5 Things You Didn't Know About the 9/11 Attacks

September 11, 2001, was the day that hijackers crashed four planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.  Here are five things you didn't know about the September 11, 2001 attacks.


Remains Are Still Being Identified Years After the Attacks # Four planes were hijacked on September 11, 2001. Image credit: By United States Federal Bureau of Investigation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Improving technology has allowed medical investigators to continue identifying remains of those killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The latest was in July 2018, when the remains of a 26-year-old analyst were positively identified. Previous to that, more remains were identified in 2017. The technology involves refined methods of DNA testing that have allowed investigators to re-test remains. As nearly 40 percent of the victims still don't have identifiable remains linked to their names, the testing will continue for as long as necessary.

Flight 93's Target Still Isn't Known # A memorial has been set up in Pennsylvania for United flight 93. Photo credit: By Thomas Altfather Good - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35909252. United flight 93 was the one where passengers learned about what had happened to the other hijacked planes. Since the passengers thought they would die anyway if they didn't do anything, they tried to take down the hijackers, resulting in the hijackers crashing the plane into a field in Pennsylvania. However, investigators still don't know where the hijackers intended to take the plane. All 44 people aboard were killed. Although its intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.


The Planes Had Far Fewer Passengers Than Normal This is still no consolation to the families of those who were on the planes, in the Pentagon, or in the Twin Towers. But the planes did not have their usual passenger loads. For example, United 175 had only 56 passengers on board. Planes use the term "load factor" to describe how many people are on board, and for this flight, that was only 33 percent, instead of the 49 percent that was more typical of that type of flight. The unusual drop in passenger numbers, along with several stories of "near misses" that caused people to be late to work in the towers or to miss flights, brings to mind the speculation that people can sometimes unconsciously sense massive events, which influences their future actions.

One Plane Had Fewer Hijackers Than Expected United 93's passengers and crew were likely more successful in fighting back, despite the low passenger load, because a hijacker was missing. One of the intended hijackers was prevented from entering the country in Florida because an immigration official became suspicious of him. That reduced manpower made the remaining hijackers on the flight less effective against a group of passengers and crew who learned they had nothing to lose by fighting back.

It May Have Been Predicted, but Not How You Think Much was made during hearings of memos warning of potential attacks. But at Princeton University, a Random Number Generator, part of the Global Consciousness Project statistical analysis program, predicted a few hours before the attacks that something big and terrible was about to happen in the world. The project's purpose is to look at tons of random data from around the world to see if there is a way to detect patterns that allow event prediction due to changes in global consciousness.

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