The "War Games" page at 911myths.com states:
Many prominent 9/11 researchers claim that the US air defence system would have prevented the 9/11 attacks under normal circumstances, but were unable to do so because air traffic controllers, the FAA and NORAD were confused by "war games" that were running at the same time...However, this past Tuesday 911truth.org published a press release entitled, "Expert Panel Reports False Accounts of US Political and Military Leaders on 9/11," which notes that:
...There’s a distinct lack of evidence for any of these exercises adversely affecting the response to 9/11, or even to contradict the NORAD and 9/11 Commission view that they actually helped.
The 20-member 9/11 Consensus Panel analyzed evidence from press reports, FOIA requests, and archived 9/11 Commission file documents to produce eight new studies, released today.Going to the report itself, we learn that, "Although the 9/11 Commission mentioned only one military exercise – Vigilant Guardian – that was scheduled for 9/11, evidence shows that at least 12 exercises had been scheduled for that day."
The international Panel also discovered that four massive aerial practice exercises traditionally held in October were in full operation on 9/11. The largest, Global Guardian, held annually by NORAD and the US Strategic and Space Commands, had originally been scheduled for October 22-31 but was moved, along with Vigilant Guardian, to early September.
Although senior officials claimed no one could have predicted using hijacked planes as weapons, the military had been practicing similar exercises on 9/11 itself -- and for years before it.
The Panel, discovering widespread reports of confusion and delays in the defense response, looked into who was overseeing the air defenses after the second Tower was hit at 9:03 AM.
9/11 researcher Dr. Webster Tarpley puts the number of exercises taking place on 9/11 at 22.
(Note: I strongly disagree with many of Tarpley's conclusions about 9/11 and his unfounded allegations against several other 9/11 researchers.)
The first bio listed on the 9/11 Consensus Panel is that of "Dr. Robert Bowman, former head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at the US Air Force Institute of Technology, and the Director of Advanced Space Programs Development (“Star Wars”) under Presidents Ford and Carter."
The WhatReallyHappened.com page, "War Games: The Key to a 9/11 USAF Stand Down," notes that Dr. Bowman who is "so decorated with medals and honors they could fill a patriotic Christmas tree... has inside knowledge of military protocol, and has stated that it is apparent to him that the massive military exercises that took place on September 11, 2001 were intentionally staged to confuse civil defenses."
The panel, whose members also include a retired US Navy fighter pilot who subsequently spent 27 years as an airline pilot, as well as a U.S. Air Force pilot who served for 31 years, continues their report:
One would expect that having so many exercises would have caused some confusion, which might have slowed down the military response. Indeed, statements to this effect have been made:This study by 9/11 researcher "Shoestring" is the most important reference, it begins:
According to a summary of a 9/11 Commission interview with Canadian Lt. Gen. Rick Findley, who was at NORAD as the Battle Staff Director at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC) on September 11,2001, there was, following the second attack on the Twin Towers, “confusion as to how many, and which aircraft, were hijacked. There was no situational awareness that was directly credible, and CMOC was relying on the communications over the phone lines with its operations sectors. Findley opined that AA 11 was reported still airborne and headed towards Washington, D.C. because of the added confusion of many hijack reports.” - Source
At Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, DC, FAA Air Traffic Controller James Ampey, stationed at Andrews Tower, reported in a 9/11 Commission interview that there were an unusually high number of aircraft taking-off and landing at Andrews that morning because previously scheduled military exercises were underway. The radar screens were showing “emergencies all over the place.” - Source
General Larry Arnold, commander of NORAD’s Continental U.S. Region, said: “By the end of the day, we had 21 aircraft identified as possible hijackings.” - Source
Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke: “There were lots of false signals out there. There were false hijack squawks, and a great part of the challenge was sorting through what was a legitimate threat and what wasn’t.” - Source
FAA Deputy Administrator, Monte Belger, said: “Between 9:20-9:45 there were many confusing reports about various aircraft being unaccounted for.” - Source
An independent study in 2011 gave detailed accounts of nine falsely reported hijackings on 9/11, plus nine other reported aircraft emergencies.
Although it has been widely reported that four commercial aircraft were hijacked over the United States on September 11, 2001, what is less well known is that while the terrorist attacks were taking place and for many hours after, numerous additional aircraft gave indications that they had been hijacked or, for other reasons, were singled out as potential emergencies. More than 20 aircraft were identified as possible hijackings, according to some accounts, and other aircraft displayed signs of emergencies, such as losing radio communication with air traffic controllers or transmitting a distress signal.Read the entire report here:
Reports about these false alarms have revealed extraordinary circumstances around some of the incidents and bizarre explanations for how they arose. For example, it has been claimed that the pilots of one foreign aircraft approaching the U.S. set their plane's transponder to transmit a code signaling they had been hijacked simply to show authorities that they were aware of what had been taking place in America that morning. Another aircraft reported as transmitting a distress signal while approaching the U.S. was subsequently found to have been canceled, and still at the airport.
There may be innocent explanations for some of the less serious false alarms, such as those simply involving the temporary loss of radio communication with the plane, which is a common occurrence and happens on a daily basis. But, viewed in its entirety, the evidence appears highly suspicious and raises serious questions. Why, for example, were there so many false alarms on September 11? Why did so many of them involve false reports of hijackings or aircraft falsely signaling that they had been hijacked? The details of specific incidents that have been reported, which I describe below, show that these false alarms must have been something more than just the results of confusion caused by the terrorist attacks.
MILITARY EXERCISES INCLUDED SIMULATED HIJACKINGS
One possibility to consider is that some of the false alarms related to training exercises taking place on September 11. There is evidence supporting this contention.
So much for the contention at 911myths.com of there being "a distinct lack of evidence for any of these exercises adversely affecting the response to 9/11."
Similarly, Shoestring's article, "'Let's Get Rid of This Goddamn Sim': How NORAD Radar Screens Displayed False Tracks All Through the 9/11 Attacks," debunks the claim at the 911myths.com war games page that "there's no evidence at all that 'false blips' were in use on 9/11."
These blips were part of the war game exercise Vigilant Guardian. In a March 2012 article entitled, "'Real-World or Exercise': Did the U.S. Military Mistake the 9/11 Attacks for a Training Scenario?," Shoestring writes:
It has been claimed that Vigilant Guardian was terminated shortly after United Airlines Flight 175 became the second plane to crash into the World Trade Center, at 9:03 a.m. on September 11. However, evidence indicates it may have continued long after that time. It has also been claimed that the participation of military staffers in the exercise had little effect on their ability to protect America against the attacks, and that Vigilant Guardian may even have had beneficial effects. For example, in its final report, the 9/11 Commission claimed that the response to the attacks "was, if anything, expedited by the increased number of staff at the sectors and at NORAD because of the scheduled exercise." However, a significant amount of evidence casts doubt upon this claim.Again, "a significant amount of evidence" not a "a distinct lack of evidence."
Conclusion from the 9/11 Consensus Panel:
Because of the rescheduling of military exercises normally scheduled for different times, there were an extraordinary number of exercises underway the morning of September 11, 2001.But the Arabesque: 9/11 Truth blog perhaps put it best:
The Department of Defense and the 9/11 Commission failed to report all but one of the exercises that occurred that morning.
They also denied that such exercises slowed down military responses to the attacks.
Had the 9/11 Commission reported the full extent of the exceptional number of exercises it knew were operating that morning, the above-quoted statements by military officers such as Eberhart, Marr, and Myers – that the exercises did not, by causing confusion, slow down the military response – would have seemed implausible.
Any new investigation should probe the fact that, taken together, this evidence suggests that:
(1) the Pentagon, after creating conditions that confused the military response to the attacks, sought to cover up its creation of these conditions, and that
(2) the 9/11 Commission facilitated this cover-up by not making public the information held in its records cited above.
NORAD commander-in-Chief Ralph Eberhart was asked by the 9/11 Commission if these war games "helped" response to the 9/11 attacks and responded nonsensically, "sir, my belief is that it helped because of the manning, because of the focus, because the crews - they have to be airborne in 15 minutes and that morning, because of the exercise, they were airborne in six or eight minutes. And so I believe that focus helped." This was clearly a ridiculous statement; if the war games "helped" response to the attacks, why were none of the planes intercepted during the attacks; what "response" was there at all? In fact, there is very strong evidence that these drills hindered response since they moved air defenses away from New York and Washington, added "injects" to radar screens, and created general confusion.Related:
Pumpitout Radio: Foreknowledge and Lack of Air Defense
Lack of 9/11 Air Defence Explained?