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What do you think is the legacy of 9/11 on this day - the second anniversary of the event? What impact has it had on American life? What impact has it had on you? What will the lasting impact of 9/11 be on America and the world?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

© MBM

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I think the legacy will be th loss of certain freedoms.

It will bring the end of unmanaged immigrants. If it doesn't, if it doesn't then the next time something like 9/11 happens, and it will, it will be the end of the political career of whoever is in charge.

For African Americans, it is likely to be the screen behind which we allow the protection of our right to vote to be taken.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
The investigation into the Florida elections in 2000, revealed that government/institutional influence had be applied to African American voters. The findings were referred to the Department of Justice (of which John Ashcroft is Secretary). That department has failed/refused to litigate. The violations are under and Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 4 and Section 5 have been voted to expire in 2007.

Does that help?

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I agree with Oshun 100%. There were no lessons learned from 9-11 and sadly america continued on its same arrogant path with even less regard for others. The attitudes of its citizens are to trudge stubbornly ahead on the same path....as the world in general prepares to try and deal with this country in a way that will bring it to its knees......a vicious cycle indeed....
Inequality Before and After 9/11
by Paul Street

I'll always remember the day I tried to engage in that silly exercise called "speaking truth to power." It was early December of 2001. My topic was American policymakers' decision to place nearly a million black people behind bars and to mark more than one in three black males with a felony record. As a member of a Chicago-based council of advisers working to help ex-offenders "reintegrate" into the "free world," I was invited to a pleasant conference room to give my thoughts on these matters to Matt Bettenhausen, Illinois' "Deputy Governor for Criminal Justice and Public Safety." Along with eight other council members, I presented facts and reflections on the vicious circle of racially disparate mass incarceration. Among other things, I noted that there were nearly 20,000 more black males in the Illinois state prison system than the number of black males enrolled in the state's public universities. There were more black males in the state's correctional facilities just on drug charges, I added, than the total number of black males enrolled as undergraduates in Illinois state universities.

Bettenhausen, who hails from a local family of accomplished racecar drivers, arrived in time only for the last talk. He apologized for his lateness, explaining that he had been meeting with the state's Attorney General to discuss the "War On Terrorism." His eyes beamed with pride as he told us how much busier he had become since his appointment as the state's "first-ever Homeland Security Coordinator." With an American flag pin prominently displayed on his lapel, he regaled us with the latest reports on the United States military campaign in Afghanistan. He was clearly relishing his new supposed importance in the battle between planetary good and evil. "Wow," a fellow presenter muttered, "he watches CNN."

After thus communicating the relative insignificance of our issue at this moment of sweeping global consequence, Bettenshausen told us that then Illinois governor George Ryan would not be reversing his recent decision to eliminate higher education and vocational training for prisoners from the state's budget. These cuts, he claimed, were compelled by the "post-September economic downturn" – a dubious dating of an overdue correction in the capitalist business cycle.

Tires squealing, he apologized for racing off to another meeting related to "the war on terror." I was instantly reminded of James Madison's comment that "the fetters imposed on liberty at home have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defense against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers from abroad." Another phrase also came to mind: plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same).

"Everything Changed"

According to a great national myth propagated by the in-power right wing War Party and its allies and enablers in the dominant state-corporate media, "everything changed" on September 11, 2001. Before 9/11, this authoritarian narrative runs, Americans lived in peaceful division, pleasantly but naively stuck in their own little prosperous domestic spheres. We were cheerfully but innocently blind to the dangers of a still-precarious world and to the related greatness and vulnerability of our nation. We were too preoccupied with our busy little lives to grasp our creeping moral decline, epitomized by the sexual transgressions and lies of Bill Clinton.

Thanks to 9/11, we have lost our innocence and awakened to our national magnificence and the related threats we face from bad people who hate and envy our freedom and prosperity. United We Stand: we have transcended old divisions in shared allegiance to the "war on terrorism" – a new crusade against a new semi-permanent Evil Other that is the true replacement for Cold War predecessors in Moscow and Beijing. We have been morally, politically, and spiritually toughened, unified, and regenerated by violence: our own and that of our "freedom"-hating enemies.

Racially Disparate Residential Neo-liberalism

How curious, then, to pick up the "Metro" section of a recent (August 6th) issue of my leading local newspaper – The Chicago Tribune. The front page contains a photograph of 15 well-dressed white people relaxing in a plush and very predominantly Caucasian North Side neighborhood (Lincoln Park). They are positioned to permit a photographer to re-create George Seurat's late 19th century painting, titled "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte."

It's a perfect image of bourgeois calm and oblivious, self-satisfied, imperial repose. The photograph, the Tribune reports, will be used for a "recruitment poster" by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which does not seem terribly interested in attracting student's from the city and metropolitan area's large African-American population.

Things are a bit more stressful in another, blacker part of town. Further down on the same page of the same section, we can read the results of a recent research report on 1,587 African-Americans living in the decrepit Ida B. Wells housing project on the city's South Side. More than half of the households there have incomes less than $5,000. Less than a fourth of the heads of those households are employed. According to the Urban Institute, 1,000 people living at Wells may end up homeless as a result of the city's imminent demolition of the project. There's an endemic shortage, the Institute notes, of affordable housing for the project's residents and indeed for poor people throughout the city. Only a small number of the displaced will qualify to live in the "mixed income" dwellings the city will build where the facility used to sit.

This is terrible, but it's an old story. Since the early- and mid-90s, public authorities have been demolishing public housing projects with only minimal attention to the needs and limited resources of predominantly black public housing residents. The Chicago version is called the "Chicago Housing Authority Transformation Plan," a local monument to the market worshipping, privilege-friendly philosophy of global corporate neo-liberalism. Pushing disadvantaged inner-city residents and the idea of social justice to the remote margins of public concern, that philosophy holds that markets make the best decisions, that social action to improve your situation is self-defeating and silly, and that the best and only way to succeed in life is as a sovereign individual consumer and investor in a "free market society." Its triumph was proclaimed "inevitable" ("there is no alternative") by leading architects of American policy and opinion long before lunatics from a distant US-protected oil sheikdom turned flying gasoline-filled symbols (and agents) of petroleum-addicted corporate globalization into weapons of mass destruction.

As researchers and activists pointed out long before the jetliner attacks "changed everything," the available stock of such housing in Chicago is insufficient to absorb the displaced public housing population. That population is "free" to be homeless, thanks to the working of economic forces that carry social costs of secondary concern to local policymakers. Those policymakers, including the Mayor, are beholden to commercial and real estate property developers seeking to remove poor black inner city residents from choice urban investment locations. Those locations are slated for predominantly white professionals, who want to live and shop in proximity to their offices in downtown Chicago, a leading headquarters for heavily state-subsidized and global corporations like the Boeing Corporation, which equips such marvelous adventures in democratic free-market progress as the terrorist occupation of Palestine (1948 to the present) and the bombings of Baghdad (both pre- and post-9/11) and (pre-9/11) Belgrade.

Correctional Continuities

Another story on the exact same Tribune page also indicates that some situations remain "normal" in the post-September 11 era. It notes that seven inmates, mostly black, were recently beaten with pool cues by guards at the city's giant Cook County Jail. How pre-9/11: this is the third such high-profile incident reported in the last four years at Cook County. The latest revelations come just days after Cook County States' Attorney Richard Devine – notorious in the black community for his habit of putting innocent African-Americans on death row – announced that he would not file charges in connection with the beating of five shackled Cook County inmates in July 2000. Meanwhile, federal investigators are conducting a civil-rights violation investigation into an alleged mass beating involving 40 guards at the same jail in 1999.

Last July, the Chicago public was momentarily shocked – these things pass, as the media moves on – to learn of a terrible accident on Interstate 57, south of Chicago. Several blacks and Hispanics were critically injured and two died when a van rolled over while carrying 18 Chicagoans to visit loved ones warehoused in racially disparate mass penitentiaries located in the southern part of Illinois. Terrible, but not new: on January 26th of 2001, almost 9 months before "everything changed," a Salvation Army van carrying eleven people on Interstate 55 south of Chicago collided with a tractor-trailer, killing all ten of the van's passengers and its driver. Ten of the dead were Black and one was Hispanic. The van was part of a regular service that took people from Chicago's predominantly black West Side to visit relatives and mates doing time in state prison.

After both crashes, nobody in the local media or politics had much to say about the relationship between the victims' race and the nature of the van's destination. There were no connections made between the tragedy and the state's policy decision to dramatically increase the number of prisoners in Illinois – mostly black and from the Chicago area – from 27,000 in 1990 to nearly 47,000 in 2000 (even as crime fell) and its related building of 11 new mass correctional facilities in Illinois during the same period; massive job-programs for de-industrialized downstate whites that are placed at increasingly vast distances from the "offenders'" home communities (See Paul Street, The Vicious Circle: Race, Prison, Jobs and Community in Chicago, Illinois, and the Nation, Chicago: Chicago Urban League, October 2002).

Last Hired, First Fired

Speaking of jobs, an excellent recent front-page article in the Tribune notes that mass lay-offs enacted during the curiously "jobless" Bush "recovery" have hit Chicago's black population especially hard. Blacks "feel frozen out of the work world," as local activist Eddie Read told the Tribune. The feeling among black workers and job applicants, the paper explains, is very different from the late 1990s, when increased labor demand significantly cut black unemployment, even among lesser-skilled inner city workers. It is worth noting, however, that the black unemployment rate (18.2 percent) was more than four times higher than the white unemployment rate (less than 5 percent) even at the peak of the "Clinton boom" – which "lifted more yachts than rowboats" as the Tribune noted last year. Also meriting mention is the fact that Chicago area job growth in the booming 90s was dramatically higher in white communities than in black communities (see The Color of Job Growth, a 2002 report of the Chicago Urban League). Here we are dealing with continuities that go back much further than 9/11. They reach back further than the Great Depression, when blacks were the "last hired and first hired" for neither the first nor the last time in American history.

Ghetto Lives

To more directly sense the rich continuities of racial homeland inequality in Chicago before and after "everything changed," you don't need to read newspapers or studies. You can drive west out of the city's downtown on Madison Avenue, past the stadium that Michael Jordan built (the United Center) and into the heart of desperately impoverished West Side neighborhoods like North Lawndale and West and East Garfield. A large number of teen and younger adult males gather on street corners. Most of them are part of the city's large and very disproportionately black concentration – estimated at 97,000 strong in 2001 by the Center for Labor Market Studies (Northeastern University) – of "disconnected youth," 16- to 24-years olds who are both out of school and out of work. Many of them are clearly enrolled in gang organizations and engaged in the narcotics trade. Many of them have already served or will soon serve as raw material for the aforementioned "downstate" prison industry. Older unemployed males, many unrecorded in the nation's official unemployment statistics (their "discouraged" status means they are no longer actively participating in the labor force), congregate around liquor stores and missions. The endemic stress, disappointment, and danger of inner-city life is etched on their faces.

Equally evident is the relative absence of retail facilities, services, and institutions that are standard in richer, whiter neighborhoods: full-service modern grocery stores, drugstores, bookstores, restaurants, doctors, dentists, lawyers, dry-cleaners, banks, personal investment and family insurance stores, boutiques, coffee shops, and much more. Businesses and homes are visibly dilapidated, with many of the former relying on hand-painted signs to advertise their wares. Local business owners, many of whom are Arab, protect their enterprises from burglary with bars and gated shutters. Pawnshops and barebones storefront churches are widely visible, as are liquor stores and currency exchanges advertising super-exploitive Payday loans. Taxicabs are scarce and those that do serve the neighborhoods are generally low-budget, fly-by-night "jitney" firms.

The small number of whites seen in these neighborhoods and their South Side counterparts are males working in traditional working-class "jobs that pay" – street and sewer repair, construction trades, firemen, and the like – that appear to be unavailable to black males.

Police cars cruise warily, their occupants donning bullet-proof vests deemed necessary in waging the war on drugs in neighborhoods where people with felony records outnumber legitimate jobs.

This is pretty much how these neighborhoods looked and felt before 9/11. Truth be told, they look a lot like they did in the 1960s, even before the riots that are supposed to have taken away their vitality, actually stolen by a process of disinvestment that was already well underway.

Accelerated Continuity

How have things changed since 9/11 in these neighborhoods? Simply put, the core continuities of human suffering and hopelessness have been accelerated. Things have gotten worse at a quickened pace, thanks in large part to the racially disparate joblessness of the current recovery. Also part of the unpleasant equation is 9/11 itself, or more accurately the official, right-led public and media response to the terror attacks. September 11th gave the radical-right Bush junta – falsely labeled conservative – a precious opportunity to divert public attention away from the causes and consequences of urban inequality, to starve, cripple, and pre-empt programs that might alleviate the suffering caused by racism and related socioeconomic inequality, and to conflate dissent with treason. These masters of war at home and abroad have seized on the opportunity with all deliberate speed, consistent with the timeworn conduct of concentrated power, before and since "everything changed." Empire abroad has always been and remains both reflection and agent of inequality and repression at home.

Paul Street (e-Mail: pstreet@cul-chicago.org) is an urban social policy researcher in Chicago, Illinois. His book Empire Abroad, Inequality at Home: Essays on America and the World Since 9/11 (Paradigm Publishers) will be available next year.

http://www.blackcommentator.com/55/55_think_street.html
quote:
Originally posted by ThaWatcher:
@JWC...do you honestly think that we will sit idly by and let this happen?...it sounds absurd to me...


yes, I do. There is nothing to lead anyone to believe we will act to prevent it. We have sat idly by for 21 years lettng the date for the ax to fall come closer and closer. And to reinforce that indifference, we, African Americans as a group, and the Congressional Black Caucus, and all the "leadership" groups have actively put position papers out there calling the entire impending act a lie. The most recent was a letter issued just before the national convention of the NAACP, signed by Kweisi Mfume.

Not only will we "sit idly by", but many have delcared such to be their intent.

And it is indeed, absurd.

But its real.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
How would the United States have responded had the plane that went down in Pennsylvania actually reached its mark and hit the White House? What if the President or other top officials had been injured or killed - what would we have done differently?

We still didn't know precisely who did it. There was no nation, per se, to attack. How would we have exacted the higher level of revenge/justice that that would have warranted?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
What do you think is the legacy of 9/11 on this day - the second anniversary of the event? What impact has it had on American life? What impact has it had on you? What will the lasting impact of 9/11 be on America and the world?



The short term effect is a curtailing of civil liberties (increasing over time), ignoring of pressing social issues here at home, a disaster for the economy, simmering anger amoung portions of the population against the government (I'm recalling early polls that said that Americans were willing to lose several hundreds of soldiers, but not a thousand, which we will likely surpass in a couple of years), and an expansion of the American Empire worldwide.

The long term impact is more difficult to determine, but I'm reminded of the overextension of the former Soviet Union in Afganastan.


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


Plowshares Actions
The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia


quote:
Originally posted by ThaWatcher:
@JWC...do you honestly think that we will sit idly by and let this happen?...it sounds absurd to me...


Watcher,

It already is happenning, much of it quite legally. Look at these numbers:

https://www.africanamerica.org/groupee/forums?a=tpc&s=60260642&f=79160213&m=48070354&r=77770354#77770354


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


Plowshares Actions
The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia


quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
What do you think is the legacy of 9/11 on this day - the second anniversary of the event? What impact has it had on American life? What impact has it had on you? What will the lasting impact of 9/11 be on America and the world?



MBM, all I can say is that the US government cares as much for the Iraqi people's welfare as he does for Amerikkkans. Ever since 9/11, and especially now, Bush himself is doing such a good job of destroying this countries' global profile, robbing it's citizens of their essential freedoms, and increasing world-wide hatred for the U.S, that I'd assume AL QAEDA isn't in any hurry to make a hasty attack just to be timely. 9/11 is still working in their favor, there's no rush Frown.

AfroMan.
Ricardomath:

I've admired the work it took to get that chart to display like that. I tried but it's not automatic.

That is an accurate representation of the long-used "felon-tactic."

The concern I cited regarding the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is another system in the process of being put in place. The great wonder is that with all the griping concern expressed on this board, no one to my knowledge is even willing to challenge their congress member about.

So when I read the social indignation, and political concern in various posts, I know it is really little more that self-righteous chest-thumping.

And of course the joy of being able to engage in confrontation afforded by the board.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
quote:
Originally posted by ThaWatcher:
9/11's legacy will be and has been this: Increased security, the erosion of privacy laws, and paranoia...


What happened to your question about "standing idly by?" What happened to your challenge of "absurd?" No answer? Just bluster?

That's a powerful stance.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I was listening to a segment on NPR where they asked what people were doing in observance of 9/11, "the greatest instance of terrorism on US soil." 3,000 people died.

Then it hit me ... An appropriate observance for Black folk would be to recognize the 10s of thousands of Black folk that suffered the lynchings and killings that makes 9/11 pale in comparison.
The legacy that it SHOULD have for this country is that if you put the wrong people in office and/or give too many of the wrong people too much power in this country, they will surely abuse it, ---- even to the point of 911 in order to fleece America out of billions of dollars in NO-Bid government contracts for themselves and their friends.
At times I actually get disgusted with myself about this.

I communicate with people on various boards about this and encounter people who are actually capable of believing a 200 ton airliner could level a 500,000 ton building in less than 2 hours. I want to fall out laughing at these people but there seems to be so many of them. As far as I am concerned it is an insult to all of the people that died to believe something that ridiculous for this long.

I have built a model for a simulation and am editing the video.

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
The legacy of 9/11 will be the continuation of non-melanin producing people's aggression against the melanin producing people of the world. The U.S. has taken several brazen steps to re-colonize Africa and the Arabian penisula. Bottom line.



Legacy: White folks have rediscovered their right to run roughshod over the world. tfro
This is great:

Mos Def and Cornel West with Bill Maher

Though I don't go in on the 9-11 conspiracy theory, I relish Mos Def's skepticism.

Whenever folks (whites in particular) ask me what I think about the significance of 9-11, my response is basically that the only difference between life pre:9-11 and life post:9-11 is that before 9-11 it was only me who was afraid in this society. Now they are too. So they need to grow up and get a grip. The world was NEVER safe. That's some Mickey Mouse fantasy ish.

I vividly remember that though I was definitely interested in events, I was not one bit more afraid (or anxious) the day after than I was the day before.

Cornel pretty much speaks for me on this one. Smile
quote:
Though I don't go in on the 9-11 conspiracy theory


Do you go in for 200 ton airliners leveling 500,000 ton buildings in less than 2 hours? Physics is more important than conspiracies.

http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/physics_1.html

Then we have experts that play stupid games with math.

http://www.nistreview.org/WTC-REPORT-GREENING.pdf

Page 3:
quote:
Mc = n mf ......................... (1)
where mf is the mass of one WTC floor, assumed to be 1/110 the mass of an entire WTC tower, namely mf = (510,000,000 / 110) kg ≈ 4,636,000 kg


He is dividing the total mass of one WTC tower by 110 and using that to compute the potential energy of the building. The first problem with this is that the building had to be bottom heavy. Is the 105th floor going to weigh the same amount as the 5th floor. Wouldn't the 5th floor have to support a lot more weight and therefore must be much stronger and so require a lot more steel? So his averaging portrays more mass higher up in the building grossly exaggerating the potential energy.

The second problem is the WTCs were actually 117 stories tall. The were 7 sub-basements. Wouldn't their mass be included in the total for the entire building? So he is including the mass of the basements but only dividing by 110 further throwing off his results.

I emailed Greening about this weeks ago. NO RESPONSE! lol

umbra
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
What do you think is the legacy of 9/11 on this day - the second anniversary of the event? What impact has it had on American life? What impact has it had on you? What will the lasting impact of 9/11 be on America and the world?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela


For me, the legacy of 9/11 was a renewed faith. I can't control what our government does, and I can't control the fact that there are people who hate us simply because we are Americans. The lesson that was reinforced for me on 9/11 was that life is short...that something awful can fall out of even the clearest and bluest skies and change us forever. September 11, 2001 made me want to become closer to God. It made me turn to Him for answers and ultimately trust Him explicitly.

Instead of fear, paranoia, cynicism, and conspiracy theories, I pray that for most people the impact of 9/11 will be an increased faith and knowledge that God is in control.
quote:
I can't control what our government does


Yes we can ... vote them out ... impeach them.

quote:
I can't control the fact that there are people who hate us simply because we are Americans


People don't hate us because we are americans, they hate americans because of our government's policy toward them.

quote:
The lesson that was reinforced for me on 9/11 was that life is short...that something awful can fall out of even the clearest and bluest skies and change us forever


tfro
Kweli4Real , see your point but I didn't vote Bush in office. However, I sure hope that this country decides that enough is enough with the Republican Party. I pray that enough people vote for a change and give someone like Barack Obama a chance to do things differently. And I also have to disagree with on another point. None of us to a large degree can really control what our government decides to do and the decisions they make. I mean, Bush has like a 37% approval rating, yet he continues to do what he wants to do with this country and refuses to bring the war to an end. Clearly he doesn't care that 63% of Americans thinks he's doing a poor job as President.
And it doesn't matter why so many foreigners hate us. The reasons are irrelevant. The fact is there are many people that would and probably will kill Americans without batting an eye.
As long as I know that God is in control, I refuse to live my life in fear or anything negative.
I received this e-mail this morning. Although there are some buzz phrases that point to anti-zionist conspiracy theorists, I had heard about the pre-9/11 PUTs.

I'm in the process of researching the validity of the claims below.

quote:
Trusted News Trader
$4.5 billion options bet on catastrophe within four weeks - someone "knows" what's coming...
Posted By: Zany Mystic
Date: Sunday, 26 August 2007, at 1:00 p.m.
Someone knows what's coming -- $4.5 billion options bet on catastrophe within four weeks -- another huge sale of option contracts (ready for civil war -- as soon as the "event" occurs Chertoff will start war on us)
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
From: Dick Eastman
To: Undisclosed- Recipient: ;
Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2007 3:30 AM
Subject: someone knows what's coming -- $4.5 billion options bet on catastrophe within four weeks -- another huge sale of option contracts (ready for civil war -- as soon as the "event" occurs Chertoff will start war on us)
$4.5 billion options bet on catastrophe within four weeks
And guess what? Just as no one caught the criminal accomplices who short-sold airlines just before 9-11-01, so the financiers have kept their privacy walls despite all "anti-terrorism" legislation. Only those who plan and profit from such terrorism would be in favor of keeping such transactions untraceable. Only the Zionist merchant bankers have the power to prevent that logical anti-terrorism regulatory measure from being taken.
- -
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007
ANYBODY HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHAT THESE 'INVESTORS' ARE EXPECTING?
http://www.tickerfo rum.org/cgi- ticker/akcs- www?post= 4669
The two sales are being referred to by market traders as "bin Laden trades" because only an event on the scale of 9-11 could make these short-sell options valuable.
There are 65,000 contracts @ $750.00 for the SPX 700 calls for open
interest. That controls 6.5 million shares at $750 = $4.5 Billion. Not a
single trade. But quite a bit of $$ on a contract that is 700 points
away from current value. No one would buy that deep "in the money"
calls. No reason to. So if they were sold looks like someone betting on
massive dislocation. Lots of very strange option activity that I haven't
seen before.
The entity or individual offering these sales can only make money if the
market drops 30%-50% within the next four weeks. If the market does not
drop, the entity or individual involved stands to lose over $1 billion
just for engaging in these contracts!
Clearly, someone knows something big is going to happen BEFORE the options
expire on Sept. 21.
THEORIES:
The following theories are being discussed widely within the stock and
options markets today regarding the enormous and very unusual activity
reported above and two stories below. Those theories are:
1) A massive terrorist attack is going to take place before Sept. 21 to
tank the markets, OR;
2) China, reeling over losing $10 Billion in bad loans to the sub-prime
mortgage collapse presently taking place, is going to dump US currency
and tank all of Capitalism with a Communist financial revolution.
Either scenario is bad and the clock is ticking. The drop-dead date of
these contracts is September 21. Whatever is going to happen MUST take
place between now and then or the folks involved in these contracts will
lose over $1 billion for having engaged in this activity.
------------ -
"$1.78 Billion Bet that Stock Markets will crash by third week in September
Anonymous Stock Trader Sells 10K Contracts on EVERY S&P/Y "Strike"
Shorts Stocks "in the money" effectively selling all his SPY holdings
for cash up front without pressuring the market downward
This is an enormous and dangerous stock option activity. If it goes
right, the guy makes about $2 Billion. If he's wrong, his out of pocket
costs for buying these options will exceed $700 Million!!!
The entity who sold these contracts can only make money if the stock
market totally crashes by the third week in September.
Bear in mind that the last time anyone conducted such large and unusual
stock option trades (like this one) was in the weeks before the attacks
of September 11.
Back then, they bought huge numbers of PUTS on airline stocks in the
same airlines whose planes were involved in the September 11 attacks.
Despite knowing who made these trades, the Securities and Exchange
Commission NEVER revealed who made the unusual trades and no one was
ever publicly identified as being responsible for the trades which made
upwards of $50 million when the attacks happened.
The fact that this latest activity by a single entity gambles on a
complete collapse of the entire market by the third week in September,
seems to indicate someone knows something really huge is in the works
and they intend to profit almost $2 Billion within the next four weeks
from whatever happens! This is really worrisome."
more here: link to www.tickerforum. org
http://www.tickerfo rum.org/cgi- ticker/akcs- www?post= 4669
Okay, I've done enough research to easy my mind. Two sources [that I trust] indicate that there is "not much to worry about". But some are suggesting that this move is in anticipation of something happenning in Iran. No one that I've seen, other than various conspiracy sites, are talking about another 9/11 attack on US soil.

quote:
http://www.thestreet.com/newsanalysis/optionsfutures/10377063.html

However, Dan Perper, a Partner at Peak 6, one of the largest option market makers and proprietary trading firms, has confirmed that the trades are part of a "box-spread trade."

"This was done as a package in which the box spread was used [as a] means of alternative financing at more attractive interest rates" explained Perper.

Simply put, two parties agree to trade the box at a price that essentially splits the difference between current rates.

For example, the rough numbers would be that given the September 700/1700 box must settle at a value of 1,000 -- it is currently trading around 997 -- that translates into a 5% interest rate.

For the seller it is a way to borrow money at a slight discount to the prevailing rate, and for the buyer, it is a way to lend money at a low rate of return, but it's better than nothing at a time when others are scared and have painted themselves into a box (ha ha) because they have run out available funds.
quote:
Originally posted by umbrarchist:
quote:
Though I don't go in on the 9-11 conspiracy theory


Do you go in for 200 ton airliners leveling 500,000 ton buildings in less than 2 hours? Physics is more important than conspiracies.



Well. If the plane had no fuel then the conspiracy theory makes a LOT of sense.

The fuel causes a problem for the conspiracy theory. Yes. I know that some people have suggested that the heat from the resulting fire could not possibly have reached the temperature required to actually melt the steel.

However, it would not be necessary for the steel to melt.

The only thing necessary is for the heat to sufficiently compromise the structural integrity of the frame. It doesn't require it to actually reach the melting point.

I'm no engineer (or physicist) but it seems reasonable to initially only consider the potential energy of the floors above the point where the jet collided.

Once the structural integrity of the frame at that point is sufficiently compromised then the next floor down would have to deal with the resulting force of the entirety of the structure above it collapsing.

It would be like a domino effect. With each successive floor adding to the stress which was brought to bear on the remaining structure beneath. It would be like a shock wave rippling downward gathering strength as it progressed.

I have not rigorously thought through the process. And I have no proof (it would be impossible to have definitive proof anyway). But it seems to me a waste of time to speculate.

Besides, if you find me 5 engineers who dispute this version of things, I can probably find 20 who don't. At least 5. So it's at least a reasonable version of events.

So in the end, whether the government were responsible or not, I don't trust the government anyway (this one especially). It makes no difference to my overall outlook on things either way. So I don't waste brain cells hatching conspiracies.

Plus given the unusual incompetence of this government it would strike me as very odd that this is the only thing they got perfectly right.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
While watching two different shows on the anniversary of 9-11, what happened at the Pentagon was termed to be an "explosion" and not an airplane strike terrorist attack.

When did this determination of the events of what happened there change? Confused


Someone provided a link about the Pentagon strike on another board that had some really hilarious information.

They said that there was no recording of seismic activity when an airliner supposedly struck the Pentagon.

When planes struck the World Trade Center towers at the 80th and 95th floors they were recorded via ground vibration. So how could an airliner have hit the Pentagon at practically ground level without doing the same? It is also curious that with all I have run across about the seismographs on the WTC I hadn't heard about this before. That is one of the cool things about information hiding, it is so easy for people to not think of obvious questions.

umbra
quote:
Yes. I know that some people have suggested that the heat from the resulting fire could not possibly have reached the temperature required to actually melt the steel.

However, it would not be necessary for the steel to melt.

The only thing necessary is for the heat to sufficiently compromise the structural integrity of the frame. It doesn't require it to actually reach the melting point.


So how does one account for the still molten steel in the basement of the towers ... 4 days after the event. The "mainstream" academicians have avoided it; but the conspiracy theorist have discussed it at length.

quote:
Why in the world would they do that??


The War in Iraq, the Patriot Acts 1-4, the Unity Executive ... all of these were unfathomable on 9/10; but are largely acceptable/accepted today.
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
quote:
Yes. I know that some people have suggested that the heat from the resulting fire could not possibly have reached the temperature required to actually melt the steel.

However, it would not be necessary for the steel to melt.

The only thing necessary is for the heat to sufficiently compromise the structural integrity of the frame. It doesn't require it to actually reach the melting point.


So how does one account for the still molten steel in the basement of the towers ... 4 days after the event. The "mainstream" academicians have avoided it; but the conspiracy theorist have discussed it at length.



Mainstream academicians according to whom? The conspiracy theorists? * Did you ask any mainstream academicians? *

I'm not going to pretend to be an expert. I'm not. But when I referred to the non-necessity of the steel melting, I was referring only to the structural steel in the vicinity of the initial point of impact.

Who knows what types of secondary events (compatible with popular consensus) could have occurred after that point in time? I can imagine any number of factors that might possibly account for the phenomenon you mention beginning with

quote:

It would be like a domino effect. With each successive floor adding to the stress which was brought to bear on the remaining structure beneath. It would be like a shock wave rippling downward gathering strength as it progressed.


But I'm only speculating.

I just don't think Bush and Co. are that bright. They're ideologues who took advantage of events as they occurred.

My 2 cents.
Last edited {1}
Our grief is not special: The pain of September 10

Robert Jensen

posted on Common Dreams and Counterpunch, September 12, 2005.

[Text of speech given at anti-war rally in Austin, TX, September 11, 2005]

by Robert Jensen

This is not a September 11 speech.

This is a September 10 speech.

We all remember what we felt on September 11, 2001. I want to talk about what I felt on September 10, 2001.

On that day, I was in a state of profound grief, in a world saturated with unnecessary pain and suffering.

I'm not talking about the inevitable pain of being human in the world, not the personal pain that comes with the unavoidable disappointment and death that is part of being human. We all cope with that, day after day, the best we can.

Instead I want to speak of the pain that is manufactured by power: The pain visited upon people in wars that are started to consolidate the power of a nation and its elite; the pain created by economic policies designed to protect the wealth of the few; the pain inflicted on people not because it must be that way but because some choose to make it that way, with no concern for others' suffering, which most of the rest of us accept without much thought, lest such thinking disturb our comfort and convenience.

When we truly come alive in the world, that pain will wash over us and force us to ask why it can't be otherwise. We will feel not only the pain of people but -- even more deeply -- the pain of a living world that is slowly being strangled by the stupidity of one particular species.

That was the pain and grief that many of us felt on September 10, 2001. Though there was nothing special about that day, on that day:

--More than half the people of the world lived on less $2 a day. That means on September 10 more than 3 billion people did not have access to the clean water, food, shelter, clothing, or medical care to provide a minimally decent life.

--About 500 children in Africa died every hour from poverty-related diseases. That means on September 10, about 12,000 children died in Africa as a direct result of an economic system which placed a high value on our comfort but no value on their lives.

--Somewhere in a farmer's field, a plow hit an unexploded cluster bomb that let loose its deadly force. That means on September 10 -- in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan -- someone died because of our military planners' willingness to sacrifice civilian life not only in the moment of war but for years to come.

--In Iraq on September 10 -- almost two years before the Bush administration unleashed the dogs of war there -- innocent Iraqi civilians were dying from the lack of clean water, medicine, and adequate nutrition caused by the U.S.-enforced economic embargo. On that day, 150 Iraqi parents buried children because of a policy that the Republicans in both Bush administrations and the allegedly more benevolent Democrats in the Clinton administration had deemed acceptable. Those innocent lives were "worth the sacrifice" to consolidate U.S. power.

--And on September 10, 2001, our delusions about endless consumption in a high-energy world continued to eat away at the ecological fabric of the planet. On September 10, each of us did our part to contribute to making the planet unlivable. Each of us -- some more than others, but each of us in some way -- kept living a life that is unsustainable, a life that would be impossible without the inequality produced by global capitalism and U.S. imperial adventures.

So, if my conclusion sounds harsh or uncaring forgive me, but it is long past the time to say this: There was nothing special about the pain of Americans on September 11, 2001. And there is no hope for this world until we in the United States -- the most powerful and affluent country in the history of the world -- understand that.

The deaths of 3,000 people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania mattered, but no more and no less than the thousands of other deaths in the world that day, and the day before, and the day before that. Or the deaths since, as the United States has used the grief of Americans to justify two illegal wars of aggression, wars to consolidate the power and control of the few, wars accepted by the many out of moral laziness and fear.

All over the country today, people will be speaking about the nobility of the United States, the barbarism of the attacks on us, the deep suffering of Americans. I will do none of that.

I will not mark September 11 as a day of special grief until all of us mark every day as a day of special grief for those killed by the callous and cruel exercise of power. I am through indulging the grief of Americans. I will not be part of it. I will not contribute to it any longer.

Until we -- not the leadership but us, ordinary people -- in the United States learn to feel the pain of September 10 with as much intensity and humanity as we felt the pain of September 11, I fear we are doomed. We will never be able to be fully human in the modern world. And if we in the United States -- the citizens of the empire -- do not find a way to become fully human and dismantle the empire non-violently from within, then it's not clear the modern world will survive.

This empire will eventually be destroyed, as is the fate of all empires. The question that should haunt us is, "Given the enormous destructive capacity of the United States and its demonstrated willingness to use that power, will the world survive the destruction of this empire?"

We must save ourselves, and in the process make it possible for the new world that is coming -- with or without us -- to be born as gently as possible.

If we do this -- if we struggle together -- that new world can be a world redeemed, a place of "small gardens and bright fish," to borrow from a poet. It can be a world in which we can struggle to bear the ordinary pain of being human, the pain of that inevitable disappointment and death, in loving connection with each other and with the living world around us.

If we don't do this -- if we don't save ourselves -- then we will create a world in which the pain we see now will be but prelude to something much grimmer, something we can only imagine. That fate, imagined throughout human history, typically is called hell. We rapidly are squandering the beauty and bounty of creation, and through our greed and gullibility creating a kind of hell, not in our imaginations but on this earth.

Time is running out. The patience of the living world is running out.

And when that living world turns to us for a final accounting, when it starts to balance the books with us, please don't then begin to speak of justice, for it will be too late.

Those forces coming to take back the world for the living will be justice, come alive in the world.

And make no mistake: Justice will be coming for us.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
So, then a (U.S.) fighter plane would have had to have shot a missile at it's building ... as there were no more enemy planes flying over the Pentagon.

Why in the world would they do that?? Confused


Some people think it was a Globalhawk flown from some distance away so a fighter plane would not have been necessary.

quote:
An office of the Army that had just re-occupied the Pentagon's recently renovated Wedge One, named Resource Services Washington, lost 34 of its 45 employees. Most were civilian accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. 3 Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had announced on the eve of the attack that more than $2 trillion was missing from the Pentagon.

More than half of the victims were in the Navy Command Center, a command-and-control facility on the first floor of the Pentagon's D-Ring.

http://911research.wtc7.net/sept11/victims/pentagonkilled.html

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by Santana St. Cloud:
Our grief is not special: The pain of September 10

Robert Jensen

posted on Common Dreams and Counterpunch, September 12, 2005.

[Text of speech given at anti-war rally in Austin, TX, September 11, 2005]

by Robert Jensen

This is not a September 11 speech.

This is a September 10 speech.

We all remember what we felt on September 11, 2001. I want to talk about what I felt on September 10, 2001.

On that day, I was in a state of profound grief, in a world saturated with unnecessary pain and suffering.

I'm not talking about the inevitable pain of being human in the world, not the personal pain that comes with the unavoidable disappointment and death that is part of being human. We all cope with that, day after day, the best we can.

Instead I want to speak of the pain that is manufactured by power: The pain visited upon people in wars that are started to consolidate the power of a nation and its elite; the pain created by economic policies designed to protect the wealth of the few; the pain inflicted on people not because it must be that way but because some choose to make it that way, with no concern for others' suffering, which most of the rest of us accept without much thought, lest such thinking disturb our comfort and convenience.

When we truly come alive in the world, that pain will wash over us and force us to ask why it can't be otherwise. We will feel not only the pain of people but -- even more deeply -- the pain of a living world that is slowly being strangled by the stupidity of one particular species.

That was the pain and grief that many of us felt on September 10, 2001. Though there was nothing special about that day, on that day:

--More than half the people of the world lived on less $2 a day. That means on September 10 more than 3 billion people did not have access to the clean water, food, shelter, clothing, or medical care to provide a minimally decent life.

--About 500 children in Africa died every hour from poverty-related diseases. That means on September 10, about 12,000 children died in Africa as a direct result of an economic system which placed a high value on our comfort but no value on their lives.

--Somewhere in a farmer's field, a plow hit an unexploded cluster bomb that let loose its deadly force. That means on September 10 -- in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan -- someone died because of our military planners' willingness to sacrifice civilian life not only in the moment of war but for years to come.

--In Iraq on September 10 -- almost two years before the Bush administration unleashed the dogs of war there -- innocent Iraqi civilians were dying from the lack of clean water, medicine, and adequate nutrition caused by the U.S.-enforced economic embargo. On that day, 150 Iraqi parents buried children because of a policy that the Republicans in both Bush administrations and the allegedly more benevolent Democrats in the Clinton administration had deemed acceptable. Those innocent lives were "worth the sacrifice" to consolidate U.S. power.

--And on September 10, 2001, our delusions about endless consumption in a high-energy world continued to eat away at the ecological fabric of the planet. On September 10, each of us did our part to contribute to making the planet unlivable. Each of us -- some more than others, but each of us in some way -- kept living a life that is unsustainable, a life that would be impossible without the inequality produced by global capitalism and U.S. imperial adventures.

So, if my conclusion sounds harsh or uncaring forgive me, but it is long past the time to say this: There was nothing special about the pain of Americans on September 11, 2001. And there is no hope for this world until we in the United States -- the most powerful and affluent country in the history of the world -- understand that.

The deaths of 3,000 people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania mattered, but no more and no less than the thousands of other deaths in the world that day, and the day before, and the day before that. Or the deaths since, as the United States has used the grief of Americans to justify two illegal wars of aggression, wars to consolidate the power and control of the few, wars accepted by the many out of moral laziness and fear.

All over the country today, people will be speaking about the nobility of the United States, the barbarism of the attacks on us, the deep suffering of Americans. I will do none of that.

I will not mark September 11 as a day of special grief until all of us mark every day as a day of special grief for those killed by the callous and cruel exercise of power. I am through indulging the grief of Americans. I will not be part of it. I will not contribute to it any longer.

Until we -- not the leadership but us, ordinary people -- in the United States learn to feel the pain of September 10 with as much intensity and humanity as we felt the pain of September 11, I fear we are doomed. We will never be able to be fully human in the modern world. And if we in the United States -- the citizens of the empire -- do not find a way to become fully human and dismantle the empire non-violently from within, then it's not clear the modern world will survive.

This empire will eventually be destroyed, as is the fate of all empires. The question that should haunt us is, "Given the enormous destructive capacity of the United States and its demonstrated willingness to use that power, will the world survive the destruction of this empire?"

We must save ourselves, and in the process make it possible for the new world that is coming -- with or without us -- to be born as gently as possible.

If we do this -- if we struggle together -- that new world can be a world redeemed, a place of "small gardens and bright fish," to borrow from a poet. It can be a world in which we can struggle to bear the ordinary pain of being human, the pain of that inevitable disappointment and death, in loving connection with each other and with the living world around us.

If we don't do this -- if we don't save ourselves -- then we will create a world in which the pain we see now will be but prelude to something much grimmer, something we can only imagine. That fate, imagined throughout human history, typically is called hell. We rapidly are squandering the beauty and bounty of creation, and through our greed and gullibility creating a kind of hell, not in our imaginations but on this earth.

Time is running out. The patience of the living world is running out.

And when that living world turns to us for a final accounting, when it starts to balance the books with us, please don't then begin to speak of justice, for it will be too late.

Those forces coming to take back the world for the living will be justice, come alive in the world.

And make no mistake: Justice will be coming for us.


yeah
"I consider the first school of thought to be of rationalists and realists, and the second school to be of irrationalists and fantasists. 'Faith-based' is a synonym for irrational, and a strong belief in conspiracies -- with insufficient evidence -- is an irrational expression of fear. And it is fear, ultimately, which is at the root of the obsession by so many with 9-11."-- Retired physicist Manuel Garcia, Jr.
quote:
I consider the first school of thought to be of rationalists and realists, and the second school to be of irrationalists and fantasists. 'Faith-based' is a synonym for irrational, and a strong belief in conspiracies


This is the hilarious thing about this situation.

People who claim to believe in rationalism but they won't address the physics of 9/11, they just want to make fun of conspiracies. I say they have to prove they have the brains to be rational.

Getting to the moon was a physics and engineering problem. Designing the World Trade Center was a physics and engineering problem. Designing the plane that hit the World Trade Center was a physics and engineering problem.

Figuring out whether or not a 200 ton airliner can LEVEL a 500,000 to building in less than 2 hours is a physics and engineering problem.

Now how do we solve this problem without knowing how many tons of steel and concrete were on each level of the tower? Have you heard how many tons of steel were on the 79th, 80th and 81st floors of the south tower? If not, then how do you believe the fire could start the collapse in 56 minutes?

If you need to figure out how much time and what temperature to set to cook a frozen turkey don't you need to know the size of the turkey?

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by jazzdog:
Isn't it just alittle dishonest to keep pushing the point that the plane brought down the building when all the experts agreed that it wasn't the plane but the resulting fire and structual damage that did the buildings in. Its clear from the video that the planes impact didn't bring the building down.


Isn't it a little dishonest for the experts to not tell us how many tons of steel were on the floors where the planes hit? The south tower collapsed 56 minutes after the impact. How can you have any idea if that is feasible if you don't know the quantity of steel?

There were 100,000 tons of steel in each tower. But the towers were 117 stories tall counting the subbasements. That comes to 850 tons of steel per floor. But the amount of steel had to taper toward the top of the building so the main 3 floors, 79, 80 and 81, hit by the plane must have had less than 2400 tons of steel. But the experts don't even tell us that much. Do you think 56 minutes is enough time to raise the temperature of even 900 tons of steel enough to weaken it?

I doubt that the plane and fire could start the collapse but even if it could there is no way it could LEVEL the building. There should have been a stump of the building left. The greater quantity of steel at the base should seen to that. That is why I want a table specifying the tons of steel and concrete on every level. The EXPERTS should have known to provide that in the first place. The NIST report doesn't even specify the total amount of concrete in the building. Other sources that agree with NIST on the amount of steel indicate there should have been 280,000 tons of concrete.

166 tons of airplane + 34 tons of kerosene (alias jet fuel) LEVELS 100,000 tons of steel + 280,000 tons of concrete. RIDICULOUS Oh yeah, there was furniture and paper and carpet to burn also.

So where is the data on the distribution of mass?

umbra
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
Does anyone believe that what actually happened on 9/11/01 is precisely what the public/official rendition of the events has been (i.e. what the government told the media and the media told us?)? Are things exactly as they have told us?


I have to agree... I, too, would like the answer to this question....
The strange thing about 9/11 that sometimes makes me want to laugh and then I catch myself and say "I shouldn't be laughing about this." is that 9/11 is an eternal moment.

People will be looking at videos of 9/11 20, 50 and 100 years from today. I wonder how many will be saying, "How could anyone believe that an airliner could do that?"

Why isn't a table showing the quantity of steel and concrete on every floor an obvious thing to ask for?

How do we teach engineering and physics to kids for the rest of the century?

umbra
Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report
Popular Mechanics examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most persistent conspiracy theories of September 11.


By The Editors
Published in the March 2005 issue.


False Witness: Conspiracy theorists claim this photo "proves" the 9/11 attacks were a U.S. military operation. (Photograph by Rob Howard)

From the moment the first airplane crashed into the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, the world has asked one simple and compelling question: How could it happen?

Three and a half years later, not everyone is convinced we know the truth. Go to Google.com, type in the search phrase "World Trade Center conspiracy" and you'll get links to an estimated 628,000 Web sites. More than 3000 books on 9/11 have been published; many of them reject the official consensus that hijackers associated with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda flew passenger planes into U.S. landmarks.
Background
For background on this investigative feature, please click here.

Healthy skepticism, it seems, has curdled into paranoia. Wild conspiracy tales are peddled daily on the Internet, talk radio and in other media. Blurry photos, quotes taken out of context and sketchy eyewitness accounts have inspired a slew of elaborate theories: The Pentagon was struck by a missile; the World Trade Center was razed by demolition-style bombs; Flight 93 was shot down by a mysterious white jet. As outlandish as these claims may sound, they are increasingly accepted abroad and among extremists here in the United States.

To investigate 16 of the most prevalent claims made by conspiracy theorists, POPULAR MECHANICS assembled a team of nine researchers and reporters who, together with PM editors, consulted more than 70 professionals in fields that form the core content of this magazine, including aviation, engineering and the military.

In the end, we were able to debunk each of these assertions with hard evidence and a healthy dose of common sense. We learned that a few theories are based on something as innocent as a reporting error on that chaotic day. Others are the byproducts of cynical imaginations that aim to inject suspicion and animosity into public debate. Only by confronting such poisonous claims with irrefutable facts can we understand what really happened on a day that is forever seared into world history.

The Planes
The widely accepted account that hijackers commandeered and crashed the four 9/11 planes is supported by reams of evidence, from cockpit recordings to forensics to the fact that crews and passengers never returned home. Nonetheless, conspiracy theorists seize on a handful of "facts" to argue a very different scenario: The jets that struck New York and Washington, D.C., weren't commercial planes, they say, but something else, perhaps refueling tankers or guided missiles. And the lack of military intervention? Theorists claim it proves the U.S. government instigated the assault or allowed it to occur in order to advance oil interests or a war agenda.

Where's The Pod?
Claim: Photographs and video footage shot just before United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) show an object underneath the fuselage at the base of the right wing. The film "911 In Plane Site" and the Web site LetsRoll911.org claim that no such object is found on a stock Boeing 767. They speculate that this "military pod" is a missile, a bomb or a piece of equipment on an air-refueling tanker. LetsRoll911.org points to this as evidence that the attacks were an "inside job" sanctioned by "President George Bush, who planned and engineered 9/11."

FACT: One of the clearest, most widely seen pictures of the doomed jet's undercarriage was taken by photographer Rob Howard and published in New York magazine and elsewhere (opening page). PM sent a digital scan of the original photo to Ronald Greeley, director of the Space Photography Laboratory at Arizona State University. Greeley is an expert at analyzing images to determine the shape and features of geological formations based on shadow and light effects. After studying the high-resolution image and comparing it to photos of a Boeing 767-200ER's undercarriage, Greeley dismissed the notion that the Howard photo reveals a "pod." In fact, the photo reveals only the Boeing's right fairing, a pronounced bulge that contains the landing gear. He concludes that sunlight glinting off the fairing gave it an exaggerated look. "Such a glint causes a blossoming (enlargement) on film," he writes in an e-mail to PM, "which tends to be amplified in digital versions of images "” the pixels are saturated and tend to 'spill over' to adjacent pixels." When asked about pods attached to civilian aircraft, Fred E. Culick, professor of aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, gave a blunter response: "That's bull. They're really stretching."

