At Arabesque’s Request: Are We CITing Comfortably? Then Let’s Begin…
July 1, 2009
NB: Since writing this article CIT have released the concise and comprehensive film which I recommend you watch after reading the article http://www.citizeninvestigationteam.com/nsa.html. Its release, and the further research I have done somewhat changes my position. I have been very cautious in the past regarding the Pentagon but I do now feel that it has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that CIT’s view is essentially correct (there are still a few details we disagree on) and with a single film to put across this point we should begin promoting it as some of the best evidence we have. The previous fault with CIT, that for someone to fully understand the evidence you had to ask them to watch dozens of videos clips has now been solved, and there is really no excuse to keep ignoring this. I am including this forward note as the tone of the general article is a lot more cautious, and I no longer feel we need to be.
This article is a response to Arabesque’s request that I explain in detail my counterpoints against his arguments in opposition to the research of the Citizen Investigation Team (CIT). Arabesque is not by any means the only person who has been involved in attempting to debunk CIT, but his arguments are the most commonly repeated, reworded, regurgitated and linked to, so I am happy to meet his request and address them.
What I hope to achieve from writing this article is to explain why I do not personally reject the testimony of the 13 members of the public who have been documented by CIT. This is not about CIT; they are just the camera men, the editors and commentators. This is about real people, real eye witnesses, and whether or not they deserve their testimony to be run roughshod over in protection of a pre-decided position on the issue of the Pentagon. I am not demanding everyone agree with me and respect everyone’s right to their own opinion, but what I hope will come as a side effect is that some of the people who are not so tolerant might at least question their sense of certainty that these 13 witnesses deserve to be dismissed out of hand.
I still hold the same position I have for many years on the Pentagon – that there is far less ambiguous and easier to understand campaigning material and while research should be supported it should not be centre-stage of our evidence promotion efforts. Some seem to have taken an extremist position that the case is closed with the Pentagon, the official story is essentially correct and everyone should join them in denouncing any Pentagon researchers or expect to be defamed and attacked alongside them. I am writing this now as things seem to be getting out of hand. Genuine venom is being stirred up not just against CIT themselves but also against any other person who does not denounce them in lock-step. Terms such as “cult”, “disinfo”, “an operation” and “shilling” are being thrown around with abandon.
How did this happen? What is the argument for rejecting these witnesses and is the evidence that supports it really strong enough to justify making such incendiary accusations? These are questions I hope to explore in this article.
How Much Contradictory Testimony Equals VAST Amounts Of Contradictory Testimony?
It is best to get started with the key point, and the evidential issue on which CITs work is based: The North of Citgo approach. For the reader who has no foundation of knowledge regarding CITs work I will briefly explain:
The evidence CIT presents is largely in the shape of 13 eye witnesses they have tracked down from the areas around the Pentagon which would have had a clear view of where the plane flew and/or of the area of the alleged impact. These witnesses all corroborate each other very well within the reasonable margin of error that must be accepted due to the fallibility of memory. In most cases they describe an approach crossing from the south to the north side of Columbia Pike, directly over the Navy Annex and to the North of the Citgo Gas Station (as it was named then and as it will be referred to in this article). All of the 13 witnesses testify to a North of Citgo flight path with utter certainty and are rigorously questioned on every detail during the interview. When the interview is in person, rather than over the phone, they stand in the spot the person was on the day and ask them to draw an estimated line on a map of the area. They are told that others place the plane on the other side of Citgo and do not waver or show any uncertainty. From actually watching these witnesses and seeing the level of questioning and attention to detail that goes into each interview, a very compelling case is made for the plane having flown on the flight path that these witnesses collectively but independently indicate. After all, while it would be a super human memory which could recall to the exact metre where the plane flew, very few people’s memory would be so bad as to mistake left and right, especially not when standing in the exact place it happened.
From the people who demand that these witnesses be ignored and all those who mention them be castigated, you will not find a clear explanation as to why these people were all wrong in such a similar way. Instead you find an argument, which is the central pillar of Arabesques opposition to this research, that there is a VAST body of testimony that directly contradicts these witnesses. There is so much contradictory testimony, the claim goes, that whatever these other witnesses said is quite irrelevant. On the back of this claim he paints a picture of CIT simply ignoring or dismissing this huge body of testimony (often described as hundreds) in order to focus in on just the 13 witnesses they have. This is a commonly repeated claim in certain circles of the online 9/11 truth community, and is surely the source for much of the venom directed both at CIT and those who do not condemn them. But how much truth is there behind it?
