Talking to people about 9/11 is an exercise in frustration

Truth only reveals itself when we give up all preconceived ideas – Shoseki

By Craig McKee

Are you ever tempted to lose it because people don’t think exactly like you do?

Really? Never?

I get it, we’re civilized. We don’t behave that way. We celebrate the right of everyone to believe whatever they choose to. We respect everyone’s right to say what they want – and think what they want.

Well, if that’s true, why am I gritting my teeth as I write this? The truth is that sometimes all that polite “agree-to-disagree” crap makes me want to look into primal scream therapy.

As you can tell by the majority of articles posted on this blog over the past two months, I’m pretty interested in the subject of 9/11. No, not obsessed. Preoccupied, maybe. Fascinated, definitely.

I write what I want, and I love that freedom. But it’s sometimes hard to know how people are reacting. I tend to learn more from actually talking to people. The problem is that it’s hard to have a serious conversation about this subject without someone getting mad – or being bored. So far I’ve managed to avoid being that person – almost every time.

Like most people, I used to believe the “Osama bin Laden, 19 hijacker, surprise attack” fantasy. But then I started to really look at the evidence. I read everything I could find, pro and con. I watched every documentary I could get my hands on. And I’m still doing that. The more I looked at it, the more the official story crumbled.

Finding others who are willing to have an intelligent conversation about the subject – without anyone getting bent out of shape – is very tough. I’ll give you some examples, and all of these come from the past three weeks. I’ll remove their names in the hope that they don’t recognize themselves and then wish to get even.

Friend number one reacts to the news that I’ve been writing a blog dealing mainly with 9/11 by launching into a diatribe about the paranoid, lunatic, deranged social garbage that can be lumped together under the heading “conspiracy theorist.” Our conversation is only 20 seconds old and I’ve already counted to ten.

He explained that it had been proven that Building 7 collapsed only because of fire. He quoted an unidentified “structural engineer” who claimed that the way the building fell (straight down into its own footprint at near free fall speed) was exactly how buildings fell when they caught fire. He added that since I wasn’t a structural engineer, it would be pointless for me to comment further. Our   conversation lasted less than two minutes. We attempted unsuccessfully to switch to small talk.

Another friend, with whom I’d had some long debates about this and other controversial subjects, took this tack: “Since we weren’t there, anything we might say would be pure speculation.” This ridiculous argument would be easy to refute, but I decided to pass. That’s a big step for me; usually I’d argue anyway. And three hours later I’d be throwing back several extra-strength Tylenol.

My third encounter was not so easily dismissed. It was a very challenging conversation with a reluctant engineering student from New York. I understand that New Yorkers are going to look at the subject less clinically. They feel the heart of their city was ripped open, and they’re not thrilled with people trying to tell them what happened. I don’t blame them.

We had a fairly long and contentious discussion (leaving the third member of our party getting impatient). I did my best to calmly put my position forward, and I think I did pretty well. And so did he. I wanted to really dig in my heels and fight to the death, but I didn’t. I just put the facts out there as I saw them.

We debated the science of how the World Trade Center towers could have come down. He believed in the “pancake” theory of collapse; I thought only explosives could account for the evidence.

In the end, I felt kind of bad that I’d put this guy through a debate he would prefer not to have had. He feels the ongoing debate is disrespectful to the victims. I can understand this, and I also feel angry about the loss of innocent life. I just don’t agree who is responsible. I guess I think it’s disrespectful not to find out the truth.

My fourth attempt at a discussion on the subject was the strangest of all. The good friend I discussed it with is quite knowledgeable about airplanes and the materials they are made from. He agreed that Flight 77, had it been going 530 miles an hour and hit several lamp posts, would have left debris behind. If it was the wing that made contact, it would have been sheared clean off. There would certainly have been large pieces of wreckage on the lawn of the Pentagon.

He agreed the Iraq War was a fraud, and that the Bush administration had manipulated events to justify the war. He agreed that Afghanistan was more about oil than about the Taliban. We agreed on point after point. The science, we agreed, surely doesn’t fit with what I was telling him was the official story about 9/11.

At the end of it, I asked him: “So, have I changed your opinion at all?”

“Not one bit,” he said. “I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, but I just don’t believe they would ever do that.

“And I never will.”

So I concluded something very depressing from all of this. For many people, no matter how convincing a case you make, they won’t believe it. They can’t believe it. That’s if they listen to the evidence at all.

But we have to start listening. Otherwise, our thoughts are no more than preconceived ideas divorced from facts. And we’ll never learn the truth that way.


  1. I read & feel your pain. I am at a major crossroads in life right now, which has me wondering if it’s worth trying to put information in front of Americans about the truth, or plan my escape from the USA.

    One is going to happen for sure.

    A certain part of me feels obligated to develop ways to share the knowledge, but the apathy from americans on the subject makes it difficult.

    Everybody is too busy updating profiles about the cinnamon roll they are eating or voting for the next top model to give a f*ck it seems.

    Who has time to blabber on about civil liberties?

    1. I hear you. As someone who has recently joined Facebook, I know too well how much pointless rubbish is discussed there. But it also gives me a way to get my blog read. Keep fighting the good fight. Your knowledge of what’s going on can only be positive, even though it doesn’t always seem like it. Thanks a lot for the comment and for reading.

