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Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners, Faked!
Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview
by Prof David Ray Griffin
On November 27, 2009, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Fifth Estate program aired a show entitled “9/11: The Unofficial Story,”1 for which I, along with a few other members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, was interviewed. In the most important part of my interview, I pointed out that, according to the FBI’s report on phone calls from the airliners provided in 2006 for the Moussaoui trial, Barbara Olson’s only call from Flight 77 was “unconnected” and hence lasted “0 seconds.” Although this Fifth Estate program showed only a brief portion of my discussion of alleged phone calls from the 9/11 airliners, its website subsequently made available a 22-minute video containing this discussion.2
Shortly thereafter, a portion of this video, under the title “David Ray Griffin on the 9/11 Cell Phone Calls: Exclusive CBC Interview,” was posted on You Tube,3 after which it was posted on 911 Blogger.4 This latter posting resulted in considerable discussion, during which some claims contradicting my position were made. In this essay, I respond to the most important of these claims, namely:
1. The FBI has not admitted that cell phone calls from high-altitude airliners on 9/11 were impossible.
2. There is no evidence that some of the reported 9/11 phone calls were faked.
3. American Airlines’ Boeing 757s, and hence its Flight 77, had onboard phones.
4. The FBI’s report on phone calls from the 9/11 airliners did not undermine Ted Olson’s report about receiving phone calls from his wife.
The four sections of this essay will respond to these four claims in order.
Although this essay has focused on details, often minute, in merely one aspect of the official account of 9/11, the implications are enormous. Without the widespread assumption that the 9/11 attacks had been planned and carried out by al-Qaeda, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would not have been possible. With regard to the war in Afghanistan in particular, Michel Chossudovsky has recently emphasized the fact that NATO’s decision to support this US-led war was based on a briefing by Frank Taylor of the US State Department, in which he provided what was called conclusive evidence of al-Qaeda’s responsibility for the attacks.121
Although the contents of Taylor’s briefing have never been made public, the main evidence provided to the general public has consisted of the hijack-describing phone calls reportedly received from passengers and flight attendants aboard the airliners. But when subjected to a detailed analysis, these alleged phone calls, far from supporting the war-justifying story, lead to a very different conclusion: that these alleged calls were faked. This analysis thereby suggests that the entire 9/11 story used to justify the US-led wars is a lie.
If asked which part of the official story can be most definitively shown to be false, I would speak not of the alleged phone calls but of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the official account of which says that the Twin Towers and WTC 7 came down without the aid of pre-set explosives. Given the fact that this theory involves massive violations of basic laws of physics, the evidence against it is so strong as to be properly called proof – as I have recently emphasized in a book-length critique of the official report on WTC 7 in particular.122
Nevertheless, the importance of the evidence against the official account provided by analyzing the alleged phone calls should not be minimized. If the official story is false, then we should expect every major dimension of it to be false – which, as I have emphasized in another recent book, can be seen to be the case.123 It is this cumulative argument that provides the strongest disproof of the official, war-justifying account of 9/11. The evidence that the alleged phone calls from the airliners were faked is an important part of this cumulative argument.124
David Ray Griffin is professor emeritus at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of The New Pearl Harbor - Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 , The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions -- A Critique of the Kean-Zelikow Report as well as Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?
Carnegie Mellon University Department of Engineering and Public Policy 5000 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 1521311. Contract or Grant No.01-C-AW-CMU13. Type of Report and Period Covered Final Report28 June 2002-29 October 200412. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
U.S. Department of TransportationFederal Aviation AdministrationOffice of Aviation Research and DevelopmentWashington, DC 2059114.
Sponsoring Agency CodeAIR-10015. Supplementary NotesThe Federal Aviation Administration Airport and Aircraft Safety R&D Division COTR was Anthony Wilson.16.
The focus on the risk posed by portable electronic devices carried onboard commercial flights has continued to intensify.
Recent measurements and analyses have been useful in developing a better understanding of the issues, but has not allowed one to drawfirm conclusions about what is happening in today’s revenue flight environments. This report summarizes results of a programthat developed an instrumentation package and performed in-flight radio frequency (RF) spectrum measurements in commercialaircraft cabins on revenue flights in select aviation critical and personal electronics frequency bands. Specific objectives were to identify cellular in-flight calls and activity rates, assess maximum levels of received power, and identify areas that deserve further research.
Measurements were made on 38 flights over the period September 23 through November 19, 2003. These flights were on Boeing 737 (37 flights) and on Airbus 320 (1 flight) model aircraft. Two major U.S. airlines participated in the flight study.This study provided the first reported characterization of the RF environment in the cabins of commercial airline flights. The keyconclusions were that (1) onboard cellular telephone calls were observed in-flight and activity is appreciable; (2) signal activitywas observed in the aviation critical frequency bands at field strengths capable on causing interference to onboard avionics; and(3) onboard spectral activity was observed at flight critical phases.These findings carry implications for both future research and public policy. Before the industry moves forward with policychanges, significantly more field measurement and analysis of the potential for interference is urgently needed. These studies should include a consideration of the implications of having many onboard transmitters and the potential risks posed by intermodulation.
Distribution Statement This document is available to the public through the NationalTechnical Information Service (NTIS) Springfield, Virginia22161.19. Security Classif. (of this report)Unclassified20. Security Classif. (of this page)Unclassified21. No. of Pages7622. PriceForm DOT F1700.7 (8-72)Reproduction of completed page authorize
9:30:32 - Thomas Burnett Jr, 28 seconds, call to his wife
9:35:40 - Sandy Bradshaw, 5 minutes, 53 seconds (353 seconds), call to United Airlines
9:37:03 - Mark Bingham, 2 minutes, 46 seconds (166 seconds), call to his mother
9:37:41 - Jeremy Glick, line left open (7,565 seconds)
9:37:53 - Thomas Burnett Jr, 62 seconds, called his wife
9:39:21 - Lauren Grandcolas, 46 seconds, call to her husband, left a message.
