As the majority of Americans gather around the prevailing voice of our trusted medical institutions, those opposing it seem to be digging in their heels as well. Why is this happening? After all, we are not arguing over religion or political ideology (or at least we shouldn’t be). This pandemic and its management falls squarely in the realm of science, something that should be objective and indisputable. How is the layperson supposed to make sense of the growing polarity concerning this issue? Unless one has related training in virology, epidemiology, statistics and a decent understanding of the history and the sequence of investigations that have led scientific opinion to consensus positions before this pandemic, there is no way to be “scientific”. How are we to know whether the edicts coming from our leaders are reasonable and founded? This puts us in a difficult position, one that we are unable or unwilling to acknowledge: we have to trust someone else. The question is, whom?
Mainstream Media is beginning to acknowledge that SARS-COV2 originated in a lab
There has recently been a shift in the mainstream narrative. Some of these mainstream sources have been willing to take a hard look at where this virus came from: the “lab origins” thesis. In this recent interview with evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, popular satirist and political commentator Bill Maher admits that “it would almost be a conspiracy theory to think it didn’t start in a lab.” The reasons for this are clear to anyone who has looked beyond the veil of simplistic statements and abjectly poor investigative journalism coming from mainstream sources. Gain of Function studies on SARS viruses were being conducted in publicly funded laboratories in this country for years prior to 2014. One could argue this was part of bioterrorism research just as easily as it was part of a pandemic preparedness effort. It is not so hard to see that in order to be prepared to combat a highly contagious and virulent pathogen we must be able to study the pathogen itself. Pandemic preparedness and bioterrorism research are basically the same thing.
As the story unfolds in the mainstream narrative, it is becoming apparent that the wet market hypothesis will soon be jettisoned for its sheer implausibility. Is it likely that this virus could survive in a bat or pangolin for generations while mutating in such a way that it could not only immediately survive in a human body but be so virulent as well? What are the factors that would be involved in allowing this new strain to behave unlike previous SARS viruses in terms of its copious presence in our nasopharyngeal cavities, apparent transmissibility in the asymptomatic and enduring pathogenicity when floating around in the air or lurking on surfaces? The answer is far more than one, making this wet market to global pandemic story all the more unacceptable.
As establishment science comes to its senses, we are left with the reality that the pandemic has most probably been the consequence of a laboratory research that got out of control. It may not be excusable or forgivable but at least we can take comfort that our attention has been refocused on what is plausible. However simply acknowledging the high probability of lab origins and moving forward with all the same initiatives to combat this virus is not enough. There are more questions that need to be posed first.
How did some Scientists “spin” the science?
This argument over SARS-COV2 origin is not new at all. It was being hotly debated a year ago for some of the same reasons I mentioned above. The lab origin thesis was effectively (and prematurely) purged from “acceptable” discussions when a paper entitled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-COV2” (KG Anderson et al) appeared in Nature Medicine (March 17, 2020). This piece served as the foundation of a wall of scientific opinion that was rapidly erected to contain the dangerous “conspiracy theory” that the virus was a product of human intention and ingenuity. If you were to read the piece it would be hard to not end up shrugging your shoulders and going along with the authors’ thesis. The authors are well-respected and published scientists that include W. Ian Lipkin, pathologist, neurobiologist and epidemiologist at Columbia University, internationally recognized for his work around W. Nile Virus and SARS. They are assured in their conclusions and offer the reader, among other things, a comparative study of the peptide structure and genetic sequence of this virus and closely related variants.
I am a physician and was led to this piece months ago in my research into this topic. I admit that I was left scratching my head. It wasn’t until I tuned in to a blog surrounding this and other issues hosted by Dr. Meryl Nass, a respected and dutiful researcher of pandemics and bioterrorism, that l was able to grasp where the misdirection was introduced. Dr. Nass correctly points out that it may not be possible to irrefutably prove that the virus was of lab origin or not, however it is the erroneous assumptions and unsound logic the authors of the Nature Medicine article use that point to the obscuration of the facts in a manner we could reasonably deem as deliberate.
After presenting us with a thorough description of the structure of SARS-COV-2 and analysis of its means of entering human cell lines via the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, the authors introduce their challenge to the lab origins position. The authors state:
“While the analyses above suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may bind human ACE2 with high affinity, computational analyses predict that the interaction is not ideal and that the RBD sequence is different from those shown in SARS-CoV to be optimal for receptor binding. Thus, the high-affinity binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to human ACE2 is most likely the result of natural selection on a human or human-like ACE2 that permits another optimal binding solution to arise. This is strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is not the product of purposeful manipulation.”
Anderson et al are presenting their first line of attack on the Lab Origins hypothesis. Because their computational analysis predicts that a different and more “optimal” receptor-binding domain (RBD) portion of the spike protein on SARS-COV-2 could have been built, they say, it must have arisen naturally. The authors are assuming that if the virus was the product of bioterrorists they would have designed it differently. Is this sound logic? It is not. First, the authors are presupposing that their computational method is the only one available for use. Second, there is no reason to assume that a bioterrorist would choose the genetic solution that was “optimal”. Moreover, picking a “solution” identical to a computationally derived genetic sequence would leave an obvious clue that human hands were involved. This is in fact what the authors are correctly pointing out.
This line of reasoning sheds light upon their foundational assumptions about the sophistication and intentions of would-be bioterrorists. Are they experimenters in laboratories building a novel coronavirus to a computer model’s specs to study it? Or are they true bioterrorists seeking to design a bioweapon that has no trace of human manipulation? Obviously one cannot know. Making either assumption cannot be part of any rigorous forensic analysis.
The authors go on:
“It is improbable that SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of a related SARS-CoV-like coronavirus. As noted above, the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 is optimized for binding to human ACE2 with an efficient solution different from those previously predicted. Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone.”
Here the authors are introducing yet another unfounded assumption: If the virus was designed as a biological weapon, why would a known coronavirus backbone necessarily be used as a basis for genetic manipulation? Certainly that option would be entertained by a team of bioterrorism researchers, but it is illogical to begin with that assumption. There are undoubtedly coronavirus backbones that have been genetically manipulated and remain behind closed doors and outside of public databases, i.e. unknown. It is equally logical to conclude that because no known backbone was used the virus was purposefully manipulated.
In any case, genetic manipulation is not the only way to create a backbone of a virus. The oldest way is to use passage, a laboratory technique where a virus is cultured through a series of cell lines from different species resulting in a viable product that will survive in the target species. Other techniques are also readily available: exposing a known virus to mutagenic factors, collecting those that survive and repeating the process or simply mixing related viruses together to see what recombinant products result. None of these methods will result in a “solution” that would be in any way predictable at the outset. Indeed, that is the advantage of using such techniques. This is a fact that is well known to virologists, making the authors’ analysis all the more suspicious.
It is undeniable that the authors were using poor logic and unfounded assumptions to make unsound conclusions. This should have been obvious to the scientific community at that time, and this paper should not have made it through the editorial process of such a respected publication as Nature Medicine. The disquieting thing is that quite the opposite occurred. The article instead served as the seminal piece to squelch all arguments for the lab origin hypothesis once a flurry of subsequent publications cited it. Who should be held accountable for this? The authors? The editorial committee of Nature Medicine? The cadre of scientists that chose to use this publication to “manufacture consensus”? The mainstream media for failing in their responsibility to offer a balanced view of the debate around this article? None can be held solely responsible and all were required to perpetuate the distortion. The implications here are very serious and impossible to ignore.
Who can we rely upon to faithfully report “the science”?
Are there no stops to the dissemination of baseless “scientific” opinion? This is a question that rarely gets asked because we tend to assume that in the end, scientific consensus will be reached without the need for oversight. We are talking about science and scientists here, not policy makers or private industrialists with conflicts of interest and personal gains that hang in the balance. Yet the lines between science, industry and policy-making are blurrier the closer we look. In any case, who can we rely upon to ensure that the scientists are doing their job in formulating sound approaches to the problems at hand? There isn’t anyone, other than the scientists themselves. So what went wrong here? How did the Anderson paper end up deftly hamstringing a viable theory about the origins of SARS-COV2 a year ago using specious logic and unnecessary assumptions? Why didn’t anyone say anything? Despite what is generally known, many did.
Here’s where things get hopeful, depending on how you look at them. It would be wrong to dismiss all virologists, epidemiologists and researchers as slaves to corporate funded research institutions and group-think. Behind the veil of headlines that tout the rigor of the data and fuel the “trust the science” mantra there are collections of perspicacious and tireless researchers and journalists that have been pushing back against the established opinion and raising valid concerns about the hijacking of the narrative by members of their own ilk. Notably RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense and Dr. Joseph Mercola have published an excellent paper that comprehensively summarized the ongoing work of Dr. Alina Chan of MIT’s Broad Institute who has documented the timeline and significance of how the spin has been manufactured by the scientific community themselves. Of course, many are familiar with Mr. Kennedy and Dr. Mercola not because of what they are bringing to complex discussions but because of their stigmatization as purveyors of “anti-vax” and “pseudoscience” opinions. Once so marked they are felled by the mainstream media machine with all the efficiency and discrimination of a logger’s chainsaw in an old-growth forest.
There are others that are broadcasting the same signal of reason. DRASTIC(Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating Covid-19) is a group of independent scientists, journalists and researchers that have been bringing attention to the suspicious ways that the debate surrounding the origin of SARS-COV2 has been marginalized within the scientific community itself (more about their work here). For example, “A Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals and medical professionals of China combatting Covid-19” appeared in the correspondence section of the esteemed medical journal Lancet in March of 2020. In this letter the authors explicitly characterize any dissent to the natural origins hypothesis as “rumour, disinformation and conspiracy theories”.
What are we to make of such accusations leveled against scientists by scientists? This sort of rhetoric has no place in any scientific discussion of any kind and should be a matter of real concern for everyone. Has science been corrupted by the same forces that are undeniably turning investigative journalism into a means of promulgating propaganda in some instances? If that were the case, how then are we to “trust the science”?
The Predicament that we are in
We are in an uncomfortable situation. Unless we can independently dismantle the arguments like those in the Anderson paper, or can understand the significance of the appearance of a mysterious 12 nucleotide sequence in the SARS-COV2 genome that confers the virus with a polybasic furin cleavage site (resulting in a substantial increase in virulence described here), or can appreciate the implications of a situation where scientific journals publish papers without requiring authors to supply the raw data required for independent genomic confirmation, we are stuck. If the science is being spun or misrepresented or poorly reported, there would be no way to know it.
Determining the origin of SARS-COV2 is an important question that still needs to be answered definitively. Attempting to answer this question has brought light to more disturbing questions. We cannot expect the layperson to comprehend the scientific studies that underpin our approach to this pandemic, let alone critique the logic and assumptions made by the authors of these papers. Expecting that a news correspondent, mainstream or otherwise, is anymore capable of dissecting such information is not realistic either. Until we come to grips with this we will not be able to grasp the enormity of the crisis we are facing.
An honest examination into the origin of SARS-COV2 suggests a danger more pernicious than the virus itself. How much of scientific opinion is dictated by non-scientific interests? How many other “consensus” positions are rooted in inexcusably poor reasoning and assumptions? If we can only rely on independent researchers to bring clarity to these topics, who is going to give them a voice? If there is a fact that can be extracted from this debate it would be that “trusting the science” and trusting what a media source says about “the science” can be two very different things.
When patients ask anesthesiologists what we charge for putting them to sleep, we often say we do it for free. We only bill them for the waking up part.
This isn’t just a way of deflecting a question, it also serves as a gentle reminder to both parties regarding the importance of “coming to.” If we couldn’t regain consciousness, what would be the point in having the surgery in the first place? Nobody wants to experience pain and fear if it can be avoided. If the only way to avoid the pain of an operation is to temporarily be rendered unconscious, most people will readily and willingly consent to that, as long as we can return to our natural state of being alert and interactive with the world around us. We are awake and aware and that–rather than any particular conception of health–is our most precious gift.
How does Anesthesia work ?
From an Anesthesiologist’s point of view, we really shouldn’t charge for putting someone to sleep. It’s too easy. With today’s medications, putting someone to sleep, or in more correct terms, inducing general anesthesia, is straightforward. Two hundred milligrams of this and fifty milligrams of that and voilà: you have a completely unconscious patient who is incapable of even breathing independently. The medications we administer at induction are similar to the lethal injections executioners use. Unlike executioners, we then intervene to reestablish their breathing and compensate for any large changes in blood pressure and the patient thereby survives until consciousness miraculously returns sometime later.
In addition, those in my field have to contend with the reality that we really don’t know what we are doing. More precisely, we have very little if any understanding of how anesthetic gases render a person unconscious. After 17 years of practicing Anesthesiology, I still find the whole process nothing short of pure magic. You see, the exact mechanism of how these agents work is, at present, unknown. Once you understand how a trick works, the magic disappears. With regard to inhaled anesthetic agents, magic abounds.
Take ether, for example. In 1846 a dentist named William T.G. Morton used ether to allow Dr. Henry J. Bigelow to partially remove a tumor from the neck of a 24-year-old patient safely with no outward signs of pain. The surgery took place at Massachusetts General Hospital in front of dozens of physicians. When the patient regained consciousness with no recollection of the event it is said that many of the surgeons in attendance, their careers spent hardening themselves to the agonizing screams of their patients while operating without modern anesthesia, wept openly after witnessing this feat. At the time, no one knew how ether worked. We still don’t. Over the last 173 years, dozens of different anesthetic gases have been developed and they all have three basic things in common: they are inhaled, they are all very, very tiny molecules by biological standards, and we don’t know how any of them work.
Why we still don’t know…
If you have never closely considered how our bodies do what they do (move, breathe, grow, pee, reproduce, etc.), the answers may be astounding. It is obvious that the energy required to power biological systems comes from food and air. But how do they use them to do everything? How does it all get coordinated?
These are the fundamental questions that have been asked for millennia, by ancient shamans and modern pharmaceutical companies alike. It turns out that the answers are different depending on what sort of perspective and tools we begin with. In the West, our predecessors in medicine were anatomists. Armed with scalpels, the human form was first subdivided into organ systems. Our knives and eyes improved with the development of microtomes and microscopes giving rise to the field of Histology (the study of tissue). Our path of relentless deconstruction eventually gave rise to Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. This is where Western medicine stands today. We define “understanding” as a complete description of how the very molecules that comprise our bodies interact with one another. This method and model has served us well. We have designed powerful antibiotics, identified neurotransmitters, and mapped our own genome. Why then have we not been able to figure out how a gas like ether works? The answer is two-fold.
First, although we have been able to demonstrate some of the biological processes and structures that are altered by an inhaled anesthetic gas, we cannot pinpoint which ones are responsible for altering levels of awareness because inhaled anesthetic agents affect so many seemingly unrelated things at the same time. It is impossible to identify which are directly related to the “awake” state. It is also entirely possible that all of them are, and if that were the case consciousness would be the single most complex function attributed to a living organism by a very large margin.
The second difficulty we have is even more unwieldy and requires some contemplation. As explained above, western medicine has not been able to isolate which molecular interaction is responsible for anesthetics’ effect on our awareness. It is therefore reasonable to approach the puzzle from the opposite side and ask instead, “Where is the source of our awareness in our bodies?” and go from there.
We do know that certain neurological pathways in the brain are active in awake patients, but if we attribute consciousness to those pathways then we are necessarily identifying them as the “things” that are awake. To find the source of their “awakeness” we must then examine them more closely. With the tools we have and the paradigm we have chosen we will inevitably find more molecules interacting with other molecules. When you go looking for molecules that is all you will find. Our paradigm has dictated what the answer would be like if we ever found one. Does it seem plausible to think we will find an “awareness molecule” and attribute our vivid, multisensorial experience to the presence of it? If such a molecule existed, how would our deconstructive approach ever explain why that molecule was the source of our awareness? Can consciousness ever be represented materially?
A more sensible model would be to consider the activity of these structures in the brains of conscious individuals as evidence of consciousness, not the cause of it. To me it is apparent that, unless we expand our search beyond the material plane, we are not going to find consciousness or be able to understand how anesthetic gases work. Until then I know I am nothing more than a wand-waver in the operating room. And that is being generous. The magician is the anesthetic gas itself, which has, up to this point, never let us in on the secret.
What happens when someone goes “under”?
The mechanistic nature of our model is well suited to most biological processes. However, with regard to consciousness, the model not only lends little understanding of what is happening, it also gives rise to a paradigm that is widely and tightly held, but in actuality cannot be applied to the full breadth of human experience. We commonly believe that a properly functioning physical body is required for us to be aware. Although this may seem initially incontrovertible, upon closer examination it becomes quite clear that this belief is actually an assumption that has massive implications. To be more precise, how do we know that consciousness does not continue uninterrupted and only animate our physical bodies intermittently rather than the other way around, where the body intermittently gives rise to the awake state? At first, this hypothesis may seem absurd, irrelevant and unprovable. I assure you that if you spent a day in an operating room, this idea is not only possible, it is far more likely to be true than the converse.
Let us first consider how we measure anesthetic depth in the operating room. We continually measure the amount of agent that is circulating in a patient’s system, but as described earlier, there is no measurable “conscious” molecule that can be found. We must assess the behavior of our patients to make that determination. Do they reply to verbal commands? Do they require a tap on the shoulder or a painful stimulus to respond? Do they respond verbally or do they merely shudder or fling an arm into the air? Perhaps they do not even move when the very fibers of their body are literally being dissected.
