A researcher for the Pilots for 9/11 Truth (PFT) organization has acknowledged that a well-known and controversial Flight 77 animation is not official, definitive NTSB material, but merely a "working copy" which contains at least one significant error. The existence of an NTSB animation of Flight 93 has also been disclosed, but PFT has chosen to withhold this material.
In response to a recent Undicisettembre article, Pier Paolo Murru, an Italian member of PFT,
Update: As noted in the comments below, the letter was partly disclosed ("Cover letter page 1 of many....") on April 12, 2007 in a posting on one of PFT's forums.
According to this new NTSB document (shown here) and Mr Murru's statements, the animation is indeed NTSB material (contrary to some allegations), but is a "working copy" which was "never used for an official purpose".
The animation also contains at least one significant error: the indication of EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) instead of UTC, as noted by the NTSB:
Please note that the time on the enclosed American Airlines flight 77 animation contains an incorrect annotation. Instead of "EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)," the time provided on the animation should say, "UTC (Universal Coordinated Time)".This new information probably explains the visual and technical discrepancies between the NTSB's other accident animations of the same period and the Flight 77 animation released by Pilots for 9/11 Truth, which had prompted some critics to question the authenticity of PFT's claim that it was NTSB material.
Since the animation has now been clearly shown to be an NTSB "working copy" with one or more errors, any dramatic conclusions based on this unofficial animation need to be reconsidered carefully.
A matter of trustThis development raises questions on PFT's approach to fact-finding and openness. Why did PFT not disclose immediately this essential information regarding the NTSB animation's actual accuracy and reliability? It would have avoided a lot of useless work by other 9/11 researchers on both sides of the debate. And it would have avoided all the questions about the animation's source. Secrecy breeds distrust.
Why is PFT still withholding the other data it has received? Research is based on sharing data, not on hiding it. Conspiracy theorists systematically accuse the Evil Government of hiding information, but now they're the ones doing the hiding.
More importantly, 9/11 conspiracy theorists need to make up their mind. If they use the NTSB's animations (working copy or not) as evidence, then they are trusting the NTSB. But if they trust the NTSB, they have to trust it also when it says that the data comes from Flight 77's data recorder, which was found inside the Pentagon. Sorry, folks, but you can't switch trust on and off at your convenience and cherry-pick the evidence.
PFT also has undisclosed NTSB animation of Flight 93Mr Murru's disclosure also reveals another important detail: the NTSB has provided Pilots for 9/11 Truth with another animation, covering Flight 93. The NTSB letter states that it sent PFT "two DVDs consisting of electronic animations that the Safety Board created regarding United Airlines flight 93 and American Airlines flight 77". So far, PFT has not released this animation; indeed, until
This is quite surprising, since Mr Murru claims that "there are great incompatibilities with respect to the official development of the impact also for Flight UA93". So why not publish this material? Why publish just the first page of the NTSB letter and not the rest?
One can only wonder what other valuable information is being withheld by all those who claim they want to "expose the hidden truth of 9/11".
Update: Rob from PFT has replied to this article in the comments below. Read them in full, they're quite enlightening. Frankly, I had hoped that an organization which prides itself on having many aircraft pilots and professionals among its members would have provided something less childish than a string of petty insults in its response. But I'm obviously an optimist.