Michael Hastings Car Crash Facts And Why I Don't Think He Was Murdered

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posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 06:45 PM
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I am Posting this as a response In light of a recent post regarding:

"Hastings drove like a Grandma" (Says friends and relatives)

I am posting this here because I did not want to derail the thread.

You will find here a presentation of facts. No suppositions, no speculations, and no “Possible Maybes”. If you find a discrepancy with the criteria, please, by all means point it out. To have a common frame of reference we need to define what the word “fact” really means.

The word FACT is defined as:
1. Something that actually exists; reality; truth
2. Something known to exist or to have happened

Dictionary

Areas I am going to cover include:

Michael Hastings
The Loud Labs Red Light Video
The Mercedes C250 2013
Car Hacking
The Crash and Engine Ejection
My Opinion


Michael Hastings

I think by now that almost everyone knows who Michael Hastings was. If you do not know who he was here is a Wikipedia link that gives his bio.

Wikipedia Bio

One thing he is known for is his piece that Rolling Stone published entitle “The Runaway General” which caused General Stanley McChrystal to be relieved of his command. He later wrote a book called “The Operators” which detailed his travels with General McChrystal.

On June 17 Hastings sent an email to his collegues indicating that the FBI was going to investigate and question them about their news gathering practices. On June 18 at around 4:30a.m. witnesses saw his car, traveling at a high rate of speed, crash into a tree causing a huge fireball. Due to shody evidence and lack of informative facts, there are those who find the circumstances highly suspect.

Regarding the families comments that he “Drove Like A Grandma”, I believe that they believed what they were saying, however, there are a couple of very important facts that where never mentioned, that his family and friends knew about. Michael had battled an alcohol problem for many years and had his first DUI accident when he was 19 which was documented in his first book. He was also an admitted Drug Addict. In 2010 he wrote an article that appeared on his bolg called The Hasting Report, where he had talked about smoking a CR**K Pipe during his college career and said “Well, I have smoked CR**K. I recommend it for all writers to try at least once”.

The Loud Labs Red Light Video

There are allot of things that can be said about this video and that it is Fact is Not one of those things. It is really a shady video in that the car seen driving passed the camera can Not be positively identified as being the Hastings Mercedes. In addition, since there was a loss of visual contact and a time lapse of about 6 minutes, it is merely impossible to establish as a fact that it was the Hastings vehicle running the red light and is circumstantial at best..

This video should be pitched on the Out Pile and completely disregarded.

The 2013 Mercedes C250

Owners Manual

This is the Owners Manual in .PFD Format. It is a 350 page document that takes a while to read but I have attached it as a reference of the preceding Facts.

The first thing I always do when I buy a new car is to read the manual. I do this because the manual can be quite informative. There you can find useful information like tire pressure data, passenger weight ratings, fuse block location, and how to open the sliding sun roof among other operating information.

Here are some Facts that I felt were fairly important to add.

Declarations of conformity Vehicle components, which receive and/or transmit radio waves


"The wireless devices of this vehicle comply with Part 15 of the FCC Rules Operation is subject to the following two conditions:
1) These devices may not cause harmful interference,
and 2) These devices must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.
Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for compliance could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.".

Information about electronic data acquisition in the vehicle
(Including notice pursuant to California Code § 9951)
Your vehicle records electronic data. If your vehicle is equipped with MBRACE, data is transmitted in the event of an accident.

Equipped with MBRACE (emergency call system), telephone and the Voice
Control System

WARNING
Objects in the driver's footwell can restrict the pedal travel or obstruct a depressed pedal. The operating and road safety of the vehicle is jeopardized. There is a risk of an accident. Make sure that all objects in the vehicle are stowed correctly, and that they cannot enter the driver's footwell. Install the floormats securely and as specified in order to ensure sufficient clearance for the pedals. Do not use loose floormats.


I find this last warning rather interesting as there has been a recall on 2012-2013 M-Class model because of floor mat issues.

Car Hacking

Here is a good article written by Computer World from August of last year about the University of Washington “Hacking” a car.

Car Hacking Story

If you read the article you see that the only way they were able to do it was to plug directly into OBD-II pass-through device. That means physically connecting with a cable. Not Wireless. Another interesting note: although there are 50-70 different computers in a car, you can only access one at a time. All of the computers run through a CAN bus and are not equipped to operate wirelessly.

On the other hand although someone might gain control of your vehicle during operation, the computers are smart enough to accept a manual input as apposed to a digital if it had to choose.

I also want to add a comment by Richard Clarke, a former State Department official and adviser to a few US presidents. He said “The crash that killed the Rolling Stone journalist appeared to be consistent with what he called a “car cyberattack.”

There are a couple of more facts that I need to add to this pile.

Universities possess some of the smartest people on the planet. The Alphabet Agencies Also have some pretty smart people though I have Never heard of an alphabet agency making a technological breakthrough. Although I am smart enough to know that they certainly keep that kind of information Super Secret. The point is that the agencies more than likely don’t have much better technology than the universities.
edit on 30-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)
edit on Sun Jun 30 2013 by DontTreadOnMe because: IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 06:51 PM
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The Crash And Engine Ejection

Aftermath Video

Aftermath Video

The facts surrounding the crash are limited to a few eyewitness reports and an aftermath video. From the eyewitness accounts we know for fact that the Hastings vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed on Highland Avenue and impacted head-on with a tree. The car immediately burst into flames and the engine was also ejected a distance of about 100 ft. Witnesses also described and “Explosion”.

As for the eyewitness accounts one thing that should be taken into consideration. If 10 people witness something not all of the accounts are going to be the same and in some cases some will differ by a huge margin.

I also want to add some facts about the impact that ejected the engine and transmission.
Firstly, thanks to mathematics we are able to “somewhat” calculate things like the dynamic energy of the impact in addition to the force required to separate the engine/transmission from the vehicle.

So, the force of the impact is calculate by this formula:

FavdD=-1/2mv^2
Where F is the force, D is the distance on impact to stop the car, m is the mass and v is the velocity expressed in ft/sec.

The mass would be the curb weigh of the vehicle, which is 3428 lbs.
The distance to stop the vehicle from the time it hit the tree to a complete stop can be measured in about 2 ft. (that is a general estimation from looking at the aftermath photos)
The velocity is somewhat variable since we are unable to measure any skid marks or scrape marks. Witnesses have indicated that the car was traveling at “Top Speed” and one said that he was going over 100mph. So for the sake of the calculation let’s use a figure of 90mph. Keep in mind that the car bottomed out at the intersection of Melrose which would have slowed it down about 15-20mph. So that out figure would be 70mph. Then it hit the median, which was about 6” high. That would have slowed it down another 10mph. The figure is now 60mph.

So after applying the figures we have:

Favg2=1/2x3428x60

The answer to the problem is: 516.4309818415554 TONS

Now, I tried to find the service manual so I could get a weight on the transmission and engine combined but you can’t get one without $150 bucks. SO, I will bypass that calculation.

I could add the shear strength calculation for the bolts, but I can tell you that the shear point on even a 5/8” bolt is NOWHERE near 516 tons. Also the cast aluminum from the transmission is much less than that. In the event I could find the combined weight of the transmission and engine combined we could calculate the distance that it would travel before landing.

This basic information could explain how the engine was ejected and where it landed.
edit on 30-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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My Opinion

I have done my very best to supply the facts that arte at hand. If you find something that appears to Not be fact then please by all means point it out so that it may be corrected.

What follows is my interpretation of the Facts presented herein.
Let’s define the word conspiracy so that we can have a common reference.

Conspiracy Theory is defined as:
A belief that some covert, but influential, organization is responsible for an unexplained event. Moreover Conspiracy Theories are built on a Lack of Facts.

Michael Hastings was a Great Guy. People loved him and his work in journalism work was top notch. It is known that he sent an email the day before the tragedy. The contents of that email were said to be that the FBI was investigating him among others. I believe that the second that information came to light everyone jumped on the Conspiracy Theory Bandwagon. With the added information that came into view about “Car Hacking” served only to add fuel to the fire. Unfortunately the comment made by Richard Clarke was probably one of the stupidest things that could have been said. With out investigating the Empirical Data there is absolutely no way in hell that his statement could have been backed by the facts. If you have read the facts regarding “car hacking” in this post then you know that there is no way possible to do it unless you are hooked directly into the OBD-II pass-through device. If that was the case then there would have been a big connected sticking out of the port and poking into his leg in the “ limited are of the footwell” as he driving. Common sense would dictate that he would wonder what the hell that was sticking him in the leg and stop to investigate it. So in my mind I have complete eliminated the possibility of hacking.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that he was hacked wirelessly. Go back and read the conditions of the wireless device/s as stated by the owner’s manual. The line that says “These devices must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation”. So as crude as it may sound, he really had No Choice but to tolerate and hacking that might have been happening with the chance for recourse.

Floormats for the Mercedes M Class have been recalled because they lodge over the accelerator and cause the car to accelerate in an undesirable fashion. As you can see, from an excerpt of the owners manual, that there is a warning regarding that very thing. Is it possible that the floor matt lodged onto the accelerator and brake pedal causing the massive acceleration and inability to apply the brakes? That must be taken into consideration.

Another Feature on the Mercedes is the EMBRACE System. It is a system very similar to the ONSTAR system, in that you can have direct communications with a rep incase of emergencies. So my question is: With several minutes of high speed travel and the inability to stop did he Not push that button and have the rep Turn the car OFF. That is very plausible and feasible.

