September 09, 2011

"McClatchey ready to put disputed photograph in the past" - Daily American

Comments about this article below.

McClatchey ready to put disputed photograph in the past

September 9, 2011

Val McClatchey stands with Phyllis Musser, left, while holding McClatchey's photo titled, "End of Serenity." Musser owns the red barn captured in the photo.

Life changed in a single camera click on Sept. 11, 2001, for Somerset County resident Val McClatchey.

McClatchey’s infamous photo captured a mushroom cloud from the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 rising above a red barn and the rural Western Pennsylvania landscape. For nearly 10 years McClatchey’s photo, which she titled “End of Serenity,” was the earliest known image captured following the crash, until a video surfaced earlier this week.

The video, taken by the late Dave Berkebile, of Berlin, shows a cloud of smoke rising from the crash site. McClatchey herself had known about the video, and even had a copy, since the 5th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I had a message from my husband saying, ‘you’re not going to believe this,’” McClatchey said.  She said Berkebile gave her the video when he heard the authenticity of her photo was being criticized.

“He said, here’s your proof,” McClatchey said. The video was kept private until McClatchey  gave it to the National Park Service for an oral history leading into the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. She donated it on behalf of Berkebile who died in February.

For McClatchey, the video lends further credibility to her photo. The photo, time stamped at 10:05 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001, and shot on her Hewlett-Packard 315 point-and-shoot, has been a subject of controversy since it was taken.

During the years, conspiracy theorists and bloggers have shown up on her doorstep harassing her, and bloggers have smeared her name on the Internet.

Google my name and I’m a fraud,” she said.

McClatchey holds a copyright on the photo, prohibiting its use. She’s written complaints to Google asking that they remove her photo from Internet sites, but those complaints have come to no avail.

“I provided documentation and proof that (Internet sites) violated the terms of use of the copyright,” she said. “But who am I to take on Google?”

McClatchey was also involved in a lengthy lawsuit with the Associated Press over their use of the photo. The lawsuit resulted in a settlement.

“The result of the lawsuit was anything but a success,” she said. “When all was said and done, we were in the red.”

McClatchey describes the photo as a mixed blessing. She admitted that there have been times when she wishes she hadn’t taken it.

“I was meant to do it for a reason, even if I don’t know that reason yet,” she said. “I’ve had some great experiences.”

Her photo hangs in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and will soon hang at the Flight 93 National Memorial. After the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, this weekend, McClatchey said she’s looking forward to moving on.

“Everything’s going to be packed up and put away,” she said. “It’ll be pretty much over.”

She does plan to make one more public appearance, however, in 2012. Her photo will be displayed at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.

http://www.dailyamerican.com/da-ot-mcclatchey-ready-to-put-disputed-photograph-in-the-past-20110909,0,3182174.story

First, notice the vast difference in quality of the photo taken by the DailyAmerican reporter versus Val's photo taken with a 10 yr old HP 315 point-and-shoot digital camera.

See here about the suspicions of the newly released Dave Berkebile video that supposedly vindicates Val's photo.

It says the timestamp on her photo is at 10:05 am.  Officials are saying Val took her photo approx 5 seconds after the alleged Flight 93 impact.  I wouldn't make too much of this since times on a camera are input manually, so a camera's internal time could easily be off due to human error.

Now here's where it gets into some very misleading statements.  No one I've heard has "shown up on her doorstep" regarding her photo controversy.  The only people I know who meet her in person were Victor Thorn and Lisa Guliani, who called and made arrangements with Val to meet with her at her business, in which they said Val was all to willing to meet and discuss her photo with them.  At the time of this arranged meeting, Victor and Lisa assumed the photo was real, but thought Val had accidentally taken a photo of an ordnance blast  instead and that's what they wanted to discuss with her.  They said Val's demeanor turned sour and hostile after this.

