Buster Wilson of the American Family Association yesterday on AFA Today said he isn’t quite sure whether or not the government is preparing to imprison Americans in concentration camps, a claim that even Glenn Beck once flirted with until he later renounced it. Responding to a caller who warned that FEMA was preparing the nefarious plot, Wilson said that he heard “you can literally go right there and see them.”
“I’ve seen pictures of what have been reported to be these FEMA camps,” Wilson claimed, “one of the most disturbing aspects about it to me is the plastic, almost-rubber made type containers stacked up by the thousands that they say are for mass graves for burying four bodies at a time.”
He said “I couldn’t tell you if indeed it is true” but “if there was a shadow federal government that was going to do something like that, FEMA would be the federal agency they would probably do it through.” Wilson concluded by calling on people to join Oath Keepers, the extremist group he belongs to that also promotes the concentration camp conspiracy theory.
But since Wilson never seems to bother with researching any of the outlandish conspiracies before floating them on air, Popular Mechanics in 2009 published a thorough debunking of the FEMA camps story, including the claim that there are “containers stacked up by the thousands that they say are for mass graves for burying four bodies at a time”:
CLAIM: “500,000 plastic air-tight coffins in the middle of Atlanta Georgia. Apparently the Government is expecting a Half Million people to die relatively soon, and the Atlanta Airport is a major airline traffic hub, probably the biggest in the country, which means Georgia is a prime base to conduct military operations and coordination. It is also the home of the CDC, the Center for Disease Control. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but usually you don’t buy 500,000 plastic coffins ‘just in case something happens,’ you buy them because you know something is going to happen. These air tight seal containers would be perfect to bury victims of plague or biological warfare in, wouldn’t they?”
FACT: The black polypropylene products purported to be coffins are grave liners, or burial vaults, manufactured by Convington, Ga.-based Vantage Products. (In this case, they are examples of the company’s Standard Air Seal model.) The use of a burial vault, which prevents the collapse of cemetery ground and protects the casket, is a common requirement when a body is interred.
The filmed lot in Madison, Ga., is a Vantage storage facility. Of the 900,000 or so in-ground burials in the U.S. each year, a small percentage of those people prearranged their own caskets and vaults–which Vanguard holds at the storage facility until the appropriate time. According to company Vice President of Operations Michael Lacey, there are approximately 50,000 vaults in storage in Madison. “It’s nowhere near the quantity they talk about on the Internet,” he told the local Morgan County Citizen newspaper. Furthermore, Lacey has said the company maintains detailed records of product ownership and is audited annually, to insure all vaults are accounted for.