CIT and the Origin of their PentaCon Flyover Theory
Craig Ranke (a.k.a “Lyte Trip”) and Aldo Marquis (a.k.a “Merc”) are part of Citizen Investigation Team (CIT), a group of researchers primarily devoted to investigating the Pentagon attack on 9/11. Significantly relying on their original eyewitness testimony research, their Pentagon flyover theory formed the basis of their PentaCon ‘smoking gun’ documentary. In late August 2006, Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis along with the Loose Change Filmmakers and Pentagon researcher Russell Pickering visited Arlington and the Pentagon on a research trip which included interviews of 9/11 witnesses. After the trip, Ranke commented in a thread about the many cameras pointed at the Pentagon, “great work Russell. It's looking more and more like a ‘fly-over’ scenario every day.” A few days later a thread by Ranke explained, “We've Narrowed It Down To 2 Possible Scenarios... Impact or Fly-over?” While Dick Eastman was the original creator of the Pentagon flyover theory and his name appears in the credits of the PentaCon documentary, Ranke explained the origins of their theory: “We were trying to figure out if people REALLY saw a plane in Arlington and where it flew. We figured it out. As a result of THAT investigation we established the fly over theory. Not the other way around. We did not believe in a fly over until we had evidence for it.” However, the CIT researchers apparently began their research trip with the built-in assumption that no plane hit the Pentagon.
What was this evidence for a plane flying over the Pentagon instead of impacting it on 9/11? CIT found four witnesses claiming that the plane flew in a direction that would place it north of the CITGO gas station on 9/11. Ranke explains what he believes to be the significance of this evidence, “[nobody] directly refutes the north side claim. NOBODY! …until you can counter this evidence with stronger evidence there is a much higher probability that north side claim is accurate.” However, three of these same witnesses strongly suggested that the plane impacted the Pentagon, which is in direct conflict with the claim that the plane flew north of CITGO gas station since the physical damage could only be explained by a south approach.
CIT on Theories, Speculation, and Truth
Craig Ranke explains CIT’s philosophy on 9/11 research: “we lay out heavily researched facts and back them up with evidence and let the chips fall where they may.” CIT claims to “loath ‘theories’”, and that they “do not speculate. We certainly hypothesize based on solid evidence and since we have evidence that proves the plane flew on the north side of the station the only logical alternative is that it flew over the building.” He further explains that “we don't beat around the bush, sugarcoat, or kiss ass for ‘movement politics’. You get nothing but the cold hard truth from CIT regardless of how difficult it is to accept.”
“Debating” CIT Style
CIT is infamous for their “take no prisoners” debating style best explained by Aldo Marquis, “I hate to say it, but unless anyone here can provide any new information and not their OPINION to effectively refute any of the evidence we have obtained, they should politely keep their comments to themselves, sit their [sic] quietly, and LEARN… This is not a debate club. This is war. Either you believe 911 was an inside job or you don't.” Craig Ranke explains similarly, “I am not here for debate. Sure I can debate with the best of them and I may come off as heavy handed or even arrogant… but… I have done the work and came back with proof.” When challenged about peer review of his flyover theory Ranke replied, “Peer reviewed! Sure! We want the entire world to review it.”
Circular Logic and the “Proven” North of CITGO Gas Station Flight Path
As Ranke explains repeatedly while dismissing evidence that is presented to counter his theory, “the north side claim is not a theory. It is evidence. In fact it is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt and is therefore proof.”
What is the basis for this “proof”? Craig Ranke correctly explains the value of evaluating evidence through corroboration:
“Everyone knows that eyewitness accounts are fallible but as they become corroborated the claim becomes exponentially validated. With enough corroboration, ALL claims can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. When we are talking about a simple right or left claim of this magnitude this is particularly the case. To get the side of the station wrong for people who were literally on the station's property would be a ridiculously drastic and virtually impossible mistake to make that would require hallucinations. For all of them to hallucinate the same exact thing is simply not a viable consideration.”
Corroboration of witness accounts is clearly important for determining their validity, but Ranke completely contradicts his own argument for corroborating statements when he claims that the plane approaching the Pentagon was “used as an instrument of deception during a perfectly timed military sleight of hand illusion.” So much for not believing in mass hallucination!
While correctly pointing out that “nobody saw a global hawk… Nobody saw a missile,” no one saw a flyover either, as admitted by Ranke, “we have never claimed that we have a witness that claims they saw ‘the’ plane fly over.” While CIT admits that corroborating facts are an important basis for evaluating evidence, they “have never claimed that the citgo witnesses didn’t believe the plane hit the building. The claim we make is quite clear. Their independently corroborated placement of the plane proves they were deceived… The plane was used as a psychological tool during a military sleight of hand illusion in order to FOOL people into believing it hit the building.” Not only does CIT acknowledge that their own witnesses claimed to have witnessed the plane hitting the Pentagon, they admit that they do not have a single supporting witness to corroborate the flyover theory. In summary, CIT claims the following:
- Nobody saw a Global Hawk or Missile hit the Pentagon [true]
- Nobody claims a commercial airliner flew over the Pentagon [true]
- ALL Witnesses who claimed to have seen a plane strike the Pentagon were simultaneously “fooled”. The evidence for this is that four witnesses gave accounts years after the attack that the plane flew north of the CITGO gas station, but still hit the Pentagon. [The “PentaCon” Eyewitness Hypothesis]
Of these eyewitnesses interviewed by CIT, William Lagasse falsely indicated where light poles were knocked down, while denying that others were knocked down. Amazingly, CIT implies that this does not affect the reliability of his flight path account—in fact, Ranke brazenly and disingenuously claims that it makes his testimony about the flight path even more credible:
“Why should he remember where the light poles were knocked down when he told us that he DID NOT SEE THE LIGHT POLES? Of course he would believe that the light poles/physical damage that he DID NOT SEE (or read reports on after the fact) would line up with the flight path of the plane that he DID SEE! That only serves to prove how certain he is of where he saw the plane.”
How could Lagasse “not see the light poles” as Ranke suggests if he claimed that “there was a light pole here that was knocked down [pointing to an incorrect location]… none of these light poles over here were knocked down”—a false statement? If Lagasse didn’t see or remember seeing these light poles on the ground on 9/11, he presumably would have replied “I don’t know”, instead of “none of these light poles… were knocked down”. Lagasse also misplaced the location of the taxi cab to the location where he thought the light poles were knocked down. This factual error strongly suggests that Lagasse witnessed the plane where the actual light poles were knocked down—not where he mistakenly thought they were knocked down. Along with incorrectly placing the location of the damaged Taxi Cab and light poles, at the very least this puts the accuracy of his “smoking gun” testimony in doubt.
In summary, CIT has made these misleading claims about Lagasse:
- They claim that he “did not see the light poles” when Lagasse specifically claims that light poles were “not knocked down” and others were “knocked down” in an incorrect location.
- They claim that because he misplaced the location of the light poles it makes his testimony of the flight path more reliable, despite giving factually incorrect information
A C-130 “Diversion”, “Planted” Light Poles, Psy-op Trees, Radar Data and Videos “controlled by the perps”, and “Ludicrous” Theories
CIT was asked about the lack of witnesses for his theory on the Loose Change Forum, “Why isn't there even ONE person, NOT EVEN ONE, who said they saw AA 77 fly past the Pentagon?” Ranke responded, “Quite simple. Because their accounts were confused with the C-130 and blown off as irrelevant.” Ranke also made the equally dubious claim that “the plane flying AWAY from the building in a fast ascent over the Potomac would seem quite normal and would be overshadowed by the incredible explosion and massive fireball that would serve as a very effective diversion.”
Ranke repeats the claim that the C-130 served to confuse eyewitnesses about the commercial airliner that “barely flew over” the Pentagon: “There are dozens of eyewitnesses to the plane..... We know that a plane flew over… most eyewitnesses were interviewed after the fact and already knew what the media said happened so very few were interviewed without a predetermined mindset. Anybody on the other side that saw a plane flyover would not be published as an eyewitness and their report of what they saw would be confused with the C-130 and blown off as unimportant and therefore never published…” Further to this scenario, Ranke insinuates that these planes were all intentionally coordinated as part of the Pentagon deception: “They purposefully made sure that other ‘mysterious’ planes were placed in the same place at the same time so the accounts would be blended.” Video evidence captured the C-130 on I-395, about 15 seconds after the alleged impact high in the sky, showing the clear absurdity of confusing it with the plane alleged to hit the Pentagon.
Ranke is suggesting that witnesses were not observant enough to tell the difference between the E-4B doomsday plane on the other side of the river by the White House, a C-130 flying significantly higher than the third plane—a jetliner which “fooled” witnesses into believing that it crashed into the Pentagon while discreetly “flying by” the highway on other side? All of this without anyone reporting or noticing the difference between the C-130 and what was mostly described as a large commercial jetliner as it flew over the Pentagon and the highway on the other side? Ranke’s speculative claims are helpful in that they reveal just how absurd the flyover theory really is; CIT is forced to rely on ridiculous double standards of evidence and factually challenged claims to make their case.
Not only were there highways immediately surrounding the Pentagon, there was the large I-395 highway just south of the Pentagon jam packed full of potential witnesses of a flyover. Russell Pickering confirms that “I have witnesses with footage of the area behind the Pentagon at the moment of impact that I have talked to in great detail. They had three cameras running. They SWEAR that nothing flew over the building. So who is right? The video shows that if your imaginary flyover happened the plane would have had to go significantly south. There were multiple people there watching. NOTHING flew over according to them.”
Putting aside this implausible scenario, how then to explain the knocked down light poles? When asked if he believed explosives were used to take them out Ranke replied incredulously, “We have never claimed explosives were used to bring down the light poles. That is ludicrous.” What was CIT’s “non-ludicrous” explanation?
“I would almost say that you are slightly mentally challenged or you are a dishonest operative trying to attribute words to us we've never said. WE NEVER SAID EXPLOSIVES WERE INVOLVED. Light poles were removed months in advance. A VDOT representative said "anything is possible" when it comes to them not being aware of a removal. No one would notice 5 light poles missing, that were removed in the middle of the night… 4 prefabbed light poles were laid out in the grass in inconspicuous areas in the night time/early am hours. You can't see the poles from the elevated highway. No one would be paying attention to light poles on the side of the road that they can't even see. Most people were looking straight ahead, on their cell phones, listening to their radio for news in NYC.”
The light pole damage is compelling for another reason as I stated in my original review of the PentaCon, “Even more significant is that the structural damage inside of the Pentagon aligns perfectly with the flight path as suggested by the light pole damage and generator… The filmmakers even acknowledge this point when they claim that the plane could not have caused the structural damage inside of the Pentagon if it approached from north of the CITGO gas station. This is very strong evidence that the PentaCon eyewitnesses are wrong. Not only is there physical evidence suggesting a plane hit the Pentagon, there is compelling eyewitness testimony corroborating what happened.”
But the “ludicrous” explanations did not end there. CIT insinuated on their website that the Pentagon trees by the highway about 500 feet away from the impact zone were part of some pre-planned “sleight of hand” illusion: “It's widely accepted by most Pentagon attack researchers that the witnesses who would have had the best view of the alleged impact would have been on route 27 right in front of the Pentagon. While this would certainly seem to be the case the reality is that not many of them would have had a very good view at all primarily due to a grouping of trees that blocks where the plane would have hit the building.”
Were these specially designated psy-op trees another part of the spectacularly complicated and convoluted “military deception” successfully carried out by the Pentagon attack planners? This claim is extremely dubious since as you can see in the photos for yourself; while these trees partially block a view of the Pentagon, they would not block any view of a potential Pentagon flyover. It is a stretch to say that these trees would even fully block the view of the plane if it hit the Pentagon. This is clearly one of the most disingenuous arguments promoted by the CIT investigators, bordering on deliberate disinformation. The sound of the plane impact and resulting silence afterwards is noted by several witnesses. Firefighter Allan Wallace was mere feet away from the impact zone at the Pentagon and described “a flash and a horrific crunch.”
The incredibly convoluted and speculative flyover theory is not yet complete—it needs to explain the radar data. Considering the above, CIT’s predictable reaction was expected by Pentagon researcher John Farmer, “they really don’t like me now that we have the RADES radar data. Guess what? No ‘flyover plane’ shows up on radar. Oh yes, I forgot, the government doctored that too.” The FDR data is another can of worms and even the speculative flyover CIT theorists admit on their website, “The complete witness flight path that we report does not match the flight path as indicated by the FDR and we have never cited the FDR as supporting evidence that the witnesses are correct… the FDR and witness flight paths do not match each other.” The FDR is a separate controversy to deal with since as Caustic Logic explains, “The NTSB ‘animation’… is in fact at least 20 degrees off from the Black Box data it's supposed to be based on.”
On top of all of this, the video evidence at the Double Tree hotel clearly showing no flyover is described by Ranke as “data controlled and provided for solely by the suspect that is therefore automatically invalid.”
This was not the only video evidence to contradict the theory accused of video manipulation; the CITGO gas station video revealed a possible shadow of the plane with the expected time, location, speed, approximate height, and distance away from the Pentagon on the South side of the CITGO gas station. This elicited a similarly predictable reaction from Ranke, “EVEN IF they did not have to manipulate the data… you are scrutinizing data in an investigation to determine if the official story is fraud or not it makes no sense to accept this data as valid AT ALL… No legitimate investigator would accept data controlled and provided for solely by the suspect as valid evidence in support of the suspect's innocence.” While I agree with Ranke that the US government is hiding data on the Pentagon strike, his claim that the CITGO video was manipulated appears to be in contention since as Caustic Logic observes, “the findings of Russell Pickering, John Farmer, and CIT ally ‘Interpol’ are said to support this finding, though Farmer and Pickering have both lodged complaints with CIT, both during the course of Dylan’s thread, for using their findings to imply this.” Russell Pickering asked the CIT investigators, “can you please show me where I have ever claimed to believe the Citgo video to be altered? I documented a missing camera, that is true… Please do not try and deceive people that I have ever claimed the video to be altered. The more you do this kind of stuff - the more interesting this becomes.”
