Spirit of Paranoia: A Critical Analysis of “Zeitgeist” (Part II)

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Part II of Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist, titled “All the World’s a Stage,” describes the events of September 11, 2001 in a manner very similar to Dylan Avery’s 2005 conspiracy documentary Loose Change. In fact, many portions of Part II are pulled directly from Avery’s film. [1] In Joseph’s film, as in Loose Change, we are presented with the basic 9/11 conspiracy theories with which most people by now are familiar: 9/11 was either an inside job directly planned and executed by the US government or an attack of which they had prior knowledge and simply allowed to happen. Specifically, Part II deals with issues relating to General Ahmed and Mohammed Atta, the financing of the attacks, the hijacker passport, the claim that some hijackers were found alive after the attacks, the (allegedly) fake Osama bin Laden video, the Carlyle Group, the Pentagon and others. Every one of the major claims made here has been thoroughly debunked by many researchers, so I will limit this present analysis to the most persistent and popular of the arguments that appear in Zeitgeist.

This middle portion of Zeitgeist differs from the approach used in both Parts I and III, sections in which Peter Joseph provides his own commentary. Part II, on the other hand, contains many sound bites and media clips and very little else. The “discussion” is a mishmash of interview clips, news pieces, and excerpts from other 9/11 conspiracy documentaries. Joseph would have done well to leave this part out of the film altogether, or at least to cover the subject more concisely in Part III. First-time viewers of Zeitgeist are liable to get a strong sense that they have been thrown violently out of one documentary and treated to another when they view as far as Part II. What, we wonder, do the events of 9/11 have to do with the origins of Christianity? This section of the film does a great disservice to critical thinkers everywhere, particularly atheists. Here we are presented with someone who professes to have done careful research on the mythical origins of religion, only to find ourselves immersed in a shameless promotion of tinfoil-hat 9/11 conspiracy-mongering within the same film.

The belief that 9/11 was an inside job or false flag operation is a variation on a well-known and common theme that invariably emerges in the wake of any massive terrorist attack or act of war. One manifestation of this theme is the belief that Pearl Harbor was a US government conspiracy, a theory Joseph promotes later in Part III. [2] Those who promote a conspiratorial interpretation of the events surrounding 9/11 have now been thoroughly debunked, and their continued use of the same old arguments and tactics in debate indicates as much. After the so-called “9/11 Truthers” have cherry-picked the data they want to use in argument, they typically focus on a single issue to the exclusion of other aspects of their broader and more general conspiracy theory they know have been satisfactorily refuted. The point of this tactic is to divert attention away from what is understood by all to be devastating to the conspiracy theorists’ claims and use rhetoric as a substitute for hard evidence. In doing this, the typical Truther hopes to establish what they imagine constitutes a default case for other closely-related conspiracy theories. 9/11 Trutherism rarely exists in isolation; those who believe 9/11 was an inside job almost always believe in a handful of other conspiracy theories.

The theories surrounding World Trade Center Building Seven (WTC 7) stand as particularly illustrative examples of this diversionary tactic. After everything else in the 9/11 Truthers’ arsenal of argumentation was thoroughly debunked, their argument that the collapse of Building Seven was a controlled demolition became their favorite talking point. Because conspiracy theories surrounding the collapse of Building Seven seem to be one of the most persistent aspects of 9/11 harped upon by the Truther community, I will indulge them and focus much of my critical attention on this subject.

But let us first dispense with the arguments made in Zeitgeist Part II that are most easily refuted, and in fact had been shown conclusively to be false long before Joseph made his movie. Some of the most egregious mistakes are logical ones. For example, Part II begins by playing several media clips in which witnesses and first responders to the WTC attacks say they heard a series of explosions while the attack was underway. The implication made here is that since several people heard explosions, there must have been explosives involved. Not only is this inaccurate, it is also an example of extremely bad logic.

The poster boy for the explosion/explosive hypothesis is William Rodriguez, who at the time of the attacks was employed as a janitor at the WTC’s North Tower. Following the attacks, he embarked on speaking tours relating his experiences of being the “Last Man Out,” as he dubbed himself. He became a darling of the 9/11 Truther community and a vocal critic of the US government, which he believes planted the alleged explosives. Zeitgeist features a clip from one of Rodriguez’s lectures:

“Our office was on the B1 level. As I was talking to a supervisor . . . all of a sudden we hear BOOM! An explosion so hard that it pushed us upwards! And it came from the basement between the B2 level and the B3 level. And when I went to verbalize, we hear BOOM! The impact of the plane on the top.”

One problem with Rodriguez’s testimony is that it has changed over time, with later accounts differing from and being inconsistent with his initial story. [3] He has also displayed an unwillingness to entertain more rational explanations for the basement explosion he believes he heard. His account has grown to include other “suspicious noises” and other “small explosions” rationally explained by the fact that other sounds would inevitably have been heard while the attacks were underway, including the falling of lift shafts, structural vibrations, and explosions (not explosives) going off on different floors. No one should expect to hear just a single loud sound and nothing else.

Other mistakes in the film have to do with factual inaccuracies that nobody would make who had first taken the time to conduct the most cursory of research before committing their fallacies to film. A case in point is Zeitgeist’s claim that debris from Flight 93, the plane that was hijacked by terrorists on 9/11 and crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was found six miles away from the crash site. Presumably, the implication being made here is that the plane was shot out of the sky, not deliberately crashed by hijackers on board. The film uses a video clip from a CNN Breaking News broadcast to promote this idea. In this clip, CNN correspondent Brian Cabell says,

“The FBI and the state police here have confirmed that they have cordoned off a second area about six to eight miles away from the crater here. This is apparently another debris site. Why would debris be located six miles away? Could it have been blown that far away? Seems highly unlikely.”

There actually was no such confirmation, and the statement was determined to be erroneous in very short order. Various pieces of debris from the plane, including passengers’ personal effects, did end up in the lake. However, “Indian Lake is less than 1.5 miles southeast of the impact crater as the crow flies – not 6 miles, as indicated by online driving directions – easily within range of debris blasted skyward by the explosion from the crash.” [4] The wind was blowing in a northwesterly direction that day, toward Indian Lake. This wind, combined with the blast generated by the heat of the crashing plane, would easily have carried debris from the crash the short distance to the lake. The satellite photo below shows the close proximity of the lake to the crash site.

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Next we turn to the Truthers’ claims about Building 7 of the World Trade Center. Peter Joseph’s treatment of this subject in Zeitgeist amounts to little more than an argument from ignorance, relying on the alleged mysteriousness and inscrutability of the building’s collapse. Zeitgeist begins its discussion of Building 7 by saying,

Part of the problem is that most people simply don’t know much about Building Seven, due to the extraordinary secrecy surrounding this collapse.

Never mind the fact that the destruction of Building 7 has been thoroughly and carefully analyzed in peer-reviewed studies that are freely available to anyone who has an interest in finding out what took place. Peter Joseph has just presumed to educate us poor, ignorant half-wits on the esoteric secrets that he has uncovered. And where did Joseph find these “extraordinary secrets”? Well, he found them on conspiracy websites, conspiracy “documentaries,” and C-SPAN videos. Long before Zeitgeist was made, these so-called “extraordinary secrets” had been making the rounds on Internet discussion forums frequented by armchair investigators whose “research” consisted mostly of spending hours watching YouTube videos.

  • Claim 1: It was brought down by what we know was a controlled demolition.” . . . “Controlled demolitions, they look just like that. You know, kink in the middle and then that building just comes straight down almost at free fall speed.”

Fire was primarily responsible for the collapse of WTC 7, as it was for the collapse of the Twin Towers. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the buildings’ trusses were sagged due to the heat from the fires, which were ignited by the impact of debris from World Trade Center 1. The heat bowed the columns inward, eventually causing the building to collapse. [5] There are a few ways we know for a fact the collapse of the towers and of Building 7 were not controlled demolitions. For one thing, loud explosions are characteristic of controlled demolitions. WTC 7 made no loud noise as it fell. For another, massive buildings do not simply fall over as small buildings might. When the tremendous weight of a building’s upper floors collapses upon the floors below them, the only way to go is straight down. [6] The resulting downward motion may exhibit the illusion of symmetry to the untrained eye. However, the manner in which both WTC 7 and the Twin Towers fell is exactly what we would expect to see in uncontrolled collapses caused by intense heat from jet fuel.

Consider also that the towers were built at or near the extreme end of modern engineering capabilities. The loss of strength in even a single steel column of WTC 7 did not even need to be substantial (although it was) in order for the weight of the upper floors to lose their support. [7] The domino effect resulting from the collapse of just one floor makes for a collapse that may appear to be symmetric to someone who does not understand how controlled demolitions work. They are never symmetrical.

Moreover (as we discuss in more detail below), fire was not the only factor that contributed to the buildings’ collapse, and fuel was not the only thing burning in WTC 7 or in the Twin Towers on September 11. The buildings were equipped with several large diesel storage tanks that served as back-up generators. Along with everything else in the building that was flammable (rugs, curtains, furniture, paper, etc.), these diesel tanks fueled the fires that contributed to the collapse.

It is also worth pointing out that nobody was inside WTC 7 when it fell, and no casualties resulted from that particular collapse. Therefore, why does it matter whether the building was purposefully demolished or not? If it was in fact a controlled demolition that was planned and executed as a terrorist act by the US government, wouldn’t it make more sense to demolish the building while it was occupied by people? What would be the point of blowing up an empty building?

  • Claim 2: NEVER before or after 911 has any steel building collapsed from fire. . . . “Building 7 wasn’t even hit by a jet.” “This building had fires on only two or three floors.

Let us first address the claim that WTC 7 was less damaged than other surviving buildings that were located closer to the Twin Towers. Clearing up this point will demonstrate that WTC 7 is far less of a mystery than Zeitgeist makes it out to be. The only reason this particular claim has been allowed to flourish as long as it has is because most cameras capturing the 9/11 event were trained on the Twin Towers themselves and away from Building 7. However, eyewitness testimony from several independent sources indicates conclusively that the claim is simply false. [8] From these lines of evidence, the idea that Building Seven did not suffer substantial damage as a result of the collapse of the other towers is clearly ludicrous, as can easily be ascertained by footage from hundreds of videos. [9] Below is an NIST photograph of the damage sustained by WTC 7. [10] Take special note of the damage at the edge of the southwest face.

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The damage captured in this photograph is consistent with many eyewitness testimonies, both from firemen working on or near the site and from the general public, who were quite certain that the building was going to collapse based simply on their observations. More vivid photographs of the damage sustained by Building 7 are shown below. There is a good reason why 9/11 Truthers never display these photos on their websites and blogs.

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As for the claim that a symmetrical collapse of a steel building “has never happened before or since,” this is simply false. A prime example is the L’Ambiance Plazza in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a steel structure which collapsed during construction in 1987. [11] Other examples include the Lian Yak building in Singapore, which in March 1986 collapsed in the same pancake fashion as the World Trade Center buildings. [12] Yet another example is Ronan Point Flats, where a gas explosion on the 18th floor destroyed structural panels on the perimeter, resulting in the collapse of floors, again in pancake fashion. [13] Other collapses such as the Civic Tower (Torre Civica) of Pavia, Italy in 1989, St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice in 1902 and the bell tower of the St. Maria Magdalena Cathedral  in Goch, Germany in 1993 add yet more nails to the coffin of the Truthers’ claim that pancaking only happens in controlled demolitions. [14]

 

  • Claim 3: For well over 6 weeks after the collapse, hot spots of over 2000 ° F were documented in the debris. That is 500 ° F hotter than jet fuel even burns. “The molten steel was found ‘three, four, and five weeks later, when the rubble was being removed’ . . . molten steel was also found underneath World Trade Center 7.

The claim that molten metal was seen in the basements of the building long after the collapse is closely related to the theory, which we have debunked above, that controlled demolition was responsible for bringing the building down. No photograph evidence supports the claimed presence of molten metal in the World Trade Center basements. One of the 9/11 Truthers’ favorite photographs is of a crane picking up a glowing red-orange object, shown below:

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The glowing object in the photograph, which is shown in Zeitgeist, is not molten metal. If it was molten, it would drip and the crane’s claw would not be able to grasp it and lift it up.

But how, ask the 9/11 Truthers, can fire alone account for this molten metal? While it is true that jet fuel, which burns at 1,517 degrees Fahrenheit, is not hot enough to reach steel’s melting point of 2,777 degrees Fahrenheit, this is not the whole picture. Retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of Collapse of Burning Buildings[15] has become well-known among the 9/11 Truth community for a quote they often take out of context: “I have never seen melted steel in a building fire.” The remainder of this quote is as follows: “But I’ve seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks.” [16]

There was therefore no need for the building’s steel to reach the melting point in order for the building to lose its structural integrity. At 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, steel loses over 50 percent of its strength, and at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, more than 90 percent of steel’s strength is lost. This is more than sufficient to warp and sag steel. As we noted above, jet fuel was not the only thing burning in the building. Rugs, curtains, furniture, paper and other combustible material intensified the inferno that was initially catalyzed by the jet fuel. [17] A study conducted by NIST showed that some pockets of fire in the building reached a temperature as high as 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit, temperatures great enough to reduce the strength of the steel in many places of the building to less than 10 percent its original integrity. The result was a pile of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel in the basement area. [18]

The claim that traces of thermite were found in the rubble of the WTC buildings has been promoted by Steven Jones, a professor of physics at Brigham Young University. Jones is featured in Zeitgeist talking about thermite and the alleged pools of metal in the basements of all three buildings:

“I started looking at the molten metal. All three buildings – both towers, in the rubble, in the basement areas – and Building 7, there’s these pools of molten metal . . .

