No Plane in the Wide Shot

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fig.  7 - Chopper 5 – Frame 407, plane enters
fig. 7 - Chopper 5 – Frame 407, plane enters
fig. 8 - Chopper 5 – Frame 423, plane is about to cross tower edge. Over 16 frames, the plane has traversed the indicated distance.
fig. 8 - Chopper 5 – Frame 423, plane is about to cross tower edge. Over 16 frames, the plane has traversed the indicated distance.
fig.  9 - Chopper 5 – Frame 423, with distance arrow, is scaled into frame 7.
fig. 9 - Chopper 5 – Frame 423, with distance arrow, is scaled into frame 7.
fig.  10 - Chopper 5 – 26 arrows laid end to end
fig. 10 - Chopper 5 – 26 arrows laid end to end
fig.  11 - Chopper 5 – Enlargement from previous
fig. 11 - Chopper 5 – Enlargement from previous
fig.  12 - Chopper 5 - Frame 170. A real airplane would be inside the red circle
fig. 12 - Chopper 5 - Frame 170. A real airplane would be inside the red circle
fig.  13 - Chopper 5 - Frame 170 – Enlargement from previous
fig. 13 - Chopper 5 - Frame 170 – Enlargement from previous
fig.  14 - CBS replay – Alleged plane is nowhere near the smoke
fig. 14 - CBS replay – Alleged plane is nowhere near the smoke
fig.  15 - A model 767 inserted
fig. 15 - A model 767 inserted
fig.  16 - Model 767 is pixelated
fig. 16 - Model 767 is pixelated
fig.  17 - Model 767 pixelated, blurred, and scaled. A 767 is ¾ as long as a twin tower is wide.
fig. 17 - Model 767 pixelated, blurred, and scaled. A 767 is ¾ as long as a twin tower is wide.
fig.  18 - Control case for Chopper 5 wide shot
fig. 18 - Control case for Chopper 5 wide shot
fig.  19 - Control case for Chopper 5 wide shot – Enlarged.
fig. 19 - Control case for Chopper 5 wide shot – Enlarged.


Contents

Measuring Position

There is no plane in the wide shot, and it ought to be there. By taking measurements of the plane at the end of the video, we can determine where the plane ought to be at the beginning.

The nose of the plane enters at frame 407 (fig. 7) and is about to touch the edge of the tower in frame 423 (fig.8). From frame 407 to frame 423 is a time span of 16 frames, during which the plane covers the distance indicated by the red arrow (fig. 8). 16 frames x 26 = 416 frames, so we know that over 416 frames, the plane would cover 26 times the distance that it did in 16 frames. 416 frames earlier than frame 423 is frame 7.

To determine where the plane should be in frame 7, I’ll mark off 26 of the red arrows, at the correct scale, and lay them end to end. I rescale the size of frame 423 to match frame 7. After matching scale (fig. 9), I mark off 26 arrows. So in frame 7, the plane should be in the circle (fig. 10), and it is not.


If anything, I’ve over-estimated the distance traveled by the plane during 416 frames. When matching the scale of the towers between the zoomed-out and zoomed-in versions, I left the zoomed-in version (with the plane) a little too large, if anything.

Could the plane still be just beyond the edge of the picture? If we let the video play forward from frame 7, 163 frames (more than 5 seconds) go by before the camera begins to zoom in. That corresponds to about 10 of the arrows, because each arrow is the distance traveled by the plane in 16 frames.

Following is frame 170 (figs. 12 & 13). I’ve erased 10 of the arrows. The plane should now be well inside the picture, in the circle, and it isn’t. The plane isn’t anywhere.

Hiding in the Smoke?

Could the plane be hiding in the smoke plume from the burning North Tower? No. The alleged flight path of this plane, “UA175”, was from the southwest. The smoke was blowing decidedly toward the southeast. Viewed from the north, (fig. 14 above), we can clearly see that the alleged flight path was nowhere near the drifting smoke.

Corroborating Method

We can use a different method to corroborate the estimate of where the plane should be in the wide shot. We know that the actual distance from the northeast corner of the North Tower to the southwest corner of the South Tower is about 526 feet. Flight 175 was alleged to be traveling 542 mph according to the official government NIST report. That’s 795 feet per second. 416 frames of video is 13.9 seconds. So the plane would go 13.9 x 795 feet or 11,035 feet between frame 7 and frame 423. 11,035 ft./526 ft. = 20.97, call it 21. So, during the time span in question, the plane would travel 21 times the distance across the towers. The towers measure 18 pixels across. 18 pixels x 21 = 378 pixels.

Measuring 378 pixels to the right of the towers places the airplane almost exactly where the other method did - inside the picture, right from the beginning of the video. There is no plane.

Too Small to See?

Video expert and official story supporter Steve Wright has agreed with the above calculations determining the position of the alleged airplane. His contention is that the airplane is simply too small to appear on video. As an example, he calls attention to the helicopter that is visible, apparently above the towers after the zoom in. Indeed, the helicopter disappears when the camera is zoomed out. However, it is unknown how far away the helicopter actually is. Certainly it is some distance behind (east of) the towers. More importantly, a helicopter is far smaller than a Boeing 767. It is simply a poor comparison.

How big would a 767 appear in the Chopper 5 wide shot? A 767 is a little more than ¾ as long as a twin tower is wide. Below, I’ve taken a model 767, adjusted the color to blend (fig. 15), blurred and pixilated the image as would occur in video (fig. 16), and scaled it into the shot (fig. 17). The plane would not be large, but it would absolutely appear.

To create a valid real-world control case, I shot video of an airplane landing at LAX. The conditions were very similar (but slightly worse) than those of Chopper 5. I was 6 1/2 miles from the airplane, compared to 4 1/2 miles in Chopper 5.It was early in the morning, shooting toward the sun, as was the case with Chopper 5. It was a clear day, as was 9/11, and the haze made the background almost white, just like 9/11. I was zoomed out, and using a consumer camcorder, presumably with worse quality optics than a professional Electronic News Gathering (ENG) camera.

The available copies of Chopper 5 were recorded off television onto VHS tape. VHS reduces horizontal resolution by about half. To simulate the effect of the resolution loss in VHS tape, I reduced the horizontal size of my control case to 50%, then stretched the result back to original aspect ratio, now with half the horizontal resolution.

Result: The plane in my control case is small and blurry, but you can see it in every single frame, without exception. It’s a gray shape that moves across the much brighter sky.

Conclusion

Thus, I find that a real airplane would be visible for all 170 frames (340 separate images) of the Chopper 5 wide shot. This finding is consistent with the video compositing hypothesis, and rules out the real airplane hypothesis.


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