A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts

From Abracadabra to Zombies

reader comments: 9/11 conspiracies

14 August 2011
As a scientist, I find your definitions and the idea that 19 Arab gentlemen pulled off 9/11 according to the party-line rather infantile. I [sic ] true skeptic questions *everything* even the government. Guess you'd rather just go along to get along...not very scientific at all really.


reply: So, Steve the scientist, do you have anything to say besides that you find a pretty well-established fact "infantile"? I would think that a true scientist could do better than that.

You might consider that there's a difference between not trusting the government and ignoring all the evidence contrary to the view that 19 Arabs, all fanatical Muslims, hijacked four commercial airplanes and, as you put it, "pulled off 9/11." You shouldn't trust the government, but you shouldn't let that mistrust blind you to the facts.

Whether you're a scientist or not, I have no way of knowing. Not that it matters. Being a scientist wouldn't imply that you are any better or worse than the rest of us at finding out what is most likely true about anything.


1 August 2010
Having read your article about 911, or more precisely your dressing down of David Ray Griffin, I cannot help but wonder what your sources of information have been for such a scathing attack on Mr. Griffin's intelligence, education, and mental stability.

reply: Did you even read my article on 9/11? I make no reference or implication regarding Griffin's intelligence, education, or mental stability.

Personally, I can't offer an explanation of what happened on September 11, 2001. But, I can say with absolute certainty that what is offered in the "911 Commission Report" is pure fiction, to be generous.

reply: If you can't explain what happened on 9/11, how can you be absolutely certain that the report is not an accurate account of what happened? Either you do know what happened or you don't. If you don't, then you don't know whether the report is mostly accurate.

Unlike others who have questioned this event, I resist speculation on what other possible motivations and goings-on there might be for the events of 9/11. This only invites the hyper-patriots to attack your credibility. However, any sane person with functioning eyes and ears can immediately discern that the official explanation of events on that day is seriously lacking in common-sense, and is clearly in violation of several of the acknowledged laws of physics.

reply: What was that about attacking the intelligence or mental stability of critics?

I could sit down with you for hours to debate the totality of evidence screaming fraud, but I offer here just a few things to consider. What, if anything, you choose to do with it is entirely your decision. And, I must point out at the start, I only use evidence for my arguments, no speculation.

reply: Yes, I think we understand. You say you're going to produce evidence, not speculation. That will be refreshing.

1) The FBI identified 19 men who they say were involved in the actual hijacking and aiming of the jets into various buildings and a (8 mile radius) field in PA. Seven of the men ID'd are still alive and well, and have conducted interviews on various talk shows in the UK.

reply: Only seven? One of your colleagues says nine survived. He even names them and shows pictures. You didn't happen to post videos of those interviews on YouTube, did you? Instead of a few alleged quotes from alleged people who allegedly talked to the hijackers after they were allegedly dead, why don't you produce these seven fellows? Obviously, they can't be charged with any crimes, since the hijackers are dead and these guys aren't dead (or so you and your sources say). They should be free to go on any talk shows they want. Larry King would probably have them on if he weren't going out of business.

The FBI, having received this information have refused to revise their list of names, or even the photographs of the suspects (in the event that 7 of these men have a common name with the alleged hijackers). (I will also point out here that all of the men in question were claimed to have had a copy of their wills in their luggage. Would you take your last will & testament with you on a plane that you intended to destroy?)

reply: The FBI followed a half million leads, but it is surprising that they didn't follow-up on these talk-show fellows. They must be easy to track down. I don't know what your point is in bringing up the claim that the hijackers carried their wills with them.

2) Watching the events of 911 on TV that day, I heard every single reporter (at WTC in New York) on TV referring to explosions, and even heard several explosions myself 'Live'. Several of the witnesses pouring out of the building were reporting explosions. William Rodriguez - a janitor in the WTC towers - recalls how he was in the B2 level when he heard, and felt an explosion below him seconds before hearing the first plane impact above. A man came out of the elevator bank on the B2 level suffering terrible burns from what he described as an explosion.

reply: Your point is?

