Pentagon Attack Evidence
Missing and Surviving Evidence of the September 11th Pentagon Attack
While officials in New York City went about the systematic destruction of the vast amounts of evidence comprising the remains of the World Trade Center, official handlers of the Pentagon strike undertook the much smaller task of erasing physical evidence that a jetliner crashed into the Pentagon. The resulting evidence vacuum created the conditions for a protracted controversy about what hit the Pentagon. The lack of evidence of large aircraft debris in post-crash photographs of the Pentagon's exterior, combined with the refusal of officials to produce evidence supporting the official story, led many skeptics to believe that the damage was caused by something other than a jetliner hitting the building.
Video recordings of the west side of the Pentagon and approach to it on September 11th could conclusively answer whether a 757 collided with the Pentagon. Although several such video recordings are known to exist, all remain in government possession and their contents a state secret. Surviving photographs taken by passers-by capture events immediately following the explosion. They show the extent of damage to the building's facade, the condition of portions of the lawn except portions close to the facade, the presence of obstructions in the lawn, and a lack of large aircraft debris on the lawn.
Eyewitness accounts of the Pentagon attack, though not entirely consistent, agree on the major elements: A twin-engine jetliner dove toward the Pentagon at a shallow angle and exploded at or in front of the facade.
With the pre-attack video evidence mopped up, and remains of the plane inside the building disappeared by those running the recovery operation, two main types of evidence remained:
- photographs showing little debris and a pattern of damage to the facade that many people find difficult to reconcile with the crash of a 757.
- eyewitness accounts that overwhelmingly support the crash of a 757-like jetliner
Although there are logical explanations for the lack of large debris outside of the building and the pattern of damage to the facade consistent with the crash of a 757 (See Pentagon Attack Errors) defenders of the official story invoked nonsensical explanations. For example, an article in the urban myth debunking website Snopes.com claims that the jetliner's wings folded back to enable it to squeeze through the hole, and that once inside, the aluminum comprising most of the aircraft burned up.