Back in September we wrote about a 9/11 "Truther" that was offering $1,000 to anyone who could prove him wrong about one aspect of his conspiracy theory regarding the Sept. 11 attacks. The following video shows what happened when someone took him up on that challenge.
He made the following offer:
I off[er] you $1,000 cash for 30 minutes of your time if you can logically explain---without the use of controlled demolition---the 2.2 seconds of gravitational free fall of WTC 7 that the National Institute of Standards and Technologies admitted to have occurred. Nothing fancy required. No calculus, no complicated formulas, just 8th-grade science class Scientific Method with the basic understanding of Newton's Laws of Motion that we started seeing in After School Special cartoons when we were five years old.
It didn't take long for someone to take Benshoof up on his offer. That person: Paul Case.
Mr. Case is the founder of the Seattle Skeptics, formerly known as the Society for Sensible Explanations. He thinks Benshoof's conspiracy theory is full of holes and was eager to show his opponent just how much evidence was stacked against his wild theory.
To be sure, Mr. Benshoof and the entire Truther movement has been so thoroughly debunked that even entertaining Benshoof's offer seemed to be giving him more attention than he deserved. But given that he was putting $1,000 on the table and an opponent with such credentials as Mr. Case had stepped forward, it seemed worth a blog post at least.
As for the actual debate, the two parties got together at Seattle Weekly headquarters downtown on Nov. 6. Though originally scheduled to last 30 minutes, the discussion went on for an hour and only stopped because I finally had to demand they stop talking.
Benshoof is essentially a one-trick pony when it comes to his theory. He argues that because one of the buildings that was destroyed in the attacks collapsed briefly at free-fall speed that it must be because it was already primed with explosives.
Case's evidence is, well, more extensive than that.
Here's our video, masterfully edited by editorial super intern Aaron Gordon.
UPDATE: Not sure how I forgot to include this earlier, but no, Benshoof didn't hand over a dime. I'm not sure if he even had the $1,000 with him.