On September 11th, 2001, Islamic terrorists hijacked four passenger airlines. Two of the planes flew into the twin towers; one plane flew into the Pentagon; and the other plane was aimed at Washington D.C., but was taken over by passengers on the plane and crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In total, nearly 3,000 people died including 227 civilians on the plane and 19 hijackers. These hijackers were believed to be under the command of Osama Bin Laden, the head of the terrorist group Al Qaeda. However, the question of whether these attacks are truly as the government has portrayed or whether they actually part of a larger scheme to justify war in Iraq has come into light in recent years. Many individuals criticize the story told by the federal government and create alternate theories that explain some confusion with the attacks.
The most popular and convincing of these theories is the controlled demolition and collapse of the twin towers by the federal government. The radical side of the political left was the first to start the conspiracy theories concerning 9/11. People have always had a deep distrust of our government. The most convincing of the theories about 9/11 is the strategic placement of bombs in the three buildings to cause a collapse (NewsOne, 2012). When you watch the videos of the collapsing towers, it looks like a controlled demolition instead of what one would expect from a building just hit by a plane or collapsing from a fire (Brain, 2013). The buildings collapse in on themselves rather than burning from the bottom up which creates a gargantuan amount of skepticism as to the accuracy of the story told by the government. So when people see something that doesn’t make sense, such as how three buildings collapsed from a fire, it begs lots of questions (Brain, 2013). This allowed many curious conspirators with an abundance of time on their hands to snoop around and see what they could possibly find that would better explain the actual cause of the collapse of the three buildings, disproving the official story expressed by the government.
It is also important to understand how conspiracy theorists build their case to perpetuate certain conspiracies. Upon examining the collapse of the north tower, the south tower, and WTC 7, it is easily determined that the collapse of these three buildings is not only unusual, it is almost unbelievable. No skyscraper has ever collapsed by a fire alone; however, on the day of the attacks, a blaze took down three separate towers. It is highly improbable that such a fire would take down two skyscrapers that stood 110 stories high and an additional building that was never touched by a plane. These discrepancies grant conspirators a form of “credibility” that makes their theories believable to many people. Although the official story may seem a bit anomalous, that doesn’t necessarily give a reason why people believe it.
Scandals like the Iran-Contra affair with President Reagan and the Watergate Scandal with President Nixon create a deep distrust with many people and their government when such scandals prove that the government and its leaders deliberately mislead or lie to the public. So much so that people often look to find things that the government could be lying about or covering up. When conspirators start to gather evidence for their theories, this same process occurs (Brain, 2013). After discovering scandals involving the federal government, it’s impossible to trust all of the official stories told by the government. Furthermore, even if the collapse of the north and south towers is believable, the collapse of the third building is extremely difficult to believe as it was never touched by a plane. It seems impossible that a building that was never touched by anything except fire would completely collapse if no tower has ever been completely destroyed by a fire before (911Truth, n.d.).
According to Van Romero, an explosives expert and Vice President of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, there had to have been explosives in the building for it to have collapsed in such a demolition-like manner. Additionally, the controlled explosions that were theorized to have taken place in the towers have been accredited with puffs of dust and debris seen being shot out from the building (Popular Mechanics, 2013). There is no way to explain the puffs of dust shooting out of the buildings from a mere fire that caused a collapse of the building without there being an external force of explosions. Because of the suspicious circumstances of the 9/11 event, there must be some amount of skepticism. The government and its leaders are historically proven to not be above lying to the public from instances like Watergate and Iran-Contra affair. 9/11 could just as easily be the same way.
Without clear answers to these questions the reality of an inside job is immense and cannot be overlooked. Although there are many who refuse to believe the official story told by the federal government, there are also large quantities of people who do believe the official story. Many people consider the World Trade Center collapse as a highly unlikely scenario unless additional force was added to bring the building down. However, others find it extremely difficult to believe that the government would commit such an atrocity and would instead argue that the structure of the building and widespread damage from debris were the main contributors to the collapse of the buildings (Popular Mechanics, 2013). Without solid proof, it is preposterous to believe a theory that does not have any facts or basis for the assertions that it makes. For example, many often believe that even if the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were true, there are still some unanswered questions.
