Kevin Ryan on NPR, Thursday at 10 am ET, vs. Popular Mechanics, Johnathan Kay!


Kevin Ryan will be on NPR Thursday, August 25th, at 10 am ET (7 am PST). Unfortunately they have recently reduced his air time from one hour down to 10-minutes. He will be the only 9/11 skeptic on this 2-hour show about 9/11 skeptics. Instead, they will have Jim Meigs from Popular Mechanics and Johnathan Kay starting at 10 am ET. The show is called 'On Point.'

Call-in number: 1-800-423-8255

Audio Archive:


"He will be the only 9/11 skeptic on this 2-hour show about 9/11 skeptics"

"NPR’s On Point is now carried by more than 210 stations nationwide, with a weekly audience of 1.2 million."

Conspiracy Theories And The Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook

Nearly ten years on, 9/11 conspiracy theories–about the Twin Towers– just won’t go way. We’ll look at the facts, and the conspiracy theorists.


James Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics magazine. Wrote the forward and afterward for Popular Mechanics’ book Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts.

Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground.

Kevin Ryan, co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Board director at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

From The Reading List

The New York Times ““Among the Truthers” is a remarkable book, not least because its author, Jonathan Kay, appears to have emerged with his sanity intact after immersing himself for several years in the wilder precincts of conspiracy theories about everything from President Obama’s birthplace to 9/11 to vaccines. Like a modern-day Gulliver, he has traveled widely and conducted numerous interviews to map what seems like every nook and cranny of the conspiracist universe. Yet Kay, an editor and columnist at the conservative Canadian newspaper The National Post, has not written a Swiftian satire on the foibles of humanity. Rather, he sounds alarms about what he depicts as a mounting paranoia inspired by an invisible and nefarious oligarchy.”

The Journal of 9/11 Studies “One of the most intriguing aspects of NIST’s diversionary posture has been their total lack of interest in explosive or pyrotechnic features in their explanations. Despite the substantial evidence for the use of explosives at the WTC (Jones 2006, Legge and Szamboti 2007), and the extensive expertise in explosives among NIST investigators (Ryan 2007), explosives were never considered in the NIST WTC investigation. Only after considerable criticism of this fact did NIST deign to add one small disclaimer to their final report on the towers, suggesting they found no evidence for explosives.”

9-11 Conspiracy Theory — Debunking the Myths

Loose Change Final Cut


This is cowardly by NPR. They should allow Kevin more airtime but they won't because they're afraid of him. This sort of behavior by NPR is about the lowest a media outlet can go and it gives Fox News a run for their money. Would this have happened with the Fairness Doctrine?

triangular crossfire

This has all the earmarks of an ambush.

Yes, but

Kevin has a bullet-proof bullshit detector.


If they let him talk, which they didn't. To quote the movie JFK, "it was a turkey shoot."

The bombshell was the air traffic controller who hand first-hand knowledge of how the destroyed FAA tape would show a NORAD stand down. Meigs was shitting in his pants and Kay defaulted to Vanity Fair.

how to listen

I will be listening.


Will this be archived somewhere so I can listen to it later?

One thing I'm glad about

Why are they trying to make a f**king game or "contest" out of this? Why not just examine the evidence?

Anyway, glad that Kevin will be there; he's one of our very best representatives, both thorough and consistent.

To the person who down-voted me

I'm really not interested in hearing people debate about "conspiracy theories." What would be nice would be if there could be some resolution concerning, say, the ATM paper. I am open to whatever that resolution may be. If twenty PhDs in physical chemistry--who are not government employees--can show clearly that the paper is bogus, let them do so. I am perfectly open to such an outcome. If the twenty PhDs in physical chemistry can demonstrate the paper is not bogus, let them do so.

I've had one year of college chemistry, and I see no blatant errors in the paper. However, I lack the expertise to be certain.

Isn't finding the truth more important than a bunch of egotistical verbiage?

PS--I have down-voted nobody on this page.

PPS--Thanks again--and I mean this sincerely--to Kevin Ryan. I believe he is/will be doing his best under the circumstances.

Call in to give your two cents.

