TERRORISM - WORLD TRADE CENTER
DAY1 DAY2 DAY3 DAY4
DAY 5 - WITH LARGE MAP DAY 6
DAY 7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10
PASSENGERS TALIBAN MILITARY
U.S. DETENTION CENTERS
PRESIDENT G.W. BUSH SPEECH TO CONGRESS - 9-20-2001
BODIES FOUND 241
BODIES IDENTIFIED 170
|9-21-2001 - PASSENGERS IN MINNEAPOLIS REFUSED
TO FLY WITH 3 ARABS, SO THE AIRLINE REMOVED THEM
9-21-2001 - 'Grave robbers' looted shops under towers
9-21-2001 - NASA ROCKET GOES ASTRAY - WE NOW HAVE HUMAN ASHES FLYING OVER OUR HEADS. THAT'S NOT NEW ... TIMOTHY LEARY ... THE ACID HEAD ... HAS BEEN FLYING UP THERE IN ASHES SINCE 1997!!!!
|Boston Could Be Terrorist Target
By Jay Lindsay
Friday, Sept. 21, 2001; 12:16 p.m. EDT
BOSTON Attorney General John Ashcroft warned the acting governor and the mayor that terrorist strikes could be attempted in Boston in the coming days, though he stressed that no specific threats had been made.
Mayor Thomas Menino said he would not specify what he and Ashcroft discussed in the Thursday morning call. Public safety officials were unable to corroborate the threat, he said.
"We couldn't find any basis for it," the mayor said Friday.
Boston FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said the FBI has investigated and discredited the threats, but she could not comment on why Ashcroft warned local officials.
"The information upon which these reports are based have been analyzed and evaluated, and the threats do not appear to be credible," Marcinkiewicz said.
Acting Gov. Jane Swift refused to comment on her discussion with Ashcroft or any specific security precautions.
Authorities have said that Sept. 22 Saturday emerged as an important date in evidence found during investigations into the hijackers. They say intelligence intercepts, witness interviews and evidence gathered in hijackers' cars and homes indicated a second wave of violence was planned.
Authorities have evidence that at least four people targeted by the terror investigation were booked on flights Saturday leaving San Antonio for California or Denver.
Security in Boston and other cities has been increased since the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington. A few days after four jetliners were hijacked and crashed, the FBI warned Atlanta, Richmond, Va., and Boston about possible strikes. But those warnings were rescinded.
On Thursday, the FBI issued new warnings to local law enforcement to be on guard for attacks. Authorities said the warning was not based on any evidence of a direct threat but rather on raw information.
© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press
|Egypt rejects U.S. coalition, upgrades ties with Iraq
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Friday, September 21, 2001
CAIRO As a policy debate rages at top levels in the Bush administration over attacking the regime of President Saddam Hussein, Egypt is moving to improve relations with Iraq.
Egyptian diplomats said President Hosni Mubarak plans to raise the level of representation between Baghdad and Cairo to the level of ambassador. They said diplomatic ties would be raised commensurate to the level of trade relations.
Egypt has refused to participate in a U.S.-led military coalition against any Saudi billionaire fugitive Osama Bin Laden or any of his government sponsors. Instead, Mubarak has called for a United Nations-sponsored conference on international terrorism, Middle East Newsline reports.
Egypt has sent a new charge d'affaires to Baghdad. He is Hussein Zoghbi, a 59-year-old former ambassador to Eritrea.
In an interview to the Egyptian official Middle East News Agency, Zoghbi said Egyptian-Iraqi relations would soon be renewed at the level of full diplomatic ties. He said such relations are developing in cooperation with Iraq.
Egypt and Iraq have agreed to increase trade relations, including the establishment of a free trade zone. Iraq has also agreed to increase the number of Egyptian laborers in the country.
Zoghbi said his job would focus on representing Egyptian nationals in Iraq.
PAPER: U.S. PLANS TO OVERTHROW TALIBAN REGIME, PUT AFGHANISTAN UNDER U.N. CONTROL
SEPT 21, 2001
The US government is pressing its European allies to agree to a military campaign to topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and replace it with an interim administration under United Nations auspices.
Diplomatic cables from the Washington embassy of a key Nato ally, seen by the Guardian, report that the US is keen to hear allied views on "post-Taliban Afghanistan after the liberation of the country". The embassy cable reveals that the US administration is bent on force to evict the Taliban from power because of the shelter it has offered Osama bin Laden, named by the White House as prime suspect for the New York and Washington atrocities on September 11.
The Guardian has also learned that two large US Hercules transport aircraft landed in [DRUDGE HAS REDACTED PORTIONS OF THIS STORY OUT OF RESPECT FOR AMERICAN TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES]... Such a build-up would incur the wrath of Russia which views the central Asian republics as its backyard.
The Pentagon yesterday continued its move to a war footing, with orders for up to 130 heavy bombers, fighters, aerial refuelling planes and other combat aircraft to be deployed around the Middle East and Central Asia region. Two B-52 bombers yesterday left Barksdale airbase in Louisiana, joining F-15E fighter-bombers, F-16 fighters, B-1 long range bombers and E-3 Awacs airborne command-and-control aircraft that left on Wednesday.
The navy has also sent an additional aircraft carrier toward the Middle East region,which along with the air deployment could place up to 500 US warplanes in the Mediterranean, Gulf and Indian Ocean areas.
Tony Blair, in Washington last night to meet Mr Bush, suggested military strikes inside Afghanistan, targeted on Bin Laden's training camps, could come in a matter of days. "These people, if they could, would get access to chemical, biological and nuclear capability. We have no option but to act," he said.
The US strategy to depose the Taliban regime is based on more than military thinking. A further plank appears to entail supporting the campaign of the exiled 86-year-old monarch of Afghanistan, King Zahir Shah, to return to power by encouraging the guerrilla army of the Northern Alliance opposition to fall in behind him.
Diplomatic documents seen by the Guardian show that Washington is funding and organising the travel of several Northern Alliance figures to Rome to confer with the exiled monarch who is expected to call for a revolution. "The king plans to call on all the Afghan tribes to rise up against the Taliban," the diplomatic cable reported yesterday, citing the advice of the US administration.
US plans to overthrow the Taliban regime were revealed when a senior European politician in Washington this week was told by the US administration that it wanted to hear his country's views on how Afghanistan should be run after the Taliban were defeated and that "closer consultations" were necessary.
The Americans also spoke of a role for the UN in the new "interim administration" for Afghanistan and for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in central Asia, without mentioning Nato. Washington is routinely sceptical of the UN and OSCE, but the key role was seen as an attempt to build as broad a coalition as possible behind the imminent campaign. The Europeans, Russia, and even China might be swayed by the unusual US inclusiveness, diplomats said. "It's a major change of US policy," said one.
The spying mission in [DRUDGE HAS REDACTED PORTIONS OF THIS STORY OUT OF RESPECT FOR AMERICAN TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES]... is also fraught with political risk. The two Hercules could not fly over Iran, but Turkmenistan, the third ex-Soviet state bordering Afghanistan granted permission.
However, diplomats said the Turkmens were less keen to grant overflying rights to US fighter aircraft heading for the Afghan border.
|Thursday September 20 9:34 PM ET
Bush Creates High Office of Homeland Security
By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush announced on Thursday the creation of a Cabinet-level position with a sweeping mandate to oversee a ``homeland defense'' protecting Americans from attack.
