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Eyewitnesses Contradict Pentagon 9/11 Story



Sheila Casey
Rock Creek Free Press
April 6, 2009

Two California men who call themselves the Citizen Investigation Team (CIT) have compiled impressive video evidence that the plane seen flying towards the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001 could not have caused the death and damage at the Pentagon, nor the damage to five light poles outside the Pentagon.

Frustrated with the inability of 9/11 researchers to do anything other than speculate about what really happened that day, Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis decided to take matters into their own hands. They have repeatedly flown in from southern California, canvassed the area near the Pentagon on foot to find people who saw a plane just prior to the fireball, and then quizzed these eyewitnesses extensively on camera to establish exactly what they saw, when they saw it and where they saw it from.

Their research is summarized at their website: thepentacon.com, as well as in four DVDs containing interviews with 13 witnesses who attest that they saw a plane fly to the north of the Citgo gas station on Pentagon property, not south of the Citgo station as required by the official story.

CIT had each witness draw the flight path he witnessed on a map; the compilation from all the witnesses is shown in the photo above. The yellow curved lines clustered together toward the top of the map are from the witnesses; the single straight line angling up from the bottom edge of the map is the official flight path of the plane, as described by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Taken together, the 13 witnesses deliver a devastating blow to the official story about the Pentagon attack. Five 40-foot, 247-pound light poles were knocked down that day. If the plane flew north of the Citgo station, it could not have knocked down those poles. The west side of the Pentagon was damaged as if it were hit by a plane heading north, with the zone of destruction angling north. If the plane flew to the north of the Citgo station before hitting the Pentagon, it would not have caused this kind of damage.

CIT’s evidence is compelling for a number of reasons. Three of their witnesses are Pentagon police officers who were on duty at the time of the attack. Most of the others were government employees at their jobs, and their presence at that place and time can be verified. This stands in sharp contrast to the witnesses who claim they saw the attack from their cars, as their presence on the road cannot be confirmed.

CIT’s witnesses are quite sure about what they saw. Sergeant William Lagasse, an officer with what is now known as the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, was fueling his patrol car at the Citgo station when the jet flew past him. He has stated that he is “100% sure” that the plane flew to the north of the gas station, that he would “bet his life on it.”

There is a remarkable degree of congruence in the witnesses’ accounts. They are not 9/11 researchers and none of them seemed to be aware that they were describing a flight path at odds with the official story, thus they had no reason to be less than forthcoming. Each was interviewed separately, yet their stories are quite similar.

CIT includes each interview in its entirety, without editing. Although this makes for a long video, it preempts any accusations of misinterpreting or leading the witnesses. We have the advantage of seeing the witnesses’ body language and hearing their tone of voice. We get a glimpse into their personalities and character, and are given the maximum amount of information possible with which to assess if they are telling the truth. We found the witnesses credible and convincing.

After thousands of hours of painstaking investigation and analysis, Ranke and Marquis have concluded that the plane seen by so many people did not hit the Pentagon, but flew over the building at the same time that pre-planted explosives caused a huge fireball and thick, black smoke, obscuring the fact that the plane was still in the air and flying away.

Several of CIT’s witnesses mentioned a second plane that came along about 30 seconds later, but media reports immediately after 9/11 talked about a second plane “shadowing” the attack plane. The belief that there were two planes in very close proximity serves as a useful fiction to confuse anyone who saw the plane fly over the Pentagon as the fireball exploded. Rather than concluding that the plane never actually hit the building, observers would almost certainly conclude that they had seen the “shadowing” second plane.

All of CIT’s witnesses also believe that the plane they saw hit the Pentagon, although this cannot be possible. This fact has been used to dismiss CIT’s work as irrelevant, but it’s not a compelling argument.

Less than an hour earlier, America had seen the south tower of the World Trade Center being hit by a plane and exploding into a huge fireball. Most people were aware that an attack was underway. If they saw a jet heading directly towards the Pentagon, and next saw a massive fireball, it is doubtful that one person in a thousand would question whether the plane had crashed and caused the fireball. To conclude that the fireball was caused by explosives preplanted in one of the most heavily guarded buildings on the planet, in an intentional false flag attack to justify war, would require observers to have a degree of perspicacity that was extremely rare in the pre-9/11 world, and only slightly less rare now.

The most riveting segment in the CIT footage is of the interview with Lloyde England, a taxi cab driver who was photographed numerous times just after the attack. In all the photos, England and his cab are on Route 27, on the bridge going over Columbia Pike. The front windshield of his cab has a big hole in it and the cab is at a stop and straddling the lanes. A broken light pole lies nearby.

England’s story is that he was going 40 mph when he felt the jet go over head, and then the light pole came smashing through his front windshield. He says he then skidded sideways to a stop, and that a stranger stopped and helped him remove the light pole from the windshield, and then left without ever giving his name or even speaking a word.

