Debunking the 9-11 Conspiracy Theorists


Richard Moore

From: "dnordin" <•••@••.•••>
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Subject: (Fwd) Debunking the 9-11 Conspiracy Theorists
Date: Sunday, February 16, 2003 1:05 PM
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    by Gerard Holmgren •••@••.•••
    Copyright Gerard Holmgren. Jan 9 2003. 
    This work may be freely copied and distributed without
    permission as long as it not for commercial use. Please
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Astute observers of history are aware that for every
notable event there will usually be at least one ,often
several wild conspiracy theories which spring up around
it. "The CIA killed Hendrix" " The Pope had John Lennon
murdered ", "Hitler was half Werewolf", "Space aliens
replaced Nixon with a clone" etc,etc. The bigger the
event, the more ridiculous and more numerous are the
fanciful rantings which circulate in relation to it.

So its hardly surprising that the events of Sept 11
2001 have spawned their fair share of these ludicrous
fairy tales. And as always, there is - sadly - a small
but gullible percentage of the population eager to lap
up these tall tales, regardless of facts or rational
analysis. One of the wilder stories circulating about
Sept 11, and one that has attracted something of a cult
following amongst conspiracy buffs is that it was
carried out by 19 fanatical Arab hijackers,
masterminded by an evil genius named Osama bin Laden,
with no apparent motivation other than that they "hate
our freedoms."

Never a group of people to be bothered by facts, the
perpetrators of this cartoon fantasy have constructed
an elaborately woven web of delusions and
unsubstantiated hearsay in order to promote this
garbage across the internet and the media to the extent
that a number of otherwise rational people have
actually fallen under its spell.

Normally I don't even bother debunking this kind of
junk, but the effect that this paranoid myth is
beginning to have requires a little rational analysis,
in order to consign it to the same rubbish bin as all
such silly conspiracy theories. These crackpots even
contend that the extremist Bush regime was caught
unawares by the attacks, had no hand in organizing
them, and actually would have stopped them if it had
been able.

Blindly ignoring the stand down of the US air-force,
the insider trading on airline stocks - linked to the
CIA, the complicit behavior of Bush on the morning of
the attacks, the controlled demolition of the WTC, the
firing of a missile into the Pentagon and a host of
other documented proofs that the Bush regime was behind
the attacks, the conspiracy theorists stick doggedly to
a silly story about 19 Arab hijackers somehow managing
to commandeer 4 planes simultaneously and fly them
around US airspace for nearly 2 hours ,crashing them
into important buildings, without the US intelligence
services having any idea that it was coming, and
without the Air Force knowing what to do. The huge
difficulties with such a stupid story force them to
invent even more preposterous stories to distract from
its core silliness, and thus the tale has escalated
into a mythic fantasy of truly gargantuan proportions.

It's difficult to apply rational analysis to such
unmitigated stupidity, but that is the task which I
take on in this article. However, it should be noted
that one of the curious characteristics of conspiracy
theorists is that they effortlessly change their so
called evidence in response to each aspect which is
debunked. As soon as one delusion is unmasked, they
simply invent another to replace it, and deny that the
first ever existed. Eventually, when they have turned
full circle through this endlessly changing fantasy fog
, they then re-invent the original delusion and deny
that you ever debunked it, thus beginning the circle
once more.

This technique is known as "the fruit loop" and saves
the conspiracy theorist from ever having to see any of
their ideas through to their (ill)logical conclusions.
According to the practitioners of the fruit loop, 19
Arabs took over the 4 planes by subduing the passengers
and crew through the use of guns,knives,box cutters and
gas, and then used electronic guidance systems which
they had smuggled on board to fly the planes to their

The suspension of disbelief required for this
outrageous concoction is only for the hard core
conspiracy theorist. For a start, they conveniently
skip over the awkward fact that there weren't any Arabs
on the planes. If there were, one must speculate that
they somehow got on board without being filmed by any
of the security cameras and without being registered on
the passenger lists. But the curly question of how they
are supposed to have got on board is all too mundane
for the exciting world of the conspiracy theorist. With
vague mumblings that they must have been using false ID
( but never specifying which IDs they are alleged to
have used, or how these were traced to their real
identities), they quickly bypass this problem, to
relate exciting and sinister tales about how some of
the fictitious fiends were actually searched before
boarding because they looked suspicious.

However, as inevitably happens with any web of lies,
this simply paints them into an even more difficult
corner. How are they supposed to have got on board with
all that stuff if they were searched ? And if they used
gas in a confined space, they would have been affected
themselves unless they also had masks in their luggage.
"Excuse me sir, why do you have a boxcutter, a gun, a
container of gas, a gas mask and an electronic guidance
unit in your luggage?" "A present for your grandmother?
Very well sir, on you get." "Very strange", thinks the
security officer. "That's the fourth Arabic man without
an Arabic name who just got on board with a knife, gun
or boxcutter and gas mask. And why does that security
camera keep flicking off every time one these
characters shows up? Must be one of those days I

Asking any of these basic questions to a conspiracy
theorist is likely to cause a sudden leap to the claim
that we know that they were on board because they left
a credit card trail for the tickets they had purchased
and cars they had rented. So if they used credit cards
that identified them, how does that reconcile with the
claim that they used false IDs to get on to the plane?
But by this time ,the fruit loop is in full swing, as
the conspiracy theorist

tries to stay one jump ahead of this annoying and
awkward rational analysis.They will allege that the
hijackers' passports were found at the crash scenes.
"So there!" they exalt triumphantly, their fanatical
faces lighting up with that deranged look of one who
has just a revelation of questionable sanity. Hmm? So
they got on board with false IDs but took their real
passports with them?

However, by this time the fruit loop has been
completely circumnavigated,and the conspiracy theorist
exclaims impatiently, "Who said anything about false
IDs? We know what seats they were sitting in! Their
presence is well documented!" And so the whole loop
starts again. "Well, why aren't they on the passenger
lists?" "You numbskull! They assumed the identities of
other passengers!" And so on...

Finally, out of sheer fascination with this circular
method of creative delusion , the rational sceptic will
allow them to get away with this loop, in order to move
on to the next question, and see what further delights
await us in the unraveling of this marvelously stupid
story. "Uh, how come their passports survived fiery
crashes that completely incinerated the planes and all
the passengers? "

The answer of course is that its just one of those
strange co- incidences, those little quirks of fate
that do happen from time to time. You know, like the
same person winning the lottery four weeks in a row.
The odds are astronomical, but these things do

This is another favourite deductive method of the
conspiracy theorist. The "improbability drive" , in
which they decide upon a conclusion without any
evidence whatsoever to support it, and then continually
speculate a series of wildly improbable events and
unbelievable co-incidences to support it, shrugging off
the implausibility of each event with the vague
assertion that sometimes the impossible happens (just
about all the time in their world).

There is a principle called "Occam's razor" which
suggests that in the absence of evidence to the
contrary, the simplest explanation is most likely to be
correct. Conspiracy theorists hate Occam's razor.
Having for the sake of amusement, allowed them to get
away with with the silly story of the 19 invisible
Arabs, we move on to the question of how they are
supposed to have taken over the planes. Hijacking a
plane is not an easy thing to do. Hijacking it without
the pilot being able to alert ground control is near
impossible. The pilot has only to punch in a four digit
code to alert ground control to a hijacking.

Unconcerned with the awkward question of plausibility,
the conspiracy buffs maintain that on that Sept 11, the
invisible hijackers took over the plane by the rather
crude method of threatening people with boxcutters and
knives, and spraying gas (after they had attached their
masks, obviously), but somehow took control of the
plane without the crew first getting a chance to punch
in the hijacking code. Not just on one plane, but on
all four.

At this point in the tale, the conspiracy theorist is
again forced to call upon the services of the
improbability drive. So now that our incredibly lucky
hijackers have taken control of the planes, all four
pilots fly them with breath taking skill and certainty
to their fiery end, all four pilots unflinching in
their steely resolve for a swift meeting with Allah.
Apart from their psychotic hatred of "our freedoms" ,
it was their fanatical devotion to Islam which enabled
them to summon up the iron will to do this. Which is
strange, because according to another piece of hearsay
peddled by the conspiracy buffs, these guys actually
went out drinking and womanizing the night before their
great martyrdom, even leaving their Korans in the bar
-really impeccable Islamic behavior - and then got up
at 5am the next morning to pull off the greatest covert
operation in history.

This also requires us to believe that they were even
clear headed enough to learn how to fly the huge planes
by reading flight manuals in Arabic in the car on the
way to the airport. We know this because they
supposedly left the flight manuals there for us to
find. It gets better. Their practical training had
allegedly been limited to Cessnas and flight
simulators, but this was no barrier to the unflinching
certainty with which they took over the planes and
skillfully guided them to their doom. If they are
supposed to have done their flight training with these
tools, which would be available just about anywhere in
the world, its not clear why they would have decided to
risk blowing their cover to US intelligence services by
doing the training in Florida, rather than somewhere in
the Middle East, but such reasoning is foreign to the
foggy world of the conspiracy theorist , too trapped in
the constant rotation of the mental fruit loop to make
their unsubstantiated fabrications seem even

Having triumphantly established a circular delusion in
support of the mythical Arabs, the conspiracy theorist
now confronts the difficult question of why there's
nothing left of the planes.

Anybody who has seen the endlessly replayed footage of
the second plane going into the WTC will realize that
the plane was packed with explosives. Planes do not and
cannot blow up into nothing in that manner when they
crash. Did the mythical Arabs also haul a huge heap of
explosives on board, and mange to deploy them in such a
manner that they went off in the exact instant of the
crash, completely vapourizing the plane?

This is a little difficult even for the conspiracy
theorist, who at this point decides that its easier to
invent new laws of physics in order to keep the
delusion rolling along. There weren't any explosives.
It wasn't an inside job. The plane blew up into nothing
from its exploding fuel load! Remarkable! Sluggishly
combustible jet fuel which is basically kerosine,and
which burns at a maximum temperature of around 800 C
has suddenly taken on the qualities of a ferociously
explosive demolition agent, vapourizing 65 tons of
aircraft into a puff of smoke. Never mind that a plane
of that size contains around 15 tons of steel and
titanium, of which even the melting points are about
double that of the maximum combustion temperature of
kerosine - let alone the boiling point - which is what
would be required to vapourize a plane. And then
there's about 50 tons of aluminium to be accounted for.
In excess of 15lbs of metal for each gallon of

For the conspiracy theorist, such inconvenient facts
are vaguely dismissed as "mumbo jumbo". This convenient
little phrase is their answer to just about anything
factual or logical. Like a conjurer pulling a rabbit
out of a hat, they suddenly become fanatically
insistent about the devastating explosive qualities of
kerosine, something hitherto completely unknown to
science, but just discovered by them, this very minute.

Blissfully ignoring the fact that never before or since
in aviation history has a plane vapourized into nothing
from an exploding fuel load, the conspiracy theorist
relies upon Hollywood images, where the effects are are
always larger than life, and certainly larger than the
intellects of these cretins. "Its a well known fact
that planes blow up into nothing on impact." they state
with pompous certainty. "Watch any Bruce Willis movie."
"Care to provide any documented examples? If it's a
well known fact, then presumably this well known fact
springs from some kind of documentation - other than
Bruce Willis movies ?"

At this point the mad but cunning eyes of the
conspiracy theorist will narrow as they sense the
corner that they have backed themselves into, and plan
their escape by means of another stunning backflip.
"Ah, but planes have never crashed into buildings
before, so there's no way of telling." they counter
with a sly grin.

Well, actually planes have crashed into buildings
before and since, and not vapourized into nothing. "But
not big planes, with that much fuel ", they shriek in
hysterical denial. Or that much metal to vapourize.
"Yes but not hijacked planes!"

"Are you suggesting that whether the crash is
deliberate or accidental affects the combustion
qualities of the fuel?" "Now you're just being silly".
Although collisions with buildings are rare, planes
frequently crash into mountains, streets, other
aircraft, nosedive into the ground,or have bombs
planted aboard them, and don't vapourize into nothing.
What's so special about a tower that's mostly glass?

But by now, the conspiracy theorist has once again
sailed happily around the fruit loop. "Its a well
documented fact that planes explode into nothing on
impact." Effortlessly weaving back and forth between
the position that its a "well known fact" and that "its
never happened before, so we have nothing to compare it
to", the conspiracy theorist has now convinced
themselves ( if not too many other people) that the WTC
plane was not loaded with explosives, and that the
instant vapourization of the plane in a massive
fireball was the same as any other plane crash you
might care to mention. Round and round the fruit.

But the hurdles which confront the conspiracy theorist
are many, and they are now forced to implement even
more creative uses for the newly discovered shockingly
destructive qualities of kerosine. They have to explain
how the Arabs also engineered the elegant veritcal
collapse of both the WTC towers, and for this awkward
fact the easiest counter is to simply deny that it was
a controlled demolition, and claim that the buildings
collapsed from fire caused by the burning kerosine. For
this, its necessary to sweep aside the second law of
thermodynamics and propose kerosine which is not only
impossibly destructive, but also recycles itself for a
second burning in violation of the law of degradation
of energy.

You see, it not only consumed itself in a sudden
catastrophic fireball , vapourizing a 65 ton plane into
nothing, but then came back for a second go, burning at
2000C for another hour at the impact point, melting the
skyscraper's steel like butter. And while it was doing
all this it also poured down the elevator shafts,
starting fires all through the building.

When I was at school there was a little thing called
the entropy law which suggests that a given portion of
fuel can only burn once, something which is readily
observable in the real world, even for those who didn't
make it to junior high school science. But this is no
problem for the conspiracy theorist. Gleefully, they
claim that a few thousand gallons of kerosine is enough
to : completely vapourize a 65 ton aircraft : have
enough left over to burn ferociously enough for over an
hour at the impact point to melt steel ( melting point
about double the maximum combustion temperature of the
fuel ) : still have enough left over to pour down the
elevator shafts and start similarly destructive fires
all through the building.

This kerosine really is remarkable stuff! How chilling
to realize that those kerosine heaters we had in the
house when I was a kid were deadly bombs, just waiting
to go off. One false move and the entire street might
have been vapourized. And never again will I take
kerosine lamps out camping. One moment you're there
innocently holding the lamp - the next - kapow!
Vapourized into nothing along with with the rest of the
camp site, and still leaving enough of the deadly stuff
to start a massive forest fire.

These whackos are actually claiming that the raging
inferno allegedly created by the miraculously
recycling, and impossibly hot burning kerosine melted
or at least softened the steel supports of the
skyscraper. Oblivious to the fact that the smoke coming
from the WTC was black, which indicates an oxygen
starved fire -therefore, not particularly hot, they
trumpet an alleged temperature in the building of 2000
C , without a shred of evidence to support this curious
suspension of the laws of physics. Not content with
this ludicrous garbage, they then contend that as the
steel frames softened, they came straight down instead
of buckling and twisting and falling sideways.

Since they're already re-engineered the combustion
qualities of jet fuel, violated the second law of
thermodynamics, and re-defined the structural
properties of steel, why let a little thing like the
laws of gravity get in the way?

The tower fell in a time almost identical to that of a
free falling object, dropped from that height, meaning
that its physically impossible for it to have collapsed
by the method of the top floors smashing through the
lower floors. But according to the conspiracy
theorists, the laws of gravity were temporarily
suspended on the morning of Sept 11.

It appears that the evil psychic power of those
dreadful Arabs knew no bounds. Even after they were
dead, they were able, by the power of their evil
spirits, to force down the tower at a speed physically
impossible under the laws of gravity, had it been
meeting any resistance from fireproofed steel
structures originally designed to resist many tons of
hurricane force wind as well as the impact of a Boeing
passenger jet straying off course.

Clearly, these conspiracy nuts never did their science
homework at school, but did become extremely adept at
inventing tall tales for why. "Muslim terrorists stole
my notes, sir" "No miss, the kerosine heater blew up
and vapourized everything in the street, except for my
passport." "You see sir, the schoolbus was hijacked by
Arabs who destroyed my homework because they hate our

Or perhaps they misunderstood the term "creative
science" and mistakenly thought that coming up with
such rubbish was in fact, their science homework. The
ferocious heat generated by this ghastly kerosine was,
according to the conspiracy theorists, the reason why
so many of the WTC victims can't be identified. DNA is
destroyed by heat. (Although 2000 C isn't really
required, 100C will generally do the job.)

This is quite remarkable, because according to the
conspiracy theorist, the nature of DNA suddenly changes
if you go to a different city. That's right! If you are
killed by an Arab terrorist in NY, your DNA will be
destroyed by such temperatures. But if you are killed
by an Arab terrorist in Washington DC, your DNA will be
so robust that it can survive temperatures which
completely vapourize a 65 ton aircraft.

You see, these loonies have somehow concocted the idea
that the missile which hit the pentagon was not a
missile at all, but one of the hijacked planes. And to
prove this unlikely premise, they point to a propaganda
statement from the Bush regime, which rather stupidly
claims that all but one of the people aboard the plane
were identified from the site by DNA testing, even
though nothing remains of the plane. The plane was
vapourized by the fuel tank explosion maintain these
space loonies, but the people inside it were all but
one identified by DNA testing.

So there we have it. The qualities of DNA are
different, depending upon which city you're in, or
perhaps depending upon which fairy story you're trying
to sell at any particular time. This concoction about
one of the hijacked planes hitting the Pentagon really
is a howler. For those not familiar with the layout of
the Pentagon, it consists of 5 rings of building, each
with a space inbetween. Each ring of building is about
30 to 35 ft deep, with a similar amount of open space
between it and the next ring. The object which
penetrated the Pentagon went in at about a 45 degree
angle, punching a neat circular hole of about a 12 ft
diameter through three rings ( six walls).A little

a section of wall about 65 ft wide collapsed in the
outer ring. Since the plane which the conspiracy
theorists claim to be responsible for the impact had a
wing span of 125 ft and a length of 155 ft, and there
was no wreckage of the plane, either inside or outside
the building, and the lawns outside were still smooth
and green enough to play golf on, this crazy delusion
is clearly physically impossible.

But hey, we've already disregarded the combustion
qualities of jet fuel, the normal properties of common
building materials, the properties of DNA, the laws of
gravity and the second law of thermodynamics, so what
the hell - why not throw in a little spatial
impossibility as well ? I would have thought that the
observation that a solid object cannot pass through
another solid object without leaving a hole at least as
big as itself is reasonably sound science. But to the
conspiracy theorist, this is "mumbo jumbo". It
conflicts with the delusion that they're hooked on, so
it "must be wrong" although trying to get them to
explain exactly how it could be wrong is a futile

Conspiracy theorists fly into a curious panic whenever
the Pentagon missile is mentioned.They nervously
maintain that the plane was vapourized by it's
exploding fuel load and point to the WTC crash as
evidence of this behavior. (That's a wonderful fruit

Like an insect which has just been sprayed, running
back and forth in its last mad death throes, they first
argue that the reason the hole is so small is that the
plane never entered the wall, having blown up outside,
and then suddenly backflip to explain the 250 ft deep
missile hole by saying that the plane disappeared all
the way into the building, and then blew up inside the
building (even though the building shows no sign of
such damage). As for what happened to the wings -
here's where they get really creative. The wings
snapped off and folded into the fuselage which then
carried them into the building, which then closed up
behind the plane like a piece of meat.

When it suits them, they'll also claim that the plane
slid in on its belly, (ignoring the undamaged lawn)
while at the same time citing alleged witnesses to the
plane diving steeply into the building from an
"irrecoverable angle."

How they reconcile these two scenarios as being
compatible is truly a study in stupidity. Once they get
desperate enough, you can be sure that the UFO
conspiracy stuff will make an appearance.

The Arabs are in league with the Martians. Space aliens
snatched the remains of the Pentagon plane and fixed
most of the hole in the wall, just to confuse people.
They gave the Arabs invisibility pills to help get them
onto the planes. Little green men were seen talking to
Bin Laden a few weeks prior to the attacks.

As the nation gears up to impeach the traitor Bush, and
stop his perpetual oil war, it's not helpful to have
these idiots distracting from the process by spreading
silly conspiracy theories about mythical Arabs, stories
which do nothing but play into the hands of the
extremist Bush regime.

At a less serious time, we might tolerate such
crackpots with amused detachment, but they need to
understand that the treachery that was perpetrated on
Sept 11, and the subsequent war crimes committed in
"retaliation" are far too serious for us to allow such
frivolous self indulgence to go unchallenged.

Those who are truly addicted to conspiracy delusions
should find a more appropriate outlet for their
paranoia. Its time to stop loony conspiracy theories
about Sept 11.

Submitted by Anonyme


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