A Frightening Fraud? – New French Book denies 9-11 air crash at the Pentagon

A new book, claiming that there was no air-crash at the Pentagon on September 11th , has shot to the top of bestseller lists in France, despite objections from the US Government.

The Frightening Fraud, by Thierry Meyssan, focuses on the effects at the crash site being incompatible with the damage that would have been caused upon the 757-200 of American Airline’s flying into the famous military headquarters. The book offers the alternative explanation that the damage was actually caused by “a group of people who had authorised access to the Pentagon” - their target being the new Navy Command Center. However M. Meyssan, who is also head of the leftwing thinktank “the Voltaire Network”, does not offer any explanations of what actually happened to flight 77 if it didn’t crash into the world’s largest building.

Despite the book’s controversial claims, which also include allegations that Osama Bin Laden is a US agent, the French public have been rushing to buy the book since its publication last month. A spokesman for one of France’s largest bookshops claimed that the book has been “flying off the shelves”, and reports say the original run of 20,000 copies sold out within two hours of going on sale. However, despite the unprecedented popularity of M. Meyssan’s book among the general public, the French media have been a lot less receptive to the allegations. The news journal Le Nouvel Observateur published an interview with the acclaimed French essayist and writer Pascal Bruckner, in which M. Meyssan’s claims were dismissed as “eliminating reality”. Other French media were also highly dismissive of the book, with the French paper “La Liberation” dismissing the claims as “wild allegations”. However one French newspaper, Le Monde, while dismissing the claims made in The Frightening Fraud with regard to the damage at the Pentagon, did conclude that lack of official information about the crash was “feeding the rumour”.

Doubts over the US government’s report of events are also to be found on the internet, with a “Hunt the Boeing” website supporting the Thierry Meyssan’s allegations. The website, which is hosted on server run by M. Meyssan’s son, uses US Army photographs and a series of questions to cast doubt on the American government’s version of events. The page also claims to cite initial news alerts which reported that a booby-trapped truck had been the cause of the explosion.

Unsurprisingly the French claims have met with stern opposition in the US, with the Pentagon claiming that the allegations were “a real offence to the American people, particularly to the memory of victims of the attacks”. Unofficial websites, responding to the “Hunt the Boeing” site have also been established, offering answers to those doubting the official US line.

The Russian government, also supported the US government’s line over the claims of The Frightening Fraud. Spokesman for the Committee for International Affairs, Sergei Butin, claimed that the reason for the book’s success could be summed up by the Russian proverb: “the more far-fetched a claim, the more that people believe it”. Asked whether the official report of events was correct, Mr Butin underlined that the “the Russian government believes in the information distributed by that of the United States in this matter”.

Tom Wishart


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