on May 24, 2016
I had some legitimate questions about 9-11, and some of the claims made by truthers. Claims that are hard to dismiss, especially since the official investigation, in completely UN-scientific manner, made many pre-judgments. I was hoping to find good evidence explaining those questions, or enough credible refutations that I could feel closure, but I didn't get that. This book seems to cherry-pick some facts or claims here and there, but doesn't get build a solid case. I am still researching online, AND, there seems to be more evidence / information to the negative.
on June 1, 2016
Brand new book, perfect condition. A brilliant journalistic assessment of conspiracy claims. This book tackles every major support beam of conspiracist belief by talking to experts and witnesses, not quoting news sound bites. Perfect for conspiracy theorists to read to have something new to be angry about as well as the real truthers to shut down faulty, unresearched, paranoid arguments.
on October 19, 2011
I bought this book to see just exactly the arguments of the 9-11 conspiracy buffs were. I got the soft cover
version, not a Kindle download, because I figured there would be a lot of graphics which don't turn out well on my Kindle. I was wrong about the second point; there are some photos, but no line drawings, which I find disappointing.
What's really disappointing is the size of the book -- one can read it comfortably in an evening, and it is anything but encyclopedic. From my experience with 9-11 conspiracy people, they will simply dimiss this book as
a quicky sales job of the establishment position, and, regrettably, I think I may have to agree with them.
on November 17, 2015
This is an excellent book that follows up on the articles in Popular Mechanics in the aftermath of 9/11. (http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a6384/debunking-911-myths-world-trade-center/)
It's sad that the "9/11 Truther" movement "lives on," despite having been destroyed by the science its adherents insisted would support their claims...that the U.S. government and NOT jihadists was responsible for the destruction on 9/11.
Initially the "Truther" movement seemed to have sprung from what was called BDS, or "Bush Derangement Syndrome," but it seems to have taken on a post-GW life of its own. Sadly, this "new life" STILL seems geared to blaming America and exonerating the jihadists (Atta & his crew).
Its most strident adherents seem to revel in the visceral reactions they get from survivors and family members of victims, which kind of puts many of them in the same camp as Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church folks. Interestingly enough, the Westboro clan is also fond of quoting science that DOESN'T agree with, or support their views....science they don't seem to understand.
The "Truthers" seem to be seeking out a few aberrations and purporting to use them as,"proof" of a highly suspect supposition.
That's antithetical to science, it is the opposite of skepticism. To accept even an accepted idea, or "general consensus" as "definite," is NON-Skeptical and NOT at all open-minded, but to base a conviction on unsupported supposition is even less rational. It appears that the vast majority of the negative reviews come from people who've never actually read the articles or the book, and at the least appear incapable of understanding the science they claim to "love and respect" whenever it agrees with their chosen belief system.
That only proves that faith-based "science believers" are every bit as dangerous as faith-based "religionists."
This is an excellent book and SHOULD NOT be seen as "controversial" in any way, at least no more controversial than any other fact/science based book.
on March 3, 2012
While I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist, I do have some unanswered questions about 911 that need answering. This book was fairly useless in that regard. Pretty much more of the mainstream stuff that just fuels me to distrust the official version of events more and more, regardless of the implications on my psyche. There is plenty of crap out there on both sides of the debate, but I really did expect more from Popular Mechanics... it's brand implies a sense of objectivity. What do they think, we are all 4-year-olds who can't think out of the box?
For example, on p. 40 there is a reference to the fact that "conspiracy theorists" (generally considered a derogatory term that does little but attempt to stifle real debate - a red flag I have learned to watch out for as a sign of bias) claim that no hi-rise in history has come down due to fire alone, to which the authors of this book retort, "...in a sense, they are right: Fire alone did not bring down the towers"... damage to columns, dislodging of fireproofing, etc... all contributed as well. That's all fine and dandy, and somewhat reasonable.
