No Phone Calls on 9/11
a trick to separate 9/11 families from truth investigations
One of the most ridiculous claims pretending to be 9/11 truth is argument that the phone calls from the doomed 9/11 planes were faked by military psyops technicians. The complicated logistics that would be required to simulate the voices for any and all of the passengers and crew for four semi-randomly selected jetplanes defies calculation and is not believable as a component of a highly risky, extremely compartmented covert operation. It is a claim created by an aggressive promoter of the false Pentagon "no plane" meme, and probably was intended to offend the family members in order to ensure they would not cooperate with the "conspiracy theorists." Keeping that wedge in place prevents the administration's worst nightmare -- that the family members would link up with independent investigators who put together the pieces for official complicity.
The "no phone calls" also distracts from physical evidence and eyewitness testimony that Flight 93 was probably shot down over Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
from this website's review of Barrie Zwicker's Towers of Deception
A chart is provided that alleges that cell phone coverage would not have been possible from the hijacked planes. However, this chart does not show where this alleged data was generated (although it was in a different country than the events in question, which suggests its evidentiary value is worthless). Zwicker claims that
"Over countryside such as rural Pennsylvania, without cell phone transmitters, service is unavailable at any altitude."
This is an extraordinary claim that has no citations.
How does the author know there is not any cell phone coverage in the Flight 93 crash area? It crashed near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which probably has continuous cell-phone service despite the rural area (like most busy interstate highways in the United States).
The first footnote for this "Exhibit" (see p. 374) cites Jim Hoffman, whose website (911review.com) points out the "no cell phone calls" is a hoax.
The claim that the phone calls could not have been possible and therefore were faked by the military was an effective way to ensure that the 9/11 families and the truth movement would not be able to work together. This false claim is perhaps the most offensive of the myriad 9/11 hoaxes, since it is a sly way to accuse the families of the victims of lying when they say they talked with their relatives in their final moments.
"In a series of experiments ... in London, Ontario, Canada ..."
A cell phone call in Ontario cannot determine whether reception is possible in another country. A real experiment to verify the reality of the calls would have had to test cell-phone reception at the same locations and altitudes of the doomed planes. Otherwise, the claim of impossible phone calls is without merit.
"all aircraft from which calls were allegedly made were at verified altitudes of more than 25,000 feet. Under these conditions, the cell phone calls were physically impossible."
In reality, many of the calls are known to have been placed after the airplanes had already started to descend to lower altitudes. Even if the alleged cell phone experiments cited were accurate, the cell phone calls could easily have been made at the lower, actual altitudes.
"expert opinion within the wireless telecom industry is unequivocal."
No list of experts within the industry is provided to justify this assertion (the footnote does not provide documentation).
The profile of Kee Dewdney, the source for the "no phone calls" claims, states that "He has also ruled out Airfones as the source of the calls." However, there is not a scintilla of evidence provided for this, not even a link to Mr. Dewdney's website. Airfones definitely do work in commercial jet planes at cruising altitude (that's why passengers sometimes pay money to use them).
At the May 2004 International Citizens Inquiry in Toronto, he argued that the truth movement should develop theories and then work to find facts to fit them. A much better approach would be to triple-check pieces of evidence, and then see how the best documented facts fit together to determine the truth.
Dewdney's website "Physics911" is a key promoter of the "No Planes on 9/11" claims, stating that Flight 77 wings could not have broken off and folded into the alleged small hole at the Pentagon, and therefore Flight 77 could not have hit the building. (In reality, the wings shattered when they hit the outside and gouged a 90 plus foot wide hole on the ground floor. The lightest parts of the wingtips only scored the outside but did not create a hole in the heavily reinforced structure.
Dewdney's early 9/11 theorizing included a fanciful scenario of "plane substitution" theories that confused the issue of how remote control technology could have been used to hijack the four Boeings. It claimed that the four planes all landed at a single site with the passengers loaded onto a single plane, with substitute planes flown into the targets. This obviously convoluted (and wrong) scenario makes for entertaining science fiction for some readers, but it ensured that many others would be turned off to the possibility that the planes were electronically hijacked.
