Popular Mechanics: Hearst Corporation

PM attacked OilEmpire.us in their 2005 "9/11 Lies" article and sandwiched the mention of this website between hoaxes. PM now ignores OilEmpire in its debunking since this page shows they copied graphics from QuestionsQuestions.net (a 9/11 truth website) to debunk some of the fake conspiracy claims.

related page:

Popular Mechanics ignored:

  • well documented, numerous warnings from US allies that 9/11 was about to happen and warnings provided to a few not to fly or get out of the way
  • the "plane into building" wargame in Virginia on 9/11 and the NORAD "live fly" exercises conducted on 9/11
  • the fighter planes sent the wrong way from Norfolk (over the Atlantic, instead of toward DC). 9/11 was a cloudless day, and this scramble happened after the towers were hit (but before the Pentagon) - what's their excuse?
  • stock trades a few days before 9/11 betting the value of American and United Airlines would drop
  • the fact that Flight 77 hit the nearly empty, recently reconstructed and strengthened sector of the Pentagon -- something a terrorist would not have chosen (or been able) to do
  • the anthrax attacks on the Democratic leadership in the Senate and on the media, which came from an Army lab, not Islamic terrorists

The "Complete 9/11 Timeline" and "Crossing the Rubicon" have the most authoritative accounts of what happened. Popular Mechanics does not dare mention the documentation in these and other quality reports about 9/11 complicity.

David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation - one of the earliest voices in the "alternative media" to dismiss claims that 9/11 was not a surprise attack - praised the Popular Mechanics article.

Popular Mechanics is part of the Hearst media empire.

The term "yellow journalism" came from shoddy reporting from Hearst newspapers, most notoriously Hearst's promotion of the fake claim that Spain had blown up the USS Maine in Havana harbor (the pretext for the Spanish-American war)

The neo-Nazi American Free Press / Barnes Review wrote an article shortly after Popular Mechanics published their story claiming that Ben Chertoff, one of the Popular Mechanics writers, is a relative of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. AFP / Barnes has inserted a lot of hoaxes into the "9/11 truth" literature, but they also publish some accurate material. Not surprisingly, Ben Chertoff denies any relation with the other Chertoff - and there has not been any follow-up from a journalist with a track record of accuracy to determine whether this is true or not. Either way, it is a distraction and possibly bait to discredit the "9/11 truth movement."

Popular Mechanics March 2005 "9/11 Lies" articles attacked this website (oilempire.us) for supposedly misrepresenting the issues of the air defenses, but it avoided the issues of the military and intelligence war games or the warnings from US allies and FBI agents that 9/11 was about to happen. It is likely that the editors of Popular Mechanics did not appreciate this website's highlighting of the fact that their debunking used the 9/11 "truth" website questionsquestions.net to debunk one of the sillier claims - the false idea that there were observed anomalies on Flight 175, the second plane to hit the World Trade Center. Popular Mechanics used photographic analysis from questionsquestions.net to point out that this assertion is wrong yet did not credit their use of photos and highlighting from that "truth" website. Popular Mechanics 2006 book "Debunking 9/11 Myths" did not mention oilempire.us at all, but it did find some new obscure, sloppy websites to attack - which suggests that they did not want to acknowledge that any of their critics pointed out they knew they deliberately highlighted hoaxes to avoid the real evidence.

Popular Mechanics avoided discussion of how foreign governments warned the Bush administration that the attacks were imminent and that numerous war games were underway that morning, including a "plane into building" exercise at the National Reconnaissance Office near Dulles Airport, Virginia. Even if every criticism in the Popular Mechanics article and book is proven valid, that does not mean that there was not foreknowledge that allowed the attacks to happen to get the excuse to seize Middle Eastern oil fields as we pass the point of Peak Oil.

"Popular Mechanics Attacks -- Its 9/11 LIES Straw Man" by Jim Hoffman http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/pm/index.html

"Popular Mechanics' Deceptive Hit Piece Against 9/11 Truth" by Jim Hoffman http://911review.com/pm/markup/index.html

from Hoffman's article:

Popular Mechanics quotes the following excerpt from OilEmpire.us:

It has been standard operating procedures for decades to immediately intercept off-course planes that do not respond to communications from air traffic controllers. When the Air Force 'scrambles' a fighter plane to intercept, they usually reach the plane in question in minutes.

It then dismisses this 'claim' with the following sweeping 'fact':

In the decade before 9/11 NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet, in October 1999.

This bold assertion flies in the face of a published report [from Associated Press] of scramble frequencies that quotes the same Maj. Douglas Martin that is one of PM's cited experts!

From Sept. 11 to June, NORAD scrambled jets or diverted combat air patrols 462 times, almost seven times as often as the 67 scrambles from September 2000 to June 2001, Martin said.

It is safe to assume that a significant fraction of scrambles lead to intercepts, so the fact that there were 67 scrambles in a 9-month period before 9/11/01 suggests that there are dozens of intercepts per year. To its assertion that there was only one intercept in a decade, the article adds that "rules in effect ... prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts," and the suggestion that there were no hotlines between ATCs and NORAD.

No mention of OilEmpire.US in book version (published 2006), presumably because this page shows how Popular Mechanics copied graphics from QuestionsQuestions.net to debunk two of the sillier conspiracy claims.

Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts (Paperback)
by The Editors of Popular Mechanics, John McCain (Foreword), David Dunbar (Editor), Brad Reagan (Editor)

The first conspiracy theories about September 11 began to emerge while the wreckage was still smoldering. Today, nearly five years later, hundreds of books and thousands of Web pages are devoted to the idea that the U.S. government encouraged, permitted, or actually carried out the attacks. These theories claim to be based on hard evidence. But an in-depth investigation by POPULAR MECHANICS—first published in the magazine’s March 2005 issue, and now greatly expanded into book form—definitively proves that the evidence most often cited by conspiracy theorists is inaccurate, misinterpreted, or false.

The original article in POPULAR MECHANICS caused a huge groundswell of interest, setting off online debates that continue to this day. Debunking 9/11 Myths expands that investigation to include the 20 most prominent and persistent claims underlying the conspiracy theories, focusing on concrete, physical facts rather than political hypothesizing. Among the issues examined: claims that air traffic control violated standard operating procedures by not immediately intercepting the stricken jets; that the fire caused by the crashes wasn’t actually hot enough to melt steel and cause structural damage in the World Trade Center; that the holes in the Pentagon were too small to have been made by a Boeing 757; and that Flight 93 was actually shot down by an Air Force plane.

The fascinating and in-depth findings come from leading experts in all the relevant fields, including aviation, air defense, air traffic control, civil engineering, firefighting, metallurgy, and geology.

With a foreword by Senator John McCain.

Product Details
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Hearst (August 15, 2006)

"Popular Mechanics Attacks -- Its 9/11 LIES Straw Man"
by Jim Hoffman

"Popular Mechanics' Deceptive Hit Piece Against 9/11 Truth"
by Jim Hoffman http://911review.com/pm/markup/index.html

Popular Mechanics Investigates 9/11 Myths: FAQs
By The Editors
Published on: August 20, 2007

Did you deliberately focus on some of the more ludicrous conspiracy claims in order to make the conspiracy community look ridiculous?

This objection surfaced within days after we published our original article: "Popular Mechanics Attacks Its '9/11 Lies' Straw Man," read the headline of an article by conspiracy theorist Jim Hoffman. His claim was that PM chose weak theories in order to discredit conspiracy theories in general. For example, he argued that the claim that seismic spikes were detected by Columbia University seismographs moments before each Twin Tower collapsed, was a "red herring." The claim about spikes originated in an article by Christopher Bollyn in the ultraright newspaper, American Free Press.

We agree that many conspiracist claims seem far-fetched. And we are aware that not all conspiracy theorists agree with each other as to which theories to take seriously. But we don't take sides in those debates. Instead, we simply did out best to include the most widely repeated claims at the time we published.

Interestingly, when the popular movie Loose Change appeared in 2005, it featured many of the same claims Hoffman had denounced, and included an image of the seismic spikes article in American Free Press. Although several theorists have criticized the film, Loose Change has generally been embraced by the conspiracy community. By the same token, the book Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, by David Ray Griffin, quotes both Christopher Bollyn and Jim Hoffman as authoritative sources. We don't see any reason why Popular Mechanics should work harder than do leading conspiracy theorists themselves to make such claims appear coherent or consistent.

note: By plagiarizing from questionsquestions.net - using their highlight of a photo exposing the "pod plane" hoax - Popular Mechanics admitted it knows that some of the so-called conspiracy theorists state the claims their magazine highlighted in its famous debunking are distractions and disinformation.

update Summer 2007:
Popular Mechanics / Hearst removed from their website the graphic they copied from QuestionsQuestions.net that debunked the "pod" hoax (which was in the March 2005 article and the book).

Where's The Pod?

