Aug 11, 2006

WTC conspiracy theory

My mom hates conspiracy theories, and has little time to listen to those who subscribe to them.

My MIL has done a lot of research on varous conspiracy theories, and tends to believe that they could be true, or at least, that's what I gather.

And here I am, sort of stuck in the middle. My dh is more like his mom, and I'm more like mine. What do y'all think of this?

Personally, I have no idea. It sounds plausible. Even if it were true, though, what would it mean exactly?

And what could I do about it, anyway? Other than not vote for Bush again (already planned not to.)


BD said...

How many people died?

NoSurfGirl said...

is that a Rhetorical question?

Total Deaths 3,020

Total Injured 2,337

Firefighter Deaths 343

Police Deaths 75

American Airlines Flight 11
WTC North Tower 92

United Airlines Flight 175
WTC South Tower 65

from this link:

Connor Boyack said...

I"m a believer... See this and this and this and this and this.


Fred said...

I'm not a huge believer in conspiracies, either.

NoSurfGirl said...

I'm not sure.


I watched one of those videos, connor... thanks for the links... I'll watch the other ones when I get a chance.

Sherpa said...

I don't know. I've seen several of those videos and am skeptical of the theories...but they've planted a seed of doubt in my head.

Jeff said...

I've studied this issue quite a lot, and even though I don't want to believe that our government could do this, I do. As for what you can do, the best thing is to spread the word. Talk to people about these issues. Let them read Dr. Jones's paper or watch some of the videos that are out there. Scholars for 9/11 Truth has an excellent website to use as a resource.

Good post!


NoSurfGirl said...


so even the comments seem to be evenly divided.

Still doing research. Thanks for the links, guys.

Garry said...

Dr. Jones (who, by the way, is not an engineer) didn't have his paper vetted by other academics, and his employer, BYU, basically says he's full of crap:

"Professor Jones’s department and college administrators are not convinced that his analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review. The structural engineering faculty in the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology do not support the hypotheses of Professor Jones."

If you want a peer-reviewed analysis from an actual professor of engineering, see the following from Thomas Eagar at MIT:

NoSurfGirl said...

I think dr jones is a physicist... not an engineer, but he'd have the info about elements and what they are capable of at his fingertips, as well as how a structure like that would tend to act in certain situations.

While I have said I'm not sure I believe him (conspiracy theories aren't my bag), I'm not going to discount what he has said merely because his academic college has denounced his claims.

The article you sent did address the issue of the collapse and how it could occur, but failed to address the question of the heat of the metal recovered from the site, the photos of debris that appeared to discharge all along the structure (indicative of explosvies) and also the collapse of the tower into its own footprint.

I agree with you though... he really ought to go through a peer review. That is something that every academic/scientific argument needs to be subjected to if it is to be believable at all.

Garry said...

The WTC collapsed into its own footprint? I've been to Ground Zero, and the swath of destruction covered an area of 16 acres - hardly a tidy collapse as you would have with a controlled demolition. Several of the buildings surrounding the 16-acre zone still show damage to this very day.

You may wish to read this piece from Popular Mechanics that further debunks the nonsense about "controlled demolition".

NoSurfGirl said...

Y'know, that article was a nice rebuttal of some of the claims that Dr Jones and other 911 truth scholars have made. Good job, thanks for that link.

The only remaining question for me, then, would be the hot metal at the site of ground zero.

I think I'm still holding off on what I think. So I'm not going to go 911 truth tracting anytime soon. But I will keep reading any links anyone would like to send my direction ;)

Jeff said...


I thought we'd have this debate on my blog, but I've been on vacation, so we'll do it here.

First, you say "Dr. Jones (who, by the way, is not an engineer) didn't have his paper vetted by other academics." I don't know how the "he is not an engineer" argument is even relevent considering that physics and physics principles are very relevent to the discussion at hand. Furthermore, since Jones is clear about his qualifications as a physicist and his analysis is based on physics, not engineering, your point is moot. It's a strawman.

Second, you provide no evidence that his paper was not "vetted by other academics." I've seen this argument before, and the best I've heard is that the only academics who read it agreed with it, so it wasn't really peer review. All "peer-reviewed" means is that people in the same field read the paper and stated objections or gave approval. All indications are that Jones went through that process. If you don't like who read it, that's tough. It's not your choice who reviews it; it's Jones's.

Third, BYU "basically says it's crap"? As evidence, you give a quote that says a lot of people disagree with his theory. Let me offer a couple of thoughts on that. 1- BYU is an extremely conservative university in one of two states where Bush still has an approval rating over 50%. For political reasons, if not for anything else, it would be difficult for them to jump on this bandwagon. 2- The scientific community is full of people who disagree and theories that are hotly disputed. Global warming is a great example. Just because some people, even a majority, disagree with a hypothesis doesn't make it untrue. Galileo was excommunicated and persecuted for saying the world was round. By your standard, he was wrong as well. It's just another strawman argument.

Fourth, "The WTC collapsed into its own footprint? I've been to Ground Zero, and the swath of destruction covered an area of 16 acres - hardly a tidy collapse as you would have with a controlled demolition. Several of the buildings surrounding the 16-acre zone still show damage to this very day."

You're not going to collapse a building of that size into a perfect footprint. Sorry. The point of Jones's argument about the footprint is that they fell straight down. They didn't list to one side. In fact the second tower does list a little at the top, but then straightens out. How could a third of the building change course while falling unless another force was applied? It really doesn't change course though; it just turns to dust and falls with the rest of the building. Jet fuel doesn't flow uphill, so the obliteration of that building while it was falling is unexplainable. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

As for the Popular Mechanics piece, it is just a rehash of the official theory. We can debate it at length on my blog, but I will say that it has problems with the squibs (their "conclusion" is only speculation as is much of this debate), their description of the elevator shafts being conduits for the jet fuel explosion (they couldn't be because of their construction), the free-fall speed of collapse, the molten metal (which nosurfgirl alluded to, and which PM never mentions), and WTC 7. Like I said, I will post a longer response to it on my own blog.

I'd like to end by saying that I'm very skeptical of many of the claims made by conspiracy theorists. The Loose Change video is mostly propaganda with tons of speculation. However, there are some serious questions that need to be answered, and when they are asked, they are ignored (much like PM and the molten metal). My last question is this: why did the administration fight against the 9/11 commision so vehemently? If they had nothing to hide, why fight the process?

Just some thoughts,

Jeff said...

Here is a link to an engineer from MIT discussing the collapses. Since Garry was concerned about Jones's credentials, I thought I'd give him something more to chew on.

NoSurfGirl said...


That's another good link, Jeff... thanks.

I hope you guys can keep being nice to each other :)

and I appreciate all the links/info that this (debate) has generated.

NoSurfGirl said...

After watching Jeff's link, I wish I knew more about physics. I think I"m going to have to give up until I can consult my physics-major sister. So for now, I'm done doing my research, I think.

Thanks for those who commented/contributed.

Jeff said...


Garry and I debate an awful lot, and we're generally pretty cordial. We seem to understand that this type of discourse is incredibly good for the country, so yes, we'll keep being nice.

As for the physics thing, I can relate. I'm an English teacher, which means I'm good at reading and disecting arguments that don't quite hold up to rhetorical analysis, but I'm not great at science. However, on this issue, I think all disciplines are important to understand and to think about. This is more than a science issue, and it is much more than a political issue. I hope you'll continue to research. I've been at it for months, and I'm still not 100% convinced, but I am convinced that the whole truth is not out yet. It will be interesting to see how this develops.

NoSurfGirl said...

thanks for the reassurance. I agree that discussions like this are important, but some people do start becoming angry and hurtful over politics. If you guys generally keep things cordial, that's cool.