route91 harvest shooting
© Chase Stevens / @csstevensphoto / Las Vegas Review-Journal
On January 30th, the FBI published its final report on the Las Vegas Massacre on October 1st, 2017, which saw over a thousand rounds fired in 10 minutes at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at the Las Vegas Village venue. Fifty eight people were shot dead and another 900 were injured, over half from gunfire, in America's most violent mass shooting. Focusing on what motivated 64-year-old Stephen Paddock to spend around $1.5 million of his own money, and a year of his time, planning and executing his crime, the FBI report concludes that the crime was without motive!

Faced with the impossible task of trying to make what was clearly a coordinated multi-site attack spread over a large area fit with the narrative that one man alone carried it out from one crime scene, it's little wonder the FBI came to such an unsatisfactory conclusion regarding motive. Critics will, justifiably, interpret this as confirmation that investigative authorities are complicit in covering up what really happened, who really did it, and why they did it, while the lack of reasonable closure on the case will do nothing to assuage the general public's unease with the official narrative for this and similar atrocities.

The best face one can put on the FBI's conclusion is that it is, in a sense, more honest than the alternative option of concocting some motive to fit with the core premise - laid down at the outset by anonymous mainstream media sources, then vigorously adhered to by the FBI - that one man acted alone. The problem for US authorities, and indeed for US society as a whole, is that this non-answer leaves a gaping wound in public awareness, emboldens the perpetrators and their patrons, and increases the likelihood of such crimes happening again.

With the US government and media derelict in their duty to protect the public by informing it of real dangers foreign and domestic - indeed, they are instead misinforming the public 24/7 about fictional Russian/Chinese/Iranian conspiracies - it is left to laymen to piece together the publicly-available data about the Las Vegas Massacre into a reasonably coherent narrative, containing at its core a motive which satisfactorily accounts for the scale and shocking depravity of the crime.

Despite the media's and official investigators' appalling lack of interest in following up on early police radio reports and the testimonies and video/photo evidence from many among the 22,000 people in the crossfire that night - specifically that concerning gunfire targeting festival attendees from directions other than the Mandalay Bay hotel, gunfire targeting multiple other casino resorts along the Vegas Strip, suspicious persons directing people off the streets and into casino resorts, and suspicious persons apprehended, chased, or even shot by Las Vegas police - the fact is that this large body of evidence remains wholly unaccounted for and, where mentioned, patronizingly is dismissed as 'mistaken reports'.
las vegas venue shooting
Triangulated Crossfire

Joe Quinn and I published analyses on the Las Vegas Massacre, and we also discussed it on a couple of our shows, arguing that the facts of the shooting do not support the premise that Paddock acted alone. We further concluded that Paddock was probably a patsy - in the sense that he either played a minor role, or no role at all, in the shooting.

I would suggest that at least three gunmen targeted the festival venue during those bloody ten minutes shortly after 10pm. Smashed-out windows in both the suite and the adjoining room on the north end of 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay make sense only for two gunmen, both of whom would have escaped long before SWAT teams breached the door - over an hour later - and found Paddock dead from a gunshot wound, allegedly self-inflicted just as the door was blown open, hence the reason they gave for why they didn't hear this fatal gunshot.

While one of these two Mandalay Bay gunmen 'strafed' the festival venue with heavy machine-gunfire, the other likely divided his time between checking video feed from the pre-placed cameras monitoring the hallway, and picking out venue attendees with a sniper rifle - the first few cracks from which are likely what we hear in attendees' video footage of the earliest moments of the attack, and any subsequent shots from which would have been audibly masked by the machine-gun.

Any given individual's account of gunfire from an alternate source may be put down to panic and confusion in the moment - and, certainly, this was an extremely chaotic and traumatizing event - but many attendees and venue staff reported, even days and weeks later, that they were additionally being fired at from a position or positions much closer to the venue, at ground level to the east or southeast, from either within or nearby the staff parking lot between the venue and the outer perimeter of McCarran International Airport.

A third gunmen was likely situated on the east side of the venue in a position to engage in an L-shaped ambush, or triangulated crossfire, relative to the Mandalay Bay position, targeting fleeing venue attendees as they poured out of what were, initially, the only open exit points along the venue's eastern side (Giles Street).
route 91 shooting map

Click to enlarge
In the above map, triangulation between the north tower of the Mandalay Bay, the main crowd in front of the stage at the festival venue, and thus a possible ground location for a second shooting position, is marked in yellow. Most attendees fled in the opposite direction from the Mandalay Bay, through exits 4a, 5 and 6 on the eastern side of the venue, and into lots and side streets that were only partly illuminated and sectioned off with fencing and obstructing vehicles. Beyond those, to the south and east, is open ground until the purple line marking the perimeter of McCarran Airport.

While the Mandalay Bay shooting position was fixed to one location on the 32nd floor, a ground-based second team to the east of the venue would have been free to change position. The police dispatch commander can be heard on the Las Vegas Metro Police Department (LVMPD) scanner (transcript here), almost 30 minutes after the gunfire ended, informing all units that "we have two [crime] scenes," one "at Ali Baba & Giles, east of the Catholic shrine, as well as in the Mandalay Bay," before another central dispatcher confirms, about 7 minutes later, that "the Mandalay Bay and Ali Baba & Giles are the two shooting locations." The location of this second "scene" is marked above with a blue circle.

Note that these two locations bracket the desert lot that served as a staff parking and storage area for the duration of the festival. Thousands of festival attendees and staff fled into that lot, and although most turned north in the direction of the Tropicana casino, hundreds continued heading east, breached airport perimeter fences, and crossed the McCarran Airport runways. Along the way, many reported that gunfire sounded closer as they moved away from the venue, and others reported seeing people get shot in the parking lot.

It's known that at least one of the victims - Melissa Ramirez - was fatally shot at the northeast corner of the lot, marked as a red cross on our map, close to the airport boundary. Matching CCTV and police body cam footage confirm that she and several others, who had been shot at, or close to this location, took refuge close by in the small parking lot of a business park adjoining the airport grounds. However, in the final LVMPD report published a year ago, which included a photo and a map showing locations of the deceased, Ramirez is listed as having died at the Desert Rose resort, to where her body was presumably initially transported.

las vegas shooting deceased

Photo of the Las Vegas Village grounds published in the LVMPD final report, showing locations of the deceased inside the venue
las vegas shooting report map deceased

Map of the Las Vegas Village grounds and surrounding area published in the LVMPD final report, showing locations of the deceased outside the venue
The victims numbered 21 through 26 are listed by the LVMPD as having died at the perimeter of, or just beyond, the festival grounds. Numbers 21 through 24 were specifically "located and recovered near the medical tent in the northeast portion of the venue" supporting police dispatch reports and eyewitness reports that the medical tent located in the northeast corner of the venue was deliberately targeted.

In addition, Melissa Ramirez, listed as victim 29 in the report, is located at the Desert Rose resort along with victims 27 and 28, so their bodies were likely also moved there afterwards. In fact, the LVMPD report says that the seven victims shown in their map (above) were probably "placed at these locations." The report says that the remaining victims, numbered 32 through 58, died en route to or at Las Vegas hospitals.

Others besides Ramirez were, therefore, probably shot from a ground-level position within or near the staff parking lot as they headed east away from the venue. Certainly, Ramirez was not shot and killed by a bullet fired from an AR-15 handled by a 64-year-old amateur picking her out in a relatively dark location from over 2,000 feet away on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. Finally, the locations published in the police report of those who died at or near the venue, broadly clustered as they are into two defined areas - in front of the main stage nearest to the Mandalay Bay, and at the opposite end of the venue - supports the case for two crime scenes; two target locations from two shooting positions.

Corraling and Gaslighting Las Vegas

As I covered in 'Las Vegas Terror Attack: Clear Evidence of Multiple Shooters at Multiple Hotels', other events that night took place far from the festival venue, and long after SWAT teams 'secured' the suite at the Mandalay Bay. Police did respond to these dozen or more active shooter reports, with weapons drawn, so at the very least they merit investigation and official follow-up. The city of Las Vegas has apparently chosen to forget these other events ever happened, but police dispatch reports of successfully apprehending and taking into custody suspects at other locations along the Strip, coupled with hundreds of reports on social media - some of which include detailed testimony - of audible bursts of gunfire and mass panic at multiple other casino resorts and hotels, means there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people who cannot forget.

