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Steven Gaal

911 Deep background Simulations

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++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ These were well-practiced routines. With more than 4,500 aircraft continuously sharing U.S. airspace, between September 2000 and June 2001 the Pentagon launched fighters on 67 occasions to escort wayward aircraft. [FAA news release Aug/9/02; AP Aug13/02] MY Church works with 23 other Churches in maintaining a MANS and also a WOMANS shelter. Your 5000 will be appreciated.

Sorry Steve, I obviously don’t consider an article from the conspiracy kook site ‘Global Research’ “a reliable citation”. The author of that piece did cite reliable sources but they do NOT support your claim. 1st was the FAA news release, the most relevant passage from that actually contracts you:

Earlier [before 9/11],
pilots who flew in restricted or prohibited areas received a warning
from Air Traffic Control and then faced suspension or revocation of their licenses or a fine.
Now a pilot faces interception by military aircraft
and then a forced landing at the first available airport. The Department of Defense has stated that deadly force will be used only as a last resort after all other means are exhausted.

http://web.archive.org/web/20011023082620/http://www.faa.gov/apa/pr/pr.cfm?id=1415

Next is the AP article, he was obviously referring to this passage, “From Sept. 11 to June, NORAD scrambled jets or diverted combat air patrols 462 times, almost seven times as often as the 67 scrambles from September 2000 to June 2001, [“NORAD spokesman,” Maj. Douglas] Martin said.” Nothing there about where any of those flights originated. This was addressed by Plane and Pilot magazine, which reported that: in the year previous to 9/11, NORAD intercepted airplanes in the ADIZ only 67 times, none of which occurred within the U.S. borders.” This conformed to Popular Mechanics’ finding that:

In the decade before 9/11,
NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America:
golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed. Even so, it took an F-16 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the stricken jet. Rules in effect back then, and on 9/11, prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts. Prior to 9/11, all other NORAD interceptions were limited to offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). "Until 9/11 there was no domestic ADIZ," FAA spokesman Bill Schumann tells PM.

http://www.wanttoknow.info/020812ap

http://web.archive.org/web/20060322040040/http://www.planeandpilotmag.com/content/2005/oct/busting_tfr.html

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/debunking-911-myths-planes

So try again.

PS – What’s with your eccentric capitalization?

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Aviation Week & Space Technology: June 3, 2002

Exercise Jump-Starts Response to Attacks

WILLIAM B. SCOTT/ROME, N.Y., HERNDON, VA., and COLORADO SPRINGS

On-the-fly innovation, backed by excellent training, 'probably saved many lives' when terrorists struck the U.S.

[...]

At 8:40 a.m. EDT, Tech. Sgt. Jeremy W. Powell of North American Aerospace Defense Command's (Norad) Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) in Rome, N.Y., took the first call from Boston Center. He notified NEADS commander Col. Robert K. Marr, Jr., of a possible hijacked airliner, American Airlines Flight 11.

"Part of the exercise?" the colonel wondered. No; this is a real-world event, he was told. Several days into a semiannual exercise known as Vigilant Guardian, NEADS was fully staffed, its key officers and enlisted supervisors already manning the operations center "battle cab."

In retrospect, the exercise would prove to be a serendipitous enabler of a rapid military response to terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. Senior officers involved in Vigilant Guardian were manning Norad command centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, available to make immediate decisions.

[...]

http://web.archive.org/web/20020917072642/http://www.aviationnow.com/content/publication/awst/20020603/avi_stor.htm

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WILLIAM B. SCOTT Soooooooo many NSA conected people in the coverup.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

War Games

Multiple War Games Were Being Conducted on 9/11/01

Several different war game exercises were in play on the day of the attack. The limited public information on these exercises shows that they simulated the following events:

  • Hijackings
  • Attacks on buildings using aircraft as missiles
  • Attacks using toxic or infectious substances

These events are all elements of the actual attack, which involved four alleged hijackings, three jetliner crashes into buildings, and the toxic calamity at Ground Zero in the wake of the World Trade Center's destruction.

LINK

Operation Northern Vigilance

Conducted from September 9-11, this exercise redeployed jets that normally patrolled the northeast sector to northern Canada and Alaska. It echoed a Russian exercise scheduled from September 10-14 in which long-range bombers were dispatched to their northern territory. 1

LINK

The Vigilant Warrior and Vigilant Guardian Training Exercises

These were apparently a pair of war games (attacker versus defender) which involved live-fly simulations of hijackings. Both this pair of exercises and Northern Vigilance probably involved the use of "injects" into screens to simulate aircraft. These games apparently resembled the actual attack sufficiently to confuse military officers, as suggested by the following transcript.

FAA Boston Center contacts NEADS, saying, "We need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out."

“Is this real world or an exercise?” asked the military liaison officer?

"No, this is not an exercise," responded the FAA official. "Not a test." 2

The only known source for the exercise named Vigilant Warrior is Richard Clarke's book, Against All Enemies. 3 It is possible that the exercise referred to by Clarke was actually Amalgam Warrior, a NORAD field training exercise involving life-fly air interception, held twice yearly, in the spring on the East Coast and the fall on the East Coast. 4

LINK

The Global Guardian Exercise

On the morning of the attack, a large-scale military training exercise called Global Guardian was "in full swing." Global Guardian is an annual exercise involving Stratcom (the US Strategic Command), the US Space Command, and NORAD. 5

There is evidence that the date of the 2001 Global Guardian exercise was changed to correspond with the the terrorist attack. NBC News military analyst William Arkin, in his book Code Names, gives the date of the exercise as October 22-31, 2001. 6 Also, a military newspaper, the Space Observer, reported in an article dated 3/23/01 that the exercise was scheduled for October of that year.

Stratcon directed the exercise, which included all the US strategic forces, from Offutt Air Force Base. 7

LINK

The National Reconnaissance Office Plane Crash Drill

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) "provides our nation its eyes and ears in space." It operates a system of reconnaissance satellites to provide real-time monitoring of objects in the skies. On 9/11/01 the NRO headquarters in Chantilly, VA, were evacuated as part of a "plane into building" drill. The scenario involved a small corporate jet crashing into one of the campus' four towers. 8

LINK

The Timely Alert II Terrorism Drill

On the morning of the attack, personnel at the Fort Monmouth Army base in New Jersey were preparing to hold a drill, for the days of September 11 and 12, to test preparedness to respond to a chemical attack. The exercise was to involve law enforcement and emergency responders including the New Jersey State Police and Fort Monmouth Fire Department. 9 Just before the exercise was to commence, reports of the attack in New York City surfaced and "real world events overtook the exercise," in the words of Army spokesman Timothy L. Rider. 10

FEMA_Training_Manual_Cover.gif FEMA training manual cover

LINK

The Tripod II Biowarfare Exercise

FEMA had deployed to New York City on September 10 to set up a command post at Pier 29, supposedly in preparation for a biowarfare exercise scheduled for September 12. 11

References

1. [cached]

2. [/url][cached]

3. [/url]Complete 911 Timeline: Military Exercises Up to 9/11, CooperativeResearch.org,

5. Complete 911 Timeline: Military Exercises Up to 9/11, CooperativeResearch.org,

5. Code Names, 2005

7. Stratcom commander: Mission is broadening in fight against terrorism, Associated Press, 2/21/02 [cached]

8. [cached]

9. [/url]Exercise tests force protection, monmouth.army.mil, [cached]

10. Training exercise quickly became reality, the Hub, [cached]

11. <a class="offsite" href="http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/060704_tripod_fema.html">Tripod II and FEMA: Lack of NORAD Response on 9/11 Explained, FromTheWilderness.com, 2004 [cached]

Edited by Steven Gaal

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WILLIAM B. SCOTT Soooooooo many NSA conected people in the coverup.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Another Ad Hominem, can't you do any better?

War Games

Multiple War Games Were Being Conducted on 9/11/01

Several different war game exercises were in play on the day of the attack. The limited public information on these exercises shows that they simulated the following events:

  • Hijackings
  • Attacks on buildings using aircraft as missiles
  • Attacks using toxic or infectious substances

We've been over this countless times, you're just repeating yourself and have yet to produce any evidence this drill delayed the reposnse on 9/11 or otherwise furthered the "plot".

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WILLIAM B. SCOTT Soooooooo many NSA conected people in the coverup.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

That's just an ad hominem, try and refute the argument not the man.

War Games

Multiple War Games Were Being Conducted on 9/11/01

Several different war game exercises were in play on the day of the attack. The limited public information on these exercises shows that they simulated the following events:


You've yet to produce any evidence any of these exercises delayed response times on 9/11 or otherwise furthered the "plot"

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To the Minute, Panel Paints a Grim Portrait of Day's Terror

New York Times, June 18, 2004

By ERIC SCHMITT and ERIC LICHTBLAU

WASHINGTON, June 17 — At 9:36 a.m. on Sept. 11, halfway through America's most calamitous morning, military air defense officials learned that American Airlines Flight 77 was just six miles — and little more than a minute — away from the White House.

An air defense commander in upstate New York ordered three Air Force fighter jets to intercept the third airliner hijacked that morning. But he soon discovered that the Virginia-based fighters were not heading north toward Baltimore as instructed, but streaking east over the Atlantic Ocean. "I don't care how many windows you break," the commander barked, ordering the jets to turn around and "crank it up" to the White House.

At that moment in Washington, Secret Service agents were hustling Vice President Dick Cheney to a secure underground White House bunker. In Sarasota, Fla., President Bush's motorcade was speeding away from an elementary school, initially headed in the wrong direction, to rush the president to the airport — and up into the sky, to safety.

The nation has relived that morning countless times since Sept. 11, 2001, but never with the harrowing detail and minute-by-minute drama of the staff report released Thursday by the independent commission investigating the attacks.

The 29-page report recounts a frenetic 149 minutes unlike anything ever faced by the nation's aviation and military defenses. And it details moments both of unflinching calm, like actions by the air traffic controllers who managed to orchestrate the landings of all 4,500 flights aloft, and of maddening miscommunications, mangled coordination and broken chains of command.

The account shows civilian air traffic controllers and regional air defense officers improvising a defense for a disaster for which they had never trained, and senior administration officials struggling to sift certainty from sheer confusion, at times learning more from television news than from classified intelligence reports.

