Posts from February 2012
Debunking the real 9/11 myths
Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of an extensive report by researcher Adam Taylor that exposes the fallacies and flaws in the arguments made by Popular Mechanics in the latest edition of Debunking 9/11 Myths. We encourage you to submit your own reviews of the book at Amazon.com and other places where it is sold.
|The revised version of Popular Mechanics’ book Debunking 9/11 Myths continues to defend myths that are scientifically impossible|
A decade has passed since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and many people feel that we have still not had a real investigation into what really happened that day. Many believe that the investigations into the destruction of the three WTC skyscrapers by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) were either fraudulent or incomplete, and have joined the 1600+ architects and engineers at AE911Truth in calling for a real, independent investigation into the attacks. However, Popular Mechanics (PM) has been the primary cheerleader in the mainstream media in defense of the NIST reports ever since its book, Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up To the Facts, was published in 2006.
For the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, PM put out a second version of its book, which was updated in an attempt to dismiss new findings that corroborate the controlled demolition hypothesis. The main sections of the book that were revised are on the collapse of the Twin Towers and World Trade Center 7. This report demonstrates that PM has still not adequately explained the numerous anomalies surrounding the collapse of these three buildings that prove they were destroyed with explosives.
(Quotes from Popular Mechanics’ book are shown in red and with page numbers.)
World Trade Center Towers 1 & 2
The introduction to PM’s chapter on the collapse of the Twin Towers briefly discusses the main theory put forward by members of the 9/11 Truth movement regarding the Towers’ destruction: “The buildings were brought down intentionally—not by hijacked airplanes, but by government-planted bombs or a controlled demolition” (pg. 28). PM then goes on to give a few examples of people promoting this theory. One of the people they cite is a Danish writer named Henrik Melvang, who, according to PM, “markets his book and video claiming the Apollo moon landings were a hoax” (pg. 28). This is obviously an attempt on PM’s part to portray those who question the collapse of the Towers as conspiracy theorists who have irrational beliefs. PM also cites Morgan Reynolds, the former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor during President George Bush’s first term, as someone who believes that the Towers were destroyed through controlled demolition.
We must ask ourselves why PM would choose to cite these people as examples of those who question the collapse of the Towers. Why didn’t they cite anyone with experience in the fields of engineering and building construction? According to PM, it’s because the 9/11 Truth movement doesn’t have any technical credentials. In their 2011 book, they state that:
Though Reynolds and a handful of other skeptics cite academic credentials to lend credence to their views, not one of the leading conspiracy theorists has a background in engineering, construction, or related fields. (pg. 28-29)
This statement is by far one of the most remarkable passages in PM’s book. One need only look at what most consider the lead organization in the 9/11truth community, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, to see that there are currently over 1600 professional architects and engineers with backgrounds in engineering, architecture and building construction who question the destruction of the three WTC high-rise buildings. How can PM possibly have omitted over a thousand experts who agree that the Twin Towers and WTC7 were brought down with explosives? In PM’s entire 216 page book, there is not a single mention made of AE911Truth or its founder, architect Richard Gage, AIA.
|Popular Mechanics did a poor job of updating their book, leaving in claims from their 2006 version (excerpt shown above) that no leaders of the 9/11 Truth movement have backgrounds in engineering. They completely ignore the hundreds of engineers at AE911Truth who have examined the WTC evidence and are demanding a real investigation|
When one looks back at their 2006 book, we can see that this exact same statement appears on the exact same pages.
This fact shows how PM has decided to structure their new book: i.e., update it only where it benefits them. As we will see, this tactic is used more than once in PM’s grossly flawed book.
|The debate over the airplane crash at the Empire State Building is irrelevant because the design of the Twin Towers was far more robust than that of older high-rises|
1.1 The Empire State Building Accident
PM discusses the incident in 1945 where a B-25 bomber lost in the fog crashed into the side of the Empire state building. They claim that “some conspiracy theorists point to [this incident] as proof that commercial planes hitting the World Trade Center could not bring down the towers” (pg. 29). To counter this assertion, PM discusses the construction of the Towers compared to the construction of the Empire State Building and how the Towers’ structures “were in some ways more fragile” (pg. 30). They also quote structural engineer Jon Magnusson as saying that “These structures look massive, but they’re mostly air. They are air, punctuated with thin layers of concrete and steel” (pg. 30). While it is true that the Towers were mostly empty space by volume, this is true of any large skyscraper. The idea that the Towers were in some way less structurally sound than the Empire State Building is contradicted by a variety of technical sources, including this telegram written by Richard Roth, partner at Emery Roth & Sons, which was the architectural firm that designed the Twin Towers:
THE STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS CARRIED OUT BY THE FIRM OF WORTHINGTON, SKILLING, HELLE & JACKSON IS THE MOST COMPLETE AND DETAILED OF ANY EVER MADE FOR ANY BUILDING STRUCTURE. THE PRELIMINARY CALCULATIONS ALONE COVER 1,200 PAGES AND INVOLVE OVER 100 DETAILED DRAWINGS.
4. BECAUSE OF ITS CONFIGURATION, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY THAT OF A STEEL BEAM 209' DEEP, THE TOWERS ARE ACTUALLY FAR LESS DARING STRUCTURALLY THAN A CONVENTIONAL BUILDING SUCH AS THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING WHERE THE SPINE OR BRACED AREA OF THE BUILDING IS FAR SMALLER IN RELATION TO ITS HEIGHT.
5. THE BUILDING AS DESIGNED IS SIXTEEN TIMES STIFFER THAN A CONVENTIONAL STRUCTURE. THE DESIGN CONCEPT IS SO SOUND THAT THE STRUCTURAL ENGINEER HAS BEEN ABLE TO BE ULTRA-CONSERVATIVE IN HIS DESIGN WITHOUT ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE ECONOMICS OF THE STRUCTURE.i