THE 9/11 PSY-OPERA: Pentagon Debates Expose Emptiness of Large-Plane-Impact Scenario – By Craig McKee

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The work that Craig Ranke (of Citizen Investigation Team) has done on the witnesses for the north path is some of the most solid, irrefutable evidence that one could ever assemble on 9/11, period – Massimo Mazzucco, creator of September 11: The New Pearl Harbor

It was my understanding there would be no math ― Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford in 1976 presidential debate, Saturday Night Live

By Craig McKee

It’s like watching someone try to dance between raindrops while they accuse you of being all wet.

Those who are determined to push the impossible claim that a large plane really did hit the Pentagon on 9/11 – despite the absence of a plane at the “crash” site – go to incredible lengths to try and make their case. They speculate, hypothesize, assume, and concoct imaginative and “plausible” scenarios that they claim “fit the data” or are “consistent with an impact”. They focus on minor details as if they are conclusive, they mention the “witnesses” as if the word alone makes their case, and they come up with some of the most colorful re-imaginings of the laws of physics you will ever hear.

In the last few months, what happened at the Pentagon has become a bit of a hot topic once again within the Truth Movement, leading to a series of debates that I am involved in with fellow 9/11 types Barbara Honegger, Wayne Coste, and Adam Ruff. These debates are being held as part of the monthly call of the 9/11 and Other Deep State Crimes Teleconference (formerly the 9/11 Truth Teleconference). The first two debates were held Dec. 30 and Jan. 27, while the third and final is planned for April 27.

It would not be unreasonable, I think, to suggest that articles posted in recent months on Truth and Shadows about the Pentagon have played a role in bringing renewed attention to the subject. Two of those articles were critiques of presentations given by researchers David Chandler and Ken Jenkins at the 9/11 film festival held in Oakland, CA. in September. Both presentations were part of a continuing effort by a small team of researchers to get the 9/11 Truth Movement to abandon some the most powerful evidence that exists that 9/11 was an inside job.

Following these presentations and my critiques there was a proposal within our teleconference to debate the subject. Three distinct positions emerged: a large plane hit the Pentagon, a large plane did not hit the Pentagon, and Honeggers’s hybrid position that a large plane was destroyed over the Pentagon lawn and not at the official story time of 9:37:45.

The team of researchers I mentioned – which includes Chandler, Jenkins, Frank Legge, John Wyndham, Jonathan Cole, Jim Hoffman, Victoria Ashley, and others – keeps repackaging the same discredited ideas about the Pentagon into one “scholarly paper” after another. They repeat frequently how they are using “the scientific method” while those who disagree are suffering from “confirmation bias” (which means favoring information that confirms existing beliefs).

Bringing psychological elements into the discussion seems to be Jenkins’ specialty. While I’m sure we are all potentially vulnerable to this bias, I object to the use of the term by this group to imply something that I believe is false – that those who maintain that no large plane hit the Pentagon are biased and engaging in speculation, while those who push the impact scenario are relying on science for their conclusions.

The first debate in our series had Coste arguing for a large plane impact against Honegger. Both produced PowerPoint presentations that participants on the call could follow along with. After the debate, an online survey was held to determine which side that listeners felt had been most effective in presenting their case. Of those who expressed a preference, Honegger was favored 20-3 over Coste. While Honegger focused almost entirely on the impossibility of an impact (her exploded drone theory was just mentioned at the end), Coste offered a smattering of guesswork and speculation dressed up to look like evidence.

He also agreed to go up against me and Ruff in the second debate (Adam and I operated as a team). This time we debated the statement that a large plane was destroyed at the Pentagon, which, for the two sides, amounted to arguing whether an impact took place. Honegger accused us of not addressing the agreed-upon subject, but we don’t agree since we believe that the only way a large plane could have been destroyed would be if it had hit the building.

In the 3rd and final encounter, Ruff and I will face off against Honegger over the issue of whether a plane was destroyed. This will require us to respond to Honegger’s latest position that a plane blew up over the lawn, which will be challenging because it will require us to counter points that we are less accustomed to addressing.

The January event was the first formal debate I’d been part of since Grade 9 when I defended the ancient astronaut theory of Erich von Däniken, author of Chariots of the Gods?

