THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
July 2, 2009
The Wisdom Fund

Pentagon 9/11: Scientific Evidence Proves Official Account of 'Flight 77' Is False

Given the topography, the force generated by the transition of 'Flight 77' from its downward path to level flight would cause the aircraft to crash before striking the Pentagon

by Enver Masud

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A simple formula, familiar to high school students, can be used to refute the official account of American Airlines Flight 77 -- alleged to have struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Force = Mass X Velocity Squared / Radius

This formula approximates the force that would be exerted on an aircraft when it transitions from its downward path to level flight.

First we determine the mass of the aircraft.

Flight 77, a Boeing 757, had taken off from Washington Dulles International airport, and was bound for Los Angeles. Assuming its fuel tanks were full, and ignoring the weight of the 64 passengers, and cargo (which should be available if one wants to include them), the weight of the plane would be about 255,000 pounds (Boeing Technical Specifications).

For our calculation we'll assume that weight and mass are equal, i.e. 255,000 pounds.

For velocity we turn to the official account that Flight 77 struck the Pentagon at "530 miles per hour" (The 9/11 Commission Report, p10).

For our calculation we'll assume that speed and velocity are equal, i.e. 530 mph (speed is a scalar and velocity is a vector).

To calculate the radius, we could begin with a statement in The 9/11 Commission Report (p9): Flight 77 was "5 miles west-southwest of the Pentagon" when it "began a 330-degree turn. At the end of turn, it was descending through 2,200 feet".

Next we need to calculate the maximum radius (the most conservative case) of the arc that would allow the aircraft to transition from its downward path to level flight (while clearing obstacles in its path), and strike the Pentagon at the point described in official reports.

We chose instead to use the radius calculated by Pilots for 9/11 Truth.

Pilots for 9/11 Truth base their calculation on the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) data obtained pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the National Transportation Safety Board, and carefully constructed topography of the area below the flight path.

Leaving aside the discrepancies between the official account of Flight 77, and the Flight Data Recorder (which NTSB refuses to answer), Pilots for 9/11 Truth calculated a radius equal to about 579 feet.

From this they calculated the force on the Boeing 757 at 34 Gs, i.e. 34 times the force due to gravity.

There has been some criticism of the calculations performed by Pilots for 9/11 Truth, and they have answered their critics.

With mass, velocity, and radius equal to 255,000 lbs, 530 mph, and 579 feet respectively, the preceding formula yields force equal to 8,276,850 lbs, i.e. the Boeing 757 would act as if it had increased its weight by 8,276,850 lbs, or more than 32 times its normal weight.

With a virtual weight of about 8.5 million pounds, Flight 77 could not have levelled off before striking the Pentagon. It would have crashed before it reached the Pentagon.

This single fact is sufficient to refute the official account of "Flight 77."

Neither Hani Hanjour -- the alleged pilot trainee "noted for incompetence", nor the Boeing 757, would have been in any condition to fly with "the top of the fuselage of the aircraft no more than 20 ft above the ground" (Pentagon Building Performance Report, p14).

Pilots for 9/11 Truth did another calculation by lowering the height of "Flight 77" below that shown by the FDR. They lowered it to to the top of the Virginia Department of Transportation communications antenna that sits below the alleged flight path.

With this very conservative case, they calculated the force on the Boeing 757 at 11.2 Gs. "11.2 Gs was never recorded in the FDR. 11.2 Gs would rip the aircraft apart" they state.

If you disagree, figure out the mass, velocity, and radius, and plug them into the formula to calculate the force. If you have a better formula, use it. Could a Boeing 757 survive the calculated force?

What hard evidence has the government released to support its position? If you have that evidence, we'd like to see it.

Scientific, and other evidence, reinforce the conclusion: the official account of Flight 77 is false.



"Evidence can prove a theory wrong, by establishing facts that are inconsistent with the theory. In contrast, evidence cannot prove a theory correct because other evidence, yet to be discovered, may exist that is inconsistent with the theory."

"In the scientific search for truth there are no time limits and no point at which a final decision must be made." (Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, p81)

Enver Masud, "What Really Happened on September 11 at the Pentagon," The Wisdom Fund, March 7, 2005

Enver Masud, "9/11 Unveiled," The Wisdom Fund (September 11, 2008)

Rob Balsamo, "Arlington Topography, Obstacles Make American 77 Final Leg Impossible," Pilots for 9/11 Truth, December 12, 2008

Enver Masud, "Why Was FMFD Unit 161 at the Pentagon Before the Crash of 'Flight 77'?," The Wisdom Fund, January 1, 2009

Rob Balsamo, "NORTH APPROACH IMPACT ANALYSIS," pilotsfor911truth.org, January 2, 2010

Frank Legge et al , "What Hit the Pentagon?," journalof911studies.com, February 15, 2010 -- "Pilots for 9/11 Truth Rebuttal

Enver Masud, "Pentagon Transcripts, Official Records Belie 'The 9/11 Commission Report'," The Wisdom Fund, September 11, 2010

"Instructor/Airshow Pilot Questions 911 Scenario," December 23, 2010

SLIDE PRESENTATION: Enver Masud, "9/11: The Pentagon," The Wisdom Fund, June 15, 2012

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