united flight 93

A reasonable analysis of the evidence.    *Last revised Sept-9-2011

General Facts About
United Flight 93

44-45 passengers and crew (depends on which source you read).
Flight headed for San Francisco. Hijacked by Muslim terrorists and headed for Washington D.C. but crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA.

If you wonder if the "Truthers" are really smarter than the rest of us or not, read this article, which will tell you how incredibly stupid they are:

Meet the Sandy Hook truthers

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This was written to explain in detail what really happened to United Flight 93 on 9-11-01. Some people prone to conspiracies say that the government shot down the plane, while others claim no such flight even existed.

In order to find out the truth, I will examine the evidence like a detective trying to solve a murder case. I will first examine the reports of eyewitnesses, then examine photos of the crash site, and other evidence. We will also look at some of the questions that people have about the flight and the crash that has led to several conspiracy theories.


Here are parts of several articles giving details and eyewitness accounts:

A few miles north of Lambertsville, yard man Terry Butler, 40, was toiling away at Stoystown Auto Wreckers.

He thought it was odd that a plane was in the area. He'd heard that all air traffic nationwide had been halted after the World Trade Center disaster about an hour earlier.

"It dropped out of the clouds," too low for a commercial flight, Butler said. The plane rose slightly, trying to gain altitude, then "it just went flip to the right and then straight down."

He radioed back to his office, telling coworkers Homer Barron, 49, and Jeff Phillips, 30, what he had seen.

"I told them a plane crashed. At first they didn't believe it, because you know, we do joke around." Then Barron saw smoke and called 911.

… Barron and Phillips drove to the crash scene and found a smoky hole in the ground. A few firefighters had already begun pouring water onto the debris.

"It didn't look like a plane crash because there was nothing that looked like a plane," Barron said.

"There was one part of a seat burning up there," Phillips said. "That was something you could recognize."

"I never seen anything like it," Barron said. "Just like a big pile of charcoal."

Lee Purbaugh, 32, working just his second day at Rollock Inc., a scrap yard next to the reclaimed strip-mine land, looked up from operating a burning torch to see the jetliner just 40 feet above him. "I couldn't believe this," Purbaugh said.

"I heard it for 10 or 15 seconds and it sounded like it was going full bore," said Tim Lensbouer, 35, Purbaugh's coworker.

The ground shook and the air thundered as the jetliner slammed into the ground about 300 yards away, Purbaugh said.

A mushroom of flame rose 200 feet and disappeared. Then there was a curtain of black smoke and finally a trail of fire as pieces of the fuselage shot hundreds of yards into the woods.

"My instinct was to run toward it, to try to help" said Nina Lensbouer, Tim's Lensbouer's wife and a former volunteer firefighter. "But I got there and there was nothing, nothing there but charcoal. Instantly, it was charcoal."

Charles Sturtz, 53, who lives just over the hillside from the crash site, said a fireball 200 feet high shot up over the hill. He got to the crash scene even before the firefighters.

"The biggest pieces you could find were probably four feet [long]. Most of the pieces you could put into a shopping bag, and there were clothes hanging from the trees."

Ten miles away, at a warehouse near Berlin, employee Don Miller and co-workers felt their building shake. (7)
"It came in low over the trees and started wobbling," said Tim Thornsberg, a resident of Somerset County, who was working near an old strip mine when he saw the plane.

"Then it just rolled over and was flying upside down for a few seconds ... and then it kind of stalled and did a nose dive over the trees. It was just unreal to see something like that."

Charles Sturtz, who lives about a half-mile from the crash site, said he saw the plane in the air for a few seconds, and saw no smoke, heard no explosions before the crash and saw no other planes in the sky.

The plane was heading southeast he said, and had its engines running. "It was really roaring, you know. Like it was trying to go someplace, I guess, " the 53-year-old carpenter said. (6)

One eyewitness to the Pennsylvania crash, Linda Shepley, told television station KDKA in Pittsburgh that she heard a loud bang and saw the plane bank to the side before crashing. … (3)
Kelly Leverknight was watching news of the attacks on New York and Washington when she heard the plane.

It sounded like it was flying low above her home in rural Pennsylvania, moving from west to east. It was an odd enough sound that she stepped outside to have a look.

"I heard the plane going over and I went out the front door and I saw the plane going down," said Leverknight, 36. "It was headed toward the school, which panicked me, because all three of my kids were there.

"Then you heard the explosion and felt the blast and saw the fire and smoke." Leverknight and dozens of her neighbors raced to the Shanksville-Stonycreek School where they found their children safe.

Witnesses said they thought the wings of the Boeing 757 were wagging from side to side as it plunged toward the earth. …

"When it decided to drop, it dropped all of a sudden, like a stone," said Tom Fritz, 63. Fritz was sitting on his porch on Lambertsville Road, about a quarter mile from the crash site, when he heard a sound that "wasn't quite right" and looked up in the sky.

"It was sort of whistling," he said. "It was going so fast that you couldn't even make out what color it was."

Terry Butler works at Stoystown Auto Wreckers, which is in the flight path of the doomed plane. Butler was pulling a radiator from a 1992 Dodge Caravan when he heard the plane's engines.

He was listening to the news and was surprised because he had heard that all flights nationwide were grounded, and he didn't think there were supposed to be any planes in the air at the time. He looked up and behind him saw the plane come out of the clouds, low to the ground.

"It was moving like you wouldn't believe. Next thing I knew it makes a heck of a sharp, right-hand turn." He said the plane banked to the right and appeared to be trying to climb to clear one of the ridges, but it continued to turn to the right and then veered behind a ridge, "like somebody grabbed the wheel."

He said the plane disappeared behind a tree line on a ridge. "I knew it was going to crash," Butler said. About a second after it disappeared, he heard the boom and saw the smoke rise above the trees. "It was eerie." (8)

"It shook the whole station," said Bruce Grine, owner of an auto service center in Shanksville, about 3 miles from the crash site. "Everybody ran outside, and by that time the fire whistle was blowing." (3)

Eric Peterson of Lambertsville looked up when he heard the plane. "It was low enough, I thought you could probably count the rivets," Peterson said. "You could see more of the roof of the plane than you could the belly. It was on its side."

"There was a great explosion and you could see the flames. It was a massive, massive explosion. Flames and then smoke and then a massive, massive mushroom cloud."

Peterson called 9-1-1 and ran to the crash site but found only burning jet parts, pieces of clothing, and seat cushions.
Rose Goodwin, a freshman at Shanksville Stony Creek High School, was watching the television news in class when Flight 93 went down.

"We felt it. We thought something must have landed on the roof," she said. "It was like, Oh my gosh, what was that?' We looked out the window and saw a black cloud. Everyone started screaming."

Viola Saylor of Lambertsville was outside talking to her sister.

"We didn't hear that plane coming until it was right on top of us," she said. "Then there was a roar."

She said the plane appeared to be gliding into the ground.

"All at once it just stopped. There was no engine noise, nothing. Someone hollered, Oh my God!' and then there was a real loud thud." (11)

Michael R. Merringer was out on a mountain bike ride with his wife, Amy, about two miles away from the crash site.

"I heard the engine gun two different times and then I heard a loud bang and the windows of the houses all around rattled," Merringer said. "I looked up and I saw the smoke coming up."

The couple rushed home and drove near the scene. "Everything was on fire and there was trees knocked down and there was a big hole in the ground," he said. … (10)
For Lee Purbaugh, 31, of Listie, the thought of seeing a plane crash right before his eyes still seemed unbelievable to him when interviewed a half-hour later.

“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.”

Purbaugh describes the crash as “just like a big mushroom cloud.” He says when it hit, it “shook the ground, rolled over in some way and then collapsed.” … (12)

A witness said he heard two loud bangs before watching the plane take a downward turn of nearly 90 degrees. … Many witnesses said that their homes were shaking violently as the plane flew low overhead. A witness told WTAE-TV's Paul Van Osdol that she saw the plane overhead. It made a high-pitched, screeching sound. The plane then made a sharp, 90-degree downward turn and crashed. (9)

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. … (15)

Then a call came in from one of Madigan’s troopers: He had just heard an explosion so violent it shook his home. Soon phones at the barracks were ringing off the hook. Madigan and other troopers rushed to the scene, …

Rick King, 42, of Shanksville, was behind the wheel of the first fire truck to arrive at the crash scene, …

The former assistant chief of the Shanksville volunteer fire department had heard Flight 93 scream overhead, seen a massive fireball light up the sky and felt an explosion rock the entire town of Shanksville. …

But besides a burning landing-gear tire, smoldering branches in the nearby woods and a few brush fires, there was little to indicate a jetliner had just crashed, he says. “Where is this plane? And where are the people?” he remembers thinking as he stepped off the truck. (16)

Minutes later, the plane crashed in rural Somerset County, about 20 miles away.

"It was like an atomic bomb hit," said John Walsh, 72, who heard the crash and drove to the site while still in his bathrobe. "When I got there, the plane was obliterated. You couldn't see the cockpit or the wings or nothing." (20)


Witnesses said they thought the wings of the Boeing 757 were wagging from side to side as it plunged toward the earth. (19)


Larry Williams, a former state police trooper who is now a private investigator, was golfing on the 17th green at Oakbrook Golf Course about eight miles away when he heard the engines "roar real loud and shut off." …

Blair, of Stoystown, a driver with Jim Barron Trucking of Somerset, was traveling in a coal truck along with Doug Miller of Somerset, when they saw the plane spiraling to the ground and then explode on the outskirts of Lambertsville.

