This is a guest article by 9/11 Truth activist and frequent Truth and Shadows contributor Adam Syed. In his piece, Syed looks at how an officially approved whitewash of the 9/11 Pentagon “attack” is given support by some in the movement who are determined to ridicule the view that no large plane hit the building.
By Adam Syed (Special to Truth and Shadows)
You know it supports the official story when you can buy it in the 9/11 Memorial Store.
And yet, Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon, is also embraced by some in the Truth movement. The question is why?
You don’t have to look far to find out. This piece of shameless propaganda has an official endorsement because it supports the minority view within the movement that Flight 77 actually hit the Pentagon.
These truthers don’t seem to have a problem that the book also tells us that one of the wings broke apart outside the building, landing on the grass. And the plane hit the building with a mass that resembled a shaped charge ploughing through the structure “like an energy beam,” leading to the creation of the “punch-out” hole in the Pentagon’s middle C ring.
In a video, 9/11 Truth activist Jon Gold chastises those who believe a plane didn’t hit:
“This [book] talks about witnesses who saw [airplane] chairs with bodies strapped to them inside the Pentagon. And yet people think that they want to promote the idea that Flight 77 didn’t hit the Pentagon as… one of the most important issues of the 9/11 truth cause, and that’s bull.”
We also learn that the left wing of the plane dipped down to ground level and the left engine grazed the grass and hit a steam vault protruding from the ground, all while the right engine was low enough to plow through the construction fence. It also tells us that debris from the impact flew backwards across Washington Blvd as well as forward as far as the Pentagon’s interior courtyard.
Do we take from this that Gold thinks that large chunks of the wing really landed on the grass? Or does he recommend only the points that suit his claim that the plane hit? And how credible is the claim about bodies strapped to seats?
How credible, for that matter is Firefight as a whole? Let’s examine some of the book’s claims. We’ll get to the airplane seats in a minute, but let’s begin with a new whopper proffered near the beginning of the book, one I’ve never seen in any other official-story-supporting publication. This claim deals with what happened in the final millisecond before the plane allegedly slammed into the wall:
As Flight 77 flew nearly to ground level, its right wing sliced into a 750-kilowatt generator in one of the construction areas. The generator erupted into a fireball. The plane’s right engine ripped a hole in a fence near the generator and yanked out some of the surrounding fence posts. The left wingtip dipped almost to ground level, while the left engine grazed the grass and struck a steam vault protruding from the ground. Both wings began to break apart, hurling metal fragments into the air. (p. 25)
Multiple problems here. First, in this photo, do you see wing parts on the grass? Second, do you see any “grazed grass?” These are rhetorical questions, of course, because the obvious answers are No and No. Third, look how “high” (i.e. low) that fence is. How is it possible that the left wing could “dip” to “almost ground level” so that the left engine grazes the grass, while at the same time, the right engine could rip a hole in the fence? At the very least, this is an “either-or” scenario, but certainly not both. In reality, of course, the correct answer is “neither,” since the photographic evidence clearly refutes both of these claims. And on the next page, we read:
At least one third of the left wing had snapped off when the left engine hit the steam vault. (p. 26)
Once again, this claim is totally unsupported by photographic evidence. Where is this wing on the grass?
Now let’s tackle the issue of alleged bodies still in airliner seats with the seat belts still fastened. From pp. 373-4:
For the first time, Regan’s team saw something they had expected to see all along but had been scarce until then: recognizable airplane parts. They all thought they would find big pieces of the airliner laying everywhere, the way car parts end up strewn across a highway after a crash. But the physics of an airplane crash were obviously different: Mostly there was just tons of shredded metal and melted plastic.
Finally, they found several airplane seats, piled among the usual mounds of upturned office furniture and random wreckage. A couple of the seats still had bodies belted into them, which had already been found and marked for the FBI… They were the first objects the non-aviation experts had seen that unmistakably belonged to an airplane.
An NTSB official was nearby, and Regan asked him… “I don’t understand why we’re not seeing more airplane parts,” he declared.
The NTSB “expert’s” answer:
“Imagine if you took a banana and pushed it through a grinder. Everything goes through the part that’s in front of it. That’s what happened here. The only reason those seats survived is because they were from the rear or the plane.”
Remember, this book was written in 2008, well into the truth movement’s life. It appears that this account serves to not only corroborate the official version, but specifically, Ted Olson’s claim that his wife had told him via cellphone/airfone/cellphone/airfone (he changed his story 3 times) that the passengers had been herded to the back of the plane. If they’d been herded to the back of the plane, they wouldn’t be in their seats, would they? Perhaps except for the passengers who were already seated in the back and hence had no need to get out of their seats.
But wait a minute. Look at this seating chart, used in the Moussaoui trial, courtesy of the website of Jim Hoffman (someone who supports the official crash view). There were no passengers originally seated in the very back of the plane. Is it really believable that a few of the passengers, once herded to the back of the plane, then sat down in the back row and fastened their seat belts?
The book’s absurdities don’t stop here. As with other aspects of 9/11, purveyors of the official story can’t keep their lies straight. Just as we’ve had multiple (unconvincing) explanations for what caused the demise of WTC7, Firefight offers the world a third explanation for what caused the exit hole in the Pentagon’s C Ring.
The first explanation, from both Rumsfeld and Pentagon renovation manager Lee Evey, was that the nose of the plane caused this hole:
“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.”
However, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Building Performance Report itself refuted this, saying “The front of the aircraft disintegrated essentially upon impact.” The second explanation, circa 2005, from Popular Mechanics, refers back to the ASCE, captioning a photo with the words “Hole Truth: Flight 77’s landing gear punched a 12-ft. hole into the Pentagon’s Ring C.” (It appears we have to pay $43 to see the original source.)
Perhaps official story disseminates grew uncomfortable with this explanation, too. After all, how could the landing gear punch such a neatly shaped, circular hole into the wall of the C-Ring? So, the 2008 book Firefight proffers a third explanation. On pp. 29-30, it says:
As the mass traveled through the building, it began to resemble a shaped charge, a form of explosive that funnels its force into a small, directed area — like a beam of energy — in order to punch holes through armor or other strong material.
And in a photo caption in the pictures section mid-book, we read:
“The hole was created by explosive energy; the plane’s soft aluminum nose and fuselage crumpled the instant it struck the building.”
So, official sources have now listed the nose, the landing gear, and explosive beam-like energy as the causes of the exit hole. Kind of like how diesel fuel fires, no wait, structural damage, brought down WTC7.
Speaking of official lies not jiving with one another, most readers at Truth and Shadows are familiar with the story of cab driver Lloyde England, who, according to the official story (and his own account) was a victim of the Pentagon attack in that a light pole toppled by the plane fell onto his cab, spearing the windshield but strangely not damaging the hood. (This is pseudo-physics on a par with the JFK magic bullet.) According to Lloyde, he got out of the car and, with the help of a “silent stranger,” lifted the pole from the windshield and placed it onto the road. (See CIT’s presentation “The First Known Accomplice?” for more.) Mr. England’s story is highly implausible, and besides, numerous genuine witnesses place the location of the plane to be far away from the light pole that allegedly hit his cab.
But Firefight gives us another account (bolding mine):
As it crossed the expressway, the plane’s wings knocked over several light poles that lined the road, like a ten-year-old toppling Tinkertoys with a slash of his hand. One light pole fell onto a taxicab, smashing the windshield, injuring the driver, and bringing the sedan to a skidding halt. (p. 24)
This is news to me; I had no idea Lloyde England was injured. If he was, it was quite a feat to get out of that car and move the pole, even with the help of another person. Once again, proponents of the official account can’t seem to keep their lies straight.
Yet another whopper is when the book claims that not only did the plane disintegrate with much debris flying backwards (some allegedly landing on the other side of the highway immediately west of the building), but that other plane debris hurled forwards and came to rest in the center courtyard.
When the airplane had burst on impact, the blast threw many pieces backward onto the lawn by the helipad, some with such force that they landed on the other side of Washington Boulevard, nearly 1,000 feet away. But thousands of pieces also carried forward and up, even over the roof of the building. In the Pentagon’s inner courtyard, tiny pieces of aluminum drifted down like confetti. Other pieces landed on the roof, along with body parts from at least one of the victims. (p. 29)
I challenge anyone to find aerial pictures showing “thousands” of pieces of airplane debris in the courtyard or on the roof.
Here is another glaring error in Firefight, from page 13:
Word was spreading throughout the FAA that AA77 had probably been hijacked. Still there were hundreds of planes in the sky along the East Coast. Without the transponder data, searching for a single runaway jet among all those radar dots was like looking at mites under a microscope.
This mirrors the Popular Mechanics talking point about the transponders being turned off. However, David Griffin addressed this soundly in Debunking 9/11 Debunking: The four planes that had been hijacked would NOT have looked identical to the other blips, because only the hijacked jets would have been void of transponder data (a 4-digit code number and the plane’s altitude). So they would have stuck out like a sore thumb. Finally, as Griffin asks rhetorically, “Was the US military’s defense of the homeland during the Cold War based on the assumption that Soviet pilots would have the courtesy to leave their transponders on?”
At this stage, it should be clear that the book’s credibility is in serious doubt. That being said, most of the 450+ pages of this book probably contain more truth than lies, but as we know, the best disinformation is 95% truth and 5% poison. Most of the book deals with the efforts to fight the fire during the course of the several days following 9/11: the collaboration and communication between various engine ladders of the Arlington fire department, the collaboration between the Arlington FD and the Fairfax FD. A book this thick could be written about ANY large fire, and the efforts to extinguish it, and most of the details of this book are immemorial with regards to 9/11 truth seeking. Three times throughout, the firefighters are radioed that another unidentified aircraft is heading their way, and that they need to evacuate in case a second plane hits the Pentagon.
Of course, in all three instances, they eventually get the “all clear, it was a friendly plane” and the firefighters continue their job of hosing the fires. A significant portion of the firefight involves the stubbornly smoldering roof and the difficulties in putting that part of the fire out. Many passages in the book are of emotional nature, i.e. firefighters using donated cell phones from the Cingular phone company to call their loved ones and tell them they’re OK.
Also, while this book is clearly meant to bolster the official story, there are “nuggets of truth” (to borrow a phrase from T/S contributor Senior El Once) throughout. For example, even though official story apologists get their nug on page 373 (evening of 9/12) about bodies strapped into airplane seats, there are many passages prior to that which point to the real scenario.
They found the same perplexing thing as Spector — lots of demolished offices, but no victims. Smith was shocked. God damn it, he thought, where is everybody? They lifted debris and looked underneath. Nothing. (p. 74)
They encountered the first office on the left and went inside to do a quick search, shining hand lights through the smoke, lifting rubble to see if they could find any victims, and breaking through walls with axes and other tools they carried. There was nobody. (p. 82)
Gibbs suited up for his own look into the building, joining up with a Fort Myer unit that was about to enter through a doorway to the left of the impact hole. They crawled toward the crash site looking for victims, just as Spector and Smith had… After stumbling around for a few minutes and finding nobody, Gibbs decided they needed another plan. (p. 86)
Firefight was jointly written by Patrick Creed, an “amateur historian and volunteer firefighter,” (according to the back inside sleeve) and Rick Newman, a “staff writer for U.S. News and World Report.” It was published in 2008. While this book is not an “official” source in the sense of being an official release by a government agency, it is at least a “semi-official” report in the sense of the Popular Mechanics anti-9/11truth article and book, which incidentally has been cited by government officials as the last word against the 9/11 “conspiracy theorists.” As Gold’s video shows, Firefight is sold at the 9/11 Memorial Store, as is the 9/11 Commission Report. As Gold says, “[The store] can sell the 9/11 Commission Report, but they can’t sell anything to do with the women responsible for the creation of it.” Jon is, of course, referring to the documentary 9/11 Press for Truth, which documents the journey of the Jersey Girls (9/11 widows) and their fight to get the original Commission created in the first place, when the Bush administration was staunchly opposed to any commission at all. The fact that Firefight is being sold at such a store is testament to its endorsement by the establishment.
Within the 9/11 truth movement, this book has been promoted by 911blogger moderator Erik “loose nuke” Larson. He says: “Firefighters at the Pentagon, public records, 150 interviews with participants and eye-witnesses… anyone reading this?” And on that same entry, Gold says: “Does anyone have any indication that those who wrote this book are lying, have a history of lying, etc? If not, then why is this ignored by the “Flight 77 didn’t hit the Pentagon” advocates? Edit: Still ignoring this, eh?” And so-called truther jimd3100 states that truthers won’t read the book because it contradicts their pet theory (that an airliner didn’t hit).
Well, now I can say I’ve read the whole book, and the proof is in the pudding. Firefight is a piece of sloppy propaganda. Shame on any so-called 9/11 truth activist who would recommend this “work” over the REAL work carried out by Enver Masud, Citizen Investigation Team, and Pilots for 9/11 Truth.