The official story maintains that, rather then
a dense mass of metal, it was the lightweight carbon nose of the aircraft that
punched out the exit hole. According to the National Fire Protection
Association's Online Journal
, "Captain Defina and airport Battalion Chief
Walter Hood, as well as other jurisdictions' battalion chiefs, led crews inside
with attack lines to fight fires on every floor of the 'D' and 'E' rings. The
aircraft had penetrated all the way to the "C" ring. 'The only way you could
tell that an aircraft was inside was that we saw pieces of the nose gear. The
devastation was horrific.'"
County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher, when asked at a Department of Defense news
briefing about the presence of jet fuel, responded: "We have what we believe is
a puddle right there that the -- what we believe is to be the nose of the
aircraft. So -- " (http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2001/t09122001_t0912asd.html
account for these reports of surviving nose gear, and to account for an alleged
exit hole that couldn't possibly have been punched out by a passenger airplane,
I suggested in my previous Pentagon rant that the damage was likely caused by a
particular type of cruise missile -- specifically, a Boeing AGM-86C Conventional
Air Launched Cruise Missile (CALCM) outfitted with a depleted uranium (DU)
warhead. Here are excerpts of what I wrote back in June 2002:
How it operates is explained by the Federation of
American Scientists: "After launch, the missile's folded wings, tail surfaces
and engine inlet deploy. It is then able to fly complicated routes to a target
through the use of an onboard Global Positioning System (GPS) coupled with its
Inertial Navigation System (INS). This allows the missile to guide itself to the
target with pinpoint accuracy." The FAS website also comments on the missile's
"small size and low-altitude flight capability, which makes them difficult to
detect on radar."
The AGM-86 also can be equipped with a
"penetrating" warhead, designed to cut into hardened bunkers. As the FAS
describes it: "The AGM-86D Block II program is the Precision Strike variant of
CALCM. It incorporates a penetrating warhead, updated state of the art,
near-precision, GPS guidance, and a modified terminal area flight profile to
maximize the effectiveness of the warhead."
The American Scientists also discuss a "feasibility
study [which] was concluded in April 1997, in which it was determined the BROACH
Warhead on CALCM would offer very significant hard target capabilities ... The
BROACH multi-warhead system ... achieves its results by combining an initial
penetrator charge (warhead) with a secondary follow-through bomb, supported by
multi-event hard target fuzing."
Everything seemed to fit -- the clean initial
penetration, the low altitude flight capability, the ability to evade radar, the
ability to penetrate multiple reinforced targets. Other researchers apparently
liked the fit as well. As I mentioned in Act I, I recently read portions of an
online version of David Ray Griffin's book, The
New Pearl Harbor
. While doing so, I noticed that Mr. Griffin seems to
favor the notion that what hit the Pentagon was "one of the latest generation of
AGM-type missiles, armed with a hollow charge and a depleted uranium BLU tip."
Griffin credits that theory to Thierry Meyssan.
Last time I checked,
Meyssan was selling a truck bomb theory, so I'm not really sure where he and
Griffin picked up that crazy AGM missile theory, but after carefully reviewing
the photographic evidence, I can now say with considerable confidence that it
wasn't a missile warhead that punched out that exit hole. I can say that because
it is perfectly obvious that the 'exit' hole wasn't actually an exit hole at
First of all, though no one seems to have given it much serious
thought, it is not in the right location to be an exit wound. True, the hole is
where it should be if a projectile following the alleged trajectory of the
alleged plane sliced through the building in a perfectly straight line from the
point of entry. But that would never actually happen in this place that we call
the 'real world.' In the real world, when a fast-moving projectile strikes a
flat, dense, stationary object at an angle (in this case, an angle of
approximately 45 degrees, by most accounts), something called deflection comes
It's been a little while since I had a math or physics class,
so I am not going to try to impress anyone here with any complicated
calculations -- which would be meaningless to most people anyway (including me).
Instead, I am going to make the common sense observation that, due to a
projectile's tendency to deflect off of an immovable (relatively speaking) flat
surface when striking at an angle, it takes considerably more energy to
penetrate at an angle than it does to penetrate head on. And when a projectile
does penetrate through an angled surface, the trajectory of that projectile will
change due to deflection.
The degree of deflection will largely depend
upon the speed and mass of the projectile, and the density of the immovable
surface being impacted/penetrated. If the projectile is traveling at sufficient
speed and has sufficient mass, and the angled surface offers minimal resistance,
then the deflection will be minimal. However, as the projectile's speed
decreases with each successive penetration, each subsequent obstacle will offer
greater resistance, and, due to the cumulative effects of deflection, will be
struck at a progressively sharper angle, so that, after a given number of
impacts/penetrations, the projectile will have lost sufficient velocity, and/or
it will be traveling at such a severe angle, that it will, rather than
penetrating, ricochet off the next masonry wall or concrete column in its path.
In the case of the Pentagon, this would happen long before a projectile plowed
through three entire rings of the complex.
Even if we
were to accept that the projectile did manage, miraculously and in violation of
various laws of physics, to plow a perfectly straight course through three
entire rings of the Pentagon, we would still be left with one rather perplexing
question: if whatever punched that hole still had sufficient mass and velocity
to blast cleanly through two feet of solid concrete, brick and limestone, then
what stopped it from continuing on into the Pentagon's "B" ring? Once it exited
"C" ring, after all, there was nothing between it and the next exterior wall but
about forty feet of air, which doesn't normally offer much resistance. And yet,
according to all reports (and the photo to the left), the damage did not extend
beyond "C" ring. So what exactly was it that stopped the forward progress of the
alleged projectile after it cleanly exited "C" ring?
Below is what is
purported to be the official damage report on the Pentagon. Notice that in "C"
ring, none of the structural columns in the alleged path of travel suffered
significant damage. Just for fun, take a straightedge and try to map out a path
of travel from the entry hole to the exit hole that does not pass through one or
more of those largely undamaged columns. Let me know if you succeed.
are we to conclude happened here? Did the strangely indestructible nosecone of
Flight 77 somehow weave its way around those columns on the way out of the
building? Or did it careen around as if it were in a giant pinball machine
until, magically, it somehow ended up right back on course and with sufficient
energy to punch its way out? Perhaps I am just a bit of a skeptic, but somehow I
find either of those scenarios rather unlikely.
So there are, it seems,
at least three questions raised by the existence of the 'exit' hole; how did the
projectile plow through dozens of concrete obstructions and yet still retain
enough energy to cut cleanly through a two-foot-thick masonry wall? Once it
exited "C" ring, what stopped the projectile's forward progress? And how did the
projectile manage to avoid hitting a whole series of columns on its way out the
newly created back door?
photo to the left reveals, the space between rings "C" and "D," and between
rings "D" and "E," is not empty space (as I had erroneously believed when I
penned my previous diatribe); rather, those rings are connected, but only for
the first two floors. Notice that that there is no visible damage to the
second-story roof between "C" and "D" rings, nor is there any visible damage to
"C" and "D" rings themselves, with the exception of the blackened 'exit hole'
(and two additional blackened openings in "C" ring apparently created by
firefighters to gain access to the building). It would seem then that there was
no significant damage to the building complex above the second floor, at least
beyond "E" ring.
In fact, even in "E" ring, the alleged point of entry,
there doesn't appear to have been much significant damage above the second
floor. As can be seen in the post-collapse photo above, all the structural
columns above the second floor appear to be intact, and, remarkably enough,
there doesn't even appear to be a significant amount of fire damage above the
second floor. Furniture sitting right next to the point of collapse appears to
be unscathed. The same was largely true of the area on the other side of the
collapse, as can be seen in the photo to the lower left, which presents a view
across the chasm after the clean-up had begun.
nothing suspicious or unusual, by the way, about the clean break between the
collapsed and standing portions of the building. Some theorists have mistakenly
attached significance to the fact that it looks as though the Pentagon was
cleanly sliced. The truth is that the building gave way at what is known as an
expansion joint (a built-in break to allow for expansion and contraction), which
is exactly where a collapse would be expected to occur, if it was to occur at
all (it is marked as an expansion joint on the damage report presented
previously, and an expansion joint can be clearly seen running along the roofs
of the surviving rings in the aerial photos, directly in line with the 'slice'
in "E" ring).
point that I started to make here though is that, with the exception of the
collapsed portion of "E" ring, all the structural damage, and nearly all the
fire damage, was confined to the first and second floors. It appears as though
the fire, from its origins at the point of impact, primarily burned along the
roof (until, presumably, firefighters got it under control). As can be seen in
the views to the left and upper right, it burned only along the segments of the
roof composed of the blue colored material, which doesn't appear to have been
very fire retardant. The apparent lack of fire damage to the upper floors of the
adjoining buildings tends to indicate that it was primarily the roof, and not
the buildings themselves, that suffered significant fire damage.
the vast majority of the significant damage was to the first and second floors
only, to such an extent that a second-story roof over a portion of the alleged
path of travel shows no visible signs of damage, then we are not really being
asked to believe that an enormous 757 jumbo jet disappeared without a trace into
a five-story building; incredibly enough, we are actually being asked to believe
that it essentially disappeared without a trace into a two-story