The owner of the 9/11 Guide site has posted comments here now and then, using the name “ref1.” So, I’ll now post a brief review of ref1’s site.
It starts off with links to four pages covering four general topic areas (“WTC,” “Pentagon,” “Flight 93,” “Hijackers”), each containing links to relevant pages on websites by various official-story defenders. This is useful, as a convenient way of looking up their case on various issues.
Anyhow, on the WTC page I took a look at the section titled “Claim: There was Thermite and Molten Metal. Pictures and Steven Jones have confirmed this.” As I expected, on none of the linked pages did I find any mention of Steven Jones’s strongest piece of evidence – the iron spherules, which were found not just in Janette MacKinlay’s dust sample, but also by the U.S. Geological Survey. Also the linked pages don’t seem to be aware of all the sources of testimony about molten metal. For more on these and other issues pertaining to the thermite hypothesis, see the section Thermite (or Thermate) – good so far, though not conclusive in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please. That post of mine also discusses many of the other issues addressed on 9/11 Guide’s “WTC” page. Another issue not addressed on 9/11 Guide’s “WTC” page is the straight-down, vertical, almost perfectly symmetrical nature of the collapes of WTC 7.
On the Pentagon page, the focus is mostly on claims that the Pentagon was hit by something other than Flight 77. (I do not endorse such claims; see my post about Pentagon no-757 theories.) There is also a section on the issue of Hani Hanjour’s flying skills vs. how much flying skill would have been needed to do what he is alleged to have done. (I’ve seen lots of conflicting claims on the latter issue, by people supposedly in the know. At some point I’ll have to talk to some pilots myself, I guess.) Missing from 9/11 Guide’s page about the Pentagon is anything about the eye-witness testimony of people who reported smelling cordite. (See the two quotes at the bottom of Jim Hoffman’s page about how Eyewitness Accounts Indicate the Pentagon Attack Involved Explosive Detonation.)
Flight 93 is not an issue I’ve paid much attention to at all. Even if it should turn out that Flight 93 was shot down, this would not prove any government complicity in the 9/11 attacks themselves. After all, Flight 93 probably should have been shot down, under the circumstances, and indeed it was widely reported that there was an order to shoot it down. So, if the ordered shoot-down happened but was covered up, this would prove only that somebody suddenly got cold feet about the possibility of being sued by the families of the passengers, or something. On the other hand, even if the official story is 100% correct about Flight 93, this proves nothing about what did or did not happen at the WTC or the Pentagon. So, the whole question of what did nor didn’t happen to Flight 93 is pretty much at the bottom of my priority list, researchwise.
About the alleged Hijackers: Most of the issues discussed on this page are ones I haven’t yet delved into very deeply beyond a cursory reading of what some people on both sides have to say, so I won’t comment on most of them. I’ll respond just to one section titled “Claim: The hijackers outwitted the most highly sophisticated military defence in the world. It could not have been possible without help, NORAD stand down order and distracting war games,” which claims the following:
Prior to September 11, there was no formal system in place for military intercepts of civilian aircraft outside the ADIZ. From 1991 to 2001 only one military intercept occurred over continental USA airspace, the Payne Stewart flight.
There was indeed such a system in place, and it doesn’t seem at all likely that it would have been confined to the ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone), judging by the FAA documents linked in my post “Stand down” evidence on the “Emperor’s Clothes” site, including FAA web pages.
See also my post More about the FAA, NORAD, and intercepts, especially the quote from a 1994 United States General Accounting Office report on continental air defense, including the following:
Overall, during the past 4 years, NORAD’s alert fighters took off to intercept aircraft (referred to as scrambled) 1,518 times, or an average of 15 times per site per year. Of these incidents, the number of suspected drug smuggling aircraft averaged one per site, or less than 7 percent of all of the alert sites’ total activity.\3 The remaining activity generally involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft and assisting aircraft in distress.
It’s hard to imagine how one might design an airplane so that it’s never “in distress” except when it’s inside an ADIZ. Ditto for “unidentified aircraft.” And, as far as I am aware (correct me if I’m wrong), there aren’t any other aircraft, besides military planes, that have been given the obviously necessary task of intercepting aircraft “in distress” or unidentified aircraft. Anyhow, the above-quoted report was published in 1994; hence its “past 4 years” overlaps with the 1991-to-2001 decade in which there is alleged to have been only one intercept outside of an ADIZ.
Back to “9/11 Guide.” Below the four collections of arguments and links on specific topics is “Other 9/11 related information”:
First is a very interesting page titled False alarms, a documented list of “some of the known false alarms on 9/11” that added even more “complexity” to the day, including at least six false alarms that took place before the Pentagon was hit, at least four of which occurred before the South Tower was hit. Other false alarms occurred during the remainder of the day.
I’m not sure what point the “9/11 Guide” site owner is trying to prove, if any, with the “False alarms” page. Perhaps the author’s intent is to try to disprove a “stand down.” But this list could also be used to show some of the ways in which a de facto “stand down” might have been implemented, without need for any large-scale conspiracy. In and of itself, this list isn’t strong evidence either for or against the idea of government complicity. It is merely evidence which people on both sides should take into account.
My question is: Why so many false alarms? Surely this many false alarms, all in one day, isn’t normal, is it? Part of any really thorough investigation would be to determine exactly how many false alarms did occur on 9/11 before each of the planes hit their targets, vs. how many false alarms are normal on most days (and also on days when other kinds of airplane disasters have occurred, for a fairer comparison). In the meantime, I can’t help but suspect that there may be something fishy about at least some of these false alarms.
Anyhow, it’s good to have this preliminary compilation, whatever it might turn out to mean.
Next is a page titled Truthers Exposed, where the site owner attempts to discredit various people in the 9/11 Truth movement, mostly by zeroing in on their weakest arguments, apparently. For the most part the focus is on the wackier folks, rather than on the more widely respected leaders. Regarding some of the more widely-respected leaders that are included here:
About Richard Gage:
Claims the foreknowledge of the collapses by NYPD and FDNY is proof of controlled demolition.
At some point we should check and see if his slide show still makes that claim. He is working on correcting errors in his slide show.
In other words, he claims NYPD and FDNY had knowledge of the controlled demolition, but remain silent.
Did he ever directly accuse the NYPD and FDNY themselves of having foreknowledge of demolition, or did he just suggest that someone above them must have had foreknowledge of demolition and told the NYPD and FDNY that the buildings would collapse? (My own recollection in this matter isn’t clear.)
Says controlled demolition is clearly outside the scope of his training and expertise, yet he also says there is a solid and convincing case proving all three buildings were destroyed by controlled demolitions.
I don’t think one necessarily has to be an expert to say this, although of course one should be careful.
Claims silent thermate brought the towers down, but also that explosives were heard by 118 witnesses.
This is followed by a quote from a debate in which Gage ad libbed a response to Ron Craig’s statement that demolition charges would have been too loud. It would be fairer to try to find out Gage’s current views on explosives vs. thermite vs. some combination of both.
About Jim Hoffman:
Claims Mr. Zdenek P. Bazant is ignorant of structural engineering (In reality he is one of world’s leading structural engineers
I’ve emailed him about this again.
Claims NORAD was ordered to stand down.
His NORAD stand-down page does not say there was an explicit stand-down order, just that there were a lot of delays that he considers suspicious. I don’t know whether he thinks delays were caused by an explicit stand-down order, or whether he thinks instead that the delays constituted a de facto stand-down, which might have been implemented in some less obvious way than an explicit order, e.g. via deliberately-induced bureaucratic delays and/or by creating distractions, e.g. the war games plus some of those “false alarms” which the 9/11 Guide site itself has so nicely documented. I haven’t yet asked him (I’ll email him about this matter soon), but I suspect he would favor the latter idea, since he has elsewhere acknowledged a need to keep the number of knowing conspirators small.
(P.S., 12/13/2007: See also The ‘Stand-Down Order’ on Jim Hoffman’s 9-11 Review site.)
Claims huge sums of money could have bought people’s co-operation, keeping them silent.
We already discussed this in the comment thread here.
About Steven Jones:
Claims thermite/thermate brought the towers down. Got his dust samples from one single source (a truther),
In fact the key finding in his dust sample, the iron spherules, were also found by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Ignores all the natural explanations for his findings.
Has anyone suggested any “natural” explanations for the iron spherules? I would be very interested to hear any such explanations, if there are any. I haven’t run across them yet.
Anyhow, he has addressed some proposed “natural” explanations for some of his other findings. See various pages linked in the section Thermite (or Thermate) – good so far, though not conclusive in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please
What specific “natural explanations” has he ignored?
