Adam Larson/Caustic Logic
The Frustrating Fraud
One of the most persistently-used evidentiary leadups to no-757 claims is the Pentagon's lawn, showing narry a scratch in the photographic record despite the massive Boeing 757 that had just passed inches over it and exploded. Myriad revisionists have pointed to early eyewitness accounts that had the giant Flight 77 skimming and then actually hitting the grass before it actually hit the Pentagon’s façade. For example, Tim Timmerman reported "I saw it hit right in front of -- it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. [...] it was right before impact, and I saw the airplane just disintegrate and blow up into a huge ball of flames." CBS News reported onSeptember 26 “some eyewitnesses believe the plane actually hit the ground at the base of the Pentagon first, and then skidded into the building. Investigators say that's a possibility.” How so? All photos and video from the day of the attack have shown the same unmarked lawn seen below.
Time, September 12: “There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cartwheeled into the building.” ESPN, September 12, referring to other accounts: “What - or who - caused Flight 77 to hit ground first, diffusing most of its destructive energy before it slammed into the Pentagon?” They seemed to be hinting it was heroes on board, like with Flight 93, who helped grind the plane into the ground to weaken its impact. The turf, as I’ve seen it, shows no such evidence of heroism. Besides Loose Change, 911 In Plane Site points this out with glee, and it’s been marveled over by Killtown as the miraculously resilient “Pentalwan 2000.”
Actually, there is some truth to the stories of the plane hitting the ground. It was flying remarkably low, with its port (left) wing tilted lowest. Looking along the flight path, explained in another post, this would indeed put the wingtip near or in the dirt not far from the helipad (in front of the small building at left is top picture). Below we can see where the underhanging left engine may well have nicked a low retaining wall around an exhaust structure about 100 feet from the impact site, and may have scraped some sod there as well. However, grass damage appears questionable even here, and over the vast expanse of the lawn, especially seen from a distance and far to the right as usually shown, indeed, there are no meaningful marks. This is undeniable, but even without that damaged wall, it's also another red herring tossed on the pile rotting in the sun of over-scrutiny. The official plane never did hit the ground in a real way. The no-planer’s missile never touched the ground. Even if it was blowing up just before impact as Timmerman and some evidence indicates, Nothing touched the ground, except at that one spot. So we all agree, let’s move on. Harping on this point proves nothing but a few mistaken witnesses who had after all just seen a massive jet descend from the sky to just a few inches off the ground – in their minds they expected a crash with the ground and most were probably too busy diving for cover to watch closely.
As for what the conspiracy theorists see in these mistaken accounts, some see in it the impossibility of flunky pilot Hani Hanjour NOT hitting the ground and suspect precision remote control - I find this likely myself. But others of the Loose Change variety perhaps see a clue that the Pentagon was pressuring people to lie about what they saw, and (ironically?) as the reported gouges in the lawn evaporated, so too did the reported plane for the Dave Von Kleists and Dylan Averies of the world. Perhaps some folks actually were coached to say this despite its instant disprovability as part of a Pentagon-sponsored disinformation campaign for precisely the end of spurring such useless conspiracy theories. Otherwise, I'm guessing they just thought it hit the ground.