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Surprising number of passengers on Flight AA77 that allegedly hit the Pentagon had military connections

Many are the inconsistencies surrounding Flight AA77 which allegedly struck the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. on September 11, 2001. We will not enumerate them here; other articles on this site already provide a detailed account of them. But new elements have recently emerged, resulting from investigations carried out by independent journalists. We reproduce below an extract from Strategie per una guerra mondiale, a book by Pino Cabras. It brings to light the inordinate proportion of passengers on board Flight 77 who had ties with the military sector and who were officially reported dead on September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon.

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The Voltaire Network article dealing with the cockpit door of Flight 77 [1] - which revealed disturbing details, little if at all examined by the official investigations, but which call for a closer look even by non-official investigations - had already drawn our attention to a certain number of the anomalies linked to that terrible day. The baffling profile of Charles F. Burlingame is but one anomaly. On board Flight 77 there was a high density of passengers who worked at classified positions in the Defense sector: between 16 and 21 persons out of a total of 58 passengers.

The majority were aerospace engineers. One of them, Mr. Yamnicky, who worked in that capacity for the Veridian Corp., was a longtime CIA operative. Another passenger on the list, Mr. Caswell, led a team of about one hundred scientists for the US Navy. Others worked for Boeing and Raytheon in El Segundo, California, on a project dubbed Black Hawk.

We present here some information regarding these noteworthy Flight 77 passengers, who belong to the lists which were obtained by scanning the obituary columns on the Web or in newspaper articles published in the days following the attacks.

1. John D. Yamnicky Sr., 71, from Waldorf (Maryland), was on a business trip on American Airlines Flight 77. He was a retired naval aviator, who retired as Captain in 1979 when he joined Veridian Corp., a Virginia-based military contractor, where he worked on fighter aircraft and air-to-air missile programmes. His son, John Yamnicky, said his father worked on the development of the F/A-18 fighter jet. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952, John Yamnicky Sr. became a Navy test pilot, flying an A-4 attack plane and would sometimes tell stories of his travels and Navy service in Korea and Vietnam. "He crash-landed five times and walked away from them each," said Cindy Sharpley, a friend of the family. "But not this last one." (AP, 2001)
He graduated from the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River in 1960 and also obtained a Master’s Degree in international relations from George Washington University in 1966. He was promoted to Captain in 1971; he spent years on bases and aircraft carriers, first as a naval aviator, then as director of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland and finally as a manager of various aircraft and weapons programmes for the Department of Defense.

2. William E. Caswell, born in Boston (Massachusetts) in 1947, was a third-generation physicist whose work at the Navy was so classified that his family knew very little about what he did each day. They don’t even know exactly why he was headed to Los Angeles on the doomed American Airlines Flight 77. "It was a trip he often took," said his mother, Jean Caswell. "We never knew what he was doing there because he couldn’t say. You just learn not to ask questions." [2]
In a Princeton University publication, his thesis director stated that, in the 80’s, when he learned that the US Navy was looking for a scientific expert for a classified project involving advanced technology, he submitted Bill Caswell’s name. «I didn’t take part in his daily work, although on all counts it was still related to his thesis : in no time he climbed to a top post to head a team of more than one hundred researchers in one of the most exacting branches of the US Navy.» His technical and managerial skills were appreciated by all his colleagues and earned him the highest rewards and distinctions from the U.S. Navy. In a twist of fate, it was precisely for this project that he was travelling on Flight AA77 and ultimately perished in the crash.

3. and 4. Wilson Falor "Bud" Flagg, 63, born in Millwood (Virginia), was a Rear Admiral in the US Navy and a pilot for American Airlines until his retirement. He was one of the three admirals censored by the US Navy in the context of the Tailhook conference scandal in 1991, relating to acts of sexual violence. His wife Darleen, also 63, died in the crash with him.
The Tailhook incident effectively ended his further advancement and prompted him to leave the Navy to join American Airlines. According to his nephew Ray Sellek, Flagg continued to pay frequent visits to the Pentagon to provide technical advice, and even had an office there.

5. Stanley Hall, 68, was from Rancho Palos Verde (California). He was director of programme management for Raytheon Electronics Warfare. “He was our dean of electronic warfare”, explained one his colleagues at Raytheon, a Defense Department supplier. Hall had developed and fine-tuned antiradar technologies. He was a sober and competent man, somewhat of a paternal figure. «Many of our young engineers considered him their mentor», declared Raytheon’s spokesperson Ron Colman.

6. Bryan C. Jack, 48, from Alexandria (Virginia), was responsible for crunching America’s defense budget. He headed the Pentagon’s programming and fiscal economics division. He was on his way to California to teach a course at the Naval Postgraduate School. His colleagues said he was a brilliant mathematician and top budget analyst. He had worked at the Pentagon for 23 years.
Jack had married artist Barbara Rachko in June 2001. She worked all week in her New York studio and they would only see each other on weekends, either at their Alexandria house or at their New York appartment. Barbara Rachko is a licensed commercial pilot and worked seven years as a naval officer. She was no longer on active duty but still served as US Navy reserve commander.

7. Keller, Chandler ‘Chad’ Raymond. Chad was born in Manhattan Beach (California) on October 8, 1971. He was an eminent engineer specialized in propulsion technologies and project manager at Boeing Satellite Systems. [3]

8. Dong Lee, 48, from Leesburg (Virginia), worked for Boeing Co. as an engineer.

9. Ruben Ornedo, 39, from Los Angeles (California), was a propulsion engineer at the Boeing Comany in El Segundo (California).

10. Robert Penninger, 63, from Poway (California), worked as an electrical engineer for BAE systems, a Defense Department supplier.

11. and 12. Robert R. Ploger III, 59, from Annandale (Virginia), was a software architect at Lockheed Martin Corp., and his wife Zandra Cooper.

13. John Sammartino, 37, from Annandale (Virginia), was technical manager at XonTech Inc. in Arlington (Virginia), a research and development firm linked to the military sector and specialized in defense missiles and sensor technologies. It was bought in 2003 by Northrop Grumman, another company that produces for the military. The holder of an AA Platinum card, Sammartino was an assiduous traveller and was headed for Los Angeles to attend a conference at the Van Nuys company, together with his colleage Leonard Taylor. After graduating from University, Sammartino had been hired as an engineer by the Naval Research Lab ; he had worked for XonTech Inc. for 11 years.

14. Leonard Taylor, 44, was technical group manager at XonTech Inc. He was born in Pasadena (California) and lived in Reston (Virginia). He graduated from Andover High Scool in 1975 and from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1979. [4]

15. Vicky Yancey, 43, from Springfield (Virginia), was going to attend a business meeting in Reno, but hadn’t planned to be on Flight AA77. Yancey, a former naval electronics technician, worked for the Vredenburg company, a Defense Department supplier. She had intended to leave Washington earlier but her departure was delayed due to a ticket problem, as her husband explained to the Washington Post. She called her husband ten minutes after boarding to let him know that she had finally managed to get a seat on the flight. [5]

16. Charles F. Burlingame III, 52, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971 ; he was flight commander of AA Flight 77. Burlingame was a naval reserve officer and had even worked in the Pentagon wing that was struck by the plane [according to the official version, Note by the editor].

17. Barbara K. Olson, 45, was a conservative lawyer and commentator. She was known to television viewers as a self-assured, politically active journalist who represented the conservative mindset. In the Washington social and political landscape, she and her husband, Theodore B. Olson, formed a very influential couple. Theodore Olson was a high-profile lawyer who had successfully defended George W. Bush’s disputed Florida election before the Supreme Court. President Bush named Olson to the post of US Attorney General, entrusting him with the responsibility of shaping the Administration’s strategy vis-à-vis US courts.
The story of the telephone call is indeed very odd. Mr. Olson claimed that while he was in his office at the Department of Justice on Tuesday morning, he received a call from his wife allegedly made from a cell phone on board flight AA77 to tell him that the plane had been hijacked. This version was reprobated considering that it was impossible to use a cell phone from a plane. In a subsequent, modified version Barbara Olson was supposed to have used a passenger seat-phone. But as reported in another Voltaire Network article, there is no record of any such call.
Married for 4 years, the Olsons were perfectly complementary in terms of style. As a television commentator, she was the more outspoken of the two, while he kept a low profile in consonance with his role as a constitutional lawyer in charge of the Republican establishment.
Barbara Olson was one of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s most relentless critics, against whom she conducted merciless investigations. Among other things, she wrote a book titled Hell to Pay (Regnery 1999), in which she disparages Hillary Clinton, followed by another one titled Final Days (Regnery, 2001), which was published posthumously. [6]

18. Karen Kincaid, 40, from Wahington D.C. A native of Iowa, she was a lawyer with the Washington firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding, specializing in communications legislation. She was on her way to Los Angeles to attend a conference on the wireless communications industry. With her husband of five years, Peter Batacan, also a lawyer working for another firm, Kincaid was training to take part in the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon scheduled for October 28.
Wiley Rein & Fielding is a powerful legal outift working for the Republican camp, that was involved in the vast legal action that helped Bush and Cheney overcome the controversial period of the post-2000 elections and which constituted an essential tool for the defense of «white collar» criminal cases.

19. Steven ‘Jake’ Jacoby, 43, was a vice president and chief operating officer of a paging and wireless messaging service called Metrocall Inc., based in Alexandria (Virginia), which ranks as the second largest paging company in the United States. « The fact that Metrocall’s technical operating network continued to function and provide critical communications during this horrific event was a tribute to Jake", said Co-worker Vice Kelly, Chief Financial Officer. In his last positon, Jacoby supervised the development of a multiple-frequency wireless messaging system for emergency worker and medical field use. It was Metrocall that supplied the equipment used by emergency responders who were on the scene in New York and Washington on 9/11 ...

It should be pointed out that the same disproportionate number of passengers with military connections can also be observed in respect of the other 9/11 flights.

Three Raytheon employees were on flight AA11 that crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Raytheon is one of the principal defense suppliers, and a pillar of the Global Hawk remote control technologies, highly cherished by the Pentagon. Among the various hypotheses which are impossible to prove, but which are nevertheless technically plausible and worthy of a deeper investigation, is the one concerning remote controlled aircraft.

There are a number of disturbing features about Raytheon. A USA Today article published in October 2001 announced that in August 2001 Raytheon had executed, six times over, a perfectly smooth test landing in a New Mexico air base involving an unpiloted Boeing 727 belonging to Fedex.

The system emitted radio signals from the end of the runway which were transmitted to the plane. The ground electronic devices coordinated their location through GPS. No pilot could intervene during the moneuvre. We’ll say it again : this is a technology which was fully operational and readily available in August 2001, one month before the fateful attacks.

Already at the beginning of 2001, a special plane linked to the Global Hawk programme had crossed the Pacific Ocean, from the USA to Australia, with no one on board.

As we have just seen, the main actors involved in these programmes as well as other aerospace experts were officially declared dead on September 11, 2001.

One of the objections often raised against the likelihood of an internal conspiracy hatched by the US institutions and intelligence apparatus is the difficulty, indeed the impossibility, of keeping such a secret when so many plotters and executors were involved. The architects of the tragedy we witnessed on 9/11 are in any case ruthless enough to also sacrifice those who might have blown the whistle, mixing them with the other victims. The remains of the victims were handled entirely by the military. It is therefore difficult to tell how and where the passengers died.

For the moment, this is merely a research hypothesis.

Additional remarks by Thierry Meyssan

When I was in Tehran in September 2002, I had the opportunity to discuss in depth the events of September 11 with Hussein Shariatmadari, Director of the Kheyan press agency and spokesperson for the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. It was my first encounter with someone who had such a detailed knowledge of the events. We continued our discussion until late in the day.
On this occasion, he shared with me the investigative findings of his associates. They had pursued the same hypothesis as the one advanced by Pino Cabras, but with far greater means at their disposal. They had constituted biographical profiles for each of the passengers on all four planes.
Their findings showed that 75% of the passengers had connections with the Pentagon, not only on flight AA77 but also on all the other flights.

[1] September 11, 2001: Flight AA77 could not have been hijacked!, Voltaire Network, 30 November 2009.

[2] Excerpt from a Chicago Tribune article, September 16, 2001.

[3] Source: Los Angeles Times, September 21, 2001.

[4] Source: Globe Star, September 27, 2001.

[5] Source: Chicago Tribune.

[6] Source: New York Times obituary, September 13, 2001.

Pino Cabras

Italian journalist and Director of the alternative information site Megachip. His most recently published book is Strategie per una guerra mondiale. Dall’11 settembre al delitto Bhutto (Aisara, 2008).

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