No Stand-Down Order
Claim: No fighter jets were scrambled from any of the 28 Air Force bases within close range of the four hijacked flights. "On 11 September Andrews had two squadrons of fighter jets with the job of protecting the skies over Washington D.C.," says the Web site emperors-clothes.com. "They failed to do their job." "There is only one explanation for this," writes Mark R. Elsis of StandDown.net. "Our Air Force was ordered to Stand Down on 9/11."

FACT: On 9/11 there were only 14 fighter jets on alert in the contiguous 48 states. No computer network or alarm automatically alerted the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) of missing planes. "They [civilian Air Traffic Control, or ATC] had to pick up the phone and literally dial us," says Maj. Douglas Martin, public affairs officer for NORAD. Boston Center, one of 22 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regional ATC facilities, called NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) three times: at 8:37 am EST to inform NEADS that Flight 11 was hijacked; at 9:21 am to inform the agency, mistakenly, that Flight 11 was headed for Washington (the plane had hit the North Tower 35 minutes earlier); and at 9:41 am to (erroneously) identify Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 from Boston as a possible hijacking. The New York ATC called NEADS at 9:03 am to report that United Flight 175 had been hijacked "” the same time the plane slammed into the South Tower. Within minutes of that first call from Boston Center, NEADS scrambled two F-15s from Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Mass., and three F-16s from Langley Air National Guard Base in Hampton, Va. None of the fighters got anywhere near the pirated planes.

Why couldn't ATC find the hijacked flights? When the hijackers turned off the planes' transponders, which broadcast identifying signals, ATC had to search 4500 identical radar blips crisscrossing some of the country's busiest air corridors. And NORAD's sophisticated radar? It ringed the continent, looking outward for threats, not inward. "It was like a doughnut," Martin says. "There was no coverage in the middle." Pre-9/11, flights originating in the States were not seen as threats and NORAD wasn't prepared to track them.

Flight 175's Windows
Claim: On Sept. 11, FOX News broadcast a live phone interview with FOX employee Marc Birnbach. 911inplanesite.com states that "Bernback" saw the plane "crash into the South Tower." "It definitely did not look like a commercial plane," Birnbach said on air. "I didn't see any windows on the sides."


Coupled with photographs and videos of Flight 175 that lack the resolution to show windows, Birnbach's statement has fueled one of the most widely referenced 9/11 conspiracy theories "” specifically, that the South Tower was struck by a military cargo plane or a fuel tanker.

Flight 175 fuselage windows at World Trade Center Ground Zero wreckage
Plain View: Passenger windows on a piece of Flight 175's fuselage. (Photograph by William F. Baker/FEMA)

FACT: Birnbach, who was a freelance videographer with FOX News at the time, tells PM that he was more than 2 miles southeast of the WTC, in Brooklyn, when he briefly saw a plane fly over. He says that, in fact, he did not see the plane strike the South Tower; he says he only heard the explosion.

While heading a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) probe into the collapse of the towers, W. Gene Corley studied the airplane wreckage. A licensed structural engineer with Construction Technology Laboratories, a consulting firm based in Skokie, Ill., Corley and his team photographed aircraft debris on the roof of WTC 5, including a chunk of fuselage that clearly had passenger windows. "It's ... from the United Airlines plane that hit Tower 2," Corley states flatly. In reviewing crash footage taken by an ABC news crew, Corley was able to track the trajectory of the fragments he studied "” including a section of the landing gear and part of an engine "” as they tore through the South Tower, exited from the building's north side and fell from the sky.

Intercepts Not Routine
Claim: "It has been standard operating procedures for decades to immediately intercept off-course planes that do not respond to communications from air traffic controllers," says the Web site oilempire.us. "When the Air Force 'scrambles' a fighter plane to intercept, they usually reach the plane in question in minutes."

FACT: In the decade before 9/11, NORAD intercepted only one civilian plane over North America: golfer Payne Stewart's Learjet, in October 1999. With passengers and crew unconscious from cabin decompression, the plane lost radio contact but remained in transponder contact until it crashed. Even so, it took an F-16 1 hour and 22 minutes to reach the stricken jet. Rules in effect back then, and on 9/11, prohibited supersonic flight on intercepts. Prior to 9/11, all other NORAD interceptions were limited to offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). "Until 9/11 there was no domestic ADIZ," FAA spokesman Bill Schumann tells PM. After 9/11, NORAD and the FAA increased cooperation, setting up hotlines between ATCs and NORAD command centers, according to officials from both agencies. NORAD has also increased its fighter coverage and has installed radar to monitor airspace over the continent.

The World Trade Center
The collapse of both World Trade Center towers "” and the smaller WTC 7 a few hours later "” initially surprised even some experts. But subsequent studies have shown that the WTC's structural integrity was destroyed by intense fire as well as the severe damage inflicted by the planes. That explanation hasn't swayed conspiracy theorists, who contend that all three buildings were wired with explosives in advance and razed in a series of controlled demolitions.

Widespread Damage
Claim: The first hijacked plane crashed through the 94th to the 98th floors of the World Trade Center's 110-story North Tower; the second jet slammed into the 78th to the 84th floors of the 110-story South Tower. The impact and ensuing fires disrupted elevator service in both buildings. Plus, the lobbies of both buildings were visibly damaged before the towers collapsed. "There is NO WAY the impact of the jet caused such widespread damage 80 stories below," claims a posting on the San Diego Independent Media Center Web site (sandiego.indymedia.org). "It is OBVIOUS and irrefutable that OTHER EXPLOSIVES (... such as concussion bombs) HAD ALREADY BEEN DETONATED in the lower levels of tower one at the same time as the plane crash."

FACT: Following up on a May 2002 preliminary report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a major study will be released in spring 2005 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST shared its initial findings with PM and made its lead researcher available to our team of reporters.

The NIST investigation revealed that plane debris sliced through the utility shafts at the North Tower's core, creating a conduit for burning jet fuel "” and fiery destruction throughout the building. "It's very hard to document where the fuel went," says Forman Williams, a NIST adviser and a combustion expert, "but if it's atomized and combustible and gets to an ignition source, it'll go off."

Burning fuel traveling down the elevator shafts would have disrupted the elevator systems and caused extensive damage to the lobbies. NIST heard first-person testimony that "some elevators slammed right down" to the ground floor. "The doors cracked open on the lobby floor and flames came out and people died," says James Quintiere, an engineering professor at the University of Maryland and a NIST adviser. A similar observation was made in the French documentary "9/11," by Jules and Gedeon Naudet. As Jules Naudet entered the North Tower lobby, minutes after the first aircraft struck, he saw victims on fire, a scene he found too horrific to film.

"Melted" Steel
Claim: "We have been lied to," announces the Web site AttackOnAmerica.net. "The first lie was that the load of fuel from the aircraft was the cause of structural failure. No kerosene fire can burn hot enough to melt steel." The posting is entitled "Proof Of Controlled Demolition At The WTC."

FACT: Jet fuel burns at 800˚ to 1500˚F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750˚F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn't need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength "” and that required exposure to much less heat. "I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."

"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100˚F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800˚ it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.

But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832˚F.

"The jet fuel was the ignition source," Williams tells PM. "It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."

Puffs Of Dust
Claim: As each tower collapsed, clearly visible puffs of dust and debris were ejected from the sides of the buildings. An advertisement in The New York Times for the book Painful Questions: An Analysis Of The September 11th Attack made this claim: "The concrete clouds shooting out of the buildings are not possible from a mere collapse. They do occur from explosions." Numerous conspiracy theorists cite Van Romero, an explosives expert and vice president of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, who was quoted on 9/11 by the Albuquerque Journal as saying "there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse." The article continues, "Romero said the collapse of the structures resembled those of controlled implosions used to demolish old structures."

Violent Collapse: Pancaking floors "” not controlled demolition "” expel debris and smoke out South Tower windows. (Photograph by AP/Wide World Photos)

FACT: Once each tower began to collapse, the weight of all the floors above the collapsed zone bore down with pulverizing force on the highest intact floor. Unable to absorb the massive energy, that floor would fail, transmitting the forces to the floor below, allowing the collapse to progress downward through the building in a chain reaction. Engineers call the process "pancaking," and it does not require an explosion to begin, according to David Biggs, a structural engineer at Ryan-Biggs Associates and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) team that worked on the FEMA report.

Like all office buildings, the WTC towers contained a huge volume of air. As they pancaked, all that air "” along with the concrete and other debris pulverized by the force of the collapse "” was ejected with enormous energy. "When you have a significant portion of a floor collapsing, it's going to shoot air and concrete dust out the window," NIST lead investigator Shyam Sunder tells PM. Those clouds of dust may create the impression of a controlled demolition, Sunder adds, "but it is the floor pancaking that leads to that perception."

Demolition expert Romero regrets that his comments to the Albuquerque Journal became fodder for conspiracy theorists. "I was misquoted in saying that I thought it was explosives that brought down the building," he tells PM. "I only said that that's what it looked like."

Romero, who agrees with the scientific conclusion that fire triggered the collapses, demanded a retraction from the Journal. It was printed Sept. 22, 2001. "I felt like my scientific reputation was on the line." But emperors-clothes.com saw something else: "The paymaster of Romero's research institute is the Pentagon. Directly or indirectly, pressure was brought to bear, forcing Romero to retract his original statement." Romero responds: "Conspiracy theorists came out saying that the government got to me. That is the farthest thing from the truth. This has been an albatross around my neck for three years."

Seismic Spikes
Claim: Seismographs at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., 21 miles north of the WTC, recorded the events of 9/11. "The strongest jolts were all registered at the beginning of the collapses, well before falling debris struck the earth," reports the Web site WhatReallyHappened.com.

A columnist on Prisonplanet.com, a Web site run by radio talk show host Alex Jones, claims the seismic spikes (boxed area on Graph 1) are "indisputable proof that massive explosions brought down" the towers. The Web site says its findings are supported by two seismologists at the observatory, Won-Young Kim and Arthur Lerner-Lam. Each "sharp spike of short duration," says Prisonplanet.com, was consistent with a "demolition-style implosion."


