Reply to Scientific American's
Attempted Debunking
of 9/11 Skeptics
by Peter Meyer

This is a reply to an article which appears in the SKEPTIC corner of, June 2005, under the title:

Fahrenheit 2777
9/11 has generated the mother of all conspiracy theories
By Michael Shermer

This page censored at WikipediaAlthough the author writes under the heading of "Skeptic" he is not all all disposed to question the official story of 9/11. A skeptic is one who is disinclined to believe when there is not good supporting evidence. Since there is no good evidence supporting the official story of 9/11 it behooves any skeptic to question it. The author of this article in Scientific American, who writes under the heading of "Skeptic", thus shows that he is not at all a skeptic, but rather just another mouthpiece for the official story of 9/11.

The article is reproduced below (in the boxes) with replies interspersed.

Noted French left-wing activist Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 conspiracy book, L'Effroyable Imposture, became a best-seller in 2002. But I never imagined such an "appalling deception" would ever find a voice in America.

The writer mentions Meyssan's book only long enough to cast a slur upon it, and does not dwell upon its contents. Actually this book was the first to draw attention to the impossibility of the official story of the Pentagon strike, mainly by pointing out that the photographic evidence is totally inconsistent with the official claim that a Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon. Interested readers may follow up on this by looking at The Pentagon Crash Site (and many other web sites on the same subject, presenting evidence and arguments which appear to have been ignored by Shermer).

At a recent public lecture I was buttonholed by a Michael Moore-wannabe filmmaker who breathlessly explained that 9/11 was orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Central Intelligence Agency as part of their plan for global domination and a New World Order. That goal was to be financed by G.O.D. (Gold, Oil, Drugs) and launched by a Pearl Harbor-like attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, thereby providing the justification for war. The evidence was there in the details, he explained, handing me a faux dollar bill (with "9-11" replacing the "1," a picture of Bush supplanting that of Washington) chockablock with Web sites.

A nice literary touch, to introduce the mythical wild-eyed "conspiracy fanatic" to present the views one is attempting to debunk. But he is not far off the truth, except that Bush is obviously too stupid to have made any contribution to the planning of 9/11. And it may be that even Cheney and Rumsfeld are just front men for those who really control things behind the scenes (which they can do by virtue of the current financial/political power structure).

In fact, if you type "World Trade Center" and "conspiracy" into Google, you'll get more than 250,000 hits. [PM: Actually over a million.] From these sites, you will discover that some people think the Pentagon was hit by a missile; that U.S. Air Force jets were ordered to "stand down" and not intercept Flights 11 and 175, the ones that struck the twin towers; that the towers themselves were razed by demolition explosives timed to go off soon after the impact of the planes; that a mysterious white jet shot down Flight 93 over Pennsylvania; and that New York Jews were ordered to stay home that day (Zionists and other pro-Israeli factions, of course, were involved).

Books also abound, including Inside Job, by Jim Marrs; The New Pearl Harbor, by David Ray Griffin; and 9/11: The Great Illusion, by George Humphrey.

Books indeed, and Shermer does not mention one of the most important: David Ray Griffin's The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. To which we could add Eric Hufschmidt's Painful Questions and Victor Thorn's 9-11 on Trial.

The single best debunking of this conspiratorial codswallop is in the March issue of Popular Mechanics, which provides an exhaustive point-by-point analysis of the most prevalent claims.

Shermer here shows his true colors by endorsing Popular Mechanics' attempting debunking of 9/11 skeptics. Popular Mechanics' ludicrous attempt to support the official story of 9/11 has been refuted in "an exhaustive point-by-point analysis" at Reply to Popular Mechanics re 9/11.

The mistaken belief that a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory lies at the heart of all conspiratorial thinking (as well as creationism, Holocaust denial and the various crank theories of physics). All the "evidence" for a 9/11 conspiracy falls under the rubric of this fallacy. Such notions are easily refuted by noting that scientific theories are not built on single facts alone but on a convergence of evidence assembled from multiple lines of inquiry.

Whether or not "a handful of unexplained anomalies can undermine a well-established theory" is quite irrelevant, since the official story of 9/11 is not "a well-established theory". And the "unexplained anomalies", such as the collapse of WTC 7 late in the afternoon of 9/11, are more accurately described as things which the official story cannot explain. Why not? Perhaps because it is "conspiratorial codswallop". If the official story cannot explain the "anomalies" then we had better look elsewhere for an explanation, especially since what we seek is an explanation for the deaths of about 3000 people.

Shermer would like us to believe that the official story is as well-established as a scientific theory which has been built "on a convergence of evidence assembled from multiple lines of inquiry." But an examination of the claim that the official story is of this nature clearly shows that it is false: the official story of 9/11 has nothing to support it except the claims of certain US government employees (many of whom are known liars) and a couple of people claiming engineering expertise but whose reports don't stand up to criticism.

For example, according to, steel melts at a temperature of 2,777 degrees Fahrenheit, but jet fuel burns at only 1,517 degrees F. No melted steel, no collapsed towers. "The planes did not bring those towers down; bombs did," says Wrong. In an article in the Journal of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society and in subsequent interviews, Thomas Eagar, an engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains why: steel loses 50 percent of its strength at 1,200 degrees F; 90,000 liters of jet fuel ignited other combustible materials such as rugs, curtains, furniture and paper, which continued burning after the jet fuel was exhausted, raising temperatures above 1,400 degrees F and spreading the inferno throughout each building. Temperature differentials of hundreds of degrees across single steel horizontal trusses caused them to sag — straining and then breaking the angle clips that held the beams to the vertical columns. Once one truss failed, others followed. When one floor collapsed onto the next floor below, that floor subsequently gave way, creating a pancaking effect that triggered each 500,000-ton structure to crumble.

Shermer here simply offers a reprise of the official story of the collapse of the Twin Towers, and apparently we are expected to nod along in agreement (no thinking allowed).

It is interesting to note that Shermer writes as if nothing was in doubt, as if there were no evidence which might lead one to wonder whether the official story might possibly not be true in all its details (such as there are). Clearly Shermer is involved in a cover-up. He does not want you to even consider that there could be any reasonable alternative to what the Bush administration has told us about what happened on 9/11.

He does not mention that there have been several fires within high-rise steel-structure buildings, and those buildings have not collapsed. Can the plane impacts then explain the collapse of the Twin Towers? In Shermer's world one is permitted to ask this question only if one answers it immediately in the affirmative. But if one looks at the evidence for or against this proposition one discovers that in fact the plane impacts, and the fires, are not sufficient to explain (to the satisfaction of an unbiased person of ordinary intelligence) the collapse. Those interested in reading more on this should go to "Melted" Steel.

By the way, Eagar's "truss theory" has been examined in detail and refuted at The World Trade Center Demolition. See also Why Did the Trade Center Skyscrapers Collapse?

Conspiricists argue that the buildings should have fallen over on their sides, but with 95 percent of each building consisting of air, they could only have collapsed straight down.

The question of whether the buildings should have fallen one way or another pales into insignificance besides the fact that each of them fell in less than 15 seconds, little more than the time of free fall. The plain implication of this is that there was practically no resistance offered by the lower (undamaged) floors to the collapsing material. The plain implication of this is that the steel structure supports on all the lower floors were destroyed. How were they destroyed, if not by explosives? See also The Time the Towers Took to Fall.

All the 9/11 conspiracy claims are this easily refuted.

Really, only an idiot, or a paid government shill, could write this.

On the Pentagon "missile strike," for example, I queried the would-be filmmaker about what happened to Flight 77, which disappeared at the same time. "The plane was destroyed, and the passengers were murdered by Bush operatives," he solemnly revealed. "Do you mean to tell me that not one of the thousands of conspirators needed to pull all this off," I retorted, "is a whistle-blower who would go on TV or write a tell-all book?" My rejoinder was met with the same grim response I get from UFOlogists when I ask them for concrete evidence: Men in Black silence witnesses, and dead men tell no tales.

And now our mythical wild-eyed conspiracy fanatic returns to present, once again, the views one is attempting to debunk. Were he real he might have told Shermer that there is evidence that there was no Flight 77 on the morning of 9/11, that there are grave doubts about the reliability of the passenger lists, that according to one alternative 9/11 scenario only a few tens of agents may have been needed, who would certainly be hard-core NWO operatives. As for dead men telling no tales, there are plenty of them.

Michael Shermer's article is another trashy piece of disinfo, no doubted prompted by the desperation increasingly felt by the perpetrators of 9/11, who see Americans beginning to wake up, and are terrified of the consequences. They are not the only ones. Apparently the American people are also terrified of the consequences of understanding that on 9/11 elements within their own government murdered about 3000 of their compatriots in order to further their imperialist global war plans.

If the American people want truth they must acknowledge that they have been deceived. If that were to happen, and if they were to accept the facts that have been uncovered by the independent 9/11 research community, their faith in their government would be irreparably destroyed. In the long run, it is far easier to maintain one's faith in a deceptive government than to deal with the painful details of that deception. ...

The people who were involved in 9/11 know that there is more at stake than their exposure. They already have the blind loyalty of those Americans who would refuse to believe they could possibly have been involved. But deep in their corrupted souls they also have another ace in the hole. They are counting on the protection of those who fear for the stability of the nation. They are convinced of their own invincibility and really believe that they will never be held accountable. But they also believe that no one of credibility will step forward to expose them. ...

But, in fact, they are badly mistaken. The United States of America will not crumble with the revelation of their actions because our foundation is too strong to falter at their hands. History is never without obstacles to progress and this ordeal will not be an exception. On the contrary, if and when the truth is ever known, this nation will be stronger and nobler for that knowledge.

And it is for those reasons that we must continue to pursue the truth.

Why Americans Refuse to Believe the 9/11 Evidence

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The World Trade Center Demolition and the So-Called War on Terrorism
Reply to Popular Mechanics re 9/11
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