I wasn’t big on official stories even then.

For this second Pentagon debate, Coste revamped his presentation with some new but equally ineffective and irrelevant points. He included “confirmation bias” in his presentation once again, explaining it this way:

“So confirmation bias and an effort to show that 9/11 was an inside job apparently lead some to adopt wishful hypotheses that are not supported by the evidence and then to ridicule those who have actually looked at all the evidence.”

So what we learn from this is that those who don’t agree with Coste are apparently engaged in wishful thinking. Meanwhile, he has looked at “all the evidence.” In fact, he looks for any way possible to muddy the waters by bringing in minor points that don’t address the most important questions.

By the way, Adam and I prevailed in this debate 17-1, so the vote total over two was 37-4 against Coste’s position. It’s encouraging to see that a healthy number of truthers are not being persuaded by the weak arguments that Chandler and his team have been pushing.


Dawn of the ‘zombie myths’

Coste introduced a new concept in his presentation, which also seems to be inspired by Jenkins and the “debunkers” who call attention to the psychology of “conspiracy theorists.” He calls this new concept the “zombie myth”:

“Some misstatements about the Pentagon never die even though they are proven wrong. They get resurrected without merit… Paying attention is the only way to kill a zombie myth.”

Guess which side is guilty of perpetuating “zombie myths”? Yup, it’s the majority who understand that the evidence does not support a large plane impact. Apparently, we’re all failing to pay attention to what Coste and his friends are trying to tell us. Does he back up his condescending contention that we keep pushing ideas that have been proven wrong? No, he does not.

One of the odd issues Coste focused on during the debate was a tree stump that he says could only have been created by a large plane pulling the rest of the tree into the building. He devoted several slides to this stump. Odder still was that he focused on alleged witnesses who were as far as six miles away from the Pentagon (Don Chauncey could not even see the allegedly impacted side of the building from his vantage point six miles away, and he thought the plane he saw was a small commuter jet). Coste’s purpose as he explained it was to pick people who he thinks would have been in a position to see a plane fly over if this had occurred. The problem is that it is extremely doubtful that anyone this far away could have seen anything conclusive.

Coste departs from Chandler in contending that the wings, tail, and stabilizers of the plane “folded in” and were pulled into the building. He even created a series of diagrams showing this occurring. Here is his explanation from our group email discussion:

“… I developed a hypothesis that investigated the mechanics of the plane impact that – based on the structure and connections in the plane – that the wings would have been pushed back by crumpling the rear connections of the wings while leaving the front connections somewhat attached to the airframe.  With the remaining connections – and the forward momentum – would be sufficient to allow the fuselage and the wings to enter the 80 opening between columns 10 and 18. The attached sequence shows the hypothesis that the tail would/could have been rotated backwards from the forces shown and the tail may not have impacted the Pentagon wall at a height above the second story. I recognize that there is no conclusive proof of these hypotheses, but it does provide a reasonable explanation of the observations.”

Dare I suggest that he exhibits clear signs of “confirmation bias” because he certainly hasn’t got a shred of science behind his theory. Chandler, Hoffman, and other members of their team claim that these large sections of the plane would have been turned to “confetti” upon impact. What they all have in common is that they are simply guessing with little or no science to support anything they are saying.


The wings folded in – yeah, that’s the ticket.

Given this, it’s not surprising that Coste puts most of his focus on the witness accounts. But in doing so, he further exposes the emptiness of his position by picking the statements he likes and dismissing the ones that don’t suit his narrative. He used Mike Walter as a solid witness to impact even though Walter’s story has changed multiple times, and he is easily the most unreliable witness on record. Walter is well known for his TV appearance several years after 9/11 when he explained how the plane’s wings “folded in” as the plane entered the building. But it is less well known that he has told other stories, including a version in which he lost sight of the plane behind some trees and then saw a fireball. Coste has no problem standing behind the Walter account while dismissing others as being “embellishment.”

The view from Storti's balcony: the Pentagon is barely visible to the right of the white building.

The view from Storti’s balcony: the Pentagon is barely visible to the right of the white building.

In our presentation, Adam and I pointed to the claims of alleged witness Steve Storti, who says he saw the plane hit the Pentagon from more than three-quarters of a mile away even though its flight would have been almost entirely blocked by apartment buildings until the last split second. He also makes the incredible claim that he could see movement in the windows. He told Craig Ranke of Citizen Investigation Team (CIT):

“In the back third of the jet, I could tell you unequivocally there were individuals moving around back there. I know this because I could see blue in the windows all the way back until the final third of the plane at which point some of the windows stayed blacked out.”

Coste employs double standards (and triple and quadruple…) when it comes to doling out credibility to some witnesses and writing off others. He was offended that Adam and I “impugned” Storti and fellow witness Stephen McGraw in the debate. Storti deserved impugning, but in the case of McGraw, I was just pointing out that taking a quote from a newspaper or some other source – without the benefit of further questioning – could lead to some misconceptions about what some people actually saw. In explaining how follow-up interviews of the kind conducted by CIT were valuable in clarifying what some witnesses saw, I referred to Eric Bart’s collection of witness statements where Stephen McGraw was quoted as saying this:

“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.”

But Aldo Marquis of CIT followed up and elicited this:

“I didn’t actually see the light pole go over or anything, no. I believe I later saw you know the evidence of the pole having been knocked over umm and I think that was just after the fact.”

Oddly, Coste impugned McGraw himself when he discounted as “embellishment” a later statement that the plane had “cartwheeled” across the Pentagon lawn. Another great example of a double standard.

Subsequent exchanges between me and Coste have further revealed the absolute bankruptcy of his position. I wrote to him in a group email discussion that I think he is starting with his conclusion and then creating a theory to fit it:

“It’s interesting that Popular Mechanics says the wings were sheared off (even though they are nowhere to be found outside), David Chandler and Dwain Deets think they turned to confetti (despite an absence of the necessary debris outside) and you think the wings were dragged in (without any evidence to support this). What you all have in common is that you are all guessing.”

He responded:

“What I did was start with the observation that 1) a plane hit at about 42 degrees and 2) there was an 80 foot opening present in the 1st floor wall and 3) there was no significant structural material left outside the building. I then developed a hypothesis, worked through a sequence of steps and showed that it would be reasonable for the plane to pass most of the (deformed) wingspan through the 80 foot opening. Observation and hypothesis match.”

I rest my case. That part, anyway.

There were a number of false statements made by Coste both during the debate and in later discussions. He says that all the witnesses refute the flyover theory, which is ridiculous. He says virtually none of the witnesses fail to describe a south of Citgo flight path, which is also false. And he says there is not one single witness to a flyover. Also false. And he says that those on my side of the debate are saying that the plane “vanished” after flying past the building. We make no such claim.

Coste put an inordinate amount of emphasis on the significance of witness George Aman, who was interviewed by Ranke. Coste claims that Aman is a south path witness because he says he saw the light poles hit. But I point out that Aman specifically describes a flight path that is north of the Citgo gas station. He is very clear about this. Like other north of Citgo witnesses like Darius Prather and Darrell Stafford, he thought the plane might hit the maintenance building where he was working, and this building is well to the north of where the gas station was (it no longer exists). Of course, Coste finds Aman’s recollection of the flight path to be the least reliable part of his story while this quote from his Library of Congress interview supposedly indicates that he saw the poles hit:

“Yes, and that’s when I looked over here and then when I was looking over here and I seen things fly up in there not knowing really what the hell they were but come to find out they were streetlights. So the plane was clipping the tops of the streetlights off. And I could see the people’s faces in the plane.”

So that quote tells Coste that Aman saw the light poles but he then throws out the description of the flight path.

Coste writes: “So I guess I must conclude that George Aman’s assertion that the plane was between the Citgo station and his office has so many inconsistencies that I would say that his recollection was in error.”

Ironically, Coste says CIT is guilty of cherry picking what witnesses said.

As Coste explained in our group discussion, he thinks the goal is to get 9/11 into a courtroom, and for this reason he seems to imply that any witnesses who make contradictory comments should be disqualified – unless they suit his position; then they’re fine. The problem is that he wants to disqualify the witness accounts that support the north of Citgo flight path on various grounds, including the timing of the statements (what witnesses said closer to the event is supposedly more reliable) and the fact that they believe the plane did crash.

