- WASHINGTON - Conspiracy theorists may or may not be disappointed Tuesday
when the Pentagon releases footage from two angles showing American Flight
77 hitting the western wall of the building on Sept. 11, 2001.
- The Department of Justice is releasing
the videotape after a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch,
a government watchdog. The request was made to quiet claims by some that
pictures from that day never showed an airplane, only the "alleged"
impact of the plane. Those claims spawned theories that the U.S. government
faked the crash at the Pentagon.
- "We fought hard to obtain this video
because we felt that it was very important to complete the public record
with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11," said Judicial
Watch President Tom Fitton. "Finally, we hope that this video will
put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight
77. As always, our prayers remain with all those who suffered as a result
of those murderous attacks."
- One of the tapes is from a security camera
that was used to produce five still shots on that day. That video, which
takes pictures in half-second increments, apparently shows the nose cone
of the plane clearly entering the picture, then a blur and then a fireball.
- The other camera shot that hasn't been
seen before shows more of the plane before the fireball.
- American Airlines Flight 77 left Dulles
Airport outside Washington, D.C., around 8:51 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept.
11, 2001. On its way to Los Angeles, the plane was hijacked and crashed
into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. EDT; 184 people died in that attack.
- Three other planes were hijacked that
day. Two hit the North and South towers of the World Trade Center and one
- United Flight 93 - believed to be headed to Washington, D.C., was stopped
by passengers who fought the hijackers. The plane crashed into a field
in Shanksville, Pa. Nearly 3,000 people died that day as a result of the
- A dramatic film, "United 93,"
is currently in wide release depicting that day. The film borrows heavily
from taped phone conversations that passengers and crew had with their
families and air traffic controllers before the fight for control of the
- Judicial Watch first filed the FOIA request
in February 2004. It received a letter from the Pentagon in January 2005
that it possessed a videotape responsive to the request but wouldn't release
it since it was "part of an ongoing investigation involving Zacarias
Moussaoui." Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in February 2006, arguing
that the Defense Department had "no legal basis" to withhold