The disastrous 9/11 hijackings constitute a series of suicidal plane hijackings that occurred on September 11th 2001. The incidents involved the hijacking of four passenger planes. Two of the planes were piloted into the World Trade Centre’s twin towers, causing massive explosions and collapse. The other two hijacked planes (American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93) were crashed in two different places, killing all passengers and hijackers aboard. The latter crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after the plane’s passengers attempted to regain its control, and the former was crashed into the Pentagon. Approximately 3000 people died, including 246 passengers that were on the four planes.
Earlier suspicions of the hijackings were directed towards Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda terror group, but the group initially denied involvement. In spite of the initial denials, tapes claiming Al-Qaeda’s responsibility finally emerged in 2004, and Osama was purportedly declared the villain (Olmsted 21). In this revelation, the purported perpetrators cited the presence of the United States in Saudi Arabia, sanctions on Iraq, and support for Israel as the major reasons as to why the attacks were made. In a quick response to the immediate threats, the United States launched reactionary attacks against Afghanistan to neutralize the Taliban rule under the Al-Qaeda’s support. The quick reactionary response was later followed by stringent laws and regulations as well as creation of structures and institutions that would ensure such a level of insecurity and harm to the people is never repeated in the future (Olmsted 42).
Apart from this conventional ‘truth’ that is widely accepted and popularly known, other divergent conspiracy theories have emerged and offered differing explanations on various happenings that surround the 9/11 hijackings. There are various conspiracy theories about insider trading, air defense stand down, Jewish involvement, and fake terrorist tapes on the hijackings. However, the controlled demolition conspiracy seems to stand out as the major conspiracy. As long as there is no strong disapproving evidence and a strong government stand on portraying the fallacy of some of these conspiracies, there is a greater likelihood of their persistence (Grossman 1).
A number of conspiracy theorists have asserted that the collapse of the World Trade Centre was a result of controlled demolition and not of the explosion of plane fuel from the hijacked planes. In fact, some conspiracy theorists have claimed that there were no planes involved. The no planes conspiracy theory greatly supports the controlled demolition theory. Nico Haupt, who was formerly a chief economist in the Labor Department, argues that there were no planes involved in the 9/11 incident. The proponents of this theory argue that it would be rather difficult for a plane with an aluminum chassis to penetrate into a steel structured building such as the twin towers (BBC News Magazine 1). The proponents of this conspiracy theory cite the amateur tapes as evidence of digital compositing applied in portraying a crash that never was. These theorists claim the possibility of missiles and other explosives having been used to cause collapse of the buildings. The theorists claim that the pattern and happening of the explosions suggest that they were controlled and, perhaps, were a result of clever positioning of explosives in locations of the building, which would cause the collapse after the initial crash of the planes. These theorists support their claims with facts from witnesses who claim to have heard explosions inside the towers as they were trying to escape. Professional commentary from scientists and architects shows that there is a great doubt on whether plane fuel would cause enough heat that could cause the melting of steel frame in the buildings. However, the reports on the aftermath state that the collapse of the twin towers’ columns was a result of the heating from the planes’ fuel, which caused the still structural framework to excessively heat and collapse (BBC News Magazine 1).
Proponents of the controlled demolition theory state that the rapid collapse, which occurred in about ten seconds, was not a likely result of the short-lived fires from the crash that had lasted for an estimated 102 minutes and 56 minutes in tower one and two respectively. The reports of explosions and sounds of violent explosion accompanied by ejections on floors way below the crash point or floor show a probable case of planned explosions that occurred independently (Truthmove International 1). The pulverization of all concrete and non-metallic materials is also part of the cited reasons for ruling out the possibility of normal collapse from the impact of a plane crash. Witnesses that had a view of the site state that there was molten steel at ground zero for several weeks even after the actual collapse. The presence of molten steel conflicts the known facts about the 9/11 event because the plane fuel was less likely to have sufficient energy that could heat up and melt the structural steel of the buildings (Truthmove International 1). Additionally, fire fighters that initially responded to the emergency stated that they had heard secondary explosions on the site, which were less likely a result of the fuel or other normal faults such as would be expected on electric connections.
In spite of the postulations, extensive inquiries into the incident imply otherwise. For example, the National Institute of Standards and Technology made a conclusion that the crash from the planes had dislodged fire-proofing, damaged and severed support columns; thus, primarily starting the explosions that were fuelled by the fuel from the plane. According to the report, an estimated 10000 gallons of fuel spilled over several floors from the crash point, thus causing explosions in floor way below the crash point or floor. The report cites the resultant heat as the main cause of bending and sagging of floors and columns after excessive heating. The report explains the ejections on lower flows by stating that the massive weight of the sagging floors created a dynamic load, which exceeded the load limit designed for the columns. As such, debris was forced out through the windows as the floors caved in from above. The report also challenges the controlled demolition theory because it cites that there is a great difference in controlled demolitions as compared to the evident collapse, because controlled demolitions start from the bottom floors upwards. Therefore, a collapse such as the one seen at ground zero would not have been a controlled collapse because, despite the cited similarities, the collapse began on upper floors and not lower floors, as would be the case in controlled demolitions. This far, there has been no trace of explosives found on the site and there is no evidence of pre-cutting of the walls or columns, which normally occurs in controlled demolitions. As such, this theory has never been solidly proven (Grossman 1).
The controlled demolition theory may sound a little far-fetched, but as long as the government and the designated bodies in charge of investigation have never come out openly to disapprove it or provide counter-evidence, the theory still stands and gains popularity. The theory does not, however, command any strong following because it has no solid proof beyond its mere assertions. The fact that there has been no other supportive theory that has made plausible assertion supporting any form of conspiracy implies that the publicly known truth on Al-Qaeda’s involvement may still stand (Grossman1). The simple fact that there has been great adversity between the US and other strong militant and radical groups is also a supportive element that shows the known truth may be indeed the only truth.