Conspiracy theorists are quick to draw a link between the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq claiming it was a justification for invasion as support of it being a government conspiracy. However, this is clearly false in that the justification in the intervention in Iraq was the risk that Sadam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction meaning that 9/11 was not needed as justification for the war in Iraq. Another reason the notion of inside job is ludicrous is because it would be impossible for all of the media to gloss over such an event had it been a governmental conspiracy. There are also no hard facts for conspirators to base their theories on meaning there is no reason to believe them.
To understand the collapse of the towers it is important to understand the structure of the buildings. The twin towers were created using “innovative” design. It was built with central core columns like most other buildings. However, instead of reinforcing the columns with fireproof concrete, they decided to fortify the columns using a sprayed on form of fire proofing called “Passive” fire proofing, which was much faster but also less effective (debunking911). This is what allowed the jet fuel from the plane to be so deadly. Many people argue that jet fuel is not near hot enough to melt steel, which is actually true. However, jet fuel burns between 800 and 1500 degrees Fahrenheit while the melting point of steel is around 2750 degrees Fahrenheit. Most experts agree though that the steel doesn’t need to melt for the entire building to collapse. According to Farid Alfawak-hiri, the senior engineer of the American Institute of Steel Construction says that at 1100 degrees Fahrenheit, Steel loses 50 percent of its strength. At 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, Steel is less than 10 percent.
This immense heat can then cause Steel to become bent and warped which can in turn collapse the entire building (Popular Mechanics 2013). The first plane crashed into the 94th through the 98th floors of the first tower; the second plane crashed into the 78th through 84th floors of the south building. Additionally, there was damage in both of the lobbies of the buildings before the collapse of the two towers. Conspirators make a common claim that the planes could not have caused that much damage to go through over 80 floors to reach the lobby without some sort of explosive material. However, The National institutes of Standards and Technology released a report revealing that the debris of the plane had sliced through the elevator shaft which created an outlet for jet fuel. If the fuel came into contact with any combustible sources, it would immediately explode causing severe damage.
Jet fuel traveling down the elevator shaft would cause extensive damage to the lobby as well. A similar observation as to the cause of the damage in the lobby was noted in the South’s building also (Popular Mechanics 2013). This fact illustrates the improbability of explosives being needed to cause a collapse of the skyscrapers. Despite the plethora of convincing theories about the attack of September 11th, many people will still continue to remain unconvinced due to the lack of evidence, even if the government was truly involved with the collapse of the twin towers. Furthermore, people who don’t believe the conspiracies about the twin towers would contend that the actual structure of the building and the intense launching of debris from the crash were the causes to the collapse of the towers, not bombs planted by the government. The lack of factual evidence on the side of the conscripts coupled with the overwhelming evidence that the government was not involved makes it nearly impossible to believe that 9/11 was an inside job.
Brain, M. (n.d.). How Conspiracy Theories Work. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://people.howstuffworks.com/conspiracy-theory2.htm Debunking 9/11
Conspiracy Theories and Controlled Demolition Myths – Government Planning. (n.d.). Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theories and Controlled Demolition Myths – Government Planning. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://www.debunking911.com/meeting.htm Popular Mechanics. (n.d.). Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report – The World Trade Center. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/debunking-911-myths-world-trade-center “Reality Check: More American’s are “Rethinking” 9/11” 9/11?. (n.d.). 911Truthorg. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://www.911truth.org/tag/controlled-demolition/ The 11 Most Compelling 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. (2012, September 11). News One RSS. Retrieved February 2, 2014, from http://newsone.com/742485/the-11-most-compelling-911-conspiracy-theories/