March 11, 2008

Is Sandia Labs' F-4 Phantom rocket sled test a hoax?

(Update 03/13/08: MythBusters pulls my challenge to them to replicate the results of the SNL F-4 crash test.)

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) performed a test on April 19, 1988 where they took an F-4 Phantom jet fighter and crashed it head-on into a fortified concrete barrier to, they say, measure the impact force of a fighter jet. The F-4 was mounted on a track with a separate rocket attached underneath it that propelled it into the wall at 480mph. SNL said that they used water in the plane's fuel tanks to simulate the mass of jet fuel, because "the effects of fire following such a collision was not a part of the test."

The observed end result of this test was quite astonishing in that the F-4 appeared to have "atomized" from striking the wall.

What was even more astonishing, to me at least, was that the F-4 also appeared to have met no resistance as it crashed. It did not appear to slow down, its fuselage didn't crumple, its cockpit window didn't crack or shatter, and its wings and tail fins didn't jolt forward after it started crashing into the fortified barrier.

This test has recently been brought up again by skeptics as evidence as to why little plane debris is seen at the Pentagon. Skeptics and even planehugging truthers have used this crash test in the past to try to debunk no-plane at the Pentagon (and even at the WTC!).

What really struck me about this crash test (other than it seemed to re-write the laws of physics as I knew them) is that I found it extremely odd that I had never seen, or heard about this test with such remarkable (and unbelievable) results before 9/11 even though it was supposedly conducted 13 years prior. From the best that I could tell, SNL didn't even put this amazing crash test up on its website until mid-March 2005. I can find only one instance on the net which had reported this test before 9/11 and that was back in 1995.

I mean doesn't it seem a little too convenient that this crash test, which is one of the few experiments SNL features on their video gallery page, came out of no where and has been used by planehuggers to help try to debunk the claims that no plane hit the Pentagon, or the Twin Towers?

A couple of other things I find odd about this test crash is that SNL never showed what the results of the crash looked like after the dust settled down. The F-4 was said to have penetrated only 2.4 inches into the concrete wall. Why didn't they show what the damage to the barrier afterwards? I'm not the only one who has asked to see what the concrete wall looked like afterwards and how much plane wreckage was left.

I also find it odd they would try to simulate a jet fighter crash without fuel. You would think they would want to include the forces of the jet fuel exploding in their test.

SNL apparently conducted another test where they crashed a TF-30 plane engine into a concrete barrier. Why haven't they released photos or videos of that test?

So a simple question:

Have you ever seen another experiment where a mostly-hollow metal object, such as a plane, basically turned to dust after crashing into a harder object without the rest of it exhibiting any signs of meeting any resistance as it crashed?

I sure haven't.

That test was supposedly done 20 years ago, so find it quite remarkable, or should I say, unbelievable that I haven't seen, or heard of a another independent test conducted that confirms the extraordinary results of this SNL crash test. Surely some organization would have conducted a similar test to see if they can replicate the results. It shouldn't be that hard or expensive. All someone would have to do is crash a toaster oven into a fortified wall at a really high speed and it should produce the same results, right?!

I don't want to think that this test was a hoax that was made for some nuclear industry propaganda. I don't want to think this footage has been brought out of the storage room to be used as part of the psyops to help convince people that real planes struck the Pentagon and WTC. I want to believe the SNL test crash is real and not a hoax!

I makes sense to me that the reason SNL didn't show what the concrete wall looked like afterward and didn't use jet fuel in their test is because their test was a hoax.

So please...

Show me another crash test experiment that confirms SNL's!

If no other tests have ever been done to confirm SNL's test, then their test results should be thought of as unreliable until someone can conduct a similar test that produces the same results.

That's good science.

Vote on whether you think SNL's plane crash test is a hoax at


Anonymous said...


Huge smoking gun dude. The video is obviously faked. Proof that 9/11 was being planned over a decade ago.

Great find. Can't wait to see it in court to bring these bastards down!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just one page
out of a possible 25 crash test pages
on that site.
See also the Boeing 757 Power by wire transport Research facilities.

Anonymous said...

I tend not to think the test was faked, but KT still asks a good question. And it's certainly clear that we don't really know what the outcome was-- in terms of plane debris or the wall.

The NASA site referenced above only shows one test of a hard landing-- not really comparable to the SNL test.


Anonymous said...

I've seen a TV show a long time ago about this test. It was in the 1990s. I don't recall which show. But see if you can find it.

Anonymous said...

At that speed things keep going with much less time or a much smaller area close to impact for the reactive force you want to see. Had it been at low speed you would see the reactive forces you want all the way back to the tail.

There's been a few airline crashes straight down with little debris.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the video is a fake. But then, I don't really see how it could account for the official story of the Pentagon and WTC crashes. In fact, quite the opposite - to me it seems to bolster the no-planes case. Think about it: if that's what happens to a jet flying at high speed hitting a concrete object, then how the hell do you account for the giant hole in the Pentagon, not to mention the giant hole at the WTC and the nosecone coming out the other side unscathed?

The problem at the Pentagon is that there's both a gigantic hole *and* an absence of wreckage. You can't say that the plane vaporized on impact and still produced a huge hole. What, did the already vaporized aluminum produce the hole? And it's even harder to say that the plane passed through the WTC intact and then vaporized - I mean, how exactly does that work?!?

