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Missile or plane?
April 3, 2006 2:57 PM   Subscribe

The no-757 crowd is making an ass out of itself. Images showing left wing impact damage, the extent of the damage that was done, debris comparisons as well as illustrations showing the plane's projected path (yellow numbers are knocked-down lamp posts) and the point of impact does an excellent job of debunking the Pentagon missile theory. Add a slew of accounts from eye-witnesses claiming to have seen an American Airlines plane, and the theory's on rather shaky ground. Complimentary reading: Loose Change: An Analysis and It was Flight 77. I urge you all to read at least the first article before commenting.
posted by Haarball (133 comments total)

 
These people DO know that The Pentagon is made out of concrete and a 757 is made out of aluminum, don't they?
posted by Relay at 3:00 PM on April 3, 2006


Plenty of people have crazy beliefs and it's not my problem.
posted by smackfu at 3:01 PM on April 3, 2006


So you're saying that conspiracy theorists are WRONG?

How strange.
posted by reklaw at 3:01 PM on April 3, 2006


Crazy theories one, regular theories a billion! Shit.
posted by Plutor at 3:05 PM on April 3, 2006


APRIL FOOLS!
posted by loquacious at 3:06 PM on April 3, 2006


Some of you will say that this has been debated enough on MeFi, but I haven't seen these articles linked to on any thread relating to 9/11 and they seem to do a better job than anyone else in debunking the theory. I believed the theory for a while myself, but I'm not so sure anymore.

As you will see if you read the first article, the author agrees that there are several unanswered questions that are highly mysterious and nigh-on impossible to explain without new information seeing the light of day. For ease of reference, here they are:

#1 Why have no Arabs appeared on the any of the passenger lists of the four planes?
#2 Hani Hanjour was a terrible pilot according to all the different reports. And those reports were about Cessna-type planes. How could he have flown such a large airliner? And with such skill?
#3 Why had air traffic controllers such a hard time tracking flight 77?
#4 Why was the tape of a gathering between FAA air traffic controllers cut to pieces and thrown in many different dumpsters?
#5 Why did the plane a full circle around the Pentagon and over the White House, only to fly into the same wing it had approached in the first place? This was a very risky and seemingly unnecessary move.
#6 Isn't it strange that the terrorists decided to hit the only wing of the Pentagon that had been under restoration for several years and was much stronger than the other wings of the building? Didn't they carefully observe their future targets?
#7 Why were the jet fighters only dispatched after the Pentagon was hit? The government knew full well that planes were heading for Washington, well before flight 77 made it to the Pentagon.
#8 Why doesn't the FBI release any videos of the airliner? (The 5 gifs are a faked "leak" by someone unknown and completely worthless) There were enough camera's in the area.
#9 Is it normal that a crashing 757 creates a powerful blast wave, generates a tremendous amount of heat that melts glass and the back of a firetruck, sends people 30 - 70 feet flying through the hallway and smells like cordite? (2 known witnesses for that last point)

Even if these are legitimate questions that needs to be answered before anyone can be 100% sure of what happened, it seems absurd that the information available to the public as of today sufficiently proves that an American Airlines wasn't flown into the Pentagon.

Ah well. I look forward to the counter-arguments of the missile theory crowd.
posted by Haarball at 3:07 PM on April 3, 2006


"Some of you will say that this has been debated enough on MeFi"

Yep.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:09 PM on April 3, 2006


You know, the question about the quality of the guys pilot training could answer some of those other questions...
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on April 3, 2006


Haarball writes "Ah well. I look forward to the counter-arguments of the missile theory crowd."

Really?

Christ.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:14 PM on April 3, 2006


Is anyone here a member of the missile theory crowd?

This strikes me as the most cut and dry part of the day. LOTS of people saw it, and the impact wasn't 80-90 stories up in a building that ended up collapsing so there was plenty of evidence. I do think there are valid questions about the flight manifesto, but that's a seperate question.

Did a plane or missile hit the Pentagon? There's no question it was a plane.
posted by rollbiz at 3:18 PM on April 3, 2006


People who claim that no 757 was found at the pentagon ever mention the fact that no 757s or 767s were found at the WTC site either.

Think about it, did you ever see any airplane components at the WTC site? No. As soon as the plane hit the towers, it basically disintegrated. Airplanes are really thin, fragile devices, almost like metal balloons. Of course it would disappear on impact.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM on April 3, 2006


So what do missile theorists think did happen to Flight 77 and the people on it?
posted by driveler at 3:22 PM on April 3, 2006


I'm really sick of hearing half-baked theories from people who have only seen plane crashes in movies. Same with all the amateur structural engineering experts that emerged on 9/11/01.
posted by 2sheets at 3:22 PM on April 3, 2006


Oh well, I'll send the link to my conspiracy theory believing friend. It's good because it uses the same sorts of techniques that conspiracy theorists use to debunk the theories.
posted by delmoi at 3:23 PM on April 3, 2006


Based on previous related threads I had the impression that the conspiracy crowd was bigger. I hadn't seen these articles being referenced and discussed previously, so I thought they could spark some new, interesting debate. Sorry if I stated the obvious.
posted by Haarball at 3:25 PM on April 3, 2006


Keep in mind that I have nothing against conspiracy theories per se. Facts are always preceded by theory.

Umm, no. The World Trade Center was in flames before there were any theories.
posted by QuietDesperation at 3:25 PM on April 3, 2006


All I want to know is this....is there a grassy knoll near the Pentagon? If so, could someone, like, have thrown something really hard from that location?

Wouldn't that just about explain everything? Shouldn't this be explored?

/returns to the real world
posted by HuronBob at 3:27 PM on April 3, 2006


"I urge you all to read at least the first article before commenting"
I can't get through the 1st paragraph. Terrible writing.
I don't subscribe to the crackpot theories and its been analyzed to death here previously.
Please delete this crap.
posted by peacay at 3:31 PM on April 3, 2006


You might have seen this flash movie. It supports the theory. Like the majority of 9/11-related theories, it merely asks, well, questionable questions and takes eye-witness accounts out of context.

You'll see that nearly all of the quotes in the flash movie have been used by the debunkers, but the conspiracy theorists only use excerpts supporting their view of the case. Even witnesses that clearly state that they say a plane have had their accounts used towards questioning the existence of a plane (i.e. "I saw a huge plane flying above us. It made a whoosing sound and sounded more like a missile." The latter part of course being the part used by the theorists)
posted by Haarball at 3:33 PM on April 3, 2006


I urge you all to read at least the first article before commenting.

I urge you, Haarball, to editorialize less on the front page.
posted by Gator at 3:34 PM on April 3, 2006


I'm not in the "a missile hit the Pentagon" camp, I would not even put myself in a "conspiracy" camp, but I am squarely in the "something is amiss and they are not telling us everything" camp.

Your 9 points pretty much cover all the questions.

I have seen the videos of plane destructions under tests and all of that. I still find it odd that there was no plane left.

Even when a plane crashes into something as immovable as the earth, as with the other flight, there is still pieces of plane left. In fact, even after a direct piledriver into the earth or into a mountain, it is still immediately recognizable as plane wreckage.

The argument that the entire plane vaporized on impact does not sit well with me. If the walls were that resilient, that it could have caused the airplane to become ground into dust, then the walls should have been standing just fine, with no significant damage to the building outside fire/smoke.

Basically, if the walls were tough enough to vaporize the plane, they should have still been standing. If they were not tough enough to withstand the impact, then there should be pieces of plane laying around.

I'm not saying missile or ufo or depleted uranium or anything that exotic. But I again find myself in the "they're not telling us everything" camp.

To me, that is not even the biggest concern over that flight. The biggest question is how did such a terrible, amateur pilot ever have the ability to perform what would have been an incredibly complicated maneuver for even a master pilot?
posted by Ynoxas at 3:44 PM on April 3, 2006


Make it stop. Please. I for one do NOT look forward to what the missile theorists have to say because they are idiots.

I have this very close friend, a highly educated person with a PhD in Arabic studies, who is firmly convinced that the entire 9/11 event was a Mossad staged conspiracy. She can provide no - I mean ZERO - evidence of this. None of these people can. They are the Bizzaro World coin flip of the wing-nut Iraq-has-WMD-in-Syria crowd.

But that doesn't stop her from declaring this theory at every gathering and pissing everybody off. I love her dearly, but she is an idiot that is essentially buying another "the Jews did it" conspiracy. She needed to be corrected.

Finally, sick of this nonsense, I sat with her one afternoon and showed her all the evidence (and she showed me hers witch was ultimately nothing). I sat with her and went through every scrap of evidence - for who and what occurred on 9/11. The Frontline and NOVA documentaries and everything we could find.

Then we went on to find the sources of the conspiracy theories. Nearly each one the first instances are put out by extremist right-wing or white supremacist groups and then taken up by others. Essentially this convinced her. Becuase the crux of her theory was this : Arabs are too unorganized and stupid to pull it off. Entirely racist. And she didn't even realize she believed it.

Her beliefs were not based on evidence but on an irrational need that somebody be in control. Even if it is a malign power in control.

Incompetence is the culprit — and that is WORSE than conspiracy. I would be comforted if it was intentional because then it would imply somebody was actually in control.
posted by tkchrist at 3:44 PM on April 3, 2006


"then there should be pieces of plane laying around"

There clearly was. Should there have been bigger chunks of debris, in your opinion, maybe even large parts of the fuselage?
posted by Haarball at 3:48 PM on April 3, 2006


"a highly educated person with a PhD in Arabic studies"

"Becuase the crux of her theory was this: Arabs are too unorganized and stupid to pull it off."


Wow.
posted by Haarball at 3:52 PM on April 3, 2006


it is still immediately recognizable as plane wreckage

Dude! Stop. This is not true. Not when the plane in question is fully fueled and hitting the ground AT FULL THROTTLE. And PS - there WAS some wreckage. But it was literally blown to bits.

The biggest question is how did such a terrible, amateur pilot ever have the ability to perform what would have been an incredibly complicated maneuver for even a master pilot?

Ok. Seriously. Knock it off. What maneuver? Hitting the Pentagon? Have you ever flown over DC? The Pentagon is HUGE. It was not a complicated maneuver. Especially if you don't care about living through it or obeying laws.

Yeah. They are not telling us everything. They are not admitting to being morons who could have prevented the entire thing by actually caring that Terrorism was a threat. By not fixating on Iraq from day one. Or by installing armored coskpit doors in the 1980's.
posted by tkchrist at 3:53 PM on April 3, 2006


I have seen the videos of plane destructions under tests and all of that. I still find it odd that there was no plane left.

What happened to the planes at the WTC sites?
posted by delmoi at 3:56 PM on April 3, 2006


The argument that the entire plane vaporized on impact does not sit well with me. If the walls were that resilient, that it could have caused the airplane to become ground into dust, then the walls should have been standing just fine, with no significant damage to the building outside fire/smoke.

A simpler argument is that you're assumptions about how airplanes react with the ground are just wrong.
posted by delmoi at 3:58 PM on April 3, 2006


Where exactly is Elaine Scarry when we need her most?
posted by MarshallPoe at 3:59 PM on April 3, 2006


Think about it, did you ever see any airplane components at the WTC site? No.

I doubt the set of workers who were at the WTC complex aftermath who can identify plane bits correctly intersect with the readership of Metafilter.

So your 'no' is rather safe.

As soon as the plane hit the towers, it basically disintegrated. Airplanes are really thin, fragile devices, almost like metal balloons. Of course it would disappear on impact.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM PST on April 3 [!]


Per loose change - then why the hole through so many walls at the Pentagon? loose change also liked pointing out the 60 tons of metal missing, the pulled up light poles VS other plane-light pole collisions and the lack of corpses. Or the throw-away comment about the sattlite image of some chalk line in the turf which was the path the plane took captured before the attack?

If governments (yea, this is not JUST a US problem) had a history of not lying to citizens, destroying people or property, none of the amazing co-inky-dinks of Sept 11th 2001 would raise an eyebrow. But because of problems of government truthfulness over the years, why should governments anywere be believed? "Trust, but verify" comes to mind for the optimists.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:02 PM on April 3, 2006


Oops, sorry, typo in the link to Professor Scarry. Here we go.
posted by MarshallPoe at 4:04 PM on April 3, 2006


#1 Why have no Arabs appeared on the any of the passenger lists of the four planes?

Oooh, how sinister! Sure enough, none of the hijackers seem to be listed on any of the passenger lists. Here are CNN's passenger lists for American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines flight 77, United Airlines flight 93, United Airlines flight 175. Maybe the hijackers aren't listed because the lists are in a section called Victims. Maybe CNN thought it'd be in poor taste to list those people's murderers on the same page.

Have any conspiracy theorists produced the airline's actual passenger manifests? Because citing some news story doesn't prove anything.

#2 Hani Hanjour was a terrible pilot according to all the different reports. And those reports were about Cessna-type planes. How could he have flown such a large airliner? And with such skill?

How many of the people raising this point have actually flown either a Cessna or an airliner? Here's some guy who'd flown a Cessna and tried a 757 simulator.
The most difficult part of the simulator training was takeoffs and landings. On the other hand, flying the aircraft in other phases of flight was relatively easy, even compared to flying a Cessna 172.
#5 Why did the plane a full circle around the Pentagon and over the White House, only to fly into the same wing it had approached in the first place? This was a very risky and seemingly unnecessary move.

Because he was too high on the first approach, and looped around to lose altitude.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:09 PM on April 3, 2006


30 comments into a post with the word "plane" in the title, and nobody's said the "s" word yet. Weird.
posted by flashboy at 4:09 PM on April 3, 2006


Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:10 PM on April 3, 2006


Pepsi Blue on the <expletive deleted> plane.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:15 PM on April 3, 2006


Demons, they are! Demons!
posted by Haarball at 4:23 PM on April 3, 2006


Haarball, linking to Tripod images does us people who haven't visited the page no good and man, I wanted to see the demons.

And if there'd been snakes on those planes, those turrists woulda gotten nowhere! Nowhere!
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:25 PM on April 3, 2006




Yawn.
posted by public at 4:27 PM on April 3, 2006


Apparently MeFi didn't like my attempt to make that photo smaller (and therefore slightly less annoying) and stripped the sizing attributes. I apologise for my incompetence and lack of wit.
posted by public at 4:28 PM on April 3, 2006


Ah, sorry. Some demons. Another demon.
posted by Haarball at 4:28 PM on April 3, 2006


Speaking of motherfucking things on planes, Hooters Air went tits up.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:30 PM on April 3, 2006


Driveler: So what do missile theorists think did happen to Flight 77 and the people on it?

Why is this question always ignored in these discussions?
posted by Adam_S at 4:47 PM on April 3, 2006


The no-757 idea is just dumb. It would simply be too hard to fake.
posted by Malor at 4:53 PM on April 3, 2006


MeFi didn't like my attempt to make that photo smaller

I like it just the way it is.


... and I do recall seeing a picture of a jet engine lying on a Manhattan sidewalk, surrounded by yellow police tape, only a day or two afterwards.

Aluminum melts rather readily in a hot fire. Even when planes hit the water the reconstruction efforts in a hanger or warehouse show big gaps where debris was never found.
posted by CynicalKnight at 4:55 PM on April 3, 2006


from the must read article (verbatum as found):
"People are send to the gas chamber based on witnes testimonies."
- worth a chuckle.

"So what do missile theorists think did happen to Flight 77 and the people on it?" - posted by driveler

That THEY* put the people on that missle. Duh.

*They meaning THEM.

Seriously tho - have the victim's families from Fligh 77 come forward (made insurance claims, etc)? Just curious, I don't know that much about that end of it.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:56 PM on April 3, 2006


"I do recall seeing a picture of a jet engine lying on a Manhattan sidewalk, surrounded by yellow police tape, only a day or two afterwards"

In Manhattan, it was likely a knockoff being sold at only $100.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:58 PM on April 3, 2006


So let me get this straight. All of you, or almost all of you, believe that the official story of 9/11 is more or less completely correct? I certainly don't believe the "missile theory", nor do I have a theory of my own, but I don't believe the official theory is true, either.

Some of the rebuttals above are.... well... a little hard to believe (and are also rather rude...)

For example, in order to hit the Pentagon, the plane made a very sharp turn, dived down dramatically fast, then sped for hundreds of yards within a few feet of the ground to hit the Pentagon precisely amidships. To claim "anyone could have done that" is, um, a little hard to believe.

There are many other questions. Why did 0 of the 4 planes get intercepted, when up until now NORAD etc has been unerring in intercepting planes that go radio silent (think Payne Stuart, eg)?

Why isn't there even a single photo of a terrorist boarding one of the four planes (the one photo we have is of Attas boarding a *connecting* flight -- and it also appears to have been tampered with by someone as it has two different timestamps on it)?

Why are at least some of the supposed hijackers definitely still alive?

Why did WTC 7 fall when no such building has ever fallen down despite hundreds of fires in central column architectures over the last 50 years? You might claim that WTC 1 and 2 are a special case... but why WTC 7?

And a hundred little details... typical example: with the WTC planes so completely incinerated that there wasn't even a trace of them left -- how did one of the terrorists' passports end up completely undamaged in a pile of rubble a few blocks away?

There are a lot of unsolved questions. The "inquiry" was useless and pointless. All the physical evidence had been removed months before the inquiry even started.

I have no idea what the truth is. I only know that we're being lied to.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:00 PM on April 3, 2006


Even when a plane crashes into something as immovable as the earth, as with the other flight, there is still pieces of plane left. In fact, even after a direct piledriver into the earth or into a mountain, it is still immediately recognizable as plane wreckage.

Here's an experiment for you. It requires a motorcycle and a shallow ramp.

First, drive the motorcycle at 100mph, and hit the ramp. Even if you miss the landing, the motorcycle will be clearly reocgnizable, and you'll probably live.

Now, drive the motorcycle into a concrete wall at 100mph.

Do you see the difference?
posted by I Love Tacos at 5:03 PM on April 3, 2006


"Think about it, did you ever see any airplane components at the WTC site?" posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM PST on April 3 [!]

Actually yeah, I did.

I saw a shot of a fan disc lying on the ground. It looked like one of the mid section fans, it wasn't very big in diameter (what was left of it).

One of my first thoughts when seeing the close up footage of the planes hitting the tower was, "Uh-oh! No big parts came out the other side!".

I knew from that moment that the towers were coming down, since the lack of big recognizable bits coming out the other side essentially meant that all of that kinetic energy was absorbed by the buildings. From then on, it was just a matter of time.

As far as the lack of bits from the Pentagon are concerned, that's not all that puzzling to me.

I remember seeing test footage of an F-4 Phantom being run on a rocket sled into a 12X12X12 foot cube of concrete at around 500 MPH, and there was literally nothing left of the plane.

It reduced it to small metallic bits about 4 times the size of salt grains. And yeah, that includes the hardened steel, U.S.-Navy-slam-it-into-a-carrier-deck-grade landing gear.
posted by Relay at 5:18 PM on April 3, 2006


Initially, I thought 'oh god, more 9/11?', as we've had two posts on it in quick succession, but this was a good post. I read the entirety of that 11-section main link, and I feel educated for it. I'd always wondered about the Pentagon hit.
posted by blacklite at 5:21 PM on April 3, 2006


The conspiracy was on election day 2000. And it was in plain sight. Why people spend endless hours on this other crap is beyond me.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:26 PM on April 3, 2006


I remember seeing test footage of an F-4 Phantom being run on a rocket sled into a 12X12X12 foot cube of concrete at around 500 MPH, and there was literally nothing left of the plane.

I unfortunately saw an F-86 Sabre slam into the tarmac at an airshow. Also nothing left much bigger than shards about the size of a CD.

I have no idea what the truth is. I only know that we're being lied to.

Yes. You're being lied to by people who are appealing to your needs. Because in your world, it's somehow more comfy to think the government did it than 19 guys with boxcutters.
posted by frogan at 5:33 PM on April 3, 2006


I saw Loose Change and I was believing it until at 1:03 into it, there was a screenshot of metafilter.com and after that it lost all credibility for me.
posted by birdherder at 5:37 PM on April 3, 2006


I was able to tour the Pentagon site up close and personal on September 14, after the Arlington command center was established in the parking lots. I am convinced that it was an airplane that hit the building. There were streetlights from the exit ramp that had been snapped like twigs, there were deep gouges in the ground in front of the impact site, and there was nothing that suggested to my untrained eye that anything other than a plane had caused this damage. On 9/11, I saw the explosion and smoke out my office window (peripheral vision, since I was turned to the side watching CNN). It was really amazing how quickly the black helicopters showed up.

What I find very interesting was the information that was being relayed to our command center on that day: we kept hearing that a plane was shot down in Pennsylvania, and then we heard nothing more. I don't know whether we got wrong information at the beginning; I wouldn't be surprised - but to this day it's something that still nags at me.
posted by aberrant at 5:49 PM on April 3, 2006


Hey, frogan:

First, be polite. Your posting is rude.

Second, I most certainly never claimed that 9/11 was not done by 19 men with boxcutters -- though there is some small question in my mind about even this and a much larger doubt that the government really identified the right people. But if I had to bet, I'd bet on the 19 men being essentially the right story.

What I said is that the story that the government had fed us is obviously wrong, in at least some parts. What the actual truth is I have no idea.


Now, feel free to refute or comment on any of the ideas I brought up -- I am really interested to know the truth. But a post insinuating that I'm crazy without any thought or reasoning attached is just rudeness and noise, and it doesn't make me think very highly of you.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:50 PM on April 3, 2006


yonderboy - few people on metafilter, probably few people in America, think Bush is being 100% forthright about the 9/11 investigations.

Me - I KNOW the motherfucker is lying through his trust-funded pearly whites.

But the difference is this notion they lie because they either caused 9/11 deliberately (which is absurd) or LET it happen deliberately (almost as absurd). These theories both clash with the facts.

A number of people knew that a big attack was coming. And it was likely coming via hijackings. Sure that is all true.

But if we all went back in time to 2001 any five of us could get together, take a few moths of flying lessons, and do EXACTLY what Atta did with the same rate of success. No far reaching conspiracy needed. I bet you COULD do it today, with slightly different planning, with a private charter flight.

The beauty is the simplicity of the thing. I think that is what scares people - anyone could have pulled it off - so they make up nearly omnipotent MiBs working behind the scenes.

All the facts point to extreme malcompentence (malign incompetence) of Bush administration. If this was a conspiracy... it was a conspiracy of errors. And that should be enough to piss you off and demand this dick head resign. All this conspiracy shit is a huge distraction.
posted by tkchrist at 6:05 PM on April 3, 2006


tkchrist -

Plus, let's not forget that the standard airline practice pre 9/11 was to COOPERATE FULLY with the hijackers. At least, until you could get on the ground and have a SWAT team get on to take care of them.

Back then it was an inconvenient, most likely non-fatal adventure. Now we know it's a death sentence. (Even if they say they won't kill everyone on board...)
posted by JB71 at 6:10 PM on April 3, 2006


" I think that is what scares people - anyone could have pulled it off ... '
posted by tkchrist at 6:05 PM PST on April 3 [!]

Indeed, yes ... I believe The Lone Gunmen TV series had someone flying a hijacked plane into one of the towers a year or so before it actually happened.
posted by Relay at 6:13 PM on April 3, 2006


Here is the F-4 Phantom II crash video. Warning, possibly NSFW ads.

There are plenty of questions worth asking, but most of the people asking them are wrapping them around absurd conclusions.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:18 PM on April 3, 2006


Nice link, b1tr0t.

Aside from being fucking awesome, that helps to atomize some of the non-science being thrown around here.
posted by Adam_S at 6:31 PM on April 3, 2006


It's a PLANE.

They have to FLY.

THEREFORE they are made as LIGHT as possible.

The crash pattern will NOT match that of an equal sized TRUCK.

A TRUCK is build HEAVY.

A Balsa wood projectile will NOT make the same HOLE as a WALNUT projectile.
posted by HTuttle at 6:53 PM on April 3, 2006


Yet....they are BOTH WOOD!

Conspiracy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(extra exclamations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
posted by HTuttle at 6:54 PM on April 3, 2006


For fans of flight research and blowing shit up, I give you the Dryden Flight Research Center gallery archives, complete with stills, videos and links to other similar archives.

My favorite still has to be the Controlled Impact Demonstration where they crash a Boeing 720 into the ground and specially designed wing/tank cutting obstacles.

The moral of the story? Those big huge planes are about as much protection in a crash as a beer can is from a close range shotgun blast. Expect shrapnel and lots of flaming-hot sharp bits, and remember, you're basically made of Spam.

(This is why I fly/travel in sturdy boots and flame resistant pants and long-sleeved shirts. Wearing synthetics and weak shoes or sandals on a plane is just asking for trouble.)
posted by loquacious at 6:56 PM on April 3, 2006


Think about it, did you ever see any airplane components at the WTC site?

just a big old honkin' GE jet engine lying in the street, big as life. there were lots of photos of it.
posted by quonsar at 7:06 PM on April 3, 2006


Now, drive the motorcycle into a concrete wall at 100mph.

Do you see the difference?
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:03 PM CST on April 3 [!]


In fact I have seen a motorcycle crashed at 100+ mph.

And there was still a whole lot of "motorcycle" laying around.

In the video b1tr0t links too, you'll notice the concrete barrier is still standing. Both it and the plane didn't mutually disintegrate.

That is, in fact, the crux of my argument, and was in the previous thread about this. EITHER the plane was ground into dust, OR it punched through the concrete wall(s). It shouldn't be both.

Again, I'm not saying laser beams from secret moonbases did it.

And I'm not saying it WASN'T a plane. But I'm saying something is screwy. That's all. Nothing more.

And I think people who are saying "anyone could have done it" vastly underestimate the difficulty of flying a 757 100ft off the ground at full throttle.

We all pretty much take it for granted we're being lied to, or at the very least, having information withheld, but yet anyone who questions the official story, which almost everyone is admitting is false or incomplete, is a moron.

I don't even strongly question it. I just weakly question it, but yet that's still cause for derision. Disappointing.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:09 PM on April 3, 2006


So let me get this straight. All of you, or almost all of you, believe that the official story of 9/11 is more or less completely correct?

Where are you getting that idea from?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:17 PM on April 3, 2006


#3 Why had air traffic controllers such a hard time tracking flight 77?
#7 Why were the jet fighters only dispatched after the Pentagon was hit? The government knew full well that planes were heading for Washington, well before flight 77 made it to the Pentagon.


#3: Air traffic control systems have decreased their use of passive radar relying on transponders. Controllers did not have access to passive radar data. When 77 dropped transponder signal, Indianapolis assumed the plane had suffered a failure and crashed.

#7: Fighters were dispatched before the Pentagon was hit. However, due to bad communication they were sent north rather than west.

yonderboy: Why did WTC 7 fall when no such building has ever fallen down despite hundreds of fires in central column architectures over the last 50 years? You might claim that WTC 1 and 2 are a special case... but why WTC 7?

Didn't we just discuss this in the previous month in regards to a site that made similar selective use of quotes? Multiple reports from firefighters on the scene claim that a massive hole had been gouged out of the south face by debris from WTC1 and WTC2.