As mentioned previously, a “non-government owned” video shot taken 15 seconds after the Pentagon impact not only showed the C-130 high in the sky, it showed no plane flying over the Pentagon. Not only did no witnesses report a flyover, this video footage gives another clear example for why there would be no attempt to fly a plane over the Pentagon instead of impacting it. The government simply cannot control all witnesses and video cameras outside of the Pentagon, and any assertion to the contrary is absurd.
The CIT researchers give us equally convoluted and absurd insinuations that they are being “neutralized” by a “COINTELPRO team” and “spooks”. CIT research Aldo Marquis describes “the ‘team’ that came out after to help reinforce [the 'official story']. ‘John Farmer’, ‘Arabesque’, and ‘Adam ‘Caustic Logic’ Larson’. There is not a doubt in my mind that we are dealing with ops here. I dare Adam Larson to provide a history and proof of his identity. I defy Arabesque to do the same. You can all laugh, but what they do is called ‘neutralization’. This is exactly what COINTEL, does…” Craig Ranke has also insinuated that Caustic Logic “made a sad attempt to neutralize our info… and he's a bad writer too. It's like he is a cointelpro flunkie but he keeps trying!” While Ranke says “neither [Arabesque or Caustic Logic] are smart enough to be actual cointelpro,” he contradicted himself elsewhere when he called Caustic Logic “a brainwashed minion of the Pickering/Hoffman/Arabasque [sic] squad rather than a professional.” Ranke sums up his dismay that “people like the Frustrated Fraud have directed so much energy to spin and neutralization [sic] of the facts…”
Aside from these frequent accusations of COINTELPRO, Craig Ranke has repeatedly made the similarly false charge of these three researchers that “All 3 of you guys suddenly appeared in the movement around the same time shortly after CIT and the north side evidence materialized. All of you have introduced yourselves to us by DIRECTLY and publicly attacking us personally or our research.” While Caustic Logic retracted his original article, his response to these accusations were well summarized well on 911blogger, “You go public with something like this, why are you so shocked that people will publicly disagree?” As Jim Hoffman observes, conflating “attack” with critique is a typical distortion made by many controversial 9/11 theorists.
These accusations of a campaign to discredit CIT’s “smoking gun” evidence were not limited to only 9/11 researchers; Aldo Marquis accused an entire online conspiracy theory forum of a conspiracy to manipulate their research: “Craig, I told you. ATS [Above Top Secret Forum] is trying to control the information. This thread should not have been moved to our forum. Yet it was. I am not putting up with this spook operation at ATS.” Aldo Marquis continued this accusation against members of the ATS forum as well as the administration saying, “and for the record I was against this BS forum to begin with… There is no answer that will ever satisfy the idiots and spooks on this forum. They get an answer and avoid it and carry on with their agenda.”
Similarly conspiratorial thinking was seen after a FOIA request finally forced the release of the CITGO gas station video camera video discussed above. Craig Ranke was up in arms with disgust, claiming that the video was altered with the intent to discredit his “smoking gun” proof claiming “…the video has been proven to be manipulated/altered before and after its released… all the witnesses at the Citgo did not see ANYTHING fly on the south side of the station. The plane and the plane only was on the north side of the Citgo. This was clearly a hasty, desperate response and poor attempt by the perps to discredit Robert Turcios AND the north side flight path.”
Or was this yet more obvious evidence that the PentaCon witness statements aren’t the “smoking gun” the CIT researchers disingenuously claim it to be?
If you can’t Beat em’ Join em’—CIT: the “Light Side” of the Force?
It cannot be denied that CIT is adamant and unwavering in their controversial beliefs. As Aldo Marquis says, “We are the good guys. We are the guys with the evidence and know how. We are the guys who put out lives on the line so you all could know what happened at the Pentagon.”
Obviously frustrated after many skirmishes with the brilliant Pentagon researcher Caustic Logic, Craig Ranke wrote an open letter, “Caustic Logic… Consider this letter a plea for logic and a friendly reaching out to get you to come over to the light side… I think it would be very effective if you were able to concede that you no longer believe in a 757 impact and even join forces with us if you will.” After a phone interview in November 2007, Caustic Logic was given another offer of “choosing to side with the more logical, reasonable, and scientific conclusion that the north side evidence is valid and committing to helping us spread the word with your blog.”
