Crash in Somerset, Pennsylvania

Brett_B

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I have been trying to follow the developments in the other threads, but this topic keeps coming up with much speculation. I posted links, but from the amount of posts the links ended up being "buried".
So I decided to start this thread so people could get information relating to this particular incident.
Here are links to the local (Pittsburgh) newspapers about the Somerset crash
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (http://www.post-gazette.com)
Article: http://www.post-gazette.com/headline...cenenat4p3.asp
Tribune Review (http://triblive.com)
Article: http://triblive.com/news/news_story.html?rkey=170116+sid=0ada69cf931324a763 806f398c6e67e0+cat=news-regional-terrorism+related_name=+template=news1.html
Local television:
WTAE (Channel 4 - Pittsburgh)
Link: http://www.wtaetv.com
WPXI (Channel 11 - Pittsburgh)
Link: http://www.pittsburgh.com/partners/wpxi/
 

andrew markworthy

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I must admit that this one has got me baffled. On Brit TV for quite some time we were told that the plane had crashed at what we were told was an official announcement that is was at an 'undisclosed location'. Later it was said that the plane had presumably been on the way to Camp David and had crashed short of its target.
Curiously, on this evening's Brit TV news, there was plenty of coverage of the first three crashes, and absolutely nothing on the Somerset crash.
The trouble with this level of silence is that it's going to attract a lot of needless speculation (e.g. 'what was at Somerset?' 'is the government covering things up?') which will deflect from the central and far more important issues.
 

MickeS

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Thanks for the links.
Nothing in these stories indicate that the plane was shot down, but it says it was heading for Washington, DC.
There is however mention of an explosion before the plane crashed:
Glen Cramer of Westmoreland County 911 told WTAE-TV that a call was received at about 9:58 a.m. that reported the plane was hijacked. The call originated from the cell phone of a man locked in the bathroom of United Flight 93.
The caller was on the phone with 911 operators for about one minute and said that the plane had been hijacked, Cramer said.
An explosion was then heard. The crash was reported 10 to 15 minutes later.
Alice Hoglan told ABC's "Good Morning America" that her son, Mark Bingham, 31, called her from aboard the flight at 9:44 a.m.
"We've been taken over. There are three men that say they have a bomb," Hoglan said her son told her.

Since they said they had a bomb, that could have been the explosion. That wouldn't explain an explosion on the wing, of course, which was reported elsewhere.
The lack of information about this crash is still odd, though, but I guess they feel that it's not as newsworthy of a story as the other tragic events.
/Mike
[Edited last by MickeS on September 12, 2001 at 02:02 PM]
 

Richard Travale

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Of course the hi-jackers said they have a bomb. What do you think would have happened if they said they had cardboard cutters? They wouldn't have made it out of their seats.
I don't doubt for a second that they were shot down by Jet-fighters after the 911 call.
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Brett_B

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I don't doubt for a second that they were shot down by Jet-fighters after the 911 call.
Richard,
The only problem that I have about the possibility of the jet being shot-down is the fact that not one eye-witness saw any other aircraft. I live in the Pittsburgh area, so there was quite a bit of information coming from Somerset (interviews and live footage).
Another problem that I have is, if this were actually the case (fighter jets sent to take down the aircraft) why would the fighter pilots take the chance of only wounding the aircraft causing it to crash (possibly in a populated area) instead of destroying it while it was still in the air (remember, these aircrafts were FULLY loaded with fuel)?
 

MickeS

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This is a very moving article about this from Washington Post:
By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 12, 2001; 3:42 PM
As United Airlines Flight 93 entered its last desperate moments aloft, there was terror and violence on board – but also heroism.
Minutes before the giant airliner smashed into a field southeast of Pittsburgh, passenger Jeremy Glick used a cell phone to call his wife at home in New Jersey and told her that he and several other people on board had come up with a plan to resist the terrorists who had hijacked the plane, according to Glick's brother-in-law, Douglas B. Hurwitt.
"They were going to stop whoever it was from doing whatever it was they'd planned," Hurwitt said. "He knew that stopping them was going to end all of their lives. But that was my brother-in-law. He was a take-charge guy."
Anticipating his own death, Glick, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Sept. 3, told his wife, Lyzbeth, that he hoped she would have a good life and would take care of their 3-month old baby girl, Hurwitt said.
Glick explained to his wife that the plane had been taken over by three Middle Eastern men wearing red headbands. The terrorists, wielding knives and brandishing a red box they claimed contained a bomb, ordered the passengers, pilots and flight attendants toward the rear of the plane, then took over the cockpit.
The story of Glick's words adds to the account of passenger resistance already given by another passenger's mother on NBC's "Today" show this morning. Alice Hoglan of California says her son, Mark Bingham, also spoke of a plan to tackle the hijackers in a last-minute cell phone call to her.
Flight 93 was the only one of four hijacked planes that did not smash into a major target on the ground, and some officials are already saying that the actions of people on board may have prevented an even greater tragedy.
Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, the ranking Democrat on the Congressional Defense Appropriations Committee, said at the crash site that he believes a struggle took place in the plane's cockpit and that the plane was headed for a significant target in Washington, D.C.
"There had to have been a struggle and someone heroically kept the plane from heading to Washington," he said.
 