In this article I will dissect this alleged tidal wave of dynamite contradictory testimony. I will ultimately argue that it does not exist; it is a carefully constructed illusion obscuring the very underwhelming body of admissible evidence in Arabesque’s possession.
When it comes to actual testimony regarding the flight path of the plane all he has actually presented in terms of directly contradictory descriptions are six snippets of testimony. These scraps of text appear to contradict the CIT witnesses by placing the plane going over the I-395. Of course this flight path does not perfectly match the official one either, but if they were on the portion of that road which is south of the official flight path then it is fair to say what they described is closer to the official story than not. Arabesque lists six unconfirmed media quotes from six individuals. However, two of them are categorised as “unidentified”; this does not meet my standard of evidence but it may meet yours, so I include all six and allow you to make your own mind up which ones to recognise:
1. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As we were driving into town on 395, there was an exit. We were trying to get off of the exit for the Memorial Bridge. On the left-hand side, there was a commercial plane coming in, and was coming in too fast and the[n?] too low, and the next thing we saw was [it?] go-down below the side of the road… coming down towards the side of the—of 395. And when it came down, it just missed 395 and went down below us” [Barbara]
2. I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395… we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. [PNAC signatory Gary Bauer)
3. “coming straight at us from over the road (Columbia Pike) that runs perpendicular to the road I was on. The plane just appeared there—very low in the air, to the side of (and not much above) the CITGO gas station…[note: this statement is ambiguous as to whether it was N. or S. of the gas station but…] then it banked in the slightest turn in front of me, toward the heliport.” [Penny Elgas]
4. “I was right underneath the plane, said Kirk Milburn, a construction supervisor for Atlantis Co., who was on the Arlington National Cemetery exit of Interstate 395.” [Kirk Milburn]
5. “I watched it come in very low over the trees and it just dipped down and came down right over 395 right into the Pentagon.” [Don Wright]
6. “The plane flew very low over his car and hit the building and blew his windows out of the vehicle and he’s on interstate 395.” [UNIDENTIFIED PENTAGON WORKER]
So how many witnesses to a South of Citgo approach did you count? Six or Four? Personally I counted three.
In the testimony of Penny Elgas it is perfectly plausible that she is describing the same flight path that the witnesses interviewed by CIT attested to. In that testimony it crosses over the Navy Annex (which Columbia Pike runs next to) then to the North of Citgo before banking and powering towards the Pentagon. If Penny was on the part of I-395 south of the official flight path then from her side-on and restricted view, it would be difficult to tell if it was over the Navy Annex, or just clear of it to her side, and it is far from clear which side of the Citgo it flies on, as even Arabesque notes. “Coming straight at us” could support the South side claim certainly, just as the bank of the plane as it approaches the building that so many witnesses mention is not compatible with the South side claim but a key feature of the North. There is no proof that this testimony is one thing or the other, yet this is one sixth of Arabesque’s claim of VAST contradictory evidence?
It is a true demonstration of Arabesque’s desperation that he includes two unnamed witnesses and one who can scarcely be described as a definite South side witness to amass a grand total of six scraps of testimony, which when interrogated quickly deflates to a potential three. The CIT evidence is more impressive both in numbers of witnesses and in the nature of the testimony itself.
I should not have to explain why I do not consider these accounts to be sufficient evidence to make a claim for any flight path. With the exception of Milburn we don’t know where they were exactly (I-395 is a very long road), where they were facing, and there is no way for us to verify any of it. In the case of the unconfirmed ‘Barbara’ we see a reference to the Memorial Bridge, which is on 110 and not I-395 so we cannot even be sure she is even generally where she is claimed to be. We cannot ask a cherry-picked snippet of a quote from Penny Elgas to draw a line on a map showing where she feels the plane went, we can’t ask her if it was on the far side or near side of the gas station. While to a rational researcher interested in finding the facts these offerings are next to useless, they are very useful to Arabesque himself, who can simply claim they show what he wants them to show.
