Did Flight 77 really crash into the Pentagon?

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Conflicting witnesses...

Last updated:  07/09/2010

What about all the witnesses?


This site has listed here only the witness testimony that we feel offers significant evidence to both sides of the debate.

Since this site (and most other conspiracy sites) believes that another plane or aircraft that looked like a "plane" crashed into the Pentagon instead of Flight 77 and no eyewitnesses have described seeing something other than a "plane",  we have omitted the eyewitnesses who only testify of just seeing a "plane" and have no other description of that plane for the purpose of avoiding redundant testimony.

Also, we have noted the description of the color of an American Airlines plane as neutral to this debate since any aircraft can be painted to look like an American Airlines plane, decals included.

For other collections of eyewitness testimony, please visit the following sites...

It was a plane bomb  (This site supports the conspiracy.)

Pentagon Crash Witness Accounts  (This site supports the Pentagon's official claim.)

They saw the Aircraft  (This site supports the Pentagon's official claim.  Note: Links do not work on this mirrored page.)

Eyewitness' testimony has been color coded as the following...

Supports conspiracy -  Describes something very different than an American Airlines Boeing 757 or other suspicious stuff.
Supports official claim - Describes a large aircraft, a Boeing 757, or something very similar (i.e. 727, 747).
Aircraft hitting ground
- Describes the aircraft hitting the ground which conflicts with the lawn photos.
Aircraft hitting light poles
- Describes aircraft hitting light poles which is consistent with the light pole evidence..
Second Plane
- Describes seeing a second plane in the area at the time of the crash other than the military jetfighters who arrived later.
- Testimony that has not been corroborated or seems to contradict everybody.
Trajectory of aircraft
- Describes the altitude and action of the aircraft as it flew in.
Description of interest
- Describes something of a particular interest.



Steve Anderson - saw a commercial jet barrel into the Pentagon. "To say it was like a dream is an understatement," he says. "It was unbelievable. This giant, incredible, orange ball of fire shot into the air."
(More) - A few moments later, as I was looking down at my desk, the plane caught my eye.  I thought to myself that I couldn't believe the
pilot was flying so low.  I watched in horror as the plane flew at treetop level, banked slightly to the left, drug it's wing along the ground and slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon exploding into a giant orange fireball. Then black smoke. Then white smoke.
Maurice L. Bease, Sergeant, Marines - had worked around Marine aviation long enough to know what a fly-by was, and it sounded like one as he stood outside his office near the Pentagon on Sept. 11. Turning around expecting to see a fighter jet fly over, he saw only a split-second glimpse of a white commercial airliner streaking low toward the building, and him! He did not even have time to duck before it plowed into the side of the Pentagon around the corner and about 200 yards from where he stood.
Mickey Bell, Singleton Electric foreman - The jet came in from the south and banked left as it entered the building, narrowly missing the Singleton Electric trailer and the on-site foreman. Bell had just left the trailer when he heard a loud noise. The next thing he recalled was picking himself off the floor, where he had been thrown by the blast.  Bell, who had been less than 100 feet from the initial impact of the plane, was nearly struck by one of the plane's wings as it sped by him.
(More) - The full impact of the closeness of the crash wasn't realized until coworkers noticed damage to Bell's work vehicle. He had
plastic and rivets from an airplane imbedded in its sheet metal, but Bell had no idea what had happened.
Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY reporter - saw the plane slam into the Pentagon. "It sounded like an artillery shell. It hit on the west side of the building, near the helipad."
Sean Boger, Air Traffic Controller and Pentagon tower chief "I just looked up and I saw the big nose and the wings of the aircraft coming right at us and I just watched it hit the building."  "It exploded. I fell to the ground and covered my head. I could actually hear the metal going through the building." The crew, Boger and Spc. Jacqueline Kidd, air traffic controller and training supervisor, prepared for President George W. Bush to arrive from Florida around 12:30 p.m.
James R. Cissell, former photojournalist

(Note that this witnesses says his original witness report was skewed by the media.)


''Out of my peripheral vision,'' Cissell said, ''I saw this plane coming in and it was low - and getting lower.  ''I thought, 'This isn't really happening. That is a big plane.' Then I saw the faces of some of the passengers on board,'' Cissell said.  Then the plane, which was taking out telephone and power lines on its way in, hit the building.  While he remembers seeing the crash, Cissell remembers none of the sounds.  ''It came in in a perfectly straight line,'' he said.  ''It didn't slow down. I want to say it accelerated. It just shot straight in.'' -

Proof That 'Flight 77' Eyewitness Report Skewed
"James R. Cissell, an eyewitness to the object that struck the Pentagon on September 2001, is furious with a Cincinnati newspaper for falsely attributing quotes to him that he never made.
The Cincinnati Post reported Cissell's comments in a September 12 story headlined, 'I saw the faces of some of the passengers.'

