“This crash was different. There was no wreckage, no bodies, and no noise.”
– Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller [1]

“I was looking for anything that said tail, wing, plane, metal. There was nothing.”
– Photographer Scott Spangler [2]

“I was amazed because it did not, in any way, shape, or form, look like a plane crash.”
– Patrick Madigan, commander of the Somerset barracks
of the Pennsylvania State Police [3]

Many people who witnessed the site where United Airlines Flight 93 is supposed to have gone down on September 11, 2001, have said how little it resembled what they expected the scene of a plane crash to look like.

According to official accounts, Flight 93, the fourth plane to be hijacked on September 11, crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after its courageous passengers and crew members attempted to retake control of their plane. However, numerous individuals who spent time at the supposed crash site have described seeing almost nothing resembling wreckage from a plane there. Some witnesses have recalled seeing little or no human remains at the site. And although Flight 93 was reportedly “heavily laden with jet fuel” when it crashed, investigators found no contamination from jet fuel in the soil and ground water around the site.

There is a lot of suspicious evidence relating to the crash of Flight 93, which casts serious doubt on the official account of what happened. This evidence suggests that what witnesses saw might actually have been the result of an attempt to fake the scene of a plane crash in an appalling act of deception, rather than the site of a genuine crash. The relatively small amount of debris that some witnesses noticed could have been planted. If this is what happened, it would mean the fate of Flight 93 is still unknown.

The official story of Flight 93 is that the plane, a Boeing 757-200, took off from Newark International Airport, New Jersey, at 8:42 a.m. on September 11, bound for San Francisco, California. It had seven crew members and 37 passengers–including four hijackers–on board. The first 46 minutes of its journey proceeded routinely. But at 9:28 a.m., the hijackers seized control of the plane, with the intention of crashing it into either the White House or the Capitol building in Washington, DC.

However, crew members and passengers soon began making phone calls to friends, colleagues, and family members on the ground, to report what was happening, and in those calls learned of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Realizing that their plane’s hijacking was part of a larger attack on America, they made the decision to fight back against the hijackers. They began their assault on the cockpit at 9:57 a.m. In response, the hijackers chose to crash the plane into the ground rather than risk the passengers and crew members retaking control of it.

Flight 93 crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania, near the tiny town of Shanksville, at 10:03 a.m., at a speed of around 580 miles per hour. In its final moments, the plane rolled over, and it crashed flying upside-down and at an angle of 40 degrees, with its right wing and nose hitting the ground first. All on board were killed. [4]

There are, however, serious problems with this account. Perhaps the most striking of these is the fact that, remarkably, a significant amount of evidence indicates that no plane crashed at the location where Flight 93 supposedly went down.

Flight 93 weighed 127 tons when it crashed, according to New York Times reporter and author Jere Longman. [5] And yet numerous individuals, including some of the first people to arrive on the scene, have described the lack of anything resembling plane wreckage at the alleged crash site.

Assistant Fire Chief Rick King, who drove the first fire truck to reach the site, recalled thinking when he arrived: “Where is this plane? And where are the people?” King saw “thousands of tiny pieces scattered around–bits of metal, insulation, wiring–but no fuselage, no wings, only a smoking crater and charred earth.” [6] He sent his men into the woods to search for the fuselage, but they kept coming back and telling him, “Rick, there’s nothing.” [7]

Homer Barron, who also arrived shortly after the crash, has recalled, “It didn’t look like a plane crash, because there was nothing that looked like a plane.” He added: “I [have] never seen anything like it. Just like a big pile of charcoal.” [8]

Jon Meyer, the first reporter on the scene, said he was “able to get right up to the edge of the crater” where Flight 93 supposedly hit the ground. However, he described: “All I saw was a crater filled with small, charred plane parts. Nothing that would even tell you that it was the plane. … There were no suitcases, no recognizable plane parts, no body parts.” [9] Local coroner Wallace Miller, who was also one of the first people to arrive, said the crater looked “like someone took a scrap truck, dug a 10-foot ditch, and dumped all this trash into it.” [10]

Frank Monaco of the Pennsylvania State Police said the site looked “like a trash heap.” There was “nothing but tiny pieces of debris,” he said. “It’s just littered with small pieces.” [11] According to Monaco, “It didn’t look like a plane crash.” [12] Scott Spangler, one of the first photographers on the scene, said, “I was looking for anything that said tail, wing, plane, metal.” But, he recalled, “There was nothing, just this pit.” “I didn’t think I was in the right place,” he commented. [13]

And FBI agent Wells Morrison, the crash site commander on September 11, said his first thought upon reaching the scene was, “Where is the plane?” He recalled, “Most of what I saw was this honeycomb looking stuff, which I believe is insulation or something like that.” He added, “I was not seeing anything that was distinguishable either as human remains or aircraft debris.” [14]

