US: Interview with Craig Ranke of Citizen Investigation Team (National Security Alert)
note d'E&FD: une version française de l'entretien peut être consultée à cette adresse
Enquêtes et Faits Divers: You are the founder of the Citizen Investigation Team. Could you present to our readers details regarding your organization, your work, and especially your discoveries ?
Craig Ranke: My name is Craig Ranke and I am a co-founder of Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) along with my partner Aldo Marquis. We are just two regular guys from California who had questions about the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and decided to take matters into our own hands by talking with the witnesses directly to see what they had to say. Although we have spoken with many of the previously-published eyewitnesses we were especially interested in finding previously unknown witnesses who had never been talked to by the media or government because we knew this would be the purest form of independent verifiable evidence we could find. The only way to achieve this was to go to Arlington Virginia to canvass the areas near the Pentagon on foot in search of witnesses, so that is what we did. It was fairly easy to find multiple witnesses who describe seeing a large commercial airliner headed toward the Pentagon shortly before the explosion on 9/11, so any notion that there was no plane involved with the attack at all was quickly shown to be incorrect. We therefore focused specifically on documenting the true flight path of the plane so we could compare it with the official reports, data, and most importantly the physical damage, starting with the downed light poles and ending with the directional damage to the Pentagon itself. This damage path delineates a very specific trajectory with virtually no room for error. As it turned out the witnesses independently corroborated a flight path that is irreconcilable with the physical damage, proving the plane could only have flown away after the explosion rather than hit the light poles or the building.
The most pertinent landmark is the former Citgo gas station where we were able to obtain video-recorded interviews on location from three very important witnesses who unanimously and independently reported the plane flying on the north side of the gas station. Again, the destruction path requires that the plane must have flown on the south side of the gas station in order to have caused the damage. This very simple right or left detail as it relates to this single key landmark is enough to confirm or deny the official 9/11 Pentagon attack story of a plane impact. The required official flight path was unanimously denied by the witnesses at the gas station, who all placed it on the north side, and this very simple claim continued to be corroborated as we spoke with other witnesses in the areas nearby, most notably several employees at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) directly across from the gas station. Besides the witnesses at the gas station, these ANC witnesses were in arguably the next best location to be able to accurately judge where the plane flew. Also, a number of them are on record with the Center for Military History in 2001 describing the same north side flight path, which eliminates the notion that they are misremembering due to faded memory.
While only those who were deceived into believing the plane hit the building were willing to talk to us, we did get a hold of a Pentagon police officer (Roosevelt Roberts Jr) who saw what he thought was "another plane" flying away from the building at "about 50 feet" altitude immediately after the explosion. Since there was no other plane that could possibly fit that description we knew that his account confirmed what the witnesses at the gas station and Arlington Cemetery already proved: that the plane did not hit the light poles or the building and continued on after the explosion
E&FD: If the plane did not hit the light poles or the Pentagon and flew over the building, what caused the physical damage ? What about the witnesses like Mike Walter who have claimed for years that they saw the plane hit the building ?
C.R.: We feel that the only logical conclusion based on the evidence is that the damage was caused by pre-planted explosives.
We have spoken with dozens of witnesses directly, many of whom were in prime locations to have been able to see a missile, drone, small plane, or ANY additional low-flying object on the south side of the station, if one existed. We were not able to find a single eyewitness who reports any such thing. Also none of them corroborate the supposed white "smoke trail" seen in the dubious security video either.
Furthermore, one thing that was clear in almost every case is that they fully believed the official story in terms of the plane crashing into the building and causing the damage (although many of them did not literally watch it occur, but rather simply saw the plane headed toward the Pentagon, followed by a large, loud explosion, and deduced that it must have impacted). It is because they were convinced of this that they were willing to speak with us so openly to begin with. If they had seen a missile or any other flying object on the south side they would have known that the official story was a total lie and would have likely been afraid to speak so openly about their experiences, if at all. It would be much like the situation with Roosevelt Roberts Jr., who has been very unwilling to talk about his experience on 9/11 anymore now that he understands that what he saw proves a false flag operation. We were made aware of another witness, Dewitt Roseborough, who also seems to have seen the flyover based on his previously-published account, and sure enough when we called him he was completely unwilling to answer any questions about his experience.
So, it is clear that none of the witnesses we spoke to saw a second flying object of any kind, even though many of them were in locations which would have made spotting one very easy.
Furthermore, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that the light poles were staged in advance. This evidence includes the bizarre, physically impossible and uncorroborated story of cab driver, Lloyde England (whom we have interviewed twice). Not a single eyewitness has confirmed seeing the light poles get struck, and many of the witnesses who had previously mentioned the light poles admitted that they did not actually see the poles get hit, but rather saw them on the ground later or heard about them on the news (e.g., McGraw, Brooks, Elgas, Sucherman). Not a single eyewitness reports seeing light pole #1 inside Lloyde England's cab, and there are no photographs of this either. Meanwhile there are photographs of his cab on 9/11 and 9/12 which show that there was not a single scratch or dent on his hood. The evidence that the light poles were staged also includes the anomalous physical damage to the light poles themselves, most notably the fact that the base of the pole is cleanly and symmetrically severed, whereas photographs of other poles that had fallen in the same area due to high winds show a jagged and random damage pattern, which is what one would expect if the pole were broken by a sudden force such as wind or being struck by a 90 ton jet. See the following page on in our "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) section for more information and photographs.
As most researchers know, the section of the Pentagon which was damaged on 9/11 had been largely unoccupied for several years prior to the event due to a renovation. This would have given the suspect ample opportunity to plant explosives. It would have been much easier than planting explosives in World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2 and 7, and yet there is now overwhelming evidence that this is how those buildings were destroyed. Pre-planted explosives would also make the most sense with a flyover in the sense that it would give them the most precise control over what and who was destroyed, which is likely the primary reason that they executed a flyover in the first place as opposed to actually crashing a plane into the building.
I understand that the well-known French researchers Thierry Meyssan and Pierre Henri Bunel have made comments recently that they are aware of our work and are supportive. However, my understanding is that they have also said they still believe that it is likely that an airborne missile was involved with causing the physical damage. Again, there is absolutely no independent, verifiable evidence supporting this, and yet there is a multitude of evidence against this idea. I have shared some of this evidence here, but there is more that we have documented in some of our videos and articles, and on our research forum. If we had obtained any support for a missile throughout the course of our investigation we would have certainly reported it. We appreciate the fact that Meyssan and Bunel are responsible for much of the initial skepticism surrounding the Pentagon attack throughout the world, and their early conclusion that the damage seen at the Pentagon on 9/11 could not have been caused by a 757 has been vindicated. However, by failing to focus heavily on the eyewitnesses they have been forced to rely primarily on speculation for what DID cause the damage. Since there is no proof that a missile was involved and yet so many reasons to believe that there was not a missile we are respectfully requesting that Meyssan and Bunel let go of this theory while using their significant public platform to focus what IS conclusively proven: that the plane flew north of the gas station and therefore did not hit the light poles or building, explaining why Lloyde England's story does not make sense and why it was seen flying away after the explosion by multiple eyewitnesses such as Roosevelt Roberts Jr.
Regarding the witnesses who believe they saw the plane hit, we address this question as well in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of CitizenInvestigationTeam.com
As we explain on the FAQ page, we have analyzed the statements and locations of almost all of the witnesses who have been cited as having seen the plane hit the Pentagon, and in many cases we have been successful at contacting them and interviewing them directly about their experience on 9/11. We have found that most of the witnesses simply saw or heard the low-flying plane headed towards the building, and then a short while later heard or saw an explosion in the distance. They then deduced that the plane must have hit the building, as any of us would, but they did not see it happen. In fact, quite often the individuals who are cited as having "watched the plane hit the Pentagon" were not even in a position to see the Pentagon at the time of the alleged impact.
While many people erroneously assume that many hundreds or even thousands of people would have been able to watch the plane impact the building this is not the case due to the complex topography of the area. The Pentagon is only five stories high (with the initial damage basically confined to the bottom two floors), and it sits at the bottom of a significant slope to its west, the direction from which the plane approached. There are very few areas at all where you would be able to see the alleged "impact", and most who would be able to see the plane at all would only see it for about a split second.
Additionally, contrary to popular belief, the section of Route 27 (the highway which runs directly in front of the west side of the building) from which a person could have seen the plane impact the building is less than a quarter mile long, and the view of the alleged impact spot was obscured by trees even for many of people on this very small strip.
The relatively small number of witnesses who were in locations from which they may have been able to see the alleged impact spot and who do genuinely believe that they saw the plane hit the building were fooled by a carefully planned deception, executed with military precision, as revealed by the conclusive north side/flyover evidence. However, as we have seen in the case of Lloyde England, there are also witnesses who are implicated by the evidence as being complicit liars who were tasked with putting out false eyewitness accounts as propaganda to sell the notion that the plane hit the building. In many cases it is difficult to know with certainty whether or not a specific witness falls into this category, but in the case of a few witnesses we are unable to come to any other conclusion as a result of their statements, behavior, and the full body of evidence we have gathered. This is certainly the case with Mike Walter.
It would probably be accurate to say that Walter has been used by the media more than anyone else to sell the proven-false official story that the plane hit the building, having been interviewed about a half a dozen times on 9/11 and many times after. On 9/11, shortly after the event, he indicated that the plane was on the official flight path, saying that it clipped a light pole, which he points to. And yet within 24 hours he also described a "graceful bank" which is only reconcilable with the north side approach. In more than one occasion in subsequent years he contradicted his report from 9/11 by specifically pointing out the north side flight path, most notably in an interview for a French "debunking" video where he is actually standing on the north side of the Citgo station during the interview.
But again, when the world was watching on 9/11 and trying to figure out what had happened, there was Mike Walter, pointing to the south side flight path and light pole number 1, saying that both the light pole and Pentagon were hit. Furthermore, the notion that Mike Walter would later blend the required official south side flight path with the banking north side path (where the plane really flew) definitely works in favor of the deception by creating the false impression that there is an acceptable margin of error between the two paths. It is also possible that he is now trying to cover his own tracks by being on record supporting the true flight path so he could claim innocence if the deception is fully exposed.
Also, on the morning of 9/12/2001, he was asked in an interview with Bryant Gumbel on national television if he was actually able to see the plane enter the building. He stuttered and stammered and indicated that he did not have a clear view of this because there were trees in the way; and yet he went on to later contradict himself, releasing a video in which he insisted that he watched the plane enter the building and watched the wings fold back, and that therefore any so-called conspiracy theories about the damage to the building being inconsistent with a 757 are wrong.
Walter's current high level position with the mainstream media as a television news anchor with Gannett-owned WUSA is also a very suspicious detail that cannot be ignored, particularly given the fact that there were so many other writers and editors for Gannett and its subsidiaries who (according to their accounts) just so happened to be over half an hour late for work and just so happened to be in excellent positions to see the plane in the final seconds and report that it hit the building, even though we now have conclusive evidence that it did not. This includes, but is not limited to: Bob Dubill, Mary Ann Owens, Richard Benedetto, Vin Narayanan, Joel Sucherman, Steve Anderson, Fred Gaskins, Mark Faram, Philip Thompson, Christopher Munsey, and Peter Kopf. A number of these are reporters who claim to have been within less than 1/4 of a mile of each other on Route 27, right in front of the Pentagon. We also recently learned that the chairman, CEO, and president of Gannett at the time had joined the board of directors of Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world, just five months before 9/11.
With that being said, I want to reiterate that, although there are exceptions, we feel that most of the previously-published witnesses who are cited as having watched the plane hit the building are NOT lying. Again, we believe this because after speaking with many of them directly, confirming their stated location, and analyzing their true point of view in relation to the topography and landscape, it became clear that most of these witnesses were not in a position to literally see the alleged impact point or even the Pentagon at all in most cases. In many cases they simply saw the plane, then seconds later saw and or heard the explosion, and deduced that the plane must have hit the building even though they did not see it. Of the relatively small pool of witnesses who were in a position to have possibly seen the alleged impact and who do think that the plane hit the building, we feel that some of them were truly deceived that the plane hit the building, as intended by this black operation of deception which was executed (at least in large part) by a criminal faction within the most advanced, well-funded military in history.
E&FD: The north side flyover was a new hypothesis when you first released The PentaCon Smoking Gun Version in 2007 so what put you on the trail to this discovery ? Did you benefit from privileged information or whistleblowing as it's called in the United States ?
C.R.: We did not subscribe to a flyover hypothesis or any personal theory at all when we first launched the investigation in August of 2006. We did not have any privileged information and were not aware of any whistleblowers. We went to Arlington with no preconceived notions about what happened and made a specific effort to ignore all previous theories, official and otherwise, with the goal of allowing only the independent evidence we could personally uncover determine any conclusions we would draw.
That being said, we were aware that witness Sgt William Lagasse had reported to researcher Dick Eastman in 2003 during an email dialog that he was on the "starboard" side of the aircraft when he witnessed it from the Citgo gas station, which would mean the plane was on the north side. However, we had no idea at the time whether he mistook starboard for port or even whether he was an honest witness at all since we had never spoken with him (or any other witness) directly. As soon as we heard from the gas station manager that her employee Robert Turcios saw the plane on the north side we instantly remembered Lagasse's 2003 description to Dick Eastman and right away knew that this was the answer to uncovering the deception if this detail were to be confirmed by these witnesses directly and corroborated by others. Obviously this is exactly what happened, and at this point given this overwhelming eyewitness testimony there can be no doubt that the plane did in fact fly on the north side of the gas station.
E&FD: What do you think about the contradictory releases from the NSTB regarding Flight AA77? Could the 2006 released animation be connected to your investigation ?
C.R.: Let me set the record straight right from the beginning by telling you that the NTSB animation does not match the eyewitnesses that we spoke with who prove the true flight path. Before I explain why this is the case let me first summarize for the readers what you mean when you talk about ''contradictory releases from the NTSB''.
The U.S. government claims that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) of Flight 77, which is sometimes referred to as the "black box", was found inside the Pentagon shortly after the 9/11 attacks. In 2006, the NTSB released what they claimed was the raw data from this alleged FDR. This data shows the plane on the south side of the Citgo gas station, which matches other official reports and the physical damage. However, as explained in the video "9/11: Attack on the Pentagon" by Pilots for 9/11 Truth, it shows the plane at an altitude that is much too high for it to have been able to hit the light poles and cause the damage to the Pentagon. So, that by itself should be a huge red flag for everyone. It proves that either the government has provided fraudulent data, the plane did not hit the Pentagon, or both. (See the relevant section of the Pilots' video)
In 2006 the NTSB also released an animation which was supposed to be based on the raw data from the alleged FDR. However, this animation does not match that raw data. Like the raw data, it does show the plane too high to hit the light poles or building, but it also shows the plane on the north side of the gas station. This is explained by Pilots for 9/11 Truth in a simple 10 minute presentation entitled American 77 Flight Path version2 - In 3D.
Because the animation shows the plane approaching from the north side of the gas station some have concluded that the animation matches the true flight path of the plane revealed by the witnesses we have interviewed. However, anyone who has paid attention to the interviews in National Security Alert knows that this is false. The animation has the plane entirely north of the Navy Annex and Columbia Pike at all times, whereas witness Edward Paik saw it cross from the south to the north side of Columbia Pike, passing over his brother Shinki's auto shop on its way to flying directly over the Navy Annex. While canvassing a nearby neighborhood we were able to locate and interview several other witnesses further back on the flight path who saw the plane a short while before it reached the auto shop and they corroborated Edward's claim that the plane approached the Sheraton from the south side of Columbia Pike. Those witnesses are featured in our presentation "Flight 77" The White Plane.
Furthermore, the witnesses overwhelmingly report that the plane flew directly over the Annex, not to the north of it as shown in the animation. They also report a lower altitude.
So, again, even though the 2006-released NTSB animation does show the plane on the north side of the Citgo station, the eyewitness evidence we have uncovered contradicts this animation in many other ways and proves that it is fraudulent. This is why you never see us referencing this proven-fraudulent government-supplied data in ANY of our presentations as corroboration for our findings.
One question that many people wonder about is why the government released an animation that shows the plane on a north of the Citgo flight path which contradicts the physical damage, their own raw data, and the eyewitnesses. We cannot possibly answer this question with absolute certainty, but my speculation is that they did it to foster confusion or to cast doubt on any REAL evidence exposing the north side approach. Clearly this has worked if people think that we are somehow connected to this data in any way. Obviously the perpetrators would know where the plane really flew, and clearly it would benefit them to cause confusion or create the false impression that there is an acceptable margin of error between the north and south paths by releasing this contradictory animation and data.
The timing of the release of the alleged FDR data and the animation also seems to support this interpretation of their motives. Before we ever went to Arlington we had been posting on the original "Loose Change" online discussion forum (which is now closed), and we were publicly scrutinizing the witnesses, including attempting to analyze the true flight path of the plane. Since this was one of the most prominent 9/11 research forums online at the time it makes sense that government counter-intelligence would be monitoring it. So, when we began publicly planning to travel to Arlington to interview witnesses, they would have easily recognized that we were on track to uncover the true flight path of the plane. For this reason, the timing of the release of the alleged FDR data and animation is very dubious and does suggest that the government put it out preemptively because of our planned investigation in anticipation of what we might discover.
So, if the animation is "connected" to our investigation in any way it was as a preemptive effort on the part of the perpetrators to undermine us. We absolutely have not colluded with the government on any level whatsoever and we are not involved in any way with the release of the fraudulent NTSB animation. The simple fact that we have not used this fraudulent government-supplied data in any of our presentations is a testament to that. While Pilots for 9/11 Truth has certainly focused heavily on this data they have done so merely to expose the discrepancies and expose how there is no possible way for this official data to be legitimate.
We have never believed that this fraudulent government-provided data really came from the black box of the attack jet and we have always maintained that it proves nothing other than the fact that they have tampered with evidence (a serious crime) and tried controlling the debate. It certainly does NOT prove a flyover or a north side approach and we have never cited it in this context. The independent corroborated witnesses are the only things that we have cited proving a north side approach/flyover.
E&FD: In spite of the coherence of your methodology and the importance of the discoveries which ensued from it, the legitimacy of your research is strongly disputed, sometimes within 911 Truth Movement. How do you explain this hostility ?
C.R.: For the most part our latest presentation "National Security Alert" has been embraced and met with widespread praise. This includes formal statements of approval from numerous well-known and respected scholars, activists, pilots, journalists, etc., which you can read here. Many others, including other public figures, have expressed their strong support less formally. Also, the English version of the video has an average rating of five stars on YouTube, showing that the overwhelming majority of those who have rated it have given it five stars. The French version on DailyMotion has almost a five star average as well (approximately 4.9).
However, there has been a relatively small group of vocal detractors who have not only refused to accept the implications of this information (at least ostensibly), but have also gone so far as to attack the credibility of the witnesses and Citizen Investigation Team personally. This is no surprise given the extreme implications of the information that we have uncovered, but for the same reason it is necessary for people to pay close attention to who is instigating the attacks, and to investigate whether or not the arguments and claims made by these people are adequately and honestly substantiated. If they do this they will find that the attacks are disingenuous and do not refute the overwhelming evidence proving a north side flyover. They will also find that the attacks are usually launched by attention-seekers, anonymous internet bloggers who hide their names and faces, or else individuals who are clearly very biased against the notion that the plane did not hit the Pentagon for personal reasons.
Regarding the last category of attackers, one must understand that before we launched our investigation there was a lot of frustration, disagreement, and uncertainty within the 9/11 truth movement regarding the Pentagon attack. Many felt that the eyewitnesses debunked the missile theory and that it therefore could be true that a plane hit the building after all. This caused some individuals to shift their focus to the World Trade Center, particularly the collapse of building 7, while encouraging others to follow their lead and stay away from the Pentagon attack. Some even decided to engage in a very active campaign to support the government's impact narrative at the Pentagon while working to marginalize any new information that came out to the contrary. Because these people have spoken out so strongly in favor of an impact and in some cases even gone as far as to imply that people who believe otherwise are fools, evidence which proves that a plane did not hit is devastating to their credibility. Consequently, they work to aggressively label evidence of this nature "disinfo", regardless of how credible and conclusive it might be. This may be partly due to misunderstanding for some and ego for others, but there is also likely some level of counter-intelligence or controlled opposition going on here as well.
None of our detractors have been able to present an honest, rational, coherent argument against this information, and none have been able to present counter-evidence in the form of video-recorded firsthand testimony from eyewitnesses who saw the plane on the official south side approach. Since we first released our interviews with the witnesses at the gas station over three years ago, we have always encouraged people who doubted that plane flew on the north side to contact witnesses themselves and publish the results. We are regular guys with full time jobs living in California and we were able to locate and interview dozens of witnesses, over a dozen of which were in a position to judge where the plane flew in relation to the Annex and/or Citgo station with accuracy. All of them reported the plane on the north side flight path. If the plane really flew on the south side of the station then it should be very easy to find witnesses who report this since witnesses who "erroneously" report the plane on the north side would logically be in the minority. Please ask yourself why there are people who have spent hundreds of hours of their adult lives attacking us online and yet in over three years not a single one of them has produced video-recorded eyewitness testimony from a single witness who could see the gas station and reports that the plane flew on the south side.
It's also important to note that almost all of the people who have attacked us have refused to debate us directly when challenged and instead have preferred to put out extremely long, convoluted, dishonest attack articles to confuse and frustrate the reader in the hopes of casting doubt on the information or us personally. Those who have been the most vocal in speaking out against us in the past have either completely quit the truth movement and disappeared or they have suffered serious blows to their credibility. Meanwhile, attention and respect for what we have accomplished has grown and continues to grow. Since the release of National Security Alert it is clear that the overwhelming majority of people who look closely at the evidence we present have had no problems understanding how simple, important, and definitive it really is.
Another excuse that we have heard given for shying away from this information is that it's just too good to be true. There are some people who say that they simply cannot believe that it is possible that regular citizens could uncover information which exposes such a monstrous crime so clearly. A few of these people have advocated a theory according to which the plane actually flew on the south side and hit the Pentagon while all of the witnesses we spoke with who prove the north side flyover are in on a big hoax or conspiracy, and CIT are actually government operatives spreading disinformation. If you are inclined to believe this all I can tell you is that, besides being baseless and irrational, it is totally false. For starters, as I said before, the ANC witnesses are on record in 2001 with the CMH reporting the north side approach. Lagasse is on record reporting it in as early as 2003. At that time I personally had no idea that 9/11 was an inside job at all and did not start questioning the event until over a year later. Getting that many witnesses from a variety of walks of life to lie so convincingly on camera about such a simple claim contradicting the official story is not something we are capable of and there is no valid reason for us or anyone else to want to do such a thing anyway. There is especially no reason for the government to create an elaborate "hoax" of this nature that contradicts the official story so definitively because the 9/11 operation was clearly quite successful. The majority of the world population has been successfully deceived as the fraudulent "global war on terror" continues as vigorously as ever under the Obama administration while propaganda supporting the 9/11 myth is still widespread and accepted as reality by the masses. The north side flyover evidence is real, easy for the average person to understand, and completely destroys the notion that 9/11 was anything other than a false flag operation. We therefore feel that it is an excellent tool for exposing the crime and putting an end to the fraudulent wars, as well as the draconian government programs which have been justified by the 9/11 lie.
E&FD: The north of the CITGO approach evidence you have gathered is very convincing since it has been independently corroborated by over a dozen witnesses. Direct evidence for a flyover/flyaway seems less strong since so far you have only obtained firsthand testimony from one witness who says he saw the plane flying away after the explosion (Roosevelt Roberts Jr). Certain critics have therefore tried to separate the north side approach from the flyover/flyaway by asserting, for example, that the plane would have been able to fly north of the CITGO, and then turn in order to align with a trajectory to match with the physical damage (light poles, generator, and the internal damage to the building). Is this scenario possible ? In other words, does an approach north of the gas station alone physically prove the plane had to have flown over the building even if there weren't any known flyover/flyaway witnesses at all ?
C.R.: I have actually seen very few people attempt to argue that the plane could fly on the north side and still cause the damage, but anyone who would make this argument is incorrect. It is scientifically impossible for any type of fixed-wing aircraft on earth to fly north of the gas station and then suddenly change its heading in order to cause the damage to the light poles, generator trailer, and the building. It is therefore a scientific fact that if you accept the eyewitness evidence proving that the plane flew north of the gas station then you have no choice but to accept that it flew away after the explosion.
This is usually obvious to the layman simply by looking at the location of the physical damage in relation to the witness flight path illustrations, but now Pilots for 9/11 Truth has released a technical document with calculations and animations thoroughly demonstrating this. The document can be read online at their website here and you can also download a printable PDF version (0.91mb) from our website here.
