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September 2018: Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, a wave of conspiracy theories swept the nation. The destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City was an inside job, they claimed, the work of the federal government, and "truthers" filled the internet with supposed proof of the vast conspiracy.
It was in this climate that Popular Mechanics took on the task of debunking the myths about the 9/11 attacks. Our first report appeared as the cover story for the March 2005 issue. The reporting grew into a with a forward by Sen. John McCain, which was updated with a in 2011. Below you'll find the section about the World Trade Center, and you can also get the facts about the planes, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of United Flight 93.
Seventeen years later, 9/11 conspiracy theories linger on. In the years following the report of this publication, truthers would launch of variety of attacks on PM, accusing the magazine of being a tool of the federal government and drawing tinfoil-hat diagrams to tie Popular Mechanics to the Bush Administration and the supposed big conspiracy. If all this nonsense accomplished anything, it was to presage our current era of "alternative facts" and attacking the messenger whenever the message clashes with one's predetermined beliefs.