The job would involve coordination of government-wide domestic security efforts, including meshing domestic FBI and foreign CIA intelligence, working with the U.S. military, emergency officials and state and local governments.
``Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security. These efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight I announce the creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me -- the Office of Homeland Security,'' Bush said.
Bush named Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, a Republican, as the first head of the new office.
Weaknesses in U.S. domestic security were laid bare by the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon that left more than 6,500 people dead or missing.
``Clearly, the events in New York and Washington accelerate and emphasize the need to make sure we've got our act together in the federal government and as a nation,'' a senior official said.
The president also intends to create a deputy national security adviser position for combating terrorism, officials said.
The homeland defense position would probably not need Senate confirmation, which other Cabinet jobs require, nor legislation to create, White House officials said.
``Hopefully it will be a part of improving our ability to prevent, or head off future attacks, the second thing I would think of it would play the lead role in sort of hardening the target, figuring out ways to make it tough to launch attacks against the United States,'' the senior official said.
The person will be ``sitting at the right hand of the president,'' the official said.
The decision to create the position is an outgrowth of numerous studies on combating terrorism, including Bush's assignment to Vice President Dick Cheney this spring to study issues of homeland defense.
The job, the senior official said, ``is not so much operational but more like the national security adviser.''
The person would work with a Cabinet-level committee with security officials, representatives of the Justice Department, the military and agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Muslim hardliners call for strike in Pakistan
Hardline Muslims are pushing for a nationwide strike to show their opposition to Pakistan's decision to co-operate with the United States.
The country's President General Pervez Musharraf has pledged support for Washington in trying to capture Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Pakistan's support is critical to the American campaign because of its geographic location and its ties to Afghanistan's Taliban regime, which has sheltered bin Laden.
However, Islamic parties in Pakistan oppose Gen Musharraf's stand and have called a nationwide strike for Friday, the traditional Muslim day of prayers.
The strike will serve as a barometer of public support for the president in this Muslim country of 140 million people.
"The government's hasty decision doesn't enjoy support of the people," said Qazi Hussain Ahmed, chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, or the Islamic Party.
On Thursday, demonstrators in Peshawar and elsewhere chanted "Crush America!" and vowed to fight a jihad, or holy war, against the Pakistani government if it supports a US attack on neighbouring Afghanistan.
However, most of the anti-government protests have been small - drawing only a few thousand people. Islamic parties are hoping for bigger turn-outs on Friday.
The strike call has raised fears of violence, prompting national associations of merchants and transport associations to announce their members would stay at home.
In Pakistan's commercial hub of Karachi, most passenger buses and taxis are staying off the streets because of fears of attacks, according to Irshad Bukhari, an official of the transporters' association.
Story filed: 01:24 Friday 21st September 2001
|Article Date 09/20/2001
U.S. memo warns of more attacks
WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- An internal memo circulated to federal employees Thursday warned that the government has "credible evidence" more terror attacks are being planned on sensitive targets in the United States.
The e-mail memo did not give details.
U.S. agencies are already on heightened alert following last weeks attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A senior administration security official, talking on background, said the memo reinforced many of the public statements by President Bush.
"We're clearly in a heightened state of security, and clearly we're taking precautions," the official said.
In the midst of the largest investigation in U.S. history, a number of people are being held either by the Immigration and Naturalization Service or in federal detention centers.
FBI Director Robert Mueller said last week that "some" of those being held are cooperating with U.S. investigators.
A number of media reports have singled out Saturday, Sept. 22, as the date for a second wave of attacks. But Justice Department officials said Wednesday that information has been examined and rejected.
"We don't have any credible evidence of any threat on Sept. 22," department communications chief Mindy Tucker said. " There has been a lot of information pertaining to Sept. 22. We have taken a look at that information," but investigators now believe that intelligence to be mistaken.
Even though 19 hijacking suspects died in last week's attacks, "We believe there are associates of the hijackers that have connections to terrorist networks that may be present in the United States," Tucker told reporters Wednesday.
By last count, the INS was holding 115 people who have been caught up in the probe, up from 75 on Tuesday.
Another 200 people are on an FBI "watch list" being circulated to federal, state and local agencies and to the airlines. The FBI says the 200 are not necessarily suspects, just people the bureau would like to talk to in connection with the investigation.
Meanwhile, the FBI said it arrested Nabil al-Marabh in a Chicago suburb Wednesday night. Al-Marabh was held on an assault warrant issued by Boston police.
The 34-year-old al-Marabh, lived in Boston for more than 10 years and was a longtime cab driver.
Investigators reportedly were interested in al-Marabh because he obtained a license to drive trucks carrying hazardous material, including explosives and radioactive material, on Sept. 11, 2000 -- exactly one year before last week's deadly attacks.
Three men -- Karim Koubriti, 23; Farouk Ali-Haimoud, 21, and Ahmed Hannan, 33 -- were arrested at a Detroit home with al-Marabh's name on the mailbox on Monday.
Investigators said they found false identification papers at the house and a diary with notations and diagrams in Arabic relating to a U.S. base in Turkey, the American "foreign minister" and an airport in Amman, Jordan, as well as sketches of airports.
Koubriti, Ali-Haimoud and Hannan were held without bond.
None of the men, including al-Marabh, have been charged directly in connection with terror attacks.
As many as 6,000 people are feared dead after hijackers forced airliners into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington last week. A fourth hijacked airliner was forced into the ground in rural Pennsylvania, possibly after passengers stormed the hijackers in the cockpit.
Copyright 2001 by United Press International.
|IMPORTANT - Please NETWORK immediately
BBC NEWS - UK - FRIDAY 21 SEPT 2001:
"BY AN EXTRAORDINARY COINCIDENCE, LARGE BRITISH FORCES HAVE BEEN MOVING TO OMAN FOR SEVERAL WEEKS"
What incredible luck!
OMAN IS WITHIN EASY STRIKING DISTANCE OF AFGHANISTAN.
When George Bush said on 20th September that Britain is America's closest ally....... did he mean that Britain was needed because Britain could foretell the future and knew in advance that the WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACKwas going to happen? An ally who can tell the future is a powerful ally to have.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: WORLD TRADE CENTER & WASHINGTON DC.
VITAL INFORMATION WITHHELD FROM THE WORLD'S MAIN MEDIA:
|Kremlin fears Central Asia tinderbox
By Ben Aris in Moscow
RUSSIA was still undecided over offering practical help to any American strike against Afghanistan because it fears that this could destabilise the whole of Central Asia.
Igor Ivanov, the foreign minister, hinted on Tuesday that Russia might allow US forces to use bases in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, but he seemed to step back from his remarks yesterday.
The Kremlin is concerned that an attack on Afghanistan could fuel Islamic uprisings across the Central Asian states which still look to Moscow as the dominant power in the region.
The most likely centre of operations the United States would prefer is Tajikistan, which has a large Russian base only 60 miles from the Afghan border.
The Tajiks have only recently emerged from a five-year civil war and Russian troops are there to support the local government and ensure stability as much as to protect the border.
The country is still troubled by outbreaks of violence led by regional warlords and disgruntled United Tajik Opposition guerrilla leaders, who oppose the current government.
Thanks to the presence of Russian troops the Tajik government has regained some sort of control over the country.
However, guerrilla fighters who have been backed into a corner during the intermittent fighting have begun spilling over the border into neighbouring republics.
Last August, Kyrgyzstan was raided by Islamic rebels coming across the Tajik border. They captured a group of Japanese geologists who were looking for gold in the mountains and four US mountaineers who were on holiday in the region.
