1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Metabunk 2018-11-15 14-01-14.
    I had high hopes for "9/11 Unmasked", as it was touted as the "Magnum Opus" of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, and has been highly praised by many in the 9/11 Truth community.

    The book is arranged as 51 chapters, which are somewhat difficult to navigate as there's no table of contents (just a list of sections). Each chapter describes a supposed "official story" claim and then proceeds to explain why they think it is incorrect. The chapter claims are often tortuously specific and of dubious relevance, such as: "#29: The Claim That It Was Not Imperative For President Bush to be Hustled Away From the Florida School" or "#16 The Claim That The ForeKnowledge of WTC 7's Fall Was Based on Witness Observations."

    The often convoluted nature of these claims might come from the fact that they were written by committee. In an effort to avoid groupthink, the group of 9/11 conspiracy theorists reviewed each chapter in private and submitted their evaluation without knowing what the other conspiracy theorists thought of it. Any section where opinions differed was then dropped or tweaked until everyone agreed. It would have been fascinating and useful if they had actually documented this process and shown what changes were made or what claims were rejected as too fanciful. Sadly these deliberations are not available.

    The book does occasionally raise valid-seeming questions - such as why there was a failure to intercept the hijacked planes. But instead of identifying actual causes such as incompetence or failures of communication, they leap to outlandish and often long-ago debunked interpretations. A significant fraction of the book is devoted to establishing that people were not where they said they were, which it accomplishes in a tortuous manner by piecing together multiple largely anecdotal timelines from the recollections of different people until some discrepancy naturally arises. These discrepancies are then used to bolster some more outlandish claim.

    They dance around the most outlandish ideas in the Truther community, such as the idea that no plane hit the Pentagon, but they go full bore for the idea that flight 93 was shot down. They layer on multiple straw-man concoctions such as "#33 The Claim The Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld Was Not in a Position to Do Anything About the Attacks or the Crash of United 93", and gladly cherry-pick timelines to support these rather ill-defined assertions.

    They then use these many pages of timelines to support extreme points of the theory, which themselves get very little in the way of actual evidence, and that generally being wrong. The prime example of this is chapter 23 "The Claim that United Flight 93 Crashed in Pennsylvania", a chapter that takes up barely half a page. It claims that Flight 93 was shot down, but offers only a single paragraph of "evidence", which I quote:

    "Residents, the mayor, and journalists near Shanksville reported that no airliner was visible at the designated crash site, that contents were found as far as eight miles from the designated crash site, and that parts—including at thousand-pound engine piece—were found over a mile away"

    The basic premise here demonstrates a profound disinterest in aerodynamics. When a plane is "shot down" it stops being a sleek flying machine and breaks up into non-aerodynamic pieces that very rapidly slow to a much lower terminal velocity. They don't bury themselves as fragments in the ground but instead end up scattered in large pieces. This was very clearly seen in the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014.

    The three pieces of evidence they give both belie their claim and/or are themselves wrong. The fact that no large pieces of wreckage were at the crash site is entirely consistent with an intact plane hitting the ground at high speed. It is utterly inconsistent with a plane being shot down. The very references they give to support the supposed 8-mile debris field explain exactly how it happened - small lightweight fragments of paper, thin plastic, or stuffing from seats were carried by the wind, and mostly just a couple of miles. No human remains were found away from the crash site.

    Their source for the "thousand pound engine piece ... over a mile away" is a speculative conspiracy theory piece in a UK tabloid. In fact, the engine piece was an engine fan that had separated on impact and ended up just 300 yards away (1/10th the distance the tabloid claimed). These facts are not something that Griffin and Woodworth can claim ignorance to, as they were clearly laid out as far back as 2006 by articles in Popular Mechanics and elsewhere.

    Metabunk 2018-11-15 14-42-50.

    Other chapters are similarly mixed with laborious timelines peppered with incredibly out-of-date claims that have been regurgitated for over a decade. The bizarre obsession with the couple of seconds of essentially free-fall descent of the exterior of WTC7 is highlighted. This was simply a portion of the collapse when the buckled columns offered very little resistance, so it looked like there was none (when there was actually tons, just not hundreds of tons). Yet it has been held up as the Holy Grail of Trutherdom for so long that nobody can even begin to consider that it might not be relevant.

    The unwillingness to let things go has always been the great failing of 9/11 Truth (and indeed, of most conspiracy theories.) Perhaps there were some secret nefarious deeds that we need to be aware of regarding 9/11 — like who ultimately financed the hijackers, and what the Saudi government knew — but this regurgitating of long-ago debunked ideas serves only to distract.

    This book is a sad testament to the reality that "truthers" in their increasingly tortured attempts to weave a web out of random dots, precious misunderstandings, and falsehoods are only moving further away from the truth.

    Rating: 1/5
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
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  2. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    Does the book detail or explain how and why the panelists were selected? What were the objective criteria to select, or exclude candidates?

    Their website, discussing their methodology, only vaguely speaks of "persons expert in 9/11 evidence". Now clearly, there are many people, scientists even, who are "persons expert in 9/11 evidence" that the "Consensus 9/11" oganizers never would have asked: Staff members of the 9/11 Commission, major participants in the NIST investigations, countless investigators on behalf of insurance companies, expert debunkers at JREF (Ryan Mackey, David Rogers, ...), or even you, Mick. There must be a reason for excluding all these actual experts, and there must be reasons why they included theologians, a geography instructor, a high school teacher, an expert in religious studies, a film maker, an electronic engineer, another journalist, a psychology counselor, a physical therapist, an actor, a mechanical engineer, a director of health services - instead of actual authorities in the relevant fields of study.

    Also, do they explain why they believe the Delphi method is at all applicable to the sorts of "decisions" they made? The goal seems to be to vet whether certain claims of fact about a one-off historical event are true or untrue. But reading on what the Delphy method is actually used for, I doubt it should be taken as useful or reliable here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphi_method

    Further down the Wikipedia article lists only two applications:
    • Use in forecasting
    • Use in policy-making
    No mention of "Use in fact-finding".

    And eventually:
    So in light of this, I'd expect such a book to lay out a clear and convincing justification for using the Delphi method in the first place. I wonder if Griffin or Woodward had any prior experience with it.
     
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  3. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Metabunk 2018-11-15 17-03-57. Metabunk 2018-11-15 17-04-21. Metabunk 2018-11-15 17-04-56.
     
  4. Jeffrey Orling

    Jeffrey Orling Active Member

    Oy nailed it. This is simply another BS attempt for truthers with their confirmation bias to pass as impartial "investigators" and finder of facts... Stunning is the fact that the event was largely a mechanical event demanding technical expertise. Anyone who takes this as a serious bit of "research" to determine what happened on 9/11 is clearly ignorant about what research is.

    This sort of attempt is precisely why very few people will take the truth movement seriously and they have no traction. It's hardly worth the effort in "debunking" their nonsense. What is more interesting is the group think and cult like behavior that the 911 truth movement is and the fact that intelligent people have been hoodwinked to accepting their nonsense.
     
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  5. Nada Truther

    Nada Truther Active Member

    I question this "theory". Most intelligent people do their own research. They don't just believe what others tell them and then spew it as "fact". Most Truthers just quote other truthers as their reliable sources. I wonder how the invitees got picked to submit for the book. Probably from some turther mailing lists, I would presume.

    Mick, is there a short page listing the 23 people involved and their credentials as to whether they are in fact "experts" on the subject; or are they just a bunch of people who know a lot about 9/11 theories?
     
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Actually, I think that's generally exactly what most people do, regardless of intelligence - they just go with more reliable sources. There are very few people who research 9/11. Most people just assume the plane crashed into the building and fire made it collapse, as that's what we saw, and that's what everyone says.

    http://www.consensus911.org/panel-members/

    Clearly, all people who already believed 9/11 was controlled demolition by the government, so essentially it's a bunch of conspiracy theorists coming up with a version they can all agree on.
     
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  7. Jeffrey Orling

    Jeffrey Orling Active Member

    What Mick says is what this was about... trying to get truthers to agree on the conspiracy they want to present to the world.
     
  8. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    I would question that theory. Unless one of your definitions for intelligence is "always doing your own [thorough and competent] research".

    I also think many intelligent people sometimes believe what others tell them and repeat it.

    Or perhaps you were talking strictly about 9/11 controlled demolition ideas?
    How did they do on presenting "the official account"?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  9. Jeffrey Orling

    Jeffrey Orling Active Member

    Anyone who has followed the discussion about 911 conspiracy and debunking and so forth knows that 99% of the people rely of what they believe are honest informed experts to "tell them what to think about subject matter which is beyond their expertise". On the truther side the experts have been shown again and again to be wrong. So they are hardly experts... Chandler, Harrit, Szamboti, Gage, MacQueen, Craig Ranke, David Griffin and so on. Not only are they wrong in their claims, only a couple will actually discuss or debate with people who disagree with them. They preach to the choir and they've created an echo chamber. How can someone like Griffin be an expert on engineering matters? But he wrote a book about the collapse of 7wtc?

    So what happens on the www is that the sycophants will carry water for the cowardly "experts" and try to "debate" or present their nonsense.

    This site and maybe some others have attempted to "debunk" truther nonsense. But none of them care or read or listen or change their beliefs. YES beliefs. So for that purpose debunking and 911 websites are largely a waste of effort and time except for the few intellectually honest people who seek more understanding and accuracy related to the technical matters of the events of 9/11.

    Having said the above, I personally find the so called "official narrative/explanation" insufficient and contains "flaws". One needs to understand the NIST mission re 911 in general terms which could be describe as coming up with a credible explanation on how the buildings came down... not THE second by second precise explanation. There were too many assumptions and choosing another set of assumptions would lead to another scenario. But the basic underlying assumption is true...unfought fire/heat can be fatal to steel structures. And this assumption is denied by the truthers.

    For those interested in learning about physics and engineering the discussion can be informative.
     
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  10. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The book is quite similar to the website, so you can essentially read most of it there:
    http://www.consensus911.org/the-911-consensus-points/

    Some of it is incredibly superficial and antiquated. Like:

    http://www.consensus911.org/point-wtc7-1/
    So here the "official account" is reduced to almost nothing, and irrelevant points about diesel. It is then rebutted with what is essentially are bare unsupported assertion — "If fire were to cause such a building to collapse, the onset would be gradual" — that truthers find to be self-evident, but is actually just part of their mythology and their fierce attempts to ignore the buckling and hinging of the columns.
     
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  11. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    That's the whole chapter?
     
  12. qed

    qed Senior Member

    I have explored the online version and it is irresponsible since it is presented in a manner that is (1) leading, and (2) difficult to argue against (for reasons @Mick West has pointed out, for example, setting up "The Official Account" as a straw target when no such official account exists, and also slipping in "conclusions" such as "Human bone fragments [4] approximately 1 cm long were found in abundance on the roof of the Deutsche Bank following the Towers’ destruction, which further points to the use of explosives.").

    This not-with-standing, we can at least use this list to distinguish all other 9-11 claims, such as no-planes, etc., as being so outlandish as to have been rejected by everyone of "importance" in the 9-11 Conspiracy Community.

    Not much, but something.
     
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  13. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, it's the shortest one I think.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  14. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    And how so!

    They actually state this explicitly. The one, only one objective criterion used to select or exclude panelists is made explicit in the pages Mick showed a few posts up (my emphasis):

    So only experts who oppose the "official narrative" were allowed. But what if the official narrative is (largely, in parts relevant to Griffin and Woodworth) correct? Then the very criterion to select panelists guarantees that the results will all be wrong!

    Why were the purpose and goal not to find the best evidence for what really happened?


    As for them being "experts" and hailing from field such as physics, chemistry, journalism, psychology or religion: With some of the panelists, I see the relevance of their professional and academic background. But for most, there is no obvious reason why their particular expertise (credentials, vita) qualify them for the panel. Take Steven Jones: He is a nuclear physicist with little to no expertise in the branches of physics he applied to his 9/11 studies. A novice with the electron microscope, a know-nothing in forensic material science, his utter ignorance allowed him to bizarrely misinterprete the data he won from throwing arbitary stuff into machines he had never really worked with before. Take Graeme McQueen: An expert on buddhism - how does that expertise qualify him for anything?

    So clearly, expertise was not an important criterion - being prejudiced against the actual consensus only earned them a spot on the panel.
     
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  15. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    That's incredibly poor value for money. I'd've thought they would have filled pages and pages on that subject.
     
