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Architects & Engineers
for 9/11 Truth

As seen in this revealing photo the Twin Towers' destruction exhibited all the characteristics of destruction by explosions:


Extremely rapid onset of “collapse”


Sounds of explosions at plane impact zone — a full second prior to collapse (heard by 118 first responders as well as by media reporters)


Observations of flashes (seen by numerous professionals)


Squibs, or “mistimed” explosions, 40 floors below the “collapsing” building seen in all the videos


Mid-air pulverization of all the 90,000 tons of concrete and steel decking, filing cabinets & 1000 people – mostly to dust


Massive volume of expanding pyroclastic dust clouds


Vertical progression of full building perimeter demolition waves


Symmetrical collapse – through the path of greatest resistance – at free-fall speed — the columns gave no resistance


1,400 foot diameter field of equally distributed debris – outside of building footprint


Blast waves blew out windows in buildings 400 feet away


Lateral ejection of thousands of individual 20 - 50 ton steel beams up to 500 feet


Total destruction of the building down to individual structural steel elements – obliterating the steel core structure.


Tons of molten Metal found by FDNY under all 3 high-rises (no other possible source other than an incendiary cutting charge such as Thermate)


Chemical signature of Thermate (high tech incendiary) found in slag, solidified molten metal, and dust samples by Physics professor Steven Jones, PhD.


FEMA finds rapid oxidation and intergranular melting on structural steel samples


More than 1000 Bodies are unaccounted for — 700 tiny bone fragments found on top of nearby buildings

And exhibited none of the characteristics of destruction by fire, i.e.


Slow onset with large visible deformations


Asymmetrical collapse which follows the path of least resistance (laws of conservation of momentum would cause a falling, intact, from the point of plane impact, to the side most damaged by the fires)


Evidence of fire temperatures capable of softening steel


High-rise buildings with much larger, hotter, and longer lasting fires have never “collapsed”

9/11 - Key Issue of our Time

Australian 9/11 Truth Movement Statement
11 September 2010

The Reflecting Pool - Theatrical Trailer

An investigation of the 9/11 events by a Russian-American journalist and a father of a 9/11 victim implicates the US government in the attacks.

ALEX PROKOP (Jarek Kupsc), a successful journalist, receives a rare 9/11 video tape revealing new information about the attack. The footage was sent by PAUL COOPER (Joseph Culp), a driven researcher, whose daughter died on 9/11. Sensing a good story, Prokop travels with Cooper to New York and Washington, DC, where they uncover suppressed information implicating the US Government in the attacks. As Cooper introduces Prokop to key eye-witnesses, the façade of the "official story" begins to crumble. Prokop hears accounts of underground explosions in the Twin Towers moments before their collapse and discovers that the firm providing WTC security was run by the President's brother.

We follow Alex and Cooper as they investigate the inexplicable collapse of the 47-story WTC Building Seven, disprove the implausible airliner "attack" on the Pentagon, and uncover the illegal destruction of physical evidence from Ground Zero.

The pressure builds as the FBI intimidates Alex's editor, McGUIRE, (Lisa Black) to reveal key sources – while the magazine's corporate investors threaten to kill the entire story. Plagued by the ghosts of his Communist childhood and trying to uphold the independence of American journalism, Alex's search for the truth leads to a dangerous and shocking realization!

THE REFLECTING POOL is an intense, sobering investigation into the most controversial tragedy of our time. Drawn from established sources and based on verifiable facts, THE REFLECTING POOL is a thought-provoking study of a search for truth and the profound consequences of not looking for it any further than the nightly news.


Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction

by Steven E. Jones, Frank M. Legge, Kevin R. Ryan, Anthony F. Szamboti, and James R. Gourley

The Open Civil Engineering Journal

Volume 2 

ISSN: 1874-1495


Abstract: Reports by FEMA and NIST lay out the official account of the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001. In this Letter, we wish to set a foundation for productive discussion and understanding by focusing on those areas where we find common ground with FEMA and NIST, while at the same time countering several popular myths about the WTC collapses.


On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) were hit by airplanes. Total destruction of these high-rises at near free-fall speeds ensued within two hours, and another high-rise which was not hit by a plane (WTC 7) collapsed about seven hours later at 5:20 p.m.

The US Congress laid out the charge specifically to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to “Determine why and how WTC 1 and WTC 2 collapsed following the initial impacts of the aircraft and why and how WTC 7 collapsed”.1 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was acting with a similar motivation in their earlier study of these tragic collapses.2 NIST and FEMA were not charged with finding out how fire was the specific agent of collapse, yet both evidently took that limited approach while leaving open a number of unanswered questions. Our goal here is to set a foundation for scientific discussion by enumerating those areas where we find agreement with NIST and FEMA. Understanding the mechanisms that led to the destruction of the World Trade Center will enable scientists and engineers to provide a safer environment for people using similar buildings and benefit firefighters who risk their lives trying to save others.


1. WTC 7 Collapse Issue

FEMA: “The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence. Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue”.2

FEMA analyzed the remarkable collapse of WTC building 7, the 47-story skyscraper that, even though it was not hit by a plane, collapsed about seven hours after the second Tower collapse. We certainly agree that FEMA’s best firebased hypothesis “has only a low probability of occurrence.” NIST’s final report on WTC 7 has been long delayed and is eagerly awaited.3 Apparently it is difficult to fully explain the complete and rapid collapse of WTC 7 with a fire-based hypothesis alone.

2. Withstanding Jet Impact

FEMA: “The WTC towers had been designed to withstand the accidental impact of a Boeing 707 seeking to land at a nearby airport…” 2

NIST: “Both WTC 1 and WTC 2 were stable after the aircraft impact, standing for 102 min and 56 min, respectively. The global analyses with structural impact damage showed that both towers had considerable reserve capacity”.4

Yes, we agree, as do previously published reports: “The 110-story towers of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand as a whole the forces caused by a horizontal impact of a large commercial aircraft. So why did a total collapse occur?”5

John Skilling, a leading structural engineer for the WTC Towers, was interviewed in 1993 just after a bomb in a truck went off in the North Tower:

"We looked at every possible thing we could think of that could happen to the buildings, even to the extent of an airplane hitting the side," said John Skilling, head structural engineer….

Concerned because of a case where an airplane hit the Empire State Building [which did not collapse], Skilling's people did an analysis that showed the towers would withstand the impact of a Boeing 707.

"Our analysis indicated the biggest problem would be the fact that all the fuel (from the airplane) would dump into the building. There would be a horrendous fire. A lot of people would be killed," he said. "The building structure would still be there."

Skilling - a recognized expert in tall buildings - doesn't think a single 200-pound car bomb would topple or do major structural damage to a Trade Center tower. The supporting columns are closely spaced and even if several were disabled, the others would carry the load.

…Although Skilling is not an explosives expert, he says there are people who do know enough about building demolition to bring a structure like the Trade Center down.

"I would imagine that if you took the top expert in that type of work and gave him the assignment of bringing these buildings down with explosives, I would bet that he could do it."6

Thus, Skilling’s team showed that a commercial jet would not bring down a WTC Tower, just as the Empire State Building did not collapse when hit by an airplane, and he explained that a demolition expert using explosives could demolish the buildings. We find we are in agreement.

3. Pancake Theory Not Supported

NIST: “NIST’s findings do not support the “pancake theory” of collapse, which is premised on a progressive failure of the floor systems in the WTC towers… Thus, the floors did not fail progressively to cause a pancaking phenomenon”.3

Agreed: the “pancake theory of collapse” is incorrect and should be rejected. This theory of collapse was proposed by the earlier FEMA report and promoted in the documentary “Why the Towers Fell” produced by NOVA.7 The “pancake theory of collapse” is strongly promoted in a Popular Mechanics article along with a number of other discredited ideas.8, 9 We, on the other hand, agree with NIST that the “pancake theory” is not scientifically tenable and ought to be set aside in serious discussions regarding the destruction of the WTC Towers and WTC 7.

4. Massive Core Columns

NIST: “As stated above, the core columns were designed to support approximately 50% of the gravity loads”.4 “The hat-truss tied the core to the perimeter walls of the towers, and thus allowed the building to withstand the effects of the aircraft impact and subsequent fires for a much longer time—enabling large numbers of building occupants to evacuate safely”.10

“Pacific Car and Foundry of Seattle, Washington, fabricated the closely spaced exterior wall column panels that gave the buildings their instantly recognizable shape. Stanray Pacific of Los Angeles, Cal, fabricated the enormous box and wide-flange columns that made up the core… The core of the building, which carried primarily gravity loads, was made up of a mixture of massive box columns made from three-story long plates, and heavy rolled wide-flange shapes.” “The core columns were designed to carry the building gravity loads and were loaded to approximately 50% of their capacity before the aircraft impact.... the exterior columns were loaded to only approximately 20% of their capacity before the aircraft impact”.11

We totally agree that the WTC Towers included “massive” interconnected steel columns in the cores of the buildings, in addition to the columns in the outside walls. The central core columns bore much of the gravity loads so the Towers were clearly NOT hollow. Yet the false notion that the Towers were “hollow tubes” with the floors supported just by the perimeter columns seems to have gained wide acceptance. For example, an emeritus structural engineering professor asserted, “The structural design of the towers was unique in that the supporting steel structure consisted of closely spaced columns in the walls of all four sides. The resulting structure was similar to a tube…”.12

The fact is the Towers were constructed with a substantial load-supporting core structure as well as perimeter columns – and on this point we agree with NIST in dispelling false popular notions.

5. Essentially in Free Fall

NIST: [Question:] “How could the WTC towers collapse in only 11 seconds (WTC 1) and 9 seconds (WTC 2) — speeds that approximate that of a ball dropped from similar height in a vacuum (with no air resistance)?” [Answer:] …As documented in Section 6.14.4 of NIST NCSTAR 1, these collapse times show that: “… the structure below the level of collapse initiation offered minimal resistance to the falling building mass at and above the impact zone. The potential energy released by the downward movement of the large building mass far exceeded the capacity of the intact structure below to absorb that energy through energy of deformation. Since the stories below the level of collapse initiation provided little resistance to the tremendous energy released by the falling building mass, the building section above came down essentially in free fall, as seen in videos”.3

We agree with some of this, that the building “came down essentially in free fall, as seen in videos.” This is an important starting point. (Because of obscuring dust clouds, it is difficult to determine the exact fall times, but the statement that the buildings “came down essentially in free fall” seems correct when accelerations are viewed, for the WTC Towers and also for WTC 7.)13, 14 Further, we agree with NIST that “the stories below the level of collapse initiation provided little resistance” to the fall – but we ask – how could that be? NIST mentions “energy of deformation” which for the huge core columns in the Towers would be considerable, and they need to be quantitative about it (which they were not) in order to claim that the “intact structure” below would not significantly slow the motion.

Beyond that, NIST evidently neglects a fundamental law of physics in glibly treating the remarkable “free fall” collapse of each Tower, namely, the Law of Conservation of Momentum. This law of physics means that the hundreds of thousands of tons of material in the way must slow the upper part of the building because of its mass, independent of deformation which can only slow the fall even more. (Energy and Momentum must both be conserved.)

Published papers have argued that this negligence by NIST (leaving the near-free-fall speeds unexplained) is a major flaw in their analysis.13, 14 NIST ignores the possibility of controlled demolitions, which achieve complete building collapses in near free-fall times by moving the material out of the way using explosives. So, there is an alternative explanation that fits the data without violating basic laws of physics. We should be able to agree from observing the near-free-fall destruction that this is characteristic of controlled demolitions and, therefore, that controlled demolition is one way to achieve complete collapse at near free-fall speed. Then we are keen to look at NIST’s calculations of how they explain near-free-fall collapse rates without explosives.

We await an explanation from NIST which satisfies Conservation of Momentum and Energy for the rapid and complete destruction of all three WTC skyscrapers on 9/11, or a discussion of alternative hypotheses that are consistent with momentum and energy conservation in these near-free-fall events.

6. Fire Endurance Tests, No Failure

NIST: “NIST contracted with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. to conduct tests to obtain information on the fire endurance of trusses like those in the WTC towers…. All four test specimens sustained the maximum design load for approximately 2 hours without collapsing… The Investigation Team was cautious about using these results directly in the formulation of collapse hypotheses. In addition to the scaling issues raised by the test results, the fires in the towers on September 11, and the resulting exposure of the floor systems, were substantially different from the conditions in the test furnaces. Nonetheless, the [empirical test] results established that this type of assembly was capable of sustaining a large gravity load, without collapsing, for a substantial period of time relative to the duration of the fires in any given location on September 11”.4

We agree that NIST had actual fire tests completed and that all four “trusses like those in the WTC towers” survived the fire-endurance testing “without collapsing.” We also agree that “the fires in the towers on September 11 … were substantially different from the conditions in the test furnaces;” the test furnaces were hotter and burned longer. NIST may wish to perform a series of different tests in an endeavor to discover some other hypothesis for collapse initiation. As it stands, however, we have no physical evidence supporting the concept of total collapse due to fire from real fire-endurance tests. On the contrary, these real-life tests indicate that the buildings should not have completely collapsed. In addition, we have hundreds of cases of fires in tall steel-frame buildings and complete collapse has never occurred.

But experts said no building like it [WTC7], a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire, and engineers have been trying to figure out exactly what happened and whether they should be worried about other buildings like it around the country…. Although the fireproofing was intended to withstand ordinary fires for at least two hours, experts said buildings the size of 7 World Trade Center that are treated with such coatings have never collapsed in a fire of any duration. Most of three other buildings in the complex, 4, 5 and 6 World Trade, stood despite suffering damage of all kinds, including fire.15

Fire engineering expert Norman Glover agrees:

Almost all large buildings will be the location for
a major fire in their useful life. No major high-rise building has ever collapsed from fire… The WTC [itself] was the location for such a fire in 1975; however, the building survived with minor damage and was repaired and returned to service.16

Yet three such high-rise buildings (WTC 1, 2 and 7) completely collapsed on a single day, 9/11/2001, and could not be returned to service. There is much left to learn here.

7. Fires of Short Duration

NIST: “The initial jet fuel fires themselves lasted at most a few minutes”.4 “At any given location, the duration of [air, not steel] temperatures near 1,000 °C was about 15 min to 20 min. The rest of the time, the calculated temperatures were near 500 °C or below”.4

We agree. But then, given that the fires were brief and patchy, how did both towers experience sudden-onset failure of structural steel over a broad area in each tower and how could the collapses of all three WTC high-rises have been so symmetrical and complete?13, 14, 17 We seek discussion on these points.

8. WTC Fires Did Not Melt Steel

NIST: “In no instance did NIST report that steel in the WTC towers melted due to the fires. The melting point of steel is about 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,800 degrees Fahrenheit). Normal building fires and hydrocarbon (e.g., jet fuel) fires generate temperatures up to about 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit). NIST reported maximum upper layer air temperatures of about 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) in the WTC towers (for example, see NCSTAR 1, figure 6-36)”.3

Agreed. We also find agreement with Prof. Thomas Eagar on this point:

The fire is the most misunderstood part of the WTC collapse. Even today, the media report (and many scientists believe) that the steel melted. It is argued that the jet fuel burns very hot, especially with so much fuel present. This is not true.... The temperature of the fire at the WTC was not unusual, and it was most definitely not capable of melting steel.18

We are in remarkable agreement, then: the WTC fires were not capable of melting steel. Of course, NIST then may have trouble explaining the molten material flowing out of the South Tower just before its collapse, as well as evidence for temperatures much higher than NIST’s reported 1,100 °C.13 We offer to discuss explanations for the observed high temperatures.

9. Destruction of WTC Steel Evidence

NIST: “NIST possesses 236 structural steel elements from the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings. These pieces represent a small fraction of the enormous amount of steel examined at the various recovery yards where the debris was sent as the WTC site was cleared. It is estimated that roughly 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent of the 200,000 tons of steel used in the construction of the two towers was recovered.” “The lack of WTC 7 steel precludes tests on actual material from the structure…”.1

Thus, only a tiny fraction of steel was analyzed from the WTC Towers, and none of the WTC 7 steel was analyzed by NIST. What happened to the rest of the steel from the crime scene?

For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China, perhaps never to be seen again in America until you buy your next car.

Such destruction of evidence shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough, scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history. I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.19

And although only a small fraction of the steel was saved for testing, it is clear that an “enormous amount” of the WTC steel was examined either for or by NIST, and the samples selected were chosen for their identified importance to the NIST investigation.20

We agree that only a “small fraction of the enormous amount of steel” from the Towers was spared and the rest was rapidly recycled. The destruction of about 99% of the steel, evidence from a crime scene, was suspicious and probably illegal, hopefully we can agree to that.

10. Unusual Bright Flame and Glowing Liquid (WTC 2)

NIST: “An unusual flame is visible within this fire. In the upper photograph {Fig 9-44} a very bright flame, as opposed to the typical yellow or orange surrounding flames, which is generating a plume of white smoke, stands out”.4

“NIST reported (NCSTAR 1-5A) that just before 9:52 a.m., a bright spot appeared at the top of a window on the 80th floor of WTC 2, four windows removed from the east edge on the north face, followed by the flow of a glowing liquid. This flow lasted approximately four seconds before subsiding. Many such liquid flows were observed from near this location in the seven minutes leading up to the collapse of this tower”.3

We agree and congratulate NIST for including these observations of an “unusual flame... which is generating a plume of white smoke” 4 “followed by the flow of a glowing liquid” having “an orange glow” [3]. With regard to the “very bright flame… which is generating a plume of white smoke”, NIST effectively rules out burning aluminum, because “Aluminum is not expected to ignite at normal fire temperatures…”.3

Again, we agree.

The origins of this very bright flame and of the associated flow of an orange-glowing liquid remain open questions in the NIST report. NIST opened a very appropriate line of investigation by publishing these significant clues from the data, 3, 4 providing an important starting point for further discussion which we seek.

11. High-Temperature Steel Attack, Sulfidation

FEMA (based on work by a Worchester Polytechnic Institute investigative team): “Sample 1 (From WTC 7)… 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…. Sample 2 (From WTC 1 or WTC 2)… The thinning of the steel occurred by high temperature corrosion due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation. …The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified… A detailed study into the mechanisms of this phenomenon is needed…”2

We agree that the physical evidence for “severe high temperature corrosion attack” involving sulfur is compelling. Here we have grounds for an interesting discussion: How were “severe high temperatures” reached in the WTC buildings? What is the source of the sulfur that attacked the steel in these buildings? The answers to these questions may help us find the explanation for the “total collapse” of the Towers and WTC 7 that we are all looking for.

The WPI researchers published their results2, 21 and called for “a detailed study” of this “high-temperature” “oxidation and sulfidation” phenomenon. Yet the results were unfortunately ignored by NIST in their subsequent reports on the Towers’ destruction.3, 4 Their failure to respond to this documented anomaly is a striking phenomenon in itself. Perhaps NIST will explain and correct this oversight by considering the high-temperature sulfidation data in their long overdue report on the collapse of WTC 7. The existence of severe high temperatures in the WTC destruction is by now very well established.22 It appears that NIST has inadvertently overlooked this evidence and we offer to investigate the matter with them, in pursuit of understanding and security.

12. Computer Modeling and Visualizations

NIST: “The more severe case (which became Case B for WTC 1 and Case D for WTC 2) was used for the global analysis of each tower. Complete sets of simulations were then performed for Cases B and D. To the extent that the simulations deviated from the photographic evidence or eyewitness reports [e.g., complete collapse occurred], the investigators adjusted the input, but only within the range of physical reality. Thus, for instance…the pulling forces on the perimeter columns by the sagging floors were adjusted...4 “The primary role of the floors in the collapse of the towers was to provide inward pull forces that induced inward bowing of perimeter columns.4 “The results were a simulation of the structural deterioration of each tower from the time of aircraft impact to the time at which the building became unstable, i.e., was poised for collapse…4

We agree that NIST resorted to complex computer simulations and no doubt “adjusted the input” to account for the Towers’ destruction, after the fire-endurance physical tests did not support their preordained collapse theory.

But the end result of such tweaked computer models, which were provided without visualizations and without sufficient detail for others to validate them, is hardly compelling. An article in the journal New Civil Engineer states:

World Trade Center disaster investigators [at NIST] are refusing to show computer visualisations of the collapse of the Twin Towers despite calls from leading structural and fire engineers, NCE has learned. Visualisations of collapse mechanisms are routinely used to validate the type of finite element analysis model used by the [NIST] investigators. …A leading US structural engineer said NIST had obviously devoted enormous resources to the development of the impact and fire models. “By comparison the global structural model is not as sophisticated,” he said. “The software used [by NIST] has been pushed to new limits, and there have been a lot of simplifications, extrapolations and judgment calls”.23

Further detailed comments on the NIST computer simulations are provided by Eric Douglas.24

We would like to discuss the computer modeling and extrapolations made by NIST and the need for visualizations using numerical and graphical tools to scrutinize and validate the finite-element analysis.

13. Total Collapse Explanation Lacking

NIST: “This letter is in response to your April 12, 2007 request for correction… we are unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse”.25

This admission by NIST after publishing some 10,000 pages on the collapse of the Towers shows admirable candor, yet may come as a bit of a shock to interested parties including Congress, which commissioned NIST to find a full explanation.

We agree that NIST so far has not provided a full explanation for the total collapse. Indeed they take care to explain that their report stops short of the collapse, only taking the investigation up to the point where each Tower “was poised for collapse”.4 We offer to help find that elusive “full explanation of the total collapse” of the WTC Towers which killed so many innocent people, in the hope that it does not happen again. We have a few ideas and can back these up with experimental data.13, 22 Our interest is in physical evidence and analysis leading to a full understanding of the destruction of the WTC.

14. Search for Explosive or Thermite Residues

From a NIST FAQ: [Question: ] “Did the NIST investigation look for evidence of the WTC towers being brought down by controlled demolition? Was the steel tested for explosives or thermite residues? The combination of thermite and sulfur (called thermate) "slices through steel like a hot knife through butter." [Answer: ] NIST did not test for the residue of these compounds in the steel”.3

We agree; there is no evidence that NIST tested for residues of thermite or explosives. This is another remarkable admission. Probing for residues from pyrotechnic materials including thermite in particular, is specified in fire and explosion investigations by the NFPA 921 code:

Unusual residues might remain from the initial fuel. Those residues could arise from thermite, magnesium, or other pyrotechnic materials.26

Traces of thermite in residues (solidified slag, dust, etc.) would tell us a great deal about the crime and the cause of thousands of injuries and deaths. This is standard procedure for fire and explosion investigations. Perhaps NIST will explain why they have not looked for these residues? The code specifies that fire-scene investigators must be prepared to justify an exclusion.26

NIST has been asked about this important issue recently, by investigative reporter Jennifer Abel:

Abel: "..what about that letter where NIST said it didn't look for evidence of explosives?” Neuman [spokesperson at NIST, listed on the WTC report]: "Right, because there was no evidence of that." Abel: But how can you know there's no evidence if you don't look for it first? Neuman: "If you're looking for something that isn't there, you're wasting your time... and the taxpayers’ money.”.27

The evident evasiveness of this answer might be humorous if not for the fact that NIST’s approach here affects the lives of so many innocent people. We do not think that looking for thermite or other residues specified in the NFPA 921 code is “wasting your time.” We may be able to help out here as well, for we have looked for such residues in the WTC remains using state-of-the-art analytical methods, especially in the voluminous toxic dust that was produced as the buildings fell and killed thousands of people, and the evidence for thermite use is mounting.13, 22


We have enumerated fourteen areas where we are in agreement with FEMA and NIST in their investigations of the tragic and shocking destruction of the World Trade Center. We agree that the Towers fell at near free-fall speed and that is an important starting point. We agree that several popular myths have been shown to be wrong, such as the idea that steel in the buildings melted due to the fires, or that the Towers were hollow tubes, or that floors “pancaked” to account for total Tower collapses. We agree that the collapse of the 47-story WTC 7 (which was not hit by a jet) is hard to explain from the point of view of a fire-induced mechanism and that NIST has refused (so far) to look for residues of explosives.3, 22, 27 Our investigative team would like to build from this foundation and correspond with the NIST investigation team, especially since they have candidly conceded (in a reply to some of us in September 2007):

“…we are unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse”.25

We are offering to discuss these matters in a civil manner as a matter of scientific and engineering courtesy and civic duty. The lives of thousands of people may very well depend on it.


Many thanks for useful discussions with Jim Hoffman, Dr. Gregory Jenkins, Dr. Jeffrey Farrer, Prof. Kenneth Kuttler, Prof. David R. Griffin, Gregg Roberts, Brad Larsen, Gordon Ross, Prof. David Griscom, Prof. Graeme MacQueen, and researchers at AE911Truth.org and STJ911.org.


1 S. W. Banovic, “Federal building and fire safety investigation of the World Trade Center disaster: Steel inventory and identification, NIST NCSTAR1-3B”. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology, September 2005.

2 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), World Trade Center building performance study: Preliminary observations, and recommendations, Report FEMA 403. Washington, D.C.: Federal Emergency Management Agency, May 2002.

3 S. Sunder, W. Grosshandler, H. S. Lew, et al. “National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) federal building and fire safety investigation of the World Trade Center disaster, answers to frequently asked questions”, Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology, August 30, 2006. [Online]. Available: NIST, http://wtc.nist.gov. [Accessed March 17, 2008].

4 S. Sunder, W. Grosshandler, H. S. Lew, et al. “Final report on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, NIST NCSTAR. Gaithersburg”, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology, September 2005.

5 Z. P. Bazant and Y. Zhou, “Why did the World Trade Center collapse? Simple analysis”, J. Eng. Mech., vol. 128, pp. 2-6, January 2002.

6 E. Nalder, “Twin towers engineered to withstand jet collision”, Seattle Times, February 27, 1993. [Online]. Available: http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgibin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/di... [Accessed April 5, 2008].

7 Public Broadcasting System, “Why the Towers fell”, Public Broadcasting System, 2002. [Online]. Available: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/2907_wtc.html [Accessed March 17, 2008].

8 J. B. Meigs, D. Dunbar, B. Reagan, et al. “Debunking the 9/11 myths, special report”, Popular Mechanics, vol. 182, pp. 70-81, March 2005.

9 D. R. Griffin, Debunking 9/11 debunking: “An answer to Popular Mechanics and other defenders of the official conspiracy theory”, Northampton, MA: Interlink Books, 2007.

10 S. Sundar, Opening remarks of Dr. S. Shyam Sunder (NIST), May 2006. [Online]. Available: NIST, http://wtc.nist.gov/media/Sunder_Progressive%20Collapse_Remarks_050106.p... [Accessed March 27, 2008].

11 S. W. Banovic, T. Foecke, W.E. Luecke, et al. “The role of metallurgy in the NIST investigation of the World Trade Center towers collapse”,JOM, vol. 59, no. 11, pp. 22-29, November 2007.

12 D. A. Firmage. (April 10, 2006). “Refuting 9/11 conspiracy theory”, The College Times, p. A6.

13 S. E. Jones, “Why indeed did the WTC buildings completely collapse?”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, vol. 3, pp. 1-47, September 2006. [Online]. Available: www.journalof911studies.com [Accessed March 17, 2008].

14 F. Legge and T. Szamboti, “9/11 and the twin towers: Sudden collapse initiation was impossible”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, vol. 18, pp. 1-3, December 2007. [Online]. Available: www. journalof 911studies.com [Accessed March 17, 2008].

15 J. Glanz, “A nation challenged; the site: Engineers have a culprit in the strange collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel fuel”, New York Times, November 29, 2001, p. B9.

16 J. Glanz, “A nation challenged; the site: Engineers have a culprit in the strange collapse of 7 World Trade Center: Diesel fuel”, New York Times, November 29, 2001, p. B9.

17 D. L. Griscom, “Hand-waving the physics of 9/11”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Letters, February 8, 2007. [Online]. Available: www.journalof911studies.com [Accessed March 17, 2008].

18 T. W. Eagar and C. Musso, “Why did the World Trade Center collapse? Science, engineering, and speculation”, JOM, vol. 53, no. 12, pp. 8-11, December 2001.

19 W. Manning, “Selling out the investigation”, Fire Engineering, January 2002, p. 4.

20 J. Gourley, R. McIlvaine, W. Doyle, S. E. Jones, K. Ryan and R. Gage, “Appeal filed with NIST pursuant to earlier request for correction”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, 17 pp. 1-16. [Online]. Available: www.journalof911studies.com [Accessed March 17, 2008].

21 J. R. Barnett, R. R. Biederman and R. D. Sisson, Jr., “An initial microstructural analysis of A36 steel from WTC building 7”, JOM, vol. 53, no. 12, p. 18, December 2001.

22 S. E. Jones, J. Farrer, G. S. Jenkins, et al. “Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, vol. 19, pp.1-11, January 2008. [Online]. Available: www.journalof911studies.com [Accessed March 17, 2008].

23 D. Parker, “WTC investigators resist call for collapse visualisation”, New Civil Engineer, November 1, 2005. [Online]. Available: http://www.nce.co.uk/news/2005/11/wtc_investigators_resist_call_for_coll... [Accessed April 8, 2008].

24 E. Douglas, “The NIST WTC investigation-- how real was the simulation? A review of NIST NCSTAR 1”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, vol. 6, pp. 1-28, December 2006. [Online]. Available: www.journalof911studies.com [Accessed March 17, 2008].

25 C. S. Fletcher (NIST), “Response to request for correction”, Journal of 9/11 Studies, vol. 17, pp. 17-23, November 2007. [Online]. Available: www.journalof911studies.com [Accessed March 17, 2008].

26 National Fire Protection Association, “Guide for fire and explosion investigations”, NFPA 921. [Online]. Available: http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=921 [Accessed March 17, 2008].

27 J. Abel, “Theories of 9/11”, Hartford Advocate, Hartford, Connecticut, January 29, 2008. [Online]. Available: http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=5546 with reply: http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=5674 [Accessed March 17, 2008].

