Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
The Frustrating Fraud
July 22 2008
edits 7/23 2am

The Paper / The Witness Roster
Although it does not deny a 757 impact at the Pentagon, John Farmer’s recent paper You All Just Haven’t Talked About it, and its second Plane north path flyover theory proposition deserves special attention and a solid panning. At the outset he warned me:

“You are referring to my little essay as if it were some conclusive theory or something. It is not and was never asserted to be. My only assertion is that there is an evidence set for something more going on in the sky over the Pentagon and DC area at the time of the attack than the public record accounts for.”

But however seriously he meant it, the paper is far more specific than that. It spends its first seven pages on the evidence in the Citgo video supporting a north path aircraft – one solid but inconclusive clue – and the last six pages call on five eyewitness accounts that ultimately offer little if any assistance to the case: William Lagasse, Chadwick Brooks, Roosevelt Roberts, Center for Military History witness “NEIT428,” and “mole,” an anonymous source from a chat forum. One of these, Roberts, was immediately removed. Originally the paper said:

“Add to this another DPS Officer, Roosevelt Roberts who in a 2001 audio interview claims he ran out from the loading dock near the Pentagon southern lot and saw another plane flying low over the south lot, and there is no doubt that AAL77 was not alone.”

As it happened, the paper’s release roughly coincided with Citizen Investigation Team’s on-air announcement of having talked with that witness as a “second plane”/ flyover witness. Within days, after absorbing this new testimony, Farmer announced a change of heart: “I have had to remove DPS Officer Roberts as a second plane witness. If his CIT follow-up interview is accurate, he most likely saw AAL77 as it came down from the Citgo area and across Route 27.” Oddly enough from his account, it seems clear that Flight 77 was alone.

So right up front that leaves us four to deal with and two I’m already pretty sure are liars – the original Defense Protective Service Citgo witnesses cited by CIT in The PentaCon. He did not include CIT’s other Citgo witness Turcios, for obvious reasons, but this curiously impossible account did not alter his enthusiasm for the others that also make no sense to the same end. He decided based on an interesting interpretations that “when SGT Brooks and SGT Lagasse’s accounts are taken objectively, they both seem to be describing two different plane approaches simultaneously. One is consistent with the southern path (Lagasse’s yaw and Brook’s vibration) and the other with a northern approach.” Interestingly, like Turcios and Roberts, both only cite one plane bearing these traits.

Lagasse's Yaw
The core of Farmer’s analysis of DPS Sergeant Lagasse is his well-known north-path testimony considered with his final moment “yaw” (nose oriented a bit sideways from the plane’s forward direction) which meant that “it approached the Pentagon at another angle consistent with the actual flight path of AAL77." Now that sounds interesting, considering he already describes the south-path action of crashing low into the building. "In other words," Farmer explains "when he first saw it, he was looking at the right side" of a plane north and set to not hit "and then at the end he is looking at the left side of it," as he'd see of the real impact plane, and "as he would have a plane passing the south side of the station."

This observation spurred to me to reason out a few of Lagasse's early observations to Dick Eastman from June 2003 that had confused me before. When Eastman asked the agitated but open officer “how much of the plane was visible to you as it went in?” Lagasse responded that he “could see the fuse, tail, port wing and starboard wing root” at its final moment, but not the right outer wing. This perhaps fits better with a south approach (seeing left side), but both angles are similar at such a distance. He cites the rise of Route 27 as his view limiter at right, but I used the tree here).

More interestingly, he describes to Eastman the impact of this plane that had passed north of him:

“[It] was approx 100-150ft agl when it passed over theannex and continued on a shallow-fast decent and literally hit the building were it met the ground. There was no steep bank, but a shallow bank with a heavy uncoordinated left rudder turn causing a severe yaw into the building with the starboard side of the cockpit actually hitting at about the same time the wing was involved with the trailer…” [source]Indeed, a left rudder turn would lead to a left yaw matching the right side hitting first as the right wing entered the construction area. Since Construction storage trailers were either to the left of impact or too far right to be struck, and the right wing/engine is known to have torn through the generator trailer at about the time the nose struck, right side first, it seems most likely Lagasse meant this trailer and deduced from the evidence the actual impact angle. From this Farmer’s leap almost makes sense except for the glaring problem that he did not see his own north path plane he’d been tracking remaining high up and flying at least 60 feet – four fuselage-widths – above the crashing one.

