Scientific American hit piece

this one is short 'n nasty, and completely ridiculous of course, but will soothe the soul of those still needing/wanting the BLUE PILL

plus... wait for it.... Michael Shermer on C-SPAN if you can stomach it.... I couldn't

Fahrenheit 2777
9/11 has generated the mother of all conspiracy theories
By Michael Shermer, Skeptic Magazine

Noted French left-wing activist Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 conspiracy book, L'Effroyable Imposture, became a best-seller in 2002. But I never imagined such an "appalling deception" would ever find a voice in America. At a recent public lecture I was buttonholed by a Michael Moore–wannabe filmmaker who breathlessly explained that 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Central Intelligence Agency as part of their plan for global domination and a New World Order. That goal was to be financed by G.O.D. (Gold, Oil, Drugs) and launched by a Pearl Harbor–like attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, thereby providing the justification for war. The evidence was there in the details, he explained, handing me a faux dollar bill (with "9-11" replacing the "1," a picture of Bush supplanting that of Washington) chockablock with Web sites.

In fact, if you type "World Trade Center" and "conspiracy" into Google, you'll get more than 250,000 hits. From these sites, you will discover that some people think the Pentagon was hit by a missile; that U.S. Air Force jets were ordered to "stand down" and not intercept Flights 11 and 175, the ones that struck the twin towers; that the towers themselves were razed by demolition explosives timed to go off soon after the impact of the planes; that a mysterious white jet shot down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania; and that New York Jews were ordered to stay home that day (Zionists and other pro-Israeli factions, of course, were involved). Books also abound, including Inside Job, by Jim Marrs; The New Pearl Harbor, by David Ray Griffin; and 9/11: The Great Illusion, by George Humphrey. The single best debunking of this conspiratorial codswallop is in the March issue of Popular Mechanics, which provides an exhaustive point-by-point analysis of the most prevalent claims.

The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial and the various crank theories of physics). All the "evidence" for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy. Such notions are easily refuted by noting that scientific theories are not built on single facts alone but on a convergence of evidence assembled from multiple lines of inquiry.

No melted steel, no collapsed towers.

For example, according to, steel melts at a temperature of 2,777 degrees Fahrenheit, but jet fuel burns at only 1,517 degrees F. No melted steel, no collapsed towers. "The planes did not bring those towers down; bombs did," says Wrong. In an article in the Journal of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society and in subsequent interviews, Thomas Eagar, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains why: steel loses 50 percent of its strength at 1,200 degrees F; 90,000 liters of jet fuel ignited other combustible materials such as rugs, curtains, furniture and paper, which continued burning after the jet fuel was exhausted, raising temperatures above 1,400 degrees F and spreading the inferno throughout each building. Temperature differentials of hundreds of degrees across single steel horizontal trusses caused them to sag--straining and then breaking the angle clips that held the beams to the vertical columns. Once one truss failed, others followed. When one floor collapsed onto the next floor below, that floor subsequently gave way, creating a pancaking effect that triggered each 500,000-ton structure to crumble. Conspiricists argue that the buildings should have fallen over on their sides, but with 95 percent of each building consisting of air, they could only have collapsed straight down.

All the 9/11 conspiracy claims are this easily refuted. On the Pentagon "missile strike," for example, I queried the would-be filmmaker about what happened to Flight 77, which disappeared at the same time. "The plane was destroyed, and the passengers were murdered by Bush operatives," he solemnly revealed. "Do you mean to tell me that not one of the thousands of conspirators needed to pull all this off," I retorted, "is a whistle-blower who would go on TV or write a tell-all book?" My rejoinder was met with the same grim response I get from UFOlogists when I ask them for concrete evidence: Men in Black silence witnesses, and dead men tell no tales.

Michael Shermer is publisher of Skeptic ( His latest book is Science Friction.

Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine on C-SPAN's Washington

Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine said on C-SPAN's Washington Journal that the 9/11 conspiracy theorists don't want to be on Larry King or to publish books because they can't take the heat of critics. He is also out on a book tour against intelligent design, where thoughtful criticism is scarce. He repeatedly mentioned the standard anti-conspiratorial line that someone would have said something to blow the conspiracy without mentioning the theorist's claim that some people have. He deprecates the intelligence of his callers one after the other. His repeated references to "this video out there" was rebuffed by one caller. She mentions three new videos and asks about foreknowledge. Another caller asks about the story on BBC news about the hijackers still being alive. He says he knows of no such story, that his sources had looked into the claim. Another person calls saying he is looking at the story right then and reads the URL. The FBI directors quote that the identity if the hijackers is in question was ignored. Instead he argues that mistaken identity somehow confirms the hijacker's identities, how else would they know these were "mis-identifications"? Who is forcing this story to fit pre-conceived theories?
Skeptic Magazine’s Michael Shermer mentioned on C-SPAN that the theorists say Jews were warned. The Odigo text messages are unconfirmed, but were in the news. But he wanted to point out the worst of these hateful cranks, so ignores Newsweek Articles about warnings. Skeptical of the missing passengers, he said no-plane theorist claim Chicago airport gas chambers were used. These are not part of "the official conspiracy theory" or any theory I have heard of, but works well with the anti-Semitic claim as an emotional club. Consideration has been given to anesthetizing passenger cabins of hijacked airlines as a security measure, and the premiere episode of The Lone Gunman depicted airliners taken over by remote control and targeting the World Trade Center. With the help of this team of mis-fit conspiracy theorists, the towers and passengers were spared. This episode aired before the attack and included the gassing of the passengers.
Confirmation of the victims identity warrants no debate? The science of forensics has no room for improvement? He said that the reason there were no bodies of passengers at the pentagon is that they were exploded to bits. One debunking of the Loose Change video he refers to shows bodies at the pentagon. It is gruesome, yes. But it is also contradictory. Another video debunking the Jewish foreknowledge claim attended the funeral of a Jewish victim of the WTC attack. Only a single bone fragment was found and identified. These bodies exploded into bits for other UNEXPLAINED reasons.
He goes on to explain that no scientific theory explains all facts. A residue remains to be explained. He points to Popular Mechanics (related to Skeptic publishers?) debunking as the best handling of these myths. The article mostly debunks the early talk but mentions not much about current lore. It certainly doesn't address the overall geo-political questions that lead to these theories to begin with. This is not a residue but the fuel the debate.
Repeatedly referring to lack of logic, he asserts that no one noticed what was coming. They used our freedom against us, stalking invisibly in a free society like Lee Harvey Oswald. Urban legends about government complicity are not new, and according to Shermer, these stories tap into some kind of Pearl Harbor archetype common amongst paranoid conspiracy theorists. The Pearl Harbor analogy broke down when he could not respond to questions about PNAC's efforts to create a transformation in the military using a "new Pearl Harbor" as a catalyst. In fact, the global question of state sponsored terror as pretext to expand and concentrate power and control never enters the discussion. The historical context of the events is not considered relevant to the conspiracy theory.
A series of unanswered questions don't disappear because some were answered. The series came from somewhere and goes somewhere. Answers don't break the chain as much as fill in gaps. The line of inquiry remains.
He said seismographs recorded plane crash? Can it tell the difference between bombs and planes? Seismograph evidence is hard to interpret. "Controlled Demolition" is a misnomer. Blown-up by bombs might be a better description. Firefighters did say they heard bombs. He says conspiracy theorists claim no building collapsed from fire before this. But buildings have collapsed, he says. The claims of demolition theorists is that no STEEL building has collapsed from fire? He demolishes the idea of controlled demolition to prove no bombs were used. He laughs again... "if you planted bombs, call in now...and then see what happens heh, heh."
Debunkers say the people in the gas station and hotel watched the tapes before confiscation as if to prove they showed a plane. Shermer wonders were the information that tapes even exist comes from. Security cameras around the pentagon? Does he know you can be arrested for asking that. His lack of skepticism about the official story leads him to doubt the one-Hour time frame left time for NORAD to intercept. He did think that there is plenty of room for legitimate criticism. Anything that can be blamed on the previous administration is okay, like foreknowledge.
Not skeptical about McVeigh - al-Qaeda connection, he responds to the notion that Flight 800 was hit by a missile with "obviously investigators explored that hypothesis...Who would want to blow up an American Jetliner?"

Shermer is completely right

You guys are in complete denial of reality. It is you that is completely ridiculous. You eed to wake up.