Monday, September 15, 2008

Two Comments re: NIST NCSTAR 1A

presented as they were submitted.


Name: skeptosis

Affiliation: none


Report Number: NCSTAR 1A

Page Number: 21

Paragraph/Sentence: paragraph 1/sentence 6

Comment: In describing its 'gathering of evidence', NIST makes no mention of any of the actual steel from WTC 7, but rather refers to pre-existing NCSTAR documents (1-3D, 1-3E, et al.) which themselves assert that no steel was recovered from WTC 7. NIST seems to have made no effort to obtain or examine existing steel samples (such as the heavily corroded beam featured in FEMA 403, Appendix C) known to have come from WTC 7, choosing instead to estimate the properties of the steel "completely from the literature." (NCSTAR 1-3D, page 273, paragraph 1/sentence 2)

Reason for Comment: Surely the theoretical steel described in the literature would not show any signs of sulfidation and erosion (as were found on the actual steel recovered from WTC 7), ensuring that NIST would not be required to investigate or identify the cause of this bizarre phenomenon.

Suggestion for Revision: "While steel from WTC 7 was, in fact, recovered, NIST made no efforts to obtain or examine this steel. Despite the failures of previous examinations to determine the cause of the sulfidation and erosion of steel samples from WTC 7, NIST felt that an investigation into the potential causes of this deterioration could threaten the Institute's ability to arrive at a conclusion that would not implicate domestic saboteurs."


Name: skeptosis

Affiliation: none


Report Number: NCSTAR 1A

Page Number: 22

Paragraph/Sentence: paragraph 6/sentences 1-2

Comment: Section 3.3, HYPOTHETICAL BLAST SCENARIOS, is the epitome of a straw man argument. The fact that NIST chose to focus solely on the likelihood of WTC 7 having been brought down by explosives, rather than by a wider range of destructive and/or corrosive elements, shows that NIST was determined to avoid examining all but the most implausible of theoretical scenarios, so as to easily disprove the plausibility of such a scenario.

Reason for Comment: FEMA 403, Appendix C, found that steel from WTC 7 had melted, due to a corrosive attack by a liquid slag containing high levels of sulfur. Several chemical compounds (FeS/FeO/SiO2/C) could potentially have caused this phenomenon, and none of them are explosives. By ignoring potential non-explosive scenarios which could have caused the collapse of WTC 7, NIST neglected its duties as outlined in the 'Guiding Principles' of its November 12th, 2002 publication, failing to conduct an investigation that was comprehensive, thorough, or objective.

Suggestion for Revision: "In its evaluation of alternate hypotheses re: the collapse of WTC 7, NIST chose to ignore the likelihood of chemical compounds having been used to amplify the effects of fire on the steel structure, and instead focused exclusively on the least plausible of these alternate theories, the use of high explosives. While the physical evidence from the scene (steel recovered from the WTC 7 debris field) showed high levels of sulfidation and erosion, NIST saw no reason to investigate this unprecedented phenomenon."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

reading the fine print of FEMA 403

[fine print - click to read]

FEMA's World Trade Center Building Performance Study (a.k.a. FEMA 403) was first released in May 2002. It is available in the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page, which links to FEMA's online collection of PDFs. But if you order a CD of the Study from FEMA's site, you'll receive the Second Printing of FEMA 403, from September of 2002. I haven't been through them both for the sake of page-to-page comparison, but one obvious difference is the addition of a disclaimer (excerpted above) to page 2 of the Table of Contents.

Normally disclaimers are no big deal. Websites use them to say 'we're not responsible for the content of third-party links'. Companies use them to say 'we're not responsible for your misuse of our product'. But this one strikes me as particularly odd. Considering that the purpose and scope of FEMA 403 included "determining the probable causes of collapse" (FEMA 403, Chapter 1, page 1) of the Twin Towers, and that the resulting documents bear the seal of FEMA and the logo of the American Society of Civil Engineers, it's somewhat disconcerting to see that "The U.S. Government, FEMA, and other Federal agencies assume no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information herein."

So it really doesn't matter if FEMA misrepresented the true size of the core columns in WTC 1 & 2, or didn't sufficiently explain the collapse mechanism(s), or referred to the unique collapse of WTC 7 as an "implosion" (FEMA 403, Chapter 5, page 31), because they're not responsible for the contents of their own report.

CYA at its finest.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The 'Deep Mystery' of Missing Steel

This is a poster i've been working on for a while now.

The pic above links to the MissingSteel blog, where you can obtain a full-size 150dpi copy of the image, suitable for printing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Popular Mechanics debunks Rosie... with a lie

Everyone by now is (or should be) familiar with Rosie O'Donnell's rants on The View recently, in which she single-handedly brought the as-yet-unexplained implosion of WTC7 back to the forefront of the 9/11 discussion.

Her words were met with scorn and ridicule by the usual suspects: the braintrust at FoxNews, the armchair 'debunkers', 'renowned metallurgist' Jonah Goldberg, and now the nattering nabobs of nincompoopery, Popular Mechanics, have chimed in on their blog.

PM's derisive 'debunkings' of the 9/11 Truth movement, and the straw-man tactics which they've employed in the process, have become the stuff of legend among the 'bunkers', and they're always diligent in giving the appearance of a strong backing by 'the experts'.

But in this case, PM is 100% WRONG on the facts, and their mis-characterization (whether intentional or not) is perhaps the most glaring example yet of their abandonment of scientific method in favor of regurgitated propaganda.

And now, to the quotes:


"I do believe that it’s the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics that World Trade Center tower 7—building 7, which collapsed in on itself—it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved. World Trade Center 7. World Trade [Center] 1 and 2 got hit by planes—7, miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible."

"Ms. O’Donnell fundamentally misstates the case with her use of the word 'melted': Evidence currently points to WTC7 also collapsing because fires weakened its ravaged steel structure."


FEMA 403 Appendix C, an examination of steel recovered from WTC7 and WTC 1 or 2:

"Evidence of a severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel, including oxidation and sulfidation with subsequent intergranular melting, was readily visible in the near-surface microstructure" - FEMA 403 C-1.

"The eutectic temperature for this mixture strongly suggests that the temperatures in this region of the steel beam approached 1,000 C (1,800 F), which is substantially lower than would be expected for melting this steel." - FEMA 403 C-2

It seems clear from the above quotes that FEMA's experts (Jonathan Barnett, Ronald Biederman, and Richard D. Sisson, Jr. ) saw visible evidence of melted steel.

Thus, Popular Mechanics fundamentally misstates the case with their attempt to disallow the use of the word 'melted'.

PM goes on to say that NIST's 2006 WTC7 Progress Report "points out that 'NIST has found no evidence of a blast or controlled demolition.' ", without bothering to mention that NIST has also claimed, and continues to claim, that "no steel was recovered from WTC7" .

NIST, in this case, appears to be inexplicably unaware of the existence of the above-referenced steel samples from FEMA 403, Appendix C.

That, for NIST, is called 'plausible deniability'. As long as they contend that the WTC7 steel samples don't exist, they can continue to insist that they've found "no evidence", and keep their 'investigation' in the realm of the hypothetical.

It is also the epitome of bad science, to ignore empirical data because it invalidates pre-determined conclusions.

The editors of PM, in their latest desperate attempt at 'debunking', seem to be skating on some rather thin ice as we enter the Spring Thaw...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

SecondLife Photoset on Flickr

Skeptosis Link on Flickr

I've just uploaded 20 pics from SecondLife, showing various details from the inside of my building.

Still very much a work in progress, but i've been busy. Should be open for visitors within a week. Comments are welcome.

9/11 Truth in Second Life

A 21st pic has been added. I re-designed the WTC model to accurately reflect the size & positions of the 47 core columns, thanks to the recent release (via an anonymous Whistleblower and Dr. Steven E. Jones) of architectural drawings of the North Tower.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

debunking Star Wars...

just when it seems the 'bunkers' couldn't get any stupider, they do. i originally came across this bit of idiocy-parading-as-satire on a myspace group (the same group whose members seemed convinced i was a 'government disinfo agent'), so i spent an hour or so and debunked it there.

but now it seems to have found a wider audience on the web, so here we go again:

1) Why were a handful of rebel fighters able to penetrate the defenses of a battle station that had the capability of destroying an entire planet and the defenses to ward off several fleets of battle ships?

The capability of destroying an entire planet is one thing, planets travel in a fixed orbit and cannot perform evasive maneuvers.

Further, the author does not cite a source for the claim that the Death Star had 'the defenses to ward off several fleets of battle ships'

2) Why did Grand Moff Tarkin refuse to deploy the station’s large fleet of TIE Fighters until it was too late? Was he acting on orders from somebody to not shoot down the rebel attack force? If so, who, and why?

"The Imperials were so confident in the Death Star's might that they never considered the Rebel fighters a viable threat."

Grand Moff Tarkin, in particular, being the mastermind behind the design & construction of the Death Star, was most likely overcome by a mental deficiency now known as 'Imperial Hubris'.

3) Why was the rebel pilot who supposedly destroyed the Death Star reported to be on the Death Star days, maybe hours, prior to its destruction? Why was he allowed to escape, and why were several individuals dressed in Stormtrooper uniforms seen helping him?

a. He was reported to be on the Death Star because he was, in fact, ON THE DEATH STAR. [insert sci-fi word for 'duh' here]

b. He was not, as the author suggests, 'allowed' to escape, but rather took advantage of the distraction caused by the Kenobi/Vader lightsaber duel to escape under heavy fire.

c. Only one other individual ('Han Solo') was seen dressed in a Stormtrooper uniform (the result of an advanced space technique known as 'disguise') The author is challenged to present any & all photographic evidence of the 'several individuals' of whom he/she/it speaks, or else abandon this canard.

4) Why has there not been an investigation into allegations that Darth Vader, the second-ranking member of the Imperial Government, is in fact the father of the pilot who allegedly destroyed the Death Star?

Such an investigation is rendered moot by the simple fact that Darth Vader was killed while defending his son from the force lightning of Emperor Palpatine. A posthumous inquiry into his backstory would require approximately six hours of uncomfortable viewing and/or suspended disbelief, and would change nothing.

5) Why did Lord Vader decide to break all protocols and personally pilot a lightly armored TIE Fighter? Conveniently, this placed Lord Vader outside of the Death Star when it was destroyed, where he was also conveniently able to escape from a large-sized rebel fleet that had just routed the Imperial forces. Why would Lord Vader, one of the highest ranking members of the Imperial Government, suddenly decide to fly away from the Death Star in the middle of a battle? Did he know something that the rest of the Imperial Navy didn’t?

a. the author is challenged to specify the 'protocols' to which he/she/it is referring.

b. the TIE fighter piloted by Darth Vader was not, in fact, 'lightly armored' as the author suggests, but was instead an enhanced version of same, with both a reinforced hull and high-powered shielding.

c. Darth Vader did not, as the author claims, 'suddenly fly away', but rather was sideswiped by another TIE fighter and sent careening into space.

