Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

[Fwd: '9/11' Kooky Conspiracy Theorists are debunked with FACTS from PM Mag!]

Expand Messages
  • erickrieg@verizon.net
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2005
      > Subject: '9/11' Kooky Conspiracy Theorists are debunked with FACTS from PM Mag!
      > 3 of 3
      > -----------------------------------------
      > http://www.popularmechanics.com/
      > http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html
      > –
      > FAST FACTS: 9/11: Debunking The Myths: As 9/11 conspiracy theories
      > proliferate – and receive increasing media attention – Popular
      > Mechanics talks to the experts to confirm the FACTS and to beat back the
      > tide of poisonous MISinformation from the lunatic fringe on the
      > Internet.
      > From: POPULAR MECHANICS Magazine, March 2005 issue, pp. 70-81
      > 9/11: Debunking The Myths –
      > PM examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most
      > persistent conspiracy theories of September 11.
      > 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.
      > 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 EDITORS
      > 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:
      > www.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:
      > www.emperors-clothes.com
      > "They failed to do their job." "There is only one explanation for this,"
      > writes MARK R. ELSIS of:
      > http://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.
      > www.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.
      > 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:
      > www.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 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:
      > www.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."
      > 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
      > www.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:
      > www.WhatReallyHappened.com
      > A columnist on
      > www.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."
      > 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.
      > www.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
      > www.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."
      > 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.
      > 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.
      > 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
      > www.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."
      > 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.
      > www.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
      > www.pentagonstrike.co.uk
      > which asks the question, "What hit the Pentagon on 9/11?"
      > 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. OK?"
      > 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."
      > www.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
      > www.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.
      > www.TheForbiddenKnowledge.com
      > states bluntly: "Without a doubt, Flight 93 was shot down."
      > 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."
      > www.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.
      > PM consulted more than 300 experts and organizations in its
      > investigation into 9/11 conspiracy theories. The following were
      > particularly helpful.
      > Links referenced within this article
      > here:
      > http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1230517.html
      > www.ldeo.columbia.edu/lcsn
      > http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/lcsn
      > http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html?page=9&c=y
      > -----------------------------------------
      > CLICK BELOW FOR "Printer Friendly Version" (12 pages!)
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.