Andrew Maxwell takes five typical young British conspiracy believers on a road trip from New York to Washington to try and tackle the truth about the events of 9/11.
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This programme contains some scenes which some viewers may find upsetting, and some strong language.
I'm Andrew Maxwell, a comedian.
But I'm here in New York on a serious mission.
9/11 was the most shocking day in recent American history.
2,973 innocent people died.
Unbelievably, there are many who doubt the conclusions of the official investigation
and want to believe the American government
was in some way responsible for this tragic event.
I'm taking five of them to America on an extraordinary journey,
to see if I can change their minds. It'll be a tough mission -
these guys appear to be convinced conspiracy theorists.
-Rodney? Welcome aboard. Andrew.
-Nice to meet you.
-You all right?
-How are you?
-Hello, Shazin. Andrew. Welcome aboard. Please.
Done. Let's move this thing.
How do two towers with two aeroplanes
get pulverised into...nothing?
Personally, I'm certain as certain can be
that the attacks were ordered by Osama bin Laden.
So we're now going down the east coast of America,
from New York to Washington, to see where the attacks happened...
Flight 93 passed right above, and that's where the impact occurred.
..to meet eyewitnesses...
I saw melted parts of the plane,
I saw parts of stewardesses in the building.
..relatives of the victims...
I said, "I love you, sweetie," and then we were cut off.
..and even the chief air traffic controller.
We at air traffic control did not know what was going on.
What will happen when they're confronted by the scientific facts?
Maybe there'll be arguments...
Don't be blaming them.
When have I ever done that?!
You don't make any sense at all.
You're crying, screaming or happy.
That's all right. I don't have a heart of stone like you.
Oh, man! Does anyone have any Prozac?
Will I end up changing their minds?
We will seek the truth, brothers and sisters.
As we travel through the day that changed the world.
Welcome to Conspiracy Road Trip 9/11.
Welcome to Conspiracy Road Trip 9/11. Welcome.
Now, I have reason to believe that all five of you have divergent opinions
from the official account of events. Is that correct?
-It is, sir. Yes, sir.
-OK, sweet as.
It will be my attempt to conjecture and perhaps charm,
-to persuade you otherwise.
-Good luck with that.
Charlotte, a nanny, thinks the American government was to blame.
I think it was Bush and his Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld...
Rodney, a health worker, studied biochemistry
and believes some of the science doesn't add up.
Nano-thermites were found at the wreckage.
You know, literally.
Nano-thermites were found. They're military-grade explosives.
Student Emily is an active member of the 9/11 Truth Movement.
9/11 was an inside job!
You know, I do go on about it a lot.
My housemates said I was preaching about it to them.
I guess I do talk about it a lot.
Shazin has some doubts about the official version of events.
I questioned United 93.
Some of the passengers made calls to their family,
and I've always wondered how you can make a call on an aeroplane.
And Charlie, who studied philosophy,
thinks 9/11 too conveniently provided an excuse to go to war.
Sold a lot of weapons!
It's, er...got some good contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan.
'You couldn't make up better stuff -
'a bunch of bearded men, living in caves.'
-Where would the Twin Towers have sat?
-There. That's the bay.
No, no. Other way, guys. That way.
'We're going to the sites of 9/11, to the actual places.'
I want to see what difference that makes to their opinions.
Does that calcify them?
Does they even harden in their opinions?
Or do they step back and realise this is real...
There's real suffering here?
All right, let's do this thing. Come on!
We're starting the trip where that truly awful day began.
2,753 innocent people lost their lives here
when the Twin Towers were attacked.
Even though an independent commission concluded it was the work of al-Qaeda,
my five - and allegedly up to a third of Brits and Americans -
just don't believe it.
Maybe the site of Ground Zero will give them a reality check.
Being here, I get this incredible sense of...
It's not, it's not a calm sense I get around the Ground Zero,
it's this kind of anxious...
I don't know, it's a kind of confusion.
There is a...bad energy around here, bad energy.
Charlotte was in New York on September 11th, 2001.
Every moment of that day just flooded back.
'I started realising that this was a real emotional trip.'
'She's been obsessed with 9/11 ever since,
'and has been researching what she thinks
'really happened for the last ten years.'
When you start looking at things and it was within...
within the first day.
By the end of the day, I was like, "Something is going on here,
"and I'm going to get to the bottom of it.
"I probably never will, but I'm going to try."
And that's how you know hundreds of thousands of other people felt.
There's not... It might be a conspiracy,
but there are hundreds of thousands of people that believe it.
Over the next week, each of my fellow travellers
is going to challenge me on a conspiracy theory
they believe proves the official version wrong.
Will you please welcome to the front of the bus, Charlotte.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
First up is Charlotte, who thinks the American government is to blame.
OK, basically, I'm going to be discussing the major queries
regarding the amateur pilots.
She can't believe the hijackers - barely out of flying school -
could have steered jetliners into the Twin Towers
with such deadly accuracy.
I can't imagine that somebody
that's had training in some flight simulators
and can barely fly a Cessna could get into the seat of a 767
and hit that kind of target at the velocity and speed
and everything that's needed one time, no practice run.
It couldn't have been done at that speed,
couldn't have been done at that velocity.
So either the data is faulty
or someone's pulling the wool over our eyes.
Welcome to Best In Flight.
-Charlotte, how do you do?
Robert Hadow's an experienced flight instructor.
I want him to show how hard or easy it is to control an aircraft
for someone who has never done it before.
If you're tender with the controls and can take directions,
-you'll land the plane on your first flight.
I don't want to do it.
Been thinking about plane crashes for the last week.
The last thing I want to do is get on a plane.
Charlotte volunteers to let Shazin go up.
I'd gladly submit to one of these girls to do it.
-I'd love to do it.
That's brave of Shaz,
because, since 9/11, she's been scared of flying.
Do you have any problems with birds flying into the plane?
-It make a big mess on the wing.
-This will get you over your fear of flying.
You're flying over water, it's so easy!
Fly well...just don't crash.
-You couldn't just say, "Have a safe flight"!
-OK, Shaz, you ready?
-Push the throttle all the way up!
All the way up! OK?
Woo! Oh, my God!
Push right, go right.
Push right now.
All right, you're doing fine.
After less than ten minutes' instruction,
Robert hands the controls to Shazin,
who seems perfectly capable of flying around Manhattan.
Now, that should convince the others.
Look, she's flying.
This is really scary, actually.
Oh, my God.
Bring the stick back a hair, bring the nose up to the horizon.
I'm heading towards that water tower,
and it's pretty easy to navigate.
-Obviously, I don't want to hit it.
-Well, I won't let you.
-So, Robert, you're not controlling this at all?
-No, I'm not. All right?
So how easy do you think it would be for an amateur pilot
to fly a big, massive airliner jet?
-Well, in fact, it's easier to fly a big jet.
-For example, you feel the bumps we're going through?
-You wouldn't feel that on a 747.
-Oh, I see, I see.
But it's the same basic principles.
This airplane, or any other big airplane.
Now Shazin is about to try
one of the most difficult manoeuvres of all,
after just 30 minutes.
I'm going to ask you to aim directly down the runway.
So, finding a target, you think, will be quite easy for me?
I would prefer not to think of it as a target,
I would prefer to think of it as the runway you're going to land on.
-All right, now, you're aimed right at the runway.
-Yeah, just about.
Now just use your feet, a little bit of right rudder,
-and we're going to fly it all the way down.
-Throttle back a little bit more.
-A little bit more.
Right. Now. Now we're going to tease the runway. OK.
-Just hold it there, throttle out.
-Throw the throttle all the way back.
-Yep, got it.
-All the way back.
-All the way back. All right?
Now just hold it off the runway, hold it off, hold it off.
Oops, bit bumpy.
-Yeah, but you did it.
-But we did it.
-So I'm very proud.
-And the wing's OK, yeah?
I can't believe I landed a plane myself.
In such a short space of time.
-Did you land it?
-You landed it?!
-I landed it completely, so...
Do you think that it would be more difficult to fly a Boeing airplane?
It might be slightly more nerve-racking, but I would say it's very easy.
Especially as, prior to this, I hadn't had any knowledge
about how to work this thing,
and I've been taught in less than an hour.
Shazin's convinced, but despite this evidence,
Charlotte still doesn't believe that with so little training
the hijackers could fly a commercial jet
into a target with such accuracy.
I mean, do you know a lot about Boeings?
As a matter of fact, yes.
OK, the exact Boeing that went into the World Trade Centres?
All they had to do is fly straight and level towards a target.
So people that trained them didn't believe they could do this,
and yet the rest of us will just except that they could
and will dismiss any other possibility?
I think Charlotte might be a particularly tough nut to crack.
Emily's been concerned about something different.
Now, my main bone of contention is
if President Bush knew on August 6th -
which he did, but has categorically denied
until he actually had to come out and say, "I did know" -
why did he not step up the security to maximum,
make sure that nothing gets through?
So let's go through and we'll see exactly...
It was. It's like how it was.
Let's go and meet Buck, and he'll talk through how it used to be.
-Hey, you're on, Buck!
I've found a United Airways pilot with many years experience -
Buck Rogers. Real name.
He should be able to explain how the hijackers
managed to get through security with knives.
If George Bush knew on August 6th, which he did,
do you feel that the time between August 6th
and September 11th would have been too short to implement
security measures with the threat that they had?
Well, I appreciate your question,
and I'm sorry I'm not able to quite answer it.
I can tell you, before 9/11 a lot of airports were such like this.
There, there were no metal detectors in some airports,
and people could just walk through.
In fact, way before 9/11, some people were able to
just not even go through a metal detector
and just walk to the gate to meet their arriving passengers.
That's at the airport. Let's go into the flying world.
Before 9/11, they flew with the cockpit doors open.
So, as a passenger, you could actually go into the cockpit
while the plane was in flight.
We experienced very little hijackings.
I mean, there was an occasional hijacking in India,
there may have been one down in South America or Mexico.
So in America, there really wasn't anyone attempting to hijack planes?
-No, we hadn't experienced that.
If something like that had never happened before,
it's a very unique way.
Andrew, it said in the report...
'Unfortunately for my case, the security guard at the check-in desk
'also has his doubts.'
It seems a little bit wacky but it makes sense what you're saying.
If it is a conspiracy, you know, like, you believe those...
people who executed it, yeah, they were pretty smart,
they knew what they were doing,
-but it just happened a little too perfectly.
A bit too easily.
A little... Yeah.
Either way you look at it, the government screwed up massively
or they orchestrated the entire thing.
It's just a big "Who knows?"
Don't you think we need some actual justice and accountability?
And when the American people find out that it was criminal elements
in this establishment that either made 9/11 happen
or allowed it to happen,
there'll be a revolution in this country.
