I can only imagine that thinking back to September 11th is what it must have felt like for our grandparents to think about Pearl Harbor. The question often comes up “Where were you on September 11, 2001?” when discussing this more than horrific day. I, personally, was a retail manager of a record store inside a mall. Traffic was low that day and I remember a family member calling my store to tell me to turn on the news. I had to open a small television and put it at my counter so I can watch. It was soon after that I was on the highway heading home. It was normally a 45-minute drive, but that day, it only took me 30. I stopped for gas and realized how quiet the normally busy avenue was and thought to myself “This is going to get worse”.
The same quiet, eerie feeling also comes from the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, PA. I had the opportunity to visit on August 20 of this year and the amount of dedication and thought that went into building a visitor center along with a full walking trail to visit is nothing short of remarkable. It was quiet during my visit, the same it was on the street of the gas station, but there was a different demeanor, one of anger and anguish, a bit of uneasiness as we all read the minute by minute playbook of the events that led to the crash of Flight 93 and the deaths of 40 people.
A Brief Account of Events
I’m not going to provide a minute by minute playbook of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Otherwise, this post would turn into a book, and there are plenty of books written about that day’s events.
I do want to brief you on my research and recap some of the intentions and facts that I was unaware of before researching Flight 93.
First and foremost, I am floored of how much premeditation went into these attacks. Starting in 1993, young men with jihad mentalities began plotting multiple ways of attacking the United States on our own soil. It all began with a bomb placed in a van that was parked under the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Six people died from that explosion, and it was an inspiration to other young men that we could be violated on our own soil.
There were four planes hijacked on September 11, 2001 but the original plan was to hijack ten planes. With Flight 93 having one less hijacker on board than the other three, the plans were obviously thought through thoroughly to insure the biggest impact.
Flight 93 had a total of 4 hijackers aboard. The pilot nominated to take over Flight 93 had the least amount of flight time while training for this mission and had never flown a Boeing 757 before. The original plan was for all four hijacker pilots to take over the plane within 15 minutes of takeoff. This didn’t happen with Flight 93. The hijacker pilot hesitated for 40 minutes before allowing his team of muscle to begin the hijacking. It was this delayed response which gave the passengers on the plane the opportunity to organize quickly, make phone calls to their loved ones, and plan their counter-attack to either take the plane back or crash it before it would reach the intended target. They succeeded the latter intention.
It should also be noted that the hijacker pilot for Flight 93 was the only one of the hijackers out of all 4 teams that had a wife. He wrote a letter to his wife just days before the attack and unfortunately, for him, he wrote the address incorrectly and it ended up in the hands of the FBI. A part of his letter to his wife reads:
“I do not want you to be sad. I am still alive somewhere, where you cannot see and hear me, but I will see you and know how you are doing. I will wait for you until you come to me. There comes a time for everyone to make a move. It is my fault that I gave you so many hopes about marriage, wedding, children, family and many other things.
“I am what you wish for, but unfortunately you must wait a little bit until we will be together again. I did not flee from you, but did what I was supposed to do. You ought to be very proud, because it is an honor, and you will see the result, and everybody will be happy.”
This was not the only mistake that the hijacker pilot made. Aside from hesitating the plane takeover, and incorrectly writing the address to his letter, the amateur pilot was also pulled over for speeding just days before their planned attack. And let us not forget that he accidentally responded to air traffic control in Cleveland with a message intended for the passengers.
Because Flight 93 had such a delayed response in the takeover, giving passengers time to organize, the hijackers’ intended target are still unknown. It is speculated that the target to crash the plane was either The White House, The Capitol, Camp David or one of the nuclear power plants along the eastern coast of the United States.
As I’m sure you may have noticed by now, this account of the 9/11 attacks has not named anyone that was involved with the hijacking. Names give power, and no other power needs to be given to this group of terrorists. For a very detailed account of the planning of these attacks, I recommend Tom McMillan’s book, “Flight 93: The Story, The Aftermath and The Legacy of American Courage on 9/11”. It is a fascinating read and provides more detail than I needed to write this post.
The Passengers of Flight 93
As mentioned, the passengers on Flight 93 organized and formed a counterattack that saved thousands of people from either death or the despair of losing someone. Heroes.
What some may not know is that Flight 93 had the least number of passengers that day versus the other three flights that were hijacked. The other odd fact about this group is that many of those passengers booked the flight last minute, either from a later flight canceled or out of desperation to get to their destination.
The odds of something going wrong for the hijacker pilot were slim to none as long as he followed the plan; low number of passengers, takeover within 15 minutes of takeoff, the operation should’ve gone as planned. But his hesitation caused a much longer flight to the destination, thus giving this small group of 33 passengers an ability to regroup.
The passengers also had time to call their loved ones and those on the ground were able to reciprocate the news of the other hijacked planes. These calls were made via Airphones located inside the plane. Another mistake made by the hijackers was allowing those phone calls to be made educating the passengers.
Family members will never forget the phone calls they received that day and there are plenty of recordings that were left on answering machines that help us never forget what we all watched on the news.
See the bottom of this post for a full roster of those aboard Flight 93. Although almost 3,000 people died that day, this post will stay focused on the passengers of Flight 93.
The Flight 93 National Memorial
My visit to the Flight 93 National Memorial was on August 20, 2020. Driving through the twisting roads of a very hilly field, I was unaware of what to expect. I hadn’t done much research other than recalling the memories I have of that day. What I found was a path to an overlook of the crash site where the little bit of remains were found from the crash, a boulder that marks the exact location and a few dozen quiet onlookers, in awe of what they were viewing.
The path to the overlook, is in the direct path of the flight, giving visitors the perspective of which direction Flight 93 came from. Looking around from the overlook, visitors can see the open fields that are now part of the National Park Service.
Once inside the Visitor Center, I found myself enthralled with the panels telling us the minute by minute of that day, the news broadcasts playing overhead and on screens, and the somber tone throughout the entire facility. Visitors walk through a maze of these panels, reading, viewing the remains found on site, and learning the story behind the attacks and about those that were lost.
We also drove down to the path created closer to the crash site where a wall of names proudly stands with the name of each passenger and crew member lost.
For those of you that have never worked with me in a paranormal sense, you should know that my “investigation” of the Flight 93 Memorial was not me waving a K-II meter around and asking the staff to tell me stories. My investigations of public places, not just this memorial, are discreet and respectful to the location. The Flight 93 Memorial is a place of remembrance, prayer, and patriotism and I treated it as such.
My hopes for my investigation here were not to deem this place as haunted, but more of a capability for those we lost to portray a message. I used the following devices: a K-II meter (in my pocket, randomly checking it in between reading panels), the SBox Ghost Scanner by Ghost Stop (turned on and in my pocket, secretly recording), and the FLIR thermal imaging camera (the cell phone attached camera just sticking out of my cargo pocket), and the digital spirit box running on my personal cell phone for a list of terms.
The odd occurrence for that day was not the list of words from the digital spirit box at the memorial. To be honest, that list is lost, and I mistook one of the lists from my visit to Falling Waters earlier that day as the list for the Flight 93 Memorial. Take a look at the highlighted words from the Falling Waters list below.
08/20/2020 – 12:30: AURORA (.45)
08/20/2020 – 12:32: DEPTH (.45)
08/20/2020 – 12:32: WEATHER (.46)
08/20/2020 – 12:32: HOBBLE (.55)
08/20/2020 – 12:34: NORA (.5)
08/20/2020 – 12:37: DIGITAL (.49)
08/20/2020 – 12:38: GRACE (.48) Lorraine Grace Bay was a 37 year flight attendant aboard the flight.
08/20/2020 – 12:38: REVOLUTIONARY (.63)
08/20/2020 – 12:39: FIELD (.46) This is obviously where the plane crashed.
08/20/2020 – 12:40: PROSPECT (.57)
08/20/2020 – 12:43: INTEGRITY (.47)
08/20/2020 – 12:44: WYATT (.63)
08/20/2020 – 12:45: UNDER BED (.46)
08/20/2020 – 12:45: INSTEAD (.65)
08/20/2020 – 12:45: BRUTALIZE (.46)
08/20/2020 – 12:46: AUNT (.46)
08/20/2020 – 12:48: TELL ME (.47)
08/20/2020 – 12:49: MANOR (.6)
08/20/2020 – 12:50: PEAK (.48) The flight wasn’t hijacked until after it reached it’s peak altitude.
08/20/2020 – 12:51: COLORFUL (.55)
08/20/2020 – 12:52: BASIS (.47)
08/20/2020 – 12:54: SIMILAR (.47)
08/20/2020 – 12:55: TRANSFORM (.52)
08/20/2020 – 12:55: BEFRIEND (.51)
08/20/2020 – 12:57: ATTACKED (.48) (self-explanatory) Although look at the tense of the word.
