Category Archives: Pentagate

Many accountants and budgets analysts died in Pentagon

Army unit piecing together accounts of Pentagon attack

By MILAN SIMONICH, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette December 20, 2001

WASHINGTON — They are soldiers on the capital city’s saddest mission.

Each working day, a three-man military history unit uncovers firsthand stories of the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.The terrorism here killed 189 people, including the five hijackers who crashed a commercial jet into America’s military headquarters.

Now the Army’s 305th Military History Detachment has the job of making sense of the madness. It is interviewing every willing survivor and witness — a number that could climb into the thousands — to write the U.S. government’s book on the Pentagon assault and the lessons that can be learned from it. The job is full of pain.

One Army office in the Pentagon lost 34 of its 65 employees in the attack. Most of those killed in the office, called Resource Services Washington, were civilian accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. They were at their desks when American Airlines Flight 77 struck.

Faced with so many funerals of friends and colleagues, the director of the office, Robert Jaworski, agonized over which ones to attend. He could not possibly be at all of them.

Jaworski’s plight was extreme, but not so different from what the military historians find every day. Just about every witness or survivor gets emotional when recounting Sept. 11.

“In most interviews there’s a tear or two,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Lapic of Industry, Pa., who is a member of the history unit.

Before Sept. 11, Lapic spent most of his working life as a territorial sales manager for a manufacturing company. His duties with the 99th Reserve Support Command consumed only a few weeks a year. Now he is on active duty with a two-year assignment to find out everything he can about the attack on Washington.

That job was daunting enough for the Army to dispatch a second unit, the 46th Military History Detachment from Little Rock, Ark., to help with the interviews.

In all, the Army has 66 such units devoted to compiling history from battles and missions around the world. The Pentagon project is unprecedented because it will attempt to unravel an attack on domestic soil that indiscriminately killed civilians.

Even Pearl Harbor was different in that respect. All but 68 of the 2,403 Americans who died in the Japanese attack on Hawaii were soldiers and sailors.

More than three months after the Pentagon was hit, nuggets of information continue to emerge as witnesses step forward.

One day last week, Lapic ventured to Arlington National Cemetery to interview a groundskeeper who watched in horror as the plane crashed into the Pentagon.

The worker, William Middleton Sr., was running his street sweeper through the cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft 

Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building.

“My sweeper has three wheels. I almost tipped it over as I watched,” Middleton said.

In those first minutes, he thought he had seen a plane in trouble, not a terrorist attack.

Middleton and his co-workers at Arlington continued to work Sept. 11 as Washington offices closed and buildings emptied. The cemetery crew had no choice. Funerals were scheduled and burials had to be completed, chaos and all.

As Middleton labored, he could see the destruction less than a mile away at the Pentagon, where the U.S. military mobilized for war.

Another Arlington worker who declined to be interviewed in front of the media told a story that the military historians had not heard in the 244 interviews they had conducted through last week. The man said a mysterious second plane was circling the area when the first one attacked the Pentagon.

The interviewers ask every witness what might have been done to prevent the attack. It is more than protocol. They want to know if somebody may have seen or heard something hours or days earlier that could have been useful in stopping the attack.

When the interviews are completed, the findings will be published in book form and kept at the Army Center of Military History. The researchers hope their work will be a thorough account of the Pentagon attack, as well as a guide on what should be done to prevent terrorist attacks.

Along with facts for the book, the historians collect tidbits on what the attack did to the nation’s psyche.

“I felt complete anger. If I wasn’t an old man, I might volunteer to go back into the service,” said Middleton, 54

The history detachments for the Pentagon project are based at Fort McNair, a Washington post established in 1791 as Old Arsenal Penitentiary. Until now, the installation’s most notable brush with American history involved the murder of President Lincoln.

Four people who conspired with Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth were hanged there July 7, 1865. The executions occurred as a nation torn by civil war tried to heal itself.

Now the military historians see their research on the Pentagon attack as one way to help people cope with today’s crisis.


“There can be a cathartic effect to people talking about what they have seen and gone through,” said Maj. Robert Smith of Germantown, Md., commander of the 305th History Detachment.

Interview with April Gallop re. Pentagon bombing on 9/11

Interview with April Gallop

April Gallop worked inside the Pentagon on 9/11, as an administrative specialist (with a Top Secret with SCI clearance) with the U.S. Army. It was her first day back from maternity leave, after delivering her son Elisha, then two and a half months old.

April is a very brave woman. She and her son suffered tremendous injuries and trauma on 9/11, but they both made it out alive to tell their story.

Me: April, did you hear any warning alarms go off before the Pentagon was hit on 9/11?

AG: No I did not.

Me: What type of warning alarms would you normally expected to go off in the case of an attack on the building?

AG: While I worked at the Pentagon. At random times, there would be drill exercises utilizing an alarm for us to evacuate the building.

Yet on that particular day no alarm. [This is] especially [odd] considering the fact of what had already taken place at the World Trade Center.

Me: When you were first hired to work at the Pentagon, what were you told about the security of the building?

AG: I wasn't hired. I was selected from the military in Germany. I just was granted approval for an additional 3 years tour in Heidelberg Germany. Which is called an IPCOT (In Place Consecutive Tour). Then I learned I was selected among my peers to go to the Pentagon. Upon arrival,I completed what is known as Reception and Integration.

A common statement provided, as you are walking around is that, "you are now standing in one of the most secure building in all of the United States." It is quite an impressive building on the inside.

Me: Do you have any theory about how a Boeing 757 could have hit such a secure building without any anti-aircraft defenses being activated or any warning alarms sounded?

AG: I have thought about this very question numerous times. And then I realized I needed to rephrase the question. The real question is what is the probability or likelihood that no anti-aircraft defense, warning alarms or additional security mechanism functioned on that particular day?

And then we need to think how likely is it then there was a glitch in all the security mechanisms, anti-aircraft defense and warning alarms?

You know, it takes a while to get around that building. And I remember being so disgusted at the frequency of random drill exercises taking place for us to evacuate the building. It seemed as if they always happened when I had to take care of certain things.

Yet on September 11th, the day when our lives were threatened, not one alarm.

Me: I would imagine that security procedures are different now than they were prior to 9/11, so I don't think you would be revealing any confidential information by answering this question. I have heard that, as of 9/11, the anti-aircraft batteries were automated, in other words, that they would have automatically fired against any incoming aircraft that did not transmit the appropriate friend or foe signal. Is that true?

AG: Yes that is true. They are either to attempt to guide the incoming aircraft that has violated the airspace to a safe location to land. Making reasonable effort to guide it down. Or shoot it down.

Me: I know that you have previously been quoted about things like thinking that a bomb had exploded in the Pentagon, and that you did not see any plane debris in the Pentagon. I do not want to misquote you or twist your words. Is there anything you wish to state about these topics?

AG: I have been misquoted on numerous occassions. That happens when individuals have ulterior motives. But here is my statement for the record.

I was located at the E ring. From my inside perspective, with no knowledge of what had actually happened on the outside, it did sound like a bomb. And we had to escape the building before the floors, debris etc collapsed on us.

And I don't recall at anytime seeing any plane debris. Again, I don't know what plane debris would look like after hitting a building. But I would have recalled unusual looking pieces similar to plane parts.

I have many flashbacks being inside the mouth of death. The images from being inside that building on that day are forever etched in my mind.

Me: As a father, I understand and empathize how traumatic the explosion at the Pentagon must have been, where you had to search for your son, and — when you first found him — he wasn't breathing (that is why I am calling for assistance for your family below). I also have no opinion, unlike many 9/11 writers, about whether a Boeing 757 hit the building or not. In all honesty, if I could conclusively prove it was a 757, and put the controversy to rest, I would be happy. Or if I could prove that it was not a 757 once and for all, I would be glad that way too.

So I want to ask you more about what you saw, in the hope that it will provide clues one way or the other about this issue. Specifically, given that the images from being inside the Pentagon on 9/11 etched in your mind, do you remember how big was the hole in the West Wing that you and Elisha crawled out of? A retired 2-star general says that there is no way a 757 could have fit in the hole: (short video clip). Similarly, the first cameraman at the Pentagon said he did not see any hole or debris which would indicate a 757 hit the building: (38:27 into the video — you can pull the scroll bar at the bottom left to the correct time, and it will take you right to the right place) (Note: I do not necessarily endorse the views expressed by these clips, or the credibility of the people speaking therein; indeed, I have not yet made up my own mind about them. I am simply attempting to obtain April's opinion based upon her experience).

As someone inside the building at the time who crawled out, I would be very interested to hear whether you think these folks are right or whether you think they are mistaken. There are no right or wrongs here — I just want to hear your true opinion, and I understand that you were suffering a terrifying trauma at the time given that you were injured and you were focused on getting help fo your injured son.

AG: Yes I was focusing on getting help and getting out. With that in mind, the images are etched in my mind. When I review the pictures regarding the Boeing, in my opinion, the hole didn't appear to be big enough for the 757. I don't know the scientific theory that was created to justify it being a hole created by a 757. What we need to consider is how did the plane go thru the building with all that heat and not burn us (those on the inside) to a crisp? We need to consider, how did the plane break up so to the point it created a perfectly round hole considering the rate of impact?

I didn't know it was a plane until I was informed at the hospital. If I wasn't informed I would have never believed it. I walked through that place to try to get out before everything collapsed on us . . . surely we should have seen something.

Me: Is there anything else you'd like to tell me at this time?

AG: I don't want another American citizen to have our experience. We are already infiltrated by our enemies in this country. There are terrorist cells all over the country. It is my hope that real accountability take place. And that we work to improve services for victims who suffer from such a horrid event. And prevent people, agencies and organizations from capitalizing off of our victimization.

April was severely injured on 9/11, and has suffered Mild Traumatic Brain Injury with Post Concussive Syndrome, an unresolved muscoskeletal condition, and mild hearing loss. Her son has suffered mild traumatic brain injury with behaviorial deficit that resulted in developmental delays and learning disability in retaining information he learns. She was medically retired from her job because of her injuries.

April has not received adequate support for her or her son's injuries. Whatever you believe about 9/11, this woman deserves our support. If you are an attorney or have any money to spare, please contact me with any offers of legal or financial assistance for April.

Official account of 9/11 flight contradicted by Government’s own data

(Release is dated 3/26/2007 as it will be released to the mainstream media tomorrow. -r.)


Contact: Robert Balsamo


Pilots for 9/11 Truth, an international organization of pilots and aviation professionals, petitioned the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) via the Freedom of Information Act to obtain their 2002 report, “Flight Path Study”American Airlines Flight 77,” consisting of a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file and Flight Path Animation, allegedly derived from Flight 77?s Flight Data Recorder (FDR).

The data provided by the NTSB contradict the 9/11 Commission Report in several significant ways:

1. The NTSB Flight Path Animation approach path and altitude does not support official events.
2. All Altitude data shows the aircraft at least 300 feet too high to have struck the light poles
3. The rate of descent data is in direct conflict with the aircraft being able to impact the light poles and be captured in the Dept of Defense "5 Frames" video of an object traveling nearly parallel with the Pentagon lawn.
4. The record of data stops at least one second prior to official impact time.
5. If data trends are continued, the aircraft altitude would have been at least 100 feet too high to have hit the Pentagon.

In August, 2006, members of Pilots for 9/11 Truth received these documents from the NTSB and began a close analysis of the data they contain. After expert review and cross check, Pilots for 9/11 Truth has concluded that the information in these NTSB documents does not support, and in some instances factually contradicts, the official government position that American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, which relied heavily upon the NTSB Flight Path Study, American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon at 9:37:46 AM on the morning of September 11, 2001. However, the reported impact time according to the NTSB Flight Path Study is 09:37:45. Also according to reports, American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon and by doing so, struck down 5 light poles on Highway 27 in its path to the west wall.

The information provided by the NTSB does not support the 9/11 Commission Report of American Airlines Flight 77 impact with the Pentagon.
Pilots for 9/11 Truth is committed to discovering the truth surrounding the events of September 11, 2001. We have contacted both the NTSB and the FBI regarding these and other inconsistencies. To date, they have refused to comment on, correct, refute, retract or offer side-letters that might explain the discrepancies between what they claim are the data extracted from the FDR of AA Flight 77 and the official story alleging its crash into the Pentagon.

As concerned citizens and professionals in the aviation industry, Pilots for 9/11 Truth asks, why have these discrepancies not been addressed by agencies within the United States Government? Why have they falsely represented their own data to the American people? Pilots for 9/11 Truth takes the position that an official government inquiry into these discrepancies is warranted and long overdue. We call upon our fellow citizens to write to their Congressional representatives to inform them of these discrepancies and call for an immediate investigation into this matter. For more information please visit


Robert Balsamo
4000+ Total Flight Time
Independence Air/Atlantic Coast Airlines

Glen Stanish
15,000+ Total Flight Time
American Airlines, ATA, TWA, Continental

Captain Russ Wittenberg (ret)
30,000+ Total Flight Time
Former Pan Am, United
United States Air Force (ret)
Over 100 Combat Missions Flown

John Lear
Son of Bill Lear
Founder, creator of the Lear Jet Corporation
More than 40 years of Flying
19,000+ Total Flight Time

Captain Jeff Latas
USAF (ret)
Captain – JetBlue Airways

Ted Muga
Naval Aviator – Retired Commander, USNR

Col Robert Bowman USAF (ret)
Directed all the “Star Wars? programs under Presidents Ford and Carter – 101 combat missions

Alfons Olszewski
Founder Veterans For Truth
US Army (ret)
Aircraft Maintenance Crew Chief

Robin Hordon
Former Boston Center Controller
Commercial Pilot

John Panarelli
Friend and fellow aviator of John Ogonowski – Capt. AA #11
11,000+ Total Flight Time
Eastern Metro, Braniff, Ryan International, Emery
Worldwide, Polar Air Cargo

Lt. Colonel Shelton F. Lankford
United States Marine Corps (ret)
10,000+ Total Flight Time
303 Combat Missions

Captain Dan Govatos
10,000+ Total Flight Time
Former Chief Pilot of Casino Express airlines
Director of Operations Training at Polar Air

George Nelson
Colonel USAF (Ret.)
Licensed Commercial Pilot and Aircraft Mechanic

Dennis Spear
Army Aviator (ret)
7000+ Total Flight Time Operations Officer, Aviation Safety Officer

Captain Joe H. Ferguson
30,000+ Total Flight Time (ret) USAF (ret)

The Pentagon refuses to release 84 security videotapes from 9/11

The Pentagon refuses to release 84 security videotapes from 9/11

Elias Davidsson, based on 
21 November 2006

A FOIA request for the AA77 flight into the Pentagon has resulted in a Declaration by Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire who determined, under penalty of perjury, that the FBI possessed 85 videotapes related to the events of 9/11 at the Pentagon. Of these she determined (without viewing them) that 56 "did not show either the Pentagon building, the Pentagon crash site, or the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001." She then viewed the remaining 29 videotapes of which 16 "did not show the Pentagon crash site and did not shoe the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon". Of the remaining 13 videotapes, "which did show the Pentagon crash site, 12 videotapes only showed the Pentagon after the impact of Flight 77." Only "one videotape showed the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon". She determined that this video was neither the one from the Citgo gas station in Arlington, which was confiscated shortly after the explosion in the Pentagon, nor that from the Doubletree Hotel in Arlington.

The public is now asked to believe that among the hundreds of security video cameras surrounding the Pentagon, only one recorded the impact of the aircraft. This video apparently was released some time ago and shown in the media, showing only a white stripe which does not allow to establish the nature of the stripe. None of the 56 videotapes which Special Agent Maguire has not viewed has been released.

The Pentagon has fought fiercely to prevent the release of any of the Pentagon videotapes by claiming that such release would adversely affect the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. This argument was ludicrous at the time and is now entirely irrelevant. Yet, the Pentagon refuses to release these videotapes.

Of what is the Pentagon afraid?

US Government needs “more time” before releasing other videos

Government says it needs "more time" before releasing a video that shows nothing

21 Aug 2006
The FBI has further delayed the release of a video that many bloggers have speculated may show the impact of flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11th 2001.

Following last week's article detailing the iamminent release of the Doubletree hotel video, a reader has informed us that after calling Judicial Watch and asking when the video would be made public, he was told:

'The Government said they needed more time'. When asked when enough time would pass before they could release the tape, they said they didn't know and it was indefinite…

Judicial Watch had previously announced that the video would be released before November the ninth ( and even speculated that it may be used as a political tool in order to sway mid-term election votes.

Ongoing FOIA requests and subsequent lawsuits should now have forced all known video tapes of the Pentagon attack out into the open. It seems that abiding by judicial law is something that the FBI refuses to be a part of however.

Judicial Watch Director of Investigations & Research and former military intelligence officer Chris Farrell, previously appearing on the Alex Jones show, agreed that the DoD only released the original Pentagon parking lot tape back in May 2006 because they wanted to for their own reasons. We have witnessed numerous times over the government claim national security in refusing to release evidence and they could have done the same in this instance yet they deliberately chose to relent and release the new tapes.

Why does the government need more time to release a video that is admitted by the FBI, under penalty of perjury, to show absolutely nothing? What are they cooking up? If they are not cooking anything up why are they flouting the law by refusing to release this and the other 83 tapes?

Newly released Pentagon video is missing something

Newly released Pentagon video is missing something

By Ed Haas  

May 17, 2006  ? The media coverage of the newly released Pentagon video was predictable.   One by one, Americ free press stepped up to the camera, microphone, or keyboard to tell the American people  that the Pentagon on Tuesday, May 16, 2006, released the first video images of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the  military headquarters building, killing 189 people in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

I heard the  news of the newly released video from my wife.  She came home from work and told  me that she had just heard on the radio that the Pentagon released new video that actually showed AA Flight 77 crashing into  the Pentagon.  That’s how the talk radio show she was listening to reported  it ” that the newly released video showed the airplane crashing into the Pentagon.   Intrigued, I turned on CNN because it runs top headlines every 15 minutes, hoping to catch the video clip.  I also sought the clip on the Internet, which turned out to be where I saw it first.  With great anticipation, I clicked on the link to the video clip, hoping that it would remove my doubts  about what happened at the Pentagon on September 11th. 

Pentagon: September 11, 2001 – Click to enlarge

Where is AA Flight 77? Where is the debris?

Over the last  12 months, I have become a reluctant non-believer in my government and it’s account of 9/11.  In some ways, I wish I didn’t know what I now know ” that the 9/11 Commission Report isn’t  worth the paper its printed on, the NIST final draft on how the Twin Towers collapsed ? the pancake theory ?  is woefully inadequate, and nobody from the government has yet to explain how World Trade Center Building Seven collapsed  at freefall speed onto its footprint ? after nearly 5 years!  Adding  to my disbelief is the fact that the federal government has yet to produce any tangible evidence that would stand up in a  court of law, which proves that American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. 

Scaled image of gov’t account of Pentagon – 9/11

Click to enlarge. Shouldn’t there be debris?

It isn’t  pleasant having these doubts so seeing a video that would have dispelled at least some of my distrust for the federal government  was a welcomed proposition.  As I watched the video clip on the Internet I must  say, I thought I must have clicked on the wrong link.  It looked exactly like  the video that was being played by the U.S. media in September / October 2001.  I  tried a new Internet search, clicking on a different link this time with the hope that the first link was somehow a mistake.  As I watched the video again from another Internet news source, I quickly lost all  hope again.  Turns out, the newly release video was no better than the first.  It offered no new information.  About  this time, the CNN cycle had run its course, and I watched the video on TV.  As  the commentator built the segment, my blood began to boil ? “Newly release video of AA Flight 77 crashing into  the Pentagon”? is how CNN presented the clip.  Throughout the day,  FOX, NBC, ABC and CBS all presented the video the exact same way. 

Either I’m blind  or insane, but I?ve watched the video at least 20 times and have yet to see American Airlines Flight 77 in the clip.  If anybody out there has actually seen the airplane in the video, please let me know  because I have yet to locate it.  How the major media outlets in the United States  can, with clear consciences, present this newly released video as tangible evidence of a Boeing 757, traveling at 520mph and  crashing into the Pentagon between the first and second floors, is beyond comprehension.   What ever happened to hard-hitting, aggressive reporting and the seeking of verifiable truths?  Why would the major media not be asking the questions that tens of millions of Americans are asking ?  where’s the plane?

The newly released  Pentagon video is missing something indeed ? an airplane.  The government  alleges that a wide-body airliner, a Boeing 757, crashed into the Pentagon, however it has yet to produce not one piece  of hard aircraft evidence to support its allegation.  The Pentagon crash site  was in plain view.  Picture after picture of the so-called crash site have been  seen worldwide, and each image of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 begs the question ? where is the airplane?  Where are the airplane parts ? anything whatsoever that is hard evidence  that an airplane crashed at that location?  Where is the common aviation debris  that has been found at every other accessible crash site since man began to occasionally fall from the sky? 

