The Waco FLIR Flashes

Flash Location 4

(c) 06/05/00 Ian Williams Goddard

The documentary Waco: A New Revelation states that the flashes seen at Location 4 on a FLIR (forward-looking infrared) video taken over Waco in 1993 are machinegun fire and that at least 15 people trying to escape the fire were found dead in the room into which that alleged machinegun was supposedly firing. However, both of those significant claims are false.

Location-4 flashes are caused by infrared radiation being reflected off an object that can be seen in both FLIR and visible-radiation photographs. The first image below from the 1993 Waco FLIR shows that reflective object (center of circle that I have superimposed pinpoints the infrared-reflecting object). To the right of the first image is a visible-light photograph taken from an angle at 90 degrees to that of the FLIR image showing the same object (superimposed circle center pinpoints object).

Sources: FLIR image Waco: A New Revelation; visible-light photo The Davidian Massacre. (all graphics are animated, hit "reload" if they stop)

The object remains attached to a fallen-out panel from the collapsed gym the entire time that panel rests slanted on the ground. The object flaps in the wind and appears to be a film-like material curled up over the edge of the panel and may be a thermal (infrared reflecting) insulation material. The following FLIR frame below shows one of many flashes on the object at Location 4:

Flash on reflective object at flash Location 4.
Source: Waco: The Rules of Engagement

The following are several frames from Waco: A New Revelation showing four of about twenty flashes seen at Location 4 as the fire breaks out, which are said to be gunshots. The shape of the fallen panel with the reflective surface is difficult to see after the fire over-saturates the screen, and thus is temporarily superimposed. The fallen panel is, however, clearly visible when viewing the video in real time, which is recommended, and the flashes are always in the same location as the reflective object on the fallen panel.

Flashes on reflective object attached to fallen panel said to be gunshots. Bright circle superimposed by source: Waco: A New Revelation.

As you can see, the flashes said to be gunfire are in the exact location as the reflective object identified above. Obviously the quality of the images above are not ideal, but if you carefully view that sequence on Waco: A New Revelation, you will clearly see the fallen out panel with the flashes on it located exactly as the superimpossed shapes above indicate. The illusion that those flashes on the flapping reflective object are gunshots is supported by two other falsehoods:

(1) Waco: A New Revelation claims that the alleged gunshots at Location 4 are "being fired into the back of the dinning room" and that "according to the Justice Department report, at least fifteen people were found shot to death at this location." However, in the listing of all the bodies and the locations they were found in the cited Justice Department report (pages 313 - 328), not one, repeat, not one body is listed as being found in the dinning room.

(2) Dr. Edward Allard states in both Waco: The Rules of Engagement and Waco: A New Revelation that the gunman allegedly causing the flashes at Location 4 is retreating as he fires, "like some kind of cowboy movie." However, careful viewing of that flash series clearly proves without doubt that those flashes remain fixed exactly on the reflective object from the first to the last flash in that sequence. The four sample FLIR frames in the graphic above are taken from across the better part of that flash series and we can see that the flashes are always in one place and are not retreating.

The story told by Waco: A New Revelation that the flashes at Location 4 are a machinegun fired by a retreating agent who killed at least fifteen people is in reality a complete fiction.


The reflective object seen in the 1993 Waco FLIR at Location 4 where key flashes said to be gunfire occur could not have been added by the FBI to more-recently released copies of the video, since the object can be seen in the first videos that were released, such as those shown in the cited Waco documentaries, and thus the reflective object has always been there. If the FBI added the object to the video before it was released to explain gunshots, it would have been profoundly easier to have just erased any gunshots. It is only too obvious that there was a reflective object that was captured on FLIR and visible-light photographs at flash Location 4 next to the Mount Carmel Center causing flashes that some have said are gunfire.

The graphics displayed here merely hint at how obvious this is. Seeing the FLIR video in real time on one of the cited documentaries or watching the full-length FLIR video and being shown the small object attached to the fallen panel that can be seen for the better part of an hour as it flaps in the wind and periodically flashes will confirm to the viewer that those flashes are reflections off that visible object and are not gunshots. The facts that (a) the size of the flashes are roughly equivalent to the size of the visible object (about 1 by 2 or 3 feet) and are on, rather than forward of, the object, (b) the object can be seen flapping in the wind, and (c) is always seen attached to the fallen-out panel indicates that it is not a shooting device that was placed there.

The rapid rate of the flashes at Location 4 appears to be a function of the wind-induced rate of the flapping of the reflective object. Many other things, such as the flag and banners hung from windows can also be seen flapping in the constant gale-force winds blowing that day. It appears that the flapping and flashing surface is reflecting infrared radiation from the fire, not the sun, as the fire breaks out. The Vector Data report states that those flashes (event 57) are thermal reflections of the fire off debris, which is plainly the case.

Upon Reflection: the flashes at Location 4, which multiple analysts concluded were gunfire, are a good example of why it's wise to be skeptical and examine all claims very closely, particularly those claims that support our hypotheses. It is when we discover evidence appearing to support or notions that we are most vulnerable to error by believing faster than we examine. Based on the testimony of Dr Edward Allard and seeing those rapid flashes, I believed Location-4 flashes were gunshots faster than I examined them carefully, whereupon I found that the flashes at Location 4 are actually and even obviously reflections of infrared radiation off an infrared-reflecting object flapping in the wind.

For those with a high-quality copy of the 1993 Waco FLIR video, you can view the reflective object described above flapping in the wind in these time-frames: 11:30:17 - 38, 11:32:23 - 36, 11:34:28 - 48, 11:41:05 - 21, 11:47:12 - 31, 11:55:33 - 43, 11:57:10 - 24, 12:04:50 - 12:05:00, and 12:08:58 - 12:09:10.

In these time-frames you can view the same object flashing: 11:34:20 - 32, 11:39:56 - 60, 11:48:25 - 28, 11:55:20 - 29, 11:57:10 - 16, 12:04:50 - 12:05:00, and 12:10:50 - 12:11:20 (which is the infamous flash series occurring as the fire breaks out).

The Waco FLIR Flashes