Lagasse says he is 100% certain that the plane flew to the north of the station.

Lagasse says he is 100% certain that the plane flew to the north of the station.

He says (falsely) that “many of the CIT witnesses are questionable.” He thinks Pentagon cop William Lagasse was mistaken about seeing the plane fly from his left to his right and to the north of the station because Lagasse said he was talking to his dog, which was apparently in the car behind him. But to suggest that he actually saw the plane on the other side of the station flying right to left is simply not credible. Lagasse is joined in being very specific about seeing the plane on the north path by Chadwick Brooks, Ed Paik, Sean Boger, William Middleton, Darius Prather, Darrell Stafford, Robert Turcios, George Aman, and others.

Below are the points (in the form of PowerPoint slides) that Adam and I produced for the debate:


Highlights from the McKee/Ruff PowerPoint presentation

  • On 9/11 we were asked to believe: the Twin Towers were destroyed because of plane impacts and resulting fires; a 757 crashed into an open field and promptly disappeared underground; and a 757 crashed into one of the most secure buildings in the world without a single large piece of wreckage being visible at the crash scene and without a single piece of video showing that this had actually happened.
  • Why does the Pentagon matter? The clear evidence of a faked plane crash at the Pentagon on 9/11 is a critical element of proving that this was a false flag operation and an inside job that involved the U.S. government. This is because no other entity could have staged this crime scene and then covered up the deception.
  • Burden of proof: Since clear proof of an impact has not been produced, the burden of proof is on those who believe it occurred.
  • Can’t it be an inside job even if we support an impact? Yes, but when we discard some of the most powerful evidence we have, the case against the official story is much weaker.
  • Which witness accounts are not credible? James Meigs, formerly of Popular Mechanics, says “hundreds” saw an American Airlines jet hit the Pentagon. Others say 180 saw an impact. Both are false. To know who saw what, we have to look at what each witness actually said.
  • Things can change when witnesses are questioned: Stephen McGraw was quoted this way by Eric Bart: “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.” But when questioned by Aldo Marquis of CIT, he said: “I didn’t actually see the light pole go over or anything, no. I believe I later saw you know the evidence of the pole having been knocked over umm and I think that was just after the fact.”
  • In Ken Jenkins’ The Pentagon Plane Puzzle: “Janet are you with us? You saw a plane crash into the Pentagon?” “Yes, sir I did … I just saw the plane disappear out of my sight beyond the trees and then I just saw massive billows of smoke.”
  • In the best breakdown done yet, researcher onesliceshort starts with 239 alleged witnesses. Then he eliminates these as impact witnesses: 48 were inside the Pentagon; 35 arrived after or weren’t there at all; 31 could not physically see the Pentagon; 20 admitted not seeing impact; 7 were anonymous; 7 were 2nd or 3rd hand accounts; 9 described hearing or feeling the impact or just seeing a fireball; 20 had accounts embellished by the media; 21 could see the Pentagon but not the alleged impact location; and other categories. This leaves just 41 potential impact witnesses. But even among those, details vary widely. And that figure includes numerous witnesses who contradict the official flight path.
  • Some witnesses were highly credible: CIT conducted numerous interviews near the Pentagon and found more than a dozen highly credible witnesses who saw a plane approach on a different flight path. The witnesses drew an almost identical flight path to the north of the Citgo gas station. On-camera interviews in CIT’s video National Security Alert were high quality – clear, thorough, and transparent. Despite these witnesses believing a plane hit, they described a flight path that doesn’t match the damage. They also described the same right bank. CIT offers viewers the opportunity to judge for themselves whether they find these witnesses to be credible. Unless the North of Citgo witnesses are mistaken or lying in exactly the same way then the government’s plane-impact story can’t be true.
  • Mazzucco on CIT: “The work that Craig Ranke (of CIT) has done on the witnesses for the north path is some of the most solid, irrefutable evidence that one could ever assemble on 9/11, period.” – Massimo Mazzucco, creator of September 11: The New Pearl Harbor.
