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TBR News May 14, 2019

May 14 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. May 14, 2019: “Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.

When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.

I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.

He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.

He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for May 14:”Everyone here is talking about the damage to tankers near Saudi Arabia and also a “suspicious” fire at a Saudi oil shipment port. No one knows who is responsible.

The US will, naturally, blame Iran.

Iran has replaced, for the time being, Russia as Pubic Enemy No. 1.

But it is very possible, in fact probable,  that the Israelis, with the knowledge of the CIA, did it to stir up anger at Iran by interfering with the oil market and give the US the opportunity of wiping out an enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Since Our Blessed Trump has his head up the asses of both entities, this is possible.

And sending a huge aircraft carrier and all of its little fleet into the Persian Gulf is an act of incredible stupidity.

But creeps like Bolton can’t see beyond the end of their nose.

With the greatest of ease the Iranians could plug Hormuz and pick the ships off like ducks in a bathtub.

But this massacre would delight the creepos in DC because it would give them the excuse for flattening Iran and pleasing the rich, bribing Saudis and the political American Jews.

Chickens, or perhaps garden slugs have more brains than some of the weird people who creep in and out of the White House these days.

The head chicken is now playing childish games with the Chinese over trade matters. The Chinese are far from stupid and from their point of view, dealing with Daffy Donald is like changing the diapers on an autistic baby.

Trump can be counted on to change his mind at least four time on any important issue.

He and Bolton ought to be put in a cage, stripped buck naked and sent around the country to show the public that circus freak shows are not really gone from the entertainment scene.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • Saudi Arabia says oil facilities outside Riyadh attacked
  • Saudi Arabia says its oil tankers among those hit off UAE coast
  • Saudi oil tankers show ‘significant damage’ after attack – Riyadh
  • Oil prices seesaw: rise on tanker attacks; retrace gains on trade worry
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • The Armenian Holocaust of 1916
  • The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Dislodged fireproofing felled World Trade Center
  • 9/11: Debunking The Myths

 

Saudi Arabia says oil facilities outside Riyadh attacked

May 14, 2019

by Stephen Kalin, Rania El Gamal

Reuters

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said armed drones had struck two oil pumping stations in the kingdom on Tuesday in what it called a “cowardly” act of terrorism two days after Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The energy minister of the world’s largest oil exporter said the attack caused a fire, now contained, and minor damage at one pump station, but did not disrupt oil production or exports of crude and petroleum products.

Oil prices spiked on news of the attack on the stations, more than 200 miles (320 km) west of the capital Riyadh. Brent crude futures rose 1.38% to trade at $71.20 by 1114 GMT.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, in comments run by state media, said the drone attack and Sunday’s sabotage of four vessels, including two Saudi tankers, off Fujairah emirate, a major bunkering hub, threatened global oil supplies.

“These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” Falih said in an English-language statement issued by his ministry.

Houthi-run Masirah TV earlier said the group had launched drone attacks on “vital” Saudi installations in response to “continued aggression and blockade” on Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for four years in Yemen to try to restore the internationally recognized government, in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Houthis have repeatedly launched drone and missile attacks on Saudi cities, but two Saudi sources told Reuters this was the first time an Aramco facility was hit by drones.

State-run Aramco said it had temporarily shut down the East-West pipeline, known as Petroline, to evaluate its condition. The pipeline mainly transports crude from the kingdom’s eastern fields to Yanbu port, which lies north of Bab al-Mandeb.

The attacks occur amid a war of words between Washington and Tehran over sanctions and U.S. military presence in the region.

The Saudi stock index, which suffered two days of heavy losses, opened 1.5% higher but was trading down 0.3% at 1200 GMT. A Saudi-based banker told Reuters that state funds were supporting local stocks to limit the downside.

IRAN IN FOCUS

The UAE has not revealed details about the nature of the attack on ships near Fujairah port, which lies just outside the Strait of Hormuz, or blamed any party or country.

Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday.

Iran has denied involvement and described the attack on the four commercial vessels as “worrisome and dreadful”. It has called for an investigation.

The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called “reasonable responses short of war” after it had determined who was behind the attacks near Fujairah.

“We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war,” Ambassador John Abizaid told reporters in the Saudi capital Riyadh in remarks published on Tuesday.

“It’s not in (Iran’s) interest, it’s not in our interest, it’s not in Saudi Arabia’s interest to have a conflict.”

The U.S. embassy in the UAE advised its citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance on heightened tensions in the region.

Washington has increased sanctions on Tehran, saying it wants to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero, after quitting the 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and global powers last year.

The U.S. Maritime Administration said last week that Iran could target U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers sailing through Middle East waterways. Tehran has called the U.S. military presence “a target” rather than a threat.

A fifth of global oil consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz from Middle East crude producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond. The narrow waterway separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards threatened last month to close the chokepoint if Tehran was barred from using it.

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to force Tehran to agree a broader arms control accord and has sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Gulf in a show of force against what U.S. officials have said are threats to U.S. troops in the region.

Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell, Asma Alsharif, Aziz El Yaakoubi and Davide Barbuscia in Dubai; Writing by Stephen Kalin and Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Angus MacSwan, William Maclean

 

Saudi Arabia says its oil tankers among those hit off UAE coast

May 12, 2019

by Rania El Gamal, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

Reuters

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and described it as an attempt to undermine the security of crude supplies amid tensions between the United States and Iran.

The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz. It did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was behind it.

The UAE had not given the nationalities or other details about the ownership of the four vessels. Riyadh identified two of them as Saudi and a Norwegian company said it owned another. Reuters images showed the fourth vessel was the UAE-flagged A. Michel, a fuel bunker barge.

Iranian lawmaker says ‘saboteurs from a third country’ may be behind Fujairah explosions: IRNA

Thome Ship Management said its Norwegian-registered oil products tanker MT Andrew Victory was “struck by an unknown object”. Footage seen by Reuters showed a hole in the hull at the waterline with the metal torn open inwards.

A Reuters witness said divers were inspecting damaged ships.

A United States defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. military was assisting in the investigation at the request of the UAE government.

Iran, which is embroiled in an escalating war of words with the United States over sanctions and the U.S. military’s presence in the region, moved to distance itself on Monday.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry called the incidents “worrisome and dreadful” and asked for an investigation into the matter.

A senior Iranian lawmaker said “saboteurs from a third country” could be behind it, after saying on Sunday the incident showed the security of Gulf states was fragile.

Highlighting international concerns, Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt warned of the risks of “a conflict happening by accident” with an unintended escalation between Washington and Tehran over an unraveling nuclear deal.

Washington withdrew last year from a 2015 pact between Iran and global powers aimed at reining in Tehran’s nuclear plans. Since then, the United States has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran, saying it wanted to reduce its oil exports to zero.

A fifth of global oil consumption passes through the Strait of Hormuz from Middle East crude producers to major markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond. The narrow waterway separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, designated a terrorist organization by the United States, threatened last month to close the chokepoint if Tehran was barred from using it.

Oil prices rose on Monday, with Brent crude futures at $72.08 a barrel by 1416 GMT, up $2.07.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said one of the two Saudi vessels was attacked in the UAE economic zone on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude from Ras Tanura port for delivery to state-owned Aramco’s customers in the United States.

The attack did not cause any casualties or an oil spill but caused significant damage to the vessels’ structures, he said in a statement.

Trading and shipping sources identified the Saudi vessels as very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker Amjad and crude tanker Al Marzoqah, both owned by Saudi shipping firm Bahri, which did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The UAE Foreign Ministry had said there were no casualties and the Fujairah port operations were normal. An investigation was launched in coordination with international authorities, it said, calling on global powers to prevent any parties trying to harm maritime safety and security.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets suffered their biggest single-day declines in years on Monday, with Dubai falling 4%. Saudi shares lost 3.6%.

OIL SECURITY

Sunni Muslim allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE have backed U.S. sanctions against Shi’ite Iran, a fellow OPEC producer but regional foe. After the United States ended sanctions waivers that had allowed some nations to continue importing Iranian crude, Washington said Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would help compensate for any shortage in oil supply.

Falih said the attack aimed to undermine maritime freedom and the security of oil supplies to consumers worldwide.

“The international community has a joint responsibility to protect the safety of maritime navigation and the security of oil tankers, to mitigate against the adverse consequences of such incidents on energy markets and the danger they pose to the global economy,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the incident “has a negative impact on maritime transportation security” and asked regional countries to be “vigilant against destabilizing plots of foreign agents”, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

The U.S. Maritime Administration said in an advisory on Sunday that incidents off Fujairah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, had not been confirmed and urged caution.

The Maritime Administration had said earlier this month that U.S. commercial ships including oil tankers sailing through Middle East waterways could be targeted by Iran in one of the threats to U.S. interests posed by Tehran.

Washington said it was sending a U.S. aircraft carrier and other forces to the Middle East due to what it said were Iranian threats, while Tehran has called the U.S. military presence “a target” rather than a threat. Iran has said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted.

Additional reporting by Jonathan Saul and Robin Emmott in London, Idrees Ali in Washington, Saeed Azhar in Dubai and Oslo newsroom Writing by Ghaida Ghantous Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter

 

 

Saudi oil tankers show ‘significant damage’ after attack – Riyadh

Attack on vessels, one bound for US, follow warnings Iran or proxies could target shipping

May 13, 2019

by Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

The Guardian

Saudi Arabia has said two of its oil tankers have been damaged in mysterious “sabotage attacks” in the Gulf, as the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, held emergency talks with his European counterparts about mounting tensions in the region.

The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday that four commercial vessels had been sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, outside the Strait of Hormuz. The UAE did not give the ships’ nationalities or any other details about the vessels’ ownership, but Riyadh identified two of them as Saudi, and a Norwegian company said it owned another. The fourth ship was reportedly the A Michel, a storage tanker flagged in Sharjah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates.

Escalating rhetoric in the region and in the US has raised fears of a confrontation between Iran and the US, which is backed by its key Gulf allies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The US state department billed Pompeo’s talks in Brussels as a chance “to discuss recent threatening actions and statements” by Iran.

No side has taken responsibility for the alleged acts of sabotage. Iran called for an investigation into the incident and spoke of “adventurism” by foreign players to disrupt maritime security.

The Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said the incident involving the two Saudi-owned vessels occurred on Sunday at 6am. Riyadh had yet to produce photographic evidence of damage.

Thome Ship Management said its Norwegian-registered oil products tanker MT Andrew Victory was “struck by an unknown object”. Footage seen by Reuters showed a hole in the hull at the waterline with the metal torn open inwards.

The cause of the damage and type of weapon used remains a mystery. If the cause was a device in the water, the only reported – and comparable – use of such devices in the region recently has been the deployment by Houthi rebels of naval mines, several dozen of which been deployed in the conflict in Yemen, including at least one improvised sea mine.

Houthis have also targeted Saudi oil facilities with missiles in the past including four missiles fired at the Saudi Aramco facilities on the Red Sea last year.

Jeremy Hunt, the UK foreign secretary, called for calm in the Gulf, as he said there was a danger of conflict erupting by accident.

A Saudi government source said: “This criminal act constitutes a serious threat to the security and safety of maritime navigation and adversely impacts regional and international peace and security.”

Falih said one of the two Saudi vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to Saudi Aramco’s customers in the US. “Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels,” he added.

Shipping industry sources identified the Saudi vessels as the large crude carrier tanker Amjad and crude tanker Al Marzoqah, owned by Bahri, Saudi’s national shipping carrier, which has yet to comment.

Fujairah port is the only Emirati terminal located on the Arabian Sea coast, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, through which most Gulf oil exports pass. Almost all oil exports of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Iran itself – at least 15m barrels per day – are shipped through the strait. The world’s largest crude oil storage centre is also being built in Fujairah.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the strait in the case of a military confrontation with the US. The US has largely dismissed the threat, but has dispatched an aircraft carrier to the region as President Donald Trump seeks to isolate Tehran by cutting off its oil exports after pulling out of a 2015 deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear programme.

Oil prices rose on world markets on Monday with benchmark Brent North Sea crude up 1.8% at $71.90 (£55.18) a barrel in London.

Adding to the sense of confusion, the UAE had on Sunday categorically denied reports on Iranian and pro-Hezbollah Lebanese social media of massive explosions in oil tankers off the coast of Fujairah, whose port on Monday was calm with no signs of damage.

The increasing tensions come after Iran said on Wednesday it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed in 2015 with the US, the EU, China and Russia. Tehran said it was responding to the failure of the EU to combat sweeping unilateral sanctions that Washington has reimposed since it quit the agreement one year ago.

The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said he had told Pompeo during their Monday meeting: “We do not want it to come to a military conflict [between the US and Iran].”

Maas avoided any public criticism of Washington, saying both sides wanted to ensure peace in the Middle East. But he said it was clear that Europe and the US were “going about it in different ways … taking different courses”.

Before his meeting with Pompeo, France’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, urged Europeans to remain united in support of the nuclear deal, which was signed by the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, and which the EU helped to negotiat

Additional reporting by Peter Beaumont and Rob Davies

 

 

Oil prices seesaw: rise on tanker attacks; retrace gains on trade worry

May 12, 2019

by Stephanie Kelly

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil futures seesawed on Monday, rising early on concerns that tanker attacks in the Middle East could disrupt supplies, then retracing gains as Wall Street slid on worries about the global economy from a standoff in the Sino-U.S. trade talks.

Brent crude futures were up 22 cents at $70.84 a barrel by 11:42 a.m. EDT (1542 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intemediate (WTI) crude futures were up 4 cents at $61.70 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia on Monday said two Saudi oil tankers were among vessels attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. It was unclear how the attacks occurred.

“This attack raises the stakes for oil and will add more volatility,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, in a note. “Trade war concerns can have an impact on demand down the road, but geopolitical events can impact oil supply now.”

On Sunday, the UAE said four commercial vessels were attacked near Fujairah, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs. The port lies near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil export waterway.

Iran’s foreign ministry described the incidents as “worrisome and dreadful” and called for an investigation.

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the UAE is third.

The U.S. Maritime Administration said in an advisory on Sunday that the incidents off Fujairah, one of seven emirates in the UAE, had not been confirmed and urged caution.

Volumes were strong in early U.S. trading, with more than 670,000 U.S. crude futures contracts changing hands.

Oil was pressured by a slump in stocks and other risk assets as investors moved into safe havens like Treasury bonds due to the intensifying U.S.-China trade war. [.N]

China plans to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, the finance ministry said, after Washington escalated the trade war with a tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese products.

Oil prices have risen more than 30 percent this year, supported by supply concerns as the United States imposed sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.

Iran insists on exporting at least 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, triple May’s expected levels under U.S. sanctions, as a condition for staying in an international nuclear deal, sources with knowledge of Iran-EU talks said.

Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London, Colin Packham in Sydney and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Jason Neely, David Goodman and David Gregorio

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Amy Rothenberg

“I love being able to look at new approaches that may come along and to ask myself, ‘Is this within the bounds of the philosophy I so embrace?’ And if not, to let it go,”

– Amy Rothenberg, Not a Doctor

Amy Rothenberg is the former President of the Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors, board member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, occasional blogger for Huffington post and sometime editor of the journal New England Journal of Homeopathy, which is almost like a science journal except for the science part. She is, in other words, kind of a big name on the quackery scene, and despite being in complete denial about the difference between accountability and free use of fantasy, and utterly unable to recognize facts and evidence, she has been at the forefront of the naturopathic push for recognizing naturopaths as being qualified to help address the shortage of primary care physicians. They aren’t, by any stretch of the imagination – deeply committed as they are to medieval and prescientific medical principles such as vitalism, balancing of humors (or “energy”) – including homeopathy – dressed up in sciency-sounding pseudojustifications and truthiness. Naturopaths love truthiness. Rothenberg herself advocates homeopathy, even as a treatment for autism. Facts and evidence and basic understanding of medicine, biology and physics be damned.

