Review of Jeff Bauman (legless man) Boston Bombing Conspiracy Theory (GRAPHIC IMAGES)
Update: I have since addressed Dave McGowan’s response to this post HERE
WARNING: This Page Contains Graphic Images of Gore!
In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Bombings when the mainstream media and alternative media alike were speculating about the causes, despite even the most basic of evidence yet to be collated and confirmed – I wrote an article entitled The Man With The Missing Legs: A Rational Analysis of a Boston Bomb Victim, debunking a disgusting Facebook meme insinuating the “legless man” famously photographed in a wheelchair, was really Nick Vogt – a legless Afghan war veteran who was acting out his injuries as part of a conspiracy.
Though I stand by the original article, not least because they look nothing alike, several readers have pointed me to other theories surrounding the legless man (whom has been named as Jeff Bauman) and I wanted to take the time to fully explore them. The most in-depth conspiratorial piece on Bauman that I’ve seen (though some remain convinced the man photographed isn’t Bauman, I use the name as an easily recognizable reference), is by author Dave McGowan who wrote a vast 15 part article series about the bombings at http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/
As I write this sentence I have yet to engage with the series beyond a quick scan, thus I’ve titled this article a “review” instead of a “debunking” because I am always open-minded enough to change my mind should I come across evidence and a convincing hypothesis for a conspiracy.
For those that chance upon this page directly from elsewhere, a quick look at the other content of this site should prove to you that I am not a “debunker” by profession or hobby, and would be very much lumped in with the “conspiracy theorist” or “truther” crowd, though I reject those terms myself. While I have “debunked” several theories on a number of topics in my time, this is part of the process of discovering truth and is not born out of an ulterior motive. If we didn’t critique each other, any and all theories would be deemed the truth, and that would make for a very messy reality.
In the process of this review I will quote claims, theories and opinions chronologically from McGowan’s series as they pertain to Bauman and offer my analysis below. If I get the time in the future, I may review the whole 15 parts going beyond just Bauman.
So lets get on with it…
Special Report on the Boston Marathon: The Curious Case of the Man Who Could Only Sit Down (Part 1)
The Boston Marathon bombing incident produced an exceedingly bloody, gore-filled scene. We know that because virtually all avenues of the mainstream media, as was obvious from the very first reports, wanted us to know that. Never before can I recall seeing so many blood-soaked images being so prominently displayed. Newspapers and network and cable news broadcasts seemed to be on a mission to bring you the bloodiest, most graphic images they could come up with.
From the outset McGowan is seeding doubt about the motives of the mainstream media. I don’t necessarily disagree with his analysis, though one also shouldn’t be surprised that in an age of camera-phones etc that there was a lot of gory imagery and the media would jump on this to shock profits and patriotic reactions out of people. It should be noted however that going against this theory is the fact that some media outlets edited out and censored the gore. The New York Daily News for example photoshopped out a woman’s injured leg “out of sensitivity to the victims, the families and the survivors.”
McGowan goes on to say that it’s “a fact” that Jeff Bauman appears to be a faker, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Facts don’t appear, they’re facts.
“But the fact remains that the most high-profile of the victims, who also happened to be by far the most gruesomely injured of the victims, and the guy who purportedly provided the tip that allowed authorities to identify the alleged perpetrators, appears to have been a fake.”
To begin with, the guy’s name is supposedly Jeff Bauman. The posted photos of Bauman, however, do not really resemble the wheelchair guy.
I completely disagree with this statement. Whereas veteran Nick Vogt looks nothing like the “legless man”, the widely circulated photos of Bauman before and after the bombings are uncanny. The reader can of course make up their own mind, but to me it’s a no-brainer, and McGowan is being dishonest with himself.
Here is a collection of photos I’ve put together.
Note the matching long shape of the face and nose, the ears, eyebrows and facial hair. To say the “during” photos don’t look like any of the others is to ignore the detail completely.
In addition, the initial identification of Bauman came via an unverifiable Facebook post. In fact, virtually everything that has been reported about Bauman to this day seems to have come from unverified Facebook posts, though the info has been reported as fact. Those posts have largely been credited to Jeff Bauman, Sr., though no reporters, as best I can determine, have actually located and spoken to the senior Bauman.
