December 23, 2006

The band '27' winner of plume photoshop contest

(Update: Just got word from '27' that the plume in their album is not a photoshop, but an actual painting of Val's plume by artist Brendan Killian. Even so, I still like it and it still wins the Flight 93 plume photoshop contest!)



The Boston band ‘27’ is the winner of my Flight 93 plume photoshop submission contest with their album cover for their bonus album “Animal Life”, released in Sept. ‘05, about a year before I asked for photoshop submissions, but what the hay.




27's myspace.



Runner up is 'Melle Belle':


See all submissions:

November 30, 2006

Photoshop submissions from InfoWars forum

From InfoWars forum.

By AudioWhore.


By AudioWhore.


Val's gotta have faitha-faitha faithaa ... go george @ shanksville
- joseph hall


“Nana Gin is out from Redfern to Pennsylvania.. she tell them dawgs to bee'ave”
- Aboriginal Australia



Sorry, but this one just had to be done.” - joseph hall


By AudioWhore.


By websuspect.


See also:

November 04, 2006

Video of a real plane crash smoke plume

Here is a smoke plume from the crash of a large commercial jetliner (Tupolev 154*):




Here is how dissipated the plume is about 30 sec after it formed:


Compare that to the "Flight 93 plume" that had to travel about 250yd in 50 sec from the reported 9 knot wind to line up with this shot:



*Not 100% sure this link is of the same crash as the video. Regardless, look at the size and amount of debris it left after it crashed.

October 07, 2006

Val McClatchey's camera identified, contained editing software

In a recent article about this Flight 93 photo fraud controversy from the Tribune-Democrat, they included a new photo showing Val clutching the digital camera that it is assumed to be the one she used to take her "End of Serenity" photo with:


The camera she is clutching has been identified as a Hewlett-Packard Photosmart 315:



This digital camera comes in two versions, HP315 and HP315xi, and had a MSRP of $299. The "xi" version seems to be the exact same camera, but includes extra editing software (at this time it is unknown which version Val has):

HP Photosmart 315 digital camera / C8452A
HP Photosmart 315xi digital camera / C8455A

Product description
The simple-to-use HP Photosmart 315 series digital camera takes high-quality photos you can share with family and friends on the Internet or via e-mail. It comes with HP software for manipulating, storing, and printing photos.

Specifications
Sensor - 2.1 MegaPixel, 1/2.7 inch (15 mm) CCD
Color depth - 30-bit (10 bits x 3 colors)
Resolution - 2.1 MP (1600 x 1200)
Zoom - 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x variable digital zoom
Date and time stamp - Not available
Interfaces - USB to PC or Mac; Standard tripod mount
Minimum system requirements PC:
* Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0* or Windows 2000 Professional
* 166 MHz Pentium(R) processor or equivalent
* 32 MB RAM*
* 150 MB free disk space - 800 x 600, 16-bit color display
* CD-ROM drive
* USB interface - Sound card and speakers recommended
* NT 4.0 requires 64 MB RAM and does not support USB. Compact Flash card reader required instead. (Card reader must be purchased separately.)


Software
HP Photo Imaging software (PC only)
Arcsoft PhotoImpression 2000
Arcsoft PhotoMontage 2000 (315 and 315xi only)
Adobe(R) PhotoDeluxe Business Edition 1.1 (PC 315xi version only)
Adobe PhotoDeluxe 2.0 (Mac 315xi version only)

There are three interesting things about this camera: (1) it does not have an optical zoom -- only digital zoom; (2) it did contain editing software in which a Post-Gazette article said that Val did not have access to any editing software on 9/11:

"Mrs. McClatchey acknowledged that a lot of people are alleging she fabricated the photo, but she stands by its authenticity. Days after Sept. 11, neighbors saw the image, still in her camera. The camera and computer were new, and she didn't have access to Photoshop or any other photo-altering software." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (08/06/06)

Let me make it clear that I'm not saying Val lied about not having photo editing software. I am just bringing up the fact that her camera did come with editing software. Also, I do not know at this time if the editing software that came with her camera could be used to photoshop a smoke plume on her photo and I do not know if Val, or her husband have photoshopping skills.

Also remember that Val said her and her husband were in severe financial trouble right before 9/11, yet she buys this camera that had a MSRP of $300 a month before the attacks along with a new computer. It is not known at this time how much she paid for this camera, or how much her new computer cost, but most new computers back in 2001 were over a $1,000. This seems like an expensive purchase for a them to have made during their financial crisis. The purchase of her new camera and computer right before 9/11 could have been for her new career in real estate, but as for as I can tell, she did not start taking real estate classes until sometime after Christmas:

"I’d had some health problems. Gall bladder surgery and during the testing for all the gall bladder problems, they found a tumor on my kidney and lesions on my liver, so day after Christmas, I had my gall bladder out. Right after there I went right into taking real estate classes to start a new career to help support my family." - Windsor Park Stories

(3) It was mentioned that the reason Val only took one photo of this smoke plume was because after snapping her shot, she dropped her camera and the battery was jarred loose:

"I didn't even aim. I was just like, 'Oh, my God,' " she said. She dropped the camera, jolting the battery loose, then tried in vain to call her husband, son and daughter. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (08/06/06)

However, her camera does not have one battery as the article implies, but four AA batteries:


See also:

(Update 08/31/11)

A StarTribune article confirms the camera was an HP 315:

McClatchey is president of the Keystone Camaro Club, so she usually has her Hewlett-Packard 315 point-and-shoot camera handy for car shows.

