One of the biggest arguments which keeps coming up amongst the 9/11 conspiracy crowed is that the sites of the terrorist attacks did not appear to have large, immediately recognizable pieces of aircraft such as fuselage or wing sections. The counter argument (fact) which has been brought up is that aircraft often are reduced to relatively small pieces of debris during violent crashes.
In order to make this point, one of the most dramatic graphic displays of just how an aircraft can be completely destroyed is a 1988 test conducted by the SanDia National Laboratory. Even before 9/11, the test has been nearly iconic in the way it displays what happens to an airframe when colliding with a solid surface. The test involved an F-4 phantom airframe which was mounted on a rocket sled and slammed into a large block of reinforced concrete.
The original intent of the test was to gauge the impact forces of an aircraft moving at full speed and impacting a structure. The data collected would later be applied to nuclear security such as containment dome designs, storage casks and similar structures which are designed for even the most extreme catastrophic events. Although the F-4 is smaller than the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft used in the 9/11 attacks, the principle is the same and the event is so visually dramatic that it has been a thorn in the side of the whole 9/11 “Troof” movement.
So how to deal with this problematic demonstration of what happens to an aircraft during a full-speed head-on crash? Just claim it’s fake. Yes that’s right. Claim its fake. A few pages have now come out claiming that a plane could never be “atomized” by a crash. Of course, the plane was not atomized but was indeed reduced to fragments. The following comment from one of the pages pretty sums up the mindset of these clowns:
Huge smoking gun dude. The video is obviously faked. Proof that 9/11 was being planned over a decade ago.
Great find. Can’t wait to see it in court to bring these bastards down!!!!
Mind you, this was in 1988. So why was this done so far ahead of time? Well aside from the possibility of decades-long planning for 9/11, it’s claimed that it was done as part of the nuclear energy industry’s attempt to provide inflated data on the safety of plants. Of course, this would be ridiculous in any case, but it’s worth noting that the crash was not into any existing containment structure but rather just into a block of reinforced concrete. It was not to test any single structure but to gauge the forces one might be subjected to in such a crash.
Aircraft are designed to be lightweight. For this reason they’re built primarily out of aluminum sheetmetal. The structures are more than strong enough to contend with aerodynamic forces and the occasional rough landing, but comparatively speaking, they’re not that solid compared to a steel structure. Even when colliding with soft ground, an airliner moving at a large fraction of the speed of sound is easily ripped to shreds like tinfoil. Add to this the fact that aluminum metal can actually burn (no it won’t burn if you take a match to a chunk of aluminum, but when the temperatures are high enough it can be reduced back to aluminum oxide), and it’s not hard to see how an aircraft crash could result in a debris field that, at first glance, looks nothing like an aircraft.
Don’t believe me? There are plenty of historical examples. Here are just a few:
In 1986, an AeroMexico DC-9 collided in mid air with a general aviation Piper Archer and crashed in Cerritos, California while on final approach to Los Angeles International Airport. A subsequent investigation found the pilot of the Piper had suffered a heart attack and the plane then strayed, uncontrolled into the AreoMexico flight’s approach path. The crash resulted in 67 fatalities, including 15 on the ground. Most of the aircraft was reduced to small debris and the largest pieces recovered included the engines turbines and some structural components of the wings and mid-fuselage. The largest structural components were only a few feet long and most were much smaller
In 1996, a DC-9-32 operated by Valujet crashed in the Florida Everglades. The crash would later be determined to be the result of an onboard fire sparked by oxygen generators which were being shipped in the cargo hold despite being improperly secured. Initial wittinesses to the crash reported seeing an aircraft go down and then seeing “no sign of the aircraft” on the surface. The only immediately visible signs of the crash were scattered metal fragments, a deep pool of water in the otherwise swampy area and a slick of jet fuel. The recovery operation pulled pieces from the deep mud of the Everglades. Most of the structure was reduced to small fragments. Only the landing gear struts and parts of the engines remained relatively in one piece.
All passengers and crew perished in the crash. The total fatalities were 110. The recovery of human remains was difficult due to the fact that most bodies were reduced to fragments of bone and tissue. Many would require DNA or other forensic tests to confirm the identity.
In 2002, a Federal Express 727 crashed shortly after takeoff in Talahasee Florida. Failing to climb rapidly enough, the aircraft clipped several trees and then crashed in a field resulting in moderate damage to the aircraft. However, an ensuing fire destroyed most of the aircraft’s midsection. Despite a rapid response by firefighters, the only parts of the aircraft to remain mostly intact were the tail section and parts of the wings. The three crew members narrowly escaped with only minor injuries. Within minutes of their escape the cockpit was engulfed in flames.
This crash is a dramatic example of the damage which fire along can do to an aircraft, as the aircraft was in one piece and only moderately damaged when it struck the ground.
In 1992, an Air Inter Airbus A320 crashed in the mountains near Strasbourg Airport in France. The crash was ruled to be due to pilot error. An investigation concluded that the pilots were not adequately experienced with the flight controls and navigation system of the A320, which was different than aircraft the flight crew had been accustomed to. Most of the aircraft structure was completely destroyed, however a small part of the aircraft’s midsection was intact enough to allow for 9 of the 96 on board to survive, although with serious injuries.
A few others:
Nigerian Airlines 737 Crash in 2006
1994 USAir 737Crash Near Pittsburgh PA
1994 Crash of an American Eagle AR-72
1980 Crash of a 727 in Brazil
1984 Crash of a Japan Airlines 747 Following a Catastrophic Depressurization
1979 Crash of an American Airlines DC-10 Near Chicago
1970 Crash of an Air Canada DC-8
Sorry guys. You loose. Fail. Pwned. The whole “there was no aircraft” at the pentagon crash site is nutty enough, but now that some conspiracy theory nuts are claiming that even the World Trade Center crash which was witnessed by hundreds of thousands in one of the largest population centers in the world was smoke and mirrors or a hologram… Well, now it’s getting (more) ridiculous.
Seriously though. As a native of New York, an Americana and a human being, I have no more respect for the 9/11 troofers than I do for holocaust deniers. Their opinions may be protected, but is my opinion of them.
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2008 at 5:21 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Conspiracy Theories, Not Even Wrong. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
View blog reactions