I'm still working on the Bill Schnoebelen post, so in the meantime take a gander at this site, maintained by Texan Ed Chiarini: wellaware1.com. It is, quite simply, one of the strangest and least convincing conspiracy sites I have ever seen. Mr. Chiarini believes that many of the people we see in the news, including most of the major players in the Arizona shooting, are actually actors. The events didn't really occur at all. He spends hours combing Facebook and other social networking sites in search of "lookalikes", and he invariably finds them. The website is full of "lookalikes" of missing young women. Chiarini also has a YouTube channel full of explanatory videos.
It is remotely possible (though certainly not likely) that folks like Bradley Manning and Jared Loughner could be fake. But the sheriff of Henderson County, Tennessee? How is that possible? And just why would the shadowy powers behind this gigantic hoax allow several of the Arizona shooting "actors" to appear on an episode of Grey's Anatomy together? And why on earth would these "lookalikes" leave photos of themselves and their co-conspirators on Facebook and Myspace for all the world to see? (Chiarini says it's because they didn't realize he would be hot on their trail, exposing their epic scam)
Sadly, Chiarini's ill-thought-out theory has been embraced by Joyce Riley of the radio show Power Hour, and a few other members of the fringe conspiracy/Ron Paul community (yes, I'm lumping them together - deal with it). Riley seemed convinced that Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden could be played by the same man.
Update (September 2012): Chiarini's website has a slick new look (no more eyeball-busting red), but his world got quite a bit weirder after he he was interviewed on the online radio show Late Night in the Midlands, hosted by Michael Vara, last March. Though the interview was conducted via phone rather than in person, Chiarini decided the day after the broadcast that Vara was actually Adam Walsh, the Florida boy murdered in 1981 whose father, John, went on to become a victims' advocate and the host of America's Most Wanted. Chiarini's theory is that Adam's death was faked in order to give the show a ratings boost. Never mind that AMW premiered a full six years after Adam was killed.
The interesting thing about this is that Michael Vara, unlike Joyce Riley, was not sympathetic to Chiarini's lookalike theories, and asked a few straightforward questions that Chiarini didn't want to answer (he eventually terminated the interview by hanging up). So it seems the Adam Walsh theory that popped up on Chiarini's website just one day after the aborted interview is some peculiar form of revenge.
The rest of the site is just bursting with WTFery, of course. Walt Disney was Hitler (literally). Chris Stevens, the diplomat recently killed at a U.S. embassy in Libya, was portrayed by the same actor who plays Gary Condit. Michelle Bachmann is actually Caroline Kennedy. My personal fave: John Stossel was also Freddy Mercury.
- JFK and Jimmy Carter? Same dude. It's all in the ears.
- Alice Cooper is also Steve Carrell.
- Winston Churchill was Lionel Barrymore, and Barrymore's wife was Clementine Churchill. So right after he wrapped up WWII, this guy hauled ass to America to film It's a Wonderful Life.
- Mitt Romney is Richard Jenkins, the actor who portrayed the Hardbodies gym manager in Burn After Reading and one of the operators in The Cabin in the Woods. That's a shame. I really liked Jenkins.
See also: More "media lookalikes"