Journal of 9/11 studies letter: Flying Elephant or Routine Takeoff? by Jim Hoffman

Flying Elephant or Routine Takeoff?

Evidence for Involvement of a Third Jet in the WTC Attacks

Evaporates Under Scrutiny

by Jim Hoffman

Version 1.1 - 2007-03-22

The article "The Flying Elephant: Evidence for Involvement of a Third Jet in the WTC Attacks" was published in the Journal of 9/11 Studies ( The premise of the article is that two videos and a photograph show a jetliner "orbiting in close proximity to the towers for several minutes while the North Tower burned and the South Tower was struck." After asserting, without any analysis, that jetliners shown in these visual records were close to the Twin Towers, the article provides several items to support its case that there was a suspicious third jet circling the World Trade Center prior to the South Tower crash.


I have shown that the article "The Flying Elephant: Evidence for Involvement of a Third Jet in the WTC Attacks" is based on the flawed premise that visual records show a plane flying close to the Twin Towers between the times of the first and second plane crashes. I leave it to the reader to evaluate the other "evidence" that the article cites to support this premise.

I have also shown that the article bears several features commonly observed in promotions of flimsy claims that have helped to discredit citizens' investigations of the 9/11 attack. This does not imply malicious intent on the part of the article's author, but it does expose a lack of scientific rigor which makes the article an easy target for ridicule.

Good work by Hoffman as usual

It's too bad that these kinds of red herrings will be fabricated by people seeking to confirm their pet theories regardless of evidence at least as quickly as proper skeptics like Hoffman will be able to debunk them.

"Truth is not measured in mass appeal."

You generalize

as does Hoffmann. He should have started with the section of his article "The Article's Flawed Premise." Before that is his standard argument that any theory he disagrees with is a strawman that discredits, perhaps intentionally, the theories he agrees with. Also appearing is the standard reference to the Sandia video (which has been updated, by the way, and reveals more large debris).

He might be right about the "flying elephant" - having skimmed it his argument makes sense. My point is my disagreement with his standard argument that I described above.

6 miles?

I am not sure I care about this but in that pdf is he saying that in the first still photo, of the towers in the foreground, with a plane to the right and in the background, that the plane is 6 miles away from the towers?

Physics/Science/Mathematics do not lie, only people do.
9/11 was an INSIDE JOB

Would be good to see thoughts...

I know they are busy with the FDR / NTSB research etc, would still be good to get their thoughts and opinions when they have the time.

With an airport so close, it is likely that it is nothing more than an innocent plane, but with 9/11 I have learnt to take nothing for granted.

Good letter by Hoffman though.

Best wishes

Caution is smart

I am glad that Jim Hoffman does such careful work. We should rely on this guy, in my opinion. That said, I also agree with 911veritas in hoping that the Pilots group will look at this topic.

I submitted a blog here on this very topic just a few weeks ago. I am glad it got rejected. In that blog, I was stating the case of the article. Jim has helped me to at least look with more caution.

Jim's incredible caution and care, shown here, make his positive conclusions all the more impressive. We need people like this on our side. Thanks, Jim.

"Evil can only exist as long as we support it."
M.K. Gandhi

So shall we BOCOTT THE MSM?

I completely agree

This is what happens when we don't stick to the strongest evidence!

I have to admit I am making something right now that quoted this debunked paper... I'll also admit I've fallen for some of the other disinformation/misinformation out there.

This is why I feel so strongly about the Pentagon in particular... We need to prove our case with the strongest evidence possible.  We can't rely on un-testable speculation.  We can't dismiss evidence as "fake" without proving it is fake.  We can't make conclusions that ignore substantial contradictory evidence.

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."