Debunking [Propaganda] Mechanics 03/2005

by Jimmy Walter

While Popular Mechanics makes some valid points about the wilder conspiracy theorists, it avoids the meaty issues altogether. The fact that it found no valid claims out of all of the evidence is itself evidence of slanted journalism, a.k.a., propaganda. Remember that the Bush Administration has been paying off journalists to support its positions. From its start, the Winston Smiths of [Propaganda] Mechanics use innuendo and straw men to set the tone for its sweeping conclusions and exaggerations:

"Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled [what does bacteria culture have to do with psychology?] into paranoia ["More than 3000 books" , many by scholars like David Ray Griffin constitute widespread intelligent alarm that the facts do not fit the propaganda] Wild conspiracy tales [19 screw-ups that flunked out of flight school flew 60 ton, 129 foot wide, 45 foot tall airliners in high speed, at a lower altitude, precision turns to hit the only section of the Pentagon that was empty and the nation's capital in coordinated attacks right under the noses of the entire US Military when they had been looking for them for over an hour is certainly a wild conspiracy tale if I ever heard one.] are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in other media. Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories:"

A real scientific study would first set out the facts and let the reader decide first. They quote Thierry Meyssan, "The Pentagon was struck by a missile" which he retracted when the Pentagon released 5 frames from a security camera of the impact. If blurry photos are the source of the problem, they fail to mention that the Pentagon will not release any of the other footage or non-blurry images from the thousands of cameras in and around the Pentagon and end this "blurry" controversy.

Moreover, these allegations of "Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts "have nothing to do with the claims about: "the World Trade Center was razed by demolition-style bombs". In this case the photos are quite clear. The only valid point out of the three is made by only a few 9/11 theorists that: "Flight 93 was shot down by a mysterious white jet."

They then to claim to know that there are sinister people among the 9/11 theorists: "Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims ….."

They claim that "In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence." Yet they then provide no evidence at all on the plane and passengers issue, just innuendo: "The widely accepted account that hijackers commandeered and crashed the four 9/11 planes is supported by reams of evidence [an outright lie], from cockpit recordings [They fail to mention that the cockpit recorders were never "found" even though in every other crash they have been found and the recordings have not been released] to forensics [they claim the metal parts "vaporized" yet they found body parts and unharmed books where there was supposedly a raging fire and melted metal] to the fact that crews and passengers never returned home." Here they fail to mention that there were no Arabs on flight 77, that cell phone calls cannot be made over 8,000 feet and 249 miles per hour (USAToday), and the alleged "computer error" that caused all four planes to be only 25% to 50% loaded when all other transcontinental flights that day were 70 to 100 percent loaded. They also fail to mention that the passengers were mostly military, military contractors, and government officials – a perfect cast for an updated Operation Northwoods (actual documents).-- (Joint Chiefs Planned to Terrorize US by killing US Civilians (Overview))

As far as "widely accepted" and "a healthy dose of common sense" goes, remember that The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004), 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004), 20% of Americans think the sun orbits the earth, and 17% believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005). Regardless, they use emotional words without facts at all; not scientific analysis.

Their emotional attack continues: "Nonetheless, conspiracy theorists seize on a handful of "facts" to argue a very different scenario: [Propaganda Mechanics choose only a handful of the most outlandish theorists and ignored most of the facts] The jets that struck New York and Washington, D.C., weren't commercial planes, they say, but something else, perhaps refueling tankers or guided missiles [No one has claimed that a guided missile hit the WTC!]. And the lack of military intervention? Theorists claim it proves the U.S. government instigated the assault or allowed it to occur in order to advance oil interests or a war agenda." - Here again they dismiss with no evidence or logic this obvious motive and stated agenda item of the Project for a New American Century, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Pearle, etc. to use a "New Pearl Harbor" to provoke militarism and conquest!

The Pods

The pod is a non-issue in my opinion. I will even let them have the issue and allow that there was no pod. So what? The rest of the evidence stands individually. However, Propaganda Mechanics true colors are seen in that they omit the "flash" which is a prominent part of both websites that promote the pod. The flash occurs as each plane hits a tower. It is in the same place, the lower right front of the cockpit, not the nose! It is seen from many angles so it cannot be a reflection. It is not the closest point so it cannot be a spark. In my opinion, it has to have been caused by a weapon of some sort since no guidance system is that good. The difference between what shadows may portray and seeing an unexplained "flash" of light from many angles on both planes is the difference between night and day. This had to be a high tech weapon. If any part of the attack was not by 19 hijackers armed only with box cutters, the Bush's whole theory falls apart. The fact that [Propaganda] Mechanics did not attack the "Flash' shows they did not want people to know about it! It blows a hole in their whole cover story of being "journalists" at all.

