Fake News: Blackouts In Major Cities Are NOT Likely White Hat EMP Attacks In Wake Of Epstein Arrest

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fake News: Blackouts In Major Cities Are NOT Likely White Hat EMP Attacks In Wake Of Epstein Arrest

Was the recent power blackout in New York City likely a White Hat EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) attack designed to disable security measures during federal raids on enemy facilities related to the arrest of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein? No, that is not true: It is a unrealistic theory promoted by QAnon followers who believe there is a Deep State conspiracy controlling world events and they are in a battle to overthrow President Donald Trump. An EMP attack would have left widespread destruction to electronics in the city, interrupting communications, and requiring months or longer to recover. Con Ed, the power company, said a relay protection system malfunctioned, leaving about 72,000 Manhattan customers in the dark for several hours on Saturday evening, July 13, 2019.

The claim originated with a tweet (archived here) published by @StormisUponUs on July 16, 2019. It read:

These blackouts in major cities are likely white hat EMP attacks to disable the security measures of hidden enemy facilities as part of ongoing raids by federal law enforcement in the wake of Epstein's arrest. We have never seen anything like this. #TheStormIsHere

This is what Twitter users saw:

The message was copied and shared by QAnon believers on Facebook:

A power outage affecting just 72,000 people at its peak would not normally cause national concern, but this one left Broadway shows in the dark and stopped Manhattan subways for several hours on a Saturday evening. It is the center of the media world, guaranteeing it major attention. The utility that controls the power grid there gave a simple explanation for what happened:

Nearly 48 hours after the power outage that left parts of Midtown Manhattan and the Upper West Side in the dark, Con Edison has released its preliminary findings on the blackout.

According to the company, an issue with its relay protection system--which should, in theory, trigger a circuit breaker should any equipment failures happen--led to the outage. "The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability," the company said in a statement. "In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue."

Initially, the company said that a "significant electrical transmission disturbance" at Con Ed's West 49th Street substation was the cause of the outage, with that issue likely triggering additional Con Ed substations across Manhattan to go dark. But according to its preliminary findings, the damaged cable at West 64th Street was the "initiating event," and the outages were a result of the failure of those protective systems.

If the blackout was the result of the an EMP attack, what would happen? Here is how Forbes.com explains such an attack:

EMPs are pulses of energy that can be emitted from the blast of a nuclear weapon, portable devices like high power microwave weapons (HPMWs), or even certain natural phenomenon. These powerful pulses - when interacting with the Earth's magnetic field - have the ability to damage electronic and electrical equipment such as computers, cell phones, transformers and transmission lines, as well as critical communications infrastructure.

A blackout would seize the U.S. economy - causing disruptions among medical facilities, first responders, financial institutions, water and food distribution, communications networks, and the transportation sector. A well-placed EMP would bring planes trains and automobiles to a halt, and render our domestic military capabilities inoperable, as the Department of Defense relies on civilian infrastructure for 99% of its electricity needs.

If the New York blackout was the result of a smaller portable device, it still would have interrupted cell phone communications and damaged computers. That has not been reported. It is not likely an EMP attack is why "Moulin Rouge! The Musical" was canceled on Saturday night.

The tweet claims it was a "white hat" attack. That is internet slang for "good guys." Who are these good guys and why would they need to disrupt power in Manhattan? The tweet claims the goal was "to disable the security measures of hidden enemy facilities as part of ongoing raids by federal law enforcement in the wake of Epstein's arrest." This is a reference to Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors earlier in the month. To understand the message, you must know about the conspiracy theory behind QAnon.

There is a global war under way between the very wealthy against the rest of the world population, according to the theory. These wealthy villains use a Deep State organization to control the world. There is purportedly a group of "good guys" who still control the National Security Agency, the intelligence-gathering arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. The good guys supposedly created QAnon as their way of communicating to followers. QAnon claims the last four American presidents -- Clinton, both Bushes, and Obama -- were Deep State puppets, but that President Donald Trump was elected as the savior to destroy this wealthy cabal and return control of the world to the people. They call Trump's movement "The Great Awakening."

The New York blackout, according to QAnon, is evidence that this Deep State war is "breaking out onto the surface" and we will soon see high-profile arrests of "famous politicians, actors, singers, CEOs and celebrities." The "hidden enemy facilities" referenced in the tweet apparently are those of the alleged hide-outs of these people about to be arrested, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The account that posted this tweet has a YouTube link on its profile. Watching this 13-minute video explains this:

There are no famous politicians, celebrities, or singers unaccounted for since last Saturday, indicating that if this was a white hat EMP attack intended to assist in their arrests, it was not successful.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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