Pennsylvania Crash 2

Fireball

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

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

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.

http://www.flight93crash.com/MyPittsburghLIVE.htm

“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.”

Cleveland

There was this big fireball and then a huge cloud of smoke.”

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/09-02/09-11-02/a01lo008.htm

Nevin Lambert

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90399.html

Nevin Lambert will never forget Sept. 11.

He won’t forget the fireball or the smell of burning jet fuel. Or the heat or the smoking chunk of metal that landed near his house as undelivered letters caught the wind and scattered in the nearby woods.  […]

Lambert, who lives on a 100-acre farm in Lambertsville, Somerset County, was shoveling coal outside his house on a hillside overlooking Skyline Drive as United Airlines Flight 93 plunged to the ground.

The aircraft wobbled as it fell from the sky, he said. The wings turned about 45 degrees just before the fuselage gouged a deep crater into the earth of an abandoned strip mine, obliterating the Boeing 757 and snuffing the lives of everyone on board.

It was 10:06 a.m.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90399.html

“The vibration and the sound (of the crash) shook the whole house,” Nevin said. “The front door was blown open and the glass broke. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t see anything except for the fireball coming up over the trees and all that black smoke comin’ my way. That really scared me. For a minute or two, it even blocked out the sun. Clumps of dirt came flying down on the house.”

After it stopped raining dirt and smoke and fiery debris, he later found a couple of pieces of metal from the aircraft in his yard.

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/09-02/09-11-02/a01lo008.htm

“I try not to look back too much at one time to the spot where the plane crashed,” says Nevin, a 55-year-old farmer who raises Black Angus cattle and witnessed the crash less than an eighth of a mile away from 820 Skyline Road — the only road leading directly to the crash site.

“I keep seeing that fireball in my mind. I never seen anything like it in my whole lifetime, and I hope I don’t again. I mean it.

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/09-02/09-11-02/a01lo008.htm

“I can still see the hot flames,” Lambert said, weeping softly. “The night it went down I couldn’t sleep at all. I still get choked up thinking about it.”

Moments after the crash, Lambert found a chunk of the aircraft — still smoldering and hot to the touch — about three feet from his house. He could feel the heat from the fireball at the crash site several hundred yards away.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90399.html

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.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912somerscenenat4p3.asp

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.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912somerscenenat4p3.asp

Paula Pluta of Stonycreek Township was watching a television rerun of “Little House on the Prairie” when the plane went down about 1,500 yards from her home along Lambertsville Road at Little Prairie Lane. […]

“It was just a streak of silver. Then a fireball shot up as high as the clouds. There was no way anybody could have survived. I called 911 right away.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12940.html

Witness Joe Wilt, 63, said he heard a whistling like a missile, then a loud boom as he stood in the doorway of his Shanksville home across the road from the site. His view was blocked by a group of trees, but he said he saw a fireball rise 800 feet into the air, then give way to black smoke.

”It exploded and you could see flames and debris everywhere, right over that tree over there,” Wilt said, pointing. He heard from a relative who worked at a small business less than one mile to the west that the plane had passed low overhead, heading southeast before crashing.

http://www.boston.com/news/packages/underattack/globe_stories/0912/Frantic_911_call_preceded_crash_outside_Pittsburgh+.shtml

The ensuing firestorm lasted five or 10 minutes and reached several hundred yards into the sky, said Joe Wilt, 63, who also lives a quarter-mile from the crash site.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A14327-2001Sep11

Jim Stop of Somerset was fishing at the Indian Lake marina, about three miles from the crash site, when he looked up and saw the plane overhead.

“I heard the engine whine and scream,” Stop said.

He then heard an explosion and saw a fireball.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

Miller recalled his arrival at the crash site about 20 minutes after the plane plummeted to the earth and described how the aircraft came down at a 45-degree angle. He explained how the cockpit broke off at impact, bouncing into a wooded area of about 60 acres. The resulting fireball scorched about eight acres of trees, he said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_73907.html

Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller addresses clergy Wednesday at the West Overton Museums in Scottdale.  (Kenneth R. Brooks/Tribune-Review)

Glow

Carol Delasko, who works at the marina, said she saw a light cloud that stretched several hundred feet across rising about 200 feet into the air moments after the crash.

“It was white,” said Theresa Weyant, borough secretary for the nearby resort community of Indian Lake, “so you looked up and it and you saw shiny stuff floating in the sky … sparkly, shiny stuff, like confetti.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010914scene0914p2.asp

Mushroom cloud

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

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

“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.”

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/news/100028703529429109.xml

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.

http://www.flight93crash.com/MyPittsburghLIVE.htm

Lee Purbaugh [..] was working at the Rollock Inc. scrapyard on a ridge overlooking the point of impact, less than half a mile away. “I heard this real loud noise coming over my head,” he told the Daily Mirror. “I looked up and it was Flight 93, barely 50ft above me. It was coming down in a 45 degree and rocking from side to side. Then the nose suddenly dipped and it just crashed into the ground. There was this big fireball and then a huge cloud of smoke.”

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/09-02/09-11-02/a01lo008.htm

“I just watched with my mouth open as this yellow mushroom cloud rose up just like an atomic bomb over the hill where I like to go hunting,” said 72- year-old John Walsh.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/09/17/MN40630.DTL

My comment: Val wasn’t the only one to see a mushroom cloud.

Smoke plume

On Sept. 11, 2001, Escherich snapped the picture of downed Flight 93 and captured international attention following the click of his 35-mm camera’s shutter.

“I was going through Friedens when I saw a huge plume of smoke, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” Escherich said. [..]

Not long after the crash, Escherich was on the scene. Emergency personnel were only just arriving. Undetected, he grabbed his camera and set up his tripod and fired off 10 shots before being asked to leave.

“I was about 150 yards away from where the plane hit,” he said. “But then I did as they said. I packed up and left.”

http://www.tribune-democrat.com/local/local_story_279235635.html

Amateur photographer David Escherich of Stoystown took this image at the Flight 93 crash site near Shanksville on Sept. 11, 2001

http://www.tribune-democrat.com/local/local_story_279235635.html

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.

http://web.archive.org/web/20011119065106/http:/dailynews.philly.com/content/daily_news/2001/11/18/local/SHOT15C.htm

My comment: The reason why Nevin Lambert didn’t see ‘smoke’ was he meant smoke coming from the plane as it flew. But there would have been smoke once the plane crashed.

