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9/11 Reflections Part 2: Interview with Simon Shack of September CluesErsun Warncke Salem-News.com
Out of 2,970 9/11 victims listed, only 446 appear in the Social Security death index. Of those only 249 have a confirmed death certificate on file. Maybe Simon Shack is not as crazy as it would seem at first glance.
(EUGENE, ORE.) - Simon Shack is emphatic: “nobody died on September eleventh.” I am talking to him in Rome, via Skype. He has recently asked me if I believe that the moon landing was real, laughing derisively.
To put this in context, Simon Shack is not talking in general about any given September 11. 300,000 people around the world die every single day. Simon Shack is referring, in particular, to the media event known as 9/11. The World Trade Center. All of that. These 3,000 people, who died on television in the United States, occupy a sanctified position not enjoyed by the other 99% of the people who died on September 11, 2001.
They are the casus belli for the longest and most disastrous wars in the history of the United States. Simon Shack is convinced that these 3,000 odd people never existed.
Simon Shack will tell you that nobody actually died on television. There is almost no evidence of any fatalities whatsoever. Only a few bone fragments and rumors that thousands of bodies were “vaporized.”
Simon Shack believes, sincerely and based on serious evidence, that nobody died in the events known as the “9/11 terrorist attacks.” He believes that the entire event was a hoax propagated by means of the modern mass media. The evidence that Simon Shack has compiled to support this theory rests in a documentary film series “September Clues” and at the website septemberclues.info.
The September Clues series is a compilation of evidence of lies, deceit, the use of green screens, computer generated imagery (CGI), and fake video and audio in the live network broadcasts from September 11, 2001, and in supposed amateur recordings of the events of that day.
The proofs of fakery that Simon presents include: Strong evidence of the use of a CGI plane in the “live” Fox broadcast.
The “live” Fox broadcast has been replaced, in the “official archive” on the internet, with a re-edited fake version compiled from the broadcasts from other stations.
Strong evidence that NBC replaced their “live” shot of the second airplane hitting the tower with a CGI version of the same shot, which was shown on the evening news on September 11.
Irrefutable evidence that the evening news shot on NBC of the plane hitting the tower was accompanied by a fake studio soundtrack.
Irrefutable evidence that the fake soundtrack from the NBC nightly news contained audio samples identical to the ones found in two supposedly amateur videos of planes hitting the World Trade Center Tower.
Irrefutable evidence that background scenery - such as birds, helicopters, and bridges – were inserted into “live” broadcasts using CGI, and could not possibly be real.
It is on the strength of this kind of evidence that Simon Shack makes, what appear to be, some very outlandish claims about what actually occurred in New York on September 11.
The logic is: if the live broadcasts were faked, and the amateur videos were faked, and there is conclusive evidence of the same fake material being used in both the live broadcasts and the amateur videos, then there must be a single source that produced most, if not all, of the faked media material that purports to depict planes flying into the World Trade Center towers in New York.
How this was all accomplished is unknown. What Simon Shack presents is simply evidence of the video fakery. He is an investigator looking at the remnants of a crime scene that has not only been manipulated and disturbed, but in his opinion, faked entirely.
Simon’s thinking goes like this: if the video from September 11 was faked, then the only plausible reason to fake it would be to conceal the fact that no commercial airliners hit the WTC towers.
This reasoning jibes with numerous strong proofs that the destruction of the WTC buildings resulted from the use of pre-planted explosives and a controlled demolition. It also fits well with strong proofs that a commercial airliner did not hit the Pentagon.
If you break down these theories, it makes no sense that commercial airliners would hit the WTC, but not the Pentagon. It makes no sense that you would have both a controlled demolition at the WTC complex and commercial airliners hitting the buildings.
If a person was going to take down the WTC with a controlled demolition, they would not use hijacked commercial airliners as part of this plot. This would be redundant, and it would introduce unacceptable levels of risk, because if the hijackings failed there would be no viable explanation for why the buildings had collapsed. Thus, either there were no airplanes, or there was no controlled demolition.
Once you see September Clues, the evidence of airplanes looks very weak. The evidence for controlled demolition has always been strong, but it has been counterbalanced by the video of planes hitting the buildings, which renders the idea of controlled demolition nonsensical.
Over the past decade a great deal of attention has been paid to the events of September 11, 2001.
In the first part of this series, The Elephant and the Mosquito, I showed how political leaders and the media used the events of September 11 as part of a concerted propaganda plan to promote the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, along with an increase in the militarization of Asia and the Middle-East generally. This propaganda was based on the myths of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which the media bought and sold willingly and with full knowledge of their falsehood.
The purpose of The Elephant and the Mosquito was to show how the simple magic trick of misdirection works on the massive stage provided by modern mass media.
Simon Shack’s work goes a step further by showing just how easy it is to broadcast fake video and audio and pretend that it is real, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The brave new world of “news,” where the same company (News Corp) that produces films that convincingly depict the White House and Empire State Building being blown to bits by alien death rays (Independence Day) also produces your nightly news cast, is truly one where the phrase caveat emptor applies.
Talking with Simon, we discussed the fact that television is fundamentally a technology designed to mass produce illusions. The perfection of this technology of illusion to the point that entirely simulated realities can be created raises serious questions for a society that depends on media to maintain social order.
These are not new questions, but they are raised under new circumstances. False pretenses for war have been manufactured by politicians and generals since the beginning of recorded history.
The “Golf of Tonkin incident,” one of the pretexts for the Vietnam War, is a good recent example. The entire “Cold War,” in retrospect, appears to be primarily an adventure in lies, deception, paranoia, and propaganda.
What is different now is that the media stage has changed, society has changed, and the sophistication of the population has changed. It is no longer good enough for the President to go on TV and denounce the enemy. People have learned to treat politicians like used car salesmen and ask for the proof.
If a politician or a general wants to start a war under false pretenses today, just as politicians and generals have done for millennia, then they have to work with the toolkit that is available to them. The assassination of an unwanted official, and the production of an agent from the enemy camp who willingly confesses to the crime, simply will not cut it anymore.
To manufacture a pretext for war in the modern era you need to connect with the entire population, which means that you must use television, and you must create a televised spectacle with suitable dramatic impact to galvanize the public for the costs of war.
In the first Iraq war, the one in 1993, both politicians and the media engaged in hoaxes and frauds to sell that war to the public. Foremost amongst these was the lie about Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators and onto the floor of a Kuwaiti hospital’s maternity ward.
This lie was told by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. A fact conveniently overlooked by the media.
It goes without question that the President, intelligence agencies, and any congress person who cared would have known exactly who this girl was, and that her claims were an absurd fantasy. The media certainly should have known, and if they did not, it would be another case of the willfully ignorant bliss that seems to be so common with them.
Throwing babies out of incubators is some absurdly evil stuff, but some of the absurdities spun around the events of September 11 are equally audacious. Simon Shack draws attention to the story of the “missing persons” fliers in New York as a prime example of absurd manufactured propaganda. The story is that thousands of people put up tens of thousands of fliers in New York to try and locate lost love ones.
Simon’s response to this is that “people put up fliers when they lose a dog.” His point is that in a civilized society people call the police when they are missing family members. He concludes that the fliers in New York must be a hoax, simply because they are so absurd.
Watch Wag the Dog. The part where they throw old shoes on telephone lines. It might ring a bell. I asked Simon how he got into producing September Clues, a video series that clearly took an enormous amount of work and time to compile. He described sensing an “aura” in people, regarding the topic of the September 11 events. He observed that people felt that something was not right, and that “many expected that it was a hoax, but didn’t know how it was done.”
As a person with experience in video editing and production, Simon noticed some obvious problems in the September 11 broadcast footage, and began to systematically break it down and review it. Simon released the first version of September Clues on the internet in 2007.
Contrarian viewpoints on September 11 have found fertile ground on the internet. Simon dismisses much of the “9/11 Truth” material, particularly Loose Change and Alex Jones, as “candy for the conspiracy theorists.”
What is true about most of the “9/11 Truth” material is that while it criticizes the story told in the mainstream media on specific points, it largely serves to maintain the key myths of the mainstream story. The role of the September 11 events in creating fear that can be channeled into aggressive military action is unchanged.
Conspiracy theorists, whether on Fox News talking about Osama Bin Laden, or on Alex Jones’ radio show talking about the new world order, are doing the exact same thing. They are selling people the illusion of imaginary enemies, in order to make them afraid, and make them malleable by means of their fear.
Conspiracy theorist used to be a dirty word in American political discourse. At this point, faith in political and corporate institutions has collapsed to the point that people only argue over the relevant merits of various “brands” or “flavors” of popular conspiracy theories.
