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To see the original "Crescent of Embrace" and "Bowl of Embrace" design graphics, go to the "supplementary material" page.

Instructions for verifying a few basic claims about the crescent design (including the 4 listed in our petition), starting from source documents:

1.  Just by looking, you can see that the original Crescent of Embrace design was laid out roughly in the configuration of an Islamic crescent and star flag:


Left: publicity shot of winning Crescent of Embrace design, from Paul Murdoch Architects, 2005 (from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, September 8, 2005). Right: Wikipedia’s “typical” Islamic crescent and star, colored red and viewed from a similar orientation. The copse of trees that sits roughly in the position of the star on an Islamic flag marks the crash site.

2.  The giant crescent points almost exactly to Mecca, and architect Paul Murdoch proves that this orientation is intentional by repeating it exactly in the crescents of trees that surround the Tower of Voices part of the memorial. Instructions here.

(Very briefly, to verify the rough Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent, just print out the direction to Mecca from the crash site as generated by the prayer direction calculator at and place it over the site-plan view of the Crescent of Embrace to see that the Mecca-direction line bisects the crescent. Takes literally 2 minutes. If is not working, there is another Mecca-direction calculator at

3.  There will be 44 inscribed translucent memorial blocks emplaced along the flight path, matching the number of passengers, crew, AND terrorists. (Also takes about 2 minutes to verify. Just open up the design drawings and count.)

4.  The giant crescent remains completely intact in the so-called redesign.  (For full details visit this link. Short version below.)

The design was originally described as a broken circle, and it is still described as a broken circle, with the unbroken part of the circle (the crescent) remaining exactly as it was . The only change was the inclusion of an extra arc of trees that explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle. Here is an animated graphic, showing this lone change:

Crescent-Bowl, site-plan animation, 300px

Animation superimposes the Bowl of Embrace redesign on the original Crescent of Embrace design, then takes away everything but the changes (the flashing extra arc of trees).

Now instead of the broken off part of the circle being removed entirely, a chunk of the broken off part of the circle remains floating out behind the mouth of the crescent, which remains completely unchanged. The unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11,  is still a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.

5.  The 9/11 date will be inscribed on a separate section of Memorial Wall, set in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag.

6.  There are only 38 Memorial Groves instead of the advertised 40, forming a set of 19 nested crescents: one for each 9/11 terrorist.

Again, Paul Murdoch proves intent by repeating this feature in the Tower of Voices part of the memorial, which is surrounded by a second set of 19 nested crescents. (Gets complicated conceptually, but still trivially easy to verify. It is just a matter of counting.)

7.  The Tower of Voices is a year round accurate Islamic sundial.

This is NOT trivial to verify (and is a low priority for that reason). Takes probably a whole day of careful work, but you can see the overt similarity just by looking:


Traditional Islamic sundial, left. The gnomon's shadow is just reaching the outer curved vertical, indicating time for Islamic afternoon prayers. Tower of Voices, right. Shadow calculations confirm that, when the tower's shadow reaches the inner arc of trees, it will also be time for Islamic afternoon prayers.


The full list of Islamic and terrorist memorializing features is much longer. For the full exposé, read my Crescent of Betrayal book. (Preliminary draft available for free download until the print version arrives in bookstores.)

Features 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 above were singled out for mention in our petition to stop the crescent design. Short explanations with graphical demonstrations were included on the back of our paper petition, and by link from our electronic petition.

Below is my original "proof" page, as posted in June 2007 (still perfectly adequate):


Supplementary press-release: enough evidence to constitute proof

Six short exhibits provide proof that the half-mile wide central crescent of the Crescent/Bowl of Embrace design is oriented on Mecca, and that this orientation is not a coincidence and that it remains intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign. The book provides multiply redundant proof of these and many other terrorist-memorializing features.

Exhibit 1.  Crescent and star.

When the winning Crescent of Embrace design for the Flight 93 memorial was unveiled in September 2005, onlookers were aghast to see planted on the crash site, not just a gigantic Islamic crescent, but a full naked Islamic crescent-and-star flag:

The copse of trees that sits in roughly the position of the star on an Islamic flag sits just above Flight 93’s point of impact. Inside the copse of trees sit the upper and lower sections of memorial wall. (Flag array compiled by Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics.)


Exhibit 2.  Not just a crescent, but an Islamic crescent.

Architect Paul Murdoch denied that his crescent is similar to an Islamic crescent:

“It’s a generic term for a form that’s basically a curved line,” he said. “Sure, there is an Islamic crescent. But it has a very different form.

“Theirs is a lunar crescent. Ours isn’t based on that.”

In fact, Murdoch’s crescent and the Islamic crescent share the same distinctive geometry, as can be seen by overlaying the two:

This sequence of images shows the crescent from the Tunisian flag, rotated to match the Crescent of Embrace site-plan. (Similar to Zombie's graphic from 2 days after the Crescent of Embrace was unveiled, except Zombie rotated the site-plan to match the orientation of the crescent on the Tunisian flag instead of vice versa.)

Murdoch’s crescent has the same circular-inner-arc geometry of an Islamic crescent, it covers the same 2/3rds of a circle of arc as a typical Islamic crescent, and it has the red color that is most associated with the Islamic crescent. In contrast, the inner arc of a lunar crescent is elliptical (it is the circular dividing line between the lit and dark halves of the moon, viewed from an oblique angle), and it only covers a half a circle of arc.

Mr. Murdoch claims to be familiar with the Islamic crescent, and the similarity of his crescent to the Islamic crescent would suggests that he is familiar with the Islamic crescent, which would seem to make his statement to the press about his crescent having a different geometry than the Islamic crescent a case of plain deception.


Exhibit 3.  It points towards Mecca.

Shortly after the unveiling of the Crescent of Embrace, the anonymous “Etaoin Shrdlu” posted a graphic demonstrating that a person facing directly into the Crescent of Embrace would be facing almost exactly at Mecca, the direction that Muslims face for prayer. Over the next couple of weeks, several bloggers verified this result, both mathematically and graphically.

The simplest demonstration of Mecca orientation was put together by Sarah Wells at the bluemerle blog who found an Islamic website ( that will generate a graphic of the direction to Mecca (the “qibla” direction) for any city in America. Superimposing the qibla graphic for Pittsburgh on the Crescent site-plan, Sara was able to demonstrate, not just that the Crescent of Embrace is oriented on Mecca, but that this is indeed the direction that Muslims face for prayer.

Below is a recreation of Sarah’s graphic, with the exact orientation of the Crescent added. It starts with the direction to Mecca from the city of Somerset Pennsylvania (about ten miles west of the Flight 93 crash-site):


The qibla direction from Somerset PA, generated by

The next step is to impose orientation lines on the Crescent of Embrace. The orientation is defined by the crescent tips. Just connect the most obtruding points of Crescent structure at top and bottom, then add a perpendicular bisector:

The red arrow shows the orientation of the Crescent of Embrace. (From screen shot of Crescent site plan, with north at top.)

To compare the two directions, just lay the graphic on top of the orientation of the crescent:

Overlay shows that the Crescent of Embrace is oriented just slightly north of the exact direction to Mecca.

To be precise, the qibla from Somerset points 55° clockwise from north, ± .1°, while a person facing directly into the Crescent of Embrace would be pointing 53.40° from north, ± .1°.  (The accuracy margin comes from fact that there are a couple of different pixels that could plausibly be taken as marking the furthest extents of the Crescent structure at the top and the bottom.)

The exact direction to Mecca from the crash-site (about ten miles east of Somerset) is 55.19° clockwise from north. Thus the Crescent of Embrace is oriented about 1.8° north of the exact Mecca line. Instructions for doing exact calculations are included at the end of this post, but with the overlay method, these calculations are not necessary. One can see directly how closely the two orientations correspond.


Exhibit 4:  Not a coincidence

If the Mecca-orientation of the giant Crescent of Embrace were coincidental, it would still be inappropriate. We cannot use a symbol of Islam, oriented towards the spiritual center of Islam, as the central feature of the Flight 93 memorial, even unintentionally. But is it unintentional?

Paul Murdoch’s Crescent design includes numerous confirmations that the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent is not a coincidence. Consider one. In addition to its gigantic central crescent, the Crescent design also includes a gigantic Tower of Voices: a ninety-three foot tall tower, formed in the shape of an extruded crescent, surrounded by a vast array of crescents of trees.

A line drawn across the most obtruding tips of the Tower crescents has the exact same slightly-north-of-Mecca orientation of the central crescent. That is, the Tower-crescents are turned exactly 90° to the giant central crescent (where it is the perpendicular to the crescent-tip line that points slightly north of Mecca).

Here is the Tower of Voices section of the Crescent site-plan:

The Tower of Voices is the black dot at the center of the array of crescents. The blue line drawn across the most obtruding crescent tips points 1.8° north of Mecca, replicating the orientation of the central crescent. Without rotating either graphic, this blue arrow can be laid exactly on top of the red arrow that indicates the orientation of the central crescent:

Red and blue make purple. The orientations are identical, within the pixel resolution of the graphics.

By replicating the orientation of the central crescent in the Tower of Voices, architect Paul Murdoch is confirming that neither is a coincidence. The forthcoming book Crescent of Betrayal exposes numerous such confirmations in Murdoch’s design. It is jam packed to the gills with Islamic and jihadist design elements, all of which repeat each other and point to each other, over and over and over and over again, generally to within a tenth of a degree.


Exhibit 5:  The central feature of a mosque

A crescent that people face into to face Mecca is called a “mihrab,” and is the central feature around which every mosque is built. Here is a photograph of the mihrab of the Great Mosque in Cordoba Spain:

Cordoba, Spain

The Cordoba mihrab gives the direction to Mecca both through the orientation of its crescent topped façade, and by the orientation of the octagonal shaped room inside. (Photo from’s Cordoba page.)

The mihrab is the focus of a mosque similar to the way that an altar is the focus of a Christian church. Mosque sermons are delivered from a pulpit, called a mimbar, that is usually placed either in front of the mihrab or to the side of the mihrab. Mihrabs can take on a variety of shapes. Many have a pointed arch shape, but the prototypical mihrab (as found at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina) is crescent shaped, like the Cordoba mihrab.

Mihrabs are usually three dimensional. Sometimes the depth dimension is fairly shallow (hence the common description of a mihrab as a “prayer niche”). Sometimes the depth dimension is pronounced, as in the Cordoba mihrab. But not all mihrabs are three dimensional. One prominent exception is the Muslim prayer-rug, called a “musalla” (translated “small mosque”). The prayer-rug is a mosque reduced to its bare essentials. It is a personal mihrab, giving the direction to Mecca only in the horizontal dimensions of width and depth. Geometrically, the Crescent of Embrace is equivalent to a gigantic Muslim prayer-rug.

There are about a dozen typical mosque features. Crescent of Betrayal will detail how every one of these typical mosque features is realized in the Crescent of Embrace design, all on the same epic scale as Murdoch’s half-mile wide mihrab. Further, these mosque features exhaust the entire design. There is literally nothing in the entire Crescent of Embrace that is not readily interpretable as a typical mosque feature, realized on an epic scale. Included in these mosque features are a host of terrorist-memorializing features. (Most grand mosques are memorial mosques.) Not only is the Crescent of Embrace slated to be the world’s largest mosque, it is a terrorist-memorial mosque.


Exhibit 6:  The Mecca-oriented crescent is still present in redesign

At the end of November 2005, a Bowl of Embrace redesign was announced. The Bowl of Embrace (today called simply The Flight 93 Memorial) leaves every Islamic and jihadist element of the original Crescent of Embrace completely intact. Virtually the only change is the addition of a few trees to west side of the circle that the original crescent partly inscribed:

Screenshots of Paul Murdoch's half-mile wide central crescent, both from the original Crescent of Embrace site-plans (left) and from the site-plans for the Bowl of Embrace redesign (right).

Ignoring the re-coloring, about the only visible change is the additional arc of trees on the left side of the memorial. This change does not affect any of the mosque features of Murdoch’s design. In particular, it leaves Murdoch’s giant Mecca-oriented mihrab completely intact.

As can be seen in the image on the left, the most obtruding upper tip of the original Crescent of Embrace was not defined by trees. Rather, it was created by the end of the thousand-foot long, forty-foot tall, Entry Portal wall. Since the upper crescent-tip was defined by the wall, not by trees, adding a few trees out beyond the end of the concrete wall does nothing to alter the presence or definition of the original upper crescent-tip. The bottom crescent tip is also unchanged in the redesign. The last red maple tree on the bottom of the Bowl of Embrace remains exactly where it was in the original Crescent of Embrace design. With its defining features unchanged, the giant mihrab is unchanged.

To understand how the additional trees are irrelevant to Murdoch’s mosque design, just note that, like the Christian cross, a Muslim prayer-rug, or a mihrab, is a self-contained religious construct. It should be placed in an area that is clean and fit for prayer, but other than that, its meaning is unaffected by what may be around it. All architect Paul Murdoch did was plant some additional trees behind his giant mihrab/prayer-rug, which is no different than a Muslim placing a prayer-rug in front of some trees. The trees make no difference to the presence or meaning of the prayer-rug/mihrab at all.

To see how overtly the upper tip of the original Crescent of Embrace is still in place, look at this graphic from the redesign:

The upper tip of the original Crescent of Embrace was the end of the towering Entry Portal wall. The end of the entry portal wall remains completely unchanged in the Bowl of Embrace redesign (shown). (Artist’s rendering by Aleksander Novak-Zemplinski.]

The only significant change in the redesign is the addition of the trees on the far left of this image. These trees are not even in the field of vision of a person facing into the crescent (towards the right side of the image). Thus they do not even affect a person’s perception of the giant Mecca oriented crescent/mihrab, never mind the mihrab’s presence or integrity.

What was startling about the original design is the nakedness of its crescent and star configuration. The Bowl of Embrace redesign makes the Islamic crescent a bit less naked, but that is all it does. Murdoch’s just added a few irrelevant trees, planted to the rear of a person facing into his central crescent. In effect, he put a fake beard on. For his second pass a gate-security, he wrote “not a bomb” on his bomb, and the Memorial Project waved him through.

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Extra exhibit for verifiers:  do the math

Great circle calculations
Most Muslims calculate the direction to Mecca by the great-circle or shortest-distance method. A variety of great-circle calculators are available online. The Kansas City Amateur Television Group has one posted here.

Visiting the Flight 93 crash-site with Google Earth shows the coordinates of the point of impact to be 40:03:07N by 78:54:17W.  A Google Earth visit to Mecca shows coordinates of 21:25:48N by 39:49:12E. Punching these numbers into the KCATV calculator, the direction to Mecca from the crash-site comes up as 55.19 degrees (measured clockwise from north).

Screen-shot of great-circle calculator. Different calculators use different assumptions about the shape of the Earth, but they all yield directions to Mecca from the crash site that are within a tenth of a degree of 55.2. 

Screen-shots of graphics
To take a screenshot of a graphic on a Windows PC, press “alt” + “print screen” at the same time. A screen-shot of your top window is now on your clip-board and can be pasted into a graphics program.

Arctangent calculations
For those who graphics programs do not calculate polar coordinates, the arctangent function provides a simple way to convert rise and run in pixels into slope in degrees. (Plain-Jane Microsoft Paint has pixel counters at the lower right of the screen.)

For any right triangle, the tangent function of an acute angle A is defined as the ratio of the side opposite A to the side adjacent to A. Tangent (A) = (a/b). 

Applying the arctangent function to both sides of this equation leaves the equality intact:

Arctangent (tangent(A)) = arctangent (a/b).

The arctangent function is the inverse of the tangent function, so applying both functions to A just leaves A. That means:

A = arctangent (a/b),  which is just what we need. Microsoft paint allows us to measure a and b in pixels, and we want to know the implied angle A.

To translate into degrees from north, subtract A from 90.

If you copy the crescent-bisector graphic above and paste it into Microsoft Paint, you can use Paint's pixel counting tool (activates with line tool) to find that the bisector has a run of about 277 pixels and a rise of about 206 pixels. Arctangent (206/277) = 36.64. Subtract from 90 to get degrees clockwise from north of 53.3 (which is 1.83º north of the exact Mecca direction of 55.19º clockwise from north).

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