Loose Change (2007 film)

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Loose Change

Directed by

Dylan Avery

Produced by

Korey Rowe
Jason Bermas

Written by

Dylan Avery

Music by

DJ Skooly

Editing by

Dylan Avery

Distributed by

Louder Than Words LLC

Release date(s)

April 13th, 2005
August 2006 (2nd Edition)
Scheduled November 11th, 2007 (Final Cut)

Running time

82 min

Country

United States

Language

English

Budget

$2,000
$6,000 (2nd Edition)

 

 

Loose Change is a documentary film written and directed by Dylan Avery, and produced by Korey Rowe with Jason Bermas. It claims that the September 11 attacks were planned and conducted by elements within the United States government, and bases these claims on perceived anomalies in the historical record of the attacks. The film was originally released through the creators' own company, Louder than Words, and received widespread attention after Loose Change 2nd Edition was featured on a Binghamton, New York local FOX affiliate, WICZ-TV (FOX 40).[1]

Some of the claims contained within the film have been refuted by mainstream media outlets,[2][3] independent researchers,[4][5] and prominent members of the scientific and engineering community.[6] Some of the alternative theories outlined by the film are supported by a minority of academics, mostly from within the Scholars for 9/11 Truth movement.[7][8]

The original film has also been edited and re-released as "Loose Change 2nd Edition", and then subsequently re-edited again for the "2nd Edition Recut", each time to tighten the focus on certain key areas and to remove inaccuracies and copyrighted material. A further "Final Cut" version was planned for release on "the weekend preceding September 11th 2007" and planned to be screened in key cities in the United States. It was also made available online through pay-per-view.[9]

History

Avery had originally been planning to make a movie about conspiracy theories related to the attacks of 9/11, called Loose Change. Avery stated that he began to believe that there was in fact an actual 9/11 cover-up, and changed the film into a documentary after discussions with his childhood friend Korey Rowe.[citation needed] Rowe, a soldier who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, became the producer of Loose Change while Jason Bermas became the film's researcher.

There have been two editions of the film released thus far. The first edition, made on a laptop computer, cost around $2000 USD to make and was released in April of 2005. This edition of the film featured material on a device (which the filmmakers refer to as a "pod") under the fuselage of Flight 175 that struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center. The "pod" was presented as evidence that the planes involved in the attack were replaced with remote-controlled drones. Official flight records were also presented as evidence that the aircraft involved are still in active service, though it is stated that the producers do not know what happened to the passengers of the flights.

The second edition, released in November of 2005 was made for an estimated $6000 USD. This edition was heavily revised and included a new introduction, as well as extra footage which Avery purchased on eBay. The "pod" segment was also removed.[10][11] This film also took a different stand on Flight 93 than the first edition, which claimed the flight was intended to be shot down by a military aircraft, and instead claimed that Flight 93 actually landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

In August of 2006 a recut version of Loose Change 2nd Edition was released, which corrected some errors in the original release, as well as removing some allegedly infringing material taken from the Naudet brothers documentary 9/11. This version is available for purchase and distribution through its official website.[12] It can also be viewed for free online and downloaded from Google Video, where it held the first position in the top ranking of available videos until mid 2006.[13]

According to Broadcast magazine, the video was to have a special screening at the UK Houses of Parliament on June 14, 2006.[14][15][16] Michael Meacher, the British MP who had considered sponsoring the screening, decided against it. During that same month of June 2006, a former engineer from Microsoft developed a site, www.loose-change-911.com, to stream the movie in seven different languages.

On September 11, 2006 Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas appeared on Democracy Now! the War and Peace Report, to debate with James Meigs and David Dunbar,[17] two of the editors of Popular Mechanics and the book Debunking 9/11 Myths.[18]

After releasing the film, Avery, Rowe and Bermas set up an independent movie production company called Louder than Words. The company is also a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Crew

Dylan Avery

Avery is from Oneonta, New York. After being denied admission twice by Purchase College's film school,[19] Avery planned to make a movie about a group of friends who discover the September 11, 2001 attacks were an "inside job". Along the way Avery himself stated that he had become convinced of this theory.[20][21]

Avery appeared on BBC's 9/11 Conspiracy Files in February 2007.

