The following witness accounts I gathered in mid to late 2004 from numerous different websites, almost exclusively from their original source. By mid-2004 a lot of the account were actually also being backed up by SomeGuyYouDontKnow on a Geocities website, so a lot of what I had to do simply came down to checking the original sources and organizing the accounts for an article on the Pentagon impact that was published in January 2005.
The Geocities website clearly indicates a severe lack of funds behind correct research, as compared to the no-plane theories that were about to storm the globe in the aftermath of the 9/11 Commission report.
Back in these early days, apparently I couldn't be bothered yet to list all the original sources, but most of these statements will be very easy to confirm with a little Google, Bing, or the link provided above. There are no manipulative "missile" quotes here. It's all mainstream material with the context still intact.
Jose Velasquez, supervisor nearby gas station where a security tape had been confiscated:
"It was like an earthquake…(The engine and the vibrations)"
"I saw a very low-flying American Airlines plane that seemed to be accelerating."
James Mosley, 4 stories up on a scaffold outside the Navy Annex:
"The building starting shaking, and I looked over and saw this big silver plane run into the side of the Pentagon. It almost knocked me off."
"A silver, twin-engine American Airlines jetliner gliding almost noiselessly over the Navy Annex, fast, low and straight toward the Pentagon, just hundreds of yards away. It was a nightmare coming to life...The plane, with red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments exploded in a ground-shaking "whoomp," as it appeared to hit the side of the Pentagon. A huge flash of orange flame and black smoke poured into the sky. Smoke seemed to change from black to white, forming a billowing column in the sky."
September 5, 2002, USA Today, 'Sept. 11 remembered: The Pentagon attack eyewitnesses' (Joel Sucherman):
"I was on the road that runs that runs to the Pentagon, listening to the WTC coverage, before I heard this huge roar coming from the West. I looked up and saw and American Airlines passenger jet plane directly in front of me. I saw the silver paint job with the red and white and blue stripes consistent with American Airlines paint. My first thought was my god, he's not going to make it across the river to National Airport. Before I had a chance to think anything else, it slammed into the side of the Pentagon without veering at all. It made know maneuver to get out of the way. There was a huge fireball that went up straight into the air, not towards me. And all hell broke loose."
September 5, 2002, USA Today, 'Sept. 11 remembered: The Pentagon attack eyewitnesses' (Vin Narayanan):
"Actually, that huge fireball exploded right toward me. I was on the road right next to where the American Airlines jet hit Pentagon wall. That wall is about 50 yards from the road. I was listening to the WTC coverage as well when I looked up to the left and saw a plane flying at my car. At first, I thought it was heading toward National just to get out of the air. But the closer it got, the more it looked like it was going to hit my car. The tail of the jet clipped an overhanging exit sign above me on it's way down. Then it slammed into the Pentagon wall. ... The easiest way for me to illustrate what happened that day is talk about the impact of the plane on the Pentagon wall. When the jet hit the wall, the wall did not give. It didn't budge one inch. The nose of the plane curled up on impact, almost like when a tin can gets crushed. After the nose of the jet curled up, the jet began to crumple. Midway through the crumple, the jet exploded into a giant fireball. One regret that I have was the camera I usually carry with me was sitting at home. I feel like if I'd had a picture, more people would remember what happened that day, because it's the visuals that make greatest impact. ... I will say that the heat from the explosion was immense. My first instinct was to head toward the Pentagon for a closer look, see if anything survived, even though I knew it was impossible. But the heat was so intense I couldn't get anywhere close."
Alan Wallace, fireman who had to run for his life and reported molten metal due to extreme heat:
"Firefighter Alan Wallace was standing outside his fire station when he looked across the nearby interstate and saw a white airplane with orange and blue trim heading almost straight at him. It slammed into the building just a couple hundred feet from him." (Scripps Howard News Service on 9/11)
"We have had a commercial carrier crash into the west side of the Pentagon at the heliport, Washington Boulevard side. The crew is OK. The airplane was a 757 Boeing or a 320 Airbus."
Madelyn Zakhem, executive secretary at the Smart Traffic Center (Arlington), had just stepped outside:
"...she heard what she thought was a jet fighter directly overhead. It wasn't. It was an airliner coming straight up Columbia Pike at tree-top level. "It was huge! It was silver. It was low -- unbelievable! I could see the cockpit. I fell to the ground....I was crying and scared." (Roads of the Futute - September 21, 2001 - The Friday Report)
Tim Timmerman, a pilot in his home near the Pentagon:
"I was looking out the window; I live on the 16th floor, overlooking the Pentagon, in a corner apartment, so I have quite a panorama. And being next to National Airport, I hear jets all the time, but this jet engine was way too loud. It didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames…. It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question….It added power on its way in, the nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball…A piece of twisted aircraft fuselage lay nearby...It was so close to me..." (London Guardian - September 12, 2001)
Joe Harrington, installing new furniture in Wedge 1, walked out on the parking lot before crash:
"One of my guys pointed to an American Airlines airplane 20 feet high over Washington Blvd. It seemed like it made impact just before the wedge."
Joseph Royster, in his car:
"I was on the street driving, and then the plane went over the top of my car, just over the treetops ... It was a big aircraft just on its course."
Steve Storti, on the balcony of his apartment building which is less than a mile away from the Pentagon in Crystal City:
"Then he caught the glint of silver out of the corner of his eye. He looked up to see a passenger plane with the trademark stainless-steel fuselage and stripes of American Airlines...Time seemed to slip into slow motion as he watched the plane cross over Route 395, tip its left wing as it passed the Navy annex, veer sharply and then slice into the Pentagon. "I remember thinking that whoever is flying this knows what they're doing," Storti said. "The plane traveled straight as an arrow. It didn't waver and it didn't flip from side to side." Storti watched the plane slide silently into the Pentagon "like a car entering a garage." (The Providence Journal - September 12, 2001)
Master Sgt. Noel Sepulveda, who received a Airman’s Medal and Purple Heart for his actions near the Pentagon:
"The plane’s right wheel struck a light pole, causing it to fly at a 45-degree angle, he said. The plane tried to recover, but hit a second light pole and continued flying at an angle. "You could hear the engines being revved up even higher," Sepulveda said. The plane dipped its nose and crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon."The right engine hit high, the left engine hit low," Sepulveda said. "For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it." An explosion followed, sending Sepulveda flying against a light pole." (Master Sgt. Dorothy Goepel Air Force Print News - April 15, 2002)
Cheryl Hammond, at the Pentagon's south parking lot:
"I thought they'd put out an alert or something," Hammond said. "We saw the big American Airlines plane and started running." (The Pentagram)
September 11, 2001, Mike Walter of USA Today to MSNBC (Youtube):
"I looked over to the side and I saw this jet coming in and it was really low and it was an American Airlines jet. You could read the AA on the side, silver fuselage. And it kind of disappeared over this embankment here for a moment and then a huge explosion. . "
September 11, 2001, CNN, 'Witnesses to the moments', citing Mike Walter:
"I was sitting in the northbound on 27 and the traffic was, you know, typical rush-hour -- it had ground to a standstill. I looked out my window and I saw this plane, this jet, an American Airlines jet, coming. And I thought, 'This doesn't add up, it's really low...And I saw it. I mean it was like a cruise missile with wings. It went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon...Huge explosion, great ball of fire, smoke started billowing out. And then it was chaos on the highway as people tried to either move around the traffic and go down, either forward or backward...We had a lady in front of me, who was backing up and screaming, 'Everybody go back, go back, they've hit the Pentagon...It was just sheer terror."
