Let’s Roll A Tribute Video for the 40 Unsung Heroes of Flight 93 September 11, 2001
This is a Tribute Video honoring all the Heroes of Flight 93, two Music Videos and: Discovery Channel Flight 93: The Flight That Fought Back… A 2005 docudrama about the efforts of the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 to derail the 9/11 terrorists' plan for the hijacked airliner.
We all know the inspiring story of Flight 93, of the heroic passengers who forced the hijacked plane to the ground, sacrificing themselves to save the lives of others. The only trouble is: we don’t know the whole truth. John Carlin reports from Shanksville, Pennsylvania the alternative theories, both of which have been denied by the US military and the FBI, are a) that Flight 93 was brought down by a US government plane; and b) that a bomb went off aboard (passengers had said in phone calls that one of the hijackers had what appeared to be a bomb strapped to him). If doubts remain despite the denials, if conspiracy theories flourish, it is in large part because of the authorities' failure to address head-on questions centering on the following four conundrums.
1. The wide displacement of the plane's debris, one explanation for which might be an explosion of some sort aboard prior to the crash. Letters – Flight 93 was carrying 7,500 pounds of mail to California – and other papers from the plane were found eight miles (13km) away from the scene of the crash. A sector of one engine weighing one ton was found 2,000 yards away. This was the single heaviest piece recovered from the crash, and the biggest, apart from a piece of fuselage the size of a dining-room table. The rest of the plane, consistent with an impact calculated to have occurred at 500mph, disintegrated into pieces no bigger than two inches long. Other remains of the plane were found two miles away near a town called Indian Lake. All of these facts, widely disseminated, were confirmed by the coroner Wally Miller.
2. The location of US Air Force jets, which might or might not have been close enough to fire a missile at the hijacked plane. Live news media reports on the morning of 11 September conflict with a number of official statements issued later. What the government acknowledges is that the first fighters with the mission to intercept took off at 8.52am; that another set of fighters took off from Andrews Air Force base near Washington at 9.35am – precisely the time that Flight 93 turned almost 180 degrees off course towards Washington and the hijacker pilot was heard by air-traffic controllers to say that there was "a bomb aboard". Flight 93, whose menacing trajectory was made known by the broadcast media almost immediately, did not go down for another 31 minutes. Apart from the logical conclusion that at least one Air Force F-16 – 125 miles away in Washington at 9.40am, meaning 10 minutes away from Flight 93 (or less if it flew at supersonic speed) – should have reached the fourth of the "flying bombs" well before 10.06am, there is this evidence from a federal flight controller published a few days later in a newspaper in New Hampshire: that an F-16 had been "in hot pursuit" of the hijacked United jet and "must have seen the whole thing". Also, there was one brief report on CBS television before the crash that two F-16 fighters were tailing Flight 93. Vice-President Dick Cheney acknowledged five days later that President Bush had authorized the Air Force pilots to shoot down hijacked commercial aircraft.
3. One telephone call from the doomed plane whose contents do not entirely tally with the hero legend and which is accordingly omitted in the Independence Day-type dramas favored by the US media. The Associated Press news service reported on 11 September that eight minutes before the crash, a frantic male passenger called the 911 emergency number. He told the operator, named Glen Cramer, that he had locked himself inside one of the plane's toilets. Cramer told the AP, in a report that was widely broadcast on 11 September, that the passenger had spoken for one minute. "We're being hijacked, we're being hijacked!" the man screamed down his mobile phone. "We confirmed that with him several times," Cramer said, "and we asked him to repeat what he said. He was very distraught. He said he believed the plane was going down. He did hear some sort of an explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane, but he didn't know where. And then we lost contact with him."
According to the information that has been made known, this was the last of the various phone calls made from the aeroplane. No more calls were received from the plane in the eight minutes that remained after the man in the toilet said that he had heard an explosion.
4. Eyewitness accounts of a "mystery plane" that flew low over the Flight 93 crash site shortly after impact. 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.
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