Did the U.S. government plan and execute the 9/11 attacks?
Does one internet video hold the shocking evidence?
What does this man...
...Have to do with this man?
If you own a computer, odds are you have seen Loose Change, a slickly-produced viral internet video making the case that the U.S. government planned and executed the 9/11 attacks. No, I don't know why it's called "Loose Change."
If you haven't seen it yet, you will soon. The Loose Changers will make sure of it. They sell this thing like they're getting a commission. In a single day I had four different people on four different forums try to get me to watch it.
How viral videos are spread
And most of the people who watch it, come away convinced.
The film is a rapid-fire collection of video clips set to techno music, attempting to prove that:
- No plane hit the Pentagon - it was a cruise missile;
- The hijacked planes didn't bring down the World Trade Center, the buildings were wired with explosives ahead of time;
- Flight 93 didn't crash in Pennsylvania and in fact landed safely elsewhere. The passengers were in on the conspiracy.
They've sold more than 100,000 copies of this thing on DVD. It's been downloaded millions of times.
But is it bullshit?
There are basically two views on the subject, and I intend to provide both equally. You can make up your own mind. One side says...
1. The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are liars.
Here's how it started.
There was a teenager named Dylan Avery.
According to his own site, when he was 18 he was doing construction work on a bar owned by James "Tony Soprano" Gandolfini. No, I didn't make that up.
Anyway, Avery wanted to be a movie director. At a party he seized the opportunity to buttonhole Gandolfini, and the two had this conversation:
Avery: Mr. Soprano! I'm a huge fan!
Soprano: That's great, kid.
(Glances at bodyguards)
Avery: You know, I want to be a director...
Soprano: Like I give a shit. The deformed kid who cleans my fuckin' gutters wants to be a director. You got an idea for a movie?
Avery: Well, no...
Soprano: Then what the fuck are you comin' up to me talkin' about bein' a director?
Avery: I've always wanted to-
Soprano: Shut up. Listen to me...
(Nods toward bodyguards, who approach from across the room)
Soprano: ...Let me tell you the problem with kids like you. You don't wanna direct. You don't wanna tell stories. You wanna be a director. You wanna walk down red carpets with a fuckin' starlet on your arm. You ain't got nothin' to say to the world. For you, the movies, the work, it's just a means to an end. Limousines and cocaine, right?
Avery: Yes! That sounds great!
Soprano: People like you are a cancer. You're the most dangerous people in the world because you'll do anything for the spotlight. You'd tattoo a Swastika on your head if you thought it would get you a movie deal. The people who make it, the people who deserve to make it, the ones who get respect... they're the ones who got something to say to the world.
Avery: I don't under- Ooomph! My crotch!
(Soprano's bodyguards deliver several vicious blows to Avery's body, then dump him into an alley).
That's pretty much how Avery tells the story, if you read between the lines. Dylan Avery wanted fame. Badly. How far would he go to get it? With Loose Change, we would find out.
He sat down and started writing a FICTIONAL SCREENPLAY about he and his buddies finding out 9/11 was a government conspiracy. Fictional. Sort of an The X-Files episode. Avery mentions this in every interview he does.
Since he had no money to film his own movie, he started cutting together video and photos off the internet, creatively editing them to make them scary and ominous, cutting the visuals to fit the story, making a fake documentary. Like Spinal Tap, only about mass murder.
So, for instance, in his screenplay, the Pentagon was hit with a missile and then was covered up for the public as a plane crash. Avery sifted through photo after photo of the Pentagon attack, all showing hunks of airplane scattered everywhere...
Including big pieces that have the Airline logo right on it (background)...
...And close-ups of burned-up landing gear wheels (shown side-by-side with a regular 757 wheel, for comparison).
All these pictures blink across Dylan Avery's monitor until FINALLY he finds a shot that doesn't show any wreckage. He saves it, puts it in the video, and writes voiceover that says NO PLANE HIT THE PENTAGON and NO PHOTOS SHOW ANY EVIDENCE OF A PLANE.
From Loose Change. "Where's the wreckage?!?!?"
Now obviously, hundreds of people were in the Pentagon that day, dozens of witnesses saw a plane crash, hundreds of people cleaned up airplane parts and charred bodies, air traffic controllers saw the plane fly in on radar, pairs of light poles more than 20 feet apart were knocked over when the massive wings of the airliner mowed them down like grass. But that's okay. He's just making a fictional movie, it's all in fun.
So he does the whole video like that. He cuts sound bites in half, saving the part where a flight instructor says something like, "I met the hijacker and he was a bad pilot," and deleting the part where the same guy says, "but you don't exactly have to be fucking Chuck Yeager to crash a plane into a building." Without that second part, it sounds like the guy is saying the hijacker couldn't have done the flying. He has literally edited the words to make the guy say the opposite of what he said.
But again, it's just fiction, a "what if" movie, a "War of the Worlds" broadcast. It was supposed to be a student film, his resume for the world, a viral video that would get his name out there. I have to admit, it was a great idea.
Conspiracy buff Phillip Jayhan ambles into Dylan's life, waving around a sweaty wad of money. Jayhan, by the way, says the world is run by a massive satanic cult that enslaves prominent politicians by delivering kidnapped boys for them to molest and then blackmailing them about it later.
World leaders gather for massive Satanic ritual
Okay, that's probably true. But the point is Jayhan offered to pay for Avery to get his little film off the ground. Only, the thing is, Jayhan didn't think it was fiction. Jayhan, who believed in every available conspiracy prior to 9/11, believes that the WTC planes had missiles on them that were fired at the towers and that's why they fell down. Oh, and also there were bombs in the towers. Or something.
Avery, realizing now that the financial future of his film and his dreams of fame and fortune lie entirely in selling Loose Change as a factual documentary, miraculously discovers that, in fact, the plot behind 9/11 is real.
After all, which is going to have a bigger impact on you:
A friend who comes to work and says, "dude, I totally sat down and wrote a ghost story last night, wanna read it?"
The same friend running up in a panic and saying, "DUDE, A FUCKIN' GHOST SHOWED UP IN MY HOUSE LAST NIGHT!!!"
You're going to get the same story either way. But it's a much bigger impact if he presents it as fact. Now, if his goal is just to be creative, he'll have no problem admitting it's fiction and letting people criticize it as such, even if it means the work goes unnoticed. But if he's Dylan Avery, and his goal is to become famous, he'll do the one that he knows will get him noticed. From that point on, Loose Change was a "documentary."
He, along with friends Korey Rowe and Jason Bermas, have knocked out updated and prettier editions of Loose Change. They are the stars of a 9/11 "Truth" movement (as they call themselves), a cabal of smaller conspiracy groups, some of whom believe no planes hit the towers (they were missiles with airplane holograms around them) and others who simply believe Bush hired the hijackers to do it.
People have asked me, "why would he do it if he didn't believe it was true?!?!?"
I know why. You do, too. Why do people have blogs? Why do people line up for American Idol auditions? Why is Hollywood full of food service workers dreaming of stardom? Where do Japanese game shows get their contestants?
Why do I write for this website?
Everybody wants the attention, the validation. It's just that some will do more to get it than others.
You see, there's a dark underside to this thing. Those conspiracy buffs who have catapulted Loose Change into stardom, you surf their sites and a similar theme comes up again and again. They'll talk of "Zionism" and the "Zionist" conspiracy. They'll talk of Jewish bankers who secretly run the world.
They'll talk about how maybe the Holocaust didn't happen, or wasn't such a big deal after all.
That's a common theme among the 9/11 conspiracy crowd. I'm not suggesting that Avery denies the Holocaust. In fact, other 9/11 "Truth" members have snidely dismissed Avery and his crew as "Holocaust promoters."
No, what I'm saying about Avery is that he will gladly align himself with neo-Nazis if that's what it takes to become famous.
For instance, Loose Change is filled with screen grabs of newspaper headlines that mention things like missing planes and bombs at the World Trade Center... but all of those shots are from the American Free Press...
Every time you see a newspaper headline in Loose Change, it's pretty much always from the American Free Press.
Meanwhile, I had a good chuckle the first time I saw the Loose Change end credits, where they boast research done by "Killtown."
Now, memory told me "Killtown" was a white 80's rap group...
But hey, which of us wouldn't hitch our wagons to some neo-Nazis if it meant career advancement? That doesn't make him a bad person, does it?
Well, this does. Listen to Avery laughing his ass off about the hijacking victims:
(Dylan Avery, being interviewed by radio talk show host Jack Blood):
Avery: Ha Ha Ha Ha! Have you seen how small those things [box cutters] are? Like, if I was on a flight, with, you know, at least 50 other people - because that's the smallest number I think was on 9/11* - if I was in the cabin, with 50 other people, and five people - I don't care if they're Muslim or not - stand up with box cutters and say they're gonna hijack the plane, I'm gonna laugh in their face!
Blood: And these pilots, I mean, we interviewed Debra Burlingame, whose brother Chick was the one sup-posedly flying that plane that hit the Pentagon-
Avery: Oh, that's right! I heard about that!
Blood: -And of course she is a TOTAL shill for the Republican Party, she also spoke at the [Republican Na-tional] Convention. And is it ABSURD that she went on and on about how her brother was ex-military, how she knows that her brother and the other pilots fought for their lives, against these deadly terrorists-
Avery: Yeaaah, yeah. Whatever.
Blood: (mocking an Arabic accent): It is my preevilege to keel you with thees box cutter!
Avery: Ha ha!
Blood: Didn't Rumsfeld say, right after this happened, that they had actually done this with plastic knives and not box cutters?
Avery: Yeah, he said that in the same interview where he said that a missile hit the Pentagon.
Blood: OH MY GOD! HE'S GOT A PLASTIC KNIFE!
Avery: HE'S GOT A BUTTER KNIFE FROM BREAKFAST! OH, NO!
Blood: Take the plane, sir. We don't want any trouble.
Avery: HE'S GOING TO SCRATCH ME A LITTLE BIT! HUH HUH!
Blood: UN-BELIEVABLE! Well, that's exactly what we're saying. That's an overused term, or underused term, "unbelievable."
Avery: (Still laughing): It's ABSOLUTELY unbelievable!
Blood: (doing accent again): It's un-bee-leevable!
Avery: What's even MORE unbelievable is how people will DEFEND this!
Or maybe you'd like to hear the guys talk about Bernard Brown.
First, picture Avery sitting at his computer, sorting through those Pentagon photos, all the ones showing the plane crash. Picture him writing his fictional screenplay.
Bernard Brown was a Pentagon employee. His 11 year-old son died on board Flight 77 (the one that hit the Pentagon). The father happened to not be at work that day, or else you could have had the horrific situation where the son would have been a hostage on the plane that, upon crashing, killed his own father. Remember this is a real, actual person, who actually lost his son.
Now listen to Avery say that Bernard Brown was in on the conspiracy and intentionally took a day off to "go play golf" while his own son...
...was being burned alive in a plane crash he helped plan. Playing golf, while his son dies.
That link was the text. Here's the audio. Dylan Avery, who knows this is fiction. Who has seen the evidence he left on the cutting room floor proving these planes were hijacked. And he accuses this grieving father of murdering his own son...
...Because it will help sell his movie and advance his film career.
Really, the whole Loose Change thing would be funny if it wasn't for the murderous lies and horrific deaths and the Nazis.
Members of the Jury, "The 9/11 Conspiracy guys are liars" rests its case.
But there is another side to this argument and they will now be heard.