9/11: The Conspiracy Theories

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On September 11, 2001, 4 planes designated to flight paths 11, 175, 93 and 77 crashed on WTC North Tower, South Tower, a location in Pennsylvania and Pentagon respectively. 2995 individuals died. Various individuals, all Muslims – from Middle East – were accused of being suicide bombers who took over the cockpit by force to strike these famous locations. US government officially blamed Osama bin Laden and his organization, popularly known as Al-Qaeda. 

Using this as justification, United States of America and its allies intervened in the Afghan Civil War, ensuring temporary defeat of the Islamic Emirate government that was harbouring Bin Laden and his organization for years. The pathetic  civil war continues to this day.

Immediately after the events of 9/11, the FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation carried out a massive investigation, interviewing a large number of individuals. They arrived at the conclusion that each plane had been taken over by a group of Arab Muslims who had boarded as passengers. Among these hijackers were pilots who had flown all the four planes, except United Airlines 93, to targets. UA93 came down as a result of struggle between passengers and hijackers. 

This conclusion, however, was not accepted by many individuals like the Christian theologian David Griffin, music composer Elias Davidsson and an ex-President of Iran. They held that it was a false flag attack by elements in the US government to frame Bin Laden and wage war.

One of the key reasons for doubt is that  the Twin Towers of World Trade Centre each weighed 500000 tones, and hence could not be brought down by the impact of a plane. Both North Tower and South Tower collapsed, so did a nearby building known as WTC 7. The collapse of WTC 7, that very day but several hours later caused doubt in many minds. This particular building was not hit by by any plane but only debris! Some saw it as confirmation that the planes did not cause the collapse of WTC North Tower and South Tower. These people proposed that explosives planted inside the 3 buildings actually caused the collapse.

Engineers disagree. Soon after the collapse, various engineers like Professor Abolhasan stated that the impact of the plane probably weakened the columns and beams. They could no longer bear the weight of the above floors and hence gave way. Therefore, the ultimate collapse, after more than an hour of burning, was rapid. Later, America’s National Institute of Science and Technology published a report. It concluded that the impact of the plane and the fire of its fuel, is sufficient explanation for the collapse of all three buildings. This conclusion was disputed by an organization named ‘Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’ (AE911T) which proposes that the buildings had been sabotaged – presumably by the U.S. government itself!

In 2020, Leroy Hulsey, Professor of Civil Engineering, Dr. Feng Xiao and Bridge Engineer Dr. Quan published a 125-page report with the conclusion that the near-simultaneous failure of all columns over several stories is the best explanation for the collapse. Since such a failure could not have been caused by the debris-induced fire, AE911T that funded the research concluded it as a confirmation that WTC 7 had been internally sabotaged. This naturally leads us ask whether the government of USA actually carried out or assisted the terror attacks of 9/11?

From all the four planes, multiple individuals called their family, the airlines or emergency services. These individuals – including flight attendants- supplied the key details in the official theory. They are the only source of information about the events of the plane. On that basis, we can say that the pilot and copilot were killed on one plane, bombs were thought to be present on three planes and the hijackers were Asian and African. Similarly, the information that the people on UA93 were planning to recapture the cockpit from the hijackers was also provided by the multiple callers from the plane. Later the FBI interviewed all the recipients of the phone calls – and one recipient wrote a book on it. The phone calls are prima facie evidence that the government narrative on the attacks are correct.

9/11 Truthers have tried to explain the phone calls too. Elias Davidsson extensively argued in his book Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11 that the callers were not reporting actual events. He came to this conclusion on the basis that several of the callers were reportedly quiet and calm. This, in his opinion, is not plausible. He also gives other suspicious examples – for example one caller told his father that the hijackers had hijacked 8 planes. Were Arab hijackers speaking among themselves in English? 

Otherwise, there is some doubt about the exact time-line of the capture of the cockpit by the hijackers on UA93. The time-line provided by the FBI is a bit different from the one provided by a caller. 

One key question has been raised in this matter; UA93 was probably flying at a very high altitude where cell phone calls barely work. However, Deena Burnett claimed that she received 4 phone calls from her husband’s cell phone – most of them while the plane was above 20000 feet. It is dubious whether this can actually happen. Some of the ‘Truthers’ think that the calls were not actually made from the planes but from some studio or so. Others like Davidsson believe that the passengers were tricked into participating in a so-called ‘operation’. But most people accept the claims about the callers, that they were passengers reporting real events about an ongoing crisis. 

Whatever the truth, it is one of the biggest tragedies of modern history. Some queries about it will remain open forever.

By Ananya Aloke , Mumbai

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