This week on 9/11 Free Fall, Bob McIlvaine, who lost his son Bobby on 9/11, and Matt Campbell, who lost his brother Geoff, talk with host Andy Steele about their journeys over the past 20 years and their participation in the new film The Unspeakable, which was released earlier this week and can be viewed at AE911Truth.org/theunspeakable.
Welcome to 9/11 Free Fall. I'm the host, Andy Steele. Today we are joined by Bob McIlvaine and Matt Campbell. Bob is the father of Bobby McIlvaine, who was killed as he was entering the North Tower on the morning of September 11th. And Matt Campbell is the brother of Jeff Campbell, who died in the North Tower on that morning. Both are featured in the newest AE911Truth film, The Unspeakable. We'll be talking about that today. Gentlemen, welcome back to the show.
I think this is a very important film, especially coming off of the 20th anniversary. I mean, so many people have so much, there's so much going on in the world and people have different views about what that is and which side to take. And, we're a very divided society, so everyone is very distracted. That's what I see in all of that, in my mission here at AE911Truth.
I see it as an obstacle towards getting people to all look at this very important issue. I consider it to be the most important issue, here in the 21st century, because it really kicked off the 21st century and really set us on this path that we are on. And I think that waking people up to the real nature of what happened on that day would change a lot. Even things that people are upset about now. So we've got to focus on this, and we've got to keep on hitting this hard.
So, this is very important, because it reminds our supporters of why we do this work and how justice wasn't done and the people still affected by it. You guys both play very prominent roles in that film. I want to know first, what is it like for you, when circumstances arise like this in which you have to relive this part of your life for interviews or, in this case, a film. We'll start with Bob.
Well, Andy, I've been doing this since the day after 9/11. So it... Still, I get extremely emotional, no matter what I do. It's interesting. We were talking to a psychiatrist once, my wife and myself, and she says you're both up at the top of a mountain right now, and you both have broken legs. You got to figure out a way to get down on your own. And the idea that, you just can't depend on each other sometimes, because it's going to be such a tough journey.
Well, I've figured out since then, we've often brought this up, that I've never gotten off the mountain. So, I've been stuck on top of the mountain since then. And, so I've been doing this for day one. So, it's tough. And you just got to... It's like a job. I have the time to do this and I have the time, thank God, my son has four children. So, I have four grandkids that I can mess around with. Walk away from it. So, I really split it in half. So, I have my time to do this and I have my time to be away with the grandkids. So, that's the way it's been since 9/11.
Matt, same question.
Yeah. I mean, I think it gets easier. A bit, as they say, although everything has been particularly full-on this 20th anniversary. Several reasons, not just the film. The building up to actually... the inquest application to reopen my brother's inquest. I mean, for me, yeah, you're being asked by the filmmakers and also, media to relive that day, and it's not easy.
I think it was particularly hard for my brother. And my mom took my brother, Rob, who was in the film. It was the first time he'd really ever opened up or spoken about events of that day. And obviously, the ripples afterwards. And that was quite hard for me to watch. Including me and my friend Henry. He's in the film, and I think he found it quite hard to go back into that time period and kind of do like what Bob says we do all the time. And particularly being so active, you tend to do that. And so it, it gets easier. Sure. You get emotional moments where it's hard to get across what you want to say. But I do think, for me anyway, it's getting easier with time.
Yeah. And Matt this question is for you. I mean, it's one thing to be supportive and participate in the filing for a new inquest. A lot of that is just procedural and applying for the paperwork and all of that. But it's another thing to participate in a film. And, your family is just as much a part of this film as you were. Was it at all difficult to convince them to take part in this project, go on camera and talk about this and put their stories on display for the world?
Yeah. I mean, I think it was quite hard to both ask them and also for them to kind of make that decision to say yes. And like I said, neither had really opened up, particularly Rob. Mom had been in a couple of other kind of more mainstream documentaries and found that quite hard. And so, she was quite wary of doing it all over again. But, knowing that this was important, because it was to a certain extent also covering the legal action that we were taking in this country. So, I thought they both did really well. So no, it wasn't easy for them.
I can't imagine. But they were a very good part of this film. And I can't even imagine it being the same without your mother in there. So, I'm glad that she decided to participate in this. Now, the film is supposed to be released online this week. And of course, what we showed on the anniversary, or rather the night before the anniversary, was a rough cut of it. So, if you watched it out there in the audience, if you watched the screening, it may be a little bit different when you actually watch it again online. So, it's worth checking out again. And of course, it's always going to be for the better. That's what the whole post-production is about. But in the versions that you guys have seen, what was your feeling after watching this film? We'll start with Bob.
I hate to tell you this, Andy. I haven't seen it. I have a very difficult time watching anything. I've done a lot over the years, and I have a very difficult... I'm going to... When it comes out, I'm going to watch it in bits and pieces. I just, I hate seeing myself in film. I always feel I did such a lousy job. I, so I haven't seen it yet. I know Tay called me, but I... I just have a difficult time just doing it anyhow. You know what it is? I think that I, the fact that I can keep going, I just don't dwell on something I do. And I don't call that dwelling, because I definitely will see it. But I've done so much over the years. I just, when I do something, I have to move on. I just can't sit there and talk about and think about it. Just move on to the next thing. And, that's what I've been doing. I've been doing that for 20 years. I just, but I really... I... Of course, I remember doing the film and I remember the very difficult parts of it, but I did. I didn't sit and watch it yet.
All right. I understand that, completely, actually. Especially that sentiment, once you do something you like to move on to the next thing. And it is difficult to watch yourself, I've always got to listen to myself every week, doing this show and putting it together. So, totally get that. Matt, I don't know if you've seen the film or what versions of it you've seen, but if you have, what were your impressions?
I saw a pretty much an almost final cut about a week or so ago. And I watched it with my mom and my brother, Rob. And, it is a different sort of a A&E film. There's not really much in the way of technicals that we've definitely should come to expect, I guess, in an A&E film. But I was pleased in the way that the stories were woven together, both in the US and in the UK. And, the impact and the ripples that the events of that day have had to all of us as, whether we be victim, family members or friends, because it isn't easy. But I thought it was very good and I'm looking forward to it being released.
I know we're lining up a sort of cinema showing in London in the near future as well. So, I'm hoping that makes its way to a new audience as well. And, yeah. I mean, I understand about moving on. It's kind of weird. You do stuff and you just… I can't even remember doing some of the stuff I've done over the last sort of... And more public stuff over the last eight years. And, it is, I guess, to look forward to the next thing, but I still think there's a lot of mileage that can be got out of this film, particularly further afield than your say, typical supporters of A&E's work or, 9/11 Truth Movement. I just think, because there is that emotional story that's being told and our search for the truth and justice, which I think we all want. Everyone wants the truth.
That's right. That's the number one goal that we are all seeking and exactly why everybody who is involved in this movement, whether they be family members or just regular activists who took up this call, everybody is seeking... I think we're all looking for that finality and the ending as quick as possible. It's been 20 years, and it's time. It's time to just come forward, because at this point, as we watch what's going on in the greater world here, it's almost like what do we have to lose? I think the truth would actually save this country and of course affect the entire world. One of the major obstacles, I don't even need to state it, of course, is the media. I think there's going to be sociology classes in the future looking at this time in history and blaming a lot on the television.
I think it was actually Kurt Vonnegut said that, future generations will look on TV as the lead in the water pipes that slowly drove the Romans mad. And, there's a lot of truth to that. And the media has participated, not even just participated, but actively take a leadership role in trying to cover up this issue. Disparage people that talk physics and common sense when it comes to the World Trade Center, and call for a new investigation. Beginning with Bob, what is the single most important thing that you would like this corporate media to take away from this film, if they ever take the time to review it?
Well, first of all, just eliminate the corporations. I mean, bring the media back to where it's supposed to be. That, it's very local, and it's not being controlled by mega corporations. And really, the media, no matter how you look at, it is controlled by the government. And that has to be taken away from the media. That has to be taken away. That has, the media has to be given back to the people. I had, I was talking to Matt, and I go back to this story and I mean, this is the honest to God truth is, we're talking 2006, 2007, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News were interviewing me. And, we sat for about an hour talking about my experiences, the Commission hearings and all that. And the travels I made with Peaceful Tomorrows, and the Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer wouldn't allow it, the article to go in the following day. And she quit her job.
And the girl from the Daily News calls me and she tells me the Pentagon wouldn't allow her to print the immediate. Well, that really says something. The Pentagon would not allow her to print the interview I had with her. So, I don't think we understand how much control there is of the media. They can't do anything independently. So, it's close to a dictatorship type of thing where they'll give little bits and pieces out here and there. But if someone wants to give an honest portrayal of what they think happened, and in the case of the Daily News and the Inquirer, you had people trying to look into it. Look into it much deeper. And of course, what happened? They were told they can't do it. Well, that shows you right there. Now it's, I think it's much worse than it was then.
