The Konformist

May 2000

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WACO: Dead Analyst

Waco Siege Investigator Found Dead In His Home

Report: Agents Didn't Fire at Waco

One of the top FLIR experts, Carlos Ghigliotti, 42, for the Waco defense team - and a consultant for Dan Burton's congressional committee - apparently was found dead in his apartment in Laurel, Maryland yesterday afternoon.

Ghigliotti was the owner of Infrared Technologies Corp. in Laurel,Maryland. The Washington Post reports that from 1991 to 1995, Ghigliotti, 42, was paid by the FBI as a thermal imaging expert on an array of environmental dumping cases, according to an FBI document.

Ghigliotti "performed reliable work for the FBI," the 1995 document states. When officers arrived they found no signs of forced entry. Inside the apartment they found a badly decomposed body of a male, appearing to be in his 40's. No sign of a struggle was observed at that time. The body was processed and sent to the chief medical examiner in Baltimore. The body was of Carlos Ghigliotti, 42 yrs. of age, who resided at the same address where he was found."

Public Relations Officer Jim Collins

350 Municipal Square

Laurel, MD 20707

Phone: 301-498-0092


WACO: Dead Analyst Insights


Ian Goddard

I'd previously spoken to Dr Edward Allard, who almost died of a heart attack the week before the FLIR test, the same week that another witness for the plaintiffs suddenly died of a heart attack. When I called Allard yesterday, I was told that he can no longer talk about Waco. Since Allard's disabling stroke, the attorney's for the plaintiffs have been looking for another FLIR expert and were going to sign on Carlos Ghigliotti, but unfortunately he was just found dead yesterday. Looks like there getting knocked off, one by one.

The following is a message from Attorney David Hardy, who knew Carlos Ghigliotti. In it he reveals not only critical insight into Ghigliotti's work and what he knew, but also new details about the gunfight around the back of Mount Carmel that Ghigliotti's work, with the best FLIR-video copy and equipment, had uncovered:



Attorney David T. Hardy writes:

What follows is something I have not been able to reveal prior to this point. As I mention at the end, I am now released from my promise of secrecy. Please forgive the length -- I think you'll find it worthwhile. This covers many months of evidence and conversations, which I've had to keep quiet.

The House Gov't Reform Committee had retained an infrared expert named Carlos Ghigliotti, of Laurel, Md. Carlos had been working on the FLIR for months, and shared a lot of his results with me. I'd pass him data when he needed it, and he knew he could count on me to keep my mouth shut. Carlos had done a lot of IR work -- including using it to spot polluters contaminating Chesapeake Bay, and diagnosing electronic errors (a bad connection or phase mismatch heats up). He loved his work, and was proud of some electronic inventions which enabled him to link together visual and IR imaging into a single image. He got into some courtroom work -- chiefly determining if FLIR used to justify a drug search warrant was properly used or not. He had two principles:

(1) if retained, he would tell the absolute truth as to everything and

(2) he would never accept a second retainer from a drug suspect. No matter how egregious the misuse a second time around, he wasn't interested in being of assistance to a man who violated the law a second time.


He'd just had a case where an attorney tried to grill him... but the more questions the guy asked, the deeper he got into the hole, until the courtroom security guards were all wandering in and sitting in the back, amusing themselves at the attorney's expense. Carlos knew his stuff, and he laid it right on the line.

I talked with Carlos over the phone a lot, and visited him in his lab a couple of times. I now forget the first one, but the second visit was the day Mike McNulty previewed his latest film in DC. Thru the committee, Carlos was able to obtain a much better quality tape than any anyone else had. He discovered that, when FBI gave out "first generation copies," it was in fact giving out copies of a digitized "master," not of the original analog tape. Digitization compresses the image, and loses some of its quality. He demanded and got, thru the Committee, a copy of the original tape, on Super VHS, with some other tweakings to make it the most perfect copy possible. He said they brought out the envelope with the original -- it had about twenty chain-of-custody signatures on it. He figured that his copy was as close to identical to the original tape as it was possible to have--whereas the ones everyone else has been using are a few generations down. Then he imported the video into his lab equipment (which I've seen -- VERY impressive -- four big monitors, Super VHS decks, two computers with more speed, RAM, and hard drive than I ever thought possible.). He was thorough, refusing to make a finding until he had it pinned down from every angle. In one case, he told me last month, he'd finally managed to link by time and location an image of a person shouldering a weapon, shown on the regular media videotapes made from the media locations, with a flash on the FLIR.

