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The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll


Mystery Plane: The plane that hit the Pentagon isn’t seen in any photographs. Some ask if it existed at all.  

Even dismissing numerological smut—like how 9+1+1=11 and there are eleven letters in both George W. Bush and The Pentagon, for which ground was broken September 11, 1941, exactly 155 (=11) years after the Masonic-dominated Founding Fathers opened the Constitutional Convention on September 11, 1786, not to mention, for CIA MIHOP fans, that Kissinger and the Langley boys chose September 11, 1973, to overthrow Chilean socialist president Salvador Allende—we appear to have entered the realm of the precognitively strange.

Does it matter that the pilot for the conspiracy-themed Lone Gunmen (a short-lived Fox knockoff of The X-Files), which aired on March 4, 2001, tells the story of a U.S. government agency’s plot to crash a remote-controlled 727 into the World Trade Center as an excuse to raise the military budget and then blame the attack on a “tin-pot dictator” who was “begging to be smart-bombed”?

And why does every 9-year-old know how to fold a $20 bill so it forms a likeness of the burning Pentagon on one side and the Trade Center on the back? (See

German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen may have been roundly chastised for calling 9/11 “the greatest work of art ever.” Yet what is the conspiracist’s obsessive attempt to make sense where there is no sense but a kind of (paranoid) art? No wonder Jungian shrinks, who churn out copious papers on the topic, are so crazy about 9/11. It’s got so much archetype. Perhaps one of these learned men will pen a monograph on mandala-like smoke patterns ( in the burning South Tower, which seem to form a likeness of Lucifer?

6. Inside the Truth Vacuum
“People are always coming up with stuff about holograms and planes shooting pods. That’s what happens when the truth is systematically suppressed,” says Monica Gabrielle, whose husband, Richard, was killed in the attacks.

Monica, who describes herself as being “a completely normal housewife paying my taxes, raising my children” before 9/11 and who now lives on Long Island “with my dog, my alarm, and some plants,” testified before the 9/11 Commission. She ended her statement saying she hoped “this commission understands the need to leave a legacy of truth, accountability, and reform as a tribute to all of the innocent victims . . . We look to you for leadership.”

Asked if she ever expected to get a “legacy of truth,” Monica, who manifests an endearingly New Yorkish manner, laughs. “I must be an idiot because, yeah, I did. I was brought up to believe in things like the U.S. government. But we got screwed. The commission was whitewash, a stonewall. Maybe 3,000 people dead wasn’t enough to do the right thing. Did they need 5,000, or 10,000?

“They had these people come in, made them promise to do better next time, and gave them medals. Rich was dead, and nobody was at fault. To me, that’s a sin . . . With them, everything is fake. The government gave out ceremonial urns to the victims’ families. It had beach sand inside. From Coney Island or somewhere. They could have at least used the dust from the Trade Center. Something real.”

Asked about 9/11 Truth, Monica laughs again. “You want tinfoil-hat-wearing nutters? I get these e-mails from this woman. She’s nice, supportive. Then she says to be careful because ‘our thoughts, feelings, and bodily functions are being controlled 100,000 percent by electromagnetic waves.’ But I write back. I know she means well. Everyone needs a friend.”

“Conspiracy theories,” says Lorie Van Auken with a sigh. She’s one of the “Jersey girls” who pushed the Bush administration to convene the 9/11 Commission. Her husband, a Cantor Fitzgerald employee, was killed in the North Tower. She says, “That’s why we demanded the commission, so there wouldn’t be any conspiracy theories.

“Now, when I hear Philip Zelikow [the 9/11 Commission’s executive director] wrote a book with Condi Rice or was seen with Karl Rove, it drives me crazy. I feel like I’m trapped in a truth vacuum.”

One thing that has changed over Lorie’s “career as a 9/11 widow” is that she’s come to appreciate “these conspiracy nuts, or whatever you want to call them.

“At first, we widows didn’t want to be seen with conspiracy people. But they kept showing up. They cared more than those supposedly doing the investigating. If you ask me, they’re just Americans, looking for the truth, which is supposed to be our right.”

7.Why 7 WTC Fell
Talking to these women was not unlike watching the Zapruder film, I thought. The famous 8-mm. movie shot by ladies’-garment manufacturer Abraham Zapruder has been used to justify any number of Kennedy-assassination theories. Think the driver of the limo was the actual shooter, as a few nutbags have postulated? It’s in the Zapruder film, if you’re stoned and squint enough.


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