Elaine Meinel Supkis
I used to work in a skyscraper in Manhattan on Park Ave and 43rd St. My husband and several of our friends used to work in both WTC towers. Back in the 1970's, when the towers were new, we discussed the security and strength of the new WTC and found it seriously wanting. Over the years, we all lived through various scares involving planes and helicopters due to the fact that above all other cities, NYC has one of the biggest concentration of the world's biggest buildings, all on one very narrow island surrounded by several major airports. We all had narrow escapes from accidents falling from the skies. This also includes a military jet slamming into what used to be my home in Tucson, Arizona, during the 1970's. There is now a huge number of people who think they know how buildings work and they are now convinced the failure of the modern structures on 9/11 wasn't due to bad architectural choices. So time to address this issue, I say.
The real issue now is that Ron Paul is effectively out of the race ....whether he directly came out and said it or not. In his statement of thanks to his supporters (see below), he also announced he's cutting his staff way back. The message is clear.
The last Ron Paul 'money bomb' showed a substantial loss of support momentum...which was/is largely the result of his complete public disassociation and denouncement of the entire 911 Truth Movement during that national 'debate' several weeks ago.
That was either a bald-faced, enormous, lie to try to keep himself politically 'alive' ... OR that is HIS truth.
Either way, it cost him a lot of support.
Like myself, Ron Paul struggles to be rational or sane even if he has his own pet beliefs. We all have our own pet beliefs. But some become group manias. I remember in NYC, when Elvis died due to overdose of drugs. Almost immediately, the fabulous story popped up that he wasn't dead, he was hiding. I would even joke, 'Yeah, he has to hide from his own fans because they are insane.' Of course, none of these believers could explain why he had to hide. They just wanted to believe he was hiding. It was nearly impossible to get them to articulate the rational reasons for him faking his own death. The need for wishful thinking was very strong. The 'wish' element in the human mind is like a powerful drug. It triggers chemical changes which protects us from fears of our own mortality. It also triggers part of the 'fight or flight' parts of the brain. If we are in emotional pain, this dulls the pain. Indeed, it is very connected to the part of the human brain where religious impulses probably reside. Humans created religion during the Ice Ages. That time of terrible death and suffering as humans struggled to figure out how to hunt, how to use animal furs to cover our nakedness, how to create, care for and use fire. Indeed, most religions revolve around Ice Age problems. The devotion of the hearth and the calling of game being two very powerful and universal concerns. There are no humans on earth who don't have fire god stories. Just as there are no humans who don't have 'flood' stories which probably came from the era when the sudden melt caused world oceans to rise by 20 feet or more, very quickly.
Because we all have this part of our brains, we are also very vulnerable to dreams leaking into our waking world. Most people are blissfully unaware of their dreams but we all dream and the thoughts and desires awoken in these nocturnal lives can trip us up in the waking world. This cross-over effect always is part of our perceptions of what we like to call 'reality'.
When I began this news service, I decided to talk about things that interest me. And what has always interested me has been WWIII. My very first foray on the New York Times forums many years ago was, 'Can We Avoid WWIII?' thread I started there. All my life, avoiding this war has been my mission and my hope. If I want to stop this event, I have to talk about the Apocalypse. This religious horror is like a Grim Reaper who sits at the table, silent. Except when it stirs. We can hear it moving when we see the news, if we look carefully. Several times, the Reaper nearly swept us all aside. This began right after my 12th birthday. I was in Junior High at the time. On my birthday, I climbed into the foothills of the mountains where I could see all of Tucson. Standing under a saguaro I called, 'Saguaro Woman', I looked into the setting sun which was falling to the West right where Bavaquivari raises its warning finger to the sky. That mountain is also the Mountain of the Dead. As if in a dream, I could see the Vulturine figure of Death rising and I shuddered and went home to warn my father that we were in danger.
