As we drill down through the various conspiracy theories surrounding Donald Trump’s inauguration last week, this has to be one of the most bizarre.
For internet sleuths have deduced that one of the new President’s bodyguards was wearing prosthetic hands – in order to conceal a fully automatic rifle in the ready position beneath his coat.
So far so completely and utterly weird. But even stranger is the footage that sparked this theory.
Clips show the man in question, a tall, large specimen with a shaved head, walking in the parade with his hands held in front of him, looking as if he is adjusting a ring.
Which is a completely normal position for any human being. However, he appears to maintain this stiff, awkward position for the entire procession, prompting speculation that the limbs are a decoy to distract from the weapon he is also carrying.
The theory emerged on gaming blog FragHero, with the author claiming “many” members of the military and law enforcement community had noticed the unusually stiff position of the bodyguard’s upper limbs.
Citing speculation the man was wearing prosthetics while holding a rifle under his overcoat, it adds sources in the military community had mused that the rifle was an FN-P90 rifle, which “does appear to be small enough to fit under a coat.”
However, former combat medic Adam Linehan has produced some pretty compelling evidence those stiff looking limbs are real flesh and blood.
Writing for military site Task and Purpose, Linehan concedes: “Look, I’m not one to question the tactical experience of a bunch of guys who are really good at Call of Duty. My combat experience is limited to just the boring old counterinsurgency stuff we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, yes, of course I want to live in a world where a presidential bodyguard uses tactical fake arms to conceal a rifle in his coat.”
But using the C-Span footage footage, Linehan reveals clips of the same bodyguard appearing to twiddle his fingers and in another adjusting his tie and tugging the lapels of his coat.