Debris: Pan Am Flight 103 – Click to enlarge

Boeing 747 – Lockerbie, Scotland

In his article,  911 and the Precautionary Principle: Aircraft Parts as a Clue to their Identity[1], George Nelson, Colonel, USAF (ret.), an aircraft accident investigator with thirty years experience, points out that  every military and civilian aircraft has hundreds, if not thousands of parts that are individually controlled by distinctive  serial numbers and tracked by a records section of the maintenance operation and by a section called plans and scheduling.  I can attest to this fact first hand.  I  served in the Marine Corps for over ten years in the Marine Corps Air Wing.  I  was an airframes technician.  I worked on the Harriers ? AV8A, AV8C, and  lastly ? the McDonnell Douglas AV8B.  As an airframes tech, I was charged  with flight controls ? rudders, flaps, ailerons, elevators, wheel well doors, etc., and the components that make these flight controls function ? actuators, hinges, cables, etc.  I also dealt  with rigging of the flight controls as well as the overall maintenance of the entire fuselage.   Every single critical component had a unique serial number, and each component removed and replaced was meticulously  recorded.  Even the rudder mounts, which are basically a high strength alloy with  a bearing in it, were serialized!

[1] Physics 911, 911 and the Precautionary Principle: Aircraft Parts as a Clue to their Identity,  George Nelson, Colonel, USAF (ret.),, [Accessed May 7, 2006]

Pan Am Flight 103 – Recovered debris

Exploded midair by onboard bomb

The supply side  of Marine Corps aviation was state-of-the-art, even when I served between 1983-1993.  Often, time sensitive parts where removed and replaced ? not because they failed, but because the maintenance  instruction said that after a pre-determined amount of flight hours, certain components had to be rebuilt or refurbished.  The supply side of the house could pull up a serial number and part number of any  component and quickly print a report that showed the entire history of the part ? every single step, every aircraft  in which it was ever installed, every maintenance operation or reworking, everything!   Another important fact that must be recognized is that many of these components, particularly the engine components  ? are indestructible.  They are made of some of the strongest metals and  alloys known to man; metals like titanium and inkenel.  Even when flown into thick,  reinforced concrete as used in the construction of the Pentagon, these metals DO NOT disintegrate and they certainly DO NOT  melt from a jet fuel fire. 

Flight 103: tangible evidence – Click to enlarge
Debris reassembled during investigation

Making this  point about serialized aircraft components and the strength of the materials used to make these parts, as well as the meticulous  record keeping practices of aviation maintenance, wouldn’t be necessary if the federal government – FBI, CIA, TSA, FAA,  or any other agency that gathered and recorded debris from American Airlines 77 would simply release the records and photos  of the components recovered at the Pentagon crime scene.  There is no fathomable  reason to not release this information.  It is not a matter of national security.  The components are no longer part of an ongoing investigation.  In fact, matching aircraft components recovered from the crime scene to maintenance records is fairly straight  forward and boring stuff, so why does the government continue to allow millions of Americans to remain suspicious and skeptical  of the U.S. “official? account of 9/11?   

Lee H. Hamilton – 9/11 Commission

"Overwhelming evidence at Pentagon"

The first sentence  of the Nelson article reads: The precautionary principle is based on the fact it is impossible to prove a false claim.  Lee H. Hamilton, a member of the 9/11 Commission said yesterday in response to  the new Pentagon video, “the Commission found overwhelming evidence that American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the  Pentagon.”  Funny thing about Hamilton’s comments is that I searched  the 9/11 Commission Report today and found no evidence reported in the Commission’s account of what happened at the  Pentagon on 9/11.  Sure, the 9/11 Commission Report tells the same story that has been told since 9/11 by the government and the media, but not one bit of evidence, by evidence I mean something that  could convict a man in a court of law, that shows the public that AA Flight 77 crashed at the Pentagon is found in the  9/11 Commission Report.  As mentioned, tangible evidence of recovered aircraft  components would satisfy doubts once and for all, yet five years later ? not one bit of tangible evidence has been presented.  Until the U.S. government produces real evidence of actual recovered, serialized  aircraft components that match the maintenance records for American Airlines Flight 77 (Registration number N644AA), inquisitive  Americans will conclude that the government is not producing hard evidence because it is impossible to prove a false claim. 

George Nelson, Colonel, USAF (ret.)

Ready to debate Lee H. Hamilton

Incidentally,  George Nelson, Colonel, USAF (ret.) is part of the seven-member debate team that will debate the government at the National 9/11 Debate to be held in Charleston, SC on September 16, 2006.  Lee H. Hamilton  is certainly invited to attend and will be formally invited once contact information for Hamilton is secured.  No doubt, Hamilton will be asked to debate Nelson, something the retired Colonel welcomes and the government  most likely hopes to avoid. 

Freelance writer  / author, Ed Haas, is the editor and columnist for the Muckraker Report.  Get  smart.  Read the Muckraker Report.  []  To  learn more about Ed’s current and previous work, visit Crafting Prose.  []   


A Boeing 757 did not hit the Pentagon

Mechanical engineer disputes that a Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
A Boeing 757 did not hit the Pentagon
by Michael Meyer, Mechanical Engineer

To the members of the Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven:

I would like to give you my input as to the events on September 11, and why it is a physically provable fact that some of the damage done to the Pentagon could not have occurred from a Boeing 757 impact, and therefore the 9/11 Commission report is not complete and arguably a cover-up. I will not speculate about what may have been covered up, I will only speak from my professional opinion. But I will explain why I do not believe the Pentagon was hit by a Boeing 757.

I am a Mechanical Engineer who spent many years in Aerospace, including structural design, and in the design, and use of shaped charge explosives (like those that would be used in missile warheads).

The structural design of a large aircraft like a 757 is based around managing the structural loads of a pressurized vessel, the cabin, to near-atmospheric conditions while at the lower pressure region of cruising altitudes, and to handle the structural and aerodynamic loads of the wings, control surfaces, and the fuel load. It is made as light as possible, and is certainly not made to handle impact loads of any kind.

If a 757 were to strike a reinforced concrete wall, the energy from the speed and weight of the aircraft will be transferred, in part into the wall, and to the structural failure of the aircraft. It is not too far of an analogy as if you had an empty aluminum can, traveling at high speed hitting a reinforced concrete wall. The aluminum can would crumple (the proper engineering term is buckle) and, depending on the structural integrity of the wall, crack, crumble or fail completely. The wall failure would not be a neat little hole, as the energy of the impact would be spread throughout the wall by the reinforcing steel.

This is difficult to model accurately, as any high speed, high energy, impact of a complex structure like an aircraft, into a discontinuous wall with windows etc. is difficult. What is known is that nearly all of the energy from this event would be dissipated in the initial impact, and subsequent buckling of the aircraft.

We are lead to believe that not only did the 757 penetrate the outer wall, but continued on to penetrate separate internal walls totaling 9 feet of reinforced concrete. The final breach of concrete was a nearly perfectly cut circular hole (see below) in a reinforced concrete wall, with no subsequent damage to the rest of the wall. (If we are to believe that somehow this aluminum aircraft did in fact reach this sixth final wall.)

American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, is alleged to have punched through 6 blast-resistant concrete walls?a total of nine feet of reinforced concrete – before exiting through this hole.

It is physically impossible for the wall to have failed in a neat clean cut circle, period. When I first saw this hole, a chill went down my spine because I knew it was not possible to have a reinforced concrete wall fail in this manner, it should have caved in, in some fashion.

How do you create a nice clean hole in a reinforced concrete wall? with an explosive shaped charge. An explosive shaped charge, or cutting charge is used in various military warhead devices. You design the geometry of the explosive charge so that you create a focused line of energy. You essentially focus nearly all of the explosive energy in what is referred to as a jet. You use this jet to cut and penetrate armor on a tank, or the walls of a bunker. The signature is clear and unmistakable. In a missile, the explosive charge is circular to allow the payload behind the initial shaped charge to enter whatever has been penetrated.

I do not know what happened on 9/11, I do not know how politics works in this country, I can not explain why the mainstream media does not report on the problems with the 9/11 Commission. But I am an engineer, and I know what happens in high speed impacts, and how shaped charges are used to "cut" through materials.

I have not addressed several other major gaps in the Pentagon/757 incident. The fact that this aircraft somehow ripped several light towers clean out of the ground without any damage to the aircraft (which I also feel is impossible), the fact that the two main engines were never recovered from the wreckage, and the fact that our government has direct video coverage of the flight path, and impact, from at least a gas station and hotel, which they have refused to release.

You can call me a "tin hat", crazy, conspiracy theory, etc, but I can say from my expertise that the damage at the Pentagon was not caused by a Boeing 757.

Michael Meyer

Lessons Drawn From Attack on Pentagon May Stay Secret

Lessons Drawn From Attack on Pentagon May Stay Secret

 by James Glanz
 The New York Times
 November 5, 2002

It was a rare sliver of positive news on Sept. 11. Unlike the twin towers, where many of the 2,795 people who died were trapped inside until the structures collapsed, the Pentagon ? where 125 military personnel and civilian workers were killed ? contained the blast and fires well enough to allow nearly everyone who survived the initial impact from the hijacked jetliner to escape.

Just three days after the crash, a blast expert at the Army Corps of Engineers was at the scene to begin leading the Pentagon team that would assess the attack’s effect on the building. At the trade center, it took an investigative team weeks to assemble, and then it had trouble gaining access and crucial documents. The Pentagon team’s report, completed last July, contained not only an analysis of how the building, parts of which had been recently renovated and reinforced, held up, but also recommendations for using the lessons learned to make other buildings safer.

But there is another sharp contrast between the two efforts. The World Trade Center report was completed and released last spring, but the Defense Department, fearing that the strengths and perhaps vulnerabilities of its headquarters were too clearly drawn, has held up the Pentagon study in a classification review and may never allow it to be publicly released.

The review, which was specifically intended to consider Pentagon security in the light of new terrorist threats, has provoked strong but conflicting reactions from engineers who saw it before all copies were abruptly ordered returned. Some, confused over what could be considered sensitive in the report, have expressed outrage that the lessons it may hold for other buildings could be squandered. They also think that a deeper understanding of what happened at the twin towers, gained through a comparison with the findings at the Pentagon, could be denied both the general public and the families of victims.

"I really think this is nothing but bureaucratic inertia," said Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University who is a member of the Pentagon assessment team, and who was asked to return his copies of the report around the first anniversary of the attack.

"I don’t see anything there that would be against a national interest or make it more likely to be a terrorist target," Professor Sozen said.

That is not the view taken by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, created last May. Its acting director, John Jester, points out that terrorists returned to the World Trade Center after a bomb failed to destroy it in 1993.

"We’re concerned that when we do reviews of buildings, we’re looking at how are they good and how are they bad, and you don’t want to advertise that to the world," Mr. Jester said. "We’ve obviously been the site of a terrorist attack, so we don’t want to disclose anything that would assist someone who would want to attack us again."

Mr. Jester said he thought it was likely that parts of the report contained material too sensitive to release, but added that a final determination on the report’s release had not been made.

The study, led by Paul F. Mlakar, a blast expert at the Research and Development Center of the Army Corps of Engineers, was sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers with the approval of the Pentagon. Dr. Mlakar said team members knew from the start that the report would see a Defense Department review, and so they attempted to avoid including any sensitive material.

The team’s findings identify "things I think we want to incorporate in other buildings for lots of unforeseen incidents" ? like terrorist attacks, Dr. Mlakar said. But if those lessons are ultimately classified, Dr. Mlakar said, even he would have mixed feelings about the decision because he is aware of security concerns.

Engineers outside the investigation say the implications are considerable, since the reinforced-concrete structure of the Pentagon ? unlike the steel skeleton of the twin towers ? is similar to the buildings in which most Americans live and work. The investigation, like others the engineering society carried out after the Loma Prieta earthquake in California in 1989 and the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, is therefore more likely to result in changes to building practices.

The findings of the World Trade Center investigation have already led to a re-examination of building codes and engineering practices in New York and other cities. And those who have seen the Pentagon study say that parts of it support a finding that was already hinted at in the trade center study: that some older buildings with sturdy structural frames and thick, stout layers of fireproofing may perform better than modern, lightweight structures in the extreme conditions of a terrorist attack.

"I think it’s critical that it be published," said Charlie Carter, chief structural engineer for the American Institute of Steel Construction in Chicago, who said he was asked to review the Pentagon report. "It has information directly relevant to all the things that have either been claimed or mistaken about other structures that were hit that day."

The Pentagon was built in just 16 months, mostly of steel-reinforced concrete. Construction began on Sept. 11, 1941. The five outer faces, each 922 feet long, were built of heavy layers of limestone and brick as well as concrete. Partly because it was thought the building would ultimately become a warehouse for paper records, the structure was made especially strong.

Tight spirals of steel reinforcing bars were embedded in each of the 41,492 concrete columns within the building’s five stories and 6.5 million square feet of space. The floors were designed to support 150 pounds of weight per square foot, more than double the strength of many modern office buildings.

Throughout the building, reinforcing bars from one section had long, tightly connected overlaps with those from the next. On Sept. 11, that continuity "made the whole thing perform together rather than as little pieces," said W. Gene Corley, a structural engineer and senior vice president at Construction Technology Laboratories who led the World Trade Center investigation.

Several people who have seen the Pentagon review said it shows that when the hijacked Boeing 757 plunged through the west face, the spirally reinforced columns inside acted as powerful shock absorbers, often bowing sideways without snapping.

Parts of the plane bowled through the bottom two floors of three of the Pentagon’s five concentric rings, but the stout, continuous structure was able to bridge over the missing columns and avoid an immediate collapse. The structure was even able to stand up against the raging fire that broke out when the plane’s fuel ignited.

"It was striking to me how little of the building was involved in the fire," said Dr. Corley, who has reviewed the Pentagon report. The fire, he said, "didn’t spread and and trap other people in the building."

Of the 2,600 people in the immediate area of impact, all of those above the second floor had time to escape before a 100-foot-long section of the outer ring collapsed 35 minutes into the disaster. Recently installed blast-proof glass and new steel reinforcements in the impact zone have also been credited with saving some lives on the upper floors.

While 125 Pentagon workers and 59 passengers and crew members on the plane died, few if any of the workers who died were from outside the immediate impact zone.

"The engineer wants to design to resist collapse," said Dr. Mlakar, the team leader. "We had a very positive example of the kinds of things that will do that in the Pentagon."

Several engineering experts said that a direct comparison with the collapse of the twin towers was fraught with difficulties. The towers were 110 stories high and held up with steel protected only by lightweight, spray-on fireproofing that was probably dislodged by the impacts of the planes.

But the engineers said that the differences themselves should help them understand which vulnerabilities were peculiar to the towers and which ones might be true of any building, no matter how it was constructed.

An understanding of certain older buildings around the perimeter of the trade center site, which were hit with flaming debris but remained standing, should also be advanced by the Pentagon findings, some of the engineers said.

Mr. Jester of the Pentagon said that even if the study is classified, its findings could probably be shared with officially sanctioned engineers working on projects like government or military installations. But a public document would almost certainly see wide distribution, finding its way onto the Internet, for example, Mr. Jester said. Then, he added, "it can be reviewed by anyone in the world."

Because the findings could likely be applied to a wide range of projects, however, many wonder where the line between military security and public safety should be drawn.

"I have conflicting feelings," said John Durrant, executive director of the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. "We believe the findings would be of benefit to the profession. On the other hand, we are very sensitive to the need for national security."

Why was the FBI given jurisdiction over Pentagon site?

Phone call from abosulely no survivor

Government and quasi-government sources were used, including: The DoD’s American Forces Information Service (AFIS) The AFIS’s Defense Visual Information Center The Military District of Washington and standard news coverage — Associated Press, Reuters, UPI, etc. Here are the major points I will cover in Part I:

Aviation Fire Control Requires Foam Military Uses Foam On Jet Fuel Fires Water, Not Foam, Was Used On Pentagon Flames Effect Of Using Water? Fire Continued to Spread Airport Firetruck Used Water Despite FAA Regulations Was There Really A Jet Fuel Fire? Military Firefighters Close To Pentagon Military Firefighters Fail to Show Pentagon Watched 9-11 On Tee Vee "911? Help! Pentagon Here! Send Civilians!" Rumsfeld, Top Brass Knew What Was Happening Fire As A Media Spectacular Rumsfeld’s Crystal Ball: "There cannot be any survivors . . ." Rumsfeld’s Predictions Come True Emergency Medical Technicians Told To Get Out And Stay Out Air Space Not Too Restricted Concern For Civilians? Area Hospitals Puzzled By Low Number Of Surviving Victims Army "Supports" FBI And Fire Department FBI Looking For Osama’s Fingerprints? Black Hawk Down Meets Pentagon Down Fire Used As Excuse To Stall Rescue Fire Used To Explain Deaths Fire, She Keep On Burn’in . . . Millions Of Gallons Of Water Used RUMSFELD’ CRYSTAL BALL: "THERE CANNOT BE ANY SURVIVORS" Emergency rescue experts say earthquake victims who are buried in debris can survive up to 12 days (more below.) Rumsfeld held his September 11 press conference approximately nine hours after impact. He made this statement: "There cannot be any survivors; it just would be beyond comprehension." cached at: How could Rumsfeld KNOW no more survivors would be found in the Pentagon debris, when earthquake experts give victims a 12-day chance of survival? At this point, the Pentagon victims had only been buried nine hours. Why the hurry to pronounce them all dead?

Gen. Shelton was at Rumsfeld’s side during this press conference. He of course uttered pious statements about "barbaric terrorism carried out by fanatics against both civilians and military people, acts that have killed and maimed many innocent and decent citizens our country." Oddly, however, Mr. Derring-do Shelton did not say a word about the rescue efforts which were murdering survivors.

He said: "I will not tell you up front, I have no intentions of discussing today what comes next, but make no mistake about it, your armed forces are ready."

Yes, our armed forces were ready, all right, Mr. Rescue Shelton. Ready to let civilian firemen squirt water on an aviation fuel fire while men died under the debris. And you stood by and watched . . . you watched it going on for days . . .

" . . . you should remain aware of the fact that people have been successfully rescued alive after as much as twelve (12) days . . ."

Yet here is Rumsfeld declaring the 9-11 victims dead after nine hours . . . "There cannot be any survivors; it just would be beyond comprehension." ( cached at: ) Rumsfeld’s "it’s all hopeless" statement was pulled out of thin air. He could not possibly have known whether the buried victims were alive or dead.

WRECKING BALL USED INSTEAD OF VERTICAL LIFTING AND SHORING Instead of using the cranes at the site for lifting the debris off vertically, the cranes at the site on September 12 and 13 were apparently used to swing a wrecking ball into the portions of the building still standing, to demolish those sections instead of shoring them up. That, along with spraying an (alleged) aviation fuel fire with water, was a recipe for murder. The increased weight of new debris torn from the damaged building by the wrecking ball must have collapsed any voids in the original debris that may have been sheltering victims. The result could only have crushed the victims to death as they awaited rescue. One of the victims was Darin Pontell, who worked in CNO-IP. The Post reported that two days after the attack, Darin’s parents were still hoping Darin was alive. Here is an excerpt from "The Last Watch," Washington Post, January 20, 2001, pg.F1. "’Where’d I put my cell phone? Where is it?’ Marilyn Pontell, Darrin’s mother, grew frantic looking for her purse. Her Nokia was chiming ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game.’ "Marilyn would be sick if she missed that call. Maybe it was news about her son. maybe it was Darin himself.

"Two days later, Marilyn and Gary Pontell still hoped their youngest boy had been spared. Gathered at Darin and Devora’s apartment in Gaithersburg on Thursday afternoon, they could barely process the idea that he was dead . . .

"Navy officials gave garbled reports: One person said someone who looked like Darin walked from the scene. Somebody else claimed he was working far away, in the A-Ring. An officials said they couldn’t find his Acura Integra in the Pentagon lot . . .

"The Nokia sang again, then silence. Too late. when she finally got to the phone, Marilyn scrolled through the menu. One missed call: 1:57 p.m. No message. But the incoming number was clearly identified. It was Darin’s.

"My God, maybe he was alive.

Offices targeted were of pople investigating loyalty of dual based citizens

"For five more days, they waited. On Sept. 18, the Navy informed the Pontells that Darin’s body had been positively identified. His cell phone was never returned to the family. They presume it was never found. Perhaps the flip-phone had somehow dialed Marilyn’s number when the rubble shifted. But didn’t all cell phones have to be turned off upon entry into the CNO-IP [Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot]?