There are many situations when a person will interact normally for a period of time while under the influence of a sedative with amnestic properties, and then have absolutely no recollection of that period of time. As far as they know, that period of time never existed. They had no idea that they were lying on an operating room table for 45 minutes talking about their recent vacation while their surgeon performed a minor procedure on their wrist, for example. Sometime later, they found themselves in the recovery room when, to their profound disbelief, they noticed a neatly placed surgical dressing on their hand. More than once I have been told that a patient had asked that the dressing be removed so that they could see the stitches with their own eyes.
How should we characterize their level of consciousness during the operation? By our own standards they were completely awake. However, because they have no memory of being awake during the experience, they would recount it more or less the same way a patient who was rendered completely unresponsive would. This phenomenon is common and easily reproducible. Moreover, it invites us to consider the possibility that awareness continually exists without interruption, but we are not always able to access our experiences retrospectively.
During some procedures where a surgeon is operating very close to the spinal cord, we often infuse a combination of anesthetic drugs that render the patient unconscious but allow all of the neural pathways between the brain and the body to continue to function normally so that they can be monitored for their integrity. In other words, the physiology required to feel or move remains intact, yet the patient apparently has no experience of any stimuli, surgical or otherwise during the operation. How are we to reconcile the fact that we have a patient with a functioning body and no ability to experience it? Who exactly is the patient in this situation?
What can Near Death Experiences (NDEs) tell us?
If we broadened our examination of the human experience to consider more extreme situations, another wrinkle appears in the paradigm. There are numerous accounts of people who have experienced periods of awareness whilst their bodies have been rendered insentient by anesthetics and/or severe trauma. Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are all characterized by lucid awareness that remains continuous during a period of time while outside observers assume the person is unconscious or dead. Very often patients who have experienced an NDE in the operating room can accurately recount what was said and done by people attending to them during their period of lifelessness. They are also able to describe the event from the perspective as an observer to their own body, often viewing it from above.
Interestingly, people describe their NDEs in a universally positive way. “Survival” was an option that they were free to choose. Death of their body could be clearly seen as a transcending event in their continuing awareness and not as the termination of their existence. Very often the rest of their lives are profoundly transformed by the experience. No longer living with the fear of mortality, life subsequently opens up into a more vibrant and meaningful experience that can be cherished far more deeply than was possible prior to their brush with death. Those who have had an NDE would have no problem adopting the idea that their awareness exists independently of their body, functioning or not. Fear and anxiety would still probably arise in their life from time to time, but it is the rest of us who carry the seemingly inescapable load of a belief system that ties our existence to a body that will perish.
What happens when we wake up from Anesthesia?
The waking up part is no less magical. When the anesthetic gas is eliminated from the body, consciousness returns on its own. Waking someone up simply requires enough space and time for it to occur spontaneously. There is no reversal agent available to speed the return of consciousness. I can only wait. In fact, the waiting period is directly related to the amount of time the patient has been exposed to the anesthetic. At some point the patient will open their eyes when a threshold has been crossed. Depending on how long the patient has been “asleep,” complete elimination of the agent from the body may not happen until a long while after the patient has “woke.”
By the time I leave a patient in the care of our recovery room nurses, I am confident that they are safely on a path to their baseline state of awareness. Getting back to a normal state of awareness may take hours or even days. In some cases, patients may never get their wits back completely. Neurocognitive testing has demonstrated that repeated exposure to general anesthesia can sometimes have long-lasting or even irreversible effects on the awake state. It may occur for everyone. Perhaps it is a matter of how closely we look.
Interestingly, it is well known that the longterm effects of anesthetic exposure are more profound in individuals who have already demonstrated elements of cognitive decline in their daily life. Indeed, this population of patients requires significantly less anesthetic to reach the same depth of unconsciousness during an operation. This poses an intriguing question: Is our understanding of being awake also too simplistic? Is there a continuum of “awakeness” in everyday life just as there is one of unconsciousness when anesthetized? If so, how would we measure it?
Does our limited understanding of awareness keep us “asleep”?
Modern psychiatry has been rigorous in defining and categorizing dysfunction. Although there has been recent interest in pushing our understanding of what may be interpreted as a “super-functioning” psyche, western systems are still in their infancy with regard to this idea. In eastern schools of thought, however, this concept has been central for centuries.
In some schools of Eastern philosophy, the idea of attaining a super-functioning awake state is seen as something that also occurs spontaneously when intention and practice are oriented correctly. Ancient yogic teachings specifically describe super abilities, or Siddhis, that are attained through dedicated practice. These Siddhis include fantastical abilities like levitation, telekinesis, dematerialization, remote-viewing and others. The most advanced abilities, interestingly, are those that allow an individual to remain continuously in a state of joy and fearlessness. If such a state were attainable it would clearly be incompatible with the kind of absolute psychological identification most of us have with our mortal bodies. It may be of no surprise that Eastern medicine also subscribes to an entirely different perspective of the body and uses different tools to examine it.
Certainly fear has served our ancestors well, helping us to avoid snakes and lions, but how much fear is necessary these days? Could fear be the barrier that separates us from our highest potential in the awake state just as an anesthetic gas prevents us from waking in the operating room? It is not possible to remain fearless while continuing to identify with a body that is prone to disease and death. Even if one were to drop the assumption that the source of our existence is a finite body, how long would it take to be free from the effects of a lifetime of fearful thinking before any changes that reflect a shift in this paradigm manifest? As long as we leave this model unchallenged we may be missing what it means to be truly awake.
Are you going to decline the Covid-19 vaccine if it is offered to you? Why or why not? No matter how certain you are in your reasoning there will no doubt be someone else who feels exactly the opposite to you and will be just as certain of their position. We trust different sources of information, we have had different experiences with vaccines and we have different impressions of the threat of SARS-COV2 to us and our species.
I would suggest that those in the “vaccine cautionary” community would decline the vaccine based on their ideas around its potential risks. On the other hand, supporters of the vaccine are more likely to focus on its potential benefits. The debate has largely been centered around the disagreement people have about the risks. In this essay I will consider the uncertainty I and others have about its benefits.
Is the Medical Community biased about the Vaccine?
As a contributor to Collective Evolution I am well aware of the “cautionary” perspective on vaccinations and CDC directives. As a physician, I have a reasonable understanding of how those in the medical community regard the “best of what modern science has to offer”. I am part of a Physician group on social media where doctors can seek advice from each other around all matters Covid-19, from interesting cases to rare side effects to how to address special concerns raised by patients. It has been alarming to realize how unilateral the support of vaccination is in this community.
I mean no disrespect to my medical colleagues. Many of those in this community have seen their patients die from this very real virus. They have had to struggle with the divergent directives coming from the CDC. They have had to work through many weeks where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply as their hospital wards rapidly reached capacity and overflowed. Now that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have met minimum requirements for efficacy under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), they are faced with yet another impediment to getting themselves and their patients through this pandemic: growing skepticism around the vaccine coming from the very same people they are endeavoring to help. Their frustration around the situation is understandable, but is it biasing them?
Before consenting to any intervention it is important to understand its relative risks and benefits. As I mentioned earlier, there has been much concern in the “vaccine cautionary” sphere about side-effects and deaths. Here I will take a closer look at what we know about the benefits of the vaccine based on Pfizer-Biontech’s briefing document to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. How confident can we be in the efficacy of the vaccine? Has the manufacturer done its due diligence in its analysis and in being transparent? These are the central questions that need to be answered.
Understanding False Positives and Negatives
There has been a lot of discussion about the rate of “false-positives” with regard to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for confirming infection with SARS-COV2. The PCR test can return a positive result even if only trace fragments of the virus are present. Fragments of the virus on a nasal swab is not necessarily representative of an active infection or transmissibility. Moreover the sensitivity of this test is dependent on the number of amplification cycles, or the cycle threshold (Ct), used. The Ct is not standardized. It is not unreasonable to say that there will be a percentage of people who test positive that do not have the disease. Nevertheless, without a better test we as the public must treat all positive PCR tests as an indication of an infection. We must assume the test is right. The rate of false positives, whatever it is, is directly proportional to the overestimation of the prevalence of the disease.
Here I would like to discuss the significance of “false-negatives”. These are people who get a negative PCR result but may still be infected. The rate of false negatives is directly proportional to the underestimation of disease prevalence. This aspect of the inaccuracy of our primary diagnostic test gets relatively little attention for practical reasons. If you are suffering symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but have a negative PCR test we assume that you have Covid-19 anyway. In other words, if someone is symptomatic we assume that the test is wrong, i.e. that it is a false-negative, and necessary measures are taken. We quarantine and isolate until we feel healthy again whether we have Covid-19 or not.
Because we are in the midst of a pandemic we have no choice but to make these assumptions. We are responding appropriately given the limitations of the test. Because of the assumptions we are forced to make, we are exaggerating the prevalence of the disease and our response to it to some extent. It is the nature of the situation we are in.
How do we know that the Vaccine is 95% effective?
With this in mind I would like to discuss an article published in the opinion section of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that ran earlier this month. The author, Peter Doshi (PhD), takes a rigorous look at the results reported by Pfizer regarding the efficacy of their mRNA vaccine. The success of their vaccine has been widely publicized to be 95%. Where exactly does this figure come from?
During the four weeks of observation (three weeks between 1st and 2nd dose followed by 7 days), 162 participants who received the placebo expressed symptoms of Covid-19 and tested positive by PCR. Compare that with only 8 in the group that received their experimental vaccine. The chance of getting Covid 19 after receiving the vaccine was about 20 times lower than if you got the placebo. This is the basis of the claim that their vaccine was 95% effective, well over the 50% threshold required for Emergency Use Authorization that allows their product to be deployed despite the fact that the two-year Phase III trial is still 20 months from completion.
How did Pfizer handle study participants in the “Suspected Covid-19” group?
It is less commonly known that of the nearly 38,000 participants in the Pfizer study, 3,410 fell into a group labeled “suspected Covid-19”. These are people who developed symptoms consistent with disease but tested negative by PCR. 1,594 of those in this group received the vaccine and 1,816 received the placebo. It should be quite clear that how we regard this much bigger group of symptomatic participants will have an enormous impact on the true efficacy of the vaccine. In other words, if we assume that the PCR test was accurate in all of these people and that they didn’t have Covid-19 and developed symptoms from another virus, the flu for example, then the vaccine would in fact be 95% effective as reported. On the other hand, if the PCR test was wrong every time and they all in fact had Covid-19, the efficacy of the vaccine would be much different: 1602 (1594 + 8) in the vaccine wing vs. 1978 (1816 + 162) in the placebo wing results in a vaccine efficacy of only 19%.
The PCR test (like any test) can be wrong some of the time and right some of the time. The true efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine can only be calculated if we know how many symptomatic people in each wing had Covid-19 despite testing negative. It is likely that the percentage of false negatives are different in each arm. As the FDA briefing document on the Pfizer study and the BMJ piece correctly note, there should be fewer false negatives in the vaccine group. Why? It is because there is a greater chance of developing Covid-19 symptoms after receiving the vaccine compared to getting a placebo. Reactogenicity, or the acute response of the body to the vaccine, is common. Most of the acute inflammatory reaction to the vaccine occurs in the first seven days after receiving the vaccine. Looking more closely at the data, 409 patients in the vaccine group developed symptoms in the first seven days after inoculation. Compare this to 287 in the placebo group. If we assume that any participant who expressed symptoms in the first seven days must be suffering from the side effects of the vaccine or the placebo and not a new Covid-19 infection, the efficacy of the vaccine is still only 29%.
How important is this matter of the 3,412 “suspected Covid-19” participants? Let us say hypothetically that we as a nation decide to vaccinate our entire population with the Pfizer vaccine assuming that it has a 95% efficacy in preventing the disease. We can predict that within a month about 6.3% people will develop Covid-like symptoms from something other than vaccine reactogenicity or the disease itself. This is based on the number of participants who became symptomatic (from something other than reactogenicity) despite getting the vaccine and tested negative (1,185) divided by the total number who got the vaccine (18,801) = 0.063. With a population of 300 million we would expect roughly 19 million people to develop symptoms of Covid from something other than SARS-COV2 within a month. We can agree that we must be extremely confident in our assumptions about whether these 19 million people have the disease or not. Why would we assume they all don’t have Covid-19 when the vaccine trial itself considered them to be “suspected” of having it?
There is another extreme possibility. If all of the vaccinated participants who were suspected of Covid-19 truly did not have the disease and all of the unvaccinated (placebo) participants who were suspect did have the disease we would have a true miracle vaccine. Why? It would mean that only 8 people got the disease in the vaccinated group compared to 1978 in the placebo group. This would mean that the vaccine was approximately 99.6% effective.
Pfizer either did not do or report additional testing that would have helped
The real issue here is that we shouldn’t be guessing about such important numbers. What do you suppose Pfizer did, knowing that this larger pool of symptomatic participants could have an enormous impact on the estimation of their vaccine’s efficacy? In my opinion, they should have tested everyone who developed symptoms for antibody titers to help quantify the percentage of false negative PCR tests. If a participant felt like they were coming down with Covid-19 but had a negative PCR test, it seems clear that performing an antibody test would have offered a great deal of clarity. This was either not done or not reported.
We must be careful when interpreting the power of a vaccine safety and efficacy study. Although tens of thousands of people were enrolled in the study, the only meaningful numbers have to do with those that contracted the disease during the period of observation. This is the only way to assess the efficacy of the vaccine. When Pfizer only considers participants that became symptomatic and tested positive we only have a group of 170 cases to cross compare.
The 3,410 people who became symptomatic but tested negative during the four weeks of observation would represent a much larger set of cohorts and would amplify the power of the study 20 fold if infection could be confirmed or ruled out through additional testing. In other words, the 3,410 symptomatic people should be the ones that Pfizer were hoping would emerge when they enrolled 37,000+ individuals in their study. I find this lapse in diligence suspicious and at the very least inexplicable, especially in light of the latitude they are granted under the EUA. The fact of the matter is that we do not know if this was done. Pfizer, per their own protocol, will not make this data available until the trial is completed 20 months from now.
Why didn’t Pfizer look harder?
This forces us to ask some sobering questions. If Pfizer is required (or has agreed) to make all data available in two years, would they have conducted antibody tests on the “suspected Covid” group? If those results told a different story it would be quite damning, if not now, eventually. Their product would not be permitted for use under the EUA if a 50% efficacy requirement could not be met. On the other hand, if antibody tests were conducted and the results confirmed the impressive efficacy of the vaccine, why wouldn’t they have made the data available right now?
It should be clear that if Pfizer’s primary goal was to obtain approval under the EUA they would have had little incentive to do further testing to confirm their product’s efficacy. Why would they take the risk of seeking more information on 3,400 participants that could potentially overturn their results that were based on only 170 outcomes? This is where we must be very careful in our assessment of the situation. If you believe Pfizer and vaccine manufacturers are only out for profits it would be easy to conclude that they are being manipulative. If you believe that these corporations are seeking to improve public health and safety you may grant them a lot of latitude here. To be truly objective we must ask if they have been scientific in their approach.
At the very least I feel that they have not been diligent, and their position hints at disingenuousness: Pfizer didn’t mention this group of participants in their 92 page report or in their publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. This group was only mentioned in two paragraphs of a 53 page briefing to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the FDA submitted December 10, 2020. The FDA, an agency of the department of Health and Human Services that ostensibly serves to protect the public by ensuring the safety of drugs, biological products and medical devices, continues to remain silent around this issue.
The Take Away
The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment. Why didn’t Pfizer test or report the testing of an enormously important group of participants in their trial? We can predict that without these additional tests deploying the vaccine will not change our behavior nor our attitude to this pandemic.
As Covid-19 infection and death rates continue their climb, public opinion is consolidating around our health agencies’ guidance and directives. Resolution of the pandemic could be around the corner given the recent announcements around their initial observations of volunteers in Pfizer and Moderna Phase III trials of their novel vaccine based on an mRNA (messenger RNA) platform. Both vaccine manufacturers claim an initial 90-95% efficacy rate of their experimental vaccines.
The vaccines are in fact experimental as Phase III trials take a full 24 months to complete. Nevertheless widespread deployment of the vaccine will move ahead under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) policy. This policy does not indemnify vaccine manufacturers from legal action if their products cause harm. That protection has been in place for over thirty years under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act passed in 1986 in response to vaccine manufacturers refusal to produce vaccines without legal protection. The EUA goes a little further by allowing this particular vaccine to be administered to the public prior to the completion of safety and efficacy trials.
Given the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in, such bold measures seem justifiable in the interest of saving lives. After all, there aren’t any other potential options. At least that is what we are and have been told.
In reality, several relatively inexpensive and effective measures have been suggested based on anecdotal and even experimental evidence. These include the use of corticosteroids, Vitamin D and hydroxychloroquine among others. Physicians on the front line have been urging FDA approval for these medicines to treat Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. These medicines have been reliably effective in treating other conditions and have shown promising benefit with symptomatic Covid-19 patients. Despite the completion of preliminary studies in June, 2020 that demonstrated seriously ill COV patients had ample benefit from steroid administration, the CDC position against this treatment did not relent even a month later according to this article in the British Medical Journal.
