Hypotheses: Principal Alternative Theories of the Attack

There exists a plethora of hypotheses challenging the official theories of the attack. Here we enumerate the main hypotheses and theories that are consistent with the available evidence.

The word theory when used in the derisive sense of 'conspiracy theory' connotes detailed speculation unfounded in fact. However, a theory can stand apart from a detailed scenario explaning the means and methods behind observed events. For example, a theory of the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers can be proved simply by disproving its converse -- that the Towers' collapses were spontaneous.

In contrast to the media caricature of all critics of the official story, the most credible critics avoid detailed speculation about alternative theories, while providing scientific analyses of the existing evidence.


The Destruction of the World Trade Center

The principle alternative to the official theory that the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 suffered spontaneous structural collapses is the theory that they were destroyed through controlled demolition by pre-positioned devices. This is the only serious alternative to the official theory, since the other theories -- such as those involving exotic weapons or accidental explosions -- lack even rudimentary plausibility. Given this dichotomy, a disproof of the collapse theory in its most general form constitutes a proof of the demolition theory in its most general form.

Any comprehensive theory describing the means and methods of controlled demolition applied to the WTC buildings is necessarily speculative, particularly given the paucity of artifacts that survived the Ground Zero cleanup operation. However, specific sets observations may indicate the use of certain demolition methods, perhaps as part of wider array of methods. One such set of observations has been adduced by Dr. Steven E Jones as evidence of the use of aluminothermics in the destruction of the WTC skyscrapers.

The Immediate Military Response to the Attack

The principle alternative to the official account of the military's response, whose several versions invoke complex series of errors and inexplicable failures to explain the failure to intercept the hijacked jetliners, suggests that high-level insiders in the military's chain of command effectively stood down the military for long enough for the assualts on New York City and the Pentagon to be completed. Researchers have described several possible methods by which such a freeze or slow-down might have been achieved, including:

  • Changes in procdures for the authorization of intercepts, requiring approval at by the Secretary of Defense
  • The scheduling of military training exercises having many of the same elements as the attack itself to coincide with the attack
  • Specific orders not to respond to threats such as an aircraft approaching the Pentagon, such as suggested by the testimony of Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta to the 9/11 Commission.

The Takeover and Piloting of the Jetliners

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