"The FBI offered a one-word explanation for that call: ‘anomaly.’"

ACCOMPLICES TO MURDER As the Emergency Response & Research Institute website told us, victims trapped by debris from earthquakes and other disasters can live up to 12 days. Do you think that maybe Darin Pontell was still alive on September 11, when Rumsfeld, "visibly upset," at his press conference, was swearing there could be no survivors? Perhaps Darin was alive on September 12, waiting for the cranes to lift the debris and free him. Perhaps he was alive on September 13, when his parents received a call from his cell phone. Had he been reached in time, perhaps Darin might be alive today.

Gen. Leave-No-Man-Behind Shelton, Messrs. Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz, Rabbi Zakheim, and the National Command Center were surely accomplices to the murder of Darin Pontell and the others. The gang simply used different weapons. They used water, a fire-cum-rescue media event, and a wrecking ball. And lies, lies lies, and more lies.

However, there is another explanation for what we see, and for Rumsfeld’s certainty on 9-11 that "there cannot be any survivors; it just would be beyond comprehension." We’ll get to that later on.

RUMSFELD, MILITARY, HAND THEIR JOBS TO FBI Let’s go back to the beginning, and state the obvious. The Pentagon is not your ordinary run-of the-mill office building. The Pentagon is the military headquarters for the mightiest military power on earth. It is the home of the US Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Special Operations.

According to the Official Story, the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon was an act of war. Rumsfeld and the top brass had lawful jurisdiction over the piece of real estate on which the "act of war" had just occurred; the Pentagon building was a war zone. But what did Rumsfeld, Gen. Shelton, and the top brass do? On September 11, 2001, they gave jurisdiction of the war zone to the FBI — a division of the civilian Department of Justice.

Donald Rumsfeld dropped the news casually at his September 11, 2001, news conference:

" . . . the FBI has secured the site."

Speaking of those supervising entry into the damaged portion of the Pentagon on September 11, White said:

"That entry will be supervised by the FBI, who are in charge of the site." ( cached at: ) Wow! After September 11, they brought soldiers to Wall Street to secure civilians, and brought civilians to the Pentagon to secure the nation’s military headquarters. Who wrote this script?

But more importantly, the AP report reveals the FBI took possession of military intelligence documents at the site. The story quoted Jerry Crawford, a civilian, and leader of an urban search and rescue team from Memphis, Tenn.

" . . . Crawford also said officials were worried about classified material and intelligence information that is strewn throughout the rubble. He said no military intelligence officials have been allowed into the area . . . ‘We have the FBI with us and nobody is touching anything they’re not supposed to touch,’ Crawford said. He said that when rescue workers ‘see something marked secret or sensitive, we leave it alone.’" ("Work being done to shore up Pentagon," Associated Press, September 14, 2001 1107520c.html cached at: ) Did you notice that? NO MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS WERE ALLOWED INTO THE AREA THAT WAS STREWN WITH MILITARY INTELLIGENCE DOCUMENTS.

ARMY REMAINS SUSPICIOUS OF ISRAELIS On April 24, 2002, the pro-Zionist WorldNetDaily, which claims to be an alternate source of news on the Internet,


reported that a US Army Reserve counterintelligence officer with dual citizenship in the United States and Israel had his security clearance revoked. Naturally the officer claimed bias on the part of the Army, and complained about the Army’s treatment of him to WorldNetDaily.

You can see the report here:”ARTICLE_ID=27355 cached at:

Note that according to the report, the Israeli had his security clearance pulled by the Army’s personnel command, which was obviously concerned with the internal security of the Army. Good for them!


Deliberate rescue negligence at Pentagon ?

There’s what you need to know: On September 11, the top commander of the entire US military machine was intimately familiar with aircraft, aviation fuel fires, aircraft rescue, and the ideals depicted in "Black Hawk Down (Leave No Man Behind)."

However, those who directed the 9-11 rescue at the Pentagon did these amazing things:

They sprayed the aviation fuel fire with water. Every housewife knows you don’t spray water on a grease or oil fire; both military and civilian aviation fire fighters know you don’t spray water on an aviation fuel fire. They allowed the fire to spread until the upper floors of the Pentagon collapsed, burying Army and Navy personnel in the debris and further hampering their rescue. Once the upper floors collapsed, the directors of the rescue flouted standard rescue procedures for collapsed buildings.

While there should still have been hope of finding survivors alive, they used a wrecking ball to demolish sections of the building still standing. Many additional tons of debris crashed down upon the already buried victims, almost certainly collapsing any spaces or voids which may have sheltering victims in the original debris.

When qualified emergency medical technicians arrived by helicopter to rescue the victims, they were ordered to leave and forbidden from returning. One wave of survivors were brought out, and then there were no more . . . One flimsy excuse after the other was used to stop the work and delay rescue operations. Civilian rescuers worked long shifts and became exhausted with wrongheaded methods. Meanwhile, thousands of able-bodied military personnel at nearby bases — including those specially trained in putting out aviation fires — sat and watched the drama on Tee Vee. Surviving military intelligence officers lost jurisdiction over military intelligence documents and those documents were collected by civilians not cleared to see them. Meanwhile, the Pentagon front office made a media spectacular of the fire. Donald Rumsfeld and other Pentagon officials wrung their hands and cried, "How awful, how awful" for days, stoking up passions for a war.

Do I believe that the well-meaning, desperate, and exhausted rescuers we saw on TV intended anything but the best? No. I believe the people doing the work had the very best intentions and were trying to save lives. But they were relying on the leadership to make decisions. They naturally followed orders as they are trained to do. Among the people I accuse are: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at that time, Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Rabbi Dov Zakheim, Undersecretary/Comptroller of DoD, Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White, Other commanders of the National Military Command Center, Other "John Does" — persons whose names remain hidden to the public at this time. SOURCES OF INFORMATION


Posted by RESE, 18. December 2005

No evidence of aircraft wreckage ?

United States Department of Defense
Presenter: Mr. Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager
Saturday, September 15, 2001


Q: One thing that’s confusing — if it came in the way you described, at an angle, why then are not the wings outside? I mean, the wings would have shorn off. The tail would have shorn off. And yet there’s apparently no evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring.

Evey: Actually, there’s considerable evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. It’s just not very visible. When you get up close — actually, one of my people happened to be walking on this sidewalk and was right about here as the aircraft approached. It came in. It clipped a couple of light poles on the way in. He happened to hear this terrible noise behind him, looked back, and he actually — he’s a Vietnam veteran — jumped prone onto the ground so the aircraft would not actually — he thinks it (would have) hit him; it was that low.

On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that generator, and portions of it broke off. There are other parts of the plane that are scattered about outside the building. None of those parts are very large, however. You don’t see big pieces of the airplane sitting there extending up into the air. But there are many small pieces. And the few larger pieces there look like they are veins out of the aircraft engine. They’re circular.

Q: Would you say that the plane, since it had a lot of fuel on it at the impact, and the fact that there are very small pieces, virtually exploded in flames when it tore into the building? I mean, since there are not large pieces of the wings laying outside, did it virtually explode?

Evey: I didn’t see it. My people who did see it enter the building describe it as entering the building and then there being flames coming out immediately afterwards. Whether you describe it as an explosion or not, people I talk to who were there, some called it an explosion. Others called it a large fire. I’m not sure. I wasn’t there, sir. It’s just a guess on my part.

Rumsfeld saw plane debris !?

According to Victoria Clark:

1.  Rumsfeld knew already 8:45 about the crash of the first plane on the WTC. Yet nothing was undertaken to evacuate the Pentagon

2.  A second person "ran down the hallway" with Rumsfeld after the Pentagon crash. Who was the other person?

3.  Rumsfeld was "half an hour" away.

4.  Rumsfeld confirmed to have seen "thousands and thousands of pieces of metal" and was "sure it was a plane".  Whereto have these pieces of metal disappeared?

United States Department of Defense

Saturday, September 15, 2001

Assistant Secretary Victoria Clarke Interview with WBZ Boston

<!– START HEADER DoD News Briefing Victoria Clarke, ASD PA Saturday, September 15, 2001 END HEADER (14 lines) –>

(Interview with Jim Mitchell, WBZ Boston)

Mitchell: Let’s turn our attention back to the Pentagon now and the war on terrorism that will be fought by our men and women in the military and the Department of Defense. Joining us live from the Pentagon, Assistant Secretary of Defense Torie Clarke.

Secretary Clarke, thank you for joining us.

Clarke: Thank you very much. Glad to do it.

Mitchell: I must ask you, were you at the Pentagon Tuesday morning?

Clarke: I was.

Mitchell: Can you describe that terrible moment for us?

Clarke: Well, the terrible moment was actually earlier at about 8:40, 8:45 when we realized a plane and then a second plane had hit the World Trade Center. And immediately the crisis management process started up. A couple of us had gone into the secretary’s office, Secretary Rumsfeld’s office, to alert him to that, tell him that the crisis management process was starting up. He wanted to make a few phone calls. So a few of us headed across the hallway to an area called the National Military Command Center. He stayed in his office. We were in these rooms maybe 200 feet away where we felt the concussion. We immediately knew it was something bad. We weren’t sure what. When it first happened, we didn’t know what it was. But again, all the wheels were in motion. Everybody was doing what they were supposed to be doing.

The secretary was in his office, really not that far away from the side of the building that got hit by the plane. He and another person immediately ran down the hallway and went outside and helped some of the people, some of the casualties getting off the stretchers, etc. When he came back in the building about half an hour later, he was the first one that told us he was quite sure it was a plane. Based on the wreckage and based on the thousands and thousands of pieces of metal. He was the one that told us, the staff that was in the room. So he was really the first one who told us that it was most likely a plane.

Mitchell: And now Secretary Clarke, four days later as the efforts there continue, describe that for us.

Clarke: Well, as a matter of fact just a little while ago we were talking about, we had a briefing here in the Pentagon briefing room and we announced that we’ve already signed a contract with the folks who are going to begin to repair the damage that was done and start the repairs. [ Transcript ] The people involved in this have been extraordinary and I can’t tell you the number of times over the last few days I’ve said to myself and others, as awful as this tragedy has been, what has been remarkable is the example after example of heroism, from people who helped with folks in the wreckage to the thousands and thousands of people who showed up the next day bright and early for work. This place has been operating, continued to operate right through all of this, and already the plans have begun to repair the damage and get up and going again with the building.

Mitchell: Secretary Clarke, thousands of New England citizen soldiers, citizens all across the country, obviously — Army, Navy, Air Force, Reserves are on standby at this hour. We hear that some 50,000 may be called to active duty. What more can you tell us?

Clarke: Well, you’re right. Yesterday we announced that we are going to call up, we can call up to 50,000 National Guard and Reserve. [ News release ] Each of the Services is currently reviewing its missions and what the needs are. The Army said in the initial call-up they’ll probably need about 10,000 people; the Air Force, 13,000; Navy, 3,000; Marines, 7,500; and the Coast Guard, 2,000.

They will be providing a variety of specific capabilities, if you will. There will be logistical support, there will be help with the casualties and the recovery, there will be support for those who have been, the pilots who have been flying for quite a few hours for the last three or four days. So it’s a variety of functions in this initial call-up, but it’s an incredibly valuable service. As you know, these days for many people their main contact with the military in the United States is the Guard and Reserves, and they’re playing an enormously valuable role.

Mitchell: And Secretary Clarke, finally, I assume the mood of the Pentagon is upbeat and positive.

Clarke: It is. It’s truly remarkable. From the very first minutes the number of people who rushed into that scene, into the crash site to help the injured and try to get people out, to the fact that within hours everything was functioning, everybody was doing what they were supposed to do.

The next morning, just one small example, obviously security very high, roads around the Pentagon closed down. I can’t tell you the number of people who tried to get to work in the morning, couldn’t get near the place, would just leave their cars on the side of the road and climbed over jersey barriers and walked up the hills and came to work.

Mitchell: Just amazing.

Secretary Clarke, I want to thank you for spending a few moments with us.

Clarke: Thank you for having us do it.

Mitchell: That is Assistant Secretary of Defense Torie Clarke, joining us live…

Pentagon medic sees no signs of plane

 U.S. Medicine, Issue May 2002

Pentagon Medics Remember Sept. 11 – Matt Pueschel

WASHINGTON-Although it’s been eight months since last September’s terrorist attacks, for many of the medical personnel on duty that "horrific day" at the Pentagon, the memory of their experience is "permanently etched" in their minds, according to Maryann Ramos, MPH, an occupational health certified physician assistant for the Pentagon’s Civilian Employees Health Service (CEHS).

Ramos was the physician assistant pictured comforting another Pentagon worker on Sept. 11 in a prominent cover photo in the January issue of U.S. MEDICINE. Taken by an Army photographer, the photo did not carry the names of the pair at the time, but fortunately a colleague of Ramos’s at the Pentagon later recognized her when she saw a copy of the newspaper. The worker informed Ramos, who then contacted U.S. MEDICINE and tracked down the man in the photo whom she helped that day. "I’d like to find out his name and shake his hand," she wrote in an email to U.S. MEDICINE in January.

[…] As victims staggered from the building, Ramos couldn’t tell what had wrought the destruction. There were no signs of a plane. "All I could see was a giant hole in the building," she said. "I thought it was a Piper cub [small plane]. I found a couple little, thin pieces of twisted aluminum, that’s all, on the ground. I gave it to the FBI. There were lots of flames at the top, a black hole and smoke."


[…] Prepared

Although the courage and determination of the medics helped carry them through the ordeal, Ramos said they had also taken part in a mass casualty training exercise at the Pentagon eight months prior to Sept. 11. That exercise involved a simulation of a plane flying off course that struck the Pentagon.


It took some time before Ramos, Maj. Leibner and others were able to talk openly of their experiences that day. "We went to several debriefings," Ramos said.

"Nothing’s the same there," Maj. Leibner said of the Pentagon. "Priorities have changed."

Meanwhile, construction is ahead of schedule to repair the damage done to the Pentagon, and a dedication ceremony is planned for the one-year anniversary date of the attack. Ramos also said some workers have started a little memorial on the helipad near the crash site.



Government Responds to Flight 77 FOIA Request


Government Responds to Flight 77 FOIA Request

Scott Bingham’s website:

August 2005. Scott Bingham of Washington DC sued the Justice Department earlier this year after it refused his Freedom of Information Act request to release suppressed video of the Pentagon attack. In a defense brief filed this month, the government says it must continue to withhold the videos because prosecutors may decide to use them in persuading a jury to pass the death sentence on Zacarias Moussaoui.

Few issues have raised as much controversy and acrimony among 9/11 researchers as their conflicting views on the Pentagon attack. While many argue honestly that a passenger plane never could have caused the damage there (see our Pentagon photo archive), others are just as certain that the idea prompted originally by "Hunt the Boeing" is a red herring that benefits the US government’s official story. It is also the only "9/11 conspiracy theory" that ever received a direct denial from the government (See "French Conspiracy Theorist Claims No Plane Hit the Pentagon," State Department press release, June 2005)

Opinions are also split among the stalwarts, and we all know many sincere people on either side of this divide. Our site’s consensus position until now, "On Alternate Scenarios of the Pentagon Attack" (part 2 of the article here), takes a lateral approach:

a) Other, less controversial aspects of the Flight 77 story are sufficient to demonstrate official deception. For example, as Scott Bingham points out, the failed Cessna pilot the government alleges flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, could not fly at all.

b) Why should we guess what happened based on partial evidence, when we know the government is in possession both of the crash site debris and multiple video records of the event itself?

We know that videos of the Pentagon attack were taken by security cameras on the roof of a nearby Sheraton Hotel and a gas station, both of which had a clear sight-line to the side of the Pentagon that was hit. These tapes were confiscated by the FBI within minutes of the attack.

According to a Washington Times news report that has been removed from the Web (still available on the "Wayback Machine" search engine), hotel employees had time enough to watch "the film in shock and horror several times before the FBI confiscated the video as part of its investigation."

As for the gas station, which is "open only to Defense Department personnel," it is "the last structure between the Pentagon and the hillside that, hours later, would become a wailing knoll." Its owner was interviewed by the Richmond Times-Dispatch in December 2001:


Velasquez says the gas station’s security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact. "I’ve never seen what the pictures looked like," he said. "The FBI was here within minutes and took the film." (Article archived at

The swift confiscations are suspicious; the agents were obviously dispatched to grab the videos immediately after the Pentagon was struck.

Bizarrely, the only purported live record of the attack ever released seems to support the "No-Boeing" hypothesis. An unknown source at the Pentagon provided CNN with five video stills said to be from a Pentagon parking-lot camera. The images show a blurry white object, impossible to define, moving in the background before the explosion; a video-timestamp of "9/12/01" indicates a second-generation copy and possible tampering.

When CNN first broadcast these frames in March 2002, its reporter once again noted the existence of the hotel video:


MCINTYRE: Well, the claim – we have filed a freedom of information request for it. They claim that it might provide some intelligence to somebody else who might want to do harm to the United States. But officials I talked to here at the Pentagon say they don’t see any national security or criminal value to that tape. The FBI tends to hold on to things.

Enter Scott Bingham. He filed his own FOIA request with the FBI last year, cleverly saying he hoped a release would put "outrageous conspiracy theories" to rest. The Bureau’s first response was a flat denial that any such evidence existed. Bingham followed up with an administrative appeal to the Justice Department, which admitted in March 2005 that the FBI has "records that are responsive" to his request. But the Justice lawyers claim these records are "protected from disclosure," because their release could "reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings."

Bingham subsequently took the Justice Department to court, hoping to reverse their decision. The defendant’s response to his suit for the first time specifies the "law enforcement proceeding" that the Justice Department wants to protect:

"Release of the document responsive to plaintiff’s FOIA request would threaten to interfere with the criminal prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person to be brought to trial in the United States for the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The process of selecting prospective jurors for the penalty phase of Moussaoui’s trial is expected to begin in late 2005. Therefore, the FBI withheld the responsive record, a CD-ROM of time lapse images from Pentagon security cameras, pursuant to Exemption 7(A) because its release could reasonably be expected to interfere with that law enforcement proceeding. Federal prosecutors may ask the Court to impose the death penalty. Widespread dissemination of this record could present significant harm to the government’s criminal case."

Note that this passage mentions only Pentagon security-camera footage, once again leaving the tapes from the private hotel and gas station in an administrative limbo.

In the four years since his August 2001 arrest, the government has kept French national Zacarias Moussaoui in strict solitary confinement. Long alleged to have been the missing "20th hijacker," he finally accepted a guilty plea in federal court earlier this year on conspiracy charges relating both to his membership in al-Qaeda and conspiracy to commit the September 11th attacks. Yet in a court statement immediately after his plea, Moussaoui denied any connection with the 9/11 plot. (A similarly self-exonerating statement delivered on behalf of Abu Ghraib guard Lynndie England, after she copped a plea-bargain in her torture case, caused a military judge to immediately void her plea and re-open that case; but the Moussaoui verdict was allowed to stand.)

All that remains of the Moussaoui case is the penalty phase, in which a jury will decide on whether he receives the death sentence. As Bingham puts it on his site, which documents his FOIA case to date:

"it made me upset to learn that the base reason these images of 9/11 have been withheld is because the government is trying to kill some guy – and they think the virgin images of flight 77 crashing into the pentagon will help ‘shock & awe’ a jury into delivering a death sentence."

In truth, there is little reason to expect the government’s prosecutors will release the Pentagon videos to the Moussaoui court. Far likelier is that a further pretext for withholding these tapes will be found after the Moussaoui case is over. And if the videos show anything other than a passenger plane hitting the Pentagon, it is obvious why that is the case.

But what if they do show Flight 77? The government says Flight 77 swooped down from a turning maneuver worthy of a fighter plane to keep level, just above the ground, with its nose down for several hundred feet before striking the Pentagon first floor (in a section that was mostly empty, having just been renovated to reinforce it against a terrorist attack).

The video of that amazing maneuver may make people wonder whether any human being was capable of it, let alone Hani Hanjour.


Scott Bingham’s website:

News Transcript from the Pentagon 14 Sept. 2001

September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
DoD News Briefing – Pentagon Update 1:00 p.m.; September 14, 2001

Presenter: John F. Irby, Director, Federal Facilities Division Friday, September 14, 2001 – 1:00 p.m.


DoD News Briefing – Pentagon Update
Cached at:

(Also participating: Victoria Clarke, assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs; Army Maj. Gen. Jim Jackson, commanding general, Military District of Washington; James Schwartz, assistant chief, Arlington County Fire Department; and Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs. Slides used in this briefing are available at )

Clarke: Hi, folks.

