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International Inquiry into 9-11, Phase One, San Francisco, March 26-28th 2004
International Inquiry into 9-11, Phase One, San Francisco, March 26-28th 2004

"And these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise."

Independent Flight 77 - Pentagon Event Investigation

Evidence and Witness - Part 2: The Pentagon Event

"It's easy to imagine an infinite number of situations where the government might legitimately give out false information," the Solicitor-General, Theodore Olson, told the court on Monday. "It's an unfortunate reality that the issuance of incomplete information and even misinformation by government may sometimes be perceived as necessary to protect vital interests."(yahoo) (smh)

For Immediate Release

This is a work in progress
Agent Fescado

Evidence and Witness

Part 2 - The Pentagon Event

Witness observation and available data support the drone argument presenting challenge to the official story.

A Textbook-like Landing

What most witness reports tend to agree about is the landing. A textbook-like landing approach is often reported... "seemed to be flying normally for a plane coming in for a landing... It looked like a normal landing, as if someone knew exactly what they were doing." I've seen this exact statement time and time again. The Pentagon is only 71 feet tall, not much room for error at the speeds claimed. Incompetent pilots maneuver on a dime so-to-speak? You know how difficult Naval avaition is - landing on a pitching carrier deck. Think about it...

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." (washington post)

The Incompetence Factor

"I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon," the former employee said. "He could not fly at all."

A Trainee Noted for Incompetence
May 4, 2002

Although the authorities say none of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were tied to an F.B.I. intelligence alert issued by an agent in Arizona two months earlier, one hijacker, Hani Hanjour, had come to the Federal Aviation Administration's attention earlier last year, when he trained in Phoenix.

Mr. Hanjour, who investigators contend piloted the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon, was reported to the aviation agency in February 2001 after instructors at his flight school in Phoenix had found his piloting skills so shoddy and his grasp of English so inadequate that they questioned whether his pilot's license was genuine.

Records show a Hani Hanjour obtained a license in 1999 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Previous and sometimes contradictory reports said he failed in 1996 and 1997 to obtain a license at other schools.

"The staff thought he was a very nice guy, but they didn't think his English was up to level," said Marilyn Ladner, a vice president at the Pan Am International Flight Academy, which operated the center in Phoenix. Ms. Ladner said that the F.A.A. examined Mr. Hanjour's credentials and found them legitimate and that an inspector, by coincidence, attended a class with Mr. Hanjour. The inspector also offered to find an interpreter to help Mr. Hanjour, she said.

"He ended up observing Hani in class," Ms. Ladner added, "though that was not his original reason for being there."

Company officials briefed members of Congress about the case, including Representative James L. Oberstar, Democrat of Minnesota, who made public some of its general details in December.

The aviation agency did not return a call for comment.

Pan Am International, one of the largest pilot schools in the nation, also operated the flight school in Eagan, Minn., near Minneapolis, where the instructors' suspicions led to the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, the man whom the authorities have said was intended to be the 20th hijacker.

Ms. Ladner said the Phoenix staff never suspected that Mr. Hanjour was a hijacker but feared that his skills were so weak that he could pose a safety hazard if he flew a commercial airliner.

"There was no suspicion as far as evildoing," Ms. Ladner said. "It was more of a very typical instructional concern that 'you really shouldn't be in the air.'"

A former employee of the school said that the staff initially made good-faith efforts to help Mr. Hanjour and that he received individual instruction for a few days. But he was a poor student. On one written problem that usually takes 20 minutes to complete, Mr. Hanjour took three hours, the former employee said, and he answered incorrectly.

Ultimately, administrators at the school told Mr. Hanjour that he would not qualify for the advanced certificate. But the ex-employee said Mr. Hanjour continued to pay to train on a simulator for Boeing 737 jets. "He didn't care about the fact that he couldn't get through the course," the ex-employee said.

Staff members characterized Mr. Hanjour as polite, meek and very quiet. But most of all, the former employee said, they considered him a very bad pilot.

"I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon," the former employee said. "He could not fly at all." (nytimes)

Precise Maneuvering

At the Dulles tower, O'Brien saw the TV pictures from New York and headed back to her post to help other planes quickly land. "We started moving the planes as quickly as we could," she says. "Then I noticed the aircraft. It was an unidentified plane to the southwest of Dulles, moving at a very high rate of speed ... I had literally a blip and nothing more." O'Brien asked the controller sitting next to her, Tom Howell, if he saw it too. "I said, 'Oh my God, it looks like he's headed to the White House,'" recalls Howell. "I was yelling ... 'We've got a target headed right for the White House!'" At a speed of about 500 miles an hour, the plane was headed straight for what is known as P-56, protected air space 56, which covers the White House and the Capitol. "The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane," says O'Brien. "You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe." The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away, says O'Brien, "and it was just a countdown. Ten miles west. Nine miles west ... Our supervisor picked up our line to the White House and started relaying to them the information, [that] we have an unidentified very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, 8 miles west." Vice President Cheney was rushed to a special basement bunker. White House staff members were told to run away from the building. "And it went six, five, four. And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away. In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital, and to protect our president, and we sat back in our chairs and breathed for just a second," says O'Brien. But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver. "We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited. And we waited. And your heart is just beating out of your chest waiting to hear what's happened," says O'Brien. "And then the Washington National [Airport] controllers came over our speakers in our room and said, 'Dulles, hold all of our inbound traffic. The Pentagon's been hit.'" (ABC)
(CBS) New radar evidence obtained by CBS News strongly suggests that the hijacked jetliner which crashed into the Pentagon hit its intended target. Top government officials have suggested that American Airlines Flight 77 was originally headed for the White House and possibly circled the Capitol building. CBS News Transportation Correspondent Bob Orr reports that's not what the recorded flight path shows. Eight minutes before the crash, at 9:30 a.m. EDT, radar tracked the plane as it closed to within 30 miles of Washington. Sources say the hijacked jet continued east at a high speed toward the city, but flew several miles south of the restricted airspace around the White House. At 9:33 the plane crossed the Capitol Beltway and took aim on its military target. But the jet, flying at more than 400 mph, was too fast and too high when it neared the Pentagon at 9:35. The hijacker-pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn. 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. Some eyewitnesses believe the plane actually hit the ground at the base of the Pentagon first, and then skidded into the building. Investigators say that's a possibility, which if true, crash experts say may well have saved some lives. At the White House Friday, spokesman Ari Fleischer saw it a different way. "That is not the radar data that we have seen," Fleischer said, adding, "The plane was headed toward the White House." Ten days after the hijacked airliner slammed into the Pentagon, leaving 189 people dead or missing including those on the plane, and gouging a giant smoky slice out of the world's biggest office building, some 300 people were looking for clues. (CBS)

