While the rest of the nation mourns, one event will peddle debunked conspiracy theories about how 9/11 was an inside job.
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 11, a presentation titled "Examining the Evidence" is scheduled to unfold at a South Beach condo, featuring a talk by former Florida gubernatorial candidate and COVID-19 truther Bruce Wayne Stanley.
As with most terrible things that happen in the U.S. (say, COVID-19), the 9/11 terrorist attacks spawned a number of conspiracy theories that sought to explain the "truth" behind the catastrophe beyond what was widely reported. Popular theories shift the blame from al-Qaeda hijackers to the U.S. government, claiming that the towers had explosives planted inside or were hit by missiles. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonprofit foreign policy think tank, these conspiracy theories can be dangerous, spreading misinformation that causes distrust in the government and unfairly villanizes innocent groups, victims, and survivors. In Miami, where residents have just experienced a deadly building collapse in Surfside, wild conspiracy lobbing about the tragedy can be hurtful, if not offensive.
The all-day event, billed as 911 — What Really Happened, starts with a 10 a.m. "End the Wars" protest in Fort Lauderdale, and appears to be tied to the End the Damn Wars movement, which calls for stricter checks on the U.S. military following the War on Terror.
The second function is the 6 p.m. "Examining the Evidence" presentation, at Mirador 1000 condo in Miami Beach, where conspiracy theories about how "jet fuel can't melt steel beams" are expected to abound. Stanley, who ran unsuccessfully as a no-party candidate against Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum in 2018, will share "scientific, forensic evidence" that the World Trade Center was brought down by controlled explosives, not plane crashes.
Reached by New Times by phone, a property manager for the condo property said the building does not hold events and is unaware of the presentation but that tenants are allowed to hold gatherings in their private apartments.
When he's not 9/11 conspiracy-mongering, Stanley hawks COVID-19 conspiracy theories on Instagram and bewails frauds like vaccines, facemasks, and 5G internet. At one point, he was president of a nonprofit organization called The Church of the Way of the Messiahs, Inc., according to Florida Division of Corporations records.
Officials in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, both reached by New Times on Tuesday, were unaware of the truther events scheduled for their fair cities.
For those looking to honor the tragic anniversary on Saturday, the City of Fort Lauderdale will host a free tribute to the victims and 9/11 first responders at Las Olas Oceanside Park from noon to 6 p.m.; Miami Beach will hold a solemn ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at the Miami Beach Fire Department & Ocean Rescue headquarters at 2310 Pine Tree Dr., according to Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier.