Bringing Closure to the 9/11 Pentagon Debate


It’s time for the 9/11 truth movement to resolve its Pentagon debate by applying the scientific method. Doing so points conclusively to large plane impact.

For over fifteen years the 9/11 truth movement and some of its most visible leaders have debated this question: Did a large plane, matching a Boeing 757 in general and Flight AA 77 in particular, hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001? In the last several years a group of scientists and engineers have presented a number of scientific papers that answer both of these questions with a resounding “Yes.” A number of these scientists and engineers are affiliated with the organization Scientists for 9/11 Truth, which also fully supports the hypothesis that the impacts and resulting fires from the Boeing 767s crashing into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers (WTC1 and WTC2) on 9/11 could not account for the destruction of these buildings. Building 7 (WTC7) was destroyed without being impacted by any plane. The evidence is clear that all three of these buildings were destroyed by some form of controlled demolition. While the 9/11 truth movement generally agrees on what happened in New York City, thus far there has been no closure on the Pentagon debate.

As an organization, Scientists for 9/11 Truth has stood virtually alone in maintaining large plane impact at the Pentagon together with controlled demolition of the buildings in New York City. With the publication of three new works, cited below, there are now indications that the 9/11 truth movement may be ready to adopt this position also. See, for example, this article on the Truth Action Project website.

Aerial view of the damage to the Pentagon occurring on 9/11
Aerial view of the damage to the Pentagon occurring on 9/11 (US Navy/Public Domain)

Eyewitnesses and Physical Evidence

The Pentagon question has divided the 9/11 truth movement, impeding its thrust toward truth and public credibility. Despite hundreds of eyewitnesses who saw a large plane fly towards the Pentagon and impact it, critics continue to claim otherwise, mainly because the crash scene was unlike those for other plane crashes. Few critics considered that for this unique event—a high-speed impact of a large plane with a building—preconceived expectations of the observed outcome are of little value. The plane largely penetrated the building, leaving many small fragments outside but relatively few large pieces. In a recent conversation with a “no plane impact” advocate, the advocate stated “We will only know for sure what hit the Pentagon when the people who know the answers come forward.” In fact, these “people” came forward a long time ago in video and audio recordings and in written statements, starting on 9/11 itself. Regrettably, the 9/11 truth movement at large either does not know about these hundreds of witnesses, or else has refused to listen to or believe them.

Eyewitnesses affirm large plane impact, and the damage trail establishes the plane path before and after impact with a high degree of precision. The plane flew low from the southwest straight toward the Pentagon on a path making a 52-degree angle with the Pentagon’s west wall. It clipped a tree; downed five light poles; struck a fence, a generator-trailer, and a low concrete wall; and impacted the building at the first and second floors, creating an 18-foot wide hole atop a 96-foot gash in the façade. Outside, plane debris was strewn to the north near the Heliport because of the speed and angle of impact. The light poles’ separation gives a plane wingspan in the range 100 to 130 feet (a Boeing 757 wingspan is 124 feet 10 inches), while the low concrete wall and generator-trailer damage separation indicates an engine separation of approximately 43 feet (Boeing 757 engine separation is 42.5 feet). See Figure 1.

Aerial Photograph Showing Plane Path
Figure 1 – Aerial Photograph Showing Plane Path

Inside the Pentagon, the plane was increasingly fragmented by the steel and concrete columns, creating a fluid-like flow of solid debris. This flow of material destroyed or damaged many internal columns, defining a continuation of the outside path, and ultimately created an exit hole in the C ring wall. Debris, including plane parts, spilled into the AE Drive in the direction of the original plane path. Internal columns were bowed and abraded in the flight path direction and much of the first floor suddenly filled with debris. The first floor ceiling beyond the collapsed portion of the building remained intact.

