IF FLIGHT 93 LANDED IN CLEVELAND,
IF FLIGHT 93 LANDED IN CLEVELAND,
WHAT CRASHED IN SHANKSVILLE?
THE DELETED REPORTS
FROM THE HISTORIOGRAPHY
By Christopher Bollyn
As any journalist or historian knows, when a major catastrophe occurs it is extremely important to monitor the first news reports because they often describe a very different version of events than those produced after government spin doctors have gotten their fingers in the story. The earliest reports, which are often more candid and honest than those that follow, need to be preserved for history.
The complete journalistic record and the eyewitness testimony of the events of 9/11 form a body of historical writing, known as the "historiography," of the terror attacks that have changed the course of American history. To remove or delete articles or reports from this body is a crime against history.
There are, however, at least two very important stories from September 11, 2001, which have been effectively deleted from the historiography of 9/11.
The two stories, one from Cleveland and one from Albuquerque, are essential to understanding what happened on that awful day, but both have been excised from the publicly accessible body of historical writing about 9/11.
FLIGHT 93 LANDED IN CLEVELAND
The first story, posted at 11:43 a.m. on September 11, 2001 by "9News Staff" of Cincinnati's WCPO-TV, reported that United Airlines Flight 93 had landed in Cleveland. This is an up-to-the-minute news report about the flight that supposedly crashed in a reclaimed mine near Shanksville, Penn. at 10:06 a.m.
"A Boeing 767 out of Boston made an emergency landing Tuesday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport due to concerns that it may have a bomb aboard, said Mayor Michael R. White.
"White said the plane had been moved to a secure area of the airport, and was evacuated.
"United identified the plane as Flight 93. The airline did say how many people were aboard the flight.
"United said it was also 'deeply concerned' about another flight, Flight 175, a Boeing 767, which was bound from Boston to Los Angeles.
"On behalf of the airline CEO James Goodwin said: 'The thoughts of everyone at United are with the passengers and crew of these flights. Our prayers are also with everyone on the ground who may have been involved. United is working with all the relevant authorities, including the FBI, to obtain further information on these flights,' he said."
This small, but extremely significant story of 147 words, which can still be found at the station's archives, has been purged from the historical record.
The original story is here:
A search for the story on WCPO's website brings up a page with the title, but no story. This is what one finds:
Plane Lands In Cleveland; Bomb Feared Aboard
Reported by: 9News Staff
Web produced by: Liz Foreman
9/11/01 11:43:57 AM
This story has been removed from WCPO.com.
It was a preliminary AP story, and was factually incorrect.
This is very odd. A seemingly well-documented story about the actions of one of the four planes involved in 9/11 has been simply deleted from the historical record because it was deemed to be "factually incorrect?"
Who decided that?
United Airlines personnel and the mayor of Cleveland are quoted in the story, yet it is later judged to be "factually incorrect?" What's really going on here?
EXPLOSIVES IN THE TOWERS
A second story that has been deleted from the public archives of 9/11 was written on September 11, 2001, by veteran journalist Olivier Uyttebrouck of the Albuquerque Journal.
This story was based on a telephone conversation between Van Romero, an explosives expert from New Mexico Tech and the Journal. The conversation occurred shortly after the towers collapsed.
Uyttebrouck's article began:
"Televised images of the attacks on the World Trade Center suggest that explosives devices caused the collapse of both towers, a New Mexico Tech explosion expert said Tuesday.
"The collapse of the buildings appears 'too methodical' to be a chance result of airplanes colliding with the structures, said Van Romero, vice president for research at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
"My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse," Romero said.
"Romero is a former director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at Tech, which studies explosive materials and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other structures."
The article was published on-line under the title "Explosives Planted in towers, N.M. Tech Expert Says." An archivist at the paper told American Free Press that the article was published "on page A2" in an extra edition of the paper that came out later in the day on September 11, 2001.
The 9/11 extra edition of the paper was archived in the usual manner, Judy Pence, librarian for the Albuquerque Journal, told AFP.
The Uyttebrouck story of 9/11, however, is not found in any of the public archives of news articles from September 11, 2001. AFP asked NewsBank, Inc. of Chester, Vermont, why the Uyttebrouck article does not appear in their data banks of news articles.
"We checked with the Albuquerque Journal," Lisa Veysey of NewsBank wrote, "and learned the paper did not submit that article to the archive. We do not have control over the content in the online archive. The paper sends us the content to be archived and we have to archive exactly what they send. We can’t add or remove any articles."
The text of the original article and Romero's subsequent recantation is here:
Romero had told Uyttebrouck that "the collapse of the structures resembled those of controlled implosions used to demolish old structures.
"It would be difficult for something from the plane to trigger an event like that," Romero said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C.
"Romero said he and another Tech administrator were on a Washington-area subway when an airplane struck the Pentagon.
"He said he and Denny Peterson, vice president for administration and finance, were en route to an office building near the Pentagon to discuss defense-funded research programs at Tech."
It appears that Romero's first opinion did not agree with the spin masters in Washington. Although it was published in the extra edition of the Albuquerque Journal under the title "Use of Explosives Believed," it was withheld from the electronic material sent to the national newspaper archives.
Apparently the editors of the paper were advised by a higher authority to keep the story from being added to the public archives that have become the historiography of 9/11.
Is this America's "free press" or is this Soviet-style censorship?
The Uyttebrouck article concluded:
If explosions did cause the towers to collapse, the detonations could have been caused by a small amount of explosive, he said.
"It could have been a relatively small amount of explosives placed in strategic points," Romero said. The explosives likely would have been put in more than two points in each of the towers, he said.
The detonation of bombs within the towers is consistent with a common terrorist strategy, Romero said.
"One of the things terrorist events are noted for is a diversionary attack and secondary device," Romero said.
Attackers detonate an initial, diversionary explosion that attracts emergency personnel to the scene, then detonate a second explosion, he said.
Romero said that if his scenario is correct, the diversionary attack would have been the collision of the planes into the towers.
Tech President Dan Lopez said Tuesday that Tech had not been asked to take part in the investigation into the attacks. Tech often assists in forensic investigations into terrorist attacks, often by setting off similar explosions and studying the effects.
"FIRE, NOT EXPLOSIVES"
For a person investigating the events of 9/11 today, this is what the Journal has about Van Romero in an article titled "Fire, Not Extra Explosives, Doomed Buildings, Expert Says," written by John Fleck dated September 21, 2001:
"A New Mexico explosives expert says he now believes there were no explosives in the World Trade Center towers, contrary to comments he made the day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
"Certainly the fire is what caused the building to fail," said Van Romero, a vice president at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
The day of the attack, Romero told the Journal the towers' collapse, as seen in news videotapes, looked as though it had been triggered by carefully placed explosives.
As for Romero, he was awarded with presidential favors, including an appointment to serve on the President's Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans. The commission was created by President George W. bush on October 12, 2001.
Romero was also credited for procuring some $56 million in federal funds to New Mexico Tech in 2003. Romero reportedly was influential in making his university "first in the nation" among institutions of higher education for receiving federal funds.