Ynoxas: That is, in fact, the crux of my argument, and was in the previous thread about this. EITHER the plane was ground into dust, OR it punched through the concrete wall(s). It shouldn't be both.

That is some simplistic materials science there. However RTFA. It includes images of parts that survived the impact and the fire. I really have to question the provenance of "no plane left" claims.

We all pretty much take it for granted we're being lied to, or at the very least, having information withheld, but yet anyone who questions the official story, which almost everyone is admitting is false or incomplete, is a moron.

Well, I share the same opinion as Joe R.. Some theories are worth exploring, and other theories are little more than diversions and distractions. A basic problem I have with conspiracy theories is they make the leap from, "the government is less than fully honest about this" to "...because these are the real events."

In other words, we have multiple lines of evidence supporting the view that the Pentagon and WTC were hit by commercial airliners. The key story that needs to be discovered is how did the planes get there? Everything else is a distraction.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:25 PM on April 3, 2006


how did one of the terrorists' passports end up completely undamaged in a pile of rubble a few blocks away?

OH, oh! Mr. Kotter, Mr. Kotter, you forgot how it was found next to the body of the security chief for the WTC center!

(I liked that twist...don't remember who claimed it however...or how one could verify it.)

And, why have the 'it was thermite' WTC 1/2 believers not have a copy of the video I saw that day, with the red hot metal leaving the side of one of the buildings just before its collapse. Taken from one of the hovering news choppers...at least that is how it looked to me.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:26 PM on April 3, 2006


tkchrist: It's particularly hard to believe that Bush and company actually caused 9/11 to happen, though it's not clear what "facts" actually refute this possibility. I just refuse to believe that there are that many obvious psychopaths at the White House.

However, the possibility that, for example, the Bush government knew that some major terrorist attack was brewing and did nothing so that they could use this information to pursue their goals of attacking Iraq and creating DHS cannot be dismissed out of hand. There's certainly all sorts of evidence that people at various levels of the government had a lot of information that was apparently ignored.

Certainly we know that on August 4, Bush received a daily briefing entitled "Al Qaeda Determined To Strike In US" that talked about Muslim hijackers crashing planes into buildings in lower Manhattan. Apparently, they subsequently prevented members of the Administration from flying in public jets, but they didn't even warn the FAA....

Please note: I am not claiming that Bush deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen. I am saying that I simply and humbly do not know.

This is characteristic of the whole 9/11 thing, and this is how it's completely different from that other great conspiracy-fest, the Kennedy assassination where it is painfully obvious that what we are suffering from is a surfeit of data. There was no government coverup (though of course individuals have varying degrees of accuracy) -- the government at various levels investigated this thing to the point that it became a Rorschach test of too much information.

9/11, on the other hand, was barely investigated at all. The 9/11 Commission didn't start till a year after the attack, by which time every single piece of physical evidence had been destroyed. Their budget was a measley $35 million (plus another $4 million or so to the FASB for the aviation side) -- compare that to over $70 million for the Challenger investigation or over $140 million for the Monika Lewinsky investigation; the timeframe was inadequate; the government refused to cooperate; key witnesses held press conferences to say that their testimonies had been misrepresented in the final report.

Even from a casual perspective, the one piece of photo evidence of the culprits that we've been presented has been obviously doctored even to the casual eye (it's a surveillance camera video which has two conflicting timestamps on it) and we told that most of the other cameras weren't there and or failed to fire or are secret but simply aren't presented with any other photos linking the supposed hijackers to the scene of the crime. Again -- I'm not claiming that the supposed hijackers didn't actually hijack the planes -- I'm saying that no one has presented me with good evidence one way or the other.

Even the official story of the Attas group, where at least we get some photography, is hard to take. Are we supposed to believe that these devout Muslims would go out drinking their last night on Earth? The Muslims I know think of alcohol as nasty, foul stuff. That they then go around threatening people with the destruction of America and leave a Koran with their fingerprints on it -- in a bar?! The whole idea of a Muslim bringing a Koran into a bar is ludicrous.

This story is inconsequential to the whole picture really except that it's one of many pieces of evidence that appear really dodgy -- the surveillance camera photos; the Koran in the bar with the fingerprints; the passport conveniently found undamaged atop the rubble, blocks away from the Towers.

The government has failed to make any good case for their story of the events on 9/11; we know this government is perfectly willing to lie under the slightest provocation; and we are required to believe a lot of apparently preposterous things if we believe their story.

Therefore, I must believe that the story we've been presented is false in some significant ways, though I don't know what they are.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:33 PM on April 3, 2006


The former head of the Star Wars missile defense program under Presidents Ford and Carter has gone public to say that the official version of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory and his main suspect for the architect of the attack is Vice President Dick Cheney. (Warning - takes you to Alex Jones)

The lack of a shotgun however rules it out for me....

You'd think with all the drills claimed to be happening April 19th, 1995, Spet 11th 2001, July 7th 2005 that the protectors of Freedom would be ready for the terrorists. I'm rather shocked that no one has made up a web site with a database backend with the announced and discovered drills, just to let us know how effective the training is.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:39 PM on April 3, 2006


Ynoxas: Skepticism in and of itself without an accompanying competing hypothesis is not very useful. Personally, I'm inclined to believe the "malcompetence" theory if those presenting it would do a better job tying together the discrepancies/omissions in the "official story" to demonstrate exactly how the officials screwed up, whose asses are being covered here, where exactly our safeguards failed, which details were pure embellishments to "sell" the official story, and then maybe also present a more "authentic" explanation of what actually happened. But I'm not holding my breath.

Otherwise, when it comes to choosing between the official story and the conspiracy nuts -- well, yeah. Being a pure skeptic and saying "we don't know" may be fine as a rhetorical position, but when it comes to 9/11 it'll just get you painted into the conspiracy nuts camp. The event was so visceral that people feel the need to believe in something, and you're not giving them anything to believe in. Where is the well-researched middle path here?
posted by DaShiv at 7:40 PM on April 3, 2006


This is a process called "Poisoning the Well". Republicans have been using this conspiracy tactic for decades in order to make the unbelieveable truth seem pale in comparison. I guarantee you that Rove and his minions had a roomful of propagandists on computers on 9/12 spreading these crackpot conspiracy theories as a form of misdirection so the real truth - that Bush and Cheney were caught flat-footed, would get muddied in the water. How Americans didn't storm the gates of the White House the moment the real truth came out - especially about the PDB memo, is beyond me; but by that time there had been so many crackpot theories circulated - the actually truth just seemed too impossible to be true.
posted by any major dude at 7:41 PM on April 3, 2006


Oh, and for the record, you pretty well have to believe that flight 77 hit the Pentagon. You have a missing plane, you have a huge hole in the Pentagon, you have a zillion witnesses.

What I find hard to believe is that the pilot, one of two that the flight school had described as "dumb and dumber", was suddenly able to a make a perfect, tight turn, zoom down perfectly to less than a dozen feet from the ground, and then whomp the Pentagon right in the center of its face -- at full speed, no less.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:42 PM on April 3, 2006


yonderboy: What I find hard to believe is that the pilot, one of two that the flight school had described as "dumb and dumber", was suddenly able to a make a perfect, tight turn, zoom down perfectly to less than a dozen feet from the ground, and then whomp the Pentagon right in the center of its face -- at full speed, no less.

Well, one problem is that we have multiple conflicting accounts of how the turn was executed. The top article claims 10 miles.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:47 PM on April 3, 2006


EITHER the plane was ground into dust, OR it punched through the concrete wall(s). It shouldn't be both.

It's called conservation of momentum. The impact turned the plane into fragments that were still travelling at a couple hundred MPH. All that extra energy had to go somewhere. It went into punching through the walls, leaving behind small fragments that were now at rest, having expended all their potential kinetic energy. Ever see photos of pieces of straw that've been driven through a telephone pole by the force of a tornado?
posted by scalefree at 7:47 PM on April 3, 2006


Where is the well-researched middle path here?
posted by DaShiv at 7:40 PM PST on April 3 [!]


Somewhere in 2235 when the documents are de-classified.

To be 'well documented' you need data. So instead you are left with stuff like this:
http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/kovach/050919
Where this author claims to know one of the officials (Weaver) offering up a version of what happened that day is a fibber. With enough knowledge of the military and many FOIAs you could check the data to some degree.

*whistles some Buffalo Springfield*
posted by rough ashlar at 7:49 PM on April 3, 2006


How Americans didn't storm the gates of the White House the moment the real truth came out - especially about the PDB memo, is beyond me;

I think it has to do with the guns and shoot to kill orders.

Or Cheney and his shotgun.

Or perhaps The Fence is scary.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:02 PM on April 3, 2006


The one conspiracy theory of 9/11 that really gives me pause is all the wargames that were going on that morning. Vigilant Guardian, Global Guardian, the NRO disaster recovery simulation, FEMA's biowarfare wargame in NYC (the source of the "FEMA got there a day before the attcks" conspiracy); what kind of perverse coincidence is it that all of these were scheduled for the exact day of the real thing?
posted by scalefree at 8:16 PM on April 3, 2006


Off-topic: fema camp video
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:34 PM on April 3, 2006


The one conspiracy theory of 9/11 that really gives me pause is all the wargames that were going on that morning.

