Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Role in Shooting down Flight 93

For too long I have languished over things that I have done in the past. I personally have directed aircraft to targets, knowing full well that people were going about their lives unknowing that they would be dead 30 minutes later. Im not here to talk about my part in war crimes against the peaceful Iraqi people. My story is something more sinister, as long suspected around the world.

On September 11, 2001, the plane I was assigned to, an E-3 Sentry(AWACS) based out of Andrews Air Force Base. As public knowledge now, the US was conducting a pretty expansive war games exercise that was to cover most of North America. Our AWACS was to be the 'eyes and ears' of the mid Atlantic region. Our AOR extended from just below Long Island to South Carolina, and as far west as Kentucky. We took off from Andrews at around 0600. Our patrol course was to take us inland into Ohio where we were to alter course southeast towards southern Virginia. At about 0800, our pilot received orders to loiter between Washington and Pittsburgh.

At 0830, we became aware of the first two hijackings from the pilot. Our mission crew instantly began tracking other airliners in our AOR as potential targets. One of our staff managed to track the two objects that struck the WTC, but he wasnt able to verify the size of the blip as large enough to be an airliner. At 0945, we began receiving frantic updates about the Pentagon being struck by a plane, or even a possible missile. We received a report about a fourth plane heading straight for Washington from inside Pennsylvania. We were able to get some tracking information from air controllers in Pittsburgh, and spotted the plane on radar.

Our mission crew commander was able to get in contact with NORAD for instructions. NORAD authorized us to direct 2 F16s towards the airliner and eliminate the threat over sparsely populated areas. I vectored the planes behind the 757 and instructed them to hold position until further notice.

To be honest, at this point, training and instinct took over. I didnt question what I was ordered to do. I knew from reports from our pilot, our wing commander, and directly from NORAD that something terrible had been happening to the country I was sworn to protect. At approximately 1000, we received a hurried order from NORAD to down the airplane. I nodded and informed the lead F16 that he was authorized to use deadly force and ordered him to eliminate the target.

In less than two minutes, I witnessed firsthand the results of my duties. I tracked the airplane languishing for about another to stay aloft as it decended rapidly towards the ground. An eerie quiet filled our cabin. Our crew commander requested permission to remain in the area in case of further threats. In no uncertain terms, NORAD told him that that wasnt needed anymore. Our pilot was then instructed to Wright Patterson Air Force base in Ohio, as it was the closest installation to us.

When we landed at Wright Patterson, our plane was taxied into an empty hanger at the far end of the runway, which was very unusual to say the least. As we deplaned, each of the pilots were escorted away by some brass and suits. Our mission staff of 15 was also met by brass and suits. We were ushered into debriefing rooms.

I personally gave the order to down Flight 93, so its no surprise in hindsight to what I endured at this point. In my small white room, I was met by an Air Force brigader general and a Navy captain. At first, it went like a standard debriefing. They asked me all kinds of operational stuff and performance related questions. At some point, the general produced a folder and pulled out a few forms. He positioned them in front of me so that I could see what was on them.

He then informed me that by order of the President based on recommendations by the CIA and NSA, that the knowledge of Air Force involvement in the destruction of Flight 93 was to be highly classified and not disclosed to anyone, ever. Still, at this point, I went with the flow, being a big picture guy. I went along with the general and agreed that America had already suffered enough, and that the truth behind Flight 93 would be an unneeded blemish in defending this great country. My debriefing ended, and the next day, I rejoined the rest of my mission crew.

At this point, aircraft operations in the US was limited to mostly military aircraft. Our AWACS was to go back on station and monitor for any potential flights that may have originated from overseas to also be used as weapons against America. Upon boarding our plane, we discovered that our data tapes, backups, and anything that suggested we were operational on Sept 11 was removed. It was almost like we stepped into a plane fresh off the assembly line. Later, our pilots informed us that the FDR and CVR were replaced. We joked with ourselves that we were the 'Ghost of 9-11'.

By Sept 15, our crew was split up. I ended up at a desk at Vandenburg for the next two years, while others were still assigned to flight crew duties, now in Afghanistan. I stood by my belief that I did the right thing up until we were fully engaged in Iraq. I began to have my doubts. In May of 2005, I learned that the pilot who actually fired the missile that took out Flight 93 had died after his F16 ran out of fuel. I found that very notion impossible. Pilots are trained to watch their fuel levels very closely. I looked into if further and found that the pilot of the second F16 wasnt dead, but had been run out of the Air Force a few months after 9-11 because of mental issues. I havent been able to find out much information about my other crew members, but like myself, they are probably in hiding.

I left the Air Force in 2006. I was pressured to stay by very high ranking officers not even in my chain of command. At this point in my life, I saw this almost as a threat. I felt that if I disobeyed the Air Force and left, I could be eliminated myself because of what I knew. I made the decision then to protect myself so that I might reveal what I know. Because of my hertiage and language skills, I have since left the United States and have settled elsewhere. I still fear for my life, but I had to get this information out before its too late.

I hope to be contacted by someone I trust, so I can reveal deep secrets of this cover up, but for obvious reasons, that will have to wait.

Never give up searching for the truth about 9-11. I fear that the truth is far worse than fiction.