What an amazing coincidence that Popular Mechanics used the exact same photos (and graphic highlights) that questionsquestions used a half year before the Popular Mechanics article to debunk the "pod" nonsense. (Popular Mechanics forgot to point out that most of the 9/11 truth movement does not accept this claim, or that they borrowed a photo to ridicule the theory from a 9/11 truth website that proved this claim is disinformation.)


Analysis of Flight 175 "Pod" and related claims
by Eric Salter
with contributions by Brian Salter
questionsquestions.net, 9 September 2004

Two of the photos that Popular Mechanics used to debunk "conspiracy theorists" were from the website questionsquestions.net, a 9/11 truth website that debunked hoaxes used to distract from real evidence.

Popular Mechanics claimed that 9/11 skeptics all support the fake claims, but their use of photos from "questionsquestions" proves they know this is not true. PM's use of these photos is probably a subtle jab at the "reality based" part of the 9/11 truth movement. It is similar to the cover graphic for the fake film "9/11: In Plane Site" -- which used a 757 photo that previously had been posed to the 911truthalliance e-mail list to debunk that the bizarre claim that Flight 175, which hit the WTC south tower, had a missile firing "pod" under it (a claim that is BS). In other words, PM's article is a bad joke "hidden in plain sight."


Popular Mechanics and questionsquestions used the same photo showing windows from the plane that was first used by questionsquestions to refute the "no windows" nonsense.

Popular Mechanics QuestionsQuestions.net


from Popular Mechanics, March 2005

Flight 175's Windows
CLAIM: On Sept. 11, FOX News broadcast a live phone interview with FOX employee Marc Birnbach. 911inplanesite.com states that "Bernback" saw the plane "crash into the South Tower." "It definitely did not look like a commercial plane," Birnbach said on air. "I didn't see any windows on the sides."Coupled with photographs and videos of Flight 175 that lack the resolution to show windows, Birnbach's statement has fueled one of the most widely referenced 9/11 conspiracy theories--specifically, that the South Tower was struck by a military cargo plane or a fuel tanker.
FACT: Birnbach, who was a freelance videographer with FOX News at the time, tells PM that he was more than 2 miles southeast of the WTC, in Brooklyn, when he briefly saw a plane fly over. He says that, in fact, he did not see the plane strike the South Tower; he says he only heard the explosion. While heading a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) probe into the collapse of the towers, W. Gene Corley studied the airplane wreckage. A licensed structural engineer with Construction Technology Laboratories, a consulting firm based in Skokie, Ill., Corley and his team photographed aircraft debris on the roof of WTC 5, including a chunk of fuselage that clearly had passenger windows. "It's ... from the United Airlines plane that hit Tower 2," Corley states flatly. In reviewing crash footage taken by an ABC news crew, Corley was able to track the trajectory of the fragments he studied--including a section of the landing gear and part of an engine--as they tore through the South Tower, exited from the building's north side and fell from the sky.

in reality, only In Plane Site, their co-conspirators and a few dupes have "widely referenced" the cargo plane theory -- and virtually no one has pushed this "no windows" nonsense, as Popular Mechanics knew by using photos used by questionsquestions.net This was a deliberate effort by PM to use 9/11 truth websites to debunk the extreme disinformation claims as a subtle, mean spirited effort to smear the whole 9/11 truth movement with the fake claims that have been injected into it.

photo on the "questions questions" page debunking the "pod" hoax
used by Popular Mechanics to mix good and bogus claims of 9/11 complicity

from questionsquestions.net in 2004:

"Seeming to back up the claim of no windows, In Plane Site features an apparent interview (audio only) with a Fox News reporter who claims that the airliner looked like a windowless cargo 767. He also claimes that it had markings clearly different than United Airlines, including an unfamiliar round symbol on the nose. This immediately presents a problem, because it is clear enough in the left photo above that the airliner is indeed painted in the UA color scheme -- even the narrow red stripe down the side of the fuselage can faintly be discerned. No errant large logos are visible, certainly not in either of the above two photos, nor in any other photos or footage I have seen. On top of this, this witness also happens to mention that he was in Brooklyn! This would put him at more than a mile away, or more, from the WTC. This leaves something to be desired concerning the reliability of this one-of-a-kind report, to put it mildly. ....
... it is virtually impossible that this scrap on building 5 came from the plane that hit the North Tower because it would require the scrap make more than a 90 degree turn at 400 mph, so this confirms that the plane that hit the South Tower had windows."
- www.questionsquestions.net/WTC/pod.html