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Implications of September 11 Flight Transponder Signal Losses

Since September 11, 2001, it has generally been accepted by the media and the 9/11 Commission itself, that the loss of Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) information for three of the four September 11 flights was caused by accused hijackers who allegedly seized control of the aircraft flight decks and manually turned off each plane’s Mode S (Mode Select) transponder, for the purpose of evading detection and interception by U.S. air defense systems. However, this conclusion appears to be based only on circumstantial information - the simple loss of SSR flight data to Air Traffic Control (ATC) – and seems unsupported by conclusive information. Moreover, ATC was nevertheless still able to tag and track three flight’s primary radar returns and estimate their location, direction, ground speed and even altitude changes.

Perhaps the most significant consequence of lost September 11 flight SSR data to ATC was a circumstantial impression of accused hijacker flight deck takeovers. As can be shown, aircraft Mode S transponder SSR information can be caused to vanish from ATC radar displays by other documented means. Coincidentally or not, the only September 11 flight with a continuously operative transponder (United 175), was also the only flight with a transponder able to warn away the only other flights in serious danger of colliding with a September 11 flight, thus facilitating it's subsequent impact with World Trade Center 2 (WTC 2).

From the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):

“The secondary radar uses a second radar antenna attached to the top of the primary radar antenna to transmit and receive area aircraft data for barometric altitude, identification code, and emergency conditions. Military, commercial, and some general aviation aircraft have transponders that automatically respond to a signal from the secondary radar by reporting an identification code and altitude ... The primary surveillance radar uses a continually rotating antenna mounted on a tower to transmit electromagnetic waves that reflect, or backscatter, from the surface of aircraft up to 60 miles from the radar.” [1]

Just prior to year 2000, a major modernization of the FAA’s entire Air Route Traffic Control Center computers in the continental United States was scheduled to be completed.

From the FAA:

“The computers receive, process, coordinate, distribute, and track information on aircraft movement throughout the nation's airspace that includes oceanic international air traffic. The computers provide data interfaces to all types of FAA facilities ... and the military.” [2]

In the case of UA 175, although its transponder-broadcasted flight ID number reportedly changed several times following its alleged hijacking, the transponder itself continued to broadcast unlike the other three flights, making it known to the Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) of nearby aircraft. TCAS avionics will warn aircraft flight crews of mid-air collision risks posed by similarly equipped aircraft.

Of the four wayward September 11 flights, only UA 175 experienced serious near mid-air collisions with other non-wayward commercial flights. These were Delta Flight 2315, US Airways Flight 542 and Midwest Airlines Flight 7. [3] Coincidentally or not, UA 175 was also the only September 11 flight with a transponder that continued to operate following its unauthorized course change, helping it avoid at least one mid-air collision with a TCAS equipped flight and thus facilitating its own impact with WTC 2.

Referring to UA 175 and US Airways Flight 542:

“Shortly after that, the hijacked plane was headed straight for a US Airways flight. The US Airways plane's collision-avoidance system detected the approaching plane and advised the US Airways pilot to descend, which he did, averting a collision.” [4]

Delta Flight 2315 and US Airways Flight 542 were TCAS compatible Boeing 737s. Midwest Airlines Flight 7 was a TCAS compatible DC-9. The role played by TCAS during UA 175's conflicts with the Delta and Midwest flights is unclear.

Interestingly, the FAA's "Host" ATC computer system provided an ability to anticipate route conflicts like those experienced between UA 175 and Delta 2315, US Airways 542 and Midwest 7, based on filed aircraft flight plans:

"HCS is the key information processing system in FAA’s en route environment. It processes radar surveillance data, processes flight plans, links filed flight plans with actual aircraft flight tracks, provides alerts of projected aircraft separation violations (i.e., conflicts)." [5]

UA 175’s transponder was reportedly unique to at least the United Airlines fleet, but could nevertheless be turned off. Interestingly, much of the source document for this fact regarding September 11 flight transponders has been redacted.

“An Air Traffic Control supervisor at New York Center opined that the transponder on United 175 was a newer model peculiar to the United-operated B767 fleet that could not be turned off. That was the supervisor's possible explanation of why the transponder on United 175 changed code as opposed to being turned off. A senior pilot from both United and American Airlines, familiar with cockpit details, each separately demonstrated how transponders were manipulated in the cockpit and conclusively demonstrated that the transponder in United 175 could have easily been turned off.” [6]

The four September 11 flights reportedly contained what are known as Mode S transponders:

"The Mode S transponders aboard Boeing 767 and 757 aircraft, such as those used on 9/11 as "flying bombs," deliver aircraft identification and altitude and can supplement FAA’s radar by "providing ATC and traffic alert collision avoidance system (TCAS)-equipped aircraft the ability to determine position and heading information," according to DoT." [7]

“Mode S transponders transmit information about the aircraft to the Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) system, TCAS receivers on board aircraft ... This information includes the call sign of the aircraft and/or the transponder's permanent ICAO 24-bit address in the form of a hex code.” [8]

According to a safety bulletin published by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), a given Mode S transponder broadcast can be suppressed or “jammed” by another transponder broadcasting via the same unique ICAO 24-bit aircraft address already assigned to the given aircraft, causing the given aircraft’s SSR flight information to disappear from ATC radar displays, not unlike the disappearance of SSR information for all but one of the September 11 flights. The same circumstances can also cause a given aircraft’s transponder to become invisible to the TCAS systems of other aircraft.

