New York City activist

December 12, 2007

Reply to “9/11 Guide,” part 1 (to ref1)

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.

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29 Comments »

  1. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    The post linked below is a continuation of the above post.

    – Diane

    Pingback by “Stand down” feasibility, etc. - Reply to “9/11 Guide,” part 2 (to ref1) « New York City activist — December 14, 2007 @ 1:37 am | Reply

  2. Thanks for your extensive commentary, Diane! I’ll respond to some of your remarks.

    About the WTC part. I should maybe add more info about the spherules you mentioned. I’ll see what I can do. However weak I may consider Steven Jones’s evidence, this is a good suggestion.
    I think the hypothesis that explosives were involved in the Pentagon attack is quite absurd. I do not consider adding that one.

    The NORAD research is the work of Andrew Burfield. He is very, very knowledgeable on that topic.

    About the false alarms you say “I’m not sure what point the ‘9/11 Guide’ site owner is trying to prove”. There is no point I’m trying to prove with this list. As my page title says: “…and a source for 9/11 related info”. This is 9/11 related info. Whether you are a truther or a debunker, the info is the same. There is no attitude behind this listing of events.

    You go on to say “Surely this many false alarms, all in one day, isn’t normal, is it?”. By no means was this a normal day. I find absolutely nothing unusual in the amount of false alarms among all that incredible confusion of trying to find out what’s going on.

    Truthers exposed, you say: “where the site owner attempts to discredit various people in the 9/11 Truth movement, mostly by zeroing in on their weakest arguments”. I don’t attempt to discredit. I attempt to bring forward their beliefs. If they have weak arguments, why do they use them as arguments? I try to put together a list showing the beliefs these people have, which most people might not even be aware of. If I have made an error, I will correct it. I have corrected the content of that page before. And will again if needed.

    About Gage and FDNY foreknowledge. He lists FDNY foreknowledge as partial evidence of controlled demolition of WTC 7. FDNY foreknowledge means, they knew the building was going to collapse. Chief Nigro made the decision to evacuate, he did not receive the evacuation order from some higher-ups. This means Chief Nigro had foreknowledge. This means Chief Nigro’s foreknowledge is evidence of controlled demolition. This means Chief Nigro is involved. Which is absurd. Gage must remove that claim immediately.

    Steven Jones, I should consider adding more info on spherules as I mentioned earlier.

    I am not aware what Gordon Ross says about thermite. I’ll find out. Ross is debunked twice by Newton’s Bit on my site.

    I agree, that Paul Thompson is not the “worst” kind of truther. But he disapproves parts of the official story. His timeline is “truther minded” so to speak. But it has a lot of good info and he’s done a lot of work.

    The history article is not meant to be a complete timeline of everything 9/11 related. It’s a collection of the origins of the well known conspiracy theories promoted by the 9/11 truth movement, with links to their origins.

    Did I miss something? I’ll get back for more.

    Comment by ref1 — December 14, 2007 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

  3. ref1 wrote:

    The NORAD research is the work of Andrew Burfield. He is very, very knowledgeable on that topic.

    Well, I’m not just going to take either his or your word for it. I would be interested to see some good documentation of his claims from a neutral source, if available, especially since the claim of only one intercept outside an ADIZ between 1991 and 2001 would seem to contradict the GAO report I cited. Furthermore the claim just doesn’t make sense. How else would air traffic controllers deal with planes that have lost radio contact, other than by asking that those planes be intercepted? And, to prevent disaster, especially in a busy area like the East Coast, it would need to be intercepted quickly.

    Truthers exposed, you say: “where the site owner attempts to discredit various people in the 9/11 Truth movement, mostly by zeroing in on their weakest arguments”. I don’t attempt to discredit. I attempt to bring forward their beliefs. If they have weak arguments, why do they use them as arguments?

    First off, sometimes people do stop using an argument once they realize they’ve made a mistake, so you should make sure your characterization is up-to-date. Second, some evidence might be weak by itself, but stronger as part of a cumulative case. For example, eye-witness testimony about “molten steel” is weak evidence by itself (how does the witness know it’s really steel and not something else?) but stronger when accompanied by other evidence such as iron spherules (most likely formed from droplets of molten iron). Likewise the spherules might be weak evidence if the only source for them were Janette MacKinlay’s dust sample, but stronger if they were also found by the U.S. Geological Survey.