Why have you opted to call a datum point you find "disturbing" (ok, gives you pause) a 'conspiracy theory'?

And what will you think when you look into other 'terror attacks' and overlap them with wargames going on?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:09 PM on April 3, 2006


Otherwise, when it comes to choosing between the official story and the conspiracy nuts -- well, yeah. Being a pure skeptic and saying "we don't know" may be fine as a rhetorical position, but when it comes to 9/11 it'll just get you painted into the conspiracy nuts camp.

I see what you're saying. I guess it is important to me to just say "I claim no special knowledge, but some of this just does not seem to add up". I admit to being skeptical, but I'm not trying to be purposefully obtuse.

Also, I was not there that day, so my basis for the "there was no plane there" was taken from accounts by people who were there. And generally, as seen above, most people do not question that account, but instead try to explain why/how the plane vaporized.

Everything about 9/11 seems too perfect/coincidental. The towers falling perfectly on their own footprint. The magic passport. The plane hitting the best/worst place on the pentagon. The plane vaporizing and still destroying an empty wing of the building. A flight-school flunkie "threading the needle". The 4th plane crashing in an empty field. The war games. The failure to properly scramble fighters. The hijackers all clearing security but noone getting on camera. Cheney missing for days. The Saudi's leaving by chartered plane. The administration being told "they're going to use planes" 8 days beforehand (or whatever it was).

An incredible day by any measure to be sure. But we are only hearing a tiny, tiny portion of The Truth (tm). It may be that the remaining Truth doesn't change anything one whit. But we don't know, because we don't know.

I personally hope we do know all there is to know. I hope it all is a phenomenal group of coincidences.

I also hope it never happens again, although it is pretty much guaranteed to.

And I do not believe a single word that comes from this administration. Not one word. I know I am being lied to. I was lied to about Election 2000. I was lied to about Iraq. I was lied to about 9/11. I was lied to about Katrina.

But, I do understand that just because I'm being lied to doesn't necessarily mean there is a conspiracy.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:15 PM on April 3, 2006


And I do not believe a single word that comes from this administration. Not one word. I know I am being lied to. I was lied to about Election 2000. I was lied to about Iraq. I was lied to about 9/11. I was lied to about Katrina.

Now, what are you going to do about the being lied to? Beyond what I've done - post stuff on the internet and become better read. (I should go to sleep like a good little sheep...)

But, I do understand that just because I'm being lied to doesn't necessarily mean there is a conspiracy.

Conspiracy (crime) and conspiracy (civil), an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future or from the same place "Conspiracy theory, attempts to explain the cause of an event as a secret, and often deceptive, plot by a covert alliance"

If you feel you have been lied to, there *IS* a conspiracy. Because government *IS* an alliance...and lying is an attempt at being covert. And if you feel you've been lied to over the death of thousands, the destruction of millions in property, and billions spent in tax dollars....I bet there is a crime in there somewhere.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:40 PM on April 3, 2006


I can fully agree with you there, Ynoxas: personally it's hard for me to imagine any thoughtful, inquisitive folks not having a few warning bells go off inside their heads when they poke the official story with a stick. And, as rough ashlar drolly points out, I don't expect the full truth to be uncovered in my lifetime, either.

Warning bells about the original story or not though, there's too much contrary evidence for me to swallow the "it's a missile not a plane" theory. However, questions such as "how that plane was allowed to get to where it did?" are far more interesting and fruitful to ask, IMO. I mean, we're talking about an attack at one of the functioning hearts of our government, well after the WTC had already been attacked twice. How was this allowed to happen? How did our security measures fail so spectacularly -- I mean, the freakin' Pentagon? The mind reels.
posted by DaShiv at 9:47 PM on April 3, 2006


*smile*
Havn't been called droll in a while. (or played the game for some time either)

The mind reels.
posted by DaShiv at 9:47 PM PST on April 3 [!]


Yea. Wikipedia says Is produced and circulated by 'outsiders', often anonymous, and generally lacking peer review;
Is upheld by persons with demonstrably false conceptions of relevant science;
Enjoys zero credibility in expert communities;


You've got engineers, physicists, older/out of power political agents popping up saying 'there is a problem with the offical POV'. Which would be in violation of the above 3 parts of the definition for 'conspiracy theory'. So is the definition of 'conspiracy theory' wrong, are the people questioning the government position deluded, or is there something else going on?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:58 PM on April 3, 2006


God, you people are morons!
posted by c13 at 9:58 PM on April 3, 2006


God, you people are morons!
posted by c13 at 9:58 PM PST on April 3 [!]


And you are qualified to make this statement because?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:04 PM on April 3, 2006


I dont know. A friend of mine was just in NYC and saw FBI and SWAT doing drills at 2:30 am in the middle of times square. If something happened there, Im sure someone would say that it was a conspiracy.

Now, I dislike Bush as much as the next guy and dont buy all teh crap they feed, but I mean... I watched the planes hit WTC live on TV. Sure, it could have been faked, but I doubt it. Also, my wife was in the city at the time, the sister of my roommate was working in the port authority or whatever across the street, my wife's uncle was working in the city that day and lots of people in the bay area know someone who was on one of the planes. I think I believe eye witnesses that I personally know or are well educated people. I wasnt there, but I belive planes hit the buildings. I dont think it would be that hard. To reiterate an aforementioned point, the common rule was to cooperate with terrorists. Do you remember, of any previous plane to be hijacked, anything like this happening? Who would have thought this would happen? Why not cooperate, land and have the hijackers arrested on the ground?

I also love how these conspiracy theorists use the same point to illogically counter multiple points; ie. "The airplane is not strong enough to dent the walls of the pentagon..." "The walls of the pentagon could not be strong enough to withstand the force of a jet crashing into it..."
"Hydraulic systems inside the buildings would have exploded with all that force behind it..." "There were multiple unexplained explosions inside the buildings..."
"A building doesnt just collapse like that, it had to have been detonated." "Their was a missle on the plane..." implying that there was a single detonation...

Whatever, what is truth? Why believe anything? I choose to believe that someone blew up the WTC and the pentagon. I think our government is being run by a bunch of crooks and im sorry for bringing a young child into this world.
posted by subaruwrx at 11:18 PM on April 3, 2006


Find the match in these two photos! Win a t-shirt!
T-shirt winners send $19 to POB 911, Grand Central Stn, New York

I have no idea what the truth is. I only know that we're being lied to.

I agree in general, although I think the official story does cover the major points of the truth. It's just been massaged to the point of suspicious non-consonance, with the probable motive of covering up malcompetence.

Based on previous related threads I had the impression that the conspiracy crowd was bigger.

Haarball, if you're saying you deliberately posted this as a stick in the eye with the hope of "stimulating" responses which you were obviously prepared to thread-moderate, please be aware that Metafilter frowns on such a posting style. Yes, despite appearances to the contrary.

The one conspiracy theory of 9/11 that really gives me pause is all the wargames that were going on that morning.

I'm not personally aware of what a normal roster of wargames and other types of emergency response exercises would be normal on any given day, but I do know that practicing and training is what a lot of these agencies do. The only one I actually find weird is the one involving the FAA, the NCC and a hijacked airplane.

I believe The Lone Gunmen TV series had someone flying a hijacked plane into one of the towers a year or so before it actually happened.

It was 6 months and a week, actually. Don't forget, though, that it was inspired by the planned Columbine endgame. There was also an episode of Seven Days that involved a missile attack on the Pentagon.

just a big old honkin' GE jet engine lying in the street, big as life. there were lots of photos of it.

Here's one. But in any case the engines are masses of dense metal, not the thin-aluminum tubes that are mostly air (or jet fuel) which are the rest of the plane.

One thing people do miss is that the 9/11 planes were mostly traveling much faster than airliners normally do -- in a couple of cases near or even beyond their design limits, in the range of 650 mph.

fema camp video

It is pretty odd. Look at the place on Windows Live. I'm not sure what a fence around an unused part of a federal facility proves -- and most of it still seems to be in use for Amtrak. (compare livery) Anyway, most of the websites about this say it was "due for completion in 1996" so it certainly predates 9/11.
posted by dhartung at 12:01 AM on April 4, 2006


Horrendous post, interesting discussion. So it goes. This is relevant (haven't noticed that it's been linked in-thread yet): The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll -- A new generation of conspiracy theorists is at work on a secret history of New York’s most terrible day.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:54 AM on April 4, 2006


What I find hard to believe is that the pilot, one of two that the flight school had described as "dumb and dumber", was suddenly able to a make a perfect, tight turn, zoom down perfectly to less than a dozen feet from the ground, and then whomp the Pentagon right in the center of its face -- at full speed, no less.

Yeah, if he was trying to fly like that, really hard. But why on earth would a hijacker decide to go all Top Gun on the way into his final crash landing? All the descriptions sound just as compatible with the notion that, yes, the pilot was actually quite shit at flying a plane - instead of a nice smooth descent into the Pentagon, we got a cack-handed, seat-of-your-pants job that very nearly didn't hit the target at all.

