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 The Bombs - Testing

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PostSubject: The Bombs - Testing   Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:55 pm

Everybody knows about the cafeteria propane bombs that failed right? The BIG ones that were 20 pounds each.

What strikes me as odd is that Eric and Dylan didn't test THIS bomb before to make sure it would detonate. You'd think the both of them would buy a separate one to test it far out in the mountains or something rather than leaving it all up to chance. I find it odd that they'd overlook practicing what was perhaps the biggest part of their plan. You'd think that they'd have the science nailed down as to make SURE they exploded.


Anybody else agree?
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Juicy Jazzy
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:46 am

I think its even stranger how they didn't have a plan B in case the explosives didn't go off.....

Maybe they were arrogant and thought they didn't need a plan B?
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:18 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I think its even stranger how they didn't have a plan B in case the explosives didn't go off.....

Maybe they were arrogant and thought they didn't need a plan B?
Yes I think they were so arrogant. So they did not have any other plans. You know they could get in and put their bombs away and nobody would notice it. Columbine never happend. But they wanted to kill Crying or Very sad 
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:38 am

This is one of the things that bothers me most. The fact that there was no plan B and that so much of the day hinged on something that they hadn't even tested.. They'd been working up to this for over a year! How did it never occur to them that maybe they really did need to test if they were successful at creating a bomb? How did one of them never say "hey dude don't you think we need a better plan B"? There's arrogance and then there's stupidity.. and the two combined make a failed bombing with a subsequent aimless shooting. Rolling Eyes 
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:42 am

The fact that they did not test the bombs or have a Plan B is not surprising.

Eric had extreme confidence in his abilities. Of course, he was a person of average abilities, so there was a wide gap between his image of himself and the reality.

Eric told Chris Morris in days prior that putting a bomb on the generators would blow up the entire school. That's preposterous. During the shooting, they turned on bunsen burners in the chem labs, thinking the gas would fill the halls and ignite. That's also preposterous.

All this is not evidence of stupidity--it's evidence of delusional thinking and detachment from reality. He was lost in a grandiose fantasy of power.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:42 pm

Wasn't Plan B going along with the shooting? It's possible Eric & Dylan had a verbal agreement that had the bombs not gone off, they would just use what they had and rampage through the school. Regardless, they decided on a Plan B in the minutes after the bombs didn't go off. They agreed it was worth it to just start shooting -- and perhaps they thought they would be able to detonate the bombs later. Even if they wanted to back out, it would have been hard to given the extent of their end-of-life plans: The cafeteria bombs, the diversion bombs, the Nixon tape, Dylan wiping his computer, etc.

But even if the bombs had gone off, it's doubtful it would have achieved Eric's goal of 500 causalities or even Dylan's prediction of 250. Look at the Boston bombing that managed to kill only 3 (although tons were injured). Like Columbine the bombs were placed at ground level, limiting the killing capacity. Had the bombs somehow exploded at eye-level, we would have seen many more casualties.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:01 pm

I recall Eric whinging along the lines 'you don't how hard it is to make the bombs.' Maybe they did not want to risk doing large bomb testing out in the mountains because they knew the explosion would be too massive and would attract attention or cause any number of problems. It might possibly set brush or trees on fire and then where would they be? I remember the account of how they were messing around with lighting something on fire in the dumpster at Blackjacks and it got so out of hand, the fire department came to put it out. Oops. Sometimes they were sometimes plain old reckless wanting to put a bomb tripwire near the path behind Blackjacks. Did they ever think what would happen if kids got hurt? That would completely spoil there NBK plans. But with the big propane bombs, maybe they actual thought it would be too much of a risk to test.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:11 pm

@lasttrain wrote:


Eric told Chris Morris in days prior that putting a bomb on the generators would blow up the entire school.  That's preposterous.  During the shooting, they turned on bunsen burners in the chem labs, thinking the gas would fill the halls and ignite.  That's also preposterous.

All this is not evidence of stupidity--it's evidence of delusional thinking and detachment from reality.  He was lost in a grandiose fantasy of power.  
I hadn't heard about E & D turning on the bunsen burner in the chem labs. That's interesting. Grandiose fantasy is right. They seemed to think that whatever shoestring idea popped out of there head might somehow magically come together and execute perfectly.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:35 pm

I hadn´t heard that too.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:25 pm

References to "gas" in the 11K:

The only reference I have found from the people in the Science Room mentioning gas is:

003174 - [Daniel Grange 15yo] - Grange did not see the gunmen, but thinks that at some time they did go into one of the science classrooms east of where he was and tried to start a fire by turning on the gas and throwing a bomb.


All the rest of "gas" references are from the Cafeteria:

000219 - [Hiding in Teacher's Lounge Bathroom in Cafeteria] Joyce Jankowski told me that she heard a "loud explosion" that she thought might have been a shotgun, and then said that she could hear the gas escaping from the stove in the kitchen.

000221 - JANKOWSKI also heard what she described as a "whoosh" sound, and what sounded like gas escaping. She stated that she also smelled an odor which she felt smelled like natural gas.

002691 - [Sue Caruthers] said just prior to this loud explosion, she could smell propane. She said that someone told her it was natural gas and she, familiar with camping, said no, that this was definitely a propane smell that she could smell.

002858 - [Hiding in Cafeteria Storage Room] Suzanne prayed to herself. The kids were whimpering, a silent whimpering. Several people said that they smelled gas. Suzanne didn't smell gas.

003009 - [She was in the corner of the Cafeteria] - Smoke was everywhere. I [Lisa Forgan] heard them fire and a loud burst of a gas pipe. Gas swept into the room. My mind cried of panic. I knew it was gas and feared that the gunmen may fire. They shot into the gas and fire swept across the ground. It took one second for it to reach 3ft to me. I panicked and felt the heat seek through me. I yelled run-fire-run-fire. We ran out the nearest door.

003015 - [Lisa Forgan] She stated she then began to hear gas escaping, which she believed was coming from the kitchen area. She stated that this suspect was approximately five to ten feet away from her. She stated that eventually the gas erupted into flames and exploded. She said the flames came close to her feet, at which time her, Cozart, and Hanifen ran out of the cafeteria.

003647 - [Joey Renee Marcotte under Table E in cafeteria] - Joey believed that she was about 2 or 3 feet from them while they were shooting. I asked Joey what they were shoo ting with and she stated that they both had shotguns, but thought they were shooting with something else, Joey stated that she could smell gas and saw the propane tank, that was what they were shooting at.

005655 - [Amy Burnett] - After being in the bathroom for about 20 minutes, she stated she smelled gas. She stated it was a clean smell and not heavy and not irritating, but something like gas. She heard shots being fired, possibly into the kitchen, since she heard the "ping" sound when it hit metal.

008896 - Joyce [Jankowski] also told him that she believed she heard approximately four pistol shots and then smelled gas and heard a loud hiss coming from the kitchen area, adjacent to the bathroom.


*** As far as the evidence is concerned, there is no reference to Eric/Dylan turning on "gas" or "Bunsen burners" in the Science Room(s) ... unless someone can find it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:11 pm

Something I did not know:

"They had planned meticulously for over a year - the only reason the devastation was not far greater was because they used the wrong kind of alarm clocks for their home-made bombs: the tickers were plastic, not brass, and therefore incapable of making the necessary electronic connection."
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:42 pm

My reference to gas was to 003174.  It seems pretty clear to me that Grange was referring to bunsen burners.  Perhaps you doubt his testimony, but that's what I was referring to.

EDIT: sorority, do you have a keyword searchable 11k? How did you find these references?
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:56 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Something I did not know:

"They had planned meticulously for over a year - the only reason the devastation was not far greater was because they used the wrong kind of alarm clocks for their home-made bombs: the tickers were plastic, not brass, and therefore incapable of making the necessary electronic connection."
That's false. The bells on the alarm clocks completed the circuit, not the clock hands. Had they rung, the circuit would have been completed and the gasoline ignited. We don't know for a fact why the clocks didn't ring -- perhaps from the vibration of being stuffed in the bags. What's interesting is that the diversion bomb did detonate (but the tank didn't explode) and it's construction was almost identical to the cafeteria bombs.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:59 pm

It must've been Eric being overconfident. I highly doubt that he hadn't thought about testing these things BEFORE. But had they tested the proper science of trying to make propane tanks explode, I think the results would be much worse.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:55 pm

Eh, the water sprinklers would have put it out anyway. Cafeteria was flooded, the propane bomb in question would only work if the tank itself was heated up from outside the tank, hence the flammables duct taped to the outside of the tank. Bottom line at best all they could do is partially detonate the flammable outside the tank which is the explosion that did occur.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:34 pm

It's naive to expect teenage boys with spurious information on bomb-making to pull off what they envisioned. Being ill-prepared certainly didn't help their cause.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:34 pm

trench coat wrote:
The propane bomb in question would only work if the tank itself was heated up from outside the tank
How long would this take?
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:05 pm

Does anyone know how big the blast was from the diversion bomb that they set into the field? I read that people could see it from a good distance, but I don't think it was anything huge.

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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:20 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
trench coat wrote:
The propane bomb in question would only work if the tank itself was heated up from outside the tank
How long would this take?
10 to 20 minutes, maybe more. There is a relief valve as well to combat pressure buildup. I'm unsure of Eric & Dylan were aware of this. Here's a source: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Also interesting to point out, there have been cases of 20 lb propane tanks doing serious structural damage to houses. Had they exploded it would be interesting to estimate what sort of damage they would have done to Columbine (granted they were put near the pillars).

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

And here's a video of a 20 lb propane tank exploding.

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Quote :
Does anyone know how big the blast was from the diversion bomb that they set into the field? I read that people could see it from a good distance, but I don't think it was anything huge.
If I'm not mistaken, I think they ignited and started a small fire in the grass. I do not think there was any "explosion" so to speak. Anybody help me out on this?
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PostSubject: Re: The Bombs - Testing   Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:46 am

I think there was a reason why they did not test out the big bombs. Going to the mountains to blow up 2"x6" pipebombs is one thing, but going there to test 20 lb propane tanks is a completely different thing. Their pipebombs were essentially powerful firecrackers, but a 20 lb propane tank going off is a very noticeable explosion for its noise, the size, and the large fireball which could potentially be seen for a long ways and the risk of it lighting trees and brush on fire. It was more likely a situation of them being unable to test a BLEVE explosion without risking jeopardizing their whole plan.

I know in one of the basement tapes transcripts Eric mentions something to the effect of "I wonder if the sprinklers will put out the fires?" possibly referring to the fires meant for the BLEVE explosion. It was probably unlikely that either of them were aware of how long the the fires would have to burn to bring the propane tanks to the point of rupture.
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