Episode 274 – Crashes of Convenience: Michael Hastings

by | Jul 6, 2013 | Episodes, Podcasts | 25 comments

Michael Hastings was that rarest of breeds: a mainstream reporter who wasn’t afraid to rail against the system, kick back against the establishment, and bite the hand that feeds him. On the morning of June 18, 2013, he died in a fiery car crash. But now details are emerging that he was on the verge of breaking an important new story about the CIA, and believed he was being investigated by the FBI. Now even a former counter-terrorism czar is admitting Hastings’ car may have been cyber-hijacked. Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we explore the strange details surrounding the untimely death of Michael Hastings.

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KTVU news covers the death of Michael Hastings
Time Reference: 00:15


The Runaway General
Time Reference: 02:28


Countdown-Stanley McChrystal resigns
Time Reference: 02:41


Cenk Uygur Interviews Michael Hastings
Time Reference: 04:50


Michael Hastings on ‘The Operators’
Time Reference: 11:43


Michael Hastings Confronts Piers Morgan Over Media ‘Mythologizing’ Petraeus
Time Reference: 14:49


Michael Hastings Rips Obama Drone Speech
Time Reference: 16:56


KTLA covers the Hastings crash
Time Reference: 19:56


Witness to Michael Hastings Car Crash Shares His Story
Time Reference: 21:31


More Details Emerge on the Death of Michael Hastings
Time Reference: 23:05


Friend of Michael Hastings Says Rolling Stone Journalist Working on Biggest Story Yet About CIA
Time Reference: 24:57


Researchers Show How a Car’s Electronics Can Be Taken Over Remotely
Time Reference: 29:17


DARPA Talks About Hacking Cars
Time Reference: 30:48


Was Michael Hastings’ Car Hacked? Richard Clarke Says It’s Possible
Time Reference: 33:28


L.A. Weekly: Michael Hastings’ Car was Speeding, Had Drunk Driving History
Time Reference: 38:43


Car Experts on Michael Hastings’ Crash: No Reason to Suspect Foul Play
Time Reference: 39:17


“Information Outlaw” by Iron Age Mystics
Time Reference: 42:05


  1. Hastings feared his vehicle was being tampered with

    Its deliberately obfuscated in the article but:

    In February, Hastings had rented a one-bedroom apartment with a gorgeous view overlooking Hollywood. The landlord allowed him to use another unit, the one below Thigpen’s, to write.

    Often, when Hastings was done for the day, he would visit Thigpen. He would talk passionately about the stories he was working on. They talked about other things in the news, about stories she thought he should pursue, and about their shared sense of grief.

    Skipping ahead a bit…

    He came to believe his Mercedes was being tampered with. “Nothing I could say could console him,” Thigpen says.

    One night in June, he came to Thigpen’s apartment after midnight and urgently asked to borrow her Volvo. He said he was afraid to drive his own car. She declined, telling him her car was having mechanical problems.

    “He was scared, and he wanted to leave town,” she says.

    The next day, around 11:15 a.m., she got a call from her landlord, who told her Hastings had died early that morning. His car had crashed into a palm tree at 75 mph and exploded in a ball of fire.

    “I burst into tears,” Thigpen says. “I couldn’t believe it had happened again.”

    Hastings believed his car was being tampered with, and he asked his neighbor to borrow her car. Now the article makes it seem like his asking to borrow her car was not the same night of his death.

    However, it clearly says that after asking to borrow her car for fear that his had been tampered with, the next morning, at 11:15am, she received the news that he was dead.

    So some time, on the night of his death, after midnight (12:01am) and before 4:20am, Hastings attempted to borrow his neighbors vehicle for fear that his had been tampered with.

    Sounds suspicious…

    • How likely was is a vehicle fire?

      There is more to it than that. You need to get the report to dig into what he is talking about.

      Between 2002-2005, there were an average of 306,800 vehicle fire per year. Of that number only 3% were linked to collisions and overturns. (Pg. 7)

      So already the number could be even smaller then 8,100 cited by the expert because we have no way to know how many fires were caused by overturns. As far as we can tell from footage, it has never been established that Hastings car overturned.

      The number shrinks again in Table 2, where we learn that only 208,600 “Automobile or passenger car” vehicles were involved in fires. Since Hasting was not in any of the other types of vehicles also included in the vehicle fire calculations, such as a school bus, a trackless trolley, a dump truck, a garbage truck, any type of boat, barge, or military ship of 1,000 tons or more, a cruise liner, any type of aircraft, a timber harvest vehicle, a missle, rocket, or space vehicle, etc., then we should probably trim those vehicles out of our probability estimates. (pgs. 16-19)

      This would put us at 6,258 fires fitting our description.

