The internet is circulating a September 11 conspiracy theory, started by a French book, saying the plane that smashed into the Pentagon never existed and that the destruction of the Pentagon is a U.S. plot.

Thierry Meyssan’s book ?The Frightening Fraud? is a bestseller in France. ?Copies have been flying off shelves,? says a saleswoman at FNAC bookshop in central Paris.

Meyssan, president of Reseau Voltaire, a French left-wing think tank, believes the American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon in Washington killing 189 on September 11 did not exist and that the whole thing was staged by the government. ?I believe the American government is lying…No plane crashed into the Pentagon,? he says. Meyssan does not provide an alternate theory for what damaged the Pentagon.

Meyssan says key evidence shows witness accounts are contradictory, that there are few photographs of the crash and that those that do exist show no debris from the plane. He also asks why the facade of the Pentagon did not immediately collapse from the shock of the impact and questions the fate of the passengers on the flight. ?What became of the passengers of American Airlines Flight 77? Are they dead?? he asks.

Conspiracy theories are common in the U.S., but fairly rare in France. ?This phenomenon is not typical of the French,? says sociologist Pierre Lagrange. ?But the events of September 11 gave us a reality so similar to science fiction, that there has been more of a market for paranoid interpretations.? One of these is that a booby-trapped truck caused the explosion, as the first reports on September 11 suggested, which were quickly denied by officials.

French daily newspapers Le Monde and Liberation both checked into Meyssan?s theory, tracking down relatives of the victims, and asking officials about the crash. News weekly Le Nouvel Observateur says, ?This theory suits everyone — there are no Islamic extremists…everyone is happy. It eliminates reality.? But while Le Monde dismissed Meyssan?s theory as flimsy, it admitted that the information available does not add up. It says, ?There is no official account of the crash…the lack of information is feeding the rumor.?

Opinion: The secrecy-obsessed US government gets caught in its own socks again. Because it was the Pentagon that was struck and they don’t want potential enemies to be able to determine the extent of the damage, they have also hidden a great deal of information about Flight 77, its passengers, and the crash itself. The result? The brave military personnel and innocent passengers who died in this horrible incident must have their memories besmirched.

To learn the reality behind U.S. conspiracy theories, get ?The Black Vault? CD by John Greenewald,click here.

To read the ?Hunt the Boeing? website, click here.

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