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At a September 12th Pentagon press conference, Ed Plaugher, fire chief of Arlington County, who had responsibility for the fire-fighting operations at the site, said in a news briefing: DoD
Question: Can you give us any sense of the area that was destroyed, how wide it is? How many feet? And did it break through to all five rings of the Pentagon?
Plaugher: It did not break through to all five rings, and I do not know the measurements.
Question: Is there anything left of the aircraft at all?
Plaugher: First all, the question about the aircraft, there are some small pieces of aircraft visible from the interior during this fire-fighting operation I'm talking about, but not large sections. In other words, there's no fuselage sections and that sort of thing.
He is also very vague about the recovery of bodies, usually a prime concern:
Question: Have you removed the bodies?
Question: Could you tell me how many bodies have been removed?
Plaugher: We have no information on any type of casualty or body counts at this time.
Question: By that you mean you haven't removed any bodies yet?
Plaugher: I will not say that, okay? But that whole process is being set up and is going to take some time. So again, that's not part of this briefing.
At the September 14th Pentagon press conference, James Schwartz, assistant chief, of the Arlington County Fire Department states: DoD
Question: Have they been able to tell you, when they got to that part, whether or not there were any, you know, recognizable elements that an aircraft itself had crashed into the building, or is it all pretty much vaporized? Are there are any -- is there a tail, is there a wing, is there anything there?
Schwartz: I certainly would not use the term "vaporized," but there's not a lot of the aircraft that is recognizable at all.
These DoD press conferences clearly state that they found no sizeable debris either in or around the point of entry. So the "official" story is that there were no significantly sized portions of the aircraft found such as fuselage sections left after the crash and subsequent fire.
At a September 15th Pentagon press conference, when Terry Mitchell is asked about the depth to which the plane penetrated the Pentagon, he states: DoD
Mitchell: It's more to the right of where we were at. This is the -- this is in a renovated section on the opposite side, if you were facing the opposite side. This is a hole in -- there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn't see any evidence of the aircraft down there.
Question: Which area is that?
Mitchell: This is right inside the E Ring.
Question: Did you see any evidence of the aircraft anywhere?
Mitchell: Yes, I did. You could see just small pieces of it.
Question: Well, how far in?
Mitchell: Again, we're trying to figure out how it came into the building.
On Friday September 14th, Pentagon officials took about 75 reporters on a tour of the devastation -- and efforts already underway to rebuild it -- for the first time: DoD
"The plane approached the Pentagon about six feet off the ground, clipping a light pole, a car antenna, a construction trailer and an emergency generator before slicing into the building," said Lee Evey, the manager of the Pentagon's ongoing billion-dollar renovation.
The plane penetrated three of the Pentagon's five rings, but was probably stopped from going farther by hundreds of concrete columns. The plane peeled back as it entered, leaving pieces of the front of the plane near the outside of the building and pieces from the rear of the aircraft farther inside, Evey said.
Mr. Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager, said on Sept. 15:
The nose of the plane just barely broke through the inside of the C ring, so it was extending into A-E Drive a little bit. ... The airplane traveled in a path about like this, and the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of C ring into A-E Drive.
The problem here is that the nose cone of a Boeing 757 is made of carbon-fibre (like fibreglass); there is no metal nose cone on a 757. An average strength man (or strong woman) could make mincemeat of a 757 nose cone in about 15 minutes with nothing more than a light axe or a sledgehammer - the same cannot be said of the outer wall of the Pentagon. Punching through stone facade and 2 exterior concrete and brick walls, 4 or more interior poured concrete walls, and a poured concrete floor, to conveniently land front-and-center on a piece of board for photographers is out of the question.
In summary, the DoD claims:
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