The BBC took five 9/11 Truthers on a road trip and confronted them with the facts. They were each told to present the claim that they felt convinced them. In response, they were then introduced to the appropriate subject matter experts who proceeded to debunk the claim. So what actually happened and did any of them change their minds? Yes, some did.
It was all fronted by Andrew Maxwell, an Irish stand-up comedian, but this was a serious topic and so he did indeed treat it seriously and not as a joke. He is quite clearly seen loosing his rag when faced with the utter insanity of these kooks at a couple of points
The first claim presented came from Charlotte: There is no way amateur pilots could fly a commercial airliner fresh out of out flying school
- To debunk, they took one of the five, a small nervous student nurse, and gave her flying lessons. After thirty minutes she was doing just fine and even managed to land successfully.
Next up was a claim from Emily about Airport Security: How could they get through security with knives?
- They Introduced them to Buck Rogers (yes that was his real name), an airport security expert. He explained that prior to 9/11 security measures were quite different, anybody could walk through and go right up to the gate. It was also common for cockpit doors to be open during flights.
This is all true, it was once indeed quite common for bored transatlantic crew to invite passengers to the flight deck, I’ve been there myself. I also managed to accidentally bring a knife (Swiss army variety) on an aircraft a few days after 9/11. I had been at a conference and the conference gift was this knife instead of the usual T-Shirt. I had tossed it into my bag and forgotten all about it. Security failed to find it even after a manual check of all hand luggage at the gate.
The third claim comes from Charlie Veltch - he is sure that the buildings were brought down in a controlled demolition and even has video on his laptop to illustrate his claim
- To counter this they introduced them all to a demolition expert on the 42nd floor of the new building on the 9/11 site. He explains how you need to pre-cut the steel girders and plant explosives and also explains why we saw the buildings collapse the way it did. Charlie is impressed.
Rodney, one of the five, claims that traces of thermite explosives had been detected
- They bring in a real explosive expert. He sets up 3Kg of thermite on a steel girder and sets it off (no not in the building, but outside). It failed to actually burn through it.
Moving down the coast on their road trip to Washington, they go to the Pentagon. There are claims that it was not a plane at all but was instead a cruise missile.
- They bring in the Pentagon’s chief engineer. He had personally seen parts of a plane (including bits of stewardesses … ugh!). The small hole you are often shown is not the entry hole, but rather is the exit hole where the remains of the plane came out after the wings had been stripped off upon entry at the other side.
Andrew, fronting the program, then takes them to a club and did some 9/11 standup humor to see if that would shake them loose … nope, but he gets a laugh.
Next Claim: Why did the US airforce fail to intercept the planes
- They bring in the chief of air traffic control. He explains that they did not have the big picture and the various departments were not talking to each other
Next Claim: United 93 did not exist …
- They go to the site where they meet an expert who explains how the aircraft hit the ground at high-speed at a forty degree angle upside down and so not much will be left, most of it was buried. To illustrate the point, he gets them to try the same with flour, stones and eggs, so that they get a handle on the basic physics.
“Ah” they say, “You can’t make phone calls on a plane so the calls were faked”
- They have a voice expert who explains that in real-time it is not possible to do this with a real-person on the other end of the call.
- They are also introduced to Mark Bingham’s mother, (she spoke to her son from United 93), and she has no doubts that it was him and not a recording.
End result of it all? Some good news, Charlie Veltch, the outspoken conspiracy believer changes his mind, takes it on the chin and states openly, “Yep, I was wrong”. As for the others, well the strongest in denial appears to be Charlotte who sticks with her beliefs and simply discards the in-your-face evidence.
Here is the actual 1 hour program …
If you are personally still not sure, then here are a couple of links for you to do further research: