Raving Conservative


Monday, September 25, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

It seems like every time a major event happens some group of kooks has to concoct a wild conspiracy theory and find any amount of flimsy, circumstantial, and questionable evidence it can to promote and support it. There are people who believe the following list of conspiracies: 1- Marilyn Monroe was murdered by the Secret Service on the orders of a jealous Jacqueline Kennedy. 2- JFK was killed by the CIA. 3- Alger Hiss was an innocent stooge that was set up as a fall guy by Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover to create the Red Scare. 4- Man never landed on the moon. 5- Man did land on the moon, and it turned out to be a giant alien observation post. 6- Intelligent life from other worlds has nothing better to do than shove probes up the behinds of every human they can possibly abduct before wiping their memories clean and returning them to Earth. 7- Marriage was invented to oppress women. 8- The Twin Towers were destroyed by the US government to boost President Bush’s poll numbers.

All of these are patently ridiculous, and all of them have been packaged and repackaged to create and maintain a cult following of people who have a natural distrust of the government. They are nothing more than manipulative exploits designed to make money for a specific few who are only to happy to profit from the gullibility and suspicion of their fellow man.

The one about the Twin Towers being destroyed by the US government is particularly appalling because it takes the worst act of terrorism in all of history, and redirects the blame form the Muslim Terrorists who have admitted to planning and carrying out this vile act to President George W. Bush in a transparent effort to make political gains at the expense of America as a whole. I have followed the logic the conspiracy theorists use, and every last bit of it is readily explainable by physics, chemistry, basic logic, and a little bit of examination of the rest of the facts.

One such theory is the Thermite was used to melt the iron structure of the World Trade Center. Thermite burns hot enough to melt iron and steel, and it would explain what appeared to be molten metal running from one of the towers. There are two other explanations though. 1: The molten metal could easily have been lead piping or tin, both of which are present in most large buildings. 2: Combine burning jet fuel, which burns so hot water actually feeds the fire, with iron and aluminum, and you could potentially have a chemical reaction he would create some amount of thermite. Other considerations when dealing with chemistry are the thousands of other chemical compounds that would be fueling the fire. In chemistry, and combustion is a chemical reaction, there are several types of reactions. I shall use unofficial terms for simplicity’s sake. There is the basic single compound reaction. This is always predictable. But there are several ways a multiple compound reaction could work. The first is that they do nothing to each other and react independently. The second is that they could interfere with each other and actually reduce the violence of the reaction. The third is that they can add a portion of their energy to the reaction up to each other’s full amount. In this situation 2+2 can equal anything from 2.1 to 4. The final is a multiplying effect. This is a particularly hazardous reaction type because 2+2 will generally equal 5, 6, 8, or even 10.
So, what are the odds that say . . Zinc and magnesium, both highly flammable metals with a low flash point compared to their burning temperature were present in large quantities in the WTC? The odds are 100% that they were present in alloy form, which could have been broken down by vigorous thermal reactions around them.

What about the explosions people heard before the WTC actually collapsed? Any large cracking sound coming from such a large structure would make a booming sound. So if any of the structural support was failing for any reason prior to the collapse, which absolutely HAD to happen or there would not have been any collapse, it would be heard as an explosion despite the lack of any explosive being used.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The point is that every bit of evidence of “evidence” the wacko conspiracy theorists point to is entirely too easy to explain in non-conspiratorial thinking. I understand that not everyone actually paid attention in school, so not everyone has a grasp of the basic concepts that I have presented here, so I can excuse the ignorant for acting ignorantly. The people I have a real problem with are the ones who should know better and selfishly, irresponsibly, propagate a lie for self gain. These people are the ones the ignorant point to as experts in most cases, and this exploitation of the ignorant is inexcusable.


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    By Anonymous metal, at 1:50 AM  

  • Well, there are several levels to this belief. Some people would say that the Bush Administration knew of the attacks beforehand, and just didn't bother to stop them. There's certainly historical precedent for that. And there are are lot of very peculiar things about 9/11 that have never been explained satisfactorily. For example, after flights were grounded on 9/11, several other planes were found with knives hidden under seats and strapped to seatbacks, which could indicate that not only were there a lot more attacks planned that day, but that there were accomplices working within the airports to help. Yet not many people even know that. Likewise, Bush's failure to leave the classroom on 9/11 immediately after the second plane struck is mighty strange. Why didn't the secret service rush him from the room (as they did Dick Cheney)? There was a possible assassination attempt on Bush on the morning of 9/11 (another fact not many people know). Are we really to believe that the secret service would just let the President sit there, when his schedule that day was a matter of public record? And what of the many public officials who were warned not to fly on 9/11? These are important questions, and they deserve real answers, not people dismissing them as "conspiracy theories."

