On 11 September 2001, a group of al-Qaeda* terrorists hijacked four airplanes, which they then crashed into the World Trade Centre and the west side of the Pentagon. The fourth jet crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. The tragic events have prompted numerous conspiracy theories, with people alleging that the US government masterminded the attacks.
Hollywood director Spike Lee has excited supporters of conspiracy theories after hinting that the World Trade Centre collapsed not as a result of a terrorist attack, but a controlled demolition. The two-time Academy Award winner made the statement in an interview with The New York Times as he spoke about his new work dedicated to the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, commonly known as 9/11.
“New York Epicenters: 9/11-2021½” is based on interviews with witnesses to the tragic events, from ordinary citizens and officials to healthcare workers, police officers, and firefighters. The series also features interviews with supporters of conspiracy theories, in particular, members of the group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, who have for years claimed that the attacks were orchestrated by the administration of then-President George W. Bush.
When the NYT’s correspondent asked the acclaimed director why he decided to interview supporters of the conspiracy theories surrounding the events he said the following:
“Because I still don’t … I mean, I got questions”.
When pressed on the results of the investigation, which said that jet fuel caused the steel beams in the buildings to melt, and subsequently led to the towers’ collapse, Lee hinted that he doesn’t believe it.
“The amount of heat that it takes to make steel melt, that temperature’s not reached. And then the juxtaposition of the way Building 7 fell to the ground — when you put it next to other building collapses that were demolitions, it’s like you’re looking at the same thing. But people going to make up their own mind. My approach is put the information in the movie and let people decide for themselves. I respect the intelligence of the audience”, he said.
The director voiced hope that his new work would prompt members of the US Congress to hold a hearing on the issue.
As mentioned earlier, 9/11 has prompted numerous conspiracy theories, with people suggesting that the US government was either involved or masterminded the attacks, which the White House reportedly used as a pretext to launch the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Supporters of these conspiracies point to the “unusual” collapse of the World Trade Centre, specifically Building 7, which they described as a controlled demolition.
According to an investigation conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), falling debris from the North Tower started fires on the tenth floor of Building 7. The fire safety system in Building 7 couldn’t extinguish the fires because the collapse of the North and South Towers led to a break in the city’s water main.
As a result, the fires in Building 7 continued to burn for hours, which investigators say led to the collapse of the structure. The NIST computer model, which was based on photos, videos, and witness testimonies, showed that the heat from the fires expanded long support beams, causing the connections and floors to fail.
Although the NIST investigators admit that it is very rare for high-rise buildings in the United States to collapse as a result of fire, they say they found no evidence that Building 7 came down as a result of a controlled demolition.