U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
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Presenter: Mr. Lee Evey, Pentagon Renovation Manager
September 15, 2001 11:00 AM EDT
DoD News Briefing on Pentagon Renovation
Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 11:00 a.m. EDT
(Also participating were Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, deputy
assistant secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Mr.
Terry Mitchell, chief, Audiovisual Division, OASD (PA). Video
shown in this briefing is available on the Web at
Slides used in this briefing are available on the Web at
Mitchell: It's more to the right of where we were at. This
is the -- this is in a renovated section on the opposite side,
if you were facing the opposite side. This is a hole in --
there was a punch-out. They suspect that this was where a
part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn't
see any evidence of the aircraft down there.
Q: Which area is that?
Mitchell: This is right inside the E Ring.
Q: Did you see any evidence of the aircraft anywhere?
Mitchell: Yes, I did. You could see just small pieces of it.
Q: Well, how far in? Again, we're trying to figure out how
it came into the building.
Q: Can we finish the video first and then we'll go back?
Mitchell: You can see someone from the Montgomery County unit
This pile here is all Pentagon metal. None of that is
aircraft whatsoever. As you can see, they've punched a hole
in here. This was punched by the rescue workers to clean it
out. You can see this is the -- some of the unrenovated areas
where the windows have blown out...
The nose of the plane just barely broke through the inside of
the C ring, so it was extending into A-E Drive a little bit.Ê
So that's the extent of penetration of the aircraft.
Q: It broke through which one?
Evey: The rings are E, D, C, B and A. Between B and C is a
driveway that goes around the Pentagon. It's called A-E
Drive. The airplane traveled in a path about like this, and
the nose of the aircraft broke through this innermost wall of
C ring into A-E Drive.
Q: One thing that's confusing -- if it came in the way you
described, at an angle, why then are not the wings outside? I
mean, the wings would have shorn off. The tail would have
shorn off. And yet there's apparently no evidence of the
aircraft outside the E ring.
Evey: Actually, there's considerable evidence of the aircraft
outside the E ring. It's just not very visible. When you get
up close -- actually, one of my people happened to be walking
on this sidewalk and was right about here as the aircraft
approached. It came in. It clipped a couple of light poles
on the way in. He happened to hear this terrible noise behind
him, looked back, and he actually -- he's a Vietnam veteran --
jumped prone onto the ground so the aircraft would not
actually -- he thinks it (would have) hit him; it was that
On its way in, the wing clipped. Our guess is an engine
clipped a generator. We had an emergency temporary generator
to provide life-safety emergency electrical power, should the
power go off in the building. The wing actually clipped that
generator, and portions of it broke off. There are other
parts of the plane that are scattered about outside the
building. None of those parts are very large, however. You
don't see big pieces of the airplane sitting there extending
up into the air. But there are many small pieces. And the few
larger pieces there look like they are veins out of the
aircraft engine. They're circular.
Q: Would you say that the plane, since it had a lot of fuel
on it at the impact, and the fact that there are very small
pieces, virtually exploded in flames when it tore into the
building? I mean, since there are not large pieces of the
wings laying outside, did it virtually explode?
Evey: I didn't see it. My people who did see it enter the
building describe it as entering the building and then there
being flames coming out immediately afterwards. Whether you
describe it as an explosion or not, people I talk to who were
there, some called it an explosion. Others called it a large
fire. I'm not sure. I wasn't there, sir. It's just a guess
on my part.