The 9/11 attacks were a big, bad, crazy time in American history. It can be hard to wrap your head around all of the facets of that terrible day, which is probably why some people don't bother and instead invent elaborate conspiracies wherein the Koch brothers staged the whole thing to get a discount on airfare or something. But some of the little details about 9/11 are crazier than others, and may require extra twisting of the mind. For example ...
Debris from the Twin Towers was scattered over an area, well, the size of Lower Manhattan. It's little wonder that the cleanup operation, which took a whole nine months, missed a few things. There were papers, staplers, wall calendars -- you know, the type of stuff that you find in an office. That exploded. There was also one other thing, one which seemed like it could have been important to the investigation.
What you're looking at is landing gear from one of the planes that struck the towers. It was found in April 2013, laying on the ground between two buildings located three blocks from Ground Zero. Though in hindsight, it makes sense that no one caught it. To describe the resting place as "tight" seems like an understatement (although that space is probably worth more than your house on Zillow). This situation is compounded by the fact that New Yorkers steadfastly refuse to make eye contact with anything on the off chance that it tries to force a demo CD into their hand.
After this discovery was made, the NYPD immediately sealed off the area until the medical examiner could verify that the there wasn't any ... human matter involved as well. Luckily, they were able to trace a visible ID number to make a positive identification, and concluded that the landing gear did in fact belong to one of the 9/11 planes. You know, in order to rule out any of the other planes that have exploded within that three-block area of Manhattan.
In the days following 9/11, the trademark office received a ton of applications trying to gain ownership of some form of "September 11 2001" for use on "general retail merchandise." This is illuminating, because one would think that grifters have to have a modicum of common sense to ply their trade. You can already write that date on tourist crap, guys. You don't need to trademark it. Or, y'know, make it in the first place.
It'd be easy to point and laugh at the majority of the applications, but two stand out for being ... whatever descriptor is accurate for when a vulture pulls off something crazy. One tried to trademark "World Trade Center," a phrase that we think someone already owns, for "use in entertainment like TV programs, videos and movies about the attacks." Another attempted to trademark ''Sept. 11, 2001'' for use in "books, news radio programs, TV news and entertainment shows, theater, musicals, comedy or operas" -- a sentence that could be cut down to "just everything forever."
And that application was filed on the day of 9/11.
To its credit, the trademark office turned down all of these applications. Guess what, bozos? Dates aren't enforceable intellectual property. Also, you're monsters. But mostly the first thing.
In 2001, Limp Bizkit was riding high. Their new album was topping the charts, their tour was selling out, they were absolutely dominating in their core demographic of people who considered Nirvana too "thinky," and their video for "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" -- which was filmed on top of the WTC -- was in constant rotation on MTV. The band even scooped up a VMA for Best Rock Video.
And then 9/11 happened and ruined everything for Limp Bizkit. And probably some other people, too.
Following the attacks, the video for "Rollin'" was pulled from the channel because executives (correctly) figured that no one wanted to be engulfed by sadness while watching the crazy antics of those rap 'n' roll boys.
The attacks on the World Trade Center left a figurative hole in the heart of New York City ... and also a literal one. And you know who likes holes?
Get your mind out of the gutter, we're talking about archaeologists. This is a classy website, and there is no room for perversion here.
In 2010, excavations on the south side of Ground Zero stumbled across some old wood. And because archaeologists, like your mom, love touching wood regardless of its cleanliness, they were sent in to have a poke around. They found the intact framework of a wooden sloop from the 1770s.
The ship was used by the Dutch to carry passengers up and down the Hudson, at least up until the 1790s, when it was thrown into a massive landfill with the intention of building a solid foundation of garbage so the settlers could expand the island into the Hudson River. Basically, it was the reverse of Lex Luthor's plan from Superman, with really old trash instead of nuclear missiles. The archaeologists found a wealth of other items from that time too, including butchered animal bones, bottles, shoes, and a single human hair with a louse still attached to it. It just wouldn't be New York if you didn't find a single human hair with a louse still attached to it.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Ben Sliney was settling into his first day as FAA Operations Manager. He probably managed to shake a few hands, immediately forget everyone's names, and have an awkward employee ID photo taken before news erupted about multiple aircraft getting hijacked in what was obviously a coordinated attack on America. At the time, nobody knew if any of the other thousand-plus planes in the skies were also compromised.
Getty Images News
Sliney sent a message to his bosses, asking for permission to cancel all take-offs across the country. He never heard back, so he decided to go big or big home and ordered, without consulting anyone, all planes in the air to immediately divert to the nearest airport. It was an unprecedented shutdown of U.S. airspace.
After all 4,500 of the affected planes had safely landed, Sliney held his breath and waited for his bosses to demand his ass for breakfast. If he was wrong, he'd cost the airline industry billions of dollars for nothing. In the end, however, no one came for Sliney ... except to ask why he didn't order the shutdown sooner, because bureaucrats are never satisfied.
Support your favorite Cracked writers with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more, check out 7 Bizarre Ways You Didn't Know 9/11 Changed The World and The 9 Most Offensive 9/11 References In Pop Culture.
Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire internet.
Follow us on Facebook. Because we love you.