What Hit the Pentagon?
Where the Pentagon was struck on 9/11/01 is indisputable and is strong circumstantial evidence that the attack was an inside job. However, what hit it has remained controversial in some circles, given the refusal of authorities to produce definitive evidence to support the official story that American Airlines Flight 77was the attack plane. With security camera video from nearby businesses having been seized minutes after the attack, and only five selected video frames released by the military, we are left with seemingly contradictory physical and eyewitness evidence.
- Many eyewitnesses accounts describe a 757-like jetliner approach and collide with the Pentagon.
- Photographs of the impact damage seem difficult to reconcile with the collision of a 757, since they show neither the imprint of such a plane on the facade nor large recognizable pieces of aircraft.
These apparent contradictions stem partly from misconceptions about the physics of plane crashes. The contradictions vanish when one considers possible manipulations of a 757 crash, such as the destruction of portions of the plane just before impact. However, theories that nothing like a 757 crashed into the Pentagon have been so effectively popularized that mainstream media attacks on 9/11 skeptics frequently identify them as disputing only one aspect of the official story: that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
The Missile and/or Global Hawk Theories
Based on interpretations of the physical evidence — in many cases based on fallacies – several researchers have proposed theories that the damage to the Pentagon was caused by a missile, and/or a small lightweight remote-controlled plane, such as a Global Hawk. Variants of this theory became popular among skeptics of the official Flight 77 crash story in early 2002, despite their disregard for the eyewitness evidence that the plane seen approaching the Pentagon was a large twin-engine jetliner.
Much of the support for the missile and/or Global Hawk theories is drawn from the five frames of Pentagon video, despite their suspect source and signs of forgery.
The Two-Plane Theory
A second theory, also advanced in 2002, was researcher Dick Eastman’s small plane theory (or two-plane theory). It holds that a Boeing 757 did indeed swoop down toward the west block of the Pentagon, but disappeared into a blinding pyrotechnic display, making it appear that it had crashed into the building, while in fact it had cleared the facade, overflown the Pentagon, and then banked sharply to land at Reagan National Airport, whose runways are only about two miles away from the Pentagon. As the jetliner was disappearing into the fireball, a small attack jet, such as an F-16, approached from a different trajectory and crashed into the wall, producing, in combination with a missile, the damage to the facade and interior.
This theory has the advantage over other no-757-crash theories that it is consistent with the many credible eyewitness reports of a jetliner. However, it neither explains the eyewitness statements that the plane collided with the building, nor the lack of a single eyewitness statement supporting the idea that a 757 overflew the Pentagon and then landed at the nearby National airport. Also, the theory raises questions about the fate of the passengers of Flight 77.
The 757 overflight theory is perhaps the weakest part of the two-plane theory. The Pentagon is surrounded by highways, and by densely populated areas such as Pentagon City to the south. Wouldn’t a 757 overflying the Pentagon in a direction perpendicular to normal air traffic have been witnessed and reported by numerous individuals?
The Engineered Crash Theory
According to the above theories, no 757 crashed at the Pentagon on 9/11/01, despite the abundance of eyewitness reports of a large jetliner crashing. Some of these theories suggest that events were engineered to fool people into believing that Flight 77 had crashed. Some include elaborate stage-magic tricks, such as a drone painted like an American Airlines plane, and the use of motors and cables to pull down lamp poles.
Many no-757-crash theorists want us to believe that the attack was engineered to trick eyewitnesses into thinking a much smaller attack plane was a jetliner. But we can equally imagine that the attack was engineered to make the site of a 757 crash look to many observers like that of something else.
French researcher Eric Bart proposed that the airliner was shredded by shape charges both before and after it entered the building. His theory accounts for the eyewitness near-consensus in favor of a 757-type jetliner crashing, for details in eyewitness statements not consistent with a simple crash, and for the pattern of damage to the Pentagon not explained by other theories.
|e x c e r p t|
|title: Shaped charges|
|authors: Eric Bart|
|site: eric.bart.free.fr/iwpb/ page: eric.bart.free.fr/iwpb/inv2.html|
Bart theorizes only about the use of shaped charges in the destruction of the plane. However, it is possible to imagine other types of weapons may have produced a similar result. If these weapons were ground-based rather than installed in the plane, it would be easier to imagine that the event involved Flight 77, since the perpetrators would not have required physical access to the plane to prepare the attack.
The Remote-Controlled 757 Theory
The simplest theory that answers questions about the piloting skill required by the approach maneuver and the location of the strike is the remote-controlled 757 theory, in which an American Airlines 757, perhaps Flight 77, is flown by remote control into the Pentagon. The engineered crash theory is a subset of the remote-controlled 757 theory. Its added element of explosives or other weapons destroying portions of the aircraft prior to impact helps to reconcile the crash of a 757 with the crash impact damage shown in photographs, but this element is consistently targeted by critics defending no-757-crash theories. Researcher Mark Robinowitz, webmaster of oilempire.us, has suggested that speculation about crash engineering, like that about exactly what hit the Pentagon, has served as a distraction from the provable fact of where the building was hit and its implications. On The Pentagon attack: How the ‘no plane’ theories are used to discredit 9/11 skepticism and distract from proven evidence of complicity he provides evidence that the the no-757-crash theories may be rooted in a false-flag psy-op to discredit skepticism of the official story.
|page last modified: 2010-12-18|