July 21, 2009

Archive of reports that most of Flight 93 had buried

From News Reports:

2 planes had no part in crash of Flight 93
September 16, 2001
"The voice recorder would have picked up the last 30 minutes of conversation in the cockpit, unless the hijackers turned it off or it was too severely damaged in the crash. It was found around 8:25 p.m. Thursday, 25 feet below the ground in the crater gouged out by the doomed jet. It appeared to be in good condition.
Debris from the crash has been found up to 8 miles from the crash site, but searchers are concentrating on the crater where most of the remains are located." - post-gazette.com

Local WTC Survivor Describes Escape
September 18, 2001
"One week after United Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, workers continued to search through the debris in hope of finding answers to why the plane, allegedly on target for Washington, D.C., fell to earth in Pennsylvania.
Workers have now gone 30 feet into the crater created by Flight 93 and are finding larger pieces of debris. Originally, all that could be seen were tiny pieces of evidence that the plane went down Sept. 11 in the rural community near Shanksville, Pa.
Last week, the largest items found were no bigger than a briefcase." - wtae.com

Support of strangers in Somerset County a boost to survivors of Flight 93 victims
September 19, 2001
"The area surrounding the impact was barely recognizable as a crash site in the first day or two after the attack. Yesterday, the impact crater was flanked by mounds of excavated dirt and heavy equipment.
The excavated area within the wedge-shaped crater is now some 30 feet deep, and Crowley said investigators did not plan to go much deeper. 
Recovery experts believe that the remaining 20 percent may yield an increasing concentration of evidence, human remains and effects.
As investigators have delved deeper below the impact point the material unearthed has become increasingly larger and more recognizable than the extremely fragmented debris found nearer the surface.
Crowley would not be more specific about the size or nature of any newly found items , but said, "As they go deeper, they're finding material that's more significant, I'll leave it at that." - post-gazette.com

Stoic father visits Somerset crash site of Flight 93 to say thanks

September 20, 2001
"Recovery work, which officials estimate could last another two to four weeks, is yielding larger parts of the jetliner as teams sift deeper into the crater left by its impact." -  post-gazette.com

Coroner's quiet unflappability helps him take charge of Somerset tragedy
October 15, 2001
"Even in the middle of it all, where trees were scorched and the Boeing 757's fuselage disintegrated in a crater that collapsed on itself to leave a gouge maybe 14 feet across, the destruction was so complete that it was hard to imagine what happened." - post-gazette.com

We know it crashed, but not why
November 18, 2001
"THE DEBRIS FIELD. The reclaimed mine where the plane crashed is composed of very soft soil, and searchers say much of the wreckage was found buried 20-25 feet below the large crater." - dailynews.philly.com

Coroner remembers Sept. 11
May 30, 2002
"Miller recalled his arrival at the crash site about 20 minutes after the plane plummeted to the earth and described how the aircraft came down at a 45-degree angle. He explained how the cockpit broke off at impact, bouncing into a wooded area of about 60 acres. The resulting fireball scorched about eight acres of trees, he said.
The remainder of the plane burrowed deep into the ground, creating a long, narrow crater." - pittsburghlive.com

Senate Debates Attack on Iraq; Did Russian Mob Attempt to Fix Olympics?
Aired July 31, 2002
BLITZER: Jere Longman covered the aftermath of the Flight 93, the crash on the ground in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. And his book, "Among The Heroes," is the product of hundreds of interviews. He joins us now from New York.
JERE LONGMAN, AUTHOR, "AMONG THE HEROES": The final struggle began about 9:58, five minutes before the plane crashed, according to the family members who heard the tape and saw a transcript and were allowed to take notes. [snip] And then, there was a final rushing sound at about 10 minutes after three -- excuse me, three minutes after 10. The plane crashed. It turned upside down going 575 miles-an-hour and burrowed 35 feet into the ground." - cnn.com

On Hallowed Ground
September 9 2002
"In its final moments, it spun 180 degrees, hitting the ground upside down and at a 45-degree angle.
When flight 93 hit the ground, the cockpit and first-class cabin broke off, scattered into millions of fragments that spread and flew like shrapnel into and through the trees 20 metres away.
The rest of the 757 continued its downward passage, the sandy loam closing behind it like the door of a tomb. Eventually these pieces and its human cargo... came to rest against solid rock, 23 metres below the surface." - theage.com.au 

