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Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/11 truth groups question dust on NYC

You can call them non-believers. You could call them skeptics, or truth-seekers, even “truthers.” Just don’t call them conspiracy nuts.

In the 10 years since the Sept. 11 attacks, a large group of people have refused to accept the official explanation of the twin towers’ collapse. While some espouse some wild theories, most are focused on finding hard evidence and demanding a new and independent investigation of the attacks.

“There’s more that goes on than is reported in the media,” said Milford resident Jack Shimek, a member of Merrimack Valley 9/11 Truth. “There’s a lot of mysteries about what happened on 9/11. The government very reluctantly studied what happened.”

Shimek helps organize the Merrimack Valley Truth group, which meets once a month in Nashua and once in Concord. The group is also organizing a trip to New York City for the anniversary of the attacks to attend skeptic events and memorial ceremonies.

The group was formed to fill in a geographic gap in the state’s skeptics groups, taking over the central portion of the state between the 9/11 Truth Alliance based in Keene and a Seacoast Questions Group, Shimek said.

On Tuesday, about half a dozen doubters met at Balanced Health Center on Simon Street in Nashua to talk about new theories, discoveries and interesting articles published in the Truther world.

“We know that for some reason, the government is plugging the commission, and they’ve gone into two major wars on the conclusions of the commission,” Shimek said, referring to the 9/11 Commission. “The purpose of our group is to educate and help Americans restore their country to a path of truth and peace, essentially.”

A lot of the talk these days is about the contents of the dust the blanketed a huge portion of lower Manhattan when the towers collapsed, specifically iron microspheres.

Mark Basile, a Hollis resident and chemical engineer, has tested his own samples of World Trade Center dust. He said he’s seen for himself the iron microspheres, which means the steel in the towers completely melted, and also something called red/gray chips.

He tested those microscopic chips and confirmed other scientists’ findings that the red layer of those chips is thermitic.

Thermite is a chemical mixture of aluminum and iron-oxide that burns at extraordinarily high temperatures.

Further, the thermite isn’t traditional thermite, but rather a highly technical form that contains nano-aluminum and nano iron-oxide. Since jet fuel doesn’t burn hot enough to completely melt steel, the existence of thermite would explain how the buildings’ steel beams did melt, Basile said.

“It’s a very high-tech thermite that’s only produced in a very high-tech facility. It’s not these 19 guys that are blamed for all this,” Basile said.

Several truthers stress that they’re not interested in finger pointing. The fundamental goal, they say, is to find enough evidence to demand a new investigation. The 9/11 Commission report was seriously flawed and corrupt, they claim.

“This group just wants to examine facts,” said Gerhard Bedding, a former science teacher and coordinator of the Monadnock-area 9/11 Truth Alliance. “We do not point fingers. We feel you start with the science. You see what comes out of that, and then deal with the consequences.”

That doesn’t mean they don’t have theories. The evidence they have found, Basile and others said, while not conclusive, points in certain directions.

“My guess is that some large organization was involved,” Basile said. “I think (the thermite) was planted into the buildings and that it was part of what was involved in bringing the buildings down.”

“You can’t conclusively say that, but these are big, mysterious elements that point to intentional demolition with the thermite,” Shimek said.

The 9/11 Truth movement is not without expert supporters. Scientists for 9/11 Truth is run by chemistry and physics professors from Cambridge, Vanderbilt and Indiana universities.

Patriots for 9/11 Truth counts among its members retired military officers, intelligence officers and former New Hampshire Gov. Walter Peterson, according to its Web site, patriotsquestion911.com.

There are a number of other “truth” groups for media, lawyers, firefighters and politicians. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth includes more than 1,000 petition signers calling for a second investigation of the attacks, according to its Web site, www.ae911truth.org.

“A second investigation. What is wrong with that?” Bedding said. “This is the elephant in the room that’s got to be dealt with.”

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415, jcote@nashuatelegraph.com; also check out Joseph Cote (@Telegraph_JoeC) on Twitter.