Throughout the morning, the Federal Aviation Administration had virtually no contact at the national command level with the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad, which is responsible for defending the nation's airspace. And the Secret Service resorted to coordinating its own shoot-down policy regarding hijacked airliners with a National Guard general at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, outside the normal protocol.

"There were a lot of people who should have been in the loop who weren't in the loop," Thomas H. Kean, the commission's chairman and a former Republican governor of New Jersey, said after Thursday's hearing. "There were a lot of things that should have been done that weren't done."

The late-summer day began like any other at Logan Airport in Boston, as American Airlines Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles with 81 passengers and 24,000 gallons of jet fuel, began its takeoff roll at 8 a.m.

The last moment of normalcy came at 8:13 a.m., when air traffic control instructed the plane to turn to the right, according to the commission report. The pilot quickly acknowledged the transmission.

Just 16 seconds later, when the controller directed the plane to climb higher, the line went dead. After failing to make contact using emergency frequencies, the controller told supervisors that "he thought something was seriously wrong," the report said.

Confirmation came at 8:24. The plane had already changed its route when a chilling voice - believed to be that of Mohamed Atta, the lead plotter - was heard to say: "We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you'll be O.K. We are returning to the airport."

Aviation officials in Boston began sending word to supervisors in Herndon, Va., that Flight 11 had been hijacked and was heading to New York City. But it was not until 8:37 that Norad officials in Rome, N.Y., responsible for defending the Northeast, were notified.

"We need someone to scramble some F-16's or something up there," an F.A.A. manager said.

"Is this real-world or exercise?" a military official asked.

"No, this is not an exercise, not a test," came the response.

Two F-15 jets at Otis Air Force Base, some 150 miles from New York City, were airborne at 8:53. But Flight 11 had crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center six minutes earlier.

Meanwhile, United Airlines Flight 175, which had left Boston at 8:14 for Los Angeles with 65 passengers, had already begun acting erratically. No one on the ground noticed, however, because the controller responsible for that flight was also handling the hijacked Flight 11.

At 8:48, an F.A.A. manager in New York, unaware that Flight 11 had already crashed, reported that an attendant on that flight had been stabbed.

By about 9 a.m., aviation officials had realized that a second hijacked plane was heading for New York City. "Heads up, man, it looks like another one coming in," the F.A.A. reported.

Moments later, United Flight 175 crashed into the south tower. Military air defenders were only just getting word at that time that a second plane had been hijacked. In a vexing pattern seen throughout the morning, the aviation defense system was steps behind the hijackers and unable to catch up.

In Sarasota, meanwhile, President Bush was visiting some second graders at 9:05 when Andrew H. Card Jr., his chief of staff, whispered to him that a plane had hit the second tower.

The president had been told minutes earlier about the first crash, but Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, who was on the trip, said initially that the plane that crashed was a twin-engine aircraft. When the second plane hit, however, White House aides said they knew it was no accident.

In the classroom, reporters' pagers and phones started ringing. President Bush showed little emotion, telling the commission later that "his instinct was to project calm, not to have the country see an excited reaction at a moment of crisis," the report said.

He remained in the classroom another few minutes. Shortly before 9:15, he returned to a holding room, where he was briefed by staff members, watched television coverage and called Mr. Cheney and others. Mr. Bush prepared to return to Washington - a decision that worried aides would later persuade him to reverse.

No one in the White House traveling party had any indication by then that any other planes had been hijacked, the report said.

But by 9:21, aviation officials had realized that a third plane - American Airlines Flight 77, which had left Dulles International Airport outside Washington at 8:20 - was missing. Controllers lost sight of it near Indianapolis and did not realize it had turned back toward Washington.

Minutes later, just as the president was preparing to leave the school, the F.A.A. cleared the airspace over Manhattan and the fighter planes patrolled the skies above the city.

But the threat then was not in New York City, where the twin towers were in flames; it was at the Pentagon, where Flight 77 was headed. The plane traveled undetected toward Washington for 36 minutes, the report found.

At 9:32, aviation officials in Washington finally spotted what turned out to be the missing plane. The F.A.A. contacted the Secret Service, and controllers at Reagan National Airport sent an unarmed National Guard C-130H cargo plane to follow the suspicious jetliner. Once again, it was too late. At 9:38, the National Guard pilot reported to the Washington tower that it"looks like that aircraft crashed into the Pentagon, sir."

Military officials did not even know about the frantic search for Flight 77, the report said. Instead, the military was searching for a ghost plane headed to Washington. The F.A.A. had erroneously reported that American Flight 11 - the plane that had crashed into the north tower of the trade center more than half an hour earlier - was still airborne and heading for Washington, the report said.

By 9:37, the Pentagon had opened a high-level teleconference, called the Air Threat Conference call, which would last more than eight hours. Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other senior officials from across the government would participate at various times during the day.

Conspicuously absent for the crucial first 40 minutes of the call was a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration, which controls all civilian air traffic. The official who ultimately joined the call at 10:17 had no familiarity with hijackings, no access to senior agency decision makers, and none of the information available to senior F.A.A. officials by that time, the report said.

Even as officials were meeting in Washington to grapple with the situation, three F-16 fighters from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia were racing toward Washington, and the final hijacking was playing out aboard United Airlines Flight 93.

Just minutes before the crash at the Pentagon, Flight 93, flying from Newark to San Francisco, went off course near Cleveland. An air traffic controller there and pilots of other aircraft flying nearby heard over a radio transmission what sounded like screams and a struggle.

By 9:38, controllers in Cleveland had moved several aircraft out of the way of Flight 93, and soon after that the hijacked flight reversed course over Ohio and began heading toward Washington.

Four minutes later, a top F.A.A. operations manager, Ben Sliney, ordered all F.A.A. sites to direct all airborne aircraft to land at the nearest airport, the first such action in the nation's history. About 4,500 aircraft soon landed without incident.

Meantime, aboard Flight 93, passengers had gotten cellphone calls about the other hijackings, and some of them rushed the cockpit. At about 10:03, Flight 93 crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa., 125 miles from Washington.

Despite the numerous discussions among F.A.A. officials about Flight 93, no one at the agency's headquarters ever requested the military's help. Just before 10 a.m., officials in Washington were ordering additional steps. Stephen Hadley, Mr. Bush's deputy national security adviser, requested that the Pentagon provide fighter escorts for Air Force One, which was just leaving Florida; combat air patrols over Washington; and help carrying out the continuity of government procedures, the doomsday rules under which cabinet members and Congressional leaders are whisked to undisclosed locations in a national emergency.

By 10:10, the F-16's that had been over the Atlantic arrived in Washington, but were told by the Norad commander in Rome, N.Y., that they were not cleared to fire on any hijacked airliner threatening Washington.

But at the same time, Mr. Cheney, still in the White House bunker, ordered the shooting down of any threatening airliner. Before the order went out, Joshua Bolten, Mr. Bush's deputy chief of staff, suggested that Mr. Cheney call Mr. Bush again to confirm the order.

Neither Mr. Bolten, nor I. Lewis Libby, Mr. Cheney's chief of staff, nor Lynne V. Cheney, his wife, all of whom were in the bunker, said they recalled a phone call minutes earlier that Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush said they had had authorizing the drastic action. At 10:20 a.m., officials on Air Force One confirmed Mr. Bush's authorization of a shootdown order.

At 10:31, the order was relayed to air defense commanders over a military chat log, but military officials down the chain of command expressed confusion about the directive and never passed it on to the pilots circling Washington and New York.

Even as the pilots were waiting for instructions, Brig. Gen. David F. Wherley Jr., commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard's 113th Wing, heard secondhand reports that the Secret Service wanted fighters airborne over the capital, and offered his fighter jets based at Andrews Air Force Base, the report said.

Based on Mr. Cheney's authority, the first fighters were airborne at 10:38 a.m. Four minutes later, General Wherley issued orders that the pilots from Andrews were operating "weapons free," meaning the decision to shoot down any hijacked planes rested with the lead pilot.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

2/3/2010: DC Air National Guard on 9/11, The Many Deaths of Osama bin Laden - Updates as of February 3, 2010

After a hiatus of a couple of weeks, dozens of new entries have been published in the 9/11 Timeline over the last few days. The largest chunk of them covers events at the DC Air National Guard, based at Andrews Air Force Base, on the day of the attacks. Initially, officers assumed that the first crash into the WTC was an accident. However, after the second crash, Andrews learned the Secret Service wanted fighters launched. Although the Secret Service then said it didn’t on the phone, pilots started overwriting recent exercise data on their flight disks.

The base’s intelligence officer was unable to get any information on the crisis, but fighters on a training mission learned of the attacks during refuelling around 9:30 a.m., when the Secret Service called and said that it would like some fighters after all. Missiles at the base began to be unpacked, but the commanding officer, Brigadier General David Wherley, wanted orders from a senior official before he would launch and called the Secret Service again.

The first of the fighters returning from training landed at 10:14 a.m., but did not take off again. Wherley discussed the rules of engagement and apparently then wanted to launch planes in response to an aircraft supposedly approaching Washington. One of the returning fighters was dispatched to look for the plane, but, finding nothing, landed again ten minutes later.

Other entries about the day of 9/11 take in an offline radar, the arrival of the air force’s liaison at FAA headquarters before 9:00 a.m., and the arrival of fighters from Richmond and Atlantic City over Washington after 11:00 a.m.

??????????????????????????????

The commission no clue on intercept facts....lies, damn lies and the 911 Commission.

September 11, 2001: FAA Establishes Phone Bridges, Including with the Military, Earlier than Claimed by 9/11 Commission

According to a statement by two high-level FAA officials, “Within minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the FAA immediately established several phone bridges [i.e., telephone conference calls] that included FAA field facilities, the FAA command center, FAA headquarters, [Defense Department], the Secret Service, and other government agencies.” The FAA shares “real-time information on the phone bridges about the unfolding events, including information 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. Other parties on the phone bridges in turn shared information about actions they were taken.” The statement says, “The US Air Force liaison to the FAA immediately joined the FAA headquarters phone bridge and established contact with NORAD on a separate line.” [9/11 Commission, 5/23/2003] Another account says the phone bridges are “quickly established” by the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC). This is a small office at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, which is staffed by three military officers at the time of the attacks (see (Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001). It serves as the center’s liaison with the military. According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, the phone bridges link “key players, such as NORAD’s command center, area defense sectors, key FAA personnel, airline operations, and the NMCC.” [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/10/2002; 9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004] According to an FAA transcript of employee conversations on 9/11, one of the phone bridges, between the FAA Command Center, the operations center at FAA headquarters, and air traffic control centers in Boston and New York, begins before Flight 11 hits the World Trade Center at 8:46 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). [Federal Aviation Administration, 10/14/2003, pp. 3-10 pdfbw.png] If these accounts are correct, it means someone at NORAD should learn about Flight 77 when it deviates from its course (see (8:54 a.m.) September 11, 2001). However, the 9/11 Commission will later claim that the FAA teleconference is established about 30 minutes later (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The Air Force liaison to the FAA will claim she only joins it after the Pentagon is hit (see (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001).

Edited by Steven Gaal

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Yes with hindsight it’s easy to see many things that should have been done differently that morning. But none of your sources have demonstrated that the exercises were responsible for those problems. But as to air defense I don’t see how things would have turned out much differently even if everything went perfectly. Do you really think any president would have issued a shoot down order by 9:02? 175 didn't even turn towards Manhattan till the last few minutes. Do you think it would have made sense to have shot down flight 77 over densely populated Alexandria? Think about sparsely populated Lockerbie.

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What is it that controllers knew and/or described and/or suspected about 9/11 that government officials do not want leaked to the public? Again, former Boston Center air traffic controller Robin Hordon, in an interview on the Randi Rhodes show in December of 2006, provides an answer. Hordon, a veteran controller with many friends and colleagues on duty that morning, said, "On September 11th I'm one of the few people who really within quite a few hours of the whole event taking place just simply knew that it was an inside job…normal protocol is to get fighter jet aircraft up (to) assist." Hordon continued that "from personal experience he knew the system was always ready to immediately scramble intercepting fighters and that any reversal of that procedure would have been unprecedented and abnormal…'I know people who work there who confirmed to me that the FAA was not asleep and the controllers could do the job, they followed their own protocols.'…Hordon said that the only way the airliners could have avoided being intercepted was if a massive electrical and communications failure had occurred which it didn't on that day, adding that there was 'no way' the hijacked airliners could have reached their targets otherwise."

Audio

Complete audio of this interview.

http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/4389

########################################################

http://www.xavius.com/080198.htm

Intercept Missions

The U.S. military has their own network of radars looking over the U.S. borders, and out over the ocean (NORAD). They are tied into the FAA computer to be able to get information on incoming flights from overseas, but if they see a target over international waters headed toward the U.S., without flight plan information, they will call on the "shout" line to the appropriate Center sector for an ID. Sector 66 might get a call to ID a radar target, and if 66 has no datablock or other information on it, the military will usually scramble an intercept flight. Essentially always they turn out to be private pilots ("VFR") not talking to anybody, who stray too far outside the boundary, then get picked up on their way back in. But, procedures are procedures, and they will likely find two F-18's on their tail within 10 or so minutes.

For the controller, the scrambles are treated like most other flights, with normal handoffs and altitude assignments, though they are given direct routes to the target. Center controllers handle the intercept, except in unusual situations, after being shown the target (or general area) by the NORAD controller. The Center controller just gives them a heading toward the area, and usually whatever altitude the intercept flight requests. When the flight leader acquires the target on radar or visually, they just take over the remainder of the intercept, and call you back when they're done and need a clearance back to their base.

"Done" doesn't mean they shoot them down, but rather they have identified the aircraft as a frightened private pilot, or possible drug smuggler, and NORAD has decided to let the Coast Guard take over the tracking and/or following. Or, they just record the tail number and send a letter to the plane owner telling them to be careful!

Edited by Steven Gaal

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LOL, Hordon was one of the ATCs fired by Reagan in 1981, thus his recollections were over 25 years-old and 20 years out of date and he potentially had an ax to grind.

When Hordon was an ATC there were at least 28 bases in the continental US on 5 minute scramble alert and hijackings were fairly common, by 2001 there were on 7 bases on 15 minute scramble and the last successful hijacking over the US was in 1990.

I seriously doubt he had ANY let alone “many friends and colleagues on duty that morning” 87% of the ATCs were fired presumably those who were canned considered those who went back to work scabs. And of that 13% how many were still on the job 20 years later? Most of those who stayed were supervisors (and thus would have been older). And of that small fraction how many would have been “on duty that morning”?

The 2nd link is to a computer game manual its accuracy is reflected by it stating the intercepts would be carried out by “ F-18's” which are not used by the USAF. The US used F-15s and F-16s at the time. Even so it says:

The U.S. military has their own network of radars
looking over the U.S. borders
, and
out over the ocean
(NORAD). They are tied into the FAA computer to be able to get information on
incoming flights
from overseas
, but if they see a target
over international waters
headed toward the U.S…

I.E. it confirms that domestic flights were NOT subject to interception.

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The U.S. military has their own network of radars
looking over the U.S. borders
, and
out over the ocean
(NORAD). They are tied into the FAA computer to be able to get information on
incoming flights
from overseas
, but if they see a target
over international waters
headed toward the U.S…
// end Colby

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A stand-down is defined as "a relaxation from a state of readiness or alert." This certainly took place regarding air defenses on 9/11. One explanation offered was that the terrorists turned off the electronic device known as a transponder, which helps identify aircraft on radar.

As stated by the 9/11 Commission, "With its transponder off, it is possible, though more difficult, to track an aircraft by its primary radar returns. But unlike transponder data, primary radar returns do not show the aircraft's identity and altitude."

The commission failed to consider the fact that the US military has more than just ground radar at their disposal.

As defined by the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, AWACS is "a sophisticated detection aircraft, fitted with powerful radar and a computer, capable of simultaneously tracking and plotting large numbers of low-flying aircraft at much greater distances than is possible with ground radar."

On 9/11 an AWACS plane on a training mission in the Washington, DC, area was ordered to return to its base in Oklahoma limiting the communications and surveillance capabilities of NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector.

In 2006 New Scientist magazine reported that "US military radar can track space debris as small as 10 centimetres across, and can sometimes see things as small as 5 cm wide if it is in just the right orbit."

The 35 USAF bases that were within range of the 9/11 flights unquestionably possessed highly-sophisticated radar.

Commercial airliners do not need their transponders turned on in order to be tracked by the US military. If America was being attacked by aircraft belonging to a foreign power, it is ridiculous to think these enemy aircraft would have transponders installed to help the US Air Force shoot them down. It is equally ridiculous to believe the US military lack the technology to track aircraft without a transponder signal.

Another excuse given by defenders of the official story is that NORAD only looked outward for threats, not inward. There is much evidence that looking inward was also one of their responsibilities, but in any event, there is at least one incident which proves NORAD could be tasked to defend any part of the skies over the United States and Canada, as well as much evidence that it is not the only time this has happened, but rather, the only time we have been privy to.

The Popular Mechanics book Debunking 9/11 Myths cites an article in a 2002 edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette, which claims that, "Before September 11, the only time officials recall scrambling jets over the United States was when golfer Payne Stewart’s plane veered off course and crashed in South Dakota in 1999."

Popular Mechanics adds, "Except for that lone, tragic anomaly, all NORAD interceptions from the end of the Cold war in 1989 until 9/11 took place in offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). . . . The planes intercepted in these zones were primarily being used for drug smuggling."

But an October 13, 2001 Calgary Herald article reported that before 9/11 fighter jets "were scrambled to babysit suspect aircraft or 'unknowns' twice a week."

As Professor David Ray Griffin pointed out in his book Debunking 9/11 Debunking, "Twice a week would be about 100 times per year, and 'babysitting' is not what planes would do with jets suspected of smuggling drugs into the country."

Furthermore, a 1994 United States General Accounting Office report on continental air defense states, "Overall, during the past 4 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 one per site, or 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."

As the New York City Activist blog pointed out, "Admittedly this is the early 1990′s, not 2001, and the quote is from a report which recommended trimming down the force. But still it casts a lot of doubt on the Popular Mechanics claim that intercepts were a rare occurrence."

And as Griffin points out in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, "In this account NORAD made 379 interceptions per year, 354 of which 'involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft in distress,' not intercepting planes suspected of smuggling drugs. Besides the fact that 1992 was part of 'the decade before 9/11,' it is doubtful that the pattern of interceptions would have changed radically after that."

A Canadian government performance report on their arm of NORAD for 1999-2000, the same period as the Payne Stewart flight, relevant to military operations in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, backs up Griffin’s statements. The report states, "If required, 'unknown aircraft' are intercepted and identified by aircraft dedicated to NORAD. Over the past year, NORAD has intercepted 736 aircraft, 82 of which were suspected drug smugglers…"

While not addressing these reports, Mike Williams of the “debunking” website 911myths.com states, "The Popular Mechanics claim that there was one intercept of a 'civilian plane over North America' in the decade before 9/11 still seems quite absolute, but then that just means it wouldn’t take much to disprove it. Just find a media report of an intercept, an interview with a pilot who was intercepted when they accidentally flew too close to the White House, anything like that... How difficult can it be?"

Being that Williams only provides two examples of other intercepts for comparison on his webpage concerning the Payne Stewart incident, and that he could not find all the information needed to draw firm conclusions on these, he should know that finding any detailed statistics on such matters is difficult.

The aforementioned entry on the New York City Activist blog highlights the following from the 2004 Complaint & Petition to the NY Attorney General (Spitzer at the time) for a new criminal investigation into 9/11:

Also necessary would be data on cases of errant planes or unknowns in which no scramble orders were issued. Of special interest would be the prior performance within NORAD’s Northeastern Air Defense Sector (“NEADS”), which is headquartered at Rome, New York. Such a cumulative analysis–with special attention to cases when passenger planes deviated from course in the air-traffic control zones within which the 9/11 attacks occurred–would provide indispensable context for serious research into the subject of air defense response on September 11. This data is currently unavailable to the public, and there is no indication such an analysis was undertaken by the Kean Commission.

When 9/11 researcher and activist Aidan Monaghan sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the FAA he was informed that, "...The FAA does not track or keep information about the request for support of NORAD for intercepting aircraft throughout the National Airspace System."

When Monaghan tried obtaining FOIA information from NORAD he was advised that they are not subject to the FOIA because they are a bi-national organization between the U.S. and Canada.

Perhaps those in government are the ones worthy of the question, "How difficult can it be?"

When Williams was asked in an interview to give his "strongest argument" against a NORAD stand-down he stated that, "I would point out the Payne Stewart intercept time of over 70 minutes, and the pre-9/11 confirmation that NORAD only had 14 fighters on alert at one time, none of which were at Andrews Air Force Base."

First off, as is pointed out in Paul Thompson's article "The Failure to Defend the Skies on 9/11," "We know details of a 1999 fighter scramble, because famous golfer Payne Stewart was aboard a runaway Learjet. With the pilot unconscious, NORAD used fighters from a number of bases outside NORAD’s official seven bases to follow the plane as it crossed over several states before finally crashing."

So William's first point takes away from his second one. As reported by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, after the second strike on the WTC, "Calls from fighter units… started pouring into NORAD and sector operations centers, asking, ‘What can we do to help?’" One of these bases was Syracuse, which offered to have planes in the air with some weapons within ten minutes. Paul Thomson notes that, "Even if fighters didn’t take off from Syracuse until 9:20, that still would have been enough time for those fighters to reach Washington before Flight 77 did, if they had been ordered to protect that city." Sadly, fighters from Syracuse did not take off until over an hour and a half after their offer to help.

William's admits on his page concerning Andrews that they "had some pilots and fighters, just not sufficiently prepared." This refers to their excuse for not launching fighters until 95 minutes after the second WTC crash because they were loading missiles, however, the first two planes to launch only had guns available.

Just as with Syracuse something could have been done much earlier. David Ray Griffin is quoted on William's page as stating "Fighters loaded with bullets, but no missiles, could have provided considerable protection. Even fighter jets completely unloaded would be better than no fighters at all, given their ability to deter and, if all else failed, ram an airliner headed towards the Pentagon, the White House or the Capitol." William's doesn't focus on this though, instead he rebuts Griffin's other argument that the "arming never happened," which it did, but not for another 33minutes after the first two planes took off.

Regarding Griffin's former point, the article "IGNORAD - The military screw-up nobody talks about" by former U.S. Navy intelligence officer Scott Shuger also notes that there are other techniques fighters could have used with a hijacked plane, Shuger states:

It can first rock its wingtips to attract attention, or make a pass in front of the plane, or fire tracer rounds in its path. So even though on 9/11, the NORAD pilots working the first three airliners didn't have shootdown authority (they got it only after the Pentagon was hit), they would or should have been ready to try these other techniques, which might well have spooked or forced the hijackers into turning, which might have given the fighters a chance to force them out to sea. And even if the hijackers decided instead to fly right into a fighter in their way, wouldn't an airburst have killed fewer people than two collapsed flaming skyscrapers did?

As it turned out Shuger knew what he was talking about. Almost 8 months after his January 2002 article AviationWeek.com reported that:

Within minutes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Air National Guard F-16s took off from here in response to a plea from the White House to 'Get in the air now!' Those fighters were flown by three pilots who had decided, on their own, to ram a hijacked airliner and force it to crash, if necessary. Such action almost certainly would have been fatal for them, but could have prevented another terrorism catastrophe in Washington.

These or other heroes like them could have and should have been in the air much sooner on 9/11, but don't take my word for it.

In the 911blogger.com article "The 90-Minute Stand Down on 9/11: Why Was the Secret Service's Early Request for Fighter Jets Ignored?" Captain Brandon Rasmussen from Andrews is quoted as stating that, "We were relieved to actually be given permission to go up and do something, instead of feeling totally helpless. I mean, we are fighter pilots, just like guard dogs chomping at the bit, ready to go."

All this being said, the fact that NORAD's force had been cut down to 14 fighter jets and that Andrews wasn't more prepared is problematic enough. As "Loose Nuke" commented on the 911 Blogger article:

On pg 2 of Note 13 it says, 'Wherley had no properly armed planes at Andrews. His units were not air defense units.' There's a 'summer of threat', warnings of a planes as missiles attack, CIA and FBI knew operatives were in the country, nothing was done to disrupt the plot, and nothing was done to harden security, nothing was done to defend the nation's capital. Rather, it appears some took action to leave the capital open to attack.

Back to the Payne Stewart incident, on Willams' old webpage on the subject he states that, "To be fair, if the first fighters had been closer (as they were on 9/11) then the response time would have been better."

His new page on the subject no longer contains this line. So much for being equitable!

Regardless, using a roughly 76 minute starting point for a refutation is fine because these events are barely comparable. Stewart was flying a 6-8 passenger Learjet 35, not a large commercial airliner, which was not flying over densely populated areas, did not have its transponder turned off, and was on autopilot as opposed to having terrorists at the helm clearly attacking the country.

The third strike on 9/11 at the Pentagon took place at 9:38 a.m., 44 minutes after Flight 77 veered off course at 8:54 a.m. This is a conservative figure, and judging from William's own page on the subject, one with which he would agree. By this time the first tower had already been struck. Although many government officials would claim that they thought the first strike was just an accident, couterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke wrote in his 2004 book Against all enemies that a member of his White House staff told him that, “Until we know what this is, Dick, we should assume the worst.” And in Bob Woodward's 2002 book Bush at War it was reported that when CIA Director George Tenet learned of the strike he was told specifically that, “The World Trade tower has been attacked,” after which he immediately suspected bin Laden.

The reaction of these officials should have been universal and hence the moment Flight 77 deviated from its course it should have become a target for interception. As noted on Wikipedia:

The Bojinka plot was a planned large-scale Islamist terrorist attack... to take place in January 1995...

A report from the Philippines to the United States on January 20, 1995 stated, "What the subject has in his mind is that he will board any American commercial aircraft pretending to be an ordinary passenger. Then he will hijack said aircraft, control its cockpit and dive it at the CIA headquarters."

Another plot the men were cooking up would have involved hijacking of more airplanes. The Sears Tower (Chicago, Illinois), The Pentagon (Arlington County, Virginia), the United States Capitol (Washington, D.C.), the White House (Washington, DC), the Transamerica Pyramid (San Francisco, California), and the World Trade Center (New York, New York) would be the likely targets. This plot eventually would be the base plot for the September 11, 2001 attacks, only hitting the World Trade Center (which was destroyed) and The Pentagon (which suffered partial damage).

Furthermore, Williams neglects to mention the fact that the jets already in the air which failed to reach the first two strikes were not redeployed towards the deviating planes headed for the capital. This would have guaranteed interceptors reaching Flight 77 before it crashed into the Pentagon.

To put it all another way, if the military can get to a Learjet in roughly 76 minutes when they are not being waged war on, then 44 or more minutes should be sufficient when they are. These points hold all the more true for the fourth plane to perish that day.

Based on a timeline provided by NORAD, on September 17, 2001 CNN reported that at "9:16 a.m.: FAA informs NORAD that United Airlines flight 93 may have been hijacked." The 9/11 Commission would later claim that NORAD is first notified about Flight 93 one minute after it had already crashed at 10:07 a.m. However, the initial report is supported by statements from two NORAD commanders that they were already tracking the flight when it changed direction at 9:36. This would mean that the military was tracking the flight for 50 minutes as opposed to zero! (Update on this point) This is just one of many such changes made in the 9/11 Commission's third mutually contradictory version of events.

During testimony given to the 9/11 Commission, then Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta had the following exchange with 9/11 commissioner Lee Hamilton regarding the plane coming into the Pentagon:

MR. MINETA: ...There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, "The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out." And when it got down to, "The plane is 10 miles out," the young man also said to the vice president, "Do the orders still stand?" And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, "Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?"...

MR. HAMILTON: The flight you're referring to is the --

MR. MINETA: The flight that came into the Pentagon.

MR. HAMILTON: The Pentagon, yeah.

The 9/11 Commission would assert that the military "had at most one or two minutes to react" to Flight 77 before it hit the Pentagon, however, Mineta's testimony indicates that they had 10 to 12 minutes, leading many to suspect the orders were stand-down orders. They omitted Mineta’s testimony from both their final report and the official version of the video record, however, they did imply Mineta was mistaken, stating that the discussion between Cheney and the aide occurred later than he claimed, and that it was referencing a shoot-down order for Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

So, were the orders for a stand-down or a shoot-down? As pointed out by 9/11 researcher "jimd3100":

Even if the 9-11 Commission is correct, when they claim he arrived at 10:07 (according to the White House) Mineta makes it clear the order was given before he got there. There was no shoot down order given before 10:07. The 9-11 Commission seems to admit this.

...It seems very clear from the evidence that no shoot down order was given until 10:20 and none relayed to the military until 10:31. Which means if an order was given before 10:20 there is no reason to believe it was a shoot down order. Which would seem to indicate it was a stand down.

Now thanks to recent research by "jimd3100" we know that a one Douglas F. Cochrane was the naval aide Mineta was referring to. When 9/11 researcher Jeff Hill followed up and phoned Cochrane, asking him what the orders were, Cohrane replied that he was "really not prepared to talk about this subject at all." Jeff then pleaded with Cohrane to ease his mind about whether the orders were stand-down orders, to which Cohrane replied that he had "nothing further to add" to the information already publicly available. Hill then asked Cohrane if he thought answering his questions would get Cheney in trouble, Cohrane paused, and then stated that "The 9/11 Commission Report is the authoritative narrative on the events surrounding 9/11."

As it turns out, it is against the law for Cohrane to say anything else because his interview with the 9/11 Commission has been classified.

We need to be allowed to view Cohrane's testimony, but even if he says the orders were shoot-down orders, the fact remains that after seeing the second tower struck at 9:03 AM the National Military Command Center realized there was "a coordinated terrorist attack on the United States," but yet shoot-down orders were not relayed to the military until 10:31. (Update on these points)

The Washington Post reported on August 2, 2006 that:

Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources... "We to this day don't know why NORAD [the North American Aerospace Command] told us what they told us," said Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey Republican governor who led the commission. 'It was just so far from the truth. . . . It's one of those loose ends that never got tied."

