The Lone Gunmen Predicted 9/11

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction - or is it? In March, 2001 a TV series pilot aired on Fox television that depicted of all things, an airliner being flown into the World Trade Center (albeit with a different set of culprits and motives than the actual event). Keep in mind that this was nearly 6 months before 9/11 occurred. The show was called The Lone Gunmen and was a spin-off of the wildly popular  X-files. In the X-files series, the characters known as the Lone Gunmen served as a sort of 3 man cheap-laffs team. They ran a little read-conspiracy theory newsletter and helped Mulder and Scully out of any number of scrapes.

The DVD cover for the Lone Gunmen

As the X-files was finally winding down in 2001, the producers looked to the Gunmen to provide a spin-off into the next generation of X-files like paranoia. The show looked promising when it was first aired - the pilot followed in the best tradition of the x-files and the characters seemed to be able to stand alone w/o help from Fox Mulder. But then 9/11 happened and the show wasn't picked up for a new season. The show would have likely been cancelled anyway given the low ratings, which was partly due to its time-slot and off-season start. In fact, one has to wonder whether or not 9/11 would have happened at all if this show had been a hit. The initial response to the attacks on 9/11 included quite a number of statements by officials that just such an event could not have been foreseen or otherwise planned for. But as the pilot proved, the main idea of the attack had clearly been foreseen - by Hollywood anyway.

After 9/11, the government did actually enlist creative talent from Hollywood to help envision various types of scenarios not unlike those from the Lone Gunmen

It is fascinating to see the relationships between fiction and non-fiction, between popular culture and historical events. The strange case of The Lone Gunmen stands as one of the more profound examples of that - one that most people aren't even aware of...

This is the opening sequence from the Lone Gunmen pilot episode

Topic Reference Ratings & Reviews How to Watch
 Lone Gunmen - Wikipedia Lone Gunmen on Rotten Tomatoes  From Netflix
 Lone Gunmen - IMDB DVD Verdict  From Amazon

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