Patrick_S

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Brett, I'm glad you started this thread.
I have been in a meeting all day so I haven't had access to HFT all day and I notice that the last thread is now missing.
It really bothers me that there has been so much wild speculation in the last threads about this plane being shot down.
I'm especially bothered that people like say "one way or another we will never know if they shot it down." This is an extremely self-serving statement which unfounded rumors depend on to sustain life.
I look at it this way, if there were military planes in the sky some one most likely would have seen the fighters in the sky.
Come on people, this kind of wild unfounded speculation accomplishes nothing.
------------------
 

Rob Gillespie

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Fellas, we've had problems with the threads over the past few days. The post counts weren't that high (relatively speaking), but we can only presume the number of hits to the main threads in this area was enormous. Certainly the posting activity in the main areas has been exceptionally slow.
We will keep the main threads going and restart them when necessary, however the splinter discussions like this one are no problem either.
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Ashley Seymour

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I don't doubt for a second that they were shot down by Jet-fighters after the 911 call.
I DO!
My first thought when the initial images of the crater in the ground came in was that the passengers had gotten together and subdued at lease some of the hijackers. The cell calls from the two guys in the plane just bears out the prospect that there was a heroic struggle on the plane and that their action resulted in the crash and the failure of the mission.
I can't think of any bigger heroes than the passengers on this flight.
------------------
 

Richard Travale

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I heard on the radio this morning that there were witnesses to two military aircraft flying away after the crash. This is complete hearsay of course and I won't continue with it.
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Rich
"A) You can never go too far and B) If I'm going to get busted it is NOT going to be by a guy like DAT."
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Dean DeMass

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Tuesday, I heard interviews, on the radio, from folks in Pennsylvania, saying that they saw what looked like an F-15 fighter jet fly over right after the plane went down. I still believe that it was shot down.
-Dean-
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[Edited last by Dean DeMass on September 13, 2001 at 10:19 AM]
 

Deane Johnson

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One possibility is that military jets had been scrambled to prevent it from reaching Washington, but did not have time act before it went down for some other reason. Just a thought.
Deane
 

Ted Lee

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I can't think of any bigger heroes than the passengers on this flight.
i couldn't agree more!!!
i believe, that if the other passengers on the other three planes knew what was truly happening, and had the time, they also would have done the same...
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Bill Buklis

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I'm sure this is the case. Somehow the passengers either heard the plans from the hijackers or learned of the other attacks. They then decided to take action.
They should all be given medals posthumously. As tragic as it was, it could have been even worse. These passengers prevented that.
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JoeN

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Officials in southwestern Pennsylvania said they have identified and cordoned off a second debris site about 6 to 8 miles away from the crash site
Hrm... wouldn't this indicate maybe something else happened?
 

Brett_B

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JoeN,
Where did you find that last piece of information at? I heard some interesting tidbits about this incident last night, but I want to find out more before I comment on it.
Thanks
Brett
 

Ted Lee

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wouldn't this indicate maybe something else happened?
that is very interesting and even though i am purely guessing...to me that would indicate one of two things:
1. something else must have happened, probably in the sky.
2. this is some far-flying debris from the initial impact site.
------------------
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But the water has moved on.
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Brett_B

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Thanks, Joe.
Last night while discussing this particular incident, I was told that Westmoreland County dispatched about 8 sheriff's deputies to the Latrobe Airport (Tuesday, after the plane went down in Somerset). When they arrived, the FBI were already there and they had ordered all personell out of the control tower, and that no one was permitted inside except for the FBI. Apparantly, the FBI did this to several surrounding airports in the area of Somerset (Johnstown was another).
The person I was hearing this from used to work for the government (Pentagon). He said that the best way to take down a plane was to shoot the wing off (also said that would explain the eye-witness' reports of the plane rolling then going into a dive).
I am wondering now if that this new site they discovered is actually part of a wing? I don't know, but now I am wondering.
I still want to believe wholeheartedly that it was an act of heroism. I think if it is determined to be something else, I still think that those passengers are, indeed, heroes in my book.
God bless them.
 

MickeS

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I wish the media would deal with these rumours.
If someone just asked at a press conference "Was the plane in PA shot down by the US airforce?" and the answer is "No." I'd be satisfied. As it is now, they completely ignore it.
/Mike
 

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