Let's call-in to give some balance to this broadcast. You can listen online if you can't get the radio show.
Even if you don't hear the show live, call in anyway after 10 am ET. 1-800-423-8255

It's an open opportunity to promote Remember Building 7 and AE911Truth to a national audience. 1,500 Architects and Engineers have concluded the 3 WTC high-rises were brought down by controlled demolition.

We can promote the documentary, "Solving the Mystery of WTC 7," narrated by Ed Asner. (Over 100,000 views in less than a week). Ed Asner is a well-liked celebrity.

Mention 2 of the biggest bombshells of 9/11 Truth:
1. Nanothermite found in WTC dust by scientific study. Peer-reviewed. Published. Replicated by Chemical Engineer, Mark Basile.
2. Bin Laden a US government operative all the way up until 9/11. (FBI translator Sibel Edmond's bombshell)

Or take on Johnathan Kay's book, etc. The show will be archived later but we need to turn out for the broadcast.

Calling in...

I've been trying to get through for the first half hour of the show. No one answered at the beginning of the show and since then I'm only getting busy signals. Now the first caller, a half hour in, is bringing up the Pentagon in all its details. Our worst case of evidence.

I called in during the break after Kevin spoke and got in. They asked me what I was going to talk about, (Anthrax, and Media Blackout of the free fall collapse of WTC 7) put me on hold, then came back and said there wouldn't be time for my call.

By the way great job Kevin. ; 9/11: Press For Truth!!

This show is a disgrace. And I told the phone guy that when he told me I wouldn't be able to get through.

Shill pizza

Next time, say you're going to heap lavish praise on James Meigs and Jonathan Kay for their "steadfast dedication to science and rationality" and then when you get on (which'll probably be immediately), LOUDLY complain in a high-pitched, shrieking voice about how your "shill pizza" with "stooge toppings" and "chicken wingnuts" still hasn't been delivered.

There no reason to engage any of this seriously when the deck is stacked this high.

Media - What Else Besides this Show?

Is there any NYC conference on 9/11 this year? Have not received e-mails or seen any reference to it besides campaign for ads, which of course I'll donate to.....

Thank you, Kevin

Strength to you.

"Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth."

- Mahatma Gandhi

NPR's propaganda

is especially toxic because it pretends to rationality.

They have much to answer for regarding 9/11 and the "War on Terror".

Well I only had about 5 min

..but did what I couild. Got, 911:Press for Truth and mentioned.

Thanks for the support.

RE: Well I only had about 5 min.

What was the reason they only had you on for 5 minutes?

I've had to listen to these two losers drone on for almost an hour.

Great Summation!

"p.s. During the program Jonathan Kay said something to the effect, "All the thermite in the world couldn't bring down these buildings." But fire could?"

Sometimes they trip on their own doublespeak...I think you nailed it tanabear

Excellent point!

Got me laughing...

Thank you Kevin!

I'm sorry you have to be on the frontlines, but you are really our best voice on this.

I liked this comment on the thread on the page because you know there are about a million people who feel this way --

"Why is this show so lopsided with corporate lackeys???
Why is Ryan in on the second half ???
Why is the host answering less calls than usual ???
Why are these two propagandists having their own conversation ???"

Here's another one --

"First they give us half an hour of two guys telling that conspiracy theorists are crazy. Then they put on one guy ("Look, here's one now! Let's be nice and even handed!") And then they send him away and won't let him reply when the two guys get 20 minutes more to make silly errors of fact and tell us how misinformed and dishonest conspiracy theorists are. "

It is so transparent. Any thinking person understands what's going on. People are really getting it.

You did well, Kevin.

You got lots of good information in for such a short amount of time. If anyone is truly interested in getting at the truth, they'll look up the various websites you mentioned and educate themselves. All any of us can do is try to point people in the right direction and hope they do their own homework.

Again, great job.

Transcript of Kevin Ryan's contribution

Here is the transcript of Kevin's 5-6 minutes of time:

Clayson: John, I’m glad you called. Let me bring another voice into this conversation. Kevin Ryan is one of those who does not accept what he calls the official story of the September 11th attacks. He was fired from his job at Underwriters Laboratory, a product safety company, after writing a letter claiming that the company had certified the World Trade Center steel, and that the steel could not have melted in a jet fueled fire. Underwriters Laboratory says that Ryan was fired for misrepresenting the company and that they’d never even tested the steel.

Kevin is now a board director at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Kevin Ryan, thank you for being with us.

Ryan: Hi Jane. Thanks for having me.

Clayson: So tell me why you don’t believe the official and accepted narrative of what happened on September 11th.

Ryan: Well, the biggest reason is that the official reports are false. They are transparently false. And another reason is that independent investigators have discovered new evidence over the years, including the discovery of the explosive residues in the dust that you mentioned.

But I know we don’t have much time so I hope I can briefly mention two things. Listeners should go to a website called where 9/11 first responders and victims families and first responders are calling for a new investigation. And secondly, if anyone hasn’t seen the film “9/11 Press for Truth”, they should really do that. Again that’s about 9/11 victims family members without whom there never would have been any investigations into 9/11. It’s called “9/11 Press for Truth”.

Clayson: Do you believe that the government is responsible for 9/11, somehow responsible for the attacks?

Ryan: Well, we could speculate. We could go on beliefs, which is largely what we’ve done so far, but it is odd that people who have questioned the official conspiracy theory are the ones called the conspiracy theorists.

Now it’s convenient that we might have the idea that people who commit criminal conspiracies are these poor people who happen to live on the most strategically important lands, but the truth is that rich powerful people do commit conspiracies. There’s a couple examples I’ll share with you. One is Tom DeLay, who was a leader in Congress, in the House of Representatives, during the time of 9/11. He has since been convicted of multiple counts of conspiracy. Rob Blagojevich, the Illinois Governor, has also been convicted of multiple counts of conspiracy.

And not only that, there are examples, in the past, of government conspiracy to commit murder for political gain. An example, …

Clayson: Let me just get back to 9/11, Kevin, and we don’t have much time, and I appreciate you coming on.

I’m just curious if you could help us understand how unified a group do you think the truthers are, because there are a lot of varied beliefs out there, I mean gosh, thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands of web sites about this. You don’t all agree about what happened.

Ryan: Oh sure, no. People don’t agree. Large groups of people don’t agree as a rule. But what we all have in common is that we are looking for a new investigation. I think that’s clear. Everybody in the Truth Movement, whether they be former members of Congress or the British Parliament, high level people in other governments and so forth, the 1500 architects and engineers at ae911Truth, they’re all looking for the same thing. And the guy, I mean average Joes, the same thing. We want the truth of what happened because we think that will bring about a lasting peace and lasting security.

Clayson: And so what kind of proof would you have to see to convince you that the 9/11 attacks happened the way that most people think they did. Could you ever be convinced of this?

Ryan: Oh I think so. You know there are a lot of major questions that really remain. Three of them, that would really help, if we could figure out how the nation’s air defenses failed so completely for nearly two hours, and none of the four planes were intercepted. So, you know, we all know that at 9:03 in the morning, that day, we all were aware that the country was under a coordinated series of terrorist attacks. It was 35 minutes later when the Pentagon was hit, and Andrews Air Force Base is only 10 miles away from there.

So another question is how did the national chain of command fail so completely. Like the President, we all know, was sitting in this classroom reading My Pet Goat for almost 10 minutes after he was told that the country was under attack. And of course we need an explanation for how three skyscrapers collapsed completely when no such thing has ever happened before or since, outside of demolition.

Clayson: So I have go to break here Kevin, and before I do, I’ll just ask you this last question, because a couple of our listeners have brought it up. Do you believe the government is competent enough to pull off such a massive conspiracy, and not too leaky to keep it secret?

Ryan: Well I don’t know but there other things to consider, like the weapons of mass destruction, which was kept secret. Really the lies about those, the curve ball source who was a total lie, so these things do happen.

Clayson: Kevin Ryan, I do appreciate your time. Thank you for being with us. We’ll speak with James Meigs and Jonathan Kay after this break. Kevin Ryan, whose been with us from Bloomington Indiana, is Co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies. I’m Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook. More after this break. This is On Point.

Kevin, you did as well as anyone could...

given the crumb of time you were provided.