The day that changed America
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
"The plane pitched, then rolled, belly up. It hit nose-first, like a lawn dart. It disintegrated, digging more than 30 feet into the earth, which was spongy from the old mine work." - pittsburghlive.com

Families of Flight 93 victims gather at Shanksville crash site
September 11, 2002
"Yesterday, he was shown where the Newark-to-San-Francisco-bound Boeing 757 corkscrewed into the ground at more than 507 mph." - post-gazette.com

Town embraces role it never sought
September 11, 2002
"The strip mine is composed of very soft black soil, and searchers said much of the wreckage was found buried 20 to 25 feet below the large crater." - southcoasttoday.com

Terrorism awakened a sleepy Shanksville
All contents copyright 2002
"After buzzing Somerset County, Flight 93 burrowed into a secluded field that was a reclaimed strip mine, two miles from the district’s only school and its 500 pre-kindergarten to senior high school students." - gannettonline.com

Day of remembrance
Published: 09/12/02
"At 10:06 a.m., the final services began on a field near Shanksville, Pa., where United Flight 93 burrowed into the ground when passengers thwarted terrorists' plans to crash the plane into the Capitol or the White House." - thenewstribune.com

Small town shoulders a nation's grief
published September 10, 2003
"The site had been mined for coal, then refilled with dirt. It was still soft when Flight 93 crashed, and firefighters said the Boeing 757 tunneled right in. They had to dig 15 feet to find it." - sptimes.com

At Flight 93 crash site, family members return; lack of hoopla welcome
Friday, September 12, 2003
"Bagpipe music drifted over a hill and into this tranquil valley as nearly 40 family members returned to weep, pray and leave flowers on the ground that swallowed their loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001." - post-gazette.com

Sacred Ground in Pennsylvania
Sept 2006
"But it took a while to identify the exact location of impact because there was no plane visible. Sally remembers Jamie phoning them from the site and saying, “There is no plane there, believe me.”
The location was eventually determined because of some disturbed ground in front of a grove of charred evergreens, explains Jamie. The ground had swallowed up much of the wreckage.
The plane "went in the ground so fast it didn’t have a chance to burn," says Jim [Svonavec].
The flight data recorder was located on September 13, some 15 feet underground. The following day, the cockpit voice recorder was unearthed at a depth of 25 feet." - americancatholic.org

Memories of Flight 93 crash still fresh at 5-year anniversary
Sunday, September 03, 2006
"State police Maj. Frank Monaco remembers the crash site as a "smoking hole in the ground."
"It didn't look like a plane crash," says Maj. Monaco, 56, from New Kensington.
The plane had burrowed into the soft, reclaimed earth of the former strip mine and crumpled like an accordion, he says."
Veteran FBI agent Michael Soohy had been to airplane crash scenes before, and he thought he knew what to expect: chaos, bodies, a hulking wreck of a jet.
"I don't think anyone expected to see what they didn't see," said the 50-year-old who grew up near Johnstown. "It's almost like a dart hitting a pile of flour. ... The plane went in, and the stuff back-filled right over it." - post-gazette.com

Flight 93 caretakers
September 11, 2008
"Waiting to hear stories about the brave passengers and crew of doomed Flight93, waiting to pay their respects, waiting to sit on benches and gaze across a field decorated with white Queen Anne's lace to the spot where a streaking jet was swallowed up by the earth." - baltimoresun.com

Pennsylvania Firefighters Share Bond With Flight 93 Families
Posted: 09-11-2008
"Dave Andolina, who drove the Central City fire engine to the crash, said it was a hopeless feeling when he arrived. "There was nothing. There were a few spot fires. There were no big pieces, nothing."
Shanksville Chief Terry Shaffer said the earth literally opened, swallowed the aircraft and closed up. He said the ground at the site was soft because it had been a strip mine." - firehouse.com

