Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Blog Is Dead, Long Live the Blog

I just started up this blog, but now I am closing it. Now I am working on another site, teaming up with Pat from Brainster (he came up with a better title).

So now we present to you Screw Loose Change We are looking forward to making it the center of all thinks debunking these moonbat theories, so add it your bookmarks or blogroll and feel free to let us know what you think, help from sane logical people is accepted.

Monday, May 01, 2006

USA Today on Loose Change

They must be part of the coverup too!

'They aren't truth-tellers'

Most of what the film alleges is refuted by the evidence at hand. Anything not answered definitively by the government is interpreted by the film as proof of a coverup.

Among the assertions in Loose Change is that a missile hit the Pentagon even though eyewitnesses saw the jet, numerous pieces of wreckage were found including the flight recorder, and those on the flight and in its path at the Pentagon are dead.

There is also the claim that because jet fuel burns at up to 1,500 degrees and steel melts at 2,750 degrees, the World Trade Center's infrastructure could not have been brought down by the airliners. However, as reported by the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, steel loses 50% of its strength at 1,200 degrees, enough for a failure.

"The only thing they (the filmmakers) seem to have gotten right about the Sept. 11 attacks is the date when they occurred," says Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.

"They aren't truth-tellers looking to save the world," she says. "They're con artists hoping to sucker conspiracy-theory paranoids or anti-government malcontents into shelling out their hard-earned dollars."

Loose Screw #4

Loose Change, along with the other conspiracy theories, claims that the fact that the towers collapsed "straight down" as proof that it was a controlled demolition. In an effort to sound scientific they often also add "into its own footprint." Now personally I thought this whole "straight down" thing was resolved several hundred years ago by a famous Englishman, but I guessed I missed something.

One thing they can't explain is, how else is a building supposed to collapse? Straight up? Sideways? Spin around a few times and topple over like Ted Kennedy after a cocktail party? Well they can't answer it, but there is one person who can, MIT engineering professor Dr. Thomas Eagar for the PBS Nova show titled "Why the Towers Fell?"

NOVA: The Twin Towers collapsed essentially straight down. Was there any chance they could have tipped over?

Eagar: It's really not possible in this case. In our normal experience, we deal with small things, say, a glass of water, that might tip over, and we don't realize how far something has to tip proportional to its base. The base of the World Trade Center was 208 feet on a side, and that means it would have had to have tipped at least 100 feet to one side in order to move its center of gravity from the center of the building out beyond its base. That would have been a tremendous amount of bending. In a building that is mostly air, as the World Trade Center was, there would have been buckling columns, and it would have come straight down before it ever tipped over.Have you ever seen the demolition of buildings? They blow them up, and they implode. Well, I once asked demolition experts, "How do you get it to implode and not fall outward?" They said, "Oh, it's really how you time and place the explosives." I always accepted that answer, until the World Trade Center, when I thought about it myself. And that's not the correct answer. The correct answer is, there's no other way for them to go but down. They're too big. With anything that massive -- each of the World Trade Center towers weighed half a million tons -- there's nothing that can exert a big enough force to push it sideways.

Of course, in following Rules of Conspiracy Theories: Rule #4, an engineering professor for the most prestigious technical school in the world could not be a credible authority. He must be in on the conspiracy!

Loose Screw #3

At around the 21 minute mark, Loose Change claims that an A3 Skywarrior hit the pentagon, instead of a Boeing 757. This is a change since most of the tinfoil hat crowd claim it was a cruise missile, or a C-130, or a bunker buster bomb, or a learjet, or a truck bomb, or all 5 at once! Conspiracy theories need no consistency or logic, that is what makes them fun.

In any case, the filmmakers leave out one small detail. This all happened in broad daylight. Hundreds, if not thousands of people saw the plane coming for impact. Here are a few of their statements.

"USAToday.com Editor Joel Sucherman saw it all: an American Airlines jetliner fly left to right across his field of vision as he commuted to work Tuesday morning. It was highly unusual. The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. Two seconds later and before he could see if the landing gear was down or any of the horror-struck faces inside, the plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon 100 yards away. "

"'I saw the tail of a large airliner. ... It plowed right into the Pentagon," said an Associated Press Radio reporter who witnessed the crash. 'There is billowing black smoke.'"

"Omar Campo, a Salvadorean, was cutting the grass on the other side of the road when the plane flew over his head. 'It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane,' Mr Campo said.

"A pilot who saw the impact, Tim Timmerman, said it had been an American Airways 757. "'It added power on its way in,' he said. 'The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball.'"

"Traffic is normally slow right around the Pentagon as the road winds and we line up to cross the 14th Street bridge heading into the District of Columbia. I don’t know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just 'No, no, no, no,' because it was obvious the plane was not heading to nearby Reagan National Airport. It was going to crash."

It is just amazing that all these eyewitnesses, including a professional pilot, managed to confuse these two planes in broad daylight. I mean, I can barely tell them apart.

Keep in mind, that an A3, although considerably smaller than a 757, still has a 74 foot wingspan. So much for the 16 foot hole in the wall theory. Oh well, who says conspiracy theories have to be consistent?

Loose Screw #2

At the 22 minute mark, Loose Change, referring to the damage at the Pentagon claims "The only damage to the outer wall is a single hole, no more than 16 feet in diameter."

Oh really, here is a picture of the Pentagon. It is a bit hard to see through the smoke (click to enlarge), but that hole is a hell of a lot bigger than 16 feet. Compare it to the firetruck just in front of it, which is considerably more than 16 feet long.

If you look at the damage after the fire is put out, you also see the extent of the damage. Look at how much rubble is piled up in the front.

It is quite obvious the hole is around 40 meters across, which amazingly also happens to be the wingspan of a 757. What an amazing coincidence!

Purdue University, interestingly enough, came out with a computer simulation of the crash. It almost exactly mimics the damage, a wide hole in the outer ring, growing increasingly smaller through 2 more rings. You can see it here.