TESTING MY PERCEPTIONS AGAINST THE MEYSSANS
Caustic Logic/The Frustrating Fraud
Thierry Meyssan’s use of the new medium of the Internet included a visually based website run by his son Raphaël, called “Hunt the Boeing! And Test Your Perceptions!” First posted in February 2002 as a prelude to the book “The Big Lie,” the site offered curious photos of the crash site that most of the world had never before seen, with some interesting observations tainted with sloppy analysis and unwarranted leaps of logic. It has often been taken as a starting point by American conspiracy theorists, one of whom, the Versailles, Missouri-based Dave Von Kleist, found that HTB “drew some very serious questions as to what had really happened at the Pentagon.”
When I finally took a closer look at the site itself, I started getting some questions all right. “Take a look at these photographs and try to find evidence to corroborate the official version.” The website urges. “It's up to you to Hunt the Boeing!” I accepted the challenges. Below are the questions posed and my own answers:
Q1) "The first satellite image shows the section of the building that was hit by the Boeing. In the image below, the second ring of the building is also visible. It is clear that the aircraft only hit the first ring. The four interior rings remain intact. They were only fire-damaged after the initial explosion.
Can you explain how a Boeing 757-200, weighing nearly 100 tons and travelling at a minimum speed of 250 miles an hour only damaged the outside of the Pentagon?"
A1) No, because while it may seem “clear that the aircraft only hit the first ring,” the damage was actually much deeper, extending all the way through the ground floor of rings E, D, and C – although E was the only one damaged enough to collapse and all the other damage was invisible from above. A fuller explanation here.
Q2) "The two photographs in question 2 show the building just after the attack. We may observe that the aircraft only hit the ground floor. The four upper floors collapsed towards 10.10 am. The building is 26 yards high.
Can you explain how a Boeing 14.9 yards high, 51.7 yards long, with a wingspan of 41.6 yards and a cockpit 3.8 yards high, could crash into just the ground floor of this building?"
A2) Yes and no. The tailfin and outer right wing hit and damaged/entered the second floor, and the main fuselage damaged the floor slab but along with the engines fit entirely into the first floor. Entry wound analysis.
Q3) "The photograph above shows the lawn in front of the damaged building.
You'll remember that the aircraft only hit the ground floor of the Pentagon's first ring. Can you find debris of a Boeing 757-200 in this photograph?"
A3) Nope. While all the substantial parts entered the building, there were aluminum fuselage scraps photographed in other shots, some bearing parts of an AA paint job. But at the angle and distance of this photograph, it's true nothing is visible.
Q4) "Can you explain why the Defence Secretary deemed it necessary to sand over the lawn, which was otherwise undamaged after the attack?"
A4) Not precisely, but there are numerous prosaic reasons he might (like the need for greater vehicle access) and few good conspiratorial ones I can think of - we'd already seen the "telltale" unmarked lawn, so it wouldn't do much good to cover it up after the fact.
Q5) "The photographs in Question 5 show representations of a Boeing 757-200 superimposed on the section of the building that was hit.
Can you explain what happened to the wings of the aircraft and why they caused no damage?"
A5) Again, yes and no. It would seem they exploded, entered the building partly, and were left on the lawn in small pieces otherwise as we’ve seen. I can’t explain why they caused no damage because I’m too busy documenting the damage they did.
Q6) (Extended quote from the Arlington County Fire Chief shortly after the attack) "Can you explain why the County Fire Chief could not tell reporters where the aircraft was?"
A6) No, nor do I care what one guy knew at a particular moment, nor how much sleep he'd had, etc. Next Question...
Q7) "The two photographs in question 7 were taken just after the attack. They show the precise spot on the outer ring where the Boeing struck. Can you find the aircraft's point of impact?"
A7) This is indeed the precise spot, but it’s not visible in either shot due to fire hose spray - in almost any other photograph, the answer is yes.
Conclusion: The site sums up triumphantly by posing to its viewers this false dichotomy of tested perceptions:
"How did you Do?
Did you find the Boeing? Can you still defend the official version of events?
> Well done! Remember to get in touch with master of illusion, David Copperfield. He'll be glad to hear from you!
You found the official version lacking in something (like a Boeing, for example):
> If you begin to question whether a Boeing really did crash on the Pentagon then, no doubt, you'll be wondering what happened to the aircraft that disappeared. You will probably ask yourself why the US government even told you this story in the first place and you'll start asking yourself lots of other questions besides. Don't worry! This is perfectly normal!"
Again, the answer is yes and no. The only reason I even took interest in this theory is that I do NOT buy the official story, and I find it lacking much. But despite these initial best efforts and all the elaborations on the theme since early 2002, a Boeing at the Pentagon is not one of them.