911 Pentagon

Jerry Russell

Staff member
John D Wyndham sent me an email notification of his new paper "Peer Review in Controversial Topics -- A Case Study of 911". And in this paper, he provides links to a discussion about our old work at 911-strike.com, specifically the famous Eyewitness Spreadsheet. We had engaged in a brief email debate about this topic in 2013, when his article about the Pentagon attack first appeared.

As to the problems with peer review, Wyndham presents his scientificmethod911.org website as a prototype example of a more open approach. He suggests a process in which critics openly post their reviews. In Wyndham's case, however, he appointed himself as the "moderator" -- and he rather aggressively limited the range of comments I was allowed to make. If there's going to be a real debate, the moderation needs to be even-handed and fair. Even at this web site & forum, I feel we're much more open to public debate than Wyndham was (although we draw the line at personal attacks); but I wouldn't be so bold as to consider this forum as an alternative to academic peer review.

The article by Wyndham, "The Pentagon Attack: Eyewitnesses, Debris Flow and Other Issues", has been extensively revised and updated as of March 2016. Much of our analysis is addressed in much greater detail than before.

The 911 Pentagon debate has certainly moved on from where it stood in 2004, when our "Five-Sided Fantasy Island" article was last updated. Wyndham's re-appearance, coincidentally with a notice that the old 911-strike web hosting is no longer being bundled with my electric bill, has motivated me to move the old materials to the postflaviana.org web hosting account. Hopefully this will be a transitional phase, as the old pages need to be either updated or permanently retired.

In terms of specific criticism of our earlier work, Wyndham says:

My detailed examination of Russell’s 31 “explicit” witnesses (see appendix D) resulted in different numbers. By my count there are no more than nine (9) individuals one might classify as “elite” insiders, not 13 as Russell finds. Of the 31, I can count only 19 individuals who “worked for either the federal Government or the mainstream media,” rather than 24. Furthermore, I can identify among them only four (4) mainstream media journalists rather than seven (7), as found by Griffin.

He goes on to argue with our criticisms of many of the eyewitness accounts. He has also written an entire appendix on CIT's interview of the taxi driver, Lloyde England, which asserts that "CIT’s treatment... of the taxi driver, Lloyde England, goes well beyond a lack of ethics to the libelous persecution of an inoffensive man."
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Jerry Russell

Staff member
Here was my initial response to Wyndham's original article from 2013:

Hello Dr. Wyndham,

I'd like to express my appreciation that you took the time to review my "eyewitness" post at 911-strike.com. After having written this article and our "Fantasy Island" piece in which we developed the explosive-demolition hypothesis, Rick Stanley and I decided to go silent on the issue, at least partly because of the issues you discuss in your papers.

As far as your specific criticisms of my "eyewitness" post are concerned, I wouldn't dispute that the categorizations I chose are open to debate, or that my own biases might have effected the choices I made in particular situations. Also, further information may have become available since I wrote the paper, which you may have used to re-evaluate the categorizations. For the moment, I'm willing to grant that your re-categorizations and re-counts are within a plausible range, although I think your own biases are also showing in some of your remarks. I must admit that the phrase "elite insider" that I used was unfortunate; I didn't mean to imply that all those in that category were "elite", just that they had insider connections or employee relationships with organizations that could plausibly have been connected with the conspirators.

Nevertheless: as you mention in your paper, the overall view you are advocating "is held at present only by a minority within the 9/11 truth movement." Considering this fact, I think that calls for consensus are premature and damaging to the movement, and that your criticisms of the views of the majority of the movement as failing to conform with rigorous "scientific method," are condescending and inappropriate.

The real situation within the movement, as I see it, is that the "large plane" theory is rejected because it just doesn't pass the "smell test", and scientific arguments to the contrary are rejected based purely on "common sense". That is the barrier that you need to overcome, before your views will be accepted as consensus.

Or if you prefer -- from a Bayesian perspective, and as Fletcher & Eastman explained so well in their response to your paper: within the truth movement, we know and accept that 911 was the result of a black intelligence op, a false flag attack directed by insiders wielding the levers of power. That basic fact establishes a new set of Bayesian priors, which seem counter-intuitive to our daily experience. Within a correctly framed Bayesian prior, the scientific evidence and eyewitness evidence needs to be re-evaluated.

Given that 911 was a black op: why would you see it as impossible, or even unlikely, that an army of shills was ready to speak to the press, making false claims that an aircraft impact occurred?

Or, given that 911 was a black op: why would you see it as impossible, or even unlikely, that a fairly sophisticated and elaborate explosive demolition was used to create the impression of an airplane impact? The conspirators would have had an essentially unlimited budget, complete control over the scene at the Pentagon, and also plenty of time after the fact to use tools such as Photoshop to create faked photographic evidence, or to provide faked flight recorder records or radar track information.

But on the other hand: given that 911 was a black op, why would the perpetrators design an attack on the Pentagon that was so operationally uncertain? The (allegedly) chosen flight path was extraordinarily risky and difficult to fly accurately, if not downright impossible (as the Pilots for 911 Truth claim.) A higher approach would have been much less difficult, and equally effective at the goal of destroying that section of the Pentagon. However, the low approach has the propaganda benefit of providing "evidence" in the form of light pole damage and trailer damage that would be seen as consistent with a large airplane impact, and yet was relatively easy to stage.

Also, I must say that your approach to the eyewitness evidence, especially the work of Ranke & Marquis at Citizen's Investigation Team, seems very odd to me. You complain that it is inconsistent to accept eyewitness testimony of a NOC flight path, while rejecting those same witnesses' testimony to the aircraft impact. But Ranke & Marquis are using exactly the approach a district attorney would use to impugn the reliability of a witness: to show that the witness swears to an inconsistent and physically impossible set of events. Having watched the CIT video evidence, I'm quite satisfied that their witnesses were adamant advocates of the physically impossible NOC flight path. So in my view their testimony is as to what really happened, is hopelessly compromised.

Similarly, your analysis of the taxi driver's testimony is predicated on the idea that the light pole incident might possibly have happened as he described. But, it seems to me that if the light pole was hit by an aircraft and severed from its base, it must have proceeded from that point with high velocity and high angular momentum to its final impact. It just doesn't seem likely that it could have come to rest in the taxi without having scratched the windshield, any more than I can see how WTC-7 could have collapsed in free fall simply as a result of fire.

A further review of all the aspects of the Pentagon incident that don't pass the "smell test" would take quite a bit of time. But in closing, I want to again express my appreciation that you've taken the time to review our old website, as well as so much of the rest of the extensive literature about the Pentagon attack. And more importantly, I want to appreciate that you've joined the 911 truth movement and that you've endorsed the WTC demolition theory. This is huge!

But, I wanted to let you know that Rick and I aren't ready to throw in the towel and endorse the large airplane impact theory at this point; we still feel that we'd most likely be in the wrong if we did that.

Sincerely yours,

-Jerry Russell

Richard Stanley

A higher approach would have been much less difficult, and equally effective at the goal of destroying that section of the Pentagon. However, the low approach has the propaganda benefit of providing "evidence" in the form of light pole damage and trailer damage that would be seen as consistent with a large airplane impact, and yet was relatively easy to stage.
It was also easier to stage, via the 'low' approach because of the fact that the intermediate 'wells' between the Pentagon rings only extended down to the ceilings of the second floors, thus conveniently hiding any such staged machinations. In addition to the convenient light poles, the supposed engine impacts to the electrical generator and the retaining wall conveniently established dimensional 'proof' for the official story, the equivalent of the 'fingerprints' of a 757. None of this 'evidence' was necessary at all if a 757 was really utilized in the first place. Otherwise, perpetrators actually flying a 757, remotely or otherwise, could take a much less risky flight path into the building. And avoid the risk of being exposed as a fraud if whatever plane came up short and the official story was exposed.

I suggest that we all agree to start a Kickstarter fund to finance the purchase of a retired airliner (or two) and build a simulated building (or two) and its cogent approach aspects. Firstly, we could test out the such matters as ground effects, and such as the circular dive. We could also build four or five floors of a (properly buttressed) wall representing the impact regions of one of the WTC towers. As you have suggested, Jerry, we could conceivably kill two masonic stones with one bird.

If we managed the safety details right maybe we could even conduct this at Burning Man?

Jerry Russell

Staff member
If you write up the Kickstarter, I would be happy to put in the first $.02 cents.

In response to my letter above, Wyndham replied back that he considered my hypothesis to be rather unlikely. I framed my response in Bayesian terms, as well, answering --


Inasmuch as these are speculative arguments of yours, I feel it's only fair that my response is equally speculative.

It seems to me that IF 911 was a black op such as the current consensus view among most independent researchers, then the perpetrators clearly had remarkable capabilities for reliably marshaling vast human resources. They recruited, "trained" and managed the Islamic patsies; placed explosive devices in three massive skyscrapers; placed remote control devices and / or skilled pilots in large aircraft; suppressed the normal responses of America's air defense systems; created a fog of "training exercises" mimicking all the major aircraft operations; notified traders so that they could make quick profits on options; and arranged for insurance contracts to pay for the costs of necessary urban renewal. No doubt compartmentalization tactics were used, but even still, this must have taken quite an "army" to pull off. And of course there were leaks, both before and after the fact; but nothing so severe as to compromise the effectiveness of the operation.

If you accept that the perps were able to carry off all of the above, I really don't see why you would balk at the idea that they could arrange for some folks to tell lies to the press. How could this be accomplished? Perhaps in some cases it was as simple as some supervisor calling his employee and saying "We know that the pentagon was hit by an aircraft, but I can't find anybody who saw it happen. Could you please talk to the press and tell them you saw it?" That supervisor, in turn, could have gotten his orders from somewhere high above in the hierarchy. Or it might have involved religious or political fanatics who were ideologically convinced of the need to tell holy lies to the press. Or coercion could have been employed, either legal coercion involving employment contracts & non-disclosure agreements, or physical coercion using weapons or blackmail threats.

Regarding the problem of "controlling the testimony of genuine eyewitnesses", there probably weren't very many of those who would have the strength of their conviction about what they saw, because of the "magic trick" aspects of the flyover hypothesis, and because of various well-known psychological effects of herding behavior. However, I think it's not true that there weren't any such "genuine" witnesses to the flyover event: On the contrary, Dick Eastman, and the team of Ranke & Marquis, posted remarks indicating that they turned up some likely candidates. But, the press is sufficiently well-controlled that such reports don't get much attention.

From a Bayesian point of view, my hypothesis H1 is that the eyewitness testimony (evidence e) was driven in part by a campaign of misinformation and possibly even coercion. The background information is that some team of conspirators was able to carry off all the other highly complex sequence of crimes that occurred on 911. Furthermore, the eyewitness testimony we are talking about, is the ragged body of conflicting, enigmatic and brief statements that are currently available in the public record. Are you willing to state in public that you are convinced that the likelihood term P(e|H1, b)==0? Or would you be willing to assign some value to this likelihood term? My feeling is that P(e|H1, b) is somewhere near equal to the likelihood P(e|H2,b) that the eyewitnesses were testifying to a real air crash.

Not that either likelihood is very small, but on the contrary, either hypothesis does a pretty adequate job of explaining the evidence.

Regarding the hypothesis of fraud & explosive demolition, you complain that no credible theory has been proposed; and yet your response presumes many details about how such a fraud must have been carried about. I think you do have a basic grasp of the possible methods by which such a fraud could be perpetrated. Furthermore, I disagree that it's incumbent upon advocates of the demolition theory to spell out every detail of how it was done. The perps had at a minimum, millions of dollars available to design and test schemes for producing these special effects. But your comments neglect the fact that at the Pentagon scene, the perps had 100 percent control of who was present at the event. Photographs of the interior of the Pentagon, and other data sources, were leaked out from military sources over a period extending years after the crime. I would find it extremely surprising if the perps did not have the technical capabilities to create such fraudulent images and data, or if the frauds were transparent enough to be easily detected.

Again, from a Bayesian point of view, I find that the evidence is equally consistent with either an actual airplane crash, or a fraudulent setup. Or if you prefer, in your Table 1 of your original paper, where you write "NO" to the question of whether the explosive demolition / flyover hypothesis explains the eyewitness evidence or physical evidence, I would write "YES".

Regarding the likelihood of a low approach, I'm not ready yet to agree that this would not have been a high risk operation. You wrote "The flight path would not be difficult for an experienced pilot or for a plane under remote control" and in your paper, you mentioned an experiment done by some pilots using a flight simulator!! What you are neglecting here, is the effects of high speed buffeting at low altitude, and the ground effect. Was the flight simulator programmed to simulate these effects? I would think it incredibly dangerous even to attempt to fly at such high speeds and so close to the ground.

Are you aware of any real data or experiments involving commercial jet aircraft flying over 500mph a few feet above the ground?

You also wrote that the low flight path was chosen "to ensure that certain groups on the first floor were taken out." But, this could have been accomplished with high operational reliability, by using explosives. And as you know, there is extensive evidence that explosives were in fact used.

Back to the Bayesian formulation, I feel that the prior probability P(H2) that the perps would have chosen the low flight path in spite of obvious operational risks, is close to zero. This is the only term I can find in the application of Bayes' theorem, that would allow us to strongly discriminate between the posterior probabilities of my H1 vs your H2.

If you choose to continue this discussion, I hope you'll frame your argument in Bayesian terms and give your estimates of the likelihoods, priors and posteriors. If you're not familiar with Bayes' method as applied to historical questions, I would recommend Richard Carrier's excellent new book, "Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus."

Richard Stanley

If you write up the Kickstarter, I would be happy to put in the first $.02 cents.
I presume this is a metaphorical 2 cents.

Adding to your response to Dr. Wyndham, it should not be forgotten that there is a history of incest between the intelligence community and news media, corporate and otherwise, e.g. Project Mockingbird. Fortunately our new President is on our side in making these 'crooked' revelations known. OK, so he'd more likely use them for blackmail purposes.

Since you invoked Carrier's book about the Historical Jesus, perhaps we should recast what we termed the bogus "fingerprints" of a 757 at the Pentagon as the "Pentagon Stigmata". It was only the low approach angle that allow for the "proofs" to be left for the gullible minds. Not only for the ones in front, i.e. the lightpoles, the electrical generator, the retaining wall, and the fuselage entry exactly between two sets of columns, but also the nice clean oval exit hole in the C Ring's brick wall. The center of which is perfectly centered within two support columns.

At first it was brazenly claimed that the hole was due to the 757 fuselage punching through intact, but this demanded that once the fuselage created the nice clean hole that it suddenly decided to shred into indistinguishable pieces. Then the claim was dragged out that the hole was caused by one of the engines, that would have otherwise been bouncing off the interior reinforced concrete columns as if in a giant pin ball game. But where was the engine that must then necessarily have been found in the exposed C ring well? Or did Allah and Jesus make that vanish as well?

It is almost humorous to realize that the stage planners of the Pentagon event paid some attention to physics, by having the post impact trajectory be 'properly' skewed to the left (as meant to be indicated by the C ring hole) while completely ignoring the shredding and pin ball aspects of the interior and front wall columns. I highly suspect that the plane's fuselage (or an engine or two), even if it could have survived the interior gauntlet to any degree (before finally vaporizing that is) would have made a rather messy hole in the C ring wall, whether the impact centered itself, or not, between columns.

I'll bet there has never, ever, been an airliner flown at the claimed speed at such altitudes. And, we must also remember that the plane needed to be pulled out of a dive right in front of the highway embankment in order to realize the flat approach angle. And that the lateral trajectory including the light poles means that the right wing just missed impacting the overhead highway traffic sign by mere feet. Just one more high risk for those insistent on flying a real plane into the building.

All said, it is rather amazing that our Five Sided Fantasy Island and your Eyewitness Analysis works could possibly be the sticking point to resolving 9/11. I think this is likely a lame excuse drummed by the ambitious likes of Vicious Vic, aka Rasputina.

Show me your stigmata bitches.

Jerry Russell

Staff member
John Wyndham and his friends are still hard at work on this issue, still, in 2019. Yesterday (May 4) they held a conference in Denver, sponsored by the Colorado 9/11 Truth group, with presentations by Ken Jenkins, David Chandler, Wayne Coste, and Warren Stutt, with Wyndham giving the summary talk at the end.

Leading into the conference, Coste & Chandler produced a 35 minute summary of an enormous 19-chapter slide show presentation prepared by Chandler. They are continuing to demand that the "911 Truth Movement" bow to their view that a 757 did indeed hit the Pentagon after leaving the "Pentagon Stigmata", just as the "Official Story" demands.

Apparently their unremitting efforts haven't worked out so well so far. Craig McKee, a longstanding opponent of the 757 impact advocates, says that a debate were held by teleconference in 2016 with Wayne Coste on one side and McKee on the other, and the participating audience voted 17 to one in favor of McKee's side.

McKee discusses this "propaganda team" within the 911 "Truth Movement", and the reasons he continues to oppose them:


...What I have seen in the eight years since I became involved only further convinces me that the 9/11 Truth Movement has been the target of a persistent and single-minded disinformation campaign that has been going on for more than a dozen years – perhaps closer to 15. I don’t say everyone involved in pushing a 757 impact is a government agent or even a non-paid infiltrator; some may simply have been duped into supporting this campaign. Maybe a lot have. Others may simply be thinly disguised official story supporters and therefore not truthers at all.
But this is not a genuine effort at its core: it’s a manipulative pressure campaign that is geared towards derailing our truth seeking efforts. That I still have to write about this after so many years means they have at least partly succeeded. And this could not have happened without the unwitting co-operation of genuine truthers.
...The most visible member of the effort to prop up the government’s claim of a 757 crash at the Pentagon is David Chandler, who most truthers credit for his work on the World Trade Center destruction. While Chandler will point to people like me as unfairly tarnishing his reputation, it is he who has done this by incessantly pushing this impossible impact scenario since at least 2011. He howls in protest whenever he is linked to the official story because he says he doesn’t think Hani Hanjour flew the plane, but the fact remains that he devotes almost all his Pentagon efforts to telling us what he thinks is correct in the Pentagon official story and almost none to telling us what he thinks is incorrect.
Other members of this group, which I have dubbed the “propaganda team,” include Jonathan Cole, Frank Legge (now deceased), Ken Jenkins, John Wyndham, Jim Hoffman, Victoria Ashley, Warren Stutt, Chris Sarns, Wayne Coste, and, since his complete about-face in 2013, Dwain Deets. Also squarely in the Chandler camp is Colorado truther Fran Shure. This is a shame because I think Shure is a wonderful activist and a good person, but she has badly miscalculated here.
Back when we were actively researching this topic (about 2001 through 2005) we were mostly up against Jim Hoffman & Victoria Ashley. Other than the new names, it seems that nothing much has changed. And perhaps this is predictable, because (as we wrote in 2004): "A significant problem with the Pentagon crash, as a motif for use in general public outreach, is that such a wide variety of evidence comports with the conclusion that a 757 impacted the Pentagon".

Having said all that: perhaps the ongoing struggle about the topic, has produced some forward progress. Or at least, a creative new analysis.

