Environmental Ethics
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Ernest Partridge, Ph.D

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The Gadfly Bytes -- May, 2006

Additional Responses to

"The 9/11 Conspiracy: A Skeptical View"

Interesting analysis, but it misses...

1) Context: the ubiquity of arranged war-trigger events and the horrific history of Pentagon false-flag terrorism against Western civilians (see attached Griffin piece)...which, with testimony by O'Neill and others that the Iraq war was set in stone in January 2001, and evidence that an October Afghan invasion plan was likewise committed to in July, 2001, forces Occam's razor to strongly suggest that 9/11 was an inside-job pretext, not a lucky accident. These wars could not possibly have even been considered without a massive psy-op trigger on the scale of 9/11. When Bush said "show me a way to get it (Iraq) done" (O'Neill) in January, 2001, Cheney went to the Pentagon, and they showed him the only possible way: a massive war-trigger psy-op.

2) Coverup: The grotesque lies and omissions of the Zelikow report, including the complete omission of any mention of WTC-7 and Silverstein's demolition confession; the lie that the cores of the Towers were "hollow elevator shafts"...the baldfaced, absurd lie about Cheney's whereabouts (multiple witnesses have him in command in the bunker at 9:15; Mineta's sworn testimony has him ordering a stand-down at 9:30 to allow the Pentagon to be hit; yet the Commission has him arriving at the bunker after 10:00!)...the omission of any mention of the multiple war/terror exercises including a live-fly hijacked-plane-into-building exercise that mimicked the actual attack...and many dozens more, prove that the Zelikow report was a deliberate attempt to cover up official complicity. No other reasonable explanation is possible.

3) Smoking guns. You did catch some of the biggest ones, but missed several dozen at least. The governments, New York City and State, and the Feds still have a lot of splainin' to do
is irrelevant. If explanation were possible, it would have been produced long ago. The Zelikow report, like Silverstein's "pull it" remark, is a confession (in neocon doublespeak) and we need to interpret it correctly and act bravely. I urge you to broaden your reading to at least the two Griffin books, Ahmed's The War on Truth, Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon, Hopsicker's Welcome to Terrorland, Hicks' The Big Wedding, and maybe Tarpley's 911 Synthetic Terror, and then join us in using this issue to radically improve the future of humanity.
See http://911truth.org/ChicagoConference.htm


Kevin Barrett  (5/2)
Coordinator, Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth
Member, Scholars for 9/11
Member, SPINE


Hello Mr. Partridge:

My political views are liberal. Without question, Bush is the worst "President" (I don't think he he won both elections) ever. That is far more important than any single special interest. We lose sight of the big picture when we excessively focus on any one of his illegal or incompetent acts. We lose credibility when we discard logic and prudence to take some extreme position. For example, many dislike Bush because he is anti-choice. They want him out of there now, so they urge his impeachment.


The problem with impeachment is that it draws the stability of our government and whole social structure into question. Just like a banana republic, opposite ends of our political spectrum would have instigated attempts to to overturn two "elections" in a row. In the long run, stability protects our rights, prosperity and security because instability threatens them per se, or leads to expedient attempts to curtail them and restore stability. It is far better to argue that our existing governmental processes should do the political equivalent of cutting off Bush's nuts to stem his testosterone flow, rendering this dangerous man impotent and harmless for the balance of his term. This also requires us to preserve an least a veneer of regularity and stability by pretending for the time being that the two "elections" were legitimate.


I think (and hope) that the electorate just appears to be apathetic and indifferent to Bush's outrages, is instinctively following my "stability" line, realizing that its turn in the regular political process comes in November 2006 and 2008. If that is the case, we look ridiculous if we demand too much too soon. We should wait until his crew leaves office (assuming they do so voluntarily) to urge the more punitive measures that some of our liberal friends want now. "Politics! - The art of the possible." (Evita).

On point in your essay particularly haunts me. Why did Bush stay at the Florida school? The whole world knew in advance that he would be there. He and his whole entourage saw the first two planes hit the World Trade Center. Bush says that he thought "we're were at war" when the second plane hit. It was evident that a group of people were acting in concert. At the time, just minutes away, there were probably 50 potentially dangerous airliners over Florida alone.

While Bush was sitting there, Cheney says that he was picked up body in chair by the Secret Service and hauled to the White House Bunker (does it look like the Dr. Strangelove set?). Then, he says that he determined how many unaccounted planes are in the air and where they were, ordering all planes to land, and, as I see him envisioning himself as he tells his story, manfully and decisively taking other "executive action". Shortly thereafter, the third plane crashes into the Pentagon two miles to the west, and the fourth plane is hijacked with the intent to crash into either the Capitol two miles to the east, or perhaps into the White House itself.

Bush left his fixed location at the Florida school after Cheney took steps to identify the location and scope of the threat, not before.

First, viewed alone, Bush's experience suggests that he knew that his location was safe. Next, viewed alone, Cheney's experience suggests that he knew that he was in a dangerous location. Finally, when you compare the two men's experiences, it is apparent that in response to the same allegedly incomplete information, the two men were treated differently, but now, complete information shows that their treatment was consistent with the actual danger at their two different locations. Three dogs are not barking here instead of just one.

I think that Bush's eyes, facial expressions and body movements at the school show some kind of foreknowledge. He acted as if he thought that a small terrorist act might or will happen, but was surprised when it turns out to be monstrous. I also see a man adjusting from the safety of being able to retreat from a planned wrongful act, to the constant danger that comes with having cast the die. The change from not yet being a criminal, to actually being a criminal, is stressful and shows on his face. Then, he briefly lapses into deep thought about whether his cover, designed for a small act, would hold up in the face of this big one. He then remembers that he is on the spot, so he decides to resume reading. That's all he can do at the time to be like a man who sees the police while he is up to something, and puts his hands in his pockets, saunters, and whistles a happy tune. This might seem a bit speculative, but I have been around for 49 years and think that I am pretty good at reading people.

Mark Clement - Pittsburgh PA  (5/2)

You only missed one point, otherwise I'm with you...

In keeping with the certified sneer which always accompanies talk of 'conspiracy theorists', it is perfectly in keeping with the talking points propagandists to covertly fuel these specious, obviously false and unbelievable scenarios to heap scorn on the legitimacy of their actual collusion, which, while maintaining 'plausible deniability' enables them to avoid accountability for their inaction and possibly worse, some prearranged third-party (Saudi) origin for these events. Given the bush clan's smarmy relations to the Saudis, it is entirely plausible (i.e. the Levant affair) that this event was an inside job.

Christopher Wentworth  (5/2)

Dear Mr. Partridge,

I find very little to differ with re. your Common Dreams article.

Just, since before 9/11 using high jacked airliners as flying bombs to crash into buildings was a known Al Qaeda plan, I wouldn't be surprised if the power grabbers knew that part of the scheme as well.

As for the rest of it, objectively I would say it's irrelevant. Just to accept as much of a conspiracy as you posit makes the conspirators bad enough. The problem with the truly ridiculous conjecture is that it distracts and detracts from the more believable conspiracy. It's almost as if this is a second conspiracy to make those who argue in behalf of a more reasonable conspiracy suffer guilt by association.

