|9-11: The Flight of the Bumble Planes|
by Snake Plissken as told to Carol A. Valentine
March 10, 2002 — Eureka! One of my readers, who calls himself "Snake Plissken," has put it together. He tells us why the passenger lists of the four September 11 "suicide" jets were so small, how remote control was used, why the transponders were turned off, why the radar tracks of the four planes were confused, why there was no Boeing 757 debris at the Pentagon ...
By George, I think he's got it!
My e-mail exchanges with Snake took place over a series of days. With Snake's agreement, I have consolidated the exchanges, inserted some reference URLs, and made minor edits. My comments and additions will be bracketed thus [...]. As you read what Snake has to say, keep the following in mind:
"Magic is the pretended performance of those things which cannot be done. The success of a magician's simulation of doing the impossible depends upon misleading the minds of his audiences. This, in the main, is done by adding, to a performance, details of which the spectators are unaware, and leaving out others which they believe you have not left out. In short a performance of magic is largely a demonstration of the universal reliability of certain facts of psychology." (John Mulholland, The Art of Illusion, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1944.)
In what follows, Snake unravels the illusions of the 9-11 magicians.
You did some fine research on 9-11. You came within inches of solving the puzzle of the "suicide" jets, and now you need the rest of the story. Let me explain by making a suggestion.
Go visit a bumblebee hive some time, and try to keep your eye on just one bee. You can't do it. You get confused. Think of the 9-11 jets as bumblebees. Matter of fact, you could even call Operation 911 "Flight of the Bumble Planes."
I've worked in cryptology and there are many ways of hiding the truth. Substitute information, omit information, scramble the information out of sequence, and add nonsense (random garbage). All four methods were used on the 9-11 incident. Let me lay out the clues and show you where they lead.
- First Clue — Few Passengers On The Four Flights
remarked about the short passenger lists on the four 911 jets. You
might get a low turnout for a 767 or 757 now and then, but four
coast-to-coast flights taking off from the East inside of a few
minutes of each other, all with short passenger lists? Nuts. That's
your first clue.
- Second Clue — First Report of First WTC Crash
The second clue
comes from the first New York eyewitness on NBC. She had no question
about what she saw. You could hear it in her voice. If she was the
state's witness, the defense team would have their heads between
their knees before she stopped talking.
What did she say? She heard an airplane coming in low and looked up. She saw a small private jet, and watched it fly into the first WTC tower, the North tower. She was certain in her description — most people know the difference between a big round-nose commercial jet and a smaller plane.
In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on October 25, 2001, NORAD commander Ralph Eberhart said of the first September 11 report: "We were told it was a light commuter airplane. It didn't look like that was caused by a light commuter airplane."
Later, some dodgy report came in from an anonymous source in the "United Airlines Command Center" that American Airlines had a hijacking, and they gradually padded the story out until the viewer felt like he was part of an unfolding revelation on the size and make of the plane. So the first eyewitness's story got shellacked.
- Third clue — Pentagon Crash
The first report on NBC said there
had been an explosion near the Pentagon heliport. No mention of a
If you were watching ABC, the first reports cited eyewitnesses who said a business jet had crashed into the Pentagon. Notice that this description is similar to the first report about the WTC. A small plane, not a big, round-nosed passenger jet.
Then ABC interviewed some media executive who said he "saw the whole thing" from his car on the freeway. It was an American Airlines passenger jet. Good luck the road didn't need his attention while he was gawking. And of course it was a big passenger jet scraping the light poles with it's belly as it came in low. And that story paved the way for the official truth.
- Fourth Clue — No Boeing 757 Debris at Pentagon Crash Site.
By now lots of people have realized there is something very wrong with the
story of Flight 77's crash into the Pentagon. What's the problem?
The wingspan of a 757 is about 125 feet, with about 35 feet between
the two jet engines.
The hole left by whatever hit the building was 70 feet across.
[US News & World Report, December 10, 2001, pg. 31
After the smoke died down, everyone could see the Pentagon but no one could see the plane. The Pentagon is made of masonry — limestone — not steel and glass. The aluminum wings of the plane should have been ripped off and left outside the building. We should have seen wing wreckage. But there was none.
[I have studied TV footage taken contemporaneously by various networks and reviewed photos from news magazines published just after 9-11. After the smoke died down, no Boeing 757 debris was visible.
See the following URLs at the website of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, D.C., sent to me by researcher John DiNardo,
. By the way, Mr. DiNardo suspects that inside explosives were used at the Pentagon on 9-11. Certainly the damaged section of the building had just been renovated; explosives would have been easy to install.
The scenes depicted by the US Army photos are consistent with contemporaneously published photos in the popular press. See, for example, US News and World Report, September 14, 2001, pg. 40.
and the photo that appeared in Newsweek's 2001 "Extra" edition, pgs. 26, 27.
This photograph below, with caption, appeared on the US Army Military District of Washington site. It unwittingly demonstrates that there was no Boeing 757 wreckage. Think now: a hundred thousand pounds of seats, framework, skin plates, engine parts, flaps, wheels, luggage, interior panels, electronics, and this little out-of-context scrap of God-knows what was shown by the Pentagon.
In the last several months, largely as a result of Mr. DiNardo's work, there has been growing Internet discussion of the lack of Boeing 757 debris outside the Pentagon. Now, magically, new photos of "Boeing 757" Pentagon wreckage are beginning to appear. Check out the websites of Mike Rivero
and Joe Vialls for copies of these fakes. Rivero and Vialls, by endorsing them as real, have surely identified themselves as members of the fake opposition.
OK. Now back to Snake Plissken.]
- Fifth Clue — Quality of Pilots in Pentagon crash
As you point out
[Operation 911: NO SUICIDE PILOTS, http://www.Public-Action.com/911/robotplane.html]
the flying instructors who trained the "suicide" pilots of Flight 77 said they were hopeless. "It was like they had hardly even ever driven a car ..." The flight instructors called the two, "dumb and dumber," and told them to quit taking lessons.
Yet the Washington Post described the maneuvers of Flight 77 before it hit the Pentagon. The huge jet took a 270-degree hairpin turn to make its target. The Post said Flight 77 had to be flown by expert pilots.
Something is wrong here. Now "dumb and dumber" are expert pilots. That is your fifth clue.
- Sixth Clue — Transponders Turned Off
As you point out, the
"hijackers" turned off the transponders which transmit information
showing the airline names, flight numbers, and altitude. But the FAA
also uses conventional radar, so the "hijackers" must have known the
planes were still visible. Why would the "hijackers" shut the
transponders off, you asked? You are looking at your sixth clue.
["Did NORAD Send The 'Suicide' Jets?" Part 1
- Seventh Clue — Confusion On Radar Tracks
As you point out, some
of these flights disappeared from the conventional radar scopes.
[See above-cited URL.] That's your seventh clue.
- Eighth Clue — Second WTC Tower Barely Hit
Have a look at the
footage of the second WTC tower being hit. The plane almost missed
the tower and just managed to hit the corner. Yet the first plane
struck its target dead center. That's your eighth clue.
[See diagrams from Wag the WTC website at: [http://www.Public-Action.com/911/psyopnews/Extra/1/southtowerpath.jpg.]
HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
- A Boeing 767 was secured and painted up to look like a United Airlines jet. It had remote controls installed in it, courtesy of some NORAD types. Call that plane "Pseudo Flight 175" and leave it parked at a military airfield for the moment.
- The number of the passengers on each flight was kept artificially low that day. Easy to do. Just monkey with the airline computers and show the fights full so no more tickets are sold. Include some of your own operatives in each flight, maybe.