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  16. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There's more on WTC7, you can see it on the website
    http://www.consensus911.org/
     
  17. Jeffrey Orling

    Jeffrey Orling Active Member

    The truth movement is a bunch of political dissidents who don't (ever) believe anything from the USG and the media. The so called leaders are the most outspoken ones and none except perhaps Tony have the educational background the examine the events from a technical perspective. Jones is certainly qualified as a PhD physicist... but he is intellectually dishonest as is Tony. Gage is a architect who has no particular expertise and interest in the mechanics. What units them is a POLITICAL perspective... whether they are Buddhist experts, or biologists or sociologists. Their thrust is the raise doubt and tell people that they can't believe their eyes... that what they were told was a pack of lies... and that the inside job conspirators had an agenda to get the USA into a war and that 9/11 as how they would do it. Shock and Awe.. scare the people into submission and believe anything and support their war.

    These guys are marketing rubbish and will resort to anything to sell their nonsense including a process like Delphi which was mis used and not applicable. All they did was try to get truthers to agree on a few points instead of fighting like cats in a barrel.

    They are not serious investigators... and the few who make an attempt have failed miserably.. and non except Tony are prepared to debate real experts or even intelligent people on the technical issues. They are cowards as far as that is concerned.

    Gage appears to be in it for the money.... a new career as leader of a cult.

    What is sad is how many people... including intelligent ones fall for their nonsense. Their presentations have been debunked for years and it's hardly worth the effort at this point. They have not a shred of evidence in support of their views.
     
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  18. Todd Cee

    Todd Cee New Member

    I'm a book collector and I just had to have this one for the truther section in my library ... Only 18 bucks on Amazon and free delivery if you have Prime ... sadly, the first edition is only in paperback ...

    I love reading this type of material and then fact checking against the supposed evidence they posit in their media outlets ... sadly once again, all they offer is previously debunked nonsense ...

    Rating: 4/5 for the comedic value ...
     
  19. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    I am currently picking Consensus Points a bit at random, stopping at ones that align with my present or past research interests.

    Currently up:

    Point MC-3: The Claim about the Time of Dick Cheney’s Entry into the White House Bunker

    (The book uses a different way to number/itemize the Points, right? Is there a table to match them?)

    That Point presents the following "Official Account":
    My issues with the point start already with the CP's presentation of the "Official Account" - it leaves out almost everything the 9/11 Commission report writes about Cheney's timeline around that time. Most importantly, they omit the fact that Cheney and entourage, before entering the PEOC proper (the conference room), stayed in the tunnel in front of the entrance to the PEOC for a while, where there was a telephone on which Cheney talked to President Bush. During that time, Lynne Cheney, Concoleezza Rice, Lewis Libby and several others arrived, as per various logs, before the entire party moved on into the PEOC. Significantly: Norman Mineta is not logged as having stayed in the tunnel, and he mentions no intermediate stay in the tunnel. According to Mineta's version, he went straight to the PEOC, suggesting he arrived after all the others I mentioned did.

    Anyway.

    The Consensus Panel presents this version:
    (Note: I substituted links in the References that no longer work with an archived version at archive.org)

    Now I checked out the References - and found that they do not support what they claim to be "The Best Evidence"!

    • "Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta told the 9/11 Commission that, after he joined Cheney and others in the bunker at approximately 9:20 AM, he listened to an ongoing conversation between Cheney and a young man, which took place when “the airplane was coming into the Pentagon.”" - Nowhere in that video referenced as [2] does Mineta provide a time on the clock - he does not say "9:20 AM".
    • "testimony that Cheney was in the PEOC by 9:20 was reported not only by Mineta but also by Richard Clarke [3] and White House photographer David Bohrer. [4]" - I don't have Clarke's book and do not know at this time whether the relevant excerpt is available online somewhere (although I do suspect it is). However, I checked Reference [4] for all things that David Bohrer said - he does NOT say, nor imply, at any point that Cheney (along with Bohrer himself, who followed close behind and kept shooting photos all day, including from inside the PEOC) "was in the PEOC by 9:20", nor anything to that effect!
    • "Cheney himself, speaking on “Meet the Press” five days after 9/11, reported that he had entered the PEOC before the Pentagon was damaged. [5]" - this simply is NOT true - nowhere in the interview does he say that, or anything to that effect! He narrates how Secret Service agents picked him up in his West Wing office when there was words of a suspicious flight turning towards Washington, and later: "But when I arrived there [at the PEOC; Oy] within a short order, we had word the Pentagon's been hit." - so Cheney actually tells the very OPPOSITE of what the Consensus Panel claims he said in that interview: That the Pentagon was already hit when they arrived at the PEOC.
    So in all cases that I am able to review, the Consensus Panel completely misrepresents the very evidence they reference.