6) How could any pilot shoot a missile into a 2 meter-wide exhaust port, let alone a pilot with no formal training, whose only claim to fame was his ability to “bullseye womprats” on Tatooine? This shot, according to one pilot, would be “impossible, even for a computer.” Yet, according to additional evidence, the pilot who allegedly fired the missile turned off his targeting computer when he was supposedly firing the shot that destroyed the Death Star. Why have these discrepancies never been investigated, let alone explained?

Every Jedi in the world understands how the shot was accomplished, and although the Imperial Institute of Standards and Technology (IIST) have yet to release their 'final report' on the destruction of Exhaust Port 7, you can be assured that there is a simple, logical explanation. (space sarcasm)

7) Why has their been no investigation into evidence that the droids who provided the rebels with the Death Star plans were once owned by none other than Lord Vader himself, and were found, conveniently, by the pilot who destroyed the Death Star, and who is also believed to be Lord Vader’s son? Evidence also shows that the droids were brought to one Ben Kenobi, who, records indicate, was Darth Vader’s teacher many years earlier! Are all these personal connections between the conspirators and a key figure in the Imperial government supposed to be coincidences?

a. Investigation into this non-issue is entirely unnecessary, as one of the droids was built by Lord Vader at a young age, but was then abducted by Tusken raiders, in a traumatic event that also took the life of his mother. The other droid was never owned by Lord Vader, but was in fact the property of his childhood sweetheart.

b. The droids were not, in fact, 'brought' to Ben Kenobi as the author suggests. After fleeing Darth Vader's Imperial Star Destroyer via an escape pod, one of the droids (R2-D2) purposely directed the craft to the desert planet of Tatooine, in order to convey vital information to Mr. Kenobi. Once there, the droid's mission was side-tracked after it and its companion were abducted by Jawa traders. Once acquired by a local farmer and free of the traders' control, the droid immediately sought out Mr. Kenobi to deliver the information with which it had been entrusted.

c. The author seems to have confused 'personal connections' with 'geographic proximity'. Darth Vader was from the planet of Tatooine. When he fathered children later in life, the boy (Luke Skywalker) was taken back to that planet by Mr. Kenobi, who entrusted a local couple with his upbringing, and remained nearby to live out the rest of his life in peace and obscurity, and to watch over the young man.

8) How could a single missile destroy a battle station the size of a moon? No records, anywhere, show that any battle station or capital ship has ever been destroyed by a single missile. Furthermore, analysis of the tape of the last moments of the Death Star show numerous small explosions along its surface, prior to it exploding completely! Why does all evidence indicate that strategically placed explosives, not a single missile, is what destroyed the Death Star?

Clearly the author has not examined, even superficially, the plans of the Death Star. "A small ray-shielded thermal exhaust port led directly from the surface of the station into the heart of its colossal reactor. If the port could be breached by proton torpedoes, then the resulting chain reaction would destroy the station."

Furthermore, he/she/it seems unfamiliar with the universally recognized definition of 'chain reaction': an exponentially increasing series of reactions. In this case, explosions.

and now that we're all done laughing, let's get back to the subject at hand: the murder of nearly 3,000 people on 9/11, and the lies and half-truths fed to us by our own government (and their cadre of apologists) in the 5.5 years since.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

United 93?

United Airlines Flight 93, the source of so much controversy, speculation, and skepticism.

Why? Because so little about the alleged 'crash' of this flight makes sense. One anomaly, sure, dismiss it. Anomalous events occur all the time. But this is more than a mere series of anomalous events...

1. Time of Crash
On September 12, 2001, the FAA turned over a radar record of Flight 93's flight path to the FBI. At that time, a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was told that radar contact with the plane was lost at 10:06am.

The Maryland Geological Survey released a report entitled 'Seismic Observations during September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attack' [pdf], on March 10, 2002. Using data recorded by the Seismographic Station in Standing Stone, PA (SSPA), the report's authors (Won-Young Kim of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Gerald R. Baum of the MGS) concluded that United 93 crashed at around 10:06:05 (+/- 5sec).

This seismically deduced crash time for UA93 is contradicted by three sources: the 9/11 Commission, UA93's Flight Data Recorder (FDR), and UA93's Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR).

The 9/11 Commission's report, in particular, uses a series of unverifiable assertions to discount the accuracy of the MGS report, saying in a footnote (Chap. 1, note #168) that "the seismic data ... are far too weak ... and far too speculative...". The footnote refers to an unpublished email from Won-Young Kim to the Commission, and an unpublished (or unavailable) follow-up paper written by Mr. Kim, which allegedly contradicts his earlier report, still online @ the MGS website. While the seismic data for the recorded event at 10:06:05 may indeed be 'weak', it's interesting to note that there are even LESS seismic data to indicate that United 93, or for that matter anything else, crashed at 10:03am.

The same footnote goes on to say that the Commission established 10:03 as the time of impact by using "the very accurate combination of FDR, CVR, ATC, radar, and impact site data sets." Aside from the obvious question of how the impact site could give any indication whatsoever as to the exact time of the crash, there's also the fact that most of the ATC and radar data are unavailable to the public, and the only known media reports that reference these data all mention a crash time of 10:06am.

Which leaves the FDR and CVR, both of which apparently stopped recording at 10:03am, and one of which was allegedly found 25 feet underground.

