This week on 9/11 Free Fall, Matt Campbell — whose brother Geoff died in the North Tower on 9/11 — and Geoff’s longtime friend Henry Young join host Andy Steele on a momentous day for the Campbell family, who hours earlier submitted a historic application to the UK attorney general seeking a new inquest into Geoff’s death nearly 20 years ago.
Welcome to 9/11 Free Fall, I'm the host Andy Steele. Today we're joined by Matt Campbell and Henry Young. Matt Campbell is the brother of Geoff Campbell, who died in the North Tower on September 11th. He's joined by Henry, who was a friend of Geoff. Today they submitted the application for the Campbell family's inquest to re-examine Geoff's murder, and we'll be talking about that. So welcome to the show guys.
Thank you, Andy.
So today, as I said, they took the next step in seeking justice for Geoff Campbell. We're going to be hearing all about that and their experience, but first, because it's his first time here on the show, I want to learn more about Henry. So Henry, please tell us about yourself, and also tell us about your times with Geoff before September 11th.
Okay, hi. So Matt and I are old business partners. We ran a business together which we founded in 1999, which was working in financial technology and IT. And a lot of our customers were international investment banks who had an office not only in the City of London, where we were based, but also in New York. So our business naturally took us to New York quite a lot. And we were interested in setting up a New York office because that would make much more sense than constantly flying over and putting up in hotels.
And Matt's brother, Geoff Campbell, was working for Reuters at the time, working on risk technology systems, and he was quite interested in becoming the cornerstone of our US office along with his then girlfriend, Caroline, who was going to be working in sales for us. So I met up with Geoff a couple of times in the lead up to this because I was quite frequently flying over to New York, and we were having discussions about getting this all going.
And part of the thing we were trying to do is to start getting Geoff involved in our niche little world. And that meant meeting up with customers and going to industry conferences and the like. And that was all in the immediate lead up to 9/11. We were intensely in these discussions about how to structure the business and get it up and running so that Geoff would feel comfortable with leaving his employment and setting up shop for us.
I love to feature the lives that were lost that day. For a lot of people, we watched this event happen on television. Of course we were horrified by what we were seeing, and then we get a number of victims given to us, a toll. And we look at that number. And over time it becomes easy to just see this as an overall number and not think about the fact that every single person, every single soul that composed that number, had dreams, ambitions, things going on, entire stories that made up who they were. And they were lost in a single incident in a single morning on that day.
So that is why I always ask these questions. I always want to learn more about these people. And I've learned a lot about Bobby McIlvaine through talking to Bob and from just overall interviews and whatnot that he's done. And learning more about Geoff here today.
Henry, tell us about your experience on 9/11. How did you hear the news? And then how did you hear about Geoff and what happened?
Yeah, so I was working in the office in London on that day. Matt was on holiday, on vacation, and I'd actually, myself, been registered to attend that conference. And originally it was planned that I would be in New York attending that conference. And then in the days prior to 9/11 we had one of our New York customers have a severe problem with their trading room, and that needed one of my colleagues, who is an expert in the particular aspect of their system they were having trouble with. And one of my colleagues had to fly out.
And so we decided, well, I'll stay in London. He can go out to New York, do what he needs to do there. So we got in a guy called Nick, I won't give his full name, registered to attend the conference, and he was going to go in my place along with Geoff. And what ended up happening on the morning of 9/11 is that Nick got urgently called into the customer's office in Midtown, which prevented him, effectively prevented him, from attending the conference.
I was exchanging a few emails with Geoff again around planning our New York office set up and actually received what might've been the last email Geoff sent, which effectively ended saying, "Got to go, Henry, otherwise I'll be late for the conference."
And then later that day we had the TV on in the corner of the office. There was actually a U.S.-based visitor who was over having a meeting with some of my colleagues, and one of the guys out in the open-plan part of the office draws our attention to what's on the TV. And we see the live coverage of... Well, I guess it wasn't literally live, but the recorded coverage of the first plane hitting the first tower. I guess that must've been... Someone incidentally had a camera pointing in the right direction at the right time.
