Comments on a Talk by Barbara Honegger

These comments arise from a study of the talk Barbara Honegger gave to San Diegans for 9/11 Truth on Jan 9, 2011. In this talk you will find a mixture of material. She has done a remarkable job locating valuable pieces of information which enable us to understand enough about what happened to be sure that 9/11 was an inside job. Unfortunately she mixes this with a considerable amount of misinformation which gives support to the no-plane-at-the Pentagon theory. Thus she increases the dissension in the movement. You will find an extraordinary number of errors. It is astonishing that she was invited to talk at the Toronto Hearings in September 2011 without making a retraction statement. Here is a partial list of the errors in her talk:

  1. Wrong in asserting the width of damage on the Pentagon is too small for a 757.[1]
  2. Wrong in asserting the engines should have hit the ground.[2]
  3. Wrong about the lack of plane debris outside the exit hole.[3] She shows a picture after some cleanup. The debris has clearly been picked over and restacked.
  4. Shows a misleading diagram of the ground floor which exaggerates the width of the support columns, and hence exaggerates the resistance they would provide to the fragmenting plane.
  5. Wrongly refers to three openings in the C-ring wall as caused by impact damage. She is apparently unaware that two of the openings are doors, probably opened by firemen to achieve access for fire control, allowing smoke to stain the walls.[4]
  6. Quotes Robin Horden as saying the FDR file has been hacked, or doctored or from another plane. There is no proof of this.
  7. Quotes Aidan Monaghan as saying there was a break in the recording 5 hours before it was “found”. This doesn’t make sense as the recorder would not have been recording after the crash. Here is what Aidan says about this: “Hopefully, she is not attributing such a claim to me because I’ve never been of this view or even suggested such a possibility to her.”
  8. States the FDR data does not record the beginning of the descent which she says occurred before the transponder was switched off. This is false. The transponder went off at 8:56. Both the FDR and radar data show the plane at 35,000 feet at this time. Descent commenced at about 9:01.
  9. States the plane ID has been deleted. This is false. The plane is number 35, fleet 1, as found in a column of the data file. Without access to American Airlines records we cannot know what particular plane these numbers refer to but there is no doubt that they provide ID.[5]
  10. She quotes Horden as saying there is too much uncertainty in the FDR data to distinguish between the south and north path. This is false. There is no uncertainty in the direction of the path in the data file, 61.3 degrees, which corresponds with the trail of damage and the direction of the radar trail. Thus it links the last radar position with the impact point by a straight line. This confirms the south path and rules out the north path.[2]
  11. Wrong about the lack of witnesses to a south path as she fails to consider that every impact witness is a witness to a straight path and hence to the south path. Impact witnesses greatly outnumber north path witnesses. There are also several credible witnesses who were along the south path and state that the plane passed overhead.[6]
  12. Wrong about Hemphill being a plausible over-the-Citgo witness. In one interview with CIT he was persuaded that the plane may have flown over Citgo but in all his interviews and written statements he was clear that the plane flew straight from a position on his right to the impact point on the Pentagon. This straight track does not pass over Citgo but of course his vision of it does at impact.[6]
  13. Wrong about the identity of AA77 being added to the radar data. The aircraft is labelled “LOOK” on the radar record, not AA77.[7] Its trail is headed by the letter “S”.
  14. Falsely uses part of the Jamie Mackie interview out of context to call him a no-impact witness when he clearly stated that he saw the “huge gaping hole” in the wall of the Pentagon.[8]
  15. Wrong about there being a radar “dead zone” after the transponder of AA77 is switched off. Primary radar (skin reflection) tracking of the aircraft was recorded all the way to the Pentagon. John Farmer and Tom Lusch put in a lot of work examining the data.[9] See the page titled “Plane Identity” under the Pentagon menu heading. The persistence of the “radar hole” myth is one of the numerous puzzling features of the 9/11 narrative. The 9/11 Commission report is clearly deceptive regarding this issue. Perhaps they preferred to allow the public to think that there was an intentional lack of coverage in the area rather than admitting that the software which is supposed to analyze the radar input in real time was defective. Only if the data is correctly assembled and presented immediately to ATC officers will it be useful for the purposes of maintaining control and safety. There have been complaints that the radar software is defective for many years, allowing aircraft to become “invisible” to controllers if the transponder fails.[10] It is reasonable to suspect that this false information was deliberately allowed to stand as it provided one more item among many to cause argument among 9/11 activists.
  1. Foolishly relies on Pilots for 9/11 Truth in her assertion that the plane could not survive the approach to the Pentagon impact point. The fact that their calculation of g-force is incorrect has been known for a long time, with correct calculations being published by several authors.[3]
  2. Makes unfounded claims based on April Gallop not being injured. We know that the motors penetrated the building. The extreme left hand edge of the left motor was 25 foot 3.5 inches from the centerline of the plane. Gallop claims to have been 35 to 45 feet away from the path of the plane, a gap of 10 to 20 feet. Some of the left wing beyond the motor did penetrate but apparently not 10 to 20 feet of it. It is not as though Gallop was untouched by the event; she was buried in debris and her baby was injured.
  3. Relies on Pilots for 9/11 Truth in her assertion that the FDR, was in some plane other than AA77, which passed high over the Pentagon, but under the radar. This totally ignores the discussion about altitude found in the Legge/Stutt paper.[2] In this paper we show that the radio height and altimeter height are in agreement while the plane is at normal speed and altitude, but diverge as the plane descends and accelerates to abnormal speeds. The altimeter would be operating under conditions for which it had not been calibrated, but it is reasonable to trust the radio height at high speed as no calibration is required. Using radio height we see the plane descending smoothly, and passing through the light poles. The last radio height recorded shows the plane to be at the right height above ground indicated by the damaged light poles.
  4. She misuses a diagram I had prepared which showed, as a green line, Albert Hemphill’s line of sight to the impact point on the Pentagon. The purpose of the diagram was to show that the south path, shown as a yellow line, corresponding with the official description, was on his right, while CIT’s north path, shown as a blue line, would have been on his left. In his several interviews and written statements he always said the path was over his right shoulder and flew straight to the impact point. Had the plane followed the blue line he clearly would have said it was over his left shoulder. The question arises: How far on his right did the plane fly? Hemphill said it was “as if it had been following Columbia Pike.” When asked if it was as far south as the VDOT antenna tower he said (at 17:00) “I think that would be a little bit far.” Apparently Honegger did not read the explanation given with the diagram, and wrongly asserted that the plane followed the green line over the Citgo service station.

There was more, but that will do to show that her support for no plane impact at the Pentagon is unfounded. Questions on the subject are invited.


[1] Hoffman, J.,

[2] Legge & Stutt,, page 4

[3], pages 4,5

[4] Legge & Stutt, reference 14.

[5] Warren Stutt, personal communication

[6] Legge & Chandler,

[7] ATC voice and radar,

[8] McIntyre, J.,

[9] Lusch, T., AAL77,

[10] Lusch, T., It is Time for a Paradigm Shift,

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