Crisis Actor Conspiracy Theories

Crisis Actor Conspiracy Theories

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Updated May 07, 2016 at 11:04PM EDT by Dreamworks.

Added Nov 18, 2015 at 12:06PM EST by Ari Spool.

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Crisis Actors are actors hired to play victims during realistic training sessions or war games for the military or first responders. Some conspiracy theorists believe that crisis actors are hired to play victims in acts of terrorism, both domestic and foreign, to create the illusion that these acts are real. Since this theory first became popular, many images and videos have been created to identify crisis actors who may have been involved in real tragedies, so as to prove that a conspiracy exists.


Crisis actors do actually exist, although as of November 2015, most of the websites once used to recruit and position them in military exercises have been taken offline.[1] According to Gawker, one military contractor responsible for the hiring of crisis actors is called Halo Corporation, but that company has almost no web presence.[2] Archive shots of the website, which has been offline since 2013 and many point to as a main source of these actors, claim the tagline: "Helping schools and first responders create realistic drills, full-scale exercises, high-fidelity simulations, and interactive 3D films."[3]

It is unknown when the first crisis actor conspiracy theory was distributed, however the first popular speaking on the topic came from a blog called Memory Hole, where the author James Tracey claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting was a staged event, and that many of the students and their parents, especially the ones featured in news broadcasts, were actually hired crisis actors. Tracey claims that these actors appeared to have been coached to memorize lines and recite them on the news.[4]


Tracey's theory of crisis actors at Sandy Hook went viral and many others made videos and image macros analyzing the footage and photos from the massacre. The theory appeared on,[5] the Daily Kos,[6] and other political web sites, and was addressed by Anderson Cooper on CNN.

Since the explosion in notoriety of the Sandy Hook massacre, many have attempted to analyze footage and photos from massacres in order to find crisis actors. These include the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, [7] the 2015 Charleston Church Shooting [8] and the 2015 Paris Terrorist Attacks. [9] The Facebook group "Let's Out Crisis Actors" has over 1,000 members, and a YouTube search for Crisis Actors has over 394,000 results.[10] Several posts about crisis actors in various tragedies on Reddit, especially in the subreddit /r/conspiracy and /r/conspiratard, have received over 1,000 upvotes.[11]

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