    Incidentally, the term "conspiracy theory" is pretty disingenuous. The official explanation of 9/11 is just as much a conspiracy theory as anything else.

    By Blogger Wasp Jerky, at 10:36 AM  

  • Distort enough facts to fit a theory, package it with a nice red bow, and stir in some moonbat juice in the Kool-aid, and some of these idiots would believe anything if it makes Bush look bad.

    So sad that many of these people are blinded by their own hate that they can't use their brains to think things out rationally....

    By Blogger Tom, at 1:50 PM  

  • Daniel: "the Muslim Terrorists who have admitted to planning and carrying out this vile act"

    You say admitted. People who have made a career out of fundraising under the "Death to America" banner call it taking credit. Big difference. (Weren't you watching that whole 'JonBenet's killer' debacle?)

    Daniel: "The Twin Towers were destroyed by the US government to boost President Bush’s poll numbers."

    Yeah, you'd really have to be a lunatic to think poll numbers would be enough motivation to commit a crime of that magnitude, or allow one to happen.

    I'm curious, though . . . What, in your mind, would be sufficient motivation to suspect an inside job? A billion dollars? Seven? Fifty? A hundred?

    As to the rest, yeah, there are a lot of perfectly absurd allegations out there, cruise missile hitting the Pentagon and such. But there's also plenty that would cause an objective observer, or an arson investigator, to do a double take. Like the towers changing hands and getting a fat new insurance policy just a couple months before. Or all the corporate criminal investigation files that went up in smoke with the collapse of WTC 7, which housed several federal agency offices and wasn't hit by any airplanes. Most peculiar is the fact that all three buildings fell at speeds closely approximating freefall, as they would in a controlled demolition. You'd expect a building collapsing under its own weight to do so more gradually.

    Does any of that prove some kind of conspiracy? No. But it certainly fuels suspicion. I think it's fair to say that a parallel case -- one without the political potency or the physical scale of 9/11, but following a similar fact pattern -- would receive a good deal of attention from investigators. Don't you think?

    The actual criminal investigation, on the other hand, was practically nonexistent. When all you have to connect Osama to the attacks is a video purporting to show him taking credit, that's pretty pathetic detective work. (The FBI's most wanted poster for Osama doesn't mention 9/11 at all, because there's no solid evidence connecting him to it.) The administration's blatant and cynical use of the attacks to promote its own agenda -- and utter neglect of precautions that might protect us against future attacks -- certainly aren't helping deflect suspicion.

    So, yeah, it's unfortunate that people wouldn't put it past our government to pull something like this. For all sorts of reasons, it's very unfortunate.

    By Blogger catastrophile, at 4:49 PM  

  • Why is it these days that no one can take anything at face value?

    I don't usually argue like this but to whomever believes that the US is responsible for 9/11, you're nuts. That's really all I can say I think...

    By Blogger Robert M., at 4:54 PM  

  • "You say admitted. People who have made a career out of fundraising under the "Death to America" banner call it taking credit. Big difference."

    The fact that the terrorists took credit for the act does not prove that they are inncoent if that is what you are implying. It is a guarantee that one of the terrorist groups that claims to have commited an act of terrorism is the one that is guilty. Interestingly enough, only one dared actually take credit for this one: Al Qaeda. That kinda narrows the choices.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 11:05 PM  

  • I don't see how you can argue that if a terrorist group claims responsibility, they must be telling the truth. Claiming to have struck such a blow against America is exactly the sort of self-aggrandizing lie that such a messianic madman would embrace to gain support and accolades. But if you want to take Osama's word for it, that's up to you.

    By the way: Here are five images. Does one of them happen to jump out at you as not matching the others?

    Wanna take a guess as to which of those images "confessed" to planning 9/11?

    You seem to be arguing that unless somebody can prove exactly what happened, they're not allowed to question the official story. I'm saying that the official story is implausible enough on its face to warrant a certain degree of suspicion. That doesn't automatically translate into an inside job or what-have-you. It simply means that we don't know the whole story.

    There's plenty that hasn't been explained, and your answers are just conjecture, the same as anybody else's.

    Could melting computers and file cabinets on the floors that were actually burning have formed thermite? Possibly.

    Could that explanation account for the complete disappearance of the buildings' structural cores? Much less possibly.

    Could there be some other explanation? You bet.

    Do we know what it is? Nope.

    That being the case, some people will reach for answers that implicate the administration, just as you're reaching for answers that preserve the official story. If your theory is right -- if thermite formed spontaneously in the fires, and that contributed to the collapse, why was that not mentioned in the official reports?

    By Blogger catastrophile, at 12:19 PM  

  • "Claiming to have struck such a blow against America is exactly the sort of self-aggrandizing lie that such a messianic madman would embrace to gain support and accolades."

    Too true. Which is why it should strike you as odd that only one terrorist group chose to take responsibility. You would think that EVERY terrorist group would have been fighting for recognition for this nefarious deed.

    "By the way: Here are five images. Does one of them happen to jump out at you as not matching the others?"

    Why yes one does. the last one is blurry while the others are sharp. The last one is indoor lighting while the others are outdoor lighting. I recognize evry last one of them, and the last one is also the oldest, from before Osama Bin-Laden was forced into hiding, explaining the the slight diference in fullness of face from the last to the other four. And yes, I do know that the last one is from the captured tape where Osama takes credit for taking down the WTC. I always enjoy the way that every conspiracy theory relies on fuzzy photos for support though. Why fuzzy? because fuzzy ones are generally obscured enough to allow a degree of open interpretation, which allows for support that a nice, sharp image does not.

    "There's plenty that hasn't been explained, and your answers are just conjecture, the same as anybody else's."

    True. My answers are conjecture based upon what I know of physics, chemistry, and construction. The point was not that I am absolutely right, but that there are explanations that do not require the US government to be a bunch of murderous criminals.

    "Could that explanation account for the complete disappearance of the buildings' structural cores? Much less possibly."

    Could the fact that mangled, broken, and crushed structural cores were simply among the hundreds of tons of debris and were simply cleaned up and thrown away be another explanation? yes it could. The structural cores did not simply "vanish", and they do not vanish in controled demolitions either. so unless you wanna start theorizing that the structural cores were teleported out by alien technology or some other equally preposterous piece of conjecture, I suggest you lay that supposed bit of evidence to rest. Remeber, vanishing structural cores are not consistent with controlled demolition.

    "If your theory is right -- if thermite formed spontaneously in the fires, and that contributed to the collapse, why was that not mentioned in the official reports? "

    I am not even saying thermite neccessarily did form in the fires. The molten metal could easily have been lead, tin, aluminum, and other low melting point metals from them plumbing, office supplies, computers, decorations, and elsewhere.

    At least we agree on one thing: The evidence for this conspiracy thoery is most definitely open to scrutiny. The sad thing is that there are people who have simply bought the story hook, line,m and sinker.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:08 AM  

  • But you're forgetting the near-freefall speeds. For the core to buckle and break on its own should take time . . . For the buildings to collapse as they did, the cores would have needed to cease to exist as structural supports, and very quickly.

    As to the fuzzy image, it's fuzzy because the original -- or at least, every copy of the video released by the government -- is fuzzy. So the very same argument you're making about obscuring detail applies. Your theory that Osama "plumped up" due to the soft life he was living is just that, another theory. Did he get a nosejob as well?

    By Blogger catastrophile, at 12:08 PM  

  • "For the buildings to collapse as they did, the cores would have needed to cease to exist as structural supports, and very quickly."

    I'm going to ignore the obvious implication you are making about vaporizing structural cores since no such thing happens in this world, even with a controlled demolition. What I will say is that it is quite concieveable that having 20 stories of concrete and steel slam down on top the rest of the structure has all the force needed to break any structural supports beneath them. A simple fact of engineering skyscrapers is that the support structure's carrying capacity is close to maxed out by the wight of the building. It is the limiting factor in building size. I it could have supported much more wieght the towers would have bee taller. And do try to remember that when an object falls it impacts with more force than the static wight has on its own. MUCH more force in fact.

    "Did he get a nosejob as well?"