The very next day, a U-2 using a camera built and designed by my father, photographed what might have been missiles being taken to Cuba. My father is one of the founders of NASA as well as the CIA. He is a world expert in optics, rockets and covert activities. A few hours after the CIA got the pictures developed, the phone rang. The phone at this time was near my bedroom and I spied on my parents and exploited this to listen to their conversations. My dad often went to DC but this was different. As soon as he hung up, he frantically packed his bags. I thought he would drive off to the airport. But instead, from Davis Monthan came a helicopter. It landed in the horse pasture. My dad ran out and disappeared. We didn't see him for more than a week. Later, he told us how he was flown to DC in a two-seater military jet. He wore a helmet and had a parachute which we kept.
I was not easily fooled by the TV news. I often had inside information and thus knew when the news was lying about things. According to the official timeline, on October 17, President Kennedy met with my dad who had already looked carefully at the photos and had finally confirmed they were missiles. All the top brass were there and my father, being very classified, was also there but never gets mentioned due to him being 'invisible'. But Kennedy knew that my dad was friends with General Eisenhower and was very respected for his cool mind and lack of hysteria. He carefully explained the options and various possibilities and then stood aside. As the discussions began to be very dangerous, my father got on the phone to warn my mother.
I was in school so I didn't hear this call. At this point in time, virtually no one outside of the very top elites have the slightest idea a terrible confrontation was brewing. Our mother gives us instructions for what to do. If we hear many jets taking off from the military base, we are to drop everything and run like hell for the hills, even if we can't make it home, we are to leave the valley and go into the foothills of Mt. Lemmon and always keep the mountain's hills between ourselves and the line of sight of the valley of Tucson.
For the next week, the US and Russia were on the sword's edge of WWIII. Discussions of clearing cities were rejected. A lunatic suggestion that people would be safer in these Ground Zeros was actually broached by an unknown person during the meetings on October 24th. From the Kennedy Library Tapes which were declassified 10 years ago: Tape 36.1-36.1A, October 24, time unknown: Consideration of civil defense options and planning for possible Soviet responses in Berlin:
JFK concludes that if we invade in the next ten days, the missile base crews in Cuba will likely fire at least some of the missiles at US targets. He asks whether we could evacuate civilian populations from cities a few days before the invasion. [2:50] Response (voice unidentified) is that cities actually provide the best protection against radiation. [Source: JFK Library release notes prepared by Sheldon M. Stern] This tidbit of advice was given even though it was patently, obviously insane. I grew up in queer places like where various secret government programs were in effect, preparing for WWIII. So I had a very good idea how destructive these things were. I knew that Tucson would be vaporized in WWIII due to the ring of nuclear missiles there as well as the air force base. We kids had already blazed our own secret trails through the foothills into the mountains as our potential escape routes. If my dad had taken me to the White House with him, I would have given Kennedy a graphic description of what a nuclear bomb would do to a city. And why he shouldn't even consider exposing anyone to any of this, no matter what. But the same people who nuked two civilian cities in Japan and who knew perfectly well what hell awaited anyone exposed to a nuclear attack, they were not sane enough to explain this to the President.
And why didn't Kennedy, a military man himself, know this? I would suggest the occult nature of the nuclear program meant that things we take for granted today, were not known EVEN BY PEOPLE AT THE TOP back then. My own first raging battle with my dad dates from this period. I knew to run but I couldn't tell anyone else to run for the hills and the President wasn't going to tell anyone to run for the hills. I was outraged by this. I remember arguing with my playmates, trying to convince them that if I began to run straight for Mt. Lemmon, they were to come with me no matter what, no questions asked. They all promised to do this but thought I was joking. After all, the President was on TV telling us that all was under control. Two U-2s were shot down trying to take closer photos because my father thought the first ones were too fuzzy. This escalated the tensions, needless to say. Well.....Khruschev wasn't insane and neither was JFK and they resolved this via the old fashioned tools of diplomacy. Things were heating up between India and China and back then, the US imagined China was allied with Russia. My father came home and he took my mother off to India where they had many interesting adventures I can't tell anyone about.
