September 11, 2001, is a day that stands out not only as a tragic day in American and world history but also among conspiracy theorists who believe that most of the planet has been misdirected into believing that the events of 9/11 were the orchestrated results of fundamentalist Muslims, a belief some maintain clouds the truth that the attacks of September 11 were conducted -- or at least observed -- by UFOs and/or aliens. The conspiracy theories themselves are not newly minted but have existed -- along with a myriad of others -- since shortly after the Twin Towers came down, the Pentagon's wall was breached, and United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania.
As the Daily Star reported in anticipation of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, YouTube videos and internet "truthers," working on the ages-old conspiracy theory driver of an untrustworthy government and holding "official" reports and investigations suspect, have kept dozens of 9/11 conspiracy theories alive and circulating, including those that posit that aliens orchestrated or observed the events in UFOs caught in video footage captured or in witness observations on the day (or in the succeeding days) of the attacks. The theories -- at least the aliens-as-observers contingent -- have been revivified more recently by clips like the UFO caught on video (per YouTube user Igor Arononovich) near the new One World Trade Center, the massive skyscraper that was built to honor the fallen of 9/11 -- in New York.A quick browse at YouTube will net the viewer hundreds of videos questioning not only the validity of the government's official positions on the various aspects of the events of 9/11 but also centered around the alien-involvement angle. One channel, News Not Shown on TV, claims to have a cache of video clips proving that not one but several UFOs were flying around the WTC buildings.
What explains the persistence of such conspiracy theories in the face of a veritable mountain of documented official evidence compiled by numerous fact-finding commissions and agencies regarding what led up to and what occurred on September 11, 2001? Boston University sociology professor Daniel Monti told ABC News in April 2002 that it was partly due to the population's reaction to having their "confidence and faith shattered" as their daily routines were completely disrupted.
"Part of the price we pay for living in a more open society is that human beings of all stripes and sizes feel they have not only the right but also the responsibility to speak up," Monti added. "Sometimes we hear a lot of gibberish and uninformed gossip and lies. That's part of the price we pay."
But those "truthers" do not agree that their contentions are "gibberish and uninformed gossip and lies." Their theories, from the "no plane" theory regarding the Pentagon crash to the overall theory that 9/11 was an "inside job" orchestrated by the Bush administration to further American military and economic dominance (where the Vice President Dick Cheney / Haliburton connection plays a major role) worldwide, often fly in the face of conventional wisdom and at times appear to be speculatively fanciful. As to alien involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, the Daily Star quoted UFO enthusiast Scott C. Waring, operator of the blog UFO Sightings Daily, as saying, "Often UFOs are seen during tragic events, because they are monitoring the events…[they] want to witness humans at their worst and at their best. Why? So they can learn about humanity, understand us more."
But even the aliens and UFO conspiracy theories can be traced back to shortly after the four airplanes crashed on September 11, 2001. In fact, one theory proposed that proof that aliens were interested in the attacks came when a UFO was spotted over the Pennsylvania field where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed. The Telegraph reported that, although there are those who contend that the airplane was shot down by military jets (a claim denied by the federal government), those who promote the alien theory say that a UFO was seen flying erratically over the area shortly after the crash by multiple eyewitnesses. Alien theorists refute the official explanation of an observation planet sent to document the wreckage, noting that all aircraft were grounded at the time the UFO was spotted.
Still, as there are adherents to the various conspiracy theories, there are also those who continue to debunk said theories. For example, many of the comments to the UFO videos purported to show aliens having some sort of connection to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 point out that the unidentified flying objects seen in the clips are nothing more than smoke and debris from the crumbling buildings.
And the objects that appear to be and act like aircraft that have been observed and/or captured in those video clips (presupposing, of course, that they are not debris, smoke, or artifacts)? They will likely remain the foundation and framework upon which the UFO and alien conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 are dependent.
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