Talk:Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

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Painting in France[edit]

What does this story have to do with a AE911?. It's like saying an ostrich was seen burying her head in the sand so we should not look past the official explanation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Claims to Mainstream Consensus Do Not Stand Up to Scrutiny[edit]

In the Section 'Advocacy', under '7 World Trade Center', the last paragraph begins 'The community of experts in structural mechanics and structural engineering generally supports the explanation of the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings provided by the investigation conducted by NIST' and a reference is given to a paper by Zdeněk P. Bažant and Mathieu Verdure (2007) which states: "As generally accepted by the community of specialists in structural mechanics and structural engineering (though not by a few outsiders claiming a conspiracy with planted explosives), the failure scenario was as follows [...]". (continues with a four-part scenario of progressive structural failure). However, this bald assertion has no basis in fact. There have been very few peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject of the collapse of any of the three towers on 9/11. Of those few which support the official account, all of them were authored by Zdeněk P. Bažant, together with a handful of collaborators. This does not amount to any kind of consensus. The first such paper was written just two days after the attacks, when evidence was scant and no one could reliably claim to know what had happened: yet the paper by Zdeněk P. Bažant & Yong Zhou claimed exactly that. That first paper was also rushed to publication within 6 months and is most unlikely to have been adequately peer reviewed, if at all. Subsequent papers have been attempts to support the conclusions of the original paper. Furthermore, there have been no peer-reviewed papers whatsoever which claim to explain the collapse of WTC 7 (NIST NCSTAR 1a was not subject to the usual peer-review process).

There is clearly no consensus among 'the community of experts in structural mechanics and structural engineering generally', either in favour of the conclusions of NIST or the alternative controlled demolition hypothesis. Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth are composed of nearly 1,500 such experts but there is no comparable independent body opposing their claims. NIST and FEMA are government agencies and do not represent the scientific community at large. (talk) 14:10, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Per WP:SYN, your theory doesn't belong in the article. Further, I've reverted your other changes, such as changing it to "Some experts" (which is a weasel word) and "it has been claimed". The statements are well sourced, so changing the tone of the article isn't acceptable here. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 15:41, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
That is perhaps the most well-written summary describing a particular significant problem within the article that I have seen written yet. Wikipedia should refrain from making assertions about a worldwide community based on the writings of a single dubious source (Bažant and Verdure). The claim should either be given better sourcing (broader and more well-researched), or removed. I am not aware of any significant research having been conducted by any entity to substantiate that particular claim. Wildbear (talk) 04:54, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the anon's theory has no place in the article, and the assertion that 911AE really has "architects" and "engineers" should be considered unusable, per WP:BLPSELF. However, Wildbear might have a point, except that Bažant and Verdure is not at all a "dubious source". I would ask him to provide a real source with a different opinion about engineering consensus, and that information might also be included in the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:59, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
The problem for all perspectives on the issue is that there have been few (or no) professional studies to determine statistically what the "community of specialists in structural mechanics and structural engineering" actually thinks about the issue. I don't question the structural engineering credentials of the authors of the paper. For purposes of this discussion, it is only the "generally accepted" assertion which I intended to have the word "dubious" apply. I used the word "dubious" because the authors didn't provide any information to support the assertion; no references and no indication that any surveys had been conducted. The need for better sourcing, which all would find well substantiated and agreeable, still remains. As has been stated in these pages before, if a claim is truly notable, it shouldn't be difficult to find multiple high-quality sources to support it. Wildbear (talk) 05:22, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

I really didn't want to get involved in editing Wikipedia articles, but I now have a proper login, so I can respond to the remarks in this discussion section, which I started. First, I'm baffled as to what is meant by my 'theory'. My attempted ammendments to the article were simply to remove contentious and unproven sweeping generalisations which claimed that a scientific consensus existed, refuting the position of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, when it is very clear that there is no such consensus, whatever a handful of individuals may say. I have not attempted to advance any 'theory' of my own (I don't have one), unless the simple observation that there is no consensus is taken to be a 'theory'! (Perhaps we need to reach a consensus that there is no consensus on whether there is a consensus?).

