A recent incident of a plane with a dent in its nose raised a lot of interest on Twitter after basketball player Steve Adams and other players posted photos of the dent, saying they were 30,000 feet up. While 30,000 feet is not an unprecedented altitude for a bird, it is very unusual. However more professional reports say the plane was descending, and do not give an altitude.
How do you debunk conspiracy theories effectively? Based on what I've seen over the years what works for people is a combination of finding out things they believed to be true were actually false, seeing people they used as sources of information give out wrong information, and being exposed to new information that gives them a more realistic context in which they can figure things out for themselves. So those are the things I focus on.
"Something extraordinary is about to be revealed" wrote Leslie Kean in an article today in the Huffington Post. This type of breathless anticipation of a revelation runs through all of conspiracy culture. Chemtrail promoters are constantly saying how the government is at the point of admitting to covert geoengineering. 9/11 Truthers are constant on the verge of finding the definitive whistle blower. And people who think the government is covering up knowledge of encounters with aliens (or alien technology) are constant operating with the sense that "disclosure" is just around the corner.
But nothing ever happens.
Kean starts out strong, with an exciting headline. "Inside Knowledge About...
Conspiracy theorists like to call just about anything a "false flag" now. But the phrase itself was not particularly common in conspiracy culture in the first decade of the 2000s. It only started to be used reflexively by theorists after a sequence of three events: the Aurora theater shooting in July 2012, the Sandy Hook School Shooting in December 2012, then the Boston Marathon Bombing of April 2013. After that there were minor spikes for a chemical weapons attack in Syria and then the shooting down of flight MH17 over the Ukraine. Then two attacks in 2015 in France (Charlie Hebdo and the Paris attacks) got the attention of Alex Jones, followed by the San Bernardino shooting and the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
These were all eclipsed by the conspiracist frenzy following the Las Vegas shooting, where it quickly became apparent it was going to...
When I first read the stories about the strange events in the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba, I accepted them as fact. Why not, I thought, after all Cuba is not very friendly, and then there's Russia, probably trying to make trouble by zapping the Embassy. It did seem a bit odd though.
The full NIST report on the fires and collapse of World Trade Center Building 7, NCSTAR 1-9, is nearly 800 pages long. Lots of people in the 9/11 Truth community dismiss it, but very few have even skimmed through it, let alone read the pertinent parts.
Here I do the skimming through part. I do this to give you an idea of just how large and comprehensive it it. Even in this rapid-fire overview you can see the hundred pages they spend on precisely mapping the spread of the fires, and the hundreds more on investigating the possible causes of collapse via simulations. Feel free to pause at any point. All the pages are there.
If you are going to form an intellectually honest opinion on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 then by all means read the information provided by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and others. But...
Yesterday's 8.1 Magnitude Earthquake off the coast of Mexico was massive, and has caused significant damage and loss of life.
The quake was over 400 miles away from Mexico city, which escaped the worst of the damage, but still experienced deep swaying that caused lights and signs to swing around. One of the more dramatic results (in Mexico city) was numerous sparks, flashes, and bright explosions from power lines being damaged by the swaying, like in this video.
After the record breaking rainfall of Hurricane Harvey we now have Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic. Already devastating small outlying caribbean islands, it's heading for the larger British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic/Haiti, Cuba and others, homes to million of people. Projections vary but it looks very possible that it will make landfall as a major hurricane in Florida sometime on Sunday.