By Sofia Smallstorm

Updated May 29, 2014 @ 5:45PM w/ two more pics.

On a brief trip to the East Coast in May 2014, I was able to get to Newtown for a few hours.  (Imagine that!)  Where would anyone go first, now that the school is gone, but the famous Sandy Hook Firehouse?  It was a very sunny day and, walking down the road with my little camera in hand, I was surprised to see a “Slow School Zone” sign still posted on Riverside Drive.

(Image Credit: Connecticut Post)

Approaching the Sandy Hook firehouse

As I reached the firehouse, guarded by a vibrant No Trespassing sign, I was surprised to see it open with someone sitting outside.  Only a few minutes before, while driving past, it had been closed.

Firehouse front view

Keeping to my side of the street, I raised my camera to take a picture.  The kind fireman waved at me and invited me to come closer.  I did, and I was invited to take a tour.  Photography was not a problem, I was assured by the very nice fireman.

Sandy Hook firetruck

Firetrucks at Sandy Hook firehouse

I asked the fireman if he had been present on that very famous day, and he said yes.  He told me he had not known any of the children but he did know “one of the women,” although this turned out to be “the secretary” (not one of the victims) and he could not remember her name.  I asked if he had seen children evacuated from the school, and he said he had indeed seen children that day.  Because the school is so close, “they walked,” he told me.  See the school entrance below (click to enlarge).

Dickinson entrance to school

Closeup of Dickinson entrance

Below is another photo of the school entrance; behind the gate you can see a construction fence (click to enlarge).   The distance is only a few hundred feet.  Things are very close together in Sandy Hook!

Gated entrance to school

The famous Rosen house, for instance, is right next to the firehouse.

Gene Rosen's house and the firehouse

Rosen house lawn

This is Gene Rosen’s lawn and the asphalt of the firehouse lot.  The children who appeared on Gene Rosen’s lawn would have had to access it from this low wall next to the firehouse.

Inside the firehouse, the lovely fireman allowed me to take my fill of pictures.  Here is their fire gear:

Fire gear for Sandy Hook firemen

It’s fun to take pictures of firetrucks, I found out!

Sandy Hook firetruck Sandy Hook firetruck Sandy Hook firetruck

Sandy Hook firetruck

I asked the fireman if they had a kitchen where they made meals for each other.  He said absolutely, yes, and took me right in.  I asked him who did the shopping and he said there are a couple of guys who do just that (along with firefighting, I presume).

Sandy Hook firehouse kitchen

Besides the spiffy kitchen, there is also a firehouse bar.  The nice fireman wanted me very much to observe the beauty and niftiness of the bar itself, which is made from a firetruck.

Bar at Sandy Hook firehouse

The next place he took me to was the meeting room.  It was prepared for a meeting, he pointed out, with placards on the tables.  It too had a piece of a firetruck on prominent display.  (Click photo to enlarge.)

Firehouse meeting room

Firehouse meeting room

From the window of the meeting room, the friendly fireman pointed out the Pavilion.  I believe he told me many weddings had taken place there.  To me, this Pavilion was the “firehouse shed,” but it is evidently more important than being just a simple shed.  Photographed through the meeting room window (click to enlarge):

Firehouse Pavilion

Next I was shown a beautiful large wooden case that was set into a wall and would eventually be filled with patches and mementos.  This was a gift from the Virginia Beach Fire Department, made specially for the firehouse at Sandy Hook.  My friendly fireman told me a truck from VBFD had pulled up outside to deliver it one day.  I could not take a picture of the entire case as it was so big, but here is a portion that has been filled:

Wooden case from Virginia Beach FD

Donation plaque from VBFD

Outside again, the nice fireman wanted me to take a picture of the famous “Hitch Your Wagon to a Star” plaque.  I did so and also took one of the stars on the roof, which he told me were made possible by the deputy fire chief’s brother.  We both remarked that it was odd that there were only 26 stars (20 small ones for the children and 6 large ones for the adults) and none for Nancy and Adam Lanza.

