After examining publicly available evidence, I have come to the conclusion that it is very unlikely that a Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11. Photos and videos held by the U.S. government could very well refute my conclusion - I would welcome that because the alternative is far more disturbing.
The Pentagon crash may be the only commercial airline crash in modern history for which the photographic record is not available to the public. Five video frames from Pentagon cameras raise more questions than they answer - no Boeing 757 is visible.
../Y2002/0215-Pentagon.JPG I'm an engineering management consultant, and live less than a mile from the Pentagon. The first question that I asked other onlookers as we viewed the crash site was: "Where's the plane?"
In the photos publicly available, the hole in the Pentagon wall - prior to the collapse of the roof - appears much too small to have been caused by a Boeing 757, and virtually no airplane debris is visible on the Pentagon lawn. Indeed early reports claimed that a truck bomb had exploded, and that the damage was similar to that inflicted on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Also, how does one reconcile the relatively minor damage to the Pentagon by a Boeing 757 (the Pentagon's five rings are built with reinforced conrete walls 18 inches thick), with the total destruction of the World Trade Center by two Boeing 767s (each tower was built with 236 exterior columns, and 47 core columns - all made of steel and connected to each other by steel trusses)? By suspending the laws of science in either one or both locations?
Eyewitness accounts offer conflicting testimony, and in any case are a poor substitute for scientific investigation - physical evidence must take precedence over eyewitness accounts. One eyewitness account, however, takes precedence over those of passersby.
Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher - at a Dept. of Defense News Briefing with Assistant Secretary Victoria Clarke on September 12, 2001 - 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."
Didn't Chief Plaugher see the plane's engines? The engines 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. Photos from the Pentagon crash site show what looks like an engine rotor about 30 inches in diameter - a Boeing 757's engines are about nine feet in diameter.
Another question put to Chief Plaugher at the 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..." Plaugher responded: "I'd rather not comment on that."
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?
It is curious that at this News Briefing, held approximately 24 hours after American Airlines Flight 77 departing from Dulles airport is said to have crashed into the Pentagon, the words "Boeing," "Dulles," "flight," and "passengers" were not even mentioned. The word "plane" was mentioned once, but Chief Plaugher would "not comment on that."
It is even more curious that national news media failed to follow up on Chief Plaugher's comment that "there's no fuselage sections and that sort of thing" when dozens of onlookers, relatives, and firefighters were interviewed on network television about the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.
Photos and videos of the Pentagon reveal yet more curious sights: one shows 8 or 10 men in office clothes carrying a large box covered with a blue tarpaulin while firefighters look on; another shows 40 or 50 men in office clothes walking shoulder to shoulder in line apparently looking for small items; yet another shows office furniture and a computer monitor which survived the fire that is alleged to have vaporized the Boeing 757 (highly improbable, if not impossible).
As for the 19 alleged hijackers, their names do not appear on Associated Press' "partial list of victims" on the hijacked flights - the final list has not been made public. On September 20, 2001 FBI Director Robert S. Mueller acknowledged, "the identity of several of the suicide hijackers is in doubt." On September 23, 2001 the BBC revealed that four of the hijack "suspects" were alive.
The conspiracy theory set forth in "The 9/11 Commission Report" offers no explanation for the hijacker's identities, and it contradicts publicly available evidence regarding the Pentagon crash site.
The issue of whether or not a Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon could be settled by examining the photos and videos taken between 9:35 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on September 11, 2001 by cameras located inside and outside the Pentagon, the cameras at the nearby gas station and the Sheraton, and the Dept. of Transportation cameras. These have not been made public.
Since September 11, 2001, about 5,000 foreign nationals have been detained by the United States and denied basic constitutional rights in the name of "wartime" expediency even though Director Mueller said in speech at the Commonwealth Club on April 19, 2002: "In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper - either here in the United States, or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere - that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot."
On March 4, 2004, a German court "overturned the world's only conviction" in connection with the September 11 attack on America "because the U.S. withheld crucial evidence."
I do not possess necessary and sufficient facts to offer an alternative theory to that of the 9/11 Commission. I have, however, collected sufficient evidence for my conclusion - subject to release of the abovementioned photos and videos - that it is very unlikely that a Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon.
For a detailed analysis of deficiences in "The 9/11 Commission Report," I recommend highly David Ray Griffin's "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions."
Enver Masud, "Deadly Deception, Pretexts for War," The Wisdom Fund, July 30, 2001
"Hunt the Boeing!," Asile.org, 2001
Enver Masud, "What Really Happened on September 11?," The Wisdom Fund, February 15, 2002
VIDEO: 9/11 Pentagon Strike
VIDEOS: 911Truth.org, "9/11 Multimedia Galleries"
Enver Masud, "9/11: An Open Letter to The Washington Post," The Wisdom Fund, March 3, 2005
Enver Masud, "9/11: An Open Letter to The New York Times," The Wisdom Fund, March 4, 2005
Enver Masud, "9/11: An Open Letter to the Los Angeles Times," The Wisdom Fund, March 7, 2005Copyright © 2005 The Wisdom Fund - Provided that it is not edited, and author name, organization, and web address (www.twf.org) are included, this article may be printed in newspapers and magazines, and displayed on the Internet.