Novella on Truthers on the New 9/11 Footage

Here’s an interesting commentary by Steven Novella on the release, nearly 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, of new police helicopter footage of the burning towers, and in particular on the reaction of 9/11 Truthers in the videos’ online comments: New 9/11 footage.

In addition to faulty logic, the comments give insight into the emotions of the typical conspiracy theorist. In a word – they are smug. Everyone who does not accept their raving paranoia is naive or idiotic, part of the “sheeple.” Anything short of the maximally cynical interpretation of every piece of evidence, in their view, is naive. Conspiracy thinking is pattern recognition and hyperactive agency detection gone wild, sometimes unhinged by impaired reality testing. At the milder end of the spectrum there are those who simply employ flawed logic – who have fallen down the rabbit hole of conspiracy thinking.

I’m not looking to wind up Knarly or anything. Nobody here but us sheeple, right?

11 Responses to “Novella on Truthers on the New 9/11 Footage”

  1. shcb Says:

    I liked this in the comments:

    Steven Novellaon 08 Mar 2011 at 9:07 am
    Meeting 72 virgins in heaven is nonsense, but meeting all our deceased loved-ones is not?

    This is a good example of – other people’s magical beliefs are silly, but mine are self-evidence Truth.

  2. enkidu Says:

    obviously you are unfamiliar with the word “irony”

    your taxamagical wwnj beliefs are more in line with the ‘Islamofascists’ than a liberal democracy

  3. shcb Says:

    What are you talking about????

  4. knarlyknight Says:


    I noticed at 911blogger yesterday there was a link to the video and story at Huffington Post, with the note: “…The article and footage don’t seem to be anything too revealing, what is really interesting is the comment stream at the footer of the article.”

    The discussion at 911blogger then went on to lament that the comments were a mixed bag but generally there was agreement that having discussion was good. Then, it was noticed that the idiotic comments and attack comments (pro and con) were being left up, but the reasonable comments citing scientific anomalies with the official story in bland terms were being deleted by the moderator. Then the discussion melted down into how such censorship of comments can be overcome. I don’t think it can.

    I haven’t gotten around to watching the video yet as I’m told it shows nothing new. When I get to it in the next few days I’ll let you know if there is anything interesting to it.

    But by all means JBC, you keep on finding any disparaging dirt to throw at this issue if it makes you feel better than coming to terms with the fact that 1500 architects and engineers dispute the official story that you so tightly cling to

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    might as well add that 220+ Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Government Officials also have serious objections to the official story:

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    JBC, I watched the helicopter video and read Novella’s take on it. Neither had much substance. The video was lousy and Novella just spouted his meanspirited opinions with a sprinkle of statistics from 5 year old poll results. Yawn. (My only question, which neither you nor Novella bothered to consider, is why would this video be kept secret for ten years? I can’t think of any reason for such an extraordinary withholding of non-information.)

    Rather than re-inforcing your biases with Novella’s oh-so-predictable-laments-about-the-inadequacy-of-other’s-minds, your time might be better spent reading a detective novel, or considering a speculative crime investigation like this:

  7. jbc Says:


    I’m not sure there’s much room for productive discussion between someone like me, who has concluded that 9/11 Truth is a dubious conspiracy theory, and those who believe it to be a sensible response to anomalous data. And I recognize that you’ve got a sensitive spot there, but I think it’s probably a given at this point that anything I think is interesting enough to post on the subject is going to rub you the wrong way. And I obviously knew that going in, so I apologize if linking to and quoting from this Novella piece felt like “disparaging dirt”.

    I like you, in the same sort of weirdly detached way I like all the regulars here. You’ve arguably contributed more to the site than I have, and given the prominent position it occupies in my own pathetic little cocoon of online unreality, that counts for a lot, at least with me.

