The 9/11 Faker (4 stars)

The 9/11 Faker

Channel 4, Thu 11 Sep, 9pm

And so let's roll with the annual grief-fest which marks the day when planes smashed into the heart of New York's business sector and flattened any notions of US impregnability. In the years which followed, tales of heroism and sacrifice emerged from the rubble of Manhattan as figures such as Welles Crowther, the man in the red bandana who lost his life after pulling several survivors out, were hailed.

Perhaps the story which captured the spirit of the times most perfectly was that of Tania Head, a fiscal trader who was only one of 19 people above the point of impact who came out alive (rescued by Crowther) albeit with horrible injuries to her arm. Having lost her fiancé in the attacks, Head went on to front the World Trade Center Survivors Network. But after several years as a 9/11 figurehead, Head's story began to unravel as reporters discovered inconsistencies within her account and the full deception came to light. Not only was Head not pulled from the wreckage, but she wasn't even in New York that day. There was no fiancé and her injuries were sustained in a horseriding accident or a car crash: the trail of lies went back some way.

For conspiracy theorists, this terrible tale acted as a microcosm of the official 9/11 story: a tissue of lies and a spreading of misinformation which misled a traumatised American public desperate for the truth about what happened on that epochal day. The swift disappearance of Head and eventual rumours of her suicide simply left a Ground Zero-sized hole in another 9/11 mystery.

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