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The Lone Gunmen

by Andrew May

Published in a severely edited form in Fortean Times issue 165, December 2002

[The September 2002 issue of Fortean Times contained an article on 9/11 conspiracy theories. This prompted me to write to them pointing out similarities between some of these theories and the pilot episode of the TV series The Lone Gunmen, which aired several months before the events of 9/11. FT printed part of my letter in issue 165 (December 2002), but only a tiny part (about two-thirds of the final sentence, in fact!). My letter appeared immediately after a much longer letter from someone else, which already included the bulk of the substance of my own letter - hence the editing. I can't complain though, because the "someone else" was none other than Bruce Harwood, the actor who played Byers in both The Lone Gunmen and The X-Files (my favorite character in both series!). Anyway, here's the full text of my letter for anyone who's interested.]

The pilot episode of the Fox TV series The Lone Gunmen, which first aired in March 2001, involved a conspiracy theory as persuasive as anything which emerged post-9/11. In that episode, the Lone Gunmen (three characters who will be familiar to viewers of The X-Files) uncovered a plot by a group of Pentagon officials who were unhappy with the decline in defence spending following the end of the Cold War. The plotters seized control of a domestic airliner en route from Washington DC to Boston (not by hijacking it, but by hacking into its flight control computer), and set it on a collision course for New Yorkís World Trade Center. Their reasoning was that in the wake of such a high-profile atrocity, extremists around the world would be quick to claim responsibility, an outraged government would declare an all-out war on terrorism, and defence budgets would soar. In the TV version, the Lone Gunmen foiled the plotters, saving the plane and the Twin Towers. Tragically, in the real world six months later there was no such happy ending. Whether or not the US military/industrial complex really was behind the attacks, thereís no denying that itís profited from them. The pilot episode was omitted from the Sci-Fi channelís UK run of The Lone Gunmen, but a full transcript (on which my knowledge of the episode is based) can be found at http://www.insidethex.co.uk/transcrp/tlg179.htm

Copyright © 2002 Andrew May

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