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As far as I could stomach - My review of Popular Science's Debunking 9/11 Myths

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posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 04:04 PM
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My brother, distressed that I could not buy the official story of 9/11, came to my "rescue" with a copy of Popular Science's Debunking 9/11 Myths. And so I began to read...
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As I began reading Debunking 9/11 Myths, I was immediately struck with a question. In the second sentence of the Introduction, the book says, “As evidence accumulated that conclusively linked the hijackings to Al Qaeda…” and I wondered, What evidence? I, in my humble state of lowly citizen, have never been told anything much beyond, “Al Qaeda did it!” I might presume that perhaps I merely missed the reports that said how anyone really knew this, that pointed to specific and irrefutable evidence, that gave the specific investigative steps taken and how it came to be that a supposedly unknown operation was so thoroughly opened within hours of the attack. But even my searches for this description at this late date cannot find anything but statements to the effect of “This is who did it! We know it!”

Ok, perhaps I missed something.

Continuing the above quote D9/11M goes on to say “…some self-proclaimed skeptics searched for alternative explanations.” Self-proclaimed? What skeptic is NOT self-proclaimed? Others cannot confer the official title of Skeptic on you – you claim your skeptic-hood yourself. And so the tone of the book is set. Make skeptics out to be somehow unbelievable because they have proclaimed their own skepticism.

The next sentence says, “Many seemed driven to find a way to blame the United States for somehow abetting, or even orchestrating, the tragedy.” In fact, many were looking at evidence and hoping fervently that the seeming direction it pointed was illusory. I was one of them. But as more and more evidence accumulated, the arrow persisted in pointed to that most anguishing of conclusions. And rather than burying our heads in sand, we try to pull others’ heads out.

D9/11M goes on to say, “In the years since the attacks, these assertions have grown progressively more lurid and pervasive.” It strikes me that the “assertions,” based on evidence and critical thinking for the most part, are indeed “lurid” because the truth would seem to be lurid. They are more pervasive because the evidence is being brought to more and more people via the internet. (Expect net neutrality to be soon a thing of the past, and searches to bring back only officially sanctioned information…)

The book suggests that skeptics “cherry-pick” information from amongst the available data, not accounting for the idea that, if it is true that certain members in power orchestrated the attacks, some data will be true and some false or misleading. What is “cherry-picked” are the anomalous data – the data that make sense only in the context of a cover-up of conspiracy, and those data are added to the data that are calculated (e.g, the burn time and heat production of jet fuel), data that are not mentioned in the official account (e.g, the immanent decommission of the Towers in 2007), and other facts gathered.

When it is mentioned that “blueprints” were checked, I wonder what blueprints they had to check… The Tower blueprints are sealed away – why this is so is open to speculation – and so they could not have checked the Tower blueprints…

At the conclusion of the introduction, they refer to suspicions (based in large part, if not entirely on the facts) as being “poisonous.” Are we to cast away our suspicions because the path we are moving on, impelled mostly by the emotions created that day in 2001 and showing remarkable similarity to 1984 with benefits to those the evidence suggest probably had a hand in the event, merely because some want to believe that it could not be?




posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 04:05 PM
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In Chapter 1, the first suggestion addressed, which involved landing the planes, moving people to another plane, scuttling the original aircraft and shooting down the plane full of people, is probably false, as D9/11M suggests. Beyond the fact that the aircraft named as the receiving craft could not accommodate the entire list of passengers and crew, one had to ask who said, “Yeah, I’ll fly that craft!” Way too convoluted and too many additional witnesses. And the original source is highly questionable. But I do find it interesting that this assertion, in its patent absurdity, is the first item discussed, setting the expectation for following content to be equally as absurd.

I’m not sure where the evidence is that is cited in recounting the behavior of the pilots and planes after hijacking occurred, but it is odd that no military response took place in the time suggested in which it was known that the planes were, indeed, hijacked. No data were given of where we can verify these conversations and behaviors, so I cannot give full credence at this time. If sources were offered, I could promote these suggestions on my “probability scale” substantially.

The next item discussed is the “pod,” a seemingly anomalous bulge seen in photographs taken of Flight 175. The photos were examined by a NASA official (which may or may not be an issue – NASA is a government body and could have people complicit in a cover-up, after all) and it was said that the “pod” was merely the fairing for the landing gears. The photo was offered by D9/11M along side a photo of an “identical” craft. Interestingly, the segment of plane shown in the Flight 175 photo was not the same as the segment of plane shown in the “identical” craft. The “identical” craft photo shows a closer view (and therefore less of the plane), yet the “pod” and fairing are about the same length in the respective photos. Also, I note that though in the “pod” photo one can see engines on the wings, yet cannot see the trailing edge of the wings. In the “identical” craft image, though a closer image, both the leading and trailing edges can be seen (with lots of space in the photo both front and back of the wings) yet no engine is in view. Not to mention that the wing angle is not identical. I must conclude that these are not photos of “identical” craft. Not even close. So why are we being told that they are?

There’s more obfuscation in discussing the issues of dealing with digital vs. analog photographs, where they suggest that analog is “bottom of the barrel” in terms of resolution. (All this follows after they had just discussed a high resolution scan of the original, analog, photo given to NASA for examination.) As I have great experience converting analog photos into digital format, I know that analog photos are the HIGHEST resolution, being Continuous Tone, or CT, as opposed to pixel images. It insults my intelligence to suggest that analog is the “bottom of the barrel.” Images on the web are usually 72 DPI (dots per inch) and are, indeed, low-res. But images at any practical resolution can be offered on the web – at higher resolution, they take much longer to download, but they still can be offered. I have scanned images as high as 3200 DPI and that is not the top resolution one can achieve. This discussion is clearly BS and meant to misdirect.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 04:06 PM
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D9/11M goes on to say that despite the thousands of eye witness accounts, “Popular Mechanics has been unable to find a single eyewitness account of missiles or ordnance attached to the aircraft.” Given the speed of the craft, the unexpected nature of the attack, the likelihood that any given eyewitness would have no clue what missiles or ordnance might look like, and no one looking specifically for such items, it stands to reason that the only way to find such items, if there were any, would be in examining photographs after the fact. On top of that, they point out that many of these witnesses were “standing directly under the plane’s path.” Suggesting there is some meaning to the fact that horrified witnesses failed to notice detail in the brief time they could actually see the plane as it sped overhead in the gaps between obscuring high-rise buildings is, again, obfuscation and misleading.

The text continues with the point that retrofitting passenger jets with missiles, etc., is not easy. But if we take the photo of a 767, offered in comparison of the planes, to be what it is claimed to be, and having concluded that the plane in the 9/11 photo is NOT the same type of craft, we might conclude that it could be a military plane. I don’t know for sure what it is, but the angle of the wings suggests it might be military… If this is so, there would be no need to retrofit.

And then there is the statement about NIST, who concluded the damage to the Towers was consistent with impact, not ordnance. I don’t know anyone suggesting that ordnance alone hit the Towers. Planes did impact, so of course impact damage was seen. The point to bringing this up suggests, again, that someone is looking for good sounding BS to fill pages. The building some say was hit by a missile was the Pentagon, but D9/11M specifically says NIST examined the Towers, not the Pentagon.

As for the “windowless plane” debunk, I can’t make any counter claims. I do think it’s interesting that the question, “How does he know the debris came from Flight 175, as opposed to some unidentified aircraft?” was brought up, and then was answered with circumstantial evidence: that the pieces were painted the right color and some pieces had part numbers consistent with a 767… It could be argued that D9/11M says that the part numbers correspond specifically to the 767 that flew as Flight 175; however, it could also be argued that they were suggesting that the part numbers were merely consistent with such a plane. Be that as it may, I would be far more impressed if images of those numbers, along with copies of the records showing them had been offered, along with the picture of a piece of plane with windows. (Also, I’m curious as to what that structure is, behind the men on the “roof” of a building. It looks like the remains of a Tower, making me suspect that the picture isn’t from a very high-rise roof, but I don’t have enough data to make a specific assessment.)

Next is the question about a “stand-down order.” D9/11M lists one claim, that the armed forces were told to stand down on 9/11, and then claims another – under the heading of “Fact.” That claim is:

“On September 11, only 14 fighter jets were on alert in the contiguous 48 states.” Ok… According to whom? Where can this be verified?

Proceeding from there we have an example of why so few would actually have to know about any plan…I guess. It suggests that we were so arrogant as to believe that no threat existed internally that we weren’t looking for it – this despite the fact that our military had run games based on the scenario of planes being hijacked and flown into the WTC Towers… A comedy of inefficiencies is described and compounded by the problem of the transponders being off. Ok, I can get behind this. Like I said, it seems the military didn’t have to know about the plan.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 04:07 PM
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Under Widespread Damage, witnesses (who will not be named – why would witnesses want anonymity to “testify” about what they saw on 9/11???) described fires and smoke in the elevators and basement. This is used to support the idea that fuel flowed down the elevator shafts all the way to the basement and caused what was witnessed. Though I might guess the fuel might head for the elevator shafts, it doesn’t prove that what was witnessed was not a product of bombs. On top of that, the fuel, which many experts agree largely burned up in the fireballs caught on film as the planes hit, would have to make it in large enough quantity to explode into the lobby and basement, just about exactly the time of impact – witnesses are (not anonymously) stating that they saw explosions in the basement before the planes hit, but maybe it was just after? This means that the fuel would have had to flow 70 stories or more nearly instantaneously.

In fact, witnesses who heard and saw explosions before impact, are complaining that their stories were rebuffed by official inquiries. Their claims are not credible, I suppose.

The statement of Fireman Cacchioli published in People is, “On the last trip up, a bomb went off. We think there was [sic] bombs set in the building.” In retrospect, he claims that, “They were trying to twist my words and make the story fit only what they wanted to hear.” The fact that there are a number of firemen on tape discussing the series of explosions they heard or saw, likening them to controlled explosions, the fact that “we” (firemen) did indeed think there were bombs, and that it is difficult to “twist” the initial quote – that a bomb went off – into anything other than suspecting a bomb went off makes me suspect that Cacchioli was prompted to recant. This cannot be proven, of course, but offering to put his face on the cover of the Time-Life book might make an impact… Either way, the initial statement is not exactly ambiguous, and we cannot necessarily presume his later comments are untainted. (Interestingly enough, it does not say that he didn’t say that a bomb went off; it makes a load of implications but does not flat out deny that those were his words.)

Next the fact that no steel-frame building had ever collapsed from fire is addressed. D9/11M puts forth that though the fuel burned off quickly – in 10-15 minutes – we are to suppose that the contents of the buildings continued to burn hot enough to weaken the steel to the point of collapse in about an hour’s time. Yet there are buildings on record that burned for 10 hours, 15 hours, 18 hours without significant damage to the steel structure. On top of that, they suggest that the experts agree… All? In fact, if all the experts agreed, there would be no questions.

Nothing is brought up about the fact that steel easily transmits heat away from the point of application, and that the whole structure was available to accept and radiate heat from the fires, reducing the speed at which the steel could heat up at.

They try to make the case that the fires kept burning in the basement levels – from (I guess) the fuel that poured down the shafts that burned up in 10-15 minutes – to the point that metal pooled exactly like that which is found in controlled demolition because the heat was contained and increased in an insulated state. But if that is so, where did the oxygen come from? The heat must have been there in the beginning, suggesting that it was hot enough in the insulated pockets at the time of collapse to leave pools of molten metal. This from fires that never reached the temperatures to actually melt the steel, only weaken it.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 04:08 PM
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Sorry, I just don’t buy this explanation.

That “(t)wo metallurgy professors also say they found flaws with the evidence (Steven) Jones uses to support his arguments” leaves me unimpressed as well. They are merely unconvinced and have their own interpretations of the photos in question. Yet the book presents their views in a way that suggests that finding two such professors necessarily means that they are right.

I watched footage of a steel/thermite reaction. The resulting dripping glops of metal were distinctive, and though I can’t say that I am an expert, I have seen footage of many fires and have never witnessed that particular drippy behavior. In footage of the towers, just prior to collapse, a zoom onto the blaze revealed exactly the same sort of drippy metal behavior as I witnessed from steel/thermite. (This metal was dripping at the edge of the building where, one must presume, the heat was at its lowest…) And yet the book has some “expert” claiming that he doesn’t “know of anyone who thinks thermite reactions on steel columns could have done that.” Talk about cherry-picking “experts.” In fact, a great number of people believe that it could. And footage shows that it does.

And then they go on to offer highly improbable ways happenstance might have produced thermite on the spot! Oh, it sounds so good when they tell it, but when you think about it, it sure seems they’re trying to cover all bases. Say thermite doesn’t make those drippy glops (by having an “expert” claim they don’t know of anyone who thinks that) and then, in case that is called to question, throw in a “Gee, it just formed on its own!” line. I roll my eyes.

Then they suggest that thermite charges don’t burn through steel slowly – they detonate very fast. But the footage I watched showed a rather slow (minutes) thermite burn (as well as special, angled cutting charges that do burn very swiftly, but that have to be wrapped around the steel beams to be effective and are used at the base of the building to promote implosion in the downward direction of the angle) that melted a steel car hood and its steel engine. I might presume that there are several types of thermite charges and that beams that could not be wrapped and only needed to be severed (as opposed to angled for promoting implosion) could have long-burning charges placed next to them, creating the heat necessary to do the severing.

Yet D9/11M makes it sound as if the slow-burning charges don’t exist. I am yet further unimpressed.

The “Puffs of Dust…” I am highly amused by the explanation for these. D9/11M suggests that the air in the building was merely forced outward, causing these puffs. If this were the case, isolated puffs would not occur floors below the collapse lead. The air would be forced out of many places at once (creating the dust cloud that burst outward as the collapse took place). The “path of least resistance” is invoked as an explanation, discussing “a fairly common phenomenon in building collapses.” As if high-rise collapses occur without controlled implosion often, I guess. I remain fully unconvinced, and think some yellow journalism is taking place.

Loizeaux, the executive at Controlled Demolition (the company charged with cleaning up the WTC mess!), is said, but not quoted, to have explained, “The biggest commercially available charges…are able to cut through steel that is three inches thick.” Then D9/11M says that the box columns in the towers were 14 inches on a side – as if this has anything to do with the thickness – and makes it sound like for that reason, no charges exist that could cut through. But the columns were not solid. They were hollow. Solid columns are structurally less than hollow ones. And so, the question remains…how thick were these columns? My bet is no more than, and probably somewhat less than, three inches.

How misleading is THAT?



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 04:09 PM
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At this point, I cannot imagine why anyone can take this work of “debunking” seriously.

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I couldn't stomach any more and did not proceed into the Pentagon issue, nor any of the rest of it. It was so clearly BS.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by AmaterasuIn the second sentence of the Introduction, the book says, “As evidence accumulated that conclusively linked the hijackings to Al Qaeda…” and I wondered, What evidence? I, in my humble state of lowly citizen, have never been told anything much beyond, “Al Qaeda did it!” I might presume that perhaps I merely missed the reports that said how anyone really knew this, that pointed to specific and irrefutable evidence, that gave the specific investigative steps taken and how it came to be that a supposedly unknown operation was so thoroughly opened within hours of the attack. But even my searches for this description at this late date cannot find anything but statements to the effect of “This is who did it! We know it!”

Ok, perhaps I missed something.


Yes, I believe you did. Osama Bin Laden issued two different fatwas declaring war on America and pledging to kill as many Americans as possible, one in 1996 and one in 1998. You can read the transcripts here:
www.pbs.org...
www.pbs.org...

Couple this with the fact that he had been involved in several attacks on American assets already, such as the Embassy bombing in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Tanzania, and the attack on the USS Cole. See more info here:
www.npr.org...

and don't forget Bill Clinton had lobbed a few missiles his way in 1998. I'm sure that pissed him pretty good.

Considering all these facts I think it was plain as day that Osama was the most likely culprit behind 9/11 immediately after the fact. In fact one of the first things I said when I saw the planes hit the towers on television that day was "I bet Osama Bin Laden is behind this." It was just common sense to anyone who had been paying attention to world events.



posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 01:51 AM
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Excellent review and I appreciate the obvious time and trouble that went into it. This was a pretty comprehensive overview of one of the most referanced tools of the debunkers.

I too read the PM debunking 911 myths when it first came out and found much of it so convoluted I really had me asking myself " How could they write this garbage." I didn't have a problem with the Bin laden attachment but did with due process and that the FBI wasn't forthcoming with anything concrete to even list the terrorists with anything more then words to the effect that they were thought to have done it.

I just didn't buy it that they could have come down that way from the start and assumed who ever it was used explosives in addition to the dramatic plane collision. Then when all the data was being given about the Government knowing or having been aprised of the attack,, an opportunity of sorts to effect the expeditious new changes that we have seen ever since. All using 911 as the primary reason to justify every thing the BUSH WHACKERS have accomplished. Why doesn't he just admit it. He wants a military presense in the middle east and always has.

It's just all the damn lies from Jessica Lynch Pat Tillmans death, Condi Rice lies George tenent's Slam Dunk, Haliburton, Cheney,,GRrrrr I don't even want to start describing my thoughts about him. to the way this inarticulate doofus can't finish a single sentence without showing us and the world what a dunce we have as President.

You know,, I would have been behind him regardless of wmd's but I hate a liar when the lies come from those I expect to be held to the highest standards and accountability.


The more I see he can't be trusted, the easier it is to believe he would be the type to be involved in something like that.

Again,, Amaterasu

Nice work on the review


-=[conspiriology]=-



posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 10:44 AM
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Originally posted by sesshin

Originally posted by Amaterasu
Ok, perhaps I missed something.


Yes, I believe you did. Osama Bin Laden issued two different fatwas declaring war on America and pledging to kill as many Americans as possible, one in 1996 and one in 1998. You can read the transcripts here:
www.pbs.org...
www.pbs.org...

Couple this with the fact that he had been involved in several attacks on American assets already, such as the Embassy bombing in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Tanzania, and the attack on the USS Cole. See more info here:
www.npr.org...

and don't forget Bill Clinton had lobbed a few missiles his way in 1998. I'm sure that pissed him pretty good.

Considering all these facts I think it was plain as day that Osama was the most likely culprit behind 9/11 immediately after the fact. In fact one of the first things I said when I saw the planes hit the towers on television that day was "I bet Osama Bin Laden is behind this." It was just common sense to anyone who had been paying attention to world events.


Hmmm... Lessee, they knew about Osama's statements for at least 3 years, had info on him from before that, and we just took this circumstantial evidence and proclaimed that it was him...? That sounds like what you're saying.

What I want to know are the actual investigative steps that brought us to the fully evidenced awareness that it was him and not someone else who also had a beef with us.

If we just said, "Hey, Osama has said and done all these things. It must be him!" then we have no leg to stand on accusing him. If we found information trails, followed them, procured evidence and concluded from that the Osama was behind the attacks, then sure. We have something. But I doubt it all was investigated properly in the few hours (what was it, four?) after the "surprise" attacks.

Show me the evidence, the hard, cold evidence, and not some supposition based on years-old evidence. I can't find any.



posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 10:49 AM
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Some of this stuff just can't be debunked in my opinion.

Not that my opinion matters to anyone but me
.

[edit on 28-8-2007 by fweshcawfee]



posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 04:59 PM
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Whoa - too much to read there in one go, but I get your drift.

Some people want their hand holding and telling "it's OK" (when evidently it isn't). Some people can't stand the thought that their government could possibly have something to do with something so terrible. They are the same people who wouldn't question that report.

You do have to be careful of CTs as there is some absolute rubbish out there, but if you balance it carefully against a high standard of evidence and rationale, then it is tough to reach any conclusion other than the most logical one (even if it isn't what you were expecting), and hopefully, the correct one.

Sure - you can make facts fit the CT, but there is a certain point where the facts direct the CT. It is why good research is so important, and evidence backing (or debunking) the claim is key.

As in law, weight of evidence rules even in CTs. If 10 things point at A, and 1 thing points at B, then A must be true (or false, depending on the claim and the evidence).

[edit on 28-8-2007 by mirageofdeceit]



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by mirageofdeceit
 


Thank you for your input. I think the thing that most struck me were the pictures of two different planes that so clearly weren't the same make and model being claimed to be the very same, with circles drawn around the areas in question to draw one's attention away from the fact that the planes were not the same.

I have heard that "the pictures were taken at different angles!" But the angles were not so far off that they could explain why the wing widths and engine locations were so radically different.

It's scary to realize that there is such a system of deceitful, evil people and to realize that they have eviscerated the Bill of Rights and the Constitution itself right under the public's noses and most stand in the gore of the corpse insisting that the band-aid of "For our protection" will bring it back to life.

[sigh]



posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by sesshin

Considering all these facts I think it was plain as day that Osama was the most likely culprit behind 9/11 immediately after the fact. In fact one of the first things I said when I saw the planes hit the towers on television that day was "I bet Osama Bin Laden is behind this." It was just common sense to anyone who had been paying attention to world events.


So you "think" and you "said" should be good enough "evidence" that Osama did it?




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