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Friday, September 22, 2006

A partial critique of Debunking 911 - WTC 7

Now I know that this site is likely to change (as such things do), but I thought I'd give it a little critique in its current form. Here's the link to the page:
Debunking 9/11 WTC 7
Here's my recent webcitation link, for comparison purposes: http://www.webcitation.org/5J3wv5GIZ

Debunking 9/11 exclusive! ~ World Trade Center 7 South Side Hole

Researching this, I began looking for images of the WTC 7south side hole the firemen talked about. The only photo's I could find had this massive hole obscured by tremendous plumes of smoke. I came across Steve Spak's web site with various 9/11 images. He has an excellent DVD with images not seen anywhere. I E-mailed Mr. Spak to see if he had any photos of the huge hole in the south side of building 7. He sent me back what I conclude is the best photo of the south side damage yet.
Did he send back the exact version posted on the webpage (with Steve Spak Debunking 9 11 written on it) If not, could we see a slightly more original (and less photoshopped) version of the photo for comparison purposes? If all this site can show us is manipulated images without references to the original source material, how seriously can we take it?
Even this photo doesn't show the entire hole.
Got any pictoral evidence to back up that claim?
Mr. Spak said he just happen to take the shot when the smoke cleared enough to see a portion of it.
Hmm, just happened, eh? And the most interesting bits which we wouldn't have seen before just happened to be obscured by a building... just like in all the other photos we've seen. Hmm, what a coincidence, right?

The WTC mezzanine covers the bottom half of the hole so we can't know how wide the hole is on the bottom floors. The skin of the building seems to be detached from the floors as if the north tower debris took some building 7 floors with it on the way down.
Not much worth commenting on here. "Seems" and "as if" mean the author is speculating. Why should I buy his speculation?


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Update:

Just as conspiracy theorists used the north side photos to suggest that was the extent of the damage, (A few small fires) conspiracy theorists are now using this photo to suggest the photo shows the total extent of the damage.
Well, maybe some are. Maybe some of those CTers are on the payroll, too... Who knows? That's the disadvantage of never linking to alternate sources and backing things up. All we have to go on is the author's word. Why should we trust that? What evidence have we been shown that this person actually cares about finding out the truth no matter what that might be? Now my personal claim on the topic is that this "evidentiary picture offers us a new angle on damage which we've already established (South West corner of WTC 7 between floors 8 and 18, extending 1-2 columns along the south face of WTC 7). We also get to see a bit of the south face of WTC 7 which does not appear to be significantly damaged, structurally speaking. And a lot of smoke. There may have been more damage to the south face of WTC 7, but so far all we have to go on is conflicting testimony. Popular Mechanics says they've seen pictures which confirm this damage. Apparently, we don't get to. Some firefighters claim there was a big hole, other accounts say that the lobby had no large debris in it and that the only damage to the facade on the 9th floor was on the SW corner. Who knows? Be nice to see some more pictures, though. Popular Mechanics claims they exist, and why would they lie to us? After all, 360 of their brothers perished... oops, I'm getting a little ahead of myself there...
I emphasized the above because for some reason conspiracy theorists don't get it. Yes, I can't find a photo which shows more damage to the south side but conspiracy theorist who have been shown to be wrong time and time again also can't find a photo proving the south side only had the damage we see. I find this double standard comically obvious.
Well, perhaps some "conspiracy theorists" have been shown to be wrong time and time again. Perhaps some "coincidence theorists" have been shown wrong time and time again as well. Something about blind sows and acorns? When I see evidence which persuades me that my thinking has been incorrect, I change my mind. I used to think the smoke on WTC 7 was mostly enhanced by shooting through WTC 6 smoke. Now, I'm less sure. I've seen more photographic and video evidence to indicate that there was quite a bit of smoke coming out of WTC 7. Check out my post on misrepresenting photographic evidence. Rather than change that post, I write a new one to reflect my new thoughts based on new (to me) evidence. Also, so called "conspiracy theorists", at least many of them, should not bear the burden of proof on this issue (not being able to find photographic evidence). That's like saying, "well, they haven't shown us any pictures of the grassy knoll shooters, therefore the official story must be true." What we have here is a situation where there was limited access for close up photography. We know there were cameras in the area taking pictures. Some of them have even been seen by the public, believe it or not! Until we get official under oath testimony from all the photographers who we know were taking pictures at ground zero on 9/11 that every single one of their photos taken on 9/11 are available for public viewing, doubt remains about what we haven't seen. How to clear up that doubt? Release more photos, already! What's the security issue here? Instead, we (those of us who track such things) see photographic and documentary evidence disappearing from public view. Who is saving these things? This is historical. This was a criminal act of mass murder. This event has been used to justify so much that has happened in the last 5 years... sorry. Back to the critique.
Image 1
This photo is copyrighted and was given with permission to debunking911 for use on this site.