The reason I bring all this up is several-fold: one thing we must remember is, the Pentagon is filled with people who don't really want to understand the nature of nuclear war. The think tank guys are supposed to imagine this but they also cannot do this since they all are doomed by religious wishful thinking as I explained earlier. I know this sort of mind-set. The idea that WWIII could be terminal or destroy too much of civilization, this just doesn't occur to them. They wipe it out of their thoughts. This inability to imagine the obvious is an important tool the mind uses to avoid fear of death. This tool we use to be 'sane' actually can make us be 'insane'. Weighing in the mind, the scales of justice and death is important and if this is killed off, humans can drive themselves into situations that lead to great destruction. Which is why honest discussion is so important. And the one thing the people charting the course of our nation don't want is exactly that: honest discussions. But events are forced upon us and we have to grapple with a thousand Gordian Knots! And the only way to do this is to look good and hard at reality and not fool ourselves. And we have to keep things in perspective. And understand how we can be sidetracked, lied to or self-deceiving. The human mind is a very dangerous thing indeed.
'That was forty,' said O'Brien. 'You can see that the numbers on this dial run up to a hundred. Will you please remember, throughout our conversation, that I have it in my power to inflict pain on you at any moment and to whatever degree I choose? If you tell me any lies, or attempt to prevaricate in any way, or even fall below your usual level of intelligence, you will cry out with pain, instantly. Do you understand that?'
'Yes,' said Winston.
O'Brien's manner became less severe. He resettled his spectacles thoughtfully, and took a pace or two up and down. When he spoke his voice was gentle and patient. He had the air of a doctor, a teacher, even a priest, anxious to explain and persuade rather than to punish.
'I am taking trouble with you, Winston,' he said, 'because you are worth trouble. You know perfectly well what is the matter with you. You have known it for years, though you have fought against the knowledge. You are mentally deranged. You suffer from a defective memory. You are unable to remember real events and you persuade yourself that you remember other events which never happened. Fortunately it is curable. You have never cured yourself of it, because you did not choose to. There was a small effort of the will that you were not ready to make. Even now, I am well aware, you are clinging to your disease under the impression that it is a virtue. Now we will take an example. At this moment, which power is Oceania at war with?'
'When I was arrested, Oceania was at war with Eastasia.'
Recently released secret documents in London showed that George Orwell was spied on by the British Government. All governments use schools to indoctrinate and propagandize populations. Religious organizations have parallel operations that do the same thing. Repetition coupled with wiping out important information we get accidentally is part of it, too. And planting false information, false memories, false beliefs is very much a powerful tool used in these doctrinaire battles. In the Vietnam war, the Pentagon talked about winning hearts and minds and I would joke, we won hatred and are driving ourselves insane. How can madmen win hearts and minds? It is impossible. Today, we hear more about winning hearts and minds in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, all over the place. Only we are losing our minds and winning hatred. The more the neo-cons toil to win hearts and minds, the more agonized everyone is. The need to understand why the US is at 'war' with a billion Muslims is of highest importance. When the US was reeling from the 9/11 attacks, Bush asked us to NOT talk about all this because we were 'good guys' and besides, the attackers were hitting us due to our love of liberty and freedom, not because we are oppressing, butchering and stealing in the Muslim world communities. The whole nation, going insane together, collectively decided the last thing we should examine is this life and death issue.
When I began my news service, it was due to more than one 'liberal' [sic] web site banning me or censoring me whenever I began to try to discuss bin Laden, the Palestinian people, the history of Judaism, WWII and the coming Apocalypse that WWIII will be. Even here, readers have begged me to never ever use the word, 'Jew', for example. Indeed, the need to stop the discussion of all this is very powerful for it has been implanted in our brains since WWII and the US use of nuclear bombs. Just as we are supposed to ignore the possibility that all our cities might be vaporized in one day, we have to ignore the hair triggers that have developed all over the world.
