October 27, 2003
12:26 PM   Subscribe

I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't even play one on TV. But every once in a while, I run across the website of one of these individuals that, in its own way, at least appears to make sense. Using photos from the US Army, the DOD and the US Marine Corps., this English translation of a French site asks, "Can you find the Boeing 757 that 'crashed' into the Pentagon on 9/11/01?" [Linked page scrolls to the right, not down as one might expect...]
posted by JollyWanker (27 comments total)
Personally? I'd love to see the MeFi Mafia debunk this one, but those photos of the undisturbed Pentagon lawn did get me to wond'rin'...
posted by JollyWanker at 12:27 PM on October 27, 2003

This is totally ancient, isn't it? I seem to recall some french tinfoil site with these photos a couple weeks after the attacks.

To use Occum's Razor, what would be the point of "faking" a plane crash? There already was a hideous attack 30 minutes earlier that prompted our march into the war against terrorism, it's not like a pentagon or pennsylvania crash helped it along any.

Can anyone point to a motivation for going through all the trouble to fake this and keep it covered up all this time?
posted by mathowie at 12:31 PM on October 27, 2003

My friend who works in DC actually saw the impact from the highway, and felt a shockwave as he was driving. His recollection is all the proof I need.

And yes, that site is old as the hills, has been discussed before, and is internationally regarded as pathetic in the coverage I've read in non-US papers.

Yet, a book published on the theory is/was a bestseller in France, and the conspiracy widely believed there. Sad.
posted by dhoyt at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2003

This was long ago debunked to death in many, many places including MeFi. Also please remember to consult snopes.com in the future.
posted by Tubes at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2003

posted by anathema at 12:43 PM on October 27, 2003

what would be the point of "faking" a plane crash?

Well, after looking at the photos, the question may be, what WAS the point of faking a plane crash?
posted by billder at 12:44 PM on October 27, 2003

Just do a Google for debunk "hunt the boeing" and you'll find Snopes and Paul Boutin.
posted by brownpau at 12:45 PM on October 27, 2003

Wow, lots of stuff comes in between "Preview" and "Post."
posted by brownpau at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2003

posted by anathema at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2003

never mind

(backs away slowly, whistling a non-descript tune)

posted by billder at 12:48 PM on October 27, 2003

Well, after looking at the photos, the question may be, what WAS the point of faking a plane crash?

Please check out every other link in this thread and then get back to us.
posted by anathema at 12:49 PM on October 27, 2003

Sorry for the double-(triple?!)-post. A search on "Boeing" earlier for some reason didn't return the MeFi entry tubes linked to. As I said, I'm no conspiracy theorist, so I missed this and only recently caught it on Memepool (which I forgot to credit, mea culpa). I was just taken with how meticulously the photos - attributed to goverment agencies, but with no links or way to verify authenticity - had been either selected or arranged to support the "theory."
posted by JollyWanker at 12:50 PM on October 27, 2003

That was quick.
posted by anathema at 12:51 PM on October 27, 2003

I think this conspiracy theory is much more fun.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:06 PM on October 27, 2003

I just saw a documentary on the Edmund Fitzgerald, the ore hauler that went down with all hands in Lake Superior. The wreck consists of a bow and a stern separated by thousands of bitty pieces mixed with ore. The leading theory is that the Fitzgerald, taking on water, took a header into a big wave and was powered to the bottom by it's own screw, the impact shattering the middle portion of the ship.

Now my thought is, if the kinetic energy of an object doing 30 MPH can shatter something as heavy as a freighter into unrecognizable little bits, what can 250 MPH with 64 times the kenetic energy as something doing 30 do?

The differences in damage are probably due to differences in construction. The Pentagon is a classic limestone-clad building. The WTC a bunch of glass, steel, and drywall lace hung around a reinforced core. Of course the damage is going to be less extensive on a concrete/limestone structure vs. steel and drywall.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:38 PM on October 27, 2003


As someone who was outside, downtown, when the WTC stuff was happening, we all heard rumours from folks on the street that there were bombs going off in the lobbies of some buildings. A lot of people have said that it was the elevator shafts having explosive gas and fire shoot through them, which is somewhat true - but a lot of folks swear that things were exploding in the lobbies of those buildings. Interesting pics of the 7WTC building, though. But I don't think Larry Silverstein and company are responsible.
posted by djspicerack at 1:45 PM on October 27, 2003

Since I know two people who witnessed the plane crash into the Pentagon; and know one person who died in said crash, I am pretty ready to accept the fact that a plane crashed into the Pentagon.
posted by terrapin at 1:54 PM on October 27, 2003

Side-scrolling website = total crap. What else is new?
posted by yhbc at 1:59 PM on October 27, 2003

"Side-scrolling website = total crap. What else is new?"

posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:03 PM on October 27, 2003

Thanks for Boutin link, brownpau. That was precisely the kind of thorough engineering explanation I was looking for. It does beg the question of why someone would go to these lengths, but at least it explains what we're "seeing" in those photos...
posted by JollyWanker at 2:13 PM on October 27, 2003

What if the terrorists got a hold of this information? Wed all be doomed. We need the Total Information Awarenesss Office! Re-elect George Bush Jr. We need a true christian™ to run the country!
posted by Keyser Soze at 2:23 PM on October 27, 2003

I'd be more afraid if terrorists managed to grasp the concept of nature's harmonic simultaneous 4-day TIME CUBE.
posted by mkn at 2:53 PM on October 27, 2003

I don't know. The Urban Legends debunking page seems like a lot of predigested blather to me. Of course I'm NOT a physicist, a demo or explosive expert, a structural engineer or, for that matter, someone who possesses any technical knowledge about the effects of planes striking buildings - except in the sense that we all are now minor authorities of a sort for having witnessed the World Trade Center destruction.

And that brings me around to this, first of all: the two planes which (ostensibly, if you are into the "additional explosives needed" theory) hit the two WTC towers made one really, really big mess. As I recall, jet fuel and debris went flying everywhere and set at least several other nearby buildings on fire.

Now the Pentagon impact was a very different point-of-impact site - ground level, and the Pentagon was a wildly different structure from the WTC and so on, and so on. The energy represented by the mass of the plane moving at x MPH, and by it's jet fuel (if you are in the majority which believes in the plane impact story) was contained by the boundaries of the ground and the face of the Pentagon but was mostly carried into the Pentagon structure itself - where it was dissipated by smashing through lots of concrete and steel and through explosions and fire as well.

All right then - it's all wrapped up, right? It is if you genuflect, every night before bed, in the general direction of the "Urban Legends Debunkers"......

Ok - Enough rhetorical snottiness on my part. I'm prepared to drop my conspiratorial leanings and second Mathowie's invocation of Occam's Razor:

If it WASN'T a large (or even a mid-size) plane, what was it? The idea that a truck bomb could have blasted such a deep and narrowly channeled hole in the side of the Pentagon seems absurd to me. The only things which could have done that would have been planes and, of course missiles.

Some believe that it was indeed a cruise missile which hit the Pentagon. But that theory raises Occam's objection - why bother substituting a missile in the place of the plane which would then have to be made to disappear? What would you do with the plane then? - Well I guess you'd ditch it in the Ocean (and contrive a second plane crash to cover up for the "real" crash), or bury it, or dive it into a convenient volcano somewhere....... And then, of course, you'd have to plant all those fake witnesses, bodies, black boxes from the plane (not too difficult, that one), bits of debris, and so on, at and around the Pentagon site. That's of lot of hard work............and for what? Why go to the bother of deceiving the public into believing that it was actually a plane (rather than a missile) which hit the Pentagon when a plane would do the job - for a smallish, evil cabal in the US gov. who wanted cover to implement a vast, evil neo-imperial agenda - or for Al Qaeda's plan to set Islam and the West on a collision course towards a Holy War (though the Sept. 11th attacks actually served both agendas).

I'm actually far more interested in the fantastic - almost in the vein of the "Magical Realism" of Garcia Marquez and others in that literary movement - array of strange phenomenon surrounding the actors in the Sept. 11 attacks:

About the flying school in Florida, run by a Dutch or Belgian man with shady intelligence/spook connection, and to which Jeb Bush had some ties (as Daniel Hopsicker reports) where the Al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11th attacks learned to fly.

By most reports, they were awful pilots in training. I guess some of them had some talent. But they seemed to have been rather unconcerned with keeping a low profile. And they travelled in and out of the US with rather surprising ease give the fact that some of them were known to be either terrorists or affiliated with terrorist groups.

Then there were the very successful (but uncoordinated) efforts on the part of the upper FBI management to block the investigations of in-the-field operatives.

Then there is the rather bizarre violation of all air emergency protocol by the FAA by way of it's failure to pass on the information -about the largest hijacking event in US- for the better part of an hour, until it was all-but impossible to intercept the WTC bound hijacked planes.

But far longer - and hour and a half was it? - elapsed before fighters were dispatched to defend DC.

Bear in mind that such a coordinated attack - by terrorists employing planes as missiles - had been discussed at the highest levels of US government (at least if one considers the US Congress and the Senate to be somewhere among 'the highest levels' ) for several years before September 11, 2001.

My 9-11 conspiracy chops are a bit weak right now - for more, go to Unansweredquestions.org

where you can read Paul Thompson's mammoth and scrupulously researched timeline of the events surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks.

The issue of those plane wings - from the plane which plowed into the Pentagon - still seem a bit weird to me - oh well. I heard, also, of lots of similarly bizarre, freak phenomenon - mostly during wartime when there explosions aplenty - in which the normal laws of physics seem to have been temporarily suspended. Most commentary from pilots - on the event - was of astonished, begrudging admiration for the fantastic precision of the strike on the Pentagon.

No skid marks. First floor hit. Think about it for a minute - not impossible, of course, but amazingly accurate for generally less than competent non-graduates, from what the eyewitness testimony suggests, of a rinky-dink fly by night flying school in Florida, pilots who had never before flown a large airplane.

But.......the cruise missile theory seems to me to be odder - and less probable - still.

Time has culled some of the most wild eyed of the Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, yes.

But George W. Bush reading "The Hungry Caterpillar" to kindergarten students - while he was aware that two large passenger aircraft had been hijacked............this mystery, as with many others, still remains.
posted by troutfishing at 2:58 PM on October 27, 2003

"George W. Bush reading "The Hungry Caterpillar" to kindergarten students - while he was aware that two large passenger aircraft had been hijacked............this mystery, as with many others, still remains."

He wanted to see how it ended.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:24 PM on October 27, 2003

djspicer: I didn't say I believed the bumble plane theory. I just said it was more fun than Hunt the Boeing. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 3:41 PM on October 27, 2003

i don't know what the hell or why the hell 9/11 happened, i hardly care anymore: i just know i've been lied to like i was a fucking deaf, dumb, blind moron ever since george w. bush "became" president and i AM sick and fucking tired of it, and him.
posted by quonsar at 6:57 PM on October 27, 2003

So, I guess the families of all the people that were (oops, i mean weren't) on the plane must be in on the conspiracy too?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:39 PM on October 28, 2003

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