By Kevin R. Ryan
Sep 10, 2012
“I have no desire to attack the Pentagon; I want to liberate it. We need to save it from itself.” Donald Rumsfeld, September 10, 2001
The official account of what happened at the Pentagon on 9/11 leaves many questions unanswered. The work of independent investigators has also failed to address those questions. In an attempt to find answers, an alternative account of the Pentagon attack is considered.
An alternative account would be more compelling than the official account if it explained more of the evidence without adding unnecessary complications. Considering means, motive and opportunity might allow us to propose a possible “insider conspiracy” while maintaining much of the official account as well.
A few of the more compelling unanswered questions are as follows.
- How could American Airlines Flight 77 have hit the building as it did, considering that the evidence shows the alleged hijacker pilot, Hani Hanjour, was a very poor pilot?
- Why did the aircraft make a 330-degree turn just minutes before hitting the building?
- Why did the aircraft hit the least occupied one-fifth of the building that was the focus of a renovation plan and how was it that the construction in that exact spot just happened to be for the purpose of minimizing the damage from a terrorist explosion?
- Why was the company that performed the renovation work, just for that one-fifth of the building, immediately hired in a no bid contract to clean-up the damage and reconstruct that area of the building? (Note: The same company was also immediately hired to clean-up the WTC site within hours of the destruction there.)
- What can explain the damage to the building and the aircraft debris or lack thereof?
- Why were the tapes from the surveillance videos in the area immediately confiscated by the FBI and never released?
These questions should be considered along with the fact that U.S military and “Homeland Security” expenditures since the 9/11 attacks have totaled approximately $8 trillion. This paints a picture that calls for an in-depth investigation into the people running the Pentagon, to see if they might have had the motivation and ability to plan and execute the attack.
What happened during the Pentagon renovation project should be of great interest. A preliminary investigation raises the possibility that the work done during that time could have provided the cover for an effective insider conspiracy. We should examine the people involved in planning the renovation project in order to begin answering the question of who might have benefited from the attack.
The history of the renovation project
Construction of the Pentagon began on September 11, 1941. It was completed in February 1943, and was called The Pentagon because it was a five-sided building that had five concentric rings (A through E) and five floors. Truly massive, with over 6 million square feet of gross area, the building met the basic needs of the Department of War, later ironically called the Department of Defense (DOD), for the next fifty years.
The renovation project was originally planned during the first Bush Administration, when Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). Because of this, Dick knew enough about the scope of the project that he could have, in later years, incorporated it into plans for an insider attack. It also happens that the ownership of the building was transferred, in November 1990, from the General Services Administration to the DOD, keeping the renovation project under full control of the military establishment.
The work began in 1993 with the construction of a power plant and then moved on to the basement levels of the building where the new National Military Command Center (NMCC) was being built. Over the ensuing four or five years the project was fraught with cost overruns and unexpected delays.
Early in the project, oversight was provided by John Deutch, the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DEPSECDEF). Deutch came to the job after a career in academics and at the Department of Energy. He was associated with Mitre Corporation, which in 1999 was in collaboration with a company called PTech to “look at interoperability issues the FAA had with NORAD and the Air Force, in case of an emergency.” Investigator and author Jamey Hecht has written that “The Ptech story is a crucial piece of 9/11 because the software was used to simultaneously coordinate the FAA with NORAD and the Secret Service.”
Deutch also worked with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which has many connections to 9/11. After his tenure as DEPSECDEF, in May 1995, Deutch became Director of the CIA. He left the CIA almost two years later and became a director at Citigroup, a company that was saved in 1998 by Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia in a deal brokered by The Carlyle Group. Deutch was allowed to keep his top-secret clearance for nearly three years after leaving the CIA (until August 1999), while he was being investigated for leaks of classified information. Attorney General Janet Reno refused to prosecute Deutch and he was ultimately pardoned by President Clinton. During this time, Deutch also became a director of Raytheon and a member of the Bilderberg Group.
Throughout the Pentagon renovation project, oversight continued to be provided by the DEPSECDEF. The next in line for the job was John White, a Marine Corps officer whose career had included nine years with the RAND Corporation. After his work at the DOD, he went on to join Deutch and others at Global Technology Partners, which was described by one of its senior partners as “an exclusive affiliate of Rothschild North America.”
In the summer of 1997, the renovation project was turned over to White’s successor, John J. Hamre. As the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisitions and Technology, Hamre had already been involved and was a powerful figure in the department. Procurement was among the most important roles in DOD.
After his time as DEPSECDEF, Hamre became a trustee of Mitre Corporation at the time of its collaboration with PTech. Later, Hamre would become a director for ChoicePoint and SAIC. Coincidentally, the Choicepoint subsidiary, Bode Technologies, was hired to do DNA testing of victims after the 9/11 attacks. Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State who was among those who failed to protect the nation on 9/11, was also a director at Choicepoint and an advisor at Raytheon.
Therefore the backgrounds of the people who first planned and managed the renovation project suggest that some of them could have formed an effective Pentagon conspiracy. Of course, the Pentagon is the center of the U.S. military industrial complex and therefore the people running its programs would have stood to benefit from the extraordinary increase in military spending after 9/11.
