The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

“Miracle on the Hudson” Conspiracy Woo

Posted by mattusmaximus on January 17, 2009

No doubt that by now you’ve heard all about the “Miracle on the Hudson” – namely the crash-landing of a United Airways Airbus A320 into the Hudson River next to Manhattan island this past Thursday. The kicker is that, while there were some injuries and some suffered from exposure to the extreme temperatures, nobody among the 155 aboard Flight 1549 died. Through a combination of luck and the skills of the pilot, it seems this would-be tragedy gave everyone a bit of good news at the end of the week.

Miracle on the Hudson

The exact cause of the crash is still unknown, though early reports have been suggesting that the Airbus flew through a flock of geese and both engines were disabled by bird-strikes. There are reports that the pilot radioed air-traffic-control shortly after takeoff notifying them of the bird-strikes. However, until the NTSB releases its report we cannot be certain of what brought down the plane.

But, believe it or not, there are those who have spun the “Miracle” as some kind of conspiracy. Conspiracy theorists all over the Internet are making a variety of loony claims for the real reason Flight 1549 came down on Thursday. A perfect example is the budding “Water Landing Truth Movement” over at the David Icke Forums. Here’s just a sampling of what I’ve seen in the past two days while wading my way through the stupid over there…

All’s good to distract the sheeple’s attention from the carnage of Gaza.

Interesting, all the news outlets seem to be “waiting” to hear from the “HERO” pilot, BBC mentioned it, as did Sky News… I wonder what fictional account of what happened is being programmed into him?

Could be strange coincidences but it turns out the pilot allegedly ‘turned down’ two offers of emergency landings at airports in vicinity. The following is fact but a strange coincidence, it also turns out that the pilot, (who is keeping a low profile) also happens to own his own business advising airlines on airline safety and events such as how to keep the airline staff under control when a jet ditches in the sea.

In fact it has a NWO link, run some statistics on plane crashes and you’ll know why.

A plane just happens to crash land in the hudson river on the day israeli troops bomb another U.N. shelter without any justification whatsoever. Fucking bullshit! I wonder how difficult it would be for an experienced pilot to bring a plane down safely on water like that? Probably a lot less difficult than they would have us believe.

… landing a plane on water is easy. All the pilots of the world are part of the NWO order too. Fact.

I cant help but think this is a confirmation ad for the planecrash in wtcs. it sounds cartoonish taht a plane can actually land in the water like that , without a scratch or budge. it didnt even sink before evryone was evacuated (on camera). incredibly weird story but seeing more and more people question the wtc plane crash it may as well be just another psy op, just like any other news story these days.

Bush, Cheney & Co must be cacking themselves…a missed opportunity, surely…they must be thinking…!? The fact everyone survived, would be seen as a bad omen, by those in the “inside job” business…

Don’t forget Colin Powell’s “warning” for the 21st – 22nd of January “that we don’t know about yet…” lol I don’t think geese could take the engines off or that the plane could fly with no engines, sufficiently to glide onto a river perfectly. The level of coverage over something where not one person was even injured, shows it’s a distraction story. Gaza is being flattened as we speak and the Israeli’s are stepping it up yet further. Financial collapse on the 10th feb and Powell/Biden/Albright saying it’s about to go off on 21st – 22nd January. Hope you’re ready for some shit.

It’s clear that the plane crash was planned as a distraction story. like people in the thread are saying “the miracle plane crash”. and the fact the government chose someone that is an expert in water based landing and 20+ years experience in the raf backs it up even more

It gets nuttier from there. Conspiracy theorists are, to say the least, an interesting bunch – in many cases, they exhibit a kind of pseudo-magical thinking wherein they twist history and (in more extreme cases) the very laws of physics to fit with their conspiracy-driven worldview. Often these conspiracies (whether it is those espousing Holocaust denial, “9/11 Truth”, or “Big Pharma” conspiracies) invoke some kind of secretive, ultra-powerful entity such as the Illuminati & New World Order (NWO) which somehow has the capability to pull off such a deep & widespread deception.

In the case of the developing conspiracy of the “Miracle”, some of the CTists argue that it’s not possible that bird-strikes could cripple a jet engine. Either these folks have a profound ignorance of physics, or they are engaging in magical thinking – it is very easy for a bird-strike to damage a jet engine. Think about it… the turbine blades of a jet engine rotate really fast; because of this, even if there were no relative translational motion between the bird and engine, there would be a considerable amount of damage done in collision due to a massive transfer of kinetic energy. This is because the relative rotational motion between the turbine blade and bird is enormous (birds tend not to spin in the air at many hundreds or thousands of rpm). Plus, any pieces of turbine blade that might break off run into other parts of the engine, causing further damage.

And then there’s video footage of bird-strikes on jet engines…

So, it is pretty clear that bird-strikes can cripple jet engines. This fact alone should be enough to defeat the conspiracy theory that the “Miracle” was part of a larger NWO plan or “inside-job”. But the really sad thing about dealing with CTists and their arguments is that no matter what evidence you present against them, such as that given above, the hard core types (such as arch-CTist David Icke) will always dismiss it. They rationalize this in a variety of ways, from employing unhealthy doses of selective thinking or arguing from ignorance to claiming their critics are part of the wider conspiracy!

I have dealt with some people like this before, and they can be a frightening bunch. Many of the most devout CTists have an almost fundamentalist religious belief in their conspiracy-driven worldview, and it can be a journey into a very dark & scary place to go there.

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25 Responses to ““Miracle on the Hudson” Conspiracy Woo”

  1. Ivan said

    Wow! I had never heard of these conspiracy theorists.

    There’s an interesting (though speculative) theory that may have some bearing on this…

    Mental disorders can be located along a dimension of mentalism (aka ‘theory-ofmind,’ ‘folk-psychology’ or ‘people skills’) defined as our evolved ability to comprehend others’ actions and behaviour in purely mental terms (such as intention, belief, desire, emotion etc.). Autistics, notoriously, are poor where mentalistic skills like inferring intention or understanding false belief are concerned. ASDs therefore belong on the hypo-mentalistic side of the continuum. However, what we would now term psychotic spectrum disorders (PSDs) can be typified as hyper-mentalistic: paranoid schizophrenics, for example, symptomatically over-interpret intention either positively in erotomania (delusions that others are in love with you) or negatively in delusions of persecution. They also entertain bizarre false beliefs about themselves and others, and generally exhibit excessive mentalism, often enshrined in quasi-religious or mystical delusions.

  2. Zoe said

    As for me personally, I highly doubt this was the work of birds. The latest news is that both engines cut out at the same time. The odds of birds taking out an engine are pretty remote. Birds fly into engines all the time, and they mostly hold up. They are tested once they are manufactured by chicken carcasses which are catapulted into the engines to make sure they can withstand such an impact. I realize that several factors play a role. However, for both engines to cut out seems like a serious mechanical failure that the aviation industry knows it can’t afford right now, and I’m grateful to the brave pilot and crew who were able to avert disaster with their strength and courage.

    I have had several experiences on aircraft that have been unpleasant. I was on two planes that lost engine power. I was on a plane during a bomb scare. I also lost a good friend due to a plane crash due to mechanical failure. All of these incidents were the result of FAA failures and not pilot errors, and all the incidents were inappropriately handled by the administration. The fact that I am one person and I am only 29 and have experienced all of this suggests to me that the industry has some serious problems. We almost had to make an emergency water landing in the first incident. Fortunately, we made it safe upon an emergency landing back at an airport. The second time, I was on a plane that blew TWO engines. We were flying shortly after takeoff and heard a loud explosion. The jet briefly felt as if it shot backwards and everyone was crying and screaming and praying. The pilot said we’d hit “a seagull”. Several things were wrong with this equation, most notably that we were far too high up in the air to have hit any bird. Another explosion on the other side of the plane occured an hour later, upon which the pilot was curiously silent. Basically, it’s easy to blame poultry instead of mechanical failure as an airline doesn’t need to take responsibility for such a matter. I was on a US flight bound to Europe, where a bomb was suspected of being on board with the luggages in the belly of the plane. The procedure was to take us to a remote part of the airport and deboard THE LUGGAGE and leave us all on the plane. Brilliant planning. Nothing like knowing that human lives are a priority. Lastly, within the past few years, I have had a few incidents in which planes didn’t take off on time and connection flights were missed and the airlines refused to do anything about it, claiming on one occasion that the plane had been late because they were waiting on a passenger when in fact no one boarded the plane after waiting 20 minutes and this was most likely not the case and the other incident, it was claimed that the weather was to blame for a delay even though perfect skies were reported in the locations I was visiting. Therefore, they refused to hook passengers up with accomodations or travel arrangements to get to their destination if they didn’t have a plane available until like 12 hours later. They would say “well, if it was our fault we’d do it but it was the weather so there was nothing we could do”… Especially with planes losing so much money these days and bankrupcy, the FAA appears to be adopting shadier excuses for everything in order to avoid responsibility and do the right thing. And if situations continue to get worse before they improve, I suspect we’ll be seeing this kind of thing far more often. If people want to feign ignorance and believe everything a news program or airplane agency has to say, that’s their right. However, I’ve also worked for the media in the past and have seen firsthand media corruption on levels the public would never even begin to believe if they knew. That’s why I quit that line of work. Again, my hat goes off to the amazing crew who made miracles happen that day.

  3. jim said

    As far as skepticism goes, this opinion for all intensive purposes contains about two or three sentences of anything remotely approaching scientific research and the balance as unsubstantiated and uninspired ridicule towards what the author refers to as “conspiracy theorists”. After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, ridicule ‘em!

    “Think about it… the turbine blades of a jet engine rotate really fast; because of this, even if there were no relative translational motion between the bird and engine, there would be a considerable amount of damage done in collision due to a massive transfer of kinetic energy.”

    Means little, if anything. Has an actual experiment been performed under the premise of the scientific method to confirm that birds can cripple a commercial jet engine, instead of abstract conjecture? How many birds, and how big? If I chop several ice cubes in a blender at once, I never have a problem with damaged blades. In comparison, it seems likely those “really fast” rotating turbine fins would chop the birds to a pulp in nanoseconds.

    Think about this instead: if birds were capable of bringing down planes as mentioned, isn’t it reasonable to suggest that, in light of the thousands of aircraft in flight each day and night, such would be a recurring problem in aviation?

  4. Geaf said

    Great article. I love to see any publicity exposing these complete nutjobs for what they are: sad people suffering from a paranoia related neurosis.
    I went to the Icke forum you linked to and it really is hard to believe such people exist!

  5. Faeg said

    Actually, your post would appear pretty sad, Geaf. After all, we mock what we don’t understand. Instead of worrying about others, why not worry about your own shortcomings instead?

  6. Geaf said

    Hmm. A pretty typical response.
    My own shortcomings? You have absolutely no idea who I am; how I conduct myself in real life situations, etc. This would, to me, suggest you are far from qualified to make such stupid baseless comments. Or are you basing your comment solely what I have written here? Wow. That makes you a very intelligent person.
    I am inclined to think not.
    As for the pathetic ‘We mock what we do not understand’ statement.
    What science book did you get that out of, or is it in a religious tome perhaps?
    The fact remains…these people who are so inclined to pick up on ANY news story and make out of it, something which is clearly – to those of us with rational mind and critical thought – a fantasy or conspiracy of some kind, to my mind, are most certainly suffering from some kind of mental difficulty.
    They will see ‘conspiracy’ in anything!
    You only have to google some choice keywords to find these people!
    I am fully qualified to make these statements as I have done the research.
    Prove to me otherwise and, after careful consideration of the facts, as you present them to me, I will draw my conclusion.
    I have no need to worry about my shortcomings or, indeed, anyone else’s.
    Worry was the wrong term to use. In fact I find these morons quite fascinating.
    I like the name by the way, take a long time to think that one up did it? :)

    ‘Faeg Says:
    January 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Actually, your post would appear pretty sad, Geaf. After all, we mock what we don’t understand. Instead of worrying about others, why not worry about your own shortcomings instead?’

  7. Geaf said

    Thank you mattusmaximus, for providing the woo-nuts with some links that anyone can find if they are REALLY looking and not selectively finding conspiracies instead of facts!
    Maybe Jim will be convinced now of the bird strike phenomenon.
    Somehow I doubt it.
    Like religion, conspiracy theory belief is a very difficult nut to crack…

  8. [...] Flight 1549 Follow Up By mattusmaximus A few days ago I wrote a post about conspiracy theories related to last week’s story about U.S. Airways Flight 1549 crash-landing into the Hudson River (see “Miracle on the Hudson” Conspiracy Woo). [...]