These elements all confirm a flight path that is supported by eyewitness accounts, the radar data and the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) data, which was released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). There are over 62 documented eyewitnesses who saw the plane impact. Fourteen (14) witnesses saw one or more of the light poles struck. Four witnesses saw the right engine/wing hit the generator-trailer, while one witness saw the left engine hit the low concrete wall and break apart. Multiple witnesses traced the passage of the plane as it flew from the Sheraton Hotel (last radar reading) to impact at the Pentagon. There were some initial problems reading the last frame of the FDR data, but the properly decoded FDR data traces the plane’s path all the way from take-off at Dulles Airport to impact at the Pentagon.

Applying the Scientific Method

Such a confluence of physical, eyewitness, and other evidence provides an overwhelming case for a large plane—a Boeing 757 and specifically Flight AA 77—impacting and penetrating the Pentagon on 9/11. The initial hypothesis of large plane impact, when examined for its consequences as shown by the eyewitness testimony, physical damage, and other supporting evidence, survives the scientific method test and becomes a theory that explains virtually all the observations. No other hypothesis, such as impact by a missile or pre-planted bombs, has even ventured to explain all this evidence.

This illustrates the difference between a hypothesis and a theory, and the application of the scientific method in solving physical problems. Those who deny large plane impact offer only criticisms or alternative hypotheses, not a theory. A complete theory examines the consequences of a hypothesis, compares these consequences with the evidence, and discards the hypothesis if it leads to results that do not match the evidence. Figure 2 illustrates the flow of analysis using the scientific method.

Visualizing the Analysis Flow Using the Scientific Method
Figure 2 – Analysis Flow Using the Scientific Method

The Large Plane Impact Hypothesis and Theory

Ask a Question

Let’s begin with the topmost oval in Figure 2 and ask a question: What caused the damage and deaths at the Pentagon on the morning of 9/11?

Do Background Research

To answer this question, we first do some background research.

Eyewitnesses: According to eyewitnesses, a large plane flew (in about six seconds according to FDR data) from the vicinity of the Sheraton Hotel at the west end of the Navy Annex and impacted the Pentagon west wall. It flew above Columbia Pike, crossed the clover-leaf intersection of Columbia Pike with S. Washington Boulevard (Route 27), clipped a tree and impacted five light poles, a fence and a generator-trailer and a low concrete wall, all before hitting the Pentagon façade and then largely disappeared inside the building. Plane parts rained down on the Pentagon lawn and the highway that runs parallel to the west wall. Those who observed this fleeting event from outside the Pentagon, from the standstill traffic on route 27, from the vicinity of Arlington Cemetery, and from nearby buildings, are in substantial agreement that impact by a large plane occurred. Some witnesses identified the plane from its silver color and red and blue markings as an American Airlines plane, a Boeing 757, or both.

Witnesses to the aftermath of plane impact who did not see the plane hit, saw many small pieces of plane “confetti” as well as some large pieces of silver fuselage. Some witnesses did not see any large plane parts, and did not recognize the confetti for what it was. Critics have seized upon these latter accounts to try to prove that there was no plane. These accounts cannot negate the many positive observations of others as well as the abundance of photographic evidence. There are also photographs and a significant number of witnesses who described seeing plane parts in the interior of the building and in the AE Drive.

Photographs and Videos: Photographs taken outside and inside the Pentagon show many small pieces of silver fuselage with AA colored markings, plane and engine parts, landing gear and a tire. Abraded and bent interior columns show the direction of flow of fragmented plane parts, aligning with the known outside path to within a few degrees. Much of the first floor area under the non-collapsed ceiling suddenly filled with debris. Outside the C ring hole, debris and plane parts were strewn in the AE Drive in alignment with the flight path.

Radar and FDR Data: Figures 3 and 4 show the plane’s path from takeoff at Dulles Airport to a point close to the Sheraton Hotel (radar data) and to impact at the Pentagon (FDR data).