"I saw the plane flying upside down overhead and crash into the nearby trees. My buddy, Doug, and I grabbed our fire extinguishers and ran to the scene," said Blair.

"I saw the mushroom cloud and we called 911 right away," added Blair. "I knew with that crash that it wasn't likely there were survivors, but we had to go anyways. The plane was coming in on a slant and really hit the treeline at an angle."

“[Lucy] Menear, who lives across from the Lambertsville Road at the intersection where a graveled road leads to the crash site near the strip mine, said, "I felt the ground shake with the impact. I didn't know the plane had crashed. It was just a big jolt."

Laura Temyer of Hooversville …."I didn't see the plane but I heard the plane's engine. Then I heard a loud thump that echoed off the hills and then I heard the plane's engine. I heard two more loud thumps and didn't hear the plane's engine anymore after that."....

Kim Custer, 15, a tenth grader at Shanksville Stonycreek High School, said she was on the second floor of the school, located only a few miles from the crash site, when the plane went down.

"I looked up and saw the ceiling tiles jump up and down, then I felt the whole building shake," she said. "Then we heard a big boom, …. (14)

Ok, we have a pretty good picture of the last few minutes of United Flight 93, as viewed from the ground. It descended quickly, was traveling very fast and low, banked hard to the right, flipped over completely, and nosedived straight into the ground. On impact there was a huge fireball that rose up about 200 feet followed by a mushroom cloud. Afterwards, there were only small pieces of the plane and its contents to be found anywhere.

About the loud bang noises, some people said the engines were very loud, others that the engines did not sound right, some that they made a loud bang, and some said it made no sound. Either some people were farther away than others, or the plane’s engines were cutting off and on, which was probably what caused the loud bangs. If you recall, there were witnesses who said the plane's engines were making the loud bang noise just before they cut off; or perhaps off and on with a bang. Look at the bold type in the last quote above.


Now lets look at photos of the crash site to determine if they agree with what the witnesses said.

IMPACT CRATER shortly after impact.

Notice the charred earth.


impact crater

Notice the large burn area from the fireball explosion caused by the impact.

"The plane left a crater 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep, churning up chunks of deep brown earth and scorching trees in the nearby woods." (11)

"Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV reporter 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." (9)

smoking crater

Another view of the impact
crater later in the day.

Some of the conspiracy believers claim there was no crash in the field and that the impact crater was faked. Yes, really!

Well then, if there was not a plane crash, and no deaths, which means no plane was shot down, which means . . . it was all a fake? If this were true, people are beingpaid to pretend they lost relatives on the flight! HOW STUPID ARE PEOPLE GETTING??

The obvious question at this point is: Where is the plane wreckage?

Most plane crashes are with the plane trying to make a landing, even if it is in the woods. Few if any planes have ever impacted at a 90 degree angle. The force of the impact with the huge explosion of the jet fuel caused the plane to burst into a billion pieces. Volunteers have spent countless hours walking the field and the woods gathering up mostly small pieces of the plane and its contents.

debris from the crash

Only a few pieces were more than a couple of feet long.
window of plane log book
wing or tail debris-4

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Once a year the state police Camp Cadet participants search the site as part of their program.

“Even now we pick up a few garbage bags of aircraft debris,” Miller said. While some of the debris is smaller, during a recent sweep of the land a seat belt that belonged to the captain’s chair was discovered in a tree. (Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller) (17)


The Explosion

Ok, so the crash site appears to agree with the eyewitnesses except for one thing; how could some of the plane be found deep in the ground while some of it is miles away? There was debris that landed as far as 8 miles from the crash site. How could that have happened? Conspiracy advocates say that this proves the plane had to be hit by a missile while still high in the sky. Also, there was part of one engine that was found about a mile from the crash site.

When that plane hit the ground it began to go into the ground, but at the same time it began to collapse like an accordion until the explosion. The blast pushed some of the parts even farther into the ground, but blasting the parts above the ground out into the air.

The Little Boy atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 was equal to about 13,000 tons of TNT. (1) It is estimated that there was still 18.75 tons of jet fuel on Flight 93 when it crashed. Jet fuel is ten times more powerful than TNT (24). So the jet fuel was at least equal to 187 tons of TNT, significantly less than an atomic bomb but certainly powerful enough to destroy a plane and send small pieces of it 8 miles away. The explosion was so powerful it shook the entire town of Shanksville and was even felt ten miles away. Could a missile hitting the plane in the air do that? No!