To attempt to position these sound bites, mostly media-mined, as being equal in quality to CIT’s interviews is laughable, and Arabesque knows it. This is why Arabesques entire tactic of argument in this issue is one of quantity over quality. He knows he cannot beat the quality of CIT’s witnesses, he also knows if people actually watch these witnesses for themselves, they will get the picture pretty quickly. Instead he contrives to throw every scrap of a quote which could remotely be described as contradicting CIT at his readers to create an illusion that these 13 witnesses are a tiny minority, and not even worth paying attention to.
But in reality, when we look for testimony directly contradicting the North of Citgo approach we have three snippets from media reports on Arabesque’s side, which in fact raise more questions than they answer, against 13 confirmed and verified witnesses on CIT’s. Yet many avid readers of Arabesque’s work claim with uniformity and the utter certainty that comes from only hearing one side of the story, that it is the complete other way around: that CIT have a tiny number of witnesses while “over a hundred” witnesses support the South side flight path. This is largely because, as I have demonstrated above and will demonstrate further, Arabesque does not like to play fair.
Arabesque’s Magic Trick Turns 3 In To 103 Before Our Very Eyes!
There is something that should be noted right away: many of the CIT witnesses who were in a position to see both the plane and the area of the Pentagon which was physically damaged believe that the plane hit the building. What CIT are proposing, metaphorically speaking, is “sleight of hand”.
The basic notion is that as the plane reached the building a large smoke heavy explosion came from the bottom floor, both the smoke and fireball of which would draw any witnesses attention for long enough for the plane to be long gone. CIT suggest that if you saw a plane fly low and fast towards a building then the next second the plane is gone and there’s a huge explosion – your mind tells you the one caused the other. Now there is a lot to discuss about that idea both for and against this, I am not immune to the serious problems this theory must contend with, but that will have to wait. What is immediately interesting is that Arabesque seems to make out that he does not recognise or understand the concept of sleight of hand at all; instead he claims that what CIT are proposing is Mass Hallucination:
“To understand just how absurd the arguments of CIT are, you have to understand that the flyover theory is actually endorsing mass hallucination as a plausible explanation for 100’s of witnesses claiming to have seen a plane hit the Pentagon.
Again, who believes in mass hallucination here? Please don’t raise your hands all at once. It is completely baffling to me the number of people duped by this ridiculous line of “reasoning”.”
To believe that Arabesque is really baffled is to believe he is stupid and that is one thing I would never say about him.
Or maybe I’m being unkind? Maybe he really doesn’t understand the concept of an illusion? Maybe when he sees a rabbit pulled from a hat he thinks someone has spiked his drink? Perhaps when he sees a lady get “sawn in half” and wiggle her toes he thinks he put the wrong kind of mushroom in his pasta sauce? Is it possible he really thinks magic tricks are hallucinations? No of course not. He is simply employing an argument to incredulity, one of the cheapest and most childish of all the logical fallacies. It is clear he knows what sleight of hand is; indeed he clearly has a trick or two up his own sleeve:
Watch the hands, watch the hands:
It’s a claim I can show a hundred witnesses contradicting the North of Citgo flight path…
It’s a claim I can show a hundred witnesses contradicting the North of Citgo flight path…
It’s a claim I can show a hundred witnesses contradicting the North of Citgo flight path…
It’s a claim I can show a hundred witnesses saying the plane hit the building…
WOW! Did you see that? How did he do that? He must have been hiding that completely different claim in his big top hat along with his white rabbit and a bunch of paper flowers…
Considering that in both CIT’s scenario and in his own the witnesses to the event would believe they saw the plane hit the building Arabesque’s conjuring of these hundred quotes is a non-event. It is completely baffling to me the number of people duped by this ridiculous line of “reasoning”. By a simple repositioning of testimony that the plane hit the building as a contradiction of the North of Citgo flight path he has managed to add another hundred to his list of “contradictory witnesses”. Talk about sleight of hand; 3 witnesses to 103 witnesses in the blink of an eye.
Or should I say 102? Because while these supposed contradicting witnesses were a non-event, one of them was actually a non-witness. What I will demonstrate here is sadly the first signs of something of a trend throughout Arabesque’s writing on CIT:
One of his witnesses Rev. Henry Ticknor was simply not there. You will notice that this is not testimony at all but is in third person, much like the unidentified Pentagon worker who supposedly witnessed a south side approach:
“[the plane flew] fast and low over his car and struck the Pentagon.”
But it is simply not true, as he explains in a sermon:
“I never said the plane came in fast and low over my car, as I was five miles from the point of impact.”
I could go on, I could talk about how just like Henry’s “quote” many on the list of a hundred Arabesque presents are written in the third person and therefore not eye witness testimony at all. I could even go in to a lengthy explanation of how due to obstacles and topology many of the people quoted would not have seen the point of “impact” at all from their positions. But what’s the point? A belief that the plane hit the Pentagon does not contradict a north of Citgo flight path and therefore all Arabesque has to his name are the three unconfirmed reports he started with. Certainly not enough for me to ignore the CIT witnesses as many seem to expect me to.
What would influence me? Well those people seeing the light poles hit certainly lend credence to the South side theory, since it is on that flight path that the light poles were.
Illuminating The Muddy Waters Of Arabesque’s Light Pole Claims
Regarding the light poles Arabesque has again employed his philosophy of quantity over quality and dazzled the reader with 20 different apparent quotes from eyewitnesses saying they saw the planes hit the light poles. Now unconfirmed, unquestioned and unverified they may be but I cannot just reject 20 different people claiming the same thing can I? Of course not, but based a commitment to a standard of evidence somewhat lacking in those who buy Arabesque’s CIT arguments what I will do is look properly into this list. Because as we have seen, with Arabesque things aren’t always as they seem.
From looking closely at each of the quotes in Arabesque’s list, problems immediately appear, for a start 5 of them are not eyewitness testimony quotes but written in the third person. My research into what these witnesses actually claimed failed to find any mention from Penny Elgas of light poles, let alone them being knocked over by the plane: http://www.geocities.com/someguyyoudontknow33/witnesses.htm
The quote Arabesque uses is not even from her testimony, it’s a flowery write up from the web page for a collection of 9/11 artefacts for a collection at the National Museum of American History, and is clearly a case of describing her experience within the context of the sanctioned official story: http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11/collection/record.asp?ID=28
While this is some particularly lazy research on Arabesque’s behalf, when we dip a little deeper into the pool, how murky the waters are becomes immediately apparent:
Lee Evey was not even a Pentagon witness. The quote is from the Detroit News although the webpage is now down; he was the manager of the Pentagon’s renovation (both before and after 9/11) and was describing what was supposed to have happened at the Pentagon to a journalist as part of a report on the construction.
Don Fortunato was not there either; he simply came across the scene of Lloyde’s cab after the event, as he explained pretty clearly on the mainstream news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImJ0NxZX2wI&feature=PlayList&p=C9ADE095D1754C17&index=10
Also not there was Tom Hovis http://www.beanerbanner.com/a_father____.htm
So of the twenty unconfirmed media reports Arabesque presents us five are not even quotes and three of them are verifiably not even witnesses and the following two could only be taken as light pole witnesses by a mind utterly desperate to see them as such:
“I saw debris flying. I guess it was hitting light poles.” is hardly convincing from Kirk Milburn especially since he would have heard that the plane hit light poles.
To count Terry Morin as a light pole witness on the strength of “As the aircraft approached the Pentagon, I saw a minor flash (later found out that the aircraft had sheared off a portion of a highway light pole down on Hwy 110.” is weak even by Arabesque’s standards. And that is without taking into account the fact that CIT have interviewed Morin and confirmed he was at the Navy Annex and could not possibly have seen the light poles.
In fact of all of these accounts only two actually refer directly to having seen the plane hit a light pole and one of them is unnamed:
“I saw it clip a light pole.” – Unnamed Navy Admiral
“I saw the wing of the plane clip the light post, and it made the plane slant.” – Wanda Ramey
So really we just have Wanda Ramey. Contrary to claims that they ignore testimony which does not fit their theory, CIT did to contact her to try and confirm or deny this. It’s a difficult interview to listen to as she is clearly not in a right state of mind and while she says she thinks the plane did hit the light pole she does say there is nothing she is certain of regarding that day.
