Journal of 9/11 Studies
by Paul Schreyer
Oct. 2012

The term “anomaly” as used in science means something that contradicts, or at least is not explainable by, a basic theory. Simultaneous anomalies can be “coincidences”, but as they increase in number they may force a scientist to put his or her theory in question. Regarding air defense on 9/11 we can identify at least six major simultaneous anomalies.

1. Absence of command authority
The specific people who should have managed the air defense on 9/11 were absent precisely while the attacks were occuring. Even though they were available in the days before and after the attack, they were missing exactly in the crucial hours of the hijackings. For better understanding, this is what the protocol said before 9/11 in case of a hijacking:

The air traffic controllers realizing the hijacking would inform their superiors, who in turn would alert the Hijack Coordinator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Hijack Coordinator would call the Pentagon, more precisely the Deputy Director for Operations (DDO) in the National Military Command Center (NMCC). The DDO in coordination with the Secretary of Defense then would give orders to NORAD, which would scramble fighter jets to intercept the hijacked plane. 1

So the top people responsible would be:
 the FAA´s Hijack Coordinator
 the DDO in the NMCC
 the Secretary of Defense

On 9/11 all three were absent from their command posts in the crucial hours between 8:14 a.m. (first hijacking) and 10:03 (last crash).

Michael Canavan, the Hijack Coordinator of the FAA (and former Special Forces General) was not in the office but had flown to Puerto Rico; 2 Lynne Osmus, his Deputy, arrived in the office only after all the planes had crashed 3

General Montague Winfield, the NMCC DDO (who in 2012 became Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense), was not at his post between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m.; Captain Charles Joseph Leidig, his Deputy, had just qualified for being DDO one month before; General Winfield had asked him the afternoon before if he would sit in as DDO from 8:30 on; Winfield returned to his post only after all planes had crashed 4

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stayed away from the NMCC, too, and arrived there no sooner than 10:30 a.m., after all planes had crashed 5

This seemingly well-timed absence of key people is still unexplained It obstructed the air defense effectively.

2. Communication breakdown
Several important telephone and radio connections didn´t work, exactly while the hijackings were in progress. President Bush remembered in his memoir: “One of my greatest frustrations on September 11 was the woeful communications technology on Air Force One.” 6 His attempts to keep in touch with Cheney failed repeatedly. Bush: “We tried to establish an open line, but it kept dropping.” 7

Neither could he reach Rumsfeld nor other key officials. 8 Bush says he became angry, snapping to his Chief of Staff: “What the hell is going on?” According to the President the phone started working again, as Air Force One was reaching Barksdale Air Force Base at about 11:45. 9 In other words, Bush was largely out of the loop for about two hours due to an unexplained temporary communication breakdown.

The same problem was seen in the Pentagon´s NMCC, where the before mentioned Captain Leidig was “having a difficult time” contacting the FAA´s Operations Center. Once the line was established it was “repeatedly lost because of technical problems”, according to an internal document by the 9/11 Commission. 10 Because of this unexplained failure the basic communication between civilian air traffic control and the Pentagon was effectively obstructed while the attacks.

Furthermore the pilots of the F-16s finally taking off from Langley at 9:30 could not be reached by their NORAD supervisors for unknown reasons until after the Pentagon was hit at 9:37. Only at 9:38, a few seconds after the Pentagon crash, could a connection be established to the fighter pilots, who were only then redirected to Washington. 11

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