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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lying about the 44 blocks

When Tom Burnett Sr. came out against the Flight 93 Memorial, the press asked architect Paul Murdoch if there were really going to be 44 inscribed translucent blocks emplaced along the flight path (equaling the number of passengers, crew, AND terrorists). Murdoch acknowledged 43 of the blocks, but denied knowing about a 44th:
[T]here 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.
Yes he does. Paul Murdoch is fully aware of the large dedicatory glass block at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway:

44th glass block, at end of Entry Portal Walkway
Man and child stand in front of the 44th block, which forms the railing at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway. The glass block will be inscribed: "A field of honor forever." This Walkway provides visitors with their first view of the inside of the giant crescent. (From the Entry Portal page of the original design PDFs. Click pic for wider view.)

The flight path

The Entry Portal Walkway is built along the flight path. It signifies, in Paul Murdoch's own description, the terrorists breaking the circle and turning it into a giant crescent. The flight path then continues down to the crash site, which sits in the middle of the mouth of the giant crescent (in roughly the position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag).

Just before the impact point is the Memorial Wall, also built along the flight path. This two part wall is where the other 43 blocks will be placed (the ones described by Paul Murdoch above):

Memorial Wall with 43 glass blocks emplaced
The forty translucent blocks that run horizontally through the left hand section of wall (closest to the impact crater) will be inscribed with the names of the forty murdered heroes. The three on the right will be inscribed with the 9/11 date. (From the Sacred Ground Plaza page of the original design PDF's. Click pic for larger image. The alternating white and gray depicts the zig zag layout of the translucent blocks.)

Having used the flight path as organizing principle for his design, Paul Murdoch is obviously well aware of what is built along it. Here is a map showing the flight path and the locations of the 44 blocks. You can see that the Entry Portal Walkway and the Memorial Wall are the only structures on the flight path:

44 blocks map

Challenged by the father of one of our murdered heroes, Murdoch told a desperate lie, feigning ignorance of one of the most prominent features of his own design: the huge glass block that dedicates the entire site. This should have been the end of his hijack attempt, but Murdoch's deception was abetted by both the Memorial Project and the press.

The abettors

"That has been disproved so many times," said Bill Hayworth, the Memorial Project's PR flack, when asked about the 44 blocks. Would it have been too much for reporters to ask for this proof?

In fact Murdoch is the first one to ever even deny that there are 44 glass blocks on the flight path. The only earlier Memorial Project statement about the 44 blocks was from Project Manager Jeff Reinbold, who told me in an April 2006 conference call with Superintendent Hanley that the giant glass block can't be counted with the small glass blocks because it is bigger: "If we are going to count the big glass block with the small glass blocks," he said, "then we have to count the windows in the visitor center too." (Crescent of Betrayal, download 3, p. 146.)

"The windows in the visitor center are not on the flight path," I replied. I never said the 44 blocks were all the same size, and I never said there are no other pieces of glass in the Memorial. Reinbold's silly dodges do not contradict my 44 glass blocks claim in any way.

The press was also in on the deception. Kecia Bal, the reporter who quoted Hayworth's dismissal of the 44 blocks claim had already verified the block count for herself. I had earlier sent her close ups of all 44. She responded with a request for copies of the original design PDFs, so she could check the veracity of these close-ups for herself.

When Bal quoted Hayworth, she knew that Hayworth was wrong, and allowed him to mislead the public by suppressing her own fact checking of the 44 blocks. People can think that the 44 blocks are innocuous if they want, but lying about the block count certainly is not innocuous. Similarly for many the other lies that are being told in defense of the crescent design.

Memorial Project members insist that it is just coincidence that a person facing directly into the giant crescent will be facing almost exactly at Mecca, but that isn’t what they are telling the public. They are telling the newspapers that the Mecca-orientation claim is false, while acknowledging amongst themselves that the Mecca orientation is real.

Again and again Murdoch, the Memorial Project and the press are lying in concert to cover up the facts of the design. Some people will be unsure what to make of the many suspicious features of the crescent design but no one should doubt the need to expose and condemn those who lie about the facts.

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