The WTC Impacts: 767s or "Whatzits", Part 2
Eric Salter, questionsquestions.net, 25 May 2004
To start, a quick note about some additional evidence: there are some details in the CNN footage of the second impact that I didn't get to in the last article. Stepping through frame by frame just after the impact and before the explosion, small, glittering flashes of light can be observed around the entry hole. These are pieces of metal debris reflecting the sun, further evidence that a real impact occured. Also, the shock wave of the plane moving through the WTC can be observed on the right side of the building blowing out the windows just before the explosion emerges.
Also, thanks to a reader who provided some useful links concerning eyewitness reports that refute the no-plane theories. The first is an account from George Sleigh who saw the first impact and who not only identified the plane as a passenger jet, but was close enough to see people in the cockpit:
On to the debate:
The response from the no-planers was more dysfunctional than I had ever expected. Predictably, at first Webfairy chose not to address any of the facts at hand and instead launched into a vicious and libelous tirade, not only accusing me of being a disinformation agent, but labeling my efforts as "evil":
She seemed to be paranoid and completely out of control, accusing me of forging the examples of her work that I used, accusing me of in fact being someone else, and accusing questionsquestions.net of being responsible for the crash of her server:
This hateful mudslinging is unacceptable under any circumstances. What does it reveal about Webfairy that she would make such accusations without a shred of evidence?
In the original article, I made a side by side comparison of the DVD footage I captured and a freeze from a flash file on Webfairy's site. What's particularly unforgiveable about Webfairy's claim that I didn't use her work, is that I had put up a link to the page where I grabbed the image in my original article. Here it is again:
Webfairy points out that I was incorrect (true) in implying that she exclusively used the Taner version of the first hit. She has had a relatively good quality version of the footage from the DVD all along, something I had overlooked:
How convenient for Webfairy's theories: the messy, blurry files off the web with compression artifacts that look like missiles and UFOs are the real footage and agents have magically cleaned it up since then!! This is beyond crackpot. This is a joke. I shouldn't even bother with a rebuttal, but here it is: First of all, the Naudet footage played all day on television on 9/11 at full quality and without artifacts, so her argument crashes and burns right there. Moreover, there is no filter that can remove compression artifacts and restore details in a photorealitic way. A filter doesn't know what people's faces or the writing on building signs look like, let alone all the other millions of details in the real world. I've already shown how little Webfairy knows about video, but it would have been much easier if I had this nugget to start with.
Another rare attempt by Webfairy to address facts instead of having a tantrum was this rebuttal of my measurement of the ratio of the wingspan of flight 175 to the side of the WTC:
Bizarre. I made a perfectly good explanation of using CNN's Battery Park footage to compare the wingspan of flight 175 to the side of the WTC just before the plane entered the building. The wings are clearly visible, as is the side of the building! How did she come to think I claimed the plane emerged from "dustpimples" when I specifically said I used a frame BEFORE the plane enters the building? Not surprisingly, Webfairy is very confused here.
She continues to insist that there is no plane, only a whatzit, in the DVD footage:
She claims the plane had no wings even though the wings cast a shadow on the building. The wings are also clearly visibile in many of the frames of the Naudet video. In the previous article I explained why the wings aren't more visible. She doesn't rebut my explanation of how the nature of video can cause very narrow horizontal objects to disappear, nor does she rebut my explanation of how video blurs very small details. Nor does she rebut my measurement of the fuselage of the plane which shows it to be the length of a 767. She simply ignores these arguments and obstinately continues to believe what she wants to without any rational justification. She dismisses what is clearly the beginning of the explosion emerging from the entry hole by using one of her catchphrases-dustpimples-as if rhetoric can substitute for rational analysis.
What really amused me and Brian was Webfairy's accusation that I wasn't in fact a real person. Everything, in her view, was the work of this "Marcus" guy. Or maybe she was wishing that my analysis was only an experiment like Marcus' photoshop tests:
Yes indeed, I have my own home in San Francisco, my own job and my very own social security number. Only Webfairy would think that this kind of kooky thinking would get her argument anywhere.
In his responses to my article, Scott Loughrey continued to make mistakes. He complains that I used a different link than he did to analyze the position of the smoke:
Loughrey doesn't get it. Using different images than he used was essential to my argument. The issue here was whether or not the smoke cloud was in a position and in sufficient quantity to cause a shadow to be cast on the plane. The link I gave showed this to be undeniably the case, refuting his argument that the shadow was an "anomoly". Evidently, Loughrey feels that it's appropriate to judge the position and size of the smoke cloud by using a single image in which the smoke doesn't even appear!! Instead of uncovering an inconsistency in my analysis, he has again shown a lack of basic analytical skills.
Loughrey continues to stand by his speculation that the zooms in some of the video clips of the second impact were only executable by professionals, and that this indicates the videos were staged and fabricated:
On the contrary, I refuted Loughrey's argument by pointing out that zooming out is not remarkable at all; that it is not a professional technique but an ordinary reflex for even amateur videographers. Unlike Loughrey, I have years of experience as a professional camera operator and I know many other professional camera operators, none of whom would find zooming to be a technique that only professionals can use. But Loughrey, with no such experience, continues to arrogantly believe that he is better suited to judge what constitutes professional camera work.
In my article, I explained that Loughrey completely misunderstood how lenses work. He thought that longer lenses increase vertical distances and compress horizontal distances, when in fact, they only change the angle of view. He thought that this phenomenon could be used to show inconsistencies in the video and photographic record. His misunderstanding stems from two stills of a man and child taken from a web page about understanding lenses (in regards to the previous argument, note that this page is meant to teach amateurs how to use the zoom lens in their camcorders!):
He hasn't grasped the fact that these images are not taken at the same moment in time. Notice how the woman in the blue dress has turned. In the second image we see the front of her overalls which is quite a bit higher than the side!! No optical phenomenon here. Loughrey's entire theory about lenses is built upon a laughably incompetent misread of these two images. What has Loughrey been smoking? Notice how the relative horizontal relationship between the girl's elbow and the woman's knee is unchanged. The only change due to optics is the angle of view-how wide the view of the image is. When Brian pointed out these issues, including the changed position of the woman, Loughrey's response was astonishing: He simply denied it!
Like Webfairy, Loughrey petulantly refuses to listen to obvious and undeniable facts, and then hypocritically and insultingly turns around and accuses Brian of the very same thing. There won't be any books confirming Loughrey's laughable misunderstandings about optics, but somehow I don't think that's going to make one bit of difference to him.
Loughrey's reign of error continues:
I clearly stated that a fisheye lens distorts the image. But distortion was not the issue. Loughrey doesn't seem to understand the phrase "relative distances" and he's fired off a response not even understanding the argument being made. Here's an example of relative distances: the length of the girl's arm and the length of her face are proportional to each other in both the wide angle and zoomed shot.
I was talking about "distances between objects" and this gets translated in Loughrey's mind as "apparent size of an image". How did that happen? Is he even trying to follow the argument or is he just trying to manufacture an excuse to lash out? As for that last line-it's easy to be smug when you can't comprehend how wrong your are.
There were some new links sent by no-plane advocates.
The author of the 911 Batcave site complains about how flight 175 doesn't look the same in different images:
beliefs are simply inadequate as a basis for debate. If the no-plane advocates
think these are different planes, then they must do so using geometry
and image analysis. As for my opinion, I think that all but one of the
photos clearly show the 767 that was alleged to hit the tower. The differences
are due to different brightness levels, image quality, resolution, and
foreshortening due to changes in perspective. The one image that is difficult
to interpret is an extremely
degraded image at the bottom of 911 Batcave's main page. But check
this out: taking the second
image from the top of the home page and blowing it up, we find that
these two images probably come from the same source:
Mature, conscientious and responsible individuals place truth before their egos, feel regret when they make mistakes, and place importance on treating their collegues fairly. Webfairy and Scott Loughrey fail on all these counts. Their rebuttals were far more erroneous and absurd than anything I outlined in the original article, which is saying a lot. Their strategy of willfully denying even the most obvious facts is immature and well below the minimum level of intellectual debate that the 9/11 truth movement should expect from everyone involved.
Webfairy has repeatedly charged that I and others who oppose her ideas are disinformation agents. I have tried to stick to the facts and avoid venturing into this issue. My opinion all along is that the no-plane theories are a threat to the 9/11 truth movement simply because they are completely unproven, crackpot notions. I have never concluded that the no-planers were agents. I will say, however, that Webfairy's approach in particular mimics typical COINTELPRO tactics, which are to poison the atmosphere in activist circles by being antagonistic and making divisive and paranoid accusations and to introduce ridiculous ideas that discredit the movement in the eyes of the public.
[Afterword, from QQ Editor: The feedback from the previous article on the WTC no-plane theories has been overwhelmingly positive, including thanks from other researchers who didn't have the knowledge of video to take on the crackpot no-plane theories. I'm glad that we could fill the gap. A couple readers expressed some concern that the original article was perhaps too harsh, risking putting a chill on open-minded discussion of forensics and physical evidence subjects within the 9/11 Truth Movement. I think that these new responses from Webfairy and Scott Loughrey show plainly that there was nothing gratuitious or unfair in the character of Eric's original critique (I would note that in addition to what is quoted here, Webfairy has continued to mock her critics as "teletubbies" and "plane huggers"), and I hope it remains clear that the position of QQ is strongly supportive of any such inquiries which meet reasonable standards (my first choice in this area is the highly anomalous collapse of WTC 7). Moreover, I have to note that I and a number of others have been patiently debating Webfairy and other no-plane theorists on and off for more than a year and a half [!] using many of the same type of arguments that Eric has now elaborated and strengthened with much more professional expertise. We found long ago that this was an exercise in futility, every carefully and fairly reasoned argument being dismissed with the same kind of haughty, sloppy ridicule that is exhibited above, over and over again. Barring the unexpected emergence of some truly extraordinary new level of evidence along with expert supporting analysis, it is long overdue for the WTC no-plane theories to be put to bed. Period. Neither Eric nor I can in principle state this opinion in any softer terms, especially in light of the paranoid and mean-spirited rug chewing offered by Webfairy and Loughrey in lieu of any coherent rebuttals.
Finally, if any readers are interested in verifying the real corporeal existence of Eric Salter, and his professional expertise, I invite them to visit his business website, www.ericsalter.tv. There should be enough leads there to satisfy an enterprising sleuth.
-Brian Salter, Editor.]
Back to Part 1: The WTC Impacts: 767s or "Whatzits"