This afternoon we’d like to discuss the situation in the Pentagon, and joining us will be three people:

John F. Irby, I-R-B-Y, who’s the director of the Federal Facilities Division. He’s going to discuss the initial damage assessment of the Pentagon. And I just want to emphasize, as I have been, a lot of these things we’re talking about — they are preliminary assessments, preliminary numbers, et cetera. He’s got some slides to show you about the damage, floor by floor. And he is responsible for the overall building management.

Major General Jim Jackson, who’s been up here before, commanding general of the Military District of Washington. You met the other day. He’s responsible for the military support here in the building, the activities like security, labor, and the DoD liaison with the fire, police, and the other federal agencies involved in the combined operations center.

And James Schwartz, who is the assistant chief of the Arlington County Fire Department.

And we’re going to ask each of them to step up and just make a brief statement, just give you sort of their status check, and then open it up to questions.

Q: Can I ask just one brief, quick housekeeping question? Y’all have passed out the announcement that the president has authorized to call up up to 50,000.

Clarke: Yes.

Q: And the SecDef is moving to call up up to 35,500 total. Can you tell me when you expect that first call-up to be, the initial call-up?

Clarke: If you wait until — what time, gentlemen?

Staff: Two-thirty.

Clarke: — two-thirty, we will brief you.

Q: Well, can you give some idea now when the initial call-up would be, what days —

Clarke: It depends on the services’ needs. But we’re talking, in some instances, days. But it’s up to the individual services, on their needs, in how they call them up.

Sure. Mr. Irby?

Irby: (To staff.) Can we have the slides?

Staff: (Off mike.)

Irby: There we go. Okay.

We took a big hit, but two-thirds of the building is operating in a normal manner. And as we work through with the FBI and Arlington County, as other areas are turned over to us for damage control and mitigation, we expect to expand that area to an even greater percentage of the space.

Up there you can see the green is the area of collapse, where the aircraft hit. The red is the approximate area of the fire, and the blue is the area of water damage.

Ventilation air is another important aspect of normal building operation. We’ve changed the air filters. They were obviously very sooty. And our air handlers, old as they might be, decrepit as they might be, they’re still working — to 1942 standards, perhaps, but they’re still working. And what we’re able to do with the control system that we added fairly recently, we’re able to optimize the intake of outside air, which in essence pressurizes the areas that are operated with fresh air and forces the contaminates back over into the area of damage. We’ll keep watching this. We’ve sampled the material that our air filters have collected and found it to be within the acceptable limits.

Domestic water is connected with the firewater through the piping system, and they’re both very critical. The impact of the aircraft and the explosion did cause us to lose pressure within that system. But again, our mechanics responded and valved-off the damaged areas so that the fire department could have adequate water again to fight the fire. As we expand the areas of operation, we’ll have to do some cutting and capping of those lines to make sure that all of the areas, old and new, have the kind of domestic water and fire protection that codes would require.

Again, as we move from the area where we are now to other areas that will be made available to us, we’ll have to restore function to the fire alarm system, and that will take a certain amount of assessment that we haven’t been able to make yet. But we’ll have to look at those systems and see what kind of damage they sustained.

Soot cleanup is another important area to our occupants. We have 250 regular contract cleaners that are here working that, and 100 emergency fire and flood cleanup specialists that are augmenting that staff.

And as you move around in the building now, especially on the upper floors, you’ll move from an area where it smells kind of sooty and smoky to an area where it smells like disinfectant. The floors are shiny and what have you. So that’s what we’re moving towards.

But, you know, I’d summarize by just saying that the Pentagon is an amazing building that you develop a warmth and a respect for its capability to respond to an emergency, and we’re finding that it got us through this problem. And you just learn to love the building like a sailor loves his ship.

Q: How much would you estimate the damage was?

Clarke: Sir, we’re going to let — (off mike) — let each one make a statement.

Jackson: Good afternoon.

First of all, I’d like to just offer up the fact that the support and the working relationships that have been established between all agencies and all support organizations continues to impress all of us. This is certainly a team effort and everybody’s responding in absolutely a superb manner.

The military continues to support all the agencies primarily in several functions. First of all, in providing a command and control cell that dovetails into all the other command and control structures so that we can understand each other to make sure that where the support is needed, we can meet that requirement. We’re doing some limited security inside and outside of the Pentagon in addition to what is normally here. I’m also providing light labor organizations so that they can do the hefting and toting that has to be done, and that includes debris from inside the building and some remains. We also have a technical engineer company here that is working alongside the urban search and rescues. Day to day, my numbers range anywhere from 500 to 700, depending on what’s going on.

Bottom line, soldiers are doing a great job and they’re meeting and exceeding all the requirements that we’re placing on them, and they continue to support everything that we ask them to do, and they’re doing a great job.

Thank you.

Schwartz: Good afternoon.

First off, I’d like to echo General Jackson’s comments about the level of cooperation among all the agencies, all the levels of government represented here in the effort here over the last couple of days. It’s been really a remarkable, I guess, experience for all of us just how well everything has worked and how cooperative everybody has worked together to get things done.

I’ll give you a little bit of an update on what we’re doing right now. We continue to work on our efforts to shore up the building in those areas as identified on the map that are most heavily damaged. It’s extremely crucial that we make sure that we have a structurally sound area to work in so that we are not putting the rescuers at further risk and that we aren’t losing a portion of the building in our efforts to remove either live victims or any remaining victims — or remains of victims, rather.

I want to emphasize, though, at the same time that we are working aggressively to shore up the building and ensure structural stability, we are at the same time working those efforts to search for live victims and try and work with the Evidence Response Teams of the FBI to collect evidence as a whole part of the process here involved in both the rescue effort and the crime scene. It’s kind of a unique situation not just because of the kind of incident that it is, but also because we have, obviously, a large rescue effort underway. But at some point we want to ensure that the criminal investigation is not impeded in some way.

We were talking this morning in the command post about the nature of this particular incident, and we recognized, I guess, finally a few days into this incident that while I think everybody is somewhat used to plane crashes and have heard of building collapses, and at the same time experienced or seen or witnessed at some point building fires, this is truly a unique situation in that we have all three of those events wrapped into one, and that is complicating a great deal the efforts that we have here.

I’ll give you one more piece in terms of recent events, and that is an update from the situation regarding the fire that occurred last night. The situation is — the fire occurred in that collapsed area. I have continually stated that from the very beginning the fire situation in this particular incident has been extremely difficult. It was not a typical fire when we arrived on Tuesday morning, and it does not — it has not ever gone into a typical fire situation.

We have heavy fire in an area where there was collapse, and there is an awful lot of material beneath that collapse that is still quite hot. I’m not surprised at all by the idea that there is still burning going on underneath there; it’s just that you’re not seeing a whole lot of it because it’s very deep-seated. As that burning continues, or as the rubble starts to shift, we get air in there and then we see a little bit of flame come out, as we did last night.

We continue our fire watch operations; continued them after the fire was extinguished last night, and continue them today as we go further with this operation, and we’ll continue that as we see necessary for the remainder of the incident.

Quigley: Ladies and gentlemen, if you would then direct your questions to one or the other of them, depending on the topic —

Q: I have a question for Mr. Irby. How much do you estimate it will cost to repair the damage?

Irby: I think it’s too soon to know that. We don’t have a — well, as the chief pointed out, all of the damage hasn’t occurred yet. We’re still having problems that we’re having to deal with, and certainly there’s a lot of testing that needs to go on before we could give a reliable estimate.

Q: But as a ballpark figure, could it be in the tens of millions of dollars? Or is it likely to be —

Irby: Oh, it’s much more than that.

Q: Much more than tens of millions?

Irby: Yes.

Q: May I ask a question to the gentleman — (inaudible) — there?

Quigley: As I say, I’ll do the pointing, I guess.

Ivan, go ahead.

Q: Okay. You may have addressed this, sir, earlier on, but, obviously, tons of water fighting the fires, have been poured into the building and have gone down to the lower levels. Any idea as to the amount of flooding and the amount of water damage that’s been caused and what has been damaged?

Irby: Well, our diagrams, if you could flip back through, show the areas of water damage. And the blue there represents that water damage. It’s — again, if you look at, say, from a dollar-and-cents point of view, probably the largest damage will be carpet damage, because to get to the carpet all of the furniture will have to be taken up and all of the documents dealt with. So the documents may be dry, but the carpet under it is going to need to be replaced or sanitized, and — again, we haven’t gotten into all of the areas yet for developing that kind of information because we’ve got other more critical things to deal with now.

Q: Sir, just a follow-up if I may, I’m talking more about such equipment as computers. And is there anything sensitive or classified down there — any danger to classified documents being destroyed beyond repair?

Irby: No. The area is under security and — General Jackson, do you — I think you’re more competent to answer that.

Jackson: As we work through the building, and as the fire department clears certain sections and the FBI clears certain sections, we are working with them to get our teams in to be able to assess and pick up and get back into contained, or containers, the security items that we might need. Computers are being addressed. We have in fact retrieved some. We’re working with the fire department to get some additional ones. And of course documents fit in the same category. But the site is secure.

Quigley: Barbara?

Q: I think I’d like to ask the chief who was addressing this. You talked a little bit about search and rescue and recovery. And if you could talk about that a bit more in terms of what — how many people you have on site today for both fire watch, search and recovery.

And you spoke about searching still for live victims. And in reality, do you have any sense that that still might be a possibility? What’s the status of all of this?

Schwartz: Well, I’ll take your last question first, the part about do we have a realistic expectation that there are live victims in there. We want to remain optimistic. The area that we have had the most difficulty gaining thorough access to is the area of the collapse. And while that was the area in which there was the heaviest fire involvement, in terms of what we’ve experienced before in collapse situations, it provides the greatest opportunity for survivable victims.

So there are a lot of factors here at play. But what I would say is that the thousands of people involved in this whole thing, in this entire incident, do remain optimistic. The rescue crews continue to go about their job hoping that they will find somebody.

Your question about the number of people out there. The USAR teams that are working, there are two USAR teams — that is, Urban Search and Rescue teams — that are working under the direction of FEMA. Those two teams are 70 persons each, and there are two teams deployed for each work period. The work periods are 12 hours long. They begin at 7:00 in the morning and go to 7:00 at night. So it is a 24-hour-a-day operation.

The additional fire and rescue staff that’s out there are approximately another 50 individuals that are engaged in support activities as well as the fire watch activities that I discussed before.

Q: And can you also update us on how many sets of remains you have brought out now?

Schwartz: I’m not going to get into numbers right now. I’m sure that at some point the FBI will be willing to talk about the numbers.

Quigley: Dale.

Q: Again for the chief. Some of the members of Congress who visited yesterday were told that the need to keep the rest of the building operating, with particularly electricity, has created some problems in the effort that you’re making because there’s a lot of electrical sparking, arcing going on in areas that are hot and with still perhaps fuel around. Could you address how much of a problem, again, the need to keep this building operating has created for your effort?

Schwartz: Well, let me say this. We’ve worked very cooperatively with Defense Department officials, with the Pentagon officials to try and get as much of this building operable as possible. We’ve worked — you know, we have worked, I would say, since day two to very carefully assess what the damages were and, probably more importantly, what the effect of opening certain portions of the building was going to have on our operation. And so after we’ve — we have opened pieces incrementally.

I mean, we did a large portion, I guess, on day two — my days are sort of running together here, but — and then we’ve opened up a few more pieces incrementally.

To be honest with you, in terms of the issue of electricity, nothing significant along those lines has been reported to me, as the incident commander. And what I would have to say is that even if there was some difficulty, the teams that are working inside are constantly monitoring the risks and hazards associated with the work, and if we had any kind of significant problem, you know, we would withdraw quickly.

Q: Chief, at some point are you going to have to get in with heavy equipment into that collapsed area, to start taking things away? And there’s almost always a complication of if there are any live victims, you know, that becomes a negative factor. What’s the decision factor when you start using heavy equipment to take that degree of —

Schwartz: Well, we do realize that at some point we’re going to have to do something. In the latest briefing, we were discussing those plans. And we hope to be in a position to start working on the roof deck that had collapsed — in other words, just the one piece that’s on top of that whole collapsed area. We hope to begin working on that tomorrow morning — no promises, but that’s where — that’s our benchmark. That’s what we’re shooting for. That’s our goal.

And we are working right now on using a piece of what I would certainly refer to as a relatively sophisticated piece of equipment — there’s not a lot of them around; this one’s coming from Baltimore — that will assist us in being able to remove that roof deck in a very precise manner. So I would say that with the technology that the equipment afforded, as well as constant assessment that will be made by the crews out there, the very experienced USAR rescue teams, I think, will make the most prudent judgments possible to try and open that area up.

Our plan is, if we get that roof deck off, we believe that we’ll open that area up enough to see more and know where to go next.

Quigley: Tom?

Q: Mr. Irby, I realize you’re not a forensic expert, but I’m wondering if your analysis of the impact area of the building can help

be at all helpful in terms of figuring out more about the circumstances of the collision itself, you know, maybe the speed of the aircraft as it hit, the angle, whether — you know, how it hit and so forth.

Irby: Well, I think that would be a question for others. My area is more towards the normal operation of the building.

Quigley: Pauline?

Q: Can you say what was the condition of the black boxes when you found them?

Schwartz: I’m not in a position to say. Again, I’d refer that question to the FBI. I think they’re more — they’re better off answering that question, because it is such a significant piece of evidence.

Q: Mr. Irby, when the clean-up effort is completed, about how much of the building will be usable for office workers?

Irby: Well, I think we’ll need some more engineering analysis before we can make that — turn the answer into a number. Right now we’re at about two-thirds, and we expect to be expanding that. But the engineers are going to have to work with us on that and —

Q: They’re studying the structural safety of the parts that appear to be intact?

Irby: Pardon?

Q: They’re studying the structure, the parts that appear to be intact?

Irby: That’s correct. That will take some time to look at the potential settling and those kinds of things. And it’s, again, an area where we’re all cooperating together and we’re all working at the priorities of what has to come first. And reoccupying is going to be the last thing in line, so there are a lot of other higher priorities.

Quigley: Tony?

Q: Mr. Irby, can you quantify what two-thirds of the building means for the lay audience? I mean, this building is X number of acres — I forget what X is — but just bond it a little bit; 20 acres were taken out, but 200 acres of the Pentagon are operating, functional.

Irby: That would be a little hard to do up here.

Q: Miles of corridor, maybe? (Laughter.)

Irby: Yeah.

Q: There’s 17 miles of corridor. Should we assume that 10, 12 miles are functional?

(Cross talk; laughter.)

Q: Do you want to think about it and get back to us?

Irby: Yeah. We’re — you could say about 3 million square feet are operational now.

Q: Out of how many square feet? That’s the — you know, the baseline.

Irby: Yeah — the math.

Q: Can I ask, what offices occupied the damaged area? Do you have a feel for that now, for what —

Irby: Most of the damaged area was newly occupied space from the Pentagon renovation. And I think if you look at the casualties it will give you an idea there the spaces that were hit the hardest; the services that had the most casualties were occupying those areas. But I have not had an opportunity to look at that because I’ve been focusing on what’s left, the positive side of it rather than the negative side of it. And we split up the jobs, and this is my role. Others can handle that better.

Quigley: Mark?

Q: This is for the chief. The initial estimate of the Arlington Fire Department of the number of victims was somewhere around 800, I believe.

That since went down significantly as the list begins coming out. Are you fairly confident — first of all, can you talk a little bit about why — what led you to that initial estimate of 800? And are you now confident that it is much lower?

Schwartz: I think we are confident that it’s much lower, but obviously I don’t have any specifics at this point. I think the only thing that led to that was very early on in this incident — you know, one of the important things for us is to get sort of a handle on the magnitude of what we’re dealing with; where we have to apply resources — you know, what kind of resources are going to be needed to deal effectively with the incident. So, I believe we probably got some information early on that that would be a reasonable number of people that would have been occupying that space were it fully occupied, so it was the number that we were going with.

Q: I’m sorry to belabor, but you said a moment ago that while you can’t give a precise estimate on how much it’s going to cost to repair, it’s certainly going to be more than in the tens of millions of dollars. Can you, in a ballpark way, characterize where you think it’s going to end up — a billion, several hundred million?

Irby: Well, I think it’ll be less than a billion, but certainly more than a hundred million by quite a bit.

Q: Mr. Irby, could you tell us what it cost to renovate that wedge of the Pentagon and what the budgeted amounts are for each of the other wedges?

Irby: Again, I’m operation and maintenance. Lee Evey would be a better one to answer that for you. He’s the director of the — or the program manager of the Pentagon reservation.

Quigley: Renovation.


Q: For Mr. Irby, first, and then Chief. Do you have a sense of how long it will take to recover the building to what it once was? Is this a one-year effort, a multi-year effort, a decade-long effort?

Irby: I think it’ll be a multi-year effort. I’ve been working with Lee Evey on that, and they’re developing those plans now. It’ll take more than a year, but certainly not a decade. Again, a lot of that depends upon congressional funding. We certainly don’t have the funds to deal with this, and it would take legislation to make that available to us. But I would think — a couple of years are some of the numbers that I’ve seen thrown around.

Q: Can I ask the chief a question please? I don’t mean to be churlish, but in New York they are getting accurate body counts. Can you tell us the reason why we’re not getting them? Because what’s ending up happening is that at various times we’re able to go out and talk to different people and we’re getting different estimates, and I think that’s concerning to folks. So we would like an official number.

Schwartz: And I can certainly appreciate the desire to know.

What I have to tell you, though, is that as we operate the incident command system with this incident, we do it jointly with other agencies, including the FBI. And their desire at this point is not to release that information, and I’m going to maintain that relationship and that confidence with them.

Quigley: David?

Q: In terms of the collapsed area, in green up there, can you give us any rough measurements as to how big that is? How big is the hole, in other words?

Irby: I don’t have that.

Q: I had counted the windows out there, and it was seven windows wide. Do you know how long a span that is?

Irby: Seventy-five to a hundred feet. But, you know, what’s collapsed now is not the final situation. There are areas that are so weakened that they’ll have to be torn down. So that will really grow.

Q: Just along that line, can you estimate how much more those — the collapsed area that’s in green here, when you take out everything you have to take out and rebuild this building, is that going to be doubled in terms of what’s going to have to be replaced, or less?

Irby: Again, that’s a question for the engineers to decide. And they couldn’t tell you now because they need to conduct some studies to get that information.

Quigley: Tom?

Q: Mr. Irby, in terms of what you said before, that you’ve developed such respect for this building by looking at the way that it reacted to this trauma, can you elaborate on that a little bit? I mean, are there any particular construction features that, you know, proved to be really ingenious?

Irby: Well, reinforced concrete is one thing that helped with our structural stability. We also had some reinforcing added during the renovation that helped with the stability. If you notice, the windows in the renovated areas did not pop out the way windows in other areas did. The mechanical and electrical systems have a redundancy built into them as far as how they are fed, which allows us the flexibility to operate in two directions, serve them in two directions in most cases. So that’s just allowed us to — when we can’t go one way, we go another.

Quigley: Vince?

Q: Was this — I mean, I know the building was built during wartime. Was the potential for aerial bombardment thought of during the construction? And in the renovation portion, was thought of — that had been put together after Timothy McVeigh’s bombing, had the possibility of terrorism been taken into account in that reinforcement you spoke of?

Irby: I think the reinforcing was put in because of the potential for terrorist attack. It was to shore up an area of concern where we had a weakness that we corrected. But as far as envisioning a problem like this, I think I would leave it to others to speculate on whether or not the designers imagined this.

But as operators, we like to have the flexibility to feed from multiple directions so that equipment can be taken out of service for repair or replacement, or what have you. And that works to help you in a situation like this as well, where things have been damaged. So working in partnership with the Pentagon Renovation Office, we advocated the same kind of redundancy in the renovated building that we had in the original building.

Quigley: Barbara?

Q: Chief, can you tell us anything about how hard it was to get to the black boxes? I mean, it was our understanding that was in a pretty destroyed part of the building.

Schwartz: It certainly was in a fairly destroyed area of the building, which to a large degree accounts for the couple of days it took, I guess, to retrieve them, because the very methodical way that the USAR teams work through the building, you know, from the side that you see on all the pictures with the slide tilting down, that’s the side we’re working from, working towards the back. You know, all of their efforts are extremely methodical, keeping safety in mind and, as I keep emphasizing, ensuring the structural stability. So I think the whole nature of moving through all of the debris and all of that collapsed area just is what caused us to take so long. But, you know, I think that just how they’ve gone about their job is what led to how long it took.

Q: Have they been able to tell you, when they got to that part, whether or not there were any, you know, recognizable elements that an aircraft itself had crashed into the building, or is it all pretty much vaporized? Are there are any — is there a tail, is there a wing, is there anything there?

Schwartz: I certainly would not use the term "vaporized," but there’s not a lot of the aircraft that is recognizable at all.

Quigley: Dale?

Q: Just to get back to Mr. Irby for a minute. I hate to phrase it this way, but based on what you said a minute ago, is it fair to say that the building caught something of a break by the fact that it was hit in one of the renovated areas as opposed to one of the other wings that has not yet been worked on?

Irby: Yes, I think it’s safe to say that we did survive it better because of the features that were added as part of the renovation.

If I can express the answer to a question that I didn’t give you an answer to on the square footage that’s operable, if we looked at the gross square footage of the building, it’s around 6 million square feet. So the two-thirds would apply to 4 million square feet, which includes the offices and the corridors and those kinds of areas.

Q: Is that about as good as it’s going to get, two-thirds functional? Or do you see may incremental —

Irby: No, no, no. We will expand that as time goes on and as the various groups, working together, complete their function and turn the building over to us and we can assure that it is safe and operable. It will take us a little longer because systems have been damaged and we don’t know the extent of that damage, so we can’t tell exactly how long it will take to repair.

Quigley: Thank you, gentlemen, very much.

Pentagon, 9-11: The Seven-Minute Fire

Note: At the time this article was published, all external links were alive and functioning. But the Internet is a dynamic forum. Webmasters sometimes change or remove pages, and entire web sites sometimes disappear. Whenever practicable, we have cached copies of the originals.

Pentagon, 9-11:  
The Seven Minute Fire

Part V of "Pentagon RESCUE?  Open, Bloody, Questions . . . "
Carol A. Valentine
President, Public Action, Inc.
Copyright, August, 2002
May be reproduced for non-commercial purposes

August 18,  2002 — The rewriting of history was fictionalized by George Orwell in "1984," but if you want to see the real thing in action in contemporary America, look at what was done after Public Action published "Pentagon RESCUE? Open, Bloody, Questions . . ." on June 23.

You can read the original article here:

The article shows that the Pentagon chain of command conducted a sham "rescue" at the Pentagon on 9-11.  Why would they do that?  Well, there is good reason to suspect the fire and structural collapse at the Pentagon were, in part, covers for the murder (purge) of some military intelligence personnel.  The disingenuous rescue attempt was slicked over the top to disguise the truth and to provide a plausible explanation of the victims’ deaths.

"Look! Look! We’re trying, but the fire just won’t go out!"
"Look!  Look! We’re trying, but the building is too unstable!"
"There cannot be any survivors; it just would be beyond comprehension." (This last is a direct quote from Donald Rumsfeld, September, 11, 2001.
cached at: )

"Pentagon RESCUE? Open, Bloody, Questions . . . " relied primarily upon official photos, news articles, and press conference transcripts freely available on DoD websites.  Among other things, the article documented that:

  • Military aviation firefighters from nearby bases should have been called to extinguish the fire from the (alleged) crash of Flight 77, but were not;
  • Civilian firefighters were used instead;
  • Fire fighters use foam, not water, to extinguish aviation fuel fires;
  • Pentagon fire fighters used water, not foam, on the fire;
  • The fire burned for at least 60 hours — it was still burning late Thursday, September 13.

(See "Flight Data, Cockpit Voice Recorders Found in Pentagon Wreckage,"  FoxNews, September 14, 2001. )
On June 27, I posted "Pentagon RESCUE? Open, Bloody, Questions . . . " to four Internet Usenet groups: soc.veterans, rec.aviation.military, alt.politics.bush, alt.disasters.aviation. 

The agents of the Ministry of Truth who frequent those forums answered with these non sequitur arguments:

  • They said the author [this writer, Carol Valentine] knew nothing about extinguishing aviation fuel fires.  They simply ignored the scientific, civil, and military experts cited in the article, who said foam, not water, must used to extinguish aviation fuel fires. 
  • They said that the jet fuel from the Boeing 757 burned off in a few minutes, that the fire was thereafter fueled by paper and wood, and that water SHOULD have been used, and was used, on the Pentagon fire. 

One agent of the Ministry of Truth even said he had personally fought a refinery fire with water!


Another poster quickly beat down those arguments.  But almost a week after my original posting, the agents hoisted a third argument:

  • They said foam SHOULD have been used on the Pentagon fire, and foam WAS used.

This URL was given in support of that statement:

cached at:

It is entitled "ARFF [Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting] Crews Respond to the Front Line at Pentagon" written by Stephen Murphy, the executive editor of the National Fire Protection Association Journal ("NFPA Journal").  The dateline states the article was published on November 1, 2001. Here is the opening paragraph:

"When a hijacked Boeing 757, skimming the street lights, smashed into the Pentagon on September 11, firefighters at nearby Reagan National Airport were the right responders in the right place with the right equipment."

Eerie.  The prescient opening paragraph addressed the very points I was to raise seven months later in "Pentagon RESCUE?  Open, Bloody Questions . . ."  

Then, the next two paragraphs challenged everything the media led us to believe about the long-lasting fire at the Pentagon:

"Being among the first responding fire units, National’s aircraft rescue firefighters (ARFF) crews were able to set up their apparatus directly in front of the gaping hole in the Pentagon. That was where their training in fighting aircraft fires and the capability of their foam units to extinguish jet fuel fires were put to the best use.

"The ARFF foam units knocked down the bulk of the fire in the first seven minutes after their arrival . . ."

If that was so, what did we all watch on TV? 

Serendipitous Arrival of Reagan National ARFF Team

According to the article, shortly before Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, a Reagan National aircraft rescue fire fighting team was already on the road, attending a car accident on the upper level of Airport Terminal B.  (Aircraft rescue fire fighters don’t usually respond to car accidents, of course and there is no mention that the cars involved were on fire.)  The ARFF team had their backs to the Pentagon.  At 9:38 a.m. they heard a dull roar, turned around, and saw the smoke.  The article does not mention how the Reagan National team knew the Pentagon fire was the result of a plane crash; however, they left the airport immediately for the Pentagon, which was three miles away.  They arrived in two or three minutes and put the bulk of the fire out in seven minutes.

Do the math.  The Reagan National team must have arrived at the Pentagon at approximately 9:40 or 9:41 a.m.  If they extinguished the bulk of the fire in seven minutes, the "bulk of the fire" was extinguished at approximately 9:47 a.m. or 9:48 a.m.

What serendipity!  An aircraft rescue fire fighting team, already on the road attending a car accident they normally wouldn’t attend, hears a noise, sees smoke, concludes the fire was caused by an aircraft, and gets to the Pentagon in three minutes.  Using foam, they put out the fire in seven minutes! 

This was a fantastic news story.  The Reagan National ARFF team were surely national heroes;  surely we would expect their story to command immediate national media attention. 

No Contemporaneous Coverage

But, curiously, the story of their on-the-spot heroism and competence got no media attention whatsoever.  The local Washington, D.C. TV stations, the national TV networks, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, the National Inquirer, etc., all missed the story. 

The DoD photographers on the scene didn’t record the Reagan National story on DoD websites; in fact, the photographs (and captions) on official DoD websites showed water being sprayed on the fire.  DoD journalists who wrote stories about the Pentagon fire and rescue didn’t record the Reagan National ARFF story either.  Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton, Army Secretary White, the Arlington four County Fire Chief (who allegedly directed the fire fighting effort) — none of them mentioned the amazing Reagan National story to news-hungry reporters during their press conferences.

With the nation grief-stricken and reeling over the loss of hundreds of New York firemen, the story of Reagan National ARFF team’s heroism and effectiveness would have rallied our spirits.  Their story should have gotten top coverage.

NFPA Coverage Was "Exclusive," Late, and Muted

The banner over "ARFF Crews Respond to the Front Line at Pentagon" reads:

NFPA Journal Online Exclusive
November 1, 2001

Notice the story was "exclusive" to the NFPA Journal.  Why would the Reagan National ARFF team would give an exclusive to an obscure trade journal and deny this fantastic story to the rest of the world?  And why did the NFPA Journal wait so long (November 1 — seven weeks after the event) to tell their readers this wonderful story?

I decided to research the NFPA website, to see if the archives could throw some light on the matter.  The truth is this: The NFPA Journal’s archives show that the story did NOT run in November/December, 2001 issue.
cached at:

These were the articles included in the November/December, 2001 edition:

Collapse Aftermath Engineering experts to study the World Trade Center events in a search for answers to why the buildings collapsed.
Evacuation NFPA will revisit previous WTC study with an evacuation behavior follow-up.
Search and Rescue – NFPA standards guide the way officials search for WTC survivors and victims.
Terrorism: Impetus for Change – NFPA examines its role of providing fire service with standards that aid the response to terrorism.
First Responders – The real thing shows the need to refine first-responder preparedness and protective equipment for terrorism attacks.
Looking Back…at Heroes – Among the dead in the World Trade Center collapse were eight members of our NFPA family.
A Day with the Heroic Firefighters of FDNY – Fellow firefighter understands why they placed themselves in harm’s way at the World Trade Center inferno.
U.S. Firefighter Injuries of 2000 – Last year, 84,550 firefighters were injured, the lowest number since 1977.
Large-Loss Fires of 2000 – The costliest fire of 2000 resulted in a direct property loss of $1 billion.

How likely is it that the extraordinary "ARFF Crews Respond to the Front Line at Pentagon"  would be excluded from the November/December issue?  As you can see, the NFPA Journal ran several stories about the New York attack and the heroic New York firemen, who were there primarily to perform rescues.  Contrast that with the Pentagon attack, and the heroic Reagan National firemen, who were there to fight the fire, and fought it with great success.  Surely the Pentagon story was more apropos to the NFPA Journal than the New York stories.  
As you can see from the links given above, the NFPA Journal archives show the story about the Reagan National ARFF team and the Pentagon fire was not run in the January/February, March/April, or May/June, 2002, issues either.

On August 4, 2002, I ran a google advanced search, and looked for all the pages in the Internet linked to the November 1, 2001 article.  I cached the results of the search:

As you can see, google found no links to the article, not even from other NFPA pages internal to the NFPA website.  Had such a fascinating story really been published on November 1, 2001, it is hard to imagine that fire and rescue magazines/organizations all over the world would not link to it.  Nor it is credible that the NFPA and its Journal would treat the article like dead wood, with no other NFPA pages prominently pointing to it.   (See also Footnote 1 .)

Curiously, even after it was published, the NFPA Journal article was not picked up by any other major newspapers and magazine.  Promoting your magazine’s outstanding stories to other news organs is a standard part of any magazine editor’s job — and promoting this article should have been a piece of cake.  Can you see the cover story in LIFE magazine?  Pictures of the ARFF team on the front cover, with this headline:

The Untold 9-11 Story:

Reagan National Airport Fire Fighters
Are Unsung Heroes of Pentagon Terror Attack!

But what the Reagan National ARFF team did at the Pentagon has been told to a very, very, limited audience.  Why?  Would we be justified concluding that the NFPA article was an attempt to rewrite history after an embarrassing expose?  

Of all the liars who have thought to play
Their tricks on trusting fellows and betray,
Which has not, when caught in expose
Wished to change his words of yesterday?
                                                 — Anon.

Before we settle on a conclusion, let us take the NFPA Journal story on face value and examine it for consistency with other known facts.

Seven Minute Fire Burns For Days

Look at this quote again:

"The ARFF foam units knocked down the bulk of the fire in the first seven minutes after their arrival . . . "

According CNN, the section of the roof collapsed at 10:10 a.m.  Recall that the structural damage to the building — caused by the alleged plane crash — had already occurred at 9:38 a.m.   If the bulk of the fire was out by 9:47 a.m., what caused the roof to collapse 23 minutes after the bulk of the fire was out?
cached at:

Notice that flames are still shooting out after the collapse of the roof at 10:10 a.m., despite the fact that the "bulk" of the fire had already been put out.”Lbox_cap=356321&dir=Photo&ttl=010911 M%204122I-031&vn=&ref=defenselink
cached at:

Despite the anomalies, the statement that the Reagan National ARFF people put the fire out in seven minutes using foam shows how long professionals would expect such a job would take.  So why all the did the fire burn for days, and require the attendance of hundreds of firemen?  Or was the several-day-long fire media spectacular merely an exaggerated and hyped-up response to a standard mop-up operation? 

For the American Forces Information Service September 12 coverage, see "Pentagon Open as Rescue Work Continues."
cached at:

Problems With Truck 345

The NFPA Journal article states that:

". . . Foam Unit 331 hit the fire with foam from its roof and bumper turrets . . . ,"

then Foam Unit 331 ran low on foam. The article states:

"Prior to Foam Unit 331 running low on foam, National’s Foam Unit 345 was called to respond."

But the Military District of Washington displays a photo of truck 345.  It is clearly spraying water, not foam, into the fire.   The caption under that photo reads:

"Fire truck 345 from Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire Department throws a stream of water into the collapsed point of impact as smoke billows from the Pentagon shortly after an airplane slammed into the west side of the building."
cached at:

The NFPA statement contradicts the DoD statement and the DoD photograph.  Will the real Unit  345 please stand up?

Geoff Metcalf Shows Foam Pics

The Ministry of Truth people also cited this website to support their contention that foam had been used at the Pentagon on 9-11.
cached at:

That is the web page of World Net Daily columnist and talk-show host Geoff Metcalf.  Go there to see photos that Geoff says show foam being used on the Pentagon fire.  How do we know what we see is really foam?  Because Geoff says so.  Read the text that accompanies the photos.

Geoff does not cite the source of the photographs or accompanying text, nor does he cite the name of the photographer, the news agency, publication, or source web page.  How much trust would you put in documentation like this?  But let’s examine the caption adjacent to Picture No. 4:

"Picture No. 4 is a closer view of the hinge area of corridor 4 mentioned previously.  You can clearly see the fire suppression foam’s loosing battle against the aviation fuel."

In the foam vs. fire battle, the NFPA Journal says the foam won in seven minutes.  On the other hand we have Geoff, who says the foam lost.  So there is a problem with consistency.  It’s hard enough to believe the Ministry of Truth says, but it’s even harder to figure out what they are actually saying. 

Moreover, if the copious amounts of foam shown (on the lawn) in Geoff’s photos failed to put the fire out (in the building), we must begin to suspect the fire was not an aviation fuel fire after all.  Surely that’s logical?  And why, oh, why was there no contemporaneous national coverage of the Reagan National effort?  Why was the event only recorded by fringies like Geoff Metcalf, and a November 1, "online exclusive" of an obscure trade magazine?

Arlington County Fire Chief Talks About Foam

Now let’s turn our attention for a moment on a September 12, 2001 Pentagon news briefing.
cached at:

A reporter asks Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher, who was, we were told, the fire- chief-in-charge at the Pentagon on 9-11:

Question, but with a very brief prelude.  Yesterday, earlier, of course, most of the smoke and the fire seemed to be fuel from the plane, and then late yesterday afternoon, that had dissipated or been put out, and there was light smoke, and actually very little late in the afternoon.  Now there’s a lot more.  So, there are two questions, or a two-part question: One, what is burning?  And two, what’s caused the fire, apparently, to start up again?

We were never able to fully extinguish the fire in the roof structure.  We were able to get it mostly knocked down, and again because we’re having extreme difficulty making access under the slate roof, it’s to be expected to take awhile to get there.  We have had the fuel from the jet catch fire again, and we’re now in there with some additional hand-lines and some foam-lines, with aircraft fire-fighters inside of the insides of the Pentagon trying to suppress it, this time with fire-fighting foam.

You said aircraft firefighters?

Yes, from the airport.

From the airport?

From Reagan National Airport.

From the above exchange, notice:

1.  Fire Chief Plaugher does not correct the reporter’s statement that "Yesterday, earlier, of course, most of the smoke and the fire seemed to be fuel from the plane, and then late yesterday afternoon, that had dissipated or been put out." 

Plaugher did not say: "A team from Reagan National came out here with foam and put the bulk of the fire out by 9:47 a.m.  What you see going on now is just mop-up."  Nor did he say, "Sorry, you have fallen prey to an ordinary layman’s ignorance of fires.  It is not possible to judge a fire by the volume of smoke.  That fire has been winning the battle ever since yesterday morning."

No, he let the report’s statement stand, indicating he found nothing wrong with the facts as presented: The fire began with the 9-11 incident, and abated late in the afternoon on September 11, only to flare up again.

2.  Plaugher said that "this time" (September 12) fire-fighting foam was being used.  Those  words imply September 12 was the first time foam was used on the fire.

Later, this question:

Can you describe how many firemen have been involved in this, how many units, or any way that you can, to give us a quantitative estimate?

Actually, believe it or not, we do not know.  We had just this tremendous outpouring of help from the entire community, and we had firefighters and fire units from places that I didn’t even know existed, here to help with the situation . . . "

This statement is not credible.  Given that Plaugher was (allegedly) in control, how could he not know who was on site helping him?

What a natural opportunity for Plaugher to mention the lightning-fast response of the Reagan National foam team, and their wonderful performance on September 11: Arriving in two or three minutes after the event and knocking down the "bulk" of the fire in seven minutes.  We might have expected Plaugher to laud them.  But Plaugher did not breathe a word about their visit.  If Reagan National had been at the scene on September 11, why was their visit kept so quiet?

"Roof Fire" Was A Diversion

Well now, let’s see.  They should have used foam, but they didn’t.  Or they did use foam, but they hoped no one would notice.

Several times throughout the press conference, Plaugher made mention of the "stubborn" roof or attic fire.  The impression is given throughout this press conference and other contemporaneous media coverage that the persistent fire, together with unstable sections of the damaged building, was preventing the rescue of victims.

The Washington, D.C. area is awash with construction companies and cranes.  As soon as the professional fire and rescue people saw any danger of the roof collapsing, cranes should have been ordered.  Certainly, at 10:10 a.m., when the roof did collapse, cranes should have been ordered to reach those almost certainly buried by the debris.  

Cranes were on the scene the next day, September 12.  This NPR photo shows two cranes, right next to the collapsed roof.  There is no sign of fire, and no sign that the cranes were being used to lift the debris to rescue the victims trapped beneath.
cached at:

Look at this photo, taken on September 13, again showing cranes right next to the collapsed roof.  Again, there is no sign of fire, and no sign that the cranes were being used to lift the debris to rescue the victims trapped beneath.  Between the two photos, taken 24 hours apart, note that there was no progress in removing the debris to rescue the victims.”Lbox_cap=349358&dir=Photo&ttl=010911 M%204122I-031&vn=&ref=defenselink
cached at:

FBI Handcuffed Reporters Who Got Close To Fire

The FBI was edgy about anyone getting close enough to the fire to have a good look at it; so edgy that they handcuffed and dragged away reporters who got too close.  Look at this exchange between a reporter and Pentagon flak ("Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs") Victoria Clarke:

Around that side of the building where the fire is and where the fire fighting’s going on, I would appreciate it if you could intercede on behalf of the FBI to make sure reporters are allowed into a certain area there and allowed access in there so — and not being threatened or, in fact, handcuffed and dragged away, that reporters do have an area close to the action where they won’t necessarily interfere with things.  But I — would you —

Absolutely.  You know, as I tried to say at the beginning of this, we understand and appreciate what you’re trying to do.  Understand and appreciate just how difficult this all is.
You know, Pam, as you said, this has never happened before.  People are dealing with it remarkably, and we are going to make every effort we can to provide that kind of support, that kind of news and information to you, as we can.  So we will work on that.

The only reason I say that is the FBI was just — granted they have a job to do, but they were a bit overzealous yesterday I think, and — and just —

"Let me push back on you a little bit.  The FBI is doing a phenomenal job.  And they have an extraordinary task on their hands, both here and elsewhere.  And we, I think, surprised them a little bit, saying hey, here we come, and we didn’t give them much advance notice.  But going forward — and, you know, as you get into day two of this, we can start to put a lot more of those processes in place.  So, heard and understood."

Reagan National ARFF Team May Have Gatecrashed

What are we to conclude?  The professional aviation firefighters from Reagan National have committed themselves: It is realistic to expect that their team, using foam, could extinguish the "bulk" of a fire resulting from a Boeing 757 crashing into a building such as the Pentagon in seven minutes.

How many office buildings burn for 60 hours, despite the presence of hundreds of firefighters?  Remember, the Pentagon is a masonry building . . .

Read the original article at:

It is quite evident that the FBI stage managed the "persistent fire," that it handcuffed and roughed up reporters who came too close, that the persistent fire was used as a pretext for stalling the "rescue" of the victims.  A delayed rescue lent the explanation of their deaths more credibility.    

