Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
The Frustrating Fraud
January 6 2008
Though I've still never seen it, I'd like to draw attention to the 2007 low-budget feature-length movie Severe Visibility, which addresses “the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unexplained” regarding the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. The title seems to refer to the weather conditions that day, but both this and the faux-dramatic theme music at the over-packaged website gives me the impression this is to be a feature-film version of the Pentagon Section of 911 In Plane Site. It's plainly visible this a severely bad omen. [trailer viewable here] Judging by the few nifty graphics I've seen, and not knowing the context they're presented in, the movie seems to toy with fighter, missile, and even somehow guided airliner technology (as on the poster).
A man named Paul Cross wrote and directed Severe Visibility, and cast himself in the lead role, so clearly it’s a bit of a personal vision for him. According to 911 Blogger member Carol Brouillet in a post about the movie,, as the attacks unfurled on on the morning of 9/11:
“Cross was at the White House for part of the post-production work of his film Follow The Leader a documentary about the everyday life of the President of the United States. On September 12th Paul visited the Pentagon. He saw that the damage to the building, the debris and the scene were not consistent with the official claim that a Boeing 757 had crashed there.”
This sounds serious; one day Paul is hanging at the White House, wrapping up this oddly-titled documentary with a cast of one – a normally media-shy George W Bush – and the next day he’s given a tour of the Pentagon and without spurring from Meyssan or anyone, amateur crash-scene investigator Cross is pretty sure there was no 757 ever there. He presumably does some research on websites over the next years, and, as Brouillet relates, “when the truth of 9/11 hit him, he cried for days. Severe Visibility, his latest film, is his response.”
Admittedly I haven’t seen this masterwork of anguish, but it doesn’t appear spectacularly good or inspired; it currently has a 5.5 star out of 10 average rating at its IMDB page even with dedicated Truthers probably stuffing the ballot box. I don’t care much about the technical qualities, but if this Cross guy is serious about the truth, I’m interested in how he approached the evidence in crafting this fictitious scenario. From website’s dramatic announcement that a deception may have happened at 9:41 (three minutes late) it doesn’t seem to be angling for major realism or factual relevance. From what I see, I’ll have to take this as the most ambitious foray into cinema I’ve yet seen from the roster of Frustrating Fraudsters.
Cross plays the fictitious Major Stanley Kruter, stationed at the Pentagon on 9/11, who struggles with the same gut feeling his creator did, but after actually being at the Pentagon when it was hit by probably not a 757. Driven by the death of a friend in the mysterious attack, he’s searching for the truth of what really happened and why, courageously facing his darkest fears about his own country, or something to that effect I guess. … The gash on his head is interesting; it seems was incurred upon his search of the site immediately afterwards looking fruitlessly for 757 debris. This injury is brandished conspicuously throughout the movie perhaps as a metaphor for his third eye opening, or just to remind us he was actually there (in the movie) and didn’t see any 757 (according to the screenplay).
Here’s a funny contrast just from the trailer; Kruter insists to the (cover-up supporting?) brass drilling him on whether he saw the plane, “from where I was standing, sir, it would have been impossible for me not to have seen it.” “But what haunts” the Major, some on-screen text explains, “is the fact that he did NOT see an American Airlines 757 hit the Pentagon that fateful day.” Elsewhere in the trailer is a scene where he’s distracted just as the fighter/missile whatever whizzes by behind his head. Perhaps that’s a dream sequence or something, but it doesn’t seem too haunting to me.
One pivotal character in Severe Visibility is Andrew Porter (Dennis Kleinman), who seems to be the intrepid investigator, who knows no plane hit the building/ Porter fortuitously contacts Kruter from the shadows and helps him - and of course the audience - see the horror that was always in severe plain sight. Judging by the quick shots of his info-lair, where ‘obscure secrets’ are surely revealed, he seems to be a human version of any number of fraud websites I’ve scanned and panned. At a dramatic high point of the trailer, Porter passionately urges the conflicted Stanley “for the love of your country, listen to what I have to say and THEN draw your own conclusions.” Of course Major Kruter’s actual truth, unlike our own, was determined strictly by Cross himself, so his path to it is clear and Porter the right portal. For the rest of us, we’ll need to be more discerning and less gullible than that.