Firehouse plaque

The 26 stars for each Sandy Hook school victim are also arranged on a green flag outside the firehouse:

Firehouse flags

I said goodbye to the fireman, thanking him profusely for his courtesy, and walked up the road where I shot a few more photos of the Rosen house and a heart-shaped memorial that remains in place today.

Rosen House from Riverside Drive Heart-shaped memorial Heart-shaped memorial

Newtown has a lot of cemeteries, I am told, and here is one on Riverside Drive in Sandy Hook (click to enlarge):

Sandy Hook cemetery Sandy Hook cemetery

In the village of Sandy Hook (“downtown”), there are lots of empty storefronts:

For rent For rent

Here I am in front of a foresaken karate studio with dusty trophies in the window:

Sandy Hook karate studio

While I was in the village, a large number of school buses drove by, all in a line.  The first few had high-schoolers, followed by buses with elementary-school children. I saw about 13 to 15 buses, and the odd thing was that they contained very few children — as little as three to as many as six or eight, but no more.  Normally school buses are packed with boisterous kids.  Another oddity was that the children in these buses waved from the windows, turning and continuing to wave as the buses moved on.  For the sake of privacy, I did not take pictures of the waving children.

Newtown school buses

We know that the Sandy Hook school building has been demolished, and we heard that the children who attended Sandy Hook Elementary were moved to an empty school building in the nearby town of Monroe, CT while a brand new Sandy Hook school is being built.  The road to Monroe from Newtown is long and windy, with woods on each side.  The Chalk Hill Middle School (temporary relocation site) is next to another Monroe school:

New Sandy Hook school sign

The Jockey Hollow School seemed quite active, with children on the playground, school buses parked outside, and even a line of parents waiting at one of the doors.

Jockey Hollow School playground

But the Sandy Hook school …?  This is what you see (click to enlarge):

Entrance to Sandy Hook school

Sandy Hook school entrance

Closely guarded, the entrance patrolled.  Everyone going in was stopped and had to answer to the police.

Police at Sandy Hook school

A van with blacked-out windows was leaving the school grounds (click to enlarge):

Van leaving Sandy Hook school

A sign for the Chalk Hill Nature Trail points toward the Sandy Hook school.  The policeman stationed at the school entrance angrily told us the trail was behind the school and no one could access it until after school hours, or 4 o’clock.  He was not a friendly policeman.

Chalk Hill Nature Trail sign

As was the case with the old Sandy Hook school site, there are houses just behind the Chalk Hill school.  Whose houses are these, so close to such a protected premises?

Layout of Chalk Hill school
Back to Sandy Hook, here is Crestwood Drive from Google maps:

Crestwood Drive, Sandy Hook

Dotted with six houses, the last driveway looks like this:

Last house on Crestwood Drive

And there was a vanity plate on this car parked at one of the homes:

Shpunt license plate

A little bit of searching yields that this is the name of a popular Newtown figure, Jack Shpunt (read more here).  Jack is a coach and a humanitarian, big into benefits and charities and sports for kids.  His name is also, coincidentally, an acronym of sorts for the post-event slogans, Sandy Hook Promise / United Newtown!

Sandy Hook Promise We Are Newtown United in Newtown

And that concludes this photo essay of my little venture …  Oops, I almost forgot!  The Lanza house on Yogananda Street:

36 Yogananda Street

And … of all weird things, the mailbox stuffed with newspapers!  Why there continues to be delivery to this famous house today, I’m not sure …

Mailbox 36 Yogananda

Not to be missed: The bee weathervane on the roof of the Newtown Bee building:

Newtown Bee

And this decal on a car in the parking lot, which does not reflect the popular “forgiveness” theme:

Newtown Never Forget

And that concludes this photo essay of my little venture …

Click the image below to see my “Unraveling Sandy Hook” talk on YouTube.

Smallstorm

This article first appeared at aboutthesky.com. It is republished here with permission.

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43 thought on “My Sandy Hook Adventure: A Photo Essay”
  1. There is something creepy about that town. The empty storefronts remind me of a movie set just waiting for the next fictional script.

    And what joy, visitors encounter the super friendly fireman and happy children on the bus wave when they see you. What a perfect little hamlet. Sigh.

  2. Thank you, Dr. Tracy, & a special thanks to Sophia for filling in some blanks in an already bizarre story. Town looks like an empty, totally staged setting w/ storybook characters carefully in place.

    1. lol storybook characters. i guess the bikers weren’t at the ‘patio’ of the restaurant across the street from the old karate place. and she missed the guy walking around about that time with the burger king crown on (sometimes i think, omg if people were taking pics now…)

      and yea the old guy who used to ride around on his bike with the “get naked” sign on the back hasn’t been around for 10 years or more. he must have died off ; (

      i’ve seen some funny stuff. but storybook? nah.

      shops have a LONG LONG history of not being able to stay open in the Hook, cause the parking sucks.

  3. I agree with Bonnie. Still beyond bizarre to me and none of it makes sense. And why was this fireman so polite when the others were downright nasty to Wolfgang during his visit?!?!

  4. Being rude didn’t help them much. Did Sophia do any research at any of the local libraries while there? The pictures are nice, and it is also interesting to hear that the town is creepy and all that, but we kind of knew. Those kid might have been waving to signal for help!!

  5. That huge, hug firehouse, multiple vehicles, large kitchen, large bar, meeting room, display area … but only ONE super-friendly tour-giving fireman, SURE take LOTS of pictures is there? No one else? … doesn’t sound quite right to me. Did she make an appointment beforehand? I can’t imagine any fireman at any firehouse just giving a tour just because he’s so super-friendly and nice.

    While I appreciate the information that Sofia (Wisdom) Small Storm has provided, something about her strikes me as not authentic. In a can’t put my finger on it, gut feeling kind of way. And this “tour” doesn’t help.

    1. The firetrucks look brand new, like 2013/2014 Models. It appears like quite a bit of $$ has flowed into the building and equipment. Remember, there were no firetrucks at all inside the firehouse on 12-14-12, nor where they parked outside. The firehouse was full of refreshments, water bottles and actors.

      1. Check the photos. Yes, there were firetrucks parked outside the firehouse on 12-14-12. But, yes, these do look very new and shiny.

      2. Thinking about it, John, it’s quite remarkable. Many months ago I commented upon the firehouse and the guys living there, talking about something I can’t recall–and was immediately pounced upon: it’s a VOLUNTEER fire department, I was corrected, in a place with hardly any fires. It’s not manned.

        Here, we have a movie-set of a big-city firehouse, kind of like the hundred thousand dollar kitchens in crappy apartments of low-payed characters in Hollywood productions. And always spotless. Purely for the eyeballs (and the dimwits who never notice how weird that is).

        I don’t know how many firehouses, in whatever sized locales, volunteer or financed on the taxpayer’s dime, have an in-house tavern like that one–or a sort of museum quality all around the place. I’m guessing not many. Or none. Yes, my guess is NONE. And what a fantastic kitchen! Restaurant quality.

        I trust Sofia, so this anomaly, in my opinion, must be looked at like this: it is a stage-set, probably created as a response to the Wolf debacle. Sofia just happened to be the first visitor to knock on the door, and the actor, being ready for anyone, was happy to show off this fantastic dream firehouse: take all the pictures you want!

        I’m guessing you won’t be able to stumble upon too many group meals out of that kitchen, as a random visitor, or any drinking-contest evenings in that bar. As many of us believe, the town is largely an illusion. They just now caught up with the inside of one of the buildings.

        What I AM concerned about is those kids in those largely empty busses. This is a very evil place, with a fakey-wholesome veneer. It probably has very few real humans living there, but those who do live there, I don’t think, can be trusted with children.

      3. @patrickchatsamiably : I agree with your assessment. I’m glad you looked at the photos and considered Sofia’s comments for what they were and didn’t focus on the absence of gore or a suspenseful conclusion. I think it was very spontaneous and even lucky that the guy manning the station took a liking to her.

        Yes, the very near empty buses and so many of them. And the small bus with the tinted windows leaving the school at its new location. Knowing Sofia, there’s no way she would detail any suspicions she might have that would horrify anyone. That isn’t to say she doesn’t have those suspicions.