Just to make it abundantly clear, I refer readers to the discussion of Bažant and Verdure (2007) which appeared in the ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics (October 2008). A number of qualified engineers take issue with Bažant's paper and he replies to the criticisms. Whether you regard his replies as being adequate is a matter of opinion, but it is a fact that the paper has attracted critical comment and does not represent a consensus view. There is also a peer reviewed paper which supports the controlled demolition hypothesis, thereby refuting Bažant, published in the Bentham Open Chemical Physics Journal (Harrit et al, 2009): the nine authors are all professional engineers and scientists. In view of these facts, the contention that Bažant represents a consensus view is outrageous nonsense. I do not denigrate Bažant's contributions, but his is only one view among many. However, I do find it extraordinary that the main article makes no mention whatsoever of the paper by Harrit et al: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.

My own view (as an applied mathematician with numerous publications in peer reviewed international journals) is that Bažant has presented an interesting but inconclusive mathematical model attempting to account for the dynamics of the collapse of the twin towers. Like any mathematical model, its fit with reality depends crucially on the parameters provided to the model. Bažant has not adequately justified the values of these parameters or every aspect of his model, in my opinion or the opinion of several other qualified commentators. His model remains interesting, but its plausibility as a true account of the collapse of the twin towers remains in dispute within the scientific community. For comparison, one may create a mathematical model of a unicorn, but this does not prove that unicorns exist.

What is not in dispute (one of the few facts on which there is now a general consensus) is that the collapse of WTC 7 proceeded at free fall acceleration for over 2 seconds after onset (this is admitted in the final NIST report). This may explain why there are no peer reviewed papers whatsoever which even attempt to account for the collapse of this building. Bažant's model is utterly incapable of accounting for this and he has never attempted to apply it to WTC 7. The official NIST report originally rejected the free fall claim in its initial draft, but the final report was forced to acknowledge the truth of this fact following criticism of erroneous calculations in the draft.

In summary, I have shown that there is no consensus among the general scientific or engineering community regarding the mechanism of collapse of any of the three towers destroyed on 9/11. The official reports are disputed, as are the very few peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sonmi 451 (talkcontribs) 15:55, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Sonmi 451 brings up some good points. We need to keep in mind that Bazant's first paper was what is called a "rapid communication" and was described by it's own authors as a simplified approximate analysis...[which] may be in error by a level of magnitude. The paper has been updated four times since it's publication due to problems other engineers had with his analysis. Also, Bazant is not peer reviewed in the way editors here believe, the peer review was limited to the mathematics Bazant uses, not the analysis itself. His maths do work but he often uses the wrong equations. For example he uses load safety parameters for a standard highrise in 1968 rather than the over engineered specs the WTC used which can result in significant errors (I have not read the latest version so this may have been corrected). The only way to prove Bazant's theory (or NIST's conclusions) is to document and analyse the debris field, but unfortunately NIST allowed the debris to be cleared so Bazant's paper remains only a theory, not a proven fact. Wayne (talk) 06:39, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
As Sonmi 451 is a new editor I will remind him that the 9/11 articles are not edited by academics and as editors must not allow edits, even if factual or relevant, that give credibility to conspiracy theories, the phraseology tends to be beyond what sources support. As wording is determined by consensus such problems unfortunately are common and hard to correct. Wayne (talk) 06:58, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

The statement should remain. It is well sourced to experts in the field, and published by a mainstream journal. There is no reliable source counteracting this claim. Polequant (talk) 12:44, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

I refer Polequant to the discussion papers referenced above, published in the Journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers, which are highly critical of Bazant's papers. I also refer him to the peer-reviewed paper by Harrit et al. These all show absolutely irrefutably that there is no scientific consensus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sonmi 451 (talkcontribs) 17:49, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
1. Bažant is regarded as authoritative in relation to the subject. Gourley, a chemical engineer, and Szuladzinski, a specialist in homeland security, are not even in the same field thus qualifying for a WP:WEIGHT of zero on the subject.
2. Steve Jones paper (aka Harrit et al.) is not published in a peer-reviewed journal.
3. The scientific consensus irrefutably supports Bažant and the NIST.
Thanks for playing. —ArtifexMayhem (talk) 20:58, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Also, Jones is not a reliable source. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:20, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
And actually James Gourley is a patent attorney. [1][2] -Jordgette [talk] 21:37, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Excess navboxes?[edit]

There's {{911ct}}, {{Conspiracy theories}} and {{September 11 attacks}} at the bottom. I suggest that the general {{Conspiracy theories}} is not needed here and has no compelling reason to be here - 9/11 isn't even mentioned in it, and the conspiracy theory aspect is sufficiently covered by {{911ct}} - David Gerard (talk) 18:52, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Removed - anyone who's particularly fond of it could restore it of course - David Gerard (talk) 17:29, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Proposed FAQ[edit]

I've started a discussion for a FAQ for 9-11 Conspiracy web pages.