- After the planes are in the air, the transponders must be shut down. There are a few ways to do this, maybe, but the simplest is this: Have one of the NORAD insiders call the pilots and say: "This is the North American Aerospace Defense Command. There is a national emergency. We are under terrorist attack. Turn off your transponders. Maintain radio silence. Here is your new flight plan. You will land at [name] military air base."
- The pilots turn off the transponders. The FAA weenies lose the information which identifies the airline, the flight number, and the altitude of the planes. Of course the planes can still be seen on conventional radar, but the planes are just nameless blips now.
- What did the radar show of the planes' flight paths? We'll never
see the real records, for sure. But in the spy movies, when the spy
wants to lose a tail, he gets a double to lead the tail one way while
the spy goes the other. If I were designing Operation 911, I'd do
that: As each of the original jets is flying, another jet is sent to
fly just above or below it, at the same latitude and longitude. The
blips of the two planes merge on the radar scopes. Alternately, a
plane is sent to cross the flight path of the original plane. Again,
the blips merge, just like the little bees you're watching outside
the hive. The original planes proceed to the military airfield and
air traffic control is thoroughly confused, watching the wrong blips
That's probably close to the way it was managed. Like I say, we'll
never see the radar records so we won't know exactly.
[For the alleged flight paths of the four jets, see
For names and locations of military airfields in the US, try
You can search for a listing of bases in 9-11 related states by using the search engine. ]
- A small remote controlled commuter jet filled with incendiaries/explosives — a cruise missile, if you like — is flown into the first WTC tower. That's the plane the first NBC eyewitness saw.
- The remote controlled "Pseudo Flight 175," decked out to look like a United airlines passenger jet, is sent aloft and flown by remote control — without passengers — and crashed into the second tower. Beautiful! Everyone has pictures of that. Why did Pseudo Flight 175 almost miss the second tower? Because the remote operators were used to smaller, more maneuverable craft, not a big stubborn passenger jet. The operators brought the jet in on a tight circle and almost blew it because those jets do hairpin turns like the Queen Mary. They brought it in too fast and too close to do the job right and just hit the corner of the tower.
- Then another remote controlled commuter jet filled with incendiaries/explosives — a cruise missile if you like — hits the Pentagon, in the name of Flight 77.
- Eyewitnesses are a dime a dozen. Trusted media whores "witness" the Pentagon hit and claim it was an American Airlines Boeing 757, Flight 77. Reporters lie better than lawyers.
- Meanwhile, the passengers from Flights 11, 175, and 77, now at the military airfield, are loaded onto Flight 93. If you've put some of your own agents aboard, they stay on the ground, of course.
- Flight 93 is taken aloft.
- Flight 93 is shot down or bombed — makes no difference which. Main deal is to destroy that human meat without questions. Easiest way to dispose of 15,000 lbs. of human flesh, and nobody gets a headline if they find a foot in their front garden. No mass graves will ever be discovered, either.
- The trail is further confused by issuing reports that Flight 77 was actually headed towards the White House but changed its course.
- The trail is further confused by having The Washington Post wax lyrical about the flying skills of non-existent pilots on a non-existence plane (Flight 77).
- The trail is further confused with conflicting reports and artificial catfight issues, such as — did The Presidential Shrub really see the first tower hit on TV while he was waiting to read the story about the pet goat ...
So we know the Boeing that used to be Flight 93 was blown up. The other three original Boeings (Flights 11, 175, 77) still exist somewhere, unless they were cut up for scrap.
The passengers and crews of Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93 died in an airplane crash, just like the newspapers said. Only for most of them, it was the wrong crash. But that's as close to the truth as the news media likes to get anyway, so it works.
WHY DO IT THAT WAY?
So there you have it. Not four planes. More than four took off from the East Coast airports: the four scheduled Boeings, the remote controlled Pseudo Flight 175 Boeing, and two small remote controlled jets or cruise missiles. Figure in a couple of extra planes to confuse the flight paths of the original passenger jets.
The four original Boeings had conventional controls. The look-alike Boeing and the two small jets were drones, rigged with remote control. You called it Global Hawk, and that's good enough. The mimic planes could have been piloted or remote controlled.
Why not just install remote control in four passenger jets like you described in "NO SUICIDE PILOTS"? Here's why: You might get remote control gear installed on a passenger jet so pretty the pilot would not notice, but that would be more work, more time, and more people. Then you would have to control your special plane through maintenance dispatch and try to get it lined up for that day, that time, that flight. Then you would have to multiply those efforts by four. There would be too many chances of things going wrong. Plane substitution would be much simpler. You'd just need the NORAD insiders, the personnel at the military airfield, and maybe an agent or two inside the FAA air traffic control system to make sure things go smoothly. That should not be too difficult because NORAD has sent lots of its people over to the FAA to work on the FAA radars.
Gen. Eberhart, NORAD commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on October 25, 2001 that " ... we've actually moved manpower on the order of about 200 people over the years to the FAA to operate these radars." Cited in "Did NORAD Send The 'Suicide' Jets?" Part 2. See Eberhart testimony at
Gen. Eberhart, NORAD commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on October 25, 2001 that " ... we've actually moved manpower on the order of about 200 people over the years to the FAA to operate these radars." Cited in "Did NORAD Send The 'Suicide' Jets?" Part 2. See Eberhart testimony at
Some people have suggested the original passenger planes were used with the flight computers hacked and loaded with the collision coordinates for the targets. Maybe the job could have been done that way, but it was not. You know for sure it was not because flight computers do not fly planes the way those were flown. A flight computer is given a set of GPS points (geographic coordinates) to follow, and the computer charts the path between them, correcting for cross-winds and other errors. The flight computer flies smooth and gentle, the way passengers like it, without jerky corrections.
You know Flight 175 was not on that system when it hit the south tower because it came in fast (they say) in a tight hooking circle that almost missed the tower. An autopilot wouldn't make that mistake. The crash of flight 175 was not a pre-programmed flight computer finding the optimum path. What you see there in the path of 175 is a real-time controller fighting the physics of flight — and almost losing it.
You've already dealt with the Joe Vialls Home Run explanation, so I don't have to analyze that again.
I've seen another lame attempt to explain away what happened: Supposedly AWACS hit the planes with EMF and knocked out their manual electronics, then took over the 9-11 planes by remote and made them crash. That's a pipe dream. Anything that knocked out the electronics from a distance would turn a plane into a flying scrap heap. Those plane are completely dependent on electronics, and no remote beam could pick and choose which circuits to destroy and which to leave intact.
- Pentagon Security Photos
On March 7 CNN released four
photographs taken by Pentagon security camera on September 11, 2001.
Look at the photos:
The Washington Post says: "The first photo shows a small, blurry, white object near the upper right corner — possibly the plane just a few feet about the ground," but admits "the hijacked American Airlines plane is not clearly visible." ("New Photos Show Attack on Pentagon," March 7, 2002.)
Yeah, right, you can believe that the American Airlines plane is not visible.
- Fireman's Video of First Crash
The NBC eyewitness said the plane that flew into the North tower was small. This is corroborated by the fireman's video taken on September 11:
http://www.xemox.net/wtc/movies/first.plane.hits.gp.med.asf [link expired]
[Note to reader: There are other versions of this clip on the Internet, but I have been unable to find one I can verify as the original clip. If you can find a verifiable copy, let me know. CV <SkyWriter@Public.Action.com>]In that clip, the camera shows a fireman with other workers casually discussing some street work. The fireman looks up over his left shoulder, then behind him, as though he is following a sound. The camera follows his gaze, finds nothing at the original location, then quickly moves to a shot of the WTC, visible through another corridor in the surrounding buildings.
Why does the cameraman focus on the WTC? I can only guess he heard the impact of the plane. The camera does not show the plane in the air prior to impact, so I assume it has already crashed.
