Did American Flight 77 Strike the Pentagon?
On September 11, 2001 at 8:20 a.m. American Flight 77 departed Dulles Airport in Virginia for Los Angeles. It was said to be hijacked between 8:50 and 8:54 a.m. At 9:37:47 a.m. it allegedly crashed into the Pentagon.
Questions arose immediately regarding the crash into the Pentagon. How could this happen? The Pentagon is perhaps the most defended building in the world, in close proximity to the White House and the Capitol Building which are also two of the most defended buildings in the world. Where was the protection? This allegedly hijacked airplane was being monitored and had apparently turned from its western track on a line toward Washington D.C. This flight was not occurring in a vacuum. Already, two separate hijacked flights had struck the Twin Towers in New York City at 8:48 a.m. and 9: 03 a.m., and this plane was heading to the nation’s capital when it had taken off for Los Angeles and now apparently reversed course, making a 180 degree turn near the Ohio/West Virginia border. Where were the interceptors?
A very serious issue arose when Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta testified before the 9/11 Commission. He stated he heard Vice President Cheney reprimand a young man who had continued to inform Cheney of the distance of an unidentified airplane that was being monitored as it closed in on Washington D.C., from 50 miles out. When the plane was 10 miles out the man asked Cheney if the order still stood, to which Cheney whipped his head around and responded, “Did you hear anything to the contrary?” There appears, the possibility of a stand-down order having been given from the bunker in the White House by Vice President Cheney, while the hijacked airplane was being observed and closing in on the Capital. There is also conflicting statements concerning when Cheney arrived at the White House bunker. Cheney claiming he got there much later, after Flight 77 had already crashed.
The stand-down order seemed to allow the airplane to enter the prohibited air space of the capital unimpeded. Unbelievably, there were no military
airplanes to intercept it. There was no attempt to bring the flight down from ground sources including ground to air missiles mounted on the Pentagon. There appears to have been more than sufficient warning and time to prepare for the attack. The employees at the Pentagon who practice drills on evacuation in case of emergencies were, however, given no forewarning of a possible attack. One hundred and twenty-five Pentagon employees were killed in the attack.
Two airliners had already crashed into skyscrapers. Given this context in which the third known hijacked airliner was approaching the Capital, it is incomprehensible that this could have happened at a highly defended military facility in a highly protected city with the most sophisticated surveillance and defense system in the world. A hypothesis, not entertained by the government investigatory agencies to explain this attack on the Pentagon, is that a stand-down order had been issued, and the normal protection, which would have immediately removed the threat to the security of Washington, D.C., had been deactivated.
Secretary Mineta’s testimony concerning the damaging statement regarding both Cheney’s earlier presence in the bunker and what appeared to be a stand-down order he gave was not included in the 9/11 Commission investigation report.
Airplanes which were eventually dispatched from Norfolk, Virginia to intercept American Flight 77 either flew in the wrong direction out to sea or came from distances too far away to arrive in time for an interception.
There were also rumors that Flight 77 had actually crashed on the Ohio/Kentucky border which the 9/11 Commission mentions, but concluded that the Indianapolis FAA had quickly decided that they were wrong about the crash. Author David Ray Griffin in his book “The 9/11 Commission Report, Omissions and Distortions”, states that these rumors were substantial enough for Jane Garvey, FAA head to notify the White House about the crash, and for Dale Watson, the FBI’s counterterrorism chief to mention “a report of a large jet crashing in Kentucky near the Ohio line.” during a teleconference with Richard Clark, former White House terrorism coordinator.
But did American Flight 77 actually strike the Pentagon?
Major General Albert Stubblebine, former Commander of United States Army Intelligence from 1981-1984 studied, the photographs of the crash scene. He stated that the hole in the Pentagon did not seem big enough to account for a large Boeing 757. Major General Subblebine stated, “I don’t know what hit the Pentagon, but it was not an air plane. There should have been wing marks, but this object apparently did not have wings.”
The grassy area leading up to the Pentagon indicated that the plane had not strafed the ground or that a wing broke off.
The crash penetrated 3 rings into the Building. April Gallop who worked at the Pentagon as an administrative specialist with a top secret clearance said that she walked out of the impact hole and did not see any plane parts or fires, (other than from computers), did not smell jet fuel and did not feel any heat from a fire.
There is a serious question also of the recovered bodies on the air plane. The web site, Pentagon evidence 9/11 myths, states that 184 of 189 people were identified including both Pentagon personnel and flight passengers. The Democratic Underground.com, however, reported from PBS Newshour that the passenger’s bodies and Pentagon military casualties were burned beyond recognition and not expected to be identified. Rense. com reports that independent medical examiner Thomas Olmstead called the autopsy reports conducted by the Armed Forces Institution of Pathology (AFIP) staged and phony. An anonymous family member of a 9/11 victim stated, “I never received any remains or evidence of the person I lost on 9/11, but if there were any remains, I surely would have had them independently tested, instead of relying on the word of the government.”AFIP claims that they identified everyone but a young toddler. They however, failed to identify even one of the five alleged Muslim hijackers.
A true indicator identifying the flight would be the serial number of the plane’s flight data recorder (FDR), which the Pentagon officials claimed to have found in the wreckage. Author David Ray Griffin pointed out, however in his book “The New Pearl Harbor Revisited”, that the reason that the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) does not mention the serial number for identification is because there was no FDR with that serial number found. He concludes, therefore, that there is no documentation, according to the FBI. Documentation would prove that American Flight 77 struck the Pentagon.
