Taos has a reputation for leaning unabashedly to the left every now and then, so an event titled “Take Back America”? in the midst of a Republican administration at a local gallery is hardly out of the ordinary. But some of the conclusions drawn by a feature film shown were much harder to swallow for anyone who plays even the slightest step to the right of far left field.
The main event of the evening was a documentary entitled “Loose Change” by young filmmaker Dylan Avery. Through more than an hour of rehashed news reports, articles, eyewitness accounts and slowed-down video clips, the film postulates that the events of September 11, 2001 were actually conceived and carried out by clandestine operatives acting on behalf of the U.S. government.
The film is clearly not an overnight project and much of the evidence presented is compelling, particularly a section that deals with the attack on the Pentagon. Avery points out that the hole left in the building is nowhere near the size or shape of the jet airliner that allegedly crashed into it, and photos of the site seem to show no wreckage from a jet. The film conjectures that it was more likely a cruise missile that hit the building, pointing to eyewitness accounts of two “planes”? approaching the Pentagon, one small and fast-moving, the other similar to a large military aircraft like a C-130. Add to the mix the surveillance tapes from nearby businesses that were confiscated by the FBI and an eerie satellite photo taken before the attack that appears to show the path of the impact marked out in chalk across the Pentagon lawn and you have more than enough reason to get Oliver Stone on the phone.
What about the World Trade Center you ask? Avery gives us accounts that the first plane had military markings and looked “like no jet I’ve ever seen”? according to one eyewitness. He adds the fact that no modern skyscrapers have ever collapsed from fire, in fact his evidence seems to indicate that a deliberate implosion took place. How? Well, slow down the video of the collapse and there does appear to be a serious of charges going off in the buildings as they fall. And there was that strange power outage a few weeks before that took all the security cameras off-line in the trade center to make it convenient for explosives to be installed without being detected. Creepy yes, but not quite a slam dunk.
But wait, what happened to the black boxes? An exhaustive look at the specs for the boxes seems to reveal there is no way seven out of eight of them should have been damaged in the collapse as the government claims, (The FBI has not released the contents of the eighth.) particularly since the paper passport of one of the alleged hijackers was found intact.
Speaking of those pesky hijackers, where are they now? Avery claims that almost half of them are in fact still alive and well and piloting commercial planes halfway around the world.
This is where things begin to fall apart for the theory and the film’s credibility in my mind, because if this is the case, it is certainly a veritable smoking gun. However, Avery presents absolutely nothing to substantiate the claim or even a terse explanation of how he came across the information. And if Avery is able to locate living hijackers, what then is his answer for the hundreds of people whose families are quite convinced they died aboard hijacked flights that were actually a military dummy plane or a cruise missile according to the film? If no jetliner crashed into the Pentagon, where are the passengers that were allegedly on that flight? That’s an awfully large number of co-conspirators.
Avery does present a wealth of important and overlooked reporting from that day. The evidence of some sort of cover-up is undeniable – something that can be expected from an administration possibly seeking to hide some of the more embarrassing aspects of the country’s worst catastrophe – but to assume that such efforts must certainly amount to an admission of involvement or ultimate responsibility is just too much of a leap, I hope.