In the first frames we see a puff of smoke from the impact site that grows into a cloud and erupts into flame. After a few seconds, the flame dies down and the smoke dissipates. At that moment, the camera shows the huge S-shaped gash in the side of WTC North.
[CV's comments, January 1, 2004: Another version of the "fireman's video" is now available at:If the wings of a large jet made that gash, the gash should not be S-shaped. The gash should be a straight line like the wings of the jet. But more important: if the impact of the jet made the gash, the gash should appear at the moment of impact when the camera is first drawn to the building. Instead, it appears AFTER the smoke and flame.
Footage from that clip shows a large plane — not a small plane — approaching the tower and crashing into it.]
- The Hijackers
I have read reports that some of the alleged
hijackers are actually still alive. This suggests the hijacker
scenario and the resultant mid-air telephone calls to the relatives
is pure bull. But I can't verify the alleged hijackers are still
alive, so let's move on.
It would be easy for the 9-11 planners to collect the names of people with Muslim-sounding names who were taking flying lessons around the country. Just before 9-11 happens, they are disappeared. Then mid-air phone calls are created, reporting hijackers who were never aboard the planes. That would work.
As you and many people have noticed, the Muslim names don't appear on the passenger lists of the four flights. The hijackers' names don't even appear on the list of passengers released by United on September 12 — the list of passengers on Flights 175 and 93.
Sure it was careless not to put the Arab names on the passenger lists, but nobody's perfect.
Just to show you how scripted the Flight 93 hijacking thing was, think about the alleged phone calls from the passengers on Flight 93 to their next of kin in the moments before the crash. Supposedly, they learned of the attacks on the Pentagon and the WTC with their handy cell phones, and they figured out their own plane was hijacked for a similar purpose. So they decided to be heroes and take the plane away from the hijackers.
According to the Dallas Morning News: "The fourth time Thomas Burnett Jr. phoned his wife, Deena, he acknowledged up front: 'I know we're going to die. There's three of us who are going to do something about it.'"
[Dallas Morning News, "Trapped in the skies, captives fought back," September 17, 2001.
Heroic, wasn't it? And not a dry hanky in the house. The heroes of modern America. A high school basketball star, a college rugby player, a forest ranger, a woman police officer ...
But why did it have to be suicide heroism? "They knew their deaths were inevitable, according to some family members with whom they spoke on the phone, and they didn't want thousands more to die with them." It makes a better story, of course. "Suicide Heroes Defeat Suicide Hijackers."
Why did they have to die? The crew was still alive and "herded at knife point to the back of the plane, where the passengers were being held," according to the same report. They weren't dead. If the passengers got control from the hijackers, couldn't the crew fly the plane? Why didn't those brave heroes say things like, "There's a chance we might save this boat"? But they said, "I know we're going to die."
Obviously, this script was concocted in midnight bull sessions like they had in Dustin Hoffman's mansion in "Wag the Dog". And the American public has been trained on weak plots for decades on prime time TV, so they don't WANT to think their way out of a wet paper bag. It spoils the show.
Only the writers and producers of Operation 911 knew that the passengers of Flight 93 had to die. But the temptation was too much, so they put it in the passenger dialog, too. And that's how you know the cell phone calls are just theater, not fact.
By the way, if I was planning this operation, I'd put some fictitious names on the passenger list, so when the flight went down, the media could interview fake relatives. Like that Operation Northwoods plan in which a fake Cuban jet would shoot down a fake American passenger jet. Whoever planned that must have planned to use fake grieving relatives, too.
And then of course I've heard they can do marvelous things with voice simulation. How about that fellow who called his mother from Flight 93 and said "Mom, this is Mark Bingham." That has all the truth of a plaster fish trophy. That one guy, Todd Beamer, with the pregnant wife — she didn't talk to him directly, she just got a message from the answering service.
[The Final Moments of Flight 93," September 22, 2001, by Karen Breslau (NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE)
Is this all too much for your to swallow? Don't you believe people would conspire to pull all this off? Well, look at the stakes. This current war will go on for years and blot out one of the world's great religions, legitimize military rule in the United States, redistribute the world's oil resources, and change the entire power structure of planet Earth. All that's needed to make it happen is ambition, chutzpah, "a few good men," and a nation that is willing to be deceived.
The problem with people like you when you try to understand events like this, you are not a trained killer. When you come to wiping out the whoever, you shrink back. That's normal. That is one of the things you have to train out of a soldier.
But when a soldier plans something like this, he doesn't flinch at the killing. He just takes that into the plans like one more or one less egg in the omelet. If he has to kill the enemy or Americans or even himself, it doesn't matter because sometimes he has to do that to win. He's trained that way.
The only thing that matters is the Objective. Whatever a soldier has to do to win the Objective, that is what he has to do. All of this false piety about suicide bombers is nuts. Well trained Americans would do that if you ordered them to. If they didn't, they weren't well trained.
— Snake Plissken (as told to Carol A. Valentine)
|What Really Happened? A Critical Analysis of|
Carol Valentine's "Flight of the Bumble Planes" Hypothesis
|by Leonard Spencer|
It's funny how the 'Conspiracy Theory' — a phrase that today is sprayed around as though it's some kind of magic spell that renders untrue any idea at which it is aimed — often gains immeasurably in stature with the simple passing of time. Take for instance the case of the Reichstag fire, the terrorist incident that kick-started Hitler's transformation of Germany from a liberal democracy into a fascist dictatorship. Those 'Conspiracy Theorists' who claimed that the incident was perpetrated by agents of Hitler himself and not by Communist terrorists as was originally claimed are these days more politely called 'historians'. Similarly, few in ancient Rome concluded that it was Emperor Nero who ordered the destruction of the city by fire in AD 64 and not the Christians, as Nero himself proclaimed, yet today this is accepted as an incontrovertible fact. It's something to do with being able to assess the facts coldly and dispassionately, uninfluenced by the propaganda and brainwashing prevalent at the time.
This is not to say of course that all 'Conspiracy Theories' are true, only that they should be judged solely on their factual accuracy and analytical precision rather than the 'political correctness' or emotional palatability of their conclusions.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the events of September 11 have given rise to several 'Conspiracy Theories', all challenging in one way or another the veracity of the official explanation of what happened that day. Of these, none is more uncompromisingly 'conspiratorial' than that set out by Carol Valentine in her article entitled 9-11: The Flight of the Bumble Planes, first published on the web in March 2002.
It is remarkable that, one year on, Ms Valentine's hypothesis has still to be seriously refuted. The reason for this is that, outlandish as it may at first appear, it actually offers a far more plausible explanation of events than does the official account, taking into consideration all the known facts and available evidence.
Even the most mindless and vociferous of proponents of the official version of events must concede, perhaps in quieter and more reflective moments, that a number of very strange and inexplicable things happened that day. How was it for instance that the USA's entire air defense system — the most sophisticated and responsive in the world — seemed utterly paralysed until it was too late to stop the terror attacks? How did the alleged hijacker-pilot of Flight 77 (according to his flight school trainer he could barely fly a Cessna) manage to execute an expert high-speed aerial manoeuvre before guiding the plane like a missile through a ten-foot high ground-floor Pentagon doorway without damaging the door frames or scuffing the lawn? How were such amateurish pilots able to switch off transponders and navigate unassisted across north-eastern USA with such unerring accuracy? And why have there been no proper public enquiries into the catastrophic lapses of the air defense system, the collapse of the towers or indeed any other aspect of the 9-11 fiasco? There are plenty more inconsistencies than that, but the beauty of the scenario laid out in "The Flight of the Bumble Planes" is that it just about explains them all.
