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What Is The Evidence For A Drill At The Boston Marathon? Alastair Stevenson’s Testimony


Keelan BaldersonApril 18th, 2013Boston Marathon Bombing1 Comment »

Alastair StevensonMuch has been made by the alternative media about comments from University of Mobile Cross Country coach and runner Alastair Stevenson, who said he witnessed a drill the morning of the Boston Marathon and was instructed not to worry about it.

In the afternoon not long after the explosions he spoke to the Local 15 news affiliate of Boston, and to staff at the blog section of Alabama.com detailing what he witnessed.

Here is the full transcript of what was broadcast by the Local 15 outlet as it pertains to a drill…

“At the start line this morning they had bomb spotters on the roof of the building, and they had bomb sniffing dogs coming up and down at the start line, and Melanie [his wife] said there were bomb sniffing dogs at the finish line.”

“They kept making announcements saying ‘citizens do not worry, this is just a training exercise'”

“Evidently, I don’t believe they were just having a training exercise. I think they must have had some sort of threat or suspicion called in.”

Here are the quotes from Alabama.com relating to a drill…

“At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there. They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise.”

“I’ve run a lot of races like this one, but I never saw bomb dogs at the starting line of any running event. It led me to believe that something like (a bomb detonation) might have happened.”

His comments were later expanded on during an interview with StoryLeak.com editor Anthony Gucciardi on April 16th, the day after the bombings. Here is the full transcript from the interview uploaded on StoryLeak:

athletes village“At the start at the event, at the Athlete’s Village, there was police spotters, there were people on the roof with binoculars looking down on to the athletes village at the start. There were dogs with their handlers going around sniffing for explosives, and we were told on a loud announcement that we shouldn’t be concerned and that it was just a drill. And maybe it was just a drill, but I’ve just never seen a drill like that at any major marathon I’ve done. That just concerned me that that’s the only race that I’ve ever done in my life where they had dogs sniffing for explosions, and that’s the only race where there’s ever been an explosion…It really just could have been a drill, there is a possibility of that.”

When Gucciardi suggested people are saying the drill didn’t take place, Stevenson reiterated: “Absolutely they did run a drill at the start at the athletes village.”

When asked what he thought about the Police Commissioner saying they had no prior intelligence about a threat and that ‘some of them’ are denying a drill took place, Stevenson responded:

“I find it hard to comment on that, we don’t know who was involved in these activities; my main thought right now is with the families and the victims…but I mean I was there at the athletes village I did see a drill going on and did hear the announcements that it was just a drill. Whether or not there was any prior knowledge I couldn’t comment on that, I couldn’t tell you. If the commissioner says there was no knowledge, there was no knowledge, but there absolutely was a drill going on at the athletes village before the race.”

So to summarize Stevenson’s 3 key points…

1) Spotters on the roof with binoculars.
2) Bomb sniffing dogs at the start line.
3) Announcements that this was a training exercise.

According to Stevenson this announced drill took place at the start line and around the nearby athletes village. He also stated that his wife had witnessed sniffer dogs 20 or more miles away near the finish line, although the time-frame of this is not clear, and it’s not conclusive whether this was part of the same drill or a drill at all.

An InfoWars Nightly News broadcast with StoryLeak’s Anthony Gucciardi appears to have erroneously claimed “snipers” were on roofs, when Stevenson only ever claimed “spotters” “with binoculars”.

Stevenson also did not mention private military contractors as being part of the drill.

A Bomb Exercise In Context

Alternative media have made a big deal out of Stevenson’s testimony, but what are the implications of a drill taking place the morning of the marathon? Stevenson makes the point that he’s never witnessed anything like this at any of the marathons he’s taken part in before, and he’s certainly never experienced a bombing before. The two coming together will trigger anyone’s suspicion. His initial reaction was that perhaps the bomb squads were working from some intelligence or a threat that had been called in.

This is a logical point to make. But if there wasn’t a specific threat that officials were aware of that morning (they claim there wasn’t, although more could always come out), somewhere in the chain of command and preparedness there must have been a generalized suspicion that a bombing was a possibility and thus they felt the need to practice, or use the cover of an exercise to legitimately sweep for explosives. What was the source of this generalized threat? As WideShut contributor Tom Secker noted on his InvestigatingingTheTerror.com Blog

“Three years ago, during the Pittsburgh marathon, someone left a microwave oven near the route for the race. It was determined to be a ‘suspect package’ and was initially reported as a bomb. It was subject to a controlled explosion, whereupon it was found that it was just a microwave.”

If we go back even further in to the archives, there was a successful terrorist bomb attack on the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Initially the investigation and media focused on security guard Richard Jewell, even though he was the person who discovered the device and tried to evacuate citizens. Eventually a man named Eric Robert Rudolph was sentenced for the attacks; the official story stating that he was an anti-abortion extremist.

What this demonstrates is that there have been successful bomb attacks at sporting events before and as little as three years ago authorities were paranoid about bombings at marathons. Though at this point we do not know for a fact what specifically prompted the drill that morning in Boston, it is understandable why bomb squads might have been present.

Evidence of a False Flag?

No matter how it’s twisted in Facebook posts or barked on radio broadcasts, currently this cannot be held up as evidence that the Boston bombings were a false flag attack carried out by the Government or private security agents. What use would there be for deploying bomb squads to an area where you were planning to explode bombs, leaving you open to exposure? Or to an area miles away from where you were going to explode bombs, but hours before the detonation?

How does running a drill give cover for a false flag attack? If somebody is caught with a pressure cooker full of shrapnel saying “well it was a drill” is not exactly going to cut it; live bombs are not used in drills. If plans are stumbled upon at an earlier date and the perpetrators claim “they were just being used for a drill” then they’re going to have to prove a drill was planned and they have the authority to do one.

If you were planning a false flag bombing attack you would need as little as one person directly involved. If it’s kept low key, it would be a rather simple operation; there would be absolutely no need to carry out grandiose drills with long paper trails, involving large numbers of dupes who could figure out what was going on or large numbers of accomplices that could turn on you.

So when alternative media writers and conspiracy theorists hold up the “drill” as some kind of proof of a false flag, what point are they trying to make? In what way does a bomb squad drill have anything to do with the real explosions or the covering up of them? What is the proven precedent of this happening before? The drill on 7/7 in London was a privately run office based exercise with no direct bearing on the attacks, and 9/11 is a completely different scenario where NORAD defenses were actually demonstrably weakened.

If anything as shown by Coach Stevenson’s reaction drills make the public more suspicious of prior knowledge, something the false flag perpetrators wouldn’t want. Of course the question of prior knowledge is a legitimate concern, but to exaggerate and insinuate that a drill (of which we have very little information about) is proof of a false flag attack is just baseless at this stage in the investigation and just goes to show how the leading voices in the alternative media have fallen off the deep end.

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Keelan BaldersonKeelan 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.



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  • Greg

    Drills are not proof of anything, but I think you’re assuming too much about the perpetrators.