Thanks for looking for details, the devil is always hiding in them. I do not have a final solution, but let me suggest some additional and possibly helpful pieces. I also sent a copy of this to my flight attendant friend who was lucky enough to be on family leave when her usual American Airlines flight #75 from Dulles to LAX went into the Pentagon instead. I will see what she comes up with here. I do know, for instance, as anyone who has ever flown does, that flight attendants do multiple counts of passengers aboard to match against the manifest. If CNN listed incomplete manifests, that is another puzzle to be addressed of course. After all, wouldn't naming the Arabs in the flight lists help their case? But then, maybe it would reveal a "source or method". I am in full agreement when they say that the CIA and Pentagon are "lacking in human intelligence".
Extra pieces of the puzzle:
- All printed and electronic media references I saw or heard reported on September 11 and 12 about the cell phone conversations and their content mentioned "guys with knives . . . boxknives . . . bombs" doing the hijacking. They did not mention Arabs.
On September 13 the NYT carried a story of a call received by Mrs. Glick, wife of one of the men who reportedly decided to "do something" on the plane that went down in Pennsyvania. Mrs. Glick mentioned a detail from her husband's call (or the NYT added one) about "four Arab men in red headbands". Red headbands? Another puzzle in my book, or a stereotypically racist canard. Soon after, we got the official list of 19 names of the hijackers.
- Another "four Arab men" were reported to have had a heated argument in the parking area around Logan airport with a passenger who later recalled them when he heard one of the planes was hijacked from there, and led the FBI back to their rented car. The four men, part of the list of 19, were reported to have come into the US via Canada and then rented a car in Boston which they drove to Logan airport. Presumably this story is based on use of 4 passports or ID cards at the border and the car rental agency. In the car the FBI reportedly found a copy of the Koran in a suitcase, a flight manual for the type of plane hijacked written in Arabic, and one of several instruction letters to the hijackers also in Arabic.
This story and its details strike me as completely false and planted evidence for a number of reasons. The "road rage" part may not have happened, since the person leading the FBI to false evidence may have been part of the game. No one seriously involved in such an operation would risk such notice, no devout Muslim would put a Koran in a suitcase, and no sensible person would deliver a flight manual in Arabic to the airport and fail to take it onto the plane for use, it seems to me. If the incident happened as reported, did the four men using these ID's actually board the plane? Or did they just stage an incident to take the FBI by the nose to the planted evidence?
- Since the 19 names were first put out there, two of them named as pilots at were later found to be dead for some time. Another group of people were reported in Saudi Arabia to be the actual people on the ID's but still living there and uninvolved on September 11. Those ID's that were traced back for history here in the US led to a pattern of very aggressive behavior that got many of them noticed and reported to authorities at both CIA and FBI. At least one was reported to have been on an FBI "watch list". Some had been to "flight training" schools, which could not actually have trained them well enough to do what was done by those planes on September 11.
I suggest you ask any pilot that has flown one what it takes to bank into a building at 550 miles an hour, or to dive in a 270 degree turn from 5000 feet to fly so low that streetlamps are clipped off, into a building. There are two options: Military or experienced civilian pilots (many are military anyway) piloted these planes. The planes were flown on remote control.
- The sophistication of the events of September 11 suggest to anyone who knows about covert operations that this had to be state sponsored, at a level of resources and training and planning that the al'Quaida are not capable of, nor the Taliban. In any covert operation, far more time and effort is put into the cover story than into the event. Given the sophistication of the event, we should expect a sophisticated cover story.
In the past, covert operations have often used a bait and switch approach. First we are given a plausible patsy, but the evidence is meant to be transparent and fall apart after buying some time. This is false sponsorship. However, when the first layer erodes, there is a second layer of even more plausible but equally false sponsorship, including organizations or countries that either willingly or unwittingly contributed or been involved for their own reasons to the plan and will take credit, at least silently, at first, and can be used to take blame later. They will still not be the authors.
For instance, even if all those on the planes were Arab/Afghanis linked to al'Quaida and bin Laden, that does not tell us the real sponsor of the event. After all, bin Laden has had many sponsors in many countries, including Pakistani ISI and American CIA for starters. False sponsorship is key to a good cover story.
Right now it looks like layer two will be Iraq, among other countries. This was apparent to me the week of the event in early statements about "state sponsorship" by James Woolsey (former CIA director) and by a conservative think tank member at the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced International Studies. The academic laid out many of the same items I noticed, but ended up saying it was Iraq. I talked to him subsequently and he admitted he has no proof about Iraq as the sponsor, only suspicion. Iraq has been named more recently as the source of the anthrax, but the type discovered is US manufacture with some foreign distribution, not easy to get hold of in Iraq.
- Finally, the BBC and other media reported on an airline attendant on flight #11 who called on a cell phone to report to American Airlines the seat numbers of the "hijackers". The seat numbers given, according to these articles, did not match the seats assigned to the "Arab terrorists". This is interesting given your information that suggests they had no seat numbers, eh? Whose seat numbers were they?
So, the bottom line is, we still do not know who hijacked the planes or how. We do not know who piloted the planes so expertly into the buildings or how that was accomplished. And we do not know how they got onto the flights, if they did. Your food service/cleaning crew speculation is a good one but as I said, flight attendants count and know which seats are assigned. Ever try to sit in the wrong one?
Who were the "guys with box knives"? Were their identities removed from the passenger lists because they were NOT among the 19 named? Were they even Arabs? And did they actually fly the planes into the buildings? I for one am very suspicious of mass suicide pacts and have, with detailed work, deconstructed many of the recently reported ones from Jonestown forward, and back as far as Massada. Almost all are actually mass murders.
If there were 19 in the plot, perhaps only one in each plane knew they were all to die. You can get a pilot to kamikaze, we know that much. But a whole crew? I know, for the "greater glory of Allah against the infidels", or for a preacher in Guyana, or for a UFO cult in California, or for a sun cult in France. Right. Just don't check the details. Which leaves two unexplored options: mind control or remote control. But those are "conspiracy theories" aren't they. Sorry, I forgot. Is bin Laden and his thugs a conspiracy theory? Does it require a modicum of proof?
The secret evidence was viewed by foreign leaders, who are more qualified than the American public, and even they called it "circumstantial" and "not enough to take into court" but they agreed it was "sufficient" to go to WAR. Probably true, the first casualty of war is always the truth, and you don't need much "evidence" to get a war going. Ask Goering. But you can't even get the secret evidence to work if you can't put the suspects on the planes now can you? It's tough. You can't put Oswald on the 6th floor of the Book Depository either, or James Earl Ray in the bathroom window, or Sirhan's bullets into RFK; not if you pay attention to details anyway.
Oh, dear, have I revealed that I am not a "coincidence theorist"? Let's just stick to the evidence, it will lead us where we need to go if we ever get to see it. For now the lack of it is enough for me. Good luck on a great puzzle. As my old pal Penn Jones used to say, "Take any one piece and research the hell out of it. It will eventually show you the whole".
Thanks for thinking - John Judge