Len Colby Posted February 9, 2006 Share Posted February 9, 2006 Fetzer of course has gotten into some very bitter disputes with people like me who disagree with him about issues like the Wellstone crash and the supposed alteration of the Zapruder film. To us he 1) reaches farfetched conclusions based on very tenuous, unreliable and false evidence 2) often goes off on long irrelevant tangents about philosophical proofs that seem to more about proving how smart he is that the question being discussed 3) He has an "overgrown ego". I found it very interesting that a fellow 9/11 conspiracist who mostly agrees with him reached similar conclusions and is highly critical of Fetzer's reasoning and conclusions not only relating to 9/11 but to the Z-film as well. He also 'debunks' some of Jack White's 9/11 "photoanalysis" which Fetzer cited. The author is "Michael B. Green, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Qualified Medical Examiner, Former Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin." For the complete article and photos go to the following page: http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/green/company.html Professor Jones co-founded "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" with James Fetzer, Ph.D., who has authored and co-authored many books in philosophy of science, edited and co-edited many more, and who has written voluminously on the JFK assassination, including the recent The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, which he edited, which I was sent as a gift, and on which I will later comment. The Scholars website displays Professor Jones's article alongside one by David Ray Griffin, and one by James Fetzer, Ph.D. entitled "Thinking about "Conspiracy Theories": 9/11 and JFK." A great deal of the Fetzer article is devoted to inflating his own bona fides as both a conspiracy researcher and a philosopher of science by offering an essentially unintelligible technical discussion of epistemology that is grounded in addressing obscure Cartesian assumptions that are not fruitful for the working scientist interested in theory confirmation. Professor Fetzer is lead to adopt what he calls "abductivism" as the solution to a problem that few if any lay readers can grasp, let alone its "solution." The discussion, in any case, has no bearing whatsoever on what he will say about 911. Nonetheless, given Professor Fetzer's impressive self-promotion we are entitled to expect at least minimal competence when he turns to 911. Alas, this expectation is to be disappointed. My examination is illustrative, not exhaustive. Fetzer begins by lumping together many critics of 911 who would not want to be associated with its spoiler, e.g. "As a consequence of inquiries by Nafeez Ahmed (2002), Thierry Meyssan (2002), Paul Thompson (2004), Michael Ruppert (2004), and David Ray Griffin (2004, 2005), among others, we already know that the official account of 9/11 cannot possibly be correct." In particular, Meyssan has two books purporting to prove that no plane hit the Pentagon. The second, Le Pentagate, humorously has a well-known photo of the hole punched in the C ring that displays two plane parts. For two accounts of why Meyssan is either a fool or a deliberate hoaxer, see: http://www.oilempire.us/hoax-jokes.html and http://www.911research.com/essays/pentagontrap.html. My view is that the entire discussion of what hit the Pentagon is a tar baby designed to trap the 911 truth community in useless speculation. Fetzer next launches into a rebuttal of the view that the jet fuels were hot enough to melt steel, thus falsely implying that the "official" USG position is that the WTCs melted: "The extremely high melting point of structural steel (about 2,800° F) is far above the maximum (around 1,700° F) that could have been produced by jet fuel under optimal conditions. … Insofar as most of the fuel was burned off in the gigantic fireballs that accompanied the initial impacts, that these towers were brought down by fuel fires that melted the steel is not just improbable but physically impossible." Fetzer's argument is both irrelevant and confusing because no official USG account contends that the buildings collapsed because their fires melted their steel. Thus Fetzer attacks a straw man and misleads readers away from the actual nature of the cover-up. In the next two paragraphs Fetzer uses imaginary Bayesian prior probabilities to generate a 10,000,000,000 "proof" of his thesis, while advising "most of the beams and columns fell in sections of 30' to 40' in length." Eric Hufschmid in Painful Questions first popularized this happy fiction about beam lengths. Unfortunately, both Hufschmid and Fetzer did not trouble to observe Figure 5-19 in Hufschmid's book. This photo, taken on September 23, 2001, shows a multitude of columns in the 50' to 100' range. Beams were shattered, and this is what matters to understand that explosives were used, but the "poison pill" fiction that the beams were all or mostly sheared to fit onto the trucks comes from being a great thinker who fails to ask when certain photos were taken (trucks carting beams) and what happened in between (beams were cut to fit the trucks). The acumen of Fetzer's thinking is clearest when he addresses the Pentagon itself: The Pentagon case should be the most accessible to study, since it only depends upon observations and measurements, which are the most basic elements available for any scientific investigation. Indeed, photos taken prior to the collapse of the Pentagon's upper floors supply evidence that, whatever hit the Pentagon, it cannot possibly have been a Boeing 757.44 The plane was 155' long, with a wing span of 125' and stood 36' high with its wheels retracted. The initial point of impact (prior to the collapse of the floors above) was only about 10' high and 16-17' wide, about the size of the double-doors on a mansion. A meticulous engineering study with careful measurements has been conducted that offers powerful evidence that the official story cannot possibly be correct. In his fn. 45 to the above paragraph, Fetzer writes, " A photograph is archived at http://www.assassinationscience.com/911links.html. The opening appears to be about 10 feet high and roughly 16 or 17 feet wide, or not much larger than the double-doors on a mansion." The relevant photographs on that site are reproduced below with their original captions. I'm sorry, but as someone who knows something about Philosophy of Science, I would as soon read tea leaves. The first photo, rather than being of the initial impact site, is of an area of the Pentagon far to the left of the impact point of the fuselage and is presumably caused by the impact of the left wing. The second photograph is in my opinion uninterpretable. I will spare the reader a lecture on the confirmation and discomfirmation of scientific theories, but I will suggest that anyone who would offer such photos as useful "observations and measurements" in understanding what occurred at the Pentagon has not the slightest idea what observation or measurement consists of in the context of science. Fetzer then argues that there are photos of the exterior of the Pentagon taken shortly after the crash that do not show debris or broken parts of an airliner. Fetzer does not consider that the airliners parts have smashed the façade of the Pentagon and penetrated to its interior. Fetzer also has an argument of sorts about the damage done to the Pentagon's grassy lawn, but I find it incoherent. Essentially, he is saying that early reports that the plane crashed into the Pentagon lawn were mistaken, but that Rumsfeld had the lawn repaired anyway so that people might believe this earlier mistaken account. But I gather that the truth is something closer to the homely fact that the lawn was covered with a material so that it could better support heavy equipment, following which it required repair. Fetzer's "observations' are at odd with obvious fact and either wittiningly or unwittingly serve the purpose of disinformation. Anyone who has ever looked carefully looked at video footage of the collapses of WTC1, 2, 7 knows that 1 and 2 were exploded symmetrically from their core well beyond their footprint, while 7 was imploded by conventional means and collapsed into its footprint. This is evident from the following photos of the South Tower Collapse: Yet Professor Fetzer advises us, "Indeed, there appear to be at least ten features of the collapse of the Twin Towers that are expectable effects of controlled demolitions but not from fires following aircraft impacts. They include that the buildings fell about the rate of free fall; that they both collapsed virtually straight down (and into their own "footprints"); … The buildings both fell abruptly, completely, and symmetrically into their own footprints, which is explicable on the controlled demolition hypothesis but not on the official account." I will permit Professor Fetzer the option of arguing somewhere else that he may be a great philosopher of science, but not a great scientist. I will say only that I have read this error enough from those who by all reasonable standards should know better that I have been waiting for the deliberate disinformation websites to make their play with it, and now at least one has. […] As a final caution to anyone who knows anything about science or logical reasoning, I offer this gem from Fetzer before he begins his speculations about what really maybe possibly might have hit the Pentagon: Jon Carlson has proposed that the plane used in the attack must have been a Boeing 737, which also uses them. 54 That contradicts the use of a 757, of course, but it would also be vulnerable to a parallel argument about the absence of debris of the right kinds and quantities. Interestingly, both are incompatible with the smooth and unblemished landscape, which should have been massively disrupted by the wake turbulence that would have been generated by any plane of those dimensions at that low height, a phenomenon even known to rip tiles off roofs at ordinary altitudes. 55 These and still other lines of argument establish that, whatever hit the Pentagon, it cannot have been a Boeing 757 (or a 737). (Boldface added) If I understand Fetzer, he is arguing that since the lawn and landscape were not torn up in some way by the Boeing's wake, there could have not have been a Boeing. Fetzer's implicit "scientific theory" with which the "observation" is in conflict by means of his intuited "laws of nature" is that wakes are pretty darn strong and can sometimes dislodge roof tiles, hence if they don't mess the lawn and trees as shown in photos, there's no Boeing! This is not what those in the philosophy os science business would call a tight nomological network of theoretical entities, laws in the form of quantified relationships, and observations. The reader should contrast this errant speculation about the quantitative forces involved in a Boeing's low flying descent and the damage it would cause to lawn and trees (something that most post-crash photos would only poorly reflect at best), with the kind of careful, quantitative, quasi-quantitative, and always logical reasoning used by Professor Jones. I advised my friend who sent me The Great Zapruder Film Hoax that I could not read the book because it was an illogical incoherent hash and mishmash of nonsense that could hardly be followed, and that it could not be usefully assessed from the tiny blurry grainy photos that accompanied it. I advised that if there were a pony in there, it had been deliberately buried and disguised to discourage anyone from finding it. And I happen to believe strongly that the Zapruder film was altered. In going to Amazon.com to learn what some readers thought of the book, I found the following summary comment by Michael K. Beush preceding his review: "This garbage gives conspiracy theorists a bad name" I concur. A very interesting collection of essays that debunks much of the book may be found at "Assassinated Science" (a witty pun on Fetzer's home page "Assassination Science") http://home.earthlink.net/~joejd/jfk/zaphoax. The Introduction to that site begins: "On September 3, 2003, Professor James H. Fetzer, Ph.D. described his new book, The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, as 'a magnificent achievement that may very well stand as an enduring turning point in JFK assassination research, namely the definitive proof that the Zapruder film was faked....' Leaving aside Professor Fetzer's characteristic modesty, the claim is laughable. In its 496 pages, the book never gets around to making a single direct argument for the fabrication of the Zapruder film. The book is little more than a random collection of observations concerning features of the film which various contributors find odd and therefore label "proof of forgery. They consider these features "anomalies" but make no attempt to link any of them to each other or to show how any of these random claims disclose a process of fabrication." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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