Was 9/11 Debris Intentionally Placed in Tiny Space?

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 27 2013 11:37 AM

How Did 9/11 Landing Gear Get Wedged in Such a Tiny Space?

A police officer stands in front of the building on Park Place in lower Manhattan where a piece of landing gear believed to be from one of the planes destroyed in the September 11 attacks has been discovered

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly gave two very conflicting messages after what is believed to be debris from one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001 was discovered more than a decade later: Perfectly understandable but also quite strange.

“If you see how confined this space is, and you realize the chaos that existed on this street, I think it's understandable. It's not that surprising,” Kelly said. But wait. How does a component that is some 17 inches wide and 4 feet long get stuck in a an 18-inch-wide space, according to the Associated Press, between a luxury apartment building and a mosque site? "We are also looking into a possibility it was lowered by a rope," Kelly said, noting that there appeared to be a piece of rope entwined within the part, points out CNN.


Adding to the mystery is that the area, located some three blocks north of the World Trade Center site, is inaccessible from the street, points out the New York Times. “The odds of it entering that space at exactly that angle that would permit it to squeeze in there,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said, “it had to come in at almost precisely the right angle.”

Why would anyone intentionally place a piece of debris in such a tight, inaccessible space? That remains a mystery. For now, all we know for sure is that land surveyors stumbled across the piece of debris on Wednesday morning and called 911. Investigators quickly discovered the debris had a Boeing serial number. The area is now being treated as a crime scene and investigators are likely to scour the zone to see if they can find any human remains.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.