2. FDR Data - NTSB DCA01MA065 [pdf]
United 93's Flight Data Recorder, an Allied Signal SSFDR, was allegedly recovered in the crater in Somerset County, and the data stored in its memory card was extracted by Honeywell. The contents of the Flight Data Recorder have been made available to the public, thanks to a FOIA request. Several interesting points are illuminated by this data.

a. The aircraft apparently crashed at a speed of over 500mph, inverted (upside-down), at an angle of ~40 degrees. This angle does not correspond with the actual crater in Shanksville, a crude outline of what one would expect to see from a jet that had crashed 'straight down' into the ground.

b. the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) aboard United 93 never activated, but neither did 'GPWC Failure', implying that the GPWS was operating, but failed to register any alerts in the moments leading up to the alleged crash.

SINK RATE - generally sounds when an aircraft's rate of descent is dangerously high (the threshold for a 'dangerously high' rate of descent is variable, and depends on the aircraft’s altitude, flap position, and landing gear position). According to the FDR, Flight 93 descended from 10000ft to impact in its final alleged minute. From 10:02am – 10:03am, UA93 supposedly descended at a rate of 10000ft/min, yet the ‘Sink Rate’ warning did not activate.

TERRAIN - Did not activate

TOO LOW TERRAIN - Did not activate

TERRAIN AHEAD PULL UP - Did not activate

GROUND PROX WARNING - Did not activate

GPWC FAILURE - Did not activate. Again, this seems to indicate that the GPWC onboard UA93 was functioning throughout the flight.

3. CVR Data
The Cockpit Voice Recorder was also allegedly recovered in the crater, at a depth of 25 feet. The recorder was described as being in 'fairly good condition', and a transcript of the CVR data was admitted into evidence during the trial of Zacharias Moussaoui. The CVR transcript, like the FDR data, shows that NONE of the typical GPWS warnings which should have activated (esp. 'Sink Rate') did, in fact, activate. It has been suggested that this could be a result of the alleged hijackers pulling the aural warning breakers, but this suggestion overlooks the fact that there is nothing in the FDR data to indicate that the warning(s) would have activated, as no trigger conditions were encountered by the GPWC or recorded by the FDR.

4. Crash Site
The spot where United 93 is said to have crashed is an open field near Shanksville, PA - the former site of a stripmine which had since been covered over with soil. One engine was allegedly recovered from the 'crater', as were both black boxes. Those black boxes are installed in the tail of an aircraft, which seems to indicate that the entire plane from nose to tail crumpled into the soft ground. Also allegedly discovered in that crater, however, was a pristine red bandana (another piece of 'evidence' featured at the Moussaoui trial). The government asserts that the alleged hijackers of UAL93 were all wearing red bandanas on their heads, and to think one of these bandanas survived in such mint condition, while the head around which it was supposedly wrapped was 'vaporized' by the crash, strains credulity.

5. Debris Field
The debris field is perhaps the most puzzling of all, with initial reports claiming that 'nothing larger than a phone book' had been seen, followed by reports of debris falling like confetti from the sky, nearly six miles from the alleged crash site. Debris was found at Indian Lake, and also at businesses outside Shanksville proper, which is itself miles away from the alleged crash site. It has been alleged that the wind on 9/11 (9mph) was sufficient to blow light pieces of paper and fabric over these great distances, but the on-the-scene reports from local media indicate that the items found included "clothing, books, ...and what appeared to be human remains." - common sense suggests that a 9mph wind is not powerful enough to blow anything much heavier than a feather across a distance of a few hundred feet, let alone a few miles. And yet enough substantial debris was recovered at these distant locations that local residents were turning in bags full of it. Additionally, one of the two engines (or rather a one-ton piece of one of the engines) was allegedly discovered hundreds of yards from the crater, though Popular Mechanics and its cadre of experts have asserted that the 2000 lb. engine-piece likely 'bounced' that distance...

This post is a rough draft, and may be amended as further information comes to light. Readers are encouraged to follow the links, research the evidence, and draw your own conclusions. Killtown and 911Research have done a great deal of detailed analysis of just about every possible aspect of the 'crash' of United 93, and i put this post together to sum up my own personal problems with the official version of events.

Any and all feedback is welcome.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fire vs. Steel - the facts

WTC5, 9/13/01, hit by the North Tower and consumed by fire, yet still standing

"Prior to 9/11, no steel-framed buildings had ever collapsed due to fire. On 9/11, three steel-framed buildings collapsed, supposedly due to fire." - you've probably heard something along those lines in the past 5 years.

And you've probably also heard the rebuttal, "The planes hit the buildings, the buildings caught on fire, the buildings collapsed - simple as that."

In fact, some lucky viewers were fed the ‘fire caused the collapse’ line almost immediately after the towers fell...

More recently, the folks at Protec Documentation Services (and/or released a paper late last year, designed to rebut various claims regarding the collapses of the buildings at the WTC complex. And they must be doing something right, because even the US State Department refers skeptical visitors to the ImplosionWorld website...

- -

This post focuses on one single aspect of the Protec/IW paper, specifically Protec's comment in response to Assertion #8 (A steel-framed building has never collapsed due to fire...)

Protec's answer? "The fact is, many steel structures have collapsed due to fire..."


That answer (and the sentences surrounding it) seemed like a weak and/or disingenuous response. The assertion was about 'steel-framed buildings', the rebuttal was regarding 'steel structures', and the author makes no mention of the number or severity of these other fire-caused collapses. So i did some digging, in an effort to discover what these 'many steel structures' might be.

First stop, Fire Protection Engineering's online archive, which has their Historical Survey of Multistory Building Collapses Due to Fire. More of an 'overview' document, really.

And that led me to NIST GCR 02-843.