About "smearing her name on the internet," is questioning someone's photo smearing the photographer's name?  As to Val saying google her name and it says she's a fraud, go ahead and do that and decide for yourself if it says that. In the first mainstream article by the PostGazette that reported about her photo controversy, the yellow journalist reporter made it look like I was calling her a fraud by saying the following in the article: "On a simple Google search, Mrs. McClatchey's name now pops up in the same sentence as 'total fraud.'" Let me remind everyone what the title of my original photo controversy blogpost said: "Val McClatchey Photo: More Smoking Guns, or Total Fraud?"  They all seem to forget the word "photo" was in my title.

The thing about Val claiming she was in the red after her AP lawsuit, just like her claim that all her profits from her photo sales were forwarded to the now-defunct Todd Beamer Foundation via the honor system, we only have Val's word to go by because there has never been a paper trail. Open your books, Val!

September 08, 2011

"Stonycreek Twp. Residents Forever Linked To 9/11" - KDKA Pittsburgh

(My transcripting in brackets.)


video

Stonycreek Twp. Residents Forever Linked To 9/11

September 8, 2011

[Two-thirds of the plane had buried itself in the ground, or disintegrated on impact.
~
"I caught a really quick glimpse of -- sun reflecting off of metal and then the explosion. And it was so forceful that it almost knocked me off my sofa. And I jumped and grabbed my camera and went out to the front deck and saw the smoke rising over the hill," Val McClatchey says.]

Val McClatchey’s photo of the mushroom cloud which she titled “End of Serenity” is going to be included in the Ground Zero Memorial in New York.

“It’s going to be six-foot-by-nine-foot, and that’s amazing one picture,” McClatchey says.

[Val has spent a decade defending her photo against those who claim it's a fake.

"There's a lot of bad people out there," McClatchey says.

But then one day vindication arrived at her door.  A man from Berlin, a hilltop away, arrived with a videotape he shot moments after Val snapped her one famous frame. He never went public with this tape, but wanted her to have it as proof.  She shared it was us for the first time.]

She and her husband are trying to sell their home on the banks of Indian Lake, but she’s certain people will continue to seek out the house just as they have for the past 10 years arriving unannounced.

“They just pull in, walk up on the front porch, and snap a couple pictures of their own,” she says.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/09/08/stonycreek-twp-residents-forever-linked-to-911/

Apparently you're "bad" if you question a photo.

Notice the "inaccuracy" saying Dave Berkenbile never went public with his video.  Other articles say he tried, but the media supposedly wasn't interested in it.  Val first showed this video to a small group of people in 2007.

September 05, 2011

'Vindication' smoke cloud video finally surfaces

Back in 2007, Val McClatchey had reportedly showed an amateur video taken from Berlin, PA to a group at the 2007 Shanksville memorial reunion that supposedly showed the aftermath of the alleged Flight 93 crash explosion and, thereby, "vindicating" her infamous "End of Serenity" smoke cloud photo.

Ten years after 9/11, this video has finally surfaced:

video

Flight 93 crash site video surfaces
September 3, 2011
SHANKSVILLE — As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, a video shot just minutes after the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 has surfaced.
While the video does not show the moment of impact, it clearly shows a mushroom cloud rising from the site of the crash at an abandoned strip mine near Shanksville.
The voice of Berlin resident Dave Berkebile, now deceased, can be heard speaking calmly in the background.
“This is the remains of an airplane crash over on Lambertsville Road,” he said. “Probably a terrorist bomb on board that blew up.”
Dave Berkebile, now deceased, who shot video of the Flight 93 crash scene, is shown with his wife, Cathy.
Berkebile said the crash “shook the heck out of the house ... A great, big, black cloud just mushroomed right up into the air.”
Then he added: “I wonder if there is anything left of Lambertsville.”

