We have the following facts regarding UA175, that ostensibly hit the South Tower: the plane hitting the South Tower took off at 8:14. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that UA175 took off at 8:23. Both specifically refer to the Wheels-Off Time, the time the wheels leave the runway.
There is a saying, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."
Which of the following statements is the extraordinary claim? (Is there a third option? See the bottom of this post.)
If you've answered that question, see if the following facts change your answer:
Do these change your answer? In my view, United reporting an erroneous takeoff time is the extraordinary claim, given these facts.
Is there a third option? Maybe a hacker broke into the system and altered the wheels-off time, for whatever reason. I would hope that old backups would expose the change.
Through his web site, I sent Representative Olson my concerns about the inconsistent wheels-off times for the United Airlines 9/11 flights. (8:23 vs. 8:14 for UA175, 8:28 vs. 8:42 for UA93.) I received a reply, which I excerpt here:
I understand your concerns regarding the discrepancies between the departure times for UA175 and UA93 on September 11, 2011. In order to fully know what actually happened that day, we must be sure that we have accurate information. I have directed my staff to contact the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in order to obtain some more information about these departure times and the discrepancies with the 9/11 Commission report. I will be sure to let you know the results of this inquiry.
Thank you very much, Pete Olson.
I don't know how widespread the problem is. It may be limited to the 9/11 forums of JREF. But there appears to be zero concern that United Airlines reported (to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics) different wheels-off times for UA175 and UA93, from the official times. Not a single person (other than myself, after my post) sees the accounting red flag, and recognizes that this has to be investigated.
During the eighties and nineties, I was very much a fan of James Randi. James Randi and the skeptics movement were honest and competent investigators of paranormal claims, going after fraud and incompetence. Unfortunately things began to change, I think in the mid-nineties.
I recall two things in particular: a logic-free rant appearing in "The Skeptical Inquirer" about OJ Simpson's acquital for murder, and their general dismissal the "Gulf War Syndrome", the term collectively applied to various symptoms many veterans of the first Gulf War experienced.
These days, they may still be competent regarding the paranormal investigation, but they are definitely incompetent at understanding the most basic concepts involving 9/11. James Randi called me a nutcase when I called on him to denounce numerous examples of flim-flim (the title of one of his eighties books) in the official 9/11 story. (No link; it was private communication.)
This thread indicates the extreme difficulty of getting them to comprehend the obvious: Popular Mechanics was nuts when it told us that Air Traffic Control had to search the entire country for a plane whose transponder was turned off. (If the plane is in New York at the time, it won't have gone very far in the next five minutes.) Popular Mechanics's claim was a phony explanation for the paralysis of NORAD during 9/11.
Nevertheless, in a vain hope against hope, I posted (at the end of a thread from two years ago about this topic) a call for signatures in the petition to investigate the inconsistant take-off times.
I have made my 2nd attempt petitioning the Obama Administration to investigate the inconsistent 9/11 takeoff times. The petition, which needs 150 signatures to become visible to the public, is here: http://wh.gov/89w
Investigate the 9/11 Inconsistent Takeoff Times
On 9/11, did UA175 take off at 8:14 or 8:23? Did UA93 take off at 8:42 or 8:28?
UA175 took off at 8:23, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The BTS reports detailed departure statistics on all commercial flights in the USA. The reported Wheels-Off times are automatically transmitted by each aircraft when the wheels leave the runway.
UA175 took off at 8:14, according to the 9/11 Commission's Report. This time was based on FAA communication transcripts and various National Transportation and Safety Board studies.
UA93 took off at 8:28 according to BTS, at 8:42 according to the Commission.
No official investigation has publicly acknowledged the discrepancy, let alone explained or resolved the discrepancy.
Links in Support of the Petition
The time is 9:43 AM. The day: September 11, 2001. Conversation about the events of the day, and about the current UA93 flight unfolding. Two aircraft have already been hijacked into the twin towers, and a third has crashed into the Pentagon.
Jeff to John: UA93, type aircraft?
Doug: They pulled Jeff away to talk about 93.
John: Do we want to think about scrambling aircraft.
Doug: God, I don't know.
John: That's a decision somebody has to make probably in the next 10 minutes.
Doug: You know, everyone just left the room.
Eh? "Everyone just left the room"? Jabbering about whether to scramble aircraft? A bomb reported on UA93, UA93 has reversed course and is now heading toward DC?
Ultimately, they wouldn't notify NORAD until about five minutes after UA93 crashes in Pennsylvania.
Update: It's part of the official story as told by the 9/11 Commission that the FAA didn't notify NORAD of UA93 until after it crashed. I'm not saying it's true. It seems as if they're fabricating a story to make the FAA look as incompetent as possible. If true, the transcript of the open line is part of the fabrication.
According to data provided to the 9/11 Commission, the push-back (departure from gate) times and wheels-off (wheels leave runway) times for the 9/11 flights are these:
The times used by the Commission, and the times in transcripts of Air Traffic Control conversations, are consistant with the wheels-off times above, except that 8:20 is used for American 77. (It's possible that the person entering the data reversed the two numbers.) However, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics gives different wheels-off times for the United flights. (The push-back times, called the actual departure times, are almost the same.) The American flights have zeros, and obviously had no actual data:
The BTS numbers are reported from data automatically transmitted (using ACARS) upon releasing the breaks and pushing back (the first numbers) and wheels leaving the runway (the second numbers). Even if the ACARS clocks were inaccurate, the time differences would have been the same if the Commission's numbers were correct.
I believe that Truther Woody Box has the most likely explanation, namely that two different aircraft took off for each of the United flights: one being the actual flight, and the other a military hijack-exercise flight actually crashed in 9/11. In any case nobody outside of Truthers has addressed the discrepancy.