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Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial

The Crash of Flight 93

Evidence Indicates Flight 93 Was Shot Down

According to the official story, Flight 93, the fourth jetliner commandeered on 9/11/01, was flown into the ground near Shanksville, PA, as a result of a struggle in the cockpit between the hijackers and passengers who had rushed them in an attempt to gain control of the aircraft or otherwise prevent it from crashing into a strategic target, such as the U.S. Capitol.

The evidence shows that Flight 93 did indeed crash near Shanksville, and suggests that the passengers did struggle to gain control of the plane. However, the cause of the crash was apparently trauma to the aircraft -- such as a missile strike -- rather than the actions of whoever was in the cockpit. Evidence of such trauma preceding the jetliner's nose-dive includes the widely scattered debris field, numerous ear- and eyewitness accounts, and evidence that NORAD and the 9/11 Commission changed the timeline to hide the plane's true fate.

Far-Flung Debris

flight 93 crash
This and other photographs show a deep impact crater, indicating that the plane plunged into the ground at a steep angle.

Local officials stated that crash debris was spread over a wide area. According to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, state police Major Lyle Szupinka "confirmed that debris from the plane had turned up in relatively far-flung sites, including the residential area of Indian Lake." 1   The residential areas of Indian Lake range from three to six miles from the crash site. As noted on the pages describing Flight 93 and its crash site, there were a number of debris fields. Small debris descended over Indian Lake and New Baltimore, about three and eight miles from the primary crash site, and an engine core was separated from the main impact crater by about 2000 feet.

Some officials have suggested that wind scattered the debris once on the ground, but wind certainly couldn't have blown a one-ton engine a half-mile, nor could the 9-mile-per-hour wind have blown debris for eight miles.

Debris fields from Flight 93 were scattered across eight miles.

An article in Popular Mechanics attempts to explain the far-flung debris by suggesting that the engine "tumbl[ed] across the ground" and that the light debris was "blasted skyward by the heat of the explosion from the crash." Such scenarios are impossible given the nature of the crash, wherein the plane dove into the soft ground from a nearly vertical trajectory. This is evident in the deep impact crater whose shape mimics the cross-section of the aircraft, and by the agreement among eyewitness that the plane dropped from the sky in a vertical fashion.

Struck in the Air

Eyewitness accounts corroborate physical evidence that portions of the plane were destroyed in the air, consistent with a missile strike from a nearby military plane. These accounts support the following elements.

  • A white jet in pursuit of the jetliner
  • Peculiar engine sounds before the crash
  • Sounds of explosions before the plane fell from the sky
  • Appearances that the plane suddenly began to drop vertically

Further evidence that Flight 93 was shot down was provided by an apparent slip-up by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in an interview with Brigadier General James Marks aired on December 24, 2004.

I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten -- indeed the word 'terrorized' is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be. 2   3  
[emphasis added]

Fudging the Timeline

There are several independent lines of evidence that establish that Flight 93 crashed at 10:06 in Shanksville, PA. These include the following:

  • Seismic signals recorded by seismic observatories at Soldier's Delight, MD, and Millersville, PA, which pegged the impact time at 10:06:05, with an error margin of 5 seconds.
  • A report from Cleveland Air Traffic Control that they had lost radar contact with Flight 93 at 10:06. 4  
  • Reports by witnesses on the ground of the plane flying low and erratically around 10:05. 5  
  • Various press reports that put the time at 10:06. 6   7   8  
  • Radar records released by the FAA. The Post-Gazette noted, two days after the attack:
    The Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday it turned over to the FBI a radar record of United Airlines Flight 93's route.

    The data traced the Boeing 757-200 from its takeoff from Newark, N.J., to its violent end at 10:06 a.m., just outside Shanksville, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. 9  

Despite these extensive bodies of credible evidence establishing Flight 93's impact time at 10:06 AM, NORAD and the 9/11 Commission asserted that impact was at 10:03. NORAD provides no evidence to back up its claim, but the Commission provides a long footnote to justify its use of 10:03.


1. Investigators locate 'black box' from Flight 93; widen search area in Somerset crash, post-gazette.com, 9/13/01 [cached]
2. Pentagon: Rumsfeld misspoke on Flight 93 crash, 12/27/04 [cached]
3. Surprise Trip for Donald Rumsfeld; Interview With Brigadier General James Marks; Christian in Iraq, CNN.com, [cached]
4. Flight 93: Forty lives, one destiny, post-gazette.com, 10/28/01 [cached]
5. Complete 911 Timeline: United Airlines Flight 93, CooperativeResearch.org,
6. We Know it Crashed, But Not Why, The Philadelphia Daily News, 11/15/01 [cached]
7. Day of Terror: Outside tiny Shanksville, a fourth deadly stroke, post-gazette.com, 9/12/01 [cached]
8. Part I: Terror attacks brought drastic decision: Clear the skies, USA TODAY, 2002 [cached]
9. What was the danger to city? Doomed United Flight 93 passed just south of Pittsburgh, post-gazette.com, 9/13/01 [cached]

page last modified: 2006-12-20