Like Caustic Logic, after writing my review of the PentaCon I was similarly given an offer to “join” their effort by Ranke, and later “a truce. I use hard rhetoric with people who deliberately set out to discredit our research and you are currently the ONLY one who has an active article against us still online… Because of your direct attacks against our information I have been particularly harsh with you and I apologize. I believe that you have honest intentions but are misguided. I promise to discuss information with you in a civil tone.” I did not remove my review as requested, while Caustic logic removed his article because “I never felt it was written or approached quite right… I will direct readers to Arabesque's far-superior critical review.”
CIT: We “Do Not” Personally Attack!
Craig Ranke explains that, “I have never attacked Hoffman or ANYONE in the movement. Hoffman has very publicly attacked me unprovoked and without even directly addressing the information. To accuse me of fraudulently pushing a hoax is libel. Plain and simple.” Craig Ranke has also made the false claim that Arabesque and Caustic Logic appeared out of nowhere to “attack” their evidence: “CIT has never gone after anyone in the movement first and we will debate/discuss the information with anyone, anytime, anywhere. All of the people mentioned have publicly ATTACKED us first completely unprovoked. We never heard of Caustic Logic until he attacked us by calling us ‘Pentagon sponsored disinfo’. Arabasque [sic] is an anonymous blogger who suddenly appeared out of nowhere shortly after the release of our data with an inaccurate hit piece on our research based on logical fallacies and misinformation.” But CIT’s assertions that “we do not slander anyone” and “we do not act childish” are demonstrably false.
Or Do They?
Eventually, the Loose Change Forum finally had enough of CIT:
“It has been deemed necessary by the bulk of active admins of [the Loose Change] forum that Aldo Marquis and Craig Ranke CIT are no longer welcome here. The reasons for banning are as follows:
- repeated behavior and threads/posts aimed at only causing trouble
- ignoring of repeated warnings and suspensions
- starting irrelevant threads in the pentagon section, even after previous ones were removed
- unnecessary character assassination i.e. “stop seducing married women, Russ" or "go smoke another blunt, Dylan"
- threatening Dylan that they were going to 'expose' him”
While Forum moderator Russell Pickering explained that “this is the LOOSE CHANGE website and not a traffic redirector to Pentacon,” Ranke suggested he was banned for “censorship reasons… our research threatens the integrity of the info in Final Cut.”
Many have been assailed with the “debating” tactics of the CIT researchers without mercy. On the conspiracy forum Above Top Secret Forum, nick7261 says “And you're tactics are as transparent as they are predictable and juvenile. When confronted with evidence that doesn't match your theory, or arguments you can't rebut, you go right into personal attacks almost every time. I'm really not sure why the mods, even though they have proclaimed the 9/11 forum under strict watch, continue to give you a free pass in your ongoing personal insults.”
Another ATS user, robert z responded to Craig Ranke on the Above Top Secret Forum, saying “when reasonable people like myself are unconvinced of your flimsy arguments, you and your sidekick Aldo invariably degrade, insult, and attack them rather than face the fact that your arguments are lacking…Your antagonistic and degrading attitude towards others makes you and your theory look even less substantive.”
The “take no prisoners” approach by Craig Ranke and Aldo Marquis is frequently antagonistic in tone to anyone who doubts their “smoking gun proof”; this is but a short sample of their work:
- “The fact that they all saw the plane on the north side proves that the plane was on the north side. If you STILL don't understand the implications of this then I doubt you have the mental capacity to ever understand. Most likely it is just denial.”
- “If you refuse to think critically or accept the evidence presented I suggest you do some soul searching and make a determination as to why. I understand there is a very large mental barrier for most in accepting this important and thorough information. I'm sorry but I can not change that.”
- “I am not surprised that you would refuse and once again bail on this discussion without EVER having addressed the north side evidence directly. Some call that the ostrich syndrome.”
- “Snoopy, I am not going to waste my time on you-go do some actual research on the witnesses-you are talkin out of your ass. You people are underinformed and are hanging onto your denial.”
- “It's ok, take some time, look at the ASCE report and think about. You'll eventually get it. ;)”
The “smoking gun” assault of the CIT debating team turns harsher and more vicious the more skeptical the adversary. In particular, other Pentagon researchers are especially derided, insulted, and antagonized by CIT:
- Aldo Marquis: “People like you and Jim Hoffman are dangerous to the truth. You will calmly suggest irrational suggestions in order that you mold the mind of the reader.”
