Monday, July 10, 2006
Comment period now open for Flight 93 memorial: Keep the crescent-mosque off of the crash-site!
Starting over is imperative because the Crescent design was, and still is, a plan to build the world’s largest mosque. For those who may be new to this controversy, I am posting a primer. For those who have already been following the memorial story, some startling new information is included. (My model comment here.)
PrimerWhen the Crescent design was unveiled in September 2005, many observers were stunned to see a gigantic, naked, crescent and star flag, planted on the Flight 93 crash site:
Figure 1. Crescent of Embrace publicity shot from Paul Murdoch Architects. Flag array at right compiled by T. Bevan at RCP.
In short order, five other bloggers (myself included) verified that the bisector of this crescent points within 2° of Mecca. While only a few people worked through the math, many people saw the graphical demonstration of Mecca-orientation contributed by the pseudonymous "Etaoin Shrdlu":
Figure 2. Etaoin's world-map projection, with Mecca-line superimposed. Click for larger image. [North is straight up-screen from the crash site, both in the world-map projection, and in the site-plan inset. The green section of line shows the direction from the crash site to Mecca (55.18 degrees clockwise from north). When this same slope is superimposed on the crash site (red line), it almost perfectly bisects the Crescent of Embrace.]
A commentator on my blog (Yoel Natan) pointed out that a crescent that people face into to face Mecca is called a mihrab, and is the central feature around which every mosque is built. Here is the mihrab from the Grand Mosque in Cordoba:
Figure 3. Face into the crescent to face Mecca.
Usually a mihrab will have a vertical dimension as well as width and depth, but not always. Think of the Crescent memorial as a giant prayer rug. A prayer rug (called a “musalla,” which translates as “small mosque”) is just a 2-dimensional mihrab.
The phony redesignWhen controversy arose over the giant naked crescent back in September, the Memorial Project agreed to make changes. A Bowl of Embrace redesign was announced in November where the sole change was the addition of some trees on the west side of the crescent:
Figure 4. Left: Crescent of Embrace with tip-line and bisector. Right: barely modified Bowl of Embrace redesign.
The only change from the Crescent to the Bowl is some re-coloring of the image, and the addition of some trees that extend the tree line from the top of the crescent further around to the left. These additional trees do nothing to affect the presence of the original Mecca-oriented crescent because the upper crescent tip never was defined by trees.
As can be seen in the image on the left, the upper tip of the original Crescent of Embrace was the end of the vast, curving, thousand foot long, forty foot tall, Entry Portal wall. This wall structure is unchanged in the redesign. The bottom crescent tip (the last red maple at bottom) is also unchanged in the redesign. Thus the giant half-mile wide Mecca-oriented mihrab is still there.
To understand the irrelevance of the additional trees to Murdoch’s mosque design, one just needs to recognize that, like the Christian cross, a mihrab is a self-contained religious construct. It should be placed in a clean area, but other than that, its meaning is unaffected by what may be around it. All architect Paul Murdoch did was plant some additional trees behind his mihrab (behind those will be facing into the mihrab to face Mecca). That is no different than having some trees behind a Muslim prayer rug. It makes no difference to the presence or meaning of the prayer rug at all.
Caught by gate security (the American people) on his first attempt to plant a terrorist memorial mosque on the crash site, Murdoch was told by the Memorial Project to go back outside and try again, which is exactly what he did. He added a few trees that make his Mecca-oriented crescent less obvious, but do not affect its presence at all. In effect, the only change he made was to put a fake beard on!
The Memorial Project knowsSince last Fall, I have engaged in extensive efforts to warn the Memorial Project that the Memorial to Flight 93 has been hijacked. By now, the leadership of the Memorial Project is very aware of what is in Murdoch’s design, and has been engaging in ever more ludicrous excuses for allowing it to go forward.
Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley admits that Murdoch’s giant crescent is oriented almost exactly on Mecca but insists: “It has to be exact. That’s one we talked about. It has to be exact.”
Project Manager Jeff Reinbold admits that the Crescent/Bowl design has forty four glass blocks emplaced along the flight path, exceeding the number of our murdered heroes by the number of their murderers, but he says that if we are going to start counting numbers glass blocks in the design, we also have to count the windows in the Visitors Center.
