Ever since I started Your Friday Dose of Woo (YFDoW) back in June, I had always intended that someday I wanted to expand this loving deconstruction of various forms of woo beyond just medical woo and quackery. True, having a little fun with woo that claims to treat disease or restore health is something that I’ve gotten pretty good at. You may wonder why I would want to move beyond medicine occasionally. After all, there’s no shortage of medical woo to deal with every Friday, and I’ll almost certainly return to it next week.

Sometimes a skeptic needs a change of pace, and this is one of those times. Believe me, there’s lots of really potent and strange woo out there that has little or nothing to do with medicine or health. There’s paranormal woo, various forms of pseudoscience, and there are conspiracy theories, among other things. All share the same sort of magical thinking, cherry picking of data to support bizarre beliefs or conclusions, and the tendency to discount vast quantities of data that do not support their woo. So, consider this an experiment. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll drop it. So what woo did I have in mind this week? Well, this week marked the 65th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor; so I had contemplated Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories, but in reality very few people believe in those any more, other than a certain commenter yesterday. However, there is an event as traumatic that occurred a mere five years ago that is sometimes conflated with Pearl Harbor and that has already spawned a cottage industry of woo greatly beloved by the tinfoil hat brigade. So I decided to pull a particularly bizarre bit of 9/11 woo out of the woo folder on my computer in which I store potential targets for YFDoW. It’s woo so strange that, until a few weeks ago, even I, connoisseur of all that is woo, hadn’t even heard of it.

No doubt you’ve heard of the 9/11 “skeptics” who don’t believe that the impact of two large jetliners was enough to bring down the Twin Towers. These and conspiracy theorists like them have been responsible for the movie Loose Change (the producers of which, contrary to their claims that they are doing this “for the victims,” have some really vile and despicable things about those who died) and the 9/11 “Truth” movement. These guys love to spin tales about how somehow the U.S. government (sometimes, depending on who’s telling the tale, with the help of the Mossad) was actually responsible for the attacks, how supposedly the planes alone were not enough to bring the buildings down, and how there must have been bombs or other devices already in the towers. All of this was done, if you believe the tinfoil hat brigade, for nefarious purposes like giving the government a pretext to invade Iraq, to enrich Haliburton, or a variety of other reasons connected to reality only in the most tenuous way, if even that. One of the more prevalent among the many competing claims (some of which are mutually exclusive) is that it wasn’t really commercial jetliners that struck the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon at all, but rather missiles or refueling military tankers. Never mind the thousands of eyewitnesses and the copious photographic, documentary, and physical evidence that do in fact support the conventional idea that it was suicidally murderous Islamic terrorists who hijacked these jetliners and piloted them into these buildings. It must have been the government or the Jews who did it. Popular Mechanics and the most recent episode of Skeptic Magazine have deconstructed the conspiracy theories of the 9/11 “Truth” movement quite well, as has the blog Screw Loose Change and the website Debunking 911, including its claims that the fires in the building couldn’t have weakened the steel enough to cause the buildings to fall and that there must have been explosive charges that caused a “controlled implosion.”

So what do some 9/11 conspiracy theorists do when faced with such copious evidence refuting their crackpot ideas? They descend deeply into woo, of course! But what form does this woo take? Easy! Some argue that, even though so many photos, videos, and eyewitnesses documented commercial airliners crashing into the towers, it still wasn’t really airliners because the government cleverly did something to disguise what really crashed into the towers. And how’d the government supposedly do it? And what sort of woo could top the woo already purveyed by the more “conventional” 9/11 “Truth” movement?

Holograms, of course. They postulate what is known as The Hologram Theory to explain how those alleged cruise missiles could appear to be jetliners:

The “Hologram Theory,” as it relates to 9/11, proposes that no commercial airliners hit the World Trade Center on Sept 11 2001. Proponents of the theory contend that rather than full sized airliners, the World Trade Center was hit by “Cruise” type Missiles which appeared to the naked eye to be airliners through the use of sophisticated hologram technology. Rosalee Grable is one the the theory’s leading proponents. One eyewitness described the ‘airplane’ he saw: “It just disappeared. It disappeared like a, like a, bad special effect. Disappeared right into the building.” Eyewitness Accounts. This theory is controversial even among 9/11 researchers.

I never knew our government was so sophisticated. I wonder why it can’t track down Osama Bin Laden. Oh, wait, according to some of these woos, our government in actuality doesn’t want to find Bin Laden. Never mind. This “hologram theory,” though, goes truly beyond the pale, far beyond conspiracy theorists who claim that there was never any plane in sight, but that it was all missiles hitting the buildings, and that the photographic evidence was misinterpreted, probably intentionally, or nearly every video that was taken that day was somehow altered. But let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Here is a purveyor of this particular brand of strange woo named Stefan Grossman putting forth the case for holograms:

The hologram theory says that south tower (WTC2) was not hit by a large Boeing 767-200 (flight UA175) but by a small USAF cruise missile or drone with a large holographic cloak around it that made it look like a flight UA175, i.e. a flying deception.

The hologram theory has been attacked and ridiculed like no other theory relating to 9-11. In fact, however, it is based on stringent science, on reports from the military community and on careful analysis of the photos and mainstream media news videos of the alleged “plane” crash into south tower and of at least 11 military stealth crafts close by the south tower.

Woo.

Serious woo.

Breathtakingly amazing woo, so much so that I stand in awe of how anyone can believe this stuff. And it amazes me even more that Mr. Grossman seems disturbed that this theory has been “attacked and ridiculed like no other.” What reaction did he expect? People to slap themselves on the forehead and exclaim, “How obvious!”?

And there’s more:

1. Based on the MIT study of the attacks and twin tower collapse, it is established science that the visible flying craft could not have done any, nor all, of the following:

– the entering craft is in south wall’s shadow wedge but parts of the craft shine white like a lamp

– the visible flying craft emits a yellow flash instants before nose-touch-wall event
– the visible flying craft cuts six floors which is impossible (Prof. Wierzbicki, MIT)
– the entering craft creates dust pimples that blow outward as from explosions
– the sensitive wing tips do not bend or break off, nor do they flip forward
– the sensitive tips of tail rudder and elevator (winglets) do not break off
– no veer or teeter despite flying in at an angle (about 13 degrees)
– no deceleration despite calculated loss of kinetic energy of 26%
– no deformation, crumple or smash-up of the visible flying object
– no explosion until the visible flying object has faded out of sight

People who are not dumb brainwashed American hoodlums and idiots, i.e. people who can use their senses and their brains, have observed that all the videos that CNN, ABC, NBC and other mainstream news stations showed on 9-11 and the days and weeks thereafter document beyond any doubt that the visible flying craft at south tower did all of the above.

According to the video documentation, not contradicted by any eyewitnesses, the outer skin of the visible flying craft did not react with the solid steel-column south wall of south tower as a physical solid object. It behaved like a purely visual thing like a hologram. It is very clear that “something” that made a (unusually deep) plane-like noise did fly into the south wall of south tower (and then faded into the building out of sight like a TV special effect, the explosion being delayed nearly for one whole second, etc.).

2. There is sufficient news from the military community to establish a prima facie case that such a hologram technology did exist on 9-11-1. See e-book “T MINUS 9-11” at www.gallerize.com with many links in the hologram chapter, further the web sites mentioned above.

There are two military project code names for this, namely project “Ghost Gun” and project “Blue Beam”.

We actually have full proof of the existence, function and commercial useability of such 3D virtual imaging technology in form of so-called “Zebra holograms”, see www.zebraimaging.com/ a spinoff of MIT and military research.

In keeping with statements from the military community, an Air Force theory manual outlines an “airborne holographic projector” that projects clouds, mountains, troops, tanks, airplanes in the air in order to deceive enemies or enemy populations, see
http://www.au.af.mil/au/2025/volume4/chap03/b5_6.htm

These conspiracy theorists are big on pictures that purport to show that the planes supposedly “disappeared” into the buildings in a way that, according to them, was not physically possible. For example, here is one such animation. Here are more. Nearly all of them involve heavy manipulation or the dubious interpretation of what might be dust or artifacts. For example, here is a picture that purports to show the “hologram generators”:

i-a9795d0b4344cbb7d6918bffe35bc0aa-image002.jpg

Convinced yet, or are you just another one of those “dumb brainwashed American hoodlums and idiots” (which you obviously must be if you don’t buy this woo)? Then how about this picture?

i-671ed959e150315f84fc38d3da099560-image003.jpg

Nahhh, those dots couldn’t possibly be specks of dust on the lens of the camera, distant aircraft, or other things. Nosirreee, they have to be hologram generators. But I see from your silence that you’re still not convinced. Well, then, how about this picture?

i-ad8647eb3a6b32ee5a1119ff7594d2d1-image004.jpg

See? It’s clear as day. It couldn’t possibly be smoke or debris falling from the building, given how close the highlighted area is to the tower, could it? Perish the thought! It must be hologram generators. At least it is to the woos:

Diligent research has proven that these and many related photos are undoubtedly authentic. Apart from the hologram theory there is no other explanation for the many cloaked orbs in the air (nearly invisible due to their accommodation to their respective background, chameleon-type) together with the non-solid “ghost plane” that fades like a Hollywood special effect in a reactionless way into the steel highrise. The orbs were airborne holographic projectors, and the visible flying craft that did not crash but glided reactionless nearly a second prior to the explosion through the steel wall was a holographic projection, probably with a much smaller cruise missile inside (such as would fit the merely 99 foot wide entry hole). This is well within reach of the military technology and the rabidly insane intentions of the Bush-Clinton idiocracy.

So let me get this straight. To accept this woo–I mean “theory”–you have to believe a lot of highly improbable things. First, you have to believe that the U.S. government would commit mass murder of its own people in order (1) to provoke a war; (2) consolidate power; (3) protect Israel, and/or (4) eliminate civil liberties and bring about a dictatorship, plus whatever other unclear reasons that the tinfoil hat woos like to put forward. Now, I really, really don’t like President Bush, but I don’t think he’s capable of such cold-blooded murder of Americans, and I doubt even the most rabid Daily Kos diarist or commenter does, either. Even if he were, I highly doubt that he or anyone in the present government (or in the Clinton Administration, for that matter) was competent enough to pull off something like this. Next, you have to believe that the U.S. government possesses some sort of secret hologram technology so sophisticated and so convincing that its images could fool tens of thousands of witnesses, photographers and TV cameramen, many of them professionals and many of them taking pictures and amateur video from a variety of angles, into thinking that little Cruise-type missiles were in actuality big passenger airliners. Of course, these guys also seem to neglect to explain how so very realistic a roar was created as the “hologram plane” flew overhead, given that Cruise missiles are neither as large nor as loud as a passenger airliner. And, of course, the “no plane” 9/11 conspiracy theorists seem to have little or nothing to explain what happened to the passengers on the planes who died. But if you can swallow all of that with utter credulity, you still have to believe that a government in command of such awesome secret technology would use it to disguise missiles as passenger airliners when it would be far more straightforward and inexpensive to use real passenger airliners rather than such elaborate trickery (trickery that might be discovered), not to mention that the government would intentionally destroy a section of the Pentagon and kill its own soldiers and employees to achieve this and that it would crash a plane in Pennsylvania to provide a “myth” of passengers resisting the terrorists.

And that’s just the minimum you have to believe to buy this “hologram theory.” Truly, magical thinking that leads to serious woo is not something that is restricted to quacks.

Of course, looking at the pictures above, it reminded me of the sort of evidence that UFO mavens like to produce in favor of their brand of woo. Yes, it’s all there, the grainy pictures that don’t definitively show a recognizable object, the pseudoscientific analyses of photos and video, and the fervent belief that the government is hiding something from them, the only people “smart enough” to “see through” the deception. Naturally, it’s therefore not surprising that some “no plane” 9/11 conspiracy theorists would start saying that UFOs–yes, UFOs–were responsible:

2. Apart from these three large UFOs there were many strange things in the air around the Twin Towers in the morning of 9-11-1. Such as:

birds, some of them seeming unusually large
cruise missiles flying by/from the Woolworth building
helicopters buzzing above the attack site in that day’s no-fly zone.
none of them identified or identifiable (not even the birds…).

Let me put all those things aside here. They have been discussed, to the extent that they are important.