Let's recap on what it says. Based upon a series of email exchanges with one 'Snake Plissken', Ms Valentine suggests that the planes that hit the towers and the Pentagon were not the same planes that left Boston and Dulles. They were in fact unmanned, disguised military planes (or missiles) flown by remote control which were substituted for the original planes when the transponders were switched off. The switching off of the transponders was therefore not the elaborate yet pointless oddity that the official account demands, but an absolutely critical part of the whole plot. It was only by ensuring that the planes that actually hit the towers and the Pentagon were unidentifiable and anonymous blips on the radar screens that the operation could proceed successfully.
So what happened to the original planes? The theory suggests that, under instruction from NORAD agents infiltrated into Air Traffic Control, the planes' own pilots turned off the transponders. The pilots were then instructed to fly the planes to an (unidentified) airport or airbase somewhere in north-eastern USA. Here, any security personnel who may have been on board disembarked, their day's work done. A more grisly fate however awaited the remaining passengers and crew. When Flight 93's transponder was switched off it too landed at the given airbase. The passengers and crew from the first three planes were herded onto it, joining those already on board. It then took off again and was shot down or blown up over Pennsylvania, conveniently eliminating all the innocent witnesses to the real course of events.
The scenario requires us to dismiss as total fiction the many cell phone calls allegedly made from the passengers of Flight 93, or rather, if the calls were actually made we must conclude that they were made from somewhere other than Flight 93. We must deduce this because the great majority of the alleged calls took place between 9:40 (when the plane's transponder signal ceased) and 10:00, the very period during which Flight 93 was landing, taking on its extra passengers and taking off again. Nowhere in the transcripts or witness statements is there any indication that the plane was doing anything but flying normally. The theory suggests also of course that there may have been no genuine hijackers at all.
That, in its simple elegance, is the essence of the Plissken-Valentine hypothesis. And although it may at first seem fanciful and far-fetched in the extreme, it does, remarkably enough, fit all the known facts far more successfully than does the official account. It explains for instance why the transponders were switched off and how the planes were able to find their targets. It explains why the eyewitness reports in respect of Flight 11 describe the plane as being the size of a business jet and why the Fireman's Video shows that it had no engines attached to its wings and fired missiles at WTC1. It explains why at least two shots of Flight 175 show that it had a mysterious device attached to its underside, unlike any other Boeing 767 to come off the production line. It explains why Flight 77 was able to perform improbable aerial manoeuvres before disappearing into a ten-foot hole.
It explains too of course why no meaningful black-box data have been recovered or why the tapes of the conversations between Air Traffic Control and the planes have not been made public. It explains why there have been no official enquiries into the catastrophic failure of the air defense system or the bizarre collapse of the towers. This is because the hypothesis leads us inexorably to conclude that the only people capable of perpetrating such a conjuring trick were people close to — and most probably including — members of the Bush Administration itself. It is this aspect of the analysis that most rankles with the delicate emotional sensibilities of the American public.
But does it really stand up? Is it logistically possible? Persuasive as it is, the hypothesis demands careful analysis because, unless it is genuinely feasible, it must be dispatched to the waste-bin forthwith and we must think of something else. We should for instance be able to identify the airbase to which the planes were directed after the transponders were switched off. We must also pay careful attention to the timing of the whole operation. From the time that Flight 11 first went off course to the time that Flight 93 crashed spanned a period of less than two hours — rather a short time in which to do a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, a lot of loading and unloading.
To assist in this analysis I've prepared a map showing the flight paths of the planes, the major airbases in the region and a timeline of all the major events. It is shown below. The red lines indicate the intended flight paths of each plane. The unbroken yellow lines show the actual flight paths and the broken yellow lines show the imputed flight paths after the transponders were switched off. The blue stars denote the principal US Airforce and Air National Guard bases in the region. The basic map and flight paths are lifted directly from USA Today's useful Flash presentation of the day's events and the locations of the airbases have been taken from the comprehensive map of US military bases available at http://www.cr.nps.gov//nagpra/NACD/basindex.htm. All times come from either cooperativeresearch.org.'s timeline or Malcontent X's excellent 'Unanswered Questions', which can be found at http://www.communitycurrency.org//MainIndexMX.html.
The first thing to which I'd like to draw your attention is the remarkable correspondence of the times of key events. With the exception only of Flight 11's take off and Flight 93's crash, all key events coincide with one another in some way. The colour coding of times in the timetable brings this out. Flight 11 for instance first deviates from its route a minute or two after Flight 175 takes off, and its transponder is switched off at the same time that Flight 77 takes off. Flight 175 first deviates from its route just as Flight 93 takes off and its transponder goes off at the same time that Flight 11 hits WTC1, which is also the time that Flight 77 first goes off course. It carries on like that right to the end. It's uncanny. It's either an amazing sequence of coincidences or it means that 9-11 was an incredibly well co-ordinated operation with someone in full control of — and in communication with — the four planes from the ground. Those crafty al-Qaeda scallywags.
Note there is a certain lack of unanimity regarding the times that Flight 77 deviated from its intended route. Many sources give the time that its transponder signal ceased as 8:55, but as Malcontent X points out in the footnote to his chapter on Flight 77:
The plane took off at 8:20, and crashed at 9:38: a 1 hour/eighteen minutes journey, or seventy-eight minutes. This is now universally confirmed in all media reports. At first glance, we would probably look on the map, and see that the distances the plane took to get from Washington to the Ohio border — and back again — are roughly equal. We would thus assume that it took Flight 77 half of the seventy-eight minutes, (39) to reach Ohio, (8:59). This roughly corroborates the Newsday article of Sept 23rd, which says that the plane turned around at 8:55; yet we must also take into account the flight deviation on the path away from Washington, (add ten minutes?); and we also remember that when Flight 77 was nearing Washington, it was flying at over four-hundred miles an hour, well over the legal speed limit for airliners, (250 mph? — not sure the exact number). By the time the plane struck the Pentagon, it was flying at 480mph. We can thus assume that Flight 77 took less time to fly back to Washington than it did to fly towards, (subtract ten minutes?). By this estimate, we could assume that Flight 77 turned around at the Ohio border at approximately 9:09, and took twenty-six minutes to reach Washington. However, this differs markedly with the Newsday article, by fourteen minutes. For the moment, we have little recourse but to estimate the time that Flight 77 turned around as being halfway between these two credible, yet differing accounts; that is, (add or subtract seven minutes) at 9:02, just after 9 am.
9:02 eh? The very time that 'Flight 175' struck WTC2.
Let's now look carefully at the time constraints to which the Plissken-Valentine scenario is subject. We know that Boeing 757s and 767s have a top cruising speed of around 600 mph, or ten miles per minute. We know from the seismic records, courtesy of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory team (those unsung heroes of 9-11 research) that Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:06. We know too that after its transponder signal ceased at 9:40, Flight 93 was next detected on radar at 10:02 near Shanksville, PA and that two minutes later Johnstown-Cambria County Airport reported the plane to be '15 miles south and coming fast'. We can safely conclude therefore that Flight 93, with its full complement of additional passengers, must have been airborne again sometime before 10:00 am. Given that it was 'coming fast' at 10:04 and that passenger jets need some time to reach high speed after take-off, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Flight 93 must actually have been airborne again no later than 9:45 — possibly rather earlier, depending on the location of the receiving airbase. I will address this issue later.
At the other end of the time-scale, we know that Flight 11's transponder signal ceased at around 8:20, Flight 175's at 8:46 and Flight 77's at some time between 8:55 and 9:09. Allowing time for the transfer of passengers, it is again not unreasonable to conclude that these three planes must have arrived at the target airbase at really no later than 9:30. Flight 11 therefore had no more than 80 minutes to get there, Flight 175 44 minutes and Flight 77 35 minutes at the most — and possibly as little as 21 minutes.
