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New Questions about remote control and 9-11
By Jerry Russell
British aeronautical engineer Joe Vialls claims that all 757 and 767 aircraft are equipped with computerized remote flight control systems for the purposes of rescuing the planes from attempted hijackings. If this were true, it would raise some very interesting questions. On the one hand, if the systems were used to control the aircraft and pilot them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then who was at the controls? How did they get access to the secret codes?
But on the other hand: if these systems were on the aircraft, and they were not compromised by some enemy trick of espionage, then why weren't they used on September 11 to save the four ill-fated flights?
Let me quote from Vialls, who posted in October 2001:
The following information was added to the Vialls web site, January 20, 2002:
Finally, in February 2002, Vialls provided the following:
Now, I have no inside knowledge, but as an engineer, Vialls' story rings true. I believe that "hijack recovery" would have been a very obvious feature to incorporate into a computerized aircraft control system, and also that European customers of Boeing aircraft would find this a very troublesome and controversial feature.
On the other hand, Joe Vialls goes on to make some very absurd claims about this "Home Run" system. For example, that the system would require the Cockpit Voice Recorder to go blank. What kind of idiotic engineering team would design a system that would require the voice recorder go silent during the critical moments following a hijack attempt?
Furthermore, the idea that it would be necessary to "remove and replace the flight computers" doesn't make sense. Why not just change the software? One could imagine that the Americans could encrypt and encapsulate the computer so thoroughly that it could not be reverse engineered and the offending codes removed; but in that case, it would not be a matter of just replacing the computers, but also redesigning the entire flight control system from the ground up and completely testing it. This would be such a huge expense that it would be impossible to hide in the German budget. Anybody who takes Vialls' advice and asks this silly question to Von Buelow, is revealed as a fool.
A more thorough debunking of Vialls' writing is found at Eric Hufschmid's website, linked below.
The "no suicide pilots" theory was taken up by antiwar activist Carol Valentine, but she couldn't buy into Vialls' theory that the controls were hijacked by a ragtag crew of Islamic fundamentalists. She argued that the system must have been operated by someone with deep connections within the US government. Meanwhile, stories started to circulate that the Pentagon was struck by a cruise missile or a bomb, not by an airliner. This argument was generically known as "Hunt the Boeing" because of a French website by that title, but the thesis was decisively discredited by Mike Rivero of whatreallyhappened.com. For some reason, Carol Valentine adopted a variant of the "Hunt the Boeing" thesis, and wandered off into her strange "Bumble Planes" snake pit, which I have analyzed in detail elsewhere on this website.
Vialls and Valentine both seem to be insane. But perhaps there is a method to their madness. If by some chance they are government propagandists, then perhaps we can discover the truth by looking at what it is they are trying to hide, and how, and why. (If you think that I have just demonstrated conclusively that I myself am insane to even suggest that they might be government agents, you might want to try a Google search on the keyword "Cointelpro", or check the links at my media page. But stay with me for a moment...)
In this case, Vialls has told us himself that he is an insider, a British aeronautical engineer with links to DARPA as well as the German airline Lufthansa. This means he would have signed non-disclosure agreements, and could not release classified information without approval, or face ruinous legal consequences. Thus, if his information is true, the leak must be officially approved. Former German Defense Minister Von Buelow picked up the leak and confirmed it, thereby adding German support to the British allegation.
So the only question is whether both Vialls and Von Buelow are both courageous whistle blowers who have torn apart all ties with their former employers, or whether they are still insiders.
Carol Valentine has recently charged that both Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com and Michael Rivero of whatreallyhappened.com are "members of the fake opposition", so it seems only fair to test her] by the same standards which she applies to others. See my media page for further information.
Suppose that there was a remote control system available on the aircraft. The engineers and operations people who knew about it, would immediately start to raise questions. According to Vialls, now the system has been compromised and all flights everywhere would be at risk. This would represent a powerful incentive for those good-hearted engineers and scientists to keep quiet. Otherwise there would be obvious security risks in terms of the possibility that still more hijackers could figure out how to operate the controls; as well as the risk of a panic as passengers everywhere refused to ride these airplanes.
If Joe Vialls is a propagandist, then his job is to do damage control among those engineers who designed the "Home Run" system, and among anyone else who knows about it. It's very important to keep them quiet.
He also works hard to discredit the arguments posed by Jared Israel as to why the Air Force did not scramble to meet the challenge of the hijackers. He writes:
Again, I have no inside knowledge but I sure hope this isn't true, otherwise the US is pretty much defenseless.
Valentine's job, similarly, could be to do damage control among antiwar activists, by advocating an obviously wrong, virtually impossible remote control theory. Valentine's readers are sent along to Vialls' site where they can readily see that he makes strange and inexplicable arguments. Now it seems clear that everybody who is advocating the remote control theory is either crazy or a liar. The whole theory is discredited as a hopeless mess. Meanwhile, the key concept that the necessary remote controls were built right into every 757 and 767 is lost in the shuffle.
Furthermore, Valentine's followers also see Vialls' attacks on Jared Israel and his argument that jets should have scrambled on 9/11, so he is discredited as well, even if only subliminally. And worst of all, any ordinary citizens of this United States Republic, who happen to encounter the wreckage of "Hunt the Boeing" and the "Bumble Planes", will quickly turn aside.
"Those aren't the droids you're looking for. Keep moving along..."
Here are links:
Eric Hufschmid http://geocities.com/erichufschmid/PentagonPlaneCrash2.html
Joe Vialls http://geocities.com/mknemesis/homerun.html
Hunt the Boeing http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ppfinal.html
Von Buelow interview http://www.regena.com/VonBuelow.htm
posted March 24, 2002 by Jerry Russell; updated March 25, 2002
NEW March 28, 2002:
Joe Vialls is reported to be a SAS (British intelligence agency) operative!!
*NEW* April 14, 2002:
Regarding combat readiness of American forces, compare Vialls' argument to this statement in the Boston Globe:
*NEW* May 26, 2002:
Reader Doug Herrick took exception to my statement that it would be "idiotic" to disable the cockpit flight voice recorder during a hijacking. As Herrick points out, in an article titled "When is an autopilot not an autopilot", Guy Dunphy argued exactly the opposite, that this would be a desirable security feature:
I suppose that this goes to show that when it comes to speculation, there is
always room for more than one opinion.