Sunday, August 06, 2006

Scholars for 9/11 Truth

The group "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" has just gotten considerable press via CNN's website, which attempts to portray them as serious scholars with genuine academic credentials.

But the list of their members shows a few that are well beyond the pale, such as:
Paul Andrew Mitchell (AM)
Federal witness; Criminal investigator; Private attorney general
This associate member is known for filing absurd lawsuits over copyright infringement for his work "The Federal Zone: Cracking the Code of Internal Revenue," which appears to be a crackpot tax evasion guide. He once named Primenet (my employer at the time) as defendant in one of these lawsuits, because we rebuffed his demand that we remove a link to a nonexistent document on the website of one of our users. Primenet was never properly served, and one of the other defendants got the entire case thrown out. Another website on Mitchell that includes the text of some of his lawsuit documents is You can see a page of one of his complaints that includes Primenet as a defendant here (line 50). This one is dated August 1, 2001--Primenet had ceased to exist as an independent entity in 1997.

Among the full members are
Jim Marrs (FM)
Author, Researcher, 9/11, JFK, more
Marrs is a well-known JFK conspiracy theorist whose book Crossfire was used as part of the basis for Oliver Stone's movie, JFK. One of his arguments for JFK conspiracy is a list of mysterious deaths, examined further here.
James H. Fetzer (FM)
Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, a former Marine Corps officer, author or editor of more than 20 books, and co-chair of S9/11T
Fetzer is another JFK assassination conspiracy theorist, who claims that the Zapruder film was fabricated by the conspiracy. (Some critiques are here and here.) Fetzer has complained about Wikipedia reverting his changes to pages about September 11. Fetzer also thinks the Apollo moon landings may be fake.
Robert M. Bowman (FM)
Former Director of the U.S. "Star Wars" Space Defense Program in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 101 combat missions
Bowman is also, according to Wikipedia, the "founder and Presiding Archbishop of the United Catholic Church, an "independent Catholic fellowship" created in 1996 and held to be connected through apostolic succession to the Old Catholic Church." He attempted to gain the Reform Party nomination for president in 2000, but it went to Pat Buchanan [not John Hagelin, this has been corrected]. (I wonder if he is the father of Robert M. Bowman, Jr., of the Watchman Fellowship, an evangelical Christian apologist who is critical of cults?)

On Bowman's political campaign website, he gives this resume:
Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret. is President of the Institute for Space and Security Studies, Executive Vice President of Millennium III Corporation, and retired Presiding Archbishop of the United Catholic Church. He flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam and directed all the “Star Wars” programs under Presidents Ford and Carter. He is the recipient of the Eisenhower Medal, the George F. Kennan Peace Prize, the President’s Medal of Veterans for Peace, the Society of Military Engineers' ROTC Award of Merit (twice), six Air Medals, and dozens of other awards and honors. His Ph.D. is in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering from Caltech. He chaired 8 major international conferences, and is one of the country’s foremost experts on National Security. Dr. Bob was an independent candidate for President of the US in 2000, beating Pat Buchanan in Iowa, Illinois, and California. He has resided on the Space Coast for 16 years.
"lechrus2" has commented on his findings about some of the claims on Bowman's resume, and others have pointed out similar problems in comments at DailyKos. Apparently Bowman claimed to have twice won the Society of Military Engineers Gold Medal, but the list of all such winners since 1926 does not list his name; the list now says "ROTC Award of Merit" instead of "Gold Medal." He claims to be a recipient of the Eisenhower Medal, but the list of recipients of the American Assembly's Eisenhower Medal does not include him. There is a Milton Eisenhower Medal for Distinguished Service to Johns Hopkins University, but I haven't found a list of recipients. He claims that he (secretly?) headed the "Star Wars" program during the Ford and Carter administrations, even though the program was initiated under Reagan in 1983. No one has yet been able to verify the existence of a "George F. Kennan Peace Prize." The Millennium III Corporation has a website with a front page and a bunch of bad links. The domain is registered to a John Gantt, 1623 33rd St., Washington, D.C. 20007, with a contact address and a phone number which is listed to David H. Barron at that same address. The address is missing a "NW," but is in Georgetown. (A David H. Barron was chairman of the Young Republicans from 1981-1983, but this David H. Barron appears to be involved with the World Wildlife Fund and/or the International Conservation Partnership.) If John Gantt is John B. Gantt, there are D.C. listings for him at two different addresses, one of which is an office building at 1919 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, and the other of which is an office building at 1401 H. St. NW. Anyone want to investigate Bowman's claimed military rank and Vietnam missions, his Caltech degree, or Millennium III?

