Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Cleveland Airport Shell Game: Delta 1989, Delta 1898, United 1898

This short piece is an update of my most popular article so far, "The Cleveland Airport Mystery" from 2004, prominently featured in "Crossing the Rubicon" by Michael Ruppert and "Loose Change, 2. edition" by Dylan Avery.

I examined the circumstances of the landing of Delta 1989, a Boeing 767 out of Boston, at Cleveland Hopkins Airport on 9/11. I was lucky to find so much evidence for the existence of a shadowy doppelganger flight of Delta 1989 - landing at about the same time and likewise being evacuated - that I published the results here.

Unfortunately, many people think the central thesis of the article is that United 93 was the mysterious plane that landed at Cleveland Airport. This ist not true. I never claimed that United 93 landed at Cleveland. For more background, look here.

I claimed, however, and do continue to claim that an unidentified Boeing 767 landed at Cleveland in emergency and was evacuated, with Delta 1989 serving as a cover, i. e. whoever asked for the identity of the mysterious plane afterwards reaped the answer: that was Delta 1989! and stopped asking questions.

In 2009, numerous documents of the 9/11 Commission came to light. There I found a perfect candidate for the eerie double of Delta 1989 - United 1898 - and published it here.

In summary, United 1898 is a most interesting case because Cleveland controllers reported it to a special unit of the FAA, named "AAT-200", which is dealing with accidents, emergency cases and other irregularities. However, on 9/11/2001 United Airlines operated no aircraft with flight number 1898. Together with the salient similarity of the flight number (1989/1898) this makes United 1898 a good candidate for "Flight X" and an interesting matter of investigation.

Two years later, I'm now proud to present an independent verification for the emergency landing of a Flight 1898 at Cleveland. This time it's called Delta 1898.

1009 DAL1989 on downwind at CLE

1024 DAL1989 on ground CLE

1035 Unconfirmed report - DAL1989 flaps up at CLE

1039 DAL1989 parked in secure area/no one exited a/c yet (pilot says he is not being hijacked)

1116 DAL 1898 confirmed by security HIJACK at CLE ATC - communication with pilot does not confirm

1119 DAL 1989 still not suspected hijack; taxiing to terminal


In this internal FAA timeline, there is only one entry for DAL1898. Note that this is definitely no typo because DAL1898 was a confirmed hijacking, whereas DAL1989 (= Delta 1989) was never suspected a hijack, neither earlier nor later than the security warning of Delta 1898. It should be of no big surprise by now that this so-called Delta 1898 was not the official Delta Flight 1898 who was scheduled to depart from Salt Lake City in the afternoon, but - of course - never left the ground on that day.

So United 1898 and Delta 1898 were both fake flight numbers. The identity of the numbers and the similar context (United 1898 was an emergency case; Delta 1898 was a confirmed hijacking) leads straightforwardly to the conclusion that these two planes were one and the same. The close similarity of the flight numbers 1898 and 1989 corroborates the thesis that Delta 1989 functioned as a cover-up for Flight 1898. The plane was probably evacuated as United 1898, was quickly renamed Delta 1898, and fell into oblivion due to the informational cover provided by Delta 1989.

This very much reminds a shell game, with the shells bearing fake flight numbers. And the only entity entitled to legally use fake flight numbers was the military in case of conducting a war game, i.e. an exercise. It appears that the emergency landing of Flight 1898 and its subsequent evacuation was indeed part of a military exercise. This may be the reason why it's so difficult to obtain information about the incident: military secrecy.

Combined with the information already presented in my original article, there is now ample evidence that Flight 1898 was a Boeing 767 of United Airlines coming from Boston - but it was not the regular United 1898. The number of the United Boeing 767's departing from Boston is so small that it should narrow down the search for the identity of the mysterious plane considerably. United 177 looks like a good candidate.