Val McClatchy of Indian Lake, who took the first known photo of the Flight 93 crash, watches a video shot moments after the crash.
Donna Glessner, who is collecting oral histories for the National Park Service, saw the video and said she believes it is the earliest known video of the crash.
“I thought it was just a very important historic piece,” she said.
No one else has a video of that smoke cloud.”At the time of the crash, Berkebile and his wife, Cathy, lived on Blue Bird Road.
Although he passed away in February, his wife, who has since moved out of the state, spoke about events that day.She said a video camera was kept at easy access to shoot vistas from their home, which was situated on 40 acres.
“My family lives in the city,” she said. “They had never seen the mountains. Up there on my mountain are the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Also snowstorms.
“So I kept the video camera all charged up so I could go out and shoot anything gorgeous to show my family.”
Berkebile said their initial thought when they heard the explosion was that it was dynamite.
Although the distance between their home and the crash site is 8 miles by road, it is just 2 1/2 miles by air and Berkebile said they had an unobstructed view of the skies above the crash site.
“Everything was totally visible and he had the presence of mind to grab (the video camera) and go running out the door with it.”

http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x1095936052/Flight-93-crash-site-video-surfaces

Note that a comment left by Dave's sister in the article's comment section says the actually street location that the footage was taken at in Berlin, PA was Bluebird Lane, not Blue Bird Road:
Diane Deist wrote:
Hello, I am Dave Berkebile's sister. Our two homes are the only ones on Bluebird Lane. I saw it was listed as Blue Bird Road in my morning paper. Yes, that was an exciting morning, When my home shook from the impact, I immediately called Dave and asked him if his house shook, He said yes, 'What was that?' I said it must have been an earthquake! Then he saw the smoke to the NW and said'Look out your big window!' I turned on my scanner and heard a large plane went down in Lambertsville, when he heard this he said'I'm going to see.' I left right after for the Shanksville School where I had two grandchildren enrolled. When Dave returned, he said all he saw was a big hole in the ground. Thank you .
September 4, 2011, 7:43 PM

The article also says that the distance between the Berkebile's house and the crater is 2 1/2 miles by air, but according to Google Earth, the distance is about 5.8 miles.



Let's analyze the Dave Berkebile video.  It shows the following:

- a large trailing grey-colored smoke cloud
- looks to be originating where the crash supposedly happened
- smoke trail looks to be drifting east toward Bedford


On the surface, the video does look consistent with Val's photo and the official story, so this should be enough to vindicate Val McClatchey's mushroom cloud photo, right? 


Well not so fast.


I think everyone's first and immediate question about this video is why did it take 10 years for this video to surface?  Well get this:

“No one else has a video of that smoke cloud,” said Glessner. “As far as I know it has not been shown or broadcast anywhere.”
~
The video will be available at the crash scene’s Flight 93 National Memorial, which is being dedicated Saturday as part of the 10th anniversary remembrance of 9/11.

Berkebile’s wife, Cathy, said her husband initially offered to show the video to news outlets covering the Flight 93 story, but no one was interested in looking at it.

What? The media back then weren't interested in looking at a video of major historically significance???  Now that one is just a little too hard to swallow.

Reminds me of another::

Val McClatchey snapped the single picture with her new digital camera.
~
"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.


Next, you would think that this video was released by Mr. Berkebile’s wife, or other family member.  Nope.  Guess who of all people?

Five years ago, [Mr. Berkebile] gave the 1 minute, 38-second video to Val McClatchey, the woman who shot the only still photograph of Flight 93’s haunting, skyward aftermath.

McClatchey recently donated the video to the National Park Service for an oral history of 9/11.

The reason Mr. Berkebile allegedly gave it to Val was . . . because of me:

McClatchey recently donated the video to the National Park Service for an oral history of 9/11. She had endured years of harassment from conspiracy theorists who believe Flight 93 was shot down by U.S. military jets and that her photo was a fake.
~
So, she added, he kept it to himself until he read in the Johnstown, Pa., Tribune-Democrat about the conspiracy controversy surrounding McClatchey’s photo. That’s when he decided to give her the video to validate her mushroom cloud picture, dubbed “End of Serenity.”