Ignores the fact that thermite cuts downwards.
This is addressed in a paper by Gordon Ross linked in the above-mentioned post of mine.
Believes that Jesus visited America, and has written a paper about it, called “Behold My Hands: Evidence for Christ’s Visit in Ancient America“.
He is a Mormon, so of course he would believe that Jesus visited America. That belief is part of the Mormon religion. BYU is also a Mormon university.
About Kevin Ryan:
Was fired because he misrepresented his credentials (the division of UL he worked at has nothing to do with steel or other building materials, but instead tests drinking water)
Where did he misrepresent his credentials? His letter to Frank Gayle at NIST correctly identified him as “Site Manager, Environmental Health Laboratories, A Division of Underwriters Laboratories” and states that his information came from other UL executives (“both our CEO and Fire Protection business manager last year”) not anything he himself was directly involved with.
For that matter, I’m wondering where even UL accused him of misrepresenting his credentials. I don’t find such an accusation in any of the first few court documents filed by UL.
About Paul Thompson:
Believes the mainstream media have failed to document the attacks accurately, yet his timeline is produced exclusively from mainstream media reports.
That’s a perfectly valid kind of argument, to show the inadequacy of a source by quoting only that source. If that’s the nastiest thing that the “9/11 Guide” site can say about Paul Thompson, then he must be pretty good.
Anyhow, the second link in the section on Paul Thompson is broken.
Also on this page, Alex Jones, of whom I’m not particularly fond, is described as “The father figure.” He may well be a father figure to We Are Change, but certainly NOT to Jim Hoffman, Steven Jones, et al.
The next page is titled Truther Interconnections. A few comments:
First, I don’t see any real connection at all between Alex Jones and the Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice. Merely citing someone now and then, even occasionally interviewing someone on one’s radio show, doesn’t make for much of a connection. As far as I am aware, none of the people in the STJ box (Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan, Jim Hoffman, Richard Gage, David Ray Griffin) cite Alex Jones very often if at all. Also I don’t think there’s any particularly close relationship between Alex Jones and Jim Fetzer’s group either, although I’m not sure because I don’t pay much attention to Fetzer’s group.
It should be mentioned (and somehow indicated in the diagram) that Nico Haupt, Killtown, and Jim Fetzer’s group are considered by many people in the movement to be the nutty fringe, to put it mildly.
I notice no mention of Les Jamieson, who is the most politically active leader here in New York, even if not the noisiest. Certainly he’s a much more significant figure around here than Nico Haupt, who, as far as I am aware, is regarded as a nutcase by nearly everyone in the New York groups. Also, in my opinion, Les Jamieson’s organization, New York 9/11 Truth, has been doing much more serious political work (e.g. the ballot initiative) than any other 9/11 Truth group around here has been doing.
Also I notice no mention of either Paul Thompson or Nafeez Ahmed, whose writings are considered seminal by many people in the movement.
Next is a page titled The History of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. Not having made a similar effort to trace the origins of various ideas myself, I can’t comment on the accuracy of the historical claims made here. I’ll just note some conspicuous omissions:
1) Paul Thompson’s Complete 9/11 Timeline.
2) The history of the investigations thus far, and the overlapping political movements which demanded those investigations. Of course, not everyone who called for investigations believed or suspected that 9/11 was an inside job, and not everyone who believed or suspected this said so openly, but the conduct of the 9/11 Commission certainly reinforced a lot of people’s suspicions.
Anyhow, as I’ve said elsewhere, I also have two problems with the term “9/11 Conspiracy Theory”: (1) Every version of what happened on 9/11, including the official story, involves a conspiracy of some kind. (2) The term “conspiracy theory” has often been used in a propagandistic way to lump together truly wacky ideas, such as Henry Ford’s The International Jew and David Icke’s claim that the Queen of England is an alien lizard, with more reasonable hypotheses about possible government wrongdoing, thereby discrediting the latter. (See my post Chip Berlet and “Conspiracism”.) I would suggest the term “inside job theory” or, more generally, “government complicity theory.”
Next on the main page is a section titled Documents & Interviews. I’ll review some of these in a separate post.
Next to last on the main page is a links page. My one comment is that it could be organized better, e.g. by separating official government reports from other sites.
At the very bottom of the main page is a link to an article by Andrew Burfield responding to “The 9/11 Report: A 571-Page Lie.” I may respond to this at a later time.