Storm Cloud Rising

There’s an old friend of mine, I won’t mention his name here, but he teaches physics at a well recognized college in California and for years after 9/11 I would receive his many conspiracy theory blogs with a wary look. Something about ‘mass being unable to pass through resistance at a rate of free fall’. Unless of course explosives were involved. He had videos with stop frames posted all over the internet, showing that the Twin Towers had fallen at a rate of free fall, meaning, the planes alone could not have been the cause. Those 100 plus stories could not have pancaked at the speed they did without some help. He had images showing how steel beams had been cut at a 45 degree angle, just as explosives experts would do when bringing a building down. In the aforementioned videos, there were also stop frames showing what appeared to be flashes from explosions at each floor. And even if you doubted all that, he had another video of Tower 7, with the obligatory stop frames, showing it too had fallen at a rate of free fall. So what had caused that, he wanted to know? Don’t ask me. It was goddamned eerie and the fact was, I probably didn’t want to know. My friend was becoming like a guest who goes off on a political rant around the coffee table and ruins your cocktail party. Everyone’s looking for the exits all of a sudden.

Well, fast forward 12 years and I get a call from this special forces fellow who’s got a story to tell about 9/11. He had wanted to tell it from day one but was still working for Uncle Sam all those years and felt he was only free now to speak his mind, being retired. Even with that, he insisted on fictionalizing the story, in order to protect the innocent. When it comes to fiction, it’s not my job to verify anyone’s facts but in the course of passing this manuscript back and forth between us, this gentlemen was forever correcting the record. We were purportedly dealing with fictional situations and fictional characters but he would endlessly insist, “No, no. That’s not quite the way it went down.” Okay, I admit to being impressed with his dedication to the details if nothing else. I wasn’t there, but in a case like this, with no one to verify things, I’m naturally inclined to take things with a grain of salt. Still, this guy was sure bent on being accurate, for what it was worth.

Somewhere along the course of writing the book, I suddenly found myself face to face with the same crap my old friend, the mad professor, had been throwing at me for the past however many years. Wow. Okay. Here was a guy, my special forces client, who had voted for Bush, who figured the alpha males had won the 2000 election and, yahoo, let’s go kick some ass, and he walked away from his 9/11 special forces mission, which he called Storm Cloud Rising, ready to believe his government capable of anything, including a willingness to make mass pass through resistance at a rate of free fall, if that’s what it took to screw us out of our personal liberties and satisfy their lust for power. I mean, here were all these guys that we think of as having drunk the Koolaid and I’m made to believe that they were all sitting around in the years after 9/11, turning into conspiracy nuts. One example of things that came out in the course of writing the book. The special forces guy had a newly retired friend who just happened to be working for the Pennsylvania State Police when Flight 93 went down. The two of them talked by phone a few days after the attacks and the topic of discussion was, what had happened to the fuselage? Google any major plane crash on land and there’s always a big chunk of plane lying there like a dead carcass on the ground. Flight 93? Nada. A big hole in the ground and a few pieces scattered over a fifty square mile area. What really happened that day? Call it a mystery but my client and his friend could come to only one conclusion. That plane had been shot out of the sky to save the White House and the story everyone was led to believe just played out a whole lot better on the evening news than the one that actually happened.

What do I believe? I don’t know. My friend, the college professor, would say you can’t argue with physics, which is something we all take for granted, all things being equal, but I can tell you that Gary Paul Corcoran did not sleep the same easy sleep at night once he was done with writing Storm Cloud Rising. You read the novel and tell me what you think. I suppose nothing is impossible in this world, to which my old physics professor friend would say, and mass cannot fall through resistance at a rate of free fall. It’s impossible.

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