"When two (or more) aircraft with the same (duplicate) ICAO 24-bit aircraft address are operating within range of a specific Mode S interrogator, then potentially hazardous situations can arise: One (or more) of the aircraft involved may be assessed by the Mode S interrogator to be a false or reflected echo, and subsequently ignored. These aircraft will not then be displayed to air traffic controllers." [9]

To date, only military aircraft seem to be capable of mid-flight changes of the 24-bit aircraft address that is contained within its Mode S transponder broadcasts:

"Military use of 24-bit aircraft addresses: The relatively large number of aircraft addresses for military use allows rotating the assignments of 24-bit addresses on military aircraft on a frequent basis. This rotation of 24-bit addresses however must not be done during flight. SSR Mode S Interrogators & Radar trackers: The uniqueness property of the 24-bit aircraft address is important for the unambiguous identification of the aircraft. Effects of duplicate addresses are unpredictable. This can cause synchronous garbling, radar track swapping or dropping.” [10]

Despite September 11 flight transponder signal losses, ATC was still able to track these flights, complicating the official assumption that September 11 flight transponders were manually turned off by hijackers to evade detection and interception by U.S. air defenses.

Regarding ATC coverage of American Airlines flight 77 on September 11, 2001:

"The radar track is untagged, so he attaches a data box to it with the word “LOOK” in it. This will allow other controllers to quickly spot the aircraft. It also causes its ground speed to appear on the screen." [11]

In fact, all of the references to deactivated September 11 flight transponders within the “9/11 Commission Report” only seem to infer that the losses of SSR ATC data was due to a theorized conclusion that the transponders were manually deactivated by accused hijackers following the alleged seizures of their respective flight decks. No additional evidence is provided to support the view that September 11 flight transponders were manually turned off by hijackers.

“At 8:54, the aircraft deviated from its assigned course, turning south. Two minutes later the transponder was turned off and even primary radar contact with the aircraft was lost.” [12]

“On 9/11, the terrorists turned off the transponders on three of the four hijacked aircraft. With its transponder off, it is possible, though more difficult, to track an aircraft by its primary radar returns. But unlike transponder data, primary radar returns do not show the aircraft's identity and altitude. Controllers at centers rely so heavily on transponder signals that they usually do not display primary radar returns on their radar scopes. But they can change the configuration of their scopes so they can see primary radar returns. They did this on 9/11 when the transponder signals for three of the aircraft disappeared.” [13]

“At 8:21, American 11 turned off its transponder, immediately degrading the information available about the aircraft. The controller told his supervisor that he thought something was seriously wrong with the plane, although neither suspected a hijacking. The supervisor instructed the controller to follow standard procedures for handling a "no radio" aircraft.” [14]

“Because the hijackers had turned off the plane's transponder, NEADS personnel spent the next minutes searching their radar scopes for the primary radar return. American 11 struck the North Tower at 8:46.” [15]

“At 8:51, the controller noticed the transponder change from United 175 and tried to contact the aircraft. There was no response.” [16]

“The failure to find a primary radar return for American 77 led us to investigate this issue further. Radar reconstructions performed after 9/11 reveal that FAA radar equipment tracked the flight from the moment its transponder was turned off at 8:56.” [17]

“On American 11, the transponder signal was turned off at 8:21; on United 175, the code was changed at 8:47; on American 77, the signal was turned off at 8:56; and on United 93, the signal was turned off
at 9:41.” [18]

References:

[1] Airport Surveillance Radar
http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/technology/asr-11/
[2] Fact Sheet – Host and Oceanic Computer System Replacement (HOCSR) Program
http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=4950
[3] September 11, 2001: Flight 175 Nearly Collides with Two Other Planes
http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a855nearcollision#a855nearcollision
[4] A Sky Filled With Chaos, Uncertainty and True Heroism
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=nation/specials/attacked&contentId=A41095-2001Sep16
[5] Air Traffic Control: FAA Plans to Renlace Its Host Commuter System
http://archive.gao.gov/paprpdf2/160369.pdf
[6] COMMISSION SENSITIVE UNCLASSIFIED MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD: Interviews of United Airlines and American Airlines Personnel
http://media.nara.gov/9-11/MFR/t-0148-911MFR-01098.pdf
[7] The Post 9/11 Transponder
http://www.aviationtoday.com/av/issue/feature/12731.html
[8] Aviation Transponder Interrogation Modes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_S#Mode_S
[9] Mode S Transponder – Incorrect Setting of ICAO 24-Bit Aircraft Address
http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2011-14
[10] Mode S - Assignment of 24-bit Aircraft Addresses to State Aircraft
http://www.eurocontrol.int/mil/public/standard_page/cns_sur_modes_24bAA.html
[11] Reagan Airport Controllers Notified of Unidentified Aircraft Approaching Washington
http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a933reaganwarned#a933reaganwarned
[12] The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 9
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.
[13] The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 16
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
[14] The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 18
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
[15] The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 20
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
[16] The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 21
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
[17] The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 25
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf
[18] The 9/11 Commission Report, Page 454
http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

It was necessary to have

It was necessary to have almost immediate confirmation that it was Untied FL175 that struck WTC2 (including from United Airlines itself...Yes,American we're on to you) In order to cast doubt on the fact it was American FL11 that struck WTC1...[1st reports were that it was a 'small' plane]. Why? Because only then would it be believable that they thought FL11 might still be in the air (as reported 9:21AM). Why is this important? Because the 'phantom' flight11 was located BETWEEN Washington DC & New York. This gave NEADS (Col.Marr) an excuse to send the Langley fighters to the North East Away from Washington DC at the very time Flight 77 was approaching from the Southwest! It's called redundancy & and it's a sure sign of a military False flag.

DC is NW of Langley

DC is NW of Langley. The fighters from Langley were sent East. They could not intercept any of the flights supposedly headed for DC.

1. The AA11 phantom has never been identified or given a position relative to NY. It was a vague "SW" of NY report without specifics.

2. The AA77 target was not noticed by ATC until 9:24 when it was 12 miles SW of Dulles. If AA77 had flown straight to DC it could have reached there in less than 6 minutes. As it was it took only a little over 13 minutes because it made the incredible spiral loop. (Is it just a coincidence that Dulles noticed the target at 9:24, the same time Col. Marr ordered the Langley fighters to scramble?)

3. The UA93 target was still a long ways from DC so they could not say conclusively where it was headed, but it was projected that it could reach DC around 10:28. There was plenty of time to cap DC before that target threatened.

Here is a short video showing the activities. The Langley fighter part begins around mark 4:30.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI8e1qRxqKs

Thanks Aidan

Thanks again for your tenacious resolve.

Aidan

Meticulous work here. Of course there are no conclusions available yet, but I see where you want to go.

I do have a question or clarification though. You said:

Perhaps the most significant consequence of lost September 11 flight SSR data to ATC was a circumstantial impression of accused hijacker flight deck takeovers.

However the direct evidence provided by calls like Betty Ong seem to make the need for circumstantial impressions like you cited moot. (From an objective point of view)

Perhaps there was a bigger consequence of the lost SSR data to ATC is all I'm saying.

Manual Transponder Deactivations Jeopardized Alleged Hijack Plan

Turning off aircraft transponders made the flights electronically invisible to the collision avoidance systems of other planes and subject to mid-air collisions.

This obvious point has been lost on most historians. Transponder data loss only makes sense within the context of creating an impression of flight deck takeovers. Turning off the transponders could easliy have jeopardized the entire alleged hijack operation due to mid-air collision dangers.

Alleged calls are the only arguably reliable evidence of WTC flight takeovers by the accused hijackers. Calls and problematic FDRs are the only arguably reliable evidence for hijacker takeovers of AA 77 and UA 93.

Is there any hard evidence (i.e.: call service provider records) that the alleged 9/11 flight call were actually placed from the flights or cell phones aboard these flights?

Even the "we have some planes" commentary alleged to be made by Atta originated from an unknown source. No Flight Data Recorders for AA 11 and UA175 were recovered.

Apparently, the 9/11 Commission jumps to the conclusion that flight transponders were manually turned off without citing definitive evidence.

As for being able to estimate altitude changes without SSR information:

"As its transponder has been turned off (see (Between 8:13 a.m. and 8:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001), he has no altitude information for Flight 11, but can tell from the radar scope that it appears to be descending. According to author Lynn Spencer: “Even without a transponder, controller radars calculate ground speed for all radar targets, and when a plane is descending, the ground speed decreases. The flight had been ‘grounding’ 600 knots, and now it has decreased to 320.” Bottiglia follows Flight 11’s target on his radar screen until it disappears over New York City."

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a841newyorkknows#a841newyorkknows

Visualize a right triangle vector diagram and the difference in magnitude between the hypotnuse and adjacent side, in order to reach the side opposite the angle between them simultaneously.

As can be seen, with GPS guided autopilot systems, remote uplink of entire flight plans and an air traffic control computer system capable of knowing where planes will be and when (to anticipate flight path conflicts), there is great potential for the type of tampering that could have precisely produced the 9/11 attacks without on-board pilot control. Perhaps even not unlike the means depicted in the "Lone Gunman" pilot.

What information regarding transponder function was omitted from the NARA document cited before? And what were the true capabilities of the "peculiar" UA 175 transponder, compared to the other 9/11 flight Mode S transponders? Mode S transponders apparently facilitate datalink functions. Could this "peculiar" transponder's output be manipulated remotely?

Excellent

-

Flight 11 and 175 nearly crash into each other

According to an employee at the FAA’s Boston Center in Nashua, New Hampshire, Flight 11 and Flight 175 nearly crash into each other while heading toward their targets in New York. The unnamed employee says, “The two aircraft got too close to each other down by Stewart” International Airport, which is in New Windsor, NY, about 55 miles north of New York City. Describing the incident, the Nashua Telegraph says that the terrorists “nearly had their plans dashed when the two planes almost collided.”

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a842flightsintersect#a842flightsintersect

How would you explain this, and why did you omit it from your article?

Would remote controlled planes with fake hijackers and phone calls nearly crash into each other?

Also, why would the hypothetical Northwoods operators need TCAS enabled for UA 175 and not for AA 77, AA 11 and UA 93? Were they sure the last three would avoid all other aircraft by coincidence? Would they have anticipated flight plan changes and the ripple effect of wayward hijacked aircraft in the same airspace as other aircraft, changing course?

In reference to your article, where you state: "Interestingly, the FAA's "Host" ATC computer system provided an ability to anticipate route conflicts like those experienced between UA 175 and Delta 2315, US Airways 542 and Midwest 7, based on filed aircraft flight plans"

Then why were there near mid-air collisions anyway?

In reference to your claim: "Transponder data loss only makes sense within the context of creating an impression of flight deck takeovers."

If the absence of a transponder signal is (if I read you correctly) not that important for the tracking of an aircraft, then why were some flights briefly lost to radar coverage during their revised course?

Given the difficulties caused for air traffic controllers and NEADS by the disabling of the transponder signals on AA 11, AA 77 and UA 93, mentioned in your own article, how would it have benefited the 9/11 hijackers to keep their transponders on and squawking, possibly facilitating interception? Unless, of course, transponder data loss makes sense from the perspective of a 9/11 hijacker trying to hide from America's air defense system, not "only" for the purpose of having us believe there were hijackers, as you claim.

And.... Why would you disregard the possibility of incompetence by Marwan al-Shehhi and claim UA 175's transponder was unusual when an UA / AA pilot demonstrated otherwise?

Do you have anything to substantiate your Northwoods plane swap or remote control allegations besides speculation? (Could have, may, etc.)

Why would you ignore this detailed refutation of Griffin's voice morphing theory, written by Erik Larson? When will you be conducting a forensic audio analysis on the Betty Ong and CeeCee Lyles phone calls, to substantiate your assumption that they were fake?

What is the basis for your assertion that FDR data was "problematic"? Are you referring to AA 77's FDR? If so, why?

Furthermore: the title of your response is misleading: there was no "alleged" hijack plan, there was actually a hijack plan. This hijack plan was so well known to US authorities, that FBI special agent Greg Jones warned his superiors that Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, "might fly something into the World Trade Center", and 9/11 family member Patty Casazza said:

Patty Casazza
We met other whistleblowers on the side of the road of Maryland, you know, to hear what they could tell us, none of them revealed state secrets to us by the way, but... they had information and basically the government knew, you know, other than the exact moment, they knew the date and the method of which the attacks were supposed to come. And none of this made it to mainstream media, none of it made it into the commission, and yet... , again, all of your representatives, on the day that the commission book came out, were on their pulpits saying: what a fabulous job this commission has done, a real service to this nation.. and it was anything but a service, it was a complete fabrication.

(Inaudible question from the audience)

Patty Casazza
Other than the exact perhaps time, you know, cause planes don't always go off on time, they knew the date, they knew the method, that it was going to be with airplanes.

(Inaudible question from the audience)

Patty Casazza
Yep, they knew that it was that day and they were gonna happen, they knew the targets.

Source

We know Atta, Al-Shehhi, Hanjour and Jarrah went into flight training for it, and we know details from the operation from Yosri Fouda's interview with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who was reportedly captured due to his interview with Fouda. Moreover, the Bin Laden "confession" tape isn't fake at all, despite a long history of claiming such by the some elements in the 9/11 Truth Movement who don't even know who the people sitting beside Bin Laden in the tape are.

The very reason 9/11 could have been stopped by US authorities was that there was a hijack plan and it was detected in advance, yet subsequently allowed to continue. This is what the evidence, not speculation, shows.

And: Happy New Year.

the Bin Laden confession tape...

Snowcrash said: ...Moreover, the Bin Laden "confession" tape isn't fake at all, despite a long history of claiming such by the some elements in the 9/11 Truth Movement who don't even know who the people sitting beside Bin Laden in the tape are....

Snowcrash, Will you please show me this "isn't fake" tape and also explain the cast of characters and what was said, and why it is not a fake?

Re: tape

TomT, the whole point of my argument was that you're supposed to know that already. Instead of proving my point and then inappropriately reversing the burden of proof, I suggest you make your case and I will respond. I will be more than happy to go into detail after you do so. To declare a tape 'fake' requires arguments, what are yours? I know declaring the tape fake is 9/11 Truth mainstream even in the most conservative circles. Let's hear the usual rundown. However, this might be too far OT, in which case I suggest you select an appropriate thread instead. (I brought it up because Aidan attempted to support his Northwoods-like scenario by denying the very existence of a hijack plan)

@ Snowcrash

Regarding AA 11's and UA 175's alleged flight path conflict, Snowcrash asks:

"Why did you omit it from your article?"

Consideration of the alleged flight path conflict between AA 11 and UA 175 was not omitted from the article. Had you read it more carefully you would have noted the following:

"Of the four wayward September 11 flights, only UA 175 experienced serious near mid-air collisions with other non-wayward commercial flights."

At the time of this alleged near collision of AA 11 and UA 175, both were wayward flights.