- Aldo Marquis: “…You are such a disgusting entity. Call him you coward. Call him… What does that have to do with all of them placing it on the north side, Disinfobesque? … You are a joke and we're coming for you… Does one actually need to, you crackpot? The plane was on the north side. THAT is the smoking gun. Do you understand anonymous disinfo op? … You are pegged and a joke. You are a tool for the unitiated [sic] and unresearched. You peddle day dreams for these idiots who bought into the honey pot theory or LIHOP. Yet, you are simply that, an anonymous blogger who has never interviewed witnesses, victims, rescuers, firefighters. You've never even set foot in Arlington, huh? You make me sick.”
- Aldo Marquis: “You screwed everybody. You didn't do your homework. You made a movie that got heavily debunked and yet you CONTINUED TO SELL IT!!!!! You should be ashamed of yourself. Now you are releasing watered down version which now makes you and everybody who supported you look like fools. I actually back up my accusations with facts, research, evidence, and logic Dylan. That's not your department.”
- “You are a fraud Russell Pickering. You hide on that forum and conduct your operation from there. But this will soon come to an end. Rob and I are looking for you pal, give us your number so we can discuss this like men AND RECORD IT. If you are right, you shouldn't be worried… It is so obvious what you are Russell, in fact, I am sure it is why you ‘moved’ and changed your phone number. I spent hours with you Russell. Hours. Now it all makes sense. Everything you did, your motives, your actions. It's so evident."
- Craig Ranke: “When this type of horribly bad ‘research’ from anonymous bloggers who claim they are part of the truth movement is used in support of the official story to counter true investigative reporting from the streets that proves the official story false it becomes extremely damaging in our continuous fight to expose the 9/11 lie.” Ad Hominem attacks continued against Arabesque in a research piece on 911blogger.
- Craig Ranke: “Farmer.....you are by far the creepiest of the group. Every sentence you type reeks of manipulation. It's like you simply don't have the ability to express yourself honestly or openly. Your blogs are so completely vacuous yet simultaneously pretentious. No matter how confusing and pointless you make them you simply can't hide the fact that you have ulterior motives for posting them in the first place. It's quite sad and the fact that you pop up within seconds in whatever forum your name is mentioned makes it clear that you are obsessed with the 9/11 truth movement and haven't even come close to disassociating yourself with it as you had claimed you were doing after your unprovoked irrational public blow up against us in the LC forum because I posted one of your images.”
- “But you take the cake. Arabasque [sic] is clearly not the brightest crayon in the box but even his lame work makes you look like a pre-schooler.”
- Craig Ranke: “Arabasque [sic]..... you only miss the title of creepiest because you lack any personality whatsoever as the hooded anonymous one. While Farmer is the king of manipulation you are the king of disingenuous spin. At least Pickering has produced SOME good research during his little 9/11 researcher stint but the crap you and Farmer put out is utterly useless. You are clearly more interested in truth movement gossip and politics then research and investigation.”
- Aldo Marquis: “Their deal is they are being led by a cowardly, self serving, twenty-something yr old punk with a cyber chip on his shoulder and an in person fake smile when he sees you... Why do you think they keep banning us? Why do you think Russell flat out lies and distorts while Dylan sits by quietly? Why don't they come here and kick up some dust? Because they are cowards with an agenda.”
- Craig Ranke: “Funny how you still slobber over Arabasque's [sic] ill-informed cut and paste compilation. Dude has clearly not analyzed a single one of these witness accounts.”
- Aldo Marquis: “He is seriously corrupted in his motive, because this is apparently about the ‘Russell Pickering Show’ as I call it. This is about his theory. Not about the truth.”
In response to Arabesque pointing out that you can’t see a Pentagon flyover in the Double Tree video, Craig Ranke was outraged:
“Do you realize what an affront you are to 9/11 truth? To argue in FAVOR of the official story with nothing but government data while claiming you are fighting for 9/11 truth is beyond hypocritical and borderlines on treason as far as I am concerned. You should be ashamed of yourself anonymous blogger.”
Pentagon researcher John Farmer summarized his experience with the CIT researchers, “I have never been so viciously attacked… until I had enough of Craig and Aldo and named them liars and fruitcakes.”
Prominent and respected 9/11 Researcher Jim Hoffman has “Libeled” CIT?
Craig Ranke also wrote an open letter to Jim Hoffman after he tipped his hand on what he thinks of CIT’s “smoking gun” evidence, “In fact [Jim Hoffman’s] claims are 100% libelous and we will take further action if he continues to refuse to reply. He has labeled us as ‘disinfo’ or knowingly pushing a ‘hoax’. Furthermore he has refused to even bother to address the evidence we present directly other than a short statement that amounts to nothing but an argument from incredulity. We are honest researchers who provide hard EVIDENCE for our claims. We will NOT stand for this reckless character assassination effort on Hoffman's part and he will be dealt with accordingly.” What did Jim Hoffman say about the PentaCon film to offend Craig in this way? He linked to Arabesque’s review of the PentaCon on his hoax promoting video page.
Lloyd the Pentagon Taxi Cab Driver is the Devil?
Dylan Avery observed of the CIT investigators, “anyone who's watched [CIT’s] behavior on our [Loose Change] forum knows exactly where [they] stand. ‘The generator damage? It was faked! The light poles? They were faked! These eyewitnesses? They're lying or agents! Bla bla bla...’ Aldo's tirade in the TNR pretty much seals the deal. You think Lloyd England is a government operative, ‘THE DEVIL’ as Aldo put it.” Ranke attempted to justify calling Lloyd the taxi cab driver the "devil" by saying, “if ‘demon’ isn’t a fitting description for someone willingly involved what is?” A moderator at truthmove.org commented, "I appreciated seeing Craig Ranke with a wild look in his eyes offering DVDs at Les Jamieson's anniversary conference (where he was also a scheduled speaker). He was telling passersby that they had ID'd the first perpetrator in the 9/11 case by proving that one of the eyewitnesses at the Pentagon was lying about having seen flight 77. Just the kind of stuff we need to alienate us from reasonable people (and anyone in the DC area).”
Who believes the PentaCon?
We know that there are people who allegedly believe the evidence presented in the PentaCon is a “smoking gun”. As Craig Ranke puts it, “it is disingenous [sic] for any member of the truth movement to doubt this testimony that proves 9/11 was an inside job.”
While “a poll on [the Loose Change] forum teaming with Russell's jref minions is worthless” according to Ranke, many Loose Change Forum contributors and others clearly disagree:
- “The vast majority of people on this forum "doubt" this testimony proves 911 was an inside job. YOUR own poll proved it. MANY people who are hard core troothers weighed in with comments in that thread and said the film was, basically, a non-event. You were outvoted by somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-1. Sure, you claim that the "JFER'ers" somehow stuffed the ballot box but that doesn't explain why only 7 people HERE, in the [Loose Change] forum, agreed with you and Merc. This is getting old. You think you have a smoking gun.”
- “I believe the results [of the poll] were something like 3 for your opinion (2 of which were no doubt you and Merc) and 65 who voted against you. And that's on THIS [Loose Change] board!!! I think Dylan or one of the mods took pity on you and deleted the thread. But, I'm sure it could be dug up if need be.”
- “Remember, YOUR OWN poll here showed something like 80% of the people HERE didn't buy into that theory. At any other Non-CT [conspiracy theory] board, the results of a poll like that would have been even more against you.”
- “The last time I saw a poll here (STARTED BY YOU) I believe 90% of the people responding didn't believe your claims. And that's ON THIS [Loose Change] BOARD! Your constant declarations that "it's proven" lost its humor months ago.”
- “I watched that Pentacon Movie..... Name is PERFECT.... we were CONNED to watch it… This Jack guy states that all the witnesses agree of what side of the Citgo station they see the plane. ALL of these witnesses ALSO claimed to have seen the plane slam into the pentagon. So, we are to take what they say about the location of the plane as Gospel yet dismiss what they say about the plane hitting the Pentagon.”
- “I think you get so freaking pissed off because you went and spent time, effort, and money to DC, created the Pentacon flick, and people still don't believe it. I think you go beserk because you REALLY believe it is a smoking gun but most people do not. I certainly don't. I respect the fact that you and Craig went there. I really do. But you have to respect the fact that it doesn't convince everyone. And just because we're not convinced, you don't know how to handle it without insults of "troll" and ‘JREF’er’.”
Pentagon researcher Russell Pickering observed of the CIT investigators, “When I watched you guys bending reality in person conjuring up black operations for everything that didn’t agree with you - I saw where this was going. When your partner tipped over and the forums melted down - it was clear what the motives were. But I do have to admit your dissociation from reality has exceeded what I thought possible… Ego is a blinding force - but spreading this as gospel and irrefutable instead of adding it to the body of evidence truthfully and honestly is .........”
