May 7, 2007 (updated 05/02/09)
The Wisdom Fund

9/11: United Airlines Flight 93 Shot Down?

by Enver Masud

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Rare television footage taken on September 11, 2001 reveals facts that contradict the generally accepted explanation that United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after four passengers attacked the hijackers in an attempt to gain control of the airplane.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, at 8:42 United Airlines Flight 93 took off from Newark, NJ, bound for San Francisco. It's last "normal contact" with the FAA was at 9:27.

Around 9:28 the Cleveland, OH, controller heard "a radio transmission of unintelligible sounds of possible screaming or a struggle from an unknown origin."

Other transmissions followed, and at 9:30 Ziad Jarrah, the alleged hijacker - a fragment of whose passport was found at the crash site - according to CNN (August 1, 2002), was heard saying, "There is a bomb on board and are going back to the airport, and to have our demands [unintelligible]. Please remain quiet."

"The FBI believes Jarrah, a Lebanese national, was at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93, . . . U.S. officials believe the plane's target was the White House."

CNN says, Jarrah "was stopped and questioned in the United Arab Emirates in January 2001 at the request of the CIA, nearly nine months before the attacks".

At 10:01 another aircraft is reported to have witnessed "radical gyrations in what investigators believe was the hijackers' effort to defeat the passenger assault."

At 10:02:23 "the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour" — "The 9/11 Commission Report" (page 14).

Video footage, however, appears to support the theory that Flight 93 may have been shot down upon orders from U.S. officials.

In the NBC and Fox news televison footage from September 11, 2001 we hear:

NBC Reporter: "The debris here is spread over a 3 to 4 mile radius which has now been completely sealed off, and is being treated according to the FBI as a crime scene. This is one of those cases where the pictures really do tell the story . . . one of the most horrifying aspects of this is how little debris is visible . . . that's all you see, just a large crater in the ground, and just tiny, tiny bits of debris . . . the investigators out there, and there are hundreds of them, have found nothing larger than a phone book."

Fox Reporter: "I've seen the pictures, and it looks like there's nothing there except a hole in the ground."

Fox Affiliate Photographer: "Basically that is right . . . The only thing you could see was a big gouge in the earth, and some broken trees . . ."

Fox Reporter: "Any large pieces of debris?"

Fox Affiliate Photographer: "There was nothing that you could distinguish that a plane crashed there . . . nothing going on down there, no smoke, no fire . . .you couldn't see anything, your could see dirt, ash, and people walking around"

Fox Reporter: "How big would you say that hole was?"

Fox Affiliate Photographer: "From my estimate it was 20 to 15 feet long . . . 10 feet wide."

Fox Reporter: "What could you see on the ground other than dirt, ash?"

Fox Affiliate Photographer: "You couldn't see anything . . . just dirt, ash, and people walking around."

Indeed the Flight 93 crash site looks remarkably different from other plane crash sites, eg that of Pan Am Flight 103 - a Boeing 747-100, or the Dash 8 Q400 Bombardier that crashed in Buffalo (below).

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, during a Christmas Eve address to U.S. troops in Baghdad, said "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania." The Pentagon says Rumsfeld "simply misspoke."

There's also the statement by Lee Hamilton, Vice Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

While questioning Norman Y. Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Hamilton refers to an "order given, I think by the President, that authorized the shooting down of commercial aircraft that were suspected to be controlled by terrorists."

The second order referred to in this questioning of Mr. Mineta appears to be a do not shoot order given by Vice President Cheney for the aircraft (or missile) headed toward the Pentagon.

Philip Shenon, an investigative reporter at the New York Times where he has worked since 1981, in "The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation" (Twelve, 2008, p264), reported this exchange between Cheney and Tim Russert (Meet the Press, April 4, 2004):

Russert asked Cheney what was the most difficult decision made during the course of the day [September 11, 2001].

"Well, I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft," Cheney said, referring to the decision to order military jets to shoot down passenger planes that approached Washington.

Russert followed up: "And you decided . . ."

Cheney corrected Russert. "We decided to do it." He was referring to himself and Bush.

"So if the United States government became aware that a hijacked commercial airliner was was destined for the White House or the Capitol, we would take the plane down?" Russert continued.

"Yes," Cheney said somberly.