So, when you had the Pentagon actually interfering in the Philadelphia Daily News putting out a story, well, you've got big time problems. Because what are you going to say to the Pentagon? So, it's not some local yokel saying, well, you better not put that in. You have the Pentagon telling you that. Well, that is scary. And I don't think it's going to change at all. Unless... To me, we're just going to fall into dictatorship in this country. And then, I guess we're going to have to have another revolution of some sort. I don't know. But I just think it's impossible. It won't happen. There's not enough strong... It's all about money. And who controls it? Media put money. Until that changes, nothing's going to change.
I'll ask a question. If the media, someone from the media were to review this, and I'm not talking about Free Fall media, I'm talking about corporate media here. What would you like them to take away from this film?
Well, I mean, I think they will review it. I mean, they might, like you said, bits and pieces that get through. And hey, the media over here is just as rotten. It's all owned by the same few pieces, and it's globally. But that doesn't stop the odd piece coming through. I think someone actually said to me, reviews of books and videos and stuff are actually an easier way of actually getting articles into mainstream media rather than just a full-on assault with an article. Which obviously, Bob found out when the Pentagon interferes. I mean, I'm hopeful that when it is released and I said, we've got this cinema showing in November that, I'm going to invite a lot of the... Let's say, friendlier, on side journalists who I've been speaking to in the UK and particularly covering the inquest to see if they would attend and, to see where that goes.
But it's hard to get anything out there. There is control by so few people in terms of, I mean, editorial control. That's not for the want of... A lot of people try to do the right thing and try to publish articles that are worthy of actually the investigation that they've done. I can only just be hopeful that we get a few reviews out in this country of the film. And, that can only help, I guess, the overall... our quest for truth and justice. And I said, not least of course, my reopening my brother's inquest.
So, yeah. I don't know. I mean, I had a fair bit of press coverage in the last year and obviously approaching the anniversary to do with the inquest. Not all favorable, but more than you'd expect. At least it's not being ignored, which, to some extent is worse. Because no one has any idea that that stuff's going on. In terms of where are we going, and will it ever improve? I mean, you can only hope that by people... Fewer and fewer people are consuming mainstream media in terms of news, anyway. I don't know any young people who read newspapers or spend ages looking at actual news. It's certainly very different from when I was growing up.
Maybe that will be the death knell for quite a few of these organizations. But yeah, I mean, I just, I'm hopeful. I'm going to say I'm going to contact some of the press that were favorable in covering the inquest and just hope that there are some honest reviews out there of the film.
Absolutely. And we're going to talk about how our supporters can help out as well once this film is out this week. Now, there's something that I talk about all the time and I always press this point because it's important to keep in mind, we keep our eyes focused on the end game: a new investigation and full acknowledgement. I mean, right on the front page of the New York Times, Building 7 controlled demolition. Twin Towers controlled demolition. But obviously, we're going up against something that has been in place long before any of us were on the scene. And Rome didn't get built in a day and it didn't fall in a day, either. So, I think we're going to win in the end, and we're obviously not going away. And we wake up enough people to this. We plant that seed in their mind, when other things happen and if things kind of fall apart, I think there'll be new leadership someday, that is going to take this up.
And it'll just be a matter of rubber stamping it. That's what I personally believe. Now, some people say I'm optimistic. Yes, I am. But I'm also right a lot of times when I make these projections. So, I think we're going to win. But, one thing that I focus on too, is the three-dimensional aspect of our activism. So, if we talk to a staffer and show them the evidence, maybe that's staffer at the Congressman's office. Can't do anything at that moment, but maybe they'll be the Congressman in the future if they play their cards right.
And maybe some other event like a 9/11 or some kind of legislation that's not in the favor of the American people comes up. And, since they have this in their mind, they will question it more. And so, it's like spray painting Remember Building 7 all over the messages that get put forth to us from the media now. So, I need positive things in the work that we do, even if we never got a new investigation. So, I just want to know, in terms of the secondary benefit of your work and your legacy, what do you think the most impactful aspect of what you have done is? We'll start with Bob again.
