What’s New Archive 2014

December 15, 2014

Updated “Current Newsto acknowledge recent OpEd articles written by John Farmer (Star Ledger) and Dan Byman (Washington Post.) Both were colleagues on the 9/11 Commission Staff and Byman was also a colleague on the Congressional Joint Inquiry Staff.  The articles were prompted by the release of the CIA Interrogations report.

I also link to a relevant article I wrote a couple years ago in the aftermath of the killing of Afghan civilians by a U.S. Army soldier.

November 25, 2014

Updated “Current News” to acknowledge the BORDERPOL appointment of Janice Kephart as Director of the Americas Program. Kephart is associated with SIBA, the Secure Identity and Biometrics Association, and was a colleague on the 9/11 Commission Staff.

November 17, 2014

Published “9-11: AA 77; Research Sources, an update,” an article that informs researchers about the state of publicly held information concerning American Airlines flight 77.

Novmber 7, 2014

Published an interesting, side-bar, article concerning the Otis scramble, 9-11: Maine 85; a snippet of information, a snapshot of Commission Staff work.” A correspondent asked me about a detail in a Commission Staff interview which suggested there was an exercise track, a ‘delta track,’ off shore in a military training area, that interfered with the active air defense response.  The linked article sums up my work to answer the correspondent’s question.  The ‘delta track’ turned out to be the tanker, Maine 85, which was actually north of Boston at the time of interest.

October 8, 2014

Published a short article: “9-11: The Congressional Joint Inquiry Report; the 28 pages, a short comment.”  It has come to my attention that journalists are conflating the Joint Inquiry Report and the 9/11 Commission Report. In the process the 28 page redaction in the Joint Inquiry Report is being attributed to the Commission Report.  Journalists who make that basic mistake immediately lose credibillity.

October 4, 2014

The National Security Agency released data pertaining to the infra-red detection times for the impacts of the four planes hijacked on 9-11. I published an article, “9-11: Impact Times; Infra-red Data Released by NSA,” to share that data. The release was the result of a successful MDR, Mandatory Declassification Review.

September 11, 2014

Added a short article in the 9/11 Education category to acknowledge the transition of 9/11 from a news event to an historical event.

May 21, 2014

Added an item under “Current News” to report a new, restrictive government policy for release of 84th RADES radar data to the public via a FOIA request.  Due process efforts are anticipated.

May 20, 2014

Published a short article, “9-11: The Hijacking of AA 11; historical perspective.” The article provides information from my Commission work files that compares the hijacking of AA 11 with the February 1993 hijacking of Lufthansa flight 592. The historical perspective should be helpful to historians and other researchers.

May 6, 2014

Updated the “Conspiracy Theories” page to account for original, primary source research which establishes the presence of a debris cloud from the impact of United Airlines flight 93. John Farmer, not the Commission’s John Farmer, posted a YouTube video animation of the debris field based on original radar files from the Washington Air Traffic Control Center (ZDC). The presentation clearly establishes that the debris field was blown by a prevailing East South East wind directly over Indian Lake. During Farmer’s research he concluded that the debris field originated from a catastrophic event not later than 10:03:33 EDT. This finding should resolve speculative notions about the debris found at Indian Lake. A link to the YouTube animation is included in the update.

April 24, 2014

Created a new category, ‘The Battle of 9-11,” and published the first of a series of three articles in that category; “The Battle of 9-11: An Act of War; the Principles of War, considered.”  I take the position that 9/11 was not a terrorist action, per se. It was a battle in the military sense and should be examined in that light.

This is a new approach to understanding the events of September 11, 2001.  Military planners, tacticians, and strategists will recognize the model and hopefully appreciate the approach. Historians, Academicians, and serious researchers now have a different way of examining the events of that day.

April 19, 2014

Updated “Current News” to account for a characterization of my work by Marc Ambinder who posted on The Week website. Links are included in the update.

March 27, 2014

Updated “Current News” to acknowledge the formation of a panel to inquire into the FBI handling of a mole, an “asset…close to bin Laden pre 9-11.”  Panel members mentioned are Tim Roemer, Ed Meese, and Bruce Hoffman.

March 25, 2014

Updated “Current News” to document that NARA was not successful in a Mandatory Declassification Review on my behalf to obtain release of the infrared times for the impact of the four hijacked airplanes on 9/11. This is an unfortunate turn of events and I will file an appeal seeking release of the times, only.  Click on the link for details.

March 22, 2014

Added an item to the “Current News” page to acknowledge the diligent work of Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, together with Dan Christensen, Broward Bulldog [Florida] concerning the 9-11 Saudi issue, as posted by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan on their Facebook home page.  An all-inclusive set of 27 important links is included in their work.

March 11, 2014

Published an in-depth article concerning the August 6, 2001, President’s Daily Brief. The article has been in final draft for several months. A researcher asked if anyone had information about the President’s Daily Briefs and this seemed a reasonable time to publish.

The article draws on my experience on the staff of the Congressional Joint Inquiry and provides perspective on the Daily Briefs and the companion Senior Executive Intelligence Briefs for the period March 1 to September 11, 2001.

March 7, 2014

Added a new link, NARA Public Access. This is the page to use to find the audio of the Gofer 06 interview, when uploaded by NARA. 7788028 is the unique number for that interview.

March 5, 2014

Published a transcript of the Commission Staff interview with Lt Col O’Brien, the pilot of Gofer 06. I conducted the original interview. No MFR was made. NARA located the recording of the interview and forwarded it to me at my request.  The transcript is a final draft, subject to minor editing if/when the small unclear portions are resolved. The transcript helps color in the picture of the events of the day but provides no new information.  Lt Col O’Brien stated for the record that his C130 H3 was unarmed, that he saw no fighter, air defense or other military aircraft in the vicinity of either the Pentagon or Shanksville, PA, and that he identified AA 77 by type but not by company. He was asked a key question.  Was there anything he had not been asked that the Commission needed to know about the events of September 11, 2001 as he observed them. He said, there was not.

March 3, 2014

Added an important audio clip to the “Audio Clips of Interest” article. The clip, a 8:52 EDT call from NEADS, Sergeant Powell, to Boston Center, Colin Scoggins, establishes that at the time the Otis fighters took off the latest location NEADS had for AA11 was 20 miles south of JFK. Hence the direct azimuth to a holding pattern south of Long Island as depicted on radar.

February 27, 2014

Published an article, “9-11: UA 93; The Gofer 06 Story, explained, ” to answer a question from a correspondent. The correspondent speculated that there was a direct relationship between Gofer 06 and an incident time of 10:06 EDT for UA 93.

The correspondent cited apparent omissions and gaps, referring to a certified FAA transcript and to the absence of an interview report of the Gofer 06 pilot.  The interview has not been released by NARA. The correspondent had misinterpreted the transcript.

I used 84th RADES radar files and FAA audio files from Cleveland Center to explain what happened.

February 14, 2014

Updated “Correspondent’s Corner” to report a brief email conversation with a practicing architect.

February 7, 2014

Published “9-11: The Andrews Fighters; A Complex Story, itself chaotic,” a lengthy article which details events using primary source information. The real Andrews story was the complex task of melding disparate forces into a coherent CAP over the nation’s capital. It was not the story of a hunt for UA93.

February 6, 2014

Published an article providing insight as to why the transponder code for United Airlines flight 175 was changed a second time to 3 3 2 1.

February 6, 2014

Made an important correction to the article, “The Ghosts of 9-11: AA77; a real ghost, unseen.” When I wrote that article I did not have a copy of my MFR concerning the staff visit to American Airlines and United Airlines. Specifically, my recall of the transponder knob arrangements for each airline was incorrect.  I’ve added an addendum to the 2009 article based on Commission Staff MFR 04017215, November, 2003, “Site Visit.”

February 3, 2014

Published a short article, “9-11: UA 175; 42d Street, the Allentown PA story.”  The skies over Allentown PA were a busy place during a critical time on 9/11.  I use the 42d Street reference as a memory device to recall the story.

It was over the Allentown skies that an air traffic controller first recognized that there was an intruder, according to a contemporary Washington Post article. The intruder was transponder code 3321, unassociated with any flight plan.  The intruder turned out to be United 175.

February 2, 2014

Published two articles of recent interest to researchers and historians. Most important, the DoD late last year released a heavily redacted copy of the Air Threat Conference transcript. I published an article to put that in perspective.

I also published a short article to report that United Airlines is phasing out its audio/movie suite of equipment on the Airbus 320 and most likely all United aircraft. During a recent cross-country flight I was told that United made a corporate decision to remove that equipment because so many flier were using personal electronic devices.  Wi-fi is being installed and was available to me, at a cost.  Sadly, Flight Deck, the ability to listen to the cockpit and to air traffic control communications was no longer available.