Based on the scale and duration of the overall operation - taking place as it did along a two-mile-long section of the Strip over a period of several hours - I would suggest that as many as two dozen 'spotters' or logistical support were apparently tasked with provoking active shooter lock-downs at other hotel-casino resorts. This obviously drew many police away from the two primary crime scenes, confused their responses, and enabled the perpetrators to escape.

Additionally, this effectively corralled the tens of thousands of festival attendees and other tourists and Las Vegans on the Strip that night into casino resorts, which, once they went into 'lock-down' - a pseudo-legal concept in post-911 America that is tantamount to martial law - kept everyone detained until early the next day. By now thoroughly terrorized and stressed, people were only released from whichever casino they found themselves in once they had been frisked and 'processed' (literally every room and every person's belongings on the Las Vegas Strip was searched) by police and FBI agents.

Powerful Motive

Nothing made public by the official investigation since then contradicts this basic frame. The investigation focused on one key witness to one crime scene - security guard Jesus Campos at the Mandalay Bay, whose vague account of his 'encounter with the gunman' through the (closed) main doors of suite 32-135 remains as inconclusive as the official explanations for what took place at that crime scene before, during and after the shooting. Given his affinity for gambling, Paddock was possibly using his privileges as a 'high roller' during his frequent hotel stays in Las Vegas to supplement his income with buying and selling weapons on the side. This would account for the large numbers of weapons he brought into his suite, and those found in his homes, as well as his purchasing of weapons from people operating in the weapons black market.

In providing an alternative account of events that night, I am of course aware that it is an inherently speculative exercise. Keep in mind, however, that while the media lambasts 'conspiracy theorists' and derides the various theories they put forward, it is attempting to make square pegs fit in the gaping round holes of the official narrative, and completely oblivious to the fact that this makes them party to insupportable conspiracy theories which ultimately aid and abet the real perpetrators. Having abandoned their posts by not solving the crime and thus leaving Americans without a realistic account, they have left the field wide open for wholly unsupportable theories, one predictable result of which is the proliferation of schizophrenic interpretations in which nothing 'real' happened at all - as on a movie set.

I also realize that, in articulating a reason for why powerful elements of the 'deep state' would conspire in the execution or cover-up of a massacre of their own citizens, this too is a shot in the dark. When asked at a press conference in early October 2017 why he thought the perpetrator - by then singled out as Stephen Paddock - did it, the Clark County Sheriff, Joseph Lombardo, replied:
"I can't get into the mind of a psychopath."
Neither can anyone, really, but the motivations behind psychopathic actions committed by those in or close to power can reasonably be discerned in other contexts, no matter how paralogical they may at first glance seem.
lombardo vegas shooting
© Erik Verduzco / Las Vegas Review-Journal
Between a rock and a hard place: Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo (center), with Nevada governor Brian Sandoval (left), and FBI Special Agent Aaron Rouse
The FBI has bailed on providing a motive for this crime, but I would suggest that the motive is clearly terrorism, the definition of which is "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims." No one doubts how effective the Las Vegas shooting was in terms of generating terror, amplified beyond that city across the US and wider world through the media, but the political aims it sought to achieve are not readily apparent because the narrative was fixed around one actor. As with many similar acts of terrorism attributed to 'lone gunmen', once the message gets out through the media that one person acted alone, all investigation and consideration of political motive - which necessarily implies a conspiracy of agents, or at least ideological affiliation - is halted in its tracks.

This 'artificial stripping' of political motive at the outset is itself a clue to the political nature of this mass shooting. We are of course all familiar in this day and age with terrorism attributed to - and indeed often carried out by - religiously and highly politically-motivated Muslims. We are also by now familiar with the evidence that states - including democratically-elected governments - in one way or another sponsor groups and individuals whose actions often fall under the definition of terrorism, and that they use these groups for political and geopolitical ends.