Pentagon Plane Crash Disaster Predicted:
County Fire Department To Extinguish Fire

It is of course possible that the story of the serendipitous arrival of the Reagan National ARFF team is quite true.  If you visit the website of the Military District of Washington, you will learn that in October, 2000, there was a practice exercise for Pentagon emergencies; scenarios in the practice session included a terrorist attack and plane crash.  See the November 3, 2002 article "Contingency planning Pentagon MASCAL [mass casualty] exercise simulates scenarios in preparing for emergencies,"

cached at:  

The article opens with these words:

"Washington, D.C., Nov. 3, 2000 ? The fire and smoke from the downed passenger aircraft billows from the Pentagon courtyard. Defense Protective Services Police seal the crash sight (SIC!). Army medics, nurses and doctors scramble to organize aid. An Arlington Fire Department chief dispatches his equipment to the affected areas. "

Note that the plane crash takes place inside the Pentagon courtyard, and that the Arlington County Fire Department is called in to extinguish the fire.
cached at:

According to the article, one of the participants thought the exercise was an excellent preparation for any potential disasters. 

"’This is important so that we’re better prepared . . . This is to work out the bugs. Hopefully it will never happen, but this way we’re prepared . . . ‘"

The article goes on to say:

"A major player in the exercise was the Arlington Fire Department.

"’Our role is fire and rescue,’ Battalion Chief R.W. Cornwell said. ‘We get to see how each other operates and the roles and responsibilities of each. You have to plan for this. Look at all the air traffic around here.’"

This passage is also of interest:

"Burrell [Jake Burrell of the Pentagon Emergency Management Team] has coordinated these exercises for four years and he remarked that his team gets better each year. "

We have already noticed that, in these practice sessions, the Arlington County Fire Department was designated to respond to a fire caused by a plane crash.  There was no mention of requesting foam trucks and ARFF teams from the metropolitan airports.  This surely was a fundamentally flawed emergency response training exercise.  Furthermore, it suggests that on September 11, the Arlington County Fire Department was THE designated fire department to handle such a disaster, no matter how unsuited to the task they were. 

It may have been that the arrival of the ARFF team from Reagan National was totally unexpected.  Knocking the "bulk" of the fire down in seven minutes was not part of the 9-11 gameplan.  Certainly the long-lasting fire was used for maximum opinion-molding effect.  Thus when the Reagan National team took seven minutes to quench the "bulk" of the fire, their efforts could not be lauded, and their work was kept far from the public eye.

But, after the publication of "Pentagon RESCUE?  Open, Bloody, Questions . . . " and its posting on Usenet forums, it suddenly became very important to publicize the feat of the Reagan National team, at least to a certain audience — the fire fighting audience.  The rest of America and the world will continue to be denied the story, of course.  No need to disturb still waters.  That’s why the amazing NFPA Journal story has not been widely promoted since it was first "released" on November 1, 2001. 

In any event, the Ministry of Truth sent its agents out on a Mission Impossible.  By trying to cover up the anomalies of the Pentagon rescue effort with the questionable NFPA "November 1 online exclusive," they have drawn even more attention to the Open, Bloody, Questions . . . of the Pentagon RESCUE.

Footnote 1.  On August 12, I went to the top of the archives page and clicked on the Author Index link.

I searched for the name of author of the NFPA Journal article.  "Stephen Murphy" was not listed as an author of any NFPA Journal article.  I cached the results of my search:

Again, On August 12, I went to the top of the archives page and clicked on the Subject link.

I searched for "Aircraft crashes," "Aircraft Fires,""Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting” and "Pentagon."  I found no mention of the November 1, 2001 article: "ARFF Crews Respond to the Front Line at Pentagon." I cached the results of my search at:

I found it strange that such an important subject as this would not be listed in either the author or subject index.

See also:
Did NORAD Send The "Suicide" Jets? Part 1:  Inside Job
by Carol A. Valentine, February 12, 2002
NORAD, charged with keeping American skies safe, didn’t show up on September 11, leaving the remote controlled jets to do their work.  Coincidentally, NORAD is one of the world’s experts on remote controlled aircraft.  NORAD had the means, and provided the opportunity, for making 9-11 happen. Discussion of radar anomalies. 
Did NORAD Send The "Suicide" Jets?  Part 2: The Dumb Blondes
by Carol A. Valentine, February 25, 2002
NORAD claims it sent defensive jets aloft on 9-11, but America’s top generals give contradictory accounts before the Senate.  They act like dumb blondes ? they can scarcely remember which plane hit which target. NORAD blames the FAA for the catastrophe, but the Senate doesn’t bother calling the FAA.  More radar anomalies. 
When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing
by William M. Arkin, in a guest appearance, February 1, 1999
But what about the cell phone calls to relatives from passengers on the doomed planes?  The Special Operations Command gives us the answer to that question ? but it’s not the same answer you heard on network news.
Flight Of The Bumble Planes
by Snake Plissken, as told to Carol A. Valentine, March 10, 2002
Snake Plissken tells us how remote controlled planes and radar trickery were used to pull off Operation 9-11. "Magic is the pretended performance of those things which cannot be done."  By George, I think he’s got it! 
Pentagon RESCUE?  Parts I through IV: Open, Bloody Questions . . .
by Carol A. Valentine, June 23, 2002
On 9-11, the most important mission was to extinguish the fire and rescue the victims.  So why did they spray water on an aviation fuel fire?  Instead of lifting the debris off the victims, why did they use a wrecking ball to collapse the ruins on top of them?  Your journey begins here . . .
Pentagon RESCUE?  Part V: The Seven Minute Fire
by Carol A. Valentine, August 18, 2002
After the publication of "Pentagon RESCUE?  Part IV: Open, Bloody Questions," the Ministry of Truth publicized a little-known article claiming foam was used on 9-11, and that the "bulk" of the fire was extinguished in seven minutes!  Then what did we all watch on TV, burning for days after? 
Taliban Home Video
    by Carol A. Valentine, October 15, 2001
If the US and its pals could fake such a video ” and they’re easy to fake, either with morphing or stand-in impersonators ? why wouldn’t they?  And they did. 
9/11 Terror: Muslims Suspend Laws of Physics!
by J. McMichael, October 23, 2001
Using jet fuel to melt steel is an amazing discovery, really.  It is also amazing that until now, no one had been able to get it to work, and that proves the terrorists were not stupid people. 
Press Uses Actors in War On Islam
by Carol a. Valentine, November 11, 2001
The Washington Times has faked two photos in its coverage of the War On Islam. One actor was used twice: first cast as an enemy of America, then nine days later, as a friend of America. 
Tooth Fairies and Suicide Bombers
by Carol A. Valentine, May 9, 2002
Why would vengeful Palestinians blow themselves up?  Why not just leave the package, walk away, and strike again next week?  Funny how the Israelis identify the bombers immediately, and distribute nice color portrait shots of the culprits immediately.  Funny, the IRA didn’t use suicide bombers.  Other funny things. 
Merry Christmas, and OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!
by Carol A. Valentine, May 15, 2002
What does the establishment of a world-wide Jewish theocracy have to do with the events of 9-11?  Everything.  If the Jews who rule America have their way, freedom of religion will soon be a thing of the past, and rabbinical courts will rule the world. 
911 Lawsuit Is A Booby Trap
by Carol A. Valentine, March 3, 2004
Mrs. Ellen Mariani, a 911 widow, has filed a RICO suit against George W. Bush et al. to discover the truth about 911.  But her lawyer, Philip J. Berg, has written a complaint that protects the real culprits.  It is littered with gross errors and malpractice.  Berg is a suicide bus driver taking Ellen Mariani’s quest for truth on a one-way trip to oblivion.

See other 9-11 articles by Carol A. Valentine at

All original works copyright 1996-2004 Carol A. Valentine
On loan to Public Action, Inc.
PO Box 15430 Wedgwood Station, Seattle, WA 98115

Carol A. Valentine President, Public Action, Inc.
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Eyewitness accounts that tend to support “alternative” theories

Eyewitness accounts that tend to support "alternative" theories


Lt. Col. Ted Anderson : "We ran to the end of our building, turned left and saw nothing but huge, billowing black smoke, and a brilliant, brilliant explosion of fire." (…) One of the Pentagon’s two fire trucks was parked only 50 feet from the crash site, and it was "totally engulfed in flames," Anderson says. Nearby, tanks full of propane and aviation fuel had begun igniting, and they soon began exploding, one by one. (…) Back in the building again, Anderson said he began "screaming and hollering for people as secondary and third-order explosions started going off. One of them was a fire department car exploding-I think my right eardrum exploded at the same time, and it unequivocally scared the heck out of me."
Anderson does not mention seeing any aircraft parts, fragments or confetti.  What he does see, are exploding tanks full of propane and aviation fuel.  Where would these have come from?  Could they be from the construction trailers, and if so, how were they thrown free?  The Boeing’s huge wing tanks would surely have been demolished in the "collision".   

Some strange little tanks are also visible in the photographs of the Pentagon lawn following the initial explosion (although some of these might have been air tanks used by the firefighters to assist in breathing near intense fires.) 

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Paul Begala, a Democratic consultant, said he witnessed an explosion near the Pentagon. "It was a huge fireball, a huge, orange fireball," he said in an interview on his mobile phone. He said another witness told him a helicopter exploded. (AP, Washington, 9/12/2001 11:45:33 PM
Begala is actually the left-wing "partisan hack" on CNN’s Crossfire show (as he was so memorably described by Jon Stewart.)  His description of the "fireball" is not especially noteworthy.  However, the second-hand information about the helicopter explosion is very interesting.  If in truth a Boeing hit the Pentagon, why would anyone describe that event as a helicopter explosion?  On the other hand, if the pyrotechnics did include the destruction of a helicopter, it might account for a few odd bits of aluminum that were photographed on the scene.


Richard Benedetto, a USA TODAY reporter, was on his way to work, driving on the Highway parrallel to the Pentagon : "It was an American Airlines airplane, I could see it very clearly.(…) I didn’t see the impact. (…) The sound itself sounded more like a thud rather than a bomb (…) rather than a loud bomb explosion it sounded muffled, heavy, very deep. I didn’t see any flaps, it looked like the plane was just in normal flying mode but heading straight down. It was straight. The only thing we saw on the ground outside there was a piece of a … the tail of a lamp post. (Video)
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Benedetto is a USA Today reporter.  His description of a "thud rather than a bomb" seems to clearly contradict many eyewitnesses.  However, his statement that the only thing on the ground on the highway was the downed lamp post, agrees perfectly with the photographic images of that same highway.  If the highway was covered in shrapnel and aircraft debris (as several witnesses claim) then why didn’t Benedetto see any of this?


John Bowman, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and a contractor, was in his office in Corridor Two near the main entrance to the south parking lot. "Everything was calm,’ Bowman said. "Most people knew it was a bomb. Everyone evacuated smartly. We have a good sprinkling of military people who have been shot at."
Interesting that "most people knew it was a bomb".  Perhaps they were correct.  


It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane, Mr Campo said. "I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head. I felt the impact. The whole ground shook and the whole area was full of fire. I could never imagine I would see anything like that here."
Campo is a gardener at Arlington National Cemetery.  This account tends to indicate that the 757 was seen towards the Arlington side of the Naval Annex.


LTC Victor Correa work at the Pentagon. (…) LTC Victor Correa’s office, what was the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, now the Army G-1, was in the path of the Boeing 757 that crashed into the Pentagon on a sunny fall morning. He was walking over to talk to a co-worker in the next cubicle when he was knocked down by the impact. "I saw a fireball come over my head," said Correa, an Active Guard Reservist now assigned to Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-5. "The fireball was coming like a wind-cloud of smoke trailing it. I also noticed to my right the windows going out and coming back in. The fireball came in and out quick – the speed of lightning. As it went back, it left a cloud of smoke and started dropping. At that time the fire system went up." Being knocked down turned out to be a life-saver. (…) "We thought it was some kind of explosion. That somehow someone got in here and planted bombs because we saw these holes."
Another military staffer whose first impression was that the explosion was caused by planted bombs, not by a jetliner crash.


Instead of following the streams of people away from the Pentagon, Steve DeChiaro ran toward the smoke. As he reached the west side of the building he saw a light post bent in half. "But when I looked at the site, my brain could not resolve the fact that it was a plane because it only seemed like a small hole in the building," he said. "No tail. No wings. No nothing." He followed the emergency crews that had just arrived. He saw people hanging out of windows and others crawling from the demolished area. "These people were covered in what I thought was powder – I don’t know anything about medicine or first aid, I’m an engineer – but it looked like powder," DeChiaro said. "Only later did I find out that it was their skin." Civilians and soldiers joined emergency crews who were rushing inside to pull out anyone they could. But shortly after 10 a.m. police yelled at people to get back. "Just as we’re about to open the door, they start screaming, ‘There’s another inbound plane’, " DeChiaro said. "At that moment, your thoughts are: ‘I go in the building, I get killed, then I’m no help to anybody.’ In hindsight, I think we should have gone back in that building." For nearly 15 minutes, they stood watching the Pentagon burn and periodically checked the sky for another plane. That plane never reached Washington but fell, instead, in rural Pennsylvania. Teams of two and three eventually were sent back in to find more victims. But as the day grew longer, the flow of the injured stopped.,1426,MCA_945_1300676,00.html
DeChiaro doesn’t mention seeing any 90-foot wide damaged area to the first floor of the building, such as was shown by later photographs. Perhaps a sequence of explosions following the initial "collision" may have created this broader pattern of damage.  This witness also does not report seeing any aircraft debris, although he was certainly in a position to see shrapnel and confetti, if there had been any.


"The only way you could tell that an aircraft was inside was that we saw pieces of the nose gear. The devastation was horrific. It was obvious that some of the victims we found had no time to react. The distance the firefighters had to travel down corridors to reach the fires was a problem. With only a good 25 minutes of air in their SCBA bottles, to save air they left off their face pieces as they walked and took in a lot of smoke," Captain Defina said. Captain Defina was the shift commander [of an aircraft rescue firefighters crew.]
The lack of any recognizable aircraft debris other than "pieces of the nose gear" is very surprising.  Perhaps the nose gear was planted, or perhaps it was from the helicopter.


Gilah Goldsmith, personnel attorney at the Pentagon. When she got to her office sometime around 9, she phoned her daughter and heard "an incredible whomp noise." It didn’t seem so unusual since her office is situated near a narrow area where trucks sometimes come by and hit the wall. Goldsmith was told to evacuate. "We saw a huge black cloud of smoke," she said, saying it smelled like cordite, or gun smoke.
Why would a jetliner crash smell like "cordite or gun smoke"?


Being a former transport type (60’s era) I cannot understand how that plane hit where it didWhy the plane did not hit incoming traffic coming down the river from the north to Reagan Nat’l. is beyond me . Strangely, no one at the Reagan Tower noticed the aircraft. Andrews AFB radar should have also picked up the aircraft I would think. Nevertheless, the aircarft went southwest near Springfield and then veered left over Arlington and then put the nose down coming over Ft Myer picking off trees and light poles near the helicopter pad next to building. It was as if he leveled out at the last minute and put it square into the building. The wings came off as if it went through an arch way leaving a hole in the side of the building it seems a little larger than the wide body of the aircraft. The entry point was so clean that the roof (shown in news photo) fell in on the wreckage. They are just now getting to the passengers today. The nosewheel I understand is in the grass near the second ring. Right now it is estimated that it will take two years to repair the damage. Ironcally, the area had just been remodeled with most of the area was still blocked off and some offices were empty. I know a young Army Major who went to a planned staff meeting at 8:30 am sharp. He left his office and attended the meeting, there was something he needed. He called his friend also a major near his office on his cell phone. As they were talking his friend said, My God a plane has just came through near your office "(which was not part of the new area, but near it ). Fire rolled down the hallway, somehow his friend on the phone ducked down another hallway. Four of the Major’s friends did not make it. Incidently, the fireball also went along the outside of the building as shown by the blackend side of the building to left of the impact point. The reason the fire took so long to put out was because the attic was filled with "horse hair" for insulation put there in 1942 when the building was built.
giving the direction the aircraft was taking at the time. As most know, the Pentagon lies at the bottom of two hills from the west with the east side being next to the river at 14th street bridge. One hill is at the Navy Annex and the other is Arlington Cemetery. The plane came up I-395 also known as Shirley Hwy. (most likely used as a reference point.) The plane had been seen making a lazy pattern in the no fly zone over the White House and US Cap.
Hovis was not an eyewitness, he visited the Pentagon on 9/14/01.  However, a few notes of skepticism about the "official story" come through pretty clearly in this account.


The worker, William Middleton Sr., was running his street sweeper through the cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft. Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building.
Middleton is another testimonial that puts the flight path over Arlington Cemetery.


This is a hole in — there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn’t see any evidence of the aircraft down there. (…) This pile here is all Pentagon metal. None of that is aircraft whatsoever. As you can see, they’ve punched a hole in here. This was punched by the rescue workers to clean it out. You can see this is the — some of the unrenovated areas where the windows have blown out.
Mitchell was an audio-visual specialist who went through the Pentagon with a TV camera.  This testimony is a categorical contradiction of eyewitnesses like congresswoman Judy Biggart, who claimed that there she saw a seat, and part of the tail.


The airliner crashed between two and three hundred feet from my office in the Pentagon, just around a corner from where I work. I’m the deputy General Counsel, Washington Headquarters Services, Office of the Secretary of Defense. (…) My colleagues felt the impact, which reminded them of an earthquake. People shouted in the corridor outside that a bomb had gone off upstairs on the main concourse in the building. No alarms sounded. I walked to my office, shut down my computer, and headed out. Even before stepping outside I could smell the cordite. Then I knew explosives had been set off somewhere. I looked to my right and saw a raging fire and smoke careening off the facade to the sky. (…) Two explosions, a few minutes apart, prompted me to start walking.
Perkal smelled cordite and "knew explosives had been set off somewhere", and other people in the corridor were shouting the same thing.


October 18, 2001 – Christine Peterson, ’73 found herself in the thick of last month’s terrorist tragedy, and submitted this report. It offers a personal perspective on the events in Washington, D.C., which have perhaps been overshadowed in the media by the scope of the horrors in New York. It was 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11th, and traffic was terrible. For all of my twenty-eight years living in the Washington, D.C. area, terrible traffic was a constant. I’d been in Boston the day before and gotten home late. That morning I repacked my suitcase because I was heading out to San Francisco on the 3:20 p.m. flight. I just needed a few hours in the office first, and now I was officially late for work. I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at the Pentagon; what I had thought would be a shortcut was as slow as the other routes I had taken that morning. I looked idly out my window to the left — and saw a plane flying so low I said, "holy cow, that plane is going to hit my car" (not my actual words). The car shook as the plane flew over. It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing. And then the plane crashed. My mind could not comprehend what had happened. Where did the plane go? For some reason I expected it to bounce off the Pentagon wall in pieces. But there was no plane visible, only huge billows of smoke and torrents of fire. (…) A few minutes later a second, much smaller explosion got the attention of the police arriving on the scene.”ID=613&c=4
Peterson looked to the left to see the airplane approach, so she must have been going northbound on Washington Blvd, caught in slow traffic.  If she was near the helipad, then any plane in position to hit the lampposts would have been far behind her, rather than overhead.  Steve Riskus (whose testimony is not included in the Bart-Hoffman collection) similarly indicated that the 757 approached on a path far to the north of the lamp pole damage.


Skarlet, webmaster of : As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. (…) it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. (…) A huge jet. Then it was gone. A massive hole in the side of the Pentagon gushed smoke. The noise was beyond description. The smell seemed to singe the inside of my nose. The earth seemed to stop shaking for a second, but then sirens began and the ground seemed to shake again – this time from the incoming barrage of firetrucks, police cars. military vehicles. (…) I called my boss. I had no memory of how to work my cellphone. I hit redial and his number came up. "Something hit the Pentagon. It must have been a helicopter." I knew that wasn’t true, but I heard myself say it. I heard myself believe it, if only for a minute. "Buildings don’t eat planes. That plane, it just vanished. There should have been parts on the ground. It should have rained parts on my car. The airplane didn’t crash. Where are the parts?" That’s the conversation I had with myself on the way to work. It made sense this morning. I swear that it did. (….) I finally cleared my head enough to drive and spent hours getting home. I spent an eternity in my car. I couldn’t roll up the windows, the car smelled like the Inferno. Concrete dust coats the outside of the car, turning it a weird color. Eventually I got back here, back to the place I should have stayed in the first place. There seems to be no footage of the crash, only the site. The gash in the building looks so small on TV. The massiveness of the structure lost in the tight shots of the fire. There was a plane. It didn’t go over the building. It went into the building. I want them to find it whole, wedged between floors or something. I know that isn’t going to happen, but right now I pretend. I want to see footage of the crash. I want to make it make sense. I want to know why there’s this gap in my memory, this gap that makes it seem as though the plane simply became invisible and banked up at the very last minute, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t want to see footage of the crash. It seems so unhealthy to see the planes in NY crash over and over. To see the building fall again and again. I saw it once, the Pentagon is shambles. I don’t know that I want to see the crash ever again. Even the pictures of the blaze are too much right now as the firefighters try to contain it. It’s weird to watch it on TV while the same smoke drifts by your windows. I’ve showered and showered. Ultimately, I think I’m going to throw away my clothes. I don’t think the smell will ever come out. I’ve reached my parents. My brother is already on a Classified assignment. Who the hell knows where he is. I’m assuming he’s safe. I have no idea. Posted by skarlet at September 11, 2001 08:41 PM
Skarlet told her boss that a helicopter hit the Pentagon.  We think it’s possible her first impression might actually have been correct.  

