Psychology of A&E9/11Truth on SGU

Twin Towers, March 2001This week’s Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe features a discussion (starting at 38:20) of the claims made by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. A&E9/11Truth is a conspiracist organisation whose main argument is that the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers could only have been caused by controlled demolition. An email is read asking “can you… honestly say that there is absolutely nothing interesting or suspicious about the manner in which all of the towers, but specifically WTC7, came crumbling down.” The panel offers cursory rebuttals of the main claims, noting that each point has already been covered in detail by people with legitimate expertise in the relevant subjects. The discussion turns towards the psychology of conspiracy theorising, pointing out that A&E9/11Truth’s claims are an example of anomaly hunting – combing through every eyewitness account, news report, photograph, video, official report etc about the events of 9/11, and seizing upon any piece of information that doesn’t immediately appear to fit with the generally accepted narrative. These small pieces of errant data are framed as being curious and sinister, with the implication that they provide evidence of a conspiracy.

Anomaly hunting is not unique to 9/11 conspiracy theories; it is characteristic of all conspiracy theories. Philosopher Brian Keeley argues that the reliance on errant data gives conspiracy theories an appearance of explanatory strength; the conspiracy theory is apparently able to account for everything explained by the mainstream narrative, plus all the anomalies and errant data which appear to go against the mainstream account. Yet this superior explanatory strength is an illusion. Under scrutiny, the leap from anomalies and errant data to a coherent alternative conspiratorial narrative is unjustified – the anomalies so crucial to conspiracy theories are not satisfactory evidence.

This feature of conspiracy theories is, in part, a product of the confirmation bias. The idea that a conspiracy took place is the starting point; any evidence that can be shoe-horned to fit with that theory is incorporated and any evidence that doesn’t fit is dismissed, distorted or ignored. In the case of A&E9/11Truth, anything that appears to support the hypothesis that the collapses were a result of controlled demolition is accepted uncritically, and everything else is disregarded. But conspiracy theorists aren’t the only ones who are susceptible to the confirmation bias; we all are. John McHoskey looked at biased evaluation of evidence in relation to J.F.K. conspiracy theories (full-text paywalled). Both believers and skeptics selectively accepted or dismissed pieces of evidence to fit with their preexisting point of view. Confirmation bias is unavoidable; it’s part of being human. To overcome it requires a conscious effort to let our beliefs be shaped by the evidence, rather than shaping the evidence to fit with our beliefs.

About Rob Brotherton

Rob is a Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, and assistant editor of The Skeptic []. Follow Rob on Twitter: @rob_brotherton
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10 Responses to Psychology of A&E9/11Truth on SGU

  1. Abandon TV says:

    “… the idea that a conspiracy took place is the starting point; any evidence that can be shoe-horned to fit with that theory is incorporated and any evidence that doesn’t fit is dismissed, distorted or ignored. ….”

    So very true. Starting with a conspiracy theory is always a recipe for disaster – even if the intentions really are to honestly uncover the truth.

    The ‘9/11 truth movement’ appears to have started off with a conspiracy theory involving elements within the Bush administration and controlled demolition involving thermite. From there they have worked backwards pointing out anything which appears to back up this theory, while ignoring all the evidence which completely contradicts this theory.

    The problem is that conspiracy theories are so often centred on beliefs and assumptions, and not reason and evidence. The proper (ie scientific/ forensic) way to expose the truth regarding 9/11 (or any other crime) is to start off by examining at the evidence first, and once the evidence is gathered to then apply reason to it. Even at this second stage we must remain free of all ‘beliefs’ and ‘assumptions’ which might influence our thinking.

    In an episode of ‘Air Crash Investigation” one of the air crash investigators said that when driving to examine a new air crash site he did not even switch on the radio for fear that the initial news reports of the plane crash might bias his examination and assessment of the evidence.

    He is absolutely right. It is the evidence itself which must be allowed to tell us what happened and the evidence always will – if we let it. A proper investigator’s job is to make sure the evidence is able to ‘speak and be heard by all’.

    If we put aside all ‘beliefs’ and ‘theories’ regarding the WTC we are able to look at the raw evidence without bias, and in doing so we can quickly disprove the ‘thermite controlled demolition’ theory. Using evidence and applied reason this can be done in just a few paragraphs … as I shall now demonstrate!

    We know for sure that 14 people survived inside ‘Stairwell B’ inside the North Tower (WTC1). Stairwell B was situated within the core structure (as all stairs and elevators were).

    (To get a feel for the structure, the materials and sheer scale of these towers you can check out this picture or flick through this short (and old!) film documenting the construction process.)

    The controlled demolition theory proposes that thermite or explosives were used to slice through the 47 core box columns and 240 outer box columns on every floor (or every few floors) to produce a vertical and symmetrical collapse of the towers. At the base of the towers (where the 14 people survived) the core columns were made with steel approximately 5″ thick. Thermite is an incendiary (it melts things). It is often used to weld railroad tracks together. If these core columns had been sliced (melted) instantaneously by thermite or blown up by conventional explosives the 14 people inside the core would surely have also been incinerated or blown to bits. Human beings are a lot more fragile than 5″ thick steel after all.

    And if WTC 1 had collapsed down as a result of controlled demolition their bodies would also have been crushed and buried under the 500,000 tons of building collapsing down onto them. Each floor weighed 4500 tons and was an acre in size. And there were 110 of them stacked up to a height of 1300 ft. Each tower weighed 500,000 tons.

    But we know that the 14 survivors were not incinerated by thermite or molten steel, nor were they blown up by explosives, nor were they crushed by collapsing floors, nor were they buried under 500,000 tons of steel and concrete. How do we know this? Because, after WTC1 was gone and the dust had started to clear, the trapped survivors saw sunlight streaming in from *above* their heads and some of them (such as firefighter Mickey Kross) even managed to crawl *up* and out by themselves. None of them had suffered burns from thermite or molten steel and none of them had embedded shrapnel or deafness from explosions. They were just covered from head to toe in fine dust.

    We can also look at the photographic record of the remains of WTC1 such as this photograph which clearly shows the distinctive lobby columns (more widely spaced and arched at the top) and a single core column sticking up (the tall one leaning slightly to the left). This is approximately where the 14 people survived. Now you can see how they managed to escape by themselves: the debris ‘pile’ barely reaches the top of the lobby. Note the ambulance parked at street level just out front of the remains of WTC1. The parked ambulance gives us a reference for street level and we can see that it is not buried under 500,000 tons of concrete and steel. It’s roof is not even dented. The grey pieces in the foreground are aluminium cladding.

    Controlled demolition works by causing a building’s supports to fail, at which point gravity pulls it down to the ground. Obviously no controlled demolition took place here or else there would be a mountain of debris consisting of 11 miles of core columns and 60 miles of outer columns (plus all the horizontal beams connecting them), 110 acres of concrete and 110 floors’ worth of steel floor trusses and steel pans, all the lift shafts, electric generators, equipment, carpets, wiring, A/C ducts, marble facades, windows, furniture, toilets, vending machines, water tanks etc. But this material was just not present in and around the twin towers’ footprints, as you can see.

    It’s worth remembering just how massive those towers were.

    Also we know that something was causing the steel to turn to dust in mid air as can clearly be seen in the photographic and the video record of the event. (with literally hundreds more photos and videos from all angles showing the same process occurring: a massive thick dust cloud being produced from free falling material well before any of it even reached the ground).

    The seismic data recorded was also much smaller than would be expected for buildings of that mass slamming into the ground. WTC 1 measured a magnitude of only 2.3 with no P or S waves recorded (only surface waves). When WTC7 was destroyed at around 5:20pm on 9/11 it barely registered any seismic signal at all (0.6) despite having a mass of 230,000 tons. These signals do not match up with the records of seismic data for known controlled demolitions of other buildings.

    This is just a fraction of the irrefutable (and easy to verify) physical evidence which makes a complete mockery of the controlled demolition hypothesis. If the so called ‘truth movement’ had only bothered to look at this evidence BEFORE coming up with their theories then they would never have come up with the controlled demolition theory in the first place.

    In order to maintain scientific, intellectual and *moral* integrity we must also apply the same raw evidence and critical thinking to all 9/11 conspiracy theories – including those promoted by the mainstream media and governments.

    The government/ media 9/11 conspiracy theory basically involves the twin towers suffering a total, progressive, vertical collapse from the top down due to structural failure caused by plane impacts and jet fuel/ office fires.

    Any kind of total, progressive, top down, vertical collapse would have resulted in 500,000 tons of building material lying in and around the footprint of each tower, forming a roughly conical mound of debris consisting of around 80 floors of crushed lower tower and 30 or so floors of relatively intact upper tower (the required ‘pile driver’).

    The crushed lower floors and the upper mass sitting on top (the bit which did all the crushing) can’t have both leap sideways and jumped into the Hudson river when they reach the ground. If the towers did indeed collapse down to the ground then 500,000 tons of material must have ended up in and around the tower’s footprint in a big messy roughly ‘hill shaped’ pile. Using the conservative formula of one foot of rubble for every floor we would expect to see a rubble pile at least a hundred feet tall.

    But what we ACTUALLY see at the base of both towers is an essentially flat debris field well below the height of the lobby. Approximately 80% of the mass of the towers appears to be missing from ground zero (WTC 3 and 4 almost completely disappeared into thin air), and what little debris there is is scattered over a wide area, without any ‘pile’ as such.

    Any type of collapse hypothesis (by either jet fuel or controlled demolition) requires a pile. And there just isn’t one. Compare these two photos showing the relative height of WTC1 before it was destroyed with the ‘pile’ left behind after it was destroyed. (in the second photo WTC 7 can bee seen still standing in the background proving that this photograph was taken before 5:20pm on 9/11). Note the single solitary core box column standing up.

    This is not theory this is EVIDENCE. And all of it is consistent – the missing debris, the lack of seismic signal, the steel observed turning to dust in mid air, the massive dust cloud so thick it blocked out the sun 100% for several minutes in Manhattan, the 14 survivors of Stairwell B, the un-dented ambulance parked right outside WTC1 and hundreds of other pieces of evidence not discussed here.

    It would be scientifically, intellectually and morally bankrupt of us to not test *every* 9/11 conspiracy theory (both official and alternative) by measuring them against the known physical evidence and applying logic and reason. None of the 9/11 theories are supported by the raw evidence. All of them are contradicted by the raw evidence.

    The same is true with respect to ‘conformation bias’ and ‘information cascades’. These factors also need to be considered alongside the official as well as the alternative 9/11 conspiracy theories. Let’s not forget that it was a mere 45 seconds after the second WTC tower strike that the mainstream media started talking about Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda being number one suspects (you can watch the archived live news footage on youtube). This information was beamed all around the world, to an audience who were in a state of shock and trauma – which any psychologist will tell you makes people much more suggestible and impressionable.

    And from 10:30 am on 9/11 the entire mainstream media, broadcasting live to the entire planet, described the destruction of WTC 1 and 2 as a ‘collapse’. This ‘collapse’ terminology was repeated over and over and over again in the hours, days, months and years after 9/11. This terminology was even used in the official investigation. Just using the term ‘collapse’ in conversation limits the scope of thought and of science and therefore limits the scope of any potential investigation (official or amateur).

    If someone is found dead in their house we would be incorrect to describe it as a ‘shooting’ if there was no bullet or bullet wound present. Calling it a ‘shooting’ would also seriously limit the scope of any subsequent investigation into the death.

    In the same way it is equally incorrect to describe the destruction of the twin towers as a ‘collapse’ due to the lack of rubble pile at the base, the steel observed turning to dust in mid air, the lack of seismic signal, the 14 survivors who weren’t buried etc etc.

    The fact that WTC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 were ‘murdered buildings’ and not murdered people does not mean we can be any less thorough or exact when determining HOW they were ‘murdered’.

    Scientifically speaking, can cannot possibly describe this as a ‘collapse’.

    I have absolutely no idea who carried out the crimes committed on 9/11.

    The physical evidence does not tell us WHO specifically carried out this crime. But the physical evidence does tell us WHAT happened to the WTC complex and surrounding area – as long as we are prepared to listen to it.

    We cannot even begin to talk about ‘who did it’ until we have first established with some clarity what it was ‘they’ actually did.

    ‘9/11’ is a date, not a crime. You cannot accuse someone of committing a date. You have to clearly define the crime. For the last decade everyone has been so busy pointing fingers at their preferred suspect(s) that they’ve forgotten to first establish what the actual crime was!

    To hear what the evidence is saying we need to act like that air crash investigator and remain unbiased and free of all ‘beliefs’, ‘theories’ and ‘assumptions’ regardless of whether they are officially endorsed or not.

    We should all follow the air crash investigator’s lead and switch off the radio… and allow the evidence to speak to us directly.

    Let’s not forget the recent lessons learned regarding the reliability of official government endorsed conspiracy theories. In 2003 the UK and US governments aggressively pushed the THEORY that Saddam Hussein was CONSPIRING with his military to amass WMDs in secret. This government conspiracy theory has led to a million deaths, and as we all know it was later proven to be completely unfounded.

    Putting too much stock in conspiracy theories is a largely pointless exercise at best, and can be genocidally catastrophic. Hitler’s Third Reich and the holocaust was sold to the German people in the form of a conspiracy theory.

    For the sake of peace on earth, let’s all just stick to the evidence.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks for this – very interesting perspective. There’s been quite a bit of scholarly analysis of the collapse, amount of dust produced and energy required to do so, and amount/height of debris. The evidence seems to be that the energy of gravity-driven collapse accounts for the pulvarisation of concrete & other building materials seen during the collapse, and the debris pile was not unusual for buildings the size of WTC1&2. Buildings of that size don’t collapse in the same way as much smaller buildings just a few stories high.

      This informal analysis covers many of these points and this peer-reviewed article deals in depth with the pulvarisation of concrete during collapse and seismic records.

      I have to admit that the steel turning to dust in mid-air is a very compelling visual illusion, but a more parsimonious explanation seems to be that the steel is falling downwards and leaving pulvarised dust it was covered with hanging in the air.

      • Abandon TV says:

        “…..There’s been quite a bit of scholarly analysis of the collapse…”

        I know ….. and I find it rather depressing.

        I know the term ‘collapse’ may seem innocuous enough but it’s actually a very specific term. Saying a building ‘collapsed’ is rather like saying a dead body was ‘poisoned’.

        Imagine carrying out an autopsy on a corpse which everyone refers to NOT as ‘the deceased’ but as ‘the poisoned victim’. This immediately changes (and narrows) the whole scope of the investigation. No one would care that the corpse had abrasions around its neck and there was a length of cord found nearby if everyone was already fixated on analysing what poison might have been used and how it might have been administered. Instead of analysing the evidence they’re all busy trying to come up with a theory to explain this (assumed) ‘poisoning’.

        The same is true when analysing ‘a building collapse’. Calling it a ‘collapse’ immediately rules out every other form of destruction. We should be analysing the *raw evidence*. You cannot analyse an assumption.

        And to make things even worse, if you give the job of analysing an assumption to a bunch of ‘scholarly types’ they will inevitably end up using ‘all the tricks of the trade’ to try and make this assumption ‘work’.

        This doesn’t even have to be a deliberate deceit (a conspiracy), they might just do it naturally and even unconsciously. A hotshot defence lawyer will naturally use ‘all the tricks of the trade’ to make a known criminal appear like the paragon of virtue and innocence. A skilled salesman will naturally find ways to make ‘pterodactyl insurance’ seem like a necessity. It’s what they’ve been trained to do.

        And so ironically (or is it paradoxically?), letting a bunch of physics buffs analyse a ‘collapse hypothesis’ is likely to take us further away from the truth, not closer to it. And this is before you add other more mundane pressures such as political pressure or intimidation, social conformity, dependency on funding, reputation, conflict of interest, media or academic consensus etc etc…

        A collapse hypothesis (or ANY hypothesis) must be able to explain all the evidence. The evidence must always be king. The evidence is generally ignored by all ‘sides’ of the 9/11 debate (official conspiracy vs alternative conspiracy). But they’re both on the same side really ….. the side that doesn’t really bother to look at the evidence 😉

        There were 1400 ‘toasted cars’ in and around the WTC complex – some of which were parked up to half a mile away. These cars exhibited weird deformation and ‘erosion’ effects. Some of them had ‘toasted’ interiors right down to the bare steel, as if burned out by a ferocious fire, yet the vinyl seats or plastic lights were untouched proving that there was little or no heat involved (some were also full of unburned paper). Some of the vehicles were even missing their engines as if the engines had simply melted, yet the rest of the car was relatively intact with unburned paper on the ground, unburned leaves on the nearby trees and no WTC building debris anywhere in the vicinity. Was all this the result of a building collapse? If so how? If we can’t explain how then we must concede that a ‘collapse hypothesis’ doesn’t explain this evidence and back to the drawing board we go….

        What specifically caused the marble facade of Bankers Trust to simply vanish? (and what flipped that car over onto its back?) What specifically caused the bizarre deformation of this steel beam in the WFC? If a building collapse across the street caused the ‘crinkling’ of that beam then we need to be able to say HOW it caused it. If we can’t then we must concede that a ‘collapse hypothesis’ does NOT explain this physical evidence. Back to the drawing board once more….

        “….The evidence seems to be that the energy of gravity-driven collapse accounts for the pulvarisation of concrete & other building materials seen during the collapse….”

        Is there really evidence….. or is it just another assumption? It sounds more like an assumption to me: We assume the building collapsed….. We observe it turning to dust in mid air….. Therefore this must be pulverisation of materials due to the assumed collapse. This is circular logic (a logical fallacy).

        Pulverisation is another specific term we need to be wary of using. Pulverisation implies a grinding process – the breakdown of materials due to extreme abrasion and impact forces. Has steel ever been known to pulverised upon impact with steel (or concrete or the ground) – even when travelling at terminal velocity? I don’t think so!

        Anyway, the steel is clearly turning to thick dust in mid air – in free fall – falling down beside the towers. There can be no pulverisation occurring during free fall because rushing air (even at 200mph) does not provide enough abrasion to pulverise steel.

        “…the debris pile was not unusual for buildings the size of WTC1&2. …..”

        This is an assertion but how is it backed up? What does ‘the usual debris pile’ even mean? It suggests the average pile observed from a long list of previous collapsed 110 story buildings. But no buildings the size of WTC1 and 2 have ever collapsed before. So what is this assertion based on? Not the argument from authority (ie ‘experts’), I hope. That is another logical fallacy I’m afraid.

        At the time everyone was shocked and dumbfounded by the lack of rubble, even the news anchormen. Then everyone stopped talking about this key evidence and started discussing a bunch of conspiracy theories instead (both official and alternative ones).

        “…Buildings of that size don’t collapse in the same way as much smaller buildings just a few stories high….”

        I agree. They have a much higher aspect ratio for a start. But let’s not forget, no building of that size (and shape) has ever suffered a total collapsed before. If WTC 1 & 2 did indeed collapse down to the ground they would be the first and only buildings of that size to do so in history. They would be the exception to the rule.

        We know that other tall steel framed buildings such as the Madrid Windsor Tower didn’t collapse, despite being ravaged by an inferno for 24 hours (making the WTC office fires look pathetic in comparison). What’s interesting about the Windsor Tower fire is that it did partially collapse, but this did NOT lead to total collapse of the structure.

        Here is the Windsor Tower on fire and still standing afterwards.

        Fires (and plane impact damage) are tend to be localised and asymmetrical. (assuming one plane and four sides to a building!). If the resulting damage becomes severe enough to initiate a collapse this collapse is bound to be asymmetrical too. In other words the hottest/ most damaged/ weakest sections will fail first. The rest of the building (above the failed area) will either remain standing or will lean into the collapsed zone and either come to rest there (slump down) or else topple over like a felled tree. This is especially true with tall (high aspect ratio) buildings.

        What’s shocking about the destruction of WTC1,2 and 7 is that they did not behave this way, instead they shared a level of precision not ever observed outside of deliberate controlled demolition. I’m not saying they shared the same *characteristics* as controlled demolition (they clearly didn’t), but they did share the *level of precision* – in fact you could argue that they *exceeded* the level of precision observed in controlled demolitions because to date even WTC7 was taller than the tallest building ever brought down by controlled demolition (the Twin Towers being more than twice the height).

        Remember that in a controlled demolition split second timing is required in order to make every vertical support fail instantly. If the timing is not split second accurate and some of the supports are blown a bit before the others the building will begin to lean in that direction and topple to one side – a process which once started cannot be stopped. (conservation of angular momentum)

        This timing gets more critical the taller and ‘thinner’ the building is. Even the CD experts sometime get it wrong and a building topples over that was meant to drop straight down.

        But we know that the destruction or WTC 1, 2 and 7 remained symmetrical all the way down to the ground. (irrespective of how this was achieved).

        Given what we know about controlled demolition (the months of meticulous calculations, preparation and exact rigging of a building – plus the split second timing of the CD itself), it seems HIGHLY IMPROBABLE that asymmetrical fires and asymmetrical plane impact damage could have somehow caused a symmetrical failure of BOTH towers on every floor all the way down to the ground. The same improbability applies to WTC7 too.

        Let’s not forget WTC 7 was also verytall and slender and it also appeared to suffer asymmetrical (and light) damage and some randomly distributed office fires, yet it too came down with near perfect symmetry which implies instantaneous, symmetrical and total failure of every structural support throughout its entire height. Its rubble hardly even spilled across the sidewalk!!!

        To achieve this kind of precision with controlled demolition would put you in the ‘controlled demolition hall of fame’. Even WTC7 was taller than any controlled demolition ever carried out to date. I’m not saying it WAS a conventional controlled demolition (in fact I’m saying it was not), but the way it came down matched or even exceeded the precision of one.

        Factor in the ridiculously small (0.6) seismic signal (equivalent to the impact of just a couple of floors – not 47 floors weighing 230,000) and any theory has an awful lot of explaining to do!

        No wonder NIST omitted WTC7 from their initial report…..

        NIST also admitted in a legal challenge (RFC) that they did not analyse the collapse beyond the ‘point of collapse initiation’. This admission led to them (or rather their contractors) being sued for science fraud.

        A ‘collapse’ is already an assumption (a theory) to begin with. NIST admitted to not even analysing this assumption. And so we can accurately describe the official government endorsed (taxpayer funded) 9/11 progressive collapse theory as being based on an unfounded assumption which was never even officially analysed! LOL

        Wouldn’t it be funny if NIST’s hired contractors (who did not analyse the assumed collapse) also turned out to be involved in directed energy weapons…..

        Some criticisms of the two linked papers…

        PAPER ONE: ‘Vaporizing the World Trade Center’

        (emphasis added) ‘Since only 12% of the building volume was solid, the towers should collapse into a pile 12% of the original height of the building, or just about 50 meters high. Since 18 meters of that pile WOULD BE filling the basement, the above-ground portion would be 32 meters high’.

        ‘Would be’ is an assumption. If we now switch to the *actual evidence* we find that the basements were not full of debris. There were some crushed in areas of course but generally the basement levels (even those immediately below street level) remained relatively intact – as numerous photographs taken by the rescue teams show. You can even read the names of some of the shops in the underground malls. Two (child sized) disney display models were famously recovered undamaged from the Disney store situated underneath the twin towers. The only file cabinet recovered (the only one out of thousands which all disappeared) was recovered from Ben and Jerry’s in the basement.

        And let’s not forget the 14 people who survived inside the core of WTC1. It is inconceivable that more than a third of the building mass passed them by on its way down into the basement levels.

        We know from video and photographs that the core of WTC1 (AKA the ‘spire’) remained standing for about 20 seconds longer than the rest of the structure. Plus we know the 14 survivors were alive at the base of this core structure.

        Let’s look at the towers’ design again. Note how much floor space the core structure actually takes up. We already know the ground around WTC1 was basically intact and even had undamaged parked vehicles on it.

        And so the question is, WHERE and HOW exactly did this alleged debris get into the basements? The paper suggests approx 180,000 tons sneaked into the basements but does not say how. It does not say because it is not dealing with the EVIDENCE or with REASON – it is just concerned with making a hypothetical theory ‘work’ instead.

        The paper also shows the famous Raising of the Flag at Ground Zero photograph along with the caption ‘I could be wrong, but that looks like a mighty substantial pile of debris behind the firemen’.

        The author is indeed wrong. According to Thomas E. Franklin who took the photo, it was taken from a distance and with a telephoto lens. He states that the firefighters were about 150 yards (137 m) away from him and the debris was 100 yards (91 m) beyond that. I’m sure 20 minutes of research would be able to establish the ‘rubble pile’ as being one of the still standing parts of WTC 4, 5 or 6 – covered in a layer of rubble of course. However it is NOT not the actual remains of WTC 1 or 2 (as implied by the caption) which we know from numerous photographs and videos was for the most part levelled almost down to the ground. The WTC debris certainly did not extend above the height of the lobbies.

        Therefore the photo and caption are misleading, perhaps intentionally so, perhaps not. At the very least this kind of (self) deception is what happens (often unconsciously) when we try to prove a theory, rather than letting the evidence speak for itself. The photo and caption puts this image in everyone’s head and everyone *believes* the towers collapsed into a huge rubble pile when they did not.

        The paper’s air of authority also contributes to the public acceptance of such nonsense.

        ‘…..One of the favorite theories for bringing the towers down, apart from thermite or demolition charges, is directed energy weapons. These are especially favored by folks who argue that large parts of the towers were turned to dust or vapor…..’

        It’s not a ‘favourite theory’ or even an ‘argument’. The EVIDENCE shows bare steel turning to thick dust in mid air. Note the lower section has its inside face towards the camera. We can see no drywall, plasterboard, concrete or other materials attached to it – just bare steel. The outer side only had aluminium cladding attached to it. Therefore the dust MUST be coming from the steel itself. It is only about 20 stories above the ground (as referenced against the silver building which is WTC3) and so it must by now be travelling at some considerable speed. Yet it continues to produce thick (impenetrable) dust in its wake. At this speed this means a HUGE quantity of dust is being produced. Try driving a van down the freeway at 100mph (or faster) while emptying sacks of dust out the back end and see how many sacks of dust per second you need to empty in order to create a thick wall of dust in your wake.

        Even if such a thing was possible, there are no giant sacks of dust attached to the falling steel and so the steel itself has to be turning to dust. This is not a theory it is conclusive evidence.

        The same steel can be seen falling right at the start of this video

        ‘…Real directed energy weapons fall into very limited categories….’

        Assumption! Assumption! Assumption! Is the author an authority on every technology that’s been developed, with top secret clearance into every military industrial corporation in the world? I don’t think so.

        This is another circular argument (logical fallacy). We are not aware that X exists, therefore X can’t possibly exist (even if it appears to exist) because we are not aware of its existence – which is proof that it can’t possibly exist (despite appearing to exist).

        RADAR was being used well before the public knew it existed. So were stealth aircraft. The first native Americans knew about guns was when they started being shot at from men far away in distance! For them it was highly advanced weapons technology. The assumption made by the author is that there are no longer any secret technologies. If this assumption (this theory) is true then it would be a first in the history of mankind.

        Anyway, directed energy technology is NOT a particularly secret technology with people even developing it in their own home labs. There are directed energy related patents going back a century. The use of bizarre DEW’s in Iraq is well documented.

        And two of the contractors used by NIST (SAIC and ARA) are known to be involved in DEW development. (There you go!) ARA co founded the ‘Directed Energy Professionals Society’. So that’s a solid link between military industrial contractors involved in DEWs and the 9/11 official investigation.

        PAPER TWO: ‘What Did and Did Not Cause Collapse of World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York?’

        This paper invalides itself by the seventh word: ‘collapse’. The paper has narrowed its scope to a single assumption instead of examining the actual evidence. (as already explained at length)

        Have a look at the second set of diagrams labelled ‘crush down phase’ and ‘crush up phase’. These diagrams bear no resemblance to the physical evidence. They are merely solving a hypothetical problem constructed out of assumptions and theories …..not evidence.

        In reality there was no ‘block’ acting as a pile driver. The upper sections of both towers are turned to dust almost immediately, followed by the rest of the towers, as we can see here (WTC1) and here (WTC2).

        Also look at those diagrams and note how they show a sensible estimate for the size of the rubble pile.

        Now compare it with the actual evidence… here’s WTC1 before it was destroyed and here’s what was left afterwards. This is a tiny fraction of the rubble shown in the diagram.

        I’ve made a direct comparison pic HERE The red outline shows the sensibly sized rubble pile (as per the diagram), the yellow outline shows how much rubble was actually there. (as shown in the ‘afterwards’ picture linked above)

        This is another example of the apparently sensible ‘scholarly’ hypothesis having no bearing on REALITY (on the physical evidence). All the paper does is make a hypothesis which is based on assumptions seem vaguely plausible (using cartoons)……. It’s got nothing to do with WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED on 9/11.

        Looked at scientifically (ie forensically), these papers are not worth the paper (or pixels) they’re written on. They’re no more based on the evidence than the crazy controlled demolition theories are.

        ‘…I have to admit that the steel turning to dust in mid-air is a very compelling visual illusion, but a more parsimonious explanation seems to be that the steel is falling downwards and leaving pulvarised dust it was covered with hanging in the air….’

        It is totally bizarre, I agree. But that doesn’t mean it has to be an illusion. There are many psychological and social reasons why we might resist admitting the observation that the steel turning to dust in mid air. Two big factors are social / political pressure to conform to the mainstream consensus and the shocking implications of admitting a type of free energy technology exists in somebody’s hands which has not only been kept secret but has been weaponised.

        But I don’t want to tell anyone what to make of the evidence, I just think we should keep looking at it every day.

        It seems to be trying to tell us something… 🙂

    • Darrell Leland says:

      This is a nice look at the actual facts, but it’s preaching to the choir. The very fact that you are hammering on all these “truthers” with “facts” merely shows them how anxious “they” are to cover up the actual truth. Read Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer” for a very good look at the mind of conspiracy theorists and all fanatics.

      Personally, I have a very simple response to the “controlled demolition” ideas. If you are going to blow up a building with explosives, doesn’t that require a lot of drilling, placing of big explosive packs all over the place, and miles and miles of heavy wiring? How do they explain that nobody noticed during the weeks it must have taken to pull all that off covertly? Nobody heard all the noise? Nobody saw all the wires? The explosive packs everywhere? Nobody at all?

      Of course, it’s quite useless to point this all out. I gave up arguing with fanatics a long time ago.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        Hi Darrel,

        Check into the WTC elevator upgrades that took months and entailed hundreds of technicians in and out of the buildings with equipment and tools.

  2. psikeyhackr says:

    It is curious how people do not seem to understand what the word controlled means.

    WTC7 looks like a NORMAL controlled demolition. But WTC1 and WTC2 do not. But controlled really means that the thing being controlled does what the controller wants. The objective in a NORMAL controlled demolition is to minimize collateral damage, like WTC 7. But that is not what happened with 1 and 2.

    But it could have been controlled just for a different than usual purpose.

    It is certainly curious how the entire physics profession can’t discuss the distributions of steel and concrete in skyscrapers after all of these years. I guess the physics of skyscrapers is too difficult for physicists. But after 11 years they would look pretty ridiculous if they had to admit that it is easy to understand why airliners could not have done that.

    • Abandon TV says:

      “….WTC7 looks like a NORMAL controlled demolition. But WTC1 and WTC2 do not. But controlled really means that the thing being controlled does what the controller wants…..”

      Yes you’re right that WTC7 certainly looks like (or ‘not unlike’) a conventional controlled demolition. A magician also looks like he is sawing the girl in half but (unless he is a terrible magician!) he is not.

      The destruction of WTC7 differed from a conventional controlled demolition in several important ways.

      WTC7 created a seismic signal of only 0.6 which is about what you’d expect from maybe a three story building collapsing to the ground – certainly not 47 stories. Several recording stations failed to pick up any signal at all for WTC7, it was barely discernible from background noise. We know the equipment was sound because nearby quarry blasts were recorded as per normal.

      Also the neighbouring buildings – particularly the post office building – did not suffer the expected ‘machine gun’ damage associated with a typical controlled demolition type event. We can calculate that due to the rate at which WTC7 came down the air being forced out should have exceeded Mach 1 (or more) and should have turned objects inside the building (as well as small chunks of concrete etc) into high speed projectiles shot out of the sides of the building, especially at the lower levels. In fact this is partly why buildings are usually gutted before doing a conventional controlled demolition. Yet no such projectiles were shot out of WTC7 at high speed, despite the building being full of ‘stuff’. We know this because the side of the post office building just across the street was virtually undamaged.

      And the dust cloud produced was also uncharacteristic of a conventional controlled demolition. It was far too thick and voluminous.

      Although WTC 1 and 2 bear no resemblance whatsoever to a conventional controlled demolition they were both very controlled events. Again, both towers miraculously managed to create a minuscule seismic signal (equivalent to perhaps 30 stories collapsing and not 110). They also did not topple over which would have taken out several neighbouring buildings if not whole blocks (depending on how much of the towers fell sideways).

      The WTC ‘bathtub’ was not damaged (which confirms up the low seismic signal data – and vice versa). The bathtub was the slurry wall which enclosed the WTC complex and kept out the Hudson river (WTC 1 and 2 were built on bedrock 70ft below the water table). Had the bathtub been breached water would have flooded into it and into the underground train network, flooding both the tunnels under the Hudson as well as much of lower Manhattan.

      The towers were also levelled down to the ground and a significant proportion of their mass was turned to dust which covered all of lower Manhattan up to several inches deep (which CCD does not do) as well as rising up into the upper atmosphere in such large quantities the white dust cloud was even visible from space (again, which CCD does not do).

      Curiously, the earth’s magnetic field also seemed to fluctuate in sync with the main events at the WTC complex, as measured by several magnetometer stations. There was also (again curiously) a massive – and largely unreported – hurricane sitting just off the coast of NY on the morning of 9/11. Hurricane Erin (category 3) had been making a bee-line towards NY for about a week, yet no warnings were issued. The hurricane was closest to NY and at its greatest strength at 8am on 9/11, after which it made a 110 degree turn and headed back out into the Atlantic. The hurricane was close enough to create field effects (thunder) as reported by all three NY airports on the morning of 9/11. It had already started to rain in Cape Cod just up the coast.

      Whatever did happened in NY the evidence certainly suggests a series of controlled events of some kind. It’s interesting to note that only buildings with a WTC prefix were destroyed that day. WTC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 were all gone (or mostly gone) by the afternoon of 9/11, while all the surrounding buildings and everything else above and below ground remained relatively intact, including the bathtub.

    • hybridrogue1 says:

      Of course psikeyhackr,

      The towers were blown up in such a way as to give the appearance that the airliner crashes caused the global collapse of the buildings. Therefore the external charges were from the points of impact down, one can clearly see the demolition waves and squibs in the videos and still imagery. The core was another matter and was weakened in stages throughout the period between the air crashes and the final demo. The first charges went off in the basements some 17 seconds before the actual air crashes, as is shown in the seismic analysis. See:
      Seismic Evidence of Explosives in WTC Basements
      “In the three cases, the bell-like form points to an impulsive source of energy, not percussion on the ground due to the fall of debris. The total mass and the average mass of individual building fragments were relatively small and fell to the ground over a period of more than ten seconds (which is a very long time in geophysics). Also note that the duration of a seismic signal does not tell anything about the source, in distinction from the amplitude and, particularly, the frequency.”~Dr. Rousseau [pg. 5]

      Click to access RousseauVol34November2012.pdf


  3. G says:

    It would appear that the commenter “AbandonTV” is suggesting that some kind of directed energy weapons were used to destroy the WTC. That’s a conspiracy theory I’ve never even heard of before. The only thing it leaves out are the two airliners full of fuel;-)

    As for thermite, there’s a simple counter-hypothesis: that thermite dust or something indistinguishable from it, is a normal byproduct of the welding and steel-cutting and similar operations that routinely occur in urban highrise construction. If that’s the case, we would expect to find similar particles in other cities with highrise steel-frame buildings.

    So the simplest way to debunk the “thermite” CT is by collecting samples of urban dust from other cities, upwind of NYC, and looking for similar material. Has anyone done this?

  4. hybridrogue1 says:

    “Anomaly hunting is not unique to 9/11 conspiracy theories; it is characteristic of all conspiracy theories.”~Brotherton

    Anomaly hunting is also the stock and trade of forensic investigation. However, one needn’t hunt too hard to find the anomalies screaming in your face when it comes to the events of 9/11. They are legion and the official narrative is absurd beyond Kafka.

    And yes “AbandonTV is suggesting that some kind of directed energy weapons were used to destroy the WTC,” I recognize the argumentum verbosium common amongst the cult of THE BOOK {Where Did The Towers Go? by Judy Wood}. This is a tome of disinformation meant to distract from the real evidence of chemical explosives in the aftermath.
    . . . . . .
    The dust signature is unique according to this investigative team:
    WTC Dust Signature Report by RJ Lee Group, Inc. – Report Date: December 2003
    WTC Dust Signature Study: Composition and Morphology 130 Liberty Street Property
    [Prepared for: Deutsche Bank]

    “The distinctive composition, solid phases, and unique morphological features have allowed for the development of a “WTC Dust Signature”: dust containing particles that, when occurring together, can be considered to act as identifying source tracers. The WTC Dust Signature can be compared with dusts of unknown provenance using conventional source apportionment methodologies, forensic tags derived from microscopic observations, or statistical analysis.” — pg. 5.
    . . . . . .
    APPENDIX C : Limited Metallurgical Examination – Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, R. D. Sisson, Jr. of Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    It is in this examination that the first evidence of ‘Thermite Arson’ is revealed in this report by the discovery of iron – aluminum rich microspheres, and the signature of eutectic corrosive attack on the steel samples tested.
    A further exposition is given by Jerry Lobdill, June 2007
    . . . . . .
    This is the paper that presents this conclusive evidence:

    Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
    Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen Pp 7-31

    “We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately 430 °C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional thermite. Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.”
    But this is only one aspect of the overall case involving a proven military cover-up spoken of by the two chairs of the 9/11 Commission itself; Hamilton and Kean, who said that the testimony given by the military was contradictory and changed throughout the proceedings.

    There are is fact no evidence that any of the alleged hijackers actually boarded any of the planes in question on the morning of 9/11. The FBI has not charged Osama bin Laden with the crime.
    It is historical fact that al Qaeda is a subsidiary of Western Intelligence created to sucker the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan by National Security Adviser Brzezinski, to provide them with their own Vietnamesque quagmire.

    I could go on, but any lucid mind should get the picture.

    For more information on the demise of the WTC:


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