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Jim Fetzer responds to David Lifton's claims regarding 9-11

Guest James H. Fetzer

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Guest James H. Fetzer

When I discovered this, I nearly barfed. Check out his area of academic specialization at the bottom.

For more, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Philip_D._Zelikow&oldid=56836687


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Philip D. Zelikow is best known as the executive director of the 9/11 Commission. He also acted as the director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia until February 2005 when he was appointed Counselor of the United States Department of State.

Philip Zelikow was born in 1954. After study at the University of Houston, he completed a B.A. in History and Political Science at the University of Redlands, in southern California. He earned a law degree from the University of Houston, where he was editor of the law review, and a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Zelikow practiced law in the early 1980s, but he turned toward the field of national security in the mid 1980s. He was adjunct professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 1984-1985, and served in three different offices of the U.S. Department of State in the second Reagan administration.

Zelikow joined the National Security Council in the George Herbert Walker Bush administration, at the same time as Condoleezza Rice. Zelikow left the NSC in 1991 and went to Harvard, where from 1991 to 1998 he was Associate Professor of Public Policy and co-director of Harvard’s Intelligence and Policy Program.

In 1998 Zelikow moved to the University of Virginia, where he directed until February 2005 the nation’s largest center on the American presidency, served as director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs and, as White Burkett Miller Professor of History, held an endowed chair.

Philip Zelikow has co-authored many books. He wrote a book with Ernest May on The Kennedy Tapes, and another with Joseph Nye and David C. King on Why People Don’t Trust Government. He wrote Germany Unified and Europe Transformed with Condoleezza Rice. He also served as the chief editor of the magazine Nintendo Power from 1987-1989; his tenure with the organization, however, ended negatively when he was asked to resign amidst his involvement in the Super Mario 2 Scandal of 1988. Zelikow and several other employees of Nintendo Power were caught on videotape distributing pirated copies of the Mario sequel to the head of state of Swaziland, King Mswati III.

Prof. Zelikow's area of academic expertise is the creation and maintenance of, in his words, “public myths” or “public presumptions,” which he defines as “beliefs (1) thought to be true (although not necessarily known to be true with certainty), and (2) shared in common within the relevant political community." In his academic work and elsewhere he has taken a special interest in what he has called “‘searing’ or ‘molding’ events [that] take on ‘transcendent’ importance and, therefore, retain their power even as the experiencing generation passes from the scene. In the United States, beliefs about the formation of the nation and the Constitution remain powerful today, as do beliefs about slavery and the Civil War. World War II, Vietnam, and the civil rights struggle are more recent examples.” He has noted that “a history’s narrative power is typically linked to how readers relate to the actions of individuals in the history; if readers cannot make a connection to their own lives, then a history may fail to engage them at all” ("Thinking about Political History," Miller Center Report [Winter 1999], pp. 5-7).

. . . .

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

Pandora's Black Box - Chapter Two - Flight Of American 77


1:04:48 - 4 years ago

Pilotsfor911truth.org presents its first full documentary based on the American 77 Flight Data Recorder as provided by the NTSB following the full flight in real time as it happens in the air traffic system on Sept. 11, 2001. For a more in depth analysis of the issues addressed in this film and/or your own personal higher quality DVD with extras and without the watermark (and the 2 split second glitches due to upload), please visit http://pilotsfor911truth.org. We thank you for your support and taking the time to inform yourself.

I don't claim to have spent anything like the time studying 9/11 that Jim has, but I am intrigued that the NTSB representation from the flight data recorder of flight 77 shows it 1) on the "wrong" flight path and 2) too high to have hit the light poles OR the Pentagon. And this is data provided by the NTSB, not some "wacko truther".

And that's before you even get into degree of difficulty with the approach.

Just like with JFK research, there are some people that have some really amazing claims. Those claims might be false, but that doesn't automatically mean that the official version is correct. Just like the JFK case, there are too many things that the official version doesn't come close to explaining.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Kathy McGrade explains how normal office fires cannot melt steel and how the symmetrical collapse of

all WTC skyscrapers--according to the official account--violates the laws of physics and thermodynamics.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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So who are we going to believe: Len Colby or our lying eyes? You are too much, Len. Really! Let's try this one for size to see how much you are willing to stretch credulity in defense of an impossible story:

Now since this frame (conveniently labeled "plane") was released by the Pentagon, while the plane shown is far too small to be a Boeing 757, which is it: fake footage it released or the plane was not a 757?

Please can you demonstrate how you calibrated the size of the superimposed plane in this image.

Please can you also demonstrate how you took into consideration how the angle of incidence of the plane's approach relative to the Pentagon would affect it's appearance and relative length as seen from the security camera. (Hint below).


Excellent point David you missed an even bigger error on Fetzer’s part, he never explained:

- how it was determined where the background ends and the ‘plane’ began they are the same tone.

- what he thinks low resolution, out of focus, slow ‘shutter’ speed frames should have registered.

Regarding the latter I suggest Fetzer, White or any other truthers who think this a valid point perform the following experiment:

- If you don’t have them get ahold of a) a digital camera that allows you to manually set the shutter speed and focus and has a 24 mm or wider (in 35 mm equivalent) lens and B) a tripod.

- Set them up several hundred feet from a highway so that they are essentially front lit with a dark background (as in the Pentagon frames).

- Set the zoom to its widest position; focus on something about 3 feet away, the ISO to lowest setting, the shutter speed to ¼ - ½ sec. and resolution to the lowest setting.

- Snap pixs of passing trucks

- Post the results here

As for the lampposts according to a page on the old Pentagon Research site (runs by a truther):

1) The poles were breakaway style on a 18 inch transformer style base. This means that at 23 inches off the ground the pole would be broken by a Volkswagen Rabbit traveling 20 mph.

2) The poles themselves were 27.66 feet high with a weight of approximately 175 pounds.

3) The truss style mast arms were 8 foot long with a rise that brought the pole height up to 30 feet. The mast arm weighs between 15-20 pounds.


A 4 door automatic Rabbit (the heaviest Rabbit on the site) weighs 3137 lbs.


If we remember back to high (secondary) school and recall the principle behind leverage, the longer the lever exponentially less force is need to do a certain amount of work. Let assume the planes struck the tops of the actual poles (27.66 feet) not the tops of the masts (30 feet). 27.66 feet equals 332 inches 332 squared equals 110,224, 23 (the height calculated for the Rabbit) squared is 529, 110,224 divided by 529 is 208.4. So it would take about 208 X less force to break the base of one of the light poles at the top than at the height calculated for the VW. 3137 (the weight of the 4 door Rabbit) divided by 208 is 15.1. So a 15.1 lb objecting hitting the top of one those poles at 20 mph should be able to knock it down. Force of an impact is half of mass times velocity squared. The take off speed for a 757 is about 200 mph (I saw 185 – 250 mph cited on the Net) 10 x the speed calculated for Rabbit, 10 squared is 100. 15 divided by 100 is 0.15 or 2.4 oz or 68 grams about the weight of a small bird, the is about the force the poles would have exerted against the wings. If a 757 couldn't handle hitting 5 small birds it would be unsafe to fly.

Theory aside let’s examine some jetliner crash images:

In 1990 an Avianca 707 crashed near JFK, despite hitting trees one wing remained intact and the other detracted alongside the remaining fuselage.



In 1988 an Airbus A320-111 crashed shortly after take-off. It struck numerous trees but no signs of the wings breaking off can be seen in a video of the incident.


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Just for a little background, the plane shown in these videos is traveling at 560 mph at an

altitude of 700-1,000 feet. That's a 767's cruising speed at 35,000 feet, but the air there is

three times thinner; at this lower altitude, the engines cannot suck the air through their

turbines and they begin functioning as brakes. In addition, Pilots for 9/11 Truth has now

released a new documentary, "9/11 Intercepted", which explains that, not only is the plane

traveling at an impossible speed, but it would have been unmanageable in flight and broken

apart. In addition, as this video clip displays, the plane actually disappears into the 500,000

ton South Tower without displaying any effects from the collision of an aluminum flying can

with a steel and concrete reinforced building. It is intersecting with eight (8) floors of steel

and concrete posing enormous horizontal resistance. If that is not enough, the plane passes

through its own length into the building in the same number of frames that it passes through

its own length in air--a physical impossibility, unless that enormous building posed no more

resistance to its flight path than air! I can't wait for you to "explain away" these violations

of Newton's laws. Indeed, this is a nice test of the extent to which you have lost your way.

You know Fetzer you did say one think I agree with and that its trying to change the subject is a sign of desperation. The subject of this thread thus far has been ground effect and the supposed destruction of a 757's wings hitting lampposts re: the Pentagon crash. The points you raise have been debated ad infinium on other threads

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It's only a question of what Cheney/Rumsfeld were guilty of -- criminal incompetence or outright treason.

Hi Cliff:

I have no problem with public officials being held accountable for their actions and inactions.

I have friends who will bear me out that I said way back when that Rumsfeld was an INCOMPETENT.

I recall saying that Rumsfeld would be no threat to humanity if he was merely a college professor in some obscure college,

where the only equipment he was allowed to be in charge of was a BICYCLE!

There is no question in my own mind that there was negligence on the U.S. side in allowing 9/11 to happen.

People in the FBI KNEW that at least one (or was it two?) of the 9/11 hijackers took flying lessons,

but they were not interested in take-off or landing.

Yet the FBI did not draw the LOGICAL conclusions.

It does remind me of the negligence of the FBI in investigating the JFK murder,

but I do not see TREASON by the FBI re JFK,

nor do I see it re 9/11.

Of course HINDSIGHT is always 20/20.

[Edit: If Rumsfeld had been on the ball, he would have had a TERRIBLE decision to make

and I don't know what I would have done in his place.

If he figured out that these planes were on the way to WTC,

he would have had to shoot down planes loaded with innocent civilians,

and he would probably have had to shoot them down over POPULATED territory

in the outskirts of New York, where I live.

So even though I do not admire Rumsfeld generally,

I cannot swear that I would have done better

If I was in his place that day.

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll
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It took 20 minutes to scramble jets to get after Payne Stewart.

It took quite a bit longer than that.

Here's the official NTSB report.


Last attempted contact was at 0933 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). They tried to contact them for the next four and a half minutes. The first jet vectored to intercept reached them at 0952 CDT (Central Daylight Time), which is equivalent to 1052 EDT, which is nearly an hour and 20 minutes (because of the time zone change) after loss of contact. It took the FAA more than 20 minutes just to notify NORAD of a problem. It should also be noted that the first jet to reach Stewart was already airborne for another purpose, not scrambled to do so and not dedicated to air defense.

The time zone change throws a lot of people off. They mention it in note 7 at the end "About 1010 EDT, the accident airplane crossed from the EDT zone to the CDT zone in the vicinity of Eufaula, Alabama."

Edited by Matthew Lewis
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My replies in this lovely tone, Len

Again with the burgandy

It took 20 minutes to scramble jets to get after Payne Stewart. It took 8 minutes longer to scramble jets on 9/11 and the jets flew at half-speed. There was mass confusion due to the false hi-jacking signals on the FAA big board and all commercial flights had to be grounded.

It's only a question of what Cheney/Rumsfeld were guilty of -- criminal incompetence or outright treason.

Par for the course Cliff, like truthers as a whole, is misinformed.

1) IIRC it took closer to 30 minutes and those jets never intercepted his plane. It was first intercepted 82 minutes after the 1st missed radio call by a 3rd fighter diverted from a training mission.

2) “It took 8 minutes longer” then when “to scramble jets on 9/11”?

3) “the jets flew at half-speed” half of what speed? Fighters were prohibited from flying supersonic in civilian airspace before 9/11, besides this uses enormous amounts of fuel and the alert fighters might not have had enough. Response times that day were inline with previous incidents

4) Provide evidence the war games delayed response time.

5) Provide evidence false blips were introduced on FAA radar, must accounts have them only appearing on NORAD screens and being deleted one they became aware of the real incidents

buildings collapsing in near free-fall speed in the direction of greatest resistance;

I am not an engineer, but surely the FORCE of GRAVITY was involved.

So 75 floors of redundantly reinforced steel and concrete would have minimal impact on the force of gravity?

Sir Isaac Newton sez otherwise.

