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Flight 93

"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry

Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th.” - George W. Bush


I'm a crazy, conspiracy-theorist, whacko nut job. You know the kind of weird-o I'm talking about. That Guy who reads incessantly, and doesn't turn on the TV to find out how he's supposed to feel about the latest Big Deal from the talking heads at FOX. The kind of person who will actually listen to the argument before he makes his mind up and shuts it off. For some bizarre reason, I'm plagued with this crazy insane notion that opinions should not get in the way of the facts. Admittedly, the decisions are not always the most popular, but you'd be hard pressed to convince anyone that I'm not as objective as a blind jury member.

There are 2 primary schools of thought as to what happened to United Airlines flight 93 on the morning of September 11, 2001. The first, popular, thought is that brave passengers aboard the 4th hijacked airliner of the day learned from loved ones via cell-phone calls the fate of the first 3 planes, and decided to take matters into their own hands. They stormed the cockpit, wrested controls from the Middle-eastern cave-dwellers orchestrating the mayhem, and crashed the plane into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, before the would-be terrorists could fly it into a national landmark. The other story is far less palatable, but has the overwhelming burden of evidence on its side: On the morning of 9/11, after the first 3 planes had struck their targets, the President issued standing orders to shoot down any other remaining, potentially hijacked planes. The military complied, and blew flight 93 out of the sky. The government, via the media, decided it would be an easier sell to the public to disseminate the heroic story of some selfless citizens sacrificing their lives for the greater good than to relate the tale of our own government intentionally blowing up a domestic jet-full of people. The evidence itself is pretty damning. Take 10 minutes and consider:

When a plane crashes, there is an initial fireball as the remaining jet fuel in the fuselage is ignited. This explosion only lasts a few seconds, and although the blast looks impressive, it is really only consuming the flammable fuel, not the surrounding metal container. The energy released by the explosion, combined with the force of the plane impacting the ground at several hundred miles per hour shatters the structure of the plane, scattering debris. The important point to remember is that the plane itself isn’t consumed by the fire, but rather scattered about in pieces. There is usually enough wreckage that almost the entire plane can be reassembled, which is standard procedure in the event of a crash, as it aids the process of finding out what went wrong or caused the crash in the first place. Here are a few photos that show what the site of a plane crash looks like:

Delta flight 1060, Indiana

Delta flight 1060, Indiana

Velogda Airlines, Moscow

Velogda Airlines, Moscow

Air Phillipines, flight 501

Air Phillipines, flight 501

Executive Airlines, unidentified flight number

Executive Airlines, unidentified flight number

This is what pieces of a plane, salvaged from a crash and partially reconstructed, look like:

TWA flight 800, reconstructed fuselage

TWA flight 800, reconstructed fuselage

Aside from the plane wreckage, the remains of the bodies are also recovered and identified either by family members, or by dental records if the remains are significantly burned.

Contrast those images above with those taken from the site of the alleged crash of Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA:


There’s nothing here! (Notice that the surrounding grass isn’t burnt, as would be expected from an epic fireball of an explosion, and none of the trees directly behind the crash are damaged.)


The tiny bits of visible debris at this site were spread out in no more that a 1 to 2 hundred-yard radius, according to the FBI, with the vast majority of it concentrated in the noticeable crater.  The entire gouge is estimated by workers on the scene as being 30-50 feet long and 10 feet wide, less than a third of the size of the airplane that was said to have caused it.

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Here is a shot of the crater from directly overhead:


Airplanes don’t just “vaporize!”

Another problem with this “crash site” (for which I include a video link below) is that the “official” story maintains that this crater was caused by Flight 93 plowing into it. However, an aerial geological survey conducted in 1994 shows this exact same scar (minus the round hole in the middle). Are you telling me that this gouge in the earth had been here for 7 years and a plane’s wings just “happened” to hit it, right before disappearing altogether?

A Washington Post article wrote, “Miller was among the very first to arrive after 10:06 on the magnificently sunny morning of September 11. He was stunned at how small the smoking crater looked, he says, ‘like someone took a scrap truck, dug a 10-foot ditch and dumped all this trash into it.’"

Chris Kanicki, a FOX photographer on the scene, said in a live TV interview, “There is nothing at this site that would indicate a plane crashed here.”

Wally Miller, the Somerset county coroner at the scene remarked, “This is the most eerie thing. I have not, to this day, seen a single drop of blood. Not a drop.”