The new plan and the environment in which it was drafted
In 1997, a new plan for the renovation project was crafted by Hamre, reportedly in response to the mid-1990s terrorist attacks in Oklahoma City and abroad. This new plan appeared to be an effort to improve the resistance of the exterior of the building to an explosive impact, with additional actions taken to reduce the possibility of fire damage. The following improvements to the building were planned:
- Reinforcement of the exterior walls with steel
- Backing of the exterior walls with Kevlar, to minimize shrapnel effect
- Installation of blast-resistant windows
- Installation of fire sprinklers and automatic fire doors
- Construction of a building operations and control center
To manage the project, Hamre created a new position called the Pentagon Renovation Program Manager. The person selected for the job was Walker Lee Evey, a former Vietnam combat commander and NASA contract negotiator. Evey had been with the 1st Infantry Division in Quan Loi, Vietnam, in 1968 and 1969. He was later a top procurement officer with Air Force Systems Command but left the military in 1987 to join NASA. He returned to the Air Force in 1996 as a high-ranking acquisitions official working for Darleen Druyun, who later went to prison for conspiring with Boeing to defraud the American people.
Immediately before being hired to manage the Pentagon renovation project, Evey worked on a top-secret Air Force “black project” in California that involved satellites. Although reports don’t identify the project, descriptions match the Milstar satellite system, a cooperative effort between the Air Force, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. intelligence center at Fort Belvoir.
Milstar is primarily a communications system that allows “satellites to communicate globally without using a ground station.” Theoretically, onboard Milstar terminals could have been used on 9/11 to communicate changes to the flight plans of the hijacked aircraft. Milstar operates with a low risk of detection or interception, was designed to operate for weeks without ground contact, and is “used to relay the most sensitive information between the President and the armed forces.”
In late 1995, Druyun had boasted about all the new DOD projects related to precision guidance of aircraft and munitions. These projects included Milstar, Peace Shield (a Saudi airspace control project with Boeing) and the nationwide Global Positioning System (GPS).
Although Evey knew about satellites, surprisingly he did not know anything about construction when he was hired to lead the Pentagon project. It was in November 1997 that Druyun asked Evey about the job, although Evey made it clear that he “didn’t know how to do construction.”
Evey’s education was in psychology and he had no experience related to the renovation of buildings. After a discussion with Druyun, and having resigned himself to the assignment, he thought — “Gee, if I’m going to do design and construction, I’d better start learning about this stuff.” It seems reasonable to suggest that Evey was hired for his abilities to maintain costs and control suppliers but also to maintain secrecy and control psychological reactions. The latter skills would come in handy for someone in the lead position of providing official answers to questions about the 9/11 attack, given that it was an inside conspiracy.
Note that 1997 was the year that the think tank called The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) was born. A Statement of Principles was published by PNAC in June of that year, which called for the U.S. government to actively work at shaping a new century favorable to American principles and interests. Key to PNAC objectives was a “need to increase defense spending significantly.”
This was also the same year that SECDEF William Cohen suggested that Andrew W. Marshall, the long-time director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, might be ready for retirement. Marshall had been appointed to that role in 1973, effectively serving as the leader of a private think tank that drove policy within the Pentagon. He has been reappointed by every president since then and, through the 1990s, he was the leading figure in the calls for a revolution in military affairs (RMA).
Cohen’s attempt to push Marshall out was unsuccessful due to backlash from a cadre of Marshall’s loyal protégés, who were also PNAC members. That group included Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowtiz and Richard Armitage, all of whom played leading roles in the defense failures on 9/11. When asked about 9/11, Marshall said nothing had changed for him because – “It was obvious that we were wide open to attack.”
At the time of the planning and implementation of the Pentagon renovation, Marshall and his allies were aggressively advocating their RMA but neither the public nor the government was supportive. Marshall’s colleagues at the RAND Corporation were framing the RMA as a means to transform the world from one of nation-states to one ruled by a new international order.
Central to the RMA was the call to increase the production and use of satellite, weapons-guiding, and communications technology. PNAC’s report of September 2000, called Rebuilding America’s Defenses, strongly aligned the objectives of the group with the RMA plan, and made clear that the much needed transformation would not occur “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.”
At the time of the 9/11 attack, a dozen PNAC signatories worked in leadership positions at the Pentagon, including members of the Defense Policy Board like Fred Ikle and Richard Perle. It was known that Rumsfeld deferred to Perle on many issues in 2001, sometimes in an obsequious manner. Coincidentally, Shelton Lankford, a leading voice in the call for truth about the Pentagon attack, worked for the neocon and Psyops pioneer Ikle, and a “who’s who” of Perle associates, at Telos Corporation from 1990 to 2002.
The dramatic change in policy that the RMA represented, and the huge increase in military spending it required, was made possible due to the 9/11 attacks, which were very much like a “new pearl Harbor.” Therefore those who benefited from the attack on the Pentagon were people like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Armitage who achieved the backing for their PNAC objectives and the proposed RMA.
The people who implemented the new plan
After securing his commitment, Darleen Druyun told the new renovation project manager, Lee Evey, to wait for word from John Hamre. Evey’s position had been created by Hamre, who could best express the intent.
For the new project plan, which was approved in early 1998, Evey and Hamre decided to begin the new renovation specifically with Wedge 1, a section comprising one-fifth of the building on the west side. The project’s new emphasis on the external walls of Wedge 1 meant that the work was focused on a very small fraction of the building, exactly where the aircraft would hit on 9/11.
The project continued for 44 months with essentially all the work being performed in that one area of the building. At the time of the 9/11 attack, the renovation was to continue with Wedge 2, where the employees had only recently been relocated.
In March 2000, Hamre stepped down to become CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which had been the long-time employer of Rumsfeld’s special assistant, PNAC signatory Stephen Cambone. CSIS had planned exercises similar to the continuity of government (COG) exercises during the Reagan, Bush I and early Clinton administrations.  Cheney and Rumsfeld were key players in the COG exercises, as they practiced to replace the United States government in time of crisis. COG partcipants Kenneth Duberstein (CSIS advisory board), James Woolsey (CSIS trustee), and Dick Cheney have all been associated with CSIS. The first and only time that COG was implemented was on 9/11.
