Over the last year, I have had several students come to the information desk in the library asking me to help them find information that shows that story from the US government about the terrorist attack on 9/11/01 was untrue and that, in actuality, there was some other conspiracy that explains this attack. As a librarian, I always offer up some suggestions to these students, but I also am sure to let students guide their own research. But, I thought that it might be useful to post a couple of resources for future examples when students arrive with similar questions.
First, Popular Mechanics has a Web site, “Debunking the 9/11 Myths”, which is excellent. Here’s a quote from the site:
From the moment the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, the world has asked one simple and compelling question: How could it happen?
Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into paranoia. Wild conspiracy tales are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in other media. Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories: The Pentagon was struck by a missile; the World Trade Center was razed by demolition-style bombs; Flight 93 was shot down by a mysterious white jet. As outlandish as these claims may sound, they are increasingly accepted abroad and among extremists here in the United States.
To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.
Second, Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy theories and Controlled Demolition Myths is a site entirely devoted to showing the poor logic, misuse of evidence, and general lies that conspiracy theorists use. There are even some useful back-and-forths here between the writers of this site and conspiracy theorists.
As a librarian, I find all of this to be a great learning opportunity for students who are entering the public debate as adults and now find themselves in a position to weigh evidence, consider differing viewpoints, and make a person decision about how they interpret the meaning of events.