Kay and Meigs talk is like an exercise in propaganda techniques.

Neither is naive. They are both traitorous con artists.

Leave Comments:

Every other word out of their mouths is, "conspiracy theories." How many times did they use it? Even the comments read from their website were chosen to support their agenda. No wonder they didn't want Kevin on for the full hour like the other 2 guests! He could have responded to their B.S.


771 comments@ 9pm Central


1285 comments Friday 8 pm



I've written several comments, but my energy is running low... Dealing with the typical characters who are filling up the comments with noise.

It does help to see new people, and it is encouraging that there appear to be a half-a-dozen or so who are newly awakening. I would encourage readers here to go add one or two comments.

The blatantly one-sided nature of the show is apparent to most listeners, even those who might agree with "their" side.

NPR program

I don't have time to rebut all the points made by Meigs and Kay. Most of their statements involved repeating the same standard talking points that haven't changed in years. I would like to respond to Jonathan Kay's argument that the truthers will not accept the findings of any new investigation unless it agrees with our conclusions. This would depend on what a new investigation entails. Instead of merely interrogating witness's and declassifying information, I would require hypothesis testing. Is the "crush-down/crush-up" hypothesis really valid? Can the inward bowing of the perimeter columns lead to the effects we observed on 9/11? Can the buckling of one column(initial local failure) lead to a collapse similar to that of WTC7? Is momentum transfer at free fall acceleration really feasible, a la building 7? If we were to frame an investigation in this manner(i.e. real world experiments) it isn't the truthers who would be running for the hills.

p.s. During the program Jonathan Kay said something to the effect, "All the thermite in the world couldn't bring down these buildings." But fire could?


I just posted the following comment on the PBS site regarding this program:

“Jane, what an amazing show on 9/11 conspiracies. Amazing because it was so blatantly one-sided. Just this morning I learned that Kevin Ryan would be a guest on your two-hour show, but just as I learned 9/11 would only be covered for one hour, I learned that Mr. Ryan's involvement would be limited to 10 minutes. Now that the show is over we know that Kevin Ryan's involvement was barely 5 minutes in length. This seems quite odd to me in light of the fact that Mr. Ryan, by virtue of the movement he represents, was the subject of the show.
I hereby call for the next installment of your show concerning 9/11 to be entitled, “Why Conspiracy Theorists Believe What They Believe”. Your guest, Mr. Ryan, will be joined by Richard Gage, AIA, who will talk about the physical science behind the events, David Ray Griffin, whose book “Debunking 9/11 Debunking” has decimated Mr. Meigs’ assertions point by point, and Steven Jones who will talk about the properties of the nano-thermite found on the scene and its implications. In the interest of making this program as balanced as today's program, you can grant Mr. Meigs five minutes to explain the events of 9/11 as seen by the Wile E. Coyote school of physics. Does that seem like a reasonable follow-up, Jane?
I call on all posters on this thread who believe such a program is a good idea and would tune in to listen, to simply post “Why Conspiracy Theorists Believe What They Believe” in capital letters as a vote for this proposal. I trust this program can be put together within the coming weeks, rather than planned for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”

Please go to the PBS website and support this idea simply by posting WHY CONSPIRACY THEORISTS BELIEVE WHAT THEY BELIEVE in capital letters. Let's keep the pressure up to counter this biased slice of corporate media. It is very easy to post on the site as a guest. Here is the link:

Avoid association of 9/11 truth with conspiracy theories

The meme of "conspiracy theories" being associated with easily dismissed nonsense is very strong in the public, so it is probably better if we avoid it all together, except to associate it with the official conspiracy theory.


Fantastic job

Kevin, you did a great job, for which we can all be proud. In the little time you had, you hit on important points--the website and movie, examples of conspiracies, and the three main points at the end. You came over as very normal and forthright. I think the host got you back on target at just the right time when you were going into Blagojevich, etc., which were important points, but the host got you off it at just the right time and back onto 9-11 itself, since the time was so short. Being as the entire enterprise was designed as a hatchet job, I think the host was able to allow some good jabs to get in there. Also, two callers were OCT critics. People are used to reading between the lines these days, so they don't take the two other jerky guests at face value. One of them erred lied when he said that people try to make more of thermite than it is, and that it isn't used as an explosive, that nanothermite is something made up...and at other junctures.

