9/11 Unveiled (part 9 of 10): The Pentagon


by Enver Masud


There is little if any hard evidence, available to the public, that American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 flying from Washington Dulles  International Airport, crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

At the Dept. of Defense (DoD) News Briefing on September 12, 2001, American Airlines, Flight 77, Boeing, Dulles, and passengers were not mentioned.

Standing in front of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Jamie McIntyre, CNN’s senior Pentagon correspondent since November 1992, reported:

From my close up inspection there’s no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon. . . . . The only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you could pick up in your hand. There are no large tail sections, wing sections, fuselage—nothing like that anywhere around which would indicate that the entire plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon. . . . It wasn’t till about 45 minutes later . . . that all of the floors collapsed.

Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher, incident commander at the Pentagon on September 11, corroborates Jamie McIntyre’s report. At the September 12, 2001, DoD briefing, 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.”

Victoria Clarke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs—“presenter” of the DoD briefing, did not contradict Plaugher. National news media failed to follow up on Plaugher’s comment.

Another question put to Chief Plaugher at the September 12, 2001, DoD 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?”

“I’d rather not comment on that,” replied Plaugher.

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 C-ring?

When asked, “Have you removed the bodies?” Chief Plaugher replied, “We have no information on any type of casualty or body counts at this time.”

Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who from her fifth-floor, B-ring office at the Pentagon, witnessed “an unforgettable fireball, 20 to 30 feet in diameter,” writes in 9/11 and American Empire: Muslims, Jews, and Christians Speak Out, that she was called for stretcher duty as she and others

stared in disbelief at a smoking gash in the Pentagon . . . But no person or thing emerged from that side of the Pentagon. We heard that survivors and injured folks were being rescued from the inside, . . . and out the River exit into ambulances.

Kwiatkowski continues that there was

a strange absence of airliner debris, there was no sign of the kind of damage to the Pentagon structure one would expect from the impact of a large airliner. This visible evidence or lack thereof may also have been apparent to the secretary of defense, who in an unfortunate slip of the tongue referred to the aircraft that slammed into the Pentagon as a ‘missile’.

Barbara Honegger, military affairs journalist and former White House policy analyst, writes NORAD’s

Gen. Larry Arnold, revealed that he ordered one of his jets to fly down low over the Pentagon shortly after the attack that morning, and that his pilot reported back that there was no evidence that a plane had hit the building.

Questions about what hit the Pentagon on September 11, continued to be raised at the Dept. of Defense News Briefing on September 15, 2001.

Honegger adds an intriguing statement:

Multiple standard-issue, battery-operated wall clocks . . . stopped between 9:31 and 9:32-1/2 on September 11. . . .

The Pentagon was attacked by bomb(s) at or around 9:32 a.m., possibly followed by an impact from an airborne object significantly smaller than Flight 77, a Boeing 757.

Fort Meyer Fire Department Unit 161 was reported on fire at the Pentagon at 9:38 a.m. (National Fire Protection Association Journal, November 1, 2001).

“Captain [Michael] Defina drove onto the heliport and directed Foam Unit 331 to set up there, where Fort Myer Unit 161 had established a hydrant water supply.” National Airport’s aircraft rescue firefighters “knocked down the bulk of the fire in the first seven minutes after their arrival”.

The hole in the Pentagon wall—prior to the collapse of the roof—is too small to accommodate a Boeing 757, and supporting columns seen in photographs appear to be bowed out, not in—which is what one would expect from the impact of a Boeing 757.

If only the fuselage penetrated the Pentagon, then the wings would have remained outside. But no large debris—anything resembling the Boeing 757 wings and fuselage—is visible on the Pentagon lawn, and the lawn itself shows no sign that a Boeing 757 skidded across it or struck it.

The engines of the Boeing 757 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.

One photo from the Pentagon crash site shows what could be an engine part about 30 inches in diameter outside the Pentagon. Another photo shows what could be an engine part (its size is difficult to determine) inside the Pentagon.

These parts, and other debris on the Pentagon lawn, that could identify Flight 77 have been withheld.

According to George Nelson, Colonel, USAF (ret.), serial numbers on aircraft parts could confirm the plane’s identity.

Col. Nelson writes:

In all my years of direct and indirect participation, I never witnessed nor even heard of an aircraft loss, where the wreckage was accessible, that prevented investigators from finding enough hard evidence to positively identify the make, model, and specific registration number of the aircraft—and in most cases the precise cause of the accident.