Visual plot of AA77 radar track
Figure 3 – [Figure 6 from Frank Legge’s letter “The 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon: the Search for Consensus“ published in the Journal of 9/11 Studies]. IAD, PLA, QBE, and QHY are radar tracking stations.

Graph shows that FDR and radar data closely match the course of AA77
Figure 4 – [Figure 7 from Frank Legge’s “The 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon: the Search for Consensus“]. The course of AA 77 from the FDR data closely matches the radar data.
The continuous radar data matching the FDR data indicates that assertions of tampering, as well as suggestions that a plane swap took place, are mistaken. There is no reason to doubt that Flight AA 77 traveled from Dulles to its impact at the Pentagon. The radar track of AA 77 is continuous from Dulles to the vicinity of the Sheraton Hotel and is supported by the FDR data. From there, the FDR data and many eyewitnesses tracked the plane all the way to impact at the Pentagon. The eyewitness and physical evidence fully support impact by a large plane with dimensions matching a Boeing 757.

Pentagon Security Videos: Recent work on the video from two Pentagon security cameras shows that they captured images of the approaching, low-flying plane. In his paper “The 85 Pentagon Area Surveillance Cameras,” Ken Jenkins explains the images, how the date error came about, and the likely origins for the trailing white smoke. There is no evidence at this time that the government is withholding other images of the event captured by the surveillance cameras.

Ken Jenkins and David Chandler also recently took pairs of sequential images from the Pentagon surveillance video cameras, putting them together as you would see them in what is called a blink comparator. In this way, the image of the plane “pops out.” If you watch the image cycle a few times, the details of the plane are clearly visible. You can find the blink comparisons on David Chandler’s website,

Construct Hypothesis

Based on the above background research, we propose and test the hypothesis that the Pentagon was struck by a large plane matching a Boeing 757 and most probably Flight AA 77.

Test with an Experiment

Many physical hypotheses can be tested by experiment in a laboratory using relatively simple equipment. In the case of the Pentagon 9/11 event, costs to test and/or reproduce some features of the event would be prohibitive. Fortunately, there are prior relevant tests, airplane incidents and other evidence that are pertinent to the event and that support the large plane impact hypothesis.

The F4 Experiment: In the F4 Phantom jet experiment, a plane was propelled at high speed on a rocket sled into a massive and impenetrable concrete wall. The plane was completely fragmented into small pieces. This experiment supports the fragmentation of the Boeing 757 plane parts that did not enter the building.

Ground Effect: Because of what is known as ground effect, it is claimed by critics that the plane could not have flown closer to the ground than 56 feet, so it would have impacted at the fourth and fifth floor levels. Some experienced pilots have supported this objection. The physical evidence, such as the five downed light poles, confirms that a large plane did fly low. In addition, many witnesses actually reported that they saw a large commercial jetliner, identified as a Boeing 757, fly low and close to the ground. Actual experience confirms this behavior. For example, at an air show in Portugal, Evora 2007 (Figure 5), an Airbus A310, similar in size to a Boeing 757, repeatedly flew low, sometimes with the gear down and full flaps but with at least one pass at a relatively high speed, with no concern about any ground effect. The height of the plane above the runway was little more than the diameter of the fuselage.

Engineers and scientists working in the aerospace field feature an article which explains that, because of the high speed and low angle of attack, ground effect is not a relevant factor, particularly with an aircraft that is under automatic control, as was likely the case for Flight AA 77 at the end. According to Jeff Scott, “ground effect would have been quite small on Flight 77 given its high rate of speed and small angle of attack.” See and the answer by Jeff Scott, “Pentagon & Boeing 757 Ground Effect.”

TAP Airbus A310 flying very low at high speed
Figure 5 – [From a video at Portugal, Evora 2007] TAP Airbus A310 flying very low at high speed [Figure D-6 from the paper by Victoria Ashley et al., “The Pentagon Event: The Honegger Hypothesis Refuted,”]
Further Analysis of Corroborating Physical Evidence: Several items of physical evidence can be further analyzed to see if they comport with a large plane hitting the Pentagon.

Clipped Tree: One witness described the plane as “picking off trees and light poles.” Photographs show that the starboard (right) engine of the plane did clip a tree. Jon Cole has shown experimentally that it is possible for the leading edge of an engine to cut the tree. Cole compared this action with similar-looking ragged branches cut with a heavy brush cutter with heavy, thick dull blades rotating at a lesser speed than the airplane that cut the woody branches of the Pentagon tree (See Figure 6). Branches ingested by the right engine can explain the smoke trail from the right engine from that point on, as seen in the security camera videos and in this simulation.

Sheared Tree Branches visible in Pentagon surveillance videos
Figure 6 – Sheared Tree Branches [From “The 85 Pentagon Area Surveillance Cameras” by Ken Jenkins,]
Downed Light Poles: Many witnesses saw the plane hit light poles. In all, five light poles were torn from their bases and broken into pieces. Pole pieces had considerable curvature as if hit by a blunt force at high speed, such as the moving wing of a plane. One pole piece pierced the windshield of a taxi driven by Lloyde England. The back seat of the taxi was pierced indicating how the pole piece was supported at that end and stuck out through the windshield. The separation and positions of the downed light poles indicate a plane wingspan of more than 100 feet, but less than 130 feet. The wingspan of a Boeing 757 is 124 feet 10 inches.

Rotated Generator-Trailer: Several witnesses saw the right plane engine and/or wing strike one end of a very heavy generator-trailer. The trailer was found to have rotated about the other end toward the building. In addition to the damaged end, there was a gash in the trailer top corresponding to the position of the first flap “canoe” beyond the right engine of a Boeing 757. The location and direction of the gash was consistent with the canoe’s position on the wing and the plane’s flight path.

Gouge in Low Concrete Wall: One witness saw the left engine hit a low concrete wall and break apart. The wall shows a curved gouge consistent with impact by an engine. The distance between the wall and the struck end of the generator-trailer is approximately 43 feet, matching the engines’ separation of a Boeing 757 of 42.5 feet. When the left engine hit the wall it was a few inches above ground level at that point. The wall sits on a high point, and this explains why the engine did not gouge the surrounding lawn as it traveled over the lawn. Some nearby, upright wooden spools were not struck as they were positioned between the plane fuselage and the low-slung left engine.

Debris by the Heliport Area: There was a noticeable amount of plane debris, mostly small pieces, at the Heliport area north of the impact hole. This is in accord with the plane’s path which made a 52-degree angle with the Pentagon west wall as it approached from the southwest. This distribution of debris is entirely to be expected since, after fragmentation, debris that remained outside the building would have a significant velocity component causing it to travel in a northerly direction.

The Impact Hole and Façade Damage: Many claims have been made that the impact hole was too small for a plane the size of a Boeing 757 to have entered the building. None of these claims have merit. The fuselage of a Boeing 757 is 12.33 feet wide and 13.5 feet high and the corresponding hole was about 18 feet wide. Early photographs were obscured by spray from fire hoses and hid a long gash of about 96 feet in the first floor façade. There were many missing outer support columns. Thus the plane’s fuselage, both engines, and the heavier, inner parts of the wings had sufficient room to penetrate the building.

According to witnesses and the FDR data, the plane had rolled about 5 degrees counterclockwise when it hit the wall. Façade markings, such as a long gash made by a wing, confirm these observations. Critics frequently point to the absence of a clear vertical gash that they contend should have been made by the vertical portion of the tail. There are, as shown by Jim Hoffman, markings in the area where the tail might have hit. It is possible that the tail was blown off and fragmented, and did not reach the wall intact. One witness described seeing the fuel explosion while the tail was still visible. Many witnesses saw the tail, and this criticism cannot overturn the other evidence of plane approach and impact.

Internal Column Damage: Figure 7 taken from The Pentagon Building Performance Report depicts internal column damage. At the top, red and blue squares depict missing and severely damaged columns. Green and yellow squares show columns with less damage. The width of the damage at the west wall (top) is about 100 feet, which is consistent with the impact of the fuselage, engines, and the heavy parts of the wings of a Boeing 757. As the fuselage moved into the building, it was shredded and scattered to the sides along its path, but a cone of decreasing width of material maintained enough focus to break through and make a hole in the C ring wall. The dark shaded area of the figure is where the building collapsed about 30 minutes after impact. The first floor area with damage but no collapse filled up with debris without the first floor ceiling collapsing. All these observations support the impact with the façade and passage of a large plane through the building primarily at the first floor level.

Pentagon Building and Performance Report showing areas of impacted mapped to Pentagon damage
Figure 7 – Pentagon Building and Performance Report Figure 7.9

It is noteworthy that April Gallop, who has been extensively interviewed and quoted as an important witness, had an office in wedge 2 over 150 feet from the impact hole. Gallop’s office structure did collapse and the lights went out but Gallop was too far away to smell jet fuel. She, with her child and others, exited through a window near the Heliport. Once outside, Gallop collapsed, was apparently unconscious, and was moved to the outer lawn area, and then to a hospital. Gallop had no opportunity to see aircraft debris inside or outside the building.

C Ring Exit Hole: The C ring exit hole can be understood as resulting from the impact of many pieces of plane debris. This process and the false assertion that workers created the hole as a way to access the building interior are fully discussed in the papers listed below. The exit hole lines up with the plane path that made a 52-degree angle with the Pentagon west wall. This fact in itself points to the hole’s origin since the exact plane path was not known until some days or weeks after the event. There is no evidence that any part of the crash scene was staged to imply a non-existent plane crash. All the physical and eyewitness evidence points to actual large plane impact.

Debris in the AE Drive: Debris strewn outside the C ring exit hole was in line with the direction of the plane’s motion and included a plane tire and a wheel rim consistent with a Boeing 757. See Figure 8.

View of C Ring Hole, Plane Parts and Debris Angle
Figure 8 – C Ring Hole, Plane Parts and Debris Angle

Figure 8 shows a large remnant of a tire outside the C Ring Hole (2). Also shown is a wheel rim (1). The debris angle (3) is also clearly visible. A single doorway lies in the direction pointed to by (4).

Analyze Results – Draw Conclusion

Both the background information that includes the eyewitnesses and the detailed examination of the plane path and damage presented above support the large plane impact hypothesis. The conclusion drawn is that a large plane matching a Boeing 757 and most probably Flight AA 77 struck the Pentagon on 9/11.

Hypothesis is True

The hypothesis of impact by a large plane matching a Boeing 757 and Flight AA 77 is true. The next step in the scientific method is to report the results.

Report Results

Among the first to report the results of a scientific analysis of the Pentagon 9/11 event were Jim Hoffman and Victoria Ashley. Subsequently, scientists affiliated with Scientists for 9/11 Truth, with additional authors such as engineers and computer scientists participating, produced a substantial number of papers. These papers, all listed in the Additional Reading section below, include the three new works mentioned above and listed here, together with a new article:

(a) “The Pentagon Plane Puzzle”, a video by Ken Jenkins on the Pentagon eyewitnesses,

(b) “Going Beyond Speculation: A Scientific Look at the Pentagon Evidence a talk by David Chandler.

(c) “The Pentagon Event: The Honegger Hypothesis Refuted” a paper by Victoria Ashley, David Chandler, Jonathan H. Cole, Jim Hoffman, Ken Jenkins, Frank Legge, and John D. Wyndham.

Except for Victoria Ashley and Jonathan H. Cole (Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice), all of the foregoing individuals are members of Scientists for 9/11 Truth.

See also the article “Why Not Use a Plane? by Frank Legge and Ken Jenkins on the Scientists for 9/11 Truth website.

Other Pentagon Hypotheses

Since the Pentagon 9/11 event, many individuals have tried to prove that a large plane did not impact the Pentagon. These individuals often point to testimonies by witnesses who did not see the plane impact. For example, an aftermath witness might not see recognizable plane parts and claim or imply that there was no plane involved. Some Pentagon workers inside the building inferred a bomb, since to them whatever happened sounded like a bomb. But an expert witness with military experience, who also saw the plane tail just before impact and following fireball, stated that it sounded like a “2000 lb” bomb. While many witnesses reported that they smelled the odor of jet fuel, a smaller number thought they smelled cordite, an explosive that has not been in use since WWII. Although at least 14 witnesses saw the plane hit the light poles one second or less before impact, some critics claim this could not have happened without the wings being visibly damaged or destroyed.

Even though the event occurred in broad daylight and was viewed by hundreds of people, scores of whom were stuck in traffic on route 27 with a clear view, critics have dismissed witness accounts by claiming these to be fraudulent. However, there is not a single case where a Pentagon witness has been shown to have deliberately lied. On the contrary, there has been an attempt by some to manipulate witnesses years later and lead them to a different conclusion about what they saw at the Pentagon. This is the case with those who postulate the “North path” approach in which the physical damage could not have been done by the plane. While the advocates of a “North path” approach claim the plane flew over the Pentagon, there is not a single, unequivocal witness to this scenario, and many of the very few North path witnesses affirm that the plane impacted the building.

Based on these criticisms, a number of alternative hypotheses have been proposed. Although often termed theories, these hypotheses do not rise to the level of theories because they have not been subjected to the discipline of the scientific method. It is instructive to subject these alternative hypotheses to analysis according to the scientific method steps of Figure 2.

Alternative Hypotheses Analyzed According to the Scientific Method

The Bombs (Pre-planted Explosives) Hypothesis

Those who hypothesize that there was no plane impact attribute all damage and deaths to pre-planted explosives or bombs. These researchers include Barbara Honegger in her “Behind the Smoke Curtain” presentation and the Citizen Investigation Team (CIT). Their assumption is that the approaching plane seen by many flew over the Pentagon. Honegger has modified her hypothesis in the last several years to postulate that a white plane was destroyed with some sort of explosives outside the Pentagon near the Heliport area without any debris hitting the Pentagon wall. For these “no plane impact” hypotheses, the next step in the scientific method, Test with an Experiment, raises immediate problems.

The first major problem is the scores of eyewitnesses who saw the plane impact the Pentagon west wall. To solve this problem, many critics simply ignore or attempt to discredit the witnesses, claiming they are lying, incoherent, or manipulated by insiders to tell a false story. These criticisms fail for lack of proof. The witnesses cannot be explained away in any credible fashion.

The second major problem is how to explain the plane debris seen by witnesses and in photographs. No credible explanation has been offered as to how the large volume of plane debris was planted and distributed outside the Pentagon, inside the Pentagon, and in the AE Drive, except by a plane crash. Honegger’s “white plane destroyed” hypothesis appears to be an attempt to explain the plane debris near the Heliport, but it does not explain the plane debris found inside the Pentagon building or in the AE Drive.

The third major problem is a failure to explain, using bombs, the observed damage. This damage includes the clipped tree, the five downed light poles, the generator-trailer that was damaged and rotated toward the Pentagon, the gouge in the low concrete wall, the shape and nature of the façade damage, the internal bowed and abraded columns, the sudden appearance of internal plane debris, the C ring hole and the debris strewn in the AE Drive.

There is no credible evidence for Honegger’s “white plane.” The plane’s supposed destruction without its fragmented parts hitting the Pentagon west wall violates laws of physics, specifically the law of the conservation of momentum. The center of gravity of the combined fragments would still be moving toward the wall at the plane’s pre-explosion speed. There is nowhere near enough plane debris outside the wall near the heliport to account for an entire plane.

The bombs-only hypothesis fails the test of the scientific method in major ways, and the analysis shows the hypothesis is false. However, although the evidence is scant or nonexistent, it is still possible that there were some internal bombs timed to explode at the same time as large plane impact.

The Small Plane Hypothesis

Some investigators claim that a small plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11. These include Massimo Mazzucco in part 2 of his film September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor, and David Ray Griffin, author of many books on the events of 9/11. Griffin has publicly endorsed Mazzucco’s work, including that on the Pentagon. This hypothesis immediately encounters major problems.

The great majority of over 180 eyewitnesses to the approach of the plane and its impact with the Pentagon west wall described a large plane. Only a very small number (six or less) of witnesses described a small plane, and most of these viewed the plane at a great distance, making size judgments difficult and unreliable. Of the large plane witnesses, many described it as a silver American Airlines plane, a Boeing 737 or 757. One knowledgeable witness, Tim Timmerman, an airlines’ pilot, recognized it unequivocally as a Boeing 757.

Secondly, a small plane could not have created the observed physical damage. The downed light poles require a minimum wingspan of 100 feet, while the generator-trailer and low concrete wall separation gives the separation of the engines as about 43 feet, closely matching the actual separation of Boeing 757 engines at 42.5 feet. Given that wingtips of a plane are very light and might easily break off, a small plane would be unlikely to create a 96-foot gash in the first floor.

The small plane hypothesis fails the test of the scientific method and the analysis shows the hypothesis is false.

The Missile Hypothesis

The missile hypothesis cannot explain the spatial characteristics of the physical damage. The light poles were effectively 100 feet apart, and the generator-trailer and low concrete wall were effectively 43 feet apart. These objects could not all have been impacted by a missile. The shape and size of the impact hole precludes a missile, the damaged internal columns were spaced apart over a wide area, and the bowed and abraded columns could not have been rendered in such a condition by a missile. A missile could possibly have created the C ring hole, but only plane parts were found in the debris in the AE Drive.

Donald Rumsfeld alluded to a missile, and eyewitness Mike Walter spoke of a missile, but in the metaphorical sense of a plane acting as a missile. These comments fueled the missile hypothesis. But no witnesses claimed to have seen a missile. Witnesses overwhelmingly described a large plane. The missile hypothesis fails the test of the scientific method and the analysis shows the hypothesis is false.


Despite the clear evidence and its analysis using the scientific method of large plane impact, a substantial portion of the 9/11 truth movement, including accepted leaders and those involved in major organizations, continues to publicly endorse, adhere to, or promulgate talks, writings and films on false Pentagon hypotheses. Some simply offer criticisms and reject or ignore evidence that would bring closure to the argument. There is clear evidence by way of disintegrating truth groups that these endorsements and communications are injurious to the movement. Public feedback shows that the false Pentagon hypotheses undermine public acceptance of other highly credible scientific findings, such as the demolitions of the Twin Towers and Building 7 (WTC7) in New York City.

Most rank and file members of the 9/11 truth movement take their cues on the Pentagon from well-known speakers, writers, and acknowledged leaders of the movement. The quickest way to end the ongoing damage to the movement’s credibility and bring closure would be for these prominent individuals to publicly repudiate their former endorsements, views, and statements on the Pentagon event and acknowledge the scientific method and its conclusion of large plane impact. In the absence of public repudiations, the damage caused by false Pentagon hypotheses is likely to continue indefinitely, even if those who fueled their spread cease to promote them. Consequently, the surest way to end the debate and enhance the credibility of the movement is for each individual to study, without bias or prejudice, the evidence for themselves.

The recent papers by scientists, engineers and others showing large plane impact at the Pentagon have been collected together on a website that invites feedback and discussion. Comments can be sent to the Scientific Method 9/11 website which specifically invites feedback on many of the papers listed below.


This article is based on the research and writings of the following authors: Victoria Ashley, David Chandler, Jonathan H. Cole, Jim Hoffman, Ken Jenkins, Frank Legge, Warren Stutt and John D. Wyndham. These writings point to many other researchers, such as Adam Larson, Russell Pickering, John Farmer and Arabesque, who have contributed to an understanding of the Pentagon evidence.

The author of this article would like to thank David Chandler, Jonathan H. Cole, and Ken Jenkins for reading the manuscript and offering useful comments and suggestions.

Additional Reading – Websites, Papers, Articles and Videos

Websites and Owners/Sponsors

The Pentagon Attack: What the Physical Evidence Shows – Jim Hoffman

Pentagon Attack Errors – Jim Hoffman

Evidence: The Pentagon Attack – Victoria Ashley

The 85 Pentagon Area Surveillance Cameras – Ken Jenkins

The Pentagon – A joint statement – David Chandler and Jonathan H. Cole

The Science of 9/11, Pentagon – Frank Legge

Warren Stutt’s Home Page – Warren Stutt

Papers on the Pentagon – Scientists for 9/11 Truth, various scientists

Papers on the Pentagon – Scientific Method 9/11, John D. Wyndham


Frank Legge, “What Hit the Pentagon? Misinformation and its Effect on the Credibility of 9/11 Truth,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, July, 2009.

David Chandler (based on Ken Jenkins), “Blink Comparator Views of the Plane at the Pentagon,”, 2016.

Frank Legge, and Warren Stutt, “Flight AA77 on 9/11: New FDR Analysis Supports the Official Flight Path…“, Journal of 9/11 Studies, January, 2011.

Frank Legge and David Chandler, “The Pentagon Attack on 9/11: A Refutation of the Pentagon Flyover Hypothesis Based on Analysis of the Flight Path,”, September, 2011 and its Addendum, Foreign Policy Journal, December, 2011.

John D. Wyndham, “The Pentagon Attack: Problems with Theories Alternative to Large Plane Impact,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, November, 2011. Revised version (3), ScientificMethod9/, April, 2016.

Frank Legge, “The 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon: the Search for Consensus,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, June, 2012.

John D. Wyndham, “The Pentagon Attack: The Event Time Revisited,” ScientificMethod9/, March, 2013.

John D. Wyndham, “The Pentagon Attack: Eyewitnesses, Debris Flow and Other Issues – A Reply to Fletcher and Eastman,” ScientificMethod9/, April, 2013.

Victoria Ashley et al., “The Pentagon Event: The Honegger Hypothesis Refuted,” ScientificMethod9/, April, 2016.

Articles and Videos

Jim Hoffman, “Pentagon – Exterior Impact Damage,”, February, 2003.

Jim Hoffman, “The Pentagon No-757-Crash Theory: Booby Trap for 9/11 Skeptics,”, November, 2004.

Victoria Ashley, “To Con a Movement: Exposing CIT’s PentaCon ‘Magic Show’,”, July, 2009.

Jim Hoffman, “Google Earth Exposes Pentagon Flyover Farce,”, July, 2009.

Frank Legge, “Science, Activism, and the Pentagon Debate,”, April, 2014.

Ken Jenkins and David Chandler: “Pentagon Plane Puzzle + David Chandler: Going Beyond Speculation,” YouTube, September, 2015.

Frank Legge and Ken Jenkins, “Why Not Use a Plane?,”, January, 2016.

SOURCEby John Wyndham at Foreign Policy Journal
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John Wyndham
John D. Wyndham (PhD) studied under two Nobel Prize-winners in physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, U.K. and, in his early career, was a Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He is currently Coordinator of Scientists for 9/11 Truth. His research papers on 9/11 can be found there and on the website Scientific Method 9/11 for which he acts as Moderator. You can contact him at