Like all conspiracy theories, there is a grain of truth found in the bucketful of paranoia that usually appeals to the intellectually-challenged and gullible. Case in point: More than a few of the so-called “9/11 Truthers” have giddily used as supposed evidence that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a so-called “inside job” is the fact that a B-25 Mitchell bomber once accidentally flew into the Empire State Building. Without fail, the Truthers leave it at that, but they do often feed into their insinuation that if a BOMBER!! didn’t bring down the Empire State Building, how could a mere, puny commercial passenger plane cause the collapse of the World Trade Center?
The grain of truth is that yes, a bomber did hit the Empire State Building during World War II. But what the Truthers fail to mention is that a B-25 was arguably just a fighter/attack aircraft on steroids. It doesn’t really matter if you agree with my comparison or not, one thing few will argue is that the B-25 is a pip-squeek when compared to the giant that is a Boeing 767, which are the same type aircraft that hit the WTC on 9/11.
Here’s the full story — On a foggy summer morning in 1945, a B-25 flying out of Bedford Army Air Field, Massachusetts was headed to the Newark Airport. It found itself off-course, resulting in hitting the famous skyscraper. Ticking along rather slowly (compared to today’s standards) and with her fuel tanks nearly empty, the plane was flying at an estimated 230 miles-an-hour when it hammered into the north side of the ESB between the 78th and 80th floors. While the accident actually caused little damage, sadly, 13 deaths resulted.
But as seen in the slideshow, just because the Mitchell was technically classified as a bomber certainly doesn’t mean it’s a behemoth like the B-52 Stratofortress or even the much older B-29 Superfortress. Amazingly, Truthers consider what happened in 1945 to be on par with a Boeing 767 with almost full fuel tanks (23,000 gallons of aviation fuel) flying at 600 miles-an-hour slamming into a much different type of constructed World Trade Center (steel cage ribbing and a lot of glass).
Built as solid as a mountain, the Empire State Building was constructed of 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and granite, 10 million bricks and 730 tons of aluminum and stainless steel. The WTC? Not so much. As Lewis Mumford, author of The City in History and other works on urban planning, criticized the WTC project in the Mar. 22, 1967 edition of The New York Times, complaining that the flimsy new skyscrapers were little more than very large “glass-and-metal filing cabinets.”
As Paul Harvey use to finish his radio reports, “And now you know… the rest of the story.”