The Waco FLIR Flashes

Flash Location 7

(c) 06/12/00 Ian Williams Goddard

The following is a review of flashes on the 1993 Waco FLIR that are said by analysts representing Davidians to be gunshots coming out of the Davidian's home, Mount Carmel, within the hour before the fire.* The following image is from a FLIR frame showing a flash on a roof that's said to be Davidian gunfire, which is listed in the Vector Data System (VDS) report as thermal event 10.


This "Davidian gunshot" is on the bare roof. Illustration removes cool shadow. The window about 10 feet from this flash was a window that ATF agents smashed into on the first day.

The next images are from four FLIR frames showing several flashes said to be Davidian gunfire. These flashes are listed in the VDS report in events 9, 14, and 17. They are once again on bare roof:

Frames A and B show flashes at two locations on the dinning-room roof. At different times, frame C shows a flash in the same spot as in frame A, and frame D shows a flash in the same spot as frame B. In frame D a second flash is seen on the other side of the roof close to the tower's cool shadow. Flashes in frames B and D appear to be attached to something coming from the building. Could it be a rifle? No. It's a shadow, an artifact of the FLIR that's seen to the right of many flashes and bright areas. Real-time viewing clearly confirms that all the flashes above (and on this page) are on bare roof.

Consistent with solar-reflection geometry where a solar reflection on an object is only seen when the viewer intersects a beam of reflected energy from that object, the FLIR camera on the aircraft is in virtually the same position during different rotations around Mt Carmel each time a dinning-room-roof flash happens. No flashes are seen on the dinning-room roof when it's viewed from any other area.

The next images are from two FLIR frames showing two flashes that occur in one spot during separate rotations of Mt Carmel. They are listed in the VDS report in events 40 and 46. These two flashes are among several on this small roof section that analysts representing the Davidians say are Davidian gunfire. All flashes on this roof section also occur only when the aircraft is in one narrow viewing area.


Two "Davidian gunshots" happen in same spot during two separate aircraft rotations. The camera is in virtually the same position each time, indicative of a solar reflection.

The following collection of images are from six FLIR frames showing all six flashes that occur in this next spot on the roof section just seen during six separate rotations. They are listed in the VDS report in events 26, 36, 39, 40, 41, and 46. Once again, consistent with the geometry of solar reflections, the flashes in this spot are only seen when the aircraft is in virtually the same position.


Six "Davidian gunshots" seen during six separate aircraft rotations. Observe that each time the camera is in virtually the same position, indicating that the flashes are solar reflections.

Those angles of view are the only angles from which flashes at that spot are seen. Since these flash are next to the edge of another roof behind which there might be a gunman, it's worth noting that after each of the frames above, as the aircraft comes around to face the front of Mt Carmel, one can plainly see that nobody is on the roof.

While not all are shown here, all the flashes said to be Davidian gunshots (a) are on either bare roof or in at least two cases on the ground rather than in a window, (b) are always where the sun strikes, (c) are all single flashes with slow durations many times longer than gun flashes in the recent FLIR test and on the Somalia FLIR clip seen on Waco: A New Revelation, (d) are seen in one spot only once in a given rotation of Mt Carmel, and most significantly (e) are only seen in one spot when viewed from one area. The fact is that all the major attributes of these flashes point to their being reflections of solar infrared energy off small reflective surfaces on the roof, most likely shards of glass from broken windows above the flash locations.


* The Vector Data report lists all the flashes shown above as having been identified as Davidian gunfire by legal representatives of the plaintiffs in the suit against the government for wrongful death. The cited source in the VDS report for plaintiff claims is the report of Dr Edward Allard (Allard's affidavit, which was written earlier than his full report and doesn't cite the alleged Davidian gunfire cited in his report). Flashes above also fall into the time frames when, and spacial quadrants on the viewing screen where, Carlos Ghigliotti states in his report (pages 1, 2, and 3) that alleged Davidian gunfire is observed.

The Waco FLIR Flashes


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