Of the others, two do not appear to be describing light poles hit at all, but other objects with Bruce Elliot saying it hit a guide wire, and Kat Gaines saying it hit a telegraph pole. None of them say they saw it hit a light pole, but simply refer to it having hit a light pole, meaning it is entirely plausible they are adding what they heard happened to what they saw happened, which is known as deduction and very common in eye witness statements.
You may not believe this, but there is evidence for it in this very list:
“The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car. – Steven McGraw
That sounds like he definitely saw a light pole clipped right? Who would doubt that?
Anyone who has actually seen CIT’s films, that’s who. They have interviewed him, and here is what a little light questioning actually reveals:
“I didn’t actually see the light pole go over or anything, no, I later saw the evidence of the pole having been knocked over”
In fact every single witness who has in the past been accredited with a claim to have seen the plane striking light poles down who were later interviewed at length by CIT admitted they did not. Sgt. Chadwick Brooks is another example of this, and Sgt Lagasse’s mention of light poles I will come to the latter shortly as there is much to be said about Arabesque’s arguments against his testimony.
This is why the CIT method of confirmation, verification and questioning is so important. Little scraps of media-mined testimony such as the evidence presented against CIT by Arabesque cannot be considered a match for a proper on-site interview; especially when so much of it is not even a quote but a description in third person of what that person saw written by someone else; especially when just a little research can demonstrate many of those on Arabesque’s lists were not even witnesses to the event, in some cases being miles away.
Once again, we are essentially where we started with three snippets potentially supporting a South of Citgo approach, and now one potentially supporting a light pole strike. This is what Arabesque’s VAST body of contradictory testimony actually looks like when you apply a little critical thinking and fact-checking.
If I can discover this with just a little research, what does it say about the standards of evidence of the man who presents these as though they are a stone cold reason we should outright ignore the 13 CIT witnesses? And what does it say of the critical faculties of people who run around the internet claiming that the CIT witnesses are a tiny minority among “hundreds” of contradictory testimony?
UPDATE: The following section has been retracted and replaced by the following:
https://twenty13.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/appologies-to-arabesque-for-mistaking-one-deception-for-another/For the purposes of transparency I leave the original in it’s entirity:
The Lagasse Deception
I have given this small piece of analysis a section of it’s own as I believe it displays quite clearly the kind of arguments Arabesque commonly makes to protect a view point he believes the “9/11 truth movement” should hold. It is an argument that only works on people who have not seen Lagasse’s testimony for themselves as I will demonstrate after the quote:
“Of these eyewitnesses interviewed by CIT, William Lagasse falsely indicated where light poles were knocked down, while denying that others were knocked down. Amazingly, CIT implies that this does not affect the reliability of his flight path account—in fact, Ranke brazenly and disingenuously claims that it makes his testimony about the flight path even more credible:
“Why should he remember where the light poles were knocked down when he told us that he DID NOT SEE THE LIGHT POLES? Of course he would believe that the light poles/physical damage that he DID NOT SEE (or read reports on after the fact) would line up with the flight path of the plane that he DID SEE! That only serves to prove how certain he is of where he saw the plane.”
How could Lagasse “not see the light poles” as Ranke suggests if he claimed that “there was a light pole here that was knocked down [pointing to an incorrect location]… none of these light poles over here were knocked down”—a false statement? If Lagasse didn’t see or remember seeing these light poles on the ground on 9/11, he presumably would have replied “I don’t know”, instead of “none of these light poles… were knocked down”. Lagasse also misplaced the location of the taxi cab to the location where he thought the light poles were knocked down. This factual error strongly suggests that Lagasse witnessed the plane where the actual light poles were knocked down—not where he mistakenly thought they were knocked down. Along with incorrectly placing the location of the damaged Taxi Cab and light poles, at the very least this puts the accuracy of his “smoking gun” testimony in doubt.
In summary, CIT has made these misleading claims about Lagasse:
They claim that he “did not see the light poles” when Lagasse specifically claims that light poles were “not knocked down” and others were “knocked down” in an incorrect location.