There is the one conspiracy theory about a few dozen Arabs, commanded from a cave in Afghanistan, who hijacked four planes on September 11.
Somebody else points out that the leader of these Arabs is a former CIA asset and that his family are major business partners with the Bush family who own shares in many leading American defense companies. At this point, absurdity has already fallen by the wayside, and any intellectual discourse enters the twilight zone. Conspiracy theories are excellent propaganda tools for stifling legitimate debate.
The mass repetition of absurdity in public discourse drives away honest participants and creates a grossly obese body of lies that must be dug through before any truth can be extracted from the mess.
Conspiracy theories are hardly the province of lone gunman nuts these days. The “Global Warming Hoax” conspiracy theory has been funded and propagated by Exxon and other major oil companies for decades. Fox News has been more than happy to report on conspiracy theories about a “socialist,” “Marxist,” “fascist” takeover of America by “Obama.” The conspiracy theory about “death panels” as a part of Federal health care reform got plenty of traction.
When the producers of mass media abandon the idea that there is a true objective reality, that it is their duty to report on, then their product becomes worthless. At that point, you are reduced to selling lies, and your dubious accomplishments are measured only by the money you have made and the audacity of the lies you have sold.
In the industry of professional liars, actors, stage magicians, petty hustlers, and con artists the product is a lie, and the profit is in selling an illusion. Honor and dignity must be checked at the door. It is by no accident that the Romans ranked actors as the social equals of prostitutes. One sells their body, the other sells their soul. The two things are not so different.
Every news program is a theatrical production, staged, scripted, and delivered by professional actors. The actors who perform in these productions are no different than the actors who perform in a Hollywood movie. They are even employed by the same companies. Should it come as a surprise that they rely on the same special effects techniques to create their props?
If the companies, such as Cantor Fitzgerald and Morgan Stanley, that lost so many employees on September 11, should happen to be involved in massive financial frauds involving hundreds of billions of dollars, should that come as any surprise?
Is it any surprise that all of the stock market frauds, bubbles, and collapses have been happily cheered on by the entirety of the mass media? And if those media companies happen to be owned by the same banks and industrial conglomerates that profit from this activity, who should be surprised?
Is it any surprise that nobody in the media bothered to report on the lies about Bin Laden, the Taliban, and Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? Is it any surprise that they blithely repeat every manor of proven lie and falsehood about Iran?
The media is full of lies. That is easy to point out. But what is the truth? How could Simon Shack prove that people who never existed didn’t really die? You can’t prove a negative.
Simon Shack’s challenge is simple: “show me real proof that somebody died in the WTC towers on September 11.”
Simon boldly declares that “nobody died on September 11” because he wants to be challenged. He actually wants to get to truth. He is hoping to stimulate a reaction that will result in the revelation of new facts that will flesh out the details of a real history of our modern era that will stand in contrast to the fake history created by the Platonic mythmakers in politics and the media.
So far, Simon Shack’s call has gone unheeded. September Clues has been seen by a million people or more, but it languishes in obscurity by contrast to the “candy for conspiracy theorists” such as Loose Change, and Alex Jones. So, what about the official victims?
I did an exhaustive check of the list of victims provided on the CNN website. What I found is that out of 2,970 people listed, only 446 appear in the Social Security death index. Of those only 249 have a confirmed death certificate on file. Of those, not a single one has a valid “last address of record” on file. That is a lot of clerical error, or maybe Simon Shack is not as crazy as it would seem at first glance.
Part one in this special series:
Salem-News.com Business/Economy Reporter Ersun Warncke is a native Oregonian. He has a degree in Economics from Portland State University and studied Law at University of Oregon. At a young age, his career spans a wide variety of fields, from fast food, to union labor, to computer programming. He has published works concerning economics, business, government, and media on blogs for several years. He currently works as an independent software designer specializing in web based applications, open source software, and peer-to-peer (P2P) applications.
Ersun describes his writing as being "in the language of the boardroom from the perspective of the shop floor." He adds that "he has no education in journalism other than reading Hunter S. Thompson." But along with life comes the real experience that indeed creates quality writers. Right now, every detail that can help the general public get ahead in life financially, is of paramount importance.
You can write to Ersun at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles for September 12, 2010 | Articles for September 13, 2010
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