For years I would not say anything at all about the attack on the Pentagon as it seemed impossible to find evidence that clearly established what happened that day and I wished to be strictly scientific. Some of the available evidence appeared to contradict other evidence. I believe other researchers have had similar feelings and have remained silent on the Pentagon attack in order to avoid being embroiled in controversy. Fortunately the evidence has become clearer recently, as will be explained below.

Before we get to the evidence it is important to recognized that it is obvious that the authorities have deliberately withheld evidence that would clear up the uncertainty, in defiance of normal protocols. So I ask: what could be their motive? The best answer must be that they wish to have people who are attempting to pursue the truth about the events of 9/11 arguing with one another and thereby weakening their impact with the public. This strategy has been very successful as there are now many web sites with contradictory viewpoints. How can we study the Pentagon without falling into their trap, becoming involved in argument instead of studying the evidence?

Most of the public believe that the official account of the attack is basically correct: an American Airlines Boeing 757 was hijacked and turned back to dive into the Pentagon, hitting some light poles and other objects on the way. Some say this was an illusion and that the plane flew over the top of the building unnoticed. They base this view on the fact that a few eyewitnesses place the arriving plane at a position which would make the observed impact damage impossible.

Bart_pentagon_approachGradually more information has come to light. The evidence is accumulating that the official account is correct at least in the description of the course of the plane and the impact. This of course does not absolve the authorities from the need to answer the question of how it came about that the attack was allowed to happen, given that two other attacks had occurred earlier that day and the Air Force should therefore have been on maximum alert. The testimony of Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation, which appears to implicate Dick Cheney, is clearly very relevant and suggests a prima facie case exists for Cheney’s involvement. It appears that Cheney was kept aware that a plane was headed for the Pentagon but took no action, not even the humane action of having the Pentagon evacuated. What was he hoping to achieve?

Nor should the authorities be allowed to avoid condemnation for their failure to provide convincing evidence of what happened, such as the serial numbers of plane parts. It is an offense to withhold information requested under the FOI Act.

It should be noted that some versions of the above image have two additional points marked as exit holes. This is misleading. There are two doors along this wall from which smoke flowed upward, marking the wall, which has confused some researchers. The term “exit hole” has come to mean the position where aircraft debris burst through the wall. That occurred in only one place. No aircraft debris burst through these doors. They were probably opened by firemen to provide access for fire control, thus allowing smoke to escape. The image with three points marked as exit holes has been used to claim that there was no aircraft and that the damage was done by explosives. Clearly this is contrary to a great deal of evidence. To hold the belief that there was no plane requires ignoring the vast majority of eyewitnesses, the radar reports, the flight data recorder (FDR) data, the type and direction of damage and the nature of the debris.

Besides looking at evidence, it is useful to consider the probabilities of the various alternative theories that might arise. Here is how I see the probabilities:


Put yourself in the shoes of the perpetrators. They had a hijacked plane which they must have been willing to crash as they crashed other planes. They had a choice of actually crashing the plane or pretending to crash the plane. If they were going to pretend to crash the plane they would have had to create the illusion of a crash.

To create a convincing illusion would be very difficult as the damage trail is very long and complex – including five light poles knocked down, one of which hit a taxi; a fence badly damaged; a heavy generator trailer, hit hard enough to move it a considerable distance; the 90 foot entry hole created in the wall of the Pentagon; the very many support columns which were bent and broken in the direction of plane travel; and the massive amount of plane wreckage inside the Pentagon. There is also have the testimony of workers assisting to sort the debris, locating the many corpses, and the DNA evidence of their identity.

Taxi hit by felled light pole

Taxi hit by felled light pole, pole 1

The difficulty of doing all this and more in a convincing manner is not the worst problem for the perpetrators. They would also have had to contend with the high probability that someone would notice the plane flying over the building.

And what was there to gain from creating a deception rather than a real crash? Surely a real crash would create the same effect on the public mind as a successful illusion. If they had gone to the trouble of creating all this complex damage and then someone photographed the plane flying over the building, the game would have been over. The plane flying away, and the building damaged with no explanation for the damage, would be immediately apparent. The entire 9/11 event would have been exposed as a false flag attack with a high probability of treason trials for all involved. They had everything to lose and nothing to gain! Would these skilled operators have taken such a risk?

This is not a case where you can weigh up and compare the risks and benefits of two similar courses of action and come to a conclusion based on a careful analysis about which course is best because there would be no benefit whatsoever from the preparation of an illusion and the risk of failure and detection would have been vastly greater.  Who would be foolish enough to greatly increase the risk of exposure and indictment for treason for zero benefit?

It makes no sense to suggest that the perpetrators of 9/11 were so stupid or irrational that they would make such a mistake. These were clearly calculating, competent, venal, psychopathic criminals, but they were neither stupid nor irrational. So what is the probability that they planned a weird deception rather than a real attack using an airliner? I think it must be vanishingly small.


Massive amount of debris inside Pentagon

Massive amount of debris inside Pentagon

What about the physical damage? A very thorough study of the damage is to be found on the website of Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice. It certainly looks to me as though the damage is consistent with impact and penetration by a large twin-engined plane. When you think about it, how could a plane weighing 100 tons, travelling at over 550 miles per hour, do anything but burst right through the wall. The shape of the damage shows that only the wing tips and tail fin failed to penetrate. The parts that failed to penetrate all left marks. 550 miles per hour! Think what a loaded truck travelling at 100 miles an hour would do. Then think about the way energy increases with the square of the speed. So at 200  miles per hour the energy is 4 times as great. At 400 miles an hour it is 16 times as great, and there is still another 150 miles an hour to go! Would anyone be willing to stand near the C-ring if they knew the plane was approaching? I don’t think so.

Second floor damage

A long section of the second floor was damaged and subsequently collapsed, as this image from a recently released video shows (see clip 1). It provides further evidence of the location of the damage trail.

Early photo of punch-out hole

Early photo of punch-out hole

Some say that there is something suspicious about the “punch out hole” at the C-ring. To me it seems reasonable that this was caused by an avalanche of high speed debris. The plane was travelling so fast that, by the laws of physics, at the moment of impact with the outer wall all the initial damage to the plane would have occurred by crumpling the front section. When sufficient pressure had built up the wall would give way. At this moment the rest of the plane would still be travelling at almost its speed on contact, as the fuselage is not strong enough to transmit significant deceleration forces backward. So the rest of the body continues on, impeded only by the sparse support columns, being shredded as it goes. There were no walls at ground level between the E-ring the the C-ring. Is it surprising that this fast moving stream of debris would be able to punch through the relatively weak C-ring wall?


And what about the eye witnesses? Many people were following the plane with their eyes and ears as it approached the Pentagon. If the plane didn’t hit the Pentagon it must have flown over the top. How come none of these people saw the plane fly over? Many saw the plane hit. Two mentioned the silence after the impact, which further contradicts the flyover theory. There were hundreds of people in traffic jams south of the Pentagon. None reported seeing a plane flying over the building. None mentioned seeing trucks bringing aircraft debris to the Pentagon and front-end loaders working to stack it inside.

At present this debate is weakening the impact of the 9/11 Truth Movement.  My advice to those who wish to advance the cause of truth is to avoid promoting the idea that the plane flew over the Pentagon, even if they believe it did, and concentrate on the controlled demolition of the towers, established by scientific analysis of hard evidence. In the meantime it is to be hoped that activists will study the evidence that a large commercial plane did hit the Pentagon, as discussed below.

The FDR file

Pentagon, pole 3

Pentagon, pole 3

The flight data recorder (FDR)  was found in the debris inside the Pentagon. Its file has now been properly decoded, showing that there are 4 seconds more data at the end of the file than previously believed. The path of the plane is shown descending, levelling off and hitting the Pentagon near ground level, exactly as the eye witnesses report and the photographs of debris and damage show. The g-force recorded on the plane is not excessive. The path of the plane is shown to pass through 5 light poles, each pole getting progressively shorter as the Pentagon is approached.

Pentagon, pole 5

Pentagon, pole 5

Hover the mouse over the Pentagon tag to find more on this topic.

Of course it can be argued that the FDR file was fraudulently manufactured, and not the result of the flight of AA77. The difficulty of such manufacture is immense. There are hundreds of parameters being recorded all the time during a flight. Some are recorded once per second, some more often, some less. All these must be coordinated with one another. If the pilot pulls back on the control column, this must be accompanied by an alteration of elevator angle and followed by an increase in pitch. This in turn must be followed by an increase in altitude and a recording of upward acceleration. It must also be followed by a reduction in speed or an increase in power. That is just the tip of the iceberg of complexity. And of course it must start and finish at the right location and altitude. The probability of creating such a masterpiece from scratch correctly must be virtually non-existent.

Bank Angle 

Then there is the angle of bank required to perform the north of Citgo deviation upon which the flyover theory rests, at least 77 degrees. None of the witnesses who said they thought the plane flew north of the service station mentioned a steep angle of bank though it would have seemed extraordinry and would have been well remembered and discussed. Some specifically indicated the plane had little bank. The new paper by David Chandler and myself sets this out. We have now done a further study of the witness testimony, which shows that the plane must have been flying with wings level near the Naval Annex. Using this information, and additional information about the control limitations of the aircraft, we now calculate that the required bank angle for deviating round the Citgo service station would be 84 degrees with an absurd wing load of 9.5 g.

The case that a large commercial passenger twin engined jet did hit the Pentagon is now very strong. All arguments used against it have been shown to be flawed, so there is no scientific proof that it did not hit. There is just the highly respectable probability that it did.


Finally bear in mind the fact that most members of the public believe that a 757 did hit the Pentagon. If you try to tell these people that the plane flew over the top, most will think you weird. How then will you be able to make them pay attention to the far more important evidence that explosives were used to bring down all three towers? It is really only among the 9/11 activists that we find significant support for the flyover theory. They need guidance in the art of preparing a case which cannot be easily shot down.

The basis for the view that the plane flew over the top of the Pentagon is a few video recorded statements from cherry-picked eyewitnesses that the plane approached from an angle too far north to do the observed long line of damage. There are far more witnesses to impact. Although there are many convincing statements that the plane hit the Pentagon, it would be helpful to have more. I believe it would provide a great benefit to the truth movement if more witnesses to the impact could be interviewed on video. If anyone saw the impact, or knows someone who did, they could do the world a service if they contacted us. Email to