Why did you omit the following detail regarding your suggestive question regarding AA 11's and UA 175's alleged near collision:

"It wasn't clear how close they got after they left Boston 15 minutes apart Tuesday morning, both headed for Los Angeles."

From one event source:

"According to a Federal Aviation Administration employee ... The two aircraft got too close to each other.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/13/investigate-collide.htm

How close? Was the FAA employee an air traffic controller? Was this first-hand, second-hand, third-hand information?

It is unclear if they in fact nearly collided or if their paths were simply within potential conflict with each other. In fact, an exact time for this alleged near collision could not even be provided:

It is unclear exactly when this incident occurs, though it is presumably shortly after 8:42, when Flight 175 has its last communication with air traffic control.”

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a842flightsintersect#a842flightsintersect

Why did you omit the afore mentioned information regarding your suggestive question?

In any event, GPS positioning capability is accurate to within just several meters. Meanwhile, aircraft minimum separation requirement distances are huge by comparison:

“A conflict occurs when the distance between aircraft in flight violates a defining criterion, usually considered as 5 nautical miles (9 km) of horizontal and/or 1000 feet of vertical separation. These distances define an aircraft's protected zone, a volume of airspace surrounding the aircraft which should not be infringed upon by any another aircraft.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_(air_traffic_control)

So in reality, aircraft under controlled flight being "too close" to each other may still be miles apart and not in imminent danger of colliding with each other. Moreover, no specific aircraft proximity distance or even event time is cited by your source.

Snowcrash asks:

- "Would remote controlled planes with fake hijackers and phone calls nearly crash into each other?"

- "Also, why would the hypothetical Northwoods operators need TCAS enabled for UA 175 and not for AA 77, AA 11 and UA 93? Were they sure the last three would avoid all other aircraft by coincidence?"

Snowcrash assumes without reliable facts that wreckless hijackers nearly collided with each other's hijacked planes. In light of this unproven allegation, one cannot rule out the real possibility that these flights were "electronically hijacked" by other interests and even be made to appear within wreckless “conflict” with each, without actually being in any danger of colliding. The ATC “Host” system accurately "knows" where planes will be and when (based on filed flight plans and real time data), which allows for mid-flight autopilot guided course changes mid-flight via remote data uplink of multiple flight plan waypoints for multiple aircraft.

Snowcrash asks:

“What is the basis for your assertion that FDR data was "problematic"? Are you referring to AA 77's FDR? If so, why?”

The AA 77 and UA 93 FDRs were not assigned with inventory control serial numbers. And the data download file for AA 77 predates the FDR recovery by nearly 5 hours. This information was reported years ago.

As for the remainder of your comment, it refers to the tangled web of countless 9/11 allegations morphed into “fact” by repetition.

While Snowcrash and others may try to combat the information in this reply with the site's voting function, the information stands.

Poor defense

I linked directly to the entry in History Commons' timeline describing the near collision in question. I quoted the relevant portion; the exact time the incident occurred changes nothing essential about the fact that it occurred. Again, I linked to the information directly, and I expect people to check my sources.

You then assert you did mention this incident in your article, quoting this sentence:

"Of the four wayward September 11 flights, only UA 175 experienced serious near mid-air collisions with other non-wayward commercial flights."

Followed by your explanation:

"At the time of this alleged near collision of AA 11 and UA 175, both were wayward flights."

Which is baffling, because instead of refuting my point, you confirm it: you did not mention this incident at all, you didn't even allude to it, in fact, you buried it with one sneaky qualification: "serious". To put it more bluntly: you inserted this adjective as a plausible deniability device for your deliberate omission, didn't you? And how is AA 11 being wayward going to excuse your omission? Are your readers supposed to guess that there was a near mid-air collision with a wayward flight, which just so happened to be another hijack, as well as non-wayward flights?

When the news report at hand doesn't buttress your case for "Northwoods" and "no hijackers", suddenly you ask questions such as: "Was the FAA employee an air traffic controller? Was this first-hand, second-hand, third-hand information?"

The sources clearly refer to an ATC at the FAA Nashua control facility, which is probably why it was reported in the Nashua Telegraph.

You go on to say I make assumptions without reliable facts. Strange, since I'm sourcing History Commons, as do you. Apparently the facts are not reliable when they're inconvenient? We must always weigh our information, in this case, your assessment of the facts was weighed in the balance and found wanting.

You say:

The ATC “Host” system accurately "knows" where planes will be and when (based on filed flight plans and real time data), which allows for mid-flight autopilot guided course changes mid-flight via remote data uplink of multiple flight plan waypoints for multiple aircraft.

As if commercial airplanes can be compelled to change course via ACARS without pilot intervention. Is that what you're implying, Aidan? Please explain.

Again, if all possible collisions were known beforehand, then why should the hypothetical Northwoods operators need TCAS? And why only for UA 175? Course deviations lead to chaos and unpredictable circumstances. A ripple effect of course changes occurs under these circumstances which nullifies this supposed omniscient quality you attribute to ATC systems.

As for AA 77's FDR: numbers which would qualify as serial numbers (Stutt didn't find aircraft ID in FDR data preambles from other flights either) were indeed found inside the FDR data and Legge mentions this on his website, addressing known disinformationist Rob Balsamo's complaints:

2. The data file is missing crucial information (aircraft ID) from the preamble.
If true, would it matter? Warren Stutt has files from a number of authentic flights, none of which contain the aircraft ID in the preamble. Apparently it does not matter. Furthermore Warren has now decoded some more columns of data and has found the plane ID. It is aircraft 35, fleet 1. This information has been passed to PFT. As some members of PFT work for American Airlines perhaps they will be able to check whether the ID in the file corresponds with AA77. They show no signs of being interested in this useful work.

Source

I knew this already, but I thought I'd let you formulate the usual debunked claims before rebutting them.

As for data file time: such claims are meaningless. Computer file date/time stamps are frequently unreliable: similar claims were made about Mark Bingham, because an AP photo on CNN's website featured EXIF data with a date stamp predating 9/11. As a result, it was alleged Mark Bingham was a fake 9/11 victim. I can claim date/time discrepancies are frequently meaningless because I understand IT. I'm not sure you do. Nor do Pilots For 9/11 "Truth". Five hours is almost the time difference from GMT, which could just as easily indicate time zone misconfiguration in the host OS. Plus: how accurate is the time reported for the recovery of the FDR? Is it flawless? That's two factors of uncertainty which cast doubt on the speculation that the FDR may be forged, which is strongly belied anyway by the fact that the data contained impact-induced CRC-related errors, which would be an exceedingly peculiar thing to fake since that precluded the full decoding only achieved at a later date by Warren Stutt. Why would they want to forge the FDR such that the final frames showing severe longitudinal deceleration would be unavailable to the public due to a bug in ROSE decoding software?

You conclude your poor defense of your own article with a strange excuse for avoiding the additional objections I offered. Your comment which, if it doesn't masquerade confirmation of the very objections I had as refutation, mostly consists of hand wave, addressing me in the third person to belittle, and overzealous use of the bolding function.

When it comes to disproving the "official story", the end doesn't justify the means. Popularity is irrelevant. This article, which is speculative and misleading, does not stand at all, and until you address my comment in full, I conclude you didn't because you couldn't.

"Turn to avoid traffic (AA 11)"

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

So, what gives? Were the "remote controlled" flight paths scheduled to collide? Admittedly this happens before the takeover point, so that leaves me wondering why UA 175 wasn't taken over earlier by "remote control" to avoid this near mid-air collision.

ETA:

Photobucket

Looks like it was five to ten miles, within visual range. Accept this information though, and you accept the pilot and co-pilot were in control of UA 175 up to this point.

One additional thing

"One worker who had tunneled into the debris said he had found the remains of people strapped into what seemed to be airplane seats. Another, in one of the most searing discoveries among the ruins, found the body of a flight attendant, her hands bound. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/15/us/after-attacks-trade-center-heart-rending-discoveries-digging-continues-lower.html?pag...

Such a find seems mutually exclusive with a "no hijacker" scenario, but I'm sure an inventive Northwoods theorist can find some way to rationalize it away.

Very interesting new. What is

Very interesting new.

What is the name of the worker who found the body of a flight attendant, her hands bound. Does this worker has already spoken of his discovery? How has he guess that the body was that of a flight attendant?

Are the family members of the flight attendant were they allowed to see and identify the body?

Is there an image of this body that was shown at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui ?

About that find

See here:

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a091401severedhands#a091401severedhands

I do see Bellone in there, which I believe is a somewhat controversial figure. But he appears to be not the only reporting it, and the reports vary somewhat. One claims the severed, bound hands were found "on a nearby building", which may explain why these remains were not mangled beyond recognition due to the Twin Towers crashing down. I'm speculating, though.

While I have to opportunity, let me say that perhaps it's time we all tone down the vitriol a bit, perhaps especially myself. I think today I realized that it's mostly counterproductive. From now on, I'll try to keep the dialogue a little more productive and less passively aggressive. (I hope I'll have the discipline to follow through with that and keep my own advice) Note that this is not due to behind-the-scenes suggestion or admonition by a 911blogger moderator; we should be achieve that without and before corrective moderator action. I've grown weary of the counterproductive tone of 9/11 debate, time to focus on what matters: the emotional charge is excess baggage.


A short bird's eye perspective on the genesis of 9/11: one possible explanation

It's no secret I oppose no hijacker theory, for the reason that when I contemplate the full body of cumulative evidence, I just don't see any justification for no hijacker theory. Many of the speculations proposed by Aidan Monaghan are indeed interesting and show that in many cases technology exists which could have assisted government deception. However, when that same speculation is then elevated to near-factual status, articles like this, admittedly compiled with effort, are easy targets for attack and can then be chalked up as another "debunker" win, and we know "debunkers" like to keep lists. Neutral parties will then come to question the diligence and integrity of this movement, because research isn't, and shouldn't, be a matter of "shoot as much as you can and see which of those shots strike the target", but rather: don't fire until you're sure it's a bullseye.

The problem with "plausible speculation" in elaborate detail is that one claim may necessitate another, which requires another, until a chain/web of tightly integrated claims emerge, which force the researcher to discard, in some cases, large volumes of credible evidence. Some folks might feel that skepticism towards no hijacker theories undermines 9/11 truth, as if the absence of hijackers, the non-existence of Al Qaeda (the old "database" canard), the innocence of men like Bin Laden, KSM and Ramzi Bin Alshibh and a Northwoods-like scenario are self-evident.

Yes, the Northwoods plan was an affront, an assault on the very core of traditional American democratic values. Or at least, the well-polished illusion of such. But I have no reason to believe this scenario was the actual blueprint for 9/11. Northwoods is cited as precedent for the jaw dropping ruthlessness of the Military Industrial Complex in achieving its geostrategic objectives. Northwoods demonstrates a state of mind nurtured by a Cold War era siege mentality, the technical resourcefulness, inventiveness, deception and wherewithal of secretive underground military-intelligence networks and the stunning contrast between the carefully sculpted public face of liberty, integrity and transparency and the actual dirty dealings and moral depravity bubbling underneath.

In short, it shows what some elements of the United States government would be willing and capable of doing. So... would the United States government deceive, murder, bomb, sabotage and stage entire military incidents? Yes.

But instead of simply projecting the Northwoods scenario literally onto 9/11, as if the events of 9/11 were already set in stone and fully screen written during the sixties... No. Rather than dig through the older literature looking for a template to apply to 9/11, one might best consider the evidence first, and what the entire body of evidence includes and excludes in terms of covert action scenarios. And despite popular belief, such a scenario might just as easily be constructed around a foreign operation to be used, facilitated and exploited, with all the desired genuine perpetrators already in place to be singled out as the sole actors involved, covering up the red carpet which was rolled out for the perpetrators which wouldn't only gladly accept responsibility; they'd even vehemently reject any attempt to by historians or analysts to broaden the scope to the forces which were tasked to stop them but actually secretly shielded and assisted them . It would be an embarrassment, a loss of face for Al Qaeda, to admit their careful and meticulous plan was only allowed to come to fruition had it not been, possibly, for some opportunistic inaction, sabotage, obstruction of justice, infiltration and concealment by some geopolitical agenda pursuing rogue network, composed of hawks and hardliners, horizontally structured and motivated by a strong sense of entitlement and a Colonel Jessip-like religious fervor -- "You can't handle the truth!" -- to "proactively do whatever it takes" to sustain US strategic interests and expand economic and military empire, through a fabricated casus belli,

These are Machiavellian pragmatists, for whom lofty, abstract and intellectualist moral frameworks, universal human rights, snobbish ethics guidelines dictated by law scholars, democratic checks and balances and unwieldy civilian bureaucracies are only undesirable obstacles for their divine responsibility to protect the United States from all potential threats. To maintain American supremacy and hegemony, even it a few thousands Americans have to be sacrificed for the benefit of millions, who demand cheap oil, cheap gas, cheap electricity, cheap food, cheap goods, prosperity, excellent living standards, a world leadership position and solid national security, to name just a few.

AWACS radar would light up

While switching off the transponders would make the aircraft difficult to follow for FAA, it would be easier to track on AWACS (Boeing E3 Sentries - based ona Boeing 707 airframe) - flying radar aircraft which are known to have been flying at the time. All military radar systems have filters to track friendlies, unknowns and hostiles. The radar tracks with friendly transponders are friendlies while aircraft with no transponders can be marked as hostiles. All friendlies can be removed from the radar screen to allow just the hostiles to be monitored. Thus switching off the transponders has two effects:

- making them difficult for FAA to track
- making them easier for AWACS to track

The "radar picture" would be transmitted from the AWACS aircraft without anyone onboard the aircraft being involved and compiled on the command aircraft (or command centre) where the different friendly/hostile radar pictures can be viewed. Coincidentally such a command aircraft a Boeing E4B (it looks like a white 747 Jumbo jet) was seen overflying the pentagon immediately after the Pentagon was hit. The E4B flight has never been explained.

http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=1203

Examples of aircraft interception by fighters:

1) 27 Oct 2001 : French jet intercepts British tourist flight :

“A BRITISH airliner was intercepted by a French air force Mirage fighter, armed with air-to-air missiles, after it lost radio contact with air traffic controllers during a flight from Malaga to Stansted. "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/1360670/French-jet-intercepts-British-tourist-flight.html

2) June 22, 2007 : French fighter intercepts tourist plane:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/47780/news/world/french-fighter-intercepts-tourist-plane

“- A French fighter jet intercepted a small German tourist plane that failed to respond to air traffic controllers Thursday, prompting the temporary closure of Paris' Orly airport, the Defense Ministry said.

The single-engine plane, with two people aboard, was forced to land at a military air base near Tours south of Paris, and the pilot was detained, a ministry statement said.

The plane took off Thursday morning from Bohmte, Germany, on the way to La Rochelle, western France. It later headed toward airspace above the Paris metropolitan area, which is restricted for flight.

"Absence of radio contact with the pilot and uncertainties about the flight path" prompted air traffic controllers to summon military help, the statement said.

Military and civil aviation officials ordered air traffic at Orly airport halted, while a Mirage 2000 from the French Air Force intercepted the plane and forced it to land in Tours, the statement said.”

In this second case, a Boeing AWACS E3F was used to detect the German aircraft :

http://lci.tf1.fr/france/faits-divers/2007-06/avion-tourisme-intercepte-par-mirage-4861728.html

Fire-proof bodies, oh my.

This 'body of a female with her hands tied" sure stretches the limits of credulity.

A body survived the incineration at the heart of that huge fireball as well as tons and tons of falling masonry - to be left in a recognisable state?

One could even determine the sex of this corpse?

I suppose the dress and heels, maybe even the nail-polish, must have survived?

The plastic cord/rope binding her hands hadn't melted/burned in that heat?

Heat intense enough to compromise massive steel girders but not intense enough to burn hair, clothing and hand-ties?

Is this what Cartoon Network does to a nation's credulity levels? Just wondering.

Agreed. One Should Be Skeptical

- Indestructable and still folded terrorist head rags at UA 93 scene.
- Indestrcutable passports at the WTC and Shanksville.
- "Lets Roll"
- WMDs
- Jessica Lynch
- WTC 7
- OBL assassination

I read also on the website

I read also on the website “historycommons”: “Fire Lieutenant John McCole sees a body bag with a tag on it saying, “Possible Perp—pilot.” McCole later comments, “I found it pretty amazing that someone’s body could remain so intact after crashing through a skyscraper into the middle of an inferno.”

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a091401severedhands#a091401severedhands

About the flight attendant, on the same website:

“remains are discovered in the World Trade Center ruins: bullet Investigators find a pair of severed hands bound together with plastic handcuffs on a nearby building. They are believed to have belonged to a flight attendant. Honorary firefighter Michael Bellone and two other recovery workers discover the body of an attendant from American Airlines Flight 11. Reportedly, the men’s digging efforts reveal “a blue skirt, then one side of a body, and finally a pair of wings still attached to the lapel of a woman’s jacket.” Other reports describe the discovery of the body of a flight attendant with her hands bound. Presumably they are referring to the same remains.”

There are photographs of human bodies at the World Trade Center that were shown at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui (but I didn't find photographs of parts of the body or of the clothes of this flight attendant and of the body signaled by Lieutenant John McCole) :

http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution.html

Photographs of human bodies parts shown at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui:

http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200010.html

http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200011.html

http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/P200012.html

Halt Research For Fear Of Failed Debunkers?

"However, when that same speculation is then elevated to near-factual status, articles like this, admittedly compiled with effort, are easy targets for attack and can then be chalked up as another "debunker" win, and we know "debunkers" like to keep lists. Neutral parties will then come to question the diligence and integrity of this movement, because research isn't, and shouldn't, be a matter of "shoot as much as you can and see which of those shots strike the target"".

The blog at issue does not make definitive claims. It merely cites fact based and circumstantially supported alternatives to the problematic and unproven official 9/11 conspiracy theory. The idea of inexperienced party animals precisely piloting state of the art Boeing jets into targets is a fantastic tale.

In fact, its a mostly unproven allegation.

The research will continue regardless of the efforts of self appointed "credinility cops" (for lack of a better term) to deter it. The referred to debunkers have failed substantially to this point to rebut alternative 9/11 research.

Thanks Aidan, I know exactly what you mean...

and appreciate your tenacity and truthfulness.

"The research will continue regardless of the efforts of self appointed "credinility cops" (for lack of a better term) to deter it. The referred to debunkers have failed substantially to this point to rebut alternative 9/11 research."

thanks Aidan

"The research will continue regardless of the efforts of self appointed "credinility cops" (for lack of a better term) to deter it. The referred to debunkers have failed substantially to this point to rebut alternative 9/11 research."

I quote 100%

Agreed...

No where in this article did I read where Aidan claimed that there were no hijackers, phone calls were faked, or that the planes were swapped. Snowcrash's accusations that Aidan is attempting to advance these theories in this posting seems quite presumptuous to me. I can only say that research such as this cannot be discouraged for it is the process that all research be reviewed and scrutinized (can we say "peer reviewed") so that its viability and place in the overall puzzle that is t9/11 can be ascertained.

Thanks for all your hard work Aidan.

dtg

Note: The download about the

Note: The download about the “Exhibit Number P200018” concerning the phone calls, presented at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui is no longer available.

http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/exhibits/prosecution/flights/P200018.html

Now where is this download?

Colonel Marr and "jamming" aircraft

"a transponder broadcast can be suppressed or “jammed” by another transponder broadcasting via the same address"

While I read this in Aidan´s Article, I had to think of the biography of Colonel Robert Marr (responsible at NORAD for the 9/11 air defense), which I researched for my book "Inside 9/11". Before 9/11 and his work for NORAD Marr worked for the private military contractor "Phoenix Air", see here:

http://media.nara.gov/9-11/MFR/t-0148-911MFR-00767.pdf

"Phoenix Air" operated for the CIA, see here:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/051/2006

And "Phoenix Air" runs a private fleet of Learjets with "state-of-the-art electronic jamming equipment". See here:

http://www.phoenixair.com/milops_elewarfare.html

Just to let you know.