Uniqueness has long been put forward as evidence of a conspiracy, and nowhere more so than in the highly unique events of 9/11. What are the odds, they will ask, that three tall building could collapse from fire when this has never happened before?
These arguments are specious, of course, as the events of 9/11 were unique from the outset. Never before had hijackers attempted to fly four planes into large structures. The outcome was bound to be unique, even spectacularly unique.
But this mantra of "what are the odd" and "never happened before" became such an integral part of the 9/11 conspiracy mythology, that when it finally DID happen again they were forced to either incorporate this new occurrence into their mythology or discard a huge swath of "evidence."
Thus after the 17-floor high Plasco building in Tehran caught fire and then collapsed, we were faced with the bizarre spectacle of 9/11 Truthers, particularly the supposedly sensible Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, insisting that this collapse of an office building in Iran was somehow a continuation on 9/11. They pointed to the same things they pointed to in the World Trade Center: the expulsions of dust, the rapid descent, the fires after the collapse, the color of the smoke, reports of bangs. They did this because these were all pieces of evidence they used 16 years earlier to insist that the World Trade Center collapse was a controlled demolition.
So the 9/11 Truthers became Plasco Truthers.
It is sad that it took another tragedy to bring focus to the spaciousness of the 9/11 Truthers' arguments. And sadly another tragedy, the crash of Ethiopian Flight 302, may fill the same role this year in the arguments surrounding the fourth plane on 9/11: United Flight 93
Flight 93 crashed into a field on 9/11 after some of the passengers attempted to regain control. Inverted and at high speed, it buried itself in the dirt, leaving only a roughly plane-shaped crater and some scattered debris. The Truther refrain is "where's the plane", with the argument being that when planes crash you can see the plane.
Like the World Trade Center (and Plasco) controlled demolition theories, this argument has little merit. The plane was buried underground because of high speed and relatively soft ground. They dug it out later. Most plane crashes happen at slower speeds and shallower angles. If a plane was shot down (another Truther suggestion) then the plane breaks up in the air, scattering relatively slow-falling debris over a large area.
But the "where's the plane" argument stuck, becoming a core tenet of 9/11 "Truth" conspiracy theories.
With the tragedy of Flight 302, with its similar crater and lack of visible debris, the truthers are again forced to decide if they are going give up a precious piece of evidence, or if they are now going to become Ethiopian 302 Truthers.