May 22, 2002, Digipresse audio interview with Mike Walter:
"...it turned and came around in front of the vehicle and it clipped one of these light poles ... and slammed right into the "Pentagon right there." "Now there are some people who say that it skipped and went into the Pentagon and it may have gone that way, but that’s not what I saw. What I saw was the jet went very low into the Pentagon and it went straight." "It seemed like it was a slow, graceful bank and then once it straightened out, that's when it sped up." "...you could see chunks of the wreckage on the ground, pieces of the plane.... It literally disintegrated on impact. It hit, and as it went into the side of the building it sheared off the wings. ... [A cruise missile with wings?] I said that as a metaphor. To me it was like a missile was fired at a building. It exploded as you'd imagine a missile to explode. ... It was an American Airlines jet. And I watched it go into the building. I saw the big 'AA' on the side.."
"It came screaming across the highway, route 110…I did not see the engines, I saw the body and the tail; it was a silver jet with the markings along the windows that spoke to me as an American Airlines jet, it was not a commercial, excuse me, a business jet, it was not a Lear jet, ... it was a bigger plane than that." [Suchmacher said more, you’ll see it below]
Mary Ann Owens, on a highway between Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon:
"The sound of the engines came so quickly I thought it was another helicopter landing. I looked left to see a large plane barely clear the I-395 overpass. Instantly I knew what was happening, and I involuntarily ducked as the plane passed perhaps 50 to 75 feet above the roof of my car at great speed. Street lights toppled as the plane barely cleared the Interstate 395 overpass. ... Gripping the steering wheel of my vibrating car, I involuntarily ducked as the wobbling plane thundered over my head. Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon. The impact was deafening. The fuselage hit the ground and blew up. I could see office walls through the broken outer walls, then smoke and flames engulfed the west wall. Perhaps 10 seconds had passed since I first saw the plane. At first no one moved. Then debris began falling over the cars." (Gannett News Service & This is Local London - 9/11)
Robert A. Leonard, driving northbound in the HOV lanes on I-395 (His car passed the crest of the hill, at the point where Washington comes fully into view and the Pentagon is on the left):
"I braked, looked out my left window and saw a large commercial aircraft aiming for the Pentagon."The aircraft, so close to the ground, was banked skillfully to the right, leveled off perpendicular to the Pentagon's southwest side, then went full throttle directly toward the building. The plane vanished, absorbed by the building, and there was a slight pause. Then a huge fireball rose into the sky." (The Washington Post)
Omar Campo, gardener, working on the grass on the other side of the road:
"I was cutting the grass and it came in screaming over my head. I felt the impact It was a passenger plane. I think an American Airways plane."
Alfred S. Regnery, northbound on I-395:
"As I approached the Pentagon, which was still not quite in view, listening on the radio to the first reports about the World Trade Center disaster in New York, a jetliner, apparently at full throttle and not more than a couple of hundred yards above the ground, screamed overhead...I knew it was about to crah." (Human Events Online - September 17 2001)
Mary Lyman, driving northbound on the I-395:
"I actually saw the plane in front of me, coming in at a very steep angle toward the ground and going fast -- I think I actually heard it accelerate -- and then it disappeared and a cloud of smoke started billowing." (The Washington Post - September 16, 2001)
Michael James, who was in his car:
"The plane came over the top of us and brushed the trees. Then it looked like it hit the helicopter pad and skipped up and went right into the first and second floors." (Rocky Mountain News - Lexis-Nexis - M. E. Sprengelmeyer)
Afework Hagos, a computer programmer in the traffic jam at Columbia Pike:
"There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came over. Everybody was running away in different directions. It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in… I saw American Airline insignia and when it made impact with the Pentagon initially I saw smoke, then flames"
Phillip Thompson, stuck in traffic, gulf war veteran:
"I saw an American Airlines jet come overhead and slam into the Pentagon. The plane looked as if it were coming in for a landing - cruising at a shallow angle, wings level, very steady. But, strangely, the landing gear was up and the flaps weren't down….. and the blast hit us in a wave….."
Levi Stephens, 23, courier Armed Forces Information Service:
"what looked like a 747" plowed into the south side of the Pentagon, possibly skipping through a heliport before it hit the building."
Personnel working in the Navy Annex:
"I was driving away from the Pentagon in the South Pentagon lot when I hear this huge rumble, the ground started shaking … I saw this [plane] come flying over the Navy Annex. It flew over the van and I looked back and I saw this huge explosion, black smoke everywhere."
Unanymous person live on television, shown in "Painful Deceptions" from Eric Hufschmid:
"No doubt about it, it was an American Airlines. It slammed right into the building."
Jack Singleton, president of Singleton Electric Co. Inc:
"The plane's left wing actually came in near the ground and the right wing was tilted up in the air. That right wing went directly over our trailer, so if that wing had not tilted up, it would have hit the trailer."
Dave Winslow, Associated Press reporter, from a 10th floor apartment of a 17-floor block in Pentagon City:
"I heard this enormous sound of turbulence. . .As I turned to my right, I saw a jumbo tail go by me along Route 395. It was like the rear end of the fuselage was riding on 395. I just saw the tail go whoosh right past me. In a split second, you heard this boom. A combination of a crack and a thud. It rattled my windows. I thought they were going to blow out. Then came an enormous fireball." (The Washingtonian - Lexis-Nexis)
Steve Anderson from the USA Today building:
"I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball."
Mark Bright, Defense Protective Service officers and one of the first on the scene:
"I knew it was going to strike the building because it was very, very low -- at the height of the street lights. It knocked a couple down…. I heard the plane power-up just before it struck the Pentagon."
James Ryan, in his car:
"On my left, right above me - a little over. I see an American Airlines plane, silver plane, I could see AA on the tail. I noticed the landing gear was up...[How heigh was it] Within a hundred feet. It was very low. At that point he tilted his wings this way and this way (mimics), And the plane was slow, so that happened concurrently with the engines going down. (mimics) And then straightened out sort of suddenly and hit full gas. (mimics) It was so loud it hurt my ears. It was just so loud. He just went straight in at that point. ...[went over a hill and he heard an explosion]...The plane was low enough that I could see the windows of the plane. I could see every detail of the plane..." (Digipresse interview)
Kim Flyler, in the car trying to get on a nearby parking lot:
"At that moment I heard a plane and then a loud cracking noise.... Right before the plane hit the building, you could see the silhouettes of people in the back two rows. You couldn't see if they were male or female, but you could tell there was a human being in there."
Steve Eiden from his truck on a nearby road:
"You could almost see the people in the windows, he said as he watched the plane disappear behind a line of trees, followed by a tall plume of black smoke."
James R. Cissell, former photo journalist stuck in traffic:
"I saw this plane coming in and it was low - and getting lower. If you couldn't touch it from standing on the highway, you could by standing on your car…. I thought, 'This isn't really happening. That is a big plane.' Then I saw the faces of some of the passengers on board…'It came in in a perfectly straight line…It didn't slow down. I want to say it accelerated. It just shot straight in."
Steve Riskus from the nearest highway. He saw this plane pass at a distance of about a 100 feet (Interview conducted by email by "Agent Fescado"):
"I saw the plane hit the building. It did not hit the ground first... It did not hit the roof first... It did dead center on the side... I was close enough that I could see the American Airlines logo on the tail as it headed towards the building... The plane looked like it was coming in about where you have the "MAX APPROACH" on that picture... I was at about where the "E" in "ANGLE OF CAMERA" is written when the plane hit... It was not completely level, but it was not going straight down, kind of like it was landing with no gear down... It knocked over a few light poles on it's way..."
Christopher Bollyn of the American Free Press on Steve Riskus (compare with the statement above):
"Because the Global Hawk is a surveillance drone, the engine is contained in a heavily insulated housing, which makes it extremely quiet. This corresponds with eyewitness reports. American Free Press asked eyewitness Steve Riskus, who said he was within 100 feet of the aircraft, what he heard. He said he did not “recall hearing anything." (http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/citizen_grand_jury.html)
Linda Plaisted, in office at home in Arlington less than one mile from the Pentagon:
"The sound of the plane grew louder and louder...I looked out the window to the West just in time to see the belly of that aircraft and the tail section fly directly over my house at treetop height...I started to run toward my front door but the plane was going so fast at this point that it only took 4 or 5 seconds before I heard a tremendously loud crash and books on my shelves started tumbling to the floor." (Wherewereyou.org contribution #1148)
"I saw a big jet flying close to the building coming at full speed. There was a big noise when it hit the building."
Allen Cleveland, from a Metro train going to National Airport (Also saw the C-130):
"I looked to the right of the train as we were coming into the station, and noticed a jet flying in real low, about a mid-sized passenger jet flying in. I know it was silver, that's the only thing I know." (Washington Post video)
Bobby Eberle, looking from his car on the road:
"Riding in a convertible ... I looked back and saw a jet airliner flying very low and very fast."
Kat Gaines, route 110 approaching the parking lots:
"I saw a low-flying jetliner strike the top of nearby telephone poles."
Skarlet, webmaster of punkprincess.com:
"As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. That's not strange. It's the Pentagon. Then I saw the plane. There were only a few cars on the road, we all stopped....It was headed straight for the building. A huge jet. Then it was gone. A massive hole in the side of the Pentagon gushed smoke. The noise was beyond description. "Buildings don't eat planes. That plane, it just vanished. There should have been parts on the ground. It should have rained parts on my car. The airplane didn't crash. Where are the parts? There was a plane. It didn't go over the building. It went into the building. I want them to find it whole, wedged between floors or something. I want to make it make sense. I want to know why there's this gap in my memory, this gap that makes it seem as though the plane simply became invisible and banked up at the very last minute." (http://punkprincess.com/archives/002150.html)
Penny Elgas, looking from her car from a nearby road:
"Traffic was at a standstill. I heard a rumble, looked out my driver's side window and realized that I was looking at the nose of an airplane coming straight at us from over the road (Columbia Pike) that runs perpendicular to the road I was on. The plane just appeared there- very low in the air, to the side of (and not much above) the CITGO gas station… then it banked in the slightest turn in front of me, toward the heliport… the plane seemed to be not more than 80 feet off the ground and about 4-5 car lengths in front of me… that other wing rocked slightly toward the ground... an American Airlines plane… gently rocked and slowly [She claims because of the adrenaline and shock she saw everything in slowmotion without registering the sound from that moment on] glided straight into the Pentagon…. At the point where the fuselage hit the wall, it seemed to simply melt into the building. I saw a smoke ring surround the fuselage as it made contact with the wall. It appeared as a smoke ring that encircled the fuselage at the point of contact and it seemed to be several feet thick. I later realized that it was probably the rubble of churning bits of the plane and concrete. The churning smoke ring started at the top of the fuselage and simultaneously wrapped down both the right and left sides of the fuselage to the underside, where the coiling rings crossed over each other and then coiled back up to the top. Then it started over again -- only this next time, I also saw fire, glowing fire in the smoke ring. At that point, the wings disappeared into the Pentagon. And then I saw an explosion and watched the tail of the plane slip into the building."
Father Stephen McGraw:
"Washington Boulevard… The traffic was very slow moving, and at one point just about at a standstill…waited in the left hand lane of the road, on the side closest to the Pentagon…I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars… passed about 20 feet over my car… The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car…. My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight. That was my impression… There was an explosion and a loud noise and I felt the impact. I remember seeing a fireball come out of two windows (of the Pentagon). I saw an explosion of fire billowing through those two windows."
Shari Taylor, Pentagon parking lot:
"I looked over my shoulder and you can hear the plane coming in, it was just so loud...descending lower and lower, until he was almost on top of Route 27 that runs alongside the Pentagon. And then he just slammed into the Pentagon." (We Were on Duty documentary)
Wanda Ramey, stood at the Mall plaza booth and had an excellent view on the crash:
"I saw the wing of the plane clip the light post, and it made the plane slant. Then the engine revved up and crashed into the west side of the building," she said. "It happened so fast. One second I saw the plane and next it was gone." Recalling those moments again, Ramey said it appeared the building sucked the plane up inside. "A few seconds later, I heard a loud boom and I saw a huge fireball and lots of smoke," she said." (MDW News)
Terrance Kean, architect, from a 14-story building nearby:
"I heard the loud jet engines and glanced out his window. I saw this very, very large passenger jet. It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal."
David Marra, 23, an information-technology specialist:
"I saw an American Airlines jet swooping in, its wings wobbly, looking like it was going to slam right into the Pentagon: "It was 50 ft. off the deck when he came in. It sounded like the pilot had the throttle completely floored. The plane rolled left and then rolled right. Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground." There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cartwheeled into the building."
Bruce Elliott, form. commander of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, from the south parking lot:
"I looked to my left and saw the plane coming in…It was banking and garnering speed...It clipped a utility pole guide wire, which may have slowed it down a bit before it crashed into the building and burst into flames."
William Middleton, sweeper who was less then a mile from the Pentagon:
"I looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft. Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building."
Scott P. Cook and Ray Verle from fifth floor of the Portals building, at theTidal Basin and Maine Avenue [also described C-130 very detailed]:
"It was a 757 out of Dulles, which had come up the river in back of our building, turned sharply over the Capitol, ran past the White House and the Washington Monument, up the river to Rosslyn, then dropped to treetop level and ran down Washington Boulevard to the Pentagon."
Bob Dubill, employee of USA today looking from his car on the road [pulitzer price winner]:
"I saw a jetliner fly over the roadway. It filled his field of vision. The jet was 40-feet off the ground speeding toward the Pentagon…the wheels were up..and I brazed myself for the explosion."
Dan Creed and 2 collegues at the naval annex, next to the Pentagon:
"We saw the plane dive down and level off. It was no more than 30 feet off the ground, and it was screaming. It was just screaming. It was nothing more than a guided missile at that point. It's just the most frightening thing in the world, going full speed, going full throttle, its wheels up."
Sgt. William Lagasse, a pentagon police dog handler, the son of an aviation instructor, at a nearby gas station:
"I saw the aircraft above my head about 80 feet above the ground, 400 miles an hour…I thought the plane was about to drop on top of me, it was that close. I knew the plane was not going to land. The 757's flaps were not deployed and the landing gear was retracted… It was close enough that I could see the windows and the blinds had been pulled down. I read American Airlines on it… I got on the radio and broadcast. I said a plane is, is heading toward the heliport side of the building."
Sgt. William Lagasse in an email conversation with my "good friend" Dick Eastman:
"Dear Sir rest assured it was a Boeing 757 that flew into the building that day, I was on duty as a pentagon police sgt. I was refueling my vehicle at the barraks k gas station that day adjacent to the aircrafts flight path. It was close enough that i could see the windows had the shades pulled down, it struck several light poles next to rt 27 and struck a trailer used to store construction equipment for the renovation of the pentagon that was to the right of the fueselage impact point. The fact that you are insinuating that this was staged and a fraud is unbelievable. You ask were the debris is...well it was in the building..I saw it everywhere. I swear to god you people piss me off to no end. I invite you and you come down and I will walk you through it step by step. I have more than a few hours in general aviation aircraft and can identify commercial airliners. Have you ever seen photos of other aircraft accident photos...there usually isnt huge amounts of debris left...how much did you see from the WTC?...are those fake aircraft flying into the building. I know that this will make no diffrence to you because to even have a websight like this you are obviously a diffrent sort of thinker." (Another email conversation between these two can be found here)
Army Captain Lincoln Leibner, south parking lot:
"I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low... I was about 100 yards away…You could see through the windows of the aircraft. It was accelerating, It was wheels up, flaps up, engines full throttle... The plane completely entered the building… between the second and third floors… I got a little repercussion, from the sound, the blast. I've heard artillery, and that was louder than the loudest has to offer....Captain Lincoln Leibner says the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting fire to a fire truck…" [The truck was indeed on fire but I haven’t read anything about a chopper on the helipad, although there was a chopper above the building.]
Lt Gen Ron Kadish, Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization at the Navy Annex:
"I walked in the office and stood peering out of the window looking at the Pentagon. As I stood there, I instinctively ducked at the extremely loud roar and whine of a jet engine spooling up. Immediately, the large silver cylinder of an aircraft appeared in my window, coming over my right shoulder as I faced the Westside of the Pentagon directly towards the heliport. The aircraft, looking to be either a 757 or Airbus, seemed to come directly over the annex, as if it had been following Columbia Pike - an Arlington road leading to Pentagon. The aircraft was moving fast, at what I could only be estimate as between 250 to 300 knots…The aircraft was at a sharp downward angle of attack, on a direct course for the Pentagon. It was "clean", in as much as, there were no flaps applied and no apparent landing gear deployed. He was slightly left wing down as he appeared in my line of sight, as if he'd just "jinked" to avoid something. As he crossed Route 110 he appeared to level his wings, making a slight right wing slow adjustment as he impacted low on the Westside of the building to the right of the helo, tower and fire vehicle around corridor 5."
Terry Morin, form. United States Marine Corps Aviator, from Federal Office Building [Navy Annex]:
"…The noise was absolutely deafening. The aircraft was essentially right over the top of me and the outer portion of the FOB (flight path parallel the outer edge of the FOB). Everything was shaking and vibrating, including the ground. I estimate that the aircraft was no more than 100 feet above me (30 to 50 feet above the FOB) in a slight nose down attitude. The plane had a silver body with red and blue stripes down the fuselage. I believed at the time that it belonged to American Airlines, but I couldn't be sure. It looked like a 737 and I so reported to authorities. Within seconds the plane cleared the 8th Wing of BMDO and was heading directly towards the Pentagon. Engines were at a steady high-pitched whine, indicating to me that the throttles were steady and full. I estimated the aircraft speed at between 350 and 400 knots. The flight path appeared to be deliberate, smooth, and controlled. As the aircraft approached the Pentagon, I saw a minor flash (later found out that the aircraft had sheared off a portion of a highway light pole down on Hwy 110). As the aircraft flew ever lower I started to lose sight of the actual airframe as a row of trees to the Northeast of the FOB blocked my view. I could now only see the tail of the aircraft. I believe I saw the tail dip slightly to the right indicating a minor turn in that direction. Elapsed time from hearing the initial noise to when I saw the impact flash was between 12 and 15 seconds." [rest of his testimony can be found in other parts]
James S. Robbins, a national-security analyst and 'nationalreviewonline' contributor, watched from his 6th story office window in Arlington:
"I was standing, looking out my large office window, which faces west and from six stories up has a commanding view of the Potomac and the Virginia heights. The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time, I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing."
Michael Tinyk, at work on the 10th floor of the U.S. Trademark Office in Crystal City:
"he saw a dark orange and blue commercial airliner just above the tree line "coming in lower and lower" on what he instantly registered as the "wrong side" of the flight path to the airport. "There was no reason for a plane to come in that low, that fast" ... The plane took "a flight path straight up 395..." (The Providence Journal-Bulletin - Lexis-Nexis)
Thomas J. Trapasso, on the deck of his house about 1 mile away from the Pentagon and just west of I-395:
"The engines were just screaming, and the wheels were up," Trapasso said. "It disappeared over the trees, and I heard a boom. I knew something awful had happened--that an airplane had crashed somewhere in Washington, D.C." (Aviation Week - September 17, 2001)
Army Brig. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, in his car on I-395:
"Vaughn said "I was scanning the air" as he was sitting in his car. "There wasn't anything in the air, except for one airplane, and it looked like it was loitering over Georgetown (many miles west of the Pentagon), in a high, left-hand bank," he said. "That may have been the plane. I have never seen one on that (flight) pattern." Georgetown is a sector of the District of Columbia jammed with shops and restaurants - it is one of the city's most vital tourist draws. Commercial aircraft that are either approaching or departing from nearby Ronald Reagan National Airport do not fly over Georgetown, and rather trace their flight route over the nearby Potomac River, which separates the district from South Arlington, Virginia, location of the Pentagon. A few minutes later, Vaughn witnessed the craft's impact."
Rodney Washington, stuck in stand-still traffic a few hundred yards from the Pentagon:
"It was extremely loud, as you can imagine, a plane that size, it was deafening," Washington said. The plane was flying low and rapidly descended, Washington said, knocking over light poles before hitting the ground on a helicopter pad just in front of the Pentagon and essentially bouncing into it. It "landed there and the momentum took it into the Pentagon," Washington said. "There was a very, very brief delay and then it exploded." Washington speculated that it could have been worse: "If it had kept altitude a little bit higher it probably would have landed in the middle of the Pentagon, in that court." (http://www.boston.com/news/packages/underattack/globe_stories/0912/After_assault_on_Pentagon_orderly_response+.shtml)
Ian Wyatt, 24, is walking to his job:
"All of a sudden I hear incredibly loud jet engines flying very low over the highway. I duck, I look up, it looks like a silver American Airlines, twin-engine plane and then boom. I couldn't see from the bridges but then there was this plume of smoke coming up from the Pentagon...It was going so fast and it was so low" (The Free Lance-Star - video)
Some 'Barbara' at a CNN audio interview on the morning of September 11:
"We were trying to get off of the exit for the Memorial Bridge. On the left-hand side, there was a commercial plane coming in, and was coming in too fast and the too low, and the next thing we saw was a go-down below the side of the road, and we just saw the fire that came up after that...[Was there a sound as well?]...that I can't verify, because the windows were up in the vehicle...[So you believe it was a commercial airliner that was hitting the Pentagon?]...Yes, and I'm not sure exactly where the Pentagon, where it was in relationship top where the plane went down. You know, but it was relatively close to one another...No, I did not see what kind of an airline."
'K.M.', a Pentagon City resident:
"I live in Pentagon City (part of Arlington) and can see the Pentagon when I look out my window. ... It was so shocking, I was listening to the news on what had happened in New York, and just happened to look out the window because I heard a low flying plane and then I saw it hit the Pentagon. It happened so fast... it was in the air one moment and in the building the next..." (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/1537530.stm)
'Steve' (firstname.lastname@example.org), who was about half a mile away, posted in a google groups message:
"I saw the jet just before it crashed. Something big and silver, nose down going aimed like a dart straight into it. The fireball was huge, 10 stories high and our building shook hard. Everyone in our two towers ran to the fire escapes. Most not knowing what exactly was happening. I had more fear because I saw what happened." (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.food.drink.beer/msg/d37c10da4bf8fae2?oe=UTF-8&output=gplain)
[did you see the plane there?? or parts of it?]...No, but I saw the plane hit the building on 9/11. It was a plane. it was big it was flying low, and it hit the pentagon. I saw it from the front seat of my car on the highway that passes that side of the pentagon. There are parts all over the place, they are all smaller than a US nickle because of the force of the crash." (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.folklore.urban/msg/5d5cc167a660e256?output=gplain)
Radio Transmissions tape, released by the Arlington Police Department:
"Motor 14, it was an American Airlines plane, uh, headed eastbound over the Pike, possibly toward the Pentagon." (C-span audio file)
Unnamed Navy admiral, who was walking outside the Pentagon:
"It was a good size jet aircraft. I saw it clip a light pole but keep coming and then slam into the front of the building." (Houston Chronicle - Lexis-Nexis - Michael Hedges)
"There was a commercial airliner that said American Airliners over the side of it flying at just above treetop height at full speed headed for the Pentagon."
Danielle O'Brien, from the Radar room at Dulles Airport:
"It was an unidentified plane to the southwest of Dulles, moving at a very high rate of speed … I had literally a blip and nothing more… At a speed of about 500 miles an hour, the plane was headed straight for what is known as P-56, protected air space 56, which covers the White House and the Capitol. The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane. You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe… The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away… Vice President Cheney was rushed to a special basement bunker. White House staff members were told to run away from the building… And it went six, five, four. And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away… the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver… We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited…. The Pentagon's been hit." [500mph is high rate? Well, when were talking about an unidentified plane that is at 500mph closing in on the capital we might say that it’s fast…I think.]
"I think that they came eastbound and because sun was in their eyes that morning, and because the White House was beyond a grove of trees, I think they couldn't see it. It was too fast. They came over that Pentagon or saw it just in front of them. You can't miss the Pentagon. It's so telltale by its shape and its size, and they said, 'Look, there it is. Take that. Get that.' They certainly could have had the White House if they had seen it."
"Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet [2100 meter] in two-and-a-half minutes. The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it's clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed."
Outside the Pentagon:
Terry Morin, form. United States Marine Corps Aviator, from the Navy Annex (listed above):
“The tail was barely visible when I saw the flash and subsequent fireball rise approximately 200 feet above the Pentagon.…a large explosion noise and the low frequency sound echo that comes with this type of sound. Associated with that was the increase in air pressure, momentarily, like a small gust of wind. For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a 2000lb bomb going off 1/2 mile in front of you. At once there was a huge cloud of black smoke that rose several hundred feet up."
Mike Dobbs, Marine Corps officer on one of the upper-levels of the Pentagon (reported a 737 below):
“Everyone said there was a deafening explosion, but with the adrenaline, we didn't hear it." [this is what I meant at the beginning of 3.4]
Richard Benedetto, a USA today reporter:
"It was an American Airlines airplane, I could see it very clearly...I didn't see the impact. It sounded like an artillery shell. It hit on the west side of the building, near the helipad...The sound itself sounded more like a thud rather than a bomb…rather than a loud bomb explosion it sounded muffled, heavy, very deep."
James S. Robbins, a national-security analyst and 'nationalreviewonline' contributor, watched from his 6th story office window in Arlington (listed above):
"(saw 757)There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it."
Lt Gen Ron Kadish, Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization at the Navy Annex (reported silver 757 above):
"What instantly followed was a large yellow fireball accompanied by an extremely bass sounding, deep thunderous boom. The yellow fireball rose quickly as black smoke engulfed the entire Westside of the Pentagon, obscuring the whole of the heliport. I could feel the concussion and felt the shockwave of the blast impact the window of the Annex, knocking me against the desk."
Alan Wallace, firemen:
"I hadn't even reached the back of the van when I felt the fireball. I felt the blast… I remember feeling pressure, a lot of heat"
Deb & Jeff Anlauf from the 14th floor of the Sheraton Hotel 1.6 miles away from the Pentagon (They saw 'a plane' very quick moving past the window):
"… she heard a loud roar… You felt like you could touch it; it was that close… when it hit, the whole hotel shook."
Mickey Bell, just in front of the crash-site (was almost hit by a large airliner):
"Bell had just left the trailer when he heard a loud noise. The next thing he recalled was picking himself off the floor, where he had been thrown by the blast. Bell, who had been less than 100 feet from the initial impact of the plane, was nearly struck by one of the plane´s wings as it sped by him…. The full impact of the closeness of the crash wasn´t realized until coworkers noticed damage to Bell´s work vehicle. He had plastic and rivets from an airplane imbedded in its sheet metal… The blast wasn´t very loud to them."
Daniel & Cynthia McAdams, inside about 1.6 miles away:
“We heard a plane fly directly overhead around 9:45 a.m. It was unusually loud and low. Seconds later,we heard a big boom and felt the doors and windows of our three-story building shake." (Didn't see the plane)
Donald R. Bouchoux, 53, a retired Naval officer, a Great Falls resident, a Vietnam veteran and former commanding officer of a Navy fighter squadron:
"I was driving down Washington Boulevard (Route 27) along the side of the Pentagon when the aircraft crossed about 200 yards [should be more than 150 yards from the impact] in front of me and impacted the side of the building. There was an enormous fireball, followed about two seconds later by debris raining down. The car moved about a foot to the right when the shock wave hit. I had what must have been an emergency oxygen bottle from the airplane go flying down across the front of my Explorer and then a second piece of jagged metal come down on the right side of the car." (Washington Post, September 20, 2001)
David Battle, standing outside the Pentagon just about to enter (saw 'a plane'):
"It was coming down head first," he said. "And when the impact hit, the cars and everything were just shaking." (Albuquerque Tribune Online - September 12, 2001)
Gary Bauer, who was in his car, very close near the Pentagon:
"I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395...when all of a sudden I heard the roar of a jet engine. We looked out the front of our windows to try to see the plane, and it wasn’t until a few seconds later that we realized the jet was coming up behind us on that major highway. And it veered to the right into the Pentagon. The blast literally rocked all of our cars." (Massachusetts News and Charlotte Harold interview)
James Keglovich, across the street from the Pentagon:
""They began exclaiming, "Where's he going? What's he doing?" when suddenly they saw the plane clip a taxi cab on the nearby bridge. The crash was exceptionally loud, he said. It shook the building and knocked people down who were closer to the point of impact." (The Tampa Tribune - September 15, 2001)
Linda Plaisted, in office at home in Arlington less than one mile from the Pentagon (saw belly of a large jet):
"I started to run toward my front door but the plane was going so fast at this point that it only took 4 or 5 seconds before I heard a tremendously loud crash and books on my shelves started tumbling to the floor." (Wherewereyou.org contribution #1148)
Sgt. Dewey Snavely, driving on Arlington's Quaker Lane:
"..jet engines rumbled overhead…The guy I was with looked up and said: 'What the hell is that plane doing?’ Then we heard an explosion and the truck rocked back and forth."
Peter M. Murphy, in a Marine Corps office on the 4th floor, E-ring, almost directly above the impact:
"It was a noise louder than any noise I had ever heard that shook the room. I had been standing with my back to the window and was knocked entirely across the room, while Hogue was jolted into his office. Garofola's desk literally rose straight up several inches then slammed down." (didn't see the plane coming)
Don Perkal, deputy General Counsel, Washington Headquarters Services, Office of the Secretary of Defense:
"People shouted in the corridor outside that a bomb had gone off…Even before stepping outside I could smell the cordite. Then I knew explosives had been set off somewhere." (didn't see the plane coming)
Gilah Goldsmith, personnel attorney at the Pentagon:
"An incredible whomp noise…[It didn't seem so unusual since her office is situated near a narrow area where trucks sometimes come by and hit the wall.]…It smelled like cordite, or gun smoke." (didn't see the plane coming)
Carl Mahnken David Theall, Army public relations office, couple dozen feet from impact:
"A computer monitor had blown back and hit Theall in the head, but he was conscious and he led the way out for his buddy…Buddy, I ain't going to let you go. We had survived this. This force that drove us through walls." (didn't see the plane coming)
John Thurman, Army Major who works in the Pentagon Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff:
"To me the explosion happened in two portions. It didn't sound like much. There was a large whoosh and then a kind of a karumph sound." ('We Were on Duty' documentary) (Didn't see the plane)
Tom Van Leunen, Pentagon Navy Public Affairs Office:
"One witness whose office was deep within the section of the Pentagon that was struck said the explosion seemed to last five or six seconds.It wasn't like a rumble, it was just – boom!… It was shocking. ... It immediately put you on your heels, in fact in my case, actually, it kind of knocked me down." (didn't see the plane coming) (http://www.boston.com/news/packages/underattack/globe_stories/0912/After_assault_on_Pentagon_orderly_response%2B.shtml)
Michael Stancil, was in Pentagon basement:
"I heard a vibrating sound like a motor. Suddenly, a big gust of air blasted through the room, paper started to fly and smoke began to pour in." (didn't see the plane coming)
Stanley st Clair, worked on renovations in the west-wing:
"It shook the whole building and hurt our ears. Papers and furniture and debris just went flying through the hallway and I thought it was a bomb or something." (didn't see the plane coming)
Air Force Lt. Col. Marc Abshire, D ring eight corridor:
"It shot me back in my chair. There was a huge blast. I could feel the air shock wave of it…I didn't know exactly what it was. It didn't rumble. It was more of a direct smack." (didn't see the plane coming)
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Beans:
"The blast lifted Beans off the floor… then the room filled with this real bright light, just like everything was encompassed within this bright light... his head and forearms were burned." (didn't see the plane coming)
LTC Brian Birdwell:
"The flash fire was immediate and the smoke was thick. The blast had thrown him down, giving him a concussion… jet fuel in his lungs." (didn't see the plane coming)
John Bowman, a retired Marine lieutenant, near the south main-entrance:
"Most people knew it was a bomb. Everyone evacuated smartly. We have a good sprinkling of military people who have been shot at." (didn't see the plane coming)
LTC Victor Correa:
"I was knocked down by the impact and saw a fireball come over my head…the fireball was coming like a wind, a cloud of smoke trailing it…the speed of lightning…I also noticed to my right the windows going out and coming back in…We thought it was some kind of explosion. That somehow someone got in here and planted bombs because we saw these holes." (didn't see the plane coming)
Matt Hahr, senior project manager at the Pentagon, talks about an employee of him:
"He was thrown about 80 ft [24 meters] down the hall through the air. As he was traveling through the air, the ceiling was coming down from the concussion. He got thrown into a closet, the door slammed shut and the fireball went past him. Jet fuel was on him and it irritated his eyes, but he didn't get burned." (didn't see the plane coming)
Dan Fraunfelter, Pentagon contracter was in the west wing on the 3th floor several hundred feet from the impact:
"It lasted just a split second, a strange sucking, whirring sound, like a loud vacuum cleaner. [jet engine] Then the sound stopped, the building shook violently, and the lights went out. I ran into the corridor and saw smoke coming from about 100 feet away. The smoke was so thick he couldn’t see anything…I dropped to the searing hot floor and started to crawl. Somewhere inside the blackness he noticed the floor was deeply cracked. He knew all about this flooring—it was a strong epoxy with concrete underneath." [He had crawled into the section that would collapse 30 minutes later. He was now right above the initial impact.] (didn't see the plane coming)
Stanley St Clair, was working on renovations on the first floor of the section which was struck by the plane:
"It shook the whole building and hurt our ears. Papers and furniture and debris just went flying through the hallway and I thought it was a bomb or something. Then someone started shouting get out, get out." (Didn't see the plane coming)
Peggy Menacle, defense department worker near the impact in one of the inner rings:
"The jet's impact was like a bomb blast. The doors blew out and debris just came flying out. It blew me 10 feet" (didn't see the plane coming)
"It shot me back in my chair. There was a huge blast. I could feel the air shock wave of it" (didn't see the plane coming)
Sheila Moody was in Pentagon room 472:
"I heard a whoosh and a whistle and I wondered where all this air was coming from. Then a blast of fire that left as fast as it came. I looked down and saw her hands aflame, so she shook them." (didn't see the plane coming)
Lt. Col. Art Haubold, a public affairs officer with air force, opposite wing, A ring:
"All of a sudden, the windows blew in. We could see a fireball out our window." (didn't see the plane coming)
Jerry Henson, very close to the site of the impact. He was wounded and pinned down:
"The impact was quite clear, but it wasn't what you would think. It was just a loud kathump. Just a loud noise. (didn't see the plane coming)
Sean Boger, Air Traffic Controller and Pentagon tower chief:
"I just looked up and I saw the big nose and the wings of the aircraft coming right at us and I just watched it hit the building." "It exploded. I fell to the ground and covered my head. I could actually hear the metal going through the building." The crew, Boger and Spc. Jacqueline Kidd, air traffic controller and training supervisor, prepared for President George W. Bush to arrive from Florida around 12:30 p.m." (dcmilitary.com - November 16, 2001)
'Dave', near the lincoln memorial:
"I heard two booms, which sounded like the artillery salutes at the 4th of July. It was likely the noise from a secondary blast at the Pentagon." (Didn't see the plane)
Lisa Burgess, reporter for Stars & Stripes in the inner-most corridor near the impact site:
"I heard two loud booms - one large, one smaller, and the shock wave threw me against the wall." (Didn't see the plane)
Carla Thompson, who works in an Arlington, Va., office building about 1,000 yards from the crash:
"I glanced up just at the point where the plane was going into the building...I saw an indentation in the building and then it was just blown-up, everything red." (Crash followed by explosion, as with the WTC) (http://bernie.house.gov/documents/articles/20010912170838.asp)
Charles H. Krohn, the Army's deputy chief of public affairs:
"One of the aircraft's engines somehow ricocheted out of the building and arched into the Pentagon's mall parking area between the main building and the new loading dock facility, said Charles H. Krohn, the Army's deputy chief of public affairs. Those fleeing the building heard a loud secondary explosion about 10 min. after the initial impact." (Aviationnow.com) (Didn't see the plane)
A possible explanation besides for the explosion after 10 minutes is given by Lt. Col. Ted Anderson:
"Nearby, tanks full of propane and aviation fuel had begun igniting, and they soon began exploding, one by one… Back in the building again, Anderson said he began "screaming and hollering for people as secondary and third-order explosions started going off. One of them was a fire department car exploding-I think my right eardrum exploded at the same time, and it unequivocally scared the heck out of me." (Didn't see the plane)
Joel Suchmacher, USA today multimedia editor:
"Ironically, the passage of emergency vehicles got traffic moving again, which was now crunching over twisted metal Sucherman guessed was the skin of the plane."
Staff Sgt. Chris Braman, who was inside the Pentagon:
"The lawn was littered with twisted pieces of aluminum. He saw one chunk painted with the letter A, another with a C…[a man next to him]…This was a jet." (Did not see the plane)
Ret. Lt. Col. Tom McClain:
"I saw the remains of the engines in the North parking lot of the Pentagon as well as melted aluminum and other debris left from the aircraft." (Didn't see the impact)
Charles H. Krohn, the Army's deputy chief of public affairs:
"One of the aircraft's engines somehow ricocheted out of the building and arched into the Pentagon's mall parking area between the main building and the new loading dock facility."
Mark Faram, writer Navy Times [made controversial American Airlines wreckage photo]:
"That was the only piece of wreckage of any size that I saw, but was by no means the only piece. As I stepped onto the highway next to the triage area, I knelt down to tie my shoe and all over the highway were small pieces of aircraft skin, none bigger than a half-dollar. Anyone familiar with aircraft has seen the greenish primer paint that covers many interior metal surfaces - that is what these shards were covered with."
Will Jarvis, Pentagon employee 300 meters from the impact:
"We thought the plane was a dump truck backing into the building, because there was a lot of construction going on…There was just nothing left. It was incinerated. We couldn't see a tail or a wing or anything… Then I saw little bits of silver falling from the sky."
Lon Rains, Editor Space News, on Interstate 395:
"I remember vividly that as I turned off my cell phone I was watching the almost serene image of thick pieces of flaming fiberglass insulation floating down onto the highway." (http://www.space.com/news/rains_september11-1.html)
Tony Terronez, from a nearby highway:
"...something made me look in my rearview mirror and by the time I looked up I saw the side of the Pentagon explode. I was stunned...The side of a building just exploded! As the fireball got higher and higher, you saw this debris go up in the air. I'm watching this in my rearview mirror, and then I thought, `Oh my God, there's debris coming toward me!' So my reaction was, I ducked into my passenger seat and I heard the pitter-patter of pebbles and concrete bouncing off my car. And the next thing you know, I heard this big crash come from somewhere. [on the car next to him]... Pulling away from the Pentagon there was tons of stuff on the ground, big pieces of metal, concrete, everything. We got up to a certain point and there was this huge piece of something -- I mean it was big, it looked like a piece of an engine or something -- in the road. And there was somebody, definitely a security guard or maybe a military person, with his car in front of it making sure no one touched it." (http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/linkscopy/amazing1001.htm)
Don Fortunato, detective who arrived a few minutes after the impact on the scene:
"Traffic was at a standstill, so I parked on the shoulder, not far from the scene and ran to the site. Next to me was a cab from D.C., its windshield smashed out by pieces of lampposts. There were pieces of the plane all over the highway, pieces of wing, I think…. There were a lot of people with severe burns, severe contusions, severe lacerations, in shock and emotional distress."
Alan Wallace, a fireman under a car only 30 yards from the impact:
"The van protected him against burning metal that was flying around…. then race back to the firetruck… The entire back of the truck was destroyed, the cab on fire… The ground was on fire. Trees were on fire. Hot slices of aluminum were everywhere…. He had faced incoming fire before [in Vietnam] but he had never witnessed anything of this devastating intensity."
Alan Wallace in another piece about him:
"The ground burned near Wallace with heat so hot he thought several times that his pants were on fire."
Fireman captain Defina who was on the scene within 3 minutes [conformation of the truck fire]:
"… saw that the Fort Myer crew was trying to fight the Pentagon fire with their disabled new E-One Titan. Its back end was on fire…"
William Yeingst, a man who witnessed Alan Wallace the other firemen:
"They got out and looked, and the whole back of the fire truck had melted."
Lt. Willis Roberts, U.S. Army Rescue:
"We're having a lot of trouble in there. It's about 3,000 degrees inside." [1650 degrees Celcius]
Terry Morin, form. United States Marine Corps Aviator, from Federal Office Building [Navy Annex]:
"The firemen were appreciative, as the heat inside the building was, in their words, "unbelievable." It was reported that at least three of the fireman had to be given IV fluids due to the extreme heat."
Lt. Col. Ted Anderson:
"We turned left and saw nothing but huge, billowing black smoke, and a brilliant, brilliant explosion of fire… One of the Pentagon's two fire trucks was parked only 50 feet from the crash site, and it was totally engulfed in flames."
Walker Lee Evey, program manager of the Pentagon restoration project:
"The fire was so hot, that it turned window glass to liquid and sent it spilling down walls into puddles on the ground. The impact cracked massive concrete columns far beyond the impact site, destabilizing a broader section of the building than contractors had originally thought."
Unanimous 38-year-old Marine major who helped in the initial rescue inside the building:
"The B-ring was decimated…that heat and fire, it could eat you alive in three seconds."
Carlton Burkhammer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue went into the building with full flash gear and oxygen bottles 3.5 hours after the crash:
"The building was so unstable, television only showed a fraction of the damage. It was a war zone, some parts of the building, there was nothing left intact… [1 hour in the building]…One man was sent to the hospital for dehydration. We were spent…We did not find any live people. The dogs are almost as depressed as the guys are."
Don Furtunado, detective who went in after the collapse:
"There’s so much debris, twisted metal, everything’s charred and pitch black... There are piles of concrete, desks, filing cabinets, duct work and ventilation pipes, all the things that can’t be incinerated."
Captain Defina and airport Battalion Chief Walter Hood:
"The only way you could tell that an aircraft was inside was that we saw pieces of the nose gear. The devastation was horrific."
Michael Tamillow, battalion chief and rescue expert, Fairfax County, Virginia, Fire Department:
"…found parts of the fuselage from the Boeing 757… No large pieces apparently survived."
Carlton Burkhammer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue went into the building with full flash gear and oxygen bottles 3.5 hours after the crash:
"We found office furniture that had been moved across the room by the force of the crash. There were metal file cabinets wrapped into “U" shapes around the building’s support columns."
Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, Office of ASD PA:
"This is right inside the E Ring. This is a hole in -- there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn't see any evidence of the aircraft down there… [QUESTION:] Did you see any evidence of the aircraft anywhere?[MITCHELL:] Yes, I did. You could see just small pieces of it."
Carlton Burkhammer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue went into the building 3.5 hours after the crash:
"I spotted lime-green pieces from the interior of the plane. You could tell where the plane had gone because of the destruction of the steel and concrete beams."
"Early Friday morning, shortly before 4 a.m, Burkhammer and another firefighter, Brian Moravitz, were combing through debris near the impact site…the two spotted an intact seat from the plane’s cockpit with a chunk of the floor still attached…Then they saw two odd-shaped dark boxes, about 1.5 by 2 feet long. They’d been told the plane’s “black boxes" would in fact be bright orange, but these were charred black. The boxes had handles on one end and one was torn open…the FBI confirmed: black boxes from American Airlines Flight 77."
Don Fortunato, detective who arrived a few minutes after the impact on the scene:
“There’s a second incoming, 20 miles out, inbound to us. So people started packing up what they could, and we ran.. Other police officials were told there were two to four unaccounted-for planes in the skies. It was extremely difficult to move all those medical supplies and people.. About two minutes later, we heard two F-16s screaming over the Pentagon and circling."
Jose Velasquez, supervisor nearby gas station where a security tape had been confiscated:
"The gas station's security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact…I've never seen what the pictures looked like… The FBI was here within minutes and took the film."
October 28, 1001, Allen Cleveland email at Spooky8.com/reviews.htm:
Dear Mr. King, I recently read your book "The Final Mission: Spooky 8". Had I known it existed I would have read it a long time ago. I know that you personally do not care whether a reader believes your story or not, but I would like you to know that I Personally believe what you have written for the most part. I, unlike yourself do not have any past history with Special Ops, but I do have a pretty keen mind for the way that our Government(Note:Don@specop2 didn't spell this correctly either) works as a whole. I just wanted to tell you that I Loved your book and was able to read it in 3 days time on the mertro rail here in DC. I honestly believe that your book is probably one of the best I have ever read. I do prefer Non-fiction over Fiction, so I more than likely will not be reading your second book.(I hope you don't take offense to that.) I think you're a great Author and a soldier deserving respect.Whether people believe your story or not.
I was also stationed at Fort Sill OK. 133rd Ord.Co.(I had a 111 GT score which would have allowed me to go else-where, but my MOS was needed there(MLRS-Repair/Maint) I will also add that I knew atleast 3 other people with GT scores of above 120 whom I served with on active duty while there.) Pretty sad that this DON guy believes, you have to be some kind of genious to do work that takes more heart and commitment than anything else. You've earned my respect by just being in the military. I was also stationed at Redstone Arsenal AL. with the EOD and Electronics School Toftoy Hall.
I know this is a long e-mail, but I would also like to tell you a little info on the Septmber 11th terrorist attacks which occurred as you know not far from where I am writing this to you now. I live in Woodbridge VA.(I'm sure you are aware of the geography) I was on my way into work on the 11th. Riding the metro-rail from Springfield VA. to DC.. I had just gotten off the phone with a close friend of mine who let me in on the details of the World Trade Center incidents which had taken place a few moments earlier. I was approaching the national airport stop, when I looked off to the right(I was facing backwards on the train)When I saw a large jet approaching Crystal city.(I was one of very few people that actually saw the Plane at the pentagon prior to its actual impact) I noticed that it's flight pattern was different than others I had come to recognize over riding the rail for many years. I knew that it was not headed for a landing strip. I actually had to look over my shoulder to see if I was mistaken and I unfortunately realized all too soon that I was about to witness one of the most historic moments of our lifetime. I watched as the plane disappeared behind the line of buildings that make up Crystal city and watched as an incredible mushroom cloud appeared on the horizon. I shouted HOLY SHIT!!! as the other passengers looked at me I pointed out the window to let them know what had happened. That is when it all set in and everyone realized what happened.No one else on my Car had seen what I saw. The reason I am telling you this is because the details of this one crash were not accurate from what I witnessed first hand and what I have gathered from others whom I know, saw what I saw. Soon after the crash(Within 30 seconds of the crash) I witnessed a military cargo plane(Possibly a C130) fly over the crash site and circle the mushroom cloud. My brother inlaw also witnessed the same plane following the jet while he was on the HOV lanes in Springfield. He said that he saw a jetliner flying low over the tree tops near Seminary RD in Springfield, VA. and soon afterwards a military plane was seen flying right behind it. I think this was also a reason for the false threat of another plane about to crash which caused rescuers to have to evacuate for a short time after the initial crash. I have done my research onthis and according to time magazine it took 24 minutes before Norad was supposedly notified about this particuliar jet and fighters were scrambling to intercept at that time.
Isn't it odd how there is Not a single mention of this aircraft in ANY of the articles written about this crash? Also if you had not noticed... There is not a single picture or live footage of the actual jet prior to its crash at the Pentagon.Nor is there any of the one that crashed in Pennsylvania. But if Anyone who rides the metro-rail knows, there are plenty of Video cameras all around National airport at the parking Garages and the high level security buildings found all around Crystal city. (3 of which I have personally found pointed directly towards crystal city which would have given a great line of site shot of that jet prior to the crash as well as any other plane which might have been following it. I personally believe that the government new full well that this was about to happen and they are hiding something a lot bigger than they are willing to let out. I was interviewed at Washingtonpost.com and gave them my full story, but they did not print it as I have told you. I also find it interesting that one of the planes engines in the pennsylvania crash was supposedly found 5 miles prior to the crash site(This information I'm unsure of). The only thing that I'm aware of that might cause that would be a heat seeking missle. A weapon which I am pretty familiar with form Ord.training. I'm not saying that the government new exactly what was about to happen, but I do believe that they are definitely hiding something here. Many of my friends in intelligence have said the same. I work in a Gov. building in DC., but my heart is right there with you and your team. I hope you and those who served with you are doing well. Take care. If you would like to contact me please send e-mails to email@example.com Thank you, Allen Cleveland.
May 6, 2004, Washington Post, 'FAA Managers Destroyed 9/11 Tape':
"Hours after the hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, an FAA manager at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center gathered six controllers who communicated or tracked two of the hijacked planes and recorded in a one-hour interview their personal accounts of what occurred, the report stated... as is common practice.
According to the report, a second manager at the New York center promised a union official representing the controllers that he would "get rid of" the tape after controllers used it to provide written statements to federal officials about the events of the day.
Instead, the second manager said he destroyed the tape between December 2001 and January 2002 by crushing the tape with his hand, cutting it into small pieces and depositing the pieces into trash cans around the building, the report said.
The inspector general concluded...'The destruction of evidence in the Government's possession, in this case an audiotape -- particularly during times of national crisis -- has the effect of fostering an appearance that information is being withheld from the public.
The report was conducted at the request of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) after the panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, officially known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, complained that the FAA had been less than forthcoming in turning over documents and issued a subpoena to the agency for more information."
A military C-130H spectre cargo plane was seen flying behind Flight 77. The eye witness accounts on the ground vary a little bit from each other and from the pilot, but it was there. And as far as I can see it had a good reason to be in the neighborhood.
Allen Cleveland [witness who a saw silver airliner crash at the Pentagon…has more to say about camera’s a little further]:
"Within 30 seconds of the crash I witnessed a military cargo plane (C130) fly over the crash site and circle the mushroom cloud. My brother in law also witnessed the same plane following the jet while he was on the HOV lanes in Springfield. He said that he saw a jetliner flying low over the tree tops near Seminary RD in Springfield, VA. and soon afterwards a military plane was seen flying right behind it."
Kelly Knowles, a few miles from the Pentagon:
"A few seconds later, a second plane that seemed to be chasing the first passed over at a slightly different angle… There was most definitely a second plane…It's so frustrating because nobody knows about the second plane, or if they do they're hiding it for some reason." (The quote "saw two planes moving toward the Pentagon, one veering away as the other crashed." is often used for people promoting the theory that the second plane, that got away, was Flight 77.)
Wheelhouse and his sister, Pam Young from the Arlington National Cemetery, less than 1 mile away from the Pentagon:
"They watched the jet approach and slam into the Pentagon. Both of them, as well as at least one other person at the funeral, insist that there was another plane flying near the hijacked jet…Wheelhouse said the second plane looked like it may have been a C- 130 transport plane, but the other three witnesses say they're not sure what the plane looked like… Wheelhouse believes it flew directly above the American Airlines jet, as if to prevent two planes from appearing on radar while at the same time guiding the jet toward the Pentagon. As Flight 77 descends toward the Pentagon, the second plane veers off west."
Vin Narayanan, USA Today reporter [saw airliner clip poles]:
"I hopped out of my car after the jet exploded, nearly oblivious to a second jet hovering in the skies."
Joel Sucherman [The first jet was an American Airlines, definitely no learjet according to him]:
"I saw a second plane."
Arlington worker who declined to be interviewed:
" …a mysterious second plane was circling the area when the first one attacked the Pentagon."
John O’keefe, editor of ‘Influence’ [lobbying magazine] in his car at Interstate 395, up Washington Boulevard [didn’t hear large explosion as the jet crashed]:
"The first thing I did was pull over onto the shoulder, and when I got out of the car I saw another plane flying over my head…. Then the plane—it looked like a C-130 cargo plane—started turning away from the Pentagon, it did a complete turnaround."
Scott P Cook and Ray Verle from fifth floor of the Portals building, at theTidal Basin and Maine Avenue:
"As we watched the black plume gather strength, less than a minute after the explosion, we saw an odd sight that no one else has yet commented on. Directly in back of the plume, which would place it almost due west from our office, a four-engine propeller plane, which Ray later said resembled a C-130, started a steep decent towards the Pentagon… from east to west… and it was descending at a much steeper angle than most aircraft.. the plane reached the Pentagon at a low altitude and made a sharp left turn, passing just north of the plume, and headed straight for the White House... But right over the tidal basin, at an altitude of less than 1000 feet, it made another sharp left turn to the north and climbed rapidly. Soon it was gone..."
Lt. Col. Kenneth McClellan, a Pentagon spokesman:
"A C-130 cargo plane had departed Andrews Air Force Base en route to Minnesota that morning and reported seeing an airliner heading into Washington at an unusual angle. Air-traffic control officials instructed the propeller-powered cargo plane to let them know where it's going. But, there was no attempt to intercept the hijacked airliner. A C-130 obviously goes slower than a jet. the Pentagon had no knowledge of the C-130's encounter, because all reports were classified by the Air National Guard, the Pentagon spokesman said. It was very hard to get any information out.."
The 9/11 Commission:
"The 9/11 Commission reports that it is a C-130H and the pilot specifically identifies the hijacked plane as a 757. Seconds after impact, he reports, “Looks like that aircraft crashed into the Pentagon sir."
The pilot of the C-130, Lt. Col. Steve O'Brien:
"I took off at 9:30 from AFB and was instructed by Reagan Airport Flight Control to intercept and identify an incoming plane. When air traffic control asked me if we had him [Flight 77] in sight, I told him that was an understatement—by then, he had pretty much filled our windscreen. Then he made a pretty aggressive turn so he was moving right in front of us, a mile and a half, two miles away. I said we had him in sight, then the controller asked me what kind of plane it was. That caught us up, because normally they have all that information. The controller didn't seem to know anything. I said it was either a 757 or 767 and its silver fuselage means it is probably an American Airlines plane. They told us to turn and follow that aircraft — in 20-plus years of flying, I've never been asked to do something like that."
"Just after the explosion I could see the outline of the Pentagon.[smog] I then asked if should set up a low orbit around the building, but I’m told to get out of the area as quickly as possible. I took the plane once through the plume of smoke and thought if this was a terrorist attack, it probably wasn't a good idea to be flying through that plume."
Debunking of statements that a small plane or missile flew into the Pentagon can be found here.