It is often claimed that 9/11 skeptics are quote mining the 9/11 Commissioners, as to suggest that they agree with our case, but this is the real logical fallacy. Kean admitted they were lied to and he did not know why. He can think that the 9/11 Commission's story of astounding incompetance is correct all he wants, but the fact remains that his report failed to tie up “those loose ends" and prove that ineptitude is all that was at hand.

As David Ray Griffin has stated:

...Although this explanation has been widely accepted, is it really believable? If our military had been guilty only of confusion and incompetence on 9/11, it would have been strange for its officials, by saying that they had been notified by the FAA earlier than they really had, to open themselves not only to the charge of criminal fraud but also to the suspicion that they had deliberately not intercepted the hijacked airliners. We are being asked to believe, in other words, that Scott, Arnold, and the others, in telling the earlier story, acted in a completely irrational manner--that, while being guilty only of confusion and a little incompetence, they told a lie that could have exposed them with being charged with murder and treason.

Equally counter intuitive is the fact that the top officials in charge of NORAD and the FAA on 9/11 were rewarded for their supposed incompetence with promotions instead of charges of perjury.

In regard to how the NORAD stand-down was achieved, many have speculated that inaction by an intentionally AWOL chain of command, combined with the four wargames that were conducted on 9/11, which seem to have included live-fly simulations of hijackings, and NORAD radar screens, which displayed false tracks throughout the attacks, caused deliberate confusion.

911myths.com features outdated pages on the issues of live-fly exercises and false radar blips, proving once again that we don't need "debunkers" to answer these questions, but rather a new investigative body willing to tie all "loose ends" so there is no need for Loose Change or their detractors.

Former U.S. Army Air Defense Officer and NORAD Tac Director, decorated with the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Soldiers Medal stated that "there is no way that an aircraft . . . would not be intercepted when they deviate from their flight plan, turn off their transponders, or stop communication with Air Traffic Control ... Attempts to obscure facts by calling them a 'conspiracy Theory' does not change the truth. It seems, 'Something is rotten in the State.'"

"I knew within hours of the attacks on 9/11/2001 that it was an inside job. Based on my 11-year experience as an FAA Air Traffic Controller in the busy Northeast corridor, including hundreds of hours of training, briefings, air refuelings, low altitude bombing drills, being part of huge military exercises, daily military training exercises, interacting on a routine basis directly with NORAD radar personnel, and based on my own direct experience dealing with in-flight emergency situations, including two instances of hijacked commercial airliners, I state unequivocally; There is absolutely no way that four large commercial airliners could have flown around off course for 30 to 60 minutes on 9/11 without being intercepted and shot completely out of the sky by our jet fighters unless very highly placed people in our government and our military wanted it to happen. - Robin Hordon, Former FAA Air Traffic Controller at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, located in Nashua, NH, 1970 - 1981. FAA certified commercial pilot. FAA certified Flight Instructor and certified Ground Instructor. After leaving the FAA, he had a 12-year career in the field of comedy ending up as artistic coordinator for "Catch A Rising Star" in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA.

Edited by Steven Gaal

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'Let's Get Rid of This Goddamn Sim': How NORAD Radar Screens Displayed False Tracks All Through the 9/11 Attacks

Submitted by Shoestring on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 6:04am

Military personnel responsible for defending U.S. airspace had false tracks displayed on their radar screens throughout the entire duration of the 9/11 attacks, as part of the simulation for a training exercise being conducted that day. Technicians at NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) were still receiving the simulated radar information around the time the third attack, on the Pentagon, took place. Those at NORAD's operations center in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, were still receiving it several minutes after United Airlines Flight 93 apparently crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

No one has investigated why false tracks continued being injected onto NORAD radar screens long after the U.S. military was alerted to the real-world crisis taking place that morning. And yet we surely need to know more about these simulated "inputs" and what effect they had on the military's ability to respond to the 9/11 attacks.

NEADS TECHNICIANS TOLD TO TURN OFF 'SIM SWITCHES'

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 took place in airspace that was the responsibility of NEADS, based in Rome, New York. NEADS was therefore responsible for trying to coordinate the military's response to the hijackings. And yet, in the middle of it all, at 9:30 a.m. that morning a member of staff on the NEADS operations floor complained about simulated material that was appearing on the NEADS radar screens. He said: "You know what, let's get rid of this goddamn sim. Turn your sim switches off. Let's get rid of that crap." [1] Four minutes later, Technical Sergeant Jeffrey Richmond gave an instruction to the NEADS surveillance technicians, "All surveillance, turn off your sim switches." (A "sim switch" presumably allows a technician to either display or turn off any simulated material on their radar screen.) [2]

This means that at least some of the radar scopes at NEADS were still displaying simulated information--presumably false tracks--57 minutes after an air traffic controller at the FAA's Boston Center called there and announced: "We have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York." Forty-eight minutes had passed since the first attack on the World Trade Center occurred, and 31 minutes since the second tower was hit and it became obvious that the U.S. was under attack. It was only three minutes after Richmond gave his instruction, at 9:37 a.m., that the Pentagon was struck in the third successful attack that morning. [3]

Why were NEADS radar scopes displaying simulated information for so long during the real-world crisis, when it appears the technicians could have removed that information at the flick of a switch? Surely any false tracks could have hindered the ability of NEADS personnel to effectively respond to the attacks, so should have been terminated at the first sign of an actual emergency.

And yet this inexplicable behavior was not an exception. A similar thing happened at NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC) in Colorado, where it appears that false radar tracks were being displayed for even longer than at NEADS.

NORAD OPERATIONS CENTER ASKS FOR 'EXERCISE INPUTS' TO BE STOPPED

At 10:12 a.m., an officer at the NORAD operations center, "Captain Taylor," called NEADS and spoke to Captain Brian Nagel, the chief of live exercises there. After introducing himself, Taylor said, "What we need you to do right now is to terminate all exercise inputs coming into Cheyenne Mountain." Nagel gave Taylor an extension number and asked him to call it to get the exercise inputs stopped. Taylor replied, "I'll do that." [4] "Inputs," according to an article in Vanity Fair, are simulated scenarios that are put into play by a simulations team during training exercises. [5]

Taylor was presumably referring specifically to false tracks that had been transmitted onto radar screens at the CMOC, where more than 50 members of the battle staff had been participating in the exercise conducted that morning. [6] Indeed, the Toronto Star reported, "Any simulated information, what's known as an 'inject'" was "purged from the screens" at the CMOC in response to the news of the real-world attacks. (However, the report indicated, apparently incorrectly, that the false tracks appearing on CMOC screens were terminated earlier on, at some time shortly before 9:03 a.m., when the second WTC tower was hit.) [7]

If simulated material was still being displayed on CMOC radar screens at 10:12 a.m., this would be astonishing. By that time, 95 minutes had passed since--according to the 9/11 Commission--the military was first alerted to the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11, and more than an hour had passed since the second plane hit the WTC. Flight 93 had apparently crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania minutes earlier, and so the 9/11 attacks were already over. [8]

Why did it take so long for someone at the CMOC to call NEADS and ask it to "terminate all exercise inputs coming into Cheyenne Mountain?" Surely any simulated information should have been stopped as soon as NORAD learned of the real-world crisis taking place that morning.

The operations center was certainly in a valuable position to assist in the response to the terrorist attacks, so the intrusion of false tracks on its radar screens would presumably have considerably impaired the emergency response capabilities of the military. Airman magazine described the CMOC as the "nerve center of NORAD," and its troops as "the eyes and ears of North America ... nothing escapes their unsleeping watch." [9] According to the Toronto Star, "Whether it's a simulation or a real-world event, the role of the center is to fuse every critical piece of information NORAD has into a concise and crystalline snapshot." [10] NORAD has stated that the center collected data "from a worldwide system of satellites, radars, and other sensors, and processes that information on sophisticated computer systems to support critical NORAD and U.S. Space Command missions."

The CMOC provided "warning of ballistic missile or air attacks against North America, assists the air sovereignty mission for the United States and Canada, and, if necessary, is the focal point for air defense operations to counter enemy bombers or cruise missiles." The Battle Management Center there provided "command and control for the air surveillance and air defense network for North America." In 1994, for example, it monitored over 700 "unknown" radar tracks that entered North American airspace. [11]

NORAD INJECTS SIMULATED RADAR INFORMATION DURING EXERCISES

Simulated information was being transmitted onto radar screens the morning of September 11 as part of an annual command post exercise called Vigilant Guardian. All of NORAD, including NEADS, was participating in this exercise, which has been described as a "simulated air war" and as "an air defense exercise simulating an attack on the United States." [12]

An information page on Vigilant Guardian stated: "All of NEADS, operations personnel are to have their sim switches turned 'on' starting at 1400Z 6 Sept. 01 till endex [the end date of the exercise, which was originally going to be September 13]." The information page added, "A sim test track will be in place and forward told [i.e. transferred to a higher level of command] to both NORAD and CONR," NORAD's Continental United States Region. Presumably this was why the NORAD operations center needed to contact NEADS in order to get the "exercise inputs" terminated. [13]

A memo outlining special instructions for Vigilant Guardian participants described how their equipment needed to be set up to deal with the simulated material. It stated: "The exercise will be conducted sim over live on the air sovereignty string. The Q-93 must be placed in the mixed mode to allow the telling [i.e. the communicating of information between facilities] of sim tracks." [14]

The Q-93 was an important piece of equipment used by NORAD, described as "a suite of computers and peripheral equipment configured to receive plot data from ground radar systems." [15] It had "connectivity to numerous domestic radar sites, receives flight plans from the FAA, and has bi-directional communications with NORAD headquarters and a real-time link to AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System planes]." It performed "real-time surveillance, identification, and weapons control missions." [16]

According to Master Sergeant Joseph McCain, the NEADS mission crew commander technician, "Q-93 radar screens have the ability to run a multiple input wartime scenario." [17] Indeed, in 1999, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre revealed that NORAD could inject "mass attacks" onto its radar screens. [18] In December 1998, for example, it conducted an exercise called Vigilant Virgo, which reportedly "analyzed the Y2K preparedness of the entire ground radar array network. These systems were put through a series of scenarios involving tactical warning." [19] During this exercise, NORAD "injected 30 plus, well over 30 missile events into [its] sensors." This was "data that was injected as though it was being sensed for the first time by a radar site," according to Hamre. Of the more than 30 different simulated scenarios, some were "mass attacks" while others involved just "single missiles." [20]

WHEN WAS VIGILANT GUARDIAN TERMINATED?

