A soothing female voice that reminds me of the unemotional dispatcher saying, “One Adam-12, armed robbery in progress at 121 Park Street, shots fired, code three.” What she’s telling us about isn’t an armed robbery — it was murder. It’s abhorrent that anyone would want to commit mass murder of this magnitude (over two thousand people).
The DVD, 911 Mysteries, asks a lot of questions that anyone with just a cursory knowledge of demolitions would ask. To help viewers, the director, producers, and writers, collectively known as “Smallstorm,” provide the viewer with a primer on demolitions.
My first question is, “Who is Smallstorm?” When the credits roll by at the end of this DVD, there is no mention of Smallstorm. There is a list of 31 people and companies under the heading of “Special Thanks.” Included in that list are two names that might be familiar to conspiracy theorists: Texas radio talk show host Alex Jones (a self-described paleoconservative) and John Hankey.
We found a clip on YouTube of Hankey giving a presentation in which he says he has taught history for 20 years. In a seach for “small storm” on the Internet, the first item that comes up is titled, “What Happened To Sophia Shafquat Aka Sophia Smallstorm?” Ms Smallstorm has apparently become an enigma herself. At the conclusion of the credits an announcement appears that the 2007 copyright for 911 Mysteries is owned by In the Wake Productions Avatar, LLC. A Google search for that company leads to 911weknow.com. Although this site has been updated as recently as June 2010, the most prominent message is a request for donations and offers to sell 911 Mysteries by mail order.
911 Mysteries does a thorough presentation of documented facts about demolitions and explanations for why they apply to 9/11and the World Trade Center. The information presented begs numerous questions about what happened to the Twin Towers. Consider these examples:
- How did the WTC lobby sustain devastating damage from a hit more than 70 stories above?
- If the floors pancaked as explained by the mainstream media, why didn’t the steel core survive?
- Why did the “pancake collapse” occur at or faster than the speed of gravity?
- What could explain the significant damage to the sixth sub-basement more than 70 floors below the impact point of the passenger jet?
- What was the source and cause of the explosions heard by firemen inside the towers?
- How could the impact of an airplane on the 78th floor cause molten metal in the foundation that continued to remain at temperatures above 1100 degrees for weeks afterwards?
- Why did building 7 (location of the mayor’s bunker, CIA, and SEC computers) come down?
- Who was in charge of security? (President Bush’s brother)
- Why was power to both towers shut down (causing loss of electronic security) for an entire weekend prior to 9/11?
- Why were bomb-sniffing dogs removed?
- To what extent and how was Underwriters Laboratories involved?
A clever questioner can box in the one being interrogated by structuring the questions in the proper sequence and build upon the answers leading to a predetermined conclusion. Unlike previous Hankey productions, 911 Mysteries manages to avoid the temptation to lead the viewer to a conclusion other than the fact that we still have many questions for which the American public and the world deserve honest answers. Was there a conspiracy other than Al Qaeda and the Taliban? Was our own government or corporations involved? It may be a while before the truth is known, but someone knows and, as Smallstorm says, “Secrets cannot be kept forever.”
It’s only a short time until September 11, a day many Americans consider a solemn commemoration of the events of September 11, 2001. This year, the observation of 9/11 is tinged with irony, as plans for a mosque just blocks from the fallen World Trade Center are hotly debated.
Looking back to 2001, there are a number of documentaries that explore what happened on the morning that is forever etched in America’s collective memory. Of course, there are conspiracy theories. Putting together a conspiracy DVD seems to be a relatively inexpensive endeavor, and there is a large cult following for such efforts.
One documentary that seeks to explore what really happened is the non-rabid 911 Mysteries. Unlike several recent documentaries we’ve reviewed on the Kennedy assassinations (JFK and JFK, Jr.), the facts offered to support the theories are presented with inflamed emotions and indignity. 911 Mysteries is the most reserved of conspiracy theory DVDs we’ve seen.
At issue is the physics of the collapse of the towers, semantics, and propaganda. 911 Mysteries focuses on what happens when buildings are professionally demolished as opposed to what happens when a plane crashes into them.
To make its point, 911 Mysteries repeatedly shows the planes striking the buildings, demonstrating various reasons the documentary-makers believe that 9/11 was not an act of terrorism, but a planned demolition. When I see footage of planes crashing into the towers, I see people suffering and dying. Each time such footage is flashed on the screen, my stomach churns as I immediately am reminded of the people inside the buildings, the plane passengers, and the rescue workers who lost their lives, and the thousands of people who suffered as a result of whatever brought about this tragedy. Every time it’s shown, I see a ball of flame and horrible suffering. Yes, it’s a visceral reaction, much like Herbert Morrison’s when he saw the Hindenburg burst into flame: “Oh, the humanity!”
There is a lot of support for the theory that the World Trade Center was a demolition. What of the planes that hit the Pentagon and were aimed at the White House? Were all those terrorists actually on the planes? Were they “Manchurian Candidates”? What about the passengers who phoned family to tell them what was happening—were they also Manchurian Candidates? There are so many questions which the theorists do not address (although there are plenty of documentaries on this subject, so there are sure to be more theories).
There is a plethora of scientific evidence cited, experts interviewed, and opinions expressed, one might easily be convinced that 9/11 was, indeed, a demolition. The problem is that all this supporting evidence is in fields in which I have little knowledge. Yes, it makes sense “when you put it that way,” but what are the other ways to put it?
I found 911 Mysteries to be particularly well made, but calling it a conspiracy theory documentary may be inaccurate, since it only hints at a few folks who might have something to gain or to hide. It’s more of a series of “If such-and-such happened then why did…” questions.
The problem I have with conspiracy theories is that so many of them will take a small piece of evidence and develop it with wild supposition. It’s not that I accept “official explanations” so much as I don’t believe any of the explanations—official or theoretical. Problem number two is that when a conspiracy requires a large number of participants, I find it nearly impossible to believe that someone wouldn’t say something to the wrong person somewhere down the line (the wrong person being anyone who might tip off the press, public, etc.).
Truly, you can take any event and build a conspiracy theory around it, using facts as the basis of outrageous hypotheses. Doubt is a positive thing—we shouldn’t just accept everything that everyone says at face value. Therefore, questioning and disseminating your questions (and research) is not undesirable. For some of us, though, it will take a lot more than conjecture to convince us of the real story.
Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent/stream 911 Mysteries? Yes. It is reasonable and restrained, and provides a large amount of info. It is up to the viewer to decide if it has any merit.