North's REALITY CHECK
October 5, 2001
NEWS STORIES THAT ARE SOMEHOW NOT WORTH
Let's consider Flight 93. It crashed in
Pennsylvania. We all know the basic story
by now. A group of three passengers
decided to stop the hijackers by force.
Some of them had phoned their wives. But
this information came out only later.
What came earlier is
what I find interesting. It has not
On September 12, The Guardian,
the liberal British newspaper, ran
a story on the attacks. Toward the end
of the report, we read this:
a.m. in New York, the second tower of
the World Trade Centre came tumbling
news broke of another crash, this time
around 80 miles south-east of
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At 9.58 a.m.,
an emergency dispatcher had answered a
telephone call from a man who said he
was a passenger locked in a bathroom on
United Airlines flight 93. "We are
being hijacked, we are being hijacked,"
he told the dispatcher, while
repeatedly insisting that the call was
not a hoax. The plane was "going down",
he said. He had heard some sort of
explosion and said there was white
smoke coming from the aircraft. Then
the dispatcher lost him.
You might imagine that some reporter
since September 12 might have followed up
on this story. Why was there smoke coming
into the cabin? What was the explosion?
Who was the dispatcher? When was the call
made? What was going on here?
A hint of an answer was
published the next day in
Newsday (Sept. 12).
Probing Reports That F-16 Neared Pa.
PA. -- William Crowley, a
Pittsburgh FBI agent among those
directing the search operation on a
hijacked airliner that crashed in
Shanksville, Pa. here, said today the
FBI is looking into reports from local
residents that an F-16 fighter jet was
seen in the area of the crash before
the plane hit the ground.
that and we're looking into it,"
Airlines flight 93, a Boeing 757 headed
from Newark Airport to San Francisco,
was one of four hijacked Tuesday
morning. It made a sharp turn after
reaching Cleveland, heading south and
east. It crashed shortly after 10 a.m.,
following earlier crashes of other
airliners on the World Trade Center and
the FBI had ruled out the possibility
that the plane was shot down by
military jets, Crowley said, "No we
have not. We haven't ruled out anything
yet....We certainly haven't come to
that conclusion either."
the Department of Defense had been
questioned about whether an F-16 was in
the area, he said, "I'm sure that's
been asked." He said that was a matter
for officials in Washington rather than
field officers investigating the
of Newsday article, added by this
On the day of
the attacks, Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld said he had
"absolutely no information" that a
military plane shot down another plane,
and White House press secretary Ari
Fleischer said "I have not heard"
any reports of a military action to
down the plane.
At the news
conference this morning, Crowley and
Maj. Lyle Szupinka of the
Pennsylvania State Police acknowledged
that the debris field for the crashed
jetliner is spread over a six-mile area
and they urged local residents who have
found debris in their yards to contact
As recently as
yesterday, officials had said the
debris was confined to a crater in an
abandoned coal mine about 20 miles
south of Johnstown. At the news
conference today, they said wreckage
had been found in the Indian Lakes
residential area about six miles from
the crash site.
"How it got there, we're not sure." He
described the debris there as "all very
verysmall" and said it was possible it
had been blown there by air
addition by this
What we need is a full report, publicly
verified by nongovernmental agencies other
than the FBI, regarding the details of the
flight recorder. We also need an
unexpurgated version of the 30-minute loop
tape of the cockpit recorder.
Yesterday, the day after I reported
that we have heard nothing about the
contents of the recorders, an an
article appeared in USA Today.
It reported on the testimony of an FBI
agent about the contents of the Flight 93
cockpit recorder. Here's what we
digital recording, according to
officials with knowledge of its
contents, picks up sounds of people
shouting and screaming in the cabin and
cockpit shortly before the crash. But a
high level of background noise has made
it difficult for investigators to
interpret exactly what was being said
or done during the final minutes of the
from the recording is who was at the
controls of the jet -- the hijackers or
the passengers -- when it slammed into
a field in Pennsylvania, killing all 44
aboard. A preliminary review of the
jet's flight data recorder indicated
that it turned on its back and flew
relatively straight into the ground,
sources said. . . .
have asked outside experts to analyze
the recorder a second time in an
attempt to glean more from its
contents. The use of filters and other
computer analysis of cockpit voice
recorders is common after an
So, what do we learn from this? Just
about nothing. What about the original
report regarding an explosion and smoke?
What about the report of the F-16 in the
vicinity? Not a word. All this is just not
worth following up. Some things are just
not newsworthy, don't you know?
The government has made posthumous
heroes of the three men who supposedly
attacked the hijackers. What are the odds
that we will soon see an official report
that says that just after they secured the
plane, an F-16 shot it down?
At this point, we don't know what
happened in the final minutes of Flight
93. Three men are now national heroes.
They had the right idea. But as to what
happened, we don't know. The government
ought to say, "We don't know."
I called an old friend of mine, a
retired airline pilot with about 30 years
in the air. He told me, "I would not trust
anything the government says is on those
So, we'll wait. We'll see if a group of
independent, non-government organizations
gets access to the tape. We'll see if the
major news media are given open access to
all of it, not just summaries.
As for the other seven boxes... nothing
has been released so far. One of these
Real Soon Now.
item, to which we have added where
indicated, is the only other website
page which I have seen to focus
interest on the U.S. Government's
attempt to cover up what actually
happened in the skies above
likely scenario, and the only one to
explain that the wreckage is scattered
over a wide area, and that the crater
shown to the media is so small and free
of major wreckage, is that the airliner
was blown up in mid-air.
Crowley himself ruled out a
terrorist bomb. That leaves only
intervention by the F16 fighter planes,
scrambled on President Bush's
orders with orders to shoot.
Why does he
not come clean? The U.S. public would
understand that in "war" tough
decisions sometimes have to be made.
Instead it seems that the facts are
being suppressed, and the U.S. media
are conniving in the cover-up.
Was that the
real reason why he invited Todd
Beamer's young widow to stand
beside him when he addressed the U.S.
Congress? A deep and human sense of
guilt -- that he had given the order
that killed her husband and the other
items on this website:
Irving: A Radical's Diary