9:43:03 - Joseph DeLuca, 2 minutes, 10 seconds (130 seconds), called his parents
9:43:48 - Todd Beamer, line left open (3,925 seconds), spoke with GTE operator, Lisa Jefferson.
9:44:23 - Thomas Burnett Jr, 54 seconds, called his wife
9:46:05 - Linda Gronlund, 1 minute, 11 seconds (71 seconds), called her sister, Elsa Strong.
9:47:57 - CeeCee Lyles, 56 seconds, called her husband from an airphone.
9:49:12 - Marion Britton, 3 minutes, 52 seconds, called a friend, Fred Fiumano
9:50:04 - Sandy Bradshaw, 7 minutes, 50 seconds (470 seconds), call to her husband
9:53:43 - Honor Wainio, 4 minutes, 29 seconds (269 seconds), call to her parents
9:58:00 - Ed Felt, 911 call to Westmoreland County dispatcher (see also cell phones about this call)
9:58:00 - CeeCee Lyles called her husband with her cell phone (see also cell phones about this call)
Originally posted by GoodOlDave
...and you actually take umbrage when I say you're mindlessly quoting whatever garbage those damned fool conspiracy web sites are putting out. Going to a professor of religion for information about demolitions science and communications technology is as idiotic as going to the pope for information on evolution. He's not giving you evidence of anything. He's giving you unsubstanciated personal opinions based on what he wants to be true, and passing it off as evidence is deliberate dishonesty.
Listen up! David Ray Griffin WITHDREW his claim that the planes had no airfones for peopel to call out on. He misquoted a claim that said airfones were removed *after* 9/11 as a claim the planes had no airfones *at all*.
David Ray Griffin withdraws his "no airfones" claim
If he's trying to slip his "the planes had no airfones" again EVEN AFTER NOW ADMITTING THE PLANES HAD AIRFONES then he is lying through his teeth. I really find the truther movement's blatant double standard in their pro-conspiracy bias to be thoroughly disgusting. We have a man who simply said he received a call from his wife in the last 1/2 hour of her life, and these truthers have the unrepentent gall to accuse him of lying and/or being some secret gov't agent entirely becuase they don't want to believe that his claims are true, and yet characters like Griffin who have been caught red handed changing his story as it suits his tastes are treated as unimpeachable gospel.
Just come out and admit it- credibility to you has absolutely nothing to do with the source, but with whether it happens to agree with your conspiracy stories.
Retracting the Retraction: Although the second of these two sentences was written with tongue in cheek, I was completely serious about the importance of correcting errors. Six weeks later, that same policy led to retract my retraction because of three new pieces of information:
...The third new piece of information, which I also learned from Balsamo, was that another AA representative had made a statement about the absence of phones on AA 757s, which, being more precise than the statements that Morgan and Henshall had received, left no room for misinterpretation. This statement, which had appeared on a German political forum, had been evoked by a letter to American Airlines saying:
“[O]n your website . . . there is mentioned that there are no seatback satellite phones on a Boeing 757. Is that info correct? Were there any . . . seatback satellite phones on any Boeing 757 . . . on September 11, 2001?” The reply, which was signed “Chad W. Kinder, Customer Relations, American Airlines,” said: “That is correct; we do not have phones on our Boeing 757. The passengers on flight 77 used their own personal cellular phones to make out calls during the terrorist attack.”88
After confirming the authenticity of this reported exchange,89 Balsamo and I co-authored an article entitled “Could Barbara Olson Have Made Those Calls? An Analysis of New Evidence about Onboard Phones.” In a section entitled “Correcting an ‘Error,’” we reviewed the reasons that had led me to conclude that my claim about AA 77 – that it would have had no onboard phones – was probably wrong.
“[O]n your website . . . there is mentioned that there are no seatback satellite phones on a Boeing 757. Is that info correct? Were there any . . . seatback satellite phones on any Boeing 757 . . . on September 11, 2001?” The reply, which was signed “Chad W. Kinder, Customer Relations, American Airlines,” said: “That is correct; we do not have phones on our Boeing 757. The passengers on flight 77 used their own personal cellular phones to make out calls during the terrorist attack...
Renee May's phone call
At 9:12, Renee May called her mother, Nancy May, in Las Vegas. She said her flight (American Airlines Flight 77) was being hijacked by six individuals who had moved them to the rear of the plane. She asked her mother to alert American Airlines. Nancy May and her husband promptly did so.
Barbara Olson's phone call
At some point between 9:16 and 9:26, Barbara Olson called her husband, Ted Olson, the solicitor general of the United States. She reported that the flight had been hijacked, and the hijackers had knives and box cutters. She further indicated that the hijackers were not aware of her phone call, and that they had put all the passengers in the back of the plane. About a minute into the conversation, the call was cut off. Solicitor General Olson tried unsuccessfully to reach Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Originally posted by Sanity
reply to post by weedwhacker
Sorry but you are kicking a dead horse in supporting the idea that cell calls were going through from any of the flights. Clearly, you are clueless about the cellular telephone systems in use on 911. If you only knew how much egg is running down your face.
The OS is a fading Fable, like the tooth fairy, only a few believe.