The Official 9/11 Story 10.0

The Federal Bureau of Investigation – 9/11 Investigation Highlights

HomeAbout UsTen Years After: The FBI Since 9/11Response and Recovery

9/11 – Pentagon

Response and Recovery – The Pentagon in Flames

The first special agents from the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office to arrive at the Pentagon were stunned to see the physical symbol of America’s defense system in flames. A 90-foot gash marred its west wall. Little could withstand the forces of a Boeing 757 traveling 530 miles per hour and loaded with more than 4,300 gallons of fuel.

The plane punched through the limestone exterior and penetrated three of the Pentagon’s five rings. The initial explosion destroyed everything in its path and sent a fireball 300 feet in the air. Part of the building collapsed within 40 minutes, making rescue and recovery operations even more difficult and dangerous.

FBI Washington Responds

Within 15 minutes of the crash, the first special agent from the Washington Field Office arrived at the Pentagon and met with the ranking official from the Arlington County Fire Department. The FBI had already built strong relationships with the local emergency and law enforcement agencies at the site. Everyone knew that fire and rescue operations were the immediate priority.

The field office also sent members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force and the National Capital Response Squad: experts in evidence collection and photography, hazardous materials, bombs, weapons of mass destruction, and special weapons and tactics.

In all, more than 700 FBI agents and professional staff from 10 different field offices worked at the Pentagon over the next 17 days recovering victims, interviewing witnesses, and collecting evidence.

VIDEO – Doubletree Video – New 9/11 Pentagon video released

Recovery Efforts at the Pentagon

FBI Special Agents and professional staff took pains to work the crime scene without interfering with rescue operations—or endangering themselves. They photographed everything, collected evidence outside, and started looking for Flight 77’s data and voice recorders. The next day, teams of special agents entered the Pentagon behind search-and-rescue crews that stabilized the building as they looked for survivors.

Agents documented victims’ remains where they were found, then moved them to a temporary morgue. Agents then escorted all remains to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Dover, Delaware, for identification. FBI teams worked in two 12-hour shifts for more than two weeks to recover and identify all victims.

Sifting Through the Rubble

After several days of shadowing specialized search and rescue teams into the Pentagon, the FBI moved the bulk of the evidence collection and recovery work outside. Members of the Evidence Response Team carefully removed the debris while constantly looking for victims. Dump trucks then moved tons of material from the building to the north parking lot, where it was staged for sorting in 35 brand-new 30-foot containers.

Workers separated larger pieces first, allowing FBI evidence technicians and hundreds of volunteers from other agencies to sift through ever-smaller debris. They sorted remains, evidence, personal items, plane parts, and classified material from other rubble and trash.

The logistics were daunting. Workers needed protective equipment, which had to be properly decontaminated, discarded, and replaced. They also needed food and water, supplies, a place to rest, and a secure perimeter. Yet after 17 grueling days—thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of dedicated professionals from the FBI and dozens of agencies—the FBI declared the crime scene closed.

By all accounts, the morning of September 11, 2001 was a pivotal point in American history—and for the FBI.

The ensuing investigation was the most massive in the history of the Bureau. The attacks led to far-reaching changes in the organization, which quickly made prevention of terrorist strikes its overriding priority and deliberately set out to be more predictive and intelligence-driven in addressing all major national security and criminal threats.

Here you can find a range of materials on both the 9/11 investigation and how the FBI has changed in the past decade. We will be adding more information in the weeks to come.

“Over the past decade, the FBI has made a series of changes to enhance its ability to protect the nation from a vast array of ever-evolving threats—from hateful terrorists plotting in the shadows to cyber villains using emerging technologies to invade our homes and offices…from white-collar criminals scheming in corporate suites to burgeoning gangs sowing violence and crime in our communities.”

PENTBOMB

The first special agents from the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office to arrive at the Pentagon were stunned to see the physical symbol of America’s defense system in flames. A 90-foot gash marred its west wall. Little could withstand the forces of a Boeing 757 traveling 530 miles per hour and loaded with more than 4,300 gallons of fuel.

The plane punched through the limestone exterior and penetrated three of the Pentagon’s five rings. The initial explosion destroyed everything in its path and sent a fireball 300 feet in the air. Part of the building collapsed within 40 minutes, making rescue and recovery operations even more difficult and dangerous.

What happened to the passengers on flight 77?

