Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to read of one hijacker's magic passport is true. It will bend and twist your mentations, but I assure you of its veracity. Not even the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Speaking of names, there are letters inscribed on this most extraordinary of all passports. Those letters read: "Satam al-Suqami."
The providential passport was issued to Suqami in Saudi Arabia in August of 1998. Three years later, a stranger handed Suqami's passport to an NYPD detective on the streets of Manhattan -- just moments after American Airlines Flight 11 attempted an unscheduled landing on the 93rd floor of WTC1.
How did this passport -- a piece of paper soaked in jet fuel -- survive the explosive landing? I give you three theories...
Read More: Suqami's Magic 9/11 Passport: Three Theories.
David Rockefeller and his brother, Nelson, originally conceived the twin towers as an urban renewal project to revitalize Lower Manhattan. In 1966, 164 buildings, including many electonics stores in seedy radio row, were demolished to create the WTC construction site.
But, with the realization of the Rockefellers' urban renewal dream came a nightmare: by the time the first tenants moved into the North Tower in December 1970, the World Trade Center was rife with asbestos...asbestos that 31 years later covered all of Lower Manhattan.
Nobody seems to know exactly how much asbestos was in the WTC, but click on the image to the right and you'll get a pretty good idea: a lot!
The New York Port Authority originally planned to use 5,000 tons of asbestos fireproofing. The fireproofing, trademarked Blade-Shield, was manufactured by United States Mineral Products of Stanhope, N.J. It was 20% asbestos mixed with mineral wool -- a concrete-like substance made from melted rock.
By 1971, medical studies began to show the cancerous effects of asbestos, and New York City banned its use in construction -- but not before asbestos-containing Blade-Shield was sprayed on the beams and supports of the first 40 floors of the Twin Towers.
The Port Authority claims that over half of the applied asbestos-containing fireproofing had been removed by September 11, 2001.
So, how much asbestos remained in the Twin Towers?
Read more: The Trouble with WTC Asbestos.