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Jeremy Bojczuk

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Everything posted by Jeremy Bojczuk

  1. David Andrews writes: Is that the Wilkerson thing? I've been reading for years that a super-detailed scan was being examined by special-effects experts, and that it would provide definitive proof of fakery that would blow the case out of the water. As with some end-of-the-world prophecy that limps past its deadline, we're still waiting for the apocalypse to arrive. Does anyone know what happened to that particular effort to prove that the film was faked? If those experts had actually found anything, I'm sure we would have heard about it by now. The Zapruder-film-is-a-fake speculation has been going on for - what? - twenty years, maybe longer, and there's still no proof.* All we have is a collection of apparent anomalies, almost all of which have turned out to have plausible, innocent explanations. Mary Moorman was standing in the street! Oh wait, she wasn't. The lamp posts look kinda strange! Oh wait, they don't. And so on. The problem is that this anomaly-hunting can go on forever. There are plenty of copies of copies of copies of copies of the Zapruder film floating about, with each copy adding a new collection of strange-looking artefacts. And of course there's no shortage of people who can pounce on these artefacts. These people may not know much about photography, but they do like the idea of a vastly complicated conspiracy. I've found a blob in a 17th-generation copy of the Zapruder film! I can't think of how that blob might have got there! That means it's a forgery! The crazy thing is that the Zapruder film is perhaps the strongest piece of documentary evidence to contradict the lone-gunman explanation. But who cares about that if you've got the chance to indulge your taste for ridiculously elaborate conspiracies? * Not only is there no proof, but there isn't even any agreement on what is wrong with the film, or why this or that part might have needed to be altered. A frame or two in this section were tweaked! No, a few frames in that section were removed! No, the whole thing was reconstructed from scratch! That disagreement by itself is a pretty good clue that it's all just the product of over-active imaginations.
  2. David Josephs writes: It isn't up to Jonathan or anyone else to disprove someone's speculative assertion. That isn't how things work. It's up to the person who made the speculative assertion to prove their case. If they can't, it remains exactly that: empty speculation. There's nothing wrong with a bit of speculation, of course. Although I've only popped in here occasionally over the last few weeks, I've seen little other than wild speculation, in all sorts of areas. I think this forum needs to be renamed. Rather than the Education Forum, it now seems to be the Speculation Forum. I particularly enjoyed the pages and pages of speculation about the Tippit killing, and the attempts to incorporate that killing into a Grand Unified Theory of the JFK assassination. I mean, Oswald was charged with killing Tippit, so it must have been part of the plot from the beginning, mustn't it? Why stop there? It doesn't take many people to shoot some guy in a slow-moving open-topped car, but that's no fun. The more complicated and unlikely the theory we can construct, the more fun we can have! It should be possible to work plenty of the minor characters into our Grand Unified Theory. Let's start with the Babushka Lady. She must have been involved somehow, mustn't she? Maybe she helped Richard Nagell, Michael Paine, and one of the four Marguerite Oswalds to operate the mobile photo lab in Dealey Plaza that faked the Altgens photos! Go on, prove that she didn't!
  3. John Butler writes: As usual, it's difficult to tell whether John Butler is being serious or is just having a laugh at our expense. There could be as many as three Zapruder films, apparently. And the deception and forgery don't stop there. According to Mr Butler, almost all of the home movies and photographs from Dealey Plaza have been faked in some way. That includes the Altgens photographs, several of which were somehow altered during the half an hour or so before they were transmitted all over the world. Then we have the three or four Oswalds that Mr Butler has proposed. And presumably each of these three or four Oswalds would have had his own Marguerite. I dread to think what he will conjure into existence when he finds out about Lifton's body-alteration and papier-mâché trees nonsense, or Mr Caddy's little green men. If Mr Butler is having a laugh with all of this far-fetched stuff, a question arises. Who is he making fun of? Is he satirising the everything-is-a-fake, Jack White school of JFK assassination enthusiasts, by taking their fanciful speculations to extremes? If so, he's doing a splendid job. Keep up the good work, Mr Butler! Of course, if he's being serious, he really needs to stop speculating for a moment and work out how all of this widespread fakery might actually have happened. If almost all the photos and films were faked, how exactly could it have been done?
  4. Good points, Gil. There are some similarities between your account of the Tippit incident and Greg Parker's: https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t2451-the-bad-boys-of-oak-cliff-part-i I've always been puzzled by the need to incorporate the Tippit murder (or, for example, the Richard Nagell and Rose Cherami stories) into some grand unified theory of the JFK assassination. What people should be doing is eliminating as much of the poorly supported or outlying stuff as possible, rather than trying to incorporate as much of it as possible. I'm sure we all recognise the flimsiness of the witness and ballistics evidence against Oswald as the killer of Tippit. We know that the killing was pinned on Oswald after the event. But all of that doesn't mean that the Tippit killing had to be part of a finely worked-out pre-assassination plot to incriminate Oswald. A Hollywood scriptwriter might want to take the Tippit murder and make it part of the main JFK assassination narrative by, say, having Tippit chase Oswald around Dallas after having shot Kennedy from behind the fence on the grassy knoll. It would make for a nicely tied-together movie plot, but it wouldn't make for a credible interpretation of the assassination. On a side note, it's good to find a thread on this forum that's actually about the JFK assassination, rather than 9/11, vaccinations, Trump, or those little green men that live among us.
  5. Dennis Berube writes: That's a good example of why know-nothing anti-vaxxer propagandists on social media aren't the most reliable source of information, even if they do tell Dennis what he wants to hear. The supposed problem is debunked here: https://www.factcheck.org/2021/08/scicheck-posts-misinterpret-cdcs-provincetown-covid-19-outbreak-report/ The phenomenon is explained by two statisticians here: https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/commentisfree/2021/jun/27/why-most-people-who-now-die-with-covid-have-been-vaccinated I gave that link a week ago in reply to Chris Barnard's comment that The principle is simple, so even ill-informed anti-vaxxers should be able to grasp it. As the proportion of a population that is vaccinated against covid increases, those who are vaccinated will form an increasing proportion of the covid-related deaths that occur. The second article suggests that for every vaccinated person who dies, around 20 unvaccinated people with identical risk factors (the main one being age) will die. I suppose that depends on what you mean by "too many". But even if what Dennis was told to believe by some ignoramus on Facebook or Fox News is correct, so what? Healthy people get vaccinated not only to protect themselves, but also to protect other people, especially those who aren't as healthy as they are. At least, that's what rational healthy people do. I'd guess this is the 'freedom' thing Dennis is concerned about. Perhaps he has a point. I mean, why should I care about anyone else? Why should the Evil Gubmint (boo! hiss!) restrict my freedom to get drunk and drive my car at 150 miles per hour on the wrong side of the road if I want to? (Not that my old car could reach anywhere near 150mph, but you get my point.) It's tyranny, I tell you!
  6. Denny Zartman writes: Chris Barnard replies: Disregarding those experts who go against one's preconceived views is exactly what Chris has been doing. Which experts should Chris believe? If expert opinion is evenly divided, Chris might be justified in tossing a coin and going with whichever opinion happens to reflect his view of the world. But if, as in this case, expert opinion is overwhelmingly on one side, it is perverse and irrational for a non-expert to prefer the minority opinion. The principle involved is very straightforward, but Chris doesn't seem to grasp it. Paul Brancato writes: RFK Jr's environmental activism is indeed praiseworthy, but that doesn't make him an expert on mercury or anything else to do with vaccination. The majority of expert opinion strongly disagrees with RFK Jr about the safety of vaccination. Why should any non-expert side with him rather than the large majority of experts?
  7. Excellent post, Kirk. Anti-vaxxers are not just misguided, they're selfish and potentially dangerous to others. Speaking of misguided, Chris Barnard writes: No, because these people do not possess specialist knowledge that the rest of us do not possess. Isn't that obvious? You don't need specialist scientific or technical knowledge to come to an informed opinion about any of the central areas of the JFK assassination debate. But you do, in the case of whether or not planes are capable of causing buildings to collapse, or whether or not vaccines are safe. What's stopping Chris grasping this obvious point? Dennis Berube hasn't thought it through either: But Dennis has worked out why only a tiny proportion of medical professionals are worth listening to: It's all a big plot. There is no scientific consensus after all. It's just something constructed by the media in order to enslave us poor souls and harvest our precious bodily fluids, all for the benefit of our overlords. I knew Bill Gates and the lizard people were involved! I was right all along! Seriously, does Dennis really believe that the overwhelming scientific consensus about vaccination doesn't actually exist? That it's all just corporate propaganda? It's not entirely clear whether Dennis means that the scientific consensus is an invention of corporate propaganda, or that the scientists and medical experts themselves have been brainwashed by corporate propaganda to mistakenly conclude that vaccines are safe. Either way, he surely doesn't believe any of that, does he? Dennis continues: For two reasons: To point out your error. Expert opinion is what decides whether or not vaccines should be considered safe. Expert opinion overwhelmingly does consider vaccines to be safe. Our two resident anti-vaxxers are making an obvious logical error in preferring the views of a small minority of experts over the views of a large majority of experts. Because this forum is about the JFK assassination, a serious subject that is harmed by being associated with anti-vaxxer propaganda. I don't know how many casual visitors this site gets, so the anti-vaxxer propaganda may not be a huge problem. But it does provide ammunition for those who want to portray critics of the lone-nut theory, and JFK assassination researchers in general, as a bunch of crackpots. Chris writes: Yes, it's called research. Plenty of it has been done, and the scientific consensus is that vaccines in general are very safe.
  8. That long, uncritical interview is uncredited, but appears to be from an anti-vaxxer website. I'm not sure Chris is justified in using this forum, which is supposed to be about the JFK assassination, to spread anti-vaxxer propaganda. If he is going to cover the vaccination debate, the least he could do is cover both sides of it, especially as the vast majority of medical opinion is opposed to the view he is putting forward. In the interests of balance, here are some links to the majority expert opinion. Chris might benefit from finding out what the experts have to say. General criticism of anti-vaxxer talking points: https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/ https://www.businessinsider.com/lies-anti-vaxxers-spread-about-measles-vaccine-debunked-2019-1?r=US&IR=T https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/04/four-vaccine-myths-and-where-they-came https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5597904/ https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/medical-myths-13-covid-19-vaccine-myths Criticism of RFK Jr's fact-twisting: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-robert-f-kennedy-jr-distorted-vaccine-science1/ (includes several blatant examples of RFK Jr's distortion of comments by scientists) https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/covid-19-health-pseudoscience/anti-vaccine-propaganda-robert-f-kennedy-jr Historical and political context of anti-vaxxer activity: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/vaccine-hesitancy-history-damage-anti-vaccination https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/qanon-anti-vax-covid-vaccine-conspiracy-theory-1125197/ The Rolling Stone article is a good account of how anti-vaxxer beliefs are linked to other current forms of irrationality in the US, and contains a sentence that might be aimed at Chris himself: Why does Chris promote those anti-vaxxer beliefs on a JFK assassination website? Why does he promote them at all, given that they represent the views of a very small proportion of medical experts? The principle here is obvious: if you aren't an expert, you do not have the ability to properly evaluate subjects that require expert knowledge. The only rational course of action for a non-expert like Chris (or me) is to reflect the balance of expert opinion. Surely Chris accepts that a large majority of experts dismiss the claims of anti-vaxxers as unjustified. Chris, like me, doesn't have the expert knowledge required to evaluate the science properly for himself. So why does he not accept the conclusions of the large majority of experts?
  9. Paul Bacon writes: Nice idea, Paul! But I don't think I could ever become an expert, what with having zero interest in structural engineering and similar subjects. And even if that changed I don't think I'd have sufficient time and funds to acquire a relevant degree or other professional qualification. I suspect it may take a little longer than that! What may seem obvious to a layman who has spent one day reading up on the subject might not seem obvious to a professional with years of experience. In this case, it clearly doesn't seem obvious to the majority of those professionals. W. Niederhut writes: The media certainly distorts topics that affect institutional power, though it's debatable how much of that is due directly to arm-twisting by the CIA or similar organisations. I think it's unlikely that distortions by the media have much to do with the lack of expert support for the idea that the towers were brought down by explosives. Plenty of 9/11 criticism does get through to the public, and hence to professional structural engineers and the like. These experts will be aware that criticism exists, and that it relates to an area of their professional expertise. They will know where to find this criticism if their expertise leads them to suspect that the official explanation is inadequate. Yet only a small proportion of them do seem to think that the official explanation is inadequate. From the general public's point of view, the attacks offer a plausible example of cause and effect: planes crash into buildings; buildings collapse. That makes sense to non-expert members of the public. As one of those non-experts, I'm aware of that example of cause and effect and of the fact that few experts seem to disagree with it. Like most members of the public, I'm also aware that regimes are capable of doing bad things, and that an inside job of some sort isn't impossible. And as a JFK assassination enthusiast, I'm aware that an event like the 9/11 attacks is likely to generate plenty of anomalous items of evidence, which may seem sinister but which may have everyday explanations of which I'm currently unaware. The question of whether or not the planes crashing into the buildings was sufficient to cause the buildings to collapse is not something I, as a non-expert member of the public, am able to decide for myself. Unless I become an expert, the only rational thing for me to do is to reflect the balance of expert opinion. It seems irrational to do otherwise. On that subject, Chris's research methods have generated some attention elsewhere: https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t2419p25-the-mullberry-bush#37117
  10. Thanks for the response, W. Niederhut! I'm sure you can understand why a non-expert like me might not put too much trust in the claim that the scientific evidence is settled. The non-expert thinks: well, it could have been an inside job, you wouldn't rule it out in theory, but if the scientific evidence really is as conclusive as this guy claims, you'd expect a large proportion of experts to support it, and only a small number appear to do so. And anyone who's familiar with some of the claims made about the JFK assassination will apply more than a pinch of salt to a claim that the hijackers lived on after the attacks. Inside job: wouldn't put it past them; fake hijackers and remote-controlled planes: hmm, not so sure about that. I suspect the evidence is far from conclusive, but I'm willing to be persuaded. Having said all that, I'm keeping an open mind, and I'll check out those links when I get the chance.
  11. Chris Barnard writes: That remark was in response to my comment about ex-Dr Andrew Wakefield's research being flawed and that "expert opinion is overwhelmingly against a link between vaccines and autism." Which part of that comment contains the lie? That Wakefield's research was flawed, or that the balance of expert opinion is unfavourable to anti-vaxxers? Perhaps Chris could explain why either or both of those statements is a lie. With luck, he'll use detailed evidence and nuanced argument, but I fear that all we'll get is the usual one-sentence talking points copied uncritically from some anti-vaxxer website. Does Chris take seriously the idea that vaccines cause autism? Perhaps he does: Yet another one-sentence talking point! Chris had already answered this one himself on page 16, when he wrote: Why? Obviously it's to keep the company's lawyers happy, in case some crazy anti-vaxxer tries to take the company to court. Note the use of the word 'potential'. I assume the company doesn't claim that its vaccine actually causes autism. There's nothing suspicious about that pamphlet. Why did Chris even bring up that talking point, if not to suggest that the company was admitting that the vaccine might in fact cause autism? Someone with Chris's vast intellectual gifts shouldn't have any trouble making his points properly, by doing more than simply repeating one-sentence talking points from anti-vaxxers and 9/11 truthers. What started all of this was Chris's preference for the views of a small minority of experts in the matter of the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. I pointed out that it was irrational for a non-expert to take this approach to a question that requires expert knowledge. Chris doesn't seem to have found anything objectionable about the point I made. Evidently he agrees with me: the non-expert would be mistaken to accept one particular view when the majority of experts think that view is wrong. So why does he do it? I assume he has no expertise in architecture or structural engineering. Would he care to tell us why he rejects the opinions of the majority of the relevant experts? Would Chris by any chance be picking and choosing which experts to believe based on whether or not they reflect his view of the world?
  12. Chris Barnard writes: I understand all of that, thank you. So it was Bill Gates after all, wasn't it? I knew it! In your comment 445409 on page 16, you replied to my point about Wakefield's research being debunked. Your reply was: I asked you to clarify what you meant by "proving that to be the case". Proving Wakefield's research was flawed? If that's what you meant, it has been done. I'd already given a link to the relevant article in the British Medical Journal: https://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7452. Proving that vaccines cause autism? If that's what you meant, plenty of research has been done on that topic. Expert opinion is overwhelmingly against a link between vaccines and autism. On the subject of 9/11, Chris writes: So you were actually trying to say that W. Niederhut doesn't want to provide evidence for his claim that some of the hijackers "were known to be alive after 9/11, having miraculously survived the 9/11 plane crashes" because it might come up if someone searches for his name. But he has made plenty of 9/11-related comments here. Why should that particular claim be so damaging to his online reputation? His reluctance might in fact be due to his not having any strong evidence to support his claim, wouldn't you think? Nevertheless, if he does have any strong evidence, I'd be interested to see it, because it would go a long way towards undermining the official explanation. All I was asking you to do was provide a bit more than simple one-sentence talking points. If you want someone to discuss a topic of your choice, you can't expect them to do all the work. You need to set out the evidence and all the relevant arguments, for and against, if only to persuade us that you are not simply regurgitating stuff from some truther's YouTube channel. One point I've been making that you haven't yet replied to is that, when confronted by a topic that requires expert knowledge, the only rational approach for a non-expert is to reflect the balance of expert opinion. This applies to vaccination as much as it does to the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Would you agree with that principle? If not, perhaps you could explain what's wrong with it. If you do agree with that principle, why do you not abide by it? Why do you align yourself with the opinions of a small minority of experts rather than the opinions of the large majority of experts?
  13. Dennis Berube writes: That's a strange interpretation of the newspaper article, which referred to a prominent anti-vaxxer who seemed to be encouraging people to physically attack medical staff. That's why the police got involved, not because she or anyone else didn't want to get vaccinated or wear a mask or whatever other threat to 'freedom' these people get worked up about. I wrote: Dennis replied: This may be the Wikipedia article Dennis is thinking of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield It's a pretty devastating account, fully referenced, of Wakefield's activities. As far as "slander" goes, Wakefield sued a journalist and the TV company who broadcast the journalist's documentary, for defamation. He failed, and had to pay his opponents' legal costs. Here's what the judge said about Wakefield: There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that no good evidence exists for a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Magneto protein, eh? That sounds all sciencey-like, doesn't it? You've convinced me! The medical profession is wrong, and the bleach drinkers are right!
  14. Chris Barnard writes: Again, what's the significance of this? Are you absolutely sure Bill Gates isn't involved? Proving what to be the case? Wakefield tried to prove that the MMR vaccine caused autism, and failed miserably. What is it that you think needs to be proved, and why? The mainstream media, at least in Britain, has run its fair share of anti-vaxxer misinformation. I don't read the Daily Mail, but I do read about the Daily Mail, which under its previous editor supported the anti-vaxxer fraud Andrew Wakefield: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/13/daily-mail-anti-vaxxers-paper-covid-vaccine-mmr For the benefit of non-UK readers who aren't familiar with the Daily Mail, the paper was a big fan of that nice Mr Hitler some years ago, and isn't much better now: https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/blog/2017/10/horrible-history-daily-mail/ I'm sure they are. But, as Denny pointed out, your fellow anti-vaxxer preferred to get his information from unqualified alleged celebrities rather than directly from qualified medical professionals. When one has a choice of who to believe, the non-expert is obliged to reflect the balance of expert opinion, surely? Have I got this principle wrong? If I haven't, why do you insist on believing the small minority of experts over the large majority of experts? He doesn't want to talk about it because of this site's search engine rankings? For one thing, whatever he says wouldn't have a noticeable effect on any of this site's search engine rankings. For another, what sort of reason is that for not providing evidence and argument to support the claim he made? W. Niederhut claimed on page 14 that some of the hijackers "were known to be alive after 9/11, having miraculously survived the 9/11 plane crashes". It's quite a claim to make, because if it's true it leaves a gaping hole in the official explanation. If it's not true, of course, it leaves a gaping hole in W. Niederhut's credibility. I could understand if he hasn't provided the necessary evidence because he's been busy, or he has been taken ill, or his internet connection has gone down, or he has been abducted by creatures from the planet Tharg. But otherwise, you'd expect him to be keen to justify the statement he made. I'm starting to suspect that there probably isn't any solid evidence that any of the hijackers lived on after 9/11. Do you get that impression too? Again with the one-sentence truther talking points! You're the one who brought up these allegations, which you seem to think are deadly to the official explanation. It's up to you to demonstrate why that should be the case. Perhaps you could set out the evidence and the arguments for and against, in detail, and show us how conclusive these talking points really are. They belong in the "well, maybe, but maybe not" category, don't they?
  15. Chris Barnard writes: Do you mean that a doctor suggested that a controlled study be carried out, and his suggestion was refused? If that's what you're getting at, I'm not sure what the significance is. Would it by any chance have something to do with a deep-state conspiracy, run by Bill Gates from a pizza joint in Washington, to hide the awful truth about vaccines? The data that Wakefield came up with was intended to prove the opposite: that the MMR vaccine caused autism. As it turns out, the data was so poor that it didn't prove anything except that Wakefield was a fraud. The data shows that the original claim was unfounded. It's common knowledge that the Covid vaccines aren't 100% effective. Some vaccinated people will still catch the virus, spread it, and die from it. The point is explained here: https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/commentisfree/2021/jun/27/why-most-people-who-now-die-with-covid-have-been-vaccinated That article suggests that for every vaccinated person who dies, around 20 unvaccinated people with identical risk factors (the main one being age) will die. The moral of the story: if you've got any sense, get yourself vaccinated, for your own sake and the sake of others. Admittedly, the authors of the article are only professional statisticians, not know-nothing actors or know-nothing TV producers. With luck, the article will be peer-reviewed by a learned committee of know-nothing bus drivers, know-nothing advertising executives, and know-nothing burger-flippers. Then perhaps the message may get through to the anti-vaxxer idiots who endanger themselves and the rest of us. Regarding 9/11, Chris writes: As I've pointed out, you have to reflect the balance of expert opinion, if you are not an expert yourself. It's irrational to pick and choose which experts to believe according to whether or not they reflect your personal view of the world. Only a small proportion of the relevant experts have claimed that the towers could not have collapsed merely because the planes hit them. I don't know the figures, but I'd guess that the proportion of medical professionals who think mass vaccination is a dangerous plot is, if anything, even smaller. When, as in these cases, expert opinion is heavily weighted in one direction, it's irrational for a non-expert to prefer the small minority. Even if the minority's views are endorsed by know-nothing actors and TV producers. I really can't take seriously the idea that a large number of professionally qualified people would be afraid to speak out on either 9/11 or vaccination, if the evidence against the official positions really is as strong as you make it out to be. Hence the quantity-over-quality list of regurgitated one-sentence truther talking points. How many of them have been proved beyond any reasonable doubt? W. Niederhut's claim that some of the hijackers were still alive and well after the attacks, for example, would indeed be devastating to the official account. Has that one been proved beyond doubt? From W. Niederhut's lack of a response, I'd guess not. How many other truther talking points fall into the "well, maybe, but maybe not" category? Any complex collection of evidence is likely to contain incongruous, anomalous items. The JFK assassination is a good example of this, and people have tried the same fruitless quantity-over-quality approach here too. Those are two items in your list of one-sentence truther talking points. From the information you've provided, there's very little to discuss. In each case, what is the evidence, exactly? How reliable is the source? What is the conspiratorial explanation of the evidence? Is there an alternative explanation? If so, what does it say, and what does it get wrong? If the conspiratorial argument in each case leaves any room for doubt, why should we believe it?
