An e-mail exchange with William Rivers Pitt


I have had a rather interesting e-mail exchange with William Rivers Pitt recently that I would like to share with you.

If you don't know W.R.Pitt, he runs a very popular website called It is a progressive political news and opinion site but up to this point it has never carried any stories whatever supporting 911truth. In other words, William Rivers Pitt is a left gatekeeper.

He recently wrote an article in which, near the end, he ever so timidly dipped his toe into the 911truth waters. So I thought it was time I wrote him a note.

The following are the e-mails we exchanged. I have not received
the final reply, but frankly, I don't expect I will.

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Sullivan
Date: Fri, 01 Sep 2006 23:00:39
Subject: The greatest sedition is silence.


" The passage of time will, in all likelihood, finally expose the truth
behind exactly what happened on September 11, and why." W.R.Pitt

As far as I know, that is the most you have ever said WRT 911truth.

I think it's past time you spoke up about 9/11 and the fact that is was
planned and executed by this corrupt administration. 911truth is the
only thing that can stop this march to hell and you know it.

As you said yourself, "The greatest sedition is silence."

Matt Sullivan


William Rivers Pitt wrote:

> Tell me what you, tell me what you know. I will tell you
> what I think.
> ---
> William Rivers Pitt


Here is what I KNOW:

1. It is strictly impossible for those buildings to fall as they did,
(suddenly, completely, straight down, at free fall speed, into a compact
pile of debris in their own footprints), in the absence of controlled
2. NORAD stood-down for an hour and twenty minutes.
3. These facts have been systematically covered-up.

What more do you need?


William Rivers Pitt wrote:

> More than just your say-so, honestly.
> I'm genuinely asking: what is the basis for your contention that it is
> impossible for the buildings to have fallen the way they did? Are you an
> architect or a structural engineer, or did you come to this conclusion
> from reading websites and watching videos?
> Given the gravity of the accusation, that is a fair question. Give me
> what you've got. I'm bugging everyone about this. I asked you for what
> you know, and I still got what you believe. Make me believe it. Hit me
> with the facts.
> Thanks for taking the time. Cheers.

Matt Sullivan wrote:


You seem sincere so I will give it to you as straight as I can. I'm sure you're aware that there have been over forty books written on the subject, dozens of academic articles and thousands of pages on the web; not to mention the many videos, audio interviews and other electronic media works all disputing the official myth of 9/11. At this point, five years after the events, if you have not availed yourself of this mountain of evidence, I doubt that there is anything that I can put in an e-mail message would be able to persuade you.

That said, and since you did ask nicely, I will give you my best argument.

I am not a structural engineer, my training is in physics and chemistry. I have 10 years of University at Penn., U of Delaware and U of Texas. I have taught chemistry at the college level but spent most of my career in computer network systems architecture.

But honestly you don't have to be an engineer or architect to see that the official story, to the extent that there is one, is strictly impossible. Even High School physics, math and history is enough. Let me give you three such lines of argument:

1: High School Physics - Conservation of Energy

Newton's law of gravity tells us exactly what to expect from falling bodies. A falling object experiences a constant acceleration, g, of 32ft/sec^2. We can calculate the time it would take for an object to fall from the top of one of the 1350ft WTC towers. It is 9.2 seconds and that is without accounting for air resistance. When air resistance is included, e.g. for a brick falling from that height, we would expect it to take about 12 sec. This is very close to the approximately 10 seconds it took for the towers to fall as reported in the official Kean report or the 11 to 14 seconds as independently measured from observation of various videos of the collapses. The towers fell at essentially free fall speed.

Another fundamental law of physics is the conservation of energy and it applies to falling bodies as well. An object, as it falls, converts it's gravitational potential energy (due to it's height above ground) into kinetic energy (speed). If that object has to use some of it's energy for something else, like pushing air out of it's way, then there will be less energy available as kinetic energy and so it will take a bit longer to reach the ground. So, as we've seen in the example of a brick falling from the top of the tower, even just the energy required to move air out of the way is enough to slow the free fall time from 9.2 seconds to 12 seconds.

In the "official" explanation of the collapse, the so-called "pancake theory", the floor above gives way and crashes into the floor below it, which gives way and together they fall on the next floor below, and so on. So the falling floor must use a considerable amount of it's energy to break loose the floor below. In addition, to account for the observed dust plumes, the crashing together of the floors has to crush the concrete floor slabs into a fine powder and that takes a substantial amount of energy as well. And then additional energy is required to eject those tons of crushed concrete at high speed in all directions because that's what was observed. All of this energy must be subtracted from the original potential energy of the falling floor, which means there is much less energy available as kinetic energy(speed) hence the floors must be falling much slower than they would otherwise. How much more energy do you suppose is required to crush a 4" thick concrete slab as opposed to just moving air out of the way? If the energy required to move air out of the way could increase the fall time from 9.2 sec. to 12 sec, what effect do you suppose the requirement to not only move air, but also crush concrete, and eject tons of crushed concrete dust laterally at high speed, would have on the observed fall time?

The fact that the buildings were observed to fall at essentially free fall speed, means that all of the gravitational potential energy of the building was in fact converted to the kinetic energy of falling. The fall speed accounts for all of the gravitational potential energy available. There is no gravitational energy available to break steel, crush concrete, eject dust or do anything else but just fall.

The Conservation of Energy Law forces us to conclude that there had to be some additional source of energy. Some source of energy to pulverize the concrete and send it in all directions at high speed as a fine powder. Some additional energy to knock out the heavy steel beams that had supported the building for 40 years so that the top of the building could free fall unimpeded to the ground in just over 10 seconds.

You can find a very good treatment of the topic including all the math at

While I find the Conservation of Energy argument most compelling, the next argument is much simpler yet just as irrefutable.

2: High School Math - Statistics.

As you may recall from High School math we can determine the probability that an event will happen in future by measuring how often it has happened in the past. This is the basis of actuary science and is the bread and butter of insurance companies. For example if an insurance company wants to determine the probability that a building will catch fire in a given year before writing a policy, they would have to divide the number of similar buildings that had fires by the total number of buildings of that type. The math is elementary.

Now consider the building collapses of September 11. The official story is that the fires cause the collapses. So we might reasonably ask, what is the probability, based on past experience, that a structure fire in a modern steel high rise, will cause a sudden total collapse of the structure? I don't know if you know this William, but every steel building of any significant size built anywhere in the world is registered and meticulous records of building performance are maintained by national and international engineering associations. No significant event in these buildings goes unnoticed or unrecorded. There has never been a steel high rise total collapse brought on by fire in the entire history of steel buildings. Not one. There are hundreds of thousands of such structures worldwide, never has one collapsed due to fire.

While collapse is uncommon, fires are unfortunately commonplace. There were over 7,000 fires in steel structures in the US in 2002 (last data I saw). Many of these fires, no doubt, were minor. But we know that, over the years, more than a few have been massive infernos, engulfing multiple entire floors and lasting for many hours. Prof. Steve Jones has estimated that there have been recorded at least 400 fires comparable to, or greater than, those observed on 9/11.

Without examples of collapse for our probability calculation we can only estimate the probability that fire will lead to collapse. More precisely, we can set an upper limit on the probability which is 1/(number of fires of the magnitude of those on 9/11). So we can say that the probability that fire will lead to collapse is less than 1/400. But on 9/11/2001 we had not one, not two, but three buildings collapse, completely, suddenly, straight down into their own footprint. If the probability that one building would collapse is less than 1/400, the probability for two in a row is less than (1/400 x 1/400) while the probability for three in a row is less than (1/400 x 1/400 x 1/400).

So the probability that fire would cause three buildings to collapse on 9/11 is less than one in 64 million, or about the same as hitting the lottery.

3. High School History -- The Cold War

Now, William, my last argument is not based on math or science (I suspect you're more of an arts and letters kind of guy) it is based on history. Not ancient history, relatively recent history. Remember the cold war? We faced a determined enemy as technically advanced and well armed as ourselves. Each side possessed enough unclear weaponry to wipe-out the planet. The great fear was that one side would initiate a quick decapitation strike, knocking out the political and military command and control in one swift shot. To guard against that nightmare scenario over the years we sunk over a TRILLION dollars into NORAD to protect the US against this sophisticated and lethal enemy, and especially against the possibility of the first strike, the decapitation. Over the years, advances in radar and satellites have made Washington and the Pentagon the most monitored and protected airspace in the world.

And yet, on 9/11, a commercial jet, off flight plan, no transponder, no communications with air control, lumbered toward Washington after making a "U" turn over Ohio, and in the final approach takes 4 minutes to make a wide spiral turn to crash into the side of the Pentagon, the most well defended building in the world!? Does that sound like a plausible scenario to you?

And while we're speaking of history... for examples of state-sponsored false-flag terror operations,... history is full of them: Northwoods, Gladio, Aldo Moro, Red Brigade, Guy Fawkes, Reichstag fire, Battleship Maine, Operation Phoenix, the Lavon Affair, Operation Ajax, Gulf of Tonkin; there are hundreds. 9/11 is only the worst of them.

I'll leave it at that... but remember, "the greatest sedition is silence."


Didn't Fall Down -- Went Boom

Keep up the good work, folks.

I'm not qualified to get into the debate about what happened at the WTC. I'm not a structural engineer, a physicist, or anything even close. I've followed all the info and the debate from a distance; I'm still backing away. For me, it's relatively easy to see and understand: the top of one of the towers (the south one, I believe) started to fall over. (Don't quote me on the hard detail.) As the top 8-10 or more stories started to fall over to an angle approximating 25-30 degrees from sheer vertical, suddenly it stopped falling over. How much mass was involved? Why did it not continue to fall over? Some smart genius once said that a force in motion tends to stay in motion unless it is acted on by an equal or greater force. (I tested this theory last night when I went out and tipped my neighbor's car over the edge of a bridge over the river. I tried real hard to keep it from getting wet.] What kind of force would that have been, and where did it come from, and how was it sufficiently great that that mass pretty much disintegrated before it fell down? Didn't fall down -- went boom. What kind of pancake batter did they use when they built that building?


Very lucid explanation of the physics for us "arts and letters" types.

Truthout would be an incredible asset.

To 911Truth.

that was great, so great in

that was great, so great in fact that something tells me he wont be getting back to you with a response. i dont know how he could and save face after that.

Great job -- but in future I

Great job -- but in future I would advise throwing in a word or two about the war games, especially the NRO Drill; Able Danger -- which proves that intelligence was monitoring the patsies; the FBI informant who happened to live with one of the hijackers; and the absurd evidence trail, obviously planted. A fireproof passport to boot and the case is made. Actually you can pretty much take your pick. lots of other stuff too, as you know. But war games are key. As we've seen, people can argue demo all day and there will always been some pseudo-scientific shill to plant the seed of doubt.

BTW, I thik Pitt already knows the score, just like everyone else. He's just too chicken.

Bravo Matt!

May all the so-called "left gatekeepers" be damned to hell!!!

well done, Matt

I had a brief discussion with W.R. Pitt on the truthout forum a couple of years ago, which also lead nowhere.

I love how you used the title of his book against him. So perfect, because it's SO DAMN TRUE.

And, your detailed letter with the 3 points was so well written. I'm not holding my breath that Pitt will ever see the light of day. Shameful.

Great job man

regardless of how he responds.

I think you may be right,

I think you may be right, Matt....he won't get back to you.

Great post:-)

The Pancake Theory is NOT official!

Didn't NIST itself say that:

NIST’s findings do not support the “pancake theory” of collapse, which is premised on a progressive failure of the floor systems in the WTC towers (the composite floor system—that connected the core columns and the perimeter columns—consisted of a grid of steel “trusses” integrated with a concrete slab; see diagram below). Instead, the NIST investigation showed conclusively that the failure of the inwardly bowed perimeter columns initiated collapse and that the occurrence of this inward bowing required the sagging floors to remain connected to the columns and pull the columns inwards. Thus, the floors did not fail progressively to cause a pancaking phenomenon.

Where does that leave the IHOPers? And shouldn't we say that the official theory is that there was no pancaking? Meaning the important gripe with NIST is that they never showed anyone what their modelled collapse LOOKED like after the collapse initiation, the point at which NIST says "OK see, they started to collapse--end of discussion." No no no. They are cleverly avoiding having to explain how the collapse we observed in real life, where the previously untouched lower sections of the towers' 47 massive core columns put up no resistance during the fall, like a house of cards. NIST would deny it, but they are intentionally stopping their theory there and handing off to NOVA (apparently along with Popular Mechanics now part of the government) which in its earlier documentary on how the towers fell advocated the pancake theory subsequently debunked by the government. So the "government" provides half the story and the "media" provide the other half. NIST and NOVA are never overtly CLAIMED to be working together so accusations that they are colluding behind the scenes--especially suspicious in light of the Chertoff cousins' Popular Mechanics and Homeland Security link--can be dismissed as "that conspiracy bunkum".

Would it help to introduce the term "collusion theorist" as a non-racy alternative to the term currently in favor?? Because honestly, the rewards for lying are great in a society that does not value truth enough to search for it beyond the first mass medium snake-oil artist's pitch. America resembles a young person with a big new credit card limit, oblivious to the consequences. When our national character is thus viewed (and it IS thus viewed by the majority of the world outside the media bubble) it is clear that attempts to seek accountability will be seen as unwelcome intrusions on their manicured reality. But this goes way beyond too many trips to the bar... the charges put on our collective american credit card are for weapons that kill and maim thousands if not millions yearly. Who is footing the bill for this? Who is saving up to pay the piper? Anyone...? Beuller...?

Who is going to "be the adult" when things get out of hand? Who wants to be resented for being responsible? Anyone...?

Take the keys away, and fast.


"Among the 'spider-man' skeptics are those who claim that no human can shoot web and stick to walls... They conveniently ignore the fact that he was bitten by a radioactive spider."

Daily Bugle editorial debunking the claims of spider-man deniers

Excellent letter, Matt. You

Excellent letter, Matt. You may also wish to direct Mr. Pitt to Jim Hoffman's discussion of such matters.