As a life-long car guy and old-school, big-block hot-rodder, I’ll admit that I brutally mocked the first Fast and the Furious in 2001. As a visual refugee from The Hills Have Eyes, I’ll also admit that I levied equal scorn against wooden pretty boy Paul Walker. But as a member of our Millennial generation, I must also admit that the F&F series, has for better or worse become part of our cultural identity. Dom, Letty, Mia, Vince, Ludacris, Tyrese and the rest have become a kind of extended family for many of us — which was, of course, the series’ running theme.
Maybe it’s because Paul Walker’s death almost seems like a death in that family that this particular conspiracy theory pisses me off so much.
According to David Chase Taylor of the ever-reputable Truther.org, the November 30th death of Paul Walker may be the result of a drone strike against him. According to Taylor:
“While initial reports state that the car split in two after striking a tree at a high rate of speed, one look at the crash scene (see photo below) and it’s evident that the tree (no more than 6 inches in diameter) was not solely responsible for cutting in half, exploding and completely destroying the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT. A few inches of wood are obviously no match for thousands of pounds of forged steel allegedly traveling at an extremely high-rate of speed.”
His basis for suspicion arises from a similar conspiracy theory that the FBI killed whistle-blower and reporter Michael Hastings in a similar high-speed auto accident. He states that the wreck of the Carrera GT was “eerily similar” to that of Hastings’ car. This is what was left of the car Walker was riding in:
I’m going to skip the obvious quiver of insults I reserve for baseless conspiracy theories, since they fall well short in this case. There are times when conspiracy theorists might or might not have a leg to stand on — jet fuel, “pancaking” floors, ect. But this one is so far removed from reality that it’s hard to believe people still take sites like Truther.org seriously.
Here are a couple of observations from an ACTUAL car guy, and long-time auto journalist:
“A few inches of wood are obviously no match for thousands of pounds of forged steel…”
This won’t take long.
- Gee, Truther.org, you might be right. If this particular supercar were made of forged steel (which it isn’t). The Carrera GT is made almost entirely of carbon fiber, which has about the same properties after exceeding its tensile capacity as fiberglass.
- The structural chassis that provides impact protection is engineered like a Formula 1 car’s, with a carbon fiber “bath tub” cage around the passengers. The structural pod starts just ahead of the center-line of the front wheels; everything ahead of that is effectively non-structural body cladding.
- If the “inches of forged steel” you’re referring to is “the engine“…then that was just fine after the crash…because the Carrera GT is a mid-engined car. That means that not only would a tree not have to go through it, the engine itself would be the last thing to decelerate after hitting the tree, effectively hammering the front of the car further into it.
- The Carrera GT has always been an insane, razor-edged supercar that is extremely unforgiving of mistakes and bad driving. People crash them on a fairly regular basis.
- Right now, the crash is attributed largely to a power steering fluid leak, and Porsches have had power steering problems with all the way back to the 944. While holding the car at the limit at high speed, minor power steering problems will tend to send cars off the road and into trees.
I could go on, but the point is this: If this kind of ridiculous, ill-researched, paranoid, fear-mongering death exploitation is typical of psycho factories like Truther.org, it’s no wonder the most gullible people in the country are popping Seroquel like M&Ms.