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 The September 11 Attack on the Pentagon  
 
Drawing of the aircraft aligned with damage to the Pentagon

An artist’s drawing shows the aircraft aligned with damage to the Pentagon.

The plane hit the building at an angle, with its right wing tilted slightly upwards. The fuselage, engines and inner part of the wings, where the heavy landing gear and most of the fuel was contained, hit the ground floor. The upper part of the plane, including the vertical stabilizer on its tail fin, created the smaller portion of the hole on the second floor. The outer portion of the plane’s right wing struck the second floor.

Many conspiracy theorists incorrectly identify the portion of the hole on the second floor as the entire hole. They argue from this mistaken premise that because a large airliner could not have created such a small hole, the damage must have been caused by a missile.

Perhaps the most popular September 11 conspiracy theory video, which endorses the mistaken “small hole” theory, is Loose Change. Its various editions have reportedly logged more than 10 million Web views. (© The Pentagon Building Performance Report)