Ten miles away, at a warehouse near Berlin, employee Don Miller and co-workers felt their building shake. (7)

It may have been even more powerful than 187 tons of TNT. The explosion created a huge fireball, which shows that the blast was not under the ground, that is it was not after the plane had gone into the ground, but was at the surface.

Eric Peterson, 28, was working in his shop in the Somerset County village of Lambertsville yesterday morning when he heard a plane, looked up and saw one fly over unusually low.

The plane continued on beyond a nearby hill, then dropped out of sight behind a tree line. As it did so, Peterson said it seemed to be turning end-over-end.

Then Peterson said he saw a fireball, heard an explosion and saw a mushroom cloud of smoke rise into the sky.

Peterson rushed to the scene on an all-terrain vehicle and when he arrived he saw bits and pieces of an airliner spread over a large area of an abandoned strip-mine in Stonycreek Township.

"There was a crater in the ground that was really burning," Peterson said. Strewn about were pieces of clothing hanging from trees and parts of the Boeing 757, but nothing bigger than a couple of feet long, he said. Many of the items were burning.

Peterson said he saw no bodies, but there also was no sign of life. (5)

In the minds of some, the fact that the blast destroyed the plane and vaporized the passengers is evidence of a government conspiracy. They raise nonsensical questions based on their lack of ability to evaluate the evidence. Believe it or not, some of these people claim that a missile was shot at the crash site and, rather than exploding in the crater, was deflected and hit the trees, as an attempt to explain how the trees got burned, other than how they actually got burned, which was from the huge fireball when the plane impacted the ground.

Was It Shot Down By A Missile?

The most prevailing conspiracy theory is that the plane was shot down by a missile. First notice that not one single eyewitness said they saw a missile. Even though the vast majority of the eyewitnesses are in virtual total agreement, a handful of accounts by mostly non-witnesses are somehow "proof" to the conspiracy belivers that the government was behind the 9-11 attacks. So now we will examine some of the less reliable accounts.

And, when you ask Stuhl for his theory of what caused the jetliner to crash that morning, he will give you the prevailing theory - that a cockpit battle between the hijackers and burly, heroic passengers somehow caused the Boeing 757 to spiral out of control. "There's no doubt in my mind that they did put it down before it got to Washington and caused more damage," he said.

But press the mayor for details, and he will add something surprising.

"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." (15)

First, notice that Mayor Stuhl does not believe his friends, that they heard a missile. He makes that very clear. Notice also that these two fellows are NOT eyewitnesses. Nowhere does it say they SAW the plane or a missile. They were obviously indoors and heard the plane's engines approaching the crash site and they did not immediately recognize the sound as being a Boeing 757 flying low. Their first thought upon hearing the engines was that it was a missile, but that certainly does not mean that they heard a missile, they merely thought they heard a missile. This is not even close to being evidence of a missile. When you hear a noise, your mind immediately goes to the closest possible identification, based upon past experience.

The explosion unleashed a firestorm lasting five or 10 minutes and reaching several hundred yards into the sky, said Joe Wilt, 63, who lives a quarter mile from the crash site.

"The first thing I thought it was was a missile," Wilt said. The impact shattered windows in his basement and knocked a shelf full of household objects off the wall. (8)

Again, this guy did not see anything until he ran outside and saw the fire. This is probably one of the same guys who was unnamed in the previous quote.

Laura Temyer, who lives several miles north of the crash site in Hooversville, was hanging some clothes outside that morning when she heard an airplane pass overhead. That struck her as unusual since she'd just heard on TV that all flights were grounded.

"I heard like a boom and the engine sounded funny," she told the Daily News. "I heard two more booms - and then I did not hear anything."

What does Temyer think she heard? "I think the plane was shot down," insists Temyer, who said she has twice told her story to the FBI. What's more, she insists that people she knows in state law enforcement have told her the same thing, that the plane was shot down and that decompression sucked objects from the aircraft, explaining why there was a wide debris field. (15)

A woman hears a bang and she thinks it was shot down. That is NOT evidence. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE HERE! Her story about the state police is just like the other lies being told, that the Jews were told to stay home on 9-11 so they would not be killed when the towers collapsed. There is always someone or two who make outlandish claims, perhaps to get attention.

Another more reliable witness boldly claims the plane was NOT SHOT DOWN!

But an eyewitness, Linda Shepley, said she had an unobstructed view of Flight 93's final two minutes and has reached the opposite conclusion. She recalls seeing the plane wobbling right and left, at a low altitude of roughly 2,500 feet, when suddenly the right wing abruptly dipped straight down, and the Boeing 757 plunged into the earth.

"It's not true," said Shepley of the persistent rumors. "If it had been shot down, there would have been pieces flying, but it was intact - there was nothing wrong with it." (15)

The White Plane

Another element of the "evidence" is the presence of a white plane that flew over the crash site in an effort to see the crash. Lee Purbaugh, one of the two people who actually saw the impact, was one of those who saw the white plane.

"Yes, there was another plane," Lee said. "I didn't get a good look but it was white and it circled the area about twice and then it flew off over the horizon."

Tom Spinelli, 28, was working at India Lake Marina, a mile and a half away. "I saw the white plane," he said.

"It was flying around all over the place like it was looking for something. I saw it before and after the crash." (18)

Perhaps the conspiracy believers' best witness is Susan Mcelwain, a 51-year-old teacher of special needs children.

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 traveling 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 dialed 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 realized 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, ... " (18)

First, just how does a 51-year-old school teacher become an expert at identifying military aircraft? Notice that she said it was "traveling real fast." If it was traveling real fast just 40 feet above her head, it would have been nothing more than a blur, yet she gave a very detailed description of it. Are we to believe that the military has planes so secret that no photos have ever been taken of them? They had some at one time, the stealth bomber and stealth fighter, but they were located at the secret testing base at area 51, a long way from Pennsylvania. And the air force never would have flown them in broad daylight just 40 feet above a town so people could clearly see them!!

The FBI at first did not know of this plane, but as they investigated they learned about a Falcon 20 business plane that had been asked to look and see if they could find out what happened to United Flight 93. To the conspiracyists, the white plane was an unmarked military aircraft that shot down Flight 93. Several witnesses saw the white plane, and the FBI clearly acknowledged its presence, but because the FBI did not know of the plane right from the beginning of the investigation, that is somehow evidence that they lied and were trying to cover it up!

Even though she insists that she did not see a Falcon 20, her description is very close to it.

Falcon 20

Do you see any markings on this plane? No! The reason being you have to be close to a plane to see markings. And if it is traveling "real fast" you will still not be able to see markings!

If you get closer to the plane you can clearly see markings. Click on the plane to see it closer.

However, her description as given above, does exactly fit a Learjet 55.

lear jet lear jet

The only legitimate question here is why the white plane was not ordered to land like all other planes? Perhaps it was but decided to follow Flight 93 to see if it was going to crash, since it could be seen flying low and rocking back and forth. Or, perhaps it was asked to land, then someone decided that it could be useful to locate flight 93 visually; and after flight 93 dropped off the radar, to see if it could spot the wreckage. Oh! No! Could it be true? NO MYSTERY HERE, NO SMOKING GUN, not even a smoking BB gun! What follows is more of their supposed evidence.

The Indian Lake Witness

There is one witness that is clearly lying He is John Fleegle the manager of the Indian Lake Marina that is THREE MILES away from the crash site:

Fleegle had just returned to the marina to get fuel for a boat that had run out of gas when Carol Delasko called him into the drydock barn to watch news of the World Trade Center attack.

“All of a sudden the lights flickered and we joked that maybe they were coming for us. Then we heard engines screaming close overhead. The building shook. We ran out, heard the explosion and saw a fireball mushroom,” said Fleegle, pointing to a clearing on a ridge at the far end of the lake.

Fleegle, Brant and a fellow marina worker, Tom Spinelli, jumped in a truck and rushed to the crash site. (13)

This statement is fine as it is, but in another report he makes statements that show he is lying:

"Was standing watching on TV and the lights flickered in the building. About that time we heard the engines roar and we took off out of the building. As we were coming up from the office out through the building, the ground shook and we heard a big "boom", looked over and saw the big ball of fire up in the air.

Like I said, probably within, within 45 seconds or a minute of impact, we were there. We were there before any fireman, any paramedics, or anybody; we were on site. When we got there, there was a plane flying up above and he was smart, he flew straight for the sun, so you couldn't, you couldn't look at it and see exactly what type of plane, or if it was a fighter or what it was. But we caught a glimpse of it and as he was swinging, he was basically traveling in the same direction as the plane.(13)(25)

Since the Indian Lake Marina is three miles away from the crash site, how could he have arrived within one minute of the crash? No, he did not arrive before anyone else. As we have already learned, there were people who lived within blocks of the crash who were there before him, and there were even two people working in the area who actually witnessed the crash. So he is clearly lying.

Now notice his statement about the plane. Fleegle said the plane flew up in the direction of the sun so that no one could look up and clearly see it. Does this guy actually expect us to believe this yarn? There were people looking up at flight 93 from ALL DIRECTIONS. The only way to have the sun blocking your view is if you are looking east; since it was just after 10 a.m. Those people who were looking north toward the crash, or looking south or west toward the crash, were not looking into the sun, so they did not have their view of any other plane blocked by the glare of the sun. Yet, this guy is saying that the pilot intentionally flew in such a way as to prevent him from getting a clear look at the plane. This is laughable. Fleegle was just a spec of nothing on the ground to that pilot! He must like being interviewed, and keeps coming up with stories to tell.

In the same quote, he continues with more outlandish lies. He quotes what a retired Air Force man told him. If this statement is real, then he too is incredibly stupid, but I do not believe that a career Air Force man would be this stupid, so the following statement is just another of John Fleegle's tall tails:

So I was sitting there talking to another guy . . . retired from the Air Force and soon as he heard me say that he immediately stopped me . . . he said, "Well, I'm retired from the Air Force." He said that plane was shot down and I said, "Why?" and he said because whenever the lights flickered, they zap the radar frequency on everything before they shoot and he said, "That's why your lights flickered. Your lights didn't flicker from the impact, your lights flickered because they zapped the radar system before they shot it." (13)

This is laughable. If you are going to shoot down a fighter jet, then you do need to jam its radar so it cannot detect the missile as it approaches because the pilot will know the missile is approaching and take defensive action if you do not jam its radar. But passenger jets DO NOT HAVE RADAR THAT CAN DETECT INCOMING MISSILES! HA! HA! HA! "This is your captain speaking. Please buckle your seatbelts. I will be taking evasive maneuvers because of incoming missiles!"

More Evidence

As further "proof" that flight 93 was shot down, they present this under-whelming bit of evidence:

Further verification that some kind of military aircraft was operating in the area is scientifically irrefutable.

At 9.22 am a sonic boom - caused by supersonic flight - was picked up by an earthquake monitoring station in southern Pennsylvania, 60 miles from Shanksville. (18)

Oh my! What big pea-brains they have! First, that area was a military flight corridor, so if there was a military plane in the area it would have been NORMAL operation! Especially since we were UNDER ATTACK! But, consider this: a sonic boom is only caused by a plane going at mach 1 or faster, which is 800 miles per hour. At that speed, it would have traveled the 60 miles to Shanksville in only 4.5 minutes, so it would have arrived in the crash area by 9:27 a.m., more than 30 minutes before flight 93 arrived. It would have intercepted flight 93 within 10 or 15 minutes, hundreds of miles west of Shanksville. Again, no actual evidence here!

But in their infinite stupidity, they offer even more amazing evidence. There was yet another plane piloted by a local farmer who was in the air near flight 93. Because he was ordered to land it is supposed to mean that they were going to shoot down Flight 93:

Local pilot Bill Wright (pictured, left) told Team 4 investigator Paul Van Osdol that he thinks that he witnessed a struggle for control of the plane.

Wright was flying over Youngwood, Westmoreland County, and was getting ready to land in Latrobe under order from air traffic control.

Then, an air-traffic controller asked him and his passenger to look out the window.

Wright was flying a Piper Arrow when he spotted a jet crossing behind him -- about three miles away. It was close enough for him and his photographer to see the United Airlines colors.

Wright was flying over Youngwood for about 20 minutes before Flight 93 crashed in Stonycreek Township.

Wright said that he knew that there was a problem when air traffic controllers asked him to give them Flight 93's altitude.

Wright thinks there's only one reason air traffic controllers in Cleveland would have been asking him about the altitude. He said that it was probably because the terrorists had cut off all radio transmissions to air traffic controllers.

"We figured there was a hijacking in progress, and we were seeing it happening, but that's all we knew," Wright said.

Wright got another clue when he and his passenger saw the path that the plane was taking.

"(It) went behind us. (We) lost sight for a while and when it came back (the passenger) said, 'It's turning toward us. Now it's turning away. Now turning back toward us.' So it was rocking its wings.

"It would bank hard left, bank hard right and then back to hard left. We saw it bank three or four times before we got away from it."

Wright said that may have been when several passengers were fighting back against the terrorists.

"The story of the plane being taken over, that fits," Wright said.

Within moments controllers ordered Wright to land immediately.

"That's one of the first things that went through my mind when they told us to get as far away from it as fast as we could -- that either they were expecting it to blow up or they were going to shoot it down, but that's pure speculation," Wright said. (22)

There you have it ladies and gentlemen! WHAT MORE PROOF COULD THERE BE?! No, there is NO EVIDENCE HERE! Flight 93 was flying up and down, left then right, so it is NOT strange that the little plane was told to get as far away from Flight 93 as possible. If United Flight 93 was traveling at 500 miles per hour, it was traveling 8.33 miles per minute. Which means it could travel a mile in 7.5 seconds. So it was VERY DANGEROUS to be anywhere near that plane. They were also under a no-fly order; at 9:45 a.m, all planes were ordered to land, which is just 18 minutes before Flight 93 crashed. So it is not strange that they were ordered to land! Duh!

