December 31, 2020

(Permanent Top Thread. Scroll down for new blogposts.)

EXPLOSIVE: Shanksville resident says  
the plume photo is fake because the original
"didn't have a mushroom cloud"!!!

Skeptic blog praise!

This blog is dedicated in finding out if the smoke plume in Val McClatchey's infamous "End of Serenity" photo is from an explosion originating from a different location than the alleged crash spot of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa which would prove the official story is a fraud, or if her photo itself is a fraud.

Start by reading my original article about the story behind her photo:

(Updated: 03/29/08)
(The above article will constantly be updated when new evidence emerges. Blogposts below will be of related evidence and/or updates to the above article.)

September 11, 2013

No paper trail

Am I the only one who's bothered by this?!

Regardless if you think the 'End of Serenity' photo is fake, or not, if I, or any other truther for that matter, claimed to take a photo of a national tragedy and started selling copies of it and claiming to give all the proceeds to charity, the skeptics and the media would be demanding for transparency!

But saying you forward your profits via the honor system, accepting checks under your own name instead of the charity's name, able to keep money from checks not under your own name, choosing a charity that's been accused of seeking profits from a tragedy is somehow OK. 

June 19, 2013

"'End of Serenity' photo will be displayed aboard USS Somerset" - Daily American

"End of Serenity" photo will be displayed aboard USS Somerset

June 19, 2013

SOMERSET COUNTY — “End of Serenity,” the famous photograph taken by Indian Lake resident Val McClatchey on Sept. 11, 2001, will find a home aboard the USS Somerset.

The photo depicts a smoke plume above a red barn near the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93. A copy of it will be placed on the USS Somerset, which is scheduled to be commissioned by the U.S. Navy in the spring.

“This is an incredible honor for the photo to be part of history,” she said.

McClatchey presented the framed photo to the Somerset County commissioners Tuesday. Commissioner John Vatavuk will mail the donated photograph to New Orleans, where it will eventually be placed in the Flight 93 museum on the ship.

Wood from sugar maple trees cut down for construction of Route 219 from Meyersdale to Somerset will join the photo in the museum. A framed Somerset County map and three signs will also be sent within the next month, said Vatavuk, who has worked on the ship project since 2008.

McClatchey’s photo and a video by the late Dave Berkebile, of Berlin, which also shows a cloud of smoke rising from the crash site, were the background for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum as shown on the “Today” show in April, McClatchey said.

She remembers that the “Today” show was on Sept. 11, 2001, when she ran outside and snapped the photo, which has traveled the world since.

Her photo has been published worldwide and was recognized by the International Society of Photography. McClatchey was awarded the Outstanding Achievement for Amateur Photography. The photo hangs in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Last year her photo was displayed at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. The Flight 93 National Memorial is another destination. And now it will be a part of the USS Somerset, which commemorates the actions of the airplane’s passengers and crew.

“I’ve been told that the life expectancy of a Navy ship is about 50 years,” Vatavuk told McClatchey as he accepted the donation. “This picture will be floating around the world for at least 50 years.”

August 11, 2012

Real porch photos

A collection of amateur and news photos taken on or near the porch of Val's house.

Amateur photo July 22, 2012

Daily American Sept 2011

Amateur photo May 2007

Tribune Democrat Sept 2006

Pittsburgh Live Sept 2002

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.,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.)

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.

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:

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.”

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

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.