by Berry Friesen (September 1, 2016)
(Sept. 7, 2016 update: Just published by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, "World Trade Center Physics: Why Constant Acceleration Disproves Progressive Collapse." Framed as a communication to engineers and other building professionals, this 16-page, illustrated pamphlet explains why over 2,600 architects and structural engineers have called for a new investigation of the failure of three World Trade Center towers on 9/11.)
It’s been fifteen years since the 9/11 attacks, long enough for a sorting out to take place.
That is, somewhere around one-third of the US population is skeptical of at least part of the official conspiracy theory (OCT), which is the one we encounter in mainstream media publications. (For a satirical, 5-minute overview of the OCT, click here.) The majority of the US population tacitly accepts the OCT and doesn’t think much about it anymore, secure in the knowledge that that virtually everyone with public stature is of the same point of view.
This split is firmly in place and not a lot of people are openly changing sides.
In part, this is because it is costly to do so. I recall a conversation with an editor at my local newspaper about a skeptical 9/11 essay I had submitted for publication. “We can’t print this,” she objected; “it would ruin your reputation.”
Why contrasting understandings about an event as significant as 9/11 would have the power to ruin reputations is a complex story in itself. In part, it’s because the mainstream media has foisted a don’t-you-dare-question-9/11 attitude upon us by stigmatizing OCT skeptics as cranks and nutcases. Thus, it simply refuses to publish articles critical of the OCT. To be fair, it’s also important to acknowledge that among 9/11 skeptics are a number of cranks and nutcases. It does take work to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to 9/11.
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is one organization you can depend on for reliable data and analysis. At the heart of its skepticism is a group of 2,600+ certified architects and structural engineers who have put their professional reputations on the line by calling for a new investigation as to the cause of the failure of the three World Trade Center (WTC) towers on 9/11. This organization’s “evidence” page is outstanding!
All of this is by way of introduction. My point in posting this essay is to alert readers to the fact that notwithstanding the risks associated with 9/11 dissent, bit-by-bit the Official Conspiracy Theory (OCT) is coming undone. Those who want to appear well-informed increasingly will need to find a way to sagely and ever-so-cautiously acknowledge the “difficulties” in the official theory.
Toward that end, here is some of what you need to know.
1. The destruction of the two WTC towers hit by passenger planes.
At least 44 heavy steel box columns resting on bedrock and running vertically to the very top supported the gravity load of each tower. According to the OCT, those columns were crushed simultaneously by the falling top portion of the building, which became unsupported due to the damage at the point of airplane impact and the resulting fires.
Why did those heavy columns not stop or at least slow the descent of the top portion of the building? The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has never explained this, but its official report referenced an explanation developed by Zdenek Bazant, a civil engineering professor at Northwestern University. Meanwhile, Bazant’s work has been substantially challenged by other engineers (see here and here and here) as based on false assumptions and errors of fact. But NIST has refused to acknowledge this engineering controversy, as have mainstream media.
Video footage from 9/11 shows that when the top portions of the damaged towers began to fall and struck the intact lower portions of the towers, there was not so much as a jolt of impact. This defies the laws of physics. In addition, what the absence of a jolt strongly suggests is that the supportive strength of those core columns had been removed through the use of explosives, a possibility NIST has refused to investigate.
2. The destruction of the third WTC tower (“Building 7”).
This steel-framed, 47-story tower was not hit by an airplane; it sustained exterior damage from falling debris and internal damage due to short-duration office fires. It collapsed in highly symmetrical fashion into its own footprint shortly after 5:00 on the afternoon of 9/11. When viewed via video, it looks exactly like a controlled demolition.
Further complicating the matter is the fact (acknowledged by NIST) that for a portion of time during the collapse, the building fell at free fall speed, meaning the supporting steel structure provided zero resistance to the collapse. This is impossible to achieve without somehow moving the lower steel structure out of the way in advance of the fall.
A steel-framed tower of this nature has never collapsed in such a fashion except through the use of explosives. Again, however, NISP has refused to investigate this possibility.
Instead, using computer modeling, NIST finally concluded in 2008 that the expansive effect of heat caused a supportive girder to move off its seat, precipitating wholesale building collapse. This finding has been challenged by engineers on numerous technical grounds, including errors NIST made in modeling the connective components of the girder in question. NIST has refused to release the full computer modeling on which it based its findings, saying it “might jeopardize public safety” to provide that level of detail.
See here and here for additional details.
3. The composition of the dust.
The dust that blanketed Manhattan on 9/11 is a rich source of data about what happened inside those towers on that day. For example, the presence of billions of distinctive iron-rich microspheres in the WTC dust was documented by several testing labs in 2004 and 2005. These microspheres form at extremely high temperatures exceeding the melting point of iron (~2,700° F). Such high temperatures could not have been produced by jet fuel or office building fires, which reach only up to 1,800 °F under the most severe conditions.
Also found in the dust are tiny red/gray chips. In April 2009, a team of scientists that included physicist Steven Jones (formerly BYU), chemist Niels Harrit (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), physicist Jeffrey Farrer (BYU), and six other authors published their findings regarding the red/gray chips in the peer-reviewed paper “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.” After detailing their findings, the research team concluded that the red layer of the red/ gray chips “is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology,” and that it “is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.”
This peer-reviewed research has not been challenged or refuted by any other peer-reviewed study. It stands today as evidence (see also here) of high-powered explosive residue in the dust of 9/11.
4. The absence of air defense in response to the hijackings.
The failure of the US military to intercept the four hijacked passenger planes as they meandered through hundreds of miles in US airspace is as inexplicable today as it was on 9/11. Pentagon officials have provided several explanations, each materially different from those given previously, and repeatedly have blamed the discrepancies on the lies and/or incompetence of prior Pentagon witnesses. Yet no one in the Pentagon bureaucracy has ever been disciplined for this mammoth failure.
Kevin Ryan, one of the premier 9/11 researchers, has neatly summarized this aspect of the controversy. I recommend his article to those who want more details.
5. The role of Saudi Arabia in the conspiracy.
Recent disclosures from the Joint Congressional Investigation of 9/11 confirm that highly placed Saudi officials and wealthy Saudi individuals supported at least some of the young men who are alleged to have hijacked the four passenger planes on 9/11. This information was known at the time by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and by the National Security Administration (NSA). Yet the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 has long been obscured in the OCT, replaced by blame directed at Iraq and Afghanistan.
More disclosures of a similar nature are likely to be forthcoming as a result of litigation. Alleged hijackers “training” in Florida may also have received extensive support from Saudi nationals living there.
6. The role of torture in eliciting the story of al-Qaeda’s involvement in 9/11.
Most of the details about al-Qaeda’s role in the hijackings on 9/11 came from the testimony of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zuhaydah, two allegedly senior members of al-Qaeda in CIA custody. More than one-quarter of the footnotes in the final report of the 9/11 Commission cited their testimony, including details about al-Qaeda’s planning and execution of the attacks on 9/11.
Subsequently, it has been revealed that (a) both men had been tortured (including waterboarding) in the process of obtaining their testimony about 9/11; (b) Abu Zuhaydah had never been associated with al-Qaeda in any capacity; and (c) CIA personnel had destroyed the videotapes of the men’s “confessions,” an unlawful act that while criminal has gone unpunished.
Testimony obtained via torture is notoriously unreliable. To end the pain, people will say whatever interrogators want them to say. Yet most of what we “know” about al-Qaeda and 9/11 was obtained in precisely this way.
In response to all of this and more, those loyal to the OCT insist it just could not be that powerful insiders within US government and corporate structures were part of the 9/11 conspiracy. Why not? Because “that’s crazy” or “you couldn’t keep something like that secret” or “I have more trust than that in our leaders.”
These are the protests of people who don’t want 9/11 to have been an inside job. I understand and join that desire. And yes, it is “crazy” to think about insiders conspiring to bring about 9/11.
But as for keeping secrets, what secrets exactly? As this brief post has already demonstrated, a significant amount of evidence of internal conspiracy is already out in the open for all to see. Yet the evidence has not led to accountability.
And as for “trust,” well, let’s not forget what US leaders have done over the years to people living in such places such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Perhaps our “trust” needs to be tempered a bit; perhaps the violence of the empire occasionally turns inward as well as outward.