Sunday, January 11, 2009

Face off with the Debunkers, Part 2 - Ryan Owens

I first learned of Ryan Owens work from critics of my own videos who would say things like,"All your Twoofer nonsense has already been busted by RKOwens4." So over several months I began watching his work finding many factual errors, unfounded speculation, and deceptive misrepresentations of 9/11 research. After watching his "Top 7 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Debunked in under 1 minute" I decided to respond to his claims with a video of my own. Ryan Owens contacted me shortly after I posted the video and began the exchange that follows:

Stewart Bradley:
Thanks for responding. First, I hope you aren't offended by my response to your video. I have been a subscriber of yours for a while and have watched most of your videos, so I know you are very knowledgeable about 9/11 and are one of the most popular debunkers on YouTube. Although I don't agree with some of your arguments and conclusions, I do have a sincere respect for you, and hoped we could have an open and honest exchange of ideas here.

A little about myself; I've been researching "deep politics" as a freelance journalist/ film maker for about 20 years following the work of people like James Bamford, Peter Dale Scott, Jim Marrs, and Gary Webb. In my 7 years investigation of the 9/11 attack I believe there is significant evidence of an LIHOP operation involving a handful of Bush administration officials. I also think there are enough anomalies concerning the collapse of the WTC buildings and the Pentagon crash to merit further investigation, but I try to focus in the questionable actions of key Bush officials as the most compelling argument to reopen the 9/11 case. This is laid out in the video "9/11 Cheney Connection" which I will attach. This is just the rough version, I already know of a few minor details that need to be clarified, but I'd be very interested to hear your take on it.

You may find it ironic, but I do appreciate your videos because I agree that there are WAY too many ridiculous claims and misinformation about 9/11. When these "Truthers" exaggerate and speculate it destroys their own credibility. But I must take exception with your portrayal of ALL 9/11 research as false, and all Truthers as either liars or nuts. There are many of us who take this subject very seriously and work very hard to separate the facts from the deceptions. We are genuinely concerned that we have not been told the truth about 9/11 and we want to, as you say,"save the historical accuracy of 9/11."

I do not doubt you have the best of intentions in trying to expose the errors in 9/11 theories, but I do find some of your arguments mis-repesent the claims of legitimate researchers and will jump to your own simplistic conclusions that do not match all the facts. Many of the sources you quote I would consider to be biased, other times I have to wonder what your sources are because they aren't listed. 9/11 is a complicated and emotional subject. I know how difficult it can be to remain impartial when presented with information that we do not want to believe.

So I hope you don't take it personally if I critique your work. I do promise to be fair and constructive because I'm sure you would do the same for my research. Even if we may disagree I hope we can maintain a civil debate. And my super quick response to the "Top 7 Theories" - nobody's perfect. We can only do the best with what we have. Right?

Ryan Owens:
You say that some of my arguments mis-represent the claims of legitimate researchers. Could you tell me exactly how this is so? I know there are many bizarre theories out there that the majority of 9/11 truthers don't subscribe to, like the no-plane theories or the "death ray from outer space" theory which Jim Fetzer and Judy Wood push. But I choose not to waste my time on these theories since they aren't representative of the mainsteam truth movement in the first place. If I made videos saying that the majority of truthers believe all videos of the planes hitting the World Trade Center were faked and/or mini-nukes took down the towers, then that would be misrepresenting truthers. But how am I misrepresenting anything?

Anyhow, what do you think is the strongest piece of evidence that 9/11 was an inside job (or that it was allowed to happen)?

Thanks for writing back. I'll try to keep this short and direct.
In reference to mis-representing Truther claims, I'm referring to things like "no 93 wreckage found, WTC at 75% tenancy, calling 77 pilot Burlingame a terrorist, flight 93 lands in Chicago, and other things I have never heard from my fellow researchers. I don't doubt that there may some misguided people out there making such claims, but I wouldn't consider these common Truther beliefs.

I am more concerned about when your conclusions contradict the facts. Just a few examples that I have recently spotted: In your "No Free fall Speed" video you claim South Tower collapse time at 15.28 and North Tower at 22.02. This conflicts with NIST's findings.

Section 6 states - "NIST estimated the elapsed times for the first exterior panels to strike the ground after the collapse initiated in each of the towers to be approximately 11 seconds for WTC 1 and approximately 9 seconds for WTC 2. These elapsed times were based on: (1) precise timing of the initiation of collapse from video evidence, and (2) ground motion (seismic) signals recorded at Palisades, N.Y., that also were precisely time-calibrated for wave transmission times from lower Manhattan (see NCSTAR 1-5A)"

Apparently they found your method of timing inaccurate saying,"Neither the duration of the seismic records nor video evidence (due to obstruction of view caused by debris clouds) are reliable indicators of the total time it took for each building to collapse completely."

I sympathize with you because I have also found NIST's findings to be wrong in many ways, but if you disagree with NIST's collapse times you should have attributed these times to NIST and not just Rosie O'Donnel.