Dewdney's Physics911 website contains the science fiction story "Operation Pearl," which theorizes that the passengers on the four planes were all escorted onto Flight 93, perhaps in Harrisburg, PA, and then Flight 93 then was shot down while the other three planes were dumped into the Atlantic. The odds of this being true are about the same as winning the lottery, since this would have made it much less likely to keep the operation secret and compartmentalized to the minimum number of people possible. Physics911 states that they prefer to invent hypotheses and then see if there's evidence that fits their story (although there isn't actually any evidence to support "Operation Pearl"). However, it is more scientific to stick to the best evidence (which is triple checked) and then see what scenario could possibly fit the provable evidence.
Physics911 has attacked 9/11 Research's Jim Hoffman, a story detailed at Hoffman's site at http://911research.wtc7.net/re911/adhominem.html Physics911 falsely promoted the claim that Hoffman was claiming to be a medical doctor and was part of SPINE's advisory board. It took a long time for Physics911 to remove their false claims from their site despite numerous requests from Hoffman.
The Towers profile of Mr. Dewdney states that he is calling for a "scientific jihad," an inflammatory term that a good editor should have removed before publication.
Ron Wieck, also known as Pomeroo, kept digging at particular points in the 9-11 conspiracy nuts narrative. As I discussed a couple months ago, David Ray Griffin essentially endorsed the voice-morphing claims in his speech in Vancouver a few months ago, although of course he retained a fig leaf of deniability by using the locution that "The 9-11 Truth Movement, by getting empirical, discovered that voice-morphing...."
Indeed, this is such a crackpot claim that even Dylan a few months ago announced that he was dropping it from the Final Cut. Of course, it was the voice-morphing claims that made me see red about Loose Change in the first place; otherwise I would have laughed it off as a kookumentary.
Anyway, Ron contacted the inventor of the voice-morphing technology cited in Loose Change who says:
Purveyors of conspiracy theories have claimed that the events of 9/11 were the result of a massive government plot and cover-up. (See, for example, (www.loosechange911.com.) According to their version of events, there were no hijackers. Instead, the World Trade Center buildings were blown up by explosives planted inside the buildings rather than, or at least in addition to, the effects of the passenger airplanes crashing into them. They claim that the government (or the CIA or someone other than Osama bin Laden and the hijackers) was behind 9/11.
However, a major problem for their allegation, given that they claim there were no hijackers, is that the passengers on United Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania called home with desperate messages to loved ones, in which they said there were hijackers. Accordingly, the conspiracy theory purveyors have needed to claim that someone (namely, me) created the voices of the passengers in those phone calls. That allegation is plainly outrageous and demeaning to the memories of those courageous passengers.
I originally developed the technology of voice morphing, the technology by which it is possible to make someone seem to say something they did not say (see www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/dotmil/arkin020199.htm ) and coined the phrase. Therefore, I know what would have been required to create such bogus calls. Practical considerations preclude making counterfeit telephone calls in this situation. For example, it is necessary to have samples of the voices of the people to be imitated. In situations like this, where the goal is to participate in an unconstrained conversation, the voice sample must be extensive. I cannot imagine how I might have obtained extensive samples of the voices of the passengers on Flight 93, especially not knowing which of them would call home. Additionally, in this situation it would be necessary to know what someone would say to his or her loved ones under such circumstances. What pet names would be used? What references would be made to children and other loved ones? Do believers actually suppose that the government (or I) listens in to everyone’s pillow talk? In a separate essay, I will cover the technical aspects of voice morphing, which will further demonstrate the implausibility of the scenario set forth by the purveyors of conspiracy theories.
Whether such wild-eyed theories are worth being concerned about is problematic. However, in their own words, their conspiracy theory organization “has grown from a cult following to a grassroots organism that can no longer be contained” (op cit). I have received email from a high school social studies teacher who told me that her students actually believe that I did everything the purveyors of conspiracy theories say I did. Why they would so mistrust their government and be so naïve with regard to technical issues are interesting questions, albeit matters well beyond the scope of this essay.