We start with a short summary of the events in Cleveland. At 10 a.m., the airport was evacuated. Without doubt, this had to do with the rumours that a hijacked plane was going to land.
Well there's no doubt that the terminal at CLE was evacuated but I believe it was because the FAA issued the nationwide groundstop. Once that happened, EVERY airport terminal across the country was evacuated regardless of whether or not authorities thought a hijacked plane might be landing at any of those other airports.
Cleveland Mayor Michael White held a televised news conference at 11 a.m., after the emergency landing. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he said there was an unconfirmed report that the plane might have been hijacked or was carrying a bomb. But in the middle of the news conference, he reported that it had not been hijacked, and later in the day he said no bomb had been found.
My gut feeling is that the reporters misunderstood what Mayor White was trying to say. I'm thinking that Mayor White probably said something along the lines of "Yes, the plane was diverted to CLE because we INITIALLY had unconfirmed reports that a hijacking might have taken place and these are the procedures that we followed before, during, and after the landing, and since that time we HAVE NOW determined that the flight in question had not been hijacked and was never in any danger.
This was not the only detail that changed in the course of the day. In the morning, White said that air controllers could hear screaming on the plane. In the afternoon, he didn't mention the screams anymore.
Well there's a perfectly good reason for that
Now around 9:30 a.m., controllers hear words that seem to confirm their worst fears. They hear shouting as Flight 1989 approaches the Ohio border. Then they hear a voice: "Get out of there!" Then what sounds like a scuffle.
Minutes later, a new voice, this one with a heavy accent: "Ladies and gentlemen, here it's the captain. Please sit down. Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb aboard."
No one who hears those words believes they are coming from Werner. Not with such a heavy accent. No way. Rather, the transmission seems to be from a hijacker who unwittingly spoke over the radio when he meant to address passengers.Officials at Cleveland Center rush word to Washington: Hijackers have another flight
Then a little later in the article, it's written:
Controllers at Cleveland Center can't raise United Flight 93, a Boeing 757 flying over Ohio.
Perhaps the strange radio transmissions ? the reference to a bomb and the heavy accent of a "captain" ? hadn't come from the Delta flight. Maybe Capt. Werner's Flight 1989 is fine after all.
At least, that's the way it seems to the controllers. The United flight had been just 25 miles ahead of the Delta flight when the radio transmissions came through ? close enough to account for the confusion.
Then, at 9:35 a.m., the United jet had climbed unexpectedly and turned back toward the Delta flight. Then...
Silence. The United flight stopped talking. It must be United that's hijacked
So Mayor White mentions that the controllers heard screams coming from Flight 1989 that morning during the press conference (because that's what they thought at the time), but he doesn't mention the screaming again because it is later determined that the screams came from Flight 93 and therefore have nothing to do with Flight 1989.
From the USA Today story that I posted a link to above:
A bomb is reported aboard a United Airlines jet that just landed in Rockford, Ill. Another jet disappears from radar and might have crashed in Kentucky. The reports are so serious that Garvey notifies the White House that there has been another crash. Only later does she learn the reports are erroneous.
So Regarding Delta 1989 and Flight X and the conflicting arrival times, evacuation times and number of passengers on board I think this is basically a case of two different news outlets reporting on the same incident. One news outlet obviously got the information right and the other news outlet got the arrival time, evacuation time and number of passengers on board wrong.
Or, in their haste to be the first to break the story several news outlets initially got the story wrong (Most of the stories with the incorrect info were published 9/11/2001.) Then a day later after they'd had time to sort through all the known facts, they correctly reported the story. Notice that most of the correct versions came out on 9/12/2001 or later.
There were lots of erroneous news reports that came out that day. I remember hearing on ABC News that a car bomb had gone off at the Justice Department. That turned out to be wrong.
Those are just some random thoughts off the top of my head. BTW, interesting topic Clickhappy, even if I do think the guy who wrote it is making a mountain out of a molehill by trying to turn bad reporting into a conspiracy theory.
[11:01] (temas) there was an emergency landing safely completed in Cleveland[11:02] (temas) potential bomb on the plane[11:02] (temas) and it might be the missing UA flight
This jabber obviously followed the radio or TV news. He refers to what he's hearing, so it's not his own, but the radio's guessing that the plane in Cleveland might be the "missing UA flight". Very likely temas is talking about Flight X because Delta 1989's identity never was in question. Note that the time of the posting 11:01 points to a landing of 10:45, too.
He's basing these times on a transcript of a chat room. session
If I'm not mistaken, the first tower collapsed at approximately 9:59 a.m. and the second tower collapsed at approximately 10:28 a.m. Yet if you actually read the transcript, starting at 9:10 you have three minutes of "Oh my F---ing God's" and "Holy S__t's" and then beginning at 9:13
So how is it that we have people talking about the collapse of the first tower beginning at 9:10 a.m. when the first tower didn't collapse until 9:59? The times on this chat room session seem to be 49 minute earlier that what the actual time was.
It happens again when the second tower collapses. The people in this particular chatroom start talking about the collapse of the second tower at 9:39 a.m. but the second tower didn't collapse until 10:28. Again, the time is off by 49 minutes.
So when the author of the Cleveland Airport Mystery tries to make the point that "the time of the posting 11:01 points to a landing of 10:45, too." he's talking about a posting that most likely occurred around 11:50 a.m. and I don't think it "points to a 10:45 landing."
I think his whole theory of two landings is very poorly researched.
At any rate, since clickhappy started this thread and since he did ask for comments, Here's the rest of my anaylysis starting with point #2. (I'll rebut each point in a separate post.)Regarding his point 2, Woody (the author of the article) writes
"2) The begin of the evacuation of the passengers
The Akron Beacon Journal writes in an extra edition from 9/11 that the passengers were released from the plane at 11:15."
But this is discounted by the Associated Press article, which also came out on September 11, 2001 when it noted:
"The mayor had said earlier that the plane was being evacuated, but an airport spokeswoman said the passengers remained inside."
Of course by the time the AP article came out saying that the airport spokeswoman disputed the claims made by Mayor White at the press conference it was too late. Mayor White had already told the media that the plane had been evacuated at 11:15 and that*s what was being spread through the media and on the internet.
"This is confirmed by internet postings describing the events in real-time (2A)."
The only thing those "real time" internet postings confirm is that White was initially giving out wrong information at the 11:00 a.m. press conference.
"However, a passenger from Delta 1989 relates that she had to stay more than two hours in the plane before the FBI started to search it and took the passengers away for questioning. The Plain Dealer has learned about a evacuation time of 12:30, confirming the witness* statement. (2B).
Thanks to the most valuable statement of the passenger, we can conclude that Delta 1989 landed at 10:10 and was evacuated at 12:30."
True, and I especially believe the account of the Delta Passenger on Flight 1989. She is telling us her story, first hand, whereas the media is reporting information Mayor White gave them that he got from somewhere else, so it*s not exactly a first-hand account. Plus everything the woman says seems to check out.
She even mentions another woman employed by TJ Maxx on Flight 1989 who had been furious because her co-workers were all on Flight 11 and, because the fare had gone up before her reservation had been made, she was put on the Delta Flight by the company instead because Delta was cheaper.
I checked the Flight 11 passenger list and counted at least 7 TJ Maxx employees and several other passengers didn*t have their employers listed so there could have been more. I think the Delta passenger*s story is definitely legit.
"Flight X landed at 10:45 and was evacuated at 11:15."
Since there was no 10:45 a.m. landing and since there was not an evacuation at 11:15 a.m. that was separate from the 12:30 p.m. evacuation of Delta 1989, we can conclude that there was no Flight X. What we CAN conclude is that a lot of wrong information was being given out in those first few hours.
Next up I'll be rebutting point #3.
"3) The number of passengersThe first press reports tell us that the plane carried 200 passengers. Mayor White mentioned this number on his 11 o'clock conference (3A). He did not say how he got the number."
Once again, the conflicting information and discrepancies can be traced back to Mayor White and his press conference. My guess is that he or one of his staff probably asked how many passengers were on board and the answer came back "We don't have an exact number but the aircraft is a 767 and can hold upwards of 200 passengers." By the time this informtion was told and retold and finally got down to the media level it had become "200 passengers on the plane."
Consider the fact that at the time Mayor White began his 11:00 press conference it was unclear whether or not the plane had been hijacked. It was unclear whether or not there was a bomb on board. Based on the conflicting info given by Mayor White and later disputed by his airport spokeswoman, it was unclear at that time whether or not an evacuation had taken place. Is it any wonder that Mayor White was unclear on the number of passengers on board?
Now some will say "But he could have easily gotten that information from the airline." But the fact of the matter is that the airline (Delta) was busy trying to account for the rest of it's planes in the air and get them all down and make arrangements for thousands of stranded passengers and crew members. Determining the exact number of passengers on board 1989 was probably not on Delta's top list of priorities in those first few hours,especially since they were in contact with the pilot and knew the plane hadn't crashed.
"The passenger of Delta 1989 however, she must know it, made an estimation of "sixty or so" passengers. This is confirmed by later reports - the story changed quickly. Now, 69 passengers have been released from the plane, going well with the "sixty or so" (3B).
I believe the Delta passenger's account as well as subsequent reports that there were 69 passengers and 9 crew members aboard.
"We can conclude that Delta 1989 landed at 10:10, the 69 passengers being evacuated at 12:30. Flight X landed at 10:45, the 200 passengers being released at 11:15."
No. We can conclude that Mayor White was talking about one incident and initially reported wrong information about the landing time, whether or not the plane had been evacuated, and the number of passengers. That fact the he later comes back and corrects himself, or is corrected by his spokespeople and subsequent reports in the media does not mean that he is lying and trying to cover up a second landing.
Another thing to consider is that we know Delta 1989 was a widebody jet (767) and there were 69 passengers on board. If there was a second plane (Flight X) and it had 200 passengers on it, it, too would have to be a Delta wide-body jet. The only aircraft in Delta's fleet that holds 200 passengers or more are the 767, 777, and MD-11. The 757 only holds 180 and all the others even less.
If there were a second plane, landing at 10:45 a.m. carring 200 passengers, it would have to be an aircraft owned by Delta Airlines. After all, the news reports were that a Delta jet had been diverted to CLE, and regardless of where on the airport property people think they saw it, they all seem to confirm that it was a Delta jet. No one says the plane they saw belonged to Continental or American or United or Northwest or US Airways.
Considering that Delta doesn't have that many widebodies in it's fleet, it shouldn't be too hard to confirm the whereabouts of the other Delta widebody jets in the fleet that day. Seems like someone at Delta would have records.
Point #4 coming up.
"4) The place the passengers were interviewed after the evacuationThe most reports say that the passengers were brought into a nearby NASA facility (4A). This is the NASA Glenn Research Center, located near the west end of the airport. It was already evacuated."
I think this is where the passengers from Delta 1989 were interviewed.
"The passenger of delta 1989 however tells us that she was taken into a "secure building at the airport".
That doesn*t prove anything to me. She didn*t specifically say she was taken to the FAA Headquarters. She said she was taken to a secure building at the airport. The NASA Glenn Research may not technically be on airport property, but it*s certainly close enough that the passenger would feel she was still "at the airport." And if the building had already been evacuated and secured during the 2 hours the passengers were kept on the plane then that fits her description of being taken to a "secure building at the airport."
"This is confirmed by a report that the Delta 1989 passengers were interviewed in the FAA headquarter (4B). Surely the FAA headquarter is not located in the NASA facility."
I think he's right. The FAA divides the US into regions and each region has it*s own headquarters. Cleveland is in the Great Lakes Region. The FAA Headquarters for the Great Lakes Region is in Des Plaines, IL. The erroneous information in the Plain-Dealer doesn*t "confirm" anything because the Delta passenger never said specifically that she was taken to FAA headquarters.
The FAA does, however, have ties to the NASA Glenn Research facility.
One Program is the General Aviation Proplsion Program. I read a press release about the program that mentioned:
"Through the cooperative agreement mechanism, both NASA and Industry are contributing significant resources to the effort. The program is managed out of NASA-Glenn Research Center*s Subsonic Systems Office, coordinated with the FAA, and performed jointly by NASA and Contractor-Led-Project-Teams formed by industry."
Maybe since the FAA has ties with the NASA Glenn Research Center, the Plain-Dealer mistakenly referred to it as "FAA Headquarters?"
The address for NASA Glenn Research Center is 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, OH 44135. If there are any official FAA facilities at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, where are they located and what is the physical address?
"We can conclude that Delta 1989 landed at 10:10, and at 12:30 the 69 passengers were taken into the FAA headquarter. Flight X landed at 10:45, and at 11:15 the 200 passengers were taken into the evacuated NASA Center."
