August 28, 2006

Jones Jones'd Flight 93 photo evidence news

I was really disappointed that some of the "big boys" in the alternative press (,, didn't pick up on the story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Aug. 6 earlier this month about my smoking gun finds in Val McClatchey's infamous 'Flight 93' photo which shows that plume in her photo is an ordnance blast that had to have originated from a different location, or that the photo is possibly a fake.

I emailed Lisa Guliani and Victor Thorne at WING TV a couple of days after the story broke expressing my disappointment about these three big websites I had admired in the past stiffing this story that had made mainstream news (I had even emailed all three of them about this story!).

I had mentioned WING TV in my original blogpost because they had previously interviewed Val at her work about her photo and the Post-Gazette article mentioned WING too. Victor then wrote and article on the 10th blasting the "Big 3" for not picking up on the story.

A couple of days after Thorne's story came out, I noticed something peculiar. I had been tracking the Post-Gazette story daily to see who was picking it up on the internet by doing web searches (that's how I noticed that the "Big 3" didn't pick it up on their websites) and all of a sudden I saw links to on my internet search results. This was weird because I had been checking the "Big 3" sites daily to see if they had picked it up and I swore I never saw PrisonPlanet link it, but then again I never looked on for the article, but only on I started to feel bad that I accused PrisonPlanet of stiffing the story.

So I checked out to see if they had linked to it, but I still didn't see it (maybe it was only linked on I then realized they probably only had it up for a day or two, so I started checking their archives. This is where is gets interesting. I finally found which day had linked it. They had it liked on the Wednesday the 9th under their "Police State" section. However when I clicked on the link, in which I noticed that they had archived the story, they had the date of the story as 10th! How could they have linked to their archived story on the 9th when they archived it on the 10th??? (Remember that the original story came out on the Sunday the 6th and Thorne's article was posted up on the 10th!)

They obviously tried to sneak it on their site after they felt the pressure from Thorne's article that they had censored it. Also, if you notice on their archived page of the 9th, the link to the article is almost at the top under the "Police State" section which means they had just linked it. On Jones' mirror sites, had it listed first on their "Breaking News" section along with under the "Other News" section which confirms they had quickly added it before the day was over. I never saw it linked at, or at

So why did Jones first censor this important smoking gun story that made mainstream news and then try to sneak on his multiple sites? Is it because he hates WING TV that much (or me) that he couldn't put aside his personal feelings and help capitalize on this opportune moment about a 9/11 smoking gun being mentioned in the news and then only snuck it on his sites so as to not appear he was censoring it? Pathetic.

He also didn't even link to my original blogpost that the Post-Gazette article was written about on his archived page. At the very least, he could have done that in which the Post-Gazette article also failed to do.

Well at least I'm somewhat happy that he eventually archived this important smoking gun story (even if he snuck it on there) because this story is important and having it on his sites means more people are exposed to it.

But what's Michael Rivero's (WRH) and Jeff Rense's excuse for not linking the story? They couldn't put their personal differences with WING TV aside for the sake of the truth movement either?

(Originally posted here.)

August 27, 2006

Phun with Photoshopping

(Updated: 01/02/07)

Would it be impossible for someone to have photoshopped the plume seen on Val McClatchey's infamous Flight 93 photo? You decide...

Here is the original:

I asked for people to photoshop objects on the sky of her photo (newest entries first):

- Berliner Kindl

- Melle Belle

- Melle Belle

- StillDiggin

By Brad from

By ~GmX.

"ait, here's my contribution to this. 5min in fusion5" - 4saken

"that's my for real one lol. it took 5 mins" - Braheem

"lol its united 93? see it was on fire before it hit the ground cuz a missile hit it" - Braheem

"I'm not sure we should discount the Romulans" - Nevermore

"You can add this, I did it 30 minutes, and I'm a noob at Photoshop, so anyone could edit these photos. It's not the best, but what the hell I was bored." - Sureshot

"Ooopss.. I've blown up the crater." - mgldzcrr

"10 minutes..." - rattler14

"Took me roughly 10-15mins..." - Barcoded

"'s a link to a whipped up plume behind Val's farm." - Lee Franklin

"Here's a quick one." - Tony

Following by Tarya:


By 2Faced.

"This was also made under 20 mins, so a quick job." - Kingston

"Here you go. Took me roughly 10-15mins." - broodlinger

And for quick clean-up...

See also:

August 18, 2006

McClatchey interview from Windsor Park Stories

Windsor Park Stories -

What is America?

The Shanksville Episodes:

Val McClatchey

"The Picture"

(Not all of the printed interview below is in the above video. You can see the full streaming video here, or download it here. Totally running time of video is 29:00. All photos on this blogpost are from the video.)

[1:52 - Start of interview.]

Narrator: Her name is Val McClatchey and although you don’t know the name, you certainly know the picture of the red burn and the mushroom cloud that was ascending toward heaven shortly after Flight 93 crashed on that hill in Shanksville.

We met Val McClatchey several months after that picture was taken. What a wonderful person and what an inspirational story. It’s a story that will help us to answer the question, “What is America?”


Narrator: Tell us a little about life in Shanksville, Somerset, and western Pennsylvania.



Val McClatchey: September 11, 2001 started out just like most days. I got my husband off to work. I was sitting on the sofa watching TV having my 2nd and 3rd cup of coffee as usual and that’s when everything started going wrong in the world it seemed. The first plane had hit and at that time we thought it was an accident and when the second plane hit, it was just an incredible feeling like the whole world was gone crazy.

I was pretty much glued to the TV, like I’m sure most Americans were who had access to the TV at the time, and I had called my husband, who was on his way to a meeting, and while I was talking to him, the Pentagon had just been hit and it was, he was going to try to get back home. He knew they were not going to be able to make their meeting, so he was going to try to fight the traffic to get home.

And it wasn’t long after the Pentagon had gotten hit that I had heard a very loud surge of an engine. I just turned out to look out my front window and I just caught it, just a glimpse of just a flash and then the explosion had hit. It was forceful enough that it about knocked me off my sofa.

I’d had my digital camera -- was right by the door -- and I ran out and took a photo
. The smoke rising over the hillside was just; it was so incredible when you think of the clear blue sky and everything. It was just, I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I just did and I ran and grabbed my cellphone and got in my truck and tried to call 9/11 -- couldn’t get through. The cell -- we don’t have cell service very well at Indian Lake.

(This is their saw mill; JCM Industries.)

From then on I ran to our saw mill and they still had power and their phones were still working.
That’s when we initially heard that it was a commercial liner that had gone down.


Narrator: The story of your photograph is very important. Tell us how the photograph came to be and how it changed your life.

Val: Well the photo, as I said, it was -- that was just an accidental, it was nothing intended. It was basically something that I’d just taken just because of the strange and not knowing what had happened, or anything.

It sat in my camera for a few days. You know, to me it was just a photograph of something. The state police and the FBI were asking for any photos related to Flight 93.

When I went to download it, I then realized my then seven month old puppy had chewed the end of my chord to download it into my computer, so I had taken the chord and everything, had it replaced, could not get it to recognize my camera into the computer. Ran back and got a memory card reader and as soon as I did I downloaded, made a copy of the photo, took it to the state police and within an hour, three FBI agents were in my house.

(These are the signatures of the 3 FBI agents who went to Val's house and took her memory card. Their names are Special Agents David J Hacker, Todd J. Brown, and Phil Lewzander.)

It turns out to be the very first photo taken related. It’s -- timed it out -- it was approximately 5 seconds after impact that I snapped the photo. It was the very first one related. In some of it, I -- apparently the FBI thought it was worthwhile; they took the original memory card. So it turns out that photo was a piece of history that I captured that second in time. I still look at it in kind of disbelief that I’m the one who did that, or had the presence of mind to do it and that’s not something you think about.

(This part in the video is confusing. Val said the FBI agents took her camera's memory card, but this clip shows as if the FBI took her computer's hard drive too.)


Narrator: Val as I understand it, your photograph has brought agony and ecstasy. Tell us about the initial reaction of the FBI when they discovered that you had this incredible photograph.

Val: Well the FBI, when they came in, they looked at it on my computer which is a lot clearer. They could actually see, you know, what they appear to be debris flying out from that cloud of smoke which I’m sure with modern technology they could do a little more scientific evidence I believe.

