Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll


Father Frank Morales outside St. Mark's Church on Second Avenue and 10th St.  

Broached in 2002 by Thierry Meyssan in his French best-seller L’Effroyable Imposture (The Appalling Fraud), the idea that the Pentagon was struck by a missile instead of a 757 is the most controversial tenet of 9/11 Truth–iana. The claim is based on Meyssan’s reading of photographs (“Hunt the Boeing” at supposedly showing the hole in the building to be no more than fifteen to eighteen feet wide—far too small to fit a plane with a 125-foot wingspan.

But there are problems, such as the many eyewitnesses who saw a plane flying low near the Pentagon shortly before impact. Disputing the no-crash theory, Jim Hoffman has argued, “This is just the sort of wackiness defenders of the Official Story harp on to show how gullible and incompetent we conspiracy theorists are supposed to be.” In other words, Meyssan and other no-plane believers were either wrong, unknowing dupes or spreaders of disinformation.

The D-word is nothing to take lightly in conspiracy circles. For, as Thomas Pynchon notes in his “Proverbs for Paranoids,” if they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.

At Veselka, the question was, if Flight 77 did not crash, what happened to the 56 people on the plane? This query did not sit well with Nico Haupt, a thin, black-clad man from Cologne, Germany, compiler of the 9/11 Encyclopedia (

“Gassed,” he hissed. “Have you ever heard of gassing? It is very easy. You open the door of the plane, and it spreads.”

“You think they gassed them?” Would even the Illuminati stoop this low?

Haupt cast a withering look. “That, or some other method of murder. Assholes!”

“Nico, calm down,” said Tarpley. “This is tactics. There’s no reason to make an enormous moral issue out of everything.”

But Haupt was past consoling. “You are motherfuckers. Stupid motherfuckers.” Slamming the tabletop, he gathered his things and stormed out.

“Nico is so emotional,” said one activist, returning to her plate of pierogi.

11. 250 Greenwich Street
After dinner, I stopped at ground zero. Before the towers were built, my father took me here when the area was called Radio Row and sold tubes cheap. After 9/11, I spent many nights watching the great plume of water, shining in the vapor lamps, raining onto the smoking pit.

Now I was in front of the replacement for 7 WTC, Silverstein’s $700 million baby, a nifty parallelogram with a stainless-steel finish like a Viking stove in a Soho loft. According to the Web brochure, 7 WTC collapsed “probably” as a result of “the ignition of Con Edison diesel stored in the base.” To “avoid this hazard in the new building, the diesel is stored under the new plaza across from the reopened Greenwich Street.”

Another change is the offering of an alternative address, 250 Greenwich Street. Apparently, Silverstein felt this would play better in “the trendy Tribeca neighborhood.” Call it real-estate MIHOP.

When the new 7 WTC opens, N.Y. 9/11 Truth plans a demonstration here. Now, however, it being late Sunday night, the place looked like a neutron-bomb landscape, lights on in the finished lobby, gleaming card-reading security gates in place, but no sign of humanity anywhere.

A giant LCD screen scrolled various alphabetical fonts, one after another. It was numbing watching this, thinking that time was moving on, new fortunes would be made here, and like 11/22, it would never be known who did what on 9/11.

A cop car pulled up. They wanted me to move on. Cops always want you to move on. Not that I was in any hurry. Larry Silverstein didn’t own the sidewalk. I had as much right to the disaster as anyone.

Then I remembered one more factoid. David Cohen, who headed the CIA office at 7 WTC on September 11, was the same guy hired by Ray Kelly as deputy commissioner of Intelligence. It was Cohen who instituted the subway bag search, one more chimera of security in the post-9/11 world. Who knew what a guy like that might be up to? So I moved on. Can’t trust anyone nowadays.


Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift