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Saturday, May 5, 2012

911 - Ground Level Fireballs

Ground Level Fireballs Disprove Official WTC Collapse Theories

People running from the collapse of World Trade Center
As the two entries from the Complete 9/11 Timeline copied below show, several witnesses have recalled seeing large fireballs coming from the bases of each of the Twin Towers when they collapsed on September 11, 2001. From their descriptions, it seems the fireballs erupted at the time the collapses began, or just before.

These accounts are important evidence, strongly refuting official explanations of why the World Trade Center fell. In its final report on the collapses of the Twin Towers, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) claimed the collapses "initiated at the fire and impact floors," and "progressed from the initiating floors downward." This would mean the collapse began, in the case of the South Tower, around the 78th to 84th floors, and for the North Tower, around the 93rd to 98th floors.

Why would a collapse that started way up towards the top of each building coincide with, or be preceded by, a massive fireball erupting from the bottom? The official theory--that structural damage and fire caused the collapses--cannot explain this. Nor can it explain why, according to several witnesses, the ground started shaking just before the collapse of the South Tower, and again just before the collapse of the North Tower.

The ground level fireballs make sense, however, when we consider what Mark Loizeaux--the president of Controlled Demolition Inc.--has said: "If I were to bring the towers down, I would put explosives in the basement to get the weight of the building to help collapse the structure."

Shortly Before 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001: Some Witnesses See Ground-Level Explosion Just Before WTC 2 Collapses
Some witnesses reportedly see a massive fireball at ground level, coming from the South Tower just before it starts to collapse. According to a report by the Mineta Transportation Institute (a research institute founded by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta), "People inside the South Tower felt the floor vibrate as if a small earthquake were occurring.… The vibration lasted for about 30 seconds. The doors were knocked out, and a huge ball of flame created by the exploding diesel fuel from the building's own supply tank shot from the elevator shaft and out the doors of the South Tower, consuming everything in its path. Minutes later, at 9:59 a.m., the tower collapsed." [Jenkins and Edwards-Winslow, 9/2003, pp. 16] Around the same time, Port Authority Police Officer Will Jimeno is in a corridor leading toward the North Tower. "Suddenly the hallway began to shudder," and he sees "the giant fireball explode in the street," when the South Tower begins to collapse. [Bowhunter, 1/2003] Ronald DiFrancesco is the last person to make it out of the South Tower before it collapses. As he is heading toward the exit that leads onto Church Street, he hears a loud roar as the collapse begins. According to the Ottawa Citizen, "Mr. DiFrancesco turned to his right in the direction of Liberty Street, to see a massive fireball—compressed as the South Tower fell—roiling toward [him]." He bolts for the exit, before being knocked unconscious and blown many yards across the street. [USA Today, 12/18/2001{BELOW}; Ottawa Citizen, 6/4/2005; Ottawa Citizen, 6/5/2005; PBS NOVA, 9/5/2006] A number of other witnesses report feeling the ground shaking just seconds before the South Tower collapses (see Shortly Before 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001).

10:28 a.m. September 11, 2001: Reporter Sees Ground-Level Explosion When North Tower CollapsesCBS News correspondent Carol Marin witnesses what she describes as a "gigantic fireball" coming from the base of the North Tower as it starts to collapse. [USA Today, 9/11/2001Chicago Sun-Times, 9/12/2001; Daily Herald (Arlington Heights), 9/11/2002] Marin headed to the scene of the attacks and arrived on West Street after the South Tower collapsed. She then sees the second tower come down, later describing, "I was only a block or two away from the North Tower when the street trembled under my feet, a fireball of pooled jet fuel exploded out of the building's base, and it too, unbelievably, started to collapse right in front of me." [Chicago Sun-Times, 9/10/2006] (However, the explosion could not be due to "pooled jet fuel," as, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, "The jet fuel" from the planes "was mostly consumed within the first few minutes after impact." [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 6/18/2004New York Times, 4/5/2005]) In one telling, Marin describes, "a roar seemed to come out of the earth," causing the fireball. [Gilbert et al., 2002] In another, she says, "there was a roar, an explosion, and we could see coming toward us a ball of flame, stories high." She runs, and a firefighter throws her against a building to protect her. She recalls, "The flame somehow stopped short of us." [CBS News, 2002, pp. 54] Other witnesses also describe the ground shaking before the North Tower collapse (see Shortly Before 10:28 a.m. September 11, 2001). And some witnesses similarly report seeing a fireball at ground level coming from the South Tower when it collapsed (see Shortly Before 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001).

12/18/2001 - Updated 10:46 PM ET
Four survived by ignoring words of advice
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY

Call it The Great Escape. Only four people survived above the 78th floor in the south tower. They did it by acting against the advice of others and going down the stairs through smoke and debris. Dozens more, possibly hundreds, could have taken the same path to safety. Instead, they went up in search of a helicopter rescue that would never come. The story of Stairway A is a haunting exception to an otherwise successful evacuation. These four survivors, plus about 10 people in the south tower's 78th floor elevator lobby, are the only survivors known to have escaped from the floors above the jet crashes.

United Airlines Flight 175 struck the 78th through 84th floors of the south tower at almost 9:03 a.m., 16 1/2 minutes after a jet hit the north tower.
Brian Clark, executive vice president of Euro Brokers on the 84th floor, was standing against the west wall when the higher wing of the Boeing 767 hit his floor. "It felt like the building was going to fall," he recalls. The tower twisted. Air conditioning ducts fell. Floors buckled.
Clark dropped into a football stance. He locked eyes with senior vice president Robert Coll. "Come on, everyone. Let's go," said Clark, 54. As one of his company's fire wardens, he had a flashlight in one hand, a whistle in the other.
Five Euro Brokers colleagues walked with Clark into the hall, turned left and entered Stairway A.
At the 81st floor, they met an obese woman and a frail man walking up. "You can't go down," the woman said. "The floors are in flames. We have to get above the smoke and fire."
In the dark stairwell, the Euro Brokers colleagues debated: up or down? Clark shined his flashlight on the face of the person speaking. "The woman carried the argument," Clark recalls. Four decided to climb up. "Bobby Coll and Kevin York put their arms under the woman's elbows and helped her up the stairs," Clark says.
As his friends climbed, Clark and co-worker Ronald DiFrancesco continued down. Clark heard banging from inside Fuji Bank's wrecked office.
"Help! I'm buried! Can anybody help?" yelled Stanley Praimnath, a loan officer. Clark pulled him from the rubble and they walked down together.
In the meantime, DiFrancesco, struggling to breathe, turned around and headed up. DiFrancesco climbed to the 91st floor. He lay down on the landing for 10 minutes. Then, moved by an intense desire to see his wife and children, he got up and pushed himself back down the stairs through the smoke that had stopped him before.
As he left the building, he saw a fireball rolling toward him. He put his arms in front of his face.
He woke up three days later at St. Vincent's hospital. His arms were burned. Some bones were broken. His lungs were singed. But he was alive — the last person out of the south tower.
Richard Fern, another Euro Brokers executive, was the fourth survivor. He was in an 84th-floor elevator, doors open, when the jet hit. He found Stairway A before the others and took it to safety.
Why didn't more people use Stairway A to leave the building?
Two Aon Corp. employees came down from the 105th floor, but turned back in the face of smoke at the 79th floor, not knowing the heavy smoke lasted only a floor or two more.
USA TODAY identified nine people in the stairway who went up in the hope of a helicopter rescue. A helicopter rescue was not possible: The rooftop doors were locked, and the roof was smothered in smoke.
Euro Brokers lost 61 employees. "I can still see my friends helping that woman up the stairs. They were heroes who made an unfortunate decision," Clark says

