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.