1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    The Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth funded study at the the University of Alaska prompted a bit more interest in 9/11 conspiracy theories than usual, but is the movement stagnating overall? The graph above shows the movement peaked (in terms of Google searches) in 2006, then had a slow decline with yearly spikes every september.

    A poster here, @gerrycan, disliked how things were moderated here, and said he was going to take the debate elsewhere. So where is that? A brief poke around showed very little activity on on the usual places, like the International Skeptics Foundation (the former JREF forum) did not find very much. There's a thread on Above Top Secret, but it just degenerates into the usual arguments.

    I feel like I must be missing something. Is there an online forum where 9/11 Truth is discussed in a constructive manner? Perhaps everyone has moved over to facebook? Is this it?
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  2. FFTR

    FFTR New Member

    Not that I know of. I visit debate politics. It has a CT section. Threads regarding 9/11 are terrible. Most controlled demolition supporters do not want to discuss the CD alternative. gerrycan was on DP for awhile. Similar rants to what he was doing here.

    One reason I came to meatbunk was to get away from the bs from the CT posters.
  3. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I was looking to see if Hulsey was being discussed anywhere too, and didn't find anything really. Must be Fb or maybe in Youtube comments? I haven't looked at ae's hulsey video but ive seen some hoaxer videos and you'll see one comment every so often with like 350 replies. Maybe the discussion is there. Have you looked?
  4. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    Adam Taylor is a young Truther (and, I personally feel from a couple of interactions I had in recent years, a nice, intelligent, decent chap with integrity) who ran his own blog, contributed to AE911Truth, the "Debunking the Debunkers" blog and other 9/11 Truth outlets for over 10 years.

    Until he retired this September 11th:

    I have been monitoring petitions, Facebook groups and Facebook pages for a few years now - how many signatures they get over time, or Likes, or members; and how likes and membership evaporates.
    Every year, the anniversary would spike interest and result in peaks on the line "delta members/day". But these spikes get smaller from year to year.
    New petitions tend to get fewer sinatures than the previous ones did.
    There are some Facebook groups that are growing slowly, there are some that are shrinking slowly - but nowhere can I observe anything "dynamic". It seems like 9/11 Truth is solidly entrenched in a very small segment of the population, and it has few additions and few desertions.
    (I plan on doing a number of graphics after the month is out)

    ETA: I should add that I do not in any systematic way keep an eye on the content of those Facebook things - that would stress me out no end! Because people largely spam the same old memes and YTs over and over again. However, it is safe to say that no intelligent discussion takes place - noise-signal ratio much worse than even ISF, and censorship is practised with heavy hand and almost universally. 9/11 truth Groups, if they are moderated (i.e.: alive) at all, will invariably remove debunkers as disrupting elements, and with equal or even worse furor persecute Truthers of the wrong denomination (no-planer groups won't tolerate planers, planers wont tolerate Judy-Wooders, and Judy-Wooders won't tolerate anyone). I am banned from examples of each of these - never for personal conduct like insults, always strictly for true and inconvenient content. They create echo chambers where nothing interesting can ever happen.

    The debunking places largely fall asleep because there hasn't been anything new and fresh to debunk in several years. Really, what was the last new idea from the Truth Movement that you felt merited a well-researched debunk? Hulsey's new study does not really reveal anything, or claim anything, that we have not already debated years ago AND is relevant to anything.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
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  5. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I think he is just unfamiliar with the format and what is meant if someone asks for evidence. And the 'on topic' thing does take some time getting used to. As you pointed out, it's not like people get a lot of practice with MB format elsewhere on the internet.

    Plus for people who have discussed this topic of 9/11 for 13 years or so, they probably just assume the whole world knows exactly what they mean if they mention something. MB is not a personal discussion forum, it's meant to investigate and find/share actual useful information for ALL readers, whether they are participating on the thread or not,... so I can see how the Posting guidelines would be frustrating for some. It was frustrating for me too a while back when I had to relook up and post and quote the same evidence over and over and over and over again on SH threads.
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  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That certainly seems to happen with the single-issue 9/11 debunking sites - there's just nothing to add, and really you can't expect people to keep updating a site like 9/11 Myths for a decade - Mike Williams has not updated it since 2013. Dubunking911 likewise.

    Heck, with similar stagnation in the chemtrail theory, Metabunk might have stagnated a bit if Flat Earth hadn't have come along.

    9/11 and Chemtrails might be stagnating, but they are not going away. I think there's still value in communicating the debunkings to people - however now perhaps there needs to be more focussing on organizing information to make it accessible to people, rather than investigating minutia. The latter is fun of course. I still look back with a smile on the time I dipped my passport in paint stripper - but it's lost in the middle of a disorganized thread.

    So yeah, there's not much new to debunk, but there's plenty of old debunking gold to be mined, distilled, and presented.
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  7. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Something I've notice over the last year is that 9/11 Facebook groups are degenerating towards a simplistic "The Jews Did It!!!" argument.

    It's almost like the theory has been distilled down to the anti-semitic roots of most large-scale conspiracy theories.

    There used to be a distinct liberal flavor to 9/11 Truth, basically because the prime suspects were Bush and Cheney and that group. But when Obama came to power that gradually fell away, and now it's a bit more the traditional American Jew-hating far-right.
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  8. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    well actually.. it was Clinton who was behind the whole thing and he set the Repubs up. but why quibble? :)
  9. Ph_

    Ph_ Closed Account

    Not really constructive, but keeping it alive with catchy oneliners and memes at reddit unfortunately :(
  10. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    The image is very disturbing, right along with the sentiments that produced it.

    I use David Aaronovitch, Voodoo History: The Role of Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History (New York: Riverhead Books, 2010) in my course on conspiracies. His chapter on the persistence of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion myth is something I start the class out with each semester.

    I am adding this image.

    Disturbing and very sad. But something people need to see to illustrate the ugliness of the topic.
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  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Plenty more where that came from:

    It's obviously a theory that's been there since the start. But I can't tell if it's actually growing, or simply being revealed as the "bush did 9/11" theories fade away.

    Google trends gives some clues:
    The "Jews did 9/11" (blue) was been both marginal and declining with the general Truth movement during the Bush years (2000-2008), with a bit of a spike in 2006 (why?)

    The theory seemed to get legs in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, and then decline thereafter.


    The "Bush did 9/11" meme is about 2-3x the others before the mid-2015 start of election season, then a HUGE increase over the election year. However this is probably largely due to Jusin Bieber, and can be discounted as an accurate reflection of the Truth movement.
    This viral meme may also have had some influence on all "XXX did 9/11" memes, also distorting the significance of their increasing in 2015-2016
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  12. CeruleanBlu

    CeruleanBlu Active Member

    Saw this today.


    Which I would never have seen were it not for the complaint in the Skeptic subreddit.

    Because this was hopefully helping to partially answer your question, I hope you don't want me to No-Click summarize or something, I truly have little interest in reading the nonsense. Just a quick scroll through and I noticed several of the "Truth Movement" people I have RES tagged from their various other previous ramblings and spamming of their cult throughout the entire site, for as long as 10 years for one individual.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2017
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  13. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Another sign of the stagnation in 9/11 Truth is this pinned post in the 9/11 Truth Movement group


    And yet:


    2,210 signers, for what looks like a petition that any 9/11 Truther could get behind. And that's not just 2,210 out of the 38,000 people in that Facebook group, it's 2,210 people out of the entire Truth movement.

    911TAP is run by Wayne H. Coste, P.E., a member of AE911. Again, this seems like a very reasonable attempt to lobby congress - were it actually based on any factual evidence. But it's basically floundered. If you click on "Find your Coordinator", there's no coordinator for California.
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  14. Oystein

    Oystein Active Member

    The 911TAP petition has been presented in December 2016 as a key project for them. They are collecting signatures via street action (chatting up people with paper forms on a clip board) as well as online, with the street action yielding more signatures!

    When they started, they announced specific targets: 1 million signatures in 4 years, but the most important goal of all was an milestone count of 32,000 signatures by the end of 2017.

    In July, they published a quartely update report on the project, and it sounded like they were having great success coming from wonderfully determined and effective activists pushing each other to more success by friendly competition between cities.

    I commented that on report on their Facebook site, explaining that, in project management, the main, if not sole, purpose of a progress reports is to monitor if the project is on course towards reaching its goals in time and on budget, and pointing out that, at under 2,000 after half a year, they were on course to spectacularly fail what they had presented as their most important goal - the 32,000 by year's end. Surprisingly, I got a reply, Bill Jacoby (a lawyer who has been with AE911Truth for years) asked me if I could volunteer my project management skills to improve performance :D
    I kindly declined, explaining that I am a critic, not a fan.

    Never heard back again. And TAP911 has gone on ignoring their goals and forgetting to tell their followers that they are failing every damned day.

    They average a trickle of about 2 signatures per day from the online form, and occasionally someone plugs in results from their paper forms, which generate perhaps 100 signatures per month. They'll not even get 3,000 by Dec 31st, and the idea that this project will creaty a "groundswell of support and activism" that generates millions of activists is best described as madness.

    In 2013, AE911Truth announced, with great fanfare, and to the tune of hundreds of thousands of US$ spent on advertising, their "historic", "umprecedented" "ReThink 9/11" campaign. The website still exists: http://rethink911.org/
    It has its own petition, started on September 02, 2013, result prominently displayed on the start page, just scroll down one window.
    By the end of 9/11/2013 (within a good week), they had 10,000 signatures! By the end of 2013, about 16,000. Sounds like a lot, and indeed, further down on the front page, they still today state this optimistic goal:
    Hahaha o LOL my dear!
    10,000 signatures in a week - that would give them 1 million in 2 years.
    But 16,000 at year's end? That was an average of under 1000/week, and it would take 20 years at that pace!
    In 2014, they averaged 72/week (265 years to go)
    In 2015, they averaged 34/week (560 years to go)
    In 2016, they averaged 18/week (1080 years to go)
    In 2017, they are so far averaging 15/week (1260 years to go)
    Inexplicably, they keep the page and the petition up, and link to it from the AE911Truth homepage, as a permanent documentation of their utter irrelevance. The count, now at 23,267, asymptotically approaches the ca. 25,000 signatures of the original AE911Truth petition (after more than 10 years!). This seems to be the full extent of Truthers you can reach in the world and motivate to do a minimum activity - fill out a form, 1 minute of effort.
  15. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    maybe, as posters above have pointed out - there is nothing really new coming from the movement and we are simply dealing with PRATT's

    Points Refuted a Thousand Times

    it is a sort of "Mexican standoff" - where the truth movement know what the response to any claim will be - and conversely the debunkers have all the refutations readily available
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  16. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    well that lasted a whole day.



    and before anyone points fingers solely at Truthers :

    Ridiculous behavior from both sides. Off topic posts, Irrelevant posts, tons of "but NIST, but NIST" distractions and within a day it devolved into trolling from both sides. (well, it might have devolved into trolling the first day but the moderators weren't exhausted yet and were just removing those, TRYING to keep the thread open.)
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  17. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    The 9-11 truth discussions on reddit are always the same. There are two or three dyed-in-the-wool truthers who use multiple sock puppet accounts (usernames "NIST_Report", "Greg_Roberts_0985", "12-23-1913", "NCSTAR1A" and "stonetear2016" are all run by the same person, for example, as anyone unfortunate enough to engage one will note by how they tend to finish each other's conversations in the same style and often, seemingly, without even realizing they are posting under a different name) who spam the same copypasta nonsense over and over while never engaging in an actual conversation. The thread in question was really no different, though there were a few posters I hadn't seen before. Amazingly, after 2 days of comments, not a single truther even tried to defend Hulsey's study in light of the shortcomings with it that have been identified here at metabunk, which were referenced many times. As it tends to go, all attempts at discussing such shortcomings on the merits were met with talking points, gish gallops and other copypasta claptrap.

    Gerrycan even showed up the to that thread as wasted no time demonstrating why he is banned here by changing the topic with every post, lying about what has been said on this forum, and blatantly mischaracterizing extant reports. It's no wonder most of the /r/engineering forum regulars did not want to bother trying to engage the random hive that swarmed into their forum. In any case, however, with comments now locked and the dust settled, I highly doubt someone new the topic would be very persuaded by the information presented in support of what Hulsey has done to date.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not entirely sure he was lying, it's possible, although surprising, that he actually does not understand how the different NIST models relate to each other. I had an extended discussion with him on coordinate systems and it was difficult to convey some concepts to him - even though he insisted he knew far more about the topic than me. So maybe just a failure to communicate.
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  19. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    Re lying--I was actually referring to the exchange starting here (further down the chain) where he repeatedly attempted to claim that I had stated I was "no good" at reading structural plan drawings in an apparent attempt to discredit me. I believe you are likely right that he is simply misunderstanding the interrelationship between the various NIST models.

    (EDIT: Of course, the silliest thing about that above exchange is, even if I had claimed I was unable to read structural drawing plans, that would have had exactly nothing to do with my argument. Deirdre notes well that both truthers and skeptics alike often get caught up in playing these petty gotcha games that miss the point. It's an odd aspect of the human condition, I suppose.)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  20. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    he doesn't take a lot of time to actually listen carefully to what the other person is saying. I don't think he was lying on purpose, I think that's probably how his brain actually read that sentence.
  21. benthamitemetric

    benthamitemetric Active Member

    Fair point. That could be the case. That certainly makes it impossible to have a constructive conversation, but I suppose it wouldn't necessarily mean he was lying.
  22. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    But seeing the same names elsewhere does suggest that there's a very small number of people who actually take a technical interest in the topic. One would think that if there were a number of qualified engineers at AE911, then there would be more output. Instead we largely just see Gerry and Tony pushing the C79/A2001 issues. Other "technical" papers are things like David Chandlers fallacious appeals to Newton. http://www1.ae911truth.org/en/news-...-and-building-7-on-911-by-david-chandler.html, other handwaving misunderstandings of scale, and a variety of "thermitic material" things. No real engineering analysis.

    I strongly suspect that even though there may well be engineers who were amazed by and suspicious of the unusual nature of the collapses, when they actually went to do the math, and study the actual structure of the building, then the vast majority of them figured out that it was actually a collapse from fire. Essentially winnowing down the ranks of the Truth engineers to a few who were perhaps just too far down the rabbit hole to be helped.
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  23. Jeffrey Orling

    Jeffrey Orling Active Member

    Serious technical analysis is a lot of work... not doing the math per se... but assembling data and plans and so on. If one presumes that the AE911T engineers have day jobs... this would not be something they have time for. Who would devote the time required except someone who is retired... or doesn't have to work?
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  24. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Surely some of them could devote a little time to it? What seems highly telling to me is the lack of any collaborative open project. Is there not one retired person there capable of setting up a Git project to organize some open source model building and FEA?

    They have had years, they have years.

    My feeling here is that when the light of competence is shone upon the problem, the conspiracy theory explanations just seem ridiculous. It's kind of like with the Flat Earth - if they actually take the time to start planning a serious test, like a journey to the South Pole, they figure out long before they get started that it's a waste of time.

    Likewise if someone wanted to do an investigation into the collapse of WTC7, then most of the time they would start with a thorough reading of NCSTAR 1-9 and discover that NIST did a pretty good job, and that a fire driven collapse actually does sound quite plausible, in fact way more plausible than some secret plot to wire the building with tons of silent explosives.