Mark Stahl of Somerset, a 32-year-old petroleum salesman, was working on his office computer when he heard the crash. He followed plumes of billowing smoke to the scene. Carrying a digital camera, Stahl arrived at the site 15 minutes after the plane fell from the sky.

He began taking photographs of the still-smoking scene. Later, he showed them to people who crowded around his car in a cornfield filled with reporters, photographers and large television trucks spouting giant satellite dishes.

“I heard the boom, followed the smoke and came up on this,” Stahl said as he displayed an 8-by-10-inch photo of the crash site.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

Explosion

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. [..]

“Then you heard the explosion and felt the blast and saw the fire and smoke.”

http://www.sptimes.com/News/091201/Worldandnation/A_blur_in_the_sky__th.shtml

Betty Rhoads thought her furnace had exploded. When she “mostly felt” the blast Tuesday morning, she had no idea a Boeing 757 had crashed less than a mile from her rural Somerset County home, killing all 45 people aboard. […]

The windows of her home were latched shut, but the explosion blasted them open. When the elderly couple looked outside, they saw smoke billowing from the abandoned strip mine behind their house where United Airlines Flight 93 had crashed, carving a crater in the earth.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

Jim Stop of Somerset was fishing at the Indian Lake marina, about three miles from the crash site, when he looked up and saw the plane overhead.

“I heard the engine whine and scream,” Stop said.

He then heard an explosion and saw a fireball.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

The impact “sounded like dynamite,” said Lucy Menear, 83, who lives less than a half-mile from the crash site. “It seems as though everything was falling apart.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

Windows shattered and shaking – impact of blast

Bob Blair of Stoystown was driving a coal truck on state Route 30 when he saw the jet plummet “straight down.” Barn windowpanes for half a mile around shattered as the jet dived into a reclaimed strip mine and exploded at 10:10 a.m.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/09/17/MN40630.DTL

“The vibration and the sound (of the crash) shook the whole house,” Nevin said. “The front door was blown open and the glass broke. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t see anything except for the fireball coming up over the trees and all that black smoke comin’ my way. That really scared me. For a minute or two, it even blocked out the sun. Clumps of dirt came flying down on the house.”

After it stopped raining dirt and smoke and fiery debris, he later found a couple of pieces of metal from the aircraft in his yard.

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/09-02/09-11-02/a01lo008.htm

King, the assistant fire chief of the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department, felt the ground shake beneath his feet.

In Kashurba’s account, the ceiling tiles bounced, then settled again in the fourth grade classroom of Shanksville-Stonycreek School.

In another class, students were ordered to hide under their desks as the room shook from the shockwave.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

The plane crashed into a wooded area. Many witnesses said that their homes were shaking violently as the plane flew low overhead.

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/956356/detail.html

Another witness, Michael Merringer, said he was out on a mountain bike ride with his wife, Amy, about two miles from the crash site.

“(I) heard the engine gun two different times,” he said. “(I) heard a loud bang and the windows of the houses all around rattled.”

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/956356/detail.html

It shook the whole station,” said Bruce Grine, owner of Grine’s Service Center in Shanksville, about 2 miles from the crash. “Everybody ran outside, and by that time the fire whistle was blowing.”

http://www.boston.com/news/daily/11/pittsburgh_crash.htm

Kate Moses, a former Pittsburgh woman whose retirement home is located near the Indian Lake golf course far from the lake, said she felt the impact from the crash and went to look outside.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

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

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912somerscenenat4p3.asp

Paula Pluta of Stonycreek Township was watching a television rerun of “Little House on the Prairie” when the plane went down about 1,500 yards from her home along Lambertsville Road at Little Prairie Lane.

“I looked out the window and saw the plane nose-dive right into the ground,” she said, barefoot and shaken just 45 minutes after the crash.

The explosion buckled her garage doors and blasted open a latched window on her home, she said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12940.html

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

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912somerscenenat4p3.asp

Bob Blair of Stoystown was driving a coal truck on state Route 30 when he saw the jet plummet “straight down.” Barn windowpanes for half a mile around shattered as the jet dived into a reclaimed strip mine and exploded at 10:10 a. m.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/09/17/MN40630.DTL

Gay Wilt, 63, said the impact shattered a basement window and sent things flying around her living room. She and her husband had been watching television coverage of the crashes in New York and near Washington.

”I was doing my hair in the bathroom, and I ran up and started screaming,” she said of her reaction upon catching sight of the plume of black smoke.

http://www.boston.com/news/packages/underattack/globe_stories/0912/Frantic_911_call_preceded_crash_outside_Pittsburgh+.shtml

“When it decided to drop, it dropped all of a sudden — like a stone,” said Tom Fritz, 63. Fritz was sitting on his porch along 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. […]

“The first thing I thought it was, was a missile,” Wilt said. The impact shattered a window in his basement and knocked down household objects from a shelf.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A14327-2001Sep11

Rosemary Tipton, principal of Shanksville-Stonycreek Elementary School, was in her office when the building shook. From her window, she could see smoke rising from the ridge.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

Muro lives only minutes away from the crash site, which today is just a mound of dirt with small American flags on it.

“It shook my house,” she said. “It was such a strange noise.”

Muro lives only minutes away from the crash site, which today is just a mound of dirt with small American flags on it.

“It shook my house,” she said. “It was such a strange noise.”

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2002/09/09-12-02tdc/09-12-02dnews-14.asp

Plane broke up before it crashed – rained debris 2.5 miles from crash site

Meanwhile, investigators also are combing a second crime scene in nearby Indian Lake (2.5 miles from main crash site), where residents reported hearing the doomed jetliner flying over at a low altitude before “falling apart on their homes.”

“People were calling in and reporting pieces of plane falling,” a state trooper said. Jim Stop reported he had seen the hijacked Boeing 757 fly over him as he was fishing. He said he could see parts falling from the plane.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/analysis/flight93/index.html#crashtime

Plane distintegrated

“Once it hit, everything just disintegrated,” he said. “There are just shreds of metal. The longest piece I saw was 2 feet long.”

http://www.mypittsburghlive.com/mypittsburghlive/scripts/editorial.dll?render=y&eetype=Article&eeid=5245814

“It was the most eerie thing,” Miller recalled. “Usually, when you see a plane crash on TV, you see the fuselage, the tail or a piece of something. The biggest piece I saw was as big as this (spreading his hands less than a metre apart). It was as though someone took a tri-axle dump truck and spread it over an acre.”

