- The first mention I saw of an A3 Sky
Skywarrior striking the pentagon came from Karl Schwarz in a radio transcript
from the John Stadtmiller radio show posted here on Rense.com 12/08/04 (1).
- My emails with Karl began the same week.
I was intrigued with having a specific plane to consider in regards to
the pentagon incident. I sent Karl photos and information over nearly
100 hours of A3 Skywarrior research including contacting retired Skywarrior
squadron members. Karl indicated he would be releasing a paper called "Pop
Goes the Mythology Bubble 5" which he released on 2/2/05 (2). It has been
removed from the Online Journal where Karl is/was an "Online Journal
Contributing Writer" (3).
- I wrote a critique of "Pop Goes
the Mythology Bubble 5" which is linked to in its original
form at the bottom of this page (4). The header of that article is an email
to Karl letting him know of my review and allowing him an opportunity to
respond. I have never heard from Karl since.
- Next, Jon Carlson began promoting the
theory here on Rense.com on 3/2/05 (5). He mostly bases his argument
on a photo of a rusty piece of a construction trailer and a photo from
a museum. Later he strongly promotes Karl in the rest of his articles.
This article is not intended to personally criticize Jon or Karl. I will
email it to both of them for an opportunity to respond. I do however have
to comment on their writing and mistakes since they are the ones who have
put this theory forward and promoted it.
- Am I saying that an A3 Skywarrior did
not hit the pentagon? NO. Am I saying that I know what hit the pentagon?
NO. Nobody knows what did or did not hit the pentagon (except for those
that were a part of it and those that have seen the tapes). The rest of
us are all speculating on plane, no-plane or replacement aircraft theories
in one form or another. The only real evidence that exists is all of the
videos that the FBI admits to having but refuses to release and the physical
wreckage that was whisked away from the pentagon (to understand the disposition
of the pentagon evidence look at the "Evidence page" link in
the reference section below (6)).
- The reason I feel writing this is important
is because this theory has stuck in the minds of people. Most recently
the A3 theory made it into Loose Change 2nd Edition, an article on the
Scholars for 9/11 Truth website and a new website posted here on Rense.com,
"Comprehensive 911 Photo Analysis". It is having a big impact
on thousands of people.
- I am going to attempt to show certain
flaws in the JT8D and A3 Skywarrior theory as put forth by Karl and subsequently
Jon. My goal here is to represent another perspective for people to consider
in their quest for truth. I will start by emphasizing untrue statements
Karl made in his article.
- FALSE STATEMENTS
- Karl says, "That has not been easy
and we have had many working on this night and day for three years to get
to the bottom of the matter."
- He also says, "Our team had to take
steps to go around the content blocks to get at the photos you are seeing
regarding these rotor hub components."
- I don't see three years of research represented in
Karl's article in any way. There are no references for even
the source of the images which I found in one night using Google image
search. Try it by putting in "jt8d". There is nothing original
there and obviously no content blocks as claimed. Karl doesn't even show
part numbers or accurate diagrams that correspond to the parts shown in
- Karl says again, "It was very difficult
to find the exact FAA certified company that is equipped, tooled or certified
to work on the jet engines that were used in the A-3 Skywarrior."
- This you can again verify for yourself.
Just put "jt8d repair" into Google and you will
find shops certified to do JT8D work. It is true that Praxair claims
to be, "the only approved source to overhaul both blades and
hub assemblies". My point is it doesn't take secret research to find
- EXAGGERATION and NAME DROPPING
- Karl says, "The information in this
article has been hand-delivered to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer."
- Being the obnoxious investigator I am,
I called Spitzer's office myself. They would only speak off the record
(so you will have to trust me on this one) but I can say that the person
I spoke with not so discreetly distanced Mr. Spitzer from Karl. They did
say they had received information from him in the past (along with thousands
of other people's she added) but no official filings of his materials had
been made. At that time the only official 9/11 truth material that had
been filed with them was a petition. I got the distinct impression that
Karl was not being taken seriously there. Read "Pop Goes the Mythology
Bubble 5" from the point-of-view of a state attorney general who would
be considering prosecuting the biggest criminal case in American history.
Then you might see why a couple of photos clipped from the internet loosely
affiliated with an antiquated aircraft and a bunch of "top-secret"
rhetoric with no part numbers might not inspire you to head to district
- PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
- This is the photo that began Karl's speculation.
- This image was taken by FEMA photographer
Jocelyn Augustino on 9/13/01, 2 days after the attack. It was presumably
brought out from inside the building since it was not seen in any other
exterior photos prior to that. This photo is taken at the main door just
north of the impact zone. (Caption is my addition)
- Then Karl made the comments below
followed by the photo which he clipped from the internet.
- "For those of you that do not pay
attention to such things, 9-11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick sits on
the board of directors of United Technologies and Pratt & Whitney is
now owned by United technologies. Former Bush EPA secretary Christine Todd
Whitman also sits on the United Technologies board, and that is a company
that is raking in big bucks due to Bush War Policy.
- The front fan hub and compressor assembly
of the Allison J33, J71 (now owned by Rolls Royce), and the Pratt &
Whitney J57 and Pratt & Whitney JT8D as shown above are all fairly
similar but they also have something else in common. There was just one
conflict of interest on top of another on that 9-11 Omission Commission."
- This is the only example I will make
of this point even though there are many others. Karl is somehow linking
the make of the engine rotor with a conspiracy involving the 9/11 commission
members. There are plenty of faults involving that report but I doubt this
is one of them. As if they would choose a certain type of aircraft because
it had a certain type of engine because the future 9/11 commission members also
sit on the board of the company who made the engine. When they were theoretically
choosing the A3 did they know who would be on the commission in advance?
If you read "Pop Goes the Mythology Bubble 5" make note of this
same strategy in other places.
- Karl goes on to say, "It is not
a "turbofan" component, it is in fact a "turbojet" component
from an US Air Force/Navy vintage type of jet engine technology that was
used on just a limited number of fighters, bombers and reconnaissance planes."
- The following quote from Aerospaceweb.org
addresses this very question (be advised they believe 9/11 conspiracies
are false but in my mind that makes their debunking of this specifically
on the jet engine facts even more valuable). "For some reason, many
of the conspiratorial sites we have come across instead make extensive
reference to the A-3 being powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine.
Moreover, these same sites claim that the JT8D is a turbojet. The JT8D
is actually a turbofan that was developed for use aboard commercial aircraft
like the 727 and 737. We have not found any source that indicates the JT8D
was ever used on the A-3 Skywarrior, so it is unclear why the originators
of the A-3 theory are so infatuated with this particular powerplant. Nevertheless,
we will include it in our investigation for completeness." The full
article I would qualify as a MUST READ (7).
- In other words, Karl did not know the
difference between a turbofan and a turbojet to begin with. The article also
states that the JT8D is not even used on the A3 Skywarrior. How do we confirm
that for ourselves? The following website has the status of all A3's in
service still (Link) . If you
take a sample civil registration number, N879RS for instance, and enter
it in Google, you get a page that looks like this (Link) . It tells
you that it has a "P&W J57 SER". You can go through this
drill on every single active A3 and there is no JT8D ever mentioned.
- Does that mean that the government doesn't
have unaccounted for A3's? No. Does that mean that maybe they secretly
equipped one with a JT8D? Possibly, but those types of adaptations are
complicated to say the least. Here is an example of Karl suggesting another
radical adaptation of parts found at the pentagon to his A3 theory.
- Karl says, "Another component was
found at the Pentagon in the form of a wheel hub. It did not take much
to confirm that the particular wheel shown below is the type made by B.F.
Goodrich in their aerospace division. They also made the wheels for the
757 but a simple proportional check of width versus diameter will easily
show that the below photo is not of a wheel hub from a 757, which has a
much larger radius than width. This radius being about the same as the
width of the wheel hub is also another clue that the 757 story is a Bush
- This photo was taken in the A-E drive
of the pentagon by a photographer who wishes to remain anonymous on 9/12/01.
