New York City activist

December 17, 2007

“The Adventures of Max Photon” – a review

These past couple of days, I’ve been looking at a very unusual website called The Adventures of Max Photon, by one Paul Bouvet a.k.a. Max Photon. Given the author’s bizarre sense of humor, it’s sometimes a bit hard to tell what his actual views are, vs. what is intended as just satire. The site seems to be satirizing both the NIST report and some tendencies within the 9/11 Truth movement. Max Photon has also spent quite a bit of time in the JREF forum. (Here’s a collection of links to his JREF posts and a collection of JREFers’ flames against Max Photon.)

His main idea seems to be that thermite may have been used, not to cut steel, but just to weaken it, thereby making it easier for an otherwise “natural” collapse to occur. It so happens that I’ve been thinking along these same lines recently too. (See my post Twin Towers demolition hypothesis: Discussion with Pat Curley.)
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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.
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December 8, 2007

On our need for more scientists: Reply to Petros Evdokas

In response to a discussion in the Truth Action forum about my November 20 blog post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please, a page titled Demolition is an Understatement has now appeared on one of the websites of a group called 9/11 Truth Portland.

9/11 Truth Portland also has another website whose main page begins with the heading “9/11 Truth Portland: Using 9/11 Truth to Open the Whole Can of Worms.”

The article Demolition is an Understatement is by Petros Evdokas.
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December 7, 2007

Engineers were surprised by the WTC collapses

Unfortunately I can’t locate the source for this right now, but I recently came across a claim, by some official-story defender, to the effect that “as soon as the planes hit the Twin Towers, every engineer in the world expected them to collapse.” Whoever made that claim, it is definitely false. Even the better-informed “debunkers” would not agree with it.

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December 4, 2007

Fire temperatures and steel temperatures

In a comment on my post Twin Towers demolition hypothesis: Discussion with Pat Curley, anonanonanon posted a link to Cardington Fire Test: The Behaviour of a Multi-storey Steel Framed Building Subjected to Fire Attack on a website called Structural Fire Engineering: One Stop Shop by Professor Colin Bailey, University of Manchester.

When I said I’d respond later today, anonanonanon replied, “Please wait until I’ve got my discussion of the fire protection up, because it may answer some of your questions.”

anonanonanon, please post said discussion (or a link to it, if it’s on another website) here, below this post.
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December 1, 2007

Twin Towers demolition hypothesis: Discussion with Pat Curley

Pat Curley wants to talk to me about the Twin Towers now. So, I guess I’ll take a break from my promised discussion about WTC 7 to talk about the Twin Towers for a little bit, at least in this one post.

Replying to this earlier comment of mine in the thread following my post Richard Gage’s slide show, WTC 7 section: Reply to charlienneb, patslc (Pat Curley) wrote:

Exterior. Columns. You know those huge things around the outside of the buildings, quite visible to the world, not hidden in some crawlspace.

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November 29, 2007

WTC 7: FEMA report and NIST prelim report: What about pre-collapse leaning and the transit???

Over the next week or two I plan to write a series of posts about WTC 7, culminating in the promised detailed explanation of why I think WTC 7’s collapse most likely wasn’t purely “natural,” i.e. why I think it most likely wasn’t caused just by debris damage plus subseequent (non-arson) fires. But first, in this and the next few posts, I’ll look at the official reports plus some other stuff that various defenders of the official story have asked me to read.

I’m now studying both of the following:

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November 27, 2007

Richard Gage’s slide show, WTC 7 section: Reply to charlienneb

I’ll now reply to charlienneb’s review of the section on WTC 7 in Richard Gage’s powerpoint presentation.
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November 22, 2007

The 9/11 Truth movement and me: Further reply to Pat Curley

On the Screw Loose Change blog, in the comments on Pat Curley’s recent post about me (to which I replied here), the first three comments were as follows:

They are blatently going to crucify her.
Jon | 11.21.07 – 1:43 pm |

If Diane continues on this path, she will join Mikey Metz in the land of Ex-truthers.
Anonymous | 11.21.07 – 1:59 pm |

Actually I foresee both those things happening, and in that order.
Pat Curley | Homepage | 11.21.07 – 2:13 pm |

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November 21, 2007

WTC 7: Reply to Pat at Screw Loose Change

On the Screw Loose Change blog, Pat seems to like my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please in which I object to some flawed arguments for the idea of demolition – although I do indeed believe it’s likely that WTC 1, 2, and 7 were brought down by more than just plane impacts plus subsequent fires. But he then says:

(she apparently does not know about the photos of WTC 7 which clearly show the building collapsed slightly to the south, not symmetrically by any means).

Not only am I already aware of the argument that WTC 7 “collapsed slightly to the south,” I already responded to it a long time ago in my post Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say?, which I referred to in yesterday’s post.
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November 20, 2007

Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please

On the Truth Action board, we’ve been having an interesting discussion about the evidence for controlled demolition of the WTC buildings, starting on this page.

There is disagreement about how sure we should be about the idea that WTC 1, 2, and 7 were demolished with explosives and/or thermite. Some, including YT, are 100% sure, while others, such as John Doraemi and Nicholas, believe that it’s likely but not 100% proven. I’m in the latter camp, though not to quite the same extent as John and Nicholas. On the next page of the above Truth Action thread, I voiced some of my own opinions about the need for caution in how we present the case for controlled demolition of the WTC buildings. Below, I’ll voice more of my thoughts on this matter.

In my opinion, we shouldn’t be claiming that the WTC buildings definitely were demolished with explosives and/or thermite. Instead, our claim should be that there’s enough evidence for demolition to warrant a serious and truly independent investigation with subpoena power.

Furthermore, we need to be careful about how we argue for the likelihood of demolition. We need to make sure our arguments are sound; otherwise we risk discrediting ourselves.

To me it seems that a lot of people in the 9/11 Truth movement have overstated the case for demolition and have used some faulty arguments (as well as some good arguments) for the likelihood of demolition. Below is my assessment of various arguments that I’ve seen used:
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October 21, 2007

Reply to “Nerd World Order” about the page “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded”

In response to my Reply to some folks at Screw Loose Change, “Nerd World Order” wrote:

Read this:
http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/911truth2.html

It demolishes the twoof movement better than I could ever hope to. If you’re serious enough to actually answer the questions, please take a look at this.

I’ve looked at it. It contains many of the same kinds of arguments I myself would have made against the 9/11 Truth movement before this past summer, when I finally got curious enough to start examining the issues in-depth. I am, by the way, a person who has spent a lot of time debunking certain “conspiracy theories” which I still reject, such as the “Satanic ritual abuse” scare. So, when I was reluctantly convinced that there really was something to this WTC demolition stuff after all, I kept the typical pitfalls of “conspiratorialist” thinking very much in mind, and I think I’ve managed to avoid those pitfalls.

Anyhow, below is my detailed response to the above page, which is titled “The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are retarded.”
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October 20, 2007

Reply to some folks at Screw Loose Change

For whatever reason, Screw Loose Change has noticed my post about Chip Berlet and “Conspiracism”. In the post at Screw Loose Change, The Chameleon Truth Movement, Pat seems to have jumped to the conclusion that I’m a “Bilderberg nutbar.” Hopefully my comments over there have straightened out any misunderstanding along those lines. (I don’t see the Bilderberg Group as a grand conspiracy, but as just another vehicle of ruling class influence on governments. I hold a pretty standard leftist view on this matter. See also my posts The recent growth of anti-Illuminism: Dreadful ideology about the dreaded Illuminati and More about anti-Illuminism. The only reason I mentioned the BIlderberg Group in my response to Chip Berlet was to correct his statement that it’s a bankers’ group, when in fact it includes many other people besides just bankers.) I’ll now reply to subsequent comments at Screw Loose Change.
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September 27, 2007

WTC 7 – witnesses heard countdown?

As I pointed out in my blog entry Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say?, there are good reasons to believe that WTC 7 was brought down by controlled demolition. However, we need to be careful to present a strong case. Some of the evidence that some people have presented for controlled demolition is not very strong.

One example I mentioned was the evidence of foreknowledge of WTC 7’s collapse (as discussed, for example, on 9-11 Research). According to this interview with Deputy Fire Chief Peter Hayden, from the April 2002 Firehouse Magazine, firefighters had legitimate reasons to fear that Building 7 might collapse. So, evidence that a bunch of people expected WTC 7 to collapse is not good evidence of demolition. Even the premature BBC report that WTC 7 “has collapsed” is not good evidence of demolition, but only of a misunderstood prediction that WTC 7 would soon collapse.

But there are also many eye-witness accounts by first responders who say they heard that Building 7 was going to be “brought down,” supposedly for safety reasons.

At first glance, this sounds like stronger evidence of demolition. But even that could easily be dismissed, by supporters of the official story, as having been nothing more than a garbled rumor — a simple, honestly mistaken, widely-circulated misunderstanding of official concerns that the building might spontaneously collapse. (Furthermore, even from the point of view of one who does believe that WTC 7 was deliberately demolished, it doesn’t make much sense for the conspirators to have broadcasted their intent.)

Harder to dismiss might be a bunch of testimonies by people who had overheard a countdown just before WTC 7 came down.
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September 25, 2007

9/11 family groups vs. Giuliani

Filed under: 9/11,9/11 families,Giuliani,World Trade Center — Diane @ 5:45 pm

Thanks to Rudy Watcher for calling attention to the New York Daily News article 9/11 coalition set to ‘Swift-boat’ Rudy Giuliani today by Jordan Lite, Monday, September 24th 2007.

A coalition of 9/11 families and rescue workers plans to continue efforts to derail former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s bid for President at a midtown fund-raiser today.

“[Giuliani] wasn’t a hero on 9/11. He was a failure on 9/11,” Riches said.

“On the body of my dead son, he’s running for President.”

Giuliani’s handling of the terrorist attack and its aftermath has become a flash point as he campaigns for the GOP presidential nomination. Critics say his reputation as “America’s Mayor” glosses over pre-9/11 policies that cost lives in the twin towers and on The Pile.

Riches’ group, 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims, claims faulty radios and a lack of communication between firefighters and police officers prevented responders from escaping from the buildings when they were about to fall. It also charges that Giuliani’s statements about air quality at the site allowed workers there to get sick.

Looking for more information about this group, I found the following:

The organization “9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims” does not seem to have a website.

NIST Review

I just now came across nistreview.org, “A review of the NIST WTC investigation.” This site contains papers mostly by supporters of the official story, but also Steven Jones’s paper, plus a bunch of interesting primary source material that had been obtained via FOIA requests, including the original plans for the WTC towers, report of WTC fire code compliance, and interviews with fire fighters and EMS workers.

September 22, 2007

Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say?

In my opinion, one of the strongest pieces of evidence against the official story of 9/11 is the straight-down vertical collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, which was located north of the main World Trade Center complex. See Jim Hoffman’s collection of WTC 7 Collapse videos (downloadable MPG files). It is extremely unlikely that a building could collapse in such a symmetrical, straight-down manner due to any cause other than controlled demolition. A building collapsing for any other reason would almost certainly tilt toward whichever side or corner had been weakened the most.

WTC 7 was hit by debris from the North Tower. It then caught fire, for reasons unknown, although not surprising, since WTC 7 contained fuel tanks and was built over an electrical substation. The fires were not fought, presumably due to a lack of sufficient water pressure. The extent of the fire has been disputed, but there were at least a few small fires in the building for seven hours before the building finally came down in the late afternoon.

According to the official story as explained in Chapter 5 of the FEMA report, WTC 7 collapsed primarily due to fire. However, as even the FEMA report itself admitted, “the best hypothesis” along these lines “has only a low probability of occurrence.” For more about the FEMA report, see this HTML copy of Chapter 5, annotated in red by an advocate of the controlled demolition hypothesis. (P.S., 10/19/2007: Please note that I do not necessarily agree with or endorse all the annotations in red.)

Since the straight-down collapse of WTC 7 seems to be such strong evidence against the official story, how have defenders of the official story tried to refute it? Let’s take a look.
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