A number of witnesses stated specifically that they thought the scene appeared unlike the site of a plane crash. Lyle Szupinka, an area commander of the Pennsylvania State Police, said that when he arrived, “There was pieces of debris, small pieces of debris laying everywhere, and there were a lot of papers blowing around, and the ground was on fire.” The debris, he said, was “very, very small.” But, he added, “There was actually nothing to tell you that that was an aircraft.” Szupinka commented, “Had you not known that that was an aircraft crash, you would’ve looked at that and you would’ve said something happened here, but I don’t know what.” [15]

Local resident John Maslak was one of the first people to arrive at the site, and saw the crater where Flight 93 supposedly went into the ground. A state trooper told him a plane had crashed there. But, Maslak has commented: “There was no way. The hole wasn’t big enough and there was nothing there.” [16]

Patrick Madigan, a commander with the Pennsylvania State Police, described: “When I looked at the pit, I didn’t realize that was where the plane had crashed. I thought, at first, that it was a burn pit for the coal company.” A fireman said this was where the plane went into the ground. “I was amazed,” Madigan recalled, “because it did not, in any way, shape, or form, look like a plane crash. I thought I would see recognizable plane parts. But at the pit, there was nothing that looked like a plane.” [17] Craig Bowman, a colleague of Madigan’s, recalled: “Until that point, I had never been to a large plane crash. I was thinking that I should be seeing parts of the plane, seats, etc.” However, he said, “There was nothing that was recognizable to me as a plane.” [18]

William Baker, of the Somerset County Emergency Management Agency, recalled: “When they said it was a 757, I looked out across the debris field. I said, ‘There is no way there is a 757 scattered here.'” Baker said, “The biggest piece of debris I saw would have probably fit in my pocket.” [19] And Paul Bomboy, a paramedic who responded to the initial call for help, commented: “It was a very strange thing that there weren’t normal things going on that you would have expected. When a plane crashes, there is a plane and there are patients.” [20]

Michael Soohy, a veteran FBI agent, had been to the sites of plane crashes before and expected to see “chaos, bodies, [and] a hulking wreck of a jet.” But, he commented, “I don’t think anyone expected to see what they didn’t see.” [21]

Some witnesses have said it appeared as if Flight 93 had been “swallowed” into the ground. Bob Weaver, the ranking Pennsylvania state trooper at the alleged crash site, recalled: “I was totally amazed that this big plane was just swallowed up in the ground. … It took a while for it to sink in that there was an airplane in there.” [22] Michael Soohy suggested that the moment the plane hit the ground must have been “almost like a dart hitting a pile of flour. … The plane went in and the stuff back-filled right over it.” [23] And Fire Chief Terry Shaffer said he thought that “the earth literally opened, swallowed the aircraft, and closed up.” [24]

Bob Craig, the head of the Pittsburgh FBI’s evidence response team, later described what supposedly happened, saying, “Turn the picture of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center on its side and, for all intents and purposes, the face of the building is the strip mine in Shanksville.” [25]

It has been suggested that the softness of the soil into which Flight 93 supposedly crashed was a factor. The site where the plane allegedly went down was a reclaimed coal strip mine. This means that a few years earlier, the ground had been excavated down to a coal vein, the coal had been removed, and then the earth had been replaced. The ground was therefore relatively soft and consequently, as firefighters involved in the recovery effort described, “the Boeing 757 tunneled right in.” [26]

But even though Flight 93 supposedly disappeared into the earth, the crater allegedly made when it hit the ground seems to have been too small for this to have been the case. Frank Monaco told reporters that the “V-shaped gouge” created by the plane was “eight to 10 feet deep and 15 to 20 feet long.” [27] Roger Bailey, of the Somerset Volunteer Fire Department, recalled that the crater “wasn’t deep. Ten to 12 feet deep.” Bailey said he “thought it was a hole that they had dug to burn garbage.” [28]

John Maslak estimated that the crater was “maybe 25 feet wide and 40 feet long,” and “ten to 15 feet deep.” [29] After the ground had been excavated in order to recover the wreckage of the plane, the crater was still only 35 feet deep, according to the FBI. [30]

Flight 93 had a wingspan of 125 feet, a tail height of 44 feet, and was 155 feet long. [31] Is it really possible that such a large plane, when it hit the ground, would make a crater only about 40 feet across and 25 feet wide, and disappear entirely into soil just 35 feet deep? As reporter Jon Meyer commented, “You just can’t believe a whole plane went into this crater.” [32]

How then can we explain the almost complete absence of anything resembling a plane at the alleged crash site? Surely, witnesses would have seen a lot more wreckage if a Boeing 757 did indeed go down there. A possibility that needs to be considered, therefore, is that Flight 93 did not crash in this field near Shanksville. The relatively small amount of wreckage that was seen there could have been planted as part of a sophisticated attempt at faking the scene of a plane crash. The intention of the perpetrators was to deceive the public into believing that Flight 93 did indeed crash at this site.

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