Ex-FBI Employee Claims She Saw Angels at Flight 93
July 3, 2012
"Lillie Leonardi served as a liaison between law enforcement and the families of the passengers and crew members killed in the United Airlines Flight 93 crash. She arrived on the scene about three hours after the crash.
...she argues her life has been changed more by what she didn't see that day. "The biggest thing for me is that that there were no bodies," she said.
She said she also remembers a smoldering crater littered with debris too small to associate with the jetliner or 40 passengers and crew on board.
"I'm used to crime scenes but this one blew me out of the water. It just looked like the ground had swallowed up" the plane, Leonardi said." - abcnews.go.com

From books about the official story: 

"I didn't see a single piece of airplane anywhere... Little could be found. Because of the reclaimed strip mine, the ground was softer than other surrounding areas. The plane had pierced the earth like a spoon in a cup of coffee: the spoon forced the coffee back, and then the coffee immediately closed around the spoon as though nothing had troubled the surface. Anything that remained of Flight 93 was buried deep in the ground."
(Lisa Beamer, Let's Roll!: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage, July 2002, p. 231) [reprint]

"Bill Baker, the 911 Addressing Specialist for Somerset County's Emergency Management Agency: "When they said it was a 757, I looked out across the debris field. I said, 'There is no way there is a 757 scattered here.' At that time, we didn't know that it was in the hole."
(Kashurba, Courage After the Crash: Flight 93 Aftermath, Aug 2002, p. 42-43) [reprint]

"The fuselage accordioned on itself more than thirty feet into the porous, backfilled ground. It was as if a marble had been dropped into water."
(Longman, Among the Heroes, July 2003, p. 215)

From interviews of local officials:

Barry Lichty, Mayor of Indian Lake: "92%-93% of the remains of the aircraft and the people are still in that hole."

Wally Miller (2008): "The explanation was, when the plane came in, it was coming low. It banked at a 90deg angle -- allegedly from the people, from the struggle in the cockpit.
The right wing hit the ground right there were the impact area is and as that happened, it took the front end...[does cartwheel hand gesture].
The front 1/3 of the plane, including the cockpit, slammed into the ground off of the wing and the front 1/3 broke off and flew up into the trees and there was a fireball behind it and the remaining 2/3'rds went down in the ground."

From TV documentary channels 

102 Minutes That Changed America
Release date September 11, 2008
"There was not much left at the crash site. The impact of the fireball from the jet-fuel loaded 757 scorched hundreds of acres of earth around the site and set the surrounding trees ablaze for hours. The fuselage had burrowed so far into the earth that the "black box" was found at a depth of 25 feet below ground." - history.com

Flight 93 Memorial Ambassadors:

Female Ambassador: "...before impact, [Flight 93] turned on its back and then it just telescoped into the ground. It hit at 580mph, which is cruising speed.
Gideon: How much of the plane was recovered?
Ambassador: Over 90%.
Gideon: Where was it -- was it all found in the crater?
Ambassador: Basically all in the crater.
There were few small pieces [above ground], but basically everything was recovered from in the ground."

Female Ambassador:  "80% of the plane was in the crater"

Roxxane, Ambassador: "The plane came in upside down, went into the ground at a 45 degree angle.  They were going 580mph when they hit."

Male Ambassador:  "Because where the plane hit the ground, it literally went into the ground. They had to excavate and try and recover what they could and this top picture shows the excavation that they did. They excavated down about 40 to 45 feet and the last pieces were recovered at about 30 to 35 feet."

Male Ambassador: "The plane came in at about a 40 degree angle, going 560 mph, hit that soft ground, slammed into that rocky wall and completely disintegrated. Parts of the cockpit broke off and went back into the woods, but the rest of it went straight down and the ground came in around it, so the actual hole wasn't very large. When the FBI went in for parts, body parts and what not, 35 to 40 feet down in the ground."

From official sources:

- Response and Recovery - Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Buried in the Ground
"The plane was utterly destroyed because the hijackers drove it into an abandoned strip mine at more than 580 miles an hour at a sharp angle. Much of the plane and its contents were found beneath the soft dirt.
Eventually the excavated crater measured 100 feet across and 35 feet deep." - fbi.gov

- Flight 93 National Memorial Final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement
"Reports of investigators and emergency response personnel indicate that during the crash, the plane impacted the relatively soft strip-mine backfill, plowed to a depth of 30 ft, then collided with the remaining strip excavation rock highwall, causing the plane to explode." - Chapter III – Affected Environment; pg. 24 - nps.gov (PDF)