Fine Lines: Revisionists say sharp spikes (graph 1, above) mean bombs toppled the WTC. Scientists disprove the claim with the more detailed graph 2 (below). (Seismograph readings by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University: Won-Young Kim, senior research scientist; Arthur Lerner-Lam, associate director; Mary Tobin, senior science writer)

FACT: "There is no scientific basis for the conclusion that explosions brought down the towers," Lerner-Lam tells PM. "That representation of our work is categorically incorrect and not in context."

The report issued by Lamont-Doherty includes various graphs showing the seismic readings produced by the planes crashing into the two towers as well as the later collapse of both buildings. WhatReallyHappened.com chooses to display only one graph (Graph 1), which shows the readings over a 30-minute time span.

On that graph, the 8- and 10-second collapses appear "” misleadingly "” as a pair of sudden spikes. Lamont-Doherty's 40-second plot of the same data (Graph 2) gives a much more detailed picture: The seismic waves "” blue for the South Tower, red for the North Tower "” start small and then escalate as the buildings rumble to the ground. Translation: no bombs.

WTC 7 Collapse
Claim: Seven hours after the two towers fell, the 47-story WTC 7 collapsed. According to 911review.org: "The video clearly shows that it was not a collapse subsequent to a fire, but rather a controlled demolition: amongst the Internet investigators, the jury is in on this one."

Fire Storm: WTC 7 stands amid the rubble of the recently collapsed Twin Towers. Damaged by falling debris, the building then endures a fire that rages for hours. Experts say this combination, not a demolition-style implosion, led to the roofline "kink" that signals WTC 7's progressive collapse. (Photograph by New York Office of Emergency Management)

FACT: Many conspiracy theorists point to FEMA's preliminary report, which said there was relatively light damage to WTC 7 prior to its collapse. With the benefit of more time and resources, NIST researchers now support the working hypothesis that WTC 7 was far more compromised by falling debris than the FEMA report indicated. "The most important thing we found was that there was, in fact, physical damage to the south face of building 7," NIST's Sunder tells PM. "On about a third of the face to the center and to the bottom "” approximately 10 stories "” about 25 percent of the depth of the building was scooped out." NIST also discovered previously undocumented damage to WTC 7's upper stories and its southwest corner.

NIST investigators believe a combination of intense fire and severe structural damage contributed to the collapse, though assigning the exact proportion requires more research. But NIST's analysis suggests the fall of WTC 7 was an example of "progressive collapse," a process in which the failure of parts of a structure ultimately creates strains that cause the entire building to come down. Videos of the fall of WTC 7 show cracks, or "kinks," in the building's facade just before the two penthouses disappeared into the structure, one after the other. The entire building fell in on itself, with the slumping east side of the structure pulling down the west side in a diagonal collapse.

According to NIST, there was one primary reason for the building's failure: In an unusual design, the columns near the visible kinks were carrying exceptionally large loads, roughly 2000 sq. ft. of floor area for each floor. "What our preliminary analysis has shown is that if you take out just one column on one of the lower floors," Sunder notes, "it could cause a vertical progression of collapse so that the entire section comes down."

There are two other possible contributing factors still under investigation: First, trusses on the fifth and seventh floors were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another. With columns on the south face apparently damaged, high stresses would likely have been communicated to columns on the building's other faces, thereby exceeding their load-bearing capacities.

Second, a fifth-floor fire burned for up to 7 hours. "There was no firefighting in WTC 7," Sunder says. Investigators believe the fire was fed by tanks of diesel fuel that many tenants used to run emergency generators. Most tanks throughout the building were fairly small, but a generator on the fifth floor was connected to a large tank in the basement via a pressurized line. Says Sunder: "Our current working hypothesis is that this pressurized line was supplying fuel [to the fire] for a long period of time."

WTC 7 might have withstood the physical damage it received, or the fire that burned for hours, but those combined factors "” along with the building's unusual construction "” were enough to set off the chain-reaction collapse.

The Pentagon
At 9:37 am on 9/11, 51 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was similarly attacked. Though dozens of witnesses saw a Boeing 757 hit the building, conspiracy advocates insist there is evidence that a missile or a different type of plane smashed into the Pentagon.

Pentagon 9/11 Damage

HQ Attack: Taken three days after 9/11, this photo shows the extent of the damage to the Pentagon, consistent with a fiery plane crash. (Photograph by Department of Defense)

Big Plane, Small Holes
Claim: Two holes were visible in the Pentagon immediately after the attack: a 75-ft.-wide entry hole in the building's exterior wall, and a 16-ft.-wide hole in Ring C, the Pentagon's middle ring. Conspiracy theorists claim both holes are far too small to have been made by a Boeing 757. "How does a plane 125 ft. wide and 155 ft. long fit into a hole which is only 16 ft. across?" asks reopen911.org, a Web site "dedicated to discovering the bottom line truth to what really occurred on September 11, 2001."

The truth is of even less importance to French author Thierry Meyssan, whose baseless assertions are fodder for even mainstream European and Middle Eastern media. In his book The Big Lie, Meyssan concludes that the Pentagon was struck by a satellite-guided missile "” part of an elaborate U.S. military coup. "This attack," he writes, "could only be committed by United States military personnel against other U.S. military personnel."

Hole Truth: Flight 77's landing gear punched a 12-ft. hole into the Pentagon's Ring C. (Photograph by Department of Defense)

FACT: When American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon's exterior wall, Ring E, it created a hole approximately 75 ft. wide, according to the ASCE Pentagon Building Performance Report. The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minutes after impact, but ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the number of first-floor support columns that were destroyed or damaged. Computer simulations confirmed the findings.

Why wasn't the hole as wide as a 757's 124-ft.-10-in. wingspan? A crashing jet doesn't punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University. In this case, one wing hit the ground; the other was sheared off by the force of the impact with the Pentagon's load-bearing columns, explains Sozen, who specializes in the behavior of concrete buildings. What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to a liquid than a solid mass. "If you expected the entire wing to cut into the building," Sozen tells PM, "it didn't happen."

The tidy hole in Ring C was 12 ft. wide "” not 16 ft. ASCE concludes it was made by the jet's landing gear, not by the fuselage.

Intact Windows
Claim: Many Pentagon windows remained in one piece "” even those just above the point of impact from the Boeing 757 passenger plane. Pentagonstrike.co.uk, an online animation widely circulated in the United States and Europe, claims that photographs showing "intact windows" directly above the crash site prove "a missile" or "a craft much smaller than a 757" struck the Pentagon.

FACT: Some windows near the impact area did indeed survive the crash. But that's what the windows were supposed to do "” they're blast-resistant.

"A blast-resistant window must be designed to resist a force significantly higher than a hurricane that's hitting instantaneously," says Ken Hays, executive vice president of Masonry Arts, the Bessemer, Ala., company that designed, manufactured and installed the Pentagon windows. Some were knocked out of the walls by the crash and the outer ring's later collapse. "They were not designed to receive wracking seismic force," Hays notes. "They were designed to take in inward pressure from a blast event, which apparently they did: [Before the collapse] the blinds were still stacked neatly behind the window glass."

Flight 77 Debris
Claim: Conspiracy theorists insist there was no plane wreckage at the Pentagon. "In reality, a Boeing 757 was never found," claims pentagonstrike.co.uk, which asks the question, "What hit the Pentagon on 9/11?"

Flight 77 debris lies next to Pentagon on September 11, 2001

Aftermath: Wreckage from Flight 77 on the Pentagon's lawn "” proof that a passenger plane, not a missile, hit the building. (Photograph by AP/Wide World Photos)

FACT: Blast expert Allyn E. Kilsheimer was the first structural engineer to arrive at the Pentagon after the crash and helped coordinate the emergency response. "It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box." Kilsheimer's eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?"

Flight 93
Cockpit recordings indicate the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 teamed up to attack their hijackers, forcing down the plane near Shanksville, in southwestern Pennsylvania. But conspiracy theorists assert Flight 93 was destroyed by a heat-seeking missile from an F-16 or a mysterious white plane. Some theorists add far-fetched elaborations: No terrorists were aboard, or the passengers were drugged. The wildest is the "bumble planes" theory, which holds that passengers from Flights 11, 175 and 77 were loaded onto Flight 93 so the U.S. government could kill them.

The White Jet
Claim: At least six eyewitnesses say they saw a small white jet flying low over the crash area almost immediately after Flight 93 went down. BlogD.com theorizes that the aircraft was downed by "either a missile fired from an Air Force jet, or via an electronic assault made by a U.S. Customs airplane reported to have been seen near the site minutes after Flight 93 crashed." WorldNetDaily.com weighs in: "Witnesses to this low-flying jet ... told their story to journalists. Shortly thereafter, the FBI began to attack the witnesses with perhaps the most inane disinformation ever "” alleging the witnesses actually observed a private jet at 34,000 ft. The FBI says the jet was asked to come down to 5000 ft. and try to find the crash site. This would require about 20 minutes to descend."

FACT: There was such a jet in the vicinity "” a Dassault Falcon 20 business jet owned by the VF Corp. of Greensboro, N.C., an apparel company that markets Wrangler jeans and other brands. The VF plane was flying into Johnstown-Cambria airport, 20 miles north of Shanksville. According to David Newell, VF's director of aviation and travel, the FAA's Cleveland Center contacted copilot Yates Gladwell when the Falcon was at an altitude "in the neighborhood of 3000 to 4000 ft." "” not 34,000 ft. "They were in a descent already going into Johnstown," Newell adds. "The FAA asked them to investigate and they did. They got down within 1500 ft. of the ground when they circled. They saw a hole in the ground with smoke coming out of it. They pinpointed the location and then continued on." Reached by PM, Gladwell confirmed this account but, concerned about ongoing harassment by conspiracy theorists, asked not to be quoted directly.

