Love the look of this kid. He was a cool character. Focus is off a bit, but I don’t even care…
We’ve been reporting on the surveillance cameras mounted around Short Creek and information is starting to pour in. A post by Jim Dalrymple II on the Tribune’s polygamy blog today has more information from someone with inside knowledge of the FLDS cameras, Guy Timpson, including something that jumped out at me:
Another camera sits high above the meetinghouse on a flag pole and spins 360 degrees at all times.
“We could see what people were saying just by reading lips if you were good enough,” he recalled.
Oh, very interesting. We were looking very closely at that flagpole on our last trip. I had spotted it from across town and thought to myself, that’s an excellent spot for a camera- you can see everywhere from the top of that pole. We drove over and tried to figure out if it was a camera or not but even after looking at a closeup photo of the ball we couldn’t be sure. Here is a photo of the ball, which I’ve lightened to show more detail:
And then I went back through my archive and found this photo of the Leroy S. Johnson meetinghouse from March 15, 2006. No visible cameras on this side of the building in 2006:
Okay, let’s zoom in on that flagpole:
A gold ball in 2006. Black today.
The part in today’s story that stood out to me was this:
He said that 25 or more cameras are positioned in the FLDS’s Leroy S. Johnson meetinghouse. Among other things, he said they can zoom in to see what people are writing or as close as “a spot on their faces.”
Note: A photo I took in 2007 that matches this 2006 shot does shows that a camera had been installed above the doorway.
Photographs from a church service held by former followers of Warren Jeffs’ FLDS church. These people, led by William E. Jessop, were kind enough to welcome us in to document their group. To my knowledge, this is the first time a religious service has been photographed by an outsider in Short Creek. I say that not to brag, but to point out the lengths that these people had gone to in letting me in. Thank you for your openness.