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Formerly Titled “The Curious Case of the Man Who Could Only Sit Down”

May 7, 2013

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. The most disturbing of those images, by far, all involved a guy who had reportedly just had both of his legs blown off. The most heavily circulated and iconic of those images are of the legless guy being rolled away from the scene in a wheelchair, his unbelievably graphic wounds uncovered and on full display for the waiting cameras.

How crazy would it sound to suggest that that did not happen by accident — to suggest that not only were his injuries staged, but that they were specifically designed for that high-profile wheelchair ride? Pretty crazy … right? After all, I have in the past been rather critical of other researchers who have alleged that the victims of high-profile mass murders are actually actors. Nothing, it seems to me, could possibly serve to better alienate and offend the general public than attacking the victims as being part of the conspiracy. But what if the evidence is so overwhelming that it simply cannot be ignored?

I need to be very clear here in stating that I am not arguing that no one was injured in the attack and that there was no real suffering. That undoubtedly was not the case. 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. And though we were told that there were numerous people who lost limbs that day, he is the only one the media chose to put in the spotlight that day.

Given his central role in the affair then, we should probably take a much closer look at the wheelchair guy. That means, of course, that this post will necessarily be filled with very graphic images. But there’s no need to worry – you’ve seen plenty of this stuff before on your television and on theater screens. And it doesn’t appear to be any more real here than it is in a George Romero movie or an episode of The Walking Dead.

Before getting to the images though, a brief review of the official story is in order here so that we can gauge how closely the photographic evidence conforms to the story that we have been asked to believe. To begin with, the guy’s name is supposedly Jeff Bauman. The posted photos of Bauman, however, do not really resemble the wheelchair guy. 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. 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.


Some on the Internet have claimed that the guy who allegedly lost his legs was actually Nick Vogt, a former serviceman who had previously lost his legs overseas. But numerous photos of Vogt can be found posted online and none of them really seem to resemble the wheelchair guy all that closely. I don’t pretend to know who the no-legs guy actually is, but I do know that the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that he did not lose his legs at the Boston Marathon. For the purposes of this post, we will refer to him as Jeff Bauman, though I am not at all convinced that that is his real name.

According to the official narrative, Bauman was all but straddling backpack bomb #1 when it went off. As reported by Bloomberg News, “Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview. Two and a half minutes later, the bag exploded, tearing Jeff’s legs apart.” Curiously, that alleged brother has not been seen, photographed or spoken to by any other media outlet.

What we will be viewing here then in the accompanying images is ‘ground zero’ of the Boston bombing – the very area that the so-called Cowboy Hero, Carlos Arredondo, described as follows: “[there was] blood, blood everywhere, on the floor … and then all you see was people without limbs. I mean, ripped off limbs everywhere, everywhere …”

Arredondo has claimed in interviews that he was seated in the bleachers across the street when the first bomb went off, but that he immediately swung into action. The Daily Mail reported that, “as most people ran for their lives when the explosions went off in Boston, [Arredondo] vaulted a fence to get to spectators, many of whom had lost limbs, and used his clothes and towels to stanch victims’ bleeding.” Naturally enough, Arredondo immediately recognized that Bauman was the victim most in need of assistance and he acted accordingly, reaching his side within “moments”: “The first time Jeff Bauman Jr. met Carlos Arredondo it was moments after one of the blasts at the Boston Marathon blew him to the ground taking both his legs.”

The Daily Beast provided one of the most detailed accounts of Arredondo’s heroics: “Carlos Arredondo was in the bleachers by the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the first bomb went off directly across the street … In the next moment, the 53-year old was vaulting a barricade and racing straight into the acrid cloud …” He immediately located and rushed to assist Bauman. “A second bomb went off 100 yards away. Arredondo kept his focus on the young man …” In other words, he had worked his way down from the bleachers, raced across the street, vaulted the barricade, located Bauman amidst the smoke and confusion, and already begun to assist him – all within less than 15 seconds! I think we can all agree that heroes of that magnitude aren’t born every day.

The ever-heroic Arredondo then quickly lifted Bauman into a nearby wheelchair and without hesitation got him to a medical tent, pinching off Jeff’s exposed femoral artery along the way, thus saving the young man’s life. From his hospital bed Bauman has reportedly confirmed that account: “When Carlos picked me up and threw me into the wheelchair, then I was like, maybe I am going to make it … before that, no way. I thought I was done.”

