June 11, 2013
Before I got distracted, which I will try not to do again, we had left off with the first batch of images from the Thorndike collection. In those images, we could see that there was initially a very dense but very localized cloud of smoke surrounding the small pool of supposed victims. It had begun to clear though within seconds, allowing us a pretty clear view of the scene.
If you go back and review those first five images, you will also see that, from the second photo on, you can see various people looking up towards the upper floors of the Lenscrafters building. And you will see, in the foreground of the fourth and fifth frames, our favorite multi-state emergency room physician, Dr. Panter. Since we won’t be able to track what is going on with the victims, we will primarily be tracking the movements and activities of some of the all-star responders, like Dr. Panter, Dr. Levine, and, of course, Carlos Arredondo.
We will also be keeping an eye on a few women I like to call the Scream Queens, including the plus-size gal in the brown sweatshirt who is initially standing against the temporary fencing just across from Jeff Bauman and Associates. Then there’s the older woman in the pink vest and the gal in the black-and-white checkered coat. All three were apparently at what was supposed to be ‘ground zero’ of the blast, yet none of the three appear to have been injured. Unlike others who were uninjured, however, they lingered on the scene until the bitter end, wandering freely about and acting appropriately horrified by what they were seeing.
Also of interest will be a guy in a bright yellow hat who we will refer to as The Director, though I obviously don’t know what his true role was. As before, we will be looking at only every other image in the Thorndike set. And we will be alternating between full-frame images and crops that will bring us closer to the action. In this first shot, we basically pick up where we left off. One of our Scream Queens is bent over in the area where Campbell is allegedly in critical condition. Our view of another is blocked by the window mullion. Panter, at the bottom right, is turning away from the blast site.
In the next image, little has changed. We can see two of our Scream Queens. We can also see that Dr. Panter has started to walk away from the scene. We’ve barely gotten started on this journey and already he is contradicting his oft-told tale of heroism.
Now we move in for a closer look and find a curious assemblage of people: the purported victims are arranged in an almost perfect circle, with a human barricade assembled just behind them. The Scream Queen against the fence appears to be doing her job. The other is still doing whatever it is that she is doing. The Director can be seen within the human barricade. Nicole is sitting back-to-back with Hoody, but she will soon move away. There are no victims visible along the temporary railing to the left, but that will change soon.
In the next full-frame image, we see that Panter is continuing to walk away from the scene. We also see that the initial smoke cloud around the victim’s circle has completely cleared, but there is a much bigger smoke cloud rolling in. Some of the spectators continue to look up toward the presumed source of that smoke. We can also clearly see here that the victim’s circle is flanked on both sides by immobile clusters of people.
Shifting back to close-up mode, we can see that while a number of people in the human barricade look suitably horrified by the apparent carnage, none of them have moved out of position to offer any help. If we are supposed to believe that the ‘bomb’ exploded in the middle of the victim’s circle, by the way, there is no indication of that in any of these images. Paper and other lightweight debris that should have been blown well clear of the area still litters the ground, and there is no indication of scorching or other damage to the pavement and no sign of the remains of a backpack, which authorities claim to have recovered from at least one of the two sites.
In the next shot, the Scream Queen in pink is still bent over, working diligently to do whatever it is she is doing. Notice also the three older people in the center foreground. The woman in red, as we have already seen, will be paraded out in a wheelchair with her legs, hand and face bloodied. She is now with an older guy in a red jacket and another older guy in a yellow jacket, who we saw in my last post being carted off on a gurney. All three are sitting up here and looking like they are in pretty good shape.
Next up we see that the Scream Queens are still in place, and the one in the pink vest is still preoccupied with whatever task is at hand. The Director is now beginning to approach the scene. Also approaching the scene, to the left, is a guy with a shaved head, sunglasses and a dark hooded sweatshirt. He will also loiter about the scene while not appearing to offer any help to anyone.
Pulling back again, we see that a much larger smoke cloud is now settling over the scene. The Scream Queen in the brown sweatshirt is finally moving away from the fence. The one in the pink vest is still working away at something. The third Scream Queen is now visible in the lower right portion of the image.
The Thorndike images wrap up with the scene once again obscured by smoke, offering us little indication of what is happening on the ground.
Conveniently enough, the Tang photos appear to pick up just seconds after the Thorndike pics wrap up. There is no overlap of images, depriving us of the ability to compare images of the same scene taken with two different cameras. Having that ability, of course, would have made it much easier to detect any manipulation of the images. Anyway, in the first post-blast Tang pic, the victim’s circle is completely engulfed in smoke. We can though see that Dr. Panter is, along with the rest of the spectators who were standing near him, continuing to walk away from the scene.
In the next image, Panter is still walking away while stealing a look back at the same location everyone else seems fascinated with. The guy standing along the fence by himself in the black jacket, roughly in the center of the frame, seems to be interested in something up there as well. The Director, barely visible, is moving along the rail towards the victim’s circle.
Moving on to Tang’s third image, we already encounter a significant problem: though Tang has indicated that this shot was captured just four seconds after the previous one, he has clearly moved to a different position. The camera is now at a lower elevation and the viewing angle has obviously changed as well. We couldn’t see around the corner of the building before, but now we can. I have no clue how Mr. Tang could have substantially changed his viewing position without missing a beat.
Dr. Panter can be seen employing a classic move that we have all seen before when someone wants to break away from a group unnoticed; he is deliberately lingering behind until everyone has passed him. But since he is purportedly an emergency room doctor, and since there is clearly a medical emergency in progress, why would he need to be so sneaky about approaching the scene? Why didn’t he just rush over there immediately, as he has claimed in interviews? Perhaps if we continue to monitor him we’ll discover the answer to that question.
Elsewhere in the scene, the Scream Queen in the brown sweatshirt is approaching The Director. The Scream Queen in the checkered coat is, as would be expected, being a Scream Queen. And the bald guy in the dark sweatshirt is approaching the Nicole/Hoody/Jeff/Mery cluster. Do most of the people in the foreground of this shot, by the way, look as though they are frantically fleeing a life-threatening situation?
Going in now for a closer look, we see that The Director is calmly surveying the scene. One of the Scream Queens is right behind him, doing what Scream Queens do. Another of the Scream Queens is in the center of the image, also doing what Scream Queens do. The third is still hovering near Campbell’s location. Meanwhile, the guy in the dark hoody is running across the scene, carrying something in his right hand. And Dr. Panter is currently out of the frame.
Pulling back, we can now see why Dr. Panter was so sneaky about circling back; he isn’t actually heading towards the victim circle; he is walking towards the buildings. We can also see, as the smoke has begun to clear, that most of the participants in the human barricade slipped away under cover of the smoke cloud. Our three Scream Queens remain though, doing what they do best.
Moving in again, we are treated to the spectacle of two of the Scream Queens running around screaming for no apparent reason. They will continue to do that for several more minutes. We also catch a glimpse of Dr. Panter eyeing the scene just before he ducks into the Lenscrafters building. The Director continues to aloofly survey the scene, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there are alleged victims lying right at his feet.
In the next image, we get more of the same, though without Panter in the frame. As these shots make clear, Tang was actually shooting pretty quickly, at a rate of one frame every two to three seconds. The problem though is that his average rate is much lower than that, primarily because there are some very large gaps in the photo sequence, as we will see as we move along. It seems more than a little odd to me that a guy who was at times shooting at 20-30 frames per minute, as would be expected, would suddenly decide to give us almost nothing for almost a full minute, but we’ll get to that later.
In the final image for this post, we see Panter’s foot and lower leg as he slips into the Lenscrafters building. Nothing suspicious about that, I suppose. I’m sure he had important business in there. Maybe he had an appointment to get fitted for some new glasses. Or maybe there were some really seriously injured people in there. Or maybe he wanted to see if they were taking bids yet to replace the storefront glass. Elsewhere on the scene, bodies are now lined up along the railing, The Director is moving to center stage, our cowboy hero is climbing over the scaffolding, and the guy in blue doesn’t seem to want any outsiders on the scene.
That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with the next installment as we continue to work our way through the completely ridiculous scene that played out at the first blast site. All of these images though, even in reduced form, are going to cause me some serious bandwidth problems, and my site, as you may have noticed, isn’t very well financed. So though I usually don’t ask, it would be very much appreciated if a couple of you could toss a little change in the tip jar on my home page. Thanks in advance if you feel so inclined. And thanks to all of my readers for supporting and defending my work.