Monday, June 6, 2011

9/11 Truth Movement R.I.P.?

Youtube debunker Ryan Owens recently uploaded his new film titled 9/11 Truth Movement: R.I.P.

As one might expect from a common debunker video, the film is riddled with insults and taunting sound effects. However, within this jumble of silliness and insults there are some actual attempts at debunking claims made by the Truth Movement. So let's take a look at what Mr. Owens has to say in his latest videos.

Video 1:

2:12 The first obvious falsity that can be spotted in Mr. Owens' film is his claim that Truthers believe George Bush carried out the 9/11 attacks. He also implies the movement thinks he faked the moon landings and killed JFK (who claimed this Mr. Owens?). In fact, it seems that few in the movement believe Bush played any major role in the attacks, but that he and the administration could have allowed the attacks to occur. He also mentions how the terrorists have repeatedly claimed responsibility for the attacks. Here's our position on that here and here.

4:17 Mr. Owens next talks to Nico Haupt about no planes at the WTC. Although already quite obvious, hardly any prominent members of the movement believe any sort of "no planes hit the Towers" theories.

6:04 The next topic Ryan discusses is the "fire weakening steel" argument, an issue I recently extensively addressed. He also discusses the "free-fall" issue of the Towers' collapses. As I have already demonstrated, the collapse times of the Towers were consistent with controlled demolitions.

6:52 At this point, Mr. Owens brings up the fact that the majority of architects and engineers in the world have not signed the AE911Truth petition. This sort of argument simply appeals to majority, and doesn't bother to address the actual evidence. Neither Mr. Owens or I can say for sure how many architects and engineers in the world have even read the NIST reports. But it is obvious that 1500 architects and engineers is an impressive amount. And who knows? Perhaps someday we will have the majority on our side. The debunkers are the same people who used to claim we would never get even one architect or engineer to agree with us. They have obviously been proven wrong there. Of course, when that happens all they can do is move the goalpost.

"[W]e must keep in mind that consensus is no criterion. The truth may not rest in the middle. The truth may not rest with the majority. Every theory and individual argument must be evaluated on its own. If we appeal instead to "received opinion" or "the consensus of scholars," we are merely abdicating our own responsibility, as well as committing the fallacy of appeal to majority... It matters not whether a particular hypothesis comports easily with the majority paradigm or with one's own other hypotheses. Since all must be but tentatively and provisionally held anyway, we must follow the evidence wherever it seems to be taking us in this or that particular case." -Dr. Robert M. Price

7:51 Mr. Owens next moves on to the NORAD issue. John-Michael Talboo's excellent analysis of the issue of foreknowledge and the lack of air defense is recommended reading for this topic.

Video 2:

At the start of Ryan Owens' next video, he discusses Jason Bermas and his belief in other theories like the moon landing and chemtrails. As states in the article Debunking Myths on Conspiracy Theories:

Myth #4: Conspiracy theorists believe in UFOs / Aliens / Apollo Moon / Holocaust denial

This is a straw man and an ad hominem fallacy. Not all conspiracy theorists believe in the same things, nor does believing in aliens invalidate their arguments on other theories. The only thing linking these things is that they are all perceived to be conspiracy theories. Each should be evaluated on its own merits.

However, if a theorist bases their beliefs on poor argumentation, then other conspiracy theorists may want to distance themselves from him/her or question that theorist's ability to support their own ideas. Many such people are accused of being deliberately planted to discredit other theories, a technique called the 'poisoned well'. The media then proceeds to discredit an entire investigative movement based on a few silly theories - a strawman attack.

When the media lumps anybody who doesn't trust the government version of 9-11 into the category of flat earthers and holocaust deniers, any real conspiracy there might have been is given the ultimate defense. Namely, a pre-emptive, universal ad hominem on anyone who would dare talk about it publicly, the archetypal 'tin foil hatter'.

1:52 The next issue brought up in the video is the white plane seen at the WTC. In all likelihood, the presence of that plane was not evidence of a conspiracy.

2:50 Mr. Owens next brings up the issue of molten metal at Ground Zero. He points out that John Gross never denied molten metal at the site, just molten steel. This is obviously still quite absurd, as numerous witnesses on the site claimed to have seen molten steel.

And it seems even Leslie Robertson denied molten metal at Ground Zero.

Mr. Owens dismisses the molten metal at Ground Zero, claiming that metals such as copper, lead and aluminum were present at the site and could easily have melted. Oh really? Hot enough to melt lead, but to vaporize it?

“The presence of lead oxide on the surface of mineral wool indicates the existence of extremely high temperatures during the collapse which caused metallic lead to volatilize, oxidize, and finally condense on the surface of the mineral wool.” –RJ Lee Group, WTC Dust Signature, 2004, page 12 (Lead boils and vaporizes at about 1749°C [3180°F])

As Steven Jones has pointed out:

"[T]he observed surface of this metal is still reddish-orange some six weeks after 9-11. This implies a large quantity of a metal with fairly low heat conductivity and a relatively large heat capacity (e.g., iron is more likely than aluminum) even in an underground location."

Mr. Owens claims that even if the temperatures at Ground Zero had reached 2750°F, this still would not be surprising, since that temperature has been reached in other underground fires. This article by Andrea Dreger provides detailed rebuttals to attempts to explain the extreme and persistent high temperatures in the Ground Zero rubble piles as the results of fires rather than of energetic materials used to demolish the buildings.

6:11 Mr. Owens then claims that the highest temperatures recorded by the thermal imaging was 1342°F. This is false. To date, there is still no explanation for the high temperatures and the molten metal at Ground Zero.

7:36 The next part of Mr. Owens' video brings up the FEMA article mentioned by Jason Bermas. Listen to what Jason actually said about this issue.

Mr. Owens finishes up by saying that the molten metal is not even evidence for demolition. On the contrary, the extreme heat and molten metal at Ground Zero is evidence of the use of high-tech aluminothermics, which could have been used to demolish the Towers.

Video 3:

The beginning of Ryan Owens' last video deals with thermate, Steven Jones and molten steel from WTC2, all of which he claims he's debunked in his other videos. I of course have already refuted most of his major videos.

With regards to Steven Jones, after I pointed out the errors in Ryan's video on thermate in my open letter, here is how he responded (with my comments in red):

The video was made in December 2007 (and was actually just an updated version of the one I'd made about 6 months prior), which was based on a 204 page/slide PowerPoint presentation that Steven Jones had been giving, when he was still claiming it was thermate. In that presentation he wasn't talking about microspheres or red chips at all, it was all about thermate and chemicals found in the dust. This is simply wrong. Dr. Jones has, to the best of my knowledge, always talked about the iron spheres when discussing his thermite hypotheses. He certainly was discussing them at the Rebuilding America's Senses event, a clip of which you show at the beginning of your video. In his slide presentations, he discusses the spheres in great detail.

It was only later that he changed his version of the truth (for the third time) and started talking about nanothermite and microspheres (which, by the way, form completely naturally in ordinary office fires and the EPA had already released a lengthy report explaining the microspheres in December 2003, literally years and years before Jones had ever even heard of them). The EPA actually discussed using the spheres as one of the signature components to distinguish WTC dust from so-called “background” dust (i.e. common office-building dust).
By that time I felt no need to keep making videos debunking every new version of the truth that Steven Jones came up with. First, it was thermite (which I debunked). Then, "No no, it was thermate!" (which I debunked). Then, "No no, it was nanothermite!" Even more recently, he seems to have changed his story yet AGAIN and now claims that it was traditional explosives all along, and if nanothermite was involved at all then it was just to be used as a detonator to set off the explosives (which, by the way, it a completely ridiculous theory since there are already detonators for explosives which work perfectly well and reliably and there would be no need to invent "nanothermite detonators"... but, that's Steven Jones for ya). This sort of nonsensical criticism has already been thoroughly addressed.
None of this changes the fact that the current information in your video is incorrect. Your claims about thermate have long been debunked, and I highly recommend that you either add disclaimers to your video or remove it entirely. I also recommend you look at this, regarding your criticism of the nanothermite discovery.

0:10 Mr. Owens brings up the molten metal flowing from WTC2, claiming it to be aluminum. He has already been refuted on this point.

1:56 At this point Ryan discusses how Popular Mechanics was only a magazine article, and that it didn't state NIST's official conclusions. This seems quite rich, considering that Mr. Owens kept his WTC7 video up for over two years with outdated material after the NIST final report came out. It was only after I addressed him on the issue did he make any changes.

4:11 From this point on Ryan discusses Barry Jennings and Michael Hess, and claims truthers are lying about their experiences on 9/11. Here's an excellent analyzation of their story and a debunking of the BBC piece that Ryan references.

Ryan claims Barry Jennings stated that he believed the explosion he felt was the collapse of WTC1. Here's the reality (relevant part is at minute 16:27):

7:00 Ryan then finishes his film with just a series of insults, and discusses polls on the Truth Movement. The fact of the matter is that polls show broad skepticism among Americans of official 9/11 narrative.


Mr. Owens' film is nothing more than three-part series of petty insults and childish jokes. He has been proven wrong numerous times, and should be seen as debunked and exposed.