The Case Against Ralph Eberhart, NORAD’s 9/11 Commander
Posted on January 12, 2013

By Kevin Ryan

In a 2004 U.S. Senate hearing, Senator Mark Dayton remarked that “this country and its citizens were completely undefended” for “109 minutes” on 9/11.[1] Dayton went on to clarify that officials within the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) had covered up the facts about the lack of air defenses by lying to the 9/11 Commission, to Congress and to the American people. And they were not held accountable.
One man was most responsible for both the air defense failures and the lying that covered it up. U.S. Air Force General Ralph Edward Eberhart had taken over command of NORAD from General Richard Myers in February 2000. The position included leadership of all air defense operations in North America and, also, the U.S. Space Command. Therefore, on 9/11, Eberhart was the man most responsible for failure to intercept the four hijacked aircraft over a period of nearly two hours.

NORAD is the joint U.S.-Canadian military organization responsible for monitoring and defending the airspace over North America. Long-standing operating procedures at NORAD, for dealing with airliners that have gone off-course or been hijacked, were not followed on 9/11. Each of the four flights involved in the 9/11 attacks should have been intercepted when they lost radio contact, deviated from their course, or turned off their transponders.[2]

The procedures for interception were automatic and required no special orders to implement. Through these procedures, interceptor jets had been scrambled 129 times in the year 2000 and 67 times in the year prior to June 2001. A 1994 government report stated — “Overall, during the past four years, NORAD’s alert fighters took off to intercept aircraft (referred to as scrambled) 1,518 times, or an average of 15 times per site per year. Of these incidents, the number of suspected drug smuggling aircraft averaged … less than 7 percent of all of the alert sites’ total activity. The remaining activity generally involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft and assisting aircraft in distress.”[3]

On 9/11, the NORAD interception system failed completely and we have been given multiple, conflicting explanations for why that happened. Considering that there is strong evidence for an alternative hypothesis of insider involvement in 9/11, it is reasonable to assume that an intentional compromising of the U.S. air defenses might have occurred that day. Adding to this suspicion is the fact that guilt tends to be reflected in false testimony. And as Senator Dayton said, NORAD officials “lied to the American people, they lied to Congress and they lied to your 9/11 Commission.”[4]

Exactly which NORAD statements were lies and which were not is a matter that is still not clear to this day. This is partly because the explanations and testimony that are now said to have been false were far more damning to NORAD than the final account, which exonerates NORAD entirely. Why would NORAD leaders want to lie so as to make their performance look worse?

In order to better determine the facts, investigators should begin with at least three areas of inquiry: 1) the times at which NORAD was notified (or made aware) of the hijackings, 2) the times at which NORAD responded in the form of scrambling jets to intercept, and 3) the instructions given to the interceptor pilots in terms of speed and direction.

NORAD’s ever-changing story

The military’s explanations began with a short description of the response to the hijackings. Two days after the attacks, General Richard Myers gave this account to the Senate Armed Services Committee, in an official hearing for his confirmation as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS). He said that no fighter jets were scrambled to intercept any of the hijacked 9/11 flights until after the Pentagon was hit.[5]

Although Myers was not in command of NORAD on 9/11, he should have known two days later if normal procedures had been followed. As Acting CJCS on 9/11, and as Vice Chairman otherwise, his role was to ensure the president and secretary of defense were informed of critical military matters.

A second story was given a week after the attacks, when NORAD provided a partial timeline of the notifications it had received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the responses that followed. General Eberhart reiterated this timeline in testimony to the U.S. Senate a few weeks later and for over two years it stood as the official account.[6] This timeline said that NORAD had received notification about three of the hijacked planes with plenty of time left to ensure interception and had scrambled jets from multiple bases as the attacks proceeded.

This timeline showed that NORAD was notified about the hijacking of Flight 175 at 8:43 am, a full twenty minutes before it impacted the south tower of the World Trade Center (WTC). Moreover, F-15 interceptor jets from Otis Air Force Base (AFB) were said to be airborne by 8:52, having been scrambled in response to the first hijacking. This allowed twice the time needed for the jets to reach New York City before Flight 175 crashed.

Eberhart added that NORAD was notified about the hijacked Flight 77 coming into Washington at 9:24 am, fourteen minutes before it impacted the Pentagon. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee (repeatedly) that this was a “documented notification.”[7] If true, interceptor jets from Andrews AFB, only ten miles from the Pentagon, could have easily reached the errant airliner given this lead time.

Although the military might now use the excuse that Andrews was not technically under the command of NORAD, the 9/11 Commissions says Eberhart’s statement was simply not true. In fact, both Commission counsel Dan Marcus and Team leader John Farmer were later very blunt about this being a false statement.[8] Therefore, it is clear that Eberhart should be brought up on a charge of contempt of Congress. It is illegal to make any materially false statement or representation in testimony to the Unites States Congress.[9] And that was not the only false statement that Eberhart apparently made to the senators.