Flying Mail and Other Debris

The conspiracyists say, "how could any explosion send a piece of mail 8 miles? It must have fallen from the plane long before it crashed." Lots of things happen you cannot fully explain, such as when a tornado throws a piece of straw into the center of a telephone pole. Tornados have been known to pick up objects and set them down miles away totally unharmed, even live people! It happens more than you think, but it reasonably should not ever happen. Read this info from USA Today Weather Guys blog:

The article "Tornado Oddities" from the July/August 2002 issue of Weatherwise magazine has several amazing stories about people and objects thrown great distances by tornadoes. For instance, the world-record for long-distance object transport is a personal check that traveled 223 miles from Stockton, Kansas, to Winnetoon, Nebraska, via an F3 tornado in 1991....

Babies have also been carried by tornadoes. Canadian weather historian David Phillips tells of a tornado that picked up a baby girl from the buggy of an Uren, Saskatchewan, family in 1923. After a 10-hour search, the girl was found asleep in a shack two miles from the point where the buggy had been upset." (23)

There are web sites and books about the oddities of tornados:

The Great Bend, Kansas tornado of November 1915 is the tornado which seems to have a great number of oddities associated with it. . . .

At the edge of Great Bend, the Charles Hammond house was unroofed. The family was completely unaware of the damage until they came outside to survey the neighbor's damage. At Grant Jones' store, the south wall was blown down and scattered, but shelves and canned goods that stood against the wall were unmoved. The Riverside Steam Laundry, built of stone and cement block, was left with only a fragment of upright wall, yet two nearby wooden shacks seemed almost untouched. At the Moses Clay ranch, on the east edge of town, 1000 sheep were killed, the most ever killed by a single tornado. A cancelled check from Great Bend was found in a corn field, one mile outside of Palmyra, Nebraska, 305 miles to the northeast, the longest known distance that debris has ever been carried. A "rain of debris," receipts, checks, photographs, ledger sheets, money, clothing, shingles, and fragments of books fell on almost every farm north and west of Glasco, 80 miles to the northeast. In Great Bend, an iron water hydrant was found full of splinters. (From the book, Tornado: Nature's Ultimate Windstorm; http://www.tornadoproject.com/oddities/oddities.htm)

So mail being sent 8 miles by a huge explosion is certainly no stranger than mail being sent 100s of miles by a tornado. Not only did items get sent a long distance, there were other oddities with flight 93, just like what takes place with tornados. For example, a neck tie was found still tied, but with no one in it. (17)

So there is no proof or even evidence that points to flight 93 being shot down by a missile, it DID NOT HAPPEN.

Red Bandanas

The conspiracyists even use something as trivial as the red bandanas that the hijackers wore as evidence that it was not a real hijacking or that the government was behind it. They say that green is the color of Islam, so why would they wear red? The reason is because red is the color of martyrdom! Yes, it is true! If someone had faked the whole thing then they would most likely have used green bandanas, but red is evidence that it was not fake. It is not widely known that red is the color of martyrdom.

The Famous Restroom Phone Call

One of the passengers locked himself in a restroom and made a call to 911 emergency. Some sources say the call was short and he made no mention of white smoke, other sources say he claimed to see white smoke out the window after hearing a loud noise. My sources say that claim is false, but let us suppose for the sake of argument that he did hear a loud noise and see something out the window.

Dispatcher Glenn Cramer said the man repeatedly said, "We're being hijacked!" and that his call was not a hoax.

"He heard some sort of explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane and we lost contact with him," Cramer said. (20)

So what do we make of this call? The call was placed at 9:58 a.m., just 5 to 8 minutes before the plane crashed. With what we have learned thus far from the eyewitnesses, it is very likely that what he heard was one of the loud bangs that came from the plane's engines, whereupon he looked out the window and saw what he believed to be white smoke. Notice that it was "white" smoke. What he saw was likely what are called contrails, which are vapor trails. UPDATE: Checkout this web site with many contrail images from around the world: http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2012/03/jets-clouds-effects-ephemeral-sky-show.html


Final Words

ALL their SUPPOSED evidence can be proven false and discarded by this same kind of reasonable analysis. But some people just WANT to believe in conspiracy, and they will continue to believe in it regardless of how much evidence points to the hijackers as the people who planned and executed the operation. These nuts are the kind of people who would not believe that we went to the Moon. Yes, it is true; there are many conspiracyists who believe that we FAKED THE MOON LANDING! They just don't have the ability to believe in anything. They are natural born disbelievers and spread their false conclusions throughout the world online.