This next paragraph exemplifies what I like to call “willful ignorance”, something common with careless conspiracy theorists. It’s a process of assuming there is doubt about something, when you could just as easily and perhaps more rationally assume there isn’t doubt about something. At its core is an ignorance that the theorist doesn’t even try to answer. They want to be ignorant, because it suits their agenda.
McGowan himself could go and track down Bauman and Bauman Sr, and the journalists who have written about them. But instead it’s easier to say the Facebook posts are “unverified”.
By assuming the posts are fraudulent, he’s also assuming everybody who has written about Bauman hasn’t done their job. It assumes that everybody around Bauman on the day of the bombings and afterwards are mistaken. It assumes that everybody who knows the legless man (whoever he might be if he’s not Bauman) are in on the conspiracy, because so far nobody has piped up to say “that’s not Jeff Bauman, that’s my neighbor Eric…an amateur actor”. Or “that is my neighbor Jeff Bauman but he’s always had missing limbs”. It assumes the doctors who operated on him are either in on the conspiracy, operated on somebody else or that nobody operated on anybody, in which case those at Boston Medical Center would probably be scratching their heads at all the incorrect coverage.
While some may say the burden of proof is on Bauman to prove that he really is Bauman, you’re assuming that he hasn’t already or that society is so stupid not to realize it isn’t him. It’s the same logic as if you said “I think President Obama is really a hologram created for TV, because I haven’t ever met him”. Well you could go and meet him at a Rally, or you could weigh up the probability of your theory against everybody else who has in some form interacted with him, whether it be journalists or other members of the public. On the balance of probabilities, all things considered, it’s most likely Obama isn’t a hologram.
Reports claim that Jeff, Jr. was supposedly waiting at the finish line for his girlfriend to cross, but that girlfriend has never been identified and has not come forward to speak to the press. And Bauman himself, though healthy enough after just 19 days to attend a Boston Bruins hockey match, has not been sought out by or interviewed by anyone in the media.
Jeff Bauman has since appeared on the Today Show.
Let’s now review the available photo and video evidence to determine if there might be a possibility that some parts of the story might be untrue. Let’s begin with some live footage from the Boston Globe that depicts the explosions and their immediate aftermath. As can be seen, the explosions took place on the side of the street opposite the bleachers – the side of the street, that is, where there were far fewer spectators gathered. The explosions also took place behind some temporary fencing/scaffolding, requiring would-be rescuers to spend a full two-and-a-half minutes working to dismantle the fencing to get to victims. Arredondo [Cowboy hat guy who saved Bauman] can be seen among the responders and volunteers working to tear down the fencing.
So already, we have a bit of a problem with the Cowboy Hero’s version of events: he clearly did not immediately vault over the fence to get to victims and he just as clearly was not at Bauman’s side within “moments.”
How nit-picky can you get? So the Hero of the day didn’t immediately get to Bauman like he said in an interview, he was busy trying to get there. Well it looks like he got there as fast as possible! I guess he should apologize for not being Superman and flying over the barrier?
This is another common theme with careless conspiracy theorists. They get so wrapped up with picking out minor discrepancies, they ignore the bigger picture. Has McGowan considered that regular people tend to be a little emotional when recounting incidents and are not scientifically minded? Was Arredondo supposed to say “At approximately sixteen hundred hours, I walked twenty feet to the right…”
The gist of his story is correct; if he was claiming to be a hero and wasn’t even there, then McGowan might be on to something.
The fact that there were relatively few witnesses at the blast location, coupled with the fact that would-be rescuers were held at bay for the first few minutes by the temporary fencing, would have provided an ideal window of opportunity to stage the scene, if anyone had been inclined to do so.
This is the second time in the article where McGowan has used the term “the fact” when what he really means is “in my subjective opinion”. And What does “relatively few witnesses” even mean? Compared to what? There are lots of people in that area, and while the barriers did keep responders at bay, that didn’t mean it made them blind to what was going on directly in-front of them. It wasn’t a 10ft brick wall.
If I concede and say yes, perhaps somebody could have staged something in the immediate aftermath of the blast. That doesn’t mean they did. Somebody could have sang a Lady Gaga song immediately after the bombing. Another person could have done a little Irish jig. The question is did they? Not could they?