James R. Cissell contacted us to express his anger at the newspaper for taking his comments completely out of context.

The Cincinnati Post article, which you refer, angered me greatly after reading it. It is almost completely fiction based loosely on an interview I did with a Cincinnati Post reporter Kimball Perry who called me in response to an on air phone report that I did for Channel 12 in Cincinnati."
Cissell relates what he actually told the reporter.
"The reporter took extreme creative license not only with the title but also with the story as a whole. Why he felt the need to sensationalize anything that happened on September 11 is beyond me. My words to the reporter were, "I was about four cars back from where the plane crossed over the highway. That it happened so quickly I didn't even see what airline it was from. However, I was so close to the plane when it went past that had it been sitting on a runway, I could have seen the faces of passengers peering out." - (07/30/06)

Richard Cox, Arlington County Police Dept.

 - On September 11, 2001, at approximately 9:37 a.m., ACPD Corporal Barry Foust and Officer Richard Cox, on patrol in south Arlington County, saw a large American Airlines aircraft in steep descent on a collision course with the Pentagon.


The 'Other' Tragedy

"The hijacked jetliner, traveling at 350 miles an hour, was only about 100 feet from the ground when it cruised over Arlington police officer Richard Cox's head, just a quarter mile from the Pentagon. "It was low enough for me to see the reflection of cars and trees and buildings on its underside as it passed by," he says. "It was low enough for my heart to stop." - USNews (12/10/01)

Steve DeChiaro, engineer As he reached the west side of the building he saw a light post bent in half.
"But when I looked at the site, my brain could not resolve the fact that it was a plane because it only seemed like a small hole in the building," he said. "No tail. No wings. No nothing." - (08/01/02)
Michael DiPaula, 41, project coordinator Pentagon Renovation Team He left a meeting in the Pentagon just minutes before the crash, looking for an electrician who didn't show, in a construction trailer less than 75 feet away. "Suddenly, an airplane roared into view, nearly shearing the roof off the trailer before slamming into the E ring. 'It sounded like a missile,'  DiPaula recalls . . . Buried in debris and covered with airplane fuel, he was briefly listed by authorities as missing, but eventually crawled from the flaming debris and the shroud of black smoke unscathed.
Daryl Donley "It just was amazingly precise," Donley... said of the plane's impact. "It completely disappeared into the Pentagon."
Steve Eiden, truck driver He took the Highway 95 loop in the area of the Pentagon and thought it odd to see a plane in restricted airspace, thinking to himself it was odd that it was flying so low.  "You could almost see the people in the windows," he said as he watched the plane disappear behind a line of trees, followed by a tall plume of black smoke.
Penny Elgas

The plane was directly over the cars in front of my car, the plane seemed to be not more than 80 feet off the ground and about 4-5 car lengths in front of me. It was far enough in front of me that I saw the end of the wing closest to me and the underside of the other wing as that other wing rocked slightly toward the ground. I remember recognizing it as an American Airlines plane -- I could see the windows and the color stripes.

In my adrenaline-filled state of mind, I was overcome by my visual senses. The day had started out beautiful and sunny and I had driven to work with my car's sunroof open. I believe that I may have also had one or more car windows open because the traffic wasn't moving anyway. At the second that I saw the plane, my visual senses took over completely and I did not hear or feel anything -- not the roar of the plane, or wind force, or impact sounds.
The plane seemed to be floating as if it were a paper glider and 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. I saw a smoke ring surround the fuselage as it made contact with the wall. It appeared as a smoke ring that encircled the fuselage at the point of contact and it seemed to be several feet thick. I later realized that it was probably the rubble of churning bits of the plane and concrete. The churning smoke ring started at the top of the fuselage and simultaneously wrapped down both the right and left sides of the fuselage to the underside, where the coiling rings crossed over each other and then coiled back up to the top. Then it started over again -- only this next time, I also saw fire, glowing fire in the smoke ring. At that point, the wings disappeared into the Pentagon. And then I saw an explosion and watched the tail of the plane slip into the building.

Barry Foust, Corporal, Arlington County Police Dept. On September 11, 2001, at approximately 9:37 a.m., ACPD Corporal Barry Foust and Officer Richard Cox, on patrol in south Arlington County, saw a large American Airlines aircraft in steep descent on a collision course with the Pentagon.
Fred Gaskins, national editor at USA TODAY "(The plane) was flying fast and low and the Pentagon was the obvious target," who was driving to his job... near the Pentagon when the plane passed about 150 feet overhead. "It was flying very smoothly and calmly, without any hint that anything was wrong."
Gilah Goldsmith, personnel attorney at the Pentagon - "We saw a huge black cloud of smoke," she said, saying it smelled like cordite, or gun smoke.

(cordite - A smokeless explosive powder consisting of nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, and petrolatum that has been dissolved in acetone, dried, and extruded in cords.)

Afework Hagos, computer programmer - was on his way to work but stuck in a traffic jam near the Pentagon when the plane flew over. "There was a huge screaming noise and I got out of the car as the plane came over. It was tilting its wings up and down like it was trying to balance. It hit some lampposts on the way in."

"Afework Hagos, a consultant who was commuting to his job, saw the plane bank around and fly into the Pentagon, its wings see-sawing before it disappeared. ''It created a huge smoke,'' Hagos said, before a man in an FBI windbreaker whisked him off to get his eyewitness account." - Boston Globe (09/12/01)

Terrance Kean, 35  - who lives in a 14-story building nearby, heard the loud jet engines and glanced out his window.  "I saw this very, very large passenger jet," said the architect, who had been packing for a move. "It just plowed right into the side of the Pentagon. The nose penetrated into the portico. And then it sort of disappeared, and there was fire and smoke everywhere. . . . It was very sort of surreal."
D. S. Khavkin  - my husband and I heard an aircraft directly overhead. At first, we thought it was the jets that sometimes fly overhead. However, it appeared to be a small commercial aircraft. The engine was at full throttle.  First, the plane knocked down a number of street lamp poles, then headed directly for the Pentagon and crashed on the lawn near the west side the Pentagon.
Kelly Knowles, 22 - Another Hampton Roads native says she saw a second plane in the air over the Pentagon as a hijacked jet plunged into the five-sided military fortress Tuesday.
Kelly Knowles, a First Colonial High School alumnus who now lives in an apartment a few miles from the Pentagon, said some sort of plane followed the doomed American Airlines jet toward the Pentagon, then veered away after the explosion.
"Thank God somebody else saw that. There was most definitely a second plane," Knowles said. "It's so frustrating because nobody knows about the second plane, or if they do they're hiding it for some reason."
FBI spokesmen say they have not heard about it, although both Knowles and Keith Wheelhouse, the Virginia Beach man, were interviewed by FBI agents. A Pentagon official said late Friday no other plane was flying with the jetliner. But he said it was possible a military plane was in the area at the time of the attack.
Planes never pass over her Fairfax County apartment, she said, so when a low-flying, high-speed plane buzzed the high-rise, she jumped up, ran to the windows and saw the rear of a jet heading toward Washington, D.C. A few seconds later, a second plane that seemed to be chasing the first passed over at a slightly different angle, she said. - Daily Press/Newport News (09/15/01) [Reprinted at:]
Allan Lindsley, Army Captain, Physicians Assistant for Emergency Medical Services at Dewitt Army Community Hospital, Ft. Belvoir, VA. "At the time we could walk right up to the building. I walked right down, I was within 100 meters of the building, right in front of the crash site.
I didn’t see any of the plane. By then, the floors had collapsed.
Two FBI agents looking for airplane parts closer to the building walked into a yellow jacket nest and got stung several times.
I walked by that and looked up on the outer ring and you could see right at the crash site, and you could see filing cabinets and a computer monitor sitting there. They weren’t blackened, they didn’t look like they’d been moved, it looked like somebody had just driven by and broke a hole and nothing was touched. That was on the outer ring.
A lot of water, you could tell there were broken pipes and stuff, you could see that. You could see where the fire had extended almost a complete length to the left of the crash site and to the right, it only went maybe five windows over. I was told that that was because of the new construction that they were doing and fire walls had been put in. You could tell that to the right the structural integrity was much better. To the left is where they were really having to do a lot of shoring up of the building. To the right there was more steel, and to the left there wasn’t as much steel in it. So they’ve been replacing that." - Soldiers to the Rescue/Responding in the Pentagon [HTML]

Lincoln Liebner, Army Captain

"An eye-witness says an American Airlines passenger jet flew low straight into the Pentagon and crashed into the first floor of the building.

I saw this large American Airlines passenger jet coming in fast and low," said Army Captain Lincoln Liebner.
"My first thought was I've never seen one that high. Before it hit I realised what was happening," he said.
Captain Liebner says the aircraft struck a helicopter on the helipad, setting fire to a fire truck.
"We got one guy out of the [fire truck] cab," he said, adding he could hear people crying inside the wreckage.
Captain Liebner, who had cuts on his hands from the debris, says he has been parking his car in the car park when the crash occurred." - Australian Broadcasting Corp (09/12/01) [Reprinted with Wayback Machine]

From his vantage point, Maj. Leibner looked up and saw the plane come in. "I was about 100 yards away," he said. "
You could see through the windows of the aircraft. I saw it hit."

Excerpts from an interview with Major Lincoln Leibner, who worked in Cables Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.
"I was just about to make my turn up the sidewalk towards one of the entrances when I heard jet engines. It was not the normal jet track into National Airport, which is very, very different. I turned my head about maybe 90 degrees towards the sound of the engines, which were very loud. I fully expected to see A-10s or F-15s or something, and I saw the American Airlines airplane coming down. I watched the entire terminal descent into the building. It’s probably the loudest noise I ever heard in my life. I have heard artillery very close. I have heard rock concerts, but nothing came close to that noise. I watched the entire airplane go into the building. I was personally shook by whatever percussion, and not hit, and the fireball from my angle wasn’t as dramatic as I have subsequently seen on the file tape.
I got to the building. Remarkably, there was no debris from the airplane. In the immediate area around the Pentagon, the grass was all scorched and blackened. Windows were obviously knocked out and you could hear a fire inside the building but the fires weren’t that prevalent at that point. It was just smoke, and it wasn’t even all that bad.
One man in the ambulance with me had no idea what happened, kept asking whether it was a bomb.
I told them what I had seen and what I gather is that I was the first personal account that he had. Even at this point, I don’t believe the Secretary was confident that, in fact, a civilian airliner had hit the building. I think they still speculated about a bomb, a cruise missile, a small aircraft, but I was glad I was able to give useful information. I told them the plane came in full throttle, level, flaps up, wheels up, wasn’t crashed into the building, was flown into the building.
The Secretary was essentially incredulous, but, then again, maybe that was just his manner. He asked me if I was sure. And as I said, I was close enough to look into the windows of the airplane as it flew passed. There was no doubt in my mind what I had seen." - Soldiers to the Rescue/Responding in the Pentagon [HTML]

David Marra, 23, information-technology specialist "It was 50 ft. off the deck when he came in. It sounded like the pilot had the throttle completely floored. The plane rolled left and then rolled right. Then he caught an edge of his wing on the ground." There is a helicopter pad right in front of the side of the Pentagon. The wing touched there, then the plane cartwheeled into the building.
Father Stephen McGraw  - "I did not hear anything at all until the plane was just right above our cars." McGraw estimates that the plane passed about 20 feet over his car, as he waited in the left hand lane of the road, on the side closest to the Pentagon.  "The plane clipped the top of a light pole just before it got to us, injuring a taxi driver, whose taxi was just a few feet away from my car. "I saw it crash into the building," he said. "My only memories really were that it looked like a plane coming in for a landing. I mean in the sense that it was controlled and sort of straight. That was my impression," he said.
William Middleton Sr. was running his street sweeper through the cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft.  Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building.
Terry Morin The aircraft was essentially right over the top of me and the outer portion of the FOB.  I estimate that the aircraft was no more than 100 feet above me in a slight nose down attitude.  The plane had a silver body with red and blue stripes down the fuselage. I believed at the time that it belonged to American Airlines, but I couldn’t be sure. It looked like a 737 and I so reported to authorities.  Within seconds the plane cleared the 8th Wing of BMDO and was heading directly towards the Pentagon.  Engines were at a steady high-pitched whine, indicating to me that the throttles were steady and full.  The flight path appeared to be deliberate, smooth, and controlled.  I could now only see the tail of the aircraft.  I then confirmed that the aircraft had been flown directly into the Pentagon without hitting the ground first or skipping into the building.
Christopher Munsey, Navy Times reporter "I couldn’t believe what I was now seeing to my right: A silver, twin-engine American Airlines jetliner gliding almost noiselessly over the Navy Annex, fast, low and straight toward the Pentagon, just hundreds of yards away.
The plane, with
red and blue markings, hurtled by and within moments exploded in a ground-shaking “whoomp,” as it appeared to hit the side of the Pentagon."
Eileen Murphy, Head Nurse of the Minor Surgery Clinic at the DiLorenzo TRICARE Health Clinic "I knew it was a crash site before we got there, and I didn’t know what it was going to look like. I couldn’t imagine because the building is like rock solid. I expected to see the airplane, so I guess my initial impression was, “Where’s the plane? How come there’s not a plane?” I would have thought the building would have stopped it and somehow we would have seen something like part of, or half of the plane, or the lower part, or the back of the plane. So it was just a real surprise that the plane wasn’t there." - Soldiers to the Rescue/Responding in the Pentagon [HTML]
Vin Narayanan, reporter USA Today "The plane exploded after it hit, the tail came off and it began burning immediately... driving near the Pentagon when the plane hit.
(More) -
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 windows were dark on American Airlines Flight 77 as it streaked toward its target, only 50 yards away.  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.
The people who built that wall should be proud. Its ability to withstand the initial impact of the jet probably saved thousands of lives.
I hopped out of my car after the jet exploded,
nearly oblivious to a second jet hovering in the skies.

Steve O'Brien, Lt. Col., pilot of the Minnesota National Guard C-130 cargo plane seen flying around the Pentagon

Lt. Col. Steve O'Brien started his day at the controls of a Minnesota National Guard C-130 cargo plane. He and his crew were heading back to the Twin Cities after moving military supplies around the Caribbean. About 9:30 a.m., O'Brien throttled the lumbering plane down a runway at Andrews Air Force Base, just southeast of the District of Columbia.
"When we took off, we headed north and west and had a beautiful view of the Mall," he said. "I noticed this airplane up and to the left of us, at 10 o'clock. He was descending to our altitude, four miles away or so. That's awful close, so I was surprised he wasn't calling out to us.
"It was like coming up to an intersection. When air traffic control asked me if we had him in sight, I told him that was an understatement - by then, he had pretty much filled our windscreen. Then he made a pretty aggressive turn so he was moving right in front of us, a mile and a half, two miles away. I said we had him in sight, then the controller asked me what kind of plane it was.
"That caught us up, because normally they have all that information. The controller didn't seem to know anything."
O'Brien reported that the plane was either a 757 or 767 and its silver fuselage meant it was probably an American Airlines jet. "They told us to turn and follow that aircraft - in 20-plus years of flying, I've never been asked to do something like that. With all of the East Coast haze, I had a hard time picking him out.
"The next thing I saw was the fireball. It was huge. I told Washington the airplane has impacted the ground. Shook everyone up pretty good. I told them the approximate location was close to the Potomac. I figured he'd had some in-flight emergency and was trying to get back on the ground to Washington National. Suddenly, I could see the outline of the Pentagon. It was horrible. I told Washington this thing has impacted the west side of the Pentagon."
O'Brien asked the controller whether he should set up a low orbit around the building but was told to get out of the area as quickly as possible. "I took the plane once through the plume of smoke and thought if this was a terrorist attack, it probably wasn't a good idea to be flying through that plume."
He flew west, not exactly sure where he was supposed to land. Somewhere over western Pennsylvania, O'Brien looked down at a blackened, smoldering field. "I hoped it was just a tire fire or something, but when I checked with Cleveland center, he told me he'd just lost a guy off the scope pretty close to where we saw it.
He finally landed at the Youngstown, Ohio, airport." - Tribune (09/11/02) [Reprinted at:]

A Minnesota guard crew witnessed hijackers crashing American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and were also the first to report the smoke of United Airlines Flight 93 minutes after it went down in Pennsylvania.
Lt. Col. Steve O'Brien was at the controls of the C-130 aircraft on that day. His crew had just departed Andrews AFB on what he thought would be a normal flight home to Minnesota. But what he and his crew witnessed defies odds and will forever be woven into the fabric of the history of the infamous day.
"You just wonder how you could be in those two geographic locations at those exact times and witness those events," O'Brien told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
On September 11, 2001, O'Brien's plane had just taken off when air traffic controllers asked him to identify and follow Flight 77, which was suspected of being a hijacked plane. O'Brien saw that plane pass directly in front of his Minnesota National Guard C-130 aircraft.
"We told them we did have it in sight, and they asked us to follow the suspect aircraft." O'Brien remembered. "In 20 years of flying I'd never been asked to do that, especially following a commercial jetliner."
A few minutes later, O'Brien saw the first horrific sight of his day: American Airlines Flight 77 had hit the Pentagon.
"We were having a hard time keeping up with that aircraft, but we saw the explosion on the ground."
After that, O'Brien and his crew headed west toward home. But over Pennsylvania, air traffic controllers asked him and his crew if they saw another aircraft in trouble.
The crew of the C-130 saw the smoke from United Airlines Flight 93, which had crashed just 2 minutes earlier.
"You feel like you are a part of history," O'Brien said. "Even if you were not directly involved, you had a chance to witness it." - 5 Eyewitness News (12/25/04)

John O’Keefe “I don’t know whether I saw or heard it first -- this silver plane; I immediately recognized it as an American Airlines jet,” said the 25-year-old O’Keefe, managing editor of Influence, an American Lawyer Media publication about lobbying. “It came swooping in over the highway, over my left shoulder, straight across where my car was heading.
“The eeriest thing about it, was that it was like you were watching a movie.
There was no huge explosion, no huge rumbling on ground, 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.
“The first thing I did was pull over onto the shoulder, and when I got out of the car
I saw another plane flying over my head, and it scared, because I knew there had been two planes that hit the World Trade Center. And I started jogging up the ramp to get as far away as possible.
“Then the plane --
it looked like a C-130 cargo plane -- started turning away from the Pentagon, it did a complete turnaround.
Mary Ann Owens, Gannett News Service employee "Instantly I knew what was happening, and I involuntarily ducked as the plane passed perhaps 50 to 75 feet above the roof of my car at great speed," Owens said. "The plane slammed into the west wall of the Pentagon. The impact was deafening. The fuselage hit the ground and blew up."
(More) - Gripping the steering wheel of my vibrating car, I involuntarily ducked as the wobbling plane thundered over my head. Once it passed, I raised slightly and grimaced as
the left wing dipped and scraped the helicopter area just before the nose crashed into the southwest wall of the Pentagon.
Steve Patterson, 43, graphics artist saw a silver commuter jet fly past the window of his 14th-floor apartment in Pentagon City. The plane was about 150 yards away, approaching from the west about 20 feet off the ground.
He said the plane, which
sounded like the high-pitched squeal of a fighter jet, flew over Arlington cemetary so low that he thought it was going to land on I-395. He said it was flying so fast that he couldn't read any writing on the side.
The plane,
which appeared to hold about eight to 12 people, headed straight for the Pentagon...He said the plane, which approached the Pentagon below treetop level, seemed to be flying normally for a plane coming in for a landing other than going very fast for being so low. Then, he said, he saw the Pentagon "envelope" the plane and bright orange flames shoot out the back of the building.
"It looked like a normal landing, as if someone knew exactly what they were doing," said Patterson, a graphics artist who works at home. "This looked intentional."
Christine Peterson  I was at a complete stop on the road in front of the helipad at the Pentagon; what I had thought would be a shortcut was as slow as the other routes I had taken that morning.  I looked idly out my window to the left -- and saw a plane flying so low I said, “holy cow, that plane is going to hit my car” (not my actual words).  The car shook as the plane flew over.  It was so close that I could read the numbers under the wing.  And then the plane crashed.  My mind could not comprehend what had happened.  Where did the plane go?  For some reason I expected it to bounce off the Pentagon wall in pieces.  But there was no plane visible, only huge billows of smoke and torrents of fire.
Maybon Pollock, Sergeant First Class, NCOIC Logistics in the DiLorenzo TRICARE Health Clinic. "At that point we were able to see the last part of the plane, where it stopped, basically. It was a big 8 by 10 or bigger, I’m just guessing, hole in the wall. You could see the tire, the landing gear, were just forward of it.
I was more impressed, I was truly impressed, with how the building stood up, after they told me the
size of the plane. And then I was in awe that I saw no plane, nothing left from the plane. It was like
it disintegrated as it went into the building
." - Soldiers to the Rescue/Responding in the Pentagon [HTML]
Lon Rains, Editor at Space News With the Pentagon to the left of my van at about 10 o’clock on the dial of a clock, I glanced at my watch to see if I was going to be late for my appointment.
At that moment I heard a very loud, quick whooshing sound that began behind me and stopped suddenly in front of me and to my left. In fractions of a second I heard the impact and an explosion. The next thing I saw was the fireball.
I was convinced it was a missile. It came in so fast it sounded nothing like an airplane. Friends and colleagues have asked me if I felt a shock wave and I honestly do not know.
Rick Renzi, a law student ''The plane came in at an incredibly steep angle with incredibly high speed,''... was driving by the Pentagon at the time of the crash about 9:40 a.m.  The impact created a huge yellow and orange fireball, he added. Renzi, who was interviewed at the scene by FBI agents, said he stopped his car to watch and saw another plane following and turn off after the first craft's impact.
Steve Riskus, 24 "I took these pictures less then 1 minutes after I watched the american airlines 757 airplane crash into the pentagon on september 11 2001. I left shortly after the picture were taken in fear of further attacks.
Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions about my pictures.
Yes, I did actually see the plane impact the building.
Steve Riskus
AIM: youthenraged" -

(Note that this is Steve's personal account posted on his own website which he created on Sept. 10, 2001!)