With an economy reeling from sustained droughts and its people on the point of starvation in some southern areas, the tiny Kyrgyz army is ill-equipped to fight battle-hardened rebels or a sustained campaign against incursions.
The spread of Tajik rebels has also worried Uzbekistan. North-west Tajikistan includes the head of the fabled Fergana valley, the only really fertile place in Central Asia.
Alexander the Great passed through the valley on his way to India and commented on the abundance of melons and grapes, which still grow there.
To add to the confusion almost all the regional nationalities are present in the Fergana valley with little regard for the political borders artificially created by Stalin decades ago.
Kyrgyzstan also straddles the Fergana valley, the bulk of which lies in Uzbekistan.
Afraid that rebels would pass down the valley into their country, the Uzbeks sent fighter planes into Kyrgyz territory last year to bomb rebel positions, to the outrage of the Kyrgyz government.
However, the Uzbek fears are well justified as president Islam Karimov, a virtual dictator, narrowly survived an assassination attempt in December 1999 when Islamic extremists exploded five car bombs in Tashkent, the capital.
Mr Karimov has tried to repress Islam in his country, but with only limited success. Samarkand, in the middle of Uzbekistan, is an important holy city in the Islamic world.
Uzbekistan's large Muslim population is concentrated in the Fergana valley, the scene of frequent police raids where human rights groups say a man can be arrested for little more than having a beard.
There is an uneasy peace but analysts have been warning for years of the "explosion of the Fergana valley", a popular and religiously motivated uprising against Mr Karimov's authoritarian rule.
What the Kremlin and the leaders of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan fear most is a flood of rebel fighters spilling out of Afghanistan and into their countries.
This would be a spark to set off the tinderbox of religious dissent all along the Fergana valley.
|Friday September 21 1:13 PM ET
Sudan Government Says Bin Laden Not Welcome Back
By Matthew Green
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's government, which once hosted Osama bin Laden, said on Friday the Saudi-born militant as not welcome to return.
Bin Laden, named by Washington as a prime suspect in last week's suicide attacks on the United States, is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, but leading Islamic clerics there have advised the government it should persuade him to live elsewhere.
Bin Laden lived in Sudan and invested millions of dollars in infrastructure projects there from 1991 until 1996, when the government asked him to leave under U.S. pressure.
``He came here as an investor. When he became a problem, we kicked him out,'' said Chol Deng Alak, state minister in the Foreign Ministry. ``There is no way he could come back here.''
``We are party to the fight against terrorism. It's our unwavering position and we are not willing under any circumstances to change it,'' he told Reuters.
Sudan was hit by a U.S. missile strike in 1998 after the bombing of two American embassies in Africa -- also blamed on bin Laden -- and remains on a U.S. list of countries that sponsor ``terrorism.''
Sudanese media said this week that Africa's largest country had taken measures to keep out militants after the attacks on New York and Washington in hijacked airliners in which thousands of people are believed to have been killed.
Three years ago, a nocturnal cruise missile strike razed a medicine factory in Khartoum that Washington said was partly owned by bin Laden.
Washington had said the plant, which still lies in ruins, was preparing to make ingredients for chemical weapons. Sudan denied the allegations.
Bin Laden's main associate in Sudan, former speaker of parliament Hassan al-Turabi, is currently in detention awaiting trial for treason.
Relations between Washington and Khartoum have been tense since a 1989 coup in Sudan brought an Islamist regime to power. There have been some indications that relations have improved, but progress has been slow.
Nearby Somalia also said on Friday that bin Laden was also not welcome in its territory.
Some radical Islamic groups in Somalia have links to bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization, according to diplomatic sources in the region.
But the transitional government in Mogadishu, elected last year, sent its condolences to President Bush and said it would do what it could to assist the United States.
``No, absolutely no,'' said government spokesman Abdirahman Diinaari, when asked if bin Laden would be welcome in Somalia.
``We are ready to share information and cooperate with the U.S. in their war against terrorism,'' he said.
|'Grave robbers' looted shops under towers
by Valentine Low in New York
Shops and restaurants in the underground mall beneath the World Trade Center were looted in the days after last Tuesday's terrorist attack, it was reported today.
Theft: looting was reported in the shops under the World Trade Center
New York detectives are investigating whether the looting, discovered by the National Guard, was carried out by rescue workers in the wake of the disaster.
A warren of wide subterranean passageways beneath number 5 World Trade Center somehow survived the collapse of the twin towers, and it is believed the looting started soon after the fires in the upper storeys of the building were put out.
Captain Vincent J Heintz, a commander in the New York National Guard, said the looting carried on into this week. "There have been people down here trying to steal from a mass grave," he said. "They are grave robbers."
The looters picked through a Tourneau watch shop, raided cases of designer sunglasses in another store, tried to prise open at least one cash register and even got into the service room behind a row of cashpoint machines.
However, the steel safes prevented them from making off with any money. Two men, one of them a former prison officer who was posing as a police officer, have already been charged with stealing two watches from the Tourneau shop.
The intact shops and restaurants one level below ground were likened by the New York Times to a modern Pompeii - a moment in the life of New York frozen in time.
The paper described how inside Sunglass Hut International, an employee's breakfast - "three link sausages and a moldy entree with a fork standing upright" still stood on the counter beside the cash register.
The news-stands still hold stacks of the papers from the morning of the attack. At the cashpoint a customer's receipt for a $100 withdrawal - made at 8.51am on 11 September - protruded from the machine.
Daniel Castleman, chief of the district attorney's investigations division, said the looting appeared to be limited to a few shops under one building. "It's not a situation of everyone walking in and stuffing their pockets," he said.
"It could be one guy who was very determined, and got his hands on some merchandise. At this point we don't have evidence of who it was, when it was, or precisely what was taken, and the police department, understandably, has taken an interest in it."
Deputy police commissioner Thomas Antenen said: "We arrested two looters last week, and have received these reports of other missing property. We are looking into it."
Captain Heintz said: "They could have been police officers, they could have been firefighters, they could have been contractors or National Guardsmen."
They were, however, unlikely to have been civilians, because it is virtually impossible for unauthorised people to get through the strict security surrounding the site.
Platoon leader, 2nd Lt Peter Fluker, said: "It was calculated. It was done with crowbars and heavy equipment and some sharp, blunt objects that were used to smash open big doors and jewellery cases. They were rescue workers of some sort."
|Friday September 21, 2:57 pm Eastern Time
SOURCE: The Counter Spy Shops
Gas Masks fly off the shelves at The Counter Spy Shops
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 21, 2001--People walk into their local Army Navy stores to purchase gas masks, not knowing if it will protect them against biological or chemical threats.
The Counter Spy Shops worldwide are now selling the NATO standard (made in America) masks that are designed for biological and chemical warfare. The masks ($299 and up) and the Hazmat suit ($299) have sold quicker than any of their usual line of security and personal protection items.
Stuart Fields, the New York flagship store manager says, ``We feel that one might be deluding themselves as to the effectiveness of some masks, Internet and mail-order alike, and their expectations might not be accurate. The ones we have decided to carry protect against biological and chemical attacks and filter out the higher threat level toxins.''
The CCS group, The Counter Spy Shop's parent company is against the idea of providing older generation army surplus masks, (which may be only good for tear gas, certain dust particles and possibly one or two of the gasses used in the second world war), because they say that they sell peace of mind to those who feel that they may be in danger, which the second hand army surplus items cannot always provide.
