This coming Tuesday is the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks in New York.
Still deeply embedded in the American psyche every bit as much as the assault on Pearl Harbour was for a previous generation, the literally horizon-transforming events of this catastrophic day (it happened on a Tuesday) rewrote forever the socio-political landscape our world inhabits.
This post is intended as a personal recollection of my memory of that day and it’s aftermath.
Back in the year 2001, I was in the first of what would turn out to be three glorious years of living in Tokyo, Japan. I was working as an English instructor and thoroughly enjoying being in a foreign land. Life was all green tea and ramen noodles, removing ones shoes before walking inside, sleeping on tatami mats, adding ‘san’ to everyone’s name, wearing a collar and tie on the subway to work and snow in the winter time.
I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 clearly. I had just walked into the shared lounge room of the ‘Gaijin House’ (accommodation housing non-Japanese) I was staying in when a fellow Aussie (I don’t recall his name but I do distinctly remember he had a beard and enough size to play front-row for the Brisbane Broncos) began pointing to the over-sized box television switched on in the corner of the room, saying ‘Check this out!’
We stood shoulder to shoulder for the next few minutes trying to make sense of what we were seeing in the news images flashed before us; two strangers bonded together ever so briefly in a moment of horror and disbelief. I am quite positive anyone over the age of 30 would be able to recount in similar detail exactly where they were on this day – when they first heard the news of the history-defining attacks that ushered in the ‘war on terror’, and in doing so, redefined both what a battlefield and a weapon could be while at the same time forever shattering the boundaries between war and peace.
Not long after the events of September 11, 2001, alternative theories began to circulate about how the World Trade Centre Twin Towers (first opened in 1973, with construction commencing in 1966) plus Building 7 of the complex collapsed, possibly by means other than the hijacked planes crashing into them.
Various investigations commissioned by official organisations, including one in 2002 by the American Society of Civil Engineers and another in 2005 by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded the Twin Towers suffered massive collapse due to the impact of the aircraft, and resulting jet-fuel ignited fires, ALONE.
These investigations were not enough to satisfy conspiracy theorists who claimed (and continue in some cases to claim) that the skyscrapers could not have been brought down in the pancaking manner in which they were by the impact of jet planes flying into them ALONE.
The most popular alternate explanation for the massive structural failures experienced by World Trade Centre Buildings 1 & 2 is that their collapse was assisted by (and in the case of Building 7 – completely due to) controlled demolitions (ie. the buildings were pre-wired to explode). This theory gained momentum when it was reported explosives’ residues in the form of nano-thermite material (produced only by military industry manufacturing) were identified in dust samples taken from the area that became known as Ground Zero after the tragedy.
This hypothesis is tied to the
incredible preposterous notion that the U.S government in the form of the George W. Bush administration had a complicit hand in planning and staging the cataclysm for reasons ranging from the need to destroy incriminating financial records contained within the buildings to a plot to benefit from a stock market insider trading scheme to the need to initiate war with the Middle East to manipulate world oil prices.
Far more plausible explanations of the physics and architectural factors that conspired to bring down the three skyscrapers (all built using late 1960’s/early 1970’s construction methods) that day can be found –
That’s a lot of videos I know, but if you’re still not convinced of the implausibility of the controlled implosion argument and far-fetched conspiracy theories in general – ones that require hundreds if not thousands of people to keep a secret for life (in which case you’re likely also a flat earth theorist who believes the moon landings were filmed on a Hollywood movie lot) – then dang it, you may as well sample a bit of the lunacy for yourself by clicking…
Ps.This post has strayed somewhat to the serious side simply because of the nature of the subject plus the fact this coming Tuesday is a very sedate and weighty occasion. But given I’ve openly pledged before my intention to keep things for the most part light on these pages, best I end with this…
While I was in Japan I purchased a SPIDERMAN comic. It featured an all black cover and a storyline centred on September 11. I recall at the time I had some vague idea that if I kept the comic long enough, one day it might be worth considerably more than I paid for it.
Recently a valuation on ebay revealed that my investment plan for monetary growth of this once-off collector’s item is most definitely on track – it’s just it looks like its gonna take roughly 200 years longer to cash in for a half way decent pay day than I’d thought.
Pss. On a completely unrelated but no less commemorative note I give you my Top 4 Burt Reynolds movies –
Rest in Peace Burt.