Another, very important thing to make note of is, regarding the “Explosion”. There has been talk that maybe his car was rigged with explosives. This I can easily say is NOT the case and here is why. When explosives detonate they emit a very unusual odor. This I know for fact as I was an instructor of demolitions and improvised munitions in the army for about 8 years. Regardless of what explosive is used there is ALWAYS an odor. Of course the wind can carry the smell away quite quickly, if there is a wind. So I went and looked it up.

Weather report for 6/18/2013

The wind speed was ZERO mph. Which means that stench would have hung in the air. If you watch the loudlabs video you will see that Not one person made any indication whatsoever that there was an unusual smell.

I find it hard to believe that he could have not done something if in fact there were mechanical issues. I mean he did have several minutes to react and do something. Weather it was turn the vehicle off, or push the embrace button and have them turn it off or even open the fuse box which, is located directly to the left under the dash and start pulling fuses. Some might say he panicked. Well I must say that you are traveling at a high rate of speed for several minutes and all you do is nothing. Even Panicked people can function to some effect after several minutes. To me it is a tough cookie to swallow.

I assert that the accident was either mechanical failure or operator error.

We shall see in a few weeks or less the results of his toxicology report, which I believe may have some bearing since he was an admitted drug user and alcoholic.

One thing is for certain. The world has lost a hell of a guy and a kick@$$ journalist and we can only hope that he has inspired others to follow his path.
edit on 30-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:00 PM
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Universities possess some of the smartest people on the planet. The Alphabet Agencies Also have some pretty smart people though I have Never heard of an alphabet agency making a technological breakthrough. Although I am smart enough to know that they certainly keep that kind of information Super Secret. The point is that the agencies more than likely don’t have much better technology than the universities.


NASA

They can control a remote control car on Mars, controlling a car would be piece of cake if the Gov wanted to do so.

Not making any speculations about the topic at hand, just sayin'
edit on 30-6-2013 by introV because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by introV
 


I had honestly not even considered that since they typically are not involved in Murder Conspiracies.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by ShadellacZumbrum


Although I am smart enough to know that they certainly keep that kind of information Super Secret. The point is that the agencies more than likely don’t have much better technology than the universities.

 


Assumption, not supported by the classified system as a whole, or by historical reference.

DARPA I believe is at least a few years ahead of the tech standard.

I believe in the whistleblowing account by Mike Frost discussing CSE and NSA relations, he stated that the US hand hand scanning technology as far back as the 80s. (or perhaps before). I think it was regarded to be around 10 years ahead of its time. Obviously those gaps don't exist the same today, there could even be private companies a couple months or years ahead of military, but that does not mean everyone is on equal playing ground.

Frost story here.

But in any case, that's all irelevant because the technology exists:






This video should be pitched on the Out Pile and completely disregarded.



In or out, it doesn't kill either side of the argument.




Michael had battled an alcohol problem for many years and had his first DUI accident when he was 19 which was documented in his first book.


Ten years ago? That doesn't mean much of anything. I mentioned in the original thread I barely held onto my license when I was in my early 20s because of speeding convictions, yet, now I refuse to do more than 5 over the limit. And while I might have drove home after a couple of drinks in my 20s, I have a zero tolerance policy that I enforce today.

Under no circumstance would I drive under the influence, even though a decade or more ago I wouldn't have thought twice.




I have done my very best to supply the facts that arte at hand. If you find something that appears to Not be fact then please by all means point it out so that it may be corrected.



Most of your facts are irrelevant. And they surely do not disprove the notion that it may have been sabotage.
edit on 30-6-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by ShadellacZumbrum


I find it hard to believe that he could have not done something if in fact there were mechanical issues. I mean he did have several minutes to react and do something. Weather it was turn the vehicle off, or push the embrace button and have them turn it off or even open the fuse box which, is located directly to the left under the dash and start pulling fuses. Some might say he panicked. Well I must say that you are traveling at a high rate of speed for several minutes and all you do is nothing. Even Panicked people can function to some effect after several minutes. To me it is a tough cookie to swallow.

 


Your argument here is the weakest, "it wasn't sabotage or a murder cause he didn't pull the fusebox out." I mean seriously.

You are going at it the wrong way, looking entirely at the wrong things here. You can't dismiss suspicious circumstances because someone didn't act the way you think they should have acted.

Dear lord.




I assert that the accident was either mechanical failure or operator error.


Mechanical failure that could have been sabotage?




For the sake of argument, let’s say that he was hacked wirelessly. Go back and read the conditions of the wireless device/s as stated by the owner’s manual. The line that says “These devices must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation”. So as crude as it may sound, he really had No Choice but to tolerate and hacking that might have been happening with the chance for recourse.