-They know what happened. It was a terrorist attack.
-We don't know happened!
You weren't there, dude. You just believe in the official story,
you're just having this obedient psychology,
which is very worrying, man.
As people, they're nice. They're nice people.
There's nothing... You know?
It's kind of odd that they're...
They're... They're incredibly cynical...
..yet incredibly, kind of, childlike and gullible at the same time.
You know what I mean?
But these five people - well, to various shades, as we're learning -
to a certain extent, all five of them believe
that the American government wiped out their own people
with civilian planes.
On 9/11, the hijackers did get through security.
They did overpower the crew and take over the controls.
At 8:46am, they managed to guide the first plane
straight into one of the Twin Towers.
And at 9:03am, the stunned world saw the second plane do the same.
Oh, my God. Oh, Jeez! God!
At first, the Towers looked OK,
but within an hour, the first steel skyscraper started to collapse.
The investigation concluded that the impact of the plane
and then the ensuing heat from the jet fuel fire
caused the Towers to collapse.
That's what the official report says.
It seems obvious to me, but Charlie doesn't believe it at all.
Hi, guys, thanks for listening to me.
I am a proponent of the idea that the Twin Towers
were brought down in a controlled-demolition manner.
Those buildings would not have collapsed in the slightest
from a Boeing 767 hit.
The main reasons why I think it was a controlled demolition -
first of all, is that what we saw on September 11th
with the World Trade Centre were these two 110-storey buildings
collapsing perfectly within their own footprint.
What we call a top-down demolition.
Charlie thinks the way the towers fell
looks uncannily similar to a normal skyscraper demolition,
so he thinks it was a controlled demolition
carried out by the government.
See? How does it carry on going straight down?
That's a controlled demolition if I ever I saw one. Thank you.
CHEERS AND APPLAUSE
'Charlie's done well, it's a strong case.
'I'm going to have to take him on.'
Now, to refute that, we're going to be meeting a demolition expert.
He might be on your side, Charlie. Let's not be so cynical.
Dude, if he's on our side, I will buy you a bottle of champagne.
The point is, you're not going to have to do it on Skype,
or look at a clip on YouTube, you're actually going to meet somebody. OK?
-You can talk to him, all right?
'Charlie had a pretty conventional life
'until he was made redundant from the City.'
'Well, I grew up very gung ho.
'I mean, I was a banker
'who joined the Territorial Army to be an officer.'
I learnt how to lead men, I learnt how to march like a robot.
I was fully prepared to go to Iraq
and kill terrorists for Queen and country.
I guess I kind of had some sort of political awakening
about the events of 9/11.
I can't then go and be such a nihilistic...killer
to go and kill people who may have had nothing to do with 9/11.
And so I quit, a week before Sandhurst,
and they were quite pissed off.
Since Charlie's political awakening,
he's become convinced
the United States government blew up the buildings
as an excuse to invade Iraq.
Rebuilding has started at Ground Zero,
and 200 metres up, on the 47th floor of one of the new towers,
I'm hoping a demolition expert will help me make Charlie see reason.
Mummy, I can fly!
I'm trying to get my bearings,
but I'm presuming this is where the World Trade Centre was.
The point is, say if Dr Evil came to you
and wanted to do this, actually rig it and blow those buildings,
how many men would you have needed?
We're fortunate here in that these columns have not been covered yet.
'Brent Blanchard has demolished thousands of buildings.'
So they're the exact sort of columns that you'd want to rig, yeah?
Similar. These are smaller than what was in WTC.
But you can't put an explosive on this and have the column blow up.
-It doesn't work.
You need to pre-cut this in some way.
That requires preparation. It requires a LOT of preparation.
And you would actually have to have some type of explosive,
similar to this, something very high velocity,
that will cut through steel.
It happens in building implosions.
You don't see it, but that's what it is.
-That's what you're doing.
The Twin Towers.
How many times would you need to have done that process
to pull down the towers?
Probably hundreds of columns.
You're talking about a lot of explosive material,
a lot people who know exactly what they're doing,
who have a lot of time to work on this.
So that's how you do a controlled demolition.
Guys come in, pre-cut the steel girders and wire the whole building.
I can't see how all this could have taken place
under the nose of everyone working in those buildings.
You'd have to pass security,
get through the doors, and pass the cameras undetected.
It's not that far-fetched, to believe that somebody could.
Let's even say you got your equipment in,
you still need access to the columns.
I saw the tower start to go like that but then...
Let's imagine that's there and it kind of...
carried on straight down into the building,
instead of just going, buuuuuupp!
When the building begins to fall, it never, ever tips over.
But they're saying that the jet fuel doesn't burn that high,
-enough to melt steel.
-It doesn't have to.
The little columns need to be supported.
When it began to fail... As soon as they tip a little off centre,
they lose a lot of their support.
When it tips a little more, as you saw in 9/11,
they have no support now. They have to go straight down.
So it's simply compressed.
Brent's been making a lot of sense,
and I wonder if he's managed to persuade Charlie.
It makes sense. Ugh. This is hard, you know?
Cos I've held onto these ideas for years now
and I've hung out with people who said,
"Yeah, conspiracy, 9/11, demolition."
But now I've spoken to a guy who explained to me
why it's stopped collapsing, and it makes sense.
-In the morning...
'It's been a long day, and I may have cracked Charlie.'
Rodney's a different story.
You'd think a science grad like Rodney would be more rational.
I think, yeah, explosives were used.
I mean, that's been discovered. There's evidence of them.