It's interesting that Doug Thompson over at Capitol Hill Blue believes in the JFK conspiracy and says that he had the Tex Gov visiting him & the latter said that he knew there was a conspiracy but let it go for the good of the country, i.e., what today they call "closure". But Thompson does not believe in a 9/11 conspiracy. What's interesting is that one of his debunking arguments is that too many people would have to know about it. Well, what do you know, Doug, that was one of the main debunking arguments against JFK!

(My personal favorite: "Bullets do funny things"[!]. Smug bastards. But they got away with it.)

Most likely, this one will be gotten away with too. Maybe that's also for the best, in that the kind of monsters dressed as humans capable of such a thing, well, martial law (& who knows how much worse) would be child's play.

If they did get busted, would there be civil war?

Come to think of it, what they have done already, to achieve their objectives (pulling off such an obvious semantic con as "the war on terror", allowing Bush to be a "wartime president" forever), with the resultant death & destruction, well, I don't think people willing to do such things are just going to walk away w/o sealing the deal.

For instance, how about the Army giving FEMA x million $s to build detention centers? I could go on and on, but you probably know all this even better than I.

Putting it all together, I think we're eventually headed for the firing squad (or worse).

If there was a way I could get out of this country (why I can't is too long a story for here) I would.
On the other hand, if neocons plan world conquest (if just at least de facto), or apocalyptic Christians in the administration have their way, where would be safe?


Ronald Maxson  (5/2)

Dr Partridge,

Not to beat a dead horse, but...in good faith, I offer more grist for the mill: an FYI in case you haven't seen this  ...

"Q: This is a question that's been asked by many Americans, but especially by the widows of September 11th. How were we so asleep at the switch? How did a war targeting civilians arrive on our homeland with seemingly no warning?

Rumsfeld: There were lots of warnings. The intelligence information that we get, it sometimes runs into the hundreds of alerts or pieces of intelligence a week. One looks at the worldwide, it's thousands. And the task is to sort through it and see what you can find. And as you find things, the law enforcement officials who have the responsibility to deal with that type of thing -- the FBI at the federal level, and although it is not, it's an investigative service as opposed to a police force, it's not a federal police force, as you know. But the state and local law enforcement officials have the responsibility for dealing with those kinds of issues.

They [find a lot] and any number of terrorist efforts have been dissuaded, deterred or stopped by good intelligence gathering and good preventive work. It is a truth that a terrorist can attack any time, any place, using any technique and it's physically impossible to defend at every time and every place against every conceivable technique. Here we're talking about plastic knives and using an American Airlines flight filed with our citizens, and the missile to damage this building and similar (inaudible) that damaged the World Trade Center. The only way to deal with this problem is by taking the battle to the terrorists, wherever they are, and dealing with them. "

Why did Rumsfeld say "the missile" in connection with the strike at the Pentagon on 9/11/01? Are commercial Boeing aircraft ever called "missiles"? Or does this mean that terrorists (or someone else) fired at least one "missile" (a cruise missile?) that hit the Pentagon?

Was it perhaps a "Freudian slip"? (And did the "inaudible" occur as he realized what he had just said?)


Rich Walker  (5/2)


I agree there is little or no evidence of controlled demolition in the twin towers fall. And as unlikely as it appears, I think Bldg. 7 fell from the causes attributed by the official version, fire from underground weakening the foundations. I suspect the underground fire was pushed along by air compressed by the collapsing twin towers, creating conditions similar to those in a blacksmith's forge.

A blacksmith's forge will produce temperatures high enough to melt steel, and does so by blowing air into a charcoal fire. So it's not just fire, but fire accelerated in a wind tunnel.

I also agree with you that Flight 77 is the only explanation for the Pentagon attack that fits the available evidence; the thousands of witnesses, the debris, the missing Boeing 757 ...

Where I disagree with you is that the government expected the attack on the Pentagon, but was surprised by the WTC attack. That does not, in my opinion, fit the available evidence. I think it's just the opposite, they expected the attack on NY City, but not the Pentagon attack.

If you look at the critical timelines on that morning, it's obvious that the Pentagon attack came as a surprise.

It's now clear the first WTC attack occurred while Bush was on the way to that school in Florida, and the Secret Service KNEW about the attack BEFORE he reached the school. Yet Bush continued with his school visit. The only way this makes sense is if someone knew the attacks in NYC posed no threat to Bush during his Florida visit, and over-rode the Secret Service.

When Andy Card came in and whispered the news of the second attack, Bush simply did not react. There was no surprise, no consternation. It was not news. Still, the Secret Service, knowing by this time that 4 planes had been hijacked did nothing to remove Bush from his announced location. Again, this only makes sense if someone knows the 4 hijacked planes pose no threat to Bush in Florida..

There is so little concern for any threat to Bush that he comes out to make a scheduled photo-op, although the topic is no longer education, it's terrorist attacks. At this photo-op, Bush announces he's on the way to Washington to deal with the crisis. He departs for Air Force One and takes off.

But instead of returning to Washington, he flies first to Louisiana and then to Omaha Nebraska. What happened to change his itinerary? What changed the situation so they now feared Bush was a target of the attacks?

Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon.

I think it's clear the administration knew bin Ladin's people were intent on hijacking airliners and flying them into the WTC buildings. I agree they calculated the damage would be on the scale of the Cole or the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The collapse of the twin towers surprised the administration as much as it surprised everyone else, with the possible exception of bin Ladin.

He is a Civil Engineer by training, and was familiar with the damage from the 1993 bombing. That bombing came closer to toppling the tower than most people realize. I think the survival of the tower in 1993 may have lulled the administration into thinking the expected attack would be on that scale, killing a handful and injuring scores of others.

I can accept a conspiracy at the highest level to do nothing while the U.S. was attacked in order to have another "Pearl Harbor". Cheney, Rumsfield and the neo-con architects of the Iraq invasion were looking for just such casus belli to justify intervention in the middle east even before the 2000 election.

I could even believe they would take an active role in clearing the way for the hijackers, or at least in restraining the agencies that might have thwarted the plot. Clearly the administration did not want to hear anything about terrorism or bin Ladin after taking office in January 2001.

Was that driven by other policy considerations such as tax cuts; the impulse to treat any left-over Clinton priorities as anathema; or a more sinister intent to clear the way for former CIA asset Usama bin Ladin and his assassins to "attack".

Was this a real terrorist attack or a phony provocation like the Polish "attack" on German radio stations that began WWII? To me, the most compelling evidence of collusion at the highest level is the Saudi evacuation flights taking place even while the rest of air traffic in the U.S. is under lock down.

Either way, the attack on the Pentagon came as a surprise. Again, I think the time-line of events shows this. Supposedly a NORAD exercise in the northeast U.S. was occurring on the morning of Sept 11, and this exercise supposedly included mock hijackings for kamikaze attacks in the U.S. These exercises had been going on for several days.

This is an area where there is room for speculation about collusion, indeed treason, at the highest levels. Were the NORAD exercises planned to provide cover of bin Ladin's operation?

Or are they an example of an abysmal security? Did word leak out and reach bin Ladin that this would be an especially propitious moment to make his attack because NORAD would be distracted by imaginary hijackings?

The reason given for the slow response by the FAA and the USAF is confusion about whether the hijackings were real or part of the exercise. Even after the two airplanes hit the twin towers there was confusion in U.S. air defense.

