• By Lt. Tim McMillan

Dispelling Some Myths About The Vegas Mass Shooting.

When I was in graduate school I conducted a research project examining homeostasis in how people perceive their environment and future prospection.

When I asked people how likely was it that a mass causality terrorist attack, the size of September 11th would occur on U.S. soil in the next two years; 90% of the sample group indicated, “Certain” or “Highly Likely.” When I asked how likely was it that the person responding could be a victim of a mass causality terrorist attack in two years; 97% said “Not possible” or “Highly Unlikely.”

What the results of my study showed, is that people will often have a very negative view of the overall future. However, they will have a very positive view of their personal future. Essentially, “the sky is always falling, however, it is never my sky.”

When it comes to a tragedy such as the mass shooting that occurred at the Route 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas, this is a very difficult thing for people to come to terms with. In fact, it is extremely difficult, because to a degree it shatters the perception of invulnerability, or the homeostatic state of positive prospection, that people try to maintain. The unpredictability of such a horrific event causes one to have to come to terms with the fact that their sky could actually fall.

People deal with this reality in varying ways in order to mitigate their own homeostatic state of safety and security. One of the ways that we will often see people engage in is all together disassociation with the reality that something like this could ever occur. In essence, there is no need to be afraid of one’s future, because the event never actually occurred.

Say hello, to government conspiracy theories…

In truth, I understand why it is easy for some people to immediately turn to the belief that a mass causality or terrorist event is really the work of deception by a sinister government. First of all, in the history of the United States, our government has been willing to do some really horrible things for the “good of the nation.”

Presently, in 2017 the “False Flag” conspiracy is the most delicious flavor of choice when it comes to government conspiracy theories. There is a very good reason for this.

Stepping back into history, one will discover that America has a little past “false flags” against its people. Namely, one particular instance in “Operation North Woods.”

In 1962, the U.S. Department of Defense proposed “Operation North Woods.” This was a plot to intentionally hijacking or attack, U.S. passenger, and military planes or ships, in order to serve as a justification for invading Cuba and overthrowing Fidel Castro.

Now, one will get zero arguments from me. Indeed, the suggestion of the United States government attacking and killing its own citizens as a means to facilitate going to war is insidious, disturbing, and appalling. It is indefensibly disgraceful that “Operation North Woods” was ever suggested. Luckily, it was also completely rejected by President John F. Kennedy and the operation never was executed.

During the mid-1990’s, President Clinton had ordered reviews of various conspiracy theories such as President Kennedy’s death or the Roswell UFO crash, in hopes of putting them to bed. While looking into Kennedy’s death, investigators accidentally stumbled upon the previously unknown Operation North Woods. When Investigators found this shocking military plan, how they handled it was to say, “Yeah… let’s just put that one over there in the bottom of the stack and hope no one finds it.”

Guess what? Someone found it…

In 2002, author James Bamford published the book “Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency.” In his book, Bamford unveiled to the world the previously unknown Operation North Woods in all of its sinister glory.

When Bamford brought to light Operation North Woods, the similarities between operations plans and the events of September 11th were eerily similar. So similar that for so many people who were on the heels of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, coupled with American military personnel presently plowing through Iraq, the similarities were too much to not consider that the American people had been victims of a government false flag in 9/11.

From 2002 onward, there has not been a single terrorist attack or public tragedy that had not been declared to be a false flag operation by entire sub-groups of society.

Ultimately, I’m not here to defend the government’s actions or inactions when it comes to any involvement. Additionally, I have no desire to try to crush people’s way of dealing with traumatic incidents. Even if their ways of dealing might involve disassociation with reality.

However, in people’s efforts at understanding horrific tragedies, there is one group of people that can be taken advantage of by other’s efforts to find personal comfort.

The victims and their families…

The suggestion that the mass shooting in Las Vegas, or the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary are not real, says to the victims who have lost their lives, “they aren’t real.” It says to the families, friends, and loved ones of those who have had their lives taken, “your pain is not real.”

I truly hope I don’t have to elaborate to anyone that telling people who abruptly find themselves in the position of painful loss that their loss “never happened” is really, really, really, f***ed up!

When it comes to the events that occurred October 1st at the Route 91 Music Festival, I could tell people that there are a number of people who follow my Facebook page that had friends or family who was listening to Jason Aldean perform when a madman indiscriminately opened fire on an innocent crowd.

I could tell you that I have friends who had friends or relatives that were there attending the concert when the appalling crime occurred. I could tell anyone that if really don’t believe it, just ask any number of the 22,000 people in attendance at the concert, or the half a million people on the Vegas Strip that night.

However, I will instead try to answer some of the most prevailing questions people have messaged me asking or that I have seen. In hopes, if nothing else, it might contribute to someone not causing more pain to victims and their families during such a difficultly painful time.