At any rate, she quite correctly thinks that in the wake of a real plane crash, "it should have rained parts on my car" but there weren’t any parts.  

Skarlet has a "gap" in her memory, a gap that’s filled with the impression that the plane "banked up at the very last minute" just after it disappeared. Funny that she should say that, since we think that’s more or less what really happened — although we would have said that it banked up first, before it disappeared into the orange and black cloud. 

Skarlet’s brother is on a "Classified assignment".


Levi Stephens 23, courier Armed Forces Information Service – According to one witness, "what looked like a 747" plowed into the south side of the Pentagon, possibly skipping through a heliport before it hit the building. Personnel working in the Navy Annex, over which the airliner flew, said they heard the distinct whine of jet engines as the airliner approached. "I was driving away from the Pentagon in the South Pentagon lot when I hear this huge rumble, the ground started shaking … I saw this [plane] come flying over the Navy Annex. It flew over the van and I looked back and I saw this huge explosion, black smoke everywhere."
This is very vague and second-hand.  Note that the approaching plane is placed over the Navy Annex.


Just prior to the impact there were three firemen on the helipad at the Pentagon. The president was supposed to land at the helipad two hours after the impact, and so they had just pulled the foam truck out of the firehouse and were standing there when they looked up and saw the plane coming over the Navy Annex building. They turned and ran, and at the point of impact were partially shielded by their fire truck from the flying debris of shrapnel and flames. They were knocked to the ground by the concussion, were able to get up, go over to the fire truck, and initially they were able to get it started to call for help at Fort Myer. And then they had to put out parts of their uniform–their bunker gear was actually on fire, so the first thing they had to do was put out their own fire truck and their fire equipment and they tried to start the truck and move it, but they discovered that it wouldn’t move. They got out and looked, and the whole back of the fire truck had melted.
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Yeingst is not an eyewitness, he is a museum curator at the Smithsonian.  His account is quite fanciful — pictures of the Pentagon firetruck show that it changed its position after the crash, and was quite useful with its firehoses blasting away.  It certainly was not "melted" in any significant way.  Yeingst does agree with all the witnesses placing the approaching 757 over the Navy Annex.  

But the main reason we have included Yeingst in this collection of "supportive accounts" is the odd lack of any identifiable aircraft debris from the Pentagon in the Smithsonian collection.  They have only a single, completely amorphous chunk of something that supposedly fell into a car on the Washington Blvd.  We would really like to get a look at that big section of fuselage photographed by Mark Faram, or maybe some turbine blades.  Where are they, Mr. Yeingst?


Explicit eyewitness accounts

Explicit eyewitness accounts


I witnessed the jet hit the Pentagon on September 11. From my office on the 19th floor of the USA TODAY building in Arlington, Va., I have a view of Arlington Cemetery, Crystal City, the Pentagon, National Airport and the Potomac River. … Shortly after watching the second tragedy, I heard jet engines pass our building, which, being so close to the airport is very common. But I thought the airport was closed. I figured it was a plane coming in for landing. A few moments later, as I was looking down at my desk, the plane caught my eye. It didn’t register at first. I thought to myself that I couldn’t believe the pilot was flying so low. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it’s wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke.
Anderson is a reporter for USA Today.  If the aircraft "drug its wing along the ground" there would have been more damage to the lawn and heliport area. 


Battle, an office worker at the Pentagon, was standing outside the building and just about to enter when the aircraft struck. "It was coming down head first," he said. "And when the impact hit, the cars and everything were just shaking."

To cause damage extending to the third ring of the Pentagon (without cratering into the basement) the "757" would have needed to be in level flight, rather than "coming down head first".


Gary Bauer, a former Presidential candidate, happened to be driving into Washington, D.C. that morning, to a press conference on Capitol Hill."I was in a massive traffic jam, hadn’t moved more than a hundred yards in twenty minutes. … I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395 . . . when all of a sudden I heard the roar of a jet engine.""I looked at the woman sitting in the car next to me. She had this startled look on her face. We were all thinking the same thing. We looked out the front of our windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn’t until a few seconds later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. The blast literally rocked all of our cars. It was an incredible / Amy Contrada / December 2001

"…came from behind us and banked to the right and went into the Pentagon."Interview with Warren Smith

Republican Gary Bauer has also been linked to Sun Myung Moon (see, the Project for a New American Century (see  The damage to the facade of the Pentagon indicates that the "757" was banking gently to the left, not to the right.


Sean Boger, Air Traffic Controller and Pentagon tower chief – "I just looked up and I saw the big nose and the wings of the aircraft coming right at us and I just watched it hit the building." "It exploded. I fell to the ground and covered my head. I could actually hear the metal going through the building." The crew, Boger and Spc. Jacqueline Kidd, air traffic controller and training supervisor, prepared for President George W. Bush to arrive from Florida around 12:30 p.m.
As Pentagon tower chief, Boger meets our "deep insider" criteria under the hypothetical condition that a conspiracy did exist.  


Defense Protective Service officers were the first on the scene of the terrorist attack. One, Mark Bright, actually saw the plane hit the building. He had been manning the guard booth at the Mall Entrance to the building. "I saw the plane at the Navy Annex area," he said. "I knew it was going to strike the building because it was very, very low — at the height of the street lights. It knocked a couple down." The plane would have been seconds from impact — the annex is only a few hundred yards from the Pentagon. He said he heard the plane "power-up" just before it struck the Pentagon. "As soon as it struck the building I just called in an attack, because I knew it couldn’t be accidental," Bright said. He jumped into his police cruiser and headed to the area.
As Mall Entrance guard, Bright also meets our "deep insider" criteria under the hypothetical condition of a conspiracy.  This is one of the very few eyewitnesses who claimed to actually see the airplane knocking down lamp poles.


He and two colleagues from Oracle software were stopped in a car near the Naval Annex, next to the Pentagon, when they saw the plane dive down and level off. "It was no more than 30 feet off the ground, and it was screaming. It was just screaming. It was nothing more than a guided missile at that point," Creed said. "I can still see the plane. I can still see it right now. It’s just the most frightening thing in the world, going full speed, going full throttle, its wheels up," Creed recalls.
The Oracle database was originally developed by Larry Ellison for the CIA, which has maintained a close relationship with the company ever since.  Most views from the area of the Naval Annex are blocked to the Pentagon, because the Annex is located on a hill. 


For one employee with Wedge One’s mechanical subcontractor John J. Kirlin Inc., Rockville MD, "lucky" is an understatement. "We had one guy who was standing, looking out the window and saw the plane when it was coming in. He was in front of one of the blast-resistant windows," says Kirlin President Wayne T. Day, who believes the window structure saved the man’s life. According to Matt Hahr, Kirlin’s senior project manager at the Pentagon, the employee "was thrown about 80 ft down the hall through the air. As he was traveling through the air, he says the ceiling was coming down from the concussion. He got thrown into a closet, the door slammed shut and the fireball went past him," recounts Hahr. "Jet fuel was on him and it irritated his eyes, but he didn’t get burned. Then the fireball blew over and the sprinklers came on, and he was able to crawl out of the closet and get out of the building through the courtyard."

This is not an eyewitness account, but rather a hearsay statement about one of Day’s employees.


Michael DiPaula 41, project coordinator Pentagon Renovation Team – He left a meeting in the Pentagon just minutes before the crash, looking for an electrician who didn’t show, in a construction trailer less than 75 feet away. "Suddenly, an airplane roared into view, nearly shearing the roof off the trailer before slamming into the E ring. ‘It sounded like a missile,’ DiPaula recalls . . . Buried in debris and covered with airplane fuel, he was briefly listed by authorities as missing, but eventually crawled from the flaming debris and the shroud of black smoke unscathed. (killtown)
Possible insider.  DiPaula emerges "unscathed" after being buried in flaming debris.


Former ammunition plant official evacuated building moments before suicide airliner collision.Col. Bruce Elliott, former commander of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant who was reassigned to the Pentagon in July, watched in horror Tuesday as a hijacked 757 airliner crashed into the nerve center of the U.S. military command. Elliott, in a phone interview Wednesday, said he had just left the Pentagon and was about to board a shuttle van in a south parking lot when he saw the plane approach and slam into the west side of the structure. "I looked to my left and saw the plane coming in," said Elliott, who watched it for several seconds. "It was banking and garnering speed. I felt it was headed for the Pentagon." (…) "It was like a kamikaze pilot. I felt it was going to ram the Pentagon," he said. He said the craft clipped a utility pole guide wire, which may have slowed it down a bit before it crashed into the building and burst into flames. (…) Elliott said the rubble was still smoldering Wednesday morning.
Elliott does not mention the lamp poles, instead saying that the jetliner hit a "guide wire."  But photos of the Pentagon area show that the electrical wiring for the lamp poles was underground, and there were no guide wires.


The plane approached the Pentagon about six feet off the ground, clipping a light pole, a car antenna, a construction trailer and an emergency generator before slicing into the building, said Lee Evey, the manager of the Pentagon’s ongoing billion-dollar renovation. The plane penetrated three of the Pentagon’s five rings, but was probably stopped from going farther by hundreds of concrete columns. The plane peeled back as it entered, leaving pieces of the front of the plane near the outside of the building and pieces from the rear of the aircraft farther inside, Evey said. The floors just above the impact remained intact for about 35 minutes after the crash, allowing many people in those offices to escape, Evey said

Internally, the Wedge One project included: complete demolition of existing facilities; significant abatement of hazardous materials (most notably, 28 million lbs. of asbestos-contaminated material was removed); installation of all new electrical, mechanical, plumbing and telecommunication systems within the existing floorplan; structural steel reinforcement; and replacement of all 1,282 windows in the section, including 386 blast-resistant units on the outermost "E Ring" and innermost "A Ring" of the building. All-new office space was created with an open space plan aimed at enhancing flexibility (…) Amazingly, the plane pushed through the outermost "E Ring", and drove deep into the interior, its nose coming to rest just inside the "C Ring."

We’ve learned — this is wedge one, okay, the newly-renovated area. The path of the airplane seems to have taken it along this route, so it entered the building slightly, on this photo, slightly to the left of what we call corridor four. There are 10 radial corridors in the building that extend from A ring out through E ring, and this is the fourth of those radial corridors. So it impacted the building in an area that had been renovated, but its path was at a — it appears to be at a diagonal, so that it entered in wedge one but passed through into areas of wedge two, an unrenovated portion of the building. And, of course, you all know it’s got rings A through E, five stories tall, et cetera. QUESTION: That seems to indicate that it came to rest in ring C, the nose cone. EVEY: Let me talk to that, because you’ve asked a number of questions already about the extent of penetration, et cetera. This is an overhead of the building. The point of penetration was right here, and we blocked that out to show that’s the area of collapse. The plane actually penetrated through the E ring, C ring — excuse me — E ring, D ring, C ring. This area right here is what we call A-E Drive. And unlike other rings in the building, it’s actually a driveway that circles the building inside, between the B and the C ring. The nose of the plane just barely broke through the inside of the C ring, so it was extending into A-E Drive a little bit. So that’s the extent of penetration of the aircraft. The rings are E, D, C, B and A. Between B and C is a driveway that goes around the Pentagon. It’s called A-E Drive. The airplane traveled in a path about like this, and the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of C ring into A-E Drive. QUESTION: One thing that’s confusing — if it came in the way you described, at an angle, why then are not the wings outside? I mean, the wings would have shorn off. The tail would have shorn off. And yet there’s apparently no evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. EVEY: Actually, there’s considerable evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. It’s just not very visible. When you get up close — actually, one of my people happened to be walking on this sidewalk and was right about here as the aircraft approached. It came in. It clipped a couple of light poles on the way in. He happened to hear this terrible noise behind him, looked back, and he actually — he’s a Vietnam veteran — jumped prone onto the ground so the aircraft would not actually — he thinks it (would have) hit him; it was that low. On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that generator, and portions of it broke off. There are other parts of the plane that are scattered about outside the building. None of those parts are very large, however. You don’t see big pieces of the airplane sitting there extending up into the air. But there are many small pieces. And the few larger pieces there look like they are veins out of the aircraft engine. They’re circular. QUESTION: Would you say that the plane, since it had a lot of fuel on it at the impact, and the fact that there are very small pieces, virtually exploded in flames when it tore into the building? I mean, since there are not large pieces of the wings laying outside, did it virtually explode? EVEY: I didn’t see it. My people who did see it enter the building describe it as entering the building and then there being flames coming out immediately afterwards. Whether you describe it as an explosion or not, people I talk to who were there, some called it an explosion. Others called it a large fire. I’m not sure. I wasn’t there, sir. It’s just a guess on my part.

Walker Lee Evey, program manager of the Pentagon restoration project : The fire was so hot, Evey said, that it turned window glass to liquid and sent it spilling down walls into puddles on the ground. The impact cracked massive concrete columns far beyond the impact site, destabilizing a broader section of the building than contractors had originally thought.

On Sept. 11, Flight 77 sliced through the outermost three of the Pentagon’s five concentric rings. Fires from the plane’s 20,000 gallons of fuel melted windows into pools of liquid glass. The impact of the crash fractured concrete pillars well beyond the incisions in the three outer rings.

Pentagon’s manager for the renovation project, therefore meets our hypothetical "deep insider" criterion.  He does not claim to be an eyewitness of the collision or explosion.  His statement that the plane "peeled back" leaving the forward portions of the fuselage towards the outside of the Pentagon makes a lot of sense — except that it seems to contradict the idea that the "nose" of the aircraft made its way through the C ring into the A-E drive. 


Ken Ford : One eyewitness, State Department employee Ken Ford, said he watched from the 15th floor of the State Department Annex, just across the PotomacRiver from the Pentagon. We were watching the airport through binoculars, Ford said, referring to Reagan National Airport, a short distance away. The plane was a two-engine turbo prop that flew up the river from National. Then it turned back toward the Pentagon. We thought it had been waved off and then it hit the building.
This odd and confused account may indicate that Ford saw the C130, which is a turboprop (although not a twin.)   


Kat Gaines, heading south on Route 110, approached the parking lots, saw a low-flying jetliner strike the top of nearby telephone poles. "
Not telephone poles, lamp poles”?  


Afework Hagos, a computer programmer, was on his way to work but stuck in a traffic jam near the Pentagon when the plane flew over. "There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came over. Everybody was running away in different directions. It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in."
Asework Hagos, 26, of Arlington, was driving on Columbia Pike on his way to work as a consultant for Nextel. He saw a plane flying very low and close to nearby buildings. "I thought something was coming down on me. I know this plane is going to crash. I’ve never seen a plane like this so low." He said he looked at it and saw American Airline insignia and when it made impact with the Pentagon initially he saw smoke, then flames.
If Hagos was on Columbia Pike near enough to see the lamp poles go down, the amount of time required for the "757" to go from his location to the impact site at the Pentagon would be about three seconds.  Hardly enough time for everybody to stop their cars, get out and run around in different directions.


From the view of the Navy Annex : After a few moments, Lt Gen Ron Kadish, Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization entered the Secure Conference Room to pursue the day’s activities and do real work. This office, with two nice windows and a great view of the monuments, the Capitol and the Pentagon was "good digs" by any Pentagon standard. I walked in the office and stood peering out of the window looking at the Pentagon. As I stood there, I instinctively ducked at the extremely loud roar and whine of a jet engine spooling up. Immediately, the large silver cylinder of an aircraft appeared in my window, coming over my right shoulder as I faced the Westside of the Pentagon directly towards the heliport. The aircraft, looking to be either a 757 or Airbus, seemed to come directly over the annex, as if it had been following Columbia Pike – an Arlington road leading to Pentagon. The aircraft was moving fast, at what I could only be estimate as between 250 to 300 knots. All in all, I probably only had the aircraft in my field of view for approximately 3 seconds. The aircraft was at a sharp downward angle of attack, on a direct course for the Pentagon. It was "clean", in as much as, there were no flaps applied and no apparent landing gear deployed. He was slightly left wing down as he appeared in my line of sight, as if he’d just "jinked" to avoid something. As he crossed Route 110 he appeared to level his wings, making a slight right wing slow adjustment as he impacted low on the Westside of the building to the right of the helo, tower and fire vehicle around corridor 5. What instantly followed was a large yellow fireball accompanied by an extremely bass sounding, deep thunderous boom. The yellow fireball rose quickly as black smoke engulfed the entire Westside of the Pentagon, obscuring the whole of the heliport. I could feel the concussion and felt the shockwave of the blast impact the window of the Annex, knocking me against the desk.
Hemphill does not mention his title, but he is present for a meeting with the Director of the BMDO in the Secure Conference Room.   The "sharp downward angle of attack" is not consistent with the nearly level flight path of the "757".  At impact, the "757" was apparently banking slightly left, not right.  Few observers so far away as the Annex (a half mile from impact) reported a shock wave strong enough to penetrate a window and knock a human being against a desk.  He claims that the aircraft came over his right shoulder, contradicting several witnesses who claimed it was more towards Arlington Cemetery. 


Terrance Kean, 35, who lives in a 14-story building nearby, heard the loud jet engines and glanced out his window. "I saw this very, very large passenger jet," said the architect, who had been packing for a move. "It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal."
Appears to be a credible witness, although the account is very brief.


Sgt. William Lagasse, a pentagon police dog handler, the son of an aviation instructor, was filling up his patrol car at a gas station near the Pentagon when he noticed a jet fly in low. He watched as the plane plowed into the Pentagon. Initially, he thought the plane was about to drop on top of him — it was that close. Lagasse knew something was wrong. The 757’s flaps were not deployed and the landing gear was retracted.
I saw the aircraft above my head about 80 feet above the ground, 400 miles an hour. The reason, I have some experience as a pilot and I looked at the plane. Didn’t see any landing gear. Didn’t see any flaps down. I realized it wasn’t going to land. . . . It was close enough that I could see the windows and the blinds had been pulled down. I read American Airlines on it. . . .I got on the radio and broadcast. I said a plane is, is heading toward the heliport side of the building.…
More testimony from Lagasse was posted at APFN in response to queries from Dick Eastman.  Lagasse claimed that he was to the starboard side of the aircraft as it passed over the gas station, which (if correct) would mean that the plane needed to make a massive trajectory adjustment for the plane to have struck the lamp poles near the overpass.  He makes claims about seeing debris from the plane inside the building, which contradicts Terry Mitchell’s observations.  Lagasse would have made his call stating that the plane has already hit, because by the time he could raise his phone and dial, it would be all over.


"I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low," said Army Captain Lincoln Liebner. "My first thought was I’ve never seen one that high. Before it hit I realised what was happening."
After the second plane hit the World Trade Center, Major Lincoln Leibner jumped in his pickup truck and raced to the Pentagon. As he ran to an entrance, he heard jet engines and turned in time to see the American Airlines plane diving toward the building. "I was close enough that I could see through the windows of the airplane, and watch as it as it hit," he said. "There was no doubt in my mind what I was watching. Not for a second. It was accelerating," he said. "It was wheels up, flaps up, engines full throttle. "
Maj. Leibner drove in and made it as far as the south parking lot, where he got out on foot. "I heard the plane first," he said. "I thought it was a flyover Arlington cemetery." From his vantage point, Maj. Leibner looked up and saw the plane come in. "I was about 100 yards away," he said. "You could see through the windows of the aircraft. I saw it hit." The plane came in hard and level and was flown full throttle into the building, dead center mass, Maj. Leibner said. "The plane completely entered the building," he said. "I got a little repercussion, from the sound, the blast. I’ve heard artillery, and that was louder than the loudest has to offer. I started running toward the site. I jumped over a fence. I was probably the first person on the scene." A tree and the backend of a crash truck at the heliport near the crash site were on fire and the ground was scorched, Maj. Leibner recounted. "The plane went into the building like a toy into a birthday cake," he said. "The aircraft went in between the second and third floors." At that point, no one was outside. Spotting a Pentagon door that had been blown off its hinges, Maj. Leibner went in and out several times, helping rescue several people. "The very first person was right there," he said. "She could walk. I walked her out onto the grass." Maj. Leibner said a police officer pulled up onto the grass and began to help. "Everybody was hurt," Maj. Leibner said. "They were all civilian females. Everybody was burned on their hands and faces.
Captain Lincoln Leibner says the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting fire to a fire truck. We got one guy out of the cab," he said, adding he could hear people crying inside the wreckage. Captain Liebner, who had cuts on his hands from the debris, says he has been parking his car in the car park when the crash occurred."
With the rank of Major, Liebner met our "insider" criterion.  The damage to the Pentagon was at the first and second floors, not the second and third.  Liebner is the only testimony indicating that a helicopter was involved in a crash with the airliner, although some witnesses reported the helicopter alone.  


