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Flight 93

Not unlike a great many other aspects of 9/11, there were a number of odd things about Flight 93. Supposedly, the crew struggled with the hijackers; overpowered them, and the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa. According to the official account, the last transmission from the doomed plane was "Let's Roll"; the signal to rush the cockpit. Unreported by the "mainstream media" are witnesses who either saw a plane flying low from the East toward the crash site, saw other aircraft or jet(s) in the area; and whistle-blowers reporting that a shoot-down order had been issued on Flight 93. Had a shoot-down order been ordered against a craft in a no-fly zone, it alone would not betray evil intent on the part of the government. There are hints that much more was going on near Shanksville, however; and other facets of 9/11 are far more ominous still. In any event, the black-out of these witnesses and whistle-blowers by the U.S. media continues to shatter the myth of a free mainstream press. Note: For the most part, I don't cover the many infamous phone calls said to have been made by the Flight 93 passengers here; although I hope to add some at some point; although I do link to one retraction about AirFones at the end of this page. Also, I'd like to get some information about circumstances at the airports when the 9/11 flights left. Then again, these two topics might wind up on pages of their own, one day.


  1. The Crater Was Not There in 1994
  2. The Crater is Too Small to Support the Government's Legend
  3. The Shoot-down Order Had Already Been Given
  4. Accounts Of The Shoot-down
  5. Rumsfeld's Flight 93 Shoot-down Moment
  6. The Official Narrative & Other Small White Jets
  7. Unofficial Witnesses & Other Small White Jets Yet
  8. The Size and Nature of the Debris Field
    1. The Flight Path
    2. Debris Witnesses and Video
  9. Other Eyewitness Testimony
  10. Does It Even Matter If Bush Shot Down Flight 93?
  11. Some of the Eyewitnesses Are Lying
  12. Interim Conclusions
  13. Did Flight 93 Land in Cleveland?
    1. Flight 93 Reported To Have Landed in Cleveland
    2. The Curious Case of Flight 1989
    3. The BTS Records of Flight 1989
    4. BTS Records For Flight 93
    5. Two Flight 1989's?
    6. There WERE Two Flights Sequestered With Emergency Vehicles At Cleveland Hopkins!
    7. Woody's Explanation For The Other Plane
  14. Other Woody Box Research and "9/11 Intercepted"
  15. Conclusion
  16. Related External Sites

The Crater Was Not There in 1994

This is a wrong turn I believe a number of Truther reporters are making. This example from David Icke's Forums is a good example. There is an intriguing photo of the crater left by the plane, inset into a picture by the U.S. Geological Survey from 1994. It looks like the crater had been there previously. Supposedly, the red square indicates the area of the photo of the crash site:

(Source: "The wing scars were there from flight 93 in 1994!", at, 2/5/08)

Closer examination will spoil this illusion, however. Notice that there are two white patches that flank the road near the bottom of the picture of the crash site. The one on the right is a small house-shaped building of some sort. Note that they are within the inset crash picture, but they are not within the red square. This is indeed an authentic USGS photo. We can find the original on Microsoft Maps:

(Source: Microsoft Research Maps, at, Latitude 40.05174, Longitude -78.90504, 6/3/12)

The original to the picture in the inset seems to be missing. Surprisingly, the best collection of 9/11 photos I know of is at a site that supports many of the most unusual ideas about the real facts behind 9/11. Killtown has the following photo of the inset:

(Source: Killtown's: Did Flight 93 Crash in Shanksville, at, 6/2/12)

Killtown's page preserves the original location of the photo. It is " =5987206.jpg". This is an official U.S. government site; but the FBI photo is now missing, and does not seem to be in evidence from official sources. It is still preserved at a number of other mainstream media sites, however (see, or, e.g.). Here is a close-up of the crash image in question, together with a video capture of the site on the right:

(Source of photo on right: "Flight 93 Crash Site - Aerial Photos of Impact Crater Made by Crash of Flight 93", at

This is what the crash site looked like the next day. Below, I have aligned the FBI photo with the USGS photo as best I could, to show where the outline of the plane should be.

Notice that the gash from the crash site only crosses a section of the earlier, and much larger USGS furrows; and if you will compare these to the above untouched USGS photo, the crash marks themselves appear to be missing from the USGS photo. Either the field has been plowed, the trenches have eroded away, or both. We can at least be sure that what they are indicating as the crash site was not there in 1994.

As to the post itself, notice that the poster has been banned from the David Icke forums. It works well as an excellent piece of disinformation. A careful observer can note that the crater of Flight 93 and the large divot are at different angles, thus making those disseminating the disinfo look foolish. The larger crater is also roughly the size of a 757. The cater of the supposed crash, however, is much smaller.

The Crater is Too Small to Support the Government's Legend

If you've read popular media treatments of 9/11, you know that the men on the plane decided to rush the cockpit, crying "Let's Roll!" The plane then slammed into the ground, in the ensuing struggle. If that is the case, one would think the wings might have left a mark. This is, however, not the case. The official dimensions of a Boeing 757-200, the type of plane Flight 93 supposedly was, are that it has a wingspan of 124' 10".("Commercial Airplanes - Boeing 757-200 Technical Characteristics" at Does the wingspan in the above photos suggest a plane of the proper size? Here is the above FBI photo superimposed over a modern Bing map of the same area, with a scale of feet:

(Source: Bing maps, at, Latitude 40.05174, Longitude -78.90504)

I've adjusted the photo to fit as closely as I could over a modern picture of the same site. The hole now present seems to be pretty close to the original position, although the road has since been paved, and runs slightly differently around the bend; but largely follows the same route. The surrounding treeline and two small white buildings flanking the road at the bottom seem to be in basically the same positions as they had been. The 100 foot scale indicator at the bottom has been copied and placed near the "wing" marks. It is basically the same size as these marks, with the center of the "body" mark being a little off center from the scale indicator, such that if the left wing of an aircraft is extrapolated, we are very close to the expected width. This is, however, not the original "crash" hole.

We can infer that this shot, also shown above, was taken 9/13/2001:

This is because there was an AP article that says the plane's flight data recorder, also called the "black box", was found on 9/13 (see e.g. "Investigators locate 'black box' from Flight 93; widen search area in Somerset crash" Tom Gibb, James O'Toole and Cindi Lash, at, 9/13/2001); and this will be the "black box" mentioned on the MSNBC title.

Note that this is not the same crash impression we see taken by local residents the same day:

(Source: Witness and Response: Setember 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress - Documentary Photographs,
photograph by Mark Stahl. at, taken 9/11/2001)

Observe that even though this crater does not appear to be present on the 1994 USGS photo, it does appear to have been pre-existing. Note the grass growing on the side of the crater. Also note how white the MSNBC picture is where the "body" of the plane would have been is, vs. how black and burnt the center of the crater is. Now, consider this crater's size:

(Source: photograph, unknown photographer, preserved at, taken presumably on 9/11/2001; found by Killtown
and posted on "Did Flight 93 Crash in Shanksville?" Killtown, at, last updated 10/09/2007)

Note the height of the man standing to the right of the crater, and compare that to the man in the following photo, from the Zacarias Moussaoui trial:

(Source: "File:P200058.jpg", at

It is thus easy to observe that the latter photo depicts a crater that is far larger; one which I conclude is at least three times longer. Note that this picture is now missing, not only from any use at Wikipedia, although it still exists on their servers; but it was also an exhibit at the Moussaoui trial; but it is now missing from the other exhibits at the FBI website. This, in my mind, is evidence of a cover-up, participated in by both Wikipedia editors and the FBI.

One website that prompted my review of the size of this hole, one which I might term to be of the semi-Truther variety, says:

As with the Pentagon crash, Loose Change falls for the no-plane hoax, hook, line, and sinker. The first edition of the video endorsed the conclusion that it was shot down. But perhaps the idea that "[Flight 93] was nowhere near Shanksville" is more appealing to the X-Files mindset.

Flight 93 crashed dose-down into the soft landfill of a reclaimed strip mine. (See this analysis of the crash location.) It's therefore not surprising that the 757 would bury itself in a crater.

Photographs of the crater show that it was more than 100 feet long and 30 feet wide, not "20 feet long and 10 feet wide," as the cherry-picked account states.
(Source: "Sifting Through Loose Change", Hoffman, Roberts and/or Hoyer, at, 2006)

I wanted to make sure I wasn't cherry-picking my evidence; so I endeavored to determine the scale of the crash pictures I had. The visual evidence above alone should be sufficient to demonstrate that the "crash" site on 9/11 was much smaller and looked nothing like it did on 9/13. That being said, I don't necessarily think the siteop here is clearly acting as a disinfo agent; although more study might clarify that matter. It is interesting that he/she accuses Loose Change of cherry-picking; but finds no reports on 9/11 or shortly thereafter that describe the hole as large as we now know it was by 9/13. If these are cherry-picked accounts, then where is the tree full of cherries with quotes describing the hole 100 ft. long or more; on 9/11 or even 9/12? A few of the sources I have found which do mention its length on the first two days include:

WTAE-TV's Michelle Wright toured the crash scene and said that a crater of about 30 to 40 feet long, 15 to 20 feet wide and 18 feet deep was created by the crash.
(Source: "No Survivors Reported In Pennsylvania Plane Crash," at, 2001, archived at

At least the guys at have archived this important article; even though they consider it "cherry-picked." Also, there is:

How big would you say that hole was? Ah, from my estimates, I would guess it was probably around 20 to 15 feet, ah long, and probably about 10 feet wide.
(Source: "FLIGHT 93 CRASH EXPOSED! RARE FOOTAGE NEVER AGAIN SEEN ON TV," video, some local NBC ch. 5 & Fox News, from the Fox segment, at, presumably broadcast 9/11/2001)

Not to mention

Nena Lensbouer, who had prepared lunch for the workers at the scrap yard overlooking the crash site, was the first person to go up to the smoking crater.

Lensbouer told AFP that the hole was five to six feet deep and smaller than the 24-foot trailer in her front yard. She described hearing "an explosion, like an atomic bomb"-not a crash.

Lensbouer called 911 and stayed on the line as she ran across the reclaimed land of the former strip mine to within 15 feet of the smoking crater.

Lensbouer told AFP that she did not see any evidence of a plane then or at any time during the excavation at the site, an effort that reportedly recovered 95 percent of the plane and 10 percent of the human remains.
(Source: "9-11 Mysteries Remain", Christopher Bollyn, at, updated 9/17/2004)

Killtown preserves a source that is now missing, but gives the diameter of the crater:

The crash site is a former strip mine owned by PBS Coal Co. and is known locally as the Diamond T. Mine. The impact left a blackened crater at least 45 feet in diameter, said Mark Stahl of Somerset, who arrived at the scene carrying a digital camera just minutes after the plane crashed.
(Source: "Scene of utter destruction," unknown author, original URL "" 9/12/01, preserved at

There are many more sources that say things like "the hole was 20 feet wide"; but since this is ambiguous, in that it this may or may not refer to the length of the hole, I have removed such references here. According to one site that I take for a shill Truther site:

According to eyewitnesses, Flight 93 plunged into the ground at high speed along a nearly vertical trajectory. The plane was apparently shredded on impact, and mostly buried, leaving an impact crater more than 80 feet long and 14 feet deep.
(Source: "Evidence: The Crash of Flight 93," anonymous, unknown date, at the website of "Scholars for Truth and Justice")

"Scholars for Truth and Justice" is an organization founded by Stephen Jones, when "Scholars for 9/11 Truth" would not exclude so-called "no planer" scholars from its ranks. Jones is also known for having demonstrated a relatively energetic form of muon catalyzed fusion which the press embraced, while having been asked to referee a paper by Pons and Fleischmann about cold fusion; which the latter two then announced prematurely to the press, after concerns about scholarly priority. The press and U.S. scientific establishment rejected Pons and Fleischmann's claims, but today, many researchers recognize that there is indeed new physics in their experiments. Jones is seen as a sort of gate-keeper for the tamest variety of 9/11 Truthers. The above article nowhere gives a source for its 80 feet long crater; but links to two pages of Flight 93 eyewitnesses which do not give the size of the crater. His organization does not link, e.g., to Killtown's much more extensive Flight 93 Related Articles.

Now, some spin the issue to say the plane bounced off the ground and disintegrated. This does little to explain why some plane parts were found five miles away, and even some fairly substantial parts were found two miles away. It also conflicts with Lee Purbaugh's and Paula Pluta's claims that they saw the plane nosedive into the ground with their own eyes. Purbaugh said, "It was coming down in a 45 degree and rocking from side to side. Then the nose suddenly dipped and it just crashed into the ground." Therefore, it hit at a greater than 45 degree angle, but could not have flipped over far, flying very low and then turning down. Pluta says "The plane didn't slide into the crash. It went straight into the ground." If these were the case, we should still reasonably expect wing marks on the ground; but as with the Pentagon, there are none. You can't fit a Boeing 757 in either hole. Such a mark on the ground is not consistent with a plane that bounced heavily there first, and began disintegrating due to the ground; but rather one that must have been disintegrating before it hit the ground, and the "official impact crater" is only the indentation from one of the larger pieces of debris, when it rained down, as a result of a mid-air explosion. (It is tempting to argue similarly in the case of the Pentagon plane, but there are no witnesses of a plane already falling apart, nor explosions before the final crash, in that case - see Flight 93-Related Witnesses).

If you go up to the MSNBC screen capture above, we can now understand some things about it with some certainty. 1) It was probably taken 9/13/2001. 2) It was correct size for a 757-200. 3) The "black box" had already been removed from a depth that is usually given at about 25 feet. 4) The original crater was much smaller; both in photographs, and original eyewitness accounts. 5) The original crater had grass on the sides, and was not entirely created by any sort of plane crash. 6) The MSNBC shot shows no grass in the field, as if the entire field had been plowed by 9/13/2001; whereas there was grass all over the field on 9/11/2001. 7) The MSNBC shot is a childish drawing of a 757 on the surface of the field. The "body" is a cone drawn in the sand, with sides much higher than the wing marks. The "tail" is a narrow line drawn on the field. This diagrammatic representation of a 757 is unrelated to the dimensions of the "crater" photographed and observed by eyewitnesses on 9/11. Yet, this diagrammatic representation of a 757-200 was circulated by the FBI as the actual impact crater of Flight 93. While they have since removed the photo, the FBI has not announced a retraction of their false publication. It is also plain to see that the photograph of the Flight 93 "crater" used at the Zacarias Moussaoui was not caused by the plane, but was what was left after later "excavations". Actual photos of the crater taken on 9/11 were available, but not used.

The Shoot-down Order Had Already Been Given

It is now an accepted part of the official narrative, that Bush had already given the shoot-down order. For example, in early 2002, two reporters, including Bob Woodward (who with Carl Bernstein had become famous for breaking the Watergate scandal which led to the resignation of Pres. Richard Nixon) reported:

9:55 a.m.

The Vice President in the Bunker: 'Should We Engage?' 'Yes.'

Once airborne, Bush spoke again to Cheney, who said the combat air patrol needed rules of engagement if pilots encountered an aircraft that might be under the control of hijackers. Cheney recommended that Bush authorize the military to shoot down any such civilian airliners-as momentous a decision as the president was asked to make in those first hours. "I said, 'You bet,'" Bush recalled. "We had a little discussion, but not much.

Bush then talked to Rumsfeld to clarify the procedures military pilots should follow in trying to force an unresponsive plane to the ground before opening fire on it. First, pilots would seek to make radio contact with the other plane and tell the pilot to land at a specific location. If that failed, the pilots were to use visual signals. These included having the fighters fly in front of the other plane.

If the plane continued heading toward what was seen as a significant target with apparently hostile intent, the U.S. pilot would have the authority to shoot it down. With Bush's approval, Rumsfeld passed the order down the chain of command.

In the White House bunker, a military aide approached the vice president.

"There is a plane 80 miles out," he said. "There is a fighter in the area. Should we engage?"

"Yes," Cheney replied without hesitation.
(Source: "10 Days in September, Part I", Dan Balz and Bob Woodward, at 1/27/2002)

A more recent wrinkle in this story occurred when 911 Commission investigators pulled some recordings out of somewhere that supposedly prove that Cheney gave the shoot-down order, but it was disobeyed!

Newly published audio this week reveals that Vice President Dick Cheney's infamous Sept. 11, 2001 order to shoot down rogue civilian aircraft was ignored by military officials, who instead ordered pilots to only identify suspect aircraft.

That revelation is one of many in newly released audio recordings compiled by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, published this week by The Rutgers Law Review. Featuring voices from employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and American Airlines, the newly released multimedia provides a glimpse at the chaos that emerged as the attack progressed.

Most striking of all is the revelation that an order by Vice President Dick Cheney was ignored by the military, which saw his order to shoot down aircraft as outside the chain of command. Instead of acknowledging the order to shoot down civilian aircraft and carrying it out, NORAD ordered fighters to confirm aircraft tail numbers first and report back for further instructions.

Cheney's order was given at "about 10:15" a.m., according to the former VP's memoirs, but the 9/11 Commission Report shows United flight 93 going down at 10:06 a.m. Had the military followed Cheney's order, civilian aircraft scrambling to get out of the sky could have been shot down, exponentially amplifying the day's tragedy.

Far from sending fighters to chase after the hijacked aircraft, as Bush administration officials have repeatedly said they did, the new audio tapes paint a picture of bedlam and unpreparedness.
(Source: "10 Days in September, Part I", Dan Balz and Bob Woodward, at 1/27/2002)

Reports The Shoot-down Was Carried Out

While it might seem doubtful to accept the idea of a shoot-down of Flight 93 on the basis of a few whistle-blowers, the eyewitness accounts and the obligatory Freudian slip by Rumsfeld (below) also corroborate this idea quite well. This section will cover the whistle-blowers. We begin first with a soldier who gave an interview under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Nelson. Here are some excerpts of her interview with Bill Ryan, of

My training was as a radiologic technologist, which is an X-ray tech. And I had done, prior to that, a year and a half basic training, ENT school, and the in-class aspect of my training at different bases. [...]

BR: OK. But what you're saying here is that he saw the first plane hit, captured on a live television camera somehow.

EN: Yes.

BR: Which has never been acknowledged in the public domain.

EN: Yes.

BR: So he saw the first plane crash, and then he came in to tell that to you?

EN: Mm hm. The department... it was just a big hallway. And he just saw this, and he walked back, and there was maybe six or seven of us standing there. And he said: Holy shit! There's a plane just crashed into the tower.

And a few of us were like: What? Really? And we went to see for ourselves and we were standing there watching this building on fire.

BR: One building on fire.

EN: Yes. And as we stood there, we saw the second plane come. ...

BR: But you don't know what channel this was.

EN: No.

BR: This was some internal military hospital channel?

EN: Yes. And they do have regular channels like CNN or NBC or something. But as far as I know, we're not allowed to change it. We had no control over this. The TV was set. So...

BR: And do you remember, was there any commentary, like any newscaster saying: Oh my God! or...? [...]

EN: So after this, the - I believe it was the First Sergeant of the hospital and the Commander. A First Sergeant is in the Sergeant rankings, and a Commander is in the Officer rankings. And they sort of...

The First Sergeant of our department gathered us all together, told us that the soldiers that were stationed there, they needed to report to the command center, basically. [...]

BR: And the conversation around the table was like: OK, guys, what's going on here?

EN: OK, guys, what's going on here. I felt stress, and some unknowingness, and some fear, but they hold it so well, really. They hold themselves together.

And then the topic turned to a plane that was flying in a no-fly zone near to Camp David and heading towards Site R. I had no idea what Site R was. And to me Camp David was a place where George Bush went on vacation. I didn't know any more than that.

BR: And this was information that was coming in on this telephone from elsewhere.

EN: Yes. Yes. And they were discussing this, of... Protocol is that this is a no-fly zone. We have to take this plane down. Yes, it's a passenger plane. It needs to be taken down. It's a no-fly zone. And so...

BR: Was there talk of hijackers and an attack?

EN: No. [...]

Totally different subject, but the same girl and I... A few weeks later, I think sometime the end of October, the two of us were running in the morning or in the afternoon or something near the golf course and we heard someone screaming for help.

And the two of us looked in this direction and saw that there was an old man on the ground. And so she ran. And I jumped in front of a Porsche with the Commander in it, and I told him to call the hospital, and they sent an ambulance.

She and I went to this man and he was having a heart attack. We both started CPR on him until... A man from the marines came at that moment, and I was so grateful he did the mouth-to-mouth. [laughs] I didn't really want to do that, but I would have.

This was my first confirming experience of the spirit. I was checking his pulse, undoing his pants to relieve any circulation, and I saw his spirit rise up out of his body, literally, like a blue-greenish hue just lifting up out of him. And at this moment I felt completely peaceful, like: OK, he's gone. And then I went and I consoled his friends. [...]

It makes sense to me, all the evidence. I've seen so many movies, you know. This was planned. It was detonated just like a demolition.

But why? Why had they also arranged a third plane? OK, so if the US government arranged to have these two towers taken out, why had they arranged a third plane? And where was this third plane heading?

Because to blow something like the cover of Site R doesn't help the military. Do you see what I'm saying?
(Source: Elizabeth Nelson: What really happened to Flight 93 Interview transcript at, interviewed by Bill Ryan, 4/6/2009)

There are ample reasons to be suspicious of this whistle-blower. First, her account tends to exonerate the government's role with Flight 93; whereas some would posit that Flight 93 had already landed elsewhere, or was a drone. After all the intervening years of the 9/11 Truth Movement, the shoot-down hypothesis is rather tame. That being said, we cannot choose an alternative because it is what we might expect, but based on the facts. It is odd that she wonders why the military would blow the cover on "Site R"; described as an underground Pentagon. With Camp David and the U.S. capitol as plausible targets of Flight 93, why should Site R come up at all? Had she been instructed to divulge it? The bit about seeing the greenish spirit rise up from the old man, to the science-minded, sounds like a work of fiction. Still, such have arisen among others before, and the science-minded often write them of to the suggestibility of the subject, instead of deception.

As mentioned previously, here are ample reasons also to believe she is telling the truth. This would be the first instance of a sham whistle-blower acknowledging the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings; although Sam Donner had admittedly described an attack by a Predator drone on the Pentagon. However, the crater where the Boeing 757-200 supposedly crashed is far smaller than the actual size of the plane itself. This could be seen as consistent with the plane having disintegrated before crashing. Most importantly, her testimony agrees with many eyewitness accounts (below). Interesting in this regard, then, is a general who claims he has another whistle-blower has come forward, claiming to be the pilot who fired the missile.

Gen. Donn de Grand Pré has written some books about secret government promotion of socialism, the "Barbarians Inside The Gates" series, and did an interview on the Alex Jones show, on the Genesis Communication Network. The only relevant part of this conversation is:

John: And was United Airlines Flight 93 shot down in Pennsylvania by a U.S. or NATO pilot and was that what was supposed to hit the Pentagon?

DGP: No, that was hit at 10:00 hours. It was taken out by the North Dakota Air Guard. I know the pilot who fired those two missiles to take down 93.
(Source: "Transcript: Alex Jones Interviews Col. Donn de Grand-Pre, U.S. Army (ret.): Explosive New 9/11 Revelations and Explanations", interview with Alex Jones at, conducted 2/29/2004)

A later post at a site whose address used to be claimed to identify the unnamed pilot. Although the original site is down, the post is preserved in its replacement site,

LetsRoll has discovered the name of the pilot as well as all other pertinent information regarding this incident;

"At precisely 0938 hours, an alarm was sounded at Langely Air Force Base, and those whom were on call, drinking coffee, were scrambled. Thus the 119th Fighter Wing was off for an intercept.

They, the Happy Hooligans, a unit of 3 F-16 aircraft, were ordered to head toward Pennsylvania. At 0957 they spotted their target; After confirmation orders were received, A one Major Rick Gibney fired two sidewinder missiles at the aircraft and destroyed it in mid-flight at precisely 0958;
(Source: "World breaking News Exclusive on flight 93 by!" in the "Happy Hooligans" thread, by Phil Jayhan, at, 4/27/2004)

Although there is indeed a Happy Hooligans Air National Guard group, a search of their site turned up no hits for "Flight 93". As Alex Jones was the original interviewer of Gen. de Grand Pré when he made the claim, it lends the story some credence that he repeats it at Further information from Gibney directly or the source for the article at has not been forthcoming.

The U.K.'s Daily Mirror had report in 2003 from its U.S. editor. Especially significant is the eyewitness report of Susan Mcelwain. I will also include some of what she saw, as it is the most interesting of the eyewitness reports; and sets the stage for other eyewitness reports, to be discussed below. However, the reason for its inclusion in this section is her husband's disclosure of a shoot-down:

And "Let's roll" - ringleader Todd Beamer's no-nonsense call to arms - became a defining battle cry in America's war on terror.


Susan Mcelwain, 51, who lives two miles from the site, knows what she saw - the white plane rocketed directly over her head.

"It came right over me, I reckon just 40 or 50ft above my mini-van," she recalled. "It was so low I ducked instinctively. It was travelling real fast, but hardly made any sound.

"Then it disappeared behind some trees. A few seconds later I heard this great explosion and saw this fireball rise up over the trees, so I figured the jet had crashed. The ground really shook. So I dialled 911 and told them what happened.

"I'd heard nothing about the other attacks and it was only when I got home and saw the TV that I realised it wasn't the white jet, but Flight 93.

I didn't think much more about it until the authorities started to say there had been no other plane. The plane I saw was heading right to the point where Flight 93 crashed and must have been there at the very moment it came down.

"There's no way I imagined this plane - it was so low it was virtually on top of me. It was white with no markings but it was definitely military, it just had that look.

"It had two rear engines, a big fin on the back like a spoiler on the back of a car and with two upright fins at the side. I haven't found one like it on the internet. It definitely wasn't one of those executive jets. The FBI came and talked to me and said there was no plane around.

"Then they changed their story and tried to say it was a plane taking pictures of the crash 3,000ft up.

"But I saw it and it was there before the crash and it was 40ft above my head. They did not want my story - nobody here did."

Mrs Mcelwain, who looks after special needs children, is further convinced the whole truth has yet to come out because of a phone call she had within hours from the wife of an air force friend of the family.

"She said her husband had called her that morning and said 'I can't talk, but we've just shot a plane down,' " Susan said. "I presumed they meant Flight 93. I have no doubt those brave people on board tried to do something, but I don't believe what happened on the plane brought it down.

An anonymous flight controller said on the day that an F-16 was "in hot pursuit" of Flight 93 - Washington to Shanksville is seven to 10 minutes flying time.
(Source: "WHAT DID HAPPEN TO FLIGHT 93?", Richard Wallace, at, archived at, dated 5/8/2010, although internal text suggests 2002)

So, while the 911 Commission Staffers find tapes that claim that NORAD disobeyed a direct order when Cheney told them to fire, Mrs. Mcelwain claims she saw some odd kind of military craft flying low directly over her immediately before the explosion; and then her husband told her the jet had been shot down. The news media then hushed up and distorted the white craft into a private plane flying high up. Below, the extraordinary size of the debris field, and other eyewitness reports of an explosion, well before the final crash, will also be covered.

Rumsfeld's Flight 93 Shoot-down Moment

On Christmas Eve, 2004, Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iran in the wake of a bombing of a baracks in Musul. He said the following in one of his speeches:

And I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten -- indeed the word "terrorized" is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be.
(Source: "Surprise Trip for Donald Rumsfeld; Interview With Brigadier General James Marks; Christian in Iraq", transcript on for newscast that aired 12/24/2004)

The video is available at, also. Now, while this might be "fodder for conspiracy theorists", there is ample witness testimony to confirm this idea below without venturing into the largely hypothetical. One wonders at how the man's mind works, and we get a similar sense seeing Bush talk about 9/11. Supposing the people who shot down the plane over Pennsylvania are the same people who bombed the mess hall in Musul, who did the bombing in Spain, and attacked the Pentagon, to simply take him at his word, you get an idea of the kind of people 9/11 Truthers fear we are dealing with. With slips like this, one wonders if it is not more for such slip-ups, than for any public criticism, which Bush always despotically ignored, that he was relieved as Sec. of Defense, early into Bush's second presidential term.

The Official Narrative & Other Small White Jets

Decker's eyewitness account is not consistent with the official admission of a white jet in the area:

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. -- Hoping to dispel rumors that United Airlines Flight 93 might have been shot down by military aircraft, the FBI Saturday said that two other planes were in the area but had nothing to do with the hijacked flight crashing in western Pennsylvania.

The FBI said that a civilian business jet flying to Johnstown was within 20 miles of the low-flying airliner, but at an altitude of 37,000 feet.

That plane was asked to descend to 5,000 feet -- an unusual maneuver -- to help locate the crash site for responding emergency crews.
(Source: "FBI Explains Other Planes At Flight 93 Crash", at, 9/15/2001, updated 10/11/2001)

(The second plane described by official sources had been on the ground at the time of the crash, and only took off 45 minutes later.) So, there we have it. There is no way that a plane could be at 37,000 feet when Flight 93 exploded, and have Decker look up to see it flying low, away from the fireball, immediately afterwords. Neither the first plane the article is talking about, nor its pilot, has ever been identified. Since the white jet was near Flight 93 when it crashed, it either was following it, or intercepting it. In either case, such a craft has never been admitted to in official sources. If it was near Flight 93 when it crashed, it was probably not some nearby spectator; but more probably, either a craft either that had been planned long in advance to observe Flight 93's demise (although this seems unlikely, given the haphazard nature of the plane's demise, see below), or some official scout plane meant to survey the attack. Note that it is apparently not one of the military jets, since one flew straight into the sun afterwards, as opposed to north and low; and there are multiple descriptions of a small jet, or in one cases, even a "Leer-jet type." Furthermore, one of the witnesses recounts seeing one of the military jets fly around the area for a few minutes afterwards (although this witness saw it from a considerable distance), as opposed to the quick loop around the site and northward flight of the small jet.

Unofficial Witnesses of Other Small Planes Yet

A number of other witnesses describe planes in the area at the time of the "crash" that weren't either 1) small private white jets a mile up, asked to investigate after the fact, 2) Susan Mcelwain's mysterious military, drone-type craft, or 3) a Boeing 757-200. Here is an article on witnesses of small, seemingly non-military jets seen immediately after the crash:

About a mile north on Buckstown Road, Dennis Decker and Rick Chaney were at work making wooden pallets when they heard an explosion and came running outside to watch a large mushroom cloud spreading over the ridge.

"As soon as we looked up, we saw a mid-sized jet flying low and fast," Decker said. "It appeared to make a loop or part of a circle, and then it turned fast and headed out." Decker and Chaney described the plane as a Lear-jet type, with engines mounted near the tail and painted white with no identifying markings.

"If you were here to see it, you'd have no doubt," Decker said.

"It was a jet plane, and it had to be flying real close when that 757 went down. If I was the FBI, I'd find out who was driving that plane. " ...

Susan Custer said she saw a small white jet streaking overhead.

"Then I heard the boom and saw the mushroom cloud. " Robin Doppstadt was working inside her family food-and-supply store when she heard the crash. When she went outside, she said, she saw a small white jet that looked like it was making a single circle over the crash site.

"Then it climbed very quickly and took off. " "It's the damndest darn thing," said Dale Browning, a farmer.

"Everybody's seen this thing in the sky, but no one can tell us what it is. "
(Source: "IN RURAL HAMLET, THE MYSTERY MOUNTS; 5 REPORT SECOND PLANE AT PA. CRASH SITE; THE INVESTIGATION" Jeff Pilates, The Bergen Record, 9/14/2001, archived at

While Decker and Chaney were quick to recommend the FBI investigate the jet, they described it as a "Lear-jet type," presumably ruling out that they had seen a military jet. They are not saying that they saw or heard it fire a shot, but rather that the fireball rose over a ridge of trees (that had thus been presumably obscuring their view), and a small jet (i.e. mid-sized, Leer-jet type) fly away heading North.

Quite a number of witnesses report military-style jets too. The mayor of Shanksville relates mysterious reports of F-16's in the area:

"I know of two people - I will not mention names - that heard a missile," Stuhl said. "They both live very close, within a couple of hundred yards. . .This one fellow's served in Vietnam and he says he's heard them, and he heard one that day." The mayor adds that based on what he knows about that morning, military F-16 fighter jets were "very, very close."
(Source: "We know it crashed, but not why", Wm. Bunch, Philidelphia Daily News. 11/18/2001, from the web version archived at

Although many different witnesses report seeing a variety of other planes in the area, the report by mayor Stuhl is significant, since one of the three sources that claim that the shoot-down order was carried out said F-16's were involved, and another said f-16's had been in hot pursuit, after relating a source that the shoot-down had been accomplished.

On the page of this site entitled Flight 93 Crash-Related Eyewitnesses, I arrive at the following tallies for the different types of crafts spotted by various eyewitnesses:

Heard Missile Or Screeching Sound: 5 + 1 probably & 1 maybe
Saw Wingless Small White Craft: 1
Saw F-16 Or Other Fighter-Looking Jet(s) in the area, immediately afterward: 6 + 1 that saw two military jets
     + 1 that saw two jets that probably were military + 1 who saw at least one jet that probably was military
Saw It Or Them Circle Afterwards: 4
Saw Large Silver Plane Overhead Afterwords: 3
Saw It Circle Afterwards: 2
Saw Small White Jet(s): 4 + 1 who saw two
Saw It Or Them Circle Afterwards: 2 + 1 probably

The Size and Nature of the Debris Field

Yet another topic official sources can be shown to be not forthcoming on the truth is the size and nature of the debris field. True, some official sources describe a large debris field, but they never talk about large objects well away from the crash site; and they do not talk about debris said to have fallen before the "crash."

The Flight Path

The page of this site entitled Flight 93 Crash-Related Eyewitnesses relates a lot of witnesses reporting to have seen the plane before its demise. Trying to account for the Indian Lake witnesses in the final flight path was somewhat of a mystery to me when I was doing my initial research for Flight 93, until I came across the following reconstruction of the flight path:

(Source: "The Rest Of The 911 Flight 93 Story", Jon Carlson, at, 8/12/2005)

I am not so confident as Carlson is about the precise path of the jets that witnesses identified in the area. In general, although he finds white jets in shots of the Twin Towers, he has not proven that they are all the same jet, nor that they are Saab jets. However, he might be roughly right in his reconstruction of the flight path of Flight 93. This fits with the jet being spotted miles north of the crash site, going so far east as Indian Lake, and taking the sharp right turn, to end up near the 'crash site.' When Val McClatchey describes the plane passing overhead, she describes it going towards the 'crash site,' and so it might have banked right farther north, so as not to cross Indian Lake until it was heading east again. It is less clear if these eyewitnesses can be squared with Viola Saylor's account of the plane flying upside-down over her when she was about one mile north of the 'crash site,' and exploding about three seconds later. The huge debris field, however, is suggestive of a mid-air shoot-down.

Debris Witnesses and Video

The following is not intended to be an extensive compilation of witnesses and videos of the debris field; but only a small selection of the many available which I have come across in looking for witnesses of other planes or explosions; in order to show the debris field's extent.

Tom Spinelli, 28, was working at India Lake Marina, a mile and a half away. ...

India Lake also contributes to the view there was an explosion on board before the Newark-San Francisco flight came down. Debris rained down on the lake - a curious feat if, as the US government insists, there was no mid-air explosion and the plane was intact until it hit the ground.

"It was mainly mail, bits of in-flight magazine and scraps of seat cloth," Tom said. "The authorities say it was blown here by the wind." But there was only a 10mph breeze and you were a mile and a half away? Tom raised his eyebrows, rolled his eyes and said: "Yeah, that's what they reckon."
(Source: "WHAT DID HAPPEN TO FLIGHT 93?", Richard Wallace, at, archived at, dated 5/8/2010, although internal text suggests 2002)

There is also:

The plane seemed to be fully, or largely, intact. "I didn't see no smoke, nothing," said Nevin Lambert, an elderly farmer who witnessed the crash from his side yard less than a half-mile away.

Lambert also said he also later found a couple of pieces of debris, one a piece of metal, less than 12 inches across, with some insulation attached. To those who are debating the causes of the crash, the debris is particularly significant because heavier farflung debris would suggest that something happened to cause the plane to break up before it hit the ground.
(Source: "We know it crashed, but not why", Wm. Bunch, Philidelphia Daily News. 11/18/2001, from the web version archived at

One Truther website summarizes a few of the more interesting reports of wreckage far away from the "crash" site. He comes up with the following list, with sources:

(Source: "Flight 93 Crash Site ", Jim Hoffman, Gregg Roberts and/or Jan Hoyer at, 3/27/2008)

Lastly, an above-cited video has some views of the debris fields taken on the day of the "crash", to give one a visual indication of how widely-distributed and substantial the debris field was (see FLIGHT 93 CRASH EXPOSED! RARE FOOTAGE NEVER AGAIN SEEN ON TV, at

Other Eyewitness Accounts

There are actually numerous eyewitnesses whose accounts have been reported as to the purported "crash"; which I have on the Flight 93 Crash-Related Eyewitnesses page of this site. Some of it indicates that the plane was as far east as Indian Lake before the crash, that the Boeing was damaged before the "crash", that there were one or more explosions on the plane before the ultimate explosion, and that there were other planes in the immediate area flying very low, both before and after the "crash". This is a summary of the witnesses I have made, by number of witnesses who:

Heard Missile Or Screeching Sound: 5 + 1 probably & 1 maybe
Saw Wingless Small White Craft: 1
Saw F-16 Or Other Fighter-Looking Jet(s) in the area, immediately afterward: 6 + 1 that saw two military jets
     + 1 that saw two jets that probably were military + 1 who saw at least one jet that probably was military
Saw It Or Them Circle Afterwards: 4
Saw Large Silver Plane Overhead Afterwords: 3
Saw It Circle Afterwards: 2
Saw Small White Jet(s): 4 + 1 who saw two
Saw It Or Them Circle Afterwards: 2 + 1 probably
Saw Airliner From Ground Before Crash: 9 + 2 probably + 2 maybes
Saw Airliner Upside-Down Just Before Crash: 2 + 1 probably + 1 maybe
Saw Airliner Rightside-Up Just Before Crash: 3 + 1 whose testimony precludes this
Saw Airliner Hit Ground: 2 + 1 maybe + 1 who did not, but said it crashed just over the trees
Direction Airliner Traveling Before Crash: 1 southeast + 1 hearsay southeast report + 1 south
     + 2 who saw it at Indian Lake, thus implying it should have been traveling west + 1 east
Heard Other Explosions Just Before Crash: 2 + 1 air traffic dispatcher supervisor who claims to have been told this by
     a passenger, although the widow disputes it
Saw Evidence of Airliner Damage Before Crash: 2 + 2 who say there was no damage
Saw Airliner at Indian Lake: 4
Saw a Mushroom Cloud of Smoke Afterwards: 7 + 2 who implied it + 2 who said there was none
Were intimidated or gagged by the FBI or otherwise unidentified federal agents: 3
Had video or a camera confiscated by the FBI: 2

I encourage you to read through the accounts there, as they are much more extensive than the eyewitness reports I have given on this page. There is a table at the end of the page, in the "Table of Witnesses on Select Topics" section, where you can look for an observation in one of the columns headings, search for a "Y", "N" or number to find observations, and then click on the date of the reports in the date column in order to go straight to the observation, so as to be able to quickly navigate what would otherwise be a confusing mass of eyewitness reports.

Does It Even Matter If Bush Shot Down Flight 93?

So, let's say Bush Jr. did order the shoot-down, and it happened. It would make Cheney out to be a liar when he says the order was disobeyed; but many people would rush to defend him, even if the plane was down and it was kept secret - thinking "a commander-in-chief's gotta do what a commander-in-chief's gotta do." Indeed, if Bush Jr. had ordered a shoot-down, there would be little reason to cover it up; and I would not blame him for killing legitimate terrorists and some passengers, in order to protect the capitol building. I even recommended people vote for him in 2000. This website, however, and the broader 9/11 Truth movement, offer pretty firm data that, e.g. the WTC towers fell as a result of a controlled demolition, and that no 757 hit the Pentagon. These BTS records could use a real and truly impartial inquiry in order to account for their irregularities. As the Star Trek character Spock is fond of saying, when you eliminate all the other possibilities, the possibility remaining, no matter how improbable-sounding, must be the correct one. This scenario does account for these records admirably well, and I have demonstrated above that the government is very probably lying already about if the plane was shot down or not. If Truthers are right about that, how many of their most serious claims might also be true? I guess the real giveaway, is that the media never once suggested the idea, or picked up any of these allegations, except to debunk them in a perfunctory manner; when most people who have been researching the matter in any real detail come to embrace 9/11 Truth.

No less a writer than James Madison, the principle author of the U.S. Constitution, said:

A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both
(Source: Letter to William Taylor Barry, 8/4/1822, in: Letters and Writings of James Madison, vol. 3, p. 276)

If the people do not wear the pants in a democracy, because they don't even have the most basic information about the real causes or courses of events, then it is neither a pure democracy, nor a representative democracy in the form of a republic, but something else entirely. How can the people possibly choose effective representatives, if they do not even know, e.g. whether their president has shot down an airliner full of Americans over American soil, or not? We should be in charge of this, or give up on government ruling in our best interests, at all. This idea that our government representatives should rule in secrecy, without us knowing what is going on or at least went on the most fundamental level, is, in my now more informed opinion, a sign of being dangerously brainwashed.

Some people think the U.S. Constitution is quaint, and out-dated. In some respects this is true. It can be improved upon, to better safeguard "a people who mean to be their own governors" from abuse. However, modern notions of secret detentions, trials and the "unitary executive" only further the abuse of the common people instead of protecting them. We know from all around the world, that secret prisons, secret executions, and unchecked presidential power lead only to tragic dictatorships; not a government "of the people, for the people, and by the people." Only governments on the verge of becoming dictatorships ask for such powers.

Some of the Eyewitnesses Are Lying

Two of the witnesses I have indicated as probable liars: Lee Purbaugh and Paula Pluta. The simple reason is that the "crash" site is a 15-25 ft. hole in the ground, and cannot be due to a 757 hitting the ground intact, nose first. It is the physical evidence that puts the lie to their accounts. Compare the following supposed eyewitness accounts to the above pictures of the crash site, and the multiple citations of the width of the hole shortly after the fact:

"I never in my life thought I would see a plane crash right before my very eyes," said Purbaugh, who was at the wreckage within minutes after the crash.

Purbaugh's second day on the job at Rollock Inc., a scrap metal company which owns the Diamond T mine, a former PBS Coals dig directly above the crash site, came with a shocking surprise. The crash happened within 200 yards of Purbaugh's view.

"I happened to hear this noise and looked up," said Purbaugh, who indicated the plane was about 40 to 50 feet above him. "I didn't know if I should duck or what because this plane was so low but then in a split second it hit."
(Source: "Sept. 11 Terror Touches Somerset County," Sandra Lepley, The Daily American of nearby Somerset County, 9/12/2001, updated 6/30/2008)

Paula Pluta's story reads thus:

Paula Pluta of Stonycreek Township was watching a television rerun of "Little House on the Prairie" when the plane went down about 1,500 yards from her home along Lambertsville Road at Little Prairie Lane.

"I looked out the window and saw the plane nose-dive right into the ground," she said, barefoot and shaken just 45 minutes after the crash.

The explosion buckled her garage doors and blasted open a latched window on her home, she said.

"It was just a streak of silver. Then a fireball shot up as high as the clouds. There was no way anybody could have survived. I called 911 right away.

"There was no way anything was left," Pluta added. "There was just charred pieces of metal and a big hole. The plane didn't slide into the crash. It went straight into the ground. Wings out. Nose down."
(Source: "Scene of utter destruction," The Pittsbourgh Tribune-Review, 9/12/2001)

Witnesses of the crater after the "crash" describe it as 15-25 ft. wide, but none have the requisite ~124 feet wide mark a real 757 would have left. I need nothing else to call them the liars they are; except in the unlikely eventuality believable photos and testimony of a crater of the necessary size should surface. I am in no way raising an unrealistic standard of evidence on this (nor many other) issues.

Later, after other eyewitnesses reported additional planes in the area, Purbaugh has more of his story:

Lee Purbaugh is one of at least half a dozen named individuals who have reported seeing a second plane flying low and in erratic patterns, not much above treetop level, over the crash site within minutes of the United flight crashing. They describe the plane as a small, white jet with rear engines and no discernible markings. Purbaugh, who served three years in the US Navy, said he did not believe it was a military plane. If it indeed was not, one suggestion made in the Internet discussion groups is that US Customs uses planes with these characteristics to interdict aerial drug shipments. Either way, the presence of the mystery jet remains a puzzle.
(Source: "Unanswered questions: The mystery of Flight 93," The London Independent, 8/13/2002, archived at

Curiously, he apparently gives another story in a later interview, although the 9/11 Truth-hostile writer has added a word:

evidence Against: Lee Purbaugh was breaking apart steel beams at Rollock Scrap in Shanksville when the plane flew over him, barely clearing the tops of nearby trees. He is the only known witness to United 93's final moments.

"I heard the jet engines," he recalls, sitting on a plastic chair at the top of a wrought-iron staircase that leads to his Somerset apartment. As he speaks, his daughter, Hannah, flits about his feet. She was born September 11, 2002.

"It looks like it's coming in for a landing. All of a sudden, it started rocking back and forth." He moves his hand in the air, in the shape of a plane, and twists it first to the right, then to the left. "Then it turned upside down and went nose down at a slight angle. When it hit it just broke up into tiny pieces. Flames shot up and it disappeared into the ground. It looked like footage I saw once on World's Greatest Disasters. I felt the ground shaking. I saw no [fighter] jets."
(Source: "Plan 9/11 From Cyberspace", James Renner, originally at, now missing, but archived at, 9/6/2006)

It is interesting that, without the hostile reporter's added word, it reads: "It looked like footage I saw once on World's Greatest Disasters. I felt the ground shaking. I saw no jets." To me, it sounds like he is changing his story again, and denying having ever seen the unmarked white jet he reported to the London Independent. It is clear that either James Renner or Lee Purbaugh, or both, have neglected to mention the mystery jet. Going back to the first cited quotation in this section, it is awfully interesting that it was "Purbaugh's second day on the job at Rollock Inc." We might expect a shill witness to have been put into position immediately before the event. Although it is difficult to be certain, it does not seem to be the m.o. of the FBI to tell witnesses with "inconvenient" stories to lie about them; but to be quiet about them, and to confiscate evidence. Thus, Purbaugh and Pluta are probably shill witnesses. Perhaps Purbaugh and Pluta can further clarify what he saw for us, and how it accords with the physical evidence; or perhaps he will choose to "plead the fifth." Perhaps one or both will choose to come forward as whistle-blowers, and save their good names. While many whistle-blowers get shunned by the press, certain high profile ones can be virtually guaranteed considerable media attention. Other eyewitnesses may be lying as well; but figuring out some may require a better understanding of what actually did happen in general.

Interim Conclusions

These conclusions are preliminary, and may well be modified after the research for the remaining topics for this page, currently absent, is completed. Also, these could use to be discussed more fully. Still, there are a number of surprises already.

  1. There may well have been a plane with passengers, owing to a piece of rib bone found miles from the crash site, a burning piece of seat nearby, etc.; witnessed immediately after the event.
  2. Two witnesses say there was no mushroom cloud, but many witnesses from both alternative and mainstream sources say there was. Thus, the eyewitness accounts are overwhelmingly in favor of a mushroom cloud. Val McClatchey's photo is not necessarily genuine, but her neighbors who said there was no mushroom cloud are either mistaken, or the number of shill eyewitnesses is rather large.
  3. There probably were military jets, such as F-16's, one of which was low near the plane, and apparently overflew Shanksville Stonycreek High School afterwards, but zoomed up high and circled with another, afterwards.
  4. There probably was an A-10 Warthog; and to judge by the "screeching" and "whistling" sounds reported, it may have fired a missile. It would be coming from the Indian Lake area, and would be sliver.
  5. There were two white jets which looked like Leer-type jets, which circled the "crash" scene after the crash.
  6. There is nothing to refute Susan McElwain's account of a white drone type aircraft which passed over her van before going over a ridge, where the explosion happened immediately afterwards. This may have also been responsible for a screeching sound reported by some witnesses.
  7. The plane was probably hit by a missile, but a bomb on board is another possibility; in order to explain the enormous size of the debris field, the pulverized remains, and the small crater. It is unclear if the crater was formed before the "crash", or shortly afterwards; but it does look like an underscale diagram of the wings, fuselage (represented by a near-perfect cone), and tail (represented by a simple line drawn on the ground) have been fashioned. Such a small and diagramatic representation of a plane cannot be a mark left by a real plane.
  8. There are only a few eyewitnesses of the airliner at Indian Lake, whereas there are many who say they saw the airliner N or NW of the "crash site", with an explosion shortly afterwards. While the preponderance of witnesses have it traveling SE toward the crash site, the Indian Creek ones are not easily discounted, since, in Val McClatchey's favor, there was a mushroom could afterwards; and debris was reported raining down on Indian Lake before the explosion. Thus, we have two different directions the airliner is approaching the "crash site"; a clear impossibility, unless there were two airliners. This suggests that some are lying, as part of the government cover story. Determining which is non-trivial. An alternative is that the people who thought they saw the airliner in fact saw the A-10 Warthog; and the debris was either from it, or showed up after the crash.
  9. In short, there were a number of planes in the immediate vicinity flying low before and after the "crash", or more probably, mid-air shoot-down or explosion. Owing to the enormous debris field, it probably was caused by a low-flying plane either exploding or being shot down.
  10. Some "eyewitnesses" of the crash are lying; suggesting pre-planted shill witnesses. This would suggest that the controversy about whether Bush did or did not give the order that caused the plane to be shot down is only so much theater; unless it surfaces that Purbaugh, Pluta and any others might have arrived after the fact.

Did Flight 93 Land in Cleveland?

It seems safe enough to say at this point that Flight 93 did not crash, as per the government legend; but instead, the plane was apparently either fired upon or blown up in flight. This is not to say, however, that it was necessarily the original Flight 93 which was blown up mid-air near the crash site. There is the matter of a report of a United Flight 93 which landed in Cleveland, which was later retracted; and some very contradictory data about a Delta Flight 1989 which also landed at Cleveland to consider first - not to mention a completely different theory by Woody Box, which will be discussed toward the end of this page.

Flight 93 Reported To Have Landed in Cleveland

On the morning of 9/11, the following news release appeared on the website of Fox 9News in Cincinnati:

A Boeing 767 out of Boston made an emergency landing Tuesday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport due to concerns that it may have a bomb aboard, said Mayor Michael R. White.

White said the plane had been moved to a secure area of the airport, and was evacuated.

United identified the plane as Flight 93. The airline did not say how many people were aboard the flight.

United said it was also "deeply concerned" about another flight, Flight 175, a Boeing 767, which was bound from Boston to Los Angeles.

On behalf of the airline CEO James Goodwin said: "The thoughts of everyone at United are with the passengers and crew of these flights. Our prayers are also with everyone on the ground who may have been involved.

"United is working with all the relevant authorities, including the FBI, to obtain further information on these flights," he said.
(Source: "Plane Lands In Cleveland; Bomb Feared Aboard", Liz Foreman, 9/11/2001, now missing, originally at "", archived at

A retraction of this story was later issued, saying it was indeed Flight 1989 that was at issue:

I've been getting calls and e-mails for several years, all from folks who have seen my byline on a story (Plane Lands In Cleveland; Bomb Feared Aboard) about Flight 93, the plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001.

The story in question, an Associated Press bulletin, was posted on during the morning of September 11, 2001. The story stated that Flight 93 landed in Cleveland. This was not true.

Once the AP issued a retraction a few minutes later, we removed the link. ...

FAQ: ...

2. So you didn't report the story yourself?
No, I work at the website in Cincinnati. I generally do not do any reporting out in the field. Also, I was not in Cleveland, nor does WCPO-TV have a Cleveland-based reporter. If you're not familiar with the geography of Ohio, Cleveland is a good four hours away from us.
(Source: "Flight 93 Landed in Cleveland", anonymous webpage which archives part of an unnamed blog post by Liz Foreman, now missing)

Liz may have the following AP article in mind:

A Boeing 767 out of Boston made an emergency landing Tuesday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport because of concerns that it may have a bomb aboard, said Mayor Michael R. White. ...
(Source: "Plane makes emergency landing", Paul Singer, A.P. writer, 9/11/2001, now missing, archived at

If there is an AP article which talks about Flight 93 having landed in Cleveland, it is surprising that it has escaped the attention of the rather large 9/11 Truth community, but this article does not mention a Flight 93. Also, both the original 9News article and the AP article reference a Boeing 767, whereas Flight 93 was a Boeing 757-200. The original Fox 9News story also says that the plane was out of Boston, whereas Flight 93 was out of Newark, NJ.

The Curious Case of Flight 1989

There is an article that asserts that the plane that landed at Cleveland was one Flight 1989, but it was confused with Flight 93:

OBERLIN, Ohio - Air traffic controllers believed they had a hijacked plane in the air over Ohio on Sept. 11. They just didn't know which plane.

During tense moments that morning at Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, the first guess was that Delta Flight 1989 was hijacked, not United Airlines Flight 93.

"We knew right away we had a problem. The first thought was, 'Is that Delta 1989?' " said Rick Kettell, manager of the Federal Aviation Administration's busiest regional center. ...

The center's controllers were concerned about the Delta flight because it had departed Boston five minutes behind United Flight 175, which crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York. ...

Shortly after Delta Flight 1989 checked in with the Cleveland Center while over Syracuse, N.Y., the center's controllers heard two transmissions that sounded like a cockpit struggle.

Meanwhile, Flight 93 had climbed to 41,000 feet over the Cleveland Center, and then over nearby Elyria turned 120 degrees to the southeast, a move that surprised controllers.

"We were finally able to deduce by the airplanes talking back to us which was the airplane not talking to us, and that was Flight 93," Mr. Kettell said.
(Source: "Sept. 11 tension vivid to controller", M.R. Kropko, A.P., 10/15/2002, at, the website of the Cincinnati Enquirer)

Well, that seems to be the end of the story, and it explains the confusion quite nicely; if we are satisfied with this. How about we dig a little deeper?

The BTS Records of Flight 1989

One can go to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics website, and download airline on-time data, which, at the detailed level, gives information 1about specific arrivals and departures. You can go to and choose "Airline On-Time Data", then "Detailed Statistics" and either "Arrivals", "Departures" or "Diversions". You can also download my raw data by right-clicking here and choosing "Save As ...".

Using this method, one can reconstruct the entire itinerary of a plane's flight path within the limits of good record-keeping, so long as it sticks to large, national airports. The interesting thing about this data, is that it is quadruply redundant. That is, when a plane flies to a destination, it records a destination in the departure record, and the arrival at the destination is in the arrival record. When the plane leaves said destination, there is a departure record, and in the arrival record of a new airport, the airport of origin is recorded. Thus, if we ignore the first and last records of a plane, if it stays at national airports, and visits N of them, there will be 4 X N records in the BTS arrival/departure records.

By collating these records, one can produce a table such as the following. There was only one Flight 1989 out of Boston. It has a tail number of N189DN. By going to its destination, LAX, and searching on arrivals and departures, it is easy to do a find on this tail number. Thus, you can follow this plane around using this method in order to reconstruct a record of its movements. Here then is a reconstruction for the days 9/8-16/2001:

Arrival / Departure Flight Number Date Wheel On / Off Time Eastern Time Date Eastern Time Origin / Departed From Arrived At / Destination
Arrival 158 09/08/01 06:37:00 AM 09/08/01 06:37:00 AM LAX JFK
Departure 139 09/08/01 03:06:00 PM 09/08/01 03:06:00 PM JFK BOS
Arrival 139 09/08/01 03:48:00 PM 09/08/01 03:48:00 PM JFK BOS
Departure 61 09/08/01 06:00:00 PM 09/08/01 06:00:00 PM BOS LAX
Arrival 61 09/08/01 08:14:00 PM 09/08/01 11:14:00 PM BOS LAX
Departure 158 09/08/01 10:52:00 PM 09/09/01 01:52:00 AM LAX JFK
Departure 45 09/09/01 08:41:00 AM 09/09/01 08:41:00 AM JFK LAX
Arrival 45 09/09/01 10:56:00 AM 09/09/01 01:56:00 PM JFK LAX
Departure 42 09/09/01 01:25:00 PM 09/09/01 04:25:00 PM LAX JFK
Arrival 42 09/09/01 09:45:00 PM 09/09/01 09:45:00 PM LAX JFK
Departure 45 09/10/01 08:42:00 AM 09/10/01 08:42:00 AM JFK LAX
Arrival 45 09/10/01 10:50:00 AM 09/10/01 01:50:00 PM JFK LAX
Departure 1988 09/10/01 01:45:00 PM 09/10/01 04:45:00 PM LAX BOS
Arrival 1988 09/10/01 09:51:00 PM 09/10/01 09:51:00 PM LAX BOS
Departure 1989 09/11/01 08:25:00 AM 09/11/01 08:25:00 AM BOS LAX
Arrival 1989 09/11/01 11:25:00 AM 09/11/01 02:25:00 PM BOS LAX
Departure 42 09/11/01 01:00:00 PM 09/11/01 04:00:00 PM LAX JFK
Arrival 42 09/11/01 09:25:00 PM 09/11/01 09:25:00 PM LAX JFK
Departure 45 09/12/01 08:10:00 AM 09/12/01 08:10:00 AM JFK LAX
Arrival 45 09/12/01 11:13:00 AM 09/12/01 02:13:00 PM JFK LAX
Departure 42 09/12/01 01:00:00 PM 09/12/01 04:00:00 PM LAX JFK
Arrival 42 09/12/01 09:25:00 PM 09/12/01 09:25:00 PM LAX JFK
Arrival 158 09/14/01 06:50:00 AM 09/14/01 06:50:00 AM LAX JFK
Departure 139 09/14/01 02:40:00 PM 09/14/01 02:40:00 PM JFK BOS
Arrival 139 09/14/01 04:05:00 PM 09/14/01 04:05:00 PM JFK BOS
Departure 61 09/14/01 05:50:00 PM 09/14/01 05:50:00 PM BOS LAX
Arrival 61 09/14/01 09:10:00 PM 09/15/01 12:10:00 AM BOS LAX
Departure 158 09/14/01 10:35:00 PM 09/15/01 01:35:00 AM LAX JFK
Departure 1988 09/15/01 01:57:00 PM 09/15/01 04:57:00 PM LAX BOS
Arrival 1988 09/15/01 09:36:00 PM 09/15/01 09:36:00 PM LAX BOS
Departure 1989 09/16/01 08:19:00 AM 09/16/01 08:19:00 AM BOS LAX
Arrival 1989 09/16/01 11:01:00 AM 09/16/01 02:01:00 PM BOS LAX
Departure 42 09/16/01 01:00:00 PM 09/16/01 04:00:00 PM LAX JFK
Arrival 1988 09/16/01 09:12:00 PM 09/16/01 09:12:00 PM LAX BOS
Arrival 42 09/16/01 09:25:00 PM 09/16/01 09:25:00 PM LAX JFK

I have created two additional columns which standard the plane times to Eastern Standard Time (EST), and sorted these rows on the date and time, given in EST. I have highlighted records that are consistent with each other in green. Ones which are anomalous are in red. However, in many of these records, both the Actual Arrival/Departure time and the Wheel On/Off times are 12:00:00 AM; and other times, such as Actual Elapsed and Taxi Time are zero. These records make no sense if they are to actually mean midnight. In these cases, I have used the scheduled Arrival/Departure times, and indicated them in blue. These probably represent flights which were scheduled, but did not fly.

There are indeed a few curiosities here. The first record highlighted in red seems at first to be a case of a canceled flight; as we might suppose an arrival record is missing, and we don't know how the plane got to JFK without assuming such a flight. A little farther down, we get to the 8:25 AM departure on 9/11 bound for LAX, which was reportedly was told by Delta to land in Cleveland Hopkins airport. Curiously, the plane continues to generate BTS records for three more routes during the subsequent two days, even though the "clear the skies" order had been given, and planes were to remain grounded for a couple of days. Given that their time records all say 12:00:00 AM, it may be that these records were prepared in advance, but never fulfilled.

When the plane does resume flying, we see anomalous flight 158 records and a flight 1988 record, all emanating out of LAX, resume. Let's consider the 9/14/01 6:50:00 AM record, arriving at JFK from LAX. Could this have been a canceled flight due to service problems with the plane, so that the previous 9/12/01 record never flew? I am not familiar enough with BTS records to answer this question. Are these filed, but not rescinded, when a plane fails to make a flight? Can the flight 158 departure on 9/8/01 and the flight 158 arrival record on 9/14/01, both of which are from LAX to JFK, refer to a plane masquerading as the plane with the tail number N189DN? Do the last two records, highlighted in red, also refer to movements of planes which may have made other landings under a different tail number? I originally thought there might be mundane explanations for most of these anomalies, but now am not so sure - although those more familiar with BTS records may be able to clarify the matter further. From the above, it is at least curious that two of the records highlighted in red break the pattern of four records in a row; but the last may be due to canceling flights for the plane. Like this last red record, the first one has an actual wheel on/off time too, but it cannot be explained unless the record is somehow spurious, or another plane was using its tail number.

BTS Records For Flight 93

Using the same techniques and data sources, the following table can be arrived at for Flight 93.

Arrival / Departure Flight Number Date Wheel On / Off Time Eastern Time Date Eastern Time Origin / Departed From Arrived At / Destination
Arrival 80 09/08/01 04:05:00 PM 09/08/01 04:05:00 PM LAX EWR
Departure 79 09/08/01 05:49:00 PM 09/08/01 05:49:00 PM EWR SFO
Arrival 79 09/08/01 08:04:00 PM 09/08/01 11:04:00 PM EWR SFO
Departure 1045 09/09/01 07:15:00 AM 09/09/01 10:15:00 AM SFO SNA
Arrival 1045 09/09/01 08:23:00 AM 09/09/01 11:23:00 AM SFO SNA
Departure 528 09/09/01 10:03:00 AM 09/09/01 01:03:00 PM SNA ORD
Arrival 528 09/09/01 04:09:00 PM 09/09/01 05:09:00 PM SNA ORD
Departure 528 09/09/01 05:19:00 PM 09/09/01 06:19:00 PM ORD BOS
Arrival 528 09/09/01 08:06:00 PM 09/09/01 08:06:00 PM ORD BOS
Arrival 78 09/10/01 06:54:00 AM 09/10/01 06:54:00 AM SFO EWR
Departure 507 09/10/01 07:39:00 AM 09/10/01 07:39:00 AM BOS ORD
Arrival 507 09/10/01 08:39:00 AM 09/10/01 09:39:00 AM BOS ORD
Departure 642 09/10/01 10:43:00 AM 09/10/01 11:43:00 AM ORD EWR
Arrival 642 09/10/01 01:34:00 PM 09/10/01 01:34:00 PM ORD EWR
Departure 75 09/10/01 07:40:00 PM 09/10/01 07:40:00 PM EWR SFO
Arrival 75 09/10/01 10:07:00 PM 09/10/01 10:07:00 PM EWR SFO
Departure 78 09/10/01 11:15:00 PM 09/11/01 02:15:00 AM SFO EWR
Departure 93 09/11/01 08:28:00 AM 09/11/01 08:28:00 AM EWR SFO
Arrival 93 09/11/01 11:14:00 AM 09/11/01 02:14:00 PM EWR SFO

Here too, we see the same four-fold symmetry. We see SFO, starting in the second record, as the destination for both the departure and arrival records of Flight 79 on 9/8/2001, but as the origin for the departure and arrival records of Flight 1045 on 9/9/2001. Thus, four records in a row mention the given airport, if it is flying its scheduled flights. We see an exception to this rule with the mysterious arrival of Flight 78 at Newark at 06:54:00 AM on 9/10/01. This flight's origin was supposedly San Francisco, even though the previous departure and arrival records place it firmly in Boston! This is not an oddity in the data that can be explained by a single record being lost or a flight being cancelled - although that alone might be suitable grounds for review. The arrival at Boston looks like a real record for a flight that really flew, and yet this plane is leaving out of San Francisco, a place where this plane had not been since it left San Francisco three flights previously. There is no corresponding arrival record, and flights resume not from Newark, but Boston, where the record previous to the first highlighted red record had left it. If we ignore the first red record, the fourfold symmetry is restored, as if it were spurious, or perhaps the flight of a different plane using the same tail number.

At the end of the table, we see two records for the fateful 9/11 flight. At first blush, these records might be seen as the result of records created in expectation of a successful flight from O'Hare to San Francisco; only to be interrupted by the hijacking. A closer look reveals a break in the four-fold pattern that should not be there. Although the plane departed out of San Francisco for O'Hare on 9/10, there is no arrival record at O'Hare. Perhaps making this a bit more curious yet is that this flight's number is shared by the anomalous record we saw earlier: flight 78. Both refer to a plane going from San Francisco to Newark. Note that the pattern is indeed broken by records that have times other than 12:00:00 AM, as if the flights were actually made, and we have real wheel on/off times. Like Flight 1989, we have one anomalous record of a flight being made with a real wheel on/off time, which interrupts the fourfold symmetry. In addition, the airplane is never recorded as having arrived at Newark on 9/11, when that was the very airport the plane is listed as departing from before the purported hijacking.

I can already anticipate the response of the "debunkers": This can be explained by some minor record-keeping error. This is how you can tell the difference between a Truther and an anti-Truther: a Truther will fairly tell you the matter looks fishy, and the matter could use further investigation before dismissing it. An anti-Truther will tell you you don't need to look further into it in a skeptical way, and that no further large investigation need occur, no matter what - even when the stakes of being wrong are the rise of fascism in your own country; or else will be following the lead of someone who holds those views.

This reminds me of Operation Northwoods. We can begin by asking, is there anything here that might be interpreted as a plane with people landing, so that a plane full of CIA/DOD covert ops friendly people could land, and a drone could take off and get shot down? I imagine the scenario might have played out this way: On 9/10, a flight with the tail number N591UA (Flight 93) left San Francisco, and flew to Newark, and landed at some other airfield, either secret, or with a different electronic tail number identification - perhaps using a classified code. The drone plane, or plane flown by a few operatives, then leaves Newark, although N591UA never arrived there before its fateful trip. It seems at least plausible, given that so many other aspects of 9/11 fail to pass the smell test. The controversy over whether the plane was shot down or not could then have been a pre-planned, Machiavellian faux controversy; meant to draw critics out into making allegations they could not prove, but exposing them to government reprisals.

Two Flight 1989's?

An online blogger using the name Woody Box has pointed out some rather curious discrepancies in the news reports about Flight 1989. He produces the following table illustrating his idea:

.........................................................Delta 1989...................Flight X
Moment of landing................................10:10...........................10:45
Begin of evacuation...............................12:30...........................11:15
Number of passengers............................69................................200
Passengers brought to............. ..........FAA/Airport...................NASA
Exact location.................................Runway 18/36 ............Runway 28/10
.....................................................near I-X Center..........near NASA Center
(Source: "The Cleveland Airport Mystery", Woody Box, at, date given elsewhere as "May 2004")

He is proposing that conflicting landing, evacuation times, and other details for Flight 1989 in the media are evidence of two planes different plans having landed at different times, etc.; and with this chart, he proposes to extricate details about one flight from another. Reports Woody:

The article quickly gained attention among the 9/11 research community, was referred to in books by Michael Ruppert, Webster Tarpley and Ian Henshall/Rowland Morgan before enjoying extensive coverage in Dylan Avery's documentary "Loose Change".
(Source: "The Cleveland Airport Mystery - Second Edition", Woody Box, at 911Woody, 2/6/2007)

In the Loose Change documentary (second ed., I think it was; possibly the first, but not the third - still highly recommended viewing with all its flaws), Dylan Avery narrates that Flight 93 landed in Cleveland, OH. However, this is far from certain, and Woody Box, for his part, in later posts, makes it clear that he does not identify his mysterious "Flight X" with Flight 93. The above article by Liz Foreman, which she has since retracted, is the only article which ever identifies a plane that landed at the Cleveland airport with Flight 93. Even so, Loose Change's surmise about Flight 93 was reasonable, as it flew near 1989, was confused with it (at least according to the official account); and Flight 93's purported turn back toward the east brought it right near the Cleveland airport. Striking in this admittedly retracted article is the datum that "United identified the plane as Flight 93." Had Flight 93 actually landed in Cleveland, it would strongly suggest one possible scenario of how an airplane crash might have been faked, as many in the Truth movement charge.

Knowing Liz's source for that statement would do a lot to help us figure out if it was due to a misunderstanding, or if it might have happened that way. However, the plane's type, a 767, does not match Flight 93, nor does its origin or destination. Of course, it is reportedly not that difficult to change which flight a jet is identifying itself as to the BTS on takeoff - but evidence of such a thing might not be forthcoming. We do have a little more information from Lize about her source:

WCPO's Liz Foreman posted the original news report stating that United 93 had landed in Cleveland, but says the whole thing was just a simple mistake on a very confusing day.

"The story stated that flight 93 landed in Cleveland," admits Foreman on her station's blog. "This was not true." She claims it was an error in the Associated Press wire report that was corrected in later updates. After she discovered the mistake, she removed the link to the story, but not the story itself; Google searches still found it on WCPO's site until 2003, when someone alerted her to the number of conspiracy blogs that had picked it up. Foreman deleted it, but the damage was done.


United Airlines did not respond to calls for comment.
(Source: "Plan 9/11 From Cyberspace", James Renner, originally at, now missing, but archived at, 9/6/2006)

Further information on this purported earlier press release by AP has never been found after years of searching by 9/11 Truthers.

Further details in the articles indicated by Woody Box do not suggest Flight 93 at all; but they nevertheless are quite contradictory. The real question to be asking then, in my opinion, is whether the conflicting reports of Flight 1989 can be clearly demonstrated to represent two separate flights, whether they are misunderstandings that refer to one flight, and whether it is a botched cover story or not. For reasons based on Woody's research which I will present below, it seems unlikely that either plane was Flight 93. What I will say what shills usually do not: that even unlikely claims should be investigated, given the danger if a government tells enormous lies about a thing like 9/11 - not to mention the huge amount of false information we were given about 9/11.

While Woody examines articles in terms of presenting exemplars of one or the other of the conflicting data at issue, forcing each contradictory datum into representing Flight 1989 or Flight 93, I also study these same source articles in terms of if individual articles always represent either Flight 1989 or "Flight X"; or if they mix and match attributes from the above two proposed narratives for the two planes or not. The table below shows the relevant statistics of the various articles; in terms of what Woody proposes above, and a sixth sixth criteria he proposes in a subsequent article (see "The Cleveland Airport Mystery - Second Edition" at 911Woody, 2/8/2007): whether screaming had been reported in the cabin of the flight. All of the following articles identify the flight they are talking about as Flight 1989, which had been reportedly asked to land in response to screaming and/or bomb threats on their channel. Those with attributes Woody associates with Flight 1989 are given in blue, and those he associates with Flight X are given in green. Numbers in the leftmost column link to references for the articles, and my comments about the articles are linked to in the notes at right.

Article Landing
Evacuation Passengers Taken Next Runway Location Screaming  Notes 
1 10:45 AM   200   airport's west end Y  
2   11:15 AM 200     Y  
3 10:45 AM shortly before 1:00 PM 78(=69+9) NASA Glenn Center near the I-X Center Y a
4 10:45 AM 12:30 PM 69 FAA headquarters between the terminal, the NASA Glenn ... Center and the [I-X] Center   b
5 10:10 AM 2 hrs. after landing         c
6 <10:28 AM       appeared enormous from a few hundred yards from the south side of the airport    
7   Completed 11.43         d
8   Completed 11.41          
9   > 2 hrs. after landing sixty or so a secure building at the airport     e
10     200        
11   > a few hours later 200        
12     200       f
13 10:45 AM   78(=69+9) NASA facility     g
14       NASA's Glen/Lewis     h
15         (near the northern boundary of the airport?)   i

Articles and Notes

  1. "Plane makes emergency landing", Paul Singer, Associated Press State & Local Wire, 9/11/2001, original location unknown, archived at
  2. "CHAOS SPREADS TO OHIO BOEING JET MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING IN CLEVELAND. BUILDINGS EVACUATED, OFFICES SHUT, MEETINGS CANCELED", 19 different Beacon Journal writers given, Akron Beacon Journal website, original location otherwise unknown, 9/11/2001, archived at

  3. "CHAOS, FEAR LAND AT AIRPORTS IN REGION AKRON-CANTON TERMINAL REMAINS OPEN AS TRAVELERS FIND LODGING, BUT HOPKINS CLOSES AND EVACUATES" Hagelberg, Lin-Fisher & Ethridge, Akron Beacon, Journal website, original location otherwise unknown, 9/12/2001, archived at

    Note a: Woody does not point out that this article has the evacuation shortly before 1:00 PM.

  4. "Plane diverted to Cleveland triggers alarm; FBI finds nothing aboard flight to L.A." Patrick O'Donnell, Cleveland Plain Dealer website, original location otherwise unknown, 9/12/2001, archived at

    Note b: Woody, in the "The Cleveland Airport Mystery", says "One plane was at the west end of runway 28/10 near the NASA center" and "The other plane was sitting at the south end of runway 18/36 near the I-X-Center (point 36)". One can enlarge the map of the airport on that page, and discern the runways Woody is talking about with some study. Yet, this article says "The plane sat on airport property between the terminal, the NASA Glenn Research Center and the International Exposition Center for about two hours." This article's description of the location of the plane is inconsistent with either of the locations Woody gives. I associate it with the "Flight 1989" variety of locations, albeit tentatively, as between the three areas, but near the NASA center might have posed an obstacle to subsequent craft needing to land as a result of the "clear the skies" order.

  5. "Part II: No one was sure if hijackers were on board", Marilyn Adams, Alan Levin and Blake Morrison, at, 8/12/2002.

    Note c: Woody does not point out that this article has the evacuation two hours after landing.

  6. "Creating an Everlasting Memorial", Scott Boulton, 9/11/2001, now missing, originally at "", archived at

  7. "UAL Flight 93 Landed Safely At Cleveland Hopkins Airport", Liz Foreman, 9/11/2001, now missing, originally at "", archived at

    Note d: This is the infamous article that refers to a plane as having landed at "Cleveland Hopkins International Airport" and says "United identified the plane as Flight 93". Neither its author, Woody, nor I consider this to be the case, however.

  8. (unknown title) "Cruisin in Calgary" & "Terry J", 9/11/2001, now missing, originally at "", now only extant as excerpts in Woody Box's "Cleveland Airport Mystery" article.

  9. "Traveling on Delta Flight 1989 on 9/11", Gray Watson, 9/13/2001, at, no date given

    Note e: It is a virtual certainty this account is a total lie; although what part of the official lie it may be supporting is unclear. Many 9/11 Truthers doubt that cell phones will work, unaided, in planes traveling tens of thousands of feet up. We see that claim there. On another page, the same source clarifies that the pilot allowed passengers to use cell phones when in holding to land. This is not the point at which the supposed Arabic passenger would have been using the cell phone in the original story; as this was the cause of the emergency landing in the first place. The the plane would have been much higher up, and the passenger would have been talking for an extended period - supposedly changing cell towers the whole time. Such a rebuttal of a fallacy ought not to change the facts of the original story, had it been a truthful recounting. According to the story, a sibling also had been travelling BOS to LA, and a childhood friend died in the "the AA flight that crashed into the WTC". Even more damning, at the beginning of the original story, the spouse of the writer is going on the plane with the narrator, but by the end, a missed phone call causes the narrator to miss Flight 93, thereby saving the narrator's life, and she (her gender is let slip later in the story) joins her spouse in L.A. who is already there, as a surprise. The spouse can't both be going on the plane with her, and already have been in L.A. two weeks ago; when the article was supposedly written two days after 9/11. The airplanes weren't even flying again yet! Compare: "[My spouse] and I and six other fellow [...] employees were on the 8 am flight from Boston to Los Angeles on Tuesday," vs. "So, I decided two weeks ago that I would surprise him and meet him in LA by taking another flight." (T.J. Maxx employees do appear on semi-official passenger lists of UA11, however.) Fittingly, the writer even labels the story, "Part of Gray Watson's propaganda."

  10. (unknown title) unknown author, 9/11/2001, now missing, originally at "", now only extant as excerpts in Woody Box's "Cleveland Airport Mystery" article.

  11. (unknown title) unknown author, WCPN Radio website, 9/12/2001, now missing, originally at "", now only extant as excerpts in Woody Box's "Cleveland Airport Mystery" article.

  12. "Plane crashes in to the word trade center.", includes comment by "turaho", at, 9/11/2001.

    Note f: One comment which stood out in my mind, made on the day of 9/11, was "if we give up our civil liberties in response to this, they've won. we lose everything that ever mattered about this country." With the secret military tribunals of claimed terrorists, even for American citizens, secret evidence, no right to face accusers or of habaes corpus, secret executions, secret investigations and secret, warrantless wiretaps, the only difference between the U.S. and Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, Maoist China, and any number of banana republics, is the frequency with which such charges impossible to defend against are brought. That phase of fascism is soon to follow. Is it too soon to speak of Obama death squads? No. Wrong "they" in the comment, in retrospect, however.

  13. "No explosives found on Cleveland plane", Paul Singer, 9/11/2001, originally at "", now only extant as excerpts at

    Note g: Woody does not note the landing time nor the number of passengers.

  14. "September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document", "Connie", 9/13/2001, originally at "", now at a different location on the same site.

    Note h: This email contains the surprising statement: "I'm sure there was a fifth plane involved that was headed toward Camp David; however, that plane was forced (yes forced, militarily) to land in Cleveland." News reports speak of no other plane suspected of being hijacked landing at any of Cleveland's airports. Woody also takes note of this remarkable statement in his The Secret Hijacking article. It seems plausible, but there is little to correlate this with, as yet. Perhaps it is related to Woody's terrorist hijacking drills said to have been going on that day.

  15. "where we were on september 11, 2001", "Rudy K", 1/19/2004, originally at "", now missing, archived at

    Note i: Woody makes the claim that this could not refer to a plane near the International Exposition Center, since that would be three miles away. An above article which places the plane between the Expo Center, the NASA center, and the terminal might reduce this distance to as little as two miles. Further clarification by the observer would be helpful, if he were to come forward.

The only thing in the entire table that suggests any association with Flight 93 is Liz Foreman's article, which says it landed there, and that it was thought that the bomb announcements and shouting had come from it. Woody claims that "For every aspect of the incident there are two different versions. Not one or three or four versions, but two." That seems secure enough, although in cases where the report is ambiguous, the pedantic might count three versions. The earliest reports, which are usually the more reliable, support the "Flight X" details best. It is tempting to conclude that bad reporting is to account for a plane that was said to have landed later, and disembarked before it actually had. Yet, this does little to explain how two such discrete data points exist for the selected aspects of the incident. They are mutually exclusive: e.g. if the plane disembarked at 11:15 AM, as some sources claimed, the passengers could not have been on the plane for more than two hours, as others report. Some accounts have 200 passengers, and others have 69 - two counts not likely to be confused with each other. One source unambiguously has the plane near the airport's west end, and two others, near the Expo Center. They are taken to different places afterwards. Woody is also able to prove that there were in fact two different planes isolated on the tarmac that afternoon, as is discussed below; so why is this fact being hidden from us?

A few other observations about these reports are worthy of note. It is not the case that all reports support either the Flight 1989 or the "Flight X" narrative. While the AP article and the first Akron Beacon article support only the "Flight X" narrative, I find no less than four of his sources that mix details from Woody's Flight 1989 and "Flight X" lists. There is also no clear reason why some of the details from Woody's two lists could not have been swapped; such that we might imagine that there was, e.g. a flight which landed at 10:45 AM, was evacuated at 12:30 PM, and was sequestered near the NASA Glenn center. We might imagine a second flight then, with the opposite characteristics. This being said, Woody's basic idea of two sets of observations from multiple sources still holds up to scrutiny, in my view.

A Truther called Devvy Kidd requested the flight records leading up to and on 9/11/2001 under the Freedom of Information Act. After an illegal refusal to respond on the part of the airport officials, until Eric Soskin of the DOJ insisted they respond. She has posted the flight records online (see "FLIGHT 93 LAWSUIT UPDATE," Devvy Kidd, at, 12/27/2006). While it is easily possible to omit landing record, contra three official and one college newspaper report, there is no record of a plane landing at 10:45 AM; although there is a record of Delta Flight 1989 landing at 10:11. One possible explanation for this is that official sources did not want us to know it had landed so soon after Flight 93's supposed crash. Thus, official sources would have begun spinning a 10:11 landing as a 10:45 landing, and thus, Flight 1989 might have been knowingly providing cover for the 9/11 operation; perhaps even issuing the hijack announcement, and then denying it. There is reason, however, to think that this is not the case.

There WERE Two Flights Sequestered With Emergency Vehicles At Cleveland Hopkins!

In an attempt to ridicule conspiracy theorists, one reporter does some actual investigation, and lets some truth slip:

Evidence Against: We did. And Bermas [of "Loose Change" fame] is right, there was another plane grounded at NASA Glenn on 9/11. But it wasn't United 93.

Vernon "Bill" Wessel is the director of safety and mission assurance at NASA Glenn. He was in his office the morning of 9/11 when an employee called him from home. "He says, 'Bill, I don't know if this is a hoax or what, but I just saw a plane crash into the World Trade Center.'" Wessel says he hung up and raced downstairs to a conference room. Center Director Don Campbell joined him. A projector beamed the television's image onto a large screen just as United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

An emergency meeting of directors was called, and an order to evacuate NASA was issued. When Wessel learned that Delta 1989 was stuck on the tarmac at Hopkins and that it might contain explosives, he decided it would be unwise to use the front gate, closest to the airport, to evacuate the 3,500 NASA Glenn employees under his watch. E-mails and phone calls were sent out to different departments at the research facility, informing everyone to leave via the back gate. "It took about an hour and a half to evacuate everybody," Wessel recalls.

So what about the so-called Flight X?

"A KC-135 had to come back to the hangar," says Wessel, as if realizing for the first time that this aircraft may have caused some undue confusion. A team of scientists from the Johnson Space Center in Houston had flown to Cleveland on this KC-135 to conduct micro-gravity experiments. (Also known as "the vomit comet," KC-135's are used to simulate weightlessness. The plane soars to high altitudes, then falls back toward the ground, giving passengers a few seconds of zero-G experience. Scenes for the Tom Hanks movie Apollo 13 were filmed in one.)

The visiting scientists could not return to Houston as scheduled on 9/11 once the FAA ordered all planes to land. "After the facility closed, we had to take those scientists to a hotel." The scientists, dressed as civilians, were boarded onto shuttle buses.
(Source: "Plan 9/11 From Cyberspace", James Renner, originally at, now missing, but archived at, 9/6/2006)

The nice man, Vernon "Bill" Wessel, is in all probability, lying; although Woody doesn't say as much. He responds:

James Renner of the Cleveland Free Times claims to have identified the mysterious airliner. Vernon Wessel, a NASA official, told him about a KC-135, an experimental NASA plane with several scientists on board that landed in Cleveland. However, Renner didn't bother to check if this plane KC-135 was in fact identical to Flight X. It is not:

- Wessel himself says that the scientists were taken to hotels - but the Flight X passengers were taken to the evacuated NASA Center;

- Renner didn't check the passenger capacity of a KC-135. It is about 80 people max - but there were 200 people aboard Flight X.

- Renner missed to ask Wessel for the landing time of the KC-135. That was 10:08, according to FAA records- but Flight X landed at 10:45.

It is possible - if not sure - from Wessel's account that the KC-135 was, just like Flight X, sitting near the NASA Center when unloading the passengers, but this was at a different time. It is certainly not sufficient to choose an arbitrary plane and declare it to be the airliner in question if there are so many discrepancies left. This is simply poor journalism.
(Source: "The Cleveland Airport Mystery - Second Edition" at 911Woody, 2/8/2007)

Some of this, I agree with, and some I don't. As I said above, there is no necessity of associating various attributes of the two flights Woody enumerates with belonging to one plane or the other. Thus, the statement "the Flight X passengers were taken to the evacuated NASA Center" has not been yet demonstrated to my satisfaction. Likewise, "there were 200 people aboard Flight X" is suspect. If the scientists were taken to a hotel, it does not preclude them from being taken to the the NASA Center or the International Expo Center first. A capacity of 80 passengers is well within 69 passengers, if that number represents the true number, and 200 referred to the other plane. We are not done with Wessel yet, however.

Woody's last point, "Flight X landed at 10:45," does hold some water with me. Since Devvy Kidd's FOIA records indicate that Flight 1989 indeed did land at 10:11 AM, "Flight X" must have been the one to land at 10:45. Devvy's records also indicate that a NASA Flight 931 landed both took off and landed at 10:08 AM on 9/11, which had an aircraft type of KC35. This represents a KC-135 indeed (see KC35 Aircraft Information at for this). Renner's reporting indeed does not explain the frequent 10:45 AM landing references for Flight 1989; but he can scarcely be blamed for not knowing the takeoff and landing time of the KC-135, nor the correct landing time for Flight 1989 - pried out of the airport with only the greatest of difficulty, and posted only a few months previously for the first time. His introduction of the word "[fighter]" into Purbaugh's account (above) is more suspect.

From Woody's analysis, it does seem likely that there were two such planes. The AP article's "the airport's west end" and the frequent NASA Center mentions near there cannot easily be reconciled with the Akron Beacon Journal's "near the I-X Center" and Scott Boulton's account; with the FAA headquarters being nearby. If there were two planes, and Wessel was "the director of safety and mission assurance at NASA Glenn" and was present on the morning of 9/11, he should be familiar with both flights. Yet, the "vomit comet" cannot in any way be responsible for the AP's "The plane was sitting on a runway at the airport's west end with approximately 200 passengers on board". He should have known what the AP reporter was referring to, and it wasn't the "vomit comet". He also fails to mention any interview of the passengers in the Glenn center, although three of Woody's sources do. Sorta makes you ill, doesn't it? Why then is Wessel trying to hide that Flight 1989 landed near the NASA center? Since Wessel tries to hide the presence of what was probably Flight 1989, near the NASA Glenn Center, which he he probably would have been aware of at the time, but certainly would have been informed of after the fact, and since Boulton and various mainstream accounts place another plane with emergency vehicles around it near the International Exposition Center, there must have been two planes. Had he said, "I don't understand how all those newspapers got the idea that Flight 1989 had landed near the NASA Center, or how they got the idea they were interrogated inside," or simply kept his silence, we could not be sure there were two flights, but with his lie, we are sure of that and more.

Woody's Explanation For The Other Plane

In yet a different follow-up to the Cleveland Airport Mystery, Woody discusses reports of hijack reports regarding a fifth plane. It seems somewhat speculative to me, but he finds fresh new reports of a fifth plane that was claimed to be hijacked as a hypothetical terrorism exercise plane. He proposes:

The most logical solution is: there was an airplane flying parallel to Delta 1989, probably some thousand feet higher or lower. The transponder was turned off, and its radar blip was not visible to the controllers because it was "covered" by the Delta 1989 blip. It was flying in the "radar shadow" of Delta 1989. This airplane was the origin of the famous radio messages and likely hijacked. This on the first view daring explanation will turn out to be perfectly consistent with the reports of the Fifth Plane.


The thesis Flight X = the Fifth Plane = the Radio Hijacker Plane has yet to pass a test where time and location data are cross-checked with each other. If it's possible to compose a timeline and a flight path matching all three flights without contradictions, the thesis gets a big kick. If contradictions emerge, we have to drop it.

Evaluating the sources for the Radio Hijacker Plane (RHP) and the Fifth Plane (FP) yields this time table:

Time.......................Approximate Location.................Source................Event....................................
9:28...................25 miles NE of Youngstown/Ohio.........(1)..........Screams from Flight X (RHP)
9:31...................Youngstown/Ohio ................................(1)..........First hijacker radio message from Flight X (RHP)
9:39...................Cleveland/Oberlin................................ (1)..........Last hijacker radio message from Flight X (RHP)
10:10.................80 miles NW of Washington.................(2)..........Flight X (FP) is heading Washington
10:18.................50 miles NW of Washington.................(2)..........Flight X (FP) is intercepted by fighters
10:45.................Cleveland Airport.................................(3)..........Flight X is forced to land
(Source: "The Secret Hijacking" at, 8/17/2004)

While a shadow plane is in intriguing idea, I mention it here as an interesting avenue of research; unlike the majority of this website, where I do my utmost to present factual data and base my conclusions on them. Further research into the challenges of accounting for "Flight X" and its possible relation to terrorism exercises said to have been going on on 9/11; not to mention why Vernon Wessel appears to be lying, may help unravel this mystery further.

Other Woody Box Research and "9/11 Intercepted"

While I feel the need to recheck Woody Box's research, and differ with some of his reasoning (although not yet significantly with his general conclusions), I have only the utmost respect for what he has been able to accomplish. He is like a mad dervish of research, throwing things up in the air, to see if they stick together or not, but it remains for us to see if they really do; since he sometimes makes what I consider to be unwarranted leaps, occasionally under-documented sources, and in general, reasoning that can at times seem opaque, and leaves the reader wondering if his reasoning holds together or not. Take for example, the new Pilots for 9/11 Truth video: "9/11 Intercepted". It ends by saying that Flight 93 ACARS data shows it to have continued transmitting ACARS messages for several minutes after the "crash." This directs us to an article, United 93 Still Airborne After Alleged Crash - According To ATC/Radar. For its source, it directs us to a document posted on, but we have no clue as to where Woody got it. Fortunately, he has an article up, United Airlines tracked a different Flight 93 than the FAA which as a more secure source to prove the same thing. He gets it from a website which is uniformly critical of 9/11 Truth activists (see 9-11 Commission Records at They, in turn, get some of them from the National Archives website (9/11 Commission Series at, and some from the National Archives, which they have scanned in. It is from these scanned in documents that Woody bases this most recently cited article. ( has done a great service to those seeking the truth about 9/11, no matter where the evidence may lead; on this and many other matters - in spite of not giving Truthers a fair shake.) There is no web page set up to document the videos sources, although you do get a few brief flashes of some of the websites used as sources in the video. This video could be a lot better sourced. That being said, it is full of analysis of flight records that show 9/11 hijack and doppleganger planes taking the same paths, or even some planes flying up to resume flight paths, when others peel off their flight paths at just the same time. The video shows 9/11 planes frequently changing their RADES track ID's. It seems unlikely that 9/11 hijackers, bent on controlling passengers and navigating and flying an airliner most of them had little aptitude for, would have had the presence of mind to disable their transponder and be frequently changing RADES id's. Perhaps pilots can enlighten us on the technical difficulty of doing this in 757's and 767's in flight. Suffice it to say that Woody's research is not taken lightly by "Pilots for 9/11 Truth"; and he continues to actively research the voluminous data available about 9/11.

Woody has tons of in-depth, often hard to follow, research, that I highly recommend. I will not be able to cover a lot of it here as well as I would like; but I have many other issues I wish to cover that he does not. A few of his more interesting pages containing material I have not as yet covered, include:


We have seen that while the "crash" of Flight 93 crater was not present in 1994, it was much too small to represent the crash that some eyewitnesses claim they saw. Grass can even be seen more or less intact on the sides of the "crater", except for it having been dried out due to local climate, and some blackening in places due to fire (while elsewhere in the same crater, the grass is unburnt) - as can be seen on photos above, and one of the external sites linked to, below. Many of the eyewitnesses said they saw jets flying around, some very low, some higher up, some military, some civilian; both before and after the "crash." Three had been intimidated by, or had photos taken by the FBI which have not been released. Two can be shown to be very probably lying, based on the size of the impact crater alone. At least two other flights were said to have been hijacked on 9/11, and it is, in my opinion, very probable that a NASA "director of safety and mission assurance" was lying about the presence of a mystery second plane at Cleveland Hopkins airport. The physical evidence also puts the lie to Cheney's story that his shoot-down order had been disobeyed: no matter if Flight 93 was shot down, or the whole thing was a preplanned drama. I rather lean toward it being a preplanned drama, since planting shill witnesses ahead of time requires knowing where it would happen, and this appears to be the case. If that were the case, then Gen. Donn de Grand Pré's whistle-blowing pilot may have been a rouse, too; along with a few others. Alternately, if the two witnesses who claim to have seen a 757 nosedive into the ground and leave a 15-25 foot wide crater are found to have been possibly planted there on or after 9/11, this would not necessarily be the case - although this seems unlikely. The intricate ballet of airplanes discussed in the "9/11 Intercepted" video, their sophisticated frequent changes of their RADES track ID's, the apparent survival of Flight 93, Flight 11 and Flight 175 after their supposed "crashes", and the confusing matter of Flights 1989, 1898 & 89 all suggest that the Shanksville "crash" occurred at no accidental location. What better way to cover a controversy you do care about: "Was Flight 93 was staged or not?" than with a controversy you don't care about: "Was Flight 93 shot down, or did it crash?"

Related External Sites