This report was prepared by Hughes Associates, Inc. under Contract Number NA1341-02-W-0686.

Their data (not included in the fpe article) shows the other two steel structures which, in addition to WTC 1, 2, 5, and 7, make up the total of SIX steel buildings (in all of modern recorded history) which have collapsed due to fire.

1. One New York Plaza (NY, NY, 08/05/70) - partial collapse
50-story office building. Fire caused several steel filler beams on the 33-34th floors to fall and rest on the bottom flanges of their supporting girders.

2. Alexis Nihon Plaza (Montreal, Canada, 10/26/96) - partial collapse
15-story steel-framed office building. Approximately five hours after the fire started, a section of the 11th floor collapsed onto the 10th floor.


The NIST report also goes on to list the many steel-framed buildings that have suffered extensive fire damage and NOT collapsed:

  • One Meridian Plaza -
    38 floors, no sprinklers, 18-hour fire, no collapse.

  • Mercantile Credit Insurance Building -
    12 floors, no sprinklers, fire burnout of floors 8-10, no collapse.

  • Broadgate Phase 8 -
    14 floors, mostly not fire protected, no sprinklers, 4.5-hour fire, temperatures up to 1000C, no collapse.

  • First Interstate Bank -
    62 floors, no sprinklers, 3.5-hour fire, no collapse.

When Brent Blanchard, the author of the Protec/IW paper, wrote that "the fact is, many steel structures have collapsed due to fire", he must've realized that 2/3 of the 'many' structures he was referring to were in fact the WTC buildings themselves.

And he also didn't differentiate between the FULL collapses of WTC 1, 2, and 7 and the PARTIAL collapses of WTC5 and the two examples above.


So again, just to re-state the undebunkable truth, prior to 9/11, no steel-framed building had ever fully collapsed due to fire.

Hope that's clear enough for everyone.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Second Life and 9/11 Truth


A few months ago i was doing the daily news crawl when i noticed a fascinating article announcing that Reuters was opening a news bureau in a 'virtual world' called Second Life (SL), and in doing so would become the 1st international news organization to establish a virtual presence there.

Being a videogame addict and all-around tech enthusiast, i decided to check it out. And after 60 days in-world, all i can say is H0LY CR@P. There's no simple way to describe SL, but it's a virtual wonderland, completely shaped & driven by the imaginations of its residents.

First there’s your ‘avatar’, the digital representation of your virtual self. You’re given pretty much granular control over every aspect of your appearance, from skintone to forehead slope to shoesize to eyelash length. Clothing is straightforward, and since a recent update there are several pre-fab avatars from which to choose, n00b uniforms. But then you notice (or don't) that there are 'templates' available on the internets - not only for clothes, but for skin as well. So anyone who knows Photoshop can essentially build themselves any item of clothing, any 'tattoo', anything you can paint onto a 3d mannequin.

"That sounds great," i hear you asking, "but WTF does any of this have to do with 9/11?"

Well that's where it gets interesting, because not only do you get total control over your avatar, but there's an in-world 3d modeler which is rudimentary (if you're used to Maya or Lightwave) but incredibly powerful (full physics w/ gravity, particles, collision detection, etc.), and is 100% free to use. Not only modeling, but scripting on top of that (using a proprietary language similar to C++), so the objects you build can be animated, and more importantly can interact with anyone who clicks on them, or for that matter anyone who gets close enough to trigger a proximity event.

You can build ANYTHING, from a spork to a skyscraper, add textures, bump-mapping, light sources, etc. and then save it to your personal inventory.

So i started messing around with it, and so far i've built a crude replica of the WTC complex, and a slightly less-crude model of the Pentagon. The idea is this: it's one thing to talk about the impractability of the official version of events, e.g. the pancake collapse theory, and another to show frame-by-frame evidence of individual windows blowing out, in what seems a synchronized, deliberate sequence of events.

It's still another to create an interactive, 3D replica of the Twin Towers, or WTC7, or the Pentagon, or a Boeing 757. Especially when that model can then be imbued with scripts to animate it in time & space, or 'hot-spots' which, when clicked, can pop-up a notecard full of facts about a particular item or event.

Interactive 3d visualization could help to make the obvious plain. It’s such a simple thing to show, in accurate scale, the before & after of the various scenes, complete with the unanswered questions regarding each - and the level of complexity which can be achieved is mind-blowing, the ‘camera controls’ feature allows users to pan 360 degrees around an object, or to zoom in on the tiniest detail.

Anyhoo, that’s my plan at the moment. Rather than bore (or confuse) you with further details, let me invite you to see for yourself. Second Life accounts are free, all you need do is choose a name (whatever you want for the first name, and then one of a hundred pre-determined surnames) and download the client. Once you’re in-world, feel free to contact me (do a ‘people search’ for Skeptosis Link and then send me an instant message), and feel free to join the group i’ve created, ‘9/11 TRUTH’.*

The registered user-base of Second Life has literally doubled every 60 days for the past six months. Nearly $1,000,000(USD) of real-world commerce takes place in-world every single day. If SL is truly the shape of things to come on the web, then a foothold has already been established for 9/11 Truth. Throughout the coming year, i hope to acquire enough virtual real estate to setup fully detailed and info-packed replicas of UA175, AA11, AA77, and UA93, the World Trade Center complex, the Pentagon, even an abandoned strip mine near Shanksville, PA.

I invite you all to join me.

