Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Summary and Analysis of "National Security Alert" by Chris Sarns

12-31-09 Updated 11-6-10 Updated 2-5-11

Like many others I was impressed with the Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) video "National Security Alert" (NSA) when I saw it for the first time. I thought that the unanimous testimony of the witnesses confirmed the north flight path of American Airlines flight 77, but I could not see how that in any way proved their "flyover theory". I did not give the "flyover" theory much thought because it seemed to be a minor point. As it turns out, the seemingly strong evidence for the north flight path was just the "hook", and "flyover" was actually their main point.

I started to doubt the validity of NSA when I found out that CIT had misled me into thinking that the witnesses were unanimous in confirming the north flight path. That is not true. There are numerous south flight path witnesses, including five that CIT had interviewed. CIT claims that these witness statements are "dubious" and that this justifies not mentioning them in the video. CIT's failure to look for south flight path witnesses and excluding the ones they did find is like NIST not looking for evidence of explosives and excluding FEMA's Appendix C findings. A real investigative report would give all the evidence and let the viewer decide.

Like NIST's starting with the conclusion that the plane impacts and fires brought down the Trade Towers, CIT started with the conclusion of flyover. They included the statements that supported that conclusion and left out any statements to the contrary. Most notably, CIT left out the unambiguous and unanimous statements by twelve witnesses CIT interviewed who could see the Pentagon. They all said the plane hit the Pentagon. These crucial details were omitted or obfuscated. Once again the viewer is given only the information that supports the flyover theory.

Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis are not acting like investigators. They are acting like lawyers for the defense of the predetermined flyover theory and therefore not required to tell the whole truth.
This reply from Aldo is rather telling. At the "Pilots for 911 Truth" forum, I noted that CIT had included the part of Erik Dihle's statement that seemed to support flyover and left out the part that supported "fly-into".

Chris: You do misrepresent the facts about the Erik Dihle statement.

Aldo: WHICH PART OF ERIK DIHLE'S ACCOUNT DO YOU THINK WE WOULD LOGICALLY FOCUS ON? Which part of his account is more important to us in light of the evidence we have collected and the conclusions we have come to?

At 74:00 of National Security Alert
"As shown, the evidence proves the plane actually flew directly over the Naval Annex and north of the former Citgo gas station, and therefore did not hit the light poles or the building."

At 74:30
"A plane on this flight path cannot . . . cause the directional external and internal damage leading to the curiously round C ring hole."

The so called "proof of flyover" is that a plane on the north flight path could not cause the directional damage (leading to and including the hole in the “C” ring). However, the CIT flyover theory assumes the directional damage was caused by explosives. If the internal directional damage was caused by explosives in a flyover, then it could be caused by explosives if the plane hit the Pentagon. The internal directional damage has nothing to do with whether the plane hit, and it does not prove that a plane on the north path did not hit the Pentagon. A plane could fly over or to the side of the light poles and still hit the Pentagon. Likewise, if the generator damage was staged in the flyover theory then it has nothing to do with the plane.

There is considerable interior damage consistent with a "north of Citgo" (NoC) impact. It would be impossible to determine exactly what the internal damage might have been if explosives were used.

The north of Citgo flight path does not prove flyover.

* * * * * * * * * *

The following is an analysis of the video "National Security Alert" by the Citizens Investigation Team, Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis.

National Security Alert - Omissions and misrepresentations

1) Twelve witnesses that CIT interviewed who could see the Pentagon said they saw plane impact the Pentagon. A thirteenth said the plane did not fly over the Pentagon

2) The witnesses were not unanimous in confirming the north flight path.

3) CIT says Roosevelt Roberts, Erik Dihle and Maria de la Cerda are flyover witnesses.
They are not.