    But on this 9/11 Truth stuff, you’re a nutjob. You’re just wrong. I don’t need to follow the links and look at still yet more examples of cherrypicked anomalies and twisted logic and breathtaking leaps to ridiculous conclusions, any more than I need to spend time analyzing Glenn Beck. I’ve reached the point where I’m comfortable just lumping all that stuff into “yup, nutjob”. I’m aware that by doing so I’m willfully blinding myself to any number of actually interesting anomalies that might be pointed out and actually legitimate arguments that might be raised, and that if I were to really dig into this with an open mind my own views would no doubt be changed — and improved — as a result.

    But life’s too short, and I’ve got other obsessions.

  8. knarlyknight Says:

    I can respect most of that, and understand your unwillingness to spend time considering things that no longer interest you, especially when you’ve made a conscious decision to not look closely at historical facts about 911.

    However, you might reconsider being so quick to call people a “nut job”.

    I am asking is that we figure out what really happened. You hold firm to a version of 911 that has more anomolies than a badly written B movie, and is willing to ignore its multiple inconsistencies with basic physics. For me, life is too short to live under the such an illusion of grand lies, I will strive to find what really happened on 911. It it was the pivotal day in our history (go ask Rudy).

    For you, it seems life is too short to bother with things that take away from an afternoon spent photographing a coccooning caterpiller in the carpet of your house. Perhaps you should reconsider who really is the nut job.

  9. jbc Says:


  10. enkidu Says:

    And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between a wrong wing nut job (someone who avidly consumes easily disprovable lies and balderdash for psycho partisan group-think) and someone who believes strongly, perhaps nuttily, in something that is contentious, unproven, dismissed and highly unlikely. Like a discussion about creation/The Creator, there is a pretty wide array of possible solutions.

    I have a strong emotional rejection of knarls anti-vax opinions, but choose to engage politely (generally, u know me! ;) or just ignore. I think 9/11 needs a lot more study (lets get Watson geared up to run simulations of what happened! ok, not that overgrown encyclopedia, but a real certifiable model of the building, it’s age, it’s contents, the forces unleashed by slamming a huge airliner into the side of the tower, then run a few zillion variations). I for one would support a second inquiry. If it proves the ienjs did it, will the Truthers accept it and move on? Many, probably not. But I have the distinct feeling knarly would probably accept a really thorough inquiry that includes some reasonable Truthers as part of the investigation.

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    For the record, JBC, I think if more people appreciated and wondered at the marvels of carpet caterpillars the world would be a much better place.

    And just to close the loop, here are two of the comments that I referenced above in bold about being deleted, while incendiary and idiot comments were left standing… these were deleted by the moderator of Huffington Post, now run by AOL:

    “Somehow some of my deleted huffingtonpost comments were cached on the web and still exist in that form even though they were removed from the site. I have pasted them below here. I guess this violated the rules:”

    “People just wake up the buildings were some of the biggest steel structures ever built and they just pulverized into dust in a matter of seconds. A plane crash doesn’t explain why the frigging world trade center should have collapsed in on itself and killed thousands. Trained professionals had no idea the buildings would collapse, that’s why they went in there and first responders were lost. And then there’s building 7 which wasn’t hit by a plane and yet fell at free fall speed. You can’t get to free fall without help there’s this little thing called the redundant structure of the lower floors. So yes, the buildings were demolished . Does that mean inside job? Who knows? Let’s get a new investigation and find out to honor the victims!”

    And also:

    “Controlled demolition is a scientific theory based on how the building was observed to fall versus what we know about how it should have behaved given it’s architect re and the damage it suffered. It is not a conspiracy theory to ask those questions and it does not imply that 911 was orchestrat ed by the government even if the buildings were demolished . It does mean that we need a new independent investigation to put the conspiracy theories to rest. Scientists who criticize the official story are not conspiracy theorists. Why are you so confident that the buildings were not demolished when reasonable people disagree with you based on the evidence?”

    It seems strange for a moderator to delete those yet leave the idiocy that you and Novella complained about.

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