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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Insane statements from the Flight 93 Memorial Project

Great article by Paula Ward in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette today about Tom Burnett Sr.'s denunciation of the Flight 93 Memorial. (Mr. Burnett's remarks about Islamic symbolism in the memorial design here.)

Paula quotes a host of principles from the memorial debacle making the most insane statements. Daniel Lovering's AP article, "Flight 93 Memorial Design Worries Father," is drawn from Paula's article, but omits the revealing quotes. Here is a rundown:


The diabolical Daniel Griffith


The central feature of the planned memorial is a half mile wide crescent, originally called the Crescent of Embrace. In answer to my claim that a person facing directly into the giant crescent will be facing almost exactly at Mecca, up pops a Rasputin-like figure, acting as a consultant to the the Flight 93 families:
Daniel Griffith, a geospatial information sciences professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, said anything can point toward Mecca, because the earth is round.
On the other side are the one billion Muslims who face Mecca five times a day to pray, all calculating the direction to Mecca by the "great circle" or "shortest distance" method. If only they knew about this stunning new mathematical advance by Professor Griffith they could save themselves so much effort. Indeed, we could all stop worrying about which direction to drive to work or which direction to fly our airplanes. Don't worry, be happy, the world is round! Is this guy on LSD?

Unfortunately for Mr. Griffith, I am in possession of the analysis of the orientation of the Crescent of Embrace that he sent to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review last year. The first thing his report does is calculate the direction to Mecca:
I computed an azimuth value from the Flight 93 crater site to Mecca of roughly 55.20°.
"Azimuth" is the technical term for "direction," measured in degrees clockwise from north. I get that the direction to Mecca from the crash site is 55.19° clockwise from north (one one hundredth of a degree different from Griffith's "roughly 55.20°"). Griffith and I both calculate the direction to Mecca by the "great circle" method, which one can think of as the straight-line direction to Mecca, curving only in the over-the-horizon direction, with no side to side movement.

This professor calculated the direction from the crash site to Mecca to two decimal points, yet now claims that there is no such thing as the direction to Mecca! He is flat out lying about his OWN analysis. A scan of Griffith's full report is attached at the bottom of this post. Griffith says that he does NOT give me permission to distribute this report, but I am confident that any file named "Tribune Review comments for distribution" is already in the public domain.

How the families happened onto this fiend is a great mystery. Does he think he is doing them a favor by telling them what they want to hear when they ask him for expertise?


Superintendent Joanne Hanley repeats Chairman Reynolds' ignorant assertion that the Washington Monument can be seen as as an Islamic prayer-time sundial


Just as Griffith claims that everything faces Mecca, John Reynolds, chairman of the Flight 93 Memorial Project, claimed in a recent newspaper interview that any tower shaped object (like the Tower of Voices portion of the Flight 93 Memorial), can be seen to be an Islamic sundial, if one wants to see it as such. (i.e. It is all in my head.)

On the contrary, an Islamic sundial is a very exact and particular structure. But Reynold's remarks are not just wrong. They prove he never even looked at my sundial analysis. He thinks that Islamic prayer times are determined by shadow angle (so that when the shadow of the Washington Monument crosses the surrounding security wall at the time for Islamic afternoon prayers, that spot on the security wall can be interpretted as marking the time for Islamic prayer, if one wants to interpret it that way).

But the first thing I explain in my sundial analysis is that Islamic prayer times are determined by shadow length, not shadow angle. Thus prayers commence at a different time every day (earlier as the days get shorter). That means they cannot be marked by a given spot on the security wall. Rather, the prayer line on an Islamic sundial must be placed an exact distance from the shadow caster, and it must follow an exact arc, which in the case of the Washington Monument, never goes anywhere near the granite security wall that Chairman Reynolds thinks could serve as an indicator for Islamic prayer times. I put together a graphic for him of where the end of the Monument's shadow lands at Islamic afternoon prayer time at different times of the year:

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When the shadow of the Washington Monument reaches the outer curved vertical, drawn in red, it is time for Islamic afternoon prayers. If there were a wall built along this line, THEN that wall could be interpretted as turning the Washington Monument into an Islamic prayer time sundial. Note that this would require moving the road and demolishing the building at the top, which blocks the end of the Monument's shadow from even eaching the ground between November 15th and January 15th. (Full explanation here.)

I informed Memorial Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley last week about the foolishness of Chairman Reynold's sundial remarks, yet she repeats them to the Post Gazette, proving that she too has never even looked at my sundial analysis:
As for the allegation that the Tower of Voices is really an Islamic sundial, Ms. Hanley said with an analysis like Mr. Rawls' then the Washington Monument could be perceived as one, as well.
Take a look for yourself at what Reynolds and Hanley are refusing to examine. The likeness between an traditional Islamic sundial and the Tower of Voices is overt:

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South is at the top in both images. In the photo of the traditional Islamic sundial (left) the gnomon shadow is just reaching the outer curved vertical, indicating time for afternoon prayers. Tower of Voices (right) is the second large scale structure in the Flight 93 Memorial. The crescent shaped tower sits amidst a vast array of crescents of trees, with this little (hundred yard wide) horseshoe-shaped ring of trees in the middle.

Shadow calculations confirm that, on any day of the year, when the shadow of the Tower of Voices reaches the inner arc of trees, it will be time for Islamic afternoon prayers.

Reynolds and Hanley both prove by their remarks that they have not even looked at my sundial analysis. They don't even know that Islamic prayer times are determined by shadow length! Yet they are claiming to have thoroughly investigated my warnings of terrorist attack and determined them to be a false alarm. In fact, they have been grasping for ignorant excuses NOT to investigate my warnings. Is it possible to be more irresponsible?

At least Superintendent Hanley does admit one key terrorist memorializing feature. Talking about the orientation of the crescent, she describes how the crescent is placed so that the crash site is situated between the crescent tips:
"The only thing that orients the memorial is the crash site," she said.
Murdoch admits it too:
"It's oriented toward the Sacred Ground," he said. "It just couldn't be clearer."
They both admit that the Flight 93 crash site is placed roughly between the tips of the giant crescent, leaving it in roughly the position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag. Doesn't Superintendent Hanley know that this is what caused the original outrage over the Crescent of Embrace design back in September 2005? That it was a bare naked Islamic crescent and star flag?

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Original Crescent of Embrace publicity photo from Paul Murdoch Architects shows a bare naked crescent and star flag on the crash site, plainly visible to commercial airplanes like Flight 93 cruising overhead. The copse of trees that is placed in roughly the position of the star on an Islamic flag marks the crash site.

The Bowl of Embrace redesign adds a few trees so that the crescent and star flag will not be quite so bare naked, but everything that you see in this original publicity photo remains completely intact in the so-called redesign. The crash site is still placed as the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag.


The hijacker speaks: architect Paul Murdoch denies that there is a 44th glass block on the flight path


One of the reasons that Tom Burnett Sr. is insisting that Tom Jr.'s name not be inscribed on one of the glass blocks in the planned memorial is because there are a total of 44 inscribed memorial glass blocks emplaced along the flight path, matching the number of passengers, crew AND terrorists. Asked about this suspicious glass block count, architect Paul Murdoch first quibbles about the terminology (in the design PDFs they are labeled "translucent marble" blocks, not "glass" blocks), then he feigns ignorance about the 44th block:
Regarding the claim that there are 44 glass blocks in the memorial, Mr. Murdoch vehemently disagreed, saying that, first of all, there is no glass block used in the design.

Instead, there are 40 inscribed marble panels listing the names of the passengers and crew at the gateway to the Sacred Ground, where their remains still rest.

There is then an opening in the wall, Mr. Murdoch said, and three additional panels, which would include the date, Sept. 11, 2001.

"Where the other one is being fabricated, I don't know," he said.
Reporter Paula Ward helps him out:
A separate glass plate will be located near the visitor's center and include the memorial project's preamble.
The only thing Paula failed to note in her fact checking is that this glass block by the visitor center is emplaced along the flight path, up at the upper crescent tip, where as Paul Murdoch describes it, the flight path breaks the circle, turning it into a crescent. Here is an image of this most impressive inscribed glass block (from the original Crescent of Embrace design PDFs, released by the Memorial Project):

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Oh THAT glass block! The 44th glass block on the flight path is at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway. As the walkway passes through the Entry Portals Walls, it breaks the circle in Paul Murdoch's explanation. What a lovely thought: that on 9/11, the terrorists smashed our liberty loving circle and turned it into a giant Mecca oriented crescent, and that huge damned 44th glass block on the flight path marks the spot!

Having used the flight path as a central theme of his design, Paul Murdoch is obviously well aware of the flight path and what is built along it. His claim that he can't figure out where there might be another glass block on the flight path is a typical Paul Murdoch lie.

We hosted an open design competition in time of war. We should have expected that the enemy would enter and try to win a memorial to their heroes instead of ours, and this is exactly what has happened. Paul Murdoch is trying to win a victory for the enemy. Is he a member of al Qaeda, or just a nihilistic trickster who wants to see what he can get away with? I can't answer that question. I do not know his motivation, but I do know what he is doing: that he is trying to stab a terrorist memorial mosque into the heartland of America.


Edward Felt, President of Families of Flight 93, calls Tom Burnett Sr. a sore loser


Talking to Mr. Burnett on the phone the other day, I learned a possible explanation for one of the more bizarre aspects of my dealings with the Memorial Project. I would explain to them how, unbeknownst to them, the memorial design they chose was actually a terrorist memorial mosque, and they would respond by extolling the "open and inclusive process" by which the design was chosen, adding: "we all understand and agree that the design neither depicts or was intended to imply any religious iconography." (Addendum 10, Exhibit 1.)

What??? Who cares what you THOUGHT. I am showing you what you MISSED. But then Tom explained to me that this was their reply to HIS criticisms too. When he continued to protest the Islamic symbolism in the Crescent of Embrace design, they dismissed him as a sore loser. Tom served on Jury Two and lost a democratic vote, hence was supposed to shut up now. (Strange view of democracy.)

As if on cue, Ed Root came out in the Somerset Daily American this morning attacking myself, and it seems Mr. Burnett as well, for refusing to accept the results of the vote that Tom lost:
To allow someone to destroy what so many others have worked so honestly and diligently to do, that's not democracy, that's tyranny.
No, Mr. Root. You are on a hijacked airplane and Tom Burnett and I are trying to save your life.

Faced with my new information, the Memorial Project just used their anti-Tom talking points as an excuse not to look at what I was telling them. They had already voted. What kind of undemocratic tyrant is the Rawls person, daring to warn us that we are under terrorist attack? And on it goes, through an entire, seemingly bottomless, Crescent of Betrayal.


Addendum: Professor Daniel Griffith's February 2006 report on blogger claims that a person facing into the Crescent of Embrace would be facing Mecca


Griffith focuses primarily on a post by Jonathan Haas at the Politicalities blog titled “It points towards Mecca.” Several other bloggers, myself included, also produced mathematical or graphical demonstrations of the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. In Griffith's report, we are referred to simply as “the bloggers," and are not referred to separately.
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My calculations are very close to Griffith's. I get that the direction to Mecca from the crash site is 55.19° clockwise from north, one one-hundredth of a degree different from Griffith's "roughly 55.20°."

To compare this direction to Mecca with the orientation of the crescent, I connect the most obtruding tips of the crescent structure, then form the perpendicular bisector of this line, finding that it points 1.8° north of Mecca. Griffith never even contests my analysis of the orientation of the crescent, or anyone else’s analysis. He simply assumes that these analyses are correct and goes on to note that there is an ex-Nazi prison camp between the crash site and Mecca. Thus according to Griffith, the crescent is pointing towards this Nazi prison camp, which would seem to be a confirmation, not a refutation, of its pointing towards Mecca.

Griffith told reporter Kirk Swauger at the Tribune Review that "it can point to a Nazi prison camp if you want," (from my notes of my discussion with Kirk on 7/20/07). He also told Kirk the same thing he told Paula Ward. In Kirk's words: "he said you can face anywhere to face Mecca." Griffith is clearly suggesting to Swauger that one can see the crescent as pointing to ANY prison camp if one wants. But that is not what his analysis says. Again, Griffith is lying about his own analysis. (Kirk's article, which mentions the prison camp claim, but not the "you can face anywhere to face Mecca" tidbit, here.)

Google searches do not immediately turn up any Darcey Nazi concentration camp, but Griffith's meaning is clear. He is saying that the crescent does point to this place, and notes that this would be a coincidence, using it show that the orientation of the crescent on Mecca could also be a coincidence.

The questions of whether the Mecca orientation of the Crescent of Embrace is a coincidence, and whether it would be okay to make the central feature of the Flight 93 Memorial a geometric twin to the central feature of a mosque, so long as it is by coincidence, are separate from the question from whether the Crescent of Embrace is indeed oriented on Mecca. Griffith's whole discussion of possible coincidence takes the orientation on Mecca as an established fact (which it is). But this is not what he is now telling the press. Now he is denying that there is any such thing as facing Mecca! Any Muslim would beg to differ.

Comments:
Please take pains to distinguish terrorists from the many millions of peaceful normal people who practice Islam. The terrorists want us to believe that Islam justifies violence -- it does not. Don't help them spread that lie. Thank you.
 
The last section of my book Crescent of Betrayal (called "Our World Divide,") is about distinguishing the good from the bad in Islam, as those who thought it would be bigoted to object to a crescent on the Flight 93 crash site failed to do. One cannot simply assume the best, as the left's multi-culturalist ethos demands. One must look at the facts. By avoiding the truth, those who thought they were extending a healing embrace to the good people of the Islamic world are instead embracing a monument to the worst of the Islamic world: the 9/11 terrorists.

Truth suppression is also at the bottom of the terrorist's present ideological domination of the Islamic world. The Koran says dozens of times that those who forget the law of Moses (highlighting in particular the Ten Commandments) will burn in Hell forever. There could be no clearer violation of the commandment not to commit murder (in the original Mosaic formulation) than the traditional Islamic death penalties for apostasy and blasphemy. Murder is any killing not in defense of self or others against violent attack, or conspiracy to violent attack.

Those who simply believe and speak differently (apostates and blasphemers) cannot be subject to violence under Mosaic law, but to say so is blasphemy under sharia law. This violent suppression of the truth is the Berlin Wall of Islam that must be torn down, and can be torn down. The truth can stop Murdoch's mosque, and it can free the Muslim world, if we just use our freedom to speak the truth.
 
I will never understand the total and complete refusal of so many leftists to use logic and reasoning when dealing with anyone whose views differ from their own. Their arrogant, superior attitudes and over inflated sense of self worth has completely blinded them to reality. Robert Spencer would call these fools Dhimmis. Don't be discouraged Alec Rawls, you have made many excellent points and thank you for speaking up for all your fellow Americans who agree that this "memorial" is insulting and disgraceful.
 
Remember in Islam, there is no Liberal Islam, No Moderate Islam, No radicle Islam, there is only Islam, and the only dialog with Islam is when you will convert.

If you are not Muslim, you are not part of the Dialoge.

Sgt. Cav.
 
Very useful material, much thanks for the article.
 
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