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Donley is one of the eyewitnesses who attest to actually seeing a 757 fly into the Pentagon (Although, the Library of Congress piece reports only “he heard a low-flying plane and saw it crash into the Pentagon.”
His most widely disseminated report was on CNN: "I could see the windows. I saw the entire plane and then saw it fly right into the Pentagon." (CNN News Lexis-Nexis - Transcript #090803CN.V46)
The LoC article adds to the confusion by captioning this photo:
Donley first photo
“Daryl Donley's first photo of the Pentagon in flames was taken through the rear-view mirror of his car.”
Which is impossible to reconcile with their narrative:
“Donley, the assistant director of operations for the National Symphony Orchestra, was the first photographer to show slides of his work. On the morning of September 11, he was driving past the Pentagon on his way to work. He heard a low flying plane and saw it crash into the Pentagon. Once he realized what had happened and regained his composure, Donley remembered that he had his camera with him. His first reaction was that he could not photograph the scene, but then he thought he must. He managed to pull to the side of the highway jammed with rush-hour traffic, stop, get out of his car, and use his camera with a zoom lens to capture the Pentagon in flames, within about three minutes of the attack.”
He would have had to cross over the median raced back through “heavy traffic,” stopped, regained his composure, and then snap the still-mushrooming pyroclastic fireball.
This in fact is Donley’s requiem. He can't hide behind the label of "amateur," when the route his pictures took to get in Life magazine and the collection of the Library of Congress, while bypassing the FBI, is itself newsworthy, especially when real photojournalists were being placed in handcuffs by the FBI when they got too close to the action at the Pentagon on 9-11.
(DoD Briefing Q: Around that side of the building where the fire is and where the fire fighting's going on, I would appreciate it if you could intercede on behalf of the FBI to make sure reporters are allowed into a certain area there and allowed access in there so -- and not being threatened or, in fact, handcuffed and dragged away, that reporters do have an area close to the action where they won't necessarily interfere with things)
Two completely different stories, two months apart. You decide. www.defenselink.mil...
Daryl Donley Fireball Glissando