So I’m looking through the official reports. What do they say about the molten metal? They say nothing. Now wait a minute. This is important evidence! So where’d that come from?”

There is no discussion of “molten” metal in the official reports because there was no molten metal to speak of, only the “twisted, warped, bent and sagging” steel that Vincent Dunn mentioned in the quote cited above. Besides, the main focus of the 9/11 Commission Report was on the terrorists’ attack targets. WTC 7 was not a target, and so is not afforded as much discussion in the report. Steven Jones and other 9/11 Truthers have made a great deal of fuss over this, going to the extreme of accusing the authors of the 9/11 Commission Report of being part of the government’s cover-up. However, WTC 7 is mentioned several times in the Report, just not in the context the conspiracy theorists want it to be mentioned. [19]

Where did Jones’ “important evidence” come from? Jones believes the only explanation is thermite, a pyrotechnic chemical compound that undergoes a violent reaction when ignited by heat:

“Thermite is so hot that it’ll just cut through steel – through structural steel for example – like a knife through butter. The products are molten iron and aluminum oxide, which goes off primarily as a dust. You know those enormous dust clouds? You can imagine when you assemble these chemicals on a large scale.”

Thermite can get very hot, but the reaction works slowly and it would require ridiculously massive amounts for it to cut through steel. There is no evidential justification for positing thermite in order to account for the “enormous dust clouds.” The collapse of several thousand tons of concrete is more than sufficient to explain that. [20]

This is representative of the way in which Zeitgeist ignores simple and much more plausible explanations for the seeming “anomalies” that it highlights. A case in point is the film’s treatment of the crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon. The film throws a great deal of information relating to this at the viewer in rapid succession:

No seats, no luggage, no bodies. Nothing but bricks and limestone.

Clip from Dylan Avery’s film Loose Change: “The official explanation is that the intense heat from the jet fuel vaporized the entire plane. Flight 77 had two Rolls-Royce engines made of steel and titanium alloy and weighed six tons each. It is scientifically impossible [that] 12 tons of steel and titanium was vaporized by jet fuel.”

David Ray Griffin: “We were also told that the bodies were able to be identified, either by their fingerprints or by their DNA. So what kind of fire can vaporize aluminum and tempered steel, and yet leave human bodies intact?”

CNN Live: “From my close-up inspection, there’s no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon, and as I said, the only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you can pick up in your hand.”

David Ray Griffin: “Shortly after the strike, government agents picked up debris and carried it off. The entire lawn was covered with dirt and gravel, so that any remaining forensic evidence was literally covered up. The videos from security cameras [on the nearby CITGO gas station and Sheraton Hotel], which would show what really hit the Pentagon, were immediately confiscated by agents of the FBI, and the Department of Justice has to this day refused to release them. If these videos would prove that the Pentagon was really hit by a 757, most of us would assume the government would release them.”

We can quickly dispense with the claims that are outright lies. Contrary to Griffin’s assertion, security camera footage of Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon is freely available for all to see, and the government never attempted to hide or confiscate it. One such piece of video footage clearly shows a plane in the background on the right hand side seconds before impact. [21] David Ray Griffin and Peter Joseph apparently assume that their followers will never bother to investigate their assertions for themselves.

The notions that there was no downed plane at the Pentagon and that the official explanation was vaporization of the plane upon impact are false. Hundreds of photographs are available on the Internet documenting the 757 wreckage. Of course, denying that a plane crashed into the Pentagon requires one to also deny the undeniable, namely the fact that human remains were seen at the site. [22] There were also many eyewitnesses who attest to seeing and/or hearing a commercial passenger jet crash into the Pentagon. [23] The Truthers must also dismiss this testimony out of hand to maintain their fantasy of a nonexistent plane.

Griffin states nothing definitive when he suggests that human bodies cannot remain intact in a crash that “vaporized” the aluminum and tempered steel plane they were in. Besides the fact that the plane did not vaporize, human bodies do not turn to ash until approximately two to three hours of burning at 1100 degrees Fahrenheit.[24] The fires at the Pentagon never reached that temperature, and they did not burn in just one location for two to three consecutive hours. This means material was naturally left over from the inferno. Identification of the bodies, including fingerprinting and DNA analysis, was difficult but it was done.

Of course, the conspiracy theorists have made an art form of rationalizing all these explanations away. Nothing is preventing them from looking at the many photographs of the plane wreckage or reading the many accounts by eyewitnesses who saw the plane crash into the Pentagon. But their foregone conclusion allows them to argue with a straight face that the pieces of the plane were planted on the site by government agents and that all the eyewitnesses were paid-off government shills. At this point, the conspiracy theory mindset becomes so far-fetched that it collapses under its own weight, especially considering the sheer number of people who would have to be in on the conspiracy. [25]

This level of ad-hoc rationalization is strikingly similar to young-earth creationists who argue that the Devil planted dinosaur fossils in the Geologic Column with the appearance of a succession of great ages in order to lead scientists astray (or, alternatively, that God did so in order to test the faith of those wo defend the biblical creation account). A crucial component of the scientific method is the criterion of falsifiability. If no room is made for critical inquiry or for building into one’s investigation of a given event or phenomenon a means of knowing when a hypothesis has failed, dogmatic religion is the inevitable result. The Zeitgeist Movement is clearly an example of a faith-based movement, not a scientifically-based one, and Peter Joseph has become a religious cult leader. It is a matter of record that he habitually censors dissenting opinion.

Inherent in the conspiracy-theory mindset is a glaring self-contradiction. According to the paranoid mindset, the people spearheading and carrying out the conspiracy wield incredible resources and are masterfully clever, while simultaneously displaying incomprehensible stupidity. How is it that those evil geniuses conspiring against us have access to such great and unimaginable power, influence and cleverness, yet commit countless stupid mistakes and blunders that make it obvious to pattern-seeking amateurs that a conspiracy is in play? Furthermore, if the conspiracy theorists were truly on the right track, we would not be hearing from them long enough for their ideas to have gained any traction in public discourse. If he was really on to something, Alex Jones would not have survived to say most of what he has said over the years. In fact, in order to maintain their own credibility, the big names in the 9/11 Truth community such as Dylan Avery and David Ray Griffin should be obliged to fake their own assassinations.

Had Peter Joseph taken this self-contradiction into consideration, he may not have included a media clip that is shown in Zeitgeist in which then-president George W. Bush is speaking at a press conference. In this press conference footage, a reporter asks Bush, “Why are you and the Vice President insisting on appearing together before the 9/11 Commission?” This question was asked because the Commission had requested that Bush and Dick Cheney meet separately, rather than together. In response, Bush sidesteps the question: “Because it’s a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 Commission is looking forward to asking us, and I’m looking forward to answering them.” Zeitgeist goes on to point out that Bush and Cheney met with the committee only on their own terms, which included appearing together, not allowing family members or the press to attend, not being under oath, and no allowing of recordings or transcripts. The suggestion made is that Bush and Cheney were being extremely secretive about the process by which the 9/11 Commission Report was written because they were hiding heinous crimes of a massive scale.

The reality is that Bush’s and Cheney’s conditions for meeting with the committee had more to do with administrative incompetence than with any conspiratorial preparations. The reason Bush and Cheney met with the committee together rather than separately is likely because Bush was not intellectually capable of handling the committee’s questions alone. Ironically, the Bush administration’s attempts to cover their ass for the incompetent blunders they made have done more to contribute to theories of a brilliantly-conceived conspiracy than almost anything else. A cover-up to mask administrative stupidity is plausible, while a cover-up to mask a massive inside terrorist job is highly implausible.

The 9/11 Truth movement strains credulity so far that it would actually be more plausible to propose that the 9/11 Truth movement is itself a government conspiracy to convince the educated and intelligent segment of the population that they were not responsible for 9/11. This is the hilarious premise of the South Park episode titled “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce.” This episode’s convoluted storyline involves Cartman trying to convince his peers that the US government planned and orchestrated 9/11, while Kyle and Stan meet up with a conspiracy organization called 911truth.org (which is an actual website). After being seized by a SWAT team and taken to the White House for questioning, Bush shoots the 911truth representative in the head, and proceeds to describe the method by which they pulled off the attacks. As summed up by another character at the end of the episode, “All the 9/11 conspiracy Web sites are run by the government. The 9/11 conspiracy . . . is a government conspiracy!”


 

NOTES

[1] Dylan Avery, Loose Change: 2nd Edition Recut (Microcinema International, 2007).

[2] Other prominent conspiracy theorists have also made comparisons between Pearl Harbor and 9/11 in connection with the false-flag operation theory. See, for example, David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2004).

[3] Mike Williams, “William Rodriguez,” 911Myths.com, n.d. http://911myths.com/html/william_rodriguez.html (accessed September 11, 2016).

[4] David Dunbar and Brad Reagan, eds., Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), p. 90.

[5] NIST and NCSTAR 1A, “Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7,” National Institute of Standards and Technology (November 2008). Available online at https://www.nist.gov/node/599811?pub_id=861610 (accessed September 11, 2016).

[6] Ramon Gilsanz and Willa Ng, “Single Point of Failure: How the Loss of One Column May Have Led to the Collapse of WTC 7,” Structure Magazine, November 2007: 42-45.  Available online at http://www.structuremag.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/SF-WTC7-Gilsanz-Nov071.pdf (accessed September 11, 2016).

[7] Ibid.

[8] Mark Roberts, “Eyewitness Accounts of WTC 7 Fires,” in World Trade Center Building 7 and the Lies of the “9/11 Truth Movement”, https://sites.google.com/site/wtc7lies/eyewitnessaccountsofwtc7fires (accessed September 11, 2016).

[9] Debunking911, “WTC 7 Fires and South Side Hole” (video), YouTube, March 27, 2007, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afb7eUHr64U (accessed September 11, 2001).

[10] National Institute of Standards and Technology, “NIST Response to the World Trade Center Disaster: Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster – Part IIC – WTC 7 Collapse,” NIST PowerPoint, April 5, 2005. Available online at http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/wtc/upload/WTC-Part-IIC-WTC-7-Collapse-Final.pdf (accessed September 11, 2016).

[11] Frank J. Heger, “L’Ambiance Plazza,” The Engineer, October 24, 2006, http://www.engineering.com/Library/ArticlesPage/tabid/85/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/168/LAmbiance-Plazza.aspx (accessed September 11, 2016).

[12] Standing Committee on Structural Safety, “Seventh Report of the Committee: For the Two Years Ending July 1987” (September 1987), http://www.structural-safety.org/media/41885/162_7th_SCOSS_report_1987.pdf (accessed May 24, 2015).

[13] David Scott, Barbara Lane, and Craig Gibbons, “Fire Induced Progressive Collapse,” Proceedings of the Workshop on Prevention of Progressive Collapse, Multihazard Mitigation Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences, Rosemont, IL, July 10-12, 2002.

[14] Zdeněk P. Bažant and Mathieu Verdure, “Mechanics of Progressive Collapse: Learning from World Trade Center and Building Demolitions,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics 133, no. 3 (March 2007): 308-319.

[15] Vincent Dunn, Collapse of Burning Buildings: A Guide to Fireground Safety (New York: Fire Engineering, 1988).

[16] Popular Mechanics Reporting Team, “9/11: Debunking the Myths,” Popular Mechanics 182, no. 3 (March 2005): 75.

[17] Thomas W. Eagar and Christopher Musso, “Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse? Science, Engineering, and Speculation,” Journal of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society 53, no. 12 (December 2001): 8-11.

[18] Dunbar and Reagan, eds., Debunking 9/11 Myths, pp. 37-43.

[19] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, Authorized Edition (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), pp. 284, 293, 302, 305.

[20] NIST and NCSTAR 1, “Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers,” National Institute of Standards and Technology (September 2005), p. 82. Available online at http://www.sustainable-design.ie/fire/NIST-NCSTAR-1-Collapse-Of-Towers.pdf (accessed September 11, 2016).

[21] Judicial Watch, “Judicial Watch September 11 Pentagon Video — 2 of 2,” YouTube, May 16, 2006, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAaP4Z3zls8 (accessed September 11, 2016).

[22] Andrea Stone, “Pentagon Searchers Encounter Grisly Scenes,” USA Today, September 13, 2001, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/sept01/2001-09-14-pentagon-usat.htm (accessed September 11, 2016).

[23] “Washington’s Heroes – On the Ground at the Pentagon on Sept. 11,” Newsweek, September 28, 2001, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3069699/ (accessed April 4, 2011).

[24] Michelle Kim, “How Cremation Works,” How Stuff Works, March 31, 2009, http://science.howstuffworks.com/cremation1.htm (accessed September 11, 2016).

[25] David Robert Grimes, “On the Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs,” PLoS One 11, no. 1 (January 26, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147905.

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