Hamre was replaced as DEPSECDEF by Rudy De Leon, another Undersecretary of Defense who had joined the DOD along with Hamre in 1993. When the new Bush Administration came in a year later, De Leon went on to become Senior Vice President at Boeing.
In the eight months leading up to the 9/11 attacks, completing Wedge 1 was the primary focus of the Pentagon renovation. During this time, Lee Evey served as principal advisor to SECDEF Rumsfeld but he reported directly to DEPSECDEF Wolfowitz, who was then in charge of the renovation. Cambone came to the Pentagon as well, as Special Assistant to the SECDEF and DEPSECDEF.
The actual construction work for the renovation was handled by a company called AMEC Construction, a subsidiary of the British conglomerate, AMEC. The parent company provided “engineering and project management services to the world’s energy, power and process industries.” AMEC had a significant presence in Saudi Arabia dating back to the late 1970s, providing support to the national oil company Saudi Aramco, which is the richest company in the world. To this day, AMEC remains a major international player in the oil and gas industry, as well as in other natural resource industries.
AMEC was also immediately hired to cleanup and reconstruct Wedge 1 and to lead the cleanup of the WTC site. The company’s role in controlling the structural evidence from the 9/11 attacks was further emphasized by the fact that it managed the “Hudson River barging operations to transport debris from the entire WTC site to a Staten Island landfill and to steel recycling operations in New Jersey.”
AMEC Construction was previously called Morse Diesel and was briefly a subsidiary of a company called AGRA until it was purchased by AMEC. The subsidiary was run out of Toronto, Ontario by a man named Peter Janson. It had offices in New York, Fort Lauderdale, and Phoenix.
From 1990 to 1999, Janson was president and CEO of U.S operations for the Swiss-Swedish engineering company ABB. During this period, and until February 2001, Donald Rumsfeld was a director at ABB throughout the time that Janson was CEO and a director. In an alarming turnabout, Rumsfeld helped ABB sell nuclear technology to North Korea in 2000 and, two years later, declared the same country a terrorist state and part of the “axis of evil.” In any case, Rumsfeld had a relationship with Janson, who managed the Wedge 1 renovation company, for many years before 9/11.
Janson had also been the president and CEO of an ABB predecessor, the Swedish company ASEA. Interestingly, ASEA had used the swastika as its company logo until the 1930s. During WWII, the other predecessor of ABB, Brown Boveri, supplied parts for German U-boats. Other ABB directors represented companies that had similar backgrounds, including Gerhard Cromme of ThyssenKrupp, a company that “used slave laborers during World War II to advance the Nazis’ war campaign.” ABB director Jürgen Dormann was CEO of Hoechst AG, a predecessor (and successor) of the infamous IG Farben conglomerate that cooperated closely with the Nazis.
Today, Janson is enjoying the fruits of the “War on Terror” as a director of Teekay Corporation, an oil and gas transport company that operates throughout the world. Both Janson and AMEC were heavily involved in the oil and gas industries, but additionally the company was strongly linked to the highest levels of government in the U.S. and elsewhere. Janson’s high level links, apart from his association with Rumsfeld, included that he “reports to the Prime Minister of Canada in his role as a member of the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology.”
AMEC subcontracted much of the Wedge 1 work to Facchina Construction, which was founded by Paul V. Facchina. It was reported that Facchina Construction was a “major subcontractor” in the Pentagon renovation. The company functioned as the heavy civil contractor under AMEC, for Wedge 1 specifically. Facchina’s project manager, Ken Wyman, described the initial phase of their work as “selective demolition.” Later on, “crews worked six to seven days a week pouring concrete and renovating the structure.”
In another interesting coincidence, Facchina Construction was hired to construct American Airlines Arena in Miami. Furthermore, the project manager for that $213 million project was AMEC and the structural engineering firm was Thornton Tomasetti, which later supervised the removal and destruction of WTC debris. As Facchina Construction worked on the Pentagon in 1998 and 1999, it simultaneously worked on the American Airlines Arena project, which, oddly enough, was sponsored by the company that owned the airplane that hit the Pentagon.
Another company that was founded by Paul Facchina is Facchina Global Services (FGS) which does intelligence work and builds secure video teleconferencing (SVTS) capabilities for the DOD. FGS provided such secure video teleconferencing capabilities for “the President of the United States, the National Security Council, Secretary of Defense, agency directors, and combatant commanders.” It is unclear what role FGS had with regard to the significant problems experienced by those using the White House SVTS on 9/11.
According to William Viner, a project estimator working for the contracting venture called DMJM-3DI, there was a change of plans just two years before 9/11. Viner said that the design for the “blast wall” of Wedge 1 was modified at that time. “It wasn’t part of the original design,” Viner said. “It was a change order that we worked through and put in.” and “We started negotiating it about two years ago, May-June 1999. We started receiving materials for it in December and started constructing it as we were coming through the outer and inner shell.“ When asked why this change was made so late in the project, Viner replied — “Oklahoma City.” Of course, this was more than four years after the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building and that incident had already been considered in the plans drafted in 1997.
On the day of 9/11
On the day of the attack, the instant of impact was witnessed by another Vietnam combat veteran, Frank Probst, who just happened to be in the exact area outside the building when it occurred. Probst was not only a veteran, he was a West Point graduate and retired army lieutenant colonel. He worked with Evey in the Pentagon Renovation Program Office as a communications specialist.
In 1973, after his combat experiences in Vietnam, Probst joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He continued as a career Army communications officer, serving in places like Panama from 1973 to 1977 and the 5th Signal Corps in Germany from 1981 to 1984. Probst retired in 1986 from the Defense Communications Agency (DCA) in Arlington, VA. Note that the 5th Signal Corps managed the worldwide U.S. satellite program. The DCA, now called the Defense Information Systems Agency, is the leader of satellite communications for the DOD and was responsible for developing the system architecture.
Probst had worked on the renovation project since 1995, before Evey joined. Six years later, as one of the few people who witnessed the impact and the one who saw it from the closest vantage point, Probst’s testimony was critical to establishing the official account of what happened.
Twelve minutes before impact, at 9:25 am, Frank Probst was said to be completing an inspection of computer room air conditioning equipment and a first floor telephone closet just inside the west wall. Afterward, he stopped at a construction trailer outside, near where the plane hit. Images of the scene taken in May 2001 show the construction trailers and other materials located around the point of impact. For some unknown reason, three of the construction trailers that were located immediately outside the impact area were left out of diagrams in the report published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
At one of the construction trailers, Probst watched the news about the WTC with others there and together they remarked how the Pentagon would be a good target. Probst left the trailer around 9:35 am and the aircraft, originally piloted by long-time Pentagon employee Charles Burlingame but allegedly taken over by Hani Hanjour, came right at him.
It was reported that — “The pilot seemed to be aiming for a window on the first floor, almost exactly where Probst had been checking the air conditioning ten minutes earlier.” Another witness said the aircraft appeared to be “nothing more than a guided missile at that point,” and by most accounts it was going full throttle approximately six feet off the ground.
Probst hit the ground as the aircraft passed just a few feet above him, and he observed the end of the right wing cut through the portable electrical generator that provided backup power to Wedge 1. It is amazing, given this account, that Probst was not injured by the turbulence from the wake of the aircraft. Such aircraft wakes are known to be highly dangerous.
It is also remarkable that Frank Probst was checking equipment in the exact location of impact just 12 minutes before it happened. It seems unlikely that this lieutenant colonel from the DCA was the air conditioning guy, but for Probst to have wandered away to discuss how the Pentagon would be a good target for the next hijacked aircraft, and then come back to be nearly hit by that next aircraft, makes his story worthy of further investigation.
Lt. Col. Probst’s presence at the impact site is not in question due to another witness who saw him there. This was AMEC employee Don Mason. For the purposes of this alternative account, the question to be answered is why Probst was there and what he was doing. His presence in the building just before it hit, then in the construction trailer a few minutes later, and then just below the aircraft as it impacted the building, does not seem to be accidental.
Support for the idea that there is more to Probst’s story is given by the 2003 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) restrictions on 9/11 Commission interviews for certain witnesses. Only four Pentagon witnesses were on the DOJ-sensitive list, of the many people who said they saw something. Those four included two Pentagon police officers, cleanup project engineer Allyn Kilsheimer (mentioned below), and Frank Probst. The restrictions that the DOJ insisted upon were that a DOJ attorney must be present during these interviews, a five day warning must be given in each case, and no record could be made, of any kind.
Regardless of why Probst was there, reports state that Flight 77 crashed through the windows of rooms 1E462 and 1E466. Jack Singleton, the president of Wedge 1 electrical subcontractor, Singleton Electric, said — “Where the plane came in was really at the construction entrance.”
The ASCE report states that the fuselage hit “at or below the second floor slab,” which was about 14 feet off the ground, and it then “slid between the first-floor slab on grade and the second-floor slab for most of its distance of travel after striking the building.” As it slid, the aircraft “burst through Army accounting offices on the first floor of the E ring, continued through the Navy Command Center on the D ring, and slammed into a Defense Intelligence Agency office in the C ring.”
The aircraft was said to have punched through three rings of the building, which essentially represented three separate structures, the outer ring (ring E), the D ring and the C ring, before coming to rest.
Unfortunately, although there were many videotape recorders in the vicinity that recorded the moment of impact, all of the videotapes were confiscated by the FBI within minutes and have never been released. Through a FOIA request, five frames from one of these videos were released but do not reveal much. We are therefore left with only eyewitness testimony and photographic evidence, from before and after the attack, in order to piece together the moment of impact.
First responders from local fire departments arrived at the scene within 5 minutes as did the FBI’s National Capital Response Squad. Other federal, state, and local civilian police officers arrived within minutes as well, including FEMA’s Urban Rescue and Search team from Virginia. Because it was terrorism, the federal plan implemented in January 2001, known as the Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan (CONPLAN), made it clear that the FBI was in charge. Personnel from the FBI and other government agencies immediately began collecting evidence at the scene.
If not for the construction project, thousands of people would have been working in Wedge 1 at the time of impact. Because the aircraft hit that low occupancy section of the building, only 125 people were killed. Of those killed, none were high-level officials and none of the ten or more PNAC members with offices in the building were injured or killed. Donald Rumsfeld was safe in his office on the opposite side of the building.
The targeting of Wedge 1 guaranteed the safety of the Pentagon’s top leaders, which is not what anyone would expect from al Qaeda. Limitation of Pentagon deaths is, however, what we might expect from an insider conspiracy.
Instead of rushing to the NMCC to lead the national defense and ensure that no other parts of the attack were successful, Rumsfeld went out to the parking lot and the lawn and could not be reached for approximately 30 minutes. In explanation, he said – “I wanted to see what had happened. I wanted to see if people needed help. I went downstairs and helped for a bit with some people on stretchers. Then I came back up here and started — I realized I had to get back up here and get at it.”
