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V 1.43
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Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial


Eyewitness Accounts Suggest the Pentagon Attack Involved Explosive Detonation

Many of the over 100 eyewitness accounts in Eric Bart's compilation recall characteristics of the explosion that accompanied the September 11th attack on the Pentagon that are suggestive if not conclusive of the detonation of a powerful explosive device. Two such characteristics are:

These reported characteristics might not be explainable by the rapid combusion of jet fuel alone. Neither do they necessarily indicate the presence of explosioves, given the effects of a high-speed crash.

Flash and Detonation Wave

Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Abshire -- from in his office on the D ring, near the eighth corridor
It shot me back in my chair. There was a huge blast. I could feel the air shock wave of it. I didn't know exactly what it was. It didn't rumble. It was more of a direct smack.

Terry Morin, a former USMC aviator -- heard from the BMDO offices at the old Navy Annex
I saw the flash and subsequent fireball rise approximately 200 feet above the Pentagon. There was a large explosion noise and the low frequency sound echo that comes with this type of sound. Associated with that was the increase in air pressure, momentarily, like a small gust of wind. For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a 2000lb bomb going off 1/2 mile in front of you.

James S Robbins -- from office 1 1/2 miles from Pentagon
There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it.

Jeff Anlauf -- from 14th floor of the Sheraton Hotel, located 1.6 miles from the explosion
Then, about 5 seconds later, the whole hotel shook. I could feel it moving.

Peter M. Murphy -- in Mr. Murphy's office on the fourth floor of the Pentagon's outermost ring, the E-Ring, overlooking the helo-pad
At that instant, a tremendous explosion with what Mr. Murphy said was a noise "louder than any noise he had ever heard" shook the room. Mr. Murphy, who had been standing with his back to the window, was knocked entirely across the room, while Hogue was jolted into his office.

Mike Dobbs --
Everyone said there was a deafening explosion, but with the adrenaline, we didn't hear it.

Noel Sepulveda -- in parking lot, over one hundred feet from explosion
For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it. An explosion followed, sending Sepulveda flying against a light pole.

Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda -- standing only 150 feet from the point of impact
... followed by an explosion; and the blast of the impact was so tremendous, that from his vantage point, it threw him backward over 100 feet slamming into a light pole causing him internal injuries.

SGT Dewey Snavelyles Fowler -- driving along Arlington's Quaker Lane
Then we heard an explosion and the truck rocked back and forth.

Navy Capt. Charles Fowler -- heard from inside the Pentagon
You could feel the building shake. You knew it was a major explosion.

Lt. Col. Ted Anderson --
We ran to the end of our building, turned left and saw nothing but huge, billowing black smoke, and a brilliant, brilliant explosion of fire


Don Perkal --
Even before stepping outside I could smell the cordite. Then I knew explosives had been set off somewhere.

Gilah Goldsmith --
We saw a huge black cloud of smoke, she said, saying it smelled like cordite, or gun smoke.

page last modified: 2011-09-08