October 04, 2006

"Blogs Shoot First, Ask Questions Later" - Photo District News



Blogs Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

October 04, 2006

By Daryl Lang


In some ways, the blogosphere corrects itself, as bloggers try to one-up each other with new information. The popular technology blog Boing Boing, which questioned Wilson’s microphone cable picture, removed the post later.

Hard-core conspiracy theorists, however, play by different rules.

Someone who is well aware of this is Val McClatchey, a real estate agent from Pennsylvania who took the famous picture of a puff of smoke that rose after United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near her house on Sept. 11, 2001.

McClatchey has been smeared by people who think she is covering something up. One 9/11 skeptic examined McClatchey’s finances and family health history, speculating that she is motivated to lie for profit. Another posted an account of a confrontational visit to McClatchey’s office.

“Right now it’s become more of a curse than a blessing that I took it at all,” McClatchey recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (McClatchey is also suing the Associated Press for distributing the photo without her permission; the AP denies this.)

– Photo District News

http://pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003220381


Notice that PDN does not link back to my blog so readers can get the whole story.



September 25, 2006

Val on the attack; calls me a 'coward' on TV

I just stumbled upon a TV video clip of Val McClatchey on KDKA channel 2 (CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh) which was posted on their site back on the 10th. In the video clip and printed article, Val blasts me for my allegations that her photo may be a fake and calls me a “coward” for not setting foot in her town and make my claims:


Small Town Under Microscope Since 9/11

Sep 10, 2006

~

McClatchey, who titled her picture “End of Serenity”, is getting a taste of the worst.

I’d like to see him - the coward that he is - set foot out here and lay claim to that,” McClatchey said.

Recently a blog website has claimed McClatchey’s photo is a fraud.

“It makes me really mad, and that’s putting it politely in a very professional way - it makes my blood curl,” McClatchey said. “The simple fact is that they don’t even have their facts straight.”


First of all, the news keeps getting my allegations wrong. I’m not claiming her photo is a fake, I’m saying it may be a fake, or it’s real but shows an explosion originating closer to her house.

Second, Val says that I don’t have the “facts straight”. I’m really curious what facts I don’t have straight that she’s referring too!

Third, what happened to all the investigating reporters? Why aren’t they questioning Val about her very odd story behind the photo? She has motive and opportunity to be in on faking her photo (if it is indeed fake) and the FBI has their fingerprints all over it too.

Also, why haven’t any of these news and TV companies have their photo and graphic arts experts analyze her photo to prove any of my allegations wrong? Are they “cowards”?

At least I’m glad the media is at least keeping the story alive even if they don’t have my allegations quite correct and are not questioning Val or her husband about her story.


(Article archived here.)

September 19, 2006

Italian debunking blog gets plume photo claims wrong

An Italian 9/11 debunking blog undicisettembre (English version) tries to debunk the notion that the plume on Val McClatchey’s “End of Serenity” photo can only come from a bomb blast. They say that conspiracists, such as I, claim “plane crashes don't make plumes like that, bombs do” and that we also say the plume in Val’s photo "proves conclusively" that Flight 93 did not crash there. They even specifically quote me:

"It proves that this blast is more likely an ordnance plume"
- Killtown, in his/her site.


(It’s “his” btw ;-)

They then go on to show an interesting photo of a L-100-30 Hercules plane crash in Italy* that crashed after making a long high speed decent and makes a very similar looking plume as the one in Val’s photo (although it is not known at this time how much fuel was aboard this L-100-30 when it crashed):

(L-100-30 Hercules crash left. Val’s photo right.)

They conclude by saying:
“anyone who claims that a cloud with that shape can only come from an ordnance blast is making a false claim and any theories based on such a premise are flawed.”

Well after seeing that photo, I would have to agree with their conclusion, however there is one slight problem with this Italian blogger’s debunk attempt, they are debunking the wrong claims of mine!

First, I’ve never claimed and I’m not claiming that plane crashes never make plumes like the one seen in Val’s photo (I would argue it's still rare though!). Second, about them saying that I claim that Val’s photo proves Flight 93 didn’t crash there, this was something I used to think before Rumple4skn and I found out the new evidence about Val’s plume photo that shows her plume couldn’t have originated where Flight 93 allegedly crashed, so believing her photo proves the plane didn't crash there is now a moot point. They obviously didn’t read my current claims very well on my blogpost that they linked too!