Since NEADS and the NORAD operations center were still receiving simulated radar information long after the 9/11 attacks began, this raises the question of when exactly Vigilant Guardian was brought to an end. According to some accounts, it was called off "shortly after" 9:03 a.m., when the second WTC tower was hit. [21] However, when at 9:15 a.m. a caller asked, "Did they suspend the exercise?" NEADS tracking technician Mark Jennings replied, "Not at this time, no." Jennings continued, "I think they're going to," but added, "I don't know." [22]

In fact, one military newspaper has indicated that Vigilant Guardian may have been terminated more than half an hour after the attacks ended. According to the military information website, GlobalSecurity.org, Vigilant Guardian was held each year in conjunction with a U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) exercise called Global Guardian, and a 1997 Department of Defense report similarly listed Vigilant Guardian as one of several exercises that Global Guardian "links with." [23]

An article in The Bombardier, the newspaper for Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, stated that Stratcom ordered a pause in Global Guardian at 9:11 a.m. on September 11, but only "formally terminated" this exercise at 10:44 a.m. [24] Considering that false tracks were still being displayed on NORAD radar screens at 10:12 a.m., and that NORAD's exercise that day was held in conjunction with Global Guardian, did Vigilant Guardian similarly continue until around 10:44 a.m. before being "formally terminated"?

CRITICAL QUESTIONS

The fact that key NEADS and NORAD operations center personnel had false information appearing on their radar screens throughout the 9/11 attacks raises critical questions that have yet to be investigated. We need to know who was responsible for transmitting the simulated "exercise inputs" to radar scopes. It has been reported that there was a "simulations team" working at NEADS the morning of September 11. [25] Was this team putting out the false tracks? If so, who were its members? Why did they continue with the simulation when it should have been obvious that a real-world crisis was taking place? And why didn't their higher-ups order them to stop transmitting the false tracks?

We also need to find out how many radar scopes at NEADS, the CMOC, and other NORAD facilities across the U.S. were receiving the simulated information. And what scenarios were transmitted onto the screens? Considering that Vigilant Guardian has been described as a "simulated air war," one would assume that many false tracks were being displayed.

Furthermore, we need to find out if personnel were able to distinguish genuine radar tracks from the simulated ones. It is worth noting that, since the mid-1990s, a tool called the PAC-3 Mobile Flight Mission Simulator (MFMS) has been available, which is capable of simulating a variety of enemy air vehicles. The MFMS was used by the U.S. Army in training exercises prior to 9/11. Crucially, it has been reported that "the graphic representations of MFMS tracks" on radar screens were "no different than those of actual tracks." To distinguish between real and simulated tracks, an operator had to observe the "Identify Friend or Foe" response of a track. "Simply, a real aircraft will generate an interrogation response whereas the simulated aircraft will return no response." [26]

If NORAD used equipment that simulated enemy aircraft in a similar way to the MFMS, this would presumably mean the task of distinguishing between real and false radar tracks on September 11 was less than straightforward, especially considering that three of the four aircraft targeted that day had their transponders turned off. [27] These aircraft would therefore not have been transmitting anything like an "Identify Friend or Foe" signal.

In sum, we need to determine the extent to which the U.S. military was hindered in its ability to respond on 9/11 as a result of its radar scopes receiving simulated information throughout the terrorist attacks.

It seems possible that the injection of false radar information could have been one way that normal emergency responses were sabotaged, so as to ensure the success of the attacks on New York and Washington, DC. If that is the case, those responsible must be investigated and brought to justice.

NOTES

[1] NEADS Audio File, Mission Crew Commander Position, Channel 2. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001; Transcripts From Voice Recorder, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Rome, NY. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001.

[2] NEADS Audio File, Air Surveillance Technician Position, Channel 15. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001; NEADS Communications 9:20 a.m.-9:54 a.m. September 11, 2001. 9/11 Commission, n.d.

[3] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, pp. 20, 22, 27.

[4] NEADS Audio File, Senior Director Position, Channel 20. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001.

[5] Michael Bronner, "9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes." Vanity Fair, August 2006.

[6] Jason Tudor, "Inner Space." Airman, March 2002; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With NORAD Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Rick Findley, Canadian Forces (CF)." 9/11 Commission, March 1, 2004.

[7] Scott Simmie, "The Scene at NORAD on Sept. 11: Playing Russian War Games ... And Then Someone Shouted to Look at the Monitor." Toronto Star, December 9, 2001.

[8] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 20, 22, 30.

[9] Pat McKenna, "The Border Guards." Airman, January 1996.

[10] Scott Simmie, "The Scene at NORAD on Sept. 11."

[11] "Cheyenne Mountain." North American Aerospace Defense Command, November 27, 1999.

[12] Leslie Filson, Air War Over America: Sept. 11 Alters Face of Air Defense Mission. Tyndall Air Force Base, FL: 1st Air Force, 2003, pp. 55, 122; William M. Arkin, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World. Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2005, p. 545; "Vigilant Guardian." GlobalSecurity.org, April 27, 2005.

[13] "Vigilant Guardian 01-2." Northeast Air Defense Sector, August 23, 2001.

[14] Neil A. Cleveland, "Special Instructions (Spins) Vigilant Guardian 01-2." Northeast Air Defense Sector, August 23, 2001.

[15] John B. Stephenson, Sally M. Obenski, and Paula Bridickas, Mission-Critical Systems: Defense Attempting to Address Major Software Challenges. Washington, DC: United States General Accounting Office, December 1992, p. 17; "AN/FYQ-93 Communications System." Federation of American Scientists, April 23, 2000.

[16] Charles P. Satterthwaite, David E. Corman, and Thomas S. Herm, "Real-Time Information Extraction for Homeland Defense." Air Force Research Laboratory, June 2002.

[17] "Memorandum for the Record: North Eastern Air Defense Sector (NEADS) Field Site Visit." 9/11 Commission, October 28, 2003.

[18] John J. Hamre, "Dr. Hamre's Briefing on Year 2000 Issues." U.S. Department of Defense, January 15, 1999.

[19] Michael Kraig, "Safe or Sorry: The 'Y2K Problem' and Nuclear Weapons." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March/April 1999; William M. Arkin, Code Names, p. 546.

[20] John J. Hamre, "Dr. Hamre's Briefing on Year 2000 Issues."

[21] Jason Tudor, "Inner Space"; Leslie Filson, Air War Over America, p. 59.

[22] NEADS Audio File, Identification Technician Position, Channel 7. North American Aerospace Defense Command, September 11, 2001.

[23] Nuclear Weapon Systems Sustainment Programs. Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense, May 1997; "Vigilant Guardian."

[24] "Unlikely Chain of Events." The Bombardier, September 8, 2006. Note that the times given in this article are in Central time, which I have converted to Eastern time.

[25] Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11. New York: Free Press, 2008, p. 25.

[26] Andrew Yuliano, "Simulations: Changing the Paradigm for Air Defense Operational Testing." Air Defense Artillery, April 2001.

[27] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 16.

Edited by Steven Gaal

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In 2006 New Scientist magazine reported that "US military radar can track space debris as small as 10 centimetres across, and can sometimes see things as small as 5 cm wide if it is in just the right orbit."

The 35 USAF bases that were within range of the 9/11 flights unquestionably possessed highly-sophisticated radar.

You'll probably ignore this but the above two statements do not really go together.

Yes, most USAF bases have radar but NOT the kind of radar in the first statement. An AF base will have approach radar for the airfield and usually that is about it. This radar is short range and designed for approach control for landings at that area. Space radar is located at only a few facilities and is very different. It does not and can not track aircraft. Typically they use the PAVE PAWS or a similar system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAVE_PAWS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Space_Surveillance_System

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Matt,

Please don't introduce facts into a convicted viewpoint; it tends to confuse people.

Thanks!

(VTIC) :rolleyes:

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'Let's Get Rid of This Goddamn Sim': How NORAD Radar Screens Displayed False Tracks All Through the 9/11 Attacks

Submitted by Shoestring on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 6:04am

Military personnel responsible for defending U.S. airspace had false tracks displayed on their radar screens throughout the entire duration of the 9/11 attacks, as part of the simulation for a training exercise being conducted that day. Technicians at NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) were still receiving the simulated radar information around the time the third attack, on the Pentagon, took place. Those at NORAD's operations center in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, were still receiving it several minutes after United Airlines Flight 93 apparently crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

No one has investigated why false tracks continued being injected onto NORAD radar screens long after the U.S. military was alerted to the real-world crisis taking place that morning. And yet we surely need to know more about these simulated "inputs" and what effect they had on the military's ability to respond to the 9/11 attacks.

Based on this the switches could have been turned off earlier by techs taking orders from a Technical Sergeant, which undermines the notion of a high level, that is 9 layers of rank down from NEADS commander Col. Marr. Also since there were about 4500 flying that morning how much of a difference would a few simulated blips have made? How many of those blips were in the involved areas. Truthers have yet to cite anyone working that morning who indicated the blips significantly affected their ability to react.

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The U.S. military has their own network of radars
looking over the U.S. borders
, and
out over the ocean
(NORAD). They are tied into the FAA computer to be able to get information on
incoming flights
from overseas
, but if they see a target
over international waters
headed toward the U.S…
// end Colby

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A stand-down is defined as "a relaxation from a state of readiness or alert." This certainly took place regarding air defenses on 9/11. One explanation offered was that the terrorists turned off the electronic device known as a transponder, which helps identify aircraft on radar.

As stated by the 9/11 Commission, "With its transponder off, it is possible, though more difficult, to track an aircraft by its primary radar returns. But unlike transponder data, primary radar returns do not show the aircraft's identity and altitude."

The commission failed to consider the fact that the US military has more than just ground radar at their disposal.