  • Authenticity of Flight Data Recorder highly in doubt: Since there is no way through serial numbers to tie either the Flight Data Recorder or the Cockpit Voice Recorder to Flight 77 or any other plane then neither can be relied upon to substantiate impact. However, it is still valid to point out that this evidence, offered by the government to substantiate its own official story, actually refutes it. So either the FDR data were fabricated, which proves inside job, or they were genuine, which also proves inside job. (In The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, David Ray Griffin presents a report that the FDR was found in the Pentagon rubble at 4 a.m. on Sept. 14 yet the data was downloaded at 11:45 p.m. on Sept. 13)
  • FDR simulation: The simulation done by the National Transportation Safety Board from the alleged FDR data shows a flight path to the north of the Citgo gas station and an altitude much too high for a plane to have hit the Pentagon. Once adjusted for the correct air pressure , Pilots for 9/11 Truth reveals that the altitude of the alleged plane would have been 300 feet higher than even the 180 feet shown on the NTSB simulation. Given that this location is 40 feet above sea level, this means the alleged plane would have been 480 feet above sea level and 440 feet above the light poles.
  • Impossible descent: The simulation showed an altitude of 699 feet above sea level as the alleged plane passed the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) antenna. Descending to ground level would create a G-forces far beyond the capability of a 757, in this case 34 Gs. Even if a plane barely clears the antenna, it’s still 10.14 Gs. The official path requires a plane to fly over, not around, the VDOT antenna.
  • At the “crash” scene: How could a 757 cause so little damage to the façade and yet not leave a single large piece of wreckage outside? Where did the wings and tail go? If the right engine hit column 17, why is it still partially standing? Why are windows above the 2nd floor opening unbroken? Column 14 still intact on 2nd floor where fuselage would have hit. The Pentagon Building Performance Report states the alleged plane would have lost structural integrity by the time it reached halfway to the rounded C ring hole 310 feet farther inside. So what caused it? Where did the two 7,000-pound Rolls Royce engines go? And who were the guys in dress pants on the lawn, and why were they placing or moving evidence at a crime scene before any investigation had started?
  • Planted evidence: A Virginia driver’s licence allegedly belonging to a hijacker survived the alleged crash and bodies of passengers were supposedly identified using DNA comparison, meanwhile the contents of the Cockpit Voice Recorder were destroyed because of the “intense heat.” All three “crash” scenes on 9/11 featured “hijackers’” ID being found.
  • The wings would have snapped off: A study by mathematician and computer scientist A.K. Dewdney and aerospace engineer G.W. Longspaugh addressed what would have happened to the wings had they made contact with the Pentagon wall in their paper “The Missing Wings,” which was published in 2003 and revised in 2004. They found: “… in the ASCE report, the port wing struck a column just to the left of the presumed engine-hole. Since the column did not fail, the wing must have … the entire weight of the wing still, traveling at 500-plus miles per hour, would have produced a bending force that was entirely concentrated on the point of contact of the wing with the support column. This would have snapped all three spars instantly … they would fail as soon as the force of impact exceeded the elastic limit of the material. If they did not fail and if the support columns did not give way, the only remaining possibility would be for the aircraft to remain almost entirely outside of the Pentagon … there is no way to avoid the conclusion that the wings (and therefore the aircraft) were never present in the first place. In this case, no Boeing 757 struck the Pentagon building on the morning of September 11, 2001.”
  • The light poles are valuable to the perpetrators because they appear to establish: trajectory, altitude, and minimum wingspan.
  • You can clearly see a scratch on the road where it appears the light pole that allegedly hit England's cab was dragged into the road.

    You can clearly see a scratch on the road where it appears the light pole that allegedly hit England’s cab was dragged into the road.

    Lloyde England’s tall tale: No one reported seeing it, but taxi driver Lloyde England claims this pole pierced his windshield without even scratching or denting the hood and lodged in the back seat. He claims he and a stranger removed the 240-pound pole, which would have reached a height much greater than his own as it protruded from the car at about a 45-degree angle (he drew a diagram to this effect). You can also clearly see a scratch on the road that appears to have been made by dragging the light pole into place.

  • Faked government video: In September 11: The New Pearl Harbor we see video frames from two Pentagon cameras that were synchronized using a “multiplexer” system. About 100 frames were common to both sets and matched each other perfectly as confirmed by comparing the shape of the smoke cloud. All except one. Just one of these 100 frames does not match, and that is “frame 23,” the very one that allegedly shows a 757 crossing the Pentagon lawn. There is no doubt that frame 23 was doctored either in one set of frames or both.
  • Any one of the following would make for a persuasive case that no plane hit the Pentagon: The accounts of 13 North of Citgo witnesses; the disappearance of the wings, tail section, and horizontal stabilizers; alleged FDR data that shows no impact; video that was provably faked to convince us of an impact; a rounded C ring hole that has no rational explanation. Put it all together and the case that no plane was destroyed at the Pentagon is overwhelming.
  • A puzzling effort to steer 9/11 truth towards an impact: A small group of 9/11 researchers is devoting a great deal of time to producing “scholarly papers” and making presentations to convince us that most of the Pentagon official story is true despite clear evidence to the contrary. In supporting this story, they are much more closely aligned with the so-called “debunkers” than they are with the rest of the Truth Movement. They claim that their position is consistent with “science” while opposing views are biased “beliefs” that are based on “speculation.” In fact, the reverse is true.
  • Plane wreckage hidden in the lawn? “Researcher” Frank Legge, in his paper “What Hit the Pentagon? Misinformation and its Effect on the Credibility of 9/11 Truth,” plays with his own credibility when he makes the astonishing claim that the tiny amount of debris seen outside the building is partly because “the small size of most of the fragments would allow them to be hidden within the texture of the lawn.”
  • Echoing the ‘debunkers’: James Meigs: “The mass of this plane penetrated the building with enormous energy and continued into the building in a state almost more like a liquid than a solid.” David Chandler: “Columns are bowed and abraded showing evidence of a flow of material in line with the flight path. The plane would have been shredded by this time, but the momentum of the debris carried it forward past the interior columns in a manner similar to the flow of a fluid.” “Defenders of the 757 theory are forced into such absurdities by the absence of 757 debris reported by both cameras and eyewitnesses.” – David Ray Griffin, p. 67 of The New Pearl Harbor Revisited.

Finally, we presented 10 questions that people like Coste, Chandler, Jenkins, and the rest of their team MUST be able to answer if they are to make a case for a plane impact:

  • Why would more than a dozen highly credible witnesses describe a virtually identical north of Citgo flight path unless this is what they saw?
  • Since we know the wings did not penetrate, why weren’t they lying on the lawn? Same for the tail section and horizontal stabilizers.
  • How could the plane have entered through a hole much smaller than required without leaving large pieces of wreckage outside?
  • Why was there no significant damage to the wall or even to windows that would have been hit by the tail and stabilizers?
  • How could the fuselage penetrate 310 feet into the building if the wings and tail section were turned to confetti on impact?
  • How could the tiny amount of unidentified debris around the helipad possibly represent thousands of pounds of aircraft wreckage?
  • What happened to the virtually indestructible engine cores, and why didn’t they create two exit holes?
  • Given that the plane would have completely lost structural integrity halfway to the rounded C ring hole, what can account for the hole?
  • Why were all synchronized frames from the two camera views identical except for the single frame that is supposed to show a plane?
  • Why would the government fake video of the crash if an actual crash took place?

We could have come up with lots more questions. Or we could have boiled it down to two or three. But it amounts to the same thing. Those claiming a plane impact took place have to be able to explain what happened to the plane they claim hit the building. But they cannot. So they have no case. All they do have is an argument that the Truth Movement should turn itself around and start steaming in the other direction where the Pentagon is concerned.

In our email discussion, Coste made his most creative and ballsy statement – he said that it was up to me as the one saying a plane didn’t crash to explain the relative absence of debris on the Pentagon lawn. Think about that one for a moment.

“I think this makes you the advocate that has to explain the lack of debris – what did your entire plane disappear into – where is your debris – where is your entire plane?” he wrote.

As I responded at the time, there is such a thing as trying to be too clever.


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