Sunday, September 18, 2011
911, No-Planes, and the arse-about meaning of If it Looks Wrong it is Wrong
911 was three events - WTC, Pentagon, and Shanksville. WTC was two events each differentiated by time but otherwise both resembling each other. Shanksville was two mutually exclusive events differentiated by location, neither resembling the other.
Germane aspects taken at face value (loosely in order of timeline occurrence)
- Numerous and sundry witnesses and footage of wide-body jets striking buildings, exploding, and leaving plane shaped holes. Extensive media coverage.
- Numerous and sundry witnesses and footage and seismic evidence of explosions leading to the unprecedented and complete destruction of three buildings involving the pulverisation of steel-reinforced concrete and the melting of both steel and concrete. No media coverage.
- Numerous witnesses of a wide-body jet striking the Pentagon. Extensive media coverage.
- No footage. No plane shaped hole. Scant debris and that inconsistent with a 100 tonne wide-body jet. No media coverage.
Shanksville location A
- Numerous and sundry witnesses and footage of a small hole in a field. Extensive media coverage.
- No witnesses or footage of a crash. No debris. No bodies. No fuel residue. No media coverage.
Shanksville location B
- Numerous and sundry witnesses (no footage) of a low-flying wide-body jet breaking up in mid-air, an explosion and mushroom cloud, a white chase plane, and plentiful debris scattered over a wide area. No media coverage.
Questioning of official narrative (in loose order of argumentative usefulness, ha ha)
This began with Thierry Meyssan who not unreasonably asked where the 100 tonne wide-body 757 had gone. Where was the debris and litter that accompanies every jet crash ever witnessed? Why was the hole in the face of the Pentagon so small and the damage so slight? These were reasonable questions that would have to prompt any thinking person to wonder if the story of a wide-body jet inflicting such damage was factual.
There were pieces of evidence to support this idea. Flight 77 was the only flight of the four to have its course plotted as a dotted line on all maps reconstructing the courses of the four planes, this on account of it 'having disappeared from the radar'. Wide-body passenger jets, transponders turned off or no, do not disappear from radar. Usually if a given flight disappears from radar the automatic assumption would be that it is thus no longer in the sky. Furthermore the black box allegedly recovered from the plane indicated an attack angle that experienced pilots declared impossible. In addition to this the FBI confiscated all CCTV video footage of the attack and released nothing until three years later. The release consisted of two near-identical clips neither of which showed a plane of any sort.
Counter to Meyssan's question was the evidence offered by numerous witnesses some of whom saw nothing at all (and wondered at it) and some (almost entirely apparatchiks of the military industrial complex) who were adamant they'd seen precisely the plane the government had declared had been there.
It should be kept in mind that in spite of the fact that the government sat on the two clips for over a year, and in spite of obviousness of video fakery being in their best interest, it's clear that they either failed to insert any digital element into either of the clips, or they did so very badly, ie. in a fashion that it wouldn't convince anyone of anything.
Here too, no fakery was ever proffered. Admittedly it would've been a little bit more difficult than the photoshopping of a single frame of the Pentagon video, but not much. If I were a death cult FX guy, I'd have gone to a nearby recognisable shanksville location (after the event, sure enough), swung a simple handicam up to an empty sky as if following a streaking plane and followed the imaginary plane down to the horizon right next to the stated location. I'd then put the footage into the laptop, track in an off-the-shelf 3D model of a 757, quick textures, lighting, render with motion blur, and load to youtube. Fast, simple, cheap, 1 all-nighter = 2 days @ $500 a day (cash money), $1000 thanks very much. But as we all know, no such thing happened.
The events we saw in New York prompted many questions (mostly around buildings doing a vertical drop into their basements at free-fall speed) but in regards to planes, the first and most obvious question centred on how men who couldn't fly cessnas could successfully steer wide-body passenger jets travelling at over 700 km/h into targets 100m wide.
Extraordinarily, it turns out that the dual-Israeli financial comptroller of the Pentagon, one Dov Zakheim, who'd the day before 9/11 announced that 2.3 trillion dollars of the Pentagon's money had vanished, also happened to own a company, System Planning Corporation, that specialised in the remote control of aircraft. Further, the remote control of jet aircraft was not any kind of new science but had been perfected in the early 60's.
Given the technological advances that have taken place since then, with cruise missiles capable of following roads, turning at intersections, and hitting targets with a 5m accuracy, the guiding of a passenger jet into a 100m wide building becomes the simplest thing imaginable. Were confirmation needed, many examples of passenger planes being accurately remoted-control crashed into small targets can be found on youtube.
