World Trade Center – Norad Had Drills

When I visited New York with my dad in 1997, we were amazed at the magnitude of the World Trade Center. The towers were just so much bigger than all of the other gigantic buildings, it was just so amazing to see even one of them, but then to turn around and see two of these unnaturally humongous buildings was unreal.

We had been down in the subway / basement area of one of the towers and wondered why it was filled with scaffolding for support instead of heavily reinforced concrete pillars like you would expect. Well we figured out that they put in the scaffolding as reinforcement after a terrorist bomb went off in the early 90’s — a terrorist attempt to collapse the building.

When we were outside looking up at the buildings I asked my dad what he thought would happen if a terrorist used an airplane to crash into them. It seemed like a pretty obvious thing to wonder, just because they were so high in the air and had been the target of previous attacks. Also I remembered hearing about a John Grisham novel that featured terrorists flying a highjacked commercial airliner into the Capital Building.

My dad had heard that a low-flying airplane had crashed into the Empire State Building many years ago and extrapolated from that story, that if a plane did hit one of the towers, likely a similar thing would happen: the plane would crash and smoke would come out. In the end I said I hoped we would never find out for sure.

As it turns out the Empire State Building was hit in 1945 by a B-25 bomber. Thirteen people died, and many were hurt. Interesting details here.

World Trade Center Twin Towers 1997

The reason I tell this story is because I find it hard to believe that nobody in their government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale. (Somebody did, as the article explains). Heck, all you had to do was look at those buildings and think that’s the easiest target in New York way up in the sky where they don’t belong. Anyway I’m not saying I think they were stupid for being unprepared or for thinking they wouldn’t fall, just that I think it’s stupid to think nobody thought that it might happen, because I for one thought about it.