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Loose Change

Loose Change is a video that examines the attacks of September 11, written and narrated by Dylan Avery. Originally fiction, Avery decided to present it as a documentary after further research. The video received attention on the internet, and a second edition was produced which contained additional information but omitted some information from the first video. A recut of the second edition was later produced, with minor changes and corrections. This page will address issues presented in all three videos, which are freely available online.

Table of contents
Section one
World Trade Center missiles
Marc Birnbach
Operation Northwoods
NASA's fuel research
The tower in the crosshairs
Raytheon's Global Hawk
NORAD's drills
A new Pearl Harbor?
Pentagon MASCAL and Charles Burlingame
Hijacking directives
Ashcroft's chartered jets
Osama in Dubai with the CIA
Larry Silverstein
Put options
Bomb-sniffing dogs
Canceled flights
Willie Brown
Osama's urologists
NRO's exercise
NORAD's war games
Section two
Rumsfeld's quote
Russ Wittenberg
Hani Hanjour
A military plane?
Light poles
The lawn
Flight 77 wreckage
Wings would rip off outside
The engines
More wreckage
The diffuser case
The wheel hub
Airplane outlines
Blown off the highway?
Helios Airways
Pentagon damage
Intact windows
Cable spools
Ring C and the nose
A cruise missile?
Eyewitness accounts
April Gallop
Cordite
Planes seen after the crash
Second explosion and fireball
Surveillance tapes
The mark on the lawn
Renovation and Rumsfeld
Section three
World Trade Center explosions
WTC 7's sudden collapse
The Empire State Building
Skyscraper fires
Order of collapses
Free fall
The experts
More explosions
Brief light sources
Ginny Carr
Willie Rodriguez
Hermetically sealed
FDNY interviews
Mike Pecoraro
Louie Cacchioli
FDNY recordings
Orio Palmer
Controlled demolition
Seismic data
Molten steel
Explosions seen during collapses
The shaking tripod
How the explosives got there
Marvin Bush, Securacom and the SEC
Overseas recycling yards and FEMA
Controlled Demolition and fuel reserve tanks
Section four
Flight 93 didn't crash
Wally Miller
Nigerian plane crash
Flight 93 landed in Cleveland
Flight 93 was shot down
The white plane
The physical evidence
Osama's quotes
Black boxes and passports
Flight 93 still exists
The cell phone calls
Project Achilles
The hijackers
Osama's confession tape
The gold vault
The Patriot Act
Conclusion
Resources

World Trade Center missiles

Included only in the first edition, Avery repeatedly zooms into low-resolution footage of Flight 11 crashing into the North Tower. He claims a flash is seen before the shadow of the plane is visible on the building's surface, and therefore it could not have been a result of the impact. Except the shadow is already there, visible even in poor-quality still frames. Avery repeats this process with footage of Flight 175 striking the South Tower, taken from multiple angles, and claims that an extra piece of equipment is visible under the fuselage. Yet in this head-on clip of Flight 175, there is no "extra equipment". He then states that a missile was fired immediately before the impact. But where would it come from? And why fire it at such a close range when the plane is going to crash into the building anyway? Furthermore, in the video Avery attributes to CNN, the flash appears to line up well with the fuselage. More information on this topic can be found here: Analysis of Flight 175 "Pod" and related claims by Eric Salter.

A voiceover is provided during footage of the burning North Tower:

Jim, I don't know whether we've confirmed that this was an aircraft, or to be more specific, some people said they thought they saw a missile.

Here's some context, courtesy of CNN:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jim, I don't know whether we've confirmed that this was an aircraft, or to be more specific, some people said they thought they saw a missile. I don't know how people could differentiate, but we might keep open the possibility that this was a missile attack on these buildings.

Ali (ph), I must say that we have an eyewitness who said it was a large plane that crashed first. And then as we were watching the live picture here in the studio, we saw a plane crash into the -- crash into the other tower of the World Trade Center. And again, let's to be sure, there it is. There it is, the plane went right through the other tower of the World Trade Center.

Context is pretty important. It's the difference between "some people said they thought they saw a missile" and "they saw a missile", even though that's Avery's obvious implication. However, he now requests that people not email him about the WTC "missiles", flashes, and extra equipment.