And the thing that really sticks in my memory from that morning is this guy over from New York who was visiting our office, big, tough burley, muscly guy, looked like he was a ballplayer in college or something like that before he moved on to his work. He ran over to look at what was going on on the TV and literally dissolved into tears. And that always stayed with me, seeing this big, tough guy brought to tears over what he saw happening.
So that was... Yeah, just remembering that always temporarily erases my mind. Also the thing that was apparent... Well, the conference that was being held, run by Risk Waters, this is an organization that organized a few conferences each year, very, very specialist niche conferences in our particular area of business. And we would always attend these conferences. Sometimes they're in New York, sometimes they're in London.
So that meant I knew the staff at Risk Waters. I knew a lot of the people who were the conference organizers. And also these conferences would always have an exhibition area where some of the companies sponsoring the conference would be showing off their products and meeting with conference delegates who came along.
So I knew some of the staff. I knew some of the representatives from other customers who would be at this conference. And just the whole idea of what was going on was pretty overwhelming.
So as I mentioned earlier, these two gentlemen took the next step into achieving justice for Geoff over in the UK. Matt, remind our audience, because we're always picking up new people, new people waking up to the truth of 9/11 all the time, especially around this time of the year. Remind our audience what this inquest is all about and how you got started on this pursuit.
So yeah, my brother Geoff, he died, he was on the 106th floor of the North Tower. And very early on, I started to question certain aspects of the official narrative. And in part that was certainly led by Henry pushing me, various articles, and such like, as early as end of October, early November 2001.
But over the years, and particularly in the last decade, I guess I've been more focused on the manner in which Geoff died rather than say paper trail questions that I had. And for me, when Geoff had his original inquest, which is... It's held in the UK when someone has died in suspicious circumstances. If he's in the UK it's fairly straightforward. If it's abroad, you have to have remains repatriated back to the UK to automatically trigger an inquest. So Geoff actually had that in January 2013.
It was adjourned for a long time but that's because it was a joint quest with nine other victims, British victims. And so myself and my mother didn't attend. And in some respects, in hindsight, it's probably a good thing because I probably would've just got very frustrated and cross in court, but not knowing necessarily how to articulate or put forward the arguments certainly that we've managed to put together working with a barrister and closely with Ted Walter from A&E.
We wouldn't be in the position we are right now to have that overwhelming amount of fresh evidence that was never considered at his first inquest, but also to show how there was an insufficiency of inquiry, which is also another key aspect to us putting forward the argument to the UK attorney general in order to get him to grant his authority to reopen Geoff's inquest.
That's right. And specifically what you were looking for is for them to acknowledge that Geoff's death was as a result of the explosive demolition of World Trade Center 1, which, getting that into the legal record, would be huge. It would be a big step towards achieving justice here in the United States, because it's already been acknowledged over in the UK.
I also am looking at the press release that's being submitted, and it says that you submitted the application to the senior coroner at the West London Coroner's Court, inviting him to consent to a fresh inquest. Would you please talk about that?
Yeah, so the traditional route is through the attorney general. They grant the authority or not. If they do grant it, it goes to the high court, then the high court should then put it down to the Coroner's Court, and it gets reopened. We discovered a couple of... Well, I wouldn't say a couple of weeks ago but fairly recently, that there is actually an alternative route, which actually expedites the whole process. It would basically fast-track our application so that the senior coroner at the West London Coroner's Court can actually make a decision on his own to accept that there is this abundance of new evidence pointing towards a different finding, a different verdict, and also the insufficiency of inquiry, so much so that they can sign this consent order and it would open the inquest without any significant delay or having to go through the attorney general route.
But we have submitted both. So the submission today, one's gone to the attorney general in the UK and the other submission has gone to the senior coroner. So yeah, that's something new which we hadn't considered before. The consent order that is.
Right. And I want to add, too, this is not just Matt pursuing this. His mother's also involved, your family. Talk about your overall family's involvement as well.
Yeah, so it's a joint... There's several of us as applicants. So there's my mother, my father, my brother Rob. And there's also Geoff's fiance, Caroline, are all applicants to this to get my brothers inquest reopened.
I'd say for a long time my mum has known that I've harbored serious doubt about a lot of what we were being told. Certainly in more recent years she's paid a lot more attention to the stuff that I was sending to her. And so I think as a family, I don't know, it's not... Closure's the wrong word, but I don't know how you can have full healing without knowing the full truth about what's happened when someone has been murdered.
It's extremely hard to... I speak more from my perspective, but I know it's to perhaps a lesser degree, but to all my family members that it's hard not knowing the truth. And it's been very clear over the years that the authorities have made it hard for us to access that truth.
And so, yeah, we're just very pleased that we've got to this stage, and although it's a stepping stone to, obviously, hopefully getting the evidence in court, we do feel there's been a significant milestone achieved today.
So talk about the step, Matt, that the both of you took today.
So today, we basically collected and viewed for the first time the application, the full application in its entirety, that's down to covering letters, etc. It's approaching 3,000 pages, the actual written part of the application that's been submitted. And there's certainly approaching probably double figures of hours of video footage that's been submitted for the attorney general and the senior coroner to consider.
And so today, it was important for me and our family to be there together. Sadly, my father couldn't make it, but myself and my mum and my brother were there. But also Henry. He's been part of this journey. He was there, he was the first one to find out that Geoff was in the conference in the towers and certainly for me was key for me just waking up to elements that were certainly not right what we were being told.
And also Ian, who I met probably some... Ian Henshall this is, he loosely heads up the Reinvestigate 9/11 group in the UK. And he's also an author of a book. He's been part of that journey for me as well, getting to the point we are now. And we've submitted the application to the attorney general.
And so it's just good for all of us to be there, and we spent a lot of time at the barristers before submitting the application to the two parties that I mentioned.
Henry, talk about your decision to join Matt in this. And your motivation, specifically, and your experience doing this today.
Well, this whole process is really all about Matt's family. I'm really just, I guess... I've been a witness to the process in part, intentionally on Matt's part, I think, and just to bear witness to the entire process, all the documentation that's been involved throughout, to help out proofreading and sanity checking to a degree as well, everything that's occurred in the long, drawn out process leading up to this.
I've stayed friends with Matt since 9/11. So I'm not officially involved in this process. I'm very much on the sidelines but certainly bearing witness to it, helping out where possible and generally supporting Matt in his endeavors.
It's been important to have someone who I trust, who really want to help me through that.
Yeah, I understand that.
Yeah, I agree. And sometimes I think some of the sideline work is the most important work. There's big steps that are taken, but there's all these details that are involved, especially with things like this, legalistic matters and whatnot. But just in any project, the people that pay attention to the details, that help out, who lend the support, I think are some of the biggest heroes. They certainly are for me. And all the projects that we do here at AE911Truth, and every role is important in making anything happen.
And I want to thank you, too, Henry for helping Matt out with this. Now, the inquest has been talked about in the media in the UK. Matt, talk about your perception of that coverage.
It's been so busy today I've not actually read the article in detail. My feeling is I'm glad it's been covered. If you're referring to The Daily Mail article in particular, Sue Reid's probably one of the few journalists who has tried to at least get word out and document what we're trying to do as a family. I felt that the article today was probably a little bit top heavy on conspiracy theory stuff, which is... To me, I think it's really unfortunate, particularly if you're looking at historical case. And I've cited before Hillsborough and Bloody Sunday. If you've got family members 20, 25 years on still fighting for stuff, to call something a conspiracy theory to me is... it's not fair treatment, but I don't know if that's more editorial control and stuff that's gone into the article.
But to be honest, in the UK, there's so little coverage of what I've been trying to do over the years. And that's not for want of trying, that's including hitting press lists, etc. They certainly know that it's been our intention for some time now to get to this stage to submit an application for a new inquest.
It'd be nicer to see it treated without using the word conspiracy theory, which is ridiculous really. But there it is. But no, I've not really had a chance to look at that or indeed any other press coverage, I am not aware of any other that's come out. I'm hoping that maybe will change in the next few days. I have a few things lined up, and we'll see. Hopefully they'll come to some sort of bearing fruition and it will lead to perhaps more interest from the mainstream. But it's nothing new that they haven't really paid much attention.
I do, however, think that they're going to have to address the elephant in the room at some point if this does actually go into court. They can't ignore it forever.
I think it's worth emphasizing as well that although the press will always broaden the scope and provide some background to a story and embellish it a bit, an inquest is a very, very simple focused thing, examining the cause of death of an individual. The politics and the wider scope essentially is pretty irrelevant. This is about correctly determining the cause of death of an individual.
Exactly. And I think that as we look at the science and we look at the evidence, anybody who puts all the politics and preconceived notions to the side will agree that there's a need for a new investigation and probably will come to the agreement that these buildings were brought down in controlled demolitions that day.
Now we're getting to the last five minutes of the show, and I really like to remind the people listening what this is all about. It's easy to lose sight of it in all of the minutia of projects and legal pursuits.
So I'm going to ask, beginning with Henry and then Matt to leave us an image of Geoff from your memories. What about him do each of you remember most, and what do you want our audience to know about him as we all prepare to stand behind you guys in this upcoming inquest?
So my memory of Geoff is a very happy, easy-going, open-minded, easy-to-get-on-with guy. I literally met him two times, and he was the sort of guy that you warm to automatically because of his character.
What's hard for me, and I think this is probably true of anyone who's lost anyone, particularly if the time that they're on this planet was cut short, is in time your very sharp memories of people do fade. And that saddens me. His little funny faces he used to pull when he was telling the same joke for the 20th time, but actually it got better each time, and recalling little stories and stuff.
He was a very intelligent, good-looking bloke who always had time for people, enjoyed life. He had started out a new chapter in his life by moving to the States and for the first time working for an actual company rather than just doing consultancy and stuff. And he'd just gotten engaged three weeks before and had happily come back to the UK in August 2001 to announce his engagement.
And to see that kind of future destroyed, both for Caroline but also obviously for my brother is... It's hard looking back and then trying to remember those happy times. I've got tons of memories of when we were kids and when we used to go camping and then teenage years and all the craziness through university years and becoming young men and stuff.
For me, I remember all the good times, and a lot of Geoff's friends just say whenever they went out with him, they had a great night whether they had hundreds of pounds in their pockets or just a few pence. It didn't matter; you had a laugh. And I miss him for that.
I miss him for his... He had a lot of wisdom, and he had a lot of time for people. He was a good listener. And ironically, if it'd been say myself or my brother Rob who had died, he would have played a massive role in helping, because that's just the way he would have been.
We are going to be following this as we have been since this inquest process first started. We're going to be bringing you some other great episodes up until the lead up of the 20th anniversary of September 11th.
Matt, you're taking a bold step, and there's a lot of people behind you, not just in your family, not just here at AE911Truth, but I think for everybody that died on that day.
The justice we're pursuing in your case is through your brother's death, but as you know, so many other lives were lost and continue to be lost as a result of September 11th. Even what we're seeing going on now in world events over in Afghanistan as a result of September 11th.
So you are a hero in my book and anybody involved with this inquest is a hero, and I want to thank you for doing it. And, of course, thank both of you for coming on 9/11 Free Fall today.
It's a pleasure, Andy. Thank you.