No, Cliff Varnell and toofers say otherwise, highly qualified structural engineers including ones from MIT, UC-Berkley, Northwestern and Cambridge, not to mention the ones from ASCE/FEMA, Wedlinger (sp?) Associates and NIST reports or even Leslie Robertson (the WTC’s engineer of record) among others said this is what would be expected.

one of the paymasters of the hijackers spending a week in Washington before the attacks

Which he never would have done if he was in Washington's pay.

They could have given him his instructions anywhere,

e.g. Maine

I'm not speculating that Mahmoud Ahmed of the Pakistani ISI was in Washington's pay. I think that elements of the Pakistani military/intel community colluded with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and the Cheney/Rumsfeld neo-cons to pull off 9/11. Each faction had their own agenda.

I also suspect that it was the WTC security firm Securacom who wired the buildings to fall.


1) The only evidence Ahmed sent Atta money was from articles in Indian media outlets citing unnamed Indian government officials.

2) Securacom only provided electronic security to the WTC and it seems “in 1998, the company was "excused from the project" because it could not fulfill the work, according to former manager Al Weinstein, and the electronic security work at the WTC was taken over by EJ Electric, a larger contractor” though it seems that it was still completing part of its obligations through 9/11. Overall security was in the hands of the Port Authority.


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RC:To paraphrase CSP, why waste time inquiring into something

if you have no REAL doubt about what happened?

There are real doubts about what happened. And why.

Again, why did the 9-11 Commission not do the FAA/NORAD reconstruction?

I, for one, have no idea what you are talking about an doubt you do either please elaborate.

"Maybe because it would have proven that at least one of the hijacked planes should have been intercepted?"

Obviously 77 could have been intercepted, if anyone person in a position of authority had all the relevant info but no one has shown anyone did. For example ATCs in the Midwest knew a plane went off radar but did not about the WTC crashes and didn’t inform anyone else in the FAA.

"Which would have indicated that the multiple War Games simulation tests had something to do with the delay".

Despite being repeatedly asked to do so you failed to even attempt to produce a scintilla of evidence the war games effected the response time. The response times were inline with the previous rare incidents of intercepts of domestic flights.

"And this of course would have then perhaps cast Mineta's testimony in a darker hue."

Already discussed ad infinium, no one but Mineta said the VP was in PEOC before the Pentagon crash.

"And why Zelikow was the guy who had to be the DIrector of the Commission".

Finally a reasonable point, but as I pointed out to you previously Philip Shenon dealt with this in his book,The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9-11 Commission.

"Where are the volumes of testimony and exhibits so that people can check the database from which the conclusions were drawn?"

Not surprisingly you are behind the time a great deal of this evidence has been released

Maybe Zelikow learned his lesson from the WC perhaps?

To ignore this, and many other things--like the multiplicity of warnings, perhaps as many as 20--this is just irresponsible.

Funny Jim, you have conspicuously avoided the thread where I asked you to elaborate on this. This is another point on which you have declined to further elaborate. You posted a paraphrased, Ahmed’s War on Truth but I demonstrated those ‘warnings’ were not quite what he made them out to be. Despite being asked to a few times you failed to produce convincing evidence of warnings specific enough to have been actionable.

"And it shows a lack of knowledge of the case and a reliance on agenda driven and extremely biased "Debunking sites" that reason in a circular pattern."

Supremely ironic coming from someone with “a lack of knowledge of the case and a reliance on agenda driven and extremely biased "TRUTHER” books and sites that reason in a circular pattern”

"That is "the 9-11 Commission report investigated this and found nothing sinister about it". Yeah sure, someone wins like five million on the stock market, does not claim it, and there is nothing odd about that."

A mischaracterization of the arguments on debunking sites in general and regarding the put options as well. Obviously you didn’t look at the data I linked.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bill Sherwood,

As an experienced 747 captain and flight instructor, could you comment on various 9-11 claims that have been made? Specific claims I would ask you to comment on are:

1. Impossible for aircraft to be flown at speeds claimed.

2. Impossible for hijackers, who were described as poor pilots, to have carried out manoeuvres claimed.

3. Impossible for a 757 to get closer that 60 feet AGL flying at 500 mph towards Pentagon because of ground effect.

4. Aircraft could not have hit light poles during approach to Pentagon because it would have ripped the aircraft wings off.

