Joined: 12 Oct 2006
|Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:11 am Post subject: United Airlines Flight 93
|There are several conspiracy theories surrounding the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
Jim Hoffman claims there is a three-minute discrepancy in the cockpit voice recording immediately prior to the flight's crash. The cockpit voice recorder transcripts end at 10:03 a.m., but Cleveland Air Traffic Control reported that Flight 93 went out of radar contact at 10:06 a.m., and FAA radar records note a time of 10:06 a.m.Seismologists record an impact at 10:06:05 a.m., +/- a couple of seconds.
Some conspiracy theorists believe there is a cover up of evidence as the Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder from Flight 93 have not been released to the general public. However, a 1990 Congressional Law prohibits the “public disclosure [of the] cockpit voice recorder recordings and transcriptions, in whole or in part, of oral communications by and between flight crew members and ground stations…” And on April 18, 2002, the FBI allowed the families of victims from Flight 93 to listen to the voice recordings. This was made possible because the FBI controlled the investigation, as opposed to the NTSB as in typical air disasters.
Claims that Flight 93 was shot down
Some conspiracy theorists who question the common account of United Airlines Flight 93 crashing as a result of an attempted cockpit invasion, have speculated that it was shot down by US fighter jets. Conspiracy theorists say that pieces of Flight 93 were found three miles and eight miles away from the crash site and suggest that this may be evidence of a shoot down.
This idea was promoted by author David Ray Griffin in his book, The New Pearl Harbor, who cited Paul Thompson. Thompson examined a number of mainstream media reports and claims that fighter jets were actually much closer to Flight 93 at the time of the crash than stated in the official record. He mentions witnesses who noticed a small white jet near the impact site soon after the crash. However, this was likely a business jet the ATC asked to investigate the crash area and that descended to an altitude of around 1500 ft to survey the impact. Ben Sliney, who was the FAA operation manager on September 11, 2001, claims no military aircraft were near the Flight 93.
Thompson and other conspiracy theorists note that pieces of Flight 93 were found far from the crash site and suggest that this may be evidence of a shoot-down. Although NTSB investigators claim to have found no evidence the plane was shot down, 9/11 conspiracy theorists point to:
The existence of multiple debris fields located miles away from the crash site
That witnesses observed debris falling out of the sky, like confetti
Popular Mechanics, however, argued that debris exploding away and landing far from the crash scene is not a unique occurrence in commercial airline accidents.
Claims Flight 93 landed safely
Some conspiracy theorists claim that Flight 93 landed safely in Ohio. The website Physics911 claims that the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was actually not United 93 and that the flights involved in the 9/11 attacks were landed and substituted with other aircraft . Often cited is a a preliminary AP story on Flight 93’s safe landing at a Cleveland airport by WCPO, a local Cincinnati ABC news affiliate. It was later learned Delta Flight 1989 was the plane confused with Flight 93. WCPO has since retracted the story noting its earlier factual inaccuracies.
Claims cell phone calls were impossible
During the flight of Flight 93 passengers made a number of calls to both family and emergency personnel. It is argued by some that connecting a cell phone to a tower's signal would have been near to impossible from the air Based on this information, economist Michel Chossudovsky suggests the calls were fabricated or never made at all.
In 2003 a Canadian team conducted experiments to determine if cell phones could be used from civilian aircraft flying at cruising speeds and altitudes. Their findings concluded the probability of a typical cell phone making a stable connection to a cell on the ground is roughly 0.006% (approximately 1 in 16,000) from the altitude that Flight 93 was supposedly flying at at the time of the cell phone calls. Anecdotal evidence provided to the team by airline passengers in other parts of the US and the world corroborates their findings.
Carnegie Mellon researchers published results of a study in which they monitored spectrum frequencies generated by cell phone use during commercial passenger flights. They concluded that one to four cell phone calls are made during each average passenger flight, contrary to FCC and FAA regulations. The study makes no mention of the length of the calls or whether a successful air-ground connection was actually made during the monitored transmissions.
It is known that in the final moments of the flight Edward Felt dialed 9-1-1 from his cell phone from the lavatory of the aircraft which was answered by dispatcher John Shaw. Felt was able to tell the dispatcher about the hijacking before the call was out of range and subsequently disconnected.
However, many of the passengers calls were not made with cell phones but with onboard airphone