“The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, section 191
On the Scholars for 9/11 Truth Forum, Victoria Ashley correctly summarized the critical problem with the flyover hypothesis as promoted by the CIT researchers, “If I were a person trying to sell a product and I did a survey of people and found that people ranked my product the best, would you trust that survey? This is why there are scientific standards. You are not looking for the truth when you do not consider all the evidence as a body. You are looking for what people said that can then support your thesis, whatever it may be. This is non-scientific, unfortunately. I don't say that to be rude or to say what your intentions are, only to underscore that the only type of investigation of the Pentagon that is sincere about being a scientific investigation is one that does not discard evidence or make claims about evidence as though the claims are factual when they are not.”
Aside from the discussed evidence, there is no motive to fly a plane over the Pentagon as the risks of getting caught in the act would be impractically dangerous, while a plane strike would give the misleading appearance of a hijacker attack. Any such an attack on the Pentagon would suggest insider complicity because the Pentagon is defended by the nearby Andrews Air Force Base, NORAD, and sophisticated radar. Incredulously, and outrageously, the only plane sent to intercept the incoming aircraft was a C-130 cargo plane sent by a civilian air traffic controller! On the other side of the river, the similarly reported on radar E-4B “doomsday” plane resulted in evacuating the White House, and yet no similar action was taken at the Pentagon? Not only this, Norman Mineta testified to the 9/11 Commission that the incoming plane was coming into the Pentagon. False and misleading claims function as a part of the 9/11 cover-up. As correctly suggested by Thomas Pynchon, Jr., “if they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about [the important] answers.”
Because there is no direct evidence of a flyover, the theorists claim that the government must be hiding it and any evidence countering it is labeled “controlled by the perps”; a clear example a non-falsifiable theory and circular logic. I define non-falsifiable theories as the sixth level of disinformation. Releasing the videos of the Pentagon attack would force 9/11 truth seekers to ask the more important question: “Why and how was the Pentagon ever hit at all in the first place since an incoming object was widely reported on radar, and who would really gain to benefit from such a successful attack?” The fact that Hani Hanjour was an incompetent pilot and the unoccupied wing of the Pentagon under renovation was struck strongly suggests that the attack was made to happen by remote control to minimize casualties and prevent high level Pentagon officials from being killed. What about the military War games involving simulated hijackings using exactly this type of remote control on 9/11? Why is it that high level Pentagon officials seemingly allowed the plane to strike the Pentagon without even making an effort to evacuate the building as it approached as reported by Norman Mineta in a bunker with Dick Cheney and air traffic controllers? As many of these and other questions suggest, it is a straw-man to accuse those who believe a 757 impacted the Pentagon of “supporting the official story”. As Jim Hoffman has shown, the evidence for a 757 crash is far more compelling than any alternative explanation.
As for the flyover theory, it is not directly supported by any witness statements as acknowledged by CIT. Instead, CIT makes the claim that the witnesses who claimed the Pentagon were struck were “fooled”. In order to “support” this theory (frequently referencing the “proven” north of CITGO gas station flight path), CIT makes the following hypothetical and clearly deceptive and disingenuous claims:
- A carefully timed “illusion” enabled a flyover
- Witnesses were confused with the other planes in the area despite their significantly different appearances, locations, speeds, and altitudes
- The fireball allowed the plane to fly past the Pentagon without anyone noticing
- The Pentagon trees were used to disguise the plane from impacting the building, completely ignoring the fact that they would not prevent witnesses from seeing the plane fly over the building
- The light poles were taken down in the middle of the night and planted on the crime scene without anyone noticing or reporting this happened
- The video evidence contradicting both the north side claim and the flyover are “manipulated by the perps” to counter CIT’s “smoking gun” evidence
- The alleged flight path North of the CITGO gas station is considered “proven” despite the contrary evidence that three of these same witnesses claim that the plane hit the Pentagon
- Radar data which clearly contradicts the flyover theory is dismissed as “controlled by the perps”
The CIT researchers frequently and falsely interpret criticism of their theory as a personal attack along with accusations of government sponsored “neutralization”. As the flyover theory is clearly unsupported by any credible evidence, the CIT theorists frequently rely on vicious, slanderous, and libelous ad hominem attacks and antagonism to those who dare to question their flyover theory. Any disagreement with the “smoking gun” evidence is derided with hostility on internet forums, while any criticism of the theory is largely interpreted as an “attack” or “spook operation”. Pentagon researchers in particular, are highlighted for accusations including “treason”, “supporting the official story”, “COINTELPRO”, and “brainwashed”. Similarly, any witnesses who contradict the north claim are called “propaganda”, “agents”, and in the case of a taxi cab driver, “the devil”. Aside from the weakly supported flyover hypothesis, whether intentional or not, the ridiculous antics and outrageous behavior of the CIT researchers are damaging and destructive to the credibility of the 9/11 truth movement.See also: PentaCon Review