    About Gage and FDNY foreknowledge. He lists FDNY foreknowledge as partial evidence of controlled demolition of WTC 7. FDNY foreknowledge means, they knew the building was going to collapse. Chief Nigro made the decision to evacuate, he did not receive the evacuation order from some higher-ups.

    Someone who had not read Nigro’s testimony might not realize the latter, and might assume instead that the FDNY had received word from someone above them that WTC 7 was going to collapse.

    his means Chief Nigro had foreknowledge. This means Chief Nigro’s foreknowledge is evidence of controlled demolition. This means Chief Nigro is involved. Which is absurd. Gage must remove that claim immediately.

    I agree that he should remove that claim, if he has not done so already. Have you checked recently? If you find that he hasn’t and you give me a link, I’ll email him about this particular matter again. (I understand that he has made at least some changes.)

    Comment by Diane — December 14, 2007 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

  4. Continuing my comment above….

    ref1 wrote:

    The history article is not meant to be a complete timeline of everything 9/11 related. It’s a collection of the origins of the well known conspiracy theories promoted by the 9/11 truth movement, with links to their origins.

    Then perhaps you should re-title that article “Origins of some ideas in the 9/11 Truth movement” or, better yet, “Earliest known instances of some ideas in the 9/11 Truth movement,” rather than “History ….” A “history” would involve a lot more.

    Did I miss something?

    Yes, quite a few things, including:

    1) My objections to the term “conspiracy theory.”

    2) Jim Hoffman and the “Stand down order.” As I said, he believes that a de facto stand down was implemented by means more subtle than an outright stand down order. See this page.

    3) Jim Hoffman and the money issue. Discussed in the comment thread here.

    3) Kevin Ryan and the alleged misrepresenting of his credentials.

    4) Alex Jones – certainly not “the father figure” to everyone.

    5) All my objections to the “Truther interconnections” page. I won’t repeat them in detail here. Basically I feel that it misrepresents the movement by (1) not including some people who, as far as I can tell, have more of a following than some of the folks listed, and (2) not distinguishing between those people who are considered by many people in the movement to be the movement’s mainstream, vs. those who are seen by many in the movement as a nutty fringe.

    Comment by Diane — December 15, 2007 @ 3:06 am | Reply

  5. “I agree that he should remove that claim, if he has not done so already. Have you checked recently? If you find that he hasn’t and you give me a link, I’ll email him about this particular matter again. (I understand that he has made at least some changes.)”

    The last time I checked was yesterday. It is still on his front page. Point 11 of his WTC 7 controlled demolition evidence.

    “My objections to the term “conspiracy theory.””

    This is the point I heard a lot. I keep hearing the official story is also a conspiracy theory. Yes, it is. But it is well established, what is understood with ‘conspiracy theory’ in general. To me, this is just wordplay trying to avoid the somehow unpleasant association with being called a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

    “Jim Hoffman and the “Stand down order.””

    You want me to remove the word order? I can remove the word order.

    “Jim Hoffman and the money issue. Discussed in the comment thread”

    I’ll get back to it and make the needed corrections.

    “Kevin Ryan and the alleged misrepresenting of his credentials”

    That is a matter of interpretation. He doesn’t make clear, that he was heading the water testing, and had nothing to do with steel. This, in addition to the way he uses the word “we” associated with UL. I will reconsider that particular “misrepresentation of credentials” claim, though.

    “Alex Jones – certainly not “the father figure” to everyone”

    Very good point. I should correct that immediately to make it more accurate.

    “All my objections to the “Truther interconnections” page”

    That the subpage that has been the longest time withut an update. I have, for example, planned to draw a fancier chart for months. I will get to this issue as well at a later time.

    No website is perfect. Thanks for the comments, some I agree with, some I don’t. But I will make some modifications according to the suggestions.

    Comment by ref1 — December 15, 2007 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  6. I have made the first corrections. The ‘father figure’ and Jim Hoffman are now updated.

    I am very busy at the moment, but will be checking back for comments.

    Comment by ref1 — December 15, 2007 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  7. ref1 wrote, regarding Richard Gage and the “foreknowledge” issue:

    The last time I checked was yesterday. It is still on his front page. Point 11 of his WTC 7 controlled demolition evidence.

    I’ve emailed him about this. One likely reason for the delay on this matter is that it requires a reorganization of his entire slideshow, which follows, as an outline, David Ray Griffin’s list of characteristics of a controlled demolition.

    This is the point I heard a lot. I keep hearing the official story is also a conspiracy theory. Yes, it is. But it is well established, what is understood with ‘conspiracy theory’ in general. To me, this is just wordplay trying to avoid the somehow unpleasant association with being called a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

    Please re-read the rest of my objection, which has to do with one of the main sources of that “unpleaseant connotation.

    “Jim Hoffman and the “Stand down order.””

    You want me to remove the word order? I can remove the word order.

    Your new wording on this particular point is okay.

    “Kevin Ryan and the alleged misrepresenting of his credentials”

    That is a matter of interpretation. He doesn’t make clear, that he was heading the water testing, and had nothing to do with steel.

    Anyone who had frequent dealings with UL on fire safety matters, such as the person Ryan wrote to at NIST, would know which divisions of UL were involved in fire safety testing, and that these did not include the “Environmental” division mentioned below Ryan’s signature. And the word “environmental” is most commonly used to refer to things like water quality, air quality, etc.

    His letter can be faulted for a lack of explicit disclaimers, but not for actively misrepresenting anything about himself or his role. As I’ve explained, his lack of direct involvement would be obvious, anyway, to a person already familiar both with UL and with the meaning of the word “environmental.”

    “Alex Jones – certainly not “the father figure” to everyone”

    Very good point. I should correct that immediately to make it more accurate.

    Thanks.

    Comment by Diane — December 15, 2007 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  8. I have now made a minor correction on Kevin Ryan ‘exposed’. I still state he tested water, but do not imply he misrepresented his credentials anymore.

    Comment by ref1 — December 19, 2007 @ 5:42 am | Reply

  9. Thanks for making that correction.

    Your page still says about Kevin Ryan: “Was fired because he falsely implied that his personal beliefs were company opinions.” His letter to NIST did not imply this, and even UL did not specifically accuse him of implying this, as far as I am aware. (See UL’s letter disowning him.) Ryan’s letter did lack an explicit disclaimer stating that his opinions were only his own and not UL’s, and perhaps this might have caused some confusion. However, his letter to NIST does not come across as the sort of thing that would likely be an official company opinion.

    Comment by Diane — December 19, 2007 @ 6:46 am | Reply

  10. I left that part, because UL has stated that as a partial reason for firing Kevin Ryan.

    If you take a look at the Kevin Ryan court documents, found on my page: http://911guide.googlepages.com/ryan

    You will find the following sentence there: “Mr. Ryan acknowledges that UL gave other grounds for his firing, including that he
    had commented inappropriately on UL tests conducted for NIST and misrepresented his
    opinions as UL’s, but he disputes these were the real reasons.”

    So I will leave that part in.

    Comment by ref1 — December 19, 2007 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  11. Actually what I will do, is I will put in that sentence I quoted above.

    Comment by ref1 — December 19, 2007 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  12. Looking at your page again….

    Why not put that “quote” in quotes, with a reference to the specific document in question?

    I seriously doubt that Kevin Ryan would in fact “acknowledge” that he acrively “misrepresented his opinions as Ul”s,” although he might “acknowledge” possible confusion on that point due to the lack of an explicit disclaimer.

    Comment by Diane — December 19, 2007 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

  13. There is a link to the court documents in the very next sentence. I think that’s enough. What I should do is add a link to his letter to NIST.

    Comment by ref1 — December 19, 2007 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  14. By NOT putting that quote in quotes, you are stating UL’s opinion as if you think it’s an objective fact, when in fact its accuracy is questionable, as I explained in my previous comment. That’s why I would suggest putting it in quotes with a specific citation, to make it clear that you are quoting UL’s opinion.

    Comment by Diane — December 19, 2007 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  15. I did put it in quotes. Now I think the “case of Ryan” is finished 🙂

    Comment by ref1 — December 21, 2007 @ 7:07 am | Reply

  16. I see you’ve reorganized your site.

    One thing I notice: On the new Other claims page, you gauge the 9/11 Truth movement’s popularity based on the popularity of three particular websites: the Loose Change website, 911truth.org, and 911blogger.com.

    What you don’t take into account is the possibility that these websites may have lost part of their audience to other, newer 9/11 Truth sites. For example, there have been a lot of complaints about 911blogger.com’s moderation policies, so I would expect that a lot of its members are now spending more time at TruthAction.org and its forum. Also there are now lots of other 9/11 documentary videos besides Loose Change, so I would expect that a lot of former regulars at the Loose Change site may have moved on to sites featuring other videos. Also I would expect a lot of the younger folks to spend more time at the website of We Are Change (a new organization that was formed only this year) than at 911truth.org or 911blogger.com.

    Comment by Diane — December 22, 2007 @ 5:37 am | Reply

  17. Just to let you know, I have re-arranged my page. The titles on the front page have been changed, and the contents therein re-grouped. But the content itself is the same, it is just grouped differently under the new headlines.

    A couple of additions: A fifth part to my guide, called “Other Claims”: http://911guide.googlepages.com/other

    And also an improved “Links” page: http://911guide.googlepages.com/links , with a couple of truth movement links also added to get the alternative view. I also chose to include your blog.

    [Comment edited by blog owner Diane to fix an unclickable URL]

    Comment by ref1 — December 22, 2007 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  18. Ok sorry, I didn’t notice your post until I wrote mine!

    Comment by ref1 — December 22, 2007 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  19. Good commentary on the popularity issue.

    However, truthaction.org stats do not compare to those of 911blogger, LC911, or 911truth.org. The only site that might start to be a contender is wearechange site. The site has recently been getting about the same kind of visitor ratings, as 911truth.org or 911blogger.

    But the site is so young, I didn’t include it. One cannot see the growth in the stats, that are only 8 months old. And in the timespan of the wearechange stats (about 8 months) the popularity of wearechange has not grown, it has stayed at a relatively constant level.

    So, although wearechange might have eaten off some of the popularity of the other sites, even the additional popularity of sites like wearechange and truthaction.org does not bring the popularity up to the considerably higher levels of the popular truth movement websites in 2006.

    Comment by ref1 — December 22, 2007 @ 9:32 am | Reply

  20. Thanks for including my blog in your links list.

    Another distinction that you might be overlooking in your popularity analysis is casual visitors vs. committed activists. Perhaps the 9/11 Truth movement got more mass media publicity in 2006, or at least was seen as more of a novelty then, hence more people then were visiting sites like 911truth.org of sheer curiosity? On the other hand, some of the newer sites, such as TruthAction.org and We Are Change, are targeted more specifically at committed activists.

    I joined the movement in 2007 but have not replied to 9/11 Blogger’s poll, simply because I got very discouraged about participating on 9/11 Blogger at all, due to their moderation policies plus ongoing technical difficulties. I suspect I’m far from the only one.

    Comment by Diane — December 22, 2007 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  21. But that’s the point. There are fewer people visiting those sites out of curiosity, interest, or just browsing without being so deeply involved themselves. If all that’s left are the few committed activists, then one cannot make a claim the movement is growing. Still, there are also the committed moon hoax, JFK, or other kind of activists that stay no matter what. But that doesn’t mean their views are getting any more popular.

    I keep forgetting how recent an addition you are to the movement. I included your blog, because I like your thorough approach. As I have said before, a rarity in your movement.

    Comment by ref1 — December 22, 2007 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

  22. I think you may be overestimating the significance of Internet activity as opposed to other kinds of activity. No doubt a lot of the people who read 9/11 Truth websites in 2006, but who don’t read them anymore, still believe in a high likelihood of some form of U.S. government complicity in the 9/11 attacks. And I think the number of activists is growing.

    This past September (2007), We Are Change was able to attract huge crowds to its 9/11 anniversary weekend events. New York 9/11 Truth’s regularly weekly meetings are still well-attended, despite the competition.

    In September and October this past fall (2007), when I would get on the subway wearing my “Investigate 9/11” T-shirt or carrying a book such as David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 Debunking, very often strangers would approach me asking, “Where can I get that T-shirt?” or “Where can I get that book?” (This hasn’t happened within the past couple of months because it’s now too cold to wear a T-shirt outside, and because lately I’ve been more likely to carry papers than books.) I doubt I’d get similarly enthusiastic reactions as a visible representative of any other political movement that I agree with. Earlier, during the summer, I wore an anti-war/anti-Bush T-shirt a lot. A few strangers complimented me about that T-shirt, too. Of these, the most enthusiastic person also talked to me about 9/11 being an inside job.

    Of course, this is New York. Things might be different in other parts of the country.

    Your comparison to “moon hoax” is way off-base, in my opinion. I’m not aware of any political movement devoted specifically to promoting the idea that the moon landings were a hoax. There are people who promote this idea as just one part of an all-around conspiratorialist (e.g. anti-“New World Order”) worldview, but not as a political end in itself, as far as I am aware. This same group seems to be, for the most part, a subset of those who believe there was government complicity in the 9/11 attacks, but the latter set of people is much larger.

    Comment by Diane — December 23, 2007 @ 4:42 am | Reply

  23. Diane wrote: “I think you may be overestimating the significance of Internet activity as opposed to other kinds of activity. No doubt a lot of the people who read 9/11 Truth websites in 2006, but who don’t read them anymore, still believe in a high likelihood of some form of U.S. government complicity in the 9/11 attacks. And I think the number of activists is growing.”

    Even if the number of activists would be growing, the total number is not much. But that’s just my opinion. And those who might, maybe, perhaps believe in some sort of a compilicity, I don’t really count them as part of the “movement” (and has the number of people perhaps believing in complicity grown in any way?).

    Just a comparison that has nothing to do with 9/11: the percentage of people believing in UFO’s or ghosts is surprisingly high. People have the most peculiar beliefs. But that doesn’t mean they are part of any movement in a way, that they would promote those ideas in any way. I’m talking about the movement, who actually care enough to be somewhat active: at least promoting their theories somewhere, spreading their views, maybe even protesting and wearing t-shirts and so on.

    And to differentiate, I consider as activists the people, who protest and actively participate in discussions and events. The non-activists are those, who would perhaps occasionally visit websites, post their comments, spread their views but not much more. And the number of of the latter seems to be dropping.

    Diane wrote: “This past September (2007), We Are Change was able to attract huge crowds to its 9/11 anniversary weekend events. New York 9/11 Truth’s regularly weekly meetings are still well-attended, despite the competition.”

    How huge a crowd was there with WAC? I don’t think it was as large as in 2006, was it? What do you mean by well-attended NY911Truth meetings? Tens of people, hundreds?

    Diane wrote: “I would get on the subway wearing my “Investigate 9/11″ T-shirt or carrying a book such as David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 Debunking”

    Oh no! Not the T-shirt, not that book! 😉 Griffin is just so wrong with his ideas. I won’t go through them here, too many.

    I agree, the moon hoax comparison was a bit off. I just meant, that in general even the most strange views (like the moon hoax) will survive with a small type of crowd. There are always some people who will buy that stuff, no matter how strange an idea it might be. So, ni my opinion the 9/11 truth will never completely die. There are always some people who are willing to believe it. Some people will always believe in no-planes, too.

    Comment by ref1 — December 23, 2007 @ 8:45 am | Reply

  24. ref1 wrote:

    Even if the number of activists would be growing, the total number is not much. But that’s just my opinion. And those who might, maybe, perhaps believe in some sort of a compilicity, I don’t really count them as part of the “movement”

    Do you count the latter people as part of the “movement” when they are visiting websites, but not when they aren’t?

    I’m talking about the movement, who actually care enough to be somewhat active: at least promoting their theories somewhere, spreading their views, maybe even protesting and wearing t-shirts and so on.

    To know how many activists there are, one would need to know what is going on offline as well as online.

    And to differentiate, I consider as activists the people, who protest and actively participate in discussions and events. The non-activists are those, who would perhaps occasionally visit websites, post their comments, spread their views but not much more. And the number of of the latter seems to be dropping.

