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Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial

Flight Theories

Alternatives to the Official Hijacking Scenario

The official story of the fates of the four jetliners comandeered on September 11th, 2001, asks us to believe a long series of highly improbable events. But if Flights 11 175, and 77 were not flown by hijackers into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, or if the alleged hijackers were not even on board the flights, then how were they flown into those targets or otherwise disposed of? To answer these questions, a number of theories have emerged and been debated by skeptics of the official story. The theories, including the official one, can be roughly divided into four main ones.

  • The four flights were hijacked by teams of terrorists, who flew three of the jets into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
  • The planes were flown to their targets through some form of remote or programmed flight control. There are several such theories, and most suppose that the crew and passengers were disabled by some means, such as cabin decompression or the dispersal of a decapacitating gas.
    • Each of the planes used on 9/11/01 was sabotaged so that they could be remotely controlled or made to execute pre-programmed flight paths to their targets. Poison gas or decompression was used to disable the people on board.
    • The home run system or equivalent system, with which the planes were already equipped, was used to remotely fly the planes into their targets.
    • The programing features of the Boeings' FMCSs was exploited to insert a program to fly each plane to its selected target on the day of the attack.
  • Flights 11, 175, and 77 were all instructed to turn off their transponders, maintain radio silence, and land at a military airport, such as Stewart International Airport, using an official communication channel and giving the reason as a terrorist attack. The passengers of all three flights were then loaded on Flight 77 which was then disposed of. Before the jets landed, look-alike remote-controlled aircraft were sent up as decoys, matching the flight paths of the passenger jets so that air controllers would mistake the radar blips of the decoys for the original flights. The decoys then proceeded to their targets.

There are variations on the second and third theories with regard to what happened to Flight 77, which controllers were supposedly unable to find once its transponder was turned off and it turned around. Many people who reject the suicide pilots theory also believe that the Pentagon was not hit by Flight 77 (even though remote control at least answers the one objection that the alleged hijackers' skills were not up to the precision aerobatic approach). The theories about Flight 77 can be summarized as follows, again including the official theory first. (For details of theories of the actual Pentagon attack, see Pentagon Strike Theories.)

  • The plane turned around over Ohio and flew back to the capital, crashing into the Pentagon.
  • The plane turned around over Ohio and flew back to the capital, but flew over the Pentagon at the same moment as an attack jet and missile hit it. The flight then landed at Reagan Airport and the people onboard became secret wards of the government.
  • The plane was shot down over Ohio. Some other jet was used in the Pentagon attack.
  • The plane was forced to land at a base (in the same manner as described above) and the people onboard were killed. A drone such as a Global Hawk was sent up in its place, and it struck the Pentagon.

The fact that most of the alternative theories sound highly implausible to even someone open to questioning the official theories is probably by design.

page last modified: 2007-02-22