.

This fills in areas of missing coverage, particularly near Antarctica, that the "Flat Earth" folk thought was evidence that southern hemisphere flights were being faked.

While it shows the (near) live position, it does not seem to show the historical track when you click on the plane. However, you can now see that planes do actually fly close to Antarctica - routes that only work on the globe Earth.
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Tales From The Rabbit Hole

  • Episode 46: Ryan – Growing Out Of 9/11
    Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:20:59 PDT
    Ryan became a conspiracy theorist at age 15. He spent five years solidly down the 9/11 conspiracy rabbit hole, believing that the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed with pre-planted explosives. As he grew older...
  • Episode 45: Brandon Fugal: The Owner of Skinwalker Ranch
    Fri, 29 May 2020 18:44:03 PDT
    Brandon Fugal is a prominent business leader based in Utah and is the current owner of the mysterious Skinwalker Ranch, which is the focus of a wide variety of reported strange phenomena, from supernatural visitors...
  • Episode 44: Steven Hassan – Cults and Conspiracies
    Thu, 14 May 2020 22:26:51 PDT
    Steven Hassan is an expert on cults. A former high ranking member of the Unification Church, aka the “Moonies”, he’s been helping people escape the rabbit hole since his own escape in 1976. Now he’s...
  • Episode 43 – Tim McMillan: The Challenges of UFO Investigations
    Fri, 08 May 2020 15:32:03 PDT
    Investigating UFOs presents a number of challenges, many of which are not immediately obvious, but swiftly rear up to impede progress. There are straightforward issues, like military secrecy and people being afraid to talk because...
  • Episode 42 – Flat Earth and Coronavirus
    Sat, 18 Apr 2020 17:12:19 PDT
    Does a Flat Earther react to world events differently to other people? When you think the world is flat, then you think that the mainstream view of the world is very wrong. Does this carry...
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