Another guy we will be seeing a lot of in the images that follow is allegedly named Christian Williams, but we will refer to him as “the hoody guy” or just “hoody” because I seriously doubt that that is his real name. Hoody guy was right alongside Bauman at the time of the blast and, like Jeff, he sustained very serious, life-threatening wounds. According to a fundraising page put up by someone claiming to be a friend of hoody guy, he remains in the hospital and has endured numerous surgeries aimed at putting him back together. Here are a few (very poorly written) excerpts from the page:

“[Christian] remembers quite vividly that a Boston Marathon runner who is also a surgeon, came to his rescue. He remembers the man was able to get people to help him apply tourniquet to each of his legs, he hollered out ‘if we can get this guy out on the next transport he has a chance, otherwise he’s going to die.’ That’s when he realized how serious his injuries were … Christian is indeed lucky that his legs will not have to be amputated … Here’s the latest update from Christian … ‘today I met a few of my saviors … Standing before me were the three members of the Boston EMS who were directly responsible for keeping me alive and getting me swiftly to the hospital. Apparently, they had been speculating about my outcome for two weeks and decided to surprise me with a visit, because I was by far the most seriously injured patient they treated that day, and that they had not expected me to make it. They had applied not one, not two, but three tourniquets to my left leg, yet still my blood poured down off the stretcher and onto the floor. Both of my femurs were exposed and they were applying pressure to keep them in place. My right leg was so badly wounded from top to bottom they thought for sure it was gone. My blood pressure was nowhere to be found, and they were calling ahead and alerting the trauma team that I had turned ashen.'” Elsewhere on the page, it says that, “Christian’s right hand was also partially ‘degloved’, meaning he has no skin left on his last three fingers.”

Also right alongside Bauman at the time of the blast was a young woman allegedly named Nicole Gross, who was waiting at the finish line with her sister. We will be seeing quite a bit of Nicole as well. Also with her was her husband. According to an account in the Charlotte Observer, Nicole and her husband were taken to the hospital together. While her husband sustained only minor wounds, Nicole and her sister were far more gravely injured. Nicole’s injuries included two breaks in her left leg, a fracture in her right ankle, torn skin, and a severed Achilles tendon. Her sister fared even worse, losing her left leg below the knee and suffering a compound fracture in her right leg, a broken right ankle, and broken bones in her foot. While I seriously doubt that her name is really Nicole, I will play along and use that name for her in this post.

There is one more person we will be seeing a lot of, a black woman dressed in black pants, a white top and a red sweater. She was also in the grouping around Bauman when the first blast occurred, which means that according to the official version of events she was also nearly straddling the supposedly shrapnel-laden bomb. As best I can determine at this time, she has not been identified and so will here be referred to as “Redcoat.”

Having now met the cast of characters and having familiarized ourselves with the relevant portions of the official narrative, 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 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.” Below is a photo taken from above of the first bombing site just seconds after detonation. Plainly evident is that there were relatively few people at the site of the blast and, with the exception of a small huddled group, all of them are on their feet and quickly moving away from the area. That would tend to indicate that they still had their legs firmly attached.

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.

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.


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. 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.


In this third image, we can now see the right-angle bend in Jeff’s remaining knee. We can also see that the bony stump is all but poking Redcoat in the head (which seems, even under the circumstances, kind of rude). And it is clearly pointing directly at both Redcoat and the hoody guy, both of whom remain remarkably blood-free. We can also see that no one else in this scene appears to be nearly as gravely injured as Jeff. Also, Redcoat and hoody guy seem rather calm relative to most of the others in the scene, many of whom are in full panic mode. Lastly, there is no sign of hoody’s wife, who was supposedly alongside him, or of Nicole’s husband and sister, both of whom were allegedly alongside her.


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 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.


legless2legless3 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 keyplayers (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.legs7

Next up is a more detailed view of Arredondo, cropped from a higher resolution version of the above image. He is indeed inside the fencing and leaning casually against it. He also is quite obviously pointing with his right hand while shielding the gesture with his hat, as though covertly sending a signal. And he is, as previously noted, looking at Bauman while doing so.


Below is a close-up of hoody guy, cropped from the same high-resolution image. 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.


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.


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. That was a relatively common phenomenon in Boston that day, with the guy in the following image, looking like he just walked off a film set, being a classic example.