There's been two scientific papers on that.
We're talking about something that very few people know about,
and that needs to change.
It seems he's going to be very hard to convince.
By the morning, Rodney has found a strong ally in Charlotte.
They're both so convinced Brent and I are wrong,
they've gone for back-up.
Tony Szamboti is a mechanical engineer
who's written articles in professional journals
about the Twin Towers.
He's willing to agree it would have been impossible
to pre-cut all the steel girders unnoticed.
But he has an answer.
And I want to show you right here,
these are pictures of the paper put out by these scientists
who found active thermitic material discovered in dust
in the 9/11 World Trade Centre catastrophe.
When they looked at these red and grey chips,
they found they had the constituents of thermite.
-In addition to that - this is a big thing - these chips ignite.
Right. Exactly, and...
The thermitic reaction was going on.
He thinks an incendiary called thermite was involved.
It's a fine powder that can melt steel when ignited.
Now, there's no way to structurally explain the freefall
other than some form of controlled demolition device in there.
-Why weren't those questions asked?
Charlotte and Rodney now want to convince us
that the Twin Towers were brought down by a controlled demolition
using thermite packed around the girders.
So I've found them a real boffin,
a thermite expert from the University of California.
And I've sent them off to conduct a DIY chemistry experiment.
It's not really an explosive, it's more of just an incendiary...
-Yeah, it creates a lot of heat.
Yeah, but it will demonstrate how steel can be melted.
It's a simple recipe, mixing very small particles in a powder,
that creates an intense heat when it burns.
Look at that. Very, very similar red-grey chips.
Just be prepared to put a safe distance
between you and the reaction.
Charlotte and Rodney are sure that when this mixture is ignited,
it will cut through a steel beam.
-Woo! Oh, my God!
Oh, it's so hot! Oh, wow.
So it's aluminium oxide and iron metal.
They've partially separated, based on their densities.
-It's dripping to the floor.
Unfortunately for them, it's clear that three kilos of thermite
has barely affected the steel beam at all.
It seems you need a big bucket of the stuff to burn through that.
Yes, you need a lot.
You know, probably hundreds of pounds.
It's unlikely that so much thermite could be so well placed.
Is it possible to put this stuff in paint and then paint it on?
In fact, it would act to slow it down
or prevent the chemical reaction from occurring.
Would the fire have acted to ignite the thermite reaction?
Well, it's very difficult to ignite thermite.
We had to use magnesium ribbon here, and it's very hard.
Thank you very much.
It's becoming more and more and more unlikely that this stuff was used
to bring down the buildings, and...
I really... I'm starting to really question, like,
what was in it for the establishment to do this with this?
Like, they had a lot to lose. If they got caught...
The amount you'd need to put in the buildings.
If a janitor finds this, calls the police, the police turn up,
the NYPD finds all these explosives on September 10th,
it would have brought about revolution in America overnight.
So it's starting to seem that...
..the planes did mess up those buildings quite a lot,
and maybe things like this are unnecessary to explain the collapse.
But Rodney isn't having any of it.
He's still holding on to his Thermite theory.
Good luck, man.
-I'm not going to go too hardcore, don't worry.
-We don't want to break you.
-No-one will break me.
One day saying this, the other day saying that.
It's not good, really. You can't flip-flop every single day. Change your mind every single day,
and then completely throw the science out of the window.
Get on the bus, come on!
Rodney's not the only person I seem to have upset.
Charlotte hasn't been convinced by my experts either.
It's just one person. I can't just take one person's idea
over, like, hundreds of people. I can't do that in just one day.
I can't just change my mind.
But if you have an opinion, you have an opinion, you know?
It's the land of the free, home of the brave. That's how democracy works.
This one, he's starting to think... And I felt like when I met you,
you were pretty sure, and I understand you can't be...
you can't be sure 100% and I'm not sure 100%.
-No, me neither.
-But that is his prerogative.
I didn't understand how the buildings could collapse that way and he explained.
As a person who likes reason and logic and science, it suddenly made sense, and it was, oh!
At this moment, I have a right to be pissed off.
On this trip, Charlotte has been relying on Charlie to back her up,
but the search for the truth is beginning to affect their friendship.
And I'm feeling a bit guilty.
I think Charlotte's the most committed,
the most definitive in her opinions.
Charlie is very vocal, but I don't think this it's a criticism,
but I think Charlie's kind of changeable, you know?
It's a long drive down the eastern seaboard to the site of where the next hijacked plane hit,
the source of yet another conspiracy theory.
We're in Washington DC, the capital city
and home of the vast American Defence headquarters, The Pentagon.
At 9:38am, September 11th,
American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into The Pentagon.
-You see the planes come in?
-No. I didn't see no plane, didn't hear no plane.
Some of my five don't believe there was a plane at all.
They can't believe a Boeing 757 full of fuel and passengers
could leave so little wreckage and such a small exit hole in the side of The Pentagon.
I'm losing even Charlie again.
He's assembled us in his hotel room.
The hole that seems to have been punched through, right? This is the punch-out hole.
Now, what could cause a punch-out hole of that...
perfect spherical shape?
A punch out...
And people are starting to speculate
that perhaps this was a cruise missile that hit the Pentagon
as part of an internal attack on America.
Do you think that a missile could go in there, unnoticed by the general public?
Well, a missile is a small, very fast-moving thing.
Most people don't know the difference between a cruise missile engine
and an airliner engine, because who's listening out for that?