It could be that Rumsfeld was personally concerned about the welfare of specific individuals, but it does not seem reasonable that he would forsake his duties and the rest of the country for 30 minutes during the most critical time of his tenure. An alternative explanation for Rumsfeld’s negligent visit to the southwest wall is that he was part of the conspiracy and he rushed to the scene due to concern that something might not have gone exactly to plan. For example, the aircraft might not have hit precisely where he had hoped, or he might have been trying to make sure that any unwanted evidence was removed before it was found by the wrong people. Or, he might simply have wanted an excuse to be out of a position of command for another 30 minutes.
Of the 45 people working in the Army office located immediately within the impact zone, 34 died. More than half of the victims worked in the Pentagon’s Naval Command Center, and many of them had been moved into the facility shortly before the attack. In addition to the people in the building, there were 54 victims on the airliner, as well as the 5 alleged hijackers, all of whom perished.
As for AMEC Construction, which was still working in the area, its vice president Ron Vermillion reported that 230 company employees were in Wedge 1 that morning. Other reports said it was less than 100 AMEC employees, doing “final, touch-up work on wedge one.” Regardless of the number, although AMEC had many employees in the area that was hit, all of them survived.
The deaths of 184 people (125 plus the aircraft passengers and alleged hijackers) was a national tragedy, but it could have been much worse. The relatively low loss of life at the Pentagon could be seen as evidence that the perpetrators of the crime wanted to minimize casualties. The number of deaths among military personnel and DOD leadership was very low relative to what would have happened if any other part of the building was hit.
In his final assessment, Lee Evey remarked — “This was a terrible tragedy, but I’m here to tell you that if we had not undertaken these efforts in the building, this could have been much, much worse. The fact that they happened to hit an area that we had built so sturdily was a wonderful gift.”
What might have been done to facilitate the attack?
To help answer the question of how Flight 77 might have hit Wedge 1, flying at high speed and just barely off the ground, we might consider what aircraft guidance systems would allow such flight. Advanced automated control could explain how Flight 77 maneuvered as it did given the poor piloting skills of the alleged hijacker, Hani Hanjour.
Researcher Aidan Monaghan has written a compelling article entitled “Plausibility Of 9/11 Aircraft Attacks Generated By GPS-Guided Aircraft Autopilot Systems.” Monaghan hypothesizes that the precision automated flight control systems, and related commercial aviation technology that emerged just prior to 9/11, might have been utilized to accomplish the 9/11 attacks.
Monaghan explains that, in 2001, technology was available to remotely alter aircraft flight plan data in 757 and 767 aircraft, causing the planes to take a different route using autopilot functions. Combined with the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), an augmented GPS signal system, and associated technology, aircraft like those used in the 9/11 attacks could be flown remotely through “highways in the sky” that are navigated by the autopilot systems.
As Monaghan reported, companies involved in implementing such technology in the late 1990s included Boeing and Raytheon. In fact, Raytheon was the primary developer and provider of WAAS technology. The Mitre Corporation provided specialists to the WAAS Integrity Performance Panel (WIPP) to help with the implementation of WAAS.
Just a few weeks after 9/11, another company called Cubic Defense Systems filed for a patent on technology that “removes control of an aircraft from its pilot and utilizes an aircraft’s auto-pilot system to implement an uninterruptable pre-programmed auto-pilot flight plan” and can terminate “an aircraft’s ability to communicate.”
The information we have about Flight 77 as it was being flown toward the Pentagon comes largely from the flight path study provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). An interesting feature of the official account is that the aircraft was not seen on radar for 8 minutes and 13 seconds starting at the time of the hijacking. This was the period from when the transponder was turned off at 8:56 to 9:05, while it was within the domain of Indianapolis Center. Due to this radar data gap, the NTSB flight path was reconstructed using other radar data and information retrieved from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR).
The official account tells us that Flight 77 was hijacked at approximately 8:55 am and the autopilot was functioning throughout that time, including during the radical change in course back to Washington. Due to the technical skills required, disabling the autopilot and re-programming a new flight plan would be very difficult tasks for an unskilled hijacker. Of course, finding a specific target after flying the plane for hundreds of miles without autopilot would be an astonishing feat for an inexperienced pilot as well. All of these problems are solved by positing a remote control hijacking.
Remote control of a large airliner using WAAS, which operates using satellites and a system of 20 ground-based reference stations spread across North America, was successfully tested in the 1990s along with ancillary landing systems. One landing system developed just before 9/11, by Raytheon, was the military’s all weather, anti-jam Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS). To operate, JPALS needs ground-based GPS receivers which send signals to a central location at the landing site. This data is then sent to the approaching aircraft via a VHF data link so that flight path adjustments can be made.
Extensive flight testing of JPALS was conducted by Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force in the three months before 9/11, at Holloman AFB in New Mexico. Like Milstar, priority use of JPALS was given to special, covert missions conducted by U.S. Special Operations. The hardware for tactical JPALS operations consists of a communications console the size of a large microwave oven, a VHF transmission antenna twice the height of an average person, and a GPS receiver the size of a camera tripod.
Insiders could have located such a console in the telephone closet that Probst was checking, along with a transmission antenna on the roof of the building, and additional receivers in the construction trailers. In fact, the ground-based equipment used in the Raytheon/USAF remote control exercises of July and August 2001 was located in a trailer just like the ones located outside the Pentagon impact zone (See T. Katanik et al, Fig 2). This would seem to provide a plausible explanation for how the necessary hardware for precision approach and “landing” of Flight 77 might have been present without detection.
It might not have been necessary for additional landing system equipment to be included in such a scenario, however. By late 2001, WAAS could function for precision guidance of aircraft and targeting of structures entirely on its own. In fact, at the time, military researchers were writing that “WAAS provides such a high accuracy positioning that the Oval Office itself would be a plausible target.”
