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Independent Flight 77 - Pentagon Event Investigation

Critical Thinking: Emerging Theories

Section - 3

Evidence and Witness

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

A.K.A. The Star Wars Syndrome: "...and these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise."


What We Have To Work With

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)

UPDATE: EYE-WITNESS CONTACTS HUMANUNDERGROUND - DETAILS POSTED

Precise Maneuvering

  • Air traffic controller recalls event
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)
  • A confusing set of details from CBS 21 September 2001
(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: the real Flight 77 was recovered by this time and they were running out of options to effectively 'hide' it. They considered the White House, I'm sure... Maybe the captured terrorists on the recovered Flight 77 told officials that the WH was their original target. The "planners" 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 will move forward just about any military agenda. (Realize: specific aim points calculated for specific damage patterns routinely selected and commented on during Gulf War 2 - They are not stupid.)


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 
By JIM YARDLEY

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)


More Qestions

On an interview on Gretta Van Susteren: it took American Airlines 48hrs to confirm their plane hit the Pentagon. A lot can happen in 48hrs. For half the day on S-11, Mr. Push, Gretta's guest, was led to believe that his wife perished in the WTC event, after which he learned it was Flight 77 his wife was on hitting the Pentagon.

Is this why there is confusion?

washington post graphic claiming AA 77 hit the WTC first
washington post graphic claiming AA 77 hit the WTC first

washington post graphic claiming AA 11 hit the WTC first
washington post graphic claiming AA 11 hit the WTC first

WAS IT REALLY REPORTED THAT AA 77 HIT WTC AT 8:50 AFTER DEPARTING DULLES AT 8:10?

Not according to the NYTimes. At 8:50 Contact was lost.

NYTimes Flight 77 Transcript indicates radar and radio loss between last transmission at 8:50:51 and radio request at 8:56:32, they maintained a coast-track of the last known vector about 9:06, "and his last clearance as far as you know is on course to falmouth and then jay one thirty four right well we're just gonna treat him like non radar and we've already told the next sector they're gonna have to sterilize for him until we find out."

According to a "LIFE" special report, at 9:24 "The FAA notifies NORAD that a third jet, American Airlines Flight 77, bound from Washington to Los Angeles, has been hijacked. NORAD launches two F-16 fighters from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to intercept the airliner." At 9:41 an aircraft impacts the Pentagon . . . "The fighter planes from Langley were still 12 minutes, or 105 miles, away when the Pentagon was hit."

According to the above tower dialogues reported by CBS, "9:30 a.m. EDT, radar tracked the plane as it closed to within 30 miles of Washington."

9:36 National Airport instructs a military C130 (Golfer06) that had just departed Andrews Air Force base to intercept and identify it. Golfer06 reports it is a B767, moving low and very fast (http://professor2222.tripod.com/Flight-93/Fl93.Pentagon.htm).

The CBS tower dialoges indicate: "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."

This is about the time the C130 acquired it.

We have found a well articulated witness testimony to confirm the other aircraft and the C-130

We constantly scanned skyward with our "eyeball radar," noting the sound of every jet engine seemed to make us jump. Fortunately, the only aircraft noise was the crisp distinctive ripping sound was of Air Force F-16's or the roar and popping of the rotor blades of a Park Police UH-1 helicopter surveying the damage. The only large fixed wing aircraft to appear was a gray C-130, which appeared to be a Navy electronic warfare aircraft, he seemed to survey the area and depart in on a westerly heading. (Eye-witness testimony).

We have approximately 80 minutes of flight time, assuming a contiguous situation, for Flight 77. It departs at 8:21 and impacts 80 minutes, or 1 hour 20 minutes, later at 9:41. According to radio transcripts from NYTimes, we see that contact was lost approximately 30-some minutes into its flight. Most reports tend to show that as the midpoint in the flight path. If we assume the plane turned around and came back to attack Washington, it would seem to arrive near 20 minutes late. Since contact was lost and that can only be done after the craft is already under hostile control; we cannot say there was a 20 minute struggle for control of the aircraft. We are equally unable to explain the 20 minute lapse as the time it takes to turn the aircraft around. It is also difficult to account the time as loiter time over Washington DC as the hijackers discussed targets of opportunity (radar indicates it was tracked inbound at 9:30). Even if we subtract 3 minutes for the time discrepancy between the 9:41 impact reported by "LIFE" and the 9:38 impact suggested by the CBS tower report, we are still at a significant time-loss.

What happened in those 20 minutes?

Could the REAL Flight 77 have been recovered and a drone launched in those minutes?


What About The MISSING Frames?

Because the object frame (1) and impact frame (2) have identical timecodes, no accurate estimates can be made. We can 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...

...and 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 http://www.airsafetyonline.com/photos/vladivostokavia/7.shtml
http://www.airsafetyonline.com/photos/vladivostokavia/7.shtml

Small selection of aircraft debris from other events

What we do see...

nice lawn in front of smoking Pentagon
http://jccc.afis.osd.mil/images/images.pl?Lbox=defenselink.Pentagon_Attack


NEW: Aircraft debris in Pentagon

[20021204]

Question: Luggage and occupant debris - where? Remains? Drone? Just because we can infer the type of aircraft, identifying it as AA77 is a whole other matter. Remember this aircraft's identity has been unconfirmed since contact was first lost with AA77 at approx. 8:50


Independent Flight 77 - Pentagon Event Investigation


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