911 - New Details About The 9/11 Mystery Plane

New Details About The 9/11 Mystery Plane

The 'Doomsday' plane on 9/11
The morning of 9/11, CNN reported a mystery jet plane flying above Washington, DC. At 9:54 a.m., correspondent John King, who was standing near the White House, reported that about ten minutes earlier (hence, around 9:44 a.m.), there was "a white jet circling overhead." He added: "Now, you generally don't see planes in the area over the White House. That is restricted air space. No reason to believe that this jet was there for any nefarious purposes, but the Secret Service was very concerned, pointing up at the jet in the sky. It is out of sight now, best we can tell." [1] Shortly after, another CNN correspondent, Kate Snow, also reported having seen a plane, "circling over the Capitol" building at around the same time. She said: "Now whether that may have been an Air Force plane, it's unclear. But that seemed to be the reason, according to security guards that I talked with, towards the evacuation of the Capitol." [2]

Yet the identity of this "white jet" aircraft has been a mystery. Indeed, there has been virtually no discussion of its existence, even though it was flying above Washington at a time when America was under attack, and when the only aircraft in the area should have been fighter jets, there to protect against possible further attacks. The 9/11 Commission, which claimed that its aim had been to present "the fullest possible account of the events surrounding 9/11" appears not to have investigated the identity of this plane, and made no mention of it in its final report.

THE MYSTERY PLANE IDENTIFIEDIn his recent Internet article "The 9/11 Mystery Plane," Mark H. Gaffney presented compelling evidence--including a clear photo and video footage--indicating that this "white jet" had in fact been an E-4B National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) plane. These are highly modified Boeing 747s that act as flying military command posts. [3]

Important new evidence corroborates Gaffney's conclusion, and raises further questions about the role played by the E-4B planes on 9/11. This evidence appears in the 2003 book Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism, written by Dan Verton, a former intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and former senior writer for Computerworld magazine, who has written extensively on national security, the intelligence community, and national defense topics. Verton reported that, the morning of September 11, an E-4B was launched from "an airfield outside of the nation's capital." (He did not, however, state which specific base.) This plane was carrying "civilian and military officials," and was going "to conduct a previously scheduled Defense Department exercise." This exercise would involve "the use and testing of the aircraft's various advanced technology and communications equipment."

According to Verton, the E-4B launched from near Washington "had only just taken off" at the time of the Pentagon attack, which was at 9:37 a.m. This would mean it could, quite plausibly, have been circling above the White House and Capitol building at around 9:44 a.m., when CNN's John King and Kate Snow spotted a plane up above. Verton adds that, once airborne, the E-4B "was immediately ordered to cease the military exercise it was conducting and prepare to become the actual national airborne operations center." [4]

GLOBAL GUARDIANThe exercise the E-4B was participating in would have been Global Guardian, which was being conducted at the time by the U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom), to test its ability to fight a nuclear war. The Omaha World-Herald has reported that three National Airborne Operations Center planes were airborne the morning of 9/11 for this exercise. Following the attacks, all three remained in the air. [5] According to the World-Herald, Global Guardian was canceled after the second WTC tower was hit, at 9:03 a.m. [6] This is what we would logically expect, since it was quite obvious by that time that America was under attack, and an ongoing massive war exercise could, presumably, have led to great confusion within the military about what was real and what was just simulation. Yet, according to Verton's account, it was only around the time of the Pentagon attack that the E-4B launched near Washington was ordered to stop the exercise. This would therefore have been over half an hour after the second attack had occurred. If Verton is correct, we need to know why there was such a delay in pulling this aircraft out of the exercise.

It is important to note that the E-4B is no ordinary aircraft. It is a militarized version of a Boeing 747-200, equipped with advanced communications equipment, and capable of carrying a crew of up to 112 people. Nicknamed "Doomsday" planes during the Cold War, E-4Bs serve the president, the secretary of defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In times of national emergency, they can act as highly-survivable command, control, and communications centers to direct forces, execute war orders, and coordinate actions by civil authorities. The U.S. military possesses four of them in total. One is always kept on alert, with a full battle staff. Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska is the "Main Operating Base" for the E-4B, though there are also numerous "Forward Operating Bases" (FOB) throughout the U.S. [7]

As well as the three E-4Bs in the air the morning of September 11 due to the Global Guardian exercise, what appears to have been the fourth of these planes--presumably the one kept on alert--was apparently activated and launched simply in response to the attacks. Reportedly, minutes after the attack on the Pentagon, it took off from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, bound for an undisclosed location. The plane returned to the base at some unspecified time later on in the day. [8] Like the E-4B launched near Washington, little attention has been paid to this aircraft and what its purpose was on 9/11. Again, no mention was made of it in the9/11 Commission Report.

This highlights the fact that, approaching the sixth anniversary of the attacks, we still only really know a very small fraction of what was going on during the day of 9/11. As Mark Gaffney rightly concludes, there is an "urgent need for a new 9/11 investigation: It must be nonpartisan, independent, adequately funded, and empowered with the authority to subpoena witnesses." [9]

[1] "The White House Has Been Evacuated." Breaking News, CNN, September 11, 2001. The clip can be viewed online at:http://www.archive.org/details/cnn200109110929-1011.
[2] "America Under Attack: Terrorists Attacks in Both Washington, DC and New York." Breaking News, CNN, September 11, 2001. The clip can be viewed online at: http://www.archive.org/details/cnn200109111011-1053.
[3] Mark H. Gaffney, "The 9/11 Mystery Plane." Rense.com, April 5, 2007.
[4] Dan Verton, Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism. New York: Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2003, pp. 143-144.
[5] Joe Dejka, "Inside StratCom on Sept. 11 Offutt Exercise Took Real-life Twist." Omaha World-Herald, February 27, 2002.
[6] Joe Dejka, "When Bush Arrived, Offutt Sensed History in the Making."Omaha World-Herald, September 8, 2002.
[7] Stephen I. Schwartz (Editor), Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U. S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1998, p. 210"E-4B National Airborne Operations Center." Federation of American Scientists, April 23, 2000"E-4B." U.S. Air Force, August 2007.
[8] Timothy R. Gaffney, "Wright-Pat Air Force Base Goes to Highest Alert."Dayton Daily News, September 12, 2001.
[9] Mark H. Gaffney, "The 9/11 Mystery Plane."

911 - Cell Phone Calls

Tangible 9/11 passenger cell phone network data would settle this matter, 
but the FBI (if they have it) won't release it.

The 9/11 Cell Phone Calls

by Michel Chossudovsky

www.globalresearch.ca 10 August 2004

"We Have Some Planes"
The 9/11 Commission's Report provides an almost visual description of the Arab hijackers. It depicts in minute detail events occurring inside the cabin of the four hijacked planes.
In the absence of surviving passengers, this "corroborating evidence", was based on passengers' cell and air phone conversations with their loved ones. According to the Report, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was only recovered in the case of one of the flights (UAL 93).
Focusing on the personal drama of the passengers, the Commission has built much of its narrative around the phone conversations. The Arabs are portrayed with their knives and box cutters, scheming in the name of Allah, to bring down the planes and turn them "into large guided missiles" (Report, Chapter 1, http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch1.pdf).
The Technology of Wireless Transmission
The Report conveys the impression that cell phone ground-to-air communication from high altitude was of reasonably good quality, and that there was no major impediment or obstruction in wireless transmission.
Some of the conversations were with onboard air phones, which contrary to the cell phones provide for good quality transmission. The report does not draw a clear demarcation between the two types of calls.
More significantly, what this carefully drafted script fails to mention is that, given the prevailing technology in September 2001, it was extremely difficult, if not impossible, to place a wireless cell call from an aircraft traveling at high speed above 8000 feet:
"Wireless communications networks weren't designed for ground-to-air communication. Cellular experts privately admit that they're surprised the calls were able to be placed from the hijacked planes, and that they lasted as long as they did. They speculate that the only reason that the calls went through in the first place is that the aircraft were flying so close to the ground http://www.elliott.org/technology/2001/cellpermit.htm
Expert opinion within the wireless telecom industry casts serious doubt on "the findings" of the 9/11 Commission. According to Alexa Graf, a spokesman of AT&T, commenting in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks:
"it was almost a fluke that the [9/11] calls reached their destinations... From high altitudes, the call quality is not very good, and most callers will experience drops. Although calls are not reliable, callers can pick up and hold calls for a little while below a certain altitude" http://wirelessreview.com/ar/wireless_final_contact/        )
New Wireless Technology
While serious doubts regarding the cell calls were expressed in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, a new landmark in the wireless telecom industry has further contributed to upsetting the Commission's credibility. Within days of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in July, American Airlines and Qualcomm, proudly announced the development of a new wireless technology --which will at some future date allow airline passengers using their cell phones to contact family and friends from a commercial aircraft (no doubt at a  special rate aerial roaming charge) (see http://www.qualcomm.com/press/releases/2004/040715_aa_testflight.html )
"Travelers could be talking on their personal cellphones as early as 2006. Earlier this month [July 2004], American Airlines conducted a trial run on a modified aircraft that permitted cell phone calls." (WP, July 27, 2004)
Aviation Week (07/20/04) described this new technology in an authoritative report published in July 2004:
"Qualcomm and American Airlines are exploring [July 2004] ways for passengers to use commercial cell phones inflight for air-to-ground communication. In a recent 2-hr. proof-of-concept flight, representatives from government and the media used commercial Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) third-generation cell phones to place and receive calls and text messages from friends on the ground.
For the test flight from Dallas-Fort Worth, the aircraft was equipped with an antenna in the front and rear of the cabin to transmit cell phone calls to a small in-cabin CDMA cellular base station. This "pico cell" transmitted cell phone calls from the aircraft via a Globalstar satellite to the worldwide terrestrial phone network"
Needless to say, neither the service, nor the "third generation" hardware, nor the "Picco cell" CDMA base station inside the cabin (which so to speak mimics a cell phone communication tower inside the plane) were available on the morning of September 11, 2001.
The 911 Commission points to the clarity and detail of these telephone conversations.  
In substance, the Aviation Week report creates yet another embarrassing hitch in the official story.
The untimely July American Airlines / Qualcomm announcement acted as a cold shower. Barely acknowledged in press reports, it confirms that the Bush administration had embroidered the cell phone narrative (similar to what they did with WMDs) and that the 9/11 Commission's account was either flawed or grossly exaggerated.   
Altitude and Cellphone Transmission
According to industry experts, the crucial link in wireless cell phone transmission from an aircraft is altitude. Beyond a certain altitude which is usually reached within a few minutes after takeoff, cell phone calls are no longer possible.
In other words, given the wireless technology available on September 11 2001, these cell calls could not have been placed from high altitude.
The only way passengers could have got through to family and friends using their cell phones, is if the planes were flying below 8000 feet. Yet even at low altitude, below 8000 feet, cell phone communication is of poor quality.
The crucial question: at what altitude were the planes traveling, when the calls were placed? 
While the information provided by the Commission is scanty, the Report's timeline does not suggest that the planes were consistently traveling at low altitude. In fact the Report confirms that a fair number of the cell phone calls were placed while the plane was traveling at altitudes above 8000 feet, which is considered as the cutoff altitude for cell phone transmission.
Let us review the timeline of these calls in relation to the information provided by the Report on flight paths and altitude.
United Airlines Flight 175
United Airlines Flight 175 departed for Los Angeles at 8:00:
 "It pushed back from its gate at 7:58 and departed Logan Airport at 8:14."
The Report confirms that by 8:33, "it had reached its assigned cruising altitude of 31,000 feet." According to the Report, it maintained this cruising altitude until 8.51, when it "deviated from its assigned altitude":
"The first operational evidence that something was abnormal on United 175 came at 8:47, when the aircraft changed beacon codes twice within a minute. At 8:51, the flight deviated from its assigned altitude, and a minute later New York air traffic controllers began repeatedly and unsuccessfully trying to contact it."
And one minute later at 8.52, Lee Hanson receives a call from his son Peter.
[Flight UAL 175] "At 8:52, in Easton, Connecticut, a man named Lee Hanson received a phone call from his son Peter, a passenger on United 175. His son told him: “I think they’ve taken over the cockpit—An attendant has been stabbed— and someone else up front may have been killed. The plane is making strange moves. Call United Airlines—Tell them it’s Flight 175, Boston to LA.
Press reports confirm that Peter Hanson was using his cell (i.e it was not an air phone). Unless the plane had suddenly nose-dived, the plane was still at high altitude at 8.52. (Moreover, Hanson's call could have been initiated at least a minute prior to his father Lee Hanson picking up the phone.)
Another call was received at 8.52 (one minute after it deviated from its assigned altitude of 31,000 feet). The Report does not say whether this is an air phone or a cell phone call:
Also at 8:52, a male flight attendant called a United office in San Francisco, reaching Marc Policastro. The flight attendant reported that the flight had been hijacked, both pilots had been killed, a flight attendant had been stabbed, and the hijackers were probably flying the plane. The call lasted about two minutes, after which Policastro and a colleague tried unsuccessfully to contact the flight.
It is not clear whether this was a call to Policastro's cell phone or to the UAL switchboard.
At 8:58, UAL 175 "took a heading toward New York City.":
"At 8:59, Flight 175 passenger Brian David Sweeney tried to call his wife, Julie. He left a message on their home answering machine that the plane had been hijacked. He then called his mother, Louise Sweeney, told her the flight had been hijacked, and added that the passengers were thinking about storming the cockpit to take control of the plane away from the hijackers.
At 9:00, Lee Hanson received a second call from his son Peter:
It’s getting bad, Dad—A stewardess was stabbed—They seem to have knives and Mace—They said they have a bomb—It’s getting very bad on the plane—Passengers are throwing up and getting sick—The plane is making jerky movements—I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane—I think we are going down—I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building—Don’t worry, Dad— If it happens, it’ll be very fast—My God, my God.
The call ended abruptly. Lee Hanson had heard a woman scream just before it cut off. He turned on a television, and in her home so did Louise Sweeney. Both then saw the second aircraft hit the World Trade Center.50 At 9:03:11, United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center. All on board, along with an unknown number of people in the tower, were killed instantly."
American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77 was scheduled to depart from Washington Dulles for Los Angeles at 8:10... "At 8:46, the flight reached its assigned cruising altitude of 35,000 feet."
At 8:51, American 77 transmitted its last routine radio communication. The hijacking began between 8:51 and 8:54. As on American 11 and United 175, the hijackers used knives (reported by one passenger) and moved all the passengers (and possibly crew) to the rear of the aircraft (reported by one flight attendant and one passenger). Unlike the earlier flights, the Flight 77 hijackers were reported by a passenger to have box cutters. Finally, a passenger reported that an announcement had been made by the “pilot” that the plane had been hijacked....
On flight AA 77, which allegedly crashed into the Pentagon, the transponder was turned off at 8:56am; the recorded altitude at the time the transponder was turned off is not mentioned. According to the Commission's Report, cell calls started 16 minutes later, at 9:12am, twenty minutes before it (allegedly) crashed into the Pentagon at 9.32am:
" [at 9.12] Renee May called her mother, Nancy May, in Las Vegas. She said her flight was being hijacked by six individuals who had moved them to the rear of the plane."
According to the Report, when the autopilot was disengaged at 9:29am, the aircraft was at 7,000 feet and some 38 miles west of the Pentagon. This happened two minutes before the crash.   
Most of the calls on Flight 77 were placed between 9.12am and 9.26am,  prior to the disengagement of automatic piloting at 9.29am.  The plane could indeed have been traveling at either a higher or a lower altitude to that reached at 9.29. Yet, at the same time there is no indication in the Report that the plane had been traveling below the 7000 feet level, which it reached at 9.29am. 
At some point between 9:16 and 9:26, Barbara Olson called her husband, Ted Olson, the solicitor general of the United States. [using an airphone]
  (Report p 7, see http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch1.pdf )
United  Airlines Flight 93
UAL flight 93 was the only one of the four planes that, according to the official story, did not crash into a building. Flight 93 passengers, apparently: "alerted through phone calls, attempted to subdue the hijackers. and the hijackers crashed the plane [in Pennsylvania] to prevent the passengers gaining control." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_flight_93). Another version of events, was that UAL 93 was shot down.
According to the Commission's account: 
"the first 46 minutes of Flight 93’s cross-country trip proceeded routinely. Radio communications from the plane were normal. Heading, speed, and altitude ran according to plan. At 9:24, Ballinger’s warning to United 93 was received in the cockpit. Within two minutes, at 9:26, the pilot, Jason Dahl, responded with a note of puzzlement: “Ed, confirm latest mssg plz—Jason.”70 The hijackers attacked at 9:28. While traveling 35,000 feet above eastern Ohio, United 93 suddenly dropped 700 feet. Eleven seconds into the descent, the FAA’s air traffic control center in Cleveland received the first of two radio transmissions from the aircraft...."
At least ten cell calls are reported to have taken place on flight 93.
The Report confirms that passengers started placing calls with cell and air phones shortly after 9.32am, four minutes after the Report's confirmation of the plane's attitude of 35,000 feet. In other words, the calls started some 9 minutes before the Cleveland Center lost UAL 93’s transponder signal (9.41) and approximately 30 minutes before the crash in Pennsylvania (10.03)
"At 9:41, Cleveland Center lost United 93’s transponder signal. The controller located it on primary radar, matched its position with visual sightings from other aircraft, and tracked the flight as it turned east, then south.164 "
This suggests that the altitude was known to air traffic control up until the time when the transponder signal was lost by the Cleveland Center. (Radar and visual sightings provided information on its flight path from 9.41 to 10.03.)
Moreover, there was no indication from the Report that the aircraft had swooped down to a lower level of altitude, apart from the 700 feet drop recorded at 9.28. from a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet:  
"At 9:32, a hijacker, probably Jarrah, made or attempted to make the following announcement to the passengers of Flight 93:“Ladies and Gentlemen: Here the captain, please sit down keep remaining sitting.
We have a bomb on board. So, sit.” The flight data recorder (also recovered) indicates that Jarrah then instructed the plane’s autopilot to turn the aircraft around and head east. The cockpit voice recorder data indicate that a woman, most likely a flight attendant, was being held captive in the cockpit. She struggled with one of the hijackers who killed or otherwise silenced her.
Shortly thereafter, the passengers and flight crew began a series of calls from GTE airphones and cellular phones. These calls between family, friends, and colleagues took place until the end of the flight and provided those on the ground with firsthand accounts. They enabled the passengers to gain critical information, including the news that two aircraft had slammed into the World Trade Center.77...At least two callers from the flight reported that the hijackers knew that passengers were making calls but did not seem to care.
The hijackers were wearing red bandanas, and they forced the passengers to the back of the aircraft.80 Callers reported that a passenger had been stabbed and that two people were lying on the floor of the cabin, injured or dead—possibly the captain and first officer. One caller reported that a flight attendant had been killed.81 One of the callers from United 93 also reported that he thought the hijackers might possess a gun. But none of the other callers reported the presence of a firearm. One recipient of a call from the aircraft recounted specifically asking her caller whether the hijackers had guns.
The passenger replied that he did not see one. No evidence of firearms or of their identifiable remains was found at the aircraft’s crash site, and the cockpit voice recorder gives no indication of a gun being fired or mentioned at any time.
We believe that if the hijackers had possessed a gun, they would have used it in the flight’s last minutes as the passengers fought back.82 Passengers on three flights reported the hijackers’ claim of having a bomb. The FBI told us they found no trace of explosives at the crash sites. One of the passengers who mentioned a bomb expressed his belief that it was not real. Lacking any evidence that the hijackers attempted to smuggle such illegal items past the security screening checkpoints, we believe the bombs were probably fake. During at least five of the passengers’ phone calls, information was shared about the attacks that had occurred earlier that morning at the World Trade Center. Five calls described the intent of passengers and surviving crew members to revolt against the hijackers. According to one call, they voted on whether to rush the terrorists in an attempt to retake the plane. They decided, and acted. At 9:57, the passenger assault began. Several passengers had terminated phone calls with loved ones in order to join the revolt. One of the callers ended her message as follows:
“Everyone’s running up to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.” The cockpit voice recorder captured the sounds of the passenger assault muffled by the intervening cockpit door. Some family members who listened to the recording report that they can hear the voice of a loved one among the din.
We cannot identify whose voices can be heard. But the assault was sustained. In response, Jarrah immediately began to roll the airplane to the left and right, attempting to knock the passengers off balance. At 9:58:57, Jarrah told another hijacker in the cockpit to block the door. Jarrah continued to roll the airplane sharply left and right, but the assault continued. At 9:59, Jarrah changed tactics and pitched the nose of the airplane up and down to disrupt the assault. The recorder captured the sounds of loud thumps, crashes, shouts, and breaking glasses and plates.
At 10:00:03, Jarrah stabilized the airplane. Five seconds later, Jarrah asked, “Is that it? Shall we finish it off?” A hijacker responded, “No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off.” The sounds of fighting continued outside the cockpit. Again, Jarrah pitched the nose of the aircraft up and down.At 10:00:26, a passenger in the background said, “In the cockpit. If we don’t we’ll die!” Sixteen seconds later, a passenger yelled,“Roll it!” Jarrah stopped the violent maneuvers at about 10:01:00 and said, “Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!” He then asked another hijacker in the cockpit,“ Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?” to which the other replied, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.” The passengers continued their assault and at 10:02:23, a hijacker said, “Pull it down! Pull it down!” The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them. The airplane headed down; the control wheel was turned hard to the right.
The airplane rolled onto its back, and one of the hijackers began shouting “Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest. ”With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes’ flying time from Washington D.C. Jarrah’s objective was to crash his airliner into symbols of the American Republic, the Capitol or the White House. He was defeated by the alerted, unarmed passengers of United"
The Mysterious Call of Edward Felt from UAL 93
Earlier coverage of the fate of UAL 93 was based in part on a reported cell call from a passenger named Edward Felt, who managed to reach an emergency official in Pennsylvania. How he got the emergency supervisor's number and managed to reach him remains unclear.
The call was apparently received at 9.58 am, eight minutes before the reported time of the crash at 10.06 am in Pennsylvania:
"Local emergency officials said they received a cell phone call at 9.58 am from a man who said he was a passenger aboard the flight. The man said he had locked himself in the bathroom and told emergency dispatchers that the plane had been hijacked. "We are being hijacked! We are being hijacked!" he was quoted as saying. A California man identified as Tom Burnett reportedly called his wife and told her that somebody on the plane had been stabbed. "We're all going to die, but three of us are going to do something," he told her. "I love you honey."
The alleged call by Edward Felt from the toilet of the aircraft of UAL 93 was answered by Glenn Cramer, the emergency supervisor in Pennsylvania who took the call.
It is worth noting that Glenn Cramer was subsequently gagged by the FBI." (See Robert Wallace`s incisive analysis published in Sept 2002 by the Daily Mirror,(http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/WAL403A.html ).
Ironically, this high profile cell call by Ed Felt, which would have provided crucial evidence to the 9/11 Commission was, for some reason, not mentioned in the Report.
American Airlines Flight 11
Flight 11 took off at 7:59.  Just before 8:14. The Report outlines an airphone conversation of flight attendant Betty Ong and much of the narrative hinges upon this airphone conversation
There are no clear-cut reports on the use of cell phones on Flight AA11.  According to the Report, American 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8.46.
Concluding Remarks
A large part of the description, regarding the 19 hijackers relies on cell phone conversations with family and friends.
While a few of these calls (placed at low altitude) could have got through, the wireless technology was not available. On this issue, expert opinion within the wireless telecom industry is unequivocal.
In other words, at least part of the Commission's script in Chapter 1 on the cell phone conversations, is fabricated. 
According to the American Airline / Qualcomm announcement, the technology for cell phone transmission at high altitude will only be available aboard commercial aircraft in 2006. This is an inescapable fact.
In the eyes of public opinion, the cell phone conversations on the Arab hijackers is needed to sustain the illusion that America is under attack.
The "war on terrorism" underlying the National Security doctrine relies on real time "evidence" concerning the Arab hijackers. The latter personify, so to speak, this illusive "outside enemy" (Al Qaeda), which is threatening the homeland.
Embodied into the Commission's "script" of 911, the narrative of what happened on the plane with the Arab hijackers is therefore crucial. It is an integral part of the Administration's disinformation and propaganda program. It constitutes a justification for the anti-terror legislation under the Patriot acts and the waging of America's pre-emptive wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. 

