Did Rupert Murdoch Have Prior Knowledge of 9-11?

by Christopher Bollyn 

October 3, 2003

A year before 9-11, Rupert Murdoch of Fox News produced a television program that depicted a passenger aircraft being hijacked by remote control and flown into the
WorldTradeCenter.  Did Rupert Murdoch have prior knowledge of 9-11?

Two organizations, both pro-Israel, the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and the Fox News network, have desperately tried to smear me as an “anti-Semite” in order to discredit and diminish the significance of my 9-11 work. At the helm of both organizations, the ADL and Fox News, is the Australian-born Zionist named Keith Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch and the ADL are clearly trying to marginalize me and other independent researchers who use facts to challenge the government’s flawed explanation of what occurred on 9-11. The question is why? 

More than a year before 9-11, media mogul Rupert Murdoch produced a television program that depicted a passenger aircraft being hijacked by remote control and flown into the WorldTradeCenter. A chief of the international Zionist network, Murdoch has close and long-standing relations with the individuals who gained control of the twin towers shortly before they were destroyed. One question has to be asked:  Did Rupert Murdoch have prior knowledge of 9-11? 

Rupert Murdoch is said to be television’s “most powerful man in the world with the capacity to reach more than 110 million viewers across four continents.” Murdoch sits at the helm of News Corp., the parent company of Fox News network, and controls a large part of the mass media in the United States, including the New York Post and the Fox cinema and television network.  Murdoch’s international media network owns more than 175 newspapers and magazines on three continents, publishes 40 million papers a week and dominates the newspaper markets in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. 

A “close friend” of the accused Israeli war criminal and prime minister Ariel Sharon, Murdoch and his media network are well known for supporting Israel’s right-wing Likud Party and the Anglo-American “war on terror.”  Less well known, however, is the fact that Murdoch produced a television program in 2000, which predicted with uncanny accuracy the attacks of 9-11.  Murdoch also has long-standing relationships with the key individuals who gained possession of the WorldTradeCenter shortly before 9-11 – and who profited from its destruction. 

In 2000, Murdoch produced a television program about a terror attack on the WorldTradeCenter, which predicted precisely the kind of attack that occurred on 9-11. He is also closely connected to the two individuals who leased and insured the WTC property – and their future earnings – against precisely such an attack.  These connections and circumstances suggest that Murdoch had a considerable degree of prior knowledge of the attacks on the WorldTradeCenter.  Repeated calls to Murdoch’s office to inquire about what he may have known or suspected about the possibility of such an attack were not returned. 


On March 4, 2001, Fox TV, a branch of Murdoch’s media empire, broadcast the pilot episode of a “spin-off” series based on characters from the popular Fox program X-Files. The short-lived series was called The Lone Gunmen.  A Murdoch-owned company called Canadian Millennium Productions, Ltd. (News Corp. owns 83 percent), produced the pilot episode in Vancouver, Canada, and New York City from March 20 to April 7, 2000.  The Lone Gunmen supposedly refers to a Washington-based government watchdog news weekly. The main characters are the investigative reporters who produce the paper. 

The pilot episode depicted the hijacking of a passenger aircraft by a hostile computer hacker who takes control of the plane computer flight system and directs it to fly into one of the towers of the WorldTradeCenter.  The climactic sequence shows the plane heading straight for one of the twin towers, but thanks to the efforts of the crew of The Lone Gunmen and the powerful “Octium” computer chip, the pilots are able to regain control of the plane at the last second and avoid the building by inches.  The pilots do not swerve away from the tower but pull the plane up in a steep climb. In a memorable scene full of tension the plane narrowly misses the tower. 

The background footage for the plane’s approach to the WTC was actually filmed during the spring of 2000 by a special aerial crew that used a helicopter flying low over Manhattan on a night flight toward the twin towers.  Despite the uncanny similarities between the Murdoch-produced film and the horrific reality of 9-11, rather than being discussed in the media as a prescient warning of the possibility of such an attack, the pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen seems to have been quietly forgotten.  While an estimated 13.2 million Fox TV viewers reportedly watched the pilot episode of “The Lone Gunmen”, broadcast on March 4, 2001, when life imitated art six months later on 9-11, no one in the media seemed to recall the program. 


“I woke up on September 11 and saw it on TV and the first thing I thought of was The Lone Gunmen,” Frank Spotnitz, one of the program’s four executive producers said. “But then in the weeks and months that followed, almost no one noticed the connection.” 