The other co-chair of the group is Brigham Young University physicist, Steven Jones, who has argued that the World Trade Center building collapses must have involved controlled demolition. Former Scientific American columnist A.K. Dewdney is also a member; he has argued that it was impossible for cell phones to have been used from the hijacked planes, and therefore they must have been faked.

UPDATE August 8, 2006: Maddox addresses some 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Here's a detailed critique of "Loose Change."

Here's the Popular Mechanics article on 9/11 conspiracy theories.

UPDATE August 9, 2006: Correction to the above--Pat Buchanan was the Reform Party candidate, not former Natural Law Party candidate, physicist, and TM practitioner John Hagelin (though he also tried for the nomination).

UPDATE August 16, 2006: By way of comparison to Scholars for 9/11 Truth, here's a list of the individuals who consulted on the Popular Mechanics article referenced just above.

UPDATE August 19, 2006: Also check out the 9/11 Myths website.


Pat said...

Good post, I will link at Screw Loose Change. One correction: the Reform Party Candidate for President in 2000 was Pat Buchanan. Hagelin was the nominee of a rump faction of the party which walked out of the convention, but Buchanan got the matching funds and the spot on the ballot.

Scott said...

My favorite Steven Jones, BYU link is to the paper he wrote about Christ's visit to ancient America. He analyzes a bunch of Mayan ruins. Chairiots of the Gods, anyone...


Lippard said...

Pat: Thanks for the correction, I've updated the post.

Nathan: I didn't go into Jones' belief in the Mormon religion--I think anyone who examines it and still believes it has questionable critical thinking skills, but I was giving him the benefit of the doubt that it was an unexamined religious belief. Your citation shows otherwise. I've previously posted about the Mormon religion here and in my review of Richard Abanes' book, One Nation Under Gods, which is at and here.

Tempestuous: So anybody who doesn't buy a conspiracy nonsense is a "911goosestepper"? There's no point in a formal public debate with lunatics, but there is plenty of material online to refute them with, and some online forums where debates can occur with appropriate scientific and critical scrutiny (e.g., the JREF Forum).

Einzige said...

You're a god-damned goose stepper, Jim.


That's a good one.

Lippard said...

I deleted the comment from ewing2001 not to censor his content but because he's already posted exactly the same comment on this blog post. In other words, his latest comment is spam, which I won't tolerate here.

ewing2001: You're welcome to make substantive comments here, but please don't post any more advertisements for your website and petition. People can reach your blog by clicking on your name.

James B. said...

Good post. I did a couple of posts on Bowman on Screw Loose Change. He claimed the Srebrenica massacre never happened, and average wages are 1/3 what they were in the 1950s. I did a search of business databases for his companies (I am an MBA student so I have access to the really expensive ones) His Institute for Space Studies (I don't remember the exact name) consists of a total of one person Millenium III does not exist at all.

technician said...

This is a video I've been editing after thinking about what we have been doing 20 years ago to deserve the massive mind control we’re just witnessing.
It’s an attempt to link the new age gurus of the end of the 70s to the actual new world order lords.


Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia

“the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior.”

I know you guys want to stick to what you think you already know, and that you seek out information that creates an easy feeling of adherence to your preconceived beliefs about 911. We where sold a public myth, and that myth is so much easier than what these 911 Truth people are showing you.

But; ask yourself if the ease of sticking to the myth is what being a real American is really all about. Are we the land of the 'well it is so much more comfortable to believe a myth' or are we the 'land of the brave'?

The myth is: A boogie man did it. We have no evidence against him, but he did it. The buildings were destroyed by the terribleness of their hate toward us.

The truth is: Criminals did it. They blew up the buildings with explosives, which is the only scientific explanation.

These are two drastically different cognitions. No sane person can believe them both at the same time. Research Cognitive Dissonance and ask yourself if your resolving the mutually exclusive sets of information by seeking out info that tells you what you want to hear, or are you believing your own eyes?

Einzige said...

So our only choices are either "The Boogieman did it" or it was done with explosives?

We can't instead conclude that a group of islamic radicals hijacked planes and flew them into the buildings?

That choice is out?