Sunday, 21 October 2018

The 911 attacks were designed to minimize casualties at the WTC and specifically targeted offices at the Pentagon.

The number of casualties on 911 was extremely low. 2,996 people died this is an incredibly low number considering what could have been. 50,000 people worked at the WTC and 200,000 people visited daily. Out of that quarter of a million people only 2,606 people died at the WTC. That’s only a little over 1%. Out of the number of 50,000 workers, only 5% of the people were killed. The attackers aimed to decrease the provocation. 

How they did it. 
Beginning the attacks before the end of rush hour was essential. At 0846 hours the first plane hits the North Tower of the WTC. NYC’s rush hour runs from 7am to 10am. The morning rush was a little over halfway done and New Yorkers normally start their day later than most cities. Their median arrival time is 0824 hours (Silver 2018). So, 0846 hours was chosen in order to minimize the casualties. The attackers also decided to place their first hit on higher floors than the second hit. Flight 11 struck floors 93-99 of the North Tower leaving 89% of the floors beneath intact. Flight 175 stuck lower down on the South Tower hitting floors 75-85 leaving 72% of the floors intact. The timing of the attacks also meant that people going to work decided not to go to their office.

The Pentagon
The Offices of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Naval Operations Center (DIA & NOC) were targeted that day. A sure sign of Russian revenge for the sinking of the Kursk. The attacks on the DIA & NOC were intentional. The offices were located inside an inner ring of the first floor of the Pentagon. These were precision attacks and could only have been conducted by an autopilot. In the 1990’s Russian intelligence had penetrated Honeywell, the manufacturer of the avionics used in 757-767 airliners. They were in a position to hack the auto pilots. 

History TV. (2018). History TV. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jun. 2018].
Plumer, B. (2013). Nine facts about terrorism in the United States since 9/11. The Washington Post. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jun. 2018].
Silver, N. (2018). Which Cities Sleep In, And Which Get To Work Early. [online] FiveThirtyEight. Available at: [Accessed 18 Jun. 2018].

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Bissell, Richard M et al. Reflections Of A Cold Warrior. Yale University Press, 1996

Richard Bissell’s memoirs show some interesting things about the U-2 program. The first thing they show is that the intended goal of the program was psychological warfare to deter the Soviet’s from going to war with the United States. The second thing they show is that these were suicide missions for the pilots. If the pilots were to go off course, the planes were rigged to explode killing the pilot and destroying the U-2. The early U-2's did not have ejection seats. This is despite the fact that engineers had known since WW2 that because of their high-speed jets required ejection seats to insure pilot survival.The U-2 Powers was in supposedly had an ejector seat but he did not trust it. Because the seats were rigged to destroy the plane and the pilot (Wise 10). It is not known how much time Powers had to escape from the plane because the timer to the bomb was never found. If Powers had pulled the cord he probably would have died. In fact Bissell was surprised to find that Powers survived. He had been told it was impossible for the pilot to survive. The pilots that overfly Russia today probably face the same dilemma. 

Two years later Gary Powers would be shot down or more likely, after the nuclear engine had been removed, was crash landed in the Soviet Union. I say this because the cover-story that was concocted does not make sense. It’s impossible that Powers could have escaped without an ejection seat. The story that runs along the lines told by L. Fletcher Prouty is more aligned with the truth on this when thinking logically. Prouty did omit the significant fact that the planes were nuclear powered. He kind of alluded to it, claiming that the planes were powered by hydrogen and the tanks had been removed. The U-2, according to Prouty, had a hydrogen tank the size of a fire-extinguisher. This was more of a half-truth. The U-2’s were powered by a small nuclear reactor roughly the size of an extinguisher cooled by lithium hydride which also served as a shadow shield. 

Bissell’s claim that a pilot serendipitously discovered Baikonur Cosmodrome is a lie. America had secretly launched a spy satellite in May of 1954. The U-2 and Canberra’s were deployed to take a closer look at what the satellites had discovered. The fact that America could overfly the USSR with impunity meant that America had a first strike capability that the Soviets could not match. The fact that America was doing this with nuclear powered planes meant that America could stand on station above Soviet nuclear forces ready to bomb at any time.  America’s Canberra’s could circle above Moscow ready to bomb and the Soviets could do nothing about it. 

Lastly - the quote from page 113 reveals that the Soviets and the American’s cooperated to keep the overflights secret. Similarly, today the Russians and the American’s cooperate to keep secret the Russian terror attacks of the 1990’s on American overseas assets and the continental United States i.e. the first WTC bombing of 1993, the Oklahoma City Bombing of 1995 and 911. 

Bissell, Richard M et al. Reflections Of A Cold Warrior. Yale University Press, 1996

“It is my belief that the Soviets always made their protests privately because they did not want to admit to their citizens that the United States could overfly them with impunity and that the government was powerless to do anything about it. This tactic suited us very well, as we did not want public exposure to produce an ultimatum for the Soviets that the world press would convert into a cause for war. What actually happened was that the two governments, even in their deep hostility, found it convenient to collaborate and keep the flights secret.”

Bissell also claims that the Soviets misidentified the U-2 for a twin-engine bomber i.e the Canberra. The CIA report on the U-2 from the early 1990’s revealed that Canberra’s were used with the U-2 on some missions (Pedlow and Welzenbach 109)

Page – 119
“On most missions pilots had virtually no freedom to deviate from their assigned course unless they had compelling reason. We were concerned that the burning more fuel than necessary might jeopardize the pilot’s life and mission.” 

Bissell goes on to claim that Baikonur Cosmodrome was accidently discovered by a U-2 pilot in June of 1957. 

The nuclear plane was going to operate at 70,000 feet. 

“We were equally aware that a Soviet modified surface-to-air missile had an estimated altitude capability of at least 70,000 feet, which was very close to the altitude of the U-2.” 

“A big tractor-trailer could, as Art Lundahl says, “pull up on any highway, erect the back end, and fire an ICBM.” If, however, the operation was tied to railroad spurs, which required a lot of iron and scouring up of the countryside, it was easier to locate where the firing was going to come from before it occurred. Although, a rail served system seemed to the experts all but certain, the system’s degree of fulfillment still needed to be known.” 

Page – 129
“He finally managed to eject himself, but in the tussle and wrestle of doing so, he was unable to activate the destruct mechanism.” 

Page – 140
“I believe this strongly, and it’s a point that has never been made about the history of the U-2. The U-2 was a deterrent because it showed that the United States possessed a significant technological capability that the Soviets could not match. That was a great accomplishment.”

Other Sources and Notes:

Wise, David. "FRANCIS GARY POWERS IS ALIVE AND LIVING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA". The Los Angeles Times Magazine, 1968, pp. 11-13. 

“The highest altitude at which a Martin-Baker seat was deployed was 57,000 ft (17,400 m) (from a Canberra bomber in 1958).” 

The lithium-hydride shadow shield for the SNAP-8. The shield were relatively light weight. This shield weighed around 500 to 600 pounds about half the weight of a similar volume of water. The diameter of the J-57 is 39 inches. The shadow shield of the SNAP-8 is the same diameter. 

Shadow Shield