In the remoter drawers of their archives, researchers silently keep the records of the strange UFOs of 9-11. When I say strange, I mean: strange. – Details:

3. I totally agree that the UFO community is distracted with Aliens and ETs in a way that makes them sound like Chicken Little (the cartoon which runs around saying “the sky is falling”).

In other words: Believing in a massive plot by the government to use sophisticated holographic generators to hide the use of Cruise missiles to destroy the buildings and murder thousands, all in order to start a war and consolidate power, is reasonable, but don’t bring aliens or ETs into this. That’s just crazy talk. But he goes on:

Here, it wasn’t the sky is falling but the towers and the Pentagon. It takes no Chicken Little to reiterate that these buildings were attacked and fell (at the Pentagon, only a building wing, the WTC altogether). At the Manhattan towers, the many cameras of that day unwittingly captured a flotilla of unidentified and strange flying objects. Commonly acronymed as UFOs.

These appear to be advanced forms of electrokinetic/antigravity experiments of secret military programs, see:


http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ufophysics/grangemouth.htm

In particular, Los Angeles has its share of observable encounters with flying orbs, see:

http://forum.cropcircleresearch.com/cgi-bin/cutecast.pl?session=LQY2J5A2sA0jw1QQ92kbZa1VsJ&action=&forum=20&thread=8&user=&query=&msgid=&page=1&sort=&do=&key=&others=

5. A specialized site for the Los Angeles type orbs and comparing them with the WTC orbs of 9-11-1 was the site: http://www.orbwar.com

This site by early April 2005 was killed, presumably because it was blabbing out hot military secrets relating to the Pentagon’s stealth technology. Fortunately for the cause of the truth coming out, archive copies exist on disk. Now I am happy to see that the site is back on the air again.

Hmmm. Not a very effective goverment conspiracy if it couldn’t shut down a simple website like Orbwar and keep it from ever going back online, is it? (Maybe its owners failed to pay their ISP bandwidth charges or something.) I mean, if there really were such a conspiracy and I were in charge of it, I’d make damned sure that websites like this went down and stayed down (or never appeared in the first place). I suppose this “conspiracy” could be letting such sites remain because they are so kooky and cast discredit upon the “real” 9/11 “skeptics,” but I probably wouldn’t take the chance. In any case, these guys look less and less like Dr. No and more and more like Dr. Evil.

But if you really want to know just how loony this “no plane” woo is, consider this quote:

Advocates of the ‘blue screen’ or ‘hologram’ theory hold that the planes that hit the World Trade Center, or at least Flight 175, were ghost aircraft and that sophisticated image projection technology was used to fake the illusion of them entering the towers.

The evidence they present to validate this notion is the contention that Flight 175 should have “bounced off” the tower yet sliced through it like a knife through butter.

The vast majority of the evidence is supported not by scientific analysis of what one would expect to happen when a large commercial airliner impacts a skyscraper at over 500 miles per hour, but with grainy Internet videos and hastily interpreted statements made by news reporters at ground zero.

If we are to believe, and the evidence suggests it to be so, that western intelligence agencies are carrying out acts of terror, to go to such lengths mandates the necessity of multi-layered fallback options if the criminals are caught red-handed. This is why a large scale terror attack is always shadowed by an almost identical government drill, as was the case with 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings. If significant and damning evidence were to be presented in a court of law powerful enough to have any impact that implicated high officials in acts of gross treason – the fallback option that it was “just part of the drill,” remains as a last chance saloon.

If we are to consider that some form of high-tech hologram technology was utilized as part of a David Copperfield style sound and lights magic show that only made it appear as if Flight 175 had hit the south tower – then we are seriously entertaining the notion that the criminals who ran the attack did not bother to construct any fallback explanation if this massive public stunt had gone wrong.

What if the bombs inside the tower had failed due to faulty wiring or had only detonated a second after the hologram had been sent into the tower? How could that one be explained away? Who in their right mind would make such a huge gamble with no fallback option?

The above was written by 9/11 conspiracy theorist true believer Paul Watson and came from Prison Planet, a veritable cornucopia of conspiracy theories and woo-filled paranoia that routinely posits that Israel knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks and were somehow complicit in them. Pat over at Screw Loose Change has the perfect rebuttal to this:

Yes, and what if the bombs in the tower that caused the controlled demolition had failed due to faulty wiring, or had detonated in the wrong order, causing a bottom-up demolition? Who in their right mind, etc?

But what really amuses me about Paul Watson’s article is what it says about the “no plane” 9/11 conspiracy theorists. After all, when people like Eric Salter, another 9/11 “skeptic” who clearly seems to believe that there was some sort of conspiracy to cover up what “really happened” on 9/11) writes a long article debunking your position and then a kook like Watson, who clearly believes that it was the U.S. government, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists acting at the behest of Osama Bin Laden, that was responsible for the destruction of the Twin Towers and the attack on the Pentagon, trashes you (and sounds almost reasonable doing it), that’s a pretty big red flag that your position is some pretty amazingly bizarre woo indeed. In fact, it should tell you something when even died-in-the-wool woomeisters like the tinfoil hat brigade that believes that 9/11 was a massive government conspiracy (rather than a result of government complacency and incompetence that allowed terrorists who had been threatening for years to attack the U.S. homeland succeed in doing so) fear being tarnished by association with you and even go so far as to write, “The hologram theory is severely damaging to the credibility that the 9/11 truth movement has fought so hard to obtain and should therefore be sidelined and shunned at all costs.”

Woo attacking even more woo-ey woo. It is a delicious irony indeed to savor.

ADDENDUM: Given that Christmas is just around the corner, here’s a little bonus woo, a little cartoon poking fun at the woo that is the 9/11 conspiracy movement: The 12 Days of 9/11. My favorite line from this parody? It’s got to be:

“Fiiiive dancing Jews!”

