Monday, June 11, 2012

My Amazon Review of Popular Mechanics' "Debunking 9/11 Myths, 2011 Edition"


Popular Mechanic's revised edition of their book "Debunking 9/11 Myths" will surely impress those who already believe the 9/11 Truth Movement has no credibility. It will likely serve as reassurance that the so called "conspiracy theories" about the September 11th attacks have officially been put to rest. However, for those of us who have actually taken the time to analyze the claims made by both truthers and debunkers alike, one finds that PM not only gets the facts wrong, but also engages in deliberate misrepresentations of the Truth Movement's arguments. Granted, I do believe that a plane hit the Pentagon and that Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville. So as far as that's concerned, PM is more or less right. However, their discussion of the WTC controlled demolition theory is one of the most disgustingly flawed things I've ever read.

Even after 5 years of addressing PM's many flawed arguments, they still continue to rehash many of the same claims that have long been debunked by members of the Truth Movement. For example, they continue parrot NIST's claim that the molten flow seen coming from the 81st floor of the South Tower was molten aluminum, a claim that has long been refuted. (Google: Experiments to test NIST "orange glow" hypothesis... ) Also, PM's assessment of the Truth Movement is disgustingly misrepresentative, and even downright deceptive. For on pages 28-29 of their 2011 book, they actually claim that "not one of the leading conspiracy theorists has a background in engineering, construction, or related fields." Of course! Never mind that fact that there are currently over 1600 architects, engineers, and other building professionals who believe that the Twin Towers and Building 7 were destroyed with explosives. See: In fact, in all of PM's 216 page book, there is not a single mention of the group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, or its founder architect Richard Gage. (Google: The 9/11 Truth Movement has no credentialed experts... ) Despite the fact that PM claims to be taking on the Truth Movement and its arguments, PM somehow missed the largest group of credentialed experts who agrees with the Movement. Either this is extremely bad journalism on PM's part, or simply shear deception.

And PM is fond of doing this on a smaller scale in their new book as well. While attempting to debunk truther claims of "free fall" for the Twin Towers, they mention a scientific paper by Dr. Keith Seffen supporting the "plane impact/fire" theory, and then quotes one random truther claiming that Seffen is "an accessory after the fact in the crime of mass-murder." However, when reading this part of PM's book, you might notice that they don't provide a direct source for this particular quote. They provide us with this person's personal website, yet nowhere is this quote found on said site. When one takes the time to track down PM's source, you'll find that the quote comes from a random blogspot site discussing Keith Seffen's paper. This truther's quote was merely a comment posted on the blog. (Google: 9-11 Anniversary Propaganda Special! WTC Demolition theory challenged by Cambridge University engineer ) In their attempt to portray truthers as irrational individuals, PM actually goes so low as to pull a random quote off a blogspot site that many in the Movement probably have never heard of. Were there any other members of the Movement PM could have quoted in regards to Keith Seffen's paper? Apparently not, unless you count Dr. Crockett Grabbe's detailed refutation of Seffen's paper (Google: sealane response to Seffen )

By far PM's saddest attempt at "debunking" the Truth Movement is their section on the nanothermite discovered in the WTC dust. Rather than actually trying to "debunk" this evidence, PM simply attempts to discredit the findings of the scientists who made this discovery by trying to cast doubt on the peer review of the study. This of course is nothing more than a dodge on PM's part. Rather than engage in an actual scientific debate, PM apparently prefers to smear their opponents with lies.

The structure of the book matches the poor quality of the information provided. In virtually every case where PM quotes a member of the Movement, they provide no direct source for where the quote came from. At most, PM will provide the reader with a website URL that the quote might have come from, but they apparently feel no need to provide the reader with a direct link to where the quote came from on that site. They provide no endnotes that take the reader to direct sources either. Basically, because their information is sourced so poorly, it's impossible to know whether they've got something right or not without going back and essentially redoing all their work. This basically makes their book useless, for why even bother reading the book when you're just going to end up redoing all their work anyway?

PM's book is by far one of the poorest attempts at discrediting the extensive research done by the members of the 9/11 Truth Movement. If you're a debunker or any other type of defender of the official story, this book will no doubt tickle your funny bone as you continue to mock and laugh at the "twoofers." However, if you actually take the time to review PM's information and their methods, you will find that these are not laughing matters, and that a new investigation into the events of 9/11 is desperately still needed.

For detailed refutations of PM's book, Google: "Debunking the REAL 9/11 Myths: Why Popular Mechanics Can't Face Up to Reality."