    2. I think Sofia’s visit was highly informative and that she showed a lot of guts going there. Of what possible benefit is a firehouse without firemen? I don’t know how volunteer firemen do their thing – perhaps they are called in during an emergency, but it did look short-handed.

      The movie-set like feel of the place – a ghost town like Bodie in California, former mining town where they just left everything and left, leaving it to film-makers who use it as a set. The difference is that Bodie is in a desert – and being Ct., there is a need for snow-removal and maintenance, plus obviously lawn services and tree cutting. The weather does a number on East Coast stage sets, so someone has to be on top of them. The Chalk Hill school is beyond creepy – obviously there were no Sandy Hook kids transferred there.

      Perhaps the kids waved from the buses because they know people come around as tourists, curious about the town’s claim to fame. I’m assuming the kids are from Monroe however.

      I think Sofia did a broad sweep, and at each point there was more to examine, but it would have gotten her kicked out of the game and she had to get the coverage. By behaving civilly, she made it easier for the next person to get in there and look around without prejudicing their movements.

      That’s how I see it.

  6. H-mmm, considering how Sofia’s past “work” seemed to make sense, her cryptic reply to “heather” seems odd. Her entire “piece” appears unfocused. Why all the time spent in the unusually large and decked out firehouse without asking some pointed questions? Do people generally get tours when randomly showing up at one? Citing privacy reasons for no photos of waving children? It’s not that she’d be that close to identify anyone.

    Did she not run into any other individuals on the street? What’s the significance of the SHPHUNT guy, the car decal, the bee,etc at this time? This kind of sounds almost like the Halbig visit. Odds and ends of ??? Puzzling to say the least.

  7. Each visitor brings away an insightful piece of info . The firehouse got bad press while WH was there so now they are attempting to appear “warm and friendly and welcoming ” .This will help the unknowing general public , feel that he created the problem and will further diminish his credibility . I think it is very interesting that there were no children in the SH playground. I assume since the real SH had been closed since 2008-2009 few parents were willing to send their kids out of town , from the other overcrowed SH elemantary schools . Maybe there are no kids attending , just BOE pple making it look busy >

  8. My cryptic reply to Heather is about her gut feeling about [me], not my lucky tour of the firehouse.

  9. What was going on at the schools as they were being let out? Did you happen to hang around at 3:30 or so? It seems strange that they had so many school buses with very few children…

  10. Also, Porco’s Karate academy is downstairs from Porco Construction Co who renovated both the Toy Tree building and most likely the barber shop building. I called the for rent number in the window and it went straight to Porco.

  11. Well, like everything else about this episode, it’s strange. In an apparently failing town, why do they get “lobsters” when others get “crabs”? Oh, participation has its rewards.

    Is it just me or does it strike anyone else as odd that you would have a “normal” school right next to a guarded restricted area school? Are these kids “special”?

    The friendly fireman could be right out of a Stephan King novel. Who would get married in the parking lot of a firehouse? And, what about Gene? They drove an eighth of a mile to drop kids off in the parking lot of the firehouse so they could sit on Gene’s wall and wail? Then what? Did the driver head to the bar? Is there a bar?

    In the report they mentioned two teachers escaping and walking to the Subway sandwich shop. Is there one of those? Who were they? Did they just abandon their charges and say “we’re going for lunch. We’ll be back when the shooting stops”?

    I’ve been calling this a Potemkin Village for a long time. I’m starting to think of Williamsburg. Do they wait for tourists and cue up the fireman and the school buses? It feels like the movie “Funny Farm”.

    Thank you Sophia for sharing your pictures. Do you have any insights or “feelings” having been there? It seems like a creepy place for a “tragedy” but perfect for a drill.

    1. Yes, I have many insights/feelings/speculations. The photo essay was simply to share with people what I saw, but it’s not as easy to share with the world what I have been thinking. It’s a Heart of Darkness, Belly of the Beast kind of thing … my essay hardly scratches the surface.

      1. This may sound strange, but does this little town have a “presence” about it? I have gotten the impression that it does, although I have never been there. I’ve seen it in the photos from the beginning. It’s like one of those old scary movies where the townsfolk all seem to be pleasant on the surface, even if they do seem a little strange. But just under the veneer is an evil that can be felt ~ like perhaps they seem to be smiling, but when you get close enough to really see, they have fangs.

  12. Thing is,I don’t feel any more enlightened about anything having to do with this event than before I looked at this….

  13. I felt Sofia’s essay and photo’s just stated facts as she saw them..with no assumptions or questions.. I wonder why they have a brand new fleet of fire trucks..was there only 1 fireman there?.. usually a working firehouse has a team ” at the ready”..it seemed very unusual..I am thinking maybe she was asked to take a few photo’s.. but not indulge the public that she was asked… so that the place looks good.. ( not that it did).. anyway that’s my thoughts after looking at the pictures and reading the blog. I could be totally off the mark, I am not very good at cryptic clues..

    1. As I understood, it is a volunteer fire department. This fireman told me “I’m the day guy.” I asked if there was a night guy and he said yes. Thus the fire station may be manned in the sense that someone is present at all times.

  14. I forgot it was a volunteer fire unit… do you think the donated money went towards these shiny new fire trucks.. So they work for nothing, no pay, being volunteers.. of course they would.. seems like a real helpful community there. er, . but where are all the people? |I’m wondering if the the firehouse really needed.. I wonder how many fires they have attended in the past few months..!!

  15. “HITCH YOUR WAGON TO A STAR”
    They objectified all the victims into Angels and Stars.
    If the Stars are representing the victims, they are asking you to hitch your wagon to the victims…to dead people.
    Like many other things, this is just one example of how disgusting this is.
    They want everyone to celebrate the lives of the deceased…too much.
    This is a sick cult as I see it.
    With all the Masonic population around it, Fairfield Hills and it’s architecture, I also suspect some sort of Saturnian Cube worship.
    This is THE HUNGER GAMES, which by the way was written by a woman who is from Connecticut. The commercialization of death.
    The amount of money received because of this “event” is staggering.
    Question is not if it was a total hoax, but how deadly of a hoax was it?
    Kaitlin Roig was right, there are no answers and we will never know…
    sadly.
    If people died or did not, this is deeply disturbing either way.
    Thank You for sharing this.

    1. Tim, the writer of The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) is not only from Ct., she is FROM SANDY HOOK. And by the way for what it’s worth, the father of the man alleged to be the assailant near UCSB was the assistant director of the movie “The Hunger Games.”

      The Hiram Order of the Masonic Lodge is directly behind where the school once stood.

      I believe you have some valid insights into the cultish flavor of this region. I also believe the truth is beyond anything anyone could imagine. And believe me, Sandy Hook was accomplished with demonic enablement.

      The History Channel is perhaps the main offender, at least currently, of promoting the myth that masons are just a lodge, you know…like the Racoon Lodge Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton belonged to. But I seriously doubt the Racoons engaged in satanic ritual abuse like the masons do. If you think this is a gross mischaracterization you have never spoken to someone who was a victim of SRA (I recently had a conversation with a woman whose PARENTS made thousands $$$ selling her to masons to be sexually abused).

      Keep digging friends, and don’t faint in doing good.

  16. So, did you ask permission of the car’s owner to post a picture with their license plate not blurred out? Shame on you.

  17. I will say one thing … I have in my possesion email convers that shows on the day of the event specifically that shows players conversing and stating concern over ‘kids’ being affected by the events with no concern about their supposed dead relative … This evidence directly proves zero concern of their dead relative but rather concern over the events instead. And whether the kid was collected from the school. Very strange indeed.