    To compound the silliness, they totally fail to address the many and complex sources that the 9/11 Commission Report cites. They simply do not explain why they would believe Mineta's and Clarke's timeline, and dismiss literally every other timeline.

    There exists extensive evidence from several, mostly independent, sources to corroborate and align all timelines - with the very exception of Mineta and Clark.

    It seems perfectly clear what the reasoning must have been: The timelines Mineta and Clarke are in conflict with the consensus view and with the 9/11 Commission Report - and therefore considered correct: The Panelists must have assumed that the 911CR is wrong - so the first conflicting report is deemed true.
    Remember the selection criterion for panelists? All panelists had to agree that the "official story" is wrong before being allowed on the Panel.
    (While Mineta, in the referenced clip, does not cite a time on the clock, his timing is still substantially wrong: He erroneously believed that the miles that were counted down were about AA77, implying he was in the PEOC well before 9:37, when in fact they were about a phantom UA93 - the flight plan info that got updates on TSR even after it had crashed at 10:03)


    Appendix

    In order not to clog up my argument above, I here reproduce all statements by the Vice President's photographer, David Bohrer, quoted in Reference [4], with context:

    1.)
    04:02:12 CHARLES GIBSON, ABC NEWS: (VO) "Quick good-byes, and then a race to the Sarasota airport. At that moment, in the White House, . . ." [This refers to President Bush, leaving the school in Sarasota after his live speech to the nation at 9:30-9:31; Oy]
    04:02:19 DICK CHENEY: "I was in my west wing office."
    04:02:21 DAVID BOHRER: "The Secret Service had come in, to his office. I think it was two or three agents, which is very unusual."
    04:02:27 CHARLES GIBSON: (VO) "David Bohrer is another White House photographer, assigned to Vice President Dick Cheney."
    04:02:33 DAVID BOHRER: "And agents came inside the office and said "Sir, you have to come with us.""​

    2.)
    04:21:21 CHARLES GIBSON: (VO) "The President is in his cabin, aboard Air Force One."
    04:21:24 ANDREW CARD, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: "I was there when he was talking with the Vice President and Secretary of Defense. And this was not an easy, thing, you know, it's a decision that can't be made by others, other than the President."
    04:21:36 CHARLES GIBSON: (VO) "Moments earlier, in a hardened bunker beneath the White House, the Vice President is with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta."
    04:21:43 NORMAN MINETA, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: "And he's just methodical in the way he goes about doing things, but he's very effective in terms of his cool, collected way of getting things done."
    04:21:53 DICK CHENEY: I had a yellow legal pad with a list, . . ."
    04:21:55 CHARLES GIBSON: (VO) "Cheney personally compiles a list of possible threats from the air. (OC) Of the flights that you didn't know where they were?"
    04:22:02 DICK CHENEY: "That we couldn't account for."
    04:22:04 DAVID BOHRER: "At first it was one of a few planes that they had questions about.
    04:22:07 CHARLES GIBSON: (VO) "White House photographer David Bohrer watches the tense moment and records it on film."
    04:22:13 DAVID BOHRER: "Eventually it narrowed to Flight 93. That was the biggest threat at that point."
    04:22:19 KARL ROVE, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: "If you take the trajectory of the plane, of Flight 93 after it passes Pittsburgh and draw a straight line, it's gonna go to Washington, DC."
    04:22:27 NORMAN MINETA: "You just had to do something instantaneously."
    04:22:30 DAVID BOHRER: "There was a, a PEOC staffer who would keep coming in with updates on Flight 93's progress towards DC."​

    3.)
    04:23:55 DAVID BOHRER: "And the President gave the, the VP authority to make that call [to shoot down incoming airliners; Oy]. It was a chilling moment, chilling moment.​

    4.)
    04:44:14 CHARLES GIBSON: (VO) "It is 8:30 in the evening."
    04:44:16 PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: "Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom, came under attack."
    04:44:24 CHARLES GIBSON: (VO) "In the bunker below CIA Director George Tenet and members of the President's cabinet and national security team watched the speech."
    04:44:32 DAVID BOHRER: "It was one of those, you know, moments where you could hear a pin drop."​

    Again: This is everything David Bohrer says in that program referenced by the Consensus Panel to back up the claim that Bohrer corroborates Mineta's timeline - but in reality, he directly contradicts it, by saying that the miles-countdown was about flight UA93, where Mineta believed and stated it concerned AA77.