The Pilot Who Couldn't
Hami Hanjour, age 25 and
a citizen of Saudi Arabia, is still identified by Government officials
and Corporate media as the pilot of the American Airlines Boeing 757,
Flight 77, that struck the Pentagon last September 11.
On April 10, 2002 the
Associated Press' John Solomon reported that the manager, Peggy
Chevrette, of the flight school in Phoenix, Arizona, JetTech, where
Hanjour studied in January and February of 2001, doubted that Hanjour
could legitimately possess the commercial pilot's license that he
Peggy Chevrette said: '"I
couldn't believe he had a commercial license of any kind with the skills
that he had."'
In early 2001 Peggy
Chevrette had told a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, John
Anthony, of her concerns about Hanjour, but Anthony, then attending one
class at JetTech with the young Arab, declined to flag Hanjour out of
The Associated Press'
John Solomon continues: '"Chevrette said she contacted Anthony twice
more when Hanjour began ground training for Boeing 737 jetliners and it
became clear he didn't have the skills for the commercial pilot's
"I don't truly believe he
should have had it and I questioned that. I questioned that all along,"
Seven months later, in
August 2001, one month before '"9/11,'"
Hami Hanjour tried three times to demonstrate to instructors at the
Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland that he could be trusted to fly solo
in a single-engine plane.
A local Maryland
newspaper, the Prince George's Journal, quotes the Airport's
Chief Flight Instructor, Marcel Bernard, in its September 18, 2001
edition about Hanjour's attempts to reliably fly a Cessna 172.
"Instructors at the
school told Bernard that after three times in the air, they still felt
he was unable to fly solo and that Hanjour seemed disappointed."
Now let's look at the
acrobatics of American Airlines 77 just before it hit the Pentagon one
The expert handling of
this Boeing 757, an airliner with a wing-span of 124 feet and controls
much more complex than a Cessna 172's, impressed commentators.
On September 12, CBS
News' Bob Orr recounted AA 77' s final maneuvers. "The plane flew
several miles south of the restricted airspace around the White House,"
Orr said. "At 9:33 it crossed the Capital Beltway, flying at more than
400 mph.... The hijacker pilots were then forced to execute a difficult,
high-speed, descending turn. Radar shows that Flight 77 did a downward
spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000
feet in two-and-half-minutes. The steep turn was so smooth, the sources
say, it's clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex
maneuver suggests the hijacker had better flying skills than many
investigators first believed." Orr continued: "The jetliner disappeared
from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of
streetlights and plowed into the Pentagon at 480 miles per hour."
Then, as now, U. S.
Government and Corporate media name Hami Hanjour – he who could not be
trusted to fly a Cessna 172 one month earlier – as the last pilot of AA
77. What about other alleged pilots of hijacked airliners on September
The Washington Post
of September 19, 2001 reported that Mohammad Atta, Atta the supposed
"' ringleader'" of the "'19 terrorists'" and the supposed pilot of
American Airlines Flight 11, the first airliner to fly into a World
Trade Center Tower, and Marwanal-AI-Shehhi, Shehhi the supposed pilot of
United Airlines Flight 175, the airliner that flew into the WTC's South
Tower, did in fact take hundreds of hours of lessons at Huffman
Aviation, a flight school in Venice, Florida, and also took lessons at
Jones Aviation Flying Service Inc., a business which operates out of the
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in Florida.
However, an instructor at
Jones Flying Service said that "neither man was able to pass a Stage I
rating test to track and intercept," and that they left their
instructors with bitter words.
What about other Arabs
supposed to be aboard the American Airlines 757 that struck the
The Washington Post
of September 24, 2001 recounts how Nawaq Alhazmi and Khaid Al-Midhar
fared at another flight school. This young pair went to Sorbi's Flying
Club at Montgomery Field, a community airport nearby San Diego,
California. They received two lessons at Sorbi's before instructors
there advised them to quit.
One instructor is quoted
by the Post. '"Their English was horrible, and their mechanical
skills were even worse. It was like they had hardly even ever driven a
car. They seemed like nice guys, but in the plane, they were dumb and
Home Run and Global Hawk
If the supposed pilots
are impossible or unlikely prospects for flying a Boeing 757 or 767
through sharp turns and complex maneuvers, how COULD those airliners
otherwise have been flown?
In an interview with the
German newspaper Tagesspeigel on January 13, 2002, Andreas von
Buelow, Minister of Technology for the united Germany in the early
1990s, a person who first worked in West Germany's Secretary of Defense
30 years ago, told about a technology by which airliners can be
commanded through remote control.
The former Minister of
Technology said: '"The Americans had developed a method in the 1970s,
whereby they could rescue hijacked planes by intervening into the
Andreas von Buelow said
that this technology was named Home Run.
The German went on to
give his Tagesspeigel interviewer his overall perspective of the
9/11/01 attacks: '"I can state: the planning of the attacks was
technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four
huge airplanes within a few minutes and within one hour, to drive them
into their targets, with complicated flight maneuvers! This is
unthinkable, without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the
state and industry…. I have real difficulties, however, to imagine that
all this all sprang out of the mind of an evil man in his cave"'
devised by the U.S. military for remote control of huge airplanes is
named Global Hawk. On April 24, 2001, four months before "'9/11,'"
Britain's International Television News reported: "A robot plane has
made aviation history by becoming the first unmanned aircraft to fly
across the Pacific Ocean."
Britain's ITN continued:
"The Global Hawk, a jet-powered aircraft with a wingspan equivalent to a
Boeing 737, flew from Edwards Air Force Base in California and landed
late on Monday at the Royal Australian Air Force base at Edinburgh, in
South Australia state…. It flies along a pre-programmed flight path, but
a pilot monitors the aircraft during its flight via a sensor suite which
provides infra-red and visual images."
According to the
Australian Global Hawk manager Rod Smith: '"The aircraft essentially
flies itself, right from takeoff, right through to landing, and even
taxiing off the runway."'
Now, who or what would
you trust for aerial missions as demanding as those of "'9/11'" (or
trust to fly an airliner from one airfield in California to another in
Australia): The Arab students who are described above, or the Global
Hawk or Home Run technologies?
The Indestructible Passport
Just after last September
11, telltales identifying "'the hijackers'" were obvious as Autumn's
Andreas von Buelow said
that the supposed culprits left '"tracks behind them like a herd of
stampeding elephants."' Von Buelow listed these tracks: '"They made
payments with credit cards with their own names; they reported to their
flight instructors with their own names. They left behind rented cars
with flight manuals in Arabic for jumbo jets. They took with them, on
their suicide trip, wills and farewell letters, which fall into the
hands of the FBI, because they were stored in the wrong place and
The FBI found Mohammad
Atta' s suitcase in his rental car at Boston's Logan Airport. From said
suitcase the FBI also produced a Koran and a "'suicide note'" written in
Arabic. A similar "'suicide note'" was also announced as found nearby
the curiously scattered wreckage of United Airlines Flight 93 in western
Pennsylvania. Said note somehow survived this airliner's crash. Most
improbably, a passport identifying one of "'the hijackers'" was declared
by New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, then by U.S.
Attorney General John Ashcroft, as found a few blocks from the
smoldering World Trade Center Towers. Said passport somehow survived
fire temperatures in excess of 600 degrees Fahrenheit and the collapse
of more than 200,000 tons of steel and concrete.
Here's how the Cable Network News (CNN) reported the
finding last September 16: "In New York, several blocks from the ruins
of the World Trade Center, a passport authorities said belonged to one
of the hijackers was discovered a few days ago, according to City Police
Commissioner Bernard Kerik."
passport was uncovered, but neither of the supposedly indestructible
"black-box" flight recorders (bright-orange, shoebox-sized, and pulsing
flight recorders) aboard American Airlines 11 and United Airlines 175
have yet been found in Manhattan or elsewhere.
spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, told USA
TODAY on September 24, 2001: '"It's extremely rare that we don't get
the recorders back. I can't recall another domestic case in which we did
not recover the recorders."'
Maybe if those black
boxes had passports attached to them…
On April 19, 2002 the
Director of the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert
S. Mueller III, addressed the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Robert S. Mueller III
said: "In our investigation we have not uncovered a single piece of
paper – either here in the United States or in the treasure trove of
information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere – that
mentioned any aspect of the Sept. 11 plot."
The FBI's Director
attributed this total lack of any further finding to the Al Queda
network's sophistication and secrecy – a sophistication and secrecy not
be seen in the elephantine '"tracks"' that the FBI brought forth in the
few weeks after "'9/11.'"
[To be continued.]
1971 Don Paul (No. 36 in the picture to the left) was the
youngest winner of a Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford
University, after Ken Kesey, Tillie Olsen and Robert Stone and before
Ray Carver, Alice Hoffman and Bill Kitteredge.
Between 1973 and 1980
he was a logger or roughneck in northwest Washington, southeast Alaska,
Louisiana and Texas.
He held the World Road
Best for running 50 kilometers between 1982-94 and qualified for the
U.S. Men's Olympic Marathon Trial in 1980 and 1988.
In 1988 he began to
put poems to music by his brother Kenton. He's subsequently led or
produced more than 20 recordings, including the Rebel Poets compilations
and albums led by Glenn Spearman, Lisle Ellis, India Cooke, Paul Plimley,
Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Ben Goldberg.
Most recently he's
released two CDs, 5 Songs For The Bush Reich (available at
www.wireonfire.com) and Love Is
The Main Flame, and the books of poems
Pulsing and Flares.
He works with the organizations Housing Is a Human
Right and From the Ground Up in San Francisco.