Here’s another theory about Flight 93: that it was actually shot down. Several witnesses have said they saw a small white plane in the area just after the crash, and one even says she saw it about a minute before the crash. Here’s Susan McElwain, another of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists’ “smoking guns”:
If you google her name, you’ll come up with nearly 100 webpages dedicated to her story as one of the single greatest pieces of evidence that 9/11 was a hoax. The headlines and exerpts say pretty much the same thing: “Susan McElwain saw hard evidence that proved the government story wrong, and the government covered it up!” McElwain is one person, and her story is often intertwined with other stories that claim Flight 93 never crashed in Shanksville. What about all the other witnesses?
Eric Peterson and Lee Purbaugh were working at an auto shop that morning when they heard a loud, whistling whine and looked up to see the 757 passenger jet so close that, according to them, “you could count the rivets.” The plane crashed so hard and so fast that the shock wave blew the windows out of a nearby farmhouse. Both ran to the crash site and saw a huge burning crater surrounded by all kinds of debris–seat cushions, pieces of clothing, and parts of the plane (which, according to the conspiracy theorists, was never found. Whoops!).
Tom Fritz was sitting on his porch a quarter mile from the crash site and said that the plane suddenly flipped and dropped “like a stone.” Students at nearby Stony Creek High School said the crash made the whole campus shake violently. Anna McBride watched the 757 flip, nosedive and crash through her kitchen window. 72-year-old John Walsh also raced to the crash site and saw the same debris and burning crater that other witnesses saw. Viola Saylor, Joe Wilt, Karl Landis, Rick King, Bruce Grine–all reported the same things.
Most of them also reported seeing the white jet in the area.
Susan McElwain swears up and down that she didn’t see a 757. She says that she saw a small white jet flying low, and later saw the gigantic fireball that was Flight 93 crashing. The plane was small, white, with no discernable markings, was moving fast and making little noise. The answer has been given so often that it astounds me that it’s been ignored. Pilot Yates Gladwell was flying a Dassault Falcon 20 for VF Corp employees that day when he suddenly received the order to land the plane–no explanation, just go to the nearest airport and land. As he was in a landing pattern near 3000 feet, he got another call: the FAA has lost a plane and you’re the closest. Can you go look for it?
He did, and circled for some time. At first he couldn’t see the plane, and was about to leave–then it crashed and he couldn’t miss it. Gladwell was an important part of the inital disaster relief effort. He helped direct workers to the site.
Did Susan McElwain make it up? Did she really see what she claims? One eyewitness to the Pentagon attack said he saw a helicopter disappear behind the walls immediately before the massive explosion, but no helicopter crashed or was involved in the explosion. Depending on where you are in regards to the direction everything else is moving, what you see can play tricks on you. It’s common for witness identification at trial to be sketchy, even if the witness swears that they know who they saw at the crime scene; that’s because often people don’t always realize what they saw. There are times when I wish I had that problem.
At any rate, I am not for one second calling McElwain a liar. She likely did see the low-flying white plane just like everyone else. Where she was in relation to where everything else was makes all the difference, and that hasn’t been taken into account. It’s the conspiracy theorists (Alex Jones and Dylan Avery, please take note) who take things like this and make them more than they really are.
But what about her assertion that the plane had a “military look?” This was what she saw:
It might actually be easy to call this a military-style jet, especially if you don’t know much about military planes. Saying “I know it was a military plane, it just had that look” doesn’t convince me. And saying, “I haven’t been able to find a plane like that on the internet” doesn’t do it, either–there are so many different kinds of planes out there that you have to know aviation terminology to find what you saw.
The problem here is that nobody, not even Susan McElwain, is willing to admit that they might very well be mistaken in their assumptions. None of this is anywhere near as conclusive as the twoofers claim; in fact, it’s more damaging to the cause. Next!