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Original Crescent of Embrace PDFs

To make it easier to verify my claims about what is in the Crescent of Embrace design, I am posting copies of the five original Crescent design PDFs. They are also available from the Park Service website, which has them bundled together with the Stage II jury report. If that ever goes away, you should be able to get them from the National Park Service Archives by calling the curator at 814 443-4557 for a password. Originals of the Bowl of Embrace redesign images are available on the Memorial Project's Media page. (Scroll down to March 8, 2006 and November 29, 2005.)

Crescent Of Embrace site plan PDF (plan view)

40 Memorial Groves PDF (the giant crescent, from ground level)

Sacred Ground PDF (the crash site and related memorial structures)

Entry Portal PDF (the upper crescent tip)

Tower of Voices PDF (the Islamic sundial)

The Park Service has these five design pages here


Stage I design image: preliminary Crescent of Embrace design entry here


Redesign images

Site plan PDF for "Bowl of Embrace" redesign (now called simply "The Flight 93 Memorial")

Photograph of altered mock-up of The Bowl


Broken circle construction drawings

Construction drawings were released in September 2009 and are available on the Interior Department's IDEAS-EC website.

The only site-plan drawing is stashed away in a PDF about soil and water sampling. Page 30 of this doc shows a plan view, overlaid with landscaping details. The drawing is cluttered, but does show both crescent tips (both the Entry Portal structure on top, where the upper crescent tip is formed by the end of the 50' tall Entry Portal Wall, and the end of the arc of red maples at the bottom. Here is p.30 with orientations superimposed by me in red, along with the direction to Mecca ("qibla"). Here is p.30 without the superimposed orientation lines.


White Paper,” prepared by the Flight 93 National Memorial Project Partners, August 19, 2007

Flight 93 Families Op-Ed in defense of crescent design, 9/14/2005.

Announcement of 9/11/2008 Washington DC fundraiser for the Flight 93 memorial, cancelled August 2008.


Dr. Daniel Griffith ("anything can point toward Mecca, because the earth is round")

Professor Daniel Griffith's report for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on the various blog claims that a person facing into the Crescent of Embrace would be facing Mecca, sent to me by Griffith July 26, 2006. Griffith's file name: "Greensburg Tribune Review comments - for distribution." [The Greensburg Tribune Review is a subsidiary of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.]

Email sent to Griffith's colleagues at the University of Texas, January 29, 2008, explaining that they have a unique responsibility to correct the disinformation that Griffith has been feeding the public about the Mecca orientation of the crescent.

Griffith's email to Alec Rawls, the Park Service and the press, February 6, 2008, dismissing the Mecca orientation of the crescent by claiming that the crescent points to the Vatican. My response, pointing out that this is because the Vatican sits on the great circle line between the crash site and Mecca.


Memorial Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley

Hanley's response to some of the people who carbon-copied her in on the 11/12/2007 blogburst letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

Hanley's response to 6/08 email campaign demanding to know WHO is being depicted as breaking our peaceful circle and turning it into a giant Mecca-oriented crescent.

Two emails from myself to Memorial Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley, warning her about the threat posed to herself by architect Paul Murdoch's plot to plant a terrorist memorial mosque on the Flight 93 crash site.

Hanley's victim card press release from immediately after the 8-08 public meeting, where she falsely claimed to have been threatened by critics.


Dr. Kevin Jaques and TBogg's deletion of evidence

TBogg comment on crescent design, left anonymously by Dr. Kevin Jaques in early 2006.

Copies of full TBogg comment threads, both a) with the Jaques comment at the end (5/29/06), and 2) with the Jaques comment deleted.

Error theory blog posts on the deletion of important evidence from the TBogg blog.

Kevin Jaques: U.S. response to 9/11 should conform to sharia law.

UPDATE 11/2009: The Park Service now has Dr. Jaques full comment posted on their Flight 93 Memorial website. [From Park Home navigate News, more, questions, briefings and reports, Jaques.] It is possible that this has been up for a while (it is dated 2/27/2007), but I perused the "briefings and reports" page earlier this year and did see it.


Did AP try to erase Ramesh Santanam's article on the press conference held by the Families of Flight 93 on May 2, 2008?

Original article still in Google cache. Same URL now goes to entirely different article. Is this AP's doing? I don't know if this is anything or not. When I Google search the title of the original article, I find it posted in plenty of places. ("Flight 93 families want memorial controversy to end" Of course that should say SOME Flight 93 families.) Yet a number of the links go to the new story, indicating an automatic update connected back to AP. Why would they update with an entirely different article?

Perhaps because I sent them an email blasting them for reporting a direct conflict of factual claims, and never checking the easily checkable facts for themselves. The directly conflicting factual claims were over the 44 translucent blocks on the flight path. Santanam reported:

Opponents also claim there is a plan to have 44 glass blocks, for the 40 victims and four hijackers, in the design.

"That's an absolute, unequivocal fabrication that is being portrayed as fact," said Edward Felt's brother, Gordon Felt, president of Families of Flight 93. "It's misleading and helps drive the conspiracy theory."

I emailed Santanam's "correspondent," Jennifer Yates, pointing out to check the facts, all Ramesh had to do is "open up the design PDF's and count," followed by:

The Sacred Ground PDF shows 43 inscribed blocks on the two part Memorial Wall that follows the flight path just above the impact point:


At eye level are 43 “glass” (or translucent marble) blocks. Forty are inscribed with the names of the 40 heroes. Three are inscribed with the 9/11 date. Another graphic on the bottom of the PDF shows the individual blocks.


For the 44th block, go to the Entry Portal PDF, which shows a giant glass block, marking  the spot where the flight path breaks the circle in architect Paul Murdoch’s description:


44th glass block on flight path sits at end of Entry Portal Walkway.

I was a bit hard on Ramesh:

What kind of reporter is Ramesh if he can’t even look at the drawings of what he is reporting on? And he never contacted me: the person who discovered most of the Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the design. Talk about mailing it in! Are you satisfied with that?

All of this is in the information we put out announcing our petition, and it is printed on the back of the petition. This stuff isn’t hard to find, especially if your reporter would bother to ask.

I was just trying to get them to do some fact checking! Instead they went the other direction and tried to erase the information that they had put out. Bizarre.


Alice Hoglan's letter to Tom Tancredo, wishing that the Crescent design's outreach to Islam had been explicit. (Link is to Wayback copy. My copy here.)


Tim Sumner's 9-16-05 post, where he mistakenly thinks that Zombies Crescent of Embrace graphic was rotated to make it face Mecca. (It is the un-rotated crescent that points to Mecca. Zombies rotation of the graphic actually HIDES the Mecca orientation of the crescent.)

Sumner is a 9/11 family member and a great patriot who operates the 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America website. Unfortunately, when he saw Zombie's animation of the Tunisian crescent superimposed on the Crescent of Embrace design, he thought that the fact that Zombie had rotated the Crescent of Embrace site plan to match the Tunisian crescent instead of vice versa meant that the claims about the crescent facing Mecca were based on a fraud. (Zombie knew nothing about the Mecca orientation of the memorial when she rotated it, or else she would obviously have rotated the Tunisian crescent instead).

Sumner is a main source of information for 9/11 family members, so his confusion about the orientation of the crescent was and remains a most unfortunate development.

The link above is to Sumner's article on the Wayback Machine. In case that ever disappears, I put up a copy on this website as well.


Verification page: fact checking the 44 "glass" blocks on the flight path

Similar to the above, separated out so that it can be linked from elsewhere and people won't have to scroll down the page to find it.


Verification page:  The giant Mecca-oriented crescent remains completely intact in the the Bowl of Embrace redesign.

In particular, the circle is still broken.


Once Crescent of Betrayal comes out in bookstores, this page will go live with a host of supplementary materials.

A full set of color graphics, along with links to the original Crescent of Embrace site plans.

The original Crescent of Embrace PDF's are behind password protection in the Park Service archives You can get a password by calling 814 443-4557.

An extensive set of addenda, including a variety of analyses too detailed to include in the book, and numerous original documents.

List of addenda here.

Documentation of partisan dishonesty in the war on terror, and especially the war in Iraq.

Part Four of Crescent of Betrayal includes extensive documentation of dishonest anti-war reporting by the mainstream media. This documentation falls into two categories.

Dishonest attacks on the legitimacy of the war in Iraq (Iraq War hoaxes).

List of Iraq war hoaxes here.

Misreporting on the progress of the war in Iraq.

List of dishonest reporting categories and incidents here.

There was not room in the book to be as thorough as I would like to be with this documentation, so I am posting additional sections online. To keep them in context, I am posting these chapters on dishonest war reporting in their entirety here on the website. Content that appears only online is marked, and may be added to over time.


Archive of seminal LGF comments

Here are copies of comments at Little Green Footballs where Mecca-orientation of the Crescent of Embrace was first proposed for investigation, investigated, and verified. There is a report  from Diary of Daedalus that LGF author/administrator Charles Johnson, who used to be conservative and an anti-jihadist, is scrubbing his conservative-era Flight 93 memorial posts from his site. Checking this link <>, which which I believe was Johnson's first post on the Crescent memorial, I find that indeed it now points to Johnson's front page.

The LGF comment threads are important documentary history and should not be disposed of so. (Shades of  "Dr. Kevin Jaques and TBogg's deletion of evidence" above.) Thus I am belatedly archiving what I can of Johnson's early help in exposing the Islamic symbolism in Murdoch's design. One of my blogburst posts linked directly to the comments where the lizard army pack went after the Mecca orientation. Clicking on these links, I find that a few of them are still operative:

Here is comment 713 by Khamr, posted on "Flight 93 Outrage" (the "Outrage&only" link above):

And here is a link to my archived copy of this comment.

Notice that these comment pages include links to preceeding and succeeding comments, and that these links do bring up the linked comments.

I recall that Johnson put up a repeat Outrage post that Johnson put up just to carry the comment thread, so some of the relevant comments could have been there. Khamr's comment contains an automated link that references post #17441, same as the Outrage link above, which I am guessing was the original post.

Following the succeeding comment links to the end of the thread, Edgren provides a link to the continuation, but this link now returns to LGF's front page.


Here is comment 737 by D. Edgren:

My copy.


Here is comment 775 by Bluemerle:

My copy.


Other comments I had linked are being directed to the front page. With the very first Mecca-orientation comment, posted by Kifaya, I might have copied the link location wrong. I have the url as <>, which does not match the format of the other comment urls. Did I link to the parent post by mistake? I notice that 17441 is again referenced.

On the other hand, maybe this is a second kind of comment url, because the last comment I linked, the one from Eatoin Shrdlu, the guy who came up with that awesome first Mecca-orientation graphic, also has the same type of url, and it also points to Johnson's front page:

It looks like Eatoin's comment must have been on the second comment thread (linked by Edgren here). That thread no longer seems to be available, but if the different url-type is to the different thread, maybe I was wrong about Kifaya making the first Mecca-direction comment. Maybe I got my comment threads confused and he was just the first on the second thread to mention it? Now I can't sort it out, thanks to Charles green-washing history (green as the color of Islam). What in the world happened to this guy?

Bluemerle (Sarah Wells) also came up with an awesome Mecca-direction graphic, using the Mecca-direction calculator at Hers is the approach that  I have used in my own Mecca-orientation graphics.

Related item below:


Crazy Daedalus Diaries comment thread, 9-20-10

My participation in the above-detailed memory-un-holing of an LGF comment thread led to its own crazy comment thread, where someone calling himself Bunk Strutts stepped in to play the role of Charles Johnson. CJ's trashing of his posts and comment threads about the Flight 93 memorial is burying the original discovery of the Mecca orientation of the Crescent of Embrace, which was first uncovered by the lizard army. Strutts' comment at Daedalus also covers up the Mecca orientation of the Crescent, but by using direct disinformation.

Strutts' playing of Iago led to some misunderstandings when I thought a commenter named "m" was trying to do the same thing. It turns out he was actually trying to expose Strutts' deception, but he used  entirely ambiguous language to do so, leading to, well, I think it is funny NOW.

I also jumped on the blog author Minotaur for hiding behind the skirts of the Flight 93 families. Minotaur effectively placed responsibility for checking the facts of the design on them. But he was only doing what many people do: extending a misguided sympathy to the few family members who have been censoring the information that goes out to the rest.

