Introduction and Background
Citizen Investigation Team (CIT), primarily Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis, along with the Loose Change crew and a few others who participated early on, began their work in about 2006. Their thesis was that American Airlines Flight 77, or similar plane, approached the Pentagon on 9/11/01, but along a path that took it north, rather than south, of the CITGO gas station, which was situated to the west of the Pentagon, across Hwy 27, between the Pentagon and the Navy Annex. Although this small fact may seem unimportant at first, the significance of this claim is that it put the flight path out of alignment with the trail of destruction outside and inside the Pentagon. Their conclusion was that the plane could not have caused the damage. It instead flew over the Pentagon. The flyover was concealed by a synchronized explosion at the Pentagon, which allowed the plane to escape behind the smoke cloud without notice. Since the plane never touched anything, all the damage was staged. They explicitly compared the event to a “magic show.”
CIT has been divisive and destructive to the 9/11 Truth Movement from the beginning. For example, instead of engaging in sincere truth-seeking and dialog with other researchers, for years they maintained a literal multi-page “enemies list” on their web site and condemned any who argued that the plane actually impacted the Pentagon as government collaborators. A particularly egregious example is their sustained smear campaign against an elderly taxi driver, who was nearly killed when his taxi was hit by a fragment of one of the downed light poles. The physical evidence, embodied by his taxi, establishes the fact that the plane flying through the light poles was a real-time event, so their response was to attempt to discredit him: they sought to trap him in a lie and accused him of being a government co-conspirator. The CIT version of the taxi incident has been conclusively debunked in Chapter 9 of Wayne Coste’s presentation of the evidence. We will not deal with that incident here.
Sgt. William Lagasse: CIT’s Star Witness
CIT’s star witness is Sgt. William Lagasse of the Pentagon police force. Anyone who questions the CIT theory is directed to look at Sgt. Lagasse’s CIT interview. How could he possibly be wrong about such a simple, direct observation? Anyone who has watched CIT’s presentation of their evidence will vividly remember Sgt. Lagasse pointing out the supposed north path of the plane and affirming it with the phrase, “Bet my life on it.” Therefore, to effectively critique CIT, it is necessary to look carefully at Sgt. Lagasse’s testimony.
I had an interesting encounter with Aldo Marquis, co-founder of CIT, in the comments section of an article on the Truth and Shadows blog in which he explains their focus on Lagasse and the origin of the “North of CITGO” theory:
This was ALL my research. I got Craig Ranke involved and he was able to do a significant amount of the legwork (with and without me) based on my research which eventually turned into OUR research and investigation.… Remember this ALL started, because in 2003 a very pissed off Sgt Lagasse, who believed there was an airliner that struck the pentagon, told researcher Dick Eastman that he was on the “starboard side” of the plane while he was refueling at the Citgo. This is what started me researching what he saw. This is what drove me to fly out to Arlington with the Loose Change crew and confirm or refute what he saw.
So, let’s start by looking at the Eastman/Lagasse emails. The comment by Lagasse that drew Aldo’s attention was that he was on the “starboard side” of the plane.
If you look at the Eastman/Lagasse email exchange and do a search for the word “starboard” you will see it occurs in exactly three places.
- Eastman: Several people saw the shades pulled down — were you looking at the port (left) or starboard side?
- Lagasse: …a shallow bank with a heavy uncoordinated left rudder turn causing a severe yaw into the building with the starboard side of the cockpit actually hitting at about the same time the wing was involved with the trailer,… [He had earlier described the trailer as being “to the right of the fueselage [Sic] impact point,” so he was describing the right wing.]
- I was on the Starboard side of the aircraft.
Note that Dick Eastman is the first to introduce the term “starboard” into the conversation, and he attempts to clarify it. In the next email Lagasse adopts the term, but from the incident he describes, he shows that he has “port” and “starboard” reversed in his mind. Surveying the trailer and wall damage (not in real time but close up, later that day) he notes that the right wing of the plane impacted the trailer and surmises that the plane would have rotated causing what he described as the “starboard” side of the cockpit to hit the wall while the right wing was still at the trailer. (Since the right wing is held back, he is describing a clockwise rotation. The dynamics of this interaction are not at issue here. We are trying to understand Lagasse’s words.) If the plane moved in the way Lagasse imagined, it would be the left side, i.e. the pilot side, of the cockpit that hit the wall first. This comment establishes that despite Eastman’s attempt to clarify the term, Lagasse has it backwards. For him the “starboard side” is the left side of the plane.
[As a side note, when I have mentioned this detail online some people have scoffed that surely someone with Lagasse’s background would be familiar with the terms port and starboard. Such a comment underlines the significance of this detail. One would expect someone like Lagasse (who was fond of using insider jargon, e.g. “AGL” for “above ground level”, etc.) to know port from starboard, so this was a potentially embarrassing blunder he might try to hide, making him vulnerable to manipulation. More on that later.]
So now moving on to the third occurrence of the word “starboard.” Lagasse places himself on the starboard side of the plane, i.e. the left side of the plane, according to his erroneous usage of the term. For this plane which was traveling west to east, that would be the north side of the plane, which would be visible only if it passed on the south side of the CITGO gas station. However, when Aldo read the emails, he saw that when interpreted literally, out of context, according to standard usage, it would imply that the plane passed north of Lagasse’s vantage point. Hence the North of CITGO flight path theory was born.
Sgt. William Lagasse: Witness to the Official Flight Path and Plane Impact
Before leaving the Eastman/Lagasse correspondence, let us note that Lagasse saw the light poles up close on the Pentagon lawn and accepted as obvious the fact that they were knocked down by the incoming plane, which also hit the trailer and caused the damage to the Pentagon wall. He opened his email to Eastman with this summary statement:
Dear Sir rest assured it was a Boeing 757 that flew into the building that day, I was on duty as a pentagon police sgt. I was refueling my vehicle at the barraks k gas station that day adjacent to the aircrafts flight path. It was close enough that i could see the windows had the shades pulled down, it struck several light poles next to rt 27 and struck a trailer used to store construction equipment for the renovation of the pentagon that was to the right of the fueselage impact point. The fact that you are insinuating that this was staged and a fraud is unbelievable. You ask were the debris is…well it was in the building..I saw it everywhere. I swear to god you people piss me off to no end.
And later in the exchange,
The aircraft struck the poles in question, they were not blown down, the aircraft passed almost directly over the naval annex splitting the distance between the ANC [Arlington National Cemetary] and Columbia pike. and was approx 100-150ft agl [above ground level] when it passed over the annex and continued on a shallow-fast decent and literally hit the building were it met the ground.
He is adamant that the plane hit the building and did the observed damage along the way. What he was describing was the “official” flight path, which passed south of the CITGO station, which is consistent with his being on the “Lagasse-starboard” (i.e. “left”) side of the plane. It had to be clear to Aldo, that Lagasse was describing the “official path” of the plane, so the fact that he seized on the erroneous “starboard side” comment shows that he saw this as an opportunity to manipulate Lagasse into supporting a false account. In Aldo’s words, Lagasse’s “Starboard side of the plane” comment “is what drove me to fly out to Arlington with the Loose Change crew and confirm or refute what he saw.”
[Aside: The constant use of the phrase “official” flight path is prejudicial. We are not talking about unsubstantiated authoritarian pronouncements by some agency in the “deep state.” The path we are describing is the path that aligns with the entrance hole, the C-ring exit hole, the damage path inside the Pentagon, the damage leading up to the Pentagon, the radar path indicated by multiple independent radar installations, both civilian and military, the FDR path, and the path attested to by the vast majority of eyewitnesses. It should more properly be described as the path indicated by the preponderance of the evidence. Given the topic under discussion, we should of course be skeptical of government pronouncements, but responsible skepticism means comparing such pronouncements with solid evidence.]
Decoding The PentaCon: Smoking Gun Version
[In what follows, I will be citing portions of Sgt. William Lagasse’s interview in CIT’s video, The PentaCon—Smoking Gun Version. This is the version that contains the extended interviews. If all you have seen is CIT’s featured “National Security Alert” video, you need to see The PentaCon–Smoking Gun Version to understand what was edited out. To view these video clips, open this link in a separate tab on your browser. I will provide time codes in the text below for each clip.]
The main part of Lagasse’s interview (apart from the map-marking portion) is about 18 minutes, beginning at [PentaCon, 38:51] and continuing to [PentaCon, 56:35]. You might want to view this clip in its entirety first.
After the bulk of his on-camera interview near the gas pump (the wrong pump, it turns out [PentaCon, 52:22]), Ranke asks Lagasse to rate his level of confidence in what he had just said about the plane passing on the north side. Lagasse responded, famously, “100%, bet my life on it.” The editor of PentaCon then does an instant replay of that clip, zoomed in, for emphasis, with extra voice enhancements. [PentaCon, 51:17]
This is grand-standing, not factual “reporting” or scientifically valid evidence gathering focused on discerning the truth. It is manipulation of a cherry-picked comment from the witness to construct a sales pitch. Ranke could just as well have asked Lagasse, “how certain are you that …”
- the plane was only 60 ft in front of you, as you told the interviewer in your December 4, 2001 interview for the Library of Congress?
- the plane was as far as the Arlington Cemetery fence (350 ft)? [PentaCon, 44:56]
- “it was not over Arlington National Cemetery but closer to Columbia pike,” as you told Dick Eastman?
- “the aircraft passed almost directly over the naval annex splitting the distance between the ANC and Columbia pike,” as you also told Dick Eastman?
Of more significance, he could have asked, “how certain are you that …”
- the plane actually hit the wall of the Pentagon? [one example: PentaCon, 51:52] […this is the single most consistent element of his testimony, but it is an element CIT summarily dismisses in constructing their flyover theory].
- the North of CITGO flight path would lead to the row of downed light poles? [PentaCon, 1:05:51] (We will discuss this last point in detail later.)
But Ranke didn’t ask him any of those things, and he didn’t try to clear up the contradictions. Instead, he focused on the one element of the story that was needed to sell their narrative and appealed to Lagasse’s ego to sell the story. As confident as Lagasse sounds in this interview, his conflicting testimony demonstrates that he is actually a very problematic witness.
Instead of going along with the sales pitch we need to ask ourselves how WE should evaluate the credibility of Lagasse’s eyewitness testimony. We need to look at the consistency of his statements in his various interviews and ask how well any of them align with the facts on the ground.
Lagasse: Inferences as Revised Memories
One particularly revealing side conversation in the PentaCon video has a direct bearing on Lagasse’s credibility.
At [PentaCon, 56:58 – 58:04] Lagasse demonstrates his propensity to mix actual memories with what one might call “inferred memories.” In his Library of Congress interview [1:05] he said “the wind blast from the wing vortices knocked me into my vehicle,” whereas in a later interview he said that didn’t happen. So at [PentaCon, 57:26] Ranke asks Lagasse,
[Ranke] What’s the reality about what happened as far as the force, the vortexes of the plane forcing you into the car? [Lagasse] You know, the reason I know I said that is because I read that I had said it, but I just remember being in the car after I saw the plane, getting in the car, so I wasn’t blown in by the vortex, …
Why he had made a detailed, supposedly factual, report in an early, official interview for the Library of Congress that he later felt compelled to retract is a question in itself. But he did later retract it, and in this interview he is reaffirming the retraction. Correcting a past erroneous statement would seem to be a good thing. But what is the real reason he changed his story? … listen carefully …
I just saw the plane go into the building, so I couldn’t be blown into the car if I watched it go into the building, so … [Ranke] so you didn’t really feel … [Lagasse] No, I didn’t feel anything other than getting into the car, so I just remember I had to get into the car somehow and, “[inaudible] I was blown in.”
He is here reasoning that if he had been blown into the car by the wing vortexes, that would have happened before the plane impacted the Pentagon. But he remembers actually watching the plane go into the building, so he now says, “I didn’t feel anything other than getting into the car.”
This statement is presented as testimony about what he felt, but it really isn’t. It is actually testimony about his inferences about what he must have felt. He tweaks his own prior testimony to “clean up” a contradiction, but he seems to internalize the new narrative as an adjustment to his “memory” in the process. In his own words, “You know, when you think about things, when you rethink them over and over and over, things change.” [PentaCon, 44:44] Lagasse is demonstrating on camera, that in his testimony, which he presents with such absolute certainty, he is adjusting his “memory” as he goes, rather than limiting himself to reporting direct sense experience, gaps and all. He does not seem capable of simply saying, “I really don’t remember how I got into the car.” I don’t take this as a conscious attempt to deceive, but it means that despite his bluster, his words cannot be relied upon when reporting his actual experiences, what he saw, or heard, or felt. He speaks with absolute conviction, but in this case, expressing absolute certainty is a hallmark of his insecurity rather than actual confidence. “100%, bet my life on it” can therefore be seen to be a habitual mode of thought and communication and a hollow figure of speech we need to take with a grain of salt. This is a problematic tendency for a policeman who would frequently be called upon to testify in court, and it means we must take this into account as we evaluate his testimony here.
Lagasse: The Gas Station Interview
So, what happened at the gas station interview? Lagasse had never before expressed a belief that the plane passed north of the CITGO station. He had only expressed the mistaken “Starboard side of the plane” claim. Yet here we see Lagasse in the video, from the very outset, affirming the North of CITGO flight path. Something is missing.
Lagasse’s new memory is out of character with his previous vague positional statements, but it is perfectly aligned with Aldo’s motivation to fly out from California. We don’t know what conversation occurred before the start of filming, but given that “North of CITGO” was the lynch-pin of CIT’s theory, and given Craig Ranke’s agenda-driven interviewing style (amply illustrated in the Hemphill interview), we can reasonably assume that some time prior to the start of filming, someone on the CIT team “reminded” Lagasse of his previous “starboard side of the plane” comment and filled in the implication, given the actual meaning of “starboard.” Lagasse had also claimed in the Eastman/Lagasse emails that he had seen the plane up close in enough detail that he “could see the windows had the shades pulled down.” By implication, he must have had a very clear view of the plane as it passed very near, on the north side of the station. Such a conversation would provide the “logic” needed for Lagasse to “construct” a pseudo-memory that fit the CIT narrative. What Lagasse was gaining by buying into that narrative was making his testimony coherent and presenting himself as alert and aware of his surroundings, while sidestepping the embarrassing admission that he got his “starboard” jargon wrong.
We have seen, by precedent, is that Lagasse refines his “memories” by inference, and then confidently presents the new narrative as his own. His bluster can be very persuasive.
Of course, what I have just outlined as the likely conversation before the beginning of filming is speculative, but speculation is valid here, because what I am laying out is a “plausibility argument.” The CIT sales pitch is that Lagasse’s testimony is so direct and compelling that there is (in their phraseology) “zero percent chance” that he got it wrong. By describing a plausible scenario where Lagasse could have gotten it wrong, I am moving the needle away from “zero percent.” The fact that the North of CITGO scenario contradicts all of the physical evidence actually means there is close to “zero percent” chance he got it right.
It is worth noting that there is a category in the study of eyewitness testimony called the “Misinformation Effect.”
Misinformation can find its way into the memory of the eyewitness somewhere between the time when the eyewitness saw the incident and making a report. When the witness was fed with erroneous facts or data after the occurrence of the event, he may not be able to answer a simple question like which traffic sign was at the intersection at the time of the incident. The eyewitness may start to doubt what he had seen at such a critical time…..Experts call this phenomenon the misinformation effect.http://www.psychology-criminalbehavior-law.com/2021/01/eyewitness-testimony-and-memory-biases/
The Slanted Photograph
After Lagasse’s verbal description of the flight path, standing near the gas pumps, Ranke hands him a photograph showing the CITGO station and the Pentagon [PentaCon, 56:34]. This photograph is “slanted” in more ways than one. The converging lines on the roof of the CITGO station indicate that the center of perspective of the original photograph, prior to cropping, is to the left (North) of the CITGO station. A very small area, from the CITGO station to the Arlington Cemetary fence, occupies about 40% of the photograph, which optimizes the photograph for portraying the North of CITGO perspective. Literally any path drawn on the left half of the picture would score as a “correct” answer, for CIT’s purposes, but it is hard to even find the path through the downed light poles on this deceptive photograph. That path appears unrecognizably flattened against the background due to perspective. (I say unrecognizably because Lagasse literally could not recognize it as such even when Ranke pointed it out to him. [PentaCon, 1:05:50])
I have added the red line through the downed light poles as a reference for the reader … a reference Lagasse did not have. The line through the light poles doesn’t even extend as far as the CITGO station before it runs off the edge of the picture. Someone trying to choose the light pole damage path as their response would likely not be able to do so successfully. Compare these angles in the CIT photograph with the angles shown in the unbiased overhead view below. Again, I have added a red line through the light poles for reference. Notice, in particular, the angle of the red line to the Pentagon wall in both images. This kind of unbiased diagram (minus the red line) is what the witnesses should have been handed, with all the appropriate objective reference points, such as the downed light poles, clearly marked.
Right after Lagasse finishes drawing his line on the photograph [PentaCon, 56:51] he makes an interesting remark.
[Lagasse] And obviously it’s the wrong angle, but you kinda … [Ranke] Yeah, tha tha that’s how you saw it come. OK.
What’s going on here? If Lagasse were confident of the point where the plane passed the CITGO station and the point where it hit the Pentagon, drawing a line connecting those two points should be the end of the story. So what “angle” is he talking about? The only angle that makes sense in this context is the angle between the flight path and the Pentagon wall. After the plane hit, Lagasse says he spent a 17 hour day on the lawn helping with the rescue operation. He was well acquainted with the row of downed light poles and the angle that path made with the Pentagon wall: 52 degrees (or to the eyeball, something a little over 45 degrees). In his sketch the path looked closer to 90 degrees from the wall, so the angle was clearly wrong. He continued pondering that discrepency as we see in [PentaCon, 1:06:47]. Note that by changing the angle he would be sacrificing the supposed firm memory of where the plane was when it passed the station. This is an indication that the memory of where the plane passed the station is not so firm, because the angle of the light pole path to the Pentagon dominated in his mind over his “memory” of the local position of the plane.
When Sgt. Brooks (the other Pentagon police officer who was interviewed at the CITGO station at the same time as Lagasse) is handed a copy of the same photograph shown to Lagasse, he is clearly confused because he takes 1 minute 27 seconds pondering the photograph before even committing pen to paper. Watch the whole, awkward process at [PentaCon, 58:19 – 59:46]. (The pause is so noticeable that the video editor inserts background music to fill the void!) Note how Ranke loudly says, “he’s going over to the north side where he remembers it flying” while Brooks is still pondering the photograph. He is not whispering this into the microphone. He is projecting his voice, planting a suggestion that Brooks was clearly intended to hear. Brooks is obviously very insecure as he tries to figure out where the plane flew and wants to get it “right.” He is very happy when he gets the “right answer,” which both he and Lagasse define as agreement with each other’s drawings. After marking the picture Brooks is smiling and relieved that he “guessed correctly.” If he had been handed an unbiased aerial view of the Pentagon area with some reference points marked, such as the location of the light poles, he would probably not have had the same difficulty. Of course, in that case he might have selected the light pole path, which did not fit CIT’s agenda.
Did you notice that after their lines were drawn on the pictures, Ranke asks both Lagasse and Brooks to go back over them to make them wider? They are using a Sharpie to draw their lines, so the line is as black as it’s going to get. There is no functional reason to retrace the line, for photographic reproduction purposes or anything else. What Ranke is asking them to do by this action is to reinforce their commitment to the path they drew. It is a bit of drama for the benefit of both the witnesses and the audience. He and Aldo are professional salesmen, telemarketers, literally, and they are manipulating their “witnesses” to buy into their narrative.
Insights from Off-Topic Comments
In reviewing the PentaCon video for this project I ran across a couple of points I have not seen discussed before.
One passing comment by Lagasse is how he knew it was an actual airplane impacting the building rather than any kind of a missile or bomb or Global Hawk. [PentaCon, 1:04:20 – 1:04:52] (Both he and Brooks are very dismissive of these explanations.) He said the explosion he saw and heard was a “deflagration,” not a “detonation.” He said he had explosives expertise and knew the difference. A deflagration is like a fireball, such as what we saw when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers. A deflagration without the physical impact of the plane could not have cut the hole in the Pentagon wall. A detonation from high explosives, however, propagates supersonically, creating a powerful shock wave that can do real damage, and has a distinctive sound. This is an interesting comment because CIT’s flyover theory depends on explosives in the building to create the giant blast to carve out the wall and create a smoke cloud to hide the overflying plane to enable it to escape undetected. [See Jim Hoffman’s Critiquing PentaCon (Smoking Crack Version) to shed light on the utter implausibility of the flyover hypothesis.] With his assertion of deflagration not detonation, Lagasse, who did not support or even know about CIT’s real agenda, inadvertently contradicted one of the key elements of CIT’s theory.
Another off-topic remark, as Lagasse and Brooks are answering a question from Ranke about the light poles, is even more significant. Between 2001 and the time of the CITGO interviews, changes had been made to the Navy Annex. The 8th wing of the building, the section closest to the Pentagon, had been torn down and a tall three-pronged Navy Memorial had been built in its place. Lagasse and Brooks were standing under the gas station canopy. We know the camera is facing to the southwest, toward the Navy Annex, because we can see the Navy Memorial in the background. At one point in the conversation Brooks says that on 9/11 he saw the trees near where he had been parked sway due to the wind from the plane as it passed. He points to them and emphasizes that those were not dogwood or small trees.
Note [PentaCon, 1:05:26] that he is pointing from their current location at the gas station to a row of trees to the left of the memorial at the Navy Annex. In other words, he is pointing to the southwest, near the actual south path of the plane. Brooks may have been disoriented looking at the “slanted” photograph he was handed, but he had no trouble pointing to the trees by his parking spot which he saw swaying when the plane flew by. Sgt. Brooks has just shown us that he is actually a South of CITGO witness.
Lagasse and the Light Poles
After Lagasse drew his estimated flight path on the photograph, Ranke inadvertently exposes Lagasse’s perceptual errors starting at [PentaCon, 1:05:50]. He begins by saying, “The official story says the plane came on the south side, and hit the light poles right here (pointing to an area on the far right side of the photograph, where the red line I have drawn crosses the bridge on Hwy 27). Lagasse reacts scornfully: “No chance.” It sounds like a resounding endorsement of his earlier ”North of CITGO” claims. But pay attention and follow the video clip carefully.
And as a matter of fact, I know for a fact that this light pole, well you can’t really see it but there was a light pole here that was knocked down, and there was a light pole here that was knocked down, [indicating points along the darkened line he has drawn] not any over here. They were here. And there is no way the plane was over here. …
[Continuing at 1:06:54] None of these light poles over here were knocked down. They were here. None of these were knocked down. They were here. …
[Continuing at 1:07:23] I’ve never seen anything that said it was on the south side of that gas station, ever. Ever. … I’m trying to maintain, even strain here, but these were the light poles. This is where the taxi cab was. Right here. Not over here. Nothing happened over here. Period. I can’t be any clearer about it than that.
