Just imagine Geoff Campbell’s last terrified moments, trapped on the 106th floor of the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Centre.
Far below him, between the 93rd and 99th floors, an American Airlines Boeing 767 hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists and loaded with 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel had been flown into the building.
The South Tower had already collapsed in huge clouds of concrete dust after being hit by another passenger aircraft.
As they were engulfed in lethal fumes, Geoff and scores of other men and women in the North Tower began smashing windows in a desperate attempt to gulp some fresh air, and begged for help in mobile phone calls to rescue teams and loved ones.
Geoff had kissed Caroline and said goodbye at about 8am on that fateful day as she lay in their bed. She was never to hear his voice again
Some of those trapped with the young Briton on that morning of September 11, 2001, were later photographed hurling themselves to their deaths hundreds of feet below, rather than staying where they were to be burned alive or suffocated.
And then the North Tower collapsed, taking Geoff’s life and the lives of hundreds of others with it.
We are now in the 20th anniversary year of 9/11, the worst terror atrocity the world has witnessed, the day when more than 2,600 people were killed in the Twin Towers and the surrounding area of downtown Manhattan.
Geoff, 31 years old, had already made his mark as a brilliant risk analyst who, by chance, was at the World Trade Centre that morning for a conference.
He had an American fiancee, Caroline Burbank, who loved him dearly and today lives alone in the couple’s apartment, a 20-minute stroll from where the towers once stood, which is still full of memories of their life together.
Geoff had kissed Caroline and said goodbye at about 8am on that fateful day as she lay in their bed. She was never to hear his voice again.
At first, the Campbell family and Caroline were sure he was alive, perhaps in hospital terribly injured, his identity unknown.
But one year later, fragments of a shoulder blade containing Geoff’s DNA were found amid World Trade Centre rubble.
It was then that they started to question the official account of the disaster — and they have never stopped doing so since.
Incredible though it sounds, this British family are challenging all we have been told about the Twin Towers’ collapse.
After examining the testimony of hundreds of eyewitnesses and forensically dissecting the scientific trail of the towers’ collapse, down to analysing dust on the ground at the New York site, they have compiled a lengthy dossier.
We are now in the 20th anniversary year of 9/11, the worst terror atrocity the world has witnessed, the day when more than 2,600 people were killed in the Twin Towers and the surrounding area of downtown Manhattan
It is a document which, they claim, proves that controlled demolition explosives — not aircraft — brought the buildings down.
Many will dismiss the dossier’s contents as the work of conspiracy theorists and refuse to believe a word.
But the detailed findings, say the Campbells and their team of scientific and legal advisers, are based on hard evidence and the laws of physics.
So convinced are they of their theory that later this month they will formally ask the acting Attorney General for England and Wales, Michael Ellis — who is standing in for Suella Braverman during her maternity leave — to allow them to apply to the High Court for a fresh inquest into Geoff’s death.
Six other families who lost loved ones in the Twin Towers plane attacks on 9/11 plan to send their own statements to Ms Braverman in support of the Campbells.
If Mr Ellis gives the go-ahead — as the Campbells think likely — they plan an attempt to dismantle the notion that the Twin Towers were brought down by raging fires caused by leaking jet fuel which melted their supporting metal girders.
At any new inquest, they would call in eyewitnesses to numerous mystery explosions at the towers, and scientists who insist the plane attacks could not have toppled the two buildings.
Caroline told the Mail this week from New York that they were determined to change the official narrative: ‘Knowing what Geoff and other victims had to endure that day has encouraged us to seek the truth about the cause of his death.’
Geoff’s mother Maureen, 75, from Brighton, added: ‘Caroline was ‘the one’ for Geoff. They planned to marry, to have children, to make their lives in Britain. Their future together was destroyed on 9/11. There is a piece missing in the Twin Towers jigsaw and we hope to prove it.’
The Campbells’ request to the Attorney General will be made under Section 13 of the UK Coroners Act 1988, which allows an inquest to be rerun ‘in the interests of justice’ if substantial new evidence comes to light.
The Section 13 rule was used in 2016 to reopen the inquiry into the deaths of 96 fans in the 1989 Hillsborough football stadium disaster. More recently, a fresh inquest was held under the same rule when new evidence was discovered about the death of a nine-year-old girl, Ella Kissi-Debrah, whose fatal asthma attack was linked to air pollution near her London home.
At the 2013 inquest in London into Geoff’s death, it was found that he and nine other Britons whose remains had been repatriated were ‘unlawfully killed in an act of terrorism’ by Al-Qaeda flying the planes into the towers, causing their ‘total destruction’.
But the Campbell clan, backed by their London lawyers, hope to prove to a new coroner that in fact the North Tower fell because it had been laced with deliberately planted explosives and incendiary devices.
‘I believe Geoff was murdered and there has been a cover-up,’ says his older brother Matt, a Sussex-based father of three and former IT City worker.
Could he possibly be right?
The view that the Twin Towers’ girders melted because of fires caused by fuel from the two hijacked planes has been repeated in White House briefings, official inquiries into 9/11 and television documentaries in the UK and U.S.
Yet the Campbell family and a U.S. campaign organisation, Architects And Engineers For 9/11 Truth (A&E), say this makes no scientific sense: most steel does not melt until it reaches around 2,800f (1,537c), and open fires of jet fuel — such as those in the Twin Towers inferno — cannot burn hotter than 1,700f (926c).
Caroline told the Mail this week from New York that they were determined to change the official narrative: ‘Knowing what Geoff and other victims had to endure that day has encouraged us to seek the truth about the cause of his death
Nine respected scientists have also published peer-reviewed research showing that dust from the destroyed Twin Towers contained microscopic remnants of nano-thermite explosives, which can be tailored for use in controlled demolitions.
