Wow, I just got done reading the headlines for today, and I came across an article by Ted Rall that suggests Flight 93 was not taken down by heroic passengers, but was instead shot down by the US Air Force.
Rall quotes reports from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette filed shortly after the accident that say debris from the plane was found 2.5 miles from the crash site.
[Begin quote] The September 13, 2001 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, for example: "In a morning briefing, 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 [two and a half miles from the crash site]."
Flight 93 "headed down...rolled onto its back," and crashed, leaving a smoldering crater. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette again: "[Indian Lake marina employee John] Fleegle said he climbed on the roof of an abandoned cabin and tossed down a burning seat cushion that had landed there. By Wednesday morning, crash debris began washing ashore at the marina. Fleegle said there was something that looked like a rib bone amid pieces of seats, small chunks of melted plastic and checks." Seats and bones don't fly two and a half miles from a crash. Their location could indicate an initial explosion, such as that from a missile hitting a plane. [End quote]
Rall also points to the secrecy surrounding the cockpit voice recorder, the contents of which have never been released to the public.
Now, I'm not a big believer in conspiracy theories, because I think that people are typically too incompetent to sustain such endeavors. But Rall raises some good points here. First, why have the contents of the voice recorder been kept under wraps? If this is really a story about heroism, then there should be no conflict.
Plus, I have no trouble believing that the Bush administration would rather allow a self-serving fable about a passenger calling out "Let's roll" and other stories of heroism to take the place of truth (Like most politicians, Cheney and Bush really seem to struggle with the truth when it might run contrary to their agenda). If the plane was shot down, then say so. If it was really a story of heroism, then release the contents of the cockpit recorder.
We may never know what actually happened that day in skies over Western PA, but, for me, it's just another item in a long line of items of repressed and distorted information churned out by an administration whose supposed leader (Bush) was elected because he allegedly had more "character" than Bill Clinton. Character, in this context, means telling the truth and being forthright, where most of what I see is secrecy and self-interest.
I'm keen to hear other opinions about Rall's story. It's a question of whether we, as a people, want to cling to the fairy tale or whether we want to pursue the truth.