View Full Version : Worst day in US history?

09-11-2001, 10:57 AM
Can anyone think of a worse day?

09-11-2001, 10:58 AM
Not since the Civil War

09-11-2001, 11:48 AM
Poker seems pretty trivial today. To all my American friends on the Forum, and especially to anyone with loved ones that may have been swept up in this senselessness, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

09-11-2001, 12:38 PM
Iím sure weíre going to war over this and we ought to. About 5 years ago, while working at Sandia Labs, I was involved with a study on airport security that was funded by the FAA. I was part of a team developing a computer system for detecting intrusions into secured areas. The system was used as part of the study. Part of the study involved Sandia Labs performing a risk assessment regarding terrorism and hijacking. The findings showed that the main hijacking threat came from insiders. You could put all the fancy systems you wanted in jet ways, check in counters, etc. to prevent hijackers from boarding a plane but it would never prevent people who worked for the airlines from hijacking planes. Iím not sure what changed in 5 years since I donít work at Sandia anymore but I doubt that much did. There will be a lot of changes now.

09-11-2001, 01:05 PM

Who do we go to war with? This isn't Pearl Harbor.



09-11-2001, 01:09 PM
If Ben Laden all countries that provide sanctuary for him. I'm sorry we were attacked today.

09-11-2001, 02:11 PM
All planes hijacked were Boeing 757/767. I am not an aviation maven nor expert, but aren't these planes so similar that a type rating pretty much works for both. Seems to me that when hijacked there is a very high probability that pilots were part of the terrorist teams. It is hard to believe three or six pilots would agree to crash into the targets they did, even under extreme duress. No way could a pilot be ordered at gunpoint to crash into the World Trade Center IMO, let alone two, let alone another into the Pentagon. Are there any countries who have been known to sponsor terrorists who have made the Boeing 757/767 part of their national fleet. Or maybe any military bomber/transport pilot could do, I don't know. Anyone have any ideas? I am just speculating based on public information and have no particular knowledge in this area. I am sure more will come out as things progress.

This is a very bad event. The loss of life will be extreme, but I fear there will also be long-lasting effects on how we go about both world affairs and national ones. Too early to judge how much though.

09-11-2001, 02:14 PM
The prospect of such attacks, and terrorists' utter disregard for human life, is why I suggested months ago on this forum that the advanced Western nations of the world ought to join forces and hunt down and capture the world's worst terrorists and their lietenants.

This is an utter tragedy, and IMO all the terrorist leaders and their organizations in the world today should be destroyed by a concerted effort of the leading Western countries. The terrorist leaders could be hunted and captured dead or alive if necessary along with their lieutenants, and any country offering shelter would be served short notice that they had better turn them over or we're coming in. This is intolerable, and is an example of how a laissez-faire attitude towards things like this eventually leads to horrors and tragedies. It is time for NATO (and perhaps others) to rid the world of terrorists.

09-11-2001, 02:15 PM
I cannot even begin to comprehend this and I am not positive I even want to. At some level, this *almost* puts things into perspective. I can think of absolutely NO ideology that would be worth an act of such pure evil.

I had this thought this morning as I attempted to suspend my disbelief. Two years ago today we buried my grandfather. I remember standing at his graveside, and I looked to the east, and I thought what a wonderful view he has of lower Manhattan. I remember looking at the World Trade Center and thinking of going up to the top with him when I was four. How surreal.

May God have mercy on the souls that were lost. May God shed some light into the darkness of the hearts of those that committed this .... this ..... (crime? that sounds grossly inappropriate). May any forum member that has friends or family who may have, or were, killed, find peace. May each and every one of you find love and compassion, even in the darkest of times.



09-11-2001, 02:21 PM
While it may not be possible to entirely rid the world of all terrorists, it should definitely be possible to rid the world of all major terrorist organizations, and to imprison or eliminate their leaders and henchmen. All it would take is a concerted effort by NATO, and it would be over pretty fast. Those leaders who would be captured alive could stand trial in the Hague.

09-11-2001, 02:34 PM
This is a great post that I believe reflects the feelings of all of us.

I also think that it is important that we continue our lives and business as normally as possible. If we don't do this then the terrorists have won a great victory. Their purpose is to destroy our way of life and our purpose of existing. We must not let that happen.


09-11-2001, 03:04 PM

Likely, the pilots were killed and the suicide nutjobs crashed the planes. Bin Laden's men (i use the term very loosley) are well trained, and are capable of flying passenger aircraft.

Boy, I would not like to live in Afganistan right now. Won't be much left if Bush does what he should.


09-11-2001, 03:16 PM
I work in a building a 10 minute walk from the World Trade Center. When the first plane hit, everyone thought it was an accident and was looking out the windows to figure out what was going on. When we heard the blast from the second plane, we knew there was big trouble. Fortunately, the guards evacuated us in a very fascist manner soon thereafter. I started walking north (and kept walking north for 6.5 miles -- there is no transportation in the city). The TV pictures cannot capture what those burning buildings looked like in person.

A couple minutes after the first tower collapsed, two fire vehicles covered in debris raced by me. They were filled with seriously injured firefighters. At Union Square, the cars stopped and there was a fireman on the street with others trying to revive him. I will never forget that scene as long as I live.

Absolutely the worst day in U.S. history, at least since WWII.

09-11-2001, 03:22 PM
I agree with this.

It is sad and tragic that the "purpose" of terrorism is so very negative.

09-11-2001, 04:02 PM
I think the numbers of dead were less than 10,000 at the battles of Gettysburg and Antietam, but I could be wrong. Had the buildings collapsed immediately, those would have been exceeded, but the 80 min lag probably saved all those on the floors below the impact and kept these numbers lower. I can't comprehend the horror of being trapped at the top. My heart is very heavy today, and I didn't even think I had one. And my thanks and admiration go out to all the fire and rescue workers running in while everyone else was running out. I don't think I ever appreciated how great these guys are.


09-11-2001, 05:05 PM
They'll find someone. You're right in that Pearl Harbor was a military base attacked by a coutry's military. Who knows, as yet, who was responsible for this. But there will be, in fact, already has been, a massive call for retalitation, and there no doubrt willl be something drastic, and soon, one would think.

09-11-2001, 05:14 PM
Words fail. We've always felt "safe" in the sense that it can't happen here and, if it did, it would be native born nuts like McVeigh. Still no guarantee this was the work of international terrorists, but sure seems likely, given the facts as we know them now. How can anyone, at any time, anywhere, justify murdering civiilians?

I like the idea of going after the international terrorist organizations and trying the leaders.

09-11-2001, 06:40 PM
I'm not sure trying the leaders is the right thing to do, even though I have a huge respect for bringing people to justice in court, given my field. But trials for leaders of groups that do this kind of stuff are really only window dressing for what we want to do. It made sense to try McVeigh of course, but he was a citizen who committed an atrocious act, not a foreign group that is essentially committing acts of war on us. Courts don't deal well with acts of war. Armies are much better in this regard. I'm not doing a very good job explaining this, so I'll have to think about it some more. I think George Will wrote an article recently on something like this, But it might have been Bill Buckley. One of them did a better job expressing it.

Let's also remember that the level of proof for us to make war is less than required for a court to convict. And there is a much broader array of remedies. Also, I am assuming trial in American courts, I'm not at all in favor of trusting some U.N. tribunal with anything; a U.N. or international court would undermine our sovereignty, power, and prestige.

Additionally, we will have to take action against states that sponsor terrorists. This will be the only thing that truly hurts these terrorist groups. They do not fear death or the death of their families or countrymen. This cannot be done in court.

I saw just before writing this that there are missiles hitting in Kabul. I think that may be our first hint of retaliation. I think President Bush will explain more in his address to the nation in about 2 1/2 hours.

09-11-2001, 10:58 PM
actually most planes once they are airborne can be flown quite easily by anyone with moderate training. these guys did know how to fly. they knew enough certainly to turn off the transponders(these give altitude and position to the controllers radar). with some basic simulator training even a kid could do what they did(scary isnt it).

09-11-2001, 11:56 PM
Once the thing is airborne it is relatively easy to fly about if you aren't concerned about a soft landing or where you are going. But they probably had a need to know how to navigate and fly a complex aircraft through controlled airspace (even if they weren't going to talk to the controllers) But the more I think about it, I'm sure a lot of people out there have the piloting skills to pull this off. Still, they were all similar aircraft- no Airbuses or DC-10's or whatever.

09-12-2001, 12:37 AM
Actually you don't really need to know very much about flying IMO. If you can operate the Flight Management System (FMS), which isn't hard, it should be easy to pull it off. Know the exact position of the Trade Towers, enter it into the the FMS indicating this is where you want to go, enter desired altitude into the FMS and change when appropriate, and let the computer do the rest.

09-12-2001, 01:41 AM
The tradgety that has fallen upon many firemen is unbelievable. They have a tough job and they are committed to doing it well. I saw an interview with a fireman on one of the news channels. He said something like "I don't consider myself a hero. This is my job and it is what I have to do. Yes I know it is dangerous."

09-12-2001, 02:12 AM
Well, there's no way FMS would throw you into a 50 degree bank as was seen at the conclusion of the second tower flightpath. I can't imagine that it's that hard to hit a tower that size if you've successfully flown the plane for a couple hundred miles as the sharp turn in upstate NY would indicate had been the case. I understand that they slowed down in the approach to the city. At that point, you would just see if you were pointing to the tower and correct as necessary.

Because of this, I speculate (and visualizing this in three dimensions from what I have seen is difficult) that the flight path upon approach may have been intended to appear to not be headed toward the tower at all and that the sharp bank was part of this plan. This would serve the notion of making the action appear less threatening and perhaps slow the use of countermeasures if there were any. I understand that the plane that hit the Pentagon today circled as well before homing in on its target. Once again a possible cover move. I suspect that these pilots knew exactly what they were doing.


09-12-2001, 05:39 AM
>>Well, there's no way FMS would throw you into a 50 degree bank as was seen at the conclusion of the second tower flightpath. > I can't imagine that it's that hard to hit a tower that size if you've successfully flown the plane for a couple hundred miles as the sharp turn in upstate NY would indicate had been the case. I understand that they slowed down in the approach to the city.<<

If you flew it that far no doubt. I was wondering about the crazy flight path the airliner took that hit the second tower I believe. Also why did the one airliner end up crashing in PA?

09-12-2001, 09:52 AM
Before the 4th plane went down in PA, it was reported on the news that there was a 4th plane headed to Washington. Fighter planes had been scrambled. Then the plane was down. It could have been shot down. But maybe someone who paid attention to what the media showed of the crash site and who are familiar with accident reconstruction could hazard a guess.

09-12-2001, 05:02 PM
Beautifully put, Tim.