9-11 Review
articles critiques
9-11 Research
reviews essays
9-11 Review
sections
Attack & Cover-Up
Means & Motive
Info Warfare
contents
Info Warfare
Trojan horses
dissembling websites
hoax-promoting videos
dissembling books
legal subterfuge
parade of errors
phantom planes
Webfairy's Whatzit
pod-planes
North Tower hit
South Tower hit
bumble planes
Flight 93
fake calls
Pentagon attack
757 maneuvers
eyewitnesses
no debris
crash debris
small impact hole
missing wings
turbofans 101
standing columns
punchout
obstacles
small plane
Boeing 737
Flyover
WTC demolition
seismic spikes
pre-impact explosions
collapse times
diminishing fires
Building 6 explosion
basement bombs
spire to dust
WTC 2 powerdown
mini nukes
pull it
vast conspiracy
divide and conquer
left gatekeepers
Holocaust denial
the Big Tent
intimidation
propaganda
hit parade
conspiracy theory
Denmark
shell game

ERROR: 'Only A Small Plane or Missile Could Have Caused Pentagon Damage'

The idea that a small plane (rather than a 757 jetliner) crashed into the Pentagon first rose to prominence in early 2002, following the release of five frames of video from a Pentagon security camera, which appear to show a plane much smaller than a jetliner approaching the Pentagon's west wall and then exploding on impact. Photographic evidence of the attack scene seemed to corroborate the small plane theory by showing a paucity of debris on the lawn in front of the damaged facade (which showed no signs of passengers, seats, luggage, or large aircraft parts), and an entry hole that was too small to accommodate the entire profile of a 757 jetliner. Many skeptics found it difficult or impossible to reconcile such evidence with the crash of a jetliner, failing to appreciate the degree to which a high-speed crash can shred an aircraft -- and particularly one's extremities -- into small debris.

Thierry Meyssan

In 2002, the most prominent of the skeptics of the official account of Flight 77's crash was French author Thierry Meyssan, who effectively promoted the theory that the Pentagon attack involved a missile and small plane rather than an airliner in his well-publicized Le Pentagate. In this book, published shortly after the release of the five video frames, Meyssan bases his case primarily on the following conclusions:

  • video: The video shows a partially hidden attack plane whose dimensions are too small to be a 757.
  • facade damage: The facade's impact hole is only 15 to 18 feet in diameter -- far to small to admit a 757.
  • punch-out hole: The 8-foot diameter C-ring punch-out hole shows a penetration of six walls that could only have been caused by a warhead, such as carried by a cruise missile.
All three conclusions are fundamentally flawed, some because they mis-characterize the evidence, and some because they draw unsupported inferences from it.
  • video: Meyssan takes the video frames at face value, failing to note their suspect source (anonymous Pentagon insiders) or the signs of forgery evident in the imagery.
  • facade damage: Meyssan bases his estimate of the facade hole dimensions on the damage to the second floor only, failing to note that areas of punctured walls on the first floor extend for a width of about 90 feet.
  • punch-out hole: Meyssan incorrectly assumes that there are four walls between the facade and inner C-ring wall. Because the lightwells between the outer three rings only extend down to the third floor, there may have been an relatively unimpeded span between the facade and punch-out hole, and the damage could conceivably have been caused by an engine. Alternatively it could have been caused by explosive charges set inside the building.

Meyssan's errors in evaluating the Pentagon attack evidence have been widely replicated by other skeptics of the official account.


page last modified: 2010-12-18
Copyright 2004 - 2011,911Review.com / revision 1.08 site last modified: 12/21/2012
This cropped illustration from Jean-Pierre Desmoulins' website shows a schematic of a cross-section through the outermost three rings of the Pentagon. The two lower floors ran from the E-ring's facade to the inner wall of the C-ring without intervening walls.