When Reagan was running for President, the space exploration community which I was part of was torn asunder by all this. Many were fearful of nuclear war since we were part of the think-tank system that was supposed to think about all this. I explained the need to apply diplomacy and to spread knowledge and make cultural contacts while the other side wanted to build a missile shield. William Safire told me, 'If we succeed, we can annihilate Russia!'
I was horrified and said, 'They will attack us before we put in the system for they expect us to attack them. This is insanity! There is no defense but diplomacy!' Reagan began to work on the missile defense system which is STILL ON GOING. The US space program has been running on half-steam all these years and China is rapidly catching up on us. Even as the Chinese showed us our system is useless, it continues out of inertia and because it makes people lots of money. But it would turn the world into a super-hair-trigger situation. Kennedy had two weeks to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the future, we will have two hours. So we have to worry about this possibility.
Back to the Middle East: Israel has nukes. The US never discusses this in public. It is still very much a state secret and the fact that Israel, a mad nuclear power, can launch WWIII unilaterally, is an issue the US public should discuss, urgently. And 9/11 is an important part of all this. For in the wake of that attack, the vast majority of Americans wanted to instantly respond with our own nuclear bombs...right next to China and Russia, in Afghanistan.
Now, on to the next topic: why people can't talk about WWIII but will stake their lives on discussions that are fruitless about skyscraper architecture and jets:
World Trade Center design. Click on image to enlarge:
The WTC buildings were crummy buildings. The design was made so there were no interior walls connecting the outer skin to the inner core. As we can see here, there are NO internal supports. The steel beams holding the cement floors were very precariously attached at both ends to the inner and outer parts of the building. I am a person who likes multiple-level systems so the failure of one part doesn't turn things into a house of cards. More than once in my life, I have walked past scaffolding only to turn back and warn the people using it, they hadn't secured it sufficiently. Then, if I am ignored, the scaffolding eventually collapses. The World Trade Center was a new concept and alas, a very bad concept. The thought was, nothing could ever happen that would need interior walls to support the weight of the building in a failure. We know obviously that this is true. Far from being solid structures, they were very weak. The outer skin was not stone, brick, cement and steel with interspacing windows. It was all windows with little between these things. I marveled at this and it made me very queasy. From the first day David worked on the 64th floor of the North Tower, I began to talk to him about leaving. Which he finally did.
The building was also known for its helicopter service to John F. Kennedy International Airport, a seven-minute flight that left from the rooftop helipad. This service was offered only between December 21, 1965 and February 18, 1968 and for a few months in 1977 and was ended after a spectacular accident that killed five people. On May 16, 1977, a broken landing gear caused a parked Sikorsky S-61L with rotors still turning to tip over, killing four people who were outside the helicopter waiting to board, including exploitation filmmaker Michael Findlay. Part of a rotor blade sailed over the side of the building and killed a pedestrian on the corner of Madison and 43rd Street. Two other people were seriously injured.
Another notorious moment in the building's history was Eli M. Black's historic suicide on February 3, 1975. The CEO of United Brands Company (now Chiquita Brands International) used his briefcase to shatter an external window and then jumped out of the forty-four story window to his death on Park Avenue. This incident was an inspiration for a similar suicide in the 1994 film, The Hudsucker Proxy.
Modern buildings take advantage of lighter materials. But these are more vulnerable than older materials. Due to the nature of older brick, steel and mortar, the earlier sky scrapers like the one I worked in midtown, were far, far narrower and denser than the WTC or any of the other Trade Center buildings. When I worked in midtown, the government decided to begin again, the use of helicopters to fly people from the Pan Am building to Kennedy Airport. I had a bird's eye view of that helipad. Not only was it very noisy when I was trying to make international calls, it was nerve wracking. We always wondered if these would crash on us and one day, the blades flew off of one and killed a secretary. We all rose up in rage and demanded the city stop this madness. Whenever it was foggy, we would all remember how a WWII bomber flew into the Empire State Building after nearly clipping the building I was in. Being virtually at the top, I knew this was no small consideration. Recently, a Yankee picture plunged his plane into a building very nearby. But most of the midtown structures are older buildings. They don't have flat roofs. They are not solid windows. The new style is to have no exterior that is stronger than glass. So if anything were to slice into these buildings, they are destabilized. Unlike the older buildings.
Comparing the present with the past in the world around us can be an important learning experience. Such was the case for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in the difficult task of conducting an evaluation of the World Trade Center (WTC) and surrounding buildings.
On September 11, 2001, airplanes struck two 110-story office towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The towers (WTC 1 and WTC 2) collapsed in less than two hours, and another building in the complex (WTC 7) collapsed later in the afternoon. These buildings had few or no masonry components. All of the surrounding buildings suffered damage from falling debris, wreckage, and fire from the towers. While the impact of portions of the collapsing buildings did the majority of harm, there was also damage from flying debris and air to the masonry used in their construction.
Below is a diagram showing clearly how the floors are barely attached to anything, they had these small clips holding them up!
The WTC used to hold the record for the most cement used in a building. But due to its size, the mass of the cement wasn't as great as smaller buildings. But the volume was gigantic. When the structures failed, they rained many tons of dust, stone and metal upon all the buildings surrounding them. The weight of all this, when it landed on FLAT roofs, was very tremendous. The older buildings didn't have vast, flat roofs so they didn't suffer from this weight load.
Masonry Performance: Verizon Building, 140 West Street
One of the closest neighbors to the WTC site, the 30-story Verizon building, is a steel-framed brick building constructed circa 1924. The typical floors, composed of concrete-encased steel beams and girders, are redundant and robust. The exterior face of the perimeter framing is encased in brick and serves as both exterior wall and infill. Header bricks connect the exterior brick to the backup and support the weight of the exterior wythe. Columns are also brick encased.
The façade, floors, and framing of the south and east sides of the building sustained heavy damage, as did several exterior columns. Although the framing deflected as much as 2 ft into the building, the masonry infill restrained the columns from collapse. The steel structure was not affected. None of the damage threatened the structural integrity of the building. And although there was a substantial fire in WTC 7, there were no fires reported in this building. It was never out of service. The structure was shored and repaired.
It is hard for people who are not experts to understand how fragile modern skyscrapers are. Much smaller buildings have caught on fire and not collapsed but then, they didn't have a huge hunk of the building's structure severed, first. And smaller planes cause smaller damage. There is no comparison with the WTC and the debris field this collapse caused. The only things that are similar are of course, nuclear bombs. But the failure of these buildings was probably inevitable since the structure was not aging well, in the first place. All buildings age and when the towers were going up, many of us said, 'How on earth can this be taken down safely?' I remember well, how the Port Authority said, the land around the Towers would be kept clear so that wouldn't be a problem. Only they didn't keep it clear at all, they kept building closer and closer and closer!
Masonry improved the performance of the Verizon building because:
Perimeter brick masonry walls absorbed much of the impact from both WTC 1 and WTC 7, resulting in less damage to the steel structure.
Masonry infill of the exterior wall provided a redundant load path and helped prevent collapse.
Framing damage was localized, partially due to masonry infill.
Exterior brick headers held the upper brick from collapsing above a damaged section.
Brick encasement of the columns and concrete encasement of the steel framing provided fire and impact resistance.
Built-up sections appeared to be more ductile and better able to absorb energy along with the masonry infill.
The building did not experience fire damage—masonry and (safety glass) windows limited penetrations through exterior walls.
In the towers themselves, the stairwell and elevator walls were constructed
of gypsum products. Evidence indicates most of the floors of impact were
damaged and rendered unusable. While it is presumptuous to assume that
masonry enclosures would have survived the attacks, it is obvious that more
durable wall systems would have improved chances for survival for occupants
above the level of impact. Future research should be devoted to evaluating
and developing durable, fire-rated egress enclosures for high-rise buildings.
Reinforced masonry and concrete are two effective solutions that can be used
without further development.
Example after example demonstrates how masonry helped prevent greater
destruction during the World Trade Center disaster. Some of the lessons learned:
Older framed buildings with masonry components performed generally better than newer buildings with lightweight curtain wall construction.
Masonry (walls, beams, partitions, infill) served as fireproofing and provided significant structural redundancy.
Masonry infill absorbed impact energy to minimize damage locally.
Masonry veneers and panelized systems are readily repaired.
Masonry proved in this event that it does more than simply enclose space; it
provides fire protection, structural capacity, and even structural redundancy.
It can provide safer enclosures for stairways or other exit routes, affording egress in high-rise buildings during emergencies.
The stairwells were built of SHEETROCK! Not cement. I remember those stairs and thought this was tacky back then. The lack of interior walls that were solid has much more to do with the collapse than anything else. These were bad buildings from day one. This is not unusual in architecture. For example, I had to fix many buildings in NYC that had 'cock-roofs'. This meant, a row of houses all had the same attic with no divisions. If one house caught on fire, they all burned. The city made this illegal long ago but the 'grandfathered' ones remained. And I would go in and build partitions. And these had to be fully fireproofed! Even small gaps had to be sealed carefully. We also know that houses in California with wooden fences are a danger to the neighborhood in places where the Santa Ana winds blow. Even today, such fences are still not outlawed. Though roofs made with wood are.
Buildings fail all the time. Bridges collapse. Dams give way. Space shuttles blow up. This is part of the hazards of life. But the thing we should worry about is how our leaders are leading us to possible wars. The level of complicity and carelessness or active engagement of the neo-cons and the Bushes in the 9/11 attacks cannot be proven unless we get ahold of all the classified documents and certainly, I call upon our government to release absolutely everything, all of it. But look at how long we had to wait for the Kennedy tapes! Over 30 years. Information about my father's activities in WWII weren't released until the mid-1980s. There is no excuse, none, for any of this secrecy!
All my life, I have demanded openness. The Bushes are tremendously secretive. They have withheld from Congress and the American people, incredible amounts of information we need to make wise choices, to avoid wars, to protect ourselves. Instead, we get a compliant Congress conspiring with him to impose upon us, many vile and unconstitutional laws and regulations which destroy our historic freedoms and rights. Congress has had a thousand reasons to impeach Bush and Cheney but will not do this. Instead, we are being herded along the path of war by all parties.
Kucinich is being attacked by the AIPAC/DNC because he talked about the forbidden stuff: the looming wars, bin Laden, our relations with Israel. Ron Paul suddenly has to go home to defend his own turf for the same reason. The conspirators who run both the top of the Democratic and Republican parties are anxious to make examples of the only two men I supported for President. Like Jimmy Carter, they will be driven out of public life. Both were make deliberately nearly as invisible as I am and for the same reasons: they can see what is going wrong and know that the neo-Nazi Jewish state is at the very root of this toxic tree of death.
We have to keep our focus on what matters! Stopping Israel's mad rush into WWIII is of highest importance. The fine details as to who did what on 9/11 won't be known unless we first flush out of Washington, the flood of money from pro-war lunatics who dream of world domination! The flood of money corrupting our system, the flood of money that is rapidly erasing anyone who talks about Israel's contributions to our deteriorating financial and diplomatic condition!
This is a very dangerous game. It is no fun, trust me on this. Several times in my life, people offered to make my life easier if I just drop this matter and never ever mention the Apocalypse and how Christians, Muslims and Jews will create it. If I were to talk about real estate or fluffy kittens or the weather, this is OK. But talking about WWIII is not OK! And are we ready for it?
Good grief. We no longer have even the pretense of trying to have any civil defenses. And this, too, is deliberate. Instead of talking about Building #7, if people could go in public and demand an end to the ethnic cleansing, if we could all demonstrate against the apartheid regime in Palestine, this and only this will save us from the looming horrors of the Apocalypse. And we have to force the Christians to face this. too. They have to see how they cannot beg Jesus to come just because the Age of Pisces is ending. Lord spare us! To see all humanity killed because a shift in the constellations don't match the theology is just too unbearable to think!