By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
In the five years since 9/11, a growing number of Americans have become convinced that the World Trade Center was brought down by a deliberate act of demolition carried out by the U.S. government. The so-called 9/11 conspiracy movement is growing larger by the day, aided and abetted by the work of filmmakers like Sofia, a San Diego-area director who prefers we only use her first name. Sofia's film, 9/11 Mysteries, which screens in Newport Beach on Thursday, Nov. 2, is the first installment of a planned four-part series of feature-length documentaries alleging that the 9/11 attacks were an elaborate ruse designed to bolster public support for a prefabricated war on terror.
This movie focuses not on the hijackings but on the collapse of the Twin Towers, showing relentless footage of the falling buildings side by side with archival shots of actual demolitions. It's a technique highly reminiscent of Oliver Stone's incessant use of the Zapruder film in JFK: "Back and to the right, back and to the right . . . " and while intriguing, fails to offer much in the way of actual proof. JFK might have been completely wrong but it did force the government to release thousands of classified files that have helped shed light on some of the darker chapters of U.S. history.
In that vein, whatever really happened on 9/11—and after two viewings we're still convinced it was the work of highly motivated, highly evil hijackers—9/11 Mysteries is worth viewing if only to challenge one's own assumptions and, hopefully, lead to greater discussion of the tragedy and more accountability from our government. I recently spoke with Sofia about her film and why so many people, including herself, are willing to give bin Laden a pass for toppling the towers.
How did you get the idea to make a documentary about 9/11?
It all began with a pilot I knew who flew Boeings for 30 years. He was watching TV that day and he said you have no idea how hard it is to fly a plane into the buildings like that; the G-forces are too high, and the plane's wingspan is 175 feet and the building itself is only 200 feet wide. When we drive a car into a telephone pole, that is easy—but planes can't be maneuvered as easily. The guidance for a plane has to be done slowly. The way the planes veered into the Pentagon is under question. The suggestion here is that the planes were controlled by remote and remote controlled aviation has been available for 30 years. He said there is no way he could have done that with 30 years' experience flying planes.
So what happened to the people who got on those airplanes and haven't been seen or heard from since?
First of all, it is important to remember the planes were under-booked. Some were only 20 percent full. There was an effort made to under-book the planes and there are reports that people tried to buy tickets on American Airlines Flight 77 and found the price had tripled that particular day. Efforts were made to discourage people from flying on those flights. There are reports that Flight 93 landed at Cleveland airport. We think there was a masking going on, a classic flim-flam magician trick. We don't even know if Flight 11 took off from Logan. There is a chance the passengers were bundled onto Flight 175. There are reports that two of the plane's tail numbers were still in service until recently. This would suggest the planes themselves were active. There is a possibility the planes that struck the towers were not the passenger planes we thought they were but Boeing tankers manufactured for the military.
What about all those cell phone calls passengers were making saying their planes had been hijacked?
You go in an airplane and try to use your cell phone and you won't succeed. At elevations greater than 4,000 to 8,000 feet you will have no signal. Towers have to hand their signal off to other towers. Get this in your brain: nobody reported their family members had made cell phone calls until Sept. 12—that's huge! Now, after the fact, we are being told they weren't cell phone calls but calls from seat back phones. There is a whole technology of digital voice morphing, so those calls might not have been made by real people. Some of the passengers could be fake.
Your movie argues that the twin towers fell because of a deliberate demolition. Where's the evidence for this?
Evidence is traditionally something you can hold in your hand. In 9/11, the evidence was removed, ground zero was roped off and the steel and debris was summarily carted off for sale to foreign countries to be removed. If 9/11 was a crime and ground zero was a crime scene, there should have been real forensic examination of the steel. Strangely, those gigantic steel columns were busted up into lengths that could fit in pick-up trucks, and that is typical of a controlled demolition: they will break columns into manageable lengths. The jets hit at the top of the building and the fuel was expunged in that fireball, so it could not have melted the steel. There was a three-hour fire for several stories in 1975 in Tower One, and that three-hour fire was much more of a raging fire. What does melt steel is thermite, which is an accelerant used by the military.
It seems counter-intuitive to suggest that the fires weren't hot. Why else would all those people trapped in the building jump to their deaths?
The twin towers were billowing dark smoke. These were sooty fires. There wasn't a lot of oxygen and they were burning at a low temperature. None of the people who called from inside the towers complained of heat—they complained about smoke. When your lungs are cut off you will go wherever you can for better air. The amount of soot in the smoke means the fire was not hot. The temperature required to melt steel is 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit. Jet fuel is hydrocarbon and those fires max out at 1,200 degrees. I could burn all the jet fuel and gasoline in Orange County and it would never reach 1,250 degrees.
What has the reception been like so far to your film?
The movie opened in four cities on the Sept. 11 weekend. There was a nice premiere in Austin, Texas. KPFK is using it in its fund drive. It is being screened by all the different 9/11 groups and churches and at informal house gatherings, and certain people are showing it. There is a massive awareness throughout the world about this, a 9/11 movement as you call it. A movie before mine, Loose Change, has become very popular and covers a bigger spectrum than mine. I only cover the demolitions in the first movie. My movie, which just came out, has already received over half a million views on the Internet. One of the beauties of the 9/11 movement is that it is viral and people feel they must tell other people. We don't know the truth and we may never know the truth, but it is important to have awareness. 9/11 was a "false flag" operation and there have been others that preceded it. Pearl Harbor was another—these are historical events that were not acts of fate but were organized. There was knowledge about them beforehand and a story was orchestrated to lead to a war. That's the whole revelation that a lot of people are waking up to only now.
9/11 Mysteries screens at Ami Beaucoup Martini Lounge, 151 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 673-3425. Thurs., Nov. 2, 8 p.m. Free.