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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Taylor Contra Power – Part 2: World Trade Center 7 (and other issues)

In Part 1 of my response to Myles Power’s YouTube video series, I examined his arguments regarding the collapse of the Twin Towers and the evidence for controlled demolition. Now I will focus on Mr. Power’s videos regarding the destruction of World Trade Center 7, and why the arguments presented in those videos utterly fail at debunking the Movement’s case for the building being demolished.

Building 7 Overview

After Mr. Power presents us with a number of rude and disrespectful comments he’s gotten from people on YouTube (he doesn’t think at this point to mention my lengthy critique of his first three videos), he gives an overview on why Building 7 supposedly collapsed. Essentially, he simply presents a rehashing of NIST’s assertions in their report on why the building collapsed.[1] But we shall see that neither NIST nor Mr. Power are correct in their assessments of the building’s collapse.

The 9/11 Commission Report

Though it has been a concern for many in the Movement that Building 7’s collapse was not mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report, Mr. Power sees nothing wrong with it, reasoning (like many other debunkers) that the Commission Report was not an engineering report, so it would have had no reason to make mention of it. However, the Commission’s choice to not include Building 7’s collapse simply reflects their unjustified pre-conceived conclusions on why the building came down. As I explained in my response to Joseph Nobles on this same issue:

The Commission Report was not an engineering report, but they didn't know that fire was the official explanation for its collapse yet. Again, it goes back to assuming that fire brought the building down, which fire has never done before.[2]

And contrary to what Mr. Power claims, Building 7 apparently was considered as a possible terrorist target on 9/11, according to Richard Rotanz, the Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management.[3] For the Commission to have omitted Building 7’s collapse from their report was totally unjustified. Mr. Power also mentions that WTC Building 3 collapsed on 9/11 as well, but was also not mentioned in the Commission Report. However, Building 3’s collapse was dramatically different from Building 7’s, as videos and photos clearly show the building being crushed by falling debris from the Towers.[4] The building showed none of the characteristics of explosive demolition which, as we shall see, were all present in the collapse of Building 7.

The “Official” Explanation

We then get a discussion from Mr. Power on what the NIST report claims was the cause of the building’s collapse. Mr. Power correctly notes that normal office fires were said by NIST to be the official cause of collapse, with no contributions from the diesel tanks or the structural damage from fall of the North Tower. He explains that falling debris from WTC1 did ignite the fires in the building, and that the critical fires grew and lasted on floors 7 to 9 and 11 to 13. However, Mr. Power then discusses how even though the north side of the building was essentially undamaged, the south side of the building “show[s] a very different story.” He shows us photos taken from the south side of the building, which show a large amount on smoke and some damage on the building’s south face. He evidently does this to imply that Building 7 had severe fires and structural damage which compromised the building. However, he previously noted that only six floors in the building had severe fires which contributed to the collapse. The large amount of smoke on Building 7’s south face was likely due to negative pressure, which drew the smoke from the burning WTC complex. Videos and photos show that the exact same this happened to WTC1 after WTC2 collapsed. As for the structural damage, NIST makes it clear that the damage did not help to initiate the collapse,[5] a fact that Mr. Power has acknowledged.

Though Mr. Power would agree with NIST that the fires in the building were severe enough to cause the building to collapse, other scientists have argued just the opposite. Scientists on both sides of the argument have noted that NIST evidently exaggerated the temperatures of the fires which initiated the collapse. Kevin Ryan, in response to NIST’s assertion of fires in the 600 °C range, wrote:

[R]aising those five floor beams to a temperature of 600 °C would require an enormous amount of energy, far more than was available from the burning of the office furnishings underneath the floor beams.[6]

Likewise, Dr. Frank Greening, a physical chemist who does not believe WTC7 was demolished, wrote in his letter to NIST:

NIST’s collapse initiation hypothesis requires that structural steel temperatures on floors 12/13 significantly exceeded 300 °C - a condition that could never have been realized with NIST’s postulated 32 kg/m2 fuel loading.[7]

So, while Kevin Ryan has asserted that the fires in WTC7 could not have reached 600 °C, Dr. Greening rejects the idea the fires could have reached even 300 °C. Furthermore, researcher Chris Sarns has demonstrated that the critical fires that were supposed to have caused the collapse were burned out before the time of collapse.[8]

The Collapse

Mr. Power then proceeds to discuss the collapse sequence espoused by NIST in their report. Thermal expansion of the girders on floor 13 are said to have caused the collapse of this floor, initiating the buckling and failure of column 79, which in turn caused columns 80 and 81 to fail, which then led to a chain reaction that caused the rest of the interior columns to collapse. This left the outer perimeter of the building a hollow shell, which eventually collapsed now that it was unsupported by the interior. But this entire scenario has been shown to be extremely problematic. For starters, we now know that the girders in Building 7 would have been much more secure than previously asserted by NIST.[9] Being more secure would have made them much more resistant to the effects of thermal expansion, and thus would not have helped to initiate the collapse.

Second, the description of Building 7’s collapse given by NIST is totally at odds with what we actually see in the videos of the building’s destruction. After discussing NIST’s explanation of how the interior columns collapsed, Mr. Power asserts that “the effects of this can clearly be seen in the video, as the east penthouse was directly above column 79.” Note that he says that the effects of this event are seen in the video. He does not say that the event itself can be seen, which it obviously cannot. In other words, Mr. Power assumes that the fall of the penthouse was a result of NIST’s scenario, which requires him to already take NIST at their word. But others have pointed out that the videos of Building 7’s collapse strongly contradict NIST’s explanation of events.[10] As noted by Dr. Frank Greening:

According to NIST, the global collapse of WTC 7 began 6.9 seconds after the East Penthouse collapse or about 23 seconds into the simulation. Now consider NIST’s Figures 12-66, 12-67 and 12-69 and in particular the images showing the alleged state of the core 17.5, 19.5, 20.7, 21.8, 24.1, 26.8 and 28.8 seconds into the collapse simulation. These images represent NIST’s view of what the core looked like at ~1-2 second intervals following the collapse of the East Penthouse. What is most significant about these images is that around the time of global collapse initiation NIST’s simulation shows that the eastern half of the core had completely collapsed while the western half of the core remained standing and relatively undamaged. This is quite remarkable since videos of the collapse of WTC 7 show that up to and well beyond the moment that the roofline of WTC 7 exhibited its first downward movement, the exterior of the building revealed absolutely no signs of NIST’s proposed partial collapse of the core even though the core was connected to the exterior walls of Building 7 by dozens of horizontal beams on every floor.[11]

Dr. Greening ultimately concludes that such extensive interior destruction prior to the perimeter collapse “would have caused the eastern facade to buckle well before global collapse ensued,” and that “this buckling would have been visible as a bowing of the northeast corner of the building.” But as Dr. Greening rightly observes, “such pre-collapse buckling or bowing of WTC 7 was not observed.”[12] Though NIST asserts that the strength of the exterior enabled it to avoid deforming during the collapse,[13] this still leaves open the question of how Building 7 was therefore able to collapse as fast as it did. In other words, defenders of the official story cannot have it both ways; either the exterior was strong enough to avoid deforming during interior collapse, or it was weak enough to allow the building to collapse at the rate it did. Mr. Power also notes the apparent “dishonesty” of truthers for failing to show the east penthouse collapse “in the majority their videos.” However, many in the movement have discussed the fall of the east penthouse in great detail, and several of the professionally made movies and presentations by the Movement show and discuss the penthouse.[14] They have also explained why the penthouse cannot justifiably be included in the total collapse time of the building. As mechanical engineer Tony Szamboti explains:

The WTC 7 East penthouse had columns on its perimeter and none in its interior. On three sides these columns mounted near the edge of the roof of WTC 7. It is unlikely that a collapse of any core columns of the main building could have pulled them completely down without the roof beams breaking completely loose from the exterior columns and moving down completely also. It is unlikely that the roof beams were severed from the exterior columns, which is what would be necessary for a core collapse to cause the penthouse to collapse.[15]

In other words, had the initial collapse of the penthouse been caused by a collapse of the core of the main building, then the rest of the roof would have collapsed at the same time as the penthouse. Because it didn’t, this is strong evidence that the collapse of the penthouse and the collapse of the main building were wholly separate events.