Due to her status in the world of pseudoscience, Rothenberg was a natural choice to include among those representing the side of lunacy at the FDA public hearings on homeopathy in 2015. Rothenberg said she believed that “FDA’s current regulatory approach to homeopathic products is working well,” which is hardly surprising, and provided – like most other homeopathy defenders at the show – an infomercial for naturopaths and homeopaths, emphasizing their “extensive” classroom and clinical training, exams, and the like (with less focus on what the students learned or what the exams tested them on). In addition to some personal anecdotes – and unlike the other participants – Rothenberg actually did attempt to explain homeopathy’s purported mechanism of action. According to Rothenberg, the mechanism is hormesis, a classic homeopathic piece of pseudoscience.

Rothenberg has been a pretty persistent lobbyist for naturopathy and the supplement industry in Massachusets for years, using arguments that are disingenuous at best, and she was instrumental in the quack movement’s successful campaign to gain licensure in Massachusets in 2017. Licensure, of course, gives naturopaths both a sheen of legitimacy, and enables them to protect their turfs against other quacks – indeed, Rothenberg herself emphasized that the bill would protect patients from inadequately trained naturopaths, which, given the “training” naturopaths actually get, means nothing. Rothenberg also emphasized “the unique role that naturopathic doctors can play in the state,” and claimed that naturopaths bring “expertise in both preventive medicine and natural integrative care” – the former (“expertise” in “preventive medicine”) is, of course, false; the second (“expertise” in “natural integrative care”) is not healthcare. It was not her first attempt, though; Rothenberg had been part of the effort at least since 2001; her claims were as divorced from evidence then as they are today.

Rothenberg’s own background story is fairly typical. At one point, Rothenberg had cancer, which was cured through conventional care: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. But while undergoing real and effective treatment, she also subjected herself to a wide range of quackery that added nothing to her care, including intravenous vitamin infusions, hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and enzyme therapy. Since she did get well, however, she chose to attribute much of the success to the woo.

The American Council for Continuing Medical Education has on at least one occasion been duped into accepting that Rothenberg and people like her have something to offer modern healthcare.

Diagnosis: A central figure on the quackery & pseudoscience scene – confident, zealous, professional-sounding and lacking even the most cursory understanding of evidence, reality and accountability and why any of that matters when offering advice or treatments for people in need. Disgusting.

Joseph Rossell

Joseph Rossell is Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer at and occasional blogger for Concerned Women for America. Rossell is particularly notable for his anti-environmentalism, claiming that environmental protection efforts represent “an incredibly evil set of values,” if not “the most dangerous agenda on earth.” Indeed, environmentalists back a “vile” and “highly dangerous ideology” that “may very well be the most anti-human, anti-life agenda on the planet.” As Rossell sees it, environmentalism is really a depopulation conspiracy. After all, many people have voiced concerns about overpopulation, and it therefore follows in Rossell’s deranged mind that these people believe it “necessary to dramatically reduce the number of people globally through brutal methods (including sterilization and abortion).” And the conspiracy goes deep: it is even “gaining ground in American school systems, thanks in part to initiatives like Common Core.” Ultimately, the foundation for environmentalism is hatred of Christianity. “Christ warns His followers, ‘Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves’ (Matthew 7:15),” says Rossell, and points out that “[e]nvironmentalism is similarly deceptive, requiring us to employ spiritual discernment.” “Spiritual discernment” is apparently fundamentalist conspiracy theorists’ substitute for critical thinkingand evidence.

As for the “false prophets” part, Rossell is of course a climate change denialist, claiming that “global warming remains a hotly debated topic among scientists. There is still no consensus about what might be causing it, much less how to fix it. Some question the extent to which temperatures are even increasing.” This is, of course, blatantly false. Rossell, however, is thinking of sources like fundamentalist theologian, dominionist and creationist E. Calvin Beisner and the Cornwall Alliance.

Diagnosis: Denialist, fundamentalist, conspiracy theorist. Pretty predictable stuff. Rossell is still a relatively minor figure, but we predict a bright future for him on the dominionist, denialist evil circus clown circuit.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

May 14, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

Conversation No. 109

Date: Thursday, October 23, 1997

Commenced: 11:45 AM CST

Concluded: 12:15 PM CST

RTC: Gregory, good day to you.

GD: And to you. Rare that you call me, Robert.

RTC: Well, you usually call me so I can save a dime. You know, some time ago, we were talking about Hitler and his disposition at the end of the war. I think we both know he got clean away, along with his mistress and a few trusted people.

GD: Bormann not included.

RTC: No, Bormann not included. The point is, I think it would be greatly appreciated here if you kept strictly away from this theme.

GD: Well, first off, why?

RTC: First off, even hinting at this is going to make more trouble for everyone than you can imagine. Oh yes, Hitler would be dead by now but there are tremendous implications. Everyone wants Hitler to be dead, a suicide in the ruins of Berlin. He will have expiated all of his sins in this way.

GD: What sins? Rebuilding his country? Breaking the Communist cells in Germany?

RTC: No, we are looking at the Jewish problem mainly but do not forget the immense wave of propaganda unleashed during the war about the evil Hitler was doing. The residues of this are still with us, coupled with Jewish rage.

GD: Of course Jews would hate Hitler but actually, Hitler did not hate the Jews but used them as a unifying factor in his drive for political control. Hitler was not talking about the German Jews, who were well-integrated into Germany society in the ranks of the professionals…doctors, lawyers, judges and university people. Imperial Germany was very tolerant of Jews. No, Hitler had the flood of really nasty Polish Jews that descended on his country after the Poles chased them out after the First War. I mean these were grasping, nasty, dirty and very vulgar people who were easily identified as aliens others and so a wonderful target for Hitler to blame everything on. And besides, most of the leaders of the Communist grabs for power in Germany after the war were all Russian Jews. No, the Polish Jews were a perfect patsy for Hitler. And he never, ever, spoke of gassing or killing them off. Force them all out of the country. Müller often talked about this with me and he was in charge of the expulsion program. The gassing stories were invented after the war when our people found delousing rooms in the camps and could not read the signs that explained the delousing schedules. And this was for clothes, not people. Most Americans have a problem reading anything but basic English so the German escaped them completely. I have the complete records, or at least microfilms of them, of the German camp systems and gassing inmates was not done. A number were shot or hanged for various crimes, such as murder of other inmates, sodomy, escape attempts, assaults on German guards and so on. The Hungarian Jews that were deported to Auschwitz in ’44 mostly were transferred from the camp before it was evacuated in ’45. Interesting to note that about ten thousand were left behind because they were too sick or weak to make the march to the west so the guards, who were conscripted local Poles, went in and shot most of them to death before the Russians got there. I think Ivan killed off the rest. Understand that both the Poles and the Russians hate Jews with a passion and do love to kill them. Well, I guess the Jews of the present era have discovered how to make gold out of blood.

RTC: Not that I disagree with your unacceptable views, no matter how accurate they may be, the Jews are a political power in this country now and as I said a minute ago, the thought that Hitler was not burned up in his garden is not acceptable. Yes, for financial reasons but also because they don’t want to blame themselves for being a hated minority and want to blame the evil Nazis for throwing fat, screaming babies into huge fires. No, and we don’t want it put around that Müller and his friends all came to work for us. Jesus, Gregory, can you imagine the wailing and the threats of vengeance against the Company? I think you have done enough damage here. Didn’t the Army make a deal with you over this? As I recall, they gave you secret documents about Müller as long as you dumped him onto us and not them? Am I not right here?

GD: Yes, but I should point out that your people always have social misfits contact me with grotesque efforts to buy me out. My God, Robert, where do you find such bottom-feeders? Under the boardwalks at Atlantic City? New York’s drunk tanks on a Sunday morning? Jesus H. Christ, you send me broken down soup kitchen executives or whining, insignificant retired librarians instead of real men who talk like same.

RTC: You are very unkind, but I think you’re talking about Wolfe and you know my views on him. I’ve even cut down my visits to the National Archives to avoid his constant picking and whining. And I don’t know about the soup kitchen person but I’m sure you knew how to deal with him.

GD: I did. I sandbagged him and he had to part with many thousands of your tax-free dollars trying to buy me off. Such perambulating cunts, Robert. Anyway, we both know that Hitler did not die in Berlin and both you and Müller have basically confirmed Central America as the final resting place. Probably later, like Napoleon, there will be a triumphal return to Berlin and a state burial amidst much pomp and splendor. Then, I suppose, your people will strut around taking credit for helping to save the dead great leader. The Jews here will eventually go too far, as they always do, and the public will go after them as the various peoples of the world have done for thousands of years. Yes, a triumphal return, Robert. But you will be dead by then and I will be a good deal older. Unless, of course, one of the notorious CIA hit teams corners me in a public lavatory and beats me to death with their purses. But I personally think that the reason the Jews howl about Hitler, or the Gestapo or whatever is because they have been busy making horrible legends to sell to the goyim and to convince the world that the world owes them a living. Also, Hitler is sol because he lost. Personally, if I were Hitler and my country and my citizens were being bombed and strafed to death, and I had tons of nerve gas, believe it that I would have used it without any qualms. They had the ability to deliver at least one load to either Washington or New York, let alone London or Moscow during the May Day parade. The world can rest easy that I wasn’t in Hitler’s seat because he was basically decent but I am not.

RTC: I have gathered that, Gregory. And I am certain you would have done just what you said. Well, Harry was not a bad man but he dropped the bombs on civilian Japan, didn’t he?

GD: Yes, and back in the 1850s, one of my ancestors married into the Truman family. Could these things be passed down? Who knows? Actually, who cares…”

(Concluded at 12:15 PM CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

 

The Armenian Holocaust of 1916

The term Armenian Holocaust (also known as the Armenian Massacre) refers to the deportation and murder of Armenians by the Young Turks government in 1915-1916.

 

The Armenian Holocaust

Before World War I the Ottoman Empire came under the Young Turks government. At first some Armenian political organizations supported the Young Turks in hopes that there would be a real change from Abdul Hamid’s policies towards the Armenian population. There were Armenians elected to the Ottoman Parliament, where some remained throughout the ensuing world war. However they were later to be disappointed. Other parliamentarians such as Muradyan and Garo would go on to lead Armenian rebels in ethnic cleansing campaigns against Muslim and Jewish Ottoman villagers. The Young Turks feared the Armenian community, which they had believed was more sympathetic to allied powers (specifically Russia) than to the Ottoman Empire.

In 1914 Ottomans passed a new law that required all adult males up to age 45, to either be recruited in the Ottoman army or pay special fees in order to be excluded from service. Most of the Armenian recruits were later turned into road laborers and the executed. Those who escaped joined the Russians on the east.

In early 1915, simultaneously with a disastrous Ottoman defeat at the hands of Russia at Sarikamish, with the loss of over 80% of a huge military force, battalions of Russian Armenians organized the recruiting of Turkish Armenians from behind the Turkish lines. In response the Young Turk government executed 300 Armenian nationalist intellectuals, although a partisan source as Peter Balakian’s “The Burning Tigris” tells us most were imprisoned and there were even survivors. The fact that most Armenian men were also butchered in the army and many influential figures arrested and killed, places a question mark over certain arguments that Armenians organized revolts and that there was a civil war, given that Armenians were outnumbered, outmanned and outgunned. On the other hand, there were articles in the New York Times as early as November 7, 1914, days after Russia had declared war, attesting to Armenian uprisings (“ARMENIANS FIGHTING TURKS — Besieging Van—Others operating in Turkish Army’s Rear”), and accounts from Armenians themselves, such as Boghos Nubar’s 1919 letter in the Times of London stressing Armenian belligerence. In addition, there is evidence of Russian financial support, testimony from even those such as Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to the effect of “…In the early part of 1915… every Turkish city contained thousands of Armenians who had been trained as soldiers and who were supplied with rifles, pistols, and other weapons of defense,” and even accounts from Armenian newspapers hailing the rebellion. Chronology here is important and not incontestably established.

After the recruitment of most men and the arrests of certain intellectuals, widespread massacres were taking place throughout Ottoman Empire. In desperate attempts at survival, upon hearing of massacres of nearby villages, Armenians in Musa Dagh and Van organized their self defense. In Van, they handed over control of the city to advancing Russians. After waves of massacres and countermassacres, the Ottoman government ordered the deportation of over 1 million Armenians living in Anatolia to Syria and Mesopotamia though this figure has not been conclusively established. Indeed, there is another consensus this number did not exceed 700,000, and Arnold Toynbee reported in his Wellington House (British propaganda division) report of “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire” that 500,000 were alive in 1916. Although the word deportation seems pretty innocent (some would prefer the word “relocation,” as the former means banishment outside a country’s borders; Japanese-Americans, for example, were not “deported” during WWII), things were not, because the deportations themselves were a silent method of mass execution that led to the death of many of the Armenian population, by forcing them to march endlessly through desert, without food or water or enough protection from local Kurdish or Turkish bandits.

In the process several hundred thousand died in the resulting death marches from starvation, dehydration, disease or exhaustion. Several hundred thousands more were massacred by Kurdish militia and Ottoman gendarmes (while other gendarmes gave up their lives defending the Armenians), giving an estimated total under certain counts of 1,500,000 Armenians dead. Then again, the Armenians contend one million survived, and even the Patriarch Ormanian provided a pre-war population figure of 1,579,000. Sympathetic sources as Le Figaro, prompted by Armenian terrorism in 1977 France, figured only 15,000 Armenians as having died from shootings, sickness and deprivation on the march. It also must be borne in mind that of the 2.5-3 million Turkish mortality, many succumbed to the same factors as famine and disease.

Mr. Hovhannes Katchaznouni, first Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic, describes this part of history as follows in his 1923 Manifesto: “At the beginning of the Fall of 1914 when Turkey had not yet entered the war but already been making preparations, Armenian revolutionary bands began to be formed in Transcaucasia with great enthusiasm and especially with much uproar… The Armenian Revolutionary Federation had active participation in the formation of the bands and their future military action against Turkey… In the Fall of 1914 Armenian volunteer band organized themselves and fought against the Turks because they could not refrain themselves from fighting. This was an inevitable result of psychology on which the Armenian people had nourished itself during an entire generation; that mentality should have found its expression and did so….The Winter of 1914 and Spring of 1915 were the periods of greatest enthusiasm and hope for all Armenians in the Caucasus including of course the Dashnaktsutiun. We had no doubt the war would end with the complete victory of the Allies; Turkey would be defeated and dismembered and its Armenian population would be liberated. We had embraced Russia wholeheartedly without any compunction. Without any positive basis of fact we believed that the Tzarist government would grant us a more-or-less broad self-government in the Caucasus and in the Armenian vilayets liberated from Turkey as a reward for our loyalty, our efforts and assistance. ”

Statistics of the Second Massacre

In 1896 the Ottoman government recorded 1,144,000 Armenians living in Anatolia. Professor Justin McCarthy, U.S. historian and expert in Ottoman history, whose books are published by a Turkish organization as well as prestigious university presses such as the Oxford University Press, estimated that there were 1,500,000 Armenians in Anatolia in 1912. According to the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, there were between 1,845,000 and 2,100,000 Armenians in Anatolia in 1914. Estimates range from 1,000,000 given by some Turkish sources to more than 3,500,000 given by some Armenian sources. Arnold J. Toynbee, who served as an intelligence officer during World War I, estimates there were 1,800,000 Armenians living in Anatolia in 1914. Encyclopaedia Britannica took 1,750,000 Armenians living in Anatolia as their estimate, in certain later editions. In 1911, the encyclopedia had figured 1.1 million, and Toynbee estimated less than one million in his 1915 book, “Nationalism and the War,” before his services were enlisted in Wellington House.

Primary Documents: Talaat Pasha’s Official Orders Regarding the Armenian Massacres, March 1915-January 1916

Updated – Saturday, 27 September, 2003

Reproduced below are official telegrams despatched by Turkish Minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha authorising ongoing massacre of Armenians from March 1915 onwards.  All were signed by Talaat himself other than the first.  The first telegram is signed by the “Djemiet”, i.e. the executive committee of the ‘Young Turk’ organisation; given that Talaat was himself chairman of the organisation the telegram was necessarily issued with his authorisation.

Talaat Pasha’s Official Orders Regarding the Armenian Massacres, March 1915-January 1916

March 25th, 1915

To Djemal Bey, Delegate at Adana:

The duty of everyone is to effect on the broadest lines possible the realization of the noble project of wiping out of existence the well-known elements who for centuries have been the barrier to the empire’s progress in civilization.

We must, therefore, take upon ourselves the entire responsibility, pledging ourselves to this action no matter what happens, and always remembering how great is the sacrifice which the Government has made in entering the World War.  We must work so that the means used may lead to the desired end.

In our dispatch dated February 18th, we announced that the Djemiet has decided to uproot and annihilate the different forces which for centuries have been a hindrance; for this purpose it is forced to resort to very bloody methods.  Certainly the contemplation of these methods horrified us, but the Djemiet saw no other way of insuring the stability of its work.

Ali Riza [Note: the committee delegate at Aleppo] harshly criticised us and urged that we be merciful; such simplicity is nothing short of stupidity.  We will find a place for all those who will not cooperate with us, a place that will wring their delicate heartstrings.

Again let me remind you of the question of property left.  This is very important.  Watch its distribution with vigilance; always examine the accounts and the use made of the proceeds.

THE DJEMIET

September 3rd, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

We advise that you include the woman and children also in the orders which have been previously prescribed as to be applied to the males of the intended persons.  Select employees of confidence for these duties.

Minister of the Interior, TALAAT.

September 16th

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

You have already been advised that the Government, by order of the Djemiet, has decided to destroy completely all the indicated persons [Armenians] living in Turkey.

All who oppose this decision and command cannot remain on the official staff of the empire.

Their existence must come to an end, however tragic the means may be; and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to conscientious scruples.

Minister of the Interior, TALAAT.

November 18th, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

It appears, from the interventions which have recently been made by the American Ambassador [Note: Mr. Morgenthau] at Constantinople on behalf of his Government, that the American Consuls are obtaining information by some secret means.  They remain unconvinced, despite our assurance that the deportations will be accomplished in safety and comfort.

Be careful that events which attract attention shall not occur in connection with those who are near cities and other centres.  In view of our present policy, it is most important that foreigners who are in those parts shall be convinced that the expulsion of the Armenians is in reality only deportation.

Therefore it is necessary that a show of gentle dealing shall be made for a while, and the usual measures be taken in suitable places.

All persons who have given information to the contrary shall be arrested and handed over to the military authorities for trial by court-martial.  This order is recommended as very important.

TALAAT.

December 11th, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

We are informed that some correspondents of Armenian journals are acquiring photographs and letters which depict tragic events, and these they give to the American Consul at Aleppo.

Dangerous people of this kind must be arrested and suppressed.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

December 29th, 1915

To the Prefecture of Aleppo:

We are informed that foreign officers are finding along the roads the corpses of the indicated persons, and are photographing them.

Have these corpses buried at once and do not allow them to be left near the roads.

This order is recommended as very important.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

 

January 15th, 1916

To the Government of Aleppo:

We are informed that certain orphanages which have opened also admitted the children of the Armenians.

Should this be done through ignorance of our real purpose, or because of contempt of it, the Government will view the feeding of such children or any effort to prolong their lives as an act completely opposite to its purpose, since it regards the survival of these children as detrimental.

I recommend the orphanages not to receive such children; and no attempts are to be made to establish special orphanages for them.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

(Undated.)

From the Ministry of the Interior to the Governor of Aleppo:

Only those orphans who cannot remember the terrors to which their parents have been subjected must be collected and kept.

Send the rest away with the caravans.

Minister of the Interior,

TALAAT.

T

he Destruction of the World Trade Center: Dislodged fireproofing felled World Trade Center

Agence France Press

The twin towers of the World Trade Center would probably be standing today, if the impact of the planes used in the September 11, 2001 attack had not destroyed fireproofing material, experts said.

After what it described as the most detailed examination of a building failure ever conducted, the US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) said it would be suggesting major changes to the way skyscrapers are built and managed.

In assessing the events that led to World Trade Center’s collapse, the NIST report said the structural impact of the planes and subsequent jet fuel-ignited, multi-floor fires were not in themselves enough to bring the towers down.

“The reason the towers collapsed is because the fireproofing was dislodged,” said Shyam Sunder, lead investigator for the NIST building and fire safety investigation into the disaster.

If the fireproofing had remained in place, Sunder said, the fires would have burned out and moved on without weakening key elements to the point of structural collapse.

He drew an analogy with the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster when the absence of a small piece of insulation foam — knocked off during launch — allowed fire to seep into the shuttle’s entire wing span during re-entry with catastrophic results.

New alternatives to traditional fireproofing should be explored, Sunder said, citing a paint-like substance which, if applied in sufficient layers, would stick “even if a plane hit it.”

Nearly 2,750 people were killed in the attack on the World Trade Center by members of Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network.

Roughly 17,400 people were in the skyscrapers at the time of the attack, and NIST estimated that the death toll would have been closer to 14,000 if the two towers had been filled to their 50,000-person capacity.

The report said each jet severed perimeter columns, damaged interior core columns and dislodged fireproofing as they penetrated the buildings. The weight carried by the severed columns was spread to others.

Fires caused by the jet fuel were fed by the building contents and oxygen entering through breached walls and windows.

“The floors weakened and sagged from the fires, pulling inward on the perimeter columns,” the report said.

“Floor sagging and exposure to high temperatures caused the perimeter columns to bow inward and buckle — a process that spread across the faces of the buildings.

“Collapse then ensued,” it said.

In examining the emergency services response on September 11 and the evacuation procedures, the NIST report echoed other probes in highlighting a lack of coordination and poor communications equipment.

The report cited one senior emergency services officer inside the north tower of the trade center as saying he would have known more about what was going on if he had been watching it on television

“The lack of timely information sharing and inadequate communication capabilities, likely contributed to the loss of emergency responder lives,” the report concluded.

The evacuation of the twin towers has generally been called a success, with 87 percent of the occupants — including more than 99 percent of those below the floors hit by the planes — managing to get out.

The south tower collapsed 56 minutes after impact and the north tower in 102 minutes.

The NIST report noted that a full-capacity evacuation would have taken around four hours — a fatal length of time.

Occupants were often unprepared for the physical challenge of evacuating from higher floors. “It’s pretty demanding, especially if you want to do it fast,” Sunder said.

 

9/11: Debunking The Myths

PM examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most persistent conspiracy theories of September 11.

Published in the March, 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics

From the moment the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, the world has asked one simple and compelling question: How could it happen?

Three and a half years later, not everyone is convinced we know the truth. Go to Google.com, type in the search phrase “World Trade Center conspiracy” and you’ll get links to an estimated 628,000 Web sites. More than 3000 books on 9/11 have been published; many of them reject the official consensus that hijackers associated with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda flew passenger planes into U.S. landmarks.

Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into paranoia. Wild conspiracy tales are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in other media. Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories: The Pentagon was struck by a missile; the World Trade Center was razed by demolition-style bombs; Flight 93 was shot down by a mysterious white jet. As outlandish as these claims may sound, they are increasingly accepted abroad and among extremists here in the United States.

To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.