A statement from Steve Spak:
This photo was taken a couple of hours before number 7 WTC collapsed. Two water mains that supplied lower Manhattan were damaged leaving little or no water pressure in the area. Hours before the collapse of 7 WTC, Fire Chiefs at the scene advised all units to stay away from 7 WTC because of the collapse dangers. They had no water to fight the blaze and the building was damaged from the collapse of the North Tower. You can see a big hole on the lower floors in this photo. I believe that the Chiefs made the right decision in letting 7 WTC burn.

Steve Spak
stevespak.com

If you count the columns which are visible, you can see this is NOT the corner damage in the FEMA photo below.

Image 2
I disagree. Looks pretty much like the same damage from a different angle to me. But I'll post a bunch of links to images and let the reader decide for him or herself. The problem for me here is that the camera angle and perspective appear to be intentionally designed to create the illusion of a large amount of damage. The obscuring mezzanine, the downward sloping lines which can be drawn on the windows of the Verizon building... these things give perspective on the photographer's position. Compare this image with these three: first, lower floor damage on the west side, second, a closer and somwhat less obscured shot of WTC 7 on 9/11 from a similar POV, third, a shot taken from across the Hudson.

antidote image 1
antidote image 2
antidote image 3

see more pics which I (and others) have gathered together from various internet sites here

The above South West damage is taken into account in the graphics below.

Below is a graphics from the initial World Trade Center 7 report. This might change when the final report becomes available. Note the word "Approximate" when talking about the large hole. I suspect the only evidence they had at the time were the firemen's interviews which seem to be very close to the photo at the top of the page.
Whatever...initial, approximate, suspect, might. Let us know when you're sure dude... some folks don't have multimillion dollar budgets and/or aren't on the payroll. They'd just like to see non BS answers. Let us know when you initially suspect someone might approximately have them.
Update:

Conspiracy Theorist are hard at work looking to find the slightest discrepancy in the NIST preliminary report. The NIST report was created before debunking911.com contacted Spak and sent the photo to NIST.

It's not unreasonable to suspect the members of the NIST who are investigating the collapse weren't there at the time of collapse. It's also not unreasonable to suspect they don't have much video or photographic evidence of the south side because they evacuated the south of Manhattan due to the impending collapse of this very building.
So... Steve Spak et. al didn't think it worth their time to pass their images on to say FEMA and/or NIST, yet Stevie passes it along to you so that you can then notify NIST? Ya think I just rolled off the turnip truck or something? I think that's not "not unreasonable to suspect" myself.
It's safe to say they only know what they have evidence for. Yet the conspiracy theorist expect the NIST to have all the evidence at their fingertips from the first day.
Dude, their initial report came out in 2004. 2006 can hardly be called the first day. Yeah, I know they haven't focused on WTC 7. They were busy. Whatever their excuse was on their FAQ page. (Look it up if you really want to know. I read it once.)
If any evidence comes up which doesn't support the preliminary hypothesis it's taken as a part of some mass murder plot.
Ah, yes, hyperbole... to me it's one more thing that doesn't add up. The list grows. That's why we need a new and truly independent investigation that can really uncover the answer.
Yet these "Truth seekers" give Jones a pass as he changes his hypothesis every few weeks.
Okay, fair enough. You see, I can concede a point. NIST gets to change their story too, as new evidence comes to light. What about the evidence they already have, though? The conflicting reports. The report of no large debris in the lobby, the report of an undamged facade on floor 9 (excepting the SW corner). Sure, there were other reports of damage which I'm sure you're going to tell us all about very shortly...
I wonder what the word "Preliminary" means to a conspiracy theorist? To me it means "a first hypothesis" and not "This is the final conclusion". Science don't work that way.
No comment. I'll be just as casual with my punctuation, grammar and spelling as you were. After all, it's not like either one of us is getting paid to write this stuff, right? It's not like either one of us is ever likely to have an audience for his screed, either.

Insert some BS scientific flowchart graphic image here
As I highlighted above, the NIST said the locations of the damage are not written in stone. Look at the legend below. They use the words "Possible", "Less likely" and "Least likely". Yet conspiracy theorist ignore these qualifiers and try to paint the scientist of the NIST as purposefully lying and supporting a mass murderer because the graphic below may not be exactly what the photo shows.
Yeah, we know you don't like CTers. How about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Do you like that? You seem to imply that CTers consistently make stuff up to fit their pet theories. Perhaps some do. I know I've had to wade through a lot of smelly stuff.
We really don't know how much of the graphic below is right or wrong using the Spak image because his image only shows a small portion of the south side. Most of the building is covered by smoke, the WTC 6 mezzanine and the camera angle. It's blatantly dishonest to use Spak's image to conclude their is less damage than on the graphic below. We just CAN'T KNOW from the image. We also don't know what other evidence the NIST has which support the graphic.
I haven't concluded anything just yet. However, we seem to have conflicting testimonies and no available photographic evidence. Seems a little too preliminary to start making up diagrams which then get tossed around as "official", however preliminary they may be. Heck, they could just say, we don't currently know the extent of the damage to the south face and leave it there. Or they could issue two diagrams- one showing established damage and one showing hypothetical conflicting accounts damage. Let's put it this way, I've never seen anyone referencing a NIST established damage diagram.

NIST diagram
Note the amount of columns on the south face. There are 14 columns on the south face. Also note the column on the end right is spaced out farther apart. Spak's image shows 5. We can assume the clearing at the end where daylight is visible is the end of the building. We can then fill in the columns to get a better idea where this hole is...
What makes you say we can assume the clearing is the end of the building? What if that's over on the Federal building next door? But no, let's blithely assume this based on no evidence and then fit our columns in based on this assumption.
Image 3
Green are visible columns, yellow are assumed. We can conclude this isn't the south west corner damage which only had a column or two taken out.
Yeah, whatever. Just assume what you want, draw some lines to fit and conclude what you want. Isn't that what you accuse the CTers of doing? If you want to update your page and columns using some of the photos which I've sent along as an assist, feel free. Somehow I doubt you will. Oh, look, you've already posted one of them below. Somehow, it fit your facts. Next time, be sure to get the perspective correct before you make conclusions.
The mezzanine under building 6 covers at least from the 6th floor down. How do we know? Because we can't see the louvers in Spak's image. No one can say the damage we see is the total damage. I suspect the hole became much larger at ground level given the collection of debris we see in the photo below.
I agree with the first two points. I don't care what you suspect, frankly. You have failed to gain my trust.
insert another image with a building obscuring most of WTC 7 here
Note the large pile of debris and what looks like perimeter columns sticking out of it.


Update:

One conspiracy theorist has done an admirable job inserting columns in the photo to give us a better understanding of what we see. It's such a good job, for the first time I'm going to use a conspiracy theorist photo to make a point.
How convenient for you. An unnamed and unsourced conspiracy theorist just happens to come up with a representation you agree with. Well, show me your source, and I can probably show you either a complete bozo or someone on the payroll. I find myself arguing against yet another photoshopped image, this time a composite with lines and numbers drawn in. Assumptions, once again. Fit the evidence to what one wants to show. You sure you didn't make this little gem up yourself? Haha, just kidding. I know you'd never do anything like that... That'd be dishonest. Oh, BTW, where'd ya get that little cutout for the bottom floor of the Verizon blg.? I'd like to see that image. Doh! you took it from another image with a building obscuring most of WTC 7 here, didn't you? Why you little sneaking, lying little sack of sh*t CTer. Oh, sorry, you didn't make that image, you just "borrowed" it from a CTer for the "first time ever" because it was so admirably done. Dude. I'm packing this review up. It's not even worth my time to continue. Next time, try to get a clue. In fact, next time, don't even bother.

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