As of today, the CDC recommended treatment guidelines continue to uphold the use of Remdesivir, an antiviral agent (that manufacturer Gilead charges $2,340 for a five day treatment) and bamlanivimab, casirivimab and imdevimab, monoclonal antibodies to the SARS-COV-2 spike protein (which medicare pays on average $340 per hour long infusion). Inexpensive, well known medicines like hydroxychloroquine and Vitamin D that have generous safety profiles when given judiciously remain conspicuously absent from their recommendations.
Could Ivermectin be the “miracle cure”?
Just this week, Pulmonary and Critical care specialist, Dr. Pierre Kory made this emphatic plea at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on “Early Outpatient Treatment of Covid-19”. Dr. Kory is an academic physician and part of a larger group of critical care clinicians, the Frontline Covid Critical Care Alliance, that have been researching all treatment options since the onset of the pandemic. Recently they are attempting to bring awareness to the results of controlled studies involving the use of Ivermectin in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.
If you have a dog or cat this medicine may be familiar to you. Ivermectin is a first line remedy for heartworm. It has also been widely and successfully used to treat various parasitic and roundworm infections in humans for nearly four decades. Discovered in 1975, it was first prescribed in 1981 and is on the W.H.O.’s list of essential drugs. This medicine has been instrumental in fighting infections from river blindness and filariasis to scabies and head lice.
Ivermectin paralyzes parasites by blocking nerve conduction in their cellular membranes leading to their death. Why then would it be useful in SARS-COV-2 infection (Covid-19)? It has been demonstrated, in both in vivo and in vitro studies, to be effective in arresting the replication of certain viruses by blocking nuclear transport of various viral proteins required for the manifestation of disease in Dengue, West Nile Virus (WNV), Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEEV) and Influenza. It has also been shown to stop the replication of SARS-COV-2 in this study from June of this year. Furthermore, Ivermectin has anti-inflammatory properties. The attenuation of an inflammatory response, especially in the late stages of the covid-19 disease process, is instrumental in improving outcomes as well. The possibility that this 40 year old heartworm medicine may have a role in treating Covid-19 is therefore not so far-fetched.
Despite the rigid and limited treatment guidelines offered by the CDC, physicians like Dr. Kory have been exploring all possible treatment options for months. As more study results get published it is becoming increasingly clear that this remarkable medicine may be more effective than any other in treating covid-19.
Their conclusions are based on numerous studies from around the world. They have made them all available on their website and provide an excellent summary of the studies to date here. Admittedly, few of the studies have been peer-reviewed. As Dr. Kory points out, the peer-review process takes months. Given the fact that we are moving forward with vaccines that are nearly two years from completion of Phase III trials, granting some latitude to these studies is not necessarily out of step with the breakneck pace we are on to find a treatment. In any case, Ivermectin studies have been completed, Covid vaccination studies haven’t.
What does the evidence suggest?
Ivermectin is being shown to be remarkably effective in treating patients with both mild and severe symptoms. For the purposes of this article I will explore what is perhaps the most intriguing aspect to this medicine’s application: prevention of the disease. This is particularly relevant as millions of healthcare providers and school aged children are getting ready to roll up their sleeves to receive an experimental vaccine.
Four different studies are summarized on their above referenced page, all of which demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in infection rates of healthy people. Of note, a recently published randomized controlled study of 217 patients in Argentina demonstrated a 0% infection rate of healthy patients taking prophylactic Ivermectin compared to an 11% rate of infection of those with no treatment. Healthy people with regular contact with a known COVID positive person also had a greater than eight fold reduction in contracting the disease compared to those who received no treatment in a different randomized controlled study with 304 subjects.
Perhaps even more interesting are the retrospective observations of large populations who received prophylactic Ivermectin compared to similar populations that didn’t. Here I am referring to a paper submitted by Alan Cannell, an engineer that has lived in Mozambique, who noticed that the Covid Rates in Mozambique and Ethiopia where Ivermectin is commonly used to combat the endemic parasitic infections were much lower than in South Africa where the drug is less frequently taken.
His interest piqued, he compiled Covid infection rates from three large towns in Brazil that instituted prophylactic Ivermectin to their population in mid July and compared the number of new cases in these towns in August to three other towns in Brazil of comparative size and geographical location that didn’t use the medicine during the same time period. When comparing each town’s August rates to their June and July rates, the towns that used Ivermectin fared 50 to 200% better. Of course this does not represent a controlled study, but we are looking at a combined population of over 3 million people with roughly the same demographics. His observations in East Africa seemed to play out in South America too.
Are the CDC and NIH biased?
Where does this leave us? Dr. Kory is making a direct and impassioned plea to the CDC and NIH to immediately form a taskforce to review and research the enormous amount of new information regarding this inexpensive, tried and true medicine that has been available around the world for decades. Despite all the convincing findings, these institutions have not changed their position from August 27 when they decreed that Ivermectin should not be used outside of a controlled trial. As a physician who has “cared for more dying Covid patients than anyone could imagine”, he finds the CDC’s seeming lack of interest in a safe and potentially game-changing regimen dumbfounding. This is in stark contrast to their resounding support given to a vaccine solution even though any meaningful study on their efficacy and safety cannot even begin for another 2 years. The implications here are hard to overlook.
I am a physician however I am not qualified to offer an authoritative opinion on the quality of the large amount of clinical data now available around this topic. Dr. Kory is. Nonetheless, he and all other medical professionals that directly care for Covid-19 patients ultimately must abide by the guidelines that are set forth by the CDC. His request to the CDC and NIH for an immediate assessment of the data and reevaluation of their position is more than reasonable. It is my personal opinion that any reluctance or refusal to do so should be considered negligent given these circumstances. I echo Dr. Kory’s plea and request that all my colleagues in clinical medicine consider the evidence and if so moved, join in this petition for an updated set of recommended treatment guidelines.
The Pandemic is NOT a Hoax
If you believe this group of clinicians is sincere, it is worthwhile to closely consider what Dr. Kory has to say about Covid-19 itself. “It is not the flu.” Here he is indicating his frustration with the continued comparisons with death rates between the flu and Covid-19 that demonstrate little difference in most age groups. That has not been his or his colleagues personal experience. Once a Covid patient arrives in the intensive care unit, he feels there is very little that can be done, especially using the treatment guidelines from the CDC. This is much different than a serious bout with influenza. Prevention and early treatment go a long way.
As we negotiate the widely divergent narratives about this complicated disease and sometimes perplexing response to it, it is very easy to succumb to polarization ourselves. Just because the death rate in the relatively young and healthy is very small doesn’t mean we should dismiss the disease as harmless. Just because little can be done to treat the critically ill does not mean we should look no further than a vaccine that is yet to be fully tested when other, safe and efficacious alternatives are available. Though there is controversy about the origins of this virus, it is most definitely not a “hoax”. Neither are the alternative treatment regimens we have to combat it. Dr. Kory notably is not suggesting that Ivermectin is a replacement for a vaccine. He believes it would serve in tandem with one.
Medical Therapies are often found in Nature
Ivermectin is itself a variation of a product of a species of bacteria called Streptomyces avermectinius. If you are familiar with pharmacology you will not find this surprising. Many of our most potent pharmaceuticals, especially antibiotics, were first found in nature serendipitously and later isolated, purified and synthesized. In that sense the “cure” often comes from the same source as the “disease”.
Indeed, the vaccines we have manufactured over the decades are often bits and pieces of the very same pathogens we seek to eradicate. Often they are grown in cell lines of other species. Now we are slowly turning away from nature and synthesizing the solution ourselves. The advent of the mRNA-based vaccine platform is perhaps the biggest step towards a truly “man-made” solution. Rather than presenting the “enemy” to the immune system for future recognition, we are taking over the recognition step itself by programming a cell to build antibodies of our own design, peptide by peptide.
We cannot know with any certainty which approach is better or safer at this moment. However, doubt doesn’t seem to exist in the institutions that are governing our response to this pandemic. They seem to be inexplicably offering us a synthetic solution to a natural problem at all costs.
“Conspirituality” is a captivatingly named podcast that has been getting a lot of attention of late and for good reason. The hosts are bringing light to a phenomenon that is rapidly emerging in our collective psyche. The belief that certain very large conspiracies are in play in our world is growing, especially in the New Age spiritual community. A growing subset of people in these circles are finding common ground with those in right-wing political factions, something that seemed unimaginable a short while ago. However, in its well-intentioned effort to bring dialogue around this emerging phenomenon, the podcast is introducing another voice that is adding more confusion to an already confusing world of divergent and conflicting narratives. If we are interested in arriving at a better understanding of how our world works we must dig deeper to find our own blindspots and notice those that may exist for others, especially for those who are graced with a growing audience.
The co-hosts describe the podcast as:
“A weekly study of converging right-wing conspiracy theories and faux-progressive wellness utopianism. At best, the conspirituality movement attacks public health efforts in times of crisis. At worst, it fronts and recruits for the fever-dream of QAnon.
As the alt-right and New Age horseshoe toward each other in a blur of disinformation, clear discourse and good intentions get smothered. Charismatic influencers exploit their followers by co-opting conspiracy theories on a spectrum of intensity ranging from vaccines to child trafficking. In the process, spiritual beliefs that have nurtured creativity and meaning are transforming into memes of a quickly-globalizing paranoia.
Conspirituality Podcast attempts to bring understanding to this landscape. A journalist [Derek Beres], a cult researcher [Matthew Remski], and a philosophical skeptic [Julian Walker] discuss the stories, cognitive dissonances, and cultic dynamics tearing through the yoga, wellness, and new spirituality worlds. Mainstream outlets have noticed the problem. We crowd-source, research, analyze, and dream answers to it.”
Why is the Conspirituality podcast gaining support?
The three co-hosts are intelligent. They rely on their diverse backgrounds and experiences to formulate formidable arguments to explain why people in these two communities are succumbing to “conspiracy theories” as they call them. In their opinion, those in the New Age, spiritual, and yoga communities more easily succumb to the ideas like the “New World Order” and “Global Agendas” because, as the hosts say, spirituality is associated with a more creative and open way of looking at things. This flexibility in their belief system is apparently a fertile ground for conspiratorial thinking to take root. Folks in Right-Wing libertarian circles believe in hidden, dark agendas because, according to them, that’s what Right-Wing libertarians believe.
The hosts’ tidy assessment of a concerning “problem” is gaining a lot of support not only inside of the New-Age yoga communities from which they hail but also in the population at large. In the podcast’s relatively brief existence, it has already received attention from the NY Times, WNYC Studios, CBC Radio, and the Brisbane Times.
Much of what the hosts say about human psychology and emotion is insightful. I agree wholeheartedly with their assessment of the Conspirituality phenomenon: it is ascendant and gathering momentum in these two groups who may indeed share the same blindspot. Their effort to put this all together is commendable, but they have a very large blindspot too.
For those of us who have openly and assiduously examined the independent investigation into conspiracies, their podcast represents yet another obstruction to clarity that is gaining traction. Matthew, Derek and Julian are making a crucial mistake in their approach to the “conspirituality” problem. They assume that there are no large conspiracies in play in our world at this time. To state it flatly, to them the idea of a large conspiracy is so preposterous that they cannot even see that they are making an assumption when dismissing the possibility. I do not condemn them for it. It was only a handful of years ago when I would have cherished their position as a rare voice of reason in this confusing time.
What big assumptions are they making?
If you believe that hidden, ill-intending entities are seeking to slowly enslave the population is just a dystopian fantasy that is becoming uncomfortably popular, then the Conspirituality podcast will no doubt be a go-to resource for you. They use well-practiced cadence in their delivery, as if guiding their listeners through a sequence of increasingly challenging asanas that gently lead the audience to a level of self-assurance not previously thought possible. They bring on notable guests and exude authentic confidence to weave together an explanation as to why the conspirituality phenomenon is not just a nuisance, it is a dangerous threat to our way of life. Notably they never explore whether some, or even one of these conspiracy theories might actually be a true conspiracy. Entertaining such ideas, in their opinion, could only be a symptom of the weak mindedness they seek to identify and eradicate for the greater good.
In their opinion, easily seduced spiritual practitioners and rightwing “Q-anoners” should justifiably be thrown together with every “conspiracy theorist”, from anti-vaxxers to 9/11 truthers to flat-earthers. Rather than denigrating them, the hosts of the podcast attempt to give us a deeper understanding of this growing population by pointing out how their biases and proclivities make them susceptible to false narratives. Addressing the facts that build these narratives is unnecessary in their opinion. Why? Because they assume these narratives are false to begin with. For those in their camp this strikes an acceptable tone of tolerance. To those of us who recognize the danger in making such assumptions and are quite convinced, through our own open-minded and diligent investigation that there may in fact be a number of big conspiracies in play, their tone could easily be regarded as poorly veiled condescension of the most unacceptable kind. Not only would they be underestimating our understanding, they would be grossly overestimating their own.
Aside from making the error of assuming that large conspiracies do not exist, they are succumbing to the common mistake of lumping all people who are challenging conventional wisdom together. For example, there are thousands of engineers and architects that are patiently waiting for their day in court to present evidence that would overturn NIST’s explanation of the events of 9/11. There are also an enormous number of children who may have been irreversibly harmed by vaccinations over the decades. Health advocates and doctors who have recognized this very real possibility have been lobbying for a reformulation of vaccines since the inception of their widespread use. According to the hosts of the podcast, these thousands of structural engineers, architects and health professionals are just as crazy as people who maintain we live on a flat Earth. They may continue to assert that such conspiracies have been “debunked”, but equating highly educated professionals with flat-earthers is a stark overgeneralization that speaks to the scale of the bias they carry but refuse to acknowledge.
Their approach is based on unbalanced research, and their tone is sometimes divisive. Simply put, they are adding more noise to an already confusing picture.
They have used the moniker of “Conspiracy Theorists” to label the subset of the population that are “afflicted” by a certain form of weak mindedness that makes them prone to a certain kind of narrative. But how might one see the hosts of the podcasts? I do not know how they would prefer to self-identify.
For the purposes of this article I will call them “Coincidence Theorists”, a term I credit toDavid Helfrich, a contributor to Collective Evolution as well. By “Coincidence Theorists” I am referring to those who remain fixated on the idea of coincidence to explain events in this world that seem intimately connected: massive military exercises leaving the Eastern Seaboard undefended on the morning of 9/11? Coincidence! Three skyscrapers completely veering from expected models of behavior in a gravitationally driven collapse on the same day? Coincidence! Thousands of previously healthy children who suddenly experience cognitive decline and neurologic effects immediately after a series of vaccinations? Every single case must be a coincidence.
Coincidence is one of the primary mantras they use to dismiss extremely suspicious circumstances that would point to a conspiracy. Once dismissed, real investigation into the matter is considered flippant which justifies their characterization of all who feel differently as paranoid and easily seduced “conspiracy theorists”. It should be clear that using coincidence to explain the apparently inexplicable is not logical, it is founded on a basic assumption that because large conspiracies do not exist, any suspicious observations that point to a conspiracy must be a coincidence. This is bias and it has no part in earnest inquiry.
How convincing would a defendant on trial be to a jury if he explained his presence at the scene of a crime as pure coincidence? He may be innocent, but using the coincidence argument would not clear him from suspicion. In fact, in court, the more coincidences add up in a case, the more likely the defendant is guilty.
The other common argument they use to dismiss suggestions of a conspiracy is to flatly assert that “it’s been debunked”. This continues to astonish me. As the critical thinkers that they claim to be, how is it possible that they cannot see that the mainstream media and often the scientific establishment that they cite as debunkers and fact-checkers are the primary conspirators in all of the very real conspiracies that are in consideration? The only proof they will ever consider to be credible has to come from the very parties implicated in a conspiracy. This is pure dogmatic thinking.
Should we adopt their approach and view their position as forgivable because they are in the New Age community and we all know that those folks are prone to dogma too? How different would that be than their approach to profiling all “conspiracy theorists” as individuals that are inherently prone to paranoid delusions? It wouldn’t be any different or any less unfair.
In an effort to be more constructive, I would instead like to share my personal experience of a direct but brief exchange I had with one of Conspirituality co-hosts. I hope that this will shed some light on how their own approach to information may be the very same problem they impute to the “conspiracy theorists” that they identify as a growing threat. In other words, people who believe that “everything is a conspiracy” are suffering from the very same blindspots as those that are certain there are only conspiracy theories and no true conspiracies. The possibility that there are many (unfounded) conspiracy theories and a few very real conspiracies does not exist in minds that suffer from a certain type of bias.
My Exchange with Conspirituality podcast co-host Julian Walker
I must admit that it has been challenging for me to approach this topic. I am a physician, an engineer, a diligent researcher and an author of a book that dissects the nature of some of the false-flags and conspiracy in our history. I am also a member of several spiritual communities and view this podcast as a dangerous impediment to open inquiry–something that all spiritual communities should be espousing. If that weren’t enough, I have also participated in an exchange with one of the co-hosts of the Conspirituality podcast, Julian Walker, that was less than amiable. In order to strike the most effective tone in this piece I had to first find commonality between myself and the co-hosts. Despite our disparate view of the world I had to concede that they are as well-intending as I am. At least that is my hope.
I am part of a large spiritual community that is led by a teacher of acknowledged lineage who is an adept writer and recognized scholar in his area of study. We also happen to be friends on social media. Several weeks ago, on his own personal page, he posted alink to bonus material on the Conspirituality podcast that was published on October 12, 2020. In it, Julian Walker, co-host of the podcast, attacked anarticle written by anti-globalist, scholar, environmental activist and author of 20 books,Dr. Vandana Shiva, who was highly critical of apatent submitted by Microsoft titled “Cryptocurrency System using Body Activity Data”. In the article, Dr. Shiva first contextualizes our pandemic as part of a larger problem involving our species and its relationship with our environment. She writes:
“New diseases arise because a globalized, industrialized, inefficient agriculture invades habitats, destroys ecosystems, and manipulates animals, plants, and other organisms with no respect for their integrity or their health. We are linked worldwide through the spread of diseases like the coronavirus because we have invaded the homes of other species, manipulated plants and animals for commercial profits and greed, and cultivated monocultures. As we clear-cut forests, as we turn farms into industrial monocultures that produce toxic, nutritionally empty commodities, as our diets become degraded through industrial processing with synthetic chemicals and genetic engineering, and as we perpetuate the illusion that earth and life are raw materials to be exploited for profits, we are indeed connecting. But instead of connecting on a continuum of health by protecting biodiversity, integrity, and self-organization of all living beings, including humans, we are connected through disease.”
Mr. Walker states that this perspective is shared by people like Dr. Zach Bush who use similar buzzwords like “virome” and “holistic” models that appeal to a susceptible audience. It is quite clear that Mr. Walker doesn’t see it in quite the same way. I take no issue with that. This is a debatable perspective on a very complicated paradigm and outside the scope of this article. However, he then goes on to dismiss Dr. Shiva’s assessment of the patent in question. At minute 21:30 of the podcast, he claims to “have done his research” and concluded that this is harmless technology that can be worn, like a watch, to help a system identify when a person has completed a “task”. This wearable technology can measure things like heart rate, EEG patterns, body temperature and eye movement to figure out if the subject has completed the activity in question. This is where I felt compelled to weigh in.
Having a career spent intensively monitoring patients’ physiology on an operating table as an anesthesiologist, I was surprised to discover, while doing my research, that the technology Mr. Walker considered harmless and wearable would also be able to monitor organ function, blood flow, and localized brain activity.
At this moment in time, we do not have the ability to measure such things with wearable technology. If we did, it would be used in operating rooms around the world. Moreover, it poses the obvious question: what sortsof tasks would require us to monitor such kinds of “Body Activity Data”? We are not talking about planting crops, mowing lawns or delivering packages. This kind of data can be best used for one thing: to monitor a person’s response to stimuli. It is not so hard to put it together. This technology is extremely well suited to measure a user’s level of engagement with technology submitted by one of the biggest creators of technology in the world, coincidentally.
When I offered my impression of the patent I soon learned that Mr. Walker was also on the thread. Julian did not respond to my take on the technology in question but instead deemed it unnecessary because a third party agreed with him. It was then that I asked if he would be willing to discuss the article and the patent openly in a mediated discussion here on Collective Evolution. His response:
“My sense is that a speculative discussion with you on what that patent may or may not be is about as useful as the endless circles we can go in with 9/11 Truthers about building 7…The larger set of conspiracy claims and attribution of nefarious motivations are part of a style of paranoid thinking that can always take some facts and sound analysis, some reasonable seeming speculation and some outlandish nonsense and weave it all into a captivating seeming argument. I am not particularly interested in debating on a public stage in front of people who find arguments like [Dr.] Shiva’s in any way convincing or laudable, just as I would not be interested in debating creationists, flat earth-ers or 911 truth-ers.”
The Dangers of Confirmation Bias
This is where we left it. How is one privy to this exchange supposed to make sense of this? I cannot expect everyone to accept my analysis because I happen to be more equipped to assess the technical aspects of the patent. Though it may seem logical to listen to the engineer and physician, I also seem to be arguing for a potential nefarious use of the technology and that would imply that Bill Gates and Microsoft have dubious intentions. If that proposition is impossible for you to believe, it is more sensical to side with the yoga teacher, podcast co-host and meditation instructor here and dismiss my analysis as the ranting of a paranoid flat earth-er. This is Confirmation bias. When looking at the world with confirmation bias we tend to focus on stuff that confirms our preconceived notions and dismiss stuff that opposes them. Confirmation bias creates unfounded confidence in our opinions.
Mr. Walker is testing positive for confirmation bias. In his mind the idea that the Earth is flat should be dismissed just as quickly as the idea of a conspiracy behind 9/11 or that patent WO2020060606 could be anything more than wearable technology that will help a person get fairly compensated with cryptocurrency for the work they do.
This is a challenge that not only faces Julian but many others. If their research into subjects like 9/11 or this patent is flimsy and superficial, they likely won’t have the understanding and context to truly unseat their initial foundational belief. Why bother going through the twenty-odd pages of technical descriptions of proposed embodiments of the patent if you begin with the assertion that this could never be anything more sinister than a smart watch? Why even read the supporting technical documents provided by NIST supposedly explaining the nature of the collapse of Building 7 if you know a priori that it must be what we have been told? In the case of Julian’s thinking here, his assumptions must be right. Otherwise it would undermine the entire premise of his attack on the “Conspiritualists.”
There is far more in the balance here than being right or wrong. We are talking about a different world view that puts everything into a different context. Isn’t that worth looking a bit more diligently?
If we examine Mr. Walker’s response a little more closely we can perhaps learn about where he may be “stuck.” First, he calls our proposed discussion to be speculative. That is true; neither of us can know for sure what this technology really represents. However, that is not how he describes his position in the podcast when he claims he “has done his research” and that it is self-evident to anyone who reads the patent description.
Next, he portrays any opinion that this technology may not be what he has claimed as part of a style of “paranoid thinking”. You can see that if he was right, I would necessarily be paranoid. Yet, if he admits that this is all speculative, how can he be certain he is right?
Finally, he claims that Dr. Shiva’s arguments are not at all laudable or convincing. However here he is using his admittedly speculative conclusions about this patent to attack Dr. Shiva’s entire position. Rather than addressing my analysis of the technology, he has labeled it unworthy of discussion because it is speculative too. Why is it fair to use speculation to dismantle Dr. Shiva’s position while claiming that a conversation about it would be useless because it is all speculative? This is clear evidence of a double standard, a necessary element in confirmation bias.
Is it possible to be objective?
This brings us to the most telling aspect of this exchange. Under what circumstances would a discussion about the difference of opinion be useless, especially if it is speculative? Aren’t those the kind of discussions that can lead to more clarity? Mr. Walker is essentially saying that because the Collective Evolution audience are all conspiracy theorists a discussion on this platform would be pointless. Why are we afraid of discussion on these issues?
Julian, if you happen to be reading this, I am not offended that you believe my opinion is no more worthy of consideration than a “flat earth-er’s”, but why would you shun the opportunity to explain your position on a platform that has over five million followers that may or may not agree with you? Are you able to understand that you have absolutely nothing to lose and the potential of helping a few million people see your side? If you are truly concerned about a dangerous “movement [that] attacks public health efforts in times of crisis” why not address those in the movement directly? What would motivate you to eschew such an opportunity to explain yourself to the very population you believe are misguided? Would you be willing to bring me on your podcast so that you can demonstrate how I have lost my bearings or better yet find some common ground and articulate a more accurate position together? If you are concerned that some of your listeners may be easily dissuaded by my “captivating sounding argument” how then would you regard their understanding of your position if it is as unassailable as you proclaim? In any case, we are not trying to win an election here. We are both after the same thing: clarity…aren’t we?
From an even deeper perspective, I hope that we can agree that being graced with a platform to express our positions comes with a large responsibility. Shouldn’t we be making every effort to examine all contrarian positions openly before leading our listeners in what we think is the right direction? Wouldn’t it be more constructive to come together and unify under a common understanding and purpose? As two practitioners of yoga, a science that is steeped in the ancient wisdom of embodying unity, shouldn’t seeking common ground be our primary intention?
I recently had a conversation with a very intelligent and discerning person regarding “alternative” narratives. In today’s terms we could say that he hadn’t been “red-pilled” yet. I don’t care for the term because it over simplifies a very delicate and personal process of dismantling and rebuilding a conceptual framework to support a new interpretation of the world. The “red pill” offered to Neo in “The Matrix” wasn’t appropriate for everyone. Moreover, “red pills” come in all shapes, sizes and, well…. colors.
This person had the presence of mind to get right down to the essence of the divide between our perspectives. “Look”, he said, “I trust the New York Times. If it doesn’t appear there, I don’t have any reason to believe what you are telling me.”
I was grateful that he had spared me the need to explain contexts, alternative historical accounts and all the other background required to usher him into a new paradigm. This is invariably where open exchanges (when they occur) lead and end up. We may begin with an exploration into logic and science, but ultimately we find ourselves retreating to the reassuring news sources we have trusted our whole life. This person, like many other educated and curious people, believed that the integrity of venerated publications like the New York Times was unassailable. Is it possible to demonstrate that this assumption is unfounded?
Are we too distracted by COVID-19?
Right now most of the world is in one form of a “lockdown” or another. There may be a very real existential threat to our species in the form of a highly transmissible and potent virus. This possibility is perfectly aligned with hypothetical scenarios that our scientific institutions have formulated in the past. At the same time there has been growing public concern over the deployment of 5G technology which seems to be moving forward at breakneck pace despite the unprecedented slow down of human activity around the planet. Those who are voicing concern about this are often being vilified as purveyors of yet another “Conspiracy Theory” that will undermine the ability of our authorities to manage the very real crisis at hand. How are we to decide what to believe?
Many educated and informed people in this country rely on the New York Times for its research and perspective on all important topics, especially those that are nuanced and controversial. Here I will explore an article that ran in the SCIENCE section of The New York Times in May, 2019 entitled “Your 5G phone won’t hurt you, but Russia wants you to think otherwise”. The article is particularly interesting, not so much for its validity as a counter argument to the concern around the safety of 5G transmissions but as a clear demonstration of how even a venerated and iconic institution is not beyond the use of “spin” to influence the reader. Some of it is astonishingly overt.
All 5G dissenters are generalized as having dubious intentions
First and foremost the article cites “RT America” (formerly known as Russia Today) as the voice of concern around 5G. It is true that this platform of dubious credibility has published content that challenges the safety of 5G. By doing this, the Times article is indirectly insinuating that the content must be inaccurate or misleading. There has been a plethora of scientific opinion that casts doubt upon the safety of 5G (see below), but by directing our attention only to RT America we are led to believe concern over 5G safety is unfounded or based in some sort of Russian initiative.
This opinion piece in Scientific American summarizes the strident voices of hundreds of physicians and scientists that are calling for a moratorium on 5G technology until further studies are conducted. These are not politically motivated individuals with an agenda. They are talking about science and safety. The Times piece however, refers to Russia, RT, Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin over a dozen times in an article that is ostensibly about the safety of a band of electromagnetic radiation on our health. What is the purpose behind this association?
The medical benefits of 5G are said to be numerous but not referenced
The Times article suggests that 5G is the foundation for “innovative industries” including medical advances. It references another article that, when examined, describes medical technologies that do not actually need or use the kind of broadband communications that 5G offers. Interestingly, the article referenced describes a rather disturbing initiative to implant devices in pills so that health care providers will know that their patients are actually taking their medications. When implemented, the signal from the pill gets picked up when the pill begins to be absorbed in the stomach! Nonetheless, the casual reader will likely assume that a moratorium on 5G will be bad for innovation and for us.
Basic scientific principles are labeled as “Scare Tactics”
The article implies that when RT calls radio waves “radiation” they are using a scare tactic. Radio waves ARE radiation. All electromagnetic waves are radiation. The energy of the radiation is a function of its frequency. Energy, like matter, exists in minute, indivisible portions, or quanta. A single quantum of electromagnetic energy is called a photon. The energy of the photon is directly proportional to its frequency. We cannot escape the fact that 5G will bombard our planet with photons of higher energy. This is not a scare tactic. It could be very real threat to our cellular health.
The Times admits that X Rays and Ultraviolet radiation is dangerous but at “the opposite end” of the spectrum. The point here is that we are talking about a continuum of frequency. 5G carrier frequencies are not so far away from those that are considered “ionizing”, or powerful enough to break chemical bonds, or disrupt biological molecules. The idea that there is a frequency beyond which everything becomes unsafe is an absurd proposition in nature or in any examination of a large group of individuals that can have varying responses to stimuli. It is more useful (and accurate) to understand that a continuum of frequencies will generate a continuum of effects.
The Times offers a graphic to help us understand. Conspicuously absent is the mention of microwaves, a frequency we are all familiar with. Microwaves are longer (and less powerful) than those of 5G. Note that the graphic demonstrates that the radiation that Airport Scanners use are in the 5G band. We readily subject ourselves to TSA scanning, so why should we be afraid of 5G? On the other hand, would you want to be in an airport scanner for more than a few seconds a couple times of year? How does the omission and inclusion of certain data affect how one interprets the big picture?
Information from The World Health Organization supports further investigation but we are told otherwise
The Times author then sources an article from The W.H.O. which they claim puts this all to rest. The article was written in 2014 and does not report anything definitive about cellular phone transmissions and safety. In fact, in the article, the W.H.O. refers to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s opinion on the safety of radio frequency transmissions on our health: “Based largely on these data, IARC has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), a category used when a causal association is considered credible, but when chance, bias or confounding cannot be ruled out with reasonable confidence.” In other words, in the very article the Times offers as evidence of “careful science” and “data that contradicts dire alarms” is an open admission that radio frequency electromagnetic fields are a credible risk to our health. The “further ongoing studies” mentioned are notably not referenced.
Furthermore the W.H.O. had the audacity to suggest that “…tissue heating is the principle mechanism between radio frequency energy and the human body …”. This is an absurd position to take if one has a basic understanding of physiology. They are treating an incredibly complex and intricately balanced system that is the living human body and considering it as something that can only be harmed by radiation if it gets warmer. Perhaps this simplistic model would be appropriate if we were assessing the effects of radiation on a brick or bowl of water. A single living human cell is a symphony of trillions of complex molecules engaged in billions of energetic reactions every second resulting in electrical potentials and currents which are highly dependent upon a complex milieu of ions and proteins held in a tight range of concentration and pH. As a physician myself, I find this simplistic perspective an insult to the intelligence of all my colleagues and to the body of knowledge that our predecessors have built over the centuries.
The list above is by no means comprehensive. Other liberties are taken by the author to mislead the reader to unfounded conclusions, however those mentioned here should be enough to point out that the integrity of trusted institutions like the New York Times are not necessarily beyond reproach. The possibility that no source can be trusted absolutely will be unsettling to many of us who have grown accustomed to deferring to others for the “truth”. We are arriving at the inescapable reality that we may have to rely on our own wits to negotiate the endless narratives and partial truths rampant in our information-rich world. How do we hear the signal in the noise? Perhaps that is the lesson 5G is here to teach us.
Do Probability and Statistics interest you? Perhaps not. But what about the secret workings of a casino? They are but two sides of the same coin. One side is science, the other application. Economics is the science of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. The application of economics, if honed to a specific, razor sharp intention becomes the most powerful weapon on Earth. This weapon is called the Central Banking system. No country owns this weapon. It is wielded by a tiny circle of people. The identities of these people are largely hidden, but it is abundantly clear they owe allegiance to no country, despot or political ideology. They deploy this weapon at their own discretion. We are the frogs in the proverbial pot of water and they are controlling the stove.
Some basics …
In the 2019 fiscal year the United States Government will spend 1.1 trillion dollars more than it will collect in taxes.(source)This number is called the “budget deficit.” Operating with a budget deficit is nothing new in our government’s history. This has been going on for decades, independent of which party has controlled the White House or Congress. If you were to add together all the deficits over the years you would arrive at a sum of approximately 22 trillion dollars. This number is called the “national debt.”
The ability to “pay off” this debt seems impossible, yet we continue to operate more or less the same way, borrowing more and more to meet our country’s obligation to social services, defense, infrastructure, and obligations to our debt holders. Most people are aware of these staggering numbers, yet few of us seem to consider basic questions about the system, like “Where does the money come from?” or “Who would be stupid enough to continue lending us these sums given our poor track record of even balancing our budget?” The answers to these questions are astounding and can lead to an understanding of our nation’s history and monetary system that is absolutely necessary to put nearly every aspect of geopolitics into perspective.
In “The Creature From Jekyll Island,” author G. Edward Griffin adeptly leads the reader on an intriguing exploration of the origin of money, lending and the banking system and its codependence with the governance of people. Through his thorough examination of military conflicts, the rise and fall of governments and repeated taxpayer funded bailouts, Mr. Griffin makes it abundantly clear that human history has been driven more by the inner workings of centralized banking and not the will of individuals or even the apparent vision of their appointed leaders.
The Federal Reserve, covertly conceived by the wealthiest few and brought into existence by Congress in 1913, is part of a global system of centralized banking that has been devised for a purpose unseen and much different than what the public and most of our elected leaders and legislators believe. The result of this system, as evidenced by repeated examples, has not been to stabilize economies but to destabilize them. In his diligent and erudite analysis, Mr. Griffin goes further in asserting that this has been the intention of the founders of the modern banking system all along.