When sections of the 9/11 Commissions report began arriving at the White House in late June 2004 (Shenon, p411),
Dick Cheney and his counsel, David Addington, were outraged by the commission's timeline on Cheney's actions on September 11 - and the clear suggestion that Cheney had issued an unconstitutional shoot-down order that morning without Bush's knowledge or approval.

In yet another twist to the saga of Flight 93, ABC affiliate WCPO in Cleveland reported:

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. . . . United identified the plane as Flight 93.

In February 2006, Liz Foreman, whose name was associated with the orginal report, backtracked saying,

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.
CBS News had earlier reported that a plane crashed at Camp David, Maryland.

On April 28, 2009, Pilots for 9/11 Truth reported that Air Traffic Control radar shows Flight 93 airborne after the reported crash.

9/11 Facts, History — Not Propaganda

NOTE: This is an anonymous website--"How Did United Flight 93 Crash,", September 20, 2001

Susan Candiotti, "FBI won't release Flight 93 tape,", December 21, 2001

[Light debris was also found eight miles away in New Baltimore. A section of engine weighing a ton was located 2,000 yards - over a mile - from the crash site. Theorists point out a Sidewinder heat-seeking missile attacks the hottest part of aircraft - the engine.--Richard Wallace, "WHAT DID HAPPEN TO FLIGHT 93?," Mirror, September 12, 2002]

[First, although the Commission says that Richard Clarke did not receive the shoot-down authorization until 10:25, Clarke himself says that he received it some 35 minutes earlier, at about 9:50. Second, the story of Cheney's giving permission to engage an aircraft that was 80 miles out originally appeared in stories published shortly after 9/11. In these stories, the permission was given earlier, when Flight 93 truly was still aloft, and fighters were sent to shoot it down.

That original account is supported, moreover, by several reports stating that prior to crashing, Flight 93 was being tailed by US military fighters. One such report came from CBS; another came from a flight controller who had ignored an order not to talk to the media; and one such report even came from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.--David Ray Griffin, "The Commission's Treatment of United Airlines Flight 93,"]

[Under the weight of evidence that the cellphone (not airfone) calls were essentially impossible as described by the Bush White House and the major media on the day in question, we have no alternative but to give serious consideration to the operational possibilities, as outlined here.--A. K. Dewdney, "The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,", September 13, 2005]

Woody Box, "Plane Swap Over Pennsylvania,", January 16, 2006

Enver Masud, "Fatally Flawed: The 9/11 Commission Report," The Wisdom Fund, November 1, 2006

"No bodies were found in Shanksville says coroner,", February 27, 2007

[ . . . the FBI had in 2006 presented, as evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui (sometimes called "the 20th hijacker"), a report on phone calls from the four airliners. According to this report, there were only two cell phone calls from United 93, and they were made at 9:58, shortly before the plane crashed, when it was down to 5,000 feet. When the FBI had to present evidence in a court of law, therefore, it would not claim that any high-altitude cell phone calls had occurred. (These two low-altitude calls from Flight 93 were, according to the FBI report, the only two cell phone calls made from all four flights).--David Ray Griffin, "New Evidence that the Official Story about 9/11 is Indefensible," Canadian, October 8, 2007]

[1. The NTSB Flight Path Animation approach path and altitude does not support observations.

2. All Altitude data on the northern approach contradicts witnesses published by the New York Times.

3. Witness observations of approach path contradict northern approach as described by Popular Mechanics and the US Govt. Several witnesses observed the aircraft approaching from southeast over Indian Lake and from the south prior to witnessing explosion. Parts found in New Baltimore, 8 miles southeast of crater is a direct contradiction to the northern approach claimed by the US Govt.

4. Environmental Protection Agency reports no soil contamination of jet fuel after testing 5,000-6,000 yards of earth including 3 ground wells. Smoke plume photographed by a witness does not suggest a jet fuel rich explosion.

5. Impact angle according to Flight Data Recorder does not support an almost vertical impact as the govt story and crater suggests.--"UNITED 93 DATA PROVIDED BY US GOVERNMENT DOES NOT SUPPORT OBSERVED EVENTS,", December 22, 2007]

[With regard to the FBI, almost all of my discussion is about its 2006 report to the Moussaoui trial, at which it said that there had been only two cell phone calls from all four flights combined.--David Ray Griffin, "Reported Cell Phone Calls from the 9/11 Planes,", September 7, 2008]

[The transcripts of CVRs from other crashes around the world . . . mention numerous engine and ambient sounds . . . The transcript of Flight UA 93's CVR does not mention any such sounds and particularly no crash sound at the end . . . the released transcript differed significantly from authentic CVR transcripts by failing to mention the aircraft's ID, the name of the person and agency who issued the transcript and the date the transcript was issued. . . . Furthermore, serious discrepancies have been revealed between what family members heard when the transcript was first played to them by the FBI on April 2, 2002, and what the 9/11 Commission reported to have heard.--David Eliasson, "The Events of September 11, 2001 and the Right to the Truth,", April 14, 2008, p. 16]

"Evidence: The Crash of Flight 93," Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice

"United 93 Still Airborne After Alleged Crash - According To ATC/Radar,", April 28, 2009

"U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Last Known Flights Of 9/11 Planes Took Place Nine Months Before 9/11; None For AA 77,", June 23, 2009

[ . . . two F-16s engaged United Flight 93 over Shanksville and shot it down.--"Two F-16s on alert to counter attacks on Washington ordered to stand down on 9/11,", November 25, 2009]

[The debris of Flight 93 fell in the woods and covered a large area. This is the real debris field and was kept hidden from the view of the public and the press while the bodies and evidence were picked up. . . .

"We tried to cooperate," he said. I knew what he meant without pressing the point. The FBI agents had given similar orders all over Shanksville and Somerset County. The Hoovers had been asked not to talk about what had happened on 9-11. The public was told that the plane had crashed into the reclaimed mine while the real debris field was cleaned up in complete secrecy in the woods around the Hoover cabins.--Christopher Bollyn, "The Shanksville Deception of 9-11,", February 4, 2010]

[On September 11, 2001, PDAS was used to convey the information from the Air Force Chief of Staff to the White House, CIA, and other select agencies that the Air Force had successfully intercepted and downed a target over Pennsylvania. It is believed that the "target" in question was United flight 93, although there is no confirmation that the aircraft was in fact the one downed by Air Force interceptors.--"9-11 Coordinated By Cheney,", April 30, 2010]

[Bush reveals that he gave the order for any further suspected hijacked planes to be shot down after the first aircraft were flown into the World Trade Centre--James Meikle, "George Bush thought 9/11 plane had been shot down on his orders," Guardian, October 29, 2010]

September 7, 2011

[United Airlines Manager of Flight Dispatch Michael J. Winter: "United 93 received messages from CMI remote ground station in Champaign, IL more than 7 minutes after the alleged crash"--"9/11 AIRCRAFT AIRBORNE WELL AFTER CRASH,", December 7, 2011]

Dean Hartwell, "The 9/11 Passenger Paradox: What happened to Flight 93?,", March 15, 2012

VIDEO: "September 11: The New Pearl Harbor,", Part 2 of 3, 2013 (at 24 min)

Shanksville: Scene from SKYGATE 911, Pilots for 9/11 Truth, January 28, 2014

COMPARE Flight 93 crash with Germanwings Flight 9525 crash

PHOTOS, VIDEO: "Germanwings plane crash,", April 1, 2015

PHOTOS: "Germanwings plane crashes in France,", April 4, 2015

PHOTOS: "Germanwings crash,"

COMPARE Flight 93 crash with China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5735 crash, Reuters, March 23, 2022

Flight MU5735 debris Boeing 737-800, MU5735 jetliner crash in south China, CGTN, March 24, 2022

Luna Sun and Jack Lau, "China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735: second black box sent for decoding,", March 27, 2012

MU5735 dived into forested, mountainous terrain
UA93 disappeared in a field at Shanksville, Pennsylvania
MU5735 black boxes found within a week
UA93 black boxes not found
MU5735 large sections, lots of debris recovered
UA93 largest piece size of a "phone book"
Hundreds employed to recover MU5735 remains
About a dozen observed at UA93 "crash site"
MU5735 relatives visit crash site
UA93 visitors barred from "crash site"

Airplane accidents database

MORE: "What Really Happened on September 11, 2001," The Wisdom Fund

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