Monday, July 4, 2011

Seven Questions about 9/11

Seven Questions about 9/11

Jim Fetzer

As a former Marine Corps officer (1962-66), who spent his 35-year career offering courses in logic, critical thinking, and scientific reasoning to college students, it troubles me when my government appears to be lying to the American people. On this 4th of July, therefore, I want to share with you some of the questions that have arisen in my mind about the events of 9/11, which have been used to justify wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at enormous cost in lives lost and resources expended. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but here are some of my questions—seven for the 4th of July!

(1) The early explosions

In their study, “Seismic Proof: 9/11 was an inside job”, Gordon Ross and Craig Furlong (one an engineer, one a numerical analyst) present evidence that there were enormous explosions in the subbasements of both of the Twin Towers prior to the impacts of any planes on those buildings. They used extremely reliable data from a geological laboratory run by Columbia University and radar and FAA data to come to the conclusion that those explosions occurred 14 and 17 seconds before those planes hit the towers:

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My first question, therefore, is how were those 19 Islamic terrorists able to arrange these explosions, which drained the water from sprinkler systems that would have otherwise extinguished the rather modest office fires that remained after the jet fuel was consumed in those spectacular fireballs? I have given this a lot of thought and I can’t figure out how they did that.

(2) The impossible entry

We have all seen the footage of Flight 175 hitting the South Tower, which is the only reasonably distinct video coverage we have of any of the four plane crashes. There are plenty of copies of the Michael Hezarkhani video, which was taken more or less from the side, and still others of the Evan Fairbanks video, which was taken looking straight up the side of the South Tower. I have been puzzled, when I have taken a closer look, the plane actually enters the buildings without crumpling, without losing its wings or tail, and with no bodies, seats, or luggage falling to the ground. Here’s what I mean:

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The problem I have is that, as a student of physics in high school and college, I learned that the impact of a moving plane impacting with a stationary building should create the same effects as those of a moving building impacting with a stationary plane. We would not expect a car crashing into an enormous tree to disappear into the tree. My question is, absent the suspension of the laws of physics on 9/11, how could this occur?

(3) The sizing problem

Perhaps because of my military background, I have found the Pentagon attack of special interest. The Department of Defense originally released five frames instead of any of the more than eighty (80) videos that would have captured exactly what happened. Although three of those videos have subsequently been released, none of them shows more about the crash than those original five, four of which show the spectacular fireball, the other the somewhat obscure image just above the gate mechanism that is conveniently labeled “plane”. It looked too small to me. So I asked a friend of mine—who is better at these things than am I—if he could size the image of a Boeing 757 to the tail shown in the frame that the Pentagon had released:

Imagine my surprise when it turned out that Flight 77 should have been more than twice the size of the plane in the Pentagon’s own frame. So my third question is, why isn’t the plane in the image the size of a Boeing 757?

(4) The lack of debris

Although many Americans are unaware, the hit point on the Pentagon is on the ground floor. There is a hole about 10’ high and 16-17’ wide, which is surrounded by a chain-link fence, two enormous spools of cable and a pair of cars, where there are unbroken windows beside and above the opening. What we do not see is an enormous pile of aluminum debris, broken wings or the tail, bodies, seats or luggage. Remarkably, not even the engines were recovered from the crash site—although a part of a compressor, which was too small to have come from a 757 and too large for a cruise missile—was later reported to have been found. Even more striking to me, however, is this photo of the civilian lime-green fire-trucks as they extinguish the fires:

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Since these fire trucks arrived after the crash and spent fifteen minutes or so putting it out, I have been struck by the clear, green, unblemished Pentagon lawn. It looks so smooth, I expect Tiger to appear with his caddy to practice his game. My question, therefore, is, why is there no debris on the lawn?

(5) The planted fuselage

Later, of course, debris would start showing up. Since there was none even as the fire trucks were extinguishing the fires, it has to have come from somewhere. It would have been difficult to have had officers and enlisted men carry pieces of debris out onto the lawn without being observed, so it has occurred to me that perhaps it was dropped from a C-130, which was circling the Pentagon that morning. That’s my best guess. I am open to other possibilities, but I haven’t been able to think of real alternatives. One piece of debris has been used to cement the case for the crash of Flight 77:

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One of the oddities about this debris is that it shows no signs of having been exposed to those fireballs and includes a piece of vine. Another student of the Pentagon, James Hanson, a newspaper reporter who earned his law degree from the University of Michigan College of Law, has traced that debris to an American Airlines 757 that crashed in a rain forest above Cali, Columbia in 1995. "It was the kind of slow-speed crash that would have torn off paneling in this fashion, with no fires, leaving them largely intact." My question is, how did this piece of fuselage wind up on the Pentagon lawn?

(6) The dumpster fires

As though that were not disturbing enough, I was also puzzled why, later in the day, when rumors were circulating that the Capitol might be next and the members of Congress rushed out onto the steps of the building, when they looked across the Potomac, they witnesses billowing black clouds of smoke. That struck me as rather odd, since the lime green fire trucks had put out the modest fires long ago. When I took a closer look, I discovered that these black clouds of smoke were not coming from the Pentagon itself but from a series of enormous dumpsters in front of the building. See what I mean:

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When I was still living in Duluth before my retirement in June of 2006, another student of the Pentagon came by and showed me forty-four (44) more frames of the same thing, where you could actually see light between the dumpsters and the building. So my question is, why was it necessary to fake fires coming from the Pentagon if a plane had actually crashed there?

(7) The absence of interest

Since I have been unable to discover the answers to questions like these—where I actually have many more—it has dumbfounded me that nearly ten years after the fact, the mass media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN has shown no interest at all in addressing them. Here are three examples of why it seems to me these questions should be burning issues in every major media outlet in this country, where we are confronted only by silence:

(a) Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the Co-Chairs of the 9/11 Commission, have long since published WITHOUT PRECEDENT: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION (2006), in which they explain their frustration at the lack of cooperation from the administration, citing especially the fact that the Pentagon provided three different accounts of the events of 9/11, not a very reassuring indication that they got everything right. And this report is not from a “conspiracy theorist” but from the co-chairs of the 9/11 inquiry.

(b) A former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in three administrations, Dr. Steve Pieczenik, has revealed not only that Osama bin Laden actually died on or about 15 December 2001 (as David Ray Griffin, OSAMA BIN LADEN: DEAD OR ALIVE (2009) explained), but that he had been told by a high-ranking general that 9/11 was a “false flag” attack, which was done by the government in order to arouse the American people to support wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. And this guy earned his Ph.D. at MIT.

(c) And Alan Sabrosky, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the US Army War College, has explained that 9/11 was conceived by neo-cons in and out of the Department of Defense who wanted to advance the proposals of Project for the New American Century by taking advantage of the demise of the Soviet Union to expand the power of the sole remaining superpower by creating an empire around the world, but worried that Americans would not support those wars absent “a new Pearl Harbor”.

Now I cannot claim to know for certain that what we are being told by Lee Hamilton, Thomas Kean, Steve Pieczenik, and Alan Sabrosky is true. I can tell you that it is consistent with my own research and that of others with whom I have been in collaboration since founding Scholars for 9/11 Truth. In case you may think that I am one of those “conspiracy theorists” myself — where I have done a lot of research on JFK as well as on 9/11 — just ask yourself whether my six questions deserve answers and why the American media has been ignoring them in the land of the free and home of the brave!

Jim Fetzer is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth and maintains a blog about issues of public interest at


  1. the wings should have blown up as they impacted the buildings, they house all the fuel, not the delicate, aluminum nose cone which explodes on impact. (North & South towers respectively). Also, the 10 ton engines would have gone through the tower unless they hit the 47-column steel core. People are profoundly ignorant about the miracle of flight, and unable to imagine an aluminum aircraft breaking apart at 500 mph at sea level.

  2. I have a few questions regarding the Pentagon witnesses that did in fact see an aircraft that day, albeit in complete contradiction to the official story themselves.

    You say it is an area of special interest to you so I assume you certainly are aware of them, correct?

    That Barry's World article post that you refused where I had hoped to get some discussion going with you mentioned the idea of holographic technology being used at the WTC and it got me thinking - if they did it at the WTC why not the Pentagon?

    The Pentagon itself wasn't mentioned in that article except vaguely saying "no planes at the Pentagon", I was hoping to clarify a bit there what exactly your view on that means.

    The only real witnesses were at a gas station and the Arlington cemetery, both located in such a way compared to the Pentagon and the official impact trajectory to make them quite easy to fool.

    The "plane" officially had to come in from the South side of that gas station to hit at the correct trajectory.

    The witnesses all placed the plane on the North side of the gas station(I may have that backwards) which would have literally forced the only witnesses close enough to really see anything important to have their backs to the "plane" on the official trajectory.

    What better way to distract people than to project a holographic plane at a different location while say a very real missile following the official trajectory slips in almost completely unnoticed?

    Most of the witness accounts documented by the CIT mean the witnesses would literally have had their backs to the actual "plane" that morning while watching the fake plane distraction, while the Arlington cemetery crew witnesses would have been too far to see a small missile BEHIND the hologram/decoy plane.

    A small hard to notice missile to cause the initial "impact" damage likely combined with explosives inside the building to produce the initial fireball and the dumpster fires later on to produce a pretty impressive smoke and mirrors magic show.

    I had only considered the decoy plane angle before due to the one account of the plane "fly-away" - why not have the hologram disappear in the fireball or actually hit the building as at the WTC?. But then one single witness has a bit of a credibility issue, and even if they did have a "flay-away" it doesn't rule out a hologram.

