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The 9/11 USAF Stand Down



"This is America, the most advanced military technologically capable country in the world, and it is just impossible to believe that they could have been that incompetent." - Michael Meacher, UK MP.

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The 9/11 USAF Stand Down

The US military has spent billions of dollars developing stealth aircraft which are invisible to radar so they can mount surprise attacks on adversaries, but it seems they should have saved their money and bought a fleet of airliners because they appear to be far more effective.

On 9/11 the world's only military superpower was apparently oblivious to the location of rogue airliners in it's airspace for over an hour, and military commanders were leftperplexed on how to deal with the situation of hijackers using these planes as flying bombs. This confusion resulted in fighter jets flying around aimlessly whilst the hierarchy fully assessed what was going on, and this total lack of cohesion ultimately led to the loss of nearly 3000 lives.

All that was required to overcome America's military might on 9/11 were 19 hijackers on 4 airliners.

Does this sound plausible to you?

It's what you're expected to believe.

NORAD was unusually prepared on 9/11, because it was conducting a week-long semiannual exercise called Vigilant Guardian.

On 9/11, North American Aerospace Defense Command's (Norad) Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) was fully staffed, its key officers and enlisted supervisors already manning the operations center "battle cab." [Aviation Week]

COLONEL ROBERT MARR, US AIR FORCE: We had the fighters with a little more gas on board. A few more weapons on board. [...] We had 14 aircraft on alert, seven sites, two aircraft at each site. [ABC News]

That's a ratio of 3.5 'hot' fighter jets per hijacked airliner.


The map below details the 9/11 planes' flightpaths and some of the military bases in those areas. The flights went through some of the most heavily militarized parts of the country.

The above map shows that all of the hijacked planes transponders were turned off during their flights. This does not hide the plane as it can still be tracked by skin paint, but it hides the plane's altitude and it should immediately call attention to the aircraft.

The USAF response against Flight 11


The USAF response against Flight 175

8:45 a.m. - United Airlines Flight 175 is taken over by five hijackers who use knives, Mace and the threat of a bomb. Both pilots are killed and the plane is diverted southward to New York City.

8:53 a.m. - Unaware that their intended target has already crashed into the World Trade Center, the F-15s from Otis Air Force Base are sent to military-controlled airspace off Long Island and ordered to remain in a holding pattern until between 9:09 and 9:13 a.m. [National Geographic]

Flight 11 had crashed into World Trade Center 1, and Flight 175 was hijacked and heading toward New York.

Fighter jets were ordered to stay in a holding pattern off Long Island.

Why weren't they ordered to protect New York?

The USAF response against Flight 93


The USAF response against Flight 77

The US military knew Flight 77 had been hijacked at approximately 08:50:

During the hour or so that American Airlines Flight 77 was under the control of hijackers, up to the moment it struck the west side of the Pentagon, military officials in a command center on the east side of the building were urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do. [New York Times]

The plane's approach into Washington was tracked on radar:

Eight minutes before the crash, at 9:30 a.m. EDT, radar tracked the plane as it closed to within 30 miles of Washington. [CBS News]

This map shows Andrews AFB is roughly 11 miles from the Pentagon:

This page from the Andrews AFB web site (removed 9/12) shows the base had F-16 fighter jets which could have intercepted Flight 77.

Instead, F-16s were scrambled from Langley AFB which is 120 miles south of the Pentagon at 9:30 a.m.

A typical F-16.


At first, the planes were directed toward New York at top speed, and probably reached 600 m.p.h. within two minutes, General Haugen said [obviously they were on a go-slow]. Then, flying in formation, they were vectored toward the west and given a new flight target: Reagan National Airport. [New York Times]

So, it was known that Flight 77 was hijacked and heading toward Washington at 9:30 a.m., but instead of the above jets being sent to defend the heart of the US government and military the fighters were initially despatched to New York.

Does this make any sense to you?

"There was an unidentified plane to the south of Dulles moving at a very high rate of speed" ... Traveling at 750 km/h the plane is headed straight for the protected airspace covering the capital and the White House...

WMV video download (878kB)


The plane's descent over Washington was tracked on radar...

Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes. [CBS News]

...and at 09:38 the Pentagon was hit:

"We heard what sounded like a missile, then we heard a loud boom," said Tom Seibert, 33, a network engineer at the Pentagon. "We were sitting there and watching this thing from New York, and I said, you know, the next best target would be us. And five minutes later, boom." [Guardian]

The plane was flown with incredible precision by a pilot who could barely fly a Cessna, and it hit the newly renovated Pentagon wedge.

Question: How was a plane which was known to be hostile able to have an unimpeded 48 minute joyride around US airspace before slamming into the heart of the US military?

Answer: Stand down.


"If a stand down order were given it probably would have to come from at least as high as the vice president."

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9/11 Commission Testimony

There was a young man who came in and said to the vice president "the plane is 50 miles out" [from Washington], "the plane is 30 miles out", and when it got down to "the plane is 10 miles out" the young man also said to the vice president "Do the orders still stand?", and the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said "Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary?"

WMV video download (1.8 MB)




It is obvious the above orders did not involve defending Washington.

War Games: The Key to a 9/11 USAF Stand Down

See also:

Stand Down: Exposing NORAD's Wag The 911 Window Dressing Tale
FAA Manager Mangled, Cut, Destroyed 9/11 Tapes
The 9/11 Reichstag Fire

What Really Happened

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