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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What Happened on the Planes on September 11, 2001? The 9/11 Commission “Script” Was Fabricated

911

Tuesday, 3-Feb-2015
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, February 01, 2015

The following article published more than ten years ago, in August 2004 refutes the 9/11 Commission script as to what actually happened on the planes.

Much of this detailed information was based on alleged cell phone conversations between passengers and family members. Yet the technology to use a cell phone on a plane above 8500 feet did not exist in September 2001.


A revised version of the article was subsequently published in my book entitled America’s “War on Terrorism”, Montreal 2005, which can be ordered directly from Global Research

More Holes in the Official Story: The 9/11 Cell Phone Calls original

America’s “War on Terrorism”
by Michel Chossudovsky

original
Global Research, August 10, 2004
“We Have Some Planes”

The 9/11 Commission’s Report provides an almost visual description of the Arab hijackers. It depicts in minute detail events occurring inside the cabin of the four hijacked planes.

In the absence of surviving passengers, this “corroborating evidence”, was based on passengers’ cell and air phone conversations with their loved ones. According to the Report, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was only recovered in the case of one of the flights (UAL 93).

Focusing on the personal drama of the passengers, the Commission has built much of its narrative around the phone conversations. The Arabs are portrayed with their knives and box cutters, scheming in the name of Allah, to bring down the planes and turn them “into large guided missiles” (Report, Chapter 1, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch1.pdf ).

The Technology of Wireless Transmission

The Report conveys the impression that cell phone ground-to-air communication from high altitude was of reasonably good quality, and that there was no major impediment or obstruction in wireless transmission.

Some of the conversations were with onboard air phones, which contrary to the cell phones provide for good quality transmission. The report does not draw a clear demarcation between the two types of calls.

More significantly, what this carefully drafted script fails to mention is that, given the prevailing technology in September 2001, it was extremely difficult, if not impossible, to place a wireless cell call from an aircraft traveling at high speed above 8000 feet:

“Wireless communications networks weren’t designed for ground-to-air communication. Cellular experts privately admit that they’re surprised the calls were able to be placed from the hijacked planes, and that they lasted as long as they did. They speculate that the only reason that the calls went through in the first place is that the aircraft were flying so close to the ground

Expert opinion within the wireless telecom industry casts serious doubt on “the findings” of the 9/11 Commission. According to Alexa Graf, a spokesman of AT&T, commenting in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks:

“it was almost a fluke that the [9/11] calls reached their destinations… From high altitudes, the call quality is not very good, and most callers will experience drops. Although calls are not reliable, callers can pick up and hold calls for a little while below a certain altitude”

New Wireless Technology
While serious doubts regarding the cell calls were expressed in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, a new landmark in the wireless telecom industry has further contributed to upsetting the Commission’s credibility. Within days of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in July, American Airlines and Qualcomm, proudly announced the development of a new wireless technology –which will at some future date allow airline passengers using their cell phones to contact family and friends from a commercial aircraft (no doubt at a special rate aerial roaming charge)


Travelers could be talking on their personal cellphones as early as 2006. Earlier this month [July 2004], American Airlines conducted a trial run on a modified aircraft that permitted cell phone calls.” (WP, July 27, 2004)

Aviation Week (07/20/04) described this new technology in an authoritative report published in July 2004:

Qualcomm and American Airlines are exploring [July 2004] ways for passengers to use commercial cell phones inflight for air-to-ground communication. In a recent 2-hr. proof-of-concept flight, representatives from government and the media used commercial Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) third-generation cell phones to place and receive calls and text messages from friends on the ground.

For the test flight from Dallas-Fort Worth, the aircraft was equipped with an antenna in the front and rear of the cabin to transmit cell phone calls to a small in-cabin CDMA cellular base station. This “pico cell” transmitted cell phone calls from the aircraft via a Globalstar satellite to the worldwide terrestrial phone network”

Needless to say, neither the service, nor the “third generation” hardware, nor the “Picco cell” CDMA base station inside the cabin (which so to speak mimics a cell phone communication tower inside the plane) were available on the morning of September 11, 2001.

The 911 Commission points to the clarity and detail of these telephone conversations.

In substance, the Aviation Week report creates yet another embarrassing hitch in the official story.

The untimely July American Airlines / Qualcomm announcement acted as a cold shower. Barely acknowledged in press reports, it confirmed that the Bush administration had embroidered the cell phone narrative (similar to what they did with WMDs) and that the 9/11 Commission’s Account was either flawed or grossly exaggerated.

Altitude and Cellphone Transmission


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