Published in August 2007 in an Annual University Faculty Magazine
In progressing through academic studies and disciplines, one of the key activities is the development of critical thinking. In order to develop our understanding of a subject, we should question what we are being told and, sometimes, how the information is being presented. Only when we can answer questions we have about a subject to our satisfaction can we say that we understand that subject. However, perhaps we should pause and consider, can we usefully apply similar critical thinking skills outside our area of study?
For example, when considering daily news reports, how often do we stop and think “How accurate is this information? What is the source?” or “How has this or that conclusion been drawn?” “Is the information complete?” There are two expressions that are pertinent to the thrust of what I am saying: “Don’t believe what you read in the papers!” and “Never believe anything until it’s been officially denied.” The latter saying is attributed to the writers of “Yes Minister”, Jonathan Lynn & Antony Jay.
In recent years I have found I have to apply critical thinking much more widely to news reports, following a realisation I had, some time in 2004, that the Official Story of the attacks on 9/11 could not be true. A video I watched clearly showed how the World Trade Centre Towers in New York could not have been destroyed solely as a result of jet impacts and burning jet fuel. It seems strange to some people that anyone should question any of the essential elements of the official story of 9/11, which is now widely recognized as the trigger for the “War on Terror” – a basis for many significant elements of foreign policy, and even domestic laws.
Once it was highlighted to me in the video mentioned above (called 9/11- The Great Illusion – made by George Humphrey), I realised that there is absolutely no way that either of those towers could have been destroyed by about 60000 gallons of kerosene. Why? Kerosene burns at about 820C under optimum conditions. The WTC towers collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds respectively – this is (essentially) at a rate of freefall i.e. they fell with no resistance – at all. For this to have happened, all 283 steel beams, which ran (in welded sections) from the top to the bottom of the building, would have to melt through or snap very suddenly. Unfortunately, for proponents of the official story, the melting point of steel is about 1480C so no kerosene or office-flotsam-and-jetsam based fire could have caused the steel to either melt or weaken to the point of collapse. This conclusion is borne out by the result of the 24-hour-long fire at the Windsor Tower in Madrid (on 12th Feb 2005). This was also a steel-framed building and, though badly damaged, did not collapse to the ground. Neither did the Empire State Building collapse in 1945, when it was hit by a B25 Bomber.
Many people do not seem to be aware that three large steel-framed buildings were completely destroyed on Sept 11th 2001 – WTC 1 and 2 and WTC Building 7 (sometimes called the Salomon Brothers’ Building). At 5:20 pm, the building collapsed at virtual free-fall rate, in 6.6 seconds, into its own footprint – no plane had hit this building, only a small amount of debris.
It has now come to light that BBC World reported that WTC 7 had collapsed about 20 minutes before it actually had! This revelation has made 9/11 researchers question how the BBC was able to see into the future.
These facts seem, to me, to represent significant omissions from the story reported on news bulletins and in subsequent documentaries. When considering 9/11 is mentioned almost daily in news reports, we have not really had all that much analysis of what actually happened. The “run up” to 9/11 has been the subject of a significant BBC documentary series called The Power of Nightmares, which first aired in 2004. This BAFTA award winner, made by Adam Curtis, exposes the real history of Al Qaida and concludes that stories of this group’s ability to commit acts of terrorism on a large scale have been grossly exaggerated, if not completely fabricated.
Other documentaries have analysed the events of 9/11 but all of them have either made questionable statements or omitted or “glossed over” the facts mentioned above. A BBC Horizon documentary, The Fall of the World Trade Center (7th Mar 2002), omitted to state the three towers fell – at close to freefall rates – but contained the statement that “The aircraft was swallowed up by the building as it hit at 440 miles per hour. At that speed the force of the impact was massive.” The programme did not attempt to explain how the fuselage of the plane – essentially a weak hollow tube made of light materials – could crash through several steel girders, penetrating quite deeply into the building.
Similar omissions were apparent in a Channel 4 documentary The 9-11 Conspiracies (Sept 9th 2004), and in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 (aired on Channel 4 on 27th Jan 2005). A brief discussion of the freefall of the towers was included in a 14-minute segment on The Heaven and Earth Show (10th Sept 2006) – a Sunday morning religious programme, not a news or news analysis programme.
A BBC Documentary 9/11 – Conspiracy Files (18 February 2007), mentioned that steel loses half its structural strength at 600C. However, the black smoke seen with the fires in the towers indicated an oxygen-starved fire, which in most places, did not even reach 600C. Also, the buildings were over-engineered and would have remained standing even if the steel had “lost half of its structural strength”.
So, what did official bodies say about 9/11?
The Kean (9/11) Commission Report, meant to be a “full and complete accounting of the events of 9/11” has some extremely significant omissions. For example it does not contain a discussion or analysis of the Collapse of WTC 7. Retired Theology Professor, David Ray Griffin, has described this report as “a 571 page lie”. Griffin is one of a small number of people, with significant academic credentials, who has looked into what really happened on 9/11. An author or editor of over 20 books on Religion and Theology, he stated in an LA Times article (28 Aug 2005), that he believed the official story at first, but when he had looked at a detailed timeline of events, he became suspicious. Following extensive research, in 2004, he published a book called The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. In this book, he examines the 9/11 attacks in the context of a document called Rebuilding America’s Defences. This document, which was published by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC – 2000), states that PNAC is a project “to promote American global leadership” and it later refers to the threat of a “surprise” attack on America “like a New Pearl Harbour”, which could then afford an opportunity to “transform” America’s defences.
Another body in the USA, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), was tasked with analysing the cause of the destruction of WTC towers 1,2 and 7. They have still not yet issued their final report for WTC 7, and their report for WTC 1 & 2 fails to answer how the “pancake” collapse theory explains the evidence observed on the day – mainly the speed of collapse and the lack of any “pancakes” in the WTC rubble (of which there is a distinct lack).
The terms of reference for the production of the final NIST WTC report (NCSTAR 1) have now been the subject of a Legal Challenge by Professors Morgan Reynolds (Emeritus, Texas A & M University) and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Judy Wood (formerly of Clemson University, South Carolina). Their challenge is made as a “Request for Correction” and they charge that, as it is framed, the NIST study of the WTC collapse will be fraudulent and deceptive.
All readers are encouraged to check and study the information outlined here for themselves and draw their own conclusions. This may challenge many aspects of what you took to be true and it may make you ponder what former US Presidential Advisor, Karl Rove really meant when he said “We’re an Empire now. We create our own reality.”
For further information, see:
NIST 9-11/WTC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
9/11 Commission Report in Full: