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Was There a 9/11 Stand Down?



Who Commanded our Air Force to 'Stand Down' on 911
by Victor Thorn


Of all the peculiarities, unanswered questions, and things that simply don't add up about the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the one aspect that keeps nagging at me revolves around our military's incredible lack of response to the hijacking of four airliners.


Anyone who investigates this matter will soon find that the United States Air Force and the FAA both have established procedures that have been in place for at least 25 years regarding planes that veer abnormally off course. Specifically, federal law MANDATES that the Air Force must dispatch a plane to investigate why a certain craft has strayed from its predestined route. These interceptors are only allowed to shoot an airliner from the sky under orders from the President, but that doesn't negate that they are still required to investigate the situation in a timely manner.


Yet, on 9-11, NO ONE FOLLOWED ORDERS! Why? Who gave these orders? Plus, Washington, D.C. has the most restricted air space in the country, yet from 9:03 a.m., when the second tower was hit, to 9:47 a.m. when the Pentagon came under attack ... when the Air Force KNEW that a jet was headed toward the Capitol, no planes were dispatched to intercept it. Who gave the orders for these planes to 'stand down,' and, God forbid, were some even called back after they had taken off?

To begin understanding how appalling this situation is, we first need to know that there are at least twelve or more National Guard and Air Force installations in close proximity to the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Plus, Andrews Air Force Base is only ten miles from the heart of Washington, D.C. Why wasn't something done to avert this catastrophe, and why isn't the mainstream media asking some very hard questions regarding this deliberately ordered "crime"?

Yes, I said crime, and once you get a load of the following timeline, you'll concur with this strong terminology. Between 7:59 a.m. – 8:10 a.m., the airliners that would ultimately crash into the WTC and Pentagon were hijacked. By 8:15 a.m., air traffic controllers knew that these planes were in trouble. At this point, the Air Force should have dispatched, per standard operating procedures, fighters that would determine why these jets veered from their normal route. By 8:15 a.m.!

At 8:45 a.m. – a half-hour later – American Airlines flight 11 struck the WTC's North Tower. (This flight took off at exactly 7:59 a.m., thus controllers knew it was in trouble for at least 35 minutes, if not more.)

At 9:03 a.m., United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. (It took off at exactly 8:10 a.m.)

At 9:05 a.m. (supposedly), Andrew Card told President Bush of the unfolding catastrophe. At the same time, American Airlines Flight 77 veered off course near Chicago and headed toward D.C. for an impending attack.

At 9:06 a.m., the New York Daily News reported that on the morning of the attack, the NYPD dispatched a message declaring, "This was a terrorist attack – notify the Pentagon."

Still, NO Air Force jets had yet been scrambled! None! Why?

At 9:35 a.m., American Airlines flight 77, which had been tracked by radar all the way from Chicago, circled the Pentagon, yet this military installation was not evacuated! Plus, the Air Force had still not sent out any jets! How completely incredible is this scenario?

A few minutes later, with the utmost precision, American Airlines flight 77 drops 7,000 feet in 2 � minutes. Do you realize what a truly difficult maneuver this is? It is flying so low at this point that the plane is taking out utility poles and clipping trees en route to its target. The jumbo jet finally zeroes in EXACTLY on the Pentagon while traveling at 460 knots (approx 529 mph). Are we really to believe that this precision "Top Gun" style flying was executed by a group of desert-trained Afghani's who had only flown Cessna and Piper prop-planes at a flight school in Florida for six months, many of them reportedly unable to even take off or land them adequately? Come on! This is the most inept cock-n-bull story since the 'surprise attack' on Pearl Harbor.

Finally, at 9:40 a.m., a full hour and 31 minutes after the FAA knew that the first airliner had been hijacked ... guess what happened. The Air Force dispatched their jets!

The Pentagon was aware of these hijackings since at least 8:45 a.m. when the first tower was struck (and more likely before then), yet it took them 55 minutes to take action. 55 minutes! By 8:15 a.m., when the FAA learned of the hijackings, federal law required that the military dispatch planes to either divert the plane's course, or determine the need to shoot them down. This is normal procedure! But the Pentagon waited until 9:40 a.m. after all the damage was already done.