The Australian Publishes a Hit Piece on Richard Falk, Derides D. R. Griffin's "barking" theories

None so blind as a UN rights expert

David Aaronovitch | April 18, 2008

The Australian

I WOULD define a moment of double respect as being when, say, the Pope addresses both houses of Congress or - as happened again last week - when that great institution the BBC quotes an expert from that even greater institution, the UN.

The official in question was also the professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, Richard Falk, and his chosen subject was Israel, so I bowed slightly, turned the tap off and put down my razor to hear what he had been saying.

The gist of it was this: whereas Falk's outgoing predecessor as investigator into Israeli conduct, on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, had only compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, the new man had gone one better and compared it with Nazi Germany. Actually, he'd done this some time ago, before being appointed, but now, of course, his view mattered more. "UN expert stands by Nazi comments" was the headline on the BBC News website.

For various reasons Israelis take badly to being compared with the people who attempted to eradicate Jewish life in Europe and I understood Falk's remarks to have been provocative, as he admitted.

He had made them, he explained, to wake the US "from its torpor". Speaking about Gaza, Falk said that only the sensitivity of Jewish people prevented the parallel being observed more widely.

"If this kind of situation had existed, for instance, in the manner in which China was dealing with Tibet or the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur, I think there would be no reluctance to make that comparison," he said.

In international terms, this is odd. The body for whom Falk will soon begin work (work that is hardly necessary since he already knows exactly what he thinks before undertaking a moment's UN-authorised monitoring) is famous for its excoriation of Israel and its comparative silence over Tibet and Darfur. Kofi Annan criticised them for it before his departure, Ban Ki-moon criticised them for it on his arrival. All to no avail. The council's website begins with a page entitled Highlights, on which only one country's human rights violations are mentioned by name. And it isn't Andorra.

So what did the 40-plus members of the council see in Falk? As far as I can tell his attraction lies in the following. He is American, he is Jewish and, more deliciously in light of the first two, he blames Israel for just about everything, as opposed to those who (rightly, in my opinion) blame it for quite a lot. This, for example, is Falk in 2002, on the second intifada: "Palestinian resistance gradually ran out of military options and suicide bombers appeared as the only means still available by which to inflict sufficient harm on Israel so that the struggle could go on."

There are three problems with this analysis. The first is that suicide bombing began in Israel in 1994, when Hamas saw the Oslo peace process as threatening to succeed. Second, the suicide bombs were obviously utterly counterproductive in terms of procuring peace and indeed helped to destroy the Israeli peace movement. And, third, other resistances (Tibet, Darfur?) seem to have avoided the only means of suicide bombing aimed at civilians: family restaurants, buses, schools, discos and groups of teenagers, to be more specific.

For Falk "Israel was mainly responsible". It was transparently this political position that led to him being appointed to his job; not his expertise or his open-mindedness. Neither was it his common sense, as we now know. In my library of conspiriana are several books by American theologian David Ray Griffin, intellectual guru of the "Bush blew up the twin towers" movement. Griffin believes that no plane hit the Pentagon (despite hundreds of people seeing it) and that the World Trade Centre was brought down by a controlled demolition. There isn't a single point of alleged fact on which Griffin's barking theory hasn't been demolished. And there isn't a single volume of Griffin that doesn't carry Falk's endorsement.

This journey reaches its depressing climax in a chapter written by Falk for Griffin's 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out. Following on from the pseudo-scientific blah about the heat at which steel bends (all of which stuff Falk describes as possessing "high credibility") the UN expert-official opines that part of the evidence that there was conspiracy is that so many people say there wasn't. Or in intellectualese: "Momentous suspicious events bearing on the legitimacy of the process of governance in the US have been consistently shielded from mainstream inquiry by being reinscribed as the wild fantasies of 'conspiracy theorists' ... The management of suspicion is itself suspicious." As you can see, because I believe that Falk, like Griffin, has taken leave of what remained of his senses, this column is part of the sinister plot.

Well, we'll have to cope because there is something bigger at stake. It's this: let's say, for one moment, that the objective of the Human Rights Council was to improve human rights in, let's further say, the occupied territories. Would you employ someone who has made utterances that ensure that all of Israeli public opinion - including that part critical of its Government - would unite 100 per cent to resist him? Of course you wouldn't.

The implication of this logic is simple. The UN Human Rights Council doesn't give a toss about the human rights of the Palestinians in the sense of wanting them upheld. Its majority is far more interested in using Israel as a stick to beat the US with or - in the case of Islamic states - as a bogeyman to damp down domestic discontent.

But what is even more amazing is that some Western countries agree to play this game. Three weeks ago the Swiss, using a glossy brochure, persuaded the council by 40 votes to seven to elect Jean Ziegler to its advisory committee. Ziegler is an apologist for Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi, a former associate of Ethiopian dictator Haile Mariam Mengistu, a defender of Robert Mugabe (who, he said, had "history and morality with him"), a visitor to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il, and an admirer of French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

Do I need to add that he is also an outspoken critic of US imperialism and of Israel? I invite - and would enjoy reading - the Swiss ambassador's defence of his country's nomination, but it's time to draw a conclusion. I believe in the UN, but we must stop regarding it as though it were some kind of moral arbiter, doing right in a world of wrong. Because, unfortunately, the term UN expert means neither good nor expert. It can mean warped and stupid.

U.N. Official Calls for Study Of Neocons' Role in 9/11

The New York Sun


BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 10, 2008



WASHINGTON — A new U.N. Human Rights Council official assigned to monitor Israel is calling for an official commission to study the role neoconservatives may have played in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

On March 26, Richard Falk, Milbank professor of international law emeritus at Princeton University, was named by unanimous vote to a newly created position to report on human rights in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. While Mr. Falk's specialty is human rights and international law, since the attacks in 2001, he has devoted some of his time to challenging what he calls the "9-11 official version."

On March 24 in an interview with a radio host and former University of Wisconsin instructor, Kevin Barrett, Mr. Falk said, "It is possibly true that especially the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen or not, I don't think we can answer definitively at this point. All we can say is there is a lot of grounds for suspicion, there should be an official investigation of the sort the 9/11 commission did not engage in and that the failure to do these things is cheating the American people and in some sense the people of the world of a greater confidence in what really happened than they presently possess."

Mr. Barrett, who is the co-founder of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth, said in an interview yesterday of Mr. Falk, "I would put him on a list of scholars who are sympathetic to the 9/11 truth movement."

He added, "Unlike most public intellectuals today, he is both honest and very, very knowledgeable in that he understands the probable reality of 9/11. He understands that the evidence that it was a false flag operation is very strong."

The narrative that the attacks from 2001 were a "false flag" operation is a recurring theme in the literature challenging the consensus that 19 Al Qaeda hijackers flew commercial jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. False flag refers to espionage or covert actions taken by one government made to seem like the work of another. The false flag thesis has it that the Bush administration is somehow responsible for the September 11 attacks as a pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Falk yesterday did not return e-mails and phone calls asking for a comment. But in 2004 he wrote the foreword to the book "The New Pearl Harbor," by David Ray Griffin. Mr. Griffin has posited that such an inside job is the likely explanation for the attacks.

In the preface, Mr. Falk writes, "There have been questions raised here and there and allegations of official complicity made almost from the day of the attacks, especially in Europe, but no one until Griffin has had the patience, the fortitude, the courage, and the intelligence to put the pieces together in a single coherent account."

When asked for a comment about the appointment of Mr. Falk, a former American ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton said, "This is exactly why we voted against the new human rights council." A spokesman for the American embassy at the United Nations offered no comment yesterday when asked.

