The extreme unlikelihood of certain events happening by chance

The coincidence which has occurred here must have had its origin in an intention to produce it. It is utterly repugnant to sound reason to attribute this coincidence to any cause but design. (Benjamin Peirce)

Please review here for a simple example of probability as demonstrated by coin toss, and here for a more complex demonstration of the use of probability logic to show how certain events cannot possibly be coincidental.

This brief video clip, now called the “Naudet Film,” appeared first on September 11, 2001. It claimed to be evidence of a plane hitting the North Tower of the World Trade Center, even though no plane is seen. Like everyone that day, I was doe-eyed and ate it up. It did not occur to me to question its authenticity.

It does not take much critical examination to show that the Naudet film had to have been staged. It is high quality, focused, and the object of our attention is neatly framed by buildings on either side. Many things had to come together to produce such a film highlighting seventeen seconds of a major crime, to wit:

  • Jules Naudet had to be outdoors, and not indoors at the moment the event happened. (Almost all New Yorkers at any given time are indoors or in their cars or on public transportation.)
  • He had to be in a place that had a clear and unobstructed view of the Twin Towers. (Such views in the canyons of Manhattan are unusual.)
  • He had to be using high quality video equipment at that time.
  • His view had to be of the north side of the building that was hit, and not any of the other three sides.
  • Naudet had to be free of moving vehicles and pedestrians to be able to work without interference.
  • He had to be with people who had the legal power to block off the intersection.
  • His unobstructed view had to be of the north tower, and not the south, which presented three more viewshed possibilities for an errant aircraft that day.
  • A gas leak (officially listed now as a false report) had to be phoned into the New York Fire Department at the intersection that provided the view.
  • There had to be a compelling reason for Naudet to film an uninteresting event such as FDNY response to a gas leak.
  • His camera had to be positioned at a place in the large intersection where he could easily shift the camera view to pick up the event.
  • The video of the event is precise and the view centered and the object in focus. He had to be very lucky to make a quick maneuver and get such a result.
  • After hearing the noise of an aircraft or missile he quickly moved the camera to focus on the north tower, which does not seem the normal reaction to a loud noise. (Three firemen react to noise and look up, but we do not know if is to the noise we hear on the sound track, which can be easily manipulated.)

In sum total, there were too many coincidences. The event was staged, and Naudet was positioned with foreknowledge that there was going to be an explosion in the north tower.

Leslie Raphael has done far more work on this event, and I credit him with the content of the bullet points above. But he is far more thorough, and has in fact come up with a list of 69 happenstance circumstances that had to have been in place for Jules Naudet to enjoy his brief moment of fame. In going over the list, I don’t always comprehend his reasoning, and thought maybe one or two of the 69 coincidences were duplications, but if the list were only the twelve listed above, it is enough to conclude that the Naudet film was a staged event.

Again, if indeed this event was staged and done with foreknowledge, and it is utterly repugnant to sound reason to conclude otherwise, then what are the implications?

9 thoughts on “The extreme unlikelihood of certain events happening by chance

    1. Also, the firemen were not looking at the building, and yet say “Holy shit!” right at the time of “impact” and before the sound could have traveled that far.

      But there’s more, you’re right. If it comes to you at 3AM, please be sure to write it down here.


        1. “We have no idea what caused the explosion” to “another plane” indicates prior knowledge that the first explosion was going to be blamed on a plane. But there is no evidence that a plane hit the north tower, even now.


  1. It was the CIA. With a twist.

    Holcombe believes that Kennedy, who “requested UFO data from the CIA . . . had a great concern that UFOs could be mistaken by the US or the Soviet Union as a nuclear attack, and it is believed he discussed this issue with [Soviet leader Nikita] Khrushchev.”
    Holcombe cites a classified CIA communication from the Kennedy era that reads, in part, “when conditions become nonconductive for growth in our environment and Washington cannot be influenced any further . . . it should be ‘wet.’ ”
    Since “wet” was Soviet code for “assassination,” Holcombe thinks this could be CIA code for a plot to kill Kennedy. Why? He was considering telling the world that aliens existed, of course.


    1. There are levels of awareness … For instance, Rush, or Victoria Nuland … aggressive stupidity it is called. These people are so sure they are right that they refuse to consider the consequences of being wrong. They are dangerous. Rush has infected a whole generation of aggressively stupid men. (Yes, men.) Nuland is playing war games with very smart people who know how to play those games better than her.

      Below that is arrogant ignorance. People who don’t know what they don’t know and refuse to consider that they might need to know more stuff. This would be like Pogie or Talbot or James Conner. They are harmless and quite common.

      Below that is amiable ignorance. You seem like a nice guy and so it is hard to dislike you even as you put up clueless posts as the one above. I even get the feeling that you can have moments of insight now and then.


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