There are other puzzling inconsistencies that the Campbells’ dossier highlights for the first time about the destruction of the two towers.
The official narrative of the North Tower’s collapse is that it went ‘essentially into free fall’, the upper section of the building accelerating through the lower floors at close to the rate of gravity, completely dismembering steel frames and pulverising thick concrete to a fine powder.
But this would have been impossible, say experts at the campaign group A&E.
They cite Newton’s third law of motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
In other words, the absence of deceleration in the ‘free fall’ is apparent proof that another force — explosives — had already destroyed the lower part of the building, allowing the upper section to plunge down through it at an increasingly fast pace.
There are also those compelling personal tales of explosions at the site.
In oral histories of 9/11 provided by New York Fire Department staff, almost a quarter describe seeing flashes and hearing bangs and booms in both the Twin Towers before they fell.
One fire officer, Frank Campagna, said of the North Tower: ‘I looked back. You could see three explosions and then the whole thing coming down.’
His testimony is endorsed by hundreds of other workers and police officers at the World Trade Centre site that day who insist they saw explosions in the basement and lobby.
A policeman with the surname Middleton said in one official 9/11 report that there were explosions, too, high up the building: ‘There was a loud boom at the upper floors (of the North Tower), then a series of smaller explosions which appeared to go completely round the building at the upper floors.
‘After another loud, shattering blast, with a large fireball, blew out more debris, everyone outside began to run as the building began to crumble.’
Anthony Saltalamacchia, a maintenance supervisor in charge of 150 Twin Towers staff, was in the basement area of the North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the plane’s impact point.
‘The explosions I heard . . . were so many, at least ten. It was like multiple explosions. It felt like different grenades being set off inside,’ he said.
Incredibly, William Rodriguez, a janitor who was with him in the basement of the North Tower and was the last man to escape the building, says he witnessed explosions even earlier — before the first plane slammed into it.
And it seems he may be right.
Seismographic recordings, which measure sudden ground movement in earthquakes or explosions, were picked up miles from the World Trade Centre that morning.
The nearest seismograph monitoring station was in Palisades, New York, 12 miles from downtown Manhattan, which recorded crucial signals from the North Tower.
These show — according to the Campbells’ dossier — that seismic data (indicating explosions) was recorded 15 seconds earlier than the official time given for the moment the hijacked plane struck the building: 40 seconds after the clock struck 8.40 am.
A dozen reports by scientists, seismologists and engineers, provided in the dossier support the contention that explosives and incendiary devices were planted in both skyscrapers before the events of 9/11 as the world understands them ever happened.
And there is something else that remains unexplained — the abrupt collapse of a third tower at the World Trade Centre of which many will never have heard.
The building, WTC7, collapsed in just seven seconds, even though no plane had hit it.
It stood 100 yards from the 110-storey Twin Towers, housed offices of the U.S. secret service and was city mayor Rudy Giuliani’s emergency command centre, fitted with secure air supplies and bullet and bomb-resistant windows.
Bystanders interviewed by U.S. television that day reported hearing ‘bang, bang, bang’ sounds before it fell, although official inquiries say there is no evidence of any controlled explosion.
Conspiracy theorists have long held that the events of 9/11 were deliberately fabricated to fool the world and provide a perfect pretext for America to hunt down Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda organisation and start the so-called War On Terror.
But Matt, Geoff’s brother, says he and his family are not interested in conspiracies — they just want to find out the truth.
Matt, a theoretical physicist and now a reflexologist, explains: ‘Geoff and Caroline had just got engaged three weeks before. I mourn that he never had his own family. He has not seen my kids or our younger brother Rob’s children grow up.
‘For Caroline, his fiancee, their life together ended that day. Geoff deserves justice and so does she.’
At their New York apartment, Caroline, now 51, remembers the morning she last saw Geoff. They were a happy couple, spending holidays abroad and enjoying life.
Geoff was ‘bouncing around’ in good spirits, searching for his trousers and grabbing something to eat from the fridge before he left for the conference.
Soon afterwards, relatives and friends began to ring to ask if Geoff was OK because a plane had hit a skyscraper in New York.
‘Wasn’t he at a conference there?’ they asked.
From her apartment, with a view of the Twin Towers, Caroline then watched a second plane collide with the South Tower.
‘I sat by the phone waiting for Geoff to call,’ she remembers. ‘People were ringing from England and when I heard their accents I thought it was him.’
In the nightmarish hours that followed, Caroline tried to persuade herself Geoff was alive. Even when the South Tower disappeared from the skyline, followed by the North Tower, she kept hoping.
She took her fiance’s photograph to hospitals to search for him.
‘I looked everywhere for days on end, thinking he must have survived,’ she says. ‘I feel he will have been positive to the end. I hope he died instantly.’
Why didn’t Geoff call her before the North Tower collapsed? She surmises that his mobile may have run out or been lost in all the mayhem.
In retrospect, she says, his silence was for the best. She would not have wanted to hear him with panic in his voice as he realised the danger he was in.
At the time of the atrocity, Caroline was about to set up a U.S. wing of a British IT company. After Geoff’s death, her career changed course. She joined the military police and has just completed a master’s degree in healthcare administration.
She has rarely dated since her fiance’s death.
‘I think about Geoff every single day,’ she says of the man she met in a Manhattan bar and teased about his English accent before they got together as a couple. ‘I still wait for him to come home.’
In England, Geoff’s repatriated remains are buried in a pretty graveyard which the family visit regularly. There is a headstone bearing the words: ‘A loving caring soul of generous spirit’.
The epitaph was chosen by the Campbell clan, who refuse to abandon their quest to find out how and why a young British man with such a golden future met his end on 9/11.