Three buildings collapsed in one day, two of which were structurally different from the far out is that? I liked how one of the guests said the thin strut could heat the big one to the point of collapse. That made a lot of sense [NOT]. Heat dissipates from a smaller piece of metal much faster than a larger piece, because the ratio of surface area to volume is so much larger. The heat will dissipate before it gets to any other beam, so that made no sense whatsoever. Also, the heat that can be stored in a small piece of metal is miniscule compared to what is required to heat a larger steel support.

They've removed the comment

They've removed the comment section. They were almost ALL pro Truther. Now they don't come up at all. is it just my computer/browser?

I get the same thing too.


Comments are working now...

nearly 600 of them..


npr TRUTH/or lack thereof comments

as of midnight last night there were 802 of them, still strongly in favor of 9/11 truth. !!!!!

Comments Galore!

It is interesting to look at the number of comments generated over the 9/11 controversy compared to other more "mainstream" stories that On Point has covered recently.

1) Conspiracy Theories And The Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks - Thursday, August 25, 2011 - Comments: 900
2) Warren Buffett’s Tax Plan - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - Comments: 720
3) Libyan Drama - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - Comments: 62
4) Obama And The Politics Of Race - Monday, August 22, 2011 - Comments: 338
5) Europe In Crisis - Monday, August 22, 2011 - Comments: 70
6) Week In The News: Europe In Crisis, Syrians Revolt, Obama Hits The Road - Friday, August 19, 2011 - Comments: 351
7) Boeing And The National Labor Relations Board - Thursday, August 18, 2011 - Comments: 323
8) Romney, Bachmann, Perry: The Shape Of The GOP Field - Monday, August 15, 2011 - Comments: 344
9) Week In The News: Markets On A Wild Ride, GOP In Iowa, SEALs Under Fire - Friday, August 12, 2011 - Comments: 206
10) The Liberal Critique Of Obama - Thursday, August 11, 2011 - Comments: 473
11) London In Flames As Riots Continue - Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - Comments: 193
12) Larry Summers On Market Chaos - Monday, August 8, 2011 - Comments: 318

The number of comments generated over a topic gives a fair indication of its level of interest. 9/11 beats out the toppling of the Gaddafi regime, the riots in England, Rick Perry entering the GOP Presidential field, the markets in chaos, joblessness etc.... This is not necessarily surprising. In the past I've noticed that when other news organizations cover 9/11 the number of comments are generally in the stratosphere. 9/11 Truth may be ignored or chastised by the mainstream, but it is far from dead.

And, of course, almost all the comments are pro-9/11 Truth.

Here's what happens in

Here's what happens in 'comment sections' like this. You have an obvious 911 Truth Hit piece. Legitimate Truthers respond with logical well reasoned responses. The Debunker respond and are easily shoot down/refuted by Truthers. Then the 'Debunkers' come back. Only this time they are posing as Truthers but they talk about crazy things like No planes,DEWs,Retilians & UFO's & spam the comment section. Then any open minded person who may happen upon the comment section will think all people who question 911 are crazy. that's how it works.

Already progressed to DEW

Maybe the unusually high volume of comments has accelerated the process. There have now been two or three DEW-related posters. I snubbed them, I hope effectively, but how much more is still coming?

I wish there were a way we could get some responsible action out of someone at NPR, someone who might fairly and critically summarize the comments. We could do such a summary and publish it somewhere. Anyone interested in helping?

I guess

Link to the articles in the Journal of 9/11 Studies (of which Kevin Ryan is a co-editor) which debunk DEW. Say explicitly that Kevin Ryan et al. have worked to dispell such myths.

If you're asked questions about the peer review process of the nanothermite paper, you're going to have a problem, but insist they critique the science, and not settle on circumstantial complaints. If you ignite a chip which contains nano-aluminum and iron oxide, and you detect elemental iron afterward not present before, you have ironclad (pun intended) proof of a thermitic reaction.

There is no problem with

the peer review. It was sound, I can assure you. I do have parts of it.

Transcript of program

In addition to a summary and analysis of the comments, assuming they eventually calm down, I'd like to produce a transcript of the program so that we will have text to refer to so we can more effectively rip it apart. This would take me a long time to do myself, but with the cooperation of 10 people, we should be able to knock it off in a couple hours. Who wants to help?

It's 46:28 long, so if we each take 5 minute chunks, we can work independently. Add a reply here saying which chunk you will be doing, then add your transcript.

I'll start with 0-5:00.

Transcript 0-5:14

Here is the first part of the transcript. I'll continue on with 5-10 next.

Major funding for On Point is provided by Liberty Mutual, for all you auto, home, life, and business insurance needs. Liberty Mutual. Responsibility. What's your policy?

Clayson: For WBUR Boston, I'm Jane Clayson, in for Tom Ashbrook, and this is On Point.

Ten years after September 11, 2001, a simple Google search will reveal the staying power of conspiracy theories about that day. Despite all the facts, thousands of Americans are suspicious of the accepted story of how events unfolded. Some think the U.S. Government was actually complicit in the attacks. What does this say about our country? What should the response be? This hour, On Point: The Persistence of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories.

You can join the conversation. Are you one of the doubters? How about your friends, your family members? Is this just skepticism or does it cross the line into fantasy. You can also comment at our website,, or on Twitter and Facebook at On Point Radio.

Joining me this hour from New York City is James Meigs. He's Editor in Chief of Popular Mechanics and he wrote the forward and afterward of the magazine's book, “Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts”. The book is an updated and expanded version of a widely read article that appeared in Popular Mechanics in 2005 that racked up 7.5 millions views on the magazine's website.

James Meigs, welcome to On Point.

Meigs: Great to be here, Jane.

Clayson: It seems the first conspiracy theories about 9/11 began to emerge while the wreckage was still smoldering. Help us to understand how widespread these theories have been, these conspiracy theories, and how widespread they are today.

Meigs: Well, they certainly started right away, and not surprisingly, especially in the Arab world, a lot of the fingers were pointed at Israel. Many of the conspiracy theories seem to come back in that direction over the last century or two. And what happened quickly was people rejected the, uh, kinda obvious mainstream interpretation. You know, you saw these planes fly into buildings, you saw them burn, start to sag and ultimately collapse. But almost immediately, the conspiracy theories latched onto the idea that such a collapse is impossible, therefore there is some other explanation. And not surprisingly, most of the explanations, or most of the conspiracy theorists focus on someone's pet villain, whether it's you know, Dick Cheney, the Bush Administration, Mossad, some global force for evil, rather than, uh, than looking at the, uh, the mountain of verifiable evidence that pointed toward the mainstream view that 19 terrorists managed to pull off this act.

Clayson: So their [or there are] pet villains, not a general theme in the facts of what actually happened on the ground?

Meigs: Yeah, exactly. And you see this in conspiracy theories over and over again. Typically these theorists will have a conclusion in mind, and they'll assemble a set of facts they think will support that. Every conspiracy theory ultimately has to come down to some hard evidence on which they can support their claims. So what we've done at Popular Mechanics is, rather than try to retell the whole story of what happened that day, which has been done by thousands of journalists and reports over the years, we focused strictly on the claims the conspiracy theorists make, and the evidence that they put forward as their best evidence in defense of the notion that, you know, that it wasn't simply jet impacts and fires that felled the towers, for example. And when we focus on their own claims, again and again, it comes down to things that are just errors of fact, things taken out of context, some things made out of whole cloth. The very facts that the conspiracy theorists put forward as evidence, again and again, turn out not to hold up.

Clayson: You say in your book that if you search the phrase “9/11 conspiracy” on the internet, you'll discover more than a million web pages. Your original article in your magazine, debunking some of the 9/11 myths was one of the most widely-read in the history of your website, as I mentioned, 7.5 million views. I am curious: Are there genuine unanswered questions about 9/11 that we just don't have explanations for 10 years later?