* * * * * * * * * *

1) Twelve witnesses that CIT interviewed who could see the Pentagon said they saw plane impact the Pentagon:

Sgt. Brooks
Sgt. Lagasse
Sean Boger
Keith Wheelhouse
Maria de la Cerda
Penny Elgas
Vin Narayanan
Joel Sucherman
Terry Morin
Albert Hemphill
Dawn Vignola
Hugh ‘Tim’ Timmerman

A thirteenth, Robert Turcios, said the plane did not fly over the Pentagon.

Citgo Gas Station Witnesses

Sgt. Brooks, Sgt. Lagasse and Robert Turcios were at the Citgo gas station across Hwy 27 from the Pentagon:

At 25:30 of NSA
Ranke "Did you see it fly over the Pentagon?"
Turcios "Fly over the Pentagon???" (He was surprised anyone would ask that question) "No, the only thing I saw was a direct line to go into the Pentagon. [It] Collided."

Ranke "Were you actually able to see the plane hit the building?
Sgt. Brooks: "Correct"

At 49:40 of NSA
Ranke "Did you see the plane hit the building?"
Sgt. Lagasse "Yes". Did I see what the plane did? No, there was a big fire ball. When the plane hit it just kinda disappeared.

78:46 Ranke says: "He admitted that he did not see what the plane actually did as it reached the building because of the fire ball." and plays this part of what Sgt. Lagasse said: "Did I see what the plane did? No, there was a big fire ball."

Ranke gives the viewer the impression Sgt. Lagasse did not see the plane hit the Pentagon.

Then at 78:57 he says:
"Both police officers at the gas station have agreed that we presented their accounts fairly and accurately."

Ranke left these statements out of his video "National Security Alert" and claimed instead:
"But the fact is that a flyover is 100% proven by the Citgo station witnesses alone."

Witness at Pentagon Heliport Control Tower
Sean Boger was in the heliport control tower at the Pentagon.
He had the best vantage point, about 100 feet from the impact point.

Official interview 11-14-01
Page 11: "I just see like the nose and the wing of an aircraft just like coming right at us and he didn't veer. You just heard the noise, and then he just smacked into the building, and when it hit the building, I watched the plane go all the way into the building."
"So once the plane went into the building, it exploded, and once it exploded, I hit the floor and just covered my head."

Witnesses in Arlington National cemetery
Keith Wheelhouse was in the Arlington National Cemetery.
At 9:36 ”And then it just evaporated into the side of the building."

CIT claims that Maria de la Cerda is a flyover witness but she said:
North side flyover part 2 at 26:30
Ranke "Does that mean you didn't necessarily see the plane approach, it was already ah, but you do remember seeing an object."
De la Cerda "Yea, I saw the impact, I saw a fireball."

Witnesses on Hwy 27
Penny Elgas
Interview with Jeffrey Hill - 2010
"It just flew in,. . . . . Just when it got to the wings I think, then there was an explosion which was all black smoke."

Original interview
"I watched in horror as it gently rocked and slowly glided straight into the Pentagon. At the point where the fuselage hit the wall, it seemed to simply melt into the building."

Vin Narayanan
"At 9:35 a.m., I pulled alongside the Pentagon. With traffic at a standstill, my eyes wandered around the road, looking for the cause of the traffic jam. Then I looked up to my left and saw an American Airlines jet flying right at me. The jet roared over my head, clearing my car by about 25 feet. The tail of the plane clipped the overhanging exit sign above me as it headed straight at the Pentagon.
The hijacked jet slammed into the Pentagon at a ferocious speed. But the Pentagon's wall held up like a champ. It barely budged as the nose of the plane curled upwards and crumpled before exploding into a massive fireball."

Joel Sucherman
8:20 "I seen it coming across my windshield and then I'm looking out the side passenger window and that's where I see the collision with the Pentagon."
Ranke "So did you see it impact or were there trees in the way?"
Sucherman "No, there were no trees in the way at all. I did see it impact."

Witnesses at the Naval Annex,
Terry Morin
Original interview
"As the aircraft flew ever lower I started to lose sight of the actual airframe as a row of trees to the Northeast of the FOB blocked my view. I could now only see the tail of the aircraft. . . . . . . The tail was barely visible when I saw the flash and subsequent fireball."

