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Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial

Missing Pentagon Evidence

The Suppression of Decisive Pentagon Attack Evidence

Flight 77 debris collection
Pentagon workers in business attire collect aircraft debris in the wake of the attack.
Photo credit: Carmen Burgess

Secrecy has surrounded the aftermath of the September 11th attack of the Pentagon. The paucity of unambiguous evidence outside of eyewitness reports that a jetliner hit the building has fueled speculation about the nature of the event. Immediately following the attack, actions by officials reveal a concerted program to mop up what evidence of the attack remained in its immediate aftermath and to conceal it and information about its very existence indefinitely. The common interpretation that these actions indicate an attempt to cover up that something other than Flight 77 crashed at the Pentagon ignores other plausible interpretations.


Aircraft Remains

Photographs taken immediately following the attack show a number of pieces of apparent aircraft debris. One of the larger pieces was documented by a photograph by passer-by Mark Faram. It shows the piece on the lawn northwest of the heliport, a few hundred feet from the impact center, suggesting it may have been moved before Faram arrived. Other photographs show people, some in dress attire, moving pieces of debris.

Columns of people in FBI jackets walked portions of the Pentagon lawn and adjacent roads shortly after the attack, apparently to pick up crash debris. The photographs and videos of these activities do not suggest any attempt to carefully note and record the positions of any debris they may have been finding.


Footage of the Attack

As of May, 2006, the only video footage of the Pentagon crash that has been released to the public are three-minute clips from two Pentagon security cameras north of the crash site. Neither video clearly shows details of the crash, but one seems to show an aircraft obscured by a parking lot structure in the frame before the first one showing the explosion.

The five frames from the first video leaked in 2002 fueled speculation that the Pentagon was not hit by a jetliner. In Painful Deceptions , Eric Hufschmid points out:

  • The first frame shows a vapor trail of the kind made by missiles, not jetliners.
  • The first frame shows an apparent mostly-obscured plane that is much too small to be a 757.
  • The second frame shows an explosion whose white color indicates the detonation of an explosive rather than the deflagration of jet fuel.

None of these observations support conclusions about what hit the Pentagon, since the video's resolution is too poor to make definitive conclusions, and it is possible that the imagery was edited.

It may be that the video recordings from surrounding businesses confiscated by the FBI in the wake of the attack clearly show the jetliner. Their release continues to be sought through the Freedom of Information Act case documented at Flight77.info and summerized with this timeline.

Many people think that the suppression of evidence from the Pentagon attack is evidence that something other than Flight 77, a Boeing 757, crashed into the Pentagon. However, there are explanations for the way officials have handled the evidence that are consistent with the attack plane being Flight 77. For example, destroying and hiding evidence at all of the 9/11/01 crime scenes serves the coverup by limiting the information available to investigators, and cultivating false legends about the attack.

page last modified: 2013-03-20