Pentagon Attack Evidence Missing and Surviving Evidence of the September 11th Pentagon Attack While officials in New York City went about the systematic destruction of the vast amounts of evidence comprising the remains of the World Trade Center, official handlers of the Pentagon strike undertook the much smaller task of erasing physical evidence that a jetliner crashed into the Pentagon. The resulting evidence vacuum created the conditions for a protracted controversy about what hit the Pentagon. The lack of evidence of large aircraft debris in post-crash photographs of the Pentagon's exterior, combined with the refusal of officials to produce evidence supporting the official story, led many skeptics to believe that the damage was caused by something other than a jetliner hitting the building. Video recordings of the west side of the Pentagon and approach to it on September 11th could conclusively answer whether a 757 collided with the Pentagon. Although several such video recordings are known to exist, all remain in government possession and their contents a state secret. Surviving photographs taken by passers-by capture events immediately following the explosion. They show the extent of damage to the building's facade, the condition of portions of the lawn except portions close to the facade, the presence of obstructions in the lawn, and a lack of large aircraft debris on the lawn. Eyewitness accounts of the Pentagon attack, though not entirely consistent, agree on the major elements: A twin-engine jetliner dove toward the Pentagon at a shallow angle and exploded at or in front of the facade. With the pre-attack video evidence mopped up, and remains of the plane inside the building disappeared by those running the recovery operation, two main types of evidence remained: photographs showing little debris and a pattern of damage to the facade that many people find difficult to reconcile with the crash of a 757. eyewitness accounts that overwhelmingly support the crash of a 757-like jetliner Although there are logical explanations for the lack of large debris outside of the building and the pattern of damage to the facade consistent with the crash of a 757 (See Pentagon Attack Errors) defenders of the official story invoked nonsensical explanations. For example, an article in the urban myth debunking website Snopes.com claims that the jetliner's wings folded back to enable it to squeeze through the hole, and that once inside, the aluminum comprising most of the aircraft burned up. Missing Pentagon Evidence The Suppression of Decisive Pentagon Attack Evidence Secrecy has surrounded the aftermath of the September 11th attack of the Pentagon. The paucity of unambiguous evidence outside of eyewitness reports that a jetliner hit the building has fueled speculation about the nature of the event. Immediately following the attack, actions by officials reveal a concerted program to mop up what evidence of the attack remained in its immediate aftermath and to conceal it and Pentagon workers in business attire collect aircraft information about its very existence indefinitely. debris in the wake of the attack. Photo credit: Carmen Burgess The common interpretation that these actions indicate an attempt to cover up that something other than Flight 77 crashed at the Pentagon ignores other plausible interpretations. Aircraft Remains Photographs taken immediately following the attack show a number of pieces of apparent aircraft debris. One of the larger pieces was documented by a photograph by passer-by Mark Faram. It shows the piece on the lawn northwest of the heliport, a few hundred feet from the impact center, suggesting it may have been moved before Faram arrived. Other photographs show people, some in dress attire, moving pieces of debris. Columns of people in FBI jackets walked portions of the Pentagon lawn and adjacent roads shortly after the attack, apparently to pick up crash debris. The photographs and videos of these activities do not suggest any attempt to carefully note and record the positions of any debris they may have been finding. Footage of the Attack As of May, 2006, the only video footage of the Pentagon crash that has been released to the public are three-minute clips from two Pentagon security cameras north of the crash site. Neither video clearly shows details of the crash, but one seems to show an aircraft obscured by a parking lot structure in the frame before the first one showing the explosion. The five frames from the first video leaked in 2002 fueled speculation that the Pentagon was not hit by a jetliner. In Painful Deceptions , Eric Hufschmid points out: The first frame shows a vapor trail of the kind made by missiles, not jetliners. The first frame shows an apparent mostly-obscured plane that is much too small to be a 757. The second frame shows an explosion whose white color indicates the detonation of an explosive rather than the deflagration of jet fuel. None of these observations support conclusions about what hit the Pentagon, since the video's resolution is too poor to make definitive conclusions, and it is possible that the imagery was edited. It may be that the video recordings from surrounding businesses confiscated by the FBI in the wake of the attack clearly show the jetliner. Their release continues to be sought through the Freedom of Information Act case documented at Flight77.info and summerized with this timeline. Many people think that the suppression of evidence from the Pentagon attack is evidence that something other than Flight 77, a Boeing 757, crashed into the Pentagon. However, there are explanations for the way officials have handled the evidence that are consistent with the attack plane being Flight 77. For example, destroying and hiding evidence at all of the 9/11/01 crime scenes serves the coverup by limiting the information available to investigators, and cultivating false legends about the attack. Pentagon Attack Footage The Suppression of Video Footage of the Pentagon Attack It is striking that there is neither video footage nor any photographic evidence in the public domain showing a jetliner approaching or crashing into the Pentagon. As of May, 2006, the only video footage of the crash that has been released are clips from two Pentagon security cameras north of the crash site, one the source of 5 frames leaked in 2002. With the release of the two video clips, the Pentagon claims to have supplied all of the footage it has of the attack. Although the number and positions of security cameras monitoring the Pentagon is not public knowledge, it seems unlikely that only two security cameras captured the attack. Isn't it reasonable to assume that there were dozens, if not hundreds, of security cameras ringing the huge building that is the heart of the United States military establishment? Videos Outside the Pentagon Seized Not only has the government refused to release footage that would clearly show how the Pentagon was attacked, it has also seized footage not belonging to the military. The FBI confiscated video recordings from several private businesses near the Pentagon in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Those recordings, if they still exist, might provide decisive evidence about the attack. The FBI visited a hotel near the Pentagon to The Sheraton National Hotel may be the hotel from which the FBI seized a CCTV confiscate film from a security camera which recording. some hotel employees had been watching in horror shortly after the attack. The FBI denied that the footage captured the attack. 1 The FBI visited the Citgo gas station southwest of the Pentagon within minutes of the attack to confiscate film that may have captured the attack. According to Jose Velasquez, who was working at the gas station at the time of the attack, the station's security cameras would have captured the attack. 2 The NEXCOMM/CITGO gas station is just under the flightpath of the aircraft involved in the Pentagon attack. In addition it is likely there is other video footage that was either destroyed or is being withheld, given that the trajectory of the attack plane took it low over a large part of Arlington, Virginia. Lawsuits to Obtain Videos At least two plaintiffs have attempted to obtain videos seized by the FBI, using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The first, documented at Flight77.info, began with a request to the FBI in October of 2004. The second, undertaken by the Judicial Watch, Inc. began with a request to the Department of Defense (DOD) in December of 2004. Following is a timeline of the requests and subsequent lawsuits. Entries relating to the second case are distinguished with dates colored gray. October 14, 2004: Scott A. Hodes, on behalf of his client Scott Bingham, sends a request to David Hardy of the FBI requesting any videos "that may have captured the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001". The request letter mentions videotapes from the Citgo Gas Station and the Sheraton National Hotel. November 3, 2004: The FBI replies to Bingham's request stating that their search "revealed no record responsive to your FOIA request". November 17, 2004: Hodes files an appeal of Bingham's FOIA request with the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ), citing evidence that the videotapes mentioned in the original request exist. December 15, 2004: Christopher J. Farrell of Judicial Watch, Inc. writes to James Hogan in the Office of Freedom of Information/Security Review of the DOD requesting that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DOD, and FBI produce: any and all agency records concerning, relating to, or reflecting the following subjects: (1) Video camera recordings obtained by federal official(s) and/or law enforcement from a Nexcomm/Citgo gas station in the vicinity of the Pentagon on or about September 11, 2001. (2) Pentagon security video camera recording(s) showing Flight 77 strike and/or hit and/or crash into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. (3) Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) video camera recording(s) obtained by any federal official(s) and/or law enforcement from the Virginia Department of Transportation ("VDOT") and/or the VDOT "Smart Traffic Center" on or about September 11, 2001. March 7, 2005: The DOJ replies to Hodes' November 17 appeal, admitting that it did possess records responsive to the request but that it could release the records because such a release "could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings." January 26, 2005: The DOD advises Judicial Watch, Inc. that it possesses a videotape responsive to the December 15, 2004 request but declines to produce the videotape, citing U.S.C 552(b)(7)(A). March 8, 2005: Bingham's attorney files a lawsuit with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia stating that the FBI is in violation of the FOIA for "failing to adequately respond to plaintiff's FOIA request, including failing to adequately search for and release records that the plaintiff believes the agency is in possession of, and for failing to timely respond to the plaintiff's administrative appeal." April 18, 2005: The DOJ files a response to Bingham's March 8 lawsuit denying the plaintiff's request and asking the judge to dismiss the plaintiff's Complaint with prejudice. April 19, 2005: District Judge Paul L. Friedman orders the defendants to file a motion to dismiss or a motion for summary judgment in the case brought by Bingham on or before June 21, 2005. June 10, 2005: The DOD denies Judicial Watch's administrative appeal, claiming that the video is exempt as part of an ongoing investigation involving Zacarias Moussaoui. August 1, 2005: Jeffrey D. Kahn, an attorney for the DOJ's Civil Division files a 23-page MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. Scans of the document are posted on Flight77.info. August 29, 2005: Hodes files a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and a STATEMENT OF FACT ON WHICH THERE EXIST A GENUINE ISSUE TO BE LITIGATED in response to the DOJ's motion for summary judgment. September 9, 2005: Kahn files a REPLY BRIEF IN FURTHER SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT September 9, 2005: Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division files a DECLARATION describing her search for records responsive to Bingham's FOIA request. Maguire admits to determining that 85 videotapes in the FBI's possession are "potentially responsive" the request, that she personally viewed 29 of the tapes, and that she located only one videotape that showed the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Maguire also refers to "one videotape taken from a closed circuit television at a Doubletree Hotel in Arlington Virginia," but states that it did not show the impact of Flight 77. September 26, 2005: Hodes files a request seeking "copies of 85 videotapes in the possession of the FBI described in the declaration of Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire dated September 7, 2005. October 20, 2005: The DOJ sends a letter to Hodes claiming that the requested material is exempt. October 24, 2005: Hodes appeals the DOJ's October 20 claim that its material is exempt. February 22, 2006: Judicial Watch, Inc. files a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Department of Defense for its refusal to disclose records sought under the FOIA request. May 5, 2006: Judge Friedman orders the defendants to show cause on or before May 26, 2006 why their motion for summary judgment should not be denied as moot, noting that the criminal proceedings against Moussaoui have ended. May 16, 2006: Judicial Watch obtains two videos from the DOD, and posts them on their website. The site is down for about half of the day due to demand. September 15, 2006: Judicial Watch announces the release of video from CITGO gas station. 3 The video consists mostly of views of the interior of the gas station and does not appear to capture the attack. December 2, 2006: Judicial Watch obtains a video recording from the Doubletree Hotel in Arlington. The video, which does not include a view of the Pentagon's facade, shows an explosion but does not capture an approaching jetliner. 4 References 1. Inside the Ring, The Gertz Files, 9/21/01 [cached] 2. Three Months On, Tension Lingers Near the Pentagon, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/11/01 [cached] 3. CITGO Gas Station Cameras Near Pentagon Evidently Did Not Capture Attack, JudicialWatch.org, 9/15/06 [cached] 4. Hotel security video shows 9/11 Pentagon blast, but no plane, CNN.com, 12/2/06 [cached] Surviving Pentagon Evidence Eyewitness Reports, Photos, and Other Pentagon Attack Evidence As was the case in New York City, virtually all of the credible evidence concerning the September 11th attack on the Pentagon was gathered by individuals not acting in an official capacity. A number of photographs by passers-by documented the damage to the Pentagon in the minutes after the attack before the section overhanging the impact zone collapsed. Accounts of numerous attack eyewitnesses reproduced in diverse publications recorded impressions of the attack itself. The World Wide Web facilitated the compilation of these two bodies of evidence by citizen investigators such as Eric Bart. Unlike the attack on New York City, no photographs or videos available to the public show the moments of the attack, except for two videos from Pentagon security cameras. The leaking of five frames from one of these cameras in 2002 helped to fuel no-jetliner theories for years. The video released in 2006, which still doesn't show the jetliner, seems calculated to continue to feed the no-jetliner theories. Other surviving evidence, such as photographs of the inside of the damaged portion of the Pentagon, are also of questionable value, since they were presumably released only at the discretion of officials in control of the crime scene. Pentagon Attack Eyewitnesses Surviving Evidence of the September 11th Pentagon Attack The Pentagon is surrounded by heavily populated areas, particularly to the west and southwest, the direction from which an aircraft was observed approaching the building in the moments before the crash on September 11th, 2001. Moreover, traffic was at a near standstill on the highway adjacent to the targeted west wall prior to the attack. Lamp poles were knocked down on the cloverleaf overpass of the highway just west of the Pentagon, on which traffic was stalled at the time of the attack. Therefore numerous people outside the building, as well as inside it, witnessed the attack. The recollections of scores of witnesses to the attack have appeared in press reports, and it is likely that several times that many people witnessed some part of the attack. Eyewitness Compilations 911Research archives two collections of Pentagon eyewitness accounts compiled by other individuals from press reports and correspondence: An extensive collection compiled by French researcher Eric Bart A smaller collection found on a website devoted to 'debunking alternative Pentagon crash theories' Both collections contain excerpts from articles whose URLs are provided. Because there are so many accounts, 911Research has not thoroughly checked the excerpts against the sources to verify that each excerpt preserves the meaning apparent in its source. Readers are invited to do so and report any discrepancies to us. (See our contact information.) Topical Excerpts Shorter excerpts from Bart's collection are organized here into the following themes. large jetliner moment of impact explosive detonation other aircraft approach details The evidence in these compilations is used to support some of the conclusions in our analysis of the Pentagon strike. Eyewitnesses Accounts Eric Bart's Pentagon Attack Eyewitness Account Compilation French researcher Eric Bart posted on his website an extensive compilation of eyewitness accounts of the September 11th attack. The compilation, perhaps the most complete anywhere, is mirrored here. Eric's compilation is in two parts: eyewitness accounts press reports Entries within each part are alphabetically sorted. Eyewitness Accounts Abshire, Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Abshire, 40, a speechwriter for Air Force Secretary James Marc Roche, was working on several speeches this morning when he felt the blast of the explosion at the Pentagon. His office is on the D ring, near the eighth corridor, he said. "It shot me back in my chair. There was a huge blast. I could feel the air shock wave of it," Abshire said. "I didn't know exactly what it was. It didn't rumble. It was more of a direct smack. I said, 'This isn't right. Something's wrong here.'" "We all went out in the hallway. People were yelling 'Evacuate! Evacuate!' And we found ourselves on the lawn and looking back on our building. It was very much a surrealistic sort of experience. It's just definitely not right to see smoke coming out of the Pentagon. It was a very strange sight to see." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/sep01/attack.html Anderson, I witnessed the jet hit the Pentagon on September 11. From my office on the 19th Steve floor of the USA TODAY building in Arlington, Va., I have a view of Arlington Cemetery, Crystal City, the Pentagon, National Airport and the Potomac River. ... Shortly after watching the second tragedy, I heard jet engines pass our building, which, being so close to the airport is very common. But I thought the airport was closed. I figured it was a plane coming in for landing. A few moments later, as I was looking down at my desk, the plane caught my eye. It didn't register at first. I thought to myself that I couldn't believe the pilot was flying so low. Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke. http://www.jmu.edu/alumni/tragedy%5Fresponse/read%5Fmessages.html Anderson, Lt. Col. Ted Anderson : "We ran to the end of our building, turned left and saw Ted nothing but huge, billowing black smoke, and a brilliant, brilliant explosion of fire." (...) One of the Pentagon's two fire trucks was parked only 50 feet from the crash site, and it was "totally engulfed in flames," Anderson says. Nearby, tanks full of propane and aviation fuel had begun igniting, and they soon began exploding, one by one. (...) Back in the building again, Anderson said he began "screaming and hollering for people as secondary and third-order explosions started going off. One of them was a fire department car exploding-I think my right eardrum exploded at the same time, and it unequivocally scared the heck out of me." http://www.msnbc.com/news/635293.asp Anlauf, Mrs. Deb Anlauf, resident of Colfax, Wisconsin, was in her 14th floor of the Deb & Sheraton Hotel [located 1.6 mile from the explosion], (immediately west of the Navy Jeff Annex) when she heard a "loud roar": Suddenly I saw this plane right outside my window. You felt like you could touch it; it was that close. It was just incredible. "Then it shot straight across from where we are and flew right into the Pentagon. It was just this huge fireball that crashed into the wall (of the Pentagon). When it hit, the whole hotel shook. (...) Jeff didn't feel the impact of the plane crash as directly as his wife. He was attending an environmental meeting on the second floor of the hotel when the plane struck the Pentagon. About five seconds before the crash, Jeff said he heard the sound of "tin being dropped," likely as construction workers building an addition to the hotel saw the plane and dropped their building materials. "Then, about 5 seconds later, the whole hotel shook," Jeff recalled. "I could feel it moving. We said 'Oh, my gosh, what's going on?' " http://www.leadertelegram.com/specialreports/attack/storydetail.asp?ID=7 Battle Battle, an office worker at the Pentagon, was standing outside the building and just about to enter when the aircraft struck. "It was coming down head first," he said. "And when the impact hit, the cars and everything were just shaking." http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/091201_news_dcscene.shtml Bauer, Gary Bauer, a former Presidential candidate, happened to be driving into Washington, Gary D.C. that morning, to a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I was in a massive traffic jam, hadn't moved more than a hundred yards in twenty minutes. ... I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395 . . . when all of a sudden I heard the roar of a jet engine. I looked at the woman sitting in the car next to me. She had this startled look on her face. We were all thinking the same thing. We looked out the front of our windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn't until a few seconds later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. The blast literally rocked all of our cars. It was an incredible moment." massnews.com / Amy Contrada / December 2001 http://www.massnews.com/past_issues/2001/dec%202001/1201bauer.htm Bauer, "...came from behind us and banked to the right and went into the Pentagon." Gary Interview with Warren Smith http://www.thecharlotteworld.com/30%20Mins%20With/gary%20bauer/garybauer.ht ml Beans, Anger and guilt still sear Lieutenant Colonel Michael Beans who shakes his head Michael ruefully and asks himself why he survived: "Why you, not them? Who made that decision?" (...) Inside the Pentagon, the blast lifted Beans off the floor as he crossed a huge open office toward his desk. "You heard this huge concussion, then the room filled with this real bright light, just like everything was encompassed within this bright light," said Beans. "As soon as I hit the floor, all the lights went out, there was a small fire starting to burn." His friends were not so lucky. Not far away on the same floor, Beans' once familiar world had turned into a terrifying maze as well. Opening a door to the outer E-ring corridor, Beans saw waves of fire rolling towards him like surf on a beach. Turning back, he groped slowly back across the room on hands and knees. The sprinkler came on and that kept the smoke and heat down. But it was nervewracking and Beans was alone, listening as the building burned. "It was so quiet," he recalled. "There was no screaming, nobody saying anything, just nothing." He thought he might not make it out alive. He thought about his wife, his daughter and son, his 22 years in the army. "I remember taking a couple of breaths there, and I made up my mind: I just can't go out this way," he said. Suddenly out of the smoke a man ran by. "I tried to grab him, and I tried to yell at him," Beans said. But "he just disappeared into the smoke." Alone again, Beans crawled with his face to the floor. Then the carpet turned to wet tile, and he looked up and saw he was in a corridor. He ran and as the smoke cleared, he saw a guard. Beans discovered later that his head and forearms were burned. He now wears special flesh-colored compression sleeves on his arms. "These burns are going to heal, eventually," he said. But the memories "will be with me for the rest of my life." http://www.theosuobserver.com/main.cfm/include/smdetail/synid/54846.html Bell, Mickey Bell : The jet came in from the south and banked left as it entered the Mickey building, narrowly missing the Singleton Electric trailer and the on-site foreman, Mickey Bell. Bell had just left the trailer when he heard a loud noise. The next thing he recalled was picking himself off the floor, where he had been thrown by the blast. Bell, who had been less than 100 feet from the initial impact of the plane, was nearly struck by one of the plane's wings as it sped by him. In shock, he got into his truck, which had been parked in the trailer compound, and sped away. He wandered around Arlington in his truck and tried to make wireless phone calls. He ended up back at Singleton's headquarters in Gaithersburg two hours later, according to President Singleton, not remembering much. The full impact of the closeness of the crash wasn't realized until coworkers noticed damage to Bell's work vehicle. He had plastic and rivets from an airplane imbedded in its sheet metal, but Bell had no idea what had happened. During Bell's close call, other Singleton workers, including sub-foreman Greg Cobaugh, were doing other work on the first and third floors. The blast wasn't very loud to them. They were talking about reports that two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York - not considering the noise they heard could be a similar attack. http://www.necanet.org/whats_new/report.cfm?ID=1003 Benedetto Richard Benedetto, a USA TODAY reporter, was on his way to work, driving on the , Richard Highway parrallel to the Pentagon : "It was an American Airlines airplane, I could see it very clearly.(...) I didn't see the impact. (...) The sound itself sounded more like a thud rather than a bomb (...) rather than a loud bomb explosion it sounded muffled, heavy, very deep. I didn't see any flaps, it looked like the plane was just in normal flying mode but heading straight down. It was straight. The only thing we saw on the ground outside there was a piece of a ... the tail of a lamp post. (Video) high bandwidth : http://digipressetmp3.teaser.fr/uploads/491/Benedetto2.ram low bandwidth : http://digipressetmp3.teaser.fr/uploads/491/Benedetto.ram Biggert, Members of Congress have been shuttled to the site to inspect the damage. Rep. Judy Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) made the trip on Thursday. She saw remnants of the airplane. 'There was a seat from a plane, there was part of the tail and then there was a part of green metal, I could not tell what it was, a part of the outside of the plane,' she said. 'It smelled like it was still burning.' Birdwell, LTC Brian Birdwell. He was just heading back down the hall to his office when the Brian building exploded in front of him. The flash fire was immediate and the smoke was thick. The blast had thrown him down, giving him a concussion. He wanted to head down the hall toward the A ring...but because he couldn't see anything he had no idea which way to go and he didn't want to head in the wrong direction. (...) Once they stabilized Brian, they transferred him to George Washington Hospital where...the best, cutting edge burn doctor in the U.S. The doctor told him that had he not gone to Georgetown first, he probably would not have survived because of the jet fuel in his lungs. http://www.aog.usma.edu/Class/1961/BirdwellLuncheon.htm Birdwell, Down the hall from Yates, Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, 40, had been at his desk in Room Brian 2E486 since 6:30 a.m. (...) Birdwell walked out to the men's room in corridor 4, a move that saved his life. He had just taken three or four steps out of the bathroom when the building was rocked. "Bomb!" the Gulf War vet immediately thought as he was knocked down. When he stood up, he realized he was on fire. "Jesus, I'm coming to see you" http://www.hjpa.org/morenews.html Boger, Sean Boger, Air Traffic Controller and Pentagon tower chief - "I just looked up and I Sean saw the big nose and the wings of the aircraft coming right at us and I just watched it hit the building." "It exploded. I fell to the ground and covered my head. I could actually hear the metal going through the building." The crew, Boger and Spc. Jacqueline Kidd, air traffic controller and training supervisor, prepared for President George W. Bush to arrive from Florida around 12:30 p.m. http://www.dcmilitary.com/army/pentagram/6_46/local_news/12049-1.html Bouchoux Donald R. Bouchoux, 53, a retired Naval officer, a Great Falls resident, a Vietnam , Donald veteran and former commanding officer of a Navy fighter squadron, was driving west R. from Tysons Corner to the Pentagon for a 10am meeting. He wrote: At 9:40 a.m. I was driving down Washington Boulevard (Route 27) along the side of the Pentagon when the aircraft crossed about 200 yards [should be more than 150 yards from the impact] in front of me and impacted the side of the building. There was an enormous fireball, followed about two seconds later by debris raining down. The car moved about a foot to the right when the shock wave hit. I had what must have been an emergency oxygen bottle from the airplane go flying down across the front of my Explorer and then a second piece of jagged metal come down on the right side of the car. Washington Post, Sept. 20, 2001 http://web.lexis-nexis.com... Bowman, John Bowman, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and a contractor, was in his office John in Corridor Two near the main entrance to the south parking lot. "Everything was calm,' Bowman said. "Most people knew it was a bomb. Everyone evacuated smartly. We have a good sprinkling of military people who have been shot at." http://www.dcmilitary.com/army/pentagram/6_37/local_news/10380-1.html Braman, Staff Sgt. Chris Braman : The lawn was littered with twisted pieces of aluminum. Chris He saw one chunk painted with the letter ``A,'' another with a ``C.'' It didn't occur to Braman what the letters signified until a man in the crowd stooped to pick up one of the smaller metal shards. He examined it for a moment, then announced: ``This was a jet.'' Bright, Defense Protective Service officers were the first on the scene of the terrorist attack. Mark One, Mark Bright, actually saw the plane hit the building. He had been manning the guard booth at the Mall Entrance to the building. "I saw the plane at the Navy Annex area," he said. "I knew it was going to strike the building because it was very, very low -- at the height of the street lights. It knocked a couple down." The plane would have been seconds from impact -- the annex is only a few hundred yards from the Pentagon. He said he heard the plane "power-up" just before it struck the Pentagon. "As soon as it struck the building I just called in an attack, because I knew it couldn't be accidental," Bright said. He jumped into his police cruiser and headed to the area. http://www.dcmilitary.com/marines/hendersonhall/6_39/local_news/10797-1.html Brown, At the Pentagon, employees had heard about or seen footage of the World Trade Ervin Centre attack when they felt their own building shake. Ervin Brown, who works at the Pentagon, said he saw pieces of what appeared to be small aircraft on the ground, and the part of the building by the heliport had collapsed. Brown, Pentagon staff raced along a wooden pathway opposite the Pentagon building, all Rich heading towards bridges that would take them across the Potomac River. Grown men ran at full pace. Rich Brown was sitting at his desk and "there was just a huge sound that shook the building for a second or two". "I don't know what's happened. I assume it's a co-ordinated terrorist attack." http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/08/23/1030052968648.html Burgess, Lisa Burgess, a reporter for the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes, said she was Lisa walking in a corridor near the blast site and was thrown to the ground by the force of the blast. http://www.neurosis.org... Burgess, Lisa Burgess : Stars and Stripes reporter Lisa Burgess was walking on the Pentagon's Lisa innermost corridor, across the courtyard, when the incident happened. "I heard two loud booms - one large, one smaller, and the shock wave threw me against the wall," she said.Burgess, reporting by telephone from the scene at about 4 p.m., said that five hours after the blast, still no one was able to get into the building. After the first casualties were removed, no one was brought out of the building, either dead or alive. http://www.pstripes.com/01/sep01/ed091201i.html Cissell, As former Cincinnatian James R. Cissell sat in traffic on a Virginia interstate by the James R. Pentagon Tuesday morning, he saw the blur of a commercial jet and wondered why it was flying so low. ''Right about the time it was crossing over the highway, it kind of dawned on me what was happening,'' said Cissell, son of Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Jim Cissell. In the next blink of an eye, he realized he had a front-row seat to history, as the plane plowed into the Pentagon, sending a fireball exploding into the air and scattering debris - including a tire rim suspected of belonging to the airplane - past his car. (...) In the next seconds dozens of things flashed through his mind. ''I thought, 'This isn't really happening. That is a big plane.' Then I saw the faces of some of the passengers on board,'' Cissell said. While he remembers seeing the crash, Cissell remembers none of the sounds. ''It came in in a perfectly straight line,'' he said. ''It didn't slow down. I want to say it accelerated. It just shot straight in.'' http://www.cincypost.com/attack/cissel091201.html Cleveland Allen Cleveland of Woodbridge Virginia looked out from a Metro train going to , Allen National Airport, to see a jet heading down toward the Pentagon. "I thought, 'There's no landing strip on that side of the subway tracks,' " Before he could process that thought, he saw "a huge mushroom cloud. A lady staThe lady next to me was in absolute hysterics."" . . a silver pasenger jet, mid sized" http://mfile.akamai.com/920/rm/thepost.download.akamai.com/920/nation/091101- 5s.ram Cleveland Soon after the crash (Within 30 seconds of the crash) I witnessed a military cargo , Allen plane (Possibly a C130) fly over the crash site and circle the mushroom cloud. My brother inlaw also witnessed the same plane following the jet while he was on the HOV lanes in Springfield. He said that he saw a jetliner flying low over the tree tops near Seminary RD in Springfield, VA. and soon afterwards a military plane was seen flying right behind it. I think this was also a reason for the false threat of another plane about to crash which caused rescuers to have to evacuate for a short time after the initial crash. I have done my research onthis and according to time magazine it took 24 minutes before Norad was supposedly notified about this particuliar jet and fighters were scrambling to intercept at that time. Isn't it odd how there is Not a single mention of this aircraft in ANY of the articles written about this crash? Also if you had not noticed... There is not a single picture or live footage of the actual jet prior to its crash at the Pentagon. Nor is there any of the one that crashed in Pennsylvania. But if Anyone who rides the metro-rail knows, there are plenty of Video cameras all around National airport at the parking Garages and the high level security buildings found all around Crystal city. (3 of which I have personally found pointed directly towards crystal city which would have given a great line of site shot of that jet prior to the crash as well as any other plane which might have been following it. I personally believe that the government new full well that this was about to happen and they are hiding something a lot bigger than they are willing to let out. I was interviewed at Washingtonpost.com and gave them my full story, but they did not print it as I have told you. I also find it interesting that one of the planes engines in the pennsylvania crash was supposedly found 5 miles prior to the crash site (This information I'm unsure of). The only thing that I'm aware of that might cause that would be a heat seeking missle. A weapon which I am pretty familiar with form Ord.training. I'm not saying that the government new exactly what was about to happen, but I do believe that they are definitely hiding something here. Many of my friends in intelligence have said the same. I work in a Gov. building in DC., but my heart is right there with you and your team. I hope you and those who served with you are doing well. Take care. http://www.spooky8.com/reviews.htm Cook, [We didn't know what kind of plane had hit the Pentagon, or where it had hit. Later, Scott P. we were told that] it was a 757 out of Dulles, which had come up the river in back of our building, turned sharply over the Capitol, ran past the White House and the Washington Monument, up the river to Rosslyn, then dropped to treetop level and ran down Washington Boulevard to the Pentagon (...) As we watched the black plume gather strength, less than a minute after the explosion, we saw an odd sight that no one else has yet commented on. Directly in back of the plume, which would place it almost due west from our office, a four-engine propeller plane, which Ray later said resembled a C-130, started a steep decent towards the Pentagon. It was coming from an odd direction (planes don't go east-west in the area), and it was descending at a much steeper angle than most aircraft. Trailing a thin, diffuse black trail from its engines, the plane reached the Pentagon at a low altitude and made a sharp left turn, passing just north of the plume, and headed straight for the White House. All the while, I was sort of talking at it: "Who the hell are you? Where are you going? You're not headed for downtown!" Ray and Verle watched it with me, and I was convinced it was another attack. But right over the tidal basin, at an altitude of less than 1000 feet, it made another sharp left turn to the north and climbed rapidly. Soon it was gone, leaving only the thin black trail. http://www.clothmonkey.com/91101.htm Corley "It was striking to me how little of the building was involved in the fire," said Dr. Corley, who has reviewed the Pentagon report. The fire, he said, "didn't spread and and trap other people in the building. "While 125 Pentagon workers and 59 passengers and crew members on the plane died, few if any of the workers who died were from outside the immediate impact zone." http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/05/nyregion/05TOWE.html Correa, LTC Victor Correa work at the Pentagon. (...) LTC Victor Correa's office, what was Victor the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, now the Army G-1, was in the path of the Boeing 757 that crashed into the Pentagon on a sunny fall morning. He was walking over to talk to a co-worker in the next cubicle when he was knocked down by the impact. "I saw a fireball come over my head," said Correa, an Active Guard Reservist now assigned to Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-5. "The fireball was coming like a wind-cloud of smoke trailing it. I also noticed to my right the windows going out and coming back in. The fireball came in and out quick - the speed of lightning. As it went back, it left a cloud of smoke and started dropping. At that time the fire system went up." Being knocked down turned out to be a life-saver. (...) "We thought it was some kind of explosion. That somehow someone got in here and planted bombs because we saw these holes." http://www.army.mil/usar/news/2002/09-11anniv/herotellsall.html Creed, He and two colleagues from Oracle software were stopped in a car near the Naval Dan Annex, next to the Pentagon, when they saw the plane dive down and level off. "It was no more than 30 feet off the ground, and it was screaming. It was just screaming. It was nothing more than a guided missile at that point," Creed said. "I can still see the plane. I can still see it right now. It's just the most frightening thing in the world, going full speed, going full throttle, its wheels up," Creed recalls. http://www.ahwatukee.com/afn/community/articles/020906a.html Damoose Damoose said the worst part was leaving the Pentagon and walking along Fort Meyer Drive, a bike trail, "you could see pieces of the plane." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/sep01/attack.html Dave Near the Lincoln Memorial, Dave heard two booms, which sounded like the artillery salutes on the Mall on the Fourth of July, he said. It was likely the noise from a secondary blast at the Pentagon - http://www.gridlockmag.com/911/ Day For one employee with Wedge One's mechanical subcontractor John J. Kirlin Inc., Wayne T. Rockville MD, "lucky" is an understatement. "We had one guy who was standing, looking out the window and saw the plane when it was coming in. He was in front of one of the blast-resistant windows," says Kirlin President Wayne T. Day, who believes the window structure saved the man's life. According to Matt Hahr, Kirlin's senior project manager at the Pentagon, the employee "was thrown about 80 ft down the hall through the air. As he was traveling through the air, he says the ceiling was coming down from the concussion. He got thrown into a closet, the door slammed shut and the fireball went past him," recounts Hahr. "Jet fuel was on him and it irritated his eyes, but he didn't get burned. Then the fireball blew over and the sprinklers came on, and he was able to crawl out of the closet and get out of the building through the courtyard." http://www.designbuildmag.com/oct2001/pentagon1001.asp DeChiaro, Instead of following the streams of people away from the Pentagon, Steve DeChiaro Steve ran toward the smoke. As he reached the west side of the building he saw a light post bent in half. "But when I looked at the site, my brain could not resolve the fact that it was a plane because it only seemed like a small hole in the building," he said. "No tail. No wings. No nothing." He followed the emergency crews that had just arrived. He saw people hanging out of windows and others crawling from the demolished area. "These people were covered in what I thought was powder - I don't know anything about medicine or first aid, I'm an engineer - but it looked like powder," DeChiaro said. "Only later did I find out that it was their skin." Civilians and soldiers joined emergency crews who were rushing inside to pull out anyone they could. But shortly after 10 a.m. police yelled at people to get back. "Just as we're about to open the door, they start screaming, 'There's another inbound plane', " DeChiaro said. "At that moment, your thoughts are: 'I go in the building, I get killed, then I'm no help to anybody.' In hindsight, I think we should have gone back in that building." For nearly 15 minutes, they stood watching the Pentagon burn and periodically checked the sky for another plane. That plane never reached Washington but fell, instead, in rural Pennsylvania. Teams of two and three eventually were sent back in to find more victims. But as the day grew longer, the flow of the injured stopped. http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/america_at_war/article/0,1426,MCA_945_1300676 ,00.html Defina "The only way you could tell that an aircraft was inside was that we saw pieces of the nose gear. The devastation was horrific. It was obvious that some of the victims we found had no time to react. The distance the firefighters had to travel down corridors to reach the fires was a problem. With only a good 25 minutes of air in their SCBA bottles, to save air they left off their face pieces as they walked and took in a lot of smoke," Captain Defina said. Captain Defina was the shift commander [of an aircraft rescue firefighters crew.] http://www.nfpa.org/NFPAJournal/OnlineExclusive/Exclusive_11_01_01/exclusive_ 11.01.01.asp DiPaula, Michael DiPaula 41, project coordinator Pentagon Renovation Team - He left a Michael meeting in the Pentagon just minutes before the crash, looking for an electrician who didn't show, in a construction trailer less than 75 feet away. "Suddenly, an airplane roared into view, nearly shearing the roof off the trailer before slamming into the E ring. 'It sounded like a missile,' DiPaula recalls . . . Buried in debris and covered with airplane fuel, he was briefly listed by authorities as missing, but eventually crawled from the flaming debris and the shroud of black smoke unscathed. http://www.sunspot.net/search/bal-archive-1990.htmlstory (killtown) Dobbs, Marine Corps officer Mike Dobbs was standing on one of the upper levels of the outer Mike ring of the Pentagon looking out the window when he saw an American Airlines 737 twin-engine airliner strike the building. "It seemed to be almost coming in slow motion," he said later Tuesday. "I didn't actually feel it hit, but I saw it and then we all started running. They evacuated everybody around us." http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/091201_news_dcscene.shtml Dobbs, "... we saw a plane coming toward us, for about 10 seconds ... It was like watching a Mike train wreck. I was mesmerized. ... At first I thought it was trying to crash land, but it was coming in so deliberately, so level... Everyone said there was a deafening explosion, but with the adrenaline, we didn't hear it."St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sept. 13, 2001 - Philip Dine http://web.lexisnexis.com ... http://www2.hawaii.edu/~julianr/lexisnexis/dobbs.txt Dougherty Jill Dougherty : It took your breath away, data analyst Jill Dougherty said of the , Jill vibration. It went right through you. I didn't hear anything. I just felt it. http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2001/09/pdf/09112001EXTRA2.p df Dubill, " (...) when he saw a jetliner fly over the roadway. It filled his field of vision. The jet Bob was 40-feet off the ground speeding toward the Pentagon. The wheels were up http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5425475&BRD=386&PAG=461&dept _id=444919&rfi=6 Eberle, "Riding in a convertible ... I looked back and saw a jet airliner flying very low and Bobby very fast. http://www.gopusa.com/bobby/bobby_091201.shtml Eiden, Steve Eiden, a truck driver, had picked up his cargo that Tuesday morning in Steve Williamsburg, Va., and was en route to New York City and witnessed the aftermath. He took the Highway 95 loop in the area of the Pentagon and thought it odd to see a plane in restricted airspace, thinking to himself it was odd that it was flying so low. "You could almost see the people in the windows," he said as he watched the plane disappear behind a line of trees, followed by a tall plume of black smoke. Then he saw the Pentagon on fire, and an announcement came over the radio that the Pentagon had been hit. http://www.baxterbulletin.com/ads/chronology2001/page2.html Elgas, Traffic was at a standstill. I heard a rumble, looked out my driver's side window and Penny realized that I was looking at the nose of an airplane coming straight at us from over the road (Columbia Pike) that runs perpendicular to the road I was on. The plane just appeared there- very low in the air, to the side of (and not much above) the CITGO gas station that I never knew was there. My first thought was "Oh My God, this must be World War III!" In that split second, my brain flooded with adrenaline and I watched everything play out in ultra slow motion, I saw the plane coming in slow motion toward my car and then it banked in the slightest turn in front of me, toward the heliport. In the nano-second that the plane was directly over the cars in front of my car, the plane seemed to be not more than 80 feet off the ground and about 4-5 car lengths in front of me. It was far enough in front of me that I saw the end of the wing closest to me and the underside of the other wing as that other wing rocked slightly toward the ground. I remember recognizing it as an American Airlines plane -- I could see the windows and the color stripes. And I remember thinking that it was just like planes in which I had flown many times but at that point it never occurred to me that this might be a plane with passengers. In my adrenaline-filled state of mind, I was overcome by my visual senses. The day had started out beautiful and sunny and I had driven to work with my car's sunroof open. I believe that I may have also had one or more car windows open because the traffic wasn't moving anyway. At the second that I saw the plane, my visual senses took over completely and I did not hear or feel anything -- not the roar of the plane, or wind force, or impact sounds. The plane seemed to be floating as if it were a paper glider and I watched in horror as it gently rocked and slowly glided straight into the Pentagon. At the point where the fuselage hit the wall, it seemed to simply melt into the building. I saw a smoke ring surround the fuselage as it made contact with the wall. It appeared as a smoke ring that encircled the fuselage at the point of contact and it seemed to be several feet thick. I later realized that it was probably the rubble of churning bits of the plane and concrete. The churning smoke ring started at the top of the fuselage and simultaneously wrapped down both the right and left sides of the fuselage to the underside, where the coiling rings crossed over each other and then coiled back up to the top. Then it started over again -- only this next time, I also saw fire, glowing fire in the smoke ring. At that point, the wings disappeared into the Pentagon. And then I saw an explosion and watched the tail of the plane slip into the building. It was here that I closed my eyes for a moment and when I looked back, the entire area was awash in thick black smoke. http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11/collection/supporting.asp?ID=30 Elliott, Former ammunition plant official evacuated building moments before suicide airliner Bruce collision.Col. Bruce Elliott, former commander of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant who was reassigned to the Pentagon in July, watched in horror Tuesday as a hijacked 757 airliner crashed into the nerve center of the U.S. military command. Elliott, in a phone interview Wednesday, said he had just left the Pentagon and was about to board a shuttle van in a south parking lot when he saw the plane approach and slam into the west side of the structure. "I looked to my left and saw the plane coming in," said Elliott, who watched it for several seconds. "It was banking and garnering speed. I felt it was headed for the Pentagon." (...) "It was like a kamikaze pilot. I felt it was going to ram the Pentagon," he said. He said the craft clipped a utility pole guide wire, which may have slowed it down a bit before it crashed into the building and burst into flames. (...) Elliott said the rubble was still smoldering Wednesday morning. http://www.thehawkeye.com/features/911/IdxThur.html Evey, The plane approached the Pentagon about six feet off the ground, clipping a light Walker pole, a car antenna, a construction trailer and an emergency generator before Lee slicing into the building, said Lee Evey, the manager of the Pentagon's ongoing billion-dollar renovation. The plane penetrated three of the Pentagon's five rings, but was probably stopped from going farther by hundreds of concrete columns. The plane peeled back as it entered, leaving pieces of the front of the plane near the outside of the building and pieces from the rear of the aircraft farther inside, Evey said. The floors just above the impact remained intact for about 35 minutes after the crash, allowing many people in those offices to escape, Evey said http://detnews.com/2001/nation/0110/06/nation-312016.htm Evey, Internally, the Wedge One project included: complete demolition of existing facilities; Walker significant abatement of hazardous materials (most notably, 28 million lbs. of Lee asbestos-contaminated material was removed); installation of all new electrical, mechanical, plumbing and telecommunication systems within the existing floorplan; structural steel reinforcement; and replacement of all 1,282 windows in the section, including 386 blast-resistant units on the outermost "E Ring" and innermost "A Ring" of the building. All-new office space was created with an open space plan aimed at enhancing flexibility (...) Amazingly, the plane pushed through the outermost "E Ring", and drove deep into the interior, its nose coming to rest just inside the "C Ring." http://www.designbuildmag.com/oct2001/pentagon1001.asp Evey, We've learned -- this is wedge one, okay, the newly-renovated area. The path of the Walker airplane seems to have taken it along this route, so it entered the building slightly, on Lee this photo, slightly to the left of what we call corridor four. There are 10 radial corridors in the building that extend from A ring out through E ring, and this is the fourth of those radial corridors. So it impacted the building in an area that had been renovated, but its path was at a -- it appears to be at a diagonal, so that it entered in wedge one but passed through into areas of wedge two, an unrenovated portion of the building. And, of course, you all know it's got rings A through E, five stories tall, et cetera. QUESTION: That seems to indicate that it came to rest in ring C, the nose cone. EVEY: Let me talk to that, because you've asked a number of questions already about the extent of penetration, et cetera. This is an overhead of the building. The point of penetration was right here, and we blocked that out to show that's the area of collapse. The plane actually penetrated through the E ring, C ring -- excuse me -- E ring, D ring, C ring. This area right here is what we call A-E Drive. And unlike other rings in the building, it's actually a driveway that circles the building inside, between the B and the C ring. The nose of the plane just barely broke through the inside of the C ring, so it was extending into A-E Drive a little bit. So that's the extent of penetration of the aircraft. The rings are E, D, C, B and A. Between B and C is a driveway that goes around the Pentagon. It's called A-E Drive. The airplane traveled in a path about like this, and the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of C ring into A-E Drive. QUESTION: One thing that's confusing -- if it came in the way you described, at an angle, why then are not the wings outside? I mean, the wings would have shorn off. The tail would have shorn off. And yet there's apparently no evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. EVEY: Actually, there's considerable evidence of the aircraft outside the E ring. It's just not very visible. When you get up close -- actually, one of my people happened to be walking on this sidewalk and was right about here as the aircraft approached. It came in. It clipped a couple of light poles on the way in. He happened to hear this terrible noise behind him, looked back, and he actually -- he's a Vietnam veteran -- jumped prone onto the ground so the aircraft would not actually -- he thinks it (would have) hit him; it was that low. On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that generator, and portions of it broke off. There are other parts of the plane that are scattered about outside the building. None of those parts are very large, however. You don't see big pieces of the airplane sitting there extending up into the air. But there are many small pieces. And the few larger pieces there look like they are veins out of the aircraft engine. They're circular. QUESTION: Would you say that the plane, since it had a lot of fuel on it at the impact, and the fact that there are very small pieces, virtually exploded in flames when it tore into the building? I mean, since there are not large pieces of the wings laying outside, did it virtually explode? EVEY: I didn't see it. My people who did see it enter the building describe it as entering the building and then there being flames coming out immediately afterwards. Whether you describe it as an explosion or not, people I talk to who were there, some called it an explosion. Others called it a large fire. I'm not sure. I wasn't there, sir. It's just a guess on my part. http://www.patriotresource.com/wtc/federal/0915/DoD.html Evey, Walker Lee Evey, program manager of the Pentagon restoration project : The fire Walker was so hot, Evey said, that it turned window glass to liquid and sent it spilling Lee down walls into puddles on the ground. The impact cracked massive concrete columns far beyond the impact site, destabilizing a broader section of the building than contractors had originally thought. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/03/07/attack/main503257.shtml On Sept. 11, Flight 77 sliced through the outermost three of the Pentagon's five concentric rings. Fires from the plane's 20,000 gallons of fuel melted windows into pools of liquid glass. The impact of the crash fractured concrete pillars well beyond the incisions in the three outer rings. http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/2821782.htm Faram, I hate to disappoint anyone, but here is the story behind the photograph. At the time, I Mark was a senior writer with Navy Times newspaper. It is an independent weekly that is owned by the Gannett Corporation (same owners as USA Today). I was at the Navy Annex, up the hill from the Pentagon when I heard the explosion. I always keep a digital camera in my backpack briefcase just as a matter of habit. When the explosion happened I ran down the hill to the site and arrived there approximately 10 minutes after the explosion. I saw the piece, that was near the heliport pad and had to work around to get a shot if it with the building in the background. Because the situation was still fluid, I was able to get in close and make that image within fifteen minutes of the explosion because security had yet to shut off the area. I photographed it twice, with the newly arrived fire trucks pouring water into the building in the background. The collapse of the building above area happened long after I left the scene. I was not even aware that that had happened until that evening when I watched the news. My photos were on the wire by noon. That was the only piece of wreckage of any SIZE that I saw, but was by no means the ONLY piece. Right after photographing that piece of wreckage, I also photographed a triage area where medical personnel were tending to a seriously burned man. A priest knelt in the middle of the area and started to pray. I took that image and left immediately. As I stepped onto the highway next to the triage area, I knelt down to tie my shoe and all over the highway were small pieces of aircraft skin, none bigger than a half-dollar. Anyone familiar with aircraft has seen the greenish primer paint that covers many interior metal surfaces - that is what these shards were covered with. I was out of the immediate area photographing other things within 20 minutes of the crash. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/frameup/message/1254 Flyler, Kim Flyler was trying to sneak into a parking space near to the building when she saw Kim the plane: "At that moment I heard a plane and then a loud cracking noise.... Right before the plane hit the building, you could see the silhouettes of people in the back two rows. You couldn't see if they were male or female, but you could tell there was a human being in there." The Observer, Sept. 8, 2002 Ford, Ken Ken Ford : One eyewitness, State Department employee Ken Ford, said he watched from the 15th floor of the State Department Annex, just across the PotomacRiver from the Pentagon. We were watching the airport through binoculars, Ford said, referring to Reagan National Airport, a short distance away. The plane was a two- engine turbo prop that flew up the river from National. Then it turned back toward the Pentagon. We thought it had been waved off and then it hit the building. http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2001/09/pdf/09112001EXTRA2.p df http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/world/2001/0912/wor5.htm Fortunato, "Traffic was at a standstill, so I parked on the shoulder, not far from the scene and ran Don to the site. Next to me was a cab from D.C., its windshield smashed out by pieces of lampposts. There were pieces of the plane all over the highway, pieces of wing, I think. (...) "There were a lot of people with severe burns, severe contusions, severe lacerations, in shock and emotional distress" http://www.msnbc.com/news/635293.asp Fowler, Navy Capt. Charles Fowler : Navy Capt. Charles Fowler, assigned to the Joint Chiefs, Charles was working on a speech for Gen. Henry Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, when he heard the explosion. "You could feel the building shake," said Fowler. "You knew it was a major explosion. I grabbed all my gear and grabbed the laptop and headed out." "The interesting part was we didn't hear the alarm go off, but word got around very fast. It was an orderly evacuation" Fowler's office, on the river side, appeared to be on the opposite side from the explosion, he said. "Tons of smoke was coming up from the wedge-lots of black and gray smoke." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/sep01/attack.html Fraunfelte Dan Fraunfelter : After the meeting, just before 9:30 a.m., the young engineer grabbed r, Dan a subcontractor to help him repair a damaged ceiling grid on the third floor of the Pentagon's E-Ring. The two were in the middle of the job when a strange sound ripped through the room. It lasted just a split second, says Fraunfelter, "A strange sucking, whirring sound, like a loud vacuum cleaner." Then the sound stopped, the building shook violently, and the lights went out. http://www.msnbc.com/news/635293.asp Frost, Captain Stephen S. Frost, Medical Corps : We saw many blast injuries Stephen S. http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq87-7b.htm Gaines, Kat Gaines, heading south on Route 110, approached the parking lots, saw a low- Kat flying jetliner strike the top of nearby telephone poles. " http://www.fccc.org/News/valor.htm Goff, Dr Dr Goff :"We used every aspect of our medical training that day to treat victims suffering from injuries ranging from inhalation and blast injuries to all levels of burns to emotional trauma," http://www.aoa-net.org/Publications/DO/pentagon1101.pdf Goldsmith Gilah Goldsmith, personnel attorney at the Pentagon. When she got to her office , Gilah sometime around 9, she phoned her daughter and heard "an incredible whomp noise." It didn't seem so unusual since her office is situated near a narrow area where trucks sometimes come by and hit the wall. Goldsmith was told to evacuate. "We saw a huge black cloud of smoke," she said, saying it smelled like cordite, or gun smoke. http://www.jewishsf.com/bk010921/usp14a.shtml Hagos, Asework Hagos, 26, of Arlington, was driving on Columbia Pike on his way to work Asework as a consultant for Nextel. He saw a plane flying very low and close to nearby buildings. "I thought something was coming down on me. I know this plane is going to crash. I've never seen a plane like this so low." He said he looked at it and saw American Airline insignia and when it made impact with the Pentagon initially he saw smoke, then flames. Harringto Harrington was working on the installation of new furniture in Wedge One, when he n, Joe was called out to the parking lot to talk about security with his customer moments before the crash. "About two minutes later one of my guys pointed to an American Airlines airplane 20 feet high over Washington Blvd.," Harrington said. "It seemed like it made impact just before the wedge. It was like a Hollywood movie or something. http://www.dcmilitary.com/army/pentagram/6_37/local_news/10380-1.html Haubold, At about 9:20 a.m., Lt. Col. Art Haubold, a public affairs officer with air force, was in Art his office on the opposite side of the complex when the plane struck. "We were sitting there watching the reports on the World Trade Center. All of a sudden, the windows blew in," he said. "We could see a fireball out our window." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/sep01/attack.html Hemphill, From the view of the Navy Annex : After a few moments, Lt Gen Ron Kadish, Albert Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization entered the Secure Conference Room to pursue the day's activities and do real work. This office, with two nice windows and a great view of the monuments, the Capitol and the Pentagon was "good digs" by any Pentagon standard. I walked in the office and stood peering out of the window looking at the Pentagon. As I stood there, I instinctively ducked at the extremely loud roar and whine of a jet engine spooling up. Immediately, the large silver cylinder of an aircraft appeared in my window, coming over my right shoulder as I faced the Westside of the Pentagon directly towards the heliport. The aircraft, looking to be either a 757 or Airbus, seemed to come directly over the annex, as if it had been following Columbia Pike - an Arlington road leading to Pentagon. The aircraft was moving fast, at what I could only be estimate as between 250 to 300 knots. All in all, I probably only had the aircraft in my field of view for approximately 3 seconds. The aircraft was at a sharp downward angle of attack, on a direct course for the Pentagon. It was "clean", in as much as, there were no flaps applied and no apparent landing gear deployed. He was slightly left wing down as he appeared in my line of sight, as if he'd just "jinked" to avoid something. As he crossed Route 110 he appeared to level his wings, making a slight right wing slow adjustment as he impacted low on the Westside of the building to the right of the helo, tower and fire vehicle around corridor 5. What instantly followed was a large yellow fireball accompanied by an extremely bass sounding, deep thunderous boom. The yellow fireball rose quickly as black smoke engulfed the entire Westside of the Pentagon, obscuring the whole of the heliport. I could feel the concussion and felt the shockwave of the blast impact the window of the Annex, knocking me against the desk. http://lists.travellercentral.com/pipermail/tml/2001-September/013153.html http://www.ournetfamily.com/WarOnTerror/emails/pentagonwitness.shtml Henson, Pinned in his chair and wrapped in a shroud of thick smoke and darkness, Jerry Jerry Henson had almost given up hope. He could feel all his limbs, but they wouldn't move. It was as if he were frozen at his desk by forces he couldn't battle. Through the smoke, he mustered some pleas for help. His mind still raced to figure out what happened and whether this was real. It was 9:40 a.m., Sept. 11. (...) airliner (...) slammed into the Pentagon. "The impact was quite clear," Henson said. "But it wasn't what you would think. It was just a loud kathump. Just a loud noise." Then all his senses failed him. The plane had sliced through the emergency lighting generators leaving everything in blackness. Books and computer monitors tumbled from the shelves behind him. Then his head throbbed. Pain shot through his legs. He couldn't move. All he could taste was smoke and dust. "I knew I was wounded some place because you can tell the difference between water and blood," he said. "Blood is sticky and tacky and warm. But I couldn't tell where the blood was coming from." For 15 minutes he and two of his staff who also were trapped in the office yelled for help. They yelled for Punches, Henson's deputy. They yelled for other survivors. They yelled for anyone at all. http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/america_at_war/article/0,1426,MCA_945_1300676 ,00.html Henson, Inside the hell that was once his office, Jerry Henson freed his hands enough to move Jerry rubble off of his shoulders. He dislodged his head. But he couldn't move the heavy desktop from his lap. It had been 15, maybe 20 minutes since everything turned dark and painful. Still no answer from Capt. Punches. Now fires were burning closer as deposits of jet fuel ignited. "You could hear them lighting off," Henson said. "They would go 'poof,' kind of like when you light a furnace. You could hear these getting closer." The two other men in the office couldn't get to Henson, but they found a hole in the wall to crawl through. And they found help. Minutes passed slowly as Henson remained trapped in the dark and more conscious of every breath. He heard rubble crumbling and splashes like footsteps in puddles. Then he saw a slice of light. "I'm a doctor, I'm here to help you," said a voice. Navy Lt. Cmdr. David Tarantino, the doctor, and Capt. David M. Thomas Jr. had dodged slithering electrical wires and dripping solder to reach Henson. Tarantino, realizing Henson was pinned, got on his back and lifted the table top with his feet enough for Henson to slide out. Thomas and Tarantino pulled him back out through the maze. With a blur of light and a rush of fresh air, Henson knew he was safe. Jerry Henson, now 65, spent four days at nearby Arlington Hospital Center. Doctors sewed up the gash in the back of his head and on his chin. His neck was sprained, his back was sore, and he still needed treatment for smoke inhalation. "I was eager to get out," he said. "I thought the sooner I was able to get walking and breathing, the better I'd avoid pneumonia and things like that." http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/america_at_war/article/0,1426,MCA_945_1300676 ,00.html Holland, Nicholas Holland, an engineer with AMEC Construction Management of Bethesda, Nicholas Md., had spent the last two years working to reinforce the walls. Two summers ago, a blast wall of reinforced steel and concrete was installed right where the plane hit. It stood for 25 minutes after it was hit before collapsing, long enough for people to escape, Holland said. http://www.detnews.com/2001/nation/0109/11/nation-291261.htm Hovis, Being a former transport type (60's era) I cannot understand how that plane hit Tom where it did giving the direction the aircraft was taking at the time. As most know, the Pentagon lies at the bottom of two hills from the west with the east side being next to the river at 14th street bridge. One hill is at the Navy Annex and the other is Arlington Cemetery. The plane came up I-395 also known as Shirley Hwy. (most likely used as a reference point.) The plane had been seen making a lazy pattern in the no fly zone over the White House and US Cap. Why the plane did not hit incoming traffic coming down the river from the north to Reagan Nat'l. is beyond me . Strangely, no one at the Reagan Tower noticed the aircraft. Andrews AFB radar should have also picked up the aircraft I would think. Nevertheless, the aircarft went southwest near Springfield and then veered left over Arlington and then put the nose down coming over Ft Myer picking off trees and light poles near the helicopter pad next to building. It was as if he leveled out at the last minute and put it square into the building. The wings came off as if it went through an arch way leaving a hole in the side of the building it seems a little larger than the wide body of the aircraft. The entry point was so clean that the roof (shown in news photo) fell in on the wreckage. They are just now getting to the passengers today. The nosewheel I understand is in the grass near the second ring. Right now it is estimated that it will take two years to repair the damage. Ironcally, the area had just been remodeled with most of the area was still blocked off and some offices were empty. I know a young Army Major who went to a planned staff meeting at 8:30 am sharp. He left his office and attended the meeting, there was something he needed. He called his friend also a major near his office on his cell phone. As they were talking his friend said, My God a plane has just came through near your office "(which was not part of the new area, but near it ). Fire rolled down the hallway, somehow his friend on the phone ducked down another hallway. Four of the Major's friends did not make it. Incidently, the fireball also went along the outside of the building as shown by the blackend side of the building to left of the impact point. The reason the fire took so long to put out was because the attic was filled with "horse hair" for insulation put there in 1942 when the building was built. http://www.beanerbanner.com/a_father____.htm Hunt, Bob office when the explosion at the Pentagon occurred. "About a third of the sky was blacked with smoke", He said. Hunt was in contact with this office via e-mail on September 11 until he left work and decided to walk, rather than catch a crowded subway. "I talked to a number of average people in route who said they saw the plane hovering over the Washington Mall Area at an altitude lower that the height of the Washington Monument" Hunt stated. He said they reported to him they could clearly see the markings of an American Airlines airliner and some even said they could make out faces of passengers in the aircraft windows. Again, this is what Bob Hunt heard from witnesses on the street in Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001. http://www.sierratimes.com/02/03/15/arjj031502.htm Jarvis, From time spent on military aircraft as part of his job at the Pentagon, Will Jarvis Will (who graduated with a bachelor of applied science in 1987 while attending New College) knows what aviation fuel smells like. That smell was his only clue that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon, where he works as an operations research analyst for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Jarvis, who was around the corner from the disaster, tried but failed to see the plane when he left the building. "There was just nothing left. It was incinerated. We couldn't see a tail or a wing or anything," he says. "Just a big black hole in the building with smoke pouring out of it." For someone sitting only 300 metres away from the carnage of American Airlines Flight 77, Jarvis and his officemates were surprisingly well insulated from it. "We thought the plane was a dump truck backing into the building, because there was a lot of construction going on," he says. The group noticed that the sky was darker than normal, but still didn't think much of it. "Then I saw little bits of silver falling from the sky," says Jarvis. http://www.magazine.utoronto.ca/02winter/f02.htm#jarvis Joyce, Tom Joyce, a Navy captain, was reading at his desk on the fifth floor in the building's Tom fifth wing, when the plane hit. The impact knocked him out of his chair. "The whole building shook," Captain Joyce said. "Smoke started coming into the building." http://www.americanmemorials.com/memorial/tribute.asp?idMemorial=1316&idCont ributor=7466 Kean, Terrance Kean, 35, who lives in a 14-story building nearby, heard the loud jet engines Terrance and glanced out his window. "I saw this very, very large passenger jet," said the architect, who had been packing for a move. "It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal." http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp- dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A13766-2001Sep11 Khavkin, from an 8th floor high-rise: "At first, we thought it was the jets that sometimes fly D. S. overhead. However, it appeared to be a small commercial aircraft..." http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/talking_point/newsid_1540000/1540586.stm Kirk, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), a Naval Reserve intelligence officer. ''Apparently, the Mark fire killed everybody in there,'' said Kirk, shortly after he learned that two friends Steven perished in the center. Kirk also went to the site. ''The first thing you smell is the burning. And then you can smell the aviation fuel. And then you can smell this sickly, rotten-meat smell,'' he said. Kizildrgli, Kizildrgli, while driving by the Pentagon, "saw the jetliner bank slightly" Aydan http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/11/attack-usat.htm Krohn, One of the aircraft's engines somehow ricocheted out of the building and arched Charles H. into the Pentagon's mall parking area between the main building and the new loading dock facility, said Charles H. Krohn, the Army's deputy chief of public affairs. Those fleeing the building heard a loud secondary explosion about 10 min. after the initial impact. http://www.aviationnow.com/content/publication/awst/20010917/aw48.htm Lagasse, Sgt. William Lagasse, a pentagon police dog handler, the son of an aviation instructor, William was filling up his patrol car at a gas station near the Pentagon when he noticed a jet fly in low. He watched as the plane plowed into the Pentagon. Initially, he thought the plane was about to drop on top of him -- it was that close. Lagasse knew something was wrong. The 757's flaps were not deployed and the landing gear was retracted. http://126.96.36.199/ebird/e20011108vivid.htm Lagasse, I saw the aircraft above my head about 80 feet above the ground, 400 miles an hour. William The reason, I have some experience as a pilot and I looked at the plane. Didn't see any landing gear. Didn't see any flaps down. I realized it wasn't going to land. . . . It was close enough that I could see the windows and the blinds had been pulled down. I read American Airlines on it. . . .I got on the radio and broadcast. I said a plane is, is heading toward the heliport side of the building. http://web.lexis-nexis.com... http://www2.hawaii.edu/~julianr/lexisnexis/lagasse1.txt Liebner, "I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low," said Army Lincoln Captain Lincoln Liebner. "My first thought was I've never seen one that high. Before it hit I realised what was happening." http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/08/23/1030052968648.html Liebner, After the second plane hit the World Trade Center, Major Lincoln Leibner jumped in Lincoln his pickup truck and raced to the Pentagon. As he ran to an entrance, he heard jet engines and turned in time to see the American Airlines plane diving toward the building. "I was close enough that I could see through the windows of the airplane, and watch as it as it hit," he said. "There was no doubt in my mind what I was watching. Not for a second. It was accelerating," he said. "It was wheels up, flaps up, engines full throttle. " http://www.theosuobserver.com/main.cfm/include/smdetail/synid/54846.html Liebner, Maj. Leibner drove in and made it as far as the south parking lot, where he got out on Lincoln foot. "I heard the plane first," he said. "I thought it was a flyover Arlington cemetery." From his vantage point, Maj. Leibner looked up and saw the plane come in. "I was about 100 yards away," he said. "You could see through the windows of the aircraft. I saw it hit." The plane came in hard and level and was flown full throttle into the building, dead center mass, Maj. Leibner said. "The plane completely entered the building," he said. "I got a little repercussion, from the sound, the blast. I've heard artillery, and that was louder than the loudest has to offer. I started running toward the site. I jumped over a fence. I was probably the first person on the scene." A tree and the backend of a crash truck at the heliport near the crash site were on fire and the ground was scorched, Maj. Leibner recounted. "The plane went into the building like a toy into a birthday cake," he said. "The aircraft went in between the second and third floors." At that point, no one was outside. Spotting a Pentagon door that had been blown off its hinges, Maj. Leibner went in and out several times, helping rescue several people. "The very first person was right there," he said. "She could walk. I walked her out onto the grass." Maj. Leibner said a police officer pulled up onto the grass and began to help. "Everybody was hurt," Maj. Leibner said. "They were all civilian females. Everybody was burned on their hands and faces. http://www.usmedicine.com/article.cfm?articleID=384&issueID=38 Leibner, Captain Lincoln Leibner says the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting Lincoln fire to a fire truck. We got one guy out of the cab," he said, adding he could hear people crying inside the wreckage. Captain Liebner, who had cuts on his hands from the debris, says he has been parking his car in the car park when the crash occurred." http://abc.net.au/news/2001/09/item20010911230953_1.htm M. K. It was so shocking, I was listening to the news on what had happened in New York, and just happened to look out the window because I heard a low flying plane and then I saw it hit the Pentagon. It happened so fast... it was in the air one moment and in the building the next... I still have a hard time believing it, but every time I look out the window, it seems to be more real than it did the time before... K.M., Pentagon City, USA http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/talking%5Fpoint/newsid%5F1537000/1537530.s tm Marra, David Marra, 23, an information-technology specialist, had turned his BMW off an I- David 395 exit to the highway just west of the Pentagon when he saw an American Airlines jet swooping in, its wings wobbly, looking like it was going to slam right into the Pentagon: "It was 50 ft. off the deck when he came in. It sounded like the pilot had the throttle completely floored. The plane rolled left and then rolled right. Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground." There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cartwheeled into the building. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,174655-4,00.html Martinez, ``I saw a big jet flying close to the building coming at full speed. There was a big Oscar noise when it hit the building,'' said Oscar Martinez, who witnessed the attack. Extrait article : Away from the Pentagon, unexplained explosions were reported in the vicinity of the State Department and the Capitol. http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/11_APdc.html McAdams Daniel and his wife Cynthia McAdams : Two other witnesses, Daniel McAdams and his wife, Cynthia, said they were sitting in their kitchen drinking coffee in their third- floor condominium in Arlington, Va., just two miles from the Pentagon when they heard a plane fly directly overhead around 9:45 a.m. It was unusually loud and low. Seconds later, they heard a big boom and felt the doors and windows of their three-story building shake. From their window, they could see a plume of black smoke coming from the Pentagon. I said, Oh my God, ... I can t even come to grips. It s just a shock, said Daniel McAdams, a freelance journalist. It s scary to just be so close .... Who knows if there's another one being hijacked that could miss the target? I feel like a target here. Soon after, military planes including F-15s were circling the Pentagon. Traffic clogged McAdams street as workers fled. http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2001/09/pdf/09112001EXTRA2.p df McClain, Lt Col (ret) Tom McClain : I saw the remains of the engines in the North parking Tom lot of the Pentagon as well as melted aluminum and other debris left from the aircraft. [email] http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/pentagon/pentagon-email_20020316.html McCusker Traffic is normally slow right around the Pentagon as the road winds and we line up , Elaine to cross the 14th Street bridge heading into the District of Columbia. I don't know what made me look up, but I did and I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating. My first thought was just 'No, no, no, no,' because it was obvious the plane was not heading to nearby Reagan National Airport. It was going to crash. http://depts.washington.edu/uweek/archives/2001.10.OCT_04/_article9.html McGraw, Father Stephen McGraw was driving to a graveside service at Arlington National Stephen Cemetery the morning of Sept. 11, when he mistakenly took the Pentagon exit onto Washington Boulevard, putting him in a position to witness American Airlines Flight 77 crash into the Pentagon. "The traffic was very slow moving, and at one point just about at a standstill," said McGraw, a Catholic priest at St. Anthony Parish in Falls Church. "I was in the left hand lane with my windows closed. I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars." McGraw estimates that the plane passed about 20 feet over his car, as he waited in the left hand lane of the road, on the side closest to the Pentagon. "The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car. "I saw it crash into the building," he said. "My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight. That was my impression," he said. "There was an explosion and a loud noise and I felt the impact. I remember seeing a fireball come out of two windows (of the Pentagon). I saw an explosion of fire billowing through those two windows. "He literally had the stole in one hand and a prayer book in the other and in one fluid motion crossed the guardrail," said Mark Faram, a reporter from the Navy Times who witnessed McGraw in the first moments after the crash. http://www.dcmilitary.com/army/pentagram/6_39/local_news/10772-1.html http://www.mdw.army.mil/news/Pentagon%5Fcrash%5Feyewitness%5Fcomforted% 5Fvictims.html McClellan The crew of a military cargo plane watched helplessly on Sept. 11 as a hijacked , Kenneth airliner plunged into the Pentagon, a defense official confirmed Tuesday. The report confirms the eyewitness account of two Hampton Roads residents who were near the Pentagon that day and said they saw a second plane flying near the doomed passenger jet. A C-130 cargo plane had departed Andrews Air Force Base en route to Minnesota that morning and reported seeing an airliner heading into Washington 'at an unusual angle,' said Lt. Col. Kenneth McClellan, a Pentagon spokesman. Air-traffic control officials instructed the propeller-powered cargo plane 'to let us know where it's going,' McClellan said. But, he said, there was no attempt to intercept the hijacked airliner. 'A C-130 obviously goes slower than a jet,' McClellan said. 'There was no way he was going to intercept anything.' The C-130 pilot 'followed the aircraft and reported it was heading into the Pentagon,' he said. 'He saw it crash into the building. He saw the fireball. In the days immediately following the Sept. 11 hijackings, the Pentagon had no knowledge of the C-130's encounter, because all reports were classified by the Air National Guard, the Pentagon spokesman said. 'It was very hard to get any information out,' McClellan said. ("C-130 crew saw Pentagon strike, official confirms", Terry Scanlon et David Lerman, Daily Press, 17 octobre 2001) - http://dailypress.com McNair, Crawling, McNair turned toward the E Ring. The heat grew even fiercer, and as he Phil neared the door to the corridor he saw bright orange through the crack along its bottom. He reversed course, yelling, ``We've got to get out the other way.'' http://www.pilotonline.com/special/911/pentagon2.html Mencl, Inside a courtyard deep inside the Pentagon, program analyst Peggy Mencl (cq) heard Peggy the blast. "The doors blew out and debris just came flying out from the doors," Mencl said. "It blew me 10 feet." She was uninjured but still had debris in her hair. http://www.detnews.com/2001/nation/0109/11/nation-291261.htm http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/091201_news_dcscene.shtml http://maninut.com/patriotic_sites/tribute.htm Middleton The worker, William Middleton Sr., was running his street sweeper through the , William cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and Sr. spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft. Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building. http://www.s-t.com/daily/12-01/12-20-01/a02wn018.htm Milburn, I was right underneath the plane, said Kirk Milburn, a construction supervisor for Kirk Atlantis Co., who was on the Arlington National Cemetery exit of Interstate 395 when he said he saw the plane heading for the Pentagon. "I heard a plane. I saw it. I saw debris flying. I guess it was hitting light poles," said Milburn. "It was like a WHOOOSH whoosh, then there was fire and smoke, then I heard a second explosion." - (Washington Post, September 11, 2001) - http:// www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/sep01/attack.html Mitchell, This is a hole in -- there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a part of Terry the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn't see any evidence of the aircraft down there. (...) This pile here is all Pentagon metal. None of that is aircraft whatsoever. As you can see, they've punched a hole in here. This was punched by the rescue workers to clean it out. You can see this is the -- some of the unrenovated areas where the windows have blown out. http://www.patriotresource.com/wtc/federal/0915/DoD.html Moody, Sheila Moody, in Room 472, heard a whoosh and a whistle and she wondered Sheila where all this air was coming from. Then a blast of fire that left as fast as it came. She looked down and saw her hands aflame, so she shook them. She saw some light from a window but could not reach it and could not find anything to break it with in any case. Then she heard a voice. "Hello!" a man called out. "I can't see you." Hello, she called back, and clapped her hands. She heard him approach and sensed the shoosh of a fire extinguisher and then saw him through a cloud of smoke, the rescuer who would bring her out and ease her fear that she would never get to see her grandchildren. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A38407-2001Sep15 Morin, Terry Morin, a former USMC aviator, Program Manager for SPARTA, Inc was Terry working as a contractor at the BMDO offices at the old Navy Annex. Having just reached the elevator in the 5th Wing of BMDO Federal Office Building (FOB) # 2. He heard "an increasingly loud rumbling" One to two seconds later the airliner came into my field of view. By that time the noise was absolutely deafening. The aircraft was essentially right over the top of me and the outer portion of the FOB (flight path parallel the outer edge of the FOB). Everything was shaking and vibrating, including the ground. I estimate that the aircraft was no more than 100 feet above me (30 to 50 feet above the FOB) in a slight nose down attitude. The plane had a silver body with red and blue stripes down the fuselage. I believed at the time that it belonged to American Airlines, but I couldn't be sure. It looked like a 737 and I so reported to authorities. Within seconds the plane cleared the 8th Wing of BMDO and was heading directly towards the Pentagon. Engines were at a steady high-pitched whine, indicating to me that the throttles were steady and full. I estimated the aircraft speed at between 350 and 400 knots. The flight path appeared to be deliberate, smooth, and controlled. As the aircraft approached the Pentagon, I saw a minor flash (later found out that the aircraft had sheared off a portion of a highway light pole down on Hwy 110). As the aircraft flew ever lower I started to lose sight of the actual airframe as a row of trees to the Northeast of the FOB blocked my view. I could now only see the tail of the aircraft. I believe I saw the tail dip slightly to the right indicating a minor turn in that direction. The tail was barely visible when I saw the flash and subsequent fireball rise approximately 200 feet above the Pentagon. There was a large explosion noise and the low frequency sound echo that comes with this type of sound. Associated with that was the increase in air pressure, momentarily, like a small gust of wind. For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a 2000lb bomb going off roughly 1/2 mile in front of you. At once there was a huge cloud of black smoke that rose several hundred feet up. Elapsed time from hearing the initial noise to when I saw the impact flash was between 12 and 15 seconds. (...) the aircraft had been flown directly into the Pentagon without hitting the ground first or skipping into the building. (...) The firemen were appreciative, as the heat inside the building generated from the 8,500 gallons of jet fuel was, in their words, "unbelievable." It was reported that at least three of the fireman had to be given IV fluids due to the extreme heat. http://www.coping.org/911/survivor/pentagon.htm Mosley, James Mosley, four stories up on a scaffold at the Navy Annex, "`... I looked over and James saw this big silver plane run into the side of the Pentagon" http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/admin_dept/ext_affairs/loeb/finalists/entry/september1 1-2.pdf Munsey, A silver, twin-engine American Airlines jetliner gliding almost noiselessly over the Christoph Navy Annex, fast, low and straight toward the Pentagon, just hundreds of yards away. er It was a nightmare coming to life. The plane, with red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments exploded in a ground-shaking "whoomp" as it appeared to hit the side of the Pentagon. A huge flash of orange flame and black smoke poured into the sky. Smoke seemed to change from black to white, forming a billowing column in the sky. http://www.navytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-467181.php Murphy, Mr. Peter M. Murphy : No Marine Corps offices were closer to the impact point than Peter M. those of Mr. Peter M. Murphy, the Counsel for the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the most senior civilian working for the Marine Corps. Mr. Murphy and Major Joe D. Baker were having a discussion in Mr. Murphy's office on the fourth floor of the Pentagon's outermost ring, the E-Ring, overlooking the helo-pad. With CNN on a TV monitor across the room, they stopped their discussion when the news of the World Trade Center attacks came on. After watching awhile, Mr. Murphy asked Mr. Robert D. Hogue, his Deputy Counsel, to check with their administrative clerk, Corporal Timothy J. Garofola, on the current security status of the Pentagon. Garofola had just received an e-mail from the security manager to all Department of Defense employees that the threat condition remained "normal." He passed this information to Hogue, who stepped back into the doorway of Mr. Murphy's office to relay the message. At that instant, a tremendous explosion with what Mr. Murphy said was a noise "louder than any noise he had ever heard" shook the room. Mr. Murphy, who had been standing with his back to the window, was knocked entirely across the room, while Hogue was jolted into his office. Garofola's desk literally rose straight up several inches then slammed down. The airplane had crashed almost directly below Mr. Murphy's offices. The floor buckled at the expansion joint that ran between the two offices and created a discernible step up between the two rooms. The air was filled with dust particles, and the ceiling tiles fell, leaving the lights dangling from their electrical connections; the building was crumbling.The men did not know what had hit them, but they did know that it was time to get out. There was no panic, just a shock-hazed determination to survive. Hogue went to Garofola and told him to "get us out of here." The corporal attempted to open the heavy magnetized door, but it had been jammed and did not budge. Then, Mr. Murphy saw the "Marine" come out in Garofola. He yanked the door as hard as he could and it came open. http://www.mca-marines.org/Leatherneck/nov01pentagonarch.htm Narayana "The plane exploded after it hit, the tail came off and it began burning n, Vin immediately. Within five minutes, police and emergency vehicles began arriving," said Vin Narayanan, a reporter at USA TODAY.com, who was driving near the Pentagon when the plane hit. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/11/washscene.htm Narayana At 9:35 a.m., I pulled alongside the Pentagon. With traffic at a standstill, my eyes n, Vin wandered around the road, looking for the cause of the traffic jam. Then I looked up to my left and saw an American Airlines jet flying right at me. The jet roared over my head, clearing my car by about 25 feet. The tail of the plane clipped the overhanging exit sign above me as it headed straight at the Pentagon. The windows were dark on American Airlines Flight 77 as it streaked toward its target, only 50 yards away. The hijacked jet slammed into the Pentagon at a ferocious speed. But the Pentagon's wall held up like a champ. It barely budged as the nose of the plane curled upwards and crumpled before exploding into a massive fireball. The people who built that wall should be proud. Its ability to withstand the initial impact of the jet probably saved thousands of lives. I hopped out of my car after the jet exploded, nearly oblivious to a second jet hovering in the skies. Hands shaking, I borrowed a cell phone to call my mom and tell her I was safe. Then I called into work, to let them know what happened. But not once was I able to take my eyes off the inferno in front of me. I think I saw the bodies of passengers burning. But I'm not sure. It could have been Pentagon workers. It could have been my mind playing tricks on me. I hope it was my mind playing tricks on me. The highway was filled with shocked commuters, walking around in a daze. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/17/first-person.htm O'Brien At the Dulles tower, O'Brien saw the TV pictures from New York and headed back to her post to help other planes quickly land. "We started moving the planes as quickly as we could," she says. "Then I noticed the aircraft. It was an unidentified plane to the southwest of Dulles, moving at a very high rate of speed ... I had literally a blip and nothing more." O'Brien asked the controller sitting next to her, Tom Howell, if he saw it too. "I said, 'Oh my God, it looks like he's headed to the White House,'" recalls Howell. "I was yelling ... 'We've got a target headed right for the White House!'" At a speed of about 500 miles an hour, the plane was headed straight for what is known as P-56, protected air space 56, which covers the White House and the Capitol. "The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane," says O'Brien. "You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe." The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away, says O'Brien, "and it was just a countdown. Ten miles west. Nine miles west ... Our supervisor picked up our line to the White House and started relaying to them the information, [that] we have an unidentified very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, 8 miles west." Vice President Cheney was rushed to a special basement bunker. White House staff members were told to run away from the building. "And it went six, five, four. And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away. In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital, and to protect our president, and we sat back in our chairs and breathed for just a second," says O'Brien. But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver. "We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited. And we waited. And your heart is just beating out of your chest waiting to hear what's happened," says O'Brien. "And then the Washington National [Airport] controllers came over our speakers in our room and said, 'Dulles, hold all of our inbound traffic. The Pentagon's been hit.'" http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/2020/2020_011024_atc_feature.html O'Keefe, Northern Virginia resident John O'Keefe was one of the commuters who witnessed John the attack on the Pentagon. 'I was going up 395, up Washington Blvd., listening to the the news, to WTOP, and from my left side-I don't know whether I saw or heard it first- I saw a silver plane I immediately recognized it as an American Airlines jet,' said the 25-year-old O'Keefe, managing editor of Influence, an American Lawyer Media publication about lobbying. 'It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across where my car was heading. I'd just heard them saying on the radio that National Airport was closing, and I thought, That's not going to make it to National Airport." And then I realized where I was, and that it was going to hit the Pentagon. There was a burst of orange flame that shot out that I could see through the highway overpass. Then it was just black. Just black, thick smoke.'" http://www.lexisone.com/news/nlibrary/b091201a.html O'Keefe, "I don't know whether I saw or heard it first -- this silver plane; I immediately John recognized it as an American Airlines jet," said the 25-year-old O'Keefe, managing editor of Influence, an American Lawyer Media publication about lobbying. "It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across where my car was heading. "The eeriest thing about it, was that it was like you were watching a movie. There was no huge explosion, no huge rumbling on ground, it just went 'pfff'. It wasn't what I would have expected for a plane that was not much more than a football field away from me. "The first thing I did was pull over onto the shoulder, and when I got out of the car I saw another plane flying over my head, and it scared ...me, because I knew there had been two planes that hit the World Trade Center. And I started jogging up the ramp to get as far away as possible. "Then the plane -- it looked like a C-130 cargo plane -- started turning away from the Pentagon, it did a complete turnaround. http://www.nylawyer.com/news/01/09/091201l.html O'Keefe, "There was a burst of orange flame that shot out that I could see through the highway John overpass. Then it was just black. Just black thick smoke. "The eeriest thing about it, was that it was like you were watching a movie. There was no huge explosion, no huge rumbling on ground, it just went 'pfff'. It wasn't what I would have expected for a plane that was not much more than a football field away from me. http://www.nylawyer.com/news/01/09/091201l.html Owens, Mary Ann Owens, a journalist with Gannett News Service - was driving along by the Mary Ann side of the Pentagon. Here, she recalls the events of that horrific day and her feelings about the tragedy 12 months on. The sound of sudden and certain death roared in my ears as I sat lodged in gridlock on Washington Boulevard, next to the Pentagon on September 11. Up to that moment I had only experienced shock by the news coming from New York City and frustration with the worse-than-normal traffic snarl ... but it wasn't until I heard the demon screaming of that engine that I expected to die. Between the Pentagon's helicopter pad, which sits next to the road, and Reagan Washington National Airport a couple of miles south, aviation noise is common along my commute to the silver office towers in Rosslyn where Gannett Co Inc. were housed last autumn. But this engine noise was different. It was too sudden, too loud, too encompassing. Looking up didn't tell me what type of plane it was because it was so close I could only see the bottom. Realising the Pentagon was its target, I didn't think the careering, full-throttled craft would get that far. Its downward angle was too sharp, its elevation of maybe 50 feet, too low. Street lights toppled as the plane barely cleared the Interstate 395 overpass. Gripping the steering wheel of my vibrating car, I involuntarily ducked as the wobbling plane thundered over my head. Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon. Still gripping the wheel, I could feel both the car and my heart jolt at the moment of impact. An instant inferno blazed about 125 yards from me. The plane, the wall and the victims disappeared under coal-black smoke, three-storey tall flames and intense heat. As the thudding stopped, screams of horror and hysteria rose from the line of cars (...) The full impact of actually being alive overwhelmed me. A mere 125 yards had made me a witness instead of a casualty. Survival wasn't a miracle, it was luck ... pure luck. http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/display.var.624436.Top+Stories.0.html Owens, Gannett News Service employee Mary Ann Owens was stopped in traffic on the road Mary Ann that runs past the Pentagon, listening on the radio to the news of the World Trade Center attacks, when she heard a loud roar overhead and looked up as the plane barely cleared the highway. "Instantly I knew what was happening, and I involuntarily ducked as the plane passed perhaps 50 to 75 feet above the roof of my car at great speed," Owens said. "The plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon. The impact was deafening. The fuselage hit the ground and blew up." http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2001/09/12terrorspreadsto.html Patterson, Steve Patterson, who lives in Pentagon City, said it appeared to him that a commuter Steve jet swooped over Arlington National Cemetery and headed for the Pentagon "at a frightening rate ... just slicing into that building." Steve Patterson, 43, said he was watching television reports of the World Trade Center being hit when he saw a silver commuter jet fly past the window of his 14th-floor apartment in Pentagon City. The plane was about 150 yards away, approaching from the west about 20 feet off the ground, Patterson said. He said the plane, which sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter jet, flew over Arlington cemetary so low that he thought it was going to land on I-395. He said it was flying so fast that he couldn't read any writing on the side. The plane, which appeared to hold about eight to 12 people, headed straight for the Pentagon but was flying as if coming in for a landing on a nonexistent runway, Patterson said. "At first I thought 'Oh my God, there's a plane truly misrouted from National,'" Patterson said. "Then this thing just became part of the Pentagon ... I was watching the World Trade Center go and then this. It was like Oh my God, what's next?" He said the plane, which approached the Pentagon below treetop level, seemed to be flying normally for a plane coming in for a landing other than going very fast for being so low. Then, he said, he saw the Pentagon "envelope" the plane and bright orange flames shoot out the back of the building. "It looked like a normal landing, as if someone knew exactly what they were doing," said Patterson, a graphics artist who works at home. "This looked intentional.". Barbara Vobejda - Washington Post Staff Writer - Sept. 11, 4:59 PM http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/sep01/attack.html Perkal, The airliner crashed between two and three hundred feet from my office in the Don Pentagon, just around a corner from where I work. I'm the deputy General Counsel, Washington Headquarters Services, Office of the Secretary of Defense. (...) My colleagues felt the impact, which reminded them of an earthquake. People shouted in the corridor outside that a bomb had gone off upstairs on the main concourse in the building. No alarms sounded. I walked to my office, shut down my computer, and headed out. Even before stepping outside I could smell the cordite. Then I knew explosives had been set off somewhere. I looked to my right and saw a raging fire and smoke careening off the facade to the sky. (...) Two explosions, a few minutes apart, prompted me to start walking. http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2001/09/19perkal.html Peterson, October 18, 2001 - Christine Peterson, '73 found herself in the thick of last month's Christine terrorist tragedy, and submitted this report. It offers a personal perspective on the events in Washington, D.C., which have perhaps been overshadowed in the media by the scope of the horrors in New York. It was 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11th, and traffic was terrible. For all of my twenty-eight years living in the Washington, D.C. area, terrible traffic was a constant. I'd been in Boston the day before and gotten home late. That morning I repacked my suitcase because I was heading out to San Francisco on the 3:20 p.m. flight. I just needed a few hours in the office first, and now I was officially late for work. I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at the Pentagon; what I had thought would be a shortcut was as slow as the other routes I had taken that morning. I looked idly out my window to the left -- and saw a plane flying so low I said, "holy cow, that plane is going to hit my car" (not my actual words). The car shook as the plane flew over. It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing. And then the plane crashed. My mind could not comprehend what had happened. Where did the plane go? For some reason I expected it to bounce off the Pentagon wall in pieces. But there was no plane visible, only huge billows of smoke and torrents of fire. (...) A few minutes later a second, much smaller explosion got the attention of the police arriving on the scene. http://www.naualumni.com/News/News.cfm?ID=613&c=4 Pfeilstuck Daniel C. Pfeilstucker Jr., caught in the flying debris, didn't know if he was going to er, Daniel make it out alive. The Pentagon was on fire. "It was horrifying," Mr. Pfeilstucker says C. Jr (...) Danny Pfeilstucker is a commissioning agent for John J. Kirlin Inc., a Maryland- based mechanical contracting company that worked on the Pentagon renovation project that was nearing completion September 11. (...) Kirlin Inc., among many companies involved in renovating the Pentagon since the early 1990s, was in charge of updating plumbing and heating units. Around 9:30 a.m., Mr. Pfeilstucker and a co- worker got orders to check a hot-water leak in a third-floor office on the western side. After doing so, he stepped off an elevator on the second floor in Corridor 4, ladder in hand. Suddenly the walls and the ceiling began to collapse around him. The lights went out. "It went from light to dark to orange to complete black," Mr. Pfeilstucker says. "It was so dark I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face."Within seconds, his left leg buckled. Unable to grab on to anything, he was thrust 70 feet down the corridor and into a tiny telephone closet halfway down the hallway connecting E Ring and A Ring. All I know is that the blast must have pushed open the steel door to the closet," says Mr. Pfeilstucker, who had been 40 feet away from the plane's point of impact.He remembers shutting the door and trying to stand up, not understanding what had just happened. "I thought it was some sort of a construction blast," Mr. Pfeilstucker says. "Or maybe there was a helicopter accident." His hard hat and work goggles were blown away. His ladder also had disappeared. (...) The fire sprinklers came on as the temperature shot up.Then he smelled jet fuel and smoke. The putrid odor was seeping into the closet."It was this odor that I can't describe, but one that I'll never forget, that's for sure," Mr. Pfeilstucker says. "It was so hard to breathe. I didn't think I was going to make it out." http://www.washtimes.com/september11/heaven.htm Plaisted Plaisted, an artist, was sitting at her desk at home less than one mile from the Pentagon ... I jumped up from my chair as the screeching and whining of the engine got even louder and I looked out the window to the West just in time to see the belly of that aircraft and the tail section fly directly over my house at treetop height. It was utterly sickening to see, knowing that this plane was going to crash. The sound was so incredibly piercing and shrill- the engines were straining to keep the plane aloft. It is a sound I will never stop hearing- and I now imagine the screams of the innocent passengers were commingled with the sounds of the engines and I am haunted. I was unaware at this time that the World Trade center had been attacked so I thought this was just" a troubled plane en route to the airport. I started to run toward my front door but the plane was going so fast at this point that it only took 4 or 5 seconds before I heard a tremendously loud crash and books on my shelves started tumbling to the floor. http://arlingtondpca.homestead.com http://www.wherewereyou.org contribution # 1148 Probst, Frank Probst : a Pentagon renovation worker and retired Army officer, he was Frank inspecting newly installed telecommunications wiring inside the five-story, 6.5- million-square-foot building. The tall, soft-spoken Probst had a 10 a.m. meeting. About 9:25 a.m., he stopped by the renovation workers' trailer just south of the Pentagon heliport. Someone had a television turned on in the trailer's break room that showed smoke pouring out of the twin towers in New York. "The Pentagon would make a pretty good target," someone in the break room commented. The thought stuck with Probst as he picked up his notebook and walked to the North Parking Lot to attend his meeting. Probst took a sidewalk alongside Route 27, which runs near the Pentagon's western face. Traffic was at a standstill because of a road accident. Then, at about 9:35 a.m., he saw the airliner in the cloudless September sky. American Airlines Flight 77 approached from the west, coming in low over the nearby five- story Navy Annex on a hill overlooking the Pentagon. He has lights off, wheels up, nose down," Probst recalled. The plane seemed to be accelerating directly toward him. He froze. "I knew I was dead," he said later. "The only thing I thought was, 'Damn, my wife has to go to another funeral, and I'm not going to see my two boys again.'" He dove to his right. He recalls the engine passing on one side of him, about six feet away. The plane's right wing went through a generator trailer "like butter," Probst said. The starboard engine hit a low cement wall and blew apart. He still can't remember the sound of the explosion. Sometimes the memory starts to come back when he hears a particularly low-flying airliner heading into nearby Reagan National Airport, or when military jets fly over a burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Most of the time, though, his memory is silent. "It was pretty horrible," he said of the noiseless images he carries inside him, of the jet vanishing in a cloud of smoke and dust, and bits of metal and concrete drifting down like confetti. On either side of him, three streetlights had been sheared in half by the airliner's wings at 12 to 15 feet above the ground. An engine had clipped the antenna off a Jeep Grand Cherokee stalled in traffic not far away. http://www.militarycity.com/sept11/fortress1.html Probst, "I was standing on the sidewalk (parallel to the site of impact)...and I saw this plane Frank coming right at me at what seemed like 300 miles an hour. I dove towards the ground and watched this great big engine from this beautiful airplane just vaporize," said Frank Probst, a member of the Pentagon renovations crew commented. "It looked like a huge fireball, pieces were flying out everywhere." http://www.dcmilitary.com/army/pentagram/6_55/local_news/10660-1.html Ragland, Naval officer Clyde Ragland, who works near the Pentagon, was stuck in his office Clyde because the streets outside were clogged with traffic. He and his co-workers were watching television reports of the disaster in New York when "we gazed out our own windows and, to our horror and disbelief, saw huge billows of black smoke rising from the northeast, in the direction of D.C. and the river . . . and the Pentagon." Ragland described billowing black smoke and "what looked like white confetti raining down everywhere." He said it soon became apparent "that the 'confetti' was little bits of airplane, falling down after being flung high into the bright, blue sky." http://bernie.house.gov/documents/articles/20010912170838.asp http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la%2D091201main.story Rains, Eyewitness: The Pentagon By Lon Rains Editor, Space News - In light traffic the Lon drive up Interstate 395 from Springfield to downtown Washington takes no more than 20 minutes. But that morning, like many others, the traffic slowed to a crawl just in front of the Pentagon. With the Pentagon to the left of my van at about 10 o'clock on the dial of a clock, I glanced at my watch to see if I was going to be late for my appointment. At that moment I heard a very loud, quick whooshing sound that began behind me and stopped suddenly in front of me and to my left. In fractions of a second I heard the impact and an explosion. The next thing I saw was the fireball. I was convinced it was a missile. It came in so fast it sounded nothing like an airplane. Friends and colleagues have asked me if I felt a shock wave and I honestly do not know. I felt something, but I don't know if it was a shock wave or the fact that I jumped so hard I strained against the seat belt and shoulder harness and was thrown back into my seat. ' http://www.space.com/news/rains_september11-1.html Ramos When she thinks of that day, Ramos also recalls another burn patient whom she treated just after getting Maj. Leibner into the ambulance. "I turned around and a burn patient was coming out," she said. "I was afraid I'd be caught with her in the line of fire." The woman's clothes were literally exploded off her body, Ramos said. "Her legs were so bad that her skin was coming off," she said. "She was really in shock. She had like a vacant stare. She was all sweaty, her legs were burned, and her clothes were blasted off her back because her back was bare. We got her onto a stretcher face down and DiDi started an IV, and they were ready to take her into the ambulance. We evacuated at that point." They later heard that the burn patient died a couple of days afterward. The victims exited the building in waves, but after a short while they stopped coming out. "After the first hour, it was very frustrating," Ramos said. "You felt hopeless," added Lopez. "You can't go in and no one is coming out." Ramos said she still gets galvanic skin responses when she recalls the events of that morning. "Everything was so busy, you couldn't remember everything," she said. (...)It took some time before Ramos, Maj. Leibner and others were able to talk openly of their experiences that day. "We went to several debriefings," Ramos said. http://www.usmedicine.com/article.cfm?articleID=384&issueID=38 Rasmusen Floyd Rasmusen, a senior management analyst at the Pentagon, was inside. "All of a , Floyd sudden all of my telephones cut off," he said. "I heard an explosion. All of a sudden I saw all of this flaming debris come flying toward me." He got his staff out of the building. http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/091201_news_dcscene.shtml Regnery, Alfred S. Regnery, saw (...) a jetliner ... not more than a couple of hundred yards Alfred S. above the ground" http://www.humanevents.org/articles/09-17-01/regnery.html Renzi, Rick Renzi a law student - ''The plane came in at an incredibly steep angle with Rick incredibly high speed,''... was driving by the Pentagon at the time of the crash about 9:40 a.m. The impact created a huge yellow and orange fireball, he added. Renzi, who was interviewed at the scene by FBI agents, said he stopped his car to watch and saw another plane following and turn off after the first craft's impact. http://www.pittsburgh.com/partners/wpxi/news/pentagonattack.html Robbins, James S Robbins a national-security analyst & 'nationalreviewonline' contributor: "I James S was standing, looking out my large office window, which faces west and from six stories up has a commanding view of the Potomac and the Virginia heights." "The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time. " I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing. There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it. " http://www.nationalreview.com/robbins/robbins040902.asp Roberts, Lt. Willis Roberts : "We're having a lot of trouble in there. It's about 3,000 degrees Willis inside. The walls, the water and the metal are hot," said Lt. Willis Roberts, U.S. Army Rescue. http://maninut.com/patriotic_sites/tribute.htm Rodriguez Meseidy Rodriguez confirms "it was a mid size plane". His brother inlaw also saw a , Meseidy jetliner flying low over the tree tops near Seminary Rd. in Springfield, VA. and soon afterwards a military plane was seen flying right behind it. http://mfile.akamai.com/920/rm/thepost.download.akamai.com/920/nation/091101- 5s.ram http://www.newsbytes.com/news/01/170005.html http://www.spooky8.com/reviews.htm Rosati, Arthur Rosati, another security officer and an army reservist, was in a meeting when Arthur the plane hit. "I ran down the hallway and there was smoke everywhere. You could smell the jet fuel, it was unbearable" http://www.dcmilitary.com/marines/hendersonhall/6_39/local_news/10797-1.html Ryan, He tilted his wings, this way and in this way (Ryan mimics). He kinda did like that. James At that point the plane was slow, so that happened concurrently with the engines going down. And then straighten up in sort of suddenly and hit full gas. (Ryan mimics). It was just so loud.(Video) low bandwidth : http://digipressetmp3.teaser.fr/uploads/488/Ryan.ram high bandwidth : http://digipressetmp3.teaser.fr/uploads/488/Ryan2.ram Sayer, Lt. Commander John Sayer, a Navy reservist, was riding on a bus when he heard a John thud. "It sounded like a very loud clap," he said. "At first I thought an airplane had hit in front of the Pentagon, but when I got closer I saw that it had struck the Pentagon." http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/091201_news_dcscene.shtml Schickler, Rob Schickler, a Baylor University 2001 graduate and Arlington, Va. resident, said. Rob "A plane flew over my house," (one mile away from the Pentagon). "It was loud, but not unusual because the [Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport] is by my house, on the other side of the Pentagon. Occasionally planes that miss the landing fly over my house." "A few seconds later, there was this sonic boom," he said. "The house shook, the windows were vibrating." "There was a hole in the building, and you could smell it in the air. It's a beautiful day, but you can smell the burning concrete and burning jet fuel." http://www3.baylor.edu/Lariat/091201/alumni.html Scott, Don Don Scott, a Prince William County school bus driver living in Woodbridge, was driving eastward past the Pentagon on his way to an appointment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center: "I had just passed the Pentagon and was near the Macy's store in Crystal City when I noticed a plane making a sharp turn from north of the Pentagon. I had to look back at the road and then back to the plane as it sort of leveled off. I looked back at the road, and when I turned to look again, I felt and heard a terrible explosion. I looked back and saw flames shooting up and smoke starting to climb into the sky."Washington Post, 9/16/01(Lexis Nexis) http://web.lexis-nexis.com... http://www2.hawaii.edu/~julianr/lexisnexis/scott.txt Sepulveda Noel Sepulveda, a Master Sgt. received the awards during a special ceremony at the , Noel Pentagon April 15. He left Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., for a meeting at the Pentagon, only to be told it was cancelled. Walking back to his motorcycle he saw a commercial airliner coming from the direction of Henderson Hall the Marine Corps headquarters.. It "flew above a nearby hotel and drop its landing gear. The plane's right wheel struck a light pole, causing it to fly at a 45-degree angle", he said. The plane tried to recover, but hit a second light pole and continued flying at an angle. "You could hear the engines being revved up even higher," The plane dipped its nose and crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon. "The right engine hit high, the left engine hit low. For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it." An explosion followed, sending Sepulveda flying against a light pole. "if the airliner had not hit the light poles, it would have slammed into the Pentagon's 9th and 10th corridor "A" ring, and the loss of life would have been greater." http://www.jimroche.com/pentagon_hero.htm http://www.af.mil/news/Apr2002/n20020415_0585.shtml Sepulveda Recognition of Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda : (...) on September 11, 2001, Master , Noel Sergeant Noel Sepulveda was on assignment at the Pentagon as a Medic. He was standing in the parking lot at the Pentagon when he noticed a jetliner lower its landing gear as if to make a landing an then he realized that the airplane was actually heading towards the southwest wall of the Pentagon; and he was standing only 150 feet from the point of impact and for a brief moment he could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building, followed by an explosion; and the blast of the impact was so tremendous, that from his vantage point, it threw him backward over 100 feet slamming into a light pole causing him internal injuries; and despite his internal injuries, Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda remained on his duty station at the Pentagon for seven days after this attack while manning a triage station to assist the other victims of the attack http://www.lulac.org/Issues/Resolve/2002/30%20Sepulveda.html Shaeffer, Lieutenant Kevin Shaeffer, U.S. Navy (Retired) : At exactly 0943, the entire Kevin command center exploded in a gigantic orange fireball, and I felt myself being slammed to the deck by a massive and thunderous shock wave. It felt to me as if the blast started at the outer wall, blowing me forward toward Commander Dunn's desk. I never lost consciousness, and though the entire space was pitch black, I sensed I was on fire. While still lying on the deck, I ran my fingers through my hair and over my face to extinguish flames. Simultaneously, I tried to roll my body in order to smother the fire I felt burning my back and arms. As I stood to get my wits about me, I could make out just barely, through thick, acrid smoke, the carnage of what had been just moments before a space full of my shipmates. I could not see much, but I could tell the ceiling had collapsed and everything around me was blown to bits. I felt as if I was crawling over rubble several feet high. Soon I came upon frayed electrical cables dangling from the caved-in ceiling, in front of broken pipes gushing water. http://www.usna79.com/News/Features/Proceedings_Toti_article.htm Shaeffer, Kevin Shaeffer was sprawled by the shock wave, then watched from the floor as a Kevin roiling, bright orange ball of fire shot toward him and everything -- cubicles, desks, ceiling tiles, the building's concrete support columns -- everything blew to pieces. Flames bathed his skin, his eyes, his lungs. The room went dark. Shaeffer, dazed, prone on the carpet, realized his back and head were on fire. He rolled to put himself out, then staggered to his feet. He ran a hand through his hair. His scalp felt wet. http://www.pilotonline.com/special/911/pentagon2.html Sheuerma Philip Sheuerman, exiting the freeway, turning into the parking lot, of the Pentagon. n, Philip saw "... a passenger plane ..." http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2001/09/20_spalu.html Sinclair, Wayne Sinclair heard it before he felt it. He outfitted computers for the Army on the Wayne first floor of the D Ring. As usual that morning, Sinclair, 54, caught the subway so he could be at work by 6, always the first of the seven employees to arrive in Room 1D520. (...) they heard a thunderous roar. Everything turned black. Smoke and fire engulfed the room. Walls crumbled. Desks, file cabinets, and computers hurtled through the air. "You couldn't see anything," he says. Some people were thrown to the floor. Sinclair could feel his face, ears, and arms burning. But he couldn't see them because the smoke was so thick. People screamed for help. Chaos reigned. http://www.hjpa.org/morenews.html Sinclair, Sinclair, 54, was sitting at his desk on the first floor of the Pentagon that morning William when he felt a giant "gush of air, then everything went dark." http://www.washingtonpost.com... Singleton, "Where the plane came in was really at the construction entrance," says Jack Jack Singleton, president of Singleton Electric Co. Inc., Gaithersburg MD, the Wedge One electrical subcontractor. "The plane's left wing actually came in near the ground and the right wing was tilted up in the air. That right wing went directly over our trailer, so if that wing had not tilted up, it would have hit the trailer. My foreman, Mickey Bell, had just walked out of the trailer and was walking toward the construction entrance." http://www.designbuildmag.com/oct2001/pentagon1001.asp Skarlet Skarlet, webmaster of punkprincess.com : As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. (...) it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. (...) A huge jet. Then it was gone. A massive hole in the side of the Pentagon gushed smoke. The noise was beyond description. The smell seemed to singe the inside of my nose. The earth seemed to stop shaking for a second, but then sirens began and the ground seemed to shake again - this time from the incoming barrage of firetrucks, police cars. military vehicles. (...) I called my boss. I had no memory of how to work my cellphone. I hit redial and his number came up. "Something hit the Pentagon. It must have been a helicopter." I knew that wasn't true, but I heard myself say it. I heard myself believe it, if only for a minute. "Buildings don't eat planes. That plane, it just vanished. There should have been parts on the ground. It should have rained parts on my car. The airplane didn't crash. Where are the parts?" That's the conversation I had with myself on the way to work. It made sense this morning. I swear that it did. (....) I finally cleared my head enough to drive and spent hours getting home. I spent an eternity in my car. I couldn't roll up the windows, the car smelled like the Inferno. Concrete dust coats the outside of the car, turning it a weird color. Eventually I got back here, back to the place I should have stayed in the first place. There seems to be no footage of the crash, only the site. The gash in the building looks so small on TV. The massiveness of the structure lost in the tight shots of the fire. There was a plane. It didn't go over the building. It went into the building. I want them to find it whole, wedged between floors or something. I know that isn't going to happen, but right now I pretend. I want to see footage of the crash. I want to make it make sense. I want to know why there's this gap in my memory, this gap that makes it seem as though the plane simply became invisible and banked up at the very last minute, but I don't think that's going to happen. I don't want to see footage of the crash. It seems so unhealthy to see the planes in NY crash over and over. To see the building fall again and again. I saw it once, the Pentagon is shambles. I don't know that I want to see the crash ever again. Even the pictures of the blaze are too much right now as the firefighters try to contain it. It's weird to watch it on TV while the same smoke drifts by your windows. I've showered and showered. Ultimately, I think I'm going to throw away my clothes. I don't think the smell will ever come out. I've reached my parents. My brother is already on a Classified assignment. Who the hell knows where he is. I'm assuming he's safe. I have no idea. Posted by skarlet at September 11, 2001 08:41 PM http://punkprincess.com/archives/002150.html Slater, Mike Slater, a former Marine : Then the Pentagon, built to withstand terrorist attacks, Mike shook like a rickety roller coaster. A section of it collapsed and burned. "It sounded like a roar," said Mr. Slater, who was 500 yards away from where the jet slammed into the Pentagon's west side. "I knew it was a bomb or something." Within the last year, the Pentagon had put up shatter-reducing Mylar sheeting to reduce the impact of a potential terrorist bomb. (...) As soon as Mr. Slater stepped outside, he saw and smelled something uncomfortably familiar. "I saw a mass of oily smoke and thought of the oil fields of Kuwait," he said. "There were 3,000 Americans killed in Pearl Harbor, this will be at least that many, if not more, and I hope Congress has the guts to do something about it." http://www.americanmemorials.com/memorial/tribute.asp?idMemorial=1316&idCont ributor=7466 Slater, Mike Slater, a former Marine, was inside the Pentagon, 500 yards from the jet's Mike impact. "It was like a bomb," he said. "I saw a mass of oily smoke and thought of the oil fields of Kuwait." http://maninut.com/patriotic_sites/tribute.htm Smith, At the Pentagon, Marine Maj. Stephanie Smith helped one victim, who was suffering Stephanie from smoke inhalation and a leg injury.The injured "were covered with smoke and their uniforms were covered with smoke," Smith said. People were bloodied and soaked with water from the sprinkler system, she said."You felt it more than you heard it," she said of the blast. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/11/pentagon-workers.htm Snavel, SGT Dewey Snavely was driving along Arlington's Quaker Lane when the radio Dewey blasted the morning's first harrowing reports, then warned that a third plane was heading his way. Minutes later, jet engines rumbled overhead. "The guy I was with looked up and said: 'What the hell is that plane doing?' Then we heard an explosion and the truck rocked back and forth." Snavely, a member of the Engr. Co. on transition leave, knew deep in his gut that the Pentagon was under attack. http://www.army.mil/soldiers/oct2001/features/aftermath.html Snyder, Over in his office at 1D-525 on the first floor of D Ring, Robert Snyder, an Army Robert lieutenant colonel, had been surfing the Web to check on the World Trade Center horror. He heard a crack and boom, and then, instantly, he saw flame and felt engulfed. The lights went out and his digital watch stopped. It read 00:00:00. He hit the floor, having been taught in military training that staying low was the best way to avoid smoke. The only light came from a series of small fires burning around the room. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A38407-2001Sep15 Snyder, People kept their cool, people started working with each other to get out," said Robert Lieutenant Colonel Robert Snyder, who was in the basement level of the Pentagon building when one of the explosions hit. Stancil, Michael Stancil said he was watching CNN coverage of the World Trade Center Michael attacks in the Pentagon basement when he heard a vibrating sound like a motor. Suddenly, a big gust of air blasted through the room, paper started to fly and smoke began to pour in. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp- dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A13766-2001Sep11 Sucherma USAToday.com Multimedia Editor, saw it all: an American Airlines jetliner fly left to n, Joel right across his field of vision as he commuted to work Tuesday morning. It was highly unusual. The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. Two seconds later and before he could see if the landing gear was down or any of the horror- struck faces inside, the plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon 100 yards away. My first thought was he's not going to make it across the river to National Airport. But whoever was flying the plane made no attempt to change direction. It was coming in at a high rate of speed, but not at a steep angle--almost like a heat-seeking missile was locked onto its target and staying dead on course... "I didn't feel anything coming out of the Pentagon [in terms of debris]," he said. "A couple of minutes later, police cars and fire trucks headed to the scene." Ironically, the passage of emergency vehicles got traffic moving again, which was now crunching over twisted metal Sucherman guessed was the skin of the plane. http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,9306,00.asp Sucherma it came screaming across the highway, route 110 - Was it a commercial jet? Do you n, Joel know how many engines? - I did not see the engines, I saw the body and the tail; it was a silver jet with the markings along the windows that spoke to me as an American Airlines jet, it was not a commercial, excuse me, a business jet, it was not a lear jet, ... it was a bigger plane than that.. (Video) http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/trade.center/day.video.09.html http://play.rbn.com/?url=usat/usat/g2demand/010911_joel.rm&proto=rtsp Sucherma I heard a sonic boom and then the impact, the explosion. ... There were light poles n, Joel down. There was what appeared to be the outside covering of the jet strewn about. ... Within about two minutes there were firetucks on the scene. Within a minute another plane started veering up and to the side. At that point it wasn't clear if that plane was trying to manouver out of the air space or if that plane was coming round for another hit. (Audio) http://play.rbn.com/?url=usat/usat/g2demand/010911sucherman.ra& Sutherlan Jim Sutherland, a mortgage broker, was on his way to the Pentagon when he saw ... a d, Jim white 737 twin-engine plane with multicolored trim fly 50 feet over I-395 in a straight line, striking the side of the Pentagon.. http://www.cincypost.com/2001/sep/11/wash091101.html www.thedailycamera.com... Sutherlan Jim Sutherland, a mortgage broker, was driving near the Pentagon at 9:40 a.m. when d, Jim he saw a 737 airplane 50 feet over Interstate 395 heading in a straight line into the side of the Pentagon. The fireball explosion that followed rocked his car. Drivers began pulling over to the side - some taking pictures - not quite believing what they were seeing. http://www.abqtrib.com/archives/news01/091201_news_dcscene.shtml Stephens, Levi Stephens 23, courier Armed Forces Information Service - According to one Levi witness, "what looked like a 747" plowed into the south side of the Pentagon, possibly skipping through a heliport before it hit the building. Personnel working in the Navy Annex, over which the airliner flew, said they heard the distinct whine of jet engines as the airliner approached. "I was driving away from the Pentagon in the South Pentagon lot when I hear this huge rumble, the ground started shaking ... I saw this [plane] come flying over the Navy Annex. It flew over the van and I looked back and I saw this huge explosion, black smoke everywhere." http://www.pstripes.com/01/sep01/ed091201i.html Tamillow, FBI evidence teams combing the area of impact along the building's perimeter Michael found parts of the fuselage from the Boeing 757, said Michael Tamillow, a battalion chief and search and rescue expert for the Fairfax County, Virginia, Fire Department. No large pieces apparently survived. http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/12/pentagon.terrorism/ Terronez, Around 9:40 a.m. I reached the heliport area (beside the Pentagon). So I got about 100 Tony yards or so past the heliport and then all of the sudden I heard this loud screeching sound that just came out of nowhere and it intensified. This huge WHOOSH! And something made me look in my rearview mirror and by the time I looked up I saw the side of the Pentagon explode. I was stunned. It was just so surreal, like something out of a movie, like Die Hard. The side of a building just exploded! As the fireball got higher and higher, you saw this debris go up in the air. I am watching this in my rearview mirror, and then I thought, Oh my God, there is debris coming toward me! So my reaction was, I ducked into my passenger seat and I heard the pitter-patter of pebbles and concrete bouncing off my car. And the next thing you know, I heard this big crash come from somewhere. It sounded like glass being shattered and I thought maybe, at first, it was one of my windows so I popped up to look but everything was fine. But when I looked to the car next to me I realized that something went through (the drivers) rear windshield and shattered it. There was a hole where you could see that something went through it. I put the car in park - it is amazing how instinct takes over because I will never know how it is I kept my foot on the brake when I ducked at the same time. I should have rammed right into the guy in front of me. I got out of the car and the guy in front of me, he and I just looked at each other. It seemed like everybody who was on the road got out of their cars and just looked in disbelief as the fireball just kept getting bigger and bigger. My jaw was dropped, his jaw was dropped, and then, at that point, something about trying to make sure people were OK overtook me and I started going around to the people in the other cars to see if they were all right.I and the guy in front of me went to the car next to me and asked the driver if he was all right and if he was OK to drive. He was in shock, you could tell. He just kept looking straight ahead. He didn't even look back, he was so fixated on looking north. He didn't want to look south at the Pentagon. And it took a couple of times for me and the other guy to say, Can you drive? Hello? Are you OK? Are you OK? And he said, Yeah, I think I can drive. We asked him again, Can you drive? and that time he was more sure and said, Yes, yes, I can drive. Then both I and the guy in front of me looked at his rear windshield and saw what was about a four-inch hole in it and the rest of the window was shattered as if someone took a baseball bat to it. At that point I realized - you see at that point I didn't know it was a plane, I thought it was a missile strike - how dangerous things were. And I just started yelling, We gotta get out of here, to the guy in front of me - and he agreed - and we started yelling at people, Get back in your cars! We gotta get the f--- out of here! And I just kept repeating, Get in your cars! Let's go, let's go! Get the f--- out of here. Go! Go! Go! And people must have listened because down the road you heard more people telling everyone to get in their cars and go. Cars were going over the median on Route 27 because there wasn't any traffic coming southbound toward the Pentagon. People were hopping over it any way they could, on the grass, anything. It was a little scary at that point. Pulling away from the Pentagon there was tons of stuff on the ground, big pieces of metal, concrete, everything. We got up to a certain point and there was this huge piece of something - I mean it was big, it looked like a piece of an engine or something - in the road. And there was somebody, definitely a security guard or maybe a military person, with his car in front of it making sure no one touched it. (...) I looked back and I saw the fire, it was just huge and just incredible. I still cannot believe it. At that point in time, I remembered I had a camera in my trunk. I got off an off-ramp beside the Pentagon and parked my car in the grass and started taking pictures. The whole time I was taking pictures it was so detailed. I could this huge piece of a wheel on fire through the black smoke, but I could not see into the Pentagon itself. http://www.counseling.org/ctonline/news/amazing1001.htm Theall, Carl Mahnken and his colleague in the Army public relations office, David Theall, David had been in a first-floor studio only a few dozen feet from where the plane hit. A computer monitor had blown back and hit Theall in the head, but he was conscious and he led the way out for his buddy. They were walking over electrical wires, ceiling panels. They could see no more than five feet in any direction. After the initial whoosh and blast, it had seemed eerily silent until they reached the D Ring hallway, where they heard other people, crying, moaning, talking. (...) Theall said to Mahnken, "Buddy, I ain't going to let you go. We had survived this. This force that drove us through walls." http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A38407-2001Sep15 Thompson "I glanced up just at the point where the plane was going into the building," said Carla , Carla Thompson, who works in an Arlington, Va., office building about 1,000 yards from the crash. "I saw an indentation in the building and then it was just blown-up up-- red, everything red," she said. "Everybody was just starting to go crazy. I was petrified." http://bernie.house.gov/documents/articles/20010912170838.asp Thompson There is no doubt in my mind that last week's attack on America was an act of war. I , Phillip fought in the Gulf War. I saw bombs and missiles explode overhead. I saw people die. And when, on my way to work Sept. 11, I saw an American Airlines jet come overhead and slam into the Pentagon, it all came back. Hard. I was sitting in heavy traffic in the I-395 HOV lanes about 9:45 a.m., directly across from the Navy Annex. I could see the roof of the Pentagon and, in the distance, the Washington Monument. I heard the scream of a jet engine and, turning to look, saw my driver's side window filled with the fuselage of the doomed airliner. It was flying only a couple of hundred feet off the ground - I could see the passenger windows glide by. The plane looked as if it were coming in for a landing - cruising at a shallow angle, wings level, very steady. But, strangely, the landing gear was up and the flaps weren't down. I knew what was about to happen, but my brain couldn't quite process the information. Like the other commuters on the road, I was stunned into disbelief. The fireball that erupted upon impact blossomed skyward, and the blast hit us in a wave. I don't remember hearing a sound. It was so eerily similar to another experience during the Gulf War - a missile strike that killed a Marine in my unit - that when I jumped out of my SUV, I felt like I'd jumped into my past and was in combat once again. The feeling was the same, but the context was all wrong. (...) What if 'dash two' was inbound to the Pentagon? Then a gray C-130 flew overhead, setting off a new round of panic. I tried to reassure people that the plane was not a threat. All around me people began to panic, fleeing for their lives. Afraid of being trapped, I drove through a gap in the median barrier and drove across 395 to an exit ramp. http://www.militarycity.com/sept11/911_1068139.html Thurman, Major John Thurman reflects on the friends and colleagues he lost. He was prepared John for the dangers of war, he says. But this was so unexpected. (...) Thurman also was blown backward. (...) But it was a plane passing beneath him, smashing through pilons and shaking the building's 60-year-old structure. "I saw flames coming over the walls, and then retreat back. And immediately the room was filled with smoke and the like," Thurman said. (...) Thurman was trying to orient himself in a darkened room. His once familiar office was a jumble of toppled wall lockers and upended furniture. Two officemates, a man and a woman, were alive. The three crawled face down through the wreckage, looking for a way out but finding only fire and blind alleys. One officemate passed out, then the other. An overpowering desire to sleep overcame Thurman. "Suddenly it hit me that I was going to die." "I thought,'Oh my god, my parents are going to have their first grandchild and same day they are going to lose their first son, their first child," he said. "And I got really mad." The burst of adrenalin gave Thurman just enough strength to push his way to safety before his soot-coated lungs gave out. http://www.theosuobserver.com/main.cfm/include/smdetail/synid/54846.html Ticknor, Henry Ticknor, intern minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Henry Virginia, was driving to church that Tuesday morning when American Airlines Flight 77 came in fast and low over his car and struck the Pentagon. "There was a puff of white smoke and then a huge billowing black cloud," he said. http://www.uua.org/world/2002/01/feature3a.html Timmerm Tim Timmerman : Pilot. I was looking out the window; I live on the 16th floor, an, Tim overlooking the Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport, I hear jets all the time, but this jet engine was way too loud. I looked out to the southwest, and it came right down 395, right over Colombia Pike, and as is went by the Sheraton Hotel, the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost it behind a building. And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of -- it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible. It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question. It was so close to me it was like looking out my window and looking at a helicopter. It was just right there. (We were told that it was flying so low that it clipped off a couple of light poles as it was coming in) That might have happened behind the apartments that occluded my view. And when it reappeared, it was right before impact, and like I said, it was right before impact, and I saw the airplane just disintegrate and blow up into a huge ball of flames. And the building shook, and it was quite a tremendous explosion. I noticed the fire trucks and the responses was just wonderful. Fire trucks were there quickly. I saw the area; the building didn't look very damaged initially, but I do see now, looking out my window, there's quite a chunk in it. But I think the blessing here might have been that the airplane hit before it hit the building, it hit the ground, and a lot of energy might have gone that way. That's what it appeared like. http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/11/bn.32.html Timmerm Donald "Tim" Timmerman, watched from across Interstate 395: I was looking out the an, window; I live on the 16th floor, overlooking the Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I Donald have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport, I hear jets all the time, but "Tim" this jet engine was way too loud. I looked out to the southwest, and it came right down 395, right over Colombia Pike, and as it went by the Sheraton Hotel, the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost it behind a building. And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of -- it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible. What can you tell us about the plane itself? It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question.You say that it was a Boeing, and you say it was a 757 or 767? 7-5-7.757, which, of course..American Airlines.American Airlines, one of the new generation of jets. Right. It was so close to me it was like looking out my window and looking at a helicopter. It was just right there. . .cnn.com TRANSCRIPT http://commemoratewtc.com/transcripts/tr-13-46.php Turner, Ron Turner, the Navy's deputy chief information officer, was standing solemnly at a Ron funeral at Arlington National Cemetery when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon Tuesday morning. He had only to turn to watch the disaster unfold. "There was a huge fireball," he said, "followed by the [usual] black cloud of a fuel burn." Turner, a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, said the explosion was just the same as explosions of jet fighters and helicopters during his tour of duty in 1971. "It reminded me of being back in Vietnam," he said, "watching Tan Son Nhut Air Base burn." http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0901/091301j3.htm Velasquez ''It wasn't like a rumble, it was just - boom,'' said Tom Van Leunen of the Navy Public , Jose Affairs Office. ''It was shocking. ... It immediately put you on your heels, in fact in my case, actually, it kind of knocked me down.'' http://www.boston.com... Velasquez Jose Velasquez : "It was like an earthquake" , "By the time I got outside all I could , Jose see was a giant cloud of smoke, first white then black, coming from the Pentagon," he said. Velasquez says the gas station's security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact. "I've never seen what the pictures looked like," he said. "The FBI was here within minutes and took the film." http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/12/1211_wirepentagon.html Wallace, Alan Wallace usually worked out of the Fort Myer fire station, but on Sept. 11 he was Alan one of three firefighters assigned to the Pentagon's heliport. Along with crew members Mark Skipper and Dennis Young, Wallace arrived around 7:30 in the morning. After a quick breakfast, the 55-year-old firefighter moved the station's firetruck out of the firehouse. President Bush had used the heliport the day before: he'd motorcaded to the Pentagon, then flown to Andrews Air Force Base for a trip to Florida. Bush was scheduled to return to the Pentagon helipad later on Tuesday, Wallace says. So Wallace wanted the firetruck out of the station before Secret Service vehicles arrived and blocked its way. He parked it perpendicular to the west wall of the Pentagon. Wallace and Skipper were walking along the right side of the truck (Young was in the station) when the two looked up and saw an airplane. It was about 25 feet off the ground and just 200 yards away-the length of two football fields. They had heard about the WTC disaster and had little doubt what was coming next. "Let's go," Wallace yelled. Both men ran. Wallace ran back toward the west side of the station, toward a nine-passenger Ford van. "My plans were to run until I caught on fire," he says. He didn't know how long he'd have or whether he could outrun the oncoming plane. Skipper ran north into an open field. Wallace hadn't gotten far when the plane hit. "I hadn't even reached the back of the van when I felt the fireball. I felt the blast," he says. He hit the blacktop near the left rear tire of the van and quickly shimmied underneath. "I remember feeling pressure, a lot of heat," he says. He crawled toward the front of the van, then emerged to see Skipper out in the field, still standing. "Everything is on fire. The grass is on fire. The building is on fire. The firehouse is on fire," Wallace recalls. "There was fire everywhere. Areas of the blacktop were on fire." Wallace ran over to Skipper, who said he was OK, too. They compared injuries-burned arms, minor cuts, scraped skin. He ran back into the station to try to suit up. But he found debris everywhere. The ceiling had crumbled, there were broken lights and drywall everywhere. His boots were on fire. His fire pants filled with debris. The fire alarm was blaring.Then Wallace heard someone call from outside. "We need help over here," someone yelled. He ran back outside over to the Pentagon building and helped lower people out of a first-floor window, still some six feet off the ground. He helped 10 to 15 people to safety. Most could walk, though he helped carry one badly burned man. "He wasn't too responsive," Wallace recalls. He helped two other men drag him to the other side of the heliport then he turned around. "I've got to go back," he said. Working with a civilian, Wallace headed back to the building. He could hear more cries for help from inside. There was trash and debris everywhere. The trees were on fire. Wallace headed into the building through an open door, but couldn't find anyone else to save. "After a while I didn't hear anybody calling anymore," he says. "They probably found another way out." http://www.msnbc.com/news/635293.asp Wallace, About 9:40, Alan Wallace had finished fixing the foam metering valve on the back of Alan his fire truck parked in the Pentagon fire station and walked to the front of the station. He looked up and saw a jetliner coming straight at him. It was about 25 feet off the ground, no landing wheels visible, a few hundred yards away and closing fast. "Runnnnn!" he yelled to a pal. There was no time to look back, barely time to scramble. He made it about 30 feet, heard a terrible roar, felt the heat, and dove underneath a van, skinning his stomach as he slid along the blacktop, sailing under it as though he were riding a luge. The van protected him against burning metal that was flying around. A few seconds later he was sliding back out to check on his friend and then race back to the firetruck. He jumped in, threw it into gear, but the accelerator was dead. The entire back of the truck was destroyed, the cab on fire. He grabbed the radio headset and called the main station at Fort Myer to report the unimaginable. The sun was still low in the sky, obscured by the Pentagon and the enormous billowing clouds of acrid smoke, making it hauntingly dark. The ground was on fire. Trees were on fire. Hot slices of aluminum were everywhere. Wallace could hear voices crying for help and moved toward them. People were coming out a window head first, landing on him. He had faced incoming fire before -- he was with the hospital corps in Vietnam when mortars and rocket shells dropped on the operating room near Da Nang -- but he had never witnessed anything of this devastating intensity. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A38407-2001Sep15 Wallace, The morning of Sept. 11 was crystal clear in Washington, still summer warm. It Alan would be easy to relax on a morning like that, but outside the Pentagon, firefighter Alan Wallace and the safety crew at the Pentagon's heliport pad already were too busy. President Bush was scheduled to fly from Florida that afternoon, and his helicopter, Marine One, would carry him to the Pentagon. Secret Service was everywhere and their cars blocked the driveway. So the meticulous Wallace moved the fire truck out of the way, parking it about 15 feet from the Pentagon. That's when Wallace got a call from his chief at nearby Fort Myer telling him of the attacks in New York and to be on alert. Minutes later, Wallace and his buddy Mark Skipper looked up and saw the gleam of a silver jetliner. But it was flying too low. Maybe less than 25 feet off the ground. And it was heading right at them. "I yelled to Mark, 'Let's go!' " He bolted to the right, and a second later felt the searing heat of the blast behind him. He hit the ground and rolled under a parked van as a fire engulfed his fire truck, then blew through the firehouse. Wallace got back to his feet, saw Skipper had escaped, then rushed to the scorched fire truck to see if it would run, but the truck only belched fire. It wouldn't move. So Wallace switched on the truck's radio. "Foam 61 to Fort Myer," he said. "We have had a commercial carrier crash into the west side of the Pentagon at the heliport, Washington Boulevard side. The crew is OK. The airplane was a 757 Boeing or a 320 Airbus." Although he was still frantic and shaken, Wallace's report turned out to be painfully accurate. (...) With bits of cloth and fiberglass still raining down outside the blackened section of the Pentagon, Alan Wallace's instincts focused on trying to help somehow. The truck was useless. So he dashed for his gear inside the torched firehouse. His boots were filled with debris. His suspenders were on fire. Wallace and two other firefighters rushed to a window, where Pentagon employees were crammed together, frantic to escape the darkness. Fire burst through the windows above them. The ground burned near Wallace with heat so hot he thought several times that his pants were on fire. They began grabbing arms and pulling people out - 15 in all. " They were all burned," Wallace said. But there wasn't time for Wallace and the other firefighters to get emotional. "We just seemed to stay in one mode there until we ran out of people coming out," Wallace said. And no one was sure how many more remained inside. www.gosanangelo.com... Wallace, Terry C. Wallace - Southern Arizona Seismic Observatory - I looked pretty hard -- Terry and to be honest I can't find any CONCLUSIVELY above the noise. I calculated an expected magnitude assuming that the impact was on the wall, not vertical (like UA flight), and got a magnitude of .8 The noise at all the stations (closest is 60 km aways) is above this. http://www.unknownnews.net/cdd060702.html Walter, Washington, Mike Walter, USA Today, on the road when a jet slammed into the Mike Pentagon: "I was sitting in the northbound on 27 and the traffic was, you know, typical rush-hour -- it had ground to a standstill. I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, 'This doesn't add up, it's really low.' "And I saw it. I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon. "Huge explosion, great ball of fire, smoke started billowing out. And then it was chaos on the highway as people tried to either move around the traffic and go down, either forward or backward. "We had a lady in front of me, who was backing up and screaming, 'Everybody go back, go back, they've hit the Pentagon.' "It was just sheer terror." http://www.cnn.com/2001/CAREER/trends/09/11/witnesses/ http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/pentagon.terrorism/ Wheelhou Her brother, [Keith Wheelhouse], of Virginia Beach, spotted the planes first. The se, Keith second plane looked similar to a C-130 transport plane, he said. He believes it flew directly above the American Airlines jet, as if to prevent two planes from appearing on radar while at the same time guiding the jet toward the Pentagon. http://indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=131871 Daily Press; Newport News; Sep 14, 2001; TERRY SCANLON Wright, Don Wright from the 12th floor, 1600 Wilson Boulevard, in Rosslyn: " .. I watched Don this ...it looked like a commuter plane, two engined ... come down from the south real low ... " (Real Audio) http://www.sun-sentinel.com... Wyatt, Ian Ian Wyatt glanced into the sky just as a commercial airplane roared by about 100 yards off the ground. "I was so scared I thought it was coming after me and just ducked for cover," said Wyatt, a 1999 graduate of Mary Washington College who was walking to his federal job when terrorists struck at the heart of the nation's defense yesterday morning. "It was going so fast and it was so low," he said, standing on Army-Navy Drive. "The only intelligent thought that came into my head was, 'Oh my God, they hit the Pentagon.' I could then hear cars squealing all around and people were just stunned." After the plane struck the west side of the famed five-sided building, thick black smoke billowed from a huge crater as fire raged within. http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2001/092001/09122001/390193/printer_fr iendly Yates, Security officer John Yates was picked up and hurled 30 feet. Sgt. Maj. Tony Rose, John punched into a ceiling column, watched as the glass in the C Ring windows spidered into tiny cubes. The sound erupted a heartbeat later, a monstrous boom and crunch like a thousand file cabinets toppling at once. To demographer Betty Maxfield, the room seemed to freeze, intact, for a moment, then in slow motion the computers clicked off and the lights failed and a fireball rolled through the cubicle farm like a wave, with bulbous head and tapered tail, and as it passed, everything around it burst into flames. Cabinets overturned, partitions exploded, ceiling tiles burned and danced and fell with their metal frames. The air boiled. (...) John Yates came to his senses to find that his death was at hand. He could not breathe. He could not see. The room was ablaze around him. The metal furniture jumbled all about was hot enough to raise blisters. He heard screams. He wasn't sure that some weren't his. His glasses remained on his face. They were smeared with something -- unburned jet fuel, which Yates mistook for blood. He carefully took them off, folded them, and slipped them into his shirt pocket, then stumbled toward the big room's interior. http://www.pilotonline.com/special/911/pentagon2.html Yates, John Yates worked in 2E471, a warren of cubicles. At 50, he was an Army security John manager who handed out keys and employee badges. (...) He had been sitting on a table watching TV. When he stood up, the Pentagon shuddered. A big ball of fire knocked him to the floor. Black smoke flooded the room. Searing heat scorched him. Upended file cabinets blocked him. http://www.hjpa.org/morenews.html Yeingst, Just prior to the impact there were three firemen on the helipad at the Pentagon. The William president was supposed to land at the helipad two hours after the impact, and so they had just pulled the foam truck out of the firehouse and were standing there when they looked up and saw the plane coming over the Navy Annex building. They turned and ran, and at the point of impact were partially shielded by their fire truck from the flying debris of shrapnel and flames. They were knocked to the ground by the concussion, were able to get up, go over to the fire truck, and initially they were able to get it started to call for help at Fort Myer. And then they had to put out parts of their uniform--their bunker gear was actually on fire, so the first thing they had to do was put out their own fire truck and their fire equipment and they tried to start the truck and move it, but they discovered that it wouldn't move. They got out and looked, and the whole back of the fire truck had melted. Audio : http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11/collection/audio.asp?ID=6 Transcript : http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11/collection/transcript.asp?ID=6 Yonkers, ``The whole building shook'' with the impact, said Terry Yonkers, an Air Force Terry civilian employee at work inside the Pentagon at the time of the attack. ``There was screaming and pandemonium,'' he said, but the evacuation ordered shortly afterward was carried out smoothly. http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/11_APdc.html Zakhem, Madelyn Zakhem, executive secretary at the STC (VDOT Smart Traffic Center), had Madelyn just stepped outside for a break and was seated on a bench when she heard what she thought was a jet fighter directly overhead. It wasn't. It was an airliner coming straight up Columbia Pike at tree-top level. "It was huge! It was silver. It was low -- unbelievable! I could see the cockpit. I fell to theground.... I was crying and scared". "If I had been on top of our building, I would have been close enough to reach up and catch it," http://www.roadstothefuture.com/VA_Sept21.txt Press Reports ABC "It's a bomb. Get out," said a Pentagon spokesman as authorities ordered an evacuation of the building. In addition there have been explosions at the State Department and on Capitol Hill in Washington. http://abc.net.au/news/2001/09/item20010911230953_1.htm AmericanMemo Other witnesses said the plane crash was followed by an explosion about 15 rials minutes later that could be heard miles away - apparently the sound of a large portion of the Pentagon collapsing. http://www.americanmemorials.com/memorial/tribute.asp?idMemorial=1316&i dContributor=7466 AviationNow The large aircraft struck the outermost corridor (E-ring) of the five-ring building at ground level (the second floor) at 9:43 a.m. EDT and continued smashing its way through the D and C rings. Navy survivors on the B-ring looked out their interior windows and saw flames and falling debris.(...) Blast damage was also limited by new Kevlar panels, but they didn't protect those nearby from fires from exploding fuel tanks, estimated to have produced the equivalent of 200-400 tons of TNT. Fuel triggered an intense fire that caused the roof of the damaged E-ring section to give way at 10:10 a.m. It was still burning 18 hr. later. (...) Navy officers not in the aircraft's direct path reported heavy safes being flung across rooms and people thrown from their chairs. http://www.aviationnow.com/content/publication/awst/20010917/aw48.htm CBSnews Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes. The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it's clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed. The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and plowed into the Pentagon at 460 mph. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/11/national/main310721.shtml CNN PLANT (LIVE): Well, and speaking to people here at the Pentagon, as they're being evacuated from the building. I'm told by several people that there was, in fact, an explosion. I was told by one witness, an Air Force enlisted - senior enlisted man, that he was outside when it occurred. He said that he saw a helicopter circle the building. He said it appeared to be a U.S. military helicopter, and that it disappeared behind the building where the helicopter landing zone is - excuse me - and he then saw fireball go into the sky. [...] It's a very tense situation obviously, but initial reports from witnesses indicate that there was in fact a helicopter circling the building, contrary to what the AP reported, according to the witnessess I've spoken to anyway, and that this helicopter disappeared behind the building, and that there was then an explosion. That's about all I have from here. September 11 Live CNN Transcript, Europe DelawareOnline Smoke and flames engulfed the west wall. Cars traveling nearby were lifted up off the roadway and showered with rocks and other debris. Among the trash littering the road was a scorched green oxygen tank marked "Cabin air. Airline use." When the debris shower stopped, people began getting out of their cars, some of them screaming. http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2001/09/12terrorspreadsto.ht ml http://www.thejournalnews.com/newsroom/091201/12wtcpentagon.html FantasysPlace An explosion at the Pentagon. A car-bomb explosion outside the State Department. A loud explosion reported in the vicinity of the Capitol. There were also reports of a fire on the National Mall, a stretch of open, green space between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. That report was not immediately confirmed. At the White House, employees ran out of the executive mansion as police cleared it. Aides said a "credible threat" against the White House had come in. At first, the evacuation was orderly but, under orders from the Secret Service, employees were soon ordered to run out of the gates. At the State Department, a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the incident at State appeared connected with the events in New York and at the Pentagon."Something has happened at the State Department," the source said. "We don't know what yet." http://www.geocities.com/fantasysplace2/pentagon.html Federation of Another aspect of overpressure occurring in air bursts is the phenomenon of American Mach reflections, called the "Mach Effect." When a bomb is detonated at some Scientists distance above the ground, the reflected wave catches up to and combines with the original shock wave, called the incident wave, to form a third wave that has a nearly vertical front at ground level. This third wave is called a "Mach Wave" or "Mach Stem," and the point at which the three waves intersect is called the "Triple Point." The Mach Stem grows in height as it spreads laterally, and as the Mach Stem grows, the triple point rises, describing a curve through the air. In the Mach Stem the incident wave is reinforced by the reflected wave, and both the peak pressure and impulse are at a maximum that is considerably higher than the peak pressure and impulse of the original shock wave at the same distance from the point of explosion. Using the phenomenon of Mach reflections, it is possible to increase considerably the radius of effectiveness of a bomb. By detonating a warhead at the proper height above the ground, the maximum radius at which a given pressure or impulse is exerted can be increased, in some cases by almost 50%, over that for the same bomb detonated at ground level. The area of effectiveness, or damage volume, may thereby be increased by as much as 100%. http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/docs/warheads.pdf Firehouse The nerve center of the nation's military burst into flames and a portion of one side of the five-sided structure collapsed when the plane struck in midmorning. Secondary explosions were reported in the aftermath of the attack and great billows of smoke drifted skyward toward the Potomac River and the city beyond. http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/11_APdc.html Lavieenjaune "It was pitch-black, and it was full of smoke. It was very, very hot. We were pretty close to the fire and the explosion," the official said, declining to give his name for security reasons. http://lavieenjaune.50megs.com/september112001_archive2.html Maryland Since the time of plane impact at the Pentagon had often been reported with Geological large scatter, the United States Army contacted us to inquire whether we could Survey obtain an accurate time of the Pentagon attack on September 11, 2001 based upon our seismic network. We analyzed seismic records from five stations in the northeastern United States, ranging from 63 to 350 km from the Pentagon. Despite detailed analysis of the data, we could not find a clear seismic signal. Even the closest station (62.8 km) at Soldier's Delight, Baltimore County, Maryland (SDMD) did not record the impact. We concluded that the plane impact to the Pentagon generated relatively weak seismic signals. However, we positively identified seismic signals associated with United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The time of the plane crash was 10:06:05 (EDT). http://www.mgs.md.gov/esic/publications/download/911pentagon.pdf Navymedicine Medical practitioners should acquire additional skills to become knowledgeable in all aspects of blast injuries. The range of injuries runs from pneumothorax, visceral injuries, to the fracture of multiple sites (e.g., ribs, femur, ankle, wrist, and jaw), blast lung, facial burns, concussion, and contusion. Practitioners also need to know all their medevac assets and become knowledgeable and practiced in principles of mass casualty and triage medicine. There are several final "takehome" points. "Crises don't always come to someone else," said Marc Grossman, former Director General, now Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State. "It can't happen to me" is a myth. Embassies can be front lines, as illustrated by the bombings in East Africa. The case study of the Cole demonstrates the complexity of activities and multiple participants in managing a large scale disaster. That is why such an event is called a "complex emergency!" There are important lessons to be learned from any disaster that should be shared. The bottom line is: Are you ready? navymedicine.med.navy.mil... OurnetFamily Anon, from the Naval Annex: We constantly scanned skyward with our "eyeball radar," noting the sound of every jet engine seemed to make us jump. Fortunately, the only aircraft noise was the crisp distinctive ripping sound was of Air Force F-16's or the roar and popping of the rotor blades of a Park Police UH-1 helicopter surveying the damage. The only large fixed wing aircraft to appear was a gray C-130, which appeared to be a Navy electronic warfare aircraft, he seemed to survey the area and depart in on a westerly heading. http://www.ournetfamily.com/WarOnTerror/emails/pentagonwitness.html PatriotResource The fire was so hot that firefighters could not approach the impact point itself until approximately 1 P.M. The collapse and roof fires left the inner courtyard visible from outside through a gaping hole. The area hit by the plane was newly renovated and reinforced, while the areas surrounding the impact zone were closed in preparation for renovation, so the death toll could have been much higher if another area had been hit. http://www.patriotresource.com/wtc/timeline/pentagon.html USAToday In the renovated section outside the immediate crash zone, most damage was caused by smoke and water that poured out of brand-new sprinklers. Many of these offices are occupied again.But there was extensive fire damage hundreds of feet away in unrenovated areas that had not yet had sprinklers installed. The fire was so intense it cracked concrete. http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2002/01/01/pentagon.htm WashingtonPost The attack destroyed at least four of the five "rings" that spiral around the massive office building, hitting in a recently renovated section between corridors four and five.Fairfax County's Urban Search and Rescue Team sent two ten-person squads into the Pentagon to search for survivors and to assess the damage. About 70 members of the team, staffed with paramedics, doctors, engineers and search dogs, headed to the scene at 1 p.m. The specially trained unit, one of two in the United States, has previously responded to bombings in Oklahoma City and Nairobi, Kenya, and also to earthquakes in Turkey, Taiwan and Armenia.Ten patients were brought to Inova Alexandria Hospital suffering from injuries ranging from burns to head lacerations, according to Kathleen Barry, chief nurse executive. By 1 p.m., two had been discharged, seven were in stable condition and one was in critical condition suffering from smoke inhalation. Earlier reports of other explosions in the Washington region, at the State Department and the Capitol, were not accurate, law enforcement officials said. The crash at the Pentagon, which occurred less than an hour after the New York attacks, triggered immediate security steps in the Washington area, including evacuation of the State Department, the Capitol building and the West Wing of the White House. A 38-year-old Marine major who asked to remain anonymous said he and dozens of his colleagues rushed to the area in the Pentagon that appeared most heavily damaged -- the B ring between the 4th and 5th corridors. The major said that hundreds of people worked in the B-ring area and that it was "decimated ... that heat and fire, it could eat you alive in three seconds." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/daily/sep01/attack.html WashingtonPost Another Pentagon employee, a 37-year-old Marine major, said he was at a meeting in the innermost A Ring when he heard a thud and felt the building shudder. He and his colleagues rushed to help rescue people from an area that appeared most heavily damaged, the B Ring between corridors 4 and 5. The search for survivors was hampered by intense heat and smoke. As late as 10 p.m., rescue teams were having trouble getting close enough to the worst damage. "We went down that first ring, but we only got 100 feet," said Derek Spector, 37, an Arlington firefighter. "It was an intense amount of heat." By afternoon, the investigation was underway. At one point, a column of 50 FBI officers walked shoulder-to-shoulder across the south grounds of the Pentagon, picking up debris and stuffing it into brown bags. The lawn was scattered with chunks of the airplane, some up to four feet across. http://www.washingtonpost.com... WashingtonPost ANYONE WHO deliberately set out to invent a government program with the specific aim of terrifying the Orwell-reading public could hardly have improved on the Information Awareness Office. Tucked away in the outer reaches of the Defense Department, brandishing an eerie and cryptic logo -- an all-seeing eye atop a pyramid and the slogan "Scientia Est Potentia" ("Knowledge Is Power") - - the office is headed by retired Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, the Reagan administration official who was convicted in the wake of the Iran-contra scandal of five felony counts of lying to Congress, destroying official documents and obstructing the congressional inquiry into the affair. Not surprisingly, there have already been some fast-breathing reactions to recently published information about the office, including allegations that it is funded by the Homeland Security Bill (it isn't) and that Adm. Poindexter has compiled a computer dossier on every American (he hasn't, or not yet). In fact, the program is still a research project of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the high-tech innovators who helped create the Internet -- and who claim that this project is equally benign. Among other things, the Information Awareness Office is trying to find ways of better identifying potentially dangerous people by using video cameras and biometrics, and of processing large amounts of data from different sources so as to predict and prevent terrorist attacks (the "Total Information Awareness System"). Police tracking the Washington sniper suspects might, for example, have caught them more quickly with the help of a computer program that could simultaneously search their motel records, their immigration and police histories, and the traffic violations tied to their Chevrolet Caprice. Yet, given both the context and the content of the program, DARPA should hardly have been surprised by the bad publicity. For however revolutionary and innovative it may be, this is not neutral technology, and the potential for abuse is enormous. If information that once took five people a week to find will now take one person 15 minutes to find, then instant -- and instantly updatable -- computer dossiers on everyone really do cease to be science fiction. If computers can learn to identify a person through a video camera, then constant surveillance of society becomes possible, too. Because the legal system designed to protect privacy has yet to catch up with this technology, Congress needs to take a direct interest in this project, and the defense secretary should appoint an outside committee to oversee it before it proceeds. Privacy concerns need to be built into the technology from the beginning -- if the public decides, after being fully acquainted with the possibilities, that it is to be built at all. Finally, everyone involved might also want to consider whether Adm. Poindexter is the best person to direct this extremely sensitive project. Though his criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, his record of lying to Congress hardly makes him an ideal protector of the legal system, and his conduct of Iran-contra hardly makes him an advertisement for government competence. Even his choice of logo calls into question his tact and taste. Adm. Poindexter's presence on this project, the lack of clear public information about it and the absence of any real oversight already indicate a serious lapse of judgment. http://www.washingtonpost.com... http://911research.wtc7.net/pentagon/evidence/witnesses/bart.html Large Jetliner Eyewitness Accounts Describe Jetliner Approaching and Striking Pentagon Of the more than 100 eyewitness accounts in Eric Bart's compilation, most refer to a jet aircraft approaching the Pentagon in the moments before the explosion. Of the accounts that indicate the type of aircraft observed, the majority describe a large twin-engine jetliner, consistent with a Boeing 757, which Flight 77 was, or a Boeing 737. Far fewer witnesses recalled a small aircraft approaching the Pentagon. Following are accounts organized into two categories. Large jetliner Small jet The two accounts that describe a commuter jet were both by observers who were at considerable distances from the scene. LINK Large Jetliner Alan Wallace -- firefighter with safety crew at Pentagon's heliport We have had a commercial carrier crash into the west side of the Pentagon at the heliport, Washington Boulevard side. The crew is OK. The airplane was a 757 Boeing or a 320 Airbus. Albert Hemphill -- from inside the Naval Annex Immediately, the large silver cylinder of an aircraft appeared in my window, coming over my right shoulder as I faced the Westside of the Pentagon directly towards the heliport. The aircraft, looking to be either a 757 or Airbus, seemed to come directly over the annex James S. Robbins -- Robbins, a national-security analyst and 'nationalreviewonline' contributor, watched from his 6th story office window in Arlington The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, ... Tim Timmerman -- ... said it had been an American Airways 757. Tim Timmerman -- from 16th floor apartment near National Airport It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question. Mike Dobbs -- observed from upper level of outer ring of Pentagon ... looking out the window when he saw an American Airlines 737 twin- engine airliner strike the building. Terry Morin -- watched from 5th wing of BMDO offices at the old Navy Annex The plane had a silver body with red and blue stripes down the fuselage. I believed at the time that it belonged to American Airlines, but I couldn't be sure. It looked like a 737 and I so reported to authorities. Jim Sutherland -- from his car ... saw ... a white 737 twin-engine plane with multicolored trim fly 50 feet over I-395 in a straight line, striking the side of the Pentagon. Noel Sepulveda -- ... saw a commercial airliner coming from the direction of Henderson Hall the Marine Corps headquarters. Madelyn Zakhem -- ... she heard what she thought was a jet fighter directly overhead. It wasn't. It was an airliner coming straight up Columbia Pike at tree-top level. It was huge! It was silver. It was low -- unbelievable! I could see the cockpit. Joel Sucherman -- Do you know how many engines? - I did not see the engines, I saw the body and the tail; it was a silver jet with the markings along the windows that spoke to me as an American Airlines jet, it was not a commercial, excuse me, a business jet, it was not a Lear jet, ... it was a bigger plane than that. Dave Winslow -- Winslow is an AP reporter I saw the tail of a large airliner ... It ploughed right into the Pentagon. LINK Small Jet Steve Patterson -- watched from 14th-floor apartment in Pentagon City ... it appeared to him that a commuter jet swooped over Arlington National Cemetery and headed for the Pentagon ... Don Wright -- watched from the 12th floor, 1600 Wilson Boulevard, in Rosslyn I watched this ...it looked like a commuter plane, two engined ... come down from the south real low ... Explosion and Crash Eyewitness Accounts Describe The Moment of the Crash Of the over 100 eyewitness accounts in Eric Bart's compilation, many describe a perception that the large jet crashed into the Pentagon's wall, although many add that the event seemed surreal or movie- like. Steve Anderson -- from 19th floor office in USA TODAY building in Arlington Then it dawned on me what was about to happen. I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke. Jeff and Deb Anlauf -- from 14th floor of Sheraton Hotel, 1.6 miles from explosion Suddenly I saw this plane right outside my window. You felt like you could touch it; it was that close. It was just incredible. Then it shot straight across from where we are and flew right into the Pentagon. It was just this huge fireball that crashed into the wall (of the Pentagon). Gary Bauer -- in car just past exit on 395 We looked out the front of our windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn't until a few seconds later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. Mickey Bell -- near trailer in construction zone outside Pentagon The jet came in from the south and banked left as it entered the building, narrowly missing the Singleton Electric trailer and the on-site foreman, Mickey Bell. Bell had just left the trailer when he heard a loud noise. Sean Boger -- from heliport control tower I just looked up and I saw the big nose and the wings of the aircraft coming right at us and I just watched it hit the building. It exploded. I fell to the ground and covered my head. I could actually hear the metal going through the building. Donald R. Bouchoux -- in car on Washinton Blvd along side of Pentagon The aircraft crossed about 200 yards [should be more than 150 yards from the impact] in front of me and impacted the side of the building. There was an enormous fireball, followed about two seconds later by debris raining down. The car moved about a foot to the right when the shock wave hit. James R. Cissell -- sitting in traffic on interstate by Pentagon In the next blink of an eye, he realized he had a front-row seat to history, as the plane plowed into the Pentagon, sending a fireball exploding into the air and scattering debris - including a tire rim suspected of belonging to the airplane - past his car. Mike Dobbs -- looking out window from Pentagon's outer ring It seemed to be almost coming in slow motion. I didn't actually feel it hit, but I saw it and then we all started running. Penny Elgas -- The plane seemed to be floating as if it were a paper glider and I watched in horror as it gently rocked and slowly glided straight into the Pentagon. At the point where the fuselage hit the wall, it seemed to simply melt into the building. I saw a smoke ring surround the fuselage as it made contact with the wall. It appeared as a smoke ring that encircled the fuselage at the point of contact and it seemed to be several feet thick. I later realized that it was probably the rubble of churning bits of the plane and concrete. The churning smoke ring started at the top of the fuselage and simultaneously wrapped down both the right and left sides of the fuselage to the underside, where the coiling rings crossed over each other and then coiled back up to the top. Then it started over again -- only this next time, I also saw fire, glowing fire in the smoke ring. At that point, the wings disappeared into the Pentagon. And then I saw an explosion and watched the tail of the plane slip into the building. Bruce Elliot -- about to board shuttle in south parking lot I felt it was going to ram the Pentagon ... the craft clipped a utility pole guide wire, which may have slowed it down a bit before it crashed into the building and burst into flames. Kim Flyler -- in car in Pentagon parking lot At that moment I heard a plane and then a loud cracking noise.... Right before the plane hit the building, you could see the silhouettes of people in the back two rows. You couldn't see if they were male or female, but you could tell there was a human being in there. Joe Harrington -- in parking lot outside Pentagon About two minutes later one of my guys pointed to an American Airlines airplane 20 feet high over Washington Blvd., It seemed like it made impact just before the wedge. It was like a Hollywood movie or something. Albert Hemphill -- from window of Naval Annex He was slightly left wing down as he appeared in my line of sight, as if he'd just "jinked" to avoid something. As he crossed Route 110 he appeared to level his wings, making a slight right wing slow adjustment as he impacted low on the Westside of the building to the right of the helo, tower and fire vehicle around corridor 5. What instantly followed was a large yellow fireball accompanied by an extremely bass sounding, deep thunderous boom. Jerry Henson -- from office in Pentagon (?) The impact was quite clear. But it wasn't what you would think. It was just a loud kathump. Just a loud noise. Terrance Kean -- from nearby 14-story apartment building I saw this very, very large passenger jet. It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal. William Lagasse -- from Citgo gas station near Pentagon ... he noticed a jet fly in low. He watched as the plane plowed into the Pentagon. Initially, he thought the plane was about to drop on top of him -- it was that close. Lincoln Liebner -- running toward a Pentagon entrance I was close enough that I could see through the windows of the airplane, and watch as it as it hit. There was no doubt in my mind what I was watching. Not for a second. It was accelerating. It was wheels up, flaps up, engines full throttle. Lincoln Liebner -- running toward a Pentagon entrance I was about 100 yards away. You could see through the windows of the aircraft. I saw it hit. The plane came in hard and level and was flown full throttle into the building, dead center mass. The plane completely entered the building. I got a little repercussion, from the sound, the blast. David Marra -- on an 1-395 exit just west of Pentagon The plane rolled left and then rolled right. Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground. There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cartwheeled into the building. Oscar Martinez -- I saw a big jet flying close to the building coming at full speed. There was a big noise when it hit the building. Father Stephen McGraw -- on Pentagon exit onto Washington Boulevard The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car. I saw it crash into the building. My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. William Middleton -- from is street sweeper in Arlington Cemetary ... the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building. Christopher Munsey -- The plane, with red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments exploded in a ground-shaking "whoomp" as it appeared to hit the side of the Pentagon. A huge flash of orange flame and black smoke poured into the sky. Vin Narayanan -- sitting in traffic adjacent to Pentagon The tail of the plane clipped the overhanging exit sign above me as it headed straight at the Pentagon. The windows were dark on American Airlines Flight 77 as it streaked toward its target, only 50 yards away. The hijacked jet slammed into the Pentagon at a ferocious speed. But the Pentagon's wall held up like a champ. It barely budged as the nose of the plane curled upwards and crumpled before exploding into a massive fireball. John O'Keefe -- The eeriest thing about it, was that it was like you were watching a movie. There was no huge explosion, no huge rumbling on ground, it just went 'pfff'. It wasn't what I would have expected for a plane that was not much more than a football field away from me Mary Ann Owens -- driving on road next to Pentagon Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon. Still gripping the wheel, I could feel both the car and my heart jolt at the moment of impact. An instant inferno blazed about 125 yards from me. Mary Anne Ownes -- on road next to Pentagon The plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon. The impact was deafening. The fuselage hit the ground and blew up. Christine Peterson -- on road adjacent to helipad It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing. And then the plane crashed. My mind could not comprehend what had happened. Where did the plane go? For some reason I expected it to bounce off the Pentagon wall in pieces. But there was no plane visible, only huge billows of smoke and torrents of fire. Frank Probst -- in the construction yard outside Pentagon I saw this plane coming right at me at what seemed like 300 miles an hour. I dove towards the ground and watched this great big engine from this beautiful airplane just vaporize. It looked like a huge fireball, pieces were flying out everywhere. Lt. Commander John Sayer -- riding on a bus It sounded like a very loud clap. At first I thought an airplane had hit in front of the Pentagon, but when I got closer I saw that it had struck the Pentagon. Noel Sepulveda -- in the Pentagon parking lot You could hear the engines being revved up even higher. The plane dipped its nose and crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon. The right engine hit high, the left engine hit low. For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it. An explosion followed. Skarlet -- on road adjacent to Pentagon As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. (...) it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. (...) A huge jet. Then it was gone. A massive hole in the side of the Pentagon gushed smoke. The noise was beyond description. Joel Sucherman -- The large plane was 20 feet off the ground and a mere 50 to 75 yards from his windshield. Two seconds later and before he could see if the landing gear was down or any of the horror- struck faces inside, the plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon 100 yards away. Tony Terronez -- from car on road adjacent to Pentagon This huge WHOOSH! And something made me look in my rearview mirror and by the time I looked up I saw the side of the Pentagon explode. I was stunned. It was just so surreal, like something out of a movie, like Die Hard. The side of a building just exploded! As the fireball got higher and higher, you saw this debris go up in the air. Carla Thompson -- from about 1000 yards away from crash glanced up just at the point where the plane was going into the building. I saw an indentation in the building and then it was just blown-up up--red, everything red. Phillip Thompson -- Sitting in traffic in I-395 HOV lane ... saw an American Airlines jet come overhead and slam into the Pentagon, it all came back. I heard the scream of a jet engine and, turning to look, saw my driver's side window filled with the fuselage of the doomed airliner. Tim Timmerman -- from 16th floor apartment ... it had been an American Airways 757. It added power on its way in. The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball. Smoke and flames poured out of a large hole punched into the side of the Pentagon. Tim Timmerman -- from 16th floor apartment and as is went ... by the Sheraton Hotel, the pilot added power to the engines. I heard it pull up a little bit more, and then I lost it behind a building. And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of -- it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. Mike Walter -- sitting in traffic on northbound 27 And I aw it. I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon. Huge explosion, great ball of fire, smoke started billowing out. Dave Winslow -- I saw the tail of a large airliner ... It ploughed right into the Pentagon. Shockwave Eyewitness Accounts Suggest the Pentagon Attack Involved Explosive Detonation Many of the over 100 eyewitness accounts in Eric Bart's compilation recall characteristics of the explosion that accompanied the September 11th attack on the Pentagon that are suggestive if not conclusive of the detonation of a powerful explosive device. Two such characteristics are: A sharp detonation wave and silvery flash The smell of cordite These reported characteristics might not be explainable by the rapid combusion of jet fuel alone. Neither do they necessarily indicate the presence of explosioves, given the effects of a high- speed crash. Flash and Detonation Wave Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Abshire -- from in his office on the D ring, near the eighth corridor It shot me back in my chair. There was a huge blast. I could feel the air shock wave of it. I didn't know exactly what it was. It didn't rumble. It was more of a direct smack. Terry Morin, a former USMC aviator -- heard from the BMDO offices at the old Navy Annex I saw the flash and subsequent fireball rise approximately 200 feet above the Pentagon. There was a large explosion noise and the low frequency sound echo that comes with this type of sound. Associated with that was the increase in air pressure, momentarily, like a small gust of wind. For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a 2000lb bomb going off 1/2 mile in front of you. James S Robbins -- from office 1 1/2 miles from Pentagon There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it. Jeff Anlauf -- from 14th floor of the Sheraton Hotel, located 1.6 miles from the explosion Then, about 5 seconds later, the whole hotel shook. I could feel it moving. Peter M. Murphy -- in Mr. Murphy's office on the fourth floor of the Pentagon's outermost ring, the E-Ring, overlooking the helo-pad At that instant, a tremendous explosion with what Mr. Murphy said was a noise "louder than any noise he had ever heard" shook the room. Mr. Murphy, who had been standing with his back to the window, was knocked entirely across the room, while Hogue was jolted into his office. Mike Dobbs -- Everyone said there was a deafening explosion, but with the adrenaline, we didn't hear it. Noel Sepulveda -- in parking lot, over one hundred feet from explosion For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it. An explosion followed, sending Sepulveda flying against a light pole. Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda -- standing only 150 feet from the point of impact ... followed by an explosion; and the blast of the impact was so tremendous, that from his vantage point, it threw him backward over 100 feet slamming into a light pole causing him internal injuries. SGT Dewey Snavelyles Fowler -- driving along Arlington's Quaker Lane Then we heard an explosion and the truck rocked back and forth. Navy Capt. Charles Fowler -- heard from inside the Pentagon You could feel the building shake. You knew it was a major explosion. Lt. Col. Ted Anderson -- We ran to the end of our building, turned left and saw nothing but huge, billowing black smoke, and a brilliant, brilliant explosion of fire Cordite Don Perkal -- Even before stepping outside I could smell the cordite. Then I knew explosives had been set off somewhere. Gilah Goldsmith -- We saw a huge black cloud of smoke, she said, saying it smelled like cordite, or gun smoke. Other Aircraft Eyewitness Accounts Describe Other Aircraft Around Pentagon Several of the more than 100 eyewitness accounts in Eric Bart's compilation describe aircraft in addition to a large jetliner flying near the Pentagon at the the time of the attack. C-130 turboprop Helicopter LINK C-130 Turboprop Allen Cleveland -- Soon after the crash (Within 30 seconds of the crash) I witnessed a military cargo plane (Possibly a C130) fly over the crash site and circle the mushroom cloud. My brother inlaw also witnessed the same plane following the jet while he was on the HOV lanes in Springfield. He said that he saw a jetliner flying low over the tree tops near Seminary RD in Springfield, VA. and soon afterwards a military plane was seen flying right behind it. Scott P. Cook -- As we watched the black plume gather strength, less than a minute after the explosion, we saw an odd sight that no one else has yet commented on. Directly in back of the plume, which would place it almost due west from our office, a four-engine propeller plane, which Ray later said resembled a C-130, started a steep decent towards the Pentagon. It was coming from an odd direction (planes don't go east-west in the area), and it was descending at a much steeper angle than most aircraft. Trailing a thin, diffuse black trail from its engines, the plane reached the Pentagon at a low altitude and made a sharp left turn, passing just north of the plume, and headed straight for the White House. Kenneth McClellan -- A C-130 cargo plane had departed Andrews Air Force Base en route to Minnesota that morning and reported seeing an airliner heading into Washington 'at an unusual angle,' said Lt. Col. Kenneth McClellan, a Pentagon spokesman. Air-traffic control officials instructed the propeller- powered cargo plane 'to let us know where it's going,' McClellan said. The C- 130 pilot 'followed the aircraft and reported it was heading into the Pentagon,' he said. John O'Keefe -- Then the plane -- it looked like a C-130 cargo plane -- started turning away from the Pentagon, it did a complete turnaround. Phillip Thompson -- observed from 1-395 HOV lanes, directly across from the Navy Annex Then a gray C-130 flew overhead, setting off a new round of panic. I tried to reassure people that the plane was not a threat. All around me people began to panic, fleeing for their lives. Keith Wheelhouse -- The second plane looked similar to a C- 130 transport plane, he said. He believes it flew directly above the American Airlines jet, as if to prevent two planes from appearing on radar while at the same time guiding the jet toward the Pentagon. Ournetfamily -- watched from the Naval Annex The only large fixed wing aircraft to appear was a gray C-130, which appeared to be a Navy electronic warfare aircraft, he seemed to survey the area and depart in on a westerly heading. Joel Sucherman -- Within a minute another plane started veering up and to the side. At that point it wasn't clear if that plane was trying to manouver out of the air space or if that plane was coming round for another hit. LINK Helicopter Lincoln Leibner -- He said that he saw a helicopter circle the building. He said it appeared to be a U.S. military helicopter, and that it disappeared behind the building where the helicopter landing zone is - excuse me - and he then saw fireball go into the sky. [...] It's a very tense situation obviously, but initial reports from witnesses indicate that there was in fact a helicopter circling the building, contrary to what the AP reported, according to the witnesses I've spoken to anyway, and that this helicopter disappeared behind the building, and that there was then an explosion. Lincoln Leibner -- the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting fire to a fire truck. Paul Begala -- He said another witness told him a helicopter exploded. Skarlet -- As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. That's not strange. It's the Pentagon. Then I saw the plane. There were only a few cars on the road, we all stopped. I know I wanted to believe that plane was making a low descent into National Airport, but it was nearly on the road. And it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. The pilot didn't seem to be planning to pull up anytime soon. It was there. A huge jet. * * CORRECTION: Before Site Version 1.055, this page contained a shorter and garbled excerpt from Skarlet's account in the Helicopter section. Because the excerpt was taken out of context, it incorrectly implied that Skarlet reported seeing a helicopter rather than a jetliner hit the Pentagon. In fact Skarlet's full account is quite emphatic that a "huge jet" flew into the Pentagon, and is consistent with all the other eyewitness accounts. Approach Details Pentagon Eyewitness Accounts Agree on Details of Jetliner Approach The eyewitness accounts in Eric Bart's compilation that mention banking just before impact, flap positions, and lamp-posts agree on the following details, with the one exception that Gary Baur describes the plane banking to the right. Left wing down Right wing hits generator Flaps up Plane clips lamp-posts Left Wing Down Steve Anderson -- From my office on the 19th floor of the USA TODAY building in Arlington I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Micky Bell -- just left trailer in construction yard The jet came in from the south and banked left as it entered the building, narrowly missing the Singleton Electric trailer and the on-site foreman, Mickey Bell. David Marra -- had just turned his BMW off an I-395 exit to the highway "The plane rolled left and then rolled right. Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground." There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there .. Mary Ann Owens -- driving along by the side of the Pentagon Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon. Jack Singleton -- in or near trailer in construction yard "The plane's left wing actually came in near the ground and the right wing was tilted up in the air." Right Wing Hits Generator Lee Walker Evey -- On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that generator, and portions of it broke off. Frank Probst -- on a sidewalk alongside Route 27, near the Pentagon's western face He recalls the engine passing on one side of him, about six feet away. The plane's right wing went through a generator trailer "like butter," Probst said. The starboard engine hit a low cement wall and blew apart. Flaps Up Richard Benedetto -- driving on the Highway parallel to the Pentagon I didn't see any flaps, it looked like the plane was just in normal flying mode but heading straight down. It was straight. Albert Hemphill -- from office in Naval Annex with view toward east It was "clean", in as much as, there were no flaps applied and no apparent landing gear deployed. William Lagasse -- from Citgo gas station near Pentagon The 757's flaps were not deployed and the landing gear was retracted. Lincoln Liebner -- running toward a Pentagon entrance "It was wheels up, flaps up, engines full throttle." Phillip Thompson -- Sitting in traffic in I-395 HOV lane But, strangely, the landing gear was up and the flaps weren't down. Plane Clips Lamp-Posts Hagos Afework -- stuck in a traffic jam near the Pentagon It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in. Lee Walker Evey -- The plane approached the Pentagon about six feet off the ground, clipping a light pole, a car antenna, a construction trailer and an emergency generator before slicing into the building, said Lee Evey, the manager of the Pentagon's ongoing billion-dollar renovation. D.S. Khavkin -- eighth floor of building in Arlington with panoramic view First, the plane knocked down a number of street lamp poles, then headed directly for the Pentagon and crashed on the lawn near the west side the Pentagon. Stephen McGraw -- I had no awareness of the incoming plane until it was above our cars, having knocked over the street lamp at the edge of the road. Pentagon Strike Forensics Supported Conclusions about the Pentagon Strike Given the complexity of evaluating the evidence of the Pentagon strike, a number of competing theories have emerged, purporting to explain how the attack occurred. In order to better evaluate those theories we attempt to separate conclusions clearly supported by credible evidence from those theories, in order to avoid prejudicing the evaluation of the evidence. The evidence of the Pentagon attack can be divided into three categories: Photographs taken after the attack, showing debris inside and outside the building, and damage to the building and its surroundings Eyewitness accounts of the moments before, during, and after the attack Statements and artifacts from government sources Evidence in the first two categories is far more extensive than evidence in the third category, and is more credible, given the possible role of high-level government actors in executing the attack. One of the few examples of evidence in the third category is the set of five frames of Pentagon video apparently leaked by the Pentagon, which shows evidence of forgery. Superficially, the photographic and eyewitness evidence seem to support two conflicting conclusions: Eyewitness evidence: A jetliner with a shape and color matching an American Airliners Boeing 757 crashed at the Pentagon. Post-crash photographs: Whatever object collided with the building was not a Boeing 757, but something much smaller. The incompatibility between these conclusions has engendered a long-standing controversy within the 9/11 Truth Movement between those persuaded by the eyewitness reports that the attack plane was a jetliner and likely Flight 77, and those convinced by analysis of the photographic evidence that the attack plane was something else entirely. Proponents of the no-757-impact theories have argued that photographic evidence, being physical evidence, is more objective than eyewitness evidence and therefore outweighs it. The fundamental problem with applying this reasoning to the Pentagon crash is that it ignores the inferences required to conclude that no 757 hit the Pentagon based on the photographs. The eyewitness evidence is direct, with many witnesses claiming to have seen a twin-engine jetliner fly into the Pentagon and explode. Scores of other witnesses corroborate that account. In contrast, there is no credible photographic evidence showing the Pentagon being hit by something other than a jetliner -- only photographs of building damage and surroundings that many believe is inconsistent with the crash of a 757 based on a series of inferences. Errors in many of those inferences are exposed here. We believe that the above conflict is largely a result of a lack of care in drawing inferences from the evidence. The eyewitness evidence does not prove that the attack plane was Flight 77, but only that it had the appearances of the type of plane that Flight 77 was. Conversely, the photographs do not prove that the attack plane was not Flight 77, but only that the damage to the building does not have the appearance that most people would expect such a crash to produce. Indeed, several of the eyewitnesses who were convinced that they saw a large jetliner swoop towards the building and explode, expressed confusion about what had become of the aircraft when the smoke cleared. A scientific approach to resolving questions about the attack is to draw conclusions directly supported by all of the credible evidence and then formulating hypotheses that fit those conclusions. We believe that that a careful examination of the photographic and eyewitness evidence strongly supports the first of the following three conclusions, and weakly supports the second two. A Boeing 757 or very similar aircraft crashed into the Pentagon Portions of the plane were destroyed before impact The attack involved an explosive detonation not explainable by jet fuel combustion Jetliner Crash A Jetliner -- Probably Flight 77 -- Crashed at the Pentagon Both of the main types of public evidence of the Pentagon attack -- photographs and witness accounts -- strongly support the conclusion that a twin-engine jetliner, such as a Boeing 757, crashed there. As shown in this essay, many features of the crash look specific to a Boeing 757. In contrast to the evidence that supports the plane being a Boeing 757, most specific evidence indicating that the crash was of Flight 77 remains unavailable to the public. That includes the identification of human remains, and the identification of part numbers from plane debris. However, the suggestion the plane was anything other than Flight 77 lacks any supporting evidence, and implies that the plane and its passengers were disappeared. Witnesses Evidence Numerous eyewitnesses described a large silver twin-engine jetliner swooping down on the Pentagon. The accounts describe the aircraft on a collision course with the building, and variously describe it as disappearing into the building or into an explosion. Among the accounts that attempt to name the plane's type, the most common are 757 and 737, with witness Albert Hemphill describing it as either a 757 or Airbus. The only accounts that relate sightings of a smaller jet, such as a commuter jet, were from witnesses who watched the attack from considerable distances. 757s, 737s, and the most common Airbus models Most eyewitnesses who attempted to identify aircraft all share the same basic features: two engines, by model named either a Boeing 757 (above) or a one under each wing, with the wings attached to Boeing 737 (below). Those jetliners, and the Airbus the bottom of the fuselage, and a fuselage whose A320 named by one witness, all share the same basic shape. diameter is about 14 feet. The fact that 737s have been in use for much longer than 757s could account for some witnesses identifying a 757 as a 737. Conversely, some witnesses could have based their identification of the plane as a 757 on news reports that they heard before their accounts were collected. The two accounts that name both 757 and Airbus 320 as candidates are suggestive of careful identification, since the A320 has a very similar shape to the 757-200. Eric Bart's witness compilation gives ample support to the idea that a large twin-engine jetliner with American Airlines markings approached the Pentagon, but is inconclusive as to the exact model of the aircraft. Questions of Pre-Impact Damage Evaluating Damage- Based Claims About the Attack Plane Flight 77, which is supposed to have crashed into the Pentagon's west block on 9/11/01, was a Boeing 757-200. There are several pieces of physical evidence and elements of the body of eyewitness evidence that rule out the official account of the crash. That account has Flight 77, piloted by a suicide pilot of questionable piliting skill, Photographs of the Pentagon's west side after the attack are remarkably free of crash debris. However, many of these photographs have deceptive swooping down seven thousand foreshortening of large areas near the building. The fire trucks in this feet in three minutes and photograph are at least 80 feet from the building. approaching the Pentagon at such a shallow angle that its wings clip lamp-posts on the highway, its engine slices a generator trailer, and it plows into the first floor of the newly renovated west block, destroying the just-occupied Naval Command Center. Problems with the official account of the piloting of Flight 77 have been eclipsed by claims that the Pentagon was not hit by a 757, based largely on the two following arguments: The pattern of damage to the building and its surroundings appears to be inconsistent with the impact of a 757. Evidence of aircraft debris is scarce, and conspicuously absent recognizable objects, such as luggage, seats, and bodies. LINK Errors Evaluating the Physical Evidence The evaluation of this evidence is much more subtle than many skeptics of the official story have appreciated. Some have suggested that the 757 should have punched holes through the walls out to the wing and tail tips as the 767s did to the towers. (In fact the wing tips of the 767s were diced by the exterior columns, but they left clear impressions of their entire profiles.) However, the wing ends have relatively little mass, and the Pentagon's outer wall was a heavy masonry structure which had been fortified for bomb resistance. Prominent French author Thierry Meyssan described the impact hole as 15 to 18 feet in diameter. In fact there were areas of broken-away walls extending more than 90 feet on the first floor. Others have suggested that, given the extent of wings and tail that could not fit through the punctured areas of wall, large sections of wing and tail should have remained outside the building. However, crash simulations suggest that the entire jet could have been reduced to small pieces by the impact. Photographs of large pieces in other jetliner crashes only show that there are crashes in which large pieces survive. Many such errors made by skeptics of the official account are understandable, given the lack of comparable crash cases; but many common errors made by its defenders are laughable, in light of the laws of physics. These include theories in which the wings fold, spin, or slip into the building -- all of which would require accelerations perpendicular to the direction of impact as great as the deceleration of hitting an immovable wall. Such accelerations could not be transmitted by the structural materials of the plane. LINK The Pre-Explosion Theory Many people who are convinced by arguments that the Pentagon post-impact damage did not match the shape of a 757's frontal profile assume that means no 757 crashed at the Pentagon. However, it is easy to think of scenarios involving a Boeing 757 but not leaving a cookie-cutter imprint of the wings and tail. A scenario that seeks to explain the allegedly anomalous impact profile imagines that the jetliner was attacked by a bomb or missile before impact. However, there are other explanations for alleged damage anomalies, particularly the lack of apparant facade damage where the rudder and outermost portions of the wings would have hit. For example, it is possible that collisions with objects in the flight path, such as the lamp-poles, damaged or severed extremities of the aircraft. Pentagon Explosion Crash-Explosion at Pentagon -- More than Jet Fuel Combustion? Features of the crash and explosion described in eyewitness reports and in damage reports have been used to speculate that the jet crash was augmented with exposives, on the plane or on the ground. Explosive Characteristcs Those features described as indicating the presencd of explosives include: A shockwave that was strong enough to knock people off their feet hundreds of feet from the center of the blast The odor of cordite, an explosive compound A bright silvery flash Strong Shockwave Several witnesses described a shockwave that knocked them to the ground, both inside and outside the building. Several described it as a concussion. The violence of such a high-speed crashe would seem to preclude the kind of pre-mixing of the fuel and air needed to support even a weak detonation. In the Twin Tower jet collisions, the columns of the curtain walls diced the fuel tanks in the wings, assuring fuel and air mixing about as optimally as could be imagined in a collision, and yet there were no reports of detonation shockwaves. Cordite Cordite is an explosive compound used in aircraft gun ammunition. Several witnesses with the benefit of military experience recognized the smell of this compound. Cordite N consists of three main explosive compounds: nitroguanidine, nitrocellulose, and nitroglycerin. It is cool-burning, and produces little smoke and no flash, but, like other explosives, produces a strong detonation wave. Silvery Flash Several witnesses described seeing a bright or silvery flash. This is also inconsistent with jet fuel combustion, which produces a fireball whose color is at brightest yellow, not white or silver. This flash must have been produced by some means other than a cordite explosion, whose detonation is notably free of a flash. Crash Physics Questions Assuming that the jetliner hit the Pentagon's west facade at the offically-reported 532 mph, it is possible to imagine chemical and mechanical processes that could account for the features suggestive of explosives. For example, it is possible that rapid oxidation of metals in the plane such as aluminum and magnesium, was responsible for the bright color of the flash. The grinding of the plane's metal by the high-speed impact might have powderized a significant quantity of such metals to produce a bright flash. The sixty-or-so tons of aluminum in a 757 represents a huge amount of energy -- perhaps more than that of the jet fuel -- if it can be brought into direct contact with an oxide such as silicon oxide, for example. Aluminum powder combined with silicon oxide powder is a form of thermite: 3SiO2 + 4Al -> 3Si + 2Al2O3 It's possible to imagine that such reactions in which the reagants are brought into contact through conversion of the planes' kinetic energy to extremeley rapid grinding and mixing of the materials. Might some of the plane's aluminum reacted through such contact with the silicon oxides in the 2-inch-thick blast resistant windows to create a flash and pressure wave way beyond with the combustion of jet fuel were able to produce? Defensive Missile Strike It is also possible that a surface-to-air missile, fired from within the Pentagon's perimeter, hit the plane coincident with its impact with the facade. The explosion of such a missile's warhead could create the flash and shockwave, and the missile's propellant could have the smell of cordite. The Pentagon Strike Mysteries Persist in Pentagon Attack Where the Pentagon was hit in the assault of 9/11/01 is without question: a portion of the building's west block, which was undergoing an extensive renovation. Despite the interesting implications of this fact, it has been eclipsed by the ongoing controversy among skeptics of the official story by questions of what caused the damage -- controversy spawned by the lack of public evidence about the Pentagon attack, and mysteries surrounding the fate of Flight 77, the Boeing 757 that's supposed to have hit the Pentagon. Absent from the public record are photographs or videos of anything like a 757 approaching the Pentagon. Photographs taken immediately after the crash show that neither large pieces nor significant quantities of wreckage remained outside the building. The idea that nearly all the remains of the 80-ton aircraft disappeared into the building strikes many people as problematic because the punctured walls of the initial damage to the building do not include regions where the ends of the wings and the vertical tail section would have impacted, nor do they show signs of scoring by these parts. On the other hand, a large number of eyewitness accounts describe a large jetliner approaching the Pentagon and crashing into it. A number of these eyewitnesses expressed shock and disbelief at how the jetliner had seemingly vanished in the wake of the crash. To some observers, the lack of obvious crash debris outside the building following the attack, the lack of an impact impression closely matching the profile of a 757, and the suppression of videos and photographs that may have shown the approach of the attack plane and its remains inside the building were red flags indicating that the attack involved some entirely different type of aircraft, or no aircraft at all. Others found the eyewitness evidence for the crash of a jetliner far too substantial to be dismissed. Thus a dialectic was created, largely along the lines of people embracing no-jetliner theories on the basis of photographs and the absence of evidence, and people rejecting these theories as distractions on the basis of the eyewitness evidence. The position of 9-11 Research on this issue has evolved over time, as described in the essay The Pentagon No-757-Crash Theory: Booby Trap for 9/11 Skeptics . Three key aspects of this evolution were: A re-evalution of claims that the Pentagon's damage precluded the crash of a 757 Close examination of eyewitness accounts and the claims that they lack credibility Observations of how the Pentagon no-jetliner theories have been used to discredit questioning of the government's account of the attack Pentagon Video Frames A set of video frames from a Pentagon security camera fueled the controversy among the skeptics by supporting theories that a drone rather than a 757 approached and collided with the Pentagon. Many skeptics have uncritically accepted the veracity of the footage because it contradicts the official story, despite its originating from the same government that has blocked any serious investigation of the attack. A critical analysis of the footage suggests it was tampered with in order to confuse the skeptics. LINK Competing Attack Theories The controversy over what hit the Pentagon first became prominent in December of 2001, when French authors claimed that the hole in the Pentagon was too small for a 757 to fit through. Thierry Meyssan was apparently the source of the claim that the hole in the facade was only 18 feet across -- a claim that ignores photographs that show pre-collapse first-floor puctures extending for a width of at least 96 feet. As time progressed, a number of theories of the attack were advanced. By two years after the attack no theory had become dominant, much less achieved consensus. Instead, the skeptics became divided into two camps, with one camp accepting that a jetliner was involved in the crash, largely on the basis of eyewitness evidence of a jetliner approaching the Pentagon and exploding; and the other camp rejecting this notion, largely on the basis of photographs and reports suggesting impact damage and debris inconsistent with an airliner crash. Curiously, the theory that reconciles these seemingly contradictory bodies of evidence has received relatively little discussion, overshadowed by the conflict between these two camps. LINK Evaluating the No-757-Crash Theory Viewing the September 11th attack as a carefully planned psychological operation, it is not surprising that unraveling the true nature of the attack is difficult. Indeed the attack and cover-up may have been carefully designed to keep the skeptics in disarray. One tool of the cover-up is the insertion of phony evidence, such as the leaking of the Pentagon video frames to bait skeptics into advocating the missile-strike theory. Another tool is the promotion of gross misinterpretations of evidence, such as the claim that the hole in the Pentagon's facade was only 18 feet in diameter. What about variants of the no-757-crash theory based on more substantial claims? Many theorists argue that the Pentagon was hit by an aircraft, but not a Boeing 757, citing the following observations: There were no obvious impressions of the wing ends and vertical tail section of a Boeing 757 on the limestone facade. A 6-foot-tall cable spool was standing upright about 30 feet away from the building in the aircraft's flight-path after the attack. There was little visible aircraft debris outside the Pentagon following the crash. These observations are overstated: there was obvious damage to the facade well beyond the extensive region of impact punctures; the cable spool in question may have been heavy enough to resist disturbance by any jetwash; and some photographs do show an extensive debris field extending about 80 feet from the facade. Moreover, to account for all the evidence, no-757-crash theories still need to answer the following questions: 1. Why did many eyewitnesses report seeing a large twin-engine jetliner approaching the Pentagon and, in many cases, crashing into the building? 2. What clipped the lamp posts on the highway overpass in a swath the width of a 757's wingspan? 3. What gouged the construction yard generator in the path of a 757's flap canoe? 4. What punctured a hole in the Pentagon's facade about 18 feet wide on the second floor and about 90 feet wide on the first floor? 5. What was the source of the aircraft debris, some of which appears to match parts from a 757? 6. What happened to Flight 77 and its passengers? Theories which reject the Pentagon crash of Flight 77 fail to answer the last question without resorting to incredible scenarios, such as the disposing of Flight 77 in the ocean and the faking of the DNA identification. Despite its implausibility, some skeptics of the no-757-impact school have embraced the fly-over theory in order to answer the first question. Theories that the attack plane was single-engine drone (such as a Tomahawk cruise missile as suggested by David McGowan, or a Global Hawk as proposed by Eric Hufschmid) fail to answer the first question without wholesale dismissal of most of the eyewitness accounts, and require additional elements to answer the second through fifth questions. All of these questions are answered by the theory that Flight 77, or look-alike plane, did crash into the Pentagon, piloted with precision by its computerized flight control system. But what of the above three observations that some think rule out the crash of a 757? The seemingly incorrect impact impression is a complex issue: the extremities of the wings and tail section are very lightweight and it's not clear what their high-speed impact with the reinforced facade should produce. Furthermore, if the plane was ripped apart by explosives just as it impacted, as Eric Bart suggested, it would alter the expected impact signature. 911Review.com addresses the observations regarding the cable spools and the crash debris. Two Pentagon Videos Footage From Two Pentagon Security Cameras Showing Moments of Attack On May 16, 2006, the Department of Defense released, through JudicialWatch.org, footage from two cameras that captured portions of the attack at 9:37 on the west side of the Pentagon. One of the two cameras was the source of the five frames of video leaked in 2002. The two clips have the following approximate characteristics: duration impact time frames per second 3:20 00:26 1 3:03 01:28 1 The videos were supplied in the form of Flash video clips. We extracted pairs of frames, one from each clip, for various times, to make the following table. second s from frames impact -1 0 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 17 23 30 Pentagon Strike Theories Ambiguous Evidence Spawns Proliferation of Theories Questions have surrounded the Pentagon attack from the beginning, given the lack of publicly available evidence clearly showing the crash of a Boeing 757 (the type of plane that Flight 77 was), photographic evidence of building damage that is arguably difficult to reconcile with such a crash, and a substantial body of eyewitness accounts indicating that a jetliner had crashed. In the months after the attack, a number of people pointed out that there were no public photographs of a 757 crashing into the Pentagon. As photographs of the building immediately after the attack began to appear on the Web, some writers noted the apparent absence of significant aircraft debris and of damage to the building or its surroundings commensurate with the impact of an aircraft the size and shape of a 757. Although close examination of the evidence shows it to be consistent with a 757, the Pentagon's evidence vacuum created the conditions for a seemingly endless proliferation of theories about what hit the Pentagon. Most of these theories ignore or grossly misrepresent the body of eyewitness evidence. In 2004, mainstream media noted the existence of a 9/11 Truth Movement for the first time, only to identify it with the theory that a missile rather than a jetliner hit the Pentagon. The essay The Pentagon No-757-Crash Theory: Booby Trap for 9/11 Skeptics documents such media attacks, and examines the evidence that purportedly supports the no-jetliner theories. Some 9/11 researchers have long held that the "no-plane" theories of the Pentagon attack are the product of an elaborate hoax invented to discredit questioning of the official story. The creator of OilEmpire.us provides the most detailed and damning critique of these theories. 1 We provide a rather detailed review of Pentagon attack theories mainly for historical interest, since, in our view, most of these theories are based on an unscientific analysis of the available evidence. The number of different theories makes a full accounting of them difficult. Rather than attempting to provide an exhaustive rundown of all of them, we provide a short history of the more popular theories, followed by an enumeration of elements constituting them. Finally we describe some scenarios consistent with Flight 77's crash. These theories and the substantial evidence supporting them have been eclipsed the no-jetliner theories. A Short History of Pentagon No-Jetliner Theories By 2005 the web had hundreds of websites purporting to analyze the Pentagon crash. Most of these question the account that Flight 77 crashed, based on inferences from photographs. In 2001 there was little such material, but in early 2002, the French site Hunt the Boeing appeared, and got things rolling. 2 Soon there were dozens of sites claiming that the Pentagon was not hit by a 757. The 2002 books Painful Questions , and The Great Deception , and Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster all embraced such theories. As the profile of more substantial challenges to the official story grew, mainstream media increasingly highlighted "no-plane" theories as representing the breadth of such challenges. The Truck Bomb Theory By January of 2002, there was discussion on the Internet about alleged problems of the official story that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. In March the French investigator Thierry Meyssan released the book L'effroyable Imposture (The frightening Fraud), which challenged the official story of Flight 77's crash pointing to alleged anomalies of a lack of plane debris, too-small dimensions of the impact hole, and the lack of video footage of Flight 77, among other things. He suggested that instead, a truck bomb exploded in front of the Pentagon. The book is now available in 25 languages. 3 Meyssan, and anyone who would read his book were The frightening Fraud (AKA The Big Lie) was distributed worldwide vehemently attacked by mouthpieces for U.S. government with ntranslations in 27 different and media. An FBI statement accused Meyssan of making languages. It succeeded in identified challenges to the offical story with "the ultimate insult to the memory of the 59 men, women the no-Boeing theory. and children on AA77 and the 125 dedicated military and civilian workers in the Pentagon who were ruthlessly murdered by terrorists on September 11." James S. Robbins, reporter for the National Review, wrote an entire column trashing the book, but admits in the column that he had not read the book. 4 Robbins compares Meyssan to Holocaust deniers. These mean-spirited attacks served to increase Meyssan's stature in the community of skeptics, and perhaps helped to overshadow the serious errors in his analysis, such as his assertion that the "hole" in the Pentagon was about 15-18 feet in diameter. This describes the second-floor damage but overlooks the much more extensive damage to the first floor, whose walls were broken away for an expanse about 90 feet wide. The Drone and Missile Attack Theory Shortly after the publication of Meyssan's book, five frames from a Pentagon camera were released. The video frames, which appear to show a small aircraft and a missile exhaust plume, prompted a new round of speculation on the Internet about what really hit the Pentagon. New theories consistent with the video footage replaced the truck bomb theory. Meyssan later released a second book, Le Pentagate, to explain his new theory that a drone and missile hit the Pentagon. The refusal of officials to release complete footage from this camera or any footage from any other cameras reinforced the idea that the five frames were genuine. Perhaps because the footage contradicted the official story, few skeptics examined the possibility that the Interestingly, the cover image of the frames were fabricated. book in which Meyssan promotes the theory that a missile rather than a jetliner hit the Pentagon actually The 737 Theory shows debris matching a jetliner, such as a wheel hub. See more A Boeing 737 is a jetliner that resembles a 757 but is detailed photographs of the C-ring punch-out hole. somewhat smaller. Although its fuselage has the same diameter, a 737 is shorter and has a smaller wingspan and tail height than an 757. Also, its engines are smaller, more closely spaced, and are mounted closer to the wings. Since both a 737 and 757 have two underwing engines, it would be easy for witnesses to confuse one for the other. References to a 737 are almost as common in eyewitness statements as references to a 757. Given a 737's smaller dimensions, it is less difficult to imagine that the observed debris and damage to the building and surroundings were the product of a 737 crash than of a 757 crash. However many of the skeptics' objections to the 757 crash account, such as unbroken windows where the wing ends would have hit, and the apparent absence of aircraft debris, also apply to the 737 theory. In addition, the 737 theory still leaves the question of what happened to Flight 77 and its passengers. Elements of No-Jetliner Strike Theories The preceding list provides at best a rough outline of theories that exlude the crash of a 757 into the Pentagon. Most theories combine several different elements, and different theorists favor different combinations of elements. Some of these elements are consistent with supposing that the attack did involve Flight 77. For example, it is possible that a missile strike and demolition charges were involved in addition to the crash, but such elements almost always appear in conjunction with no-jetliner theories. Missile Strike Several attack theories include a missile strike, in addition to an approach and/or impact by one or more aircraft. Only a few Pentagon attack theorists have suggested that a missile alone was involved in the attack, yet mainstream media attacks on 9/11 "conspiracy theorists" have implied that the Pentagon missile theory is the centerpiece of all skepticism of the official story. Proponents of missile strike theories have cited three pieces of evidence: The apparent dense vapor trail on the Pentagon video camera footage At least three eyewitness report (Michael DiPaula's, Lon Rains' and Tom Seibert's) that the aircraft sounded like a missile. Reports of a white-hot explosion and shockwave consistent with the detonation of a missile warhead. While there does not appear to be sufficient evidence to rule out the involvement of a missile, all of the above three points can be explained without invoking one. The Pentagon video footage is suspect; eyewitness perceptions could be explained by the sudden overflight a supersonic aircraft; and any of a number of means could have been used to convey explosive devices to the scene. Theories that the Pentagon was attacked by a Global Hawk or cruise missile ask us to believe that scores of eyewitnesses Attack Drone mistook an aircraft that looks nothing like a jetliner for a twin- engine jetliner. Drone attack theories have some kind of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) such as a Global Hawk or cruise missile crashing into the Pentagon and producing -- perhaps in combination with a separate missile -- the observed damage. Most theories employing such an attack drone dismiss altogether that a 757-like aircraft was involved in the attack, and minimize eyewitnesses accounts of a 757 flying toward the building by emphasizing the few accounts of a smaller aircraft, and by suggesting that many witnesses were fooled into mistaking a painted drone for a 757. Most such theories suggest that the drone was substituted for Flight 77 sometime after the jetliner's transponder was turned off. Attack Jet An alternative to the attack drone element is the attack jet element, in which the damage is caused, not by a lightweight UAV such as a Global Hawk, but by a supersonic interceptor such as an F-16. The near certainty that any aircraft involved in such a precision ground-level assault was remote-controlled does not favor a drone or cruise missile over an interceptor, since the latter also has computerized flight control systems that are easily configured for remote control. The attack interceptor element was first articulated by Richard Eastman, who combines the two elements of small attack jet and jetliner fly-over in a comprehensive theory of the attack. Evidence he cites to support this element include: The apparent aircraft tail on a frame of the Pentagon video The lack of significant aircraft debris outside the building The concentration of damage on the ground floor extending three rings into the building The single C-ring hole and other indications that the attack plane was a single-engine plane The downed light poles on the highway overpass Most of these pieces of evidence have also been used to support the competing attack drone element. However the much lighter construction of known types of drones make them seem a much less plausible candidate for severing the light-poles, penetrating so many walls of the building, and leaving the large engine and landing gear parts pictured in photos allegedly from the building's interior. Additionally, the following observations strongly favor the attack jet over the attack drone element: A jet interceptor can fly in at Mach 2, too fast to be seen by bystanders, whereas known UAVs larger than cruise missiles are subsonic and would be seen during their approach. Therefore the attack jet element is easily combined with the jetliner fly-over element, whereas the drone element, which is not, requires that eyewitnesses mistake a small drone for a jetliner. Interceptor jets would be expected to be pursuing the commandeered jetliners. Therefore discovery of evidence of the crash of an F-16 could be answered by the fall- back position that an F-16 in pursuit of Flight 77 crashed. Jetliner Fly-Over The idea that a jetliner -- either a 757 such as Flight 77 or similar plane -- appeared to collide with the Pentagon, but actually disappeared into a fireball and overflew the building, also originated with Richard Eastman. Such a scenario has the advantage of harmonizing the body of eyewitness accounts of a jetliner approach, with the (questionable) conclusion that the building's impact damage pattern and sparse aircraft debris preclude a 757 collision. Since Eastman's scenario combines an attack jet with the fly-over of Flight 77, the two elements have become associated with his theory. However such a fly-over could be combined with other elements instead. For example, the damage to the Pentagon and the highway lamp- poles could have been produced by other means, such as demolition charges and projectiles, while the Pentagon video frames were fabricated, and aircraft parts planted. Internal Demolition The fact that the impact damage on the Pentagon's facade and interior seems to roughly approximate that expected by a 757 while being arguably incorrect in its detials has suggested to some researchers that the building was rigged with explosives to produce a pattern of damage suggesting entry locations for the fuselage and engines and an exit hole matching the trajectory indicated by the downed light poles. The case for internal demolition is made by the detailed and well referenced paper by Jerry Russell and Richard Stanley, "The Five Sided Fantasy Island". 5 Russell and Stanley internal demolition element with jetliner flyover element to make a theory that suffers from many of the same problems as the two-plane theory, such as the failure to convincingly account for the many eyewitness reports that a jetliner flew into the Pentagon's facade and exploded. The Two-Plane Theory The two-plane theory holds that while a 757, perhaps Flight 77, swooped down on the Pentagon and appeared to hit it, a much smaller attack jet, flying much faster on a different trajectory, impacted the building while the 757 disappeared into the explosion and fireball and overflew the Pentagon. This theory has the advantage of accounting for the many eyewitness accounts of a large twin-engine passenger jet approaching the Pentagon. It is the subject of a detailed analysis here. Alternative Scenarios Consistent With Flight 77's Crash Proponents of no-jetliner theories frequenly attack their detractors as apologists for the official story. This is disingenuous because most skeptics of the official account who reject the no- jetliner theories also reject the story that Hani Hanjour piloted Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Pointing to the difficulty of the Pentagon approach maneuver, the location of the strike, and the failure to defend the Pentagon, most skeptics think that the jetliner was guided to its target by some form of programmed or remote control. Others note that seemingly anomylous aspects of the crash of a jetliner are explained by supposing that the crash was engineered or otherwise altered in some way, perhaps for the purpose of generating confusion. The Plane Bomb Theory The plane bomb theory, developed by French researcher Eric Bart, holds that the jetliner that approached the Pentagon was destroyed by explosives in the aircraft. Our analysis shows that the plane bomb theory can be reconciled with lack of an impact imprint on the Pentagon. It also fits the eyewitness accounts remarkably well. It accounts for observations that many people find incongruous with the simple impact of a 757. It is possible to reconcile the plane bomb theory with the plane being Flight 77, at the expense of supposing that an American Airline's jetliner was rigged with explosives. While this may sound far-fetched, the placement of bombs on Flight 77 and their detonation a split-second before impact via telemetry would not necessarily represent a great technical challenge. A variant of the plane-bomb theory avoids the idea of a specially-rigged plane altogether by by supposing that a defensive weapon system was responsible for the plane's partial destruction before impact. The Remote-Controlled Flight 77 Theory The remote-controlled Flight 77 theory holds that Flight 77 did indeed crash into the Pentagon, but that it was piloted by the automated flight control system (with or without real-time guidance by a ground operator) rather than by any human pilot on board the aircraft. This theory is compatable with the plane bomb theory, but most people who accept the idea that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon don't see a problem reconciling the pattern of damage to the Pentagon's facade with such as crash. References 1. The Pentagon attack: the 'no plane' theories discredit 9/11 skepticism and distract from proven evidence of complicity, OilEmpire.us, 2. Hunt the Boeing, And test your perceptions!, www.aisle.org, 3. THE BIG LIE; THE INVESTIGATION-BOOK ON THE BIGGEST MANIPULATION IN HISTORY, www.effroyable-imposture.net, 4. 9/11 Denial, www.nationalreview.org, 4/9/02 5. The Five Sided Fantasy Island, 911-strike.com, Pentagon Attack Photos Surviving Photographic Evidence of the Pentagon Attack There was a traffic jam on the highway which comes within 500 feet of the impact point on the building's west wall. Some people took photographs immediately after the crash, and during and after the initial fire suppression, and then after the collapse, which happened about 30 minutes after the impact. Some of those photographs have been posted on the web. Pre-collapse Post-collapse Aircraft and human remains Surroundings Analysis using this evidence Pre-Collapse 2 photos of facade and lawn during fire suppression 4 photos of facade and lawn during and after fire suppression 4 photos of facade and lawn immediately after attack Photo of a piece of aircraft hull Photo of fireball shortly after attack Photo of fires shortly after attack Photo of north end of impact puncture Photo of facade from southwest Post-Collapse Photos showing debris close to facade 2 aerial photos of debris and enlargements Photos of the C-ring punch-out hole Aircraft and Human Remains Photos of an engine rotor Photo of an engine assembly Photos of aircraft pieces inside the building Photos of aircraft pieces in the yard Photos of crash debris in the yard Photos of human remains Photos of small aircraft pieces Surroundings Photos of a corner of construction yard Analysis using this evidence The photographs compiled here provide evidence of the aircraft crash into the Pentagon on 9/11/01. Our analysis of the crash uses this evidence, as does Hoffman's essay on the physical evidence of that crash.
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