So why I said Val's plume “more likely” (apparently they missed this part in the sentence of mine they quoted) came from and ordnance blast is because:

(1) Val’s plume doesn’t line up with her camera direction and would have looked more dissipated than it does from having to been blown the approx. 250yds in approx. 50 sec needed to have lined up in her camera direction.

(2) Her plume would have been approx. 7 football fields (or 3 Heinz football stadiums!) wide if it had originated from the crash spot which would have been impossible for a plane with only 5,500 gals of fuel on board to have made since we are told it burrowed underground and crash scene photos show none of the grass around the crater was scorched by fire.

So why didn’t they try to debunk these current claims of mine about Val’s photo (aside from her photo might being a fake)? My guess is they couldn’t, so they tried to confuse this issue at hand (or maybe they just can’t read English that well!).

One thing I will change concerning Val’s plume that I’m sure this Italian blog will be happy to hear is that I’ll try not to suggest her plume more likely came from an ordnance blast than from a plane crash as much, but not because they showed a plane crash plume that looks like an ordnance plume, but because since Rumple4skn and I conclude that Val’s plume could not have originated anywhere near the crash site, it really doesn’t matter at all what created the plume in her photo since it didn't come from Flight 93 crashing at the alleged site! I’ll simply refer to her plume as coming from an explosion originating from a different location.

Btw, the crash this Italian blogger brought up is interesting in another aspect. It was also a high speed descent crash like Flight 93 allegedly was, however this one didn't bury at all and left very noticeable debris behind:




Grazie Italian debunking blog, grazie!


(*Correction: plane crash in Italy was a Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules, not a C-130 as first stated.)

September 14, 2006

Victor Thorn article

Killtown, Flight 93, & Val McClatchey

by Victor Thorn

Over the past few years, a researcher named Killtown has been doing some intriguing work on 9-11, especially the anomalies surrounding Flight 93 and a woman named Val McClatchey.

All those who have studied the Shanksville Hoax know that Ms. McClatchey was the woman who produced a photograph of the infamous smoke plume which supposedly arose from the wreckage of Flight 93.

Of course the lack of debris (i.e. wings, fuselage, engines, luggage, etc) and bodies – not to mention the 10-12 foot crater that Flight 93 purportedly “vaporized” inside – have justifiably caused many to question the government’s official version of events. [For more information, see Phantom Flight 93]

Another element of this perplexing puzzle which has come under increasing scrutiny is Val McClatchey herself. In a series of articles regarding this woman, Killtown has uncovered a number of inconsistencies in her story. To view them, please click on these links:

Flight 93 Plume Photo Analysis

Val McClatchey Photo: More Smoking Guns, or Total Fraud?

The Flight 93 Crash Smoke Plume Photo

In all, I feel Killtown best sums-up this scenario of Flight 93 NOT crashing-landing in an abandoned Shanksville landmine with the following quote: “If it really was an ordnance blast not too far beyond the white barn … then this would be a true smoking gun and one of the clearest examples of complicity in the 9-11 attacks by the U.S. government because what else could have caused such a large explosion and who else would have been behind it?”

The question we all need to ask ourselves is: why are so many individuals in the 9-11 “truth movement” and alternative media ignoring this crucial information?


Many thanks to Victor Thorn and Lisa Guliani of WING TV for their continued support in helping to spread this photo fraud smoking gun find!


See also:


September 12, 2006

"Local 'ambassadors' tend to Flight 93 site" - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Article first printed in the Wall Street Journal and reprinted at the Journal Gazette. See my rebuttal to this article here. (emphasis mine)

Local 'ambassadors' tend to Flight 93 site

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
By Jeffrey Zaslow, The Wall Street Journal