Marc Birnbach

Avery provides this quote:

"It definitely didn't look like a commercial plane, I didn't see any windows on the side. Again, it was not a normal flight that I've ever seen at an airport. It had a blue logo on the front, and it did not look like it belonged in the area."

-Mark Burnback, a FOX reporter, describing the second impact live.

Aside from his name being misspelled, he was over 2 miles away from the WTC when he saw the plane, as he told Popular Mechanics. Could you see the windows on this plane from miles away? And how often would you see a plane taking off or landing at an airport at 590 mph? Furthermore, Birnbach said he didn't see Flight 175 hit the South Tower. How could he have been "describing the second impact live"? Avery later plays Birnbach's quote while showing footage of the North Tower burning—and not the South Tower.

Operation Northwoods

Added in the second edition, Avery cites Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer's 1962 proposal, Operation Northwoods. In this declassified document, Lemnitzer suggests false flag terrorist acts to be committed against the U.S. as a pretext to military action against Cuba's communist government. These are the relevant excerpts:

b. We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such incident in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result of Cuban attack from the air or sea, or both. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship was taken under attack. The nearness to Havana or Santiago would add credibility especially to those people that might have heard the blast or have seen the fire. The US could follow up with an air/sea rescue operation covered by US fighters to "evacuate" remaining members of the non-existent crew. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.

8. It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight.

a. An aircraft at Eglin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.

b. Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of Florida. From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Eglin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will being transmitting on the international distress frequency a "MAY DAY" message stating he is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft which will be triggered by radio signal. This will allow ICAO radio stations in the Western Hemisphere to tell the US what has happened to the aircraft instead of the US trying to "sell" the incident.

It appears Avery is implying that this is what happened on September 11, minus the Cuba. A notable difference is that nobody was killed in the Northwoods plan. Avery goes on to state that the plan was rejected by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and that President Kennedy removed Lemnitzer from his position. Both of these claims are true, and make sense, considering the proposal was made nearly a year after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. What isn't mentioned in Loose Change is that Lemnitzer was appointed Supreme Allied Commander of NATO the next year.

If the government actually intended to put these plans into action, why declassify them? If Avery believes drone aircraft were used on September 11, where did the identifiable remains of the passengers come from, and where did the passengers of Flights 11, 175, 77 and 93 go?

NASA's fuel research

Avery states that on December 1, 1984, a remote-controlled Boeing 720 took off from Edwards Air Force Base and was crashed by NASA for fuel research. He goes on to claim that the plane made 10 takeoffs and 13 landings, which raises the question of how that's even possible. As it turns out, it actually made 10 remotely-piloted takeoffs and 13 remotely-piloted landings, out of 14 practice flights. NASA didn't crash the plane just to watch it explode, though. The test was conducted to study the effects of a fire-suppressant fuel additive.

It was planned that the aircraft would land wings-level and exactly on the centerline during the CID, thus allowing the fuselage to remain intact as the wings were sliced open by eight posts cemented into the runway. The Boeing 720 landed askew and caused a cabin fire when burning fuel was able to enter the fuselage.

Apparently it didn't work so well, resulting in the flaming wreckage Avery shows us. The importance of context arises once again.

The tower in the crosshairs

Avery points out that FEMA's 1997 document, "Emergency Response to Terrorism", shows the World Trade Center in crosshairs on its cover, as well as the Department of Justice's 2000 document, "Managing Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents: An Executive Level Program for Sheriffs", which appears to reuse the graphic.

Cover of Emergency Response to Terrorism

The building in the crosshairs has a spire extending from its roof—the antenna of the North Tower. The one that was bombed in 1993. By terrorists. If this is supposed to be indicative of FEMA's involvement in a government plot, why would they distribute documents with such an obvious hint on the cover?

Raytheon's Global Hawk

Avery tells us that in 1998, the Global Hawk, Raytheon's unmanned aircraft vehicle, completed its first flight at cruising altitude for commercial airliners. I'm really not sure why he's mentioning this. Does the Global Hawk look anything like a commercial plane?

Global Hawk

Furthermore, the Global Hawk is produced by Northrop Grumman. Raytheon only handles its integrated sensor suite and ground segment.

NORAD's drills

Avery says that in 1999, NORAD was conducting exercises where hijacked planes were flown into the WTC and the Pentagon, and provides a small screenshot of this USA Today article:

One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon — but that drill was not run after Defense officials said it was unrealistic, NORAD and Defense officials say.

Avery doesn't mention the rejected Pentagon scenario until a minute or so later, and he doesn't show the rest of the article:

The exercises differed from the Sept. 11 attacks in one important respect: The planes in the simulation were coming from a foreign country.

Until Sept. 11, NORAD was expected to defend the United States and Canada from aircraft based elsewhere. After the attacks, that responsibility broadened to include flights that originated in the two countries.

But there were exceptions in the early drills, including one operation, planned in July 2001 and conducted later, that involved planes from airports in Utah and Washington state that were "hijacked." Those planes were escorted by U.S. and Canadian aircraft to airfields in British Columbia and Alaska.

NORAD officials have acknowledged that "scriptwriters" for the drills included the idea of hijacked aircraft being used as weapons.

"Threats of killing hostages or crashing were left to the scriptwriters to invoke creativity and broaden the required response," Maj. Gen. Craig McKinley, a NORAD official, told the 9/11 commission. No exercise matched the specific events of Sept. 11, NORAD said.

"We have planned and executed numerous scenarios over the years to include aircraft originating from foreign airports penetrating our sovereign airspace," Gen. Ralph Eberhart, NORAD commander, told USA TODAY. "Regrettably, the tragic events of 9/11 were never anticipated or exercised."

If these were actually practice runs, as Avery seems to be implying, why reject one of them? Or why not reject the one with the WTC? Why not pretend the planes are coming from Boston, D.C., and Newark?

Attempting to be prepared for a farfetched situation doesn't indicate an intention to create the situation. Do you put on your seatbelt and drive off a cliff?

A new Pearl Harbor?

Avery cites the Project for a New American Century's 2000 document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century", and quotes this part of section V:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.

Alone, this may seem indicative of a plan to bring about revolution by causing a major catastrophe. But what process of transformation are they talking about? Here's a more thorough excerpt, emphasis added:

To preserve American military preeminence in the coming decades, the Department of Defense must move more aggressively to experiment with new technologies and operational concepts, and seek to exploit the emerging revolution in military affairs. Information technologies, in particular, are becoming more prevalent and significant components of modern military systems. These information technologies are having the same kind of transforming effects on military affairs as they are having in the larger world. The effects of this military transformation will have profound implications for how wars are fought, what kinds of weapons will dominate the battlefield and, inevitably, which nations enjoy military preeminence.

The United States enjoys every prospect of leading this transformation. Indeed, it was the improvements in capabilities acquired during the American defense buildup of the 1980s that hinted at and then confirmed, during Operation Desert Storm, that a revolution in military affairs was at hand. At the same time, the process of military transformation will present opportunities for America's adversaries to develop new capabilities that in turn will create new challenges for U.S. military preeminence.

Moreover, the Pentagon, constrained by limited budgets and pressing current missions, has seen funding for experimentation and transformation crowded out in recent years. Spending on military research and development has been reduced dramatically over the past decade. Indeed, during the mid-1980's, when the Defense Department was in the midst of the Reagan buildup which was primarily an effort to expand existing forces and field traditional weapons systems, research spending represented 20 percent of total Pentagon budgets. By contrast, today's research and development accounts total only 8 percent of defense spending. And even this reduced total is primarily for upgrades of current weapons. Without increased spending on basic research and development the United States will be unable to exploit the RMA and preserve its technological edge on future battlefields.

Any serious effort at transformation must occur within the larger framework of U.S. national security strategy, military missions and defense budgets. The United States cannot simply declare a "strategic pause" while experimenting with new technologies and operational concepts. Nor can it choose to pursue a transformation strategy that would decouple American and allied interests. A transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for projecting force from the United States, for example, and sacrificed forward basing and presence, would be at odds with larger American policy goals and would trouble American allies.

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor. Domestic politics and industrial policy will shape the pace and content of transformation as much as the requirements of current missions. A decision to suspend or terminate aircraft carrier production, as recommended by this report and as justified by the clear direction of military technology, will cause great upheaval. Likewise, systems entering production today—the F-22 fighter, for example—will be in service inventories for decades to come. Wise management of this process will consist in large measure of figuring out the right moments to halt production of current-paradigm weapons and shift to radically new designs. The expense associated with some programs can make them roadblocks to the larger process of transformation—the Joint Strike Fighter program, at a total of approximately $200 billion, seems an unwise investment. Thus, this report advocates a two-stage process of change—transition and transformation—over the coming decades.

