Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What if 9/11 Happened Now?

Yes, this does appear to be a very heavy blog post; however, I don’t think it will be as bad as you may think. Some of you who are in this class are also in conspiracy theories, so you will know why September 11th is on my mind over seven years later.
While talking with a friend the other day about what I have been learning about in that class and what sorts of conspiracies surround 9/11, we got to talking about the video footage from that day. As far as I know (and correct me if I’m wrong and was not paying enough attention in class!) there is only one video that really shows the first plane hitting the North Tower, and that is from the film crew that was doing a documentary on the New York firefighters. They just happened to swivel their camera up at the right moment to be able to see the first plane hit. My thought is this: if 9/11 happened in today’s society, do you think there would be more footage from citizens?
With all the technology available to us today there is a good chance that there would have been a few more people who just happened to have captured that moment on their cell phones or by other means. These days the whole big brother idea seems to be more of a possibility because there always seems to be some sort of camera on you, whether you realize it or not.
In the case of 9/11, I think even if there were lots of citizen footage there is still the chance of things being covered up and not being released. For example, today in my conspiracy theories class we were told that the government has said that there are about eighty five videos showing Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon but only a few have been released. The reason for only some of the videos being shown to the public is that could be that some of them are not relevant and do not actually show the plane hitting, or it that the government is trying to cover things up. Some of those could be citizen videos, which shows that people are capturing events; however, they may not always be able to be widely distributed. This is where things like the movie Loose Change comes in.
As most of you know, Loose Change is an independently produced video that tries to show that a lot of what we were told about 9/11 is not true and that the United States government is actually behind it. Leaving aside the fact that who knows what is true; this film shows that an independent citizen can get their voices heard, even about controversial topics.
It could be that I am overestimating the prevalence of citizen media when it comes to extraordinary events, but I think that we would see more citizen footage if 9/11 happened today. I think it is due to a combination of better technology, but also because people seem to always have some sort of said technology on them that would be able to capture events. Just in the past several years we have seen great strides in personal technology and I think that is key in how we sometimes learn what we do on news programs. In my opinion, everyday citizen’s importance in the news is incredibly underestimated.


  1. I think there would definitely be more footage if 9/11 happened today. I'm guessing the amount of people who use cellphones with cameras has increased substantially from the year 2001. More citizens would reach for their cellphones and capture images and videos at the site. Regarding the Pentagon, apparently there was distinct footage found from a gas station security camera that showed what caused the explosion but the CIA arrived at the station within minutes of the incident and confiscated the tape. I don't believe there has been any evidence or proof of a plane crashing into the Pentagon, since there was no parts of the plane found, and the hole caused by the explosion didn't look like it was caused by a plane but more so a missile.

  2. It's an interesting idea to think that our access to technology as citizens today may have resulted in a more defined 9-11, more answers and more discussion. While more footage may have been the result, the gas station footage being confiscated by the CIA makes me question how much power our citizen media has at the end of the day. If the government is adamant about covering something up, will they always have power over our communicative means as citizens?

    Great thought behind this post!