Third Party & Independents Archives

Painful 9/11 Truth

Many technical analyses cast doubt on the official explanation of the collapse of three World Trade Center buildings, including those presented by an impressive new group: Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. More difficult than discovering the truth, however, is convincing most of the public to accept the bitter truth.

Americans easily block out painful truths. Powerful societal forces keep much of the population distracted and uninterested in complex issues. Entertainment-oriented mainstream media contribute to mass ignorance. And the political establishment often buries the truth, uses propaganda and manipulates citizens. Intelligent, strong-willed people can fight all these.

But on a deeper level, many truths are blocked psychologically, because they produce too much pain. This results when truths sharply disagree with strongly held beliefs. The conflict produces cognitive dissonance that can block full acceptance of the disturbing truth. People fall victim to self-manipulation and self-delusion. Truths are dismissed and false beliefs remain embedded.

When it comes to 9/11, we face the strong belief that only Al-Qaeda caused 9/11. But analyses by many experts reveal the collapse of three WTC buildings was not caused by the two airplanes exploding into the two towers. Without getting into details that one can spend many hours examining on a number of websites, the general view is that the buildings were brought down by controlled demolition.

If correct – IF – the immediate reaction is like a cosmic big bang. It would have taken considerable effort by a number of people with expertise and access to the buildings to rig them so that they could be intentionally collapsed when the two jets hit the towers. Tough questions flood in: Who could have engineered all this? Could foreign agents accomplish such complex actions – and if they did, why not take credit for it? If Americans did it, why would they intentionally inflict inevitable mass death and devastation? Worse, they seemingly knew about the plan to fly the jets into the towers.

Post-9/11, why have the government and official investigations not come to the same controlled demolition conclusion? This might be explained if the government was involved.

Pull one string and the whole 9/11 story unravels as your imagination triggers unending questions. Can Americans support a reinvestigation and rethinking of the 9/11 event? Or would they rather avoid even more pain and preserve the official account that places all blame on Al-Qaeda? So easy to criticize those who offer different explanations as conspiracy nuts.

After all, the new truth would be so shocking that we would have to question our political and government system. Could there have been such malevolence somewhere in our government? Did a monumental conspiracy push us into attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq? Did petroleum and corporate interests shape 9/11?

Like other groups, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth wants a new, honest and comprehensive study that considers all the evidence for controlled demolition. First, let the technical truth emerge. Then, if necessary, cope with the inevitable political, conspiracy and other questions. But let us not allow a possible painful truth block the primary task of determining once and for all what caused the collapse of the WTC towers and building no. 7.

If there were non-Muslim forces – possibly U.S. government ones – that played a major role in the WTC catastrophe, then let us have the courage to face the truth. Suppose some element of our government played a secret, awful role. If we do not uncover it, then we are vulnerable to repeat nefarious and unimaginable activity in the future – possibly to impact the 2008 presidential election. Discovering 9/11 truth would enshrine the wisdom of the old adage: the truth hurts. That means suffering the pain of revealing lies and cover-ups. Mourning over the deaths of building victims and heroic first responders would expand with new anger. And another reason to hate and oppose the Iraq war would surface.

If those that believe the official 9/11 story – especially elected officials – trust their views, then let them support a serious investigation to test the validity of the controlled demolition hypothesis. If they fear and reject doing so, then let us see that as suspicious and unacceptable.

As a former engineering professor with growing skepticism about the official WTC story, I joined Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth; you can learn about the controlled demolition findings and other similar truth-seeking efforts here, the site of this group.

You choose: seek the truth yourself or take the easy way and just criticize those who question the official story.

To sum up, horrific possible answers can cause us to shun a question. But clearing our minds of fears of painful truths is essential to clearing our nation of destructive lies. Otherwise, we stay stuck in a delusional democracy.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at September 5, 2007 10:30 AM
Comments
Comment #231831

Interesting. What would you need that you do not now have for any investigation?

This is not to imply that I believe either the government’s version or the other versions so readily available. I had not seen this one. I do try to keep an open mind.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 5, 2007 10:59 AM
Comment #231833

I’ll “take the easy way and just criticize those who question the official story.”

Seriously, who do you think brought down the towers? Was it the Jews? Was it Rudy Giuliani? Name some names.

Was it just a coincidence that the al-Qaeda hijackers crashed two giant planes filled with jet fuel into the towers on that day? Did Giuliani already have tons of explosives in the towers for just such an occasion? Was Giuliani in league with the terrorists? Was it really Rudy recruiting and training the 9/11 terrorists instead of bin Laden?

C’mon Joel. The whole idea is ridiculous. The problem is the President’s insistance on secrecy about everything. In the absence of hard facts, all kinds of conspiracy theories spring up. That’s the problem with the Middle East where the leaders lie so often that people make up their own facts. And it’s a sad commentary on Bush’s leadership that stories like this spring up in the US.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 5, 2007 11:14 AM
Comment #231835

This is just ridiculous. The analysis has been done plenty of times. Significant amounts of burning jet fuel, combined with the physical damage of the buildings supports due to the crashes, combined with weakening of the metal, combined with misapplied insulation of the metal led to a cataclysmic failure.

This is just sad.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 5, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #231836

The 9/11 event planned or not planned by the bush crime family, could not have been exploited to the degree that it has by a more ruthless group of predators!!!!!! If it was not planned by them it was certainly see as the greatest positive event in modern republican history. By using this event to fill their offshore bank accounts theses traitors have taken full advantage of this disaster as well as the Katrina disaster!!!!!!!! Every disaster is another opportunity to make a killing off some unfortunate group of people. The bush crime family has created the largest corporate welfare program ever in the history of this country!!!!!!!!! All from the blood of the victims of disasters!!!!! They have brought such shame to our country!!!!!! The people of the world have lost all respect for us because of what we have done to our own people and the people of Iraq, just to make a quick buck!!!!! This has to be the lowest point in this countries history!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Outraged at September 5, 2007 11:32 AM
Comment #231837

I think we need to investigate the government ties to the collapse of the Minnesota Bridge as well. Doesn’t anyone find it odd that the Bush Administration so quickly had funds allocated to the rebuilding of that bridge? Doesn’t anyone find it odd that the bridge was being worked on during the time of its collapse. We definitely need to investigate to see if there were any secret Republican ties to groups which may have worked on the bridge in the last five years to see if any suspicious irregularities can be found. I think the strangest thing about this collapse is that the structure fell straight down. It did not collapse to the side or destroy anything else in the path of its collapse, almost as if it was planned to fall where it did. We need an independent group investigating this, because we surely can not believe the governmental agencies of this Administration that were sent so quickly to investigate the collapse. Something smells really fishy here!!

JD

Posted by: JD at September 5, 2007 12:14 PM
Comment #231840

interesting???
When one seriously looks at what is required to accomplish a controlled implosion (demolition) of structure such as the twin towers, it would be possible
IF
no one were working in the building
IF
many of the key structural elements were exposed and weakened, and
IF
Numerous strategic charges were placed and wired properly to detonate at precisely the proper time and timing
AND
be placed so as not to be disrupted by two large 767 crashing into the building
and
OH yea
Have the 767’s PRECISELY crash into the buildings

These conspiricy theories would hold more water if the implosion appeared to be initiated anywhere but where the airplanes crashed and burned.

Controlled demolitions do not start near the top of the building and hopefully fall down properly
They are initated at the base, and then in a controlled fashion up the building to controll the fall.

Besides
considering this administrations show of incompetency in Iraq (and most other illicit activities it has been involved in for the past 6 years)
Do you REALLY belive they have the competence and the capability to have orchestrated such an phenomenally complicated, secret endevor in only 8 months??? (look at Iraq after 5 YEARS and the still don’t have a clue!!)
Get Real and give it up!

Posted by: Russ at September 5, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #231841

First of all, I’m not sure Joel is saying there was a conspiracy or that the towers were demolished. He appears to simply be saying that an investigation should be permitted. Why the secrecy?

Yes, the secrecy of this administration is a problem, and fuels suspicions.

And rightfully so, since someone is usually trying to conceal something.

I’m curious too why WTC7 collapsed.
But it could be because of:
(1) fire
(2) poor construction

It does seem a bit of a stretch that the buildings were controlled demolitions.
But the secrecy makes one wonder.

The History Channel did a program on this.
At the moment, I have not yet seen credible evidence that a demolition occurred, but I’m think we should keep an open mind.

Here are some things to ponder:

  • (1) The towers collapsed from the top down. Most demolitions occur from the bottom up.

  • (2) It would be near impossible to plant explosives after the building was built. Explosives would have to be planted when the builing was built.

  • (3) The floors above the jet impact remained intact momentarily as the top section fell onto sections below. Conspiracy theorists claim the telephone system was used to set off the explosives and damaged wires above the jet impact, so the top-down demolition started below the jet impact.

  • (4) Some report that inadequte or no fire-proofing was used above the 47th floor. If so, the fire very well could have collapsed the floors at the jet impact location.

  • (5) It could be the buildings were not very sturdy.

  • (6) It seems plausible that once the floors at the jet impact location collapsed, the upper section would pancake successive floors below, one by one, with increasing momentum (mass x velocity)

  • (7) Some conspiracy theorists say the free fall (and it did appear that way) is not possible without explosives. However, the buildings are so fragile, like a chain with one weak link (floor), it fails miserably if one link (floor) fails.

  • (8) There is no forensic evidence of explosive chemicals. But access to the site was somewhat restricted.

  • (9) Some conspiracy theorists claim shape charges sheared box columns (leaving very clean, smooth cut edges). But the evidence of that is not confirmed. I have seen some box columns with rough edges because they were cut with a torch. If shape charges were used, there should be an abundance of evidence of box columns with clean, smooth cut edges, or other evidence of steel columns that appear to be mishapen due to explosives. And it seems plausible that someone would have swabbed one of those columns to check for forensic evidence of explosive chemicals.

  • (10) Some conspiracy theorists claim witnesses heard explosions. But a collapsing building, as each successive floor pancakes onto the next, could sound very much like explosions, since the mass and weight is so tremendous.

  • (11) Several studies have been done and some evidence that you’d believe would be present to make it easy to prove if it was a demolition is not present. That does not mean everything has been explained. The collapse of WTC7 is a puzzle, because fire usually is not enough to collapse a building.

  • (12) Some conspiracy theorists claim there were puffs of smoke and debris shooting out at certain locations below the current collapsing floor. This could be a result of massive air pressure as the collapsion upper floors compressed air down, blowing out windows below.

  • (13) Some say the pulverized dust was a result of explosives. However, sheet rock in walls of every floor would prodice that fine dust.

  • (14) Some say the floors could not fast. That all depends on the studiness of the structure. The structure probably was not that sturdy. In fact, some say the towers were very fragile.

  • (15) Some say floors were collapsing faster than the free falling debri from already collapsed floors above. But they appear to be falling at the same rate (even accelerating). But, structural weakness and momentum (mass x velocity) could explain that too.

  • (16) Some say the towers should have toppled, instead of collapsing. That could have happened had the jet impacts occurred much lower. But each jet impact was at or above 80% of the heighth. Thus, the relatively smaller top sections pancaked onto lower floors and disentigrated as the collapse proceeded.

40% of Americans polled believe there was a 911 conspiracy of some sort perpetrated by someone other than hijackers of the jets.

I’m skeptical about a conspiracy, but want to keep an open mind.
There are questions that deserve more investigation, but I do not yet see sufficient evidence of a demolition. But I wouldn’t yet rule out that possibility even if it is unlikely. If it really was a conspiracy, it is one of the most despicable and sinister plots ever perpetrated.

However, our government failed miserably to heed warnings.
The Federal Government was exrtremely negligent.
It was not a mere inability to connect the dots.
It was a complete, utter, dismal failure and an obvious example of federal incompetence.

The Pentagon, for all the trillions they spend on defense (where trillions of dollars disapper and are never accounted for), can’t even stop jet planes from flying into their own building, for cryin’ out loud !

Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2007 12:29 PM
Comment #231844

Oh, come on, people. Think about what you’re saying here.

Democrats, leftists and Bush haters all say the same thing.

BushCo is populated by a bunch of incompetant boobs. They point to Iraq and Katrina as prime examples of their incompetance. Just ask Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. They will say that the Bush Administration is nothing but a bunch of dummies and stooges.

Now…knowing that…are you now willing to admit that George W. Bush is nothing less than a brilliant, competant genius that engineered one of the greatest disasters in American history and then convinced us that it was just a handfull of dedicated suicidal terrorists?

George W. Bush…brilliant genius and master of the universe.

Puh-LEEZE!

Posted by: Jim T at September 5, 2007 12:53 PM
Comment #231847

Russ’s argument is the most succinct and cogent, from my perspective. Jim T makes a good point too! Can’t have it both ways. Besides, this would require the cooperation and assistance of covert agencies within the government, and from what I have read and learned of them, they are patriotic Americans who would not remotely consider doing something like to this to America and Americans. Just doesn’t wash.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 5, 2007 1:13 PM
Comment #231850
interesting???

Is that all you read of my post? I find all these theories interesting. Does that in any way imply that I believe them? Of course not. So please restrict your denigration to someone who believes as you seem to imply that I do.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 5, 2007 1:22 PM
Comment #231852

Joel,
You misnamed this writing. It should be called “Another Loony Tunes Group Heard From”. Conspiracy theorists, of which this is a prime example, are most often looking two two things: attention, or, self satisfaction in getting a wildly ridiculous point of view out. Not too sure which group this one fits into. Then there are the ones who truly believe what they say, and those are the most frightening.

I would be very interested in seeing a roster of names of those in this group. Especially the number of those who are considered to be “experts” in the field of structure demolition. I have seem several programs on 9/11 featuring interviews with people who make their living taking down buildings with controlled demolition, and I have yet to hear one back up the theory that the Towers fell by that means.

But, if anyone out there believes this group, or any other conspiracy group, I have some fascinating evidence(which I have just this minute manufactured) proving that JFK was assassinated by the Dalls High School PTA. It seems they were upset because school was let out that day to celebrate the President’s visit! Believe it, or don’t.

Posted by: Old Grouch at September 5, 2007 1:35 PM
Comment #231853

Joel, if you will remember, this issue was discussed to the nth. degree a couple of months or so ago in the red column. There were some excellent analyses hashed over and rehased, with what I thought were some extremely questionable theories still left satisfactorily answered. These were all legitimate and highly trained, credentialed people submitting this alter information.
Guess it’s just easier to insist that those who still have those niggling feelings are just paranoid, or too stupid to grasp what the others feel is a slam-dunk and done deal. Why not launch a multi-faceted, “bi-partisan” investigation and put it all to rest once and for all. There are certainly numerous other things we don’t balk at for a minute to spend time and money on.
WT7 was probably the most controversial part of the discussion.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 5, 2007 1:37 PM
Comment #231854

We came from area 51 and did it.

I confess.

We will soon ask you to take us to your leader, but we understand he just quit. We don’t want to talk to his pet chimp.

D.a.n.,

I’m not sure where you got that list but it’s so full of holes, it collapses on it’s own weight. Being open minded does not imply one being a fool.

The 911 truth group has been repeatedly debunked as junk science and a money making scam for the founders. Better than a grassy knoll in the bank.

To wit:

(15) Some say floors were collapsing faster than the free falling debri from already collapsed floors above. But they appear to be falling at the same rate (even accelerating). But, structural weakness and momentum (mass x velocity) could explain that too.


Ummm, Free fall IS accelerating. F=mg g being a constant of earth’s gravitational pull (9.8 m/sec /sec). Without an external force a system tends to conserve momentum. Since in free fall a body is acclerating and momentum, p = mv, the velocity is increasing in proportion to the momentum.

As to comparing the fall rates of debris it depends on the aerodynamics involved and resistance of the building to failure. It’s complex and not a job for the eyeball in a cloud of dust.

I’m not picking on you, it’s just that particular misstatement of physics made my brain percolate a little.

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 5, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #231859

Don’t shoot the messenger. You know what’s really difficult to find? … evidence backing up the official story!

Here’s one of the more decent videos I came across in one simple google search: Has some cool music too.

You know, all you people stamping your feet and screaming HOGWASH so quickly are really not doing your side of the arguement any good. When you read something like this, and disagree as strongly as you do, you might want to consider planning an intelligent counter post and providing some evidence to back up your government. If you really feel that the government was NOT involved in the attack, maybe you should ask yourself, WHY not? Why did they not respond? That’s a good place to start. Nothing like asking questions if what you want are answers.

Posted by: wtc7 at September 5, 2007 2:21 PM
Comment #231863

wtc7,

If you really feel that the government was NOT involved in the attack, maybe you should ask yourself, WHY not?

There are three ways 9/11 could have happened:
1. Incompetence and bureaucracy that caused the threat to be overlooked.
2. The attack was allowed to happen.
3. The government orchestrated the attack.

Given the way our government works (or more accurately, doesn’t work), #3 is almost an impossibility. Our government, the Bush administration in particular, is simply not efficient enough to carry out such a plan.

This undeniable inefficiency probably caused the attack to be overlooked; but it is within the realm of probability that it was allowed to happen.

Why did they not respond?

Tell the rescue workers and fighters who died that day that they didn’t respond.

Posted by: TheTraveler at September 5, 2007 3:02 PM
Comment #231865
Given the way our government works (or more accurately, doesn’t work), #3 is almost an impossibility. Our government, the Bush administration in particular, is simply not efficient enough to carry out such a plan.

While I tend not to believe the conspiracy theories, I think this kind of statement is inaccurate. While Bush and a number of his administration appear close to incompetent, there are those in the administration who are highly comptetent, not to mention highly secretive. It’s not a matter of having it both ways, there are both types in the administration.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 5, 2007 3:14 PM
Comment #231867

womanmarine,

…there are those in the administration who are highly comptetent

I know several people around here, mostly from the Blue Side, who will disagree with that…

Seriously, the secrecy required for something like 9/11 is beyond the scope of our government. Can you name one other thing that the Bush administration has done (or wanted to do) that hasn’t been leaked to the media in advance? Bush only wants this to be the most secretive administration.

Posted by: TheTraveler at September 5, 2007 3:35 PM
Comment #231870

The Traveler:

You may not realize this, but I am from the Blue side. Like I said, I don’t necessarily believe these theories, but I don’t dismiss them based on those kinds of statements. It isn’t all black and white, either/or.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 5, 2007 3:43 PM
Comment #231876

Since I am a former ironworker who has rattled many a beam to a column, I will throw my two cents worth in. I have seen the conspiracy theories and watched the buildings collapse. From what if saw, the buildings collapsed because of the initial impacts and explosions of the planes followed by the the extremely hot burning fuel which weakened the structures. If there were other factors involved, I would suggest that the original construction and the contractors. I am well aware of some of the things contractors are willing to overlook to save a minute or a buck. If the inspectors catch it, you fix it. If not, well.

Why did 9/11 happen? Our foreign policy in the Middle East which has gone basically unchanged and supported by both Democrats and Republicans for 50 years now has been a major contributing factor in the rise of militant Islam, from the PLO to Al Quaeda.

The terrorists were well trained, had an excellent plan and plenty of Saudi money. Even so, they were found out before hand and we were warned. But, government agencies, especially the FBI and the CIA are so jealous of each other and so worried that one might steal the others glory that they won’t share information. This has supposedly changed.

If you want a conspiracy theory with merit, read Outraged post because he knows where it is at.

Posted by: jlw at September 5, 2007 5:08 PM
Comment #231885
D.a.n., I’m not sure where you got that list but it’s so full of holes, it collapses on it’s own weight. Being open minded does not imply one being a fool.
alien from planet zorg,
  • Where exactly is it full of holes?
  • Where did I imply anyone was a fool?
  • Of course it is plausible that it collapsed under it’s own weight.
  • Didn’t I suggest being openminded?
  • Or are you meaning that being openmided is foolish?
  • The list of (16) things above are all valid and plausible explanations for what some claim are due to demolition and explosives.

    Ummm, Free fall IS accelerating.
    Yes. And? Who said it wasn’t?

    I have a BS in Electrical Engineering, so I am familiar with statics and dynamics.
    And I said (above) it was accelarating.
    Yes, Force = Mass x Acceleration
    So, where is the error (i.e. holes) you speak of?

    F=mg ; g being a constant of earth’s gravitational pull (9.8 m/sec /sec). Without an external force a system tends to conserve momentum. Since in free fall a body is acclerating and momentum, p = mv, the velocity is increasing in proportion to the momentum.
    Yes. Momentum = Mass x Velocity

    I still don’t see what holes you speak of.
    I acknowledged the acceleration, since the rate at which objects fall accelarate.

    As to comparing the fall rates of debris it depends on the aerodynamics involved and resistance of the building to failure. It’s complex and not a job for the eyeball in a cloud of dust.
    Well, air offers little friction to steel columns and chunks of solid concrete weighing hundreds of pounds. The main towers collapsed in about 10 seconds (according to estimates from testimony provided to the 9-11 Commission, the tower fell in 10 seconds. Other data shows it took closer to 14 seconds). Air friction is neglible except to pulverized concrete and sheet rock.

    Sorry, but I don’t see your point, nor the holes you allude to.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2007 6:45 PM
    Comment #231892

    Joel,
    Thanks for the laugh. This stupid conspiracy theory is one of the most absurd loads of bs around.
    The impact of 2 large airliners hitting at high speed would easily weaken structures like the Twin Towers enough to make them collapse. The steel in them was tempered. Tons of burning jet fuel is hot enough to remove the temper and soften the steel to the point where it won’t hold the weight above it (it doesn’t have to melt), in addition to the physical damage caused by the impact.
    I’ve seen videos that show puffs of smoke (dust) at the base of the towers as they collapsed. This is supposed to be proof of explosions. I think it’s proof that debris fell down the elevator shafts.
    WTC 7 was sitting next to 1 1/2 million tons that hit the ground-hard. The surprising thing is that more buildings didn’t collapse. (I’ve forgotten how many did collapse and I don’t feel like looking it up right now)-I think it was a total of 5 with 2 others so badly damaged they had to be torn down)
    For the towers to be brought down by explosives one of 2 scenarios would have to be true:
    either the explosives were installed at the time of construction as part of a dastardly plan, with the collusion of thousands of construction and maintenance workers with perfect secrecy for over 30 years and continuing, or:
    holes were cut in walls, column wraps and floors, explosives with all the necessary wiring for controlled detonation installed and everything patched back up without any of the thousands of office workers and maintenance people ever having a clue what was being done unless, of course, they were part of the conspiracy.
    The official version of events is obviously true to anyone with knowledge of construction and common sense.
    Questioning whether or not the government had prior knowledge of what was coming or intentionally left us open to attack without specific knowledge of an impending attack is valid. Just don’t stop with Bush. Remember who conducted an air war to install a radical Islamist narco terrorist group in Kosovo and refused to take down some high profile terrorist leaders.

    Posted by: traveller at September 5, 2007 7:46 PM
    Comment #231895
    I have a BS in Electrical Engineering, so I am familiar with statics and dynamics.

    You took dynamics for a BSEE? That seems an odd requirement. Was that required?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 5, 2007 8:46 PM
    Comment #231899

    Conspiracy theories are always more interesting than the truth. The conspiracy theories make better stories because they are fictional.

    Why not have an investigation? Because it is silly. Why not investigate if Martians caused Katrina?

    I wanted to put in one comment on this conspiracy. I will not be reading the responses or coming back to this post. One does not have to eat the whole egg to find it is rotten.

    Posted by: Jack at September 5, 2007 9:15 PM
    Comment #231900

    Yes, Statics (AE2312 or CE2311; a.k.a. Mechanics 1) and Dynamics (AE2324 or AE3323; a.k.a. Mechanics 2) were both required for EE majors (at least when I went in the early 1980s at the University of Texas, it was required). The course numbers are different now. It is quite common for all engineering degrees to take courses in other engineering departments. Most engineering degrees require courses in other majors.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2007 9:34 PM
    Comment #231901
    Why not have an investigation? Because it is silly.

    Actually, there is an ongoing investigation by the responsible powers that be. The theorists are asking for a separate “independent” investigation.

    Silliness.

    d.a.n.,

    I have a couple engineering degrees myself (Chemical Engineering and Systems Engineering), so I’m familiar with the general idea that “(m)ost engineering degrees require courses in other majors”. It’s just that at my alma mater EEs (like my wife) weren’t required to take either Statics or Dynamics. I wasn’t required to take either class for either of my majors, although I did take Statics later for my job.

    I just was surprised by the curriculum choice.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 5, 2007 9:40 PM
    Comment #231903
    Tell the rescue workers and fighters who died that day that they didn’t respond.

    Where was the Air Force, which should’ve been scrambling within minutes, but took more than 20 minutes…

    Posted by: Rachel at September 5, 2007 10:03 PM
    Comment #231905

    Joel, I hope you are wearing your tinfoil hat, because for sure the Men In Black™ will soon be swooping down your house in their Black Helicopters™

    Posted by: JoelIsNuts at September 5, 2007 10:17 PM
    Comment #231906

    Sometimes, the painful truth is, what you would like to believe is not true.

    That we were attacked on 9/11 is pretty ugly. What’s uglier than that is the inappropriate way in which the Bush Administration has dealt with the issue, wringing it for it political value, yet still leaving us more vulnerable to these guys for all the promises they made.

    Some people react to this ugly truth by believing that everything was a lie, that it was all a complete deception; malicious deception is a lot less scarier than people who mean well but are completely out of their league on foreign policy.

    In some ways, though, these people are as much the victims of conspiracy theories as some of their critics, buying into Laurie Mylroie’s idea that al-Qaeda was a Saddam front.

    The fun of a conspiracy theory is the blessed freedom from doubt. But that’s also the poisonous aspect of it. Doubt is a natural feeling one gets when confronted by countervailing evidence. Resist doubt too much, and the world in your head and the one outside parts ways.

    You can pull a thousand strings, and a conspiracy theory won’t unravel. Unfortunately, that’s because most Conspiracy theories are just balls of yarn. They lack a structure which would allow them to be falsifiable. Appearances and suspicions are given high value at the expense of material evidence, which its often assumed the conspiracy has been tampered with, or prevented the public from examining.

    The Approach Joel is asking for is fundamentally unscientific. You don’t go looking for a cause, you work up hypothesis, and eliminate them as evidence does and doesn’t show up. Those who believe Flight 800 was downed by a missile disregard evidence that indicates that the explosion came from the inside out, including the structural damage which does not resemble the inwards blown damage associated with such a weapon going off.

    Much in the real world is uncertain, and clean, intuitive causes do not always turn out to be what investigators bring to us. It is not just our opponents who must face inconvenient truths, but ourselves.

    Despite what Joel says, the reports of the major engineering and architectural societies and groups that investigated sided with the official explanation. Joel is making big waves about a group that comprises about 150 Architects and Engineers, with about 350 students. There are tens of thousands of these folks out there, these small numbers do not a mainstream movement make.

    Horrific events can lead us to seek out comforting explanations, especially those that lay the blame at the feet of those we don’t trust. Much as I dislike Bush, I find little comfort in the elaborate circular arguments that conspiracy theorists engage in. Bush can be a terrible president who misled us into a disastrous war without him having faked the 9/11 attack. The towers didn’t need to be brought down with controlled demolitions, not with jet-fuel ignited infernoes weakening steel laid bare by the impact.

    And yes, heat short of the melting point can weaken metal, that’s what blacksmiths do for a living at their forge: weaken the metal by heat, then shape it as desired. There certainly where great enough loads above the floors hit by the planes to cause the collapse, once the weakend supports gave way.

    And yes, fires can affect structural steel buildings, that’s why the fireproofing is put on, and sprinkler systems put in place in tall buildings. Unfortunately, nobody then, or since, has figured out a way to deal with a massive jumbo jet impact.

    Everybody will come to their own opinion about what happened on 9/11, but folks shouldn’t feel intimidated by this kind of paranoid us vs. them rhetoric into accepting dubious theories.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2007 10:18 PM
    Comment #231907
    I just was surprised by the curriculum choice.
    I’ve noticed some differences between Universities. But it could also be the difference in time (e.g. early 1980s versus 1990s)? I’m glad I took both Statics and Dynamics (two different courses). Also, material science was a useful course an important in understanding how steel can be weakened by heat, even though the temperature is far below the melting point.

    Personally, I have not seen convincing evidence to believe the WTC towers were destroyed by demolition. The collapse of WTC7 is curious, but there’s no evidence that it was a demolition either.

    I’ll try to keep an open mind, and I’m not opposed to an investigation, but I believe that the WTC buildings were not very sturdy to begin with. The structure is similar to a bird cage inside a birdcage (and connected with floors). The structures are very fragile. Had the jet impacts had hit much lower, the damage might have been far worse due to toppling instead of top-to-bottom pancaking.

    A good analogy for these buildings is a trick used some in karate/martial-arts. They stack several concrete slabs with pencils or slivers fo wood between each layer. Then they smash the top layer with their head/elbow/fist. The only force that is really required is to break the first layer. The weight and momentum of the top layer causes a cascade failure of all subsequent layers below. Due to the fragile nature of these buildings, when the few floors at the impact location failed, the upper-section caused a similar cascade failure. As the floors below pancaked, the floors above the impact location also pancaked, and the falling weight of 20% of the uppermost section was too much for the fragile structure to withstand.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 5, 2007 10:22 PM
    Comment #231911
    Where was the Air Force, which should’ve been scrambling within minutes, but took more than 20 minutes

    Rachel, the real world is unfortunately a lot more complicated than the movies.

    Do you really think that it’s unreasonable to take more than 20 minutes to discover that a blip on a radar screen is in the wrong place (when planes not taking off or landing are not closely monitored and there was no communication from the planes that something was wrong), to verify that it’s an actual reading and not an equipment malfunction, to notify superiors, to realize that more than one plane is involved, to co-ordinate between the air traffic control system and the military, to get proper authorizations from the military to proceed, to get the crews ready, and the fly the fighters from the bases to the scene?

    If our national defense had been set up to expect and respond to hijackings of that nature (which had never happened before), then perhaps a more streamlined system would have been in place. However, our defenses were reasonably and appropriately not geared for a trigger response to such an event.

    If the fighter jets had been there in less than 20 minutes, I’d take that as more of a sign of conspiracy, because someone would have to have been tipped off for the necessary events to have taken place. Instead, you look at the reality of a messy situation, wish that it weren’t messy, and then claim that the difference between reality and your imaginings is a sign that something is wrong.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 5, 2007 10:34 PM
    Comment #231912

    TheTraveler said: “Tell the rescue workers and fighters who died that day that they didn’t respond.”

    I believe you know good and well that I was talking about the military (the air force in particular), but congratulation’s on scoring a couple of cutesy points.

    There are so many questionable moments in time on 010911 that it’s difficult to find a good place to begin explaining to people who don’t care. I used to be concerned enough with this particular topic that I would vehemently argue with anyone who believed the official story, but after years of running smack into brick walls close-minded disinterest, I begin to lose hope for We People. An utter lack of inquisition may keep you comfortable and safe, but truth of knowledge is the whole point of having a brain like ours.

    Besides all this, why, during a time like this in history when such a vast expanse of people distrust our government, would so many people be so willing to dismiss alternative explanations out of hand? For instance, after all the money that was promised, wasted, printed, used, and gathered during this Iraq war, and now realizing the strategic trap we’ve been led into, do you still believe that we went there to find WMD’s or to spread freedom? You may believe in the monstrous lie to get us into Iraq, then why not the likely monstrous lies that surround 010911?

    Posted by: wtc7 at September 5, 2007 10:48 PM
    Comment #231914

    A conspiracy here makes no sense to me. Apart from my finding it difficult to believe our government would do such a thing, what did it hope to achieve? We had such a jones against Afghanistan we needed an excuse to attack? And if Iraq was the real reason, why didn’t we frame Saddam? Why would we blame a bunch of Saudis working for Al Qaeda?

    No. It makes no sense to me, but then, I don’t believe our moon landings were hoaxes, either.

    Posted by: Gerrold at September 5, 2007 11:15 PM
    Comment #231917

    Rachel and wtc7,

    The air Force is, unfortunately, just as bureaucratic and inefficient as the rest of the government. Trust me on this one, I know from experience. Besides, this was not the type of attack they were looking for; see LawnBoy’s post.

    Posted by: TheTraveler at September 5, 2007 11:27 PM
    Comment #231920
    There are so many questionable moments in time on 010911 that it’s difficult to find a good place to begin explaining to people who don’t care

    I’ll bite, Name one. Start there and after we shoot that one down, name another. I’m sure we can go down this ‘immesurable’ list after a while and see what sticks at the bottom.

    I’ll start with the topic of the article, the burning jet fuel (not aviation fuel, there’s a difference) caused the metal strusses, which were already weakened by the crash, to weaken further, just enough to cause one floor to collapse, the resulting weight dropping down on already weakened strusses below caused them to collapse, etc. in an exponential way that the building wasn’t designed or capable to support.

    All ‘demolition’ of buildings is done from the bottom up, not the top down, so that argument made by some theorists is crap too. In fact, they all are (and I’ve looked into all of them that’s I’ve come across). It’s simple physics, and here we are on ground I know something about.

    Oh, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcrF346sS_I

    So, what is next on the list?

    Posted by: Rhinehold at September 5, 2007 11:41 PM
    Comment #231921

    The Bush/Clinton crime family was also behind the Garfield and McKinley assassinations… If you don’t believe this obvious fact, you are a victim of World Order mind control.

    Posted by: Norton at September 5, 2007 11:43 PM
    Comment #231922

    Joel, first, I want to thank you for lending your knowledge and for having the balls to unapologetically become a part of this research. Second, I want to tell you that I too question the official version of the events regarding what happened on 9/11. I lost a friend in the North Tower that day, and I think that the families and friends of the victims deserve a comprehensive investigation that addresses every and all factors surrounding what took place.
    I am no conspiracy theorist. This is to say that I’m not one who goes around acting certain that George Bush and the Neocons did 9/11 as an inside job — even though I refuse to ignore the fact that Bush’s cousin and brother owned the company that was in charge of security for the WTC complex. As someone else mentioned, it is entirely possible that 9/11 was simply allowed to happen. That cannot be a shocking thought when we know that Bush and Rice totally ignored a memo that said “Bin Laden Determined To Strike In US” and claimed that they had no idea that terrorists would ever think of flying planes into buildings, when our intelligence agencies were aware enough of it idea to have conducted studies on that very concept. Is it so terrible to question their credibility when we know that for many years before 9/11 there were Neocon think tanks writing about how another Pearl Harbor would give them the opportunity to wage war and remake the Middle East, as well as usurp and exert power over America in ways unprecedented in all of American history? I don’t think it’s terrible. And it’s not as though there is a complete absence of motive for them to have allowed 9/11 to happen.

    But do I know for certain? No, I don’t. But I certainly do wonder.

    What I do know is that there are just too many things that don’t add up about that day and in the days that followed, and the investigations (FEMA, 9/11 Commission, NIST) that followed. Some of these investigations are ones that the Bush Administration fought every step of the way. WHY would they fight these investigations? How could they not want to know everything about what happened? That makes no sense to me.
    Everywhere we can look, from the way the towers fell, to the fact that Dick Cheney in charge of Norad was coincidentally conducting an “terrorism exercise” that very day, (which made Norad responders question the actual validity of the air traffic controllers reports of multiple hijackings in several locations), to the many never explained abnormalities surrounding why on earth WTC 7 building would have fallen at all and in the way it did, to the fact that no forensic tests were EVER done on the steel from the twin towers, or from WTC 7 (and why that steel was quickly sold off and shipped to Asia, so that no tests could be done even well after the fact), and on, and on, and on.
    None of it makes sense, and thus I agree that we need a totally independent investigation that would actually attempt to answer at least some of these many questions that have been simply left dangling.
    It isn’t Un-American to ask questions or want some solid answers about the largest terrorist attacks to ever take place on American soil in different locations on the same day. However I think it is Un-American to simply suspend all belief, or buy into a lot of nonsensical propaganda wholesale, just because it seems too psychologically taxing to entertain thoughts that something rather more sinister might have taken place, or been allowed to take place.

    Sandra wrote:
    “Joel, if you will remember, this issue was discussed to the nth. degree a couple of months or so ago in the red column.”

    Indeed it was, but I’m not sure whether Joel was writing and reading this blog at that time. In that thread, I was the one folks were trying to force into the tinfoil headgear, but I tried my best to hold my own. Joel, if perhaps you’d like to read those exchanges:
    here it is.


    d.a.n., I’m glad you’re keeping an open mind. Too few people seem to want to, and that’s something I can’t begin understand. If the official version of events had been competently and well researched, I could understand it — but they weren’t. Anyone who reads them will immediately grasp that this is the case because all three of them conflict and contradict each other in many places, and often, they simply ignored certain factors entirely.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 5, 2007 11:44 PM
    Comment #231924

    wtc7-
    One of the most difficult truths some people have to face is that it’s not the other person’s fault that they’re not agreed with. One of the guiding principles of my approach is that agreement is earned by those who satisfy the right questions that people have, rather than being the reward of the virtuous speaker.

    What people believe and what really happened are always two different things Some people are closer to the truth than others. That we are the ones closer is not by any means guaranteed.

    If you cannot allow for the possibility that you are not the one closest to the truth, then you will not search out the evidence that tests your theory. If you will not let your cherished conclusions be tested, then you will be unready to answer those who have researched this information. If you cannot answer their objections without coming across as somebody who’d believe what they wanted to believe no matter what, you’ve already lost the argument.

    My experience of the literature surrounding the Iraq war leads me to believe that the failure of the Bush Administration’s duty to properly assess the situation was likely not deliberate, but mostly the bi-product of their unwillingness to believe anything else was the case. Thus, they lead an organized effort which looked for what supported their case, and which disregarded what didn’t. This is the main pitfall of approaches that operate in circular fashion to reinforce a desired conclusion: they undermine the judgment of those who trust in them.

    There is more than enough evidence out there, clear and unambiguous, to indicate who did this, and how the towers collapsed. There is plenty of substantive and circumstantial evidence to discount the demolition theory.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 5, 2007 11:56 PM
    Comment #231928

    d.a.n.,

    Perhaps the problem is one of communication. The statement that the buildings were falling(even accelerating) is presented as something to keep an open mind about. Given your background in engineering, please explain how this differs from the official explanation and physics that coincides with a collapse. (Hole#1)

    But they appear to be falling at the same rate (even accelerating). But, structural weakness and momentum (mass x velocity) could explain that too.

    How does momentum play into fall rates? (hole#2)

    As I stated these statements jumped out at me as divergent from the physics I learned. Maybe it’s just the way the sentences were constructed. I think it’s pretty much a waste of time to refute these rather ridiculous claims.

    Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 6, 2007 1:13 AM
    Comment #231929

    Rhinehold says: “I’ll bite, Name one. Start there and after we shoot that one down, name another. I’m sure we can go down this ‘immesurable’ list after a while and see what sticks at the bottom.”

    You must think I’m particularly naive. This is the typical political king o’ the hill arguement trap, in which you claim to have the top first. It’s especially telling that you assume, by saying “we can go down this ‘immesurable’ list”, implying that you have the majority to back you up.

    I will not bite. It’s absolutely futile for me to go dig up information already so prevalent on the internet. I merely suggest that you do your own leg work. I have, and I have been swayed more thoroughly to one side than the other. However, my mind is not a well hardened sculpture. Furthermore, I have already confessed my disinclination to compel anyone to research the alternative theories.

    Stephen Daugherty says: “There is more than enough evidence out there, clear and unambiguous, to indicate who did this, and how the towers collapsed. There is plenty of substantive and circumstantial evidence to discount the demolition theory.”

    I have not seen enough of it, Stephen. And you say,

    “Bush can be a terrible president who misled us into a disastrous war without him having faked the 9/11 attack.”

    What is the difference here? You could use fewer words to describe a lie, and still fewer to commit one. I do not see the difference between one lie and the next, except for its placement in history. You, Stephen, can write voluminously about how terrible the government is under the direction of the Bush administration, yet with a simple switch of the face, do just as much to defend the other half of a beautifully painted prison.

    I don’t believe that George Bush had any more to do with 010911 than he does with being President, as a matter of fact. Except in both instances (if that’s possible) that he is an opportunistic politician who dutifully follows orders.

    I wish you all would understand that, if I were to say that I don’t think Lee Harvey Oswald shot John Kennedy, that it wouldn’t mean I don’t believe in the existance of Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Posted by: wtc7 at September 6, 2007 1:15 AM
    Comment #231935

    If you want a really good conspiracy theory here it is.

    Last week, a b-52 bomber flew from Minot AFB, North Dakota to Barksdale AFB, in Louisiana with five nuclear tipped cruise missles mounted on its wings. The official story is that the missles were to be decomissioned but were mistakenly mounted on the bombers wings. The loading crew involved was temporarily decertified pending retraining and investigation.

    Unless the Air Force has drastically changed it’s procedures reguarding the handling of nuclear weapons, the story is a fabrication. Nuclear weapons don’t go nowhere without an armed escort. Weapons are delivered to the designated plane to be loaded and then and only then do the loaders assigned to that plane take charge of the weapons and load them. This only occurs when a) the base is on alert and an exercise is being conducted or b) the weapons are going to be moved to a specific site. Usually when b) occurs, the weapons are placed in containers and shipped on USAF cargo planes.

    The plot thickens: Barksdale AFB, where the weapons were delivered, is the jumping off point for Middle East operations.

    The other day, someone at a neocon think tank blew the whistle on Cheney and the neocon medias upcoming push for a war with Iran which was scheduled to commence September 9-11. Now someone has blown the whistle on the missles which could have quite possibly been headed for the Middle East, and in the Army Times no less.

    Posted by: jlw at September 6, 2007 2:33 AM
    Comment #231936

    jlw, it just never ends, does it? Yet people still think anyone questioning things like this are either totally delusional, or foil-wrapped crazy. Go figure….
    I actually heard the same report off and on all day…and the one reported said he had gotten from the Air Force, that these bombs were not “activated”, or weren’t set up with the detonating device and attached to the actual misile that would launch it. Some kind of double talk no doubt that would fool about 70% of the public.
    Should be interesting to follow it for a while and see what other spins come out about it.

    Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 6, 2007 3:48 AM
    Comment #231939

    d.a.n.

    I agree with all your points except this one:

    (2) It would be near impossible to plant explosives after the building was built. Explosives would have to be planted when the builing was built.

    I know no buildings been controlling demolished that had explosives planted at *build* time. Explosives are always planted only a short time before the controlled demolition is fired. Most often, the same day, when security and wiring double check give their respective green lights.

    Anyway. WTC collapsed because they were not designed to resist such scale of damage to their hyperstructure. After all, why should they?
    Even if today one will design a tower to resist better to a big plane crash, what will stop terrorists to fly several planes into the same tower?

    Nobody can design for 100% safety.
    Because is not achievable. Towers are designed to be towers, not bunkers. And even bunkers can be destroyed, go figure.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 6, 2007 6:05 AM
    Comment #231949
    I will not bite. It’s absolutely futile for me to go dig up information already so prevalent on the internet.

    Ah, the exact response I was expecting. When confronted with specifics the conspiracy theorist wilts away knowing that their ‘logic’ will never hold up to scrutiny. All they have are theories with no backing in actual fact. They just ‘know’ that something is going on and we aren’t getting the real story.

    It has nothing to do with being fed an ‘official’ story as much as looking at what happened, without an agenda of irrational distrust (scepticism is healthy, irrational scepticism is not), and realizing what happened. Because it makes the most sense.

    So, I’m with Jack. The burdeon of proof is on the theorists and their supporters, not on the people they are trying to convince. I’ve ‘done my own leg work’ and looked into nearly all of these theories and they are all flawed and wrong.

    So unless you have something specific to offer I’ll accept that you don’t and we can move on to realty and start dealing with the things that are really affecting this country, not the paranoid delusions of people who have read a few too many pamphlets and seen far too many youtube videos…

    Posted by: Rhinehold at September 6, 2007 9:57 AM
    Comment #231952

    It’s theories like this that lead legitimate conspiracies to be brushed off by the public.
    i.e. the Kennedy assassination where overwhelming proof of conspiracy is dismissed by most.

    Posted by: Schwamp at September 6, 2007 10:25 AM
    Comment #231956

    Rhinehold, first of all, it’s somewhat annoying that you would refer to me as a conspiracy theorist, since your use of the term indicates a hint of forward contempt. I don’t make theories, I read them and speculate. I like information of all kinds, especially the abstract and unusual. So I think, with regard to your Hannity-style challenge, we are at an impasse, since you state that you have already researched nearly all of the theories and have made up your mind, and I will only say one final time that I don’t desire to change it.

    I, on the other hand, feel that because it’s only been six years since the greatest and most tragic specticle of an attack in American history, the entire truth about it couldn’t possibly have been discovered. Not with all the government secrecy we have. It’s perhaps going to be a controversy spanning generations.

    And by the way, it’s places like YouTube which will lead the way in supplying the most truthful (as well as untruthful) volume of information in the future, not the major mass media. This is probably because people like to diectly tap into general knowledge, rather than have it condensed to fit between commercials, and edited for political correctness.

    So, you take Jack, I’ll take YouTube, and we’ll call a cease-fire, as it’s painfully obvious that niether of us would do any good to continue.

    Posted by: wtc7 at September 6, 2007 11:30 AM
    Comment #231960
    I agree with all your points except this one: (2) It would be near impossible to plant explosives after the building was built. Explosives would have to be planted when the builing was built. I know no buildings been controlling demolished that had explosives planted at *build* time. Explosives are always planted only a short time before the controlled demolition is fired. Most often, the same day, when security and wiring double check give their respective green lights.
    I wrote “near impossible”, because exposing the box columns requires tearing through walls and floors. That would be difficult with people all around. That’s why even the conspiracy theorists claim that the explosives were planted when the building was constructed. I wrote “near impossible”, since it is usually foolish to speak in terms of certainties.
    alien from planet zorg wrote: d.a.n., Perhaps the problem is one of communication. The statement that the buildings were falling(even accelerating) is presented as something to keep an open mind about. Given your background in engineering, please explain how this differs from the official explanation and physics that coincides with a collapse. (Hole#1)
    There’s no hole there. What exactly differs? First of all, anything that is free falling is accelerating in velocity due to gravity. Thus “even accelarating” is a fact. Where’s the hole?
    alien from planet zorg quoted d.a.n: But they appear to be falling at the same rate (even accelerating). But, structural weakness and momentum (mass x velocity) could explain that too.
    Again, free falling means the rate of descent increases (i.e. accelerating). That is consistent with the facts. And as the velocity increases, so does the momentum. Also, the mass is increasing as additional floors collapse. Again, there is no hole, and I see no communication errors either.

    Direct observation shows that the WTC collapsed in a time that was 2 or 3 seconds greater than the 9.1 second free fall time of an object dropped from a height of 416 meters onto a base about 10 meters high. Momentum and Energy transfer calculations can show the minimum Time_Of_Collapse for each of the WTC towers. Thus, direct observations show the collapse times to be about 12.1 seconds.

    Minimum_Time_Of_Collapse = Square Root(2 Height / g) = Square Root (2 (416m - 10m)/9.81} = 9.1 seconds
    The Actual_Time_Of_Collapse = Minimum_Time_Of_Collapse + Delay_Due_To_Resistance

    Since there was some resistance, the rate would be decreased and the total collapse time increased.
    WTC1 took about 13.48 seconds to collapse.
    WTC2 took about 12.07 seconds to collapse.

    Thus, there was some resistance since both times are greater than 9.1 seconds.

    alien from planet zorg quoted d.a.n: How does momentum play into fall rates? (hole#2)
    Again, Momentum = Mass x Velocity . Momentum is increasing as the velocity and mass increases. As momentum increases, it increases the force (Force = Mass x Acceleration) over time. The velocity is increasing due to gravity (i.e. it is accelerating). The falling mass is increasing as more floors collapse. The falling mass is increasing as the static mass (still standing) of the buidling is decreasing. Thus, the increased momentum makes each subsequent floor easier to collapse since momentum is increasing.

    Again, there is no Hole # 2 (nor Hole #1).

    alien from planet zorg: As I stated these statements jumped out at me as divergent from the physics I learned. Maybe it’s just the way the sentences were constructed.
    Again, I do not see the Hole #1 or Hole #2 that you allude to. Thus, I fail to see anything that is “divergent from physics”.
    alien from planet zorg: I think it’s pretty much a waste of time to refute these rather ridiculous claims.
    Perhaps. But discussion of it will help people understand that there are plausible explanations to refute a conspiracy. I personally find the conspiracy theories hard to believe, but I know better than to rule out other possibilities 100%. That is, we can state what we believe, but seldom with 100% certainty. 40% of Americans believe there was a conspiracy. That is largely due to secrecy, growing corruption in our own government, voters choosing to blame government alone rather than admit that own their government is a reflection of themselves since most voters re-elect and reward that government with 90% to 95% re-election rates. Our govenment was miserably incompetent and irresponsible. But we empower and reward it for that. The Pentagon spends Trillions of dollars and it can’t even stop jet planes from flying into its own building. It’s not a mere failure to connect the dots. It’s a dismal failure to do anything. Our government is where important information and good ideas go to die. But voters not only tolerate it. They empower it. The voters have the government that they deserve.

    WORLD TRADE CENTER FACTS:
    HEIGHT of Tower 1 (North) = 1,368 ft = 417 m
    HEIGHT of Tower 2 (South) = 1,362 ft = 415 m
    NUMBER OF FLOORS in WTC1 and WTC2 = 110
    Allowing for floor thickness: 12.1 ft (3.7 m) height from floor to ceiling
    WIDTH OF EACH TOWER = 209 ft (63.7 m)
    GROSS FLOOR AREA = 43,681 sq ft = 4058 m2
    DIMENSIONS OF CENTER CORE = 89 ft (27.1 m) x 139 ft (42.4 m)
    AREA OF CENTER CORE = 12,371 sq ft = 1,149 m^2
    NET FLOOR AREA = 31,310 sq ft = 2,909 m^2
    VOLUME OF OFFICE SPACE PER FLOOR = 10,996 m^3
    USABLE OFFICE SPACE PER FLOOR = 20,550 sq ft = 1,909 m^2
    WEIGHT OF EACH TOWER = 510,000,000 kg
    WEIGHT OF EACH FLOOR = 4,636,363 kg
    Miniumum_Time_To_Fall = SquareRoot(2 Height/g) = SquareRoot((416-10)/9.81) = 9.1 seconds; g=Acceleration of Earth’s gravity=9.81m/s^2
    Maximum_Impact_Velocity = Minimum_Time_To_Fall x g = 9.1 x 9.81 = 89.3 m/s = 199.8 mph
    Each floor had a layer of lightweight concrete 4 inches (0.1 m) thick.
    The net floor area was 2909 m^2, giving 290.9 m^3 of concrete per floor.
    If the density of the WTC concrete was 1500 kg/m^3 we have 110 x 290.9 m^3 x 1500 kg = 48,000,000 kg of concrete flooring per tower
    Each tower also had 96,000,000 kg of structural steel

    CONCLUSION:
    (1) These towers were very fragile and lacked adequate fire-proofing to protect structural steel in the core column.
    (2) Seismic impact of 154 million kg (of one WTC tower, 1 or 2) of falling debris (in 12 to 13 seconds) and fire probably brought down WTC7.
    (3) It is not unreasonable for people to have suspicions. The collapse of the towers is hard to understand. But once people understand that the collapses could occur as they did, most will put the conspiracy theories to rest. I admit, unitl I studied it at lengnth, I had suspicions too.

    One last thing. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Joel Hirschhorn is saying there was a Conspiracy. He seems to be asking “Why all the secrecy and opposition to an investigation”?

    After all, Joel has a Ph.D. in Metalurgy and I know he understands quite well how steel can be weakened by heat even if the temperatures are far below the melting point of steel.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 12:03 PM
    Comment #231961

    NOTE: Seismic impact of 154 million kg (that’s just the steel and concrete; the total weight of WTC1 or WTC2 is 510 million kg).

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 12:07 PM
    Comment #231962
    He seems to be asking “Why all the secrecy and opposition to an investigation”

    Which doesn’t make sense at all, since the official investigation is ongoing, with a planned release of results by the end of the year. This is, of course, on top of many other investigations.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 6, 2007 12:08 PM
    Comment #231963

    wtc7-
    Explain this: in a controlled demolition, you get the blasts cutting the columns first, then you get the collapse of of the structure, as these supporting columns naturally fail.

    If it was charges that brought the towers down, Why didn’t the windows blow out first, followed by the explosion of debris from within as it collapsed? With most of the windows still intact, that would have been the result on all the floors. Normally, they take out the windows from buildings undergoing controlled demolition for that very reason. Instead of that happening, though, the windows blew out with the pulverized debris during the collapse.

    Another discrepancy comes when you consider the normal procedure for controlled demolition. First, buildings are never blown from the top, but from the bottom. Second, this kind of demolition takes weeks to set up, and you have three towers here, frequented by tens of thousand New Yorkers everyday, that are all larger than the tallest tower ever demolished. Nobody saw anything like the kind of effort it would take to pull this off.

