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9/11 conspiracy theories

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Jenny
1021545.  Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:25 pm Reply with quote

OK guys I need the assembled brains of the QI massive on this...

A FB friend is fully convinced that 9/11 was 'an inside job'. I am unconvinced. I don't believe that many people can keep that kind of a secret.
Any opinions on this, anybody?

I can certainly believe that there was incompetence and negligence, and this is the latest screed on that:

Quote:
The Failure to Investigate 9/11 Has Bankrupted America

Dick Cheney was in charge of all counter-terrorism exercises, activities and responses on 9/11. See this Department of State announcement; this CNN article; and this essay. (sorry - links apparently not included)

The genius Mr. Cheney apparently scheduled 5 war games for the morning of 9/11. Specifically, on the very morning of September 11th, five war games and terror drills were being conducted by several U.S. defense agencies, purportedly including one “live fly” exercise using real planes. Then-Acting Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard B. Myers, admitted to 4 of the war games in congressional testimony — see transcript here or video here (6 minutes and 12 seconds into the video.

False radar blips were inserted onto air traffic control screens as part of the war game exercises, which may have confused the heck out of the people participating in those exercises (see this December 9, 2001 Toronto Star article; pay-per-view; reprinted here). Way to let that one slip through, Mr. in-charge-of-all-war-games.

The military – under the Vice President’s command that day – didn’t scramble enough fighter jets, and then scrambled jets far over the Atlantic Ocean, in what Senator Mark Dayton called:

The most gross incompetence and dereliction of responsibility and negligence that I’ve ever, under those extreme circumstances, witnessed in the public sector.

And the knucklehead personally watched flight 77 for many miles, but – according to Secretary of Transportation Norm Minetta – stopped it from being shot down before it hit the Pentagon (and see this).

Americans would have learned through any real 9/11 investigation that Cheney’s negligence and mucking around in what should have been the generals’ jobs was partly responsible for allowing 9/11 to happen.

In other words, a real 9/11 investigation would have shown Americans that 9/11 should of, could of, and would have been stopped – and that America can protect itself against future terrorist attacks – simply by playing goalie well in our country.

And Americans – instead of being scared into immobility – would have been mad at our government for dropping the ball. And we would have demanded accountability and effective service from our elected officials. (Indeed, experts have repeatedly demonstrated that fear of terror makes people stupid … and makes them willing to accept a loss of liberty and other abuses they would never otherwise accept.)

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/12/the-failure-to-investigate-911-has-bankrupted-america.html


But frankly I don't think it was preventable, and I don't see it as an inside job.

 
dr.bob
1021563.  Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:06 am Reply with quote

A lot of that strikes me as people passing judgement over unprecedented and stressful events with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

The thing about "False radar blips were inserted onto air traffic control screens as part of the war game exercises, which may have confused the heck out of the people participating in those exercises" is weasely bullshit of the highest order. Note the use of "may have confused", since there's no evidence they actually did. Indeed, the wiki page about the exercises notes that:

Quote:
The operation was one part simulation, one part real world. It was immediately called off after NORAD received word from NEADS that the Federal Aviation Administration had evidence of a hijacking. All simulated information (so called "injects") were purged from computer screens at NORAD headquarters in Colorado.


Another good resource is the timeline for the September 11th attacks (wiki again) just to remind everyone just how quickly events unfolded.

Flight 11 was hijacked at 8:14. The FAA decide that a hijacking has taken place by 8:20, which is pretty good going by my estimation. However, bear in mind that, up until this point, all hijackings had followed a familiar pattern: hijackers would take the flight to a different location and hold the passengers hostage until their demands were met. At 8:20 on 11th September 2001 there was absolutely no reason to suspect they should handle these planes as offensive weapons and shoot them out of the sky.

Nonetheless, clearly fighter planes in the sky are of some use, and I think it's pretty good that NORAD was notified at 8:37 and two F-15s were in they sky by 8:46 (less than 10 minutes later).

Unfortunately, Flight 11 crashed into the WTC at 8:46:30, too soon for the F-16s to be any use. At this stage, all kinds of hell must be breaking loose, and Flight 175 has only just been hijacked, so it's hardly surprising that nobody has noticed this yet.

Since Flight 11 have crashed, the F-15s "are sent to military controlled airspace off Long Island and ordered to remain in a holding pattern" at 8:52. I wonder if that's what the above post means when it refers to "scrambled jets far over the Atlantic Ocean". To me this seems eminently sensible. You have jets in the air, you're not sure if you're going to need them or not, so keep 'em up there on standby so you can call on them quickly if need be.

At 8:51 a flight controller notices that Flight 175 had changed its transponder code twice four minutes earlier and tries to contact the flight. This is the first clue that something's not right with this flight, and is pretty amazing given what else is kicking off. Flight 175 the crashes at 9:03, so that's only 12 minutes from the first clues of a problem that you have to fix it. I can't imagine anyone being able to fix that, frankly.

At 8:56, Flight 77 switches off is transponder to avoid detection, and radar detection is lost. Flight 77 then deviates from its flight path so that, when ATCs look for it later, they're looking in the wrong place and fail to find it.

At 9:04, the FAA starts grounding all planes and restricting flights travelling through New York airspace (and three adjoining airspaces). Again, this is an unprecedented situation, so why would anyone immediately suspect that they need to start worrying about other airspaces, especially since they were unaware of any other hijacked planes.

At 9:24, the FAA notifies NORAD of the suspected hijacking of Flight 77. This seems a long time since they switched their transponder off and vanished from radar, but bear in mind what the FAA have had to deal with in the meantime.

At 9:26, the FAA bans all flights irrespective of destination.

At 9:32, a radar station in Virginia picks up Flight 77.

At 9:37, Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon.

I'm not really sure at which point Cheney was supposed to have watched this flight "for many miles" though, given it was travelling at 530mph, "many" miles could've been covered in about 60 seconds. Interesting that they quote for how far Cheney watched this flight, but not for how long.

I really don't understand at what point he "stopped it from being shot down".

 
Jenny
1021638.  Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:52 am Reply with quote

That's fabulous, dr.bob - I knew this was bullshit, but I needed some actual rational way of putting that :-)

 
Awitt
1021765.  Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:39 pm Reply with quote

It all happened so fast on that morning in America and I believe all the hijackers worked together in that way, to hijack the 3 planes for maximum impact in minimum time.
Who's the insider then, if this is to be believed?

 
dr.bob
1021781.  Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:09 am Reply with quote

It was 4 planes.

But you're right to point out that the speed of events was rather the point. If the hijackings had taken place over a long period of time, the FAA and NORAD would've had time to come up with a decent counter-strategy and may have saved a lot more lives. By hijacking all the planes at the same time, nobody had sufficient time to react to a completely unprecedented situation.

 
chrisboote
1022613.  Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:12 am Reply with quote

Except for the passengers on Flight 93...

 
dr.bob
1022619.  Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:42 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure it's right to point to Flight 93 as a "decent counter-strategy" since they all died.

Also, it rather proves the point. The only response that was possible was on the one flight that was hijacked much later than all the rest, therefore allowing the passengers to realise what was going on.

Flight 93 was hijacked at 9:28, 1 hour and 14 minutes after the first hijack, 25 minutes after both WTC towers had been hit, and only 9 minutes before the Pentagon was hit.

The passenger revolt began at 9:57, 29 minutes after the hijack of Flight 93, and 1 hour and 43 minutes after the hijack of Flight 11

 
barbados
1022622.  Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:02 am Reply with quote

Awitt wrote:
It all happened so fast on that morning in America and I believe all the hijackers worked together in that way, to hijack the 3 planes for maximum impact in minimum time.
Who's the insider then, if this is to be believed?


two words spring to mind.

Synchronize

Watches.

No need for an insider, at precisely 08.20 begin the operation.

No reason to communicate further

 
Peregrine Arkwright
1023760.  Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:33 pm Reply with quote

.

America is big on conspiracy theories - who assassinated JFK, for example - and I’m reluctant to join in. Instead let’s look at some 9/11 anomalies:
1. The hole in the Pentagon was not made by an aircraft with wings and engines. Totally the wrong shape. It was made by by a cylindrical missile. Look at the videos.
2. The hole in the field in Pennsylvania was not made by a civilian airliner. No evidence of engines (yet they are practically indestructible) no significant aircraft debris, no human remains. Contrast Lockerbie.
3. The collapse of World Trade Center 7 that same afternoon - which was not hit by any aircraft - was a perfect example of deliberately controlled demolition. Look at the videos. They take weeks to set up.
4. There is ample video evidence of molten steel pouring out of the twin towers. It takes temperatures about a thousand degrees higher than those achieved by burning jet fuel to melt steel. It can only have been caused by a planted burning agent such as Thermite.
5. How on earth did a passport of one of the alleged hijackers survive the burning of impact and flutter down to the street, where it was found?
6. Why were so many of the alleged hijackers reported live and well in the weeks following the events?
7. Why did two strongly-built steel towers (specifially designed to take a jet aircraft impact) collapse so easily when similarly burning steel skyscrapers elsewhere have all left a standing steel skeleton?

. . . . and that’s just for starters.

Peregrine Arkwright

 
CharliesDragon
1023774.  Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:41 pm Reply with quote

I'll classify 7 as something alike to the Titanic.

(That probably doesn't make sense, but it's late.)

 
Jenny
1023777.  Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:01 pm Reply with quote

Peregrine Arkwright wrote:
.

America is big on conspiracy theories - who assassinated JFK, for example - and I’m reluctant to join in. Instead let’s look at some 9/11 anomalies:
1. The hole in the Pentagon was not made by an aircraft with wings and engines. Totally the wrong shape. It was made by by a cylindrical missile. Look at the videos.


I'm sure PDR can say far more than I can about how an airliner is built, but to the best of my understanding the wings are not intended to carry the load of hitting a large reinforced concrete building and would simply disintegrate on impact, leaving the shape and size of hole you describe.

Quote:
2. The hole in the field in Pennsylvania was not made by a civilian airliner. No evidence of engines (yet they are practically indestructible) no significant aircraft debris, no human remains. Contrast Lockerbie.


There are well documented eye witness reports of the crash. The degree to which an airliner disintegrates on impact depends on speed and angle of approach.

Quote:
3. The collapse of World Trade Center 7 that same afternoon - which was not hit by any aircraft - was a perfect example of deliberately controlled demolition. Look at the videos. They take weeks to set up.


My husband is an architect. He looked into the way the building was constructed. The collapse follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the failure of the clip angles that connected the horizontal joists to the vertical shell, which were not made to withstand the heat resulting from the impact and the subsequent fires and collapsed like pancakes.

Can't say anything about the other points but:

Quote:
7. Why did two strongly-built steel towers (specifially designed to take a jet aircraft impact) collapse so easily when similarly burning steel skyscrapers elsewhere have all left a standing steel skeleton?


The design and structure of the WTC was not the same as a standard skyscraper. Instead of being held by a skeleton, there was a central core connected to the exterior shell by horizontal joists that supprted the floors, each joist being connected to the central core and the exterior shell by the abovementioned clip angles, which were not designed to stand up to the severe heat of the fire and failed, causing the floor joists to deflect and collapse on top of each other. There have been mockups using such a structure that have shown how the collapse occurred.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1023785.  Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:43 am Reply with quote

Peregrine Arkwright wrote:
America is big on conspiracy theories - who assassinated JFK, for example - and I’m reluctant to join in.


You're doing quite well for an enthusiastic amateur.

 
brunel
1023801.  Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:31 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Quote:
7. Why did two strongly-built steel towers (specifially designed to take a jet aircraft impact) collapse so easily when similarly burning steel skyscrapers elsewhere have all left a standing steel skeleton?


The design and structure of the WTC was not the same as a standard skyscraper. Instead of being held by a skeleton, there was a central core connected to the exterior shell by horizontal joists that supprted the floors, each joist being connected to the central core and the exterior shell by the abovementioned clip angles, which were not designed to stand up to the severe heat of the fire and failed, causing the floor joists to deflect and collapse on top of each other. There have been mockups using such a structure that have shown how the collapse occurred.

You can add to that the fact that the insulation around much of the structural steelwork was known to be in poor condition due to issues with poor access for maintenance workers.
Added to that, the extensive use of asbestos for fire proofing the material meant that, even if access was improved, it is unlikely that many workers would have been given access anyway given the risk to health that would result.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that there have been a number of improvements to the building regulations in terms of intentional structural redundancy, not to mention the fact that the WTC were one of the earliest examples of the "framed tube" school of structural design at the time.

The aircraft impact scenario only envisaged a light commercial airline - a 727 I believe - impacting the towers at low speed, since it was assumed that the most likely scenario would be an aircraft lost in fog striking the building. Not only that, but the building would probably have only been designed for the minimum level of protection in that particular scenario, which would be "life occupancy" - in other words, it would be designed to hopefully stand for enough time for those in the building to escape, but with a strong likelihood of eventual collapse or sufficient structural damage to render the building unrepairable.

Most building are only designed with that degree of redundancy in mind - only critical infrastructure, like hospitals, will be designed to the higher level of "operational occupancy" - i.e. where localised structural damage is permitted that will not significantly impede the operation of that facility - whilst the nuclear or chemical industries will typically be designed to even higher standards because of the potentially catastrophic consequences of failure in those instances.

 
Awitt
1023837.  Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:25 am Reply with quote

Around 2-3 years ago, I saw a tv program which detailed the building's internal structure and how the metal was just not designed to take an impact like that of a plane hitting it at a height, and at full speed, as Brunel's said above.
The people on the floors above where the planes hit had little chance of escape/survival.

Can't remember the name of this program now, but it was interesting.

 
RLDavies
1023840.  Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:08 am Reply with quote

I remember that programme as well. Apart from the intrinsic weaknesses of the "framed cube" structure, there's evidence that the building itself was thrown up shoddily, with corners cut. For instance, there was little or no fire insulation on a lot of the girders.

The building was never designed to withstand a massive airliner impact at full speed, and I seem to recall it also had the bad luck of the plane striking it at the very worst angle. (Although that might have been planning rather than luck.)

 

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