It's always baffled me, that "but they weren't very good pilots" argument. I mean, gosh, if they were that bad, it's a wonder they didn't crash.
posted by flashboy at 4:14 AM on April 4, 2006


I watched the planes hit WTC live on TV.

Both planes?

(thus another seed is planted to grow into an evidence weed for The Truth!)

I think our government is being run by a bunch of crooks and im sorry for bringing a young child into this world.
posted by subaruwrx at 11:18 PM PST on April 3 [!]


So what do you DO about it? Do you opt to teach the child how to get in on the 'inside' of the political establishement so that the great-grandkids have a chance to effect change, or least have the inside track to the gravy train of sucking off the government tit? Do you show them the different versions of history?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:11 AM on April 4, 2006


Ynoxas: Also, I was not there that day, so my basis for the "there was no plane there" was taken from accounts by people who were there. And generally, as seen above, most people do not question that account, but instead try to explain why/how the plane vaporized.

But, if you have RTFA'd the majority of the eyewitness accounts (including many of the ones selectively quoted saying "it was like a missile"), DID see a plane hit, and the plane did not vaporize, but left numerous identifiable chunks of wreckage that was photographed.

Everything about 9/11 seems too perfect/coincidental.

Perhaps it is because you are retroactively fitting the evidence to match your schema as "too perfect."

The towers falling perfectly on their own footprint.

The towers didn't fall perfectly on their own footprint, they fell all over the entire neighborhood with enough debris crossing the six lanes of the West Side Hwy to do major damage to the World Financial Center buildings.

The magic passport. The plane hitting the best/worst place on the pentagon.

This are solid questions.

The plane vaporizing and still destroying an empty wing of the building.

As far as I can tell, there are no serious claims the plane "vaporized." The plane fragmented into multiple pieces, some of which can be identified from photographic evidence taken on the scene. And you do know how fragmentation bullets and anti-tank weapons work? In both cases the projectile is designed to disintegrate while penetrating the target.

A flight-school flunkie "threading the needle".

I'm finding that a lot of people are engaged in both overestimating the skills required and underestimating the skills possessed by whoever was flying the planes.

The 4th plane crashing in an empty field.

More than 90% of the U.S. in land area is rural. Take a look at the google satellite mosaic of Pennsylvania. There is a heck of a lot of farmland and forest separated by small cities and towns.

Or are you asking the question, "why did it crash at all?"

The war games. The failure to properly scramble fighters. The hijackers all clearing security but noone getting on camera. Cheney missing for days. The Saudi's leaving by chartered plane. The administration being told "they're going to use planes" 8 days beforehand (or whatever it was).

And here are some interesting issues here. Some of these have reasonable answers. Some don't.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:43 AM on April 4, 2006


There are four basic principles - tenets, if you will - that one must accept in order to be taken seriously by reasonable people:

1. The holocaust happened.
2. The moon landings happened.
3. 9/11 was terrorists hijacking planes; not missiles, not controlled demolitions, not government conspiracy.
4. O.J. did it.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:55 AM on April 4, 2006


*whistles some Buffalo Springfield*

roughashlar wins (whose name the spell checker wants to change to "brouhaha". Coincidence... or conspiracy???)

EITHER the plane was ground into dust, OR it punched through the concrete wall(s). It shouldn't be both.

It's called conservation of momentum. The impact turned the plane into fragments that were still travelling at a couple hundred MPH. All that extra energy had to go somewhere.

Please go look at the F-4 Phantom hitting the concrete wall at, coincidentally, 500 mph.. The kinetic energy of the plane was used up turning the plane into confetti and the wall into dust. I would say the F-4 video corroborates Ynoxas position

I still have problems with the flying aluminum confetti causing final exit hole and nearby damage seen here. Those two columns in the pic are denoted as having identical damage in the 911 official Building Performance Report. WTF?
posted by Enron Hubbard at 7:27 AM on April 4, 2006


Enron Hubbard: Please go look at the F-4 Phantom hitting the concrete wall at, coincidentally, 500 mph.. The kinetic energy of the plane was used up turning the plane into confetti and the wall into dust. I would say the F-4 video corroborates Ynoxas position

1: You do know that speed is only one component of kinetic energy?

2: Yes, a building with an outer facade of limestone and glass supported by reinforced concrete pillars has the same dynamics as a 2m-thick block of reinforced concrete intended to simulate the containment walls of a nuclear power plant.

3: As previously reported in TFA identifiable plane parts survived the impact.

4: There are plenty of other examples of projectiles that fragment and penetrate. Anti-armor weapons and fragmentary bullets are two simple examples.

5: Your linked article shows a straight-line path with (generally) decreasing damage from outside to inside. This is consistent with a number of projectiles with high total kinetic energy moving through the building. If the object was an explosive missile, wouldn't you expect a spherical pattern or a cone pointed the other way?

Do you folks actually read and watch the evidence you post?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:02 AM on April 4, 2006


I don’t buy the missile thing. But I agree there is more information there that we don’t have. The big problem is, we don’t know what.
As to this “conspiracy” stuff - I think that word has an overblown stigmata.
Caesar was assassinated through a conspiracy. Lincoln was assassinated through a conspiracy. What was Enron if not a conspiracy?
This particular event has all the external elements of a conspiracy. Damage was done. All of the information is not fully revealed. Someone (manifestly, provably in $) profited. There was a political shift. Etc.

Whether this was a chunk of it I don’t know. It doesn’t look like a missile strike to me.

But again - any families come forward? To me that’d be a big red flag - insurance paying off to those folks for the plane crash.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:24 AM on April 4, 2006


Energy, people.

757-200. Dry weight, 128,730 lb (58,390 kg). Maximum Take Off Weight, 255,000 lb (115,680 kg). For arguments sake, we'll assume the plane is at half load when the impact occurs, or at 87035kg, about 190,000 lbs.

Impact speed is "about 500mph." We'll call it 400kts -- it gets hard to get faster at low altitude -- 460mph, 740km/hr, 250m/sec.

KE=1/2mv^2, so
=0.5*87035*(2502)
=43526.5*62500
=2,720,406,250 joules.

So, the impact alone hit the building with nearly 3 Gigajoules of energy -- never mind the fires later1 By definition, a joule can move 1 kilogram one meter. So, there was enough here to move nearly three billion kilograms -- which works out to about 3 millon *tons* one meter, or, of course, 1 kilogram 3 billion meters -- that's about nine times farther than the moon.

Or, in pseudogobbeldygook terms, several metric fuckloads of energy.

Why isn't there larges bits of the plane? Several metric fuckloads of energy tore it to bits. Why do many other crashes leave much larger bits? They happened at much lower velocities -- 100kts rather than 400kts, and with the velocity term a squared term, that means the 400kt crash, with the same plane, would result in 16 times the energy. If they were do 500kts, it would have been 25 times the energy.

There's a reason that the Army's best tank-killing rounds are small, but very fast, and called kinetic energy penetrators. Why increase m, when increasing v means you get v2.

[1] The burning fuel had the ability to release far more energy than the impact.
posted by eriko at 8:44 AM on April 4, 2006


Wow. Some people are really committed to believing wild explanations for things.
posted by raedyn at 10:15 AM on April 4, 2006


If by committed, you mean "insane," then yes, they're committed.
posted by frogan at 1:02 PM on April 4, 2006


missile or plane, isn't it bizarre that probably the most advanced air defense system in the world was offline, even though they knew a hijacked aircraft was headed their way? and almost an hour after the towers had been hit?
posted by aquanaut at 1:19 PM on April 4, 2006


isn't it bizarre that probably the most advanced air defense system in the world was offline, even though they knew a hijacked aircraft was headed their way? - aquanaut

Or maybe this air defense system isn't all it's cracked up to be?
posted by raedyn at 1:25 PM on April 4, 2006


Haarball, I've only looked at the first link so far, but thanks for this post. This is really informative.
posted by knave at 2:37 PM on April 4, 2006


isn't it bizarre that probably the most advanced air defense system in the world was offline, even though they knew a hijacked aircraft was headed their way?

An Air Defense System that was "outward" pointing. The bulk of which is based OVER SEAS. Mostly designed for strategic Soviet era threats and in no way was geared toward internal domestic airline flights.

Good thing, too. You really want to internalize that system? Think we're bitching about domestic spying and shit now? Think if we had domestic no-fly's and gunship and fighter jet patrols all over the North American continent. Yippee skippee.

And as far as military exercises. God damned people. You realize there are "exercises" going on year round. In peace time that is.

Guess we don't need 'em like now that since we are engaged in the real thing in a dozen or so god-forsaken places around this planet.
posted by tkchrist at 4:16 PM on April 4, 2006


Hey, frogan.

I note you are again calling people who do not believe the official 9/11 story "insane" -- yet you haven't contributed one fact or piece of reasoning, no rebuttals or links, just abuse.

I have three choices for you:

1. learn a little politeness.
2. actually post some content.
3. fuck off and die.

Your choice!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:45 PM on April 4, 2006


tkchrist,

guess i should have been more specific - i'm referring to the anti-MISSILE system based on top of the pentagon itself. maybe they forgot to turn it on?
posted by aquanaut at 5:21 PM on April 4, 2006


actually post some content.