* UPDATE - 06/15/07
as of this date my group '9/11 TRUTH' has been disbanded. i made the mistake of leaving enrollment open to the public. this attracted a crowd of unknown entities, 'people' whose motives were indiscernable and whose participation was non-existent. if any of you folks out in the Real World are still interested (and don't worry, it's painfully obvious that you aren't) there is a new group. IM me for details.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sunday, September 03, 2006

another Open Letter

Swiss Cheese (formerly known as WTC7 Structural Steel)

this time, straight to NIST. comments and co-signers welcome.


hello -

i've been following your investigation with great interest over the years, and first i want to thank you for sticking with it, and for the NCSTAR documents that have been released thus far.

i have been struggling with one issue in particular, and i realize that i've contacted everyone but NIST, so here goes:

NIST NCSTAR1-3 states that "no steel was recovered from WTC7", and that properties for the steel in that building will be based on "literature and contemporaneous documents".

the recent update to your FAQs (#14) now says that: "While NIST has found no evidence of a blast or controlled demolition event, NIST would like to determine the magnitude of hypothetical blast scenarios that could have led to the structural failure of one or more critical elements."

taking those two sections of quotes together, it seems that you still have not examined any of the A36 steel from WTC7.

in late 2001, Professors Barnett, Biederman, and Sisson of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute ( had and examined samples of steel from WTC7, performing an Initial Microstructural Analysis which served as the basis for FEMA Report 403, Appendix C (Limited Metallurgical Examination).

these examinations revealed a high degree of erosion in the steel, an inexplicably high level of sulfidation, and someone from WPI remarked that the steel had been reduced to 'swiss cheese'...


that was nearly five years ago, and i find it remarkable that, while FEMA definitely had steel from WTC7, and the steel was then definitely transferred to WPI for metallurgical examinations, NIST was not notified of the steel's existence, NIST is not aware of FEMA and/or WPI's possession of the steel, and since the Spring of 2002 noone from NIST has tried to obtain the A36 steel samples from these entities.

i have attempted to contact WPI numerous times to inquire as to what has become of the steel since 2001, but have not received any replies to my queries.

if you could please contact FEMA and/or Professor Jonathan Barnett @ WPI (, perhaps you could discover who has custody of the steel, obtain it, and examine it for your report.

there is no need to rely on "literature and contemporaneous documents", because the steel from WTC7 exists. this will save you the trouble of relying on 'hypothetical blast scenarios', and instead allow you to focus on physical evidence.

the "literature", for instance, will not exhibit the post-eutectic 'swiss cheese' erosion that is already well documented.

thank you for your time, and i will look forward to your reply.



Monday, August 28, 2006

an Open Letter in search of signatories

this seems to work well enough for brent bozell, so i thought i'd re-purpose the 'protest by form letter' meme.

as you may or may not know, Brent Blanchard of Protec Documentation Services (and recently released a PDF devoted to 'de-bunking' some of the demolition-related 9/11 conspiracy theories.

i studied the paper, and compared it to the FEMA and NIST reports, and found some inconsistencies which prompted me to contact the International Society of Explosives Engineers (in which Protec enjoys membership) - because, from what i've read, it looks as though Protec is violating a few parts of the Society's Code of Ethics.

i just got a reply from, saying that they won't review my comments unless i give them my name, address, and phone number... it's not an outlandish request, of course, but at the same time i fail to see how my contact information could affect the contents of FEMA 403, NIST NCSTAR 1, Blanchard's paper, or ISEE's code of ethics.


in case any of you are brave enough to cast off anonymity and personally identify yourselves, i have included the contents of my original email below, which you are free (and encouraged) to send.

thanks for your time, and good luck.




subject: re: Protec Documentation Services

Sirs -

I am writing with a comment about an organization which claims membership in your organization, Protec Documentation Services of Rancocas, NJ.

Protec recently released a paper, 'WTC COLLAPSE STUDY', on its sister-site ''.

Having read the paper, and having compared the statements therein with the US Government's official positions on the issues addressed, I have reason to believe that Protec has failed to comply with at least two of the ISEE Fundamental Principles and Fundamental Canons listed on your website's Code of Ethics page.

ISEE Fundamental Principle #1:
ISEE Members uphold and advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the engineering profession by using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of humankind.

I am not an expert in explosives, structural, or fire protection engineering, but I am definitely a member of 'humankind'.

After comparing Protec's statements regarding the WTC collapses with the statements of experts contracted by FEMA and NIST, I feel that rather than 'enhancing' anything, Protec has instead misrepresented and obfuscated the facts.

--Example 1--
a refutation of the assertion "they [the WTC Towers] fell straight down into their own footprint"

"PROTEC COMMENT: They did not. They followed the path of least resistance, and there was a lot of resistance."

This statement is at odds with NIST NCSTAR1, page 196:
"The structure below the level of collapse initiation offered minimal resistance to the falling building mass at and above the impact zone. ...the stories below the level of collapse initiation provided little resistance to the tremendous energy released by the falling building mass"


ISEE Fundamental Canon #3:
ISEE Members shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.

Clearly, Protec's release of this paper constitutes the issuance of a public statement, and a portion of the paper seems at best misleading, if not outright untruthful.

--Example 2--
a refutation of the assertion "A steel-framed building has never collapsed due to fire..."

"PROTEC COMMENT: ...The fact is, many steel structures have collapsed due to fire."

This statement is at odds with FEMA Report 403, Chapter 5, page 1:
"Prior to September 11, 2001, there was little, if any, record of fire-induced collapse of large fire-protected steel buildings."


--Example 3--
an excerpt from a page on the implosionworld website:

No. They collapsed in an uncontrolled fashion, causing extensive damage to surrounding structures, roadways and utilities."