Ask these kinds of questions next time someone tries to use this video as an explanation of why there's no wreckage. I highly doubt the Sandia video is a hoax. The results of that video seem consistent with the laws of solid mechanics, and highly *inconsistent* with what allegedly happened on 9/11.

spooked said...

Yeah, I agree with "reader".

Anonymous said...

Ditto to spooked and Reader. Plus check this quote from

BUSWELL: "I had received many unsolicited e-mail forwards from this person before. I didn’t know him, because I was part of the intel network on Ft. Sam Houston. They showed me a courtesy by including me in the sharing of their unclassified e-mails. I might have read 10 or 15 percent of them, ’cause I always had more important things to do.

"This one, though, caught my attention because it had to do with 9/11. It was a photograph of an F4 Phantom, attached to a sled on the ground, accelerated to nearly 600 miles per hour, smashing into a hardened concrete barrier. The author said that all these conspiracy kooks – which I took to mean everyone outside of this e-mail network – are totally wrong, and we’re the ones that are holding the line of truth. He included me into that, and I said no, I’m not part of the group of people who believe this.

"He was saying that anybody that says a plane did not hit the Pentagon just needs to look at this photograph and see that they’re full of shit. And I can understand that someone could believe him, following this weak logic, if they look at the world as black and white. So I deleted the e-mail.

"When I came back from lunch, about an hour and a half later, it really started to bug me. I said, you know, ‘I’ve seen this stuff happen a lot, and I’ve turned away from it, and not spoken out about it.’ So, I undeleted the message, hit reply all, and said what I said. I do not regret it one bit. Not one bit at all.

"My logic and reasoning on this matter is sound. I’ve been looking at this thing for years, and there’s just no possible way the official story is accurate. The Pentagon is not a hardened structure; it was built during World War II. It is a weak structure. So linking the alleged plane at the Pentagon with this F4 jet angered me. It was insulting to me.

"I didn’t tailor the response in an offensive way. I simply said, ‘If the Pentagon were hit by a plane, there would be a 190-foot wingspan impact on the building, which there was not. There would be two large engine holes in the building, which there was not. There’d be tail wreckage, bodies and debris everywhere, but there wasn’t.

"Compare the impact hole at either World Trade Center tower to the impact hole at the Pentagon. At the WTC, it looked like a silhouette of a plane, right through steel. If a plane hit the Pentagon, there would be a similar silhouette, a plane punching through concrete. But there wasn’t. It was just a 16-foot hole. That just doesn’t add up.

"When you study this subject like I have, you uncover things from time to time that make you say, ‘wow.’ You find things that just add fuel to the fire. When I wrote that e-mail, I didn’t know this at the time, but on Sept. 10, 2001, SECDEF Rumsfeld said in a press conference, ‘Hey, we’ve lost $2.3 trillion dollars.’

"Two point three trillion dollars?!? Most of us can’t even imagine that sort of money. So then I started thinking, ‘What part of the Pentagon was hit?’ Turns out, it was the comptroller, the accounting department. That part of the Pentagon. I mean, I’m not making this up! This is genuine. We keep finding new things about 9/11 that weakens the government’s story. And each time it gets weakened, every three or four months or so, I’m just stunned that we, as a Republic, aren’t doing something about this. Where is the outrage? At the gas pump?"

ICONOCLAST: "So, on that day in August, 2006, you decided it was your time to act, and you send this e-mail to some 34 people on a government network. You didn’t think it would cause trouble?"

BUSWELL: "Well, actually avoiding trouble was not on my radar screen, I had to act, out of my sense of duty; responding was the right thing, the correct thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this is actually a blog. This video has been around forever and how the hell could it be fake? Its not like they could just photoshop it out back in 1988 like you could today. I know photographers that have worked with Sandia and everything captured is legit. They make these videos for quality control not to create conspiracies 13 years later.

Killtown said...

Everybody "knows" somebody that can verify, aye emerica?

So if it's legit then as I asked on my blog:

Show me another crash test experiment that confirms SNL's!

Unknown said...

The reason you don't see any signs of the impact further back on the jet is because impact propagates at the speed of sound in a material. This jet was traveling at 480 mph, which is pretty fast, though i don't know the speed of sound in the jet's surface material. That's some pretty complicated science, really. If the tail is moving faster than that S.o.S., it doesn't "know" it's in a collision yet. They have the same problems shooting satellites down, because they move so fast, normal projectiles pass through them like a bullet through paper, without transferring momentum. As to the debris, it's very common for explosions to leave only very small bits of debris. You'd have to see the aftermath to know for sure. A fake is ridiculous though. They don't claim it as a concrete impact test (I've wanted to use it for reliability engineering purposes before, and can't for this reason), only as a test of the jet itself. It's just a cool looking video, that's why it's on the site, I guess.

Nono Yobiz said...

Show you another?

Mythbusters video

SteveS said...

A copy of the actual test report is available here:

It includes a post impact image of the test target.

Not believing something has little bearing on it being true or not. High energy processes are not intuitive. Research the origins of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) if you really want to be blown away.

pdoylemi said...

So sorry, after watching a "no planes" video, my first thought was to Google F4 Phantom crashes into wall because I HAD seen it many years ago. The test is legit.

The Physics Classroom said...

I'm a HS physics teacher and have been showing this video since 1989, long before the 9/11 incident. I have it on a VHS video that still resides in a drawer of physics videos at our school. This certainly debunks your idea that the video was contrived by the government sometime after 9/11.