  16. Denny Zartman writes: Chris Barnard replies: As far as the original claim goes that the MMR vaccine caused autism, the data has been available for more than a decade. The data shows no link at all. Mr (formerly Dr, but he got struck off) Andrew Wakefield, who conducted the original 'research', comes across as an unscrupulous money-grubber. His 'research' was described by the British Medical Journal as "an elaborate fraud" that involved "falsification of data". It makes Luis Alvarez's melon-shooting experiment look respectable. The British Medical Journal provides readable accounts of this scandal here: https://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c7452 https://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.c5347 One advantage the 9/11 truthers have over the anti-vaxxers is that at least they aren't responsible for the spread of preventable diseases or for thousands of avoidable deaths.
  17. Chris Barnard writes: The 'planes and jet fuel' explanation seems to be accepted by a large majority of the relevant experts. As I pointed out earlier, the rational non-expert is obliged to reflect the balance of expert opinion in matters that require technical expertise. What it looks like to a non-expert doesn't mean much. See my previous remark. Indeed. Stand back from the window so your face won't be seen, take the easy shot, and dash down the stairs before anyone works out where the shot came from. Not that Oswald is likely to have been on the sixth floor at the time. Maybe they did, but you'd think plenty of people in the World Trade Center during the days leading up to the attack would have noticed piles of explosives or people cutting into steel joists. Two towers, each around 90 storeys high: that's a lot of joists that need to be weakened. Note to Paul Bacon: I'm sure I read somewhere (from a pro- or anti-truther source, I can't remember which) that some or most or all of the joists must have been weakened by partial cutting, in order for the explosives to bring the buildings down. This sounds like another question for experts to decide. There must be an awful lot of qualified architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, and other people with the professional skills to evaluate the collapse of the towers. The vast majority of them have failed to go public with doubts about the official explanation. I suppose it's possible that tens or hundreds of thousands of people were threatened with career suicide or worse, but it isn't very likely, is it? So you agree with W. Niederhut that the hijackers, or at least some of them, did actually live on after the attacks? Presumably you also agree with his suggestion that the planes were piloted remotely? The notion of an inside job that involved actual hijackers actually hijacking the planes and actually flying them into the buildings, actually killing themselves in the process, but doing so on behalf of shadowy US government entities, sounds possible, if unlikely. But the notion of an inside job that involved fake hijackers and remote-controlled planes sounds very unlikely indeed, at least to me. It seems like the 9/11 equivalent of Lifton's body-alteration speculation, or the 'Harvey and Lee' doppelganger speculation. I'm genuinely interested in seeing what the evidence is for W. Niederhut's claim. I suspect it's nowhere near as conclusive as he thinks it is, which would cast doubt on at least some of his other claims. But I'm open to persuasion. What is the evidence, W. Niederhut? Only if the plan was to have Oswald on the sixth floor during the shooting. But the lone-nut scenario appears to have been a post facto device to contain public dissatisfaction with political institutions, rather than a part of any original plan. Not every incongruous fact need be incorporated, square-peg-like, into a conspiracy theory. That applies to 9/11 just as much as to the JFK assassination. Sorry to interject with so much JFK stuff on a JFK forum, but the possibility that clear images might exist of Oswald somewhere other than on the sixth floor and with no rifle in sight, represents the best current possibility of a breakthrough in the case. The figure in the images we have may well turn out not to be Oswald, of course, but given that the figure does look somewhat like him, and that his own account ("went outside to watch the p. parade") is consistent with what we see, getting hold of good quality versions of the Darnell and Wiegman films is worth doing. And it's a lot more worthwhile than speculating about all the photographs and home movies being faked, which some people waste their time doing. Anyway, rant over. I'd imagine that most people would claim it was a coincidence, since anti-terror drills aren't especially rare occurrences. Do you really think the bombings in London were an inside job? If so, what evidence is there apart from an anti-terror drill possibly happening on the same day? You get plenty of this sort of vaguely suspicious activity in the JFK assassination story too. The three tramps in Dealey Plaza, for example. They might be gunmen! They might be generals or senior CIA officers! Alternatively, they might just be tramps. The thing is, all of this sort of stuff can be discarded from the JFK assassination and you'd still be able to make a plausible case that the event involved more than one gunman. But with 9/11, if you discard the vaguely suspicious stuff, there doesn't seem to be anything solid left.
  18. Chris Barnard writes: The PNAC types who were waiting for an excuse to invade Iraq and Afghanistan do seem to have been the sort of people who would have happily sacrificed the thousands of people who worked in the World Trade Center. But just because they could have intentionally killed those people, doesn't mean they did kill those people. The implausibility that I mentioned was to do with the practicality of blowing up the buildings. Placing explosives, cutting through steel joists, and whatever other noisy and disruptive activities might have been required, don't strike me as being straightforward to do without being noticed, anywhere, let alone in huge, heavily populated office blocks in downtown Manhattan. On the other hand, making use of the helpful physical features of the book depository and Dealey Plaza in order to carry out a shooting, while having some risk of discovery, doesn't seem beyond the bounds of plausibility at all. There were three things that led me to dismiss the notion that 9/11 was an inside job, when I first looked into it years ago: The implausibility of blowing up the buildings. The very limited amount of support among qualified engineers, architects, and so on, for the technical argument that the buildings were blown up. Preposterous-sounding claims, such as W. Niederhut's statement that the hijackers "were known to be alive after 9/11". By 'preposterous', I mean that if the evidence was strong enough for the fact to be "known", that evidence would surely be common knowledge by now. To give another JFK comparison, if high-quality versions of the Darnell or Weigman films came to light which showed beyond any doubt that Oswald was standing on the TSBD steps, it would be impossible for that fact to be suppressed. Even if the mass media ignored it at first, many thousands of individuals would share the images over the internet, it would be reported in the fringe media, and eventually commentators in the mainstream media would be unable to ignore it. The same should have happened to the evidence that W. Niederhut finds convincing. Since it isn't common knowledge that some of the hijackers lived on, the claim sounds preposterous. But I'm prepared to be convinced otherwise, if someone can produce incontrovertible evidence for that claim.
  19. Chris Barnard writes: I'm not aware of a "concerted media campaign" against flag-waving in Britain. If anything, the opposite is true: whenever there's some royal event or anniversary, or when England are playing in the World Cup, the newspapers encourage people to get the flags out. Not only that, but the newspapers sometimes even supply the flags! As for the notion that the European Union discouraged national flag-waving through its funding of the UK media, that sounds a tad unlikely, mainly because almost all of the UK media is owned by individuals and institutions who are very much opposed to the EU. Flag-waving was quite popular in certain parts of Europe around 80 years ago, but not so much now, for some reason that has little to do with EU diktats. The point I was making about flag-waving is that the prevalence of national flags in the US doesn't imply that Americans are likely to accept the official line on 9/11. If people mostly accept the official line, it's surely because the alternative is inherently implausible, not because people have been conditioned to believe everything they are told. We know that the general population is capable of distrusting official explanations of events, because they do so in the case of the JFK assassination. The widespread distrust of the official line is due to the plausibility of the alternative, which isn't the case with 9/11. I wasn't assuming that. I used Fox as an example of propaganda that encourages people to doubt official information rather than accept it. That's a good point. One important effect of the Fox News insanity is that it makes the rest of the corporate media look vaguely respectable. All of those effects are true, but their existence doesn't require that 9/11 was an inside job. Terrorism and other emergencies have been used by regimes all over the world as an excuse to do the same sorts of things the US government did after 9/11. Yes, of course! If there is any incontrovertible evidence that 9/11 was an inside job, I'd be happy to accept it, just as I'd be happy to accept the lone-nut interpretation of the JFK assassination if incontrovertible evidence existed. The problem is that, as far as I can tell, there is no incontrovertible evidence that 9/11 was an inside job (or, for that matter, that Oswald shot JFK, with or without assistance). For example, the technical arguments that we've been given by W. Niederhut don't seem to be widely accepted by those with the technical knowledge to evaluate them. In the absence of majority expert opinion, that evidence isn't worth much to a non-expert. One item of evidence that would be convincing is W. Niederhut's claim that "many of them [the hijackers] were known to be alive after 9/11, having miraculously survived the 9/11 plane crashes." If that's the case, then the official account must be wrong. Unfortunately, anyone who is familiar with the JFK assassination knows that these sorts of claims invariably turn out to be rather less watertight than they are made out to be: Oswald buying trucks in New Orleans when he was actually in Minsk, for example. The result is that the person making the far-fetched claim ends up looking like a ... how shall I put it? ... unreliable source of information, and people start to doubt everything else that person says. Could W. Niederhut tell us what the evidence is for those hijackers being alive after 9/11?
  20. Joe Bauer writes: That's the difference between, say, climate scientists and structural engineers. Climate change is central to the former's professional interests, but 9/11 is marginal to the latter's. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of architectural and engineering experts think of the truthers as a bunch of cranks who aren't worth arguing against, in much the same way that the vast majority of astronomers don't bother arguing with moon-landings deniers. But I could be wrong. The point I was making is that common sense isn't a reliable guide to questions that require specialist knowledge. Just because something kinda sorta looks remarkable to a layman doesn't mean it actually is. There are plenty of examples of this in the JFK assassination debate. The towers may well have been blown up, but if only a small minority of recognised experts claim they were, I don't think I'd be justified in believing it. Chris Barnard writes: The American penchant for flag-waving certainly looks bizarre and worrying to many outsiders. Here in Britain, on the very rare occasions that you see a Union Jack in someone's front garden, your Fascisty-Nutcase Alarm goes off. But almost all of the Americans I've met who display flags on their houses or cars aren't the same sort of people who fly flags in other countries. It's a cultural thing. I'm not sure that indoctrination for subservience to authority is much worse in the USA than in most countries. After all, there has been a consistent majority who doubt the official interpretation of the JFK assassination. As I understand it (and I could be wrong), the official account of 9/11 does not generate the same level of public doubt. The most notable type of mass indoctrination that exists in the US actually encourages its victims to see officialdom as the enemy: the whole Fox News and hate radio subculture, where much of the anti-vaccination craziness comes from. Compared to the number of political figures who have been assassinated by their enemies rather than by motiveless lone nuts, the number of false flag operations is tiny. And the cui bono argument doesn't really apply in the case of 9/11, which was used as an excuse for repression by authoritarian regimes all over the world. Plenty of individuals, institutions and regimes benefitted who cannot have had anything to do with the event. And you'd think that if the US regime wanted to stage an event that would help it in its goal of invading Iraq and Afghanistan, they wouldn't have used quite so many hijackers from Saudi Arabia. Jeff Carter writes: Could be. What I find interesting is that the 'everything is a conspiracy' JFK types, who find satisfaction in all the body-alteration and film-alteration nonsense, tend to gravitate towards the 9/11 stuff too. The more rational critics of the lone-nut theory, on the other hand, tend not to. At least, that's my impression. W. Niederhut disagrees: Overwhelming to Mr Niederhut, perhaps, but one of the points Mark made was that it isn't overwhelming to the majority of experts. Now that sounds spooky! Is there really any strong evidence for that? If there is, it would be a remarkable thing. The continued existence of the hijackers would provide convincing evidence of an inside job. Mr Niederhut seems to think it's a fact, but is his belief justified? If the evidence for the continued existence of the hijackers is as strong as he claims, it makes you wonder why anyone bothers with all the technical analysis of collapsing buildings that doesn't seem to have convinced most of the experts. I can't help thinking of similar claims to do with the JFK assassination, such as the claim that two Oswalds were arrested in the Texas Theater. It sounded far-fetched, but if true, it would be good evidence for some sort of doppelganger project. Needless to say, it turned out to be just the usual misinterpretation of the evidence by people who were predisposed to see conspiracies everywhere, and only one Oswald was actually arrested. What's the evidence that many of the hijackers "were known to be alive after 9/11"? I get the feeling that we're creeping towards James Fetzer and Jack White territory here. No hijackers, just remote-controlled planes. Is that what Mr Niederhut believes? Why would he bring up the idea of "remote-piloting GPS technology for Boeing jetliners" if he doesn't believe that this may have happened? Personally, it was reading this sort of thing years ago that made me dismiss the 9/11 stuff as far-fetched speculation.