England’s story is suspect because photos show the hood of his sedan untouched and gleaming like a mirror, although his front windshield was destroyed. England is quite clear that it was not the smaller section at the top of the light pole that impaled his windshield, but the big, 40 foot, 247 pound pole. He contends that after it pierced his windshield, with perhaps five feet of the top end of the pole inside the cab, that the other 35 feet stuck straight out into the air, not touching the hood of the cab.

The question is, with the windshield destroyed, what held the pole up the in air? CIT drove with England to his property in the country to inspect the cab. They hypothesized that perhaps the narrow end of the pole had pierced the back seat or floorboards of the cab, holding it in place and not allowing it to touch the hood of the cab. But their inspection showed that there was only an insignificant rip in the rear seat, and no damage to the floorboards. Although the dashboard was damaged, no part of the hood, including the edge near the windshield, showed any damage.

What makes the story even more incredible is that England claims that as he was removing the pole from the windshield, he fell down, but managed, even as he was on the ground, to keep holding the pole in the air. Remember that the pole is 40 feet long and weighs 247 pounds, while England appears to be about 65 years old.

Pressed to explain how it can be that the pole never touched the hood of the sedan, England said only “The car speaks for itself.” Unfortunately for England, the car seems to be saying that his account cannot possibly be true. In addition, with 13 eyewitnesses saying that the plane went nowhere near those light poles, it seems clear that something else caused the damage to England’s windshield.

The video with England validates CIT’s practice of keeping the camera rolling as much as possible, even during casual conversation, as the most damning statements from both England and his wife came out spontaneously and unexpectedly. While Ranke and England’s wife were chatting at the Englands’ home, Ranke told her that they had determined that the jet never hit the Pentagon, but kept on going, and, amazingly, she agreed! The audio is hard to hear and she then refused to say more, but her meaning was clear. Mrs. England, who works for the FBI, also said that she knows why her husband’s car was not impounded as evidence, but wasn’t going to tell.

England spontaneously offered this damning statement: “You gotta understand something. When people do things and get away with it, you…eventually it’s gonna come to me, and when it comes to me, it’s gonna be so big, I can’t do nothing about it.”

CIT also kept the camera running during the 90-minute drive to see England’s car, and captured a few very interesting statements on tape. Although England speaks generally and indirectly, in the context of a conversation about the attack at the Pentagon, his meaning is clear.

England: I wasn’t supposed to be involved with this, this is too big for me, man, this is a big thing. This is a world thing happening, I’m a small man…I’m not supposed to be involved in this. This is for other people, people who have money and all this kind of stuff.

Ranke: Your point that these people who have all the money…

England: This is their thing.

Ranke: This is their event.

England: This is for them.

Ranke: Meaning they’re doing it for their own reasons…

England: (with conviction) That’s right. I’m not supposed to be in it.

Ranke: They must have planned it.

England: It was planned.

England: You know what history is? It’s not the truth. It’s “his story.” Has nothing to do with the truth.

As someone who has been researching the 9/11 story for two years, and has experienced mockery, abuse and denials from the government and media, I was a thrilled to hear someone who was directly involved in the cover-up admit on tape that it was a big event, a world event, planned by rich people for their own reasons.

Incredibly, once Ranke explained that 13 witnesses had all placed the jet at the north side of the Citgo station on a trajectory that could not have knocked down the five light poles, England changed his story and declared that he was not where all the photographs show him to be, but actually well north of Columbia Pike. Ranke showed England numerous photos of himself, his damaged cab and the downed light pole on the bridge over Columbia Pike. Even faced with incontrovertible evidence of his exact location, England resolutely maintained that pictures don’t always tell the truth and that the accident with the light pole had taken place much further north.

The 90-minute video of the interview with Lloyde England, completely discredits England. Ranke points out that England may well be a victim himself, in that he may have been forced to tell the story of the pole impaling his windshield. But his story is so incredible, and his protestations that he was not in the
location where multiple photos and videos place him on that day are so absurd, that Lloyde England’s account now stands as perhaps the most vulnerable point in the edifice of lies that constitute the official story of the attack on the Pentagon.

The entire body of work from CIT is a testament to the tremendous power of dedicated citizen journalists to uncover the truth behind a government story. Using thousands of dollars of their own money and thousands of hours of unpaid time, Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis have performed a significant public service. They have created a body of work that definitively shows the government story about the Pentagon to be a lie.

CIT’s next move is to consolidate their research into a more concise format that edits all the lengthy interviews into a single 60 minute video called “National Security Alert.” The video will have no music or other artistic flourishes, which will make it suitable for informing government or media figures. Within the next 30 days, they expect to go live with a new website at CitizenInvestigationTeam.com. That site will have a link for free downloads of their new video, plus detailed information on how citizens can use the video to get action, including a series of steps to take if the appropriate authorities don’t respond.

Ranke and Marquis will be returning to the DC area to present a four hour conference in tandem with Pilots for 9/11 Truth. The free conference will be held at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) conference center in Arlington, Virginia from 12:30 pm to 5 pm on Saturday, July 11.


Sheila Casey is a DC-based journalist. Her work has appeared in The Denver Post, Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times, Dissident Voice and Common Dreams. She blogs at http://www.sheilacasey.com

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