Welcome to my conspiracy

Celeste Corcoran and daughter Sydney, both nearly killed in the Boston Marathon bombing,give an interview
I spent last night watching videos. Specifically, videos made by conspiracy buffs interested in the recent Boston Marathon bombing. I was shocked (and disheartened) to learn that what to most people is an open and shut tragedy has become a twisted web of lies, corruption and conspiracies to a vocal few.

The self-appointed investigators homed in on what seemed like inconsistencies in the photographs taken at the event.

In one case, a bloody-faced woman, who was seen in many published photos crawling away from the blast site, is seen earlier. She is on her back seconds after the blast, and rolls over onto her knees before she can crawl away. While she rolls over, the narrator tells us that he can see her reach into pocket, pull out something (bloody makeup) wrapped in cloth, apply it and put it back into her pocket before she crawls off.

In another series of stills, we see Jeff Bauman, the gray-faced young man whose legs were shredded and blown off, just after he received his injuries. At first, his legs are positioned so that only his uninjured upper legs are seen. This leads the investigator to conclude that Baumann is a double-amputee, who is just pretending to be injured. We are told that at this moment, a gray-hooded man sitting on the ground just beyond Bauman quickly applies prosthetics to Jeff’s stumps to make it look like his legs had been injured. The joke is evidently on us: Jeff an actor in an elaborate plot to fool the public!

In another video, Bauman is seen in long shot from a grainy video being wheeled to an ambulance. An attendant approaches. To my eye, I thought he was covering Bauman's legs with a sterile wrap or a blanket. But no! The attendant is actually pushing the gruesome prostheses back onto Bauman stumps, since they were about to fall off and give away the charade!

There is something depressing and sad about the amount of brainpower devoted to “proving” a conspiracy in this case. For one thing, the logistics behind staging such a massive hoax are staggering. Everyone near the finish line would have to be in on it -- the cops, doctors, by-standers, media – anyone who could assist people whose injuries had been faked, or take the wrong picture. They would have had to conspire to keep any non-actor out of the death zone. ONE PERSON who walked onto the “set” could have blown the cover off the plot.

Think about Jeff Bauman as a case in point – one of many supposedly hurt and bleeding people whose roles (including applying prostheses, makeup and shredding their clothing) would have to be performed perfectly to fool the rest of us. And in the few seconds while smoke from the explosion cleared. For Bauman to be faking, he would need the work of many confederates – the civilians who rushed to help him, the ambulance attendants, the doctors who “treated” him; the nurses who changed the bandages on his non-existent injuries; the janitorial staff who cleaned his room; the family members and friends who knew that their amputee son/buddy had lost legs they already knew to be gone.

The sheer quantity of split-second timing, while the world watched, beggars the imagination. The massive cover-up needed to pull this off is unbelievable

It doesn’t seems as though these conspiracy buffs see the victims as human beings. They are just pawns in their know-it-all game of self-deception. The dead and injured are just paid performers, not needing, hurting, grieving victims whose entire lives have been altered forever, and who are deserving of our sympathy and support. Is it easier to shut off your conscience and your empathy than to live in a world where the inexplicable happens every day? Where real people die and are maimed by cruel, heartless attackers? I have read that belief in conspiracies helps some people to grapple with their own sense of powerlessness. They prefer “knowing” something monstrous to uncertainty.

Sadly, such paranoid thinking, while bringing us close to a tragedy, actually distances us from suffering. Remember the woman who was rolling over so she could crawl away, while self-applying bloody makeup? In the same frame was Celeste Corcoran, also on her back as her husband Kevin tried to pull her to her feet. Problem? Her feet were no longer fully attached to her body. A pool of blood quickly spread around her injured extremities. In pictures taken just seconds later, Celeste is on her back with her hand covering her eyes while Kevin is desperately pulling a belt around her leg to stop the gush of his wife’s lifeblood. While all of the conspiracy buff’s focus was on a woman who might have faked an injury (if you kept your eyes half-shut and assumed a person can apply convincing makeup in seconds while rolling on the ground) another woman who was literally bleeding out onto the streets of Boston was entirely invisible.

As invisible as the web of suppositions spun by people with too much time on their hands, too much technology and imagination at their disposal, but too little good judgment and heart for fellow human sufferers.