Controversy Surrounding the Pentagon 911 Surveillance
Camera Video Footage
by Ted Twietmeyer
Judicial Watch Caught Pulling A 180 On Pentagon Footage
The president of the organization that sued for the video footage, also made
an appearance on Fox on the same day of the government-released video clips.
He appeared for a few minutes on Mr. O'Reilly's show, on which the
new footage was also aired. On that show, the JW president made the absurd
statement "this definitely proves a plane was present." Even O'Reilly, well
known as a staunch supporter of the administration was forced to state "I
can't see a plane there."
Yet the very next day, I heard the same Judicial Watch president live on a
radio show sing a completely different tune about what could be seen, and
that "more footage is to be released soon." The reason for his flip-flop
opinion will probably never be known, unless his bank account (or JW) had a
mysterious large deposit of untraceable origin that day. Supposedly more
footage is to be released, but has not as of this writing. One can imagine
the bickering going on inside the pentagon over this matter. After all, this
isn't like doing post-production work on a motion picture that can take
months. All an un-named employee must do is to take 5 minutes and make a
copy of good RAW video footage and release it. No credits, no music, no
Unfortunately, with professional video editing workstations used in motion
pictures today, the next footage that shows a plane will be perfect and
undetectable as a fake. And it will appear near election time or about the
time Iran is to be invaded, when voters at the polls will remember it and
think the "war on terror" is justified. Even though no jumbo-jet was ever
there. The biggest problem the government has? There never was a plane.
WHERE ARE THE OTHER CAMERA TAPES?
The current video footage recently released has a very slow frame rate of
about frame per second, which could never be used to conclusively prove a
plane was actually present that never touched the lawn or the giant
wooden cable spools in the way. But what of the other 80+ video cameras from
various businesses all around that side of the pentagon? Why are these
videos still missing? We know that at the hotel across the road from the
building, the staff were rewinding and watching the surveillance camera
video tape over and over when the feds came in and took it. What was it they
saw, and why haven't any of them come forward to testify what they saw? In
the following analysis, we will look at whether or not a standard, real-time
video camera such as those commonly used will actually be able to capture
the image of an aircraft. For worse-case speed in the following analysis, we
will assume that the fictional aircraft has an average airspeed just before
impact of 500MPH.
A SHORT PRIMER ON NTSC VIDEO
This is by far the most common surveillance camera video standard still used
in the United States and Canada. NTSC is an acronym for the National
Television Systems Committee. Use of this standard  insures low cost
recording on almost any standard American VCR. The NTSC video specification
defines a fixed video field rate of 59.94 FIELDS (not completed images) per
second. There are TWO randomly interlaced FIELDS of video in each
video FRAME. Each field has 262.5 scan lines, for a total of 525 scan lines
required to form the completed image. (In actual use, about 486 scan lines
are usable, since many scan lines are reserved for sync, retrace and
other network signals such as color control, data, closed captioning,
timing, etc...) With LCD televisions, almost all of the 486 scan lines are
visible. About 400 lines are visible with CRT-based televisions, as a result
of intentional overscanning off the screen at the top and bottom. The
missing scan lines are used to compensate for power line and television
circuitry fluctuations which may cause a reduction in vertical picture size,
producing a black bar(s) at the top and/or bottom of the screen.
On older televisions when the picture shrank vertically from a defective
electronic component, one could see a fat black arrow in the middle of a
thick black bar at the top of the screen. That was just the appearance of
the video sync.embedded in the video scanning. However, it is not what the
sync. signal actually looks like. (Normally these lines are never visible.)
The actual NTSC video frame rate is 59.97/2, giving us 29.98 completed
frames of video/second. This is why when you look at something off to the
side of a CRT-based television screen you can perceive a slight flicker. The
peripheral vision of the retina in your eye has a higher frequency response
than at the center of the retina. Therefore, you can perceive
the video frame rate.
PROOF WHY A PLANE WILL BE SEEN ON VIDEO IF PRESENT
No one that I know of has attempted to analyze this issue purely from a
video frame rate perspective. A video camera can be thought of as a crude
stroboscopic still camera capturing 60 individual still fields (NOT frames)
per second when played back on a recorder or computer, with a pause or still
frame capability that can display the individual fields. We will
be concentrating on the camera's horizontal viewing distance, since this is
the expected path of the plane at ground level.
Standard NTSC video is still used in many low cost surveillance cameras. It
does not create the jerky, slow motion video one sees from a web or computer
network camera running at 1 to 5 frames/sec. using considerable compression.
With NTSC video, no compression is involved. (The actual NTSC spec. predates
all forms of computer video compression by many decades.)
With two interlaced fields per NTSC image frame, each complete frame
requires 0.0333 seconds (33 milliseconds) for a complete video frame.
For our point of reference, let's consider an outdoor camera that could
easily cover approximately 500ft. or more of horizontal distance. This could
easily be the situation with a camera at the gas station across the street
from the pentagon. It will probably cover an even wider field, since any
camera's field of view is an infinitely widening cone (although the focus of
the camera's lens and resolution drop off with distance.)
With all that said, let's do some numbers to see if the plane will be
captured by an ordinary NTSC video camera. Some readers may see this as the
long way to calculate it, but this will clearly illustrate my point:
1. First, let's convert the plane's distance it travels into feet so it can
be compared to the horizontal view of a video camera. A plane traveling at
500MPH (500MPH x 5,280ft (or 1 mile) travels 2,640,000 ft. in one hour.
2. There are 3600 seconds in one hour. 2,640,000ft. per hour/3600 seconds =
733.333. Therefore, our missing plane travels at 733.333ft. per second,
which is slightly more than twice as fast as a Formula 1 race car. Although
this is fast it won't be invisible.
3. As stated earlier, we will assume that a typical surveillance camera
conservatively covers about 500ft on the horizontal axis (from left to
right.) This will equate to 68% of the 733ft. our plane travels in one
second. Of course, this would require an unobstructed field of view. Many
outdoor cameras have the focus set to infinity (or near infinity) to capture
everything in the camera's field of view. Therefore, the length of time that
the camera will capture images of the plane will be considerable longer.
4. Let's return to our video calculations above. Every 33 THOUSANDTHS OF A
SECOND we have a completed, interlaced video field which covers about 500ft.
of horizontal space. If we take 68% (from step 3 above) of 29.98 complete
frames/second, we are left with 20.386 usable frames/sec.
Conservatively, this means that some or all of an aircraft will be visible
in AT LEAST 20 FRAMES (or 40 FIELDS) OF VIDEO.
And even though it will be blurred, an aircraft will be visible. We will NOT
see any background buildings or trees in the distance wherever the body of
the plane is in any video frame.
Consider a race car at the track covered by today's NTSC video cameras. Even
when the car zips past a fixed track-side camera only a dozen or so feet
away from the lens at more than 200MPH, one can still see something in the
video image. If the same car was moving at 500MPH twice the distance away
from the same camera, the effect would be about the same. The farther an
object is from a camera, the slower it will appear to move. When you look up
in the sky at a jet traveling at 550MPH just a few miles above you, it
appears to move very slowly simply because of the distance. When watching
planes land at a nearby airport, one may not imagine that the aircraft land
at speeds around 100MPH.
From this analysis we have been able to prove that not just one frame, but
that 20 frames or more will show any aircraft in the distance. And if the
camera ran at a slower video rate, such as 15 full frames per second? Then
we would see the image of the plane in at least 10.2 frames.
Now all we need is just ONE of the missing 80+ tapes that shows an aircraft.
That is - if any of these recordings still exist.
Research Articles by Ted Twietmeyer