Catcher in the Argot

Friday, October 26, 2012

"9/11 Truth" Contradictions

"9/11 Truthers" would like us to believe a multitude of contradictory claims from their movement.

This is an edited compilation of examples of these contradictions put forward by the good folk at the James Randi Educational Foundation Forum's 9/11 Conspiracy Theories sub-forum, in a thread entitled "9/11 Conspiracy Contradictions and Inconsistencies":

NORAD stood down; Flight 93 was shot down.

Damning evidence of there being charges inside the towers is the numerous reports of explosions; Thermite (a non-explosive) reactions were used to weaken the steel beams.

The towers fell neatly within their own footprints, indicating controlled demolition; Heavy steel columns from the towers landed as far away as 600 feet, indicating controlled demolition.

9/11 enabled the US to invade Afghanistan so they could build a pipeline; Al Qaeda and the Taliban are puppets of the CIA/ISI (why the need to invade?).

The fact of controlled demolition is obvious from watching videos; The collapse was designed to not look like controlled demolition.

The announcement to tenants of WTC 2 that it was safe to remain in or go back to their offices was intended to maximize casualties; The fact that the first building was hit before 9:00 AM was intended to minimize casualties.

Firefighters and police officers were given a gag order not to talk about what they experienced in the towers on 9-11; Many firefighters and police officers have conducted interviews about what they went through.

Flight attendant Betty Ong should not be believed because she sounded too calm in her telephone call; Flight attendant Madeline Sweeney should not be believed because she did not sound calm enough in her telephone call.

Firefighters should be believed when they say that they heard explosions in the twin towers; Firefighters should not be believed when they say that they saw massive damage and fires on multiple floors in WTC7. 

It wouldn't be difficult for the government to keep a massive conspiracy like this completely secret; Conspiracy theorists have discovered the truth.

The conspirators were evil geniuses and faked the phone calls; The conspirators faked phone calls that were impossible at the time.

The Flight Data Recorders (FDRs) from the WTC were never found, the FBI made them disappear; The FDRs from the Pentagon and Shanksville, were found, the FBI planted them.

The east penthouse of WTC7 collapsed 8 seconds before the rest of the building, and this is a sign of controlled demolition; All of the supports failed at the same time, and this is a sign of controlled demolition.

The Pentagon FDR indicated a flyover; The Pentagon FDR was faked.

Steven Jones - credible when talking about thermite; Not credible, when talking about Pentagon (he believes a plane hit it).

Bush - credible when talking about New World Order stuff; Not credible when talking about 9/11.

Osama Bin Laden - credible when denying the attacks; Not credible when claiming responsibility of the attacks.

Eyewitness – credible when saying they saw no plane parts; Not credible when they say they saw a plane hit the Pentagon.

Flight 11 being caught on film is suspicious; Flight 77 not being caught on film is suspicious.

The evidence was whisked away before anyone could perform any investigation; Steven Jones has taken samples which show evidence of nanothermite.

The FDNY predicting 7's collapse is suspicious; The FDNY was not in on it.

The mainstream media (MSM) were in on it (e.g. the BBC reporting the WTC 7 collapse 20 minutes early and "blowing the script”); The MSM reported some of the hijackers were still alive after 9/11 (the BBC again).

Bin Laden worked for the CIA; The CIA used a “fake” Bin Laden in the video.

Everybody’s asleep; Everybody’s waking up.

The debunkers disrespect the victims’ families, but the families who said they spoke to their loved ones on the planes are too stupid to recognise faked voices.

The government-funded investigations were corrupt; We need a new government-funded investigation.

Cheney ordered that the Pentagon plane not be shot down; There was no Pentagon plane.

Hani Hanjour couldn’t have made the difficult manoeuvres in the Pentagon plane; There was no Pentagon plane.

Silverstein told an FDNY official to “pull it”; Silverstein never spoke to an FDNY official.

A firefighter said WTC 7’s going to "blow" so he had advance knowledge of the inside job; The firefighters weren’t part of the inside job.

WTC 7 must have been a controlled demolition because it wasn't hit by a plane; WTC1 & WTC2 were hit by planes and were controlled demolitions.

Thermite/thermate/nanotherm*te was used in order to disguise the demolitions by avoiding the sound of explosives; People heard explosives.


The last words go to Poetry Hound, who contributed the most examples of contradictions:

Who was behind 9/11? It was the Bush Administration! No wait! It was a rogue group of government officials! No wait! It was the NWO! No wait! It was the Jews! No wait! It was Halliburton and other defence contractors! No wait! It was the Vatican! No wait! It was the Illuminati! Aw, hell, it was all of ‘em!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Earth is not crossing the galactic plane in 2012 and the sky is not falling

Earth is not crossing the galactic plane in 2012 and the sky is not falling

For over two years I debated New Agers about the 2012 myths. The main believer was a charming guy by the name of Arrgy. I, and some other skeptics tried to dispel his fears about 2012, and in return we were insulted and called names.

It was a fascinating discussion, at least on the part of the rationalists who provided data and evidence to back their claims. It was also an interesting study in how New Agers and doom merchants ignore facts that don’t fit in with their beliefs.

In this post, I thought I’d share two interesting exchanges with astronomers that arose due to of my involvement in that thread.

(Here’s the full, 59 page thread for anyone who’s interested:

Arrgy believes, even after being repeatedly proved wrong, that:

  • Earth will cross the galactic plane on December 21, 2012;
  • Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are increasing as we approach the Galactic Plane, endangering Earth.

We are not crossing the Galactic Plane in 2012 and PHAs are not increasing due to said crossing.

Most scientists and astronomers agree with the following paper that we last crossed the Galactic Plane around 3 million years ago, and we will not cross it again for about 30 million years.

In March 2011 I asked a friend working as an astronomer in China about that paper. Here's what he said:

Basically the Sun orbits the Galactic centre along with the rest of the disk stars, but they all move up and down in a oscillating fashion. At the moment the Sun is a little above the nominal plane of the disk and heading upwards. The idea behind this woo is that the nominal plane of the disk is a dense collection of stars and debris that greatly increases the chance of collision as we pass through it.

In reality the plane is only defined by the relative density of stars, and the nominal plane is the turnover point in this density gradient. The scale height of the Galactic disk is about 100 parsecs for the youngest thin disk population and about 700 parsecs for the older thin disk, although there's a range of values for star of different ages. In simple terms, the density decreases in a smooth logarithmic way as you move away from the nominal plane.

The scale height is the vertical distance from the Galactic plane over which the density decreases by a factor of e, the natural logarithm base. So the density of stars on the nominal Galactic plane is only e times larger than the density a few hundred parsecs above the nominal plane. There is no sudden density spike. There is no dense collection of debris to pass through, we simply get a bit closer (on average) to the other stars as we pass through the plane.

What the paper means by the term Solar vicinity is the area a few parsecs around the Sun, i.e. at or near the nominal plane. The last time we crossed the plane was about 3 million years ago, and we won't cross it again for about 20 to 30 million years. This periodicity does not correlate with terrestrial mass extinctions.


In April 2011 I contacted the Mt Lemmon SkyCenter (which has discovered the most PHAs):

Dear Mt Lemmon SkyCenter

A friend of mine thinks Earth will be crossing the galactic plane in 2012,
but as far as I can make out, this will not happen for around 30 million

He also thinks that more Potentially Hazardous Asteroids are being
discovered because we are nearing the galactic plane. But my research
suggests that more PHAs were being discovered due to new observatories and technologies tackling the subject, and that the Mt Lemmon Survey, who has discovered the most, is now finding less, according to this:

Could you tell me:

When will we cross the galactic plane?

Are there more PHAs in existence because of Earth's position in the galaxy,
or are we just getting better at detecting them?

Many thanks for your amazing work, and in anticipation of a reply.