Well, I... I feel like I'm stuck in a whirlwind. But I've had the opportunity, and that's why I feel good about everything, because I really think... And look, we don't talk about who did it, right? I have no problem talking about that. I know we don't want to talk about it now, necessarily, but I've been to Colombia. I've been to Japan. I've been, I've talked to people in Russia, I've talked to people all around the world, and I always say the same thing. This empire, the United States, they were involved in 9/11. And, I feel good about it, because I know it will come out. Or at least I've had that opportunity.
And, no matter where I speak people listen to me. And I have been around the world. I walked from Hiroshima to, or Nagasaki to Hiroshima in Japan, pulling up a 2,000-pound stone, and everywhere I went, I talked about this.
The president of Colombia invited me down to Bogota to speak at a conference on terrorism. I talked about... So, it's... I feel good at about it. I feel I've done my part. I can die. I'm getting to that point now. I'm turning 77, that I made an effort to find Bobby's murderer. It's a murder. My son was murdered. And that's been my job because, I went to all the 9/11 Commission hearings. I've done everything I'm supposed to do. And I got nothing from it. For this, this country sold me down the tubes. Sold me down the drain. But I've still had the opportunity to go anywhere I want in the world. And I have. I've gone all around the world. So, I feel good about it. And, I think it will come out.
I think everyone knows, but what can they do? What can anyone do? If my neighbor knows, well jeez, Bob told me this, what can they... There's nothing they can do. And then, again, we're getting back to the media. If they don't want to cover it, it's not going to happen. And someone just mentioned the Kennedy assassination earlier. Well, here it is. Everyone knows what happened to Kennedy, but it doesn't make a difference. And that's the biggest problem. What's the difference going to be? Do we have to change this whole system? The system creates what we're doing? And, I don't know. I don't know what that answer is. But I hope it is. But, so as far as I'm concerned, I've done my job. So, I... I feel good about that. And people around the world, I talked to a lot of people, so that's important to me.
Matt, same question for you. The three-dimensional aspect, the secondary benefit of the work you're doing in pursuing this inquest and speaking out about Jeff's death.
Yeah. I mean, what I can do is what I can do, I guess. And I just hope that the path that I'm pursuing right now, in terms of trying to get my brother's inquest reopened and ultimately getting evidence in court, which has never been in court, of the use of explosives and incendiaries, etc., will be the first time that's ever happened. That will wake up, I would hope, a lot of people, including other family members, victim family members.
Ultimately, a change of verdict would be massive. I mean, I don't know. Again, we've got the issue of the media not covering stuff. But I don't know where they would hide should that be the case. And I would hope in terms of the secondary, benefits of it actually leading to, whether it be prosecutions or another investigation, or some sort of legal action, whether it's instigated by family members or others. It doesn't matter.
It's just a, kind of start that approach. Because it will... It's a big foot in the door and it'll open a huge can of worms. If, even if we just get it into court, let alone changing the verdict. But it does come back to will anyone know about it if the media aren't covering it? Thankfully, and I think with current events, it's very clear. Thank God there is social media out there. Yes, there's a lot of shit out there, but there's also... it's a very good way of sharing stuff of what's going on. And so, at least I know it will be covered by some form of media should we actually get into court. And that's, that I guess, going back to legacy or whatever, I'm just doing what I can do. And it just happens to fit in, the A&E stuff fits in well with my, the scope of what an inquest is. And I just hope that we're successful.
That's right. And, in terms of media and censorship and all of this, I mean, they are trying to crack down. I have seen it. Look, I've been in this movement since... I started to wake up in 2006, but I didn't start doing anything until about '07. And, I have seen the media being very open in the sense, not the corporate media, but in terms of social media and just all the platforms being... Not promoting it, but being allowed to let people promote it. And I've watched them just slowly begin to crack down on it. However, you go walk through some highly paved area, somewhere that used to be a forest and they turned into a parking lot or whatever, but you can always see cracks. You can always see little dandelion growing up through the cement. And that is the human spirit right there.
There will always be something, there always be someone making an effort. And the key is just finding those people and keeping it alive and it will overcome, because it just does historically. Eventually, even if it takes a long time, the truth will win out in the end and bad people always undo themselves in the end, too. So, we're getting in our last few minutes here, and I just want to say to our audience, you can help out. Just like you have in the past whenever we've released films. You can hold screenings. You can show it to, you got a movie theater somewhere in your neighborhood willing to let you? I'm sure they've got their own procedures for it, but they're not that hard to figure out. I mean, you can do anything. Every job is made so that a human being can do it, so you can figure it out and get the film screened there.