Korey Rowe

Korey Rowe is a producer of Loose Change. Rowe was born in Oneonta, New York. He is a former US soldier who served six months in Kandahar, Afghanistan and one year in Kuwait and Iraq. Rowe enlisted in the 101st Airborne Division in August 2001 and left in June 2005, then joining the production of Loose Change. On July 23, 2007, he was arrested in Oneonta, New York, based on a military warrant charging him with felony desertion.[22] Two days later, he was returned to his unit at Fort Campbell, Kentucky,[23] although he states that he received an honorable discharge and returned to uniform of his own accord, and that he is attempting to expunge his name completely from the system.[24][25] Rowe was at the end of his active-duty enlistment in the summer of 2005 when he was told his unit would be re-deployed to Iraq. He left his unit to avoid serving a second tour of duty in Iraq which was required under the US Army’s controversial Stop-loss policy. Rowe's unit, the 187th Infantry Regiment, is due to return to Iraq in August 2007.[26]

 

Jason Bermas

Jason Bermas is a graphic designer and producer of Loose Change located in Oneonta, New York. Jason Bermas also hosts his own Talk radio program on the GCN Network. on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 8-10 pm Eastern Time. Aside from film making he is also an activist who has demanded a new independent investigation into 9/11.

Presentation

Loose Change is approximately one hour and 22 minutes in length. The film consists of Dylan Avery narrating over photographs and news footage relating to 9/11, with an underscore of hip hop and other urban style music. Avery does not appear in the video, though is shown in the bonus features. Video and still footage used includes considerable video content from CNN, NBC, and FOX News, as well as a number of other sources.[27]

The end of Loose Change 2nd Edition shows a clip from The American Scholar's Symposium that was aired on C-SPAN on June 25, 2006 at the Sheraton Hotel in Los Angeles. Jason Bermas, wearing the signature "Investigate 9/11" t-shirt that he designed is describing their plans to peacefully demonstrate at Ground Zero on September 11, 2006.

Content

Flyer for a screening of the film

 

Flyer for a screening of the film

The video opens with a brief description of past suspicious and questionable motives in the history of American government. This discussion includes mention of Operation Northwoods, a plan put forward during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to create and utilise bogus terrorist attacks against the United States, which were to be blamed on Cuba, as a pretext for invasion of the country. Focus is particularly directed at the previously proposed plans to substitute real commercial airliners with pilotless drone aircraft in order to investigate the plausibility of covertly using them as weapons, whilst maintaining the cover of an accident.[28]

Attention is also given to the Project for the New American Century, a neo-conservative think-tank, which released a report in 2000 titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses". In particular the film points out a line from that report which states "the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". It also highlights the fact that during the same year the report was released, the Pentagon conducted the first of two training exercises which simulated a Boeing 757 crashing into the building. There is also mention that, from September 6 to September 10 an unusual amount of put options were placed on the stock of American Airlines, Boeing and United Airlines.

This is followed by an examination of the attacks on the Pentagon. The film opposes the official story of Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon, alleging that the path of destruction does not match that which a 757 would leave. In particular, it points out the size of the hole in the Pentagon caused by the crash, examining a lack of debris and landscape damage seemingly inconsistent with prior airliner crashes. It is also alleged that too few parts were recovered from the crash site to reliably ascertain that they were of a Boeing 757, and a certain flywheel observed at the site seemed too small to have been part of the aircraft's engine turbine. The wheel was officially declared to have been part of the APU but disputed by some experts as not to have come from the APU of a 757 but likely from an E-3 Sentry aircraft. It is also claimed that Hani Hanjour, the hijacker pilot, had difficulty performing basic controls on a small Cessna at a flight school where he rented, and that perhaps not even an experienced pilot could have maneuvered the reflex angle of turn at the airspeed and altitude at which the aircraft approached without going into a high speed stall. Mention is also given to three cameras on nearby buildings that allegedly caught the entire incident at the Pentagon on film, which the government confiscated and has refused to release in full.

The next section focuses on the destruction of the World Trade Center itself. The film comes out in favor of the controlled demolition theory of the destruction of World Trade Centers 1, 2 and 7. Cited as evidence are eyewitness reports from a janitor, firemen, and other people near the buildings who heard bangs, many of them describing them as explosions, as well as videotapes showing windows far below the burning floors blow out during the collapse and seismograph results recorded during the collapse compared to the collapse of other similar buildings. The film claims that WTC 1, 2 and 7 were the first steel frame buildings in history to collapse due to fire. Another allegation centers on an audio recording in which it is claimed two distinct explosions can be heard at the time of the impact. Also, the film posits that the official story of the collapse violates the laws of physics.

In particular, the video alleges that the fires inside the twin towers were not hot enough to bring the buildings down. An audio tape is presented in which the Captain of Ladder 7 claims that the fires can be brought under control by two lines, and it is mentioned that building 7 had taken only minor damage before its own collapse. These allegations follow a listing of buildings that burned with more intense fires than the Twin Towers and did not fall.

For Flight 93, the video ignores the more mainstream theory of the plane being shot down to instead allege it was landed safely at Cleveland Hopkins Airport where it was evacuated by government personnel into an unused NASA research center. Evidence cited included photographs and eyewitness reports of the crash site as evidence, a corresponding evacuation at Cleveland Hopkins Airport due to another hijacked plane and the corresponding reports, oddities in the transcripts of cell-phone calls supposedly placed from the plane during the hijacking, and the sighting of the tail number of Flight 93 on an aircraft in use at a later date.

This is then followed by a more miscellaneous listing of allegations. It is claimed that cellular phone calls could not be made from American Airlines flights at the time of the crash, asking why American Airlines had to install a system in their own airplanes to allow the reception of cellular signals within the planes if they could do this regardless on September 11. It is suggested that the calls from passengers and crew were faked using sophisticated voice-morphing technology developed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and that the December 13, 2001 video of Osama Bin Laden claiming responsibility for the attacks was also faked, which was claimed to be achieved by editing a former video of Osama Bin Laden with a bogus confession tape of what appeared to be an overweight lookalike version of Bin Laden. Finally, it is alleged that, of the list of hijackers initially released by the government, many were not in the planes and were alive after September 11, 2001 and may even still be alive.

In the end, the film gives out motives for people who would have benefited from launching the attacks themselves. Mention is first given to financial motives, including those of Larry Silverstein, who stood to receive a substantial insurance payout after the attacks due to a specific anti-terrorism clause (although not enough to cover his losses), as well as other allegations of insider trading and Halliburton's benefiting from the subsequent launch of America's "War on Terror". Most of the blame, however, is placed on the aforementioned Project for the New American Century think tank and the Rebuilding America's Defenses report.

Legal problems

On May 26, 2006 a certified letter was sent to Dylan Avery regarding copyright and trademark infringement resulting from the use of footage from French film makers, the Naudet brothers. The letter states that Avery used, "copyrighted images from the 9/11 Film," and also states the images violate, "the Federal Lanham Trademark Act by suggesting that the Naudet brothers or Mr. Hanlon have endorsed or sponsored the controversial views in your film." The letter concludes: "Accordingly, we hereby demand that you confirm to us within three (3) business days of the receipt of this letter that you have removed all footage taken from our clients' 9/11 Film from your Loose Change Film, including from the version of your film that can be downloaded on the Internet, the DVD version of your film, and anywhere else you have used or are using our clients' footage."[29] In July of 2006 Dylan Avery announced that the recut version of the film would omit "some" of the infringing material.[30]

Criticism

Three different point-by-point critiques were prepared by 911research.wtc7.net, Internet Detectives and Mark Roberts. Two commentators run a blog called Screw Loose Change. Mark Iradian prepared an edited version of Loose Change under the SLC moniker, subtitled with criticisms drawing on work by Roberts, Screw Loose Change (which also gives credit to the video), and his own efforts. Mark Roberts also compiled a lengthy selection of interview quotes in which the Loose Change creators elaborate on the claims made in the film.[31]

Many of the critiques argue that Loose Change uses unreliable sources, oversimplified arguments and selective facts to claim that there are serious problems with official accounts of the events of September 11.