Attentive readers will have noticed that we have already encountered a major problem with the Plissken-Valentine hypothesis. The problem of course concerns Flight 93. Even if the target airbase was immediately below Flight 93's position when its transponder signal ceased at 9:40, it still leaves an improbably short time for the plane to land, take on board 200 or so new passengers then take off again and reach high speed over Pennsylvania by 10:04. And if the receiving airbase were close to Flight 93's position at 9:40, would Flight 77 have enough time to get there and transfer its passengers and crew onto Flight 93?
These problems do not, I believe, scupper the hypothesis entirely but they do mean that we have to refine it somewhat.
Before attempting to do that however we need to address that other very important matter of identifying the airbase to which the planes were directed after their transponders were switched off. This should not actually be too difficult because the pressures both of time and the size of the planes delimit our field considerably. Let's be clear about this; an airport capable of receiving four Boeing passenger jets must be a substantial one, with a large runway and located in an area with clear approaches. We can therefore dismiss immediately any notions of a small, secret airstrip situated somewhere in a mountainous region. North-eastern USA is divided down the middle by the Appalachian Mountains so the airbase must be either to the west or east of this mountain range. Any airbase to the east of the Appalachians would be too far away for the planes to get there within the time limitations, given their positions when the transponders were switched off. So we are confined to looking for a base somewhere to the west, in Ohio, W. Virginia or Pennsylvania.
Excluding for the moment Flight 93 — whose time problems appear to invalidate the Plissken-Valentine scenario in its current form, wherever our airbase may be located — the plane with the least amount of time available to it was Flight 77. Its transponder signal ceased at around 9:00 (give or take a few minutes), giving it, as noted above, as little as 20 minutes additional flying time. We should perhaps therefore look for an airbase somewhere close to Flight 77's position when it disappeared from the radar screens. As can be seen from the map, this narrows the field down to three: Newark AFB and Rickenbacker AFB in Ohio and Yeager Airport near Charleston, W. Virginia. Both Newark and Rickenbacker are some 100 miles or so distant from Flight 77's last officially confirmed position, ten minutes flying time at top speed. Yeager Airport however is only a couple of minutes away. To minimise our time problems, Yeager might be a good choice. It's interesting to note too that, unlike the others, Yeager has the distinction of being a USAF base that also serves as a commercial airport. This is interesting because it means that local residents would not be at all surprised to see commercial aircraft landing or taking off.
Again excluding Flight 93, how does Yeager fit in with the time available to the other planes? In the case of Flight 11, Yeager is approximately 500 miles from the point between Boston and Albany where Flight 11's transponder signal stopped, or around 50 minutes flying time at top speed. Its transponder went off at 8:20, so Flight 11 could have been showing up at around 9:10. With regards to Flight 175, Yeager is around 400 miles from the point just south of New York where the plane's transponder went off, giving a flying time of around 40 minutes. Flight 175's transponder signal ceased at 8:46 so it could have been at Yeager by around 9:25. And the airport is around 160 miles from Shanksville PA — perhaps 25 minutes flying time away, taking into account take-off and the time it takes to accelerate to top speed.
This all fits the Plissken-Valentine hypothesis rather neatly, except of course for one thing. We can't keep on excluding Flight 93. And Flight 93 just doesn't fit! Well actually I think it does. Or at least it might. Let's tinker a little with the Plissken-Valentine hypothesis.
Suppose for a minute that Flight 93 didn't land at the airbase, or at least not during the critical time period with which we have been working. Suppose instead that Flight 93 was substituted with another plane when its transponder was switched off, just like the other three planes. Suppose the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was not the plane that left Newark but a plane that was ready and waiting at Yeager. If this were the case, we can safely disregard the time problems that emerge from the original hypothesis. All that would then be required would be for the first three planes to reach Yeager in time for their passengers and crew to transfer to this new plane and be airborne by (say) 9:40, which we have already established is just about feasible.
There are a couple of other factors that I believe support this amended version of the hypothesis. Unlike the other planes, Flight 93's black-box recorder was discovered by the FBI. Its cockpit voice recorder was intact, though the conversations recorded on it mysteriously end some three minutes before the time of the crash. The flight data recorder was blank, with no recoverable data. Is this just another 9-11 anomaly, or is it indicative of yet more evidence fixing? It has been suggested also that Flight 93 (perhaps we should now call it pseudo-Flight 93) had explosives on board, thus accounting for the marked absence of debris and identifiable body parts at the crash site. All this strongly suggests to me that the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania had been very carefully prepared beforehand. It is most unlikely that doctored black-boxes and high explosives could have been fitted to the plane during a brief and hectic stopover.
Niggling away somewhere at the back of my mind there's another potential problem with the Plissken-Valentine theory and that concerns passenger numbers. The official account says that there were 45 people on Flight 93, 38 passengers and 7 crew. According to the scenario, the plane in fact had well over 200 people on board when it crashed. This discrepancy in numbers is problematic. One thing about bringing down a plane by missile or explosives is that it's difficult to control the behaviour of the debris once you've pressed the button. You don't know exactly how or where it's going to land. The explosives might not even go off — it can be unreliable stuff. It's inherently risky to bring down a plane with over 200 people on board when it's only supposed to have 45 because, depending on how and where the wreckage lands, it might be immediately apparent to investigators that there were far more than 45 bodies lying around at the crash site. Such a revelation would immediately provoke too many unwanted questions. I think pseudo-Flight 93 might well have only had around 45 people on board when it crashed, in accordance with the official account.
So who could these 45 people have been, probably just taking off on pseudo-Flight 93 when the original Flight 93's transponder was switched off? I can't say for sure, but I do have a hunch, which is based on an intriguing piece of arithmetic. It's interesting to note that if you tot up the total number of crew from the first three planes and then add 19 'hijackers' (yes, there may have been some after all) you get 45.
This may just be a coincidence but it's certainly worth considering. If the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania only had on board the crews from the other three planes plus 19 'hijackers' it means that every single remaining passenger on those planes was in on the plot in some way. It also means that in all probability the original passengers that day are all still alive.
Is this too far-fetched? Possibly, but it does ease the time pressures inherent within the Plissken-Valentine scenario because it involves the transfer of far fewer passengers to Flight 93 (or pseudo-Flight 93). It might also explain one or two details that have hitherto been dismissed as oddities or coincidence. Like the fact that known Israeli agent Daniel Lewin was a passenger on Flight 11 and US Naval Intelligence Officer William E. Caswell a passenger on Flight 77. There were also at least five Raytheon employees distributed among the first three planes, all with known connections to the development of Global Hawk technology. Could the official passenger lists of the four planes have comprised a mixture of military personnel responsible for overcoming the hapless 'hijackers' and taking over the planes, and other key personnel whom it was convenient to 'disappear' so they could carry on their specialist work in complete anonymity and secrecy? It is certainly interesting to note the research of Woody Box who, in his article entitled The Cleveland Airport Mystery [BELOW], establishes that at 10.45 on the morning of 9-11 an unidentified United Airlines 767 made an unscheduled landing at Cleveland Airport with around 200 passengers on board. These passengers were taken to the adjacent NASA Glenn Research Center and have not been heard of since.
As for the original Flight 93, this was perhaps little more than a decoy flight, though its passengers have entered modern folk-lore as the plucky American heroes who took on evil Muslim terrorists with their bare hands. This myth is based on the cell phone calls allegedly made from the stricken plane but, as Professor Dewdney and others have pointed out, it is not actually possible to use cell phones on aircraft flying at altitudes above 2000 feet and at speeds in excess of 230 mph. Since Flight 93 was at cruising speed and altitude when the calls are alleged to have been made, it is likely they were made from the ground if they were made at all. This of course means we must treat with some suspicion either the people who allegedly made them, the relatives who reported them, or both.
There is another reason why the four original planes might well have had no bona fide innocent civilian passengers on board and that's to do with what we might, with some irony, call the 'Flight 93 Syndrome', i.e., the excessive and uncontrolled use of cell phones. They may not be much use above 2000 feet, but cell phones can be used at airports and on planes that are taking off or landing. If you were really going to pull a stunt like 9-11 in the manner many now believe it was, then the last thing you need is some idiot in the toilet telling his friend all about it, just as the plane is landing at an airbase in W. Virginia, some time after it was supposed to have crashed into a New York tower. Far better to keep everything strictly under control with as few risks and unpredictable elements as possible. And that means no civilians.
It's perhaps ironic that, in attempting a careful analysis of "The Flight of the Bumble Planes" — a hypothesis I call at the beginning the most conspiratorial of 'Conspiracy Theories' — I have ended up with a revised version that is even more conspiratorial. So it goes. As I also said at the beginning, we must be guided only by a hypothesis's factual accuracy and the cogency of its reasoning. On both scores I may of course be well wide of the mark. The devil, as the saying goes, is in the detail and if my grasp of the detail is flawed then perhaps everything I have said collapses like a pack of cards. It's fascinating though how small details can sometimes open up whole new ways of seeing the big picture.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
The Cleveland Airport Mystery
--- Now, just to deal with the possibility of the missing United Airlines flight, the mayor of Cleveland, Michael White, says that a Boeing 767 out of Boston has made an emergency landing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport because of concerns that it may have a bomb aboard. There is some possibility that may be the missing United flight, but we do not know. --- Peter Jennings, ABC News, 11:50 am, 9/11/2001
The first version of "The Cleveland Airport mystery" (CAM) was published in May 2004 on the independent news website globalfreepress.com. Despite the title, the text is a sober analysis of all reports, messages and personal accounts regarding the events occuring at Hopkins Airport in the morning of 9/11. It makes the case for the emergency landing of an airliner with unknown identity, but determined by several clear characteristics. Its existence was covered up by another plane in emergency - Delta Flight 1989 - which landed at about the same time. I named the mystery airliner "Flight X".
The article quickly gained attention among the 9/11 research community, was referred to in books by Michael Ruppert, Webster Tarpley and Ian Henshall/Rowland Morgan before enjoying extensive coverage in Dylan Avery's documentary "Loose Change". For someone who wants to know what happened at the airport, it is the most complete survey of the available information on the incident, underlining its relevance. Nevertheless, it has remained controversial, with the judgments ranging from "hoax" (Jim Hoffman) to "excellent research" (Ruppert).
2 1/2 years later, the core statement still stands. There is nothing to retract. This second edition will, after clarifying some misunderstandings and adressing the most recent attacks, examine the role of Delta 1989. This will lead to the surprising detection of a hitherto unknown flight - Delta 89 - which looks like a dark doppelganger of Delta 1989 and bears all attributes of a military exercise, showing how deep the 9/11 attacks were entangled with the ongoing wargames.
The emergency landing of Delta Flight 1989 is undisputed and determined by the following characteristics:
- Landing at 10:10
- Begin of evacuation at 12:30
- 69 passengers on board
- Passengers were evacuated to FAA Headquarters
- Plane was sitting on a runway near the I-X Center
Local media and eyewitnesses however distinctly report a different plane with different characteristics ("Flight X"):
- Landing at 10:45
- Begin of evacuation at 11:15
- 200 passengers on board
- Passengers were evacuated to the NASA Glenn Research Center
- Plane was sitting on a runway near the NASA Center
All of the ten data are supported by two or more independent sources which are compiled in the original version.
There is a sixth discrepancy. As reported by Cleveland Mayor Michael White, controllers could hear screams and yelling from the emergency plane. Neither Delta 1989 pilots, nor any passengers, nor any controllers remember anything like that happening. White retracted his remarks later, and Cleveland FAA official Jerry Crady wondered "where he got that". But a FAA employee at Hopkins confirms White's first version:
Elaine went to work at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport office of the Federal Aviation Administration. A little before 9:00 a.m. my boss said he heard something on the news about an airplane hitting a building in New York. There was a television on downstairs. We went to the basement and watched the terrible news. About 10:30 Elaine came in and told me there was an airplane sixty miles away headed toward Cleveland. The air traffic controllers in the Hopkins tower could hear yelling and fighting on the cockpit. Elaine's boss had told her to go home.
So we can add the screams as a sixth difference, and en passant we learn from Elaine that the suspicious plane landed after 10:30. Another proof that this airliner was not Delta 1989.
Two recent debunking attempts
Over the time, CAM has experienced various attacks from various corners. All attacks have failed to clarify the identity of the mysterious plane. All attacks suffer from not-existent or poor source analysis and rely on a small subset of the sources of CAM, to put it mathematically. What the attackers should have considered: A failed debunking attempt tends to strengthen the attacked claim, and if it fails pitiful, it strengthens the claim heavily.
The "debunkings" will be adressed in coming blog entrys because this task requires extensive text analysis which would bust the scope of this 2nd edition. I just want to outline shortly the failures of the two most recent hit pieces:
James Renner of the Cleveland Free Times claims to have identified the mysterious airliner. Vernon Wessel, a NASA official, told him about a KC-135, an experimental NASA plane with several scientists on board that landed in Cleveland. However, Renner didn't bother to check if this plane KC-135 was in fact identical to Flight X. It is not:
- Wessel himself says that the scientists were taken to hotels - but the Flight X passengers were taken to the evacuated NASA Center;
- Renner didn't check the passenger capacity of a KC-135. It is about 80 people max - but there were 200 people aboard Flight X.
- Renner missed to ask Wessel for the landing time of the KC-135. That was 10:08, according to FAA records- but Flight X landed at 10:45.
It is possible - if not sure - from Wessel's account that the KC-135 was, just like Flight X, sitting near the NASA Center when unloading the passengers, but this was at a different time. It is certainly not sufficient to choose an arbitrary plane and declare it to be the airliner in question if there are so many discrepancies left. This is simply poor journalism.
In another piece, Dave McGowan has picked up one sentence of the original text: "each version is supported by at least two independent sources" and complains (rather than trying to disprove the sources themselves) that they are not independent because they are all based on White's news conference.
McGowan is simply wrong. While some sources indeed refer to White and are not "independent" in this sense, there are still at least two independent sources for each datum, for instance: airport officials; airline spokesmen; FBI agents. McGowan doesn't seem to know the difference between necessary and sufficient condition. I suggest a crash course in formal logic. The interested reader is advised to check this blog in the coming weeks for a detailed refutation.
Flight 93 and the rise and fall of the WCPO message
CAM does not state that Flight 93 landed in Cleveland. This is a common misunderstanding, and I would like to clear it up now and forever. WCPO, a local Ohio radio station, had posted a short message on its website that Flight 93 had landed in Cleveland. This piece has become most popular among the 9/11 research community, probably more popular than CAM. Here's its history:
After sleeping well for 2 1/2 years, The WCPO story experienced its re-birth in CAM. It was discovered by a befriended researcher of mine with nickname Kesha. Interesting as the Flight 93 info was, I considered it to be of minor relevance for the mystery, particularly because I was not able to find confirmation. But it was worth mentioning, anyway.
A few weeks after releasing CAM, someone picked up the story, isolated it from the article and spread it across diverse websites where it soon got huge attention. People contacted WCPO to learn more, so many that WCPO felt impelled to retract the story and delete it from their site (to be exact, they substituted the story by a disclaimer). However, the original story had been downloaded and mirrored by several researchers already. It was still an embarassment for WCPO.
After the release of "Loose Change"/2ed, WCPO was bombarded with inquiring calls and emails. At February 8, 2006, Liz Foreman, who was in charge for the website on 9/11, published a clarifying comment. Foreman stated that the story was not a genuine WCPO piece, but based on an erroneous AP press release.
My own research has yielded something different. On 11:17, United Airlines published a bulletin regarding Flight 93 and Flight 175 on their website. The crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania was confirmed, but Flight 175 was still unaccounted for. A quick comparison reveals that one half of the WCPO story (released at 11:43) was based on this bulletin. The source for the other half was obviously Mayor White's news conference.
Whoever wrote the WCPO story was aware of the United message, so he must have read about Flight 93's crash, too. He pasted together the two sources and obviously overlooked or forgot that Flight 93 was already reported down in Pennsylvania, thus misinterpretating the bulletin.
Despite this "debunking" of the WCPO message there are hints that Flight X was a United plane. At about 11:45, Peter Jennings/ABC News reported the suspicious Cleveland plane in reference to White, and speculated that it might be a "missing United flight". It is not clear, however, if it was Jennings' personal speculation that the plane belonged to United Airlines or if White mentioned the airline in his speech. Someone who was scanning TV and radio stations during the morning of 9/11 has picked up this message:
Confirmed by FAA: United flight (unknown #) diverted to Cleveland (?) with possible bomb-threat on board.Unfortunately, he doesn't say which station he got this information from. So the evidence for Flight X being a United plane is existent, but still thin.
Why indeed was Delta 1989 considered a hijack?
Considering the way how Delta 1989 and Flight X were "merged" to a single plane in media reports, the conclusion that Delta 1989 served as a cover-up to hide the other plane is not far away. Henshall and Morgan have already noted "curiously conflicting reasons" for its emergency landing and name three sources with three different versions. A closer look reveals even more curiosities.
According to Dave Dunlap, pilot of Delta 1989, he got an order from the airline to land in Cleveland immediately. Several sources confirm this order, but Delta spokeswoman Cindy Kurzweski "declined comment". Delta 1989 was allegedly considered a possible terrorist target because it matched the "pattern" defined by Flight 11 and Flight 175: a Boeing 767 from Boston bound for the West Coast. This explanation is problematic, however, because at this time (9:40) it was not established yet that Flight 11 hit the North Tower, nor was the hijacking of Flight 175, and the identity of the plane that hit the South Tower was entirely unknown. Therefore the "pattern" explanation doesn't work.
An anonymous Delta 1989 passenger reports that another fractious passenger who refused to stop using his cellphone caused the pilot to make the emergency landing. The troublemaker is not reported by any newspaper, but according to all sources, the pilot asked controllers to get permission to land in Cleveland. Because his request came in before the general FAA grounding order of 9:45, controllers allegedly became worried if something was not in order with the plane. But radio contact was never lost, nor the transponder data.
Considering these facts, it is absolutely incomprehensible how the rumours came up that Delta was a hijack or carried a bomb - and why they led to the scary Orwellian measures on the ground: people at the airport were not allowed to take their car, bus drivers were threatened with death if they left the airport, and the adjacent NASA Center with 3500 employees was evacuated.
"Delta 89" - the dark doppelganger of Delta 1989
The sources featured in the previous section at least agree that the landing order came from Delta headquarters. But the 9/11 Commission and others present a completely different version: they identify Boston Center as the origin.
After the second World Trade Center crash, Boston Center managers recognized that both aircraft were transcontinental 767 jetliners that had departed Logan Airport. Remembering the "we have some planes" remark, Boston Center guessed that Delta 1989 might also be hijacked. Boston Center called NEADS at 9:41 and identified Delta 1989, a 767 jet that had left Logan Airport for Las Vegas, as a possible hijack. NEADS warned the FAA's Cleveland Center to watch Delta 1989. The Command Center and FAA headquarters watched it, too. (p. 28)Interestingly, the Commissioners fail to mention the statement of NORAD officer Alan Scott who presented a detailed timeline to them (the underlying video footage is here):
9:27, Boston FAA reports a fifth aircraft missing, Delta Flight 89 -- and many people have never heard of Delta Flight 89. We call that the first red herring of the day, because there were a number of reported possible hijackings that unfolded over the hours immediately following the actual attacks. Delta 89 was not hijacked, enters the system, increases the fog and friction if you will, as we begin to look for that. But he lands about seven of eight minutes later and clearsThis account contains three most remarkable details:
out of the system.
At 9:49, FAA reports that Delta 89, which had been reported as missing, is now reported as a possible hijacking. So again he is --
MR.: That's 9:41, sir.
MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, 9:41. Again, he is in the system. He is kind of a red herring for us.
Getting toward the end now, 9:47 is when Delta 89 clears the system by landing in Cleveland. So he is not a hijack.
- Scott talks about Delta 89, not Delta 1989. The video shows that he relies on a prepared paper, so this oddity cannot be explained through his bad memory.
- In their final report, The 9/11 Commissioners concealed Scott's remark that Delta 89 was reported missing at 9:27. According to the pilots and controllers however, Delta 1989 was never missing or lost radio contact with ATC.
- At 9:27 Boston Center was not responsible for Delta 1989 anymore; the plane was in the airspace of Cleveland Center since about 9:00, when it was passing Syracuse. (This estimation is easy to do knowing that the plane took off from Boston at 8:25 and was over Cleveland at 9:40.)
Let's turn back to the 9/11 Commission report. It cites a NEADS technician as the source for the 9:41 warning (footnote 155, Chapter I). Luckily, a Vanity Fair article provides us with her name and the exact wording of the message:
9:40:57 ROUNTREE: Delta 89, that's the hijack. They think it's possible hijack.
ROUNTREE: South of Cleveland. We have a code on him now.
DOOLEY: Good. Pick it up! Find it!
MALE TECH: Delta what?
ROUNTREE: Eight nine - a Boeing 767.
DOOLEY: Fuck, another one -
Surprisingly, we meet Delta 89 again here, so, as already said, we can't blame Col. Scott for the 89/1989 confusion. Can we blame Rountree? Unlikely. Every cab driver, every policeman and every pilot knows that confirming a radioed message is essential for doing the job. If there is only a tiny doubt that the information came through properly, it must be confirmed again. Furthermore, it is hard to see how "nineteen eighty-nine" can be misheard as "eighty-nine" even over a radio channel with poor audio quality. It is absolutely unconceivable that Rountree botched up the message from Boston Center.
The fact that "Delta 89" found its way into NEADS transcripts and timelines and was quoted by Scott 1 1/2 years later confirms that it was no temporary error that was corrected immediately; just to the contrary, we know now that the "wrong" number 89 was transmitted at 9:27 the first time and at least once again at 9:41, but probably everytime when Boston Center contacted NEADS for that matter. And additionally, the "wrong" destination (Las Vegas) was radioed alongside the "wrong" number - Delta 1989's destination was Los Angeles.
For someone who is not ready to believe such a level of incompentence and/or coincidence, the alternative solution is staring him in the face: "Delta 89" was not the same plane as Delta 1989. Another case of hiding a plane by duplication. Let's check if the hypothesis makes sense.
The actual Delta 89 was a normal civilian flight, scheduled to depart from JFK airport, New York, at 3:00 p.m., destination Los Angeles (Source: BTS database). How did it end up over Cleveland at 9:40 a.m.? This dilemma has only one reasonable way out: "Delta 89" was neither Delta 89 from JFK nor another civilian flight. "Delta 89" was the codename for a plane participating in the ongoing wargames. According to Michael Ruppert, there was at least one "live-fly exercise" going on during the attacks - an airliner posing as a hijacked flight.