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

Fleegle, marina owner Jim Brant and two of Brant’s employees were among the dozens who witnessed the crash from Indian Lake. […]

Fleegle said he climbed on the roof of an abandoned cabin and tossed down a burning seat cushion that had landed there.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

My comment: The marina was two miles away from the crash site. I doubt wind blew that seat cushion there. This is proof that debris fell from a height, while the plane was in the air.

Residents and workers at businesses outside Shanksville, Somerset County, reported discovering clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains. Some residents said they collected bags-full of items to be turned over to investigators. Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake, nearly six miles from the immediate crash scene.

Workers at Indian Lake Marina said that they saw a cloud of confetti-like debris descend on the lake and nearby farms minutes after hearing the explosion that signaled the crash at 10:06 a.m. Tuesday.

http://post-gazette.com/headlines/20010913somersetp3.asp

Some of the plane’s cargo was found intact ­ 200 kilograms of mail in the hold, a Bible, its cover scorched but its pages undamaged and later, as the excavation began, the passport of one of the four hijackers.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

Delasko, who ran outside moments later, said she thought someone had blown up a boat on the lake. “It just looked like confetti raining down all over the air above the lake,” she said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

Speculation by World Net Daily

Its cargo area and passenger area had been opened by an explosion. News reports describe a large number of cancelled checks, stock broker documents, pieces of seats, small chunks of melted plastic and small human parts.

Also adding to the evidence is the fact that a 1,000-pound section of an engine fan was found 6,000 feet from the crash site. So, an external explosive event occurred that separated 1,000 pounds of engine, opened up a hole in the passenger cabin and cargo hold. The power of the explosion – or, more likely, the disintegration of the engine – sucked things out of the fuselage, through the jet engine – shredding seats, passengers and cargo.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38207

Plane was rocking, went bellyup and then made a dive headfirst

The fate of United Airlines Flight 93, the last of the four hijacked planes to go down in the United States on 11 September, holds no mystery for Lee Purbaugh. He saw what happened with his own eyes. He was the only person present in the field where, at 10.06am, the aircraft hit the ground.

“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. “It was only a split second but it looked like it was moving in slow motion, like it took forever. I saw it rock from side to side then, suddenly, it dipped and dived, nose first, with a huge explosion, into the ground. I knew immediately that no one could possibly have survived.”

http://web.archive.org/web/20021028201123/http:/news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=323958

“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.”

http://www.pittsburgh.com/partners/wpxi/news/flightheroes.html

“I saw the plane flying upside down overhead and crash into the nearby trees.”

http://www.dailyamerican.com/disaster.html#3

“You could see more of the roof of the plane than you could the belly. It was on its side.”

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/news/100028703529429109.xml

The plane then made a sharp, 90-degree downward turn and crashed.

http://newsandviews.tripod.com/news/091101tv2.html

Some witnesses reported that the plane was flying upside down for a time before the crash. […]

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

Eyewitness accounts from this site:

http://www.flight93crash.com/flight93_eyewitness.html

The aircraft wobbled as it fell from the sky, he said. The wings turned about 45 degrees just before the fuselage gouged a deep crater into the earth of an abandoned strip mine, obliterating the Boeing 757 and snuffing the lives of everyone on board.
It was 10:06 a.m.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90399.html

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.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

Shortly before it went down, another call was made to the Westmoreland County 911 center from a Mount Pleasant Township resident who said he could see a large plane flying low and banking from side to side.

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.

Officials said that they believed that the plane took a dip and nose-dived into an abandoned strip mine.
http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/956356/detail.html

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/09/17/MN40630.DTL

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

“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”

http://www.sptimes.com/News/091201/Worldandnation/A_blur_in_the_sky__th.shtml

When Flight 93 came down, the eyewitnesses seem to agree on a few basic facts – that the Boeing 757 was headed south or southeast very fast, that it was flying erratically or banking from side to side, that its right wing dipped steeply down and that the jetliner came down at close to a 90-degree angle. A number of people quoted right after the crash said there were strange noises, that the engine seemed to race but then went eerily silent as the plane plummeted.

http://web.archive.org/web/20011119065106/http:/dailynews.philly.com/content/daily_news/2001/11/18/local/SHOT15C.htm

“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.”

http://web.archive.org/web/20010925204335/http:/www.pittsburgh.com/partners/wpxi/news/flightheroes.html

Engine suddenly cut off

“We looked up and there was this big jet going overhead and it was pretty low and we could not hear the engines. It was like they were off. And then about a minute or two later, we got some binoculars and we were looking through them and there was all this smoke in the air and we knew it crashed.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

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.”

http://www.cleveland.com/terrorism/index.ssf?/terrorism/more/100028703529429109.html

Ed Felt’s call and reports of an explosion

“We got the call about 9:58 this morning from a male passenger stating that he was locked in the bathroom of United Flight 93 traveling from Newark to San Francisco, and they were being hijacked,” said Glenn Cramer, a 911 supervisor.

“We confirmed that with him several times and we asked him to repeat what he said. He was very distraught. He said he believed the plane was going down. He did hear some sort of an explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane, but he didn’t know where.

“And then we lost contact with him.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

My comment:

Ed Felt’s report of an explosion is unlikely to be the same as the bomb that appears to have broken up the plane.

The reasons:

1) The receiver who took Felt’s call should have been able to hear the boom of a plane bomb themselves as many people on the ground were able to hear it. So the explosion Felt reported was not the bomb that broke up the plane.

2) The CVR recorded some sounds for 3 minutes after the voices stopped. If a bomb had cut off Felt’s call, there wouldn’t have been these sounds recorded: wind sounds, and mechanical sounds and a couple of screams.

3) If the explosion that broke up the plane happened while Ed Felt was on the phone, he would not have been able to report on it, he would have been dead. Any explosion that breaks up a plane must be massive, not a small one that is observable from the bathroom, there wouldn’t have been enough time between detonation and death or serious blast injury for someone to take the time to describe it.

4) An alternative explanation for the cause of the ‘explosion’ and ‘white smoke’ exists that is more consistent with other events such as the recorded evidence on the CVR. This is the white mist and the loud pop and hiss as the aerosol that would knock out the passengers was released into the confines of the cabin. As there had to be enough aerosol spread around to fill the cabin and knock out everybody, the aerosol had to be under pressure so that it would spray a relatively large radius. An aerosol under pressure makes an explosion type of sound especially when it is an aerosol disperser large enough to knock out a planeful of people. White mist can easily be mistaken for white smoke.

Even newspaper calls it a ‘mushroom cloud’

http://www.cnhi.com/cnhinsstories/cnhinsall_story_251131209.html

Her surreal photograph of a mushroom cloud of gray smoke rising above the bucolic countryside – snapped just moments after the crash of Flight 93 – has become a target for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

http://www.cnhins.com/disasters/cnhisnsdisasters_story_251131209.html

Val’s story: flash, boom, and electricity cut off

On Sept. 11, 2001, McClatchey said she was watching the “Today” show when reports broke of planes hitting into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

As she was trying to call her husband from an area with spotty cellphone coverage, she said she heard the sudden surge of a jet plane and saw a silver flash outside.

“All of a sudden, boom!” McClatchey said. “The house shook, my electricity went out. I was sitting on the edge of the sofa at the time, and it knocked me off balance. You could tell something happened outside.”

http://www.cnhins.com/disasters/cnhisnsdisasters_story_251131209.html

Val McClatchey heard the 757 roar over Indian Lake, three miles east of where it would crash. She had been watching the “Today” show, with footage from New York, and now the Pentagon.

She looked out the window, above the red barns. She caught a glimpse of it, like light off a watch face. Then nothing, and then a boom that nearly knocked her off the couch.

The lights went out. The phones, too.

She grabbed her camera. She stepped onto the front porch and shot one frame of the smoke cloud, a charcoal puff in a pure blue sky.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90823.html

Explosion large enough to knock out electricity in area

My comment: It sounds similar to what happened at the WTC where there was a power knockout after the towers exploded.

The crash knocked out power to his [Lambert’s] house for the rest of the day and left him without telephone service for six weeks.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90399.html

“All of a sudden, boom!” McClatchey said. “The house shook, my electricity went out.

http://www.cnhins.com/disasters/cnhisnsdisasters_story_251131209.html

“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.

http://www.flight93crash.com/MyPittsburghLIVE.htm

The crash knocked out power to his house for the rest of the day and left him without telephone service for six weeks.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90399.html

Barry Lichty, the mayor of Indian Lake Borough, said the ground shook and the town’s electricity went out. He called the utility company to find out the cause.

Later, Lichty learned that a plane crash had disrupted service to the borough.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

Small size of debris, “no plane”

Some scrap yard workers had run up, hoping to help. Some coal truck drivers had stopped. And now the firefighters were coming, their radios crackling, calling out four more companies.

They couldn’t find the plane.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90823.html

Fox stepped over a seat back. He saw a wiring harness, and a piston. None of the other pieces was bigger than a TV remote.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90823.html

http://html.thepittsburghchannel.com/sh/slideshow/_auto/sh1364s1.html

[The country coroner] couldn’t believe the scene. He saw the burnt trees, and some debris smoking in the dirt. He saw half a window frame. He saw shreds of that white cloth they put over the headrests.

He saw things in the trees.

He takes off his glasses, cleans them with his T-shirt. “This is the most eerie thing,” he says. “I have not, to this day, seen a single drop of blood. Not a drop.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90823.html

Delasko, who ran outside moments later, said she thought someone had blown up a boat on the lake. “It just looked like confetti raining down all over the air above the lake,” she said.

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

In the woods, they saw only a crater and tiny pieces of debris.

http://www.flight93crash.com/MyPittsburghLIVE.htm

Walking in his gumboots, the only recognisable body part he saw was a piece of spinal cord, with five vertebrae attached.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

As coroner for the previous four years, and a funeral director all his working life, Miller was familiar with scenes of sudden and violent death, although none quite like this. […]

“I’ve seen a lot of highway fatalities where there’s fragmentation,” Miller said. “The interesting thing about this particular case is that I haven’t, to this day, 11 months later, seen any single drop of blood. Not a drop. The only thing I can deduce is that the crash was over in half a second. There was a fireball 15-20 metres high, so all of that material just got vaporised.”

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

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.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

“It was the most eerie thing,” Miller recalled. “Usually, when you see a plane crash on TV, you see the fuselage, the tail or a piece of something. The biggest piece I saw was as big as this (spreading his hands less than a metre apart). It was as though someone took a tri-axle dump truck and spread it over an acre.”

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

http://html.thepittsburghchannel.com/sh/slideshow/_auto/sh1364s1.html

“We went through here on our hands and knees hundreds of times,” he said. “You could drive yourself crazy, picking this stuff up. But, by God, I tried. I did my best.” Last November he was in the car park of his funeral home, talking to a client. “I found myself looking down in the parking lot, scanning for stuff.”

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

Szupinka said most of the remaining debris, scattered over a perimeter that stretches for several miles, are in pieces no bigger than a “briefcase.”

“If you were to go down there, you wouldn’t know that was a plane crash,” he continued. “You would look around and say, ‘I wonder what happened here?’ The first impression looking around you wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, looks like a plane crash. The debris is very, very small.

“The best I can describe it is if you’ve ever been to a commercial landfill. When it’s covered and you have papers flying around. You have papers blowing around and bits and pieces of shredded metal. That’s probably about the best way to describe that scene itself.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12969.html

After identifying myself to the trooper I commented about the size of the debris field. He told that there was no debris field that the largest piece of the plane was “nothing larger than a phone book”. Nothing left. […]

The pictures from Shanksville were not dramatic or exciting, couldn’t hold a light to the World Trade Center photos. [..] The trooper was right, “nothing larger than a phone book”. […]

Yellow tape marked a stopping point on the hillside. Nothing in view said “plane crash”. It was just a field, with people in yellow and white suits, and lots of little flags. A plume of smoke starts to rise in the woods, and outlines some trees that were charred in the fiery crash. A piece of metal hangs in a tree. “Nothing larger than a phone book”. To the top of the hill, not far enough. “Stop! Now!”, I’m told.

The crater starts to take shape higher on the hill. The crater with crash debris as far as eighty feet deep in the landfill. A ridge blocked most of the crater from view as the people in suits walked aimlessly around the site pausing to look at items on the ground. A few trailers from the various investigative agencies lined an access road on the edge of the landfill. No survivors, just debris and a large crater. No engines. No fuselage. “Nothing larger than a phone book”.

http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11/collection/supporting.asp?ID=44

http://html.thepittsburghchannel.com/sh/slideshow/_auto/sh1364s1.html

Fox stepped over a seat back. He saw a wiring harness, and a piston. None of the other pieces was bigger than a TV remote.

He saw three chunks of torn human tissue. He swallowed hard.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90823.html

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

In the woods, they saw only a crater and tiny pieces of debris.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

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.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912somerscenenat4p3.asp

“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.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912somerscenenat4p3.asp

“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.”

http://html.thepittsburghchannel.com/sh/slideshow/_auto/sh1364s1.html

The apparent point of impact was a dark gash, not more than 30 feet wide, at the base of a gentle slope just before a line of trees.