I really don’t know, I mean when I think about it, the agony of it is knowing that just seconds, lot of people died… But since then it’s, that photo’s been everywhere. People, neighbors want a copy, so of course they wanted to pay for the paper and my ink and everything. Taking the money for myself didn’t feel right, so we decided that the money needed to go to the families of Flight 93.

(Here is what Val basically gives you for $20, an 8 1/2 x 11 color computer paper printout.)

At that time there were no funds set up for it. So I was on my way to the bank -- I had sold a few pictures -- and that’s when Lisa Beamer had taken the same flight that Todd would have taken. She announced at that time the forming of the Todd Beamer Foundation and the checks that come and money that comes in and we’ve been sending out to support the families of Flight 93 and that’s just -- it felt like the right thing to do.

The photo has been all over the world; Australia, France, over in Germany, everyone. It’s now hanging in the Smithsonian Institution and that was the most unique experience out of it. I’ve seen the photo thousands of times already, but seeing it hanging there and hearing the other people’s reactions to it, that was probably one of the most memorable times regarding my photo.



Narrator: When you look at your picture, what do you see there?

Val: The end of serenity. Things haven’t been the same since obviously; the traffic. For the two weeks afterwards, we had the generators running at night. You could hear them all night long. You could see the glare, the lights against the sky. You couldn’t, you didn’t feel free to drive up and down the road. There was state police and FBI and everything surrounding the area for weeks afterwards. It turned our quiet little town to something out of a movie scene.


Narrator: What has it done to you personally?

Val: Well our life has definitely changed. Right before 9/11, we suffered some severe business loss to the point we were forced to file Chapter 11 with our business. We were in the process of reorganizing and right afterwards the insurance company decided they no longer want to deal with high-risk businesses. I feel that the insurance companies took advantage of the 9/11 situation in general. When we tried to get insurance, we could no longer afford it. The rates have doubled, tripled, quadrupled to the point we couldn’t recoup, so as of Dec. 31st, we ended up losing our business, putting 40 some other people out of work, which is not a great way to start the New Year.

(JCM Industries is named after Val's husband; John C. McClatchey, CEO.)

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.



Narrator: And to you, what is important in life?

Val: Wanting to wake up everyday. Just knowing that people I care about ’s going to be ok. Lot to look forward to, a wedding to plan. I’ve got a great husband that -- he’s been through a lot and he has supported me. We’ve done a complete role-reversal. He’s at home, doing some work at home and I’m the one going out with the briefcase in the morning, which is quite a unique challenge, facing life’s little twists and turns, but we try to look forward to the fact that as one door closes, who knows what lies on the other side of the other doors? That is what I’m trying to focus on right now.

We may have lost our company. We may lose my house, but who knows? We might find a nicer house, we might – you know you just don’t know? Things have changed, but somehow love finds a way to make it all work out.

(This is the front of Val's house where she took her photo at on her porch about were her front window is. This is also the window she looked out of to see the glimpse of the plane she heard fly overhead.)


Narrator: So how do you go one? What motivates you? What inspires you?

Val: Well what inspires me is having to get up everyday and face life. It beats the alternative.

I have a young, well my son and his young wife. They just bought a house, looking forward to starting their family. A daughter, who is getting married in May, just found out she has cancer, so now I have to be strong for her and supportive and get her through her crisis and get her happily married and start her family. And I have a great husband and somehow we’re going to make it.



Narrator: You have the strength and resilience and good spirit and good will of the most admirable dimensions. Where does that all come from?

Val: I would say, just comes from the love I have from my family and friends and just the faith that if you do the right thing and live the right way, it’s gonna come back. Yeah, I have my bad days. Yeah, I feel like going out and punching somebody in the face and I go home and punch on the pillow, or something, or take my frustrations out on exercise, or some other way, but I’m only human. Like everybody else, I have my faults. But as I say if you do the right thing and sooner, or later, it’s going to come back for you; ten-fold.


Narrator: When it’s all said and done, what do you want people to know about you? What do you want your legacy to be?

Val: That in no matter what, that somehow, someway, I’ll find a way to smile and keep going and somehow, someway put it behind me and just trust in God that he’ll make things right for us.

[23:37 - End of interview.]

See also:

August 12, 2006

Flight 93 photo plume comparison


Here is Val McClatchey's photo that supposedly shows the smoke plume created after Flight 93 allegedly crashed about 1.5 miles away from her house where she took this photo:

(Photo source: Shanksville Memorial)

As I've shown, the smoke plume in her photo is way to big to have come from the alleged crash spot. Val says she snapped her photo about 5 seconds after almost being knocked off her couch from the explosion. Wind gusts near the crash spot were only 9 knots blowing SE.

Here is an example of what a smoke plume from a real plane crash would have looked like if it came from the alleged Flight 93 crash site, about 1.5 miles away from where this photo was taken:

(Comparison photo by Rumpl4skn.)

(Gif by Rumpl4skn.)

Here is the video clip of where this dark smoke plume in the comparison photo came from. It is from a B-52 military jet crashing:

Here is a video clip of a re-enactment of the Pearl Harbor attack at the Dayton Air Show. Notice all the "short pulse" explosions that were set off look exactly like the plume in Val's photo:

Here is a video clip of exploding a munitions cache and notice that the color and shape of the plume looks exactly like the grey smoke plume in Val's photo rather than the thick dark smoke plume of the jet crash:

"Now that's a friggin' mushroom cloud there!"

See also:

August 10, 2006

Flight 93 photo mystery deepens

(Updated: 08/22/06)

With all the chaos I recently created with my analysis (just updated) of Val McClatchey's infamous Flight 93 photo that just made headlines in the mainstream media, new details have emerged in this new Pittsburg Post-Gazette article and from a video interview of Val [source] that I was just made aware* of that deepens the mystery of Val's photo.

The Post-Gazette article mentioned that the reason Val took only one photo of this historic event was because she "dropped" her camera after taking the photo and her battery fell out. It also says she "didn't even aim" when taking her shot. Just look at her photo, does it look like someone who was sitting on the couch who just heard a horrendous explosion and immediately jumped up and raced out the door with their camera, blood pumping and adrenaline running, was able to take such a perfectly lined-up and steady shot as if it were on a tripod and she was anticipating the shot?

The article then mentions that she then printed out a copy of her photo and brought it to the state police after she heard them put out a call for any evidence of the crash. This was interesting at first because it seems to suggest this happened the same day which would make it seem unlikely Val would have time to devise a sinister plan to doctor a photo of the event and jump on her computer to photoshop a smoke plume on an empty landscape shot. However, it turns out this call the police put out wasn't until days later. She also says the photo sat in her camera "for days" before she realized what she had taken. So technically, this does give her time to devise a scheme and doctor this photo.

Three FBI agents came to her house within an hour after she brought her photo to the police. They inspected her photo on her computer and Val said that they saw what appeared to be debris flying out from the smoke plume. They took her original camera memory card with them. So if Val did doctor this photo, is it believable that the FBI didn't notice it when they went back to examine the photo more back at their headquarters, especially since the smoke plume has all the characteristics of coming from a fuel bomb, or an ordnance blast and not from the crash of a large airplane? Also, when looking at her photo, do you see anything that appears to be debris flying out from the smoke plume? Maybe the FBI gave her that bullshit story for an excuse to take her memory card? Val does make and interesting comment about the FBI taking her card: “I’m sure with modern technology they could do, you know, a little more scientific evidence I believe.”

(Photo source: Pittsburg Post-Gazette.)

So now we have the FBI's hands all over this photo and this is good news for Val because maybe she took a legitimate shot of something the Feds didn't want anybody to see and they doctored the real smoke plume that Val had taken. Maybe her photo had to do with something relating to the plane she heard fly over-head in the wrong direction of Flight 93's alleged path right before the explosion happened? But there is another aspect that's been unknown that is needed to determine if Val could have taken this photo in the first place; how long did it take her to snap the photo after she heard the explosion?

People have been saying that the plume in her photo could have drifted closer to the pond, or much closer to her house by the wind if she didn't take the photo until 30 seconds to a minute, or so after the explosion. This, they say, would answer at least the question of why the trajectory of the smoke plume is off and seems to be much closer to her house. However in her video interview, she says that the FBI and her timed how long it took for her to take that shot which she says she took the photo only "approximately 5 seconds" after she heard the crash. Certainly not enough time for the plume to have traveled at all and makes you wonder if she was even able to take that perfectly lined-up steady shot of the plume. It is also hard to believe that she was able to think about jumping up and grabbing her camera to go shoot a picture and not ducking for cover from being startled and frightened from almost being knocked off her couch from a violent "house-rocking explosion" as she claimed happened.

Val copyrights her photo and the Post-Gazette article mentions that Val says she has kept some of the proceeds from selling her photo at $20 bucks a pop, supposedly only for her legal fees involving her AP lawsuit. It also says that she uses the "honor system" to distribute her proceeds from selling her photo to the Heroic Choices foundation. Would you trust your work to use the "honor system" in giving you your pay? And think how much profit she makes on each photo. All she does when she sells them is print out an 8 1/2 x 11 color copy from her computer. Could that even cost her 50 cents for each copy?

(Val photo source: Windsor Park Stories)

Both Val and the FBI claim her photo is authentic and she says her neighbors even saw the image still in her digital camera, though none of these neighbors she mentions were ever interviewed to corroborate this. She also says her computer was new and that she didn't have any photo-altering software.

So if she did fabricate this photo, why? Did she have a big enough reason to risk criminal prosecution, lawsuits, and ruining her family and credibility forever? Well, it would appear so. In her video interview, she says right before 9/11, she had suffered "severe business loss" which had forced her husband's company, JCM Industries, to file for bankruptcy which they did just nine days after 9/11. She also mentions that they may lose their house and then goes on to say that they ended up shutting down their business on Dec. 31st. And if it could get any worse for her and her family, Val and one of her children were diagnosed with potentially life threatening and expensive health problems. Now think about that they might be, or already did lose their health insurance from their business going belly up.

It's sad to hear that her family was going through so much trauma and I really hate to even bring it up, especially when they were going through major health problems, but you have to come to the realization that these were dire circumstances they were going through that could give someone who is desperate enough to think of devising a diabolical plan to cash in on a sure money maker, or even to be bribed into going along with a criminal scheme (think of the FBI taking her memory card.) Remember that Val has since opened up her own realty company (spring of 2005). Where did they get the money to do that?

I know it sounds like I'm saying that she did fake her photo, or that somehow she is in on it even if it's a legit photo of an ordnance blast, but just look at the facts:

1) She did say she saw a glimpse of the plane she heard fly over-head in the wrong direction of Flight 93's alleged path before the explosion happened right after she says it disappeared over the horizon.

2) The smoke plume is characteristic of an ordnance blast.

3) The smoke plume is too big to have originated from the alleged crash spot and could only have originated much closer to her house.

4) She takes only one perfectly lined-up and steady photo only about 5 seconds after supposedly almost being knocked off the couch from and unexpected horrendous house-shacking explosion and not ducking for cover and also says she has her "new" digital camera ready by her door waiting for her friend to do a fly-by with a helicopter around the same time as the most unusual terrorist attack in U.S. history no less is very suspect to say the least.

5) She has the photo in her possession for days until showing it to the police.

6) The FBI comes to her home and she says they gave her a story that they saw on her photo what appeared to be debris flying out from the smoke plume which they in turn take her camera's memory card with them.

7) Her family was going through a severe financial and health crisis right before 9/11 in which they had to file for bankruptcy and were in danger of losing their home.

8) She copyrights her photo, sells computer printouts of it for $20 each, uses the "honor system" to pay the charity what she promises, and admits to keeping some of the profits.

9) She opens up her new realty business a couple years later after they were forced to close their saw mill business and were in danger of losing their home.

Any police detective would look at these facts and use them for their investigations. Investigations aren't always, if ever, pretty. I'm only making a case that there is a case.

I really, really, really, really, hope Val and her family had absolutely nothing to do with it if it's ever found out that there was any kind of wrong-doing related to this photo. I really, really hope her photo is legit and she was simply taking a picture of a strange event, because that would mean there was an ordnance blast originating closer to her house which would prove some kind of conspiracy with the government.

Unfortunately the facts seem to suggest otherwise and it just seems too unbelievable to think that Val took a photo of some kind of explosion and the FBI doctored it to hide what she really photographed without her knowledge. The one bright spot in this is I also find too hard to believable that the FBI had nothing to do with it if the photo has been doctored. They had her memory card in their possession and they claim her photo is authentic.

Also, do you really think Val had the graphic art skills enough to make such a good forgery if it turned out to be a fake? Did she have help? Where did she, or her accomplice(s) get the picture of the ordnance plume? The FBI would have access to photos of ordnance plumes and I would assume that they also have access to great graphic artists too. They would also have good reasons to doctor a photo if they needed to hide something. The flipside about the FBI doctoring it though would be, why did they doctor it to make it look like it was an ordnance plume? Maybe Val did take a photo of an ordnance plume and the FBI knew they couldn't doctor it too much for fear that it would be too obvious that they changed it? As I said, quite a mystery.

If it turns out Val was in on doctoring the photo, I'd like to think the FBI had found out about her extreme financial and health troubles that occurred right before Sept. 11 and they bribed her into going along with whatever reason why they decided to doctor this photo because they knew she was in such dire circumstances at the time and she saw it as her only way out.

Either way, Val McClatchey's Flight 93 photo is a smoking gun whether it's a legitimate photo, or whether it's a fake.

See also:

(*Thanks to Zaphod 36 for the heads up on the video interview.)

Flight 93 News Blackout

Flight 93 News Blackout

by Victor Thorn

9-11 researcher Killtown [McClatchey photo blogpost makes mainstream news] made a very insightful observation today when pointing out that there was a nearly complete alternative media news blackout on a major Flight 93 article that appeared in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. He wrote:

“I just noticed WRH (What Really Happened), Rense, and all 20 of Jones’ sites failed to post the Gazette article [Conspiracy theorists blog that Flight 93 photo is fake]. You'd think ONE of them would have picked up the story which gave HUGE exposure for the 9/11 truth movement. Is it because they hate you guys and me?”

Consider: Killtown has done some fantastic work in trying to determine whether Val McClatchey’s famous “mushroom cloud” photograph at Shanksville is authentic or not [Val McClatchey Photo: More Smoking Guns, or Total Fraud?]. On top of that, a mainstream newspaper in Pittsburgh picked-up on the story and ran with it. Yet Alex Jones, Jeff Rense, Mike Rivero, and almost every other alternative media outlet - not to mention 9-11 "truth" sites - completely ignored this story. Why? Flight 93 is one of the most important pieces of the 9-11 puzzle - and one in which the government's lies are most easily exposed - yet it's been almost completely excluded from the radar screen. Inexcusable, and a great disservice to all those who want the ultimate truth about 9-11.

What’s the purpose of even having an “alternative media” when they relay LESS vital 9-11 information than the mainstream media does? In addition, we have pointed out in Phantom Flight 93 that there are so many smoking gun inconsistencies with the Shanksville “crater” that we could blow this entire case open in days. Yet these above-mentioned members of the alternative media containment cabal act as if Flight 93 didn’t even exist.

How can the mainstream media be reporting more on this subject than those who are supposedly at the forefront of this movement? What are they trying to hide, and what is their purpose in doing so? What we’re talking about is an unadulterated NEWS BLACKOUT that is worse than what the corporate press does. Worst of all, this certainly isn’t the first time they’ve engaged in such a cover-up. Ask yourself: why are Alex Jones, Jeff Rense, and other leaders of the 9-11 "truth movement" even in this field if they're going to continually cover-up breaking 9-11 information?

See also:

August 06, 2006

McClatchey photo blogpost makes mainstream news

My analysis of Val McClathey's photo of the alleged Shanksville crash made the news at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Here are some snippets from the article:

Conspiracy theorists blog that Flight 93 photo is fake

Sunday, August 06, 2006

By Caitlin Cleary, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

STOYSTOWN, Pa. -- It was a remarkable shot that produced a one-of-a-kind image: a green pasture, red barns in the distance and, against a brilliant blue and cloudless sky, a lone mushroom cloud of dark gray smoke.

Taken the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, seconds after United Airlines Flight 93 plunged into a nearby field, the eerie photo was, and still is, according to the FBI, the closest thing it's got to an image of the crash itself.

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


She copyrighted her photo and gave it a title, "End of Serenity." This would later prove an apt description of what was in store for Mrs. McClatchey, 50. She would find herself the target of 9/11 conspiracy theorists and involved in a copyright lawsuit against The Associated Press.


But Mrs. McClatchey's fame has recently taken a sour turn. The real estate agent has recently become a target of bloggers calling themselves "9-11 researchers," who are seeking to prove that the U.S. government was complicit in the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers, pierced the Pentagon and crashed United Airlines Flight 93. "The End of Serenity" has turned out to be their smoking gun.

The smoke plume doesn't line up right, they say. It is too large in the frame. The smoke is characteristic of an ordnance blast, not a jet fuel fire, further evidence that the government shot down Flight 93. They analyze wind direction, debris patterns and camera trajectories, all in the service of the theory that the crash was faked.

They have visited Mrs. McClatchey's office and called her at home, posting satellite maps of her property and accusing her of digitally altering her photo to insert a fake smoke plume. The bloggers have picked apart her story, highlighting inconsistencies in different news accounts and questioning her motives.

On a simple Google search, Mrs. McClatchey's name now pops up in the same sentence as "total fraud."


"If the smoke plume was photo-shopped on there, then that could mean either that the photo was simply a fraud by Val, or it was a fraud by her and the FBI and/or other government agents since she did mention that the FBI did inspect the memory card from her camera," writes a blogger identified as Killtown.


About Mrs. McClatchey's "End of Serenity," Killtown concludes that either the smoke plume in the photo came from a bomb blast closer to her house, or that the picture was faked by Mrs. McClatchey or the FBI. Killtown writes: "If the first is true, then Val may be off the hook. If any of the latter two are the case, then Val, you got some splainin' to do!"

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.

"I know that photo is completely legitimate," Mrs. McClatchey said. "Other people saw the same thing I saw."

Special agent Jeff Killeen, of the FBI in Pittsburgh, confirmed that the photo of the barns and the smoke plume was "a very legitimate photograph."


Mrs. McClatchey still occasionally gets requests for copies of "End of Serenity." She prints them out on her personal printer, and says she has no idea how many hundreds or thousands of dollars the photo has raised for the Heroic Choices charity. She operates on the honor system, she says, and simply forwards the checks to them. Representatives from the charity did not return calls requesting comment.

Mrs. McClatchey has begun accepting some money, on account of her copyright action against The Associated Press, which, she says, distributed her photo without her permission.

"So here I am, in the middle of this nasty lawsuit," she said. "I have kept some of the money, because now I have some legal fees. It's very unfortunate, because I was trying to do the right thing."

David Tomlin, assistant general counsel with The Associated Press, confirmed that litigation was in progress.

Overall I think this article was mostly accurate and I'm thrilled it made the mainstream news. However I do want to comment on a few things in the article to clear some things up:

1. "Conspiracy theorists blog that Flight 93 photo is fake"

The title suggests that I'm saying the photo was faked. Even though I personally think it is, I also hold the possibility that it could be authentic and that it is a photograph of an ordnance blast originating closer to her house. The article does mention this scenario further down in the article:

About Mrs. McClatchey's "End of Serenity," Killtown concludes that either the smoke plume in the photo came from a bomb blast closer to her house, or that the picture was faked by Mrs. McClatchey or the FBI.
The title of the article should have read: "Conspiracy theorists blog that Flight 93 photo may be fake"

2. "The smoke plume doesn't line up right, they say. It is too large in the frame. The smoke is characteristic of an ordnance blast, not a jet fuel fire, further evidence that the government shot down Flight 93."

I do not believe Flight 93 was shot down and no where do I mention this theory in any of my blog posts or website, so I'm not sure where Ms. Cleary got this from. I used to believe Flight 93 was shot down a while ago, but theorize now that all the early shoot-down rumors where spread on purpose to distract us from the evidence that no Boeing 757 crashed in Shanksville. Maybe Ms. Cleary accidentally lumped me in with the 9/11 researchers who still believe that Flight 93 may have been shot down.

3. "They have visited Mrs. McClatchey's office and called her at home, posting satellite maps of her property and accusing her of digitally altering her photo to insert a fake smoke plume."

The "they" who visited Val's office were Victor Thorn and Lisa Guliani of WING TV who called Val's work number that they found listed on the internet and made an appointment to meet with her at her office the same day. Lisa told me Val jumped at the chance to be interviewed without hesitation and drove over right away to meet them at her office. I'm not sure if any other 9/11 researchers has visited Val at her office.

Saying "posting satellite maps of her property" kind of makes it sound like I posted them to let the world know where she lives to "pay her a visit" or something sinister like that. This was not my intent. My intent was to show where her house is in relationship with where her camera was pointing and with where the crash scene was. It was simply done to prove my analysis of her photo.

I'm also not necessarily accusing her of faking this photo. I'm saying it could be one possible scenario with the others being that the government could have faked it with or without her knowledge, or that it is authentic which proves an ordinance blast originating much closer to her house. I hope the latter to be true.

4. "This Killtown, whoever he may be, I find it very disturbing that this is a 16-page attack on me personally," said Mrs. McClatchey, who opened her real estate company a year and a half ago. "My business is named. That hurts me personally. It's pretty disturbing. My whole life is out there, a map to where I live, a map to my office. It's a safety issue for me. There's some crazy people out there."

I found Val's home address and business address by doing a simple internet search. Anybody could easily find her addresses on the net then pop them in a map search and find her work or home. It is really no big secret and it's not rocket science.

I didn't write my blogpost and do my analysis of her photo as a personal attack on Mrs. McClatchey. I hold no personal grudge against her. I did it because I find her photo suspicious and possibly a fraud. Since she took the photo, she would logically be the first one to suspect of fabricating this photo if it is indeed a fake. I truly hope she is speaking the truth about her photo being authentic because not only will that mean that she is off the hook, but it means most importantly that her photo proves that there was an ordnance blast closer to her house, far from the alleged crash scene of Flight 93, and then the U.S. government will have a lot to answer to!

5. "Killtown posits whether the World Trade Center towers were brought down by explosives, and whether the Pentagon was hit by a missile."

Not to get sidetracked, but that is just one scenario that I hold about what hit Pentagon by the way. Although I'm really not concerned with what did hit the Pentagon as much as concerned about what didn't hit it (i.e. Flight 77).

6. "(The blogger identified only as Killtown could be reached only via e-mail. He or she agreed to be interviewed without ever revealing identity and never got in phone contact with this reporter.)"

I'm a "he" btw. I had asked Ms. Cleary that I wish to remain anonymous for my own personal reasons and that I'd be happy to interview via email or instant messaging. She was experiencing email difficulties at her work, so it took a long time for her to receive my emails and she seemed reluctant to communicate via instant message because she feared it might run into the same difficulties as her work email problems. I assured her it wouldn't, but then I went ahead and tried to call her from a phone a couple of times, but since we are in different times zones, I was unable to get a hold of her directly over the phone and chose not to leave a voice message. She then mentioned in her last email to me that if I didn't get a hold of her over the phone, that she would just quote directly from my blogpost because her deadline for the article was approaching. I replied and told her that was perfectly fine because there really wasn't anything more I had to add that I didn't already mention on my blogpost.

7. "He then proceeds to post her home address, phone number and personal e-mail information."

This again kind of makes it sound like I posted her personal information for "sinister" reasons. All this information about her is easily accessible on the internet. The phone number I posted is her work number from her own work website. I found her work website by googling "end of serenity shanksville". I did find her home phone number also, but specifically choose not to post that because I didn't want anybody to bother her at home. I posted her personal email (which is posted on the internet too) if people wished to contact her.

One small thing missing in the article that I was kind of bummed about is that it never linked to my blogpost that the entire article was written about. Seems like that Pittsburg Post-Gazette is a little behind the times in regards to how mainstream media articles are linking to websites that are of the subject, or related to their articles.

Even though the article seems to paint Val as a victim from being targeted by "obsessed conspiracy theorists," overall I'm quite happy with the article. The truth about 9/11 will have a hard time coming out if the mainstream media doesn't report our views of what really happened. I applaud Ms. Cleary and the Pittsburg Post-Gazette for having the guts to write and publish this article. I hope more in the mainstream media will follow suit.

Please send Ms. Cleary a letter of thanks for writing this article.

Cleary can be reached at or 412-263-2533.

(Her work phone number and email address was found at the end of the article by the way ;-)

See also: