Re: Why The Towers FellJun 14th, 2008
Anomalies of the September 11th Attack, Its Run-Up, and Response
Accepting the official story of the 9/11/01 attack requires one to accept a long series of anomalies -- extremely improbable events, amazing coincidences, and contradictions. This page lists many such anomalies. The Top Anomalies (external - login to view) page focuses on the more salient ones. The anomalies described on this page are organized into the following topics:
- Run-up to the attack (external - login to view)
- Hijacking scenario (external - login to view)
- (Lack of) military response (external - login to view)
- World Trade Center destruction (external - login to view)
- Pentagon attack (external - login to view)
- Death toll (external - login to view)
- Coincidences in service of incompetence (external - login to view)
- Government response
- Means, motive, and precedent (external - login to view)
Numerous incidents preceding the attack indicate many people had advance knowledge of the attack.
- Put Options
Stock trades bet on the fall in share values for the two airlines whose planes were used in the attack.
- Put options purchases (external - login to view) on United Airlines and American Airlines stock rose to four and 25 times normal levels in the days preceding the attack. 1 (external - login to view) 2 (external - login to view)
- Avoidance of the Airlines, the WTC, and the Pentagon
Government officials and executives avoided the targets (external - login to view) of the attack.
- Pentagon officials canceled travel plans on September 10th. 3 (external - login to view)
- San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown received a warning not to fly on September 10th. 4 (external - login to view)
- Scotland Yard prohibited Salman Rushdie from flying on September 11th. 5 (external - login to view)
- Two employees of Odigo, the instant messaging service, received e-mail warnings of the attack two hours before the first assault on the WTC. 6 (external - login to view)
- Business executives, some of whom worked in the WTC, were in Nebraska to attend a meeting at Offutt Air Force Base hosted by billionaire Warren Buffett on the morning of September 11th. The same base would be visited later that day by George W. Bush (external - login to view). 7 (external - login to view)
The attack scenario was irrational on the part of the alleged hijackers, and its execution is incomprehensible in light of their behavior. There is little or no credible evidence that Arab hijackers were involved in the September 11th attack, except in the takeover of Flight 93 (external - login to view).
- Attack Plan
By flying from remote airports and going far out of their way (external - login to view), the attack planners exposed their plan to almost certain ruin, had the air defense system operated normally.
- The originating airport for Flights 11 and 175 was Boston Logan instead of any of several airports near New York City. This created about 40 minutes of exposure to interception for each flight.
- Flight 77 (external - login to view) flew to the Midwest before turning around to return to Washington D.C.. It was airborne an hour and 23 minutes before allegedly attacking the Pentagon. That would provide ample opportunity for interception even if the air defense system were mostly disabled.
- Flight 93 flew to the Midwest before turning around to fly toward Washington D.C. Had it reached the capital, it would have been airborne for more than an hour and a half. The odds of escaping interception with that plan would be infinitesimal under standard operating procedures.
- Behavior of Villains
The behavior of the alleged hijackers preceding the attack is inconsistent with skill and discipline needed to have a hope of pulling off such an attack.
- Mohammed Atta allegedly barely caught Flight 11, a key flight in the event that he was supposedly planning for years.
- The alleged hijackers partied at topless bars and drank alcohol (external - login to view), despite being portrayed as fundamentalist Muslims, for whom such behavior would be surprising, to say the least. 8 (external - login to view)
- Evidence Void
There is no hard evidence that any of the alleged hijackers were on any of the doomed flights, and substantial evidence that some weren't involved.
- No video of any of the 19 hijackers at any of the three originating airports of the four flights has been made public, except for a video allegedly showing hijackers of Flight 77 (external - login to view).
- At least six of the alleged hijackers have turned up alive (external - login to view) since the attack.
- None of the four flight crews radioed Air Traffic Control about hijackings in progress.
- None of the four flight crews punched in the four-digit hijacking code. 9 (external - login to view)
- No public evidence indicates that the remains of any of the hijackers was identified at any of the crash sites.
- None of the contents of any of the black boxes (external - login to view) have been made public.
- The only 4-1/2 minutes of the phone call from Flight 11 Attendant Betty Ong made public describes a stabbing but does not provide any details indicating that Arab hijackers were on board.
- Phenomenal Success
The success with which hijackers allegedly took over four jets with knives and then piloted the jets to small targets is simply miraculous.
- None of the four flight crews were able to stop the alleged hijackers, in spite of several of the pilots being Vietnam veterans.
- None of the alleged hijackers were good pilots (external - login to view), yet the three buildings were hit with phenomenal precision.
Despite normal intercept times of between 10 and 20 minutes for errant domestic flights, the airliners commandeered on 9/11/01 roamed the skies for over an hour without interference (external - login to view).
- Failures to Report
According to NORAD's timeline the FAA reported errant airliners after inexplicable delays.
- The FAA took 18 minutes to report Flight 11's loss of communication and deviation from its flight plan.
- The FAA took 39 minutes to report Flight 77's deviation from its flight plan.
- Failures to Scramble
Interceptors were only scrambled from distant bases after long delays.
- Despite the fact that Flights 11 and 175 were headed for New York City, no interceptors were scrambled from nearby La Guardia, or from Langley, Virginia.
- Despite NORAD's having received formal notification of the first hijacking at 8:38, no interceptors were scrambled from Andrews to protect the nearby Pentagon until after it was hit at 9:37.
- Failures to Intercept
Once in the air, interceptors flew at only small fractions of their top speeds, assuring they would fail to intercept the airliners.
- The two F-15s scrambled from Otis AFB to chase Flight 11 flew at an average of 447 mph, about 23.8% of their top speed of 1875 mph.
- The two F-16s scrambled from Langley to protect the capital flew at an average of 410.5 mph, about 27.4% of their top speed of 1500 mph.
- Failures to Redeploy
Nearby fighters on routine patrol duty were not redeployed to intercept the airliners, nor were fighters that belatedly reached Manhattan sent to defend the capital.
- Two F-15s flying off the coast of Long Island were not redeployed to Manhattan until after the second tower was hit.
- The two F-15s scrambled from Otis AFB to protect Manhattan could have reached the capital in 9.6 minutes once they arrived over New York City. That was still 34 minutes before the Pentagon was hit.
On 9/11/01 three skyscrapers were totally destroyed, with structural collapse primarily due to fires given as the explanation. Fires and bombings have never before or since caused steel-frame buildings to collapse.
- Building 7
Building 7 imploded (external - login to view) late on 9/11/01. It was not hit by an aircraft.
- Building 7 experienced total collapse, allegedly because of fires, when no steel-frame building before or since has ever collapsed, totally or even partially, due to fires. Building 7 was an over-engineered 47-story steel-frame skyscraper, standing over 350 feet from the nearest of the Twin Towers. Public evidence documents only small fires in it on September 11th.
- Building 7 collapsed in a nearly perfectly vertical fall, producing only minor damage in the Verizon and Post Office buildings only 60 feet on either side of it.
- Building 7 collapsed into a remarkably small rubble pile of mostly pulverized remains, when no steel building falling for any reason has ever pulverized itself.
- Building 7 contained a 15-million-dollar emergency command center (external - login to view), but instead of using it for its ostensible purpose, then-Mayor Giuliani evacuated his team to a makeshift command center as soon as the September 11th attack started. 10 (external - login to view) 11 (external - login to view)
- The emergency command center was destroyed along with the rest of the building, even though it was constructed as a bomb-hardened shelter.
- The remains of Building 7 were rapidly removed and the steel recycled, evidently without any on-site and only extremely limited off-site examination. The rapid disposal operation proceeded despite the fact that no one was believed buried in the rubble, and the tidy rubble pile was not blocking adjacent roads.
- Twin Towers
The Twin Towers exploded (external - login to view) into dust (external - login to view) and shattered steel (external - login to view), a behavior inconsistent with the known behavior of steel structures outside of explosive demolition.
- The South Tower (external - login to view) was struck 17 minutes after the North Tower (external - login to view), and in a less damaging manner, and it had less severe fires, yet it collapsed 29 minutes before the North Tower.
- The South Tower's core structure was largely undamaged by the off-centered jet impact (external - login to view), unlike the North Tower, yet it collapsed sooner.
- The South Tower had much less severe fires than the North Tower, and yet collapsed sooner.
- Smoke from the fires in the South Tower became progressively darker up to the time it collapsed.
- Firefighters reached the crash zone (external - login to view) of the South Tower and calmly described controllable fires.
- Both towers started to disintegrate at regions above and below the crash zones in the first seconds of their falls.
- Both towers fell straight down, through themselves (external - login to view), following the path of maximum resistance, a behavior never before observed in spontaneous collapses of any type of vertical structure.
- The collapses of both towers exhibited features never otherwise seen except in controlled demolitions: sudden onset accompanied by thunderous bangs, visible explosions ringing their perimeters, energetic ejections of dust (external - login to view) at regular intervals, and copious production of dust.
- Both towers exploded outward and were shredded and pulverized -- a pattern of destruction much more destructive than normal controlled demolitions, yet this result was supposedly produced without the added energy of explosives.
The Pentagon attack (external - login to view) defies expectations that this prime terrorist target would have been defended, and that a terrorist would have hit the front side in a simple maneuver, rather than the back side in an extreme precision aerobatic maneuver.
- Wide-Open Target
The Pentagon -- the heart of the military establishment of the world's greatest super-power -- was hit after ample warning without being protected by any defensive action.
- The 9:37 strike was well over an hour after the first signs of a hijacking and 34 minutes after the South Tower strike confirmed that an attack was underway.
- The Pentagon is within 11 miles of Andrews Air Force Base, which apparently had two combat-ready fighter wings on 9/11/01.
- The attack plane was monitored on radar as it approached the capital.
- Unlikely Super-pilot
Alleged Flight 77 pilot Hani Hanjour (external - login to view) was not up to the task.
- The spiral dive approach to the Pentagon was such an extreme maneuver that experienced air traffic controllers thought it was military jet. 12 (external - login to view) The tree-top final approach skimmed objects in the yard and crashed the plane into the first floor of the building. Experienced pilots have wondered if any human pilot could have executed the maneuver.
- Hani Hanjour was considered incompetent by his flight school instructors, and was denied rental of a single-engine plane. 13 (external - login to view)
- Evidence Vacuum
Authorities systematically confiscated or destroyed the evidence.
- Video recordings from adjacent businesses were seized (external - login to view) by the FBI shortly after the attack and have never been seen since.
- Only two video segments (external - login to view) have been released by the Pentagon from all the security cameras that monitor its periphery. Neither clearly shows the attack aircraft.
- Investigators were not allowed access to the crash site until well into October.
- More Than Just a Crash
Was the crash engineered?
- A photographed scrap of aircraft debris that has markings similar to an American Airlines 757 corresponds to the forward portion of the starboard (right) side of the plane, yet the scrap was far to the left of the plane's path.
- Eyewitnesses reported the smell of cordite (external - login to view).
- Several eyewitnesses reported that the jetliner exploded before reaching the facade (external - login to view) of the Pentagon.
- Portions of the facade where the wing ends and tail of a 757 would have collided show no gouging (external - login to view). Were these parts shredded by explosives before they reached the facade?
The death toll of the attack, though horrific, was much lower than it would have been if not for numerous aspects of target selection and timing.
All four flights were unusually empty (external - login to view).
- Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93 were only at 51%, 31%, 20%, and 16% occupancy, respectively.
- World Trade Center
The towers were attacked before most people had arrived, and were hit high enough to allow most people to escape (external - login to view).
- When Flight 11 hit the North Tower at 8:46 AM, the World Trade Center buildings were at less than half the occupancy of a typical mid-day.
- The first tower to be attacked was hit just 15 stories below the top, and trapped people mostly between the 95th and 110th floors.
- The second tower to be attacked was hit only 30 stories below the top, and the plane missed the core, allowing people to evacuate from above the impact zone. The 17 minutes that elapsed since the first hit allowed many people to escape the second tower while the elevators were still working.
125 people were killed in a building with 20,000 people.
- The portion of the Pentagon that was attacked, the West Block, was in the process of being renovated (external - login to view), and so was at low occupancy.
- No high-level Pentagon officials were killed in the attack.
Many decisions and events in the days and months preceding the attack helped to make the incompetence theory more plausible.
- War Games
Several war game exercises (external - login to view) were being conducted on 9/11/01.
- Operation Northern Vigilance redeployed northeast sector air defense resources to northern Canada and Alaska. 14 (external - login to view)
- Operations Vigilant Warrior and Vigilant Guardian, which simulated hijackings and involved live radar "injects," may have confused military and civilian personnel monitoring aircraft. 15 (external - login to view)
- The National Reconnaissance Office, which monitors satellites and airborne objects, was evacuated while the attack unfolded because it was conducting a plane-into-tower crash drill. 16 (external - login to view)
- The Tripod II biowarfare exercise, scheduled for 9/12/01, resulted in the deployment of FEMA to Manhattan before the attack. 17 (external - login to view)
- Rules Changes
Procedural changes would limit the ability of pilots and military commanders to respond to hijackings.
- Military orders (external - login to view) stripped commanders in the field of autonomy in responding to hijackings.
- The FAA banned firearm possession by commercial pilots (external - login to view) two months before the attack.
- Out to Lunch
Top officials were not available until after the attack was over.
- President George W. Bush remained at the publicized location (external - login to view) of Booker Elementary School until about a half-hour after the news of the attack went on TV worldwide, first reading My Pet Goat to second-graders, and then holding a press conference.
- Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff allegedly remained in a meeting with Senator Max Cleland (external - login to view) until nearly the time the Pentagon was hit.
- Brigadier General Montague Winfield had Navy Captain Charles J. Leidig, Jr. -- a rookie -- assume his watch as Deputy Director for Operations for the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at 8:30 am on 9/11/01, and relieved him after the attack was over. 18 (external - login to view)
Despite the worst failure in history of the military to protect American civilians, and the worst alleged engineering failures in history, there were no consequences for the responsible authorities, and no honest investigations.
- Air Defense Failures
No one was held to account for the numerous unprecedented failures in air defense.
- General Richard Myers, Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 11th, was confirmed as Chairman on September 13th (external - login to view) in spite of being unable to provide any meaningful answers to questions regarding the air defense failures.
- General Richard Eberhart, commander of NORAD on September 11th, was promoted to head the newly created NORTHCOM. 19 (external - login to view)
- NORAD's press release contradicted early statements by high-ranking officials that no interceptors had been scrambled on 9/11/01.
- NORAD's vague timeline raises far more questions than it answers, yet officials have never been required to give a full account.
- The 9/11 Commission (external - login to view) advanced a new timeline which contradicts NORAD's earlier timeline and the testimony of military officials to the commission itself.
- Building Collapse Inquiry
The total collapses of WTC 1, 2, and 7 were the three largest engineering failures in history (based on the official story). How were they investigated?
- FEMA was given the sole authority to investigate the collapses even though it is not an investigative agency.
- The investigative team assembled by FEMA consisted of unpaid volunteers.
- The investigators were not allowed access to Ground Zero (external - login to view).
- The investigators were not provided with the blueprints of the buildings.
- FEMA's report states the causes of the collapse "remain unknown at this time". (By the time the report was released the steel had been entirely disposed of (external - login to view).) The fact that Building 7 (supposedly) failed in a way that contradicts 100 years of engineering experience makes it the largest and least understood structural failure in history.
- The 9/11 Commission Report failed to even mention the existence of Building 7.
- The 9/11 Commission Report denied the existence of the Twin Towers' core structures (external - login to view).
- NIST's report on the collapse of the Twin Towers purports to provide a "probable collapse sequence" for each Tower but truncates its timelines before the collapses even begin (external - login to view).
The preceding list is far from complete. It does not include consideration of facts pertaining to the means, motive, and precedent for the crime. The official account's blaming one organization, while ignoring others with much more to gain and possessing tools and access better suited to the commission of the crime is arguably a vast anomaly. This subject is addressed by 911Review.com (external - login to view):
- Means (external - login to view)
- Motive (external - login to view)
- Precedent (external - login to view)
1. Profiting From Disaster?, CBSNews.com, 9/19/01 (external - login to view)
2. Prices, Probabilities and Predictions, OR/MS Today, (external - login to view)
3. Bush: We're at War, Newsweek, 9/24/01
4. Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel, SFGate.com, 9/12/01 (external - login to view)
5. , London Times, 9/27/01
6. Odigo says workers were warned of attack, HAARETZ.com, (external - login to view)
7. Franklin unit rebuilds after 9/11 tragedy, San Francisco Business Times, 2/1/02
8. Manager: Men spewed anti-American sentiments, AP, 9/14/01 (external - login to view)
9. The Day the FAA Stopped the World, time.com, 9/14/01 (external - login to view)
10. Giuliani Improvises After Command Center Gets Hit, Washington Technology, 10/08/01 (external - login to view)
11. Terrorism and Anti-Terrorism, Gotham Gazette, 9/12/01 (external - login to view)
12. 'Get These Planes on the Ground', ABCNews.com, 11/24/01 (external - login to view)
13. A Trainee Noted for Incompetence, New York Times, 5/4/02, page 10
14. The scene at NORAD on Sept. 11: Playing Russian war games ... and then someone shouted to look at the monitor, Toronto Star, 12/9/01
15. Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror, 2004
16. Agency planned exercise on Sept. 11 built around a plane crashing into a building, AP, 8/21/02
17. Tripod II and FEMA: Lack of NORAD Response on 9/11 Explained, FromTheWilderness.com, 2004 (external - login to view)
18. Statement of Capt Charles J. Leidig, Jr., 9-11commission.gov, 6/17/04
19. Eberhart To Head NORTHCOM, afa.org, 8/02 (external - login to view) [cached] (external - login to view)