In May 2003, Eberhart’s subordinates General Arnold and Colonel William Alan Scott presented a slightly revised version of NORAD’s timeline. They contradicted the timeline for Flight 175, saying that NORAD was not notified of the hijacking until 9:05, three minutes after the aircraft crashed into the south tower. This was despite the fact that when asked by a U.S. Senator about “the second hijacked plane somewhere up there” (Flight 175), Eberhart had previously said “Yes, sir. During that time, we were notified.”[10]

Arnold and Scott also revealed for the first time that NORAD was notified about the hijacking of Flight 93 at 9:16 am. This was 47 minutes before that flight allegedly crashed in Pennsylvania, at 10:03 am. Obviously, interceptor jets could have easily reached and escorted Flight 93 given this revised timeline.

The fourth and final story from NORAD was the official account given by the 9/11 Commission Report, now supported by NORAD. In this explanation NORAD received “no advance notice” on any of the last three hijacked airliners.[11] Instead of 20 minutes of notice on Flight 175, and 14 minutes notice on Flight 77, and 47 minutes notice on Flight 93, we were told that NORAD was not notified about any of them until it was too late. The military was off the hook entirely.

All the evidence for notifications and response, which had constituted the official account for nearly three years, had been thrown out the window. In place of these documents and testimonies, new explanations were given for why the scrambled aircraft never reached the hijacked airliners. These included unbelievable claims of communication failures and misdirection of the scrambled jets, as well as the introduction of a never-before mentioned “Phantom 11” scenario.[12]

The 9/11 Commission Report account was supported two years later by an article in Vanity Fair. [13] Allegedly, the author of the article was given privileged access to audio tapes that were not available to the public. Although the newly revealed “NORAD tapes” ostensibly bolstered the Commission’s new timeline, credible explanations were never given for throwing out the years of testimony and evidence that supported entirely different timelines.

The changing stories given by NORAD led to placing more blame for the failed air defenses on the FAA. After NORAD’s 2003 timeline was issued, however, the FAA publicly stated that NORAD had in fact been informed throughout all the developments that morning. FAA official Laura Brown wrote a memo to the 9/11 Commission in which she stated that FAA shared “real-time information” with NORAD about “loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77.”[14]

FAA leadership certainly did fail that morning and there are shocking questions to be answered in that regard.[15] Not the least of these questions is why evidence that might have helped was destroyed by an FAA official after the attacks.[16] But the multiple stories given by the military indicate that NORAD was at least as culpable as the FAA in the inexplicable lack of air defense. And the facts indicate that NORAD was in the loop earlier than its 2003 timeline suggested, meaning that there is no reasonable explanation for why NORAD-controlled jets did not intercept most, if not all, of the planes hijacked on 9/11.

When questioned by the 9/11 Commission, Eberhart confirmed that if NORAD had been in the loop as the FAA said it was, his people would have been able “to shoot down all three aircraft — all four aircraft.”[17]

Reasons to suspect Eberhart

Investigation of NORAD and its commander Eberhart is warranted, apart from the evidence for lying to Congress. Additional reasons to focus on Eberhart include the following nine facts.

1. As Commander in Chief of the U.S. Space Command (CINCSPACE), Eberhart was responsible for setting Infocon levels.[18] Infocon is an alert system that defends against attacks on communications networks within the Department of Defense (DOD). Just 12 hours before the 9/11 attacks, an order was given to lower Infocon to its least protective level.[19] Setting Infocon at a lower level made it easier for people to hack or compromise the DOD computer networks, including the air defense system.[20]
2. As both CINCSPACE and Commander in Chief of NORAD (CINCNORAD), Eberhart was in charge of many of the highly coincidental military exercises (i.e. war games) that were going on that morning.
3. Eberhart did nothing effective in response to the 9/11 hijackings, despite being present in the military’s teleconference as those hijackings were in progress. He did not order the scrambling of jets, he did not order an escort for Air Force One, and he did not provide leadership.
4. Eberhart also failed to implement military control over U.S. airspace until well after the attacks were over. Although it was his prerogative to do so, Eberhart did not implement SCATANA, the process of assuming military control over the U.S. airspace, until two hours after the second plane hit the WTC and one hour after the last plane had been destroyed. Eberhart later said that he had waited until it finally became “obvious” to him that a coordinated terrorist attack was underway.[21] He told the 9/11 Commission that, although people were telling him to take control of the airspace earlier, he didn’t feel that the military could “provide traffic deconfliction like the FAA has.”[22]
5. In the middle of the 9/11 attacks, Eberhart decided to drive between Peterson Air Force Base and NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC). Normally this 12-mile drive takes 30 minutes but it took Eberhart between 45 minutes and an hour to make the drive that morning. No reason was ever given (or requested) for why Eberhart did not fly directly to CMOC from Peterson, making use of the Cheyenne Mountain helicopter port. Eberhart made conflicting statements about his reasons for making this trip, saying that he stayed for a while at Peterson because he “did not want to lose communication.”[23] Nevertheless, Eberhart lost communication at the most important time by leaving at approximately 9:30 am, when two of the hijacked planes were still flying wildly off-course. His reason for doing this was that things had “quieted down.”[24]
6. While on his way to the CMOC he was in the U.S. military’s air threat call via cell phone. In this call, at 9:49 am, Eberhart “directed all air sovereignty aircraft to battle stations, fully armed.”[25] Although this might sound like decisive action, the command apparently grounded all interceptor jets that had not yet taken off due to the fact that “battle stations” is a grounded status. Other military leaders later gave orders to actually scramble the jets. And despite his involvement, Eberhart portrayed himself as being out of the loop entirely. For example, he told the 9/11 Commission that he had “no knowledge of the circumstances that initiated the scramble” of fighter jets from Langley AFB and that he had just “recently” been made aware that it happened (in March 2004).[26]
7. Eberhart failed to explain the multiple changes in the account of 9/11 that were given by NORAD. In fact, he seemed to tell his staff to change the NORAD timeline as much as was needed in order to prevent further questioning about the military’s performance.[27]
8. For whatever reasons, Eberhart also gave out false information about the NORAD response to others. General Richard Myers, acting CJCS that morning, said that Eberhart told him there were “several hijack codes in the system.” Yet none of the four planes had squawked the hijack code on 9/11 and therefore it is not clear how such codes could have been in the system.[28]
9. NORAD failed to cooperate with the 9/11 Commission. Even as late as March 2004, the Commission was struggling to get basic documents about 9/11 performance from Eberhart’s organization.[29] In some cases, such as with the after-action reports that follow all military actions, the Commission never received the NORAD documents.
Of all these concerns, it is the military exercises that NORAD was conducting on 9/11 that have drawn the most attention from concerned citizens. When questioned about them, Eberhart claimed that the impact of the 9/11 exercises on NORAD’s response was that they “at most cost us 30 seconds.”[30] That was clearly not the case.

NORAD’s coincidental exercises

After several government officials had made incorrect statements about the military’s preparation for hijackings and the use of planes as weapons, General Myers responded to a pointed question on the subject. He reported that NORAD had practiced “five exercise hijack events,” between November 1999 and October 2000, all of which “included a suicide crash into a high value target.”[31] Records since released show that NORAD practiced approximately 28 hijack exercise events in the 20 months leading up to 9/11. At least six of these were focused on hijackings located entirely within the Unites States, which puts to rest the excuse that NORAD was only looking for threats coming from outside of U.S. borders.[32]

One of these exercises, Vigilant Guardian in October 2000, practiced interception of an airliner hijacked for a suicide attack against the 39-story United Nations building in New York City, just a few blocks from the WTC.[33] Another air defense exercise, called Amalgam Virgo and practiced just three months before 9/11, was accompanied by a planning document that had a picture of Osama bin Laden on the cover.[34]

Many of the military exercises or war games that were occurring on the day of 9/11 were run under the control of CINCNORAD Eberhart. In fact, Eberhart was in command of the war games that had the greatest impact on the nation’s air defenses. Of course, he had help.

NORAD is divided into several large areas that cover the U.S. and Canada, one of which is the region of the continental U.S. called CONR, headed on 9/11 by General Larry Arnold. Within CONR there are three sectors. The 9/11 attacks took place in the airspace monitored by CONR’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS). Personnel at NEADS were therefore primarily responsible for trying to coordinate the NORAD response to the hijackings. CMOC was also an important facility in the response that should have been effective but was not.

At NEADS, Colonel Robert Marr was in charge. Marr had been in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years until 1994, at which time he spent a few months in Saudi Arabia as “director of combat operations.”[35] He then left the military to work two years for a private company called Phoenix Air. Coincidentally, Phoenix Air provided aircraft for the Amalgam Virgo exercises.[36] There is also reason to believe that Phoenix Air is associated with Huffman Aviation where the alleged 9/11 hijackers had trained.[37] After his stint at Phoenix Air, Marr returned to the military as the exercise coordinator at NEADS and, by 9/11, had risen to the position of commander of the facility.

There were several NORAD exercises planned for 9/11: Vigilant Guardian and Vigilant Overview, both command post exercises (CPX), and Amalgam Virgo and Amalgam Warrior, which were field training (or FTX) exercises. All four of these exercises were CJCS approved and sponsored by CINCNORAD Eberhart.[38] Apollo Guardian was also running on 9/11. This was an exercise conducted by the U.S. Space Command, meaning Eberhart was in control of that too.

FTX exercises are sometimes what are referred to as SPADEs, meaning “a track is taken out of radar coverage and then re-introduced as an unknown track.”[39] This exercise feature is interesting given that Flight 77 was lost on radar for a period of time on 9/11 and then reappeared in a way that has not yet been explained.[40]

Amalgam Virgo 02, apparently only in the planning stages on 9/11, was a modification of Twin Star, a live-fly joint FAA/NORAD exercise conducted in 1995. This was described by NORAD exercise design manager Ken Merchant and Major Paul Goddard, the Canadian who was NORAD exercise chief.[41] According to Goddard, the plan was to have interceptor jets scramble and escort a hijacked airliner. During this exercise, “the fighters never got off on the appropriate heading, and it took them forever to catch up.”[42]

It is interesting to consider that Amalgam Virgo 02, which was in the planning stages on 9/11, might actually have been in play on 9/11. One reason to consider this is that, on 9/11, the fighters “never got off on the appropriate heading, and it took them forever to catch up.” Another reason is that 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste showed considerable interest in Amalgam Virgo 02, as did the 9/11 Commission staff in its request for documents.[43] According to Ben-Veniste, this was a case in which “NORAD had already in the works plans to simulate in an exercise a simultaneous hijacking of two planes in the United States.”[44] The plan for Amalgam Virgo 02 was therefore similar to the 9/11 attacks, with multiple, simultaneous hijackings.

Another large-scale exercise being conducted on 9/11 was Global Guardian, a joint nuclear war simulation run by the U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) in conjunction with NORAD. This was essentially a practice for Armageddon that involved live nuclear bombs and at least three airborne command and control airliners called E-4Bs.[45] The E-4B that was seen circling the White House during the 9/11 attacks might have been part of this exercise.[46]

The 9/11 Commission did not mention most of these exercises in its report. To the contrary, the report mentioned only Vigilant Guardian and then only one time, in a deceptively stated footnote that said “On 9/11, NORAD was scheduled to conduct a military exercise, Vigilant Guardian, which postulated a bomber attack from the Soviet Union.”[47] This statement is false in several ways, not the least of which is that NORAD was scheduled to conduct at least five exercises on 9/11. And Vigilant Guardian was not simply an exercise involving one bomber from the former Soviet Union.

Vigilant Guardian (VG) had been in play for several days as of 9/11. On September 9, it included a scenario in which terrorists hijacked an airliner and planned to attack New York City. The exercise presented a number of other scenarios based around airliner hijackings and in one of these, the fictitious terrorists threatened to “Rain Terror from the Skies.”[48]

According to the VG planning documents, the 9/11 exercise was to be conducted “sim over live,” meaning the simulated hijackings were to be inserted into the live air control system. This was repeated in the instructions – “Ensure all tracks of interest (sim or live) are input on the live chart.”[49] Furthermore, the VG plan was that “All expansions will be Real World.” Although frequently misunderstood, the term “Real World” does not refer to an actual hijacking, it refers to the use of real aircraft in live-fly exercises.[50]

Due to these confusing circumstances, NEADS staff confused the actual hijackings on 9/11 with the exercises. As researcher Matthew Everett explained — “What is remarkable… is that at a time when it should have been obvious to them that the U.S. was in the middle of a major terrorist attack, these key personnel [at NEADS] were uncertain whether what was happening was real or simulated.”[51] The confusion caused much more than a “30 second” problem as Eberhart suggested, because NEADS personnel thought the exercises were continuing well after the attacks.

On 9/11, VG was scheduled to include a simulated hijacking at 9:40 am, within an hour of when Flight 11 struck the WTC. When they first learned that Flight 11 was hijacked, NEADS staff noted that the “exercise” appeared to be starting an hour early that morning. The evidence indicates that everyone at NEADS, including Colonel Marr, thought the actual hijackings were exercises. They even joked about it.[52] That might have been due to the VG plan stating that the NEADS building where Colonel Marr and company were located was a planned “exercise play area” and everyone there, knowingly or not, was “subject to exercise play.”[53]

NEADS radar scopes were displaying simulated information at least until the time of the Pentagon attack. The same problem was going on at CMOC, another exercise play area, with radar screens showing false tracks as late as 10:12 am. In fact, personnel at CMOC called NEADs in an attempt to stop the exercise inputs.[54] Because those inputs did not stop, it appeared that someone wanted the NEADS and CMOC radar scopes to continue showing false information until after the four planes had been destroyed.

Ken Merchant added that the National Military Command Center (NMCC), located at the Pentagon, regularly participated in NORAD exercises by interjecting emergency action messages (EAMs).[55] On 9/11 the performance of the NMCC, which plays a critical role in establishing the military chain of command and communicating orders, was remarkably poor. Officers there lacked any sense of urgency and were completely ineffective with regard to communications.[56]

The disruptive effect of the ongoing NORAD exercises that morning continued until after all the hijacked planes had crashed. One military newspaper said VG continued until 30 minutes after attacks.[57] Global Guardian was “formally terminated” at 10:44 am but certain actions taken after that time, including that CMOC blast doors were closed (a needless action in terms of hijacked airliners), suggested that the exercise continued.[58]

Investigating Eberhart

Investigation of Ralph Eberhart and his subordinates would almost certainly reveal more of what the public needs to know. Whether Eberhart or others were part of a conspiracy to attack the United States is not the only reason. The main purpose would be to understand how such an inexplicable failure to follow the long-standing and most critical procedures of the U.S. defense system could be followed by a string of lies about that inexplicable failure.

Eberhart was among the liars and he was in charge of NORAD at the time. Was he lying to make himself and his organization look bad, as the 9/11 Commission suggests? Or is he lying now, along with the 9/11 Commission, in order to remove NORAD’s responsibility and eliminate questioning about 9/11?

A year after 9/11, Eberhart was rewarded for his performance by being placed in charge of the new NORTHCOM organization. He has more recently been praised and honored for his great work on 9/11. Called a “9/11 hero” despite having been a disastrous failure on that day, he was honored by having the new NORTHCOM headquarters at Peterson AFB named after him.[59]

There is an intangible benefit to consider as well. Like a number of people who should be investigated for 9/11, Eberhart was a veteran of the only war in which the United States was defeated. He began his military career as a forward air controller stationed out of Pleiku Air Base in South Vietnam.

Coincidentally, Benedict Sliney, who was in charge of FAA operations on 9/11, was an air traffic controller stationed in Pleiku at about the same time. Fighting in related operations was Michael Canavan, the FAA’s missing hijack coordinator on 9/11, who was in the 5th Special Forces Group (SFG). Also in the 5th SFG were Brian Michael Jenkins, who as Deputy Chairman of Kroll designed the WTC security systems, and CJCS Hugh Shelton, who was yet another high-level leader missing on 9/11. Shelton’s temporary replacement that morning, Richard Myers, was a combat pilot in Vietnam.

Along with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who were high-level leaders in the Nixon administration at the time, all these men were undoubtedly devastated by the defeat in Vietnam. Cheney and Rumsfeld experienced the only other significant defeat of their careers when President Ford lost the 1976 election a few years later. Other people who played critical roles on 9/11 and also worked under the Ford Administration included L. Paul Bremer, Frank Carlucci, Rudy Giuliani, and DOD employees Richard Clarke, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Armitage.

The defeats in Vietnam and the 1976 presidential election made their mark on these men. Years later, the attacks of 9/11 brought all of them a late chance for redemption and victory. And it made them all heroes.

Eberhart benefited from the 9/11 attacks in more tangible ways as well. He continued on as head of NORAD and NORTHCOM through 2004. After that he went on to become the chairman for more than half a dozen stock or bond equity funds, and a board director for a similar number of companies profiting from increased military expenditures, oil and gas services, and “Homeland Security.”[60]

The bottom line is that NORAD officials working for Ralph Eberhart covered up the facts about the lack of air defense on 9/11 by lying to the American people and by failure to cooperate with the 9/11 investigations. For those reasons alone, Eberhart’s performance that day and the related statements should be thoroughly investigated. Considering the nine facts presented above about Eberhart’s activities on 9/11, and that Eberhart appears to have violated U.S. law by lying to Congress, that investigation should be performed with the utmost assertiveness including formal charges and the use of subpoenas.

[1] Nicholas Levis, Senator Dayton: NORAD Lied About 9/11,, gust 1, 2004,

[2] Bob Arnot, What Was Needed to Halt the Attacks?: Cockpit security, quick response not in evidence Tuesday, MSNBC, September 12, 2001,

[3] United States General Accounting Office, Continental Air Defense: A Dedicated Force Is No Longer Needed, May 3, 1994,

[4] Nicholas Levis, Senator Dayton: NORAD Lied About 9/11

[5] Senate Armed Services Committee, General Myers Confirmation Hearing, September 13, 2001,

[6] Transcript of Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, October 25, 2001, U.S. Government Printing Office

[7] Transcript of Hearing Before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, October 25, 2001, U.S. Government Printing Office

[8] See memo from Dan Marcus to the Inspector General of both the DOD and Department of Transportation, dated July 29, 2004. See also email response from John Farmer to 9/11 Commisison staff (dated 1/19/2004) and associated messages. See also memorandum from John Farmer and Philip Zelikow to the 9/11 Commissioners in which they state that “Team 8 has unearthed evidence strongly suggesting the possibility that a USAF officer,

and possibly others at the USAF and FAA, must have known that the official story was false, yet persisted in telling it or did not correct the record.”

[9] United States Code, 18 USC § 1001, This law is otherwise known as “making false statements”,

[10] The NORAD notification of Flight 175’s hijacking at 8:42 am was listed in an email from NORADJ3 to Eberhart. It was also listed in the NORAD timeline given by Eberhart to the Senate Armed Services Committee in October 2001.

[11] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, Lee Hamilton, 9/11 Commission Report, p 31

[12] David Ray Griffin, The 9/11 Commission’s Incredible Tales, first published at, December 13, 2005,

[13] Michael Bronner, “9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes”, Vanity Fair, September 2006, 262-285

[14] Kyle F. Hence, UQ Wire: Statement from FAA Contradicts 911 Report, Unanswered Questions Wire, August 2, 2004,

[15] Kevin R. Ryan, FAA Failures on 9/11: The Wall Street Lawyer and the Special Ops Hijack Coordinator,, April 2011,

[16] Matthew L. Wald, F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers’ Statements, The New York Times, May 6, 2004,

[17] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Transcript of twelfth public hearing, June 17,2004,

[18] On 1 October 1999, the Commander, USSPACECOM (USCINCSPACE), assumed command of a brand new mission area, DoD-Computer Network Defense (CND). Also effective the same date, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) delegated to USCINCSPACE the authority to declare DoD Infocon levels.

[19] 1st Fighter Wing History Excerpt, July through December 2001, p 61, The Infocon level was raised again during the morning of September 11, immediately after the second attack on the World Trade Center.

[20] The Infocon alert system was developed in response to a coordinated hacking called Solar Sunrise that occurred in 1998 and started at Andrews Air Force Base. For more on Solar Sunrise, see Kevin Poulsen, Video: Solar Sunrise, the Best FBI-Produced Hacker Flick Ever, Wired, September 23, 2008, .

[21] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with CINCNORAD Eberhart, prepared by Geoffrey Brown,, March 1, 2004,

[22] Transcript: 9/11 Commission Hearings for June 17, 2004, published at The Washington Post, June 17, 2004

[23] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with CINCNORAD Eberhart

[24] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with CINCNORAD Eberhart

[25] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, Lee Hamilton, 9/11 Commission Report, p 38

[26] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with CINCNORAD Eberhart

[27] Eberhart told the Commission that the “newest NORAD time line [delivered to Commission staff on February 23,2004] was likely the result of his ‘standing order’ to correct the record of events whenever possible.” 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with CINCNORAD Eberhart

[28] Matthew Everett, The Actions and Inactions of the Commander in Charge of the U.S. Air Defense Failure on 9/11, Shoestring 911, June 18, 2010,

[29] See memorandum from 9/11 Commission Team 8 re: DOD Document Production, dated October 29, 2003

[30] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Transcript of twelfth public hearing, June 17,2004,

[31] Transcript of Hearing Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, August 16 and 17, 2004,

[32] A NORAD Exercises Hijack Summary, released by the 9/11 Commission, lists 28 exercise events involving hijackings between October 1998 and September 10, 2001. This does not include the Amalgam Virgo exercises,

[33] Matthew Everett, NORAD Exercise a Year Before 9/11 Simulated a Pilot Trying to Crash a Plane into a New York Skyscraper–The UN Headquarters, Shoestring 911, July 27, 2010,

[34] SEADS Concept Proposal: Amalgam Virgo 01, accessed at

[35] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with Colonel Robert Marr, prepared by Geoffrey Brown,, January 23, 2004

[36] SEADS Concept Proposal: Amalgam Virgo 01

[37] Daniel Hopsicker, Will secret deal bring old management back to Venice Airport FBO?, Mad Cow Morning News, January 5, 2010,

[38] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with Ken Merchant and Paul Goddard, prepared by Geoffrey Brown,, March 4, 2004

[39] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with Ken Merchant and Paul Goddard

[40] History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline, Context of ’9:05 am (and After) September 11, 2001: Flight 77 Reappears on Radar, but Flight Controllers Do Not Notice’,

[41] 9/11 Commission, Memorandum for the Record: Interview with Ken Merchant and Paul Goddard

[42] History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline, Profile: Twin Star,

[43] For example, see 9/11 Commission “DOD Document Request No. 18.”

[44] Transcript of 9/11 Commission Hearing of May 23, 2003,

[45] Joe Dejka, Inside StratCom on September 11 Offutt exercise took real-life twist, The Omaha World-Herald, February 27, 2002

[46] Mark H. Gaffney, Why Did the World’s Most Advanced Electronics Warfare Plane Circle Over The White House on 9/11?, The Journal of 9/11 Studies, July 2007. See also the update several months later:

[47] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, Lee Hamilton, 9/11 Commission Report, Notes to Chapter 1, footnote 116

[48] Vigilant Guardian 01-02 planning document,

[49] Vigilant Guardian 01-02 planning document

[50] Matthew Everett, ‘Real-World or Exercise’: Did the U.S. Military Mistake the 9/11 Attacks for a Training Scenario?, Shoestring 911, March 22, 2012,

[51] Matthew Everett, ‘Real-World or Exercise’

[52] Matthew Everett, ‘Real-World or Exercise’

[53] Vigilant Guardian 01-02 planning document

[54] Matthew Everett, ‘Let’s Get Rid of This Goddamn Sim’: How NORAD Radar Screens Displayed False Tracks All Through the 9/11 Attacks, Shoestring 911, August 12, 2010,

[55] Matthew Everett, On 9/11, the U.S. Military Was Preparing for a Simulated Nuclear War, Shoestring 911, November 23, 2011,

[56] Matthew Everett, The Repeatedly Delayed Responses of the Pentagon Command Center on 9/11, Shoestring 911, November 7, 2010,

[57] Matthew Everett, ‘Let’s Get Rid of This Goddamn Sim’

[58] Matthew Everett, On 9/11, the U.S. Military Was Preparing for a Simulated Nuclear War