    In answer to this I suggest you get a mirror and look at yourself straight on, as is the case in all but the fuzzy picture. Then turn your head to the side and observe your own nose from an angle and from the side. You will notice that it does not look exactly the same. Something to note, in all of those pictures it is easy to see that Osama has a slightly hooked nose, giving him a rather hawkish appearance. The nose is the same.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 8:45 AM  

  • "I'm going to ignore the obvious implication you are making about vaporizing structural cores since no such thing happens in this world, even with a controlled demolition."

    In a controlled demolition, coordinated explosions are utilized to cause a near-simultaneous collapse of supports up and down the structure of a building, timed to detonate an instant before the collapse reached that point, allowing for a smooth, uninterrupted fall.

    Such an explosion would probably look an awful lot like these -- the one shooting out the side and another one, harder to make out because it's shooting toward the camera, level with the other one and in the middle of the building face. (That image was yoinked from time position 35:50 in this video, by the way, if you'd like to see it in context. A lot of the rest of the video is unsubstantiated rumor and speculation, of course, which I'm not going to try to defend -- I never even finished watching the video -- but some of the footage they found is fascinating, especially from 35:45 to 37:45.) And yes, I know you can argue that that was caused by sudden compression from the collapse, but the localized nature and sheer force of the bursts -- not to mention the the thick plumes of pulverized matter -- all tend to point toward explosions, not escaping air. Which would explain the speed and smoothness of the collapse, in a way that no other explanation I've seen would.


    As to the natural collapse theory -- putting aside the immediate problem that you're suggesting that the top 20 floors "slammed down" as if they were dropped suddenly -- which is in no way consistent with a collapse caused by structural weakening by fire, which would result in a gradual shifting of weight, not a "slam" -- but putting that aside, no matter how much force was applied, there would be discernible resistance, resulting in slowing and irregularity, as the energy transfer and buckling/breaking of the supports took place. You just can't get free-fall speeds out of a building collapsing under its own weight.


    As to the Osama pictures, D and E are substantially the same angle, only slightly different. In my opinion, the nose is clearly not the same. Osama's nose is hooked, the individual in E has a more pointed nose. But like you said, the fuzziness of the video the government released as "proof" makes it easy to mistake one for the other. Or to see what you want to see.

    Does that mean I don't think Osama was involved? No. As a matter of fact, given all the panicked Osama memos that were apparently flying around DC intelligence circles in the first half of 2001, I think it's pretty safe to say that Osama's network was definitely involved. But that doesn't preclude the possibility that the ISI or some other "friendly" agency was asked to produce some evidence and decided to actually produce some evidence.

    By Blogger catastrophile, at 1:38 PM  

  • After som eresearch I discovered something interesting. I know why there were no structural cores to be found in the WTC after 9/11.

    They were never there to begin with.

    It was part of the genious of teh design it seems. The WTC was teh only 2 scyscrapers in the world that were actualy supported entirely by the outer walls, a design that was supposed to make it impossible to down with an airplane. Well, we know better now, don't we?

    anyway, this is a fine example of how teh conspiracy theorists need to get thier facts straight.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 11:13 PM  

  • Even if we assume that your assertion about the nonexistence of central core is true -- which it's not -- that does not explain the freefall speed. No matter where the structural supports were, they would have offered some resistance and slowed the collapse.

    With that said: The official NIST report has charts (pdf pages 53 and 54) which clearly show the columns of the building's structural core, by way of speculating as to how badly they were damaged by the initial crashes.

    So wherever you got your research from, they ought to go set the National Institute of Standards and Technology straight on that little point.

    By Blogger catastrophile, at 1:00 PM  

  • One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports. These "hijackers" somehow managed to board all four airliners with their tickets, yet not even ONE got his name on any of the flight manifests. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name, more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the "official story" being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only "testifying" together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their "testimonies" not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

    By Anonymous Enlightenment, at 1:07 PM  

  • Enlightenment,

    If the way the terrorists lived is so unbelieveable to you then you must really wonder about how professed Chritians canlive the exact same way. In fact, you must wonder how certainhate groups that cloak themselves in religion can live that exact same way. Or maybe you don't. MAybe you actually believe that Musims are so unccoruptible thatthey would NEVER fall to the many temptations asaultingthem when they leave thier focibly sterilized countries and come someplace where they can find, see, and do anything at all.

    You really underestimate the corrupting power of secularism.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 12:24 AM  

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