Sunday, October 22, 2006

Daryl Donley's Pentagon Fireballs at the Library of Congress, But No Firebird at the Symphony

With just a tiny bit of digging, the evidence for a 757 American Airlines jetliner’s burrowing sideways into the 1st and 2nd floors of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, crumbles into reality-based dust and blows away in the wind of responsible skepticism.

Take the contribution of Daryl Donley, “a commuter” whose pictures taken in the first minutes after the 9:32 o’clock in the morning “attack” were the first record made by human hand of the fireball aftermath. Alas, unlike the slightly earlier security-camera fireball frames taken from a different angle, Donley’s corpus comes with human baggage, filled with some rather dirty laundry to air.
I first encountered Donley’s four iconic images at the Library of Congress website, which this link will get you to quickest. Being a latecomer to 9-11 studies, the nuances of authenticating the voluminous 9-11-eyewitness record, whether in camera, or as it tripped off tongues and webpages, took me some time—and as we know, timing is everything in life.

But my search didn’t take long--that is, with my beady little eyes already narrowed by prior hours of obsessive scrutiny. Just one article, from Mr. Donley’s hometown newspaper, The Observer-Reporter, of Greene county Pennsylvania, summed up the issues nicely.

It’s dated July 2, 2002, 'Son of Greene Co. man captured indelible moments when hijacked jet hit Pentagon,' by Jon Stevens, and it's well written—at times Donley sounds honest even. Like when he says, "I was looking for the plane. Where is the plane? I thought I saw a plane go into the building. It was gone, completely gone. I was in shock and disbelief."

The article continues, “Donley began shooting and didn't stop until the military police began yelling at him to get in his car and get moving. ‘I was a distraction. They had no idea what had happened and here I was taking photographs. I completely understand why they were yelling,’ he said.” (Aw, sociopathic empathy!)

But then comes the money shot! “Back home, Donley called a friend at Gannett, (oops,) a company that owns newspapers across the country (yes, we know.) He told her his story and that he had taken photos. Gannett bought his photos (how much?) and made them available to 100 papers across the country. ‘I never saw them in print, so I have no idea who used them,’ he said.” (Well actually Daryl, nobody used them. Apparently, Gannett bought and then sat on the biggest 9-11 visual scoop of the nascent century.)

My Algebraic Proof

Google returns 294 hits for “Daryl Donley” in quotation marks. Adding a “+ Pentagon” lowers it to 243. Out of my admittedly rushed search, I found a single newspaper, The Seattle Times, which included just one image, on this page and that was in a fancy special edition, which was produced months afterwards, by which time Donley had begun to become semi-famous.

That occurred because the ever-ready Gannett News Service had used an eyewitness quote of Donley’s, published on September 12, 2001:"’It just was amazingly precise,’ Daryl Donley, a commuter, said of the plane's impact. ‘It completely disappeared into the Pentagon.’"

But that article, U.S. Under Attack, by Larry Wheeler, is so filled with tripe and propaganda, that it's not surprising I find it only turning up once on Google, at the “Gannett Suburban Webpaper, The Journal News,” which serves Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties north of New York City. But at least the official record had begun!

Back to the July 2002 hometown puff piece, it continues: “In April, (seven months later,) he learned from a reporter that some of his photos were published in Paris Match and in the Daily Mail in London,” (although my Google search found only one very early critical piece in French, at dated November 9, 2001)

More puffery: "Then this reporter from Paris Match, who was working in New York, tells me she saw one of my pictures in the book. I asked, 'What book?'" Donley said. “Across two pages in ‘Life's Year in Pictures,’ published last November, is Donley's picture showing the huge fireball.”

Now I can smell big bucks here, so Donley’s story starts to go all fishy. SIPA PRESS markets one of Donley’s images. Even the Library of Congress works to protect his copyright. It's highly unlikely Life used a two-page spread in a commemorative edition without his knowledge.

A final puff-puff from July 2002: “The Library of Congress has five of his pictures in its permanent collection, and some of the photos will be on display on the anniversary this September. No other photos are believed have been taken within the same time frame as Donley's.”

How did Donley’s Pentagon pictures, and his alone I might add, get into the Library of Congress in the first place? Did Donley "have a friend" there? When did he give the FBI the evidence, or did he ever? Donley, who continues in his day job as assistant director of operations for the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. makes for a compliant spook--if not a very talented liar. He was well remunerated, I'm sure.

