--Police Chief Joe Esposito, NYPD
"It was almost like the closer you were,
the less you knew...As we look back,
we were the least informed."
--Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer, FDNY
Inside the lobby, I think we knew less
of what was going on than
people outside or in the street, or the
people watching on television.
--Thomas von Essen, former FDNY fire commissioner
The official 9/11 conspiracy theory claims that suicidal Muslims hijacked four airliners on the morning of September 11, 2001 and slammed them at high speed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a landfill in rural Pennsylvania. Millions believe these stories based on the (dwindling) authority of the U.S. government and corporate media, reinforced that morning by "live" images on TV of a plane disappearing behind the towers, followed by a sensational, Hollywood-style explosion in the south tower.
The insurmountable problems for the official conspiracy theory include the evidence that aluminum wide-body 767s did not seem to "crash" into the towers but instead, as portrayed in pictures and videos, slipped silently into and disappeared inside said steel-framed towers from nose to tail, wing tip to wing tip, with an apparent silhouette of passage of an airplane outline mysteriously appearing some unknown time after the explosion, undersized though these gashes in the buildings were, without slowing, without degrading, without crumpling, without deforming, without breaking off wings or wing tips, flaps, panels, actuators, fuselage or tail section, without fuel spillage, without burned fuel spilled down the face of either impact wall; without a visible wake vortex in the (delayed) explosions or sound of a jetliner and without evidence of any airplane pieces visible in the tower holes or below the impact zones despite the combined weight of 166 tons of airplane parts or 332,000 pounds, 6.2 million aircraft parts according to Boeing, plus cargo and fuel weighing some 230,000 pounds, and no known air crash investigation with confirmation of parts unique to each commercial airliner matched to maintenance logs; the explosion fireball was remarkably gray in contrast to real explosions of large jets with charcoal and black fireballs;
Picture source here.
Esposito photo source here.
Essen photo source here.
"Another common observation in these [eyewitness memory] studies is that after an event has been experienced, new information about the event sometimes comes to the person's attention and becomes incorporated into memory. The result is that the memory is supplemented or altered. When exposed to misleading post-event information, subjects have misrecalled the color of a car that was green as being blue, a yield sign as a stop sign, broken glass or tape recorders that never existed, and even recalled something as large and conspicuous as a barn when no barn was ever seen." Elisabeth Loftus, et. al., "Who Remembers What?: Gender Differences in Memory," Michigan Quarterly Review, 26 (1987): 78. At the WTC "new information" about planes occurred not just in the hours, days, weeks and months after the event but during the 9/11 event itself while people were under stress, panicky, in shock, and traumatized. "There is in fact some evidence indicating that women do respond to eyewitness situations with a greater degree of stress, and that this greater stress may, in at least one respect, produce more inaccurate recollections" (p. 81). "Across many studies that have now utilized the 'lost-in-the-mall' procedure, an average of ~30% of subjects have gone on to produce either partial or complete false memory...guided imagination, suggestive dream interpretation, or exposure to doctored photographs, have also led subjects to believe falsely that they experienced events in their distant and even in their recent past." Elizabeth F. Loftus, "Planting misinformation in the human mind: A 30-year investigation of the malleability of memory," Learning and Memory, 12 (2005): 361-6. Loftus also writes of, "...a vast effort to investigate the memory processes...that show unequivocally how humans are the authors or creators of their own memories. They can also be the authors or creators of someone else's memory," in "Memories of Things Unseen," Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13 (2004): 147. "Largely in response to the mounting list of wrongful convictions discovered to have resulted from faulty eyewitness evidence, an effort is gaining momentum in the United States to reform police procedures and the various legal rules addressing the treatment of eyewitness evidence in criminal trials. Social scientists are committing more resources to studying and understanding the mechanisms of human memory in the eyewitness context, and lawyers, scholars, and legislators are devoting increasing attention to the fact that faulty eyewitness evidence remains the leading cause of wrongful conviction in the United States. Reform measures mandating that police use established best practices when collecting eyewitness evidence have been implemented in New Jersey, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Minnesota. Bills on the same topic have been proposed in Georgia, New Mexico, California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and others."