"Shockingly Calm": 

The Phone Calls From the Planes on 9/11

Flight 175 approaching the South Tower
A number of people received phone calls the morning of September 11, 2001 that they believed were made by individuals on board the planes that crashed in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Descriptions of these calls, however, reveal something odd. According to the official story we have been told, the callers were in an unprecedented crisis, stuck on planes under the control of murderous terrorists, and with no knowledge of whether they were going to be allowed to live or die. Yet in many of the phone calls, the caller appears to have been remarkably calm. Perhaps if just a few of them--for example, those with specific personal experiences, like the flight attendant who was a former police officer--had maintained their composure, then this would be less remarkable. Yet the large majority of the callers displayed this same calmness. In their recollections, some of the people who received the calls have indeed commented on this fact, apparently surprised by it. Some of them have also commented on the absence of panic, screaming, or other sounds of chaos in the background.

At the very least, these details appear highly unusual. As with much else about the events of 9/11, these phone calls raise serious questions. Were they really being made from the four planes targeted that morning, by passengers and crew members? Or is it possible the perpetrators of the attacks were faking them, in a cruel deception intended to help establish the official story, and this was why the callers were able to maintain such calmness? The calls need to be subjected to far closer and more critical scrutiny than has so far occurred, as part of a real investigation into the attacks, in order to establish the truth.

The following summary shows how odd the calls appear to be:

A computer presentation shown during the 2006 trial of Zacarias Moussaoui summarized the phone calls allegedly made from the four flights targeted on 9/11. According to this presentation, two people successfully made calls from Flight 11, the first plane to supposedly be taken over by hijackers: flight attendants Betty Ong and Madeline "Amy" Sweeney. [1]

Betty Ong called the American Airlines Southeastern Reservations Office in North Carolina, and spoke for about 25 minutes with employees there. Ong said she thought her plane was being hijacked, that two flight attendants had been stabbed and injured, and that a passenger had perhaps been fatally stabbed. She said Mace spray had been used, and "we can't breathe." [2] Despite these harrowing circumstances, as the New York Timesdescribed, Ong "could not have sounded much calmer." [3] Nydia Gonzalez, one of the American Airlines employees who received the call, described Ong as speaking in "a very calm, professional, and poised demeanor," and added, "Betty was calm, professional, and in control throughout the call." [4] Reportedly, when Ong's family heard the recording of her call, they "couldn't believe the calm in Betty's voice." [5] In the plane's final moments, when Ong asked those on the other end of her call to "pray for us," she was still speaking "in a composed voice." [6] As the plane approached the World Trade Center, according to Vanessa Minter, another of the employees receiving Ong's call: "You didn't hear hysteria in the background. You didn't hear people screaming." [7]

Amy Sweeney contacted the American Airlines Flight Services Office at Boston's Logan Airport. After her first calls got broken off, she was finally able to speak for 13 minutes, up to about 8:45. Sweeney reported "that the plane had been hijacked; a man in first class had his throat slashed; two flight attendants had been stabbed ... the flight attendants were unable to contact the cockpit; and there was a bomb in the cockpit." [8] Michael Woodward, the manager with whom Sweeney talked, later told the FBI that despite reporting such horrific events, "during the entire conversation," Sweeney's voice "remained calm and even." [9] Even just before Flight 11 crashed, Sweeney retained her composure. After reporting that her plane was flying very low, Woodward recalled, she "took a very slow, deep breath and then just said, 'Oh, my God!' Very slowly, very calmly, very quietly. It wasn't in panic." [10] Furthermore, Woodward noted, he "did not hear any noise in the background during the conversation." [11]

Three people reportedly made successful phone calls from Flight 175, the plane that hit the South Tower of the WTC: one flight attendant and two passengers. While brief descriptions are available of the call made by the attendant--thought to be Robert Fangman--these reveal no details of his level of composure. [12] Some relevant information is available regarding the other calls from this aircraft.

Passenger Brian Sweeney left a short message on his wife's answering machine, and then called his mother. [13] In his message to his wife, Julie, he stated, "The plane I'm on has been hijacked, and it doesn't look good." According to Julie Sweeney, Brian "sounded calm. ... He was not crying." [14] Details of his composure during the call to his mother are unstated. The other passenger, Peter Hanson, twice called his father, and told him about the hijacking. [15] According to the Los Angeles Times, "In the first call, Peter was calm." According to Hanson's father, "His voice was soft, not too nervous." Whether he was also calm in his second call is unstated. [16]

Two individuals have been reported as making phone calls from the third hijacked plane, Flight 77: attendant Renee May and passenger Barbara Olson. No details have been revealed of whether Renee May remained calm during her call. But, according to Newsweek, Barbara Olson phoned her husband and "was calm and collected as she told him how hijackers had used boxcutters and knifes to take control of the plane and had herded the passengers and crew to the back." [17] Her husband Ted Olson--who at that time was the United States solicitor general--described to CNN: "She sounded very, very calm. ... In retrospect, enormously, remarkably, incredibly calm." [18]

The majority of the phone calls made from the planes allegedly came from Flight 93, the aircraft said to have crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to retake control from the hijackers. At least 12 individuals reportedly made calls. Most of them displayed a surprising degree of calmness.

1) Flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw phoned the United Airlines maintenance facility in San Francisco and reported her plane had been hijacked, and that the hijackers had pulled a knife and killed a flight attendant. The manager who took the call later described Bradshaw as being "shockingly calm." [19] Bradshaw subsequently phoned her husband, who later recalled, "She sounded calm, but like her adrenaline was really going." [20]

2) Another flight attendant, CeeCee Lyles--who was a former police officer--called her husband. He described, "She was surprisingly calm," considering the screaming he heard in the background. [21]

3) Passenger Mark Bingham called his family, and talked to his aunt and his mother. His aunt found him sounding "calm, matter-of-fact." His mother recalled: "His voice was calm. He seemed very much composed, even though I know he must have been under terrible duress." [22] She also said a background discussion between passengers she could hear, about taking back the plane from the hijackers, sounded like a "calm boardroom meeting." [23]

4) Another passenger, Tom Burnett, called his wife Deena four times. Deena Burnett later recalled his third call: "[I]t was as if he was at Thoratec [the company he worked for], sitting at his desk, and we were having a regular conversation. It was the strangest thing because he was using the same tone of voice I had heard a thousand times. It calmed me to know he was so confident." [24] According to journalist and author Jere Longman, in his fourth call, Tom was "speaking in a normal voice, calm." [25]