This statement is disingenuous, as it purposefully does not address the collapse of WTC7, which is described in FEMA 403, Chapter 5 as an 'implosion' on three separate occasions.

Page 30: "...this would explain why the building imploded..."
Page 31: "...the facade was pulled downward, suggesting an internal failure and implosion."
Page 31: "Loss of strength due to the transfer trusses could explain why the building imploded..."


I trust that the above examples are sufficient to demonstrate that Protec Documentation Services is in a state of non-compliance with the above-referenced ethical standards of ISEE, and that being the case I urge you to reconsider Protec's membership in your organization.

My sole motivation in this regard is to ensure that the public record of September 11, 2001 remains untainted by mis-characterization of the events that occurred on that day, especially by self-proclaimed experts in the field of explosive demolition.

Thank you for your time, and I will look forward to your reply.



Tuesday, July 25, 2006

an Open Letter to Professor Jonathan Barnett


Months ago, I was involved in a brief correspondence with Jonathan Barnett, a professor of Fire Protection Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Barnett (along with others from WPI) performed the 'Initial Microstructural Analysis of A36 Steel from WTC Building 7', the results of which became FEMA 403 Appendix C (pdf).

The correspondence began after I discovered a mis-attributed quote in one of Dr. Frank Greening's papers at, 'Sulfur and the World Trade Center Disaster' (pdf), which seemed to suggest that FEMA Report 403 had blamed 'acid rain' for the extreme sulfidation and erosion of structural steel at WTC7.

Once it had been determined that the quote actually came from an interview in the Spring 2002 edition of 'Transformations', WPI's alumni newsletter, the 911myths paper was updated and I subsequently received the following email from Professor Barnett:

The major issue Mr. Skeptical is that you ASSUME the worst.

Dr. Greening is a thoughtful scientist. Instead of celebrating his work you zeroed in on a minor point.
The world would be a far better place if we assumed people meant well and that what you see is what you get.
Even your penname, is a reflection of strife and lack of trust in people who have done nothing to earn this view of them. I feel sorry for you and others like you who go through life like this.
One of the reasons I spend a lot of time in Australia is that by far the vast majority of Australians assume you are fair dinkum unless you prove otherwise. You might try starting over and work from that viewpoint.
You'll find it refreshing, your health will improve, and the world will be a better place.

Until then, you will have my prayers as I pray that you find peace in your soul.



I wrote the following reply to Professor Barnett, including what seemed to me a series of simple, straightforward questions regarding WPI's analysis. That was three months ago, and Prof. Barnett has still not replied, leaving these questions unanswered. After re-sending the email last week, I decided to also post it here so that anyone else who's interested can follow up with WPI, NIST, and/or FEMA...

Professor Barnett -

I appreciate your sentiments, and I share your wish for the world to be a better place than it is.

True, the world might actually be better off if we all assumed that people meant well. Especially if there were some grounds upon which to base such an assumption. But in the absence of any proof that people mean well, assuming that they do just lulls you into a false sense of security. And assuming that ‘what you see is what you get’, when there’s little or no reason to do so, will accomplish the same thing – to foster an unwarranted sense of well-being and complacency.

Frankly, if the last five years have shown us anything, it's that far too often what you get is what you DON'T see.

For instance, in the 'WYSIWYG' world that you describe:

- It would not have taken the angry, tearful insistence of 9/11 victims' families to convince the President to launch an investigation into the events of September 11th.

- President bush's initial choice to head the 9/11 investigation would not have been Henry Kissinger, the man who once said "It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but what is perceived to be true..."

- Sibel Edmonds would not still be under a gag order imposed by former US Attorney General John Ashcroft, preventing her from disclosing to the public what she discovered while working as a translator for the FBI.

- In the minutes following the 1st WTC impact, FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley's request for a warrant to question Zacharias Moussaoui, or to examine his laptop, would not have been denied on the morning of 9/11, during which time she claims to have been told "we were to do nothing in Minneapolis until we got their (HQ's) permission because we might "screw up" something else going on elsewhere in the country..."

- We would not still be waiting, five years later, for VP Cheney to disclose the participants in, and details from, his infamous "Energy Task Force" meetings.

and, most recently,

- DHS would not have just cut my city's anti-terror funding by 40%, with no explanation and no transparency into the decision-making process.


I know that in your capacity as a Professor of Fire Protection Engineering @ WPI, the above examples are outside your bailiwick. I also realize that they fall outside of the scope of Dr. Greening's papers.

I only mention them to illustrate the present culture of obfuscation and suppression of information, particularly re: 9/11, that has descended over the country since the bush Administration took office. The same culture that has given rise to the skepticism I share with a host of others, among them 'thoughtful scientists', retired military officers, former government officials, etc.

In fact, my 'penname', skeptosis, is nothing more than a combination of Greek elements meant to signify 'the process of thinking'.* Just to be clear, it's the 'strife' that has led to the 'thinking', not the other way around.


The 'lack of trust' which you observe in my statements was initially prompted by Dr. Greening's mis-attribution of the 'acid rain' quote. This would've been innocuous enough had that quote not served as one of the main points of introduction in his paper, "Sulfur and the World Trade Center Disaster", a paper which seems to shout "ANYTHING BUT THERMITE!".

My initial reaction to the mis-attribution appeared in a heated exchange on a weblog, in which I claimed incorrectly that the quote was 'fabricated' and 'falsified', and that Dr. Greening 'lied'. I have since revised my statements, both on the blog in question and within this correspondence.