In 2006, the government was forced to release some CCTV footage,
which they claim shows the plane hitting the Pentagon.
My guys believe the images are too poor to prove anything.
It's hard to argue with that,
but they still think it was a US missile. I think that's nuts.
So to try to get their heads round this one,
I've managed to get them an audience with the Pentagon's Chief Engineer, Allyn Kilsheimer.
He was an eyewitness and one of the first people on the scene.
He should be able to tell us whether the Pentagon was hit by a plane or not.
Allyn's office wall is covered with letters of thanks
from the Bush White House.
This hasn't gone unnoticed by my conspiracy crew.
That one's Donald Rumsfeld.
"I, George Bush, by virtue of the authority vested in me
"by the constitution and laws of the United States..." Anyway, it's a letter from George Bush.
In this whole devastation, what remains of the plane were there?
When you think about the building, the Pentagon itself,
I saw parts of a plane, I saw melted parts of a plane
I saw parts of stewardesses, OK?
In the building. And they... One of the things they say is, like,
how can a plane make a round hole?
You have to understand how the explosions occur.
And this is a computer model of what happened.
OK, so this is the plane flying through the Pentagon,
and if you look at it,
you see how it shows the plane disintegrating as it goes through.
It went through three wings of the building.
Came out at the A&E drive, which is right there.
What was left of the plane came through, it was a big round circle,
which is why so many conspiracy people say it was a missile.
The small size of the hole can easily be explained,
because it is where the remnants of the plane came out.
Leaving almost all the debris and passengers inside.
What came out was what was left of the plane, which is the tail section.
-You saw that section yourself?
-Absolutely. Yes, sir.
But most of the people that I've heard about
who believe in these conspiracy theories
had not talked to anybody factually that was there.
'Shazin and Charlie seem convinced by the Chief Engineer.'
It's like a younger and older version of you!
'But Charlotte clearly is not buying my guy.'
He couldn't even show us parts of the plane!
I had such a different experience in there then you did.
The only reason I think he has a motive to lie
is because he's so closely connected with the people that I believe have made this a cover-up.
That young girl, clearly, when she walked in the room...
had a certain opinion when she walked in the room.
The look on her face was...
that she didn't want to hear a thing I was going to say.
Which is more important to you, the truth, or the right answer?
-Because they're two very different things.
-Who says what is the truth and what is the right answer?
From instinct, all I can go on is my instinct,
and if I, in my heart, believe he's not telling me the truth,
there's nothing he can say,
unless he can show me real proof of a plane. End of story. All right?
It was quite dodgy, and a bit sort of suspicious,
and I knew that from walking in and seeing the letter from Bush and from Rumsfeld on his wall.
Why do I have to take what he's saying as...?
But you could have been enquiring, like you have been on the rest of the trip,
-instead of sulking behind shades.
-I can do what I want,
just like he can do what he wants. He doesn't account to anybody.
-The guy was there, he was there!
-What do you mean, he was there? He saw no plane.
Do you think I'm going to believe someone
that I believe is behind the conspiracy that is in the pocket of the government?
No, fuck. Fuck, no. I don't like this....
'We're three-quarters of the way through the road trip and tensions are running high.'
'I've been booked to do a gig at a stand-up club and I've invited the gang along
'to see if a little bit of conspiracy humour can get to them.'
Last year, an orang-utan escaped from Dublin Zoo,
and in the newspaper, and I quote, his zookeeper said,
"We believe he was planning it for years."
They reverse-engineered his crime
and they found out over the last 15 years,
he'd been cultivating a tree to grow against the wall of his enclosure.
What the fuck kind of monkey Shawshank Redemption is that?!
'Right in the middle of my gig, Rodney's phone goes off.
'Turns out his mother's caught up with him.
'She doesn't know he's into conspiracy theories, or even that he's in America.'
She's a bit worried and a bit anxious about where I am
and what I'm doing, what's going on.
Because it's all been... I've been a bit secretive about it.
I've not told many people what's going on. It might have caused issues
and I wouldn't have been able to come in the end, and I didn't want that to happen.
So I'm sort of being a bit incognito
in order to do what I've got to do.
What I want to do. And it's me juggling things.
We all like you now that you've brought Captain Groovy into the White House!
It all went a little bit dark ten years ago,
a couple of planes went into a building, it all got a bit miserable,
but we're back on top, right, brothers and sisters?
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-We're back on top.
By 9:42am on September 11th,
three planes had already hit their targets
and a fourth, United 93, was feared to be flying straight at the White House.
This man, Ben Sliney, Head of Air Traffic Control,
gave the order to shut down American air space.
My conspiracy team want to know why American Air Force fighter jets, sent up that day,
failed to intercept the hijacked planes.
They think the US government must have been in on it.
'I've got Ben, now famous for playing himself
'in the feature film United 93, to tell them what happened.
'Much to Charlotte's delight, Charlie is now leading the attack.'
So in the United States, there is a system in place
that if a plane of any size goes off course for a while, military jets intercept them, yeah?
If you've done your homework, you'll know that I believe
we only had six interceptors available for the whole East Coast.
So we didn't...
Is that normal?
We had a lot of cutbacks in budget, and they closed a lot of squadrons,
and there were very few aircraft to send up for that type of mission.
It's budget dollars.
Given that President Bush was aware of a plan to hijack planes,
do you feel that aviation security should have been ramped up?
I think it was a frightful breakdown of security.
We in Air Traffic Control did not know what was going on.
No-one had enough of the big picture to actually put it together, I believe.
So, long story short,
you think 9/11 happened because the government wasn't talking to each other.
The various CIA, all these agencies, don't have lines of communication between themselves
and they could have figured it out, there was enough evidence
that they could have stopped it all before it started.
Given what we've been told about the investigations and what each agency knew,
I think it is very likely that it would have been prevented.
Wow. That's so great. Thank you so much for your information,
we really appreciate it, and your opinions.
There's been no accountability from anyone at all.
There's still evidence of a government cover-up, that's been admitted by a few people,
it was just now, there could be a government cover-up.
There's no "there COULD be a government cover-up", there HAS been a government cover-up.
They selectively hear things.
Their takeaway from that will be that the American government did 9/11.
That's what they just heard.
Spurred on by Ben Sliney, Rodney thinks if there was a cover-up,
others, like M15 and the Israeli Secret Service, must have been in on it too.
There's a lot of espionage going on in the world that we don't know about,
there's so much in the world going on that we don't know about.
What possible purpose?
It includes the Pakistani Secret Service, the Saudi Secret Service, it includes MI5.
It was called chatter.
So they all knew 9/11 was going to happen, my point is why did they not tell the US Government?
Dude, it happens all the time.
None of us are absolutely, positively...
Yes, we can! That is not how the world works!
-How do you know everything?
-Because that's not how the world works!
-We're human beings!
-We don't know.
That's the most ridiculous thing you ever said.
We don't know Santa does not exist, we can't be sure.
Santa! You're going to bring in Santa Claus?!
How do we know he doesn't exist? Who here's been to the North Pole?
-This is getting silly.
-Oh, my God! You're just taking the piss.
-I am taking the piss out of you, because it's ludicrous!
-You're talking about Santa.
< I'm done, I'm done.
You're talking about...
I'm absolutely done with this, you don't make any sense.
It's like everything about this 9/11 crap, conspiracy nuts...
You know, they have an end goal,
and then they fit their silly jigsaw to make it fit.
I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle, but I've still got one more chance.
We're off to the site where the last plane, United 93, crashed.
This is the celebrated flight where the passengers fought back
and some made calls to their loved ones,
but according to some of my guys, the plane didn't exist at all.
At 10:03am, the first crash investigators arrived on the scene
and found a large hole, but no bodies and no plane.
My understanding is that the pieces are no larger than the phonebook.
It does seem a bit strange for a plane to disappear,
but for our conspiracy theorists, it's fuel to their fire.
The coroner, Mr Miller, who works at the FBI, neither he
nor nobody else knows what happened and caused Flight 93 to go down.
This is from the coroner of Flight 93.
He himself does not know.
The wide displacement of the debris found miles out...
Basically, everything is speculation. It's all speculation.
No-one knows what happened with Flight 93.
Air crash investigator Greg wants to prove to Rodney
and the others that there really was a plane.
Fortunately, they were able to find the black boxes, that is
the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder.
And the airplane went in at a 40-45 degree angle into the ground upside down.
The sad thing is is that the human body is like a water balloon.
And so at a high speed impact,
the human explodes - as does the airplane.
And so you won't find recognisable parts of the passengers and the crew on that airplane.
One other thing is that as the airplane went in, of course,
this part stops because the ground acts as resistance,
but the rest of the airplane still has a lot of energy and collapses into this big crater.
That's why a lot of the witnesses said that the impact crater was very shallow,
but actually, the airplane had gone in almost 40 feet and then the dirt collapsed in on top of it.
Greg thinks the simple approach to science may convince them.
Getting them to use flour and stones could prove to them how a plane can disappear completely.
This one is actually where the rock went in,
it displaced the flour out and then collapsed back in
and actually covered up the entire rock.
Next, with eggs, he shows them how something can shatter into tiny pieces.
Now you see the debris has spread out.
And with water bombs, how debris can scatter over a wide area.
If you saw the splash...
..you see how much splash area is covered?
That's because that higher velocity will take the lighter water particles
and throw them further. The same with the airplane.
High speed velocity, you're going to get that big impact crater,
but the smaller flotsam, or debris from inside the airplane
will be flung further out.
And that's why we have debris covering 70 acres out in that field.
We know for a fact...
..that the aeroplane was intact as it went into the ground,
and that it was most likely that the pilot who was flying the airplane...
..actually rolled the airplane and caused it to crash into the ground.
It was very... there was a lot of pseudo-science.
There was basically... we had the water bombs and the eggs.
-It's not pseudo-science.
The physics and the thermo-fluid dynamics of an egg...
We're talking about a completely different scenario.
Greg's physics gets the two sides of the bus arguing.
Some of them still aren't convinced there was a plane.
We would like something more tangible.
Well, of course he's not going to get a bloody 757 and crash it into the field. It's impossible!
There's one here!
But the clincher for me is the passengers' phone calls to their families.
It's Shazin who's about to challenge me on this one.
So a lot of people think that you can't make...
phone calls on a plane,
but I don't know how this science works
because we're still not able... we're still not allowed to use our phones on the plane.
You possibly could have done it in 2001 but not...
..above 30,000 feet and 42,000 feet...
..like it has been on the data recorded.
So are you saying the satellite's completely different?
There's no such thing as satellites back then. It was all wire towers on the ground.
-How do you know it's impossible?
I'm not saying anything. Don't put words in my mouth!
Technically, on the scientific side, it's impossible.
-We'll agree to disagree.
-But that's not the point.
It's just scientific fact. That's all I'm trying to say. Let's be empirical about it.
Let's be empirical about this! Let's get rid the emotion
and let's look at it as a scientific point of view.
A lady here talking about her son. She felt the conversation was a bit strange.
Charlotte is suggesting the phone calls made by passengers on United 93
were in fact faked by reviewing this interview with one of the victims, Mark Bingham's mother.
So I'll just play that for you now.
I get on the phone and he said, "Hi, mum, this is Mark Bingham."
And he says, "I want to let you know that I love you."
"And I'm flying...
"And there are three men that say they have a bomb.
And I said, "Well who are they, Mark?"
And he repeated that he loved me, and then the phone went dead.
What I find fascinating about that video is that he says his full name.
I don't know if you've ever called your parents and said, "Hi, mum. It's Charlotte Scott-Hayes here."
..ever in your life. I've never introduced myself to my mother with my full name before.
And the second thing is, if you notice,
she asks him direct questions and he never answered a direct question.
In fact, he repeated what he said before so...
There's people saying if it was fake, you'd just have some standard answers.
So what we want to find out is if it's possible at all
to fake someone's voice, record it,
and play it over the phone and have it seem like it's come from the air.
Dr George Papcun is one of the inventors of voice morphing technology.
He's taken an example of Shazin's voice.
I think everyone wants to be optimistic.
When you hear of a tragedy, you want to think that the people...
Then he makes her say something she's never said.
So look, I made her say this.
I think everyone wants to disappear and vanish.
Oh, my God!
The results are very convincing.
-That is so scary.
-That's very, very scary.
-That is so scary.
So it can be done. So there's some basis to Charlotte's suspicions.
-If both sides of the conversation were faked...
-..if it really wasn't ever answered by a relative...
..I think you're right. I think it could have been faked.
But I said "if". This is crucial.
In that regard, if somehow they were able to get Mark Bingham's voice.
Maybe they have a recorded phone conversation.
Even Shazin, the most reasonable of the group, thinks the phone calls could have been edited.
Charlotte is adamant they could have faked Mark's half of the phone call,
but for her and Shazin's theory to be right,
they would have to have used that recording in a live conversation between Mark and his mother.
Can you show us how plausible it is to fake it where one person is a close intimate relative
and then you're doing a fake recording of that person?
Different bits of speech on the sound board and you click on the buttons.
Have you not... Do you know about sound boards?
Sure, sure. I think in real time
it is not practical, and probably not realistically possible.
Look at what I had to do for... Shazin.
I had to do take a prior existing recording,
I had to cut things out,
switch them around, and then recreate what Shazin said.
I didn't do that here in real time.
-And that, I think, cannot be done in any realistic way.
My last chance at convincing them they're wrong
is to get them to talk to the person on the other end of the line,
Mark Bingham's mother.
-How you going?
How are you? I'm Alice Hoagland. How are you?
-Hello, I'm Shazin.
-Hello, Rodney. How are you?
I'm fine thanks.
Emily. Nice to meet you.
-You all right?
Pretty blue eyes. It's a pretty emotional place. I know that.
Yeah, it's really emotional.
-It's more emotional for you than it is for me.
-Oh, I'll get there.
I guess it must be have been kind of unusual
because you and the other families were just, I suppose...
getting about your day, living your lives, and all of a sudden you're...
..thrown into this massive global story.
It began to be surreal right away.
I answered the phone and I heard Mark's voice,
and he said, "Mum, this is Mark Bingham."
Had he ever introduced himself like that before to you?
Well, on occasion. And people have made quite a to-do about that.
One of the persistent rumours is that what I heard was...
..a computer-generated voice,
that no son would call up his mother
and say, "Mum, this Mark Bingham."
And I was puzzling about it,
but I realised that he was a public relations man,
he was used to talking to people by introducing himself on the phone
like, "Hello, this is Mark Bingham."
It was what came out of his mouth
when he was trying hard to be calm and composed and talk to his mum.
I understand why people would be concerned about stories they read on the internet.
The internet is something like the Wild West,
and people can get on there with very few credentials and not very many brains and say whatever they want to.
I don't think there's anything suspicious about him saying his full name.
-Is there any doubt in your mind that it was your boy you were speaking to?
Not a bit. Not a bit.
As a matter of fact, I was trying to think of something intelligent to say and...
..and then we were cut off,
and I dialled Mark's cell phone number
and left him two messages and...
it went something like this,
"Mark, this is your mum. It's a terrorist attack and you've got to do what you can do...
"..and get some weapons together and make a run. You're not going to get much help from on the ground.
"I love you, sweetie. Good Luck. Good bye!"
And my messages to Mark were numbers 41 and 42...
..of a whole bunch of messages that were left for him that he hadn't received.
And then, from listening to the cockpit voice recording,
clearly they were! They were fighting.
And what I could hear was a group of about four, five, six, seven...
..men charging forward.
I can just visualise Mark leaping over the seats...
..and letting the other guys run up the aisle...
..and you can hear them really close,
"In the cockpit! In the cockpit! In the cockpit!"
They were already in the cockpit, at this stage?
Well, that's what we don't know. I don't know.
We brought Alice to meet you
because, so could first hand have, someone face to face could say,
"Yes, I listened to my loved one
"that day on an airphone. Yes, I completely believe it was them."
I have no doubt, I have no doubt in my mind at all
that that's what she believes,
I have no doubt in my mind that's what she believes.
Well, do you think she was duped?