The issue of Building 7’s 2.25 second period of free-fall is then discussed, and like many other debunkers Mr. Power asserts that this was caused by the buckling of the building’s exterior columns between floors 7 and 14. However, in my previous writings I have given four reasons to dispute this:
  1. We have no visual evidence of this buckling occurring, so the claim is only based on NIST’s word.
  2. All of NIST's models show the buckling occurring only on the west side of the building. However, the free fall occurs over the entire width of the building. We know this because the roofline remains essentially straight through the period of free fall. Other than the slight kink, the roofline remains essentially straight for the first 4-5 seconds of its collapse. 
  3. Even if the buckling did occur, there is no evidence supporting that it would even cause the building to free fall in the first place. We would only be looking at warped and twisted steel, but not zero steel.
  4. NIST’s own simulations show that this buckling would cause the building to fall in a different manner than what was observed in the videos.[16]
It is for these reasons that I reject the notion that the buckling of any of the perimeter columns could have caused the building to fall at free-fall. As Tony Szamboti explains regarding all three buildings:

The minimum resistance during buckling is a function of the plastic moment and the unsupported length of the column. In a one-story unsupported length of the Twin Tower box columns, it was approximately 25% of the yield strength of the column. For the wide-flange columns in the core it was lower, at about 14% of yield. The wide-flange core columns at the 98th floor of the North Tower had a minimum factor of safety against gravity of 3 and the perimeter box columns a minimum factor of safety against gravity of 5. The core columns would have to buckle over one story with their moment connected beams at each floor, so they would provide a minimum resistance during buckling of about 42% of their load. A case could be made that the perimeter columns initially buckled over two stories and thus their resistance would be 12.5% of yield, so they would have still provided a resistance of 65% of their load. The load split between the core and perimeter was 42% core and 58% perimeter. The resistance during buckling would thus be (0.42)(0.42) + (0.58)(0.65) = 0.55. So the resistance to the actual load during buckling would have been a minimum of about 0.55g… Additionally, WTC 7 could not come down in freefall while its columns were buckling for the reasons I showed above, and it didn’t start to tilt over until it was about 60% of the way down and well beyond that initial 8-story (100-foot) freefall.[17]

Other Evidence

Mr. Power finishes up his fourth video by re-asserting that there was no chemical evidence of explosives/incendiaries found in the debris of Building 7. But as I already explained in Part 1 of my rebuttal, the study that supposedly disproved that there was any chemical evidence of explosives has been shown to be unreliable.[18] Mr. Power also makes mention of the fact that there were evidently no sounds of explosions heard when Building 7 collapsed. But this argument is wrong for several reasons. For starters, there were several eyewitnesses who did report hearing explosions when the building collapsed. For example, first responder Craig Bartmer has testified that:

I was real close to Building 7 when it fell down… That didn’t sound like just a building falling down to me… There’s a lot of eyewitness testimony down there of hearing explosions… I think I know an explosion when I hear it.[19]

A New York University medical student also claimed that he and others “heard this sound that sounded like a clap of thunder”[20] right before the building collapsed. Furthermore, there are recordings from 9/11 in which loud explosions can be heard (which were recorded after the Towers collapsed, but before Building 7 collapsed).[21] There is at least one video of Building 7’s collapse in which a sharp explosive noise can be heard as it collapses.[22] And physicist David Chandler has analyzed one video of Building 7’s collapse and has found sound evidence for explosions in the building.[23] But this whole point about hearing explosions occur from the building is moot anyway, as sound evidence is seen as insignificant according to official fire/explosive investigation guidelines. According to the NFPA 921 Guide, section 18.1:

Although an explosion is almost always accompanied by the production of a loud noise, the noise itself is not an essential element in the definition of an explosion. The generation and violent escape of gases are the primary criteria of an explosion.[24]

So, as stated by the official NFPA 921 Guide, the actual sound of an explosive is not essential in determining if an explosive event took place. The very characteristics of all three building collapses should have been reason enough to believe that they were destroyed with explosives. The NFPA 921 guide also notes that explosives should be considered whenever there is “high-order damage, which is defined as:

High-order damage is characterized by shattering of the structure, producing small, pulverized debris. Walls, roofs, and structural members are splintered or shattered, with the building completely demolished. Debris is thrown great distances, possibly hundreds of feet.[25]

The first two sentences of this description would apply to Building 7, and the entire description would apply to the Twin Towers. Mr. Power’s rejection of the evidence of controlled demolition for WTC7 is therefore totally unjustified.

Other Steel-Framed Building Collapses

Mr. Power starts off his next video by discussing other steel-framed structures that have collapsed due to fire. His cites these as examples in order to add validity to the idea that fire could also have caused the WTC buildings to collapse. But his argument is problematic and very misleading. First off, he misstates the Truth Movement’s arguments regarding fires in other buildings, saying that the Movement believes that the three WTC buildings "were the first steel-framed structures to collapse because of fire." This is not the position that the majority of the Movement holds. Rather, the Movement maintains that the three WTC buildings were the first steel-framed high-rise skyscrapers to ever collapse due to fire, which is a definite fact.[26] Most in the Movement gladly accept that steel can be weakened and fail due to fire. But what is not accepted is that fire would cause the total, complete, and explosive collapse of the buildings on 9/11. As noted by J. Plummer:

For the record, few in the scientific community doubt that it’s theoretically possible for a building to experience failure if it is subjected to devastating heat for a sufficient period of time.  And additional factors like no fire-proofing, no sprinkler systems, insufficient steel to “bleed off” heat or inferior construction greatly increase the possibility. However, what is “doubted” (or more accurately; considered downright impossible) is that such a failure would resemble anything like what was witnessed on 9/11. -Gradual, isolated, asymmetrical failures spread out over time; perhaps -simultaneous disintegration of all load bearing columns (leaving a pile of neatly folded rubble a few stories high) -no way.[27]

Mr. Power then goes on to discuss some of the examples he cites as evidence that steel can fail due to fires. He focuses particular attention on WTC5, which suffered a partial collapse on 9/11 due to fires. However, all of the examples he cites have already been addressed in another article of mine, and I encourage readers to view that in order to understand why these smaller steel structures cannot justifiably be used as fair comparisons to the Towers and Building 7.[28] In the case of WTC5, I give the following reasons why its partial collapse is not even remotely comparable to the other buildings:
  • It was not a total building collapse. 
  • The fires in the building were far more severe than the fires in the Twin Towers and Building 7. 
  • The building was constructed differently than the Towers and Building 7.[29]

Mr. Power also briefly mentions Judy Wood’s nonsense theory regarding Directed Energy Weapons, a theory discredited and disproven by other members of the Movement.[30] We then get a discussion of the BBC’s early report of Building 7’s collapse on 9/11. Mr. Power dismisses this anomaly, rationalizing (like most debunkers) that the BBC simply made a mistake. To back up this assertion, he provides a short list of other false reports given on 9/11 as evidence that the media was making mistakes that day. However, this argument completely misses the point. The BBC’s mistake was not like the other mistakes Mr. Power mentions, as the BBC was not wrong about what they reported. It’s that they reported the event too early. But the event did in fact happen. The overall question the Truth Movement has asked in regards to this issue is who reported to the BBC that Building 7 had collapsed. Though it has been revealed that this was reported to the BBC by Reuters,[31] the question still remains why Reuters had the official explanation of Building 7’s collapse—fire and damage—seven years before NIST released their report. As noted at

The question still remains as to the actual source of the report! The only thing the BBC can say is that it was an erroneous local story - but of course that day EVERY story from New York City was a local news story! Therefore the source of the report is still left unanswered. Why can’t the BBC simply investigate the matter with the supposed due diligence they are famed for? Simply track down the original source - who it was and where it came from. This is exceedingly simple - and yet the inability of anyone to take any responsibility is amazing.[32]

Personally, my own views on the BBC’s early report of Building 7’s collapse are agnostic. However, I find Mr. Power’s dismissal of this incident to be extremely disingenuous. Mr. Power questions why the BBC would be given this information by the conspirators, as he finds this unlikely to happen. Mr. Power is not the first to make this sort of argument, and it once again highlights the absurd circular logic that so many debunkers use. The early report of Building 7’s collapse, if it did play some role in the conspiracy, was likely a mistake on the part of the conspirators. But debunkers often dismiss this possibility, claiming (as Mr. Power essentially claims here) that the conspirators wouldn’t have made mistakes like that. However, we often also hear from debunkers that the events of 9/11 could not have been some sort of “inside job” because the conspirators would have made mistakes and let things slip! In other words, debunkers are trying to have it both ways; 9/11 couldn’t have been an inside job because the conspirators would have made mistakes, and that incidents like the BBC’s early report are not evidence of a conspiracy because the conspirators wouldn’t have made mistakes like that.

Mr. Power then discusses Larry Silverstein and his infamous “pull it” quote. Many in the Truth Movement have interpreted this statement as an admission from Silverstein that he ordered Building 7 to be demolished. However, defenders of the official story insist that he was actually talking about pulling the firefighting efforts. While there is strong evidence to suggest that Silverstein was referring to the firefighting efforts when he spoke of the decision to “pull,”[33] there are several points to keep in mind:
  •  Silverstein claims to have spoken with the fire department commander on 9/11, which would have been Chief Daniel Nigro. However, Chief Nigro has denied that he spoke with Silverstein,[34] and has confirmed that the FDNY would have no reason to contact him about pulling the firefighting operations.[35]
  • When Silverstein was asked who he conversed with on 9/11 about the decision to “pull,” he refused to answer.[36] To this day, no one from the FDNY has corroborated Silverstein’s story.
  •  Regardless of what Silverstein really meant by “pull it,” we now have confirmation that he did in fact discuss demolishing Building 7 on 9/11.[37]

Mr. Power finishes his discussion of Building 7 by questioning how the building itself is even evidence of a conspiracy in the first place. As far as he’s concerned, there was no logical reason for the conspirators to bring the building down in the first place. However, the building did contain a number of suspicious tenants, and financial records stored in the building have been cited as reason to bring the building down to destroy said records.[38] Of course Mr. Power rejects this assumption, arguing that simply shredding the documents would have been far more efficient. This issue could be debated forever, but I would argue that just having the documents shredded and having them disappear all of the sudden would have caused an investigation into why the documents went missing. However, since the building collapsed on 9/11 (supposedly) due to a terrorist attack, there was no question of why the documents went missing, so an investigation into their disappearance was not needed. But Mr. Power’s focus on the issue “why” is severely fallacious. Regardless of why Building 7 would have been demolished, the important question here is whether or not it was a demolition in the first place. This is a scientific question, and the science ultimately decides what happened to the building that day. The “whos” and “whys” simply delve into the speculative politics of the matter, which are clearly secondary to the issue at hand. As a scientist Mr. Power should know this, and his failure to see this is very troubling.

The Pentagon

The issue of the Pentagon is then discussed, and here is one area where I agree with Mr. Power for the most part. While many in the Movement still maintain to this day that a plane did not crash into the Pentagon, the evidence definitively indicates otherwise.[39] However, I do maintain that the alleged pilot of the plane, Hani Hanjour, was not experienced enough to perform of the maneuvers Flight 77 pulled off that day.[40] Having now finished his (mostly) scientific discussion of the WTC building collapses, Mr. Power then treats us to a different kind of discussion in his next video.

Psychology of Conspiracy Theorists

In what is probably his weakest video, we are given a discussion of the psychology of conspiracy theorists by Mr. Power’s friend Dave, who is a Ph.D. psychology researcher. Instead of examining any more of the evidence provided by the Truth Movement, this video is meant to examine the psychological reasons people in the Movement have for believing what they believe. In other words, it’s another rehashing of the stereotypes leveled against anyone who happens to believe in a “conspiracy theory.” To address this particular video, I’ll mostly be quoting from the excellent article posted at titled Debunking Myths on Conspiracy Theories.[41] Each assessment presented by Dave will be paraphrased based on arguments discussed in the article, but each one will have a hyperlink to the appropriate timestamp in the video so that the full context of his statements can be heard. Each point quoted from the article will be assigned to an assessment made by Dave based on how much I think it matches to the particular issue he’s discussing. If anyone thinks I’ve assigned the wrong point to his arguments, please let me know.

(Though most of this section is not comprised of any original arguments I’ve made, the video is primarily made up of arguments not original to Mr. Power either, so it seems fair is fair.)


This is not logical. Powerlessness alone does not cause people to question their leaders. However, observation and study of the political and economic causes of powerlessness can lead to acceptance of conspiracy theory. In other words, it is not the powerlessness of the individual which enables suspicion, but rather the systemic causes of that powerlessness.

The same goes for claims that conspiracy theorists distrust their friends, which conflates suspicion of government with paranoid delusion. Suspicion is targeted specifically towards the political elite, while in many cases friendships may be strengthened out of solidarity in its opposition. Likewise, whether the conspiracy theorist will fight against the system or use the knowledge as an excuse to justify their apathy depends on the personality of the subject.


Contrarily to media-spread stereotypes, conspiracy theorists don’t make up theories just for fun. They are prompted by the existence of important evidence that contradicts the official story, or points at actors other than the ones being accused. Although they believe that all things presented as facts by the establishment should be questioned and taken with a healthy dose of skepticism, it does not mean that they will cling to the first theory they encounter. Often times they judge other alternative theories involving different actors and eliminate them when they cannot be sustained with evidence.

Pro-government researchers themselves may start from the conclusion because they are under pressure to prove the government's story. In these cases, the scope and methods of their investigations are pre-decided and faulty - this can result in the creation of alternate theories which include evidence and research not carried out by official representatives.


This phenomenon is called confirmation bias. While systemic bias can be found in any area of research, especially when dealing with politically charged subjects, it is not a feature particular to conspiracy theories. This claim assumes that conspiracy theorists have an inherent motive to predetermine the outcome of their research, a falsehood addressed in Myth #32.

Furthermore, this claim wrongly assumes that because there may be omitted evidence, that this evidence is both relevant and damaging enough to confront the conspiracy theory.


…Another reason this argument is made is because atheists believe that conspiracy theorists are absorbed in their beliefs in the same way that religious people believe in their religion based on faith rather than reason. Such cases are not specific to belief in conspiracy theories; rather they are an ego reaction inherent to the underdog status of conspiracy theories conferred by the media.

Most conspiracy theorists do not feel emotional attachment to their theories; only some of them do after being marginalized for promoting an alternative view. Ridicule targets the theorist personally, by attributing the silly aspects of the theory to him, and thus the ridicule defines his relationship toward the proponents of the status-quo. The theorist, on some level, links the ridiculed theory to his integrity and honesty and so strives to prove its validity, in order to clear his smeared name.

Similar irrationality can also be seen with official story proponents who are unwilling to believe that authority figures may conspire to harm their citizens, and would have much to lose from realizing that the world they are living in is far more corrupt than they want to believe.


The claim that conspiracy theorists crave order is based on the erroneous belief that conspiracy theorists suffer from a perceived absence of central authority. In fact, the majority of theorists prize individuality and freedom more than the average person, and will therefore be more sensitive to systemic abuse.

Furthermore, reassurance isn't possible because most conspiracy theories refer to corrupt dishonest leadership, and/or semi-secretive criminal activities which are damaging to society.


While this theory sounds very academic, it is a carefully crafted spin. It is true that people need to make sense of traumatic events, but in a state of panic people will usually cling to the first explanation they hear, which is the reason why such events are so often and easily exploited (and in many cases staged) by governments for their own agendas. Hence, it is the government theory, which, often being itself a conspiracy theory and designating scapegoats, accomplishes the role of making sense out of the traumatic event, while alternate theories are shut out of the debate, and only gain acceptance much later when the shock effect settles down.


Most conspiracy theorists are not interested in the conspirator's origins or religion at all. They wish to study and expose a corrupt system. They do this by pointing out special and suspicious relationships, not culture. This is an important difference. Many of the organisations mentioned in conspiracy theories lack any religious or cultural identity. They are corporate, military, financial or petroleum-based. That being said, Jews engage in conspiracies like other people, and are not immune from criticism.

While a minority of conspiracy theorists do believe that there is a specifically Jewish elite, most conspiracy theorists are far more concerned by political agendas, such as Zionist and Israeli influences in national governments, than Jewish cultural and racial issues. Many conspiracy theorists are not concerned with Jews or Zionism at all, but are accused of anti-semitism because they denounce the excessive power held by international bankers (which is claimed by organisations like the ADL to be 'code' for Jews).

In turn, the stereotype is used by some people as an ad hominem attack on conspiracy theorists and critics of Zionism, as well as a straw man, much like the Jewish conspiracy originated as an ad hominem attack on communists, as many of them were Jews at the time. Disinformation agents can also publically pose as anti-semitic conspiracy theorists in order to get all conspiracy theorists smeared with these characteristics.

It is up to the accusers to prove the presence of anti-semitism in specific relevant cases, and furthermore to prove the theory wrong. Pointing out anti-semitism does not render a theory false.


This is a straw man and an ad hominem fallacy. Not all conspiracy theorists believe in the same things, nor does believing in aliens invalidate their arguments on other theories. The only thing linking these things is that they are all perceived to be conspiracy theories. Each should be evaluated on its own merits.

However, if a theorist bases their beliefs on poor argumentation, then other conspiracy theorists may want to distance themselves from him/her or question that theorist's ability to support their own ideas. Many such people are accused of being deliberately planted to discredit other theories, a technique called the 'poisoned well'. The media then proceeds to discredit an entire investigative movement based on a few silly theories - a strawman attack.

When the media lumps anybody who doesn’t trust the government version of 9-11 into the category of flat earthers and holocaust deniers, any real conspiracy there might have been is given the ultimate defense. Namely, a pre-emptive, universal ad hominem on anyone who would dare talk about it publicly, the archetypal ‘tin foil hatter’.


This is usually argued as opposed to the idea that so-called 'scientific' process would lead to a streamlined or 'united' theory. In fact, there are many examples in the domain of scientific research that show that this is not necessarily the case.

As in any ongoing investigation, a number of hypotheses are formulated and, over time, some are disproven whilst others are strengthened or proven. Of particular importance is the slow, ongoing release of evidence which helps or terminates these investigations. It is unscientific to demand the removal of narratives before evidence is found to prove or disprove them.

Indeed, the motivation behind this myth may be a dishonest one: to convince theorists to narrow the set of narratives until what remains is easily disprovable or dismissable due to lack of supporting evidence, or due to vagueness.


The news media engages in far more fearmongering than do conspiracy theorists, by making people believe that criminals and terrorists are out to get them. The difference is that conspiracy theorists say that the government is usually the cause, and not the solution to those problems.

Politicians use fearmongering to make people accept their rules about how society should be controlled, and the mainstream media helps them do this. Conspiracy theorists have no such goals of control, nor the means to achieve those goals.

Paranoia is a mental disorder - and so this myth suggests that conspiracy theorists are inventing enemies and tormentors, when in fact many theories arise as challenges to percieved impossibilities or inaccuracies in an official story, rather than non-existent entities.

This myth by itself neither proves nor disproves any proposed theories. This myth also contradicts the idea that people use conspiracy theories to assuage their fears of social problems (Myth #5).

These are all the assessments I could see. Again, if anyone thinks I’ve assigned the wrong point to any assessment, or that there are significant points I’ve left out, please let me know. In the meantime, I encourage Mr. Power, Dave, and anyone else to read the full article at to understand why all these psychological evaluations are insignificant. I would also encourage them to listen to the evaluations of other psychologists on how these psychological roadblocks apply just as much to people who believe the government’s stories.[42]

Flight 93 and Final Thoughts

The last video in Mr. Power’s series is simply a rehashing of the feedback he’s gotten on all his previous videos. This feedback includes comments he’s received on YouTube, video responses, and Part 1 of my critique of his series. His brief mention of my rebuttal is astoundingly weak, and I have already addressed his comments and his attempts to defend his comments.[43] He also speaks briefly about Flight 93, which is a highly disputed issue in the 9/11 Truth Movement.[44] As we’ve established, Mr. Power’s video series falls well short of refuting the Truth Movement’s case. Though he seems right on a number of small issues, he has failed at refuting the Movement’s overall premise; that the attacks of 9/11 were some kind of inside job, and that a new investigation is still needed. While Mr. Power acknowledges that he doesn’t expect to change anyone’s mind with his series, I sincerely hope my critique of his series will make him rethink his position, and see that the evidence just might be as strong as the Movement asserts. I encourage him to evaluate the claims of the official investigators, such as NIST, just as thoroughly as he has evaluated the claims of the Movement. Doing anything less would be inconsistent, and represents bad reasoning and bad science. 

