For nearly as long as QAnon has been around, there have been efforts by various actors to sell smoke about Q to researchers. As Ben Collins of NBC News so succinctly put it, “There’s a lot of smoke there because they want it to be there.”
I suspect that if I break down some recent smoke and describe what I find, perhaps other researchers might find it useful.
Recently, I came upon an unusual Twitter thread by @kirtaner. Within that thread were several claims about an individual, but the basis for the claims was not provided. Without the evidence, there was no way to substantiate the accusation made within that thread.
There are a few very obvious counterpoints to this narrative.
- It is not likely that someone would hold the highest Department of Energy security clearance based on the above claims.
- No evidence is presented in this thread to verify the alleged email correspondence between DuMont and Jim Watkins.
- “Someone in their like 40s” narrows the potential list of suspects to millions of people. Also, it seems unreasonable to rule out people who are older than “their like 40s.”
- Cottle is making unconfirmed claims about a purported niece or nephew without even a hint of evidence.
- The claims about a “local obit” have no supporting evidence and the account being cited was created in November 2020 and also presented no supporting evidence.
The above screenshots are only a selection from the full thread, the rest of which can be viewed here. It includes screenshots of another Twitter account claiming to have invented Q. However, this has been a common occurrence on Twitter, dating back to at least 2018.
This thread by Mr. Cottle reads like an allegation that DuMont is Q. When I inquired about these spurious allegations and his past allegations that Jim Watkins is Q, he claimed the following:
The problem here is that he did claim Jim Watkins is Q.
The other problem is, Cottle fabricated the evidence he’s citing as he claims that Jim Watkins is Q. The fake Ron Watkins @CodeMonkeyZ account on Parler which he’s citing was run by him.
Ron Watkins is Jim Watkins’ son. By operating a fake Ron Watkins account on Parler and using it to say that Jim Watkins posts on 8kun as Q, he can then cite this material to support his earlier claims. This is highly deceptive and unethical, to say the least. He’s using his platform to mislead people about who is behind Q and fabricating evidence to do so.
He’s not the only one involved here. His friend, Fredrick Brennan, claimed he verified the account was Ron Watkins based on information that Fredrick claimed only he and few other people would know.
Fredrick also used his knowledge of Ron Watkin’s background (which he knew due to past associations with Ron and Jim Watkins via 8chan) to make further assertions about the Parler account.
This fake Ron Watkins account also posted commentary which ‘confirmed’ a claim that Fredrick was telling his audience prior to November 15, 2020.
Around 4:43 AM CST on November 15th, he claimed that he had become aware of the account because Cottle pinged him.
Absent the proper context, this is misleading. He, in fact, had been interacting with that Parler account as early as 3:00 AM CST.
Furthermore, when the Parler account posted the ‘proof’ that Jim Watkins posts as Q, Fredrick was right there to archive the post. The post was archived by Brennan within 2 minutes of it being posted and archival with that site can take a minute or so to process.
Once this was all done, the Parler account was immediately deleted.
Fredrick has long sought to advance the faulty premise that Jim Watkins is Q. He uses the fact that Jim Watkins runs 8chan/8kun as part of the premise. However, this is akin to claiming that Jack Dorsey must be directly running the many anonymous accounts on Twitter. Occasionally Brennan will alter the claim to insist, without evidence, that Watkins can post as Q any time. One could also suggest that Dorsey could potentially access any Twitter account and post from that account. One could suggest that with regards to the owners/operators of a variety of social media platforms. That doesn’t mean it is true. He also has claimed that Watkins took over ownership of a separate website where Q’s posts are aggregated and used that claim in combination with Watkin’s ownership of 8kun to insist that Watkins is Q. However, the operator of the website was eventually found and it was not Watkins.
Both Brennan and Cottle have operated chan boards and now they are very invested in advancing a narrative about Q. This effort now includes a fabricated Parler account which was then puppeted to ‘verify’ past claims made by these individuals. That Parler account was created in July 2020, so it was not some spur of the moment act. This was planned out months in advance. This does make one wonder what else has been fabricated over this time or even before this?
When Cottle later communicated with the Washington Post about this Parler account, he claimed that he “did it for the lulz”. The evidence shows otherwise. Not only did he plan this out over months, he also continued using his platform to make dubious assertions about who is behind Q, as covered at the beginning of this article.
The record shows that Brennan and Cottle’s public interactions trace back to at least 2015. They also seem to share similar views about America.
Is there a motivation for these claims about Q’s identity other than what they claim publicly? Are they deliberately trying to create smoke? And how might the below statements by Cottle factor into that? Within this thread, he does suggest that this is all in the past, but considering the collected evidence above, do you agree with his suggestion?
Believe it or not, when people create smokescreens with regards to who (or what) Q is, they just so happen to make it far more difficult to get to the bottom of this matter. Some researchers and journalists might even find it all so confusing and frustrating that they throw in the towel. In this researcher’s humble opinion, that would be a shame, especially when considering the damage QAnon is doing to America and wherever else it spreads.