Conspiracy theorists who doubt the facts around the September 11, 2001 terrorist strikes didn"t prevent with the human being Trade Center. Here, we answer your claims around the attack on the Pentagon.

You are watching: Did a missle hit the pentagon


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September 2021: two decades have now passed due to the fact that the terrorist assaults of September 11, 2001. In the time due to the fact that then, many people have heard the "truther" conspiracy theories about the fall of the pair Towers in new York City. But conspiracy philosophers claiming an "inside job" didn"t avoid with the civilization Trade Center.

When Popular Mechanics published our cover story debunking 9/11 myths earlier in in march 2005, the editors likewise tackled the conspiracy theories about the strike on the Pentagon. That ar of the report follows.

At 9:37 a.m. ~ above September 11, 51 minute after the an initial plane fight the world Trade Center, the Pentagon was similarly attacked. Though dozens that witnesses witnessed a Boeing 757 hit the building, conspiracy advocates insist there is evidence that a missile or a different kind of aircraft smashed right into the Pentagon.

Big Plane, tiny Holes


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A feet gapes in the Pentagon after ~ a airplane crashed right into the building September11, 2001.
Mark WilsonGetty Images
CLAIM: 2 holes were visible in the Pentagon immediately after the attack: a 75-foot-wide entry feet in the building"s exterior wall, and also a 16-foot-wide hole in Ring C, the Pentagon"s middle ring. Conspiracy theorists case both holes are much too tiny to have been made by a Boeing 757. "How walk a airplane 125 large and 155 lengthy fit into a feet which is just 16 across?" asks reopen911.org, a website "dedicated to finding out the bottom line reality to what really developed on September 11, 2001."

The reality is of even less prestige to French writer Thierry Meyssan, who baseless assertions space fodder for also mainstream European and Middle eastern media.

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In his book The huge Lie, Meyssan concludes that the Pentagon was struck by a satellite-guided missile—part of sophisticated U.S. Army coup. "This attack," that writes, "could only be committed by unified States army personnel versus other U.S. Armed forces personnel."

✅ gain the Facts: 9/11 Conspiracy theories

FACT: once American Airlines trip 77 fight the Pentagon"s exterior wall, Ring E, it produced a hole around 75 feet wide, follow to the American culture of civil Engineers" Pentagon structure Performance Report.

The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minute after impact, however ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the variety of first-floor support columns the were destroyed or damaged. Computer simulations confirmed the findings.

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Why wasn"t the hole as wide as a 757"s nearly 125-foot wingspan? A crashing jet doesn"t beat a cartoon-like overview of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural design at Purdue University.


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In this case, one soup hit the ground; the various other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon"s load-bearing columns, defines Sozen, that specializes in the habits of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane flowed right into the framework in a state closer to a liquid than a heavy mass. "If you expected the whole wing to cut into the building," Sozen speak Popular Mechanics, "it didn"t happen."

The tidy hole in Ring C was 12 feet wide—not 16 feet. ASCE concludes it was made by the jet"s landing gear, not by the fuselage.

Intact Windows

CLAIM: many Pentagon windows remained in one piece—even those just over the suggest of influence from the Boeing 757 passenger plane. Pentagonstrike.co.uk, one online animation widely circulated in the joined States and Europe, cases that photographs mirroring "intact windows" directly above the crash site prove "a missile" or "a craft lot smaller 보다 a 757" struck the Pentagon.

FACT: some windows close to the impact area did certainly survive the crash. But that"s what the windows were an alleged to do—they"re blast-resistant.


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"A blast-resistant home window must it is in designed to stand up to a force significantly higher than a hurricane that"s hitting instantaneously," states Ken Hays, executive, management vice chairman of stonework Arts, the Bessemer, Alabama-based company that designed, manufactured and also installed the Pentagon windows. Part were knocked the end of the wall surfaces by the crash and also the outer ring"s later collapse. "They were no designed to get wracking seismic force," Hays notes. "They to be designed to take in inward push from a blast event, which reportedly they did: the blinds to be still stacked neatly behind the window glass."

Flight 77 Debris


CLAIM: Conspiracy theorists urge there was no airplane wreckage at the Pentagon. "In reality, a Boeing 757 was never ever found," insurance claims pentagonstrike.co.uk, i beg your pardon asks the question, "What hit the Pentagon on 9/11?"

FACT: Blast professional Allyn E. Kilsheimer to be the first structural technician to come at the Pentagon after the crash and helped name: coordinates the emergency response. "It to be absolutely a plane, and also I"ll tell friend why," claims Kilsheimer, CEO that KCE Structural engineers PC in Washington, D.C. "I experienced the marks of the plane wing top top the challenge of the building. Ns picked up components of the airplane with the airline markings ~ above them. I held in mine hand the tail ar of the plane, and I found the black box." Kilsheimer"s eyewitness account is backed up by photos of aircraft wreckage inside and also outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: "I held parts the uniforms native crew members in mine hands, including body parts. Okay?"