Friday, November 19, 2004

Victor Thorn on Jim Hoffman, Pentagon on 911

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Jim Hoffman's
Pentagon Put-on
by Victor Thorn

After reading Jim Hoffman’s flip-flop article on whether or not a Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon on the morning of 9-11, I realized that this sly old prankster had pulled an elaborate reverse-psychology practical joke on all of us. Yes, you heard me correctly. And even though I won’t divulge his reasons for doing so until the end of this review, I knew my hunch was correct after being struck by not only his sudden lack of sound reasoning skills, but also his inflated concern with the views of debunkers and the mainstream media. Hoffman even went so far as to say that those who defend the “official version” of 9-11 may use the no-757-crash theory to mock truth-seekers as a whole. But aren’t such attacks expected from the disinformation crowd? That’s what they do --- it’s their modus operandi. In fact, I’ve always felt that when these individuals DO target a specific “conspiracy theory,” it’s precisely done so because the people and groups being attacked are getting too close to the truth. Thus, to pattern our behavior in accordance with their opinions is foolish at best; and downright absurd at worst.

One aspect of Hoffman’s “false deconstruction put-on” that drips with irony is this: even though he now contends that a 757 actually did hit the Pentagon, he still presents much more evidence to the contrary that Flight 77 never did crash into this facility. I’m not sure if including this material was an unconscious reaction to his earlier research, but it certainly outweighed and overshadowed his counter-arguments, thus lending credence to the fact that he really isn’t convinced of his newfound stance.

Hoffman also fails to sway us when the subject of “eyewitness” testimony is broached. Not only have Richard Stanley and Jerry Russell “shredded every eyewitness on multiple accounts” (“the eyewitness testimony varies from bad to provably false”), but Professor A.K. Dewdney stated unequivocally on WING TV (November 17, 2004) that in a case such as this, physical scientific evidence far outweighs the unreliability and contradictory nature of eyewitness testimony.

Another argument that Hoffman puts forth to seemingly disprove the no-Boeing 757 theory is one which absolutely holds no water; specifically, he dislikes two particular videos: 9/11 Pentagon Strike and 911 In Plane Site. But to cite an article, book, or video that one deems faulty is not reason enough to logically dismiss an entire phenomenon. Look at it this way: suppose somebody made a documentary contending that 2+2 does not equal 4. Then somebody else watched this video and deduced: since this video about 2+2=4 is inaccurate, that must mean that 2+2 actually doesn’t equal four. It’s faulty logic, and should not have even been included in this article.

Continuing his spoof, Hoffman confronts the issue of whether a Boeing 757 was capable of performing the highly complex Top Gun maneuvers that were credited to it that fateful morning (while at the same time failing to mention how Hani Hanjour has been 100% discredited as the supposed pilot of this craft). Anyway, Hoffman states, “The spiral dive attack maneuver was well within the capabilities of a Boeing 757.” Contradicting this supposition, though, is Air Force and commercial pilot Russ Wittenberg, who argued quite convincingly (WING TV, September 16, 2004) that there was no possibility that this jetliner could have descended 7,000 feet in two minutes, all the while performing a steep 270 degree banked turn before crashing into the Pentagon’s first floor wall without touching the lawn. It’s impossible, and I’ll take Wittenberg’s word over Hoffman’s, for during his career he flew the exact same airliners that were purportedly hijacked on the morning of September 11th. If anybody would know, this man would.

The next area of contention that shows how Hoffman is pulling our leg is his approach to the lack of debris outside (and inside) the Pentagon immediately following this “event” (or was it actually a “staged magic show”). Now Hoffman should know better because I’ve researched airliner crashes and found numerous examples of the wreckage which results from a downed jumbo jetliner. It’s incredibly vast and messy and obvious, with deep skid marks in the ground; plus parts, wings, seats, wheels, aviation equipment, luggage, bodies, and God knows what else strewn in every direction. Where is this corresponding wreckage from an 80-100 ton aircraft at the Pentagon? It doesn’t exist, and volumes of un-confiscated photos are in existence to prove it. For crying out loud, Jim, look at this evidence because the pieces of the puzzle that you’ve laid on the table don’t fit together.

But the most absurd element of Hoffman’s thesis (even more so than his conjecture-filled arguments concerning the large spools sitting in front of the Pentagon) was his reference to French researcher Eric Bart’s explanation for the lack of imprints on the Pentagon’s fa├žade which would be consistent with a Boeing 757. According to Bart, this plane conveniently had bombs strapped to it which (yet again) conveniently exploded when Flight 77 began its impact with the wall. That’s why it was instantly transformed to confetti. Of course this version of events contradicts the military’s first explanation, which concluded that the plane in question was “vaporized” into thin air (while human flesh, trees, and books in the immediate vicinity weren’t vaporized).

What most troubles me about Hoffman’s line of reasoning is that he says most people can’t handle the no-757 argument; then he turns around and lays-out a tale so ludicrous that it’s laughable. But hold on, folks, for there’s more --- he concludes that, according to Eric Bart, “the crash of a 757 was engineered to make it appear that no such plane had crashed.” Say what? Do these men want us to believe that the government DID crash a 757 into the Pentagon; then deliberately made it appear as if one hadn’t crashed there (a “complex reverse deception” as Richard Stanley calls it)? This reasoning is akin to Alice falling down the rabbit hole in Wonderland.

Lastly, Hoffman proves once-and-for-all that he’s deliberately toying with us when he brings Left Gatekeepers such as Amy Goodman and Chip Berlet into the fray, along with a CIA agent, The Washington Post, and the New York Times. What does he expect these shysters to say? They’re disinformation specialists – and that’s what they do for a living – they debunk! But instead of trotting these bozos around the arena, why not introduce some real meat and potatoes evidence into this case? C’mon, Jim, you can come clean now and tell us that it’s all been a big joke.

In the end, Hoffman almost seems to be saying: just because the no-757-theory is a difficult pill for many people to swallow, we should dismiss it completely lest we “damage the entire 9-11 cause.” But in all honesty, it is reports such as this which do the most harm, for not only are his arguments disingenuous, they’re also flimsy and lightweight beyond words. I mean, since when should “how the issue plays” affect our desire for the truth? It shouldn’t, and in all honesty, when I first heard about this article, I thought, “Y’know, I’ve always respected Jim Hoffman’s work. Maybe he’s onto something that everyone else missed.” But upon reading his thesis very closely, I was supremely disappointed, for there was nothing there. Zero. A complete wash. So, my only hope at this point is that maybe Hoffman wanted to bring more attention to the Pentagon case, so he wrote a completely ridiculous piece that he knew everyone would trash, thus ultimately showing how strong the no-757 case really is. Isn’t it obvious what Hoffman’s motives are? He purposefully wrote the lamest debunking paper possible to prove the inherent flaws and weaknesses of the government’s “official” explanation. It was all an exercise in reverse-psychology … a grand charade which pretended to debunk the no-757-theory, but in reality debunked the debunkers! Well done, Jim, and it was all worth a good laugh – but hey, no more of these crafty masquerades, okay ---- you had us worried there for awhile! Read other articles here


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