Albert Hemphill
"He hit the Pentagon at about the second window level."
"He smacked right into the building"
"I saw one plane and I saw it hit."
"I saw the one plane and what I saw is, I saw it hit."
"All I can tell you is what I saw. I didn't see the plane clear the Pentagon."
"The plane that I saw from my vantage point, didn't pull up, didn't turn right, it didn't turn left, it went right into the Pentagon."

Ranke claims:
"ALL of the north side witnesses were deceived into believing the plane hit the Pentagon."

Other impact witnesses
Dawn Vignola
2:00 "I saw the, it was an American Airlines 757 and it came in, it hit the side, it hit the heliport, it came down Columbia Pike and hit the heliport."

Hugh ‘Tim’ Timmerman
0:40 "And I saw it hit right in front, it didn't crash, it didn't appear to crash into the building. Most of the energy was dissipated hitting the ground."

2) The witnesses were not unanimous in confirming the north flight path.

At 7:45 of National Security Alert
"Thirteen eyewitnesses from the five most critical vantage points unanimously confirmed the plane crossed to the north side of Columbia Pike, flew directly over the Navy Annex and north of the former Citgo gas station."

At 15:30
"There is no room for error in the official flight path at all. So these critical details should have been easily confirmed by the witnesses. But as you are about to see for yourself. they independently and unanimously reported the opposite."

Terry Morin is actually a south of Citgo witness. He said he saw the plane descend below some trees. From his viewpoint the plane had to have passed south of the Citgo station or the 8th wing of the Naval Annex would have blocked his view.

Ed Paik was in his shop and could not judge the flight path. Ranke gives the viewer the impression that Paik was outside and in a position to determine the flight path.

Penny Elgas said one wing was over the Citgo station but did not saw which side of the Citgo station. CIT assumes she meant the north side but has no proof of that.

Maria de la Cerda did not see the plane approach and judged it to be north of the Citgo station by the "sonic boom right overhead".

In "The 2nd Plane Cover Story" video at 13:35, Keith Wheelhouse drew the south path on the same satellite photo CIT had shown the north path witnesses in the other CIT interviews.

Ranke and Marquis use double talk and a double standard to discredit Wheelhouse. They write him off as "Some guy who lied . . . for attention." They then use this as an excuse to not include Wheelhouse's statement in NSA so they could claim the witnesses unanimously support the north flight path.

At 17:14, Marquis quotes the black box data of a jet traveling 530 mph despite the fact that CIT refutes this [at 46:25 in NSA] and claims the jet was going much slower.
At 17:20, Ranke says "Most of the genuine witnesses said they could only see the plane for one or two seconds." and uses that to refute Wheelhouse saying he saw the plane for about a minute. These statements are in conflict with several other north flight path witnesses who said it was 10 to 13 seconds from the time they first saw the plane until it hit the Pentagon [10 sec. Naval Annex to Pentagon = 180 mph]. CIT tailors their misrepresentations to fit the situation and ignores the inconvenient fact that the "one or two seconds" and the "530 mph" also refute the north flight path witnesses who said they saw the plane for 10 to 13 seconds.

At 11:48, Wheelhouse says he was near the fence at the East end of the Arlington National Cemetery (ANC).
At 9:36 Wheelhouse said ”And then it just evaporated into the side of the building."
At 17:40, CIT shows a video they say was taken from the exact place where Wheelhouse was standing. It shows the view of the Pentagon mostly blocked by shrubs. But Wheelhouse had just drawn an X on a satellite photo of ANC. The center of the X was about 100 feet in diameter. Ranke and Marquis say Wheelhouse could not see the plane hit the Pentagon - but that is just supposition on their part. Russell Roy mentions in his interview that the trees had grown since 2001 [37:14]. He also says there was a C-130 close behind the plane that hit the pentagon [36:48].