  18. to Dr. Tracey & Sofia: KUDOS to you both ! I’m sure you are encouraged by the thoughtful questions/answers being presented here on this post. Quite different from even one yr. ago is evidence that people ARE waking up & doing some of their own research. A quote I got from this site = “the internet used to be considered a nerd niche, but is now recognized as perhaps the only viable source of real news”….& even THAT is being perverted by unintentional misinformation, paid informants, & trolls. But we wade on, trusting our gut instincts & gather tidbits from here & there to form our own conclusions. The fact that you both present objective evidence w/o speculation leads others to do their own research….thank you ! Unfortunately, there will always be the few who expect to be “spoon-fed” the answers, but they too will eventually wake up.
    As a home-bound old granny, I spend 10-12 hrs./day on the internet & have found that sometimes you have to dig through several layers, but CAN find facts to support your suspicions.
    A sl. addendum to the rescue scenario of S.T.A.R.T.: depending on resources available, if a “survivable” victim will take too many resources to save, they may be triaged to black as the object is to save as many as possible. Hard for “newbys” to get used to, but the facts of life. Get ready for the real world.
    I would like to add that a lifelong friend is a firefighter in the nearby town & contacted me…..they were told to “stand down as it’s already covered”. A mass casualty w/ multiple victims declining help ???? I question why all the staged rescue vehicles for dead children ? He declined to contact Dr. Tracey as he feared for his life. Also, NO FD has a bar !!! If you’ve had 1 beer while off duty, you are not allowed to respond……bar in a FD is “la la land” !!
    To the person questioning the decal on the car: the whole unity & forgiveness thing is staged. Just MY speculation, but the decal reads “never forget”…. ? (all the $$ you’ve been paid).
    Even a casual internet search will show you: ALL the kids doing the mass shootings were on tranquilizers & anti-psychotic medication….question THAT ! How about google “Manchurian Candidate” or M16 or “mind control experiments” ? How about the internet search of Social Security records showing Adam Lanza’s death the day before the shooting incident……the answers ARE out there !

    1. As to proving that kids weren’t on anti-psychotics…..logic follows that you cannot prove a negative. It’s just a foolish argument

      1. Linda, so you found a FD that has a bar, and we really can never say with any degree of assuredness that alleged perpetrators of MCIs were or were not on any type of medication. Ok, so where does that leave us with regards to 12-14-12 is Sandy Hook, Ct.? If the SH FD had a bar in it on that date, what exactly do you draw from this? If an Adam Lanza was or was not on any type of meds on that date, what do you draw from that? I would submit that YOU’RE argument is foolish, problem is, you really haven’t made one. If you believe the official story of that day, come out of the closet and state it clearly. Oh….and if you have ANY evidence to back it up….PRODUCE IT. Why do you people insist on lurking in the shadows?

  19. Thank you Sofia, your non-confrontational approach was very refreshing and revealing. If your personal fireman tour guide was witness to a non-fiction version of SHE theatre then I believe his dialogue with you would have been of a completely different one-on-one exchange. For example, he would have shared at least one powerful truthful vignette of that day.
    Yes, the funding for the building and equipment seems to be plentiful.
    Did your out of state license plate set off a possible “alert” within this seeming Hollywood set?

  20. Pretty women with good figures are given carte blanche access, whereas courageous men like Mr. Fetzer and Halbig are treated like pariahs and enemies. Weird.

  21. The Sandy Hook fire department site is quite interesting, their long history appears to end in 1977, with two entries since then, one for winning 28! Trophies in a parade and another with the opening of the grand pavilion!

    From the looks on the sparse call reporting log, most activity involves car wrecks.
    http://www.sandyhookfire.com/custom.html?id=5801

  22. Some readers are experiencing difficulty for some reason posting comments to certain articles, including the recent one on the UCSB shooting as well as this one. This is unusual and the first time something like this has happened since MHB has been up-and-running.

    Please let me know via the contact form if you are experiencing problems.

    Thanks.

    JT

  23. From Kathy:

    Here is my comment to My Sandy Hook Adventure.

    The Sandy Hook fire department site is quite interesting, their long history appears to end in 1977, with two entries since then, one for winning 28! Trophies in a parade and another with the opening of the grand pavilion!

    From the looks on the sparse call reporting log, most activity involves car wrecks.
    http://www.sandyhookfire.com/custom.html?id=5801

    Time: May 31, 2014 at 1:28 pm

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