Here we are two decades after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and we still don’t know who was behind it. That statement must shock or amuse those of you who believe the 9/11 Commission spelled out quite clearly who was responsible. I don’t think Osama bin Laden had anything to do with the attack (Bin Laden denied responsibility at first, then claimed responsibility less publicly later; so all we know for sure is that bin Laden was a liar). Those of us who don’t buy the tale told by the 9/11 Commission, for one reason or another are known, derisively and proudly, as “9/11 Truthers”.*
Most Truthers believe the motive for the attack was to win the support of the American people for the direct military interventions our world-beaters foresaw the United States would need to undertake in the years to come. Four years before 9/11, Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, in his book, The Grand Chessboard, argued it would take “a new Pearl Harbor” to fire up Americans to accept the cost and sacrifice involved in securing what Brzezinski considered essential for world domination: control of the Eurasian mainland (He must be rolling over in his grave what with our withdrawal from Afghanistan!). Whether that’s what the 9/11 plotters had in mind or not, our greater involvement in the Middle East has come to pass and 9/11 helped make that possible.
A couple of months after 9/11, I attended a rally protesting what looked like a pending attack on Iraq. Among the protestors was a small group marching behind a banner reading ”9/11: A Planned Demolition”. Though I questioned the official story on 9/11 at the time, I had no idea what they were talking about. I soon learned that there was a band of skeptics who held that the Twin Towers had been brought down by a planned demolition. They claimed explosives had been planted on every floor of the towers and went off in perfect synchronization to bring the iconic symbols of American economic preeminence crumbling to the ground. As the months passed post-9/11, this theory became the dominant leitmotif of the 9/11 Truth movement.**
I found the planned demolition theory preposterous, an unnecessarily extravagant plan that required hundreds working flawlessly and in secret amongst throngs of officegoers and cleaning staff, then arrange to have the planes hit the towers at just the right floor. You can’t say I didn’t give the theory a chance as I showed several films propounding the theory on a public assess TV show I was producing at the time. Yet, I remained unconvinced. In fact, I not only don’t buy the planned demolition theory; I believe the collapse of the towers came as a complete surprise to the plotters, whoever they were.
I believe the attack was an inside job, i.e., it was carried out by elements within our own government—maybe at the highest level, maybe by a cabal lower down. If so, the plotters must have known there would be skeptics who would question the official line, just as with the assassination of President Kennedy. To throw independent investigators off the trail, they would have come up with some fanciful notions to distract the leery, as well as discredit those who questioned the 9/11 Commission’s findings. With their influential connections and ample funds, they were sure to succeed at sending many a Truther off chasing false leads, as well as heaping scorn and ridicule on the movement.
The 9/11 Truth movement is littered with absurd, unsubstantiated claims, suspicious but tenuous coincidences, and vague, contradictory eyewitness testimony. Some of this has resulted innocently enough from the confusion, complexity, and secrecy surrounding the event; some not so innocently from misdirections laid by the attack’s perpetrators and spread like the chaff those military transports taking off from Kabul released to misdirect incoming missiles.
I believe the following claims are examples of the latter:
(1) The reputed hijackers were not even aboard the four doomed flights
(2) The video of the planes hitting the towers was faked, i.e., no planes hit the towers
(3) It wasn’t a plane but a truck bomb that blew that hole in the Pentagon
I consider these far-out claims to be red herrings dragged across the rubble piles which have led too many Truthers to lose the fox’s scent and chase phantom leads down dead-ends.
So, what are the paths 9/11 Truthers should be following to arrive at the truth of 9/11? First, we should concentrate on the reputed hijackers. If we assume these would-be martyrs were just patsies maneuvered onto the doomed flights, where did the high-flying jetsetters think they were going? To visit friends or family? To Vegas for a takfir (apostate) weekend? Back to flight school for one more try? Whatever their plans, you’d think they would have informed family or friends, made hotel or rental car reservations, had medical, dental, academic, employment, or other appointments scheduled for after September 11th. If there is evidence the doomed expected to survive their flights, it argues strongly they were unwitting participants in a suicidal mission. Did the folks with the power and resources to investigate this possibility, the 9/11 Commission, look into it? Has anyone?
As to the supposed pilots, I believe there were none, at least none on the planes; i.e., I believe the planes were remotely controlled. One of the most telling pieces of evidence for this is the incredible bit of flying the supposed pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, performed. The maneuver he made—a 270 degree turn while descending thousands of feet at 400 mph—led air traffic controllers watching it on their radar screens to think it must be a fighter jet. More experienced pilots than Hanjour (not exactly the valedictorian of his flight school class) say he would have been lucky to even find the Pentagon, much less perform such a loop-de-loop and hit the outer wall dead on (Maybe one of those aces who say it wasn’t such a difficult feat would be willing to prove it by duplicating the flight path—sans final impact***).
What could have performed the stunt is a computer. Remote control of airplanes has been around as far back as 1962 when the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed blowing up a civilian airliner in midair so it could be blamed on the Castro regime.**** You would think the technology has advanced considerably since then. We know unmanned aerial vehicles, i.e., drones, can be flown with precision accuracy by “pilots” thousands of miles away. In the wake of 9/11, Boeing took out a patent for just such capability with regard to commercial airliners in 2006. Were they acting ex post facto; that is, had the system existed for some time and already proven patent-worthy on 9/11?
Of 284 American Airlines (AA) planes flown on September 11th, all had flown the previous day, except for two planes. The identifier, called the “N-number” (e.g., “N5BPA1”), of all the AA planes which flew on September 11th ended in a “1”, except for two planes. The exceptions in both cases were the two AA planes hijacked, whose N-numbers end in “A” (“N334AA”, “N644AA”) According to flight data maintained by the Department of Transportation (DOT), September 11, 2001 was the first time one of the “hijacked” planes (N334AA) was used for a scheduled flight since December 2000. There’s no record in the DOT data for the other plane (N644AA), suggesting that plane was never flown commercially. Could it have been the plane used in the development and testing of remote-control functionality? Was this functionality then installed in the other plane while it was sitting in a hangar for nine months? It is certainly possible that I am misreading the data, but until that is demonstrated, I’m going to consider this suspicious circumstance a smoking gun as to the possibility the kamikaze pilots on 9/11 were not humans but machines.
* Many of the Truthers’ claims, and the debunking of them, can be found here.
** Probably the preeminent group is “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth”, which claims over 30,000 members.
*** One 9/11 Truther who had the credentials to judge Hanjour’s feat and who accepted that the hijackers had indeed piloted the planes was Philip Marshall, a veteran pilot at one time under contract to the CIA. In 2012 he published a book in which he claimed to have identified the desert airfields where the CIA had trained the neophyte pilots. A year later he was dead, a claimed suicide, who had also killed his son and daughter—and even the family dog! Marshall had told friends he was working on a new book which would be a bombshell. Had he come to believe the hijackers did not pilot the planes after all? We’ll probably never know as Marshall’s computer mysteriously disappeared while the local sheriff was investigating the crime scene.
In his book, The Big Bamboozle (p. 30), Marshall proposes the Pinal Airpark in Arizona, which is known to have “Intelligence Community” connections, as the likely spot where the hijackers learned to fly Boeings, noting that it had functioning 757s and 767s on hand in the summer of 2001. Sounds like a good place to start as to where remote control functionality could have been installed on the four hijacked planes, if only we could provoke someone in authority to look into it.
**** The Joint Chiefs’ proposal called for creating “an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner…. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday…. An aircraft at Elgin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft…. At a designated time, the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone…. The passenger-carrying aircraft will go directly into an auxiliary field at Elgin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers…. When over Cuba the drone will be transmitting a “MAY DAY” message, [which will be] interrupted by destruction of the aircraft… triggered by radio signal.” These 007 wannabes wryly remark, “Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”
Operation Northwoods is instructive on so many levels. Think how many people it would take to pull off this caper, yet nowhere in the memorandum do the plotters express concern that our intrepid investigative reporters might catch on to the false flag waving in the sky. Nor were they overly concerned about the possible death of innocents, as other proposed actions show: “sinking a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida”, “foster attempts on the lives of Cuban refugees in the United States”, “exploding a few plastic bombs”, “blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay”, et al. (Note: Had any of these false flag operations been carried out—and maybe some were—those who saw through the ruse would have been labelled “conspiracy theorists”.)
The Operation Northwoods memorandum was released in 1992 as part of a declassification of documents related to the JFK assassination. If the reviewers thought Operation Northwoods was innocuous enough to be released, just think what even juicier tidbits must be in the still withheld documents the powers-that-be consider too demoralizing to share with us, the public. (If you think our present leaders would never sink so low, e.g., 9/11, don’t forget to set cookies and milk out for Santa.)
***** The data comes from DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ “Airline On-Time Performance Data” (I found no flight data for the AA-77 plane, which causes me to conclude it never went into commercial use). You can do your own research by accessing the data here and clicking on the Download option under “Reporting Carrier On-Time Performance (1987-present)”. You will be presented with a screen on which you can specify the Year and Month you want data for and pick the fields you want included in the download (e.g., FlightDate, Reporting Airline, Tail_Number , Flight_Number, Reporting_Airline, Origin, Dest, etc.). The Tail Number, also known as the “N-Number”, is a unique identifier for a plane (The N-Numbers for the planes involved in 9/11 are N334AA (AA Flight 11), N612UA (United Flight 175), N644AA (American Flight 77), and N591UA (United Flight 93)). When you’ve finished with your selection, click on the Download box at the top. After you’ve unzipped the downloaded file, click on the column header in the Excel spreadsheet for the field you would like to filter by (e.g., Tail_number). Next, select the “Sort & Filter” option in the Toolbar, then “Filter”. A box with a down arrow will appear in the header of the column you have selected; and, when you click on it, a list of values will appear (deselect “Select All” first); mark the value you want (e.g., “N334AA”) and the rows for that value will be shown. (If “########” appears under Flight_Date, just increase the width of the column.)
In an earlier version of this post, I claimed I had determined that all four of the planes “hijacked” on 9/11 had not flown in the nine months prior to Sept. 11th. I have since learned of an anomaly in the BTS data which forces me to withdraw that claim for the two United Airlines planes (but not the American planes). I based that claim on a search of the flight records for the United planes by their N-numbers (“N612UA”, “N591UA”), but from January 2001 thru February 2002 the N-numbers of United planes in the database end, for some reason, in “ä1” (e.g., “N612ä1”) instead of “UA”. I have been unable to confirm whether N612UA and N612ä1 are the same plane or not. I have queried the BTS about this and am awaiting their explanation for the anomaly.
I have done further research on the United planes, based on the assumption that N612UA is the same plane as N612ä1 and N591UA the same as N591ä1. For 2001 what I found with regard to N612UA is that the plane did not fly on the following dates: 1/9 & 10, 1/22, 4/26 & 27, 5/15, 7/5, and 9/8 & 9. For two of the multiday gaps, the last destination before the gap did not match the first origination after the gap:
1/8 Final Destination: BOS 1/11 First Origination: LAX
9/7 Final Destination: BOS 9/10 First Origination: JFK
N591UA did not fly on 12/31/2000 and the following dates in 2001: 1/1 & 2, 1/9 thru 23, 2/9, 8/10, and 8/12. For the three day outage 12/31/2000 thru 1/2/2001 and the 8/10 outage, the last, pre-gap destination did not match the first, post-gap origination
12/30 Final Destination: LAX 1/3 First Origination: DFW
8/9 Final Destination: ORD 8/11 First Origination: BOS
The only suspicious activity I see in this data is the two-week gap in January for N591UA.