NORAD 9/11

According to polls, tens of millions of Americans believe that the government was behind the 9/11 attacks. But 2 more conspiracy theories were pretty well debunked recently.

(1) That the government shot down United Flight 93.

(2) That the air force was ordered to “stand down” on 9/11.

Michael Bronner, a producer of the movie United 93, asked for the NORAD 9/11/01 transcripts, & published excerpts in Vanity Fair. He actually provides sound clips — here.

It seems that NORAD was unable to track or intercept any of the planes before they crashed. At one point they believed that the White House was targeted, and, incredibly, the air force planes were unable to find the White House:

Nasypany: “Goddammit! I can’t even protect my N.C.A. [National Capital Area].”

[A] dramatic chase towards the White House continues. Two more problems emerge: the controllers can’t find the White House on their dated equipment, and they have trouble communicating with the Langley fighters.

CITINO: 15 miles. One-five … noise level please … It’s got to be low. Quit 2-6, when able say altitude of the aircraft.… Did we get a Z-track [coordinates] up for the White House?
HUCKABONE: They’re workin’ on it.
CITINO: Okay. Hey, what’s this Bravo 0-0-5 [unidentified target]?
FOX: We’re trying to get the Z-point. We’re trying to find it.
HUCKABONE: I don’t even know where the White House is.

Conspiracy theorists still have some material to work with, though. On 9/11/01 there was a NORAD hijacking exercise, which seems to have caused some confusion when the real hijackings occurred:

BOSTON CENTER: Hi. Boston Center T.M.U. [Traffic Management Unit], we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.
POWELL: Is this real-world or exercise?
BOSTON CENTER: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.

WATSON: What was that?
ROUNTREE: Is that real-world?
DOOLEY: Real-world hijack.

FOX: I’ve never seen so much real-world stuff happen during an exercise.
NASYPANY: This is what I got. Possible news that a 737 just hit the World Trade Center. This is a real-world.

—Is this explosion part of that that we’re lookin’ at now on TV?
—Jesus …
—And there’s a possible second hijack also—a United Airlines …
—Two planes?…
—Get the f*ck out …
—I think this is a damn input, to be honest.

The last line — “I think this is a damn input” — is a reference to the exercise, meaning a simulations input.

Also surprising is (1) that the terrorists knew to turn off the planes’ transponders, and (2) that this succeeded in making the planes invisible to NORAD. The Vanity Fair article suggests that civilian air traffic controllers had a better understanding of what was going on than did NORAD; even talking to each-other on the phone might have cleared up the confusion, but this didn’t happen.

No conspiracy theory is necessary to make the anti-imperial argument: ethics aside, a government that can’t find the president’s house during an attack shouldn’t be abroad shaking up hornets’ nests.

(Readers might be interested in checking out the Peace section of my science blog.)

Author: Sam Koritz

I like cheese.

5 thoughts on “NORAD 9/11”

  1. this is my first time here, 8/10/07, and if what I read here is anywhere near the truth, and I have serous doubts, then my previous belief that Bush, 9/11, Irak being the biggest ripp-off in modern history has to be revised.
    It’s NORAD without a doubt! How long have they been at it??????? How much moeny has been spendt on this system????????? How mamy lives, supposedly, is it to protect???????????????
    Something stinks!!!!!!
    Not even the most incompetent, illiterate nicompopmps could, over decades, fail to get the main addresses of the major targets together, at a handy spot. Do they know where they, themselves, are located? On a map, any map. Do they Google???

    Way beyond suspended belief.


    1. After leaving the Air Force after 11 a Weapons controller 1e.F-15-16s,Im very aware of the capabilities and skills and technology used day to day.If Radar control was off for some reason,the planes themselves have computers that can direct them to any adress on the east coast. Im saying this to asure all of you that all of these pilots knew exactly where the whitehouse is.This type of narritive has been presented this way as a smokescreen in order to perpetuate a myth. The DOD didnt invest 100s of millions in equiptment and training over the past 40 trs to be rendered defenseless at one of most important event this country has ever experienced.

  2. Yup but if this war will be not stop, some day, the USA taking a heavy and serious problems.
    Today, our planet are suffering, all of this because this stupid war in middle east on iraq, afeganistan, liban, syria, israel. all of this for what?
    kill one to other, bloodship, “the black gold fever”, taking lands and territories, racism, terrorism .
    some day noone can stop a new world war where the human race will be extingued.I think is time to stop this crazy facts, not for me but for everyone of the world.

  3. This does not even begin to answer the questions of 911.

    The fact that the entire titanium turbine blades were never found in the wreckage of the Pentagon, the fact that WTC1 and 2 collapsed at free fall speeds through a million tons of steel and concrete are just warm ups.

    How about WTC7 that was completely ommitted from the 911 commission report? How does a 47 story building collapse and not get mentioned in a commission report? The building was double reinforced structurally – for the event that tenants wanted to remove a floor they could (and create a atrium like open area.) Only all the SEC investigational files into the Enron stink were located in Bulding 7.

    If Flight 93 was not shot down, then why did Rumsfeld addressing troops in Afghanistan make a off cuff remark of it?

    Why have the 90 or so tapes of the Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon never been released? They could end all the conjecture and conspiracy researchers arguments tomorrow if they released one tape.

    They are liars of the highest order, and 380+ engineers and architects agree:

  4. My friends & I do a better job protecting the skies of our country playing it out in our F-16 Falcon Allied Force Flight Simulator Computer Games !!!

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