They claim that because he misplaced the location of the light poles it makes his testimony of the flight path more reliable, despite giving factually incorrect information”
Only if you have never watched the actual film he is quoting or if you watched it without paying attention to it, so you could say you had, having already made up your mind.
As this is from his review of the film and he has transcribed many quotes from it into this article, we know for a fact Arabesque has seen it and that he was paying attention. If he wasn’t, he would hardly be qualified to write a scathing denouncement of it.
So he would have heard this:
CIT: Did you see it hit any lightpoles?
Lagasse: Did not see them hit any light poles, but obviously when I got to the scene the lightpoles were down.
This most important piece of testimony Arabesque first omits, then denies, then accuses the people who refer to it of making misleading statements.
The implications of Lagasse’s testimony is self-evident to anyone who has heard what he actually says in context, rather than just the cherry picked quotes Arabesque feeds his readers. When watching the source material film “The Pentacon” you will see there are several things that are apparent about what Lagasse knows and what he believes:
1) The plane flew to the North of Citgo;
2) The official story is true;
3) The light poles were down and one had hit a cab.
Since he believes the official story to be true, then in his mind he is not guessing or speculating when he incorrectly states that the light poles were in the same place as where he knew the plane was. It’s just logical deduction and all it does is speak to Laggasse’s unshakable certainty that the plane flew where he said it did. If he had actually seen it where it was supposed to be and made a mistake saying it flew North, wouldn’t Craig Ranke telling him that the official story has the light poles on the South side jog his memory? Instead he is adamant the plane was on the North and therefore believe he is right when he says the light poles were on the North as well.
Arabesque deliberately omitted Lagasse’s explicit statement that he didn’t the see light poles hit. Then in the next breath he writes:
“How could Lagasse “not see the light poles” as Ranke suggests…”
Ranke is suggesting nothing; Lagasse did not see the plane hit the light poles, and Arabesque knows this.
If Arabesque thought it was fair to call CIT “brazen” and “disingenuous” regarding Lagasse’s testimony, then what would it be fair to call Arabesque now that we know it was he who was doing the distorting?
This is the controversial part and I was tempted not to cover it, but within the context of this article it would be expected that I do. I would like to say that I am not 100% behind the flyover, but the truth is I simply find it very hard to see any other explanation. When you realise there is in fact next to nothing in the way of reliable eye witness confirmation of a South of Citgo flight path (once the chaff is stripped away amounting essentially to four unconfirmed scraps of testimony), and the testimony in support of a North of Citgo path continues to mount, the issue of the physical evidence becomes a serious problem. Needless to say, if the plane flew to the North of Citgo then it cannot have hit the light poles, and equally problematic its landing gear or anything else cannot have made that almost perfectly round hole in the C-ring.
Perhaps there is an explanation other than the flyover, and if those who opposed the (admittedly counter-intuitive) flyover theory actually engaged honestly with the evidence and provided some ideas then I would be all ears. Believe me, even for me, in possession of all the evidence not just the edited evidence Arabesque has decided to share with his readers, it still sounds ridiculous. If it is true then perhaps this was the point of it?
There are obviously some serious questions about the flyover, which I accept are rational, but I would rather people asked in an honest fashion (i.e. with an indication that they were interested in finding the answers), rather than as a part of an argument to incredulity.
Why would they not just fly the plane into the building?
What possible motive for such a complicated and high risk deception?
Why are there not hundreds of explicit witnesses to the event?
There is a highway on the far side of the building; surely they would all see this?
Yes, I’ve thought all these questions myself and I do not think they have been fully answered. But a priori objections such as these are not a rational basis on which to reject confirmed, verified and interrogated eye witness testimony. We need to look further into this testimony, not ignore it. Is there some way the testimony is compatible with any theory other than the flyover? Are there any eye witnesses we can verify and confirm to contradict that testimony? Are there answers to these questions which would explain how a flyover might be possible? These are the questions we should be asking, not avoiding.
