Truthers and Consequences: The Trouble with Dean Hartwell’s “Perspective”

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.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Truthers and Consequences: The Trouble with Dean Hartwell’s “Perspective”

  1. I have read your review of my review of your book. I welcome the dialogue on the subject of 9/11.
    Your book, and your review, fail to hit the mark that I had expected for you and Anthony Summers. Here are questionable comments you have made and my replies to them:
    You state that “Hartwell claims, in the first instance, that we have not analyzed the work of AK Dewdney on the use of cell phones on airplanes.”
    What I actually said was that Summers and Swan say “nothing about his experiments in the use of cell phones on airplanes, which he called the ‘Project Achilles Report.’”
    Your book mentions in the footnotes Operation Pearl but not Project Achilles. This project shows limited connections for cell phones at high altitudes, with most calls going incomplete, without voice or without connection. Some calls connect, but last no more than one minute and most of these are at low altitudes. http://www.physics911.net/projectachilles My comment “The report shows the difficulty of the use of cell phones on planes, especially at the levels the planes allegedly hijacked were flying at” is consistent with the conclusions of this project.
    You also say that “Research reveals that almost all the calls made from the four flights were actually made not from cell phones, but from seatback phones.” Your book (page 114) states that “Mrs. [Barbara] Olson used [a] seat back phone.” Yet airphone records of four calls allegedly made by Barbara Olson show that there was no duration to any of them. http://www.911myths.com/index.php/Barbara_Olson_calls#Ted_Olson
    In your review, you say that “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” as justification for not considering comments made by World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein. But I view comments made by the owner of the property about how the property collapsed to be evidence worth considering. In an ordinary case, if officials learned of a house burning down, they would want to talk to the owner immediately for ideas as to how it happened! Yes, that may not be PROOF, but it is certainly evidence!
    You state that “she [Lisa Jefferson] was afraid that it might mean losing the call [from Todd Beamer]” to record it. But what consequence would come of that? Beamer would simply have called again.
    And finally, you mention that at the Pentagon, “it was after this impact that the debris arrived – to use Hartwell’s word – on the Pentagon lawn.” But this still does not help the chronology of events there, which are highly significant. I still do not see disproval of the theory that plane pieces were planted. You miss the point on page 112 when you speak of “…photographs [of the remains of aircraft] taken before removal by the FBI.” This statement, even if factual, does not discount the possibility of planted evidence.
    Yes, I am a “no-planer.” The failure of even highly-regarded researchers like you and Mr. Summers to challenge my hypothesis only confirms my belief.

    Dean Hartwell

    Dean Hartwell, to whose intial review we responded in the above post, has now sent this further comment. Mr. Hartwell writes with passion. In the end, however, he is a “no-planer” – and clear, hard evidence make such a belief untenable. We shall not engage in protracted further exchanges with Mr. Hartwell. We hope, however, that interested readers will consult our book THE ELEVENTH DAY and weight the facts for themselves. The extensive Notes and Sources section of the book identify the primary source documents and interviews supporting what we report of events on 9/11.

    • Swan says: “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.”
      Read the following Washington Post newspaper article written the day after 9/11, particularly its first paragraph: “There was not even the grace of instant death. Instead, there was time to call from the sky over Virginia, fingers pumping cell phones, terrified passengers talking to loved ones for one final time.” And read where Barbara Olson is said to be at the BACK of the plane…WITH A SEATBACK PHONE??? Full story: http://www.twf.org/News/Y2001/0912-WashPost.pdf

  2. Great Read! Thank you, keep it coming!

  3. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

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