There are other witnesses who said there was a C-130 right behind the plane that hit the Pentagon.

They use a different standard for witnesses who say what they want to hear.

The north side flyover part 2
1:12 George Aman also clearly on our side when you read his center for military history interview. The way he describes it so close, in fact it was so close to him, he thought he could see the people in the window. Now, does this discredit him? Does this make you think there's no way he could be an honest person? Well, you know, deduction and embellishment is just a typical eyewitness tendency for innocent eyewitnesses.

CIT interviewed 3 other witnesses who said the plane flew the south path.
At 26:07 Ranke: "We've spoken with Mike Walter, we've interviewed on camera Joel Sucherman, we've interviewed over the phone Vin Narayanan."
But did not include them in NSA because, according to CIT, these witness statements are “dubious”.

CIT claims 13 north path witnesses. There were only nine witnesses who said they saw the plane fly north of the Columbia Pike. The other four, Terry Morin Penny Elgas Ed Paik, and Maria de la Cerda, were not north flight path witnesses.

Nine north flight path witnesses and five south path witnesses is not “unanimous”. Did CIT really miscount so badly? Or did they do something else?

3) CIT says Roosevelt Roberts, Erik Dihle and Maria de la Cerda are flyover witnesses.

Roosevelt Roberts was a security guard in the Pentagon who heard an explosion, then ran outside to the center of the south parking lot loading dock. He states that he then saw a plane flying away to the south-west. Ranke insists he said it flew away to the north. It does not matter. A jetliner approaching from the west could not have made either turn. The plane Roberts described could not have been a jetliner approaching from the west. Roberts is not a flyover witness.
"coming from the 27 side heading east towards DC . . . it looked like it went over on the mall entrance side [north] and turned around . . . . the plane . . . was facing west, so it went. . . south-west away from the Pentagon. . . around the Lane One area [the west end of the south parking lot], and it was like banking just above the light poles like. It was heading . . .back across 27.. . . that plane was heading . . . southwest.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Sarns 12-20-09

The green line is the official flight path. The orange lines are the flight paths drawn by the CIT witnesses. The purple dots are what Roberts surmised from what he saw - a plane approaching from the north-west and flying away to the south-west. The red dots combine what the north path witnesses saw with what Mr. Roberts describes. As shown, the resulting turning radius is about 350 feet. But an airliner flying at 200 knots requires a turning radius of about 5,000 feet. Higher speeds would require an even larger turning radius. So clearly the plane Mr. Roberts describes could not have been the plane approaching from the west.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Nate Flach screen capture 12-5-09 From Pilots for 911 Truth video at 14:40
The speed is 200 knots, the turning radius is 5,090 feet and the bank is 35 degrees.


Erik Dihle is not a witness, he only overheard conflicting accounts (by unknown persons who might not even have even been witnesses).

“The first few seconds it was very confusing, we couldn’t even tell . . . some people were yelling that a bomb had hit the Pentagon and a jet kept on going . . . somebody else was yelling no, no, no, the jet ran into the building."

CIT misrepresented this hearsay account by including the reports Dihle overheard according to which the plane kept going, and leaving out the reports that said the plane ran into the building. It is not known what, if anything these people actually saw.

Maria de la Cerda is not a flyover witness. In fact, she said she saw the plane impact the Pentagon. Here is the double talk and omission CIT uses to justify calling her one:
NSA shows the .pdf file of her statement. The camera zooms in, excluding "it seemed" and just shows "like it struck the other side".

Center for Military History #567 pg 10
Maria de la Cerda says and the screen has the subtitle "Yea, my mind's eye I saw it hit on top."
They underline "I saw it hit on top" and ignore "my mind's eye".
“My sense of it was not that it was a side impact but rather that it was on top”.

As noted above, Maria said; "I saw the impact, I saw a fireball."

CIT's case is built on misrepresentation, assumption and omission.