Thinking against the conspiracies

Pursuing theories that are laden with nonsense will only endanger our country and leave us vulnerable.

With all this talk of 9-11 conspiracies and controlled demolitions, it may help to add a few more facts to this debate.

Some people have argued that no plane hit the Pentagon, mainly because of the lack of visible plane debris around the building. However, you have to completely neglect the fact that 89 people saw an object hit the Pentagon, and almost 30 of them specifically mentioned seeing an American Airlines jet. A generator in front of the building was gouged and knocked toward the Pentagon, meaning that something flying in the direction of the Pentagon must have hit it. The American Society of Civil Engineers has also written a thorough analysis of the attack and confirmed that the American Airlines jet is what hit the Pentagon.

As for the crash in Shanksville, if you believe that Flight 93 did not crash there, you’d be ignoring the flight data recorder graphs that show its erratic flight moments before crashing, the cockpit voice recorder (available on the Internet) that details the entire conversation in Flight 93’s cockpit by the hijackers, the fact that 95 percent of the plane was recovered and the fact that the remains of all victims on the flight were positively identified.

The collapse of the World Trade Center is what has caught the most attention. Despite what Adri Mehra said in his editorial, the towers did not actually fall in a “beautifully symmetrical fashion.” A video of the south tower’s collapse, which can be viewed at, shows the beams of the tower were bending quite significantly mere seconds before the building collapsed. It also shows that the building was tipping considerably as it was falling down, not nearly “symmetrical” as Adri would have you believe.

It may help to look at what happens with an actual controlled demolition. In October 1998, the J.L. Hudson Department Store in Detroit was demolished. It was the largest department store in the country at the time, measuring in at 2.2 million square feet in surface area. Implosion crews spent three months investigating and exploring the building and another four months prepping it for demolition, which included covering the basement walls with sand and engineered fill. Many of the steel beams were precut with torches before even wiring the building with explosives.

When the building was wired for explosion, demolition crews placed 4,118 charges in 1,100 separate locations, using more than 36,000 feet of detonation cord in the process. That’s nearly seven miles! This process took another 24 days to complete.

Now, compare this to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, each of which measures in at about 3.8 million square feet. If we also want to discuss the supposed demolition of 7 World Trade Center, that’s another 1.9 million square feet. In total, the square footage of all three buildings is about 9.5 million square feet, more than four times the square footage of the J.L. Hudson Department Store.

Think about this, now. If you believe that the World Trade Center was taken down by controlled demolition, you would have to believe that nearly 30 miles worth of detonation cord was planted around these buildings and not a single one of the 50,000 employees or 200,000 visitors who passed through the towers on a daily basis noticed a thing.

I understand why people are asking questions, and I also understand the disillusionment with the government over the fact that 9-11 even happened in the first place. However, we are putting our energy in the wrong place when we pin these attacks on our government. A credible terrorist threat does exist, and by accusing the wrong people for these attacks, we are essentially excusing these terrorists for committing the most deadly attack on our country in modern history. And that is truly inexcusable.

What we need to do is learn from our mistakes and figure out how we can prevent another one of these attacks from occurring. Pursuing conspiracy theories that are laden with nonsense will only endanger our country and leave us vulnerable to future terrorist attacks that may be in the planning process as we speak.

Dan Waller is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected].