Dissecting Disinformation:
the "No Boeing 757" Theory


[UPDATE 7/7/03 -- As this article shows, something DID hit the Pentagon, contrary to the French "No Boeing 757 Theory" which claims that nothing crashed, and that the impact was created with on-site explosions. However, analysis suggest that what REALLY happened is far more sinister than either the official version or the French theory. It now appears that what crashed into the Pentagon was a guided missile or drone craft cloaked to look like a 757, something that could be controlled with precision. Such a theory best fits the facts. To find out more, please read the following off-site article: http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/boeing.htm]

Did a Boeing 757 really hit the Pentagon on September 11th? Some rumors circulating the net lately would like to claim that no such plane ever crashed into the Pentagon. Sure there was an explosion, but according to the rumor photo and video taken of the event supposedly lack any evidence for a 757 having caused the explosion.

As will be shown in here, this rumor is either misinformation or disinformation. While a swelling number of people are jumping upon this idea, it is evident that they are being set up for being discredited as gullible conspiracy theorists. Unfortunately, those who wish to reveal the real truth about 9-11 will be grouped into the same category and thereby discredited as well. This seems to be the ultimate purpose of such disinformation. Someone is hyping a poorly created conspiracy theory and then destroying it along with the credibility of anyone smelling even a legitimate one.

There is a definite conspiracy behind 9-11, one most fringe researchers couldn't even wrap their linear minds around should they discover it. But what they could understand and share with "the people" would be enough to punch a smoking hole into the official government version of what happened. So while it will be shown here why the no-plane rumor is false, there is no denial here of an actual conspiracy. In fact, that the rumor probably is disinformation indicates that a greater truth is under suppression.

In this article, some simple arithmetic will be used to investigate the surveillance photos taken outside the Pentagon on 9-11. Does the footage correlate with the officially reported and rumored facts? Are there obvious signs of disinformation or selective editing of these pictures? There are other sites which have caught on to the disinformation aspect of this rumor and are distancing themselves from it, and this article serves to further indicate the false nature of the no-plane rumor.

Let's begin with the March 8, 2002 Fox News article :

Photos Show Plane Hitting Pentagon on Sept. 11

WASHINGTON A series of photos has surfaced that show the moment a hijacked American Airlines plane slammed into the Pentagon last Sept. 11.

The photos were taken by a surveillance camera positioned north of the section of the Pentagon destroyed by the impact and the resulting explosion and fire.

The images cover a span of four one-hundredths of a second. The first photo shows a small, blurry white object near the upper right corner possibly the plane just a few feet above the ground. The second shows a white glow immediately after the impact. In the remaining photos, a mountain of orange fire and black smoke rises above the building.

The photographs were not officially released by the Pentagon, but officials said the images were authentic and had been provided to law enforcement officials investigating the attack. The photographs were obtained Thursday by The Associated Press and other news organizations.

Officials could not immediately explain why the date typed near the bottom of each photograph is Sept. 12 and the time is written as 5:37 p.m. The attack happened at about 9:37 a.m. on Sept. 11. Officials said it was possible that the date and time were added the day after the attack when they may have been catalogued for investigative purposes. [...]

Gone from the western flank is the jagged hole of blackened concrete ripped open by a rogue jetliner traveling 350 mph, six feet above the ground. In its place is a 100-yard-wide rectangular gap partly filled with five stories of floors in various states of construction. [...]

The first strange item in the news article is the statement,

"The images cover a span of four one-hundredths of a second."

Since there are four images, this means the camera was operating at a frame rate of 100 frames per second. There are several reasons why this is close to impossible:

1) Rarely do security cameras operate at such fast frame rates. The cheapest cameras such as black and white CCTV cameras used in supermarkets operate from 1 - 5 frames a second in order to save on video tape or computer memory. A television (often used to monitor the output of a surveillance camera) operates at 30 frames per second. Some computer monitors do have a 100 Hz capability, however, so while it is not impossible for a CCTV system to utilize such quick frame rates, it is still highly unlikely.

2) Animating the four photos at 100 fps on the author's computer produces a frame rate below 100 fps but still fast enough to show the improbability that the Fox News article was correct. Click on this link to open a new window, wait for the gif to fully load and examine this for yourself:

gif animation at 100 frames per second (187 kb)

3) The smoke plume rises too quickly at that frame rate. The Pentagon building is 77 feet tall according to an official government site. The third and fourth frames show the plume traveling a distance approximately equal to the height of the building itself. With 100 fps, the plume would have gone ~80 feet in .01 seconds, or almost 6000 miles per hour. This number is absurd, even if approximate. Watching the animation above reveals the unnatural motion of the plume at such a frame rate

4) The plane can be seen darting from the right of the frame to the wall of the Pentagon on the left, but it does so at an unnatural speed in the 100 fps animation. To judge from the four photos how fast the plane was traveling, the following composite picture of the first two frames superimposed allows easy estimation:

The Pentagon height, h, is 77 feet. In computer analysis, h measured 43 pixels and L was 244. Calculations show that L equates to 440 feet. Due to errors in perspective and measurement of pixels, this number is better stated as a range between 350 and 450 feet. The red line shows the relative length of the Boeing 757 using the same pixels-feet ratio. With 100 frames per second, the plane appears to have traveled ~440 feet in .01 or .02 seconds, or 22 to 44 thousand miles per hour. Once again, this number is clearly absurd, even if approximate. The cruising speed of a Boeing 757 is less than 600 mph, and Fox News reported that in the case of the Pentagon crash it traveled at 350 mph.

So 100 frames per second is not correct. Ten frames per second might be reasonable, for that would mean the article was off by a factor of ten:

gif animation at 10 frames per second (187k)

But still, the plume rises too quickly. Four frames per second looks more realistic:

gif animation at 4 frames per second (187k)

If the plane really traveled at 350 miles per hour, then to cover the approximate distance of 440 feet in one or two frames, the frame rate in reality would have to be between 2 and 4 frames per second, greatly off from the erroneous or disinformative frame rate reported by Fox News. A few frames per second is the standard rate for security cameras, so this calculation is in agreement with that fact. At this rate, the smoke plume rises correctly as well.

The animations also reveal that a definite white object is seen streaking from right to left, apparently causing the explosion. The tail height of a Boeing 757 is 44 feet, about half of the height of the Pentagon. The white streak's height looks to be in proportion with this. And at 2-4 frames per second, its speed appears reasonable as well. Whatever crashed into the Pentagon had the size, color, speed, and energy of a Boeing 757.

The second strange item in the Fox article is the following:

"Officials could not immediately explain why the date typed near the bottom of each photograph is Sept. 12 and the time is written as 5:37 p.m. The attack happened at about 9:37 a.m. on Sept. 11. Officials said it was possible that the date and time were added the day after the attack when they may have been catalogued for investigative purposes."

Officials could not immediately explain the apparent discrepancy, and they said it was only possible that the date and time were added the next day during cataloguing.

The time sequences are as follows:

Sept 12th 17:37:19
Sept 12th 17:37:19
Sept 12th 17:37:21
Sept 12th 17:37:23

No seconds elapsed between the 1st and 2nd frame, two seconds between the 2nd and 3rd frame, and another two seconds between the 3rd and 4th. This is not consistent with any camera at any frame rate, and therefore could only have been added later.

A third strange fact is that the plane traveled at 350 mph merely 6 feet above ground and hit a bulls eye. It did not overshoot the Pentagon or dive prematurely into the ground. This is part of the real conspiracy, for there is no way a hijacker even with training could have pulled this off. A computer, maybe. There are many other aspects of 9-11 which show the real conspiracy. The point of this article is to refute one of the recent fake conspiracies.

Even the official Fox News report, not just the no-plane rumor, appears to have some disinformation. The frame rate was incorrect and Fox News said officials could not "immediately" explain the time discrepancy. Surely a dumbed down reader would accept the article as fact and go on with his life, but anyone not hypnotized to that degree (and hence a possible threat to the status quo) might perk his or her ears and realize something is wrong. This is where the no-plane rumor might pull them into a funhouse of illusion.

Let's examine the no-plane rumor. It may have begun with a French website which opens with:

"As everyone knows, on 11 September, less than an hour after the attack on the World Trade Center, an airplane collided with the Pentagon. The Associated Press first reported that a booby-trapped truck had caused the explosion. The Pentagon quickly denied this. The official US government version of events still holds. Here's a little game for you: Take a look at these photographs and try to find evidence to corroborate the official version. It's up to you to Hunt the Boeing!"

It then presents a series of photographs, comments, and questions attempting to persuade the reader that a Boeing 757 could not have done what it supposedly did.

"Can you explain how a Boeing 757-200, weighing nearly 100 tons and traveling at a minimum speed of 250 miles an hour* only damaged the outside of the Pentagon?

Yes, unlike the WTC, the Pentagon is more a solid concrete structure. The plane ripped through the first ring which contained enough concrete to disintegrate the plane. A Boeing is made more of aircraft aluminum instead of armor piercing titanium, figuratively speaking. Think of the gedanken difference between 10 pounds of steel fired at a wall versus 10 pounds of water at the same speed.

"The two photographs in question 2 show the building just after the attack. We may observe that the aircraft only hit the ground floor. The four upper floors collapsed towards 10.10 am. The building is 26 yards high.

Can you explain how a Boeing 14.9 yards high, 51.7 yards long, with a wingspan of 41.6 yards and a cockpit 3.8 yards high, could crash into just the ground floor of this building?"

Accuracy of the impact aside, this is easily explainable. The tail height of a 757-200 is 45 feet, but the fuselage height is only 5.5 yards.

If one clips off the wings, tail fin, and wheels, all that is left is a fuselage only 5.5 yards in diameter. The fuselage is what did most of the damage, and thus the damage seen on the Pentagon is entirely consistent with that. Saying that a Boeing is 14.9 yards high is misleading since that is the tail height:

"The photograph above [ visit the site ] shows the lawn in front of the damaged building. You'll remember that the aircraft only hit the ground floor of the Pentagon's first ring. Can you find debris of a Boeing 757-200 in this photograph?"

Due to forward momentum, most of the debris would be lodged in the rubble, not scattered about on the lawn. The plane disintegrated on impact of the building, not before it hit. Some did bounce back as could be seen in the animation. There are also photos showing some debris on the lawn elsewhere:

"The photographs in Question 5 show representations of a Boeing 757-200 superimposed on the section of the building that was hit. Can you explain what happened to the wings of the aircraft and why they caused no damage?"

The picture shows damage to the building precisely where the wings would have been. Once again, these were solid walls on the Pentagon. If a 155 foot long fuselage could only penetrate the first ring, then a flimsy wing would have done as much damage as is shown in the photo.

[UPDATE 7/7/03 - What I said above is incorrect. Other photos show that the impact penetrated at least three or four rings, in a neat circular hole. There IS damage on the outside of the first ring due to wings, but that damage is highly disproportional to the supposed fuselage damage. This suggest two things: that the fuselage carried a penetrating explosive payload like a missile, and that the wings were too flimsy to be functional and were therefore decorative to disguise the craft as a 757.]

As can be seen, this French website is full of errors, logical fallacies, false assumptions, and tricks to support its theory that no Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon. The average person with only enough interest to check into a few alternative theories to 9-11 might find this site convincing. But a critical analysis shows it's anything but.

There is much more to all this. The analysis of the Pentagon footage is enough to show that the no-plane rumor is most likely disinformation. Discrepancies in the official news reports are "covertly obvious" enough to lead people into the no-plane trap. This is just one example of a common but clandestine trend, the creation of forged maps leading to empty treasure chests.

For more information, use discernment and do your own research. Don't forget to visit the following articles:

What Really Happened: French Claim About Pentagon Jet is a Sick Joke

Sludge Report: The Hunt For Flight 77

added 7/7/03 - Comments on the Pentagon Strike