The primary effect of terror is fear, which induces emotional thinking and high degrees of submission to an authority promising to allay that fear by offering protection. The quid pro quo is that, in return, citizens are implicitly, and sometimes explicitly, told that they must not question that authority. In the political climate that arose in the US during and after the election of an 'unapproved' candidate in 2016, Americans became aware, en masse, of the concept of a 'deep state' substantively influencing government policy from beyond official mechanisms of power - and from beyond America's borders.

It is in this context that a deliberately-provoked tragedy, apparently disconnected from the intense political battles taking place for control of the national 'ship of state', serves the purpose of provoking or reinforcing submission to 'that which shall remain unquestioned'. In America's case, that which shall not be questioned is the fundamental orientation of the country's economy around militarism, its self-ordained role as the world's policeman through permanent war (as succinctly articulated by neocon Max Boot in the Washington Post this week), and its stewardship under a super-wealthy oligarchy that has usurped the US national interest in order to advance the 'global interest' of US-led Western hegemony over all nations.

Under this overarching imperative of 'defending the realm', which is really about maintaining the political status quo, terrorism becomes a blunt force instrument of mass distraction and mass submission. Consider, for example, the synchronicity of terror attacks hitting Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalonia a little over a month before that Spanish region's independence referendum. The date for the referendum - October 1st 2017, was set long in advance of the terror attacks - the political motivation for which was ostensibly to advance the Islamic State's goal of re-creating an 'Islamic caliphate'. The shock referendum vote for secession from Spain, and the Spanish government's distinctly authoritarian and brutal suppression of voters and secessionist leaders, was briefly captured even in US media, before being substantially replaced by a sudden shift in focus to the Las Vegas shooting about 10 hours later:

CNN catalonia referendum
Tying into all of this was the commencement of a high-profile and politically contentious court case in Washington, DC on October 2nd, 2017: the trial of a suspect in the Benghazi attack of September 11th, 2012, which US authorities have been at pains to limit to an investigation of the murder of four US citizens, including the ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, while downplaying that consulate's function as a CIA operations center for the shipment of weapons and terrorists to the brewing 'civil war' in Syria - and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's role in it.

Misdirection, and a Signature?

A strange footnote to the October 2017 terror attack in Las Vegas was the immediate claim of responsibility by 'ISIS' - conveyed on their behalf, as usual, by privatized Mossad outfit 'SITE Intelligence', but then ruled out by US officials - in conjunction with an atypically forthcoming revelation, disclosed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal by "knowledgeable sources" 48 hours after the attack, that two bullets had struck one of the pair of enormous fuel tanks servicing private airlines located just beyond the staff parking lot. This prompted media theories about Paddock deliberately targeting the tanks in an attempt, however futile, to detonate the fuel, and it compelled Las Vegas police to investigate the incident and duly report in their final timeline of events (p.34, LVMPD report) that, indeed, eight rounds had been fired at the tanks four minutes into the 10-minute shooting spree.

Why would a lone gunman on an otherwise meticulously-planned and tactically-astute mission to kill as many people as possible, with precious time to spare, break from the task at hand to take aim at a fuel tank, located away from any crowds, and twice the distance away from the Mandalay Bay as the festival venue? Celebrity gossip news site RadarOnline.com - a curious media source for 'anonymous law enforcement officials' to turn to - weighed in the following day with a wacky follow-up scoop, though it included some highly 'intelligent' background information:
Las Vegas Shooter Targeted Secret Government Planes In Addition To Victims

By Radar Staff, posted on Oct 5, 2017
Las Vegas madman Stephen Paddock not only targeted innocent concertgoers - but also seemingly the hanger for the U.S. government's super secret JANET airlines.

Law enforcement sources exclusively told RadarOnline.com that just afield of the two massive, circular fuel tanks at which Paddock fired, lies the shadowy terminal for JANET.

"JANET is essentially an airline that doesn't exist," a source told Radar. "It is not affiliated with any other airline.

"Insiders call it the 'CIA's airline,' but, informally, it's known as 'JANET' because its pilots use that identifier over air traffic control frequencies."

"The airline mostly uses JANET as a shuttle service for military VIPs between Las Vegas and Area 51," the source added. "The joke is that the acronym stands for Just Another Non-Existent Terminal."

