LA VANGUARDIA 22/06/2003
The plane that crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center shows
forms of an unknown origin.
The mysterious reflections of 9/11
Eduardo Martín de Pozuelo - 22/06/2003 (Text) Eduardo Martín
Xavier Mas de Xaxàs
Photo: CARMEN TAYLOR / CNN
UNEXPLAINED. Tenths of a second before the Boeing crashes against the south tower, the television cameras tracking the plane record a form resembling a protuberance on its underbelly.
Two and a half years after 9/11 many questions remain as to the circumstances
surrounding the attacks on the Twin Towers. One of these unknowns is the
nature of certain forms or marks which can be seen on the fuselage of the
plane which crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. "La Vanguardia"
asked Boeing about these marks, who claimed they were unable to respond for
reasons of national security and referred it to the independent commission
which has been conducting an inquiry since 31 March into what happened.
In the frozen images of various film shots of the final run of United Airlines
flight 175, there are three strange shapes discernible, which the aeronautical
experts consulted find difficult to explain. They consist of two long shapes
located underneath the fuselage, one towards the bow and the other towards
the stern of the plane. There is a third, seemingly pyramidal in shape, on
the underbelly, almost in the center of the plane. Boeing's department of
commercial aviation, with headquarters in Seattle, examined the photographs
for ten days and, having announced an explanation for the phenomenon, declined
to make a statement on what it saw. Finally a spokesman stated that Boeing
was unable to offer an opinion "for security reasons" and because it had
not officially participated in the investigation of the attacks.
Various aeronautical engineers at official Spanish centers have found no
clear explanation for the reflections or shapes which can be observed on
the hijacked plane. However, a contour-detection digital analysis of the
stills, carried out at the Escola Universitària Politècnica
de Mataró, concludes that the "objects discerned cannot be due to
shadows caused by the angle of incidence of the sun upon the plane as they
always appear as the same shape and size, although their luminosity varies."
This result was reached having subjected the photographs to a digital image
process "which would respond to changes in luminance" which can be seen with
the naked eye and which, in principle, would make no sense, given that the
fuselage of commercial airplanes is cylindrical and flat, according to the
cited technical report.
The author, who has had extensive professional experience in digital image
processing, artificial neuronal networks and biometry, says in the report
that "the same treatment" was applied to each of the photographs "using three
standard digital image processing algorithms", the technical data of which
are detailed at length in the dossier. Having clarified that "the images
studied are taken from different angles of observation", it establishes that
the "objects detected present distinct luminosity as they are in relief"
and adds that "this is the only possible explanation", finally pointing out
that "the objects detected can be clearly distinguished from the landing
The reconstruction of the events leading up to the horrific attack on the
second tower show that preparations for the United Airlines flight UA-175
from Boston to Los Angeles were routine on the morning of 11 September 2001.
The aircraft, a B-767-222, registration N612UA, left the United terminal
at Logan International airport at 7:58 and was in the air by 8:15. There
were 56 passengers on board, including five Al Qaeda terrorists armed with
box-cutters. The captain was fifty-year-old, ex-Naval pilot, Victor Saracini.
The aircraft followed its usual route until 8:47, when, at the level of George
Washington bridge, which joins the north side of Manhattan to New Jersey
over the River Hudson, it changed course veering sharply left. The hijackers,
having slit the throats of several stewardesses, had taken control of the
cockpit. For twelve minutes the Boeing flew over the Hudson following its
western shore, until it again made another tight left turn. Right before
it was the south tower of the World Trade Center, into which it crashed at
At the time live television cameras were broadcasting a fire in the north
tower, caused by the impact of an American Airlines B-767 which had taken
place at 8:48. Millions of viewers witnessed live the UA-115 (sic) fly into
the south tower, between floors 78 and 84, causing a much greater explosion
than the one caused minutes earlier by the American Airlines plane.
The official investigation by the Federal Aviation Authority determined that
the Boeing crashed into the building at a velocity of 937 kilometers per
hour. Another study by the Massachusetts Technology Institute, however, established
a speed of 859 kilometers per hour at the moment of impact.
Neither of the two investigations mentioned there was any strange form attached
to the aircraft. Their conclusions form part of the half million documents
serving as a departure point for the ten members of the national commission
looking into the causes of the attacks.
The commission began its investigations at the New York Port customs building.
Its objective is to continue the investigation started by the Joint Senate-House
of Representatives Intelligence Committee. Before handing over to the national
commission, the committee identified several human and organizational errors
which had hindered work by the intelligence services to prevent the attacks.
The White House then tried to get ex-Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger,
to preside the commission. Having failed to achieve this, it then cut off
financing and the commission has still not received the eleven million dollars
budgeted for their work. The commission, which has the support of both the
Democrat and Republican parties, is due to present its conclusions to Congress
in May 2004. The families of the 2,798 people who died on 9/11, 1,095 of
whom were in the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York, will
have to wait until then for concrete answers as to how the biggest attack
the United States has ever suffered was carried out.