Sunday, May 18, 2008

9-11 Taboo Review

I don't know that I will cover the whole film here, but since Genghis6199 asked for it, and since he has been polite in several emails with me, I am willing to look at his work. I know I will inevitably face criticism from the "responsible researchers" who generally act as if the No-Planers are somehow more insane than the "No-Planers at the Pentagon" or the "Controlled Demolition at the WTC" crowd. Sorry folks, but you're all rubber roomers to me.

Here's the link to the Genghis' page at Live Video; click on the video labeled 911taboo v1 [cut14b] part 1/3.

The good: Very high production values; Genghis clearly knows his way around video and audio editing. It's somewhere between 9-11 Press for Truth and 9-11 Mysteries in terms of actual production quality. I hated those films, but I am quite willing to say that they were (relatively) well-made.

The bad: The video is very much "inside baseball"; if you are not familiar with No-Planer theories and evidence this is not the place to start. It's somewhat like an Alan Moore comic book; those who are already in the know may find it terrific; those who are not will likely get lost and confused. The music is annoying in places, but then I'm an old fart who's not in the target demographic.

The evidence: Genghis does not present his evidence in a straightforward fashion, unlike, say, Loose Change, so you almost have to deduce the claims. In the early part of the film his point appears to be that among those who personally witnessed the attack (as compared to those watching TV or studio monitors), few described it as a plane; most discussed hearing an explosion, and a few compared it to a missile.

Of course, it is not hard to discover onlookers who described it as a plane; consider this video, where the call of a plane is immediate. Genghis seems to expect (this becomes clear near the end of this segment) that somebody would say "Oh my God, here comes another plane! And it's going to attack the other tower!"

I had to chuckle at the reporter who described "some kind of vehicle, an aircraft" being included in this section; does Genghis really think it's important that he said "vehicle"?

Next, Genghis goes into the "Let's overlay two pieces of video and show that the plane is in different places in different videos. Well, duh! You cannot overlay video from two different sources from different distances and different angles and adjust it so that background images are in the same place. It's not going to happen, and efforts to do so are just so much video masturbation. I can believe it's effective in terms of convincing people of funny business, but anybody with any experience in three-dimensional vector plotting and the effects of zoom lenses will recognize this as a buffoonish attempt to avoid doing the incredibly hard work of mapping the actual trajectory of the plane in three dimensions.

Indeed, this was my original thought about the no-planers; that they had actually mapped the flight trajectory out three-dimensionally and proved that it couldn't be there. That does not appear to be the case. After watching a few no-planer videos, it appears that their impossible plane is mostly an artifact of this type of overlay fascination. Look, this is elementary-level physics. If you video a building from one angle, and that same building from a different angle, any object in the background will appear to be in different places, even if you adjust the building size and overlay the images so the building looks reasonably the same. This is especially the case if any kind of zoom lens is used. Zoom lenses are neat and beautiful and they lie, beautifully. They give you a view that is not reality.

It is certainly true that at some camera angles the plane appears to be diving as it hits the building and in others it appears to come level at the building. It would be interesting to see some real analysis of this phenomenon. I have no doubt it is explainable in terms of the position of the observer. But there is no attempt at that here.

Genghis does show the clear imprint of a Boeing in the South Tower entrance hole with about 2:05 left in the first part of the video. I assume he thinks he's doing the opposite, since he points to the left wingtip and the vertical stablizer and engines, apparently to show that they created too little damage. It's close enough; despite the No-Planers claims to the contrary, I'm sure that parts of Flight 11 didn't make it into the North Tower and ditto for small bits of Flight 175 into the South Tower.

He says most of the live shots of Flight 175 have no plane sounds; I'll accept that as true. But some do, as does the one which he closes out this segment with (although it does not show the plane itself).

Overall, Genghis does a good job of selling some pretty bad theories. The difference between me and the "mainstream" "Truthers" is that I recognize that's no different from David Ray Griffin. I have not decided as to whether to tackle the rest of the film (the second segment features some fine investigative work by Jeff "Crazy Canuck" Hill). The film is very watchable, so it may be worth the time and effort.

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