He found nearly 200 suspected gunshots, and had done the work necessary to verify that many of these were genuine. Understand that his idea of "verify" wasn't just to see the image. He wanted to find the shooters, as well, and to plot their movement from one flash location to another. And he wanted to correlate the FLIR images to every possible ordinary video image, to see if he could link up what the media filmed from the side with what the FLIR registered from overhead. He was really hot on getting some footage shot by DPS from a site behind the building, so that he could tie that in as well. This man was thorough--no rushing to judgment on anything. His normal standard was to study everything from every possible angle or potential critique, until he could lay all the cards on the table, be absolutely clear, and defend his conclusions against any criticism. And he knew this was no normal case... as he once said, the Waco FLIR was probably going to be the next Zapuder film, and he wasn't going to say something that he couldn't prove against any criticism. On the side (and I have no idea why he was analyzing this) he said it had been determined that almost the entire Waco operation, not only 2/28 but the siege, had been improperly financed from money that law enforcement was supposed to use only in the war on drugs. He said there was plenty of documentation here, showing flow of money. In the 2/28 videotape, the ATF agents are all trying on new uniforms, new equipment -- everything down to the computers in the media area of the raid HQ were bought out of money supposed to be used only in drug enforcement. He said that much or all of the siege had been financed the same way. There were written standards in the gov't for when the drug enforcement money could be used, and these could be shown to have been violated in black and white terms. A considerable amount of money had been, well, embezzled, to support the effort.

Carlos also told me, last month, that he'd seen FLIRs from nights before 4/19, and that it was apparent that the FLIR aircraft was being used to monitor the Davidians' water supply. The water was stored in those big plastic tanks at the rear of the building, and the coolness of the water inside showed up as a darker area. It was apparent that the water supply was shrinking, and by 4/19 was almost gone. He had heard the aircraft crew talking about it, and noting that the level was going down. So, essentially, they knew that thirst would force an end to the siege within a few days of 4/19.

While I was in his lab, he showed me some footage where it was clear, beyond any doubt, that a man was moving in the wreckage of the gym. The guy gets up from behind one pile of cover and races to another. In between, you see a very long flash that exists only for an instant -- much longer in terms of physical length than could be attributed to a gunshot. He said that was a bullet imaged in flight--he'd imaged them before, while flying past shooting ranges. (Shooters know that a bullet after firing is too hot to pick up in the hand, a product of being rammed down a barrel ahead of burning powder, and then of air resistance as it travels at Mach 2-3 thru the air. I'd never suspected that one would show up on IR.). These scenes I saw with my own eyes, on his equipment--it was clear there was a person there.

He'd done a preliminary report for the House committee before they had a falling out--he wanted to do a really throrough job, which he said would take months, and they wanted him to do a final report quickly. (He also mentioned that they'd been slow in payment, and he'd needed their check to buy some more equipment that he wanted to devote to the final analysis.). He said that someone (I think he said Rep. Burton himself) had called and threatened that they'd sue him for what he'd already been paid, and he decided he wouldn't take that guff from anyone. He would finalize his report, brief everyone, and that would be it.

The prelim report I have here (he wanted to keep it secret for the time being, and faxed me a copy with instructions to keep my mouth shut. As will be set out below, I think I have been released from that promise.). To summarize:

11:24:16 to 36: shots from two locations into hole made by CEV in gym.

11:24:50 to 11:25:04 apparent return fire from inside of gym.

11:26:13 to 11:26:27 additional return fire. If the dark objects behind the tank are indeed shooters, this may have pinned them down. Following this, the tank backs over the dark spots.