Meigs: There are questions. And I want to be clear, being skeptical and asking questions is a good thing, and we certainly don't fault people for being curious, for not trusting everything they hear from the government or the media, for pushing for deeper explanations. And there are plenty of good valid questions about why our government wasn't better prepared that day, disorganization, failure among our intelligence agencies to communicate. So there's no problem, and in fact, it's a healthy response to ask those questions. The issue with a lot of the conspiracy theory websites is they ignore the answers. You know, you will see these questions asked over and over again, and then, when a good solid answer emerges, they either ignore it or claim that the group that did that investigation, such as Popular Mechanics, well clearly we must be part of the conspiracy too. So now, you know, we're caught up in it, and probably are you too at this point.

Transcript 5:15-10

Clayson: So this is an exhaustive investigation, if you will. You say you consulted more than 300 experts, sources in all fields, from air traffic control, aviation, civil engineering, fire fighting, geology. I mean the list goes on and on. We will get through a lot of these theories this hour, but help us just, let's just unpack a couple of them here right at the top. Some of the most popular conspiracy theories out there, uh, controlled demolition. One is that the World Trade Center, as you talk about in your book, this is very popular on the internet and elsewhere: the World Trade Center towers were brought down intentionally, not by hijacked airplanes, but by the government. What specifically are the claims?

Meigs: Well the claim is, first, that a steel-framed building can't collapse because of fire. And then, once you believe, you know, even though you can, uh, it's … You know George Orwell once said that the hardest thing to see is what's in front of your nose. You know, if you look at what happened that day, you saw these large aircraft, heavily laden with fuel, impact the towers at extremely high speeds, do enormous damage to the structure of the building, both the exterior columns and the interior supports of the building, ignite fires that burned over multiple floors at intense heat, and yet the conspiracy theorists think that it's somehow bizarre to conclude that that led to the buildings falling down.

So among other things, we talked to the engineer who wrote the textbook, Why Buildings Fall Down. We also talked to the Deputy Fire Chief of New York City, who wrote the handbook for firefighters called The Collapse of Burning Buildings. And when you go out there and you actually make phone calls and talk to people and do some reporting, you find out that it's not a stretch that a steel-framed building could fall down at all. In fact, you know, that's exactly what happened that day. It is an engineering failure, and worth study, and I think one of the things that's coming out of these events is research that will help buildings be more resilient and better engineered in the future. But the, but again, the conspiracy theories, you know if you start with your conclusion, that it can't have been terrorists, it must have been the Bush Administration, then you'll grab any evidence that you can to try to support that. And so you see this highly selective parsing of evidence, constantly looking for some flaw in the mainstream account, without actually dealing with the totality of the mainstream account. I mean, those collapses have been the most intensively studied engineering failures in history.

Clayson: James, I'm curious, is part of the issue here that leads to so many conspiracy theories, I mean thousands and thousands and thousands, 10 years later, is it the science is so hard to grasp?

Meigs: No. Actually, the science isn't hard to grasp at all. And a lot of what we've done, you know, we don't claim any special authority, obviously we're a magazine about engineering and science, and have studied these things for a long time. But basically we're reporters. You get on the phone, you call experts, you look at the engineering studies, and you just try to get to the facts. What's interesting about so many of the conspiracy theorists is that they very rarely do any original reporting, but they constantly recycle each others, uh the facts, you know, you'll find on other websites, looking for these tiny flaws or making claims that can easily be checked if you just pick up the phone, and they typically refuse to do that. And so we went through and fact checked the conspiracy claims and again and again, and, you know, we see that they're simply erroneous.

Clayson: We'll ask you to go through some of those throughout this hour, but right now, I'd like to bring another voice into the conversation. Joining me from Paris, France, is Jonathan Kay. He's Comment Page Editor and a columnist at Canada's National Post. He's author of “Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground”. Jonathan Kay, thanks for being with us.

Kay: Thank you.

Clayson: In a world of Oliver Stone movies and episodes of the X-Files, why do you think these conspiracy theories are so appealing today?

Kay: Conspiracy theories are theories of evil and humans have always been interested in why bad things happen to good people. Religions supply this answer, but we live in what for some is a post-religious age, and conspiracy theories supply the answer that religions once did. They explain why bad things happen. And as James said, it could be, you know, because of the Bilderbergers, or the New World Order, or Israel, or you know, take your pick, most conspiracy theories are interchangeable in terms of the structure.

Clayson: And what about 9/11 makes it particularly prone to these kinds of conspiracy theories?

Kay: Well conspiracy theories have always flourished in traumatized societies.

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Is this a record for ON POINT?

now at 1644

The number of comments has gone down? I didn't see the 1929 number, and I'm not sure how they are counting (maybe edits needed to be deducted?), or whether they are deleting comments. I paged through about 600 of them and didn't notice anything amiss.

I urge people here to add comments making your best case about why the show was biased. Quote text from the transcript we are producing to point out the errors. Post links from your social networks too, to get your friends and family aware of what's going on. Heads are turning, and maybe a few heads will roll as well. That would be cool.

We are looking like the feuding fools

I am sad to say that the comments have degenerated into an unstoppable feud between two supposed truthers named Questionman and SeanMcBride (with support by Berte) over Israel, Mossad, Zionism, and Jews. If anyone knows who these guys are in real life, I would appreciate if you could contact them and help them realize the damage they are doing. I got them to agree that what they are doing is not helping, and even appear to agree on a neutral position, but then they just can't help themselves and reach for the nearest stone to throw. Pitiful.

Anthony, regarding destroyed tape of air traffic controllers

Here is the most interesting caller, and the response by Meigs and Kay. Do we know who this person is? He doesn't say he was one of the air traffic controllers.

Clayson: Here’s another call, from Anthony in Long Island New York. Hi Anthony. I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the program.

Anthony: Thank you Jane, uh, and your guests. Thank you all for being here.

I come to you from the Air Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, New York, and I can tell you, on the morning of 9/11, we had made a tape recording of the controllers experience on that morning. Six controllers met in the basement of the Control Center, called the Batcave, the taping involved what was experienced on that day. Those tapes were destroyed. Those tapes revealed a lot of evidence on the fact that NORAD was instructed to stand down. They had a 45 to 55 minute lead time on the first airplane. It turned its transponder off as soon as it left the runway. I don’t, I myself find it very suspicious, the fact that on that day, one of the most heinous crimes committed against this country, any evidence would be destroyed, particularly evidence involving the air traffic controllers involved in those flights. The black boxes on all aircraft have never been reviewed. They’ve never been supposedly recovered, or at least analyzed by the public or the media, or the 9/11 Commission...

Clayson: Anthony, let me ask James if that indeed has happened. Would you respond to the caller?

Meigs: No, that’s incorrect. Um, but, um, the uh, the black boxes have been studied. The aircraft have been studied intensively. But let me go back to the question about the Air Traffic Controllers. Uh, you know, at Popular Mechanics, we’re very dedicated to investigating claims that come up. If you want to reach out to us and bring us your account and any evidence you have, we’d be happy to, um, to look into it, uh you know, in some future edition of this book. Because we’re open to new evidence. We’re open to the possibility that there are new questions that need to be investigated, but the questions that we’ve investigated so far, um, you know, show absolutely no evidence of any kind of a stand-down order.

Kay: Hey, .. may I jump in briefly on this?

Clayson: Sure, go ahead.

Kay: Yeah. Um the key tapes you want to listen to are the tapes of the Air Traffic Control at the Northeast Air Traffic Defense Center in Rome, New York, because that was the coordinating center for NORADs response. It’s NAEDS, it’s in Rome New York, and those are the tapes you want to listen to. Unfortunately we know exactly where the tapes are because Vanity Fair got a copy of the tapes and they did a big spread on them, and not only did they do a big spread in their print edition, but the reporter who got the tapes actually put the MP3 audio files on the internet. So anyone who is listening to this program who wants to know exactly what the critical Air Traffic officials were doing on the morning of 9/11 can listen to them word-for-word by going to the Vanity Fair web site and listening to the MP3 files. The idea that there was an ordered stand-down is complete nonsense.

Meigs: And what you hear on those tapes is humans in an incredibly stressful traumatic situation, trying to do their best, without good information, without, without good direction, and as, and humans are fallible, and one thing conspiracy theories never acknowledge is that humans sometimes fail to do the things that, in retrospect, that should have been obvious to them.