Security camera footage taken at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 is fueling online claims that an airliner did not hit the US military headquarters. This is false; the video clearly shows American Airlines Flight 77 slamming into the building, as confirmed by eyewitness accounts and the group that pushed the government to release the clip.
"A video from a Parking lot Camera at the Pentagon, before they could get to and suppress the footage," says Ed Strachar, an author and self-described "spirit healer," in a September 11, 2023 Facebook post.
"They claimed a Plane struck the Pentagon. This Exposes their bold faced lies."
But the clip itself contradicts Strachar's claim. The video in his post shows what appears to be a police car driving near the Pentagon, home of the US Department of Defense. But around 25 seconds into the clip, an object -- known to be the plane -- strikes the building, causing a massive fireball.
"Cruise missile," says a September 11 post.
The claims spiked online on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11, a day of terror when Al-Qaeda devotees hijacked planes and crashed them into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth jet crashed in the state of Pennsylvania after the passengers and crew fought back.
Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks -- the "single largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil," according to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum (archived here).
Despite ample first-hand evidence of how 9/11 unfolded, conspiracy theorists have long fabricated other explanations. AFP has previously debunked claims that no planes hit the Twin Towers and allegations of a government cover-up.
The more recent posts are similarly inaccurate.
"We fought hard to obtain this video because we felt that it was very important to complete the public record with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11," said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.
"Finally, we hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight 77."
"The hijacking began between 8:51 and 8:54," the report says, noting that is when the aircraft deviated from its route.
"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."
Based on more than 2.5 million pages of documents and interviews with more than 1,200 people in 10 countries, the 9/11 Commission Report is the most comprehensive account of the attacks. Its description of the crash at the Pentagon is supplemented by photo and video evidence of the damage, some of which shows plane debris.
AFP contacted the Pentagon for comment, but a response was not forthcoming.