Over the past couple weeks, The Blaze has received reports that some NYC Occupy protesters have been leaving their tents at night and fleeing to a local hotel for better accommodations. And while we're still investigating those claims, it seems now there's evidence of something similar going on in London.
The Daily Mail has published thermal imaging pictures showing that the tents at the Occupy camp near St. Paul's Cathedral are nearly empty at night. The Daily Mail commissioned the photographs itself after images from a police helicopter showed similar findings. Here's how it explains the photos:
These are the damning images that prove the anti-capitalist protest that has closed St Paul’s Cathedral is all but deserted at night.
Footage from a thermal imaging camera taken late at night reveals just a fraction of the makeshift camp was occupied.
An independent thermal imaging company, commissioned by the Daily Mail, captured these pictures after similar footage from a police helicopter found only one in ten tents were occupied after dark.
In these shots, taken late on Monday night, the presence of body heat from humans is represented by yellow and red inside the tents.
The tents that are coloured purple indicate they are colder and thus empty. The buildings behind are also yellow and red because of the higher temperatures inside.
Here are some of the photos the Daily Mail captured:
But The Daily Mail isn't the only new outlet that became suspicious and decided to take thermal images. The Telegraph did the same thing the following night (Tuesday) and came to the same conclusion:
Here's how the Telegraph explains its findings:
The footage, shot at 1230am on Tuesday Oct 25 shows a multitude of darkly coloured tents around the courtyard indicating those that were unoccupied.
On Monday the revelation was described as a "charade" and pressure was growing on the church and other authorities to evict the camp.
It would appear most of the protesters are heading home to sleep in their own beds at night rather than staying onsite.
"It is like a phantom camp – a big charade," Matthew Richardson, a Corporation of London councillor, told the Telegraph.
"It just shows that most of the people don't have the courage of their convictions and are here just to make trouble and leaving your tent here overnight is a good way to do that."
An Occupy London spokesperson, however, told ABC News the images are misleading:
Naomi Colvin, an Occupy London spokesperson, called the use of heat sensing cameras an “invasion of privacy,” and said the analysis did a poor job of estimating the number of people inside the camp.
“We had at least 140 people that night,” Colvin told ABCNews.com, noting that the group uses sign in and sign out sheets to keep track of who is inside the tent city at any given time.
Colvin contended that the encampment is consistently two-thirds full and that people share their tents with others if they know they will be gone for a night.
The group has been at St. Paul's since Oct. 15 and their presence forced the landmark to close for the first time since WWII.