  9. [...] on “Respecting Beliefs”?Okay Fine… Happy Groundhog DayScience & DemocracyWhy Science Matters”Miracle on the Hudson” Conspiracy WooWisdom in a CookieStars & [...]

  10. John Wynne said

    How come NY mayor’s office had thier camera pointed at the very spot on the Hudson at the time of the landing? (see CNN Feb 05)
    How come NY mayor’s office, also complicit in WTC, had just done training on emergency evac coordination on the Hudson and how come they had just stepped up evac resources and planning and how come they held a big training just 2 weeks before the water landing. How come it took them so long to find the engines. (loss of custody of evidence as in Pentagon attack and as with the steel from WTC. Was this L’il George and Big Dick’s farewell operation. The drama. Wouldn’t it be cool if some of these passengers were some of the same people lost in ’01 who were now back in nyc as new identities. There’s a movie in this. To bad you’re so closed to the obvious. The shit is outacontrol man.

    • mattusmaximus said

      John Wynne said:

      How come NY mayor’s office had thier camera pointed at the very spot on the Hudson at the time of the landing? (see CNN Feb 05)

      There are also numerous other videos of the plane going in for the crash landing into the Hudson River. I would say that the reason why the NY mayor’s office camera caught this event is for the same reason it was caught on others – if you have enough cameras, someone’s going to see it.

      John Wynne said:

      How come NY mayor’s office, also complicit in WTC, had just done training on emergency evac coordination on the Hudson and how come they had just stepped up evac resources and planning and how come they held a big training just 2 weeks before the water landing.

      This is what we call begging-the-question – you are implying that the NY mayor’s office was somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks, so they must be involved in the crash of Flight 1549 as well. But you aren’t providing any evidence and your argument is circular – Flight 1549 is a conspiracy by the NY mayor’s office because 9/11 was as well, and Fight 1549 also proves 9/11 involvement… yadda-yadda-yadda.

      John Wynne said:

      How come it took them so long to find the engines.

      Uhm, they found one of the engines immediately – it was still attached to the plane. Duh. And the other engine broke off on impact and sank in the river. They had to search for it for a few days before they found it. You know, it’s not easy to search for something like that in a dark, cold and deep river in the middle of a Manhattan winter. Double duh.

      John Wynne said:

      (loss of custody of evidence as in Pentagon attack and as with the steel from WTC. Was this L’il George and Big Dick’s farewell operation. The drama. Wouldn’t it be cool if some of these passengers were some of the same people lost in ‘01 who were now back in nyc as new identities. There’s a movie in this. To bad you’re so closed to the obvious. The shit is outacontrol man.

      Would you like some dressing for all this crazy word-salad?

  11. John Wynne said

    Hey big Matt,
    You sound like my neighbor who is also an anti-conpirationist. It doesn’t matter what kind of conspiracy I discuss, he always takes the side of the conspirators and calls me crazy. A pretty easy defense, but it does nothing to disprove the beliefs of the millions of Americans and others around the world who see that nobody but Bush with the support of senior military and inteligence officials could have pulled of the WTC detruction. I won’t try to prove that here. Check the internet its everywhere.
    With your use of the term “word salad” you are attmepting to characterize me as a mentally ill person. Word salad is characteristic of schizophrenia. I do admit my final sentence was a bit literay, but salad not. Just speculation on an outside possiblity. If we accept the the President demolished the WTC and killed all those people, and if we accept that politcal elite members killed the Kennedy’s, and MLK and that the Iran Contra hearings showed the high level complicity in illegal consipirational activities, then why not the miracle on the Hudson? Not such a big deal really, just a little sideshow for legacy’s sake. At least he didn’t kill anybody this time.
    As to taking many days to find the engine (and there was a report on Cnn that said the second engine was missing) all they had to do was look at some of the many videos amazingly captured of the event to determine at which point on the river the enging came off and then look there. River are like big “V’s” Eveything slides down to the low point. Search and rescue can find things and people in the ocean with an understanding of currents. Finding something that big in a river is an absolute no brainer. It would only take many days if you wanted it to.( at least 10 days till it was found not a few days as you say)
    How many cameras would need to be in place for one small place to be caught on video? I’m not a probabilities expert, but I know statistics and probability theory, and I would guess it would need to be an awful lot of cameras. It is very suspicious that the image was captured if you first suspect the mayor’s office. This is the way investigation works. You find a suspect and then you play out the evidence into your theory that your suspect is the guilty party. Its called theory testing. “If the glove does not fit we must acquit” also implies the its inverse. The existence of the video, and that it was not released until Feb 7th, nearlhy 3 weeks after the event does strengthen my theory that the mayor’s office was involved in the miracle. I hope some open minded investigator with the time and the skills does some more work on testing the theory, because if the whole thing was a show, then what does that imply about the relationship between the NY Mayor’s office and the former President, and what does that say about 911.

    John out,

    • mattusmaximus said

      John Wynne said:

      You sound like my neighbor who is also an anti-conpirationist. It doesn’t matter what kind of conspiracy I discuss, he always takes the side of the conspirators and calls me crazy. A pretty easy defense, but it does nothing to disprove the beliefs of the millions of Americans and others around the world who see that nobody but Bush with the support of senior military and inteligence officials could have pulled of the WTC detruction. I won’t try to prove that here. Check the internet its everywhere.

      First off, I’m willing to accept that there are real conspiracies – but solid evidence must be presented, not hand-waving garbage. Second, just because a lot of people believe something stupid doesn’t make it true, it just makes those people stupid – this is a logical fallacy called argumentum ad populum. If half the population of the United States started to believe tomorrow that gravity was just a fantasy, I’m guessing that most of them would still die or be injured if they exited their residences by the windows instead of the doors.

      Third, one of the biggest problems that I have with all the 9/11 Truthers is that at some point, regardless of politics or ideology, their arguments break down simply because they violate the laws of physics (this Popular Mechanics article explains why). And they fail to acknowledge this, stunningly, by some amazing display of cognitive dissonance which allows them to preserve their CT-driven worldview. You seem to be on that same track. Sorry, John, you don’t get to make up physics.

      John Wynne said:

      With your use of the term “word salad” you are attmepting to characterize me as a mentally ill person. Word salad is characteristic of schizophrenia. I do admit my final sentence was a bit literay, but salad not. Just speculation on an outside possiblity.

      Speculating? Oh, so you’re speculating. Well, that changes things, seeing as how you’ve just openly admitted that you have no evidence, just speculation.

      John Wynne said:

      If we accept the the President demolished the WTC and killed all those people, and if we accept that politcal elite members killed the Kennedy’s, and MLK and that the Iran Contra hearings showed the high level complicity in illegal consipirational activities, then why not the miracle on the Hudson? Not such a big deal really, just a little sideshow for legacy’s sake. At least he didn’t kill anybody this time.

      Is this more speculation on your part? Because it certainly seems that way – I mean since you’ve given absolutely zero evidence to back any of this up. That is, with the exception of Iran Contra, which is an example of a real conspiracy (as I mentioned above) that was shown to be real due to a revelation of actual evidence.

      John Wynne said:

      As to taking many days to find the engine (and there was a report on Cnn that said the second engine was missing) all they had to do was look at some of the many videos amazingly captured of the event to determine at which point on the river the enging came off and then look there. River are like big “V’s” Eveything slides down to the low point. Search and rescue can find things and people in the ocean with an understanding of currents. Finding something that big in a river is an absolute no brainer. It would only take many days if you wanted it to.( at least 10 days till it was found not a few days as you say)

      Mmmkay… so because it took them some time to find the second engine, which was known to have been missing shortly after the plane was analyzed in the water, you think this is more evidence of a conspiracy? Not to mention, you seem to be making up more physics about how river currents behave. As to finding things like an engine in rivers is a “no brainer”, then why does it regularly take crime scene technicians days to do things like dredge rivers when searching for bodies, cars, and so on?

      John Wynne said:

      How many cameras would need to be in place for one small place to be caught on video? I’m not a probabilities expert, but I know statistics and probability theory, and I would guess it would need to be an awful lot of cameras.

      There are literally thousands of such cameras all over the NYC area. Take a few moments to do the math.

      John Wynne said:

      It is very suspicious that the image was captured if you first suspect the mayor’s office. This is the way investigation works. You find a suspect and then you play out the evidence into your theory that your suspect is the guilty party. Its called theory testing. “If the glove does not fit we must acquit” also implies the its inverse.

      No, you are dismissing any evidence contrary to your conspiracy theory and basically making stuff up (“speculating” I believe you called it). The “suspects” in this case are, according to all available evidence to date, birds that critically damaged both engines. That’s it. Just birds. I’ve already posted about this in Flight 1549 Follow Up and Quick Update on Flight 1549.

      John Wynne said:

      The existence of the video, and that it was not released until Feb 7th, nearlhy 3 weeks after the event does strengthen my theory that the mayor’s office was involved in the miracle. I hope some open minded investigator with the time and the skills does some more work on testing the theory, because if the whole thing was a show, then what does that imply about the relationship between the NY Mayor’s office and the former President, and what does that say about 911.

      Three weeks of delay? I’ve seen plenty of video from plenty of sources that was released that late – so what? You are reaching for straws, obviously in some lame attempt to make a connection between 9/11 and Flight 1549. Speculation is not evidence, and heaping more and more speculation on the pile doesn’t make your arguments any more valid. Real investigation involves coming up with a testable hypothesis, such as the bird-strike hypothesis, not cherry-picking data and wildly spinning what data you do choose to fit with a preconceived conspiracy theory. You are doing nothing more than engaging in confirmation bias and magical thinking.

      Let me ask you a question, John: what evidence would falsify your Flight 1549-9/11 conspiracy theory?

  12. John Wynne said

    The fact that there are no men in trenchocoats outside of my house looking in, helps to disprove my theory. Try to disprove the existence of God with falsifiability and what do you end up in? A godless universe. You seem like a good man with a good purpose and a strong belief in your good government. All the best to you. I truly hope that you are right. I don’t have time to win an argument with you. Have a nice day.

    John

    • mattusmaximus said

      John Wynne said:

      The fact that there are no men in trenchocoats outside of my house looking in, helps to disprove my theory. Try to disprove the existence of God with falsifiability and what do you end up in? A godless universe.

      Okay. I don’t see how either of these statements make your case any stronger. Nor do I see how a discussion about the existence or non-existence of god is relevant. ???

      John Wynne said:

      You seem like a good man with a good purpose and a strong belief in your good government. All the best to you. I truly hope that you are right. I don’t have time to win an argument with you. Have a nice day.

      My belief/trust, or lack thereof, in the government is irrelevant. The question is one of evidence and the proposal of testable hypotheses, not one’s adherence to a particular political ideology. For you to derail the discussion like this displays just how badly you are missing the entire point. I have noticed this same behavior with many CTists – rather than actually discuss evidence, testing hypotheses, and so on, they would much rather go into nothing more than wild speculation (your word John, remember that) and off on tangents regarding the supposed political affiliation of those skeptical of their claims. That’s called ad hominem, John, and it’s a mark of pseudoscientific argumentation.

      And, btw, I notice how you not-so-subtly dodged the entire question of what evidence could possibly falsify your conspiracy theory. Apparently, for you there is no evidence which could question the validity of your claims. That’s also a strong mark of pseudoscience, whether it’s creationism or conspiracy mongering.

  13. Ron said

    Hi mattusmaximus: I’m John’s friend who is mentioned above.
    He emailed me this link.
    John said: “he always takes the side of the conspirators and calls me crazy.”
    I’ve never called him crazy.
    Your use of logic will not work. I’ve tried getting him to read a simple list of Logical Fallacies. Thank’s for giving those links.
    John, follow the links and learn about fallacies and logical argument.
    Mattusmaximus, I’ve had arguements with people that don’t even believe that using logic is the best way of ascertaining the most likely truth about something. It’s very frustrating.

    As far as the original article above. If I’m not mistaken I thought I read that the reason there were so many birds is because the Bird Lobby wouldn’t allow the flocks to be culled. But of course as in any air crash investigation, it may take months before the various possibilities are considered.

    I’m goint to check out the next post “Wisdom in a Cookie”. I hope it’s about fortune cookies, the only mystical experience that I believe in.

    Take care everyone
    R

  14. weep, I never get all these nutters at my blog.