Do we all need to equip ourselves in the latest ``Hazmat'' suit with matching gloves and booties, along with the specialized breathing apparatus and gear?
Mr. Fields states, ``I have worked for this private security firm for almost 20 years, and am skeptical about everything. But when many of my friends and family start to call up asking for supplies for themselves, i.e., gas masks and Hazmat suits, I start to rethink my adamant stance.''
``So how ready are we?'' says Mr. Fields, ``We aren't even close. We have a long way to go, and with God's help we won't need these, but we have an obligation to be prepared.'' He also states, ``We are here to help prepare people, knowing we are providing the best gas or chemical mask available.''
|NASA Rocket Launch Goes Awry
The Associated Press
Sep 21 2001 5:58PM
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - A rocket carrying a NASA satellite and a commercial imaging satellite failed to launch properly Friday, and the satellites were believed to be lost, officials said.
The Taurus rocket, which also carried capsules of human ashes, skewed around the time of first-stage separation, then appeared to right itself.
But it was strongly believed that rocket never reached orbit at all, said Barron Beneski, spokesman for Orbital Sciences Corp., the rocket maker. If it didn't make orbit it probably burned up in the atmosphere or was lost in the ocean.
Ground controllers, however, were continuing to search for a signal that would indicate that the satellites reached orbit.
The cause of the problem was unknown, but the deviation apparently left the Taurus unable to reach the desired altitude.
``It used up a fair amount of energy and momentum, so it appears that it arrived at an altitude lower than intended, and as a result we believe that there's a strong likelihood that the satellites did not achieve orbit,'' Beneski said.
The 91-foot rocket lifted off at 11:49 a.m. PDT, and launch control initially had reported that it was heading to orbit despite unusual movement during first-stage separation.
The primary payload was Orbital Imaging Corp.'s OrbView-4 satellite, intended to snap high-resolution images of the Earth for sale. It was to have been placed in orbit about 11 1/2 minutes after launch.
Officials with the financially struggling company had hoped the satellite's keen vision - it was designed to spy objects as small as a yard across - would boost its sales in the competitive market for space imagery.
The rocket also carried the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's QuikTOMS satellite, one of a series of NASA instruments that have kept tabs on ozone levels in the upper atmosphere since 1978. It was to have been placed in orbit 14 to 15 minutes after launch.
The oddest bedfellow in the rocket's mixed payload was provided by the Celestis Corp. The Houston company sells, at $5,300 a pop, the opportunity to launch small portions of cremated remains into orbit.
The first payload by Celestis was launched in April 1997, when the remains of LSD-guru Timothy Leary, ``Star Trek'' creator Gene Roddenberry and 22 others were flung into orbit.
On the Net:
|Call-Up Worries Agencies
Military: Many reservists staff law enforcement ranks. Police and sheriff's departments assess the potential impact of losing them.
By BETH SHUSTER
TIMES STAFF WRITER
September 19 2001
Southern California law enforcement agencies are bracing for what may be the latest hit to their ranks: Hundreds of police officers and sheriff's deputies are military reservists who could be called for active duty.
Throughout the state, police departments and other such agencies are making contingency plans in case officers leave in droves for military duty.
Some agencies are considering how to handle shifts without patrol officers, detectives, sergeants and lieutenants--a particularly challenging task in that many already are asking officers to work longer shifts to assist in the hunt for suspects in last week's attacks and to brace for more possible violence. For the Los Angeles Police Department, the prospect is particularly daunting: 652 sworn officers and civilians are military reservists subject to call-up. That is the equivalent of about two police stations in the LAPD, which has 18 stations.
The LAPD, moreover, is already stretched thin. The department is down about 800 officers since the early 1990s, and recruitment has declined. Additionally, Mayor James K. Hahn on Tuesday asked the Police Commission to approve a plan to let officers work a more flexible schedule, giving them more days off for working longer hours. Critics say that plan could deplete the LAPD's street presence, though supporters say it will help recruitment and retention.
Los Angeles City Council members are expected to introduce a motion today allowing city employees who are called to duty to retain their salaries and benefits.
So far, six LAPD officers have left the department for duty.
President George W. Bush on Friday called up 35,000 military reservists, and the administration has suggested that tens of thousands more would be needed if the United States conducts military attacks. The administration also has said it could be a lengthy war.
Reserve officers in all walks of life are subject to the call to duty, but law enforcement agencies are likely to be particularly hard-hit. That's because many police are drawn from the ranks of the military, and many maintain their reserve status after leaving the service.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department estimates that 236 deputies are active reservists. The department asked every unit this week to determine which deputies would qualify for duty, and officials will decide how to handle the vacancies, if that happens.
The San Diego Police Department estimates that 80 officers are military reservists who could be called up. The department circulated memos this week to determine the overall effect on the department.
Some departments could seek deferments for employees if they are particularly strapped. Also, some experts say that the recent terrorist attacks prove that cities are vulnerable, and as a result, local police will be needed.
"This is not a conventional war," said Jim Kouri, vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police. "This is the first time the American mainland is being physically attacked. . . . Because of that, the powers-that-be look at it like a war on the home front, and that's where local police, FBI and state police get involved."
If New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, for example, requests that his police officers remain on duty, Kouri and others say the federal government would be hard pressed to turn him down. In Southern California, the threat is more remote, but officials remain alert to possible threats here as well.
During the Gulf War, law enforcement officers were called to duty. Police and sheriff's departments say they reassigned some officers and paid overtime to others.
LAPD Chief Bernard C. Parks said he is evaluating how his department will handle the loss of hundreds of officers and civilian employees. He suggested that overtime costs will increase if the losses are significant. A small number of Police Department reserves also are military reserves, department records show.
"Any time you lose a large number of personnel, you have to be concerned," Parks said.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department has about 50 employees who are military reserves. That includes deputies and non-sworn employees. Five of the 50 have been called up, but the department considers the number so small that it is not concerned about the effect on the operations if more are called up, said department spokesman Jon Fleischman.
Officials in smaller departments say they are meeting to determine who might be called up and how to juggle manpower.
"Of course it's a concern, but we experienced it through Desert Storm. . . . We did without personnel and adjusted," said Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez. "We are looking at all contingency plans."
The department estimates that about a dozen officers are reserves.
Many police officials are attempting to account for long delays before officers return to work. In Santa Ana, police officials are considering how to handle a lengthy period without full staffing.
Santa Ana Police Sgt. Baltazar De La Riva said that as many as 15 officers could leave the department, creating "a problem down the road" if they are away for a long time, particularly given that the department already has vacancies.
Times staff writers Jack Leonard and Patrick McGreevy contributed to this story.
|Mike Muldoon <Mike.Muldoon@pwgsc.gc.ca>
This is a MUST READ story that will make your heart sing and make you realize that even in the most horrific of tragedies blessings are found. It is rather long but the moments you take to read it will ....... well, you'll see........
HERE IS NAZIM'S LETTER TO NEWFOUNDLANDERS... ..
We were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt flying over the North Atlantic and I was in my crew rest seat taking my scheduled rest break. All of a sudden the curtains parted violently and I was told to go to the cockpit, right now, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had one of those "All Business" looks on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. I quickly read the message and realized the importance of it. The message was from Atlanta, addressed to our flight, and simply said, "All airways over the Continental US are closed. Land ASAP at the nearest airport, advise your destination."
Now, when a dispatcher tells you to land immediately without suggesting which airport, one can assume that the dispatcher has reluctantly given up control of the flight to the captain. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. It was quickly decided that the nearest airport was 400 miles away, behind our right shoulder, in Gander, on the island of Newfoundland.
A quick request was made to the Canadian traffic controller and a right turn, directly to Gander, was approved immediately. We found out later why there was no hesitation by the Canadian controller approving our request. We, the in-flight crew, were told to get the airplane ready for an immediate landing. While this was going on another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area.
We briefed the in-flight crew about going to Gander and we went about our business 'closing down' the airplane for a landing. A few minutes later I went back to the cockpit to find out that some airplanes had been hijacked and were being flown into buildings all over the US. We decided to make an announcement and LIE to the passengers for the time being. We told them that an instrument problem had arisen on the airplane and that we needed to land at Gander, to have it checked. We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There were many unhappy passengers but that is par for the course.
We landed in Gander about 40 minutes after the start of this episode. There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world. After we parked on the ramp the captain made the following announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. But the reality is that we are here for a good reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. Local time at Gander was 12:30 pm. (11:00 AM EST)
Gander control told us to stay put. No one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near the aircraft. A car from the airport police would come around once in a while, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so all the airways over the North Atlantic were vacated and Gander alone ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, out of which 27 were flying US flags.
We were told that each and every plane was to be offloaded, one at a time, with the foreign carriers given the priority. We were No.14 in the US category. We were further told that we would be given a tentative time to deplane at 6 pm. Meanwhile bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the US were either blocked or jammed and to try again. Some time late in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash.
Now the passengers were totally bewildered and emotionally exhausted but stayed calm as we kept reminding them to look around to see that we were not the only ones in this predicament. There were 52 other planes with people on them in the same situation. We also told them that the Canadian Government was in charge and we were at their mercy. True to their word, at 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would come at 11 AM, the next morning. That took the last wind out of the passengers and they simply resigned and accepted this news without much noise and really started to get into a mode of spending the night on the airplane.
Gander had promised us any and all medical attention if needed; medicine, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situation during the night. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without any further complications on our airplane despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th we were told to get ready to leave the aircraft. A convoy of school buses showed up at the side of the airplane, the stairway was hooked up and the passengers were taken to the terminal for "processing." We, the crew, were taken to the same terminal but were told to go to a different section, where we were processed through Immigration and customs and then had to register with the Red Cross. After that we were isolated from our passengers and were taken in a caravan of vans to a very small hotel in the town of Gander. We had no idea where our passengers were going.
The town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people. Red Cross told us that they were going to process about 10,500 passengers from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander. We were told to just relax at the hotel and wait for a call to go back to the airport, but not to expect that call for a while. We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started. Meanwhile we enjoyed ourselves going around town discovering things and enjoying the hospitality. The people were so friendly and they just knew that we were the "Plane people". We all had a great time until we got that call, 2 days later, on the 14th at 7AM.
We made it to the airport by 8:30AM and left for Atlanta at 12:30 PM arriving in Atlanta at about 4:30PM. (Gander is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of EST, yes!, 1 hour and 30 minutes.) But that's not what I wanted to tell you. What passengers told us was so uplifting and incredible and the timing couldn't have been better.
We found out that Gander and the surrounding small communities, within a 75 Kilometer radius, had closed all the high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to a mass lodging area. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up. ALL the high school students HAD to volunteer taking care of the "GUESTS".
Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 Kilometers from Gander. There they were put in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were given no choice and were taken to private homes. Remember that young pregnant lady, she was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24 hour Urgent Care type facility. There were DDS on call and they had both male and female nurses available and stayed with the crowd for the duration. Phone calls and emails to US and Europe were available for every one once a day. During the days the passengers were given a choice of "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went to see the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the school for those who elected to stay put. Others were driven to the eatery of their choice and fed. They were given tokens to go to the local Laundromat to wash their clothes, since their luggage was still on the aircraft.
In other words every single need was met for those unfortunate travelers.
Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. After all that, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single one missing or late. All because the local Red Cross had all the information about the goings on back at Gander and knew which group needed to leave for the airport at what time. Absolutely incredible.
When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everybody knew everybody else by their name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. It was mind boggling. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a party flight. We simply stayed out of their way. The passengers had totally bonded and they were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
And then a strange thing happened. One of our business class passengers approached me and asked if he could speak over the PA to his fellow passengers. We never, never, allow that. But something told me to get out of his way. I said "of course". The gentleman picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He further stated that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of the town of Lewisporte. He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide a scholarship for high school student(s) of Lewisporte to help them go to college. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, it totaled to $14,500 or about $20,000 Canadian. The gentleman who started all this turned out to be an MD from Virginia. He promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.
Why, all of this? Just because some people in far away places were kind to some strangers, who happened to literally drop in among them? WHY NOT?
Mike Muldoon Technical Specialist
|By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S.A.,
27 Sep 2001, 11:48 AM CST
Officials at instant-messaging firm Odigo confirmed today that two employees received text messages warning of an attack on the World Trade Center two hours before terrorists crashed planes into the New York landmarks. Citing a pending investigation by law enforcement, the company declined to reveal the exact contents of the message or to identify the sender. But Alex Diamandis, vice president of sales and marketing, confirmed that workers in Odigo's research and development and international sales office in Israel received a warning from another Odigo user approximately two hours prior to the first attack. Diamandis said the sender of the instant message was not personally known to the Odigo employees. Even though the company usually protects the privacy of users, the employees recorded the Internet protocol address of the message's sender to facilitate his or her identification. Soon after the terrorist attacks on New York, the Odigo employees notified their management, who contacted Israeli security services. In turn, the FBI was informed of the instant message warning. FBI officials were not immediately available for comment today. The Odigo service includes a feature called People Finder that allows users to seek out and contact others based on certain interests or demographics. Diamandis said it was possible that the attack warning was broadcast to other Odigo members, but the company has not received reports of other recipients of the message. In addition to operating its own messaging service network, Odigo has licensed its technology to over 100 service providers, portals, wireless carriers, and corporations, according to the company.
Odigo is online at http://www.odigo.com/ .
Tower Wreckage Reveals Clues
By Noah Shachtman
2:00 p.m. Oct. 5, 2001 PDT
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey -- In a scrap yard across the Hudson River from the fallen twin towers, engineering professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl pores over the 1,500 tons of twisted, charred steel arriving here each day from the remains of the World Trade Center like an archaeologist, like a coroner.
The University of California at Berkeley professor unveiled new details about the skyscrapers' cause of death Friday, displaying for the first time beams hit by one of the jets that ultimately brought down the towers, as well as scraps from the plane itself.
Astaneh-Asl -- who has had access to 40,000 tons of scrap -- said his findings confirm the widely held theory about the buildings' demise: that the impact of the planes did relatively little damage to the Towers. Rather, it was 1,000-plus-degree heat from the burning jet fuel that caused key outer beams to buckle, and floor after floor to fall.
Within those broad outlines, however, many mysteries remain.
For example, what happened to the buildings' inner columns? Did they melt, break or stay whole? Until now, no one knew.
"It's like a big bullet passed through here," Astaneh-Asl said, pointing to the mangled end of a U-shaped, 16-inch by 32-inch by 1-1/2-inch beam from around the elevator shaft of the south Tower. The beam looked as if it had been torn by a set of mammoth jaws -- but this was, in fact, where the plane's engine or the fuselage went through, Astaneh-Asl said.
