September 11, 2001
- 'Celebrating Arabs' Stories (2)
- 9/11 Commemorations (6)
- Prophecies and Predictions (5)
- The Grateful Terrorist (3)
- The Tourist Guy (3)
- Warnings of Future Attacks (12)
9/11 SPECIAL: The Wildest Rumors & Hoaxes of September 11
A look back at the wildest, weirdest, wackiest rumors and hoaxes that circulated in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
America: The Good Neighbor
Circulating in the aftermath of 9/11, a text drawn from a radio commentary by Canadian broadcaster Gordon Sinclair pays tribute to America as a "good neighbor."
Bin Laden Owns Snapple?
Forwarded email alleges that September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden has financial ties to major corporations like Cadbury-Schweppes (makers of Snapple) and General Electric.
Budweiser vs. Celebrating Arabs on 9/11
Is it true that a Budweiser Beer employee in McFarland, California pulled his product from the shelves of a convenience store where Arab employees were seen celebrating the September 11 attacks?
Candlelight Vigil to be Photographed from Space
Emails circulating after 9/11 exhort all Americans to participate in a candlelight vigil to be photographed by NASA from outer space.
Blue Envelope / Blue Package Warnings
Email rumors circulating in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks claim large blue envelopes are being mailed to random recipients containing sponges impregnated with a lethal chemical. (Variant of earlier "Klingerman Virus" warnings.)
Dunkin' Donuts Boycott
Email tale claims Arab employees of Dunkin' Donuts were seen openly celebrating and/or defacing American flags immediately after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Grateful Terrorist
In this urban legend circulating after 9/11, a person identified only as an "Arab" or "Muslim" repays a stranger's kindness by issuing a cryptic warning not to go to a specific place at a specific time (thereby supposedly saving them from a planned terrorist attack).
Gum Arabic / Bin Laden Connection
Forwarded emails allege that gum arabic, a substance used in the manufacture of soft drinks, is made by a company owned by terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
G.W. Bush Quote on 9/11 Retaliation
Allegedly uttered by President Bush soon after the 9/11 attacks: 'I'm gonna be patient, about this thing, and not go firing a 2 million dollar missile at a 10 dollar tent just to hit a camel in the butt.'
Halloween 2001 Terrorism Alert
Email rumor circulating in the wake of 9/11 warns of planned terror attacks on shopping malls and commercial jetliners on Halloween, Oct. 31, 2001.
Halloween Candy Warning
Forwarded messages circulating a month after 9/11 warn of suspicious purchases of large amounts of Halloween candy by "Arabic" customers at Costco.
Hunt the Boeing!
French Website spins conspiracy theories to challenge the official explanation that a hijacked airliner caused the Pentagon explosion on September 11, 2001.
Iron Mail to Prevent Anthrax Exposure?
Forwarded email recommends ironing suspicious mail to kill anthrax germs before opening it.
Forwarded email claims World Trade Center attacker Muhammad Atta was set free from an Israeli prison years ago due to ill-advised intervention from the Reagan and/or Clinton administration.
Not All Heroes Are People
According to a popular viral email, on September 11 a brave guide dog named Daisy led her blind master, James Crane, and over 900 other people out of the burning World Trade Center to safety.
Oliver North Warned of Bin Laden Threat in 1987
Email rumor claims a video clip of Oliver North's testimony in the Iran-Contra hearings of 1987 shows him warning Congress of the future threat posed by Islamic terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Poisoned Perfume Samples in the Mail
Email alert circulating since Nov. 2001 claims several people died after sniffing free perfume samples they received in the mail, a possible terrorist plot.
Satan's Face in the Smoke on 9/11
Video clips show the face of Satan briefly appearing in clouds of smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Soda Pop Terror Alert
In this version of The Grateful Terrorist, an "Arab" or "Muslim-looking" man repays someone's kindness by warning his benefactor not to drink Coke (or Pepsi, depending on the version) after a certain date.
Toilet Terrorism Warning
Viral parody of "friend-of-a-friend" terror warnings claims dangerous alligators will be lurking in toilets everywhere on October 28, 2001.
The Tourist Guy of 9/11
Circulating via email, a snapshot purportedly taken atop one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center seconds before the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.
U-Haul, Ryder Trucks Possibly Stolen by Terrorists
Email hoax dating from Oct. 2001 claims dozens of rental trucks have been stolen across the U.S., possibly for use in terrorist attacks against American citizens.
'We Stand by You'
Sailors on a German Navy ship hold up a sign saying "We Stand by You" to show solidarity with American sailors on the U.S.S. Winston Churchill three days after 9/11.
The Wingdings Prophecies
Forwarded email makes much of some "interesting" results obtained by typing the letters "NYC" and/or the flight number of one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center into Microsoft Word and converting the font to Wingdings.
'WTC Survivor' Virus Alert
Forwarded alerts warn Internet users not to open any emails entitled "WTC Survivor," as they allegedly contain a very destructive computer virus.