The document was written by certified pilot Robert Balsamo, founder of Pilots for 9/11 Truth, and it was reviewed and approved by experienced pilots Captain Jeff Latas and Commander Ralph Kolstad. Kolstad spent 13 years flying Boeing 757/767, mostly as an international captain for American Airlines. He has command time in tail number N644AA, the very plane dispatched as American 77. He has logged 23,000 of flight time, spent over 20 years in the US Navy flying fighters off of aircraft carriers, achieving TopGun twice. As for Jeff Latas: before going to work for JetBlue airlines, he spent over 20 years in the United States Air Force, and his exemplary military record includes nearly 5000 hours in fighter aircraft, the Distinguish Flying Cross for Heroism, four Air Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, and nine Aerial Achievement Medals. A detailed bio can be read here : http://www.latasgroup.com/jeff.html
With experts of this caliber supporting the notion that a north side approach proves a flyover with calculations and animations to back up their claims there should be no doubt in the minds of people who feel they are not qualified to make the determination. Here is their final conclusion:
"It is impossible for any fixed-wing aircraft to cause the directional physical damage to the light poles, generator trailer, and the Pentagon leading to the C-ring hole approaching from directly over the Navy Annex and north of the former Citgo gas station. The flight paths illustrated by the witnesses would require G forces beyond the physical limitations of any aircraft for it to transition to an approach that lines up with the physical damage. Additionally, a hypothetical least challenging scenario at low speed would require bank angles that are irreconcilable with the physical damage, as well as the witness statements, and require an instantaneously performed roll that is impossible for any fixed-wing aircraft."
Not a single pilot, expert, engineer, or credentialed researcher who has looked closely at this information and published anything on the topic at all has contested the notion that it is impossible for a plane on the north side approach to cause the physical damage. Indeed, even of our most vocal and prolific critics have admitted as much and have instead chosen to attempt to cast doubt on the witnesses whose testimony proves a north side flyover, or on us personally.
Furthermore, as explained in the Pilots for 9/11 Truth document, the simple fact is that most if not all of the eyewitnesses did not stop watching the plane the instant it came even with the north side of the gas station. In order to assert that the plane may have transitioned from the north side of the station to a trajectory that would allow it to cause the observed physical damage, beginning with the first down light pole, one would have to ignore everything that was drawn and reported beyond that point by the eyewitnesses, which no objective and intellectually honest person would do. This specifically includes, but is not limited to, their placement of the plane over or very near the parking lot outside of the Arlington National Cemetery maintenance buildings, which a number of witnesses are explicit about. So, even if the hypothetical maneuver in question were possible, which, as this paper shows, it is not, it would still be a moot point.
E&FD: For years, the 911 Truth Movement presented the Pentagon as an "aviation no-man's-land ", in the heart of a zone called P56 that forbids any flying over the building at all, and that it is even protected by supposed antiaircraft batteries. You have highlighted how close Reagan National Airport is to the Pentagon and its likely role in the success of the attack. Can you speak to us about this important detail ?
C.R.: As we have explained in National Security Alert and other presentations, the notion that the Pentagon is in Washington DC under restricted airspace is a common misconception. The Pentagon is not in Washington D.C. at all. It is across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, which is not restricted airspace. In fact, Reagan National Airport is only about one mile from the Pentagon, and there are extremely low-flying commercial jet airliners taking off and landing directly next to the Pentagon every 2 to 4 minutes of every day of the year. This is easily observable to anyone who goes to the area and it is quite a normal sight for locals. As you drive on highway 395 next to the Pentagon and take the 14th Street Bridge across the river when traveling from Arlington to DC it is very normal to see planes flying only a few dozen feet above your car as they land or take off from the airport.
When considering anti-aircraft missile batteries at the Pentagon there is no public documentation or admission from the Pentagon that this exists so any talk of it amounts to nothing but speculation and is therefore not evidence implicating direct government involvement in the attack.
E&FD: Do you expect to put out a sequel to National Security Alert ? Do you have any other projects currently in the works ?
C.R.: We might eventually put out a revised and updated version of National Security Alert, but that is not something we are working on at the moment. Our investigation is ongoing, so as we obtain new information we will compile new presentations or work on updated versions of our previous presentations. We do have new information that we are compiling at this time. We make it a point to keep our projects secret until we are preparing to release them simply because we don't want to alert the counter-intelligence teams to what we are doing, but I can tell you that we are working hard on some important new projects that will help people to better understand the scope of what we have accomplished. You can definitely expect more from CIT in 2010.
E&FD: Craig Ranke, thank you for having taken time to answer our questions.
C.R.: You're quite welcome. Thank you for the opportunity !
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