Evidence: The Pentagon Attack
At 9:37 on the morning of 9/11/2001 the west side of the Pentagon was attacked by a jetliner, presumably American Airlines Flight 77. The attack killed 125 people in and around the Pentagon in addition to those aboard the plane.
- Crash location
- Pentagon damage
- Flight 77
The Pentagon was struck on its west side, and primarily in Wedge 1. The impact was primarily on the first floor, where most of the plane punctured the facade and plowed through the continuous floor space comprising Rings F, E, and C.
The greatest loss of life was in the Navy Command Center, a command-and-control center situated in the first floor of the C- and D-Rings of Wedge-1. Numerous workers in the adjacent offices of the Defense Intelligence Agency were also killed.
On 9/11/01, Wedge 1 was nearing the completion of a renovation program, which included retrofitting facade walls with blast-resistant reinforcements.
Retrofitting the Pentagon for Blast Resistance
Pentagon Battered but Firm
The aircraft impact punctured the facade over a contiguous area measuring approximately 96 feet wide on the first floor, and 18 feet wide on the second floor. Damage to the facade extended beyond the punctured areas.
Pentagon -- Exterior Impact Damage
a detailed examination of damage to the Pentagon's facade
A number of private individuals photographed the Pentagon in the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Pentagon Attack Photos:
Surviving Photographic Evidence of the Pentagon Attack
Pentagon Plane Crash Photos
compiled by Geoff Matcalf. Most photographs were taken by Jason Ingersoll.
Photographs by Steve Riskus
Flight 77, the plane that reportedly crashed onto the Pentagon, was a Boeing 757-200, carrying 58 passengers, four flight attendants, and two pilots.
NTSB documents describing communications from Flight 77 and its flight path were released to the public on August 11, 2006.
Air Traffic Control Recording-American Airlines Flight 77 [PDF]
Flight Path Study-American Airlines Flight 77 [PDF]
Eyewitness accounts and damage to surroundings provide data on the trajectory of the aircraft in its final approach to the Pentagon. That trajectory was so shallow that the plane clipped lamp poles on the overpass 800 feet southwest of the crash site.
The Pentagon is ringed by highways which were filled with traffic when the 9:37 AM attack occurred. Traffic on Washington Blvd, directly west of the crash site, was at a standstill at the time. It is likely that hundreds of individuals witnessed at least some aspect of the attack.
Attack Video Footage
On May 16, 2006 the Department of Defense released footage from two cameras on the Pentagon grounds that captured portions of the attack. The videos, which have a frame rate of one frame per second, do not capture details of the attack aircraft.
The footage was released pursuant to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, which seek the release of other footage which may have captured the attack aircraft.
Pentagon Attack Footage: Lawsuits to Obtain Videos
9-11 Research -- timeline of lawsuits to obtain videos
Numerous photographs show aircraft debris inside and outside the Pentagon. Because some of these photographs were slow to emerge, and because distant photographs of the crash site show a striking absence of obvious debris, many observers speculated that no jetliner crashed at the Pentagon.
Pentagon Attack Photos: Aircraft and Human Remains