Roving Engine
Claim: One of Flight 93's engines was found "at a considerable distance from the crash site," according to Lyle Szupinka, a state police officer on the scene who was quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Offering no evidence, a posting on Rense.com claimed: "The main body of the engine ... was found miles away from the main wreckage site with damage comparable to that which a heat-seeking missile would do to an airliner."

FACT: Experts on the scene tell PM that a fan from one of the engines was recovered in a catchment basin, downhill from the crash site. Jeff Reinbold, the National Park Service representative responsible for the Flight 93 National Memorial, confirms the direction and distance from the crash site to the basin: just over 300 yards south, which means the fan landed in the direction the jet was traveling. "It's not unusual for an engine to move or tumble across the ground," says Michael K. Hynes, an airline accident expert who investigated the crash of TWA Flight 800 out of New York City in 1996. "When you have very high velocities, 500 mph or more," Hynes says, "you are talking about 700 to 800 ft. per second. For something to hit the ground with that kind of energy, it would only take a few seconds to bounce up and travel 300 yards." Numerous crash analysts contacted by PM concur.

Indian Lake
Claim: "Residents and workers at businesses outside Shanksville, Somerset County, reported discovering clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains," states a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article dated Sept. 13, 2001. "Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake, nearly 6 miles from the immediate crash scene." Commenting on reports that Indian Lake residents collected debris, Think AndAsk.com speculates: "On Sept. 10, 2001, a strong cold front pushed through the area, and behind it "” winds blew northerly. Since Flight 93 crashed west-southwest of Indian Lake, it was impossible for debris to fly perpendicular to wind direction. ... The FBI lied." And the significance of widespread debris? Theorists claim the plane was breaking up before it crashed. TheForbiddenKnowledge.com states bluntly: "Without a doubt, Flight 93 was shot down."

Flight 93 9/11 Map

(Map by International Mapping)

FACT: Wallace Miller, Somerset County coroner, tells PM no body parts were found in Indian Lake. Human remains were confined to a 70-acre area directly surrounding the crash site. Paper and tiny scraps of sheetmetal, however, did land in the lake. "Very light debris will fly into the air, because of the concussion," says former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Matthew McCormick. Indian Lake is less than 1.5 miles southeast of the impact crater "” not 6 miles "” easily within range of debris blasted skyward by the heat of the explosion from the crash. And the wind that day was northwesterly, at 9 to 12 mph, which means it was blowing from the northwest "” toward Indian Lake.

F-16 Pilot
Claim: In February 2004, retired Army Col. Donn de Grand-Pre said on "The Alex Jones Show," a radio talk show broadcast on 42 stations: "It [Flight 93] was taken out by the North Dakota Air Guard. I know the pilot who fired those two missiles to take down 93." LetsRoll911.org, citing de Grand-Pre, identifies the pilot: "Major Rick Gibney fired two Sidewinder missiles at the aircraft and destroyed it in midflight at precisely 0958."

FACT: Saying he was reluctant to fuel debate by responding to unsubstantiated charges, Gibney (a lieutenant colonel, not a major) declined to comment. According to Air National Guard spokesman Master Sgt. David Somdahl, Gibney flew an F-16 that morning--but nowhere near Shanksville. He took off from Fargo, N.D., and flew to Bozeman, Mont., to pick up Ed Jacoby Jr., the director of the New York State Emergency Management Office. Gibney then flew Jacoby from Montana to Albany, N.Y., so Jacoby could coordinate 17,000 rescue workers engaged in the state's response to 9/11. Jacoby confirms the day's events. "I was in Big Sky for an emergency managers meeting. Someone called to say an F-16 was landing in Bozeman. From there we flew to Albany." Jacoby is outraged by the claim that Gibney shot down Flight 93. "I summarily dismiss that because Lt. Col. Gibney was with me at that time. It disgusts me to see this because the public is being misled. More than anything else it disgusts me because it brings up fears. It brings up hopes "” it brings up all sorts of feelings, not only to the victims' families but to all the individuals throughout the country, and the world for that matter. I get angry at the misinformation out there."

Reporting Benjamin Chertoff, Davin Coburn, Michael Connery, David Enders, Kevin Haynes, Kristin Roth, Tracy Saelinger, Erik Sofge and the editors of POPULAR MECHANICS.

Photography Research Sarah Shatz.

Sources: For a list of experts consulted during the preparation of this article, click here.

PM consulted more than 300 experts and organizations in its investigation into 9/11 conspiracy theories. The following were particularly helpful.

Air Crash Analysis
Cleveland Center regional air traffic control

Bill Crowley special agent, FBI

Ron Dokell president, Demolition Consultants

Richard Gazarik staff writer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Yates Gladwell pilot, VF Corp.

Michael K. Hynes, Ed.D.,
ATP, CFI, A&P/IA president, Hynes Aviation Services; expert, aviation crashes

Ed Jacoby Jr. director,
New York State Emergency Management Office (Ret.); chairman, New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission (Ret.)

Johnstown-Cambria County Airport Authority

Cindi Lash staff writer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Matthew McCormick manager, survival factors division, National Transportation Safety Board (Ret.)

Wallace Miller coroner, Somerset County, PA

Robert Nagan meteorological technician, Climate Services Branch, National Climatic Data Center

Dave Newell director, aviation and travel, VF Corp.

James O'Toole politics editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania State Police Public Information Office

Jeff Pillets senior writer,
The Record, Hackensack, NJ

Jeff Rienbold director, Flight 93 National Memorial, National Park Service

Dennis Roddy staff writer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Master Sgt. David Somdahl public affairs officer,
119th Wing, North Dakota
Air National Guard

Mark Stahl photographer; eyewitness, United Airlines Flight 93 crash scene

Air Defense
Lt. Col. Skip Aldous (Ret.) squadron commander,
U.S. Air Force

Tech. Sgt. Laura Bosco public affairs officer,
Tyndall Air Force Base

Boston Center regional air traffic control

Laura Brown spokeswoman,
Federal Aviation Administration

Todd Curtis, Ph.D. founder, Airsafe.com; president, Airsafe.com Foundation

Keith Halloway public affairs officer, National Transportation Safety Board

Ted Lopatkiewicz director, public affairs, National Transportation Safety Board

Maj. Douglas Martin public affairs officer,
North American Aerospace Defense Command

Lt. Herbert McConnell public affairs officer,
Andrews AFB

Michael Perini public affairs officer, North American Aerospace Defense Command

John Pike director, GlobalSecurity.org

Hank Price spokesman, Federal
Aviation Administration

Warren Robak RAND Corp.

Bill Shumann spokesman,
Federal Aviation Administration

Louis Walsh public affairs officer, Eglin AFB

Chris Yates aviation security editor, analyst, Jane's Transport

Aviation
Fred E.C. Culick, Ph.D., S.B., S.M. professor of aeronautics, California Institute of Technology

Robert Everdeen public affairs, Northrop Grumman

Clint Oster professor of public and environmental affairs, Indiana University; aviation safety expert

Capt. Bill Scott (Ret. USAF) Rocky Mountain bureau chief, Aviation Week


Bill Uher News Media Office, NASA Langley Research Center

Col. Ed Walby (Ret. USAF)
director, business development, HALE Systems Enterprise, Unmanned Systems, Northrop Grumman

Image Analysis
William F. Baker member, FEMA Probe Team; partner, Skidmore, Owings, Merrill

W. Gene Corley, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. senior vice president, CTL Group; director,
FEMA Probe Team

Bill Daly senior vice president, Control Risks Group

Steve Douglass image analysis consultant, Aviation Week

Thomas R. Edwards, Ph.D. founder, TREC; video forensics expert.

Ronald Greeley, Ph.D. professor of geology, Arizona State University

Rob Howard freelance photographer; WTC eyewitness

Robert L. Parker, Ph.D. professor of geophysics,
University of California, San Diego

Structural Engineering / Building Collapse
Farid Alfawakhiri, Ph.D. senior engineer, American Institute of Steel Construction

David Biggs, P.E. structural engineer, Ryan-Biggs Associates; member, ASCE team for FEMA report

Robert Clarke structural engineer, Controlled Demolitions Group Ltd.

Glenn Corbett technical editor, Fire Engineering; member, NIST advisory committee

Vincent Dunn deputy fire chief (Ret.), FDNY; author, The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety

John Fisher, Ph.D. professor of civil engineering, Lehigh University; professor emeritus, Center for Advanced Technology; member, FEMA Probe Team

Ken Hays executive vice president, Masonry Arts

Christoph Hoffmann, Ph.D. professor of computer science, Purdue University; project director, September 11 Pentagon Attack Simulations Using LS-Dyna, Purdue University

Allyn E. Kilsheimer, P.E.
CEO, KCE Structural Engineers PC; chief structural engineer, Phoenix project; expert in blast recovery, concrete structures, emergency response

Won-Young Kim, Ph.D. seismologist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

William Koplitz photo desk manager, FEMA

John Labriola freelance photographer, WTC survivor

Arthur Lerner-Lam, Ph.D. seismologist; director,
Earth Institute, Center for Hazards and Risk Research, Columbia University

James Quintiere, Ph.D. professor of engineering, University of Maryland member, NIST advisory committee

Steve Riskus freelance photographer; eyewitness, Pentagon crash

Van Romero, Ph.D. vice president, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Christine Shaffer spokesperson, Viracon

Mete Sozen, Ph.D., S.E. Kettelhut Distinguished Professor of Structural Engineering, Purdue University; member, Pentagon Building Performance Report; project conception, September 11 Pentagon Attack Simulations Using LS-Dyna, Purdue University

Shyam Sunder, Sc.D.
acting deputy director, lead investigator, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Mary Tobin science writer, media relations, Earth Institute, Columbia University

Forman Williams, Ph.D. professor of engineering, physics, combustion, University of California,
San Diego; member, advisory committee, National Institute of Standards and Technology

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