No wreckage. No bodies. Nothing. Just a trash-filled crater in the ground.

Compounding the problem of the “official” version is the multitude of eyewitness reports combined with some cold hard evidence. The Pennsylvania state police said debris from the crash had shown up about 8 miles away in a residential area where local residents reported seeing flaming debris falling from the sky.

Investigators widened their search area following the discoveries of more debris, including what appeared to be human remains, miles from the point of impact at a reclaimed coal mine.

According to The Pittsgurgh Post Gazette, residents and workers at businesses outside of Shanksville, in Somerset County, reported discovering clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains. Some residents said they collected bags-full of items to be turned over to investigators. Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake, nearly six miles from the immediate crash scene.

According to John Fleegle, an Indian Lake Marina employee, crash debris began washing ashore at the marina on Wednesday morning of September 12. FBI agents were skeptical of his reports about debris in the lake until they traveled to the lakeshore Wednesday afternoon. Fleegle said there was something that looked like a rib bone amid pieces of seats, small chunks of melted plastic and checks. He said FBI agents who spent the afternoon patrolling the lake in rented boats eventually carted away a large garbage bag full of debris. "

In a morning briefing, state Police Major Lyle Szupinka confirmed that debris from the plane had turned up in relatively far-flung sites, including the residential area of Indian Lake. Investigators appealed to any residents who had come across such debris, in the surrounding countryside or even in their yards, to contact them, emphasizing that even the smallest remnants could prove to be important clues."

Szupinka said searchers found one of the large engines from the aircraft "at a considerable distance from the crash site.” “It appears to be the whole engine,” he added. He also said that most of the remaining debris, scattered over a perimeter that stretches for several miles, are in pieces no bigger than a "briefcase."

FBI Special Agent William Crowley related that 95 percent of the airplane had been recovered, and states that the biggest piece of aircraft found was a fuselage skin measuring about 6 to 7 feet across. According to Crowley, the heaviest piece was from one of the engines and weighed 1,000 pounds.

The obvious problem is that absolutely none of the above-described remains exist in the photos we have of the crash site. Where in those pictures is “95% of the plane?”

The FBI’s official position to this day is that wind blew the assorted debris away from the crash site. Yet on the day of September 11, the wind was recorded at blowing no stronger than 10 miles per hour, or what we would consider a “light breeze,” barely enough wind to fly a kite. Are we to seriously believe that a 10-mile an hour wind blew up to half ton pieces of plane wreckage 4 to 8 miles from the crash site in less than an hour?

The fairly obvious conclusion is that the evidence in no way corroborates the “official story.” What it does suggest is that the plane came apart high in the air. If we were told on the morning of 9/11 that Flight 93 exploded in mid-air, the evidence of that scenario would totally confirm - rather than contradict - the forthcoming story. How else does one account for debris scattered over several miles, and reports of “flaming debris falling from the sky?”

The only way a plane could come apart in the air is if it either had a bomb on board or was shot down. There is no evidence to conclude that a bomb caused the mid-air break up, but there is compelling evidence to suggest it was indeed shot down.

The FAA and NORAD both insist that no other plane was within 100 miles of Flight 93 when it crashed, yet numerous eyewitnesses reported seeing a small white military-looking jet in the vicinity of the crash site immediately following the plane’s demise. There were shoot-down orders given by President Bush after the third plane had struck the Pentagon. That this order was eventually given was confirmed by Vice President Dick Cheney, who told Meet the Press on NBC, September 16, 2001,“I wholeheartedly concurred in the decision he [Bush] made, that if the plane would not divert, if they wouldn’t pay any attention to the instructions to move away from the city, as a last resort our pilots were authorized to take them out.”

Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Defense Secretary, told The New York Times on September 15, 2001 that the Pentagon had been tracking Flight 93 and could have shot it down if necessary.

If indeed the plane was being tracked - as is confirmed by Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the eye-witness reports - then The FAA and NORAD are either lying about the vicinity of the next closest aircraft or are woefully incompetent.

A rather telling clue may have come from US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who made what appeared to be a Freudian slip during a speech he gave on his surprise visit to the troops in Mosul, Iraq on Christmas Eve, 2004. Here are his exact words:

"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."

