Thursday, December 15, 2005

Pumped Up

The pilot who supposedly crashed the huge Boeing 757 into the Pentagon on 9/11, Hani Hanjour, had terrible piloting skills:

Flight instructors from a flying school Hanjour attended 7 months before 9/11 "considered him a very bad pilot." 'I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon,' the former employee said. 'He could not fly at all.'" (free registration lets you view the article). (See also this article)

When flight instructors took Hanjour on test runs LESS THAN A MONTH before 9/11, they found he had trouble controlling and landing even a small, single-engine airplane with simple flight controls

As one newspaper put it: His limited flying abilities do afford an insight into one feature of the attacks: The conspiracy apparently did not include a surplus of skilled pilots.

And yet Hanjour supposedly executed an exceedingly difficult maneuver on 9/11:

The Washington Post states, "The unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver . . . . Aviation sources said the plane was flown with extraordinary skill." (or see cached version of article here)

CBS news reported, "The hijacker-pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn. Radar shows Flight 77 did a down-ward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes."

And ABC news wrote, "The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane . . . ."

"In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital . . . . But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver."

Could a guy who "could not fly at all" have pulled off top gun fighter-ace style piloting?


Hanjour's "name was not on the American Airlines manifest for the flight because he may not have had a ticket." No ticket? How'd he get on the flight?

In fact, someone named "Mosear Caned" was originally mentioned as the hijacker of the flight, not Hanjour. While it is difficult for Americans to spell Arabic names, Mosear Caned doesn't sound anything like Hani Hanjour.

Pumped Up

Hanjour was described as being "skinny", "slender" and "boyish". See this article and this article.

Here is Hanjour shown on his 2000 visa application. Here's Hanjour in two official FBI photos (bottom two pictures). And here's Hanjour in a photo taken at an ATM shortly before 9/11 (guy on left)(picture can be viewed with free registration).

I am always hesitant to discuss blurry pictures, as they are not the best source of evidence. But take a look at this airport security photo supposedly showing Hanjour on 9/11 (Hanjour is supposed to be the guy in front, wearing the black shirt and black slacks). This same photo appeared in newspapers throughout the country -- see for example here , here , and here.

Does this blocky guy look like the skinny Hanjour? Sure, he could grow a beard. But does the face look anything like him? And -- more importantly -- does the blocky body look like the very recent pictures of the skinny Hanjour?

Don't black clothes make people look thinner?

I'm not saying this is conclusive proof of anything. I'm just asking whether we are being told the full story. And if Associated Press mistakenly identified the guy in black as Hanjour, why isn't anyone correcting the mistake?


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