10 Insane Eerily Convincing things 9/11 Truthers Believe
Strange and fascinating conspiracy theories tend to come around after virtually every major incident in history, and sometimes those theories seem quite convincing. Conspiracy theories regarding the assassination of John F. Kennedy have proven popular in mainstream media. However, other theories seem rather ridiculous, and most people dismiss them almost immediately. Does anybody really believe aliens landed at Roswell?The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were a watershed moment for many Americans and a wake-up call that made millions of citizens question their own safety on American soil. Since 9/11 occurred in the middle of the digital revolution, conspiracy theorists have had an incredible forum on which to proclaim their ideas. The internet is full of alternate theories as to why the Twin Towers came tumbling down.No one has yet been able to show absolute proof regarding the conspiracy theories and suspected series of events that rocked the nation on 9/11. However, some of those theories are so convincing that they almost seem probable rather than fanciful.Here are 10 strange but oddly convincing theories believed by 9/11 Truthers.
10. The Building 7 Collapse Was Impossible Given Its Damage
After the Twin Towers fell to the earth early in the day on September 11th, Building 7 of the World Trade Center also fell around 5 PM. A variety of questions has been raised because Building 7 wasn’t catastrophically damaged in the attacks and fell anyway. Some of the inconsistencies raised by 9/11 Truthers have included the fact that the collapse of Building 7 wasn’t mentioned in the official 9/11 Commission Report. It took seven years for an investigation and report to be published by the federal government. Truthers have suggested that Building 7 was brought down on purpose and was an independent explosive event from the other building collapses that day.
An organization calling themselves the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth lent credence to the theory with over 1,700 signatures on a petition from various professionals that requested a new investigation be launched that included an inquiry as to whether explosives were used to bring the tower down. Further, on the day of the attacks, a variety of emergency personnel reportedly suggested demolishing the building. The building’s owner was even said to be open to its destruction because of perceived dangers associated with allowing the building to stand.
However, some of the most damaging evidence is irrefutable and truly can’t be explained. Virtually every news outlet on the planet was covering the events of 9/11 as they happened, and footage wouldn’t stop for several days after the attack. However, one report would stand out more than most for its strangeness. The BBC reported the collapse of Building 7 a full 20 minutes before it actually fell.
9. Interception of the Aircraft by Military Response was Suspiciously Inadequate
By the time the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, there had already been an attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 when a bomb went off, killed six people, and injured more than 1,000. The government had been preparing for additional terrorist attacks for years, but none of the airplanes that were hijacked on 9/11 was intercepted by America’s military. Several conspiracy theories have contributed to the idea that failure to intercept the flights was the result of the government’s cooperation with the attacks.
Strangely, it wasn’t just a single suspicious failure on the part of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), but a series of failures that contributed to the total lack of appropriate response to the hijackings, as well as the prevention of any of the resulting tragedies. Problems included NORAD’s assertion that the FAA didn’t report the hijackings in time and that jets weren’t launched in a timely fashion even after the notification occurred. Additionally, the fighter jets that were launched would have had time to intercept, but they weren’t flying at top speed.
After the passenger jets hit the Twin Towers in Manhattan, the fighter jets that had been deployed to intercept them weren’t redeployed to protect the capital even though they had plenty of time to reach Washington before a plane slammed into the Pentagon. Interestingly, the communications to and from NORAD during the attacks were recorded on standard reel-to-reel tape recorders. The 9/11 Commission subpoenaed the recordings after the attacks, and the first signal that something was wrong apparently came at 8:37 in the morning when air traffic control out of Boston called NORAD to report a possible hijacked plane.
8. The Pentagon was Attacked at a Recently Renovated Area
In addition to the plethora of theories surrounding the collapse of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon has also been a common target for 9/11 Truthers. One of the most significant parts of the attack on the Pentagon was the fact that the plane hit a small section of the Pentagon that had just undergone renovation. Around 4,500 people would have been at their desks or in the vicinity at the time of the attack under normal circumstances. However, there were less than 1,000 people there on September 11, 2001.
At the time of the attacks, officials at the Pentagon hailed the location of the attack as fortunate and the result of safety measures that were in place prior to the attacks. According to an article published by the L.A. Times shortly after the attacks, Washington insiders have been well-aware of the building’s deficiencies. The renovations had been part of a billion-dollar project to upgrade the building to modern safety standards. In addition to saying the renovations meant the Pentagon experienced a lower-than-expected casualty number as a result of the plane’s impact, officials also said the newly renovated section was sturdier than the old wings. Features like steel columns and bars built to withstand blasts meant that the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
9/11 Truthers have turned this good news into a conspiracy by suggesting the government was responsible for attacking its own building and did so by flying the plane into an area that wouldn’t damage the Pentagon too severely. The approach by the airplane was also suspicious and seemingly designed to result in the least amount of damage possible. Instead of flying the plane in a spiral onto the roof of the building, the hijackers leveled the plane out before impacting the Pentagon in a horizontal fashion.
7. A Military Plane Hit the Twin Towers, Not a Passenger Jet
One rather frightening claim is based upon video evidence that Truthers suggest reveal the second plane that hit the Twin Towers wasn’t a commercial airliner but a military plane. Various compilation videos exist that feature people who were in Manhattan at the time of the attacks exclaiming that the second plane didn’t look like a passenger jet. People interviewed shortly after the attacks reported that the plane looked gray and didn’t have any markings like a regular commercial jet. Some witnesses said the plane didn’t have any windows and others said it looked like a military or fighter jet.
The reason so many videos exist of the second impact is because people were already prepared with their cameras to film any further events that occurred after the first passenger jet hit. With the plethora of video evidence recorded of the event, 9/11 Truthers have been able to examine an extraordinary amount of evidence regarding the crash.
Some conspiracy theorists have postulated that planes weren’t actually used at all to hit the Twin Towers, and that holograms and digital tomfoolery were used to convince the public that the World Trade Center had been hit by hijacked aircraft. Expecting the entirety of the mainstream media and all of the videos taken by civilians and local New Yorkers on the day of the attacks to have been digitally altered is quite a stretch. Some web sites featuring 9/11 conspiracy theories have actually banned people from posting no-planes theories because of the assumption that the lunatic nature of such theories actually reduces the legitimacy of theories that have more evidence, such as the suggestion that a military plane hit the Twin Towers.
6. The Supposed Hijackers Were Terrible Pilots
It was only a few days after the events of 9/11 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a press release of the names of the hijackers. However, 9/11 Truthers question the aviation ability of the hijackers in flying each plane into such specific targets. In fact, interviews given by people in charge of the flight schools where the suspected hijackers took flight lessons said that some of the men blamed for the attacks didn’t have the skills to fly planes with such precision. For example, the manager of a flight school in Phoenix, Arizona told interviewers she doubted one of the hijackers actually had a commercial flight license.
The manager had actually contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2001 prior to the attacks on 9/11 to reveal her concerns over her poorly performing student. Unfortunately, an FAA official declined to take any action such as putting a red flag on the hijacker’s name. That student, a man named Hami Hamjour, was later named by the government as the pilot of the jet that plowed into the Pentagon. With its complex flight controls, the pilot of that flight would have needed incredible aviation skills, which Hamjour never showed during his training.
Truthers believe that it’s doubtful Hamjour would have been able to perform such advanced maneuvers on 9/11. In addition, other members of the hijack teams also performed badly in flight school. Two of the hijackers who trained at a flight school in San Diego only completed two lessons before the instructor said they were so bad that he thought they should quit. Although the suspected ringleader, Muhammad Atta, had many hours of lessons at a school in Florida, he was one of the only capable pilots of the entire group of suspected hijackers. Truthers want to know who was actually in control of the planes if the hijackers couldn’t fly the planes.