These rationales are being used, not just to dismiss concern about the Islamic and jihadist elements of Murdoch’s design, but as excuses for not telling the Flight 93 family members, who took on the responsibility of choosing an appropriate memorial design, what the project leadership knows.
Family member Gordon Felt told the press in February that my information had been investigated and debunked, which he had presumably been told by Superintendent Hanley. Joanne Hanley’s boss Mary Bomar sent me a letter in March saying that Hanley had told her the same thing. Thus Hanley is admitting to me in private that she accepts my analysis of near-exact-Mecca-orientation for Murdoch’s crescent, but has been telling other people that she has verified my information to be wrong.
There is now an internal investigation ongoing at the Department of Interior to determine whether Hanley has properly examined the information I sent her. Even so, Murdoch’s terrorist-memorial proceeds like a juggernaut. The current comment period may be the last chance to stop it.
Comment periodHere is one of the “Key Decisions” that the Project is seeking comment on:
What .. types of visitor experiences … are desired and consistent with the mission statement?The mission of the Flight 93 National Memorial is to:
Honor the heroism, courage and enduring sacrifice of the passengers and crew of Flight 93;Commentators are then asked to choose which plan they think best fulfills this mission statement:
Revere this hallowed ground as the final resting place of heroes who sacrificed their lives so that others would be spared;
The No Action Alternative and the Preferred Design Alternative [Murdoch's Crescent/Bowl of Embrace] are described in Chapter II. Each alternative description includes a management zoning map and a corresponding description of the desired resource conditions, intended visitor experience, and types and intensities of visitor uses.Building a terrorist memorial mosque on the crash-site does not honor the heroism of the passengers and crew of Flight 93. It honors their murderers. It does not revere hallowed ground. It desecrates hallowed ground.
My comment to the Memorial Project. If anyone wants to come up with their own choice words that commentators can cut and paste, send me a link and I will post it here.
People might also want to send their comments to Memorial Project Chairman John Reynolds (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to Superintendent Hanley's boss Mary Bomar (email@example.com). The Project has a history of ignoring information and criticism. CCing comments to the Project's overseers could help.
It points to the White HouseMy earlier blog posts contain many details about what is in Murdoch’s terrorist memorial, and more will be coming out when I make all of my information public. For now here is one new tidbit that followers of the Memorial story may find interesting. Not only does Murdoch’s giant central crescent point to Mecca, it also points to the White House (the presumptive target of Flight 93, before the passengers and crew of the hijacked airplane stormed the cockpit and smashed their murderers into the Western Pennsylvania countryside). Just draw a line across the tips of the separate rear crescent that is formed by the radial arbors of trees:
Figure 5: The crash-site to White-House line (in black), has the same slope as a line across the tips of the heavy rear crescent of the Crescent of Embrace.
[The White House sits just about at the middle of the “i” in “Washington” on this Yahoo map. It is used here as the Washington end of the superimposed Shanksville-to-Washington line. Yahoo’s red star marks downtown Shanksville. The crash site is about three miles north and slightly east of downtown Shanksville, which according to Yahoo’s distance scale, puts it just to the right of the top of the star. A line through the White House and the crash-site (depicted) turns out to have the same slope as a line across the tips of Murdoch’s rear crescent (129° clockwise from north).]
Now you know why the crescent of radial arbors at the back of the Crescent of Embrace (unchanged in the Bowl of Embrace redesign) is not symmetrical with the full crescent. It has a different job to perform. The full crescent gives the direction to Mecca. The rear crescent gives the direction to the target that the terrorists were trying to destroy. The full crescent is a mosque element (one of many). The rear crescent is a terrorist-memorializing element (one of many).
UPDATE: Eugene Frowner has posted some very interesting graphical verifications of the Mecca and Washington orientations of Murdoch's giant crescent. He superimposed the site plan onto Google Earth images of the crash site then projected the orientations of the crescent across Google Earth's global images to check how closely they come to Mecca and the White House.
His Washington line actually hits the White House. My best estimate was that it passed just south of the White House, but I did not align the site plan with Google Earth's true-north images (I accepted the site-plan's specification of true north as accurate) so Eugene's projection could be more accurate than mine.