Below is the first post-blast image of Bauman, taken from a surveillance video. He can be seen to the left, just in front of Redcoat. Just behind her is the hoody guy. Barely visible to the far left is Nicole Gross. Hoody, Nicole and Redcoat are all three huddled closely around Jeff’s freshly mangled legs. The smoke is still pretty thick in this image so we can’t discern much, but we can see that from the earliest moments after the explosion, both of Bauman’s stumps are at right angles to his body. And the lower leg on the longer stump, though it can’t be seen from this angle, is at a near perfect right-angle to the upper leg. Both of his stumps, in other words, are in a sitting position. And they will remain in that very same orientation, without even minor changes, throughout his ordeal. Also worth noting is that the shorter stump looks considerably different here than it does in later images.
Here is a lot of filler and meaningless commentary about right angles. His key point is that the shorter stump looks considerably different here than it does in later images; not that you can really see much from the image he chose (perhaps that was on purpose?) Regardless of the possibility that as time moves on, injuries change (through movement, blood loss, applying pressure etc) the images of him immediately after the blast DON’T look considerably different from those taken later on. His right leg is shorter and more mangled, and his left leg has a big chuck of fleshless bone sticking out.
McGowan even contradicts himself by saying there aren’t “even minor changes, throughout his ordeal”, but then says “the shorter stump looks considerably different”.
I don’t think he knows what he means, and I already have little faith in his theories panning out.
Moving on to the second image, we can clearly see that the hoody guy, mere moments after the blast, is primarily concerned with donning his sunglasses. Some web posts and videos have claimed that this was to send a signal to Redcoat – which seems rather unlikely, I have to say, given that the two are obviously close enough to signal each other verbally. Far more likely is that hoody guy was mostly concerned with concealing his identity. He will remain in the hoody and shades for as long as he is on the set, even while receiving medical attention.
This is another case of “willful ignorance”. Because McGowan can’t or won’t confirm why “Hoody guy” put on his shades, he chooses to assume it’s a conspiracy, as opposed to assuming that perhaps he needs prescription sun-glasses to see properly, that the explosion hurt his eyes and the glasses offered some kind of relief, or he wanted to shield himself from the dust. Even more simply, maybe he just wanted to put his glasses on. The act of wearing glasses is not inherently suspicious.
Also note that before even providing any evidence whatsoever McGowan has jumped to using phrases like “set” as if he’s already proven that this is all just a film set.
We can also see more clearly here that Redcoat, Nicole (now visible) and hoody guy are all within inches of Jeff, with his freshly amputated limbs pointed directly at them. In fact, Jeff’s longer stump appears to be wedged in between Redcoat and Nicole. All three accomplices, nevertheless, will emerge from their ordeal without so much as a drop of Johnny’s blood on them. Also, none of the three appear to have received any significant injuries despite having been right alongside a guy who supposedly got both his legs blown off.
Note the continual use of the word “appear”… “none of the three appear to have received any significant injuries”. If McGowan knew for a fact he wouldn’t have to use the word appear, and this is the problem with a lot of the Boston bombings theories. They are based on ambiguous interpretations of a handful of photographs.
How is McGowan coming to the conclusion that not a “drop of Johnny’s blood” landed on them? In fact who the hell is Johnny? I assume he means Bauman.
There is clearly blood on them. They’re sitting in blood. There’s blood all around that area as we can see in these photos…
What process has been used to determine that none of this blood is Bauman’s?
McGowan’s description of the injuries or lack thereof of those surrounding Bauman (of which he hasn’t verified because they only “appear” that way) is more “willful ignorance”. We don’t know the power of the blast, it’s trajectory or the umpteen other factors at play. You can’t define something as suspicious without really knowing what that something is. A combination of bomb experts and forensics teams look at the injuries, their locations, and the remains of the device to determine the epicenter and trajectory of the blast.
If we take a step back, officially the bombings killed 3 people and injured over 200. 16 of the injured suffered severed limbs at the scene or by amputation in a hospital and 3 of these lost more than one limb.
So lets put this in to perspective. 3 people died, 2 at the first blast. Nobody has come forward to suggests these 3 people didn’t die, or if we pretend they weren’t even real people, no person or entity (hospital, church etc) implicated in the story has come forward to say that none of this took place. 3 dead people would suggest the bombs were not overly powerful. Also only 3 of the injured 200+ lost more than one limb like Bauman.
