There was no plane
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The story...

On visiting the supposed Flight 93 crash site, Ernie Stull (the Mayor of Shanksville) said "there was no plane".

Our take...

This quote was first used by German television to justify the idea that Flight 93 didn't crash at Shanksville. It was picked up by American Free Press ( ), then referenced at other sites ( , ). It remains a fringe idea (most people seem to prefer the “Flight 93 shot down” theory), but is something you’ll encounter occasionally online & at Google.

Is the “Flight 93 didn’t crash there” implication a fair reflection of Stulls view, though? Der Spiegel decided to investigate.

When Der Spiegel confronts Stull with the English translation of these passages in the book and the film script, the man is speechless: "My statements were taken completely out of context. Of course there was an airplane. It's just that there wasn't much left of it after the explosion. That's what I meant when I said 'no airplane'. I saw parts of the wreckage with my own eyes, even one of the engines. It was lying in the bushes."

This is the point where those who want to hold on to a conspiracy explanation will claim that he's changed his story, been "leaned on", and this is in itself proof that something shady is going on. Fortunately Der Spiegel covered this, too, by viewing the full tape of Stulls interview. After the "no plane" comment, he went on to say this.

"They just found the two turbines because, of course, they're heavier and more massive than everything else. But there was almost nothing left of the actual airplane. You can still find plate-sized parts out there. And Neville from the farm over there found an aluminum part from the airplane's outside shell behind his barn that must've been about 8 by 10 or even 8 by 12 feet."

Using “no plane” on its own is clearly a misrepresentation. One that became even more clear when Flight 93 debris photos were released at the Moussaoui trial (see here).

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