It is the unusual flight pattern of the aircraft that suggests a separate landing system might have been employed. If WAAS alone was used, the flight path of the aircraft would not be expected to include several disruptions of the autopilot system and a last minute, 330-degree turn.
After the plane was headed back to Washington, the autopilot stayed on until approximately 9:08 when it was shut off for three minutes and turned on again. At9:29, within minutes of Frank Probst’s inspection of equipment within the impact area, “the autopilot on American 77 was disengaged [again]; the aircraft was at 7,000 feet and approximately 38 miles west of the Pentagon.” And at 9:34, just before Probst left the construction trailer, the planewas “5 miles west-southwest of the Pentagon and began a 330-degree turn. At the end of the turn, it was descending through 2,200 feet, pointed toward the Pentagon.”
This descending, 330-degree turn might have been similar to a “circling to land” maneuver used in order to better align the aircraft for a landing approach. Alternatively, the turn might have been a non-standard entry into a holding pattern, like a teardrop turn. That is, it could be that something was not ready at the time that the aircraft was about to arrive and, therefore, arrival had to be delayed for a few minutes. It is also possible that control of the aircraft was switched from one system (WAAS) to another, requiring a delay.
The turn might also have been a spectacular demonstration of new technology related to the RMA, meant for certain people who needed convincing. If the JPALS system was located in or near the building, the suspicious activities of Probst could be explained in that he was using his expertise in advanced (DCA) communications to make the necessary last minute adjustments.
Further evidence for a last-minute adjustment is given by the distress shown by Vice President Cheney when he was being asked by a young naval officer if “the orders still [stood].” Cheney and his colleagues were apparently tracking Flight 77 as it came in to Arlington from approximately 50 miles out, and he seemed very distressed at the time, from what Norman Mineta has testified.
Probst was finishing his inspection of equipment within the impact zone of the building at 9:25 am. This was just one minute before Cheney got the “50 miles out” notice, at 9:26 am, according to several accounts.
The NTSB flight path study says that Flight 77 was about 35 miles west of the Pentagon at 9:29 am. The aircraft would have flown the final 35 miles in about 4.2 minutes, impacting at about 9:34 am, if it had not started the 330-degree turn. According to the NTSB study, the aircraft began its wide turn at 9:34 am when only 5 miles (or less than one minute) away. This was just one minute before Probst was reported as having left the construction trailer, at 9:35 am.
Therefore the suspicious coincidences regarding DCA lieutenant colonel Frank Probst’s activities before impact might be considered with the fact that those activities were happening at the same times as notices to Cheney. Probst’s activities also appear to correlate with major changes to the flight path of the incoming aircraft.
This raises the question of what was being removed from the Pentagon site just after impact, and if any of it might have been related to aircraft guidance technology. It is possible that if transmitters or receivers that were part of a landing system were located at the site they could have been hidden within the building or in the construction trailers as suggested earlier.
The aircraft was reported to have impacted an area that was outlined almost exactly by the three construction trailers that were immediately in front of the impact zone. Since the impact area and some of the trailers were said to have been completely destroyed, and teams of FBI and other first responders were removing evidence immediately after the attacks, we would never know.
Georgine K. Glatz, who was referred to as the chief engineer for the Pentagon Renovation Program Office, reported to Lee Evey’s deputy, Mike Sullivan. Some interesting remarks were made by Dr. Glatz when she was interviewed by the Pentagon historian, Alfred Goldberg, in December 2001. For example, Glatz expressed doubts about a truck bomb being the scenario of interest in planning the renovation. She said that it was odd considering that, at the time, “everything was guided.” Glatz went on to say — “Little did I know that the remote control would be the person flying the plane.“
In addition to the use of new aviation technology and guidance systems, there is reason to believe that explosives were planted in the building. This evidence includes witness testimony to a strong shockwave indicative of an explosion. Other witnesses with military experience testified to the strong smell of cordite, a low-grade military explosive, at the scene.
Although cordite is a low explosive, it was not likely to have been present since its use is long-outdated. Today, it is a cliché to talk of the smell of cordite when one is referring to something with an aroma like that of explosives. One of the witnesses to have remarked on it was General Hugh Shelton, who claimed to have visited the scene in the early afternoon.
Whether it was cordite or something else, there were a number of highly credible witnesses that reported secondary explosions going off in and around the impact hole for nearly an hour after the aircraft crashed. One of these was the CIA agent turned Florida congressman, Porter Goss, in whose district the alleged hijackers received their training. Goss went on to lead the first official inquiry into the events of 9/11.
The use of well-timed explosives at the moment of aircraft impact could explain why so few parts of the aircraft were visible outside the building. Some eyewitnesses testified that the aircraft “seemed to simply melt into the building,” or that it “sort of disappeared.” One witness said that the plane went into the building like a “toy into a birthday cake,” and another said “it was in the air one moment and in the building the next.”
These witness accounts suggest that explosives were placed in the building in such a way that, when triggered, they created an opening to absorb and destroy the body of the aircraft. The renovation project would have been perfect cover for placing the explosives in such an exact configuration. Again, the three officially unrecognized and completely destroyed construction trailers, located immediately in front of the impact area, might have served a role in triggering the explosives upon impact.
The building investigation and those who controlled the site
Evidence that something needed to be covered-up at the Pentagon was provided by the selection of those who led the official investigation into the building damage. The leader of the investigation, nominally sponsored by the ASCE, was Paul Mlakar. He had graduated from West Point (the year after Frank Probst) and Purdue University. Mlakar had ties to the U.S. deep state in that he married the daughter of Col. Robert P. Halloran, a former intelligence agent and acting director of the NSA under Allen Dulles (1960-61).