So what is so bemusing about Bauman being the only seriously injured person near the first blast? The other blast wasn’t that powerful either. They simply weren’t powerful blasts. McGowan offers no reason why more people should have been mutilated. How many people did he want to be mutilated?
This lady in blue, named as Krystle Campbell, died. You can see her laying legless near Bauman and so called “accomplices” in the photo below. Another man in the middle (towards the top) of the photo has a serious leg wound. Why is McGowan ignoring these people?
Here is a moving image of the first blast. You can see Bauman on the left and Krystle screaming in agony on the right. Take this footage in…are these really the faces of actors?
The very premise of McGowan’s theory is falling apart. He began the article with the caveat “I am not arguing that no one was injured in the attack and that there was no real suffering.”
So why throw in some fake guy in to a real explosion, when there’s plenty of real suffering to report on? It seems like an awfully risky operation, with no apparent benefit. He simply hasn’t thought this through.
Moments later, we can see that Jeff and Redcoat seem to both be giving the very same hand signal in the direction of approaching responders while making eye contact with one another. Both stumps continue to be in a sitting position and both continue to point directly at Redcoat. It doesn’t seem to have yet occurred to Jeff or anyone else to put pressure on his wounds. Hoody guy looks on passively while making no effort to offer assistance to Jeff. Indeed, neither Redcoat nor hoody guy ever make any effort to staunch the flow of Jeff’s blood, which is okay since there doesn’t appear to actually be any blood flowing. Meanwhile, Nicole has moved out of the shot.
This is obnoxious nonsense. McGowan has taken a freeze frame in the immediate seconds after an explosion, where two people might possibly be looking at each other (not that we can see Bauman’s eyes) and extrapolated that they are making a hand-signal as part of a conspiracy. If you look at the moving image above it is quite clear they are reeling and trying to get their bearings.
This is literally seconds after the blast and he expects everybody to be coherent enough to be tending to Bauman?
Either McGowan is delusional or being deliberately deceptive.
This next series of images captures the same scene from a slightly different vantage point and at a higher resolution, revealing that hoody guy, demonstrating a considerable amount of manual dexterity for a guy with a ‘degloved’ hand, began working diligently on Jeff’s stumps before the smoke even began to clear. And he did so without getting any blood on his hands.
So in complete contradiction to “Hoody guy” not making “any effort to staunch the flow of Jeff’s blood,” McGowan admits he is doing something, though of course this is a conspiracy. He’s “working diligently on Jeff’s stumps,” fastening them on or something.
McGowan is also psychic because apparently he knows there’s no blood on Hoody guy’s hand, despite the photo not showing us the underside of his hand.
We now change positions to look at the same scene just moments later from a different perspective, and this is where things really start to get interesting. All five of our key players (Carlos, Jeff, Hoody, Nicole, and Redcoat) are present and accounted for. Just about everyone else, which is to say all the non-actors, have fled the scene. Jeff is just behind Redcoat, though he is all but impossible to see. Everyone is ignoring him. In fact, with the notable exception of Arredondo, no one on the scene is even looking in his direction. Not a single person.
And speaking of Arredondo, he is, mere moments after the blast and with the smoke still swirling, already inside the temporary fencing, which obviously would have been impossible had he initially been seated across the street in the bleachers. And it’s hard not to notice that he isn’t actually rushing to help anyone but is instead standing idly by, hat and flag in hand, though he is obviously aware of Jeff and appears to be looking right at him.
This is just more contradictory obnoxious nonsense. He calls them actors without any evidence, just a hodge podge of non-suspicious suspicions and rhetoric that he’s built up along the way. He admits we can’t see Bauman, and from the photo we can’t see Arredondo’s eyes, but Arredondo is supposedly looking at Bauman. Why this matters we don’t know, and why it matters that nobody else is looking at Bauman at that particular second, again is not clear.
McGowan then claims Arredondo couldn’t possibly have crossed the road and hit the barriers as fast as he did, while previously claiming he didn’t get there fast enough. So was he too fast or not fast enough? And why does this even matter? Unless he’s a hologram we can reasonably deduce that he got there at some point.
Hoody is clearly knocking on death’s door here and we can bear witness to his exposed femurs, shredded and badly bleeding legs, and partially ‘degloved’ right hand. We can also see that he is very concerned about his missing wife. Ooops …. actually we can’t see any of that because none of it really happened. What we actually see is a guy comfortably reclining with a fully intact right hand and two perfectly fine legs. He hardly even has any blood on him, and what is visible was undoubtedly picked up from the pavement.
McGowan is awfully certain that “Hoody” doesn’t have a “partially de-gloved” right hand, despite us only seeing a “partial” amount of his hand in the photo. It is entirely possible that his whole palm is skinned. That being said it looks to me like the top side of his fingers are at least grazed and/or burned as well. Notice how the hand is suspended. He’s not leaning on it, nor pressing it on his clothing. I find this consistent with a hand injury.
I can also see blood seeping through and/or splattered on his jeans. His top right thigh is shredded, something is going on with his crotch, his lower thighs and right knee are soaked, with part of his right knee also exposed, and his right ankle is shredded. It’s reasonable to assume that he’d look a lot worse without the jeans on.
The idea that he is resting comfortably, simply because he’s laying on the floor is ridiculous. Perhaps the fact that he’s laying still on the floor with what appears to be a look of pain on his face, is why he isn’t looking for his wife.
McGowan’s analysis is becoming intolerable, he’s managed to ramble about nothing for a whole page.
Next up is a close-up of Redcoat, lying in what is supposed to be Bauman’s pooled blood. She nevertheless has remarkably little blood on her, though she does have an alien growing out of her midsection. I have no idea if that is supposed to be blood on her otherwise white top, but it certainly doesn’t look like any kind of normal blood pattern. Overall, despite laying in a pool of blood and having been directly in the line of fire of Jeff’s femoral arteries, she has very little blood on her and doesn’t appear to have suffered any significant injuries.
So a lady who has flesh, blood and god knows what protruding/impaled from/in her torso, two shredded legs, one visibly pouring with blood, a bloody hand, and grazes to her face, is just not good enough for McGowan – the armchair expert on blood patterns.
The next image up for review is of Nicole, with her twice-broken left leg, fractured ankle and severed Achilles tendon. Luckily, those injuries haven’t hindered her mobility as she has clearly moved from her original position. Those are some excruciatingly painful injuries that she has, but she seems to be toughing it out okay. She has though been abandoned by her husband, who you would think would be tending to and comforting her, and her legless sister is nowhere to be seen. Her right arm got peppered with shrapnel, but luckily for her it was a special kind of shrapnel that shreds clothing fibers but doesn’t penetrate flesh.
Her arm’s not pouring with blood but to say it’s not injured is delusional. The shrapnel would have pierced the clothing on entry and on exit, and the holes are not necessarily where the wounds would be visible. It’s also entirely possible that for the most part she was superficially swiped by the shrapnel. It’s also possible that most of the damage is to the back of the arm that we can’t see. Maybe some of the reporting or her testimony is even exaggerated, but what on earth suggests she’s an actor?
And her legs look in tip top condition don’t they? Not swollen or dented or cut at all? She’s toughing it out fine, look at that warm happy face.
the guy in the following image, looking like he just walked off a film set.
Or a real life bombing?
Special Report on the Boston Marathon: The Curious Case of the Man Who Could Only Sit Down (Part 2)
Moving on now to the next image in the sequence of events, we find Arredondo moving quickly to aid Bauman. Just kidding … what we actually find him doing is beginning to pull the fence down from the inside, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he is bringing it down directly on top of one of the victims, which is probably okay because she was undoubtedly an actress anyway. What is important to note here is that the Cowboy Hero already had access to the victims but rather than assist them he chose to spend the next few minutes helping to tear the fence down, pretending as though he hadn’t already been on the other side of it. No medical personnel are yet on the scene and yet almost all of the victims have already left on their own, thoughtfully carting their severed limbs off with them. Jeff, naturally enough, continues to be ignored. As can be seen, the bomb shrapnel all passed cleanly between the fence pickets without breaking a single one.
McGowan’s rather off-putting sarcasm seems to be based on the ambiguous idea that Arredondo is lying about the speed at which he got to Bauman. However it’s not like he said he got there in “30 seconds” but it took him 30 minutes. The phrase “I got there in moments” is not a scientific measurement, it just means relatively quickly. I still don’t really understand what McGowan’s point is with all this. Why does it matter?
