Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Flight 77

Flight 77 struck the Pentagon on 9/11.

Here we have the Pentagon security-camera parking lot video that was recently released after lawsuit under FOIA. Videos by security cameras of two nearby businesses and a highway department have been impounded by the government and never released.

Assume flight 77 was flying at 500 mph (slower speeds would make the plane more easily captured in the video). That's 8.3 miles per minute, or .138 miles per second. At a frame rate of 24 frames per second, the speed of feature films, that's 0.005787037037 miles, or 30.5 feet, per frame. A Boeing 767 is 155 feet long. At 24 frames per second, it would have shown in five frames, if the trajectory shown in the video spanned 51.5 yards or more, which it appears to.

In the video, you can see the explosion across several frames, about five. That explosion happened fast. So the frame rate that captured it seems very high. You can also see cars driving both before and after the explosion, and some people moving around. Given the jerky motion of the people, and despite the detailed capture of the explosion, I'm willing to guess that maybe the frame rate is as bad as 12 frames per second. Even if it were as bad as 10 frames per second, the airplane would appear in at least two frames.

Some people claim they see a plane in the video, even a tail fin. I don't. I just see a smoke trail. If the plane does appear in two frames, one of the frames might be the one which many people say shows the plane, and the other might be the the very first frame of explosion, if the explosion enveloped the tail of the plane.

I have an otherwise very intelligent and reasoned friend who has descended to nearly the level of hucksterism in response to my saying that I now have questions about the official account of 9/11. He insists on putting words in my mouth which I did not utter, and forcing me to make binary choices. He says that I am saying there is some kind of government cover-up. I keep saying that I merely have questions, which does not imply a belief in any conspiracy theory.

I think he has the Thar Be Dragons response to the supposed implications of questions about 9/11: If we follow these questions to their conclusions, then the possibilities are too terrible to contemplate, so let's not sail off the edge -- Let's stick to known waters, the official explanation.

This otherwise very astute friend has been johnny-on-the-spot with government data, and popular media accounts which strain credulity and employ ridicule when dismissing questions about 9/11.

I asked my friend what the frame rate if the camera is, and he said he'd read in some government report that it was one frame per second. I replied, "Wow! How did it capture the gradual development of the fireball at 1 fps?" That's when he wrote that he wanted no part of any further discussions on the issue.

What does this imply? It implies to me that the 757 was not captured on video, though it should have been. What does that imply? Not my job. I just raise the question.
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