Mandalay Bay-Not What You Think-Part 8 B

Jake vs Joe – Are these shooters or just reflections of helicopter strobes?

Shooters or Helicopter Strobe Reflection?

While this article could be construed as a debunking of Jake Morphonios’ video titled “Debunking the Luxor Rooftop Gunmen Theory-Las Vegas Shooting-Part 47” I  prefer to think of this as a defense of the YouTuber known as “According to Joe” who was the first person to examine the footage that captured the shooters up on the Luxor roof top near the David Copperfield Theater.  It was Joe’s findings that I presented in my article “Mandalay Bay Not What You Think – Part 8″ which immediately precedes this article as you scroll down on the main page of the blog.

In short, Joe (a former police officer) asserts that there were muzzle flashes on the video, 100%.  Jake disagreed and attempted to demonstrate that these flashes were simply reflections from a helicopter strobe and tail light, a helicopter that was performing a highly illegal and highly dangerous fly through between hotels,  far too low and far too close to the Mandalay Bay. Jake was non-plussed by this extreme violation of the local aviation rules and dismissed this by stating that it was the Las Vegas police helicopter that appeared on the Flight Radar 24 recording .  It is important to note right at this point that the police helicopter did not arrive on scene until approximately 10:25 pm, some ten minutes after the volleys aimed at the Route 91 concert venue had stopped.

Obviously, one of these men is right and the other is wrong. Let’s move in for a very close examination of these opposing points of view to see if we can determine which man is correct.  I will be concentrating on what I believe are the two Achilles’ heels in Jake’s video.

  • Heel #1: These lights are just reflections
  • Heel #2: The reflections are from the police helicopter

I will be presenting information from the following sources:

  • Google map 3D of the Las Vegas area between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor stepped suites and rooftops where the two shooters can be observed
  • Still shots from According to Joe’s video titled “100% Two Actual Shooters on Video in Vegas” posted to You Tube on Nov. 12, 2017
  • Wikipedia chart of tallest buildings in Las Vegas with their respective heights notated in feet
  • Still shots of helicopter positions, identification data and anomalies according to Flight Radar 24 as presented and analysed by  Truth Tracker posted to You Tube on November 4, 2017. The title of this video is “Las Vegas Shooting Proof, the Disappearing Helicopter and the Imaginary Plane”
  • Quotes taken from the police scanner regarding armed men in camo entering vehicles parked in the Excalibur parking lot. We can see The Excalibur Hotel in the foreground of the photo in question. (Thank you Greg from the UK for posting so much of your transcription in my comments section of the preceding article).


According to Joe

In this first still shot taken from “According to Joe” the helicopter flies in to view from somewhere behind the space between the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor.  At this point the helicopter lights do reflect on the north-most face of Mandalay Bay but the reflection is cast well below and ahead of the helicopter. Also notice that the reflected light on the glass of the hotel is only slightly bigger than the lights on the helicopter.  Once that helicopter clears that edge of the narrow north face all of the angles change.  There is no longer any surface for those strobes lights to bounce off of. The Mandalay Bay is a Y-shaped building.  The next wall that the chopper will pass is angled away from the Luxor. That wall faces east and the wall beyond that is angled to the south and also facing east.

Achilles Heel #1

Illegal chopper flying between hotels


To further support the case against the flashes on the roof terrace of the Luxor suites/Copperfield Theater being that of reflected strobes look carefully at that area between the light pole and the south tower. By the time the chopper reaches that point it is just too far away to do what Morphonios tells us it is doing.  Did Morphonios consciously decide to overlook the fact that he was dealing with zoomed in footage?  The zoom function enables us to clearly see the flashes on the terrace roof but it greatly distorts our perception of distances.

In order to appreciate just how distorted the photo above actually is let’s look at the 3D Google map of this area.  The string of larger dots represent the path of the helicopter, the smaller dots show how far the light from the helicopter strobe would have had to travel to the terrace in order to prove Jake’s perfect synchronization.  And even if the strobes were powerful enough to cover that distance, what, exactly, would they be reflecting off of????

Google 3D map of Mandalay Bay to the Luxor terraces

Now let’s look at something else of importance….the height of the Mandalay Bay hotel, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Hotel heights in Las Vegas including Mandalay Bay Hotel

We can clearly see that Mandalay Bay is 480 feet in height.

FAA Authorized Flight Path for Strip Tours by Helicopter

         Helicopter Tour Flight Path Originating from McCarran Airport

All helicopter traffic out of McCarran Airport must  head due north, curve west after passing the downtown area (North Las Vegas), head west and then south roughly following the I-115 freeway. They continue until they pass the Mandalay Bay Hotel and then turn east to return to base on the outskirts of McCarran Airport. It is a well defined elliptical path that all tour helicopters must follow. Failure to do so could result in loss of pilot license for the pilot and/or the operating license of the tour company. It is no small matter to violate the defined flight path.  There are passenger jets landing and taking off around the clock from McCarran to contend with as well as noise restrictions, all of which are under the authority of the FAA.

Helicopter Tour Flight Path From North Las Vegas Airport

Please note that there is NO authorized path directly above nor between any Las Vegas Strip hotels.  Both flight plans track south of the Mandalay Bay before curving to the east.  Both flight plans restrict the tour helicopters to fly south when on the west side of the Strip and both must fly north when on the east side of the Strip.  Tour helicopters may not fly directly above those Strip hotels nor can they fly between them.


Achilles Heel #2

Jake tells us hat it was just the police chopper….no….no….NO it isn’t and it is ridiculously easy to prove that it isn’t.

At approximately 10:25 pm, some nine minutes after the last rounds of automatic fire were leveled against the fleeing crowd, a Las Vegas police helicopter arrived on scene as shown in the next screen shot taken from one of Truth Tracker’s videos analyzing the Flight Radar 24 data from McCarran airport the night of October 1st. The green line shows the path that the helicopter flew. It approached from the north, hooked left to make a fly around of Mandalay Bay and then went east to the edge of the airport.

Look closely at the data card to the left of the screenshot. It shows the helicopter’s altitude just above the red dot in the box between the two blue lines.  The altitude shows at 3,100 feet. It is high up in the sky and it is not violating FAA altitude parameters although no doubt it could if deemed absolutely necessary.  The very fact that the police helicopter’s path can be captured in its entire route around the Mandalay Bay demonstrates that it was not flying below radar. not below 300 feet, at any point in its run. Had it gone that low it would have “gone dark” from Flight Radar 24’s point of view. It would have “blinked out” as did several helicopters that had taken off from McCarran airport and apparently landed on or near the Mandalay Bay Convention roof .

The police helicopter is at 3,100 feet, where it should be, way, way up in the sky. Let us take another look at the helicopter that was flying between the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor:

Now that we know the Mandalay Bay is 480 feet in height we can estimate this chopper’s altitude. Goodness gracious. It would appear to be flying at 300 feet maximum. Now that is interesting.  Radar cannot pick anything up under 300 feet, both satellite and ground radar.  It would seem that this boy was trying to stay off radar, wouldn’t it?  And if this were the police chopper looking for something that caused him to drop down that low for a better look, wouldn’t he be using his floodlight, the one they scan the ground with?  Bottom line for Jake, this is no police helicopter

Jack Pot

The police scanner is the connect-the-dot jack pot in our mystery.  One of my readers, Greg from the U.K. has taken the time to transcribe the ongoing scanner chatter that transpired well after 11:20 pm, the time that was given for the discovery of the lifeless corpse of Steve Paddock on the floor of suite 135, 32nd floor, the point in time where most copies of the police scanner cut off. You can find his work in the comments section of Part 8.

At time mark 10:10:31 (10:10 pm which was the mid point in the assault on the concert) an officer radios in the following:

‘We have a rifle deployed. We are in front of Mandalay Bay. We are trying to see where the shots are coming from. If anyone can advise if they’re coming from Mandalay”.

Dispatch responds:

“It sounds like it’s either Mandalay or Luxor. We cannot tell”.

And there is this one:

10:24 13 Female officer on scene:  “I have security talking to me right now they have a tall male with a 413 ( person with a gun) inside the Luxor males restroom.”

10:25:26 “There was a subject on top of the valet at 23:30 hours (11:30 pm) at the Luxor.  He was running across the roof.”

10:32:29 “About three minutes ago a black Duly unknown truck, looked like a Chevy, unknown occupant ripped out of the parking lot east of Excalibur, south of Delano. Reported by several people and witnessed by me. Keep an eye on it”.

Those little red triangular awnings in the foreground of the photos belong to the Excalibur.

What Does Muzzle Flash Look Like?

When I looked at Joe’s closeups of the shooters on the Luxor suites veranda, I was troubled by the size and shape of the light coming off of the shooter on the left. It just seemed too much to me so I started hunting around for anything that would show me what authentic muzzle flash looks like. Here is what I found and it looks like a damn tight match to me. If you watch Joe’s video at slow speed, you will see all of these flash shapes coming from that Luxor veranda:

I am hoping to visit Las Vegas to see if there is any reflective material up on those terraces but for now I think Joe is correct. I will update if I find evidence to the contrary.

Upcoming:  The telltale Paddock suite doors, Jesus Campos, the cart in the hall, the body on the floor and other interesting odds and ends