  21. W. Niederhut writes: Mark Stevens replies: Mark's point hasn't been denied, which implies that Mr Niederhut agrees with him. I don't know whether the exact proportions are 98 to 2, but I presume it's accurate to say that only a small minority of experts think that the World Trade Center towers were destroyed by explosives. Very few of us, however, are experts in structural engineering or architecture. As a general principle, what should non-experts do when faced with a question whose answer requires scientific or technical expertise? What is the rational course of action for those who do not possess the expertise to properly assess the evidence for themselves? Surely the non-expert is obliged to reflect the balance of expert opinion. This has to be done provisionally, with the understanding that the balance of expert opinion might change in the future. If expert opinion does change, the non-expert should then be obliged to reflect the new balance of expert opinion. This principle applies to the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings just as much as it applies to other topics in which overwhelming expert opinion is opposed by small but vocal minorities, such as climate science, or mass vaccination, or evolution by natural selection, or whether the Earth is round or flat. If resolving the question requires expertise, and one doesn't have the appropriate expertise, the only rational course is to reflect expert opinion. Non-experts who don't do so are irrational. Pointing to this or that article on a 9/11 truthers' website means little, no matter how well-qualified the article's author might be. Why should any non-experts accept what that article says, if a large majority of other, equally well-qualified experts think it's wrong? Likewise, it is unreasonable to expect Mark Stevens to argue against some 9/11 truther's account of the science (I assume that Mark, unlike W. Niederhut, is not an expert in anything to do with structural engineering). All Mark has to do is to point at the majority expert opinion. If Mr Niederhut wants someone to answer his technical questions, he needs to ask his fellow experts. * * * When I looked briefly into the 9/11 stuff years ago, what struck me was that the 'inside job' argument relied fundamentally on the idea that the buildings had been sabotaged. There are two big differences between this scenario and the JFK assassination. First, there's the question of expertise. Whether or not the towers could have fallen as a result of being hit by planes is a question that only the relevant experts can answer (and it seems they have done so). Working out what happened in the JFK assassination, on the other hand, relies mainly on evaluating witness statements and documentary evidence. There are some scientific aspects, but none of them are fundamental. The second difference is one of plausibility. It seems somewhat unlikely, to put it mildly, that a team of Bad Guys could plant explosives and cut into steel joists, tasks that would have taken many hours and generated plenty of noise and disruption, in buildings containing thousands of people, in one of the busiest cities in the world, without being spotted ("Hey, guys, why is our stationery cupboard full of sticks of dynamite? And what's he doing with that angle grinder?") . It seems perfectly feasible, on the other hand, that a rifle could be planted in the book depository, or that a gunman could surreptitiously enter and leave the building, which had several unattended rear entrances, at a time when the majority of the people who worked there were outside, watching the president go by. And it surely wouldn't be hugely difficult to organise a small team of gunmen to shoot someone who is sitting in the back of a slow-moving, open-topped car. Finally, there have been innumerable examples throughout history of political figures who were killed by their political opponents for political reasons. It's almost the default explanation for a political assassination. The only aspect of JFK assassination conspiratorial thinking that resembles the 9/11 version is the far-fetched stuff such as presidential body-snatching squads, or teams of people seizing and altering most of the home movies and photographs, or doppelganger Oswalds following each other around Dallas. But you don't need any of that poorly supported, superfluous crud to explain the assassination as a political act carried out by more than one person. In contrast, there doesn't seem to be any way of explaining 9/11 as an inside job without coming up with something as inherently implausible as blowing up the buildings.
  22. What point is David Lifton trying to make here? As far as I can tell, his argument goes something like this: The presidential limousine pulled over to the left and stopped at the time of the shooting, as several witnesses claimed. The Zapruder film was altered to conceal this incriminating stop. The altered film was later placed in the National Archives. Governor and Mrs Connally were shown this film three days after the assassination. Governor Connally was interviewed two days after that. In that interview, Governor Connally mentioned that he had been struck by a bullet after President Kennedy had already been struck. And ... what, exactly? What's the connection between Connally's interview and the Zapruder film allegedly having been altered to remove the alleged car stop? To put it another way, what exactly is there in Connally's interview that can be attributed to his having seen the film? Is Lifton still pushing his old claim that Connally was shot from the front? Is that what he's getting at? If he is, then: he must be the only person who believes it, and so what? How does the supposed car stop, and its absence in the photographic record, relate to a shot from the front? Alternatively, is Lifton claiming that Connally was actually hit not by the second bullet, as Connally stated, but by the first bullet? If that's it, how does that relate to the supposed car stop? Or is Lifton claiming both of these things, as a sort of bizarro single-bullet theory? Kennedy and Connally were hit by the same bullet, which was fired from the front! Is that it? Maybe it has something to do with gunmen hiding in fake trees on the grassy knoll. A bullet was fired from among those fake trees; it hit Connally in the front; then it hit Kennedy in the front. And then a presidential body-snatching squad abducted Kennedy and Connally and altered their wounds to make it look as though the bullet had been fired from behind. Am I getting warmer? If he isn't still pushing the claim that Connally was shot from the front, and if he isn't pushing the single-bullet theory in one form or another, and if he is no longer claiming that there were gunmen hiding in fake trees on the grassy knoll, what point is David Lifton actually trying to make?
  23. I trust that the next time Jim Hargrove brings up the subject of James Wilcott's 'Oswald project' in the context of a 'Harvey and Lee' discussion, he will include a caveat like this: "James Wilcott specifically contradicted three essential elements of the 'Harvey and Lee' theory. If James Wilcott's 'Oswald project' existed, the 'Harvey and Lee' theory's double-doppelganger scheme did not, and vice versa." After all, Jim wouldn't want to give people the wrong impression about Wilcott, would he?
  24. John Butler writes: There are several facts that support my claim: Fact no.1: According to the 'Harvey and Lee' theory, there was a plan in the late 1940s or early 1950s to produce a false defector who (a) would possess a plausible American background and (b) would be able to understand the Russian that would be spoken around him. Fact no.2: According to the 'Harvey and Lee' theory, this false defector would be activated no earlier than the late 1950s, several years after the hypothetical plan was hypothetically being considered. Fact no.3: In the late 1940s or early 1950s, when this hypothetical plan was hypothetically being considered, there were several million people in the US military at any one time. Fact no.4: Of these millions of servicemen (and women), there must have been thousands who would have had (a) a genuine American background and (b) an above-average aptitude for learning languages that would allow him (or her) to acquire a sufficient understanding of Russian by the time he (or she) was sent to Moscow several years later. Fact no.5: According to the 'Harvey and Lee' theory, the planners would have worked out the best way to achieve their goal. Those are the facts. Obviously, in the case of Facts nos.1, 2, and 5, the facts are only that the 'Harvey and Lee' theory claims these things. The notion that these things actually happened is speculation. Now for some more speculation. According to the 'Harvey and Lee' theory, the planners decided that the best way to achieve their goal was to: Recruit an American, English-speaking boy and his American, English-speaking mother. Recruit an eastern European, Russian-speaking boy, who was unrelated to the American boy, specifically for his knowledge of Russian. Recruit a woman who was virtually identical to the American boy's mother, despite being unrelated to her or to either of the boys, to act as a surrogate mother. Maintain the doppelganger Oswald and the doppelganger mother, as well as the real Oswald and the real mother, for several years. Hope that when those several years had passed, and the two boys had grown up, they too would turn out to be virtually identical. Allow the Russian-speaking boy, while growing up in the US, to forget most or all of his Russian, the very skill for which he had been recruited in the first place, so that he would be obliged to teach himself Russian. All of the speculation I've mentioned is from the 'Harvey and Lee' theory. Here is the question I've been trying to get someone to answer. I asked how we get from one item of 'Harvey and Lee' speculation: (i) a false defector was being groomed no later than the early 1950s to another item of 'Harvey and Lee' speculation: (ii) the planners implemented a double-doppelganger scheme Given the incontrovertible fact that plenty of (real-life) suitable candidates for the role of false defector existed, why would the (speculative) 'Harvey and Lee' planners decide instead to implement the (speculative, and vastly more complicated) 'Harvey and Lee' double-doppelganger scheme? If that isn't clear enough, try thinking about it in terms of 'Harvey and Lee' doctrine. What piece of the 'Harvey and Lee' theory describes the planners' intentions? One essential item of the 'Harvey and Lee' theory seems to be missing. As far as I'm aware: John Armstrong doesn't mention it in his book. Jim Hargrove or the other 'Harvey and Lee' proponents haven't mentioned it in an online discussion. I'll be happy to be corrected if I'm wrong and someone can provide either a page reference or a link. If the hypothetical planners were real, and not speculative, they must have had a good reason for deciding to implement their speculative scheme, mustn't they? What, according to the 'Harvey and Lee' theory, was that reason?
  25. Jim Hargrove has again brought up James Wilcott's use of the phrase 'Oswald project' to justify the 'Harvey and Lee' theory. Wilcott's notion of an 'Oswald project' specifically contradicted the 'Harvey and Lee' theory in several important respects: Wilcott's Oswald was one person, not two. Wilcott's Oswald did not have a doppelganger, and Wilcott's Oswald's mother did not have a doppelganger. Wilcott's Oswald was an English-speaking American, born and brought up in the USA, not a native Russian-speaking eastern Eurpean refugee. Wilcott claimed that Oswald was recruited by the CIA while in the Marines, not several years earlier while still a child. Those are the three central elements of the 'Harvey and Lee' theory, and they are all contradicted by James Wilcott. You can argue about whether or not Wilcott's 'Oswald project' actually existed, but you can't use it to try and prop up a bizarre double-doppelganger scheme that could never have happened. Jim really ought to stop misrepresenting Wilcott. His error has been pointed out to him at least once before. The 'simple misunderstanding' excuse might work the first couple of times, but it won't work if Jim tries that trick again.
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