9/11 Conspiracy?

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Herb Tarlek
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9/11 Conspiracy?

Postby Herb Tarlek » Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:02 pm

Seeing G5am's thread RE: Flight 93 reminded me of something that was on CNN a few weeks back - I only caught a few minutes but it peaked my interest. They were discussing comments made by Charlie Sheen in an interview regarding the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. He stated on the record that it was his belief that the planes and subsequent fires alone did not bring down the towers but that strategically placed explosives (like those in a controlled demolition) had to be there also.

At first I thought "yeah sure, whatever....it's Charlie Sheen, what the hell does he know?", but then I checked out the website they mentioned:

http://www.911truth.org

which has lots of info on the supposed conspiracy and cover-up. But what really convinced me that this theory MIGHT have some validity was the film at the following link:

http://www.911revisited.com/

You can watch it online or order a DVD copy (free too, you only need to pay for shipping). The film consists almost entirely of news footage from that day - most of which has never aired on TV since - but also includes some expert opinions from structural engineers, college professors, etc. I'm not sure if these guys are nutjob conspiracy theorists or not, but they certainly bring up some very good points for discussion.

Living in Canada, I'm a little removed from the opinions of most Americans but are these ideas prevalent in the US? Do most Americans accept the findings of the 9/11 Commission at face value or do you think that there is way more to what happened then the "official" version of the story? Just curious.

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Re: 9/11 Conspiracy?

Postby LionIndex » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:27 pm

Herb Tarlek wrote:Living in Canada, I'm a little removed from the opinions of most Americans but are these ideas prevalent in the US?

No. You'll hear a lot of callers on talk radio talking about some conspiracy, but it hasn't entered the mainstream opinion pool in any way. And I say that as someone who is generally far to the left of the mainstream opinion pool. The 9/11 conspiracy guys just perplex me, and honestly, it's starting to become a "looney" litmus test for me.
Do most Americans accept the findings of the 9/11 Commission at face value or do you think that there is way more to what happened then the "official" version of the story?

I've just read articles on the commission, not the actual report, but I think in general the report was correct, if whitewashed. I think the administration bears far greater blame for their negligence and incompetence than the report assigns them, especially with their "we'll only answer pre-submitted questions in a private session lasting no more than one hour" shit. I think they blew it, but they didn't plan it.

And that's actually my main objection to the whole conspiracy theory--can you honestly tell me that you believe an administration that demonstrated the most ridiculous levels of incompetence and foolishness at every level, and is now bursting at the seams with leaks coming out all over about everything they've done...this administration somehow coordinated countless other governmental organizations within its first 8 months in office and pulled off a plan like that and no one's talked a peep about it since? After 4 and a half years?!? That's completely absurd. I don't even need to go into "facts" people have come up with and their "information" about whether the fires could possibly be hot enough to cause structural failure.

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Re: 9/11 Conspiracy?

Postby n8 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:35 pm

Herb Tarlek wrote:Seeing G5am's thread RE: Flight 93 reminded me of something that was on CNN a few weeks back - I only caught a few minutes but it peaked my interest.


Can I just offer an incredibly anal grammarian tidbit?
I believe that when you say something "peaked your interest," the word is actually "piqued," as in "provoked or aroused."
Sorry... as you were...

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Postby trainwreck2 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:55 pm

some of the conspiracy DVDS look convinving at first but are very quickly debunked with a simple check on the trusty internet...honestly I believe it was sheer incompetance which allowed this to happen,,,

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Postby Mixmaster Shecky » Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:27 pm

At this point there's nothing the neo-cons can do that would shock me - hell, a high-ranking Homeland Security official just got arrested for trying to pick up a 14-year old girl online - but even I have a very hard time believing they would go that far.

I'm pretty convinced the jets took down the WTC, and would need some pretty extraordinary evidence to convince me otherwise.

Now, I have no trouble believing almost anything else related to 9/11, ie: Bush & co. may have known about the plot, may have even let it go through to further their political ends, etc. At the very least, they cynically took advantage of it to mint their own political currency, then wasted it completely on thick-headed dreams of empire.

But I doubt even they would have actually planned it and executed the attack.

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Postby steve-o » Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:48 am

This is another informative site, if you have a weekend to kill:

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/project.jsp?project=

It more confirms my suspicion that it was less a matter of made-it-happen-on-purpose, and more an issue of two decades of incompetence, greed, and politics on the part of the American government.

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Re: 9/11 Conspiracy?

Postby Herb Tarlek » Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:00 am

n8 wrote:Can I just offer an incredibly anal grammarian tidbit?
I believe that when you say something "peaked your interest," the word is actually "piqued," as in "provoked or aroused."
Sorry... as you were...


Yes you can offer it, and you are correct. Not sure how I missed that one. Thanks.

And as far as the film goes, it raises 2 main questions:

1. Were explosives involved in bringing the towers down?

2. Did the government participate in a whitewash/coverup after the fact to prevent the truth from coming out?

It does not speculate as to who installed the explosives, how they got the required access to the buildings, whether the gov't was involved in the attacks or had prior knowledge, etc.

And being an engineer myself (mechanical though, not structural), I found the evidence presented in the film to be quite convincing. I'm curious to hear what others think after watching it.

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Re: 9/11 Conspiracy?

Postby LionIndex » Fri Apr 07, 2006 10:50 am

Herb Tarlek wrote:1. Were explosives involved in bringing the towers down?

I seriously doubt it. Buildings are not engineered to withstand a jetliner full of jet fuel crashing into their upper stories. Why would you need explosives in the first place?
2. Did the government participate in a whitewash/coverup after the fact to prevent the truth from coming out?

Only to gloss over their incompetance in handling any intelligence regarding the attacks that they received or preventing the attacks once they were under way.
It does not speculate as to who installed the explosives, how they got the required access to the buildings, whether the gov't was involved in the attacks or had prior knowledge, etc.

Which is all pretty, you know, key to there being any kind of conspiracy. And again, not a single one of those people have talked since.
And being an engineer myself (mechanical though, not structural), I found the evidence presented in the film to be quite convincing. I'm curious to hear what others think after watching it.

I'd like to hear what evidence they have. Things I've heard revolve around the burning temperature of jet fuel not being sufficient enough to "melt" the bar joists in the floor structure of the buildings, but you wouldn't need to actually melt them--high levels of heat in a fire, even those fires not caused by jet fuel, are sufficient to turn structural steel into spaghetti, figuratively.

I'm an architect, so I've got a middling education in structural standards, and there was a PBS show recently after the attacks that mapped the whole cause of structural failure pretty well, and satisfied any curiosity I had about why the buildings went down.

There was another documentary on a cable channel about the Citicorp building, and an issue they had where one connection (repeated hundreds of times within the structure of the building) was changed during construction from a weld to a bolt. At some point afterwards, the structural engineer realized that making that change could result in the structural failure of the building in a 50mph wind, and they had to go back in and retrofit all the faulty connections. So, there's a situation where a measly 50mph wind could topple a skyscraper, but we're seriously supposed to doubt whether a 300mph jet plane full of fuel could cause a collapse? Come on. Is it easier to believe that the Bush administration conceived of and pulled off what would be the most daring and perfectly executed conspiracy the country's ever known, all in order to kill American citizens; or that they just fucked up?

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Re: 9/11 Conspiracy?

Postby Herb Tarlek » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:32 pm

LionIndex wrote:I'd like to hear what evidence they have. Things I've heard revolve around the burning temperature of jet fuel not being sufficient enough to "melt" the bar joists in the floor structure of the buildings, but you wouldn't need to actually melt them--high levels of heat in a fire, even those fires not caused by jet fuel, are sufficient to turn structural steel into spaghetti, figuratively.

I'm an architect, so I've got a middling education in structural standards, and there was a PBS show recently after the attacks that mapped the whole cause of structural failure pretty well, and satisfied any curiosity I had about why the buildings went down.

There was another documentary on a cable channel about the Citicorp building, and an issue they had where one connection (repeated hundreds of times within the structure of the building) was changed during construction from a weld to a bolt. At some point afterwards, the structural engineer realized that making that change could result in the structural failure of the building in a 50mph wind, and they had to go back in and retrofit all the faulty connections. So, there's a situation where a measly 50mph wind could topple a skyscraper, but we're seriously supposed to doubt whether a 300mph jet plane full of fuel could cause a collapse? Come on. Is it easier to believe that the Bush administration conceived of and pulled off what would be the most daring and perfectly executed conspiracy the country's ever known, all in order to kill American citizens; or that they just fucked up?


Just take a look at the film, it's not that long (about 45 mins to an hour) and then judge. It's too much to summarize in detail here, but some of the things they point out include:

- The fireballs from the impact of the jets would have burned off most of the fuel, so there would not have been enough there to cause a large enough fire to result in such a collapse.

- The fire from the remaining fuel could not possibly have burned hot enough (even with extra fuel from office contents) to weaken the steel to the degree that it supposedly did - this is based on data from burning jet fuel in ideal conditions and the fire rating of the steel used in the towers

- And even if it WAS hot enough to weaken the steel near the top, there is no way it should have collapsed the entire building from the top down - considering that the steel at the top of any building has far less load on it than the steel at the bottom.

- And for the collapse to happen at freefall speed straight down? According to the experts - and common sense really - the only way that could happen is in a controlled demolition

- Trade Tower 7 (the 3rd building to fall at 5:30 that afternoon) fell the same as the twin towers (straight down at free fall speed) without having been hit by a plane and with fires on only 2 floors. Fires were caused by debris from the twin towers. They cited 2 recent high rise fires, 1 in Madrid and 1 in another place that I can't recall, where the fires burned much hotter than any of these fires and for much longer periods of time and neither building collapsed.

- The pulverization of all of the concrete and office contents of the buildings into a fine dust is apparently another sign that this had to be a controlled demolition. They show an interview with the Governor of New York State a week or so afterwards standing at Ground Zero where he is describing how when he first visited the site he expected to see some intact pieces of concrete but there was none to be seen, just pieces of steel and aluminum.

- They also state that a large majority of the structural steel from the buildings after the collapse was left in roughly 30 ft lengths, which conveniently allowed for quick loading onto trucks for disposal without the need for time-consuming and bothersome cutting.

- And although it is a federal crime to tamper with a crime scene prior to the completion of a full investigation, the site cleanup started almost immediately afterwards with full government support. This did not allow for any reconstructive analysis using the steel from the site to determine the actual cause - which is typically done in any major accident or catastrophe such as an airline crash. This analysis would have proven conclusively the actual cause of the collapse. They claim that this alone is clear evidence of a coverup.

I don't necessarily agree with everything in the film but it certainly raises alot of good questions. And Ed Begley Jr. is in it too - he introduces the MIT structural engineering professor who raises alot of these questions - and any film with (Spinal Tap drummer) John 'Stumpy' Pepys in it is definitely worth seeing.

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Postby LionIndex » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:14 pm

Most of these are pretty easy to chip away at.

- The fireballs from the impact of the jets would have burned off most of the fuel, so there would not have been enough there to cause a large enough fire to result in such a collapse.

Aside from, of course, the giant fireballs themselves.
- The fire from the remaining fuel could not possibly have burned hot enough (even with extra fuel from office contents) to weaken the steel to the degree that it supposedly did - this is based on data from burning jet fuel in ideal conditions and the fire rating of the steel used in the towers

If jet fuel and reams of office supplies and paper are not enough to weaken the structural steel, then why bother fireproofing the steel in the first place? Also, it wasn't just "a fire in a building", it was a fucking airplane hitting a building. How many columns do you think the impact alone took out?
- And even if it WAS hot enough to weaken the steel near the top, there is no way it should have collapsed the entire building from the top down - considering that the steel at the top of any building has far less load on it than the steel at the bottom.

For the steel columns, that's probably true. However, from what I've seen for explanations of how the buildings went down, it wasn't the columns that initially failed, it was the floor joists that spanned from the exterior curtain wall to the steel columns in the core of the building. But more on that later.
- The pulverization of all of the concrete and office contents of the buildings into a fine dust is apparently another sign that this had to be a controlled demolition. They show an interview with the Governor of New York State a week or so afterwards standing at Ground Zero where he is describing how when he first visited the site he expected to see some intact pieces of concrete but there was none to be seen, just pieces of steel and aluminum.

Other than in the parking garages, there really was no structural concrete within the WTC towers, so this is a non-issue. There was no concrete to blow up. Period. Concrete could have been used as fireproofing for the steel (there's that pesky problem again!), but they decided it was too expensive so they used gypsum sheathing instead. The same stuff protecting the structural steel in the towers is the stuff forming your walls in your home that you can easily put your fist through. If you can punch through that stuff, what do you think an airplane could do? Remeber the story about the guys that were trapped in a fire stair and basically dug their way out with a squeegee? Tough stuff, that gyp board. The governor (is Pataki a structural engineer? No? Huh.) didn't see anything but aluminum and steel because that's all there was in the first place.
- They also state that a large majority of the structural steel from the buildings after the collapse was left in roughly 30 ft lengths, which conveniently allowed for quick loading onto trucks for disposal without the need for time-consuming and bothersome cutting.

Structural steel comes in standard lengths for ease of transport and construction. How long should the steel have been? Is the force of a 100-story building collapsing not sufficient to rip some bolts?
- And for the collapse to happen at freefall speed straight down? According to the experts - and common sense really - the only way that could happen is in a controlled demolition

Okay, back to the steel bar joists, and the basic structural concepts for the WTC. Basically, the towers consisted of an outer structural steel tube and an inner core for vertical support, with steel bar joists spanning between those two systems. Bar joists are made of relatively small pieces of steel--a couple angles at the top and bottom that may measure 3" on a side and a bar or angles separating the top and bottom pieces forming a truss structure. In the WTC, bar joists not only were the floorspan system, but they also served to connect the inner structure with the outer shell. The fires didn't need to weaken the main steel columns, they just weakened the bar joists, which caused them to collapse, thus severing the tie between the inner and outer structure. It would not take much of a fire to weaken the steel in the floor joists. Loss of this connection, plus the gaping holes left in the buildings from being hit by an airplane, caused the buildings to basically "unzip", with the floors that had already lost their connections falling onto lower floors and collapsing them as well. What I saw on TV seemed pretty consistent with that analyssi, as opposed to controlled demolition. Anyway, once the intact upper chunk of the building started falling, there really wasn't anything to stop it. And if it was a controlled demolition, how in the world would they get the explosives into the buildings without anyone noticing? And wouldn't thousands of people report hearing a loud boom just before the towers fell if that was the case? Did they set off the explosions when the planes hit, or an hour later when they fell?
- And although it is a federal crime to tamper with a crime scene prior to the completion of a full investigation, the site cleanup started almost immediately afterwards with full government support. This did not allow for any reconstructive analysis using the steel from the site to determine the actual cause - which is typically done in any major accident or catastrophe such as an airline crash. This analysis would have proven conclusively the actual cause of the collapse. They claim that this alone is clear evidence of a coverup.

What should they have done? Left it there? For how long? For what purpose? Just to prevent people from coming up with conspiracy theories? They're supposed to leave lower Manhattan shut down for....months?....just to poke around the debris? When everyone saw two hijacked planes hit the towers? What was there really to investigate? How to prevent something similar in the future? First step--don't fly airplanes into buildings and most of your problem is solved.
- Trade Tower 7 (the 3rd building to fall at 5:30 that afternoon) fell the same as the twin towers (straight down at free fall speed) without having been hit by a plane and with fires on only 2 floors. Fires were caused by debris from the twin towers. They cited 2 recent high rise fires, 1 in Madrid and 1 in another place that I can't recall, where the fires burned much hotter than any of these fires and for much longer periods of time and neither building collapsed.

I really can't explain that one.

Anyway, the real argument against the conspiracy is just a form of Occam's razor. Why should there be a conspiracy? What would they gain from 9/11 that was worth the lives lost and property destroyed? How is it so damn hard to believe that crashing a jetliner into a building will make it fall down that we have to come up with all these alternative explanations? If our main concern was going to be instigating a war against Iraq and Afghanistan, why were all the hijackers absolutely not from those two countries? If you were picking a bunch of patsies to make people want to attack Iraq, wouldn't you think you'd make damn sure there was an Iraqi on one of those planes? The whole conspiracy theory raises a lot more puzzling issues than it solves, at least for me.

All these structural issues are nipicky little things--step back and take a look at the big picture. This would have to be a conspiracy involving all kinds of aspects of the government, every level of the military, possibly independently hired demolitions experts, reams of organizational paperwork, etc., etc., etc. And yet, no one has come forward in four and a half years to even put any kind of documentable evidence on the table that even points to such a thing. No one. I think the show I saw on PBS was a Nova broadcast. I think I'll stick with believing Nova.


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