To accept his bold assertion it is useful to first consider how this is accomplished before understanding why it is done in the first place. A full analysis of this subject is obviously beyond the scope of a single article. However, we can still arrive at a basic understanding of the system and its repercussions here.
Show me the money
As stated above, the total national debt is on the order of 22 trillion dollars as of 2019. However, according to The Federal Reserve there is only about 1.7 trillion dollars of currency in circulation. Where are the other 20 trillion dollars? Clearly, it exists only as numbers attached to accounts existing in computer memory. Monetary transactions are no longer dominated by the exchange of currency backed by a commodity (like gold or silver), they are instead represented by the increase of a receiver’s account balance that corresponds to the equivalent decrement in the account of the payer. This, of course, seems like a reasonable system that is equitable to both parties. However, if you examine it more closely, certain fundamental questions arise, primarily, where did the money come from in the first place?
The total amount of money in circulation in 1950 was approximately 27 billion dollars. How do we now have 60 times more money? The answer is that it was created by our banks and the Federal Reserve, an institution uniquely endowed by our government to “print” money at its own discretion. This should strike you as unnerving for two reasons. First, our elected officials do not decide when more money is put into circulation, they have abdicated that authority to the Federal Reserve that acts independently. Second, why is there ever a reason to do this in the first place?
Clearly, the amount of goods and services generated by the country has grown with our population and its concomitant increase in our labor force. Also, innovation in manufacturing and the development of technologies have given rise to less expensive ways to make stuff. We have also engineered methods for extracting our natural resources, making the required raw materials more abundantly available for industry. These changes continually influence the supply and demand for goods and services that ultimately will dictate what things cost. These are the “market” forces that capitalism relies upon to self-regulate and ostensibly create an environment for innovation. If the amount of money in circulation is left untouched, prices will continually readjust to represent the total value of the total amount of goods and services generated by an economy. There should never be a need to put more money into circulation.
Where does money actually come from?
The expansion of the supply of money is less accomplished by the actual printing of legal tender than it is by the “creation” of debt. To illustrate this, let us consider a simplistic model of how a bank works. First, a bank serves as a secure place to store depositor’s money. The bank issues the depositor a receipt of deposit. Long ago these receipts were recognized as being more convenient than actually using coins to facilitate transactions. The “money” was in a vault, but the receipts of deposit, when they began to be accepted as payment by a third party, began functioning as money itself. Griffin explains that this form of money is termed “receipt money.” The modern representation of this convenience has taken the form of checking accounts.
When the bank acts as a lending institution, it can also provide depositors with an added incentive to keep their holdings there in the form of interest. The bank can pay this interest on its deposits by lending this money out to other customers in the form of mortgages, business and personal loans, etc. and charging a higher interest on these sums. The ability of private citizens and industry to have access to money to purchase homes or invest in their businesses or education allows for economic growth and a higher standard of living and is generally considered a good thing and something we all depend upon.
When we receive a loan to purchase something that we cannot “afford” we understand that it has not been given to us for free. We will pay for it over time. In fact, we will pay more for it through a loan than if we purchased it outright. The higher the rate of interest and the longer the term of the loan, the more we end up paying. In the case of a home mortgage paid over thirty years the borrower ends up paying several times the amount they borrowed. This is all spelled out to the borrower when they sign the promissory note and agree to the terms.
However, there is something insidious happening when banks lend money today. The money that gets lent is not possessed by the bank, it is owned by the depositors of the money. The depositors are free to continue to withdraw from their accounts, meanwhile the borrowers also have access to the very same pool of money. When your bank loans a sum of money to another party the amount in your account there does not get reduced. So, where does the money come from? The bank is essentially creating money out of debt and subsequently collecting interest on it. This money is added to circulation and when this happens, the value of every single dollar in the system gets depleted. Prices go up. This is inflation, and it can exact a devastating toll on the system depending on how much debt is created.
As amazing as it may seem, banks are only required to keep available a fraction (10% or less) of the amount of money they lend on hand to meet the needs of their depositors. Clearly there may come a time when a large number of depositors demand their money to be returned at the same time. This is the dreaded “run on the bank” which should send the bank into insolvency. However, this rarely happens these days for two reasons. One is based upon the confidence we place on our banking institutions to make sound loans and upon the economy in general. As long as we are confident that the bank will return our money if we asked, we won’t demand it back. Secondly, banks operating in the central banking system are able to borrow money from other banks to meet the demands of their depositors when needed.
The Fed is a Monetary Cartel that has been setting us up for bigger failures
The Federal Reserve, with the power Congress has endowed it with, sets standards for the portion of money banks within its system are allowed to loan compared to the money in their “vaults.” Because the profitability of the bank is directly related to the amount of money they loan out, banks are motivated to maximize the amount they lend. Furthermore, because a lifeline to more money through other banks exists, there is little reason for any individual bank to be conservative. By uniting banks under common lending practices it becomes clear that no individual bank will be allowed to go bankrupt. However, there now exists the possibility that many or all banks may fail simultaneously with a deep and widespread dive in consumer confidence and/or an accumulation of a great amount of bad debt. Note that the latter will automatically give rise to the former as in the case of the great recession of 2008 when it became recognized that a massive number of irresponsible home loans were made over the course of a decade.
When such a crisis arises, it is made clear to the public that a dire situation is at hand and it would result in major suffering for all if the government didn’t intervene. Government steps in by infusing the banking system with large sums of money. This money does not exist anywhere. It is created on the fly by the issuance of government bonds, essentially IOUs. But who would be willing to accept government IOUs in such a crisis? Nobody. Nobody, except the Federal Reserve. Through the purchase of government debt the Federal Reserve floods the system with essentially a limitless amount of “money.” This money did not come from the sale of goods and services or gold bars from the treasury. This money is ink on paper called Federal Reserve Checks which are used to fund government debt and ultimately result in greater balances in commercial bank accounts when the government spends it. The crisis gets averted. Or does it?
In the short run, the economy does not grind to a halt, and we laud the intervention as a success. However, there has been no increase in the amount of goods, commodities or services that the nation possesses. There is just more money out there. When that happens, the value of every single piece of currency, including the money in your wallet, drops. We grumble at the necessity of more taxes and less governmental services but few taxpayers realize the extent that their own wealth has been decremented by an unseen cost called inflation, the direct cause of poor lending practices of our banks. We are told that we are in a crisis for a number of vague and complex reasons having to do with rarely agreed upon economic theories and a failure of our leaders to appreciate them. In fact, the reasons are simple. We have a system where banks can and will make the most profit if they make more loans. When they fail, the Federal Reserve ultimately steps in by creating more debt, which we shoulder by allowing our earnings and savings to be devalued.
Let us briefly review. The Federal Reserve has united most banks to accept universal lending practices. This effectively prevents individual banks from defaulting on their obligations, but creates a situation where a nationwide or global banking crisis can occur. When (not if) that occurs, the Fed has an understanding with the government that it will infuse the system with money by “buying” government debt (in the form of government bonds) that will be used to “salvage” the system. The public will eventually pay for this in two ways. First, through the obligation to repay the debt and interest and second, through inflation as money floods the system. It should be clear then that this maneuver is designed to keep lending institutions in perpetual business aggrandizing their wealth.
Central Banks make money by doing nothing
It is important at this point to look more closely at the money making machine the banks use for generating profit. Recall that banks are only required to hold no more than ten percent of their deposits (assets) on hand and are free to loan out the rest. However, there is a greater harm they can exact through our banking system’s definition of an “asset.” Let us say that a bank holds $1,000,000 in deposits. It can write $900,000 worth of loans on that money keeping $100,000, or 10% of it on its books as “reserves.” That money loaned out does not exist, it is created the moment the loan is written. Once written, that loan, effectively the promise of the borrower to pay it back, is now considered an asset of the bank too! This means that the bank can subsequently write loans of 90% of that “asset” (or another $810,000) as well. Once the second round of loans go out, they too are considered assets. This iterative process effectively allows the bank to “loan” out $9 for every $1 it was given as a deposit. The bank uses the one million dollars in deposits (reserves) to “create” nine million dollars in debt and, of course, earn interest on it. The term “earn” is highly questionable in this scheme. The bank provides no real service, creates no tangible product, does no labor and assumes little risk yet is able to collect a continuous stream of money from assets that never existed until the moment someone agreed to borrow from them. This is called “fractional reserve banking” and as shocking as it seems, it exists wherever an economy has abandoned a commodity (gold or silver) backed currency. In other words, everywhere.
The Fed makes the most when we are at War
Turning back to Mr. Griffin’s assertion that the system has been designed to create instability, we can see that the banking system reaps the greatest benefit when needs exceed resources. The Federal Reserve (and any central bank) has the sole authority to create money when the need for debt arises. Is it unreasonable that central banks, functioning without accountability to any authority, government or otherwise, would welcome every opportunity to exert this power, especially when it is so lucrative to them?
If we were to examine the situation from a central banker’s perspective we would regard global events in the context of debt. What kind of event creates the greatest and most urgent need for resources? War. War requires a nation to redirect their youth away from the creation of goods and services and into military service. There is the cost of munitions, fuel, care for the wounded and ultimately reparations. The bigger and the longer the war the better …if you were a central banker.
The Greatest Conspiracy in our history is still in play today
Could there really be an unholy alliance between central banking and governmental war machines? This may be obvious to some, but to many this approaches absurdity. A government for and by the people seems too powerful to be influenced by financiers and monetary policy makers. If banking insiders had any influence over our elected officials, the media would bring immediate public attention to it, right? In order for this kind of treachery to take place it would require the hidden collaboration of a very small group of extremely influential persons in government, central banking and the media. This would be a conspiracy, which many believe would be impossible today.
There is no question that it has happened in the past. As detailed in “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” the United States entered WWI after The Lusitania, a massive British liner with 195 American civilians on board, was sunk by a German U-boat attack. Prior to setting sail from New York, The Lusitania was loaded with tons of weaponry including six million rounds of ammunition purchased with funds raised for England through JP Morgan’s investment house. This was done in broad daylight with the ship’s manifest a matter of public record. The German government protested that using such a ship to transport weapons was in direct violation of international neutrality treaties. The American government denied this was taking place. The German embassy then appealed to the American people directly, placing ads in newspapers urging them not to book passage on The Lusitania as it represented a strategic target that would fall under German attack. The U.S. State Department prevented these warnings from being run.
At this time J. P. Morgan, one of the chief architects of the newly created Federal Reserve, was profiting from selling English and French bonds to American investors to raise money for their war effort against Germany. In addition, the two countries spent significant sums on products purchased from companies in Morgan’s control. When it became clear that Germany was nearing victory through their control of shipping lanes in the Atlantic with their U-boats, Morgan’s income stream was threatened. England, France and the American investing house knew their causes would only be saved if the United States entered the war against Germany. At the time this seemed a practical impossibility as Woodrow Wilson, approaching reelection, was riding a broad anti-war sentiment sweeping the country. This all changed when the The Lusitania sank. Morgan had, in the meantime, purchased control over major segments of the media and flooded the public with pro-war editorial. The media, the banks and our government worked together to see that America entered WWI on April 6, 1917. War expenditures, as always, were fueled by monetary expansion engineered by The Fed. Between 1915 and 1920 the monetary supply doubled and the value of our currency dropped by nearly 50%.
WWI is one of many examples in our planet’s history where the spoils of war went largely to the inner circles of the banking system that often finance both sides of conflicts. If this version of history still seems too incredible to believe, consider this: How often would a nation engage in war if it didn’t have the money to pay for it? Nations rarely do, unless they have a central banking system. Conventional history books paint our species’ long tradition of conflict as good vs. evil or liberty vs. tyranny while characterizing dictators and their ideologies as threats to the greater good. The real threat is hidden in plain sight and is far more diabolical, as it is not confined by borders or allegiance to governments that inevitably rise and fall.
Ella Louise Fortune, who worked as a nurse at the Mescalero Indian Reservation near Three Rivers, New Mexico, took the picture you see above while driving along Highway 54 on October 16, 1957, near Holloman Air Force base
At this moment our media is caught up in a maelstrom of rapid fire reports concerning insider whistleblowers and looming impeachment proceedings. Just a few weeks ago the world wisely turned its attention to the rapid destruction of the Amazonian rainforest and its devastating consequences regarding life on this planet. Despite the sudden absence of coverage on this issue since, that problem has yet to be resolved. It is indicative of our nature to focus on what is new and not on what is truly important. Another astoundingly transformative topic made its way into mainstream media earlier this year but is receiving little attention now. After seven decades of relentless denial, the US military publicly acknowledged the existence of UFOs in our skies. When examined contextually, this casual admission may prove to be the biggest story in the history of humankind.
In May of this year (2019) the New York Times and CBS reported that the US Navy recently admitted that their pilots have been observing objects that defy our understanding of how things are supposed to fly. The actual incidents occurred in 2014 and 2015. Another confirmed encounter referenced in the story involved a squadron from the USS Nimitz, which occurred 10 years earlier. This is the “tic tac” sighting, where several pilots observed a small, elliptical “craft” moving in irregular paths at speeds exceeding what was thought possible. Last week, CNN again reports here that the Navy has “confirmed” that their pilots have encountered UFOs. Is that such an earth-shattering admission? They are objects. They fly. They cannot be identified. So what? The real question is, if the Navy doesn’t know what they are, thenwhat are they? We as the public are left to speculate and fantasize as we await the next morsel of information from our trusted government and news sources.
Many people continue to regard this as a curiosity, a preliminary chapter in a story that will end with the admission of a computer glitch, faulty radar system or errant weather balloon. Those who have followed the history of UFO sightings undoubtedly will conclude that this is the first crack in a wall of military secrecy surrounding thousands of separate extraterrestrial spacecraft encounters that have occurred over more than seven decades.
Is Proof Subjective?
The broad chasm between “believers” and “deniers” exists because the standards of proof on each side are not the same. On one extreme are those who require extraterrestrial beings to appear at town hall meetings before reconsidering their position. On the other are those who see a shaky video of amorphous lights appearing in the sky and then immediately conclude that E.T. is here. How then are we to assess the footage taken from the viewfinders of fighter pilots? If any more credence is given to this “evidence” it is only because of the credibility that we choose to bestow upon the source that has offered it. If we were to be purely objective, there isn’t anything more here beyond the stamp of validity of trusted institutions like the US Navy and mainstream media. How then are we to proceed?
In this day and age, any form of recorded visual evidence carries the possibility of misdirection. Even though billions of human beings have smart phones with sophisticated cameras at the ready, we must contend with the reality that photographs and video can easily be enhanced, modified or created from scratch to falsely “prove” that an extraterrestrial presence exists on our planet. If we cannot rely on videos and photographs, where then should we look for “proof”?
Unless one has had a first-hand personal encounter with a being from another star system, the most compelling evidence can only come from the testimony of actual eye-witnesses to UFOs. Could someone else’s personal account offer anything more than a compelling but unsubstantiated story? That is a matter of opinion. On the other hand, eye-witness testimony, though flawed at times, is often offered as the foundation of proof in our legal system today. If witnesses can condemn a suspect of a crime or provide an alibi that leads to their exoneration why wouldn’t we consider testimony with regard to the UFO phenomenon just as seriously?
The military has unofficially acknowledged UFOs for years
Dr. Steven Greer is an Emergency Room Physician who has spent over two decades tirelessly compiling and spreading evidence of extraterrestrial contact with humans and the suppression of this information by the media and governmental organizations. His two documentaries, “Unacknowledged” and “Sirius Disclosure,” have been viewed by millions of people around the world. He has briefed members of Congress and former CIA Director James Woolsley, and in 2001 he held a conference at the National Press Club flanked by 20 retired military, FAA and intelligence officers who all publicly attested to the presence of ETs on Earth.
Among the wealth of information he has made publicly available, Dr. Greer offers over six hours of eyewitness testimony on his Disclosure website, all of which is worthy of consideration. If you have ever listened to these interviews, it is difficult to conclude them to be intentionally misleading. The witnesses are mainly ex-military, some of them having held high positions. They have very similar stories with a few key, consistent elements including a typical military deadpan delivery. Many were early in their military careers at the time of their encounter. They witnessed objects moving through the sky soundlessly at unthinkable speed, making maneuvers that would have crushed their pilots and then abruptly vanish. Often physical evidence of the encounter remained. Their stories are often corroborated by other eyewitnesses and radar technicians. They claim that they were threatened by their superiors if they spoke out, so they waited, for decades in many cases. Now that their military careers are long over, they find it meaningless to keep their vows of silence and wish to live out their remaining years with a clean conscience. There is, of course, the possibility that they are lying, but what would be their motive? They are not gaining fame or fortune for their candor. Most of them are unwilling to state that what they saw was from another planet or star system, they simply know that things just don’t move like that, at least not anything from around here anyway.
How we choose to interpret these accounts, and more recently those of the F-18 pilots in the New York Times and on CNN, depends on your perspective and how flexible you are in your belief system. Here I would like to explore the “middle” ground. If you believe they are telling the truth and you also believe that extraterrestrial craft are an absurd fantasy perpetuated by a pocket of our population that is tired of acceding to Einstein’s special theory of relativity (which dictates that “warp” speeds are a physical impossibility), it can only lead you to the following conclusion: the objects they saw are real and they are from here. In other words, secret military aircraft would explain most, if not all of the incredible stories told by people who seem utterly convinced of their experience and continue to remain undeterred in their account despite continuous attacks from “debunkers” and dismissal from every “real” media source.
