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Helicopter photo from video, credit: David Lyudmirsky

 Photo collage credit: Sun Newspaper, UK

"The Kobe Cover-Up Continues"


Was the Mamba’s accidental death planned?

 The Firpo Files Digital Newsmagazine


by Firpo Carr, PhD

Member: American Psychological Association (APA)

Division 36: Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

Division 38: Society for Health Psychology

Division 40: Society for Clinical Neuropsychology

Division 48: Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict and

Violence: Peace Psychology Division

Division 52: International Psychology

Religious Scholar, Seminary Graduate:

Master of Arts in Urban Ministry 



[NOTE: This article is a follow-up to “The Kobe Conspiracy” (http://firpocarr.com/firpofiles02022020.html)]


After authorities declared Kobe’s death an accident, arrangements were made to have his memorial service on February 24, 2020.[1] If conspiracy theorists are correct in saying that the entire, tragic debacle is a well-orchestrated cover-up, then there will be no open caskets as all nine bodies were “blown to smithereens by an onboard bomb,” lamented one conspiracy theorist.

“The Kobe cover-up continues.”

In fact, at one time, a Google search recognized June 26, 2020, as his “date of assassination.”[2]

“Sure,” another continued, “they can have nine caskets alright, but they’ll either be empty, or they have some wax figures as stand-ins if you ask me.”

There may be some element of truth to these sentiments given that the Los Angeles County Coroner had to identify Kobe through fingerprints. Apparently, there was no whole body still intact,[3] such as you’ll find when much larger airplanes fly at much higher altitudes crash with bodies still strapped into their assigned seats.[4]

Conspiracy theorists say more reasons crop up every week that convince them of a cover-up. For example, the cut tree branch, or the modern-day “burning bush” as they call it.

Cut Tree and Credibility: According to media reports, “investigators believe that since a tree branch at the crash site was cut, it appears the engines were working and rotors turning at the time of impact.”[5]

But something is amiss here.

A watchful, global public, populated with myriads of Kobe fans, finds it difficult to reconcile investigators’ belief with what lead investigator Jennifer Homendy said earlier in the article, “Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Plunged 2,000 Ft. Per Minute in ‘High Energy Impact’ Crash.”

What did she say?

“We know this was a high-energy impact crash,”[6] and that the helicopter “was in one piece until impact into a hillside.”[7]

“If this really happened as she said,” complained one observer, “any tree near the site would have been torched. Plus, there weren’t that many trees in the first place!”


The area where the helicopter crashed is pretty much denuded of trees. And, yes, if the rotors were “turning at the time of impact,” then the resulting ball of fire would have incinerated any tree nearby. “Unless it was Moses’ burning bush,[8] I can’t see it happening the way they said it. They’re lying,” said a Kobe fan who is a law student.

Pancake from Compton says, “That’s bull[feces]!”

And then there’s the matter of dendrology (the scientific study of trees).

Google Earth reveals that there aren’t any trees with branches in the area of the crash site strong enough and well-rooted enough that could withstand several strokes of helicopter blades. The force of the blades alone would pulverize any trees--along with their branches--in the area that did not disintegrate in the inferno.

One eyewitness contradicts the NTSB’s conclusion that there was no engine failure by insisting that “this helicopter is not supposed to be around like that…It was struggling look like to me, the engine-wise.”[9]

In short, engine failure.  

Given these and other realities, some allege that the NTSB has been compromised.





No tree (along with its branches) could have survived this inferno, neither were

there hillside trees strong enough to withstand strokes from helicopter blades


Shadow Investigators: While there may be a swelling group of conspiracy theorists,[10] experts in several fields are conducting independent parallel investigations into the details of Kobe’s death, as well as the eight other precious souls that perished in the explosions and subsequent crash. Backchannel communication facilitates the exchange of information, as various ideas are floated.

Here’s what one investigator did:

Detailed Google Earth of Mapping of Flight Path and Crash: One source posted a YouTube video wherein the narrator thoughtfully explains the cherished relationships of the passengers whose lives are no less important than Kobe’s.[11]

For example, the narrator explains who Gigi’s teammates were. With his skillful utilization of Google Earth, the narrator carefully details the flight path from John Wayne airport in Orange County to the site of the “explosion” (one of the words used in the narrative). One gains a deeper appreciation of how wide the debris was flung, clearly indicating that an explosion had taken place. 

New York Papers Attempt a Cover-Up?: Observers say that, as part of a cover-up, the New York Times desperately presents a red herring[12] in the form of an article that highlights the conflicts and controversies of the previous owners’ of Island Express Helicopters.[13] Admittedly, the piece is cleverly misleading but lacks both relevance and substance.

For example, the very first paragraph states that the company had “had a series of disputes over its safety practices, according to federal accident reports and a former federal safety inspector,” but nowhere in the paragraph does it explicitly state that these “disputes over its safety practices” were not with the current owners, but with the owners that preceded them.

Also, the Times focuses on a Witness[14] who conveniently contradicts other witnesses who say there was definitely at least one explosion (more on this witness dubbed “TWA Man” later). The paper gives lots of extraneous, misleading, attention-diverting “sympathy” material that has nothing to do with what tragically happened in the end.[15] The other witnesses are entirely ignored.

It would appear that the cover-up continues.

The New York Post dutifully chimes in as it throws shade at Ara Zobayan’s (Kobe’s pilot) excellent skills and impeccable record.[16] According to Los Angeles Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard, “that’s the guy you would ask for to fly you from city to city.”[17] Zobayan was the best of the best, which is why he was in such demand.[18] 

Critics say the Post psychologically primes readers to believe that Zobayan wasn’t quite skillful enough since he was just “12 seconds” from safety when he made a wrong turn (although he knew the area like the back of his hand, fog or no fog) and crashed into a hillside.

Both New York papers blame the pilot and his company, say conspiracy theorists, by attempting to divert attention away from what they see as (1) deliberate, strategized explosions, to (2) an outdated company safety issue (which the previous owners were responsible for, as noted) involving a supposed mechanical malfunction.

To be fair, the National Transportation and Safety Board’s (NTSB) findings are tentative. But they should know that millions are casting a suspicious eye upon the investigation. Thus far, conclusions reached by the NTSB do not inspire confidence.

The expectation is that a steady flow of carefully crafted propaganda will obscure the truth about Kobe’s death in the coming days, weeks, months, and perhaps even years.  



Cool Kobe and the chopper; the Mamba as a male model


No Doubt About Two Explosions: Earwitness Gerry Kochria states plainly and confidently in his accented English: “I heard some explosion. Two seconds later, biggest one, which is twice, boom, boom, like that.”[19]

Witness Plant?: Regarding a witness with an opposing version of what happened, the consensus of shadow investigators is that this witness--a gentleman wearing a white hat with red TWA lettering across the front (hereafter identified as “TWA Man”[20])--is a plant.

His sole purpose, the investigators assert, is to misdirect the public. In fact, these investigators are seeking more background information on the mystery witness since his name has curiously been withheld from YouTube video footage as of this writing. They give several reasons for being convinced that he’s a plant, a few of which are listed here:


(1)  He’s conveniently wearing a TWA hat, which is designed to lend credibility to whatever he says, namely, that there was “no explosion.”[21]

(2)  He uses aeronautical terms unfamiliar to the public, which also gives the impression that he is a believable authority.

(3)  Judging from his voiceprint (and his YouTube statements), he called 911.[22] It is interesting to note that he used advanced aeronautical terms during his call as well, even suggesting that the pilot did not have “IFR”[23] equipment and that the FAA should be contacted. In doing so, he’s steering future dialogue in a predetermined direction, so say shadow investigators.

(4)  Curiously, while there were numerous calls to 911, only three were released, most notably TWA Man’s. It has come to our attention, say investigators, that more than a few calls to 911 described at least one “explosion,” but none of these calls were released. 


TWA Man: “I didn’t see much.”

Shadow Investigators’ Comment: In an earlier video that has since been removed, TWA Man reportedly said he saw “sparks” everywhere from the debris of the downed helicopter. (Many people saw the video interview, and a concerted effort is being made to obtain a copy. Once a DVR copy is obtained, someone will post it on YouTube.)


TWA Man: “It was not an explosion, just a big thud...a big heavy thud like you’re throwing a bolder against a wall.”[24]

NTSB: “We know this was a high-energy impact crash” (Jennifer Homendy, NTSB). Headline, “Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Plunged 2,000 Ft. Per Minute in 'High Energy Impact' Crash.”)[25] Again, “if the helicopter blades sliced a hillside tree branch in the milliseconds before “a high-energy impact crash,” wouldn’t the tree have been vaporized?” asks shadow investigators.


TWA Man: “The rotors weren't like breaking off and hearing things fly off….no explosion.”

News Source: “A piece of the tail is down the hill,” “the fuselage is on the other side of that hill,” and “the main rotor is about 100 yards (91 meters) beyond that.”[26] Furthermore, in a fall from 1,085 feet, it would be virtually impossible to sling debris in a wide area roughly the size of “a football field,” as described by Los Angeles County Sherriff Alex Villanueva. Being more precise, Villanueva revealed that all the debris was “roughly a hundred yards across in each direction.”[27] In other words, in an explosion, “things fly off” in every direction, all over the place, contrary to what TWA Man’s testimony.


TWA Man: “I heard a helicopter coming, slow left-handed turn probably from the freeway from lost Hills and is it got above me it was almost directly above us in the parking lot, or these condominiums here, moving very slowly maybe three, four, five, miles an hour… so it was a hover, search and hover … the altitude is low. So, I listened, I look directly up, and I couldn't see it. So, it had to be up maybe a hundred 150 feet in the cloud deck.”[28]

Shadow Investigators’ Comment: For once, this account actually agrees with the other eyewitness accounts and is consistent with the thought that it looked like the pilot was searching for a place to land (discussed further below).


TWA Man: “I think he just was disoriented; he did not know where he was.”

News Source: “Another source told People that Zobayan was ‘extremely experienced’ as a pilot and that as a pilot, ‘he had a lot of respect for flying and would never take risks. He knew the valley very well. The area where they crashed was not a new area for him. He was very familiar with that area.’”[29]


Tentative Conclusions from Conspiracy Theorists and Shadow Experts: In plain language, the conspiracy theorists and shadow experts say that Kobe’s murder was planned way in advance and involved paying off a number of people, including, but not limited to (1) an eyewitness plant whose job is to misdirect the public, (2) media organizations (especially those under the FOX News umbrella), and (3) folks at the NTSB.

At some point, the plan was to have the helicopter and its communication system disabled, which is why the pilot, in a search and hover approach, attempted to land in a populated area as he avoided houses and condominiums. Plan A was to have the helicopter crash. But, due to the remarkable skills of the pilot, a collision was averted in a populated area as he navigated the craft away from people in the direction of the hills.

Of course, this indicates that he could see the ground all along and didn’t want anyone to get hurt below as he searched for a place to land.

But, before he could completely get away safe, Plan B went into effect, namely, to blow up the chopper before it ultimately got away and blame the “crash” on the fog and the pilot’s supposed lack of skill. The bomb was remotely ignited (which was the first explosion) and set off the second, much louder blast of the well-fueled helicopter.

The NTSB knew it was an explosion before they got the call, and before they exercised their jurisdiction over the Los Angeles County Sherriff, who clearly stated that the debris from the helicopter was spread over the size of a football field in every direction.

“You can bet the farm that in a year, they’re going to definitively conclude that it was “an accident,” said one conspiracy theorists. “They’ve already primed the public (who will continue living life and will have been distracted by a number of things), which was all part of the plan, thought out way in advance.”

But, for now, “the public isn’t as gullible as one may think,” said one member of the shadow detective team. “Murdering Kobe by himself would have been bad enough,” she continued. “But murdering him in his role as a dutiful ‘soccer Mom’ after he attended church on a Sunday morning will never be forgotten. And while the lives of all the others are no less important than his, if he was the target, they’d be alive if they weren’t with him. Sad to say, they were collateral damage.”  

My Own Thoughts: Of course, all this is pure speculation, although my beliefs don’t render the speculation void. Either way, Kobe, unbelievably, is no longer with us. What do we do now?

Snoop Dogg answered, “I think the most important thing that we can do for Vanessa and the girls is send a lot of prayers.…You know we all come from that church background.”[30]

To some, it seems the conspirators who plotted Kobe’s death (if they do indeed exist) have taken the hit television series How to Get Away With Murder to a whole new level. 

Be that as it may, the Bible does come into play, and it has a lot to say:  

Comeuppance for Killers: If (and this is a big if) Kobe and company were murdered, then the killers will face comeuppance before they themselves die. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31 [New American Standard Bible]).

“Why do people commit crimes so readily?” asked wise King Solomon. “Because crime is not punished quickly enough” (Ecclesiastes 8:11 [Good News Translation]). “Remember,” wrote the apostle Paul, “the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later” (1 Timothy 5:24 [New Living Translation]).

If Kobe and the others with him were murdered (again, a big if), and you’re the one that did it or played a part in a cover-up,[31] then, “Make no mistake about it; you will be punished for your sin” (Numbers 32:23 [Good News Translation]). Or, as another translation puts it, you can “be sure your sin will catch up with you” (Numbers 32:23 [Christian Standard Bible]),

But, if Kobe and company (including three sweet, innocent, lovely girls who were denied the opportunity to reach adulthood) were not brutally, violently, and maliciously murdered, then, no worries.

You’re in the clear.

Enjoy life.

Peace and blessings to all. Amen. 


[1] Representing this date as 2-24-2020 (or 2/24/2020) honor both Kobe’s daughter Gigi and Kobe in that they sported jerseys with the number “2” (Gigi) and the number “24” (Kobe). Kudos to those who arranged the date.

[8] Exodus 3:1-3.

[12] “Red herring is a kind of fallacy that is an irrelevant topic introduced in an argument to divert the attention of listeners or readers from the original issue. In literature, this fallacy is often used in detective or suspense novels to mislead readers or characters, or to induce them to make false conclusions.” (https://literarydevices.net/red-herring/)

[15] Article content may be good material for a future Mamba movie about the life and times of Kobe Bryant. Still, it seems that at present, the article’s intent is less than honorable.

[17] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJhz7VT2EMk [ESPN Sports video timeline 5:25-5:30]

[18] Proverbs 22:29.

[20] Shadow investigators believe (but are not absolutely sure) that they’ve since learned through facial recognition and other means the his initials of the 61-year-old may be S.D. but have yet to confirm. If it is the same S.D., he may well have a very checkered past, to say the least. While they’re doing what they do best, I have declined--in the name of fairness--to give his whole name and the places he may have lived. However, they’re relentless. Kobe was their man.

[23] Instrument Flight Rules.

[31] Read what happened to Achan and his family at Joshua 7:19-26 (compare Esther 6:12-13; 7:1-10).