This post originally appeared on Houdini's Revenge
11/28/15: Via several search strings leading people to this entry, I learned Dave McGowan died on November 22, 2015. He was diagnosed in late spring with a very aggressive form of cancer and it sounds like he spent the last six months of his life suffering physically and financially. No matter how much I disagreed with him in some areas of research, this is all quite unpleasant to find out. He was an interesting man who influenced large swaths of alternative thought and this is sad news to all who have read his work, especially his very interesting works about Laurel Canyon. God speed, Dave.
6/6/13: Let’s keep McGowan’s pet name for me over on his site, ironic usage included. I want real discussion, not strange men cursing at me with such unoriginality they can only muster someone else’s anger. Seriously. If you must call me names, may I suggest you just stick your tongue out while yelling “Neener neener!” at your computer screen. Undignified to be sure but it’s not like discussing conspiracy theory is a particularly noble endeavor.
5/27/13 Please note: I appreciate the impassioned responses this entry has received and I like to reply to comments when applicable. I do, however, have other things to accomplish, like other entries in the Boston Bombing series, as well as discussions on my other site, and cannot continue to give comments the attention they deserve as it is eating up so much of my time. Even though I no longer have the time to engage on this topic – and that is my fault for I had no idea this would generate much in the way of a response – comments are still open. Follow my comment policy and I am only too happy to let commenters give their opinions. My lack of response is just due to time. True Believers may interpret this comment however they please.
(Note: I noticed yesterday that Dave McGowan’s site was throwing up “bandwidth exceeded” messages. If this is a chronic problem with his site, I may not continue on and discuss the rest of his entries because it’s hardly fair to readers not to be able to see the source I am analyzing, even as I quote liberally and use the exact pictures he uses. Upgrade, Dave! Even as I dislike this theory, your Laurel Canyon stuff is fascinating!)
A reader here, who is a conspiracy theorist whom I respect and enjoy talking with, directed me to Dave McGowan’s “Special Report on the Boston Marathon: The Curious Case of the Man Who Could Only Sit Down.” I read through it and immediately found a lot of problems I wanted to address.
I had spent three days writing my analysis of McGowan’s entire theory when my husband pointed out to me that McGowan had split his article up into three parts, adding large, new chunks of material at the end and adding smaller bits of new information in the parts I had already covered, specifically information about Christian Williams. I had been working out of the same, unclosed window for days and had not noticed these changes. Because accuracy matters, I changed my discussion to mirror McGowan’s work, and will be splitting my discussion into three parts. If anything I quote here appears to have changed since posting this debunk, let me know and I will post the screen shot of the entire entries I responded to. Please note that this analysis for Part One comes from the entry McGowan had posted as of 5/15/2013.
I don’t think I’ve ever encountered this sort of thing before. All bloggers I read indicate when they have edited content. I personally prefer to leave content as it stands and include an edit with the new information. You can see this at work in my entry on The Franklin Cover-Up. It’s important to have this sort of information integrity because otherwise you are forcing your readers to check back with your entry literally every day lest they be accused of misquoting you, which will definitely happen when discussing conspiracy theory. True Believers love to read ill-intent in the smallest of errors and had my husband not seen that McGowan had, in fact, added large sections to his work and split it up into three sections, I can’t imagine the attacks that would have been lobbed my way.
I have the original I initially responded to and checked to see if there was some manner in which McGowan communicated his new material. His font sizes change often in his work and I initially had hoped smaller font was indicative of edited material, but that did not prove to be the case as unedited material was also in smaller font. There was nothing in any of the three sections to show the reader that he had been adding to his original work, other than the obvious fact that he had broken his first entry into three smaller entries.
Very strange, but at least I noticed before I posted so no harm done.
I found myself in an odd position debunking McGowan’s theory. Though this is only the second entry in my Boston Bombing Theories series, I have several other entries in my drafts folder that need a bit more research or need to be edited before I post them. None of them have inspired in me the level of anger I experienced reading McGowan’s theory, but then again, it’s early days. Perhaps more of this is in store for me. Still, it was, at times, nauseating to read such a virulent lack of respect for the Boston Bombing victims. Throughout his articles, McGowan engages in a near Stalinist desire to unperson people who have suffered grave harm in order to prove a theory that involves more supposition on his part than it does actual proof. He insults the appearance of one victim, he demeans the dead and he outright mocks serious injuries because he claims it is clear victims were not wounded. He bases this opinion solely on his observations, which often appear strange as the pictures show gravely injured people. Or at least they do to those not pushing an agenda. It’s hard to maintain a tone of civility when one encounters such a shocking lack of basic human decency. I’m sure McGowan is a great man and thinker in many respects but his Boston Bombing Theory doesn’t necessarily reflect that.
Let me also repeat here that I don’t have a theory as to what happened at Boston. I am withholding judgement until the government makes a full case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It would be very nice to see the video the FBI claims shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placing the bomb and the letter he is said to have written on the wall of the boat where he hid after the Watertown shoot out, especially the latter as it just sounds so strange. There has been too much bad information about this case to have much faith in anything that the public cannot see with their own eyes.
Because this is the first long debunk I have posted, I need to explain why I am discussing his theory line by line. Lest it seem like I am beating up McGowan, I will likely need to examine every line of every conspiracy theory. Most, if not all, theorists will insist that if a debunker fails to address every single bit of minutia in their theory, then they haven’t debunked it. And if they put as much work into their theories that McGowan has put into his, perhaps they deserve that level of scrutiny. Having had people focus on one element of something I have to say rather than examine the whole of my argument, I understand how frustrating it is when people ignore large chunks of what I write.
I also need to tell you all that there is analysis of extremely bloody and graphic bomb scene photographs. If you are squeamish or find such content offensive, you will want to give this section a miss.