February 16, 2013. More than a decade after the attacks on September 11, 2001, experts and novices alike still have many unanswered questions. One area of mystery is what happened to America’s air defenses on that day. A special investigative report published last month analyzes that mystery and places a majority of the blame on the shoulders of one high ranking NORAD General.
America Completely undefended
“This country and its citizens were completely undefended,” said Sen. Mark Dayton during a 2004 US Senate hearing on the events of 9/11. He went on to calculate the time America’s military leaders were completely lost and its citizens without defense at, “109 minutes.” Senator Dayton also made a historic decision to document the fact that, according to the recent report, ‘officials within the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) had covered up the facts about the lack of air defenses by lying to the 9/11 Commission, to Congress and to the American people. And they were not held accountable.’
The investigative report is titled, ‘The Case Against Ralph Eberhart, NORAD’s 9/11 Commander’. It is written by Kevin Ryan and was just published by Foreign Policy Journal. As a Site Manager for Underwriters Laboratories, Ryan began to investigate the attacks of 9/11 as part of his job. He explains that as part of his investigation he wrote to the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2004 inquiring about its own 9/11 World Trade Center investigation and UL’s work to ensure the fire resistance of the buildings. Apparently getting too close to…something, Ryan was fired from his job. He then took his findings and became co-editor of the Journal of 9/11 Studies.
Confirming whose responsibility America’s air defenses were on that day, the investigator writes, ‘One man was most responsible for both the air defense failures and the lying that covered it up. US Air Force General Ralph Edward Eberhart had taken over command of NORAD from General Richard Myers in February 2000…Therefore, on 9/11, Eberhart was the man most responsible for failure to intercept the four hijacked aircraft over a period of nearly two hours.’
Mistakes or foul play?
It’s probably a surprise to most Americans, but the US Air Force scrambles its fighters to defend the nation against unknown aircraft, also known as UFO’s, on a daily basis. That was one of the surprise findings which detailed a 1994 government report that confirmed, ‘Overall, during the past four years, NORAD’s alert fighters took off to intercept aircraft 1,518 times, or an average of 15 times per site per year.’
The report summed up most of the targets as ‘unidentified aircraft’, with distress calls and drug smugglers responsible for the remaining incidents. The point being, scrambling Air Force jets in response to an attack on America was a daily practice up until 9/11. What happened on Sept. 11 that everything suddenly fell apart?
‘On 9/11, the NORAD interception system failed completely and we have been given multiple, conflicting explanations for why that happened,’ the report states, ‘Considering that there is strong evidence for an alternative hypothesis of insider involvement in 9/11, it is reasonable to assume that an intentional compromising of the US air defenses might have occurred that day.’
Notification, instructions and response
Those were the three area’s the report’s investigators concentrated on. And as author Kevin Ryan says, Defense officials changed their story numerous times. The first official response was by Gen. Richard Myers, who was testifying at his Senate confirmation hearing for his nomination as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff just two days after the attacks. He swore that no fighter jets were scrambled to intercept any of the hijacked 9/11 flights until after the Pentagon was hit. As the Vice Chairman, and acting Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Myers was in a position to know exactly what happened on 9/11.
Less than a week later, NORAD released a conflicting story of the events on Sept. 11. It showed that the US Air Force and NORAD were alerted to multiple hijacked aircraft well before they crashed. The report also says, ‘General Eberhart reiterated this timeline in testimony to the US Senate a few weeks later and for over two years it stood as the official account.’
According to Gen. Eberhart and NORAD’s own timeline, the defense agency was notified about Flight 175 at 8:43am, a full 20 minutes before it impacted the south tower. Investigators detail, ‘F-15 interceptor jets from Otis Air Force Base were said to be airborne by 8:52, having been scrambled in response to the first hijacking. This allowed twice the time needed for the jets to reach New York City before Flight 175 crashed.’
Giving the Pentagon a black eye, literally and figuratively, the report also shows that NORAD was alerted to hijacked Flight 77 approaching Washington DC at 9:24am, 14 minutes before it impacted the Pentagon. The investigators point out that Andrews Air Force Base is only 10 miles from the nation’s capital and could have had fighters over Washington in minutes.
The report goes on to explain how Pentagon officials quietly changed NORAD’s official version of 9/11, and washed its hands of any culpability in the process. In May 2003, Gen. Eberhart’s subordinates General Arnold and Colonel William Alan Scott contradicted their commander’s testimony. They changed the official timeline to show that NORAD wasn’t alerted to Flight 175 until 3 minutes after it crashed into the south tower. The two commanders also confirmed that NORAD was aware of the final hijacked plane over Pennsylvania a full 47 minutes before it crashed.