[59] NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs, NORAD and USNORTHCOM honour 9/11 heroes, October. 15, 2012,

[60] See Bloomberg Businessweek profile for Ralph Eberhart. He has been a director at Triumph Group (military aviation), Jacobs Engineering (Oil & gas services), VSE Corp.(DOD equipment support), Rockwell Collins (military aviation), The Spectrum Group (Homeland security), Eid Passport (Homeland security),Standard Aero Holdings (military aviation), ObjectVideo (Homeland Security), and ICx Technologies (Homeland security).

thank you

Thank you Kevin for your continued outstanding work.
You and others throughout our movement are true inspiration for us all
Btw, a late merry Christmas and happy new year 2013!
Wishing the very best for you and your family =)

Thanks for the good work of others

Many thanks to Matthew Everett (who has given me permission to use his name) for his outstanding research on 9/11 with regard to the hijacked flights and the military. Thanks also to Erik Larson, who worked to make many documents available at the 911 Document Archive

Great Analysis

Kevin, thanks for this insight into how the timeline really did unfold. Where does it say in the officer training of the Air Force Academy that it's perfectly okay to lie?

Why did he betray the nation he swore to protect?

This is what I just can't get my head around. Clearly proven by the preponderance of evidence, he did conspire to allow the stand down. But why would a general do this and risk it all?

Was he a loyal officer who was blindly following orders that he really didn't understand the implications of?

Was he a rabid neocon who agreed it was a good plan in which the collateral damage and innocent slaughter was justified by the prospect of all the good things that could be accomplished in the aftermath?

Was he a gangster all along who rose through the ranks just so he could do this crime?

Was he paid millions of dollars?

Was he blackmailed with hookers?

Was he or his family threatened with bodily harm or death?

What other possible reasons could he do something so heinous and dishonorable?

Investigating Eberhart

Outstanding article, Kevin.

Investigate Eberhart + Investigate Building 7

Code of Honor

Eberhart went into the Air Force after attending the Academy, in 1968 and the Code of Honor was adopted in 1959, so he lived and breathed it while at the Academy.

"Cadets who live under the Honor Code agree it is a vital part of their development as military professionals. It also represents a broader aspect of ethical maturity which will serve them throughout their lives. As the bearers of the public trust, both as cadets and as officers, it is the Honor Code which helps build a personal integrity able to withstand the rigorous demands placed upon them."

What goes on in the brain of such an officer to switch to loyalty to a band of thieves, thugs, and omerta?

I'd like to take that one......

I would like to try to field this question, because I think it is important. I don't know how much the concept of Honor ever caught on in the American military. Among the many reasons that officers are issued side arms are to insure that their charges go "over the wall" and to kill themselves to "defend their honor." Suffice it to say, that in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, a French artillery officer sans hands to reach his side arm, fell on his own grenade when the base was overrun to uphold his honor after assuring his commander that no Viet howitzer shell would touch the stronghold: you are only as good as your word.

Well here is the important part. All of the military academies in the U.S. have some kind of Honor Codes and they are pretty simple and straight forward like: a cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal. To be precise The Point's code is: "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do." Conversely, many Honor Code violations have arisen and often they involve large conspiracies I think there was one at West Point in 1951 and I lived through one in the 1970s. I say I lived through it, but not as a student but because it was an event. It was plastered all over the news on television and magazines. Now, it seems that these codes are often honored in the breach. So bad has the problem become that the military is handling freshman honor code violations lightly because the frosh don't understand the concept . Awareness or sensitivity classes or whatever they are called have arisen to explain the simple concept of basic honesty and a new class of compliance to the code has arisen in the first two years at West Point, which we could call: Honor Lite™ wherein punishment, which in the past had been harsh, was softened to include probation: Although the presumed sanction for a violation is disenrollment, mitigating factors may result in the violator being placed in a probationary status for some period of time. This "honor probation" is usually only reserved for cadets in their first two years at the Academy.* (source: Wiki)

Let me just ask this.......

There was a vote 1 vote ticked off there. Did it go away because of a glitch or did someone dispute what said. Because I stand by everything in there as being accurate. Plus my real name is on there and I take exception to anyone attacking my credulity. I have never seen a just war and if you have a problem with my assailing the "honor" of the military please just say so. Don't let the ascribed status of the shiny brass and ribbons fool you. Someone asked a question and I answered honestly and accurately the way it went down.


It was not I who voted the comment down--in fact, I voted it up (the reference to 'Honor Lite' was worth the read all by itself!). But I'm moved to comment in order to ask: Did you really mean to say 'credulity' there? It sounds from the context as though you meant 'credibility.' Appearances notwithstanding, their meanings are quite different. 'Credulity' is practically a synonym for 'gullibility.' 'Credibility' refers to those providing information, 'credulity' to those receiving information.

Yes, credibility is what I meant......