Beginning the very next day, and to this day, anyone even casually mentioning "explosions" is immediately assigned to the "Conspiracy Theorist" category. By the way, Mr. Rodriguez was interviewed by the infamous 911 Commission, but not a single reference is made to him anywhere in the 911 report. Coincidentally, neither were any of the other witnesses who mentioned explosions.

reply: If you were sitting in a room in a building when a huge airliner filled with fuel crashed into it, you might think you heard an explosion or two, also. If you were nearby when a skyscraper crashed to the ground, you might think you heard an explosion or two. What's so significant about "hearing explosions"? Are you taking these testimonies as proof that bombs were set by somebody and it was these bombs that people were hearing? Very flimsy argument, and definitely more speculative than fact. Also, Rodriguez is a pretty high profile guy now. He's kind of hard to make disappear, as if there was any need to.

3) Every crime scene in the past 50 years (at least), has been immediately cordoned off and evidence has been systematically photographed, measured and otherwise scrutinized for further investigation.

reply: You've been watching too much fiction on television and at the movies. Crime scenes are routinely bungled and evidence contaminated. Didn't you watch the OJ trial?

Immediately after the "crash" into the Pentagon, we see Mr Rumsfeld and a few others scurrying around the Pentagon lawn, picking up pieces of the "plane". This is a Federal Offence, nobody has the authority to even so much as touch any of the evidence until a thorough investigation of the crime scene has been completed.

reply: You can't be serious! You remind me of the soldier in Dr. Strangelove who didn't want to shoot open a coin-filled machine to get a dime so the British officer could call the president and try to save the world from nuclear destruction. Do you think you or any other human being at the Pentagon on 9/11 was playing by a script? Crime scene? That's what would have been on your mind had you been in the building at the time? This is a crime scene; better not touch anything. And when some terrorist group sets off a dirty bomb in your city, you're telling us that you're going to be calm, cool, and collected? You won't taint anything at the "crime scene," right?

Secondly, most of the steel beams, etc. which were once the WTC Towers (and conveniently cut into 30' sections as a direct result of the collapse) were quickly loaded onto trucks, and hauled to barges where they were loaded onto barges and removed to China before anyone had the chance to inspect every last inch of the steel, as per customary investigation methods.

reply: Maybe they should have piled all that steel and rubble at Macy's until there was time to do a forensic analysis on each and every piece. Or should they have left the debris where it lay, no matter that somebody might be buried beneath it?

4) After the "crash" into the Pentagon, but before the collapse of the section involved, there was - plainly visible - a hole approx 15' in diameter, with no further damage from the wings/engines or tail section. So, a whole Boeing 767 squeezed itself through a hole 15' in diameter, just before vaporizing into thin air? Those engines contain Tungsten parts that are virtually indestructible, but were never found!

reply: You didn't read my article or you'd know that this claim has been been adequately dealt with.

5) Of the 85 or more videotapes available of the "crash" into the Pentagon, apparently 84 of them, and most of the other one contain some sort of information that would compromise "National Security" were the information known to all the world. Have you ever asked yourself what the likelihood is of the possibility that these videos would reveal something which would further threaten the US? All we should see - according to officials - is a jet skimming across the lawn before entering the Pentagon. What's there to classify "Top Secret"? Nobody asks. Nobody cares...

reply: What is it you want to see? Videos of body parts? Many people care and they care that debunkers like you call hearsay and innuendo facts, not speculation.

I could go on and on, but this is more than enough to justify a real investigation. It is also enough to stop acting like a 4 year old by calling people names and belittling, and degrading them when you do not agree with them (for some reason).

reply: The four-year old is the whiner who rejects every honest investigation that has occurred because it didn't fit with his speculations.

I'll let you in on a little secret about this attitude. As soon as someone begins countering strong evidence with immature name-calling instead of with equally damning evidence to the contrary, he/she is immediately considered as an accomplice, or hopelessly brain-washed (thus, unwittingly being an accomplice). Which are you?

D. Kovalsky; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

reply: You might want to ask yourself that question, Mr. Kovalsky. Your evidence wouldn't hold up in any court. You've ignored every point I make in my article and the many more points that others have made that I refer to. I have no idea why you consider the points you make here to be "strong evidence." An unbiased reader will conclude that you are motivated by something besides the preponderance of the evidence. Finally, your whimpering about being called names is childish and unmanly, especially when you call those who disagree with you  "hopelessly brainwashed."

Mr. Kovalsky replied:

Please excuse my mistake. I read an article on your website without knowing whom it was who runs the website. The article I was referring to was 9/11: A Date That Will Live in Infamy review by Richard Morrock. It seems I was assuming incorrectly that the article I was reading was by the same person who runs the site. I did not know Bob Carroll was who I was writing to about these problems.

He also added some comments:

It is quite easy to know that, while I do not know the answer to a question I can say with absolute certainty that this is not the answer. My education as a Civil Engineering Technologist is good for something.

It is impossible for a building to collapse through itself, and at free-fall speed, no less. Either you would have seen a "pancake" scenario, in which the floors would have been stacked at the bottom, or you would have seen the top portion of the building (above the impact site) twist away and topple from the top of the building... off to the side. If the lower portions of the building were strong enough to hold the upper portions of the building in place for 34 years, it would have been more than strong enough to resist being turned to dust from the impact of the same weight of floors as it once held up, as the lower portions in question were not affected by fire or any other form of damage. I can tell you without any doubt, these buildings are over-designed in many respects. Make sense?

reply: I cover this concern in my article and have links to others who treat the issue in more detail. I'm not wasting any more time on it.

As for providing evidence that 7 or 9 of those named by the FBI as hijackers are still alive and appear on talk shows, Mr. Kovalsky has this to say: Well, if it's now nine, that is news to me. I knew only of the seven. (I couldn't get your link to work). You're right, it should be easy to investigate. That was my point, in part. As I said, they had gone on talk shows on BBC in the UK.

We're still waiting for the video. Anyway, Mr. Kovalsky has more to say about hearing explosions:

....the explosion WR felt and heard below was seconds before the impact felt and heard above.

reply: Rodriquez was inside the building. How would he know what sound was the impact, what was fuel exploding, what was rubble crumbling, what was glass blowing out, etc.?

Secondly, I would expect to hear the explosion that occurred at impact, but that's it. Several recordings of FDNY reported hearing several explosions during the evacuation of the employees. So, the building was still standing...no collapse yet. Thirdly, taking this to mean that there were explosives in the building is speculation. I resist this temptation, as stated. (Valiant effort at baiting me to speculate, though). Fourthly, one of the points I made here was that explosions were happening - undisputed at the time - but no mention of them since, and people are called PCT's for mentioning them now.

reply: People reporting that they heard explosions and identifying when they heard them later during an interview is not equivalent to unequivocal evidence of explosions. If the building you were in was rammed by a hundred ton airplane, I doubt if you would be taking notes. We know from many experiments on memory, even when there is no chaos or life-threatening event occurring, that accuracy and reliability are highly questionable. In any case, there is no contradiction in saying that 19 Muslim terrorists hijacked planes and crashed them, killing many people, and saying that some people on the ground heard explosions at this time or that.

To my comment about Dr. Strangelove, Mr. Kovalsky has this to say:

I don't know who this Strangelove fellow is, but yes...I do expect that the man appointed to the office of Secretary of Defense would have the brains to not touch anything at a crime scene, regardless of what is going on around him. This is "Crime Scene 101". Dirty bomb? Were there dirty bombs somewhere on that day? None that I've heard of, at least. The term "dirty bomb" refers to nuclear or biological weapons, possibly gas such as chlorine gas.

Mr. Kovalsky seems to have missed my point that given the devastating and unusual nature of what happened at the Pentagon on 9/11, we shouldn't judge anyone too harshly for not following rules that might be appropriate under other circumstances.

As for the FBI confiscating videos of the plane crash at the Pentagon: I agree with Mr. Kovalsky that if such film exists and the Pentagon censors the film, it fuels suspicions that the reason for suppressing the film has nothing to do with national security.

Mr. Kovalsky writes:

I was one of these people - for 5 years - who would not listen to anyone who said it was anything other than what we were told. I called everyone who said anything different a nut-bar. For this entire time I refused to examine their "evidence" that it was anything other than what we were told. I was acting the same way as you are now for the entire 5 years.

reply: No, you were not acting the same way as I am now acting. I spent quite some time looking at the evidence presented by those who reject the fact that 9/11 was a conspiracy led by 19 fanatical anti-American Islamofascists. I found their arguments specious and many of their facts questionable or irrelevant. I did not just assume the "official story" was true and refuse to examine the evidence and arguments presented by those who think 9/11 was an inside job, or the work of a foreign government with assistance from within the U.S. government.

Mr. Kovalsky concludes:

I am 30 years beyond caring what others think of me. I was merely stating that the usual response to evidence is not to answer it with equally strong counter-evidence, but to start name-calling those who believe something other than themselves. This is more a statement about the mind of the name-caller than it is about the name-callee, if you will. I was once one of those "hopelessly brainwashed" too. I sincerely hope you will at least open your mind to another possibility before criticizing those others who have.

Thank you, this has been fun.

reply: I have an open mind. I've looked at and responded to the bulk of the evidence presented by you and others who reject what I consider to be the most reasonable explanation for what happened on 9/11/2001.


9 June 2009

I read your entry on "9/11 conspiracies" and thought that it could be much improved.

reply: Do you mean that you disagree with me and are a believer in the Bush/Cheney conspiracy?

Take, for example, the second quote that you include:

The obvious error of the 9/11 deniers is in failing to falsify the claim that 9/11 was planned and executed by 19 Islamic soldiers at war with the United States and directed by Osama bin Laden. --Bob Carroll

This is a horribly weak statement, as I'm sure you could tell by changing its subject:

The obvious error of the God deniers is in failing to falsify the claim that God exists.

By Bob Carroll's logic, God would be a foregone conclusion. Therefore, I don't think his quote is appropriate for your website.

reply: You mean by your logic God would be a foregone conclusion. By my logic the two statements have little in common. (By the way, to say a statement is "horribly weak" is meaningless to me. You did not clarify your claim by "changing its subject.")

There is no need for the 9/11 conspiracy theory that sees the Bush/Cheney administration in charge until the claim that 9/11 was planned and executed by 19 Islamic soldiers at war with the United States and directed by Osama bin Laden has been shown to be false. If that statement is true, there is no need for another explanation, conspiratorial or not. Before we start offering alternative explanations, we need to show that the most obvious explanation is not acceptable. I heard from one fellow who said he rejected the "standard explanation" because it was developed too quickly. No investigation could have come up with the names of the conspirators as quickly as was done. There really is no response to this criticism except to say that it is very weak support upon which to build a conclusion. Another reason he rejects the standard explanation of the 19 Islamic conspirators is that "Mohammad Atta was reportedly wired $100,000 from Pakistani ISI chief Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmad. This same Ahmad was having breakfast with the head of the CIA, Senior US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Senate Intelligence Committee heads in Washington on the morning of 911." This story originated in an October 10th, 2001, article in the Times of India. In any case Ahmad was opposed to our invasion of Afghanistan, and if he was a conduit for Al-Qaeda funds to Mohammad Atta, that would support the standard explanation.

Your replacing a word with 'God' and a long, non-equivalent clause with 'God exists' to illustrate your meaningless point about a statement being "horribly weak" obviously seems profound to you, but it makes no sense to me. Given just this little bit of "analysis" as an example of your critical skills, I don't think you should be making judgments as to what is appropriate for my website.

The title, "9/11 conspiracies," would seem to imply that Bin Laden orchestrating 9/11 is not a conspiracy. Obviously, this is not what you meant (unless you don't have a real dictionary around :). It seems that your title needs to be more specific, perhaps "9/11 alternative conspiracy theories," or, since conspiracy is a given (after all, at least four planes were involved), just "9/11 alternative theories."

reply: Like I said, I don't think you should be giving anyone advice on appropriate terminology. Why would the title imply that bin Laden didn't orchestrate a conspiracy? I'm hoping you have some sort of important point to make eventually.

In line with that thought, the validity of any theory, even a conspiracy theory, as you know depends on the evidence and reasoning. Here are some important points you should consider or include in your article:


Bret Hughes

reply: Mr. Hughes didn't provide any evidence or reasoning for anything, but he did provide four links to internet sites that I assume do the thinking for him.

I wrote him and told him I found his comments insulting.

He replied:

Yes, your response is: by its exhibition of intellectual dishonesty, if not dopiness. Your last statement really did give me a good laugh though--calling, for example, a peer-reviewed scientific article not "any evidence or reasoning for anything." That's classic.

If only you'd be brave enough to the include the end points I listed. But I guess you'd rather declare by fiat the irrelevance of a scientific article, a lecture by a professional architect, and mainstream news reports, instead of letting people judge the information for themselves.

reply: I don't consider myself brave for revealing the sources of your beliefs. Here they are, for what they're worth, which, I'm sure most readers will agree, is just south of nothing.

defunct: http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/gen.php?file=7TOCPJ.pdf

Discussion of that article with professor Niels H. Harrit, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, on TV 2 News, April 6, 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_tf25lx_3o

defunct: "Great Day Talks to Architect Richard Gage About 9/11," on KMPH FOX 26, May 28, 2009, http://www.kmph.com/global/video/flash/popupplayer.asp?

defunct: The "ten key features of controlled demolition" discussed by Richard Gage at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4617650616903609314

reply: Mr. Hughes's first reference is cited in my article. His second reference is to a YouTube video about the nano-thermite hypothesis, which I respond to in my article. The third reference is to another video from some local FOX affiliate interviewing a happy architect offering his view of what happened to the buildings on 9/11. The fourth reference is to another video of the same architect talking about controlled demolitions.

I think it's time for Mr. Hughes to polish his tinfoil cap and change his name to Mr. Gullible.


December 30, 2008

THANK YOU!!!  I am a witness to the plane flying into the Pentagon.  My neighbors in Arlington, VA had some of their telephone poles knocked down.  People on 395 (Shirley Highway) witnessed the plane also.  I lost two neighbors who worked at the Pentagon in the crash.

This hurts me since there are plenty of witnesses local to the Pentagon.  No one asked us what we didn't see.  I have argued with these folks who claim a conspiracy off and on but still nothing. 

Virginia Carper


Jan 8, 2007

I won't pretend to be well-informed on the truth of the 9/11 disaster, but I will say that your article suggests a very strong tendency to confirmation bias, starting with your selection of Charlie Sheen as the spokesman for the side of the 9/11 skeptics (it's almost comical that you label Sheen a whore-hopper, then assure us that's not intended as an ad hominem attack). I'd hoped my friend Ron Brassfield, who has read far more about this than I have, would respond to you directly, but, since he hasn't, I'm forwarding his comments on to you.

All your information appears to have been drawn from articles refuting the conspiracy notions (of which I imagine there are a wide and varying assortment), rather than a direct refutation of the arguments themselves. I come to that conclusion as many of your arguments have already been addressed by the other side. In addition to what Mr. Brassfield says below, I'll add that the mere fact that one clandestine organization, possibly allied with elements in our government, might have been able to pull a successful act of sabotage does not suggest that all government agencies must be equally efficient, nor vice versa. That's taking the South Park theory a bit too seriously.

I don't want to believe anyone associated with my government is capable of such atrocities, either. But your rebuttal seems to be every bit as knee-jerk and pre-conceived as that of any true believer.

Yours truly,

John Mayer

reply: Even if you're not well informed on the "truth" of the 9/11 "disaster" (as you call it), you ought to be better informed before you go throwing around terms like 'confirmation bias' and 'ad hominem.' Let's start with the ad hominem. You and your friend Mr. Brassfield with the in-depth knowledge (whom we'll get to in a moment) are probably unaware that you are making an ad hominem attack on me by criticizing my argument with your unsupported claim of confirmation bias and your reference to my argument as "almost comical" because I note that Sheen's expertise is in acting and whoring, not the demolition of large buildings. Then you try to make me look foolish by claiming that I selected Sheen to represent 9/11 skeptics. This rhetorical ploy (of making an ad hominem attack by claiming somebody else used this tactic when in fact he didn't) is easy to deploy and is effective with some crowds.

Let me explain to you why my comments about Sheen don't constitute an ad hominem attack. Your first mistake is in your belief - if it truly is your belief - that my essay is aimed at doing nothing but refuting an argument made by Charlie Sheen. If you read my essay, you know that is not the case. Your second mistake - if it is a mistake -  is in not understanding what a writer's hook is. There are some 3 million bloggers. If you want people to read your postings on the Internet, you better be able to grab their attention quickly and you better be able to hold their attention. For me, as a writer, the Prison Planet article on Charlie Sheen's claims about 9/11 was a godsend. It was the perfect hook. I'd been contemplating writing an article about the conspiracy theories and this gave me the inspiration and impetus to get the thing in print. Sheen's comments indicate that he did what many intelligent, but uncritical, people do: they naively trust their perception. They take what appears obvious to them to be obvious. But, Sheen's comments are just a starting point. The article considers lots of other comments from other conspiracy theorists. There is no way anyone could provide a complete response to every comment made by every conspiracy buff, so to expect me to have done so is absurdly unrealistic. It's also unnecessary. I think I covered enough of the chief claims of the conspiracy folks to give the reader a good idea of what their thinking is and why it's faulty.

It is simply ridiculous to jump on my comments about Sheen as somehow releasing you from an obligation to consider the arguments I present, even if you don't know the "truth" about 9/11. (Did it slip by you that I didn't expect my jokes about Sheen to be a substitute for argument?) You must admit that Prison Planet set things up by calling Sheen a "highly credible public figure." There's a good amount of humor in my opening salvo, but I guess you conspiracy buffs are such a serious lot that you just don't get it. I still think my comment about giving credit where credit is due is good for a smile. Anyway, if you can't take a joke, the hell with you and the horse you rode in on.

One more comment before moving on to Mr. Brassball's critique: I've lived long enough to see my U. S. government support all kinds of atrocities. I don't put anything past the types of people who have been running this country for the past half century. I don't doubt that many of them would kill our own citizens to further their political and economic interests. All I need is one memo, one overheard cell phone conversation, one conspirator who is willing to talk, one picture of explosives being placed, one bone from one of the people with tickets to ride on one of the fated airliners that day found in some secret hiding place in Algeria, one shred of concrete evidence that a conspiracy took place, and I'll re-open the investigation. This kind of operation would involve the cooperation of thousands of people without a single leak over several years. And it would have to have been coordinated by people like Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the other evil geniuses who run our government. Without more than "it looks like" or "how do you explain this? Huh?", I'm afraid you are not going to convince most people of your conspiracy theory.

Now, on to Mr. Brasshead.

Mr. Bassbutt's first comment is to claim that my essay is

from the "doubt is our product" school. There's quite a bit of this crap out there, a la the "Popular Mechanics" article. It is enough to satisfy lazy minds that they don't need to pay attention to those crazies.

reply: Well, that's going right for the jugular. Find the weakest point in the argument and attack it. Except, this comment tries to poison the well rather than say anything substantive about my essay. It also offers up some self-pity by implying that people who criticize the conspiracy buffs say they're all deranged. Save your breath. Conspiracy folks are as intelligent as any other group of people, maybe even more intelligent. That's why no matter what objection you raise, they have two answers for it. They're not crazy and they're not stupid.

Mr. Brassnuts goes on:

Practically closing my eyes and plucking out a couple of pieces of this "(you're safe from) argument":

[Carroll writes:] How would FEMA or anyone else know the extent of the structural damage to Building 7 when it collapsed only a few hours after the twin towers came down? FEMA was speculating when it claimed that structural damage could not have brought about the collapse of Building 7. Ignorance of the facts doesn't give you a free ticket to speculate at will.

Okay, this not only ignores what Mr. Lucky Profiteer from Destruction Mr. Silverstein said in "America Rebuilds," which was previously mentioned by this hack [that's me, R. T. Carroll, author of the  "you're safe from" argument], it more decidedly ignores the manner of collapse, which has been well analyzed to show it was straight-down, symmetrical, free-fall, impossible without controlled demolition because a naturally-occurring damage collapse would make something topple over in the direction of the weakened supports. But that would have ruined other, non-Silverstein buildings. Also, the steel structures of Buildings 5 and 6 still stood despite undergoing infinitely worse damage.

reply: Mr. Brasshead's claims about the free-fall and demolition are just plain false.

As Phil Molé points out:

In controlled demolitions, detonating devices weaken or disrupt all major support points in a building at the same time. Therefore, once the collapse begins, all parts of the building are simultaneously in motion, free-falling to the ground. However, this is definitely not what happens during the collapse of WTC Buildings 1 and 2. Carefully review footage of the collapses, and you will find that the parts of the buildings above the plane impact points begin falling first, while the lower parts of the buildings are initially stationary. (See the PBS NOVA Documentary "Why The Towers Fell.")

Additionally, footage of the collapse of the South Tower, or Building 2 reveals that the tower did not fall straight down, as the North Tower and buildings leveled by controlled demolitions typically fall. Instead, the tower tilted toward the direction of the impact point, and then began to pancake downward with the top part of the building tilted at an angle. The difference between the two collapses can be explained by the different way each airplane struck the buildings. The first plane struck the North Tower (Building 1) between the 94th to 98th floors and hit it head on, burrowing almost directly toward the core of the building. The second airplane struck the South Tower between the 78th and 84th floors, but sliced in at an angle, severely damaging the entire northeast corner of the building.

The 9/11 Truth Movement often states or implies that steel would have needed to melt in order for the structure to collapse at the speed of a free-fall....Even if we assume temperatures of no higher than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit during the fire, we would still have more than enough reasons to expect damage severe enough to result in eventual collapse.

For more details about why the towers collapsed, see Molé 2006. He also discusses Dr. Jones's claims about "melted steel" or "molten steel," so I won't go over them here.

Also, Mr. Brassnobs interprets Silverstein's comments on PBS out of context. Here is what Dara McQuillan, a spokesperson for Silverstein had to say about "pulling" it:

In the afternoon of September 11, Mr. Silverstein spoke to the Fire Department Commander on site at Seven World Trade Center. The Commander told Mr. Silverstein that there were several firefighters in the building working to contain the fires. Mr. Silverstein expressed his view that the most important thing was to protect the safety of those firefighters, including, if necessary, to have them withdraw from the building.

Later in the day, the Fire Commander ordered his firefighters out of the building and at 5:20 p.m. the building collapsed. No lives were lost at Seven World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

As noted above, when Mr. Silverstein was recounting these events for a television documentary he stated, "I said, you know, we've had such terrible loss of life. Maybe the smartest thing to do is to pull it." Mr. McQuillan has stated that by "it," Mr. Silverstein meant the contingent of firefighters remaining in the building.

I'm sure Mr. Brassknuckles has a comeback for this, too. Anyway, he continues:

[Carroll writes:] One thing Sheen and Griffin should have considered is that if the towers came down as part of a controlled explosion, wouldn't somebody have noticed the demolition experts nosing around the building for weeks preparing for the big day?

Exactly such stifled testimony has existed since day one. See the documentary, "Mysteries of 9/11," for the testimony of two highly credible workers in the building related exactly to that, one of them decorated by Bush but who has not had his story of pre-plane strike explosions in the basement of the North Tower publicized by the media despite their spending a day with him, getting his story early on. You could also ask this blockhead [that's me again, R. T. Carroll, author of the "you're safe from" argument] why an expert like Van Romero would say the same thing on Sept. 11, giving some reasons for his impression, only to retract his statement without giving a reason on Sept. 20. Or why Fire Engineering Magazine rhetorically ripped the pseudo-investigation allegedly conducted by the ASCE, but stifled to death by FEMA minders, as a "half-baked farce" at the outset of 2002. But this hack [that's me again, R. T. Carroll, author of the "you're safe from" argument] figures you, John Q. Public, know nothing of such matters, and sadly, he's probably right.

reply: What's one man's 'stifled testimony' is another's bullshit or personal interpretation. It's wrong to stifle evidence, but not every claim made by every person's observations are worth considering. People's perceptions and memories aren't infallible and you can't just sit on the ones that fit with your hypothesis. That said, it was wrong to stifle these claims, if indeed they were stifled. Nothing fans the flames of conspiracy more than incompetent decisions by authorities. Suppression of evidence, whatever the motive, is usually a sign of incompetence.

Mr. Brasshead continues: [Carroll, the hack and blockhead, writes] Two airplanes into the Twin Towers hardly constitutes an attack on the country. The 9/11 Report says Bush wanted to give the impression of looking calm. Maybe so. Maybe he didn't want to scare the kids. In any case, Sheen is speculating that Bush was putting his life in danger unless he knew that he wasn't a target. Maybe Bush didn't feel threatened because he knew that the twin towers were in New York and that he was in Florida. Maybe his quick mind put 2 and 2 together and he realized that he didn't need to worry about his safety since Florida is not in New York.

The general feeling I remember after the south tower strike was wondering, "what the hell next?" But then, I don't have a "quick mind" like George W. Bush. Besides, the Secret Service (a division of the US Treasury Dept., as I'm fond of pointing out) is "the decider" when it comes to such matters. Note the contrast between the way they say they grabbed Cheney under the armpits and whisked him into the safety bunker, vs. leaving Bush to come-what-may. They protected him who was important -- interpret freely.

reply: Well, this is where it has to end.  "Interpret freely," says Mr. Brassnose. Okay. Bush was in a room full of kids, Cheney wasn't. I think it will serve little purpose in boring the reader with more of Mr. Brasshead's comments, which include speculation that FEMA blew up the levees in New Orleans. As you might expect, Mr. Brassass continues with his name-calling. The one that hurts most though is "Pro-Bush." I find it somewhat telling that about half of the people who have written me to criticize my 9/11 article have accused me of being "a Republican" or a "Fox conservative."


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