The entirety of Donley’s experience is fabricated, he is a staged stooge, a sell-out, to whom sacred truth was abandoned in favor of a cabal, and given evidence of his guilt, a trial by his peers, and a conviction, he should spend the rest of his life behind bars as a consequence. As for Gannett....

THIS is truth as I see it. Deal, Firebird.

The spooky pointless picture of a smoking man in the median in the mirror. You couldn't get this dumb if you tried.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Is There a Connection Between Ira Rennert & 9/11?

The Buildup

Perhaps. I’ve long wanted to post a report offering a wee soupçon of information—-hearsay actually, but very credible first-person hearsay—-concerning Ira Rennert on the two days preceding September 11, 2001, which potentially may carry some connective meaning, in which case it would constitute my first original contribution to 9/11 studies, every other avenue I’ve set down having already been cleared by earlier (and better) scouts.

But I hesitated because it’s about a sensitive subject. A Jew who is very bad in my opinion. Since the discourse around Jews is so completely unnatural and poisoned, any critical effort I attempted could only serve the one true purpose—that of revealing my inner unexplored loathing of all things Semitic, to the world, if not myself; so I thought, why bother?

But then, when writing up a blog about conservative commentator James S. Robbins, I was struck by a remark he made equating 9/11 skepticism to be on par with “holocaust deniers,” and I decided that the Jew’s sacred wound, was in fact, just a wounded sacred cow, and I thought, “it vouldn’t hurt.”

So for the purposes of what should have been a short little tidbit of a blog, I will separate out the good from the bad—the bad being right-wing warmongering armament-industry profiteers whose true agenda is seeing another $70,000 missile strike another $400 car in Iraq.

Director Stephen Spielberg is good. He only wants abundant sunshine and olive trees on a fecund homeland surrounded by loving neighbors, whether it’s Long Island or Gaza. Spielberg’s film Munich is the most moral film I ever saw, the moral being violence begets violence, and that the victim and the perpetrator are one.

I saw Munich at a winter matinée in East Hampton and I recall women sitting alone in the theater afterward having to collect themselves. I asked a friend who attended New Year’s services last week at the East Hampton synagogue if there was a different tenor in the room this year. He looked startled and abruptly changed the subject.

The Mini-Narrative

Ira Rennert built a notorious mega-mansion on the beach in Sagaponack, in eastern Southampton town. Next door is a public beach known as Peter’s Pond. The two can be said to be at odds.

The previous owner of the 60-acre farm field on which Mr. Rennert chose to build his house, went so far as to lobby town government to close Peter’s Pond Lane, the public access road that led down to the beach. That effort failed but it made the New York Times, along with quotes and a photograph of beach-access advocates, including yours truly—my only such reference in the NYT, still pre-Google.

As Mr. Rennert sculpted his dunes higher, turning a cold stucco shoulder to the outside world, he achieved a stasis with my informant, an off-season beach dog walker (and in-season when she can get away with it) who adamantly claimed Peter’s Pond as her own.

Rennert maintained a major security presence with an obviousness that was new in the Hamptons. Locals could recall the summer when Marvin Davis, the Denver oil billionaire, rented the Henry Ford compound on the ocean just outside Southampton Village and installed ex-LAPD in the dunes, but then the Davis’ had just been car-jacked in the South of France the previous winter, losing not only Mrs. Davis’ bling bling, but their innocence as well.

In addition to the Public Trust doctrine, which makes public any American beach up to the high-water mark, Southamptonites enjoy further access rights on the beach stemming from a 17th-century document called the Dongen patent, which extends the public property to the highest crest of the leeward dunes, so that we may access seaweed and shellfish and such.

It is no easy task asserting a shifting boundary like a windblown crest, and the politics of it were not new to Rennert. He permanently stationed visibly armed guards along the perimeter of his property. Whether intentional or not, in this conflicted context, my informant often felt targeted by the intimidations of Rennert’s personnel, and the games between the (mostly) men, working a light and boring duty, and the (mostly) women, who were long accustomed to asserting their privileges successfully, were long established.

So, dog walking at Peter’s Pond on September 9, 2001 stood out as something memorably different but not really. Rennert’s place that day was a beehive of extra activity, with an atmosphere of overkill, men wearing holstered guns outside their clothing and the cackle of walkie-talkies.

Naturally, my informant personalized these things, assuming somehow it was about the beachgoers, representing some sort of escalation in the Hegelian dialectics, her only context, so she stiffened her spine and gave back grimaces with occasional fierce, pointed stares.

The Crux

The following day was the same, but as she was returning to her car, the scene metastasized into what she describes as like “out of a movie,” as she was terrorized by the sudden advent of three low-flying helicopters, which swooped down and hovered over Rennert’s Fairfields on unknown business. The noise was deafening, definitely not town code, her dogs became hysterical, and it was a test to get to the car, unlock the doors, and escape the bedlam.

In that pre-9/11 consciousness, accustomed she says, to the quick visits of helicopters, even the low-flying private jets who wink goodbye on late Sunday evenings, she could only be outraged at the chutzpa. Immediately, she began to compose a mental letter to the Star.

Of course, all was forgotten the next morning, when a new paradigm took hold. It took a long time before she began to wonder whether there was an association with the events of the following day.

It may very well prove to be evidence of foreknowledge, with extraordinary security or surveillance measures taken just prior to 9/11. I make no claims. And no apologies to Jewish friends.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Steve Riskus and “Critical Thrash.” Yo! Is That an Adverb or an Adjective Dude?

On edit, September 11th, 2008:

This blog was the first of at least 15 I've posted about Mr. Stephen Riskus, and as such, gets an awful lot wrong. I'm leaving it as I wrote it because it displays such charming naiveté. However, it is the number one landing spot for Google searches. If you are a first-time Googler of things Riskus, I direct you to the following list. Mr. Riskus can be a key to understanding the events of 9/11 in Arlington. I've thoughtfully put asterisks beside two especially useful posts. I will assume you are already familiar with the 18 shots which make up the Riskus oeuvre, so I will not replace the missing Flickr images. My entire Flickr account, consisting of a 3000-image 9/11-researcg collection, which I downloaded off the web, was terminated by Yahoo at the request of government law enforcement authorities. We shall have to soldier on.

Steve Riskus and “Critical Thrash”: Is that an Adverb or an Adjective Dude? 10/5/06

*Steve Riskus and Critical Thrash Redux 11/2/06

Steve Riskus Needs a Critical Thrashing 11/14/06

My Solemn Pledge: Absolutely My Final Riff on Steve Riskus 2/8/07

Dude, It’s Only an Adjective! 2/9/07

The BCO Message Board 2/12/07

A List of IP Addresses Referred by BCO Boards 2/12/07

*Steve Riskus Exposed as a Fraud 2/27/07

Steve Riskus’s Pentagon Photographs: View Page Source 5/14/07

The Ever Expanding Oeuvre of Steve Riskus 5/29/07

Pentagon Coverup? 6/14/07

The Vulvet Underground: A List of IP Addresses 8/8/07

Tragdor IP Addresses Revealed! 11/11/07

Bored Cruel C.O. 11/14/07

Judy Wood’s “Nasty Pussy" 11/19/07

It is relatively straightforward to debunk a key group of photographic evidence taken on the morning of September 11, 2001 in front of the Pentagon, by a supposed eyewitness to a 757’s crash. The 12 photographs were taken by an unknown of indeterminate age named Steve Riskus, which he posted online at his own website, criticalthrash

The photographs made a sudden and very late appearance online several months after 9-11, which is a classic red flag in the eyewitness business, where testimonies may not have a sinister intent, as much as having over time, become redacted and re-informed within a fallible human memory. An unstable business, memory, but it needs to be an exact science, since in a nation of laws, people use the law to put other people to death based upon it.

Moreover, team8plus a specialized 9-11 research group, reported that Steve Riskus had only established his avant guard web site, devoted ostensibly to his abiding passion of skateboarding, one day previous to 9-11, on September 10, 2001, (Unfortunately, I haven’t confirmed this yet. I can’t access the Team8’s website at the moment, or make the hyperlinks work—a temporarily problem I hope, but some dirty tricks being played, I well imagine by the tens of thousands of US Government employees who have too much time on their hands and should get real jobs—and yes, team8’s work is THAT good, it’s deserving of sabotage!