For the 11 years prior to 1996, Mlakar was vice president of a defense contractor located in San Diego, called JAYCOR. JAYCOR was an unofficial spin-off of SAIC, the company that has so many connections to 9/11. As a company, JAYCOR specialized in defense-related technologies, but was primarily a radar systems provider. While working there, Mlakar filed for a number of patents on explosive containment devices for aircraft.
In 1996, Mlakar joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), in Mississippi, where he was technical director for airfields, pavements and structures. Two years later, in 1998, Mlakar’s unit “performed classified simulations” that measured “the damage the Pentagon would suffer from a truck bomb.” Mlakar’s involvement in those classified simulations to test explosive effects on the external wall of the Pentagon is not well known and represents yet another amazing coincidence.
Despite being the leader of the building investigation, Mlakar was not given access to the Pentagon crash site until September 14. Through the following week, he was allowed limited access to the site although the other members of his investigation team were not. On October 4, the team was allowed to inspect the damage, accompanied by Gene Corley, Mlakar’s colleague from the Oklahoma City bombing investigation. But only for four hours. That fact suggests that whoever was driving the investigation was not really interested in evidence. However, the access Mlakar and Corley were given was better than what they had gotten in Oklahoma City, when they performed their entire physical investigation from two hundred feet (half a city block) away.
A few years after 9/11, a professor from the University of California publicly accused Mlakar of obstructing the investigation into physical damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. In a letter to ASCE, the professor claimed that Mlakar had even admitted his role as an obstructionist.
All things considered, the evidence suggests that Mlakar and his Pentagon building assessment was intended to be a cover-up. Furthermore, if the attack on the Pentagon had anything to do with explosives, remote targeting of objects near the ground, or airfields, Mlakar’s experience at JAYCOR and ERDC would have helped him to know what evidence to avoid.
AMEC and Facchina Construction came to the site immediately after the attack as well. Paul Facchina described that — “AMEC called us within an hour and a half of the attack. We were asked to provide support services and logistical support to FEMA, the FBI, and DoD—whatever they needed. We had 50 people on site right away. We built roads to the site, providing shoring for areas in distress, cleared areas, and built fences to secure the area.”
Those who had unlimited access to the Pentagon crash site included Allyn Kilsheimer, an engineer who was often hired by the government to clean-up after terrorist incidents. Kilsheimer was put in charge not only after the Pentagon attack, but also at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. When given such an assignment, Kilsheimer expected to have total control over the site, even when the FBI and military were involved, and he usually got it.
Kilsheimer, one of the DOJ-sensitive witnesses mentioned above, is the son of a concentration camp survivor. He gave his reasons for working at the Pentagon attack site by saying that, after September 11, he felt he was repaying America for what it had done to help his family during World War II.
It was reported that Ron Vermillion of AMEC requested Mr. Kilsheimer’s services immediately after the attack. Vermillion’s boss was Mack McGaughan, who reported to Rumsfeld’s long-time colleague, Peter Janson. But Glatz said it was a man named Jack Kelly who called in Kilsheimer because Kelly knew him from the past. Glatz said Kilsheimer had secured a $15 million contract within 5 minutes.
An interview of Jack Kelly occurred as an interruption to the interview of William Viner, when Viner was describing the unplanned addition to the renovation plan. The Kelly interview included some difficulty determining exactly who he was and who he worked for. After request for clarification, Kelly remarked that there was no one else like him. He was on “a personal services contract” and was reporting directly to Lee Evey.
In any case, it was said that Kilsheimer and Kelly ran the show during the clean-up operation. When interviewed, Kelly told the interviewers they could learn more of the truth about what happened from Kilsheimer or Garret McKenzie of the FBI. McKenzie was in charge of photographing the evidence. At one point, he pulled together a dozen photographers for a briefing, and told them: “We don’t need to photograph all the plane parts, only unique airplane parts or something specific. Like the pilot’s yoke, or anything with part of a serial number on it. If we have to prove what kind of plane this was, the serial numbers will be what we need.”
Summary and conclusions
In summary, the Pentagon renovation project was excellent cover for an insider conspiracy to attack the Pentagon. The people running the project were, at the same time, calling for a revolution in military affairs that, without the 9/11 attacks, they would not have been able to realize. These people included Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and others like Raytheon’s director John Deutch and its advisor Richard Armitage. Others who were involved with the project gained from the seizure of oil and gas resources, like Rumsfeld’s longtime fellow director Peter Janson and his colleagues at AMEC.
Through this review, more probable answers to the questions mentioned at the beginning of this article can be proposed. It is important to keep in mind that these are simply proposed answers that require further investigation.
- How could American Airlines Flight 77 have hit the building as it did, considering that the evidence shows the alleged hijacker pilot, Hani Hanjour, was a very poor pilot? Hani Hanjour was not flying the plane, which was remotely hijacked and controlled by the autopilot through WAAS guidance until it reached a point near the Pentagon. WAAS and its complementary system, JPALS, were capable of guiding the aircraft in the way that it was flown.
- Why did the aircraft make a 330-degree turn just minutes before hitting the building? This might have been a maneuver used to better align the aircraft and reduce altitude prior to the “landing” approach. Alternatively, it might have been needed due to transfer of control of the aircraft between the WAAS and the JPALS system. The activities of Frank Probst could have involved adjustments to related equipment within the impact zone at the time of system transfer, as well as further adjustments in the construction trailer at the time that the turn began. These delicate moments in execution of the plan would also help explain the distress exhibited by Dick Cheney at those same moments.
- Why did the aircraft hit the least occupied, small fraction of the building that was the focus of the renovation plan and how was it that the construction in that exact spot just happened to be for the purpose of minimizing the damage from a terrorist explosion? This was done to limit the death toll, which is not what al Qaeda would have done. Efforts to reduce casualties among military personnel and leadership were taken by conspirators operating from within the Pentagon itself, including Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowtiz, and possibly other PNAC signatories who worked there. These casualty limiting efforts included the modifications to Wedge 1 and the targeting of that least occupied area.
- Why was the company that performed the renovation work, just for that small fraction of the building, immediately hired in a no bid contract to clean-up the damage and reconstruct that area of the building? (Note: The same company, AMEC Construction, was also immediately hired to clean-up the WTC site within hours of the destruction there.) In this scenario, AMEC was part of the conspiracy, through Rumsfeld’s colleague Peter Janson, and arrangements were made to ensure that renovation and cleanup of evidence were done by personnel managed by this trusted colleague.
- What can explain the damage to the building and the aircraft debris, or lack thereof? The use of explosives could explain the damage done to the building, as well as the limited amount of recognizable aircraft debris at the site. It might also explain the FBI’s desire to limit photography of the aircraft parts, which would otherwise have provided evidence for explosive effects. Explosives could have been planted under cover of the renovation project in such a way as to be triggered as the aircraft approached or impacted and create an opening that absorbed the majority of the aircraft.
- Why were the tapes from the surveillance videos in the area immediately confiscated by the FBI and never released? The videos would have been confiscated and withheld because they provide evidence that further confirms the use of explosives.
An insider conspiracy answers the question of who benefited much better than does the official account. An historic power grab, a change in global policy direction, and a huge increase in military spending together constitute a much more compelling motivation than the purely symbolic gesture of hitting the Pentagon with an airplane — the objective attributed to the alleged hijackers. The massive seizure of resources, primarily oil and gas, represented by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, provided further, incalculable benefits to those within such an alternative conspiracy.
This particular hypothesis suggests that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowtiz, Richard Perle, John Deutch, John Hamre, Frank Probst, Paul Mlakar and Peter Janson could have played parts in the attack on the Pentagon, resulting in achievement of the RMA that they and their colleagues had sought. Some of them, like Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Janson, also benefited from the seizure of oil and gas resources. Others, including Lee Evey and one or more FBI agents, might have had knowledge that they were participating in something deceptive but they did not necessarily need to know the entire plan.
Many West Point graduates, like Mlakar and Probst, hold honor above other values and therefore would not be expected to participate in dishonorable activities leading to terrorism against citizens of the United States. On the other hand, Operation Northwoods was approved and recommended for implementation when Probst was a freshman at West Point, by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and West Point graduate, Lyman Lemnitzer. Other West Point graduates, including Anastasio Somoza (1946) and Richard Secord (1955), have been implicated in crimes against democracy.
Much more investigation is needed in order to better understand what happened at the Pentagon on 9/11. However it is clear that an insider conspiracy was not only possible, but can explain more of the evidence and can provide a much more plausible motivation.
Ultimately subpoena power may be needed to root out the answers. What we can say with certainty is that there are far more compelling questions about the attack than are usually discussed among 9/11 investigators. With a commitment to work toward the answers in an objective manner, without complicating the questions with unnecessary diversions, we might yet discover what really happened.
 Jamey Hecht, PTech, 9/11, and USA-Saudi Terror, From The Wilderness Publications, 2005, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/012005_ptech_pt1.shtml. For more on PTech, see National Corruption Index profile for Felix Rausch, October 14, 2008, http://www.nationalcorruptionindex.org/pages/profile.php?profile_id=277
 Dan Briody, The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of The Carlyle Group, Wiley publishers, 2003
 Steve Vogel, The Pentagon: a history : the untold story of the wartime race to build the Pentagon – and to restore it sixty years later, Random House, 2008
 Steve Vogel, The Pentagon: a history : the untold story of the wartime race to build the Pentagon – and to restore it sixty years later, Random House, 2008
 Michael Russell Rip and James M. Hasik, The precision revolution: GPS and the future of aerial warfare, Naval Institute Press, 2002
 Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, Scribner, 2007
 Register of graduates and former cadets of the United States Military Academy, 1991
 ASCE and SCI, The Pentagon Building Performance Report, January 2003
 U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, written non-disclosure agreement between DOJ attorney Daniel Levin and Philip Zelikow, July 11, 2003, found at 9/11Document Archive (Scribd), under the title SK B9 Tier a-B Interviews 1 of 2 Fdr- Letters Re Minders- Interviews- Recording- Etc170
 Eric Bart’s Pentagon Attack Eyewitness Account Compilation
 David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed, Olive Brach Press, 2011
 Space Daily, GPS Alert: Civil-Military Interoperability For GPS Assisted Aircraft Landings Demonstrated, October 1, 2001, http://www.spacedaily.com/news/gps-01k.html, See also T. Katanik et al, Interoperability Between Civil LAAS and Military JPALS Precision Approach and Landing Systems
 Michael Russell Rip and James M. Hasik
 See FAA report, “Report of Aircraft Accident,” Nov. 13, 2001; John Hendershot interview (Dec. 22, 2003); FAA report, “Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events: September 11, 2001,” Sept. 17, 2001; NTSB report, “Flight Path Study-American Airlines Flight 77,” Commission analysis of radar data.
 Eric Bart’s Pentagon Attack Eyewitness Account Compilation
 J. Robert Beyster and Peter Economy, The SAIC solution: how we built an $8 billion employee-owned technology company, John Wiley & Sons, 2007
 ASCE and SCI, The Pentagon Building Performance Report, January 2003
 The Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, Final Report on the Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, 2001
 Pentagon OSD Historical Office interview with Georgine K, Glatz
 William Viner interview
 Patrick Creed and Rick Newman, Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11, Ballantine Books, 2008