This is because every military and civilian passenger-carrying aircraft have many parts that are identified for safety of flight. . . . these parts are individually controlled by a distinctive serial number and tracked by a records section of the maintenance operation and by another section called plans and scheduling.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Aidan Monaghan for “documentation confirming the recovery and positive identification of debris from the commercial aircraft allegedly used in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001”, David M. Hardy of the FBI’s Records Management Division, on September 24, 2007, replied “the material requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure”.

Photos and videos of the Pentagon—which may be viewed at twf.org/911.html—reveal yet more curious sights: a trailer, light poles, and a highway sign in front of the damaged area still intact after a Boeing 757 is alleged to have flown through there; 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 identified; “50 FBI officers” walking “shoulder-to-shoulder across the south grounds of the Pentagon, picking up debris and stuffing it into brown bags” (Washington Post, September 12, 2001).

Then there’s the testimony of Norman Y. Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation, that Vice President Richard B. Cheney may have given a do not shoot order to facilitate an attack on the Pentagon.

In response to a question by the Vice-Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Mr. Mineta states:

There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, “The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.” And when it got down to, “The plane is 10 miles out,” the young man also said to the vice president, “Do the orders still stand? ”And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?”

Five video frames initially released by the Pentagon raised more questions than they answered—no Boeing 757 was visible. Videos released on May 16, 2006, pursuant to a FOIA request by Judicial Watch, are as inconclusive as the first five frames.

Prosecution Trial Exhibits P200023 through P200041 of the Pentagon, presented in United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui (2006), reveal even less than the photographs available on the Internet (twf.org).

On September 12, 2001, the Washington Post reported two phone calls from Barbara Olson to her husband Theodore Olson—42nd Solicitor General of the United States: “She called from the plane while it was being hijacked,” he said.

The 9/11 Commission Report states these two calls were made between 9:16 and 9:26.

However, exhibit P200054 contradicts the Solicitor General’s account. It shows that Barbara Olson made only one “unconnected call”—it lasted for 0 seconds.

Further doubt has been cast on the official account of Flight 77 by Pilots for 9/11 Truth founded by Robert Balsamo. They claim that “video captured by the parking gate cam is in direct conflict with the Aircraft Flight Data Recorder data released by the NTSB.”

The 9/11 Commission Report animation (July 2004) shows an aircraft flying south of the Navy Annex, and the video captured by Pentagon security cameras shows an object flying level before striking the Pentagon. The NTSB data animation (January 2002), according to the pilots’ organization, shows an aircraft flying north of the Navy Annex, not levelling off, and being too high to have hit the Pentagon.

Eyewitnesses interviewed by the Citizen Investigation Team—Pentagon police officers Sgt William Lagasse and Sgt Chadwick Brooks—confirm seeing a plane flying along a path north of the CITGO gas station which sits east and slightly north of the Navy Annex.

The U.S. Department of Justice has yet to respond to an October 24, 2005 FOIA appeal, filed by Scott A. Hodes for 85 videotapes of the September 11, 2001 crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

And there are unresolved issues regarding the complex maneuver executed by the alleged pilot of Flight 77, and the identities of the alleged hijackers.

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 complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed.”

The New York Times (May 4, 2002) reported that Hani Hanjour “could not fly at all.”

Also, Hanjour’s “name was not on the American Airlines manifest for the flight because he may not have had a ticket” (Four Planes, Four Coordinated Teams, Washington Post).

How then did Hanjour get on the flight, and how was he able to approach the Pentagon?

“Only a military aircraft, not a civilian plane flown by al Qaeda, would have given off the ‘Friendly’ signal needed to disable the Pentagon’s antiaircraft missile batteries as it approached the building” writes Honegger.

Furthermore, the official account of Flight 77 on September 11, 2001 defies the laws of science.

Calculations based on its Flight Data Recorder (FDR)—obtained pursuant to a FOIA request by
Pilots for 9/11 Truth—show that Flight 77 would have encountered a G-Force of around 33 times its normal weight when it would have to level out, about 150 yards in front of the Pentagon, and fly across the Pentagon lawn at “530 miles per hour” with “the top of the fuselage of the aircraft no more than 20 ft above the ground” (Pentagon Building Performance Report, p14) in order to strike the first floor of the 5-story, 71 feet tall Pentagon.

Had Flight 77 attempted this maneuver, it would have crashed on the lawn in front of the Pentagon.

Just prior to September 11, 2001, a congressional committee was investigating unaccounted funds at the DoD—$2.3 trillion in FY 1999, and $1.1 trillion in FY 2000. The section of the Pentagon destroyed housed records of DoD spending, and the personnel for monitoring that spending.

The Pentagon crash may be the only commercial airline crash in modern history in which most of the available evidence has been withheld from the public. Reporters on the scene were “handcuffed and dragged away” (DoD News Briefing, September 12, 2001).


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