Conspiracy theorists have upped the ante this week as the U.S government plans to simulate a nuclear blast over New York and New Jersey this week.
Revelling in their perpetual paranoia, conspiracy buffs have latched onto the drill, Operation Gotham Shield, dubbing it a U.S government cover-up of an allegedly impending North Korean nuclear missile attack on American soil.
The drill will simulate ‘a large scale terrorist attack’ involving the detonation of a 10,000-ton nuclear bomb over the New York and New Jersey metropolitan areas.
While it might sound like a Christopher Nolan wet dream, actually, Operation Gotham Shield is a legitimate, routine multi-agency and organisation disaster drill scheduled in New York and New Jersey in late April 2017, reports Snopes.
Although some curious Internet Detectives sense red flags, Operation Gotham Shield is a commonplace exercise in disaster response for agencies including medical and security units, such as the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC).
A month ago, the ERHC notified staff and volunteers, ‘On Tuesday April 25th 2017, at 0800 the Gotham Shield Exercise will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford NJ.’
The announcement continued:
This exercise will simulate a large scale terrorist attack on the NY/NJ metropolitan area with MetLife Stadium serving as a triage/collection point for victims and emergency response personnel.
This will be a large scale event with numerous federal, state, county and local agencies participating. It should be very similar in size and scope to the Operation Red Zone drill of 2011.
According to a post on Health Care Association of New Jersey’s social media, the following organisations will participate:
…NJDOH-PHILEP, New Jersey Medical Services Task Force, Office of the Medical Examiner, NJDHS-Disaster Terrorism Branch, Urban Area Strategic Initiative, as well as, State Office of Emergency Management, local, county and Federal Law Enforcement agencies.
The post had to be taken down due to the negative feedback it received from propagandists. HCANJ have now responded to the barrage of Facebook commentators with a message claiming the comments ‘could have the ability to impact the success of the exercise’.
Disaster preparedness drills such as Operation Gotham Shield are commonplace in the U.S – and perhaps we should welcome these measures amid rising global tensions.
Sadly, it is an indictment of the global fear and unrest – and concerns regarding Russian and North Korean military might – that have spurred some members of the public to accidentally sabotage a routine operation designed to help rescue workers keep us safe.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.