Friday, April 25, 2008


Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
The Frustrating Fraud
April 24 2008

Previously I have written on my reasons for contacting the NTSB over Flight 77 FDR data, and on the empty envelope I got for my FOIA pains. But for some reason, I never did post the results of the middle part where I contacted the Safety Board’s Public Affairs dep’t. I did mention it once or twice but have never explained in detail or showed the e-mails. I didn’t include it in my FOIA video, which would have made it even more boring. So it came across like a bit of an ambush when I first posted this stuff at Above Top the other day after Rob Balsamo/johndoex said:

“This is almost as good as when CL refused to contact the NTSB when he accused us of fabricating the animation.”

He knows damn well that I contacted them if not the full story. Perhaps he thinks I made it all up. But for the record, I’m still surprised how quickly I contacted them, considering what a procrastinator I usually am. I started my first animation/FDR-centered ATS thread on May 27 last year, with my initial well-founded (but ultimately wrong) doubts over the animation’s authenticity. I first found undeniable evidence of NTSB pedigree late on May 29 (Slob’s video posting at Google), and then found more info over the next few days, which had people saying the ball was in my court - time to try it myself.

Even though it’s not my normal thing, I decide to try a unique approach and start with the public affairs department, hoping to score a ‘media liaison’ to help from the inside. It was on the afternoon of June 6th that I called them and talked to a guy named Ted Lopatkiewicz (it’s pronounce lo-pat-ke-wikz, for those who have a hard time), who I later found is the department director, and whom Balsamo has called 'the Joseph Goebbels of the NTSB.' I don’t know why he answered the phone instead of some subordinate, but not even knowing who he was, I got tongue-tied, and followed up with an e-mail at his request. [I considered recording the call, but figured I’d be even more nervous that way, plus I was trying for the human touch as opposed to the legalistic.] Later that night, I filed an online FOIA request for good form and then fired off an e-mail, sent June 7 at 2:37 am. It read as follows:
Director Lopatkiewicz

My name is Adam Larson, the guy with the 9/11 questions who spoke with you briefly yesterday afternoon. I’m not sure it’s normal to have reached the director of the office directly, and I’m a bit embarrassed, so right to the point:

I’m sure you’re used to precise questions, but mine are actually many and varied. They regard the flight data recorder from aircraft no. N644AA, American Airlines Flight 77, that of course hit the Pentagon on September 11 2001. I’ve been researching the subject for quite a while, starting as a “conspiracy theorist” looking into what I first thought were silly claims that no plane had hit the building. On closer inspection, I found the claims were even sillier than I thought.

Recently I’ve turned to looking into the Flight Data recorder to see what it can tell us, but have run into widespread confusion. I am fairly conversant with the issues, the publicly available information, like the “Specialist’s Factual Report,” which I have studied closely, and the general outlines of FBI vs. NTSB mandates. My technical questions regard not so much the actual data though as information about the data – questions about information previously released by the NTSB under the Freedom Of Information Act; specific pieces of evidence that have been made public but remain poorly documented. A person who knows the data well would be good to talk to, help me compare files, or anything of that nature, and perhaps you or your office could at least help point me in a fruitful direction.

That is I have definite questions, but first I need to know if this is the office for me. After reviewing the options, I’ve decided it is my best hope. The website explains Public Affairs “Provides […] point-of-contact liaisons for news media representatives.” I’m not exactly news media but am a journalist of sorts in that I run a 'blog and am active in discussion forums and generally respected within my narrow field of focus.

The issue at hand, and the reason I contact you, is that there are some questions about apparently erroneous data attributed back to the NTSB that is causing a lot of confusion in the public at the moment. I believe it’s in the Safety board’s interest to actively help me, and the public, sort this out a little bit. I’m not looking for an explanation, just any additional information that can be had to help shed light on the situation.

I’m also doing what I can through normal FOIA channels, but there is only so much I can actually find out that way, and so am exploring this possibility as well.

I'm sorry if I'm terribly off-base in my request. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Adam J. Larson
Spokane, WA

As Rob and Jeff Hill and others found, they aren't answering questions. The director responded right before lunch the next day, 11:53 am:
Mr. Larson:

As I explained to you when you called me yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board provided technical support to the federal government's investigation into the terrorist attacks on September 11, which was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Among the assistance we provided were identification of aircraft parts and read-outs of flight recorders recovered from the Pentagon and Pennsylvania sites (we understand no recorders were recovered from Ground Zero). Because this was not a Safety Board investigation,
it would be improper for us to discuss investigative findings. We did release, under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, some of the factual information that we provided to the FBI; as you are aware, that information is
available on our website. Any interpretation or explanation of those data would
have to be rendered by the FBI.

Thank you for contacting me, and good luck on your project.

Ted Lopatkiewicz

So the NTSB are the ones who made this messed up data, but since they turned it over the FBI, it’s the FBI, who know nothing about how it was rendered, that I’d need to ask. I also recall responding to this letter but don’t seem to have saved it. It was something short and sweet to the effect of ‘thanks for nothing.’ I could have pushed it, but I‘ve seen how much good that’s done others – some fodder for the ‘9/11 truth radio’ shock jocks is all; “listen to that evasiveness in the face of belligerence!” They’re the same with the timid as well I found with my experiment, and being timid, I had double reason not to push it.

Then I just waited and got the same letter everyone else did talking about the same enclosed discs only without the discs, and THEN I just looked at it and figure out the part that most interested me, the north flight path, and proved it was caused only by a grid/map rotation, with no help from either NTSB or PFFFT. All else that seems off with the last frame of data I’m chalking up to last frame recorded thousands of feet away, followed by missing seconds of data, of whatever length makes most sense. That ball is out of my court. So that's the missing chapter in all the detail it's worth or more.

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