The Waco FLIR Flashes

Flash Location 5

(c) 09/04/00 Ian Williams Goddard

The April 19, 1993 Waco FLIR (forward-looking infrared) video shows a section of wall fall to the ground at 11:28 AM as a tank smashes the roof of the Mount Carmel gym. There is a window in that wall. When the wall strikes the ground a flash occurs where the window would land. As the aircraft moves forward, other flashes occur in the same area, Location 5. No flashes occured at or near Location 5 before the wall with window hit the ground.

Some infrared analysts opine that Location-5 flashes are gunshots from two gunmen that are not visible to the FLIR. The following animation illustrates what happens on the full-screen view of the Waco FLIR. Notice that the flash occurs approximately where the window on the falling wall section strikes the ground.

The following shows what happens on the Waco FLIR, which can be observed on both documentaries Waco: The Rules of Engagement and Waco: A New Revelation.

The FLIR clip is cropped around Location 5. Observe the animation and then the clip. The animation presents an exacting replication of the events occurring on the FLIR. The following visible-light photo from the Department of Justice report has a red circle placed around the window that is on the section of wall that falls toward Location 5 seen above.

Red circle around the window that falls.

Question: Are Location-5 flashes gunshots from invisible gunmen or are they caused as the aircraft passes through narrow beams of solar energy reflected off material, perhaps broken glass, carried to Location 5 by the falling wall that had just crashed down there?

Answer: Because a visible explanation necessarily supersedes an invisible explanation, the explanation that the flashes are solar reflections on material deposited at Location 5 by the visible wall that's seen falling there necessarily supercedes the explanation that the flashes are from invisible guns fired by invisible gunmen. The apparent causal correlation between the flashes and the falling wall is particularly strong because the first flash to occur at Location 5 occurs the exact moment the wall strikes the ground.

In addition, flashes occur at Location 5 several times after the initial flashes at 11:28am, but only when the FLIR-mounted aircraft is in the same area during its rotations of Mt Carmel, which is consistent with the flashes being solar reflections that are only seen when the moving camera intersects narrow beams of reflected solar energy.

Even more, the duration of most Location-5 flashes significantly exceed the durations of known gunshots recorded on FLIR. Flashes at Location 5 occurring during 11:28 have the following durations: 0.03, 0.07, 0.10, and 0.70 second (see Vector Data report event 13). However, the duration of real gun-muzzle flashes cannot exceed the duration of a single video frame lasting 0.03 second, because the duration of an actual gun-muzzle flash is around 0.002 second -- fifteen times shorter than a video frame. Because the durations of most Location-5 flashes last longer than gun-muzzle flashes can last, Location-5 flashes are manifestly not gunshots, which is why the Viper gunshot detection program found no gunshots at Location 5.

Literally all of the evidence about Location-5 flashes refutes the gunshot claim and supports a solar-reflection conclusion.


It's been claimed that gunmen on FLIR could be invisible if their clothing is similar to the ground's temperature. The problem with that claim is that the intensity of the solar energy striking an object varies over the surface of that object: while some of the object is fully exposed to solar radiation, some of it is partially exposed and some is in shade, causing the object's surface temperature to be nonuniform, which makes its shape visible to the FLIR. So even if a person is wearing clothing that blocks their own infrared radiation, if they are in the sun they can be detected. Because no shapes like gunmen are seen at Location 5 and the ground appears uniformly flat, there is no reason to believe there are gunman at Location 5.

It has been suggested that there was no glass in some windows, such as the window on the falling wall. However, one of the Davidian survivors informed me that there were panels of either Plexiglass or glass in the gym windows by the swimming pool, which includes the window in question. The multiple flashes at Location 5 suggest that the panel in that window was glass that broke into several segments reflecting sunlight as the glass struck the ground and broke into shards that produced a series of flashes with different sizes and durations in slightly different locations.

Conclusion: Considering the popular opinion that Location-5 flashes are gunshots, it's surprising to observe that a wall panel with a window falls to Location 5 and strikes the ground at the exact moment the first Location-5 flash occurs. It could not be more obvious to this author that Location-5 flashes are reflections of infrared solar energy on several reflective surfaces, probably glass shards, deposited to Location 5 by a wall with a window that strikes Location 5 exactly as the first Location-5 flash occurs -- it's a no-brainer.

The Waco FLIR Flashes