Eugene's Mecca orientation is also comes close to my estimates. His projection of the bisector of the crescent passes about a hundred miles north of Mecca. My estimate was that it would pass about 175 miles north. But all of these estimates are within a couple of tenths of a degree of each other, which is about the maximum accuracy within which the orientations of Murdoch's crescent can be determined, given the pixel resolution of the site-plan graphics.
Thus it looks like Eugene has found a way to provide a purely graphical verification using Google Earth. What is missing is that he does not lay out all the steps that others would have to go through to recreate his graphics. If he can add a few footnotes so that others who are not so familiar with Google Earth can recreate his findings, this looks like a handy and accurate verification technique. END UPDATE
Public meeting on July 20thThe Memorial Project is holding a public meeting to present and discuss the choice between their Preferred Plan (the Crescent/Bowl of Embrace) and the No Action alternative. Any readers from the Western Pennsylvania area are encouraged to come by, ask questions, and make your feelings known. (Email Western Pennsylvanian Bill Steiner if you want to coordinate on the ground effort.)
I will be at the meeting. So will architect Paul Murdoch.
I’ll even let Hanley and Reinbold know in advance what question I will ask, if I get a chance:
“Superintendent Hanley and Project Manager Reinbold have both acknowledged to me in private that they do not dispute that the original Crescent of Embrace was oriented almost exactly on Mecca (such that a person facing directly into the crescent would be facing almost exactly at Mecca). Are they willing, here in public, to acknowledge this Mecca-orientation?”
And my follow up:
“Have they apprised the Flight 93 family members of this information?”
Reporters are encouraged to ask these same questions.
UPDATEA commentator at LGF (thanks for the link Charles) notes that the Comment criteria could be interpreted to exclude criticism of the design of the memorial itself:
All comments will become part of the public record and substantive comments will be addressed in the Final GMP/EIS. Substantive comments are considered to be those that focus on the technical accuracy of the information presented in the document, not the personal opinion of the commenter.Further provisions, however, open the door to all the relevant criticism:
- Is there information that is missing that should be included in the Final GMP/EIS in order for the agency to make a better informed decision?As noted earlier, a “Key Decision” to be made is whether the planned memorial satisfactorily fulfills the Mission Statement of the Project: to honor the heroes of Flight 93. The fact that the design is actually the blueprint for a terrorist memorial mosque is certainly “information that is missing that should be included… in order to better make an informed decision” on this question.
- Does the Draft GMP/EIS fully evaluate the potential effects of the proposed action?
Seen in this light the seemingly exclusionary criterion mentioned by the LGF commentator is actually not so exclusionary either. Omitting the fact that the design is a blueprint for a terrorist memorial mosque is certainly a deficiency in “the technical accuracy of the information presented.” Thus any attempt by the Memorial Project to exclude criticism on the grounds that objection to building a terrorist memorial mosque on the crash-site will be purely disingenuous, which means in turn that they will certainly try it. Anyone who wants to guard against this might just note explicitly in their comments that the voluminous damning evidence of Islamic and jihadist intent is “missing information that should be included.”
My model comment here.
CORRECTION: I originally mispelled Etaoin Shrdlu's name as Eaotin Shurdlu. Thanks to Ben F, who passes on the explanation:
It's a code-breaker's mnemonic, and also a feature of Linotype machines. E is the most frequent letter in the English language. Followed by t, then a, etc.Ben also posts an interesting observation about the enabling legislation.
Foreign Object Damage
Oh, and your amazing "bisecting line" that points to Mecca isn't even close to "perfectly bisecting" the crescent, and in fact comes out the back of the crescent rather than the open front, which is what you'd expect if it was deliverately oriented towards Mecca. Which it clearly isn't.
Why don't you go back to analysing the Face on Mars and leave the serious business of grieving for the victims of that day to the grown-ups? You should be ashamed of your blatant self-aggradisement, but I suspect you've started to convince yourself that all this bullshit is actually true.
I feel sorry for both the National Parks staff and the families who have to endure your batshit crazy ramblings.
Coming so soon after their giant death ray cut a swath through Northern America and killed 10 million people, it's disgusting that the culture of the Xindi is even alluded to in this shrine to earth's freedom.
Can you tell us if you have any overt or clandestine Xindi connections that might explain your silence on this issue?
"Oh, and your amazing "bisecting line"...in fact comes out the back of the crescent rather than the open front, which is what you'd expect if it was deliverately oriented towards Mecca. Which it clearly isn't".
You may be aware that the earth is round. This means that a line coming out the open front will ALSO hit Mecca.
Not even Murdoch was arrogant/stupid enough to put a star in the crescent.
Gridlock and Richard,
You both miss the point. Islamic imagery has no place in a 9/11 monument, except in a derogatory, accusative way. Also, Murdoch went out of his way to omit any trace of classicly American patriotic imagery. Even design students will tell you that was strictly intentional.
Read my post(s) on the LGF thread. Hint: the one who sounds nuts stares back at you in the mirror.
I have images to all who would like me to email them to you. Maybe someone can post them.
BUT the line pointing to Mecca is not so untrue. I drew a perfect line around the globe to Mecca and it is indeed very close. In fact the line points straight through the Dead Center of Saudi Arabia and into the Center of Yemen. I also have images.
How bout we put up some stuff that indicates how fake those "cell phone calls" are? maybe we can put some voice-over equipment in the center.
Let's get historical! let's include some imagery of the Reichstag burning of 1933. That would at least provide some perspective....
How about a big rock with a brass plaque listing names and such? Come on...
Sheesh, this thing seems to be designed with the intention of honoring the freeking architect, not those on flt 93.
Is there anything this big at Gettysburg? The Vietnam memorial?
It looks likely that I will return to the US in September sometime. And to what will I return? A dysfunctional country, about to become the next Afghanistan (theocratically), Argentina (economically) or Weimar Republic Germany (politically), or all three? A country where the sense of the body politic has become so skewed and twisted that mere involvement has become dirty, like getting caught a la Pee Wee in a porn house? I loveAmerica and Americans, but some tendencies we have are definitely counter productive, such as the tendency to give up on society when things get tough and stock your basement with canned goods and pack away the extra ammo.
Looks like based on the contents of your blog, you've seemed to give up yourself.
You're wrong about this issue not having anything to do with us. You have no right to speak of this. You don't even want to live in USA. This appears to have less to do with you and more to do with people who haven't given up on the USA. All who live here and want to remain are trying to recover from the damage self hating and guilt ridden have done to the spine and integrity of this county since the 1960's.
People need to learn and understand who our the nature of our enemy and why there is a crater there. This seems more than you are willing to tolerate. I wouldn't bother coming back if that's how you feel. All you will do is just find more of what you seem to be looking for. A reason to leave again.
Part of dysfunctional behavior is not taking any personal responsibility for your life. Sorry about your friend though. Each has to choose their own personal path. May he be in peace. What will you do with yours? Keep punching America in the balls?
I look forward to watching groups of Muslims using the bowl of embrace to orient themselves towards Mecha, and to seeing them place flowers etc. on the blocks meant to recognize the true heroes of that day. Also, it should be fun seeing Muslims around the world visiting this site to remember their sacrifice. I only worry that Christians and Zionists may protest such activities, and so I think security fencing to keep the infidels out should also be included.
Thank you very much for this wondeful tribute.
But arrogant/stupid enough to try to slip a 9/11 monument based on a Islamic symbol past the entire country, yes?
Honestly. I don't know where you guys get some of these ideas.
my post(s) on the LGF thread.
Ah. Now I understand.
This can't be an accident. The center of the Cresent goes directly through Jerusalum and then to 80 miles of Mecca. I have all the files for anyone who wants them.
Seriously, why would you support such a symbol being used in this type of memorial? Would you support using a swastika as the defining shape chosen for a memorial to Holocaust victims?
"But arrogant/stupid enough to try to slip a 9/11 monument based on a Islamic symbol past the entire country, yes?"
Ummm. Yes. Apparantly you didn't read, didn't understand, or discounted this very post.
"Honestly. I don't know where you guys get some of these ideas."
Connecting the dots. You know, your talking point from the 9/11 hearings?
NO recognizeably American symbology. A crescent, the closest Islamic analoque to a cross. Forty-four translucent blocks, which accounts for the terrorists. A minaret, combined with a mini-mosque layout. A layout emphasizing passivity, totally ignoring their attempted retaking of the airplane. The name: Crescent of Embrace.
With all those dots, only the willfully blind will miss the pattern. But that's typical for denizens of DailyKOS and (un)Democratic Underground.
You need help. I'll pray for you, and suggest that you try to read LGF with humility, raTHer than arrogance.
You just might learn something. As it stands, you know nothing.
1) For symbolism's sake, why not orient this thing along another meaningful direction, like, say, the actual flight path of Flight 93? Or the original flight path. Or true north. What's the significance of the direction it's facing now?
2) Why isn't the ACLU all over this due to its religious shape (intended or not)?
3) Of all the symbols in the world, how is it that this happens to look like a crescent, if it wasn't intended?
To quote Kent Brockman: And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.
Maybe it's secret signal technology buried into the glass pieces are going to infect all those that visit the shrine with "the ghey".
Or maybe it's the Oldsmobile symbol! It's a tribute to the gas guzzling Escapade!
No, wait, it's a tribute to the moon in it's crescent phase, when all of the Wiccans come out and perform horrible terrible sex acts and pervert our children!
Get some psychiatric help! I knew you at Harvard and you sound even worse now than you did then. There is a big reason they didn't let you back in. They recognized that you are seriously ill.
I and others have already tried to dissuade you from this madness and obsession - for example, it cannot be a 'mosque' if visitors will desecrate it daily by wearing shoes in it.
We've pointed out the errors in your thinking and methodology - for example, you used Mac Paint to calculate the direction of the arrow you drew on the plans posted on the internet, leaving an enormous margin of error. Any rational person would have gotten a copy of the plans and calculated from that for accuracy's sake.
We've pointed out your obsession with the topic and that the alarmists who egg you on are in it for their own fame and gain. And still you keep running along the same obsessive track - for years now - with no end in sight.
You need help. Please, for your father's sake if not your own, get help. Start here.
JohnQPublic is slightly more deranged than most, but is pretty much par for the course in TBogg land. He claims he knew me at Harvard. I never went to Harvard, and I think it is quite obvious that JohnQ did not either. He has some bizarre idea that pasting the site-plans for the Crescent of Embrace into Microsoft Paint and using Paint's pixel counting tools to calculate distances and angles is somehow induces "an enormous margin of error" and does not constitute looking at the plans. What does he see when he looks at the graphics in my post? Does he really not realize that he is looking at the site plans?
But this is how stupid the TBoggers are, and they positively REVEL in it. It is like they regard their stupidity as a defense mechanism: "You can't force me to think straight!" And then on top of it they are smug, like John Q and the preceeding Anonymous. Visitors from the moronosphere!
As someone, one half of whose family was almost wiped out by an earlier wave of terrorism in this country, I take great offense at the present design for the Flight 93 monument. Creating a monument that, however carefully the design firm's artists may try to conceal it, is in the end an Islamic Mihrab pointed at Mecca is obscene.
It is as if three of my ancestors, who were all murdered by Ku Klux Klan groups, were to have as their monument a statue of a strutting Klansman in robes and hood.
That is totally and utterly sick beyond belief.
--Mike Perry, Seattle, WA
it wasn't known at the time that the other Flight 93 Memorial in Arizona would also be shaped like a crescent. It also has a lot of liberal, or as they say, "moonbat" ideas engraved into it, too. Turns out one of the commissioners
of the Flight 93 memorial in Arizona wanted to have it commemorate the
hijackers as victims too. This gives added credance to my contention
that the Pennsylvania Flight 93 design is meant to be in the shape of a crescent, and not just accidentally so.
Video: Arizona 9/11 memorial designers wanted to commemorate hijackers
Some of the commissioners actually wanted to add 19 more characters to represent the deaths of the 19 terrorist murderers who killed the victims.
The commissioner interviewed, Paul Eppinger, defends it wholeheartedly, claiming that the inscription about "Middle East Violence Causes Attacks" reflects the "fact" that "our foreign policy for years has focused on total support of Israel."
He also thinks the inscription about the civilians errantly killed by a US airstrike in Afghanistan deserves to be there, as they're all -- 9/11 victims, battle casualties due to the War in Afghanistan -- "part of the tragedy, of war, terrorism, hatred, mistrust of everyone else."
AZ Memorial Designers Inspired by Chomsky
Where did the inspiration for that appalling leftist Arizona 9/11
memorial come from?
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