Advertise it. If you need advice on how to do that, you contact us at AE911Truth. But you can do screenings or just showing it to family and friends. I mean, that goes a long way just to waking another person up. You never know who. Maybe your brother will be the next big leader out there who figures out how to get this through. So, that's how you can do it. You can write op-eds for your local newspapers. I mean, a lot of times they will print them, if they're done well enough and written well enough and you make your case. And there may be even some sympathetic editors out there. A lot more than you'd think. So, that is my advice to the audience. We absolutely need you. Gentlemen, in our last few minutes, just beginning with Bob, do you have any comments about the importance of the supporters in getting this film out?
There's no question about it. I think it's very difficult, because I know so many people that know what happened. But it just takes such an effort. Like my son. He has four kids. Now, how can... and he teaches at a public high school. So how can he be that vocal? And there's so many people like him. How can he be that vocal about anything, without getting in trouble? And I'm talking about vocal about the United States at all, not just 9/11.
So, it's just because of that, the pressure that everyone has, I've talked to so many people, but they said, what can I possibly do? Well, what you're saying there, get involved with Architects & Engineers. That's a great idea. As far as people, just to find something they can latch onto. They can't latch onto me because I don't have a public face, but Architects & Engineers has that public face. And keep it simple too.
Because, you don't have to get into the who did 9/11 or the whys. You just say, well, this is science. And of course, that's the importance of what you do. It's science. And you can't argue with science. And, it's just a question of spreading the word, but it's so difficult for people to do, because people look at them like they're nuts. It's like they, again, going back to the Kennedy assassination. Or they'll disagree. Of course the government was involved in it. But then, big deal? What's happened? Has the world changed since then? No. Things like this happen all around the world constantly. So, I don't know. Sometimes I get so pessimistic and I can't believe anything can happen. But what you're saying, Andy, is absolutely right. You have to latch on to something and go with it.
And, that's the only thing really that there is to latch on. Because, if you just read your history books like I do, what can you do? I can't even talk to my neighbor about it, because they look at you like you're nuts. So, it's, and I read what's happening, with Matt in England. In London. That they're having an inquest. So, somehow, someway, that's the only way to go. And, when you have the only game in town, Architects & Engineers are doing something. And, that's what they have to latch on. They have no choice but to do that. And at least to find out if you're just new to this and that's the way to find out about it, then if you want to do something, you get involved in it.
That's where pamphlets and things are that sort work out. You give them anywhere in the city. You can just go down to the park one spring day and hand out pamphlets. But I don't know. It's just difficult. It's so difficult. So... But you're right, Andy. That's the only way to do it.
Matt, your thoughts on how the supporters can help get this film out?
Well. I don't know the mechanisms of how they would do that, apart from immediate sort of family and friends. But, I mean, what I would say is because it is a very different film. I mean, it's basically an exploration of trauma and healing and trying to find the truth and justice and stuff like that. It is a different sort of film. And so, I'm really hopeful that it will reach a wide audience. Certainly, more than say, more technical documentaries that have been put together to do with 9/11, too, whether it be by A&E or others. Just because it's got that human story. Stories that are woven in. It could easily be an online documentary, dare I say, with things like Netflix. Because it's telling that human story that it's not so... it's not a full-on assault. That your government badge is bad. Your country's bad. This murder was done by X, Y, Z. It's not.
It's just following the stories of four families and friends trying to find truth and justice. And the trauma and all the other stuff that has come along over the last 20 years. And, so, I just hope it reaches a wide audience. So don't limit it to activist friends. Try and get it to people who like watching, stories, documentaries. Dramas that explore the human condition, particularly when there's trauma and healing involved.
That's right. And that's what this film succeeds in doing. And I will tell people the free step is deciding that you want to do something and that you will do something. I mean, there's a lot to be said about attitude. When you decide that you're going to cross that river, you don't say, oh, how am I going to cross that river? You say, I want to cross that. So, that is the first step.
And, of course, we can advise you if you contact us. So we are out of time, gentlemen. Thank you so much for all the work you're doing. I mean, I can't overstate it. And, of course for appearing in the film. And again, it's The Unspeakable. We'll be sending a bulletin out to our supporters when it is up. It may even be up by the time this show airs, which will be good. But it's coming here, and we need all of your help out there to get this film watched by every everyone. So, thank you. And thanks for coming on 9/11 Free Fall today.