SHANKSVILLE -- On Sept. 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 fell from the sky and crashed in a field three miles from Chuck Wagner's house.
Five years later, he says, his life priorities are now crystallized: "My family, my church, Flight 93."
A 57-year-old heavy-equipment operator, Mr. Wagner is one of 42 volunteer "ambassadors" at the crash site. They are all local people who now see it as their duty to tell visitors about the heroics on that plane, when passengers fought back against terrorists.
Mr. Wagner helps preserve the thousands of mementos left by visitors at the site's makeshift memorial. He maintains decorum; if tourists are giggling into cellphones, he asks them to take their calls elsewhere. When people cry, he has cried with them. "I've told the story thousands of times, but some things just grab my heart," he says. "I'll see a tear running down a woman's cheek, and it's hard for me to keep talking."
Like Mr. Wagner, many of the 2,500-or-so area residents here say Flight 93 forever changed how they view their role in the world. And their sense of purpose has profoundly touched the families of the passengers and crew members. The locals "watch over the area where the plane went down as if it were their own family cemetery," says Christine Fraser, whose sister, Colleen, was on the flight.
"From day one, they opened their arms, their hearts and their homes to all of us," says Larry Catuzzi, who lost his daughter, Lauren, on the plane.
For residents here, such praise makes them wonder: Is there something about their rural area -- populated largely by blue-collar, church-going families -- that makes them special, or would any community have risen to the occasion?
Locals say the past five years haven't been easy for them. Some ambassadors say their home lives have been tested, as they pay less attention to their children while giving long hours to Flight 93 projects. Others have been targeted by bloggers and conspiracy theorists, who charge that they are somehow involved in nefarious cover-ups involving the flight.
At the crash site just outside of Shanksville, in the township of Stonycreek, a $58 million permanent memorial is slated to open in 2011. The 2,200-acre National Park Service project will have 40 groves of maple trees leading to what it calls the "Sacred Ground," where the plane fell. A tower with 40 wind chimes will mark entry to the site, which will include a museum. About $30 million of the cost is to come from nongovernment sources. About $7 million has been raised so far.
Many Shanksville-area residents approve of the design, calling it a fitting tribute to the 40 passengers and crew, whose actions prevented terrorists from reaching their alleged target in Washington, D.C. Others fear the formal memorial won't offer the emotional tugs found at the "temporary" one, which overflows with handmade tributes, crosses, flags and photos.
The current memorial has a Mom-and-Pop quality to it. Mementos are placed on a 40-foot-long, 10-foot-high section of fencing erected on a gravel lot overlooking the filled-in, now grassy crash site, 500 yards away. Ambassadors bring their personal photo albums, showing snapshots they took in the aftermath of the crash. They share stories about how their homes shook when the plane hit, or how debris from the crash floated into their yards. In bad weather, ambassadors invite visitors to talk in a small former state-park guard shack.
Locals think of the memorial as "the people's place," says Donna Glessner, 48, who works at her family's building-supply store and organized the ambassadors. "We didn't make it. The world made it. We just take care of it."
More than 130,000 people visit the site each year -- the ambassadors count them on hand-held clickers -- and all have questions. The ambassadors say they try not to speculate too much. During a training process led by Ms. Glessner, ambassadors agree to stick to the official 9/11 Commission Report or to say, "We don't know."
Dignitaries come and go here, usually on anniversaries. President Bush is due to visit Monday. But the ambassadors are on duty 365 days a year, from morning to sunset. They are scheduled in two-hour shifts. They have collected 30,000 mementos and notes left by visitors, all of which are stored and catalogued: poems, baby pacifiers, guitar picks, soldiers' boots. "We can understand the visitors' words," says Barbara Black, curator of the collection. "Their objects are harder to understand."
Some ambassadors say they appreciate all the crosses and religious tokens now at the site, and worry that the permanent memorial won't have references to faith. "If it is secularized and sanitized, I don't know if I will be involved," says Ed Klein, an ambassador. He believes symbols of faith "bring order out of the chaos that was that flight."
Many say religious expressions belong here, because the crash site is a final resting place. Flight 93 took off from Newark, N.J., bound for San Francisco. There were 33 passengers, seven crew members and four hijackers, and given the impact of the crash -- the plane hit the ground at 580 miles an hour and debris was imbedded 45 feet deep -- more than 90 percent of human remains couldn't be recovered from the site, according to the county coroner.
Shanksville-area residents understand the impulse people have to come to the site. And they are getting used to outsiders. At first, they admit, they were nervous when hundreds of leather-clad motorcyclists would roar through town in search of the crash site. Ambassadors now say bikers are among the most reverent and patriotic visitors.
At the site, ambassadors show visitors a photo taken by local real-estate agent Val McClatchey. She lives just over a mile from where the plane fell. At 10:03 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, she was in her living room, watching TV coverage of the World Trade Center attacks. A loud boom shook her house. She grabbed a digital camera that was by her front door.
The photo she took shows a mushroom cloud rising into a blue sky, with a neighbor's barn in the foreground. The FBI says it is the only known image taken within seconds of the crash. Ms. McClatchey, 50, says, "If I knew how much chaos it would create in my life, I might have just deleted it."
Accusations about her photo have spread across the Internet. Conspiracy theorists say the photo actually depicts a bomb blast, or that the cloud suggests the plane was shot down by the U.S. government. Others charge the photo is a phony. It is hard, she says, to see her name on the Internet alongside the words "total fraud."
The ambassadors feel for Ms. McClatchey. If bloggers would come to Shanksville, "they could talk to a hundred people who saw that same cloud that day," Ms. Glessner says.
Many ambassadors and other locals have formed lasting friendships with the victims' families. Shirley Hillegass, 68, lives three miles from the crash site. Six months after the plane fell, she attended a church service for victims and sat behind a woman who was weeping. Ms. Hillegass says she felt the woman's pain so deeply that "it was like I was in her body." The woman was Esther Heymann, stepmother of Honor Elizabeth Wainio, who died on Flight 93 at age 27.
Ms. Hillegass also has lost a child. Her 32-year-old daughter, Annette, died in a car accident during a 1994 snowstorm.
Ms. Heymann, 57, lives in Catonsville, Md., and every couple of months, drives 180 miles to the crash site. Over time, the two mothers have grown close. They talk about their daughters: vivacious young career women who were alike in many ways. They also recognize the differences in their losses -- one so public, one little noticed beyond friends and loved ones.
Ms. Hillegass last talked to her daughter, who lived out of town, a week before the car accident. It was an uneventful conversation.
By contrast, Ms. Heymann received a cellphone call from her stepdaughter before Flight 93 crashed. They decided that, to remain calm, they both would look at the beauty outside their windows. Ms. Heymann, safe in her home, looked into the sky above Maryland. Ms. Wainio gazed out of the plane at the sky above western Pennsylvania. Ms. Wainio expressed her love for each family member, then said she had to hang up because passengers were "breaking into the cockpit."
Lined up on the grounds of the Flight 93 memorial are 40 painted angels on sticks. The angel bearing Ms. Wainio's name has a photo of her looking radiant, wearing jeans and a short-sleeve white shirt. In the winter, that photo saddens her stepmother. "She's not dressed for snow, and I feel so impotent," Ms. Heymann says. "I wish I could keep her safe." Between Ms. Heymann's visits to the site, Ms. Hillegass checks up on the photo, or places flowers there.
Mr. Wagner, the heavy-equipment operator, is the ambassador in charge of maintenance at the site. He often emails Flight 93 families to let them know that tributes or photos have gotten sun-bleached or tattered and should be replaced. "I try to be their hands and eyes at the site," he says.
For seven days after Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Wagner volunteered at the crash site, helping to gather plane parts, personal effects such as clothing and shoes, and human remains. "I asked God to direct me," he says. "If it was something I could handle, I wanted to be part of it." Some passengers' loved ones know that Mr. Wagner saw a lot that week. They don't ask him many questions, he says, "and I don't share much."
At the crash site, presentations have changed as information has become available. This spring, the transcript of Flight 93's cockpit voice recorder was made public, revealing the mayhem of the final 31 minutes. Ambassadors now bring photocopies of the transcript to the site each day. Many visitors stand there, solemnly reading every word.
Ambassadors keep a log about each day's visitors. One entry describes a busload of blind people, who crawled along the ground, feeling the tributes left by other visitors. They also asked to touch the ambassador's face.
The ambassadors, who will remain on duty once the permanent memorial opens, say they have become better listeners since 2001. Many visitors want to tell them where they were on Sept. 11, and how they felt, and ambassadors see it as their job to listen.
When Ms. Glessner interacts with visitors, a mix of sadness and anger sometimes creeps up on her, she says. "I think, 'Why am I, this little person in this little town, talking about Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta? Why did they invade my space?'"
Her children, ages 17 and 20, are proud of her work on the memorial but have little interest in Flight 93 anymore, she says. "They see it as something that has taken me away from the family." Though two-thirds of the ambassadors are senior citizens, there is optimism in Shanksville that the younger generation eventually will step up when called on. Ms. Glessner says: "It's a story that will be told as long as stories are told."
Ben Wainio, who lost his daughter on the flight, has visited the crash site on the coldest, windiest days of winter. At times, he has been alone there -- except for the ambassador on duty. Ambassadors have helped him wipe snow off a bench that bears his daughter's name, and they have sat next to him in the cold, saying little. "We just look out at the field together," Mr. Wainio says.
Shanksville's embrace has led him to look at his loss in new ways. There is a thought that never would have occurred to him five years ago, but now he feels comfortable saying it aloud: Americans were murdered on four planes on Sept. 11, and if Elizabeth was fated to be on one of them, he says, "I'm so glad it was Flight 93."