Barbara Honegger claimed in her “Pentagon Attack Papers” that the black box, the flight data recorder which the government claims they recovered had no serial number on it. The lack of serial number, she states is contrary to federal law, which requires a serial number to identify all plane parts in case of a crash. Honegger also questioned whether the black box was tampered with because of a break in data which is indicative of tampering. She states that the FBI has refused to release serial numbers for parts that were alleged to be from Flight 77
There is a question of whether the C-ring hole in the Pentagon’s interior was made by a shaped charged warhead or device, as mechanical engineer Michael Meyer believes. According to Russell Pickering, of Rense.com, Meyer, compared the similar configuration of the exit hole with that of a shape charge. A shape charge is a circular explosive mechanism that attaches to a wall and is formed to concentrate its explosive force in a particular direction. Pickering states that the perfectly round exit hole, 310 feet from the entry area was not likely made by the aluminum nose punch out of a Boeing 757. There were 2 foot thick steel reinforced walls with Kevlar mesh, and pillars, and office material in between the impact and exit area for such a perfectly round hole to be made by a relatively light material. Pickering on his site, firstname.lastname@example.org, shows the use of a Rapid Wall Breaching Kit which makes a similarly perfectly round hole in the wall, and which is used in military operations.
There are questions regarding internal explosions in the Pentagon which may have been synchronistically timed to coincide with the crash. The Pentagon explosions appear to parallel what was taking place in the World Trade Center complex attack in New York City where there were reports of explosions in the North Tower just prior to the airplane crashing into it.
Barbara Honegger, states in her “Pentagon Attack Papers” that there are witnesses in the Pentagon who reported their clocks stopped running between 9:31 a.m. and 9:32 a. m. This was the time when there was an apparent explosion in the Pentagon before the actual strike by the alleged airliner. Multiple standard–issue, battery operated wall clocks on the Pentagon walls included, one in the heliport just outside the west face were stopped between 9:31 and 9:32 by this violent event.
Robert Andrews, a former Green Beret, was Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, the top civilian official in charge of special operations. He claimed he heard and saw a bomb go off in the auditing section next door to the Counter Terrorism Center where he was located.
The airplanes direction of flight according to the government representatives was said to be South of Columbia Pike as it approached the Pentagon. A number of witnesses including law enforcement officers, have told the Citizens Investigation Team, however that the flight direction approaching the Pentagon was from North of Columbia Pike.
The federal reports indicate that there were 5 lamp posts knocked down from an incoming air plane, and that one of the lamp posts impaled a taxi cab. An interview by the Citizens Investigation Team with the alleged taxi driver indicates that the damaged lamp posts may have been staged, by placing a lamp post into the cab through the front windshield according to statements made by the cab driver years later.
The area which was struck and destroyed in the Pentagon was investigating a missing $2.3 trillion in the Defense budget, announced the day before by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Most of the people in the Operations office doing the investigation were killed. This fact raises the question of whether this was merely a fated coincidence or actually a targeted hit because of the missing money.
The extremely difficult aerial descent which the alleged hijacked airplane made, according to federal reports, by an alleged inexperienced pilot, was said to be an impossibility by many expert pilots, including those from Pilots for 9/11 Truth.
Some of the witnesses who were employees from Arlington Cemetery told the Citizen Investigation Team that the plane banked to the right as it approached the Pentagon. Although they did not see the plane strike the building, immediately after the explosion a plane was reportedly seen leaving the area of the Pentagon.
It is believed by some critics that at the last moment the incoming airplane did bank to the right and then avoided the Pentagon and flew away while something else struck the Pentagon.
Some critics have said that the hole and damage at the Pentagon was more consistent with a hole caused by a cruise missile.
French author Thierry Meyssan’s theory in his book, “ 9/11: The Big Lie” asserts that the plane that struck the Pentagon was not a Boeing 757. A United States military plane may have been able to gain access to the no- fly area around the Pentagon and shoot a missile at the building, and then fly away. Based on this theory, American Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon. If that is so then, where is the plane and more importantly where are the passengers?
A question arises concerning government reports that cell phone calls were made from the hijacked airplane to relatives on the ground when cell phone technology was not yet perfected to make that call. Ted Olson. Solicitor General claims he received two telephone calls from his wife Barbara Olson. Olson had told the FBI that the first call lasted one minute. He told Larry King that the second call lasted two, three or four minutes. The 9/11 Commisssion stated that the FBI and Department of Justice believe there had actually been 4 calls from Barbara Olson. However, the FBI”s report on calls from Flight 77 in 2006, attributes only one call to Barbara Olson lasting zero seconds. According to Barbara Honegger, the FBI concluded that calls from Barbara Olson to her husband did not happen. According to author David Ray Griffen and Robert Balsamo, co founder of Pilots for 9/11 Truth, the technology did not yet exist. These alleged calls from Barbara Olson were the only government proof that American Flight 77 was still aloft after it had disappeared from radar in the Ohio/Kentucky area.
Creating even more consternation is that the cell phone call indicated that sixty passengers and two pilots were herded to the back of the plane by men with knives and box cutters. However, flight data stream from the flight data recorder shows that the cockpit door never opened during the entire 90 minute flight, according to reporter Sheila Casey, Rock Free Press. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) received the information but refused comment.
If the large Boeing did not strike the Pentagon, then what did and where is American Flight 77 and its passengers?
The FBI confiscated eighty-five video cameras with footage of the Pentagon area that were recorded at the time of the crash, and released only a single frame showing an impact and explosion but of what no one can tell.
A question arises why the government doesn’t release a definitive photo of the object striking the Pentagon; and why didn’t the 9/11 Commission insist on their release and subpoena the photos.
There are certainly enough unanswered questions to call for a new 9/11 investigation.