In general, to maintain American military preeminence that is consistent with the requirements of a strategy of American global leadership, tomorrow's U.S. armed forces must meet three new missions:

They're talking about the importance of research and IT in the military. And "Pearl Harbor" is mentioned again, later in section V:

For the moment, the U.S. Navy enjoys a level of global hegemony that surpasses that of the Royal Navy during its heyday. While the ability to project naval power ashore is, as it has always been, an important subsidiary mission for the Navy, it may not remain the service's primary focus through the coming decades. Over the longer term—but, given the service life of ships, well within the approaching planning horizons of the U.S. Navy—the Navy's focus may return again to keeping command of the open oceans and sea lines of communication. Absent a rigorous program of experimentation to investigate the nature of the revolution in military affairs as it applies to war at sea, the Navy might face a future Pearl Harbor—as unprepared for war in the post-carrier era as it was unprepared for war at the dawn of the carrier age.

Pearl Harbor, as in a situation we're completely unprepared to handle with our current capabilities and technology, revealing formerly unseen shortcomings. This would make the necessities of a transformation a lot more obvious, and therefore it wouldn't take as long. Avery's quote makes a lot more sense with a little context—yet again.

Pentagon MASCAL and Charles Burlingame

Avery tells us about the Pentagon MASCAL (mass casualty) exercise in 2000, in which a 757 is simulated to crash into the building. I couldn't find any reliable sources on the internet that state it was specifically a 757, every page that does seems to be quoting directly from Loose Change. It was a passenger plane, but it didn't actually crash into the building itself. It crashed into the courtyard. A plausible scenario, considering Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is a couple miles away from the Pentagon, and flights have to make sharp turns and quick climbs on approaches and takeoffs in order to avoid restricted airspace around central Washington.

Avery goes on to claim that Charles Burlingame, a former F-4 Phantom pilot in the Navy, participated in MASCAL before retiring to work at American Airlines. He was the pilot of Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon—the building, not the courtyard. I was unable to find any credible evidence associating Burlingame with MASCAL, but the claim that he joined American Airlines less than a year before September 11 is disproven by the Washington Post:

He had eluded death before, in his eight years flying F-4 Phantom jet fighters for the Navy and 17 years in the cockpit for American Airlines.

As well as USA Today:

He joined the American Airlines team in 1979.

Hijacking directives

Avery states that in June of 2001, the Department of Defense issued instructions pertaining to military responses in the event of an aircraft hijacking. He provides an image of the first page of Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) and Destruction of Derelict Airborne Objects, which states that for non-immediate responses, the National Military Command Center requires the approval of the Secretary of Defense for DoD assistance. Here's the full excerpt:

a. Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) of Civil and Military Aircraft. Pursuant to references a and b, the Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has exclusive responsibility to direct law enforcement activity related to actual or attempted aircraft piracy (hijacking) in the "special aircraft jurisdiction" of the United States. When requested by the Administrator, Department of Defense will provide assistance to these law enforcement efforts. Pursuant to reference c, the NMCC is the focal point within Department of Defense for providing assistance. In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate responses as authorized by reference d, forward requests for DOD assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval. DOD assistance to the FAA will be provided in accordance with reference d. Additional guidance is provided in Enclosure A.

Reference d is found in Enclosure D of the document, and refers to Directive 3025.15: Military Assistance to Civil Authorities. Here's its definition of an event requiring an immediate response:

4.7.1. Immediate Response. Requests for an immediate response (i.e., any form of immediate action taken by a DoD Component or military commander to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage under imminently serious conditions) may be made to any Component or Command. The DoD Components that receive verbal requests from civil authorities for support in an exigent emergency may initiate informal planning and, if required, immediately respond as authorized in DoD Directive 3025.1 (reference (g)). Civil authorities shall be informed that verbal requests for support in an emergency must be followed by a written request. As soon as practical, the DoD Component or Command rendering assistance shall report the fact of the request, the nature of the response, and any other pertinent information through the chain of command to the DoD Executive Secretary, who shall notify the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and any other appropriate officials. If the report does not include a copy of the civil authorities' written request, that request shall be forwarded to the DoD Executive Secretary as soon as it is available.

Human suffering, great property damage, and imminently serious conditions. The events of September 11 fulfill all of these criteria, and would qualify as needing an immediate response, without requiring the permission of the Secretary of Defense. Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold agreed:

Marr called Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold, commander of the Continental U.S. Norad Region (Conar), at Tyndall AFB, Fla., told him about the suspected hijacked aircraft and suggested interceptors be scrambled. Arnold, who also heads the 1st Air Force for Air Combat Command, was in his Air Operations Center preparing for another day of the exercise.

"I told him to scramble; we'll get clearances later," Arnold said. His instincts to act first and get permission later were typical of U.S. and Canadian commanders that day. On Sept. 11, the normal scramble-approval procedure was for an FAA official to contact the National Military Command Center (NMCC) and request Pentagon air support. Someone in the NMCC would call Norad's command center and ask about availability of aircraft, then seek approval from the Defense Secretary--Donald H. Rumsfeld--to launch fighters.

Ashcroft's chartered jets

Avery tells us that John Ashcroft began flying on chartered jets in July of 2001 for the remainder of his term due to the FBI's threat assessment, and shows us this CBS article. At first glance, this would seem to indicate foreknowledge of the attacks. However, in this 9/11 Commission testimony, Ashcroft says he still traveled on commercial flights during that time:

BEN-VENISTE: I agree with you, sir.

The problem was in the communication of information which did not reach those who might have made a difference.

Let me ask you, as my time is expiring, one question, which has been frequently put to members of this commission; probably all of us have heard this one way or another.

And we are mindful that part of the problem with the Warren commission's work on the Kennedy assassination was the failure to address certain theories that were extant and questions and much of the work was done behind closed doors. So I would like to provide you with the opportunity to answer one question that has come up repeatedly.

At some point in the spring or summer of 2001, around the time of this heightened threat alert, you apparently began to use a private chartered jet plane, changing from your use of commercial aircraft on grounds, our staff is informed, of an FBI threat assessment. And, indeed, as you told us, on September 11th itself you were on a chartered jet at the time of the attack.

Can you supply the details, sir, regarding the threat which caused you to change from commercial to private leased jet?

ASHCROFT: I am very please pleased to address this issue.

BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.

ASHCROFT: Let me indicate to you that I never ceased to use commercial aircraft for my personal travel.

ASHCROFT: My wife traveled to Germany and back in August. My wife and I traveled to Washington, D.C., on the 3rd of September before the 17th -- before the 11th attack on commercial aircraft.

I have exclusively traveled on commercial aircraft for my personal travel; continued through the year 2000, through the entirety of the threat period to the nation.

The assessment made by the security team and the Department of Justice was made early in the year. It was not related to a terrorism threat as a threat to the nation. It was related to an assessment of the security for the attorney general, given his responsibilities and the job that he undertakes. And it related to the maintenance of arms and other things by individuals who travel with the attorney general. And it was their assessment that we would be best served to use government aircraft.

These were not private chartered jet aircraft. These were aircraft of the United States government. And it was on such an aircraft that I was on my way to an event in Milwaukee on the morning of September the 11th.

Osama in Dubai with the CIA

Avery claims that in July of 2001, Osama bin Laden was treated at the American Hospital in Dubai, and was visited by a local chief of the CIA. He displays a screenshot of this article from The Guardian, which cites French newspaper Le Figaro. I couldn't find the original story, but a translation is available here. The "partner of the administration" is unnamed, and there are no corroborating reports from any other newspapers. Additionally, the hospital's director disagrees:

Bernard Koval, the director of the hospital, also denied the terrorist had been a patient there, saying "Osama bin Laden has never been here. He's never been a patient and he's never been treated here. We have no idea of his medical condition. This is too small a hospital for someone to be snuck through the backdoor."

Larry Silverstein

Avery states that on July 24, 2001, Larry Silverstein, owner of WTC 7, signed a 99-year lease for the World Trade Center complex, including a $3.5 billion insurance policy covering terrorist acts. First of all, bidding had been going on since the beginning of the year. Silverstein Properties was originally the runner-up, with Vornado Realty Trust winning the deal but later losing it after negotiations failed. Later, Silverstein almost lost the deal. Second, the World Trade Center towers had been targeted by terrorists in the past. Insurance covering terrorism would make sense. Third, the policy would likely cover terrorism anyway:

The property losses for the World Trade Center towers are likely to be covered under U.S. insurance polices, which do not usually mention coverage for terrorist acts explicitly, Hartwig told Reuters. Insurers paid out $510 million after militants bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.

And at first, Silverstein wanted even less insurance:

In its court papers, Swiss Re shows how Silverstein first tried to buy just $1.5 billion in property damage and business-interruption coverage. When his lenders objected, he discussed buying a $5 billion policy. Ultimately, he settled on the $3.5 billion figure, which was less than the likely cost of rebuilding. His lenders, led by GMAC, a unit of General Motors, which financed nearly the entire cost of the lease, agreed.

Later in the video, Avery mentions that after the attacks, Silverstein demanded $7.2 billion from his insurers (it was actually $7.1 billion), and claimed that each attack was a separate event. Avery then says that on December 6, 2004, he was awarded only $2.2 billion by the courts. (He eventually received a total of $4.6 billion.) I'm not sure how this is relevant to anything, and Avery presents this information without making any claims. There's nothing mysterious or alarming about expecting payment from your insurers after major property loss, and $3.5 billion likely wouldn't be enough to rebuild the complex, which is exactly what he's doing: rebuilding the complex. He's not just keeping that money for himself.

Put options

Avery points out that in the week before the attacks, abnormally high amounts of put options (bets that a stock will fall) were placed on United Airlines, Boeing, and American Airlines. He shows highlights from this Chicago Tribune article, published just eight days after the attacks. Avery doesn't present the result of the investigation, which can be found in the Chapter 5 notes of the 9/11 Commission Report:

130. Highly publicized allegations of insider trading in advance of 9/11 generally rest on reports of unusual pre-9/11 trading activity in companies whose stock plummeted after the attacks. Some unusual trading did in fact occur, but each such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation. For example, the volume of put options—investments that pay off only when a stock drops in price—surged in the parent companies of United Airlines on September 6 and American Airlines on September 10—highly suspicious trading on its face. Yet, further investigation has revealed that the trading had no connection with 9/11. A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda purchased 95 percent of the UAL puts on September 6 as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading in American on September 10 was traced to a specific U.S.-based options trading newsletter, faxed to its subscribers on Sunday, September 9, which recommended these trades. These examples typify the evidence examined by the investigation. The SEC and the FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments. These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous. Joseph Cella interview (Sept. 16, 2003; May 7, 2004; May 10-11, 2004); FBI briefing (Aug. 15, 2003); SEC memo, Division of Enforcement to SEC Chair and Commissioners, "Pre-September 11, 2001 Trading Review," May 15, 2002; Ken Breen interview (Apr. 23, 2004); Ed G. interview (Feb. 3, 2004).

Later in the video, he shows us this San Francisco Chronicle article from September 29, 2001. Not exactly recent. If people with foreknowledge of the attacks intended to profit from them, why wouldn't they collect the money? If they were afraid of getting caught, why would they buy all those put options in the first place? As the SEC and FBI investigation showed, they would have been discovered anyway.

After that, Avery says Reuters reported that the German computer company Convar did data recovery work on damaged hard drives found in the WTC wreckage, while showing a screenshot of a Reuters story on "Unknown News" from December 19, 2001. He quotes Richard Wagner:

"There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million," he says. "They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed."

Avery then claims that the FBI did not investigate Convar's results, without providing any sources. With no evidence supporting this, how can he come to that conclusion? As shown in the 9/11 Commission Report, the SEC and FBI's financial investigation revealed nothing amiss.

Bomb-sniffing dogs

Avery states that on September 6, bomb-sniffing dogs were removed from the World Trade Center, and security guards ended two weeks of 12-hour shifts, citing this Newsday article. But as the headline says, it was a heightened security alert, not the standard operating procedure, and it was because of phone threats. Security guards were still present, and there was at least one bomb detection dog available on September 11.

Canceled flights

Avery claims that on September 10, Newsweek reported that a number of top Pentagon brass canceled their flight plans for the next morning, and displays a screenshot of this site, which also features posts on such interesting topics as "New World Order" and "Mind Control". The Newsweek article is actually from September 24, and includes no details on the source of this information, who the officials were, or where they were traveling to and from. However, it does indicate that this sort of thing was not unusual:

Ever since the Customs Service foiled an apparent bomb plot on the eve of the millennium, U.S. intelligence has been very edgy about an attack on America. The man caught crossing between British Columbia and Seattle with explosives and timers in his car, Ahmed Ressam, later confessed that he planned to blow up Los Angeles International Airport. Ressam allegedly worked for a shadowy group of Algerian terrorists with ties to bin Laden. Twice a week, the "Threat Committee," a group of top intelligence officials and diplomats, meets in the White House complex to review dozens of terrorist threats at home and abroad. In late June the CIA warned of possible terrorist action against U.S. targets, including those in the United States, for the Fourth of July. Nothing happened, but then in July the agency again warned about possible attacks overseas. The threat seemed grave enough to force U.S. ships in Middle Eastern ports to head for sea. Three weeks ago there was another warning that a terrorist strike might be imminent. But there was no mention of where. On Sept. 10, NEWSWEEK has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.

Wouldn't it actually be more dangerous to stay at the Pentagon if it was going to be attacked?

Willie Brown

Avery says that on September 10, Willie Brown, mayor of San Francisco, received a phone call warning him not to fly the following morning, and that Pacifica Radio later revealed that the call came from Condoleezza Rice. This San Francisco Chronicle article is shown, where Brown states it wasn't alarming, or even out of the ordinary:

For Mayor Willie Brown, the first signs that something was amiss came late Monday when he got a call from what he described as his airport security -- a full eight hours before yesterday's string of terrorist attacks -- advising him that Americans should be cautious about their air travel.

The mayor, who was booked to fly to New York yesterday morning from San Francisco International Airport, said the call "didn't come in any alarming fashion, which is why I'm hesitant to make an alarming statement."

In fact, at the time, he didn't pay it much mind.

"It was not an abnormal call. I'm always concerned if my flight is going to be on time, and they always alert me when I ought to be careful."

Exactly where the call came from is a bit of a mystery. The mayor would say only that it came from "my security people at the airport."

Mike McCarron, assistant deputy director at SFO, said the Federal Aviation Administration "routinely" issues security notices about possible threats. He said two or three such notices have been received in the past couple of months, but none in recent days.

As far as I know, no reports exist that corroborate Pacifica Radio's account of Condoleezza Rice calling Brown. However, it's notable that Pacifica Radio promotes Loose Change on its site. If there was foreknowledge of the attacks, what would be the point of warning Brown? When his flight left San Francisco at 8 AM, it would already be 11 AM on the Eastern seaboard, by which time all four hijacked planes had already crashed.

Osama's urologists

Avery tells us that on September 10, Osama bin Laden was at a military hospital in Pakistan, where all the urologists were replaced by a "special team". He cites this CBS News article, which quotes two hospital workers. But later in the article, other sources disagree:

Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they declined our request to see any records. Government officials reached Monday night denied that bin Laden received any medical treatment that night.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday the United States has seen nothing to substantiate the report.

As well as Pakistan:

"That is an absurd report," Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan told a news briefing.

Pakistan's top military spokesman, Major General Rashid Qureshi, told the briefing he had checked with the two military hospitals with dialysis facilities in Rawalpindi and found there had been "no such thing".

"This smacks of a story that has been tailor-made," Qureshi said.

CBS quoted an unidentified nurse as saying the hospital's urology department was cleared of its usual staff and replaced with another team for bin Laden's treatment.

"It was a treatment for a very special person," the nurse was quoted as saying. "The special team was obviously up to no good."

But Qureshi derided the suggestion that there was any secret team of medical workers.

"How can we have secret urologists?" Qureshi asked. "I have tried to find out who they are. I have been working the whole day and last night on this."

NRO's exercise

Avery mentions that on September 11, the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, VA prepared for an exercise in which a small corporate jet crashed into their building. I don't know why this is brought up, the NRO works with satellites. In the exercise, which was planned several months beforehand, the crash would be accidental. Their building is four miles away from Washington Dulles International Airport, so it's a plausible event.

NORAD's war games

Avery states that on September 11, NORAD was conducting a number of military exercises. The first is Vigilant Guardian, and he provides this quote:

Sept. 11 was Day II of "Vigilant Guardian," an exercise that would pose an imaginary crisis to North American Air Defense outposts nationwide.

-Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins

As far as I can tell, the quote is actually from Newhouse News Service, which states that Vigilant Guardian would have run all week. Furthermore, it's a semiannual exercise. Avery goes on to provide this quote about another exercise:

Northern Vigilance, planned months in advance, involves deploying fighter jets to locations in Alaska and northern Canada.

-Toronto Star, December 9th, 2001

A copy of the Toronto Star article is available here. NORAD is a joint US and Canadian organization, hence the "North American" in North American Aerospace Defense Command. And a NORAD news release states that the fighters were deployed to monitor a Russian air force exercise in the Arctic.

Avery then claims that three F-16s from Andrews AFB, 15 miles from the Pentagon, were flown 180 nautical miles away for a training mission in North Carolina. He provides no source for this, but on the "Timeline" section of the Loose Change website, he links to this article. I don't think he even read it.

ANDREWS AFB, MD. -- With Pentagon in flames and hijacked aircraft threatening Washington, White House scrambled fighters with little or no armament.

Within minutes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Air National Guard F-16s took off from here in response to a plea from the White House to "Get in the air now!" Those fighters were flown by three pilots who had decided, on their own, to ram a hijacked airliner and force it to crash, if necessary. Such action almost certainly would have been fatal for them, but could have prevented another terrorism catastrophe in Washington.

One of those F-16s launched with no armament--no missiles and no usable ammunition in its 20-mm. gun. The other two "Vipers" only had a full load of 20-mm. "ball" or training rounds, not the high-explosive incendiary (HEI) bullets required for combat, and no air-to-air missiles.

The Andrews-based 121st Fighter Sqdn. was not standing alert on Sept. 11, because the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) unit was not assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command air defense force. Norad had already scrambled three F-16s from their alert base at Langley AFB, Va., but they were about 12 min. from Washington when the Pentagon was struck at 9:37 a.m. (AW&ST June 3, p. 48).

While including one tangential tidbit of information from the article, Avery fails to notice that the squadron wasn't even on alert, the National Guard unit wasn't assigned to NORAD, and three F-16s were still on the base and were scrambled anyway, intending to crash into the airplane if necessary.

Avery states that 14 fighter jets remained to protect the entire United States. This reflects a misunderstanding of NORAD's usual preparedness and their mission before the attacks. Here's an excerpt from the testimony of General Ralph E. Eberhart, Commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, at the 9/11 Commission:

Prior to the attacks on our Nation two and one half years ago, our air defense posture was aligned to "look outward" to counter external threats to North America. We considered flights taking off within the U.S. and Canada as "friendly by origin." Our aerospace warning and control missions were oriented and resourced to detect and identify all air traffic entering North American airspace. We were prepared to intercept potentially threatening inbound aircraft as necessary.

During the height of the Cold War, NORAD had over 50 fighters on alert ready to fly air defense missions. As the perceived external threat diminished after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the number of aircraft to support this mission was reduced. On 9/11, NORAD had 14 fighters on alert at seven sites in the continental United States.

In accordance with Department of Defense (DoD) directives in effect on 9/11, NORAD was to monitor and report the actions of any hijacked aircraft, as requested by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We had procedures for potential air hijackings, which were based on the premise that a hijacked aircraft would be used for ransom or political purposes, not as a weapon.

Avery then plays this recording (transcripts taken from 9/11 Commission Report):

FAA: Hi. Boston Center TMU, we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.

NEADS: Is this real-world or exercise?

FAA: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.

After that, he plays a clip of Flight 11 striking the North Tower, with this voiceover:

Command Center: Uh, do we want to think, uh, about scrambling aircraft?

FAA Headquarters: Oh, God, I don't know.

Command Center: Uh, that's a decision somebody's gonna have to make probably in the next ten minutes.

FAA Headquarters: Uh, ya know everybody just left the room.

The first conversation took place at 8:37 EDT, and referred to Flight 11, which hit the North Tower at 8:46. The second conversation referred to Flight 93, and took place at 9:49. Why arrange them in a misleading fashion?

The internet is serious business