In recent years the government of the United States has been spending around $700,000,000,000 per year (source).Every once in a while we all get a glimpse of what some of this money is paying for when never-before-seen, radar-invisible, futuristic looking flying machines capable of classified speeds and unconfirmed altitudes that are made from obscure materials are rolled out of hangars with a modicum of fanfare. It is not unreasonable to assume that “we” have others out there being tested and tweaked. Flight testing is a necessary part of the development cycle of new technology and could explain many UFO sightings. It would also explain why the military has been so conspicuously tight-lipped about the whole thing. Why jump to the fantasy of ancient, interstellar civilizations that have found a way to crack the cosmic speed-limit when everything could be neatly explained by super-classified military flying machines running test flights?
The secret airship theory certainly ties up many of the loose-ends while not forcing us to discredit the earnest testimony of many eye-witnesses of unexplained aerial phenomena from our brothers and sisters in uniform. It does, however, introduce a new wrinkle in our understanding of the current state. If there are secret aircraft, from whom are they being kept a secret?
A Brief history of Secrecy
We may be quick to conclude that secrecy is a necessary part of modern warfare, and that having weapons technology up our sleeve endows us with a tactical advantage over our adversaries. Upon closer consideration, this military strategy has implications that are potentially very troubling.
To better explain, let us consider the advantage of secret weapons technology historically. In the closing months of WWII it became increasingly apparent that the empire of Japan had little intention of surrendering to the Allied Forces despite their continued heavy losses of life. Emperor Hirohito and propagandists worked the Japanese public into a frenzy through synergistic narratives of nationalism, honor and fear. The introduction of Kamikaze pilots, young warriors of sound mind that were willing to fly their propeller-driven planes directly into American ships, gave the world a startling glimpse into the depth of Japan’s resolve. The United States had something up their sleeve as well.
The possibility of harnessing the power of atomic fission through a chain reaction had been stirring in the minds of theoretical physicists long before the start of the war. The idea of turning this potential force of nature into a weapon came soon afterwards. The Manhattan Project, the secret effort of the US military to build the atomic bomb, did not take place in an isolated desert location called Los Alamos alone. It was an enormous feat of science and engineering that required participation from not only theoretical physicists but engineers, mathematicians, material scientists, construction contractors and laborers. Thousands played a role and their efforts were distributed around the country, from New Mexico to Tennessee. To put it into perspective, the atomic bomb was not constructed only from stuff sitting around. The element Plutonium (used in the Nagasaki bomb) was synthesized by bombarding Uranium with neutron radiation and isolating the products. Prior to the Manhattan Project plutonium was a substance that had not existed beyond extremely trace quantities on our planet.
None of the public and very few of those involved with its production knew what the purpose of all of this activity really was about. Even the Vice President at the time, Harry Truman, was unaware that this effort was taking place. He took the oath of office on April 12, 1945 and was only then briefed about the extent and implications of the Manhattan project. If coordinated correctly, an awful lot of smart people can be kept in the dark about a lot of things, including their own role in a bigger picture.
The decision to deploy the first atomic weapon upon human beings was made behind closed doors. The successful test of an atomic weapon on July 16, 1945 (The Trinity Test) demonstrated undeniably that our species had entered a nuclear age. By most historical accounts, neither the existence of an atomic bomb nor the results of the Trinity test were ever shared with the Japanese government prior to the bombing of Hiroshima just three weeks later. Although it has been reported that a group of leading physicists involved in the development of the weapon formally requested that Truman reconsider his approach, they were not heeded. President Truman made the decision to drop the bomb with no specific warning to the Japanese about its potential for devastation. Ultimately he and his advisers believed that the impact of the bomb would be maximized if it occurred unannounced. Leaflets dropped on the people of Nagasaki several days later did reference the weapon . Because the empire of Japan refused to unconditionally surrender, that city was destroyed with another atomic bomb as well.
Secrecy is the real threat
President Truman’s reasoning has been the subject of much scrutiny and debate. Regardless of one’s critique of his rationale, it is obvious that the use of a weapon as a deterrent is only possible if the enemy is aware that it exists. One can argue that this has been proven as no nuclear weapon has ever been deployed on humans in the 74 years since the destruction of Nagasaki. Indeed, the hegemony nuclear powers exert over the rest of the world only exists because everybody knows who has them and who doesn’t.
What then is the intent of new kinds of weapons and technology that are are hidden? Secret weapons cannot be deterrents against aggressive action. Weapons that remain hidden in secrecy are necessarily offensive. Moreover, secret weapons can serve a more diabolical purpose than the damage they inflict. If no one knows their damage signature, range or how they are deployed they can potentially be used to synthesize conflict and implicate innocent parties. How would anyone be certain of the source of the aggression? Secret weapons do not exist to prevent wars, they exist to start them.
The atomic bomb was kept a secret for three weeks. Little else has been offered to the public since. It would be naive to to assume that no newsworthy progress has been made with weapons technology beyond supersonic airplanes, miniaturized thermonuclear devices and self-guided drones in the intervening seventy years. If weapons and contrivances of unknown capability are in existence outside of the public eye we must also acknowledge that acts of terror and aggression around the world must carry with it some uncertainty about their origin and intent.
Depending on which sources we trust there have been dozens of staged events portrayed as attacks deserving of retaliation throughout our history, in the United States and around the world. The sinking of the Lusitania, the Gulf of Tonkin events, and Operation Northwoods are just a few of the many actual or planned “false flag” events that our government has admitted were covert operations designed to provoke public outrage and mobilize our war machine. The first resulted in our entry into the first World War, the second resulted in the massive remilitarization of our presence in Vietnam and the third was one of several schemes conceived by JFK’s military advisors to force a US invasion of Cuba using remotely piloted commercial aircraft flown in to American targets. It is likely that those who questioned our government’s depiction of those events at the time felt the same backlash endured by those who continue to exhort others to reexamine the events of 9/11 today.
Three weeks ago we were told by U.S. Secretary of State (and former CIA director) Mike Pompeo that the recent attacks on Saudi oil fields were yet another “act of war” committed by Iran. Tehran continues to vehemently deny his account and insist that it is the work of the Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group. Pompeo characterizes that assertion as “literally nuts” and that an appropriate response would not necessarily be limited to economic sanctions against Iran. Is it possible that neither Iran nor the Houthis were responsible for these attacks?
Whether or not you consider a discussion around UFOs and extraterrestrials to be flippant, the recent attention media has placed on this phenomenon offers an opportunity to consider the depth and implications of secrecy more soberly. Perhaps the US Navy has offered up this footage (15 years after the actual incident in the case of the “tic-tac” sighting) to be forthcoming. Regardless of their intent, it is important to put this admission into context. Have these been the only sightings since 2004? Is it reasonable to assume that this recent disclosure reflects a spirit of transparency or have there been numerous other unacknowledged encounters with UFOs as the “unofficial” testimonies indicate?
If these objects reported by the Navy are not of extraterrestrial origin we must avail ourselves to the reality that weapons and craft of spectacular capability are hidden not just from our “enemies” but from all of us. In either case, it is clear that despite the tepid public reaction to this Navy report, it has offered us a rare glimpse of the depth and breadth of secrecy that has been imposed upon us, if we are willing to pay attention. This wall of secrecy does not merely hide a few irrelevant facts. It may very well be an all-encompassing “distortion field” that has perpetuated a vastly different interpretation of global events while squelching a potential, transcendent truth about our history and our role in a greater cosmic neighborhood.
On September 11, 2001 I was completing my last year of training as an Anesthesiologist at the University of Pennsylvania. That morning I, like many of us, sat transfixed for hours watching the continuous television coverage of the events that were unfolding in New York and Washington D.C. I was scheduled to work the night shift. When I arrived at the hospital most of the doctors and nurses who had worked during the day were still at their posts. The hospital had instituted an emergency plan of operation, expecting a possible mass casualty situation if and when hospitals in the New York City area became overwhelmed.
It turned out that not a single injured person was brought to Philadelphia for medical attention that night. Tragically, very few in the buildings managed to escape with their lives once the buildings fell. Nearly three thousand innocent people perished in the sudden and unexpected collapse of the twin towers. Some of these were first-responders in uniform or street clothes who rushed towards the buildings after they were struck by planes, fully expecting to lead those inside to safety. A great many of these heroes suffered the same fate as those who were trapped inside. These courageous men and women, many of whom were police officers and firefighters, knew and accepted the dangers inherent in their commitment to public service and safety. What they did not know was that steel skyscrapers that are largely undamaged with only isolated fires could instantaneously suffer a rapid and global collapse, not just once but three times on the same day. It is understandable that they were caught off guard because such an event has never happened before or since.
Two thousand, seven hundred and forty nine people died in the collapse of the twin towers. Only three hundred whole bodies were recovered. Despite a painstaking search lasting months, no others were found intact in the rubble. However human tissue, in the form of bone fragments measuring less than a centimeter were found upon neighboring rooftops hundreds of feet way. One victim’s body, we had learned months later, was broken into over 200 separate pieces:
Our bodies can be fragile, but is it reasonable that falling building material can do these things? At the time I gave it little thought. Now, after seventeen years of clinical practice where I have personally seen what happens to a human body when exposed to bullets, trucks, chainsaws, wood-chippers, falling debris, industrial presses and chemical explosions, I have begun to wonder.
My life changed one evening in 2017 when my wife showed me a thirty second video clip on youtube. After watching it several times I felt, in the deepest of ways, that I had swallowed the “red pill”, the one offered to Neo at the beginning of the movie “The Matrix”. I include this often used reference here because Morpheus, before giving Neo the pill, wisely made him understand that he was only offering the truth and nothing more. With that sentiment, I offer it here :
I didn’t recognize the building but I soon learned that it was another skyscraper that fell to the ground on September 11, 2001. That was building 7, a 47 story steel structured building in the World Trade Center complex. I only became aware of its destruction sixteen years after 9/11. I have since learned that most Americans still do not know that three buildings, not two, were destroyed in Manhattan that day. What was initially puzzling to me was not only the manner in which Building 7 fell but that it was not hit by a plane. The official explanation states that Building 7 came down, in under seven seconds, from the failure of just one of eighty columns on the twelfth floor. It didn’t seem possible that a steel structure could collapse that quickly, completely and symmetrically from the failure of a single column. On the other hand, it seemed just as improbable that the official explanation could be so wrong. Wasn’t it all explained in the 9/11 Commission Report? Wasn’t there something on public TV that proved the official explanation? What was initially puzzling very quickly became deeply disturbing.
These words are offered to those who have some curiosity about why a growing number of people continue to maintain that the destruction of the three skyscrapers in the World Trade Center in NY on September 11, 2001 were due to controlled demolition events and not just plane collisions and office fires.
Much has been written about this. Most of what appears in print or on digital sources has not been written by structural engineers or architects but by journalists or non-professional citizens who have endeavored, to the best of their ability, to present what “others” have discovered. Sadly, as is the case with any potentially divisive issue, there are those who seek to spread unverified data and use dubious lines of reasoning to solidify a biased position. This is happening on both sides of the argument, and it is having serious repercussions. How can anyone know who or what to believe these days? The growing inaccessibility of the truth is extinguishing our collective curiosity and in its place is growing a sense of resignation when it comes to knowing such things as “facts”. When it is unclear which way to proceed, it is only natural to make assumptions and take the path of least resistance and go along with what we are being told.
I have a background in Electrical Engineering and Medicine. I do not claim to be an authority on how buildings are to be constructed or razed. However I do believe that anyone with an open mind and some basic understanding of how the physical world reliably reacts to common forces of nature can easily discern fact from fiction and likelihood from implausibility. I have spoken to scores of people from all walks of life about this topic. I have found that between an open mind and a basic understanding of the physical world, the former is more important and, it seems, more rare.
At this time we live in a society where people who either believe (or even consider believing) in an alternative theory of events are labeled “conspiracy theorists”. This is unfortunate because it carries the connotation that if a person believes that the official narrative of ANY event is inaccurate or falsified then they, by definition, believe that ALL official narratives are inaccurate and designed for a hidden, ulterior motive. Because some “conspiracy theories” are particularly absurd and in some cases offensive, credibility is quickly lost among those who hear of an alternative explanation, even if the explanation is cogent, dispassionate and supported by scientific consensus. This is very dangerous. By heaping all “conspiracy theories” into the same pile it is very easy to miss the signal in the noise.
In order to approach the vast topic that is 9/11 it is best to first take a moment to acknowledge that everyone has biases. Biases are prejudgements that arise from putting the cart in front of the horse. In other words, if a piece of evidence is offered, it will often not be considered objectively if its veracity implies something highly improbable. After all, how is a reasonable person supposed to accept something that leads to an unreasonable conclusion? This is how bias arises in a quick but untrained mind. In order to avoid this misstep it is imperative to first establish what is unreasonable and what is impossible.
The purpose of this piece is not to dictate what is impossible, nor is it to explain what other people (“experts”) claim to be impossible. The purpose is to accurately describe what is required of the conventional explanation of the events of 9/11 in order for it to be true. What may seem impossible to one person may be possible to another. Ultimately, we make our own choices about what we believe is possible. All the pictures and video footage from space will not be able to convince “flat-earthers” that we live on a planet that is spherical because the idea that the ground they walk on is not flat would be impossible from their point of view. To them, it is more likely that the evidence has been forged. If a person cannot entertain the possibility that they may be wrong there is no room for their view to evolve.
Those who maintain that the World Trade Center Buildings 1 (the North Tower), 2 (the South Tower) and 7(the 47 story skyscraper one hundred yards from the North Tower) were demolished from explosive demolition events (as well as planes with regard to the North and South Tower) had to first acknowledge that the likelihood of this possibility was extremely small, but not impossible. The implications of such a theory are disturbing and far-reaching. It would imply that the event had been planned, months or possibly years in advance by individuals that had access not only to advanced explosives but to the buildings themselves. It would also imply that there were far more than 19 terrorists involved. The most disturbing implication is that news sources that we rely upon have been grossly inaccurate in reporting the facts or were complicit in hiding a horrible lie. This possibility would shake the very foundation of our idea of freedom. Before dismissing this possibility immediately it is worthwhile to weigh what is being risked by considering it objectively and what is at risk by not. I did. This is why I did not dismiss it at the outset. This also why I found it absolutely necessary to trust no one other than myself and why I personally believe others should too.
We who believe that explosives were used on 9/11 are very aware that many regard our position not only as flippant but destructive, unpatriotic and disrespectful of those who suffered or lost their lives from the aftermath of this event. I am able to understand that. If you feel that way are you able to understand why a person who is completely convinced that the established position is wrong is doing the most patriotic thing they can by trying to respectfully explain their position? Both sides are fighting to preserve our freedom and honor those that lost far more than we, yet having a fair and open exchange of ideas is nearly impossible these days. I and many who share my view are endeavoring to change this.
At the outset of my research into these events I acknowledged that the possibility of this version of events was extremely unlikely but not impossible. If you believe that this scenario is impossible at the outset I suggest that you read no further. On the other hand, if you are able to regard it as an extremely unlikely yet possible scenario, I invite you to read on and make up your own mind.
The “Official” Explanation From Gov’t Mainstream Media Is Impossible
Many claims have been made about what did and did not happen that day. There is a considerable amount of eyewitness testimony from citizens and first-responders that directly challenge the official narrative. There are also independent organizations of pilots, fire-fighters, architects and structural engineers that publicly state that the official narrative is inaccurate or inconsistent with the laws of nature. If you are aware of these organizations you may find them to be believable and trustworthy. But why should you? Because I cannot absolutely verify that these organizations and witnesses are truthful or knowledgeable I will exclude their opinions and only rely on information that has appeared on mainstream media or in the “official” explanation of the events of that day, the 9/11 Commission Report and the extensive supporting technical discussion provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
What did the 9/11 Commission actually say?
Before we explore any inconsistencies of the official explanation it is important to clarify what the “official” explanation states. The 9/11 Commission was organized by the Bush Administration in response to the pressure placed upon it by the families of the 9/11 victims and the concerned public to explain why and how the buildings came down. The 9/11 events also represented the three biggest structural failures in modern history. Because this also directly impacts public safety, the 9/11 Commission tasked the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), a branch of the Department of Commerce, to perform a technical investigation into the cause and mechanism of the failures. NIST is a body of engineers, scientists and applied mathematicians that are responsible for establishing and enforcing standards for industry in the interest of public safety. NIST was responsible for explaining why and how the twin towers and World Trade Center Building 7 were destroyed on September 11, 2001. It is their report which stands as the “official” explanation that I will be examining.
Few have actually read the thousands of pages of the body of the report and the numerous technical attachments provided by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Most people believe that NIST explains how those three buildings came down. It does not. Instead it attempts to explain how those three buildings could have come down from plane strikes and (or in the case of Bldg 7, only) office fires. This may seem like a minor technicality but it is in fact a major oversight. The investigation presupposes that the planes and/or fires were the only cause and disregards the possibility of other causes. Every possibility was not considered. In fact, only one was.
Prior to September 11, 2001 a steel-framed building has never collapsed from any event except a planned demolition. Why didn’t the official explanation explore this possibility as well? For some people this may seem like an inflammatory attack on the official report. Afterall, millions of people watched the planes hit the buildings on TV. Why should any other explanation be entertained? To a scientist, or any organization interested in due diligence (e.g. NIST), it is grossly negligent to not explore all conceivable possibilities before arriving at any conclusion. Even an eleventh grade chemistry student must address other possibilities that may explain the results of their experiment in their lab report.
Putting all geo-political ideology aside, we must agree that a diligent, scientific approach to understanding the structural failures of these massive buildings is required for the interest of public safety alone. On 9/11 our world suffered the three biggest structural failures in the history of modern skyscraper design and yet only one hypothesis was ever considered.
There are two ways to disprove NIST’s hypothesis. One way is to prove an alternative one is absolutely true. I believe that the alternative explanation, controlled demolition, has been proven, but ultimately it requires that some faith be placed in the opinion or findings of someone else. For this reason I exclude any discussion of it here.
The other way to disprove the official explanation is to find any assumptions they made to prove their version of events and demonstrate these assumptions to be false. Recall that NIST did not explain how and why the buildings fell, they attempted to explain how the Twin Towers might have fallen from plane strikes and office fires. Is there anything required of their explanation that is impossible?
Where did the Buildings go?
Each of the Twin Towers was 110 stories, about 1300 feet tall. At the end of the collapse of each one there was a pile of rubble and steel on the ground that was on average 1-2 stories tall. In other words, the pile of debris from a 110 story building made from hundreds of thousands of tons of steel and concrete, its contents of office furniture, electrical generators, HVAC components and plumbing was reduced to a pile 2% of its height. Proportionally, if a ten story building falling upon itself did the same thing it would leave a pile about 2 feet high. The question is, what happened to all the building material and its contents? George Pataki, then Governor of NY was struggling with the same question soon after he visited Ground Zero a few days after 9/11. Here he is on CNN:
The Governor was mystified at the absence of concrete at the base of the building. He plainly states that lower Manhattan was covered with 1-3 inches of pulverized concrete dust. There were hardly any blocks of concrete to be found. We can understand how any structure can fall; even a steel structure can be brought down if key components of its structural integrity were compromised. The building would presumably lean to one side or another and come crashing down upon adjoining buildings leaving enormous piles of twisted girders and material everywhere. That is not what happened to the twin towers. They fell straight down leaving relatively little material at their base.
Imagine a wrecking ball knocking a building apart. Swinging a wrecking ball back and forth until a building is leveled takes a lot of energy. How much energy would be required to not just knock the twin towers down but to crush all the concrete in the buildings to dust? NIST’s explanation proposes that no added energy was needed to bring the buildings down and pulverize the concrete and dismember its steel. They posit that gravity alone caused each twin tower not just to fall but to crush itself. We can all imagine a building falling down, but crushing itself entirely? It would be impossible to construct a building that could pulverize all of its concrete and rip apart all of its steel from its own weight. How could such a structure stand to begin with?
The twin towers had been standing for thirty years. Of course something could knock them over, but why would we accept that on that particular day they were heavy enough to pulverize the very concrete they were made of into billowing clouds of dust that spread over lower Manhattan? If you are not careful your mind will rationalize that this could indeed happen because the buildings were “extremely heavy”. NIST in fact refers to “the enormous weight” of the top portions of the buildings crushing the bottom portions through a collapse sequence that was “inevitable” once the supporting columns and lateral trusses were weakened. NIST, however, suspiciously omits any discussion of the behavior of the building during the collapse in their discussion.
The top portions of the building were indeed “heavy” but heavy compared to what? By suggesting that their weight was enough to crush the bottom portions of the building within a few seconds how then can one explain why the building could stand in the first place? The vast majority of the steel skeleton of the building was undamaged from the plane strikes. Why would it break apart suddenly and uniformly from a weight it was designed to hold indefinitely?
An Example To Illustrate
Consider a different situation. Imagine a very tall stack of bricks. There is a limit to how many bricks can be stacked one atop another because at some point the weight on the bottom brick will be enough to crush it. In engineering terms, the compressive strength of the brick on the bottom will be exceeded if the stack is too tall. Let us say that the bricks are stacked as high as they possibly could be without crushing the bottom brick. We then strike the stack near its top hard enough to damage some of the bricks or even displace them out of the stack. We can all imagine the bricks ending up in a pile on the ground. Why would we predict that they would all end up crushed into a pile of dust? If the bottom brick was able to withstand all of the weight upon it before we destabilized the stack, why would the entire stack, including the ones at the top, be pulverized by its own weight? That would be impossible.
NIST does not address this conundrum directly but simply states that it must be possible because that is what we “observed”. This is a reasonable conclusion onlyif no other explanations are entertained. In fact, even if we choose to ignore other possible mechanisms of collapse this theory requires another impossibility to work. In order for the top portion of the building to crush the lower it must be stronger than the lower portion.
Take a simpler example involving bricks again. Let us say that you needed to crush a single brick into dust. The only tool that you have available is a pickaxe. Would it work? Maybe. But what if the pickaxe itself was made of brick too? Every time you struck the brick hard enough to make it crumble the axe would necessarily break apart as well. In physics this is described by Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which dictates that objects acting upon each other must be subject to equal and opposite forces from each other. By proposing that the upper portion of the building (approximately 14 floors in the North Tower for example) could completely crush the lower portion (96 floors) while remaining intact we are introducing another impossibility. The upper and lower portions of the building weremade of the same building materials! In fact, the upper portions of the building were lighter and less sturdy than the lower portions because they were designed to hold up less weight. If the upper portion was in fact crushing the lower portion why isn’t it getting crushed itself? Newton’s third law dictates that whatever force the upper portion is imparting upon the lower must be imparted to the upper portion as well. Getting the top to drive itself through a more heavily designed structure by dismembering and pulverizing it on its way down while remaining intact itself is impossible.
What Does The Speed of Collapse of The Twin Towers Tell Us?
Calculations have been made about how much energy it would take to pulverize all of the concrete in the buildings and it turns out that it is more than twice as much as the gravitational potential energy of the standing building. In other words, even if all the energy of the falling building was converted into crushing the concrete and dismembering its steel frame there would still be a large deficit of energy. For the purposes of this discussion, forget about the calculations. I have seen them and believe them to be accurate but why should you agree with me? Let us say that the weight of the building could pulverize itself. That is already impossible as was mentioned above. But, if we suspend rationality and continue with NIST’s logic yet another impossibility arises.
If the concrete is being pulverized, energy is being expended. The only source of energy in the official explanation is the kinetic energy of the upper part of the buildings. Kinetic energy is the energy possessed by a body in motion, in this case, the upper part of the building which was put in motion by gravity. If the kinetic energy is being used to pulverize the concrete, the fall of the building should have been slowed. Both twin towers fell at approximately 6.3 meters per second squared, or approximately two-thirds the acceleration of gravity. If that doesn’t make sense to you, look at any collapse video. The top of the building is accelerating towards the ground at more than 64% of free-fall. If you were to have jumped off the top of the tower as it began to fall you would have hit the ground just two seconds before the top of the building did. You would have barely beaten hundreds of thousands of tons of reinforced steel and concrete designed to do one thing: remain standing while supporting the structure above it.
The towers, like all modern buildings, were built to exacting standards which demanded three to five times the strength to hold up the building. This is an extremely large safety tolerance, yet we watched them crumble to the ground under their own weight. It would have been impossiblefor such an over-designed structure to come down that fast through itself from nothing but gravity. Each tower took about 12 seconds to fall. On average, 9 floors per second are being destroyed.
I am not denying the buildings came down quickly. They did. We have ample, undisputed footage of both collapses. But are we observing buildings crush themselves or are we actually watching buildings fall because the very material they are supported by is being destroyed by another source of energy? Is it possible to know? It is.
The buildings are falling at rates that dictate that the concrete and steel are putting up a fraction of the resistance they were designed to provide. Yet the materials, by virtue of their dismemberment (steel frame) and pulverization (concrete) are behaving as though they are meeting extreme force. Materials do not get destroyed unless they are meeting extreme force. We must conclude that the integrity of the materials must have been or were being compromised at the time of collapse. There was not any “crushing” going on. We have been in fact watching buildings falling because the very materials holding them up are being synchronously pulverized and ripped apart by a source of energy not acknowledged by NIST but clearly present. You cannot “see” energy, you can only infer its existence by the behavior of the system you are examining. The behavior of the buildings as they fell prove that there was another massive source of energy at work. Collapses with the rapidity that we witnessed, leaving only pulverized concrete and dismembered steel, would have been impossible from gravity alone.
Fires Cannot Burn Without a Source of Oxygen
It took three months to put the fires out at the World Trade Center. Here is the CNN news report that documented that :
It is well reported that the FDNY flooded ground zero with millions of gallons of water, completely submerging the basement fires. Ground zero was covered with water for months. Fire can only exist if an oxygen source is present. The media reported that the fires continued to burn because of heat from the friction of the fall. That is impossible. I am not suggesting the fires were not burning for three months I am only pointing out the basic truth that the only way fires can burn underwater is through a chemical reaction that has an oxygen molecule as a reactant. Heat itself does not provide oxygen for a fire to burn. There must have been an oxygen source in or on the material that was burning.
Gravity Cannot Throw Things Laterally
It is well documented that hundreds of four and eight ton steel frame members were thrown 600 feet away from each of the Twin Towers at speeds clocked by physicists of 80 mph. Gravity works in only one direction. If the only force acting on the building was straight down it is impossible for structural members to be thrown perpendicular to the force. This necessitates the presence of an explosive, or expulsive, force perpendicular to the force of gravity.
NIST Proves That Building 7 Could Not Have Fallen From Fires Alone
Finally, there is the problem with building 7, the building referenced earlier. It was a modern steel structured skyscraper 47 stories high that suffered isolated fires on several floors. It was not hit by a plane. Watch the collapse again:
Even today many Americans do not know that a third building was destroyed on 9/11. It occurred about seven hours after the second twin tower was destroyed. Building 7 fell in under 7 seconds. The building fell uniformly through the path of (what should have been the) greatest resistance into its own footprint. Unlike the twin towers, this building fell at free-fall. If you were standing on its rooftop when it started to collapse you would have hit the ground at the same time if you jumped off the building. This means that not one of the 80 columns in the building gave any resistance to the fall. Once again, if the structure put up no resistance to the fall, why did the columns get crushed? NIST took seven years to come up with their analysis of the fall of Building 7. They used computer simulations to attempt prove their theory that it was caused by the failure of a single column from isolated fires that lead to the type of collapse we witnessed. No matter how much they tweaked their model, they could not get it to fall in the way we observe in the video. Their conclusion : The entire building suffered a complete and sudden collapse from a single column (Column 79 on the 12th floor) that failed as a result of normal office fires.
An isolated column failure cannot cause a steel building to fall at free-fall acceleration – or symmetrically. That is impossible. Using their own computer model, NIST has effectively disproven their own hypothesis. If a new, four hundred foot wide, 47 seven story building can fall at the speed of gravity through its own supporting columns from the failure of a single column on just one floor, why do demolition teams need to painstakingly set up hundreds of explosive charges on multiple floors to demolish old buildings? NIST spent seven years trying to explain what happened and couldn’t. Why didn’t they look for another explanation after they proved themselves wrong? What exactly was their mandate?
Could These Really Just Be Coincidences?
In the previous section are listed five impossibilities that NIST would require you to believe could happen in order for their explanations of the destruction of these buildings to suffice. Perhaps I am wrong about what is possible and what isn’t. At this moment, however, I cannot accept that buildings can pulverize the concrete and dismember the steel that they are constructed from, or that gravity can throw things laterally or that fires can burn underwater without a source of oxygen or that a steel skyscraper can collapse symmetrically from isolated office fires at free-fall acceleration.
If that were not enough one must still contend with the numerous inconsistencies and incredible coincidences that the 9/11 Commission and NIST insist upon. I have chosen the following five to demonstrate.
A Plane “vaporizes” Yet a Passport Survives
United Airlines flight 93 was the fourth plane that was hijacked that morning. It never struck a building like the other three. It crashed into a grassy field in rural Pennsylvania. The official report states that much of the plane and its passengers vaporized on impact. I cannot say that this is impossible, I can only say that this has never happened before. Unless a plane ends up at the bottom of an ocean, plane crashes leave debris fields and passenger remains that can be analyzed. Very little was found at the site, yet this plane crashed into a field on American soil on a sunny Tuesday morning. The coroner claims that only bits and fragments of human remains were found. There was no fuselage or luggage. However, two Saudi Passports managed to escape unharmed. This is “improbable”.
This story brings up another glaring inconsistency with the official explanation. Two planes can tear through steel and concrete yet this one vaporizes when striking dirt?
Passengers Make Phone Calls From Their Cellular Phones in Flight
The 911 Commission report states that over a dozen cellular phone calls were made from passengers in both of the planes that struck the twin towers. Time logs indicate that the calls were made while the planes were in flight. The recordings of the passengers can be heard. The passengers clearly state the planes have been hijacked. They sound distracted but calm. Several of the calls lasted more than a minute. Is it possible that the hijackers would have permitted those calls? Absolutely. It is also possible that the calls were made quietly without their knowledge. The problem with the story is that some of these calls were made on personal cellular phones while in flight. This is nearly impossible today, eighteen years later. The idea that this could have been possible in 2001 is difficult to accept. Cell phone towers are designed to detect and transmit signals laterally, not upward. Even if a connection could have been made momentarily the tower would have had to immediately hand the signal over to another station rapidly due to the speed of the plane. There were no breaks in coverage on the recordings. As of this year, 2019, I have not been able to get consistent cellular phone coverage on a plane flying at more than a few thousand feet of altitude.
What does this mean? One cannot definitively know; one can only conjecture. I only offer it as another glaring inconsistency of the official explanation. What would be the benefit of including this in the official report?
The Military Conducts Four Separate Exercises on The Morning of 9/11
It is customary for NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) to deploy fighter jets when an airline hijacking is in progress. No fighter pilot ever made visual contact with any of the planes that were hijacked on 9/11. There have been some explanations for this including the fact that the airliners’ transponders were turned off by the hijackers and couldn’t be tracked. What is not as generally known is that very few fighters were scrambled that morning. Most of our Air Defense system was engaged in flight exercises over the midwest and Canada that very morning. Operation Vigilant Guardian (among others) was a live exercise involving fighter squadrons and military bases that was conducted on the morning of September 11, 2001. The terrorists happened to have picked the very morning that most of our assets were unavailable to protect even the most defended building on Earth, the Pentagon.
How are we to know that these exercises actually took place? Here we have a link to then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Meyers (Joint Chiefs of staff Chairman) answering questions about this exercise. At approximately 7 minutes into the clip General Meyers confirms that in fact four exercises involving our air defenses were happening while the hijacked planes headed to their targets. Moreover he reveals to us that the exercises were designed to simulate hijacked planes being used as weapons to fly into buildings:
Is it possible that the terrorists knew about this opening in our air defenses? Yes. Is it possible that they just got extremely lucky with the timing? Yes. Neither of these possibilities can be deemed impossible. It is the improbability of this “coincidence” that is striking.
NIST Does NOT Explain What Happened to the Twin Towers Themselves
NIST does not explain definitively how either twin tower fell so quickly. They propose a possible explanation involving trusses weakened by jet fuel and office fires that eventually sagged and gave way allowing the concrete floors they supported to fall but more importantly causing the peripheral columns to bend inward allowing the upper sections of the building to fall upon the lower. The calculations which should describe the tensile strength of the columns and estimated weight of the building that would allow such a collapse to progress are not given. Instead NIST references a research paper that was written just 48 hours after 9/11 by an engineering professor (Zdenek P. Bažant) from Northwestern University and his graduate student. You can read their paper here:
In this paper the two authors propose a mechanism that they believe could explain a progressive collapse. If you choose to examine it you will find it to be a technical paper and largely uninterpretable unless you are a mechanical engineer. However, there are a few points that the curious among us will find unmistakably puzzling. First is that on page 4 the authors state :
“The energy dissipation, particularly that due to the inelastic deformation of columns during the initial drop of the upper part, may be neglected, i.e., the upper part may be assumed to move through distance h almost in a free fall …”
This assumption should strike you as mysterious. The author is assuming that when the top of the building began to collapse all of the columns on the damaged floors failed completely and synchronously. Why would they make that assumption and what does it matter? It has a direct bearing on what would happen next. The authors are trying to prove their hypothesis that the top of the building had attained enough downward velocity at the beginning of the collapse sequence that a progressive collapse was inevitable. Whether or not this is true cannot be known by you or I without trusting another’s opinion, but does it make sense that every column (287 in all) would suddenly give way at precisely the same time and offer no resistance?
The other glaring inaccuracy that can be readily interpreted by the lay reader is the estimate of the weight of the upper portion of the building. The weight used in the paper:
“…mass of the upper part (of North Tower) ? 58·106 kg”, is exaggerated by nearly a factor of two.
But how are you or I to know what the actual weight of the upper portions of the buildings were or what the column strength actually was? I admit that we the public, cannot know without trusting another source. However shouldn’t we expect that NIST would, at the very least, demand that those crucial values be consistent with their own? They didn’t. In fact, the paper NIST references doubles the weight of the upper portion of the building and reduces the column strength by a factor of three compared to their own estimates!
In other words, if you use NIST’s own estimate of the weight and strength of the building in the model they reference, a progressive and complete collapse would be impossible. NIST did not verify this professor’s calculations but merely stated that because another party claims it to be possible it must be so. As astonishing as it seems, this is as far as NIST goes to address the incredible mystery we all witnessed when the twin towers unexpectedly fell to the ground.
The “Pancaking” Floors Model is Not Supported By NIST, Only The Public
This glaring omission was initially the source of skepticism in the scientific community. Later an article in the magazine Popular Mechanics was published to explain a possible collapse sequence. A similar explanation appeared in a documentary on NOVA. Neither the Popular Mechanics article nor the documentary reflect NIST’s official explanation. The Popular Mechanics article and the NOVA documentary both attribute the collapse to “pancaking” floors, falling one upon another. They both suggest how one floor falling upon another could hypothetically cause a chain reaction, yet neither addresses how the central and peripheral columns, the steel skeleton that held the floors and building up could have been destroyed.
These simplistic explanations also fail to explain how concrete floors can create a “pancaking” collapse while at the same time be blown out of the building in massive dust clouds. Many of us picture of a stack of floors falling upon a single floor high up in the tower, dismantling it from its supporting trusses and slowly speeding up as each successive floor adds to the momentum of the falling mass. Once the first floor goes, we have been told, the rest is history because now the falling weight is even larger. However, it is clear from every video of the destruction of the two towers that all the concrete is blowing out in huge clouds as the top of the building is descending. We also have the physical evidence of pulverized concrete blanketing lower Manhattan. If all the material is being blown outwardly, what then is doing the crushing? These popularly cited explanations are markedly incomplete and do not actually reflect the official explanation, yet they live on in people’s minds as an adequate representation of what happened.
NIST and the research paper above explain that the collapse of each twin tower was initiated on the floors that were struck by the planes. The columns on these floors failed, they hypothesize, because the weight of the upper portion of the building exceeded their strength when the lateral trusses that connected the peripheral and central columns sagged from the heat of the office fires burning on those floors. The upper portion dropped on to the lower and the rest is history. NIST claims that the upper portion, having fell the height of a single floor had enough momentum to sequentially overcome the next 95 floors of reinforced steel and concrete. As mentioned earlier, NIST did not consider whether this was mathematically possible. It must have been, they state, because the building fell to the ground and thus, they say, the details are not relevant or within the scope of their analysis. A closer examination, for those interested, is given in the paper by Dr. Bazant.
NIST Makes Entire Floors Vanish to Explain Their Theory
Perhaps this seems reasonable to you, but is it scientific? It is not. Dr. Bazant’s explanation, when examined more rigorously, requires a number of highly improbable events to have occurred. First, his model requires that every single column on the floors damaged by the plane collisions failed completely, simultaneously and synchronously in order for a collapse to be initiated. Additionally, his model ignores the energy required to bend, buckle and twist the columns as the upper portion began to “fall” upon the lower. NIST, by supporting Dr. Bazant’s model, chooses to assume that these columns effectively vanished. This is the only way enough momentum from the falling sections might have been delivered to the lower sections to initiate a potential collapse. Recall as well that Bazant uses an estimated weight of the building that is twice what NIST calculates.
It is very clear from all of the footage of the towers burning before the collapse that the fires were not equally distributed across the damaged floors. There were 240 peripheral and 47 central columns in each twin tower. Does it seem reasonable that every single column on that floor would suddenly fail at precisely the same instant without offering an ounce of resistance?
The improbabilities continue to mount as the collapse progresses. In his model, the upper section of each building falls through and annihilates each floor below successively. As it does so, all 287 columns on each floor had to have failed at precisely the same instant in exactly the same way. This is the only way the buildings could have fallen straight down. This happened 80 times in a row in the South Tower and 95 times in a row in the North tower. In his model, once the upper sections of each building bulldozed their way down unaffected, they then crush themselves when they hit the ground. This is the official explanation.
Interestingly one could look at this entirely differently. Having every single support column fail simultaneously, some suggest, may actually be something common. We would know this, they say, because it happened twice on the same day (tower 2 followed by tower 1). I think it points in exactly the other direction. The fact that something that unlikely happened twice essentially assures us that some other mechanism was in play in both instances.
NIST Says All The Jet Fuel Burned in 10 Minutes
Much debate has taken place over the temperature of jet fuel and the melting point of steel. It is true that the melting point of steel is significantly higher than the temperature of burning jet fuel (2500 F vs 1500 F). However, supporters of the conventional story maintain that over time, the heat would have weakened the steel to the point of collapse. It is difficult to prove they are wrong. This is often central to the argument of many “debunkers”. It has been demonstrated that given enough time, steel weakens near the temperatures of burning jet fuel. However, even if the strength of the steel had been compromised, steel does not fail from heat in the way that Dr. Bazant requires. As steel gets hot and begins to approach its melting point it will begin to bend and distort gradually from the load it is bearing. It does not snap apart instantaneously like a pencil.
It is also difficult to believe that so much of the fuel would have remain ignited for so long. It is obvious that most of the fuel exploded when the plane struck the building. Huge fireballs erupted which burned a great deal of the fuel at the moment of each plane collision. NIST themselves confirm that most of the fuel erupted at impact and that the fuel that had entered the building had burned completely in the first ten minutes. Does it seem likely to conclude that those massive structures would have entirely collapsed from a ten minute burn?
Even if much of the fuel did not ignite immediately but found its way inside the twin towers how hot could it have been? Video clearly demonstrates that the smoke billowing from the fires was black, indicating that they were oxygen starved (and thus cooler) for most of the time they were burning. NIST’s explanation requires the temperature around the supporting columns be at or near 1500 degrees where the plane hit in order for the steel trusses to sag and a collapse sequence to begin. If that were the case, how can we explain the unfortunate people in the building that appeared at the periphery on the very floors that were hit waving and exhorting others to help them? If it were 1500 degrees on those floors they would have been incapacitated in a few seconds. The columns on these specific floors were required at some point to catastrophically and instantaneously buckle for the collapse to be initiated. It is highly improbable that the steel was as hot as NIST states.
Perhaps these points don’t make you reconsider the official story. I cannot look away. If there were no other way to explain these impossibilities I would shrug my shoulders and go with the official explanation. The difficulty is that there is a simple alternative explanation for all of these impossibilities and inexplicable observations.
What Exactly is a “Controlled Demolition”?
Controlled demolition involves rigging a building with charges designed to first cut the supporting columns so that other charges, when detonated, will destabilize the structure. This is precisely how steel framed buildings are demolished. If timed correctly, the building can be blown up from the top down (twin towers) or bottom up (building 7). The collapse will be very fast and sudden. If it is demolished from the bottom up the building will fall at or near the acceleration of gravity (building 7). Depending upon the energy density of the explosive used, concrete will indeed be pulverized and so too can large fragments be thrown laterally.
One explosive that is being suggested as the one that could have been used is nano-thermite. Nano-thermite is a variant of a well-known chemical combination known as thermate (essentially elemental Aluminum and Iron Oxide). When heat is added to these reactants, the oxide molecule leaves the Iron and bonds with Aluminum releasing a great deal of energy in the form of heat. Within a few seconds this reaction produces temperatures that exceed 4000 degrees F, easily enough to melt and cut steel. This reaction is impervious to water because the oxygen is provided in the Iron Oxide reactant. It would explain why metal continued to burn for three months despite being doused with water continuously.
Three independent teams have confirmed the presence of nano-thermite in thin red flakes that were found in and near ground zero. How do we know that this material was really found? We cannot know, we must trust another party, yet this would explain what the conventional narrative cannot. By dismissing independent researchers that claim to have found proof of explosive material we are, by default, trusting NIST and their opinion that searching for such evidence was unnecessary. However if we accept that material was actually found we arrive at an explanation of what we are observing : a massive source of unexplained energy, lateral expulsion of materials, pulverized concrete, dismembered steel, chemical reactions that took months to complete and a coherent model of what happened that day.
What Does a Demolition Look Like?
The following is a video of the collapse of the North Tower, WTC 1, the first tower that was hit and the second to collapse. It is in slow motion. It is narrated by David Chandler, a professor of physics. You can choose to dismiss his narrative comments. I cannot vouch for him. He may not be an unbiased investigator but examine the details of what is in front of our eyes :
Does this seem like a building collapsing under its own weight to you? If it does, how should it look like if it were instead being blown to bits from explosives? If you aren’t sure how that should look close your eyes for a moment and use your imagination and then look at the sequence again. Large building components are being thrown outwardly leaving debris in a circle 1200 feet in diameter around its base. Is this building falling down or blowing up?
If this footage doesn’t bring up any questions for you I invite you to look again closely and focus on the corner of the building closest to the camera. You can easily see that this corner column with surrounding concrete is crumbling as the “wave of collapse” passes down the building. That column was undamaged from the 96th floor (where the plane hit) all the way to the base of the building. Keep your eyes on the corner column as the wave passes through it. What forces are acting upon it? There are no fires burning near that column. It was not supporting any more weight than it had been for the past 30 years. In fact, because the upper portion of the building was falling at ? the rate of gravity all the columns in the lower part of the building would necessarily be holding up only ? the weight they had been previously. Why then is this (and all the other columns) getting crushed?
Why Didn’t NIST Consider a Controlled Demolition?
Interestingly, the NIST addressed the possibility of a controlled demolition in just one paragraph of thousands of pages of technical explanations and discussion. They decided not to investigate that possibility because, they claimed, no explosions were ever witnessed. Yet there are numerous accounts from first responders unequivocally stating that they witnessed explosions in the buildings. In fact 156 firefighters reported that they heard or witnessed explosions in the twin towers prior to their collapse. If you don’t believe their accounts we still have the mainstream media on that day reporting that explosions were occurring before the buildings fell:
If explosions were taking place in the buildings before the collapses, they must be considered to be causative factors in their destruction. Despite the eyewitness testimony and extensive mainstream media coverage of explosions in the buildings NIST believed it was unnecessary to examine the remaining steel or the ubiquitous dust for explosive residues.
Was It Negligence or Something More?
Why didn’t they? Did they have some incentiveto not look? If so, what could it have been? Let us say that they did decide to examine the debris for explosive material. What if they ended up finding some? Why couldn’t they simply conclude that the terrorists rigged the building? What would be the danger in that? After all it wouldn’t be the first time a terrorist organization attempted to blow up the World Trade Center with explosives. Everything would have still played out the same way, right? Not exactly. It would have led to the conclusion that security in the three buildings was so shoddy that this happened under their watch. It would have taken demolition experts months to set this up. It would be hard not to accuse the WTC security of being in cahoots with the terrorists. Suddenly things would start to point to a “conspiracy”.
If evidence of explosives were found they would also have to explain why the terrorists needed to fly planes into the buildings if the buildings could have been detonated at anytime. That would be extremely difficult. This is why some refute the possibility of a controlled demolition. If terrorists rigged the buildings with explosives, why would they sacrifice themselves by flying planes into them when they could have just pushed a button? It is a compelling argument, but what assumptions are we making when using it?
When we dismiss the idea of controlled demolitions because planes were flown into the buildings we are assuming that whoever orchestrated this wouldn’t care if their identity would be revealed. Terrorists wouldn’t care if planes or bombs were involved. They would only want to be given full credit for the atrocity. It would be illogical for them to fly planes into the buildings when they could have detonated the buildings at anytime. If evidence of explosives were found it would necessarily point to a conspiracybecauseplanes were flown into the buildings too. Hijacking a plane on a given morning is one thing. Rigging explosives up and down three Manhattan skyscrapers is a feat far more involved. The plane collisions would have been immediately identified for what they really were: red herrings. Terrorists would not need both bombs and planes, only conspirators would.
Once that is established, attention would come to the sheer complexity of the effort required to bring three separate buildings straight down, synchronizing the charges so that the demolition will appear to be a gravitational collapse and not simply the detonation of explosives. This kind of endeavor would require more than 19 terrorists armed with box cutters. The magnitude of the possible conspiracy would begin to emerge. The forces behind such an act would clearly wield influence beyond what we consider possible in a free society. Entertaining such a thing is uncomfortable. It is no surprise that many wish to look no further. But do the governmental agencies that are entrusted with public safety have that luxury too? Perhaps they have been unwillingly doing someone else’s bidding all along.
There is no proof of any of this as reported in any mainstream media source. It is a hypothesis that would explain all the impossibilities that exist. It would also allow us to dispense with the absurd collapse sequence proposed and not require the fires to have been burning so hot.
How Could This Have Been Orchestrated?
Putting speculation about dark, hidden forces aside let us return to the practical aspects of how this could have been accomplished. The engineers that designed the twin towers insist that in order for the buildings to fall, the central columns had to have been compromised, not the peripheral columns that the planes struck. Indeed, if you closely examine the initiation of collapse in the North Tower, it is perceptible that the massive antenna on the roof begins to shift and fall simultaneously with the rest of the building. This slow motion video captures this at approximately seven seconds from the start :
The antenna is directly supported by the central columns. There is no video that captured the extent of the damage inside the tower but it is clear that the plane, which is essentially a hollow tube of aluminum and fiberglass, had to first go through concrete and reinforced steel 14 inches thick. It is possible that a plane’s fuselage can severely damage concrete and steel columns if the energy of the collision was high enough. It would be impossible, however, for the plane to remain intact after encountering the peripheral columns. Again, this is Newton’s third law of motion. If the steel on the outside of the building was destroyed, so too was the plane. There would have been little left to damage the more sturdy central columns.
How could anyone have accessed the central columns of the twin towers for months, setting up the explosives? It seems preposterous that buildings of that size could have been rigged for demolition, even if there were enough conspirators involved. How could it have been secretly arranged in buildings that house tens of thousands of employees and visitors every day? Surely somebody must have seen something. How could this have been accomplished under the public’s nose? It seems impossible. Then we have this interesting piece of information:
This is a cover from Elevator World, a publication about elevator technology. In the spring of 2001 they reported that all of the elevators in both twin towers underwent a major renovation over a period of several months. The elevator renovation has been confirmed by people who were working in the twin towers before 9/11. The elevator shafts are surrounded by the central columns. There is no proof that the elevator renovation in both buildings was a cover for the rigging of the central columns, but is it possible?
Is There a Bright Side?
The controlled demolition hypothesis only attempts to explain the observed physical behavior of the buildings on that day. No perpetrators can be identified. No motive can be known. If conspirators set up the demolition who then was flying the planes? Science will never be able to answer these very salient questions. On the other hand, the 9/11 Commission and NIST, the authors of the “official” explanation, do not even attempt to explain how basic laws of physics can be violated yet they were able to establish the identity of the perpetrators and what their motives were before the third building even fell to the ground. Nonetheless, it is their explanation that has continued to dominate the narrative for the last eighteen years.
Rather than reflexively labeling the controlled demolition theory as a crazy idea held by “9/11 Deniers” so that it can be conveniently packaged as a “Conspiracy Theory” and dismissed on moral and intellectual grounds, it is more apt to focus on all the absurdities of the official explanation. Hundreds of thousands of tons of steel breaking apart in seconds synchronously? Fires burning in Manhattan for three months? Four massive military exercises occurring on the same morning as the attack? A fourth plane vaporizes yet a passport is found intact at the crash site? The official explanation is the greatest “Coincidence Theory” ever conceived.
The most important next step is to pause and consider what has been offered here. Ultimately each must decide what is true for themselves. Even if one chooses to instead defer to others’ opinions, that is a decision made individually. Truth is a function of how deeply and how objectively one looks. I would urge everyone to not only look for what must be true but also for their own biases.
In our personal search for the truth we are well advised to examine what our motivations are. For many, the possibility that we have been misled and duped into supporting costly wars that have indelibly changed the political landscape of the planet seems too ghastly to entertain. Why look further if it leads to such conclusions?
This is indeed a delicate matter and requires a certain presence of mind to look beyond knee-jerk reactions. The controlled demolition of the buildings in Manhattan on 9/11 does not dishonor the brave first responders, the innocent people who lost their lives that day or the hundreds of thousands that have died and suffered in the eighteen years since. In fact it may shed light on the possibility of a profound truth about humanity. Instead of a world where no-fly-zones and walls separate good from evil perhaps we live on a much different planet. A planet where the vast majority of its inhabitants are actually peace-loving and cooperative, but have been taught to be afraid and angry by the tiniest fraction of us who would benefit from such a climate of antimony and adversity. Is it possible that this has been the case all along? Was 9/11 actually a “glitch in the matrix” and not the proof of terror around the corner that we have been told? How many more years will pass before we are ready to acknowledge that we may have always been a peaceful people?
We may never absolutely know who was ultimately responsible and why they felt it necessary to not just damage the buildings but to dismember them and spread their remains over all of lower Manhattan while sacrificing and endangering thousands of innocent lives. At this time the only blame that can be justly placed is that upon the 9/11 Commission and NIST. Their explanation violates basic laws of physics and principles of engineering. Furthermore, by refusing to examine all possible explanations they have been grossly negligent in their task as scientists and as servants of the public. The next steps forward surely must include a diligent investigation of why NIST failed so spectacularly as an entrusted agent of public safety.