Regardless, many people were troubled by what they considered to be faults and errors in much of the footage of the planes that day. The first consisted of a discussion of pods. Does everyone remember that? Where is it now? Next up was talk of holograms. This too was abandoned, probably on account of the perfect stupidness of the whole idea. Finally we've arrived at a workable proposition to explain the undeniable fakery in the footage: there were no planes, or holograms, or any other thing in the sky at any time in New York and everything we saw on TV was digitally inserted, either in real time or as a post event. And all the eye-witnesses were either bullshit artists, à la the Pentagon, or mistaken.
Wait, let's rewind to the beg-the-question: ie. that the various youtube shots we all saw, displayed evidence of 'undeniable fakery'. I couldn't be fagged tearing apart all of them. I'll just do one and see if that doesn't say something about every other one. Have a look at this astounding example of obvious fake footage -
What a give-away! Such obvious fakery!
Groan. What happened to the assertion that the US military skunkworks magicians are capable of making holograms so perfect that they could be projected into clear blue sky and fool cameras, witnesses, everyone? Now they seem to be the very opposite of that. Now they seem incapable of doing something so simple that if it had been my job I'd have palmed it off to the work-experience boy and expected him to finish it before lunch. I can't tell you how basic this is as a CG shot. Something like this would qualify as tutorial 1, lesson 1, and the only way you could fuck it up is if someone hit you over the head with a pickaxe handle half way through. But somehow the vaunted US military did precisely that. Go figure. (Mind you, they do groove on violence. Perhaps they actually were beating each other with pickaxe handles and that's why it looks so bad?)
Enough of that, just go play that youtube thing again but this time don't look at the where the magician is pointing. Instead look at the top left hand side of the image. See the aerial / antenna thing at the top of the building? Watch it as the foreground leaves move backwards and forwards in front of it. And wait for the slo-mo. Wait for it! There did you see it? Holy shit! They've faked that too!
Yeah, right. Does everyone get it yet? You're looking at compression. Do we need me to explain that? Surely not. Let's just say nothing gets more compressed than youtube images. They get compressed to one step shy of complete incomprehensibility. Or beyond, as is the case here.
But the thing is, we don't even need compression. Every ad, every TV show, and every movie gets put into post because raw footage looks like shit. If I had a buck for every shot that had us remarking, 'Gee that looks weird doesn't it?' I'd have enough money to get that penis shortening surgery I so badly need. As is, I'll just have to struggle on I guess. Never mind.
The thing is, footage gets put into post precisely to clean this sort of shit up. Or to put it another way: to make it believable. And yet for the no-planers this raison d'etre paradigm is turned on its head. For them, all these artefact-laden shots are proof that they have been put into post, when the truth is, it's proof that they haven't.
How about this guy?
How's that for logic, eh?
- I can fake footage of a plane crashing into a building
- 9/11 has footage of a plane crashing into a building
- Therefore the 9/11 footage is fake
God help us. That's what Aristotle would have called a 'syllogistic fallacy'. Or to put it another way, 'crap'. It's proof of nothing beyond that silly boy's desire to show off.
But forget the little pictures. We'll be here all day otherwise. Let's gun for the big picture. This was best encapsulated by what I learned in University, year one, product design, age seventeen. The golden rule of rendering was If it looks wrong, it is wrong. And sure we were told this to stop us whinging that we didn't deserve the lecturer's criticisms because "technically it's correct". No one gave a shit. If it looked wrong, it was wrong. But forget us as spotty youths making silly arguments - it's not the output of this rule that counts, but the input. Which is to say, why did this rule exist? It existed because this sort of shit happens all the time. It's beyond common. Technically correct images can and do look wrong. All the way through college. All the way through prop and model-making. All the way through CG.
Inversely, I could take you through dozens of shots I've worked on, that would look completely normal to you but were in fact no such thing, each of them being so bent out of shape that they made no sense from any other angle. If I swung the camera around and showed you the side view you'd have been amazed at how abortionate it all looked. And the reason I had to cheat that thing was because when we did it the first time (correctly) it looked wrong. Do we get it?