And from videos like "Molten Metal Explained" and "No Pools of Molten Metal" you claim that the there was no molten steel, just molten aluminum. But I have never heard you address the WPI metallurgical study of WTC steel done for the FEMA investigation, which indeed found steel had melted by eutectic reactions, which caused "intergranular melting capable of turning a solid steel girder into Swiss cheese." I can't fault you for not knowing about the study because FEMA buried it in appendix C of their final report and NIST totally ignored it, but you can read it here.

You argue against the evidence of controlled demolitions because you couldn't hear explosioins. Yet both the WPI tests of WTC steel and Lioy tests of dust samples point to aluminothermic arson. True, while low-tech thermite would not account for the violent reaction seen in WTC, various engineered forms of aluminothermic materials have explosive power WITHOUT THE NOISE of conventional explosives. These are called energetic nanocomposites or metastable intermolecular composites.

But the strongest evidence I cite is the 4 fold;
1. Evidence the Bush administration planned before 9/11 to invade Afghanistan in October
yet lacked permission ( justification ) from public or Congress for any military action,

2. Evidence of ignored 9/11 warnings and obstruction of FBI investigations,

3. Evidence of NORAD obstruction and official misconduct,

4. Evidence of blocked 9/11 investigations and manipulation of 9/11 Commission.

I have no doubt that you would consider many of these websites biased, but please check their source links to confirm their validity. I am not suggesting that the Bush administration was involved in the planning of the attack, but when you consider the overwhelming amount of evidence it is difficult to escape the conclusion of Bush administration complicity. I suspect this notion may conflict with your ideology, but I hope you try to remain impartial and give this case a fair assessment.

I am also attaching a video below that conflicts with your information. Out of curiosity, how much of your research are you getting from sites like,, or I am not judging a bias here, I get a great deal of my information from and books by David Ray Griffin. It is difficult to find truly impartial sources so we can only try our best to stay true to the facts.

1.) Neither of the NIST reports, the one on the Twin Towers or the most recent one on WTC7, provides a detailed timeline for the collapse of the Twin Towers. You quote them on a comment in their FAQ section about the time it took for the first PANEL to hit the ground. No one is going to dispute that the panels fell at free-fall speed. Of course they did. But the building itself it another matter. However, this is much more tricky since dust and falling debris obscures the view of the buildings at about 11.5 seconds - in both instances. This is one reason the NIST report doesn't time the collapses. I don't pretend that my estimation is the official timeline for the collapse, but watch the videos and judge for yourself based on audio as well as the fact that huge portions of the towers are clearly still intact at 11.5 seconds (30 floors for WTC2, about 45 for WTC1). 11.5 itself is not free-fall speed, and even that's ignoring the fact that the collapse clearly isn't complete at 11.5 seconds.

"I sympathize with you because I have also found NIST's findings to be wrong in many ways, but if you disagree with NIST's collapse times you should have attributed these times to NIST and not just Rosie O'Donnell." (last post)

I should clarify my disagreement with your "No Free fall Speed" video:
You start by saying "...conspiracy theorists claim the World Trade Center towers collapsed at free-fall speed." Although the careful Truther will usually specify "almost free-fall speed" if they pay attention to the details. But then you back this up with a clip of Rosie O'Donnell saying "9 seconds".

I feel that this is misleading the viewer to assume that it was the conspiracy theorists who created this claim when the collapse time was based on NIST's estimates. You are absolutely correct that NIST does not provide a detailed timeline, which they should have, but the FAQ section supporting these collapse times is NIST's approved product.

Page 305 of the Kean Commission report also states,"At 9:58:59, the South Tower collapsed in ten seconds". It is not just conspiracy theorists who claim the "almost free-fall speed" collapse time, but it is promoted by the official investigations as well.

So when you attack the claim in your video, you are attacking the findings of NIST while only damaging the credibility of conspiracy theorists. This may seem a minor and petty point, but little details like this do influence your viewers opinion of Truthers as being deceptive, yet NIST and the official account as being trustworthy. And let's be honest here, influencing viewers opinions are what most political videos are about.

To your credit, I don't disagree that your total collapse times are more accurate than NIST's estimation, although you avoid the same question that NIST avoided in their FAQs. In stead of asking why the towers collapsed at "nearly free-fall speed?", the more relevant question is "why did the intact floors below the collapse offer little more resistance than thin air?" This is what defies both the law of "Conservation of Momentum" and Conservation of Energy."

Simply put, it is physically impossible for a "gravitational collapse" to proceed through so many undamaged stories below the impact zone, the path of maximum resistance, in anywhere near the same amount of time as it takes to free-fall from the same height.

It's an argument I'm sure you've heard before, but I have yet to see this adequately explained by either NIST or debunking videos. If have any, or know of any, I would be very interested in seeing them, but I still believe the LIHOP case to be the strongest evidence of complicity.

What is the Kean Commission? Do you mean the 9/11 Commission? (I had someone at Ground Zero say this. Maybe he was changing its name to make it sound less credible.) If so, this is not an engineering report. It did absolutely no investigation into the engineering aspects of the World Trade Center (that job was given to NIST, which published its first report a little over a year later). Anyone who watches the videos can see that neither building collapsed in 10 seconds. 10 seconds in the context of a political report is an anecdotal term. TV documentaries on 9/11 also often say 10 seconds, but these are not engineering reports.

For the last time, NIST does not suggest that the towers fell at free-fall speed. It says that the free-falling panels fell at free-fall speed, not the buildings themselves. The recent final report on WTC7 does provide a detailed timeline of the collapse for WTC7 and found that it didn't collapse at free-fall speed. The same report also times a part of the collapse of the North Tower, but the latest timing into its collapse is at 14 seconds, when the height of the part of the building remaining intact is level to the height of the roof of WTC7. (It gets too difficult to see after this point.) In other words, you can say that the official timeline for the collapse of one of the Twin Towers (WTC1) is at least 14 seconds, but likely well over that since roughly 47 floors are still intact.

Also, 15-20 seconds might still seem faster than expected, but you have to look at the unique design of the Twin Towers and the way they collapsed. The buildings were a tube in a tube design, with no columns anywhere throughout the floors themselves other than the core and perimeter columns. When the floors collapsed, they pancaked (don't confuse pancake collapse with pancake theory, which was rejected). The cores in both cases mostly remained standing, and the perimeter columns mostly peeled outward like banana peelings, to the SIDE of the pancaking floors, rather than UNDER them. Because there were no columns under the actual floor slabs, they probably collapsed faster than they would if the building was a more traditional design. Still, 15-20 seconds is NOT free-fall speed!

Again from my last post- "To your credit, I don't disagree that your total collapse times are more accurate than NIST's estimation, although you avoid the same question that NIST avoided in their FAQs."

Yes, by Kean Commission I refer to the 9/11 Commission Chaired by Thomas Kean. Did you really not know that?

As I already said, I do not contest that your estimate of 15-20 seconds is more accurate than NIST's often repeated claim of about 10 seconds, but 15-20 seconds is still to fast to account for the laws of "Conservation of Momentum" and Conservation of Energy. I would like to learn more about your theory that the perimeter columns peeled out leaving the core "mostly standing". Can you source that for me so I can see the calculations that explain this. If what you say is true then this building design lacked any safety redundancies and would never have passed NY building safety codes.

But I am willing to cede to you the WTC building collapse completely to focus on the LIHOP case that you still have not addressed. Fair enough?

I know who Thomas Kean is, but the name of the commission is the 9/11 Commission. I think that truthers think they can make the report sound less credible by calling it something like the Kean Commission. Bizarre, really. And pointless. Call it what it's called.

I've told you this three times already, and you keep ignoring it. Ready for a fourth time? Here we go! The NIST report did not conclude that the buildings fell in 11 seconds, only that it took 11 seconds for the free-falling panels to begin hitting the ground. (The building itself, according to the NIST report, took well over 14 seconds.) You do know the difference between panels (debris) and the building, right? If so, why do you keep confusing the two? Is it intentional? Deliberate? Are we going to have to go over this a fifth time?

The building did not fail to meet NY safety codes at all. No building in the world, either in the 1960s when the towers began construction or even today, is required to be able to withstand the impact of a jetliner. Yet, the WTC was designed for this anyway and withstood the impacts of the jetliners (travelling faster than even designed for) remarkably well, saving tens of thousands of lives. Any other building probably wouldn't have been able to withstand the impact and would have collapsed instantly. The World Trade Center went ABOVE AND BEYOND the code, so don't say they failed to meet basic standards. You have no idea what you're talking about. Name one thing about the World Trade Center which was below code. (You made this claim and gave no specific example, implying that just because it collapsed it was below code.) The Titanic went above all codes (by far) and still sank. It's fine if you want to believe LIHOP, since we can only speculate rather than prove or disprove it one way or the other.

Look Ryan, I am not trying to fight with you here but you seem stuck on this point.
I have already told you twice that I agree that your estimates of the tower collapse are more accurate. Get it, I agree with you on that.

And I asked very politely for some source information on your "banana peel" theory because it was a theory I had not seen and want to know more about. I'm not above the idea that I have overlooked something in the towers design and want to know how this theory explains what happened. Do you have a source that I can study?

The source I used to study the collapse was mechanical engineer Gordon Ross who calculated both the velocity (8.5 meters per second) and the kinetic energy (2.1 GJ) of the 16 upper floors after falling a story (3.7 meters), Ross concluded that the impact would absorb so much energy that "vertical movement of the falling section would be arrested within 0.02 seconds after impact".

I said I would give up the WTC argument completely to talk about the LIHOP evidence. All the elements of a criminal case; motive, opportunity, and evidence, are there. If you don't think so, can you please tell me why? That's what I'm asking.

I hoped we could have a civil and constructive discussion here. If you don't want to discuss the LIHOP case, fine, just say so and we can move onto other topics like the WPI study proving molten steel.

No response from Ryan Owens.

Again, I do hate to be a bother but since you are one of the most respected debunkers on YouTube, I really wanted your take on the LIHOP case. Thanks!

End of messages and again a complete refusal by a "debunking expert" to acknowledge the LIHOP case.

Thanks to JMT for all his inspiration and support...... Stewart Bradley

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