A listener to my podcast got in touch in recent days to say that inspired by my call to action in episode 025 – Fun with FOIA – he had filed a request with the DOD for documents on their involvement in the production of Towering Inferno. This 1974 disaster film is of particular interest in that some have seen it as part of the predictive programming for 9/11. It is not difficult to see why:
Though of course there was no plane in the film, and the fires were eventually extinguished and the building did not collapse the general flavour of the film certainly evoked the same feelings as the real events nearly 30 years later.
The response from the DOD is interesting because they do not deny their involvement in the film, but say they have no records describing that involvement. “Mr. David O’Connor, Program Manager, a FOIA Initial Denial Authority for PA, advised that although the Department of Defense may have provided production assistance during the time of the filming, there are no records dating back to when “The Towering Inferno” was released in 1974.” You can download the email response from the DOD here (PDF).
Indeed, the way the response is phrased doesn’t explicitly rule out the existence of documents from the time of the production of the film, only from the time of the release of the film. What are we to make of this? When I know more dear readers, so will you. In the meantime, I hope more of you get involved and I credit the listener (who wishes to remain anonymous) with being the first to take this sort of action. Meanwhile, look out in the coming days for a database version of the DOD film list put together by another listener.
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