OK! But it doesn't make anyone less insane than they already are. I dispense with the politeness when I'm dealing with people who just don't have the capability to grasp reality. No one should suffer fools.

The conspiracy theories are all bunk.

Conspiracy theories are not new. They are not a product of the Internet, nor of modern times. I'm sure sectors of the Roman republic were blaming the Visigoths for the assassination of Ceasar. I'm sure the Ug tribe was blaming the Thog tribe's magician when the drought happened.

Conspiracy theory is just man's attempt to provide an understandable framework for things they don't understand. It's somehow easier to grasp that CIA operatives planted explosives. We understand secrets and hidden agendas. It's counter-intuitive, but those concepts are easier to swallow than the idea that one man with a rifle, or a few guys with boxcutters, can literally change the world.

Conspiracy theory is not an honest search for any truth at all. What this is, is unreasonable is misinterpretations of evidence, followed by assertions, followed by cockamamie, imperious demands that are logically impossible to deal with.

Have a nice day.
posted by frogan at 5:42 PM on April 4, 2006


If the object was an explosive missile, wouldn't you expect a spherical pattern or a cone pointed the other way? Do you folks actually read and watch the evidence you post?

Never said it was a missle. Said I had a problem with the neat punchout exit hole and the report mis-labelling obvious damage. Big difference.

The burning fuel had the ability to release far more energy than the impact.
The only good thing those five "leaked" frames of the impact show is most of the fuel going boom outside the Pentagon.

Or, in pseudogobbeldygook terms, several metric fuckloads of energy.

I prefer the more scientific "metric buttloads" myself.

Nice calculations, eriko.

There's a reason that the Army's best tank-killing rounds are small, but very fast, and called kinetic energy penetrators. Why increase m, when increasing v means you get v2.

They are made of depleted uranium, which increases the M in the equation substantially. Lots of mass, fast mover, small cross-section. The main concentrations of mass in the 757 are the engines, which should have done the most damage. Not the composite and aluminum skinned nose, which supposedly caused the exit hole. Again, WTF?

An Air Defense System that was "outward" pointing.... in no way was geared toward internal domestic airline flights. Tell that to Payne Stewart... oh wait, he's dead.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:22 PM on April 4, 2006


"What happened to the planes at the WTC sites?"

Physics. The math is not actually very hard.

"For example, in order to hit the Pentagon, the plane made a very sharp turn, dived down dramatically fast, then sped for hundreds of yards within a few feet of the ground to hit the Pentagon precisely amidships. To claim "anyone could have done that" is, um, a little hard to believe."

In other words, the plane was flown in an erratic manner. The last bit is the easiest by the way - close to the ground in basically level flight there is a strong ground lift effect that would make it fairly easy to sustain.

"And a hundred little details... typical example: with the WTC planes so completely incinerated that there wasn't even a trace of them left -- how did one of the terrorists' passports end up completely undamaged in a pile of rubble a few blocks away?"

You know, lots of freaky things happen in high energy events. They are chaotic in many important ways.
posted by soulhuntre at 6:31 PM on April 4, 2006


Tell that to Payne Stewart... oh wait, he's dead.

Uhh, should I tell him that his plane's transponder remained on through the entire unfortunate event, which backs up the previous poster's point (internal systems reliant on transponders, not skin-painting radar), and not yours? ;-)
posted by frogan at 7:22 PM on April 4, 2006


Never said it was a missle. Said I had a problem with the neat punchout exit hole and the report mis-labelling obvious damage. Big difference.

I find it hard to assess the damage in that photo given the quantity of debris piled around it and hanging off of it. The author of that site sees major damage. I see wet drywall, hanging plumbing, and cables.

Not the composite and aluminum skinned nose, which supposedly caused the exit hole. Again, WTF?

Who exactly has made this claim?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:22 PM on April 4, 2006


And let's follow the proposed logic through to the end here. Somehow, somebody, had the miraculous foresight to plant a wall-breaching explosive device in line with the future trajectory of an erratically flown aircraft for unknown purposes. Or to ask the million dollar question. Who benefits from adding a wall breach on top of the extensive damage caused by the impact? (On top of an event that is overshadowed by events in NYC.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:27 PM on April 4, 2006


I notice that the conspiracy theory supporters are taking a a different tack. This tack raises many detailed questions and then pleads ignorance as to causes.

While this is an evolutionary response to the long time debate, it adds nothing to the questionable details that have been flogged to death before.

I'd feel a bit better about this religious debate (and that is what it is) if anyone on either side was ever convinced by the arguement of their opponent.
posted by stirfry at 9:51 PM on April 4, 2006


If it's so FREAKING obvious, why hasn't the FBI released the seized footage of the plane hitting the building?

It's really that simple, right-wing kooks.

If there is nothing to hide, why has the Bush administration and its operatives worked so hard to hide it?
posted by rougy at 9:59 PM on April 4, 2006


If there is nothing to hide, why has the Bush administration and its operatives worked so hard to hide it?

Without speculating in exactly what, don't you think they could have reasons for hiding it other than covering up a conspiracy of government involvement in the attack? Perhaps they consider these conspiracy theories as something that gains them one way or another, financially or politically?

Too many issues are presented too conveniently for conspiracy theorists. They need to be looked at from another angle - that's when you'll get anywhere near figuring out the real truth.

Perhaps it is because you are retroactively fitting the evidence to match your schema as "too perfect."

Exactly right.

Haarball, if you're saying you deliberately posted this as a stick in the eye with the hope of "stimulating" responses which you were obviously prepared to thread-moderate, please be aware that Metafilter frowns on such a posting style. Yes, despite appearances to the contrary.

I wasn't going to thread-moderate anything, I just wanted people to comment in light of the new article which presented new evidence and new material that hadn't been discussed before, instead of simply resuming old debates that weren't going to result in anything new.

I wanted to bring something new to the table and stimulate reponses that looked at things in a new light, from a different angle. I meant no harm and I certainly have no hidden agenda. I'm quite simply fascinated by this whole debate, I'm curious as to how exactly things went down that day and I'm interested in hearing people's opinions of it.

'Shitty post, great debate' some guy says. How could it be a shitty post if my sole intention was to spark great debate?
posted by Haarball at 4:14 AM on April 5, 2006


The conspiracy theories are all bunk.

Why? Because when a theory about a conspiracy is proven, it stops being a theory?

For years, there was a theory that Jack Abermoff was conspiring with others in exchanging money for political influence.

Guess BECAUSE it was a theory about a conspiracy, it was bunk eh?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:23 AM on April 5, 2006


Haarball: "'Shitty post, great debate' some guy says. How could it be a shitty post if my sole intention was to spark great debate?"

Because posts on MetaFilter are supposed to link to the "best of the web", not spark debate. If a good discussion happens, that's cool, but the point of MetaFilter is the links.

As dhartung said, "Haarball, if you're saying you deliberately posted this as a stick in the eye with the hope of "stimulating" responses which you were obviously prepared to thread-moderate, please be aware that Metafilter frowns on such a posting style. Yes, despite appearances to the contrary."

All that said, I disagree, I actually liked the link.
posted by knave at 8:53 AM on April 5, 2006


For years, there was a theory that Jack Abermoff(sic) was conspiring with others in exchanging money for political influence.

Guess BECAUSE it was a theory about a conspiracy, it was bunk eh?


So your point is that ANY conspiracy theory is true?
posted by stirfry at 9:26 AM on April 5, 2006


So your point is that ANY conspiracy theory is true?
posted by stirfry at 9:26 AM PST on April 5 [!]


The claim was:
"The conspiracy theories are all bunk." by Frogan.

I disproved his statement. Unless a theory stops being a theory when it becomes a conspiracy fact.


All of them arn't bunk. Some become legal proven conspiracies.
More than a few are true, just not legally proven.

Any given theory about a conspiracy may or may not be the actual reflection of events for which a court of law will tack the label "true" to.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:01 AM on April 5, 2006


So your point is that ANY conspiracy theory is true? -- stirfry

You need to retake logic 101.
posted by knave at 10:12 AM on April 5, 2006


i'm referring to the anti-MISSILE system based on top of the pentagon itself. maybe they forgot to turn it on?

There is an anti-MISSILE system on the Pentagon? Since when? The old ABM systems were torn apart thirty years ago.

Our Air Defense system are fighter planes, dude. You mean Patriots? Or shoulder fired Stingers? Who said they have those installed?

Those were the only current systems in deployment that I am aware of in 2000. So. Patriots are out and out shit. And Stingers? Well you can see the problem with that, right? they are shoulder fired. So you got to get a guy out there in time.

Besides, as has been pointed out, you hit a plane on that trajectory at that speed and essentially you turn one big projectile into hurling mass of thousands of flaming smaller projectiles. Especially in the case of a the Stinger, which is short range.
posted by tkchrist at 12:15 PM on April 5, 2006


The claim was:
"The conspiracy theories are all bunk." by Frogan.
I disproved his statement.


The claim was clearly referring to conspiracy theories like "the moon landing was faked", "JFK's assassination was an inside job" and "the gov't was behind 9-11". These make a claim that there is some vast hidden network capable of tricking an entire population to believe something that never happened - capable of designing an enormous historical event, changing the world, for their own gain.

Corrupt politicians, insider trading, lobbying networks, and so forth, may technically be conspiracies but they aren't "conspiracy theories" - they don't require a complex structure of planning and theatrics. If people would pay more attention to those actual conspiracies - which is just to say, good old boys' networks - rather than giving credence to pointless and inane theories like this one, we'd be better off.

The problem with a conspiracy like this one is that is simply makes no sense at all. Even if bush were behind 9-11, WHY would he fake a plane and really have it be a bomb or missile? Why not just have the bomb or missile, and blame it on the terrorists? And why not make it saddam's guys doing the attack, to start with? esp if they hit with a real WMD - then they'd politically be much better off, no? Why confuse matters with the planes and the afghanis and all that?
posted by mdn at 2:38 PM on April 5, 2006


"Without speculating in exactly what, don't you think they could have reasons for hiding it other than covering up a conspiracy of government involvement in the attack?"

You are a real piece of work. Is it the same reason Rummy wouldn't tell us where the WMDs were before the invasion?

Tell me, why oh why would any administration stand in the way of an open and honest investigation? Why would the FBI seize those tapes, never deny that they did it, and not show us what was on them?

It's a cover up, plain and simple.

What amazes and outrages me is people like you, who are all too quick to justify this administration's lies.

Why? Who's side are you really on?

Cons like you don't give a damn about the truth, you just want to stay in control.
posted by rougy at 3:56 PM on April 5, 2006


There is a conspiracy to cover up the truth. The truth is ugly and the conspiracy is incompetence.

It's that these people don't care about you. They are living on another planet and another decade from you. Terrorism, when you spend your life behind walls protected by private armies, is not a threat. This is the system they created. Terrorism happens to other littler people. And they don't care. This is the truth they are hiding.

So they created a strategy to ensure their own extreme prosperity at the expense of everybody else on the planet. They could not imagine in doing so that their chickens would come home to roost.

They did not use demolitions. They used ignorance.
posted by tkchrist at 6:17 PM on April 5, 2006


Wow. No shortage of nuts in this candy bar!
posted by raider at 7:20 PM on April 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Wow. No shortage of nuts in this candy bar!"

The Pentagon is paying people to lie.

Tell me, raider, haarball -

Do they pay you by the word?

Or by the post?

Or do they just let you suck off the "General of the Day?"
posted by rougy at 7:39 PM on April 5, 2006


The claim was clearly referring to conspiracy theories like "the moon landing was faked",

Yea, by the use of the word *ALL* - CLEARLY. Here *I* was thinking the word *ALL* was inclusive. But given frogan is no where to be seen, guess the word "ALL* means whatever you please.

Because one's man facts are anothers conspiracy theories.

Corrupt politicians, insider trading, lobbying networks, and so forth, may technically be conspiracies

Ok.

but they aren't "conspiracy theories" - they don't require a complex structure of planning and theatrics.

So the Enron structure was 'simple' planing and theatrics?

Huh.

WRT 9/11 The official government report at this time is considered 'the truth' - as far as a court of law is concerned. Anything else is a theory about a conspiracy. From the 'see the flying object leaving the building - that is an alien UFO' to 'the audio tapes from the air traffic controllers testimony has been chopped up and placed in different dustbins' are all theories.

And will remain JUST a theory so long as one is unwilling to expend effort to actually officially investigate what happened.

The problem with a conspiracy like this one is that is simply makes no sense at all.

WHICH conspiracy WRT 9/11? The one where it has alien UFOs? Or the Mossad? Or that various people have been paid hush money or threatened to be quiet? Or that the government would fib to cover up incompetence?

Which 'conspiracy theory' is the 'makes no sense' one? Because there ARE people who insist that governments won't take action like attacking their (or other) citizens and therefore even the 'fib to cover up incompetence' conspiracy theory is beyond the pale.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:10 PM on April 5, 2006


Tell me, raider, haarball -
Do they pay you by the word?
Or by the post?
posted by rougy at 7:39 PM PST on April 5 [!]


How about 'I have to keep my top secret clearence' or 'I have faith in my government' or 'I voted for this group' or the even more realistic 'I am a honest man. If I was working for and forwarding a dishonest system, this would mean I am no longer a honest man, ergo, the system is not flawed'?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:18 PM on April 5, 2006


Rougy,

When not busy fellating US Generals I try to refrain from insane accusations, fun as they may be.

Why the completely unsubstantiated ad hominem attack, and not a lick of evedence?

Have you succesfully refuted the links in this post? I think not.
posted by raider at 8:21 PM on April 5, 2006


Why the completely unsubstantiated ad hominem attack, and not a lick of evedence?
posted by raider at 8:21 PM PST on April 5 [!]


Yes: Why DID you post "Wow. No shortage of nuts in this candy bar!"

Were you eating a salted nut roll and felt like you had to share?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:45 PM on April 5, 2006


rough ashler, I expect you know perfectly well the difference I'm getting at, but as an exercise in logical description, I'll try again. "conspiracy theory" is a term itself, separate from "conspiracy". Conspiracy technically just means a few people working together to achieve something, usually something negative/immoral/illegal. It commonly has a connotation of being quite an undertaking.

"conspiracy theory" is the term we use to describe an alternative explanation for an event. If there is a conspiracy story, it means that there is a major event, and the "official story" for how it took place is a fabrication. The fabrication is part of the conspiracy - people specifically planned to achieve something (winning the space race; killing the president; starting the iraq war) but they could not do it in the open (didn't have the technology; it was illegal; it was unpopular) and so they had to create a massive fabrication that would achieve their goal without indicting them. This is different from simple greed and corruption. This takes a backroom meeting where the goal is laid out ("I want to blow up american buildings in order to scare american citizens into supporting a war in Iraq") and all the involved parties work together to draw up a plan (we'll get a missile but pretend it's a plane; don't forget to fake the passenger list...) and then implement it (put the explosives in the building, or launch the missile, etc).

In most cases this is a pretty loony way to start out - it would involve people being exceptionally good at not revealing exceptionally fucked up things. But in this case, it doesn't even make any sense: why would they plan to get a missile that they pretend is a plane flown by al-queda members in order to invade iraq? even if they were fucked up enough to get into that back room to draw up a plan, what kind of ridiculous confusion would lead to a plan like that?
posted by mdn at 9:06 PM on April 5, 2006


"conspiracy theory" is the term we use to describe an alternative explanation for an event.

Ok.

Conspiracy technically just means a few people working together to achieve something, usually something negative/immoral/illegal. It commonly has a connotation of being quite an undertaking.

Comming up on tax time, many people conspire with their spouses to underreport their taxable earnings or overstate donations.

The fabrication is part of the conspiracy - people specifically planned to achieve something (winning the space race; killing the president; starting the iraq war) but they could not do it in the open (didn't have the technology; it was illegal; it was unpopular) and so they had to create a massive fabrication that would achieve their goal without indicting them.

Ok.

This is different from simple greed and corruption.

Is 'simple greed' just a $5000 stock trade?
Is 'simple greed' having the tax payers cover the cost of demolishing an asbestos-laden building?
Where does 'simple greed/corruption' end and less than simple graft start?

In most cases this is a pretty loony way to start out - it would involve people being exceptionally good at not revealing exceptionally fucked up things.

There is the claim that the traffic controllers taped testimony was chopped up and put in different waste cans.

If the claim is true, then it would seem that some exceptionally fucked up things were revealed on that tape.

But in this case, it doesn't even make any sense: why would they plan to get a missile that they pretend is a plane flown by al-queda members in order to invade iraq?

Who says 'this is the plan'? So many parties have motive in the matter. So many parties have benefits. Isolating the event to just ONE reason is not going to yield a useful analysis if there are many reasons used for justifying the event.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:51 PM on April 5, 2006


No one here can claim we've been told the truth.

Those who choose to believe in, and trust, the Bush Administration are either fools or crooks.

"Conspiracy" would suggest subterfuge, but truth would suggest just another bunch of greedies or weenies who committed a global crime, half on a lark, just to see if they could.

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld attacked our country on September Eleventh, 2001.

Like good whores, they swallowed their cum whole.

This was a PNAC script...right down to the bad ending.
posted by rougy at 1:23 AM on April 6, 2006


Nobody knows for sure what happened 5 years ago in September. Everyone has an opinion based on a "conspiracy theory". Some believe the Gubmint's theory that it was caused by 19 bar-hopping swarthy guys with boxcutters. Others believe Dick Cheyney, deep in an underground bunker, was flying the jets personally by remote control. The real truth lies somewhere in between.

Some people are willing to trust anything the D.C. bozos say is true (and look how well THAT has turned out). Others grasp for reason, any reason, behind the obvious flaws in the official "theory".

I confess that I got too involved in all the extreme scenarios of what happened, but by being open to researching the facts, however obfuscated by whomever, I have constantly changed my mind, which most people on both sides of the debate seem to be unable to do.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:04 AM on April 6, 2006


footnote: I asked my American Army friend if he saw evidence of a plane when he was cleaning up the Pentagon immediately after 9/11. He tells me he saw & touched plane fragments in person.

/anecdotal
posted by raedyn at 7:55 AM on April 6, 2006


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