Who commanded the Air Force to stand down, and why is the media still feeding us the "incompetence" line? The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk could have had a plane up in the air in that much time!

Barry Zwicker, a Canadian media analyst, wrote on January 21, 2002: "That morning no interceptors responded in a timely fashion to the highest alert situation. That includes the Andrews squadron which are 12 miles from the White House. Whatever the explanation for the huge failure, there have been no reports, to my knowledge, of reprimands. This further weakens the incompetence theory! Incompetence usually earns reprimands. This causes me to ask whether there were 'stand down' orders."

To add more weight to the peculiarity of this situation, consider the flight capacity of the four hijacked airliners. These routes were extremely popular ones, most of them filled to 100% capacity during weekdays. In fact, oftentimes, fliers were asked if they wanted to give up their seats to another traveler. Yet on 9-11, the four flights in question were uncharacteristically empty.

American Airlines 11 – filled to only 39% of capacity
American Airlines 77 – filled to only 27% of capacity
United Airlines 175 – filled to only 26% of capacity
United Airlines 93 – filled to only 16% of capacity

In an industry that takes extremely close notice of such matters, why didn't anyone see the red flags that were being waved? Did someone tell them to neglect these glaring inconsistencies to lessen the collateral damage (or the insurance payouts)?

Since I mentioned United Airlines flight 93, consider this odd bit of information. The Reuters news agency reported on 9-13-2001 in an article entitled, "Troubling Questions in Troubling Times": "Pennsylvania State Police officials said on Thursday debris from the plan had been found up to EIGHT MILES AWAY from the crash site." Do you realize how immense an eight-mile stretch of land is? Do you also realize that when a plane drops from the sky, the impact does not cause the wreckage to scatter for eight miles? Think about it. Eight miles is the length of 140 football fields laid end-to-end! Obviously, something else happened to bring Flight 93 out of the sky. Strong evidence points to the Air Force shooting it down, then the plane disintegrated during its eight-mile descent into a rural Pennsylvania field. Yet the powers-that-be lied once again to the American people. Now do you know why President Bush personally asked Tom Daschle to limit their Congressional inquiry?

Another aspect of this case that makes me scratch my head is this: why won't the FAA release the entire records of the pilot conversations with their air-traffic controllers?

Another pertinent question revolves around the pilot's curious reactions during these hijackings. Once they got the first inkling that they were being overtaken, why didn't they simply perform a "rollover" to incapacitate or disable the hijackers? The "barrel roll" is an easily-performed procedure for veteran pilots, especially when one considers the backgrounds of the four men who manned these flights. As Colonel Donn de Grand Pre reports:

John Ogonowski – Vietnam Air Force fighter pilot
Leroy Homer – Former Air Force pilot
Victor Saracini – Former fighter pilot
Chic Burlingame – Naval Academy graduate who flew F-4's in Vietnam

All of these pilots were described as being strong, agile, healthy, in excellent physical condition, and certainly capable of performing a simple rollover. Now I'm not blaming these men by any means ... it just seems like, if given the opportunity, these pilots would have disoriented the "hijackers" enough to gain control of the situation and avert disaster. Rather, we're being led to believe that these three jumbo jets were flown into buildings by Middle Eastern hijackers brandishing nothing more than box cutters, and all of them had only six months flying experience. I don't know about you, but if everything were on the up-and-up, I'd put my faith in these pilots being able to nullify the hijackers any day of the week. But again, we're not being given the entire story because something doesn't add up.

I could continue with dozens of other inconsistencies, but instead I'll close on this note.

1) Who in the mainstream media is asking these, and other, pertinent questions? No one!
2) Who in the Pentagon is answering these questions? No one!
3) Finally, who in the Pentagon has been made accountable for the Air Force stand-down? Again, no one!

Do you think it's time that we FORCE our government and the media to start addressing these issues? I do.



Note: To verify many of these facts go to This document provides links for each statement to the original article on the mass media website reporting it.