At the end of the column by Michael Shermer he has a link to an article written by Phil Mole for the Skeptic magazine. It was published for the fifth anniversary of the attacks. The majority of the people who attempt to write about the 9/11 Truth Movement do not know the first thing about it or the events of that day. They start off with the premise that our ideas are absurd and there is no reason to take our claims seriously. Any claims made by the 9/11 Truth Movement is instantly discarded and any claim made by a "debunker" is accepted as legitimate. There is no skepticism applied to the claims made by those defending the government. This is also the case with Phil Mole which I will demonstrate.
Phil Mole attended a Truth Conference in Chicago sponsored by 9/11truth.org. He stated that the goal of the conference was for "attendees to consolidate their group identity..." What is this suppose to mean? He appears as though he is trying to give the impression that we are some kind of cult, maybe not that much different from the one headed by Jim Jones. Wasn't "The Amazing Meeting! 5.5" a way for "skeptics" to consolidate their group identity as well? He goes on to say, "As someone who does not share the views of the 9/11 Truth Movement, I have another objective. I want to listen to their arguments and view their evidence, and understand the reasons why so many likable and otherwise intelligent people are convinced that the United States government planned the murder of nearly 3,000 of its own citizens. "
His first topic is the destruction of World Trade Towers 1 & 2. He lists the evidence made by the conspiracy theorists that WTC1,2 were destroyed by a controlled demolition. This includes the fact that the collapse looks like a demolition, the speed of the collapse, the fact that jet-fuel fires do not melt steel, and the demolition squibs(i.e. mistimed explosions). He attempts to counter each one. His argument against the collapse resembling a controlled demolition is the fact that controlled demolitions begin at the bottom, not the top. This is a weak argument. A controlled demolition means that explosives are precisely timed. They can go off in any order. This is ultimately a straw man argument, as no one in the Truth Movement is saying that WTC1,2 were blown up from the bottom, or that they resembled an implosion. He goes on to state, "but what are the chances that those planning such a complicated demolition would be able to predict the exact location the planes would impact the towers, and prepare the towers to begin falling precisely there?" The planes were probably remotely piloted into the buildings. Therefore, there could be great precision on where they would impact the towers.
He next discusses whether or not the fires could have weakened the steel to lead to a collapse of the buildings. He states, "engineering estimates tell us that steel loses 50% of its strength at 650° F, and can lose as much as 90% of its strength at temperatures of 1,800° F. Even if we assume temperatures of no higher than 1,000° F during the fire, we would still have more than enough reasons to expect damage severe enough to result in eventual collapse. " This is another bad argument. First, he is confusing the temperatures of the fire with the temperatures of the steel. Also he does not say what percentage of the steel would have to heat up to 1,000° F for structural collapse to ensue. NIST found that only 2% of the steel tested on the perimeter columns got over 250C(482F) and none of the core columns. They also found, "Microstructure tests showed no steel reached critical (half-strength) values (600 C, 1112 F)." Besides, if fire temperatures of only 1,000° F can cause an entire building to be destroyed, then why hasn't this happened before?
His next discussion is whether or not there was molten steel found in the rubble pile of the collapsed buildings. He states, "However, the sources in question are informal observations of “steel” at Ground Zero, not laboratory results." This is not entirely true. In Appendix C: Limited Metallurgical Examination of the FEMA Report, they found, “Evidence of a severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel, including oxidation and sulfidation with subsequent INTERGRANUAL MELTING, was readily visible in the near-surface microstructure.”
What about the "squibs"? He states, "these are plumes of smoke and debris ejected from the building due to the immense pressure associated with millions of tons of falling towers." This cannot be true, as many of the "squibs" were emerging from floors that had no smoke. If it was due to increased pressure, it would be uniform across the floor. It would not emerge from localized points.
His discussion of WTC7 is weak. A lot of the discussion has to do with what did Larry Silverstein really mean when he used the phrase, "pull it." It is incumbent on the government to prove how WTC7 collapsed. This they have not done. Shyam Sunder, the head of the NIST investigation said, "We are studying the horizontal movement east to west, internal to the structure, on the fifth to seventh floors.… But truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on building No. 7." Maybe a similar level of humility would be good for the "debunkers" to exhibit every now and then, instead of pretending they have all the answers.
His next topic of discussion is the Pentagon. The government has yet to show conclusively what happened there. He devotes a lot of attention to the statement made by Jamie McIntyre. As in the case of WTC7, interpreting what someone actually meant is largely a waste of time. What the physical evidence shows is far more important. Why is there no tail damage to the facade? This issue is not even brought up by Phil Mole. Yet the problem is clearly mentioned in the Pentagon Building Performance Report(PBPR). It states, "The height of the damage to the facade of the building was much less than the height of the aircraft’s tail. At approximately 45 ft, the tail height was nearly as tall as the first four floors of the building. Obvious visible damage extended only over the lowest two floors, to approximately 25 ft above grade." Then it drops the issue as it is not important to explain. What about the hole in the C-Ring? The PBPR gives no explanation for it. All of these important anomalies are not even mentioned, but they are critical if we are to understand the events of that day.
His discussion of Flight 93 does not focus on the size of the debris field, only on where the engine was found. What about a second debris field at Indian Lake, and third one near New Baltimore over eight miles away? There is no mention of this. He also fails to mention that there was little evidence of a plane crash.
Konicki: "Na, there was nothing, nothing that you could distinguish that a plane had crashed there."
Wally Miller: "The smoking crater looked, he says, 'like someone took a scrap truck, dug a 10-foot ditch and dumped all this trash into it.'"
Reporter Jon Meyer: "There was no plane to be found."
Pat Madigan: "Where was the plane crash?"
Ernie Stull, mayor of Shanksville, "There was no plane."
Regarding the issue of a NORAD stand down, he does not mention the numerous contradictions within the government's own story, nor does he explain why NORAD generals apparently lied under oath. He also does not mention the testimony made to the 9/11 Commission by Norman Mineta while he was in the PEOC.
Phil Mole concludes, "This article has analyzed the arguments of the 9/11 Truth Movement and found them lacking." Maybe he found them lacking because his research was very poor and superficial. He goes on, "any theory needs evidence in its favor if it is to be taken seriously." This is true. The evidence that the 9/11 Truth Movement has accumulated against the government's story is overwhelming. Phil Mole did not set out to learn about the evidence. His goal was to write another hit piece against the 9/11 Truth Movement.