The 9/11 Mystery Plane:

And the Vanishing of America


A review


Felonious Accessories


From “JFK” to 9/11,

They do it every time.

Our journalists behave as though

They’re parties to the crime.


Without the cataclysmic events of September 11, 2001, the invasion of the Muslim countries of the Middle East by the United States would have been unthinkable.  The “attacks” have been precisely the “new Pearl Harbor” that the top political insiders of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) clearly so fervently wanted.  Like Pearl Harbor, 9/11 has placed its imprint upon an entire era over virtually the entire world.  Also, as we note in our article, “Pearl Harbor vs. 9/11,” the official narratives about both events are deeply flawed in many ways.  One can pull at a dangling thread almost anywhere, and the whole official story unravels.


My own favorite pulling place on 9/11 is the total ludicrousness of the “Al Qaeda plot” as it had to have looked from the perspective of the person giving final approval.  On paper it really doesn’t look to any halfway sensible person that it would have the slightest chance of succeeding.  I have attempted to make that point obvious with my satire “Bin Laden’s Home Video.”  How could that 19-man team know in advance that America’s air defenses would behave like the Keystone Cops and why would you draw up a plan that depended utterly upon that being the case?  Going further, how could they count on these raw pilots who had never before piloted large jet airliners doing the job with the expertise that was required, all the while knowing that there lives will end if they are successful?  How could they count on a few men armed only with box cutters being able to overpower entire airplanes full of people? 


And what would they have accomplished after they had done that?  They would have crashed some airplanes into some buildings, killing everyone on board and a few people in the buildings, but hardly producing the “new Pearl Harbor” effect that resulted.  Steel frame buildings don’t come completely down in a heap from fires in them, whether caused by having been hit by an airplane or not.  The “Al Qaeda planners” would have had no reason to anticipate that their “suicide mission” would have such a spectacular and cataclysmic effect.


As one of the top researchers on 9/11 in the country, Mark H. Gaffney in his 2008 book, The 9/11 Mystery Plane: And the Vanishing of America pulls on the loose thread of the mysteriously collapsing buildings, including the most amazing one of all, Building 7 of the World Trade Center, which wasn’t even hit by an airplane, and destroys the official story quite well from that angle alone.  “Never before, after all,” he writes, “had a steel-frame skyscraper collapsed due to fire, nor have any since.  Yet on 9/11, three such ‘failures’ occurred in a single day.  From the standpoint of building design and public safety alone, the need for a thorough investigation was obvious.”  Gaffney tells us that there was virtually no on-site investigation, with important potential evidence removed and recycled at an “appalling” rate of speed, to use the adjective applied to it by Dr. Frederick W. Mowrer, professor of fire protection engineering at the University of Maryland.


So tightly controlled has the news been about the events of 9/11/2001, though, that the American public, for the most part, is hardly even aware that a third building in lower Manhattan fell on that day, that it fell several hours after the twin towers, and that it fell in a manner that looks very much like a controlled demolition through strategically planted internal explosives.


Look Up in the Sky, It’s…


The general ignorance of the fate of Building 7 pales in comparison, though, to the ignorance of Gaffney’s primary subject, the large white airplane that was seen, photographed, and filmed flying in restricted air space near the White House at about the same time as the assault upon the Pentagon.  The author tells us that, as skeptical as he was of the official story on 9/11, he didn’t learn about this “mystery plane” until March of 2007, when he received an email in response to a critical 9/11 article that he had posted on the Internet. 


Gaffney has confirmed to this reviewer’s satisfaction that the airplane in question was an E4-B, the so-called “doomsday plane,” which he has described this way in an article posted on


A recent article in the Air Force Civil Engineer describes the E-4B as "a truly amazing" aircraft, and provides more details about its impressive specs.  The $250 million dollar aircraft has all of the advanced electronics needed for world-wide communication. If Air Force One can be accurately described as a flying White House, then, the E-4B is a substitute pentagon. The plane's electronics cover the full radio spectrum, from extremely low frequency (ELF) to high frequency (UHF). Which enables the E-4B to communicate with all US military commands, world-wide, including tactical and strategic forces, naval ships, planes, nuclear-armed missiles, even submarines. In short, the E-4B is a fully equipped communications platform and can serve as an airborne command center for all US military forces in a national crisis.


You can see an excellent photograph of the airplane with the old Executive Office Building in the foreground at that article.  It is the same photo that graces the cover of Gaffney’s book, and it was taken by a private citizen, Linda Brookhart, who at the time was vice president of the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois.  She had been in the old Executive Office Building next to the White House attending a National Taxpayers conference when she and everyone else in the building were ordered to vacate it.  Out on the street she happened to look up and saw the curious airplane overhead and snapped a picture on impulse with her Pentax camera. 


In a follow-up article and in his book, Gaffney makes it quite evident that the photographed airplane was not American Airlines Flight 77, the Pentagon-crash plane.  Not only does it look nothing like that 2-engine Boeing 757-223, but all the eyewitness and radar evidence agree that that airplane was never over Washington, DC, as the large 4-engine white airplane clearly was.   The presence of the old Executive Office Building in the foreground places the airplane very well, but one might argue that this one photograph is simply not authentic, however genuine Ms. Brookhart might seem.


It turns out, though, that a number of mainstream media organizations filmed the plane.  Both the BBC and the Spanish ABC network aired footage of the airplane—albeit of rather poor quality—on the day that it was spotted.  They gave it the “bump and run” treatment (#14) of the Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression, though, reporting this significant information just once and making nothing of it.  Meanwhile, the American press came very close to giving it a #1 in the Techniques, not reporting it at all.  What we got from them, if anything, was a quick verbal run-by, such as this one from ABC News, but with no context and no follow-up.  We learn from Gaffney, though, that someone in the mainstream press had filmed the white plane because footage turned up briefly in a Discovery Channel documentary about Flight 93 that was shown in August of 2005.  The movie is called The Flight that Fought Back, and if you can stomach such a heavy dose of propaganda, you can see the mystery white plane briefly at the 47-minute mark.  Gaffney has a screen shot taken from the film in his book.


But speaking of “bump and run,” on September 12, 2007, with video footage that had been carefully buried in its own archives, CNN as much as confirmed that an E-4B was circling over Washington, while at the same time reporting that “officially,” that is, as far as the Defense Department, the 9/11 Commission, and everyone else in the government who might know was concerned, there was no such airplane there.  While this brief report generally uses a mocking tone toward “conspiracy theorists” who have found a “gold mine” in this evidence, they do give us this quote, which is printed on the screen, excerpted from a discussion: “I have always thought that these planes were exactly that: mission control for the 9/11 attack on our country.” 


Indeed so!  Does anyone have a better explanation?


Sober and sensible people aren’t supposed to believe that, of course, and to nail down that belief CNN interviews 9/11 Commission Co-Chairman, former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, who admits that, yes, they did hear something about such an airplane over the White House, but they really couldn’t look into the “thousands” of such things that were brought to their attention.  In footage of his testimony before Congress that comes near the end of the CNN report, Hamilton is shown scoffing at the notion that the Defense Department could, itself, have been in any way involved in the 9/11 attacks.  Thus he and CNN brush off the mystery plane, but they don’t even attempt to explain it away.


The Press Cover-up


Perhaps of even greater importance than the fact this CNN report confirms the low circling of Washington by an E4-B on 9/11, according to Gaffney, is that it concealed this visual evidence of the fact for six years.


With hindsight, it would appear that within 24 hours of the attack someone in a high position at CNN made a decision to suppress this information.  On September 12, 2001, the day after the attack, CNN posted a minute-by-minute timeline of 9/11.  But strangely absent is any mention of the stories filed by Kate Snow and John King about the mysterious white plane.  Who made the decision to expunge the E-4B fly-over from the news?  Here, I must emphasize: It is not my intention to single out CNN for special criticism.  No doubt other networks were also in possession of similar evidence.  Probably, they still are.


For my part, I am reminded by this 6th anniversary CNN report of nothing so much as I am of John Connally on the JFK assassination.  As a witness and one of the shooting victims, he gives incontrovertible evidence that the findings of the Warren Commission cannot be true.  But as an ambitious politician he then proceeds to lavish praise upon the members of the commission and to endorse their findings whole-heartedly.  CNN, as a pure news organization, gives us, albeit belatedly, hard evidence of apparent deep U.S. military involvement in the 9/11 event, while at the same time, as an opinion-molding organization, it disparages “conspiracy theorists” who draw the only logical conclusion possible from what they have just shown us.. 


As you might have gathered from this brief review, a good deal of what is available to be known about the 9/11 mystery plane and its importance can be gleaned from the Internet.  Nowhere, to my knowledge, will one find so much valuable information about the subject in one place as he will find in Gaffney’s book, though.  Furthermore, as the book’s subtitle suggests, there’s a lot more in it than just the question of the E4-B plane circling the nation’s capital on September 11, 2001.  The title of his concluding chapter 11 alone, “Why the War on Terror is a Fraud,” should be sufficient to give one an indication of the scope of his inquiry.  More than anything, it’s a book for anyone who cares about his country and who cares about the truth.  


David Martin

August 18, 2016




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