    So unless someone pays you to do it, any independent investigation of any degree of competence is going to either fizzle out, or devolve into nit-picking. And even if they do find some problems with the NIST report, even if they find the A2001 was never going to come off C79, then that's not going to lead anywhere, as the fire hypothesis is still by far the simplest explanation.

    We'll see. I think how the Hulsey study plays out should be telling. Right now it's not looking very promising for AE911.
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  25. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    way more plausible than some secret plot to wire the building with tons of silent explosives, for no reason and hoping one of the towers strikes part of it so they can explain the fires.
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  26. Jeffrey Orling

    Jeffrey Orling Active Member

    Most of the truther "science" are statements that what they observed was not possible without "intervention". Very little in the way of affirmative scenarios which don't involve fires.
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  27. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    I think this is often the crux of the issue - some people seem to demand perfection, when it is often impossible to attain

    I am reminded of Voltaire's saying

    "Perfect is the enemy of the good"

    in any complex series of events - such as 911 there will always be gaps in our full understanding of what happened - they close with time though

    but these gaps do seem to allow all sorts of unsupported explanations to gain traction
  28. mjl

    mjl New Member

    I just read a text about new challenges for journalism in the digital age and conspiracy theories. Unfortunately it's in german, but the title is approximately: "Five assumptions on digital journalism: What we can learn from conspiracy theorists":

    The most important point I take from this text is that of trust and belief. Thruthers do not belief any "official explanation", they do not trust NIST or the folks here. While reading the text mentioned above, I was thinking of gerrycan and how his refusal filled several pages here a couple of days ago.

    For me, truthers do not care too much about finding an answer what happened on 9/11, the denial of the "official explanation" is their main motivation. With such a mindset, it's difficult to honor facts that point into the direction they deny. So they end up collecting different theories, like other people collect stamps. No need to decide for one or dig too deep into details. But that also keeps them in an state of uncertainty, they can only pretend to "ask questions", they will never be able to present an answer that satisfies people outside their movement. It's like a cult.
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  29. John85

    John85 Member

    I wonder if the 2011 10-year anniversary marked a step in the memorializing of 9/11, and its passing into history. History is of course something we read and look up, rather than simply remember. People will have come of age after 9/11 who do not have a clear memory of the events of that day, or of what it was like before then. They will naturally have to google it. And for those who fully felt the impact of 9/11 at the time, until 2011, it may have seemed a contemporary event whose relevance gradually diminished every year. But then after 2011, we feel "Oh yeah, that was over a decade ago now", and we look back on how things have changed since.


    There are spikes at 5 years on and 10 years on, but seemingly an overall decline between 2004 and 2011. The annual September spikes are higher after 2011, and increasing year on year, in what may turn out to be a positive trend.

    And is interest in alternative 9/11 conspiracy theories increasing as well?

    911 inside job.
  30. Jeffrey Orling

    Jeffrey Orling Active Member

    Interest? Maybe the nature of the interest changes? Older people who witnessed it are dying... People born after say 1988 or so were only young teens at most... and no very politically aware... or technically adept. So you have an age range of consciousness from birth dates before 1980... If the life span is 75... then when 2055 rolls around... living memories will be all but none existent. I sure will have passed on... as will most of the debaters including perhaps the truth leaders who will be in assisted living before 2055.
  31. John85

    John85 Member

    I believe the greater distance between 9/11 and now will allow more academic investigation, as we are less emotionally affected by it now. In September of 2001, there was a considerable amount of fear of a second attack - chemical or biological - just after 9/11 as the invasion of Afghanistan began. Anthrax was around. Since then we have had no comparable attacks, and no biological attacks, and have scaled back the boots on the ground in the Middle East. 9/11 is no longer the prime mover of domestic and foreign policy that it once was.
  32. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    not sure what you mean by 'alternative 9/11 conspiracy theories' ... seems that has been the theory from the get go

    but yellow here is what Micks chart shows in red. looks like "was an inside job" has probably just become a bit of a more popular phrase as the years go on and more and more people use it. although different phrases do off set the decline seen in Mick's graph a small bit. (but fairly small)


    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  33. Keith Beachy

    Keith Beachy Active Member

    Has anything changed since 1970? Boobs, beer, and college football - conspiracy theories in the noise.
    https://trends.google.com/trends/ex...s,building 7,9/11 truth,beer,college football

    9/11 truth, Claiming to have overwhelming evidence for "truth" claims, turns out to be a lie, but there is kind of an overwhelming web presence for 9/11 truth lies and evidence free claims. A presence which misleads the fringe few.
  34. John85

    John85 Member

    I'm being annoyingly correct in my use of the word 'conspiracy'. The official conspiracy theory is the government view that 19+ men got together and conspired to perpetrate an act of terror. The alternative conspiracy theories are, well, you know those. But they are all conspiracies.

    Yes, it's possible there has been a truther migration towards the search term '9/11 was an inside job' and away from other terms.

    But there does appear to be an increase in interest in the more neutral search term '9/11'. From my point of view, the more people who look into 9/11, the better, especially given that distance allows for greater objectivity and appreciation of context. Are the majority of searches into 9/11 done because the searcher has unreflectively absorbed and internalized the official account? I suspect not. I suspect it is more like the proverbial goldfish that is beginning to google "What is water?". A goldfish is obviously surrounded by it, so does not (we assume!) pause to think about it. But we are no longer surrounded by 9/11, so we can.

    Edit - the same can be said about WTC building 7. Are people googling it because they are just ordinary folks going about their usual September routine? I only heard of WTC 7 through a truther article. I would say googling building 7 is an inherently truthy behavior, and that search term has shown a stable level of interest recently in the OP image.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  35. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    oh. I thought they admitted to it. ? (not to pull the thread OT, sorry)

    I think if that were the case, you'd see an increase in some of the 'truth' phrases. or... you are right and they aren't finding anything abnormal.

    I've googled it a bunch last week or so because I never looked into wtc7 really. It could be anything really, maybe college students are studying it more? like you said since it's not quite the same level of emotional anymore. or simply the young kids who don't remember it much are old enough now to start being curious.

    Truther searches still aren't going up.
  36. John85

    John85 Member

    I thought KSM's testimony was extracted after 183 waterboardings.

    I added a thought about WTC 7 when I edited my above post. I think googling building 7 is inherently truthy, and that trend has grown over the years. It is no surprise that Truth groups lead on WTC 7, given the striking manner of its collapse and public ignorance of it. If more people are seeing it, you can bet that more people are taking alternative views seriously, as I have done.
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  37. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I still think they might be googling it, but if they were seeing what you see we would see the main 'truth' phrases going up too. 7 has got to be a tough sell, because there's no reason for them to CD that building. makes no sense.
  38. John85

    John85 Member

    The question is where are people getting the idea to google building 7 from? As there is little mainstream coverage of it, I suggest they are getting the idea from the Truth movement, one way or another.

    I agree it is a 'tough sell' - why would they blow up WTC 7? I don't have a clear idea of the reason for it, apart from suspicions that they wanted to get rid of evidence of crime or corruption contained within it. But the potency of WTC 7 in Truth advocacy is not that there is a clear reason for demolishing the building, but rather that the building clearly appears to have been demolished. It jars. Profoundly. It is so unfamiliar and striking it has no role to play in the official account.
  39. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    nah. :) but then I'm from the school that cant really believe any of those old old big buildings or bridges or dams stand up at all.

    again, not to drag thread off topic but ... point to ponder: a collapsing building doesn't destroy evidence. it blows it all out onto the streets of NY for anyone to find.
  40. John85

    John85 Member

    They are remarkable!

    No you're absolutely right, if I was trying to destroy evidence, I would start some fires, pull the fire crews, let it burn for a good few hours, then detonate nanothermite charges to pulverize the contents. Afterwards, I'd rapidly dispose of the debris and set up an official study to take the heat of public curiosity... ;)

    I'm making light of it so as not to go off topic too far!