Loose Change suggests a missile hit the Pentagon, yet only briefly acknowledges the eyewitnesses at the scene who reported seeing a large commercial jet.[32] The lack of readily visible airplane debris and bodies in the Pentagon and Pennsylvania crashes is focused on by Loose Change and it uses other airline disasters as evidence there should be larger debris found. However, according to 911 Review.com, those crashes were accidents where pilots were trying to save their aircraft over terrain; rather than deliberately crashing them into the ground or buildings. A fighter jet crashing into a concrete barrier[33] and other jetliner crashes[34] provide precedents for comparison. Substantial amounts of debris and body parts were recovered from both crash sites as the recovery operations began.[35][36]

While some of the calls from Flight 93 were made with Airfones, the documentary asserts that other calls made with cell phones could not have happened from cruising altitudes; and that new cell phone systems being tested in airplanes support this point. In the recent book Debunking 9/11 Myths by Popular Mechanics, the editors reply that Flight 93's altitude was lower and it was frequently over rural areas with powerful cell towers.[37] Commercial airlines are testing new cell phone systems as it is a cost effective replacement to the unpopular Airfone being phased out. Reception is also improved (cell calls were dropped on Flight 93), works over the ocean, decreases avionics interference and flight crews can disable the phones.[38][39]

Loose Change compares the Collapse of the World Trade Center to other notable high rise fires, but the National Institute of Standards and Technology clarifies there are differences in building design and size, structural damage and compromised fireproofing.[40] Popular Mechanics points out in many conspiracy theories there is no exploration on the effect of fire on unprotected structural steel, which "loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F."[41] Kevin Ryan, the "expert" source from Underwriters Laboratories, is actually a non-expert from a subsidiary for water testing,[18] Underwriters Laboratories does not certify structural steel,[40][18] and ASTM E119 certification involves intact fireproofing as conducted by Underwriters Laboratories for the NIST in 2004.[42] The NIST could find no record of any previous certification tests ever being conducted on the novel WTC floor system.[42] The NIST demonstrated the fireproofing was not intact by firing shotguns on fireproofed steel; conspiracy advocates find this unconvincing.[43]

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, a government agency has released a point-by-point rebuttal of many common alternative theories of the WTC collapse, including theories which Loose Change used. On September 11, 2006, Democracy Now! conducted an exclusive discussion with Loose Change's creators and Popular Mechanics editors, where they debate various aspects of the documentary.[18]

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has written that the 9/11 truth movement: "gives supporters of Bush an excuse to dismiss critics of this administration. I have no doubt that every time one of those Loose Change dickwads opens his mouth, a Republican somewhere picks up five votes."[44] Critics also point out the documentary quote mines sources, uses unreliable or out of date sources and cherry-picks interview footage. It quotes Danielle O'Brien commenting on how air traffic controllers thought Flight 77 was a military plane based on its maneuverability; but it leaves out the end of the statement, "... you don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe."[45] Loose Change quotes the coroner, Wally Miller, as seeing no bodies or blood the day of Flight 93's crash; over the next several weeks Miller goes on to identify 12 passengers "using mostly dental records."[46] There is an interview of chief flight instructor Marcel Bernard focusing on the weaknesses of Hani Hanjour's flying skills when he took lessons at Freeway Airport; it fails to clarify Bernard's expert opinion on Hanjour's ability to hit the Pentagon. "There's no doubt in my mind that once that [hijacked jet] got going, he could have pointed that plane at a building and hit it."[47]

In addition, many within the 9-11 research community point out the film's focus upon the Pentagon crash as a weakness. Chris Farrell, the Director of Investigations & Research at Judicial Watch, warned in an interview that his organization "could be the water carriers for a honey pot operation, in which the government attracts overwhelming attention to the Pentagon issue, making it the cornerstone of the 9/11 truth movement, and then blowing it out of the water by releasing clear footage of Flight 77."[48] He stated, "Let's just call it a baited trap, it draws somebody into a situation in which they're compromised."

