Michael Shermer, the editor and founder of Skeptic Magazine, has made several media appearances recently attempting to "debunk" the claims of the 9/11 Truth Movement. His attempts are less than impressive. He made an appearance on the Colbert Report back in August, and a more recent appearance on The Glenn Beck show, with James Meigs, discussing the 9/11 Truthers heckling of Bill Maher. When Glenn Beck asked James Meigs and Michael Shermer, "What was the big claim that you found... and it's so easy to refute?"
Michael Shermer stated, "They claim that the World Trade Center Buildings fell exactly like buildings fall that are intentionally demolished... None of [ taped controlled demolition buildings] fall like the World Trade Center. They all fall from the bottom up and the World Trade Center Buildings fell from the top down."
He made a similar point on the Colbert Report when he stated, "They claim that the World Trade Centers fell from the top to the bottom, just like all controlled demolitions."
First of all, we aren't claiming that WTC 1 and 2 fell like a conventional controlled demolition. The purpose of a conventional commercial demolition, or an implosion, is to bring a building down in such a way as to minimize damage to adjacent structures. No one in the 9/11 Truth Movement is claiming that WTC 1 and 2 started from the bottom or that it was a classic looking implosion. "9/11 Mysteries", the most popular 9/11 Truth documentary addressing the destruction of the World Trade Towers 1 and 2 states, "We are seeing explosions, rather than implosions -- a first in demolition history."
James Fetzer, the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, stated on Fox News, "We've discovered major indications that the Twin Towers were brought down by a sophisticated kind of controlled demolition, they were blown up from the top down."
Steven Jones, in his lecture at UVSC(Utah Valley State College) stated in regards to the WTC towers, "There the explosions were at the top, so it's a little different."
So I'm not really sure what Michael Shermer has debunked. Is this really his best argument against the 9/11 conspiracy movement? There are a few examples of a controlled demolition not starting at the bottom. One example, is the Reading Grain Facility, which was demolished in 1999. The explosions started roughly in the middle of the structure. A controlled demolition means that the explosions are precisely timed, where the explosions begin is not the deciding factor.
Michael Shermer, however, seems to pretend that he doesn't know about WTC7. World Trade Tower 7 did collapse in a manner that perfectly mirrored a conventional demolition. So what is his best argument against the claim that WTC7 was brought down via a controlled demolition?