9/11 Conspiracy Theories are Bullsh*t...Right?
Earlier this week, never before seen photographs of the World Trade Center building collapses on 9/11 were released to the public. The photos were taken from a police helicopter by then Detective Greg Senendinger, who himself was an amateur photographer and had his camera with him at the time. If you have not seen them yet, take a look-- they really are an amazing thing to see.
Seeing these photos took me back. I was in Manhattan that day, less than 20 blocks away from the towers. I was on the PATH train, coming in from New Jersey, when they made the announcement that a plane hit the World Trade Center. Everyone thought that it was some pilot in a Cessna or some other small plane. By the time the I got out of the train, and onto the street, the second plane had hit...and I will tell you that I-- to this day-- cannot believe that I actually saw that with my own two eyes. Those buildings that I had seen every day-- that I was in every OTHER day (there was a PATH line that went to the WTC as well) was not only on fire, with two gaping holes spewing out black smoke...but within 10-15 minutes, both towers collapsed.
I don't know any New Yorker at the time that was not shocked that those towers fell. Hell, there were people still on the scene-- there were fire fighters going into the buildings to rescue people! But...they fell. Both of them. And we were all confused, and scared to death (there were rumors going around that there were bombs in the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, and in the subways as well). I don't think I'd ever been that scared in my entire life.
About 3 years later, I was doing research for a science fiction story I was writing at the time, and I came across a film called "9/11: In Plane Site". The film posed the question of whether or not there were bombs on the planes, or in the buildings, that caused the towers to collapse. That was my introduction to 9/11 conspiracy theories. I had no idea that this was going on! I never knew that there were people out there that actually thought that the entire event was done on purpose! That this was not an attack by Islamic Terrorists, but a false-flag event staged by our government to go to war in Iraq...! It really made no sense to me, but being a fan of conspiracy theories, I decided to look into it.
Now, before I continue, I have to say that I am not a 9/11 Truther, or whatever those people are called. The whole idea of a conspiracy theory, to me, is more motive-based than anything else; "A, B, and C were done because our government wants oil." "Or A, B, and C was done to destroy the middle class." I am really not interested in any of that. The thing that always intrigued me about any conspiracy theory are the facts that exist BEFORE the speculation.
In my research, I've heard it all from the people that are leading the charge in "exposing the truth". People like David Ray Griffin, and Webster Tarpley, and Alex Jones have held conferences, written books and articles, and have given interviews to tell their stories. And to be honest, some of what they have to say is definitely interesting. But those are not the people that made an impact on me. The people that I found the most interesting were the ordinary folks-- what some would call "whistleblowers" that were, by no fault of their own, swept up into this swirl of controversy. These were regular people just living their lives...and because they were in a certain place at a certain time, their lives were changed forever.
Take, for example, Kevin Ryan. Mr. Ryan is a chemist, and was the Site Manager at Environmental Health Laboratories, a subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the company that certified the steel for not only the World Trade Center, but for practically every and anything built with steel. There was some controversy about whether or not jet fuel could have melted the steel of the WTC towers enough to cause the entire structure to collapse. If that were the case, and UL-certified the steel as being fire-proof...that would not bode well for UL. Ryan, who did some research into the tower collapses, found some inconsistencies in the NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology) report on the tower collapses. In a letter to Frank Gayle, director of the team responsible for investigating the towers collapses, Kevin Ryan wrote, in part:
"...the summary of the new NIST report seems to ignore your findings, as it suggests that these low temperatures caused exposed bits of the building's steel core to "soften and buckle"(5). Additionally this summary states that the perimeter columns softened, yet your findings make clear that "most perimeter panels (157 of 160) saw no temperature above 250C". To soften steel for the purposes of forging, normally temperatures need to be above 1100C (6). However, this new summary report suggests that much lower temperatures were be able to not only soften the steel in a matter of minutes, but lead to rapid structural collapse.
This story just does not add up. If steel from those buildings did soften or melt, I'm sure we can all agree that this was certainly not due to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the briefly burning fires in those towers. That fact should be of great concern to all Americans. Alternatively, the contention that this steel did fail at temperatures around 250C suggests that the majority of deaths on 9/11 were due to a safety-related failure. That suggestion should be of great concern to my company..."
About two weeks after writing this letter, he was terminated from his job.
Another story is a really fascinating one, about a woman named Indira Singh. Miss Singh's story is two-pronged. She was not only one of the first responders after the collapes (she lived a few blocks away from the towers), but she was a Risk Analyst for JP Morgan Chase who, when asked to find a software company to build a risk management system, came across a company named PTech, whose co-founders happened to be on the terrorist watch list, with connections to Maktab al Khidamat. What's spooky about that is that PTech's client list included the FAA, the DoD, NORAD, and the US Airforce, to name a few. When she started to dig, the onion had more and more layers...so many, in fact, that by the time she got to Boston's FBI bureau, she was told to back off and stop her investigation, or she would be killed.
And lastly, we have the amazing story of William Rodriguez. He was the janitor at the World Trade Center, and had been for over 20 years. He was, in fact, trapped in an elevator during the 1993 bombing. Since then, he had petitioned to get a master key that unlocked every single door in both buildings. What happened to him on 9/11 is one of the most amazing stories of the day. At the time, he was considered a national hero-- he was the subject of news stories, and even met President Bush. Everyone loved him...until he started telling his story. If you have the time, PLEASE watch his entire presentation (about an hour long). One of the most amazing pieces of information in his retelling of the days events occurs at about the 10 minute mark, when he describes the explosion that occurs BEFORE the first plane hits the tower.
Regardless of what you believe, these are interesting stories about real people. As far as what I believe, about bombs being in the buildings, or the false-flag plot to get oil from Iraq, or the Grand Chessboard theories...I can't attest to any of those things. The only thing I've got are these stories, and others, about real people in extraordinary situations. I do not believe in conspiracy theories...mostly because they're still just theories. Unless things are proven as fact, or debunked with evidence, they will always remain nothing but theories. And if you're into that kind of thing, you'll always have something to talk about.