The Wisdom FundWhat Really Happened on September 11?Sun Apr 17, 2005 04:0422.214.171.124Released March 7, 2005 (updated March 19)
The Wisdom Fund, P. O. Box 2723, Arlington, VA 22202
Website: http://www.twf.org -- Press Contact: Enver Masud
What Really Happened on September 11?
It appears unlikely that an Arab hijacker crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon
by Enver Masud
It appears unlikely that Hani Hanjour crashed American Airlines Flight 77 - a Boeing 757 - into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Evidence held by the U.S. government could refute this conclusion - I would welcome that because the alternative is much more disturbing.
The Pentagon crash may be the only commercial airline crash in modern history for which photographs of the wreckage have not been shown to the public. Five video frames from Pentagon cameras raise more questions than they answer - no Boeing 757 is visible.
In the photos publicly available, the hole in the Pentagon wall - prior to the collapse of the roof - appears much too small to accomodate a Boeing 757. If only the fusealge penetrated the Pentagon, then the wings would have remained outside. But no large debris - anything resembling the wings and Boeing 757 engines - is visible on the Pentagon lawn, and the lawn itself shows no sign that a Boeing 757 skidded across it or struck it.
Indeed early reports claimed that a truck bomb had exploded, and that the damage was similar to that inflicted on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Also, how does one reconcile the relatively minor damage to the Pentagon by a Boeing 757 (the Pentagon's reinforced conrete walls are 18 inches thick), with the total destruction of the World Trade Center by two Boeing 767s (each tower was built with 236 exterior columns, and 47 core columns - all made of steel and connected to each other by steel trusses)?
However, a majority of eyewitnesses are reported to have seen a large plane hit the Pentagon; a few are reported to have seen a commuter plane. One eyewitness account, in particular, takes precedence over those of passersby.
Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher - at a Dept. of Defense News Briefing with Assistant Secretary Victoria Clarke on September 12, 2001 - when asked: "Is there anything left of the aircraft at all?" said: "there are some small pieces of aircraft ... there's no fuselage sections and that sort of thing."
Didn't Chief Plaugher see the plane's engines? The engines would have survived the impact and heat. An engine from a plane that struck the World Trade Center was shown on network television, and so was an engine from American Airlines Flight 587 which crashed shortly after takeoff from New York on November 12, 2001.
A photo from the Pentagon crash site shows what could be an engine part about 30 inches in diameter outside the Pentagon - a Boeing 757's engines are 8 or 9 feet in diameter. Another photo shows what could be an engine part (its size is difficult to determine) inside the Pentagon. Were these parts, and another piece of debris on the Pentagon lawn traced to Flight 77? We don't know.
Another question put to Chief Plaugher at the briefing was: "Chief, there are small pieces of the plane virtually all over, out over the highway, tiny pieces. Would you say the plane exploded, virtually exploded on impact due to the fuel..." Plaugher responded: "I'd rather not comment on that."
How did "small pieces of the plane" end up "out over the highway" when the plane is reported to have disintegrated inside the Pentagon after it crossed the highway? If it disintegrated outside the Pentagon why is there nothing that looks like a Boeing 757 on the Pentagon lawn? If it disintegrated either inside or outside the Pentagon what caused the hole in the third ring? The landing gear or some other part?
It is curious that at this News Briefing, held approximately 24 hours after American Airlines Flight 77 departing from Dulles airport is said to have crashed into the Pentagon, the words "Boeing," "Dulles," "flight," and "passengers" were not even mentioned. The word "plane" was mentioned once, but Chief Plaugher would "not comment on that."
It is even more curious that national news media failed to follow up on Chief Plaugher's comment that "there's no fuselage sections and that sort of thing" when dozens of onlookers, relatives, and firefighters were interviewed on network television about the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Photos and videos of the Pentagon reveal yet more curious sights: one shows 8 or 10 men in office clothes carrying a large box covered with a blue tarpaulin while firefighters look on; another shows about "50 FBI officers" walking shoulder to shoulder in line apparently looking for small items; another shows office furniture and a computer monitor which survived the fire that is alleged to have vaporized the Boeing 757, but left human bodies in good enough condition to be indentified (highly improbable, if not impossible).
As for the 19 alleged hijackers, their names do not appear on Associated Press' September 17, 2001 "partial list of victims" on the hijacked flights - the final list has not been made public. On September 23, 2001 the BBC revealed that four of the hijack "suspects" were alive. The BBC added: " FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged on Thursday that the identity of several of the suicide hijackers is in doubt."
The conspiracy theory set forth in "The 9/11 Commission Report" offers no explanation for the hijacker's identities, and it appears to contradict publicly available evidence regarding the Pentagon crash site.
The issue of whether or not a Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon could be settled by examining the photos and videos taken between 9:35 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on September 11, 2001 by cameras located inside and outside the Pentagon, the cameras at the nearby gas station and the Sheraton, and the Dept. of Transportation cameras. These have not been made public.
And we would still require an explanation for the "complex maneuver" made by the alleged, Arab pilot of the Boeing 757 - Hani Hanjour. It was reported by the New York Times that "He could not fly at all."
CBS News reported: "Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes. The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it's clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed. The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and plowed into the Pentagon at 460 mph."
Since September 11, 2001 about 5,000 foreign nationals have been detained by the United States and denied basic constitutional rights in the name of "wartime" expediency even though Director Mueller said in a speech at the Commonwealth Club on April 19, 2002: "In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper - either here in the United States, or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere - that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot."
On March 4, 2004, a German court "overturned the world's only conviction" in connection with the September 11 attack on America "because the U.S. withheld crucial evidence."
With so many vital questions unanswered, we are unable to arrive at a firm conclusion. The following is what we are able to say:
Q: Did a Boeing 757 strike the Pentagon?
A: A majority of eyewitnesses are reported to have seen a large plane hit the Pentagon; a few are reported to have seen a commuter plane. Publicly available photos either do not support the majority view or are inconclusive; evidence witheld from the public is needed to determine what really happened.
Q: Did Hani Hanjour crash a Boeing 757 into the Pentagon?
A: The identities of the hijackers have yet to be resolved. Hanjour's reported flying skills would appear to rule out his flying a Boeing 757 during the spiral turn into the Pentagon from 7000 feet.
The burden of proof remains on those who claim that a Boeing 757, flown by Hani Hanjour, crashed into the Pentagon to prove their case. It is not necessary for those who question that claim to disprove it.
1. Consider this a Draft Executive Summary - we may add to and/or amend it as new information becomes available.
2. Regarding the photos used, as far as we can tell they are not copyrighted. If this is not correct, please inform us.
Enver Masud, "Deadly Deception, Pretexts for War," The Wisdom Fund, July 30, 2001
Enver Masud, "What Really Happened on September 11 Remains a Mystery," The Wisdom Fund, February 15, 2002
David Ray Griffin, "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions," Olive Branch Press (November 30, 2004)
Enver Masud, "9/11: An Open Letter to The Washington Post," The Wisdom Fund, March 3, 2005
Enver Masud, "9/11: An Open Letter to The New York Times," The Wisdom Fund, March 4, 2005
Enver Masud, "9/11: An Open Letter to the Los Angeles Times," The Wisdom Fund, March 7, 2005
PHOTOS: Russell Pickering, "Pentagon Research
9-11 Review: A Resource for Understanding the 9/11/01 Attack
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