Serious 9-11 Allegations Ignored
However, when people take those words seriously, they aren’t necessarily treated with respect or seriousness. Case in point is the educator and former car salesman who observed numerous 9-11 hijackers in southern West Virginia in the years leading up to the attacks—and can’t get anyone to listen.
Larry Maynard spent years trying to get his story in print, including paying $7,500 to a fraudulent operation that never came through with the publication of a book. Finally, this summer Maynard recently released Al Qaeda Pivot with the help of former Associated Press writer John Patrick Grace. (Full disclosure: Grace is a friend and helped me four years ago with the editing and publishing of a client’s book).
Spy Novel for Real
Al Qaeda Pivot has all the makings of a spy novel or major motion picture: in the years leading up to 9-11, terrorists aboard the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were hanging out in southern West Virginia, talking about doing that very thing.
Such a scenario might sound far-fetched, were it not the source of Maynard’s engrossing account. Until I obtained a copy recently, I didn’t grasp the significance of the hijackers who were responsible for claiming nearly 2,800 lives circulating in the Huntington-to-Hurricane area.
According to Maynard, 11 of the 19 hijackers came through the area and interacted with him or other eyewitnesses. Much of the contact took place at the dealership, but also involved such incidents as the purchase of two mobile homes for terrorists that Maynard says were set up on a lot in Hurricane.
Why is the idea of jihadists living among unsuspecting West Virginians so scary? Because of the possibility that not only did they plan their nefarious deeds out in the heartland, but that the Tri-State where West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky adjoin provided navigational direction. As a map in the book points out, American Flight 77 turned around here before later slamming into the Pentagon.
What’s equally troubling is the treatment Maynard describes receiving at the hands of the area’s FBI office when he alerted them to his observations—a “you didn’t see anything” shrug of the shoulders.
This book tends to sound like a strange fantasy. Indeed, Maynard’s story so unnerved the principal at the Mason County school where he was then teaching that she suspended him until he could pass a psychiatric evaluation.
Nor could Maynard produce copies of the terrorists’ drivers’ licenses, an impossibility since the Barboursville dealership where he worked routinely shredded copies after six months. (The dealership no longer considered those drivers active sales prospects.)
Still, Maynard collected affidavits from half a dozen witnesses who attest to the validity of his account, which ought to prompt further investigation and even a congressional hearing.
Checking Out Allegations
While I’m not a legal expert, by declining to pursue this trail—even though it is 15 years after the fact—the FBI is allowing accomplices to walk free. People who provided financing, the mobile homes where the terrorists lived, and other assistance have literally gotten away with murder.
The book has some flaws. I thought it would have worked better as a first-person account by Maynard, and it contains some typographical errors that should be corrected with the next printing.
However, those miscues don’t detract from the fact that allegations of this kind ought to be fully explored in order to determine their substance. Otherwise, Uncle Sam can’t expect many people to take “see something, say something” too seriously.