I used to know one of these guys personally who believes that contrails that can be seen trailing behind some planes is the government spreading chemicals on the general population of this country. In truth, they are just vapor trails, actual clouds that are created by moisture in the air and form because of the plane passing through the air. It is truly sad that some people are that stupid, but they are.

In 1972 a home video was being made when a small asteroid streaked across the sky, leaving a vapor trail. I have seen the video on TV several times. Here is a still taken from that video:


Oh no! The government is even sending rocks from outer space with chemicals! We are DOOMED.

IF THIS INFORMATION is not enough evidence for you, here is PROOF that a hot fire can soften steal beams, which is what happened when the jets impacted the World Trade Center.

Here is an email from a guy who read this article (2-18-08):

I just read your article debunking the conspiracy theories on the shooting down of flight 93, and I want to say nice job. I was in New York on 9-11 and as a patriot and a poly sci major at Harvard planning on running for office, it makes me sick to read that conspiracy garbage.
I used to work as a location manager on movies, and I heard that the kid that started the 9-11 conspiracy movement in the first place, was shopping around a script a year earlier about the government blowing up a building to start a war. Then after 9-11 he started saying it happened for real. Like you said, some people just need to get noticed no matter what.
Good article.

Here is another email:

I really appreciate the time you spent collecting and presenting all of this. I am not a member of any crazy conspiracy group or blind patriot assembly. We, the American (and world) population can only collect data, apply common sense that we possess, and come to whatever conclusion we can. Well, the press is incomplete, most reports are jaded, but I found your breakdown full of good detail, cohesive analysis, and finally something comprehensive. I really thank you for this and helping me on my way to some clarity.

All the best in the future and take care,

Here is another email:

Mr. Fortner,

I wanted to thank you for your article on United Flight 93 at unitedflight93.com. Thought it should be an eye opener for the conspiracy theorists who will stop at nothing to discredit those who paid the ultimate price for freedom on 9/11, it will sadly fall mostly on deaf ears. During this tragic event I was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico as a fuels specialist, and will never forget where I was and what I was doing during the attacks. Your article is a constant reminder to me that conspiracy without evidence is nothing more than hypocricy. After all, the conspiracy theorists are doing the exact same thing that they accuse the government of doing by misquoting and intentionally leaving factual evidence out of the debate. One such pathetic attempt to do this, which you touched upon in your article, is that the conspiracy theorists claim that debris from the aircraft wreckage was certain distances away from the initial impact site. However, what they fail to mention is that their measurements are false. They did not measure in a straight line, which is how wreckage travels, but rather by the use of MapQuest and other internet sites. Aircraft debris does not follow roads to get to it's final resting place. It travels in a straight line, affected only by weather and gravity, not by following the path a car would take. I've always been furious about these lies, which serve only to mislead the public instead of providing facts.

Again, I thank you for using common sense and logic, and look forward to any more articles you write.

Kind regards,
Jeremy "rightseater" Fletcher

Here is the newest email Sept. 4, 2011:

I just finished reading your article debunking the conspiracy theory of Flight 93. I visited the temporary memorial last summer and have to say, I don't imagine any of the conspiracy believers could have visited [there] themselves. If they had, it's hard to believe that anyone can come out of there NOT believing the truth after reading through the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, reading the biographies of all of the passengers and crew, and reading the book of phone call transcripts. 

Can you please do the same for the Pentagon crash? I cannot fathom how many people really believe that it was manufactured.
Amy Ganser

This article was written entirely by Michael D. Fortner, copyright 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011 all rights reserved. The author has a B.A. in communications (journalism), with a minor in history. He is certified in computer repair, and currently does IT repairs such as computers, TVs, medical equipment, etc.

If you like this article please leave me a review on amazon.com. The conspiracy pushers are giving me bad reviews to hurt sales. Get THIS WEB SITE as a Kindle eBook on Amazon. The Truth About United Flight 93 only 99 cents. UPDATE: It is now available as a printed book as well for only $4.95.

Thanks, Have a nice year.

Michael Fortner


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Bibliography is no longer available with the free online edition, but is only found in the ebooks or printed books, which can be purchased at amazon.com and many book sellers worldwide!


It seems the proposed memorial to Flight 93 is in the shape of a crescent, with a minaret-like tower. Go here for more info: Crescent of Betrayal.

Sign the petition against the Flight 93 proposed memorial.

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