Both at a long, sprawling thread at "Let's Roll Forum" and in comments at Craig McKee's blog, a new researcher named "Ruby Gray" says that cab driver Lloyde England was correct in his claim that his car was hit by a pole as he was driving in front of the helipad at the Pentagon, next to Arlington Cemetery. England was then assisted by a good samaritan in a white van, who helped England lift the pole out of his taxicab, but then vanished -- after watching England get knocked to the pavement as he struggled to hold up his end of the pole. Next, England was accosted again by a police officer who demanded that England leave the scene, and who knocked him to the ground when he refused to go.

At this point, Ruby Gray suggests that England was rendered momentarily unconscious somehow, as a result of this attack by the police. England was loaded into a brown Jeep Grand Cherokee, and dropped in a daze 300 yards to the south, where the "stigmata" indicated that the 757 had passed overhead. At the same time, the damaged cab was loaded onto a black tow truck and an orange trailer, and dropped off right next to a downed light pole.

When he woke up from his confusion or slumber, England was apparently completely unaware that he and his cab had been moved to a new location. However, at that point England decided to take the policeman's advice, and he walked home from the scene.

Ruby Gray believes that this entire scenario was planned in advance, and that England's initial arrival at the scene was precisely timed to coincide with the overflight and the Pentagon demolition, and that some sort of advanced Pentagon weapons technology was used to throw the pole into England's car. Whereas I think the scenario is just as plausible if England's vehicle was coincidentally in the wrong place at the wrong time, necessitating a quick response on the part of the Pentagon magic team.

Either way, Gray says that this interpretation makes England a highly credible North flight path witness. Furthermore, several other eyewitnesses had been identified as Official Story witnesses because they said they saw the taxicab incident, and therefore were believed to be on the bridge where England had been photographed after the move. If the taxicab was really impaled by a pole next to the helipad, then a number of other famous witnesses are really North Path witnesses.

Gray says that the movements of the taxicab, the tow truck, the orange trailer, the brown Jeep, and the white van, can all be traced in various photographs and home videos. My take is that a lot of her evidence is hard to interpret & subject to debate, but I don't think she's making it all up. So far, McKee and other commenters at his blog aren't buying it.

Links to Ruby Gray's work:

http://truthandshadows.com/2019/04/28/coste-chandler-fraud-about-england-part-2/ (scroll to comments)
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Jerry Russell

Staff member
(BTW, this reminds me that Jerry informed me that someone has hilariously proposed that a lightpole cannon was Jerry-rigged to shoot a fragment of a light pole into a taxi-cab windshield in front of the Pentagon on 9/11.
Excuse me, but Ruby Gray did not say 'Jerry-rigged'. I had absolutely nothing to do with this. We are talking about the US military here, and an unlimited special ops budget.

I know that our US armed forces haven't actually won any wars since Korea. But you're saying that they can't even make a lamp post cannon? You're laughing hilariously at the very idea that America's best and brightest, could score a direct hit on a 69-year-old guy driving an old Lincoln Town Car in a straight line, right in front of the Pentagon lawn? And I thought I was the cold hearted skeptic here.

To be entirely fair to Ruby Gray, furthermore, it was another poster at the Let's Roll forum, gl69m, who suggested that they used "some sort of a pressure cannon, (like those used to hurl 2"x4" wooden beams as projectiles into brick walls for tornado storm shelter research)". To which Gray replied: "No, not the gadget you describe. Think PENTAGON. What kind of arsenal did they have at their fingertips? The sky is the limit, really. Literally. (That's a clue.) Right there beside the Heliport. (That's another clue.)" None of those clues are doing me any good at all, because I seriously doubt that any kind of light pole cannon is deployed as a part of the Pentagon's standard arsenal. But based on these "clues" it seems that Ruby Gray might have some answer up her sleeve.
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Richard Stanley

I know that our US armed forces haven't actually won any wars since Korea.
We won Korea? I thought that war (police action) was still going on?

To which Gray replied: "No, not the gadget you describe. Think PENTAGON. What kind of arsenal did they have at their fingertips? The sky is the limit, really. Literally. (That's a clue.) Right there beside the Heliport. (That's another clue.)"
Ha!! A catapult hidden on the roof of the fire station.