Taking a look at the personnel in charge for "Delta 89" shows that it fits the conditions for such an exercise perfectly: according to Vanity Fair, Colin Scoggins was the controller who sent the "Delta 89" messages to Rountree. Scoggins was the "military liaison" (scroll down to the end) at Boston Center that day and as such didn't deal with civilian air traffic, but the ongoing military exercises. According to a paper from June 2001 (p. 40), his duty was to coordinate paperwork and flight data for all military exercises within Boston center airspace. Considering the scale of the exercises that day, it is hard to see why and how Scoggins was able to manage also civilian flights. The NEADS technicians Rountree and Dooley were deeply involved in the exercises, too, as the tapes reveal.
The exercise status of "Delta 89" also explains why it was tracked by Scoggins (Boston Center) when it was already deep in Cleveland Center airspace. It was not handed over between the centers like a regular flight. The curious fact that NEADS warned Cleveland Center of "Delta 89" - it should be the other way round - points into the same direction. Cleveland Center was in contact with Delta 1989, but never alerted NEADS (let alone Boston Center) that it was missing or hijacked. And last not least it should be noted that one minute after "Delta 89" was reported missing (9:27) controllers of Cleveland Center were alerted by suspicious radio transmissions sounding like a cockpit struggle. At first, they ascribed the transmissions to Delta 1989, but because Delta 1989 was fine, they "deduced" ex negativo that the struggle originated from United 93. The controllers probably witnessed the begin of a hijack wargame on board of "Delta 89".
So the hypothesis "Delta 89"=Delta 89 implies not only massive incompetence of air traffic controllers in transmitting the wrong flight number; it begs the question why Scoggins from Boston Center exceeded his sphere of competence; and it leads to an absurd information tangle between NEADS and the responsible ARTCCs. The hypothesis that "Delta 89" was not Delta 1989 however leads to the nearly compelling conclusion that it was part of an exercise, which explains all of the discrepancies between the NEADS records and the FAA records. The close similarity of names and time synchronicity suggest more sinister motives of the wargame designers.
The "Delta 89" matter should lead to a closer examination of the NORAD tapes. Michael Bronner, author of the Vanity Fair text, writes: "The fact that there was an exercise planned for the same day as the attack factors into several conspiracy theories, though the 9/11 commission dismisses this as coincidence. After plodding through dozens of hours of recordings, so do I." It would be a nice idea to publish the tapes completely, not only tiny snippets, so everyone can decide for himself if he shares Bronner's and the commission's assessments.
"Delta 89" and Flight X
The clandestine character of "Delta 89" and the Cleveland Flight X entails the question if these two planes are identical. And there is indeed indication that they are (this doesn't necessarily mean that Flight X was a Delta Flight, because "Delta 89" was just a codename). The Akron Beacon Journal from 9/11, the earliest and most authentic report on the matter, delivers all necessary data for Flight X.
- To begin with, it is striking that the first message of the missing "Delta 89" came in at 9:27 - one minute before Cleveland controllers noticed yelling and screams from an unknown plane. These screams reappeared in White's statement on Flight X.
- Flight X was also said to have departed from Boston, just like "Delta 89".
- Flight X was a Boeing 767, just like "Delta 89".
- The evacuation of Cleveland Airport resembles in many points a terror drill, just like "Delta 89".
- Col. Scott himself says that "Delta 89" landed at Cleveland. But he gives the bizarre landing time of 9:47. This time doesn't match Flight X, it doesn't match Delta 1989, and it doesn't appear in the arrival data list for Cleveland Airport. Given that "Delta 89" was south of Cleveland at 9:41 and westbound, it is highly doubtable whether it managed to land at Hopkins only six minutes later. Controllers would have been forced to divert numerous other flights to enable "Delta 89" to go down rapidly - inmidst the confusion over United 93! A highly unlikely scenario, and not reported by anyone. Did Scott get the hour wrong - 9:47 instead of 10:47? This would fit the landing of Flight X neatly.
- At 9:40, "Delta 89" was in the vicinity of Cleveland. Flight X landed at 10:45. If the two planes are identical, question arise regarding the plane's whereabout in the meantime. I have sketched a solution here.
How to prove the mystery
The research for CAM has been done exclusively over the Internet, showing the power of this global network as a tool for uncovering clandestine operations. But the article is also a fruitful approach for doing field research, i.e. going to Cleveland and talking with people to get a clear picture of the events. Here are two suitable points for a thorough examination:
- The passengers of Delta 1989 were taken to the FAA headquarters. This evidence is solid as a rock, confirmed by the pilot, a passenger, and numerous reports. But in the morning of 9/11, local radio stations and newspapers reported that people were taken to the NASA Center. So it needs only a few witnesses who confirm the evacuation to NASA Center to prove the mystery beyond any doubt.
- It might be hard to find witnesses who actually have observed Flight X. There are, however, people who have observed fighter jets forcing an airliner to land at Hopkins:
I'm sure there was a fifth plane involved that was headed toward Camp David;however, that plane was forced (yes forced, militarily) to land in Cleveland. I thought the target could also have be NASA's Glen/Lewis Research Center that is right next to the Cleveland Airport. The news reported that the plane landed because of a suspected bomb on board but they haven't released anyone that was on that plane. The closed NASA and transported everyone that was on the plane there for questioning.I have received a few emails confirming this, but can't publish them here due to privacy issues. But there are certainly people living near the airport who remember this airliner-escorted-by-fighters, maybe with additional details. This might be the final proof for the mystery, too, because Delta 1989 was never intercepted:
The 9/11 Commission tells us that NEADS sent fighters from Michigan and Ohio. But these fighters never came in contact with Delta 1989. The Ohio fighters took off at 10:17 (Source), seven minutes after the landing of Delta 1989. The Michigan fighters, despite being airborne at 9:40, landed at their home base shortly thereafter and didn't take off again the next minutes. Source
Two Mainers - stranded in Cleveland
I would like to finish this second version with something what Austrians call a "Zuckerl", an interesting little add-on.
Roger Quirion and Brian Guerrette from Maine were passengers on the same Portland-Boston commuter flight as hijackers Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz Al-Omari. The hijackers "struck them as suspicious", so they were among the first witnesses to tell the FBI about them. In Boston, they embarked on Delta 1989, and ended up in Cleveland.
So far so good. But their story is somewhat inconclusive:
At the airport, FBI agents asked the passengers a variety of questions about the Delta flight, so Quirion and Guerrette said they never thought at the time to give them any information about the Portland flight — or any of the people who were on it.So being interrogated for hours by the FBI at the airport - why didn't they tell the agents immediately about their encounter with the two strange Middle Easterners, but waited until the next day? Their claim that they didn't think the Portland flight was relevant doesn't sound convincing. Their claim that the FBI asked them about the Delta flight is incomplete - the FBI was very much interested in any "unusual or suspicious activities at Logan Airport", as reported by the other Delta 1989 passenger. Here was the perfect opportunity to tell the FBI about the Portland-Boston flight and the mysterious Middle Easterners. Why didn't they do it?
Guerrette said he did not believe that FBI agents at the time knew of the Portland connection. And being sheltered at the airport, the passengers were unaware of exactly what was happening in the rest of the country, they said.
It was not until Quirion and Guerrette arrived at the hotel at 5 p.m. that they were able to see a television and realize the magnitude of what had happened at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a wooded area in western Pennsylvania.
When they woke up the next morning and turned on the news, they learned that two terrorists had boarded a plane in Portland early Tuesday, headed for Boston. That is when they remembered the two passengers from their first flight who struck them as suspicious.
"Brian came into my room and said, 'Remember those two guys?' " Quirion said.
He said he was not sure the information they had would help FBI agents, but they decided to contact the FBI anyway. They called at 9:30 a.m. Nine agents arrived in less than an hour and interviewed them separately for about 45 minutes, they said.
Have they really been aboard Delta 1989? Or was it "Delta 89"?