December 29, 2012
Published an additional article on the Langely Scramble, one that provides a different perspective. This article is a result of an extended conversation with Paul Schreyer about the Langley Scramble. That conversation caused me to again retell that story. In this article I identify the eight people, by position, responsible for the end result of the event up to the time that NEADS noticed that the fighters had gone astray.
The positions are the Weapons Controller, Weapons Controller/Technician, Senior Director, and Senior Director/Technician at NEADS; the on duty air traffic controller and his immediate supervisor at Langley Tower; the Norfolk Tower/TRACON air traffic controller; and the lead pilot, call sign Quit 25.
December 12, 2012
Published a definitive article concerning the relationship between the Langley air defense fighters and the B747, Venus 77. The article was crafted as the result of an extended email conversations with Paul Schreyer. Paul is aware of my findings which conflict with his own account.
There is no primary source or other evidence to correlate the two flights. They were independent events whose paths happened to cross as they flew to accomplish two different missions. The Langley fighter mission was to establish a combat air patrol over the nation’s capital. The Venus 77 mission was to establish a race-track orbit to support the potential return of Air Force One to Washington DC.
December 4, 2012
Added a short item under audio clips of interest to document the Secret Service request to Andrews AFB for fighter support. That request became actionable at Andrews Tower at 9:50 EDT, well after the Pentagon was struck. The request was for protection over the White House to support the projected return of the President to Washington DC.
November 11, 2012
Published “9-11: Chaos Theory; Air Defense Response, Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions,” an article written at the request of a family member in response to a recent speculative article and You Tube video that provided misinformation concerning the air defense response on 9/11. My article addresses four anomalies that I consider important–the Langley fighter track, the Otis fighter track, the southern tack of the Langley fighters on approach to Washington DC, and the conjunction of events that occurred in the 9:10 time frame on September, 11, 2001.
I explain that any chance at an effective air defense response depended on the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) communicating with each other in real time and sharing a common operating picture of the battlefield. That didn’t happen because the air defense response was sensitive to and dependent on a specific initial condition. NEADS and the ATCSCC did not talk to each other. The flow of information was between FAA’s Boston Center and NEADS. That initial condition was clearly established during exercise Vigilant Guardian on September 9, 2001.
October 17, 2012
Published a detailed article about American Airlines flight 11, “9-11: AA 11; a different perspective.” The article includes audio conversations not previously publicized to expand on and explain the hunt for AA 11 and why it was reported to be still flying long after it impacted the World Trade Center North Tower. Air traffic controllers and managers at all levels were uncertain as to what had happened in New York City, in real time.
While it is clear that some individuals intuitively connected the loss of AA 11 on radar with the smoke coming from the North Tower, that intuition did not take hold within the Federal Aviation Administration. The only known piece of information concerning AA 11 was that its last known altitude was flight level 290 (29,000 feet), a fact apparently confirmed by other planes in the air, including UA 175. The contradiction between that last known altitude and the impact at a much lower altitude at the tower was too strong to overcome in the moment. That known altitude for AA 11 became the scramble order altitude for the air defense fighters at Otis and, later, Langley.
October 3, 2012
Published a different sort of article, “9-11: The Actual Story and the “official” story, clarified”. It is time to set the record straight concerning intentionally false language and logic about a so-called “official” story. There is no such thing. John Farmer, in The Ground Truth, established that there was an “official version” found by the Commission staff to be untrue. The accurate and true story is that published in the 9/11 Commission Report.
September 18, 2012
On Monday, September 17, 2012, I was a guest on Janice Kephart’s Homeland Security show on VIP radio. Janice and I shared office space while on the 9/11 Commission. She worked on the border security issue, including State Department issuance of passports and visas. She has continued her work and is a consultant on homeland security. Readers interested in how well the nation (and the world) is doing today will want to listen to her show every Monday evening at 7pm EST/EDT. All past shows are archived and you may find past shows worthwhile, depending on your field of interest.
She had me on as her only guest to talk about the Team 8 Audio Monograph, “A New Type of War,” published in the “Rutgers Law Review” on September 8, 2011.
September 6, 2012
The eleventh 9/11 is rapidly approaching. National Geographic Channel will be airing its specials from last year this Sunday. The schedule will include a new special, “9/11: Voices From the Air,” scheduled for 10pm, EDT, September 9, 2012. That special was produced by Darlow Smithson Productions. I was a consultant for the air traffic control and NEADS communications aspect.
That special was predicated on the Rutgers Law Review publication of “A New Kind of War” last year. The Rutgers article was published as an artifact of the work of the 9/11 Commission, a previously unpublished audio monograph, written in 2004.
August 14, 2012
Bloomington, Indiana news has reported the tragic death of the wife of Commissioner Hamilton’s wife. This is sad news, indeed.
July 22, 2012
Added a link to a LibriVox free audio book of the 9/11 Commission Report.
June 21, 2012
Added a second item under “Correspondent’s Corner” to answer the question as to who was the Hijack Coordinator at FAA on 9/11, given that General Canavan was TDY. It is my recall that Lynne Osmus was the acting coordinator. She was on sick leave that morning but did came in later in the morning when she learned of events of the day. It is my recall that Claudio Manno was the acting coordinator although Osmus, according to interview, believed it was Lee Longmire. The question is moot, as summed up by Team 8 Team Leader, John Farmer when he read a portion of Staff Statement 17 into the record: ” On the morning of 9/11, the existing protocol was unsuited in every respect for what was about to happen. What ensued was the hurried attempt to create an improvised defense by officials who had never encountered or trained against the situation they faced.”
June 21, 2012
Added an item to Correspondent’s Corner to acknowledge an email from Erik Larson seeking support for the History Commons. In his broadcast email Erik made this plea: “I wanted to alert you to the fact that the History Commons is in dire need of financial assistance. If funding does not significantly increase, the site may go offline by the end of this summer.”
My position on the work of History Commons is long established. In fact, its predecessor, Cooperative Research, was my start point for work on the 9/11 Commission Staff. History Commons serves a useful purpose as a catalog/compendium of information in the public domain concerning the events of 9/11. It is not a useful analytic source since it makes no attempt to winnow out information, to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Nevertheless, the utility of History Commons is a given for serious researchers, historians and academicians, and its availability is a time saver.
June 20, 2012
Added a link to the National Security Archive at George Washington University. The site, according to its About page, is “a pioneer of evidence-based research and primary source documentation, the Archive has achieved extraordinary, quantifiable success over the past 25 years.” (Emphasis added) That distinction sets it apart from anecdotal and derivative information sites such as the History Commons Timeline, also linked.
On June 19, the Archive posted the results of a FOIA request concerning CIA documents cited by the 9/11 Commission. That is an important release, even though the documents are heavily redacted. Taken together with the reports of the 9/11 Commission and the Congressional Joint Inquiry the public now has a better understanding of the funding, political, and inter-agency issues prior to 9/11.
I worked on the issue, in part, while on the Joint Inquiry Staff, concentrating on DoD/JCS matters.
June 19, 2012
Added a page on my new website to acknowledge the National September 11 Memorial Museum. The post features a recent article by Patricia Cohen in the New York Times in which she describes the challenges the Museum has in balancing the needs of those who have equity in both the Museum and the events of the day. I link to a frame of reference I established several years ago for analysis of events of 9/11. I chose the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center as a start point for analysis. The Museum has chosen an equally valid start point, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
June 6, 2012
Added a short item under “Current News” to pay tribute to Ray Bradbury from a Chaos Theory perspective.
June 6, 2012
I took a few weeks off as regular readers will have noted. Spring is high school soccer time in Northern Virginia. I am the assignor for Commonwealth Soccer Officials Association. We provide officials for all the large high schools in Northern Virginia, public in spring, private in fall. This week is the state tournament and once that is done I can catch up on 9/11 work. Watch for a tribute to Ray Bradbury, acknowledgement of the financial difficulty at History Commons, and comment on the recent New York Times article on the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
April 16, 2012
Published an article of a different sort, “Suddenly an Eagle, Tarnished,” on my new website. This effort takes me in a different direction and starts to combine things in an integrating way. This article discusses the SSG Bales tragedy in Afghanistan as it fits into a far larger picture that includes chaos theory, political revolutionary warfare, and the events of 9/11. (Added, April 17, 2012: A hiccup in the link has been fixed.)
I am still working on primary source articles about 9/11 and hope to have some of those published this month.
March 30, 2012
Published a short article, “9-11: History Commons; a good compendium, not a reliable source,” under the NEADS files category. In response to a request I researched the “Oh My God” audio clip from NEADS. The results show that the actual story is different from that in the History Commons timeline. I provide audio clips from five different NEADS channels to show that the news of the crash of AA11 into the World Trade Center, North Tower, came from the First Air Force Public Affairs Office, not from Boston Center.
March 28, 2012
Added an article, “9-11: Air Force One; the return to DC, an uneventful flight” to the National Level category. A correspondent asked me if there was any threat to that flight. A primary source review of the 84th RADES radar, the available air traffic control communications, and available audio files from NEADS revealed nothing unusual. Air Force One did make a wide 360-degree turn to allow trailing fighters to catch up and it was “intercepted” by fighters from the established combat air patrol over the nation’s capital. A graphic and relevant audio clips are included in the article.
March 26, 2012
Added a short item on my personal page to honor the passing of a friend and Vietnam War colleague, Raymond Mushal. Ray served a long and distinguished career as a government lawyer specializing in the prosecution of environmental crime. A link to his Washington Post obituary is included in the article.
March 1, 2012
Documented on the “Conspiracy Theory” page a link to the published results of Dr. James Millette concerning the speculation about thermitic material at the World Trade Center. Millette found no evidence that such material was present. Millette’s work is rigorous and replicable; it beomes the definitive work on this issue.
Added an item to “Current News” to document an ABC news report citing Senators Bob Graham and Bob Kerrey and a possible Saudi links to 9/11.
February 25, 2012
Added a new category, “AA11,” and published an article concerning the impact time for AA11. There is a misconception among some researchers that the difference between the published impact time of AA11 by the NTSB and cited in the Commission report and the seismic data time is significant, if not nefarious.
That is a faulty comparison between two disparate types of information, one derivative, one recorded in real time. The accurate comparison must be between similar types of information, in this case between recorded seismic data and recorded radar data.
The NTSB, in its analysis, extrapolated a time of 9:46:40, al least one radar sweep after the actual impact of AA11. That extrapolation was based on a datum of zero altitude and did not take into account the altitude of the actual impact.
The Commission as a matter of convention and convenience, used NSTB published times for the impact of all four hijacked aircraft. Serious researchers will understand that comparing an extrapolated time to an actual time is not valid. The valid comparison is between the two sets of real time data. The two sets are consistent.
February 20, 2012
Published an article in the AA77 category documenting a conversation between Eastern Region and Dulles TRACON. The caller, Ron Ruggieri, asked the Dulles TRACON manager, John Hendershott, about UA175. Hendershott informed Ruggieri that Dulles was tracking a fast-moving unknown headed toward the White House.
That several minute conversation is significant, for several reasons. First, it provides a real-time window into Eastern Region, the only such window of which I am aware. Second, it provides reasonable evidence that it was the Eastern Region phone bridge to which Colin Scoggins was listening when he learned of the earlier false information that AA11 was still flying. The information heard in the linked conversation is identical in content and time to the same information Scoggins was providing to the Identification Technicians at NEADS. Third, it shows the considerable confusion that existed in FAA at all levels outside the air traffic control system. Ironically, Eastern Region, who had no business being in the middle of operational matters, provided FAA HQ with radar scope level information as observed by John Hendershott at Dulles TRACON
February 12, 2012
Added an item, with link, to the “Conspiracy Theories” page to document the fact that “Doonesbury” has formally administered the Coup d’ Grace to the the truth movement.
February 2, 2012
Hot off the press, the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment as presented by General Clapper, DNI, to the HPSCI. The relationship to the events of 9/11 is that there is no relationship other than the continuing assessment of the Al Qaeda threat. 9/11 is an historical given in the current day operations of the U.S. Intelligence Community and, by extension the U.S. Government.
February 1, 2012
Added a clip to “audio clips of interest” to document that as of 1030 AA77 was still being tracked on a Traffic Display System which continued to display its ‘progress’ on its original flight plan.
January 31, 2012
Added an “audio clip of interest” to document a Secret Service false report that F16s had intercepted a “767” en route Washington D.C. from JFK. This information helps set the stage for an upcoming rewrite of the Andrews story. Stay tuned.
January 29, 2012
Documented in “Correspondent’s Corner” my end of an extended conversation with a correspondent who is seeking through FOIA and MDR (mandatory declassification review) requests documents pertaining to the air defense response on 9/11 and to the history of air defense responses to U.S. commercial aircraft. I reviewed my stream of consciousness remarks and realized they might have utility for other researchers and correspondents. Hence the compilation.
In summation, my assessment is that the history of air defense response (scrambles) will be contained in the file of NORAD forms 61, if they still exist. A form 61, a two-part form, was required as a report to CONR (and by extension, NORAD) anytime a scramble occurred. Concerning the policies and procedures that governed how NEADS, for example, would operate, my assessment is that information is contained in the position checklists for each postion on the SOCC (Sector Operations Control Center) floor.
January 25, 2012
Added an item to “Current News” to document a Rutgers Law Review article, “Rutgers Law Review Editors on Groundbreaking Publication of ‘A New Type of War.'” The student editorial staff recounts their story of how they found a way to publish an important Team 8 monograph that told the story of the day of 9/11 in the voices of the day. Their work met with world-wide acclaim. It was my considerable pleasure to meet and work with two of those dedicated students.
Enjoy reading the story of the publication of “A New Type of War” in the voices of the young men and woman who made it all happen.
January 9, 2012
Added an important item to my new website, www.9-11revisited.org, that provides a link to an OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) site. Specifically, the link is to a comprehensive compilation of dozens of links of potential usefulness to researchers and historians.
January 6, 2012
For interested researchers and historians, I published on my new website the results of my contact with the G. W. Bush library concerning the Air Threat Conference Call tape and transcript. I knew that the records would not be available for several years. My purpose was to establish an interest and, therefore, a priority for release of the records as soon as possible, by statute.
January 5, 2012
Updated “Current News” to acknowledge the work of my Commission Staff colleague, Janice Kephart. She has recently blogged and written about the court ruling concerning Iran and the events of 9/11.