"It's also a very intriguing angle given Paddock worked for the predecessor of Lockheed Martin, one of the U.S. government's most relied upon military aviation manufacturers."

As Radar previously reported, Paddock broke the window of his Mandalay Bay and Casino suite on the 32nd floor and fired upon the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, killing 59 and wounding more than 500 more.

But the retired 64-year-old also broke a second window and fired at two circular, white-pained fuel tanks 1,110 feet from the concert site on the edge of McCarran International Airport.

Officials have now confirmed he hit the tanks twice, although the bullets did not pierce their shells. Construction crews have already whitewashed the damage.

"Airport fueling has not been compromised," airport spokesman Chris Jones acknowledged. "It's functional."

The tanks are owned and operated by Swissport, and used primarily to fuel numerous private airlines located around that part of McCarran. The closest airline is JANET.

In the wake of these revelations, Radar has learned JANET planes are officially owned by the U.S. Air Force - and operated by defense contractor AECOM. The planes neither carry nor display an N-number, and none of the usual identifying marks common to commercial and privately owned aircraft.

But those in the know know them only by the distinctive red cheat line painted prominently across the planes' fuselages.

The airline is most commonly used by the U.S. government to ferry military and government VIPs, and contractors between Las Vegas and Area 51, the super secret base where the military is believed to test experimental weapons and aircraft.

"JANET is based at McCarran International Airport and its hanger is just beyond a parking lot directly adjacent to those gas tankers," Radar's source said.

Dawna Kaufmann, an investigative journalist and author of Final Exams, told Radar she has monitored air traffic transmissions from McCarran.

"Each day many flights go from McCarran to various intelligence agency outposts, including Area 51," she said. "But most flights go to Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, 35 miles northwest of Vegas."

"Creech is where a joint US/UK program is housed for identifying drone targets in Iraq and Afghanistan or any other Middle East hot spot."

"All of the drone attacks that have taken out enemies have been given the go-ahead by military brass at Creech."

ISIS has claimed responsibility for Paddock's acts - although authorities have discredited the group's assertion.

Kaufmann told Radar the presence of JANET near the targeted fuel tanks could provide the missing link to unraveling Paddock's madness.

"Paddock might have held anti-American views that made him want to target our government. We know the Philippines is a hotbed of ISIS activity," Kaufmann said.

"It's likely Paddock had two missions - one for the concert goers and the second to do something anti-American, perhaps at the behest of an enemy nation."
Well, aint that a daisy.

'JANET' may be an open secret, but it is secretive nonetheless. A major military-intelligence transport hub serving super-secret and 'regular' military sites in the US Southwest, which in turn serve Deep State operations globally, being situated literally next door to the festival venue certainly adds intrigue to what is already the biggest unsolved crime in modern US history. That the tanks that fuel its aircraft were hit during the shooting adds a little more.

Incidentally, several hundred fleeing festival attendees hunkered down that night in the Las Vegas Sands Corp hangar, which houses one of the biggest fleet of private aircraft in the world, and is the next private hangar to the south of the CIA's facility at McCarran Airport. Sands Corp also runs The Palazzo and The Venetian casino-hotels on the Vegas Strip and is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's biggest newspaper, in a 'secret transaction' in late 2015. Adelson is also the biggest donor to Republican politicians in the US, and is listed as the 15th richest man on Earth.

Perhaps Paddock's 'second mission' was motivated by a grudge against the rich?

CIA JANET Vegas airport shooting

Click to enlarge
Yes indeed, as the Radar report suggests, those two giant fuel tanks "could provide the missing link" to unraveling the case. However, their anonymous source's generous suggestions that Paddock targeted them a) to get back at the US govt because he was either a former disgruntled employee of the predecessor to Lockheed Martin, or b) at the behest of a foreign government, is the tallest tale I've heard this side of the World Trade Center towers pancaking into dust under the weight of their upper floors on 9/11.

Unless
...

The tanks were deliberately targeted not to attack the US government per se, but to draw attention to an important US military-intelligence facility and thereby leave a 'signature' in the form of a message to officials and investigators who may be wavering: 'play ball with the lone gunman cover-up and do NOT say or do anything that exposes us'.