What you will not have heard if your sole source of information on CIT is Arabesque is that there is a modest but growing body of evidence which would support the notion of a flyover, which I will disseminate here:
1) As verified by CIT in 2008, Roosevelt Roberts Jr. stated in 2001 that he saw a large commercial airliner at less than 100 feet above the ground flying away from the Pentagon seconds after the alleged impact. It is hard to listen to his testimony and come to any conclusion other than that he is a flyover witness, especially since he first gave this testimony just weeks after the event, and a large commercial jet liner is a hard thing to mistake.
2) In 2001 Erik Dihle stated that many witnesses around him said that the Pentagon was hit by a bomb attack and the plane kept on going showing that whatever perception ending up being reported, people on the scene did indeed report exactly the scenario that CIT have been forwarding. http://www.thepentacon.com/neit426.mp3
3) More of an interesting note: the 911 calls and transcripts of what people reported immediately have been confiscated and permanently sequestered by the FBI. In New York they were released. Why the reticence to show what the public were actually saying about what they saw happened before they were told what had happened? Erik Dihle’s above testimony could shed some light on the reasons for this.
3) While there have been reports in the media that the C-130 pilot witnessed the attack, there is video, photographic, and eyewitness evidence as well as the word of the actual pilot Lt Col Steve O’Brien to demonstrate beyond a doubt that the C-130 was not in the area until about 3 minutes after the attack. Could the C-130 which was witnessed by many around the time of the Pentagon event have been used as a cover story to convince witnesses who thought the plane continued that they were seeing this second plane instead? Could this explain the false claims that the C-130 was “shadowing” the attack jet when we know it was not?
4) In a very similar vein could people seeing the plane over Washington have had the plane they witnessed “explained away” by the later appearance of the “Doomsday Plane” which was verified and photographed circling Washington (staying for so long in such sensitive airspace that it seemed to be begging people to photograph and confirm it)? The first reports of a white plane over Washington were in fact immediately after the Pentagon attack. The Doomsday Plane was actually reported some time later although the two different sightings and two different times were later clumsily merged in the official narrative.
However cynical you may be of the fly-over theory, I hope that you at least accept that these facts are food for thought, and go some way towards answering the awkward questions that come to our minds when considering the flyover theory.
Having promised Arabesque this response within “a few days”, and having only found small pockets of spare time to work on this article over a busy two weeks, I will close up for now. I may not have responded to every single erroneous claim of Arabesque’s but have shown clearly the principle reasons for my position on CIT: The supposed “hundreds” of witnesses contradicting a North of Citgo flight path do not exist, while the 13 independently verified CIT witnesses clearly do. I hope an open and honest debate can begin and this can be discussed maturely and we can cover every topic in detail. I also hope that Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis will be allowed to return to truthaction.org forums to present their own counterarguments to criticisms of their work.
I want to remind the reader of my aims here. I am not aiming to prove that CIT’s flyover theory is correct, or even that the North of Citgo flight path is correct. I am not saying that just because McGraw and Brooks both sounded like witnesses to the plane hitting the light poles and turned out with a little investigation to be nothing of the sort, that the same can be assumed of the others. What I would expect is for people who claim these witnesses definitely did see light poles struck by a plane to be putting similar efforts to CIT in to confirm and verify this. I accept the remote possibility that all 13 CIT witnesses could be so drastically wrong in the same way; while it is extremely unlikely it is technically possible, but it is certainly not a claim that can be made flippantly. Such a fantastical claim is so against the odds that I would expect at the very least for those who forward it to apply the same rigour CIT have in confirming it.
Instead we have been presented with an extremely small body of extremely weak evidence dressed up as an extremely large body of extremely weak evidence. Neither would cut it for me.
Despite his claim that CIT are doing the same, Arabesque’s entire argument is a protracted and drawn-out appeal for his readers to apply (in Arabesque’s trade mark, bolded, italic and coloured text) special pleading. CIT are not telling you to ignore any testimony, indeed they are asking you to do what they have done and to look into these witnesses of Arabesque’s properly, to check they were there, to check the quotes are actually testimony, to check what they appear to be claiming in a cherry picked quote is what they were actually claiming. It is Arabesque whose argument is to try and create an illusion that CIT’s witnesses are such an extreme minority, and on the back of that illusion expecting you to ignore them, or more accurately to take his word on what they do and do not say. As I have shown the second you actually watch CIT’s videos Arabesque’s distortions and dishonesty are immediately apparent.
Those who have allowed themselves to be convinced of a position whereby the meat and bones of the official story at the Pentagon (i.e. that the plane did fly on the official flight path and did hit the light poles and the building, albeit with different perpetrators behind the crime) should consider that the CIT gathered testimony is not by a long shot the only problem with the official story in this area, to name just a few:
1) There are the big questions posed by the various sets of data released by the government and the contradictions they show both between each other and with eye witness testimony. British researcher Calum Douglas received an animated allegedly created from the flight data via FOIA request that contradicted the official flight path, after giving it to Pilots for 9/11Truth they received a spreadsheet of the full flight data which again contradicted the official flight path and also contained contradictions with the animation. Both sets of data end when the plane is way short of the Pentagon. The RADES data showed the C-130 flying a flight path no witness ascribed to it, and is a contradiction with the pilot’s own testimony about where he flew. The flight data and radar is an inconclusive and contradictory mess. Why would this be if the official story is essentially correct?
2) Referring to the flight data Pilots for 9/11 Truth has claimed that from the last position of the plane, even taking a debunkers view of the lowest possible altitude, the G-force exerted on the plane in order for it to level out to match the CCTV footage of it flying low and level would make the official scenario impossible.
3) Steve Chaconas, another key CIT witness has the plane flying a completely different path, over the river from Washington. This not only confirms early reports of the plane’s flight path, and recorded communications between air traffic controllers regarding the plane, it was even a flight path shown for the plane in an early National Geographic documentary on 9/11, and was described in an early statement to the press by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.
4) There are both multiple reports and recorded audio and visual evidence of more than one explosion after the initial event at the Pentagon.
5) The classic problem with the Pentagon is the fact that the CCTV footage has never been fully disclosed. We know that there were out-facing CCTV cameras on the walls of the Pentagon, including the face which was attacked which would surely clear the controversy up for once and for all? So why not just release it if the official story is essentially correct?
Whatever Arabesque and others may contrive to convince you of, the Pentagon is not a closed book; it is not true that there is “nothing to see here”. I am not proposing that people start going out campaigning on a topic which is still as inconclusive as the Pentagon, but neither do I think we should throw in the towel. Research must continue on every area and every point of 9/11 in the hope that one day we amass so much evidence that the truth is undeniable to even the most irrational official conspiracy theorist. I don’t need to remind anyone that regardless of claims that we have enough evidence already, 9/11 truth is still a minority position.
Regardless, the bigger question to ask is where we are going if we submit to the policy of PR before honesty, and image before truth? I believe that Arabesque is acting from a misguided good intention; he seems to have convinced himself that he is some kind of protector of the truth movement and will attack without provocation anything he thinks could be bad PR. And every dishonest, manipulative and misleading trick in the debating book is fair game because supposedly the ends justify the means.
Have we forgotten that the truth has its own value, and that the people have a right to know? Are we becoming everything we got behind the cause of 9/11 truth to fight? When we start closing down on areas of research we feel we damage our credibility are we really so different to Noam Chomsky and all of the other left wing commentators who have closed down on 9/11 Truth wholesale for the exact same reasons?
Attempting to protect the credibility of the left-wing mainstream peace movement, Chomsky famously said “who cares if 9/11 was an inside job?” Do we really want to join him in a misguided attempt to protect the credibility of 9/11 Truth by saying “who cares what happened at the Pentagon?” And do we need to be reminded that many of the families of the innocent people who died there most definitely do?
I end this with a call for people who publicly oppose CIT to be honest with themselves, even if they can’t be honest publicly, and admit they have not watched all of their videos, read their articles or looked properly at their own (far more detailed than mine) responses to Arabesque and others. Several of the most vocal “debunkers” of CIT have admitted to me that they have not reviewed their work for themselves but “trust” Arabesque based on his past record, essentially letting someone else do their thinking for them. Others have admitted to only having seen the first film, which is now several years old and represents a third of their evidence.
Einstein once said:
“Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance”
If everyone followed this philosophy then there would be no one in the world who rejected the notion that 9/11 was a false flag operation. 9/11 activists should know better.