Perhaps an explanation for Riskus’s time lag could be that he only roused himself from a deep dope lethargy to deliver the 12 belated images—four of some interest to the survival of the human species, the remaining eight so inane beyond measure as to become Daliesque: of clouds, and school buses, and a bridge overpass, which nearly exactly mimics the behavior and output of the other insider image maker from that morning: Mark Faram. Apparently, both men stopped making historically vital documentary evidence of this singular event in our nation’s history when they counted up to five fingers on one hand, but they then kept snapping away as they rode off into the sunset. (Riskus, with the benefit of time, credibly states that he left the scene out of fear of further attacks. Faram said he moved on to photograph “other things” (earthworm farms, maybe dude?) and had his pictures up on a news wire “by noon.” When did the FBI get them?

The stylistic “authorial voice” discernible in the Riskus’ series is the same standard military issue found on any government website. This anonymous point of view is so technically perfected, captured in a high resolution, that it lands utterly soulless. Perhaps this Generation X hipster lay-about is ex-military, but we wouldn’t know, as his public profile only begins on 9-10, and since then he has been traveling America photographing concrete municipal skate parks (nice work if you can get it.)

That the scenes pictured are staged events is obvious to my critical eye, if not my thrash. One long shot has a tree front and center blocking the action. Another shot is slightly to the left of the tree, a third, slightly to the right of the tree. Riskus travels in and out through the field of depth. (An unnecessary thing, as apparently most cameras had special lens to distort depth perception anyway. Go to Jack White’s 9-11 Photo Studies @, to see some really glaring glitches in the corpus. Mr. White is a retired professional in the field of doctored images made for trans-surrealists. He even ascribes motive to these technical errors. Apparently they’re a well-known workplace hazard—secret clues that pass a supervisor’s muster, but signal something is up to others on the outside.)

The money shot though, depicts twelve eyewitnesses, who all could eventually be identified potentially for sworn eyewitness testimony, but haven’t so far, to my knowledge. It is here that the official Bush administration explanation falls apart.

This peopled image is apparently much doctored. People walk on various levels on planes which are impossible to reconcile with one another. One woman may be sitting out her open driver’s side car window, or standing in the same spot, either looks possible. Almost everyone has exited his or her automobile, which are all going in only one direction—away from the District of Columbia. We know from other photographs that the disabled pole-struck taxi, the Catholic priest’s abandoned automobile, and Elgas’ frenzied Dodge Neon Smithsonian shard-receiver are in these other lanes, but nearer the action at the I-395 underpasses. Other photos show lowered lane closure arms, construction barriers and bypasses, and blocked accesses and exits. Was a though review of the roadway done by the Virginia Highway Department?
Penny Elgas hyperventilates a hyperlink:

I didn't know what else to do so I got out of my car and ran back toward the highway yelling "Go Back! They just hit the Pentagon!" But of course, no one could move in any direction because traffic was at a standstill.”
And Gary Bauer, a former Presidential candidate, happened to be driving into Washington, D.C. that morning, to a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I was in a massive traffic jam, hadn't moved more than a hundred yards in twenty minutes. ... I had just passed the closest place the Pentagon is to the exit on 395.”

But it is the wide spacing between the cars present, the absence of cars stuck in traffic going the other way, the spatially off human relationships, and the unbelievably disparate focus of the observers, which shocks my consciousness.

Offhand, I might could make the claim that nobody in New York City is pictured that morning with their hands resting on their hips, or casually thrust in their front pockets. Here in Arlington, all the men are. In New York, if they look away, it is in horror, not the result of insufficient rehearsal and poor direction.

I’ll throw in a longer aside here. The TOTAL 911 INFO site reports on new footage being incorporated into a revision of the documentary, Loose Change, saying we crew "tracked down the cabdriver who was passing by the Pentagon when a light post came crashing through his windshield. This man, an elderly black gentleman who's been driving cabs in DC since 1959, said that a white man in a white van pulled over, helped remove the light post from his windshield, and took off -- WITHOUT EVER SAYING A WORD! The cab driver went on to say that he was very confused because he kept looking for a plane but all he saw at the Pentagon was a small hole and a small fire -- no debris, no engines, no wings, etc.”)

Incidentally, the improbably large number of witnesses who somehow discerned falling light poles as a distinct and separate component of an event, taking place in nano-seconds at 530 miles-per-hour, who would then just happen to specifically mention this talking point in the standard brief interviews and news accounts, will, in our nation of laws, eventually be put to oath.

Coming up next: were Depleted Uranium munitions used at the Pentagon, like they were in Iraq? Rigorous Hazmat cleanup garb in D.C. Not used in New York. Thousands take ill. Stay tuned.