There were few recognizable remnants of the plane or the passengers and crew. The trees beyond were still faintly smoldering but largely intact.

“If you would go down there, it would look like a trash heap,” said state police Capt. Frank Monaco. “There’s nothing but tiny pieces of debris. It’s just littered with small pieces.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912somerscenenat4p3.asp

http://killtown.911review.org/flight93/gallery.html

“The plane, too, was decimated. The largest pieces were the size of suitcases, the smallest the size of dimes.

“It just looked like somebody just dropped a bunch of metal out of the sky,” Miller said.”

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/jenny/1566363.html

The largest piece of wreckage he could identify looked like a section of the plane’s tail, he said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12940.html

State agencies [..] cordoned off the area within a 4-mile radius of the crash and began the painstaking task of collecting evidence.

“We’re finding more debris in various locations,” Spallone said.

“Over 100 state troopers secured the area. Our job is not to let anybody in here until the federal accident reconstruction teams from the FBI and (Federal Aviation Administration) can get in here and examine the shreds of evidence left,” said Capt. Frank Monaco, commander of Troop A.

“All that is left is small pieces of the airplane.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12940.html

http://html.thepittsburghchannel.com/sh/slideshow/_auto/sh1364s1.html

Lensbouer told AFP that she did not see any evidence of a plane then or at any time during the excavation at the site, an effort that reportedly recovered 95 percent of the plane and 10 percent of the human remains.

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/9-11_mysteries.html

The Boeing 757 passenger plane hit the ground in a large open field, creating a crater nearly 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep before slamming into the forest line. It left a charred image burnt into the tall grass, but nothing recognizable as an airplane. Captain Frank Monaco, commanding officer of the Pennsylvania State Police, said nothing larger than a telephone book remained.

http://www.boston.com/news/packages/underattack/globe_stories/0912/Frantic_911_call_preceded_crash_outside_Pittsburgh+.shtml

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.

http://web.archive.org/web/20011119065106/http:/dailynews.philly.com/content/daily_news/2001/11/18/local/SHOT15C.htm

Delano said the plane hit a wooded area near a strip mine where he frequently hunts. He was stunned by what he saw.

“If they hadn’t told us a plane had wrecked, you wouldn’t have known. It looked like it hit and disintegrated,” Delano said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12942.html

County Coroner Wallace Miller remembers hearing melting plastic drip from the trees, and days and weeks later, comforting the families of doomed Flight 93.

When he got to the scene, about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, there was little evidence that what crashed had been a plane.

“I can just remember seeing very small bits of debris everywhere. There really wasn’t any large sections of debris or aircraft,” he says.

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/103-09102005-539399.html

(phillyburbs.com 09/10/05)

Melted metallic nuggets

Before Miller can even unfold his lanky 6-foot-4 body from the vehicle, a deputy sheriff thrusts at him a plastic baggie containing a handful of jagged metallic nuggets, mangled and melted into irregular shapes, little bigger than children’s marbles.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A56110-2002May8&notFound=true

Paula Pluta of Stonycreek Township was watching a television rerun of “Little House on the Prairie” when the plane went down about 1,500 yards from her home along Lambertsville Road at Little Prairie Lane. […]

“There was no way anything was left,” Pluta added. “There was just charred pieces of metal and a big hole. The plane didn’t slide into the crash. It went straight into the ground. Wings out. Nose down.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12940.html

The plane was also pulverised, reduced to tiny fragments of metal.

http://web.archive.org/web/20021028201123/http:/news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=323958

No substance to rumor that FL93 was shot down

As he has done repeatedly, Murtha insisted that the plane crashed during the struggle and was not sacrificed by a military order to bring it down.

“I checked out those rumors closely. There’s no chance of it having been shot down.”

But, if necessary, it would have been, he said.

If Flight 93 had come anywhere near Washington, D.C., anywhere near the White House and Capitol, a fighter jet would have brought it down, Murtha said.

“These pilots understand they’d be shooting civilians, but it would save a lot of other people. It’s serious business when you start shooting down civilian planes. I get nervous about it, but…their orders are that if it looks like the plane is going into a building, shoot it down,” he said.

In his book, “Among the Heroes,” New York Times correspondent Jere Longman quoted two Air National Guard F-16 fighter pilots thus far identified publicly only by their call names of “Captain Honey” and “Major Lou.”

They said they’d never been dispatched specifically to shoot down the wayward aircraft in Pennsylvania.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_90399.html

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) issued a statement denying that United Flight 93 had been shot down by U.S. military aircraft.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

Rep. John Murtha, D-Johnstown, noted and discounted the same speculation here Tuesday, saying that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield had assured him that the government had not shot down the hijacked plane to prevent it from hitting a potential target.

http://post-gazette.com/headlines/20010913somersetp3.asp

Crowley discounted rumors that the military shot down the jetliner in a sparsely populated area to keep it away from the White House and other possible targets in Washington, D.C.

“There was no military involvement,” Crowley said.

NORAD issued its own denial yesterday afternoon, “confirm(ing) that the United Airlines jetliner that crashed outside Somerset … was not downed by a U.S. military aircraft.”

“NORAD-allocated forces have not engaged with weapons any aircraft, including Flight 93,” the statement said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12969.html

Air Force Gen. Richard Myers emphatically denied that Flight 93 was shot down.

“The armed forces did not shoot down any aircraft,” he said. “When it became clear what the threat was, we did scramble fighter aircraft, AWACS radar aircraft and tanker aircraft to begin to establish orbits in case other aircraft showed up in the FAA system that were hijacked, but we never actually had to use force.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12969.html

Wide scattering of debris

United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757-200 en route from New Jersey to San Francisco, fell from the sky near Shanksville at 10:06 a.m., about two hours after it took off, leaving a trail of debris five miles long.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

“Eight miles away in New Baltimore, Melanie Hankinson said she found singed papers and other light debris from the crash, including pages from Hemispheres Magazine, United’s in-flight magazine.

http://www.wpxi.com/news/blackbox.html

The village of New Baltimore is a dozen or more miles by automobile but eight as the wind blows, which it was doing a year ago. Melanie Hankinson was at the church next to her home. [..]

For the next few hours, Hankinson gathered charred pages of in-flight magazines, papers from a pilot’s manual — she remembers a map showing the Guadalajara, Mexico, airport — and copies of stock portfolio monthly earnings reports.

http://www.wpxi.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-aptv-113448120011220-121246.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/columnists/20020911roddy0911p5.asp

A southeasterly wind and a 3-year-old’s keen eye brought the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 home to a family in tiny New Baltimore borough, more than eight miles from the Somerset County crash site.

Three-year-old Hunter Stoe was helping his father, Andy, with the trash Wednesday night when he spied a slip of paper on the grass near the trash can.

When Andy Stoe glanced at the paper, ready to toss it in the trash, he saw it was a charred payroll check made out to Antonio B. Costa of San Jose, Calif.

Investigators now concede the canceled check and a portion of a charred brokerage statement Stoe found nearby on Thursday afternoon are from the crash. [New Baltimore where the check was found is eight miles from the crash site.]

http://www.flight93crash.com/MyPittsburghLIVE.htm

[T]hey widened their search area today following the discoveries of more debris, including what appeared to be human remains, miles from the point of impact at a reclaimed coal mine.

Residents and workers at businesses outside Shanksville, Somerset County, reported discovering clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains. Some residents said they collected bags-full of items to be turned over to investigators. Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake, nearly six miles from the immediate crash scene.

Workers at Indian Lake Marina said that they saw a cloud of confetti-like debris descend on the lake and nearby farms minutes after hearing the explosion that signaled the crash at 10:06 a.m. Tuesday.

http://post-gazette.com/headlines/20010913somersetp3.asp

“I found a lot of parts,” said Marshall, who was awarded a 2000 Law Enforcement Agency Directors award for identifying a man nearly four years after he was found murdered.

“The biggest part I found was one of the plane’s engines. It was about 600 yards from the crash site itself. I think they took it out with a winch on a bulldozer.”

http://web.archive.org/web/20020607193748/http:/www.sharon-herald.com/localnews/recentnews/0110/ln100801c.html

A section of the engine, weighing almost a tonne, was found on the bed of a catchment pond, 200 metres downhill.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

Debris washed up more than two miles away at Indian Lake, and a canceled check and brokerage statement from the plane were found in a valley 8 miles away.

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/09-02/09-11-02/a01lo008.htm

Jeff Killeen, an FBI spokesman from Pittsburgh, said the main thrust of the agency’s investigation will begin today when authorities divide the crash scene into grids and comb the area for evidence.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

For the next few hours, Hankinson gathered charred pages of in-flight magazines, papers from a pilot’s manual — she remembers a map showing the Guadalajara, Mexico, airport — and copies of stock portfolio monthly earnings reports.

“And there was some black webbing — a lot of people found that,” she said. The webbing, flexible where it hadn’t burned, crisp where it had, was from insulation lining the belly of the jetliner.

http://www.post-gazette.com/columnists/20020911roddy0911p5.asp

http://www.wpxi.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-aptv-113448120011220-121246.html

[T]he event started with a blessing from the Rev. Larry Hoover, a Lutheran pastor in Somerset County who also runs a family lumberyard. The choice of Hoover had great local significance. He and his wife, Linda, own eight wooded acres with a secluded cabin that was their weekend retreat and their planned retirement home, along with a sturdy old stone cottage occupied by their 34-year-old son, Barry. But the shock wave from Flight 93, a few hundred yards away, spewed debris through the woods with such force that it blew out all the windows and doors and shook the foundation on Barry’s place. It turned the whole Hoover property into a cemetery where human remains were still being found months later.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A56110-2002May8&notFound=true

[T]he FBI and the state police here have confirmed that have they cordoned off a second area about six to eight miles away from the crater here where plane went down. This is apparently another debris site, which raises a number of questions. Why would debris from the plane — and they identified it specifically as being from this plane — why would debris be located 6 miles away. Could it have blown that far away. It seems highly unlikely. […]

[W]hat we do know is that there’s a site about half mile behind me, where the plane went down, where most of the debris is, and then about six miles away up by a lake, there is another area that’s been cordoned off, and state police and the FBI have said definitely there is debris from the plane located there. […]

We don’t want to speculate about this large debris field. But it seems to me from covering a number of plane crashes on the scene, that if nothing else, this is not typical for a plane crash to be spread across an area this large. […]

It’s certainly doesn’t make sense, because most of the debris has been found in a very compact area, within 100 yards, 200 yards, maybe a little bit beyond that. Then all of a sudden they’re telling us six miles away, they have another concentration of debris, very small pieces. Most peoples here no bigger than the size of briefcase. The debris six miles away may be smaller. […]

They’ve also found some other debris scattered around this area. They say in fact some individuals have been collecting it. Again, we’re talking about very, very tiny parts. The biggest part they found at this site is an engine, an engine part, and most of the other pieces are probably no bigger than this particular notebook.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/13/bn.01.html

India Lake also contributes to the view there was an explosion on board before the Newark-San Francisco flight came down. Debris rained down on the lake – a curious feat if, as the US government insists, there was no mid-air explosion and the plane was intact until it hit the ground.

“It was mainly mail, bits of in-flight magazine and scraps of seat cloth,” Tom said. “The authorities say it was blown here by the wind.” But there was only a 10mph breeze and you were a mile and a half away? Tom raised his eyebrows, rolled his eyes and said: “Yeah, that’s what they reckon.”

http://html.thepittsburghchannel.com/sh/slideshow/_auto/sh1364s18.html

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. […] The authorities say the impact bounced it there. But the few pieces of surviving fuselage, local coroner Wallace Miller told us, were “no bigger than a carrier bag”.

http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/evidence/mirror_whatdidhappen.html

Considerable debris washed up more than two miles away at Indian Lake, and a canceled check and brokerage statement from the plane was found in a deep valley some eight miles away that week.

http://web.archive.org/web/20011119065106/http:/dailynews.philly.com/content/daily_news/2001/11/18/local/SHOT15C.htm

The wide displacement of the plane’s debris, one explanation for which might be an explosion of some sort aboard prior to the crash. 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. A sector of one engine weighing one ton was found 2,000 yards away. This was the single heaviest piece recovered from the crash, and the biggest, apart from a piece of fuselage the size of a dining-room table. The rest of the plane, consistent with an impact calculated to have occurred at 500mph, disintegrated into pieces no bigger than two inches long. Other remains of the plane were found two miles away near a town called Indian Lake. All of these facts, widely disseminated, were confirmed by the coroner Wally Miller.

http://web.archive.org/web/20021028201123/http:/news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=323958

Miller recalled his arrival at the crash site about 20 minutes after the plane plummeted to the earth and described how the aircraft came down at a 45-degree angle. He explained how the cockpit broke off at impact, bouncing into a wooded area of about 60 acres. The resulting fireball scorched about eight acres of trees, he said.

The remainder of the plane burrowed deep into the ground, creating a long, narrow crater.

“When we got out there, we knew there weren’t going to be any survivors. Debris was strewn about everywhere, with nothing bigger than a large coffee can,” Miller said. [..]

“The only thing that really shocked me was the amount of devastation and how small the fragmentation was.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_73907.html

The data recorder was discovered buried within the wedge-shaped crater that marks the impact of the plane. While discovering that crucial artifact at the exact center of the crime scene, investigators were at the same time casting their net over a broader area in response to discoveries of more debris — including what appeared to some residents to be human remains — miles from the site of the explosive crash.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010914scene0914p2.asp

Also yesterday, state police Maj. Lyle Szupinka confirmed that bits of debris from the plane had turned up in relatively far-flung spots, including the residential area around Indian Lake, approximately two miles from the crash site, and in New Baltimore, more than six miles away. Investigators appealed to any residents who had come across debris in the surrounding countryside or even in their yards to contact them, emphasizing that even the smallest remnants could prove to be important clues.

Residents and workers at businesses outside Shanksville said they found clothing, books, papers and what appeared to be human remains. Some said they collected bags of items to be turned over to investigators.

Others reported what appeared to be crash debris floating in Indian Lake.

Workers at Indian Lake Marina said that they saw a cloud of confetti-like debris descend on the lake and nearby farms minutes after hearing the explosion that signaled the crash.

Those discoveries, which ranged from a five-inch bone fragment to an endorsed paycheck as much as eight miles downwind of the crash site, sent investigators on a hunt across a countryside that is mostly farms and woodlands. Bits of debris probably blew even farther, Szupinka said.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010914scene0914p2.asp

Carol Delasko, who works at the marina, said she saw a light cloud that stretched several hundred feet across rising about 200 feet into the air moments after the crash.

“It was white,” said Theresa Weyant, borough secretary for the nearby resort community of Indian Lake, “so you looked up and it and you saw shiny stuff floating in the sky … sparkly, shiny stuff, like confetti.”

When it got to Terry Lowery’s 65-acre farm, about three-quarters of a mile away, “it just looked like it was raining down,” Lowery said.

“Paper, insulation and mail — I picked a bunch up,” he said.

Yesterday, a state police helicopter circled overhead as much as five miles downwind of the crash site. Its mission: to find debris — mostly paper, postage stamp-size pieces of rubberized material and strands of charred insulation.

On Wednesday morning, marina Service Manager John Fleegle found what he figured was a bone, washed up on one of the marina’s concrete boat launches.

“It was maybe five inches long. It put me in mind of maybe a rib bone,” Fleegle said. “I called the state police. They contacted the FBI, and they picked it up.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010914scene0914p2.asp

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/item.jsp?item=a091301flight

Abundance of paper – paper and powder theory?

Six miles to the southeast, at New Baltimore, a town of 630 people, Andy Stoe was in his yard Wednesday night when he found two scraps of paper — one an endorsed check for $698, made out to a San Jose, Calif. man who was not on the passenger list. The other paper was a financial statement, singed around the edges.

In Indian Lake, another crumpled financial statement lay amid thumbnail-size pieces of fabric and charred plastic, scattered across backyards.

On the Lowery farm, it rained financial statements — enough that Lowery and wife Gerry had a handful in the three one-gallon plastic bags of debris they turned over to investigators.

“They said they found unopened mail,” Gerry Lowery said of the mix of state police and FBI searchers who walked almost shoulder-to-shoulder through their fields all day Wednesday and yesterday. “They found a picture, a snapshot of a baby. That just caused goose bumps for me.”

Szupinka said that lighter, smaller debris probably shot into the air on the heat of a fireball that witnesses said shot several hundred feet into the air after the jetliner crashed. Then, it probably rode a wind that was blowing southeast at about 9 mph, Crowley said.

“According to the NTSB, not only is that possible … it is probable that this stuff is debris from this crash,” he said. He and Szupinka said additional debris may be submerged in the lake, as well as in a drainage pond near the crash crater, and may have to be retrieved later by divers.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010914scene0914p2.asp

http://www.wpxi.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-aptv-113448120011220-121246.html

New Baltimore

Authorities downplaying the scatter and say it’s due to wind

Three-year-old Hunter Stoe was helping his father, Andy, with the trash Wednesday night when he spied a slip of paper on the grass near the trash can.

When Andy Stoe glanced at the paper, ready to toss it in the trash, he saw it was a charred payroll check made out to Antonio B. Costa of San Jose, Calif.

[Comment: reluctant to admit that it is plane debris at first]

Investigators now concede the canceled check and a portion of a charred brokerage statement Stoe found nearby on Thursday afternoon are from the crash. […]

Stoe said authorities initially insisted crash debris could not have traveled over a mountain ridge more than eight miles from the crash.

Late yesterday afternoon, however, FBI Special Agent Bill Crowley said experts from the National Transportation Safety Board had checked weather reports and determined that lightweight materials might well have traveled over the mountain by a southwest wind that reached a speed of 9 knots.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

Comment: And yet they believe that it’s possible for the debris to be in this farmer’s field two miles away and ask permission to search it.

About two miles from the crash site, Ron Trent, a 63-year-old third-generation farmer, never imagined anything like it could happen so close to his home. He was stunned when agents asked him to postpone cutting his hay until they can search the field.

Looking over his farm’s rolling hills, Trent shoved his cap back on his head and scratched his chin. […]

About two miles from the crash site, Ron Trent, a 63-year-old third-generation farmer, never imagined anything like it could happen so close to his home. He was stunned when agents asked him to postpone cutting his hay until they can search the field.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

Caption: Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, farmers (from left) William Flamm, Meno Yoder, an unidentified farmer and David Scott watch Thursday as a state police helicopter circles their farm fields looking for evidence from the crash of United Airlines Flight 93. Scott said the FBI agents had tagged corn stalks in fields where debris from the crash had been found. (S.C. Spangler/Tribune-Review photo)

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11/collection/record.asp?ID=94

Comment: the same pattern here, skepticism followed by a request to search and the discovery of a large number of debris pieces.

Investigators also descended on nearby Indian Lake. The resort community two miles from the crash also became part of the official search area after small pieces of crash debris were recovered from the 750-acre lake.

John Fleegle, an Indian Lake Marina employee, said FBI agents were skeptical of his reports about debris in the lake until they traveled to the lake shore Wednesday afternoon.

Fleegle, marina owner Jim Brant and two of Brant’s employees were among the dozens who witnessed the crash from Indian Lake. […]

Fleegle said he climbed on the roof of an abandoned cabin and tossed down a burning seat cushion that had landed there.

By Wednesday morning, crash debris began washing ashore at the marina. Fleegle said there was something that looked like a rib bone amid pieces of seats, small chunks of melted plastic and checks.

He said FBI agents who spent the afternoon patrolling the lake in rented boats eventually carted away a large garbage bag full of debris.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

Kate Moses, a former Pittsburgh woman whose retirement home is located near the Indian Lake golf course far from the lake, said she felt the impact from the crash and went to look outside. Later, her neighbor found a brokerage statement for a $2 million stock account had landed in her yard.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12967.html

Debris from the crash has been found up to 8 miles from the crash site, but searchers are concentrating on the crater where most of the remains are located. Papers and other light objects were carried aloft by the explosion after impact of the plane and they were transported by a nine-knot wind.

Crowley said investigators have found no evidence of a bomb.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010916otherjetnat5p5.asp

More than 200 workers from 13 counties were recruited for the effort.

This field was owned by a local coal-mining company but rented out to a farmer who used it to grow oats. Oat stubble was all that met the Boeing 757 when it bore into the ground at 500 miles per hour, leaving a burned-out crater 45 feet deep.

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=tizon04&date=20011004

The paper debris eight miles away, the FBI says, was wafted away by a 10mph wind; the jet-engine part flew 2,000 yards on account of the savage force of the plane’s impact with the ground. The FBI conclusion: “Nothing was found that was inconsistent with the plane going into the ground intact.” Aviation experts I have contacted are very doubtful about this. One expert expresses astonishment at the notion that the letters and other papers would have remained airborne for almost one hour before falling to earth.

http://web.archive.org/web/20021028201123/http:/news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=323958

Indian Lake

Val’s story checks out – was going to take a picture of a helicopter flyover

Turns out the tie that binds is a Camaro, and the only thing that threatens it is a little rain. A Friday picnic, a Saturday cruise and a Sunday car show unfolded in Mars last weekend, with the all-American Camaro at the center of it all and a romantic surprise shared only by the weather-defiant. […]

“I know a lot of people who, if there’s even a hint of rain, won’t consider coming out,” said Val McClatchey.

But Val was there. She sat near the Mars spaceship. The FBI has a photo of her sitting on the Mars spaceship.

More people know another of Val’s photos than know her name. On Sept. 11, 2001, she was in her Somerset County home, having recently helped a Camaro buddy looking to relocate in Johnstown. As a way of saying thanks, the friend promised to buzz her Indian Lake house in a helicopter.

She set her camera by the door, waiting for the sound of his flyover, but what she heard instead was the horrific roar of Flight 93 going down. The impact nearly knocked her over, but she got to the door in time to capture the black smoke billowing above a red barn seconds after the crash in Shanksville.

http://www.post-gazette.com/columnists/20030627ndaileyp1.asp

Debris like shrapnel

The first screams had been the sound of the tree trunks, riddled with metal from the exploded plane.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

When flight 93 hit the ground, the cockpit and first-class cabin broke off, scattered into millions of fragments that spread and flew like shrapnel into and through the trees 20 metres away.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

Bits of metal were thrown against a tree line like shrapnel, said state police spokesman Trooper Thomas Spallone of Troop A in Greensburg.

“Once it hit, everything just disintegrated,” he said. “There are just shreds of metal. The longest piece I saw was 2 feet long.”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_12940.html

All victims identified (minus the hijackers)

Officials have positively identified all 40 passengers and crew members who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County on Sept. 11.

Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said Wednesday that the last identification had been made. […]

The four hijackers will be identified as hijackers A, B, C and D sometime next month, Miller said. Because there are no comparative DNA samples available, they won’t be identified as specific persons. Their remains will stay in FBI custody should they prove important to the investigation.

http://www.wpxi.com/sh/news/stories/nat-news-aptv-113448120011220-121246.html

Shanksville crash site is under guard 24 hours and closed off to the public

For now, the site is off-limits to the public.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/09/09/1031115990570.html

Jeff Killeen, an FBI spokesman from Pittsburgh, said the main thrust of the agency’s investigation will begin today when authorities divide the crash scene into grids and comb the area for evidence.

Yesterday, the priority of the FBI and state troopers was to protect the scene.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

Comment: they don’t want members of the public to conduct forensic tests such as measurement of the radiation which may reveal some type of nuclear ordnance.

Comment: If the crime scene is so important to preserve, why send the metal from the WTC to be scrapped within days?

There were 20 FBI agents on hand yesterday, and another 30 were expected last night. The contingent of 100 state troopers was expected to swell to 150. They planned to spend last night spaced out along the crash perimeter within each other’s eyesight to ward off curiosity seekers and prevent anyone from tampering with evidence.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20010912crashnat2p2.asp

Comment: so many troopers just to guard the site.

Instead, he was now talking with Brenda Sell, who despaired of getting one broken automobile back before she had to drop off the one she was now driving. Her family business constructed the chain-link fence around the now-filled-in crater where Flight 93 crashed. Beyond that, any commerce connected to the effort troubled her.

http://www.post-gazette.com/columnists/20020911roddy0911p5.asp

The only road to the site was barricaded and guarded by police and state troopers. It’s considered a crime scene, and searchers were told not to talk publicly about what they were finding.

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=tizon04&date=20011004

Shanksville, population 300, is in the middle of former coal mining fields in the Appalachian Mountains plateau. Corn and hay fields now cover the formerly strip-mined hills. Hundreds of emergency personnel, including the Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, guarded the crash site in this remote region of Pennsylvania.

They ordered a human perimeter to be formed around the disaster site, stationing someone every 25 yards to block off a 3- to 5-mile-square area.

”This crash site is being looked at as a crime scene. Everything down there must be documented and photographed,” said Major Lyle Szupinka of the Pennsylvania Sate Police.”I’ll do whatever I have to do to keep people out of there.”

http://www.boston.com/news/packages/underattack/globe_stories/0912/Frantic_911_call_preceded_crash_outside_Pittsburgh+.shtml

Authorities have not released tape of Ed Felt’s call

FBI officials had a tape of that call in custody. They would not comment on its contents or the speculation of a struggle on board.

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/957912/detail.html

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