It first went public in a Rense.com article on 12/4/02 (8). (Caption is
- Karl then says, "In fact, if one
looks very closely at the diameter versus width of the tire that was found
at the Pentagon, this is the type of tire used for carrier based and general
rear wheels of smaller military planes, not commercial airliners. This
is the type of wheel hub one would expect to find as one of the two rear
wheels on an A-3 refitted with current equipment rather than equipment
that is no longer being manufactured."
- He has guessed at proportional widths
and diameter etc., even suggesting it is a "Bush lie". I
am sorry but from Bush's flying records I am guessing that he didn't come
up with the A3 wheel swap idea or the mathematics related to
it. The rim in the photo above does match perfectly those used on
the 757 (8 slot variation). The key thing here is that Karl suggests a
"refitted" wheel assembly. The following photo is an A3 rim
and tire. All photos I have viewed of A3's have this same configuration.
- For the sake of brevity I will spare
you the technical details of what a swap from this to the wheel rim Karl
uses as an example would require. Suffice to say that the attachments,
struts, hydraulics, and braking systems are all integrated. It is not like
changing from stock wheels to mags on your muscle car.
- THEORETICAL EVIDENCE
- Karl says, "There was one credible
witness found that saw "a two-engine jet airplane, the engines were
under the wings." That is a visual description of a 737, 757, or 767,
but it is also a description of an A-3 Skywarrior."
- I didn't know that only one witness was
considered "credible". The eyewitness reports were all over the
map, everything from a turboprop to a commuter plane including a 737, 747,
and a 757 (9). But not one described seeing a fighter jet
that I am aware of. There were sounds reported like that of a missile or
a fighter but no direct visuals. There was one indirect visual observation
via a radar screen and one analogy used in witness reports that indicate
a fighter or a missile.
- A radar controller Mr. Todd Lewis
commented on Dateline the maneuver of the aircraft being fighter-like,
but not with direct visual contact.
- BROKAW: What did you think? It was a
military flight of some kind when you saw it?
- Mr. LEWIS: I thought it was a military
flight. I thought that Langley had scrambled some fighters and maybe one
of them got up there.
- BROKAW: It was really moving fast.
- Mr. LEWIS: It was moving very fast, like
a military aircraft might move at a low altitude. (10)
- Mike Walter said, "It was like a
cruise missile with wings, went right there and slammed into the Pentagon
.." I interviewed Mike and gave him an opportunity to explain
that comment. He used it as an analogy only and is very upset about how
it was taken out of context (11).
- Karl goes on to say, "The above
photo is a launch of an AIM-54 Phoenix Missile, air-to-air missile. Making
this launch an air-to-surface missile would not be a great feat and Hughes/Raytheon
manufactures several such missiles that would blow a 16-foot diameter hole
in the Pentagon with ease."
- I have two problems with missile theories
in general. One is that there were many motorists right on the scene that
did not report a fighter jet or missile of any sort. One thing we forget
is how many people were there that didn't give a report. They just drove
away. There are certain types of people who make sure they get their account
heard. These people for various reasons come forward and that is who we
heard from. Let's remember there were firefighters on the ground, tower
personnel in the helipad tower, and people in all of the fully occupied
offices to the north of the renovation zone with windows looking right
out onto the lawn. We probably didn't hear from the majority of them. I'll
bet if a missile skimmed over the highway with a fighter jet right behind
slamming into the pentagon we would have heard from a lot more people
in that case. The other problem with the missile theory is what about the
exit hole? How did a missile blow a near perfect 9 foot diameter hole as
clean as that 310 feet into the building and then decelerate in the distance
of A-E drive so as not to even chip the opposing wall (12) ?
- FAULTY CONCLUSIONS
- This is the last example of one of Karl's
faulty conclusions. It involves buying into theories that are pre-existing
and modeling them to your own hypothesis. The following comments are from
another Stadtmiller radio show 4/8/05 (13).
- KS: "The A3 Skywarrior is the only
smaller airplane. We're talking smaller than a 757, 767, smaller than a
737 that has twin engines hanging under the wings. We have found eyewitnesses
that saw the plane. And they said it had two engines hanging under the
wing, that it was much smaller than a 737. Every time you see Southwest
Air 737s. That's what they fly. The only other airframe out there that
is till operational is an A3 - a process of elimination. Then we went back
- you remember when that picture was taken at the Pentagon of the people
carrying the wing out?"
- JS: Yeah
- KS: "There's a lot you can tell
about the shape of that wing even though it is underneath that blue tarp.
That wing is a configuration of an A3, not a 757."
- Then included with the transcript under
Karl's last quote was the same photo of the guys carrying the blue object
as you see below (without labels). Mine is labeled for the following photo
analysis I did on the mysterious blue tarp. Keep in mind Karl is saying
it was an A3 wing by its "configuration".
- PHOTO 1
- 1) Notice that there is no significant
weight on their arms.
- 2) Look carefully inside to see that
it is hollow.
- 3) They are inside the guardrail carrying
it towards the pentagon grass.
- 4) There are only two trees on the Washington
Blvd. side of the pentagon grounds. You can see one of them in the background
which helps locate this shot.
- 5) The grass, lamp pole, guardrail and
the concrete divider also provide clues to locating this shot (see photo
- 6) Note the gray tarp being carried in
- PHOTO 2
- 1) The tents have white tops as in photo
- 2) The floors are gray tarps like the
one being carried in photo 1.
- 3) The tents consist of a white layer
and a blue layer as in photo 1.
- PHOTO 3
- 1) See that the grass, tree, lamp pole,
guardrail and the concrete divider are in the exact positions they would
be in photo 1.
- 2) See that other tents are being used
on the grounds.
- 3) The tent right next to the guardrail
may be the one they are placing in photo 1.
- PHOTO 4
- 1) This is probably the tent assembled
on the highway before being carried over the guardrail and placed on the
- I believe what has been portrayed to
be a mystery object being removed from the pentagon is actually a service
tent being carried into the pentagon grounds after being assembled on the
highway. Certainly not an A3 wing as Karl suggests.
- 1) Karl saw FEMA's photo from the pentagon
that appears to be a jet engine rotor.
- 2) Karl found a picture of a similar
part associated with a JT8D (even though parts just like it are used on
many jet engines).
- 3) Karl associated the JT8D with the
A3 (even though not ONE active A3 is listed by the FAA to have a JT8D).
- 4) Jon Carlson jumped in with Karl (Jon
has no website where you can scrutinize his research).
- 5) Jon has mistaken a rusted piece of
a construction trailer and turned it into a JT8D engine to support Karl's
- FINAL OPINION
- Karl Schwarz is promoting a questionable
theory with little substantiated evidence. Some of his claims can be proven
wrong just by using Google. Others can be implied to be incorrect because
of the contrary evidence and/or statements from aerospace professionals.
I believe Karl is prone to exaggeration and name dropping (do a Google
search on Karl Schwarz to see some of the controversy that is swirling
around him). In the end I have gone to this trouble because I believe the
JT8D and A3 Skywarrior theory as presented by Karl and promoted by Jon
is distracting to 9/11 research and its goals to be truthful
and accurate. I welcome a factual response from either Karl or Jon and
will publicly correct myself on any points I am found to be in error on.
- Russell Pickering
- 1. Stadtmiller radio transcript on Rense.com
- Karl Schwarz website archives -
- Defunct link to Online Journal
- My original rebuttal to Pop Goes the
Mythology Bubble 5 - http://www.cosmicpenguin.com/911/pickering/
- Jon Carlson's original article
- Evidence page
- JT8D article
- Photo release on Rense.com
- 9. Eyewitness reports
- The full transcript of the 9/11/02 interview
- Mike Walter interview
- Exit hole analysis
- John Stadtmiller radio show 4/8/05 -