September 11, 2006

Over half at LCF think Flight 93 photo is fake

Out of 70 votes at a Loose Change Forum poll, most think Val McClatchey's "End of Serenity" photo is fake:



(Note: You might have to register at the forum to view poll.)


"Team 4 Looks At Flight 93 Conspiracy Theories" - WTAE-TV 4 Pittsburgh

(emphasis mine)


Team 4 Looks At Flight 93 Conspiracy Theories

POSTED: September 11, 2006

Five years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, conspiracy theories abound about what caused Flight 93 to crash.

Many people still believe it was shot down. Others say the plane never crashed at all.

Team 4's Paul Van Osdol has been looking into some of these theories.

Do a Google search on Flight 93 conspiracy and you'll get more than 2 million hits.

Some of the theories are wild and easily challenged, but others raise serious questions about shortcomings in the government investigation.

The movie "United 93" portrayed government officials as frantic, slow to respond, overwhelmed by events, but conspiracy theorists say the movie failed to tell the real story.

Just one day after Flight 93 crashed, rumors about a government conspiracy were already swirling around Shanksville, Pa.

Some of the early conspiracy theories were fueled by witnesses along Indian Lake. Flight 93 went down on just the other side of the lake, and these witnesses say they saw an unidentified white jet circling the crash site just minutes after Flight 93 went down.

"We all looked at it and said, 'What's he doing?'" said marina owner Jim Brant. "We had no idea what was happening at that time."

Brant, one of the first people at the scene, told Team 4 the day after the crash his comments were picked up by conspiracy theorists, but today, Brant does not buy into a conspiracy.

"I don't think there was any outside interference to that plane at all," said Brant. "I don't think there is any conspiracy other than what was in the plane."

But the Internet continues to buzz with theories about a government shoot-down, and that's not all.

Some have posted articles alleging a famous photo (pictured, above right) taken at the time of the crash is a fake.

A retired Army colonel claims there was no plane at all at Shanksville, saying the hole in the ground was far too small for a Boeing 757.

Another theory: Flight 93 never crashed but ended up in Cleveland, where the "Zionist controlled NASA Space Agency led the cover-up," the same NASA responsible for "dubious Apollo moon landings."

Theories like this flourish in an information vacuum.

Researcher Bryan Sacks of the group www.911truth.org does not necessarily believe the government shot down Flight 93, but he says the 9/11 Commission failed to do a thorough investigation.

"Most of the commissioners had direct conflicts of interest, ties to the airlines that were involved," said Sacks.

He and other researchers also point to an Army seismic study that indicates Flight 93 crashed at 10:06 a.m., three minutes later than the government's official version.

"So why is there this three-minute gap? We really don't know," said researcher Paul Thompson.

Thompson created a timeline of all the Sept. 11, 2001, events. He points out that it took a half-hour after Flight 93's hijacking for air traffic controllers to notify the military.

"They knew the World Trade Center had been hit," said Thompson. "They knew the Pentagon had been hit and yet they don't bother to tell anyone of importance about it? They don't bother to tell the military that this plane has been hijacked? I mean, if you look at that, it just doesn't make sense."

And he wonders why authorities never positively identified the remains of the hijackers.

"We just labeled them terrorist 'A, B, C and D,'" said Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller.

"Why wasn't the step made to go beyond that and try to identify them name by name?" Van Osdol asked.

"We couldn't, because nobody gave us a DNA profile," Miller said.

Miller, one of the lead figures in the Flight 93 investigation, still gets occasional late-night calls from conspiracy theorists. He says the evidence does not support a shoot-down.

"There's nothing that I saw on the ground that would suggest that," said Miller. "It would seem like there would have been debris, upwind around Greensburg or somewhere like that, but as far as I know, nothing was found."

But critics said there are still too many unanswered questions about one of the most momentous events in recent history.

"People are interested to know what happened on 9/11 and they do suspect that they're not getting the full story," said Sacks.

Van Osdol talked to several relatives of Flight 93 passengers. Most of them are skeptical of conspiracy theories and they support the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission.

But some other 9/11 families just put out a DVD called 'Press for Truth,' airing their concerns about the government investigation.


Related Links:


http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/9822498/detail.html


"Near Shanksville, Pa., Local 'Ambassadors' Tend to Flight 93 Site" - Wall Street Journal

Snippet. Also printed at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Journal Gazette. See archived article here. (emphasis mine)



By Jeffrey Zaslow
September 11, 2006
SHANKSVILLE, Pa. -- On Sept. 11, 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 fell from the sky and crashed in a field three miles from Chuck Wagner's house.
~
At the site, ambassadors show visitors a photo taken by local real-estate agent Val McClatchey. She lives just over a mile from where the plane fell. At 10:03 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, she was in her living room, watching TV coverage of the World Trade Center attacks. A loud boom shook her house. She grabbed a digital camera that was by her front door.

The photo she took shows a mushroom cloud rising into a blue sky, with a neighbor's barn in the foreground. The FBI says it is the only known image taken within seconds of the crash. Ms. McClatchey, 50, says, "If I knew how much chaos it would create in my life, I might have just deleted it."

Accusations about her photo have spread across the Internet. Conspiracy theorists say the photo actually depicts a bomb blast, or that the cloud suggests the plane was shot down by the U.S. government. Others charge the photo is a phony. It is hard, she says, to see her name on the Internet alongside the words "total fraud."

The ambassadors feel for Ms. McClatchey. If bloggers would come to Shanksville, "they could talk to a hundred people who saw that same cloud that day," Ms. Glessner says.
~

Notice that the WSJ mentions this controversy of Val's photo along with Flight 93 being shot down. No where did I ever say that the anomalies in her photo suggest Flight 93 was shot down. I've been suggesting for a while now that all the "shoot down" rumors of Flight 93 were specifically started by the government on the day of 9/11 to distract people from the realization that Flight 93 did not crash in Shanksville.
Also notice Ms. Glessner's quote that "a hundred people" saw the same cloud that's in Val's photo. Do you really believe a hundred people saw the plume in Val's photo, but only Val managed to take a pic of it?

September 10, 2006

"Small Town Under Microscope Since 9/11" - KDKA

(Article contains video coverage. Emphasis mine.)