Last time I checked, my phone doesn't say "this device can be used as a wireless mic and camera for the purposes of spying." Yet, that can be done by high tech agencies should they wish to.




With several minutes of high speed travel and the inability to stop did he Not push that button and have the rep Turn the car OFF. That is very plausible and feasible.


I thought you threw out the video as evidence. How do you know how long he was travelling at what speeds now?



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


His addicition and CR**K usage was posted to his blog in 2010.

Aside from that I feel the facts are very relevant.

Tampering will be proven or disproven when the investigation is completed.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by ShadellacZumbrum
reply to post by introV
 


I had honestly not even considered that since they typically are not involved in Murder Conspiracies.


I think the poster is pointing out that NASA is more advanced than your typical university. Although, it should be pointed out to them that they often collaborate with universities like MIT, etc.

Example



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:20 PM
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If the accelerator was jammed and you slammed on the brakes the brakes will still overpower the accelerator.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I think you are just trying to dig now.

I did not say that he could Not have been murdered because he didn't pull the fuses. So please try not to add things that aren't there.

And as I stated previously tampering will be proven or disproven when the investigastion is complete.

I in fact did eliminate the evidence of the video. That does not mean that I eliminated the eyewitness accounts as well.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:25 PM
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DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, All they do is develop new technologies. I also posted a video in a thread i started the other day within the first 3 minutes the PM of darpa said they had successfully hacked a car without physical access. Watch the first 5 minutes.

link to thread with video

DARPA wiki

DARPA homepage

edit on 30-6-2013 by Privateinquotations because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:28 PM
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There is no doubt that the car speed was off the radar,



The deposition of the engine and the resting place of the car is some distance apart. Something was seriously wrong.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by Privateinquotations
 


I find the video to be fouled. She said that the were able to do it without touching the vehicle and then followed that up with "had a car shop hook into the diagnostic port"

NOT Wirelessly. Still Not possible.
edit on 30-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by smurfy
 


Considering it was a C250 (not a fast car, but not slow either) 0-60 is around 6-7 seconds.
To completely set the car on fire and throw the engine out you'd probably be flooring the accelerator for a good 10-15 seconds.. not to mention running a red light while doing so.. something was definitely wrong



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by Privateinquotations
DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, All they do is develop new technologies. I also posted a video in a thread i started the other day within the first 3 minutes the PM of darpa said they had successfully hacked a car without physical access. Watch the first 5 minutes.

link to thread with video

DARPA wiki

DARPA homepage

edit on 30-6-2013 by Privateinquotations because: (no reason given)


I'm going to repost this video (I just posted it up a couple posts):



You don't need to speak Korean to understand what's going on in the video. The OP fails to even address this or admit it.

"Oh, wait, it doesn't say anything about my car being hacked in my manual! It can't be!"




posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by ShadellacZumbrum
reply to post by Privateinquotations
 


I find the video to be fouled. She said that the were able to do it without touching the vehicle and then followed that up with "had a car shop hook into the diagnostic port"

NOT Wirelessly. Still Not possible.
edit on 30-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)

Why because it's impossible for someone to have gotten access to Hastings car? Are you listening to yourself.


If there was (and I admit I'm being speculative here) a plot to murder the man, by hacking or sabotaging his car, why the hell would needing physical access to the car rule it out?

With this logic, car bombs in the 60s were impossible because someone would have to have planted them on the car. (Which apparently impossible.)



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by ShadellacZumbrum
reply to post by boncho
 


His addicition and CR**K usage was posted to his blog in 2010.

Aside from that I feel the facts are very relevant.

Tampering will be proven or disproven when the investigation is completed.


Hard for us to take that into consideration. Unless his tox screen shows he was way over the amount that would eliminate his motor control. Substance abuse has caused accidents, but it is not a prerequisite nor is it vice-versa.

You are speculating.

-

People that say "This is a suspicious case" are speculating too. But they are not ruling anything out. Myself, I think it's suspicious and should be investigated. It's quite possible it wasn't a murder plot, but just really strange, odd circumstances.

You however, have totally dismissed the possibility. Which I find very strange because none of your "facts" support your argument.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


And like I said, Conspiracies are built on a Lack Of Facts.



posted on Jun, 30 2013 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by boncho

You however, have totally dismissed the possibility. Which I find very strange because none of your "facts" support your argument.


I have not dismissed the possibility of murder and I do show that he was more than likely Not hacked, and that explosives were not used.

So there are a least 2 reasons why I think he was Not murdered.

Now, if they "HACKED" the braked lines then I would says that is a matter of semantics.

On the other hand I have also demonstrated that there are possibilities other then murder that may have caused this.
edit on 30-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)
edit on 30-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)






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