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The 9/11 Truth Movement a Decade Later

August 31, 2011

With the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, has the kind of conspiratorial thinking born almost immediately after September 11, 2001, diminished?

In “The 9/11 Truth Movement: The Top Conspiracy Theory, a Decade Later” in the July/August 2011 issue of SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, author Dave Thomas reveals that after a decade, the 9/11 “Truthers” have refined their arguments but still haven’t proved the attacks were an inside job. Their key claims are refuted on multiple grounds.

The conspiracy theories started emerging just days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, and over the past ten years several technically elaborate arguments have been submitted and refined by the 9/11 Truth movement. Do these intricate claims, including the collapse of World Trade Center (WTC) 7 into its own footprint at free-fall acceleration, disprove the mainstream consensus that the attacks were the work of al-Qaeda terrorists using hijacked airplanes?

Thomas examines three 9/11 Truther claims:
• “The Twin Towers collapsed at free-fall acceleration through the path of greatest resistance.”
• “Nano-thermite and military-grade explosives were found in dust from the towers. Tons of melted steel were found in tower debris.”
• “Tower 7, which wasn’t hit by a plane, collapsed neatly into its own footprint.”

In the same issue of SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, CSI Senior Research Fellow Joe Nickell reviews Messages from the 9/11 Dead by Bonnie McEveaney.

Jamies Bartlett and Carl Miller expand this issue with their description of 9/11 Truthers after publishing a paper that links their beliefs with terrorist ideology in “A Bestiary of the 9/11 Truth Movement: Notes from the Front Line.” They confront the distortions and inaccuracies of 9/11 Truthers’ response to the paper followed by an analysis of the various groups that make up this formidable movement.

In the following September/October 2011 issue of SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, Robert Blaskiewicz relays information from his interview with founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Richard Gage, on his introduction to the 9/11 Truth movement and his work regarding its theories on the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. Blaskiewicz includes descriptions of his experience at a 9/11 Truth event he attended featuring Gage, founder Luke Rudkowski, and outreach director of New York City Coalition for Accountability Now, Manny Badillo.

Dave Thomas is a physicist and mathematician. He received his bachelor’s and master of science degrees from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He is president of New Mexicans for Science and Reason and a Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) fellow. 

Conspiracy theories, including the one discussed in Thomas’s article, will also be a topic of discussion at CSIcon 2011 in New Orleans. Robert Blaskiewicz, PhD, will discuss the numerous American conspiracy theories related to religion, while Ted Goertzel, PhD, will speak about the most recent controversies.

The SKEPTICAL INQUIRER is the official journal of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. CSI encourages the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view. Learn more about CSI and SI at