A spokeswoman at the United Nations, Nancy Groves, yesterday also declined to comment. "I would not make a comment on how the member states vote on appointments. It is their council, they make their decisions," she said.

Mr. Falk's selection to the post as rapporteur has already prompted the government of Israel formally to request that Mr. Falk not be sent to their country. The Israeli press has reported that he may even be barred from entering the country.

The deputy permanent representative of Israel to the United Nations in New York, Daniel Carmon said, "We are asking the U.N. not to send him. We cannot agree to Mr. Falk's entrance into Israel in his capacity as the rapporteur."

One reason the Israelis are concerned about his appointment is that Mr. Falk has compared Israel's treatment of Palestinian Arabs to the Nazi treatment of Jews in the holocaust. In an April 8 BBC interview, Mr. Falk said he stood by the Israel-Nazi comparison.

The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, issued a statement yesterday saying, "This was clearly a singularly inappropriate choice for this position. Falk's startling record of anti-Israel prejudice should have been enough to preclude him from a position where an unbiased observer is needed to report on the status of human rights in the territories."

In a February 16, 1979, op-ed for the New York Times, Mr. Falk praised Ayatollah Khomeini and bemoaned his ill treatment in the American press. He wrote, "The depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false."Nearly nine months later, student followers of Khomeini invaded the American embassy in Tehran and held 52 diplomats hostage for the following 444 days.


BBC Conspiracy Files - The Third Tower



Do we really know what happened on 9/11?

BBC-The Conspiracy Files

Hidden behind the Twin Towers stood World Trade Centre Building 7. This 610ft (186m), 47 storey skyscraper also collapsed on 11 September 2001.

An anonymous building from the outside it housed some very special occupants: the CIA, the Secret Service, and the very agency meant to combat terrorist attacks - the Office of Emergency Management.

According to the official explanation, this is the first and only building in the world to collapse solely due to fire.

For those who question the official account of what happened on 9/11, Building 7 has become a rallying cry. They think it can unlock a massive conspiracy.

Unlike the Twin Towers, WTC 7 was never hit by a plane. There were few outward signs of extensive damage of this 47 storey building. Yet it collapsed in a few seconds.

Afterwards, all of the many thousands of tonnes of steel from the building were taken away to be melted down in the Far East.

The Conspiracy Files reports as the final official report on Building 7 is due to be published, nearly seven years on from 9/11.

Producer and Director: Mike Rudin
Assistant Producer: James Giles

Published: 2008/04/04 10:35:32 GMT

Former Governor Jesse Ventura: WTC Collapse A Controlled Demolition

Navy veteran and movie star savages official story, says media covering up truth about attacks


Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Wednesday, April 2, 2008



Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura vehemently savaged the official 9/11 story on a syndicated national radio show today, saying the WTC collapsed like a controlled demolition and was pulverized to dust as he also highlighted the impossible 10 second free fall speed of the towers.

Appearing on The Alex Jones Show, Ventura said that his initial reaction to 9/11 was much like most people at the time, and he accepted the official story outright, a response he now regrets because he was in a position of power and could have used it to raise a lot of pointed questions.

"I kicked myself when it initially happened that the light didn't go off but I was so shocked that this thing had even taken place that I apologize for not being more aware," said Ventura, adding that watching Loose Change at the insistence of his son was part of the catalyst for his wake up call.

Host Alex Jones is executive producer of Loose Change (get it here), the most watched Internet movie of all time. Ventura said he ran through a rollercoaster of emotions when he saw the film.

"When I finally did watch it I went through every emotion you could imagine, from laughing, crying, getting sick to my stomach, to the whole emotional thing," said the former Governor.

"To me questions haven't been answered and are not being answered about 9/11," said Ventura, before highlighting the collapse of Building 7, a 47-story tall skyscraper that was not hit by a plane but collapsed in its own footprint in the late afternoon of September 11.


"Two planes struck two buildings....but how is it that a third building fell 5 hours later?" asked Ventura, "How could this building just implode into its own footprint 5 hours later - that's my first question - the 9/11 Commission didn't even devote one page to that in their big volume of investigation," added the former Governor.


Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura vehemently savaged the official 9/11 story on a syndicated national radio show today, saying the WTC collapsed like a controlled demolition and was pulverized to dust as he also highlighted the impossible 10 second free fall speed of the towers.


Appearing on The Alex Jones Show, Ventura said that his initial reaction to 9/11 was much like most people at the time, and he accepted the official story outright, a response he now regrets because he was in a position of power and could have used it to raise a lot of pointed questions.


"I kicked myself when it initially happened that the light didn't go off but I was so shocked that this thing had even taken place that I apologize for not being more aware," said Ventura, adding that watching Loose Change at the insistence of his son was part of the catalyst for his wake up call.


Host Alex Jones is executive producer of Loose Change (get it here), the most watched Internet movie of all time. Ventura said he ran through a rollercoaster of emotions when he saw the film.


"When I finally did watch it I went through every emotion you could imagine, from laughing, crying, getting sick to my stomach, to the whole emotional thing," said the former Governor.


"To me questions haven't been answered and are not being answered about 9/11," said Ventura, before highlighting the collapse of Building 7, a 47-story tall skyscraper that was not hit by a plane but collapsed in its own footprint in the late afternoon of September 11.


"Two planes struck two buildings....but how is it that a third building fell 5 hours later?" asked Ventura, "How could this building just implode into its own footprint 5 hours later - that's my first question - the 9/11 Commission didn't even devote one page to that in their big volume of investigation," added the former Governor.







Ventura then explored how it was possible that all three buildings could rapidly collapse at almost free fall speed.


"How could those buildings fall at the speed of gravity - if you put a stopwatch on them both of those World Trade Center buildings were on the ground in ten seconds - how can that be?" asked Ventura.


"If you took a billiard ball and dropped it from the height of the World Trade Center in a vacuum it would hit the ground in 9.3 seconds and if you took that same billiard ball and dropped it 10 stories at a time and merely stopped it and started it it would take 30 seconds - if you dropped it every floor of the World Trade Center to the ground, simply stopping and starting it on gravity it would take over 100 seconds to reach the ground," he surmised.


The former wrestling star then questioned how low-temperature burning jet fuel could melt steel.


"Jet fuel is four fifths kerosene - which is not a hot burning fuel - and they wanted us to believe it melted these steel structured girders and caused these buildings to pancake collapse to the ground?" he stated.


"I was on the site within two weeks after it happened and I saw none of these pancakes - wouldn't they all be piled up in a huge mass on the ground and yet everything was blown into dust - when you look at it from that aspect none of it makes any sense," said Ventura.

"Never before in the annuls of history has a fire caused a steel structure building to fall to the ground like these two did," he concluded.


Having undergone Basic Underwater Demolition Seal training, Ventura is speaking from an experienced standpoint and he unequivocally stated that he thought the buildings were deliberately imploded.


"Upon looking at the film in super-slow motion and the way the buildings fell and comparing that to the way that they do like a controlled demolition of a hotel in Las Vegas, they both fell identical."


"I did watch the film of Building 7 going down and in my opinion there's no doubt that that building was brought down with demolition," said the former Governor.

Ventura also questioned the lack of wreckage outside of the Pentagon after Flight 77 allegedly struck the building.


"When I was watching Loose Change with a friend of mine - he happens to work for a company that helps build the Boeing airplanes and they said that when the engines completely disappeared and were destroyed, his response was, excuse my French - bullshit!," said Ventura.


"I turned to him and said why and he said because they're made of titanium steel - they can't disintegrate."


Ventura said that the corporate media were going to continue to cover-up the truth about 9/11, but that the number of credible people speaking out and increasing education and knowledge about the subject would eventually reap dividends.


"We don't want to lose our country, after all it's still our country and until they put us down we have the power," Ventura concluded.


The Governor's bold comments about 9/11 come on the heels of similar views expressed by American icon Willie Nelson during an interview on the same radio show in February.


Click here to listen to the full interview.


Jesse Ventura (born July 15, 1951), also known as "The Body", "The Star", and "The Governing Body", is an American politician, retired professional wrestler, Navy UDT veteran, actor, and former radio and television talk show host. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. He is also a 1-time AWA Tag Team Champion.

In the Minnesota gubernatorial election of 1998 he was elected the 38th Governor of Minnesota and served from January 4, 1999 to January 6, 2003 without seeking a second term.


A Masterpiece of Disinformation by David Rovics

"9/11 Truth Movement vs. 9/11 Truth"
by David Rovics | 01.04.2008 11:14 | Terror War


Or, who are these people and why do they keep yelling at me?


David RovicsI found myself once again singing at an antiwar rally two weeks ago, and once again being confronted by a red-faced white man with an ominous hand-written sign reading, "9/11 was a lie." Most of the crowd was filing off for the post-rally march, aside from a few of my loyal fans who were sticking around for the rest of my set. Among them was the red-faced man, apparently not a fan, who walked towards the small stage with the wild-eyed certainty of a zealot.

"Wake up, David Rovics! David Rovics, wake up to the truth of 9/11!" He was screaming at the top of his lungs, standing about two feet from me. (I continued with the song.) In case I didn't get the message the first time, the red-faced man repeated his mantra. "Wake up! Wake up to the truth of 9/11!"

People like him, whoever he was, have become a fixture of antiwar and other protests since sometime soon after September 11th, 2001. They regularly call in to radio talk shows, they maintain many websites, produce innumerable documentaries, publish plenty of books, hold regular conferences, and show up with alarming predictability to heckle and denounce prominent progressive authors and activists at their speaking engagements.

Art Bell and company

For over a decade I've made a living as a touring musician. As a hardcore news junkie, when satellite radio came into existence I was one of its very first customers, and since I got one I've been able to saturate myself with BBC World Service and the English-language broadcasts of public radio from around the world to my heart's content. But for the many years before satellite radio, during my many late-night drives across the plains, deserts and corn fields of the US, choices were much slimmer.

In the early morning or late afternoon there was usually an NPR (Nationalist Petroleum Radio) station to be found, or, very occasionally, a Pacifica affiliate where I might listen to my favorite radio news programs, Democracy Now! and Free Speech Radio News. (At the very beginning, these programs could be heard on satellite radio via the Hispanic Radio Network, but that channel soon vanished from the satellite airwaves -- over one hundred choices offered, but no news channel to the left of Al Franken...)

But late at night, there were four choices. On the FM airwaves, commercial pop anti-music of various prefabricated genres brought to you by ClearChannel. On AM, you could choose from rightwing Christian evangelists, Rush Limbaugh and Art Bell. The evangelists don't really do anything for me, but when I was getting sleepy, I'd listen to Rush, because he's always good for waking me up -- the powerful desire to strangle someone tends to keep you alert. But most of the time, if I wasn't tired, I'd tune in to Art Bell.

For those unfamiliar with Art Bell's show, it was a corporate-sponsored, nightly, several-hour-long show that has since been passed on to other hosts last I heard, and can generally be found on at least two different AM signals anywhere in the country every weeknight, starting sometime after midnight, as I recall. He apparently broadcast from somewhere in Nevada near the infamous Area 51, where he and many of his guests seemed to believe the US military was experimenting with space aliens who had landed there some time ago.

His guests tended to be authors who had written books or made documentaries about aliens from outer space, telepathy, what all the ghosts are up to these days, Hitler being alive and living in the Antarctic, crop circles, and so on. Being a science fiction fan and one who has had personal experiences that have led me to at least consider the possibility that there is validity in some of these claims, about what Art called the paranormal, I listened with interest to Art and his guests, although usually it was fairly evident they were full of shit.

Listening to Art's guests and to the men (and very occasionally women) who called in, I remembered the excitement I felt as a child, before I developed a more three-dimensional understanding of the world around me, before I developed a fairly solid capability for critical thinking, before I began to understand how to read between the lines of the biases of the various authorities, experts and pundits out there in the textbooks, newspapers and airwaves. I remembered the excitement of having secrets with certain friends that only we "knew." My own pet theories as a child included the notion that cows were not as stupid as they looked, standing around chewing cud, that they were actually engaged in astral travel, using their apparent stupidity as a grand cover of some kind. I fairly well convinced myself in the existence of dragons and elves and other mythical creatures, long after I had realized there was no Santa Claus.

But the fantasy life of children can become very odd when practiced by grown men. Many, if not most, of Art's guests and callers seemed to believe that the things they "knew," such as their prevalent idea that the US military was hiding space aliens in Area 51, were phenomenae that only people like them and Art were being honest about. The rest of the media, society, and the powers-that-be were either ignorant about these realities, or, at least as often, were engaging in a huge, X-Files kind of coverup.

Especially in the context of a fundamentally alienated society, especially for a certain class of white men who seem to be somewhat on the margins of the US system of power and privilege, but are white and male enough to believe that they deserve better, the sort of feeling of brotherhood that comes with "knowing" something that the rest of society doesn't know is a powerful one. It's an obvious source of excitement, and gives people a sense of belonging. Without having had access to more rational ways of understanding their place in the world and the complexities of society, current events, history and power structures, they have found some kind of lens through which they can try to understand the world.

It's a faith-based sort of thing. These people are not looking for different points of view, they are looking for further confirmation of what they already believe -- and of course they share this with many, many others who we could call "people of faith," whether they are Christians who believe Jesus was the son of God, Muslims who believe there is one God, Allah is his name and Mohammed was his prophet, neoliberals who believe the unregulated market will make everybody rich, or Maoists who believe the Chinese cultural revolution was the greatest achievement of humankind. No evidence to the contrary will deter these people in their unswerving certainties.

What I always found most interesting as well as most disconcerting about listening to Art Bell, though, was how he would occasionally -- but regularly -- have on guests who were talking about very real and verifiable conspiracies. Things like the CIA's active role in the world drug trade, the State Department's role in overthrowing governments around the world, or the US, Saudi and Pakistani collaboration in creating, arming and funding the Taleban and Al-Qaeda.

Topics which the corporate media would almost never touch could find an occasional voice in Art Bell -- although Art was just as corporate-funded as ABC or CNN. It seemed that if most of the programming was clearly fantasy-based conspiracy theories, the corporate masters felt that it was politically acceptable to allow Art to have the occasional reality check. It would generally go unnoticed by most people, or be discounted as just another wacky conspiracy theory, so it was OK.

Fantasy undermining reality

And if giving a wide audience to the real conspiracies become harmless when they're presented within a sea of fictional conspiracies, the flip side of that is that the very legitimate investigative journalists such as Seymour Hersch and Robert Fisk who are uncovering and reporting on things like the US role in funding groups like Al-Qaeda can more easily get lost among the static, lost among the hundreds of documentaries purporting to prove that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled explosives, that the planes that crashed into them were on autopilot and there really were no terrorists on board, that the cell phone conversations passengers had with their loved ones before they died were faked, that there was no plane that hit the Pentagon, and so on.

If you bother slogging through the volumes of books and stacks of documentaries that "9/11 Truth" people will foist on you if you let them, you will find that most of them are propaganda pieces and most of the "experts" are not experts in relevant fields. When you do look beyond this mass of misinformation for real experts, you will easily find pilots who can discount the claims of the Truthers that maneuvering the planes into the towers was a particularly challenging thing for people with only a little flight training to pull off. You will easily find mechanical engineers familiar with the structural flaws in the design of the WTC that allowed it to collapse in the first place, and physicists who can explain why such large buildings would appear to be imploding as if in a controlled demolition, or why people on the scene would have thought they were hearing explosions, etc. My purpose here is not to disprove all the hypothoses presented by the Truthers and their propaganda pieces -- if you want to look into "debunking the debunkers" yourself, there is plenty of information out there, and Popular Mechanics' issue on the subject is a good place to start.

The fact is, the scientific community, while certainly not immune to political pressure, is generally able to function with a grounding in actual science, and is not capable of participating, as a community, in some kind of mass conspiracy of silence or coverup. There is no way to bribe that many scientists. Too many of them believe in the importance of science for science's sake, in honesty. This can be amply demonstrated by the fact that with all the political pressure and money of the US government and ExxonMobil combined, there is still essentially unanimity among climate scientists worldwide that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is dangerous for our species and others. Even after all the billions upon billions of dollars spent by the tobacco industry to obfuscate reality and bribe policymakers and the scientific community, the scientific community was able to study the issue and determine incontrovertibly the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.

Sowing seeds of doubt

The "9/11 Truth Movement" undoubtedly is made up largely of earnest, decent people, the sorts of decent folks who make up most of Art Bell's guests and listeners. Since thousands of their fellow countrymen and women died on 9/11 and since this event -- whether it was a terrorist attack carried out by US-trained Mujahideen that could have been prevented, or an entirely "inside job" carried out by Dick Cheney with the aide of computers and plastic explosives, as many Truthers claim -- many people in many communities have become justifiably agitated and outraged by world-scale injustices, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and so on.

The old Art Bell listeners who used to be entertained by the fact that most people don't believe there are space aliens in Area 51 are now really extra worked up because the vast conspiracy they have come to believe in are resulting in the deaths of huge numbers of people around the world. And if the rest of us would just understand what they understand, everything would be different. If the media would report on reality as they see it, people would wake up and do something about this situation.

The particularly warped thing about this, though, is that the very media outlets, authors and activists who are doing their best to expose the very real conspiracies that are going on -- people like Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, David Barsamian's Alternative Radio, Z Magazine, the Progressive Magazine, Norman Solomon and the Institute for Public Accuracy, Noam Chomsky, etc., seem to have become the primary targets of harassment by the Truthers.

Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon and others are now regularly heckled at speaking events, and denounced on websites as "gatekeepers." They are seen, it seems, as being even worse than the corporate media, because while reasonable people know not to trust Fox or CNN, they have faith in the integrity of people like Amy Goodman.

You don't have to know Norman Solomon, Amy Goodman or her producers personally to see what nonsense this "gatekeeper" stuff is. You needn't ever have met Amy to know that she has risked her life, and very nearly lost her life, in her decades-long efforts to report the truth. You needn't know her producers personally to recognize that these are all earnest young progressives working long hours to create a daily news program they deeply believe in. The notion that all of her producers are somehow maintaining a code of silence in exchange for the privilege of having their names mentioned at the end of the broadcast, or in exchange for their nominally middle-class salaries, is preposterous.

However, judging from numerous emails I get and conversations I have with fans and acquaintances from around the US and elsewhere, the efforts of the Truthers to sow seeds of doubt among readers and listeners of progressive media is having some palpable impact. Increasingly, I hear from people who have vaguely heard something about this "gatekeeper" phenomenon, something about Ford Foundation money undermining the entire progressive media.

As is so often the case, there are little grains of truth in here that can fester in the minds of people who are not looking at the information critically. For the cops among the Truthers (of course it's a matter of the public record that the FBI and other such agencies regularly write "newspaper articles" -- propaganda or disinformation of whatever sort they deem useful which they disseminate through newspapers, websites, etc.), undermining the legitimacy of the progressive media is exactly their goal, because they don't want the population to know the truth or to trust those who are reporting it. For the more earnest elements among the Truthers, undermining the progressive media is also their goal, because they don't see it as being distinct from the corporate media anyway -- so whether earnest or insidious, the effect is the same.

The grain of truth, of course, is that government, corporate and foundation money have undoubtedly succeeded in making PBS and NPR a shell of it's former self. Foundation money has also had a debilitating impact on the nonprofit world, since support for essential but illegal activities such as civil disobedience on the part of nonprofits will tend to cause them to lose foundation support. Also, nonprofits are prevented by law from participating openly in the electoral process, or they lose their nonprofit status. If progressive media is being influenced by the relatively small amount of foundation money it receives, I don't see it.

It seems evident to me that shows like Democracy Now! are quite willing -- and indeed, are doing their best -- to make waves as much as possible. If they don't report a story it's because they don't think it's a story, or it's not an important enough one to bother with. In the case of "theories" like the notion that controlled demolition brought down the World Trade Center or there were no members of Al-Qaeda on board the airplanes, this narrative has received little coverage in the progressive media because, upon investigation, most decide it's patently ridiculous.

The real gatekeepers

Sometime in 2002 I wrote a song called "Reichstag Fire," in which I asked many of the questions the Truthers were asking. The point of the song was primarily to say that 9/11 has been used as an excuse for the US to carry out a genocidal crusade on much of the Muslim world, and to further the US government's bipartisan agenda of world domination and control of valuable resources in other countries, such as oil. (This is something Truthers and most other people in the world can generally agree on.) In the song I also posed questions which I now feel have been adequately explained.

Were there really Arab terrorists on board the planes? Yes. Did the CIA know an attack was imminent? Yes. I don't regret writing the song, or becoming a very minor celebrity within the 9/11 Truth Movement, because I think these questions needed to be asked, and answered. But while some questions can only remain unanswered until certain people within the US government become whistleblowers, other questions have been answered, and my answers (and those of most people who have looked into these things) and those of what now constitutes the Truth Movement differ wildly. Particularly because I have been seen by some as part of this movement (although I seem to be increasingly getting lumped into the "gatekeeper" camp), I felt compelled to write this essay.

The truth is, in fact, out there. Much of it is certainly still there to be discovered, but many fundamental, essential truths are already known. The truth -- that, for example, the CIA funded and armed Al-Qaeda and the Taleban, that a tiny minority of very wealthy people control much of the US government and the "mainstream" (corporate/"public") media, that the US military systematically goes around the world overthrowing democracies, propping up dictatorships, and killing millions of people with bombs -- is what the progressive media is reporting on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. These are the truths that people in the US most need to "wake up" to. These are the truths that are systematically unreported or severely under-reported by the corporate press, which, even in the age of the internet, is still where the vast majority of people in the US get their news, and thus, their understanding of the world.

These corporate media entities and the genocidal, ecocidal plutocracy they serve are the "gatekeepers" that need to be exposed. The truths they are trying to hide from us are the truths that need to be understood, and acted upon. The progressive media that is trying to do just that needs to be supported, not undermined with essentially baseless accusations (legitimate criticisms and suggestions notwithstanding).

The people who are trying, with some degree of success, to undermine these basic endeavors of the progressive movement and the progressive media need to be exposed for what they are -- whether they fall into the category of well-meaning but misguided fanatics or undercover government agents quite purposefully and systematically working to spread disinformation and sow confusion and distrust. And, beyond any reasonable doubt, the "Truth Movement" contains both of these elements. To both of these groups I beseech you -- wake up! Wake up to the real, easily-verifiable conspiracies -- which are extremely big ones! -- and quit trying to distract us with all the nonsense about gatekeepers and controlled demolitions!


David Rovics

- e-mail: drovics@gmail.com
- Homepage: http://www.davidrovics.com