14 September 2001

    BBC News Online, 14 September 2001

    The Daily Telegraph, 14 September 2001

    Marty France <>

    Clark Whelton <>
    Lutz Schmadel <>

    Richard L.S. Taylor <>

    Bill Mullen <>

    Jens Kieffer-Olsen <>

    Hermann Burchard <>


>From the BBC News Online, 14 September 2001

Millions are expected to observe the silence

Countries throughout the world are observing a day of mourning for those
killed in the US terror attacks.

US President George W Bush declared Friday a day of "prayer and remembrance"
to honour the victims.

He will attend a prayer service at the National Cathedral in Washington
before travelling to New York to see the devastation of the World Trade
Center for himself.

The 43 nations of the Council of Europe have called for all of their 800
million citizens to observe three minutes of silence on Friday.

The silent tribute is scheduled to begin at 1000 GMT.

The BBC will join the tribute by marking a three-minute silence across all
of its networks and services.

The plan for the three minute silence was initiated by the 15 nations of the
European Union, who have declared Friday a national day of mourning.

Throughout the world flags are flying at half mast

Leaders of the EU nations will issue a joint statement on Friday expressing
their sympathy with the United States.

The Council of Europe's Secretary General Walter Schwimmer said: "I appeal
to the 800 million citizens in the Council of Europe member states to join
us in this moment of grief, in an expression of our deepest sympathy with
the victims and their families".

The Council of Europe was set up in 1949 to promote democracy and human
rights and it includes almost all of the countries in Europe.


Throughout the world, special ceremonies and services will be held in memory
of those who were killed.

In London, the Queen accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of
Wales will join Prime Minister Tony Blair and the American ambassador at a
special service of remembrance at St Paul's Cathedral.

Canada has also declared a national day of mourning. Prime Minister Jean
Chretien said that the day "will show our solidarity that we feel towards
our American friends and the families of the Canadian victims."

"We want to fortify their courage in the face of this terrible situation."

Close US ties

In Ireland, Friday has been declared a public holiday and the country will
come to a virtual standstill as businesses, schools and state offices are

The government has urged as many people as possible to attend mass. Prime
Minister Bertie Ahern and President Mary McAleese will attend a service in
Dublin's main cathedral.

Prayers are being said for the thousands still missing

The government said it was observing the day of mourning because of
Ireland's close ties with the US - Mr Ahern said that 44 million American
people claimed Irish descent.

A national day of mourning has also been declared in South Korea - the first
time it has done so for another country.

A government spokesman said the decision had been made because "the United
States is our closest ally, which has helped make our country what it is

Copyright 2001, BBC


>From The Daily Telegraph, 14 September 2001

PARLIAMENT reconvenes today in emergency session with this country, as well
as the United States, virtually at war.

On Wednesday, the North Atlantic alliance, of which we are a part, invoked
Article 5 of its treaty for the first time since its foundation in 1949.
That commits signatories, if necessary with armed force, to come to the aid
of any member that has been attacked in Europe or North America.

The victim in this case is the United States, the principal bulwark of the
alliance for more than half a century. On Tuesday, the suicide attacks on
the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon probably inflicted more casualties
on America on one day than at any time since the Civil War. President Bush
yesterday described the fight against their perpetrators as "the first war
of the 21st century". The other 18 members of Nato have formally committed
themselves to that struggle. Against that sombre background, Tony Blair will
today make his statement to the House of Commons as a prelude to a full

The Prime Minister should leave the nation in no doubt about the gravity of
the task facing the United States and its allies. It is bringing to justice
those who carried out the heinous crimes against so many innocent people,
and holding to account those governments that may have backed them. As yet,
it is not clear who hijacked the planes and who were their supporters; we
are still waiting to learn the nature of the enemy. The finger points to
Islamist radicals and haters of America and Israel in the Middle East. The
challenge of patiently building a coalition against them is under way. Given
the shadowy nature of the target, Mr Bush faces an even more difficult task
than his father after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

The war against terrorism will be a long haul, as Colin Powell, the American
Secretary of State, has warned us. First, the investigations have to be
completed and the findings evaluated. Then, there may be an attempt to
capture those directly involved in financing and planning Tuesday's
catastrophe. After that, perhaps, Washington and its allies will impose
economic sanctions on, or take military action against, countries that are
shown to have encouraged or harboured the terrorists.

In that protracted struggle, Britain, as America's closest ally, will have a
pivotal role in keeping the Europeans to the commitment they undertook on
Wednesday. Rudolf Scharping, the German defence minister, has already given
notice of transatlantic differences by denying that the civilised world
faces a war against terrorism. French unease at following a lead taken by
America can almost be taken for granted. Mr Blair believes he can have his
cake and eat it by being both a committed European and a committed
Atlanticist. In this life-and-death fight against the greatest threat to
democracy since the collapse of Soviet communism, he may have to choose
between America and the two core nations of the European Union.

At the other end of the Continent, Nato is fortunate in having Turkey among
its members. In this conflict, it matters more than Germany and France. As
in 1990-91, it occupies a crucial strategic position in meeting an acute
threat to the democratic world. Beyond the alliance, Washington will have to
ensure the co-operation of Pakistan, particularly if military action on the
ground is contemplated in Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden and his
Taliban protectors. If strikes are made on Iraq, the one country
wholeheartedly to welcome the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington,
it will require the support of Saudi Arabia.

What happened on Tuesday finally buried the new world order proclaimed by Mr
Bush's father. It faces the democratic world with the greatest challenge to
its resilience since the early days of the Cold War. President Bush has
picked up the gauntlet. In the House today, the Government must prepare the
country for what it will take to stand firm beside him.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2001.



>From Marty France <>

Thanks, Benny, for your kind words, support, and prayers.

I was in the building when the airplane struck, but luckily I was on the
complete opposite side of the building on the first floor. We didn't hear or
feel a thing and, in fact, didn't know something had happened until we saw
the Pentagon on CNN--we were already watching CNN's coverage of the WTC
disaster. It wasn't identified as an aircraft strike for several minutes
later and there was a good deal of confusion about what type of craft had
hit the building. No alarms went off where we were for several minutes.
About 5 minutes after the strike, we got word that the building was being
evacuated and everyone exited the building on our side in an orderly
fashion. As we left the East entrance towards North Parking, we could see
the black smoke billowing about a quarter mile away on the west side on the
Pentagon around corridors 4 and 5.

We all crossed the bridge and everyone kept moving. Some parents ran to the
child care center to get their children. They'd moved the kids to a grassy
area along the river in a remarkably fast an efficient manor and it was
surreal to sea a couple hundred toddlers in the grass playing with the
concerned child care workers, some of the smaller kids in portable cribs and

Realizing that we didn't want to present a large (10,000 or more) target to
whomever might be attacking, most of the personnel walked either northto the
Arlington Cemetery Metro Stop or south to Crystal City. Others just got in
their cars and left.

About half-way to Arlington, we were stunned by two large explosions,
seemingly coming from the west near the Navy Annex. We looked up in the sky,
though, and saw two USAF F-16s. They'd arrived supersonically and were now
patrolling the Capitol. For an American, the sight of seeing the Pentagon
burning and fighters circling the Capitol was unimaginable just hours

I won't bore you with my travails getting home to my family, but suffice it
to say that the first couple of phone calls that actually connected with my
wife, dad and others were unexpectedly emotional for one who got away very

Among my colleagues, several carried medical supplies around the building
and waited to help, but there were already an enormous number of emergency
workers on the scene.

As you know now, 190 are missing and presumed dead as of now. 64 from the
aircraft and 126 at the Pentagon--8 civilians, about 42 Navy and the rest
Army, plus another 25 or so greivously injured. Two on-board the aircraft
were DoD civilians. The amazing number of stories from my friends who were
at the crash site are just now being told. An entire Army conference room
hit with 26 killed. Offices and secure facilities thrown into total smoky
darkness from where survivors crawled out, pulling their compatriots.
Several friends were thrown to the ground. Whole offices were destroyed
while the office next door was almost unscathed. A very close friend of mine
and National War College classmate was away from his office when it hit. His
deputy and two civilians were killed in his office. There are obviously many
heroic stories that we'll hear in the coming days.

The building is AMAZINGLY strong and so are its inhabitants. 190 is a huge
number, but in a building that houses 23,000 each day, it could've been an
order of magnitude or more worse.

I'm now serving 12 hour shifts on the Joint Staff's Crisis Action Team
within the National Military Command Center. This morning, the wait to give
blood in the Pentagon concourse was over 3 hours. About half of the building
is open for business. The grim work is being done and courses of action are
being developed--as you'd expect.

I know I speak for all of us in the US, the Pentagon and the military when I
say that we are strengthened by the instantaneous, rock-solid support that
our friends and allies in Europe and around the world have expressed. This
will not be treated as a crime, but an act of war. We will respond in a
manner appropriate for a war, albeit (as yet) undeclared, I'm sure. This is
a new Century and a new war--one that we'll win. Together. Again.

Lieutenant Colonel Marty France, USAF
The Joint Staff/J-8


>From Clark Whelton <>
Benny... BRAVO! And bless you!

My office is five blocks from the World Trade Center. The first blast had a
relatively small impact, but the second one shook our building. By the time
I got to a window on the side of the building facing the WTC, both towers
were in flames and people were leaping from the 70th
floor level. Their bodies fell straight down to the plaza.

At first the towers looked solid. But as the blazing jet fuel melted the
beams, the towers collapsed. Our building was engulfed in thick clouds of
dust and smoke.... finally got out when the air became clearer and walked
uptown to my daughter's apartment.... Got a dose of dust that has left me
coughing. Still shaking, but basically okay.

Only barbarians could have done such a thing. They have sown the wind. Now
they will reap the whirlwind.



>From Lutz Schmadel <>

Using President Kennedy's words to us, the free people of Berlin, I want to
state - I am an American.

Lutz D. Schmadel

Dr. Lutz D. Schmadel                Astronomisches Rechen-Institut
                                      Moenchhofstr. 12-14, D-69120
Phone : ++49 6221 405155                                FAX: ++49 6221


>From Richard L.S. Taylor <>

Dear Benny,

The appalling damage and loss of life in New York and all the problems and
consequences that are likely to flow from it were caused by 'impactors' that
had a mass of no more than 300 tonnes and were travelling at a velocity of
~0.2km/s. Having watched the events in New York live on TV and with growing
horror and initial disbelief, it chills me to think what the actual effects
of even the smallest asteroid strike would be like. The fact that human evil
caused the terrible events in New York is a matter on which the world must
and will act. But Governments should take warning also of the need to take
the potential of random natural impact disasters more seriously
and do more than the window-dressing that Duncan Steel drew attention to
recently. Governments must take the necessary action to address the NEO
impact problem.

Richard L.S. Taylor,
Probability Research Group. London UK


>From Bill Mullen <>


Well done. You have risen to the terrorist crisis immediately, as I expected
you would, by going to the heart of the matter and addressing the nexus
between the apocalyptic mindset and the ideology of terrorism. 

Keep at it.



>From Jens Kieffer-Olsen <>

Dear Benny Peiser,

Naturally a temptation exists to dwell at the political and religious
implications of the Manhattan Massacre.

Within the scope of CCNet, however, I feel we should use the occasion to
address the issue from an entirely different angle - by drawing a parallel
to the hypothetical scenario after the impact of a bolide over an urban

In particular I wish to commend Andy Smith for his work to step up
preparedness in general. Let's assume for a moment - call it a gedanken
experiment if you will - that 25 skyscrapers in a large metropolis were
badly damaged due to the impact of a celestial object. The survivors we are
inclined to believe after yesterday will be left largely to their own
devices. Wouldn't it
be helpful, if the occupants of the upper floors had access to parachutes in
the event of an emergency? How many lives could have been saved at the WTC,
had such a precaution been implemented? Or if the walls of each building had
had external escape ladders?

As catastrophies - whether natural or man-made - are bound to happen over
years to come, let's train our minds to routinely multiply any scale of
destruction by 100 and share our thoughts
on how the chances for survival could have been ameliorated.

Even in the case of biological terrorism the above formula would make sense,
since as we know from the proponents of Panspermia there may be nasty little
creatures lurking in deep space.

Yours sincerely

Jens Kieffer-Olsen, M.Sc.(Elec.Eng.)
Slagelse, Denmark


>From Hermann Burchard <>

Dear Benny,

the leading German daily DIE WELT reports technological aircraft safety
measures that could have prevented the NY and DC disasters.

Unfortunately, the article exists probably only in German. Briefly, an
obvious technological solution would be to use telemetry, including GPS for
collision avoidance. A warning system is already installed on all aircraft
flying on international routes. Airbus planes have additional

systems that prevent dangerous maneuvers, all of which could be integrated
into navigation systems to prevent collisions even in the absence of action
by the pilot or against his will, DIE WELT is quoting Stefan Levedag of
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Braunschweig.

If necessary, take control of the plane from the pilot and fly the craft
from the ground by telemetry. Russian military planes even when manned have
already been flying by remote piloting. Weighing different options, Levedag
concludes that an inexpensive solution would be to have each plane transmit
its GPS data to ground stations continually.



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