Detonation Flashes as Sync Pops

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The "airplane" strike on each twin tower featured a quick bright flash, right at the nose, just as it appeared to enter the wall. What were these flashes?

Under the video composite hypothesis, the flashes have a very useful purpose: Sync pops. Such a sync pop would be a vital element in this video fakery. Without the flashes, getting the 9/11 airplane composites right would have been far more difficult, and taken a lot more time.

Everyone has seen the countdown that precedes a motion picture. It ends when the counter reaches the number 2. On that exact frame, there is a bright flash, and often a beep tone. Known as a "two pop" or a "sync pop", the reason for having this flash is synchronization.

The video and audio elements of a show are created separately, and assembled together later. If a special effects artist created, say, a video composite sequence, he could deliver it back to the editor with a sync pop on the correct frame. The editor could then visually align that pop with the pop on his master, and he would quickly and confidently know that the effects shot was at the correct place on the timeline.

The Problem of Synchronizing

Without a flash, synchronization would be a major headache.A plane is to be inserted into various pieces of footage, from different cameras, at different angles. Locations would be scouted and test footage shot. The airplane overlays are done.

The angles and sizes match. But how to determine where in time to place the airplanes? If the plane on one video enters the tower a little too early or a little too late, compared to another video, it could be a dead giveaway. For example, if there is a particular feature in the falling debris that is known to occur 123 frames after airplane impact, it had better be the same 123 frames later on all videos that show it.

Compositors could try to use the same strategy, and key in on some identifiable feature, and work forward or backward in time. But what if there is no such feature readily apparent? Or if there is, what if one angle shows it, but another doesn't? Time is of the essence! The composites would need to be done as quickly as possible, and done right. There is no time to scour explosion videos looking for a key piece of falling aluminum.

There is time code, which can be embedded into video and used to synchronize elements. But to function in this situation would require a live time code feed from a single master clock, going to all of the cameras as they are recording the tower explosions. This requires a satellite connection from the studio (i.e. a news van with a satellite dish), and a pro camera. The idea would be to pass off these videos as "amateur" videos shot on consumer recorders.

How can it be known where in time to place the airplane sequence?

Enter the flashes. The flashes are very brief, lasting about 1 video frame, or 1/30 of a second. They make a very handy marker for where to place the nose of the airplane, in both time and space. On all of the prepared airplane layers, a particular frame has already been designated as the one where the plane impacts the tower. In the editing software, it is a simple matter to slide that impact frame to line up with the flash frame.

The flash frame also tells when to begin erasing the plane with a mask. The flash frame is the last one before the nose starts to disappear.

The flash can be made to partly cover up the nose of the airplane, thus obscuring what occurs at the moment of apparent impact.

Official Story

Under the real plane hypothesis, we are left with Frank Greening’s explanation for the flashes. Dr. Greening suggests that the impact causes the aluminum cladding and rust to form a spontaneous thermite reaction. The behavior of the flash appears inconsistent with thermite, because it does not form molten iron “sparks” which fall down and gradually turn darker shades of yellow, then orange, then red, as the molten iron from thermite is known to do. Rather, the flash behaves as a luminescent gas. It does not fall. It does not appear heavier than air.The flashes thus do not support the real plane hypothesis.


Under the video compositing hypothesis, the flashes on the 9/11 airplane videos are not only plausible, they are essential. They are real explosive detonations. They may or may not have also been a necessary beginning of the huge internal explosions which followed. Either way, they would be vital in synchronizing the airplane videos consistently. Thus the flashes support the compositing hypothesis.

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