But didn't they read the report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on WTC 7? That reports states that this 47-storey hi-rise DID come down due to office fires alone, and that structural damage from WTC1 and 2 played NO role. So while they are going to extensive efforts to discredit "conspiracy theorists", Popular Mechanics is also discrediting NIST... now I'm really confused.
Also, the examples of people representing the "conspiracy theorists" position are ridiculous, the flakiest of the flaky - classic straw man argument. Why didn't they refute some of the finding of Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth... that's what I was really hoping for. Are those 1600 professionals quacks or what? Not a mention of them in the book. Or somehow explain if WTC7 could experience free fall over 2.5 seconds without having all resistance removed by something like a demolition... no "computer model" has demonstrated this, and no one on the mainstream side of the argument seems to want to address it head on. I mistakenly thought Popular Mechanics would have the cojones to do so... I guess I previously held Popular Mechanics to a higher standard than those flakes on the other side of the issue... oh, how silly of me to think there would be one source that would give a thorough, unbiased view of this increasingly perplexing issue.
Thanks PM, for this one-sided piece of garbage... I don't think I'll be reading your magazine anymore as a result... You just lost a long-standing fan. What a waste of money, unless of course you are looking for a "scientific" justification for satisfying your cognitive dissonance around this issue of what might have really happened that day.
on February 16, 2016
The claims made in this book by Popular Mechanics and NIST were supposedly reached with the input of experts and yet their conclusions are so scientifically weak, some even transparently false, that the only thing they proved was their impartiality and credibility are now highly questionable and any statements issued by either organization deserves scrutiny by the professional scientific and technical communities.
If you want to hear directly from the true subject matter experts in the most pertinent fields related to this discussion, then listen to over 2,000 Architects and Engineers, as opposed to magazine editors and government agency employees "who consulted with experts". Do a Google search for "Debunking the Real 9/11 Myths - Why Popular Mechanics Can't Face up to Reality". It's a free article by the non-profit organization, Architects and Engineers For 9/11 Truth.
on May 9, 2014
This book has one simple message: believe all our theories or you are a conspiracy theorist. Popular Mechanics shoots down a few of the more easy target conspiracy theories, but that is few and far between. On the tougher questions of 9/11 the book either avoids them entirely or provides the prevailing government theory and makes the mistake of assuming their untested theories are fact. They consider their theorizing as completely different from conspiracy theorists' theorizing. The Popular Mechanics "scientific" method is as follows:
1. We present the latest prevailing government theory from our cherry-picked experts as if it's proven fact.
2. We automatically label anyone who questions this prevailing theory as a conspiracy theorist.
3. We devote whole chapters to pop-psychology analysis of why conspiracy theorists are always irrational and wrong, something we prove by using cherry-picked examples of what a few conspiracy theorist do and say, and applying that to every naysayer uniformly.
4. Since all our opponents have been "proven" as crazy by our ad-hominem propaganda in step 3, our theories are now proven fact.
This utterly fraudulent approach is the kind of propaganda one would expect from politicians and windbag media commentators. Indeed this book's style appears to be for their benefit providing quick sound bites they can use to talk over more intelligent people. I would have expected better from a long running magazine like Popular Mechanics but today’s' editors seem to be undermining the magazine's credibility, not because of their choice to support the government's version of 9/11, but because of the fallacious way they go about doing it.
For example, the section on WTC 7 gives us an untested theory about thermal expansion in the metal. Somehow, randomness of fire still managed to uniformly affect the structure so consistently the building collapses almost perfectly symmetrically and achieves free-fall acceleration. NIST has struggled for years to explain the collapse. But there is no struggle in this book because their theory is treated as proven fact. I saw no proof actually offered, and there's certainly no precedences to their theory in other buildings. Indeed all the precedences that match the observations of WTC 7's collapse were in demolished buildings lending more weight to that theory. That doesn't matter to the editors of Popular Mechanics though. Once again, they simply say we're right and only stupid people would believe otherwise.
Another example is the explanation of Hani Hanjour's ability to perform his stunt manoeuvre to hit the Pentagon. After giving various generalities that only attempt to explain how the other pilots could have pulled off their hijackings, they address Hanjour specifically as follows: "Conspiracy theorists describe Hanjour's drastic turn as evidence of great flying skill on the part of whomever--certainly not Hanjour, they contend--was at the controls. They ignore that the turn actually occurred five miles southwest of the Pentagon, possibly because the subpar pilot realized he was vastly too high to hit his target".
So basically they've "proven" Hani Hanjour was definitely the pilot because by being too high that proves the pilot was subpar like Hanjour was. This ridiculous reasoning also miserably fails to explain how he was able to compensate for his subpar flying with a manoeuvre way beyond is subpar skills. But just as they accuse conspiracy theorists "ignoring" things and not letting facts get in their way, the editors of Popular Mechanics ignore the actual issue here and don't let facts get in their way either. They proclaim they've totally cleared up the mystery even as they use the word "possibly" in a book of "Hard Facts" and state only crazy conspiracy theorists would feel unsatisfied with their gibberish non-explanation.
Clearly this book is a waste of time for anyone. Mainstream believers will only be told what they want to hear and will continue to erroneously believe all the issues of 9/11 have actually been scientifically explained. Anyone else will see it as a sloppy and fraudulent attempt at scientific reasoning and rightfully reject this book for the propaganda it is.
on March 8, 2014
I've discovered to my cost that trying to convince truthers [sic] that maybe the many and varied "inside job theories" they promote are flawed, and that 19 Muslim extremists DID, in fact, commit an audacious and staggeringly effective terrorist attack against the US, is exactly like trying to convince a fundamentalist Christian that evolution is far more plausible than creationism. Every thing that seems strange to them, that they don't personally understand, or that seems ironic, coincidental or hard to imagine is evidence of a huge cover-up; every flaw, contradiction, implausibility in their own theory is glossed over. Or - more often - is answered with "I don't pretend to know everything - who knows what the government is capable of! - I just know the Official Story is full of holes and we need a proper investigation... blah, blah, blah." If these guys were truly interested in the truth - as they claim - then they'd be prepared to categorically abandon many of the claims that've been thoroughly - and repeatedly - debunked. (To pick one out of the dozens: No plane wreckage at the Pentagon or at the crash site of United 93 when... there was.) But they don't, perhaps worried that to admit that any of the so-called "mysteries" they claim to be smoking guns does, in fact, have a logical explanation, might cause their whole house of cards to tumble.
No one book can cover all the myriad theories, but this one does an excellent job of taking several of the major ones and patiently explaining their flaws. One thing that came out of their investigation was that they suddenly found themselves charged with being part of some huge conspiracy. And that's a feature of most truthers: They claim that anyone who doesn't see the world the way they do is either (a) deluded/naive/sheeple/an apologist for Bush, and/or (b) part of the conspiracy. So perhaps as someone raving about how great this book is, I should post a disclaimer: Not only am I a secret operative for the CIA and the NSA, I'm also a Freemason, a member of Mossad, and a reptile shape-shifter disguised as a human being who's part of a global conspiracy who runs the world.
As left-wing pundits like Noam Chomsky and whistle blowers like Julian Assange point out: There's more than enough genuinely nasty s***being done by various agencies within various Western governments (including the US) to go around. And this has been credibly documented (cherry-picking intelligence about alleged Iraqi WMD springs to mind...). There's no need to make s*** up! (Between Assange and Snowden you'd think they would've come up with *something* akin to a smoking gun about 9/11!)
Oh, and for those who think the government is so powerful and good at doing stuff and keeping secrets: have you ever actually dealt with a government department??
on September 26, 2015
Pretty well done, although there are even more fundamental deep holes in the truthers version of 911 than this book covers.
Give you some idea of where the so-called truthers got off track.
But useless for convincing any one who already believes any of the truther's versions.