--Harizotoh9 (talk) 11:14, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Correction Edit, and New Information Added[edit]

I have renamed the introductory mention of "explosive demolition" to "controlled demolition", and changed the reference link from "World Trade Center controlled demolition conspiracy theories" to "Building_implosion", because it is neither accurate, proper, nor correct to generally characterize the controlled, explosive demolition of buildings as a "conspiracy theory", when in reality an entire legitimate industry exists to perform such services for the construction and development communities. Directly linking readers who are curious as to the meaning of "explosive demolition" or "controlled demolition" to an article about "conspiracy theories" instead of "Building_implosion" is not only innacurate, but absolutely dishonest, and clearly crosses the line into the realm of POV.

I have also moved all criticism of AE9/11Truth into its own section in order to consolidate it, and make the article flow more smoothly, as the repetition of very similar criticisms, sprinkled throughout the otherwise neutral descriptions of the activities and policies of this organization made the article read more like a POV hit piece than an objective encyclopedic analysis.

I have added a paragraph mentioning the launching of a "Third Light Beam" into the New York City night skyline in 2010, and an additional paragraph on the release of another 2 hour documentary by the group in 2011.

I have also made a few minor edits in order to improve clarity and/or general readability.

Sorry - Forgot to sign. Am doing it now (talk)

Try a sequence of smaller edits, if you want to add this content and we'll go the WP:BRD route. TippyGoomba (talk) 22:49, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Suggested Edit[edit]

The sentence at the end of the second paragraph is misleading according to the references given. The statement "the scientific and engineering community has generally rejected the position taken by the group[6]" does not appear in the source. Rather, the source states that the general scientific community has accepted another explanation. No judgement whatsoever was made on the "position taken by the group". I recommend rewording this phrase to state:

the scientific and engineering community has not generally accepted the position taken by the group[6]

Following this, when the article states: "several NIST-independent analyses published in peer-reviewed scientific journals provide evidence arguing against the 'blast hypothesis'.[7][8][9]" it is not well referenced. It needs to either be changed, or better references should be found. Source number 7 is a weekly newspaper, not a peer-reviewed journal and it also does not describe any peer-reviewed articles independently agreeing with NIST, so is not a source for this statement. Source number 8 seems independent upon a short inspection. Source number 9 seemed legit to me at first, until I used Google and found that head author Therese P. McAllister works at NIST "From 2002-2008, she was the Co-Leader for the Structural Fire Response and Collapse of WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 of the NIST World Trade Center Investigation." Second author Fahim Sadek works there as well! "Dr. Sadek led the project 'Baseline Structural Performance and Aircraft Impact Damage Analysis' as part of the NIST investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings." And certainly third author John Gross is not independent! "Dr. Gross was awarded the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2005 and Special Act Award in 2008 for his contributions to the World Trade Center failure investigation." So we are left with only one valid source, yet the sentence says "several". Because I am not aware of any other papers, I suggest changing this phrase to: "a NIST-independent analysis published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal provides evidence arguing against the 'blast hypothesis'.[8]"

Therefore the entire change would be:

Despite their petition to Congress bearing the signature of over 2000 architectural and engineering professionals, the scientific and engineering community has not generally accepted the position taken by the group,[6] and a NIST-independent analysis published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal provides evidence arguing against the "blast hypothesis".[8]