I don*t come to that conclusion at all. How could it be that one plane with 69 passengers on board lands at 10:10 a.m. and is forced to spend two hours on the runway with passengers remaining inside because the FBI is scrambling to try and set up a place to interview these people, yet another plane lands 35 minutes later carrying 200 passengers and they all get off and are whisked away for interviews within 30 minutes? I just don*t buy that.
Of all the sources Woody listed trying to make point number 4, only the Plain-Dealer had the wrong information,and in their defense they got just about everything else right - the plane*s landing time, number of passengers on board, the time of the evacuation. I think they just mistakenly referred to the Nasa Glenn Research Center as "FAA Headquarters"
And the only other source Woody lists supporting the FAA headquarters version of the story is the account of the Delta passenger and I don*t consider her account a second independent source verifying what the Plain-Dealer said because she never specifically mentions "FAA Headquarters" and her description of a "secure building at the airport" could apply to the Nasa Glenn Research Center.
What do you folks familiar with CLE think?
Point #5 next.
OK, we know that Delta 1989 didn't land on Runway 10/28, the east-west runway with Nasa Glenn Research Center near it*s western end. At 6015 feet, it's much too short for a 767 to attempt a landing. Likewise, at 6415 feet, the north-south runway, Runway 18/36 with the I-X Center located at it's southern end, is too short for the 767 to have landed there.
That only leaves two runways. Runway 6L/24R which is 6800 feet (still too short) and Runway 6R/24L which is 8999 ft. My guess is that Delta 1989 landed on the longer of the two, Runway 6R/24L landing from the Northeast and proceeding to the southwest end of the runway.
Map of Cleveland Runways:
Question - At the time of the attacks there were only two parallel runways - 6R/24L is the 8999 foot runway whose southern end is the closest to the I-X Center. I believe Runway 6C/24C was formerly known as 6L/24R. After the third parallel runway was built to the north of that one, I *think* it's designation became 6L/24R and the old 6L/24R was renamed 6C/24C. Is that right?
If you look at the above map, you can see that a plane landing on 6R/24L could land, go all the way to the southwestern end of the runway, turn left going east and right off the end of the runway, there is what appears to be a holding area between the end of Runway 6R/24L and the I-X Center. There appears to be another holding area slightly to the northeast of that one. I think Delta 1989 was most likely at one of these two holding areas, between the southwestern end of Runway 6R/24L and the I-X Center.
This location would match what the Plain-Dealer said in their story."The plane sat on airport property between the terminal, the NASA Glenn Research Center and the International Exposition Center for about two hours."
This location also matches the description that the Delta passenger gave in her account - "our plane was directed to go to an isolated area of the airport."
Note also on NASA Glenn*s website for an exhibit they held earlier this month it says:
"NOTE: Free parking at the IX Center with shuttles to NASA Glenn."
No doubt after waiting for two hours on the plane, those Delta passengers probably disembarked, boarded shuttle busses brought over from the I-X Center and were transported to the NASA Glenn Research Center for questioning. I'm thinking that the police and emergency vehicles may have been at the parking lot of the I-X Center. Some news reports mentioned that police vehicles were keeping some distance from the plane.
But Woody*s contention is that
"This is the final proof that we have to do with two different planes. Both planes were sitting on a runway, but miles away from each other. One plane was at the west end of runway 28/10 near the NASA center (point 10 in the map). This is confirmed by Associated Press and an eyewitness (5A)."
The Associated Press article to which he refers does not confirm that the Delta flight was at the west end of Runway 10/28. It merely says that the plane was "sitting on a runway at the airport's west end." The southwestern end of Runway 6R/24L is further west than the western end of Runway 10/28. Since the position where the Delta plane stopped is basically in the southwest corner of the airport, it could correctly be described as being both at the western end of the airport or the southern end of the airport. If I were describing the plane*s position near NASA Glenn and Runway 10/28 I would describe it as being at the north end of the airport.
Regarding the eyewitness report (Rudy)Woody tries to support his arguement by saying
"Rudy K was on the way home from Toledo to Rochester, N.Y., taking Interstate 480. This highway runs parallel to runway 28/10, a few hundred yards more to the North. The I-X-Center is three miles away - too far away for Rudy K*s eyes to recognize vehicles. He was watching a plane near the northern boundary of the airport. His report confirms the existence of a plane near the NASA Center.."