Frank Spotnitz, John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Chris Carter are listed as executive producers of the program. Shiban is also listed as a writer and creator of the pilot episode.  “What’s disturbing about it to me is, you think as a fiction writer that if you can imagine this scenario, then the people in power in the government who are there to imagine disaster scenarios can imagine it, too,” Spotnitz said. 

I spoke with Robert McLachlan, director of photography, who received an award from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers on March 31, 2001 for his camera work on the pilot episode.  “It was odd that nobody referenced it,” McLachlan said about the uncanny similarities between The Lone Gunmen pilot episode he filmed and the horrific reality of 9-11. “You’re the first person who mentioned it,” he said. “In the ensuing press nobody mentioned that [9-11] echoed something that had been seen before.” 

I asked McLachlan about who supervised the production of the pilot program. “John Shiban was primarily the creator,” McLachlan said, adding, “Chris Carter was not there.” Carter is well known for his production of the X-Files.  “It’s their baby,” Carter said about The Lone Gunmen.  Carter reportedly had “a minor part” in the production. Neither Carter nor Shiban could be reached for comment. 


Murdoch “became an American citizen for business reasons,” according to Richard H. Curtiss, editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Keith Rupert was born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 11, 1931. “Rupert’s father, Sir Keith Murdoch, was a newspaper publisher, and his mother an Orthodox Jew,” Curtiss wrote, “although Murdoch never offers that information in his biographies.” 

Murdoch’s father married Elisabeth Joy Greene, daughter of Rupert Greene in 1928. They had one son, Keith Rupert, and three daughters. Later in life, Keith Rupert chose to use Rupert, the first name of his Jewish maternal grandfather.  The young Keith Rupert was educated at Australia’s fashionable Geelong private school, and went on to the elitist and aristocratic OxfordUniversity in England, according to Candour  magazine (UK).

“Rupert’s father Sir Keith Murdoch attained his prominent position in Australian society through a fortuitous marriage to the daughter of a wealthy Jewish family, née Elisabeth Joy Greene. Through his wife’s connections, Keith Murdoch was subsequently promoted from reporter to chairman of the British-owned newspaper where he worked. There was enough money to buy himself a knighthood of the British realm, two newspapers in Adelaide, South Australia, and a radio station in a faraway mining town,” Candour wrote in 1984. “For some reason, Murdoch has always tried to hide the fact that his pious mother brought him up as a Jew.”  While Murdoch may have “tried to hide” his Jewish roots, he has been quite forthright about his support for extreme right-wing Zionists, such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon. 

Netanyahu, who wrote a book entitled The War on Terror: How the West Can Win in 1986, is a frequent commentator on Murdoch’s Fox News.  Murdoch’s support for Zionism extremists is well known and a matter of record. As New York Governor George Pataki said, “There is no newspaper in the U.S. more supportive of Israel than the [Murdoch’s] New York Post.” 

It is through a network of Zionist organizations, in which he plays a central role, that Murdoch is connected to the individuals who arranged the privatization – and obtained control of the WorldTradeCenter – shortly before its destruction.  The key individuals are: Larry Silverstein and the former Israeli commando Frank Lowy, the lease holders of dubious repute who gained control of the WTC property six weeks before 9-11, and Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg, who oversaw the transfer of the leases. 

Murdoch belongs to, and has been honored by, a number of leading Zionist organizations in which Silverstein, Lowy, and Eisenberg all hold senior positions. These organizations include the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL), the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), and the New York-based Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. 

Fifty days before 9-11, Silverstein Properties and Lowy’s WestfieldAmerica secured 99-year leases on the WTC. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey turned control of the WorldTradeCenter over to the private hands of Silverstein and Lowy on July 24, 2001.  Silverstein and Lowy then took control of the 10.6 million-square-foot complex, which included the twin towers office buildings and two nine-story office buildings. Silverstein and the former Israeli commando Lowy then controlled all access to the WorldTradeCenter.  Lowy leased the shopping concourse called the Mall at the WorldTradeCenter, which comprised about 427,000 square feet of retail space. 

“Six weeks before the WTC towers were destroyed, the Port Authority completed the process of leasing them for 99 years to Larry Silverstein, the developer who had built 7 World Trade Center [which was demolished at 5:25 p.m. on 9-11]. Simultaneously, the retail space underneath the complex was leased to WestfieldAmerica, the U.S. division of an Australian company that is one of the world’s largest operators of shopping malls.” Paul Goldberger wrote in New Yorker of May 20, 2002. “Silverstein and Westfield were given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed, and Westfield has the right to expand the retail space by 30 percent,” Goldberger wrote. 

Silverstein is suing for some $7.2 billion in insurance money for the loss of the destroyed WorldTradeCenter – and his expected earnings – for property he had leased with a down payment of $100 million – of borrowed funds. 


“Murdoch is a close friend of Ariel Sharon,” Sam Kiley, The Times (UK) veteran journalist on the Middle East wrote about the man who took over the once famous British paper. Kiley said Murdoch’s friendship with the Israeli prime minister had caused senior staff at the paper to rewrite important copy.  “Murdoch’s executives were so afraid of irritating him that, when I pulled off a little scoop of tracking down and photographing the unit in the Israeli army which killed Mohammed al-Durrah, the 12-year-old boy whose death was captured on film and became the iconic image of the conflict, I was asked to file the piece ‘without mentioning the dead kid.’” Kiley wrote. “After that conversation, I was left wordless, so I quit.” 

Sharon and Murdoch are old friends. On Oct. 15, 1982, a month after the massacres of thousands of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps of Beirut, war crimes which occurred under Sharon’s direct command, the Israeli defense minister held meetings with Rupert Murdoch and others, reportedly in order to advance his “West Bank real estate grab.”  The visit with Sharon included a trip for Murdoch and his editors from New York and London that “took them on a bird’s-eye tour of Israel aboard a helicopter gunship, flying over the Golan Heights, West Bank and settlements.” 

“I have always believed in the future of Israel and the goals of the international Jewish community,” Murdoch said at a spring fund-raiser for the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust on April 29, 2001.  From the beginning, News Corp., his global media company, “has been supportive of the Jewish national cause,” Murdoch said. 

Larry Silverstein, who had not yet acquired the lease on the WorldTradeCenter, attended the fund-raiser with Murdoch and reportedly said about museum chairman Robert Morgenthau’s plans to expand the museum: “I’ll support you…as long as you keep it under 110 stories.”


“Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch, and Mortimer Zuckerman are on the [ADL] dinner committee,” according to a recent New York Times report on the ADL’s recent fund-raiser in which the controversial Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi received the ADL’s Distinguished Statesman Award. 

Silverstein and Eisenberg have both held senior leadership positions with the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), a billion dollar Zionist “charity” organization, to which Murdoch and Lowy generously contribute. In 1997, Henry Kissinger presented Murdoch with the UJA’s award for “Humanitarian of the Year.”  Silverstein is a former chairman of UJA. This organization raises hundreds of millions of dollars every year for a network of Zionist agencies in the United States and Israel. Eisenberg, who was instrumental in obtaining the lease for Silverstein, is on the Planning Board of UJA.  Eisenberg in his role with the Port Authority was the key person who negotiated the 99-year leases for Silverstein and Frank Lowy’s WestfieldAmerica, who were, in fact, the low-bidders for the lease on the 110-story towers and the retail mall. 

Murdoch and the Czechoslovakian-born Israeli commando Frank Lowy, a former fighter in Israel’s Golani Brigade, who emigrated to Australia in the 1950s, have had a long friendship, which Murdoch recounted during an American Australian Association fund-raising dinner in honor of Frank’s son, Peter S. Lowy, in New York on November 20, 2002. Larry Silverstein and his wife also attended the American Australian event.  Some reporters refer to the American Australian Association, whose membership includes James Wolfensohn, the president of the World Bank, who raised cash for Rupert Murdoch when he first expanded into the United States, as “the kangaroo mafia.” 

“Frank was a brave and determined fighter,” Rafi Kocer, Lowy’s former commander, said. Lowy has donated some $350,000 to build a memorial museum in Israel for his former brigade.  Today, Lowy and his three sons control Westfield Corporation, one of the largest operators of shopping centers in the United States – and the world. 


On September 12, 2001, the Jerusalem Post reported: “Frank Lowy, who emigrated to Australia from Israel in 1952, owns the 99-year lease for the 425,000 square foot retail portion of the destroyed World Trade Center…Westfield said today that it has insurance cover against terrorist attacks and its earnings will not be materially affected.”  Lowy, is described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “a self-made man with a strong interest in the Holocaust and Israeli politics.”