A very ambitious and evidently serious American expatriate is trying to raise $1.5 million to “recreate” the September 11 attacks in an empty field in Thailand by crashing an aircraft into a building at 500 miles per hour. He’s promising front-row seats to anyone who donates $5,000 or more.

Paul Salo is a businessman of some sort whose various titles on LinkedIn include a lot of references to marketing and consulting. He says he’s lived in Shanghai for over a decade, and, in one of those swerves that happen sometimes in people’s lives, has now decided he’s the guy destined to determine whether or not September 11, 2001, was a “hoax.”

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In a YouTube video posted May 6, Salo announced the launch of his project, which is, in short, to buy a building that’s about to be torn down in a remote area, buy a plane with a functioning black box, and crash one into the other very hard, using autopilot.

“Everything that was in 9/11, we’re putting in this one,” Salo says, joyously. “Passports, old passports, we’re going to put them around the airplane.”

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And no misbehavior will be tolerated, Salo explains, because the building, the airplane, and the surrounding countryside will be festooned with cameras: “Anybody who tries to mess with anything will be on camera.”

Salo says in the video he thinks, in his opinion, “that we probably will find out that it was a similar physics as what happened on 9/11, OK? I believe that actually 9/11, some guys flew airplanes in there. But at the same time, hey, I’m no dummy. Maybe it’s not true. I want to find out too. I want to fly that sucker in there. We’re going to find out exactly what happens when something goes 500 miles an hour into a building full of fuel.”

Salo’s “quest” was first reported by Coconuts Bangok, which politely referred to him as “delusional.” On his crowdfunding page, which he’s titled “September 11 Redux,” Salo presents this whole thing as a way to get to the bottom of 9/11 for good and all, and insists he doesn’t mean any disrespect:

I have total respect for the firefighters and police that gave their lives on September 11th. And for the victims of that tragedy. I have no desire to downplay the heroism on that fateful day.

We all have belief in the official line somewhere between black and white on each extreme. We are not a team of tin foil hats. Of truthers. We just want to see it. And, as I said, let what happens happen. Either way, you’ll be there either online or off and can participate on some level.

In his video, Salo says he needs $300,000, but the Indiegogo page is seeking $1.5 million USD. Salo acknowledges that there’s “no way to know” how much the project will cost, adding that in the event that the plane misses the building, “obviously that sucks, but we’ll do it again.”

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This appears to be an entirely serious, non-trolling effort, but given how outlandish it is, there does exist the slim possibility that Salo is messing with us. At publication time, his Indiegogo page indicated that he had raised $10. On LinkedIn, he’s requesting “reputable” PR agencies to advise him on media, saying he’s been “inundated” with requests. We’ve reached out to him for comment and will update if we hear back.


Screenshot via YouTube/Paul Salo