by Dahria Beaver
9/11 conspiracy theories are the belief that 9/11 was an inside job by government officials as an agenda to have an excuse to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. The conspiracy theory consists of mainly two theories, but there are a lot of motives that many 9/11 theorists believe in. The main two are the belief that government officials had prior knowledge of the attacks and did not act and the towers collapsing were a result of a controlled demolition to simulate intense plane crashes. It is also theorized that a missile hit the pentagon but with more evidence theorists are beginning to blame the pentagon and claiming the tower collapsing was a result of detonations. Theorists claim the pentagon attacked itself and had control.
Several polls have been done and most recently a poll done by Live Science found 53% of Americans believe 9/11 was faked because many believe information is being concealed by the government. The growing number of believers may be contributed to how much information there is on 9/11 conspiracy theories and vocal theorists. Many family members of people who have passed away continue to do interviews believing their loved one died all for an elaborate government scheme. Matt Campbell’s brother was killed on 9/11 and after Geoff’s remains were found Matt began to question and vocally doubts that the events of 9/11 are the true story. (Reid, Daily Mail) 9/11 conspiracy theories are and remain an extraordinary belief because if the evidence to support the conspiracies is true it can shift how we know the world works. Mainly because then it would be proven an American tragedy was just a tool to invade the Middle East.
There are many places to find information all over the internet of eye witness accounts and from people believing their family member was killed. Many documentaries also were made on the topic. Most notable is the documentary Loose Change and the books written by David Ray Griffen. Loose Change is a documentary investigating how 9/11 was faked and that the American people are being lied to, “We must understand that what we were told about that day is a lie and those lies drastically changed the course of peace to a course of perpetual war.” (loosechange911.com) David Ray Griffen is a retired theology professor who has written many books about how 9/11 was an inside job. In a debate he stated “In my later writings, I emphasized this point — that I am not attempting to provide a complete theory, partly because to do so would require groundless speculation, partly because there is no need. I did, however, state what I found the evidence to show on various matters, such as the fact that the World Trade Center buildings could have come down only through the use of explosives. I also clearly stated, after the first book, that I believed that 9/11 was an inside job, that the Air Force had been ordered to stand down, and that Dick Cheney was at the center of this operation. But this is very different from trying to offer a complete theory.” (Griffin, Ultimate Truth Showdown).
The first notable claim is the tower attacks were the result of a controlled detonation and bombs went off before the planes even hit the towers. In the videos theorists believe there is an explosion before the planes hit and lobbies were visibly damaged. The National Institute of Standards and Technology investigated the incident and decided that once the planes had hit the towers the plane debris “sliced through the utility shafts at the North Tower’s core creating a conduit of burning jet fuel.” (popular mechanics) Explaining the collapse and the lobbies because the heat from the jet fuel explosion was concentrated and went off destroying anything in its path. From this theory comes another, and this theory claims that jet fuel could not have caused the structure to fail and collapse because jet fuel fires would never be hot enough to melt the steel supports. Jet fuel can burn anywhere between 800 degrees and 1500 degrees Farenheit, which is not hot enough to burn steel. Fortunately steel frames do not have to melt to collapse, they simply need to be weakened and the weight of the building and gravity will do the rest. (popular mechanics) However theorists have combated this with saying if it was just weakened the floors would have sagged or tilted.
Going along with the theory of controlled demolition detonation, claims have surfaced because visible clouds of dust come out the sides of the buildings that are interpreted as looking similar to implosions. The way the dust clouds appear and how the go in succession led to theorists claiming there had to be explosives within the towers. This is debunked with the engineering term of ‘pancaking’. As each floor collapsed above the floor below would not be able to absorb the blow, thus transmitting the force onto an level below. While the floors were collapsing air would be released and the debris would fly out along with it.Most importantly,’pancaking’ does not need an explosion to initiate. (popular mechanics)
Lastly, the belief that the World Trade Center was a controlled demolition. Theorists believe the World Trade Center came down in a controlled demolition after Larry Silverstein decided the best thing to do would be to detonate seven hours after the towers were hit. Theorists believe a plane never hit mainly because debris was never recovered and the where the plane would supposedly hit would be too small to fit a Boeing 757. Going against this claim NIST investigators found damage on the building and believe intense fire along with this damage caused the eventual collapse. “WTC 7 might have withstood the physical damage it received, or the fire that burned for hours, but those combined factors—along with the building’s unusual construction—were enough to set off the chain-reaction collapse.” (popular mechanics)
The main community of believers are The Scholars for 9/11 Truth started by James Fetzer. Simply put they are “Scholars for 9/11 Truth (S9/11T) is a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11. Scholars for 9/11 Truth members are convinced their research proves the current administration has been dishonest about what happened in New York and Washington, D.C.” (twilightpines-scholars for 9/11 truth) Their continual belief may be primarily a result from the founder claiming that he strives to apply principles of scientific reasoning to evidence and let the truth speak for itself. Many communities such as this one seem to be able to acquire evidence that is pseudoscientific, creating a narrative that seems legitimate. On the scholars of 9/11 truth “Why Doubt 9/11” many of the claims have fact that could align with reality and operates on skepticism. For example they give a lot of information on melting points and the temperature jet fuel burns at to continually support their theory of the planes not being able to produce all of the damage alone.
9/11 as an inside job is a theory that takes on many beliefs and personifies and justifies them through using the footage and accounts available. They appear believable and many believers display a belief bias, only accepting facts that fit into their personal beliefs of what truly happened. One could never truly convince a 9/11 theorist they are wrong because as evidence unsupportive of their ideas surface the more the theories shift towards disproving that evidence and rooting the theory even more into a scenario of an elaborate government coverup.
Ghose, Tia. “A Shocking Number Of Americans Are 9/11 Truthers.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 27 Dec. 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/half-of-americans- believe-911-conspiracy-theories_us_5804ec04e4b0e8c198a92df3.
Taibbi, Matt, and David Ray Griffin. “The Ultimate 9/11 ‘Truth’ Showdown: David Ray Griffin vs. Matt Taibbi.” Alternet, www.alternet.org/story/100688/ the_ultimate_9_11_%27truth%27_showdown%3A_david_ray_griffin_vs._matt_taibbi.
Sue Reid for the Daily Mail. “The Conspiracies That Won’t Go Away: Brother of 9/11 Victim Claim the US Orchestrated the Atrocity as New Study Shows It Was Impossible That the Third Tower Collapsed from Fire.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 9 Sept. 2017, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4867124/9-11-conspiracy-theories-persist-16-years- atrocity.html.
Ghose , Tia. “Half of Americans Believe in 9/11 Conspiracy Theories .” Livescience.com, www.livescience.com/56479-americans-believe-conspiracy-theories.html.
“9/11 Conspiracy Theories.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Jan. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/9/11_conspiracy_theories.
Jan Frel / AlterNet. “David Ray Griffin: How a Retired Theologian Became a High Priest of the 9/11 Truth Movement.” Alternet, www.alternet.org/story/156351/ david_ray_griffin%3A_how_a_retired_theologian_became_a_high_priest_of_the_9_11_truth_m ovement.
“9/11 Conspiracy Theories: How They’ve Evolved.” BBC News, BBC, 29 Aug. 2011, www.bbc.com/news/magazine-14665953.
Person. “Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report – The World Trade Center.” Popular Mechanics, Popular Mechanics, 15 Feb. 2018, www.popularmechanics.com/military/a6384/ debunking-911-myths-world-trade-center/.
Fetzer, Jim. “Why Doubt 9/11?” Scholars for 9/11 Truth – Home, twilightpines.com//index.php? option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=46.