The 911 Mystery Plane
Fri Apr 6, 2007 11:34

This is news to me; apparently a Boeing 747-200 military airborne command center...

The 911 Mystery Plane
First in a Series

Mark H. Gaffney
April 5, 2007

On September 11 2001, as the eyes of the nation were focused on the
gruesome events at the World Trade Center, the networks interrupted their
coverage in New York with a breaking story from Washington. A large plane
had just been sighted over the White House. Exactly when it first
appeared is not certain, but the reports aired at about the time of the
pentagon strike, or just before. Witnesses who saw the mystery plane say
it circled over Washington. CNN's Senior White
House correspondent John King saw it while standing in Lafayette
Park, directly across from the White House. King reported live
that "about 10 minutes ago, there was a white jet circling overhead. Now,
you generally don't see planes in the area over the White House. That is
restricted air space. No reason to believe that this jet was there for
any nefarious purposes, but the Secret Service was very concerned,
pointing up at the jet in the sky."[1]

Kate Snow, another CNN correspondent, was standing two blocks from the
Capitol when she saw the plane. Snow mentioned it on-air, adding that a
security guard told her it was responsible for the decision to evacuate
the seat of government.[2] In his book Against All Enemies,
counter-terrorism czar Richard A. Clark mentions that the decision to
evacuate the White House was made after a warning from the Secret Service
about the approach of an unidentified aircraft.[3] Was this the mystery
plane? ABC, NBC and FOX News picked up the story on 9/11. CNN actually
filmed the mysterious plane as it flew over the Capitol, but,
unfortunately, it was too far away to identify.

The sighting of a large white plane above the White House and Capitol on
September 11, 2001 was very strange, because the airspace over Washington
is probably the most restricted on the planet. At the
time, the World Trade Center in New York was in flames. Hundreds of
people had already perished. Multiple hijackings were known to be in
progress. The only planes that should have been in the skies over
Washington were fighters for the purpose of protecting the nation's
capital. Yet, as we know, the city was undefended­­­totally exposed.
Scrambled F-16 fighters from Langley AFB, located near Norfolk,
Virginia, failed to establish a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over
Washington until shortly before 10 AM­­­much too late. And subsequently,
as we also know, the 911 Commission absolved the Joint Chiefs of all
responsibility. The 9/11 panel put the blame for the security breach
squarely on the FAA for failing to notify NORAD of the hijackings.
Incidentally, the pentagon has also dismissed the news reports cited
above. To this day the US military claims that it knows nothing about a
large plane circling over Washington on 9/11. So, what is going on, here?
Did a large unidentified plane circle over Washington, or not? And if so,
what does it mean?

After a crime it is standard procedure for police detectives to
interrogate witnesses who were at the scene, and cross-check their
testimony in an attempt to reconstruct what actually happened. Had the
members of the 9/11 Commission been serious about their charge to provide
"the fullest possible account" of the horrific events of
September 11 2001, they would have followed this kind of procedure.
Certainly the news reports and eyewitness accounts merited close
attention. These were obvious starting points for the official
investigation. It was not necessary to go above and beyond the call of
duty. Had the members of the panel merely done their job they
would have discovered the evidence I am about to present and, in all
likelihood, would also have drawn the correct conclusions. But the simple
fact is, the commission never investigated the mystery plane. The 9/11
Commission Report doesn't even mention it­­­one of many grave omissions.

After I recently posted an article about 9/11, an independent
investigator directed me to some stunning evidence­­­of which I was
unaware­­­about the mystery plane. I was surprised to learn that this
evidence has been available on the internet for quite some time. It seems
that during the evacuation of the White House on 9/11 a woman captured an
amazing photo of the mystery plane. Linda Brookhart, at the time Vice
President of the Taxpayer Federation of Illinois, was in Washington on
September 11 attending a National Taxpayers
Conference in the Old Executive Office Building (located immediately next
to the White House) when she and many others were told to vacate the
building. Linda explained to me that after she walked outside she was
standing in the street talking with a security guard when she just
happened to look up and see the plane.[4] She then snapped this excellent
photo with her Pentax. It refutes the pentagon and,
fortunately, also enables us to identify the mystery plane­­­as we will see.

Nor is this all. The same investigator also told me about another equally
stunning piece of evidence. As it happened, a second
individual also filmed the mystery plane on September 11 as it made a
banking turn over Washington; and this short video segment even
appeared in a made-for-TV docudrama about Flight 93. The two-hour movie
was titled The Flight that Fought Back, and it aired on the Discovery
Channel in August 2005. Once alerted to its existence, I had no
difficulty locating this short segment on the internet.
Someone had pulled it from the film and posted it at You-Tube as part of
a short melange of video footage about 9/11. Anyone with access to
cyberspace may view it on line.[5] The following still-shot was taken
from this footage.

A DVD of the original Discovery Channel program is also available,
and can be purchased at The crucial segment appears 47
minutes into the film (in scene four). It is not a part of the
dramatic production per se, but is a short segment of raw documentary
footage embedded in the film. The crucial segment is very brief, only
about three-seconds long, which may help to explain why this
remarkable footage has not attracted more attention. Frankly, I was
astonished when I learned about it, since I had seen no reference to this
video evidence in the published literature about 9/11, nor on any of the
many 9/11 web sites. I now realize I simply missed it. Pilots for 9/11
Truth has long featured an excellent forum discussion about this
video.[6] Although the cameraman has not yet been
identified, there is every reason to believe the footage is bona

As I've noted, in the video the plane makes a banking turn. The angle is
fortunate, because it brought the plane's unique features and
markings into plain view. There can be no doubt as to the plane's
identity. The aircraft belonged to the US Air Force. Moreover, this was
no ordinary plane. It was an E-4B, the US military's most
advanced electronics platform. Even a casual comparison shows that the
still-shot from the docudrama matches an official photo (see
below) of the E-4B, from a USAF web site.[7] There can be no mistake.

The plane is a modified Boeing 747-200. Notice the white color, the US
flag painted on the vertical stabilizer (i.e, the tail), and the blue
stripe and insignia on the fuselage. The clincher, however, is the "bump"
directly behind the bulging 747 cockpit. It is clearly discernible in
both photos. No other plane has this piggy-backed
appendage. It is unique to the E-4B, and is integral to the plane's
military role as an airborne command center. The appendage contains a
communication satellite dish and perhaps other advanced electronic
hardware. In fact, this is the same plane that Linda Brookhart
photographed outside the White House. Although her vantage point was not
ideal­­­Linda was standing in the street looking almost straight up when
she snapped the shot­­­nonetheless, a careful inspection shows that the
plane in her photo is an E-4B. Notice, the aircraft has four
engines and all of the characteristics of a Boeing 747. In addition to
the white color, which is also a match, there is another crucial detail
that positively identifies the airplane. Notice the tiny blue spot near
the rear of the aircraft. Several close-ups of an E-4B
clearly show that this blue spot is simply the place where the blue
stripes painted on the fuselage come together at the rear of the

This is the only place on the 747 fuselage where the E-4B's
otherwise conspicuous blue stripes are visible, from beneath. No
other airplane has this combination of features. Linda explained to me
that at the time of the evacuation she believed the White House was the
target of the attack. She snapped the picture before the
towering plume of smoke became visible at the pentagon, which
suggests that the E-4B was already circling at the time of the
pentagon strike. Linda later contacted the FBI about her photograph.
After she developed the film an agent came by her office to pick up a
copy. But she never heard back. Nor did the 9/11 Commission ask her to
testify. In fact, they never even contacted her.[8]

No Ordinary Plane
Again, I must emphasize: this is no ordinary plane. The E-4B's
official designation is the National Emergency Airborne Command Post
(NEACP), pronounced "knee-cap." But the aircraft is more commonly known
as the "doomsday plane," because its premier function is to serve as a
flying command, control and communications (C3) center in the event of a
national emergency­­­or nuclear war. When the president travels on Air
Force One, an E-4B usually follows behind the
presidential entourage. Unlike Air Force One, however, the E-4B can be
refueled in midair and so has considerably greater range. For this
reason, when the president goes abroad on long trips he occasionally
flies on an E-4B to save travel time. The plane also doubles as a mobile
office for the Secretary of Defense. Recently, for example, when the
newly appointed Defense Secretary Robert Gates traveled to London for
talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair, he rode on an E-4B. According to
various reports, his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, often used the plane,
and much preferred it.

A recent article in the Air Force Civil Engineer describes the E-4B as "a
truly amazing" aircraft, and provides more details about its impressive
specs.[9] The $250 million dollar aircraft has all of the advanced
electronics needed for world-wide communication. If Air
Force One can be accurately described as a flying White House, then, the
E-4B is a substitute pentagon. The plane's electronics cover the full
radio spectrum, from extremely low frequency (ELF) to high
frequency (UHF). Which enables the E-4B to communicate with all US
military commands, world-wide, including tactical and strategic
forces, naval ships, planes, nuclear-armed missiles, even submarines. In
short, the E-4B is a fully equipped communications platform and can serve
as an airborne command center for all US military forces in a national
crisis. The plane carries its own electrical-generating plant to power
its electronic hardware, which is also shielded
against the damaging electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effects generated by
nuclear explosions. Even the plane's white color is a design feature­­­
not simply cosmetic. Its purpose is to help the E-4B survive in a nuclear
battlefield by reflecting heat away from the plane.

The E-4B carries a crew of 64, but can accommodate an additional 50
passengers, for a total of 114. The large 747 fuselage includes
command and work areas, conference and briefing rooms, as well as an
operations center or battle station. In addition the plane reportedly has
a rest area, bunks for sleeping, even a galley stocked with a week of
provisions. The Air Force has four E-4Bs, and they are
normally assigned to Offutt AFB, near Omaha, Nebraska. Offutt is the home
of STRATCOM, i.e., the Strategic Command (formerly the Strategic Air

Practicing Armageddon
According to one report, on September 11, 2001 three of the E-4Bs were
participating in a live command-level exercise known as Global
Guardian.[10] The exercise is an annual event, and is staged to test the
readiness of the US military's command and control procedures involved in
waging thermonuclear war. The 2001 exercise started the week before
September 11 under the directorship of Admiral Richard Mies,
commander-in-chief of STRATCOM. According to various reports, the drill
was in "full swing" at the time of the 9/11 attack.
Numerous other military commands were also involved, including NORAD.
While few details have been released, we know that in previous years the
US Space Command, the Air Combat Command, and the US Atlantic and Pacific
Fleets were also involved.[11]

Starting in the 1990s, Global Guardian included pre-planned mock
attacks upon the military's computer and information systems. For
example, during the 1998 exercise "terrorists" attempted to disrupt
STRATCOM's internal communications by hacking into its computers, and
also by tying up its phone/FAX lines with phony messages.[12]
Evidently, these "terrorist attacks" were at least partly successful,
although the details have not been released. In recent years, the
military has incorporated similar "attacks" into Global Guardian
exercises. However, it is not known if these were a part of the 2001
drill. We do know that at the time of the 9/11 attack one of the E- 4Bs
was en route to Offutt AFB with a high-level military advisory panel on
board, including its chairman, retired Lt. General Brent Scowcroft,
evidently for the purpose of observing the exercise. The role of this
panel, known as the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (FIAB), is to
monitor US intelligence agencies. As we know, STRATCOM abruptly
terminated the 2001 exercise at 9:03 AM, when Flight 175 crashed into the
South Tower.[13] However, the E-4Bs remained aloft. [14]

In previous years the military always staged Global Guardian in
October or November; and the 2001 exercise was likewise originally
scheduled for October, according to various reports.[15] Curiously,
however, for reasons never disclosed, the Joint Chiefs changed the plan
and conducted the 2001 exercise during the week of September 11. The
following year the date reverted back. The 2002 Global Guardian came off
in October, as in previous years, and this has continued to be the

All of which raises disturbing questions. Why did the Joint Chiefs change
the date of Global Guardian in 2001? Even more importantly, why was the
world's most sophisticated electronics warfare plane
circling over Washington at the time of the September 11 attack?
Recently, when the investigator who contacted me filed a Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) concerning the presence of the E-4B over
Washington on 9/11, the FAA responded that it "had no knowledge" of such
a plane. My contact also shared the basic information presented in this
article with his Congressman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and requested that
he look into the matter. Schiff then made a formal inquiry through
official channels, but was told that the Air Force knows nothing.
Obviously, the pentagon is lying. If the E-4B was on a legitimate mission
on September 11, why does the military deny its presence? Why would they
do this? When people lie it is generally because they have something to
hide. Is the US military any

Catch-22: The Need for a New Investigation
Although Linda Brookhart's photo provides sufficient detail to
positively ID the mystery plane, the short segment from the Discovery
Channel docudrama is extremely important corroborating evidence. For
which reason, myself and others have been working diligently to learn
more about it. The E-4B foot

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