However, my skepticism was compounded by the fact that Dr. Greening has chosen to publish his papers exclusively on a website devoted to debunking 9/11 'myths' (, rather than publishing them in ANY scientific journal, whether in America or Canada. Were these papers to undergo a rigorous peer review, and then find their way into such a publication, I (and many others) would certainly be 'celebrating his work'. Unfortunately, the fact that these papers appear NOWHERE ELSE on the internet besides has led me to question the merits of his papers' assertions and conclusions.


Lastly, while I appreciate your concerns for my health, and your offers of prayer, my skepticism would be considerably diminished if you could instead answer the following questions, which should hopefully demonstrate that the only 'agenda' i'm pursuing is the truth:

(1) What became of the sample of A36 steel from WTC7, which was used in your (WPI's) initial microstructural analysis?

(1a) Was it transferred to a Federal Agency?

(1b) If so, to which Agency, and when?

(1c) If not, why was it not released to NIST, which states in NCSTAR 1-3 that “no steel was recovered from WTC7”?

(2) Doesn't NIST's reliance on "literature and contemporaneous documents", rather than actual samples of the eroded steel from WTC7, severely hamper the Institute's ability to investigate the true cause of the collapse of WTC7, and call into question the validity of the Institute's (as yet unreleased) findings?

(3) If, in fact, acid rain or ocean salt are to blame for the sulfidation of the steel beams of WTC7, at what point would these beams have been exposed to these elements in such quantities to have compromised the structural integrity of the entire building?

(Professor Biederman's quote in the Spring 2002 Transformations article, "a lot of water on a burning building will cause sulfuric acid...", seems to imply that there was a significant amount of water on or around WTC7 on 9/11. I live in Manhattan, and was here on 9/11, and can assure you that there was no precipitation on that day, acid or otherwise. Additionally, according to FEMA Report 403, Chapter 5, "due to lack of water, no manual firefighting actions were taken by FDNY" at WTC7. So i am curious as to the proposed source of the 'lot of water' in this case.)

(4) If, in fact, ASTM Grade A36 steel is so astonishingly susceptible to sulfidation in the presence of ocean salt, why on earth is A36 Steel the (API RP2A) standard construction material for steel plates and structures in offshore oil platforms, which are totally and constantly exposed to ocean salt, and, to a lesser extent, sulfur compound (SO2) emissions?

(4a) Has steel from the many offshore platforms which have burned over the years ever exhibited the post-eutectic 'Swiss cheese appearance' observed in the WTC7 sample?

(5) Is WPI's 2002-03 Stoddard Fellow Erin Sullivan still examining the WTC7 sample as part of her graduate studies, as was suggested by the Spring 2002 Transformations article?

(5a) If so, when will the results of this additional analysis be published?

Thank you again for your time. Regardless of the outcome of this correspondence, I appreciate your taking the time to reply to my emails, and I am eagerly looking forward to the day when I can write under my own name rather than a pseudonym.



* technically, if 'the process of thinking' was what i was going for, i would've chosen the name 'cogitosis'. 'skep' as a root is more accurately look/consider/examine. which is even more appropriate than i'd originally hoped.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Press Release

Hello world.

this may not be much of a 1st post, but here goes - it's the press release sent out in conjunction with the upload/release of the video:


Contact: skeptosis[at]hotmail[dot]com

‘Conspiracy Theory’, a 9/11 Music Video

New York, NY July 5, 2006 — A music video entitled ‘Conspiracy Theory’ has been placed on and, offering a concise, multi-layered, and thoroughly researched summary of the events of 9/11, and the countless discrepancies between the ‘official story’ (put forth by the bush Administration et al.) and eyewitness accounts and testimony. The roughly 6-minute video was produced anonymously by an individual known only as ‘skeptosis’ (a pseudonym composed of Greek elements to represent ‘the process of thinking’). The video was uploaded on July 4th, 2006, the 230th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, in the hopes of returning the United States to the goal envisioned by the Founding Fathers: a land free from “a long train of abuses and usurpations” by an increasingly despotic government.

The song itself was entirely written and performed by ‘skeptosis’, with the obvious exception of audio excerpts from various media broadcasts, the 9/11 Commission testimony of Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, and President bush’s address to the World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA on November 8, 2001. The video was compiled from various sources including contemporaneous films, media broadcasts, still photos, and flash animation.

In Memoriam

The song and video are dedicated to those who lost their lives in the disaster of 9/11, to the first responders who were poisoned by the air at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the attacks, and to those who continue to lose their lives & limbs in the two wars (Operation Enduring Freedom & Operation Iraqi Freedom) which were spawned by the events of 9/11.

The song and video are dedicated in particular to the memory of Pat Tillman, who believed the ‘official story’ so strongly that he enlisted in the US Army shortly after 9/11, only to be murdered in Afghanistan in a dubious case of ‘friendly fire’, and to have his heroism dishonored by the US Government, which lied about the circumstances of his death even as he was being ‘awarded’ with posthumous medals and promotions.

For additional information, contact: skeptosis[at]hotmail[dot]com

Video Title: Conspiracy Theory
Video Length: 5:41
Video Format(s): Streaming WMV (myspace), Streaming MPG (youtube)
Video Location(s):
MySpace -
YouTube -

Song Title: Conspiracy Theory
Song Length: 5:13
Song Format: Streaming WMA, Downloadable MP3
Song Location:

‘skeptosis’ (skeptosis[at]hotmail[dot]com) is the pseudonym of a New York City resident who has chosen to remain anonymous. any and all contacts or inquiries should be directed exclusively to the email address above.

# # #

Tuesday, July 04, 2006