Here are the most disturbing 9/11 conspiracies and the fantasists who pretended to be survivors

WITH the upcoming 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack, America will remember the lives lost and families devastated by the Al-Qaeda co-ordinated attacks.

But for a number of so called “truthers” the day marks another opportunity to spread their disturbing conspiracy theories and wild claims.


Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives in the atrocity[/caption]


Alicia Esteve Head, center, falsely said she had been working on the 78th floor of the South Tower for Merrill Lynch when the plans struck[/caption]


Comedian Steve Rannazzisi lied and said he had been on the 54th floor of the north tower[/caption]

It will also refocus attention on a number of fantasists who pretended to be survivors of the atrocity – even going so far as to join groups set up to help those affected and lead other victims in their grief and trauma.

Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives in the atrocity which saw hijacked planes crash in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 2001.

Two planes – American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 – were flown into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York.

Another was flown into the Pentagon in Washington and the fourth, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after a struggle between the hijackers and passengers.


One of the most widely circulated – and debunked – claims is that the US government were somehow involved in the atrocity.

The “truthers” have questioned why the US Air Force did not intercept any of the four hijacked planes.

They have also asked why the buildings fell, arguing that burning jet fuel cannot melt steel.

On the interception argument, the official report notes that this event was a highly unusual multiple hijacking with on-board violence.

And data suggests there was confusion and a lack of communication between the civilian air traffic control (FAA) and the military at the time.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology said the heat generated had brought the  World Trade Center Tower 7 down, making it the first steel skyscraper in the world to collapse because of fire.

But despite that, the 9/11 truther movement has continued to spread suggested their baseless claims.


One believer, Heather Bauer, told AFP: “I question absolutely everything now, and I wonder how much or what we have been told of history is even really true.”

Another, Indiana lawyer Mick Harrison, said: “We still don’t know the truth about what happened.”

The Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth say they are “dedicated to establishing the truth about the events of September 11, 2001.”

As for other false claims – one suggests the collapse of the buildings was not solely caused by the plane attacks but also by explosives already installed in the towers.

There is no evidence to support such a theory.


Despite official evidence, eyewitness accounts and footage from the scene, theorists have also repeatedly questioned how an amateur pilot was able to fly a commercial plane in a complicated manoeuvre and crash it into the headquarters of the world’s most powerful military base.

And they chose to focus their questions on why the crash site at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was so small and why aircraft debris was not as visible as other sites.

They claim instead that the plane was shot down by missiles, causing it to disintegrate mid-air – this would have scattered the wreckage over a large area.

However, this has been refuted by official photographs that show the full wreckage and recordings of the pilot’s voice confirmed that there had been a passenger revolt when hijackers had attempted to take over the aircraft.

The pilot can also be heard confirming that the hijackers caused the plane to crash.

Among the most absurd claims made by conspiracy theorists include saying the planes were not real.

They suggest that the “planes” that hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were missiles surrounded by holograms that were made to appear as planes.

However, while this is a popular theory, it fails to take into account the missing planes, passengers and hijackers.


An in person conference is planned to discuss the debunked claims this week.

Even before the organized events, viral video Loose Change – which spread some of the early conspiracies – was watched by 100 million.

But the wild claims are not confined to YouTube videos watched in believer’s bedrooms.

Famous faces have also added credibility to the debunked claims. Actress Rosie O’Donnell has said she “still [does] not believe the official story.”

In 2007 she said: “It is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved.”

And director Spike Lee sparked fury after saying he does not believe the “official explanations” of the attack.

Lee told The New York Times: “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.” 


Away from the conspiracy theories, there were also a group of individuals who falsely claimed to have been survivors of the atrocity.

Alicia Esteve Head said she had been working on the 78th floor of the South Tower for Merrill Lynch when the plans struck.

Head described escaping the carnage, going so far as to say she was rescued by real hero of the attack, Welles Crowther and detailing the injuries she suffered.

She even claimed to have a fiance called Dave who was killed in the attack while working as a consultant at Deloitte and to have seen her assistant decapitated.

And she helped to found the World Trade Center Survivors’ Network.

But she was found not to have been at 9/11 at all, her story finally exposed by the New York Times in 2007 and she has not been seen publicly in ten years.

Comedian Steve Rannazzisi said he had been on the 54th floor of the north tower.

After it emerged he had been working 40 blocks away, he said: “It is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them – and the people that love me – that I ask for forgiveness.”

Fellow comedian Pete Davidson – whose own firefighter dad died in the attack – tweeted: “It’s ok @SteveRannazzisi people make mistakes … Can’t wait to meet my dad for lunch later.”


And Jordan Liflander dressed in an FDNY uniform, telling a 10th anniversary ceremony he had helped with rescues.

When it emerged that not only had he not been there, but he had not even every been a firefighter Liflander said: “It was just ego.

“It just spiralled out of control and became a lie I had to live.”

Last year footage circulated on Twitter claiming to show a missile hitting the Pentagon on 9/11.

The video in fact shows American Airlines Flight 77 crashing.

As journalist Garrett Graff notes: “America is a uniquely conspiratorial country.”

© Fox 19

Jordan Liflander dressed in an FDNY uniform, telling a 10th anniversary ceremony he had helped with rescues[/caption]

Collective Minds Media Company

Viral video Loose Change – which spread some of the early conspiracies – was watched by 100 million[/caption]

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