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The Five-Sided Fantasy Island
An analysis of the Pentagon explosion on 9-11
By Richard Stanley & Jerry Russell version 2.0 (3/12/2004) page 1 of 5
Earliest reports from the Pentagon indicated that a helicopter explosion or attack took place. However, during the course of the day, two legends were put into place -- the first, that the Pentagon was struck by an airliner; and also an alternative hoax, that a missile was responsible. But no tangible, verifiable evidence of an airliner crash at the Pentagon has ever been produced. Our analysis indicates that in reality, sophisticated shaped-charge explosive technology was used to create a scene comporting with the appearance of an jetliner crash, while simultaneously a 757 overflew the area and landed at nearby Reagan National Airport. If this scenario is correct, it shows that US intelligence agencies have developed an extraordinary capability to create elaborate magic shows on the world stage, generate false testimony and false evidence, and control and manipulate not only the "official story" but also its dialectical opposition among the critics.
By tracing the development of the "official story" we can gain insights into its vulnerabilities. As documented by Thierry Meyssan in his books "9/11:The Big Lie" and "Pentagate" -- on the morning of September 11, the national news media, the White House and the Pentagon were unable to ascertain that an airliner struck the Pentagon, until this was personally attested to by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who walked from his office to the disaster on a fact-finding mission. ("Big Lie", pp. 13-14; "Pentagate", pp. 94-95). On Sept. 12, the Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher said "there are some small pieces of aircraft visible from the interior during this fire-fighting operation I'm talking about, but not large sections. In other words, there's no fuselage sections and that sort of thing... we have... what we believe is to be the nose of the aircraft." Reporters speculated that perhaps most of the plane had been consumed by fire.
Meanwhile, other reporters were out gathering eyewitness testimony, and found that many people saw a Boeing aircraft approaching the Pentagon on a flight path over Arlington Cemetery or its Naval Annex. However, initial reports from individuals very close to the crash were strange: they spoke of "a shrill noise", an "airplane which seemed to be able to hold eight or twelve persons", "something that made the sound of a missile", "like a cruise missile with wings" . It was difficult to find reports of anyone who clearly stated that they saw a Boeing aircraft in the moment of striking the Pentagon: Frank Probst and Steve Riskus were among the earliest to surface. We shall cover their testimony in more detail later.
As Meyssan and others began to raise questions on an international basis, more contradictions emerged, and the "official story" began to mutate. A few highly debatable debris photographs began to emerge, and Ed Plaugher completely reversed his earlier remarks, stating that beginning 35 to 40 minutes after the attack, he saw: "pieces of the fuselage, the wings, the landing gear, pieces of the engine, seats. I can swear to you, it was a plane." Finally, the French agency Digipress stated that FBI authorities had told them (in Meyssan's words) that FBI agents "have recovered a large part of the debris, making possible a nearly complete reconstitution of the wreck of the Boeing", and FBI spokesman Chris Murray told the French paper Liberation that "The pieces of the plane are stocked in a warehouse and they are marked with the serial numbers of flight 77." Thus, to the international press, the FBI has effectively acknowledged that early reports that the plane was destroyed by fire, are impossible -- yet none of this "nearly complete reconstitution" has ever been seen anywhere in the American press, nor in any of the semi-official reports of the incident. ("Pentagate", p. 20).
Meyssan's work has been on the best-seller list in France, and it has triggered vociferous controversy in the US as well -- not so much among the general public, who find the idea of a black-ops "magic show" on 9-11 to be about as likely as any other X-Files plot involving flying saucers and shape-shifting aliens -- but among the small community of 9-11 researchers and skeptics. A dedicated cadre of researchers -- including Dick Eastman, Eric Hufschmid, Gerard Holmgren, Jeff Strahl, Kee Dewdney, Ralph Omholt, Carol Valentine, anonymous authors "Killtown" and "The Guardian" and others -- have argued that the Pentagon attack on 9/11 was an outrageous fraud, and that no 757 aircraft struck the Pentagon. Most of them have argued in favor of the missile theory. Others including Sarah Roberts, Ron Harvey, John Judge, Michael Rivero, Eric Bart and Jean-Pierre Desmoulins have been impressed by the evidence that the "official story" is correct, at least to the extent that they believe a 757 did indeed strike the Pentagon.
In this article, we discuss a possibly valid counter-dialectic for the various viewpoints -- by analyzing the suspicious circumstances, video and photographic evidence, and unexplained eyewitness testimony, all pointing to the likelihood that the entire Pentagon scenario was indeed a "Five Sided Fantasy Island" episode -- a pyrotechnical magic show, crafted like a Hollywood special effect. If this is the case, the perpetrators' motives, methods and opportunity are all easy enough to identify. The evidence is arguably thinner than we might like -- but for those who still believe that a 757 struck the Pentagon, we would invite them to try to find Chris Murray of the FBI, and ask him if they can see the warehouse full of parts.
If the advocates of the "missile theory" have been guilty of propagating a legendary story as well, we do not argue that this has been with any evil intent (or at least, not in most cases.) Nevertheless we do attempt to show that some of the most appealing arguments that have been used by "missile theory" advocates are based on flawed intuition. Investigators have been going down the "garden path" by over-reacting to anomalies -- such as the small hole size and the lack of sizable wing debris -- which might ultimately be explained in terms of the physics of aircraft strikes against reinforced concrete targets. We will explore this conceivability in more detail, by discussing the results of a scientific paper, the statements of particular 'credible' witnesses which harmonize with the study, and what the photographic evidence revealed in contrast. The photographs also show quite clearly that the crime scene carried many markers consistent with a jetliner impact, which could not possibly have been caused by any cruise missile or small jet fighter.
Yet it is impossible to explain the attraction of the "missile theory" entirely on the basis of poorly informed speculation; on the contrary we also find that some of the suspicious and confusing evidence must have been intentionally planted by intelligence operatives, in order to hide the scam and muddy the waters, and to discredit critics of the "official story" as contradictory evidence is gradually released.
We are left with pure demolition as the best possible explanation. Of all the "no 757" theories, this provides the best fit to the evidence, as well as the best fit to the operational requirements of the perpetrators. The demolition theory is compared and contrasted with the explanation that a 757 did strike the Pentagon. If the "757 attack" was a fraud, then it was not carried out by incompetent jerks who couldn't figure out how big the hole should have been, or what sort of engines are used in a 757. It was a deliberate, carefully planned deception which was designed and implemented to be as indistinguishable as possible from the "real McCoy". Thus, we should not be surprised to find much in the scenario that fits very well with the explanation that a 757 impacted the Pentagon west wedge, just as the "official story" says -- or at least when overlooking many subtle aspects to the contrary.
In reviewing this controversy, we are not intending to give any support whatsoever to US government or mass-media accounts of September 11. Even if our argument that no 757 struck the Pentagon is ultimately rejected, advocates of the "official story" -- or even its "Let It Happen On Purpose" variant -- must still explain how the inept pilot Hani Hanjour successfully carried out the amazing ground-level approach to the Pentagon, after completing a spectacular descending turn -- and why the Arab hijackers would have chosen to attack the least-occupied part of the Pentagon (recently rehabilitated for blast resistance) rather than aiming for Donald Rumsfeld's office. At this website, we have long believed that if a 757 struck the Pentagon, it must have been at the hands of a highly skilled pilot -- or a remote control system.
Regardless of the truth of the matter -- we believe that as long as there are unanswered questions about 9-11, the Pentagon crash deserves to be a matter of ongoing research and public inquiry.
At this point, we are still lacking any official 'for the record' government investigation into the physical evidence of the Pentagon event of 9/11/2001. However, some documentation has now been released. We can consider the ASCE Pentagon Building Performance report and its eyewitness testimony, and the scientific presentations referenced in that ASCE report, i.e. Sugano et al 1992 and the Purdue computer simulation, as useful enough baselines for analysis. This is, at least, the unofficial official story -- or in other words, a somewhat hidden layer (to the casual investigator at least) of unsworn testimony and analysis performed under the aegis of seemingly independent professional bodies. You decide whether the testimony and analysis is self serving or contrived.
References to reports, specifications, witness commentary, and more photographs, are provided at the end of each page.
"The Plane! The Plane!" (Or the lack thereof...)
First frame from security camera video, purportedly showing a 757 approaching the Pentagon; with animated overlay, showing how a 757 should have looked, superimposed in the correct scale and perspective into the security camera image. source: http://0911.site.voila.fr/ldsxox.gif (also see http://website.lineone.net/~bosankoe/analysis.htm )
A set of five frames from a security camera video were released (allegedly by Pentagon sources) on March 7, 2002, and were shown widely on US media as evidence of a plane crash at the Pentagon. This may have been in response to the increasing notoriety of Thierry Meyssan's "Hunt the Boeing" website, and his growing popularity in Europe.
However -- in a bizarre twist on the tale of the Emperor's Clothes -- none of these US media was willing to draw any significant conclusions from the problem that there is no 757 aircraft visible in the surveillance camera image sequence. If anything, there possibly appears to be the white spiral exhaust plume of a missile, trailing behind what might be the tail of a very short aircraft. Furthermore, Pierre Henri-Bunel, in a chapter in Meyssan's Pentagate book, argued that the explosion shown in the latter frames of this video were definitely caused by shaped explosive charges, and not by any conceivable kerosene fire. Advocates of the missile theory viewed this, at first, as manna from heaven. But some investigators began to look carefully at this possible Trojan Horse, and found numerous questionable aspects: missing frames and evidence of other image manipulations. It was also noted that the source of the photos was unclear and their status as "officially endorsed" was uncertain.
Based on all of the eyewitness accounts indicating that a 757 was clearly seen approaching the Pentagon from over Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the security video and the early eyewitness testimony, investigator Dick Eastman developed a theory that a small "killer jet" was used to attack the Pentagon, while at the same time, Flight 77 flew quietly overhead, on its way to join the approach pattern at Reagan National Airport. But the security camera videos are not consistent with Eastman's theory, either: if he is correct, then shouldn't the high-flying 757 also appear somewhere in these security camera frames? Eastman's theory depends on a psychological masking effect well-known to stage magicians: a large, prominent and noisy object (the 757) can draw attention away from a smaller, less obvious object (the "killer jet") or the two could be confused and melded into one perception, but only if the two objects are close together in time and space. If there had been a 757 over-flight at any altitude up to 70 feet or so over the Pentagon then it should also have been visible within the view of the camera.
If indeed these images are real (although perhaps touched-up or "enhanced" for better contrast, or to compensate for artifacts in the originals) -- then some whistle-blower from deep within the Pentagon may be (literally or figuratively) turning over in his grave, in amazement over the lack of widespread, national impact for this evidence. If the release of the images represents a bona-fide attempt to reveal a missile attack on the Pentagon, then it was a gross failure. It only achieved the aims of the perpetrators with respect to the general public, the skeptics having already been marginalized by decades of fruitless red herrings, bunny trails regarding JFK, alien abductions, UFO, shape shifting reptilians, and so forth.
While the tailfin evidence and the lack of any evidence of a correctly sized fuselage may be inconclusive, the white exhaust plume is completely inconsistent with a 757. Furthermore, we agree with Brunel's analysis, that the explosion appears to be a result of shaped charges, not a jet fuel fire. So if the security camera frames are genuine, they represent hard proof that the government is lying about the Pentagon and flight 77. It is as if the Zapruder film, showing the President thrown "back and to the left", had been showed on prime-time television in 1964 -- with the response being nothing but a collective national shrug of the shoulders. (Actually, a few frames were shown out of order in 1963, to deliberately hide the facts -- and as James Fetzer et al have recently shown, to this day we still haven't seen the Zapruder film in anything resembling its original form.)
However, we do not believe the "whistle blower" theory of the origin of these images. On the contrary, we believe that the controversy and bickering over these images is exactly what the government intended, and that the images were released through spurious semi-official channels, with the explicit intent of fraudulently supporting the missile theory. If this is correct, then the tailfin and exhaust plume have been added by an unknown artist. Furthermore (and even more importantly) images of the 757, which (we agree with Eastman) must have overflown the Pentagon, have been deliberately erased. We emphasize that we have no direct evidence that the security video frames have been fraudulently altered in this way; however, they are inconsistent with the rest of our web of evidence -- in fact if they are genuine, they would disprove our theory that no aircraft of any kind struck the Pentagon. However, if the rest of our argument is valid, we have no choice but to denounce these security videos as fraudulent.
There were also reports of the FBI moving with rare haste to confiscate
security videos at the nearby Citgo gas station and Sheraton Hotel. In these
reports commentary was made in the case of the Sheraton that some employees were
amazed at what they saw before the video was confiscated. Since we don't know
what it was they were amazed about, perhaps it could just as easily be concluded
that they saw absolutely nothing, or that they saw the 757 avoid hitting the
Pentagon -- and that this is the reason that the rest of us don't get
to see these videos. In any case, if there really was nothing on these tapes
inconsistent with the official story -- what possible reason would they have for not showing
them to us, in order to quell the controversy?
References for page 1:
"no 757" websites
http://www.asile.org/citoyens/numero13/pentagone/erreurs_en.htm The original "Hunt the Boeing" site. (We have heard rumors that John Dinardo was working on this question even before Thierry Meyssan, but have not been able to find any of his posts.) Several quotes here are taken from Meyssan's books, "911: The Big Lie" and "Pentagate", which are available from Amazon.com.
http://0911.site.voila.fr/index1.htm "Too small hole"--3D simulation
http://www.effroyable-imposture.net/ Thierry Meyssan
http://www.geocities.com/killtown/ "Killtown" [link updated 4/10/05]
http://www.physics911.org Articles by Kee Dewdney, Gerry Longspaugh, and Gerard Holmgren
http://www.public-action.com Carol Valentine
http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/pentagon/index.html Jeff Strahl's talk.
http://www.erichufschmid.net/ Eric Hufschmid's "Painful Questions"
http://home.comcast.net/~skydrifter/exp.htm Ralph Omholt
http://911review.org Encyclopedic info source
http://anderson.ath.cx:8000/911/pen06.html Mirror of Sarah Roberts
http://www.dragonslair.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/77/poles_.htm "Spot the poles" by Ron Harvey
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ppfinal.html Mike Rivero
http://0911.site.voila.fr/ericbart.htm Eric Bart
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jpdesm/pentagon/pages-en/dam-before.html Jean-Pierre Desmoulins
http://911review.org/Wiki/PentagonAttackCctvVideo.shtml Review of security video evidence
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A56670-2002Mar7¬Found=true Official sources questioning the Security Camera frames
http://website.lineone.net/~bosankoe/analysis.htm David Bosankoe analysis of 757 size / perspective. Some commentators have been surprised by the small size of the 757 as projected in the figure above, which shows that the tail of the "aircraft" is about the correct size for a 757. The security camera video was shot with a wide-angle lens, so the apparent size of the Pentagon drops off rapidly into the distance. The "757" (if indeed there was one) was also approaching from an oblique angle, from a distance far in the background. If you follow the foundation and roof lines of the Pentagon into the background, all the way to its farthest extent, you can see that the appearance of the windows becomes quite small. Although it's impossible to see any fuselage at all in the security camera image, we should not expect to see it as a very big or prominent-looking object in this image.
http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/guardian/Pentagon/Plane/size.htm The Guardian analysis of 757 size / perspective
http://www.assassinationscience.com/ Fetzer's discussion of the Zapruder film