Here's the reply:

My name is Ed Beshore. The Catalina Sky Survey (which
includes the Mt. Lemmon Survey, the original Catalina Sky Survey, and
the Siding Springs Survey) are my responsibility, so Adam
thought it might be best if I tried to answer your questions.

While I can't give you a precise time of crossing the galactic
plane, I can say confidently it will not do so as soon as 2012.
Right now, the Earth is about +2 deg north latitude in galactic coordinates,
and the Earth takes about 250M years to rotate around the
galaxy - so if Earth is going to cross the plane next year, we have
to move it! I think your estimate of ~30 M years sounds more

The reason we are discovering more PHAs is because we only started
looking in earnest about 10 years ago. Catalina's 1.5 m reflector,
one of the largest telescopes routinely searching for hazardous
asteroids, only began its work in 2005. We are getting
better at the job, and larger telescopes are getting involved as
well, and that explains the surge in PHA discoveries. Indeed,
most of the PHAs have been in orbit in the inner solar system
for many hundreds of thousands of years, independent of our position
with respect to the galactic plane.

Finally, the Sun's (and the solar system's) orbit around the
center of the Milky Way is close to circular and stays close to
the galactic plane. Any forces from the galaxy
on our environs are pretty near constant, so something like
crossing the plane of the galaxy should be a pretty
hum drum event.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Ed Beshore

Edward Beshore, Senior Staff Scientist
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the Steward Observatory


If you’re interested in other rational explanations of 2012 myths, I highly recommend the following website:

Have a great, superstition-free year!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Arnott's are not killing orangutans

Arnott's are NOT killing orangutans.

I read yesterday that the maker of Tim Tams, Arnott's Australia, are endangering orangutans by using palm oil in their product(s).

This concerned me, especially since I read a National Geographic article a few months ago (about palm oil production's destruction of rainforests), and because I've been eating Arnott's' biscuits all my life.

So, I contacted Arnott's last night, asking them when they will be using sustainable palm oil in their Tim Tams. I have just received a reply. I'm not sure if I should post the whole thing, so in doubt, I will only post snippets.

Firstly, from the site I was shown: "The increased demand for palm oil, which is grown only in tropical environments, is fuelling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction".

Arnott's say the palm oil they use is "currently sourced from peninsular Malaysia only" (not Borneo or Sumatra), "from land which has been used to produce palm oil or other agriculture crops for decades." Thus, it's not endangering orangutans. Phew! I love Tim Tams!

Secondly (and this relates to Arnott's' total use of palm oil in all their products, not just Tim Tams): "While Arnott's Australia New Zealand (ANZ) uses only a small amount (less than 0.05%) of the total 40 million metric tonnes1 of palm oil produced annually [...] [f]rom August 2010, Arnott's ANZ will decrease its current palm oil usage by approximately 25 percent by replacing palm oil with alternative oils across a number of products."

Furthermore: "Working closely with its palm oil supplier, who is an active member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Arnott's ANZ is targeting the use of 100% certified sustainable palm oil, if available, by 2015. Commencing 2011, the Company will take a gradual approach to achieving this target, shifting around 20% of its supply each year, if available, to certified sustainable palm oil."

Yay, Arnott's!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Da Twoof is Faith-Based.

I just came across a good summary of the main Twoofer "scientists", by Edmund Standing.

I particularly liked his conclusion:

"In reality, there is no more evidence for the claim that 9/11 was an 'inside job' than there is that God created the world in six days, that the Holocaust never happened, that Jesus walked in America, or that an angel dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad. These are faith based positions, and to attempt to claim there are credible 'scientific' reasons for embracing conspiracies about the September 11th attacks is an insult both to real science and to the memory of those who died on that day."

Twoofers, like Creationists, use myths to explain myths. Creationists have their God of the Gaps; Twoofers have the mythical New World Order to explain the holes in their arguments. For example, the mythical therm*te was planted by the NWO without anyone coming forward about it - "the witnesses were paid off by the NWO".

Other examples that are rife in the Twoof Movement: the NWO secretly must have "vanished" the AA77 plane passengers because "no plane hit the Pentagon"; the NWO removed AA77's parts from the Pentagon, somehow without anyone noticing. (Yet how can the NWO remove parts of a plane that, according to twoofers, didn't hit the Pentagon? Maybe the NWO can explain that, too. ;-) )

Contradictions upon myths upon myths upon delusions.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

How to lose a debate on 9/11 conspiracy theories

Have fun with your fantasy! Next time you're trying to assert that 9/11 was an inside job, mark this Bingo scorecard, and when you have used 5 fallacious arguments in a row, you'll know when to back down in defeat. (Or you can go and use the same argument in another forum, having not learned anything, as you do.)

The kind and clever poster Minadin (from the James Randi Educational Foundation's forum) helped me create it, using my Truther Credo as a guide. Thankyou , Minadin.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The 9/11 Truther Credo

The 9/11 Truther Credo.

a.k.a.: The 9/11 TWOOfer Credo

Inspired by (and text in blue shamelessly stolen from) The Woo-Woo Credo.

Google “9/11 truth”. Think, “Wooooo”. Keep clicking on googlebombed links. Think, “Woo” some more. Refer to your googling as “real research”. Keep thinking, “Woo”.

Connect the dots. Read about “holes in the official story”. Make leaps to conclusions between one “hole” and another. Those dots just don’t connect themselves, you know.

Never look for the simplest, most obvious cause of something. Refrain from mentioning Occam's Razor (it's your nemesis). Instead, use Smacco’s Razor. “It couldn’t have been 19 hijackers – it must have been one big, corrupt gubmint/media.”

Fight strawmen valiantly. Repeatedly state that 9/11 was not caused by “Arabs in caves”, and that burning jet fuel alone did not bring down the buildings. Accuse your opponents of being George Bush-lovers, and dismiss their evidence accordingly.

Misuse technical terms as often as possible. The terms “squib” and “pyroclastic flow” are your friends.

Use one myth to support another myth.
“They were going to create a false-flag operation (Northwoods) in the Sixties therefore 9/11 was an inside job”.
“Oswald didn’t kill Kennedy therefore 9/11 was an inside job”.
“9/11 was an inside job therefore anyone who disagrees with me is a disinformation agent”.
“The “New World Order” is a group of shadowy masterminds who control every government and fake every world event, therefore 9/11 was a false-flag psy-op.”
"The Holocaust did not happen so 9/11 was an inside job." "The hijackers were cokeheads and Osama was mortally ill therefore the US gubmint orchestrated 9/11".

Smoke weed copiously, or act like you do. You can never have enough paranoia and crazy thoughts.

Embrace paranoia. When someone uses facts to prove one of your claims wrong, call them a “disinformation agent”, “shill”, or say that they are “spinning”.

Always claim that the other guy is "closed-minded" and that you're as free-thinking as a newborn baby. Other woo-woos love the concept of "open-mindedness" and will take you into their inner circle without question. They have no tolerance for those "mean old nasty" types who demand evidence for everything.

You must believe that the word "anomaly" means proof of sinister gubmint activity.

Use the word "anomaly" as often as possible. If you can’t spell it, say ‘holes in the official story’.
Pontificate, use diatribe and rhetoric. Call your opponents, “sheeple” and urge them to “wake up”. They may have gone to sleep during your rants. They also need urging to “connect the dots” as you have.

Don’t investigate or talk to the organisations you accuse of conspiracy to murder. Post a picture of men in uniforms at the Pentagon or Shanksville and say they were “in on it” or “planting evidence” then walk away.

The few eyewitness reports which you have quotemined are worth much more than the thousands of eyewitness reports that don’t support your beliefs.

Use Caps-Lock in the word “TRUTH” wherever possible, or at least capitalize the first letter of “Truth”. Better still, SHOUT TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS. Bystanders may be as easily swayed as you are, you hope.

Call the “official story” (the scientific, evidence-based, professional investigation and conclusion) the “official conspiracy theory” so that easily swayed people will, in one fell swoop, stop using logic, science and evidence to analyse the material.

Call yourself a “skeptic”, so that easily swayed people will, in one fell swoop, think you are using logic, science and evidence in your discussion.

Accuse your opponent of being a liar, or try some other tactic that will (hopefully) make him angry. If he responds in kind to your endless taunts, change the subject to his anger, and accuse him of name calling. If he accuses you of provoking him, then you have changed the subject of the debate. If he stays on topic, keep the heat up. The Believers in the audience will forgive the worst verbal attacks you use, but they will think even the mildest replies he makes to you are personal attacks that undermine his argument.

Change the subject. When discussing the WTC, quote the reports of loud explosions and Steven Jones’ theory of therm*te, and then when someone points out those quotes are incompatible, refer to or post a long cut’n’pasted article from about Bush needing to be impeached.

Use incredulity.
Re: WTC7:
“I can’t believe that a WTC building not hit by a plane collapsed!”
So WTC1 & 2 collapsed?
“Er, no, they had to be demolished too.”

Ask questions. That makes it look as though you’ve done some thinking (or parroting).

Ignore answers. Keep asking the same questions. Think, “Wooooo”. It’s fun to say, “Wooooo”. 9/11 is all about fun, right? And feeling like you’re doing some “real research” and investigation. Because. They’re. Never. Going. To. Re-open. 9/11. Based. On. Your. “Investigation”.

Have inflated self-esteem. “All the structural engineers in the world are wrong, but I know the TRUTH”. Remember, 9/11 is all about you proving you are not a pseudo-Einstein but the true heir to his throne.

Derail. In discussion forums, when others are discussing a topic, introduce a 9/11 twoof-related question. When someone replies with a quick debunk, make a huge post uploading all your brain’s delusions, and expect everyone to debunk them succinctly yet in depth, and to not refer to physics, engineering, FEMA, NIST, etc, or 9/11 Myths, Popular Mechanics, Mark Roberts, Wikipedia, etc, etc. When they try, accuse them of being disinformation agents. If they don’t try, claim you’ve proven the “inside job”.

Obstinately insist that 9/11 was an inside job, but do not name any names, organisations or methodologies as to how it was carried out, then claim you pity the victims’ families but do not perceive either how you are reopening old wounds or how you wish to rip their world apart again based on a few dumb questions.


The following are contributions to the Credo from members of the JREF forum:

Once your "obvious" "common sense" has been shown to be insane gibberish, create a sock puppet, and then make the exact same arguments, but this time claim you can't use "common sense", you MUST use physics! Accuse anyone using "common sense" of being a small-minded idiot sheeple. But be sure to never, ever, actually use any physics (or math! Blech!). Just make broad claims about "physics states this" and "physics dictates that".
- Horatius

Don’t bother searching past threads and topics to see what issues have been discussed previously - your evidence is rock solid and anyone who sees it can’t help but be convinced of an inside job. Since the folks you are engaging don’t believe in an inside job, they could not have seen the evidence you have.
- defaultdot.xbe

Never engage people who respond politely and factually. Only engage those who are clearly irritated with having rebutted the same tripe over and over. Then complain that they have resorted to taunts and insults because they can't rebut your claims.
- TjW

Any professional qualifications you or your fellow conspiracists have can be misrepresented, bolstered or simply plucked from thin air during a debate. Remember - the shills have the entire NWO apparatus on their side; you're allowed some leeway too.
- NickUK

Never post on topic - when backed into a corner change the subject. This prevents any subject from being resolved and allows debunked material to be recycled.Bring up previously debunked material. This cycle of the same material will prevent anyone from realizing that any one of the many theories lacks a cohesive narrative or makes sense globally.Treat all information and sources as equal. Youtube, AFP, other conspiracy sites, are equal to the NYT, scientific reports, and expert opinion. Anyone who disagrees is calling your sources liars.Never answer questions - your job is to ask the questions. This allows you to keep enough control of the debate to prevent the house of cards from falling all around you. Ban anyone who asks too many logical questions from your forums.
- Kage.

