Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Airfone "Smoking Gun"

It has been going around the truther community the last week or so that they have found a "smoking gun" proving that 9/11 was a government conspiracy, because AA flight 77 did not have airfones. This has most recently been mentioned in a David Ray Griffin interview posted on 911 Blogger:

Griffin: Let me tell you a new thing that most people don’t know. This was dug up by Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall who wrote wrote the book, “9/11 Revealed.” ... it has to do with the alleged phone calls from Barbara Olson. Now you know and many of your listeners know that Ted Olson, her husband, who claims he got the call from her from………

Blood: They say he is going to be the new AG (Attorney General). I just had to thump that in. That’s the rumor going around [crosstalk]

Griffin: Yeah, more than likely. But he claims that he got this call from Barbara, his wife, from Flight 77 but he was unclear. First he would say it was from cell phone and then he would say, well no it was from one of the seat back phones. And he’s gone back and forth. So, it turns out now we know that cell phone calls were not possible. So, that makes everybody say, well sure maybe she did it on airfones. It turns out that particular Boeing, American Boeing 757 that Flight 77 was, was not equipped with airfones. This was a stunning development.

Blood: This was a stunning development. How come I haven’t heard that before, David?

Griffin: Because Roland’s book hasn’t got much attention. It’s a shame because it’s such a great book.

Now I have never read the book they refer to, so I am not sure what they are talking about. But one of the commenters helps us out with this bit:

9/11 Revealed, page 128-129
Griffin is referring to this passage from Morgan and Henshall's 9/11 Revealed:

"American Airlines Boeing 757s were not equipped with in-flight satellite phones for passengers. A call by us to American Airlines' London Office produced a definitive statement from Laeti Hyver that 757s do not have Airfones. This was confirmed by an email from AA in the US."
The book was published in 2005 according to Amazon. And they are probably correct. In 2005 American Airlines 757s did not have in-flight satellite phones. It only took me 5 minutes of research to figure this out.

Airline grounds in-flight phone service
American Airlines is scrapping some of those phones built into the seats of airplanes, and it's blaming it all on the popularity of cell phones.
By Sam Ames Staff Writer
Published: February 6, 2002, 4:20 PM PST

Airlines are throwing away those phones built into the seats, and they're blaming it all on cell phones.
American Airlines will discontinue its AT&T in-flight phone service by March 31, a spokesman for the airline said Wednesday.

"Almost since their installation in 1996, we've seen a dramatic decrease in the use of these phones," said American Airlines spokesman Todd Burke, who added that the service averages about three calls a day per aircraft.

The article goes on to point out that they will still be on some flights, but not 757s.

The airline will keep other communication services working. Passengers on Boeing 777 and Boeing 767-300 aircraft, which mainly fly international routes, will continue to offer an in-flight phone service that connects to an orbiting satellite for a $5 connection fee and a rate of $10 a minute.

Now who wants to bet that they didn't bother to ask if 757s had airfones in September 2001?

This is a pretty silly theory anyway. If they really did not have airfones in 2001, then how would this widely publicized incident have escaped the notice of thousands of American Airlines flight attendents, pilots, ground crew, mechanics etc. Not to mention the flying public at large.