David Marra, 23, an information-technology specialist, had turned his BMW off an I-395 exit to the highway just west of the Pentagon when he saw an American Airlines jet swooping in, its wings wobbly, looking like it was going to slam right into the Pentagon: "It was 50 ft. off the deck when he came in. It sounded like the pilot had the throttle completely floored. The plane rolled left and then rolled right.There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cartwheeled into the building.,8599,174655-4,00.html
Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground."
Marra agrees with Anderson about the wing striking the helipad, but unfortunately this disagrees with the lack of any damage visible in the photographs.  As to the plane rolling left, rolling right and then cartwheeling, we can only take this metaphorically.


Father Stephen McGraw was driving to a graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery the morning of Sept. 11, when he mistakenly took the Pentagon exit onto Washington Boulevard, putting him in a position to witness American Airlines Flight 77 crash into the Pentagon. "The traffic was very slow moving, and at one point just about at a standstill," said McGraw, a Catholic priest at St. Anthony Parish in Falls Church. "I was in the left hand lane with my windows closed. I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars." McGraw estimates that the plane passed about 20 feet over his car, as he waited in the left hand lane of the road, on the side closest to the Pentagon. "The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car. "I saw it crash into the building," he said. "My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight. That was my impression," he said. "There was an explosion and a loud noise and I felt the impact. I remember seeing a fireball come out of two windows (of the Pentagon). I saw an explosion of fire billowing through those two windows. "He literally had the stole in one hand and a prayer book in the other and in one fluid motion crossed the guardrail," said Mark Faram, a reporter from the Navy Times who witnessed McGraw in the first moments after the crash.
  Father McGraw is an Opus Dei priest and former Justice Department attorney.  (See ) In his "Frameup" post,  Mark Faram said that he didn’t arrive at the crash scene until ten minutes after the crash.


It was so shocking, I was listening to the news on what had happened in New York, and just happened to look out the window because I heard a low flying plane and then I saw it hit the Pentagon. It happened so fast… it was in the air one moment and in the building the next… I still have a hard time believing it, but every time I look out the window, it seems to be more real than it did the time before… K.M., Pentagon City, USA
Appears to be a credible witness, but note the lack of identification.


Terry Morin, a former USMC aviator, Program Manager for SPARTA, Inc was working as a contractor at the BMDO offices at the old Navy Annex. Having just reached the elevator in the 5th Wing of BMDO Federal Office Building (FOB) # 2. He heard "an increasingly loud rumbling" One to two seconds later the airliner came into my field of view. By that time the noise was absolutely deafening. The aircraft was essentially right over the top of me and the outer portion of the FOB (flight path parallel the outer edge of the FOB). Everything was shaking and vibrating, including the ground. I estimate that the aircraft was no more than 100 feet above me (30 to 50 feet above the FOB) in a slight nose down attitude. The plane had a silver body with red and blue stripes down the fuselage. I believed at the time that it belonged to American Airlines, but I couldn’t be sure. It looked like a 737 and I so reported to authorities. Within seconds the plane cleared the 8th Wing of BMDO and was heading directly towards the Pentagon. Engines were at a steady high-pitched whine, indicating to me that the throttles were steady and full. I estimated the aircraft speed at between 350 and 400 knots. The flight path appeared to be deliberate, smooth, and controlled. As the aircraft approached the Pentagon, I saw a minor flash (later found out that the aircraft had sheared off a portion of a highway light pole down on Hwy 110). As the aircraft flew ever lower I started to lose sight of the actual airframe as a row of trees to the Northeast of the FOB blocked my view. I could now only see the tail of the aircraft. I believe I saw the tail dip slightly to the right indicating a minor turn in that direction. The tail was barely visible when I saw the flash and subsequent fireball rise approximately 200 feet above the Pentagon. There was a large explosion noise and the low frequency sound echo that comes with this type of sound. Associated with that was the increase in air pressure, momentarily, like a small gust of wind. For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a 2000lb bomb going off roughly 1/2 mile in front of you. At once there was a huge cloud of black smoke that rose several hundred feet up. Elapsed time from hearing the initial noise to when I saw the impact flash was between 12 and 15 seconds. (…) the aircraft had been flown directly into the Pentagon without hitting the ground first or skipping into the building. (…) The firemen were appreciative, as the heat inside the building generated from the 8,500 gallons of jet fuel was, in their words, "unbelievable." It was reported that at least three of the fireman had to be given IV fluids due to the extreme heat.
Sparta is an elite high-tech military contracting organization, so Morin meets our "deep insider" criterion.  The statement that the throttles were full, contradicts several other witnesses who said that the engines were throttled back, and then spun up as the "757" approached the Pentagon.  However, the other witnesses may have been fooled by a Doppler effect?



A silver, twin-engine American Airlines jetliner gliding almost noiselessly over the Navy Annex, fast, low and straight toward the Pentagon, just hundreds of yards away. It was a nightmare coming to life. The plane, with red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments exploded in a ground-shaking "whoomp" as it appeared to hit the side of the Pentagon. A huge flash of orange flame and black smoke poured into the sky. Smoke seemed to change from black to white, forming a billowing column in the sky.
Munsey places the plane over the Annex, although he does not clarify whether it was closer to the cemetery, or closer to Columbia Pike.  In any case, it would be nearly impossible for a jetliner to come anywhere over the Annex and then jink its flight path so as to collide with light poles at the cloverleaf — and Munsey does not mention the light poles.  The claim that the jetliner was "almost noiseless" contradicts several witnesses and makes no sense, and the wording that the plane "appeared to hit the side of the Pentagon" seems to allow for the possibility that this was not a reality but only an "appearance".



"The plane exploded after it hit, the tail came off and it began burning immediately. Within five minutes, police and emergency vehicles began arriving," said Vin Narayanan, a reporter at USA, who was driving near the Pentagon when the plane hit.

At 9:35 a.m., I pulled alongside the Pentagon. With traffic at a standstill, my eyes wandered around the road, looking for the cause of the traffic jam. Then I looked up to my left and saw an American Airlines jet flying right at me. The jet roared over my head, clearing my car by about 25 feet. The tail of the plane clipped the overhanging exit sign above me as it headed straight at the Pentagon. The windows were dark on American Airlines Flight 77 as it streaked toward its target, only 50 yards away. The hijacked jet slammed into the Pentagon at a ferocious speed. But the Pentagon’s wall held up like a champ. It barely budged as the nose of the plane curled upwards and crumpled before exploding into a massive fireball. The people who built that wall should be proud. Its ability to withstand the initial impact of the jet probably saved thousands of lives. I hopped out of my car after the jet exploded, nearly oblivious to a second jet hovering in the skies. Hands shaking, I borrowed a cell phone to call my mom and tell her I was safe. Then I called into work, to let them know what happened. But not once was I able to take my eyes off the inferno in front of me. I think I saw the bodies of passengers burning. But I’m not sure. It could have been Pentagon workers. It could have been my mind playing tricks on me. I hope it was my mind playing tricks on me. The highway was filled with shocked commuters, walking around in a daze.

For the tail of the plane to have clipped a sign, the plane would have needed to fly under the sign.  Narayan seems to think that the wall of the Pentagon was not breached.


Mary Ann Owens, a journalist with Gannett News Service – was driving along by the side of the Pentagon. Here, she recalls the events of that horrific day and her feelings about the tragedy 12 months on. The sound of sudden and certain death roared in my ears as I sat lodged in gridlock on Washington Boulevard, next to the Pentagon on September 11. Up to that moment I had only experienced shock by the news coming from New York City and frustration with the worse-than-normal traffic snarl … but it wasn’t until I heard the demon screaming of that engine that I expected to die. Between the Pentagon’s helicopter pad, which sits next to the road, and Reagan Washington National Airport a couple of miles south, aviation noise is common along my commute to the silver office towers in Rosslyn where Gannett Co Inc. were housed last autumn. But this engine noise was different. It was too sudden, too loud, too encompassing. Looking up didn’t tell me what type of plane it was because it was so close I could only see the bottom. Realising the Pentagon was its target, I didn’t think the careering, full-throttled craft would get that far. Its downward angle was too sharp, its elevation of maybe 50 feet, too low. Street lights toppled as the plane barely cleared the Interstate 395 overpass. Gripping the steering wheel of my vibrating car, I involuntarily ducked as the wobbling plane thundered over my head. Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon. Still gripping the wheel, I could feel both the car and my heart jolt at the moment of impact. An instant inferno blazed about 125 yards from me. The plane, the wall and the victims disappeared under coal-black smoke, three-storey tall flames and intense heat. As the thudding stopped, screams of horror and hysteria rose from the line of cars (…) The full impact of actually being alive overwhelmed me. A mere 125 yards had made me a witness instead of a casualty. Survival wasn’t a miracle, it was luck … pure luck.
Gannett News Service employee Mary Ann Owens was stopped in traffic on the road that runs past the Pentagon, listening on the radio to the news of the World Trade Center attacks, when she heard a loud roar overhead and looked up as the plane barely cleared the highway. "Instantly I knew what was happening, and I involuntarily ducked as the plane passed perhaps 50 to 75 feet above the roof of my car at great speed," Owens said. "The plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon. The impact was deafening. The fuselage hit the ground and blew up."
Another witness claiming that the left wing scraped the helipad.  We wonder why none of these folks noticed anything about the electrical trailer and the concrete vent, that actually were struck according to the Official Story?  Owens also mentions a "sharp downward angle."  Owens is a journalist with Gannett, the parent company of USA Today.


Steve Patterson, who lives in Pentagon City, said it appeared to him that a commuter jet swooped over Arlington National Cemetery and headed for the Pentagon "at a frightening rate … just slicing into that building." Steve Patterson, 43, said he was watching television reports of the World Trade Center being hit when he saw a silver commuter jet fly past the window of his 14th-floor apartment in Pentagon City. The plane was about 150 yards away, approaching from the west about 20 feet off the ground, Patterson said. He said the plane, which sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter jet, flew over Arlington cemetary so low that he thought it was going to land on I-395. He said it was flying so fast that he couldn’t read any writing on the side. The plane, which appeared to hold about eight to 12 people, headed straight for the Pentagon but was flying as if coming in for a landing on a nonexistent runway, Patterson said. "At first I thought ‘Oh my God, there’s a plane truly misrouted from National,’" Patterson said. "Then this thing just became part of the Pentagon … I was watching the World Trade Center go and then this. It was like Oh my God, what’s next?" He said the plane, which approached the Pentagon below treetop level, seemed to be flying normally for a plane coming in for a landing other than going very fast for being so low. Then, he said, he saw the Pentagon "envelope" the plane and bright orange flames shoot out the back of the building. "It looked like a normal landing, as if someone knew exactly what they were doing," said Patterson, a graphics artist who works at home. "This looked intentional.".
Barbara Vobejda – Washington Post Staff Writer – Sept. 11, 4:59 PM
Patterson is one of the most widely cited eyewitnesses for the "small plane" theory.  Joel Skousen in his "World Affairs Brief", March 8, 2002, reported that he was unable to find a Steve Patterson in Pentagon City, and that no graphics design firms in the area had ever heard of him. 


October 18, 2001 – Christine Peterson, ’73 found herself in the thick of last month’s terrorist tragedy, and submitted this report. It offers a personal perspective on the events in Washington, D.C., which have perhaps been overshadowed in the media by the scope of the horrors in New York. It was 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11th, and traffic was terrible. For all of my twenty-eight years living in the Washington, D.C. area, terrible traffic was a constant. I’d been in Boston the day before and gotten home late. That morning I repacked my suitcase because I was heading out to San Francisco on the 3:20 p.m. flight. I just needed a few hours in the office first, and now I was officially late for work. I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at the Pentagon; what I had thought would be a shortcut was as slow as the other routes I had taken that morning. I looked idly out my window to the left — and saw a plane flying so low I said, "holy cow, that plane is going to hit my car" (not my actual words). The car shook as the plane flew over. It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing. And then the plane crashed. My mind could not comprehend what had happened. Where did the plane go? For some reason I expected it to bounce off the Pentagon wall in pieces. But there was no plane visible, only huge billows of smoke and torrents of fire. (…) A few minutes later a second, much smaller explosion got the attention of the police arriving on the scene.”ID=613&c=4
Peterson looked to the left to see the airplane approach, so she must have been going northbound on Washington Blvd, caught in slow traffic.  If she was near the helipad, then any plane in position to hit the lampposts would have been far behind her, rather than overhead.  Steve Riskus (whose testimony is not included in the Bart-Hoffman collection) similarly indicated that the 757 approached on a path far to the north of the lamp pole damage.


Frank Probst : a Pentagon renovation worker and retired Army officer, he was inspecting newly installed telecommunications wiring inside the five-story, 6.5-million-square-foot building.The tall, soft-spoken Probst had a 10 a.m. meeting. About 9:25 a.m., he stopped by the renovation workers’ trailer just south of the Pentagon heliport. Someone had a television turned on in the trailer’s break room that showed smoke pouring out of the twin towers in New York. "The Pentagon would make a pretty good target," someone in the break room commented. The thought stuck with Probst as he picked up his notebook and walked to the North Parking Lot to attend his meeting. Probst took a sidewalk alongside Route 27, which runs near the Pentagon’s western face. Traffic was at a standstill because of a road accident. Then, at about 9:35 a.m., he saw the airliner in the cloudless September sky. American Airlines Flight 77 approached from the west, coming in low over the nearby five-story Navy Annex on a hill overlooking the Pentagon. He has lights off, wheels up, nose down," Probst recalled. The plane seemed to be accelerating directly toward him. He froze. "I knew I was dead," he said later. "The only thing I thought was, ‘Damn, my wife has to go to another funeral, and I’m not going to see my two boys again.’" He dove to his right. He recalls the engine passing on one side of him, about six feet away. The plane’s right wing went through a generator trailer "like butter," Probst said. The starboard engine hit a low cement wall and blew apart. He still can’t remember the sound of the explosion. Sometimes the memory starts to come back when he hears a particularly low-flying airliner heading into nearby Reagan National Airport, or when military jets fly over a burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Most of the time, though, his memory is silent. "It was pretty horrible," he said of the noiseless images he carries inside him, of the jet vanishing in a cloud of smoke and dust, and bits of metal and concrete drifting down like confetti. On either side of him, three streetlights had been sheared in half by the airliner’s wings at 12 to 15 feet above the ground. An engine had clipped the antenna off a Jeep Grand Cherokee stalled in traffic not far away.
"I was standing on the sidewalk (parallel to the site of impact)…and I saw this plane coming right at me at what seemed like 300 miles an hour. I dove towards the ground and watched this great big engine from this beautiful airplane just vaporize," said Frank Probst, a member of the Pentagon renovations crew commented. "It looked like a huge fireball, pieces were flying out everywhere."
We comment more extensively on Probst elsewhere on our website.


James S Robbins a national-security analyst & ‘nationalreviewonline’ contributor: "I was standing, looking out my large office window, which faces west and from six stories up has a commanding view of the Potomac and the Virginia heights." "The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time. " I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing. There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it. "
"Diving in at an unrecoverable angle" seems to describe an entirely different approach path from the one reported by most witnesses of the 757.  Robbins is also a Senior Fellow of the American Foreign Policy Council.  


Noel Sepulveda, a Master Sgt. received the awards during a special ceremony at the Pentagon April 15. He left Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., for a meeting at the Pentagon, only to be told it was cancelled. Walking back to his motorcycle he saw a commercial airliner coming from the direction of Henderson Hall the Marine Corps headquarters.. It "flew above a nearby hotel and drop its landing gear. The plane’s right wheel struck a light pole, causing it to fly at a 45-degree angle", he said. The plane tried to recover, but hit a second light pole and continued flying at an angle. "You could hear the engines being revved up even higher," The plane dipped its nose and crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon. "The right engine hit high, the left engine hit low. For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it." An explosion followed, sending Sepulveda flying against a light pole. "if the airliner had not hit the light poles, it would have slammed into the Pentagon’s 9th and 10th corridor "A" ring, and the loss of life would have been greater."
Recognition of Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda : (…) on September 11, 2001, Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda was on assignment at the Pentagon as a Medic. He was standing in the parking lot at the Pentagon when he noticed a jetliner lower its landing gear as if to make a landing an then he realized that the airplane was actually heading towards the southwest wall of the Pentagon; and he was standing only 150 feet from the point of impact and for a brief moment he could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building, followed by an explosion; and the blast of the impact was so tremendous, that from his vantage point, it threw him backward over 100 feet slamming into a light pole causing him internal injuries; and despite his internal injuries, Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda remained on his duty station at the Pentagon for seven days after this attack while manning a triage station to assist the other victims of the attack
Sepulveda’s account is one of the few that acknowledges the tremendous forces involved in the alleged aircraft impact, stating that he was thrown 100 feet and slammed into a light pole by the impact — yet was able to get right back into action.  However, no other witness saw the plane drop its landing gear, or tilt at a 45-degree angle.  The commentary that the plane came from Henderson Hall collaborates the idea that it was towards the north side of the Navy Annex, close to Arlington Cemetery.


"Where the plane came in was really at the construction entrance," says Jack Singleton, president of Singleton Electric Co. Inc., Gaithersburg MD, the Wedge One electrical subcontractor. "The plane’s left wing actually came in near the ground and the right wing was tilted up in the air. That right wing went directly over our trailer, so if that wing had not tilted up, it would have hit the trailer. My foreman, Mickey Bell, had just walked out of the trailer and was walking toward the construction entrance."
Singleton is not an eyewitness.


A pilot who saw the impact, Tim Timmerman, said it had been an American Airways 757. "It added power on its way in," he said. "The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball." Smoke and flames poured out of a large hole punched into the side of the Pentagon. Emergency crews rushed fire engines to the scene and ambulancemen ran towards the flames holding wooden pallets to carry bodies out. A few of the lightly injured, bleeding and covered in dust, were recovering on the lawn outside, some in civilian clothes, some in uniform. A piece of twisted aircraft fuselage lay nearby. No one knew how many people had been killed, but rescue workers were finding it nearly impossible to get to people trapped inside, beaten back by the flames and falling debris.,1300,550486,00.html
Tim Timmerman : Pilot. I was looking out the window; I live on the 16th floor, overlooking the Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport, I hear jets all the time, but this jet engine was way too loud. I looked out to the southwest, and it came right down 395, right over Colombia Pike, and as is went by the Sheraton Hotel, the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost it behind a building. And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of — it didn’t appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible. It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question. It was so close to me it was like looking out my window and looking at a helicopter. It was just right there. (We were told that it was flying so low that it clipped off a couple of light poles as it was coming in) That might have happened behind the apartments that occluded my view. And when it reappeared, it was right before impact, and like I said, it was right before impact, and I saw the airplane just disintegrate and blow up into a huge ball of flames. And the building shook, and it was quite a tremendous explosion. I noticed the fire trucks and the responses was just wonderful. Fire trucks were there quickly. I saw the area; the building didn’t look very damaged initially, but I do see now, looking out my window, there’s quite a chunk in it. But I think the blessing here might have been that the airplane hit before it hit the building, it hit the ground, and a lot of energy might have gone that way. That’s what it appeared like.
Donald "Tim" Timmerman, watched from across Interstate 395: I was looking out the window; I live on the 16th floor, overlooking the Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport, I hear jets all the time, but this jet engine was way too loud. I looked out to the southwest, and it came right down 395, right over Colombia Pike, and as it went by the Sheraton Hotel, the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost it behind a building. And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of — it didn’t appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible. What can you tell us about the plane itself? It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question.You say that it was a Boeing, and you say it was a 757 or 767? 7-5-7.757, which, of course..American Airlines.American Airlines, one of the new generation of jets. Right. It was so close to me it was like looking out my window and looking at a helicopter. It was just right there. . TRANSCRIPT
Gerard Holmgren raises questions about the credibility of Timmerman’s testimony, at: .  My search in the Yellow Pages and People Finder did not turn up any matches for Timmerman in the Pentagon area.  

If the plane had hit on the ground in front of the Pentagon, it would have left a crater.