As defined by the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, AWACS is "a sophisticated detection aircraft, fitted with powerful radar and a computer, capable of simultaneously tracking and plotting large numbers of low-flying aircraft at much greater distances than is possible with ground radar."

Excepts for when flt. 93 was over SE Ohio and WV there is no indication that AWACS could better track primary targets that ground radar. And IF an AWACS were in that area truthers would have remarked about the amazing coincidence!

On 9/11 an AWACS plane on a training mission in the Washington, DC, area was ordered to return to its base in Oklahoma limiting the communications and surveillance capabilities of NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector.

We’ve been over this Mr. Cut n’ paste, it returned AFTER the Pentagon crash and there is no indication from the cited source it was “in the Washington, DC, area”

In 2006 New Scientist magazine reported that "US military radar can track space debris as small as 10 centimetres across, and can sometimes see things as small as 5 cm wide if it is in just the right orbit."

Uuuuh 2006 was
after
2001, none of the hijacked planes was “in orbit”

The 35 USAF bases that were within range of the 9/11 flights unquestionably possessed highly-sophisticated radar.

The only cited source is a USAF list of bases, with no indication of their capabilities.

Commercial airliners do not need their transponders turned on in order to be tracked by the US military. If America was being attacked by aircraft belonging to a foreign power, it is ridiculous to think these enemy aircraft would have transponders installed to help the US Air Force shoot them down. It is equally ridiculous to believe the US military lack the technology to track aircraft without a transponder signal.

Yes and those aircraft should in theory be intercepted over the ocean or at least sparsely populated areas of Alaska or northern Canada

Another excuse given by defenders of the official story is that NORAD only looked outward for threats, not inward. There is much evidence that looking inward was also one of their responsibilities,

Weak citing a document from 1958! The rest I'll debunk in the other thread.

but in any event, there is at least one incident which proves NORAD could be tasked to defend any part of the skies over the United States and Canada, as well as much evidence that it is not the only time this has happened, but rather, the only time we have been privy to.

The Popular Mechanics book Debunking 9/11 Myths cites an article in a 2002 edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette, which claims that, "Before September 11, the only time officials recall scrambling jets over the United States was when golfer Payne Stewart’s plane veered off course and crashed in South Dakota in 1999."

Popular Mechanics adds, "Except for that lone, tragic anomaly, all NORAD interceptions from the end of the Cold war in 1989 until 9/11 took place in offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). . . . The planes intercepted in these zones were primarily being used for drug smuggling."

But an October 13, 2001 Calgary Herald article reported that before 9/11 fighter jets "were scrambled to babysit suspect aircraft or 'unknowns' twice a week."

As Professor David Ray Griffin pointed out in his book Debunking 9/11 Debunking, "Twice a week would be about 100 times per year, and 'babysitting' is not what planes would do with jets suspected of smuggling drugs into the country."

Furthermore, a 1994 United States General Accounting Office report on continental air defense states, "Overall, during the past 4 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 one per site, or 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."

As I proved in the other thread Griffin is a fraudster neither the GAO report nor the Herald article indicated NORAD intercepted domestic flights. The latter in fact indicated the opposite.

As the New York City Activist blog pointed out, "Admittedly this is the early 1990′s, not 2001, and the quote is from a report which recommended trimming down the force. But still it casts a lot of doubt on the Popular Mechanics claim that intercepts were a rare occurrence."

And as Griffin points out in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, "In this account NORAD made 379 interceptions per year, 354 of which 'involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft in distress,' not intercepting planes suspected of smuggling drugs. Besides the fact that 1992 was part of 'the decade before 9/11,' it is doubtful that the pattern of interceptions would have changed radically after that."

Still nothing about
domestic
intercepts.

A Canadian government performance report on their arm of NORAD for 1999-2000, the same period as the Payne Stewart flight, relevant to military operations in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, backs up Griffin’s statements. The report states, "If required, 'unknown aircraft' are intercepted and identified by aircraft dedicated to NORAD. Over the past year, NORAD has intercepted 736 aircraft, 82 of which were suspected drug smugglers…"

Still nothing about
domestic
flights and Canadian NORAD was not directly involved with 9/11

While not addressing these reports, Mike Williams of the “debunking” website 911myths.com states, "The Popular Mechanics claim that there was one intercept of a 'civilian plane over North America' in the decade before 9/11 still seems quite absolute, but then that just means it wouldn’t take much to disprove it. Just find a media report of an intercept, an interview with a pilot who was intercepted when they accidentally flew too close to the White House, anything like that... How difficult can it be?"

Being that Williams only provides two examples of other intercepts for comparison on his webpage concerning the Payne Stewart incident, and that he could not find all the information needed to draw firm conclusions on these, he should know that finding any detailed statistics on such matters is difficult.

Which indicates such incidents are few and far between, truthers have yet to cite any that took place in the time frames they think should have been followed on 9/11 or any other than Stewart's that took place in the previous decade.

The aforementioned entry on the New York City Activist blog highlights the following from the 2004 Complaint & Petition to the NY Attorney General (Spitzer at the time) for a new criminal investigation into 9/11:

Also necessary would be data on cases of errant planes or unknowns in which no scramble orders were issued. Of special interest would be the prior performance within NORAD’s Northeastern Air Defense Sector (“NEADS”), which is headquartered at Rome, New York. Such a cumulative analysis–with special attention to cases when passenger planes deviated from course in the air-traffic control zones within which the 9/11 attacks occurred–would provide indispensable context for serious research into the subject of air defense response on September 11. This data is currently unavailable to the public, and there is no indication such an analysis was undertaken by the Kean Commission.

When 9/11 researcher and activist Aidan Monaghan sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the FAA he was informed that, "...The FAA does not track or keep information about the request for support of NORAD for intercepting aircraft throughout the National Airspace System."

When Monaghan tried obtaining FOIA information from NORAD he was advised that they are not subject to the FOIA because they are a bi-national organization between the U.S. and Canada.

Perhaps those in government are the ones worthy of the question, "How difficult can it be?"

When Williams was asked in an interview to give his "strongest argument" against a NORAD stand-down he stated that, "I would point out the Payne Stewart intercept time of over 70 minutes, and the pre-9/11 confirmation that NORAD only had 14 fighters on alert at one time, none of which were at Andrews Air Force Base."

First off, as is pointed out in Paul Thompson's article "The Failure to Defend the Skies on 9/11," "We know details of a 1999 fighter scramble, because famous golfer Payne Stewart was aboard a runaway Learjet. With the pilot unconscious, NORAD used fighters from a number of bases outside NORAD’s official seven bases to follow the plane as it crossed over several states before finally crashing."

So William's first point takes away from his second one.

None the less it took 76 minutes from the 1st missed radio call for a fighter to get within 3 miles, 81 to get within 2000 feet, and about 89 to begin “a visual inspection”, and this was a plane flying in a straight line with its transponder on in lightly traveled airspace
.

As reported by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine, after the second strike on the WTC, "Calls from fighter units… started pouring into NORAD and sector operations centers, asking, ‘What can we do to help?’" One of these bases was Syracuse, which offered to have planes in the air with some weapons within ten minutes. Paul Thomson notes that, "Even if fighters didn’t take off from Syracuse until 9:20, that still would have been enough time for those fighters to reach Washington before Flight 77 did, if they had been ordered to protect that city." Sadly, fighters from Syracuse did not take off until over an hour and a half after their offer to help.

There is only one report of such a call with no source identified and no exact time identified. The source is
William B. Scott
who you accuse of being a disinfo agent. According to the commander of the base fighters took off to intercept flight 93, thus before 10:03. It is 298 miles from Syracuse International to Washington National, its unlikely the fighters could have covered that distance in 17 minutes, they would had to have averaged over 1000 MPH.

William's admits on his page concerning Andrews that they "had some pilots and fighters, just not sufficiently prepared." This refers to their excuse for not launching fighters until 95 minutes after the second WTC crash because they were loading missiles, however, the first two planes to launch only had guns available.

Just as with Syracuse something could have been done much earlier. David Ray Griffin is quoted on William's page as stating "Fighters loaded with bullets, but no missiles, could have provided considerable protection. Even fighter jets completely unloaded would be better than no fighters at all, given their ability to deter and, if all else failed, ram an airliner headed towards the Pentagon, the White House or the Capitol." William's doesn't focus on this though, instead he rebuts Griffin's other argument that the "arming never happened," which it did, but not for another 33minutes after the first two planes took off.

Grifter is a conman and theologian not an air defense expert. If he were POTUS would he have ordered a fighter pilot to fly kamikaze style into the 757? Would crashing two planes over densely populated Alexandria reduced the number of casualties?

Regarding Griffin's former point, the article "IGNORAD - The military screw-up nobody talks about" by former U.S. Navy intelligence officer Scott Shuger also notes that there are other techniques fighters could have used with a hijacked plane, Shuger states:

It can first rock its wingtips to attract attention, or make a pass in front of the plane, or fire tracer rounds in its path. So even though on 9/11, the NORAD pilots working the first three airliners didn't have shootdown authority (they got it only after the Pentagon was hit), they would or should have been ready to try these other techniques, which might well have spooked or forced the hijackers into turning, which might have given the fighters a chance to force them out to sea. And even if the hijackers decided instead to fly right into a fighter in their way, wouldn't an airburst have killed fewer people than two collapsed flaming skyscrapers did?

LOL that was risible “analysis”:

- Given the time they were scrambled there is no way the fighters could have reached the WTC before the 2nd crash, let alone the 1st one.

- AFAIK “mak[ing] a pass in front of the plane” does not mean positioning yourself in front of it so that it would hit you unless it turned. I doubt the DoD would utilize such a potentially suicidal tactic.

- why would a pilot intent on killing himself and as many other people as possible be deterred by a fighter rocking its wings?

As it turned out Shuger knew what he was talking about. Almost 8 months after his January 2002 article AviationWeek.com reported that:

Within minutes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Air National Guard F-16s took off from here in response to a plea from the White House to 'Get in the air now!' Those fighters were flown by three pilots who had decided, on their own, to ram a hijacked airliner and force it to crash, if necessary. Such action almost certainly would have been fatal for them, but could have prevented another terrorism catastrophe in Washington.

These or other heroes like them could have and should have been in the air much sooner on 9/11, but don't take my word for it.

LOL another article from supposed disinfo agent William B. Scott. I saw an interview with a French Resistance leader noted with irony how many more :members his group had
after
war than during it. It is easy to say you had or would have acted heroically after the fact, in any case such a radical action would have more sense after the Pentagon crash rather before it let alone before the 2nd WTC crash.

In the 911blogger.com article "The 90-Minute Stand Down on 9/11: Why Was the Secret Service's Early Request for Fighter Jets Ignored?" Captain Brandon Rasmussen from Andrews is quoted as stating that, "We were relieved to actually be given permission to go up and do something, instead of feeling totally helpless. I mean, we are fighter pilots, just like guard dogs chomping at the bit, ready to go."

Reading the whole interview in context Rasmussen gave no indication he thought there was some undue delay in getting him and the others off the ground.

All this being said, the fact that NORAD's force had been cut down to 14 fighter jets and that Andrews wasn't more prepared is problematic enough. As "Loose Nuke" commented on the 911 Blogger article:

On pg 2 of Note 13 it says, 'Wherley had no properly armed planes at Andrews. His units were not air defense units.' There's a 'summer of threat', warnings of a planes as missiles attack, CIA and FBI knew operatives were in the country, nothing was done to disrupt the plot, and nothing was done to harden security, nothing was done to defend the nation's capital. Rather, it appears some took action to leave the capital open to attack.

OK Mr. Gall provide us with a list of the “warnings of a planes as missiles attack”

Back to the Payne Stewart incident, on Willams' old webpage on the subject he states that, "To be fair, if the first fighters had been closer (as they were on 9/11) then the response time would have been better."

His new page on the subject no longer contains this line. So much for being equitable!

LOL point me to any truther websites that are “equitable”!

Regardless, using a roughly 76 minute starting point for a refutation is fine because these events are barely comparable. Stewart was flying a 6-8 passenger Learjet 35, not a large commercial airliner, which was not flying over densely populated areas, did not have its transponder turned off, and was on autopilot as opposed to having terrorists at the helm clearly attacking the country.

The unwritten presumption is that Stewart’s plane could have been intercepted more quickly if only the situation was more urgent, but no evidence is provided in support of this speculation. Having their transponders turned off and flying erratic flight paths through heavily trafficked airspace made the hijacked planes harder to track.

The third strike on 9/11 at the Pentagon took place at 9:38 a.m., 44 minutes after Flight 77 veered off course at 8:54 a.m. This is a conservative figure, and judging from William's own page on the subject, one with which he would agree. By this time the first tower had already been struck. Although many government officials would claim that they thought the first strike was just an accident, couterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke wrote in his 2004 book Against all enemies that a member of his White House staff told him that, “Until we know what this is, Dick, we should assume the worst.” And in Bob Woodward's 2002 book Bush at War it was reported that when CIA Director George Tenet learned of the strike he was told specifically that, “The World Trade tower has been attacked,” after which he immediately suspected bin Laden.

Even if it’s true that Tenet and Clarke suspected terrorism there is no evidence NORAD did before the 2nd crash. And there is no evidence the latter became aware of this till 9:34 only 4 minutes before the crash. Apparently the people at Indianapolis Center were not aware of what happened and presumed the flight crashed when it disappeared from radar screens. Regardless 44 minutes is just a little more than the Stewart intercept time.

The reaction of these officials should have been universal and hence the moment Flight 77 deviated from its course it should have become a target for interception. As noted on Wikipedia:

The Bojinka plot was a planned large-scale Islamist terrorist attack... to take place in January 1995...

[...]

And do we have any evidence controllers at Indianapolis Center were aware of the “Bojinka plot”? Most truthers say it is suspicious how quickly the USG blamed AQ

Furthermore, Williams neglects to mention the fact that the jets already in the air which failed to reach the first two strikes were not redeployed towards the deviating planes headed for the capital. This would have guaranteed interceptors reaching Flight 77 before it crashed into the Pentagon.

Two targets had been struck in NYC, none anywhere else. If the F-15s had been diverted to DC truthers would be asking how they knew it was no longer necessary to protect that city and that the nation’s capital was the next target.

To put it all another way, if the military can get to a Learjet in roughly 76 minutes when they are not being waged war on, then 44 or more minutes should be sufficient when they are. These points hold all the more true for the fourth plane to perish that day.

Actually 81 minutes, the 4th plane never got near a target, the rest is speculation.

Based on a timeline provided by NORAD, on September 17, 2001 CNN reported that at "9:16 a.m.: FAA informs NORAD that United Airlines flight 93 may have been hijacked." The 9/11 Commission would later claim that NORAD is first notified about Flight 93 one minute after it had already crashed at 10:07 a.m. However, the initial report is supported by statements from two NORAD commanders that they were already tracking the flight when it changed direction at 9:36. This would mean that the military was tracking the flight for 50 minutes as opposed to zero! (Update on this point) This is just one of many such changes made in the 9/11 Commission's third mutually contradictory version of events.

The 9:16 time was obviously wrong since the plane was not even hijacked till 9:28, CNN attributed this to “informed defense officials” NOT Norad and the “statements from [the] two NORAD commanders” were problematic, actually there were three, one remembered the plane “circling over Chicago” another that it “was going to strike the Sears Tower in Chicago” and a third that “we watched the 93 track as it meandered around the Ohio-Pennsylvania area and started to turn south toward [Washington,] DC.” But the reality is that 93 flew in a straight line from Newark until it started to turn just southwest of Cleveland about 300 miles from Chicago and 60 – 70 miles from the Pennsylvania state line. Not even the flight controllers at Cleveland Center were sure at that point which plane had been hijacked, some thought it was Delta 1989.

During testimony given to the 9/11 Commission, then Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta had the following exchange with 9/11 commissioner Lee Hamilton regarding the plane coming into the Pentagon:

MR. MINETA: ...There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, "The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out." And when it got down to, "The plane is 10 miles out," the young man also said to the vice president, "Do the orders still stand?" And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, "Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?"...

MR. HAMILTON: The flight you're referring to is the --

MR. MINETA: The flight that came into the Pentagon.

MR. HAMILTON: The Pentagon, yeah.

The 9/11 Commission would assert that the military "had at most one or two minutes to react" to Flight 77 before it hit the Pentagon, however, Mineta's testimony indicates that they had 10 to 12 minutes, leading many to suspect the orders were stand-down orders. They omitted Mineta’s testimony from both their final report and the official version of the video record, however, they did imply Mineta was mistaken, stating that the discussion between Cheney and the aide occurred later than he claimed, and that it was referencing a shoot-down order for Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

Mineta was almost certainly mistaken, his timeline conflicts with everyone else who was there. The flight path he recalled, down the Potomac corresponds with that 93 would have flown not the one flown by 77.

So, were the orders for a stand-down or a shoot-down? As pointed out by 9/11 researcher "jimd3100":

Even if the 9-11 Commission is correct, when they claim he arrived at 10:07 (according to the White House) Mineta makes it clear the order was given before he got there. There was no shoot down order given before 10:07. The 9-11 Commission seems to admit this.

...It seems very clear from the evidence that no shoot down order was given until 10:20 and none relayed to the military until 10:31. Which means if an order was given before 10:20 there is no reason to believe it was a shoot down order. Which would seem to indicate it was a stand down

Talk about cherrypicking! Jimd3100 accurately quoted the 9/11 C. Report, "At some time between 10:10 and 10:15, a military aide told the Vice President and others that the aircraft was 80 miles out…the military aide returned a few minutes later, probably between 10:12 and 10:18, and said the aircraft was 60 miles out." that corresponds with something else in the report. “Repeatedly between 10:14 and 10:19, a lieutenant colonel at the White House relayed to the NMCC that the Vice President had confirmed fighters were cleared to engage inbound aircraft if they could verify that the aircraft was hijacked.” So no there’s no contradiction or real evidence of a stand-down order.

In regard to how the NORAD stand-down was achieved, many have speculated that inaction by an intentionally AWOL chain of command, combined with the four wargames that were conducted on 9/11, which seem to have included live-fly simulations of hijackings, and NORAD radar screens, which displayed false tracks throughout the attacks, caused deliberate confusion.

Yes it's true that many truthers believe this, what’s lacking is legitimate evidence
.

Former U.S. Army Air Defense Officer and NORAD Tac Director, decorated with the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Soldiers Medal stated that "there is no way that an aircraft . . . would not be intercepted when they deviate from their flight plan, turn off their transponders, or stop communication with Air Traffic Control ... Attempts to obscure facts by calling them a 'conspiracy Theory' does not change the truth. It seems, 'Something is rotten in the State.'"

There are serious problems with the man’s claimed bio and even contradictions from different sources as to what rank he reached. Even if what he claims is true his air defense experience dates to the late 60’s and thus not applicable to how things worked over 30 years later.

Despite his claims about interceptions it took 81 minutes to intercept Payne Stewart’s Lear in 1999 and about 2 ½ to intercept Bo’ Rein’s Cessna in 1980. True neither lost their transponders but it’s hard to see how that would have made much of a difference and just like every other truther who pontificates on this issue he failed to cite one instance of a rapid NORAD intercept of a domestic flight.

"I knew within hours of the attacks on 9/11/2001 that it was an inside job. Based on my 11-year experience as an FAA Air Traffic Controller in the busy Northeast corridor, including hundreds of hours of training, briefings, air refuelings, low altitude bombing drills, being part of huge military exercises, daily military training exercises, interacting on a routine basis directly with NORAD radar personnel, and based on my own direct experience dealing with in-flight emergency situations, including two instances of hijacked commercial airliners, I state unequivocally; There is absolutely no way that four large commercial airliners could have flown around off course for 30 to 60 minutes on 9/11 without being intercepted and shot completely out of the sky by our jet fighters unless very highly placed people in our government and our military wanted it to happen. - Robin Hordon, Former FAA Air Traffic Controller at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, located in Nashua, NH, 1970 - 1981. FAA certified commercial pilot. FAA certified Flight Instructor and certified Ground Instructor. After leaving the FAA, he had a 12-year career in the field of comedy ending up as artistic coordinator for "Catch A Rising Star" in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA.

Hordon's experience was 30 years out of date on 9/11

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