Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science Skeptic: Examining Extraordinary Claims and Promoting Science

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Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 | ISSN 1556-5696

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In this week’s eSkeptic, we present John Ray’s article celebrating the triumph of skepticism over 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

Ray is a sophomore decision science major at Carnegie-Mellon University who has been active in the 9/11 debate for three years. His work on the subject has been featured on Screw Loose Change and he runs a blog pertaining to the subject with three fellow skeptics. His work, including his critiques of the documentary Loose Change, has been used by other skeptics on several sites including the JREF forum and Facebook. Elsewhere, he has been a science journalist for a college newspaper and has been featured on prominent atheist blogs like Evolved Rational.


World Trade Center, South Tower (photo by Gulnara Samoilova / AP)

How Skeptics Confronted 9/11 Denialism

by John Ray

Skeptics today bemoan the overwhelming proportion of people who claim to believe in all manner of conspiracy theories from the JFK assassination to the origins of HIV-AIDS. For that reason, it may be worthwhile to take a moment to stop and celebrate one area in which skeptical advocacy has been overwhelming successful: the world of 9/11 conspiracies. Through the work of scholars like Michael Shermer and James Meigs, along with everyday skeptics on the grassroots level, critical inquiry has been overwhelmingly successful in calling these conspiracy theorists to task.

A tragedy on a scale at least comparable to Pearl Harbor or the Kennedy assassination was bound to inspire a conspiracy subculture, but the takeoff success of the viral Internet documentary Loose Change and the movement it created was unprecedented. Looking out on the world in 2005 when Change became one of the most-watched Internet videos of all time, with over ten million unique viewers1, it was hard to anticipate a future that was anything but bleak for those who felt it was their duty to defend history from such pseudohistorians.

Yet, in just under four years, the 9/11 “truth movement” has ground to a halt. Apart from the fundamental incoherence of their theories, the downfall of the 9/11 denier juggernaut was good old-fashioned skepticism at its finest, the kind that conjures visions of James Randi challenging psychics and faith healers on their home turfs and winning. Skeptics are better at their jobs than they think, and its important to give credit where credit is due.

Staking their fortunes almost solely on Internet-based content may have been the 9/11 deniers’ biggest mistake. What seems like a perfect place for pseudoscience — the Internet is un-edited, without fact-checkers or minimum publishing standards of any kind — also became a perfect place for a rapid-response system of blogs and forums to fight back. Drawing on the freely available technical information from the NIST, FEMA, and academic journals which most colleges let their students access for free, skeptical sites like ScrewLooseChange.blogspot.com and debunking911.com are able to defuse 9/11 denier claims as they arise.

The Internet forced many “ground-level” 9/11 deniers — those who spread the gospel on popular social networking sites like Facebook and in their own blogosphere — into a rhetorical corner.

Instantaneous information traps old, well-discussed claims into sheer redundancy. In three years of debating 9/11 deniers, I have encountered almost the exact same laundry list of claims on dozens of occasions. The same resources have been successful in debunking 9/11 myths since their inception, tipping the debate against them. The first Loose Change was a sweeping work that, by this author’s estimation2, implicated roughly 578,000 people in their version of 9/11; the “final edition,” though twice as long, has orders of magnitude less content and almost zero positive claims, drumming up a meager 8,200 suspects3. This is almost certainly a result of Internet-based skeptics bombarding Loose Change’s makers with the facts.

What should go down as a knockout blow to the 9/11 denier movement, what Michael Shermer called “just about one of the best things ever done in the history of skepticism,”4 is the now-famous Popular Mechanics article turned into a best-selling book that debunked many of the top points the conspiracy theorists relied on. Joining a chorus of mainstream publications including Skeptic and taking the central claims head on, the Popular Mechanics article became a cornerstone for the 9/11 denier movement’s undoing.

The spike in 2006, prompted by the live debate between the editors of Popular Mechanics and the producers of the documentary Loose Change, shows that not only was the skeptical perspective more well-accepted than the conspiracy perspective, it began to dictate the conversation. (Graph produced using Google Trends by the author.)

The Popular Mechanics article was published in its March 2005 issue and became an Internet hit after the live debate hosted by Democracy Now! between Popular Mechanics editors Jim Meigs and David Dunbar and Loose Change creators Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas. In the aftermath of that debate — if this is any indicator of which side presented the better case — that article became the most popularly searched item pertaining to 9/11 conspiracies and, from that point on, the skeptical perspective became the dominant voice pertaining to the movement. The conversation was brought to the mainstream, and the mainstream made its decision.

Today, the 9/11 conspiracy movement is a shell of what it once was. The website masquerading as an academic journal, Journal of 9/11 Studies, has dropped from a high of six or seven articles published per issue to one, and its February 2008 edition (it’s supposed to be updated monthly) was simply skipped over, evidently for lack of a single article. The introduction to the main hub of 9/11 denier activity, 911truth.org, welcomes its visitors with a plea that announces, “we’ve cut to the bare bones, but are still far short of our basic budget needs.” Prominent “truthers” like Mark Dice, Dylan Avery, Jimmy Walter (lambasted in Penn & Teller’s Showtime series Bullshit! episode on 9/11), and Kevin Ryan have dropped into obscurity. The well read author David Ray Griffin continues to lecture, but to shrunken audiences, and this year’s big 9/11 rally looks to be set in Ottawa, not New York City — evidently due to lack of interest.

The number of articles on the popular conspiracy site “Journal of 9/11 Studies” has rapidly dwindled since a peak last year. (Graph produced using Microsoft Excel by the author.)

It is rare when those of us in the skeptical community get to celebrate a concrete success in building public consensus on an issue of pseudoscience. In the combination of grassroots Internet support and mainstream media advocacy we have seen one such moment. It was once feared that the 9/11 conspiracies would be the next JFK conspiracies — silly yet pernicious, running unchecked until it was too late. The opposite has happened here. Because the skeptical community gave the public some well-needed straight talk on the issue, pulled no punches, and let no challenge go soundly unanswered, we have won in six years what could have become a half-century long, uphill battle as with JFK conspiracy theories. Here’s to winning once in awhile.

References
  1. Sales, N. “Click Here for Conspiracy.” Vanity Fair, August, 2006, www.vanityfair.com/ontheweb/features/2006/08/loosechange200608
  2. Ray, J. “Total Personnel Required for ‘Loose Change’ Version of 9/11: 578,212,” www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=34802512&op=1&o=all&view=all&subj=2211830485&aid=-1&oid=2211830485&id=5523995 . Original content created by author of this article based on information presented in “Loose Change: Final Cut.”
  3. Ray, J. “8,157 High-Ranking American, British, and Pakistani Officials are Out to Get You!” http://conspiraciesrnotus.blogspot.com/2007/12/8157-high-ranking-american-british-and.html . Original content created by author of this article based on information presented in “Loose Change: Final Cut.”
  4. “9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction.” Narr. Lester Holt. Documentary. The History Channel. 20 Aug. 2007.

Shermer receives honorary doctorate
and delivers commencement speech

On May 23rd, Michael Shermer received his first honorary doctorate from Whittier College. Herewith, we present Professor Teresa LeVelle’s citation followed by a link to read Michael’s commencement speech entitled The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything, delivered at the event.

Michael Shermer Honorary Degree Citation

by Professor Teresa LeVelle

Dr. Michael Shermer, you are one of America’s leading champions of science and a dedicated debunker of pseudo-scientific and supernatural claims. By questioning your own religious tenets as a graduate student in experimental psychology, your beliefs were dramatically shifted and your life was transformed. You show us – scientists and non-scientists alike – why the principles of science and scientific inquiry are important to everyone. You are the author of numerous articles, including a monthly column in Scientific American magazine. And you’ve penned ten captivating books, including the bestseller, Why People Believe Weird Things, in which you show the kinds of errors in thinking that lead even intelligent and well-meaning people to believe unsubstantiated claims. Of your most recent book, The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics, one prominent reviewer said, “Roving over the entire sweep of history, and drawing on the best of modern science, Shermer attempts a grand synthesis of research from psychology and the neurosciences to demonstrate that markets are moral and that free trade meshes well with human nature. [He] entertains as well as informs.”

As a prolific author and journalist, you are one of today’s strongest provocateurs, challenging us all to consider some of humanity’s most important and compelling questions. At our College, we prepare graduates who — like you — conduct systematic research, synthesize complex information, and present cogent arguments.

As the founder of one of this country’s leading skeptics’ organizations, you are a celebrated promoter of “critical thinking and lifelong inquisitiveness.” You have been the voice of reason on many television programs and documentaries including the Oprah Winfry Show, Larry King Live and the Colbert Report. At Whittier College, we nurture these same habits of mind in our students.

As a courageous questioner, you examine the often convoluted borders among science, religion, culture, and politics, and you do it with civility, a sense of humor and a sincere interest in understanding the perspectives of others. This approach, too, we nurtured in the graduates before you today.

In addition to being an accomplished scientist, historian, and journalist, you are a dedicated father and husband. You have tested the scientific limits of human endurance by walking on hot coals barefoot, completing the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon and as a world- record-setting ultra-marathon cyclist, racing multiple times across the United States (including an amazing 83 hour ride from the Santa Monica Pier to Lincoln, Nebraska without stopping for sleep). Described as “a powerful activist and essayist in the service of… reason,” your life and your work are emblematic of many of the values we hold dear at Whittier College. For these reasons, Madam President, I am honored to present my friend Dr. Michael Brant Shermer for the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

READ the commencement speech


The Amazing Meeting 6 — I, Skeptic:
Modern Skepticism in the Internet Age

June 19–22, 2008, Flamingo Resort, Las Vegas

You can’t stop James “The Amazing” Randi, and he’s at it again with the Amazing Meeting 6. Our theme this year — I, Skeptic: Modern Skepticism in the Internet Age.

New speakers this year include Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, PZ Myers, Matthew Chapman, and Sharon Begley. Many of our old friends will be joining us as well, including Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer), Penn & Teller, Richard Saunders, Dr. Richard Wiseman, Dr. Michael Shermer, Adam Savage (from the Mythbusters), Steve Novella, Christopher Hitchens and many more!

READ more & REGISTER


Dr. Stuart Kauffman will be speaking on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm.

upcoming lecture…

Reinventing the Sacred:
a New View of Science, Reason & Religion

with Dr. Stuart Kauffman

SPECIAL DATE: Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Baxter Lecture Hall, Caltech

In this controversial lecture based on his new book, the world-renowned complexity theorist Dr. Stuart Kauffman argues that people who do not believe in God have largely lost their sense of the sacred and the deep human legitimacy of our inherited spirituality, and that those who do believe in a Creator God, no science will ever disprove that belief. Kauffman believes that the science of complexity provides a way to move beyond both reductionist science and dogmatic theology to something new…

READ MORE about this lecture >

Important ticket information

Tickets are first come first served at the door. Sorry, no advance ticket sales. Seating is limited. $8 Skeptics Society members & Caltech/JPL Community; $10 General Public.

17 Comments »

17 Comments

  1. tanabear says:

    The fortunes of the 9/11 Truth Movement, like many other things, largely depends on how much coverage it receives from the mainstream media. Starting from November of 2005, when Steven Jones first appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show, to the fifth anniversary in 2006 there were quite a few Truthers appearing on mainstream media outlets. This was also the time when Loose Change 2nd edition was popular and Popular Mechanics published their book, “Debunking 9/11 Myths”. In 2007, mainstream coverage of the 9/11 Truth Movement died down.

    There is a large difference between current events/issues that someone must learn about on their own and news that comes to you whether you are interested or not. For instance, compare the amount of news coverage Britney Spears received when she shaved her head to the collapse of WTC7. The break up of Brad and Jen received more coverage than the break up between Kosovo and Serbia. Practically everyone knew about the Britney Spears incident and the Brad and Jen break up. Only certain subsets of the population knew about the latter events.

    Nevertheless, John Ray is making the argument that interest in the 9/11 Truth Movement waned due to the debunkers pointing out the spurious claims of the Truth Movement. John Ray writes,

    “What should go down as a knockout blow to the 9/11 denier movement, what Michael Shermer called ‘just about one of the best things ever done in the history of skepticism,’ is the now-famous Popular Mechanics article turned into a best-selling book that debunked many of the top points the conspiracy theorists relied on.”

    If the Popular Mechanics book is one of the best things ever done in the history of skepticism, then this doesn’t say much for skepticism. How many of it’s major claims still stand today?

    Its explanations for the collapse of WTC1,2 and 7 are no longer considered valid even by the official story as promoted by NIST. It discussion of the Pentagon attack and Flight 93 was weak. The Popular Mechanics article/book was nothing more than baseless assertions(i.e. propaganda) masquerading as science.

    John Ray; “Today, the 9/11 conspiracy movement is a shell of what it once was. The website masquerading as an academic journal, Journal of 9/11 Studies, has dropped from a high of six or seven articles published per issue to one…”

    Of course, now the 9/11 Truth Movement has gone from publishing articles in their own journal to other peer-reviewed journals.

    –Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction–

    –Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: evidence for energetic materials–

    –Discussion of “Mechanics of Progressive
    Collapse: Learning from World Trade Center and Building Demolitions” by Zdenek P. Bažant and Mathieu Verdure–

    –Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe–

    If the arguments the debunkers made were sound, then we shouldn’t see organizations like Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth continue to grow. At this point, they are almost up to 700 members.

    The Truth marches on while the debunkers seek solace in ignorance.

  2. Jonathon Moseley says:

    Let’s not forget that the 9/11 conspiracy movement was also an industry, selling books and DVD’s

  3. Rone says:

    It is one thing to be skeptical based on facts and empirical data versus just being skeptical based on minimal or no independant investigation.

    Anyone, and I mean everyone who takes the time to read Dr. David Ray Griffin’s book “Debunking 9/11 Debunking” or view all of his nine part lecture on You Tube will realize that your skepticism is extremely naive; not to be mean here.

    I believe people in front of the publics eye, whether they are in politics or run their own blog, are allowed to change their mind when new empirical facts are brought to light. In fact, this done honestly and openly can significantly improve ones credibility.

    You have a chance to improve your credibility and still maintain your “skeptic” position. Be skeptical of the “Official 9/11 Report” put out by our government. I strongly feel that after reading the book mentioned above combined with watching the referenced nine part youtube lecture, if you do not change your mind and focus your skepticism towards the governments version of 9/11; well then, I really don’t understand what motivates you. Certainly not skepticism with the goal of getting at the real truth.

    The Truth Grid

  4. AlexJonesSucks says:

    9/11 was not an inside job. You have no evidence, you have no proof, you lack the eye witness accounts of planes, the phone calls, the 911 operators, even the math formulas that prove something that we all know happened. You are paranoid bunch of folks who have been disgraced and embarassed beyond any credibility that to continue to believe this conspiracy indicates signs of mental illness.

    • martin (engineer) says:

      A typical reponse from a typical denier–attack, insult, discredit the people, not the issues. why? Because you cannot deny the overwhelming amount of evidence AGAINST the government’s version of events of 9-11.
      Spends more time researching and less time insulting. You lose your own credibility when you personally attack people instead of focusing on the issues.

      • Andre Lieven says:

        What ‘evidence’ ? The Debunking book has already shown the claim of Truther evidence to be a total falsehood. Thus, there is nothing more to debunk there.
        Also, one must consider that the various Truther claims are often mutually contradictory. So, it is already a given that they cannot all be right, and Occam’s Razor shows that they are, in fact, wrong.
        There is only one ‘issue’ about Thutherism; It’s delusional paranoia. OK, that’s two issues…

  5. Didier Kuckaertz says:

    Hi folks,

    I’m from Belgium. Some weeks ago I watched a debate on a Canadian channel. John Ray was rather impressive, though I don’t share his views on 911. As an agnostic I keep wondering why people like him don’t use their skeptical skills to debunk the gvt’s version at the same time… Why starting with “truthers” ? Aren’t they sketptics as well ? I’ve got a few questions for John Ray.

    1) There’s no doubt Dylan Avery and his team made several mistakes in Loose Change Second Edition. Within the 911 “truth movement”, Jim Hofman corrected them and was highly critical towards their counterproductive approach. Why do skeptics keep attacking the weakest links among truthers ? If John Ray is so sure to be right, why not forcing a debate with people like David Ray Griffin… He may be a theologian, I entirely agree with him when he says “911 is not a religious issue”.

    2) I’ve read Mike Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon… Who among skeptics will be willing to attack this book ? Good luck ! This former LAPD detective says : “I don’t deal with conspiracy theories, I deal with conspiracy facts !”

    3) Your approach is also counterproductive ! Given the number of professors, pilots, survivors, firefighters, rescuers rejecting the official version, the snowball effect on the web is on its way… You won’t stop it ! You might be well advised to change your approach ! Why ? Because we need people like you ! We don’t need you to view “truthers” like a bunch of nutcakes, but to prevent teens from being utterly hypnotized by conspiracy theories like “the illuminati stuff”. Why ? Because these conspiracy theorists read Griffin and integrate his analyses into their wider supernatural or esoteric theories…

    What is your priority ?

    John Ray ! You might be on the other side ! I keep wondering why you aren’t… I didn’t know being a skeptic in the US and in France implied trusting the governement of the most powerful military empire and the mass media manufacturing consent… The Bush Administration lied et cheated against Gore during the elections, and then lied at the UN Security Council about MDW… What makes a skeptic think it didn’t in between ?

    • Andre Lieven says:

      Very simply: The evidence. Try studying it.

      Skepticism for it’s own sake is no less a religion than creationism, or any other fringe factless wingnuttery. It is ONLY when skepticism leads to facts that it becomes useful.
      That is why knee-jerk skeptics are always wrong.

  6. Didier Kuckaertz says:

    To understand 911 and its consequences in the Middle East, you don’t need key words like “Illuminati”, “Da Vinci Code”, “Free Masons” or even “Allah”… You need key words like “peak oil”, “able danger”, “Halliburton”, “Carlyle”, “Lockheed Martin”… Does it sound so irrationnal or just scary for a skeptic ?

  7. Farooq M Abbas says:

    Instead of taking so much pains to discredit the ‘Conspiracy’ theorists and what have they, and also proselytising that the internet is un-edited etc., all that you could do was simply answer their charges ONE by ONE.
    If you really BELIEVE that Osama and al-Qaeda did what they did, why not institute an enquiry commission and charge them with what the so-called ‘Conspiracy’ theorists say?
    Fine, One last thing, You have another 110 storey structure, simply send in an auto-piloted Boeing 737 into it after evacuating it. and see ther results for yourself!

    • Andre Lieven says:

      That’s already been done, in the previously cited book.
      And, your last thing is really stupid, because anyone with even a smattering of forensic analysis knows, there are many other ways to verify a charge. Heck, CSIs do it every day. Without finding a clone of the victim and shooting them…

      ‘Truthers’ are just like other willfully ignorant narcissistic wingnuts; devoid of facts and evidence, and demanding of equal time *without* equal work and evidence. Feh.

  8. Paul Ross says:

    Truthers, here are two questions I have never seen answered:

    1. How in the world could anyone precisely place explosives in three huge, always occupied buildings without being seen or caught? How did they get access to the interior structures sufficient to do so?

    2. Why in the world would they bother since they presumably KNEW the planes were coming? The planes would do the job of at least ruining if not totally destroying the buildings(achieving virtually the same terror effect with either outcome) so why risk getting caught? Don’t tell me it was insurance in case the planes missed entirely: how would the explosions have been covered up in that case?

  9. SkepticScot says:

    First up I am skeptical that this article proves that the truthers have lost, more evidende than two graphs is needed (one of them is just a nonesense). What about some further evidence please.
    Myself i do not believe the truthers, but the official story has been constantly changing and I don’t know why. I would like to see a bit more skepticism from this organisation towards this.

    Also, Mr Didier Kuckaertz, peak oil is a total nonsense that has been completely debunked by the constant process of more oil discovery (though i’ve no doubt it would have been a real issue if we really were going to run out).

  10. charlie says:

    My problem with skeptic magazine hear is they’re trying to build up the case for “truthers” by saying popular mechanics article became the most viewed about 9/11 when it came out… and THEREFOR that should somehow prove that most americans were over the whole 9/11 conspiracy thing. R U FUCKING KIDDING? SKEPTIC MAGAZINE WOULD MAKE A CLAIM LIKE THAT?

    That doesn’t prove shit… both conspiracists and “truthers” alike read the pop mechanics article. The fact that skeptic mag took a side on this issue instead of just presenting facts that may have supported both sides is already silly. How about BE SKEPTICAL OF THE OFFICIAL STORY. BE SKEPTICAL OF THE GOVERNMENT. BE SKEPTICAL THAT STEEL BUILDING DON’T JUST FALL FROM FIRE…. THAT BUILDING 7 HAD NO SUSTAINABLE DAMAGE AND THE LEASE HOLDER ADMITTED IT WAS TAKEN DOWN INTENTIONALLY. ETC. ETC. ETC. ETC.

  11. charlie says:

    oops… think I mixed up “truthers”…. I always thought they were the ones against the conspiracy theorists. Either way…. I must say my biggest thing why I believe in the conspiracy is: 1: governments were involved and I always think there’s an alterior motive involved… generally money/war.

    2: The buildings themselves when they go down… it just doesn’t look like it’s from damage. it’s too perfect and too fast. the beams where the plane entered wore damaged the most and some on the opposite side were damaged less… the ones on perpendicular sides had no damage… so why wouldn’t the top of the building fall over? Or something a little more haphazzard than just falling perfectly straight down.

    Building 7 is another strong point.

    No footage of the pentagon attack another strong point. Why not? There’s a zillion cameras there!! Release some of that footage NOW! Shut the conspiricists up real quick if a plane actually hit the pentagon.

  12. Jonathan says:

    As any good ‘skeptic’ will tell you and no doubt be aware of, one’s emotional investment in a particular world view will go a LONG way to determining one’s defense of it. I think this is a weakness in most deniers’ attacks on both empirical and circumstantial evidence in this scenario. And this ‘investment’ unfortunately (in this case and others) give rise to rhetorical devices – primarily picking some of the less defensible points and making it look like a water tight argument – without looking at the larger picture.

    Please also note that the article at the top of this page was written only ‘attacking’ the alternate theory of what may have happened (this was meant to be a model – and can ONLY be speculative – and therefore ‘easy to attack’).

    The following are ordered in a semi-timeline sequence and not of greatest importance.

    FACT (circumstantial): The administration and financial powers of this country had a heavy investment in seeking an excuse for war in Iraq and Afghanistan (the middle east) – see also PNAC documents via google.

    FACT (empirical): Critical records were deliberately covered up by the administration and when their assertions were challenged with experimental data and conflicting records, the stories were changed (and becomes a circumstantial entry)

    FACT (hybrid): The WTC’s owner had been trying for years to find a means of tearing down the financially ailing financial center. See Tom-Scott Gordon’s deposition via google

    FACT (empirical): News organizations (CNN, ABC, NBC etc) were making a case against the middle east with false (canned footage) – i.e. ‘palestinians’ burning the American flag in broad daylight HOURS before the sun rose in palestine, etc

    FACT (empirical): The US military did not respond even within an HOUR of the first attack – when one of the best equipped military bases was within a 7 minute grasp of an F-15 fighter. This directly contradicts NORAD/FAA rules which stipulate that loss of radar contact requires and IMMEDIATE military response (scrambling fighters). Responses from the administration has been highly specious -
    1. Claim of a ‘stand down’ order due to war games modeling an attack on the WTC
    2. Statement made by Condoleeza Rice that ‘they could not have envisaged such a scenario’, etc…

    FACT (empirical): Structural failure of buildings whose damage was superficial (interview with structural engineers -predicated on the 1950 bomber hitting the empire state building – that the buildings were designed to sustain MULTIPLE Boeing 707 impacts – IN FACT – the amount of wind load the buildings were designed to sustain was MANY times greater than the force generated by a single 757 or 767 – therefore no damage to critical structures are even POSSIBLE. All theories proposed by NIST were inaccurate/implausible and have since been revoked.

    FACT (empirical): Structural failure of the WTC towers was global (systemic) – due to rate of acceleration of center of mass of buildings. (this has been addressed above in a fashion too limited to ‘debunk’ – spot the rhetorical device!)

    FACT (empirical): Building 7 collapsed under it’s own weight due to an office fire. The National and New York building code prevent construction of buildings which cannot sustain a major office fire. The tolerances for this are MANY times greater than all fires combined. No steel building has EVER collapsed due to fire. The safety mechanisms in place in the building at the time were redundant MANY times over.

    FACT (empirical): The ONLY evidence for believing the story of an ‘arab’ or ‘al qaida’ attack was placed by PERSONAL cell phones, a clear impossibility at the altitude a commercial airliner is permitted to fly at. See also: ‘achilles experiment’ by japanese asahi tv (again – see google). This is yet another argument for some sort of cover up by financial concerns, the ‘media’ and/or the ‘administration’.

    FACT (empirical): The attack on the Pentagon was not likely made by a commercial airliner (see relevant studies via google). All surveillance footage recording the attack was removed from a several mile radius around the Pentagon by authorities (AGAIN – WHY??)

    FACT (empirical): Any inquiries made into acquiring records from the administration (via FOIA) are routinely denied (again – google) citing ‘threat to the security of the country’ as reasoning. Again – WHY?? One can only presume the reasoning has something to do with the fact that it would be terrible for public relations….

    The list goes on and on – but these are the most important items countering the official version of events. I deliberately did not mention some of the more compelling studies (i.e. Harrit, Jones, et. al.) because they involve a CONSTRUCTIVE theory of what may have happened – but they are very well done and available for view via google. Here – I am only interested in calling into question the official version of events.

  13. Skeptic webmaster says:

    Comments Closed.

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Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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