But once Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, the confusion abruptly ends. The "terrorist attack" is no longer following the script and there are F-15s over NYC & Washington DC almost immediately ... and even, within moments of Flight 93s crash, over the Pennsylvania crash site.

Indeed, it's still questionable just what exactly did cause Flight 93's crash. Was it hijackers determined to suicide even as the passengers fought back to retake the plane? Or did the passengers succeed in their fight, only to have the flight "terminated" by our own Air Force because a panicky ad hoc emergency response group in the White House sub basement didn't know where it was targeted?

John Sessoms   (5/2)

Dear Dr Partridge,

Thank you for your cogent analysis on the 9-11 debate. I have until reading it felt a healthy mixture of foreboding and skepticism about official and the more radical CT versions. I intuitively mistrusted much of went for critical analysis, the OV, including the 911 Commission Report which seemed so sanitized as to be useless and infuriating. By the same token, many of those who were questioning it, at least those who were being quoted by regular citizens. were sounding uncomfortably obsessed and not just a little bit paranoid. It would anger me because I, like you, felt that much did not add up, and still, it seemed much more useful to go about gathering evidence more methodically.

My question to you is, " Who, then do you trust?" I have never felt more frightened by what feels like the face of real evil in this group of thugs running our country, perhaps even our world at this time, and so it is not that much of a stretch to suspect crimes of the worse kind being perpetrated. Look at what is happening. So, again, who can we trust for thoughtful and truthful research? Thanks for your contribution. I frankly think that this cabal has committed so many more provable crimes since 911 that it is amazing that they haven't been yet held accountable.

Char Stellamaris,
Clear Lake,WI  (5/2)

Hi, Mr. Partridge,

My name is Adam Hurter; I've been involved with the 9/11 truth movement since the very beginning. I started some of the central email listservs for 9/11 researchers and activists, and I've worked for the organization 911truth.org, but I'm currently unaffiliated.

Your essay, which I received over the Unanswered Questions wire, struck me, largely because I agree with most of it. After a fair amount of analysis (probably similar to yours), I believe that the plane certainly did hit the Pentagon. And, also after a lot of time analyzing and considering, I am very skeptical of the idea of WTC building demolitions, though I consider it a possibility.

Nonetheless, though, I believe that 9/11 was an inside job; in fact, I think it's very clear that it was. I think from an honest read of history one can only conclude that only one entity has the power to execute such a massive operation as 9/11, and that's the U.S. military-intelligence
establishment, or "secret government."

I believe, and have always believed, that the reason that the "building demolition" and "no plane" theories are so popular is precisely because they're red herrings. There is a ton [of] legitimate evidence, though I don't think that any one source has compiled it in as accessible a way as should be.  [This website], though, has a lot of the evidence, especially around the issue of the military non-response to the hijackings, the "standdown" of the air defense system:

I've not found a truly credible response defending the official story of the standdown and also Bush's inactions in the classroom that morning, also a violation of standard procedure.

Best regards,
Adam Hurter  (5/2)

Doctor Partridge:

Thank for for your recent essay, "The 9/11 Conspiracy: A Skeptic's View"....

I'm just about 100% with you in your analysis, and I value your effort in research, your maintaining an open and yet skeptical analytical attitude (a rarity, in my experience), and bravery in expressing your view -- it is refreshing (for a perennial skeptic such as myself).

The only CT presentation that I have paid any attention to is a video called "Loose Change, Second Edition" -- it was disturbing, but not absolutely convincing.

As you say, we (the ordinary person looking at "this stuff", in our homes) have very little way of telling what the truth of the matter is in relation to the happenings around 9/11.

What we are essentially left with is our "general world views" and our specific "intuitions".

Our general world views usually fall into two polar aspects: "pro-conspiracy" (pro-conspiracy as a general explanation for the way the world operates -- a smaller group of people), and "anti-conspiracy" (the larger group of people). The pro-conspiracy camp sees conspiracies in every event. The anti-conspiracy group denies the possibility that conspiracies ever take place.

As a general-world-view, I'm reluctant to consider conspiracies as taking place. For one thing, I sense that people who are usually attracted to such theories are also attracted to just about any theory which is on the fringe -- there is an attitude to start with, about what and who to believe, that cuts across the board (though we all have this, necessarily, to some extent). I sense a "willingness to believe", in part, because this "explanatory mode" is personally "exciting" (a motivation which I can empathize with, but which also gives rise to caution). Further, the general attitude is something of a "powerless victim" in the face of on-going power-struggles "among the gods" (if you will). The pro-conspiracists typically (in my sense of things) do not believe in just selective conspiracies, but in all conspiracies, and often go so far as to tie them all together (which was just confirmed to me by recently coming across an article tying in Pearl Harbor and the JFK assassination, among other things). (My intuition is that the pro-conspiracists are akin in a belief-system and attitude as people who believe in UFO's -- not that either are proven incorrect, however.)

On the other hand, the anti-conspiracists seem to take a simple and possibly a naive view of the world, in which all people are nearly alike (that is, similar to the holder of the view), and that collusions never take place. This may make the world seem egalitarian and comfortably simple, but it is probably a poor understanding of reality. Anti-conspiricists have an attitude wherein they are incapable of even looking at the possibility of any conspiracy, since such an examination might challenge their world-view.

But let's face it, the acceptance of any semblance of a conspiracy in regards to 9/11, in the magnitude that would be required to pull such a thing off, would be deeply disturbing to our sense of how the world operates. But then again, knowing how reluctant we are to consider a conspiracy (as it would challenge our world-view) should give us pause in our skepticism, yes?

Personally, I am in flux on 9/11, and reserved about any conclusions. I don't want to consider the implications of a conspiracy [think about it -- the merest possibility tears asunder how we think about our country], and I know that the coordination and secrecy among a huge group of people that would be required is "fantastic" ... and yet there are "questions" (partly based on intuition).

When I've talked to people about the subject of 9/11, I bring up what little that I think that I know, which is enough to greatly question the "OV" (as you wrote). There are items, that on the face of them, in and of themselves, give rise to serious doubt about the OV.

1. I seem to recall reading that for a long time (and maybe even yet) on the Project for a New American Century website, there was a statement that said that their goals would take a very long time to bring about, barring another "Pearl Harbor-like" event. Huh? They had it in writing that such an event would be very helpful to their cause?

2. George W. Bush joked about "hitting the trifecta", in bringing about his goals. (Though I can't recall what exactly made up this trifecta.) (A joke isn't necessarily a joke)

3. The Bushies were greatly reluctant to allow any investigation into the matter. It took a long time to bring about, the commission was time and issue-delimited (I believe), and there was relatively little funding (compared, say, to the space-shuttle Columbia explosion-investigation), and the membership controlled by the Bushies, and not diverse nor authoritative.

4. George and Dick had to appear before the commission together, not under oath, and for a very limited amount of time.

The Bushies acted suspicious. But maybe they are merely inherently suspicious and secretive, fearful, and maybe feeling guilty.

So, I don't know what to believe, but I have my strong, general inclinations.

I strongly feel that they wanted to invade Iraq, before they even came to office -- they were looking for an excuse. (I haven't settled on a single "reason" for their wanting to invade Iraq, though -- I've even concocted a list of reasons that extends to a couple dozen possibilities.)

I strongly feel that "our Regime" had the repressive, long, and complicated Patriot Act already in the "in box", and ready to go -- looking for the opportunity to snoop and control and increase their power.

I strongly feel Cheney and Rumsfeld are the heart of a fascist cabal that recruited Bush to be their front man. Over time, they have evolved a working "troika of power", wherein Bush actually has some power, but is not inclined to act against the other two.

I strongly feel that the Bushies are a socio-pathological aberration in the U.S. government, which is a danger not only to the short and long-range interests of the U.S. population, but to the very world. (However, I've come to see that they are merely an extreme end of this country's long-standing elitist, imperialist, and militarist tendencies.)

I strongly feel that the main-stream-media is acting under a peculiar dynamic, wherein they in-effect are acting in collusion with the Bushies (and therefore the media's output should be totally disregarded).

I strongly feel that the Bushies were highly inclined to "look the other way", leading up to 9/11 -- it was not mere incompetence nor distraction.

Might there not be a middle ground, between the attitudinally pro and anti conspiracists?

Might we not consider that sometimes, under extraordinary circumstances, given extraordinary people, there are actual conspiracies?

How extraordinary is the Bush Regime, and the people who make it up (in more ways than one)?

Certainly a more thorough-going, long-lasting, well-funded, and authoritative (diverse make-up, for one thing) commission needs to look into the events on and around September 11, 2001.

Let's pray and act for positive change in the world, soon.


Kerry Johnson
Bellingham Washington  (5/2)

Well done. Most of the 9/11 theories are garbage. That said, I also am of the opinion that key government officials got wind of an attack, were deliberately slow to react, but did not expect the enormity of what transpired. I have absolutely no evidence for this, it must be said, but that remains my suspicion nonetheless.

For more debunking,  see here.

United Kingdom  (5/2)


Ernest Partridge Replies: 

My suspicion as well, also with no solid evidence. However, the behavior of the Busheviks provides hints.


Hi Dr. Partridge,

I applaud your article on 9-11 posted at Common Dreams. It is a noble attempt to deal with the unsettling and unsettled nature of the events of that day. I think what you have done may open the possibility for others to ponder the issue for the first time.

I agree that WTC 7 was ‘most probably’ a controlled demolition. That alone throws the whole event of 9-11 into great suspicion. The more I have studied the details of that day, the more inclined I have become to consider it a classic false flag operation. I’m open to any idea and have seen my own opinion change dramatically over time.

Some of the details you did not consider include the fact that the buildings came down at near free fall speed. Nor did you consider that virtually ALL of the concrete was turned to a fine powder! These details cannot be ignored. Gravity does not turn concrete into dust. The amount of explosives used were undoubtedly an enormous force—how much explosive force was used—that is a matter that I have continued to ponder but my views have changed on this matter substantially since I first began to look into the details. Jim Hoffman has done a lot of research on this question. Don Paul has found interesting information about this matter from Controlled Demolition Inc.’s own descriptive accounts of how much effort and explosive force is required to take down a building like WTC7.

Who profited from that day? We know some of the characters. Why did Rumsfeld cut himself into the FAA chain of command?

I hope you will continue to investigate this matter and publish on this subject. As you say, scholarship doesn’t mean certainty, but rather, the spirit to doubt, the spirit of investigation...

Best wishes,
Perry Phillips  (5/2)


Dear Dr. Partridge,

Very interesting piece on Common Dreams yesterday. You make some good points but also seem to miss some very important points (like why weren't the steel beams from the core of the WTC towers left standing?).

I have used 9/11 and questions about it in Logic and Critical Thinking Classes, and curiously my students all seem to come to a much stronger conclusion than you do. For example, they have been convinced that a 757 did not hit the Pentagon. How you can believe that one did is mysterious to me given the dearth of photographic evidence that shows the damage was far too slight to be caused by an object that large -- in particular the fuel tanks in the wings should have exploded against the facade but strangely there is no evidence of that in the photographs taken before the facade collapsed.

Anyway, it is good to see people talking about the issue. It has been monumentally difficult to get any media outlet to admit that there are any problems with the official conspiracy theory -- that part also you seem to miss, the official theory is a conspiracy theory, just an utterly absurd one. You might want to look into the work of Nafez Ahmed as well, he has been researching the financial aspect of global terrorism, where money comes from and such (he shows in one of his books that 9/11 was funded by money that came from the Pakistani ISI, but no one believes they planned the operation).

In the end I also think you miss Griffin's most basic point. If the 9/11 Commission Report is obviously a lie, a travesty as you call it, then we must demand a real investigation. You agree with him but do not seem to recognize this fact. You might want to read his critique of the Report as well as his discussion of the numerous reports of explosions going off in the buildings, as reported by dozens of fire-fighters on the scene.

See the web page Scholars for 9-11 Truth www.st911.org for details.


Richard Curtis, PhD
Seattle  (5/2)


Your skeptic’s view - a few comments from abroad :

1) For the WTC buildings -

You say: The temperature sufficient to weaken steel by fifty-percent (1170°F) was well within the range of the burning jet fuel and office supplies. (..) Below the points of impact, the towers remain in place as the disintegration proceeds from the top down.

If it had been for the jet fuel only, it seems to me common sense that the tops of the buildings should have leaned sideways (towards the points of crash) and collapsed that way. Another point of common sense : the burning fuel did not flow down to the foot of the buildings (or not enough). Even if the tops collapsed vertically, their weight was not changed and the weight of the aircraft was not sufficient to cause a full collapse of the towers below. The impact-precautions had been calculated by the builders for a Boeing 707.

You mention “a flood of put options”, but just briefly. This profit was estimated at 15 billion dollars by a German minister, and recently a professor of economy in Zurich, Switzerland, made a research and verified the figure. 15 billions : within the reach of a few peasants out there ? Why was it not investigated further ?

When news of the attack reached the Florida school where… He was filmed and millions of people saw the episode in a film. Now look at it again thinking “he knew in advance, he was glad the attack had succeeded, he was just puzzled thinking how he should be looking thereafter”. You will see, it fits perfectly.

2) Attack on the Pentagon -

I know flight 77 has to be accounted for and probably ended there all right. But I saw the initial pictures taken of the building’s façade : only a very small hole at the ground floor level, and no aircraft debris. The lawn could not have swallowed a Boeing… It could be that someone took a double precaution with explosives, a fighter or a missile, no ?

3) In your own words -

"The critics of the official version should, as much as possible, get their facts straight." This should start at the beginning. How come nobody among the critics thought of looking for the key man of the story where he probably is now - peacefully retired in his country or a neighbouring one in sunshine, under a new identity provided by his State and his former employers, after having played the part of a sort of guru to recruit the necessary initial victims. He was staying in those far away mountains with several wives and a swarm of children. Don’t tell me they all disappeared…

Best regards,

André Chollet
Geneva, Switzerland  (5/2)


Dear Ernest,

I read your essay regarding the OV and the CTs out there regarding what really happened on 9/11. It was very interesting. I am of the opinion that our government at least knew the attacks were going to happen. But, like almost all Americans, don't want to believe that our government somehow played a role in these attacks.

Regarding the Pentagon attack, a few things you did not discuss:

1. Video tapes that would show what actually DID hit the Pentagon, from the Citgo gas station as well as the Sheraton hotel, were confiscated minutes after the Pentagon attack by the FBI. These tapes would provide documented evidence that a 757 did actually hit the building. Where are these tapes and why does the government not show them to dispel any CT that a missile hit the building. The only video that was provided was from the Pentagon showing only 5 frames of the attack which does not show a 757 hitting the building.

