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Hoax-Promoting Videos

Of all the media used to disseminate misinformation and disinformation videos are perhaps the most effective. Whereas websites with disinformation can be critiqued by other websites which are easily located using the Web's search capabilities, a video is unlikely to occupy a shelf with another video critiquing it. This page reviews three of the '9/11 videos' that have received some of the most extensive promotion.

The description of videos listed here as "hoax-promoting" asserts that they promote ideas which function as hoaxes, not necessarily that the creators of these documentaries knowingly make false or misleading claims. Hoaxes are designed to fool people, and a well-crafted hoax can motivate sincere dedicated people to promote it.

Of the four reviewed videos, Loose Change shows a willingness by its creators to reject hoax claims, the film's third edition having far fewer errors than its earlier editions.

In Plane Site

Following the first 9/11 International Inquiry in San Francisco in 2004, a new video packaged as a sensational exposť of evidence that the 9/11 attack was an inside job burst on the scene. In Plane Site, a production of The Power Hour, features Dave Von Kleist sitting in front of a wall of computer monitors and pretending to expose shocking anomalies in footage from the day of the attack. The vast majority of Von Kleist's claims are nonsensical, debunked in the Parade of Errors section.

Von Kleist's video functions to marginalize the case that the attack was an inside job by associating that idea with sensationalism and lack of critical thinking. The video got top billing in the Popular Mechanics attack piece, which used several of its ill-founded claims to smear the entire 9/11 Truth community.

e x c e r p t
title: In Plane Site
authors: Mark Robinowitz

"In Plane Site"

a film pretending to expose 9/11 that is mostly disinformation (mixed with plagiarism)

a Karl Rove style dirty trick that takes a real conclusion (9/11 was an inside job) and uses phony evidence (pods, dust clouds, flashes, no planes, no windows and other hoaxes)

a few parts of the film are true, but that also discredits by association

The photo on the cover of "Plane Site" uses the exact same photo of a 757 that was posted in early May 2004 to the "911 Truth Alliance" email list by a member who was debunking the "missile pod" claim, showing that it is just the normal "fairing" between the wings and fuselage. Is it a coincidence that the film uses the exact same photo, or is it just a bad joke hidden "in plain sight?"

Some people in the 9/11 truth community have promoted In Plane Site even while acknowledging that promotes false claims, saying that it's beneficial because it "brings people into the movement". It's certainly true that IPS motivates some people to get involved. However, the claim that the video is beneficial to the movement overlooks three facts:

  • Many people are turned away by seeing a video such as IPS, especially people whose rational sensibilities are offended by the video's patently ludicrous claims and sensationalism.
  • As a tool for motivating involvement, IPS selects for people who tend to undervalue critical thinking skills and scientific evaluation of evidence. Such people will tend to promote IPS and other flawed materials, playing into the stereotype of 9/11 conspiracists as lunatics.
  • IPS is, by itself, a powerful tool for smearing the movement, as the Popular Mechanics piece illustrates. Any promotion reinforces the case of the movement's detractors.

One of the movement's greatest assets is a physics professor at Brigham Young University, Steven Jones, who persuasively articulates the case for the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers and Building 7 in a scientific paper. Because of Jones' credentials, he addresses the criticism that the demolition thesis lacks the support of experts. In a slide presentation Jones has shown to scores of academics, he states:

Watching the "In Plane Site" video turned me (and many others) away from 9-11 "theories" initially -- until I found serious researchers, scientists looking at hard evidences, and avoiding tenuous speculations.

Loose Change

In 2005, almost a year after In Plane Site was released, a second video began to be promoted on websites such as TvNewsLIES.org : Loose Change, a video whose first edition included most of the same hoaxes as In Plane Site, but in a different style. If the Von Kleist video, brought to you by the right-wing PowerHour, was designed for one demographic, then, perhaps Loose Change First Edition, from a trio of twenty-somethings, was crafted for another.

The cover of the first edition of Loose Change contains the following text:

What if:
The Twin Towers were not hit by commercial airliners?
The World Trade Center was brought down in a controlled demolition?
The Pentagon was not hit by a 757?
Flight 93 was shot down?
What if?

This promotion of the video is suggestive of a classic method of disinformation: sandwiching valid claims between nonsensical ones.

s u m m a r y
title: 'Loose Change' An analysis
authors: Michael B. Green
In this essay, Michael B. Green, Ph.D., dissects the claims of Loose Change that missile strikes preceded the crashes of the planes into the Towers, that the planes were not commercial jetliners, and that the crash of a jetliner into the Pentagon was faked. Green draws parallels between Loose Change and In Plane Site, and shows how they function to discredit challenges to the official story.

Loose Change was the first edition of a three-edition series, whose later editions showed tremendous progress in weeding out easily-debunked material. Given the success of hoax campaigns in stigmitizing the 9/11 Truth Movement, the no-jetliners theories are, it is entirely plausible that Loose Change, first edition, represents a well-intentioned but undiscerning effort to expose the 9/11 coverup.

It is less likely that some of the people who agressively promoted early editions of Loose Change have only the best intentions. Articles in the Village Voice and San Francisco Chronicle pull out the stops to promote Loose Change, apparently as a way of eclipsing more credible work exposing the attack as an inside job.

Because Loose Change endorses the vacuous no-jetliner theories, it invites attack for its insensitivity to the victims.

e x c e r p t
title: Season of the Wolf
authors: Christopher Dickey
“Loose Change” doesn’t present a plausible case for conspiracy, only a collection of innuendoes. And when those insidious suggestions are strung together, they imply that nobody actually died in the planes that hit the Pentagon or plunged into a field in Pennsylvania, and maybe not even in the planes that hit the trade-center towers. Somehow, those passengers were all part of a conspiracy, too. No wonder the film ends with an apologia offering insipid sympathy (and, incredibly, a free DVD of the movie) to the families of those who were killed. And no wonder many of those families are bitter about the filmmakers’ trivialization of their and the nation’s tragedy.

To the contrary, Loose Change does provide sufficient evidence to undermine the official conspiracy theory that the attack was the work of 19 suicide hijackers. However, it includes so many red herrings and transparently flawed arguments that it is unlikely to persuade a great many people of its conclusions beyond the audience already inclined to accept them. Because Loose Change, Second Edition is a mixture of true, false, and unverifiable claims, it suggests an exercise: read the film's transcript and guess which claims are valid.

s u m m a r y
title: Sifting Through Loose Change
authors: 911Research
This interactive review contains the entire transcript of LOOSE CHANGE 2ND EDITION. The transcript is broken into points, and illustrated with graphics from the film. Each point is ranked using a coin or slug, and commented on.

The makers of Loose Change have finished the third edition of their film, Final Cut. The Second Edition was significantly different than the first, but Final Cut is an even more significant departure still. Although it has far fewer errors than Second Edtion, it has received far less publicity.

9/11 Eyewitness

The DVD 9/11 Eyewitness was rolled out in 2005 with its own website, 911eyewitness.com. The DVD features footage by Richard Siegel, who set up his camera across the Hudson and captured most of the attack -- including the collapse of Building 7, of which Siegel admits he was warned. Instead of letting the footage speak for itself, or providing a credible analysis of the events, 9/11 Eyewitness wraps the idea that the Towers were demolished in a series of absurd claims. The DVD:

  • Tracks helicopters circling the Towers, and repeatedly labels one with the caption "mission accomplished".
  • Asserts that the destruction of the buildings was a "nuclear attack".
  • Claims that numerous explosions preceded the collapses of the Towers by more than a minute in each case -- explosions that Siegel's microphone alone captured.
  • Makes a series of transparently fallacious claims about the seismic, acoustic, and visual records of the events in the format of a 'science lesson'.

The review Rick Siegel's 9/11 Eyewitness: Sensationalism and Pseudo Science provides a rundown of the film's contents and evaluates its claims.

PentaCon

This film, whose first installment was released in February, 2007, resurrects Dick Eastman's Pentagon flyover theory. Whereas PentaCon focuses on interviews with a few eyewitnesses who place the jetliner's path north of the Citgo station immediately west of the Pentagon, they have had little to say about the alleged flyover itself.

e x c e r p t
title: A Critical Review of 'The PentaCon - Smoking Gun Version'
authors: Arabesque

A Critical Review of ‘The PentaCon - Smoking Gun Version’

Pentagon Flyover or “Left/Right” Straw-man Argument?

By Arabesque Updated: 28/05/07 with revisions.

Abstract:

The purpose of this review is to examine the claims made in the film the PentaCon.The eyewitness statements in the PentaCon will be examined and compared with other testimony based on my original research.Although this analysis is primarily an examination of the eyewitness statements in the film, some issues pertaining to the physical evidence will also be briefly examined. It will be shown that although the eyewitness statements in the PentaCon are largely corroborated by other testimony, the conclusions of the PentaCon are not supported by their own—or any other credible eyewitness testimony.

The PentaCon – Smoking Gun Version

The film begins with two scenarios and accompanying visuals

1. The PentaCon Hypothesis

A commercial plane approaches the Pentagon from NORTH of the CITGO gas station on 9/11, and then flies over it .

2. The ‘Official Story’

A commercial plane approaches from SOUTH of the CITGO gas station on 9/11, knocks over light poles, hits a generator, and crashes into the bottom floors of the Pentagon.

The first scenario would imply that the Pentagon attack was staged; lamp pole damage was faked, damage to the generator was faked, explosives were used to fake the hole damage (speculation by the PentaCon), the plane flew over the Pentagon, and that plane debris was planted. All of these claims will be examined.

The PentaCon claims that four eyewitness statements are “smoking gun proof” that the entire official story is a “farce.

The Flight 77 NSTB report study by Pilots for 9/11 Truth is briefly mentioned and deserves separate study by 9/11 researchers. [3]

The film tries to make the case that four eyewitness statements are enough evidence to counter all other physical evidence (and implicitly, all other contradictory eyewitness statements). [4] One of the main defects of the PentaCon is that it only considers four eyewitness statements—ignoring a very large body of eyewitness statements and previous research into the testimony.

Why is this significant? "Citing only evidence that is favorable to one side as if no contrary evidence exists is known as SPECIAL PLEADING." [5]


page last modified: 2010-05-08
Copyright 2004 - 2011,911Review.com / revision 1.08 site last modified: 12/21/2012
The back cover of Loose Change features the no-jetliners theory that is also the centerpiece of In Plane Site.
911Eyewitness.com, like the 9/11 Eyewitness DVD, shows impressive production values and professional-quality branding, exemplified by its logo.
9/11 Eyewitness labels alleged explosions preceding the collapses with words like "Massive" and "Bedrock". This frame claims that a "Massive" explosion occurred 17 seconds before the beginning of the North Tower's collapse.
The Pentagon makes a feeble case for the easily debunked 'flyover theory' of the Pentagon attack.