Pentagon Attack Witnesses
When the Pentagon was attacked around 9:49 AM,
traffic was stalled on the highway directly to the west of the targeted section.
It is probable that hundreds of people witnessed some part of the assault.
Theories that a missile instead of a jetliner attacked the Pentagon on 9/11/01
have been strenuously promoted by
But not a single witness claims to have seen a missile,
against dozens who identified the attack plane as a large jetliner.
A 757 would be almost impossible to confuse with a missile,
even at a high speed.
French researcher Eric Bart compiled an extensive body
of eyewitness accounts.
A theme of the accounts is a sense of disbelief.
e x c e r p t
Among 9/11 oddities : the Pentagon scene.
A plane ?
"My brain could not resolve the fact that it was
a plane because it only seemed like a small hole
in the building. No tail. No wings. No nothing".
- Steve DeChiaro
"It just went 'pfff'. It wasn't what I would have
expected for a plane that was not much more than a football
field away from me"
- John O'Keefe
"A huge jet. Then it was gone. Buildings don't
eat planes. That plane, it just vanished. There should have been
parts on the ground. It should have rained parts on my car. The
airplane didn't crash. Where are the parts? There was a plane. It
didn't go over the building. It went into the building. I want them
to find it whole, wedged between floors or something. I want to
make it make sense. I want to know why there's this gap in my memory,
this gap that makes it seem as though the plane simply became
invisible and banked up at the very last minute"
"It was in the air one moment and in the building the
next... I still have a hard time believing it"
A missile ?
"It was so eerily similar to another experience during
the Gulf War - a missile strike that killed a Marine in
- Phillip Thompson
"For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a
2000lb bomb going off"
- Terry Morin
"A bomb had gone off. I could smell the cordite.
I knew explosives had been set off somewhere"
- Don Perkal
"Most people knew it was a bomb"
- John Bowman
"It smelled like cordite, or gun smoke"
- Gilah Goldsmith
"I knew it was a bomb or something"
- Mike Slater
As a whole, the body of eyewitness accounts is fairly consistent.
It supports both aspects of the official story,
such as the approach and crash of a 757-like jetliner,
and aspects beyond that story,
such as the detonation of a bomb.
analyzed the accounts in Eric Bart's compilation to find strong support
for several elements:
e x c e r p t
[The plane that swooped down on the Pentagon was a twin-engine jetliner]
moment of impact
[The plane appeared to explode into a huge fireball
upon or just before impacting the Pentagon.]
[An explosive detonation, producing a strong concussion and leaving the smell
of cordite, accompanied the attack]
[A C-130 followed the jetliner up to the crash site and flew away.]
[The plane clipped lamp-posts, banked to the left, and had its flaps up.]
The eyewitness evidence suggests that there was more to the event
than officials have admitted.
It is doubtful that the crash of a jetliner would produce
a sharp explosive concussion, emit the odor of cordite,
or result in explosions seemingly before impact,
as several accounts and the pattern of damage to the Pentagon's facade suggest.
On the other hand, this evidence contradicts theories that the attack
aircraft was something very different from a 757, such as a missile or
Global Hawk drone.
Not surprisingly, proponents of such theories have cherry-picked atypical
eyewitness accounts while ignoring the larger body of eyewitness evidence,
and used excerpts of witness accounts out of context.
An example of the latter is the use of
Mike Walter's statement
about a "cruise missile with wings".
page last modified: 2006-08-18