So he does give clues consistent with both the north and south path, but gives them all to only one plane, which “literally hit the building were it met the ground.” While this fits with the trailer evidence he saw, it does not explain either the deflection angle of debris he noted (to the left/north) or the downed light poles, which he also saw and “remembers” in the wrong location - along his path, where he also places the damaged taxi. For this interpretation to work, he'd have to be constructing in his own mind a yaw AND a steady descent in order to fuse the two. In short, his testimony never made sense, and it’s only gotten more surreal with more verification. Lagasse is, at best, an unreliable witness. Period. His “yaw” changes this not one bit, and leaves me yawning as evidence for two planes.

Brooks' Vibration
Brooks’ value to Farmer’s thesis hinges on his 2001 LoC interview. Thanks to CIT’s 2006 verification, we know Brooks’ (stated) location, and I’ll reserve judgment on Farmer’s reading of his parked orientation and PoV. Although these are key to understanding this account, it’s something CIT did not sort out, and I at least am just guessing there. By describing a plane off to his left (and ahead?) while hearing a loud sound/vibration behind him, all well before impact, Brooks allowed Farmer to state “if SGT Brooks 2001 account is taken literally, then he was hearing a plane pass behind him while watching another plane to his left.”

We could try not taking it literally then, but there is some room for speculation here and Farmer takes it. I would guess the sound from behind was bouncing off the Pentagon, or perhaps the Citgo. But it’s possible it was a different plane, one left/ahead, one behind, which means about at the Pentagon, or just passing north or south of him and perhaps two seconds from impact, depending on how he was facing. He reported no impact or explosion at this time – not until the one he was watching approach from the west and impacted about two seconds after passing him, clipping light poles along the way, he thinks.

This means the flyover plane was well ahead of the impact one judging by Brooks’ narrative, to the tune of seconds at least (nowhere near the number he ticks off...). This certainly complicates Lagasse’s yaw interpretation! He saw the north path flyover plane pass and believe IT impacted, which necessitates the planes fly in simultaneously – at least one of these two reading has to be wrong. And no other witness describes another jet flying over the Pentagon several seconds before the impact.

NEIT428's Low Plane
The 428th witness interviewed by the Army’s Center for Military History is an Arlington National Cemetery worker and among those available now in Farmer’s FOIA collection. The key part of his account is this:

“Well, when we came out of the warehouse we heard this boom, you know, this big explosion. And we, all we could see was the smoke and the heat [...] after that happened, we looked up in the sky and there was another plane. So, you know, so we panicked. So we started running, you know. So I just dropped on the ground. The plane was so low we were thinking it was going to do the same thing, but the plane made a turn and went in the opposite direction.”

His name is still unknown to me, but I believe this is one of the ANC Ommpah-Loompahs verified in uniform and on-site again in CIT’s upcoming video smash hit whatever the hell it’s called (see the trailer around anywhere). If so my take should be considered in light of this, but whatever he may have said later, this is about his testimony as known to Farmer when he wrote this:

“My first impression was that this must surely be the C-130 known to arrive in the area a minute or so later. However, the altitude of that plane was relatively high and it seems unusual that they would duck for cover in response to it. The interviewer fortunately asks a follow-up question regarding the altitude.

“It was low enough that it could touch the building, the warehouse. It was close.””

Farmer wondered about the “documented […] plane that approached the White House from the Washington Monument area [and was] over the White House at 09:41” and if this was “the plane witnessed by the Citgo and ANC witnesses.” [emph mine] I would guess C-130 with confused altitude clues. He could see the cockpit and perhaps the people in it because it was at a distance to the west, as the C-130 was, and he was seeing its nosecone higher than he remembers and perhaps lower than we’ve all been thinking. Also he was likely nervous and exaggerating any possible threat.

NEIT428 mentions a turn to “the opposite direction,” a U-turn, which none of the witnesses describe for the “decoy” plane but only for the C-130, as Farmer well knows. If “the opposite direction” as he states is "to the left towards the Washington, D.C. area” as Farmer decides, then it must have been coming fromthe DC area when he first saw it, which does not well fit with, for example, Lagasse’s west-east flight past the Citgo. A 30-40 degree turn to the left does not equal the “opposite direction,” which requires about 180 – like the C-130 did. Of Farmer andNEIT428, one has to be wrong about the turn described by NEIT428.

Furthermore, if this witness’ second plane is NOT the C-130, then his failing to notice the C-130 in addition to it is at least slightly odd. And finally, he had second plane pass but not impact after the crash there. This clearly complicates Brooks’ impact after flyover interpretation and Lagasse’s simultaneous passage – of the paper’s proposed readings of Lagasse, Brooks and NEIT 428, at least two have to be wrong about the order of events.

Mole's 757 "over the mall"
And the fourth remaining witness in this sorry parade finally gives us something a bit more promising, but it’s an anonymous online source. Back in March 2002, Screen-name “mole” posted at the techguy forum the following:

“My Team Leader came in to say as he was coming in to the building, he saw a 757 flying in a peculiar location roughly over the Mall. (We now know that was the 757 that hit the Pentagon as it did circle downtown DC, supposedly looking for a target, possibly the Whitehouse which is not as easy to pick out from the air as the Capitol or the Pentagon, before heading west again, then turning east for its final run at the Pentagon.)”

This account is not scientifically precise, and in fact dead wrong on 77 being over the capitol (it was a common urban legend at the time) but it is probably legit as evidence and worth a look. Timeline is key, and the original post does make clear that before hearing this report, mole’s wife “called to tell me there was smoke showing from further down the Mall in the direction of the Whitehouse,” almost certainly the smoke from the Pentagon, further in that direction and the only smoking thing in the area at the time.

The timeline after is less clear, but I might guess he saw the E4-B pass at 9:46, eight minutes after the Pentagon strike. This craft is based on a 747 mode, not 757, which is interesting since mole explained how after this “I saw the outline of a 747-400 flying slowly south to north nearly directly over head at a low altitude. Planes never flew there as it is restricted airspace, almost over the Capitol.” Radar later showed this craft passed the capitol mall a second time at 9:49, but north-south near the mall’s west side, and he says it flew south-north, as it did on the first pass at 9:45:30 before turning left and passing E-W just a few blocks north of the White House.

Therefore, it seems likely after all to speculate that the “757” seen before this was NOT the E4-B, and quite possibly a post-77 second plane. Or it could be 77 itself, with “mole” or his team leader misreading the location clues to put it over the capitol rather than across the river. That might seem like a stretch, but considering how little over-the-mall evidence there really is, it can’t be dismissed. Despite these ambiguities, Farmer has no problem stating of mole’s account:

“With witness statements like this, it is clear that the 911 Commission failed in its job to fully explain to the American public exactly what happened at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.”

No, sorry. It’s clear that we need some clarification on this. The author “knew” Flight 77 was looping over the capitol, but since then we’ve learned it did not, at least officially. Did this “knowledge” compel him to remember hearing it was over the Capitol, when really no location was stated? What we have here is an anonymous unverifiable account passing on a second hand report of a “757 […] roughly over the mall” at some unspecified moment around the attack time, before or after. And it was taken by mole as supporting the crash of that plane. For any other purpose, it's anecdotal evidence, weak and not able to be strengthened ever.

Conclusion: Gravel
So that’s my panning of half the paper, the other half being the video clues I’m not done with yet. Farmer’s optics and video analysis skills are no help on this side, his law-enforcement “extensive experience working with witnesses” has been of little help either, and his statistical insights failed to tip him off to the low odds that this would all pan out. The process of panning is to separate valuable ore from ordinary rock, and at risk of carrying the metaphor too far,, after watching all this gravel sift out the bottom, I’m left with a keen sense of how empty my pan is. A couple faint sparkles of fool's gold, I'd guess. Does it get any better than this?
ETA: Re-considered then in light of this paper never meaning to have argued anything concrete, and the fact that it clearly does argue something pretty cogent, it seems this notion was being floated, or offered as a possibility with some potential value. Or what, John? A thought exercise, a little mad-libs imagination moment just couched in serious terms for effect, a prank to amuse yourself? In the peer review sense, I have to offer my best assessment of your intelligence and intentions, and hope the last is the case.
ETA 7/27: In fact, perhaps this was just a strawman CIT parody disposable construct for that idiot Caustic to joust to the ground triumphantly, which I guess would be amusing. If so, it was fun on my end too, and thanks.

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