“Agents documented victims’ remains where they were found, then moved them to a ‘temporary morgue. Agents then escorted all remains to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Dover, Delaware, for identification. FBI teams worked in two 12-hour shifts for more than two weeks to recover and identify all victims.”

Source: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/ten-years-after-the-fbi-since-9-11/response-and-recovery/pentagon

VIDEO – 9/11 Pentagon CCTV Footage cam2

9/11 – NYC

The collapse of the Twin Towers killed more than 2,600 people in the buildings and on the ground. Fortunately, several factors—the first day of school for some, Primary Day for others, and the early hour—reduced the number of people in the towers from the usual 40,000 to about 17,500.

North Tower: About 8,900 people were in the 110-story building when Flight 11 crashed into it at roughly 440 miles per hour. More than 1,400 people were still inside when it collapsed less than two hours later.

South Tower: More than 5,400 people were still inside the South Tower when Flight 175 flew into the building at about 540 miles per hour. The tower collapsed unexpectedly an hour later with more than 600 people inside.

For three decades, the Twin Towers stood as symbols of American prosperity and leadership. Their sudden collapse damaged several nearby buildings and choking dust and ash covered the city. Yet thanks to the efforts of more than 1,000 emergency workers and other heroes, approximately 15,000 people escaped from the towers alive.

VIDEO – WTC1 ‘Collapse’ and Ground Zero raw footage – Sauret

The City of New York started moving the debris to a closed landfill on Staten Island right away.

9/11 Response and Recovery – Shanksville, Pennsylvania

As the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in New York, passengers of United Flight 93 fought to gain control of the plane from its four hijackers over Pennsylvania.

In defeat, the terrorists drove the plane into the ground near Shanksville, killing all 40 passengers and crew. Shortly after 10:03 a.m., Pittsburgh had a mission much closer to home: recover the remains of the victims and collect any evidence that would help link all 19 hijackers responsible for nearly 3,000 deaths that summer morning.

VIDEO – Rumsfeld says Flight 93 was “shot down.”

Buried in the Ground

Special agents rushing to the crash scene of United Flight 93 expected to find a commercial jetliner in pieces. Instead they saw a smoldering hole in a field, a large pile of dirt, burning trees, and what looked like trash everywhere.

The plane was utterly destroyed because the hijackers drove it into an abandoned strip mine at more than 580 miles an hour at a sharp angle. Much of the plane and its contents were found beneath the soft dirt. The impact shot debris into the bordering woods and into a nearby pond.

Everyone who responded to the scene knew immediately that no one could have possibly survived.

Agents scouted locations for a temporary morgue and a place to safeguard victims’ belongings. At the crash site, technicians wired a command post with secure communications directly to FBI Headquarters. Dozens of federal, state, and local agencies and organizations sent resources and personnel to work with the more than 150 people from the FBI. In total, about 1,400 people worked at the site. About 600 Pennsylvania State Troopers provided a cordon of security.

Agents and staff from the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office first concentrated on finding the data and voice recorders from Flight 93. They focused on the impact crater. Excavators removed dirt and debris for thorough sifting, initially by hand. Evidence technicians found the flight data recorder about 12 feet below the surface and the cockpit voice recorder about 25 feet deep.

Throughout, the FBI focused on finding victims’ remains and their personal belongings among the evidence. Agents took remains to a temporary morgue and personal belongings to an airport hangar. Eventually the excavated crater measured 100 feet across and 35 feet deep.

The FBI also scoured an adjacent field, a wooded area, and a retention pond. All victims were identified. The site also yielded several key pieces of evidence, including two passports and a credit card from the hijackers, and a copy of the same martyr letter found in the belongings of hijackers of the other planes.

VIDEO – New exhibit highlights FBIs terror focus

VIDEO – Newseum: “War on Terror: The FBI’s New Focus”

NIST WTC 7 – “This report analyzes the global response of WTC 7 to fire-induced structural failures and the resulting sequence of component and subsystem failures to determine the events that led to the global collapse of the building. The analysis involved a finite element model of the entire building, which was developed in LS-DYNA. Preliminary work involved two-story and 14 story subassemblies. The 47 story global model was based on the original structural drawings as well as construction fabrication shop drawings for connections. The model included the primary structural components throughout the building, including exterior and core columns, floor framing beams and girders, floor slabs, column transfer truss structures, wind bracing truss members, and penthouse structures” (see: here).

VIDEO – 9/11 WTC 7 Demolition – Penthouse Collapse Close Up, Flashes, And Gas Ejections [WCBS2]

See: Was Flight 93 Shot Down by US Fighter Jets on September 11, 2001?

USGS imaging of Ground Zero after 9/11

Images of the World Trade Center Site Show Thermal Hot Spots on September 16 and 23, 2001.

U. S. Geological Survey, Open File Report OF-01-405

Roger N. Clark1, Robert O. Green2, Gregg A. Swayze1, Todd M. Hoefen1, K. Eric Livo1, Betina Pavi2, Chuck Sarcher2, Joe Boardman4, and J. Sam Vance3

1U. S. Geological Survey,
Denver, Colorado

2Jet Propulsion Lab
Pasadena, California

3U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Denver, Colorado

4Analytical Imaging and Geophysics, LLC Boulder, Colorado

This report presents results of Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) remote sensing data and interpretations that map the distribution and intensity of thermal hot spots in the area in and around the World Trade Center on September 16 and 23, 2001. Data collected on the 16th were processed, interprested and release to emergency response teams on the 18th of September, 2001. The September 23 data were processed, interpreted and the results released on October 12, 2001. The images of the World Trade Center site show significant thermal hot spots on Sept. 16, 2001. By Sept. 23, 2001, most of the hot spots had cooled or the fires had been put out.

The AVIRIS instrument is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) remote sensing instrument that measures upwelling spectral radiance in the visible through short-wavelength infrared. The instrument has 224 spectral channels (bands) with wavelengths from 0.37 to 2.5 microns (micrometers).

In response to requests from the EPA through the USGS, NASA flew AVIRIS on a De Havilland Twin Otter over lower Manhattan at mid-day on September 16 and 23, 2001. For these deployments, the Twin Otter was flown at altitudes of 6,500 and 12,500 feet. The spectral data for the maps shown here were measured at 6,500 feet and have a spatial resolution (pixel spacing) of approximately 6 feet (2 meters).

AVIRIS records the near-infrared signature of heat remotely. The accompanying maps are false color images that show the core affected area around the World Trade Center. Initial analysis of these data revealed a number of thermal hot spots on September 16 in the region where the buildings collapsed 5 days earlier. Analysis of the data indicates temperatures greater than 800oF. Over 3 dozen hot spots appear in the core zone. By September 23, only 4, or possibly 5, hot spots are apparent, with temperatures cooler than those on September 16.

AVIRIS thermal hot spot images of the World Trade Center Site on Sept. 16 and 23, 2001


The images (larger area shown below) also show vegetated areas as green. Water appears blue, and the smoke from the fires appears as a light blue haze. White and lighter blue areas are rooftops, roads, and concrete as well as dust and debris from the collapsed buildings. Dust, probably more than a millimeter thick, appears in shades of brown.

On the September 16th, 2001 image, large areas around the World Trade Centers show brownish colors, indicating the debris. On September 20, 2001 there was a significant rain storm that washed away some of the dusty debris. Reduction of the distribution of dust/debris is apparent in the September 23 image, and can be attributed to the cleanup effort along with the rain.

There are other red/orange spots that show in the images in the area south of the World Trade Center zone. These are hot spots from chimneys or heating exhaust vents and are normal and not other uncontrolled fires.

The AVIRIS data were processed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena California where the data are calibrated to radiance and corrected for aircraft yaw, pitch, and roll. Acquisition and calibration of AVIRIS data at JPL are under the direction of Dr. Robert O. Green. The data were then transmitted to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Imaging Spectroscopy Group in Denver, Colorado, under the direction of Dr. Roger N. Clark. Atmospheric and ground calibrations were applied to derive apparent surface reflectance and maps were then made of surface materials. The USGS imaging spectroscopy group includes Dr. Gregg Swayze, Eric Livo, and Todd Hoefen.

For further information, contact:
Dr. Roger N. Clark
rclark@usgs.gov

AVIRIS image of World Trade Center Site on Sept. 16, 2001


AVIRIS image of World Trade Center Site on Sept. 23, 2001


For information about AVIRIS, contact:
Robert O. Green
AVIRIS Experiment Scientist
rog@spectra.jpl.nasa.gov
Link to the AVIRIS Data Facility

About ajmacdonaldjr

writer, author, blogger
This entry was posted in Accident Prevention, Activism, Crime, Government, history, Law, Science, Society and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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