Could Arredondo have been trying to break the fence down to make it easier for others to access and remove the injured? Could Arredondo have been shocked and a bit confused about what best to do in the immediate aftermath of a bombing? The most rational answer to what he’s doing isn’t that he’s acting. And what exactly is he acting? How to looked shocked and a bit confused? How to remove fencing to aid in the emergency response?
In the next image we see that Redcoat has moved away to reveal that the spot previously occupied by her and the other accomplices is covered with a pool of very unconvincing blood. The fence is now down and responders are on the scene but Arredondo is nowhere in sight and Jeff is being ignored by everyone. Both of his stumps continue to be at right angles to his body and the knee on the left stump remains bent at a right angle, though he has rolled onto his side to draw attention away from that. He is now also keeping a firm grip on that longer leg/prosthesis and he will continue to do so for as long as he remains in camera range.
Absurdly enough, hoody guy, while still wearing his shades, is receiving medical attention while Jeff, just a couple of feet away, is apparently invisible. No one has bothered to even fashion a makeshift tourniquet or two to arrest his alleged bleeding. And why, one wonders, has Jeff been abandoned by all his accomplices? Why, after first providing no assistance whatsoever, have all three of them now physically distanced themselves from him? It clearly wasn’t to get out of the way and let responders tend to his alleged wounds. And speaking of responders, wouldn’t it have been a nice gesture for hoody to say to rescuers something along the lines of, “don’t worry about me, guys – the poor motherfucker right there doesn’t have any legs!”
This is perhaps the first time McGowan has made any sense. We can all agree that Bauman needed immediate medical attention. However that’s not evidence that he was an actor. It seems silly even having to write that. The aftermath of a bombing is a very shocking and confusing time, there’s no telling what was going through the minds of those in the photo, but creating a baseless theory is not going to enlighten us any further.
That being said there isn’t a constant stream of photos. Responders may have already spoken to Bauman and assessed his situation, called for more help etc. As mentioned earlier, this is the problem with relying on snap-shots of a much broader incident, it can can completely miss the true context of how things unfolded.
McGowan has now broadened his theory to include “unconvincing blood” and “leg/prosthesis”. Why he thinks the blood is unconvincing or Bauman’s leg is fake we can’t tell, because like the rest of his analysis there’s no supporting evidence or even coherent explanation. He just suddenly decides that this is the case.
Other theories have focused on the color of the blood, but short of it being green I don’t necessarily see what the problem is. Blood doesn’t deoxygenate instantly when it leaves the body, in fact it oxygenates further because it comes in contact with the air. It only changes color some time later when it coagulates and dries. When you cut your finger or have a nose bleed it’s bright red, but ever examined the cotton wool or tissue later? It’s usually gone a brownish color.
The amount of flesh and blood that would have quickly left Bauman’s legs and the fact that the photos were taken immediately after the blast is consistent with the bright red color.
It might be unconvincing to McGowan but last time I checked blood was red.
McGowan also thinks that Bauman holding his injured leg is suspicious, and that he must be holding a prop in place. I guess he’s never clutched at an injury before.
In this next image, Jeff is ready for his moment in the spotlight. Ridiculously, he is in a wheelchair rather than strapped to a gurney. And just as ridiculously, his alleged wounds are on full display because, you know, no one thought to throw a coat or a sheet or something over them. It couldn’t really be any more obvious, given the laws of gravity, how absurd it is for a bottomless guy to be transported in an upright position. There is no question that under any other circumstances, this guy would have been on a gurney with his wounds covered with a sheet. But that would have ruined the show that his prosthetics were specifically designed for. Also, it would have looked pretty ridiculous to have him in a sitting position while lying on his back on a gurney.
Where McGowan gets the idea that Bauman was “bottomless” I have no idea, unless he just means legless. But why is it ridiculous that he’s in a wheelchair? If that’s the only thing his rescuers could come by in that immediate instance, so be it. If we flip it around why would the fakers use a wheelchair, if it’s such a ridiculous notion?
And why would they throw a sheet over his injuries? Was there a sheet to throw over him anyway? Are the responders really going to be concerned about his injuries being on show or is their first and only thought his survival?
