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9/11 Personal Accounts

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Following up on David Ray Griffin’s article published last week, ‘Explosive Testimony,’ following is another account of personal experience on 9/11. This is the first of several personal accounts we will be posting.

NOTE: Addendum submitted 2/1/06, from David Edwards. Full text follows original account.

‘We Saw a Missile Fly into the Pentagon!’

An Account of a Personal Experience

Professor David H. Edwards

January 27, 2006

I have shared with people an experience I had on the morning of September 11, 2001. Recently, it was suggested to me that I write down this experience so that it could be shared more broadly. Here is my response to this suggestion.

On that fateful morning, I, in my capacity as the Bolivia/Peru Country Specialist for Amnesty International-USA, was in Washington, D.C., traveling to the Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, in order to attend the confirmation hearings for the Bush Administration’s new Drug Czar, which were scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM.

Following my usual commuting pattern, I parked my car at the Anacostia Station of the Metro Line sometime after 9:00 AM, then took the Green Line into L’Enfante Station, where I transferred to the Orange Line on my way to the Capitol South Station.

Immediately after I boarded the Orange Line train, a young man and a young woman, both in their early twenties and wearing backpacks, burst into the subway car, shouting and exhibiting extreme excitement and agitation. They addressed the entire car, which was mostly empty except for me and perhaps three or four other men in suits. The young people yelled: ‘We were standing at the Pentagon Station, waiting for the train to come, and we saw a missile fly into the Pentagon! We saw it, we saw it!’ One of the men sitting closer to them must have asked for clarification, because they reiterated the same information several times, saying repeatedly: ‘A missile, we saw it, a missile, it flew right into the Pentagon. I can’t believe it. Now it’s on fire, there’s smoke!’ They continued in this vein from the L’Enfante Plaza Station until I got off at the Capitol South exit.

At the time, I did not know what to think and was, in any case, primarily concerned with hurrying to the Senate Office Building to secure a seat prior to the commencement of the hearings. Once I climbed the steep steps out of the station and ran to the building, however, the doors immediately sprang open and people began to surge out. I asked one of the building security personnel what was happening. He informed me that the buildings were being evacuated and then pointed behind me. I turned and saw smoke billowing from across the river. At that point, I turned and sprinted back down the hill and into the station and managed to get back on the Orange Line and then the Green Line to my car and out of the city, barely ahead of traffic.

Only later did I realize the significance of this event.

David H. Edwards

Professor of Anthropology

Salisbury University

Salisbury, Maryland

ADDENDUM 2/1/2006

Since the account of my experience was posted, there have been some who have taken exception to it on the basis of my statement of where, according to the witnesses, they had been standing when they saw a missile hit the Pentagon. I reported that they said that it was while they were waiting for the train at the Pentagon Station. But the Pentagon Station is underground. In light of this problem, I would add the following points.

1. There are, in fact, places from which the witnesses could have observed the events in question. I have been told that, for example, a person in the vicinity of the bus stop at the Pentagon station could have seen something from the location above the Pentagon station, which would have provided a view to something coming at the Pentagon from the South and partial West; likewise, a person standing outside above the escalator that goes down into the Pentagon City metro from the open patio looking out towards Macy’s would have been in a position to see the impact or something coming in.

2. There is a strong probability that the witnesses were from out of town (they were carrying hiking backpacks) and were unfamiliar with the area. They may, for example, have not known that there is a Pentagon City Station as well as a Pentagon Station. They might, therefore, have wrongly stated the station from which they viewed the event.

3. The witnesses were visibly upset and under extreme duress. This duress may have resulted in imprecision about where they were at the time. They may, for example, have said that they were ‘waiting for the train,’ which would imply that they were underground, when they meant that they were just about to go down to the station to catch the train.

4. They were repeatedly screaming about what had caused them so much stress (“a missile flew into the Pentagon”), but they were not reiterating the location from which they witnessed the event. Also, far from taking notes on what they were saying, I was having a distracting mental image of a nuclear missile strike on Washington DC. It may be, therefore, that they stated their location correctly but that I misinterpreted what they said.

5. Later, having been inundated with media images and explanations describing the 911-related events, I assumed, at least until recently, that they had misinterpreted what they had seen. It is possible, therefore, that I correctly interpreted what they said about their location at the time but later forgot, since this point was not reiterated over and over.

6. It would be impossible, however, for me to forget what this young couple screamed over and over at the top of their lungs about having seen a missile hit the Pentagon. I am absolutely certain about this, although I am uncertain, assuming that they were telling the truth, about where exactly they were when they had this experience.

7. I decided to post what I witnessed, because I felt guilty about withholding this information out of fear of being harassed by whatever institutions might have been involved in orchestrating the attack on the Pentagon if, in fact, the witnesses I heard were telling the truth and had not misinterpreted what they saw. I now feel relieved of that burden and am grateful to 911Truth.org for giving me the opportunity to recount my experience.

Sincerely,

David Edwards