Don't Allow the Crackpots to Take Over 9/11
Sometimes a story literally calls out from a subway entrance, telling you to tell the world of its existence. This was the case during a recent beautiful mid-March Saturday afternoon as I ambled back to get my bus home. The man who called out to me was carrying a portable DVD player and speaking with an academic sort who wore a top hat and concerned look on his face. This was a city known for free thinking and street corner political posturing. Usually I passed by such displays of self-aggrandizement without a second thought, but this time I was being called and I took it as a challenge.
"Why don't you write about this?" he said. He didn't have literature, and I didn't have time, but he had a website: www.st911.org. "It's the truth about 9/11," he said. I scribbled it down and went my way. Conspiracy theories and carefully weaved parallel stories that propose to tell the "truth" are usually hard to believe and best appreciated with the proverbial grain of salt. In bizarre world, everything you have been led to believe is in fact a lie. The truth about any major event is buried beneath a tangled spider's web of lies.
The call to write about this kept gnawing at my conscience as day turned into night. I had just finished reading "102 Minutes: The untold story of the fight to survive inside the twin towers," a book by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn. This was a gripping, terrifying story whose final act was pre-determined. The strength of their narrative was in the scores of people whose stories are finally told: Orio Palmer, Moira Smith, Jan Demczur. The book was not about the inconsistencies in the official government account of 9/11 than the heartbreaking attempts at survival in the midst of all that madness.
The site is run by a consortium calling themselves "Scholars for 9/11 Truth." In carefully compiled and at times chilling sections of peer-reviewed papers, articles, audio/video files, and upcoming events, the group effectively lays out its case. Why did WTC-7 fall, though no aircraft struck it? Why did the three buildings collapse in the style of a controlled demolition? How could a single planeload of burning jet fuel-- most of which flared off in the initial fireball--cause the South World Trade Center to collapse in just 56 minutes?
There are other questions, many of which will keep a normally sane person up all night. Truth is the logical reward after a series of questions.Among these are BBC reports that five of the alleged hijackers were alive and accounted for after the event. I tried to shake away images and memories as I left that website and tried to have a peaceful Saturday night correcting papers and writing lesson plans, but the story refused to let me go. Six months away from the fifth anniversary of 9/11, the scars are still fresh. If these questions are
relegated to the rantings of crackpots, the truth will never come out.
Christopher J. Stephens is an adjunct college English instructor for Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Western New England College, and Corinthian Colleges, Inc
Got an opinion? Share your thoughts now.