The FBI has confiscated the tape of the conversation and the operator Glen Cramer has received orders not to speak to the media any more. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. 'active' : ''"> And unless the US government reveals more of what it knows, provides a detailed account of the last 10 minutes in the life of Flight 93 and the 44 people who were aboard, there will not only be scope but sound reasons for the conspiracy theorists to continue to speculate as to what really happened in those last few minutes before the plane plunged into the earth; to cast doubts on the soft-focus legend that the traumatised American public has seized upon so gratefully. "I do not rule anything out.". “For me, today was the heart and soul of the weekend. REUTERS/David Denoma. – that it has become a place of pilgrimage, much as has happened with ground zero in New York but on a smaller scale, attracting some 150 visitors from all over the US every day. Bravery, though, there undoubtedly was. He was the only person present in the field where, at 10.06am, the aircraft hit the ground. Independent Premium. Such a consensus has been built around this view that the crash site at Shanksville – an anonymous-looking field save for the American flags that flutter all around, the crosses, the pictures of the dead passengers, the messages of goodwill and of good cheer ("Don't mess with the US!") In the following ways: 1. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays. I saw it rock from side to side then, suddenly, it dipped and dived, nose first, with a huge explosion, into the ground. After planes crashed in New York and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, employees at the Pittsburgh FBI weren't sure where to respond. This project, which began this week, will suppress the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) insect populations and maintain the health of the existing hemlock stand. And certainly, based on the records of telephone calls made from the plane, there is no disputing that a number of the passengers did indeed intend to carry out actions of great courage. 3. “It was the most moving service of this type that I’d ever been to,” said O’Hare, who had traveled from Danville, California. try again, the name must be unique, Please 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. He said he believed the plane was going down. The FBI has stated that, apart from the enigmatic Falcon business jet, there was a C-130 military cargo plane within 25 miles of the passenger jet when it crashed. He saw what happened with his own eyes. None of which is to question the bravery of passengers such as Todd Beamer, who left behind a pregnant widow and two children aged two and three; or Tom Burnett, who had three small daughters and told his wife Deena over the phone, in the face of her anguished protests, that he and his fellow-passengers were "going to do something" because if not the terrorists were "going to run this plane into the ground". The explanation furnished by the FBI for the mystery plane, whose existence it initially denied, serves less to reassure than to reinforce suspicions that a cover-up of sorts is under way, that the government is manipulating the truth in a manner it considers to be palatable to the broader US public. How has the US government and its various agencies responded to doubts raised by the above questions? will be published daily in dedicated articles. The plane was also pulverised, reduced to tiny fragments of metal. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. 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 centring on the following four conundrums. "The order had been given to bring the airplane down," he said. They describe the plane as a small, white jet with rear engines and no discernible markings. Deborah Borza, mother of United Flight 93 passenger Deora Bodley, is one of the thousands of people to visit the field where the plane crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? But Borza has become a … The reason, as numerous people have observed, why this seems so implausible is that, first, by 10.06am on 11 September, all non-military aircraft in US airspace had received loud and clear orders more than half an hour earlier to land at the nearest airport; second, such was the density of 911 phone calls from people on the ground, in the Shanksville area, as to the location of the crash site that aerial co-ordinates would have been completely unnecessary; and, third, with F-16s supposedly in the vicinity, it seems extraordinarily unlikely that, at a time of tremendous national uncertainty when no one knew for sure whether there might be any more hijacked aircraft still in the sky, the military would ask a civilian aircraft that just happened to be in the area for help. Vice-President Dick Cheney acknowledged five days later that President Bush had authorised the Air Force pilots to shoot down hijacked commercial aircraft. "I issued the death certificates," says Miller, who is also the local undertaker. 'active' : ''"> "There was an incredibly loud rumbling sound and there it was, right there, right above my head – maybe 50ft up," says Purbaugh, who works at a scrapyard overlooking the crash site. Evidently, as the Newsweek article relates, there was fighting of some kind, but as to whether the terrorists held off the passengers or the passengers seized control of the plane, and perhaps even made an attempt to fly it themselves (one passenger aboard was a qualified pilot of small planes), nobody knows – or is willing to admit that they know. It should be treated with due respect. Newest first, -1) ? to your comment. Some brought their own flowers. Neither he nor anybody else knows what exactly caused Flight 93 to go down and, as Miller puts it, "bring the world's troubles crashing down on our doorstep". Scarry also reports that US Customs aircraft are already equipped with such weaponry; as are some C-130 Air Force transport planes. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. In Pennsylvania, Somerset County coroner Wallace E. Miller and his team scoured the "halo"—the field and woods surrounding the crater left when United Airlines Flight 93 plunged into the ground. “We hope that these treatment methods will protect the hemlock trees and help us preserve the crash scene” said Superintendent Jeff Reinbold. This is why I came.”. All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. Flight 93 exploded into the trees when it crashed on September 11, 2001. language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification, -1) ? Maybe the legend does indeed correspond perfectly to the facts. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Family members and other guests followed in a procession led by a bagpiper, she said. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Information about the hemlock grove can also be found on the Flight 93 National Memorial webpage at It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss There was one other plane, a single-engine Piper, in the air as Flight 93 headed to its doom. In decades to come, film-makers, future Oliver Stones, may come up with theories of their own, and the story of Flight 93 may come to acquire the morbid mystique of the Kennedy assassination. Aviation experts I have contacted are very doubtful about this. Two months later, Newsweek got hold of what it was told was a partial transcript of the voice-recorder and, upon that basis, narrated the story of "the Heroes of Flight 93" in even more vivid, drum-rolling, Hollywoodesque detail than Vanity Fair had done. The transcript that Newsweek obtained did indicate that fighting had taken place aboard, curses had been uttered, prayers raised up both to the Muslim and the Christian god. Stoystown, PA – NPS staff, partners and local contractors are hoping to save the remaining hemlock witness trees near the crash site at Flight 93 National Memorial. Vanity Fair magazine, going on little more information than was available to The New York Times, went ahead and published a highly detailed story on Flight 93, which, the magazine said, "may be remembered as one of the greatest tales of heroism ever told". Invasive Insects Threaten Trees Containing Remains Of Flight 93 November 6, 2013 at 11:22 am Filed Under: 9-11 , 9/11 , Crew , Flight 93 , Hemlock Tree … In the case of the TWA flight, the argument, put forward in a series of exhaustive articles written in the New York Review of Books by the Harvard academic Elaine Scarry, is that it happened accidentally. This we do know.