James S. Robbins, a national-security analyst & NRO contributor I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time, I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing. There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building.
Tom Seibert, 33,  a network engineer at the Pentagon "We heard what sounded like a missile, then we heard a loud boom,"  "We were sitting there and watching this thing from New York, and I said, you know, the next best target would be us. And five minutes later, boom."
Noel Sepulveda, Master Sgt., Air Force He saw the plane fly above a nearby hotel and drop its landing gear. The plane’s right wheel struck a light pole, causing it to fly at a 45-degree angle, he said. The plane tried to recover, but hit a second light pole and continued flying at an angle. "You could hear the engines being revved up even higher," Sepulveda said.  The plane dipped its nose and crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon.  "The right engine hit high, the left engine hit low," Sepulveda said. "For a brief moment, you could see the body of the plane sticking out from the side of the building. Then a ball of fire came from behind it." - (04/19/02)
Levi Stephens, 23, courier Armed Forces Information Service According to one witness, "what looked like a 747" plowed into the south side of the Pentagon, possibly skipping through a heliport before it hit the building.  Personnel working in the Navy Annex, over which the airliner flew, said they heard the distinct whine of jet engines as the airliner approached.  "I was driving away from the Pentagon in the South Pentagon lot when I hear this huge rumble, the ground started shaking … I saw this [plane] come flying over the Navy Annex. It flew over the van and I looked back and I saw this huge explosion, black smoke everywhere."
Joel Sucherman, USA Today Editor "My first thought was he's not going to make it across the river to [Reagan] National Airport. But whoever was flying the plane made no attempt to change direction," Sucherman said. "It was coming in at a high rate of speed, but not at a steep angle--almost like a heat-seeking missile was locked onto its target and staying dead on course."
I didn't feel anything coming out of the Pentagon [in terms of debris]," he said. "A couple of minutes later, police cars and fire trucks headed to the scene." Ironically, the passage of emergency vehicles got traffic moving again, which was now crunching over twisted metal Sucherman guessed was the skin of the plane.
Off to the west,
Sucherman saw another plane climb steeply and make a sharp turn. "I thought, 'Is this thing coming around to make a second attack? If there is another explosion, we're toast.'"
(Video) - "
I did not see the engines, I saw the body and the tail; and it was a silver jet with the markings along the windows that spoke to me as an American Airlines jet, this was not a commercial, excuse me, a business jet, it was not a lear jet, it was a bigger plane than that."
Tim Timmerman A pilot who saw the impact... said it had been an American Airways 757. "It added power on its way in," he said. "The nose hit, and the wings came forward and it went up in a fireball."
(More) - And then it came out, and I saw it hit right in front of --
it didn't appear to crash into the building; most of the energy was dissipated in hitting the ground, but I saw the nose break up, I saw the wings fly forward, and then the conflagration engulfed everything in flames. It was horrible.  It was a Boeing 757, American Airlines, no question.
Jose Velasquez, NEXCOM Citgo station supervisor "I knew something was wrong. The planes come more from the north and west [to land at Reagan National Airport] not from the south. And not so low."  His gas station, open only to Department of Defense personnel... Velasquez says the gas station's security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact. "I've never seen what the pictures looked like," he said. "The FBI was here within minutes and took the film."
Alan Wallace, Pentagon Firefighter  - was standing outside his fire station when he looked across the nearby interstate and saw a white airplane with orange and blue trim heading almost straight at him. It slammed into the building just a couple hundred feet from him. "When I felt the fire, I hit the ground," he said.
(More) -
President Bush was scheduled to fly from Florida that afternoon, and his helicopter, Marine One, would carry him to the Pentagon. That meant Secret Service everywhere and their cars blocking the driveway.
So the meticulous
Wallace moved the fire truck out of the way, parking it about 15 feet from the Pentagon.
Wallace looked up and saw the gleam of a
silver jetliner. But it was flying too low. Maybe less than 25 feet off the ground.
"I yelled to Mark, 'Let's go!'" He bolted to the right and a second later felt the searing heat of the blast behind him.
He hit the ground and rolled under a parked van as a fireball engulfed his fire truck, then blew through the nearby firehouse.
So Wallace switched on the truck's radio. "
Foam 61 to Fort Myer," he said. "We have had a commercial carrier crash into the west side of the Pentagon at the heliport, Washington Boulevard side. The crew is OK. The airplane was a 757 Boeing or a 320 Airbus."
Mike Walters "I looked off, I was, you know I looked out my window. I saw this plane, a jet, American Airlines jet coming, and I thought this doesn't add up. It's really low. I mean, it was like a cruise missile with wings, went right there and slammed right into the Pentagon, a huge explosion, a great ball of fire. Smoke started billowing out and then it was just chaos on the highway as people either tried to move around the traffic and go down either forward or backwards." - CNN (03/07/02)