The above is illuminating in that it notes, ever so subtly, the inconsistency between the eye-witnesses' observations of complex aeronautical maneuvers, a textbook-like landing approach and the well-known incompetence of the student pilots. We are suffering what I call the "Star Wars Syndrome" a quote from the movie illustrates my opinion, "...and these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise." (Ben Kenobi to Luke Skywalker after realizing the Imperial stormtroopers were trying to frame the Sandpeople for the attack on the Jawas in the desert) Putting the data together in a meaningful way has left me with the impression that whatever aircraft was 'loitering' over DC finally received instruction to initiate a landing approach vector with a specific point on the Pentagon as an intersect. They still never had radio/radar/transponder contact with the original Flight 77. How do they know this phantom aircraft over DC is actually Flight 77? The confusion in the control room is evident and documented above. - Remember: We're suggesting the real Flight 77 was recovered by this time and they were running out of options to effectively 'hide' it. The "planners" probably considered the White House, but reconsidered and opted for the Pentagon instead. They needed to do something... dramatic... light casualties... significant... the Pentagon can handle it... it was being renovated anyhow and the whole operation would move forward just about any military agenda. (Realize: Specific aim points calculated for specific damage patterns were routinely selected and commented on during Gulf2, the Second Gulf War - They are not stupid.)

What About the MISSING Frames?

An animated look at what the Pentagon security camera captured on S11

An animated look at what the Pentagon security camera captured on S11

The footage frames have been removed from the MSNBC server location as of 20031223 or earlier - now why would they do that?

Locally Archived Frames

Because the object frame (1) and impact frame (2) have identical timecodes, no accurate estimates can be made. Can we tell it's under a second? I'd like to see frames 17:37:18 and 17:37:20. Actually, I'd like to see a whole sequence with SMPTE timecode. Let me run it through the editor. American standard is basically 30 frames a second with timecode usually working [hrs:min:sec:frames] I don't know what the timecode system is that is 'burned' into the frames. Is it [hrs:min:sec] or [min:sec:frames] or as suggested [min:sec:100/sec] I just don't know. As for the official report let me see...

"The sequence of pictures obtained by NBC News covers just four one-hundredths of a second. The photos show the explosion, the fireball and a black plume of smoke that towered over the Pentagon that morning. It was an attack that claimed 189 lives and changed many others." (MSNBC)

Personally, I don't think the reporter knows what he's talking about. I think he's just assuming timecode is based in 100/sec or that the camera is operating 100 frames/second, which just seems unreasonable. But maybe he's right. I just don't have the data.

There has been much debate on what Frame 1 actually shows. Many see the Attack Craft's vertical stablizer and the white plume trailing behind. Many see nothing other than what might be only some part of a dust cloud visible, and still others see absolutely nothing... Shows you how much you can rely on witnesses who are able to view the event over and over again in front of their faces...

Cybersleuths Suggest Jumbo Jet

optical analysis of Pentagon attack object

A Look at Other Aircraft

american eagle plane
An American Eagle plane

A S-3B plane. It is interesting to note:

  1. The color schemes are similar to American Airlines/Eagle.
  2. The two engines-under-the-wings configuration is similar to American Airlines/Eagle.
  3. The attributes are consitent with the above witness testimony ("which sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter jet... which appeared to hold about eight to 12 people").
  4. The flight chracteristics are not inconsistent with what tower operators claim ("The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane,") and ("The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it's clear there was no fight for control going on.").
  5. Last but not least, it fits the profile and size of the craft depicted on the Pentagon security camera footage.


What About The OTHER Footage?

But Velasquez slammed down the receiver and raced outside when he felt the gas station he supervises suddenly begin to tremble from a too-close airplane. "It was like an earthquake," the Costa Rican native said last week. What Velasquez felt above him almost within touching distance was American Airlines Flight 77 just seconds before impact. ...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." (Access Atlanta)

...and the Data Recorders?

...and the Wreckage?

frames and graphics shoing possible rear fuselage wreckage visible in frames 4 and 5 of the Pentagon security camera footage

What we expect to see...

wreckage from

Small selection of aircraft debris from other events

What we do see...

nice lawn in front of smoking Pentagon

nice lawn in front of smoking Pentagon

NEW: Aircraft debris in Pentagon


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