2. Hani Hanjour was supposedly the pilot that flew the 757 into the Pentagon. Hanjour could not even fly a Cessna, let alone maneuvering a 757 at 400 + MPH into the Pentagon building without leaving a scratch on the Pentagon lawn. The Loose Change video discusses this. I am sure you have already seen the video, but if not... here is the link .

3. Cell phone calls were supposedly made from Flight 77. In 2001, the technology to make cellphone calls from an airplane flying at 30,000 ft. and flying at 400 + MPH was simply not available.

Regarding the WTC 7 collapse:

It is inexplicable how a building with limited fires collapsed in its own footprint as if pulled down by controlled demolition. However, there is documented evidence that the building was "pulled" based on an interview Larry Silverstein gave weeks after 9/11 where he specifically said the decision was made to "pull it". I really believe that the collapse of the WTC 7 building is the smoking gun that 9/11 was premeditated by our government.

I would be interested in knowing if you have taken the time to read both of David Ray Griffin's books, "The New Pearl Harbor..." and the "9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions". I agree with you that a TOTALLY INDEPENDENT commission needs to be created to take a second look at the gaping holes in the OV. There are just too many unanswered questions with the Commission Report.

Again, thanks for your skepticism regarding the OV and the CTs that are out there.


Kurt Watson  (5/2)


I am a long-time fan of your blog, and I appreciate your taking the time to investigate this issue and debunking some myths. However, I disagree with your conclusion that controlled demolition can be ruled out because the WTC collapse seemed to start at the point of impact. The explosives could have been radio-controlled and fired in any sequence desired. The intent certainly would have been to make it look as though the planes caused the collapse. Also it's hard to understand why large sections of the central structure weren't left intact after the collapse if it was caused by structural damage at one point.

I agree with you that Flight 77 did in fact reach the Pentagon, but what is remarkable to me is that it was allowed to do so, well after the first two planes hit the WTC towers. I read reports that numerous military training exercises, simulating such an attack, were being conducted that day. Is that true? And Flight 93 seems to me to have exploded in mid-air, either by a bomb or shot down, due to the large area over which debris were found.

I certainly also agree that another investigation is called for, one which is scientifically and forensicly based, and divorced from politics. This should be a matter for Eliot Spitzer. Maybe he would take action if he weren't so busy running for governor.

I look forward to further articles on this and other topics from you. Maybe now would be a good time to contribute to your blog.


Herbert Swan
Anchorage  (5/2)

Thanks for your story on the inconsistencies of the 9-11 information, [both] the official and the conspiracy side. I personally don't accept the idea that the Towers dropped due to controlled demolition but it's clear something is terribly wrong with the Official Version of the story. However, I'd like to take a moment to discuss the pilots of these planes.

I've read about the hijackers of 9-11 and about how little training they had in flying large aircraft. Almost none, according to the flight instructors, and by all reports they were bad at it. It therefore seems beyond comprehension that they were able to take control of four separate commercial aircraft and fly them with "military precision", as some have claimed, right to their targets. (All except flight 93, that is, which disappeared without trace into a hole in the Earth.)

Imagine, if you will, if you were in that very complicated cockpit, surrounded by dozens of unfamiliar controls, with a cabin full of angry people behind you, and the further stress of knowing you were on a suicide mission and that your life would soon come to an end. Unless the planes were being remotely piloted (hmmm) the hijackers performed like Supermen under those extreme circumstances.

It doesn't add up. It doesn't make sense. It stinks.

Thanks for your story.

Mike Stanfill  (5/2)

Hi Ernest,

Just a few comments on your attempt at skeptical inquiry regarding the puzzling evidence surrounding 911. Your implied assertion that the buildings probably pancaked as claimed can be effectively bolstered by showing some examples of other modern steel frame buildings which in a remarkably short time collapsed from fire. Not only collapsed but collapsed at nearly freefall speed, mostly onto to their own footprint. Do you have any examples? On the Pentagon- not one single picture of that giant airplane flying in to that most fortified of buildings? Not one? Thats all we need. Did their cameras all fail on that day?. Leaving bldg. 7 out of the commission report seems just a little suspect. I mean its a 47 story building that was obviously "pulled", destroyed through controlled demolition which means the charges were set and ready to go-days, weeks, months, prior ? How many other buildings maintain such a status? Framing the many dedicated people researching this important topic as searching for a miracle does'nt seem to me a trait of honest skeptical inquiry.

Sam Eliasen  (5/2)


Dr. Ernest Partridge pointed out:

'Charges had to be set beforehand at the points of impact, the 94th to the 98th floors of the north tower, and the 78th to the 84th floors of the south tower. Both aircraft, in stunning feats of piloting skill, succeeded in striking precisely at those pre-arranged locations.'

What Dr. Partridge did not take into account is the nature of remote detonation. Remote detonation offers the flexibility of after-the-fact adjustment. As long as every floor had been pre-set with explosives, the demolitionist had the luxury of waiting and finding out which floors were impacted and, only after that, selecting those impacted floors as the 1st batch to be detonated via remote control(s) -- to make it appear that the collapse originated from the impacted zone.


Your explanation seems most plausible to me. I don't think this administration is anywhere near competent enough to pull something like 9/11 off. In fact, it fits their MO to do what they did: nothing. I firmly believe they had no idea of the extent of damage it would cause, but they decided to let Bin Laden take the 'first swing', giving the administration carte-blanche to counterpunch as they saw fit; the "Pearl Harbor Moment" that PNAC longed for and, gee, what a coininkadink, got, just nine months after taking office. Imagine the luck! Thus, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Google Dabhol, India if you haven't already. I think that's what started the pipeline negotiations which failed rather miserably and I believe, led the Taliban and Mohamhed Omar to tell Bin Laden, "We're not going to be able to give you safe haven come October, so whatever you've been cooking up, let her rip." Which was 9/11. My speculation is it must have been in the works for awhile but the 'go' order came after failed pipleline negotiations with the Taliban in July 2001.

Dabhol, Enron/GE/Bechtel 3.5 Billion Power Plant Boondoggle>Ken Lay>Cheney's Secret Energy Meetings>Failed Pipeline Negotiations>Ultimatem to Taliban>9-11. Or something like that.

Thanks for blowing up some of the conspiracy theories. The wild ones do a great dis-service to finding answers to legitimate questions and inconsistencies of the OV. It's akin to framing a guilty man.


Jason Dixon  (5/2)


Mr. Partridge -

I admit that I am a 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist. So, while my initial emotional reaction from your article was being upset, I do concede and agree with many of your points. You are absolutely correct in that there are many holes in the Conspiracy Theory. You are also absolutely correct in that there are just as many holes in the Official Version. You are right when you say that we cannot take things on faith and we cannot cherry-pick evidence like the White House does.

The biggest hole in the Conspiracy Theory, which you point out in your essay, in my opinion, is what happened to the planes, the crew, and the passengers. I also feel as strongly about Flight 93 as I do Flight 77, because there is no photographic or video evidence of Flight 93 whatsoever. But the question begs, just like it does with Flight 77, if the official story of Flight 93 is false, then what happened to Flight 93?

At the end of the day, as you state in your article, we just don't know what actually happened on 9/11. I do have a few disagreements/questions however with your essay that I would like to ask:

1) What photographic evidence or articles are there that there were engines, landing gear, and large pieces of Flight 77 at the Pentagon? I have only seen very minimal pieces of the plane in all of the photographs that I have ever seen. I will believe you if you can send me some links or photos of engines, wings, or large pieces of Flight 77 in the Pentagon wreckage.

2) I guess I don't understand how, if the structural damage from the planes' impact caused the collapse, since the impact only occurred on a few floors towards the very top of the building, how did that cause enough structural damage throughout the other 85+ floors of the building below it so that the whole thing collapsed? I guess my gut tells me that if the buildings actually did collapse from the impact of the planes, then the part of the building ABOVE the impact would have just toppled over but the rest of the building would have stayed intact. I am not a scientist so I could be way off on this and I will be the first to admit that.

3) There were plenty of eyewitness accounts that did not describe a Boeing 757 flying into the Pentagon, but described something else - from a smaller plane to a missile. I'm sure you've watched the film "Loose Change" already but if you have not they have plenty of recorded and sourced/referenced statements from people like this.

4) How did the tip of a Boeing 757, made out of lightweight carbon, cause a hole that went through three layers of concrete walls even though the plane supposedly vaporized on impact? That has never made sense to me at all, along with the lack of any damage whatsoever to the lawn in front of the Pentagon. Not one blade of grass was damaged even though the plane flew literally a few feet off the ground.

5) I do not think that the video of the FIRST plane that hit the Towers is conclusively and without doubt an American Airlines/Boeing 757. There is only the one video shot by the camcorder and there is no other video of that first plane. That has always been suspect to me as well.

Thank you very much for your essay Mr. Partridge as the biggest message in it is that we MUST get a national discussion going about 9/11 and what happened on that day. In my opinion, this is the MOST IMPORTANT issue in our country today, and it might even be more urgent of an issue than the Iraq War.

Thank you for your essay Mr. Partridge.


Matt Cornell
Dallas, TX  (5/2)


Dear sir.....

Conspiracy theories on 9\11.

Some things you fail to mention.

What about the "black boxes" from the aircraft that hit WTC?

My understanding is that that the official version is, they were never found ( But passports belonging to the terrorists were!)

Yet I've read online reports of NYC firemen who state that two or three days after the strike.... while the fires were still burning in the rubble....., were told that the black boxes had been located... and that they were to retrieve them... and hand them over to unidentified agents ( Which they assumed were Secret Service).

The fireman claim to have done this.

Also.... why was every military aircraft normally dedicated to defending the NE American continent sent out of the area? Some to Alaska? Because the "Government was running a "Special exercise" that day?

One supposedly to test and reinforce America's air defenses around NY and Washington?.....

And is it true that Cheney was personally responsible for , and in minute to minute charge of ,running this operation that entire day... while one aircarft after another pumelled you guys..?

Why are there reports that Air traffic Controllers saw up to Twenty "ghost" aircraft on their screens during the crisis..... and assumed it was part of the governments "Exercise" and were therefore incapable of any coherent response?

Are these facts, rumors or what?

Dave Goodrich  (5/2)

Dear Mr. Partridge –

Thanks for a well written, well thought out article on the 9/11 attacks. If only the Bush Administration had responded with such level headedness, probably tens of thousands of Iraqis, Afghans, Americans and others would now be alive and in one piece.

No doubt there should be a full investigation, conducted with the highest intellectual and moral standards, of the catastrophe. Then, presumable, every conceivable question will be answered to the everyone’s satisfaction, for all time. As you know, though, such a satisfactory account of almost any human action has rarely, if ever, occurred. That is why debates continue over the exact cause of Napoleon’s death, the reason for the success of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, the divinity of Christ, and the assassination of President Kennedy. All of these would doubtless benefit from the kind of investigation you call for over 9/11.

Given the rarity, not to say nonexistence of Perfect Accountings of the Doings of Humans, your call for such an accounting in this case is something of a cop out. In the real world, we are forced by the shortness of our lives and the insufficiency of our intelligence and probity to draw conclusions in the presence of incomplete evidence.

Rather than devote public funds and energy to another, still imperfect, investigation, is it not better to come to a provisional (everything in life is provisional) conclusion and act on it?

I think it is a waste of time for the American people to worry about the absolute truth about 9/11. In fact, most Americans don’t. They know that there was an attack,that the balance of the evidence points to its being carried out by Muslim fanatics who died in the attack, and that the fanatics were influenced by their religious beliefs, their social frustrations, and their desire to inflict a defeat on the United States.

The conclusions that have been drawn from this evidence are what I believe Americans should be concerning themselves with, for they have had dire consequences.

Americans should ask themselves, and the rest of their fellow humans, whether their response to 9/11 was the right one. For example, many people ask whether the US reacted in a spirit of revenge, lashing out in violence at people who, in fact, had little to do with the incident. If so, how can Americans learn from the disastrous effects of their reaction and prepare themselves to act more rationally if such a thing occurs again?

It seems to me that no amount of calculation about metal fatigue in huge buildings, or the effect of huge quantities of debris collapsing on what remains of a building after an airplane is flown directly into it, will help much to guide Americans, or anyone else, in responding to unexpected attacks, from whatever source.

So instead of picking, picking, picking at the 9/11 scab, perhaps Americans might do better to look to the future and devise policies and practices that will minimize the problems they have with so many other humans, and adopt the wisdom of that great American, Will Rogers, who said “The best way to get rid of an enemy is to make him your friend.”

Lee Zaslofsky  (5/2)


Hello Ernest Partridge,

I think you make some good points in your refutation of the CT's about 9/l1. However I would like to point out:

1) You say, "Charges had to be set beforehand at the points of impact," but this is clearly not true. Remote controlled charges could've been set throughout the building, and the appropriate charges detonated after it was determined where the planes hit.

2) I have seen no explanation as to why the WTC site continued to burn hotter than the initial fires, and smolder for over 3 months.

3) Although the debris was shipped to Staten Island, the most telling evidence would have come from the steel columns and beams themselves. It is documented several places that these beams were, in fact, quickly removed and shipped out from the rest of the debris.  [See this]

4) As for the Pentagon, you say "hundreds of eyewitnesses," yet you link to a page with only 19 such accounts. Plus, among those quotes are several mentions of only "a plane". Are there really hundreds documented who actually saw a 747? Also, don't get me started on that site you linked [www.awitness.org]. The individual that runs it is clearly, for lack of better words, a 'colorful' individual. [I have replaced it with another site. EP]


Just perusing some of the other topics there only served to undermine the credibility of your original point.

5) I find it interesting that you did not at all address the Flight 93 issues. One thing specifically I would like to see is a refutation of Somerset County Coroner Wally Miller's statements - "I stopped being coroner after about 20 minutes, because there were no bodies there,” and for the Pittsburg Review, "I have not, to this day, seen a single drop of blood. Not a drop.”

I'm no extremist or conspiracy nut, but I do think there are too many unanswered questions from that day. I just think you can't absolutely rule anything out until irrefutable proof is given in favor of one theory over another.

The jury is still out on this one...

Thanks for your comments, though.

Chad Corley
Ex-pat in Sydney Australia  (5/2)


Dear Mr. Partridge.

Thank you Thank you Thank you. I am going to hear John Nichols tonight and will take along your paper. I have an undergraduate degree in Architecture and for the first time in a long time I feel that someone in the Progressive community has finally read the material and at least said AH!!! I am on my way to NYC for the demonstration Saturday so will write more on Tuesday when I get back.

Your paper and Common Dreams willingness to publish it is very significant!! I am sure that Dr Jones would meet with you and go over in much greater detail the questions he has concerning the towers and the evidence he sees for the implosion. As he says for the OV to be true the laws of physics will have to be rewritten.

I agree totally with you and have suggested a number of times, to various groups interested in the attack on the Pentagon, that it is critical to take all of the witness statement and begin to put them into a computerized model of the Pentagon and the area around the Pentagon, so that a we can be placed where a witness says he or she was and then see if what they describe can be true. This will sort out the truth from the lies in short order and then we can proceed from there with the rest of the analysis. I have read over the witness statements and three planes were observed at the Pentagon according to the witness statements I read.

Again Thank you for as you said And so I felt obliged to take a closer look at the theories and evidence regarding the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.


Tom Spellman
Lake Geneva WI  (5/2)


Dear Dr. Partridge,

Rather than wasting your time refuting a bunch of half-baked 911 conspiracy theories, why don't you review a VHS or DVD copy of "911 IN PLANE SIGHT." This documentary was put out by the Power Hour in, I believe, North Carolina. This hour long documentary uses mainstream network video and photos from the major network broadcasts on 9/11 and in the succeeding days. By placing these images side by side, you will have a very clear and factual presentation of the events on that day. It is very compelling, and will leave you unable to refute the domestic causes of 911.

If you prefer the easy job of debunking simplistic conspiracy theories, then do not view this documentary. You will be hard pressed to refute it.

Jan Archer  (5/2)

Your interesting dissertation ignores eye-witness testimony from firefighters and people who heard the explosion in the basement of WTC just before being struck by the plane. It omits the original photo of the Pentagon that was displayed on the Marine Corps site, showing an approximately sixteen foot hole in the Pentagon, unbroken and uncharred windows on either side of the hole, large cable spools and construction equipment immediately in front of the hole, and no wreckage. It's difficult to understand how a 124 foot wide, 46 foot high plane with two six-ton Pratt and Whitney engines disappeared into that tiny hole. If the government wanted to prove the people wrong, all they have to do is produce the tapes from the gas station across the street and from the hotel, that were confiscated within minutes.

About two weeks after I saw these pictures, I revisited the site and found that the photos had been removed. Official reports explained the lack of wreckage, saying that the plane had vaporized in the intense heat. However, closeups of the hole after the roof had collapsed show books, computers and wooden furniture untouched and unscorched. The small portions of wreckage appeared in later photos. Also interesting was the fact that the intense heat that supposedly "vaporized" an aluminum and titanium plane with a rounded graphite nose did not prevent identification of victims in a matter of days by their DNA and fingerprints! Holy moly -- what kind of DNA survived such an inferno? And fingerprints on what? And how did a plane with a fragile graphite nose (containing communications equipment) punch a small hole through three concentric nine-foot reinforced concrete rings in the Pentagon?

And why did American Airlines spend huge amounts of money in research and development to announce that in 2004 they had finally perfected a method of making cell phone called from commercial airplanes at cruising speed and altitude. (check with your geek friends on this, I had many friends and relatives conduct an experiment and try to call me from cell phones on planes on domestic flights -- not one succeeded in getting a call out). So explain the supposed cell phone calls from flight 93! I suppose we are now going to be told that they were air phone calls. Must have been a long cord on that air phone, to stretch into the restrooms where two of the calls were supposed to have been made!

And have you never heard of Operation Northwoods? I suggest you do some research. The duplicate flight scenario that they proposed is enlightening. This would explain the sighting of Flight 93 at Baltimore.

As to what happened to the planes and the people. Or who really was responsible. No-one knows. We may never know what really happened. But the government conspiracy theory obviously does not make sense. However, the coincidental 9 NORAD exercises that were taking place before and at the time of 9/11 involving hijacked planes crashing into buildings were obviously designed to distract and confuse the FAA and any air force pilots who were not involved, and to remove most if not all air defense planes from the area. Who was it who said "there are no coincidences."

Angela Bradshaw  (5/2)


I read your article on the official version versus the conspiracy theories. Last week i spent four 16 hour days reading both various conspiracy theories and the official version. Like you i concluded that the pentagon was hit by flight 77 (although i don't believe that it could possibly have been flown by the pilot the OV claims flew the plane. Talk with any commercial jet pilot - no one without significant flying experience could have succeeded with the maneuver that plane made). However, unlike you i concluded that both the Twin Towers and building 7 were brought down with controlled demolitions - the Twin towers in top down demolitions (non-traditional demolition) and building 7 in a bottom up demolition (the traditional method).

It appears you forgot two very critical points in your examination of the collapse of the WTCs

- the pulverization of the cement as the buildings collapsed
- the fact that both buildings fell at near free fall speed

The cement in the twin towers was completely pulverized - right from the moment it started falling. Even if the top floors collapsed onto the floors below it would only break up the concrete, not pulverize it. However, if thermite with sulfur was systematically used throughout the building to cut through the steal support system holding the building up, the temperature of 5000 degrees F would have heated the steal reinforcement within the concrete slabs in such a rapid manner that the water molecules trapped within the cement would have been heated into steam - this expansion (steam is a greatly expanded form of water) would have literally caused the cement to explode. Note that not all the water evaporates out before the cement hardens, thus a small percent of cement is actually water. As with any solid if you heat it to it's boiling point (and certainly 5000 degrees F is way beyond water's boiling point) it turns to it's greatly expanded gaseous form - in this case steam.

The twin towers came down in 14 and 16 seconds. Free fall speed would have been around 9 seconds. Even if the buildings had collapsed upon themselves (unlikely as falling objects tend to follow the path of least resistance rather than most resistance) their would be resistance as each floor was hit by the objects falling upon it from above. This resistance would have caused the buildings to fall at rates significantly slower than free fall speed. However, if the buildings were brought down in a controlled demolition which started at the top of the buildings and worked down towards the bottom (which if you watch the videos carefully is the pattern you see), then you could achieve close to free fall speed assuming you take out each floor just a fraction of a second before it creates resistance for the objects which would otherwise fall onto it.

Like you, I want to see hard evidence about what brought on 911. You mentioned 911research.wtc7.net which has a large collection of information. Better (imho) is Scholars for 9-11 truth http://www.st911.org/ which focuses on various scientific explanations of what could have happened. You might also want to check out http://www.911truth.org and http://www.911review.com which seem to take a more "serious" approach to considering the many many unresolved issues surrounding what happened on 911 and afterwards.

Kevin Begley  (5/2)

Dear Dr Partridge,

I would like to respond briefly to your article on 9/11 conspiracy theories that has been reproduced on the Common Dreams website. You are with respect correct to be skeptical of some of the more outlandish arguments that are put forward by some elements of the 9/11 skeptics community (although there is a school of thought that says such theories are really disinformation moves by those who wish to discredit the 9/11 "truth movement").

There are a number of contentious points and assumptions in your article. A brief email is not the place to debate them at length so I will refer to only a few of what I suggest are the more glaring errors.

You say for example that a temperature of 1170F was sufficient to "weaken" the steel in the WTC towers and this lead to their collapse. The main problem with this argument is that not even FEMA or NIST suggest that such temperatures were reached, and in fact only temperatures of about half that level were achieved and then only briefly. The oral records of the firefighters for example talk about a few small fires well under control.

Your argument also fails to explain how such temperatures could cause the collapse of the buildings in the way that they did in fact go down. There are some basic laws of physics that need to be overcome if the official version is to be believed, such as the law of the conservation of momentum, and your argument does not even begin to approach this issue. David Griffin to whom you refer has noted twelve characteristics of the collapse of the buildings that the official explanation does not explain, but all of which are consistent with some form of controlled demolition.

There are multiple problems with the official version in respect of the collapses. Apart from the conservation of momentum aspect already referred to, there is the pulverisation of the concrete that requires a vastly greater expenditure of energy that the energy levels created by collapses. Similarly with the expulsion of steel beams several hundred feet from the original site.

There are many other aspects of the events of that day that you do not discuss (and I appreciate you have space limitations also) but which were surely worth some mention. The most important of these in the light of your apparent preference for the "let it happen on purpose" line of arguments is the non-operation of the US Air Force for a crucial two hour period (see Ruppert's 'Crossing the Rubicon' for an exhaustive analysis) and the likely confluence of the "hijackings" with the multiple war games being staged that day. Another aspect is that evidence of prior knowledge was not confined to the (heavily redacted) August 6 PDB. For details see Nafeez Ahmed's The War on Truth.

The final comment I would make is that the arguments about the planes hitting the WTC towers and the Pentagon are not just an issue of planes/no planes, although there are some legitimate queries about that aspect (see Jeffrey King's website - aka 'plague puppy') but whether what hit those buildings were the three flights attributed to them, whether they contained the passengers claimed, the real identities of the alleged hijackers, and where did flight 93 really crash and under what circumstances to name just a few of the many legitimate questions that were not answered by what you rightly suggest is a worthless 9/11 commission report.

Notwithstanding these criticisms I commend your website for even broaching the subject (which is more than can be said for the so-called mainstream media) and I hope that this is the first of many such discussions. You might also like to visit the scholars for 9/11 truth website and avail yourself of more of Professor Jones' and David Griffin's work. You may not like the path that such explorations take you on, but the truth is too important to be left to what you aptly call the Bush crime family to put their world threatening spin upon.

Kind regards,

James O'Neill  (5/2)


Dear Dr. Partridge,

I would like to make one comment and one suggestion. First, I don't think the question "what hit the Pentagon" is a fruitful point of departure in clarifying the events of that day. For in my view, there is too little information available for establishing that.

Second, I would like to suggest you take a look at my article "The ASCE's Pentagon Building Performance Report: Arrogant Deception -- Or an Attempt to Expose a Cover-up?"   In writing the article my aim was to test the official 9/11 story re Pentagon by examining the said report, which I found deeply flawed at an elementary level.

Kind regards

Sami Yli-Karjanmaa
Jyväskylä, Finland  (5/2)


Good Morning Dr. Partridge,

I have a few questions for you concerning the Pentagon attack.

As a 757 was alleged to have flown into the building, there should have been wreckage all over, especially two 9' tall and 12' long steel and titanium Rolls Royce or Pratt Whitney engines weighing 6 tons each. Titanium requires 1600 degrees to melt...no pools of it found at the Pentagon?

I have read that each part of an airliner is stamped with a identification code but have failed in my humble investigations to find any information reporting conclusive identification of Flight 77 parts. Why not?

How is it that the impact impression on the Pentagon does not resemble a 757 ?, but resembles a Global Hawk drone aircraft propelled by jet fuel (no one would have had to dump jet fuel) would explain the engine that we've all seen in photographs. How is it possible that the multiple cameras lining that side of the Pentagon, supposedly one of the most well fortified, protected buildings in the world, offer no visuals of a commercial airliner and that the only visual record released by the government from a parking lot camera also show no airliner? Let's just let the tapes from the gas station and hotel, confiscated by the FBI, go by the by.....

Could you refer me to the hundreds of eye witness testimonies which confirm a commercial jetliner? I'd sure like to know about them. I've watched newscasts of quite conflicting testimony, and am skeptical about motorists being able to correctly identify - in seconds - any object traveling @ 500 mph in a totally out of context surprise situation. In fact, I've not heard a single testimony to the incredibly forceful noise that would have deafened everyone in the flight path??

In my research, there were no body parts found at the Pentagon, as there was no luggage or even credible wreckage. Identifications were allegedly made by DNA workups in a government lab. I just can't understand how the official version at the Pentagon explained away the lack of wreckage with "vaporization" and yet allowed for frail human flesh and bone to have been recovered and analyzed?
As far as the press, unfortunately they have a history of going along with whatever they are fed sans investigative inquiry. They don't need to be coerced, they do fine on their own.

This is a genuine inquiry. I appreciate your work and yet find the Pentagon exactly the opposite of your conclusion. I find here nothing clear, unequivocal, or overwhelming and would surely appreciate, if your time permits, your answers to my questions above.

yours truly,
Daniel Turbeville  (5/2)

Ernest Partridge Replies:


If the "facts" as you stated above are all true, then I am properly and decisively refuted. However, I simply cannot accept these assertions as true. I have encountered these and similar assertions in various sites, but rarely independently confirmed. There appears to be too much evidence to the contrary. Rather than reiterate this evidence, I refer you back to the essay. Some of the links, by the way, have been replaced with more substantial sources.

In general: http://www.911myths.com/html/pentagon.html  ,
For a start, about eyewitnesses:

About damage to the Pentagon: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/pentagon.htm
About plane and body parts: http://www.911myths.com/html/757_wreckage.html 


Hi Ernest,

I’m from New York and was there on 9/11, and it had a big impact on me. I felt like my city was being destroyed. It took me 3 years to look past the bin Laden story, and after months of wading through the evidence I came to the conclusion that it was clear that it was an “inside job”. I wasn’t even certain about the collapse of the towers, but everything that happened around the events of that day painted a very complete picture of involvement by Rumsfeld and Cheney and the conclusion that the official story was a fabrication.

But about the collapse. I have since concluded that it is demolition. What Steven Jones and others are trying to get across is that even if there had been a collapse at the point of impact and the fires, there could not have been the complete free fall collapse and steel frame destruction that ensued. The “pancaking” theory which to the naive seems reasonable (hey, I bought it) is in fact not realistic: there would have been substantial resistance from the steel core and walls that would have slowed and stuttered the collapse, if even such a collapse was possible. And one would not have seen the explosive force outward that occurred as the building plummeted downward.

On looking at the videos, it’s pretty clear that explosives are planted every few floors and exploded sequentially downward from the point of the crash. I think this was done this way for two reasons. One was that the explosive nature of this collapse was dramatic, and intended to be that way. The other was that it could then be superficially explained by the pancaking hypothesis.

I’m glad you’re at least looking into this. So few on the left are. But, if you can get past the idiosyncrasies (craziness?) of some of the stuff out there, you’ll find that the complete picture painted by the evidence is quite overwhelming.

Jon Korein  (5/2)


Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org).  Dr. Partridge can be contacted at: gadfly@igc.org .