5. The Doomed Planes had Suspiciously Low Passenger Numbers
Each hijacked flight in the 9/11 attacks was flying at far less than full capacity on the day of the attacks. Truthers believe that the planes were kept intentionally low on passengers so that the hijackers would have an easier time gaining control of the planes for their suicide missions. That means that people at the airlines would need to be working in cooperation with the hijackers and their terrorist networks in Afghanistan. The airline industry refers to its passenger levels as the load factor, and the load factors for every flight involved in the 9/11 hijackings was below the industry average.
Some of the arguments against this theory suggest that Tuesday was usually a light day for passenger travel anyway, so the planes would have a good chance of having many empty seats. In addition, some critics suggested the airlines had already been experiencing a gradual loss of passenger levels, so the low passenger loads weren’t too unusual. The report published by the 9/11 Commission even commented on the passenger levels by revealing that it interviewed the group of passengers who had tickets for the flights but didn’t show up to fly that fateful day. In addition, the Commission found no evidence that the hijackers purchased extra tickets to make sure the flights were empty.
However, this assertion actually gives the theory credence that the airlines – or people working for the airlines – were complicit in the 9/11 attacks. If the hijackers weren’t responsible for the low passenger loads, and they were unusually low when compared with similar flights, an unknown conspirator had to be at work manipulating the number of passengers allowed on each flight.
4. The Pentagon Attack was Full of Holes… But Not the Right Kind of Holes
Truthers believe the section of the Pentagon where American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon was far too small for a plane the size of a Boeing 757. The hole made in the exterior ring of the Pentagon was around 75 feet wide, but the plane that supposedly created the hole was 124 feet from wingtip to wingtip. Further, the hole created in an interior ring was just 12 feet wide, which is scarcely wide enough for anything on an airplane.
In addition, Truthers wonder why a plane was allowed to strike the Pentagon a full 80 minutes after the initial attack on the World Trade Center. In anticipation of possible terrorist attacks, the government had already practiced a variety of war games that included each of the attacks that were perpetrated on 9/11. With Andrews Air Force Base a short 10 miles away from the Pentagon, how could a rogue plane enter the vicinity of the Pentagon and not come under fire from Air National Guard units tasked with protecting those skies?
According to a write-up in Popular Mechanics, the official explanation for the holes made in the Pentagon was that one wing was sheared off by the ground before it impacted the Pentagon and the other was sheared off as the plane hit the Pentagon. The remaining portion of the plane that sliced through the Pentagon was at an incredible temperature and created a hole appropriate for the fuselage without the wings. Additionally, experts said the tiny hole made in the interior ring was made by the plane’s landing gear rather than a more substantial part of the plane.
3. Doomed Passengers on Flight 93 Made Phone Calls… But How?
Some 9/11 Truthers have questioned how the passengers of doomed United Airlines Flight 93 were able to make cell phone calls from the plane when cell phones at the time normally wouldn’t operate at cruising altitudes six miles above the earth. Today, we take connectivity for granted, and many passengers sit on the internet for their entire flight because of in-flight Wi-Fi connections. An FAA statement shortly after the attacks revealed Flight 93 never flew below 29,000 feet until it was brought down swiftly in its final descent into the ground in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania.
That high altitude means some of the dozen cell phone calls that were successfully made before the plane crash were virtually impossible or extremely lucky. At the time, the seatbacks in many airplanes had phones that passengers could use, and some debunkers have suggested that the people on the flight were using those phones to make their calls to family members. However, an archived article published by MSNBC just over a week after the attacks revealed that a passenger told one of her family members that she’d borrowed a cell phone from another passenger, which means people on the flight were indeed using cell phones.
Further, Qualcomm Corporation made an announcement in 2004 that they’d finally developed technology to allow cell phone users to call people on the ground. Why would the company issue a press release about this new technology if so many people on Flight 93 were already able to reach the ground with calls in 2001? A widow of one of the Flight 93 victims said she’d received four cell phone calls from her husband during the hijacking. That seems like absurdly good luck for a plane that was supposedly flying above 29,000 feet.
2. 9/11 was an Inside Job to Justify an Invasion of Oil-Rich Countries
One of the most popular conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 has revolved around the idea that key members of George W. Bush’s cabinet were fully aware that the attacks were going to happen. Instead of halting the attacks, the White House chose to allow the attacks to happen so that they could invade Afghanistan and Iraq. As reported in 2006 by The Daily Mail, a group of scientists that included professors of physics and other leading scientists created a group called 9/11 Scholars for Truth. They said the terrorists couldn’t have planned the event on their own and that the only logical conclusion was that a major government was at work.
The scientists blamed a conservative group called Project for a New American Century for the attacks and said the group helped orchestrate the attacks. In addition, Truthers point toward the fact that the Bush Administration initially resisted putting together an official commission to investigate the attacks. When the commission was finally arranged, Truthers pointed toward the fact that controversial historical figure Henry Kissinger was asked to head the commission. Public outcry eventually led to Kissinger’s refusal to head the committee. More suspicion regarding the committee’s effectiveness was brought to light when it was revealed that no controversial opinions about the 9/11 attacks would be included with the report.
Other suspicious facts surrounding 9/11 that point toward an inside job include the fact that the president’s younger brother was a part of the company that provided security for the World Trade Center. Additionally, The Carlyle Group, an organization with strong ties to the Bush Dynasty, held a conference the day of the 9/11 attacks, and one of the guests of honor was Osama bin Laden’s brother.
1. Controlled Demolition Brought Down the Twin Towers… Not Jet Planes
After examining a variety of videos taken during the attacks and considering the height and construction of the Twin Towers, many Truthers have come to believe they were brought down by rigged explosives instead of the force and fire of the jet airliners. Videos purportedly showing explosions occurring just before the planes hit the building have created some powerful visual evidence of this “explosive” conspiracy theory. Support from some well-known physicists added further strength to this theory by saying the fires and impacts of the planes wouldn’t have been enough to cause the building collapses.
However, an article on Slate suggests the explosives required to bring down buildings the size of the Twin Towers would need to be on a scale rarely – if ever – used by anyone for any purpose. Hauling in the number of explosives required for the job would take weeks of deliveries, and it would be almost impossible for it to occur without anyone noticing it or reporting it before 9/11. Further, the fact that the Twin Towers had already been victim to a terrorist’s bomb in the 1990s meant that security was already high regarding what could and could not be brought into the building.
It’s doubtful the theory about controlled demolition will ever die because of the video evidence that Truthers have used to illustrate their theory. Debunking eyewitness accounts and testimony is a lot easier than trying to explain video that seems to show something suspicious, particularly when that video comes from major news outlets. Until someone builds an replica of the Twin Towers and tries to recreate the events of 9/11, it’s unlikely this conspiracy theory will ever be laid to rest.
The events of 9/11 will remain in the public’s memory forever, even when the event is only in history books, and everyone who was alive at the time of the tragedy has passed. It is also likely that conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 will continue well into the future. After all, the Kennedy assassination remains vivid and alive with conspiracy stories that have endured for 50 years, and many people wholeheartedly believe those conspiracy theories.
The fascinating thing about 9/11 conspiracies is that they’re never just a simple idea with a single cause. Inconsistencies and suspicious circumstances have led to several highly-convincing theories about who was really behind 9/11. The concept of an inside job permeates many of the theories postulated by 9/11 Truthers, but theorists don’t seem to have a concrete or unifying theory about the attacks.
Was it a government conspiracy concocted by members of George W. Bush’s presidential cabinet? Did the military plan and execute the attacks? Was a foreign government at the helm of 9/11? We may never know.