The news is controlled, unless you like the story.Government officials are liars, unless you like what they say.Use your own assumptions to prove your theory (i.e., you can ignore all government reports because the government did it).FACT typed in caps means “not even remotely true” [but Believers will fall for it]. Self-contradiction? OK! When in doubt, smear.
- Perry Logan

Always bring up USS Liberty as proof the US government kills its own people. When someone points out that the Israelis did it, say that was a "false flag" attack orchestrated by Lyndon Johnson. Accuse firefighters, cops, EMS techs, and rescue workers as being part of the conspiracy, afraid to speak the truth for fear of their jobs and lives. When called out on this gross insult, say you're really on the side of the firefighters, cops, and EMS techs.Offer no proof as to how the evil conspirators are able to hold thousands of cops, firefighters, and EMS techs in fear of their lives over not speaking the truth about the murder of their brothers in uniform.Declare every piece of evidence against you as being a forgery or a fraud. But don't explain who does the forgery, and how it was done, with no slip-ups. Insist that all official investigations are whitewashes, but don't explain how they should be done instead. Argue that the Bush administration planned 9/11 perfectly, but ignore the fact that they hosed up the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq beyond all measure. Insist that there is no possibility of anything in the world happening as the result of chance, luck, weather, or other random elements. Everything that has ever been happened in human history is controlled by sinister forces who have not left any kind of paper or human trail. Repeat ad nauseum.
- Kiwiwriter

From the Bad Astronomy & Universe Today forum:

Accuse all skeptics of any nationality of either being dumb deluded Americans or working for the secret U.S. Disinformation agency.
- Sigma_Orionis; Van Rijn

And finally,

Obstinately insist that 9/11 was an inside job, but do not name any names, organisations or methodologies as to how it was carried out. Claim you pity the victims’ families but do not perceive either how you are reopening old wounds or how you wish to rip their world apart again based on a few dumb questions.

- Orphia Nay.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

How Dylan Avery could become a decent film-maker

If Dylan Avery really wants to make it in movies, he should do a 'True Confessions of a Conspiracy Nutjob' movie.

Part 1: How I started JAQing off.

Part 2: How I realised I could make a name for myself by pissing on graves.

Part 3: How my head got so big I needed a wide-screen tv to do justice to myself and I started inventing 'big-screen release' stories.

Part 4: How the love of notoriety obscured the shame of my 'do-overs'.

Part 5: Interviews with ex-Loosers: What were our wake-up calls?

Part 6: Thanks for all your help, Mark Roberts, the ninjas and ScrewLooseChange - you were right and I was a dick.

Part 7: Legend in my own lunchbox: The internet is not as big in the real world as I thought.

Part 8: How the CTist's friend Paranoia turned on me and I started seeing FBI agents everywhere.

Part 9: To the families of victims whom I led up the garden path: I'm sorry. Truly. The perpetrators of the crimes suicided in the planes on that day, and there's no way I can now make them suffer for causing you such grievous loss. I lied, I gave you false hope, and I profited from your grief. I sincerely apologise.

He could then be someone the mainstream media would actually talk about, and the public would actually pay to see his movie.

Of course, as Brainster (from JREF & Screw Loose Change) implied, Avery would have to go to film school first, and as T.A.M. (from JREF) said, Avery would also have to learn how to tell a story visually, and he would have to write, or have written for him a good script.

I don't really see any of this happening, sadly, but I live in hope. Arrogant pride will probably stop Dylan from admitting he's wrong.

But if he sees that the public humiliation & paranoia he's experiencing now will only increase, he could really be proud if he makes an honest apology.

I used to want to believe in the whole 'lost civilisation', Atlantis, alien-built pyramids net bandwagon about 10 years ago, for about a year or less. I'm hoping that the younger, more resiliant twoofers will have a similar 'wake-up call' moment to mine, and realise that all the leaps of faith they've taken do not add up to a coherent world-view, or verifiable theory, and that every single leap of faith has a rational explanation that is centred in an unparanoid understanding of reality.