As they say in the Hertz commercials -- Not exactly. And BTW, did you notice how Woody described Rudy observing a plane that was obviously on the NORTHERN boundary of the airport? That*s how I said I would have described that location a few paragraphs above. That*s how the Associated Press would have described it had the Delta plane been there. But the AP said "sitting on the WESTERN end of the airport." We can conclude that they were referring to the southwestern end of Runway 6R/24L.
At any rate, from that particular stretch of I-480 that Woody is describing that runs parallel to Runway 10/28 a few hundred yards to the north, Rudy would not have been able to see the vehicles had they been at the southwest end of the airport. But again - we need to look at a map.
Go to yahoo maps and look at a map of Hopkins International Airport. You can do this by either using the airport code of CLE or the physical street address of 5300 Riverside Drive, Cleveland, OH 44135. Zoom out until you can see the entire airport and I-480.
You see that as I-480 approaches the airport from the east, the highway is a little further south and then makes a slightcurve towards the northeast then a little later turns back heading due east just north of the airport*s northern boundary.On that northwesterly stretch of highway (that approaches the airport*s northwest corner before turning back to the east) is where Rudy most likely saw the Delta plane as it sat near the end of Runway 6R/24L. By glancing out his passenger side window he could have easily seen the plane and the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles about a mile and a half away.
"The other plane was sitting at the south end of runway 18/36 near the I-X-Center (point 36), also confirmed by two eyewitnesses (5B). The geographic conditions on the airport suggest that the passengers at the West end were taken to the NASA Center and the passengers at the South end to the FAA headquarters"He then relates a personal account from a firefighter.
"Responding back to our firehouse my heart started pounding faster as we became closer to our station, which is only a few hundred yards from the south side of the airport. The second tower now had collapsed. There it was a huge plane standing eerily still. Police, EMS and fire are positioned in the distance. -- Scott Boulton, Cleveland firefighter."
Woody reasons that:
"Boulton works with the fire department of Brookmark, a small city south-east of Hopkins Airport. His station is on Holland Street, just opposite the end of runway 18/36 ("only a few hundred yards from the southside of the airport"). So he is talking of the plane near the I-X Center, too."
Although I agree that he is talking about the plane at the I-X Center, I think some of the facts presented are wrong. First off, the fire station is located at 17401 Holland Rd, Brook Park, OH 44142 -- about 1.3 miles due east of the I-X center and Runway 18/36 and a bit further from the southwestern end of Runway 6R/24L. If you look at the address on a map like yahoo the stretch of Holland Rd. that runs between Engle (close to the fire station) and Eastland (close to the airport) is 1.1 miles, so his station is more than a few hundred yards from the runway.
In his account, the firefighter mentioned that he observed the plane as he was approaching his station (from the hospital where he had been) My guess is that he was coming from Southwest General Health Center, 18697 E. Bagley Rd, Middleburg Heights, OH 44130. The hospital is about one and a half miles southeast of the airport.
Going to yahoo maps and entering diving directions from the hospital to the fire station, one can see that the normal route would be to come out of the hospital and turn right onto Bagley and go east to Engle Rd. You*d turn left on Engle and go north up to Holland, then turn right on Holland and into the fire station.
However, since the fireman had already been alerted about a possible situation at the airport they probably wanted to take another route that had them passing closer to the airport even if it was a mile or so out of the way. I think they most likely exited the hospital and turned left onto Bagley going west to Eastland Road, then made a right onto Eastland and continued north, crossing Sheldon Rd. continuing further north up to Holland Rd.
While they were on the stretch of EastlandRd. between Sheldon and Holland -- that*s when they would have had their best view of the plane. The intersection of Eastland and Holland was the closest they ever came to the plane 0.3 or 0.4 miles away. Once they reached that intersection, they would have turned right onto Holland and headed east (away from the airport) 1.1 miles towards Engle Rd. and their station just beyond the intersection of Engle and Holland. Don*t take my word for it -- look at a map.
I go into such great detail to make the point that although the plane was on the south (or west) side of the airport, that doesn*t necessarily mean it was near Runway 18/36. I believe it would have been at the end of Runway 6R/24L because that puts the plane a bit further away from the I-X Center in case there had been some kind of trouble.
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