Small Town Under Microscope Since 9/11


Sep 10, 2006


(KDKA) SHANKSVILLE Stoney Creek Township is the kind of place where birds, not cars are the dominant sound in quiet moments.

The peaceful nature of the town made the violence of Sept. 11 all the more painful for residents.

“I heard a very loud roar of an engine and I just turned to look out my front window,” said Val McClatchey, an amateur photographer.

“I immediately heard the plane you know, heard the engines screaming and just seconds later it hit,” said Rick King, of the Shanksville VFD. “The whole town shook, my porch rumbled - the ground just rumbled.

“It was so forceful that it almost knocked me off my sofa,” King added. “I jumped and grabbed my camera and on the front deck and saw the smoke rising over the hill.”

King was on the first fire truck to leave Shanksville and the first to arrive at the scene.

“I get up there and I look around and it was like - it was like where's the plane,” King said. “I mean there was just like small pieces that you could pick up and put in the palm of your hand just scattered everywhere.”

The fire fighters were rescuers with no one to rescue

Four years later, King declines all interviews and has reduced his volunteer fire involvement.

“Nobody wants to hang around anymore,” said Shanksville VFD Fire Chief Tom Shaffer. “Every time you open the doors anymore, somebody’s pulling in, ‘where’s the crash site? Where were you guys on 9/11 still’.”

Shaffer who was another first responder and is no less effected.

“It has never stopped since the plane crashed, there’s always something,” Shaffer said.

He feels compelled by his position so he reluctantly accommodates reporters.

“Sometimes it’s aggravating, when it interferes with your personal life then it’s aggravating,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer says they’ve experience the best and worst in people since that day.

McClatchey, who titled her picture “End of Serenity”, is getting a taste of the worst.

“I’d like to see him - the coward that he is - set foot out here and lay claim to that,” McClatchey said.

Recently a blog website has claimed McClatchey’s photo is a fraud.

“It makes me really mad, and that’s putting it politely in a very professional way - it makes my blood curl,” McClatchey said. “The simple fact is that they don’t even have their facts straight.”

McClatchey still gives the proceeds from the picture to a foundation for Flight 93 families.

The people of Shanksville, Lambertsville and Stoney Creek Township have learned that outside aggravations are part of being under a microscope.


(KDKA-TV is the CBS owned & operated television station for Pittsburgh.)

http://kdka.com/911/local_story_253090222.html


Note that the article doesn’t mention me by name, or link to my blogpost to get the whole story.

More of my comments on this article here.


"A photo of a plane crash or a con?" - Pressefotografforbundet

From a Danish online photo journal site. Thanks to Mew at Loose Change Forum for translating this article.

A photo of a plane crash or a con?


The conspiracy theories are going strong after 9/11. This is what an American amateur photographer has found out. She took a sensational picture of a plane crash.

By Jens T√łnnesen

In the morning of 9/11 United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on a field near Val McClatchey's farm. She soon grabbed her digital camera and took a picture from her porch of the column of smoke.

She printed the out the picture and handed it over to the police and her farm was soon invaded by FBI agents. When the extent of 9/11 became clear, Val McClatchey’s picture became a sought after souvenir.

The picture has been used in national collections to the relatives of the victims, and has toured the country around on exhibitions. By the crash site, volunteers tells about the tragedy and show Val McClatchey’s picture in a laminated plastic version.

But it has also become an important evidence for the conspiracy theorists to show that the whole truth about the theorist attack has not come out. They have analyzed the wind direction, the spreading of wreckage and camera angles in an attempt to show that the plane crash was a con.

A group of bloggers, who call themselves “9-11 investigates”, have visited Val McClatchey and accused her of manipulating the picture and to put in fake smoke on the picture.

They have moreover picked her story from each other and pointed out discrepancy, all in an attempt to get the 50 year old real estate agent and amateur photographer to appear untrustworthy.

When you search her name on Google, it appears in the same sentences as “Total fraud”, which is probably not the best name for a real estate agent to have.

Published: 10-09-2006


http://www.pressefotografforbundet.dk/3094



Note that this article makes it sound like I am accusing Val of faking her photo. That is not accurate. Her being involved in faking her photo is just one possible scenario. The other being her photo is authentic and it's a photo of an explosion originating from a different location from the alleged Flight 93 crash site.

September 09, 2006

"Photo under fire" - Tribune-Democrat

Article first came out in the CNHI and some of their affiliates on Sept. 8 which is archived here. Comments about new photo in Tribune article below. (Snippet, emphasis mine):


Photo under fire

Local woman forced to defend shot's integrity


Published: September 09, 2006

By KIRK SWAUGER
The Tribune-Democrat

SHANKSVILLE — If a picture’s worth a thousand words, Val McClatchey’s is the Da Vinci Code.

Her photograph of a mushroom cloud of gray smoke rising above the bucolic countryside – snapped just moments after the crash of Flight 93 – has become a target for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

Five years later, the 50-year-old Indian Lake woman is frustrated by allegations the photo is a masterful hoax.