  2. Oh, yeah. Touchy subject. Sorry, but for every piece of “evidence” you present there is just as much that proves the events of 9-11 were exactly what the official reports confirm. The sad fact is that many people died that day because of an act of terrorism. If what you and all the other conspiracy theorists say were true, why isn’t the mainstream media screaming and yelling about this? Let me attempt to answer that myself: Maybe because they’re controlled by the same nefarious forces that executed 9-11. Ah… I don’t think I’m very comfortable with that thought process.

    1. I can well understand that you’re not comfortable with this idea. If we consider it to be true, then it’s hard to know what the hell to believe in. As I’ve written in past posts, it took until 2007 for me to really start looking at this. It was easy to believe the official story as long as I didn’t concern myself with facts. Once you look at those, all bets are off. Regarding your comment about equal evidence on both sides: I can knock down the official version on any point simply by citing verifiable facts. Your belief is only plausible when you don’t look too close. I challenge you to read the evidence I’ve cited in all my posts and to disprove even one point. As Dana Carvey used to say, “Not gonna happen.” On the media: this is the most disturbing aspect of this whole thing. What you said (even though sarcastically) was essentially true. I know this because the media won’t even ASK the critical questions let alone answer them. Why else would they have reported the collapse of Building 7 on Sept. 11 but never again since then? The problem is that the media starts from the default position that the attacks were done by Al-Queda. This can’t be discussed; it’s a fact. Evidence is of little interest.
      I do appreciate your comments and I hope you’ll continue to write in. You might find my next post relevant to our discussion.

    2. “I don’t think I’m very comfortable with that thought process.”~Vince DC

      This is the telling statement in all that Vince has written here. The trauma of the “thought process” – the unwillingness to cross that pain threshold for fear of what that will reveal about the reality he has taken for granted his whole life.
      He also speaks to reading the “debunking websites” which simply are there to reinforce his programming.
      Being familiar with the PBS programming… it isn’t even science, it is pure PR bullshit.

      Not that this has any relevance now, as I am writing to Vince from the future, and he’ll likely never see this comment…Lol

  3. You assume I haven’t looked at both sides in-depth. I have. Please take the time to look at several PBS Frontline broadcasts on the causes of the Twin Towers collapse and any adjacent buildings. You can watch them online if you haven’t already — just go back a little in the archives. There are also several authoritative websites that debunk these conspiracy theories. I’ll stick to the official expert reports on all points. You can throw all the evidence you want at me re this, they still smell of urban legend and I can’t help but wrinkle my nose at all of it in the shadow of the immense human tragedy that was 9-11.

    1. I will seek out these PBS specials right away. I’m intrigued at the idea that they have successfully explained some things that I have unsuccessfully sought answers about for some time. As for authoritative web sites, please let me know which ones they are. The ones I’ve found do a very poor job of explaining things in any way that makes sense to me. I’d also like some guidance to know which are the “official expert reports.” Do you mean the report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which took seven years and millions of dollars to arrive at the conclusion that they really couldn’t explain the collapse of Building 7? Do you mean the laughable 9/11 Commission Report, which didn’t even mention Building 7. That report was nothing but a whitewash. If the official story is the truth, why aren’t all the contentious questions answered? Why do they withhold more than 80 videos of the Pentagon crash? I’d think that if they supported the “757” theory, they would be released.
      I think you deserve credit for taking the time to consider the issue in detail. I wish more people would do this. But I think your arguments are flawed when you say things like, “You can throw all the evidence you want at me re this, they still smell of urban legend…” We shouldn’t need to go with gut feelings or biases. We SHOULD examine the evidence. What else will lead us to the truth?

  4. If you live in the Bay Area, I would suggest that you attend one of the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance meetings, where people who have been trying to raise the issue/questions about 9/11 since 2001, have been meeting regularly since December 2002. We have a ton of damning evidence that the official story is a lie, and we have also had to deal with the psychological obstacles for years, yet the Truth movement is making progress…. Many of us have written, discussed, done radio shows/workshops on this topic in depth. Sometimes it helps, just to know that you are not alone, that rationality exists.

    1. Unfortunately, I’m located on the other side of the continent, but I would love to get to one of your meetings at some point. In fact, I’m in Montreal Canada, which does tend to isolate me somewhat from others who believe as I do. It’s not that there aren’t people who agree with me, but there isn’t much in the way of meetings or events here. And many of the same media obstacles that you face are present in Canada also. I certainly am aware of your efforts to raise awareness about 9/11, and it’s encouraging to get your comment. I want to continue to learn everything I can about 9/11 and related events.
      * For those who aren’t aware, Carol Brouillet is a prominent 9/11 Truth activist and works out of Northern California.

  5. Truth is not truth for somebody unless they are ready to receive it. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch. I am always watching myself to make sure I am not defending my beliefs too strongly. If it makes you feel better many people believe as you do. I am one of them and I am still open to hearing facts the contradict my beliefs. It keeps coming back to raising our consciousnous in all areas of our life. The more we live in the moment and accept reality as it comes without telling ourselves little stories in our head to make ourselves feel better the closer we get to our truth. It is worth going through the pain.. It is very hard to deceive somebody who is living in the moment true to themselves. We are all on a journey. What does cognitive dissonance in others tell us about ourselves? Everyone has the right to their own journey and all we can do is live our truth with love. All the best.

      1. Travis, please stick to one name on the blog. I don’t mind what people call themselves as long as they don’t use more than one name or use a name that can be confused with another commenter. Thank you.

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