Did the CDC pay someone to store up to 500,000 "disposable coffins" in what had been a soybean field in Madison, Georgia? Does this indicate that there is a "plan" that might include "FEMA Camps" and an impending need to bury hundreds of thousands of people? No, that's not true: This video is a baseless, old, recycled conspiracy tale that has been circulating for over 20 years. These large black plastic boxes are not "disposable coffins," they are standard burial vaults that go over a coffin and prevent a gravesite from collapsing over time. This large inventory of burial vaults stored by the manufacturer does not belong to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but to private individuals who have made arrangements for their burial.
The original story relayed by Dale Bohannon to his friend allegedly took place in the fall of 2000. In 2005, Bohannon's friend, who appears in the film but whom we have been unable to identify, made a video that has been widely reproduced in conspiracy articles and on YouTube. The old video has resurfaced: This example was posted on TikTok before being reposted on Facebook on October 6, 2021. It was captioned:
While you here NOT BELIEVING...They getting READY to catch you NOT READY. you better WAKE UP and GET READY and STAY READY!
This is how the video appeared on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Image Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Oct 28 21:30:14 2021 UTC)
The story in the video is relayed by a friend of a man who talked to another guy who was the son of the field's owner, so it's not clear when the false connection to the CDC was introduced. The video on Facebook begins with a recording of Dale Bohannon describing a new-cut gravel dirt road running through what had been a soybean field in Madison, Georgia.
This video was slightly longer when it was circulating on YouTube in 2008. Originally Dale's friend introduced the situation, and it is here that the viewer could get a sense of the timeline:
Not too long ago I talked with Dale Bohannon whom I've known since I guess the mid-1980s and he told me something very interesting that he found back in the fall of 2000 while he was on a business trip. Listen to this folks ...
In the recording Bohannon tells the story of pulling over and seeing these black boxes stored in a field and talking with the property owner who just happened by in a van. Bohannon says the person who identified himself as the property owner told him that they were "disposable coffins," that there were 125,000 of them and that the CDC owned them and was leasing the land. Later in the video, during the 2005 visit to the site, the estimate of the number of "disposable coffins" went up to 500,000. This was not true then, in 2005, and it certainly isn't true now, in 2021.
There is no such thing as a disposable coffin. These are what Vantage Products Corp. refers to as a "Standard Air Seal Vault." The purpose of these burial vaults is to prevent the soil at a gravesite from sinking over time. Although the people in these videos seem to believe that the flat part is a lid, that is the floor of the vault. The air-tight upper portion keeps water out of the vault by nature of the air inside.
These vaults did not belong to the CDC and the field was not leased by the CDC. The field was leased by Vantage to store their own products. On August 11, 2008, the Morgan County Citizen published an article titled, "Conspiracy or simply storage?" Michael Lacey, the vice president of operations at Vantage, was interviewed about the conspiracy rumors swirling around the internet. From the article:
The 'coffins' aren't coffins at all, according to Lacey. Instead, they are burial vaults, 'the outer container for caskets,' Lacey said, placed in the ground before the coffin to protect the coffin and maintain level ground above.
There are currently 50,000 of these burial vaults on the property, according to Lacey. As the vaults were placed on the site around 1997 or 1998, there may have been as many as 70,000 or 80,000 to begin with.
'It's nowhere near the quantity they talk about on the Internet,' Lacey said.
This quantity of burial vaults, Vantage's Standard Air Seal model in black, also the least expensive model and the most in-demand, was made to cater to what Lacey calls the funeral industry's 'pre-need.' This 'pre-need' occurs when people make arrangements for their funeral before they actually pass away, so that the family doesn't have to go through the perceived stress of making the arrangements. When these arrangements are made, the products are paid for; obviously, though, they are not yet needed.
So, Vantage stores the product until the person dies, and the product is needed.
... Contrary to the beliefs of the theorists, then, the burial vaults aren't owned by the government, or FEMA. Instead, they're owned by individuals, or not yet sold.
'They're not owned by any one individual, company or the government,' Lacey said.
Further, Vantage leases the land, located at 1200 Madison Industrial Boulevard, from Conyers Welding & Supply and has for four to five years, a fact confirmed by Conyers Welding & Supply.
The manufacturer, Vantage, has confirmed this was their product and that they leased the property. Satellite photos of the site show that it has been about 10 years since that field was used to store burial vaults.
Using Historical Imagery of Google Earth, Lead Stories was able to compare the way that land use had changed over time. The field, which had been leased by Vantage when the area was first being developed, shows the vaults in 2005. By 2011 the vaults are gone and now in 2021 there is a business with a large parking lot.
(Image source: Lead Stories comparison image of Madison, Georgia, storage site with Google Earth Historical Imagery)
Vantage also stores burial vaults at the location of their manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia, which is about 27 miles away from the Madison site pictured above. Some of these vaults are visible from the road. Lead Stories has debunked a different video claiming the vaults stored in Covington are "FEMA coffins."