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NORAD denies military shot down Flight 93

Friday, September 14, 2001

By Jonathan D. Silver, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Responding to persistent rumors that have circulated around the nation, the North American Aerospace Defense Command disputed accounts yesterday that U.S. military aircraft shot down United Airlines Flight 93 in Somerset County.

"Contrary to media reports that speculate that United Airlines Flight 93 was 'downed' by a U.S. fighter aircraft, NORAD-allocated forces have not engaged with weapons any aircraft, including Flight 93."

It was the second such statement NORAD released on the incident since the plane crashed Tuesday morning on a hilltop outside Shanksville.

"There was no military involvement here. I hope that ends that speculation," FBI agent Bill Crowley told reporters yesterday during an afternoon briefing at the crash site.

The Washington Post reported that Congressional leaders did, at least, discuss the possibility of shooting down the aircraft.

Asked if there were any military aircraft flying in the vicinity of Flight 93 or activated in response to the hijacking of the plane, Capt. Adriane Craig, a NORAD spokeswoman, declined comment.

"We are not releasing any operational details about any of the combat patrol missions that have been ongoing since the attacks," Craig said.

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