No, the Mecca-orientation of the Crescent of Embrace is NOT a product of the landform
Defenders of the Flight 93 memorial repeatedly insist that the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent HAS to be a coincidence. It is completely determined, they insist, by the landform, the path of Flight 93, and the impact point, leaving no room for intent to enter.
Of course it is crazy to think that, so long as it is just an unfortunate coincidence, there is nothing wrong with planting a giant Mecca-oriented crescent (the central feature of a mosque) on the graves of our murdered heroes. About as crazy, actually, as thinking that the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent could really be a coincidence. First architect Paul Murdoch just innocently comes up with a half mile wide Islamic-shaped crescent to honor the victims of Islamic terrorism, then he innocently places the Sacred Ground Plaza between the tips of the giant crescent, in the position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag, then he innocently just happens to point this entire crescent-and-star-flag configuration at Mecca (and on and on and on).
When the nation saw the second airliner hit the Trade Towers, everyone immediately knew that the first impact was no accident. The more airplanes that Paul Murdoch flies into the Flight 93 memorial, the more the Memorial Project thinks it HAS to be an accident. Its just TOO OUTLANDISH to think that an Islamic enemy could attack us out of the blue and unawares in such a henious way. What precedent is there for thinking that such a thing could even be possible? (Knock, knock, knock.) And so the more evidence they are confronted with, the more impossible it seems, and the more they insist that Murdoch HAS to be innocent.
Okay, so they are WILLFULLY blind. Even so, they still need an excuse to hang their willful blindness on, and part of Murdoch’s evil genius is to supply these excuses. That is where this trope about the crescent design being dictated by the landscape comes from. It comes from Murdoch, and is actually one of his most brilliant deceptions.
Murdoch’ PRELIMINARY DESIGN actually can be seen as dictated by the landform, the flight-path, and the point of impact
Before any designs were submitted, the Memorial Project gave all the design contestants a site organization map that labeled the “the ridgeline,” “the bowl,” “the crash site,” and “the flight path.” Architect Paul Murdoch claims that all he did was combine these elements by having the flight path symbolically “break” the circular bowl shape, creating the giant Crescent of Embrace design. If you start a crescent at the point where the flight path crosses the ridgeline, and follow the rim of “the bowl” around the ridgeline to create a crescent that “embraces” the Sacred Ground where Flight 93 crashed, then you get the Crescent of Embrace design. Since this procedure uniquely determines the orientation of the crescent, there is no room for the orientation to be determined by anyone’s intent. If it faces Mecca, it HAS to be a coincidence.
This argument actually works, but only when applied to Paul Murdoch’s ORIGINAL Crescent of Embrace design, which did NOT point to Mecca. Take a look:
Click for larger image.
The site organization map (left), shows “the bowl,” bordered by “the ridge,” along with the flight path and the crash site. Murdoch’s preliminary Crescent of Embrace design (right), uses the point where the flight path crosses the ridge/bowl as the end point for a crescent that has the Sacred Ground centered between its crescent tips. Resulting orientation: 11.1°. clockwise from north, which is 44.1° north of Mecca.
The explanatory notes in the preliminary design are perfectly accurate when they describe the crescent as focused on the Sacred Ground:
A curving arc of maple trees along a walkway unites the ridge and forms an edge to the bowl, with a focus on the Sacred Ground.
It is also correct to say that this crescent and its orientation are uniquely determined (to within 5° or so) by the landform, the flight path and the crash site. If the crescent arc were extended much further then it would no longer point to the Sacred Ground. (The amount of curve between the end points of the crescent does not matter. Murdoch established the curve of his original crescent by smoothing the curved shape of the ridge line.)
If THIS crescent is uniquely determined by the combination of landform, flight path and crash site, then the final Crescent of Embrace design, rotated 42.3° further to the east, obviously CANNOT be determined by these factors. By extending the crescent in his final design to match the full Islamic crescent shape (covering about 2/3rds of a circle of arc), Murdoch created a crescent that no longer points to the Sacred Ground:
The bisector of the crescent in Murdoch’s final Crescent of Embrace design points approximately 1.8 ° north of Mecca (marked “qibla”). Notice that the bisector of this Mecca-oriented crescent does not even touch the Sacred Ground, but crosses through the upper portion of the Sacred Ground Plaza that sits up the flight path from the Sacred Ground.
While the crescent no longer points to the Sacred Ground, Murdoch still PRETENDS that it does. Asked last summer about the orientation of the crescent, Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley and architect Paul Murdoch both claimed that it points to the Sacred Ground:
Further, [Hanley] added, it is still unclear exactly where on the landscape the memorial will even be situated. It could move as much as 200 yards, she said, discounting the idea that it faces Mecca.
“The only thing that orients the memorial is the crash site,” she said.
Mr. Murdoch reinforced that idea.
“It’s oriented toward the Sacred Ground,” he said. “It just couldn’t be clearer.”
Hanley may be honestly duped, but Murdoch knows full well that the crescent does not point to the Sacred Ground. Such an orientation would ruin his mosque design, not just because a Sacred Ground oriented crescent would no longer point to Mecca, but also because it would place the graves of the infidels in the location of the star on an Islamic flag, leaving them inside the symbolic Islamic heavens. Blasphemy!
Murdoch has a very different symbolism in mind for the star on his giant crescent and star flag. In the top third of the Sacred Ground Plaza, centered on the bisector of the giant crescent, in the exact position of the star on an Islamic flag, sits a separate upper section of Memorial Wall, inscribed with the 9/11 date. The date goes to the star on the Islamic flag. The date goes to the terrorists.
The duping of David Beamer
At this August’s public meeting of the Memorial Project, David Beamer (father of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer) came out to counter Tom Burnett Sr.’s protests against the crescent design.
Mr. Beamer declared that he had performed several months of due diligence investigating the warnings about the crescent design, by which he presumably meant that he had checked at least a few of our factual claims, like the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent (now called a broken circle). But instead of reporting the results of his fact-checking, Beamer changed the subject. He did not say a single word about the accuracy of any of our claims, but only reported how he had met with architect Paul Murdoch and was satisfied that Murdoch’s design properly honors his son and the other murdered heroes of Flight 93.
If he actually did any fact checking, then he is fully aware that the giant crescent DOES point within 2° of Mecca, in which case there is only one plausible explanation for Beamer declaring the design innocent. Murdoch must have convinced him that the crescent orientation is determined by the landform, the flight path and the crash site, so that its orientation on Mecca HAS to be coincidence.
If Mr. Beamer had bothered to talk to the person who has been warning of an enemy plot then Alec Rawls would have explained to him that no, these physical facts about the crash site do NOT yield a Mecca-oriented crescent. They yield a crescent that points 44° north of Mecca. It is a very strange concept of due diligence to trust the assurances of the person one is being warned is an enemy operative while refusing to talk to the person who is issuing warnings
Very strange too, to think that just because one is convinced that the Mecca orientation of the crescent is a coincidence, that somehow makes it okay to deny the Mecca orientation when speaking to the press and the public, as several Project spokesmen have now done. The fact that Beamer and Hanley and other Project Partners have been duped be Murdoch”s explanations would be of little consequence if they just let the public know what they know, so the American people can decide for themselves whether the fact that it might be a coincidence makes it okay to plant the world’s largest Mecca-direction indicator on the Flight 93 crash site.
Obviously the answer would be “NO!” and this nightmare would be over. It is the lying that is the problem. Hanley et. al. can be a bunch of dupes if they want, but they have no right to deceive the public about what they know.
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