No Stand-Down Order

It sure looked like a stand down order, but again they use old theories that have been modified as the government released more facts. In fact it is now known that three war games were being played that day, all directed by Dick Cheney. They bring in this straw man of the "stand down" order instead of questioning about the war games and why [Kindasleezy] Rice lied about the military not anticipating hijackings when they were in fact practicing for them that very day.

Then their "facts" are wrong or misleading again:
"FACT: … Boston Center, one of 22 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regional ATC facilities, called NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) three times: at 8:37 am EST to inform NEADS that Flight 11 was hijacked;" The planes would have been scrambled at 8:37 and still been in the air for the other hijackings. They then tell us that if we were attacked and they got by the ADIZ that the US military would not be able find them without calling the FAA for help…. Within minutes of that first call from Boston Center, NEADS scrambled two F-15s from Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Mass., and three F-16s from Langley Air National Guard Base in Hampton, Va. None of the fighters got anywhere near the pirated planes." Why not? They were already in the air. They had plenty of time. They don’t even discuss this. That is a very poor defense system and should have prompted a reprimand at least. Moreover, the FAA destroyed the ATC tapes! Why? Cover-up!

"When the hijackers turned off the planes' transponders, which broadcast identifying signals, ATC had to search 4500 identical radar blips [Outright lie. Each blip has the transponder code next to it on the screen. Those without a blip would stand out. Furthermore, flights had been delayed on the ground by the time the plane hit the pentagon so there were not 4500 blips at all; certainly not on the screens looking for the allegedly hijacked aircraft] crisscrossing some of the country's busiest air corridors [which is why they have so many controllers watching. There was one specific controller who was watching that plane. After the hijack, the plane would have been closely monitored and surrounding traffic cleared out]. And NORAD's sophisticated radar It ringed the continent, looking outward for threats, not inward. [so why are not heads rolling and companies being sued? We paid billions and billions for this system which the military bragged about up until then] "It was like a doughnut," Martin says. "There was no coverage in the middle." [So what would they do in a war? Call ATC and have them direct our fighters inside the US? Preposterous!] Pre-9/11, flights originating in the States were not seen as threats and NORAD wasn't prepared to track them. [The Military had studies on hijackings, best selling books had written about domestic flights being used this way, there was a FOX TV movie about it. Again a reprimand was in order at least!]

Flight 175's Windows

Again they attack a non-issue on the windows. Whether the plane had windows or not does not prove or disprove it was the original plane. Anyone planning this elaborate scheme would surely not use planes without windows.

Intercepts Not Routine

Here again, they do not cite the actual rules and regulations, but limit themselves to hearsay. The rules and regulations call for interception within the US. Moreover, they ignore the AP report that planes were intercepted 67 times in the previous year. They try to confuse the issue with the term ADIZ, which has no application here since everyone knew the nation was under attack for over an hour!

FACT: In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart's Lear jet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed. Even so, it took an F-16 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the stricken jet [in the middle of no where, not the nation’s capital which was on full alert]. Rules in effect back then, and on 9/11, prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts [so here they admit they had intercepts and they had rules about them. I know from living in Florida that jets were scrambled and broke the sound barrier going after suspected drug smugglers]. Prior to 9/11, all other NORAD interceptions were limited to offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). "Until 9/11 there was no domestic ADIZ," FAA spokesman Bill Schumann tells PM. After 9/11, NORAD and the FAA increased cooperation, setting up hotlines between ATC's and NORAD command centers [another lie – the records show that ATC had no trouble reaching NORAD], according to officials from both agencies. NORAD has also increased its fighter coverage and has installed radar to monitor airspace over the continent. [An increase is coverage today is not proof that they did not have enough coverage then or that the could not have intercepted].


The collapse of both World Trade Center towers--and the smaller WTC 7 a few hours later--initially surprised even some experts. But subsequent studies have shown that the WTC's structural integrity was destroyed by intense fire [There is not a single engineering study with a full math analysis proving their wild claims. Both FEMA and NIST have stated that most of the fuel was consumed by the initial fireball leaving only the contents were mostly fireproofed due to code] as well as the severe damage inflicted by the planes." [Another lie. The structural engineers have said it was not the impact that caused the collapse. The fire engineers say it was not the fire].