Lending credence to the many critics of the official 9/11 Commission Report, the investigation shows how NORAD and the Pentagon were able to slip a fourth and final story into the government’s official version of the events of Sept. 11.
The investigators write, ‘In this explanation NORAD received “no advance notice” on any of the last three hijacked airliners. Instead of 20 minutes’ notice on Flight 175, and 14 minutes’ notice on Flight 77, and 47 minutes’ notice on Flight 93, we were told that NORAD was not notified about any of them until it was too late. The military was off the hook entirely.’
FAA plays the fall guy
As the report explains, in the government’s official version of 9/11, NORAD was mysteriously kept out of the loop on all government communications and responses. Even with that claim being highly suspicious, the 9/11 Commission declared that America’s air defense agency, NORAD, was the only agency on Earth unaware of three of the four hijacked planes on Sept. 11 until after they crashed. If true, it would be the biggest national defense screw-up in the history of mankind, rivaling only the Trojan horse and the fall of Troy. And according to the Defense Department, it’s all the FAA’s fault.
But according to the Federal Aviation Administration, and many others, the US federal government’s official version of 9/11 isn’t true and neither is the timeline from NORAD. The report quotes the FAA’s Laura Brown, saying, ‘FAA official Laura Brown wrote a memo to the 9/11 Commission in which she stated that FAA shared “real-time information” with NORAD about “loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77”.’
Other questionable NORAD 9/11 statements
Investigator Kevin Ryan doesn’t stop there. He next goes on to ask what exactly it was the Air Force was doing on 9/11. He begins by quoting NORAD Gen. Eberhart testifying that whatever exercises the USAF was carrying out that fateful day, “at most cost us 30 seconds.” That would in fact match with NORAD’s claim that they never found out about the hijacked planes, because America’s Air Force never did show up on Sept. 11.
In the days after 9/11, government officials were quick to say they had no idea that terrorists might crash hijacked planes into American skyscrapers. But Gen. Myers has since confirmed that NORAD had practiced “five exercise hijack events” between November 1999 and October 2000, all of which “included a suicide crash into a high value target.” While this is a startling admission, the truth is even more shocking.
‘Records since released show that NORAD practiced approximately 28 hijack exercise events in the 20 months leading up to 9/11,’ the report concludes, ‘At least six of these were focused on hijackings located entirely within the United States, which puts to rest the excuse that NORAD was only looking for threats coming from outside of US borders.’
9/11 truthers vindicated
The report’s author also confirms other widely doubted stories about the attacks on 9/11 and the government’s foreknowledge of the attack. Investigators discovered three military exercises prior to Sept. 11 that closely resembled the eventual happenings that day.
‘One of these exercises, Vigilant Guardian, in October 2000, practiced interception of an airliner hijacked for a suicide attack against the 39-story United Nations building in New York City, just a few blocks from the WTC,’ the report details, ‘Another air defense exercise, called Amalgam Virgo and practiced just three months before 9/11, was accompanied by a planning document that had a picture of Osama bin Laden on the cover.’
The report goes on to suggest that on 9/11, five of NORAD’s hijack drills were scheduled to occur throughout the US. They quote the 9/11 Commission with completely misstating the facts by concluding that only one such defense drill, ‘Vigilant Guardian’, was in operation on Sept. 11, 2001.
According to the report’s investigators, Vigilant Guardian planning documents show that the exercise was scheduled to begin at 9:40am, less than an hour from when Flight 11 actually struck the WTC. America’s entire air defense system was prepared for a drill at that moment that, as is often the case, would project pretend hijackings and aircraft into the “real world”, including air traffic radar screens. The report suggests that on the morning of Sept. 11, the entire US air defense apparatus mistakenly thought their hijacking drill had started an hour early in an attempt to throw them a curveball.
‘The evidence indicates that everyone at NEADS, including Colonel Marr, thought the actual hijackings were exercises. They even joked about it,’ the report concludes, ‘NEADS radar scopes were displaying simulated information at least until the time of the Pentagon attack. The same problem was going on at CMOC, another exercise play area, with radar screens showing false tracks as late as 10:12am.’
Shining a spotlight on another breakdown on 9/11, even suggesting possible sabotage, the report states, ‘personnel at CMOC called NEADS in an attempt to stop the exercise inputs. Because those inputs did not stop, it appeared that someone wanted the NEADS and CMOC radar scopes to continue showing false information until after the four planes had been destroyed.’
The detailed and extensive report written by Kevin Ryan and published by Foreign Policy Journal goes on to reveal many conflicting statements and accounts surrounding the government’s official version of 9/11. It also concludes that the one person that was not only at the center of them all, but in command of everyone and everything on that day, was General Ralph Eberhart, NORAD Commander.
Read the full report at ForeignPolicyJournal.com.