It is clear that Lagasse is responding in confusion to the slanted perspective of the photograph that makes the actual path of light poles unrecognizable. Lagasse has just relocated the known, verifiable scene of the physically damaged light poles and the taxi cab to his estimated flight path. He is adamant that the light poles were located along the path of the plane. That may sound bizarre, but just a moment’s reflection brings us to the realization that what he is actually, and adamantly saying is the plane flew along the path of the light pole damage, which is the “official path.” This is what he had asserted from the beginning with the Eastman/Lagasse correspondence. The only element of his story that makes no sense is the claim that the plane flew north of the CITGO station. That is because “North of CITGO” was never really his claim before his encounter with CIT. His statement was that he was on the “starboard” side of the plane, which we now know, for him, meant the left side of the plane. Transforming that error into North of CITGO was CIT’s doing, and that is where the nonsense was inserted.
What this extended testimony makes clear is that Lagasse did not have a clear actual memory of the plane flying north of the CITGO station at all. That, in his mind, was yet another in a long list of small, inconsequential details he had incorporated into his mental narrative, which it appears was in response to false information planted by the CIT team before filming. As long as the conversation was about where the plane had been during its sudden and disorienting intrusion into his consciousness prior to the “main event,” he was suggestible enough to buy into what he was being told, because it sounded plausible to him and it seemed to be such a minor detail. In fact, it appears that he used the new information to revise his memory. But when it came to the physical evidence, he knew his observations had to align with the facts on the ground. He never strayed from this belief. His response was to draw what he thought was the path along the light poles and then align the poles to his drawing. He was wrong about where the path was, because he was given a deceptive photograph, but he was correct that there had to be alignment. His seemingly inexplicable attempt to shift the location of the light poles on the picture was in fact a very rational attempt to align his account with reality.
I would like to return to Aldo Marquis’ original focus on the Eastman/Lagasse emails. Aldo noticed the potential implication of the “starboard side” comment, but having studied the Eastman/Lagasse correspondence he also had to have known that Lagasse’s actual eyewitness testimony was
- that a 757 flew into (not over) the building
- that it struck several light poles
- that it struck the trailer with its right wing
- and that the airplane debris was in the building
Aldo had to know that what Lagasse was describing was an actual impact by the plane coming in along the damage path which was the path south of the CITGO station, and incompatible with their flyover hypothesis. He had to know that Sgt. Lagasse was NOT an actual North of CITGO witness.
Yet what Aldo focused on in those emails was that Lagasse had an exploitable weakness. He realized that they could take a single verbal blunder by Lagasse and make it the cornerstone of a theory that the airplane never did any damage to anything, and that everything was faked. He had to know that this kind of theory would never stand up in court, because it was fundamentally implausible, it contradicted the evidence, and this claim was completely contrary to Lagasse’s actual knowledge and belief, so they didn’t even have a witness who would be willing testify on behalf of their flyover-magic show conclusions. The CIT flyover theory was therefore “safe” for the establishment because it could never contribute to holding the perpetrators to account.
Lagasse told Dick Eastman,
The fact that you are insinuating that this was staged and a fraud is unbelievable. You ask were the debris is…well it was in the building..I saw it everywhere. I swear to god you people piss me off to no end. … I live with what I saw everyday of my life, It has taken a long time to deal with the images, screams and anger I felt that day, to be honest your website angered me to the point I wanted to just curse and rant and rave but I decided this would be much more helpful in quelling misconceptions.
CIT takes this actual testimony by an actual eyewitness of the event and its aftermath and twists it into a seductive theory, appealing only to those with a predisposition to believe anything that contradicts what the government says. While seductive, this theory is so unsupported by evidence that it would taint by association anyone who bought into it. Such an irrational theory could even overshadow the solid scientific work done at the World Trade Center. Aldo’s “research” has none of the earmarks of truth-seeking. It is a con. That is the real “Con” in PentaCon.
To what end, you might ask? Yes, that is a question you seriously should ask yourself.