1. Dozens of concert-goers and people reported the presence of multiple shooters.

Indeed, some witnesses, and even police radio chatter during the incident indicated that there may have been more than one shooter. However, there is a legitimate reason why.

First of all, the shooter knocked out two windows to his 32nd-floor hotel suite. Both of these locations provided two distinct elevated vantage points to fire from. The shooter alternated between shooting locations during his attack.

Understand in the chaos of something as harrowing as having bullets whizzing down around you. When the shooter fired from one vantage point most individuals would seek cover. As the shooter stopped firing, most people would understandably begin to try to flee from the area or seek better cover. This is when the shooter would commence firing again from the alternative firing position.

The shooter’s intent in using two distinct firing positions was because of the variance in vantage points. He purposely created a pincer-type sniper attack. This was an attempt to double envelope his victims and force them into controlled maneuvers in which he attacked the very position they would be fleeing towards.

For anyone experiencing an attack under this much precision it would absolutely feel like multiple shooters were targeting your every move, and in essence cutting off avenues of escape. This was by design by the shooter. Additionally, as the shooter appeared in different locations, it would give off the appearance of multiple shooters, because gunfire was coming from multiple locations.

I have been able to view crime scene photos of the interior of the hotel suite in which the attack occurred. Now, Law Enforcement officials have admonished news media for publishing the photos of a still active crime scene. So I will not publicly share those photos on my page.

However, I can say that from the photos the shooter indeed had multiple .223 and .308 caliber rifles. Many of these rifles were outfitted with bipods that would allow for one to stabilize the fire of two guns simultaneously. I have not heard that this did occur, however it is plausible. If indeed, this did occur, there would have been two guns firing at the same time, giving off the appearance of multiple shooters.

Additionally, one must understand there is evidence that the shooter was firing multiple long rifles, without reloading. Essentially, he would empty the contents of one rifle, then move onto another rifle. Based on the photos, all of the rifles I saw were Daniel Defense MK12’s, DDM4 V11 and V7 Pro, DD5V2’s.

Now, these are all similar rifles, however the difference between the .223 and .308 caliber guns would sound differently when fired. This would have aided in given one the perception of multiple shooters.

More consideration must be made in the way that sound waves function. Given the elevated position and the resort casino’s triangle wing design, it would cause sound waves to reverberate in tricky patterns.

Furthermore, the speed of sound travels at the relatively slow rate of 332 meters per second. The shooter was firing from a distance of almost 457 meters away. Essentially, there would be a noticeable delay from when the sound of gunfire left the shooter’s position to the point it reached persons on the ground. This would have only but added to the auditory confusion by anyone on the ground.

It’s my opinion all of the factors I’ve mentioned can absolutely account for the reason individuals who found themselves in chaotic moments of life or death, would have easily perceived visual and auditory evidence that suggested multiple shooters. Presently, I see no legitimate evidence that dispels that Stephen Paddock was the lone terrorist involved in the shooting.

2. What about the videos online that show what appears to be gunfire coming from the fourth floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino?

This is a fairly easy one to dispel. The only windows to the Mandalay Bay Casino that are broken out are the two vantage points from the 32nd-floor hotel suite of Stephen Paddock. There are no broken out windows on the 4th floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino in the aftermath of the shooting.

Additionally, the videos online that have reported to have shown muzzle flashes coming from the 4th floor have been widely proven to be have been strobe flashes coming from the casino. In fact, a video easily located online, shows two hours before the shooting, during the performance of band “Big and Rich” the strobe flashes coming from the 4th floor.

Link To Video

3. The weapons heard were fully automatic which is almost impossible to acquire legally or even illegally in America.

It has been widely reported that the shooter used what is called a “Bump Fire” technique in which a semi-automatic weapon can be made to mimic the rate of fire of an automatic weapon. I can confirm from the photographs I saw of the shooter’s weapons, indeed the rifles were outfitted with Slide-Fire brand bump stock modifications, that would have allowed for the semi-automatic rifles to be fired as automatic weapons.

4. A woman warned concert-goes they were “all going to die” 45 minutes before the shooting started.

NSNV, NBC’s Las Vegas affiliate interviewed a woman in the aftermath of the shooting who said that 45 minutes before the shooting a drunken woman was harassing people near the stage and got into some kind of verbal altercation with another woman. The woman who is described as being a Hispanic was escorted out by security after she told everyone “they were all going to die.”

If this person was an accomplice it would require her to have been knowingly inside the exact area in which Paddock was going to be shooting. Bear in mind, she didn’t leave the area, rather she was escorted out by security. Essentially, she didn’t render herself safe from the area by choice.

If she was somehow aware of Paddock’s actions beforehand and she was trying to warn everyone, she did a horrible job. Clearly, 911 would have been a far better and more advantageous avenue. If she was an accomplice, she was a horrible coconspirator. She placed herself directly into the area that Paddock would be firing… Knowingly.

Most likely this is retroactive confirmation bias. Essentially, one associates an unrelated event as being related to something because it makes sense. Since there haven’t been any other reports of this woman warning others they were going to die, this most likely is the unfortunate coincidental ravings of a drunken and belligerent person.

5. How does Stephen Paddock, a man with no military training, and described by family and neighbors as not being someone who was a firearms enthusiast, carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history?

This is the million-dollar question.

There is no denying Stephen Paddock very maliciously planned out the attack in Las Vegas. In addition, to the indiscriminate sniper tactics I described earlier, he also possessed some very sophisticated hardware to carry out his crimes.

In the photos I saw of his hotel suite, the weapons he used were high-quality expensive firearms. They were outfitted with expensive modifications including optics and “bump fire” attachments. In one photograph alone, I counted 14 different fully loaded, 100-round SureFire .223 magazines. These magazines were staged and unfired. Between ammunition and magazines that represents a cost of roughly $5,600. A suitcase in the room appears to show approximately 50 more 100-round SureFire magazines. Essentially, there is close to $20,000 worth ammunition and extended magazines in just one photo.

This doesn’t even account for the 23 firearms in the hotel suite. If indeed all of them were similar quality to the ones I saw, that would represent approximately $58,000 in guns. That isn’t even accounting for the modifications in terms of optics, bipods, bump-fire stocks.

Ultimately, it is very plausible that Paddock had over $100k worth of weaponry in his hotel suite when he commenced his attack.

In addition, Paddock set up two closed-circuit cameras, one over the peephole to his room and one on a room-service cart positioned outside of his room, filming down the hallway. Basically, Paddock had set up surveillance systems in order to alert himself of authority’s arrival.

Ultimately, Stephen Paddock had significant weaponry and used precision tactics that not something that would be taught in the military or by law enforcement. He used methods that were designed to inflict the most indiscriminate damage possible. Those are terrorist tactics and not the actions of the military or police.

In my opinion, after examining the level of care in which Paddock took, there is virtually no way possible that he did not have assistance in his planning to commit these horrific crimes.

Am I saying that this must have been the work of a conspiracy of actors working in collusion in order for Paddock to carrying out his mass causality attack?


At the end of the day, it is impossible that Stephen Paddock didn’t have help in gaining knowledge on the weaponry and tactics he used. However, that doesn’t mean he needed help from a clandestine terrorist cell.

In fact, every bit of intimate knowledge that Paddock would have needed is readily available on the internet. All Stephen Paddock would have needed to plot out and plan this harrowing crime, was the willingness and the financial resources necessary to carry it out. We know that he had the financial resources based on information that has been released. In my opinion, based on everything I see, he clearly also had more than enough desire to effectively plan out mass murder.

When I examined the methods and equipment Paddock used, it made me recall some of the fatal on-duty police encounters I had researched years ago. At the time I was examining ways to predict cop killer behaviors. In some instances, I saw suspects use very precise, military-style small arms tactics against police officers. When I investigated where the suspects learned these type of tactical engagements, in an overwhelming majority of cases in which the suspect was not a veteran, they ended up saying they learned the tactics from playing video games.

That’s the truth. Individuals learned how to use real-world combat tactics to kill people, from playing video games like Modern Warfare, or Battlefield.

At the end of the day, the entire events surrounding the massacre in Las Vegas, continue to become more disturbing and offer very little in terms of understandable relief.

There is no doubt in my mind, these unthinkable acts and senseless deaths occurred. To me, there is very little to no doubt, these crimes were committed by Stephen Craig Paddock alone.

Ultimately, by denying these events and tragic deaths, we disrespect the victims, their families, and loved ones. Additionally, we continue to allow ourselves to deny the reality that one man was able to amass an arsenal and plan out the taking of innocent life… all completely undetected.

Essentially, we are going to have to make some tough choices amongst ourselves as Americans. Do we consider this a remote and isolated event, and say it cannot possibly happen again? Do we consider what we could do better to protect ourselves from ever happening in the future? Or do we just try to push it from our memory and pretend it isn’t real?

Personally, it makes me sick to my stomach to think that 58 innocent people could lose their lives and we all be willing to allow their deaths to end up being completely meaningless.

Tim McMillan is a retired police lieutenant and investigative intelligence analyst; and holds BA's in mathematics and cognitive psychology. Primarily, focusing on the Defense and Intelligence Communities, he now uses his unique background, coupled with a willingness to examine any mystery, to deliver groundbreaking investigative reporting. Tim is a contributor for The War Zone, Vice, and Popular Mechanics

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© Lieutenant Tim McMillan All Rights Reserved by The Raziel Group LLC