History Channel - 9/11 Conspiracies, Fact or Fiction? A Review

History Channel - 9/11 Conspiracies, Fact or Fiction? A Review

By Arabesque

The History Channel released a new documentary about those who question the “official story” of 9/11.  While “9/11 Conspiracies, Fact or Fiction” is professionally edited, and interviews many different commentators, it is also highly biased.  It frames the entire discussion in this way:

“Conspiracy theory. Conspiracy Theorists claim... Conspiracists say... Conspiracy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy!”

Cue Music and Response:

·        "Expert"

·        "No, that's not true" (Without explaining why: Begging the question)

·        The government is too incompetent!

·        We're an EXPERT! See the Graphic!

After some twenty dozen mentions of the dirty word "conspiracy", we come mercifully to an end. 

While Popular Mechanics continues its lame and pompous efforts at defending the official "conspiracy theory", their "debunking" efforts are objections that have been frequently answered elsewhere.  Take for example, their section on the controlled demolition theories.

Controlled Demolition: "Conspiracy" Theorist, "Expert", and Responses

Transcript of History Channel Segment on WTC 1 & 2

My responses in bold italic

1.Conspiracy Theory: The speed of the collapse was too fast

1A. [Prof. Steven Jones]
You would expect the tower to absorb the shock but not just fail completely, and certainly not in less than 15 seconds as we observe.

1B. [Sofia Shafquat] That's basically free-fall speed. I have a hypothetical demonstration. A collapse is clunkety clunk, clunkety clunk, clunkety clunk, floor by floor.
Say that 110 times, and a major Republican tried this, he took his watch with the second hand and he said clunkety clunk 110 times, it took him over 3 minutes.

"Expert" Response
2A. Controlled demolitions always begin from the bottom of the building. You cut the bottom columns and then the building falls. If you look at the World Trade Center, both of them began at the impact wounds of the planes.

Straw-man: A controlled demolition is “controlled”. Explosives can be set off in any pre-planned order.

2B. What they're trying to say is all kinds of explosives that were perfectly timed, and that top section fell a lot faster than it would have if it had to force all this other debris down, and that's just not true, it's just factually inaccurate.

Begging the Question: Why is it not true? This “expert” statement is “factually inaccurate”; conservation of momentum has existed long before the existence of Yellow Journalism, Hearst, and Popular Mechanics.

3. Conspiracy Theory: WTC fires did not burn hot enough to melt structural steel.

3A. No building built out of structural steel that is designed to house people has ever collapsed before or since 9/11 due to structural fire. And there are many, not just one or two, there are many instances where fires have burned much hotter and much longer, and stood.

3B. [Sofia] Jet fuel is a hydrocarbon, that's all. It maxes out in a controlled burn at 1800 degrees. Steel starts melting at 2750 degrees. Now we're 1000 degrees apart, and office fires burn at this really low temperature of 600-800 degrees.
So regardless of the fuel, the temperature of an office fire is not sufficient to weaken steel.

"Expert" Response
4A. As the debris flew through the building at almost 500 mph it caused equivalent to sandblasting all the steel.
So all the fireproofing came off and that meant that the steel was naked, it would have been subject to the fire.

Response: Speculation treated as fact. Kevin Ryan showed that NIST’s experiment of shot gun blasts revealed fire-proofing could not have been removed easily. Furthermore, UL certified assemblies used in the WTC (which included steel), and no structural steel buildings have ever collapsed—with or without loss/existence of fireproofing.

4B. Engineers do agree it would have taken a much hotter fire to melt the steel supporting the floors. But they say it didn't have to melt to compromise the building's structural integrity.

Response: Any structural engineer understands that buildings are designed to distribute loads in the event of structural damage. In the case of the Twin Towers, they were designed to survive plane impacts, and the resulting exterior column loss.

4C. The fires burned at a temperature of about 1100 degrees in some cases. That's sufficient for the steel to lose half its strength. Now if it only has half its strength it doesn't have the ability to support the floors above it any more.

Very Misleading: NIST recorded no temperatures high enough to even weaken the steel in samples taken from fire zones

5. Conspiracy Theory: Demolition explosives are visible just before the Twin Towers collapse.

5A. Excerpt from Loose Change.
In all the videos of the collapses, explosions can be seen bursting from the buildings 20 to 30 stories below the demolition wave.

5B. [Sofia S.] If you just look at the videos and you just see these puffs coming out floor by floor by floor, it's apparent that the floors are being blown out of the way as the building was falling.

5C. There were a lot of things happening on the screen that I would not normally expect to see in just a structural failure, specifically, jets of what appears to be gas or possibly explosions, coming out of the sides of the buildings long before any of the debris had gotten down there.

6. "Expert" Response. [Cartoon of WTC-shaped squishy gray popsicle going splat over and over]

6A. As the buildings collapsed they literally pulverized the materials inside the buildings, the concrete floors of the building were essentially turned to dust as were the sheetrock walls, that's why you saw this light gray colored dust forming as the buildings collapsed.

Special Pleading: This feature is characteristic of Controlled Demolition. This argument therefore, does not disprove it was a controlled demolition.

6B. A building like that is like a giant accordion, it's full of air. When the top of that building comes down, all that air has to come out, and where it comes out, it comes out the windows, it blows out the windows.

Response: Kevin Ryan has written a paper responding to these arguments in the Journal of 9/11 Studies: “Although the piston analogy might have made some minimal sense for the discarded pancake theory, it does not work at all for NIST’s current pile-driver theory.”

6C. There was just an enormous amount of energy that was being formed by the collapse of the building and that energy compressed the air and caused the dust to be blown out the side of the building.

Special Pleading: Again, a controlled demolition could explain this feature, and it is arguable that “structural collapse” alone could not.

7. Conspiracy Theory: Witnesses heard "secondary explosions."

7A. [Sofia] The witness testimonials are fantastic, because these people spoke absolutely reflexively when they were there about what they heard and experienced, and they used the word "explosion" over and over.

7B. [Narrator]
Some of those accounts were reported in the chaotic moments just after the attacks.
"We received word of a secondary device that is another bomb going off."

7C. [Jason Bermas] Pat Dawson talked to some members of the FBI and they expressed that they believed that secondary explosives were used to demolish the WTC and that was onsite moments after the collapse of the building.

"Expert" Response.
8A. In fact, Dawson, who became a part of the story himself when conspiracy theorists cited his report, never interviewed FBI officials at Ground Zero. It was Fire Chief Albert Turi he spoke to just minutes after the North Tower collapsed, when confusion and rumors were rampant.

Response: Yes, and Chief Turi said he heard “bombs”—see response below.

8B. [Fire Chief Albert Turi] There was a secondary explosion, probably a device that had been planted before or on the aircraft that did not explode and it exploded an hour later.

8C. [Pat Dawson] What is important to remember is what Chief Turi said and what he didn't say.
What he said was that he thought he heard secondary explosions in the building prior to the collapse. What he didn't say was that he heard bombs.

Response: Actually, no—he did say: “another bomb going off”, “secondary device”, “devices planted in the building”. He’s not alone.

8D. There are things that happened inside the building, pieces coming loose as a result of the extreme impact very well may have been interpreted as explosions.

Response: See for yourself what the witnesses said.  Here’s what firemen reported.

8E. I think the accounts are people trying to figure out what was happening on one of the most chaotic days in American history.

Response: In the lobby of the towers? See the lobby for yourself: “It looked like the plane hit the Lobby”.

9. Conspiracy Theory: Rigging of Twin Towers with explosives was an "Inside Job"

9A. [Jim Fetzer] There were odd security lapses in Buildings 1 and 2 the North and South Tower for the two weeks before the events took place, where large sections of the buildings were shut down, the employees were sent home, the security apparatus was turned off and teams of so-called engineers were given access to the buildings, which raises the question is it then possible that there were previously positioned explosives in Buildings 1 and 2.