Comments

  1. #1 jack from jersey
    December 13, 2006

    Yes Jennifer, although they lied about WMD’s, lied about the air at Ground Zero, lied about their foreknowledge of the attacks, lied about the timeline of events on 911, didn’t investigate the put options, destroyed all the evidence immediately, started and funded Al CIAda, and had the plans to invade these 2 countries before 911. Just because they lied about all of this doesn’t mean you should be suspicious of them or the events of 911. You’re a genius. Science people are too smart to be fooled by us troothers. I’m guessing you also believe they found a passport in perfect condition from one of the hijackers after his plane hit the twin towers, and that same hijacker left a suitcase behind in a car with the names of all of the hijacker. Jennifer has shown me the light, I now believe that 3 buildings collapsed due to fire, a fire hot enough to deform steel, yet people were photographed standing in the hole left by the plane shortly before collapse. Maybe the people standing in the hole were holograms too! Thanks Jennifer, now I can go back to believing that a hook nosed kidney patient living in a cave, and his 19 evil buddies masterminded 911 from a laptop. They were just lucky I guess. Lucky that standard procedures were ignored. Holograms lol, that’s the best yall can do.

  2. #2 solar roller
    December 13, 2006

    Andrew Wade:

    You can pontificate all you want regarding elastic loads, static loads, and the point of no return but it still does not explain how the majority of the twin tower’s mass fell through the path of MOST resistance, at near free fall speed.

    Please told start reminding me about the mass that fell outside the building’s footprint. I’m talking about INSIDE the building’s footprint…

  3. #3 solar roller
    December 13, 2006

    Robster quoting solar roller:
    What “authority” does the 911 Commission, NIST, and FEMA have when they blatantly ignore contradictory evidence and only display (or distort) evidence that fits their pre-conceived conclusions. You call that science?

    Robster: “Are you talking about them or 911 “truthers?” How about that jet engine from the pentagon?”

    OK, I accept that I make mistakes. I’m just a regular guy after all.
    I accept that we were TOLD that the remains of what appears to be a jet engine came from flight 77.
    But where is the proof? Any serial numbers from that engine that tie it back to Flight 77?
    How about luggage, bodies, and the SECOND engine?
    Can you show me any of that?
    We are taking about the “official” investigation of the most important event of the 21st century. How can they claim they have DNA evidence for ALl the passengers at flight 77, yet major portions of the plane are simply not there?

    I accept that the Journal of 911 Studies should be submitted to “real” journals.
    I do not know why they have not… I’d guess that the answer is political, not technical, but I’ll have to get back to you on that…
    And…. the same goes for all the articles at jod911.com
    What journals have they been submitted to?

    “I’ve heard that “you’re a conspiracy theorist, too” line before. Beyond being ad hominem and ridiculous..”
    It’s interesting that you call my allegation that you’re a conspiracy theorist to be ad hominem…
    Here’s the Meriam Webster definitions online:

    Conspiracy

    1 : the act of conspiring together
    2 a : an agreement among conspirators b : a group of conspirators

    further defined by the verb conspire:

    1 a : to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement 6 a : a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation b : an unproved assumption

    I’d say that the act of 19 Arab men purportedly hijacking 4 airplanes to crash them into buildings qualifies as a conspiracy.
    It’s a theory that 9/11 happened as specified by the government because it has not been proven.
    Sure, the Commission used it’s own “facts” to back up it’s preconceived conclusions, but I saw no proof…

    “you are trying to disguise the fact that CTers don’t pass analysis of the data or Occam’s razor”

    This gets into what really happened on 9/11. I don’t know what really happened that day.
    All I’ve been trying to say is the the official story is a farce.
    Occam’s razor refers to simple explanations that FIT ALL THE AVAILABLE EVIDENCE. Obviously we disagree as as to validity of various ignored pieces of evidence…

    You say:
    “Evolution is not a conspiracy theory, nor is the Germ Theory of Disease, because they have evidence instead of conjecture, quote mining, (sometimes) willful misinterpretation of data that theory deniers and conspiracy theorists are forced to rely on.”

    Who are the theory deniers and conspiracy theorists?
    I would agree with this sentence completely if you defined theory deniers and conspiracy theorists to be the defenders of the official story.

  4. #4 solar roller
    December 13, 2006

    shot_info

    The next time you go around criticizing other’s use of English, please keep in mind that it looks like you have an appalling failure to write a proper english sentence.

    “But after seen the appalling failure of maths and science..” should be
    But after having seen the appalling failure in (?) math and science…

    “SR betrays he/her lack of understanding of _engineering_. Except what he/she read on the trooth sites” should be

    SR betrays his/her lack of understanding of engineering. Except what he/she reads on the trooth sites…”

    So I’m a “noisy crank” to you?
    Talk about ad hominem attacks!
    I must be irritating you. Then why are you reading this blog?

  5. #5 Brian X
    December 13, 2006

    solar roller:

    Uh… not your blog, man. You’ve just been squatting here for a week or so.

  6. #6 Robster
    December 13, 2006

    I must be irritating you. Then why are you reading this blog?

    Perhaps shot_info knows that this isn’t [ahem] your blog.

    Who are the theory deniers and conspiracy theorists? Do I really need to spell it out for you?

    You could have looked up conspiracy theory at Merriam Webster, but for some reason, didn’t.

    conspiracy theory
    One entry found for conspiracy theory.
    Main Entry: conspiracy theory
    Function: noun
    : a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators

    OK, I accept that I make mistakes. I’m just a regular guy after all.
    I accept that we were TOLD that the remains of what appears to be a jet engine came from flight 77.
    But where is the proof? Any serial numbers from that engine that tie it back to Flight 77?
    How about luggage, bodies, and the SECOND engine?
    Can you show me any of that?
    We are taking about the “official” investigation of the most important event of the 21st century. How can they claim they have DNA evidence for ALl the passengers at flight 77, yet major portions of the plane are simply not there?

    Moving the goalposts again. Luggage bodies, personal effects? Check. All you need to do a DNA test is a tiny ammout of remains. A chip of bone. A tooth. Complete and total incineration would be required to destroy all the DNA. Obviously, this didn’t occur.

    And…. the same goes for all the articles at jod911.com
    What journals have they been submitted to?

    Non sequiter.

    Occam’s razor refers to simple explanations that FIT ALL THE AVAILABLE EVIDENCE.

    Again from MW…

    Occam’s razor
    One entry found for Occam’s razor.
    Main Entry: Oc·cam’s razor
    Variant(s): also Ock·ham’s razor /’ä-k&mz-/
    Function: noun
    Etymology: William of Occam
    : a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities

    Obviously we disagree as as to validity of various ignored pieces of evidence…

    The standard theory has solid evidence for it. The CTs require the use of massive ammounts of circumstantial evidence, misinterpretation of data, selective use of quotes, bad math, and a misunderstanding of basic physics (faster or near free fall speeds), huge levels of twists and turns of a massive hidden plot. One passes the razor, one fails.

  7. #7 Andrew Wade
    December 13, 2006

    solar roller,

    “You can pontificate all you want regarding elastic loads, static loads, and the point of no return but it still does not explain how the majority of the twin tower’s mass fell through the path of MOST resistance, at near free fall speed.”

    No, it’s the momentum transfer analysis that does explains that. The “pontification” is merely some hand-waving about why the column and truss system won’t slow things down much further than the effects of momentum transfer (inertia) will. I am not a civil engineer, but I have acquired a smattering of knowledge about structural engineering, so this is a “semi-educated” guess.

    Take a straight straw. Put it upright on a table and push down on one end. Notice how much force it will withstand. Now push down on a straw with a kink in it. Notice it withstands much less force. This is how columns behave when they buckle. This is the basis of my “semi-educated” guess, and yes it is “hand-wavey”.

    I’m not sure a full treatment of the resistance of the column and truss system is even possible; it is a complicated collapse. Now, if you want me to analyze the effects of momentum transfer, I can certainly do that. For that I am an expert. But I doubt I will get a different answer than Greening.

    “Please told start reminding me about the mass that fell outside the building’s footprint. I’m talking about INSIDE the building’s footprint…”

    Eh? So am I. At least when it comes to analyzing the fall time. The material outside the footprint fell at anything from free-fall (nothing slowing it down) to days (air resistance for the small stuff). The building did not fall in a free fall, as can be seen by comparing it to the debris that was falling in free fall in the videos. But the slow down was fairly slight, which is what the momentum-transfer theory predicts.

  8. #8 shot_info
    December 13, 2006

    Hey SR,

    Go to MS word, type a word (say xxx), put _xxx_ around it and marvel at your grasp of technology.

    Remember what I said about engineering? And your proof of your failure to understand it.

    Anybody would think that cranks like you should be ignored because they are …. well, cranks. Instead, I just amuse myself watching you continuously try to explain things beyond your understanding.

    As for “Ad-hominem”, try looking it up. Your arguments are flawed because they are wrong. And you stink. Your arguments don’t stink because you stink. But they are wrong and you still stink 🙂

    Here’s a nickel, get yourself some education…(other than on trooooooth websites, although with your lack on understanding, I’m surprised you haven’t taken your eye out with your mouse….or perhaps this is why your so one-eyed….hmmmmm).

  9. #9 jack from jersey
    December 14, 2006

    This is the dumbest bunch of arm-chair scientists I’ve ever seen, thanks for a good laugh.

  10. #10 shot_info
    December 14, 2006

    “This is the dumbest bunch of arm-chair scientists I’ve ever seen, thanks for a good laugh.”

    I gather you are referring to all those “scientists” on the trooth websites? They certainly are a laugh, and not really “dumb” per se but willfully ignorant.

  11. #11 Bronze Dog
    December 14, 2006

    The problem with the phrase “armchair scientists”: It assumes that there’s some magic barrier preventing people from learning anything about simple physics.

    Of course, you don’t need to be a scientist to realize that there’s simply no realistic way the WTC could have been rigged for demolition while people were working there. Even if it could be rigged, the plan’s ridiculously over-complicated.

  12. #12 Andrew Wade
    December 14, 2006

    jack from jersey,

    This is the dumbest bunch of arm-chair scientists I’ve ever seen, thanks for a good laugh.

    Right back at ya. Gordon Ross may have degrees in mechanical and manufacturing engineering, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to physics. And he’s published in a “peer-reviewed” magazine, so presumably his peers don’t know what they’re talking about either. (They didn’t catch his many errors). I have previously explained why I think his model is bunk, but even assuming his model, he makes some grave errors. To be specific:

    ( from http://www.worldtradecentertruth.com/Journal_5_PTransferRoss.pdf )

    “Analysis:

    The falling upper section with a velocity of no more than 8.5 metres per second at impact would meet resistance from the impacted columns and have as its first task the necessity to load these columns through their elastic range and thereafter through the plastic shortening phase. We shall firstly examine this incremental time period.

    Bazant/Zhou [1] show in their analysis that elastic and plastic behaviour of a steel column under a dynamic buckling load can be shown to consist of three distinct phases. These can be shown on a load against vertical deflection graph and consist of an initial elastic phase, a shortening phase and a rapid plastic deformation phase.

    1/ The elastic phase shows a linear relationship between load and deflection up to the elastic limit. The load at this point is the failure load and the deflection at the elastic limit for steel is generally 0.2% of the initial length.

    2/ The shortening phase allows for the same failure load to be applied until the vertical deformation reaches 3% at which point the column begins to form buckle points.

    3/ The third phase shows a rapid decrease in the load requirement to continue deformation, this load necessarily being less than the failure load. This phase lasts until the total vertical deformation equals the original length. In other words the column is bent in two.

    To shorten the columns of the first impacted storey by 3%, sufficient to complete the plastic shortening phase, a distance of about 0.111 metres, and allowing a constant speed of 8.5 metres per second, would take a minimum of 0.013 seconds.

    This assumption, while false, favours collapse so is not a problem when arguing against collapse.

    ” The speed of the propagation wave through a medium is given by the general formula for wave propagation

    Velocity = Square root ( Bulk modulus / Density ),

    and for structural steel is of the order of 4500 metres per second.
    The propagation wave of the impact force would therefore travel a distance of 58.7 metres in a time of 0.013 seconds.”

    This is fine if the columns are weakly coupled to the floors, such as if the floors have low spring constants. If the floors are rigid, you need a different formula:

    Velocity = (floor height) x Square root (total spring constant for columns of one floor / mass of one floor)

    This formula won’t actually be correct on the scale of only a few floors. But just for kicks:

    Velocity = (3.7 m) x Square root ((31 GN / m) / 4,636 ton)
    = 304 m / s

    So in .013 s, the wave will have travelled about 4 meters, involving one additional floor. (I’m using Ross’s assumption that a 0.2% contraction represents 4 times the static load to calculate the spring constant.) But this “rigid floor” model is bogus.

    This means that during the time taken in the plastic shortening of the impacted columns, the same force would be felt at a minimum distance of 58.7 metres, or approximately 16 storeys, from the impact. These storeys would thus suffer an elastic deflection in response to, and proportional to, the failure load applied at the impacted floor.

    This part is at least approximately true, assuming flexible floors. But that deflection will be at the columns, not across the entirety of the floors.

    These deflections would themselves take time and allow the propagation wave to move further downwards again affecting more storeys.

    Yup.

    We can estimate the elastic deflection of these 16 storey columns as being in the range 0 to 7mm. The full elastic deflection of a 3.7m column, using the generally accepted figure of
    0.2% of its original length is 7.4mm. The columns in the uppermost of these storeys would suffer almost their full elastic deflection since their failure load is similar though slightly greater than
    that of the first impacted storey. Those storey columns more distant from the impact would be of a larger cross section, requiring higher loads to cause full elastic deflection. Using only half of the maximum elastic deflection, 56mm (16 * 7 / 2), is, again, an assumption in favour of collapse continuation.
    The elastic deflection of lower storeys would increase the distance through which the falling section would have to move in order to load the impacted column and complete its 3%
    plastic shortening. The time taken, again using a constant velocity of 8.5 m/sec would increase to about 0.02 seconds, and thus allow the propagation wave to move through and affect a further 8
    storeys.

    This part is all ok. If anything he’s underestimating the deflection.

    Because these columns suffer a vertical deflection, the attached floors move downwards and they will therefore have a velocity and momentum.

    Bzzt. See above what happens if you assume rigid floors. If you don’t assume rigid floors you have to account for the propagation of the displacement waves across the floors.

    (to be continued.)

  13. #13 Andrew Wade
    December 14, 2006

    (continued)

    Energy Losses:

    A simple conservation of momentum calculation, ignoring these movements, would have,
    16 falling storeys moving at 8.5 m/sec before impact, changing to 17 storeys moving at (8.5 *
    (16/17)) = 8 m/sec after impact. This does not reflect the fact that a minimum of 24 further
    storeys will be caused to move downwards at varying speeds.

    He’s still assuming rigid floors…

    To estimate and illustrate the further momentum changes we can assume that the storey
    which is 25 storeys from the impact remains static and the velocity of the 24 affected storeys will
    vary linearly from the velocity of the falling section to zero.

    We have to be careful here. Once we reach the elastic limit, there will be no further stress gradient, and thus no acceleration. What you will have is a gradually broadening compression front where the stories are accelerating downwards and the stress is increasing, and behind that a region where the stress (and strain!) is approximately constant near the elastic limit. That is because at the elastic limit the wave will rapidly attenuate.

    The stories in the region of constant stress will actually be moving at a constant speed downward, and this speed is easy to calculate.
    V = Velocity of compression wave x strain = 4500 m/s x (0.2 %) = 9 m / s

    Ross could have stopped here. If you ignore the floors when calculating the progression of the compression wave (as he does), and you assume the columns start out straight (as he does), and you assume that the collapse start with only one story (as both he and Greening do), the columns would have withstood the impact (barely), never reaching their elastic limit. His model is bunk, but at least with weakly coupled floors it predicts what he says it does.

    Energy Losses:

    A simple conservation of momentum calculation, ignoring these movements, would have,
    16 falling storeys moving at 8.5 m/sec before impact, changing to 17 storeys moving at (8.5 *
    (16/17)) = 8 m/sec after impact. This does not reflect the fact that a minimum of 24 further
    storeys will be caused to move downwards at varying speeds.

    To estimate and illustrate the further momentum changes we can assume that the storey
    which is 25 storeys from the impact remains static and the velocity of the 24 affected storeys will
    vary linearly from the velocity of the falling section to zero.
    Momentum before impact = 16 storeys moving at 8.5 m/sec
    Momentum after impact = 17 storeys moving at V2 m/sec + 1 storey moving at 23/24*V2 m/sec
    + 1 storey moving at 22/24*V2m/sec +……+ 1 storey moving at 2/24*V2 m/sec + 1 storey
    moving at 1/24*V2m/sec 16*8.5 = V2 (17 + 11.5)
    V2 = 16 * 8.5 / 28.5 = 4.8 metres per second.

    Again, he’s still assuming rigid floors …

    The speed of the upper section would be reduced by the collision from
    8.5 m/sec to a speed of less than 4.8 m/sec rather than the 8 m/sec derived from a momentum
    calculation which does not include this factor. Note also that this reduction in speed would again
    give more time for the propagation wave to travel downwards through the tower columns and
    allow that more and more storeys are so affected.

    The kinetic energy of the falling section would be similarly affected, but because of the
    velocity squared relationship, the reduction in kinetic energy would be more pronounced.

    Ok…

    K. E. of falling section before impact = 16 floors moving at (8.5 m/sec)

    K. E. of falling section after impact = 17 floors moving at (4.8 m/sec)

    Percentage loss of K.E. = 1-(17 * 4.8/ (16 *8.5) * 100% = 66%

    Depends on how you define “falling section”. There’s K.E. in the floors below in this model.

    Energy Balance:

    Since there was only some 2.1 GJ available at the point of impact of the first collision, a
    loss of 66% would reduce this figure to 714 MJ.
    The kinetic energy would be augmented by potential energy released in the further downward
    movement of the falling mass and if we assume that this falls through the full distance of the 3%
    shortening phase of the impacted floor and the elastic deflection of the lower storeys, then the
    additional potential energy is

    58*10* g * (0.111 + .056) = + 95MJ.

    Ok.

    The strain energy consumed by the impacted storey columns in the elastic phase and
    plastic shortening phase can be calculated using the failure load. The failure load used
    throughout this analysis is derived using the mass above the impact, 58 000 tonnes, and a safety
    factor of 4. Examination of the column geometry with reference to the Euler equations show that
    this is an underestimation both of the failure load and the distance over which it would have to
    act before failure, and this gives a gross assumption in favour of collapse continuation. A factor
    of 0.029 is included to reflect the load profile over the 3% plastic shortening phase. The load
    profile exhibits a linear rise from zero to failure load at 0.2% of the length, followed by a
    constant failure load over the next 2.8% of the length.
    Plastic strain energy:
    58*10kg*4*g*3.7m*0.029= -244MJ.

    Ok.

    A similar though slightly smaller figure would be required for the first impacting storey
    in the upper falling section. Because this storey carried a lower load, 15 storeys, than the
    impacted storey, 17 storeys, its designed capabilities would be proportionately smaller.
    Using this knowledge an estimation can be made that the energy consumed by this storey would
    be,

    (244 MJ * 15 / 17) = -215MJ .

    It’s not particularly unreasonably for this story to have gone through the plastic phase simultaneously with the one below.

    The elastic response of the lower storey columns within their elastic range would make
    further demands on the energy available by absorption of energy in the form of strain energy.
    This can be estimated, using a safety factor of 4, a mass of 58000 tonnes, a distance of
    0.056metres, and a factor of 0.5 to reflect the load profile

    58*10kg*4*g*0.056metres*0.5= -64MJ.

    Bogus. The stress is not constant over the floors. the correct equation for the strain energy is:

    E = 1/2 Elastic modulus x Integral over volume of (strain ^ 2)

    And assuming the strain drops off linearly over the floors below (as Ross does), and constant cross section, this yeilds:

    = 1/2 Elastic modulus x volume x max_strain ^2 / 3

    = 1/6 (Elastic modulus x area x max_strain) x (height x max_strain)

    = 1/6 (58,000,000 kg x 4 x g ) x (2 x .056 m)

    = -42 MJ.

    In other words, the factor for the “load profile” is 1/3, not 1/2.

    The downward movement of these floors in response to the impact will release additional
    potential energy due to their compression and using the same deflections as above and a value
    for mass proportionate to the number of storeys, this will release

    58*10kg * 24/16 * g * 0.056metres / 2 = + 24 MJ.

    Ok. 58,000,000 / 16 kg is probably a better estimate for the mass of a floor up here than Greening’s estimate.

    Further energy losses are evident in an analysis of the compression of storeys within the
    upper falling section. These storeys manufactured from columns with a smaller cross section
    than those at the impact, would be unable to withstand the failure load present at the impact front
    and would suffer plastic deformation beyond their elastic limit, but for simplicity, it is assumed
    that they suffer only their full elastic deflection. This is another large assumption in favour of
    collapse continuation.

    Actually they will not suffer plastic deformation, for the same reason the 24 floors below the collapse don’t; the compression wave attenuates strongly in the plastic regime.

    The total deflection would be 15 storeys multiplied by the elastic deflection of 7.4mm,
    and strain energy consumed can be estimated as,

    15*7.4*10*4*58*10*g/2= -126MJ.

    Same problem as before; the strain won’t be the same for each story. And the compression wave will have reflected off the top of the tower, and the section will be vibrating in various modes caused by the initial failure. In short; a mess to calculate. I won’t even try.

    Movement of the storeys within the upper section will release additional potential energy
    due to their compression and consequent movement. It is likely that this energy would manifest
    itself as failures within the upper section, but has nevertheless been added as an energy available
    for collapse continuation. The uppermost storey will move downwards by 15 times the elastic
    deflection whereas the lowest will remain static, both in relation to the impact point, giving
    additional potential energy as,

    15*0.0074*58*10*g/2= +32MJ

    Same problem as before. This is likely an over-estimate, which is fine for building a case against collapse.

    A considerable amount of energy would be required to pulverise the concrete into the fine
    dust which was evident from the photographic and other evidence. To quantify this energy it is
    necessary to use the fracture energy value, but this has a variable value dependent on, among
    other factors, the size of the concrete piece, and its constituents, most notably, aggregate size.
    There is no typical value.

    In order to assess the energy consumed I will refer to the work of Dr. Frank Greening [2].
    It should be noted that Dr. Greening, like Dr. Bazant, does not, as yet, support the contention that
    the tower collapse was caused by anything other than the damage caused by aircraft impact and
    subsequent and consequent fires.

    The tower, using Dr. Greening’s figures, contained approximately 50000 tonnes of
    concrete, and the assumption is made that only 10% of this was pulverised to a size of 60
    micrometres. One kilogram of concrete at this particle size will have a surface area of 67 m^2.
    We can now use Dr. Greening’s figure for concrete fracture energy of 100J/m^2 to show that the
    energy requirement for one floor would be 50*10^6kg / 110floors * 67m^2 * 100J/m^2 * 10% =
    – 304 MJ.

    It may be considered unlikely that a low velocity impact would expend large energies on
    pulverisation of materials, and this is more likely in later stages of the collapse. However, the
    large expulsions of dust were visually evident at early stages of the collapse.

    This is a dubious calculation, it assumes that the pulverization was the same for each floor, and occurred entirely when the collapse front reached that floor.

    (to be continued)

  14. #14 Andrew Wade
    December 14, 2006

    (continued)

    Energy Summary:
    The energy balance can be summarised as
    Energy available;
    Kinetic energy 2105MJ
    Potential energy Additional downward movement 95MJ
    Compression of impacting section 32MJ
    Compression of impacted section 24MJ
    Total Energy available 2256MJ
    Energy required;
    Momentum losses 1389MJ
    Plastic strain energy in lower impacted storey 244MJ
    Plastic strain energy in upper impacted storey 215MJ
    Elastic strain energy in lower storeys 64MJ
    Elastic strain energy in upper storeys 126MJ
    Pulverisation of concrete on impacting floor 304MJ
    Pulverisation of concrete on impacted floor 304MJ
    Total Energy required 2646MJ
    Minimum Energy Deficit -390MJ

    And this is crap. Gordon Ross doesn’t understand inelastic collisions. In an inelastic collision, the energy lost from kinetic energy (what he calls “momentum losses”) is what goes into plastic strain energy, pulverisation energy, sound, heat, etc. It doesn’t just disappear into the ether. In other words, the “momentum losses” is the energy available in an inelastic collision. (There is some complication here because of gravitational potential energy.)

    Like so (using his figures):

    Energy sources:
    Momentum Losses: 1389MJ
    Additional gravitational potential energy:
    Additional downward movement 95MJ
    Compression of impacting section 32MJ
    Compression of impacted section 24MJ
    Total Energy available: 1540MJ
    Energy sinks:
    Plastic strain energy in lower impacted storey 244MJ
    Plastic strain energy in upper impacted storey 215MJ
    Elastic strain energy in lower storeys 64MJ
    Elastic strain energy in upper storeys 126MJ
    Pulverisation of concrete on impacting floor 304MJ
    Pulverisation of concrete on impacted floor 304MJ
    Total Energy required 1257MJ

    Or if you want to account for the kinetic energy explicitly,

    Energy sources:
    Kinetic Energy: 2105MJ
    Additional gravitational potential energy:
    Additional downward movement 95MJ
    Compression of impacting section 32MJ
    Compression of impacted section 24MJ
    Total Energy available: 2256MJ
    Energy sinks:
    Kinetic Energy: 716MJ
    Plastic strain energy in lower impacted storey 244MJ
    Plastic strain energy in upper impacted storey 215MJ
    Elastic strain energy in lower storeys 64MJ
    Elastic strain energy in upper storeys 126MJ
    Pulverisation of concrete on impacting floor 304MJ
    Pulverisation of concrete on impacted floor 304MJ
    Total Energy required 1973MJ

    Incidentally, as Greening points out, Ross forgets to account for the kinetic energy in the 24 floors moving at various speeds (assuming, yet again, rigid floors) below the collapsed floor. Accounting for them would help his case, but ironically only in my accounting rather than his bogus one.

  15. #15 hurdygurdy
    December 15, 2006

    CarD51Short:

    “So the Russians knew? The Russians (and most of Europe) know 9/11 was an inside job, as well. Most governments around the world know about 9/11.”

    Evidence, please.

  16. #16 Ronald Wieck
    December 17, 2006

    It appears as though “solar roller” has a very casual relationship with the truth. The Popular Mechanics book explains how the conspiracy liars have distorted the seismograph data from the Lamont-Doherty laboratories.

    Nobody has yet produced a demolition expert who takes the fantasists’ fabrications and falsehoods seriously (remember, Jowenko said that the collapse of WTC 1 & 2 looked nothing like controlled demolition).

  17. #17 jack from jersey
    December 18, 2006

    There you go lying again Ronnie, link above to a demolition expert who says it was imploded.

  18. #18 yohnzeye
    December 19, 2006

    Ronald Wieck,

    Any demolition engineer speaking of controlled demolition in the context of the world trade center would probably lose their explosives licence within 24 hours of “coming out! no?

  19. #19 summerisle
    December 20, 2006

    yohnzeye:

    “Any demolition engineer speaking of controlled demolition in the context of the world trade center would probably lose their explosives licence within 24 hours of “coming out! no?”

    Sure, because we all know that every structural engineer in the WHOLE WORLD works for the US government. BTW, what’s a “demolition engineer”?

  20. #20 Bronze Dog
    December 20, 2006

    And we also know for a fact that all structural engineers in the whole world are greedy, selfish bastards who care more about their licenses than about any sort of obligations towards truth and justice, and are all easily cowed by such a threat.

    My apologies for all the sarcasmometers I’ve destroyed with the above.

  21. #21 yohnzeye
    December 20, 2006

    summerisle said,

    Sure, because we all know that every structural engineer in the WHOLE WORLD works for the US government.

    I say, my point was that any (American) “demolition expert”… who wants to practice such demolition in the U.S.A. (or Iraq) must be thusly approprietly licenced to handle explosives.

    …and that such licence could easily be…denied or revoked…

    summerisle said,

    BTW, what’s a “demolition engineer”?

    hmmm… demo engineer..how do I make this up….

    they are the like the conductor of an orchestra

    coach of a baseball team…I dunno!

    If I went to school to learn (or teach)about bringing down buildings,into their own footprints,using explosives. And then graduated (or taught) would I be a demo engineer?

    Do they have school for that?

  22. #22 Noah
    March 5, 2007

    Here’s a whacko conspiracy theory if I’ve ever heard one –

    The President of a country, after being informed that two jet airliners have crashed into skyscrapers in a capital city, does nothing more than look stupified while he continues a visit to a school full of young children.

    While people are leaping to their death from a flaming inferno seemingly under terrorist attack, the President patiently listens for several more minutes to kids talk about a pet goat.

    If anyone is able to rationalize this insane and treasonous behaviour then they must have more than tin foil on their head. To those I extend my condolences.

  23. #23 jre
    April 14, 2007

    It’s good to see occasional contributions to this thread; it’s a gem.
    It’s also perversely reassuring to know that someone finds significance in the fact that a US president, already regarded by many as ineffectual and not very bright, acted stunned when he received the most stunning news of his life.
    Anyone who finds that behavior too unusual to accept at face value, so much so as to accept an elaborate conspiracy theory in preference, will never have enough tin foil.

  24. #24 Scholar
    April 28, 2007

    Once again, the internet leads back to ORAC. Thanks, I needed some help debunking a debunker debunker. Unless, of course, this whole Orac thing is part of a much larger conspiracy.

  25. #25 Incredible
    August 13, 2007

    It seems that some Americans will believe just about anything!

    “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

    A recent study published in Science (see Miller et al.) documents that fully one-third of American adults believe that evolution is “absolutely false” while only 14% of adults acknowledge that evolution is “definitely true.” In Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, and France over 80% of adults had no trouble accepting the facts of evolution, nor did 78% of Japanese. Indeed, of 33 countries surveyed as to their acceptance of evolution, the United States ended up as 32nd on the list. Turkey finished dead last, while Cyprus beat the US by a whisker. Perhaps in response to the “intelligent design” movement, the percentage of U.S. adults accepting evolution has actually declined over the last 20 years. Supporting this notion, Miller et al. found that “the total effect of fundamentalist religious beliefs on attitudes toward evolution (using a standardized metric) was nearly twice as much in the United States as in the nine European countries.” They concluded that “individuals who hold a strong belief in a personal God and who pray frequently were significantly less likely to view evolution as probably or definitely true than adults with less conservative religious views.” (Miller et al.)

    Miller, J. D., Scott, E. C., and Okamoto, S. (2006) Science communication. Public acceptance of evolution. Science 313, 765-766

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