Widespread Damage

CLAIM: The impact and ensuing fires disrupted elevator service in both buildings [since the fire control system closed the emergency doors preventing the chimney effect and inferno they claim was there. They also ignore the fact that there were people standing in the holes where the supposed infernos were seen. How did they get through this raging inferno?]. Plus, the lobbies of both buildings were visibly damaged before the towers collapsed. [So why were just the lobby windows and not the windows on the other floors? Another absurdity. The pressure would have been greatest at the floors nearest the impact, not in the lobby. The lobbies were 90 floors away.]

FACT: Following up on a May 2002 preliminary report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a major study will be released in spring 2005 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST shared its initial findings with PM and made its lead researcher available to our team of reporters [yet they provide no evidence at all here].

The NIST investigation revealed that plane debris sliced through the utility shafts at the North Tower's core, creating a conduit for burning jet fuel--and fiery destruction throughout the building. "It's very hard to document where the fuel went," [not so. We are quite able to calculate the fuel consumed in the fire ball, which was 65% to 80% of the fuel. Furthermore, the remaining contents were mostly steel, concrete, fireproofed carpet and fabrics, and some paper] says Forman Williams, a NIST adviser and a combustion expert, "but if it's atomized and combustible and gets to an ignition source, it'll go off." [Duh! The jet fuel did this in the initial fireball! There was no mechanism to atomize the office contents. If the contents were, then, like the jet fuel, it would have burnt in a few seconds, not an hour. Here they are twisting Williams words to make it sound feasible - the very thing of which they accuse us. Who is the "cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate [with] ...poisonous claims …..?" Propaganda Mechanics!]

Burning fuel traveling down the elevator shafts would have disrupted the elevator systems and caused extensive damage to the lobbies. NIST heard first-person testimony that "some elevators slammed right down"[now their eyewitnesses are reliable but ours are not?] to the ground floor. "The doors cracked open on the lobby floor and flames came out and people died [an outright lie! The film from the Naudet brothers clearly show this is a lie! There is no fire damage to the lobby at all. Go rent it! Watch our video]," says James Quintiere, an engineering professor at the University of Maryland and a NIST adviser. A similar observation was made in the French documentary "9/11," by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. As Jules Naudet entered the North Tower lobby, minutes after the first aircraft struck, he saw victims on fire, a scene he found too horrific to film. [He did film his initial entrance to the WTC. The elevator doors are intact. There is no fire damage. There are no victims to be seen anywhere.]

"Melted" Steel

CLAIM: "We have been lied to," announces the Web site "The first lie was that the load of fuel from the aircraft was the cause of structural failure. No kerosene fire can burn hot enough to melt steel." The posting is entitled "Proof Of Controlled Demolition At The WTC."

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. [If the steel gave way, then there was not enough resistance to crush the concrete] "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. [Here again they try to mislead us. Clean up workers have reported that melted steel was found in the basements of all three buildings! As they admit, this requires temperatures far in excess of that possible with jet fuel and office contents fires. So the fact that melted steel was found in the basements proves explosives were used]"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." [But does not get pulverized or sliced into neat 20 foot sections. The steel frame buildings at Hiroshima were still standing after an atomic bomb. Cardington fire tests proved that steel building survived temperatures in excess of that possible with jet or diesel fuel.]

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," [which could not have been reached since the smoke was black. The hotter temperatures like 1100°F require clean burning flames - no smoke at all. These fires were oxygen starved. Again they twist words] notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." [Again, this temperature could not reached since the smoke was black] 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. [Vulnerable yes, but steel conducts heat fairly well. It would have conducted away great quantities of the heat since these were not blow torches but spread out throughout the floors and, according to them, the elevator shafts. The fires did not last long enough to heat the entire metal mass of the buildings or just the cores to any of these temperatures. Do the math!]

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 [fireproofed and very little total mass to burn on the floors in questions], curtains [there were no curtains in the vast majority of offices], furniture [was mostly steel and fireproofed plastic] and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F [Another lie. First, no one was there with a thermometers! They are guessing unless they have actual math calculations. Moreover, It is not possible to reach 1832°F under these oxygen starved conditions with any of the materials they mention].

"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.[There are clear pictures of a woman and man standing the hole where the airliners hit – proof there was no raging fire. The first building fell after only 56 minutes!!! Not long enough for this fireproofed-by-code fuel to heat up much steel!]"

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 [Another lie. The top of one of the towers fell over, not down. No pulverizing force! While there may have been enough force to pulverize the concrete, real engineers have shown that the rapidly moving cloud can only be explained by 14 tons of explosives. Where are their calculations? Furthermore, they claim the steel was weakened. If so, it would not have provided enough resistance for the falling weight above to pulverize the concrete instantly]. 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. [Another lie. Chain reaction perhaps. But the buildings fell at the speed of gravity – that only happens when air is the only resistance. There should have been a slowing down by each floor hit] Engineers call the process "pancaking," [their diagrams deliberately leave out the 47 steel, massive core columns that would have stopped it from "pancaking" straight down] and it does not require an explosion to begin [that is his guess since it has never happened before - anywhere - or since], 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 [The air is above the concrete floor. It would have been ejected first. There was nothing to carry the concrete dust out for the first collapsed floor yet the clouds clearly come out from this floor. Again the concrete could not be pulverized unless the floors held]. "When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it's going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window [not before the concrete is pulverized]," 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." [No tests have been done. No math has been given. Is he a mystic oracle to be followed blindly? Our $100,000 challenge will be ready soon. He should start preparing his entry. We actually already have one entrant who has at least provided all the math. We are checking it out and will report on it soon, but on first read it seems he has not answered some of these questions. Moreover, no one has explained the steel members being blown up and out 300 feet from the building (see the video on our home page). They should have been crushed, not catapulted up and out like rockets with smoke trails following. Remember they are claiming the steel was softened by heat and the air blew out the dust. Air does not propel steel.]

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. [It looks like a duck. It walks like a duck. It squawks like a duck. Who got to this guy? He cannot quibble like this on such an issue]"

Seismic Spikes
A non-pertinent issue in light of all the other "concrete" evidence such as videos and photos.

WTC 7 Collapse

CLAIM: Seven hours after the two towers fell, the 47-story WTC 7 collapsed. According to "The video clearly shows that it was not a collapse subsequent to a fire, but rather a controlled demolition: amongst the Internet investigators, the jury is in on this one."

FACT: Many conspiracy theorists point to FEMA's preliminary report, which said there was relatively light damage to WTC 7 prior to its collapse. With the benefit of more time and resources, NIST researchers now support the working hypothesis that WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated. "The most important thing we found was that there was, in fact, physical damage to the south face of building 7," [off center so the building should have fallen over, not straight down] NIST's Sunder tells PM. "On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom--approximately 10 stories--about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out. [Not true according to the photos]" NIST also discovered previously undocumented damage to WTC 7's upper stories and its southwest corner. [What evidence? Show us this evidence, Senator McCarthy! How could they discover previously undocumented damage? Where is their documentation?]

NIST investigators believe [This is not religion. Where are the calculations?] a combination of intense fire and severe structural damage contributed to the collapse, though assigning the exact proportion requires more research [Into what? This is engineering, not research]. But NIST's analysis suggests the fall of WTC 7 was an example of "progressive collapse," [please show us another one that has occurred that this is an example of, anywhere, anytime.] a process in which the failure of parts of a structure ultimately creates strains that cause the entire building to come down. Videos of the fall of WTC 7 show cracks, or "kinks," in the building's facade just before the two penthouses disappeared into the structure, one after the other [just like every other controlled demolition of which we do have videos]. The entire building fell in on itself, with the slumping east side of the structure pulling down the west side in a diagonal collapse. [It was not a diagonal collapse. It was straight down. Only possible if all the center columns were taken out, not just one side]. Watch it yourself. Watch Eric Hufschmid's "Painful Deceptions" video and compare.]

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 [weight, not square footage, is what counts] 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 [not would. What are the probabilities?] cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down." [but not the whole building uniformly. And how was that column taken out? The damage was done to the upper parts. There are no fires on the bottom floor at all!]

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 [outside] 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. [Again, no proof, just assertions that do not explain how they all failed at one time. Show us the calculations!]

Second, a fifth-floor fire burned for up to 7 hours. "There was no firefighting in WTC 7," Sunder says. Investigators believe [And yew shall be saved. Where is the math?] 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. [7 hours is not long. The Meridian Plaza burned for 19 hours, fiercely, and never collapsed. The Madrid building burned for 24 and never collapsed.]"

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. [Where are the hard facts and the math? The Building had been reinforced due to being Giuliani’s Emergency Command Center. It was built to resist far more.]