It's a possibility,
its a definite possibility.
It can be done we have the technology to do that.
It could be done very easily I probably could do it myself.
She's a lovely lady, but, um...
but, for example, if it was someone I knew or someone in my family
I would be relentlessly fighting to get all the evidence out
and to have someone account,
everyone should be held accountable, for me personally.
You know, I would fight tooth and nail to get justice.
I find it strange that she was...
maybe she thinks it's not going to happen,
maybe she's lost hope. Nothing that sad -
people in the US government could have prevented it?
should have? And if they didn't they should be held accountable,
heads should roll.
I'm not putting anyone down but we're having a fricking debate,
if I disagree with you I'm going to say I disagree with you that's how a debate works.
You're making it sound like I'm being an idiot.
-I'm not saying that you're...
-You're shouting at me!
Then shout at me back, shout at me back.
-It just drives me fucking crazy.
-I have a loud voice, Charlotte.
It's like you are either crying or screaming or happy!
I don't have a heart of stone like you who can stand in front of someone
who lost their son and then someone else that says it didn't happen.
Oh, man, has anyone got any Prozac?
You've driven me so, so crazy at points.
It doesn't matter who cries when or whatever this whole thing is really emotional
and if she wants to cry in front of a mother who lost her son it's fine.
-It's OK, I never said she shouldn't.
-Well, that's the thing.
Yeah, I'm sorry if I'm not cold and not crying.
-Yeah all right whatever, whatever.
We're at the end of our trip and I want to know
whether I've succeeded in changing any of their minds.
Rodney remains convinced it's a conspiracy.
I think they knew about it and they let it happen.
I seemed to have failed with charlotte too.
You believe the American Government, or possibly higher,
in brackets, Illuminati, were behind 9/11.
Erm, there was no phone calls from the planes?
Yeah, I still believe in that.
OK. Er, there was no plane went into the Pentagon,
it was in fact a missile.
Yeah, I'm pretty much 80% on that point, I'm still debating that.
That there wasn't a plane.
Emily is sitting on the fence.
I have this-these people telling me one thing
and these people telling me another thing and I'm in the middle.
I don't know what to believe because, quite simply,
we don't know, we don't know what happened.
Shaz has come to a conclusion too.
The interesting thing about the trip for me,
being the least conspiratorial,
was that people with conspiracy type opinions
or the people on the trip are...
and I think that that isn't very healthy.
But Charlie has totally changed his mind.
I found my personal truth and you don't have to agree with me
but I can't push propaganda for ideas that I no longer believe in
and that's, that's what I do so I just need to basically
take it on the chin, admit I was wrong,
be humble about it and just carry on.
The five of them, Charlie, you know,
the most astonishing really,
he's completely changed
from an ardent
a weary realist, I suppose, which would be more my position on the thing.
Its seems in all probability to me,
and saddening probability to me,
a bunch of fanatics got through
because the American government
didn't see it coming,
weren't ready for it,
and in many ways were tragically inept.
Despite our differences, here at the Pentagon memorial to those who died,
one thing unites us all -
it's the sense of tragedy and loss of 2973 innocent people
on that terrible day in America. September the 11th 2001.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
This September marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, one of the biggest terrorist atrocities of the 21st Century. Nineteen hijackers, all members of Al Qaeda, crashed four planes on American soil, leading to the deaths of 2,973 innocent people.
This horrific event has generated a multitude of conspiracy theories that contradict the official findings of the US government's investigation into the events of that day.
Andrew Maxwell, a comedian, believes in the findings of the official investigation, which claim the responsibility for the attack lies with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. He thinks the conspiracies theories are unsubstantiated nonsense. So in this film he offers to take five young Brits, who believe some of these conspiracy theories, on a road trip from New York to Washington. They visit Ground Zero where two planes hit the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, home of vast American defence HQ and Shanksville in Pennsylvania where United 93 crashed.
Each of them believes different elements of the conspiracy theories. Charlotte, a North London nanny who witnessed the attacks, thinks the American government is responsible. She can't believe the hijackers, barely out of flying school, could have steered jetliners into the Twin Towers with such deadly accuracy. Rodney a health worker who studied biochemistry suspects the collapse of the towers was not caused by the planes that went in to them and he wants to get to the bottom of the science. Student Emily, an active member of the 9/11 Truth Movement, thinks the US government was forewarned of the attacks and yet ignored the intelligence allowing it to happen. Shazin wants to find out how the passengers on United 93 could have made phone calls to loved ones from a plane. And Charlie, an ex-banker thinks 9/11 was an excuse for the US Government to go to war with Iraq. Andrew Maxwell thinks all five of them are wrong and wants to change their minds by confronting them with the facts. So as the bus criss-crosses the east coast of America he tries to convert them to his point of view. He wants to prove to them that 9/11 was no conspiracy and that sometimes the truth, whilst not easy to accept, is staring you right in the face. In order to do so, he takes them to meet experts, the chief air traffic controller on the day, demolition specialists, voice morphing engineers and he gets them to conduct scientific experiments and even fly an aeroplane.
Finally they meet a mother who lost her son, to listen to her account of what it was like to live through this monumental tragedy. Andrew believes it is easy to judge world events from the safe distance of a computer screen in your bedroom but not easy when you are brought face to face with the real human stories behind them. Andrew Maxwell fights an exhausting battle for the truth and in his mission to convert his fellow travellers there are rows, falling-outs and tears. But there are also moments of tenderness, empathy and warmth.