As a result of the bombing in Oklahoma City, we have seen the Patriot community thrown into a condition of chaos. Speculation has, as to whom, how, why, &c., run the networks at unbelievable rates with some completely implausible stories. While it is true that a number of the scenarios presented are not beyond total exclusion, the rush to judgment seems directed more by desire than by thought.
It is possible that evidence is hidden, as has occurred in Idaho and Waco, among others. But, the existence of 'hidden' evidence cannot be assumed just because the desire to believe is there. Instead, we should look, first, at what probably occurred based upon evidence known to exist, second to logical conclusions based upon information of evidence that might exist, and third, on the basis of a common sense approach to circumstances that surround the event.
Let's begin by looking at the 'bomb' and immediate damage - At just after 9:00 AM, on Wednesday, April 19, 1995, an explosion occurred in the vicinity of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Within minutes, the total damage to the building was such that nearly one third had collapsed and the building, or what remains, may be beyond salvage. What caused the explosion will be dealt with, here.
Stories of how many bombs, what type and by whom, are the focus of many of the stories. We will exclude the "by whom and what type" for the moment. The "how many" might be best dealt with first. The Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS), in Norman, Oklahoma (16 miles South of the blast), recorded the event on their seismograph. The Omniplex Museum, in Oklahoma City (4½ miles Northeast of blast) also recorded the event. As a result of these recordings, speculation has developed that there were two blasts.
I spoke with Ray Brown, geophysicist, with OGS. He feels that there were two events indicated by the seismographic evidence. He does admit, however, that there are a number of factors to be considered, and that no absolute conclusion can be reached. Explosions of the nature of the OKC explosion are not the object of seismographic study as much as controlled explosions (exploratory) and natural events (earthquakes).
I asked Mr. Brown if the evidence (the seismographs) precluded the possibility of a single blast, and a subsequent "tremor" created by thousands of tons of steel and concrete crashing to the ground. This scenario allows that the structure collapses as a whole (all nine floors, essentially, intact) falling as one. When the first floor hits the basement, the supports hold the second floor above the first collapse, exerting additional force on the first, and then allowing the second to tumble on top of the first, &c. The material would be impacting against the basement floor, or debris in close contact, providing a sort of sub-surface "diaphragm" of concrete, with both horizontal and vertical surface areas in contact with the ground, might transmit substantial vibrations through the ground, resulting in the seismograph indicating the "tremor". He answered that this was a possibility.
Now, we must look at what the difference between the "vibrations" created by scenarios one (collapse in sequence) and scenario two (two, or more, explosions) would be. To evaluate the two, we must rely on the evidence and testimony available. The testimony that I am aware of is the statements made by some of those present. A few have described two blasts, another described (based upon my memory), an explosion, like an atomic bomb, rushing of wind and then a tremendous roar. Both testimonies describe two "events", the second, however, provides us a more descriptive analysis of the sounds. Unfortunately, either testimony does not preclude the other scenario.
Let us, then, move on to the seismographs. The upper chart is from OGS, the lower from Omniplex. I have endeavored to line them up as well as possible, primarily concentrating on the beginning of the second event. The difficulty in alignment is predicated on the absence of time orientation from the marks "---" because the power had been off at Omniplex. The time orientation on the Omniplex graph is not correct. There is also a difference in the distance traveled, which means that the Omniplex signal was received well before the OGS signal.
On the upper graph, there is an event that begins just after the 9:02 mark, which I am told, is local traffic (trucks, cars, &c.). The first begins at approximately 12 seconds after the minute mark the second event 12 seconds later (according to a report put out by OGS). The duration of the events can be interpolated between the minute marks. The Omniplex graph shows much longer events because of that station's proximity to the explosion. It is probably a more clear representation of the actual vibrations sent out from the explosion, although some of the detail was lost when the needle went off of the scale.
Now, let's look at the upper (OGS) seismograph at a larger scale:
I have taken the liberty of marking what appear to be eight distinct impacts. Each is preceded by a "lull". Now, imagine, if you would, the building having its structural base destroyed. The building begins to collapse, straight downward (not like the demolition which was conducted the following month). As each of the floors impacts the floor and accumulated debris below it, it sends out a shock wave, followed by a lull as the next floor, after a minimal delay as a result of resistance caused by the vertical supports, continues its downward fall to make its mark (impact) on the seismograph.
If we begin counting at what appears to be the beginning of the "noise" (seconds are estimated by interpolation), we see about two seconds of noise, then the needle leaves the scale for about ten seconds. The needle then goes back on scale for about six seconds, then off again for about six more...Although similar in overall configuration, there is quite a difference in duration and apparent strength of the two signals.
If we were to "paste" a scenario over the Omniplex chart, it may go something like this. An explosion of a bomb manufactured from ammonium nitrate, fuel oil, and other materials is ignited and within two seconds has exceeded the capability of the station to measure it. This initial blast being above ground, the indications at the remote station are almost non-existent until building structures convey the vibration deeper into the ground. The duration of the primary explosion, due to the nature of the bomb, lasts about ten seconds, echoing throughout the adjacent area. Tremors were sent to the ground through many of the nearby buildings as they absorbed much of the initial blast shock. Within seconds, the superstructure of the Murrah building begins a gradual, but complete collapse. Slowly, at first, a major portion of the building begins to settle straight down. As each floor impacts the basement, or the building pile of debris already laying there, an additional "tremor" is sent out. Thousands of tons of very dense material are slamming, hammering the ever building pile of debris, one floor at a time, until, finally, the ninth floor settles in to place. As the floors collapse, there is a gradual reduction in the "loudness" of the tremor, which, at the OGS station, diminishes well before the much closer Omniplex station. Finally, the dust settles, leaving lines on paper as evidence of an explosion that will forever be a part of our history.
Reports of a second bomb (or third) have been confirmed to be a TOW missile that was on static display in the Marine recruiter's office. The determination of it's static nature took five hours under the circumstances surrounding the event.
The bottom line is, why must we speculate into conspiracy? Is not the fact that there may be some in this country who have become absolutely FED UP with the injustice of the justice system (that excludes federal killers from trial) that they have chosen to take matters into their own hands? I, personally, do not have any trouble understanding that the picture currently painted is not that impractical.
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