Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Popular Mechanics and Building 7

Popular Mechanics has jumped into the fray of the 9/11 debate. I heard one of their people on a radio link and an interesting point really jumped out. First of all, you realize this debate could be settled in a day if the government just released the evidence it has, especially the videos of whatever hit the Pentagon. They know they have a problem with the public and there is no reason why they would want 1 in 3 Americans believing that the government was involved. The only thing I can think of is that they want it as a distraction to keep us from pondering something else. But that doesn't make sense because they did release a few frames from one of the videos, so they are feeling the pressure. Those frames turned out to be inconclusive, so where are the other videos seized shortly after the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon? Why won't they put those out there? Next we have the Popular Mechanics argument that the reason Building 7 collapsed late in the afternoon of 9/11 was because something like 25% of the base had been gouged out that morning. Even though there were other buildings between 7 and the towers - buildings that were damaged from falling debris and fire, but didn't collapse. The interesting part is that Popular Mechanics claims to have been shown pictures of the damage to the base of Building 7 - pictures the public hasn't seen.
Wouldn't it be the right thing to do to show the public these? Can't we get to the bottom of this for the sake of the nation? One other point about the original PBS documentary where Larry Silverstein, who just acquired the buildings several months before 9/11, uses the term "pull" in reference to Building 7. The Popular Mechanics guy said that they could find no examples of using the word "pull" in the demolition industry to mean take down a building. They conclude Larry was saying "pull the firefighters", even though it is also reported there were no firefighters in Building 7. Okay, I've read that a construction worker uses the term "pull" to mean using explosives to bring down another building in the exact same PBS documentary. What's going on here? Why is the government not eager to dismiss these theories by releasing the evidence? It doesn't make sense unless......
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At 11:39 AM, Blogger Boot said...

I agree completely. The movie Loose change chronicles this question to the same end. The use of "pull" to mean demolition is standard practice, I don't understand why Popular Mechanics would try to state otherwise. I wonder who owns the mag?

Secondly, I believe the government isn't concerned with what we know or believe. They have so much power and have already gotten away with so much that they need not worry. Add to that the enormous complacency of the American people to accept whatever the nightly news feeds them (and not wonder what they aren't feeding them)and it is easy to understand how we got here. especially when the administration can call up Tony Blair and create a terrorist capture to further distract us. Interesting that the supposed plotters who were going to blow up planes from London had no explosives, no passports, no tickets, and no target date.

We are so easily distracted and conditioned to extreme news that we miss the little details, that once added up, point to the true terrorists.

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think they are not releasing the information because there are only a few kooks on the fringe that actually believe such nonsense and its not worth their time?

As for the Pentagon film, have you considered that they don't release more footage and greater detailed pictures of the scene because it might give away certain information we don't want terrorists or hostile governments to know? Such as the location of security devices, engineering specs of the building, types of materials used in the walls and windows, and other such information that enemies of our country could use to lauch another attack on one of the most strategically important lacations in the entire Western Hemisphere?!!

Of course you thought of that. And you still think we should handout blue prints to the conspiracy theorists. Entertaining as usual.

PS - Hey Bill, what's your take on "Hubris", the new Isakoff/Corn tome that pretty much torpedoes the who, "Buch/Cheney/Rove outed a CIA agent for political purposes" meme?

At 9:38 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

If building 7 collapsed because the ground was eroded somehow, then someone please explain why it 'collapsed' so perfectly. If the base was destroyed, why did it fall exactly like a 'pulled' building? Wouldn't the failure start at ground level? Look at the film clips and then say this was because of some kind of foundation failure. Then repeat "Bush would never lie to me."

Three collapses, all unprecedented, occured that day. What are the chances?

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the chances? About a billion times greater than the government could have snuck into all three building unnoticed, drill tens of thousands of holes and pack thousands of tons of explosives, and time the demolition of the buildings to a terror cell successfully hijacking three airplanes and succeed in running them into WTC. Boy, you sure give a lot of credit to such an incompetant President.

And another thing: you conspiracy theorists sure do ride Bush for his initial response to the attacks - the 'deer in headlights for seven minutes, flying around the country' thing. Don't you think that if it was all planned ahead, they would have coordinated a better response?

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

There's a way they could have done it using explosives set off by radio transmitters. The security for the buildings was run by the President's brother. Shaped thermite charges that would cut through the steel - unlike the fires since airplane fuel doesn't burn got enough. There is photographic evidence of this by the way, as well as proof that the fires on top weren't hot enough. That would also explain the pools of molten metal long afterwards. The operation would have been run out of Building 7 which did have some key emergency management centers. That's why the Building was destroyed later.
As far as the lunatic fringe, we're talking about 1 out of 3 Americans here, including some serious officials overseas.
As far as Pentagon security, they could release the plane approaching the Pentagon from one of the many videos that must exist without giving away anything. This is Washington, D.C. There were a lot of surveillance footage including from a nearby gas station, hotel, etc...that the FBI came and seized.
It would be like the Ryder truck footage released after Oklahoma City.
As far as the President's response, it was a workable scenario. Get him out of town innocently talking to school children while Cheney ran his war games that duplicated the attacks and through off our air defences. You do know about those, don't you, Butch?
What are the chances that these hijackings could not be intercepted like many other planes before them when they go off course? Remember the Payne Stewart case? Finally you have the Secretary of Transportation testifying that he heard a young man approach Cheney with the distance from Washington a threat was, and Cheney kep telling the man that the orders were to stand down, right until whatever it was hit the Pentagon. What did that mean, Butch?
As far as doing a better job of setting it up, they did leave way too many clues. They were just counting on people like you, Butch, believing them, rather than thinking for yourself. They did fight against having any investigation into what went wrong. Why wouldn't they want to know that for future national security reasons?
We just believe different conspiracy theories. You believe the government's and it doesn't add up. That's why the 9/11 Commissioners considered filing charges because the military version contained so many obvious lies.
Finally, the Valerie Plame thing was a gigantic break for the American Public because it exposed the workings of the VP's office. The way they were planting stories in the NYTimes with Cheney acting like he just noticed them the next day. It proves they lied our way into Iraq and that Cheney was all over it.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Let's not forget the fact there there was never any evidence (at least relased to the public) of a plane's remains in the Pentagon. In all other plane crashes of large jets, there is usually something left of the engine rotors. Even when flown directly into a mountain, a plane leaves wreakage. And a jet engine, at 400 MPH, should leave at least some damage to the wall of the building it hit. But not at the Pentagon.

A lot of strange things happened that day that never occured before. Even the fact that four sets of hijackers could overtake four planes stretches the imagination.

Anything's possible of course, but given the administration's track record for 'evil doing', it's not a stretch to think them capable of such a deed. Not Bush, of course, he's just a dummy puppet whose claim to fame is cutting brush.

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, have you even read the Popular Mechanics dubunking of these hogwash myths? They actually use (gasp!) science and evidence instead of pure conjecture and circumstance. Lest take just one example from you: Bill McDonald, "Shaped thermite charges that would cut through the steel - unlike the fires since airplane fuel doesn't burn got enough. There is photographic evidence of this by the way, as well as proof that the fires on top weren't hot enough."

Popular Mechanics responds to this myth:

CLAIM: "We have been lied to," announces the Web site AttackOnAmerica.net. "The first lie was that the load of fuel from the aircraft was the cause of structural failure. No kerosene fire can burn hot enough to melt steel." The posting is entitled "Proof Of Controlled Demolition At The WTC."

FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength--and that required exposure to much less heat. "I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

"The jet fuel was the ignition source," Williams tells PM. "It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."

And as laurelhurstdad's claim there was no plane wreckage found at the Pentagon, more hogwash. This also from the Popular Mechanics article:

Blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer was the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the crash and helped coordinate the emergency response. "It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box." Kilsheimer's eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?"

Its one thing to harbor such vitriol and hate for Bush, and quite another to channel that into belief in such nonsense.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Butch, Let's be clear on one thing: I don't want this to be true. Your standard fallback thesis that this is driven by anti-Bush feelings is once again failing you. You skip over the parts that don't add up - the central being why this government wants 1 out of 3 people to believe this when all they have to do is release the videos. Why should Popular Mechanics get to see pictures the rest of us don't from Building 7? This is a White House that works very hard to affect public opinion. Why not something on this?
I'm not a demolitions expert and I trust neither are you. I have read expert opinions that state these buildings fell in a manner near freefall that was exactly like a controlled demolition, especially Building 7 that did not get hit by an airplane. What would be wrong with having an open investigation into the science here, with some of the most qualified doubters questioning our government directly?
Let's settle this and not turn it into a JFK situation.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Bill, lets get something straight about that errant poll that said 1/3 of Americans believe this stuff to paraphrase you. That's total BS. Either most of those that answered the question in the affirmative interpreted it as meaning, 'did the government do everything it could to stop the attacks?', or else the pollster's call list came from a DailyKos convention.

Second, I don't think - nor have I ever said - you "want" this to be true. But it is your hatred of Bush that allows you to believe it is and ignore all of the hard evidence that it isn't. Just like some extreme Clinton haters allowed themselves to believe he murdered Bill Foster. You're really no different than them - just on the other side of the spectrum. Your hatred of Bush becomes an 'information filter' that automatically processes anything negative about Bush as being fact, and anything not negative as being conjecture.

Take the Plame case. You firmly believed - despite a complete lack of any factual evidence - that Cheney and Rove sent marching orders to out Valerie Plame to destroy her career and her husband's credibility. Now we know that nothing could be further from the truth. Your response? 'Well look at everything else it uncovered!'...when a simple, "I was wrong." would have sufficed.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I really think 9/11 was more about Cheney than Bush.
As far as the Plame thing, I was extremely hopeful that Karl Rove would be indicted. That's how I approached it. Hey, I've been wrong a lot. I don't have that pride hang-up - I can admit it. I've been wrong on national TV where Leno had to apologize the next night for it.
I had real faith in Fitzgerald, despite some lefty sites that say he's not as trustworthy as he appears. I watched his press conference and I thought he was impressive. When the indictment didn't happen I let it go. I guess I'm having a tough time remembering what I was wrong about. Did I suspect Cheney and Rove in this? Damn right. I think the primary source has been established but no charges were filed. Maybe it was an innocent screw-up. There was nothing innocent in lying us into Iraq. Those charges still stand.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger darrelplant said...

Y'know Butch, I think the whole Building 7 conspiracy theory is a crock, but you really show your bias when you make the crack about people who believe in such a thing being more prevalent at someplace like the DailyKos convention.

The Bush administration and Republican party are the people suppressing science and information. People like myself who post at DailyKos are a lot more likely to be well-read in the sciences and less inclined to ascribe events to supernatural forces than the average American. There's even a regular Friday feature on science at DK.

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

darrelplant, do you honestly believe that DailyKos is a collection of logical, neutral observers only concerned with factual evidence? Boy, the Building 7 conspiracy is more believable than that.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

If the Penagon plane's flight recorder was found, why wasn't the data released? Why were the videos from the local area seize and never released? Why was the damage around the 'hole' in the Pentagon not consistent with a multi-ton jet engine hitting it?

If it really was a plane, it would be simple to prove and stop all this speculation. Just the fact that such obvious evidence is hiddem screams coverup.

It would be so simple to make it all go away. But 'they' won't.

At 6:16 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

The poll that came up with the 1 out of 3 Americans saying our government was complicit in 9/11 was conducted by Scripps Howard and Ohio University.

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why haven't we declassified all information about Area 51 to satisfy all of the UFO theorists? Duh...it might possibly be a little bit more about your need to know.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Typical Fox educated sheep-talk. Change the subject to UFOs. Duh. Why didn't I think of that?

Could it be that most everyone knows that the government tests new stuff out in the desert? And they don't want the Russkies (and now Iran) to know about it?

The correlation between releasing footage of a plane hitting the Pentagon and secret weapon testing doesn't stand up, unless of course it was a secret weapon that hit hit the Pentagon. Say a missle disguised as an airplane, but with balsa wood wings and engines. Just a thought.

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the most telling thing is the interview with Mark Loizeaux the owner of CDI in the Harper's Bazaar magazine which was published just a few weeks prior to 9/11. In it he says he "dreams about dropping the Twin Towers"


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