08/20/2020 – 12:57: SLIDE (.54)
08/20/2020 – 12:57: MAD (.6)
08/20/2020 – 12:58: ASCEND (.53) The flight ascended to it’s peak altitude.
08/20/2020 – 12:58: IRAQI (.71) I have never seen this term come through this device before that I can recall. This was my first indication that I had the correct list.
08/20/2020 – 12:58: GHOST (.49)
08/20/2020 – 12:59: SLIGHT (.61)
08/20/2020 – 12:59: SUBJECT (.46)
08/20/2020 – 13:00: CHRIS (.47)
08/20/2020 – 13:00: HORRIBLE (.48)
08/20/2020 – 13:00: VETERAN (.49) There were several United States veterans aboard the flight.
08/20/2020 – 13:00: GLOVE (.46)
08/20/2020 – 13:03: AWARD (.53)
08/20/2020 – 13:06: CANVAS (.45)
08/20/2020 – 13:11: REGION (.48)
08/20/2020 – 13:11: WHISPER (.77)
08/20/2020 – 13:11: CONSOLE (.46) I’m taking this as the flight console inside the plane.
08/20/2020 – 13:12: SPEED (.47) The speed of the plane was over 500 miles an hour when it crashed.
08/20/2020 – 13:13: SPIRITUAL (.53)
08/20/2020 – 13:13: RANGE (.48)
08/20/2020 – 13:14: ASSOCIATE (.51)
08/20/2020 – 13:15: REST (.48)
08/20/2020 – 13:16: SOLID (.51)
08/20/2020 – 13:17: ELIJAH (.48)
08/20/2020 – 13:18: AXE (.45)
08/20/2020 – 13:18: LOWER (.45)
08/20/2020 – 13:23: DAWN (.48)
08/20/2020 – 13:26: HARVEST (.45)
08/20/2020 – 13:26: GRANDMA (.47) This one connects to several passengers: some were grandmothers and two were visiting their grandomothers.
08/20/2020 – 13:26: YOU (.47)
08/20/2020 – 13:27: QUALIFY (.5)
08/20/2020 – 13:28: DISABLED (.49)
08/20/2020 – 13:30: RESTORED (.47)
08/20/2020 – 13:34: DRIVE (.46)
08/20/2020 – 13:36: HAUNTING (.46)
08/20/2020 – 13:36: SORRY (.49)
08/20/2020 – 13:37: TOMATO (.45)
I do not find it coincidental that I lost the list taken at the memorial and that this list was recorded while I was one hour away from the memorial the same day. It is almost as if I were already in the path of the original flight and they couldn’t wait to come through with messages.
SBox Ghost Scanner Findings
As for the SBox Ghost Scanner list, this was conducted by hand. Remember, I had this device in my pocket recording and I made a full list of terms that I heard:
- :03 “Use it” or “music”
- 3:18 “Gabe” or “gave”
- 6:00 “Not going”
- 6:54 “In the middle of the…”
- 7:33 “Encouraging”
- 8:21 “Show your Support”
- 8:41 “Americans”
- 10:04 (muffled voices)
- 13:14 “I’ll show you”
- 14:04 “Amazing…”
- 23:10-23:16 (muffled voices)
- 34:59 “You there?”
- 48:05-48:07 (voices then a slam/knocking sound)
- 53:04 “Wouldn’t be able to…”
- 54:16 “If you’re lucky enough…”
- 56:41 “Prevent the disease”
- 1:03:32 “I mean fire”
- 1:07:05 “Evident”
- 1:07:56 “Fire”
Looking at these words and listening to them during the review of data tells me that first, there wasn’t much of a radio signal in this area and the marker 34:59 “You there?” is a direct intelligent response.
This list of words also tells a story: starting with “not going” and ending with “fire”. I also found it interesting that “IRAQI” showed up on the digital spirit box while “AMERICANS” came out of the SBox. This list is all inclusive of everything I found during the 90 minutes of my visit. Normally, I would find about 3-4 times the amount of words and have to clue in which were most important or relevant. With this list, I think it can be said that all these terms are not only relevant, but very important.