    It’s easy to imagine an all powerful conspiracy pulling things like this off, but they don’t hold water if you work out the requirements, or look for their actual signs.

    The charm of the conspiracy theories, though, is the same charm one might find in an movie or novel: it sounds or looks good. The problem is, conspiracy theories reflect the attitude that you should look for the evidence to support your theory rather than look at the evidence to see what kind of theory it supports. The evidence does not support controlled demolition.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2007 12:19 PM
    Comment #231966
    Which doesn’t make sense at all, since the official investigation is ongoing, with a planned release of results by the end of the year. This is, of course, on top of many other investigations.
    Perhaps. I’m not going to go too far out on a limb on this, since I can’t speak for Joel. Also, to date, without more convincing evidence, I believe there are plausible reasons to explain the collapse of the buildings as they actually collapsed.

    WTC7 collapsed differently than WTC1 and WTC2.
    If you observe the videos of the collapse of WTC7 (which exist from different angles), it collapsed from the bottom. WTC1 and WTC2 collapsed top-down. Personally, I think these towers were incredibly fragile to begin with.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 1:18 PM
    Comment #231975

    Did anyone go to Joel’s link?
    I thought these articles were interesting on that website:


    Former Chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division Calls for Independent Review of World Trade Center Investigation


    Lies about the WTC by NIST and Underwriters Laboratories

    Kevin Ryan - U.L. whistleblower - former Site Manager


    Why the towers fell: Two theories

    The above from a Civil Engineer who worked during “the era when the Twin Towers were designed and constructed” and “found some disturbing discrepancies and omissions concerning their collapse on 9/11.”

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2007 2:02 PM
    Comment #231980


    “Personally, I think these towers were incredibly fragile to begin with.”

    They certainly weren’t in a league with the Empire State Building, but probably superior to what replaces them.

    Posted by: jlw at September 6, 2007 2:24 PM
    Comment #231981

    d.a.n., you might be interested in checking this out:

    Can physics rewrite history?

    Specifically: ‘Dramatic Features of the Tower Destruction that are Ignored by All the Official Theories’ and ‘The Mysterious Collapse of WTC7’

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2007 2:30 PM
    Comment #231983

    Adrienne,

    Yes. I read it. And those are good questions. While many of the reasons and facts could be explained by explosives, they could also be explained by causes having nothing to do with explosives.

    The squibs of smoke/debri could be due to air pressure due to the floors above compressing air in the floors and elevator shafts below. Some windows are weaker than others, and the smoke (after all, the building was on fire) and debri shoot out the window. Also, what can’t be seen are floors that may be collapsing where the squibs are located due to stresses on the core column.

    At first, I admit, it looks like a demolition. But the evidence is still lacking.

    I’d recommend looking at this analysis by Popular Mechanics on most (if not all) of the issues raised.

    They also had many teams (300 persons and organizations) working on the report:
    Structural Engineering / Building Collapse
    Farid Alfawakhiri, Ph.D. senior engineer, American Institute of Steel Construction

    David Biggs, P.E. structural engineer, Ryan-Biggs Associates; member, ASCE team for FEMA report

    Robert Clarke structural engineer, Controlled Demolitions Group Ltd.

    Glenn Corbett technical editor, Fire Engineering; member, NIST advisory committee

    Vincent Dunn deputy fire chief (Ret.), FDNY; author, The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety

    John Fisher, Ph.D. professor of civil engineering, Lehigh University; professor emeritus, Center for Advanced Technology; member, FEMA Probe Team

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 2:39 PM
    Comment #231986

    Stephen, I think with towers 1 & 2, you make a really good point, in that nothing that tall, to my knowledge, has ever been demolished. So I wonder, how exactly should buildings that tall be brought down? It might be possible that bringing them down top first would reduce the chance of toppling over. That’s something I’ve never thought of. There are plenty of videos showing far shorter buildings being dropped, but usually not in such dense locations.

    Another way to look at it is that we’ve never seen a building like this (steel frame and concrete at that height) just collapse. That may very well be just how it would look if a similar building suddenly gave way under comparable catastrophic stress. There’s simply too little precedent to be sure.

    WTC 7 is another matter, which is why I use it as a screen name (to remind myself to search up on it every now and then for new stuff). With building 7, there are many videos with which to compare. Actually, the one I linked earlier even shows a similar building being dropped with all the windows still in it, though it was timed for visual effect (I assume). That proves that the windows are not always removed, and besides, if some criminal element of the government is indeed responsible, I’m sure they didn’t even think twice about what to do with the windows.

    All I can say is that, you’re right, in that I do not understand what happened to building 7. I don’t think there are many people who do. I don’t want to leave it alone though, because I have the hopeful feeling that one day, some definitive information will show up, and either kill or confirm the demolition theory. That’s really all I want to see is iron-clad proof, one way or the other, which I find quite lacking so far.

    Posted by: wtc7 at September 6, 2007 2:43 PM
    Comment #231987

    I personally like how the articles start off rational, with a question of the NIST findings that the insulation was partially destroyed which helped lead to the collapse rather than a good question as to the building’s constructional defectds. But, then they start to devolve into ‘the buildings were brought down purposely’, etc even when the original articles state that there is absolutely no evidence to even suggest such a thing.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at September 6, 2007 2:52 PM
    Comment #231989

    d.a.n.

    Excellent link with the Popular Mechanics analysis. It should quiet the silly conspiracy, but reality is never as sexy or fun as fantasy.

    Oh well.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 6, 2007 2:55 PM
    Comment #231990
    d.a.n., you might be interested in checking this out: Can physics rewrite history? Specifically: ‘Dramatic Features of the Tower Destruction that are Ignored by All the Official Theories’ and ‘The Mysterious Collapse of WTC7’
    Adrienne, I was initially very intrigued and disturbed by the thought of a conspiracy. Keeping an open mind, I started investigating it and spent many days over many months reading everything I could find on it. When you read the conspiracists side, it sounds very convincing. That is partly why 40% of American believe there was a conspiracy. And I’m not saying 100% that I know their wasn’t. I’m dealing in percentages of probability. Based on the vast amount of information provided on countless web-sites by the consipracists and the other sites with a differing opinion, I’ve come believe with about 95% probability that the towers collapsed because they were fragile to start with, fire-proofing was inadequate above the 47th floor, two jet planes hit the towers which caused the fires, and the claims of free-fall are not entirely true. The buildings took longer than 9.1 seconds to collapse (about 45% longer than free fall; between 12 and 13 seconds).

    Thus, a conspiracy is not impossible, but improbable based on the evidence available.

    Had someone come up with forensic evidence of explosive chemicals, that would have been very interesting. After all, it would take tons of explosives. I once saw some box columns cut at an angle that looked pretty convincing, but if you looked closely, you could see the jagged edges indicative of a blow torch. I only saw one photo of a smooth cut box column, and I could not tell if it was during construction of the building, or after 911.

    So, I think I’ve looked at it with an open mind, and simply fail to see the evidence of a conspiracy. But the collapse of such large structures is easy to confuse with what we have all seen on TV of controlled demolitions.

    But, since there is a small chance I could be wrong, I not against more investigation.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 2:57 PM
    Comment #231991

    wtc7:
    “I don’t want to leave it alone though, because I have the hopeful feeling that one day, some definitive information will show up, and either kill or confirm the demolition theory. That’s really all I want to see is iron-clad proof, one way or the other, which I find quite lacking so far.”

    This is exactly how I feel as well. And it is crystal clear that the FEMA, 9/11 Commission and NIST investigations (taken individually, or when read and compared to each other) have not come close to providing such proof thus far.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2007 2:58 PM
    Comment #231992

    wtc7, I doubt you will find ‘iron-clad proof’ as there was no reason to collect it and there is no way to prove it was brought down by other than explained means.

    BTW, what would the gain be for that building to be demolished if 1 and 2 weren’t? It housed the offices of the CIA and Dept of Defense, but who would gain from that building coming down? It makes absolutely no sense nor does it even pass the muster of a good conspiracy. They usually have a sinister motive of some sort.

    Everyone admits that the building was on fire, that it was left to burn unattended for hours and no one was allowed anywhere near the building as it was burning.

    Common Sense tells us that the fire finally took out enough structural stability and it eventually collapsed on it’s own. Until I see a single bit of actual evidence to even suggest otherwise, I don’t see a reason to waste any further time or money on the issue. There is no evidence or motive that can be provided, one of those two would be necessary for most people to believe there is a reason to investigate. Which is why no one talks about it, there is nothing to talk about. Yet we hear ‘hushed tones’ of media coverup, etc…

    Posted by: Rhinehold at September 6, 2007 2:59 PM
    Comment #231994

    but reality is never as sexy or fun as fantasy.
    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 6, 2007 02:55 PM

    Thus, the real issue here, perhaps! The left finds fantasy over 9/11 sexy and fun!
    Hmmmm?

    JD

    Posted by: JD at September 6, 2007 3:31 PM
    Comment #231995
    d.a.n. Excellent link with the Popular Mechanics analysis. It should quiet the silly conspiracy, but reality is never as sexy or fun as fantasy. Oh well.
    Thanks. It was also on the History Channel a while back. However, I can understand why people think it may have been a demolition. In fact, in the beginning, I was suspicious too. Some skepticism is healthy. It wasn’t until looking at the rate of fall (about 45% slower than free-fall; still some of the collapse reached 199 mph), momentum and energy transfer equations and calculations, and truly looking at both arguments (claim by claim; side by side) that the demolotion theory failed to prove itself out. However, I would also say this. I also discussed it with a huge Conspiracy Theorist (with his own web-site, video, and book) and talked with (by telephone) someone that worked on the construction of the WTC towers and they said that those building are extremeley fragile, and since they stopped installing fireproofing (due to protests) above the 47th floor, the building was doomed.

    Building Construction has changed a lot of the years and buildings are much more delicate and fragile now. An older building like the the Empire State Building is much tougher. It was struck in 1948 by a B-25 bomber. 14 people were killed and the building sustained damage and fire which was confined to one corner of one floor. The fire did not spread due to fireproofing.
    Also, the steel in the Empire State Building was much heavier. The floors on the Empire State Building are reinforced concrete using regular rebar. The towers on the other hand used a four inch thick floor in a pan, with wire mesh for reinforcement. People claim they could see the floors move in the WTC towers.

    The elevators in the Empire State Building are a foot thick. The WTC towers were 8 inches thick. The WTC towers were a much lighter and delicate construction than the Empire State Building.

    Cost, as usual, is a big driving factor for these differences. Had the WTC towers had adequate fireproofing, they would probably still be standing now.

    Lastly, a top-down explosive method is totally unnecessary (and expensive). All that is needed to bring them down is to plant explosives on the first few floors. However, the building could be brought down by taking out any floor (except perhaps the uppermost two or three floors).

    Still, I don’t think ALL people that think there it was a conspiracy are nut cases, because the collapse we witnessed could have been the result of either (i.e. explosives, or fire & pancaking collapse). Unfortunately, there’s no forensic evidence of explosives to support the explosives theory.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 3:31 PM
    Comment #231998

    d.a.n.

    As I read your later posts I see you do conclude that it was a collapse. Perhaps I misunderstood your post. The only questions I had was your use of the words open mind and a list that supposedly were open questions. I saw no open questions (except the convoluted mixing of momentum and free fall). I concluded a long time ago that these conspiracy theories were about making money. I’m not sure why people conclude that having arrived at that conclusion is evidence of a closed mind.

    My experience is that people with a poor understanding of physics are convinced by the use of science-like terminology. They then conclude that NIST and ASCE MUST be lying. I guess I can conclude that they have closed their minds.

    Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 6, 2007 4:01 PM
    Comment #231999

    A near perfect pancake collapse.
    The fuel from one passenger jet saturated every floor beneath it, which then enabled the fire to weaken every support structure below the crash site and allow a near perfect pancake collapse without significant toppling.
    A technique I’m sure future demolitions experts will be excited to use when they start bringing down such large buildings.

    Conspiracy? Who knows.
    But there is no harm is asking for answers such as Joel is doing.

    Posted by: kctim at September 6, 2007 4:03 PM
    Comment #232003

    d.a.n.:
    “Unfortunately, there’s no forensic evidence of explosives to support the explosives theory.”

    Actually, there is some forensic evidence that suggests that thermate was used to bring down the WTC towers. An analysis was done using dust that a woman had collected while cleaning up her apartment a week after 9/11. The apartment was located very close to the South Tower.
    You can read about that research on the ae911truth.org website in an article entitled: Revisiting 9/11/2001 —Applying the Scientific Method
    Dr. Steven E. Jones

    Specifically search for:
    ‘The World Trade Center Dust and the Message of its Iron-rich Microspheres’

    Obviously Jones finding means that there should be an attempt made to duplicate that in a lab elsewhere. And certainly there needs to be more research conducted using what still remains at the Fresh Kills Landfill where large amounts of debris from 9/11 still sit.
    The NIST investigation chose to do no forensic research at all, which makes no sense.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2007 4:19 PM
    Comment #232005

    Joel, d.a.n and others who haven’t completely closed their minds to other possibilities…when one suffers a loss and there isn’t a complete and irrefutable explanation for it, it leaves a hole in us big enough to drive through. In that respect, I thoroughly understand Adrienne’s need to exhaust whatever research is available.
    And, as has also been brought out here, the more someone tries to get one to change our minds before satisfaction has been reached, the more we feel “conspiracy” is the reason.

    Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 6, 2007 4:21 PM
    Comment #232023

    wtc7-
    Controlled demolitions work from the bottom with good reason: It puts the weight of the building to work destroying the rest of it. If you start from the top, there’s less mass starting the collapse, which means less force ensuring that the collapse is thorough and uniform.

    Take a look at some of those videos, preferably those with sound. I found a number on youtube. The explosives used to cut the columns are damn loud. You could not have hidden them. Also, these are some pretty powerful explosives used, so the pressure would likely blow out any windows left in the building. Nothing like that occurred. If you look at the controlled demolitions, the sequential nature of the explosions is quite obvious.

    The Twin towers did not merely fall for no reason. They were hit by large jets in ways that compromised multiple floors, starting widespread, intense fires almost instantly. These fires burned all across these floors, with all of the debris piled up by the crash, including tons of office paper serving as fuel once the jet fuel burned off.

    As for WTC7? Photographs of it reveal an immense gash across the backside of the building. One reason why many demolitions look the way they do is that that they time certain detonations to collapse one part of the building first. those parts then pull in the others after them. If a part of WTC7’s central structure sustained massive damage, a collapse caused by a failure at the ground floor would preferentially affect that portion.

    I think the major point of confusion here is of cause and effect. Controlled demolitions are events where those doing the job deliberately compromise the supports of the building, causing the structure to fall in on itself. This compromise brings about the pancaking and the rising dust cloud that are so familiar, and which seems suspicious to people.

    However, These familiar effects are just as easily cause by a structural collapse caused by terrorist attack or natural disaster. The progressive collapse happens anytime parts of a building start falling on top of each other instead of resting on good support. The blowing out of material at the sides and the dust cloud were a natural result of the air which composed most of the tower’s volume getting violently shoved out by the tower’s progressive collapse.

    This shoving out of air is one reason people don’t leave windows in these buildings. Think nasty shards of death.

    So what about controlled demolition? Consider this: would you want to be carrying around detcord or other explosives in buildings burning badly out of control? And wouldn’t folks have noticed if the stuff came preinstalled? It wasn’t as if the construction was secret.

    Though some might have a motive to do this, the means and opportunity to pull of something like this, much less the superhuman intelligence, are seriously lacking. There are failures enough, failures we really need to figure out, without inventing new ones.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2007 6:01 PM
    Comment #232027

    Sandra Davidson,
    I agree. It takes a lot of serious research to come to a conclusion.

    Adrienne,
    Yes, I’ve see that. However, the WTC dust and steel samples provided to Prof. Steven Jones changed many hands before they were sent to Prof. Jones at BYU, and inspected by him and Dr. Jeffrey Farrer. Also, The total element compositions of the dust and metal samples reflect a chemical make-up that is consistent with a myriad of other materials commonly found in many large buildings.

    Professor Jones claims that a metal low in chromium, with “abundant manganese” rules out the possibility of it being structural steel, but steel specifications reveal otherwise. Manganese is very found in the data sheets of many structural steel standards (especially from the time period with the WTC was constructed).

    Therefore, Steven Jones’ conclusions fail the standards of evidence collection, and the results are not even convincing since structural steel can in fact contain quite a bit of Manganese.

    There is a video of what appears to look like Thermate, but it also looks like what could be other materials burning (such as jet fuel and electrical cables, plastic, and or carpet).

    Could it be thermate? Maybe. But there still isn’t chemical proof of it, since the chemicals found are already consistent with other materials commonly found in many large buildings.

    Even as cynical as I may be (certainly appear to some), I do not yet see sufficient evidence to support the demolition theory, but I can understand why many do because it truly is not that easy to draw an informed and educated conclusion either way. Especially when it looks very much like a controlled demolition. But looks can be deceiving, as can conclusions drawn from chemical compositions when the existence of those chemicals are actually normal.

    There are possibly thousands of web-sites with photos and articles theorizing 911 was a conspiracy. As I read through them, it’s easy to see why 40% of Americans believe there was a conspiracy.

    Regardless, Americans should be angry.
    Not just at the perpetrators that flew the jets, but at their own govenment for being so pathetically incompetent, irresponsible, and negligent. Despite the trillions the Pentagon spends on defense, it can’t even stop jets from flying into its own building.

    And our borders are ports are still wide open to this day. And 911 was exploited to invade Iraq based on flawed intelligence (WMD that did not exist). And we’re still there; occupying Iraq even though most Americans oppose it and even most in the military oppose it. Yet, Congress, whose duty is to declare war but never did, allows the Executive Branch free rein to do as it please no matter how badly and futile it is; no matter how many American soldiers have to die or be maimed to safe face. Our troops deserve better.

    If the American voters want to be mad about something, it should be that. Yet, in the last election, 90% of Congress was re-elected and rewarded for it. Government won’t become more responsible and accountable until the voters do too.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 6, 2007 7:08 PM
    Comment #232054

    d.a.n.:
    “Adrienne,
    Yes, I’ve see that.”

    But maybe not in awhile? Since you claim:
    “However, the WTC dust and steel samples provided to Prof. Steven Jones changed many hands before they were sent to Prof. Jones at BYU, and inspected by him and Dr. Jeffrey Farrer.”

    Actually, according to Jones’ account in his paper, that isn’t true at all. He stated there that the first sample was sent directly to him by the woman who collected the dust from her apartment because she had read about the research he was beginning to do online and knew he was looking for such samples. To take the second sample from her, Jones went directly to her home (she had moved from NY to California) and took the dust sample with witnesses who were all scientists, present to document the event, which he then began examining using electron microprobe methods.

    “Also, The total element compositions of the dust and metal samples reflect a chemical make-up that is consistent with a myriad of other materials commonly found in many large buildings.”

    Really? Are you a metallurgist or chemist who is familiar with the chemical make-up of building materials from the era that the WTC complex was built? If so, this is something I didn’t know about you.

    “Professor Jones claims that a metal low in chromium, with “abundant manganese” rules out the possibility of it being structural steel, but steel specifications reveal otherwise.”

    Could you give me a link to back up this statement?

    “Manganese is very found in the data sheets of many structural steel standards (especially from the time period with the WTC was constructed). Therefore, Steven Jones’ conclusions fail the standards of evidence collection, and the results are not even convincing since structural steel can in fact contain quite a bit of Manganese.”

    Again, I’d need a link to verify these claims. And preferably one from someone who is an expert on such things.
    Please don’t be offended that I am saying that, but this is exactly the problem I have with so many of the people making claims to the contrary and automatically dismissing Jones for his research and findings. They never actually bother to get into the nuts and bolts of why what he has done, or has found has to be wrong.
    And you must understand, it’s not that I even want to defend Jones’ findings per se. I would much rather it be the case that many people are studying identical samples and debating their findings, rather than only him. But I do have to say that I feel the need to defend the fact that Jones is attempting to do this kind of research AT ALL. Indeed, he may very well be wrong from start to finish, but that still doesn’t take anything at all away from the fact that he has actually attempted to do this kind of research ONLY BECAUSE NO OTHER FORENSIC RESEARCH WAS EVER COLLECTED AND STUDIED ON WHETHER OR NOT EXPLOSIVES MIGHT HAVE PLAYED A ROLE IN THE COLLAPSE OF THESE THREE STEEL BUILDINGS — AN UNPRECEDENTED OCCURRENCE PRIOR TO 9/11 .
    A great many people, including myself, would like to know why that happens to be the case even after three official investigations have taken place. (Most especially the NIST investigation.) It seems very suspicious. Additionally what it says is that explosives were for some reason completely ruled out of consideration well beforehand. Which means that these people weren’t starting from the place that all careful and truly valid scientific research must ALWAYS start from: By including all possible and probable scenarios, and then eliminating those probabilities and possibilities one by one, until the most satisfactory and likely outcome is finally reached.

    Jones, no matter how right or wrong his findings happen to be, is at least taking significantly important factors into account. Factors that seem to have been stupidly or suspiciously overlooked or eliminated for no good reason that I can discern.
    Can you see my point? I hope so.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 6, 2007 10:30 PM
    Comment #232059
    ONLY BECAUSE NO OTHER FORENSIC RESEARCH WAS EVER COLLECTED AND STUDIED ON WHETHER OR NOT EXPLOSIVES MIGHT HAVE PLAYED A ROLE IN THE COLLAPSE OF THESE THREE STEEL BUILDINGS — AN UNPRECEDENTED OCCURRENCE PRIOR TO 9/11

    True.

    Also, no forensic research was ever collected and studied one whether or not ravenous locusts might have played a role in the collapse of these three steel buildings - an unprecedented occurrence prior to 9/11.

    The reason that no research was never done on locusts as a cause is that there is no evidence at all that locusts are a cause, that it doesn’t make sense that locusts could have done it, and the primary explanation makes much more sense than the locust hypothesis. Ignoring the locust hypothesis is not the result of a conspiracy, but the result of a proper decision about the allocation of resources based on the rational leads.

    But, hey, maybe we should call for independent investigations into the locust hypothesis. After all, this government is so secretive that it just could be.

    And let’s investigate how the moon landings were faked, how every climate scientist in the world is being paid off by Ted Turner, how the truth about a 6,000-year-old earth is being hidden, and why Kansas City is being turned into a super port for a massive highway stretching across the country.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 6, 2007 10:58 PM
    Comment #232074
    Really? Are you a metallurgist or chemist who is familiar with the chemical make-up of building materials from the era that the WTC complex was built? If so, this is something I didn’t know about you.
    Adrienne, No, but I have studied Chemistry, molecular structures of many metals and various alloys in Material Science (especially steel and electronic components), Physics, Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetics, etc.
    Could you give me a link to back up this statement?
    Here is the report about the existence of Chromium (Cr) Manganese (Mn) in many steel standards.

    Adrienne, Sandra Davidson,
    I am not making fun or denigrating anyone regardless of their beliefs about 911. It is very understandable. To be honest, the event had me going for a while too. I initially thought it may have been a demolition, but the more I looked at it, the more it also looked like a collapse. There are a LOT of things that look similar to a controlled demolition. However, each one, one by one has a plausible explanation too. There is a mountain of evidence to look at. That also makes it difficult to figure this thing out. As for forensic evidence, Prof. Steven Jones recieved the dust second hand. But, even if the dust and steel were genuine, the conclusions he drew about Chromium (Cr) and Manganese (Mn) were not definitive proof of Thermate. It’s a good theory. But I’m not quite convinced by it, since these elements (and others that existed at ground zero) are not unusual. If explosives were used, I would think ample evidence of it would exist on the huge box columns lying all over the place. I’ve seen lots of pictures of torn steel box columns, but not anything that really looks like thermate cut it. Also, other types of explosives would have been more effective. Also, thermate burns (doesn’t explode) and wouldn’t create the squibs seen. Explosives could create the squibs, but so could air pressue forced down the elevator shafts (in the core) and from floors collapsing inside ahead of the exterior wall collapse.

    ALso, a top-down demolition is very unusual. If the intent was to make it appear like a collapse due to the jet impact, why not simply take out the lower floor?

    There are good questions on both sides of the debate. I think the preponderance of the evidence points to a collapse caused by fire and subsequent failure of one or more floors at the impact location.

    But, I’m not 100% certain. I leave a small (say 5%) chance of a demolition conspiracy. But that means other evidence we have not yet seen must exist somewhere.

    When it comes to conspiracy theories, I think there’s a higher likelihood that Pearl Harbor may have been a convenient way to get into the war. I don’t have any proof of it, even though that was hotly debated too. There were several communications that were mysteriously ignored and not passed on. Perhaps it was merely incompetence, neglect, and the usual bureaucratic inefficiencies. But it makes one wonder. After all, some had actually predicted an attack on Pearl Harbor. Like 911, many had essentially predicted it too. There was already a previous attempt to bring down one WTC tower.

    Unfortunately, without more evidence, we may never know. Like the assassination of JFK, I expect there will be many theories about 911 in the years to come.

    Was 911 a demolition? Maybe. But not likely.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2007 12:34 AM
    Comment #232077

    …thanks for your patience, d.a.n

    Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 7, 2007 1:38 AM
    Comment #232082

    Lawnboy, why are you trying so hard to insult me?

    You know, there really is something about questioning the offical theory and investigations into 9/11 that brings out extreme viciousness in a lot of people. Why does saying that more research is needed, especially in light of the shoddy investigations that have been done thus far, seem bother people so much? I think it’s totally bizarre.

    d.a.n.:
    “I initially thought it may have been a demolition, but the more I looked at it, the more it also looked like a collapse.”

    I don’t see how planes flown into both buildings could have brought them down alone. And in an identical manner, even though they were hit by the planes in different places. I have read a lot about the design of the buildings, which btw was notably award winning, and they never fail to mention that they were specifically designed and built to be able to withstand airplanes flying right into them without causing a complete collapse. I especially don’t see how the core columns, how everything really, could have been shattered into such tiny pieces, and how everything else was pulverized into dust that way, just from the collapses alone. Even if every floor had collapsed, it seems like at least some portions and large segments of the core should have been left standing. I also don’t understand how other enormous steel structures, built during the same era, with the same crappy spray-on fireproofing, had withstood fires that burned hotter, and for over 24 hours, yet had not totally collapsed like the towers did. In one case I read about, the firefighters couldn’t even attempt to put out the inferno because there was no water pressure to do so. Yet, approximately 4000 gallons each of jet fuel was able to bring both of the towers down, in same exact same way, in an amazingly short amount of time? Sorry, but that just doesn’t make any sense.

    “There is a mountain of evidence to look at. That also makes it difficult to figure this thing out.”

    Well d.a.n., they’ve had six years, yet the official reason seems very elusive, doesn’t it? Was it the Fire? Was it the Trusses? Well, that seems to depend on which investigation one decides to look at. Since they didn’t agree, and still haven’t come to any consensus, what is the problem with looking at another theory, such as whether there might have also been explosions (whether thermate or otherwise) that weakened the entire structures enough to bring them both down quickly and in an identical way?
    Lots of people did describe seeing and hearing explosions and flashes — so why didn’t they just take a quick look at that to satisfy everyone who saw those things? They didn’t bother. They didn’t do forensics on the steel, and they quickly sold it off and shipped it off to Asia. They did this despite and against the extremely strong objections of fire engineers, and the NYFD, and the victims families.

    As far as WTC 7, well nothing explains that. None of the investigations have even bothered to try to make a truly educated guess about that one. I’ve heard that NIST is supposed to come out with something soon though, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    “But, even if the dust and steel were genuine, the conclusions he drew about Chromium (Cr) and Manganese (Mn) were not definitive proof of Thermate. It’s a good theory.”

    If it’s a good theory, then why not let a bunch more independent scientists simply take a look at that dust and maybe at some of the debris still sitting at Fresh Kills, and let them run their own lab tests? It’d be great if they could make it unequivocally clear that demolition could not have been what brought the towers down. Even if it’s only to make everyone who is still talking about that possibility shut up about it.

    “ALso, a top-down demolition is very unusual. If the intent was to make it appear like a collapse due to the jet impact, why not simply take out the lower floor?”

    Workers in the sub basement and underground parking areas of the towers claim that there were large explosions there. But eyewitness accounts were not considered all that important to the people conducting the official investigations thus far.

    “There are good questions on both sides of the debate.”

    I think so too, and I don’t understand why so many people seem to prefer ignoring all these questions.

    “I think the preponderance of the evidence points to a collapse caused by fire and subsequent failure of one or more floors at the impact location.”

    It’s possible that is the case. I’ll tell you what, I honestly wish I could wholeheartedly agree with your conclusion (I mean, who likes being treated like a nutcase?), but unfortunately, after reading their reports and looking at how they reached their scientific modeling, and hearing about how these investigations have been conducted, they’ve left too many things in still in doubt for me.

    “But, I’m not 100% certain. I leave a small (say 5%) chance of a demolition conspiracy. But that means other evidence we have not yet seen must exist somewhere.”

    Yes, lets look at all the evidence we can. Since we’re fighting multiple wars, and having our Constitution ripped to shreds over it, it seems like a pretty important thing to do.

    “Like the assassination of JFK, I expect there will be many theories about 911 in the years to come.”

    The way the Bush administration fought the investigations lead to mountains of raging conspiracies. The shoddy investigations have only added more fuel. What pisses me off about that is that it really didn’t have to be this way.

    “Was 911 a demolition? Maybe. But not likely.”

    Sorry, I’m not yet convinced of anything.

    But thanks for the discussion.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2007 2:49 AM
    Comment #232083
    You know, there really is something about questioning the offical theory and investigations into 9/11 that brings out extreme viciousness in a lot of people. Why does saying that more research is needed, especially in light of the shoddy investigations that have been done thus far, seem bother people so much? I think it’s totally bizarre.

    For one thing, many people understand that it is pretty obvious what happened and want to put this behind us. Yet they can’t because some people just won’t let it go. Very raw nerves and exposed emotions are in play and what *I* don’t understand is how those who think that it is remotely possible that there was a detonation can’t see that and find better ways to try to get the answers they seek without doing it in a way that keeps poking at those nerves.

    For example, there are several people who think that remote planes flew into the buildings and the passengers on the planes missing are still alive somewhere. That’s not going to sit well with MANY people, especially the families of those who died.

    It’d be great if they could make it unequivocally clear that demolition could not have been what brought the towers down. Even if it’s only to make everyone who is still talking about that possibility shut up about it.

    That’s the problem it won’t shut everyone up. In the link I provided from Penn and Teller, one of these ‘theorists’ says “There is nothing anyone can say to convince me that Bush didn’t hire Saudi Nationals to fly those planes into the WTC.”

    Nothing anyone can say. At all. It doesn’t matter how much evidence or how implausable it would be, the theories will still be there.

    For example, think of how IMPOSSIBLE it would be to rig both buildings up for demolition in the short time after the planes hit the building and when they fell, with the fires, heat, rescue attempts, etc. Not only would they have to do this without being seen by anyone in case they were able to get out, but they would also have to put this plan into action at almost breakneck speed, acquire enough thermite to put in place, have the plans already to go, the men ready to go, get the charges in place AND get out…

    Since this is pretty much impossible, the buildings would have to be rigged beforehand which means two other things. 1) The government knew this was coming and 2) the charges, wire, setup had to be in place before the planes hit by days at least (it takes time to set up a good demolition job) and NOT be seen by anyone working in the building.

    Nevermind that you would not know exactly where the planes would hit (seriously, they were lucky to hit let alone pick a floor) and know whether or not it would impact the implosion, take out the wiring, etc…

    Seriously, I know you are convinced that there is ‘something else going on here’ but there really isn’t.

    There was a conspiracy! Muslim extremists conspired to come into our country and, on a small budget and minimul technology, fly planes full of our citizens into the WTC in an attempt to strike terror into our hearts.

    But since that’s not a good enough conspiracy (because it doesn’t put Bush squarely in the middle of it, I suspect) then feel free to keep picking at the sore. But don’t feel shocked and confused when those who are wanting to stop picking at the scab get upset and hostile and the crackpot theories that, it has been made clear by many theorists, will not be satisfied by anything anyone says or does.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 3:13 AM
    Comment #232105

    All this is Newton’s fault. Without its unpatriotic gravity law, the towers will still be there.

    Why nobody is searching this Newton guy?!?

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2007 6:43 AM
    Comment #232110
    Lawnboy, why are you trying so hard to insult me?

    Adrienne, I’m sorry that you find an argument pointing out the flaws in your approach to be insulting.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 7, 2007 8:20 AM
    Comment #232135

    I generally don’t go in for the conspiracy theories, but I will say that there’s a lot of unusual coincidences that happened on 9-11. And there do seem like there were some unusual factors in the military response:

    But to the south, a new danger and a new response. At 9:30, three F-16s were launched out of Langley Air Force base in Virginia, 150 miles south of Washington. But just seven minutes later, at 9:37, American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. The F-16s arrived in Washington just before 10:00 and began flying cover over the nation’s capital.” (8)

    This story, which has now, with slight modifications, become the “official” NORAD version, raises more questions than it answers.

    F-15s have a cruising speed of 577-mph, (9) while F-16s have a cruising speed of 570-mph. (10) . Both planes can fly much faster, though there is a rapid drop in fuel economy.

    According to CBS, three F-16s scrambled from Langley at 9:30 and arrived in Washington at 10:00. The distance from Langley Air Force Base to the Pentagon is 129 miles - not 150, as CBS stated. If these F-16s took half an hour to get to Washington they were flying at 4.4 miles per minute, 258 mph. That’s less than half their cruising speed. It’s a fifth of the maximum speed for these F-16s, 1500-mph.
    http://emperors-clothes.com/indict/urgent.htm

    Anyone want to do the math on when they would have arrived in washington at their top speed? Seems like it would have been somewhere around six minutes, so they could have been there before the Pentagon was hit. Why no real attempt at interception if they were scrambled to protect DC?

    But if we just restrict our questions to the collapse of the towers, one real question sticks out in my mind: What was up with the timing? The north tower was struck at 8:46. The south tower was struck at 9:03. Then at 9:59, the south tower, the second tower struck, collapsed (56 minutes after its planes impact) while the north tower didn’t collapse until 10:28 (102 minutes after its planes impact). Why did the north tower take almost twice as long to collapse? The planes were similarly sized and carried the same amount of fuel, they were in the air almost exactly the same amount of time (the second plane was actually in the air about two minutes longer) before hitting. It hit a little further down on the tower, but would that by itself explain a 46 minute difference in the time the towers each took to fall?

    Maybe it’s just the case that a lot of counterintuitive things happened on that day, both in matters of physics and military response and government. And that’s without even getting into the bizzareness involving the coincidental timing of 9-11 with the war games and other readiness exercises that were going on that day involving very similar scenarios. But wouldn’t it be nice to know for sure? And an investigative committee which states from the start that it is not out to find fault or hold individuals accountable seems a poor instrument for learning the truth. It’s like deciding not to have a trial or individual suspects before you start the murder investigation.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 7, 2007 11:54 AM
    Comment #232139
    Why did the north tower take almost twice as long to collapse?…It hit a little further down on the tower, but would that by itself explain a 46 minute difference in the time the towers each took to fall?

    Yes, it would, because it wasn’t just a “little further”. The hit on the south tower was more than twice as far from the top of the tower than the hit on the north tower. That means there was a lot more mass above the damage on the south tower, so there was a lot more stress on the damaged section of the tower. That easily explains how less fire-based softening was necessary for the south tower to collapse, and that less time was needed.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 7, 2007 12:28 PM
    Comment #232151

    Lawnboy:

    Interesting. You’re right, it is almost double the amount of tower over the plane impact site. The second plane hit the south tower just under twice the distance away from the top as the first plane did. Of course, the fact that the plane impact sites were seperated by a distance equal to about 8 percent of the tower’s height is testament to how little of the tower is above either of them. Only 13% of the tower is above the first plane, and 21% is above the second.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 7, 2007 1:04 PM
    Comment #232215

    For all the closed-minded people out there consider this:

    Nationally Recognized Engineers and Scientist Call for New 9/11 Investigation

    Over the last 8 weeks a world renowned scientist and three nationally recognized engineers have called for a new investigation of 9/11, yet none of these have been reported in the mainstream media.

    Most recently, on Sept. 4, Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D., who served for 12 years as a Senior Staff Member of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and later as Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources for the National Governors Association, called for a new investigation of 9/11, saying “First, let the technical truth emerge. Then, if necessary, cope with the inevitable political, conspiracy and other questions.” Former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment Senior Staff Member Calls for New Investigation of 9/11

    On Aug. 27, Lynn Margulis, Ph.D., member of the National Academy of Sciences and world renowned scientist, characterized the official account of 9/11 as “a fraud” and called for a new investigation, “I suggest that those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough, and impartial investigation be undertaken.” National Academy of Sciences Member Calls for New 9/11 Investigation

    An Aug. 21 article reported that James Quintiere, Ph.D., former Chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, called for an independent review of the World Trade Center Twin Tower collapse investigation. “I wish that there would be a peer review of this,” he said, referring to the NIST investigation. “I think all the records that NIST has assembled should be archived. I would really like to see someone else take a look at what they’ve done; both structurally and from a fire point of view. … I think the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable.” Former Chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division Calls for Independent Review of World Trade Center Investigation

    On July 16, J. Marx Ayres, former member of the National Institute of Sciences Building Safety Council and former member of the California Seismic Safety Commission called for a new investigation of 9/11, “Steven Jones’ call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis that the WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by impact damage and fire, but through the use of pre-positioned ‘cutter-charges’ must be the rallying cry for all building design experts to speak out.” Former California Seismic Safety Commissioner Endorses 9/11 Truth Movement

    Additionally, this week, Commander Ralph Kolstad, U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ pilot, questioned the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. “When one starts using his own mind, and not what one was told, there is very little to believe in the official story.” U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ Pilot Questions 9/11

    The mainstream media has not covered any of these stories. Please help disseminate this critically important information.

    Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at September 7, 2007 7:01 PM
    Comment #232220

    Joel, It’s not easy to know what the truth is )(100%). It’s not a simple matter. Especially when so many things look like a demolition. Personally, I lean toward the collapse theory (95%) more than the demolition theory (5%), since fireproofing wasn’t installed above the 47th floor due to protests about asbestos.

    However, I think it is difficult for anyone to be 100% certain, and that is perhaps a good reason for more investigations? I’m not opposed to it. I want to know the truth. I’m just not very confident it will turn up much (if anything) new if it hasn’t already by now (6 years later). And the more time that passes, the harder it will become to investigate.

    You know what is a real blunder is what the EPA and others allowed after 911. There are possibly thousands that are dying and suffering from exposure to toxins at ground zero, and despite statistics that are too hard to ignore, the government is denying any links between the subsequent deaths and illnesses. Reminds me of the Agent Organe lies.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 7, 2007 8:04 PM
    Comment #232225
    closed-minded people

    Please, please, insult me more. I’ll read anything you write when you insult me.

    One of these days you might read the site’s guideline. I would have thought an editor would know it.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 7, 2007 9:03 PM
    Comment #232231

    Joel-
    Whatever your qualifications, citing yourself in an comment like that seems like padding. We already know your opinion, we’re asking you to support it either by factual argument or by citing a source making the needed arguments

    Margulis is a scientist, but as I often scream in frustration at Climate Contrarians on this site, scientists are not necessarily interchangeable. If I want to know about Symbiosis and parasitism, she’s an authority, but last I looked, her PhD had little to do with forensic examination of building wreckage.

    As far as the other folks go?

    I look at Quintiere’s article. While it’s true that he’s a critic of the investigation, he still supports a theory that lays the blame of the collapse on fire-weakened steel, albeit in a different part of the structure. He actually went out of his way to disclaim that he doesn’t believe in the conspiracy theories about planted explosives.

    As for the claim about the thermite cutter charges? Thermite doesn’t make clean cuts It’s an incendiary that burns chaotically, as evidenced by this video.

    Being open-minded does not mean you’re open to all conclusions, just those justified by the evidence. The tricky part is that people aren’t looking for evidence of what happened here, they’re looking for evidence of what they think happened- they’ve already made their conclusion, or are uncritically accepting the word of others who have approached the matter with such an attitude.

    The fire expert’s the kind of skeptic who truly deserves that term to be applied to him. Unfortunately, the people quoting him look no further than that quote, because that’s what they were looking for: somebody to back their contention that 9/11’s all a sham. I’m lucky I read further than just the quote, that I was curious as to what he actually believed. I was surprised to find what I did.

    Which is I think a lesson of value. To often, people look to confirm their own beliefs when they do research, or get caught up in attractively packaged theories or presentations. They fail to knock themselves out of those loops, and examine things from other angles. We can only get past the limitations of our own perspective if we acknowledge that ours is imperfect, and that certain facts could prove us wrong. Those unwilling to test their beliefs to destruction trap themselves in their own errors.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2007 9:50 PM
    Comment #232234

    Thanks, Stephen. Your point about misleading the public using the term “scientist”, ignoring specialization, is well taken.

    Open-mindedness is not about accepting any idea uncritically. It’s about being willing to accept that previous understanding is incorrect or incomplete when new information is introduced. That’s not the situation here.

    Unfortunately, this “debate” is just like the moon landing “hoax” and climate change deniers and creationism and other conspiracy theories. In the name of “open mindedness,” we’re expected to make room for poorly thought out ideas and disproven notions. It’s ridiculous.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 7, 2007 10:05 PM
    Comment #232254

    Stephen:
    “Joel-
    Whatever your qualifications,”

    Stephen, are you serious? Joel S. Hirshhorn is in no way an intellectual lightweight. You might try googling him if you really question his qualifications. You could even read a few of his books as well — he’s a really good writer.

    Lawnboy:
    “Adrienne, I’m sorry that you find an argument pointing out the flaws in your approach to be insulting.”

    My “approach” is to call for an independent investigation, and I fail to see how that can be a “flaw.” Just because so many people have bought into the official story, and the three shoddy investigations that have been spoon-fed to us by our government thus far, doesn’t mean that all of us have to do likewise. But please, go right ahead and insult me if it pleases you. I can take it, even if I am a bit surprised that you would choose to talk to someone who has long admired your contributions to this blog the way that I have.

    The truth is, more and more I am coming to realize that
    I’m in such good company
    regarding my views on the “official” story of 9/11, that petty insults don’t bother me too much. And I must admit, after all the time I’ve spent reading and studying this subject, it’s a great relief to see that my position is very similar to a growing number of engineers, professionals, experts, and a great many other ordinary Americans, just like myself.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 8, 2007 12:37 AM
    Comment #232255

    Adrienne,

    I know you have complimented my comments in the past when I made sharp comments that cut through what we both saw as ridiculous B.S. I’m sorry that this time we are on opposite sides of that divide.

    Your approach was to say that an investigation into a specific hypothesis was necessary on the grounds that the specific hypothesis in question hadn’t yet been investigated. I simply pointed out that the lack of an investigation into a cause is not grounds for such an investigation. If we should investigate explosive residue on the grounds that it hadn’t been investigated, then why not investigate locusts?

    It’s logically along the same lines as countering the claim that creationism should be taught alongside Evolution because of a need for “balance” by saying that we should also teach the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Church of Last Thursdayism.

    Further, your comfort in having “a growing number of engineers, professionals, experts” agree with your position is similar to the Creationist effort that lead to the response of Project Steve. After a Creationist group released a list of a few hundred “scientists” (many were not actually scientists, and many of the actual scientists were experts in irrelevant fields) that liked Intelligent Design, the National Center for Science Education produced a much larger list of actual scientists in relevant fields that understand that the scientific evidence is overwhelming for Evolution. And that list was bigger even though it was restricted just to scientists with the name “Steve” (or a linguistic equivalent).

    That you can be shown a list of supposed experts that agree with an idea does not mean that the idea actually makes sense. It doesn’t change the fact that the claims made by groups like Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth are easily debunked by reality.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 12:56 AM
    Comment #232273

    Lawnboy:

    And yet, just looking at the facts and at the debunking sources that have been provided, one can easily find holes in the official story of 9-11.

    I already pointed out that the Langley fighters traveling to the Pentagon flew at suspiciously slow speeds. According to 911myths.com, this is explained by the fact that the fighters flew out over the sea first, thus greatly increasing the distance they had to travel, rather than heading directly to Washington. The official explanation, linked to on that site, is that it is procedure to look for threats from without and stop things from coming into the US. Considering that we all knew, by that time, that the planes were hijacked within the US, sticking to that point of procedure seems ludicrous and something that could easily have been changed by a simple command, which was never given. The second explanation is that you can’t just launch fighters into air traffic, so they have to vector out over the sea first to give the FAA time to clear the area, which is somewhat more plausible (though given how much air traffic was being redirected and stopped by the FAA at that point already, I wonder if this was really necessary for the Langley fighters.) They haven’t done the math for the Langley fighters on 911myths, just for the Otis ones, but even with their best explanations, the most they can raise the Otis fighter’s speed to is 710mph. Out of a possible 1875 (Otis sent F15 eagles, with a higher speed than the F16s sent by Langley). If you were a pilot on 9-11, or better yet the person giving the pilot orders, would you have those planes flying at *less than half* their top speed? When one plane has already hit the north tower of the WtC? This may be more than their normal cruising speed, but it sure doesn’t seem like they were treating the situation as a real emergency. Why is that?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 11:46 AM
    Comment #232277

    Adrienne-
    No, I’m not questioning that he has qualifications, since he has a PhD. If he could inform us on what his degree is in, that could further illuminate things. However, using himself as a source kind of strikes me as circular argument. We know what his opinion is, question is, why? I’d like him to either come across with the scientific evidence for his doubts, or use another source.

    So far, his sources have left something to be desired. Margulis, for example, is a biologist, most famous for her theory that the complex organelles within cells evolved first as separate kinds of bacteria, which gradually came together to become one complex cell. Cellular biology is a fascinating and important field, but it is not a discipline that suits her to comment in anything other than a personal way about what happened on 9/11- that is, she has no more credibility than the average person on the subject.

    The other guy’s views have been misrepresented. Though the Contrarians portray him rightfully as a critic of the report, they wrongfully imply that his opinions support theres, for if you follow the articles further, he blames the collapse on the fire and damage caused by the deliberate crashing of the planes into the WTC towers. His dispute is with the theory that the impact knocked the fireproofing foam off; instead, he believes that certain structural components were insufficiently insulated, and that their failure precipitated the collapse of the structure.

    I’m lucky that I took a logic course in college, because it’s been invaluable in distinguishing good arguments from bad. One example is the argument ad populum, that is argument by numbers of supporters. Another is appeal to inappropriate authority. An example is using scientists who are outside their field to support a supposedly scientific claim; just because somebody is a scientists doesn’t mean they know the field in question. This sitehas a nice storehouse of such fallacies for people to look at.

    Because of my education, I’m stickler for these kinds of things. I use to be more of a conspiracy theorist, but as I learned more about the cognitives sciences, I began to understand that the human mind, is both marvellous and fallible at once, and sometimes the two can play into each other.

    Conspiracy theories play into that. They play into the notion we like to have that the wrongs done against us and the bad things that come about in life are not accidental or unintentional. It gives comfort to us because it’s a lot easier to fight and rail against human beings than human nature, which is inherent, and therefore a battle nobody can entirely win.

    Proper inference is a strength for any argument, short term and long term. All too often conspiracy theorists narrow down causes to certain distinct possibilities without gathering evidence to properly support their inference. They search for the facts and evidence to support their theories, rather than looking through the evidence to more organically form the theory, and throw out possibilities ruled out by the evidence.

    The irony in all this is that the people that many 9/11 Truth movement members see as their enemies think in very similar ways. In fact, that fixing of evidence to support a conclusion is a hallmark of how the Bush administration operates. It figures out what it wants, and then uses rhetoric, cherrypicked evidence, and fallacious logic to get it.

    You cannot defeat the Bush Administration and those like it by joining them in their error. What has crippled America in this day and age is a political perspective that places the support of political and ideological platforms above the proper recognition of the current state of affairs, and the appropriate response to that.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2007 1:02 PM
    Comment #232278

    Stephen:

    You may want to try google:

    Dr. Joel S. Hirschhorn received a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, 1965; a M.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, 1962; and a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, 1961. Dr. Hirschhorn has published more than 150 papers, articles, guest editorials, and chapters in books on environmental science and technology. He has worked at Hirschhorn & Associates since 1990. Hirschhorn & Associates is an environmental consulting firm.

    Previously, Dr. Hirschhorn worked at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment from 1978 to 1990 on such matters as hazardous waste management under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Superfund and cleanup technology, and pollution prevention and waste reduction. Dr. Hirschhorn participated in the drafting of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments Act (HSWA) (1984) and he testified 50 to 60 times before congressional committees. Dr. Hirschhorn was a professor of Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison from 1965 to 1978, and he provided management consulting to many small and large domestic and foreign companies. Dr. Hirschhorn has been a consultant to industrial and chemical companies, DOE laboratories, state governments, and public interest organizations.
    Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety: Testimony of Dr. Joel S. Hirschhorn

    He’s also previously (under)stated his own credentials here on Watchblog:

    First, understand that I have a professional background in this area. My career started as a metallurgist, than I obtained a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering and became a full professor of metallurgical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where I taught about mechanical metallurgy and failure analysis, and in my consulting practice regularly worked on explaining actual failures of products and systems.
    A Metallurgist’s Insights Into the Minneapolis Bridge Disaster

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 1:25 PM
    Comment #232279

    Jarandhel-
    1) The shockwaves from Supersonic speeds can break windows over populated areas.

    2) Don’t underestimate the problems in midair collisions. The word “nasty” properly applies.

    3) The assumption going in was that this was a hijacking, not an attempt to destroy New York landmarks. We can project our knowledge of what comes next into the past, but the pilots and the people giving these pilots their orders could not.

    4) Why does everybody assume that things in real life work smoothly? We all operate with limited knowledge, and varying degrees of skill and awareness about the situation.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2007 1:33 PM
    Comment #232280

    Jarandhel-
    Thank you.

    Joel-
    What’s your opinion concerning the evidence at those scenes? What pops out to you, from your metallurgical perspective?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2007 1:36 PM
    Comment #232281

    1) You’re honestly telling me that during a national emergency we are worrying about breaking some windows?
    2) Where exactly am I underestimating midair collisions? I already stated by the time the Langley fighters were scrambled, the FAA were taking measures to clear the entire north-east and preventing new flights from taking off. Even without that, shouldn’t fighters (designed to engage enemy planes not obeying our FAA) be able to route themselves around far slower civilian aircraft when traveling at their top speeds in an emergency, without needing to detour hundreds of miles off course to do it?
    3) Bullshit. By the time the Otis fighters were scrambled, one plane had already hit a building. The Langley fighters were scrambled even later. By this time military commanders knew what was happening.
    4) Who is asking for things to go smoothly? But traveling at less than half your top speed implies you’re not really in much of a hurry. Do you often travel at 30-40mph in a 65mph zone?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 1:42 PM
    Comment #232282

    4b) Better yet, do cops when they’re they’re trying to reach the scene of a crime or accident?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 1:44 PM
    Comment #232284

    Jarandhel,

    What you are alluding to is one of the most serious issues. Why do we spend hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) of dollars for defense when our borders and ports are still wide-open, and the Pentagon can’t even stop jets from hitting its own building, much less other buildings? I think the people have been misled (and still are being misled).

    Sadly, the federal government miserably failed its citizens, despite the billions and trillions bilked from tax payers for national defense. And even now, our borders are near wide-open despite reports of terrorists trespassing our borders.

    As for the WTC issue, I find it hard for anyone to conclude 100% what actually happened on 9/11/2001. No one can be 100% certain, since there are MANY things that can be explained by EITHER a demolition and a collapse. A demolition is not impossible, even if I personally think it is unlikely.

    It is interesting the Prof. Steven Jones came up with the possibility of forensic evidence of explosives, but it is unfortunate that assertions of quantities of Chromium (Cr) and Manganese (Mn) don’t quite provide convincing evidence since those elements already exist in some steel, and there were also other chemicals at ground-zero that exist in explosives, but those were not mentioned.

    Posted by: d.a.n at September 8, 2007 2:44 PM
    Comment #232293
    If you were a pilot on 9-11, or better yet the person giving the pilot orders, would you have those planes flying at *less than half* their top speed? When one plane has already hit the north tower of the WtC? This may be more than their normal cruising speed, but it sure doesn’t seem like they were treating the situation as a real emergency. Why is that?

    It’s simple. They don’t have six years of hindsight that you have. They don’t have a complete timeline that you have now. If I had been a pilot on 9/11, I would have treated it like a normal day with weird unexplained news reports coming in, because it wasn’t yet known what was going on or why. It’s completely reasonable that the military sent the jets to check the borders first, because our military was oriented to looking outward.

    That’s a big problem with a lot of the conspiracy theory here - the assumption that people at the time knew what was going on. One of the pieces of “evidence” on the site Joel referred us to is that the BBC reported the collapse of WTC7 before it happened. The impression we’re supposed to get is that the BBC leaked the conspiracy; they even ask who leaked the script to the BBC. They forget how confused the situation was at the time. I remember reports on TV about other planes that turned out not to exist, and even “verified” reports that the State Department was bombed. The BBC report was very likely and reasonably the result of faulty reporting based on the rumor going through the area that wtc7 was in danger of collapse (large bulges in the walls were already visible).

    Cherry-picking amongst many inaccurate reports in a confusing time for a few nuggets that coincide with you theory is not a way to support your hypothesis logically.

    You in 2007 know what was going on, where the planes were coming from, and what emergency measures might have been able to stop one of the planes. However, no one in real time did.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 5:41 PM
    Comment #232294

    Jarandhel-
    1) Breaking glass is not as innocuous as you think. Because Hollywood tends to portray it with stuntmen going straight through plate glass and heroes coming through it without injury, the public has the impression that breaking glass is a minor issue. It can, in fact, be one of the deadliest parts of a bombing. Think hundreds of sharp razors.

    2)They were taking measures, but that doesn’t mean everything was done. Just consider that if a mid-air collision occurs, then you have hundreds of people getting killed, and your nice multi-million dollar plane badly damaged or destroyed with it.

    3) You sure? As I understand the record, nobody knew what was happening. People actually thought at some point that one of the planes that had already hit the towers was still in the air. Read the 9/11 commission report if you want to know how confused it got.

    4)Remember what the other commentor said about fuel economy. This is not a small matter. To go supersonic, most jets kick in their afterburners, which turns them into real gas guzzlers. Gas guzzling is not a minor issue when getting more gas is not as simple as parking at the nearest station. They have to get back and forth with pretty much what they got.

    Additionally, you can’t project the certain knowledge that we had that the plane had gone into the building. You’re assuming perfect information where there was none.

    This is the big problem of conspiracy theory: all errors are assumed to be intentional. In the real world, screw-ups are not only common, but are par for the course.

    Or put another way, if these guys really had the organizational discipline and deviousness to pull off 9/11, why are they failing so miserably with Iraq?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2007 5:43 PM
    Comment #232299

    Lawnboy:

    Sorry, no, I don’t buy that nobody knew at the time. 911timeline.net points out that the F-15s were notified that flight 11 crashed into the north tower at 8:57, only five minutes into their flight. NORAD had been notified of this ten minutes before that. Their total flight was 19 minutes. They had ample time to kick into high speed. NORAD had also already been notified of the hijacking of flight 175, at 8:43. They should have known that intercepting this flight could mean a difference between life and death. They should have ordered faster speeds.

    They may not have had a complete timeline set out before them, but they DID have the relevant information at the time to know that they needed to hurry, and the timeline we do have now makes that abundantly clear. It is not an assumption based on hindsight, we KNOW they had these facts in hand, and when.

    Stephen:

    1. Frankly, in a national emergency involving multiple hijacked planes where one is already known to have flown into a major occupied building, breaking glass IS a minor issue.

    2) Again, these planes are capable of engaging in arial combat without colliding with enemy or friendly fighter jets, I think they’re more than capable of maneuvering around relatively slow passenger jets.

    3) Yes, I am sure. Read the timeline.

    4) Yes, because they couldn’t possibly land at a closer air force base if they were running out of fuel? McGuire springs to mind as being much closer than Otis. And by then, more planes could have been dispatched to relieve them, travelling at speeds more conducive to staying in the air longer. This was an emergency, I think “fuel economy” should have been the last thing on their minds for the initial response.

    And I am not projecting anything.

    39) 8:47 a.m.: NORAD informed of American Airlines Flight 11 striking the World Trade Center.

    51) 8:57 a.m. The FAA formally notified the military that American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the WTC. Until then, the two F-15’s fighters from Otis did not know the plane had crashed — Yet at 8:47 a.m. NORAD had been notified. Why does it take over 10 minutes to inform the two F-15’s of this, especially when United Airlines Flight 175 is headed directly for New York City?

    Errors don’t have to be intentional. I’m not claiming this was a coverup. I’m not making any claim other than that the official story does not completely check out. But it does seem like gross incompetence if not complicity, just as it would be gross incompetence if cops took the scenic route at 45 miles an hour to get to the scene of a crime in progress. Or detoured 20 miles out of the way for fear of *potentially* hitting a bus or other civilian vehicle.

    As to your final question: if someone in our government was complicit with those who pulled off 9-11, wouldn’t they also want us to fail miserably in Iraq? Where’s the contradiction?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 7:37 PM
    Comment #232300
    They should have known that intercepting this flight could mean a difference between life and death. They should have ordered faster speeds.

    So, they should have hurried to… where? The transponder was turned off at 8:46 and radar contact ended at 9:00.

    Again, you assume perfect knowledge.

    The official story holds when reality is assumed.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 7:54 PM
    Comment #232302

    Lawnboy:

    Radar contact didn’t end till three minutes before Flight 175 hit, by your own admission. The Otis fighters were scrambled at 8:52. They were notified that Flight 11 hit the North Tower at 8:57. This does not take perfect knowledge, it takes common sense. If you have two planes hijacked, one of them known to have already headed straight into a building, wouldn’t you want to have the jets dispatched to intercept head towards the remaining plane rather *quickly*?

    You’re not assuming reality, you’re assuming a complete lack of information we knew they had and a complete lack of common sense as well.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 8:05 PM
    Comment #232306

    So, Jarin, they knew that they had to get to the planes by 9:03 (which was only 6 minutes after they were notified of the first crash)? They knew that the target for the plane was NYC, specifically WTC?

    I’m sorry, I don’t play the conspiracy theory game. I prefer reality.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 8:19 PM
    Comment #232308

    No, they didn’t know they had to get to the plane by 9:03, but it could reasonably be assumed that they had to get to it *as quickly as possible*. Did they increase to their top speed when they were notified of the first planes crash? Did NORAD order them to increase to top speed when THEY were notified of the first crash, sixteen minutes before the second plane crashed? Did they need to know the target, as long as they knew the plane’s location to head towards it? See, you seem to be operating under the assumption that without perfect foreknowledge, nothing at all could even possibly have been done.

    I’m not going to pretend, as you are, that the US military was blindfolded and had their hands tied. They knew the second plane’s location for a full 13 minutes after NORAD was notified of the first plane hitting the WtC, and they didn’t order an increase in speed to attempt to intercept the second plane? The fact that they *didn’t* know they only had till 9:03 makes it even more unusual that they didn’t try to increase speed to intercept, since they wouldn’t have known they couldn’t possibly make it there in time.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 8:34 PM
    Comment #232309
    See, you seem to be operating under the assumption that without perfect foreknowledge, nothing at all could even possibly have been done.

    No, I simply acknowledge the reality that at a time of mass confusion with many stories, facts, and rumors spreading rapidly, it is unreasonable to assume that everyone will know exactly which information is real and which reactions are the ones that might have the best result.

    It doesn’t take pretending anything about blindfolds and tied hands - it takes understanding that reality is not scripted by Hollywood.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 8:47 PM
    Comment #232310

    Lawnboy: Is it unreasonable to assume that NORAD and the pilots should have taken the information given to them by the FAA as real in such an emergency? You’re also ignoring the fact that the planes were dispatched to respond to this emergency.

    By the time the F-15s were airborne, United 175 was nine minutes away from plowing into the south tower of the World Trade Center, and the fighter planes were more than 100 miles away.

    ”We had a nine-minute window, and we had in excess of 100 miles to intercept 175,” Weaver said. ”There was just literally no way.”

    The pilots flew ”like a scalded ape,” topping 500 mph but were unable to catch up to the airliner, Weaver said. After Flight 175 hit the trade center, the F-15s began circling New York City in case of further hijacked planes.
    http://www.staugustine.com/stories/091601/ter_0916010027.shtml

    This indicates they were trying to catch it, doesn’t it? And 500 mph is quite a bit less than their top speed, as is the best-case speed that 911myths has been able to get by providing a possible alternate flight path and a one minute shorter flight time. And as you already pointed out, they DIDN’T know at the time that they only had a nine minute window.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 9:01 PM
    Comment #232311

    Oh, and even IF we give the Otis fighters a pass on knowing all of this stuff and responding appropriately… the Langly fighters left much later. What’s their excuse?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 9:10 PM
    Comment #232313

    Yes, Jarin, if they had done everything perfectly, made all the correct assumptions about what was happening, and gone at highest possible speed, then they might have caught up to a plane whose destination and intentions they didn’t know.

    And then, of course, what on earth would they have done? They wouldn’t have shot it down (particularly over the nation’s largest metro area), at least not immediately. If they had decided to shoot it down, they would need official approval, which would take enough time for the plane to hit the tower. If they somehow had kept the plane from crashing, they would have run out of fuel, then they would have had to refuel (as you said), which would have required them to leave the target plane anyway.

    But, of course, with perfect action, they might have caught up (whether that would have been useful or not). Since they acted imperfectly according to your hindsight, there must be something fishy.

    What’s their excuse?

    I don’t know. Ask them. I do know that I’m not going to assume that anything different than perfect hindsight is suspicious.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 9:21 PM
    Comment #232314

    They DID make the correct assumptions about what was happening, Lawnboy. They SENT the planes BECAUSE they knew what was happening? What do you think the f-15’s mission was? Were they just being sent to New York for the heck of it? The only thing they didn’t do was to actually order them to go at their fastest speeds. They didn’t even go at their top speeds WHILE out over the water, on the best-case course that 911myths projected for them, where no broken glass fears could be a factor for not going at top speed.

    What would they have done when they got there? Well, what were their orders? Why were they being scrambled if not to do something?

    It doesn’t require perfect hindsight to know that they were given the mission of protecting NYC from further attack. Nor does it require perfect hindsight to know that in such a mission, speed is of the essence. That requires foresight, foresight that the military men charged with protecting our nation are expected to have. Just as cops, upon hearing a report of shots fired, are expected to have enough foresight to know that reaching the scene of the crime quickly is imperative. What hindsight is required to know this?

    Apparently you’re not going to assume anything is suspicious, no matter what. You’ve decided that people trained to deal with the fog of war are going to be so confused by conflicting reports that they become totally ineffective and incapable of even realizing that they should probably hurry when given an emergency scramble order to protect a city. The Langley fighters, shortly into their flight, were even specifically ordered by the Secret Service to protect the White House *at all costs*. This doesn’t rate speeding up just a wee bit? Maybe 3/4 top speed or so? Maybe even, gasp shock horror, the totally fuel inefficient TOP speed?

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 9:52 PM
    Comment #232315

    Jarin, they sent the planes because they knew that there was a suspected hijacking. That’s the training, that’s the expectation. Until that very moment, there had never been a case of hijacking a domestic airliner for use as a missile.

    The fighters are sent to pressure hijackers and to escort/force them down. The protocol works well for a normal hijacking, but these weren’t normal hijackings. These hijackers wanted to die. That’s not the normal hijacker profile, and that’s not what the protocol was set up for.

    So, they sped to the hijacked plane at lower-than-top speed because that’s what one would reasonably do under the information they had (which wasn’t as clear-cut as you claim) and under the standing orders they had.

    They were scrambled to do something, but that something wouldn’t have worked in this case - you didn’t answer my questions about what you think they would have been able to do.

    Stephen and I have given several valid logical reasons that they didn’t kick in the afterburners. You don’t want to hear them because they don’t validate your suspicions. I’m probably done with this subthread because we’ve answered your questions, and it’s your responsibility to deal with them now, not mine to repeat them. Any more attempts on my part would be just banging my head against a wall, and I haven’t had enough to drink.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 10:08 PM
    Comment #232317
    You’ve decided that people trained to deal with the fog of war are going to be so confused by conflicting reports that they become totally ineffective…

    Does anyone else get the feeling that I’m being painted as not having proper patriotic respect for our nation’s military because I’m saying they were not complicit in the greatest mass-murder ever on American soil?

    Oh well.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 10:36 PM
    Comment #232319

    Lawnboy, all of the stuff you’ve just said are things that they only would have known with the benefit of hindsight. They didn’t know that was the motive of the hijackers. They couldn’t know, after just one hit, that it wasn’t an accident caused by the hijackers not knowing how to fly. All they could know is that multiple planes were hijacked and one went into a building.

    What is reasonable about sending in planes at lower than top speed in that situation?

    Yes, the something they were scrambled to do wouldn’t have worked… but to not even try? To give up and travel the distance slowly instead of at top speed? That does require hindsight of the type you’re accusing me of.

    You and Stephen have given a few excuses. Fuel economy, broken glass, and confusion. The first is really hard for me to buy. The combat range of an F-15E is 1,120 miles. Even if its horrible fuel economy reduces that by fully two thirds, it’s only 153 miles away from its home base, and even closer to McGuire. Absolute worst case, if it’s prevented from refueling, the pilots heads it out to sea and ditches. (This is NYC, the ocean isn’t far.) And if the pilot stopped the hijacker from hitting anything in the meantime, he’s given a medal for it too. Broken glass is only even a factor if they travelled over land in the shortest route. They didn’t. They travelled over the ocean. No glass to break. And your arguments about how confused they were really do seem to assume that without perfect knowledge their hands were just tied. You’re also completely ignoring what they were CLEARLY told by the FAA and when in order to make this argument that they didn’t really know what was going on.

    And it’s not like we’ve learned from 911 either…

    After 9/11, NORAD said it adjusted to the new realities. In October, Gen. Eberhart told Congress that “now it takes about one minute” from the time that the FAA senses something is amiss before it notifies NORAD. And around the same time, a NORAD spokesofficer told the Associated Press that the military can now scramble fighters “within a matter of minutes to anywhere in the United States.”

    But lo and behold, earlier this month when 15-year-old student pilot Charles Bishop absconded with a Cessna and flew it into a Tampa skyscraper, NORAD didn’t learn of it until it overheard FAA radio calls about the situation, and it wasn’t able to launch its fighter jets until 15 minutes after Bishop had already crashed into the building. Those fighters didn’t arrive on the scene until 45 minutes after Bishop took off.
    http://prisonplanet.tv/articles/october2004/211004scrambledf15s.htm

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 10:44 PM
    Comment #232321

    Lawnboy:

    I really don’t care about your “patriotic respect” or lack thereof. I’m saying you’re actually expecting us to buy the theory that a little confusion and conflicting reports fouled up people TRAINED to deal with the fog of war, which is by nature full of confusion and conflicting reports? I don’t buy that. And your implied straw-man, that I am asserting the military was complicit, is way off base. As I said, it’s just as easy to assume an incompetent response. Which would also be entirely consistent with the incompetence displayed in the Iraq War by those in charge of our military.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 8, 2007 10:50 PM
    Comment #232325
    What is reasonable about sending in planes at lower than top speed in that situation?

    You mean, what is reasonable about them following normal procedures when there hasn’t been time to execute or receive a contravening order?

    I’m saying you’re actually expecting us to buy the theory that a little confusion and conflicting reports fouled up people TRAINED to deal with the fog of war
    There’s a difference between the fog of war and the fog of a normal, quiet Tuesday morning that is thrown into mass confusion by sudden, shocking events that were coming from who knows where that might or might not be accidents and related to each other, etc. Remember, you’re judging them based on what you know now and what you’ve had 6 years to process, not what they knew then (mixed with other confusing and inaccurate information) that they had six minutes to process.

    But, of course, you’re right. If they didn’t do then (when they didn’t know what was going on) exactly what you would command them to do now after six years of analysis, then obviously something’s fishy. Of course.

    The U.S. Military is a professional, disciplined command-and-control structure where some contingencies are planned in advance and many rules of engagement are in place. That you expect the disciplined approach and the rules of engagement to be changed within six minutes of learning surprising and confusing information says a lot more about what you want to believe than it says about what you have logical reason to believe.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 8, 2007 11:50 PM
    Comment #232326

    Lawnboy, exactly what existing rule of engagement tells them to travel at less than half their top speed to a target? You keep saying there is one, where is it exactly? Can you cite it, anywhere other than having made it up? Even the people in charge thought they should have been going faster:

    Major Gen. Larry Arnold from NORAD stated on different occasions that “when the fighters took off, they were flying straight to New York City ” and that they were going at a speed of “about 1.5 Mach”.
    http://prisonplanet.tv/articles/october2004/211004scrambledf15s.htm

    From the same article:

    The distance between Otis Air Force Base and the WTC is 153 mile. The two F15’s were airborne at 8.52.00 AM. The impact of Flight 175 at the second WTC tower was 9.02.54 AM.

    This means they had about 10.54 minutes to intercept Flight 175.

    They could have arrived in the area above the WTC within 10 minutes if their average speed had been (15.3 mile per minute x 60 =) 918 miles per hour (71 miles slower than the slowest mach 1.5). However, at the time of impact they were still 71 miles away from the WTC.

    This means they have flown (153– 71 miles =) 82 miles in 10.54 minutes, which means their average speed has been 82/10.54 = 7.78 miles per minute (x 60) = 466,79 Mph. It seems to be a remarkable coincidence that the average speed these F15’s must have flown, calculated on basis of the timeline NORAD released, is exactly their official cruise speed.

    Arnold also stated that the F-15’s were about 8 minutes away at the time of impact of the second plane. 71 miles/8 = 8,875 Mp minute (x 60) = 532,5 per hour. That speed is nowhere near mach 1.5 (about 989 -1100 Mph).

    You’ll also note, neither is the 911myths best-case estimated flight speed of 710mph.

    Seriously, what is the point of even scrambling planes anywhere if they’re sent at less than half their top speed? Should we send police to the scenes of crimes at 45 mph in the future, and at the same time make sure they travel only on the outskirts of the city where there is less chance of them hitting a civilian car on the way? This is not something that takes six years of analysis. It’s not something that takes six minutes of analysis. It’s common sense that when you need rapid-response, it needs to be RAPID. Going slowly is not a “disciplined approach” in this circumstance, it’s an outright dereliction of duty.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 9, 2007 12:30 AM
    Comment #232327

    Made a mistake with the block quote in that last reply, all of this part was quoting from the article:

    The distance between Otis Air Force Base and the WTC is 153 mile. The two F15’s were airborne at 8.52.00 AM. The impact of Flight 175 at the second WTC tower was 9.02.54 AM.

    This means they had about 10.54 minutes to intercept Flight 175.

    They could have arrived in the area above the WTC within 10 minutes if their average speed had been (15.3 mile per minute x 60 =) 918 miles per hour (71 miles slower than the slowest mach 1.5). However, at the time of impact they were still 71 miles away from the WTC.

    This means they have flown (153– 71 miles =) 82 miles in 10.54 minutes, which means their average speed has been 82/10.54 = 7.78 miles per minute (x 60) = 466,79 Mph. It seems to be a remarkable coincidence that the average speed these F15’s must have flown, calculated on basis of the timeline NORAD released, is exactly their official cruise speed.

    Arnold also stated that the F-15’s were about 8 minutes away at the time of impact of the second plane. 71 miles/8 = 8,875 Mp minute (x 60) = 532,5 per hour. That speed is nowhere near mach 1.5 (about 989 -1100 Mph).

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 9, 2007 12:31 AM
    Comment #232333

    Jarandhel, all valid questions and arguments. But then there are simply loads of unanswered or never addressed questions, gaping holes, or outright lies surrounding the official 9/11 story. And we haven’t even mentioned Able Danger…
    Did you read any of the link that I gave to Lawnboy in my last post? Did you ever imagine there could be so many people that hold or have held such high level positions in our government and military, or so many seasoned profesional pilots who seriously doubt the reality of those events, and the truthfulness of the “offical story” that has been shoved down America’s throat?

    Really for me, it finally came down to whether I’m going listen to a bunch of people who haven’t carefully combed through a lot of this stuff, but clearly want to sneer, mock and treat like nutcases anyone who dares to disagree with the “official 9/11 story” that has been sold to them, or I’m going to listen to what highly qualified people with opposing views have to say, as well as my own common sense. And with that choice made long ago, I now find myself standing in the company of really brilliant and accomplished people of every political stripe imaginable. People such as Joel Hirschhorn, and many, many others, who are calling for a new, truly comprehensive investigation. That suits me fine.

    Here are some quotes from several of them (you might choose to use a bit of this to back up your current argument):

    Capt. Daniel Davis, U.S. Army – Former U.S. Army Air Defense Officer and NORAD Tac Director. Decorated with the Bronze Star and the Soldiers Medal for bravery under fire and the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Viet Nam. Also served in the Army Air Defense Command as Nike Missile Battery Control Officer for the Chicago-Milwaukee Defense Area. Founder and former CEO of Turbine Technology Services Corp., a turbine (jet engine) services and maintenance company (15 years). Former Senior Manager at General Electric Turbine (jet) Engine Division (15 years). Private pilot.

    * Statement to this website 3/23/07: “As a former General Electric Turbine engineering specialist and manager and then CEO of a turbine engineering company, I can guarantee that none of the high tech, high temperature alloy engines on any of the four planes that crashed on 9/11 would be completely destroyed, burned, shattered or melted in any crash or fire. Wrecked, yes, but not destroyed. Where are all of those engines, particularly at the Pentagon? If jet powered aircraft crashed on 9/11, those engines, plus wings and tail assembly, would be there.

    Additionally, in my experience as an officer in NORAD as a Tactical Director for the Chicago-Milwaukee Air Defense and as a current private pilot, there is no way that an aircraft on instrument flight plans (all commercial flights are IFR) would not be intercepted when they deviate from their flight plan, turn off their transponders, or stop communication with Air Traffic Control. No way! With very bad luck, perhaps one could slip by, but no there’s no way all four of them could!

    Finally, going over the hill and highway and crashing into the Pentagon right at the wall/ground interface is nearly impossible for even a small slow single engine airplane and no way for a 757. Maybe the best pilot in the world could accomplish that but not these unskilled “terrorists”.

    Attempts to obscure facts by calling them a “Conspiracy Theory” does not change the truth. It seems, “Something is rotten in the State.”

    Robin Hordon – Former FAA Air Traffic Controller at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, located in Nashua, NH, 1970 - 1981. Former Certified Commercial Pilot. Former Certified Flight Instructor and Certified Ground Instructor.

    * Statement to this website 4/10/07: “I knew within hours of the attacks on 9/11/2001 that it was an inside job. Based on my 11-year experience as an FAA Air Traffic Controller in the busy Northeast corridor, including hundreds of hours of training, briefings, air refuelings, low altitude bombing drills, being part of huge military exercises, daily military training exercises, interacting on a routine basis directly with NORAD radar personnel, and based on my own direct experience dealing with in-flight emergency situations, including two instances of hijacked commercial airliners, I state unequivocally; There is absolutely no way that four large commercial airliners could have flown around off course for 30 to 60 minutes on 9/11 without being intercepted and shot completely out of the sky by our jet fighters unless very highly placed people in our government and our military wanted it to happen.

    It is important for people to understand that scrambling jet fighters to intercept aircraft showing the signs of experiencing “IN-FLIGHT EMERGENCIES” such as going off course without authorization, losing a transponder signal and/or losing radio contact is a common and routine task executed jointly between the FAA and NORAD controllers. The entire “national defense-first responder” intercept system has many highly-trained civilian and military personnel who are committed and well-trained to this task. FAA and NORAD continuously monitor our skies and fighter planes and pilots are on the ready 24/7 to handle these situations. Jet fighters typically intercept any suspect plane over the United States within 10 - 15 minutes of notification of a problem.

    This type of “immediate, high speed, high priority and emergency” scramble had been happening regularly approximately 75 - 150 times per year for ten years. …

    I believe that 9/11 was what is known as a “False Flag Operation” in which a country inflicts casualties upon itself, and then blames it on an enemy that they want to go to war against. It is one more instance in the United States’ long history of using “False Flag Operations” and blatant propaganda to ramp-up hostile emotions towards an enemy in a population otherwise resistant to going to war.”
    * Article 3/12/07: “When it became clear that there hadn’t been a systems failure of any kind on the morning of September 11th, Hordon was certain that something had gone terribly wrong within the upper echelons of authority. A pilot (third level air carrier) as well as an ATC, he is well versed on in-flight emergency protocol. He is also adamant that if these procedures had been followed on 9/11 not one of the hijacked planes would have reached their targets.

    “I’m sorry but American 11 should have been intercepted over southwest Connecticut—bang, done deal.” …

    The unfathomable delays seen in military action on 9/11 are inconceivable to those who have painstakingly investigated the matter — and for a man who worked for years keeping air travel over the U.S. safe. …

    “I think we all have to agree that, one way or another, the U.S. military was involved in the attacks. The advantage that Rumsfeld had is that he can classify, reshape, make available, make unavailable any information that he wants, at any time and deny that information to the public for any reason, especially national security.”

    Mary Schiavo, JD – Former Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation 1990 - 1996. Former Professor of Aviation, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation and Professor of Public Policy, Ohio State University. 1997 inductee into the Smithsonian Institution Aviation Laurel Hall of Fame. Currently, an attorney with Motley Rice LLC. Served as an on-air aviation consultant for NBC and ABC News and frequently appears on Fox, CNN, CBS and the BBC. Private pilot. Author of Flying Blind, Flying Safe (1998).

    * Article The New York Observer 2/16/04: “Ms. Schiavo sat in on the commission’s hearing on aviation security on 9/11 and was disgusted by what it left out. “In any other situation, it would be unthinkable to withhold investigative material from an independent commission,” she told this writer. “There are usually grave consequences. But the commission is clearly not talking to everybody or not telling us everything.” …

    The timeline that is most disturbing belongs to the last of the four suicide missions — United Airlines Flight 93, later presumed destined for the U.S. Capitol, if not the White House. Huge discrepancies persist in basic facts, such as when it crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside near Shanksville. The official impact time according to NORAD, the North American Air Defense Command, is 10:03 a.m. Later, U.S. Army seismograph data gave the impact time as 10:06:05. The FAA gives a crash time of 10:07 a.m. And The New York Times, drawing on flight controllers in more than one FAA facility, put the time at 10:10 a.m.

    Up to a seven-minute discrepancy? In terms of an air disaster, seven minutes is close to an eternity. The way our nation has historically treated any airline tragedy is to pair up recordings from the cockpit and air-traffic control and parse the timeline down to the hundredths of a second. But as Mary Schiavo points out, “We don’t have an NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigation here, and they ordinarily dissect the timeline to the thousandth of a second.”

    * Press conference statement 6/10/02: “First of all, the question is not ‘What they should have known?’ And I believe I can show you in just a few seconds the question is, ‘What did they know?’ And believe me, they knew a lot.

    The second thing to emphasize is that in every single aviation disaster, whether there was intervening criminal activity or not, in every single one in the course of modern aviation history it has been followed by, not only were it necessary, a criminal investigation, but also a National Transportation Safety investigation into what went wrong in the aviation system. And the reason for that is so that it never happens again. [Editor’s Note: The NTSB never conducted full investigations of the four plane crashes on 9/11. The NTSB’s official position for each plane involved on 9/11 is, “The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Safety Board provided requested technical assistance to the FBI, and this material generated by the NTSB is under the control of the FBI. The Safety Board does not plan to issue a report or open a public docket.”]

    This is the first time, and this is the worst disaster, but this is the first time that families have been attempted to be silenced through a special fund, which I believe is about silence more so than about money. Why? …

    And from my rounds on the Hill to find these facts and others, I found that the airlines approached members of Congress and the Senate to get their bailout and their immunity and their protection starting on 9/11. They sent their first lobbyist up to the Hill on 9/11. And this has been confirmed to me personally by Senators and members of Congress. Now to me that’s very shocking but to me it raises another question, why? Why did they have to rush to the Hill to change the law? …

    So in the wake of September 11, 2001, when we heard the carriers and governments alike saying, “Oh, no one could have foreseen this. No one knew that this was coming. No one knew that there was any risk like this in the world,” is absolutely false. …

    In the last thirty years we have had 682 hijackings. 682. Here’s an interesting statistic. When we had the United States saying, ‘Oh, we couldn’t have known this.’

    In the Q&A section: “We did have another plot in the United States to hijack a plane and crash it into a building. And, by the way, we had a government cost/benefit analysis of this very same scenario. The only problem with this government cost/benefit analysis was they used a 737 and figured it would be one plane crashed into a building. So I do believe that the government certainly knew that these things were possible. In fact it had been attempted before and the information was out there. But we do tend to get, as a government, tend to get bogged down in the cost/benefit analysis.

    And I, for one, happen to agree that the warnings were very fairly specific. June 22nd FAA issued a bulletin that had concerns about terrorism. July 2nd FAA told the airlines the man involved in the millennium plot had intention of using explosives in terminal buildings. July 18th the FAA issued a bulletin that said there are terrorist threats and we urge you to use caution. July 31 that there are going to be terror groups planning and training for hijacking. Use caution. And finally August 16th disguised weapons.

    So I think the warning signs were not only ample but specific and there was previous attacks where planes were going to be used to crash into buildings. So only the government can probably answer now at this point why they didn’t take them seriously.”

    Barbara Honegger, MS – Senior Military Affairs Journalist at the Naval Postgraduate School, the Department of Defense’s advanced science, technology and national security affairs university (1995 - present). Graduate of the Naval War College master’s program in National Security Decision Making (2001). Former White House Policy Analyst and Special Assistant to the Assistant to President Ronald Reagan (1981 - 1983). Former Director of the Attorney General’s Anti-Discrimination Law Review, U.S. Department of Justice (1982 - 1983).

    * Contributing author to The Terror Conspiracy: Deception, 9/11 and the Loss of Liberty 9/6/06: “The US military, not al Qaeda, had the sustained access weeks before 9/11 to also plant controlled demolition charges throughout the superstructures of WTC 1 and WTC 2, and in WTC 7, which brought down all three buildings on 9/11. …

    A US military plane, not one piloted by al Qaeda, performed the highly skilled, high−speed 270−degree dive towards the Pentagon that Air Traffic Controllers on 9/11 were sure was a military plane as they watched it on their screens. Only a military aircraft, not a civilian plane flown by al Qaeda, would have given off the “Friendly” signal needed to disable the Pentagon’s anti−aircraft missile batteries as it approached the building.

    Only the US military, not al Qaeda, had the ability to break all of its Standard Operating Procedures to paralyze its own emergency response system.”

    Bogdan Dzakovic – Witness before the 9/11 Commission. 14-year Counter-terrorism expert in the Security Division of the Federal Aviation Administration. Team Leader of the FAA’s Red (Terrorism) Team, which conducted undercover tests on airport security through simulated terrorist attacks. Former Team Leader in the Federal Air Marshal program. Former Coast Guard officer.

    * Video transcript 8/21/05 : Regarding the 9/11 Commission “The best I could say about it is they really botched the job by not really going into the real failures. … At worst, I think the 9/11 Commission Report is treasonous.”

    Here are also a few quotes from some politicians:

    Senator Mark Dayton – Former U.S. Senator from Minnesota 2001 - 2006. Member, Senate Committee on Armed Services and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Services.

    * Senate Hearings on the 9/11 Commission Report 7/31/04: “They [NORAD] lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 Commission. … For almost three years now NORAD officials and FAA officials have been able to hide their critical failures that left this country defenseless during two of the worst hours in our history.”

    * Editor’s note: On August 1, 2006, Thomas Kean, Chairman of the 9/11 Commission said, “We, to this day, don’t know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us. It was just so far from the truth. … It’s one of those loose ends that never got tied.” Despite the many public statements by 9/11 Commissioners and staff members acknowledging they were repeatedly lied to, not a single person has ever been charged, tried, or even reprimanded for lying to the 9/11 Commission.

    * Article Star Tribune 7/31/04: “Dayton, a former Minnesota state auditor, called the FAA’s and NORAD’s failures “the most gross incompetence and dereliction of responsibility and negligence that I’ve ever, under those extreme circumstances, witnessed in the public sector.”

    Thomas H. Kean, Chairman, 9/11 Commission – Former Governor of New Jersey 1982 - 1990. Also served for 10 years in the New Jersey Assembly. Currently President of Drew University.

    * Without Precedent, a book about the 9/11 Commission authored by Chairman Thomas Kean and Vice-Chairman Lee Hamilton 8/4/06: “Fog of war could explain why some people were confused on the day of 9/11, but it could not explain why all of the after-action reports, accident investigations and public testimony by FAA and NORAD officials advanced an account of 9/11 that was untrue.”
    * Washington Post Article 8/2/06 - “Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate. …

    “We, to this day, don’t know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us,” said Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor who led the commission. “It was just so far from the truth. … It’s one of those loose ends that never got tied.”

    Norm Mineta – U.S. Secretary of Transportation 2001 - 2006. U.S. Secretary of Commerce 2000 - 2001. Senior Vice President, Lockheed Martin 1995 - 2000. Former 12-term Congressman from California 1971 - 1995. Currently, Vice Chairman of the Board, Hill & Knowlton.

    * 9/11 Commission testimony 5/23/03:

    Lee Hamilton: We thank you for that. I wanted to focus just a moment on the Presidential Emergency Operating Center [PEOC]. You were there for a good part of the day. I think you were there with the vice president. And when you had that order given, I think it was by the president, that authorized the shooting down of commercial aircraft that were suspected to be controlled by terrorists, were you there when that order was given?

    Norm Mineta: No, I was not. I was made aware of it during the time that the airplane coming into the Pentagon. There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, “The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.” And when it got down to, “The plane is 10 miles out,” the young man also said to the vice president, “Do the orders still stand?” And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?” Well, at the time I didn’t know what all that meant. And —

    Lee Hamilton: The flight you’re referring to is the —

    Norm Mineta: The flight that came into the Pentagon. …
    Norm Mineta: I didn’t know about the order to shoot down. I arrived at the PEOC at about 9:20 a.m. And the president was in Florida, and I believe he was on his way to Louisiana at that point when the conversation that went on between the vice president and the president and the staff that the president had with him.

    Tim Roemer: So when you arrived at 9:20 [at the Presidential Emergency Operating Center in the White House], how much longer was it before you overheard the conversation between the young man and the vice president saying, “Does the order still stand?”

    Norm Mineta: Probably about five or six minutes.

    Tim Roemer: So about 9:25 or 9:26. And your inference
    was that the vice president snapped his head around and said, “Yes, the order still stands.” Why did you infer that that was a shoot-down?
    * Editor’s note: Secretary Mineta’s testimony directly contradicts the 9/11 Commission Report on two key points and it is entirely omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report.

    1. Mr. Mineta testified he arrived at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) in the White House at 9:20 a.m. and observed Vice President Dick Cheney discussing with an aide that the incoming Flight 77 was 50 miles out at 9:25 or 9:26. The 9/11 Commission Report maintains Vice President Cheney did not arrive at the PEOC until 9:58, over one-half hour later. Mr. Mineta’s testimony is further supported by the fact that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37, which is the correct time it would have taken Flight 77 to arrive at the Pentagon, if it had been about 50 miles out at 9:26.

    2. The Commission Report maintains the government did not know the whereabouts of Flight 77 prior to 9:32, when Dulles Tower air controllers “observed a primary radar target tracking eastbound at a high rate of speed”. Mr. Mineta’s testimony reveals Vice President Cheney was being informed of the plane’s position for several minutes before that, and perhaps considerably longer.

    Also of interest, is that the first approximately 15 minutes of Mr. Mineta’s testimony before the Commission during which he discusses the points mentioned above, have been edited out of the official 9/11 Commission video archives (Panel 1, Friday, May 23. 2003). However, his full testimony does appear in the written transcript.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 9, 2007 1:17 AM
    Comment #232349

    sigh.

    I should have stopped earlier when I said was going to. But here’s one last point.

    Jarin, your claim here essentially is that there was a high-level conspiracy that ensured the success of the 9/11 mission by preventing the F-15 fighters from getting to flight 175 in time to stop it, right? That restricting them to only really high speed instead of insanely high speed was a way to ensure the success, right?

    There’s a huge hole here in your claim that there’s a huge hole in the official story: how would the F-15 have stopped the tragedy?

    I’ve asked this a couple times, and you’ve ignored it. But really, what would the F-15’s have done to stop the attack? Without an answer there, the whole conspiracy sub-theory falls apart.

    As far as I see, there are only two things the fighters could have done: harass the airliner or shoot it down. Neither is realistic.

    Harassing the airliner to prevent it from hitting its high-value target assumes that we knew what its target was, and that the people at the controls of flight 175 cared enough about their lives not to risk death by continuing to their assignment. We know both of these to be false.

    Shooting the airliner down would have meant killing dozens of innocent passengers on the assumption that the plan was to kill them anyway through a crash (again with the perfect hindsight), would have meant bringing firey death down the largest and most densely-populated area in the country, and would have required a direct order from the President. Even the quotes that Adrienne supplies shows that high-level conversations about shooting down one of the other planes didn’t occur until a half-hour later.

    So, where does that leave us? You’re convinced that there’s a conspiracy that made the fighters fly slow enough to allow the tragedy when there are non-conspiratorial reasons for the the speed that the fighters were flying, and when there’s really no reason to think that getting there earlier would have changed the essential nature of the attack anyway. Seems pretty silly, huh?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 9:09 AM
    Comment #232351

    Stephen,

    I just figured out why Joel cited himself. He was plagiarizing.

    Well done, Mr. Editor.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 9:55 AM
    Comment #232352

    Lawnboy:

    No, I’m not asserting a conspiracy. As I explicitly said before, it could simply have been incompetence. Stop making straw men.

    You keep pointing out that there was nothing the f-15s could have done to stop flight 175 from impacting. You’re right, there probably isn’t. The question is: why didn’t they even seriously try? At the time, there is NO way they could have known that the hijackers were on a suicide mission. The first plane could very well have hit the tower by accident, simply as a result of the hijackers not knowing how to fly it properly. That wasn’t the case, but at the time we definitely did NOT know that. Nor did we know that the WtC was the target for the second plane, or even that the plane had a target. So, without the benefit of hindsight that you possess, nobody could have made the assessment that there was no reason to hurry because they couldn’t do anything anyway. They would have treated it as a standard hijacking, and there are a number of things that they can do in such a scenario short of shooting the plane down. They can rock its wingtips to attract its attention. They can make a pass in front of the plane. They can even fire tracer rounds in its path. Any of these may have been enough to turn it off course and head it out to sea. And even if you’re right and it would not be deterred by anything (which again, they could not have known without the benefit of YOUR hindsight), they may have interposed their plane between it and the tower. Certainly an air burst would have killed a lot fewer people than two massive buildings falling did.

    Without the hindsight you possess, the knowledge that nothing they could have done would have made a difference because they didn’t have enough time and the hijackers were suicidal, it doesn’t make sense that they didn’t even try to get there and do these things in a timely fashion.

    Oh, by the way, I just notice I misattributed the earlier quotes about charles bishop. That was actually from this article: http://www.slate.com/id/2060825/ Which is the one which goes into alternate things they could have tried short of shooting the plane down. Thought I had already referenced that article here, and I apologize for the mixup.

    Btw, plagiarizing? Really? I thought it was pretty obvious he was quoting another text when the first line there was a headline. Yeah, he should have linked to his source, but calling it plagiarizing is a bit over the top. It also seems more likely that he got it in one of these locations, since the title is different and the last line doesn’t include the 911truth.org link. Since the modified version simply calls for it to be shared, and doesn’t request a link back to the site it was taken from, it’s not exactly plagiarism on Joel’s part for doing exactly what it asked, though certainly the original person who took it from the 911truth.org site and modified it in this way may have committed plagiarism.

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 9, 2007 10:42 AM
    Comment #232358

    I’ve made a serious mistake while trying to counter this argument (well, besides wasting the time in the first place). I accepted the timeline that Jarin linked to, and I worked from common sense based on the assumption that it was giving a full accounting of the information. Specifically, when it picked a point in time that an organization was “notified” of the event, I followed the assumption that the entire organization was notified at that time and the notification was clear. Also, I assumed that the reason there were question marks about why the fighters were ordered to do what they did was that we didn’t have information about that.

    In fact, we have that information.

    This site gives a more complete timeline of how the FAA and NORAD responded, complete with transcripts of the conversations.

    The key point that invalidates all of your arguments is that “NEADS was first notified about United Airlines Flight 175 at 9:03 a.m., the same time that it crashed into the World Trade Center’s south tower. They had zero advanced notice.”

    Here are important snippets:

    “In order to find a hijacked airliner—or any airplane—military controllers need either the plane’s beacon code (broadcast from an electronic transponder on board) or the plane’s exact coordinates. When the hijackers on American 11 turned the beacon off, intentionally losing themselves in the dense sea of airplanes already flying over the U.S. that morning (a tactic that would be repeated, with some variations, on all the hijacked flights), the NEADS controllers were at a loss.

    “You would see thousands of green blips on your scope,” Nasypany said, “and now you have to pick and choose. Which is the bad guy out there? Which is the hijacked aircraft? And without that information from F.A.A., it’s a needle in a haystack.”

    This is the messiness of reality. It has nothing to do with either incompetence or a conspiracy.

    NEADS did not know where to send the alert fighter aircraft, and the officer directing the fighters pressed for more information: “I don’t know where I’m scrambling these guys to. I need a direction, a destination.” Because the hijackers had turned off the plane’s transponder, NEADS personnel continued searching their radar scopes during the next few minutes for the primary radar return.
    However, you would have them using their afterburners to race as fast as possible to an unknown point in the sky.
    At 08:46:36, Major Nasypany speaks with Colonel Marr, the battle commander and Nasypany’s superior.

    NASYPANY: Hi, sir. O.K., what—what we’re doing, we’re tryin’ to locate this guy. We can’t find him via I.F.F. [the Identification Friend or Foe system]. What we’re gonna do, we’re gonna hit up every track within a 25-mile radius of this Z-point [coordinate] that we put on the scope. Twenty-nine thousand [feet] heading 1-9-0 [east]. We’re just gonna do—we’re gonna try to find this guy. They can’t find him. There’s supposedly been threats to the cockpit. So we’re just doing the thing … [off-mic conversation] True. And probably right now with what’s going on in the cockpit it’s probably really crazy. So, it probably needs to—that will simmer down and we’ll probably get some better information.

    Here again, reality is messier than the perfect hindsight you would impose on them, messier than it would be in Hollywood.

    Radar data show the Otis fighters were airborne at 8:53. Lacking a target, they were vectored toward military-controlled airspace off the Long Island coast. To avoid New York area air traffic and uncertain about what to do, the fighters were brought down to military airspace to “hold as needed. “From 9:09 to 9:13, the Otis fighters stayed in this holding pattern.
    They didn’t know where to go, so no high-speed chase in the world would have gotten them to the right place.
    At about 8:55, the controller in charge notified a New York Center manager that she believed United 175 had also been hijacked. The manager tried to notify the regional managers and was told that they were discussing a hijacked aircraft (presumably American 11) and refused to be disturbed.

    According to your interpretation of the timeline, the powers that be in the FAA should have been making the right decisions and knowing the future from exactly 8:53. In fact, it took several minutes for the message to get up to management that there was another hijacking going on. It’s not out of fishiness or conspiracy - it’s a result of trying their best to solve the problems at hand.

    Between 9:01 and 9:02, a manager from New York Center told the Command Center in Herndon:

    Manager, New York Center: We have several situations going on here. It’s escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us.… We’re, we’re involved with something else, we have other aircraft that may have a similar situation going on here.

    The “other aircraft” referred to by New York Center was United 175. Evidence indicates that this conversation (at 9:01) was the only notice received by either FAA headquarters or the Herndon Command Center prior to the second crash that there had been a second hijacking.

    The first indication that the NORAD air defenders had of the second hijacked aircraft, United 175, came in a phone call from New York Center to NEADS at 9:03.

    Looking at the actual conversations, we see the confusion and the lack of knowledge they were dealing with at the time. It’s not that they were simply confused by the fog of war, or that they were not living up to their training. It’s that they simply didn’t have the information available to them at the time. I’m not making this up - it’s in the transcripts.

    So, without the benefit of hindsight that you possess
    Funny. You’re making my argument for me - they didn’t know what was going on. Keep that in mind, and then tell me why they should have rushed to a spot they didn’t know to stop a tragedy they didn’t know to prevent. The transcripts make it clear that they wanted to rush to the planes to do something, but that they didn’t know where to go until it was too late.

    I’m using hindsight to say that it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, invalidating the need for the conspiracy that you support here. Of course, in real time, the pilots didn’t know what we know now, and they wanted to get to the right place and try to stop the hijacking. Our hindsight that it wouldn’t have matter much anyway is not something they would have known. However, it is something that the alleged conspirators would have known; they would have known that they needn’t bother wasting the time and energy.

    But all of this is academic since they truly didn’t know where to go until it was too late.

    I’m sorry you think that I’ve been making straw men. I saw your earlier comment that it could have been incompetence, but it didn’t make sense to me when you’ve spent many column inches repeating word-for-word conspiracy theories that are everywhere on the net. When you join the conversation with “I generally don’t go in for the conspiracy theories, but…” and then repeat the essence of a common conspiracy theory, don’t be surprised that you are seen as pushing a conspiracy theory.

    While it’s useful here to keep Hanlon’s razor in mind, it’s even more useful to look at the facts and see that even perfect competence would not have turned the impossible into the possible.

    So, can we finally close the door on this ridiculous subtheory?

    Finally, yes, it is plagiarism. To take the words on another and present them as your own without attribution is plagiarism. It doesn’t matter that a few words here or there were changed, or that it smacked of stolen words to you, or if it was stolen from a different source than where I saw it; it’s still plagiarism.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 1:51 PM
    Comment #232363

    Did anyone read what the people in that supposedly “plagarized link” have to say? Or is trying desperately to discredit Joel Hirschhorn more important?

    From the link on Mr. Ayres:

    Mr. Ayres is a nationally recognized expert in building air conditioning design and analysis, energy conservation, thermal energy storage, commissioning of HVAC systems, and earthquake damage to building mechanical systems, with over 55 years of experience. Co-founder of one of the largest building engineering firms in Los Angeles, Mr. Ayres has been in responsible charge of the design of hundreds of major building projects, including high rise offices, commercial centers, hospitals and laboratories, hotels and residential buildings, universities and colleges, schools, theaters and entertainment centers, jails and correctional facilities, TV and sound studios, governmental buildings and industrial facilities.

    In his statement, Mr. Ayres wrote, “I support the work of Dr. Steven Jones. He has provided a scientific foundation for the collapse of the three World Trade Center (WTC) towers. I read the FEMA September, 2002 report, prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers, and initially accepted their theory of the collapse of WTC 1 and 2. As more information became available on the web, I was motivated to research the subject in a more rigorous manner. I have carefully studied the Jones 2006 paper, “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” and concluded that it is a rational step-by-step study that meets the accepted standards for scientific building research. His critical reviews of the FEMA, NIST, and 9/11 Commission reports are correct.”

    Mr. Ayres continues, “Steven Jones’ call for a ‘serious investigation’ of the hypothesis that the WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by impact damage and fire, but through the use of pre-positioned “cutter-charges” must be the rallying cry for all building design experts to speak out.”

    Commander Ralph Kolstad:

    U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ Pilot Questions 9/11 by Alan Miller

    September 5, 2007 - U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ pilot, Commander Ralph Kolstad, started questioning the official account of 9/11 within days of the event. “It just didn’t make any sense to me,” he said. And now 6 years after 9/11 he says, “When one starts using his own mind, and not what one was told, there is very little to believe in the official story.”

    Now retired, Commander Kolstad was a top-rated fighter pilot during his 20-year Navy career. Early in his career, he was accorded the honor of being selected to participate in the Navy’s ‘Top Gun’ air combat school, officially known as the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School. The Tom Cruise movie, “Top Gun” reflects the experience of the young Navy pilots at the school. Eleven years later, Commander Kolstad was further honored by being selected to become a ‘Top Gun’ adversary instructor. While in the Navy, he flew F-4 Phantoms, A-4 Skyhawks, and F-14 Tomcats and completed 250 aircraft carrier landings.

    Commander Kolstad had a second career after his 20 years of Navy active and reserve service and served as a commercial airline pilot for 27 years, flying for American Airlines and other domestic and international careers. He flew Boeing 727, 757 and 767, McDonnell Douglas MD-80, and Fokker F-100 airliners. He has flown a total of over 23,000 hours in his career.

    Commander Kolstad is especially critical of the account of American Airlines Flight 77 that allegedly crashed into the Pentagon. He says, “At the Pentagon, the pilot of the Boeing 757 did quite a feat of flying. I have 6,000 hours of flight time in Boeing 757’s and 767’s and I could not have flown it the way the flight path was described.”

    Commander Kolstad adds, “I was also a Navy fighter pilot and Air Combat Instructor and have experience flying low altitude, high speed aircraft. I could not have done what these beginners did. Something stinks to high heaven!”

    He points to the physical evidence at the Pentagon impact site and asks in exasperation, “Where is the damage to the wall of the Pentagon from the wings? Where are the big pieces that always break away in an accident? Where is all the luggage? Where are the miles and miles of wire, cable, and lines that are part and parcel of any large aircraft? Where are the steel engine parts? Where is the steel landing gear? Where is the tail section that would have broken into large pieces?”

    But no major element of the official account of 9/11 is spared from Commander Kolstad’s criticism. Regarding the alleged impact site of United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, PA, he asks, “Where is any of the wreckage? Of all the pictures I have seen, there is only a hole! Where is any piece of a crashed airplane? Why was the area cordoned off, and no inspection allowed by the normal accident personnel? Where is any evidence at all?”

    Commander Kolstad also questions many aspects of the attack on the World Trade Center. “How could a steel and concrete building collapse after being hit by a Boeing 767? Didn’t the engineers design it to withstand a direct hit from a Boeing 707, approximately the same size and weight of the 767? The evidence just doesn’t add up.”

    “Why did the second building collapse before the first one, which had been burning for 20 minutes longer after a direct hit, especially when the second one hit was just a glancing blow? If the fire was so hot, then why were people looking out the windows and in the destroyed areas? Why have so many members of the New York Fire Department reported seeing or hearing many ‘explosions’ before the buildings collapsed?”

    Commander Kolstad summarized his frustration with the investigation and disbelief of the official account of 9/11, “If one were to act as an accident investigator, one would look at the evidence, and then construct a plausible scenario as to what led to the accident. In this case, we were told the story and then the evidence was built to support the story. What happened to any intelligent investigation? Every question leads to another question that has not been answered by anyone in authority. This is just the beginning as to why I don’t believe the official ‘story’ and why I want the truth to be told.”

    Commander Kolstad is just one of the many military and commercial pilots who have publicly expressed serious concerns about the official account of 9/11. Statements from more than 30 other pilots are available at http://PatriotsQuestion911.com .

    Excerpt from the webpage on Dr. Margulis:

    In her statement on PatriotsQuestion911.com, Dr. Margulis referred to 9/11 as “this new false-flag operation, which has been used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as unprecedented assaults on research, education, and civil liberties”. She compared 9/11 to several self-inflicted attacks that had been used in the past to arouse people’s fear and hatred and justify war, including the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, the Reichstag Fire, and Operation Himmler, which Germany used to justify the invasion of Poland, the trigger for World War II.

    Dr. Margulis credited “the research and clear writing by David Ray Griffin in his fabulous books about 9/11” for providing much of the information that formed her opinion about 9/11. She specifically lauded The New Pearl Harbor and The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, “which provides overwhelming evidence that the official story is contradictory, incomplete, and unbelievable.”

    Internationally acclaimed for her ground-breaking scientific work, Dr. Margulis is an elected member of The World Academy of Art and Science, an organization of 500 of the world’s leading thinkers, chosen for eminence in art, the natural and social sciences, and the humanities. And in 2006, she was selected as one of “The 20th Century’s 100 Most Important Inspirational Leaders” by the editors of Resurgence magazine.

    Excerpt from the link to Dr. Quintiere’s statements:

    Dr. Quintiere’s presentation at the World Fire Safety Conference echoed his earlier statement to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, on October 26, 2005, during a hearing on “The Investigation of the World Trade Center Collapse: Findings, Recommendations, and Next Steps”, at which he stated:

    “In my opinion, the WTC investigation by NIST falls short of expectations by not definitively finding cause, by not sufficiently linking recommendations of specificity to cause, by not fully invoking all of their authority to seek facts in the investigation, and by the guidance of government lawyers to deter rather than develop fact finding.

    “I have over 35 years of fire research in my experience. I worked in the fire program at NIST for 19 years, leaving as a division chief. I have been at the University of Maryland since. I am a founding member and past-Chair of the International Association for Fire Safety Science—the principal world forum for fire research. …

    “All of these have been submitted to NIST, but never acknowledged or answered. I will list some of these.

    1. Why is not the design process of assigning fire protection to the WTC towers fully called out for fault? …

    2. Why were not alternative collapse hypotheses investigated and discussed as NIST had stated repeatedly that they would do? …

    3. Spoliation of a fire scene is a basis for destroying a legal case in an investigation. Most of the steel was discarded, although the key elements of the core steel were demographically labeled. A careful reading of the NIST report shows that they have no evidence that the temperatures they predict as necessary for failure are corroborated by findings of the little steel debris they have. Why hasn’t NIST declared that this spoliation of the steel was a gross error?

    4. NIST used computer models that they said have never been used in such an application before and are the state of the art. For this they should be commended for their skill. But the validation of these modeling results is in question. Others have computed aspects with different conclusions on the cause mechanism of the collapse. Moreover, it is common in fire investigation to compute a time-line and compare it to known events. NIST has not done that.

    5. Testing by NIST has been inconclusive. Although they have done fire tests of the scale of several work stations, a replicate test of at least & [sic] of a WTC floor would have been of considerable value. Why was this not done? …

    6. The critical collapse of WTC 7 is relegated to a secondary role, as its findings will not be complete for yet another year. It was clear at the last NIST Advisory Panel meeting in September [2005] that this date may not be realistic, as NIST has not demonstrated progress here. Why has NIST dragged on this important investigation?”

    Are these people nothing but a bunch of “ravenous locust believers” disconnected from an iron-hard grasp on “reality”, Lawnboy? How about you Stephen? Do all of these folks need to take a “logic course” because they lack the ability to make “proper inferences”?

    Looks to me like we are really beginning to reach a tipping point here. Those who have so bought into the government spoon-fed official story (I suspect without properly understanding the enormous holes in it) are going to be having more and more trouble continuing to act like professionals such as these who see that the official story doesn’t hold up to close scrutiny, (or who don’t agree with the myriad of lame justifications and excuses that are being offered because so many of them have worked in these fields, and have far more knowledge than others can claim to) don’t exactly fit the wild-eyed, nutcase “Loose Changer” label.

    Btw Lawnboy, isn’t it strange how that “Debunk 9/11” site doesn’t admit it’s owned and run by Popular Mechanics magazine? You might be interested to know that David Ray Griffin wrote a book just for them. Here’s a link:
    Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 9, 2007 2:56 PM
    Comment #232364
    Did anyone read what the people in that supposedly “plagarized link” have to say?

    Yes. Stephen already dissected the claims.

    I’m actually very disappointed with the questions Commander Kolstad asks. They are very simply answered. Oh well.

    You speak of “enormous holes”, and yet the so-called holes brought up here has been answered, and there’s much more detail across the internet. I know you don’t like this comparison, but from my perspective, this is almost identical to arguing with a moon hoaxer, a holocaust denier, or a creationist.

    Btw Lawnboy, isn’t it strange how that “Debunk 9/11” site doesn’t admit it’s owned and run by Popular Mechanics magazine?

    How sad. An unsupported ad hominem attack. I expect better of you, Adrienne. What’s the source? It’s definitely not a Whois search. Even if you’re right, what does it matter?

    Adrienne, I had already added that book to my Amazon wish list. It looks like a good collection of facts and reality to keep handy.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 3:26 PM
    Comment #232367

    Lawnboy.
    “How sad. An unsupported ad hominem attack. I expect better of you, Adrienne.”

    Oh, I’m not above a cheap shot now and then… :^)

    “What’s the source?”

    Well, it is totally unsupported, but that’s only because there can be no source for anyone to give. The person whose site that is absolutely refuses to reveal his/her identity. But, since he/she parrots the Popular Mechanics line so well, and doesn’t collect any funds to run the site through advertisements — not even a mention of a hostserver name — I figure it’s got to be owned and run by quite a very large media outfit, such as Hearst Communications.

    “Even if you’re right, what does it matter?”

    I think it matters a lot, because Popular Mechanics has been the steady purveyor of the official government story.

    “Adrienne, I had already added that book to my Amazon wish list. It looks like a good collection of facts and reality to keep handy.”

    Good. Please do read that book, Lawnboy. And I really hope we’ll have the chance to discuss this topic again, after you do. I’m fully aware of what an intelligent guy you are, and I believe you’ll immediately recognize careful, painstaking scholarship when you see it. Indeed, you might read all of Griffin’s books. You probably don’t even have to buy them, if you take them out of the library.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 9, 2007 4:27 PM
    Comment #232369
    I think it matters a lot, because Popular Mechanics has been the steady purveyor of the official government story.

    Not really. If what they say is valid and verifiable, then is doesn’t matter a whit who supports it. That’s the weakness of an ad hominem attack. And you’re really saying that your evidence for what you claimed as a fact is nothing more than the two sources agree a lot? Ouch.

    Oops. I didn’t look closely enough at the Amazon link you provided. Since you were talking about Popular Mechanics, I thought the link was to Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts, which I’ve added, not the book you mention.

    However, looking at the publisher’s review of the book, I already see several points that are easily and factually refuted by evidence and analysis. For example:

    firefighters were told, five hours before the fact, that building WTC 7 was going to collapse, despite “the fact that WTC 7 was not hit by a plane, that the available photographs show no large fires, and that fire had never caused a steel-frame high-rise to collapse

    This is wrong on many levels. Available photographs do show huge plumes of smoke billowing from WTC 7, indicating large fires on every floor. While WTC 7 wasn’t hit by a plane, it was hit by significant debris from the North tower, causing major structure damage. That fire alone had never caused a steel-frame high-rise to collapse is not applicable, since the damage to WTC 7 wasn’t fire alone - it was also the damage for the falling debris. Further, the examples usually given of other buildings that burned for a long time had very different design. Finally, that firefighters were able to discern in advance signs that the building was doomed by the combination of structural damage and unabated fire in no way means they were planning to bring the building down on purpose.

    It seems to me that the emeritus professor of theology is writing way too far out of his area of expertise.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 4:53 PM
    Comment #232370

    Lawnboy:

    Nice try. But NORAD originally claimed to have been notified by the FAA at 8:43.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20030401212414/http://www.norad.mil/presrelNORADTimelines.htm

    Posted by: Jarandhel at September 9, 2007 5:29 PM
    Comment #232372

    Lawnboy:
    “And you’re really saying that your evidence for what you claimed as a fact is nothing more than the two sources agree a lot? Ouch.”

    I wasn’t really claiming it as fact, and I just readily admitted that I was taking a cheap shot. I only threw it out there because I’ve personally never seen a website owned by an single individual that didn’t list their hostserver. Have you? That’s something you usually only see on those owned by large media corporations, or the government.

    “Oops. I didn’t look closely enough at the Amazon link you provided. Since you were talking about Popular Mechanics, I thought the link was to Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts, which I’ve added, not the book you mention.”

    You could read both. One right after the other. That’s what I did.
    I feel that Griffin’s is the more scholarly work, and thought he knocked down all of the strawman arguments that Popular Mechanics and others have been so busy setting up. Besides, if an internationally acclaimed scientist on the level of Dr. Margulin can credit it so highly, don’t you think it might very well be worth your time to read also?
    The truth is Lawnboy, we can’t truly have an intelligent discussion about this topic until you (and Stephen, also) have actually looked at more than one side of this story.

    “However, looking at the publisher’s review of the book, I already see several points that are easily and factually refuted by evidence and analysis.”

    Don’t just read the damn review. Read the book. Griffin gives sources for everything he says.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 9, 2007 5:34 PM
    Comment #232373
    Nice try

    sigh

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 5:37 PM
    Comment #232374
    The truth is Lawnboy, we can’t truly have an intelligent discussion about this topic until you (and Stephen, also) have actually looked at more than one side of this story.

    sigh again.

    I’ve looked at both sides. I don’t know why you assume that I haven’t, just because I’m able to refute the bad physics and illogic that one side presents.

    Don’t just read the damn review. Read the book

    Isn’t a review a place that the publisher tries to put the best foot forward? If the best impression they can give of the book is at least four invalid statements within a single sentence, is there really any reason to bother? Come on.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 5:40 PM
    Comment #232375

    Sorry, “preview”, not “review”.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 9, 2007 5:42 PM
    Comment #232376

    Lawnboy:
    “is there really any reason to bother?”

    I could give you a long list of reasons, but I’ll just give you one: Because you and I have agreed on so many things over the years, and I’m asking you to.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 9, 2007 6:49 PM
    Comment #232493

    Adrienne,

    Thank you. Based on your prodding, I’ve read a lot more of David Ray Griffin’s works than I would have otherwise, and I’ve come to a conclusion:

    There is no logical or scientific reason to discount the official story, and David Ray Griffin really, really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    The biggest problem I found his his book isn’t with a specific “debunking”, but with his overall approach: His presents a general hypothesis, but he refuses to present a detailed theory. That gives him nice plausible deniability, and it lets him shift his theory around to cover many mutually incompatible ideas, without having anything concrete enough to be pinned down on it.

    He says that explosives and/or incindiaries brought down the towers, depending on each for specific effects when necessary, and completely discarding the other effects when they are inconvenient. He completely ignores that using incindiaries is really imprecise and would even destroy the delicate detonators (or set the explosives off early). And you let him get away with it because you let him get away with not actually having a theory. If he had an actual theory, then he’d immediately lose. For example, if he said there were few and well-placed explosive (as would be necessary for his intepretation of the six small puffs - “squibs”), then there wouldn’t be enough explosives as he thinks are necessary to demolish every single floor and cut every piece of steel to a uniform size. So, which of his proposals is wrong? They can’t both be right, but his proposal needs them both. Never mind that there has never been a single bit of detonating wire or unexploded ordinance found, or that the seismic effects of the necessary explosion weren’t recorded, or that the sounds were wrong, or…

    But his point wasn’t to defend his non-existent theory, was it? No, it was to demonstrate that the other books and reports and debunkings were wrong. And he just fails miserably. I can’t say if it’s due to malice or incompetence, but he goes wrong at nearly every turn.

    What point do you want me to address? That “no high-rise, steel-frame structures have ever completely collapsed due to fires?” That’s a perfectly cherry-picked phrase, intended to obfuscate instead of enlighten: Non-high-rise steel buildings have been destroyed by fire. Steel-framed parts of high-rises have been destroyed, even if the concrete core survive. High-rise, steel-frame structures have partially collapsed. There was more than just fire at play here (there was also significant structural damage for all three buildings).

    Even outside all the cherry-picking is the fact that it wouldn’t be surprising if an unprecedented ending were the result of the attacks - they were themselves unprecedented in many ways, leaded to the (unprecedented) three largest office building fires in history. His “disproof” of the official story requires you to think that what happened in the WTC buildings on 9/11 was nothing extraordinary, when extraordinary is the best way to describe them.

    Or how about his claim about the buildings falling faster than free fall? He makes this claim based on completely inaccurate premises - the collapses were definitely slower than free fall! In fact, for one part of this analysis, he bases his numbers on not knowing how to read a printout.

    Or how about his contradictory claims that the temperatures were never high enough to melt steel (needed to say the buildings couldn’t have collapsed by effects of fire), and yet there were pools of molten steel in the rubble (needed for thermite)? Of course, the real answer is that the temperatures were hot enough in the fires to substantially weaken the steel (at lower-than melting temperatures), and that the molten metal seen in the debris was molten non-steel metal.

    Or how about his claim that black smoke mean that the fires were starved of oxygen (and thus cool), when it’s easy to find pictures of things like oil wells afire that produce copious black smoke with as much oxygen as they need?

    I could go on and on (and some have, but every flaw he pretends to expose in the official story of the NIST report and Popular Mechanics is really some combination of misunderstanding physics, misunderstanding engineering, taking quotes out of context (with plenty of convenient ellipses), relying on amateurs instead of experts, ignoring contrary evidence, or just plain making stuff up.

    You know, all the techniques you decry when used by creationist and climate change deniers.

    Griffin is really good at being convincing, but his book is useless as a scientific review.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 10, 2007 9:00 PM
    Comment #232778

    Adrienne,

    No response? You asked me to read Griffin, and I did. I discovered that he’s full of hot air. Since we’ve agreed so much in the past, will you take another look?

    Since you looked to Griffin to debunk Popular Mechanics, will you look to a NASA research scientist who shows the depth of Griffin’s confusion?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 13, 2007 10:11 PM
    Comment #232866

    Lawnboy:
    “Adrienne,

    No response?”

    Did you really think you deserved one? I ask you to read Griffin’s book(s), and the next day you come back and said you’d read enough. So, either I assume that you rushed out, bought the book and read it one night (highly questionable), or I’m going to think you looked at what some more websites have said about him, perhaps quoting him out of context in the process (likely judging by what you’ve written thus far). If I wish to be kind, I might allow that you read a short essay of his, and then came back here claiming you know enough to discredit everything he’s written in his books.

    “You asked me to read Griffin, and I did.”

    I asked you to read his book(s). I doubt you did so.

    “I discovered that he’s full of hot air.”

    Without reading his book.

    “Since we’ve agreed so much in the past, will you take another look?”

    Have you forgotten that I’ve read both sides of this issue ad nauseum? I think academics like Griffin, and many other highly skilled profesional people, with very pertinent knowledge regarding specific and relevant areas (people such as Joel Hirchhorn for instance), are asking the kind of questions that were raised in my own mind when I read through all three shabbily undertaken “offical” investigations.

    “Since you looked to Griffin to debunk Popular Mechanics,”

    I’m looking at no person in the 9/11 Truth Movement as an official debunker with all the correct answers. Not Griffin, not Jones, no one. That is why I, like many other people, would like to see a true independent investigation into 9/11 take place. I would like to see some consensus reached among credible scientists to questions that seem more than obvious to anyone who has take the time to read the “official” bunk the government has tried to pass off as credible.

    “will you look to a NASA research scientist who shows the depth of Griffin’s confusion?”

    You give me a link to a pdf from yet another website with no one listing their name, and no need to advertise, and no need to list the name of their hostserver. I’m thinking that those are sites that are owned by people who don’t want us to know who they are, who clearly get funding from very wealthy entities, or in fact, they may well be run directly by our government. I’m supposed to be impressed that some guy who works at jet propulsion for NASA (which works in conjunction with the Army and Navy) is advocating that the NIST report is credible science, and set out to trash Griffin for his questions? And did so on behalf of a website where no one wants us to know who they are? Isn’t it funny how no one can pin them down for any of their claims that way?

    The problem I have with that is that I’ve read the NIST report, and I’m aware that it isn’t credible science at all. (Btw, I am not a scientist myself, but I am the daughter of a very gifted one, who insisted that all of his children understand the basic principles, and to know what careful scientific study looks like.)
    I am of the opinion that many of Griffin’s questions are good and highly significant ones that need to be addressed by an independent body of scientists. I share this belief with a growing number of people who obviously aren’t a bunch of wild-eyed “loose changers”, but are instead professionals in their fields. (Too bad that Joel didn’t participate more in this thread.)

    I can’t twist your arm and make you believe as I do. I can’t force you read Griffin if you don’t want to, either. I can only ask you to continue to do some more research for yourself, and hope that you won’t take a bunch of anonymous websites, or Popular Mechanics word as gospel for everything.
    I hope you will also read all three of the “official” investigations one of these days, and that you will come away with questions similar to mine, and Joel Hirchhorn’s, and David Ray Griffin’s, and all those other people I gave a link to earlier.

    Thanks very much for the discussion.

    PS. I hope there won’t be hard feelings simply because you and I disagree so completely about this topic.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 14, 2007 7:21 PM
    Comment #232889
    Did you really think you deserved one?
    Yes. If you think that our amount of agreement in the past entitled you to ask me to read something, then I think that same past agreement entitles me to a response.
    If I wish to be kind, I might allow that you read a short essay of his, and then came back here claiming you know enough to discredit everything he’s written in his books.

    I didn’t get the book, but it was a mix of reading some of his essays and reading critiques.

    And since every point he made that I read was flawed logically and/or factually, I figured I’d read enough.

    I would like to see some consensus reached among credible scientists to questions…

    The consensus has been reached. Unfortunately, you don’t want to accept the consensus. Look how many peer-reviewed papers have been published by credible scientists that support the interpretation that you find so shaky. In contrast, how many peer-reviewed papers have been published that support any of the ideas behind the truth movement/inside job movement? Exactly zero.

    The consensus is more clear here than in climate change. I’m pretty sure you’ve argued from the perspective of scientific consensus in that debate; why reject that perspective here?

    You give me a link to a pdf from yet another website with no one listing their name, and no need to advertise, and no need to list the name of their hostserver.

    I’m really sorry that you resort to this sort of irrelevant ad hominem attack. The link I provided gave the name of the author and listed his credentials. I could find other websites that also serve up the pdf. Would the location of the server on which the article is hosted make any difference in the strength of his argument? Of course not.

    I’m supposed to be impressed that some guy who works at jet propulsion for NASA (which works in conjunction with the Army and Navy) is advocating that the NIST report is credible science, and set out to trash Griffin for his questions?
    No. You’re supposed to be impressed by the science, logic, and facts that the author presented. You’re supposed to take note that the article presented many peer-reviewed studies by credible scientists that showed that Griffin’s statements were completely inaccurate. You’re supposed to see the full original quotes instead of the snippets that Griffin quote-mined. You’re supposed to see more details that Griffin didn’t want you to see (or didn’t understand enough to include).
    Isn’t it funny how no one can pin them down for any of their claims that way?

    Isn’t that just an irrelevant question?

    The problem I have with that is that I’ve read the NIST report, and I’m aware that it isn’t credible science at all.
    I’m sorry that you think so. I’m sorry that you choose to disparage the hundreds and thousands of scientists that worked on that and other report and instead take as reliable only the word of the handful of scientists (almost always not in a relevant field) that tell you what you want to hear, and who often disagree amongst themselves.
    I am of the opinion that many of Griffin’s questions are good and highly significant ones

    Ok. Which ones? Name some. I’ll try to respond and demonstrate how they can be answered. Of course, I can’t guarantee that you’d accept the answer, but from what I’ve seen pretty much all of his questions have answers.

    Too bad that Joel didn’t participate more in this thread.
    Did you notice the only thing he said in the thread (including the original post) was that he’s a scientist and he doubts the official story, so you’re closed-minded if you don’t accept his appeal to authority?
    PS. I hope there won’t be hard feelings simply because you and I disagree so completely about this topic.

    Let’s try this a different way. Is there any evidence you could be shown that would convince you that the official story is essentially correct? I’m not talking about 100% accurate in every detail (nothing scientific is ever that precise). I’m talking about evidence that would convince you that it wasn’t an inside job, that it really was 19 foreign terrorists that struck at us, that there really were four planes that were hijacked, that the three WTC buildings fell because of structural mechanical principles (like WTC 3 and the Orthodox Church) instead of due to planted explosives?

    I ask because I’ve seen video of “truthers” saying that they wouldn’t believe the official story no matter what. That’s the sign of a pseudoscience, not science.

    In contrast, there are lots of things that I can point to that would tell me that the official story is wrong (I recognize that you and Griffin might not subscribe to all of these parts of the theory - but they really are out there): credible report that any of the 19 hijackers is still alive; appearance of any of the passengers still alive; existence of any of the four planes that supposedly weren’t used; demonstration of the software used to fake phone calls from Flight 93 in real time; an explanation of how a missile at the Pentagon zigzagged to hit 5 light poles before crashing and leaving identifiable American Airlines parts in the lawn; a credible confession by a member of the conspiracy (one analysis says that the story in “Loose Change” would require 800,000 conspirators - yet none have confessed?); unexploded demolition charges found at WTC; discovery of any of the miles upon miles of detonation cabling that would be necessary for the detonations; any previous example of top-down demolition in use; evidence of explosive residue left from the blasts (and Stephen Jones’s evidence isn’t enough - all he found was that there were traces of rare elements that are also found in thermite/thermate, but the proportions were all wrong and there are other potential sources of the trace elements); evidence that the steel and debris from the collapse was actually spirited away without being examined (as you claim) and not examined both at Ground Zero and at Fresh Kills (as the investigators say); evidence of a massive secret weapon from outer space that can turn steel to dust; evidence of the massive co-ordination effort that would have been necessary to fly drone airplanes; any paper trail whatsoever; evidence that demolition teams use the term “pull it” to refer to controlled demolitions and a reason why a building owner and a fire chief would have been discussing demolition.

    If I thought about it for a few minutes, I could come up with more. Do you have any evidence that could sway you?

    The point is that the official story is actually disprovable, one of the hallmarks of a scientific theory. And just like Evolution, it survives the challenges that could disprove it.

    I can only ask you to continue to do some more research for yourself, and hope that you won’t take a bunch of anonymous websites, or Popular Mechanics word as gospel for everything.
    And I ask you to continue researching, but not to let yourself fall into these ad hominem traps. I’m sure there are details about the official story that are wrong, just as there are details about Evolution that are wrong. That does not, however, automatically make a unproven alternate theory a better explanation.

    As the review I linked to notes, even if the official story of the collapse of the towers (The impact and fire greatly exceeded the structural design requirements, and collapse was expected in the approximate time and manner observed.), we still have the following alternate credible theories to discuss before getting anywhere near intentional demolition:

    • The structural design did not meet design requirements.
    • The design met requirements, but the structures were not built to design standards.
    • The structures were built with materials that did not meet requirements.
    • The structural design, while meeting requirements, contained a simple design flaw that was not adequately addressed by building code (lack of code coverage).
    • The structural design, while meeting requirements, contained a complex design flaw that cannot be addressed by building code (interference in code).
    • There was a failure of active systems (such as fire suppression systems) due to human factors, incorrect application, or other error.
    • Unusual performance of building contents, such as unrecognized fire or chemical hazards introduced by building occupants, led to the collapses.

    So. What could convince you? Anything?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 14, 2007 11:13 PM
    Comment #232922

    I just received this in my email….

    http://www.usalone.com/reinvestigate_911.php

    Posted by: Sandra Davidson at September 15, 2007 3:00 AM
    Comment #233014

    “Yes. If you think that our amount of agreement in the past entitled you to ask me to read something, then I think that same past agreement entitles me to a response.”

    But since you didn’t read what I asked you to read, I have to assume I wasn’t actually entitled. Therefore, why would you be entitled? :^)

    “I didn’t get the book, but it was a mix of reading some of his essays and reading critiques.”

    Yes, and it shows.

    “And since every point he made that I read was flawed logically and/or factually, I figured I’d read enough.”

    Uh huh. And that must be why Dr. Margulis thinks so highly of Griffin’s books. Because all internationally renown scientists admire flawed logic and a complete absence of facts.

    “The consensus has been reached.”

    Where has consensus been reached? No place where I have read.

    Unfortunately, you don’t want to accept the consensus.”

    This just shows that you haven’t read the “official” investigations. The FEMA report realized that it couldn’t adequately explain so many things that they called for more research and investigation. The 9/11 Commission left out so much it is glaringly obvious to anyone who actually reads it. Members of the Commission have now admitted that they were lied to, that they were thwarted in numerous ways, and that they were not given what they needed to make a comprehensive report. As for the NIST report, look again at Dr. Quintere’s comments that I listed in my post above. This is the former Chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division saying that. Saying that he feels that an independent review of the WTC collapse investigation is definitely in order. He said of the NIST investigation that he himself took part in: “I wish that there would be a peer review of this,” and, “I think all the records that NIST has assembled should be archived. I would really like to see someone else take a look at what they’ve done; both structurally and from a fire point of view.”, and, “I think the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable.”
    Does any of that really sound like consensus to you?

    “Look how many peer-reviewed papers have been published by credible scientists that support the interpretation that you find so shaky.”

    What is wrong with having all of these people come forward to comprehensively debate this topic? Clearly it is needed. But the very people who hold up such peer reviewed papers as an adequate answer to every question, are the very same people who want to claim that another, completely independent investigation is unnecessary. I don’t understand this at all.

    “In contrast, how many peer-reviewed papers have been published that support any of the ideas behind the truth movement/inside job movement?”

    None. But that seems to be because anyone who dared to ask questions that didn’t fit neatly into the official explanation column were doomed from the beginning to be shut out by their own peers in academia.

    “The consensus is more clear here than in climate change.”

    No it isn’t clear like it is in climate change. If you read the official reports, and all of the things that have been said about them afterwards, you would realize that the consensus you claim doesn’t actually exist.

    “I’m pretty sure you’ve argued from the perspective of scientific consensus in that debate; why reject that perspective here?”

    Because there has been an obvious lack of careful and thorough scientific analysis, and very little real consensus.

    “The link I provided gave the name of the author and listed his credentials.”

    Really? I couldn’t find it at all. So, what is their name and what are their credentials?

    “Would the location of the server on which the article is hosted make any difference in the strength of his argument? Of course not.”

    Actually, some listing of the server would tell me whether or not they’re being hosted by a large media corporation, or even by the government. Over the past six years I’ve watched in amazement and disgust as the media allowed the Bush Administration to get away with peddling utter bullshit constantly, and gave a pass to everything they’ve wanted to do without any hard questions ever being asked — not even when it came to starting a pre-emptive war on blatantly questionable intelligence. So yes, this is information that seems very pertinent to me.

    “You’re supposed to be impressed by the science, logic, and facts that the author presented. You’re supposed to take note that the article presented many peer-reviewed studies by credible scientists that showed that Griffin’s statements were completely inaccurate.”

    I see that they’re trying very hard to paint Griffin as a loon, while simultaneously trying to act as though all relevant factors have been satisfactorily taken into account. But they haven’t been.

    “I’m sorry that you choose to disparage the hundreds and thousands of scientists that worked on that”

    Yeah, me and other crazies like Dr Quintere. We’re all just a gaggle of needless disparagers.

    “and other report and instead take as reliable only the word of the handful of scientists (almost always not in a relevant field) that tell you what you want to hear, and who often disagree amongst themselves.”

    Look again at the “Patriots Question 9/11” link I put up earlier. This is no longer a handful of scientists who are not professionals in relevant fields. You and others might wish that was the way of things, but it is not. Just like myself, all of those people want an independent investigation that will not be allowed to ignore relevant facts, and that doesn’t go far out of it’s way to avoid fixing any blame on anyone.

    “Which ones? Name some. I’ll try to respond and demonstrate how they can be answered.”

    I’m really not interested in having a pissing contest with you. My friend died on 9/11, and all I’m interested in is a real investigation into those attacks. The official investigations did not include all of the facts and used questionable scientific methods, so I want one that will try to include all of the facts and use scientific methods that are careful, logical and above reproach. I’m sorry you seem to have such a problem with that idea.

    “Of course, I can’t guarantee that you’d accept the answer,”

    I don’t accept half-assed answers based on partial facts and questionable science, no matter how much scientific jargon is attached to them. If you have automatically taken everything the government and your “debunking” websites have spoon-fed you thus far to be the gospel truth, then there is no reason for us to continue, Lawnboy. If you are starting out from the viewpoint that there has been nothing wrong with how the investigations have been conducted, and that everything has been pretty adequately explained, then what anyone says to the contrary is no doubt going to seem like lies and craziness to you. This is the view that has definitely been taken by Popular Mechanics, and all of your most favored debunking websites on the subject.

    Me, I NEVER go on the assumption that our government is automatically telling us the truth, no matter how much I wish that this was the case. I believe this mindset I have is a direct remnant (some might say, a tragic one) of my childhood. In 1969 one of my cousins was drafted and sent off to Vietnam where he had one of his arms blown off. I was seven years old when he left (he did not want to go), and I was eight when he returned home maimed, altered and radically changed forever, both physically and mentally.
    At that age I had already absorbed the fact that our government, and the media that often does their bidding, is shamelessly, unapologetically, and completely without conscience capable of lying to it’s own people. And they do so whenever, and wherever it is convenient for them to do so. From that time, I was transformed into a constant, though logical, skeptic. To this day, I am still that way.

    I always use my own bull-shit meter first and foremost, realizing as I do that it might actually save my life to do so. This is why I am offended by people who treat me like the crazy, illogical “loose changer” sort. Many of the questions that have been raised by the 9/11 Truth Movement are questions that had already occurred to me as I read through the contents of the “official” investigations. I actually have a long list I made of my many questions. This list has over a hundred questions that I feel were never adequately addressed.
    I will not bore you with it here. Needless to say, my bullshit meter went off like crazy as I read each of the three of the “official” investigations. And for various reasons of course, since none of the reports concurred with each other. Perhaps you are content with looking at what happened on 9/11 in piecemeal and feel that everything has been fairly adequately explained for you. For instance: “why the towers fell” might be what you choose to focus on alone. I do this too, to some extent, but I always try not let one aspect, or one specific set of details overwhelm the events of the disaster in total. Doing so is a sure way to avoid the larger picture of the amazing and unprecedented events that took place on that day in history — and that is always an exceedingly foolish thing to do. Well, it is in my opinion, anyway.

    I must admit that had my hopes set highest on the release of the NIST report, seeing as I expected careful, comprehensive scientific modeling and methods to be used. Unfortunately, the report did not meet a great many of the standards I happen to require, and indeed it was the release of this report which made me look at the entire event with a heightened level of skepticism and suspicion. After reading the remarks made by people on the Patriot’s Question 9/11 website, it’s a huge relief for me to know that I’m far from alone.

    “but from what I’ve seen pretty much all of his questions have answers.”

    No, they don’t. They are nothing more than an attempt at alternative hypothesis because so many facts were left out of the official investigations.

    Re: Joel:
    “Did you notice the only thing he said in the thread (including the original post) was that he’s a scientist and he doubts the official story, so you’re closed-minded if you don’t accept his appeal to authority?”

    He’s got a right to think that people would respect his authority, due to the fact that he is a very well respected scientist whose field relates directly to this topic.

    “I ask because I’ve seen video of “truthers” saying that they wouldn’t believe the official story no matter what. That’s the sign of a pseudoscience, not science.”

    I would be willing to believe the official story after all relevant factors are entered into account, and clear logical science and precise scientific modeling is painstakingly applied to them. This has not happened yet, but I hope it will.

    “And I ask you to continue researching, but not to let yourself fall into these ad hominem traps. I’m sure there are details about the official story that are wrong, just as there are details about Evolution that are wrong. That does not, however, automatically make a unproven alternate theory a better explanation.”

    I never said alternate theories are the best or only explanation for what occurred. What I’ve said is that the investigations undertaken thus far have been obviously shoddy, and they have been. All that people like me want is a carefully conducted independent investigation that will take many more factors into account, and that doesn’t go out of it’s way to fix the facts around what the government immediately wanted us all to believe, and that doesn’t bend over backward trying not to find fault with anyone’s actions on that awful day.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 15, 2007 5:08 PM
    Comment #233028
    Yes, and it shows.

    What exactly is the theory by which reading more of his work would have turned what I had already read and had been able to see through into valid science?

    Uh huh. And that must be why Dr. Margulis thinks so highly of Griffin’s books. Because all internationally renown scientists admire flawed logic and a complete absence of facts.

    I don’t understand how you hang so much on one scientist in an unrelated field liking what he wrote and completely disregard the near unanimity of scientists in related fields who find his analysis to be bunk.

    There are people out there with PhD’s who think that Auschwitz was a hoax or think that Evolution is a hoax or think that Global Warming is a hoax. That doesn’t mean they are right.

    Where has consensus been reached? No place where I have read.

    I pointed you to a list of the peer-reviewed scientific papers that agree that the proposed mechanism for the collapse of the towers is reasonable. Did the link not work somehow?

    As for the NIST report, look again at Dr. Quintere’s comments that I listed in my post above.
    The interesting thing is that Quintere doesn’t actually support the “Inside Job” thesis at all. His analysis is that the NIST report is correct that normal structural engineering methods can explain that the towers collapsed without the need of additional explosives, but that mechanism was somewhat different.

    If your complaint is simply that there were imperfections with the NIST report, then we can stop this debate - of course there were; it was a report made by fallible humans with constraints of time, schedule, and evidence (fires burning for 99 days cause problems for evidence). If, though, you are using those imperfections as a reason to believe that the collapses wouldn’t have happened without a government conspiracy or controlled demolition, then we are still far in disagreement.

    If you were just saying that the reports were imperfect, then I wouldn’t have much to complain about. However, by lending credence to the demonstrably bad pseudoscience of David Ray Griffin, you show that you are going somewhere very different than where the evidence actually leads.

    What is wrong with having all of these people come forward to comprehensively debate this topic?
    You seem not to understand that they are debating the topic in the way that debate is done in science - through peer reviewed papers. Why do you want them to use something other than the standard scientific approach here?
    But the very people who hold up such peer reviewed papers as an adequate answer to every question, are the very same people who want to claim that another, completely independent investigation is unnecessary. I don’t understand this at all.

    Actually, it’s simple. It’s saying that the peer-reviewed papers are already filling the role of independent investigation, and those papers are not finding information substantially different than the NIST report. If they were finding major differences (like the columns of WTC1 and WTC2 would have been able to hold up to the dynamic load of dozens of floors falling upon them), then there would be a need.

    Instead, we have people asking for a new scientific investigation on political grounds. That’s not a good thing.

    None. But that seems to be because anyone who dared to ask questions that didn’t fit neatly into the official explanation column were doomed from the beginning to be shut out by their own peers in academia.

    Ahhh… The classic paranoia of pseudoscience and conspiracy theory.

    I thought you said your dad taught you how science works. Did he not teach you that the way to make a name for yourself in science is to find something that counters the conventional wisdom, that the point of science is to learn something new?

    So, is it Creationism or Holocaust denial that you’re using as a template here?

    Really? I couldn’t find it at all. So, what is their name and what are their credentials?

    I’m guessing you didn’t follow the link at all. That’s ok, but please don’t act like it was hard to find. It’s on page ii of the report (the second page by normal numbering), in the section called “About the Author”:

    About the Author Ryan Mackey is a research scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, specializing in vehicle autonomy and Integrated Systems Health Management for aircraft and spacecraft. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT). He has authored sixteen NASA Tech Briefs and Technical Reports, and received two United States Patents for his original research…

    I don’t claim he’s a PhD in Structural Engineering (although he refers to many of their papers in his article). But he’s not anonymous. Heck, he even prints his email address on the cover of the article.

    So yes, this is information that seems very pertinent to me.
    This is all a logical fallacy, but I guess it’s not worth pointing it out again.

    Would it make it any better if I hosted a copy of the article on my website and provided you a link? I think you can be pretty sure that I’m not funded by the government or a non-trustworthy media company.

    Of course, even if I were, facts and logic would still be facts and logic.

    BTW, I completely agree with you that the media didn’t do its job in the runup to the Iraq War, and they are complicit in our being stuck in a quagmire that we should never have even touched. That doesn’t, however, mean that the factual and logical basis of the article is dependent on the ownership of the server.

    I see that they’re trying very hard to paint Griffin as a loon
    Actually, they don’t have to try very hard at all - he does it for them. The article really doesn’t get into personal attacks like that; it goes through his claims about the NIST report one by one and showed how flawed his claims are based on science, expertise, logic, peer-reviewed papers, and full quotations.
    I’m really not interested in having a pissing contest with you. My friend died on 9/11, and all I’m interested in is a real investigation into those attacks. The official investigations did not include all of the facts and used questionable scientific methods, so I want one that will try to include all of the facts and use scientific methods that are careful, logical and above reproach. I’m sorry you seem to have such a problem with that idea.

    My problem is that you claim that you see all these holes and problems, but that you don’t let anyone try to help you answer them. If you really wanted answers to the questions you see in the official story, you would let some of us try to answer the questions, and you would read an article recommended to you. Instead, you put up a wall.

    I’m sorry that a friend of yours died. That you have a more direct personal connection to the attacks than I do is horrible. It does not, however, mean that Griffin knows what he’s talking about.

    I don’t accept half-assed answers…
    My general impression from the section that starts with this phrase is that the following is your approach:

    Because of horrible government behavior during the Vietnam War, you have taken the general position to be skeptical of anything the government says or does (not unreasonable, in my opinion). So, when the official reports came out about 9/11, you were looking for holes and seemed to have found them. From then on, you have done significant research trying to find validation that your suspicion is correct, gladly accepting the agreement of those who also found holes and considering that anyone who attempted to explain the discrepancies you see is discredited automatically because they disagree with you, even if they are actually experts in the fields in question.

    My approach is different. I also have some skepticism about the government, but not as much as you do. I would not be surprised by pretty much any lie told by the higher levels of the Bush administration to the 9/11 Commission, based on either ideology or CYA. However, the NIST report was not a political report - it was a scientific and engineering report, and I have more confidence in scientists and engineers to be honest than I do in politicians. Perhaps this is because I’m an engineer myself (not a PE, but I have two engineering undergrad degrees). You’ve extended your skepticism of politicians to cover non-political scientists and engineers across America and abroad, and I just can’t follow you there.

    You are impugning the honor and reputation of thousands of hard-working pilots, scientists, engineers, and first responders because you don’t trust politicians. Doesn’t that seem excessive? As I said before, the conspiracy theory proposed by Loose Change would require a conspiracy of about 800,000 people. I can accept a conspiracy of a few people working closely together (whether in Afghan training camps or in the White House). I cannot accept a conspiracy theory that requires hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans, including scientists and engineers, to be in on it.

    He’s got a right to think that people would respect his authority, due to the fact that he is a very well respected scientist whose field relates directly to this topic.

    Not when he’s in disagreement with the vast majority of those just as respected in his specialty, and particularly when he doesn’t present a single technical reason to agree with him.

    I would be willing to believe the official story after all relevant factors are entered into account, and clear logical science and precise scientific modeling is painstakingly applied to them. This has not happened yet, but I hope it will.

    Ahhh… So you would accept it if it were impossibly perfect. I call bullshit on you. I gave a list of at least a dozen discrete bits of evidence that would sway me, and your response is that you require a report that takes “all” factors into account and meets your undefined vague standards of perfection. The reports have been verified by dozens of independent qualified researchers. Why isn’t that enough? You won’t even share what your objections to the report are (unless I’m supposed to read the link you provided as a proxy for your beliefs), and you condemn any attempt to answer the questions you have as “half-assed”.

    When the only thing that would sway you is perfect knowledge, then you’re saying that nothing could sway you.

    doesn’t go out of it’s way to fix the facts around what the government immediately wanted us all to believe

    Did you know that the NIST team had a different theory going into the investigation than they had coming out of it? They started with a pure pancake theory and ended up with a theory that still-attached floor trusses helped eccentrically load the perimeter columns contributing to the failure. They changed their interpretation when they found that the evidence better supported another explanation. That’s the scientific method, and they followed it.

    I’m not saying (and would never say) that the reports are perfect in every detail. There were limitations in terms of time, money, cooperation from the administration, and destruction of evidence by a 1000-foot fall and 100 days of high-temperature burning. That does not mean, though, that they didn’t follow proper procedures or come up with something that is almost definitely very close to the truth. And it really doesn’t mean that David Ray Griffin knows what he’s talking about when he lies or gets confused by science he clearly doesn’t understand.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 15, 2007 8:33 PM
    Comment #233118

    Lawnboy:
    “The interesting thing is that Quintere doesn’t actually support the “Inside Job” thesis at all.”

    Why would you automatically assume to know what Quintere thinks? The fact that he has made the comments that he has might well be a cautious way of saying that he thinks the science methods and modeling that ended up being used in the NIST report was crap — so much so, that it is highly suspicious. That’s what I happen to think. I don’t know what kind of work you do, but I happen to understand very well that not everyone is always willing to go out on a limb to defend what they think, or believe, or suspect to be true. People often don’t want to lose their prestige, or their standing amongst their peers, or even their steady, well paying salaries enough to open their mouths, or be as forthcoming with their thoughts as they may wish they could be.

    “If your complaint is simply that there were imperfections with the NIST report,”

    My complaint is that there were noticeably shoddy methods used. And that even to a non scientist like myself, this is clear and evident.

    “About the Author Ryan Mackey”

    Oh, I saw Mackey’s name in the pdf. I was referring to who runs the website you linked to. The person who either asked Mackey to write that paper, or who decided to link to his paper. Much like the other website you previously sent me to in this thread, that one also seems to be run by a person who doesn’t want any of us to know who they are — and they also don’t need any advertising funding, or to list a hostserver name on their site.

    “My problem is that you claim that you see all these holes and problems, but that you don’t let anyone try to help you answer them.”

    I definitely don’t need the help of people who refuse to look at some of the questions the Truth Movement has raised, simply because the entire lot of those people, regardless of their educations, professions, or training have been branded as crazy, illogical, or stupid.
    Besides, I don’t even need to discuss this on blogs with random people. My own father has two Phd’s, and some other degrees that cover a wide range of scientific fields: everything from chemistry, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, environmental science, and fire science. I have several friends who are professional architects and engineers, and others who are professional mathematicians. I have talked with my Dad, and to these friends at length on this subject. And they have not laughed or mocked the questions that I have brought to them specifically to get their expert advice or merely an opinion. Indeed, most have been shocked when I’ve described what I’ve learned about these investigations, and dismayed when they finally took a look at them at my continual prodding.

    “You are impugning the honor and reputation of thousands of hard-working pilots, scientists, engineers, and first responders because you don’t trust politicians.”

    No, I am impugning their methods and modeling, and it makes me suspicious. They can worry about their own honor and reputations. If they care at all about them, they will do as Dr. Quintere has done, and call into question the report that carries their names.
    What you fail to realize is that our government not doing their best to get these investigations right could further endanger this country. Not just from the terrorism standpoint, but from a structural engineering and design, and fire safety, and emergency response standpoint.
    And why on earth would the people charged with that responsibility not want to get them as close to perfect as they possibly could? After so many of our people died in a terrorist attack, it just doesn’t make any sense.

    “So you would accept it if it were impossibly perfect. I call bullshit on you.”

    And I call it on you, as well Lawnboy. I don’t think you’ve even read the investigations in question. Instead, I suspect you’ve been taking lots of other peoples word on this, and not using your own brain. And what gets me about that is that I know how smart you are.

    Now, I’ll leave the last word to you. You can go ahead and call me some more names like “paranoid”, and “conspiracy theorist”, but I’m completely done with this thread.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 16, 2007 9:15 PM
    Comment #233120

    I personally don’t subscribe to any 9/11 conspiracy theories. However I should point out there are other ones besides having a controlled demolition take down the buildings. Such as:
    -Bin Laden’s group formed or manipulated by the CIA/Bush admin/PNAC or Bin Laden actually working for them. Note the close family ties between the Bush and bin laden families, as well the as the fact they obviously aren’t concerned about finding him.
    -A foreign government being involved. Sometimes a muslim country like Pakistan, more often Israel and its Mossad intelligence agency, maybe China. Usually with Israelie involvement its claimed they were working with the neocons.
    -Last but not least the theory they simply allowed it to happen, while not being directly involved.

    Posted by: mark at September 16, 2007 10:16 PM
    Comment #233177
    Why would you automatically assume to know what Quintere thinks?

    I wasn’t trying to presume omniscience. He doesn’t publicly support the “Inside Job” thesis, we can only work with what he has said and written, and I believe my statement is consistent with his public statements (I could be wrong). I am not willing, as you seem to be, to assume without evidence that his actual beliefs are different than what he says they are. It’s similar to my unwillingness to accept the assumption (by some) that the lack of evidence of explosives found in the rubble is further proof of the completeness of the conspiracy that supposedly bombed them in the first place.

    Oh, BTW, I wouldn’t take too much comfort in the agreement of experts at that Patriots Question site. They really don’t have any quality control there at all. In fact, one of the “experts” listed in the “Non-U.S. Architects and Engineers & Architectural and Engineering Professionals” section, Enzo Valenzetti, is actually a fake character created in the TV show Lost. Great list of supporters there.

    Oh, I saw Mackey’s name in the pdf. I was referring to who runs the website you linked to.

    I clearly said “author”, but we’re back to the ad hominem illogic.

    I was referring to who runs the website you linked to. The person who either asked Mackey to write that paper, or who decided to link to his paper.

    Anyway, I found more information that might assuage your concerns. Mr. Mackey announced his paper on this forum on the JREF. Here’s a snippet:

    I have sent copies to pomeroo, who first asked for it, and to ref who has followed its genesis too…Please send me a PM with a valid e-mail address, and I will send you a copy…ref (among others) is invited to put this paper on his debunking website, if he finds it useful.

    So, he wrote it at the request of a fellow poster on the forum, and he invites people to host it on their servers. The first person to host it (ref) is just another forum member from Finland. I don’t know if this information helps you, but it’s pretty apparent to me that Mackey wrote it of his own volition, and neither he nor the people sharing his work are part of a greater conspiracy.

    I invite you to spend some time on the forum. Mackey is on there responding to both praise and complaints. I’m sure you could share some good feedback with him, and he would be happy to respond.

    I definitely don’t need the help of people who refuse to look at some of the questions the Truth Movement has raised
    I don’t understand this complaint at all. Who are the people who refuse to look at these questions? I’ve asked to to share some questions. Mackey spends almost 150 pages looking nearly line by line at the questions that DRG raised. When surrounded by people that want to look at the questions, who are these refuseniks? I can’t see your response here as anything but a dodge - a desire not to see someone try to answer the questions you have.
    And they have not laughed or mocked the questions
    Perhaps you would not have been laughed at or mocked here if you raised the same concerns that you raised with them. I can’t say, because I have no idea what your specific concerns are, but you’ve quoted and approved of ridiculous pseudoscientific nonesense. Perhaps your questions are serious, and perhaps that’s what your friends responded to. I just don’t know.
    And why on earth would the people charged with that responsibility not want to get them as close to perfect as they possibly could?

    You haven’t even tried to establish in a clear way that this is true. You repeat it a lot, you refuse to go into details, and then you’re upset that we don’t all agree with you you. When you point me to a resource that supposedly supports your point, I found it to be ridiculously poorly constructed, full of bad logic, bad science, and quote mining.

    I’ve asked you a couple times to read Mackay’s report (which shouldn’t be a hardship since you claim to be seeking answers to your questions), which goes into lots of detail about how DRG’s complaints about the NIST are miguided. I’m really interested in what you would have to say about his analysis of DRG’s claims. However, there’s even more there that you might find interesting. After spending about 150 pages dismantling DRG’s pseudoscientific attacks on the NIST report, he spends another 15 pages looking at what he calls “Legitimate Criticism of the NIST Report”. He compares the NIST report to claims by the University of Edinburgh and Arup on Thermal Modeling, he looks at the difficulty of modeling fuel at impact, and he looks at the role of chemical attack. He looks at what NIST says vs. analysis by independent peer-reviewed research, and he at times agrees with the criticisms of the NIST report, saying that there are areas that should have been investigated further.

    Notice this! He actually agrees with you that there are areas of legitimate research that should have been investigated more! However, (and this is the important part) he doesn’t use those relatively minor gaps the way they were used by someone you pointed me to approvingly; as a wedge to introduce unscientific and inaccurate claims to support a conspiracy theory unsupported by the evidence.

    Sure, there were imperfections in the report. If your goal is truly to improve the scientific knowledge and the scientific and investigative process, then press on. However, to confuse those imperfections with a reason to accept, support, and repeat the bad science, bad logic, and lies of the “Inside Job” movement is not at all supportable.

    If your goal is really to find out why your friend died, the answer is clear: 5 hijacker/terrorists smashed a large jet full of jet fuel into the building where he or she was, and the combination of the immediate physical damage and the ensuing fire inevitably caused the the building to collapse, without the contribution of anything like a planned demolition. The science is clear on this; all else is handwaving.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 17, 2007 12:30 PM
    Comment #233184

    BTW, here’s support for what I said about Dr. Quintere’s beliefs:

    Although Dr. Quintiere was strongly critical of NIST’s conclusions and its investigatory process, he made it clear he was not a supporter of theories that the Twin Towers were brought down by pre-planted explosives. “If you go to World Trade Center One, nine minutes before its collapse, there was a line of smoke that puffed out. This is one of the basis of the ‘conspiracy theories’ that says the smoke puffing out all around the building is due to somebody setting off an explosive charge. Well, I think, more likely, it’s one of the floors falling down.”

    If you want to believe that he doesn’t actually believe what he says here, that’s your right. But please don’t pretend that I’m overreaching.

    If you read a little further, here is his theory of the collapse:

    Dr. Quintiere then presented his and his students’ research that contradicts the NIST report and points to a different cause for the collapses; the application of insufficient fire-proofing insulation on the truss rods in the Twin Towers. “I suggest that there’s an equally justifiable theory and that’s the trusses fail as they are heated by the fire with the insulation intact. These are two different conclusions and the accountability for each is dramatically different,” he said.

    So, mentioning him to support an alternate theory based in reality: good. Mentioning him to support the “Inside Job” conspiracy: bad.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 17, 2007 12:54 PM
    Comment #233195

    Whatever, Lawnboy. I said I’d let you have the last word, and I will.

    But let me just clear up one thing:
    Name: Enzo Valenzetti
    Title: Civil Engineer
    City: Leuven
    Province: Brussels
    Country: Belgium
    Discipline: Engineering
    Status: Degreed

    Verification Status: Pending Verification

    “Enzo Valenzetti, is actually a fake character created in the TV show Lost.”

    Lostpedia link

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 17, 2007 1:49 PM
    Comment #233207

    Did you bother to figure out what Lostpedia was before you linked to it? It’s a wiki about the ABC drama show Lost, and Valenzetti is a fictional mysterious character on the show. Thanks for proving my point about the weakness of the lists you find so comforting. At least they admit that his verification is pending.

    Oh brother.

    And by responding to my post with “Whatever”, you show truly how little you want to figure out your questions. I’m sorry to have wasted your and mine time trying to help you get answers.

    Unless, of course, you didn’t mean to be dismissive by that word. I highly doubt that.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 17, 2007 2:26 PM
    Comment #233208

    Further, this member list of the Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice claims that “Enzo Valenzetti” is a PhD in Civil Engineering at the Catholic University of Leuven. A search at the university finds no evidence of such a person, and neither does this list of their Civil Engineering staff and faculty.

    Great quality control.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 17, 2007 2:45 PM
    Comment #233245

    One thing everyone keeps forgetting is EVERYTHING in america is made by the cheapest bidder, using the cheapest materials and the cheapest labor. Personally, the original crash results are very plausible if you read the actual building plans, the primary supports were in the center and not the outside. If you know how JP4 burns it wouldnt shock you to know it takes quite awhile to burn off in large quantities and can generate enough heat to turn steel into taffey no matter how good the fire coatings are on it. Though I will give credit to one thing, it is astronomicaly improbably for two buildings like that to pancake straight down perfectly like that one did but hey, whoever said lightning doesnt strike twice was puffing a huge doobie cause ive seen it many times. Also consider how fast a jet moves and its mass certainly amazed me that it didnt simply do like a tree when you blow out a serious chunk of it by cracking and toppling. The way it went down saved more lives than it took so even though it was horific, we can thank God it did go down that way.

    Posted by: Paul at September 17, 2007 7:28 PM
    Comment #233262

    “Did you bother to figure out what Lostpedia was before you linked to it?”

    Yeah, I always read everything I ever link to.

    “Thanks for proving my point about the weakness of the lists you find so comforting.”

    That proves nothing. There might be a civil engineer in Brussels by that name, or it might be some asshole intent on discrediting the 9/11 Truth Movement so they could then point to it on blogs like this one.

    “At least they admit that his verification is pending.”

    Yeah, got to be very careful of those out to discredit what you’re trying to do in the face of so much ridicule, and rudeness, and often, complete ignorance.

    “And by responding to my post with “Whatever”, you show truly how little you want to figure out your questions.”

    No, it’s just that I don’t need people like you to help me with them. I want to talk instead to people like Joel. It’s a damn shame he hasn’t come back here to this blog. Maybe he can’t handle the ridicule.
    I don’t give a flying shit about such ridicule. Maybe because I lost someone who means more to me than any random person with an opinion, writing on a blog.

    “I’m sorry to have wasted your and mine time trying to help you get answers.”

    I’m sorry we bothered also. Especially since you’ve resorted to lobbing insults at me because I haven’t been answering you the way you wished I would. As for answers, well, it seems to me that you aren’t trying to get any answers — indeed, it seems you haven’t even bothered to read any of the investigations yourself. And if that is the case, it appears that everything has been explained to you by other people on some websites. Somehow you think that gives you sufficient reason to mock and denigrate people like me who have actually read the investigations, and came to realize that too many factors had been overlooked, and too many questions were allowed to be left dangling, therefore we aren’t willing to just swallow the “official story” whole.

    “Great quality control.”

    That’s funny, this is exactly what I said after reading all three official investigations — that our tax dollars paid for.

    Whatever, Lawnboy.
    Believe what you want, while I keep asking for a new independent investigation into the events that stole my friend’s life from him. The same event that gave the Neocons their opportunity to start wars, and trash the Constitution, and remove our civil liberties, just like they always wanted to.

    Posted by: Adrienne at September 17, 2007 10:03 PM
    Comment #233265
    There might be a civil engineer in Brussels by that name

    Nope. I searched for him at his supposed affiliation.

    or it might be some asshole intent on discrediting the 9/11 Truth Movement so they could then point to it on blogs like this one.

    You’re probably right. I think it was someone who wanted to make a fool of the truther movement. That doesn’t erase the fact that the movement cares more about putting names on a list than knowing what it’s talking about.

    I don’t give a flying shit about such ridicule.
    Have you convinced yourself of this? Because it’s pretty apparent that having someone who normally agrees with you call you on endorsing a charlatan and using tactics you normally disparage has really hacked you off.
    I want to talk instead to people like Joel.

    I know. You only want to hear from people that will tell you what you want to hear. Hiding behind “you have to match my reading list to deserve my debate” doesn’t hide it a bit.

    I’m very disappointed.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at September 17, 2007 10:31 PM
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