Friday, September 9, 2011

No 9/11 Conspiracy

The terrorist attacks that occurred in New York City ten years ago is all that anyone seems to be talking about these days.  Whatever the medium, wherever I turn, I am reminded of how the world changed on Sept 11, 2001.  Strangely, it seems that much of the conversation about this terrible event surrounds the possibility that it may have not been a terrorist attack at all.

As a scientist, I can appreciate the desire to question things and dig deeper for the truth when things do not seem to add up.  In the case of 9/11, as with the moon landing (which, of course, did happen), the "deniers" or conspiracy theorists are wasting their collective breath.

The various myths surrounding 9/11 have been debunked countless times by specialists in various fields.  The satisfactory answers that were provided when 9/11 conspiracists first made noise many years ago are as correct today as they were at that time.  It is as though these myths have a certain shelf life.  The answers become forgotten, and the myths resurface.  The experts are again called in to debunk them, and on it goes in a dizzying and wasteful cycle.

I have read that people who get emotionally involved in conspiracy theories usually have certain psychological issues associated with them.  Somehow, strange myths become a comfort to them.  I wonder if these people just like to feel smart - as though they know something that the majority of the population does not.  Those that blather on about how George Bush was in on the attacks remind me of people who talk a lot about how good they are at something.  In my experience, the worst musicians are the ones who brag about their talent.

I remember where I was when the towers fell.  I was leaving an engineering course when it was announced, and I just imagined people running around everywhere like ants whose sandhill had been squashed.  At the time, I had never been to New York City, nor did I know the significance of those particular towers.

On my first visit to Manhattan, years later, I stared at the place where the structures once stood, and shook my head at the instability of the world. 

Not so amazingly, 97% of Americans remember where they were when they heard the news about 9/11.  There is also surely a quiet majority that shake their heads when attention-craving people try to spread their version of the events of that day.

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