This month had a big milestone, it was the 20 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. An event that shook the entire world.
I was a very young child at the time, around 6 years old, but I still remember where I was. I was in a class in Primary school and at around 9am all of the teachers and teaching assistants left us in the classrooms alone as they went to sit in the staff room and watch the TV for around an hour. I would later hear stories from my parents. My mum was doing the housework at home, she never watched the TV during the day. For some reason she felt compelled to switch it on, she was shook. My father was working on a building site. An elderly woman walked out of her house next door, shouted up to his team, 'You all need to come inside for a tea and watch this right now.' So my dad and his whole team sat inside this elderly ladies house and watched the events unfold.
I watch the footage every year, I absorb the documentaries. It fascinates me. It's a clear example of the cruelty of man, and the life and death situations everyday people can be thrust into. It's not something that can often be joked about, although all comedy is subjective, but there is something that is a joke. Some of these damn conspiracy theories. In this blog today I'm going to try and put to bed some of these theories, and see if there really is truth to them. Any piss taking made in this blog will be of the conspiracy theories and theorists themselves, not 9/11 (I feel like I need to make that statement in this day and age.)
Conspiracy #1: 9/11 was an Inside Job.
Probably the biggest conspiracy out there surrounding 9/11 is that the United States Government either helped the attackers succeed or orchestrated the entire thing themselves. When asked why so many people could believe such a theory, the BBC said 'The reason for such persistence in this theory is the confusion and fear that results when thinking of a relatively small group of men using low tech weapons to cause such cataclysmic carnage.'
The reason people believe it was an inside job was so the government could justify the subsequent wars on both Afghanistan and Iraq. But the simple answer to this theory is that people sometimes just aren't satisfied with such a simple answer. Something shit happened. A few disgusting men flew planes into buildings. It's that simple and it sucks but that's it.
Conspiracy #2: Controlled Demolitions
This next conspiracy connects to the previous one. Many people believe that the towers would not have collapsed in the way that they did if they were hit by aircraft and instead suggest that explosives were installed in the buildings in advance. Now investigations confirmed that 'The tower structures were weakened by the inferno from the planes and felled by the weight of collapsing floors.' Not by any additional explosives, but that doesn't stop these conspiracy theorists does it.
Conveniently (He writes sarcastically), these theorists are yet to explain how the severe amount of explosives needed to collapse the two buildings could have been placed inside without drawing attention to it.
This brings us to a popular phrase that you've probably heard at least once over the past 20 years when discussing 9/11, 'Jet fuel can't melt steel beams.' For the uninformed, this sentence refers to the fact that many theorists believe that the jet fuel from the plane was not hot enough to melt the steel beams that make up the structure of the towers and therefore collapse the buildings.
This however, has been proven false multiple times. In the days after the attacks, major media outlets reported that the towers collapsed due to heat melting the steel. This wasn't accurate when released, as the official investigators never even claimed that the steel melted, but rather the heat softened the steel. And that, combined with the damage from the planes, is what caused the collapse.
But to even further fuck with their theory, even if the steel DID melt, jet fuel can in fact melt steel beams, because the combustion temperature of kerosene (Jet fuel) is more than 500 degrees higher than the melting point of structural steel.
Conspiracy #3: The Pentagon Missile
The third and final conspiracy I'm going to debunk is that of the Pentagon missile. Now many conspiracy theories believe that the plane that hit the pentagon was not even a plane, but a missile fired by the US government.
Some claim that the holes made in the building are far too small to be made by a Boeing 757 plane. 'How does a plane 125 ft wide and 155 ft long create a hole that is only 60 ft across?' theorists would claim.
I'll tell you how poindexter. This ain't a fucking cartoon. You aren't going to walk past the pentagon and just see a large, exact, plane shaped whole in the building you taint. Mete Sozen, a professor of civil engineering, refutes these claims by stating that 'When flight 77 hit the pentagon, one wing hit the ground and the other was sheared off by the pentagons load bearing beams.'
Not to mention the multitude of plain debris that was found at the scene, including the planes bloody black boxes, and the bodies of the passengers. When given this evidence, some fire back with claims that the passengers recordings in the black boxes were created via voice morphing, which to that I say, shut the fuck up, you're just being stupid now.
There are other conspiracy theories that I could touch on, but to be honest I don't think they are worth anyones time. 9/11 is something that is always going to be at the back of the worlds minds, and a huge part of our history. Now that it's been 20 years, I just don't see the point in fuelling these conspiracy theories. That brain power should instead be spent on thinking of the people that lost their lives so tragically, whose dreams and aspirations were cut short, and to the families that had to sit and watch people their loved ones die in horrific ways.
If there is any 9/11 related media that I could suggest someone consume, it's the film 'United 93'. It's a truly moving film that tells the story of the 4th plane. The story of the passengers that took a stand, took back the plane, and made a truly heroic sacrifice for their country. It's far less known than the planes that hit their targets, and I think that's wrong.
Take care everybody, treasure your loved ones. And stay tuned for more podcast content.