I was very tired when I wrote that. Thank you. Plus it is very fatiguing to "double think" a sentence like: " Among the many reasons that officers are issued side arms are to insure that their charges go 'over the wall'" In other words to make their charges charge; that phrase didn't happen by accident and it is sometimes grueling to find le mot juste to portray with bitter irony the absurdity of such a situation. Thanks again.

"sim over live"

From the article:
Vigilant Guardian (VG) had been in play for several days as of 9/11. On September 9, it included a scenario in which terrorists hijacked an airliner and planned to attack New York City. The exercise presented a number of other scenarios based around airliner hijackings and in one of these, the fictitious terrorists threatened to “Rain Terror from the Skies.”[48]

According to the VG planning documents, the 9/11 exercise was to be conducted “sim over live,” meaning the simulated hijackings were to be inserted into the live air control system. This was repeated in the instructions – “Ensure all tracks of interest (sim or live) are input on the live chart.”[49] Furthermore, the VG plan was that “All expansions will be Real World.” Although frequently misunderstood, the term “Real World” does not refer to an actual hijacking, it refers to the use of real aircraft in live-fly exercises.[50]


“Real World” does not refer to an actual hijacking.... Am I wrong in thinking that there is some kind of impenetrable wooden phrase asking the question: "is this real world or manifest....." I think I have heard that several times.

Superb article. Well done Kevin Ryan - yet again!

Each time Kevin Ryan addresses an aspect of 9/11, the official story is dealt a crushing hammer blow. Here is some solid, rigorous and heavily referenced reporting, exactly what good journalism SHOULD be about. If the corporate "weasel" media had just a handful of high profile writers with the same dedication and persistence of Ryan, as regards getting the facts of 9/11 out there out there, then we may be in with a chance of saving liberty and arresting the inexorable slide towards tyranny.

There is one principle element that separates the real evil-doers of 9/11 from justice, and that is the corporate mainstream media. By their omission and refusal to report responsibly what is arguably the most important event in US history, they are guilty of protecting international terrorists and mass murderers.

U.S. Air Force General Ralph Edward Eberhart

Wait a minute. Does this mean that U.S. Air Force General Ralph Edward Eberhart, strewn with all those medals, isn't dedicated to protecting us from the terrorists?

Criminal network behind the 9/11 attacks

There's lots of important information in this article!

I too find the actions of Ralph Eberhart on September 11 to be very suspicious. It also seems very odd, considering that he was in charge of U.S. air defense that day, that Eberhart has hardly ever spoken publicly about the 9/11 attacks in the 11 year since they took place.

I think that, rather than NORAD or the FAA being responsible for the collapse of air defenses on September 11, there would have been several individuals in both of these agencies who took deliberate actions to prevent normal emergency responses taking place. People belonging to other agencies, besides the FAA and NORAD, would also, I am sure, have been involved. What united these people was not that they worked for a particular agency. It was the fact that they were members of an informal criminal network that was independent of any particular organization, and that was responsible for planning and perpetrating the 9/11 attacks.

ptech in basement of faa

for two years prior to 9/11 said jp morgan chase senior risk analyst indira singh. she called ptech a cia front/

wouldn't they have been in position to change response protocols???

Huffman Aviation and the Venice Airport

I found the reference in Kevin's article to Huffman Aviation--in relation to the exercise Amalgam Virgo--interesting: The airport in Venice, Florida, where Huffman Aviation was located, was one of the scenes for the Amalgam Virgo exercise held in June 2002 (but which was being planned as early as July 2001). See: An interesting "coincidence," therefore, that a NORAD training exercise was held at a tiny airport where three of the alleged 9/11 hijackers had flying lessons!

This is the best work in your

This is the best work in your "airdefense"-series of articles! A lot of new information. Thank you.

As shoestring, I would like to add an information regarding Col. Marr, "Phoenix air" at Venice Airport:

According to Marrs interview with the 9/11 Commission ...

"Shortly thereafter he separated from active duty, and was hired on Phoenix Air, a defense contractor. He was captain for Lear 35s and 36s. Marr worked full-time with Phoenix for about twenty months." (source)

... and in jets of Phoenix Air were sitting three Al-Qaida pilots, learning how to fly?

"The company "Phoenix air" provides a complex spectrum of military services - for example service for "electronical warfare." (source) According to the 911 commission, when Col. Marr returned from Phoenix air to the military, he went directly to NEADS ...

"The CVX position opened at NEADS, and Commander Scott recruited Marr. Marr built exercises (...), but was not involved in crew exercises. (...) From the CVX position Marr became Vice Commander for the base." (source)

It is known, that the operational floor at NEADS were trying unsuccessfully to identify Flight 11 in their radar screens (source) and were irritated by simulated, exercise inputs present in their radar screens during the 911-attacks (source).

The sources can be found here:

Interesting background information of former NEADS-chief Col. Marr

With all these information, it is hard to imagine, that Atta and the other 2 pilots studied flying at Venice just by chance. In Hopsickers book stands, that Attas US-girlfriend once saw a lot of different identification card in different languages in Attas wallet. Perhaps Atte and the other two pilots were double-agents? No idea, but something stinks terrible here.