    Number one way to get a conspiracy to work: have as few people as possible participating in it. Number one way to determine if a person is a conspiracy theorist: Check how many people have to be involved in said conspiracy.

  15. [...] Fairness, kindness, and truthfulness are certainly things we skeptics can get behind. (Heck, we’re even respectful while we’re insolent.) The emphasis is on that third one, though, so let’s take the time now to discuss evidence and how to examine it to find truth. Greta Christina, at her eponymous blog, asked if theists are really being intellectually honest when they say that the question of the existence of God(s) deserves “further exploration.” She argues that their version of exploration seems to involve a lot more omphaloskepsis than evidence-gathering. Over at Skeptimedia, Bob Carroll (of The Skeptic’s Dictionary fame) explained the importance of evaluating evidence. The class he used to teach on this topic sounds really interesting. Matt, the Skeptical Teacher, found some people who seem like they could use a lesson from Bob. He bravely delves into the strange and baseless claims made by conspiracy theorists worried about the Hudson River plane landing. [...]

  16. JJD said

    HAHHAHAAHHHAH poor bird.

  17. JJD said

    http://www.ae911truth.org/

    -Check the facts.

  18. Let’s just face a few simple facts.

    Skyscrapers MUST hold themselves up. They must also sway in the wind. The people who design skyscrapers MUST figure out how much steel and how much concrete they are going to put on every level before they even dig the hole for the foundation.

    After EIGHT YEARS why don’t we have a table specifying the TONS of STEEL and TONS of CONCRETE that were on every level of WTCs 1&2? The NIST report does not even specify the TOTAL for the concrete. The total for the steel is in three places. So even if the planes did it that 10,000 page report is CRAP!

    Conspiracies are irrelevant. The Truth Movement should be marching on all of the engineering schools in the country.

    Watch that Purdue simulation. If a 150 ton airliner crashes near the top of a skyscraper at 440 mph isn’t the building going to sway? Didn’t the survivors report the building “moving like a wave”? So why do the core columns in the Purdue video remain perfectly still as the plane comes in?

    That is the trouble with computer simulations. If they are good, they are very good. But if they have a defect either accidental or deliberate they can be REALLY STUPID once you figure out the flaws.

    The distributions of steel and concrete are going to affect the sway of a skyscraper whether it is from the wind or an airliner.

    – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    How much does one complete floor assembly weigh?

    You know those square donut floor slabs? They were 205 ft square with a rectangular hole for the core. There was a steel rebar mesh embedded in the concrete which was poured onto corrugated steel pans which were supported by 35 and 60 foot trusses. There has been talk about those things pancaking on each other for years.

    But has anyone ever said what the whole thing weighed? Why haven’t we seen that A LOT in EIGHT YEARS? The concrete alone is easy to compute, about 601 tons. But the concrete could not be separated from the entire assembly, the upper knuckles of the trusses were embedded into the concrete. So what did the whole thing weigh and why haven’t the EXPERTS been mentioning that A LOT in EIGHT YEARS?

    – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    So why hasn’t Richard Gage and his buddies produced a table with the TONS of STEEL and TONS of CONCRETE that were on every level of the WTC? How much computing power do they have now, compared to the early 1960s when the buildings were designed? I asked Gage about that in May of 2008 at Chicago Circle Campus and he got a surprised look on his face and gave me this LAME excuse about the NIST not releasing accurate blueprints. Gravity hasn’t changed since the 1960s. They should be able to come up with some reasonable numbers.

  19. Pete Schwartz said

    Amazing work by the pilot…

    http://aircrashed.com/accident/DCA09MA026.shtml

    “On January 15, 2009, at approximately 1527 eastern standard time, USAirways flight 1549, an Airbus Industrie A320-214, N106US, equipped with CFM engines, incurred multiple bird strikes during initial climb. The airplane subsequently lost thrust to its engines and ditched in the Hudson River at approximately 1530 eastern standard time. The flight was a Title 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled domestic passenger flight from New York’s La Guardia Airport (LGA) to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. To date, of the 5 crewmembers and 150 passengers on board, five serious injuries have been reported. A total of twenty-six people were transported to hospitals, including two emergency response personnel. A final injury count is still to be determined.”

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