5) Passenger Lauren Grandcolas called her husband, Jack, and left a message on the answering machine. Jack Grandcolas later recalled, "She sounded calm." [26] According to Jere Longman, "It sounded to Jack as if she were driving home from the grocery store or ordering a pizza." [27] Furthermore, Jack Grandcolas has described: "There is absolutely no background noise on her message. You can't hear people screaming or yelling or crying. It's very calm, the whole cabin, the background, there's really very little sound." [28]

6) Jeremy Glick called his wife, Lyz, and told her his plane had been hijacked. She recalled, "He was so calm, the plane sounded so calm, that if I hadn't seen what was going on on the TV, I wouldn't have believed it." [29] She has added: "I was surprised by how calm it seemed in the background. I didn't hear any screaming. I didn't hear any noises. I didn't hear any commotion." [30]

7) Todd Beamer talked for 13 minutes with GTE-Verizon supervisor Lisa Jefferson. According to Jefferson, Beamer "was amazingly calm and composed as he told her of the hijacking of Flight 93 and passengers' plans to rush their captors." [31] Jefferson said he "stayed calm through the entire conversation. He made me doubt the severity of the call." [32] She later told Beamer's wife, "If I hadn't known it was a real hijacking, I'd have thought it was a crank call, because Todd was so rational and methodical about what he was doing." [33]

8) Honor Elizabeth Wainio spoke with her stepmother, Esther Heymann. Heymann has said that Wainio "really was remarkably calm throughout our whole conversation." [34] According to Jere Longman, when Wainio was not talking, Heymann "could not hear another person. She could not hear any conversation or crying or yelling or whimpering. Nothing." [35]

9) Linda Gronlund left a voice mail message at the home of her sister, saying that terrorists who said they had a bomb had hijacked her plane. [36] Her sister has described that, during the call, Gronlund "got real calm and said, 'Now my will is in my safe and my safe is in my closet. And this is the combination.'" [37]

10) Edward Felt spoke with 911 dispatcher John Shaw just minutes before Flight 93 reportedly crashed, and said his plane had been hijacked. According to Shaw, Felt "was crying ... frightened, scared, and anxious." But Felt's brother Gordon, who heard the recording of the call, has disputed this, saying: "My brother was not scared. He was very composed, under the circumstances." [38] Felt's wife, who heard the recording of the 911 call and also the Flight 93 cockpit voice recording, said Edward "was very calm in the face of death." [39]

Indeed, author Jere Longman said he'd "heard tapes of a couple of the phone calls made from [Flight 93] and was struck by the absence of panic in the voices." [40]

Only two other people are reported to have made successful calls from Flight 93. Passenger Marion Britton appears to be the only clear example of a caller sounding panicked. She called her friend Fred Fiumano. According to Fiumano, Britton "was crying and--you know--more or less crying and screaming and yelling." [41] Fiumano said he heard a lot of screaming in the background near the end of the call. [42] Joseph DeLuca, also a passenger, called his father and reported there were terrorists on his plane. But he has been described simply as having "sounded sad" during the call. [43]

[1] U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, "Summary From Flight 93 Depicting: The Identity of Pilots and Flight Attendants, Seat Assignments of Passengers, and Telephone Calls From the Flight." July 31, 2006.
[2] Public Hearing. 9/11 Commission, January 27, 20049/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Authorized Edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, p. 5.
[3] Philip Shenon, "A Calm Voice as Disaster Unfolded in the Sky." New York Times, January 28, 2004.
[4] Public Hearing. 9/11 Commission, January 27, 2004.
[5] Jennifer Julian, "One of the Last Calls." ABC11 Eyewitness News, September 11, 2002.
[6] Steven Knipp, "Sept. 11: An Angel Named Betty Ong." Pacific News Service, September 8, 2004.
[7] "Calm Before the Crash." ABC News, July 18, 2002.
[8] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 6 and 453U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, "Summary From Flight 93."
[9] "FBI FD-302, Michael Woodward." Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 14, 2001.
[10] "Calm Before the Crash."
[11] "FBI FD-302, Michael Woodward."
[12] Scott McCartney and Susan Carey, "American, United Watched and Worked in Horror as Sept. 11 Hijackings Unfolded." Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2001"The Four Flights: Staff Statement No. 4." 9/11 Commission, January 27, 20049/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 7-89/11 Commission, Staff Report. August 26, 2004, p. 21.
[13] 9/11 Commission, Staff Report, p. 22U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, "Summary From Flight 93."
[14] K. C. Myers, "Message From Air is Final Goodbye." Cape Cod Times, September 12, 2001.
[15] 9/11 Commission, Staff Report, pp. 21-23.
[16] Richard A. Serrano, "Moussaoui Jury Hears the Panic From 9/11." Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2006.
[17] Michael Isikoff, "'I Can't Just Sit Back.'" Newsweek, September 19, 2001.
[18] "Recovering From Tragedy." Larry King Live, CNN, September 14, 2001.
[19] 9/11 Commission, Staff Report, p. 40United States of America v. Zacarias Moussaoui. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, April 11, 2006.
[20] Angie Cannon, "Final Words From Flight 93." U.S. News & World Report, October 29, 2001.
[21] Brad Townsend, Chip Brown, and Gerry Fraley, "Trapped in the Skies, Captives Fought Back." Dallas Morning News, September 17, 2001.
[22] "World Leaders Express Horror, Outrage." CNN, September 12, 2001; Jere Longman, Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back. New York: HarperCollins, 2002, pp. 129-130.
[23] Phil Hirschkorn, "More 9/11 Families Testify for Moussaoui." CNN, April 21, 2006.
[24] Deena Burnett with Anthony Giombetti, Fighting Back: Living Life Beyond Ourselves. Altamonte Springs, FL: Advantage Books, 2006, p. 66.
[25] Jere Longman, Among the Heroes, p. 118.
[26] David Segal, "A Red Carpet Tragedy." Washington Post, April 26, 2006.
[27] Jere Longman, Among the Heroes, p. 128.
[28] United 93: The Families and the Film. Directed by Kate Solomon, Working Title Films, 2006.
[29] Matthew Brown, "Hero's Family Perseveres." Bergen Record, October 5, 2001.
[30] Jane Pauley, "No Greater Love." NBC News, September 11, 2006.
[31] Jim McKinnon, "13-Minute Call Bonds her Forever With Hero."Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 22, 2001.
[32] Wendy Schuman, "'I Promised I Wouldn't Hang Up.'" Beliefnet, 2006.
[33] Lisa Beamer and Ken Abraham, Let's Roll!: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2002, p. 211.
[34] "Stories of Flight 93." Larry King Live, CNN, February 18, 2006.
[35] Jere Longman, Among the Heroes, pp. 171-172.
[36] 9/11 Commission, Staff Report, p. 44.
[37] Jane Pauley, "No Greater Love."
[38] Richard Gazarik, "Felt Reaches 911 Just Before Crash." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 8, 2002.
[39] Chuck Biedka, "911 Dispatcher Recalls Frantic Cell Phone Call From Flight 93." Valley News Dispatch, September 11, 2002.
[40] Jere Longman, Among the Heroes, p. xi.
[41] Jane Pauley, "No Greater Love."
[42] "FBI FD-302, Unidentified Person re: Marion Britton." Federal Bureau of Investigation, September 20, 2001United States of America v. Zacarias Moussaoui.
[43] Jere Longman, Among the Heroes, p. 161.

911 - A Hypothetical Blasting Scenario

A Hypothetical Blasting Scenario

A Plausible Theory Explaining the Controlled Demolition of the Twin Towers Using Aluminothermic Incendiaries and Explosives with Wireless Ignition Means

Jim Hoffman 
Version 1.0, April 4, 2009
Version 1.2, April 9, 2009


Most science-based investigators of the events of 9/11/2001 are reluctant to develop detailed hypotheses or conjectures for obvious reasons: to speculate about unknown events in a criminal conspiracy is to invite the label of "conspiracy theorist" with its weight of discrediting associations, unless, of course, one is parroting the speculations of the officially endorsed account.
Never mind that NIST explains WTC7's destruction as the first-ever fire-induced collapse of a steel-frame high-rise building with the refreshingly novel failure mechanism -- supported by no physical evidence whatsoever -- that thermally induced expansion of a huge beam caused it to break loose of its connections and crash down, taking the rest of the skyscraper with it. It is the skeptics of this fairy tale that New York Times reporter Eric Lipton calls conspiracy theorists. [1
The chief apologists for the official story seem to want it both ways. On the one hand, they stigmatize anyone who questions the official version of events as a "conspiracy theorist". On the other, they fault the same intellectual dissidents for not articulating a detailed theory of the crime, as Ryan Mackey does here. How interesting that the conspiracy theorist label remains the first line of defense against the consideration of alternative hypotheses, while the main arguments against controlled demolition of the Twin Towers appeal to alleged difficulties in implementation -- arguments that can only be answered through postulating hypothetical scenarios.
Here, then, is such a scenario -- in much more detail than suggestions I have previously made to answer frequently asked questions -- that I hope will be useful to other investigators working to solve the horrific crime of '9/11'.



The present scenario is a detailed hypothetical account of the method by which each of the Twin Towers was totally destroyed. Although the visible pattern of destruction of the North and South Towers differ in details, they both fit the same general description: The block above the crash zone starts to move, accompanied almost immediately by dust ejections, then disappears into the exploding dust cloud, which progresses down the vertical axis of the Tower's intact portion leaving nothing standing but portions of the core, which then falls apart. The similarities in the patterns of destruction, as well as the nearly identical structures of the Towers themselves, suggests that essentially the same method was used to destroy each Tower, with adjustments of that method to account for the differences in the plane crashes. The scenario is described for the general case of either Tower. It postulates that the plane crashes were planned and executed with some degree of precision, using their automated flight control systems, and the adjustments in the demolition method planned accordingly.
As noted in the summary of the aluminothermics evidence timeline, there is direct evidence for two broad types of thermitic pyrotechnics in the destruction of the Twin Towers:
  • Incendiaries, consisting of thermate or thermate possibly with additives such as barium nitrate
  • Explosives, consisting of aluminothermic nanocomposites including compounds rich in silicon, carbon, and hydrogen to enhance blast pressure
The scenario reflects this dichotomy in postulating that two distinct stages comprised the demolition of each Tower: a first stage in which strategically-placed thermitic incendiaries attack steelwork while the Tower is still standing, and a second stage in which widely distributed thermitic explosives shatter the Tower from top to bottom.


Method Overview

The destruction of each of the Twin Towers is accomplished by an almost identical overall sequence, consisting of two stages -- a slow first stage, in which key portions of the steelwork are melted and corroded, and a rapid second stage, in which key structures are broken, and the entire Tower is systematically pulverized from the crash zones down. The time T-0 marks the onset of Stage 2.
1: Steelwork Thermal/Corrosive Attack2: Steelwork Knocking and Progressive Distributed Blasting
materialaluminothermic incendiaries enhanced with sulfuraluminothermic nanocomposite explosives including silicon, carbon, hydrogen
applicationas coatings applied directly to steelwork in the core structures around the crash zone and the hat trussas fire-protected kicker charges in close proximity to core steelwork around the crash zoneas thin-film explosives distributed throughout alternate floors within ceiling tiles
timingcommencing at up to T-10 minutes with burnout shortly before T-0T-0 through T+2 seconds around crash zonecommencing at T+0.5 seconds below crash zone, and accelerating down the Tower to T+12 seconds

Pyrotechnics Features

The pyrotechnics are of three types, all based on aluminothermic reactions: an incendiary used in the Stage 1, and two types of explosives used in Stage 2:
  • Thermate incendiary coating compound: A mixture of aluminum powder, iron oxide powder, sulfur and other additives in a binder. Applied in a liquid form like paint, it dries to form durable coating that requires a high-temperature igniter to start the reaction by heating a spot to the 2,200ºC ignition temperature.
  • Nanothermite kicker charge: A large forceful charge with relatively low brisance based on a nano-thermite explosive that is stable up to a very high temperature and pressure, such as supplied by a built-in detonator. A protective insulating capsule is shaped like a fire-extinguisher bottle.
  • Aluminothermic nanocomposite sheet: A thin layer of a nanocomposite aluminothermic material laminated onto a thin brittle slab of iron oxides and hydroxides. The material deflagrates (burns gradually) when elevated to 430ºC, but detonates with high brisance only when extremely high temperature and pressure, such as provided by a micro-detonator, is applied to any part of its surface.
Because these pyrotechnics are energy-dense, have very specific conditions of ignition and detonation, and leave residues composed of the same elements as building parts; they are well suited to the covert demolition of the Twin Towers. Surprising to most people given popular conceptions about explosives, the energetic materials' characteristics allow them to be deployed throughout the crash zones without risk of premature detonations.
The incendiary coatings are unlikely to be ignited by the jetliner crashes because their ignition threshold temperature is so high. But in the event that some are, they will blend in with the hydrocarbon fires.
The kicker charges have very specific detonation conditions unlikely to be achieved even by direct impacts of jetliner parts, let alone office fires, and are further protected by encapsulation.
Without the very rapid pulse of extreme temperature and pressure required to trigger detonation, the nanocomposite sheets will deflagrate on ignition, and do so slowly enough to appear to burn like office furnishings.

Control Architecture

Ignition of the incendiaries and detonation of the explosives is controlled through a wireless network using RF repeaters on every floor of the Towers having pyrotechnics.
Each of the Stage-2 pyrotechnics units -- the kicker charges and explosive sheets -- has an integrated wireless detonator card that includes a 2-channel RF receiver, an accelerometer, logic, dual wafer batteries, and a micro-detonator. The card is cemented onto the surface of the pyrotechnic's thermitic material so that the detonator is in contact with the material.
Similar electronics packages with high-temperature igniters are designed to adhere to the surface of the incendiary coating.
The detonator cards are programmed to respond only to RF signals on the network's broadcast frequencies that have specific codes. The cards are manufactured in batches of cards with identical codes, where each batch has a unique code and is destined for a specific floor of one of the Towers.
Of a detonator card's two channels, one provides the arm signal, and the other provides a detonation signal. Once the arm signal has been received, the detonator will be triggered by either of two events: rapid acceleration detected by the accelerometer, or receipt of the detonation signal.
The detonators are under the wireless control of the RF repeators located on most floors. The repeaters are redundantly controlled from an operations center located a safe distance from the Twin Towers via both high-power directional wireless and an encrypted ethernet channel. The repeaters all broadcast the same signals with ample power to be easily detected by all the detonator receivers on the same floor as well as by most on nearby floors.

Equipment Procurement

The following table lists the materials required for both Towers.
20"x20"x3/4" ceiling tile with embedded thin-film explosive and 2-channel wireless micro-detonator1,000,000
12"x12"x3/4" ceiling tile with embedded thin-film explosive and 2-channel wireless micro-detonator800,000
10-lb nano-thermite kicker charge with 2-channel wireless detonator in fire-protective capsule disguised as fire extinguisher100
5 gallon thermate coating compound20
spray applicator with flexible snake hose and integrated borescope2
2-channel wireless high-temperature igniter100
20-channel 200W RF repeater with UPS240
All of the equipment is available off-the-shelf from commercial vendors or special operations supply depots except for the wireless explosive ceiling tiles, which have to be specially manufactured. The tiles are assembled at a facility that is supplied with pre-manufactured materials and parts, some only for secret military applications: 2-channel wireless micro-detonators in the form of thin-profile cards, nanocomposite thin-film explosives in the form of pre-cut sheets, and acoustic-tile fiberboard sheets pre-cut to the correct sizes and pre-painted. The facility cements a detonator to the sheet, and laminates the sheet between two pieces of fiberboard.

Equipment Installation

The scenario allows all of the equipment installation to be disguised so that the very workers doing the installation work are oblivious to the fact that they are installing demolition equipment. None of the equipment looks anything like conventional demolition gear, and there is a fully plausible innocent explanation for each procedure. There are no wires connecting components. Even on close examination the equipment would not reveal its true purpose. If a worker were to break open a ceiling tile and find the nano-thermite film layer, his supervisor would explain what he was told -- that the new energy-efficient tiles have an embedded a vapor- and radiative-heat-loss barrier.
The labor-intensive portions of the operation might be made more secure by using undocumented workers who are naturally disinclined to raise questions about the work.

Steel Work

The only part of the installation work that requires direct access to steelwork is the application of the thermate coating compound and the attachment of high-temperature igniters to the coated areas. Because this treatment is applied only to steelwork in the core around the planned crash zone and the hat truss, the number of access points is relatively small, and can be reached almost entirely through parts of the building controlled by building services.
The use of a spray applicator with a flexible snake hose and integrated borescope allows a worker to treat an entire section of column walled off by sheetrock by drilling a few 2-inch-diameter holes in the sheetrock, perhaps above the level of the ceiling tiles. Such efforts to make the work inconspicuous are hardly critical, given that the work is supposedly to upgrade fire protection of the steelwork. And, if anyone asks, the igniters are vibration detectors used to monitor the structure's performance in high winds.

Ceiling Tiles

The replacement of ceiling tiles throughout the building may have been done on any of a number of schedules. On the one hand the tiles could have been supplied as part of an maintenance contract and installed using the existing building maintenance staff doing what they thought of as normal building maintenance work. Since the new landlord had just taken over in late July of 2001, it wouldn't seem at all unusual to see some refurbishing, especially as unobtrusive as swapping out old ceiling tiles.
Alternatively, the tiles could have been installed during overnight hours by a team of maintenance workers unnoticed by tenants. The logistics of such an operation can be imagined, and some estimates of human resources made.
We know that the Towers had only two types of ceiling tiles: 20-inch squares for the tenant spaces and 12-inch squares for the core spaces. An estimate of the number of tiles per tower is 1,200,000 large tiles and 800,000 small tiles.
5.8.4 Ceilings

There were two different ceiling tile systems originally installed in the towers under Port Authority specification. The framing for each was hung from the bottom of the floor trusses, resulting in an apparent room height of 8.6 ft and an above-ceiling height of about 3.4 ft. The tiles in the tenant spaces were 20 in. square, 3/4 in. thick, lay-in pieces on an exposed tee bar grid system. The tiles in the core area were 12 in. square, 3/4 in. thick, mounted in a concealed suspension system.

-- NIST Final Report on the Twin Towers
The new ceiling tiles with embedded thin-film explosives and wireless detonators are installed throughout every other floor of the Tower. In all, each Tower gets 500,000 of the large tiles and 400,000 of the small tiles.
With workers swapping in new tiles at an average rate of two tiles per minute per worker, it takes a team of forty workers 187 hours to retrofit an entire Tower. The work is performed in three weeks and weekends of night shifts, emptying one truckload per night, with the truck parking inconspicuously in the WTC subterranean parking garage.

Kicker Charges and Wireless Equipment

The remaining equipment is installed with a minimum of effort. The 20-channel repeaters are installed in communication equipment closets on each floor having the ceiling tile retrofits, and on floors having treated steelwork and kicker charges. The repeaters are cabled to existing ethernet ports, through which they can receive encrypted instructions.
The kicker charges are mounted in closets and elevator shafts, generally just above portions of the structure that have been treated with the thermate coating compound.

Summary of Concealment Methods

In all cases, the concealment of the demolition equipment has at least two layers. On the surface, each item appears to have an innocent function. The installation of the equipment is designed to go unnoticed, but even if noticed there is nothing about the procedures or equipment that would tend to arouse suspicion. In the event that equipment is scrutinized, as by the unlikely event of someone breaking open a ceiling tile, there is a plausible explanation for the features of the equipment, summarized by the following table.
thin-film explosives embedded in ceiling tilesvapor barrier and energy-conserving infrared reflector
low-profile igniters embedded in ceiling tilessmoke detectors
kicker chargesfire extinguishers
thermate coating on steelworkfire protection upgrades
non-embedded wireless ignitersvibration sensors for structure monitoring
RF repeaterscommunications equipment
It also bears noting that all of the pyrotechnic materials are based on the thermite reaction and do not involve the kind of nitro-aromatic compounds whose residues are the most likely to be tested for in a crime scene investigation.

Demolition Sequence

The demolition sequence is designed to conceal the fact of its being a controlled demolition despite using perhaps two orders of magnitude more explosive energy to destroy the Tower than would be required in a conventionally engineered controlled-demolition implosion. A key objective is get the top of the Tower to move before explosive action is clearly evident to onlookers outside the building.
The two stages outlined above, separated by the time T-0, are designed to achieve this objective by sufficiently degrading key parts of the structure in Stage 1 so that the relatively small kicker charges can produce movement in the top at the onset of Stage 2.

Stage 1: Thermate Melts and Corrodes Core Steelwork

During Stage 1, extending from up to 10 minutes before T-0, thermate coatings on key parts of the core structure steelwork are ignited via the wireless ignition control system. The two areas attacked are: the core columns on a few floors below the crash zone, just above where most of the columns transition from box columns to wide-flange beams; and the inner portions of the hat truss that connect it to the core.
The thermal/corrosive attack on these two portions of the structure leaves the entire block of the core structure above the upper mechanical equipment floor "floating", with no major steel members to transfer its gravity loads to the lower portion of the core or to the perimeter walls: it is now supported by the web-trussed floor diaphragms. The upper core block now exerts massive inward forces on the perimeter walls due to the high degree of leverage involved in the translation of the core block's gravity loads into pulling on the perimeter walls. It is these forces that produce the inward bowing of portions of perimeter walls that NIST claims are due merely to the sagging of floor diaphragms still supported by the core.
Partly because thermate produces bright orange light while burning, Stage 1 is allowed time to run to completion before Stage 2 commences. In the South Tower, some thermate pushed by the plane crash from the building's core to its corner generates an orange spout lasting from about T-7 to T-2 minutes.

Stage 2A: Kicker Charges Initiate Motion of Top

At the onset of Stage 2, kicker charges mounted just above the core steelwork attacked in Stage 1 are ignited by the wireless control system, fully detaching the core's upper block from its base and from the hat truss, and causing it to fall several feet. Half a second later, ignition of thin-film charges around the crash zones start. The jolt provided by the short fall of the core's upper block, combined with the blast wave of the synchronized detonation of the high-explosive tiles adjacent to the perimeter walls, buckles and breaks the perimeter columns and initiates the descent of the entire upper block of the Tower.

Stage 2B: Progressive Distributed Blasting Obliterates Tower

Once descent of the Tower's upper block begins, the thin-film explosives on the equipped floors are detonated via the wireless control system just ahead of the descending wave of destruction below the crash zone, as well as in the upper portion of the descending block.
Because the thin film explosives detonate rapidly and have relatively high brisance, the tiles in a given ceiling create largely planar blast waves that attenuate very little until they encounter a floor. The blast waves from one level of tiles travel up to through the web trusses and to the steel pans under the floor slab above, and down through office furnishings to the floor slab below. The fact that the explosive tiles are present only in every other story assures that the detonation of the tiles on one level won't immediately disrupt the tiles on the next lower level, which will be detonated a fraction of a second later.