Thursday, February 17, 2005

9/11 Conspiracies Alive and Well in Spain

I was particularly fascinated by the cover story in the March edition of Popular Mechanics, titled, "9/11: Debunking the Myths." The article was especially fascinating due to an apparent discrepancy in opinions, which only served to further back my belief in the ever-present hatred of America in Spain. The issue deals with a mysterious "object" that may have been located under the wing of the United Airlines Flight 175, according to photographs before impact with the WTC.

From Popular Mechanics,

CLAIM: Photographs and video footage shot just before United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) show an object underneath the fuselage at the base of the right wing. The film "911 In Plane Site" and the Web site LetsRoll911.org claim that no such object is found on a stock Boeing 767. They speculate that this "military pod" is a missile, a bomb or a piece of equipment on an air-refueling tanker. LetsRoll911.org points to this as evidence that the attacks were an "inside job" sanctioned by "President George Bush, who planned and engineered 9/11."

FACT: One of the clearest, most widely seen pictures of the doomed jet's undercarriage was taken by photographer Rob Howard and published in New York magazine and elsewhere (opening page and at right). PM sent a digital scan of the original photo to Ronald Greeley, director of the Space Photography Laboratory at Arizona State University. Greeley is an expert at analyzing images to determine the shape and features of geological formations based on shadow and light effects. After studying the high-resolution image and comparing it to photos of a Boeing 767-200ER's undercarriage, Greeley dismissed the notion that the Howard photo reveals a "pod." In fact, the photo reveals only the Boeing's right fairing, a pronounced bulge that contains the landing gear. He concludes that sunlight glinting off the fairing gave it an exaggerated look. "Such a glint causes a blossoming (enlargement) on film," he writes in an e-mail to PM, "which tends to be amplified in digital versions of images--the pixels are saturated and tend to 'spill over' to adjacent pixels." When asked about pods attached to civilian aircraft, Fred E. Culick, professor of aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, gave a blunter response: "That's bull. They're really stretching."

However, what I discovered, and I found really hilarious, is that the "prestigious" daily newspaper of Catalonia, La Vanguardia, also ran an investigative series; however, their studies produced slightly different results. According to Eduardo Martín de Pozuelo and Xavier Mas de Xaxàs, two of the most well-known columnists for La Vanguardia, they concluded,

Various aeronautical engineers at official Spanish centers have found no clear explanation for the reflections or shapes which can be observed on the hijacked plane. However, a contour-detection digital analysis of the stills, carried out at the Escola Universitària Politècnica de Mataró, concludes that the "objects discerned cannot be due to shadows caused by the angle of incidence of the sun upon the plane as they always appear as the same shape and size, although their luminosity varies." This result was reached having subjected the photographs to a digital image process "which would respond to changes in luminance" which can be seen with the naked eye and which, in principle, would make no sense, given that the fuselage of commercial airplanes is cylindrical and flat, according to the cited technical report.

The author, who has had extensive professional experience in digital image processing, artificial neuronal networks and biometry, says in the report that "the same treatment" was applied to each of the photographs "using three standard digital image processing algorithms", the technical data of which are detailed at length in the dossier. Having clarified that "the images studied are taken from different angles of observation", it establishes that the "objects detected present distinct luminosity as they are in relief" and adds that "this is the only possible explanation", finally pointing out that "the objects detected can be clearly distinguished from the landing gear."

Now that is some interesting stuff.

9 Comments:

Blogger Aleksu said...

Hatred?

That's a bit too extreme of a word don't you think?

Come un, conspiracy theorists are all over the place, even in the USA.

People are still saying that the plane over PA was shot down, it adds mystery to the whole thing.

From there to hatred there is a stretch.

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