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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by ziggy (25) on 2003.02.27 10:57 (#17576) Journal
    Nothing on Snopes (yet) - I guess this is just a left-wing (or right? - I get my sides confused) nut^Wconspiracy theorist.
    Obviously. There were similar stories about Arabs and Muslims being warned that sounded a lot like this one that I remember from late September 2001.

    Let's accept as fact the 85-floor "NO SURVIVOR zone" is legit. Let's also accept as fact that there were somewhere in the range of 19,000 to 20,000 workers in those floors. Let's also be generous and accept most of the roughly 3,000 workers who perished worked on those floors.

    Everything listed so far is just on the edge of being plausable. Everything after the introduction of "Maria Sanchez" is not; the second part of the letter is written to pull on your heart strings and lead you down an antisemitic line of thought, and lead into the third part that questions Israel's right to exist and the competance of the US Military. It also reads like poorly written fiction.

    Set aside the rhetoric and examine these seemingly plausible facts. The first plane hit at around 8:45 am. Anyone who has worked in NYC knows that most people do not show up at their desks at 9 AM sharp, and are chronically a few minutes late for a host of good reasons, mostly transit related (slow train, commuter rail schedules, long line at the bagel shop today, etc.). But the plane didn't hit at 9AM, it hit earlier when fewer people would have been at their desks. Don't forget that the people who were en route around 8:45 and later just didn't go into the office.

    Next, a goodly chunk of those 85 floors were in tower 2, the second one to be hit and the first one to go down. The second plane hit about a half hour later. So not only were fewer people at their desks, but they had more time to evacuate before their offices were hit.

    Add all that up, and it's quite reasonable that a small fraction of the presumably 20,000 office workers in these 85 floors perished.

    Realistically, the estimate of 85 floors and 20,000 people "supposed to have died" are way high. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I remember the number of high floors where no one survived only numbered about 12-20; according to this kook's numbers, that would bring the number of office workers in these floors down to the 5,000 range; factor in people not at their desks for any number of reasons, and 3,000 is both believable and accurate.

    So even if you weren't going to paint this guy as a kook for his anti-Israel, anti-semetic and anti-US rhetoric, look at his numbers. They don't add up.

    • The numbers are actually pretty bad on top of that.

      For a data point, WTC 1, the first tower to be hit, housed Cantor Fitzgerald securities. Cantor had floors 102 to 107 (107 was the top floor of tower 1), and they lost 600 people for 6 floors, and they were by far the most densely packed of the top floor tenants, especially at that time of the morning. (The brokers got in to get a jump on the markets)

      That's at best, then, assuming the 85 floor 'kill zone' is accurate (and it wasn't, given tower 2 had time