In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense. We learned that a few theories are based on something as innocent as a reporting error on that chaotic day. Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims with irrefutable facts can we understand what really happened on a day that is forever seared into world history.–THE EDITORS

THE PLANES

The widely accepted account that hijackers commandeered and crashed the four 9/11 planes is supported by reams of evidence, from cockpit recordings to forensics to the fact that crews and passengers never returned home. Nonetheless, conspiracy theorists seize on a handful of “facts” to argue a very different scenario: The jets that struck New York and Washington, D.C., weren’t commercial planes, they say, but something else, perhaps refueling tankers or guided missiles. And the lack of military intervention? Theorists claim it proves the U.S. government instigated the assault or allowed it to occur in order to advance oil interests or a war agenda.

Where’s The Pod?

CLAIM: Photographs and video footage shot just before United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) show an object underneath the fuselage at the base of the right wing. The film “911 In Plane Site” and the Web site LetsRoll911.org claim that no such object is found on a stock Boeing 767. They speculate that this “military pod” is a missile, a bomb or a piece of equipment on an air-refueling tanker. LetsRoll911.org points to this as evidence that the attacks were an “inside job” sanctioned by “President George Bush, who planned and engineered 9/11.”

FACT: One of the clearest, most widely seen pictures of the doomed jet’s undercarriage was taken by photographer Rob Howard and published in New York magazine and elsewhere. PM sent a digital scan of the original photo to Ronald Greeley, director of the Space Photography Laboratory at Arizona State University. Greeley is an expert at analyzing images to determine the shape and features of geological formations based on shadow and light effects. After studying the high-resolution image and comparing it to photos of a Boeing 767-200ER’s undercarriage, Greeley dismissed the notion that the Howard photo reveals a “pod.” In fact, the photo reveals only the Boeing’s right fairing, a pronounced bulge that contains the landing gear. He concludes that sunlight glinting off the fairing gave it an exaggerated look. “Such a glint causes a blossoming (enlargement) on film,” he writes in an e-mail to PM, “which tends to be amplified in digital versions of images–the pixels are saturated and tend to ‘spill over’ to adjacent pixels.” When asked about pods attached to civilian aircraft, Fred E. Culick, professor of aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, gave a blunter response: “That’s bull. They’re really stretching.”

No Stand-Down Order

CLAIM: No fighter jets were scrambled from any of the 28 Air Force bases within close range of the four hijacked flights. “On 11 September Andrews had two squadrons of fighter jets with the job of protecting the skies over Washington D.C.,” says the Web site emperors-clothes.com. “They failed to do their job.” “There is only one explanation for this,” writes Mark R. Elsis of StandDown.net. “Our Air Force was ordered to Stand Down on 9/11.”

FACT: On 9/11 there were only 14 fighter jets on alert in the contiguous 48 states. No computer network or alarm automatically alerted the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) of missing planes. “They [civilian Air Traffic Control, or ATC] had to pick up the phone and literally dial us,” says Maj. Douglas Martin, public affairs officer for NORAD. Boston Center, one of 22 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regional ATC facilities, called NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) three times: at 8:37 am EST to inform NEADS that Flight 11 was hijacked; at 9:21 am to inform the agency, mistakenly, that Flight 11 was headed for Washington (the plane had hit the North Tower 35 minutes earlier); and at 9:41 am to (erroneously) identify Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 from Boston as a possible hijacking. The New York ATC called NEADS at 9:03 am to report that United Flight 175 had been hijacked–the same time the plane slammed into the South Tower. Within minutes of that first call from Boston Center, NEADS scrambled two F-15s from Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Mass., and three F-16s from Langley Air National Guard Base in Hampton, Va. None of the fighters got anywhere near the pirated planes.

Why couldn’t ATC find the hijacked flights? When the hijackers turned off the planes’ transponders, which broadcast identifying signals, ATC had to search 4500 identical radar blips crisscrossing some of the country’s busiest air corridors. And NORAD’s sophisticated radar? It ringed the continent, looking outward for threats, not inward. “It was like a doughnut,” Martin says. “There was no coverage in the middle.” Pre-9/11, flights originating in the States were not seen as threats and NORAD wasn’t prepared to track them

Flight 175’s Windows

CLAIM: On Sept. 11, FOX News broadcast a live phone interview with FOX employee Marc Birnbach. 911inplanesite.com states that “Bernback” saw the plane “crash into the South Tower.” “It definitely did not look like a commercial plane,” Birnbach said on air. “I didn’t see any windows on the sides.”

Coupled with photographs and videos of Flight 175 that lack the resolution to show windows, Birnbach’s statement has fueled one of the most widely referenced 9/11 conspiracy theories–specifically, that the South Tower was struck by a military cargo plane or a fuel tanker.

FACT: Birnbach, who was a freelance videographer with FOX News at the time, tells PM that he was more than 2 miles southeast of the WTC, in Brooklyn, when he briefly saw a plane fly over. He says that, in fact, he did not see the plane strike the South Tower; he says he only heard the explosion.

While heading a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) probe into the collapse of the towers, W. Gene Corley studied the airplane wreckage. A licensed structural engineer with Construction Technology Laboratories, a consulting firm based in Skokie, Ill., Corley and his team photographed aircraft debris on the roof of WTC 5, including a chunk of fuselage that clearly had passenger windows. “It’s … from the United Airlines plane that hit Tower 2,” Corley states flatly. In reviewing crash footage taken by an ABC news crew, Corley was able to track the trajectory of the fragments he studied–including a section of the landing gear and part of an engine–as they tore through the South Tower, exited from the building’s north side and fell from the sky

Intercepts Not Routine

CLAIM: “It has been standard operating procedures for decades to immediately intercept off-course planes that do not respond to communications from air traffic controllers,” says the Web site oilempire.us. “When the Air Force ‘scrambles’ a fighter plane to intercept, they usually reach the plane in question in minutes.”

FACT: In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart’s Learjet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed. Even so, it took an F-16 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the stricken jet. Rules in effect back then, and on 9/11, prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts. Prior to 9/11, all other NORAD interceptions were limited to offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). “Until 9/11 there was no domestic ADIZ,” FAA spokesman Bill Schumann tells PM. After 9/11, NORAD and the FAA increased cooperation, setting up hotlines between ATCs and NORAD command centers, according to officials from both agencies. NORAD has also increased its fighter coverage and has installed radar to monitor airspace over the continent.

THE WORLD TRADE CENTER

The collapse of both World Trade Center towers–and the smaller WTC 7 a few hours later–initially surprised even some experts. But subsequent studies have shown that the WTC’s structural integrity was destroyed by intense fire as well as the severe damage inflicted by the planes. That explanation hasn’t swayed conspiracy theorists, who contend that all three buildings were wired with explosives in advance and razed in a series of controlled demolitions.

Widespread Damage

CLAIM: The first hijacked plane crashed through the 94th to the 98th floors of the World Trade Center’s 110-story North Tower; the second jet slammed into the 78th to the 84th floors of the 110-story South Tower. The impact and ensuing fires disrupted elevator service in both buildings. Plus, the lobbies of both buildings were visibly damaged before the towers collapsed. “There is NO WAY the impact of the jet caused such widespread damage 80 stories below,” claims a posting on the San Diego Independent Media Center Web site (sandiego.indymedia.org). “It is OBVIOUS and irrefutable that OTHER EXPLOSIVES (… such as concussion bombs) HAD ALREADY BEEN DETONATED in the lower levels of tower one at the same time as the plane crash.”

FACT: Following up on a May 2002 preliminary report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a major study will be released in spring 2005 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST shared its initial findings with PM and made its lead researcher available to our team of reporters.

The NIST investigation revealed that plane debris sliced through the utility shafts at the North Tower’s core, creating a conduit for burning jet fuel–and fiery destruction throughout the building. “It’s very hard to document where the fuel went,” says Forman Williams, a NIST adviser and a combustion expert, “but if it’s atomized and combustible and gets to an ignition source, it’ll go off.”

Burning fuel traveling down the elevator shafts would have disrupted the elevator systems and caused extensive damage to the lobbies. NIST heard first-person testimony that “some elevators slammed right down” to the ground floor. “The doors cracked open on the lobby floor and flames came out and people died,” says James Quintiere, an engineering professor at the University of Maryland and a NIST adviser. A similar observation was made in the French documentary “9/11,” by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. As Jules Naudet entered the North Tower lobby, minutes after the first aircraft struck, he saw victims on fire, a scene he found too horrific to film

“Melted” Steel

CLAIM: “We have been lied to,” announces the Web site AttackOnAmerica.net. “The first lie was that the load of fuel from the aircraft was the cause of structural failure. No kerosene fire can burn hot enough to melt steel.” The posting is entitled “Proof Of Controlled Demolition At The WTC.”

FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength–and that required exposure to much less heat. “I have never seen melted steel in a building fire,” says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. “But I’ve seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks.”

“Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F,” notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. “And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent.” NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

But jet fuel wasn’t the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

“The jet fuel was the ignition source,” Williams tells PM. “It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down.”

Puffs Of Dust

CLAIM: As each tower collapsed, clearly visible puffs of dust and debris were ejected from the sides of the buildings. An advertisement in The New York Times for the book Painful Questions: An Analysis Of The September 11th Attack made this claim: “The concrete clouds shooting out of the buildings are not possible from a mere collapse. They do occur from explosions.” Numerous conspiracy theorists cite Van Romero, an explosives expert and vice president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, who was quoted on 9/11 by the Albuquerque Journal as saying “there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.” The article continues, “Romero said the collapse of the structures resembled those of controlled implosions used to demolish old structures.”

FACT: Once each tower began to collapse, the weight of all the floors above the collapsed zone bore down with pulverizing force on the highest intact floor. Unable to absorb the massive energy, that floor would fail, transmitting the forces to the floor below, allowing the collapse to progress downward through the building in a chain reaction. Engineers call the process “pancaking,” and it does not require an explosion to begin, according to David Biggs, a structural engineer at Ryan-Biggs Associates and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) team that worked on the FEMA report

Like all office buildings, the WTC towers contained a huge volume of air. As they pancaked, all that air–along with the concrete and other debris pulverized by the force of the collapse–was ejected with enormous energy. “When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it’s going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window,” NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder tells PM. Those clouds of dust may create the impression of a controlled demolition, Sunder adds, “but it is the floor pancaking that leads to that perception.”

Demolition expert Romero regrets that his comments to the Albuquerque Journal became fodder for conspiracy theorists. “I was misquoted in saying that I thought it was explosives that brought down the building,” he tells PM. “I only said that that’s what it looked like.”

Romero, who agrees with the scientific conclusion that fire triggered the collapses, demanded a retraction from the Journal. It was printed Sept. 22, 2001. “I felt like my scientific reputation was on the line.” But emperors-clothes.com saw something else: “The paymaster of Romero’s research institute is the Pentagon. Directly or indirectly, pressure was brought to bear, forcing Romero to retract his original statement.” Romero responds: “Conspiracy theorists came out saying that the government got to me. That is the farthest thing from the truth. This has been an albatross around my neck for three years.”

Seismic Spikes

CLAIM: Seismographs at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., 21 miles north of the WTC, recorded the events of 9/11. “The strongest jolts were all registered at the beginning of the collapses, well before falling debris struck the earth,” reports the Web site WhatReallyHappened.com.

A columnist on Prisonplanet.com, a Web site run by radio talk show host Alex Jones, claims the seismic spikes are “indisputable proof that massive explosions brought down” the towers. The Web site says its findings are supported by two seismologists at the observatory, Won-Young Kim and Arthur Lerner-Lam. Each “sharp spike of short duration,” says Prisonplanet.com, was consistent with a “demolition-style implosion.”

FACT: “There is no scientific basis for the conclusion that explosions brought down the towers,” Lerner-Lam tells PM. “That representation of our work is categorically incorrect and not in context.”

The report issued by Lamont-Doherty includes various graphs showing the seismic readings produced by the planes crashing into the two towers as well as the later collapse of both buildings. WhatReallyHappened.com chooses to display only one graph which shows the readings over a 30-minute time span.

On that graph, the 8- and 10-second collapses appear–misleadingly–as a pair of sudden spikes. Lamont-Doherty’s 40-second plot of the same data gives a much more detailed picture: The seismic waves–blue for the South Tower, red for the North Tower–start small and then escalate as the buildings rumble to the ground. Translation: no bombs.

WTC 7 Collapse

CLAIM: Seven hours after the two towers fell, the 47-story WTC 7 collapsed. According to 911review.org: “The video clearly shows that it was not a collapse subsequent to a fire, but rather a controlled demolition: amongst the Internet investigators, the jury is in on this one.”

FACT: Many conspiracy theorists point to FEMA’s preliminary report, which said there was relatively light damage to WTC 7 prior to its collapse. With the benefit of more time and resources, NIST researchers now support the working hypothesis that WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated. “The most important thing we found was that there was, in fact, physical damage to the south face of building 7,” NIST’s Sunder tells PM. “On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom–approximately 10 stories–about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out.” NIST also discovered previously undocumented damage to WTC 7’s upper stories and its southwest corner.

NIST investigators believe a combination of intense fire and severe structural damage contributed to the collapse, though assigning the exact proportion requires more research. But NIST’s analysis suggests the fall of WTC 7 was an example of “progressive collapse,” a process in which the failure of parts of a structure ultimately creates strains that cause the entire building to come down. Videos of the fall of WTC 7 show cracks, or “kinks,” in the building’s facade just before the two penthouses disappeared into the structure, one after the other. The entire building fell in on itself, with the slumping east side of the structure pulling down the west side in a diagonal collapse.

According to NIST, there was one primary reason for the building’s failure: In an unusual design, the columns near the visible kinks were carrying exceptionally large loads, roughly 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor. “What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors,” Sunder notes, “it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down.”

There are two other possible contributing factors still under investigation: First, trusses on the fifth and seventh floors were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another. With columns on the south face apparently damaged, high stresses would likely have been communicated to columns on the building’s other faces, thereby exceeding their load-bearing capacities.

Second, a fifth-floor fire burned for up to 7 hours. “There was no firefighting in WTC 7,” Sunder says. Investigators believe the fire was fed by tanks of diesel fuel that many tenants used to run emergency generators. Most tanks throughout the building were fairly small, but a generator on the fifth floor was connected to a large tank in the basement via a pressurized line. Says Sunder: “Our current working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time.”

WTC 7 might have withstood the physical damage it received, or the fire that burned for hours, but those combined factors–along with the building’s unusual construction–were enough to set off the chain-reaction collapse.

THE PENTAGON

At 9:37 am on 9/11, 51 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was similarly attacked. Though dozens of witnesses saw a Boeing 757 hit the building, conspiracy advocates insist there is evidence that a missile or a different type of plane smashed into the Pentagon

Big Plane, Small Holes

CLAIM: Two holes were visible in the Pentagon immediately after the attack: a 75-ft.-wide entry hole in the building’s exterior wall, and a 16-ft.-wide hole in Ring C, the Pentagon’s middle ring. Conspiracy theorists claim both holes are far too small to have been made by a Boeing 757. “How does a plane 125 ft. wide and 155 ft. long fit into a hole which is only 16 ft. across?” asks reopen911.org, a Web site “dedicated to discovering the bottom line truth to what really occurred on September 11, 2001.”

The truth is of even less importance to French author Thierry Meyssan, whose baseless assertions are fodder for even mainstream European and Middle Eastern media. In his book The Big Lie, Meyssan concludes that the Pentagon was struck by a satellite-guided missile–part of an elaborate U.S. military coup. “This attack,” he writes, “could only be committed by United States military personnel against other U.S. military personnel.”

FACT: When American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon’s exterior wall, Ring E, it created a hole approximately 75 ft. wide, according to the ASCE Pentagon Building Performance Report. The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minutes after impact, but ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the number of first-floor support columns that were destroyed or damaged. Computer simulations confirmed the findings.

Why wasn’t the hole as wide as a 757’s 124-ft.-10-in. wingspan? A crashing jet doesn’t punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University. In this case, one wing hit the ground; the other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon’s load-bearing columns, explains Sozen, who specializes in the behavior of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass. “If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building,” Sozen tells PM, “it didn’t happen.”

The tidy hole in Ring C was 12 ft. wide–not 16 ft. ASCE concludes it was made by the jet’s landing gear, not by the fuselage

Intact Windows

CLAIM: Many Pentagon windows remained in one piece–even those just above the point of impact from the Boeing 757 passenger plane. Pentagonstrike.co.uk, an online animation widely circulated in the United States and Europe, claims that photographs showing “intact windows” directly above the crash site prove “a missile” or “a craft much smaller than a 757” struck the Pentagon.

FACT: Some windows near the impact area did indeed survive the crash. But that’s what the windows were supposed to do–they’re blast-resistant.

“A blast-resistant window must be designed to resist a force significantly higher than a hurricane that’s hitting instantaneously,” says Ken Hays, executive vice president of Masonry Arts, the Bessemer, Ala., company that designed, manufactured and installed the Pentagon windows. Some were knocked out of the walls by the crash and the outer ring’s later collapse. “They were not designed to receive wracking seismic force,” Hays notes. “They were designed to take in inward pressure from a blast event, which apparently they did: [Before the collapse] the blinds were still stacked neatly behind the window glass.”

Flight 77 Debris

CLAIM: Conspiracy theorists insist there was no plane wreckage at the Pentagon. “In reality, a Boeing 757 was never found,” claims pentagonstrike.co.uk, which asks the question, “What hit the Pentagon on 9/11?”

FACT: Blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer was the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the crash and helped coordinate the emergency response. “It was absolutely a plane, and I’ll tell you why,” says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. “I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box.” Kilsheimer’s eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: “I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?”

FLIGHT 93

Cockpit recordings indicate the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 teamed up to attack their hijackers, forcing down the plane near Shanksville, in southwestern Pennsylvania. But conspiracy theorists assert Flight 93 was destroyed by a heat-seeking missile from an F-16 or a mysterious white plane. Some theorists add far-fetched elaborations: No terrorists were aboard, or the passengers were drugged. The wildest is the “bumble planes” theory, which holds that passengers from Flights 11, 175 and 77 were loaded onto Flight 93 so the U.S. government could kill them.

The White Jet

CLAIM: At least six eyewitnesses say they saw a small white jet flying low over the crash area almost immediately after Flight 93 went down. BlogD.com theorizes that the aircraft was downed by “either a missile fired from an Air Force jet, or via an electronic assault made by a U.S. Customs airplane reported to have been seen near the site minutes after Flight 93 crashed.” WorldNetDaily.com weighs in: “Witnesses to this low-flying jet … told their story to journalists. Shortly thereafter, the FBI began to attack the witnesses with perhaps the most inane disinformation ever–alleging the witnesses actually observed a private jet at 34,000 ft. The FBI says the jet was asked to come down to 5000 ft. and try to find the crash site. This would require about 20 minutes to descend.”

FACT: There was such a jet in the vicinity–a Dassault Falcon 20 business jet owned by the VF Corp. of Greensboro, N.C., an apparel company that markets Wrangler jeans and other brands. The VF plane was flying into Johnstown-Cambria airport, 20 miles north of Shanksville. According to David Newell, VF’s director of aviation and travel, the FAA’s Cleveland Center contacted copilot Yates Gladwell when the Falcon was at an altitude “in the neighborhood of 3000 to 4000 ft.”–not 34,000 ft. “They were in a descent already going into Johnstown,” Newell adds. “The FAA asked them to investigate and they did. They got down within 1500 ft. of the ground when they circled. They saw a hole in the ground with smoke coming out of it. They pinpointed the location and then continued on.” Reached by PM, Gladwell confirmed this account but, concerned about ongoing harassment by conspiracy theorists, asked not to be quoted directly.

Roving Engine

CLAIM: One of Flight 93’s engines was found “at a considerable distance from the crash site,” according to Lyle Szupinka, a state police officer on the scene who was quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Offering no evidence, a posting on Rense.com claimed: “The main body of the engine … was found miles away from the main wreckage site with damage comparable to that which a heat-seeking missile would do to an airliner.”

FACT: Experts on the scene tell PM that a fan from one of the engines was recovered in a catchment basin, downhill from the crash site. Jeff Reinbold, the National Park Service representative responsible for the Flight 93 National Memorial, confirms the direction and distance from the crash site to the basin: just over 300 yards south, which means the fan landed in the direction the jet was traveling. “It’s not unusual for an engine to move or tumble across the ground,” says Michael K. Hynes, an airline accident expert who investigated the crash of TWA Flight 800 out of New York City in 1996. “When you have very high velocities, 500 mph or more,” Hynes says, “you are talking about 700 to 800 ft. per second. For something to hit the ground with that kind of energy, it would only take a few seconds to bounce up and travel 300 yards.” Numerous crash analysts contacted by PM concur.

Indian Lake

CLAIM: “Residents and workers at businesses outside Shanksville, Somerset County, reported discovering clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains,” states a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article dated Sept. 13, 2001. “Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake, nearly 6 miles from the immediate crash scene.” Commenting on reports that Indian Lake residents collected debris, Think AndAsk.com speculates: “On Sept. 10, 2001, a strong cold front pushed through the area, and behind it–winds blew northerly. Since Flight 93 crashed west-southwest of Indian Lake, it was impossible for debris to fly perpendicular to wind direction. … The FBI lied.” And the significance of widespread debris? Theorists claim the plane was breaking up before it crashed. TheForbiddenKnowledge.com states bluntly: “Without a doubt, Flight 93 was shot down.”

FACT: Wallace Miller, Somerset County coroner, tells PM no body parts were found in Indian Lake. Human remains were confined to a 70-acre area directly surrounding the crash site. Paper and tiny scraps of sheetmetal, however, did land in the lake. “Very light debris will fly into the air, because of the concussion,” says former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Matthew McCormick. Indian Lake is less than 1.5 miles southeast of the impact crater–not 6 miles–easily within range of debris blasted skyward by the heat of the explosion from the crash. And the wind that day was northwesterly, at 9 to 12 mph, which means it was blowing from the northwest–toward Indian Lake

F-16 Pilot

CLAIM: In February 2004, retired Army Col. Donn de Grand-Pre said on “The Alex Jones Show,” a radio talk show broadcast on 42 stations: “It [Flight 93] was taken out by the North Dakota Air Guard. I know the pilot who fired those two missiles to take down 93.” LetsRoll911.org, citing de Grand-Pre, identifies the pilot: “Major Rick Gibney fired two Sidewinder missiles at the aircraft and destroyed it in midflight at precisely 0958.”

FACT: Saying he was reluctant to fuel debate by responding to unsubstantiated charges, Gibney (a lieutenant colonel, not a major) declined to comment. According to Air National Guard spokesman Master Sgt. David Somdahl, Gibney flew an F-16 that morning–but nowhere near Shanksville. He took off from Fargo, N.D., and flew to Bozeman, Mont., to pick up Ed Jacoby Jr., the director of the New York State Emergency Management Office. Gibney then flew Jacoby from Montana to Albany, N.Y., so Jacoby could coordinate 17,000 rescue workers engaged in the state’s response to 9/11. Jacoby confirms the day’s events. “I was in Big Sky for an emergency managers meeting. Someone called to say an F-16 was landing in Bozeman. From there we flew to Albany.” Jacoby is outraged by the claim that Gibney shot down Flight 93. “I summarily dismiss that because Lt. Col. Gibney was with me at that time. It disgusts me to see this because the public is being misled. More than anything else it disgusts me because it brings up fears. It brings up hopes–it brings up all sorts of feelings, not only to the victims’ families but to all the individuals throughout the country, and the world for that matter. I get angry at the misinformation out there.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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