In every discussion about 9/11 video fakery it's always the same - I dutifully follow the links to the examples cited and never have I found anything that impressed. All of it was the same old shit that I'd seen my entire working life and was, as far as I was concerned, the kind of thing you put into post in order to be fixed. To declare that these not-cleaned-up images were the result of fixing demonstrates an arse-about understanding of the logic of the whole process. Not to mention an eat-your-cake-and-have-it-too argument whereby the light-years-ahead, scifi-wunderkind Pentagon suddenly become hapless amateurs that couldn't organise a shitfight in a pigsty.
And this same inverse logic follows the no-plane argument from the micro to the macro. Back to me as post production supervisor: as supervisor it was my job to decide, for any given shot, what we do for real (in-camera) and what we do as CG. In-camera (no, not the latin meaning) is always preferable. It's cheaper, quicker, and the client couldn't endlessly fuck with it like he could with CG (which is to say, ruin our lives).
So! I'm in a production meeting and the brief says we need to put two planes into the twin towers and have them come down. Obviously you'd do that in post because it's not like we can use real planes and real buildings. Except, that we can. We have an unlimited budget! We can do any fucking thing we like! We're the Death Cult! Not only do we have no compunction about mass fatalities but as far as we're concerned, the more dead the better. We fucking love it.
But never mind that, just in terms of whether we go with CG or a real plane there's only one question. I turn to the RC guy -
"Can you guarantee that those planes will hit the building?"
"Mate, we've been doing it since the sixties. Have a look at these quicktimes. See that 707 nail that fucking camera? And that was in the sixties. And 707's are lumbering elephants compared to 757's and 767's. You've no idea. Think of cruise missiles. They can turn right at street corners, you know. And they're twenty years old. It's no problems, forget about it, accuracy under 5m."
Yeah, yeah, that's me being hyperbolical. Forget me. Why don't we just go to the only attempt by a no-planer to answer the question of why bother with CG when you could use real planes instead. ...impressed? No, me neither. Well, at least he tried. For comedic value why don't I paraphrase the four bullet points he gives as to why there's no way you'd use a real plane and would have to go with CG.
- what if it missed?
- what if it didn't go into the building?
- what if it missed and didn't go into the building?
- what if it missed and didn't go into the building?
And that's it is it? That's the best he could come up with as to why you'd reject forty year old technology in favour of some mad fucking idea no one has ever tried before? God spare me. It's a good thing there's no one asking the flip-side question: "So what happens when there's no planes and in the twenty minutes between the two strikes a bazillion people all grab their handicams and film a building that explodes for no apparent reason apart from air pressure? How's the FBI going to find all those fucking cameras and insert a plane in each of them?"
Back to the bullet points, it's this chap's opinion that the likelihood of the plane missing its target is unacceptably high. Cue the obvious question - Well is it or isn't it? So far it's just an assertion, something he just made up. Mind you he posts a little youtube clip to prove his point. Let's have a look at that. Blogger doesn't do animated gifs, so here's the key frame as a still. (You can see it moving at the above link).
Sure enough, it's the least accurate piece of footage of a 707 being crashed that he could find. In case anyone thinks that he might be onto something there, just think about what you're looking at. You're looking at a forty year old plane aiming at a 20m wide target and absolutely knocking the living shit out of it. It's easily accurate enough to nail a 100m wide skyscraper. And that's the best example of inaccuracy he's got is it? So much for what-if-it-missed. A pointy hat for that boy - go sit in the corner until you get some arguments that aren't crap.
And do we have to address the old 'what if it didn't go into the building' bit? I think the only sensible response to this is - What the fuck else is it going to do? Bounce off? Like a squash ball? Fuck that - you line up a 100 tonne jetliner travelling at 700 km/h and aim it at, hell... Ayer's Rock! and it's only going to do one thing and that's to pile-drive itself into oblivion. It'll have no hope at all.
As for 'no evidence of jet-liners' we all roll our eyes - it's just too desperate for words, isn't it?
Honestly, between a question that didn't need to be asked based on a shit reading of shit evidence, and a bullet-proof in-camera effect that perfectly fills the brief, what the fuck are we talking about this for? Not forgetting we're discussing a bunch of people who, when they really needed some fakery at the Pentagon and Shanksville, were utterly incapable of producing the goods. A single shot would have done it. But, nope! Not a sausage. And yet, somehow in New York, they knew where every camera was, took them, and inserted a CG plane into every bit of footage and no one said nothin' bout nothin'.
Man, I shake my head.
Now, go read this piece by Paul Craig Roberts. (Thank you Aangirfan) It's a helluva read, ain't it? Now ask yourself: what function does the no-planes meme serve within that discussion?
The answer isn't pretty is it?