Michael Wolsey's Blog
Based upon 13 eyewitness accounts Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) asserts that no plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11. These witnesses testify that the flight path of American Airlines Flight 77 was slightly different than that of the official story and the testimony of many other witnesses. CIT sees this as proof, that in a massive slight of hand, the jet flew over the building while explosives were detonated. Ignoring the contradicting testimony and the massive amount of witnesses who actually saw the plane hit the building, let’s examine the many problems with basing a case solely on eyewitness testimony.
Want to hear about a mass case of faulty memory at an air show that directly correlates to the type of eyewitness testimony CIT has gathered? Even better, want to experience your own false memory? Grab a pen and paper and hit play!
“Eyewitness identification evidence is the leading cause of wrongful conviction in the United States. Of the more than 200 people exonerated by way of DNA evidence in the US, over 75% were wrongfully convicted on the basis of erroneous eyewitness identification evidence. In England, the Criminal Law Review Committee, writing in 1971, stated that cases of mistaken identification “constitute by far the greatest cause of actual or possible wrong convictions”. Yet despite substantial anecdotal and scientific support for the proposition that eyewitness testimony is often unreliable, it is held in high regard by jurors in criminal trials, even when ‘far outweighed by evidence of innocence.’ In the words of former US Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, there is “nothing more convincing [to a jury] than a live human being who takes the stand, points a finger at the defendant, and says ‘That’s the one!’” – Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyewitness_identification http://innocenceproject.org/understand/Eyewitness-Misidentification.php
Criminal Law Review Committee Eleventh Report, Cmnd 4991
Elizabeth Loftus, Eyewitness Evidence 9 (1979).
Watkins v. Souders, 449 U.S. 341, 352 (1982) (Brennan, J. dissenting).
The Problem with Eyewitness Testimony
a talk by
Barbara Tversky, Professor of Psychology
and George Fisher, Professor of Law
“Courts, lawyers and police officers are now aware of the ability of third parties to introduce false memories to witnesses. For this reason, lawyers closely question witnesses regarding the accuracy of their memories and about any possible “assistance” from others in the formation of their present memories.” – Sources: http://agora.stanford.edu/sjls/Issue%20One/fisher&tversky.htm
Debunking the Citizen Investigation Team Hoax
New paper at The Journal of 9/11 Studies by Prof. Graeme MacQueen
from Kevin Ryan
July 21, 2009
A new paper is available at The Journal of 9/11 Studies. This is from Professor Graeme MacQueen, and is called “Did the Earth Shake Before The South Tower Hit the Ground?” Here is the abstract:
“In the debate over the collapses of the Twin Towers on 9/11, the shaking of the earth that accompanied these collapses has played an important role. This shaking registered clearly on seismographs. Less clear, however, are its causes and the times it began. The National Institute of Standards and Technology emphasizes the role of the debris from the collapsing buildings in producing the seismic signals. In assessing NIST’s hypothesis I focus on the collapse of the South Tower and attempt to determine the time the collapse began, the time the debris from the Tower struck the ground, and the temporal relation of these events to the shaking of the earth that accompanied the collapse. I consider both the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory’s seismic evidence and the evidence provided by a less studied form of seismic instrument, the video camera. I also draw on witness testimony. I conclude that key statements by NIST are false. Major shaking of the earth, and corresponding seismic signals, started well before the debris hit the ground. In fact, it seems certain that the shaking of the earth started before visible signs of building collapse. This evidence is incompatible with the official NIST hypothesis of the cause of the collapse of the Towers.”
Thanks to Professor MacQueen for this interesting new work, and for his other great papers at the Journal.