In a debate against Mark Roberts, creator of the "Loose Change 2nd Edition Viewers Guide" and Ronald Wieck, contributor to the American Thinker, on Hardfire, a local NYC cable program, Dylan Avery stated that:

I would be the first to admit that our film definitely contained errors, it still does contain some dubious claims, and it does come to some conclusions that are not 100% backed up by the facts.[49][50]

Corrections

The original release of Loose Change Second Edition had factual inaccuracies; some of these have been corrected (or removed) in the recut Second Edition.[51] The most notable are:

  • New York's Empire State Building was not hit by a B-52 in 1945, but rather a B-25 Mitchell which is less than one-third the size of a B-52. (the first prototype B-52 would not fly for another seven years)
  • The suggestion that $167 billion in gold was stored in vaults beneath the World Trade Center was removed as it exceeded the entire amount of U.S. gold reserves by approximately $67 billion. The "$230 million in precious metals" stored at the WTC complex were in fact recovered.[52]
  • Loose Change implies 757's only have Pratt & Whitney engines made of steel and titanium alloy, when in fact the engines used in Flight 77 are Rolls-Royce engines.[53] Bollyn, an American Free Press reporter whom Loose Change references got the incorrect information from a factory in Indiana which makes engines for smaller aircraft; rather than the companies in Quebec and Derby that overhaul the 757 engines.
  • He refers to a 757 as a Jumbo Jet, yet it is a medium haul commercial airliner.

Airings

This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (tagged since September 2007)

BNN (Bart News Network) Nederland 3 and Portuguese public TV Station RTP aired Loose Change on September 10th, 2006 in prime time hours. RTP aired it again on 2: for September 17 2006. On September 11th 2006, Australian Pay TV Channel, The History Channel, showed it during prime time hours; it also aired on Israeli Science Channel (Channel 8) and the Pakistani channel Geo TV — dubbed into Urdu. Al-Arabiya TV, an affiliate of MCB, aired it on September 11, 2006- dubbed into Arabic.

In other media

  • George Monbiot, political activist and columnist for the Guardian, wrote an article on the improbability of the conspiracies cited in Loose Change, and then wrote a follow-up article in response to negative comments from some of his readers.[54]
  • Vanity Fair wrote an article about Loose Change and its creators.[55]
  • Democracy Now! hosted a debate between the authors of Loose Change and the editors of Popular Mechanics.[18]
  • Dutch Vara television channel's program Zembla, investigated claims made in the documentary.[citation needed]
  • FreeLooseChange.com is an initiative in Berlin, Germany. 100 shops, galleries, theatres and a daily newspaper office so far distributed 20,000 free DVDs featuring the documentaries Loose Change and Terrorstorm by Alex Jones in German language versions. A homeless newspaper and a skater magazine promoted the DVD with free full page ads.[citation needed]
  • The History Channel aired a two hour episode on August 20th 2007 entitled "The 9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction?" featuring interviews with the creators of Loose Change.[56]

Parody

Several individuals have lampooned Loose Change with parody movies such web satirist Maddox (as an April Fool's Joke) attempting to prove a conspiracy involving RMS Titanic in Unfastened Coins. They launched the newly formed "R.M.S. Titanic Truth Movement," which alleges that the R.M.S. Olympic was actually sunk in the Titanic's place as an insurance fraud. Another such parody is Jared M. Gordon's Moose Change, alleging that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by alien moose.

See also

 

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