We never considered it might be important (until then),” said Mrs. Berkebile.

They never considered it might be important until then???  Did they not know they had the only alleged video of the smoke cloud? Apparently they did when earlier in the article Mrs. Berkebile said her husband initially tried to bring it to the attention of the media.


(Correcting the article, "we" don't think Flight 93 was shoot down.  We think it didn't crash and the scene was staged.)


There are some points about this video that are suspicious:

- Mr. Berkebile supposedly filmed this about 6 miles away.  The large smoke trail should have been able to be seen from at least double that distance, yet Val McClatchey and Dave Berkebile were supposedly the only ones who filmed the smoke cloud within a 12-mile radius.

- The Berkebile's supposedly went to the "crash" scene immediately after Mr. Berkebile shot the video.  He forgot the take his camcorder with him???

- We can't question Mr. Berkebile about his video because he "died suddenly" earlier this year in February and it doesn't help that he was a lifetime member of a Mason lodge.



We also must question how could a large smoke cloud even form at all and I'm not talking about because I think no plane crashed there, but even according to the official Flight 93 crash story?!


The way Flight 93 supposedly crashed was when it was on its side, or upside down (which ever official version you choose to believe), its wingtip hit first causing the 757 to begin to cartwheel.  The plane's front end slammed down on the ground next causing the cockpit section to "break off" and shatter into the woods and field.  The rest of the plane on back (one quote claiming 80%) then buried deep into the ground.

The ground was reportedly still "loose and uncompacted" and immediately fell back in on itself, affectively self-sealing the hole and plane:

- "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

- The cockpit and first class shattered like the point of a pencil, and remnants sprayed into a line of hemlock pine trees. 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. - Author Jere Longman

- 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."

And the 757 supposedly went in the ground so fast it didn’t have a chance to burn.


And never mind that the grassy field that hardly shows any signs of fire damage:

(See more "crash" scene photos here.)

And as that small section of forest that got fire damaged, the part of the plane that would have caused this was the snapped off cockpit section and I don't know what's in a 757's front end that would even cause an explosion.



There are also witnesses who seem to contradict that there was a large smoke cloud:

- Larry Williams, a retired Pa. State Trooper, was playing golf about 9 miles away from the crater when he saw a commercial airliner fly by and bank on its side until it dipped below the skyline.  In his interview, he never mentions hearing an explosion, seeing a fireball or even a smoke trail.

- Paula Long: “I never saw that smoke,” Paula Long, an eyewitness, told AFP. Long ran “immediately” after hearing the crash but did not see the cloud of smoke caught in the now-famous photograph by Valencia McClatchey, she said.

- Unidentified female witness: "...and it was fairly low.  It wasn't treetop low, but it was lower than it should have been.  And like I said it was cocked like it had been turning to the left.  And, just in a nose dive position once it cleared the tree tops I couldn't see it no more.  And then when I got out to [Hwy] 30 is when I seen the big puff of smoke, and-- I even had thought to myself that there should have been more smoke than that whenever it crashed cause the jet was extremely big."


And don't forgot the explosive phone call to witness Kelly Leverknight:

Jeff: Val McClatchey... she has a famous photo.
Ms. Leverknight: It was a fake photo, because it didn't have a mushroom cloud.
Jeff: It what?
Ms. Leverknight: There was no mushroom cloud.
Jeff: So it was a fake photo?
Ms. Leverknight: Yeah.
Jeff: Her photo's faked?
Ms. Leverknight: Yeah.
Jeff: For what? For money?
Ms. Leverknight: Yeah.
Jeff: Why, do you know that for sure?
Ms. Leverknight: Yeah!

And lastly, the color of the smoke plumes in both the Val McClatchey photo and Dave Berkebile video are reminiscent of grey-colored ordnance blasts, not black-colored jet fuel fires.


I don't know about you, but I'm declaring shenanigans on this video.


More links to this video story:

Retired trooper saw 'Flight 93' fall, never mentions explosion or smoke trail

video

This is an eyewitness account by retired Pa. State Trooper, Larry Williams.  He was playing golf the morning of 9/11 at the Oakbrook Golf Course in Jenners, PA, about 9.25 miles NW of the crater according to GoogleEarth.

He talks about how he heard and saw a commercial plane, being able to see the windows on the side, then seeing the plane nose-up, then bank on to its side before he lost it over the skyline.

After, he and his golf buddies speculated if it was in trouble and wondered if it had landed at the small airport in Indian Lake.  Finishing his round, he saw police emergency vehicles going East on Rt 30, then saw a state police helicopter fly by.

When he was back at the parking lot, his friends came out of the Club House and told him that plane had crashed in Shanksville.

At no time in the interview did Mr. Williams mention hearing an explosion, seeing a fireball, or any resulting smoke trail.


August 31, 2011

"The road from 9/11: Shanksville, Pa.: The serenity we lost" - StarTribune

(Snippet.  Emphasis mine.  Commentary below.)

The road from 9/11: Shanksville, Pa.: The serenity we lost

Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune | Updated: August 31, 2011 - 10:56 PM

A twist of fate ends the serenity in rolling Pennsylvania hills.

Val McClatchey, a real estate agent who lives about 1.6 miles from the Shanksville crash site, held a photo she took from her front porch 10 years ago.

STOYSTOWN, PA. -- "Right here is where she went over," says Maluchnick, 55, a retired cop in Stoystown, population 385. "It was going so fast, all I caught was the tail. It was flying way too low and I told Ralph: If he doesn't elevate and get his nose up. ... Then we heard the boom and seen the smoke about three seconds later."

~

'End of serenity'

McClatchey is president of the Keystone Camaro Club, so she usually has her Hewlett-Packard 315 point-and-shoot camera handy for car shows. It was sitting on her coffee table at 10:05 a.m. that morning 10 years ago, as she watched the "Today Show" at her house on Indian Lake, a filled-in strip mine.

"Then I heard a surge of an engine and, man, was it loud," she says.

The explosion a couple miles west nearly knocked her off the couch. She instinctively stepped out on the porch and took one shot of a massive plume of gray smoke filling the sky next to her neighbor's red barn. Then she dropped the camera and the battery fell out.

Her photo instantly popped up in newspapers, websites and magazines around the world. She hired a lawyer to copyright her image, which she titled "End of Serenity."

"Another blink of an eye and it would have hit the Shanksville school and all those kids would be gone," she says. "After a while, it gets overwhelming just to think about it."

Ten years later, as grandchildren play in the driveway and an American flag flutters on her porch, McClatchey says she's had enough. She's trying to sell her acre on Indian Lake after 25 years. It's not going well. With the economy sputtering, McClatchey says the market "stinks."

Her famous photo, which sells for $20 at a nearby general store, "has been a blessing and a cure," she says.

Conspiracy theorists hound her on the Internet and even come to her door, claiming she faked the shot. She's burned through five lawyers, trying to protect her copyright. The FBI confiscated her camera immediately and she had to leap through all kinds of hoops to get it back. She keeps the memory card in a safe deposit box.

http://www.startribune.com/local/128842558.html

This article confirms that Val's digital camera was an HP 315 that we had identified back in Oct '06.  We also showed that this camera has four AA batteries, not one battery which this article and the Post-Gazette article before it implies it did when describing how Val supposedly dropped her camera after the single shot and the "battery" dislodged. Notice the article also says she usually had this camera handy for her car shows, which seems to suggest this camera wasn't that new, though it could mean she just had her new month-old camera handy for upcoming car shows.  

Note that the article says she burned through "five lawyers" trying to protect her copyright.  Sounds expensive for someone who was supposedly donating all the proceeds from her photo to charity.  It's also the first time we've heard that Val supposedly had trouble getting her confiscated camera's memory card back from the FBI.

April 29, 2011

"McClatchey shares Sept. 11 experience with Ohio kids" - Daily American

(My comments below.)

McClatchey shares Sept. 11 experience with Ohio kids

April 29, 2011

INDIAN LAKE- — Two Ohio educators have found a unique source of Sept. 11, 2001, history for their sixth-grade class.

She is a source that many conspiracy theorists have made synonymous with controversy. Val McClatchey’s famous “End of Serenity” photograph — which depicts an ominous billow of smoke rising above the fields west of her Indian Lake home — has brought her some unwanted attention during the years.

McClatchey said she’s been called a fraud, accused of altering the image with a computer program. She said some have even suggested that since she moved to the Shanksville area in 1986 she has been a CIA “plant” to cover up the real Sept. 11 occurrences.

But teachers Jim DiPofi and Tim Bowens of Chardon Middle School in Ohio don’t subscribe to any such theory. The two adopted McClatchey as the unofficial tour guide for their sixth-grade students’ trip to the Flight 93 memorial after she visited the children in March.

And they repaid that visit Friday afternoon as part of planning their sixth annual trip to the crash site. The educators said their students — who live approximately 30 miles east of Cleveland — can’t wait to make the journey this summer.

“One of the parents told me it’s kind of like prom,” said Bowens, a social studies teacher. “I was told that starting in first grade kids start talking about it.”

This year’s sixth class was energized by McClatchey’s visit March 29. She was contacted by a fellow member of the North Eastern Ohio Camaro Club in January. The individual had saw an ad in the Chardon, Ohio, local newspaper asking for people with interesting Sept. 11 stories to come forward and speak with middle school students.

McClatchey readily agreed and packed a briefcase full of memorabilia: everything from pictures with late U.S. Rep. John Murtha, to her 2004 amateur photography award from the  International Society of Photographers.

“I find it encouraging that kids who were toddlers at the time have taken an interest,” she said.

McClatchey said she enjoyed her conversations with the enthusiastic students.

“It was very surprising,” she added.

Her husband, Jack, wasn’t as shocked.

“We as grownups don’t give kids the right appreciation for their ability to understand,” he said.

Bus loads of Ohio students will visit the memorial June 1 en route to Hersheypark. According to DiPofi, a science teacher, the idea of visiting the Flight 93 crash site came from his travels to Somerset County in 2002 to check out the wind farms.

He said a single visit to the memorial was powerful enough to spur his excitement for the idea.

“You realize it could have just as easily been me on that plane,” DiPofi said.

It took until 2005, however, before the field trip became a reality, as the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, was still fresh in many people’s minds.

“It took some convincing,” DiPofi said. “This was supposed to be a fun trip.”

And as the journey to Shanksville becomes tradition, the 3,000-population Ohio school district is developing its own link to Sept. 11. Since 2009 Chardon students have raised more than $7,500 for the permanent Flight 93 memorial. Bowens and DiPofi said they expect this figure to exceed $10,000 by the end of the school year.

“It’s just little kids making a difference,” DiPofi said.

As for McClatchey, she’s ready to leave the conspiracy allegations in the past. She said that “End of Serenity” has been admitted to the Smithsonian Institute and that, in 2006, the FBI finally returned the original memory card containing the picture.

Most of all, she said, she’s happy to work with the students.

“It’s quite a unique story will all these guys,” McClatchey said. “They’re all very active (in fundraising).”

http://articles.dailyamerican.com/2011-04-29/news/29489570_1_crash-site-visit-science-teacher

If I had a dime for every time they make it out like we are calling Val a "fraud."  Notice the articles says that it's Val who says she's been called a fraud.  Now what we think of her photo is a different story!

The article is also making it out that I'm accusing Val of altering her photo.  I've done no such thing.  I only brought up the fact that an article had said she had no access to photo-altering software when technically she did (or at least her HP camera supposedly came with some).  Doesn't mean I'm saying she altered anything.  Just getting the facts straight.