At 9:37 am on 9/11, 51 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was similarly attacked. Though dozens of witnesses saw a Boeing 757 hit the building, conspiracy advocates insist there is evidence that a missile or a different type of plane smashed into the

Pentagon. Big Plane, Small Holes

CLAIM: Two holes were visible in the Pentagon immediately after the attack: a 75-ft.-wide entry hole in the building's exterior wall [Outright Fraud! The photos plainly show a hole much smaller - perhaps 20 feet], and a 16-ft.-wide hole in Ring C, the Pentagon's middle ring. Conspiracy theorists claim both holes are far too small to have been made by a Boeing 757. "How does a plane 125 ft. wide and 155 ft. long fit into a hole which is only 16 ft. across?" asks, a Web site "dedicated to discovering the bottom line truth to what really occurred on September 11, 2001."

The truth is of even less importance to French author Thierry Meyssan, [Now they just outright lie – Meyssan withdrew his truck bomb and missile theories after the Pentagon was forced to release the photos. It seems "the truth is even less important to" [Propaganda] Mechanics!]

FACT: When American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon's exterior wall, Ring E, it created a hole approximately 75 ft. wide [Any examination of the pictures show this is an outright lie], according to the ASCE Pentagon Building Performance Report [One government agency after another lies so we are supposed to think they are all telling the truth?]. The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minutes after impact, but ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the number of first-floor support columns that were destroyed or damaged [Look at the pictures!]. Computer simulations confirmed the findings [Animations, not simulations – a simulation requires a complicated mathematical analysis – all they produced were cartoons to support their wild claims that a flight school flunk out flew an 60 ton, 129 foot wide, 45 foot tall airlines in high speed, lower than possible altitude (ground effect prevents a plane from flying lower than its wingspan at high speed) to hit the only empty section of the Pentagon].

Why wasn't the hole as wide as a 757's 124-ft.-10-in. wingspan? A crashing jet doesn't punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University. In this case, one wing hit the ground [ An outright lie since the photos plainly show that there is no damage to the ground in front of the Pentagon] ; the other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon's load-bearing columns, explains Sozen, who specializes in the behavior of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane [two 10,000 pound engines with the strongest parts of the plane, the engine mounts and wing spars] flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass [Yet the human body parts remained intact?]. "If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building," Sozen tells PM, "it didn't happen." [It did at the WTC! Through Steel! The wings would have not been slowed down by the building at the same time the nose was. Therefore, they would have continued forward, not backwards. Again they neglect the 5 ton engines and mounts, the heaviest, densest parts of the plane on the strongest members of the plane. They did not liquefy or fold up and go into a hole 10 feet away from where they hit!]

The tidy hole in Ring C was 12 ft. wide--not 16 ft. ASCE concludes it was made by the jet's landing gear, not by the fuselage. [The landing gear is heavy, but when in the raised position (follow link to see down and how it folds up) it is very horizontal, not round! In fact, it does not come down from the belly of the plane at all; most of it is in the wings! [Propaganda] Mechanics are not even good frauds! It would have made a wide but short hole. And if the landing gear did that, what happened to the holes that should have been made by the engines which are heavier and denser and made of metal that survives high stress and temperature? Fraud after fraud!]

Intact Windows

CLAIM: Many Pentagon windows remained in one piece--even those just above the point of impact [the plane was 40 feet tall. That is 4 stories tall. Just the cabin is two stories tall since the luggage, part of the landing gear and other equipment is below the main cabin. They are claiming that the second story of the Pentagon is above the point of impact. Absurd!] from the Boeing 757 passenger plane., an online animation widely circulated in the United States and Europe, claims that photographs showing "intact windows" directly above the crash site prove "a missile" or "a craft much smaller than a 757" struck the Pentagon.

FACT: Some [Most of them if you actually inspect the photos] windows near the impact area did indeed survive the crash. But that's what the windows were supposed to do--they're blast-resistant [not impact resistance. The wings were at least 12 feet above the ground since there is plainly no crater and there is intact equipment and wire spools in front].

"A blast-resistant window must be designed to resist a force significantly higher than a hurricane [5 tones traveling at 400 mph is 1000’s of times stronger than wind at 200 mph] that's hitting instantaneously," says Ken Hays, executive vice president of Masonry Arts, the Bessemer, Ala., company that designed, manufactured and installed the Pentagon windows. Some were knocked out of the walls by the crash and the outer ring's later collapse. "They were not designed to receive wracking seismic force," Hays notes. "They were designed to take in inward pressure from a blast event [not a direct hit], which apparently they did: the blinds were still stacked neatly behind the window glass."

Flight 77 Debris

CLAIM: Conspiracy theorists insist there was no plane wreckage [Lie. All analysts have admitted there was plane wreckage – just not from a 757] at the Pentagon. "In reality, a Boeing 757 was never found [this is true]," claims, which asks the question, "What hit the Pentagon on 9/11?"

FACT: Blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer was the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the crash and helped coordinate the emergency response. "It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building.[Show us in the pictures. The previous expert said, ""If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building, Sozen tells PM, "it didn't happen." It is not in the pictures.] I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings [show them to us!] on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane [the tail section was at least 20 feet tall – he could have held it in his hand], and I found the black box."[finding something that could have been planted on the plane that actually did hit. Where are the transcripts and recordings from these boxes? Why has it not been released?] Kilsheimer's eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building [of course there is plane wreckage - but the parts are too small to be from a 757!]. Kilsheimer adds: "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts, Okay?" [So how did the metal parts all vaporize when he found body parts and clothing? If there was a raging fire at the WTC that destroyed got so hot as to weaken steel, why not here? How would the body parts have survived such a raging fire? Nothing in their story fits together!]


The rest is just more straw men, non-issues that hardly anyone supports.

The White Jet

Roving Engine

Indian Lake

F-16 Pilot

The bottom line: This was neither an exhaustive or scientific study; just propaganda for the Bush administration. But this lie is worse than all others. Here a major magazine's editors are guilty of fraud! They clearly trying to hoodwink the public. This is not just some PR campaign to increase circulation. This is treason! This shows how tightly the media is controlled by forces trying to destroy democracy in this country!

Jimmy Walter

Debunking The Debunkers
By Joel Skousen
Cite source as World Affairs Brief

In every major conspiracy to cover up government criminal activity, agents of change or naïve "experts" have been hired by the establishment media to debunk conspiracy theories and facts. Walter Cronkite was trotted out of retirement to host a PBS documentary debunking the conspiracy facts surrounding the assassination of JFK (which was hardly convincing). In like manner, other programs have been produced at great expense to discredit the charges of government cover-ups in the Vince Foster and Ron Brown murders, the downing of TWA 800 by a missile, and the OKC bombing of the Murrah building.

The professional debunkers use four primary tactics to accomplish their propaganda feats:

1) They refuse to mention, much less attempt to disprove, the most irrefutable and damaging evidence.

2) They take great delight in debunking only those conspiracy theories that are the weakest or that are planted by other government sympathizers to help discredit the more credible conspiracy facts. This is what is referred to as a "straw man" argument, where a weak or false argument is set up so that it can easily be knocked down.

3) They only select "experts" who agree with the official conclusion.

4) They snicker at or mock anyone who believes that government engages in criminal behavior or covers up crimes in collusion with judges, investigators, prosecutors, media heads, and hand-picked commissions. Worse, they label dissenters as unpatriotic or mentally imbalanced.

So it is with the latest government attempt to debunk the evidence of government collusion in the 9/11 attacks. For over a decade now, the PTB have used an odd vehicle to do their debunking on a variety of issues-Popular Mechanics Magazine (a Hearst publication). I suppose they are targeting the back-yard mechanic and auto-enthusiast crowd, who are often prone to accepting conspiracy facts and theories.

In the March 2005 issue, PM magazine singled out 16 issues or claims of the
9/11 skeptics that point to government collusion and systematically attempted to debunk each one. Of the 16, most missed the mark and almost half were straw men arguments-either ridiculous arguments that few conspiracists believed or restatements of the arguments that were highly distorted so as to make them look weaker than they really were. PM took a lot of pot shots at conspiracy buffs, saying that those "who peddle fantasies that this country encouraged, permitted or actually carried out the attacks are libeling the truth - and disgracing the memories of the thousands who died that day."

That would be true only if there was no basis in fact for these controversies. I am one of those who claim there are factual arguments pointing to conspiracy, and that truth is not served by taking cheap shots at those who see gaping flaws in the government story-especially when you don't address the really tough questions in your rebuttal. Here is a quick run down of the claims (some lumped together) and why PM's debunking was superficial and distorted:

1) The bulging projection (pod) visible on the bottom of Flight 175 as it struck the south tower

If the bulge is real, critics claim it means the aircraft was modified for the attack, which could not have been done by hijackers. PM says the anomaly was simply the bulging faring under each wing root which hides the landing gear. This is a possibility since the bulge viewed on all pictures of Flight
175 is in the same location as the landing gear faring. However, the bulge is significantly bigger than the actual faring, and casts a shadow on the bottom of the aircraft. The real landing gear faring is flush with the bottom of the plane and could not cast a shadow on that area.

Besides, I talked to Boeing about the bulge and a woman spokesperson admitted that Boeing had studied the bulge and concluded, "It wasn't modified by Boeing." She didn't deny the bulge wasn't there, nor did she try to persuade me it was the landing gear faring. However, I don't have an answer for what the purpose of the modification might have been.

Later PM turns a related claim by a witness (that there were no windows on this aircraft) into a major issue to debunked. This was a straw man issue that was easily debunked with a photo of the plane's debris, with windows.
This was never a credible issue with most conspiracy theorists.

2) The "stand down" order to stop intervention against the hijackers

PM cites the existence of a few scrambled jets as proof there was no "stand down" order given. This is a straw argument because key facts are omitted.
There is other evidence to show that these fighters were called out purposely from bases too distant to make the intercepts-and never engaged afterburners for extra speed, indicating no sincere attempt to intercept. I received an email from one of the tower operators at McGuire AFB telling me he had received a call from the base commander ordering him to shut down military flight oops and not let fighter-interceptors take off. This was before the general shut down of the air traffic system by the FAA. This indicates that aircraft closer to the hijacked planes were told to stand down.

There are two witnesses (a general and a Congressman) who said VP Dick Cheney was operating under stand-down orders, except as pertaining to Flight
93 in Pennsylvania. PM tried to make the case that NORAD had never vigorously followed standing orders to intercept hijacked aircraft, and that their high definition radars were all pointed outside the US boundaries (like a doughnut). Neither is true. There were dozens of intercepts in the two years prior to 9/11 (PM said there was only one) and NORAD has complete radar coverage within the US.

PM also presented disinformation when it claimed that if an airliner turns off its transponder, the controller can no longer distinguish the aircraft from thousand of other smaller blips on his screen. Not so. First, there aren't thousands of unlabeled blips on the screen in any given sector, and second, the actual radar return is still on the screen at the same approximate position of the transponder data symbol, making it easier to acquire.

PM neglected to mention the more powerful evidences of cover-up and collusion here, including the FAA's destruction of the tape recording of air traffic controllers' description of the events, the FAA refusing to turn over tape recordings of the ATC controllers talking to the pilots when the hijackings were declared, and the discrepancies between the claims of when the FAA supposedly notified NORAD.

3) Explosives brought down the twin towers (puff of dust, etc.)

This is only a partial straw man argument. There is significant evidence that the aircraft impacts did not cause the collapse, but PM only discussed the fire and explosive claims that were easily explained away. An early claim making the rounds was that the towers couldn't have collapsed since fuel doesn't burn hot enough to melt steel. PM correctly pointed out, as I have also in my briefs, that steel trusses supporting the floor system only need be heated to the point of sagging-not melting-in order to give way.

Early conspiracists claimed that the puffs of smoke coming out of the windows as each floor pancaked down on another were evidence of demolition charges. Once again, PM correctly pointed out that the crushing of sheet rock interiors can cause this. I was never convinced of controlled demolition myself, since it would have required months of prep work inside the building, unbeknownst to all the tenants.

But conspicuously absent from the PM arguments was the blockbuster evidence that the 42 main pillars in the central core of the building had been taken down by a combination of explosives and thermite charges-which can melt steel like butter. The head of the company removing the debris from the WTC said in an interview that there were large pools of hot molten steel in the lowest basement where the main support pillars had stood. No expert has claimed that either fuel or burning debris falling into an oxygen starved basement would have been capable of creating the huge quantity of concentrated heat needed to melt 42 huge pillars with two-foot-thick steel walls. Numerous witnesses and fire fighters heard large explosions in the lower section of the building just prior to the collapse. One video shot of the south WTC (whose central core was not even damaged by Flight 175) gives clear evidence of the central core being collapsed prior to the general
collapse: the center mounted TV towers started descending downward well prior to the outer section of the building. PM was silent on these major anomalies, and so was the 9/11 Commission, which indicates they were avoiding the tough issues.

PM did attempt some sleight of hand, with some remarks by a paid "expert"
trying to explain away the symmetrical and absolutely vertical collapse of WTC building #7 that was only slightly damaged on one side. A video of the collapse does show the telltale signs of explosive demolition on each floor-which would have been impossible if the building was heeling over toward the damaged side.

4) The Pentagon crash

PM discussed the common arguments against the official version: the penetration hole was too small; there was not enough debris outside; windows close to the impact were still intact. The window argument was a straw man with an easy explanation-they were reinforced security glass. The issues of the penetration hole and the lack of large pieces of debris simply do not jive with the official story, but they are explainable if you include the parking lot video evidence that shows a huge white explosion at impact. This cannot happen with an aircraft laden only with fuel. It can only happen in the presence of high explosives. Some witnesses saw a smaller aircraft, others saw the Boeing. One or two saw and heard a missile launch. Could all three have been present? I think so.

There are credible witnesses who saw many small pieces of aluminum scattered about, plus a few larger pieces. If the larger Boeing was blasted apart at impact with high explosives it would explain the shower of aluminum shards that littered the road. The Pentagon parking lot video tape (which strangely fails to show a large Boeing aircraft) does show a huge white explosion-the unique sign of high explosives. An aircraft laden only with fuel gives off the red and black signature only-nothing white or bright. If the Boeing was laced with explosives, it would also explain why the wings didn't totally penetrate the structure. I have checked the photographs of major engine and landing gear pieces among the wreckage and they do match the Boeing aircraft, so I do think a Boeing hit the Pentagon. But I am not buying PM's statement (given without any evidence or photos) that a landing gear was responsible for the 12-foot round hole that penetrated three rings of the Pentagon. The landing gear is a long, gangly affair, and it didn't even make it through the first ring, according to photos I have seen. Only a missile could have penetrated that far. Was a missile on the smaller jet seen by witnesses used to prep the hardened Pentagon façade?

PM's glib explanations did not do justice to the multiple possibilities.
Besides, if the government version is true, why is the FBI refusing to turn over the two video surveillance tapes (one from a gas station and one from a
hotel) that would show what really happened?

5) Flight 93 was shot down by an F-16

PM discussed all the key issues: a small white private jet that was shadowing the flight; engine parts apart from the main wreckage; debris two miles away in Indian Lake; and the purported identity of the F-16 pilot. But in each case, it falsified the evidence by quoting erroneous, distorted or planted theories by government experts.

For example, while it finally acknowledged the presence of a white unmarked jet, it claimed it was a private jet flying at 30,000 feet, asked to descend from high altitude and check out the crash. This was impossible as witnesses saw the plane before the crash. PM even claimed to have talked to the company (which conveniently didn't want to be named) that owned the jet. But this is at variance with prior admission by a leasing company that said the jet was theirs and was leased to the government (the CIA often uses white unmarked jets).

This story by PM was a total fabrication. I have listened to the private transcripts of the radio talk between Cleveland Center and all the other airliners controlled by ATC in that sector (including Flight 93). Even the
9/11 commission refused to address this private tape, which was recorded by one private jet that was in the area, and is still available on the internet. Nowhere in that transcript is any private aircraft asked by Cleveland Center to follow or descend with Flight 93. In fact, the one airliner that was closest to Flight 93 was asked by Cleveland Center to verify visually the condition of Flight 93 after the Center and all other aircraft on that frequency heard the pilot of the aircraft announce that "there was a bomb on board." The aircraft acknowledged seeing Flight 93 in the distance and then suddenly announced that he observed an explosion. This was while Flight 93 was at altitude, confirming reports from ATC controllers who had vectored an F-16 to Flight 93, and witnesses who saw the shoot down from the ground.

It also explains why one of the engines was found miles away. PM tried to divert its readers from the issue by telling about another part of the engine found about 300 meters from the crash site-which is explainable, if you don't address the issue of the other engine. Many witnesses saw streams of papers, luggage and even body parts falling some distance from the crash site. PM blamed this on an updraft-but luggage and body parts don't blow two miles away in a gentle breeze.

Lastly, the issue on the identity of the pilot of the F-16 (a Major Rick Gibney) is problematic. The source is a retired Colonel Donn de Grand-Pre, who makes many claims about hobnobbing with big wigs in Washington that I find uncredible and suspicious. He claims he was at an awards ceremony in North Dakota when Major Rick Gibney was supposedly awarded a medal for shooting down Flight 93. I always found this a little fantastic. Why would the government give out a public award for something they were trying to keep secret? The government still doesn't admit to shooting down Flight 93, let alone disclose who did it. Of course, if they did allow a private awards ceremony, it would explain why they would have Major Rick Gibney deny it. While PM's debunking of the Major Rick Gibney story may be true (they claim he was using his F-16 to pick up a big-wig in Montana), their explanation was also a bit
fantastic: people have to be trained in ejection seat procedures prior to flying in a high performance jet.

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