The "FEMA Coffins" story is basically a misunderstanding of what these things were, stored in their thousands in a field in Georgia:
They are actually not coffins or caskets, they are burial vaults (also known as grave liners, depending on how well they seal water out). A burial vault is something that a coffin goes in, and is not used for interring people by itself. It's used in several states in the US where ground subsidence is an issue in graveyards.
Some burial vaults are made of concrete:
They fit over a regular coffin like this:
Since they are designed to withstand the elements for hundreds of years, the cheapest place to store them is a field. It's just a big outdoor warehouse. Vantage leased the field specifically to store this batch for centralized distribution. Here's the lease:
They just load a few pallets onto trucks, and take them to wherever they are needed. This truck has 126 (9 piles of 14 liners)
There are lots of them because the funeral industry use lots. 65,000 people die every year in Georgia alone. 2.5 Million people die every year in the US. Not all of them are buried, and not all burials use grave liners, and not all of them use this type, but that's still a lot of grave liners sold every year.
But how many could there actually be in that field? The conspiracy theorist claim 500,000. Well, a single vault is 3' by 8', so takes up 24 square feet. The field is about 500 feet long, 250 to 450 feet wide, and not totally filled, so let's say 500x250, that's 125,000 square feet, with a stack taking a minimum of 24 square feet, the most you could pack in would be 125000/24 = about 5200 stacks. At 14 per stack (as per the truck image) that's about 73,000. That's just basic science, you could not pack more that 100,000 into that field. (Vantage says around 80,000 at the peak, see below.).
The vaults are not there any more, you can see the site in Google at 33.5657680, -83.4848390. The last of the grave liners were removed in around 2010. Vantage are probably using another location. Any old field will do. This particular field is about 150 yards . But here's an even bigger storage area of suspicious looking black objects:
But if you zoom in, you'll see it's just a bunch of sewer pipes:
Just like the burial vaults, it's a lot cheaper to store them outdoors than in a warehouse.
Vantage is aware of the conspiracy theory, and back in 2008, a local paper interviewed them about it:
Conspiracy or simply storage?
Submitted by editor on Mon, 08/11/2008 - 13:50.
Theories surface around vaults stored in Madison
By Kathryn Purcell
Type in “Madison, GA” under Google’s Blog Search, and it shows up on the first page. Search “Madison, GA” on YouTube, and it’s the first video that shows up. Web sites like Alex Jones’ Infowars.com and AboveTopSecret.com are talking about it.
As of late, some of these sources have started to link the government, particularly the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to rows and rows of black, plastic “coffins,” 500,000 to be exact, currently being stored outdoor in a field within the city limits of Madison.
Theories abound as to whether these are being stored near a major transportation hub (Atlanta) in an effort by the government to prepare for American victims of biological warfare, or whether they are being stored for a natural, or man-made, disaster. Even more sinister, some of these sources speculate that these “coffins” are part of a conspiracy on the part of the government that involves the institution of martial law, the separation of desirable and non-desirable citizens, according to government opinion, and the establishment of American concentration camps, some of which are currently functional, according to these sources.
“Yep, these are cheap plastic coffins. Hundreds of thousands of them. Don’t believe it? Why coffins? Why in the middle of Georgia?” the entry “Half a Million Plastic Coffins?” on Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, dated July 18, states. “Well, apparently the Government is expecting a half million people to die relatively soon, and the Atlanta Airport is a major airline traffic hub, probably the biggest in the country, which means Georgia is a prime base to conduct military operations and coordination. It is also the home of the CDC, the Center for Disease Control. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but usually you don’t buy 500,000 plastic coffins ‘just in case something happens,’ you buy them because you know something is going to happen. These air tight seal containers would be perfect to bury victims of plague or biological warfare in, wouldn’t they?”
While the origins of the theories are unclear, there are blog postings that date back to December 2007 (AboveTopSecret.com), although the majority of postings have come within the latter half of July.
And, according to Vantage Products Corporation Vice President of Operations Michael Lacey, that’s exactly when the calls started pouring in.
“It’s been going on for quite a while, about a week,” Lacey said.
Lacey maintains that the theories regarding the property, and what’s on it, aren’t quite accurate.
The “coffins” aren’t coffins at all, according to Lacey. Instead, they are burial vaults, “the outer container for caskets,” Lacey said, placed in the ground before the coffin to protect the coffin and maintain level ground above.
There are currently 50,000 of these burial vaults on the property, according to Lacey. As the vaults were placed on the site around 1997 or 1998, there may have been as many as 70,000 or 80,000 to begin with.
“It’s nowhere near the quantity they talk about on the Internet,” Lacey said.
This quantity of burial vaults, Vantage’s Standard Air Seal model in black, also the least expensive model and the most in-demand, was made to cater to what Lacey calls the funeral industry’s “pre-need.” This “pre-need” occurs when people make arrangements for their funeral before they actually pass away, so that the family doesn’t have to go through the perceived stress of making the arrangements. When these arrangements are made, the products are paid for; obviously, though, they are not yet needed.
So, Vantage stores the product until the person dies, and the product is needed.
Further, pallets of the burial vaults are moved truckloads at a time, as there is space for a palate at the [location/destination?]
Contrary to the beliefs of the theorists, then, the burial vaults aren’t owned by the government, or FEMA. Instead, they’re owned by individuals, or not yet sold.
“They’re not owned by any one individual, company or the government,” Lacey said.
Further, Vantage leases the land, located at 1200 Madison Industrial Boulevard, from Conyers Welding & Supply and has for four to five years, a fact confirmed by Conyers Welding & Supply. Conyers Welding & Supply took over the lease when the property was purchased from Robert Usury in 2000. Usury purchased the property in 1989, according to information provided by the Morgan County Tax Assessor’s Office and the Morgan County Online Public Property Portal.
The answer as to why the vaults are being stored in Madison? To put it simply, the Covington-based manufacturer got a good deal close to home.
“It was the most cost-effective place,” Lacey said.
Vantage now mostly stores them at the main facility at 960 Almon Rd Covington, GA 30014