    Only if you measure the “non-activists” in terms of online activity, which doesn’t really make sense. “Non-activists” should also include, for example, people who occasionally attend New York 9/11 Truth events but don’t use a computer very often if at all, and the people I mentioned earlier who approached me on the subway asking about the T-shirt or book. Based on online activity alone, it is reasonable to conclude that the rate of growth of the number of non-activists is now lower, but not that the total number has shrunk.

    How huge a crowd was there with WAC?

    I attended a couple of their events on that Tuesday. I estimate there must have been at least a few thousand people. I would guess that their Saturday/Sunday events must have been even larger, though I wasn’t there because I was at the New York 9/11 Truth conference instead.

    I don’t think it was as large as in 2006, was it?

    We Are Change didn’t exist in 2006. I’ve been told that New York 9/11 Truth’s conference wasn’t as large in 2007 as in 2006, but that’s because of the new competition from We Are Change, which held events at the same time. Apparently We Are Change promoted its events a lot more aggressively than New York 9/11 Truth did.

    What do you mean by well-attended NY911Truth meetings?

    Approximately a hundred, I would guess, though I haven’t actually counted. That’s pretty large for a regular meeting of a political group. (I haven’t been to a regular meeting of We Are Change, so I don’t know how big those are.)

    Oh no! Not the T-shirt

    Your problem with the T-shirt?

    not that book! 😉 Griffin is just so wrong with his ideas. I won’t go through them here, too many.

    Indeed, as I was reading Griffin’s book, I noticed that his sources on various points left a lot to be desired. I eventually gave up and stopped reading.

    My point in bringing it up was that the cover of the book attracted attention when I would read it on the subway. Apparently anything with “9/11” in big numbers attracts a lot of attention, at least here in New York.

    Comment by Diane — December 23, 2007 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  25. You have valid points with the popularity issue. But I have also heard from people residing in NYC about the shrinking popularity. At least the 2007 truth conference being smaller than 2006 and regular protests getting less attendance.

    If NY911Truth gets a hundred people in their meetings, that’s news to me. But you have been there so you would know better than me.

    My problem with the T-shirt? Image of an ignorant and rude teenager yelling “9/11 was an inside job!” around 9/11 survivors and relatives, or anywhere else for that matter. Blame Loose Change crowd for that association.

    I’m still keeping my head on the popularity issue, though. I’m not convinced, that the moement has actually grown. That was the main argument I chose to address. That the movement is claimed to have gained popularity. No matter how it is measured, I have not seen convincing evidence showing growth.

    Comment by ref1 — December 23, 2007 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

  26. ref1 wrote:

    You have valid points with the popularity issue. But I have also heard from people residing in NYC about the shrinking popularity. At least the 2007 truth conference being smaller than 2006

    Indeed the NY 9/11 Truth conference was smaller, as I said, because of bigger parallel events held by We Are Change.

    and regular protests getting less attendance

    There are now more groups, hence fewer people at the street actions of any one group. In addition to New York 9/11 Truth and We Are Change, there are now at least a few smaller groups doing street actions too, including TruthMove.

    Things will be slower for a while now that it’s winter. (Some recent NY 9/11 Truth meetings were cancelled due to bad weather.) But I’m sure things will pick up again in the spring.

    Comment by Diane — December 23, 2007 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  27. Thanks for the comments.

    I’m now leaving for holidays. Merry Christmas! Or is it Happy Holidays nowadays over there.

    Anyway, I’ll be off for a few days. See you after Christmas.

    Comment by ref1 — December 23, 2007 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  28. See this e-mail exchange between Frank Greening and Steven Jones for info:

    http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=3276813&postcount=57

    Comment by ref1 — December 26, 2007 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  29. Thanks for the info. It will be interesting to see where this discussion goes.

    Personally, I’m inclined to suspect that “Max Photon” may be right that a focus on residues will yield only “inconclusive” results, and that a more productive line of investigation might be to look at the data on the fires themselves to see if they appear to be entirely “natural.”

    However, I don’t think that Steven Jones’s residue-oriented research was a total waste of time. If Frank Greening is correct, then, if nothing else, what has been shown is that thermite/thermate is a perfect arson tool, leaving only very ambiguous residue.

    Of course we would then need to see if we can find some strong, nonambiguous evidence that there actually was arson of some kind, supplementing the “natural” fires.

    Comment by Diane — December 26, 2007 @ 3:39 pm | Reply


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