    A hologram projected from a missile or even from the Pentagon itself would have been more than sufficient and more in line with the level of illusion perpetrated at the WTC based on your own accounts.

    I am really quite curious what your opinion is on these witness statements and such given your interest in the Pentagon itself.

    Are these statements or the holographic decoy angle at all addressed in any of your or your associates books?

  3. The issue here is that after almost ten years, we thinking people know that the official story is bupkis.

    What we haven't done is to force the issue.

    A lot of people associated with the events of September 11th have given us half-truths and limited hangouts...let's not put up with this crap any more.

  4. Jonny, I sometimes miss posts, but I am not dodging bullets. Mike Sparks and I did three two-hour interviews about the Pentagon witnesses. Of the nearly 90 witnesses, we found only three who could have been where they claimed to have been. Check out

    As for what actually happened there, Pilots for 9/11 Truth obtained black box data from the NTSB, which it claimed to have come from Flight 77. But the data corresponded to a plane on an entirely different (due east) flight trajectory, which was too high to hit any lampposts and flew over the building. See their "Pandora's Black Box", now in a second ed.

    Plus CIT (Citizens Investigative Team) realized that, if a plane had come in on the official trajectory, it would have flown south of the Citgo station, but if it had come in on the alternative trajectory, north of the station. So they tracked down multiple witnesses who confirmed that it had flown north of the station. Check out "National Security Alert".

    A friend of mine had a trucker buddy who was actually in front of the building at the time. He told my friend that he had seen a large plane fly toward the building but then swerve over it. So we have here additional confirmation of a plane flying toward the building but not hitting it.

    The hologram hypothesis seems to fit Flight 175 better than it does Flight 77. It looks as though the plane flew toward the building and that explosives were set off at the same time, unless that much smaller plane fired a missile into the Pentagon, which would be consistent with that white plume of smoke trailing behind it. Write again, if you like.


  5. Your Question: Just ask yourself whether my six questions deserve answers and why the American media has been ignoring them in the land of the free and home of the brave!
    The answer (Part 2): From "George Washington's Blog." [Google the title for the complete article.]

    If the government's account of 9/11 is not accurate, wouldn't the media have been "all over it"?

    Censorship by Higher-Ups.
    If journalists do want to speak out about 9/11, they also are subject to tremendous pressure by their editors or producers to kill the story.....
    There are many reasons for censorship by media higher-ups. One is money.
    The media has a strong monetary interest to avoid controversial topics in general. It has always been true that advertisers discourage stories which challenge corporate power....
    Exposure of the truth about 9/11 would challenge the government and the corporate status quo....

  6. Point 2 - Impossible entry. I am not an engineer but I would have thought it was the core that held up the building and the floors supported themselves; the windows were anchored to the floors but otherwise were free floating in a frame or mesh, in other words, not an immovable object.

    On the other hand, as there is clear evidence of 'theatre' after the event; surely there would probably have been before: if a 757 could easily penitrate a WTC building, it certainly would bounce off fourteen feet thickness of reinforced concrete at the Pentagon, so either there was one plane for show and another that launched a missile (as two different trajectories have been reported by several witnesses) or simply one for show and a guided missile or internal explosion breaching the wall.

  7. Your Question: Just ask yourself whether my six questions deserve answers and why the American media has been ignoring them in the land of the free and home of the brave!
    The answer (Part 3): From "George Washington's Blog." [Google the title for the complete article.]

    If the government's account of 9/11 is not accurate, wouldn't the media have been "all over it"?

    Censorship by the Government.
    As if the media's own interest in covering up things like 9/11 and in promoting war is not strong enough, the government has exerted tremendous pressure on the media to report things a certain way. Indeed, at times the government has thrown media owners and reporters in jail if they've been too critical. The media companies have already felt great pressure from the government to kill any real coverage of 9/11 other than the official story and attacking straw men.
    For example, Dan Rather said, regarding American media, "What you have is a miniature version of what you have in totalitarian states"....
    And the head of CNN said:
    "There was 'almost a patriotism police' after 9/11 and when the network showed [things critical of the administration's policies] it would get phone calls from advertisers and the administration and "big people in corporations were calling up and saying, 'You're being anti-American here.'"
    Indeed, former military analyst and famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg said that the government has ordered the media not to cover 9/11....

  8. These are great questions and deserve answers. But I would also add another question. If, as Jim points out, many of these things were faked, staged, or pre-determined, etc. why has no one come forward to reveal this plan? It would have taken 100's of people to plan, prepare and carry out these faked activities; and I can't imagine that all of them are keeping quiet about this. No leaks, no deep throat, no whistle blowers.

  9. Do a google search for Flight of the Bumble Planes if you really want to know how all this was pulled off. You ask some good questions, but if you want answers, ask Snake Plissken.

  10. Point 2 - Impossible entry. The video you are using was an ordinary NTSC camera taking 30 frames per second, not a high resolution high speed camera you would use if you wanted accurate documentation of such an event. In the 1/30th second covered by the video the plane would have moved forward 24 feet if it were flying at 500 miles per hour. With an image resolution of 24 feet all you can expect is a soft blur - exactly what you see.
    If I were you I would drop this point because it just makes you look silly. Your other points are much more interesting.
    Btw, if the airliner didn't hit the Pentagon where did it and its passengers go? (Same could be asked of the planes [not] hitting the WTC.)

  11. You might have a point if there were not massive evidence that this is not a real plane, whose momentum would have gone to zero, whose wings and tail would have broken off, and whose contents--passengers, seats, and luggage--would have fallen to the ground. It was actually intersecting eight (8) floors, which were constructed of steel trusses connected at one end to the core columns and at the other to the external support columns and filled with 4-8" of concrete, which would have created enormous horizontal resistance. (Imagine what would happen to a commercial carrier were it to encounter just one of those floors suspended in space!) So you are being highly selective in your use of evidence. Point (2) is good as gold--better, actually, since the price of gold fluxuates, while the laws of physics and of engineering cannot be violated and cannot be changed. I suggest you give this more thought.

  12. Dear Jim,

    Allow me to submit my best 'take' -as refined in many years of 9/11 research - concerning the points raised in your first 2 questions here.

    Your question n#1: THE EARLY EXPLOSIONS

    Let me focus on "FLIGHT 175" - the one shown on LIVE TV. According to the official timeline, it struck WTC2 at 9:03:11. Yet, the seismic data recorded a peak (aka "boom") 17 seconds earlier, at 9:02:54. For brevity, let me just 'boldly' lay out a plausible scenario; I will - by all means - let you freely judge if it holds water or not:

    At 9:02:54, the first explosives (both in the WTC basement and in the top floors where the 'planegash' was needed) went off. At that instant, a "go-signal" was sent to the central TV producer to launch a ready-made 16-second sequence (split across the various TV networks) showing the 'FLIGHT 175' approach-and-strike. Please visualize this 16-second sequence here:


    In fact, as I demonstrated back in 2007 with "September Clues E" ( ), the audio feeds of the five main US TV networks ALL feature a short "bee-beep" double-signal, exactly 17 seconds before we all saw "FLIGHT 175" striking WTC2 on TV. Now, it makes sound sense to surmise that this was simply an 'unfortunate' audio bleed (bleeding into the public broadcasts) of a standard synch tone - a well-known thing by video professionals; it is routinely used to 'sync-lock' any given, separate audio/video channels.

    Presumably, this 'unfortunate' cock-up occured as the WTC demolition director gave the "go cue" to the central TV producer, whose task was to promptly launch that(entirely digitally prefabricated) "magic 16-second sequence". This little (but crucial) part of the 9/11 hoax had to be, of course, performed LIVE - and those TV folks (used to their comfortable broadcast delay buffers) simply fumbled it - big time.

    Think about it: the whole idea was to show the world TV audience this 'hijacked airliner' crashing into WTC2 - on LIVE TV. But of course, they couldn't launch that 16-second 'plane approach sequence' until they had the ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY of those WTC explosives actually going off! Therefore, this 17-second discrepancy would have been a necessary, 'acceptable' compromise for the perps to go with, in order to pull off their TV-reliant hoax. Likewise, the Official 9/11 Commission Report HAD to go with that phony "9:03:11" impact timeline - since THAT was the 'world-clock-verifiable' timeline everyone saw (and recorded) on TV.

    Your question n#2: THE IMPOSSIBLE ENTRY

    Well, I will very succintly comment on this issue now that, almost 10 years on (and as you rightly point out)this elementary physics-issue has been met with DEAFENING SILENCE on the part of the world's scientific community:

    It's about time to stop fooling around about this issue : Those impact videos are fake. They cannot represent reality. Anyone who gives them an ounce of credibility is a fool. Period.

    As it is, the wider perspective of all this is: NO 9/11 videos represent the reality of the day. None. But that's a longer story which anyone willing to get to grips with this sordid psy-op can evaluate by him/herself at my website:

    Best regards, keep up the good fight, Jim - and please keep it real! :O)

    Simon Shack

  13. I'd be happy to believe that Bush people were involved in 9/11 conspiracy, but so far the theories strongly imply that the airliners didn't hit the buildings. If not, what happened to them, and all those passengers? Were they maybe flown into the ocean, in the celebrated American way of making things more complicated than necessary? I'm sure there are families who would like to know.

  14. Simon: Thanks for posting. Send me an email so I can contact you. My email address is I will be glad to hear from you.