9B. [Webster Tarpley] No force can do that, except a force inside the US command structure itself, who is capable of preparing the Twin Towers and Building 7 for controlled demolition. That's got to be a force that's massively present here in the United States

"Expert" Response
10A. It would take an army of workers, it would take months, you'd have to strip all the sheet rock off the wall, you'd have to run 100's of miles of wiring all throughout the building in order to wire a building for demolition
so this idea that some crew in black would sneak inside during the night and then wire a building for demolition, it's absurd

Response: “No building exhibiting all the characteristics of controlled demolition has never not been a controlled demolition.” We do not need to know “how” they planted the bombs to observe eleven separate and identifiable features of controlled demolition.

10B. The biggest problem for me is how do you put explosives in those exact spots where the plane hit before the plane hit. Because that's where the building failed. Everyone can agree on that.

Response: Several pilots tried to hit the Twin Towers at the speeds observed in a simulator and found that they could not hit them unless they slowed down to landing speed.  Live, remote controlled “hijack” military exercises were taking place on 9/11, and it is reasonable to suggest that this technology could have been used to fly the planes into the towers.

What the Popular Mechanics “Experts” “neglected” to mention:

The Building Designers built the towers to survive the events of 9/11

Some obvious lies in the film:

·        Loose Change is not backing away from Controlled Demolition

·        NORAD's radar are NOT focussed outside of the US (Outrageous lie by Popular Mechanics!)

Some obvious omissions:

·        Conservations of momentum is not acknowledged by defenders of the official story (speed of collapse of Towers)

·        Many Family Members and survivors support a new investigation

·        Family Members who supported NIST correction by Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice

·        Thermate

·        Serious discussion of Stand Down/NORAD

·        Insider Trading linked to CIA

·        Destruction of Evidence

·        Evidence Cover-up

·        Promotions of those most responsible for the 9/11 attacks

·        World Trade Center First Responder Illness due to toxic air (and the lies by the government that it was safe to breathe)

·        The claims of the World Trade Center Designers! I guess they aren't "experts".

Like all good hit pieces, there are some guilt by association smears like:

·        Jim Fetzer and his faked Zapruder film book mentioned (Guilt by association)

·        The highly speculative (and family member alienating) Voice Morphing 

·        "The 'Jews' did 9/11" (Guilt by association)

·        “Holocaust Denial” (Guilt by association)

In the final analysis, “9/11 Conspiracies, Fact or Fiction?” is so bad that it will actually help the 9/11 Truth movement.  This is because the documentary is so obviously condescending to the intelligence of the viewer, and brings up so many questions that it might lead some to actually research the facts—questioning the “fictions” supplied by The History Channel and Popular Mechanics.

See also:
Viewers See History Channel 9/11 Special As Straw Man Hit Piece
History Channel Hit Piece: Dirty Tricks, Malicious Lies & Journalistic Fraud
The Mother Of All 9/11 Truth Hit Pieces Airs Tonight


it made me sick. I could'nt watch the whole thing.


the person above me I tuned in and out because it is so frustrating to watch that crap on TV. I was able to watch the last hour of it straight through despite being totally disgusted.

I would like to commend you on this work. It is nicely done and a great analysis of the program and its numerous faults.

You have a section on guilt by association smears and I just had a question (not just for the author, if anyone can answer I would appreciate it): what are you talking about when you mention Jim Fetzer and the faked Zapruder film? (your obviously talking about the Kennedy assassination, but where does Fetzer fit in to that)


Fetzer wrote a book about it

The Zapruder film was probably altered but not faked

I have read more than thirty books on the Kennedy assassination and done some actual research myself on it.


The Zapruder film was most probably altered but not faked. There were a few different films taken in Dealey Plaza that day that the owners said were missing some frames when the FBI gave them back. The FBI answered that there were processing errors.

The Zapruder film caught JFK's head movement to the back and left very graphically. If he was hit in the head from the front, as that backward movement and the Parkland hospital doctor's testimony about a large right rear head wound seem to imply, then there would have been tissue matter sprayed out of the back of the head. The film does not show this tissue going to the rear. By excising frames the perpetrators could get rid of visual evidence of this matter going to the rear. There were a number of witnesses who said a sort of halo of matter came out of the back of his head and a piece of skull was found to the left rear of the limousine.

The problem with Dr. Fetzer is that he wants to say the entire film is faked and that just doesn't seem to be true or make a lot of sense. Professor Tink Thompson, author of Six Seconds in Dallas (1967) a book which used the Zapruder film to prove that JFK was shot at from at least three different sniper positions, took Dr. Fetzer to task on this and I have to agree with him. I can only speculate as to why Dr. Fetzer would say the entire film is faked as it obviously shows JFK was hit from the front with the head movement, and it agrees with what the Parkland doctors saw as far as the massive right rear head wound. The head movement is probably faster on the film than it was in reality due to the excised frames but it still shows the direction. The Zapruder film was suppressed from the public for 12 years and only shown because New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison subpeonaed it for the 1969 trial of Clay Shaw and allowed copies to be made. Life magazine fought that subpeona to the U.S. Supreme Court but they had no grounds to stop it. Geraldo Rivera wound up airing the film using a bootleg copy of it on late night TV in March 1975. With the cat out of the proverbial bag Life magazine then sold the film back to the Zapruder family for a dollar. However, with the American people seeing the backward movement, after having been told JFK was shot only from the rear, a new investigation was launched to continue the coverup. The new investigation, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, was forced to say that JFK was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy due to audio evidence of at least four shots from an open mike on a cop's motorcycle, which was then recorded on the Dallas police dictabelt. JFK was actually shot from both the front and rear. He was assassinated in a triangulated crossfire and the Zapruder film has a part in showing that to be true.

I sent them a nice e mail.....

I suggest we all send them e mails and tell them what we think.

This hit piece backfires in so many ways...

Check out what one person wrote on the History Channel's own message board thread on this topic:


I have never questioned the official version of the events of 9/11 until I saw the History Channel’s attempt at refuting the “Conspiracy Theorists” version of events. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I never have questioned events such as the JFK assassination or the Pearl Harbor attack or anything like that. But after watching the poor job the History Channel did on their attempt to refute claims that were contrary to the official version of the events of 9/11 my belief now is that there are other factors involved that the public has not been privy to. Thanks to the History Channel’s program I watched the Loose Change video in its entirety and I have started reading other web sites too such as http://www.patriotsquestion911.com which is also very compelling. Now, thanks to the History Channel, I am now seeking the real truth. I do not know the whole truth yet but I do believe whole heartedly that the events in the official version of what happened that day are mostly, if not fully, bogus and are an attempt to misdirect the people from the truth.

Since I don't have cable TV, I don't get the History Channel

So I haven't seen what sounds like a disinformation piece masquerading as a history documentary.

But I glean from others that this program has two important characteristics:

1) Whenever the 9/11 truth side is allowed to raise a point, the official interpretation side always gets the last word in responding to that point; and

2) The filmmakers chose which points the 9/11 truthers were allowed to raise on the program, silently omitting certain others that 9/11 truthers are apt to consider equally important.

But what I wonder is this:

It sounds like the filmmakers raised some pro-official interpretation points on their own. Did they ever give 9/11 truthers a chance to respond?

They featured my claim Val McClatchey's photo is fake

but interestingly they didn't have their experts debunk it!


"So all the fireproofing came off..."

This debunker talking point bugs me, because, as Richard Gage says in his lecture, fireproofing is only meant to last 2-3 hours. So, one could point to many skyscraper fires that lasted longer than 2-3 hours but did not result in collapse. It's not like the second fireproofing is gone, buildings melt and collapse.