One final thing I’d like to mention, Mr. Power has an interesting post on his blog titled Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists [sic] Claims with Simple Google Searches.[45] There’s nothing he discusses in it that I haven’t already addressed in my rebuttals, so I won’t bother critiquing any arguments he makes. Rather, I note with amusement that he thinks that debunking conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 takes nothing more than a simple Google search. However, if Mr. Power’s research into this subject is any indicator, it is going to take far more than just Google searches to debunk the case for controlled demolition of the WTC skyscrapers. And on that note, I finish with a quote from one of the greatest scientists who ever lived, and hope that Mr. Power will consider his words as much as I have.

A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question. –Charles Darwin


[1] See: NCSTAR 1A, Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, by Richard G. Gann
[2] Quoted from: Debunking Joseph Nobles: 7 Problems With 7 Responses, by Adam Taylor
[5] See: Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation, question 21
[6] Quoted from: The NIST WTC 7 Report: Bush Science reaches its peak, by Kevin Ryan
[7] Quoted from: Comments on the Draft Report NIST NCSTAR 1-9: “Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7”, issued by NIST August 21st, 2008, by F. R. Greening, pg. 5
[8] See: Fraud Exposed in NIST WTC 7 Reports, by Chris Sarns
[9] Ibid.
[10] A good discussion of this can be seen here:
[11] Quoted from: Public Comments Received by NIST on DRAFT Reports, pg. 315 (The figures Dr. Greening refers to, Figures 12-66, 12-67, and 12-69 in NIST’s draft report, now appear in the final report as Figures 12-67, 12-68, and 12-70, respectively).
[12] Ibid. pg. 315-316
[13] See: Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation, question 29
[15] Quoted from: Clarifying the Collapse Time of WTC 7
[16] Quoted from: Debunking the Debunkers’ Free Fall Fallacies, by Adam Taylor
[18] See: A 2009 Paper Claims to Have Found Explosive Material in Dust from the 9/11 Tragedy, by John-Michael Talboo and Ziggi Zugam
[27] Quoted from: The 1-Hour Guide to 9/11, by J. Plummer, pg. 19
[28] See: Other Collapses in Perspective: An Examination of Other Steel Structures Collapsing due to Fire and their Relation to the WTC, by Adam Taylor
[29] Ibid. pg. 12-17 (see also:
[30] For a thorough refutation of Judy Wood’s theories, see: FAQ #3: What’s Your Assessment of the Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) Hypothesis?, by Jonathan Cole, Richard Gage, and Gregg Roberts See also papers published by Dr. Greg Jenkins, James Gourley, Tony Szamboti, and Dr. Crockett Grabbe in the Journal of 9/11 Studies (
[32] Quoted from: The Third Tower: A Critical Examination
[37] See: Possible Confirmation of “Pull It” - In A Hitpiece!, by John-Michael Talboo and ScootleRoyale
[39] For refutations of “no plane at the Pentagon” theories, see: The Pentagon Attack: What the Physical Evidence Shows, by Jim Hoffman and Sifting Through Loose Change: Volume 2: The Pentagon, by Jim Hoffman
[40] For a discussion of this, see: Knee Deep in Crap, by John-Michael Talboo
[42] See: Psychology Experts Speak Out: “Why is the 9/11 Evidence Difficult for Some to Accept?” by Dennis P. McMahon
[43] See: Speaking Truth to Power, by Adam Taylor
[44] See: A 9/11 Debunking Video Worth Considering, by John-Michael Talboo
[45] See: Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists Claims with Simple Google Searches, by Myles Power

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