Tuesday, May 29, 2007

David Ray Griffin Still Trying on the Airfone Thing

Well I have to give him credit for being persistent. Even after being completely embarassed by having his no airfone on AA77 thing being proven wrong on this blog, even before the claim came out in his new book, he is still trying to desperately come up with evidence to support it. I came across this e-mail on a truther mailing list I am on:

The question has come up whether the Boeing 757s made for American Airlines (as distinct from those made for United Airlines) that would have been in service in 2001 had onboard (seat-back) phones. If they did not, then obviously Ted Olson’s claim about Barbara Olson’s call from a seat-back phone on AA Flight 77 cannot be true.

We know that they did not have them in 2004 (although the 767 and 777 did). But we cannot get any clear information about whether they had them in 2001. We received a purported email from a “Chad Kinder” in public relations for AA that said that they did not. But we have been unable to verify the authenticity of this email or even whether there is a Chad Kinder who works for AA.

It would seem that there were would be all sorts of people who could answer the question, including AA mechanics, pilots, and flight attendants. If any of you can help us get this answer---hopefully within the week---we would greatly appreciate it.

Yours truly,

Rob Balsamo and David Ray Griffin

This argument is pretty silly though. This was widely publicized at the time. The odds that none of the thousands of American Airlines employees, not to mention hundreds of thousands of their passengers, would not have noticed the fact that they didn't have airfones installed on their planes is pretty farfetched. Although I don't doubt that 6 years after the fact they will be able to find a single truther, a Lauro Chavez type, who will now suddenly recall that in fact there were no airfones installed.

Well, how do we know there were phones installed? Well, I know by truther logic we are not allowed to use the 9/11 Commission report, since its findings do not support their hoped outcome, but simply read the footnotes.

56. FBI report, "American Airlines Airphone Usage," Sept. 20, 2001; FBI report of investigation, interview of Ronald and Nancy May, Sept. 12, 2001.

57.The records available for the phone calls from American 77 do not allow for a determination of which of four "connected calls to unknown numbers" represent the two between Barbara and Ted Olson, although the FBI and DOJ believe that all four represent communications between Barbara Olson and her husband's office (all family members of the Flight 77 passengers and crew were canvassed to see if they had received any phone calls from the hijacked flight, and only Renee May's parents and Ted Olson indicated that they had received such calls).The four calls were at 9:15:34 for 1 minute, 42 seconds; 9:20:15 for 4 minutes, 34 seconds; 9:25:48 for 2 minutes, 34 seconds; and 9:30:56 for 4 minutes, 20 seconds. FBI report, "American Airlines Airphone Usage," Sept. 20, 2001; FBI report of investigation, interview of Theodore Olson, Sept. 11, 2001; FBI report of investigation, interview of Helen Voss, Sept. 14, 2001;AAL response to the Commission's supplemental document request, Jan. 20, 2004.

58. FBI report, "American Airlines Airphone Usage," Sept. 20, 2001; FBI report of investigation, interview of Theodore Olson, Sept. 11, 2001.

So obviously both American Airlines and the FBI seem to believe that they had airfones installed. But I guess they are all involved in the plot too.

Incidently, I meant to post this earlier, but I got distracted with other things, if you want to know what type of nutcase Rob Balsamo is, read the comments on this Italian language debunking site. Not the type of argument you would expect from an aviation professional. In fact, I would not want to be flying on his plane at all.

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