Smitty121981 (talk) 21:57, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

I think these are well-intentioned changes but ultimately inappropriate. The weekly magazine is a secondary source and is necessary to establish that the material should be included in the first place. I see no particular indication that it is unreliable. I'm not sure why you reject the paper by McAllister et al on the grounds that she works at NIST - who else is going to write up NIST's findings? The paper was published in what seems to be a peer-reviewed journal, so I see no reason to exclude it. I've reverted your edits per WP:BRD, step 2. I kept the "not generally accepted" wording in place, as that seems like a reasonable change. The "several NIST-independent" wording probably comes from the MetroActive source:
"NIST, supported by a number of independent building and explosives professionals who are critical of AE911, also stands behind its theory that the impact of the upper floors crushed the lower ones."
The sentence in the lede seems like a reasonable summary of this statement in the article. I think the next step is to determine whether or not MetroActive is a reliable source. I'm guessing it is, based on its Wikipedia article, but I could be wrong. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 17:21, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
I accept MetroActive as a reliable source, however I do not accept that it supports the statement in the article. The MetroActive quote you gave just talks about professionals who are critical of AE911 - it says nothing at all about them publishing these critiques in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as the wiki article currently claims. This is quite a substantial difference! As for the McAllister paper, again, yes this is a reliable source by wikipedia standards, and again, it does not support the current sentence in the wiki article. I see absolutely no way that you can rationally argue that this paper was a "NIST-independent analysis" when the first 3 authors not only worked at NIST at the time of writing, but all three actually had key leadership roles in the NIST WTC investigation itself!
Therefore we are left with only three options: The easy route proposed by myself earlier, where we change the sentence to be singular rather than plural. The hard route, to totally rewrite the sentence to reflect the current sources. And the long route, to scour the internet for another source(s) that actually verifies the statement. Are you up to doing either of the latter? If not, I'd like to make my change. Thanks! Smitty121981 (talk) 22:58, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
ArtifexMayhem's edits may have made this moot, but to clarify, we don't need to verify MetroActive's sources, MetroActive is supposed to verify the facts for us. The two sources published by NIST are the primary sources (the reports themselves), and the source for the statement is MetroActive, which, if reliable, is presumptively accurate unless in conflict with another reliable source. I get the impression that NIST is summarizing the work of independent contractors who independently verified their results in the papers that you removed, but I could be wrong.0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 14:23, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
I've removed all but the first sentence per WP:SYNTH. The text in question made it seem like there is some debate in the engineering community when there is none. The NIST reports are the mainstream account of what happened. AE911's views are WP:FRINGE. — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 02:31, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Can you clarify why this is WP:SYNTH? It seemed like an accurate summary of the sole secondary source placed in the appropriate context here. If anything the current wording is more in line with the fringe position. The closest thing I see to a fringe position in the text you removed was "Despite their petition to Congress bearing the signature of over 2000 architectural and engineering professionals, the scientific and engineering community has not generally accepted the position taken by the group", since that's a non-sequitur and makes it sound as if Congress has some ability to make engineers agree with them. I think that probably needs to be toned down a bit, but overall the removed section was I think important in framing how this group is perceived. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 14:23, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Removing the sentence works for me! It was synthesis because it took the "several NIST-independent" from the MetroActive source and combined it with the "independent peer-reviewed paper" by Bazant, and the "peer-reviewed" paper by McAllister, and synthesized the incorrect conclusion that there are "several NIST-independent peer-reviewed papers..."
However I disagree with ArtifexMayhem that there is "no debate" on the subject. One excellent example of engineers debating the topic is the back and forth between James Gourley and Zdenek Bazant, published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics in 2007. Smitty121981 (talk) 14:48, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's what he meant, we could easily just change the wording. That said, it says that there were "several NIST-independent analyses published in peer-reviewed scientific journals". That doesn't mean that the publication was independent of NIST, just that the analysis was independent of NIST and that it was published in peer-reviewed journals. I don't see anything in the MetroActive source talking about where the analyses were published, though, so that particular wording is probably inaccurate.
I think it may be a little naive of you to suggest that this is not a fringe topic, though. There is no mainstream debate on this topic, that's for sure. I really do think the lede should reflect that these people are not really taken seriously. I doubt it will be difficult to find reliable sources to this effect, or to craft a new sentence from the MetroActive source. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 15:22, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Like I said before, you are more than welcome to find batter sources for the current wording, or to reword it to reflect the current sources. However, until such an occurrence, I support ArtifexMayhem's solution. And sure, that would have been naive to suggest that this doesn't qualify as fringe, had that actually been what I said. Please don't put words in my mouth - I made a clear statement backed by a reference, nothing more. Smitty121981 (talk) 15:50, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
I removed the sentence primarily per WP:SYNTH, but it could have also been removed per the WP:GEVAL (a.k.a., giving "equal validity" can create a false balance) section of WP:NPOV, which states in part, "Conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, speculative history, or even plausible, but currently unaccepted, theories should not be legitimized through comparison to accepted academic scholarship", or removed per WP:V generally. There are no reliable sources that show the "blast hypothesis" has any mainstream support. In fact — per the sources provided, and contrary to the unsourced claim that "the scientific and engineering community has not generally accepted the position taken by the group" — the universally accepted explanation of collapse (among those qualified to comment on the matter) is the one given by the NIST. Similarly the statement that "NIST-independent analyses published in peer-reviewed scientific journals provide evidence arguing against the "blast hypothesis" infers that (1) the NIST is not "independent" and therefore cannot be trusted (no non-primary sources support this claim), and (2) that there is evidence for the "blast hypothesis" (also not supported by non-primary sources). — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 09:36, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Hm... Looking at the MetroActive source a bit more closely, I found this quote:

Newman acknowledges that NIST's response that it sees "no need" to test dust for any form of thermite won't satisfy critics, and adds: "We don't try to debate or argue with these folks because they have their opinions and what they believe is evidence, but to us it is counterproductive to engage in debate.

"We'd rather let the body of evidence we presented stand on its own merits. We feel this is a very good piece of work—in many ways pushing investigations way beyond what's gone before. Our work is to help strengthen buildings, and proof of the validity of our research is that most all our recommendations for changing building codes have been accepted by the international organization that models building codes. That wouldn't have happened if they doubted our findings."

So I'm going to have to agree with your assessment here. That said, I don't think it's unreasonable to imagine that evidence provided by non-NIST sources is a valid consideration, since this organization is apparently devoted to critiquing NIST's report. Saying that NIST-independent contractors agreed with NIST is not saying that NIST is not is somehow biased. It's also bizarre to think that because there's evidence against the blast hypothesis that a statement to that effect implies that there is evidence for it.
Honestly, I'm mainly concerned that the way it is now, the article doesn't reflect the fact that no one agrees with these guys. Maybe we could salvage something from the above quoted statement, or poke around looking for a source to determine if there's been any coverage of any explicit response. It seems like at least this one NIST guy has explicitly said that they haven't responded to this petition or whatever because the AE9/11 folks aren't providing any actual evidence to justify further investigation. There's almost certainly a reliable source out there to at least support inclusing of a statement similar to the "Their position has not generally been accepted by [engineers/the engineering community/etc]." 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 12:34, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I share your concerns that this article does not reflect the fact that the conspiracy theories supported by this group are just, well, conspiracy theories. The article is currently just a soapbox of the views of Richard Gage, and is rife with his beliefs presented has if they had any merit outside of the "truth movement" e.g., "free fall". It's not that the groups positions have not been generally accepted, it's that they have been universally rejected by the community of professionals that are qualified to comment. Cutting out all of the "fan cruft" cited to primary sources might be a good place to start. It's almost alway better to cut from an article such as this than it is to add "debunking." — ArtifexMayhem (talk) 13:42, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
I also agree that the article is now lacking an opposing viewpoint, and I will gladly accept any properly referenced NPOV statements. However, ArtifexMayhem, your comments here in the talk section are "rife" with personal bias not backed by any sources and I will be watching this article closely. I will remind you now of what it says on the WP:FRINGE page to which you linked me: "a lack of consideration or acceptance does not necessarily imply rejection, either; ideas should not be portrayed as rejected or labeled with pejoratives such as pseudoscience unless such claims can be documented in reliable sources." Smitty121981 (talk) 15:31, 6 August 2014 (UTC)
Hi 0x0077BE, you said "There's almost certainly a reliable source out there to at least support inclusing of a statement similar to the 'Their position has not generally been accepted by [engineers/the engineering community/etc].'" and I agree that this should be included. In fact, this statement is still in the article, just farther down (third paragraph of 'advocacy'), and the excellent reference given for the statement is currently #43 (Bazant). I will support you adding a statement such as this to the opening of the article, as long as NPOV is maintained. Smitty121981 (talk) 16:48, 6 August 2014 (UTC)