~

McClatchey said she ran a short distance to the door, saw smoke and instinctively grabbed her month-old digital camera from nearby.

http://www.tribune-democrat.com/siteSearch/apstorysection/local_story_252234421.html




This article contains a revealing photo. The bottom photo is a current photo of Val McClatchey apparently clutching her then month-old digital camera that she supposedly used to take her infamous plume photo with. It was presumably taken from the Tribune-Democrat reporter doing the story.

Just look at and compare the color quality of both photos. Look how dramatically different the colors are between them! The reporter's photo, to me, looks like a real photo. However, Val's photo looks like it's colors have been manipulated which then adds evidence that her photo was faked.

Also, notice in the reporter's photo that there is a small white cloud barely over the horizon above the red barn. Notice the horizon is higher than her house and from what I've been told, the crash spot sits lower in elevation than Val's house. If that white cloud is hovering near the crash spot, then just imagine how tall the plume in Val's photo would be!

One more thing to point out, if you look at the thin column of smoke under the round part of the plume in Val's photo, notice on the lower left side of the smoke column just above the tree line that there looks like there is also a small white cloud and it appears to be behind the plume. If this small white cloud were in fact hovering near the crash spot, this would make the height of the plume practically a mile high! It also gives more evidence that the plume was photoshopped on there because it seems way too tall and wide to have come from the crash spot and it is starting to look like it is even way too tall and wide to have even come from just beyond the horizon!

September 08, 2006

CNHI & affiliates - "Flight 93 crash photo target of conspiracy theorists"

Posted at Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI) and some of its affiliate (see below). Original story came from their affiliate The Tribune Democrat [local]. (Emphasis mine.)


Flight 93 crash photo target of conspiracy theorists

Published September 08, 2006

By KIRK SWAUGER
THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT (Johnstown, Pa.)

SHANKSVILLE, Pa.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, Val McClatchey’s is the Da Vinci Code.

Her surreal photograph of a mushroom cloud of gray smoke rising above the bucolic countryside – snapped just moments after the crash of Flight 93 – has become a target for 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

Five years later, the 50-year-old Indian Lake, Pa., woman is frustrated by allegations that the photo is a masterful hoax.

“It’s extremely disturbing,” said McClatchey, owner of Mountain Lakes Realty near Indian Lake.

“My main focus,” she added, “is to protect the integrity of the photo.”

Conspiracy theorists, specifically the blog Killtown, contend the photo is an elaborate fraud that starts with McClatchey and serpentines up to the highest levels of the federal government.

Killtown suggests the photograph is a fake, claiming the gray smoke looks more like a plume from an ordnance blast than the black cloud from a jet crash.

“If it really was an ordnance blast not too far beyond the white barn and white farm house, then this would be a true smoking gun and one of the clearest examples of complicity in the 9/11 attacks by the U.S. government because what else could have caused such a large explosion and who else would have been behind it?” Killtown wrote.

McClatchey is incensed at the allegation.

“These people are making all these conspiracy theories about the very country that fought to give them the freedom to write the garbage they do,” McClatchey said. “They’re the biggest hypocrites in the world.”

McClatchey says she will not respond directly on the blogs.

“The more fuel you add to it, the worse it gets,” she said. “Sooner or later, like a fire if you don’t put oxygen in it, it’s going to die.”

Joanne Hanley, Flight 93 superintendent for the National Park Service, agreed.

“I think what Val is going through is shameful,” Hanley said. “Just because something is on a blog doesn’t make it true. People need to realize that.

“It’s also hurtful to the families. They’re discrediting the heroes and what they did. I think it’s unnecessary, and I think people should focus their energies on something positive.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, McClatchey said she was watching the “Today” show when reports broke of planes hitting into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

As she was trying to call her husband from an area with spotty cellphone coverage, she said she heard the sudden surge of a jet plane and saw a silver flash outside.

All of a sudden, boom!” McClatchey said. “The house shook, my electricity went out. I was sitting on the edge of the sofa at the time, and it knocked me off balance. You could tell something happened outside.”

McClatchey said she ran a short distance to the door, saw smoke and instinctively grabbed her month-old digital camera from nearby.

She said she managed to snap just one photo.

I didn’t realize any of the significance,” she said.

Now, her photo has come to symbolize the crash, specifically how the war on terror began in the rolling hills of Somerset County, Pa.

An enlarged version is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, and it has appeared in U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Time and newspapers across the country.

Through all the controversy, McClatchey said she cherishes the bonds she has forged with Flight 93 families.

“They are the most wonderful people I’ve met,” she said. “I admire their strength and courage.

“It restores your faith.”

Kirk Swauger writes for The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Pa.

http://www.cnhi.com/cnhinsstories/cnhinsall_story_251131209.html


Val McClatchey's incredible photograph, taken moments after the crash of United Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pa., has become a target for conspiracy theorists who say it is not authentic.


The following CNHI affiliates carried this story too: