May 28, 2008

 One of Our Aircraft Isn’t Missing

At 11:43 am on the morning of 9/11 WCPO radio in Cincinnati posted an AP article titled "Plane Lands in Cleveland; Bomb Feared Aboard"1 concerning the strange occurrence of a commercial airliner making an emergency landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport due to a bomb threat. AP reported that Mayor Michael R. White of Cleveland had identified the aircraft as a 767 out of Boston. Mayor White added that the aircraft had been moved to a secure area of the airport and evacuated. Why, one might ask, do I consider it strange that a commercial airliner experiencing a bomb threat would be diverted and landed before it reaches its destination? Strange because the AP article identified the aircraft in question as United Airlines (UA) Flight 93, the very Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pa at 10:03 AM. In the third paragraph AP reports, "United identified the plane as Flight 93."2

Now as it happened Delta Flight 1989, a 767 out of Boston (Flight 93 was a 757) had landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport at 10:10 AM3 due to a bomb threat and had been moved to a secure area of the airport, however this aircraft hadn’t been evacuated until 12:30 PM, forty-six minutes after WCPO posted the AP article.

In the fourth paragraph AP reports, "United said it was also "deeply concerned" about another flight, Flight 175, a Boeing 767, which was bound from Boston to Los Angeles."4 This paragraph tells us that AP was talking to UA about Flight 93 while UA was operating under the knowledge that Flight 175 was still in the air. Why? Because UA would have been tracking Flight 1755 throughout it’s journey and immediately known  through UA's Special Operations Center (see next three paragraphs) that it had crashed when it did at 9:03 AM in New York City.

In times when problems arise, managers at UA can use the Special Operations Center, located at UA's operations base in Elk Grove, Illinois, where they, "can use the a/v system to watch any flight from its takeoff to touchdown.They can have constant contact with that plane in the air, and they can watch anything that may be affecting the plane's environment as it travels." Therefore  when UA says a flight experiencing an emergency situation has landed at a specified location, UA knows it has landed and where.

During such emergency situations, the Special Operations Center—also known informally as the crisis management room—was where "the appropriate personnel take their positions. These include the president and CEO of United Airlines, vice-presidents of most of its departments and whatever outsiders might be able to help. The room's computer and communications systems have a reach of global proportions..."7 So not only would UA managers know the exact location of Flight 93 at any time of the day, but so would the CEO and other executive officers of the company during an emergency.

Moreover, the company that installed UA's tracking computers in 1998—United Visual—also installed in each airline manager's workstation, to the left of the aircraft-tracking monitor, six TV monitors for 24/7 satellite cable news viewing.8

UAL Special Operations Center, with 14 workstations, 3 Sony projectors and 2 large video monitors

So when an aircraft impacted the south tower at 9:03 AM, at the precise time that Flight 175 disappeared from UA’s tracking monitors over New York City, UA's airline managers saw the impact, as did those of us who were watching television that morning. Immediately UA airline managers would have put two and two together, and known that the aircraft they just saw on satellite television news fly into the south tower was, in fact, their aircraft that had just disappeared from their aircraft-tracking monitors at the same time, at the same altitude (the aircraft’s transponder reporting a rapid decelerating from approximately 540 mph to near 0 mph in less than a second) and over the same precise location. Consequently the AP article would not have been a story that focused on a diverted aircraft, with a passing mention of another aircraft that UA was

"deeply concerned" about, but instead a story where the spotlight would have been thrown full blast on the crash of Flight 175 over New York City (and a mention of the earlier crash into the north tower), after  a short initial account of Flight 93's landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Since AP doesn’t mention the crash of a second aircraft in the article (and tentatively identify the aircraft as UA Flight 1759 according to FAA and UA sources) that proves that AP got the UA quotes before 9:03 AM.10
Why before 9:03 AM? Because as discussed above United Airlines would have been tracking Flight 175 throughout it’s journey and instantly known through UA's Special Operations Center that it had crashed when it did at 9:03 AM over New York City.