11:26:39 "One of the two unknown subjects is clearly visible exiting out of the hole in the front wall of the gym which the tank previously made. The unknown subject turns to the right into the courtyard."

11:28:04 to 11:28:14: gunfire from this person's approximate position, directed toward building.

11:28:18 to 11:28:22: return fire from structure.

11:30:09 to 11:30:15: gunfire from shooter in courtyard, toward building.

11:33:51: gunfire between gym wall and swimming pool, into the structure. The infrared signature of these shots differs from those seen earlier in courtyard area.

11:34:32: one shot at unknown subject that is running and hiding between gym and swimming pool. [This may be the one he showed me]

11:38:34: unknown subject is seen hiding in front of tank.

11:43:36 to 11:59:03: gunshots from 2d story of building directed at tank (I believe he is here referring to the tank penetrating the front).

12:03:59: An unknown subject appears next to the tank in rear of structure.

12:07:42: fire is visible in 2nd story tower.

12:08:12: Unknown subject comes out of tank and shows up at 12:08:51 shooting at another unknown subject that appears at 12:08:34.

12:08:31 to 12:08:32: "A cluster of thermal anomalies appears at the corner of the gym."

12:08:34 and 12:08:44: unknown subject runs from the area where the thermal anomalies were seen, hops over rubble, and hides in gym.

12:08:51: automatic gunfire into area where previous subject hides.

12:10:41 to 12:11:15 numerous rounds shot from center of courtyard, directed at structure.


Past this point, nothing of importance since fire overloads FLIR, but visible media and the soundtrack of FLIR indicates that gunfire did continue.

He notes that events at 11:24:31, 11:24:35 and 11:28:14 may have involved more than one shot.

He notes that a pattern was apparent: Davidian return fire only occurred following penetration of the building by an armored vehicle. "Total number of events that occurred between 10:41:57 and 12:16:13: 198." He told me, in late March, that he'd met with both the majority and the minority of the committee (after they sorta broke off relations) and shown them his results. Each briefing was in detail and consumed several hours. I forget the exact numbers, but somewhere around 3-8 people, mostly attorneys for the committee, were present at each briefing. He was still working on a final report when last I spoke with him. He was rather miffed that they had not given him time to analyze everything, and said he intended to insert a final section outlining all the things he had wanted to analyze when relations were broken off. He added that the minority staff had been rather surprised to see the data, since apparently the majority had been informing them only of a minimal amount of his results. Some of them suggested that maybe both the Demos and Republicans could hire him on jointly, to do a really thorough piece of work. He was rather flattered at the idea (if Carlos had any politics, I never heard of it) altho he said he was suffering from "Waco fatigue" and wanted to get back to his regular work, or even a long overdue vacation.

My memory may be imperfect here, but as I recall he talked about the scene at the rear, where there is that big flash near the "dog house." His interpretation:

The flash appeared to be multiple flash-bangs. It was possible they were actually thrown by a Davidian, altho not certain. But right after it, a person can be see running back into the building. A hatch opens on the CEV. When it opens, the cooler, darker interior of the vehicle is visible. A person exits the hatch. This is not totally clear, and some people agreed with his interpretation and others did not. But the person who dismounts then fires, the shots going toward the last location where the suspected Davidian is seen. He added that the Committee knew exactly who was under that hatch, so they could actually name the guy who did it.

He could afterward track at least two suspected FBI shooters. He could spot their location--one stayed in the gym wreckage, and the other moved out into the courtyard, where he shoots.

Ian Goddard had spotted what he thought was a structure, alongside the gym, and from which some shots come. I checked a color photo, and the structure is actually a big chunk of gym wall that the tank has knocked over and falls outward into the courtyard. I mentioned that to Carlos, and Carlos said it was more complex than that. The shooter had been in the courtyard to begin with, and the tank knocked the wall segment atop him. If there hadn't been other wreckage to catch it and hold it up a bit, he would have been squashed. I believe Carlos said that the gunshot images from that location were a little distorted, probably because the wall segment was cutting off part of the image at times.

Carlos also found indications that shots were being fired into the underground storm shelter after the fire began. On one of the regular media videotapes, you could see a long, bright flash going down into the pit, from in front of one of the armored vehicles. He said it was no sunlight flash, he'd imaged it on three different media tapes from slightly different angles. His best assessment was that it was the fuse on a pyrotechnic round. I saw this tape, also, with my own eyes. His view was that they were gassing the underground vault to pin Davidians in place during the fire.

Carlos was about as credible as they come. He'd done work for the FBI in the past, in fact, and often worked with gov't agencies. He had no particular ax to grind with regard to Waco: he once told me "the only thing that makes me mad about this is when I can see government officials making statements, and know for an absolute fact that they are lying." He also told me that that the House Gov't Reform Committee had even more data than he did, that he knew only part of it and couldn't talk about it, but that it was really shocking.

He said that the big problem the Committee seemed to see was the question of how they could get the information out, while at the same time preventing another Oklahoma City type reprisal -- it was that shocking. This conversation came shortly after Carlos' name had first been mentioned in the press, and the Committee rather played down his statements, saying they were based on visual video rather than FLIR (which was true only in small part). I asked about that--was the Committee getting cold feet over his evidence, or just playing their cards close to the chest. He said it was the latter -- they just hadn't figured out how to let the info out yet. (He was then meeting with the majority on a weekly basis, to brief them on his latest results.).

I talked to him after the recreation, and his assessment was that it was pure junk -- the aircraft wasn't even at the right altitude, they didn't have the right procedures to verify that the sensor was functioning comparable to the one of 4/19, etc. The best thing that could be done with any resulting tape (and this is BEFORE the results were known) was to drop it in the wastecan. Whether it showed gunshots or did not, it'd be useless for proving anything, whether for the Davidians or the FBI. I remember talking to him outside his office, after the first visit, standing there in the parking lot after dark. He'd mentioned that the guy with Infraspection Institute, who had analyzed the FLIR for 60 Minutes back in '95 or '96, and found FBI gunshots and shooters on it, had been terrified.

In fact, he'd sent copies of the tape to Carlos and to several others in the IR field, with notes saying "If anything happens to me, you'll know why." (The same guy later called me, said he didn't want his name used, that "there are too many people already in their graves over this." I wrote him off as him being rather nervous.).

I asked Carlos, there in the parking lot, if he'd ever been fearful. He said only for a while, between the time he made his findings and the time he reported them to the Committee. Then he had been worried, because he was looking at clear evidence that would nail a LOT of FBI agents on perjury, and perhaps much worse. But once he told others of his results, he figured the cat was out of the bag.

This is a rather long post, but there is a reason. It's in part a memorial for a feisty and totally honest guy I came to like a good deal. On April 19 of this year, from the hotel room in Waco, I called Carlos to report a minor discovery (the roof of the storm shelter, which glows bright white on the FLIR, wasn't just plywood--it was covered in black asphalt, which explained why it got so hot in the sun.). I got his answering machine, but when it came time to leave a message, the tape just said "tape finished. Thank you for calling." I thought he'd run out of tape--never happened before, but who knows? I tried again from time to time -- same result. I sent email asking him to call. Well, maybe he was out of town. Early today I tried again, and this time nothing picked up, the phone just rang off the hook. Then this afternoon I received a call. Carlos was found dead in his apartment. Perhaps the guy with Infraspection was right.

I've got a call in to Laurel PD to tell them what little I know.... my phone records show calls to him up thru 3/30, after that he must have called me but there's no record, and I was unable to reach him on 4/19 and thereafter.

Too damn bad. He was a good man, and I'd come rather to like him. He was rigorously honest -- his own man, and no one elses'. Since the Committee has his results (and has had information on it for months now), I guess we'll soon know how serious they are about investigating Waco.


If the axiom "power corrupts" is a reliable axiom, then the Official Story must be suspect on its face.




Asking the "wrong questions," challenging the Official Story

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