The death toll of the September 11th mass murder was large by historical standards of massacres. Yet it would have been much larger if not for a number of characteristics of the attacks which appear planned to minimize the death toll while still carrying out the unprecedented terror of flying jetliners into two of the largest buildings in the world, then demolishing them with people still inside.
The characteristics include the selection of flights, the timing of the attacks, the selection of targets, and the positions of the aircraft collisions in each of the three targets.
Date and TimeThe timing of the attacks greatly reduced the human carnage. September 11th was an election day in New York City, and was only weeks away from the planned re-occupancy of much of the part of the Pentagon that was destroyed. The time of day seemed calculated to minimize the loss of life while still maximizing psychological impact.
FlightsThe table shows the seating capacities and numbers of people thought to be on board each flight. Note the discrepancy between the number of people alleged to be on board, and the number on the official death manifests published on CNN.com and attributed to the affected airlines. All flights had occupancies of less than 50 percent, and the aggregate occupancy was 30 percent.
AA Flight 11 181 92 86 47
UA Flight 175 181 65 56 31
AA Flight 77 200 64 56 28
UA Flight 93 200 44 33 16
1 & 2 World Trade Center
WTC 1, the first tower to be hit, was struck around the 96th floor at 8:46 AM. Since there were only about 14 floors above the crash site, hundreds, rather than thousands, of people were cut off from escape by the crash. If the strike were much higher, a gravity-driven collapse would not have been a plausible explanation for the following "collapse." WTC 2 was struck around the 81st floor at 9:03. Although the strike was more than ten stories lower, the 18 minutes between the first and second strikes allowed most of the people in the top 30 stories of WTC 2 to evacuate while the elevators were still running. More would have survived if not for a message over the PA system assuring people the building was secure, and that they could return to their floors. The veering of the second jet to the right before it hit WTC 2 caused it to hit the right half of the southeast wall and partly emerges from the east corner. That allowed the core and its stairwells to remain largely undamaged. At least 18 people escaped from above the crash zone after the impact, according to the New York Times. 1 When the first plane hit, the Twin Towers were at well below their typical daily peak occupancy. Only about half of office workers normally arrive before 9 AM, and many were delayed by voting, since it was an election day. Few tourists and shoppers were present at that hour. Two hours later the buildings would have held around 50,000 people rather than the 20,000 actually present. If the strikes had been in the middle of the day, and the impacts had been centered and at the 45th floors (just above the surrounding buildings) 30,000 could have been trapped and killed.
Pentagon At the time the Pentagon was hit, about 20,000 people were at work in the building. Yet despite the significant portion of the building affected by the crash, only 125 Pentagon employees were killed. The portion of the building that sustained the impact, called "Wedge One", had recently undergone renovations including the reinforcement of exterior walls with steel beams and columns.2
Other Targets Also interesting are the far more lethal targets that the perpetrators passed over. Flight 11 flew directly over the Indian Point nuclear power plant, and Flight 175 flew within about two minutes of it. That facility contains three nuclear power stations, one of which was online, and a unit storing 65 operating years' worth of highly radioactive waste. Heavily populated areas surround it. Although the containment domes of the reactors might have survived an impact, the radioactive waste storage facility could easily have been breached by an impact, and damage to systems outside the containment domes could have led to a meltdown. So this wasn’t done by Arabs but American operatives of perhaps Arab birth.
1. Fighting to Live as the Towers Died, New York Times, [cached]
2. Engineering Report on Pentagon Disaster, ArchitectureWeek.com,
SEE THIS ARTICLE AT: http://911research.wtc7.net/sept11/analysis/bodycount.html
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