JFK and the Grassy Knoll. The moon landing shot in a studio. FDR’s provocation for Pearl Harbor.
The conspiracy theory has become a defining element in American society. While it is easy to affiliate such beliefs with the aging hippie kooks who hang out in coffee shops and read anarchist pamphlets, it cannot be denied that many of these theories are well researched and create haunting uncertainty about what we think we know.
The most significant modern-day conspiracy theory movement is the 9/11 Truth Movement. In the decade since that day, organizations such as Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, and 9/11 CitizensWatch have promoted, at the very least a closer look into the story of those attacks.
A leading 9/11 Truth advocate is Dr. James H. Fetzer, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth and founder of the organization Scholars for 9/11 Truth, which he describes as a loose affiliation of individuals with different backgrounds and abilities who could all contribute something unique to the cause.
“It was evident to me that the destruction of the Twin Towers was physically impossible. It didn’t make any sense at all,” Fetzer said, regarding his initial reaction to the towers’ destruction.
Another advocate, Dr. Steven E. Jones, retired professor emeritus from Brigham Young University, founded a similar organization, Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice. The main trigger of his skepticism was the destruction of WTC Building 7, which collapsed at 5:20 p.m. in a demolition-like manner.
“This was a building that was not hit by a plane,” Jones said. “Here we have a big physics puzzle on the face of it. Buildings don’t just fall at freefall speed. It turns out that the fall was almost exactly freefall acceleration.”
Both men credit their interest in science as having played a part in their opinions regarding the 9/11 attacks. Fetzer referred to a methodology he pioneered called “assassination science”, which uses scientific principles of reasoning to analyze situations where the government might have reason to mislead or deceive the American public. Another example of this method is the JFK Assassination, which Fetzer has written extensively on.
Despite his studies, Fetzer insists that he is not a complete conspiracy theorist; rather he conducts investigations on such incidents from a purely scientific perspective, which determines his opinion.
Jones had a similar response to the 9/11 tragedy. “I question it based on scientific observation that I personally made. As a scientist, I concluded that our government was lying to us. Science says one thing and the government says something else. What am I supposed to do?” Like Fetzer, Jones had never been a large conspiracy theorist, and said that he had been a Republican prior to 9/11.
However, some well-known liberals have called out the truthers, believing them to be no better than the “birthers” (those who question President Obama’s birth certificate). Political comedian Bill Maher has referred to truthers as “lunatic[s]” and philosopher Noam Chomsky has strongly contended that the Bush Administration knew nothing of the attacks ahead of time. Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi said, “Every time one of those Loose Change dickwads opens his mouth, a Republican somewhere picks up five votes.”
Perhaps we will never know the real truth about 9/11. After all, the Kennedy Assassination is still being debated. It is hard to say if anyone knows for certain what really happened on that tragic day, but the truther movement remains strong and does not appear to be going giving up anytime soon.
Some of the Most Popular 9/11 Conspiracy Theories:
*The Bush Administration was fully aware of the planned attacks: there is a bit of a range for this argument; some feel that 9/11 was an inside job, so as to provide a basis for going to war in the Middle East. Others simply feel that the administration knew of the planned attacks but chose not to react.
*The Towers and Building 7 were detonated: the arguments include the planes not being able to break through the steel of the WTC, the fire should not have been enough to destroy the buildings, and the mysterious collapse of Building 7. Popular Mechanics magazine, however, wrote that contents such as paper and furniture contributed to the heat and fire, and that while the steel was not completely melted, it was significantly weakened. While many argue that the demolition-style collapse of Building 7 justifies the doubts, Debunking911.com claims that the architecture of the building and the amount of smoke made the collapse merely look merely deceitful.
*The Pentagon was hit by a missile: the shape of the hole left in the Pentagon following the attack has led many to doubt the claim that a plane hit it, as the hit point is said to be too small by some. In addition, no wings, fuselage, seats, bodies, luggage or tail were found, thus not matching up with the alleged Boeing 757 plane that crashed. However, various eyewitness have claimed to have heard a low-flying plane in Washington, DC on the morning of the attack.