I'm not aware that she's been accused of being a CIA-plant as far as I can recall. I don't think she is.  If some truther accused her of that, well, there are some really paranoid truthers out there.  LOL

I still don't know why the FBI had to confiscate her camera's memory card if her photo of the mushroom cloud was real.  I can see why the FBI would want to confiscate it if her original photo did not contained a mushroom cloud as one local claims it didn't.  I've said before that if her photo is fake,  I believe the FBI, or other government agency did it, not Val, or anyone in her family.

March 27, 2011

Chardon Middle School students capturing Flight 93/Sept. 11 stories for oral history project - The News-Herald

Chardon Middle School students capturing Flight 93/Sept. 11 stories for oral history project

Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011
By Rachel Jackson

Few circumstances develop the way we would expect.

For Val McClatchey of Indian Lake, Pa., a simple interest in a certain make of automobile has led to a number of twists in her life's path she could never have anticipated a decade ago.

As a real estate agent and member of the North Eastern Ohio Camaro Club in August 2001, she replaced a series of disposable cameras with a digital camera for snapping images at car shows. Less than a month later, that camera happened to be sitting by her front door when a plane crashed in a field not far from her home. Acting on instinct more than conscious thought, she grabbed the camera, ran onto the porch and snapped a photo.

That photo was the first picture to be taken of the crash of Flight 93, a photo that permanently altered her life.

Jeff Forman/JForman@News-Herald.com
Val McClatchey shows a copy of the photo she took of the smoke from the crash of Flight 93 from her front porch in Indian Lake, Pa. McClatchey came to Chardon Middle School Friday to share her 9/11 experiences with the students.

A decade later, the NEOCC connection came full circle for McClatchey. A fellow club member had seen a public notice asking for memories of the Sept. 11 tragedies from those with local connections. That club member told McClatchey, who then contacted Tim Bowens, a Chardon Middle School teacher with a long history of working to keep the Flight 93 memories alive.

McClatchey visited the school Friday to share her experiences and the now-famous photo with sixth-graders working on an oral history project.

She thought she had become numb to the experiences of that day through a decade of retelling them, but found that sharing them with a pair of Chardon sixth-graders helped bring the experiences back to her in a fresh way.
~
The interviews were captured on video and will be combined with live portrayals and readings by students in a special presentation at Geauga Theater in May, said Kristan Rothman of Young Audiences.
~
In June, Bowens' students will make the annual sixth-grade pilgrimage to Pennsylvania, to the Flight 93 memorial.

"I'll be there to greet them in Shanksville," McClatchey said.

http://news-herald.com/articles/2011/03/27/news/nh3811717.txt?viewmode=fullstory

The reporter should have said why Val's camera "happened" to be sitting by her front door; she was supposedly anticipating a helicopter fly-over the morning of 9/11.

March 02, 2011

Witness: There should have been more smoke

WITNESS: ...and it was fairly low.  It wasn't treetop low, but it was lower than it should have been.  And like I said it was cocked like it had been turning to the left.  And, just in a nose dive position once it cleared the tree tops I couldn't see it no more.  And then when I got out to [Hwy] 30 is when I seen the big puff of smoke, and-- I even had thought to myself that there should have been more smoke than that whenever it crashed cause the jet was extremely big.  But, you know-- even when I was telling the dentist about it he thought I was talkin' commercial-- er-- you know a small aircraft that would be a personal airplane.  And I said no it was-- it was a big one.

ANDY BRIGGS (KDKA): Did you HEAR something?  You say you just saw the smoke.

WITNESS: No, I didn't.  And I even-- I stopped in the road.  And, you know, cause I had to take a second to realize what I had seen.  And I had tried calling my mom on my cell phone, and I couldn't get a hold of her..

More evidence that the 'End of Serenity' photo, with the massive smoke plume seen in it, is a fraud.


Hat tip to Ligon.