Thermal Imaging Video Findings
Keep in mind, that in order to be respectful to the location I kept the cell phone with attached FLIR thermal imaging camera in my cargo pocket upside down with the camera just peeking out of the top of the pocket. The Visitor Center has many reflective surfaces which caused many false positives inside the building. But I did happen to catch the following images when I was outside at the overlook:
The second picture is two seconds after the first image. I’ve watched the video dozens of times trying to determine if it is an actual live person or someone from the spiritual world watching over the banister with us. What caught my attention was you couldn’t tell the difference of his face. Skin would normally show up as a different color. I am still unsure and would love to hear your thoughts.
Remembering Those Lost on Flight 93
The following list of names is taken from McMillan’s book directly. Please take a moment to read through them, and I encourage you to read the following link; Brief Biographies which talks about their lives. These were people, not just victims. These were our people. Americans.
- Captain Jason M. Dahl
- First Officer Leroy Homer
- Lorraine Grace Bay
- Sandy Waugh Bradshaw
- Wanda Anita Green
- CeeCee Ross Lyles
- Deborah Jacobs Welsh
- Christian Adams
- Todd M. Beamer
- Alan Anthony Beaven
- Mark Bingham
- Deora Frances Bodley
- Marion R. Britton
- Thomas E. Burnett Jr.
- William Joseph Cashman
- Georgine Rose Corrigan
- Patricia Cushing
- Joseph DeLuca
- Patrick Joseph Driscoll
- Edward Porter Felt
- Jane C. Folger
- Colleen L. Fraser
- Andrew (Sonny) Garcia
- Jeremy Logan Glick
- Kristin Osterholm White Gould
- Lauren Catuuzzi Grandcolas
- Donald Freeman Greene
- Linda Gronlund
- Richard J. Guadagno
- Toshiya Kuge
- Hilda Marcin
- Waleska Martinez
- Nicole Carol Miller
- Louis J. Nacke II
- Donald Arthur Peterson
- Jean Hoadley Peterson
- Mark David Rothenberg
- Christine Ann Snyder
- John Talignani
- Honor Elizabeth Wainio
I highly recommend you check out the references below to continue research and learn more about the people lost during these attacks. In today’s world of technology we are fortunate enough to not just remember their names, but to remember who they were as Americans.
I am also going to highly suggest the film “United 93”, it is a reenactment of the events that occurred on the flight based on real conversations over the Airphones as well as the black box recordings that were recovered.
This will be episode 37 of the Stories in the Cemetery podcast.
E38: The Jennie Wade House, Gettysburg, PA – Stories in the Cemetery
References Used to Create this Post
- 3 Passengers from Flight 93 Call Loved Ones. (n.d.). Retrieved September 8, 2020, from https://youtu.be/OdDYMIKIElI
- Avinations. (n.d.). 9/11 | UA Flight 93 – Crash Animation [X-Plane 11]. Retrieved September 9, 2020, from 9/11 | UA Flight 93 – Crash Animation [X-Plane 11]
- CBS News. (n.d.). Earliest video of Flight 93 crash on 9/11. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/MfJfbbVHpBE
- C-Span. (n.d.). Flight 93 National Memorial: American Artifacts PREVIEW. Retrieved September 8, 2020, from https://youtu.be/FyZG5UipR-o
- Flight 93 National Memorial Facebook Page. (2018, July 20). Honoring the life of Lorraine Bay. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Flight93NPS/posts/honoring-the-life-of-lorraine-bay-todaya-native-to-pennsylvania-lorraine-grace-b/2205965179443916/
- Greengrass, P. (Director). (2006). United 93 [Motion Picture].
- History Channel. (2018, August 25). September 11 Attacks. Retrieved from History Channel: https://www.history.com/topics/21st-century/9-11-attacks
- Jefferson, L. (2011, 30th August). The Final Call from Flight 93. (C. Bowers, Interviewer) Retrieved from https://youtu.be/H-viMzr2nac
- JeremyMcCracken. (2001, September 1). United Air Flight 93 air traffic recording. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/4HoGrkNNgB4
- McMillan, T. (2014). Flight 93: The Story, The Aftermath and the Legacy of American Courage on 9/11. Guilford: First Lyons Paperback .
- National Park Service: Flight 93 Memorial. (n.d.). Brief Biographies: Passengers and Crew of Flight 93. Retrieved from etown.edu: https://www.etown.edu/centers/young-center/files/flight_93/Flight93-Biographies-Passenger-Crew.pdf
- Stone, O. (Director). (2006). World Trade Center [Motion Picture].