Already amused and a bit disgusted that "Skeptical Inquirer" would devote an issue to attacking people skeptical of the official view of 9/11, I became a little more disgusted than amused that it spent four pages trying to goad on what it expects to be Peter Gersten's suicide. Gersten, an FOIA champ from way back who liberated UFO files, expects to leap into some kind of space-time portal during Winter Solstice in 2012 from Bell Rock in Sedona, AZ. Writer Robert Scheaffer mocks and makes fun of the 69 year old's rationale the bottom line of which is "in March 2012 I will reach 70 years of age...I think then it will then be time for me to move on."
Sheaffer doesn't concern himself with issues involving what Arthur Koestler called "self-delivery"--picking and choosing one's own time and place of expiration. Rather he reviews Gersten's colorful interpretation of coming celestial alignments, and in that "aren't I a good astronomer" style of SI, pretending that Gersten and his simpaticos are merely ignorant and confused by pseudo-science.
Apparently Gersten even engaged Scheffer a bit via blogs:
In the latest SI, however, Sheaffer does his best to embarrass Gersten with astronomical analytic superiority. Despite claiming that he hopes Gersten "acquires some common sense" before his leap, nothing of Sheaffer's tone suggests he's trying to talk sense to Gersten."...there's nothing more for any rational person to say," and if the reader gets worked up, he's "going to feel rather silly about it", the writer concludes. "At least I would." And it is, of course, all about him.
Gersten's Freedom of Information Act requests culminated in great research. Geresten was the lawyer for CAUS, Citizens Against UFO Secrecy. Scheaffer starts under-playing the value of Gersten's work, claiming that little in the files he uncovered "wasn't already known" and pointing out that the government also withheld much. This isn't a cover-up says Scheaffer because there were reasons -- the US didn't want Cuba to learn how it listened in on one of its pilots, for instance. Um, to paraphrase Noam Chomsky, there are always "reasons". Readers can only assume that if the government has a reason for withholding information about 9/11, Skeptical Inquirer would be wiggy with that. So what does that do to the premise of this entire issue?