Astaneh-Asl said that this column had remained basically intact during the disaster. But the L-shaped, hinge-like "seat supports" attached to this beam -- the pieces supposed to hold the floor up -- had not fared as well, their formerly right angles turned drastically askew.
"So now we know, the column did not fail, it was a failure of the floor in most cases," he said.
Astaneh-Asl's structural autopsy, started on Sept. 20, is one of eight efforts funded by the National Science Foundation to study the World Trade Center catastrophe. By gathering evidence from the wreckage, the Berkeley professor hopes to build a hyper-realistic computer model of the towers to examine how and why they fell -- and how such a catastrophe might be minimized in the future.
"Maybe we can develop walls that the plane doesn't just go through like butter," he said. "Maybe they can put up more of a struggle, more of a fight. Maybe the wings drop off, maybe some of the fuel drops outside."
Even before this model is constructed, the steel is yielding important clues.
The beam hit by the jet -- and the scraps of aircraft taken from the beam -- will show the speed of the plane, and the force with which it hit, said Astaneh-Asl. A circular mark on a washer demonstrates that the bolt had been tightened properly -- so poor construction techniques can be ruled out as a contributor to the collapse, at least in this section of the building.
Astaneh-Asl is training the workers to spot these key bits of evidence as they're preparing the remains for recycling. It's an additional burden on an already massive effort.
At the Hugo Neu Schnitzer East yard, workers will cut up an estimated 200,000 tons of steel over the next year, plant manager Steve Shinn estimated.
Ordinarily, a team of six men can "process" about 100 tons of steel in a normal, eight-hour work day. But this is no ordinary situation. Ninety percent of the beams from the World Trade Center are so enormous that they can't be sliced up by the standard shearing machines -- they have to be cut by hand, by individual welders instead. So the yard is now hiring dozens of new workers, and operating in two 12-hour shifts per day, 6 days a week.
At about $100 per ton, the World Trade Center job could gross $20 million for the yard's owners. But the 72-hour weeks being put in by the workers are physically dangerous, Shinn noted, and they take a heavy psychological toll.
"None of us have our heart in it," Shinn said. "It's a heavy feeling handling material from the World Trade Center. It was our backdrop every day."
| World Trade Center still burning, one Month Later
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (joycelang)
Rebuilding NY: WTC Still Smoking One Month Later
NewsMax.com Wires Thursday, October 11, 2001
NEW YORK -- The 16-acre site where the World Trade Center stood one month ago was still smoldering Wednesday as Gov. George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani gave 11 governors a tour of the devastation.
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, viewing the still smoking rubble, remarked, "It's still burning four weeks afterwards."
Pataki took the governors of Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and West Virginia for a brief visit to "Ground Zero" where about a 1,000 workers still sift through the rubble looking for bodies and body parts.
Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, accompanied by his wife, Marie, introduced her to a boyhood chum from rural Georgia he spotted working on the site with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"I have to admit there's not a day goes by I don't get tears in my eyes," Edwin Sosebee, was heard telling the couple.
A dirt-and dust-caked firefighter, who later asked not to be identified, was heard telling the visitors, "We're just looking for closure (some remains for burial) at this point, a place to take the kids some of whom still believe in miracles," referring to hopes of families to find remains.
"Basically, what you have here is devastation," Police Officer Louie Flores said. "We lost a sergeant here. We're out here because, I believe, that we got together to see what we could find, so we could get something of him at the same time we are finding other people. It's devastating."
Flores, who has been on the site much of the past month, told reporters there was a notable difference from a month ago when "you couldn't walk the streets at all." His said he didn't think there could be anyone left alive, but quickly added "I don't know if I'm allowed to speak" to reporters.
"It's devastating," Flores repeated. "We're here. We're digging out. You can smell - there's bodies there to pull out. We're pulling out what we can pull out. It's just been devastating. If we can pull something out and give some family some closure, then great, you know. You don't want to be here but this is what we are doing. We're finding people that were trapped under there."
Asked if he was finding anything recognizable, Flores said, "Now we're pulling out pieces. It's not even whole bodies everything is decomposing. We're finding bones, parts of bodies not bodies."
Asked about the mood of the workers on the site, he started to reply, but never finished, "It's not like in the beginning we were hopeful of finding people that survived and ... I care ... OK?"
A New York state Health Department spokeswoman told United Press International that the workers at Ground Zero must wear respirators and gloves because of the decaying bodies in the rubble. "It's not a health hazard to handle decaying body parts as long as masks and gloves are worn,"
Christine Smith said. "However, it is not pleasant."
James Kallstrom, who led the FBI investigation of the crash of TWA Flight 800, was named by Pataki Wednesday to head a new state Office of Public Security as part of the state's $100-million security effort launched after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
As director of the newly created cabinet position, Kallstrom will report directly to the governor and serve as a member of the governor's senior staff.
"With Jim Kallstrom's guidance, we will ensure that New York has the most comprehensive and well-coordinated anti-terrorism plan in the nation," Pataki said.
Kallstrom will be charged with developing a comprehensive statewide strategy to secure New York state from acts of terrorism or terrorist threats.
The office will be the primary contact with the newly created Office of Homeland Security headed by former Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas Ridge and will coordinate with counties throughout the state to ensure maximum preparedness.
Kallstrom, who worked for FBI from 1970 to 1997, is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
Both Senators from New York said Wednesday the $54 billion asked by Gov. George Pataki of the federal government to help New York City recover from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center is a tall order but that they are committed to getting as much as possible.
"This is a very heavy lift, but working with the governor, the mayor and the congressional delegation, we will do everything humanly possible to get as much of this as we can," Sen. Charles Schumer said. "We have procured $20 billion of the $54 billion, but this list shows that New York needs and deserves significantly more."
Pataki wants $54 billion from the federal government to "Rebuild NY - Renew America" - an amount almost 70 percent of the state's annual budget of $80 billion.
Two major border crossings from Canada to New York and Vermont were closed Wednesday for seven hours because of a bomb threat to a business and a suspicious truck.
According to U.S. Customs, a male phoned and said the Deringer Customs Brokerage House in Champlain, N.Y., "would go boom." At the same time a bomb-sniffing dog was suspicious of a truck at the border crossing at Highgate, Vt. Police found nothing but the scare backed up traffic for hours.
Fifty individuals were declared dead Wednesday in the World Trade Center attack by State Supreme Court in Manhattan, at the request of their families.
"The Windows of Hope Fund" is for all the food service workers who were killed in the attack and many of them were not prepared for this financially, much less emotionally, so any support that you can give to the fund, the families will very much appreciate," said David Emil, owner of Windows on the World restaurant that was atop the south tower. He is a lead member of the Windows of Hope Oct. 11 Dine Out Committee, along with his executive chef Michael Lomonaco.
The announcement was made at Tribeca Grill, in Lower Manhattan, co-owned by actor Robert DeNiro.
"All of them were going about their lives innocently when they were viciously attacked by this barbarian act of terrorism," said Mayor Giuliani. "There are people with great needs, particularly people who were working at Windows on the World, other restaurants, retail establishments."
Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.
| Last e-mail messages from tragedy
From: email@example.com (joycelang)
The mundane becomes eerie in Sept. 11 messages By Ariana Eunjung Cha
THE WASHINGTON POST
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2001
The e-mail to his buddies was sent from the 93rd floor of the World Trade Center. The subject line: "Tuxedo for wedding." The time stamp: 8:41 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001. In the brief note, Peter Christopher Frank reminds them to get their measurements taken for the upcoming event. "Tuxedos for my groomsmen will be supplied by Zeller Tuxedo. Zeller has locations all over the tri-state area....The account's under my name. Thanks, Pete."
Some family members and friends of the victims are posting what they find on Web sites.
THAT WAS the last time the outside world heard from the 29-year-old financial analyst before he disappeared into the rubble of his former office building.
His friends have since saved the message to their computer hard drives and peek at it when they feel the sting of missing him. His mother says she takes comfort in knowing that her son had such happy thoughts in his final minutes. His fiancee, Karen Carlucci, on the other hand, refused to look at it for many days.
"It's nice to know he was thinking about the wedding," she said, "but to read his exact words . . . to me it would just be more painful."
The attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon may have demolished offices and scattered papers, but they did not destroy all records. E-mail messages, voice-mail recordings and other electronic traces of people were routinely preserved by computer networks or telephone companies, in the interest of backing up data should the power go out or a computer fail.
These e-relics often captured a moment in time that is both beautiful and chilling to the people who discovered them.
Some family members and friends of the victims are posting what they find on Web sites with names such as www.thewtcmemorial.com or www.newyorkworldtradecentermemorial.com, which have become virtual shrines for the presumed dead.
SAVING VOICE-MAIL MESSAGES
Verizon Communications Inc. recently announced it would make copies of voice-mail greetings or messages available to anyone who wanted to preserve them. So far, it has put 99 of them onto tape, about half of them for customers in the D.C. area. AT&T Wireless and Sprint PCS Group also said they had received inquiries.
Unlike past generations, when a person's desk might contain formal letters or other records prepared for posterity, the digital remnants often are preserved without much thought. As a result, they can represent a mundane, contemporaneous account of a person's life, a glimpse of how people actually lived, not how they want to be remembered.
After Sept. 11, "e-mail messages and other things that were written or said rather quickly and hastily have turned out . . . to have far more meaning than anyone ever imagined at the time they were creating them," said psychologist Tony Grasha of the University of Cincinnati.
Carlucci has compiled a scrapbook that contains pictures of her fiance with his dog, Chavez, the jade and sticks Frank brought back from his frequent travels abroad, and many of his e-mails, including his last message about the tuxedos.
John Kavanagh, who grew up with Frank on Long Island and was to be the best man at his wedding, remembers that he received the final e-mail almost instantaneously. He hit "reply" and told his old friend what a great time he had had at the bachelor party in Atlantic City the weekend before. Then someone told him about the terrorist attacks.
"I wrote just seven minutes after he did. I don't know whether he got it or didn't get it. It would make me feel better if he did," said Kavanagh, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., because it would mean he had had a chance to say goodbye.
The computer technician has been charged with a task that, in its own way, is almost as grim as that facing the firefighters and other rescue workers digging through the rubble of the World Trade Center. He has been going through backup tapes and other recorded data stored off site, trying to restore important correspondence and records produced in the office buildings before the attacks.
In the process, Dave Friedman, 40, a systems analyst for Fred Alger Management Inc., a money-management firm, has unearthed a pile of e-mails that re-create the bustle of activity in the company's offices right before the attack.
There are the jubilant e-mails from two guys bragging about being "$75 richer" thanks to a football pool they just won. A letter from an executive trying to make travel plans. And no-nonsense missives from members of the research team trying to get set up a meeting time to talk about stock picks.
Now all of those men are missing.
Friedman, a 15-year veteran of the financial analysis company, knew all of them and said he had to stop many times while reading the e-mails to keep from breaking down.
"To read their words and know they're not with us anymore . . . it's been very difficult," he said.
Often, the center of a white-collar worker's universe is a desktop computer, which typically contains all manner of records about a person, from financial data to histories of Web sites visited . "Computers are now such intensively personal objects, even more so than clothes," said Simson Garfinkel, an Internet scholar and author of "Database Nation."
A WRITER'S NOTES SAVED
Jack Grandcolas knows what he'll find when he boots up wife Lauren's computer in the coming weeks: a massive collection of meticulously organized files for a book she was working on about empowering women. He can almost imagine the words she used, the outlines of chapters, the memos she wrote to her collaborators.
Lauren, 38, who worked in sales for Good Housekeeping magazine, died when United Airlines Flight 93 plunged into a field near Pittsburgh.
Her husband said he's determined to help get the book published but he has mixed feelings about having to look through her work. One part of him believes it will help him feel closer to her; another feels that reliving all the details may be too much.
"The pain of going into that is something that I'm gearing myself up for," Grandcolas said from the San Rafael, Calif., home they shared.
At her memorial service, he played a videotape of her sky diving. She was smiling. In private, he plays a final answering-machine message in which she tells him that there's "a little problem" with the plane she's on but that she's "fine" and "comfortable."
These things, Grandcolas says, capture the essence of who she was more than practically anything else. "She was incredibly calm and courageous," he said.
A VOICE PRESERVED
Kara Hoorn, 20, knows her brother's cell phone is lost in the ruins of the World Trade Center. Yet she keeps paying the bills because she wants to be able to call his number and hear his electronic greeting, stored on the phone company's network. What she hears is always the same: "Hi. You've reached Brad Hoorn's cell phone. Please just leave me a message. Thanks."
"That's all we have left of his voice," said Kara Hoorn, a college junior . Her brother Brad, two years her senior, had graduated this spring from Yale University and was working as a research associate at Fred Alger. He is among the more than 4,500 people still missing after the World Trade Center plane crashes.
Even though he lived nearly 700 miles away, Brad Hoorn and his parents and sister, who live in Richland, Mich., communicated almost daily, often through e-mail and instant messages because it was cheaper than talking on the phone. His mother, Kathy, has printed out many of the messages.
"Me and him would instant-message all the time," Kara said. "I never saved them. I wish I did."
Even so, she said she'll never forget his last message to her, sent in real time over the Internet the night before he was lost, in which he used her childhood nickname: "i love you karse."
Despite the electronic medium's power to so accurately capture a person's image or words, however, some say there's still something missing.
INSTANT MESSAGING COMES TO HALT
Charlotte-Anne Lucas, an editor from TheStreet.com, was exchanging instant messages with one of the financial news site's columnists a few minutes before he disappeared into the trade center. Her conversation the morning of Sept. 11 with Bill Meehan, the chief market analyst for Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, was brief. She asked him if he was on track to file his midday column for TheStreet.com. He answered: "Yup."
It wasn't like seeing someone die in person, Adams said, but in some ways it was just as chilling.
A few minutes later, Adams saw on the television that planes had crashed into the towers and jerked her head back to her instant-message screen. It told her, "Wmeehan100 signed off at 8:49:35."
It wasn't like seeing someone die in person, Adams said, but in some ways it was just as chilling.
"It was incredibly powerful to me even though or maybe because it was a message that was automatically generated by the computer. It gave me an ominous feeling that he had died," she said, crying.
Since that day she has been saving more and more instant-message exchanges and e-mails, she said, perhaps because of some subconscious fear that other people, too, would suddenly disappear.
Yet she talks in contradictions about the notes. Personal, yet impersonal. Warm, yet cold. "The messages," she said, "are haunting."
2001 The Washington Post Company
|From: "Jeff Green" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2001 9:19 AM
Subject: Sent to me as "An amazing story"
Because of the esteem I hold for my father, a retired TWA Captain, revered for his professionalism and care for his passengers and his crew, and the daily changes that heightened security will play in our lives, as David Kennedy and I fly off to Flagstaff, AZ and Watsonville, CA and other flights once postponed, including to retrieve David's private airplane grounded in Albuquerque in flight from Chicago on September 11, I was particularly struck by this heartfelt account of our re-establishing public mobility and connection in the aftermath of so much pain.
From Annette Riggs:
Maria A. wrote:
The following is from a letter by a professional friend and her return flight to D.C. this week.
I just wanted to drop you all a note and let you know that I arrived safe and sound into Dulles Airport tonight [9/15] at about 6:00. It was an interesting flight.
The airport in Denver was almost spooky, it was so empty and quiet.
No one was in line for the security check point when I got there so that went fairly quickly, just x-ray of my bags and then a chemical test to be sure nothing explosive was on them.
Then I waited 2 1/2 hours to board the plane. What happened after we boarded was interesting and thought I would share it with you.
The pilot/captain came on the loudspeaker after the doors were closed. His speech went like this: First I want to thank you for being brave enough to fly today. The doors are now closed and we have no help from the outside for any problems that might occur inside this plane. As you could tell when you checked in, the government has made some changes to increase security in the airports.
They have not, however, made any rules about what happens after those doors close. Until they do that, we have made our own rules and I want to share them with you. Once those doors close, we only have each other.
The security has taken care of a threat like guns with all of the increased scanning, etc. Then we have the supposed bomb. If you have a bomb, there is no need to tell me about it, or anyone else on this plane; you are already in control. So, for this flight, there are no bombs that exist on this plane.
Now, the threats that are left are things like plastics, wood, knives, and other weapons that can be made or things like that which can be used as weapons.
Here is our plan and our rules. If someone or several people stand up and say they are hijacking this plane, I want you all to stand up together. Then take whatever you have available to you and throw it at them. Throw it at their faces and heads so they will have to raise their hands to protect themselves.
The very best protection you have against knives are the pillows and blankets. Whoever is close to these people should then try to get a blanket over their head-then they won't be able to see. Once that is done, get them down and keep them there. Do not let them up. I will then land the plane at the closest place and we WILL take care of them.
After all, there are usually only a few of them and we are 200+ strong! We will not allow them to take over this plane.
I find it interesting that the US Constitution begins with the words "We, the people"-that's who we are, THE people and we will not be defeated.
With that, the passengers on the plane all began to applaud, people had tears in their eyes, and we began the trip toward the runway.
The flight attendant then began the safety speech. One of the things she said is that we are all so busy and live our lives at such a fast pace. She asked that everyone turn to their neighbors on either side and introduce themselves, tell each other something about your families and children, show pictures, whatever. She said "for today, we consider you family. We will treat you as such and ask that you do the same with us."
During the flight we learned that for the crew, this was their first flight since Tuesday's tragedies. It was a day that everyone leaned on each other and together everyone was stronger than any one person alone. It was quite an experience.
You can imagine the feeling when that plane touched down at Dulles and we heard "welcome to Washington Dulles Airport, where the local time is 5:40". Again, the cabin was filled with applause.
Last night I saw a program with college students where one of them said that at their campus there are no more hyphenated titles, i.e., African-American, etc., everyone is just an American. No one will ever be able to take that pride away from us.
WHAT A GREAT CREATIVE RESPONSE ON THE PLANE! Maria
There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken, A shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy, And a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space too vast for words Through which we pass with each loss, Out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart as we break open To the place inside which is unbreakable and whole, While learning to sing.
|FLIGHT 93 SHOT DOWN
|Search for 9/11 Remains to Resume in New York
2010 04 05
By Dana ChivvisNew York City will take up its search for the remains of 9/11 victims again Monday by sifting through debris from the World Trade Center site in the hopes of releasing families from the emotional purgatory they have been in for the last nine years.
The material has been collected over the last two years from areas at ground zero that were previously inaccessible after the 2001 attack. But the city has been keeping the debris in a landfill in Staten Island, angering many families of the victims.
New York City will take up its search for the remains of 9/11 victims again Monday by sifting through debris from the World Trade Center site. Here, an excavator sifts through 9/11 rubble at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island in 2002. Shawn Baldwin, AP
"What we’re objecting to is they put them on the most recently used garbage dump," said Diane Horning, whose 26-year-old son, Matthew, was killed in the attacks. "They literally threw them in the dump."
Horning co-founded WTC Families For A Proper Burial along with her husband, Kurt. In 2005, they and 16 other families sued the city to have one million tons of debris moved off the landfill. Horning has suggested the city bury the material at an empty spot on the landfill, on nearby Governor’s Island in the New York Harbor, or at the Flight 93 memorial site in Shanksville, Pa. The families lost their initial case and their appeal, which they argued in December.
At the appellate hearing, James Tyrrell Jr., a lawyer for the city, argued that taxpayer money could not be used to move the pile.
"Digging up the landfill simply because somebody’s loved ones might be there -- that’s not a sufficient reason," Tyrrell said.
Horning hopes the upcoming sifting project will provide resolution for some families. The few remains she has of her son, which include his wallet, give her a connection to something that he once touched.
"When you get a fragment of your loved one, it’s a punch in the stomach telling you he was blown apart," Horning said. [Editor’s emphasis]
"Of those of us who have something, they’re very small fragments."
The sifting process beginning Monday will cost an estimated $1.4 million and will take three months. During that time, anthropologists and other professionals will hand-sift through 844 cubic yards of debris.
New York City has identified 25 new 9/11 victims since 2006. Work done up to December 2007 recovered 1,772 potential human remains, according to city records. But 41 percent of the families who lost loved ones in the World Trade Center attacks have yet to recover anything.
Sally Regenhard, an activist and co-founder of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, lost her 28-year-old son, Christian, a firefighter. To this day, she has not recovered any of his remains.
"I have no evidence that my son died. I never got the knock at the door," Regenhard said. "I have never been told where my son died, what building he was sent to, what he was doing."
She likens the feeling to those of the families of Argentina’s thousands of desaparecidos, taken by the Argentine government during the country’s Dirty War in the 1970s and whose whereabouts and fates often were never revealed.
"It would make what happened to us real because there is a gross and bizarre sense of unreality," Regenhard said. She believes the city has failed to search for and identify victims’ remains properly.
"A lot of the remains in the first several weeks ended up being picked up as debris -- as garbage -- along with everything else," said Glenn Corbett, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the chief technical adviser to the Skyscraper Safety Campaign. "There really was no concerted effort to recover remains in a systematic way."
In 2006, New York Sen. Charles Schumer and then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton asked both Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to request the help of the military’s Joint POW/MIA Command, an elite unit that identifies and accounts for Americans missing because of conflicts.
But the city said it didn’t need the help. At a community meeting in 2006, Dr. Bradley Adams, a forensic anthropologist with the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, said the city had hired more anthropologists than a team from JPAC would have provided.
When acquaintances of her son come to New York, they often ask Regenhard if they can visit his grave. She has to explain to them that he doesn’t have one.
"For myself and for so many people, we’ve never had a burial, we’ve never had a funeral," Regenhard said. "Often a gravestone is the only evidence that a person lived and a person died."
Instead, much of the evidence of the lives of World Trade Center victims is spread into thousands of tiny pieces, piled up in a landfill or buried under the streets of lower Manhattan.
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES - MAIN INDEX