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Sunday, October 14, 2007

The exact Mecca orientation of the Flight 93 Memorial

A person facing directly into the giant central crescent of what was originally called the Crescent of Embrace will be facing 1.8° north of Mecca. Defenders of the crescent have used the inexactness of its Mecca orientation to dismiss concern.
•Patrick White, Vice President of Families of Flight 93, argues that the giant crescent cannot be seen as a tribute to Islam because the inexactness of its Mecca orientation would be "disrespectful to Islam."

•Both major Pittsburgh newspapers are denying that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca.

•The internal investigation conducted by the Park Service denies that there is any such thing as almost:
...mihrab orientation either points to Mecca or it does not ... [it] cannot be off by "some" degrees. [From page 2 of report summary. Page 1 here.]
All of this willful blindness about the simple orientation of the crescent structure has been effective in keeping public inquiry from reaching a second startling fact: that the crescent design also contains a hidden exact Mecca orientation, corresponding to architect Paul Murdoch's own description of how the crescent structure should be interpreted.

Physical crescent tip vs. thematic crescent tip

What points not quite exactly at Mecca is the physical Crescent of Embrace structure (every particle of which remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign). Connect the most obtruding tips of the physical crescent, form the perpendicular bisector to this line (the bisector of the crescent), and it points 1.8° north of Mecca:

Inexact Mecca orientation of physical crescent
The green circle with "qibla" direction marked is from the Mecca-direction calculator at Islam.com. "Qibla" is Arabic for "prayer direction," which Muslims calculate as the "great circle" or "shortest distance" direction to Mecca.

But Paul Murdoch has also given a thematic explanation for the crescent structure, indicating how the thematic or "true" upper crescent tip should be understood. In Murdoch's description, the flight path breaks the circle, turning it into a giant crescent. Thus the thematic upper crescent tip is what is left of the crescent structure after the parts that are "broken off" by the flight path are removed. Take away the parts of the Entry Portal Walls that extend out beyond the flight path, connect the most obtruding tips of the remaining structure, and a perpendicular to this line points within a couple hundredths of a degree of Mecca (i.e. it points exactly at Mecca, as far as can be determined given the pixel resolution of the graphics).

The flight path is represented in the Crescent/Bowl design by the Entry Portal Walkway, which comes down from the NNW. The Walkway passes through the Entry Portal Walls and projects out into the crescent:

Take away the parts of the crescent structure that are "broken off" by the flight path, and the remaining crescent structure is oriented exactly on Mecca. (Click pic for larger image.)

[The above graphic was created by laying the Crescent of Embrace and the Bowl of Embrace site plans on top of each other. This was done to accurately capture the one real change that Murdoch made in the Bowl of Embrace redesign: the lengthening of the Entry Portal Walkway. (See "Memorial riddle #2: Why did Paul Murdoch lengthen the Entry Portal Walkway?) So that the new Walkway length can be seen, the low resolutionBowl of Embrace site plan is enhanced by overlaying it with the high resolution Crescent of Embrace site plan.]

The 44th inscribed translucent block on the flight path

At the end of the Entry Portal Walkway (marking the thematic or "true" upper crescent tip, according to Murdoch's own description), sits a large glass block, inscribed with LAFD Captain Stephen J. Ruda's dedication: "A common field one day. A field of honor forever."

This will be the 44th inscribed translucent block emplaced along the flight path, matching the number of passengers, crew, AND terrorists. 40 will be inscribed with the names of the 40 heroes (despite Tom Burnett's demand that Tom Jr.'s name not be used). Three three more will be built into a separate section of Memorial Wall that is centered on the bisector of the giant crescent (the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag). These three blocks will be inscribed with the 9/11 date. Thus the date goes to the Islamic star. The date goes to the terrorists.

By having the 44th glass block mark the thematic "true" upper crescent tip, and by having that thematic crescent tip create a hidden exact Mecca orientation for the giant crescent, Murdoch is able to tie his Islamic and his terrorist memorializing design features together into a perfect bin Ladenist embrace.


After all, it does not get much more naked than this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Or this:

Mecca orientation of crescent

Or this:

Sundial composite

The Walkway riddle: When Paul Murdoch extended the Entry Portal Walkway, he was doing more than just perfecting the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. This slight adjustment in the placement of the 44th block also perfected two other terrorist memorializing elements of Murdoch's mosque. Anyone who can figure out either of these elements before looking at the answer wins a glorious prize.


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