Hey Truthers, Shut Up!

Would you believe there are still people who think 9/11 was a controlled demolition, and are still pushing their case 8 years later? I was surprised too. They're called "Truthers" (Twoofers), and in general they latch on to whatever conspiracy theory happens to be in vogue at the time, jumping ship to the next one as soon as you prove what they've been saying is complete horseshit.

I myself recently encountered someone who firmly believes the whole thing was a huge conspiracy. So I started digging for information to counter his claims, and you wouldn't believe the wealth of documentation and evidence I found. And he's still not convinced; imagine that.

Wacky (and real) 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

  • The Government killed the passengers of the 3 flights that hit, and put them on Flight 93 to get rid of the bodies.
  • Flight 93 was shot down by an Air Force jet
  • Flight 93 never existed
  • Space laser
  • Jews

The Pentagon was hit by a missile!

No, no it wasn't. The favourite claim of Truthers is that since a 757 is 40ft tall, but the hole was only 16ft tall, it must have been a missile. What they either fail to realize, or completely ignore, is that a 757 is only 40ft tall if you go from the bottom of the landing gear to the top of the tail. The fuselage, the part that actually penetrated the Pentagon, is only 13ft tall, so 16ft is just about the right size.

But the damage is only one ring deep!

No, the damage is 3 rings deep, almost 4, and the plane entered at an angle, which means the entire fuselage penetrated the Pentagon. That's also why so little debris from the plane was visible on the lawn. Frankly, I'm surprised there was any debris on the lawn.

That's one thing you need to notice about conspiracy theories: they're all built on questions designed to confuse you, using information that's either out of context or, in some cases, wholly fabricated. It turns out someone from a debunking forum did a whole lot of research on the plane that hit the Pentagon, and his information is much more detailed than what I can show here. This page has everything you could ever want to know about the plane that hit the Pentagon. And these aerospace professionals talk about the wreckage.

Incidentally, the answers to the 7 questions in that conspiracy site are:

  1. "Can you explain how a Boeing 757-200, weighing nearly 100 tons and travelling at a minimum speed of 250 miles an hour* only damaged the outside of the Pentagon?" Don't have to, since it penetrated all the way to the 4th ring. This is one of those lies I was talking about.
  2. "Can you explain how a Boeing 14.9 yards high, 51.7 yards long, with a wingspan of 41.6 yards and a cockpit 3.8 yards high, could crash into just the ground floor of this building?" Sure can. Fuselage is 13.5ft high, and the building according to that link is 72ft high. That means the average floor height is about 14.5ft, which is taller than the fuselage. So it makes sense that the plane would only penetrate one floor. This is a misdirection, as the 14.9 yards is misleading; only the fuselage height is relevant.
  3. "You'll remember that the aircraft only hit the ground floor of the Pentagon's first ring. Can you find debris of a Boeing 757-200 in this photograph?" Forgetting that the picture is so far away that you can't see any of the debris clearly, the question is moot since the plane completely entered the Pentagon. It would be surprising to have visible debris in a picture taken from that distance. However, there are numerous pictures showing parts of wheels, engines, and fuselage outside the Pentagon. They even found seats from the plane, and have recovered the black box.
  4. "Can you explain why the Defence Secretary deemed it necessary to sand over the lawn, which was otherwise undamaged after the attack?" Jet fuel is just a little flammable. I have a better question though: what does this have to do with whether a 757 hit the Pentagon? Maybe he just hated that type of grass, and decided this was as good an excuse as any to take care of it. This is a classic misdirection, making you question things that don't really address the issue.
  5. "Can you explain what happened to the wings of the aircraft and why they caused no damage?" Sure can. The wings don't have enough structural support to withstand the impact, and upon striking the building they collapsed in against the rest of the plane, either disintegrating or entering the building along with the fuselage. Airplanes don't leave an airplane shape hole like in a cartoon, they are subject to the laws of physics. The problem here is that the average reader doesn't know enough about physics and airframe design to be able to answer this question intelligently, and that's what the theorists are relying on in order to spark doubt.
  6. "Can you explain why the County Fire Chief could not tell reporters where the aircraft was?" Not his job to know. Also because it wasn't visible, having penetrated the building so thoroughly. Again, misdirection.
  7. "Can you find the aircraft's point of impact?" Probably obscured by all that smoke/foam/whatever that's being sprayed. Also not a real question, since there are dozens of pictures that actually do show it.

See what I mean?

The Twin Towers were a controlled demolition!

This is my favourite nutjob theory to debunk, not leastwise because I recently found a document that proves conclusively that it is a physical and scientific impossibility for the Twin Towers to have been a controlled demolition. That paper was written by possibly the most qualified person on the planet to write such a paper, so give it special attention. But let's handle the theories one at a time, shall we? Except where indicated otherwise, these are all answers coming from the paper I just linked.

Seismographs registered explosions before they collapsed

No they didn't. Those are the seismograph readings from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to the right there. Notice that there's no spikes before the collapses, just smooth readings that start mild, grow as the collapse occurs, and then diminish as it finishes.

But people heard the explosions!

No they didn't, they heard something loud and sharp. In a situation like that, it could have been almost anything.

But you can see them ahead of the collapse!

No, you can see air, dirt and debris being forced out the windows. 70% of a building is air, and when it collapses like that the air and everything else inside is forced to go somewhere. Path of least resistence is through the window, and that's what you saw.

But they fell into their own footprint! That only happens in demolitions!

Actually debris was reported as raining down blocks away, and a sizeable chunk of one tower cut deep in to WTC7. They certainly did not fall into their own footprint.

But they found thermite in the rubble!

First of all, they found trace amounts of thermite in the rubble. Secondly, do you know how to make thermite? I didn't know either, so I looked it up. It turns out the only ingredients are aluminum and rust. That's it. You know what there's a lot of in a tall, old building like that? Aluminum and rust. My money is on the two coming in to contact during the collapse, which would create - you guessed it! - trace amounts of thermite. Mystery solved. Of course, I can't prove this, so it's just a theory.

But no similar building has ever collapsed due to fire!

And neither did this one; it collapsed due to fire and severe structural damage. At the temperatures recorded in the fires, steel loses 90% of its strength. Empirical evidence has shown us that this alone is not enough to bring down a building, but when you hit it with a giant plane first, undoubtedly knocking out supports and warping beams, putting them at odd angles at which they can't support the structure any more, you're going to have the building collapse.

Here's something else people tend not to realize about the collapse: explosions would have forced the structure outward. Someone mentioned that the buildings came down at near freefall speed, so I went looking on YouTube for videos of the collapses, so I could judge their speed for myself. In my searches I happened to find this video, which I will embed below rather than to the side because of how important it is:

Among the things you should take away from this video:

  1. The collapse starts at 0:14 and ends roughly at 0:27, which means it fell in about 13 seconds. At freefall speed it would have taken 9.2 seconds.
  2. The camera happens to be zoomed right in on the exact point of structural collapse at the exact time it occurred, and you can clearly see the beams slowly give way, twisting inward. In an explosion, they would have moved suddenly away.
  3. As the camera zooms back out, you can clearly see beams and concrete being thrown the entire width of the building away from it, and continuing to travel outward as the collapse proceeds; obviously it didn't fall into its own footprint.
  4. The collapse begins at the point of the fire, so a demolition would either have required explosives to have been placed at exactly that point beforehand and to have survived the impact and fire without being destroyed, or they would need to have been planted ahead of time with nobody noticing.
Vèrinage - the smaller upper part crushes the larger lower part all the way to the ground, at roughly freefall speed

The other complaint I saw about the Twin Towers was that they wouldn't be able to collapse like that, from the top down, without explosions from underneath. So I went looking for instances where similar collapses have happened, and I learned about something they do in France called vèrinage, which is how they demolish buildings that are surrounded by other structures that would have their windows blown out by the explosions necessary to bring down the building in an implosion. There are no explosions involved in this demolition, just beams being weakened and pulled out place; is this sounding familiar?

But WTC7 was a controlled demolition!

You know what? I'm just going to refer you back to that PDF I linked to. WTC7 had significant structural damage from falling debris, and the demolitions experts who had arrived by that time all said they didn't hear anything that sounded like demolition explosives, and no seismograph picked any up.

Twoofers offer nothing but confusing questions. The problem is they refuse to accept the answers when they are provided, even when they are as clear as day as what I've found. You want to know who brought down the World Trade Center? A bunch of pissed off Muslims who were brainwashed, learned how to fly, hijacked some planes and crashed them in to shit.

Oh, and before I end this, the two things people always end up referring to when arguing 9/11 conspiracy are Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11, and an Internet video called Loose Change. Personally, I think mentioning either of those in a discussion about 9/11 should fall under a version of Godwin's Law; you automatically lose. However, here are 59 deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11 (and Michael Moore's responses where they exist), and another conspiracy theorist's thorough debunking of Loose Change - that's right, Loose Change is so nutjob a video that even other conspiracy theorists think it's bullshit.

So, conspiracy theorists: shut the fuck up already. You're wrong. A plane hit the Pentagon, the Twin Towers came down because planes hit them, and WTC7 came down because it was hit by massive amounts of falling debris. Get over it, and move on to some other event with no mystery to it that you think deserves a conspiracy theory. Your bullshit 9/11 theories only serve to hurt people.

Basically, fuck off.

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