      This number could shrink even smaller, if we take into account figure 7, that shows that 70% of vehicle fires in collisions and overturns, started in the engine area, running gear, or wheel area. Considering that Hasting’s engine was propelled a considerable distance out of the car, could we not then remove any fires that had started in the engine area? Sadly, there is no further breakdown of that number in the report. (pg. 26)

      Finally, if we look at Table 13, considering that the engine was ejected from the vehicle, we could also possibly trim out the 12,600 fires ignited by a “backfire from internal combustion engine.” (pg. 44)

  2. Security experts hack into moving car and seize control.

    New revelations are explosive in Hastings case. They’ve gone farther than any previously. Cars CAN be hacked remotely. They CAN be hacked going down the highway. They CAN take control of the steering, brakes, and engine and issue commands.

    Here’s an interesting tid-bit:

    Former National Security Agency hacker Charlie Miller, now at Twitter, and IOActive researcher Chris Valasek used a feature in the Fiat Chrysler telematics system Uconnect to break into a car being driven on the highway by a reporter for technology news site Wired.com.

    Wonder where Mr. Miller’s research came from?
    Certainly not his former employer the NSA right?
    Why would they be interested in hacking cars?
    Somebody remind me again why Mike thought the FBI was investigating him?
    Anyone remember his final email?

  3. 2016
    Aubrey McClendon – remote controlled car crash

    Would a multi-millionaire murder another multi-millionaire to gain more wealth and to keep from going to prison?
    Would the alternative media cover a covert murder of an oil millionaire?

    Aubrey McClendon was an internationally famous, influential and very rich oil man in Oklahoma City.
    He (but not others) was indicted by a Grand Jury for manipulating oil prices and land purchases, but less than 24 hours later he had “an accident” in his modern computerized vehicle. A fiery car crash into a bridge at a high rate of speed on an easily traveled road. No brakes applied.
    (3 minutes) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL7309tce8s

    Richard Clark (former head of National Security) points out how easy it is to remotely hijack a car. It can be difficult to determine if there was a “remotely controlled hijacking” if the computer modules were destroyed in a fire.
    The Federal Security Agencies have been aware of this easily available “car hijacking” technology for years.
    See this 2013 interview with Richard Clark about a fiery car crash with almost the exact same circumstances. Michael Hastings “accident”.
    (There a great links in this Huffington Post article… Example: Mark Dice shows that the technology was widely known about even in early 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQrHnP9lXIU )

    DARPA – “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency” – circa 2013
    (3 1/2 minutes)

    Aubrey McClendon – Official Police Announcement on FACEBOOK
    If you read the Facebook comments, you will notice that many of his close associates do not think this was a suicide.
    There are other videos out there that substantiate that he was not stressed enough to do a “suicide car crash”, despite his indictment.

    Would someone else want Aubrey dead? (After all, dead men can’t “make a deal”, dead men can’ talk.)
    Who knows?…maybe this ex-partner, Tom Ward …

    It is widely known that the oil market is manipulated. This is admitted to by the marketplace. It is not a conspiracy theory.

    Just one example of many. For every 1 barrel of real oil, more than 123 barrels were traded in the futures market. Sept 2016

    • March 2017 – AUBREY MCCLENDON update (estate being settled)
      …McClendon, 56, crashed into a concrete bridge embankment at nearly 89 mph in March 2016, a day after being indicted by a grand jury.

      Investigators found that McClendon drove straight into a wall without correcting, but there was no conclusive evidence that he intentionally drove into the wall, according to Oklahoma City Police Capt. Paco Balderrama. McClendon left nothing behind that could be construed as a suicide note, Balderrama said.

    • – Record Stock Volume – cui bono?
      This stock analyst and trader points out the incredible movement of Chesapeake Energy Corp stock price following Aubrey’s death, and those major institutional investors who benefited.
      YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8P5gZ43zd0

  4. I know this is an old story. But the witness account in Spanish is a bit off in the translation. He doesnt say ‘it was on fire before it hit the tree’ but that “…you could see sparks shooting out from the bottom in the back”. This could’ve been that it bottomed-out due of the high rate of speed. It crossed the intersection (‘al todo’) meaning full acceleration, he replied after being was asked how fast it was going. It stayed as fast as it would go (ao it was building up even more speed just before impact) about half way down the block, where it jerked left and went straight into a tree at full speed w/no attempt (that could be seen) at trying to break.

    Once someone can remotely control the main functions of another vehicle, they dont really need anything else, (picking the best time and place. Videos on yt showing this being done are pretty chilling.

    Other than the ridiculously implausible nature of the entire event, one the most revealing bits (I THOUGHT) is the notion that Hastings would have ever blasted through a red light (across a four lane intersection). That night there just happen to be a ‘stringer’ [news van parked right on the corner,with a full view of the intersection. Sure enough, the Benz flies through the red light at very high speed. There is no chance! Not one, in hell, that Hastings world have been that reckless and indifferent with other people’s lives ( not to mention his own). Any car (family-packed,-pick ur worst nightmare scenario) coming across at just that instant wouldve resulted in a horrific and devastating crash.

    • BUMP – Spanish translation

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