Keith Wheelhouse

"Her brother, Wheelhouse, of Virginia Beach, spotted the planes first. The second plane looked similar to a C- 130 transport plane, he said. He believes it flew directly above the American Airlines jet, as if to prevent two planes from appearing on radar while at the same time guiding the jet toward the Pentagon.
As the hijacked jet started its descent, "it's like it stepped on its gas pedal," Wheelhouse said. "As soon as he did that, the second plane banked off to the west."
Wheelhouse's account of a second plane is unlike everything else that has been reported about the attack. Some initial reports on television said a second airliner might be headed for the Pentagon, but authorities later dismissed that. A Norfolk-based FBI agent interviewed Wheelhouse Wednesday evening.
A possible explanation for the second plane could be a plane landing at nearby Ronald Reagan National Airport. The Pentagon is between the cemetery and the airport. But Wheelhouse insists he was not confused by other air traffic.
After the attack on the Pentagon, reporters in Washington saw Air Force planes patrolling the skies over the capital.
Wheelhouse said it's possible the second plane was a military plane, but the military has not said it had a plane shadowing the hijacked jet." - Daily Press/Newport News (09/14/01) [Reprinted at:]


"FBI spokesmen say they have not heard about it, although both Knowles and Keith Wheelhouse, the Virginia Beach man, were interviewed by FBI agents. A Pentagon official said late Friday no other plane was flying with the jetliner. But he said it was possible a military plane was in the area at the time of the attack.

At the same time, Wheelhouse and his sister, Pam Young, who lives in Surry, were preparing to leave a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, which is less than a mile from the Pentagon, when they watched the jet approach and slam into the Pentagon. Both of them, as well as at least one other person at the funeral, insist that there was another plane flying near the hijacked jet.
Wheelhouse said the second plane looked like it may have been a C- 130 transport plane, but the other three witnesses say they're not sure what the plane looked like." - Daily Press/Newport News (09/15/01) [Reprinted at:]

Dave Winslow, AP reporter "I saw the tail of a large airliner ... It ploughed right into the Pentagon."
Pam Young

 - Perhaps more remarkable is her insistence that a second plane was flying near and along the same path as the hijacked jet. - Daily Press/Newport News (09/14/01) [Reprinted at:]

At the same time, Wheelhouse and his sister, Pam Young, who lives in Surry, were preparing to leave a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, which is less than a mile from the Pentagon, when they watched the jet approach and slam into the Pentagon. Both of them, as well as at least one other person at the funeral, insist that there was another plane flying near the hijacked jet. - Daily Press/Newport News (09/15/01) [Reprinted at:]


Unidentified Witnesses...

Air Force senior enlistee

(Chris Plant, CNN correspondent)

PLANT: Well, and speaking to people here at the Pentagon, as they're being evacuated from the building. I'm told by several people that there was, in fact, an explosion.

I was told by one witness, an Air Force enlisted - senior enlisted man, that he was outside when it occurred. He said that he saw a helicopter circle the building. He said it appeared to be a U.S. military helicopter, and that it disappeared behind the building where the helicopter landing zone is - excuse me - and he then saw fireball go into the sky.

It's a very tense situation obviously, but initial reports from witnesses indicate that there was in fact a helicopter circling the building, contrary to what the AP reported, according to the witnesses I've spoken to anyway, and that this helicopter disappeared behind the building, and that there was then an explosion. That's about all I have from here. - CNN (09/11/01)
Arlington worker  - Another Arlington worker who declined to be interviewed in front of the media told a story that the military historians had not heard in the 244 interviews they had conducted through last week. The man said a mysterious second plane was circling the area when the first one attacked the Pentagon. - South Coast Today/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (12/20/01)

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