If you’ve followed the story you’ll know that Arredondo tied up his arteries and can be seen holding on to the end of one of them. I can’t imagine a sheet would have been too practical in this scenario anyway.
Next up is another view of Jeff in the wheelchair. From this angle we can see that his left leg is still bent at the knee at a right angle, even though that is a very unnatural position for it to be in. Without exertion by our victim/hero, his lower leg would be hanging straight down. To maintain it in that position would require physical exertion for the entire time that Bauman remained on the scene, both while on his back and while in the wheelchair. So apparently Jeff not only remained conscious and quite alert throughout his ordeal, he also maintained enough strength to keep his knee locked at a right-angle.
This is one of the more confusing pseudo-scientific claims made by McGowan and involves his fascination with right angles again. First off he seems to think it’s unnatural for Bauman’s knee to be in a bent position. Last time I checked the knee joint is designed to bend and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be bent after an explosion, short of it being blown clean off or broken in such a way that locks the leg in a vertical position. We may even consider that the joint was broken by the blast and locked in a bent position, unable to straighten back out. Also perhaps Bauman simply found it too painful to move his legs from the position they ended up after the blast? I know when I’ve pulled my arm it can hurt to change its position.
His next point is even more confusing. “Without exertion by our victim/hero, his lower leg would be hanging straight down.”
First off what’s the problem with him using physical exertion? He’s clearly conscious. Of course McGowan then uses that as further evidence of a conspiracy. In truth there’s nothing abnormal about remaining conscious after losing limbs. This lady remained conscious after a train severed both her legs. And there are countless stories of soldiers losing limbs in Afghanistan and remaining conscious.
Secondly it looks to me like Bauman’s lower leg is hanging straight down, it’s his upper leg that’s raised slightly. The photo suggests he’s holding his upper leg in the position with his hands, most likely to prevent his bone from dragging along the floor.
Just because McGowan asserts that something is impossible doesn’t mean it is, it also doesn’t mean the only other explanation is a conspiracy.
For somebody that champions critical thinking, he doesn’t seem to use it when it comes to his own theories.
I should also point out here that though we have a clear view of the street, there isn’t so much as a drop of blood visible in the wheelchair’s path. Note also that Jeff’s longer stump looks quite horrifying here, with bloody flaps of skin and all manner of nastiness hanging from it, though none of that was visible when he was waving his stump in his accomplices’ faces while avoiding getting blood on them.
We haven’t seen footage or photos of the whole journey that the wheelchair took, so we can’t for certain say there was no blood left behind, however what McGowan ignores is the fact that the majority of his lower legs and flesh is already gone and tourniquets are tied around both legs. His arteries are also constricted, with Arredondo pinching one of them between his fingers.
Also the right-most hanging “nastiness” is actually part of a tourniquet, though he’s correct in that we can see some more skin in this photo.
That being said McGowan is once again selectively choosing what he sees and doesn’t see in the photos. If we go back to the blast area photo, we can clearly see flesh and skin, it’s just not as prominent because Bauman is laying on the ground and the skin is camouflaged by his blood.
There is nothing even remotely convincing about Dave McGowan’s theory that Jeff Bauman and those around him were actors. There’s no primary evidence or paper trial, there’s no eye witness testimony, and the majority of his observations are either incorrect or assumptions from a position of ignorance.
Nobody saw “crisis actors” lugging around props, getting in to position or applying their injury make-up, but we’re expected to believe McGowan has managed to pick them out through a few photos? Photos that everybody else missed?
Whether McGowan is just delusional or has an agenda, I cannot determine, but his and similar disinformation is poisoning the alternative media.
McGowan has since responded to this post. Here is my rebuttal of his response:
Re: Boston Bombing Conspiracy Theorist Dave McGowan
Color of Alleged Boston Bomber’s Rucksack Contradicted?
Mystery ‘Military’ Men At Boston Bombing Identified As WMD Taskforce: Prior Knowledge A Possibility
What Is The Evidence For A Drill At The Boston Marathon? Alastair Stevenson’s Testimony
The Man With The Missing Legs: A Rational Analysis
Keelan Balderson is the editor of WideShut.co.uk, and producer of documentaries 7/7 What Did They Know? and Perfect Storm: The England Riots. Keeping a critical eye on Government, Corporate Power, and the causes of Terrorism, he aims to broaden the Western world view.