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Why the WTC collapsed.
January 21, 2006 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Academics question the official explanation for the WTC collapse. This paper, with internal links to assorted videos and stills, argues that WTC 7, the 45-story companion building to the towers, appears to have been demolished by planted explosives, not the fire from the twin towers.
posted by craniac (256 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Theories surrounding 9/11 abound, but this is a discussion by academics in refereed journals and frankly is freaking me out a little.
posted by craniac at 10:53 PM on January 21, 2006


It's too early to know what really happened. We *may* only find out after inauguration day 2009. And only if we're lucky.
And only when "no, it didn't. You're wrong." gets outlawed as a rebuttal.
posted by Balisong at 11:16 PM on January 21, 2006


I can not speak for the other academics, but one of those listed, Dr. James Fetzer is a big conspiracy buff. He was my advisor until he retired just recently and I admire him for many things, but on conspiracies he goes a bit... erm... overboard shall we say. (he was a professor of philosophy)

A quick google indicates that David Griffin is also a Philosophy professor.

imo Philosophy is very important, but I have noted that Philosophy academics over think things at times.

It is also good to keep in mind the term academic does not automatically confer legitimacy, that has to be earned. I suspect that 'academics' have a higher rate of intellectual fortitude but that does not disclude the batshitinsane population from the whole. One of the greatest propionates of intelligent Design is an academic.

Having said all of that, I see no reason why there shoudl not be a concerted detailed investigation by a competent independent body if for no other reason them to quash some of the theories surrounding this topic.
posted by edgeways at 11:16 PM on January 21, 2006


Theories surrounding 9/11 abound, but this is a discussion by academics in refereed journals and frankly is freaking me out a little.

You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
posted by j-urb at 11:19 PM on January 21, 2006


no, it didn't. You're wrong. (seriously)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:19 PM on January 21, 2006


I maintain that these observations are consistent with the use of high-temperature cutter-charges such as thermite, HDX or RDX or some combination thereof, routinely used to melt/cut/demolish steel.

Yeah ... no. Thermite is not "routinely used" to demolish buildings. Conventional explosives work just fine, thank you very much.

Please check your tinfoil hat at the door.
posted by frogan at 11:24 PM on January 21, 2006


I know this was posted before and debunked. It's not really as scientific as you would guess.
posted by smackfu at 11:29 PM on January 21, 2006


what does science have to do with it, it's a philosophy paper right
posted by nervousfritz at 11:38 PM on January 21, 2006


Thermite is not "routinely used" to demolish buildings. Conventional explosives work just fine, thank you very much.

I freely admit I ask this out of almost complete ignorance, and not to give undue credence to this article, but: if you want a building to collapse on its own footprint in a crowded metropolitan area without creating shockwaves and flying debris, wouldn't thermite be indicated rather than explosives?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:42 PM on January 21, 2006


Did anyone here bother to read the paper? Notice that it was written by Steven E Jones? He's a PHYSICS professor at BYU. He's submitted the paper for peer review and it has passed that and been published in one journal. He has responded to criticism by submitting the paper to another journal for and is confident that it will pass review yet again.

Is he a crank? Perhaps. I have no idea, I'm not a peer by any means.

RTFA.
posted by C.Batt at 11:43 PM on January 21, 2006


C.Batt, you are right of course, I ment to mention that as well in my comment. The philiosphy professors where those mentioned at the top of the page, the article is from a PHYSICS prof and carries more weight on the subject
posted by edgeways at 11:47 PM on January 21, 2006


Physicists are not engineers and shouldn't pretend to be.
posted by smackfu at 11:55 PM on January 21, 2006


if you want a building to collapse on its own footprint ... wouldn't thermite be indicated rather than explosives?

Hell no. See every building demolition video available. Those are all just conventional explosives placed in the right spots.

Thermite is not explosive, in and of itself. Oh, it's a violent reaction, sure, and molten iron is created as part of the reaction. But it's not explosive in the same way that, say, TNT is explosive. True, molten metal is clearly seen at the WTC site. But there's one giant, simple explanation for it, and involves an almost fully fueled 757 crashing into the building.
posted by frogan at 11:58 PM on January 21, 2006




If I remember correctly from high school physics, the thermite reaction runs to about 3000 c, so it generally cuts straight down until it hits something it can't burn through. It wouldn't be useful for demolition because demolition charges need to cut across.

True, molten metal is clearly seen at the WTC site. But there's one giant, simple explanation for it, and involves an almost fully fueled 757 crashing into the building.

The paper presented here (and other sources) suggest that jet fuel burns at 500-1000 C, with a value at the low end of the range expected for an uncontrolled fire. If structural steel melts at 1500 C, how would could jet fuel do the job? Or are these numbers wrong?
posted by b1tr0t at 12:05 AM on January 22, 2006


Look at the footage. Fire has NEVER brought down a steel and concrete highrise before 9/11 or since.

WTC 7 was across the street, not in the debris bath of either WTC1 or WTC2. No one has ever even explained how the mimimal fires broke out in WTC7, as it was NOT struck by debris. Further, the 9/11 commission still has NO idea what caused the collapse of WTC7.

Several other buildings directly in the debris path of WTC1 and WTC2 were struck by debris and caught fire. Not one of them collapsed.

Somehow, WTC7 buckled perfectly in the center, just as controlled demolitions do, (and this is very carefully done I might add) to ensure the building collapses inward on it's own footprint.

The WTC buildings collapsed in under 10 seconds - at nearly free fall speed. To collapse at "Free fall" speed means that the falling building pieces had to crush concrete, shear steel bolts, and break welds and fall just as fast as a rock dropped off the side of the building that hit nothing but air. Each floor hit should absorbed a significant amount of energy and substantially slowed the fall.

There were 110 floors each in WTC1 and 2.

Fire Engineering magazine, one of the oldest and most respected journals for firefighting and EMS professionals has loudly declaimed the 9/11 committee's explanation of the WTC collapses as absurd. Further, they were one of many respected voices inquiring as to why the material from the WTC crimescene was immediately shipped overseas to be melted down without adequate forensic analysis.

The US goverment spent a mere $600,000 dollars on investigating the WTC collapses, not only the worst domestic terrorist attack in American history since Pearl Harbor, but also the largest structural collapse in human history.

Speaking of which, the architect of the WTC towers designed them from the get go to withstand MULTIPLE IMPACTS from large commercial airliners.

Further, firefighter's audio tapes, as well as video and still photography clearly indicate that the fires had largely died out prior to the building collapses. That's why we see pictures of victims standing directly in the impact holes waiting for a rescue that never came.

The vast majority of the jet fuel in those aircraft exploded OUTSIDE the WTC structures.

Further, structural steel (particularly heavily fireproofed box colums found in the WTC buildings) doesn't even begin to weaken until approximately 3000 degrees fahrenheit - at least a thousand degrees hotter than any theoretical jet fuel fire would have reached.

Firefighters and many other eyewitnesses have reported seening bright flashes cascading through the structure along with repeated cascading explosions - just what one would witness watching a controlled demolition.

The concrete of the buildings was encased in a steel framed pan yet clouds of finely pulverized concrete and steel beams came shooting out of the buildings for up to three times the width of the building at hundreds of miles per hour.

Getting back to structural fires - the Hotel Windsor, a steel and concrete highrise in Madrid caught fire recently. This fire spread throughout the building and burned for two days. The structure remained intact.

Kevin Ryan of Underwriters Laboratories, the company that certifies structural components sent a letter to NIST stating that "there was no way that jet fuel caused the WTC collapse."

Every building that collapsed on 9/11 was owned by one man - Larry Silversteen. Silversteen had recently bought these buildings and then secured a huge (7 billion dollar) insurance policy against them in the months leading up to 9/11.

Financial analysts, security officers, and other employees who worked in WTC 1, 2, and 7 reported that various floors of all three buildings were repeatedly evacuated in the weeks leading up to 9/11 for "security training excersizes.

Security had been ramped up in the WTC complex up to the weeks before 9/11, including regular patrols with bomb sniffing dogs. The dog patrols were suspended several weeks before 9/11, immediately after these "security excercises" took place.

And guess who was on the board of directors for Securicom, the security agency responsible for WTC electronic security?

Marvin Bush. Dubya's brother. He also served simultaneously on the board of directors of an insurance firm that underwrote much of the WTC complex.

And guess what day Marvin's contract with Securicom expired?

That's right. September 11th 2001.

Finally, some poll numbers.

66% of New Yorkers want the 9/11 investigation reopened.

over 50% believe there is a US government coverup regarding the events of 9/11.

And on November 10th 2004, of over 10,000 people polled on a CNN Anderson Cooper online poll, 89% believed that there is a U.S. government cover-up surrounding 9/11.
posted by stenseng at 12:09 AM on January 22, 2006


stenseng- got any links to back that stuff up? (I don't disbelieve you, I'd just like to see what your sources are and read up some more myself)
posted by Meredith at 12:14 AM on January 22, 2006


Sorry, I'm out. It's tinfoil hat time, didn't realize it. Have fun, fellas.
posted by frogan at 12:19 AM on January 22, 2006


marvin bush, security wtc

http://www.utne.com/web_special/web_specials_2003-02/articles/10292-1.html
posted by stenseng at 12:19 AM on January 22, 2006


On the topics that I know something about, from firsthand
experience, I find Professor Steven Jones in error (his
idea of heat being conducted away from the fire by
the iron girders, and hence preventing their temperature from
rising high enough to weaken or deform them).

And doing a little research, it appears to be the same
Stephen Jones who was neck and neck with Pons
and Fleischman, each trying to scoop the other, back
in the halcyon days of Cold Fusion.

This NOVA piece is more satisfying.
posted by the Real Dan at 12:20 AM on January 22, 2006


frogan, before you go, how does burning jet fuel explain the collapse of WTC 7 if not one drop of burning jet fuel actually entered that particular building? Or would you call that a tinfoil hat question too?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:20 AM on January 22, 2006


madrid skyscraper fire

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/02/13/spain.block.fire/
posted by stenseng at 12:20 AM on January 22, 2006


Meredith - google any of those points and you should find info on them.



Nope, nothing like a controlled demo...
posted by stenseng at 12:24 AM on January 22, 2006


"In the mid-1990s British Steel and the Building Research Establishment performed a series of six experiments at Cardington to investigate the behavior of steel frame buildings. These experiments were conducted in a simulated, eight-story building. Secondary steel beams were not protected. Despite the temperature of the steel beams reaching 800-900° C (1,500-1,700° F) in three of the tests (well above the traditionally assumed critical temperature of 600° C (1,100° F), no collapse was observed in any of the six experiments."
posted by stenseng at 12:25 AM on January 22, 2006


Frogan, do you have any sort of legitimate critique of any of this information, short of "woo woo tinfoil hat woo woo?"
posted by stenseng at 12:26 AM on January 22, 2006


Aw, man.. Frogan forgot to give his own supporting links before he left. He must have been in a hurry.
posted by Balisong at 12:30 AM on January 22, 2006


Look, I don't know why this is so hard for people to see, but perhaps it's simply that they haven't ever seen a large structure collapse that *WASN'T* professionally demoed, but buildings, structures of any kind, particularly very tall ones that sustain asymmetrical damage, DO NOT COLLAPSE ON THEIR OWN FOOTPRINT.

That's WHY we have demolition experts! If buildings naturally fell in on themselves, we could put a whole industry of demolitions experts out of business and just light the fuckers on fire when we wanted to bring them down.

It's REALLY HARD to make a building collapse in on itself.

Ever play jenga? That's what tall structures do. They fall OVER, not inward.

The odds of even one of those buildings on 9/11 collapsing the way it did, perfectly vertically inward on it's own footprint is ridiculously improbable. The odds for all three, including one that sustained NO SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE is ASTRONOMICAL.
posted by stenseng at 12:32 AM on January 22, 2006


looks like frogan's rebuttal will be of the *fingers in ears* LAAA LAA LAA I CAN'T HEEEAAAR YOOOOUUU variety...
posted by stenseng at 12:34 AM on January 22, 2006


Stenseng, got a link to the pictures?

"That's why we see pictures of victims standing directly in the impact holes waiting for a rescue that never came. "
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:35 AM on January 22, 2006


As to motivation for demoing WTC 7 - here are a few possibilities...


The SEC has not quantified the number of active cases in which substantial files were destroyed [in the collapse of WTC 7]. Reuters news service and the Los Angeles Times published reports estimating them at 3,000 to 4,000. They include the agency's major inquiry into the manner in which investment banks divvied up hot shares of initial public offerings during the high-tech boom. ..."Ongoing investigations at the New York SEC will be dramatically affected because so much of their work is paper-intensive," said Max Berger of New York's Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann. "This is a disaster for these cases." [New York Lawyer]

Citigroup says some information that the committee is seeking [about WorldCom] was destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attack on the World Trade Center. Salomon had offices in 7 World Trade Center, one of the buildings that collapsed in the aftermath of the attack. The bank says that back-up tapes of corporate emails from September 1998 through December 2000 were stored at the building and destroyed in the attack. [TheStreet]

Inside [WTC 7 was] the US Secret Service's largest field office with more than 200 employees. ..."All the evidence that we stored at 7 World Trade, in all our cases, went down with the building," according to US Secret Service Special Agent David Curran. [TechTV]

posted by stenseng at 12:37 AM on January 22, 2006


Would more people have died if the buildings fell sideways?
Somebody made the call to minimize loss of life and collateral damage. Somebody authorized demolition. Sombody who probably didn't want it used against him on a re-election campaign. If you were in the same position, what would your call be?

(this doesn't apply to WTC7, that was an insurance fraud coverup.)
posted by Balisong at 12:39 AM on January 22, 2006


stenseng: I find the engineering argument that the WTC 1 & 2 towers were built uniquely and thus susceptible to the cascading point failure that was apparent on 9/11 to be believable.

Eg. the fact that the building that was hit lower down (leaving more weight on the structural members immediately above the damage) collapsed first is strongly supportive of this.

WTC7, dunno. Wasn't there big diesel tanks in that building? I think crap did in fact fall on it.

I also find bringing a Bush into this to be somewhat childish. Real conspiracies aren't run out of one fucking family, no matter how connected they are.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:42 AM on January 22, 2006


I didn't mean to imply Bush, he was off reading something important. I meant someone in charge.
posted by Balisong at 12:45 AM on January 22, 2006


The US goverment spent a mere $600,000 dollars on investigating the WTC collapses, not only the worst domestic terrorist attack in American history since Pearl Harbor, but also the largest structural collapse in human history.

That is such an absurdly low figure that it surely must indicate there was something to hide. Many multiples of that were spent investigating Clinton's dick!

And a whole bunch of casework pertaining to corporate fraud were destroyed, eh? Gosh, I can't imagine which Administration might need to cover their asses as regard fraud.

I sure hope you guys figure out how to expose the corruption in your government. It's getting pretty damn obvious these days that the Bush clan and its allies are doggedly determined to abscond with as much of your wealth as is possible. Bloody King-making is what we're seeing here.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:46 AM on January 22, 2006


furiousxgeorge - I have these photos in a video, so it took me a bit to find them online, but here's just one (there are a lot more out there):





Doesn't exactly look like a 2000 degree steel melting inferno to me...
posted by stenseng at 12:50 AM on January 22, 2006


five fresh fish: We spent 40 million dollars investigating Clinton.


stenseng: I find the engineering argument that the WTC 1 & 2 towers were built uniquely and thus susceptible to the cascading point failure that was apparent on 9/11 to be believable.

Eg. the fact that the building that was hit lower down (leaving more weight on the structural members immediately above the damage) collapsed first is strongly supportive of this.

WTC7, dunno. Wasn't there big diesel tanks in that building? I think crap did in fact fall on it.

I also find bringing a Bush into this to be somewhat childish. Real conspiracies aren't run out of one fucking family, no matter how connected they are.



Well you believe what you want. I believe the multiple eyewitness testimony that corroborates what I've seen with my own eyes in video footage. They demoed the hell out of those buildings. You can HEAR it in footage of the collapses. The camera shakes about 12 seconds before the collapses begin, and a cascading series of explosions can be heard, along with bright flashes and plumes of dust shooting out in various places on the structures, all BEFORE the collapse begins.

As to bringing a Bush into it, I didn't tell the guy to run electronic security on an airport, airline, and WTC complex all of which were involved in 9/11, while sitting on the board of another company that stood to profit from the attacks. Nor did I schedule his contract at Securicom to expire the MORNING OF 9/11.
posted by stenseng at 12:56 AM on January 22, 2006


Further, if you learn at all about the engineering of the WTC towers, and how massively, ridiculously OVER engineered they were, you find the plausibility of a jet which didn't even penetrate to the inner structural box column core of the structure, which dumped the majority of it's fuel payload outside of said structure, and which never got hot enough to weaken said box columns of said structure, causing said structure to not just collapse, but to fucking FLY APART INTO DUST, EXPLODING OUT FROM EVERY SIDE, rendering structural steel into chunks no more than a few feet long, and pulverizing structural concrete into FINE POWDER, a bit unlikely.
posted by stenseng at 1:01 AM on January 22, 2006


Let me throw something else out here...

Does anyone think that, with all the post 9/11 planning and contingencies, the president's men (Rove) doesn't already have a speech ready to blame Osama/al Queda/Iran/liberal Democrats for when the next attack hits? Do you think he already has the next war at least penciled in, just waiting for the justification?
What happens when you have it all planned out, (who will get the contracts, which new powers to grant yourself, Which country is best to stage our troups so we can 'fight them there'), but nothing happens. If we didn't already have an Osama, he would have to be created.
posted by Balisong at 1:02 AM on January 22, 2006


Of course, the crazy part is, they already had everything already worked out before 9/11.
posted by Balisong at 1:08 AM on January 22, 2006


I just hope double oh seven made it out with the secret dossier before WTC 7 came down!
posted by eatitlive at 1:12 AM on January 22, 2006


Call me stupid, but despite all this talk about fuel fires and their ability to melt steel at a certain temperature....didn't the actual blast itself reach enormous levels of heat that far exceed what fuel fires are capable of?

And stenseng, come on dude, please, links. Don't start talking about video of audible explosions and dust plumes several seconds before collapse with so much as a link to a video clip of said observance. I tend to get lost with simple words across my screen.
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:12 AM on January 22, 2006


Try this search. (type in "wtc collapse")
posted by Balisong at 1:15 AM on January 22, 2006


Why hasn't anyone raised the possibility that trade center was'nt built to the design? Instead of steel, I think they were built with an alloy of Freedom, Heroism, and Goodness. This has a lower melting point than steel, of course.
posted by eatitlive at 1:18 AM on January 22, 2006






I tend to get lost with simple words across my screen.
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:12 AM PST on January 22 [!]


Be sure and close your eyes, and stick your fingers in your ears when you click the above links.
posted by Balisong at 1:39 AM on January 22, 2006


google any of those points and you should find info on them.

Um, no. You're making the claims. The burden of proof is on you. And right now all I'm seeing from you is hypothesis (and what looks like a few dead links.) You seem to have a prefect grasp of how something that's never happened before should have happened. Two skyscrapers were hit by airplanes (right?) I bet that causes a wee bit of confusion (and on preview again after my first "on preview" to follow, as I see Balisong's link after a final spellcheck: Didn't Arabs blow up the Oklahoma City Federal Building? I mean, at least that's what everyone said in the first few hours right? And in the midst of such trauma there's no chance that anyone go it wrong?)

On preview:

Try this search. (type in "wtc collapse")

Or maybe this one. You don't see just a shade of bias in your link? I think I saw the Devil's face in one of the explosions, too.

But I sort of understand where you're coming from. I can't shake the thought that there may have been more shooters on Dealy Plaza. Roosevelt had to know that Japanese were going to hit somewhere.

On the other hand, sometimes you just get lucky. Sometimes things work way better than you'd planned. What I see in all of these conspiracies is the thought that the only way the U.S. of A. could be sack-punched so hard is via nefarious means. As if some days the other guys aren't better than we are (and by "we" I mean "other Americans." Calm down, Canadians...)

So, in short, stenseng and Balisong, you're skepticism is just. Your certainly is not.
posted by Cyrano at 1:45 AM on January 22, 2006


Lemme try this again:

Your skepticism is just. Your certainty is not.
posted by Cyrano at 1:46 AM on January 22, 2006


You're not going to see a tall building topple like a domino; there simply isn't anything available to impart that kind of horizontal momentum to the top of the building. You can't even make a tall tree fall as a single object. Try cutting a few down and you'll see what I mean. Analogies to Jenga don't scale up very well. Kind of like how scaling an ant or an ape up to 100 feet wouldn't work despite certain movies to the contrary.

Lots of stuff to chew on in that article (though I personally suspect that it was Karl Rove in a ninja suit hacksawing at the girders). Lots of crap too.
posted by hattifattener at 1:49 AM on January 22, 2006


This post is great! I can easily identify the mefi cranks.

Thanks!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:51 AM on January 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Balisong. This was a unique event. The thing was pancaking from on high, which will produce all kinds of explosion-like sounds.

Nor did I schedule his contract at Securicom to expire the MORNING OF 9/11.

You've got a nice conspiracy theory, the only problem is that it simply doesn't make any sense.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:54 AM on January 22, 2006


I'm not certian. I have lots of unanswered questions. Every "official" report leaves me with questions unanswered.

I can totally see where an official, from the president on down, would want closure on this. To put it behind us. To not think too hard about what happened, and concentrate on who we punish with our revenge. To think that someone had to make a tough decision to level the towers in a controlled way in order to minimize deaths and destruction when there were still people in it is horrible. I guess America and the world really don't want to know the truth, because it just might hurt too much.
posted by Balisong at 1:55 AM on January 22, 2006


To think that someone had to make a tough decision to level the towers in a controlled way in order to minimize deaths and destruction when there were still people in it is horrible.

OK, help me out here then, because I'm not sure what theory your subscribing to. I can read that as either A) 9/11 was planned, but for some reason the people who planned an attack that killed thousands were for some reason worried about killing a few more when the buildings fell, or B) that after the towers were hit there was a decision made to bring them down in a controlled manner.

If you're evil enought to plan A, I don't see why a few more dead people would matter to you. And as for B, there's simply no way to rig a controlled demolition of a building that large that quickly.
posted by Cyrano at 2:41 AM on January 22, 2006


I'm sorry, two buildings that large that quickly.
posted by Cyrano at 2:42 AM on January 22, 2006


I suppose Osama bin Laden is simply playing along with the notion that he and his organization planned, financed, and carried out the 9/11 attacks because he's such a good sport?

Seriously, if the U.S. government had anything to do with this, Osama would have been shouting it from the rooftops. Why the hell would he keep something like this to himself?

Is it because Chewbacca lives on Endor?
posted by Justinian at 2:42 AM on January 22, 2006


If someone wanted to ensure the towers collapse and knew about the airplane attack then why not add extra cargo to the airplanes to ensure they destroy the buildings.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 2:53 AM on January 22, 2006


It doesn't matter if 9/11 was ordered and executed by OSAMA or BUSH, the fact of the matter is that Bush has ideed used 9/11 to engage in a total war against the Muslim world. This I don't think we need to argue about. the suspiciousely Orwellian war on terror is creepy enough to make you think Bush and the gang are capable of ordering terrorist attacks on America. That in itself is bad enough regardless of the facts on the ground.

Who cares if the towers were controlled demolished or not. Let's impeach bush and end the war.
posted by sundaymag at 3:03 AM on January 22, 2006


To think that someone had to make a tough decision to level the towers in a controlled way in order to minimize deaths and destruction when there were still people in it is horrible. I guess America and the world really don't want to know the truth, because it just might hurt too much.

That clearly makes no sense - So you are saying... the towers were about to fall sideways, so someone rushed in and planted some bombs to make it fall streight down.
Or maybe you subsctibe to the theory that for weeks before the planes were piloted into the towers by terrorists, thier partners in the government were planting explosives in the Tower to A: Make sure it fell down and B: Didn't cause to much damage to the surrounding area, except of course 7... which had to go down as well.

Going further up the thread:

Well you believe what you want. I believe the multiple eyewitness testimony that corroborates what I've seen with my own eyes in video footage.

Please. Video footage is useful to a point, but clearly can be misinterpreted - you just have to look at the JFK footage to see that many different conclusions can be reached from a bit of footage. Also it is futile to study the footage on a pixel by pixel basis - working with DV footage on a day by day basis I know how much it sucks for accuracy.

They demoed the hell out of those buildings. You can HEAR it in footage of the collapses.

Well if you can HEAR it on a dodgy on board camera mic then of COURSE it must be true. I also have first hand knowledge of how useless camera mics are at sound fidelity. If they can't pick up a person standing 20ft away clearly, how can they accuratley recreate something as complicated as the incident at hand.

The camera shakes about 12 seconds before the collapses begin, and a cascading series of explosions can be heard, along with bright flashes and plumes of dust shooting out in various places on the structures, all BEFORE the collapse begins.

I refuse to accept the second had testimoney of someone who has watched second generation camera footage re-broadcast on television or the internet as an accurate assesment of the situation. Even if what yo are saying is accurate, it really doesn't mean that your conclusions are correct.

What are you people saying? That the government sent these people to kill their own? Or that they knew and sort of helped them? what?

Of WTC 7

"This office building was built over an electrical substation and a power plant, comparable in size to that operated by a small commercial utility. It also stored a significant amount of diesel oil and had a structural system with numerous horizontal transfers for gravity and lateral loads. "

However

"Certain issues should be explored before final conclusions are reached and additional studies of the performance of WTC 7,"
(my own emphasis)

That means ANY conclusion - tinfoil hat crazy or otherwise.
posted by Meccabilly at 3:13 AM on January 22, 2006


He who asserts must prove. Nowk assuming the 9/11 was "set" by Rove et al--then how many people had to be involved in setting the conspiracy up and why has not a one of them come forth to admit it or to sell his story? Why did OSL NOT deny it? Why did the Saudi family get permission to leave the country immediatgely? What accounts then for the planes that hit the building, the guys that captured the planes, and the other planes not inolved in NY "hit"? The committe investigating the 9/11 incident were not given all the materials from Bush administration, true, but if they believed (and many were non-Republicans) in some sort of big coverup they would have raised all hell, gone public etc.

Again, then, a prof here and there can make a stink but to jump to the conclusion that it is material from a real prof with a degree in physics or philosophy is not going to convince me for I have known too many academics in too many fields who were simplywwrong in many things, including notions involving their own fields. That is, I can not be convinced simply by an appeal to credentials.
posted by Postroad at 3:45 AM on January 22, 2006


That in itself is bad enough regardless of the facts on the ground.

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Wrong.

That kind of "they're bad, and the facts don't really matter as long as we make them go away" attitude is exactly the one that started the war (in Iraq anyway.)
posted by Cyrano at 4:08 AM on January 22, 2006


Also, this:

"Video footage is useful to a point, but clearly can be misinterpreted - you just have to look at the JFK footage to see that many different conclusions can be reached from a bit of footage."

Is an excellent point.
posted by Cyrano at 4:18 AM on January 22, 2006


Also this:

"66% of New Yorkers want the 9/11 investigation reopened.

over 50% believe there is a US government coverup regarding the events of 9/11.

And on November 10th 2004, of over 10,000 people polled on a CNN Anderson Cooper online poll, 89% believed that there is a U.S. government cover-up surrounding 9/11."
posted by stenseng at 8:09 AM GMT on January

Is absolutely meaningless. People are stupid and ignorant. Esepcially American people. Statistics are meaningless.

"76.5% of americans beleive Elvis is still alive."

See - I just made that up.
posted by Meccabilly at 4:56 AM on January 22, 2006


It can't possibly have happened the way you explained.
posted by cillit bang at 5:29 AM on January 22, 2006


Saw this a while back.
FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength--and that required exposure to much less heat. "I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

"The jet fuel was the ignition source," Williams tells PM. "It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."

Puffs Of Dust
CLAIM: As each tower collapsed, clearly visible puffs of dust and debris were ejected from the sides of the buildings. An advertisement in The New York Times for the book Painful Questions: An Analysis Of The September 11th Attack made this claim: "The concrete clouds shooting out of the buildings are not possible from a mere collapse. They do occur from explosions." Numerous conspiracy theorists cite Van Romero, an explosives expert and vice president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, who was quoted on 9/11 by the Albuquerque Journal as saying "there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse." The article continues, "Romero said the collapse of the structures resembled those of controlled implosions used to demolish old structures."

FACT: Once each tower began to collapse, the weight of all the floors above the collapsed zone bore down with pulverizing force on the highest intact floor. Unable to absorb the massive energy, that floor would fail, transmitting the forces to the floor below, allowing the collapse to progress downward through the building in a chain reaction. Engineers call the process "pancaking," and it does not require an explosion to begin, according to David Biggs, a structural engineer at Ryan-Biggs Associates and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) team that worked on the FEMA report.

Like all office buildings, the WTC towers contained a huge volume of air. As they pancaked, all that air--along with the concrete and other debris pulverized by the force of the collapse--was ejected with enormous energy. "When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it's going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window," NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder tells PM. Those clouds of dust may create the impression of a controlled demolition, Sunder adds, "but it is the floor pancaking that leads to that perception."

Demolition expert Romero regrets that his comments to the Albuquerque Journal became fodder for conspiracy theorists. "I was misquoted in saying that I thought it was explosives that brought down the building," he tells PM. "I only said that that's what it looked like."

Romero, who agrees with the scientific conclusion that fire triggered the collapses, demanded a retraction from the Journal. It was printed Sept. 22, 2001. "I felt like my scientific reputation was on the line." But emperors-clothes.com saw something else: "The paymaster of Romero's research institute is the Pentagon. Directly or indirectly, pressure was brought to bear, forcing Romero to retract his original statement." Romero responds: "Conspiracy theorists came out saying that the government got to me. That is the farthest thing from the truth. This has been an albatross around my neck for three years."
And WTC 7? That's discussed here.

It's not as sexy as believing in a conspiracy that someone put demo charges in the WTC and waited for someone to fly jets into the towers to start a war, but it's been my experience that extraordinary claims require extraordindary proof - and supposition and conspiracy theories don't rise to that level of proof. I've seen videos of buildings wired for demo - it's a painstaking process that takes literally weeks for even relatively small buildings, that supposedly they could do it in the the two towers in short timespan from the first impact to the first collapse, in EXACTLY the areas where the planes hit, strikes me as farfetched. As does the idea that they were supposedly mined beforehand, and the hijackers just HAPPENED to ram the planes into the proper areas, NOT setting the explosives off at that time, and then later someone blew them and the whole thing collapsed.

The world is wierd enough these days. Trying to make sense of it through conspiracy theories that facts don't back up doesn't help.

BTW, you know why the investigation was so much cheaper than for Clinton? Lawyers weren't involved.
posted by JB71 at 5:46 AM on January 22, 2006


Seriously, if the U.S. government had anything to do with this, Osama would have been shouting it from the rooftops. Why the hell would he keep something like this to himself?

Are you blind, man? OSAMA AND BUSH ARE THE SAME PERSON!!!
posted by Krrrlson at 5:53 AM on January 22, 2006


Stand by for peer-reviewed paper on this.
posted by Krrrlson at 5:54 AM on January 22, 2006


sten, just a few points:
"...the architect of the WTC towers designed them from the get go to withstand MULTIPLE IMPACTS from large commercial airliners."

Misleading at best. Setting aside the fact that they obviously didn't withstand the impacts, their design made them not stronger but weaker than standard buildings. They didn't even meet city building codes, and could only be built because, as Port Authority property, they were exempt. So they weren't specially reinforced, as you imply, against airliners or anything else. Even if they had been, they didn't hold up. What's your point?

Parsing this half-truth further: Back at the "get go" when the TTs were designed, the largest commercial airliner was the 707, a tiny plane compared to the huge "heavy" jumbo jets that flew into them 30 years later. So even if they really were designed to withstand impact from "large commercial airliners," they were not designed to withstand ANY impact from 757s, since they didn't exist at the time. And they didn't withstand the jets; they collapsed. What's your point?

The structural steel in the towers was NOT "heavily fireproofed." It was SPRAYED with a crusty coating of fire retardant (probably an asbestos-based mixture) that immediately crumbled and fell off upon the impact of the crash. So the steel was only "fireproof" at all for a few seconds after impact, after which it was exposed, which is why it failed. What's your point?

Larry Silverstein, or "Silversteen" as you call him, did NOT own the towers. The Port Authority owned the towers. Silverstein was the leaseholder. And yes, of course he insured them; what kind of idiot wouldn't insure them? If nothing else, any lender would insist that they be insured. Again, what's your point? Wait... Hmmm... Jewish landlord, big insurance, buildings destroyed by mysterious means... A teeny bit of anti-Semitism here perhaps, or am I just straining too hard to find some meaning to all these dark rumblings?

And then you cite opinion poll data?? Why? (Let alone results from silly call-in, write-in, or internet "polls" with self-selected respondents, which are completely worthless.) A huge percentage of Americans believe in creationism vs. evolution--this informs us how? Does 60% tip the balance and suggest that we abandon science in favor of myth, or teach myth to children? 80%? 99%? 100%? Of course not. Why would we pay any attention at all, aside from pitying the misguided masses and trying to set them right?

A lot of Americans don't believe the astronauts ever landed on the moon, but do believe that Elvis lives, that gay people are headed for Hell, and that green dudes from distant worlds visit Earth and abduct people to probe their buttholes. So what? Polls are of no use in a search for truth. Facts aren't subject to majority rule; they're right or they're wrong.

Plus, like sundaymag said.
posted by clicktosubmit at 7:03 AM on January 22, 2006


And meccabilly, and JB71...
posted by clicktosubmit at 7:12 AM on January 22, 2006


here's a question ... our government wiretaps ordinary citizens but doesn't get away with it because someone leaks it ... our government tortures iraqi prisoners but doesn't get away with it because someone leaks it ... our government accepts all sorts of phony info about iraq's wmds but doesn't get away with it because someone leaks it ... our government (possibly) is kidnapping people to be kept in eastern european prisons but doesn't get away with it because someone leaks it

but it can cause the events of 9/11 and kill thousands of americans and gets away with it because nobody leaks it?

please explain ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:18 AM on January 22, 2006


This is a great thread. My handlers have given me a big raise for identifying potential troublemakers, prior to the initiation of Cointelpro II: Electric Boogalo.

What I found to be interesting is that the discussion of alternative theories of collapse is reaching the level of refereed academic journals. I agree that there are just as many wack jobs among academics as the general population, but Jones is no slouch, IMO. I came across this link after hearing he would be speaking on our campus, so it will be interesting to attend with this additional information.

Here is Popular Mechanic's take on the collapse of building 7, which sounds plausible but is derided as a cointelpro effort by conspiracists. I disagree, but note that reading about COINTELPRO for about ten minutes will make you reach for the tinfoil. Personally, I have little faith in the ability of large bureaucracies to initiate and maintain a conspiracy this complex.


According to NIST, there was one primary reason for the building's failure: In an unusual design, the columns near the visible kinks were carrying exceptionally large loads, roughly 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor. "What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors," Sunder notes, "it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down."

There are two other possible contributing factors still under investigation: First, trusses on the fifth and seventh floors were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another. With columns on the south face apparently damaged, high stresses would likely have been communicated to columns on the building's other faces, thereby exceeding their load-bearing capacities.

Second, a fifth-floor fire burned for up to 7 hours. "There was no firefighting in WTC 7," Sunder says. Investigators believe the fire was fed by tanks of diesel fuel that many tenants used to run emergency generators. Most tanks throughout the building were fairly small, but a generator on the fifth floor was connected to a large tank in the basement via a pressurized line. Says Sunder: "Our current working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time."

WTC 7 might have withstood the physical damage it received, or the fire that burned for hours, but those combined factors--along with the building's unusual construction--were enough to set off the chain-reaction collapse.

posted by craniac at 7:18 AM on January 22, 2006


C.Batt writes "Notice that it was written by Steven E Jones? He's a PHYSICS professor at BYU."

You know what they say about those who can and those who teach, when he gets a dozen civil and structural engineers to stamp this paper he'll be worth listening to.

Geez these guys have to put down the fight club tape and look into what it takes to demolish a building in a controlled way with explosives. It takes weeks of work with a skilled team to pull off. It is not the kind of thing that can be pulled off in a couple hours in secret. Hundreds of people with nothing to gain by killing people would have to be in on it.

And the US didn't spend millions investigating Clinton, they spent that prosecuting him.
posted by Mitheral at 7:19 AM on January 22, 2006


JB -

Thank you for injecting a little bit of sound analysis into this erstwhile tin-foil-hatted discussion.

I agree: the generally accepted scientific theory for the collapse sure ain't as sexy as the conspiracy theorists posit, but it does make a lot more sense. I recall seeing the same general conclusions drawn on a History/Discovery Channel piece done on the WTC as well.
posted by tgrundke at 7:33 AM on January 22, 2006


Professor Stephen E. Jones's team "discovered" cold fusion back in the 90s, along with Pons and Fleischmann.

Other things he likes to study:

Evidence for Christ's Visit in Ancient America
posted by event at 7:46 AM on January 22, 2006


when he gets a dozen civil and structural engineers to stamp this paper

Osama bin Laden could review it. He has construction experience and a degree in civil engineering.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:58 AM on January 22, 2006


I'm always amazed at the literal-minded, unimaginative plodding of conspiracy theorists.

Time for a shave with Occam's razor, people!

If you think the Cubans, Texans, Russians, or Mafia killed Kennedy, you don't need to look for extra shooters on knolls. You just need evidence that people got Oswald to shoot for their purposes instead of for no purpose.

If you think Bush or anyone aside from bin Laden was responsible for 9/11, you don't need to posit, prove, or even look for teams of demolition experts in the twin towers, or bombs on the bellies of the planes (as in a video linked from MeFi some weeks ago, in November).

You just need evidence that bin laden, like Oswald, may have been working with or for someone else.

Bush did a spectacular job of capitalizing on 9/11, especially given that his negligence was instrumental in letting it happen, but that doesn't mean he CAUSED it.

Nor does the convincing and ample evidence that the administration ignored numerous warnings in advance, demoted and fired the folks who warned them, then used the attacks to justify everything from undeclared war in a country that had no role in the thing at all, to kidnapping, detaining, imprisoning, and torturing people without charging them, to sweeping away civil liberties en masse, to eavesdropping on us in open, flagrant contempt of the law, to claiming that a war (which they claim the president can declare) gives the president total power, notwithstanding statutory law, the Constitution, or historical precedent.

But if you think Bush et alia did more than just capitalize on the thing ex post facto, talk to me about the relationship between the Bush family, the U.S. government, and the House of Saud. Look for secret conversations or meetings between agents of the Bush/Cheney cabal and the bin Laden crowd. Or just find some mutual friends. We did, after all, enrich and equip the nascent Al Quaeda in Afghanistan when they were fighting the Russians (there's gratitude for ya). There's so much fertile ground, but you're distracted by grassy knolls.

That would be a lot more sensible, believable, and convincing than silliness about secretly planting zillions of bombs to demolish 100-story buildings at the same time that planes fly into them.

Not to cloud the issue with facts, but controlled implosions, like the ones we see on TV of Great Society housing projects, are preceded by weeks of gutting the structures, including removal of structural elements and most of the building itself and its contents. What's left is a hollow shell. They don't just load up buildings with dynamite and go boom. If the twin towers had been gutted similarly, it couldn't possibly have gone unnoticed.

It's been pointed out that the planes flew in specific directions, to hit the TTs so that if they HAD fallen laterally instead of pancaking straight down, they would have obliterated a lot of Wall St. and the NY financial district.

Oh, never mind.
posted by clicktosubmit at 8:05 AM on January 22, 2006


Academics question Darwinian orthodoxy
posted by caddis at 8:09 AM on January 22, 2006


Of course, the crazy part is, they already had everything already worked out before 9/11.

Except where, in the face of an impending steel shortage, to get enough steel to fight a war.

Or... Hmmmm.

(Where to get enough tinfoil to cover the head of every MeFiite?)
posted by jimfl at 8:31 AM on January 22, 2006


This just in: Academics question whether or not Metafilter is the best of the web.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:31 AM on January 22, 2006


(Ethereal Bligh: Please include me on your list of cranks. Thanks.)
posted by tomharpel at 8:42 AM on January 22, 2006


I think I'm a little late to the party, but there's one thing that hasn't been mentioned about WTC 7; in a September 2002 PBS documentary entitled "America Rebuilds", Larry Silverstein admits that WTC 7 was "pulled" (sorry for the link to Alex Jones' prisonplanet.com, but it was the only site I could find that was hosting the video clip).

Without knowing that much about building demolition, I'm left to wonder; how long does it take to properly set up charges? It seems like it'd be a pretty big undertaking, not the type of thing that could be set up and executed over the course of one very hectic day. But again, I don't know jack about demo.
posted by Lee Marvin at 8:51 AM on January 22, 2006


How we're these charges laid without detection? Why would they be laid in the first place? A beaten, burnt, and battered, WTC, still standing would be a far more effective psychological symbol than something out of sight. Furthermore, collateral damage after the impact of the planes would only be reduced instead of increased.

The job itself would have been so massive, particlulary to keep it secret, that the entire theory falls into a Hitchhiker's Guide like massive improbability ratio.

Tying such a wonderfully sly and brilliant operation to either the "terrorists" or the "administration" flies in the face of the capability of both, and the utter incompetence of one, not to mention the "administration" doesn't bother to hide their criminal activiity and the "terrorists" would be more than proud to point out how they actually carried out a far more indepth operation than hijacking planes.

You know what they say about those who can and those who teach

A horrible generalization. Many who teach can also do. Just because a few can't doesn't mean it's true of everyone. God help us if those that can have the audacity to actually desire to spread their knowledge and experience.
posted by juiceCake at 9:07 AM on January 22, 2006


So, those bombs that were attached to the buildings weeks before the planes hit, were they protected from the impact and the fires? All the fuse wiring? Or did the evildoers know exactly where the planes would hit and placed the bombs accordingly?
posted by c13 at 9:08 AM on January 22, 2006


Oh, I see, they were placed there AFTER the planes hit. Probably by all those EMT's and firefighters...
posted by c13 at 9:10 AM on January 22, 2006


We have found that it is impossible the jet fuel, by itself, raised the temperature of this floor beyond 280° C (536° F).


looks to me that even from 3/4 of a mile away, wtc1 resembled the insides of an operational electric toaster.

i took this shot from my rooftop less than a minute before the last tower went down. i'm certainly no expert but the floors just below the impact zone appear to be burning at a temperature somewhat beyond 280° C.
posted by rodney stewart at 9:12 AM on January 22, 2006


From the link: Scheduled for publication in The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Research in Political Economy, Volume 23, P. Zarembka, editor, Amsterdam: Elsevier, forthcoming in Spring 2006.

Is this the only refereed journal that has accepted this article? It's not an engineering journal, not even a physics journal, but a political journal (well, book series.) It may well be a refereed publication put together by very smart people, but there's no reason to believe any of them know shit about physics or engineering.

"Description: The research is founded on analyzing society in a manner consistent with classical Marxism. International in scope, the annual volumes deal primarily with economic and political issues and the unity between them. Both theoretical and empirical works are included. While published papers must be appropriate for developing class analysis of society, they need not be explicitly Marxist."

If you're going to appeal to authority, get the authority right.
posted by maudlin at 9:12 AM on January 22, 2006


I get up this morning, and there's still a lot of unanswered questions.
But that was my point. People were saying I was certain it was one outcome or another, but I'm not.
I leave the possibility open that there are many different ways, reasons, and methods that happened on that day.
It's others that are certain. Planes hit, buildings fell down, it was Osama, end of story. Nice, neat little package.
I leave open the possibility that other factors could have contributed.
posted by Balisong at 9:31 AM on January 22, 2006


There are no unanswered questions except how can people be so gullible as to buy into this tripe.
posted by caddis at 9:35 AM on January 22, 2006


Well, perhaps the whole thing was the result of a collision with a cloaked UFO. It was the Klingons damnit.
posted by caddis at 9:37 AM on January 22, 2006


The real culprits:


posted by caddis at 9:48 AM on January 22, 2006


Keeping an open mind doesn't mean letting your brain fall out.
posted by Justinian at 9:48 AM on January 22, 2006


BTW. I DO believe that Osama hired/brainwashed people to his cause, who carried out the hijacking or planes to hit the towers. And I DO believe that those planes caused enough structural damage to collapse the towers, at least #1 and #2.
I DON'T believe that UFO's are aliens from another planet.
I Don't believe that Elvis is alive. I DO believe that Jesus was a man that walked the Earth. I DON'T believe that Elvis or Jesus are the son of God, or have preformed miracles, or rose from the dead three days later.
However, I can totally see where other players than the "Official Story" were in motion reguarding JFK's assassination, the WTC collapse, Saddam's WMD's, alternative energy sources, and the super carburetor.
Do I want to believe? I guess. Do you not? Probably.
posted by Balisong at 9:48 AM on January 22, 2006


In addition to the problem of setting controlled explosions in a matter of hours, to believe this theory one would have to believe that they are setting these explosives in a raging hell of toxic smoke, heat, and fire!!!

I have a PhD in physics, which apparently makes me an expert all things. Let me tell you, this is the biggest load of crap I've read since the moon landing hoax theory. Maybe I'll publish my finding in Aquarium Fish Magazine.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:17 AM on January 22, 2006


Damn Klingons. How'd they learn to pilot those things, by correspondence course?

Dirigibleman - I saw one site (blessedly forgotten) that insisted that the explosives had been placed when the WTC was built.

Unfortunately, it looks like they started building the towers in 1966. Why they'd slap exposive charges all through it at that time is a bit beyond me, but it apparently made perfect sense to the site owner.
posted by JB71 at 10:34 AM on January 22, 2006


"Again, what's your point? Wait... Hmmm... Jewish landlord, big insurance, buildings destroyed by mysterious means... A teeny bit of anti-Semitism here perhaps"
clicktosubmit, that was revolting. If anyone wants to cross check that quote, search for "jew", his comment is the only one to include it.

I know that the idea of bombs being responsible for the collapses stretches even further the limits of what can ever possibly happen in the modern world, but it's just the product of mistrust of the world's leadership and disbelief in anything quite so horrible happening without a larger context. I don't think the believers or the want-to-believers should be pandered to, the level of some snide and offensive vitriol is unexpected. It's probably on a level with someone arguing that Mugabe's following a good course in Zimbabwe or that the King of Nepal has got the right idea.

Amidst that, it's good to see several members able to point to established and comprehensive counter-arguments.
And rodney stewart, what a shot.
posted by NinjaPirate at 10:37 AM on January 22, 2006


The FDNY uses not such term as "pull."
posted by Captaintripps at 10:46 AM on January 22, 2006


People were saying I was certain it was one outcome or another, but I'm not.

To be fair, I think I'm the only one who said it that way. And in light of your subsequent comments I was probably being unfair. stenseng, who hasn't posted since but most likely has better things to do on a Sunday morning (I detest the You Haven't Commented on my Comment And Thus Are A Coward mentality) will have to wait for his retraction, though.

But it just seems like one of those Believe In Everything, Believe in Nothing sort of deals for some people. Yes, there are obviously unanswered questions about 9/11. Hell, I still don't know why Melissa Wassername stood me up at that dance in the second grade. But you can't shotgun out a lot of questions like that's some kind of answer. Give me a coherent narrative that doesn't rely on people you damn well know (and have done little to dispell the notion) are blithering incompetents getting everything right (of course, sometimes you just get lucky...) And show me why they did unnecessary things (you think the Bushies couldn't have turned all those swarthy-types into the eternal enemy if the planes had hit and the towers had stood? Then I've got a Pocket Fisherman I want to sell you.)

And rodney stewart, what a shot.

No shit. Fucking hell, man.
posted by Cyrano at 10:48 AM on January 22, 2006


Conspiracy theorists, I'll raise you on level of craziness. If it is so unlikely that WTC collapsed could have happened from just the collision of the planes, then you're kinda in a pickle. You can either admit the big Bush conspiracy, which is pretty flawed or go the religious route!

Clearly, divine hands were guiding those planes to hit in the 'right' spot, as CT's claim it would be a one in a million shot. Fine then, you have not proof of conspiracy but of the works of Allah through man. So when are you guys going to convert to Islam?
posted by skallas at 10:52 AM on January 22, 2006


We've discussed this topic at least once before. The official FEMA report on the collapse is here.

As I summarized in the previous thread, this is the official FEMA explanation for the collapse of WTC 7.

When power failed, emergency pumps began to pump fuel from the fuel tanks. Debris from the collapse of WTC penetrated the building and severed inner and outer pipes. The fuel began pooling under the transfer trusses. Fires sparked by falling debris reached the pool of fuel and began to burn. Sufficient oxygen was supplied through the ventilation system. The fire burned through the fireproofing on the steel trusses and weakened them leading to collapse.

The report has this to say about this explanation.

The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has a low probability of occurrence.
posted by euphorb at 11:05 AM on January 22, 2006


"pull it" only means one thing--i thought it was old news that they purposely brought 7 WTC down.
posted by amberglow at 11:19 AM on January 22, 2006


Whatever one thing it means, the FDNY doesn't use it. Now, if somebody did bring it down intentionally, which I don't believe, perhaps they did use it, but it wasn't the FDNY.
posted by Captaintripps at 11:29 AM on January 22, 2006


Jones' other interests include cold fusion, ancient Americans, and Jesus in America's west.

This guy is a walking conspiracy theory. There would be something wrong if he didn't have a crazy opinion on 9/11.
posted by skallas at 11:31 AM on January 22, 2006


What about this tower of tinfoil? What could bring this down?


posted by Mikey-San at 11:32 AM on January 22, 2006


That Jones better invest in palladium.
posted by Captaintripps at 11:35 AM on January 22, 2006


Looks a little like #1, don't he?

posted by fixedgear at 11:39 AM on January 22, 2006


skallas has it. Almost all conspiracy theories work from a position of absolute competence. Whereas the idea of an administration capitalising on the consequences of their own fuck-ups and compounding them with all new fuck-ups is surely much more terrifying?
posted by klaatu at 11:42 AM on January 22, 2006




Misleading at best. Setting aside the fact that they obviously didn't withstand the impacts, their design made them not stronger but weaker than standard buildings.
They didn't even meet city building codes, and could only be built because, as Port Authority property, they were exempt. So they weren't specially reinforced, as you imply, against airliners or anything else. Even if they had been, they didn't hold up. What's your point?


Yada yada yada, your hypothesis is true because my hypothesis is false because your hypothesis is true? Is that your assertion?



Parsing this half-truth further: Back at the "get go" when the TTs were designed, the largest commercial airliner was the 707,

Wrong, they were designed to withstand multiple impacts from 727s.




The structural steel in the towers was NOT "heavily fireproofed." It was SPRAYED with a crusty coating of fire retardant (probably an asbestos-based mixture) that immediately crumbled and fell off upon the impact of the crash. So the steel was only "fireproof" at all for a few seconds after impact, after which it was exposed, which is why it failed. What's your point?

Oh, okay, I'll just take your word for that... It might have been nice to oh, I don't know, have the steel forensically examined, instead of shipped to china for meltdown...

Wait... Hmmm... Jewish landlord, big insurance, buildings destroyed by mysterious means... A teeny bit of anti-Semitism here perhaps, or am I just straining too hard to find some meaning to all these dark rumblings?

I think if you strain any harder you're likely to blow an o-ring. Anti semitism? Considering my mom's maiden name was Steinmetz, gosh, I sure hope not.

And then you cite opinion poll data?? Why?

Anyone who asks any questions about the bizarre and coincidental nature of events surrounding 9/11 runs into a lot of people who seem to conflate a healthy dose of cynicism with I'M NOT LISTENING LAAA LAAA LAAA

People who question the official narrative are immediately subject to personal attacks and the "tinfoil hat" brick wall.

I think that's pretty shitty, personally. I think that the opinion poll data, particularly that of the citizens of New York City, many of whom were eywitnesses to the attacks, is illuminating.

Now, if I were going to go the route of caddis and a lot of the other tinfoil attack squad members, I would suggest that you are in fact painfully shallow, sheltered, and self serving little dweebs who refuse to even consider any potential evidence that might upset your comfortable little worldview.

Now, these same people have been knocking down a lot of straw men in this thread, "gosh, how did they get explosives in after the planes hit" and the like. Okay, I'm going to give you my personal take on the 9/11 narrative, and you can take it or leave it.


The neoconservative political philosophy goes back to Leo Strauss. Leo Strauss basically says that western liberal freedoms are bad for society and allow it to degenerate in the long term. Strauss advocated the “grand lie” – for an educated elite to develop an outside enemy of false provenance to unify society against. Further, Strauss said that it was okay, even necessary to lie to the public for their own good.

Well, famous students of Leo Strauss became what is known as the neoconservative movement, guys like William and Irving Kristol, and others who had been young “Scoop Jackson” anticommunist democrats, like Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz.

Time passed, these guys grew more and more insular and ideologically conservative, meanwhile being largely forced out of politics by the Carter era, and then relegated to policy wonkery by more practical realpolitik operatives of the Reagan and Bush admins – (think Henry Kissinger – not an ideologue, just an amoral pragmatist)

However, one key connection the neocons made was in the support of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. There they connected with Usama bin Laden, essentially a cia plant within the Islamist movement. A useful guy to know. Did I mention that the bin Ladens are the second richest and most powerful family in Saudi Arabia, short of the house of Saud itself, and that the Sauds and bin Ladens are heavily associated with the Bush family?

Then comes the Clinton administration, and the neocons are largely ousted from making public policy. They form the Project for a New American Century. This is really where the groundwork for 9/11 is laid. Here you have an intersection of two major interest groups. One is the Pax Americana group that wants to see America in the 21st century THE dominant force in global politics and society, in a very Straussian way. The other are the industry/energy folks who recognize the potential for incredible profit to be had from development of American military presences around the globe, as well as the conflicts likely to ensue.

This same group of people (think Dick Cheney, Bandar bin Sultan, etc) have seen the writing on the wall vis a vis Peak Oil, and they recognize that we have a lot of empire building to accomplish in a very short period of time in order to take control of enough of what’s left to maintain western standards of living as we make the post oil transition. This is why Dick Cheney put together the top secret energy task force. They needed to look at several issues. First, how much is there actually left, versus what the official estimates state. Next, how much would the United States and her allies need to annex to make the transition, and finally where from a military and political perspective, the best targets were for said annexation.

This is where the PNAC angle comes in. IN their recipe for American hegemony in the new century, they specifically call for a “new Pearl Harbor like” catastrophe that will unite Americans behind a campaign of empire building.

I believe this is why, if you remember back, during the first year or so of the Bush presidency, we had essentially an absentee president. Bush was, if you’ll remember, essentially a lame duck president until 9/11.

All that time that Bush and Cheney were “on vacation?” At the ranch in Crawford? Yadda yadda yadda – I believe the administration was laying the groundwork for 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other future military ventures.

It would make sense to do this offsite. All conversations and telephone communications in the Whitehouse are recorded.

The thing you have to understand about the Straussian philosophy, is that none of this is wrong, according to Strauss. He says they can lie to us, mislead us, and even kill a few of us, as it’s for the good of the majority. Straussian philosophy is authoritarian fascism reborn.

So, during this time period, they were laying groundwork according to the PNAC playbook. The WTC is selected as a target. Lots of stuff in those buildings these folks wouldn’t mind seeing go away.

They have “security exercises” take place in the three WTC complex buildings in the weeks before 9/11 – evacuating whole floors – the same floors from which the larger “explosions” were seen by eyewitnesses later.

The trade centers come down, Bush becomes a “wartime president” by “hitting the trifecta.” USA Patriot, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan go through overnight, and we’re on the road to empire.

Evidence to support this thesis, and a lot more can be found in Mike Ruppert’s book, Crossing the Rubicon. Ruppert is a former LAPD narco detective who became a CIA whistleblower during their stint running crack into LA in the 80s.

This book is obsessively documented from primary sources (I think there are several hundred pages of footnotes) and is designed to explain the 9/11 events from the perspective of a criminal investigation, means, motive, and opportunity.

I can’t recommend this book enough.
posted by stenseng at 11:50 AM on January 22, 2006


I can’t recommend this book enough.

Thanks, that is all the recommendation I need.
posted by LarryC at 12:23 PM on January 22, 2006


You forgot Poland!
posted by zaelic at 12:26 PM on January 22, 2006


I know this was posted a little while ago, but it drives me up the wall:
Further, structural steel ... doesn't even begin to weaken until approximately 3000 degrees fahrenheit

At 3000 degrees, you will have a pool of molten metal, I would call that weakened.

I've worked for a few years as a blacksmith, hot steel moves like butter. To give you an an idea of just how much, at 1500 degrees you can take a 2 inch solid bar of steel and bend it like a pretzel with your bare hands (as long as you leave some cold sections to grab onto).

It does not surprise me that burning jet fuel, and all of the oil based synthetic carpets, wood desks, paper, etc. Supplied with a good amount of air from the open windows would heat up the steel enough to weaken it.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 12:28 PM on January 22, 2006


i STILL want to know why a government that's been so incompetent at covering things up managed to cover up this big 9/11 conspiracy ...

how do you explain that, stenseng?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:34 PM on January 22, 2006


Pink Fuzzy Bunny - are you talking about iron? Steel? Or heat treated UL certified fireproofed structural steel?

Pyramid Termite - it's not like it can't be done. Ever hear of the Mahattan Project?

Compartmentalized action is key.
posted by stenseng at 12:37 PM on January 22, 2006


i STILL want to know why a government that's been so incompetent at covering things up managed to cover up this big 9/11 conspiracy ...

Lemmie try. Could it be because they planned for 25 years to put a thing like this in motion, but once in motion, reality hasn't exactly followed the playbook with what they had down on paper, and they get caught by surprize more often than not.
The original circumstances were carefully planned out, but after that, they've been flying by the seat of their pants. Things have been moving too fast for them to controll. They still try to controll it, but there are too many unforseen variables.
posted by Balisong at 12:41 PM on January 22, 2006


oh, btw. Here's what it looks like when a tall building collapses naturally (in this case, from earthquake damage)




posted by stenseng at 12:41 PM on January 22, 2006


I'm out of popcorn!
posted by Captaintripps at 12:45 PM on January 22, 2006


it's not like it can't be done. Ever hear of the Mahattan Project?

that was done 60 years ago by a competent government that knew how to keep secrets ... this government doesn't

it also has a rather impressive record of screwing up everything it tries to do

it's simply amazing that your theory requires a degree of secrecy and ability that this administration hasn't shown in anything

meanwhile, the valid and disturbing question of what foriegn people assisted bin laden and company in 9/11 goes unanswered ... who else in saudi arabia or other countries knew about this?

pity you don't have an answer for that ... pity our government doesn't either ...
posted by pyramid termite at 12:48 PM on January 22, 2006


All that time that Bush and Cheney were “on vacation?” At the ranch in Crawford? Yadda yadda yadda – I believe the administration was laying the groundwork for 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other future military ventures.


posted by ZippityBuddha at 12:49 PM on January 22, 2006


It does not surprise me that burning jet fuel, and all of the oil based synthetic carpets, wood desks, paper, etc. Supplied with a good amount of air from the open windows would heat up the steel enough to weaken it.

Would it then surprise you considering that kerosene only burns at 500-600 degrees F? Office furnature and carpeting even lower. The TT would maintain 98% of their structural stability at these temperatures. And regardless of what people say about the coatings, reinforcements, heat treatments etc... a federal materials engineer, whose job it is to know these things said that it would take temperatures of 2000 degrees F to bring the towers down in so little time. He had reviewed all the certifications for the materials etc.

Also, as a physicist I can tell you that buildings do not collapse in free fall by themselves. The TT did. They took just as long to collapse as a ball dropped from the top would have taken to fall. This means that no part of the structure was crashing into any other part on it's way down. Supposing that the part that was on fire gave way and fell onto the rest of the building, the falling parts would impact the standing parts lower and crush them, thus collapsing the building. BUT each one of these impacts would disipate energy from the falling parts of the structure. The building would not collapse in free fall. Same goes for lower floors giving out and upper floors falling on them.

Before you cry "tin foil hat" I don't particularly believe any of the conspiracy nonsense about planted bombs, Bush knocking them down himself etc. etc. I'm just saying, from a scientific viewpoint, the facts presented by the government don't add up. Be it conspiracy, incompetance, totally unknown factors, whatever.
posted by Farengast at 12:54 PM on January 22, 2006


That reminds me... What ever happened about the Anthrax attacks?
Those terrorist masterminds sure must be a heck of a lot smarter than every person in America not to get caught.

Where's the whistleblowers? They have been blowing for years for all to hear. Some, with an open, inquisitive mind are listening. Others, point to them with their calls for tin foil.

Some people just don't want to hear.

And still they are not caught.
posted by Balisong at 12:59 PM on January 22, 2006


Perhaps it was the Leprechauns who spread the Anthrax? They are pretty naughty no?


posted by caddis at 1:51 PM on January 22, 2006


They have “security exercises” take place in the three WTC complex buildings in the weeks before 9/11 – evacuating whole floors – the same floors from which the larger “explosions” were seen by eyewitnesses later.

I guess that makes more sense than doing it between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., when you'd have an uninterrupted period of up to 14 hours to work. As a civilian, I simply can't understand how the expert mind works in such matters.
posted by dhartung at 1:53 PM on January 22, 2006


oh, btw. Here's what it looks like when a tall building collapses naturally (in this case, from earthquake damage)

You do know 9/11 was when two planes hit the towers... not an earthquake.

Did you see when Jupiter got hit by that comet - that was quite an explosion - Not relevent you say? - Exactly.

Would it then surprise you considering that kerosene only burns at 500-600 degrees F? Office furnature and carpeting even lower. The TT would maintain 98% of their structural stability at these temperatures.

Would it surprise you that 96.5% of the strutural strength of the towers came from the plater board? Of course it would - because i made it up. You can make anything up to help your theories up, look:

I beleive bush did it becuase 98% of the explosives came from bush owned corporations.

See - i made it up - no links or anything.
posted by Meccabilly at 1:57 PM on January 22, 2006


So, what would the non-conspiracy theory for the anthrax attacks be?

See - i made it up - no links or anything.
posted by Meccabilly at 1:57 PM PST on January 22 [!]


It seems that the only ones in this thread that are making things up, and not giving supporting links, are those that totally believe whatever the government tells them to believe.
posted by Balisong at 2:16 PM on January 22, 2006


Or maybe caddis and Meccability are practicing their techniques they found on the previous thread? Bravo!!
posted by Balisong at 2:26 PM on January 22, 2006


So, what would the non-conspiracy theory for the anthrax attacks be

There's a conspiracy theory?

Nutjob sending shit through the post is not good enough?

It seems that the only ones in this thread that are making things up, and not giving supporting links, are those that totally believe whatever the government tells them to believe.

But the government are still saying it was the planes right? cos i rekon that's wat made the towers fall.
posted by Meccabilly at 2:27 PM on January 22, 2006


Or maybe caddis and Meccability are practicing their techniques they found on the previous thread? Bravo!!

I didn't read that thread.

I don't see how what i am saying is trolling.
posted by Meccabilly at 2:28 PM on January 22, 2006


This seems to me a nice candidate for Occam's razor.

On the one hand, maybe the physics of something as weird and unique as the impact of a fueled 767 into an oddly-constructed building have counterintuitive elements, or at the least are not well-captured by the back of the envelope level calculations on display here.

On the other hand, maybe there was a complex conspiracy, lasting for several years, of people in high elected office and out of office, to bring down the towers as part of a power grab. A plan that involved flying airliners into them. But for some reason the big, complex plan used airliners that were not large enough to bring down the towers themselves, or at least not enough airliners. That is, these master planners chose to hit each tower with one 767, instead of hitting each one with some combination of multiple aircraft, larger airliners such as 747s, or heavy cargo aircraft, which might have done the job. So they also had to rig the buildings with explosives. Either this took place over several weeks, and nobody noticed people running around setting cutting charges and stringing detcord or the weakened columns and detcord running everywhere, --AND-- the suicide pilots were trained well enough to hit in exactly the right levels dictated by the explosive placements, or there was a dedicated crew that ran up to just over the impact levels and did several weeks worth of work in an hour or so, working in the middle of a fireball.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:28 PM on January 22, 2006


Guys, the Rules for Trolls thread is Over Here.
posted by Richard Daly at 2:29 PM on January 22, 2006


Nutjob sending shit through the post is not good enough?

That would be fine. Nutjobs are easily caught. The fact that the anthrax that was sent was weaponized at Ft. Detrick within two years of the attacks should narrow down the pool of suspects. There should have been resolution in that case easily. But there wasn't. I guess the nutjobs must be criminal masterminds to outsmart the FBI.

Like I said, I believe it was the planes, too. At least for the most part. There are still unanswered questions that official inqueries failed to answer. There is still evidence that doesn't mesh with the story. I, for one am still curious. You, it seems, are not. Instead of listening to questions, posing some of your own, or supporting your position with links that back up your position, you choose to point fingers and laugh, and basicaly, (dare I say it..) troll this thread. If you didn't have anything to offer, skip the thread entirely. If you are just here to point and laugh, go back under the bridge.
posted by Balisong at 2:37 PM on January 22, 2006


Using a sophisticated computer model, I have developed a simulation that details how the towers likely fell down:



As evidenced above, it is fairly certain that an enormous naked man in a turban manually brought down the towers by using them for support while squatting to take a dump between them. However, since no footage of this very large man has been captured by the many cameras filming the WTC collapse, we are led to the odd but inescapable confusion that the giant naked man was invisible.

It is my sincere hope that authorities spare no effort in locating and capturing the giant invisible naked shitting turbaned man before he causes any more damage.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:43 PM on January 22, 2006


The conspiracy buffs may also be better at spellchecking their comments.

But at least it is quite clear that the WTC towers suffered plane hits. The orthodox "tower collapse from burning jet fuel" hypothesis has a whole lot more going for it than the Bush Administration's "Saddam Hussein had WMD's that somehow threatened the US, so we had to invade" claim.

THAT one has been roundly smacked down and disproven, yet a very substantial minority of Americans ( at least as of last year ) believed it.

For that matter, 56% of Americans think Creationism should be taught in schools. ( Nov. 2005 Anti-Derfamation League poll ).

Even if the WTC Tower collapses were a very efficient demo job, by what mechanisms do people on this forum think that fact - if proven to be the case by diligent scientific research - would be conveyed to the American public ? The media ?

I'm not asserting that truth is irrelevant, just that PR and propaganda are currently far more politically relevant than truth. Perhaps they always have been.
posted by troutfishing at 2:43 PM on January 22, 2006


You do like questions, don't you?
posted by Balisong at 2:44 PM on January 22, 2006


Balisong, could you please support the position you take in this comment with some links?
posted by event at 2:44 PM on January 22, 2006


I guess the nutjobs must be criminal masterminds to outsmart the FBI.

Hey, Osama got away as well. And post is pretty annonymous.

There are still unanswered questions that official inqueries failed to answer.


As with all things there will always be unanswered questions. I merely feel that the evidence is such as to point to the two planes as being the cause.

You are quite welcome to come to another conclusion or to beleive that there are inconsistencies with it being as simple as that (as in there were 'extra' measures taken by another party). I see no reason to.

The same as i have no reason to doubt that it was a foam tile that cause the shuttle to fail - there are unanswered questions and im sure we could find inconsistencies...
posted by Meccabilly at 2:47 PM on January 22, 2006


I already did. Have you read the PNAC papers? It's all spelled out.
posted by Balisong at 2:47 PM on January 22, 2006


That was for event.
posted by Balisong at 2:49 PM on January 22, 2006


The same as i have no reason to doubt that it was a foam tile that cause the shuttle to fail - there are unanswered questions and im sure we could find inconsistencies...
posted by Meccabilly at 2:47 PM PST on January 22 [!]


I agree. It was probably a foam tile. It's a good thing we didn't decide to start a war or invade another country to take revenge for it.

If we had, I'd be bringing it up to people's attention, and probably shouted down that it doesn't matter, and to don tin foil.
posted by Balisong at 2:52 PM on January 22, 2006


krrrlson - Oh, come on now.

Your "Giant Invisible Turbaned Man Taking a Dump" hypothesis fails the smell test :

The giant turbaned dumpster would have pulled both towers inward, towards his dump, and the enormous release of heat given off by the collapses of both towers would certainly have ignited the massive heap of fecal matter and asphyxiated everyone in lower Manhattan. The stench would have reached New Jersey if not China.

I rest my case.

Warning : IANASCPPRSIARFOE*

* "I am not a scientist currently publishing peer-reviewed studies in a relevant field of expertise."
posted by troutfishing at 2:52 PM on January 22, 2006


I empathize with the conspiracy theorist. These great things happen that affect our lives, the lives of our fellows, the lives of our children and there is very little we can do about it. For some, it seems, that powerlessness manifests in recounting and believing fully such detailed folklore. I feel for their disconnect and their need to assert some control.

It’s hard when you subscribe to some belief, subscribe to it so much that you forget where it came from and where it’s taking you. It seems so important, so consuming. And here people don’t believe you and you have to look at all of these others, others who “should know the truth,” and all you can see is the wool pulled over their eyes by whatever bogeyman entity you hold dear.

Not only do you forget where your belief came from, but anywhere you can find it refers back to another person like you and another and another. That circular chain of whatever you consider evidence coming back around to itself again and again. You see people thinking like you and can’t help but think you’ve found a brother or sister, a right-thinker and an expert of sorts (more on that later). You reïnforce and encourage one another. It all highlights your powerlessness, but gives you some feeling of control.

You must absolutely know the truth!

But you know, somewhere, that your worldview is circumstantial and unsupported, but it resonates with a host of people (especially in those that disagree with you) and gives you that control you crave.

Events so complicated, so intricate, are boiled unceasingly down until a very simple explanation of evil or subterfuge arises. To you, coïncidences just don’t happen, there must be some intelligent design behind them. If they aren’t there, you’re happy to supply them.

You appeal to the common sense, you inject illogical constructs, embrace the unidentified source fully, take the experts out of context, essentially ignore any rebuttal of your facts (even when answering them) and demonize the experts while relying upon them in some form or another.

And here we are on the Internet which gives some platform from which to speak, some resource from which to formulate and the bored masses with which to interact. I truly pity you sometimes. Somehow the sordid conspirators have concted the perfect jail cell for your mind.

You travel about this web world, a world which denounces or distrusts the expert, which gives you your own place in which to expound upon your views. You’re no longer relegated to a photocopied ‘zine distributed from your home. You don’t need experts, because you are one now.

No matter how dubious or how tightly proven, you have access to an avalanche of data. You can read in one place and go look it up in another. You’re not terribly practiced in the art of scientific or historical research, usually not in the methodology of logic or trained in any of the areas you talk about, but you’ve got all this information to use. Pages and pages of it.

It gives you some comfort to exist in a realm where everyone can be an expert. It gives you some comfort to discuss your pet theories in an atmosphere of established standards of pseudo-logic, pseudo-rhetoric and even, sometimes, a vague parliamentary procedure.

That schismed dichotomy in your brain is fueled by others like you and by the environment in which you interact with them and the non-believers. You, the populist autodidact expert against the amassed sheep of the world, eating and drinking that which whatever authority you abhor tells them is filet mignon and sauternes, but which you know, just looking at it, is feces and urine.

I truly pity you sometimes and wholly empathize with you when I see you thrashing about online or at parties or in the public square. If there was truly some way to help you, and I truly had the volition to go about such a task, I would try to help in whatever way I can. But, time and again, it seems there is no way to help you.

Good luck and may whatever gods or demons in your life speed you on your course.
posted by Captaintripps at 2:52 PM on January 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


It’s hard when you subscribe to some belief, subscribe to it so much that you forget where it came from and where it’s taking you. It seems so important, so consuming. And here people don’t believe you and you have to look at all of these others, others who “should know the truth,” and all you can see is the wool pulled over their eyes by whatever bogeyman entity you hold dear.

Not only do you forget where your belief came from, but anywhere you can find it refers back to another person like you and another and another. That circular chain of whatever you consider evidence coming back around to itself again and again. You see people thinking like you and can’t help but think you’ve found a brother or sister, a right-thinker and an expert of sorts (more on that later). You reïnforce and encourage one another. It all highlights your powerlessness, but gives you some feeling of control.


Are you describing the Project for a New American Century, or Pax Americana?
posted by Balisong at 2:56 PM on January 22, 2006


*snort*

Mayhap, Balisong. Mayhap.
posted by Captaintripps at 2:59 PM on January 22, 2006


ROU, you've got it all wrong. See, they purposely picked smaller planes just to discredit the conspiracy theorists. Everything you find fault with was done on purpose. These men are masterminds of the highest order!

Seriously, what's really interesting here is this Stephen Jones character. If anyone visited the links I posted above about him you'll find a guy very much working hard to make a name for himself as the anti-skeptic. Or the anti-hoaxer, but as an academic instead of some wide-eyed believer.

Jesus in America? He de-hoaxed that. Arguably, that falls into the realm of religion, but he signs his name PHD and notes BYU also, so it cannot be taked as theology, especially when his degrees are in math and physics.

Those stones in the Illinois that were found to be a hoax? Not to Stephen Jones. He "de-hoaxed" those too. This is just the tip of his pseudo-science iceburg.

He's pretty savvy and getting on board the 9/11 conspiracy angle is going to be awesome for his career and his upcoming books. Sure, a lot of people won't believe him, but enough will. He can win over skeptics with his degrees and by playing up the "What about WTC 7?" card. He's making himself out to be the anti-Michael Shermer or the Noam Chomsky for the looney set.

He's such a savvy character, I'm almost impressed in a Machivalian way. BYU has tried their best to distance themselves from him, but that hasn't stopped him. In an interview about his paper, he refuses to name who might be responsible for the attack. He refuses to finger Bush, unlike the believers in this thread. So fucking savvy.

Although he might be losing the conservatives; over at the Free Republic he's not doing so hot, especially when someone asks, "Would it be appropriate to ask what color Mr. Jones is... ?" Good thing there's no shortage of looney lefties.
posted by skallas at 3:04 PM on January 22, 2006


Balisong, the assumption implicit in your comment is not just that PNAC talked about it, but that they had a hand in it. How does linking to their root homepage support that claim?
posted by event at 3:15 PM on January 22, 2006


Event- They are in power now. They thought it would be a good idea to be in controll of Iraq. We invaded. They thought it would be a good idea to enact sweeping new security laws, Patriot I&II. They thought we could use Iraq as a stepping stone or home base to conquer Iran, Syria, even North Korea, and, eventually, China. We see hints at this comming daily.
And the thing that they needed FIRST, was a "Pearl Harbor style attack against America" to set everything in motion.
They wanted it to happen. They needed it to happen.
posted by Balisong at 3:22 PM on January 22, 2006


Read the PNAC papers. It's all laid out. It's not a conspiracy when they do it out in the open, it's an agenda.
posted by Balisong at 3:26 PM on January 22, 2006


Even if they wanted it to happen (I'm stipulating), that is certainly not proof that they did it. That is a big leap, and I don't see where you've presented any evidence to support it.
posted by event at 3:30 PM on January 22, 2006


event: My last 20 minutes roaming the Project for a New American Century web site hasn't shown any either.
posted by Captaintripps at 3:33 PM on January 22, 2006


OK, I guess the invasion of Iraq, the Patriot acts, et. al. are all figments of my overactive imagination, too. I've never been to Iraq. How do I know it even exists?

I've never been to NYC. I've never seen the WTC where it supposedly stood. It could have all been faked. You can't prove to me that they ever stood, can you? Pictures can be photoshopped, "eyewitnesses" can be bought off.
Maybe the whole thing is a sham.
posted by Balisong at 3:34 PM on January 22, 2006


Interesting thread, all. I'm not really buying the conspiracy theory, but for discussion's sake, I'd like to see some more elaboration on motive, means, and opportunity.
posted by alumshubby at 3:37 PM on January 22, 2006




juiceCake: A horrible generalization. Many who teach can also do. Just because a few can't doesn't mean it's true of everyone. God help us if those that can have the audacity to actually desire to spread their knowledge and experience.

I teach as well as do toojuiceCake, it was merely a counter to the "OMG a professor wrote it, it must be true". I defy anyone here to not recall several professors who had no clue what so ever.
posted by Mitheral at 3:46 PM on January 22, 2006


Chapter V (pg. 51)
posted by Balisong at 3:50 PM on January 22, 2006


people really need to separate the 2 towers from 7 WTC. No planes hit 7, and there wasn't even tons of smoke nor structural damage visible at any point during the day.
posted by amberglow at 3:59 PM on January 22, 2006


"The stench would have reached New Jersey ... "

How would anyone have noticed?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:01 PM on January 22, 2006


Another link to Jeff Wells coincidence theory
posted by hortense at 4:01 PM on January 22, 2006


I wouldn't make too much of the "peer reviewed academic journal" business. I've had articles published in such journals, and the process has been different, depending on the quality and reputation of the journal. One paper I had accepted seemed to have been little more than spell-checked--it was a brand new journal in a new field, and it was desperate for material. Two other papers were combed over thoroughly, first by highly-qualified editors, who suggested rewrites, and then, after I rewrote, deemed them worthy of review. And then passed on to "peers" who knew much more about the general field than I did. In other words, look closely at the quality of the work, perhaps investigate the quality of the journal, and then, of course, be skeptical. Especially when, at the end, the author says the "controlled-demolition hypothesis, which is testable." How so? Simulations are possible, but we aren't going to rebuild the Twin Towers and truly test the hypothesis.

The book series in which this is being published seems credible enough, but there's certainly a point of view: "The research is founded on analyzing society in a manner consistent with classical Marxism. International in scope, the annual volumes deal primarily with economic and political issues and the unity between them. Both theoretical and empirical works are included. While published papers must be appropriate for developing class analysis of society, they need not be explicitly Marxist."
posted by young_simba at 4:02 PM on January 22, 2006


Balisong, I'm not asking for proof. I'm asking for some (any) evidence that supports the claim that PNAC had a hand in 9/11.

Your link, again, just shows that they've speculated about something like it. In fact, in the paragraph on page 51 that you quote from, they raise the issue in order to discard it. "Something cataclysmic could happen. But we're going to assume that it won't, in which case, here are our recommendations: ..."

I'm asking for evidence that they did it, not that they talked about it.
posted by event at 4:07 PM on January 22, 2006


Well, I guess we'll just have to wait for more evidence. I've given links to all the circumstantial evidence I have. You have given me nothing in return. I know that you cannot prove a falsehood, so I won't ask. But I have given supporting links to back my arguement. It's at least as convincing than the evidence that brought us to war with Iraq. I guess we'll just have to see how things play out.
posted by Balisong at 4:13 PM on January 22, 2006


I promise not to invade any countries based on my observations.
posted by Balisong at 4:16 PM on January 22, 2006


In fact, this:

"Further, the process of transformation,
even if it brings revolutionary change, is
likely to be a long one, absent some
catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a
new Pearl Harbor. Domestic politics and
industrial policy will shape the pace and
content of transformation as much as the
requirements of current missions. A
decision to suspend or terminate aircraft
carrier production, as recommended by this
report and as justified by the clear direction
of military technology, will cause great
upheaval. Likewise, systems entering
production today – the F-22 fighter, for
example – will be in service inventories for
decades to come. Wise management of this
process will consist in large measure of
figuring out the right moments to halt
production of current-paradigm weapons
and shift to radically new designs. The
expense associated with some programs can
make them roadblocks to the larger process
of transformation – the Joint Strike Fighter
program, at a total of approximately $200
billion, seems an unwise investment. Thus,
this report advocates a two-stage process of
change – transition and transformation –
over the coming decades."

...and the entire 63 pages leading up to it don't touch on anything (that I can tell) smelling of relation to 9/11.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:23 PM on January 22, 2006


Well, they certianly put all their ideas on a fast track, and broke down all their roadblocks after 9/11. I bet it made a lot of people very happy.
posted by Balisong at 4:28 PM on January 22, 2006


Yes, especially the demise of the Joint Strike Fighter program and the complete drop of any plans to build the CVX class carriers. Also that decreased role for carriers in the Persian Gulf? Yeah, they got that, too.

As far as the paper you gave us goes, they've got roadblocks and failures aplenty. In fact, in the redeployment portion of that document (a very large portion) they got almost the exact opposite conditions they wanted by this point.

No, they did not get them all on a fast track, they got some of them. They did not get all of their roadblocks down, they got some of them down and others up. All of which relates very little to whether the government's lying to us about the World Trade Center attacks.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:37 PM on January 22, 2006


OK, I guess you win.. I'm getting tired of discussing this.
Everything isn't going as according to plan, so everything is not lost. There was no government involvement, All questions have been answered. Nothing more to see here. Please close this thread. Conspiracies don't happen. The Government is only looking out for our own best interests.

I'm glad you got that solved. I'm sure there is a place for you on the payroll to solve all of Iraq's problems. After that, you can solve all the rest of the world's problems by saying there are none.
posted by Balisong at 4:42 PM on January 22, 2006


All I ask of anyone - take a look at Ruppert's book, Crossing the Rubicon. I don't accept some of his conclusions or inferences, but his narrative of what happened on 9/11 is obsessively, meticulously documented, there are literally hundreds of pages of footnotes, and appendices reprinting related documentation.


Please, PLEASE take a look at this book. It's about 600 pages long - but I think he comes closest to presenting a realistic timeline of events, and answering factually the questions of motive, means, and opportunity.

Read the book. Look at the source material.

THEN tell me I'm full of shit. That's all I ask.

Don't shell out the twenty bucks for it - I'm not shilling for the guy, just pick it up at your local library and READ it.

There are MANY unanswered questions surrounding 9/11 and this book comes closest to answering a large proportion of them.


Thanks.
posted by stenseng at 4:53 PM on January 22, 2006


I think it perfectly reasonable to believe the towers fell of their own accord: a bajillion pounds of the top third of the tower bearing down on heat-weakened steel is bound to have ill effect. The steel was part of the exoskeleton: that's why they fell more or less straight down; the steel contained the collapse. I can readily accept all that much more than any delusional ideas of the whole building being successfully boobytrapped without anyone noticing it.

I also think it is mighty suspicious that there are a series of close coincidences that are just too good to be true. Daddy Bush, Ford, IBM, and a bunch of other industrialists profiteer via associations with Nazi Germany; next thing you know there's a Cold War that benefits those self-same industrial/corporate families; next thing you know there's a radical religionist enemy in the mid-East and the war benefits those self-same corporate/political families again.

Then toss in the documentation that indicates the presence of a "guiding hand" in this latest extended debacle, one that just happened to spring up during the reign of a family man.

It sure was awful convenient that it all initially went down in a way that really, terrifically benefited the families.

But now the cracks begin to show: scandals and perversions of law and the rather startling discovery that their mid-East co-conspirators were lying to them about the oil.

It's a goddamn soap opera. The bummer is that it affects real people.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:24 PM on January 22, 2006


FFF - look a little more closely at the WTC construction. It's really more of a central spinal column of steel box columns, rather than some sort of steel exoskeleton as you describe.
posted by stenseng at 6:38 PM on January 22, 2006


I believe the facing of the building is steel girder, from top to bottom, stenseng. The photographs from ground level looking up show a single-stem girder rising up a few stories, then "Y-ing" into a pair of girders that frame in the windows.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:45 PM on January 22, 2006


Yes, but the center structural and load bearing core are the box columns at the center.

"The towers were one of the best examples of "tube tower construction", a structural form ideally suited to providing the strength and stiffness required for very tall buildings. On each facade a rigid moment-resisting frame was formed comprising 59 box-section columns, spaced at 1.02 meter centers, connected by deep spandrel beams. The frames did not run into the corners, however, there a shear connection between the two adjacent frames was provided so that the frames, together with the floors, formed a torsionally rigid framed tube fixed to the foundations. This framed tube carried all wind loads. The floors spanned without intermediate columns to the core, which was supported on 44 (other reports mention 47 core columns) box-section columns designed and detailed to carry vertical loading only. Fig 3 shows this concept in an isometric view, while one of the 450 x 450 mm exterior frame box columns is shown in Fig. 4."




The WTC towers were near tubular structures, with the centers being largely hollow save for stairwells, elevators, and cabling. Those large box columns such as 17 in the image above made up the load bearing "inner spine" of the WTC.

This is one of the strongest building types known, and is ideally suited for tall structures such as the WTC towers.
posted by stenseng at 6:57 PM on January 22, 2006


the very notion of the "pancake" theory doesnt make a lot of sense when you take into consideration that both towers we in essence hollow, and that the vertical load bearing structures were toward the center of the structure. Shit, one of the towers was really just clipped at the corner. The plane never got anywhere near the central load bearing columns!
posted by stenseng at 7:00 PM on January 22, 2006


both towers we in essence hollow at the midpoint, rather
posted by stenseng at 7:00 PM on January 22, 2006


here's a better example of the structure from construction in the early 70s:


posted by stenseng at 7:02 PM on January 22, 2006



posted by stenseng at 7:10 PM on January 22, 2006


the very notion of the "pancake" theory doesnt make a lot of sense

pancake theory doesn't make sense because it didn't happen. it was more of a banana-peeling action. i have pictures to prove. wtc1 unzipped like a banana.
posted by rodney stewart at 7:13 PM on January 22, 2006


Look, believe what you want, but please don't shit up the thread, one way or the other.
posted by stenseng at 7:21 PM on January 22, 2006


you can royally shit up your own pants for all i care, mate.

have a very pleasant evening.
posted by rodney stewart at 7:30 PM on January 22, 2006


I think what a lot of people miss when they scoff at these discussions is that though there IS usually a legitimate explanation for the apparent discrepancies, the government rarely provides such a legitimate explanation. Take for instance the crash at the pentagon. Lots of conspiracy theorists got all bunched up that there were no plane engines or damage from plan engines at the crash site. Only one big hole and no smaller ones on the sides where the tons of engine material would have gone.

I wasn't convinced that this was unusual. I mean I'm not a crash site expert, how am I supposed to know where the engines ought to be? But what was suspicious, VERY suspicious is the government response to questions about the engines. They said that the engines evaporated, that's why they weren't there in the pictures. EXCUSE ME? They EVAPORATED? Think about that. A lot of confusion results in these discussions because some people are talking about material melting points, softening points, failure points. But evaporation? That's totally unambiguous and also totally impossible. I don't even have to look up the vaporization temperature of titanium super alloy to know that it's WAY outside the range of kerosene burning. Not to mention the simple fact that even if the crash somehow did vaporize a few tons of titanium super alloy, the crash site would act like a giant vapor deposition chamber coating everything in the area with a thin layer of shiny white metal. There may well be a great, scientifically valid explanation for what happened to the engines, but the governments knee jerk response was apparently to simply make something up. Something so impossible as to be stupid.

You get this same feeling when looking at the WTC facts too. The events are somewhat suspicious but not altogether impossible, but the government explanation for the suspicious discrepancies is usually way off the mark. That's what is so amazing to me about it, the government could easily have made something up that would have convinced me, like I said, I'm no expert on crash sites. But instead they make something up that is so much nonsense. I refuse to buy any conspiracy theory without a solid investigation, but I think the crash site discrepancies are plenty suspicious enough to at least hold independent investigations.
posted by Farengast at 7:30 PM on January 22, 2006


>>But evaporation? That's totally unambiguous and also totally impossible.

Err no. At a speed approaching the speed of sound things once solid which slam into a large structyre break up into many many tiny pieces. Its not melting you're seeing or as you call it evaportation, its disintegration. Temperatures dont matter, this could have happened in the andes and you still wouldnt have engines laying around.

Thats like saying just because you cant find all the parts to neatly put together a plane in this photo then a plane did not hit the pentagon, which was another widely believed conspiracy theory.

Physics gets a little weird at high speeds and at high temperatures. Common sense may say that the dense engine would be sitting somewhere off the side like in a movie, but common sense also says youre sitting still when youre actually flying through space on a giant spinning sphere.
posted by skallas at 7:40 PM on January 22, 2006


Is there a way to automatically delete any comment that includes the phrase "tin foil?" Sure would 'preciate it.
posted by kozad at 7:56 PM on January 22, 2006


Why? The tin foil comments were the only rational ones in the thread. The rest were the paranoid ravings of asylum lunatics temporarily denied their anti-psychotic medications.
posted by caddis at 8:01 PM on January 22, 2006


But the government did not say that it disintegrated. They said that it evaporated from the intense heat caused by the explosion. And that is not possible. Besides, 737's can't approach the speed of sound. They barely break the half way point at their top end. Also you have conservation of momentum. So even though the engines might have broken into many tiny pieces, those pieces would continue to go foward together and punch a hole in the wall. Also the fact that engines are easily locatable in most plane crashes at both lower and higher speeds.

Keep in mind I'm not saying there isn't a perfectly good explanation for what happened to the engines. I'm simply saying that evaporation is not it. I have in fact read of some legitamate explanations, like these here But why the hell do we have to get these from thrid parties? Why does the government drop it's jaw at real questions and drool out something that doesn't even make sense?
posted by Farengast at 8:05 PM on January 22, 2006


Temporarily? These dudes have been off the depakote for years. Depakote being part of a government conspiracy to control free-thinkers, of course.
posted by skallas at 8:06 PM on January 22, 2006


Oops. I meant 757 not 737. top speed 600mph, or about 70% of the speed of sound.
posted by Farengast at 8:07 PM on January 22, 2006


Caddis, you're really being a dick. I haven't said boo so far, but if you don't have anything constructive to add to the thread why don't you, oh, I don't know...fuck off?
posted by stenseng at 8:13 PM on January 22, 2006


Top speed when diving straight into a building? Something tells me these guys weren't exactly worried about keeping in spec during a suicide run. Regardless, its an incredible speed to slam into something.

Now, if you accept it was a cruise missile, then where's the plane? Is there a conspiracy theory for conspiracy theories?
posted by skallas at 8:13 PM on January 22, 2006


I don't know what to think about it. That's totally my point. I'm not going to say that it definitely was or wasn't a cruise missle/757/whatever. But I think some investigation is in order. The white house clearly did none when they spewed their "evaporation" theory. I just think it's sad that we have some fishy events amidst a terrorist attack and everybody BUT the government wants to investigate and see what the deal is. I just want investigation. Internet movies and flash animations prove NOTHING, but impossible explanations from the the white house means that somebody needs to take a closer look. And plenty of people are willing to if the white house would just cooperate. It's not like the debris from a 757 is "sensitive for national defence".
posted by Farengast at 8:20 PM on January 22, 2006


I mean seriously. What is it with people insisting that they *must* force their myopic view of the reality of a situation on others, to the point that they turn into assholes making ad hominem attacks about meds and tinfoil hats.

wtf?

I think most rational people can agree, that while we may not all have the same interpretations of the events of 9/11, it's not unreasonable to question some of the things that occurred. Sure, there may be logical and non conspiratorial explanations for these things. Why do people insist on so vehemently and poisonously shitting on respectful conversations with their particular worldview?

You think I'm mistaken in my conclusions about the events of 9/11? Fine. Let's talk about it. You're not interested in debating these points in an intelligent and civilized manner with myself and other people in this thread? Fine again. Move the fuck on. Lots of other threads on MeFi more compatible with your worldview.
posted by stenseng at 8:21 PM on January 22, 2006


Problem with that Farengast, is that it's too late to investigate the 9/11 crimescene. Rudy sent all the steel overseas to be melted down for scrap.

Way to preserve a crimescene, Mr. used to be a goddamned NY Prosecuting Attorney.
posted by stenseng at 8:26 PM on January 22, 2006


Stenseng, yeah I know about that. I still don't get why. Not that I think people are hiding something, I just think it was fucking stupid. But the 757 debris from the pentagon was not destroyed as far as we know. When space shuttle Columbia crashed, tiny pieces were EVERYWHERE, the debris field stretched over a quarter of Texas and you should see how well they reconstructed that shuttle. They recovered about 80% of the mass of the shuttle and put hand sized pieces back into place to reconstruct the debris. The physicist on the investigation panel gave a talk at my department and again at a conference I was at. He had a great photo of the shuttle bits all laid out in a hanger where they should be on the shuttle. I'm not sure if it's available to the public. And you can't tell me that thing wasn't going fast when it exploded. Sheesh, it's like you have a high speed plane crash and there's nothing left to collect and study? Not even close! If NASA could put most of Columbia back together, they could have done a lot more with both wrackages than they did.
posted by Farengast at 8:34 PM on January 22, 2006


right. It's fairly common in crash forensics to reconstruct the aircraft from debris.

Here's a photo of a partially reconstructed TWA Flight 800.



TWA Flight 800 exploded not long after takeoff en route from New York to Paris.
posted by stenseng at 8:59 PM on January 22, 2006



posted by caddis at 9:00 PM on January 22, 2006


Calling Caddis to thread 48456, Caddis to thread 48456.
posted by stenseng at 9:05 PM on January 22, 2006


It's fairly common in crash forensics to reconstruct the aircraft from debris.

But doesn't the NTSB do such reconstructions in order to find out why the accident happened? In this case it's fairly obvious, isn't it? It flew into a damn bulding. Sure, there might be valuable forensic evidence in the wreckage, but what use does a reconstruction of the plane serve?
posted by Cyrano at 9:06 PM on January 22, 2006


caddis....that is aluminum, not tin.
posted by stirfry at 9:07 PM on January 22, 2006


Oh well, back to the grassy knoll.

and aluminum works better and is lighter and cheaper too
posted by caddis at 9:10 PM on January 22, 2006


I would imagine reconstruction would be very important even if you know what caused the crash. The planes were taken by terrorists, wouldn't it be nice to try and found out if they stashed any bombs or something on the planes to detonate at the crash? Any biological agents? This was an attack on American soil and the government threw away all the pieces. Think about how much the government probably spent "analyzing" the recent Bin Laden tape. Probably ran it through any number of expensive computer programs and expensive analysis from voice experts, tape experts, video experts etc. etc. It is likely that many of these analyses provided no new information, but they ran them anyway. They paid for them anyway. Why? Because that tape is all we've got to go on. You are asking why they would reconstruct the plane, I'm asking you why they wouldn't?
posted by Farengast at 9:17 PM on January 22, 2006


This post is great! I can easily identify the mefi cranks.

Thanks!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:51 AM EST on January 22 [!]


This post is great! I can easily identify the mefi crankies!

Thanks!
posted by Rothko at 9:17 PM on January 22, 2006


Cyrano, I think we're talking apples and oranges here. I think that a forensic analysis of debris and maybe even a partial reconstruction of the plane at the pentagon would have been nice, and answered a lot of people's questions, but I'm much more interested in the twin towers, and CERTAINLY in that case, extensive metallurgical analysis and crimescene forensics should have been employed that were not. Opening up the 9/11 crimescene to forensic experts would certainly have answered any doubts as to the presence or abscence of explosives. Further, potential conspiracy aside, those buildings were designed to withstand MULTIPLE jetliner impacts. If the impacts caused them to fail, then structural analysis might've gone a long way towards teaching engineers how to build better highrises in the future.

This was one of the largest crimescenes in human history, and no one followed BASIC forensic procedures that would have layed to rest many of these lingering doubts.
posted by stenseng at 9:21 PM on January 22, 2006


I think we're talking apples and oranges here.

sounds more like bananas to me ... why don't you, just for a change, PROVE one of your allegations?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:27 PM on January 22, 2006


why don't you, just for a change, PROVE one of your allegations?

The most compelling of allegations is so well documented as to not need to be proved. That the towers fell in total free fall. I posted above to explain why that is significant and should be a poke in the eye to anyone who thinks that burning kerosene was entirely responsible for the tower collapse. If you want clarification about why a free fall collapse is so exceptional just ask.
posted by Farengast at 9:32 PM on January 22, 2006


The most compelling of allegations is so well documented as to not need to be proved.

This is the attitude which generates all the jokes and derisions you loonies are getting. You put forward a rather fantastic theory and rather than document and prove it with meticulous detail you claim these fantasies to not need proof because so many loonies before you have put them on the internets. jeez
posted by caddis at 9:48 PM on January 22, 2006


please see the cat above
posted by caddis at 9:48 PM on January 22, 2006


These arguments are a lot like Intelligent Design arguments. One side uses science and the other side uses "common sense."
posted by event at 9:49 PM on January 22, 2006


Hello, watch movies of the collapse. Time them. Perform the simplest of physics calculations to find out the time of descent for an object from the height of tower top. I said there was no way to PROVE that the towers fell in free fall because we have all seen the damned footage. Time it! It falls very close to the free fall time.
posted by Farengast at 9:53 PM on January 22, 2006


Sorry, event, but the science of building collapse says that buildings don't collapse in free fall when they become unstable and crushes themselves. Only when the material in the way (lower floors) is being destroyed ahead of time. The "common sense" comes about in thinking that something heavy like a building will fall straight down without being interupted by the rest of the building. Science says otherwise. Read up about the NIST report, they completely ignore this part of the collapse in their examinations. Provide no quatifiable data about their "pile driver" theory despite hundreds of pages of quantitative data about other less suspicious aspects of the collision. I agree with your statement, but it's the "loonies" that are using science and the "smart people" who are using common sense.
posted by Farengast at 10:04 PM on January 22, 2006


Just to elaborate. I love a conspiracy theory; I really do. However, undocumented accusations about pancaking, timing of the fall and the burning temperature of kerosene are not enough. Out of hand dismissals of the difficulty of hiding such a conspiracy ring hollow. Show us the science and evidence. You are the ones pushing the fantastic so the burden is on you to show credibility. So far, you got bubkes.

For instance, one the tower started its fall, why shouldn't it have fallen almost in free fall time? Show the math, with accelerations, slowing due to breaking the fall at each floor etc. The structural engineers that reviewed this seemed to think it worked out, so show why they are wrong. Since one would naturally be skeptical that some crank challenging the experts hired to assess this might have anything to add, the burden is on you to give real evidence and back-up calcs etc. to support your fantastic theories. Wild assertions that the official line doesn't make sense really do sound like the same argument that ID folk make with respect to evolution.
posted by caddis at 10:09 PM on January 22, 2006


sleep tight, and don't let the bedbugs bite.
posted by caddis at 10:14 PM on January 22, 2006


Here is a video of the south tower collapse. Go and watch it.

Before the collapse begins, the entire top of the structure is enshrouded in smoke and it only becomes more obscure after that. I see lots of debris free-falling but I have no idea when the top of the building (or any reference point at all on the upper building) starts moving or when it hits the ground.

Please describe how you identified the start and the end of the collapse. The crux of your argument depends on being able to identify two points in time that appear to be completely hidden behind smoke and falling debris.
posted by event at 10:18 PM on January 22, 2006


Time it! It falls very close to the free fall time.

Please play Mythbusters for me and show me the science. Show me where a controlled experiment performed on a similar structure under the same stresses fell differently. Again, burden of proof (and I believe the Mythbusters were able to replicate free fall speeds in a warehouse, so please don't say we have to build a full scale mock-up of the twin towers to test your claim.)

Opening up the 9/11 crimescene to forensic experts would certainly have answered any doubts as to the presence or absence of explosives.

And I'm not saying that shouldn't have been done, but do you really think that would have helped? Would that convince the same people who could point a telescope at the Sea of Tranquility and tell you the flag is a smudge on the lense? Assuming for a minute that it's true, who could tell you that there were not explosives that you would believe?
posted by Cyrano at 10:26 PM on January 22, 2006


First off, I never claimed that there was some grand conspiracy, just a lot of unanswered questions that I would like to have answered. As for the burning temperature of kerosene versus the failure temperature of the tower's steel, I really don't know how much more of an analysis you expect me to do? You want me to scan a page from a materials engineering text and e-mail it to you or something?

I don't have 20 million dollars for a computer simulation. So I can't tell you how long it would have taken the towers to collapse under the "pile driver" theory. Note that NIST ran simulations and accepts the pile driver theory but yet does not document it as you say. They don't show any simulation results or any facts at all that the pile driver theory fits the observation of the collapse. They certainly didn't simulate to find out the time it would take the tower to collapse under the pile driver theory and find that it fits the time of the tower's actual collapse.

But I can explain to you why free fall doesn't happen with the pile driver theory. The standard explanation goes that heat weakened the tower's columns and they buckled at the weakest point, the point where the plane hit. Firstly the plane impact was highly asymmetrical damage, unlikely to cause a straight down collapse. Take out the supports on one side of the building and not the ones on the other and it will not go down straight. But that is an aside and totally unnecessary to see that something is missing.

Ok so lets say the plane hit on the 73rd-ish floor. I don't remember where it actually hit but I'm just assigning a number so it's easier to tell what I'm talking about and where. So 73rd floor supports give out. Upper floors free fall for the distance of a single floor before the upper floors collide with the lower floors at the point of the former 73rd floor. This disrupts the free fall. This impact dissipates energy. Some of the energy of the fall must be used to deform the lower floor and cause it to buckle.

The common sense explanation is that the building is really heavy, so this energy is but a tiny fraction of what the falling upper floors have. But that's not really true. The building is extremely strong. The upper floors may be big and heavy, but the lower floors are just as big and heavy. So pushing those lower floors out of the way is a huge task, even for something as big as 30 stories of steel. There's still 70 stories of steel below it that needs crushing before collapse can complete.

Even more inconsistent is that the towers came down pulverized, the steel shredded. Pulverizing concrete and shredding steel requires energy, lots of it. The pile driver theory would be more plausible if the tower came down in great chunks of cracked concrete and huge sections of buckled steel. But it didn't, that stuff came down in shreds and tiny pieces. That energy had to come from somewhere, and if that somewhere was the floors above then they would have been slowed down.

It's like dropping a basketball from the top of a tree. It doesn't free fall because it hits every branch on the way. A building falling as in the pile driver theory continuously impacts itself and pulls energy out of the collision through deformation of structures and crushing of concrete. Have you ever seen a Formula 1 race car crash? They come apart in a rain of tiny brittle pieces. They don't just crush, they shred and pulverize. They do this by design to pull energy from the impact. For the safety of the driver.

I can see why people latch on to the common sense theory that the building is heavy enough to push through lower floors without slowing. But even if you aren't convinced by what I've said, why didn't NIST provide any hard data for this if it's such a clear answer to the conspiracy theory? They spent 16 million dollars investigating this and they provided no simulations or calculations or data of any sort that this common sense notion actually happened or works in any kind of collision experiment.

Do you have any questions? If you think I've left something out please let me know. I'm kind of tired of detractors saying that so much is left out, nobody actually provides proof or coherent arguments, just blather and rumor etc. If you have a question about something be specific, ideally as specific as you are accusing "tin hatters" of not being. And also take into account that I'm not trying to prove to you that the pile driver theory is wrong, just that it doesn't make any sense and that NIST didn't fix that with their report. I would be happy with an investigation that shows that the towers really did just come down with jet fuel, but nobody has done such an investigation and I think the merits of the "controlled demolition" theory deserve to be looked into, instead of just addressed qualitatively amongst a whole heap of quantitative data which doesn't address it, as NIST did.
posted by Farengast at 10:43 PM on January 22, 2006


Event, Cyrano, The free fall time was determined from seismic data. It is difficult to see from the video, but you can definitely get a feel for it. If you want something more solid, then here

And for the record the site I'm pulling this from is actually pretty interesting. Mostly they debunk the internet flash animations and documentaries for making stuff up, which they do a lot. And also that these mostly crackpot documentaries obscure the real questions about the attack, like the one I'm talking about above.

Here's what they had to say about the NIST report incase you were curious as well.
posted by Farengast at 10:51 PM on January 22, 2006


Surely there is some high quality videa of the tower's collapse? Couldn't one simply examine the video to determine if the lower parts of the building begin falling at the same time as the upper parts? In the case of cascading failure, the top part of the building would begin falling before the bottom part. In a controlled demolition the whole thing would begin following simultaneously.

Note that I'm not trying to support looney conspiracy theories in any way, just putting forward a possible testable hypothesis to disprove such claims.
posted by Justinian at 10:56 PM on January 22, 2006


I fall back on my original statement. Except to add that caddis is a trolling prick in this thread. He brings nothing to the discussion, and just shows up to sling crap at people. I can't wait to crap on something that interest's him.
posted by Balisong at 10:56 PM on January 22, 2006


That the towers fell in total free fall.

Uh, no they didn't, they fell about 25% slower than free fall. And why they fell even that close to free-fall has been discussed extensively:
As the joists on one or two of the most heavily burned floors gave way and the outer box columns began to bow outward, the floors above them also fell. The floor below (with its 1,300 t design capacity) could not support the roughly 45,000 t of ten floors (or more) above crashing down on these angle clips. This started the domino effect that caused the buildings to collapse within ten seconds, hitting bottom with an estimated speed of 200 km per hour. If it had been free fall, with no restraint, the collapse would have only taken eight seconds and would have impacted at 300 km/h.1 It has been suggested that it was fortunate that the WTC did not tip over onto other buildings surrounding the area. There are several points that should be made. First, the building is not solid; it is 95 percent air and, hence, can implode onto itself. Second, there is no lateral load, even the impact of a speeding aircraft, which is sufficient to move the center of gravity one hundred feet to the side such that it is not within the base footprint of the structure. Third, given the near free-fall collapse, there was insufficient time for portions to attain significant lateral velocity. To summarize all of these points, a 500,000 t structure has too much inertia to fall in any direction other than nearly straight down.[Emphasis mine]
Basically, the weight falling was over 30 times the static load the floors could bear, and falling, which meant the impact force was closer to 1000 times the rated load of the floors. your theory, to be as polite as possible, is equivalent to positing that since you can lift 200 pounds, that you can significantly slow down a 6000 pound rock falling on you and that there would be large pieces of you left after the exchange. Either one is unlikely.
posted by boaz at 11:01 PM on January 22, 2006


95% air is totally irrelevant. And pretty obviously so. It's 95% air surrounded by 5% reinforced steel. The building could be 95% jello or 95% red clown noses. The important part is the steel. And it remains the important part even though the rest of the structure is empty. And the idea that it's too heavy to fall over is just silly. It's a giant metal box structure. It's mass moves in relation to it's center of mass just like any structure that shape. The mass is only important in determining that the breeze wouldn't push it sideways like it would a WTC house of cards. So thanks to Thomas Eagar, we know that the wind could not have caused the WTC to fall over instead of straight down. More here.
posted by Farengast at 11:15 PM on January 22, 2006


Again, regardless of what you believe brought the towers down, please take a look at Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon.

Ruppert does not deal with the physical evidence of the event, or get into trying to prove or disprove planes, bombs, etc.

Rather, he focuses on the documentable paper trails, associations, etc that indicate that there's a LOT about the leadup to and execution of 9/11 and beyond that we don't know about.

Take a look.
posted by stenseng at 11:33 PM on January 22, 2006


Man, I am reading this Thomas Eagar thing more closely and I keep finding more errors. Well first off it wasn't peer reviewed. Enough said about that.

He said no one anticipated 90,000 L of jet fuel. When that is precisely what people anticipated when they BUILT the towers, here.

Eagar also talks about nonuniform heating causing non uniform expansion of the steel. So one side of the building was growing taller than the other, perhaps to cause it to tip over? But as he already stated, heavy things don't tip over.

He also completely neglects air resistance in his free fall calculations. The towers fell in pretty much a perfect free fall with air resistance. About 15 seconds.

I'm not trying to find holes in all these theories. I'm trying to find a good explanation. Eagar has not provided one. Nor has NIST.
posted by Farengast at 11:57 PM on January 22, 2006


95% air is totally irrelevant. And pretty obviously so.

So wait, you are seriously claiming that whether something is hollow or solid is irrelevant to whether it can collapse inward? Seriously, put the keyboard down.

It's 95% air surrounded by 5% reinforced steel.

First, it's actually more like 4% concrete, .5% steel, .25% glass, .25% misc. Second, there was no "reinforced steel" in the WTC. Steel is the reinforcing material in what is basically a big, glass enclosed, concrete tower. Note how it is not in fact at all analogous to a big steel box. But really, I'm sure the professional forensic engineers that examined it were always making obvious errors like that too ... multiple times ... in one sentence.

On preview: About 15 seconds.

Which since they actually took about 10 seconds means some sort of ultra gravity ray must have been used. Really, 'reading a conspiracy site's wild gesticulations' and 'finding errors' are two entirely different activities.

I'm not trying to find holes in all these theories. I'm trying to find a good explanation

But if you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and it's painfully obvious you don't, then how will you judge what constitutes a 'good' explanation?
posted by boaz at 12:23 AM on January 23, 2006


In mathematics, there are almost always 2 ways to demonstrate a proof.

You can prove A.

Or, if it's easier, often mathematicians can choose to prove the opposite (referred to as "not A" but written differently and I can't be bothered doing the fancy formatting) and therefore they prove the opposite of A, therefore proving A must be true by the process of elimination, so to speak.

With me so far?

So yeah, with respect to the 9/11 "conspiracies", a lot of people believe A must be true because it seems so obvious. What they saw on the TV, absence of a smoking gun, etc.

But if I asked a mathematician who has just proved A, "humour me, do the same thing backwards and prove "not A" is also the case…… their answer might be "well that's a lot more work, but, as you wish, I am certain I'm correct, and I'm certain I can also prove "not A" will back up what I've said earlier."

But not with this. It's all "waaaaaah waaaaaaaah, la la la I am not listening insert picture of tin-foil-hat-wearing animal waaaaah waaaaaah please make the nasty man stop talking waaaaaaah."

To those of you with an open-minded attitude to this, I applaud you (I've been reading – I know who you are). But to those of you with the "waaaaaaaaah I am angry waaaaaah I am clevarr waaaaaaah I better post an ad hominem attack waaaaaaah I don't want to even begin to discuss "not A":

You idiots.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:06 AM on January 23, 2006


It's like dropping a basketball from the top of a tree.

Perhaps more like a bowling ball.
posted by caddis at 4:52 AM on January 23, 2006


Regardless of the truth value of the issue at hand, there's a notable trend on this thread - one side tries to make a rational argument, another excretes ad-hominem attacks.

Those levelling "tinfoil hat" accusations seem to be unaware that chronicling discovered conspiracies is one of the main pursuits of professional historians. The "tinfoil hat accusation brigade" seems to have a rather credulous and utterly laughable view of human nature :

"People wouldn't do terrible things in secret to further a political and financial agenda, would they ? People are nice, trustworthy too, and they never scheme in secret for unfair advantage."

OK, let's all - in unison - stick our fingers in our ears and repeat after me :

"La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la !"

Repeat as necessary to reinforce belief system.



posted by troutfishing at 5:07 AM on January 23, 2006


That said, I think this thread is a big waste of time :

Those most concerned that there was a succesful conspiracy to demo the WTC towers might, perhaps, more wisely spend their time learning about, and practicing, political organizing and electoral politics.

If the vast majority of scientists and structural engineers were to be convinced that the towers were demo-ed rather than felled by burning jet fuel......

Would the GOP dominated Congress hold hearings ?

That belief would be just as childish as the credulity of the "conspiracies never happen because people are just too good and trustworthy" faith of the tinfoil-hat accusation brigade.
posted by troutfishing at 5:16 AM on January 23, 2006


So wait, you are seriously claiming that whether something is hollow or solid is irrelevant to whether it can collapse inward? Seriously, put the keyboard down.

And you know this because Eagar proved this in his paper? Nope. He uses silly generalizations like this through the paper without proving them or even explaining why they have any impact at all. These kinds of things get torn apart in a peer review process, but this paper wasn't reviewed. This 95% air argument just means that the crushed materials had somewhere to go, so what? Nobody was contending otherwise and it makes no difference if they have somewhere to go. The energy required to crush them is still there. And all those other 95% air skyscrapers that caught fire without collapsing must have been anomalies then? And every building that's ever fallen over instead of straight down must have been full of monkeys instead of air? This guy says that the building was full of air like it actually answers something and you tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about?

Which since they actually took about 10 seconds means some sort of ultra gravity ray must have been used. Really, 'reading a conspiracy site's wild gesticulations' and 'finding errors' are two entirely different activities.

Look at the seismich data. Time it with a stop watch. The towers took about 15 seconds to fall completely.

I mean seriously, this guy says that heavy things can't tip over and I'm the one who's making stuff up? He says that no one planned for a plane crash into the building? This stuff is just wrong and silly, but of course not at all grounds for judging the explanation unsatisfactory.... I don't know what I'm talking about so Thomas Eagar must be right....
posted by Farengast at 5:37 AM on January 23, 2006


Well, this thread is still somewhat alive. Interesting.

Probably should keep my mouth shut but whatever... it's 2006 and I'm on der intarnets, hear me roar!

Took a read of the 911-Research site, not all of it mind you but quite a bit. Interesting stuff. Lots of flimsy tangential stuff, example:
"Building 7 contained a 23-million-dollar emergency command center, but instead of using it for its ostensible purpose, then-Mayor Giuliani evacuated his team to a makeshift command center as soon as the September 11th attack started."
mixed with lots of solid thinking, example:
"Building 7 experienced total collapse, allegedly because of fires, when no steel-frame building before or since has ever collapsed, totally or even partially, due to fires. Building 7 was an over-engineered 47-story steel-frame skyscraper, standing over 350 feet from the nearest of the Twin Towers. Only small fires burned in it on September 11th."
Those two quotes are about WTC 7. That's what I'm finding interesting about all of this. I can accept that the rest of the complex (WTC 1 - 6) were destroyed as a result of the aircraft and collateral damage from the collapse of the main towers, but WTC 7 is really strange.

Seriously, check this out.

Anyhow, I now have a bunch of unanswered questions. Time to dig up the NIST report. Questions:
  • How the heck did the fire in building 7 even start?
  • Were there fires in any of the other building surrounding the complex?
  • How does WTC 7 come down in almost the exact same fashion as WTC 1 and 2, even though it is a completely different building with different design parameters?
  • If a non-jet-fuel based fire can cause the total collapse of 47 story building, does that mean other similar structures are likely to experience this same catastrophic failure in event of a fire?
  • Are there a bunch of engineers out there shitting their pants and scrambling to reassess the integrity of their buildings due to what happened at WTC 7?
Well whatever... my tin-foil hat is secured to my head with crazy glue. I'm safe for now.
posted by C.Batt at 6:52 AM on January 23, 2006


Anyhow, I now have a bunch of unanswered questions.

C.Batt,

I am not listening waaaaaaah waaaaaaaah go away tin foil hat don't make me link to a picture waaaaaaah waaaaaaah conclusive government inquiry waaaaaaah *the judges decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into waaaaaaah.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:05 AM on January 23, 2006


That last bit after the asterisk is the rider that used to appear at the end of colouring-in competitions when I was a boy. That makes it an xxtra funny snark. And *ahem* I forgot the apostrophe in "judges" which is almost a capital crime in my book and completely voids my snark.

Bugger.

posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:11 AM on January 23, 2006


How does WTC 7 come down in almost the exact same fashion as WTC 1 and 2, even though it is a completely different building with different design parameters?

What, downwards? What else do you expect to happen?
posted by cillit bang at 7:12 AM on January 23, 2006


He said no one anticipated 90,000 L of jet fuel. When that is precisely what people anticipated when they BUILT the towers, here.

That's simply false. The towers were engineered to be evacuable in the event of an accidental collision, which means a crash on landing. Landing implies low speed and nearly emplty tanks. A vastly different occurrence from being struck at cruise speed by a plane with tanks at least half full.

The 767 hit with about 10 times the kinetic energy of a landing 707, which was what was anticipated or designed-for.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:22 AM on January 23, 2006


I don't think I've ever read every single comment on a thread before now.
But..
I'm surprised nobody's mentioned this.
posted by hypersloth at 7:36 AM on January 23, 2006


What, downwards? What else do you expect to happen?

Falling up would be nice. We could sell the scrap to NASA after the obligatory "Aliens, why do they hate us" meeping.
posted by JB71 at 7:37 AM on January 23, 2006


That's simply false. The towers were engineered to be evacuable in the event of an accidental collision, which means a crash on landing. Landing implies low speed and nearly emplty tanks. A vastly different occurrence from being struck at cruise speed by a plane with tanks at least half full.

That's what I heard too. ie. Fuel was not factored into the situation when designing for such a catastrophe.

Even though your point is just nibbling 'round at the edges of some of the bigger points, ya still have to dot your is and cross your ts.

Speaking of which, Why assume a crash only happens on landing? Why can't he likelihood of a crash equally occur straight after takeoff with full fuel tanks? Why does crash "mean" what you purport it to mean?


->I agree with your point totally (insofar as it agrees with what I've read/heard from seemingly reputable sources) but not your "crash landing" rationale
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:38 AM on January 23, 2006


Oh, wait. If they fell up, we'd never get the wreckage.

Still, it'd be cool.
posted by JB71 at 7:38 AM on January 23, 2006



Sorry, "nibbling 'round the edges" was a bit harsh. I really shouldn't be adding to the noise. Apologies!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:41 AM on January 23, 2006


There are also a lot of interesting questions raised about the physical evidence of the WTC attacks in "Loose Change," a documentary made by three SUNY Oneonta film students. Also worth checking out.

http://www.loosechange911.com/
posted by stenseng at 7:42 AM on January 23, 2006


Oh for the love of pete...

please stop being disingenous, guys.

I'm not a crank. I actually do believe that the main towers could have come down due to massive internal structural collapse brought on by jet-fuel enhanced fires. But the WTC 7 situation is quite different than the rest of the buidlings.

It was built well after WTC 1 - 6. It doesn't share the same design, or the same space. It has structural similarities to WTC 1 and 2; it used similar construction principles, but so do most other sky-scrapers built during that era.

So how again did the fires start there? Did significant fires start in any of the other surrounding buidlings, why or why not?

Seriously, I don't know.

All I can think is that perhaps WTC 7 housed the majority of the failover power generation for the entire WTC complex and that as the systems in the main complex failed, the load increased on WTC 7's systems thus causing them to fail spectacularly. Is there evidence that that was the case?
posted by C.Batt at 7:55 AM on January 23, 2006


*Er, on a thread this long before.
posted by hypersloth at 8:01 AM on January 23, 2006


uncanny: I would assume that the landing plane scenario comes from the fact that planes landing at LaGuardia and JFK often have flight paths over that part of the city. The LaGuardia takeoff path, however, is roughly Northwest and away from that area of Manhattan. Not sure about JFK. So it was probably more likely that a plane would accidentally hit on a landing course.

One of my favourite things is coming into LaGuardia up the East River. It's totally rad.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:03 AM on January 23, 2006


C.Batt: I don't think anyone really knows the exact circumstances of the fires starting in WTC 7. Hence some confusion and you have conspiricists coming out of the woodwork on it. It's the same with the Pentagon crash (of course there the lack of video documentation is squarely placed on the Government conspiracy). These are the two places where conspiricists get the most traction out of their arguments.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2006


Oh for the love of pete...

please stop being disingenous, guys.


C.Batt,

I hope that wasn't directed at me (but I think I was).

That was obviously a very bad shot on my bahalf at satire.

I agree with you. I see the 'Occam's Razor' side of things before me. But, like you, I have a bunch of unanswered questions as well.

A whole slew of the bastards.

And that's not counting my slew of questions about the Pentagon attack, either!



So it was probably more likely that a plane would accidentally hit on a landing course.

Captaintripps,

ROU_Xenophobe said it mean[t] a hit on a landing course. He didn't say it was more likely.

Sorry for wanting to dot the is and cross the ts in a post where someone was wanting to dot the is and cross the ts.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:17 AM on January 23, 2006


Fair enough Captaintripps. And that's an incredibly unfortunate situation.

BTW, reading the NIST report right now and I'm not seeing much to do with WTC 7 and lots to do with 1 and 2. Not finished yet, but to anyone reading this thread, please take the time to read the report for yourselves, don't just take a thrid party's word about its contents.
posted by C.Batt at 8:18 AM on January 23, 2006


uncanny hengeman, no I was directing my comments towards cillit bang and JB71. (the "falling down", "no falling UP!" "hahahahaha" stuff)
posted by C.Batt at 8:20 AM on January 23, 2006




I'm not an engineer, I'm a jerk-fool. But just supposing that Bush and the Great Cabal were smart enough to blow up the WTC and keep it all a big secret. Here's the question:

Why were they not able to "find" weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Wouldn't it be REALLY EASY to plant some nuclear weapons and say they found them? And then we would all be so happy about invading Iraq!

Instead they didn't. Or couldn't.

How about that for an "unanswered question"?
posted by storybored at 8:25 AM on January 23, 2006


Why assume a crash only happens on landing?

Dunno. I do not design skyscrapers. But in interviews, the chief architect of the building said that they planned for the possibility of a 707-sized plane crashing on approach.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:26 AM on January 23, 2006


Darn, linked to the wrong place on the NIST site.

Here's the correct link.

Further point, from the linked page:
"(The final report on the collapse of WTC 7 will appear in a separate report.)"

I find myself looking forward to this document.
posted by C.Batt at 8:31 AM on January 23, 2006


of course there the lack of video documentation is squarely placed on the Government conspiracy

And why not?

Velasquez says the gas station's security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact. "I've never seen what the pictures looked like," he said. "The FBI was here within minutes and took the film."

Unfortunately, the merican gubberment don't want us to see it. I also believe a hotel might have also had surveillance video confiscated.

So Captaintripps, what say you to the "lack of video documentation" now?


C.Batt, sorry about the mix up old chap I am obviously paranoid it's all about me y'see me me me me me me me.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:31 AM on January 23, 2006


Compare the effort it would take to set up a conspiracy to blow up the Twin Towers with the effort it would take to "plant" some nuclear weapons in Iraq and claim that WMDs had been found after all.

You just can't get good Cabals these days.
posted by storybored at 8:55 AM on January 23, 2006


And I offered a possibility for why they used such a definition in the first place. Certainly never claimed to know, but I do know that landing planes at both NYC airports are the ones which fly near that area the most. Departing flights don't.

"ROU_Xenophobe said it mean[t] a hit on a landing course. He didn't say it was more likely."

Lack of video? As I was quite familiar with the confiscations when I made that statement, I say the same thing. Cheers.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:56 AM on January 23, 2006


1. Cabal rigs up Twin Towers to explode! Yay!

2. Cabal fails to blow up Eiffel Tower to get France on our side! Boo!

3. Cabal fails to blow up Brandenburg palace to get Germany on our side! Boo!

4. Cabal fails to cover-up existence of Guantanamo bay and US loses massive global support for war! Boo!

5. Cabal fails to blow up Abu-Ghraib before prisoner abuse uncovered! Boo!

6. Cabal fails to raise Bush's personal popularity above 30-some percent! Boo!

7 . Cabal fails to plant WMDs in Iraq so we can find them! Boo!
posted by storybored at 9:05 AM on January 23, 2006


8. Cabal does succeed in blowing up Spanish commuter trains ...but er, never mind.
posted by storybored at 9:08 AM on January 23, 2006


9. Cabal has a sensible dinner.
posted by Captaintripps at 9:41 AM on January 23, 2006


And I offered a possibility for why they used such a definition in the first place.

Captaintripps,

Good for you. I was simply responding to ROU_Xenophobe's comment that an accidental landing MEANT a crash on landing with empty fuel tanks.

I'm guessing the designers meant that it was eminently more likely. But ROU_Xenophobe didn't say that…

…Which is a minor point that I don't want to argue about but if you want to argue about it then I'll argue about it until the cows come home.

Is, ts, I'd like you to meet dots, crosses. Dots, crosses, is, ts.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:44 AM on January 23, 2006


10. Screaming dweebs lay a big copper cabal throughout this thread.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:47 AM on January 23, 2006


I'll bet uncanny hengeman doesn't even HAVE any cows.
posted by Balisong at 7:46 PM on January 23, 2006


It's blatant lies like "we had no idea anyone would use a plane as a weapon and crash into a building" when NORAD had actually had drills with jets as weapons that feed it all too. Why lie so obviously, and under oath before Congress?

... In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties.
One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon — but that drill was not run after Defense officials said it was unrealistic, NORAD and Defense officials say. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:01 PM on January 23, 2006


This page contains a rather detailed analysis of the collapse showing that a.) the collapse time is perfectly reasonable, b.) The impact of the planes alone was enough to weaken the steel core* c.) the energy released from the progressive collapse was more than adequate to pulverize the concrete.

*And really, saying that "the building was designed to withstand jet impact" just says that the design and/or construction was flawed. The Titanic was designed to withstand iceberg impact. Oops.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:56 PM on January 23, 2006


He also finds it surprising that WTC-7 fell.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:00 PM on January 23, 2006


This thread makes me want my five bucks back. Except for the "giant invisible naked shitting turbaned man". That was worth at least two fifty.
posted by recurve at 10:29 PM on January 23, 2006


Struth!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:34 PM on January 23, 2006


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