Where The Pentagon Was Hit
Implications of the Part of the Pentagon Struck on September 11th
While questions about about what hit the Pentagon on 9/11/01 have been fueled by the government's concealing of relevant evicence, the location of the attack is an indisputable fact: the damage was confined to the outer three rings of the building's west block, a portion of the building that was undergoing renovation scheduled for completion in mid-September of 2001.
The renovation was being undertaken on Wedge One, one of five radial sections of the building that was five days from completion when the attack occurred. 1
Targeting of Wedge One Saves Thousands
Because of the renovation, the stricken portion of the building was sparsely occupied. According to the Los Angeles Times:
|More than half of the people listed as missing in the aftermath of the attack worked in the Pentagon's Naval Command Center, the enlarged rectangle above. Personnel were moved into this facility shortly before the attack. Were personnel in the Naval Command Center targeted by the attack?|
Of the thousands of people in the building at the time of the attack, only 123 people were killed. Of those, none were high-level officials. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was safe in his office on the opposite side of the building.
The fact that the attack targeted the one portion of the building that was mostly vacant is all the more remarkable considering the approach required by the aircraft blamed for the damage. According to the NTSB, American Airlines Flight 77 approached the capital from the West, and executed a 320-degree descending spiral, losing seven thousand feet before leveling out at nearly tree-top height as it made its final approach from the southwest. Instead of attacking the building in a direct fashion from a steep dive, the jet struck the first floor of the Pentagon's west wall at a very low angle after impacting light poles and other structures hundreds of feet from the facade.
2. Pentagon, a Vulnerable Building, Was Hit in Least Vulnerable Spot, Los Angeles Times, 9/16/01 [cached]