Fact Check: 'Measurements' Do NOT Prove That Plane Didn't Crash Into Pentagon On 9/11

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: 'Measurements' Do NOT Prove That Plane Didn't Crash Into Pentagon On 9/11 Flight 77

Do "measurements" of winds, the Pentagon, and a plane prove that an airplane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11? No, that's not true: According to multiple credible and corroborating sources, including videos and photographs of the attack, witness accounts and the 9/11 Commission Report, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, killing all 64 people on the plane and 125 people in the Pentagon. The video in which the claim appeared did not offer any details on the supposed "measurements".

The claim appeared in an old video (archived here) posted on Facebook on September 13, 2023. The video, showing a date of 2016 on the screen, featured a man, identified as Albert Newton Stubblebine, III, a retired U.S. Army major general, talking about 9/11. Stubblebine formerly headed the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command and U.S. Army Imagery Interpretation Center, according to an official biography.

Around the 4:15-mark, Stubblebine said:

I did measurements. I did all kinds, I checked the plane, the length of the nose, where the ... where the ... winds were. I did all of the measurements. I took the measurements of the Pentagon, the depth of the destruction in the Pentagon. Conclusion? Airplane did not make that hole.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Stufflebine 911.jpg

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Sep 29 14:56:37 2023 UTC)

Stubblebine, who retired from active duty in 1984 and died in 2017, also said that he had examined a photograph of the attack and determined that "something's wrong with this picture." At the 5-minute mark, he continued:

I was very careful to not say what it was because I couldn't prove it. I was careful to say it was not the airplane that did that because I can prove that it was not the airplane.

In the video, Stubblebine did not provide any details on his "measurements." And he's wrong; it was an airplane.

Specifically, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11, according to countless credible and corroborating sources. For example, photographs of the attack show debris from the plane, as can be seen here and here. Footage from security cameras also show the crash.

Additionally, witnesses and survivors have shared their experiences, and the 9/11 Commission Report -- the official government report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- details the hijacking and crash of Flight 77. On page 10, the report reads:

At 9:37:46, American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, traveling at approximately 530 miles per hour. All on board, as well as many civilian and military personnel in the building, were killed.

The idea that a plane did not hit the Pentagon on 9/11 is an oft-debunked myth. Lead Stories has covered the claim before.

We wrote, for example, that footage related to the attack does not prove that no airplane struck the building. Similarly, a "rare Pentagon impact video" does not show that something other than a commercial plane hit the building, and a news report from CNN that aired on September 11, 2001, does not prove that a plane didn't crash into the Pentagon on that day.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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