5. Claims that there should have been bigger 'pieces' of an aircraft found at the Pentagon.

6. That wreckage found on the Pentagon lawn "...should have been singed by fire...".

And any other 9-11 aviation aspects that you feel qualified to give an opinion on.


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Bill Sherwood,

As an experienced 747 captain and flight instructor, could you comment on various 9-11 claims that have been made? Specific claims I would ask you to comment on are:

1. Impossible for aircraft to be flown at speeds claimed.

There's nothing on a Boeing to stop you flying as fast as you like. For example the mach limit on a 747 is M 0.92 (And I've flown one that fast as well) but in testing Mr Boeing had the prototype up to M 0.991. Whilst that's a mach number the same principle applies for indicated speed for when you are flying down low. The published limit for most Boeings is up around 380 knots but there's nothing stopping you from going a good 20% faster if you felt like it. The twin-engined jets have quite a lot of thrust available, in case they lose an engine on takeoff, so they can still climb away, so down low with both engines running they can very easily go past the limiting speed, Vmo. There's normally an artificial limit of 250 knots below 10,000' and that's for traffic regulation (everyone doing the same speed makes things easier for the controllers) and for bird-strike protection on the windscreens. IF you ignored those two factors and could stand the noise in the cockpit you could very easily go about twice as fast and not damage the aeroplane at all.

2. Impossible for hijackers, who were described as poor pilots, to have carried out manoeuvres claimed.

Not particularly difficult at all - You're hitting an immobile and very large target, and also much larger than your plane. There's an old and very reliable trick where you pick a point on the windscreen in front of you (use a marker pen to make it easier) and manoeuvre the plane around to put that dot on the target. As long as you keep the dot on the target the plane will hit it.

Teaching people to fly an aeroplane around the sky isn't difficult either, landing is harder, using the radio adds another level of difficulty, and so on. But the task of controlling up/down and left/right can be taught adequately to nearly anyone in a couple of hours. You can learn on something as small as a Cessna 150 and the skills you learn work exactly the same on an Airbus A-380.

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... and part two, 'cause the forum won't let me make too many quotes.

3. Impossible for a 757 to get closer that 60 feet AGL flying at 500 mph towards Pentagon because of ground effect.

The higher the speed the less you notice ground effect. The faster you go the more easily the plane will go where you point it.

4. Aircraft could not have hit light poles during approach to Pentagon because it would have ripped the aircraft wings off.

For sure hitting a light pole at speed would do some damage to the wing but as for ripping it off, not a chance. Remember the mass of a wing is probably in the order of 100 times more than the pole, and far better mounted and constructed than the pole. A pole is a simple hollow structure that once starts to crush creases and folds in half. A wing has many layers in it and also two thick spars to control the bending movement. There may also have been a fair bit of fuel in the wing around the point where it hit and jet fuel weighs about 800 kg per cubic metre - that would increase the effective mass of the wing again by many factors and make it more resilient to hitting such objects.

5. Claims that there should have been bigger 'pieces' of an aircraft found at the Pentagon.

I'm surprised there's anything left of any real size after hitting such a solid structure. Also, the heavy pieces of the Pentagon falling onto the remains of the plane would do additional damage. And I imagine the fire from the jet fuel would also have burnt a fair bit of the smaller pieces.

6. That wreckage found on the Pentagon lawn "...should have been singed by fire...".

If they weren't sitting in fire then they most likely wouldn't have been singed. I can imagine bit of the tail being blown backwards a bit as the air inside the fuselage compressed and started to blow away the tail, especially as the tail would have also started to come apart from the rapid deceleration as the plane began to crumple as it entered the wall of the Pentagon. Unsurprisingly, it would have been a bit like a bomb going off.

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IF you ignored those two factors and could stand the noise in the cockpit you could very easily go about twice as fast and not damage the aeroplane at all.

And if you were not concerned about damaging the aircraft at all because you intended to fly it into your target in a minute or so? How fast do you estimate you could fly not destroying the aircraft but seriously over-stressing it?

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