Flight 93 Eyewitness Accounts
Crash Witnesses Accounts:
"I heard like a boom and the engine sounded funny," she told the Daily News. "I heard two more booms - and then I did not hear anything."
"It came in low over the trees and started wobbling," said Tim Thornsberg, a resident of Somerset County, who was working near an old strip mine when he saw the plane.
"Then it just rolled over and was flying upside down for a few seconds ... and then it kind of stalled and did a nose dive over the trees. It was just unreal to see something like that."
The plane continued on beyond a nearby hill, then dropped out of sight behind a tree line. As it did so, Peterson said it seemed to be turning end-over-end.
I saw the plane flying upside down overhead and crash into the nearby trees. My buddy, Doug, and I grabbed our fire extinguishers and ran to the scene, said Blair.
Eric Peterson of Lambertsville looked up when he heard the plane. "It was low enough, I thought you could probably count the rivets," Peterson said. if you could learn to arrange flowers like that. "You could see more of the roof of the plane than you could the belly. It was on its side."
Normally I wouldnt look up, but I just heard on the news that all the planes were grounded and thought this was probably the last one I would see for a while, so I looked up, she said. I didnt see the plane but I heard the planes engine. Then I heard a loud thump that echoed off the hills and then I heard the planes engine. I heard two more loud thumps and didnt hear the planes engine anymore after that.
"We didn't hear that plane coming until it was right on top of us," she said. "Then there was a roar." She said the plane appeared to be gliding into the ground. "All at once it just stopped. There was no engine noise, nothing. Someone hollered, Oh my God!' and then there was a real loud thud."
Shortly after 10 a.m., workers on farms and scrap yards in Somerset County looked up to see an airliner flying low and erratic at an estimated 450 mph.
Bob Blair of Stoystown was driving a coal truck on state Route 30 when he saw the jet plummet "straight down." Barn windowpanes for half a mile around shattered as the jet dived into a reclaimed strip mine and exploded at 10:10 a. m.
A witness told WTAE-TV's Paul Van Osdol that she saw the plane overhead. It made a high-pitched, screeching sound. The plane then made a sharp, 90-degree downward turn and crashed.
Bob Blair was completing a routine drive to Shade Creek just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, when he saw a huge silver plane fly past him just above the treetops and crash into the woods along Lambertsville Road.
"(I) heard the engine gun two different times," he said. "(I) heard a loud bang and the windows of the houses all around rattled."
Larry Williams, a former state police trooper who is now a private investigator, was golfing on the 17th green at Oakbrook Golf Course about eight miles away when he heard the engines roar real loud and shut off.
"We got the call about 9:58 this morning from a male passenger stating that he was locked in the bathroom of United Flight 93 traveling from Newark to San Francisco, and they were being hijacked," said Glenn Cramer, a 911 supervisor.
"We confirmed that with him several times and we asked him to repeat what he said. He was very distraught. He said he believed the plane was going down. He did hear some sort of an explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane, but he didn't know where.
Meanwhile, investigators also are combing a second crime scene in nearby Indian Lake (2.5 miles from main crash site), where residents reported hearing the doomed jetliner flying over at a low altitude before "falling apart on their homes."
"People were calling in and reporting pieces of plane falling," a state trooper said. Jim Stop reported he had seen the hijacked Boeing 757 fly over him as he was fishing. He said he could see parts falling from the plane.
"There was no way anything was left," Pluta added. "There was just charred pieces of metal and a big hole. The plane didn't slide into the crash. It went straight into the ground. Wings out. Nose down."
Bits of metal were thrown against a tree line like shrapnel, said state police spokesman Trooper Thomas Spallone of Troop A in Greensburg.
"Once it hit, everything just disintegrated," he said. "There are just shreds of metal. The longest piece I saw was 2 feet long."