The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence is that a plane was shot down over Shanksville, PA. But was it Flight 93? According to Channel 9News staff in Cleveland on the morning of 9/11, Flight 93 made an emergency (though safe) landing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport due to concerns that it had a bomb on board. Here is a reprint of that official report:

“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.”

(This report can be viewed in its original format here.)

This report was issued at 11:43 a.m. on September 11, 2001, and claimed the plane had landed safely at 10:45 a.m., exactly 39 minutes after it was alleged to have crashed. (What is also very curious in this report is that at the time United Airlines is expressing “deep concern for the well being of Flight 175,” it had already crashed into the South Tower of the WTC at 9:03 am, nearly 3 hours earlier; a fact that everyone in the free world besides United Airlines knew full well.)

So, we have testimony from both the Cleveland International Airport and the Mayor that Flight 93 landed safely, confirmation from United Airlines that it was indeed Flight 93, and a crash site that contained not one single scrap of evidence that could be linked to United Airlines Flight 93

What does the evidence tell us so far? Consider:

- An alleged crash site that doesn’t resemble any other documented commercial airliner crash site in recorded history

- Debris spread over an 8-mile radius

- 95% of the plane recovered, though none of it from the alleged crash site

- Numerous eyewitness reports of flaming debris raining out of the sky

- Numerous eyewitness reports of a military-looking jet in the immediate vicinity of the crash

- Confirmation by high ranking US government officials that shoot-down orders were given, and that such a scenario was able to be executed if necessary

- Documented evidence of Donald Rumsfeld alluding to a plane that had been shot down in Pennsylvania

- The claims of the FAA and NORAD contradict both government claims and eyewitness testimony

- ClevelandInternational Airport claiming that Flight 93 landed safely

- Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White claiming that Flight 93 landed safely

- Confirmation from United Airlines that the plane in discussion was indeed Flight 93

There is simply too much speculation to conclusively say what did or did not happen to Flight 93. What seems obvious, however, is that a plane of some sort was shot down over Shanksville, PA. Maybe it was United Airlines Flight 93. Maybe it wasn’t.

The only logical conclusion I can reach is that whatever happened over Shanksville on 9/11 involved the shooting down of a plane of some sort. Whether or not it was United Airlines Flight 93 is unclear. Cleveland International Airport and United both claim the plane landed safely. The story of the heroic passengers seems to me to be either concocted, or only partially true. I think it is possible that the taped phone calls of plans to storm the cockpit could be real, but that the plane was shot down before they were able to do so. Many airline officials have noted that cell phones don’t work that high up.

Obviously, the government and media are already lying about the crash, so what’s to stop them from inventing a story that relieves the government of the responsibility of shooting down a commercial airliner full of American citizens on top of that? Faking tapes of alleged phone calls is easy enough. That being said, I am not certain about what did happen. What I am certain about is what did not happen: The “Official Story."

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2009 Shane Almgren


william on May 14, 2011:

well said

Mrdoverben22 on June 11, 2010:

I agree about the cell phones to high and to fast for signal from cell phone's would have problems logging on to Ph. towers below aircraft. I agree with the article you wrote, totally..My thinking: Hole in field at shanksville to small, hole in pentigon to small, hole's in towers to big.Cheers

Shane Almgren (author) from Nashville on June 03, 2010:

Mrdoverben22, the recordings I was referring to were not from the black box. They were allegedly cell phone conversations with family members. But as I pointed out in the article, cell phones don't work up that high. Your guess is as good as mine...

Mrdoverben22 on May 21, 2010:

Good article well reseached, Link at top of page has been remove by youtube some vilation thing....Hey, you mention recordings of passengers in coach talking about taking control back of plane, f.b.i. got that wrong, cockpit voice recorder only records in the cockpit, unless the door was ajar only than may-be, cockpit is sound proof check with boeing..

William R. Wilson from Knoxville, TN on December 21, 2009:

I said Lyndie England up there, I was wrong. I was thinking of Jessica Lynch:

William R. Wilson from Knoxville, TN on December 18, 2009:

Interesting for sure.

Whatever happened to the plane, our government is not above concocting a story for maximum propaganda value. Just think of the story of Lyndie England.

Before the first Iraq war, a PR firm concocted stories of Iraqi troops committing atrocities in Kuwait, and had a girl tell these stories to Congress. The atrocities were later proven to be made up.

Can't trust anyone it seems.

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