In his review of our book, The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden, 9/11 skeptic Dean Hartwell charges that we make “questionable assertions and omissions of fact.”
Any reading of Mr. Hartwell’s review, [which can be found on his website "Hartwell Perspective - Truth & Relevance"] however, must begin with the understanding that he himself is a “No Planer” – his own contribution to the canon of research on the attacks is a book entitled “Planes without Passengers: The Faked Hijackings of 9/11.”
In any event, Hartwell claims, in the first instance, that we have not analyzed the work of AK Dewdney on the use of cell phones on airplanes. Not true. We deal specifically with Dewedney’s claims – at p. 113 and in two notes on p. 476.
Hartwell’s overall point about cell phone usage aboard the flights is moot. Research reveals that almost all the calls made from the four flights were actually made not from cell phones, but from seatback phones.
Hartwell states correctly that we did not attempt to analyse the oft-cited comment by the World Trade Center’s leaseholder Larry Silverstein. Instead, we confined ourselves to examining the evidence both for and against the possibility that World Trade Center 7 had been brought down by controlled demolition.
We cite for example the view of Frank Fellini, one of the senior fire chiefs at the scene said early on that the building was a “major concern” because of the hit it took from the fall of the North Tower. “When it fell, it ripped steel out from between the third and sixth floors…We were concerned that the fires on several floors and the missing steel would result in the building collapsing. So for the next five or six hours we kept firefighters from working anywhere near that building…”
“Early on,” said Deputy Chief Peter Hayden, “we saw a bulge in the southwest corner…a visible bulge, it ran up about three floors…by about 2 o’clock in the afternoon we realized this thing was going to collapse.”
Lisa Jefferson’s conversation with Todd Beamer has been repeatedly recounted by her in both official and unofficial records of the event. The call is logged in the GTE records of the day. The call was not recorded because GTE did not routinely tape calls. Mrs. Jefferson has said that as a supervisor it would have been her job to monitor such a recording, if one were to take place, but that in this case she was afraid that it might mean losing the call. A cry of “Roll it”, moreover, can be heard on the cockpit voice recording of the struggle aboard Flight 93, a small independent confirmation perhaps that Beamer played the role – and was on the flight, the very real flight – that Jefferson described.
Turning to the crash of American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon, Hartwell complains that we do not say at what time the mangled debris – some with AA markings – “arrived” on the Pentagon lawn. The Eleventh Day, however, contains several eyewitness accounts of an American Airlines plane crashing into the Pentagon, as well as a detailed explanation of the disintegration of the plane on impact by the respected engineering professor Mete Sozen. Even a casual reading of this information makes it obvious that it was after this impact that the debris arrived – to use Hartwell’s word – on the Pentagon lawn.
Mr. Hartwell doesn’t think we have been fair to “leading theorists” as he calls them. We have been fair – by spending countless hours evaluating their theories and the evidence they claim and reporting our findings. If Mr. Hartwell and other 9/11 “skeptics” want to have their theories taken seriously and reported beyond the confines of their own circle of believers, they must be willing to subject their work to the same degree of impartial scrutiny they require of others.