Closeup of a UNIX workstation, radio handset and satellite feeds used to monitor TV news

Therefore when UA CEO James Goodwin says in the AP article, "United is working with all the relevant authorities, including the FBI, to obtain further information on these flights [UA Flights 175 and 93],"11 this tells us that AP was talking to UA long before Flight 93 was known to have been hijacked, which was at 9:28 AM.12 Since UA would have had no reason to be discussing Flight 93 with AP before 9:28 AM according to the official 9/11 narrative, that leads us to the inevitable conclusion that the AP article does indeed confirm the landing of Flight 93 at Cleveland Hopkins Airport when it quotes UA saying, "United identified the plane as Flight 93".13

Interestingly, minutes after the AP article was posted at WCPO it was retracted with the following message as to why, "This story has been removed from It was a preliminary AP story, and was factually incorrect."14 No reason was given by WCPO as to why the article was "factually incorrect", however based on the article itself we can hypothesize where the "factually incorrect" came into place: To speed things up on that busy morning, the AP reporter took the spiked Flight 93 story he wrote-up earlier in the morning and copied and pasted it onto another word processing file for reediting to conform with the Delta 1989 landing that took place at 10:10 AM. Since the first two paragraphs would remain the same, except for two minor revisions in the first paragraph (767 for 757 and Boston Airport for Newark Airport) and the deletion of the word ‘evacuated’ in the second paragraph, the reporter then would only have to update the remainder of the article with the Delta 1989 landing. However the reporter must have gotten distracted in the chaos of that morning and neglected to 1. Delete the word ‘evacuated’ in the second paragraph, and 2. Replace the last four paragraphs that specifically mentioned Flight 93, UA and its CEO with the story of Delta 1989’s landing!

We can now begin to understand the true reason for Delta 1989's landing at Cleveland Airport. Delta 1989 was landed at Cleveland Airport because of the media's error in releasing the story of Flight 93's landing there. The Delta 1989 landing could then be used to explain away as an error the report that Flight 93 had landed at Cleveland Airport, an error due to a misidentification of one flight for the other.

So what happened to Flight 93? Thanks to the AP article we can say that Flight 93 took off from Newark Airport as scheduled at 8:00 AM (or close to it), and not at 8:42 AM as the official Flight 93 narrative claims, and landed safely at Cleveland Hopkins Airport no later than 8:48 AM. Why no later than 8:48 AM you ask? Because thanks to UA admitting it was also "deeply concerned" about Flight 175, we know that AP got the story by 9:03 AM, and it would have taken at least fifteen minutes for Flight 93 to have been, as mentioned by Mayor White, moved to a secure area of the airport and evacuated before UA and its CEO could have made their particular comments as reported by AP.

Further proof that UA and its CEO gave their interview to AP no later than 8:48 AM is the curious omission in the AP article of any mention of aircraft impacting the towers. Since Delta 1989 landed at Cleveland Airport at 10:10 AM EDT in the morning, one would expect some mention of these two disasters, which occurred at 8:46 AM EDT (Flight 11) and 9:03 AM EDT (Flight 175).

Also see this blog's January 2009 article 'United Awarelines'.

2. Ibid.

3. USA Today Article On Delta 1989 Landing At Cleveland Airport

5. It should be noted that according to the 9/11 Commission Report, while "United 175’s transponder code changed, and then changed again" the transponder signal was never lost (see: 9/11 Commission Report, page 21).

6. United Visual

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid

9. According to Colin Scoggins, "the go-to guy at Boston Center for all things military", within minutes of Flight 175's impact into Two World Trade Center, United Airlines tells the FAA’s Boston Center that Flight 175 is down. Scoggins later recalls, "When we phoned United [after the second tower was hit], they confirmed that United 175 was down, and I think they confirmed that within two or three minutes." [Vanity Fair, 8/1/2006] 

10. If the AP reporter had contacted United Airlines after 9:03 AM, the AP article would not have been a story on Flight 93 landing at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, but instead a story on Flight 175 crashing into the south tower.

12. Hijackers Attacked Flight 93 At 9:28