NUTTY PROFESSOR: Newtown Conspiracy Claim Condemned by Town Chief

The top official in Newtown, Conn., strongly condemned a Florida professor who recently sparked outrage for questioning whether last month's horrific school massacre in the Connecticut community really happened.

James Tracy, an associate professor of media history at Florida Atlantic University, made the bizarre claim on his personal blog memoryholeblog.com, writing that the shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead may have been a government drill -- or may have not even occurred.

"It is outrageous and an insult to all caring people to think that this man would chose this event as a stage for his outlandish conspiracy theories," Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra told FoxNews.com, calling his statements "wrong, inconsiderate and insensitive."

Tracy, who did not return calls for comment, told the Sun-Sentinel he considers his conspiracy-mongering a scholarly endeavor.

"I describe myself as a scholar and public intellectual interested in going more deeply into controversial public events," he said. "Although some may see [my theories] as beyond the pale, I am doing what we should be doing as academics."

Llodra didn't agree.

"Professor Tracy is an embarrassment to me as an educator and should be to you as well," she said. "I can assure you, sadly, that the events here in Newtown unfolded exactly as are being reported."

The Boca Raton school said Tracy, who has also questioned the official version of events of the Kennedy assassination, the 9/11 terror attacks and the Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre, was speaking only for himself.

"James Tracy does not speak for the university," Lisa Metcalf, FAU's director of media relations, told FoxNews.com in an email. "The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions at FAU, we do not comment on personnel matters."

In a posting titled "The Sandy Hook Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information," Tracy questioned how Adam Lanza was able to fire off so many shots in such little time and noted a lack of surveillance video or still images from the gruesome crime scene.

"Inconsistencies and anomalies abound when one turns an analytical eye to news of the Newtown school massacre," Tracy, 47, wrote. "While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation's news media have described."

Pressed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Tracy acknowledged that "one is left with the impression that a real tragedy took place," but suggested the Dec. 14 massacre was some sort of staged event.

"Was this to a certain degree constructed?" he asked. "Was this a drill?"

Llodra said the university should be ashamed to even have Tracy on its payroll.

"Haven't these parents and the community been hurt enough?" she said.

FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report.


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