The Phantom Planes Meme
The idea that the crashes of jetliners on 9/11 were faked
has been the staple of disinformation and misinformation
standing in the way of exposing the nature of the crimes of that day.
We use the heading of phantom planes to describe this cluster
of ideas, which are better known as "no-plane" or "no-jetliner" theories.
Of these ideas, that asserting that the Pentagon was not hit by a jetliner
has achieved by far the greatest measure of acceptance,
supported by a number of arguments that appeal to reasonable people.
The fallacies of those arguments are treated in the
Pentagon Attack Errors section.
In this section we examine the claims that the other three crashes
The Tower Crashes
The idea that the North and South Towers were not hit by jetliners
(Flights 11 and 175
were Boeing 767s)
is one of the more absurd ideas that has been promoted as 9/11 truth.
It includes claims that either or both of the apparent tower collisions
were either produced by planes other than Flights 11 and 175,
or were faked using holograms, explosives, missiles, and so forth.
Despite the lack of any credible evidence supporting such ideas,
vocal proponents have continued to insist on variants of them.
Nearly all of these proponents accept four key conclusions
of researchers focusing on physical evidence of the attack:
Twin Towers were destroyed
by controlled demolition.
Building 7 was destroyed
by controlled demolition.
was not struck by Flight 77 flown by a hijacker.
- The commandeered jetliners were guided to their targets by
Partly because several of these conclusions, and especially conclusion 3,
continue to be contested in the larger community of skeptics of the
official 9/11 myth,
many researchers who reject the phantom planes theories
have nonetheless promoted the work of such theories' proponents,
based on their support of said conclusions.
This strategy may overlook the potential of the phantom planes meme
to discredit work to expose the core facts of the 9/11/01 attack
to a larger population.
We break down the phantom planes meme applied to the Twin Tower crashes
into five assertions for closer inspection:
'The object which flew into the North Tower,
if any, was not a jetliner'
'The North Tower impact involved missiles and/or explosives'
'The apparent jetliner which approached the South Tower was simulated'
'A pod was attached to the South Tower plane'
'The South Tower impact involved missiles and/or explosives'
Note that whereas assertions 1 and 2 are compatible,
assertion 3 is not compatible with 4 and 5.
Nonetheless, some proponents have argued for both assertions 3 and 4.
Given the lack of evidence for theories that the towers were not hit by
Flights 11 and 175,
it is interesting that they continue to be so zealously promoted
by personas such as Webfairy.
If the collisions of those flights with the towers were faked
it would prove that the attack was an inside job.
But so do dozens of facts about the attack that have evidentiary support.
Moreover, we have yet to find a single person outside of 9/11 skeptics' circles
who takes the phantom planes theories seriously.
This contrasts with numerous such people
who came to accept that the WTC buildings were demolished
when presented with the evidence.
The Shanksville Crash
Shortly after 10 o'clock on the morning of 9/11/01
United Airlines Flight 93
crashed in the edge of a reclaimed strip mine near
Somerset, PA, leaving a large crater.
Evidence that jetliner was
was reported in the in Pennsylvania newspapers such as
the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Perhaps stories that the crash was faked were circulated
in part to conceal this evidence.
Plane Swapping Claims
Theories accounting for the fates of Flights 11 and/or 175
are cited by promoters of the phantom planes memes.
Two such theories are examined are based on the following propositions.
Both of these theories are possible, and intriguing.
However, there appears to be no credible evidence supporting either.
page last modified: 2011-08-20