Monday, September 01, 2008

C.I.T. and the "PentaCon"

Half a Theory at Best

Crimes of the State

Craig Ranke (recently interviewed for the OC Weekly) claims a lot of things. He claims he has "proof", and that his theory has been "indpendently confirmed."

If you don't know what he's claiming, it's the following. Ranke's "Pentagon flyover" theory basically says:

1. No plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11.

2. A large jet plane flew low and over the building, but pre-planted explosives were detonated at the moment it would have struck.

3. The light poles that were allegedly in the path of the incoming airliner were rigged to fall over in the pattern observed.

4. Some eyewitnesses lied about what they saw, and others were fooled into mistakenly believing the plane struck the building.

5. Other witnesses, whom Ranke and his Citizens Investigation Team (CIT) have found, are the true important witnesses that place the plane in a different place and on a different trajectory.

6. This different trajectory does not match the observed damage to the building, and so "proves" that no plane hit the building at all, based purely on alleged eyewitness statements which CIT has produced for The PentaCon.

I find the PentaCon theory weak and suspicious for several reasons. I also find it mostly irrelevant because it can't be "proven" with existing data, and only a complete disclosure of all evidence will show us what really happened at the Pentagon on 9/11.

Ranke, however delusional, claims that he has proven this theory. That claim is what is prompting me to respond to his false assertion of "proof."

As of now, Ranke claims that 13 "witnesses" say the attacking jetliner was on the "north side of the Citgo station," which is a landmark that would contradict the official flight path and damage pattern.

Ignoring the north and south question, Ranke has a major hole in his theory along the east/west axis. All of his purported "witnesses" were on the WEST side of the Pentagon, where they claim slightly different flight paths.

Zero of his witnesses were on the EAST side of the Pentagon, where they would have seen a low flying jetliner buzz the building and continue flying.

(Ranke's alleged "north side flight path", ie. the blue line, intentionally stops short, ignoring the obvious conclusion that the plane needed to keep going ... somewhere? Original image from:

This was in broad daylight, and a crowded highway would have been overflown by this jetliner that no one has seen.

Zero of his witnesses were in the Pentagon itself (26,000 employees), and no one at all has claimed they saw or heard a jetliner scream low over the Pentagon and continue on its merry way. That's a big zero, a very big zero indeed.

Far from being "independently confirmed," the utter lack of a single witness seeing the event Ranke claims happened is stark and telling. Low flying 757s are not subtle, quiet, or invisible.

That's enough of my time wasted on this topic. If you're interested in the endless details of the debate over CIT and the alleged "Pentagon flyover", see:

A Critical Review of ‘The PentaCon - Smoking Gun Version’
Pentagon Flyover or “Left/Right” Straw-man Argument?
By Arabesque

This thread at

This NTSB "animation" controversy is highly relevant and suspicious, although Ranke denies its relevance to his own work.

Jim Hoffman debunks the "small hole" argument which, although unmentioned, is part of the backdrop of this flyover theory -- or is it a deliberate hoax?