So I had to apologize to m for misreading him, and I ended up extending an apology to Minotaur too, for giving him more hell than I needed to.

Through it all, the Iago-like Bunk Strutts emerges as a serious bad actor, at least on this subject. He too may be motivated by a misguided sympathy for a few dishonest family members, but he is actively engaged in the same shameless dishonesty that they are, as my comment-expose on Strutts demonstrates. This guy had actually emailed me a few weeks earlier, and this earlier exchange exposed that he wasn't just wrong in his Daedalus comment, but was knowingly trying to misinform his readers.

My copy of the Daedalus post and comment thread here.


HonorFlight93 (the Memorial Project's fundraising arm), pretends that Murdoch's design was always called "Circle of Embrace"

Offending HonorFlight93 page here.

Copy, for when they change it (downloaded 10-1-2010).


Erickson's "islamic university" plan: where Murdoch learned mosque design?

Arthur Erickson's architecture firm (where Murdoch interned in the early 80's) has changed its website and it no longer contains the "islamic university of madinah" page that features a giant outdoor mihrab/mosque. Murdoch got his masters in architecture degree from UCLA in 1984. His website says he interned with Erickson, which was likely a summer thing while he got his masters degree, so probably 1982 or 1983. Erickson's "islamic university" page says "designed 1983 with frank e. basil & dar al riyadh," so it is possible that Murdoch got exposed to mosque architecture, and the idea of a giant outdoor mosque, here. Since the page is no longer up at Erickson, I figured I had better grab a copy of it from the Wayback machine. Here is the link for Wayback's 12/3/2008 "islamic university" capture:

Wayback only has the thumbnails for the design images but I downloaded the full images earlier and pasted them at the bottom of my copy of Erickson's "islamic university" page. Here is the the giant outdoor mihrab from the Erickson-Basil (and Murdoch?) design:

Comparing the surrounding streets in the plan view with Google Earth's satellite view of the campus verifies that a person facing into this arched facade will be facing pretty much exactly at Mecca. The other mosque features are also present: the colonnade, the minaret, ablution waters, but unlike the terrorist memorial mosque at the Flight 93 crash site, this masterpiece of mosque design was never built.


In May of 2012 I discovered that the archives of the Pittsburg Post Gazette no longer contained their old reporting on the Flight 93 memorial. Perhaps the entire archive is down for servicing. Hopefully it is just something temporary. In any case, I decided to save a few things

1.  PG's original reporting of the Crescent of Embrace as the competition winner, 9/8/2005

Original link is:

The page is still available on the Wayback Machine:

Here is my copy:  "Flight 93 marker design picked"

Wayback also saved PG's pop-up of Murdoch's publicity photo:

My copy here.

2.  PG's 2/5/2005 report on the five finalist designs is also missing

Original link to "5 designs shine for Flight 93 memorial":

Wayback has it here:

My copy here.

3.  PG editorial,  September 14, 2005: "Arc of Reason/ This memorial is about the innocent, not the guilty"

This one gives reason to think that the articles could be in the archives, but are just inaccessible, perhaps as the Post Gazette completes a web makeover. The original url was:

As of 5/22/2012 that automatically redirects to another link where "Arc of Reason" does come up:

Maybe they are still working on the re-directs for the other articles. NONE of these articles come up in searches of PG's website. Well, just in case, since I quote "Arc of Reason" in my Crescent of Betrayal book, I will make a copy of  that here too.

4.  Here's an important one that still is available (at a new url): "Flight 93 memorial draws a new round of criticism," 8/17/2007.

I'll make a copy just in case, but that's enough for now. If other items continue to go missing I may save more later.



Free download of Crescent of Betrayal, the Director's Cut.

Order print edition of Crescent of Betrayal.

Crescent of Betrayal, main page


Misc. items:

Copy of Google snapshot of order page for text of Jeremiah Wright's "Audacity of Hope" sermon, no longer available.

Web-page copies RE: the Pentagon's lies about the Navy's rescue of Captain Philips off the coast of Somalia, April 2009.


Other miscellaneous stuff that I need to host someplace.

Miscellaneous environmentalist stuff.


All content of this website © Alec Rawls 2007