"We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure
the survival and the success of liberty." .... John F. Kennedy
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005 - Tomorrow Night on
the Discovery Channel
"It took the terrorists on Flight 93
two years to plan their attack. It took the 40 strangers aboard 30 minutes to defeat it.
On September 11, 2001,
passengers aboard United Flight 93 – one of four planes hijacked by terrorists that day and the only one to be diverted
from its intended target – faced the unthinkable and inspired a nation. This is the story of their courage as
told through unparalleled access to actual voice recordings, the personal accounts of family and friends, and extensive research
into the events on board. Follow the account of their "first strike back at terrorism" and learn how these complete
strangers – united by adversity – came together to thwart the terrorists' plans.
The Discovery Channel
is honored to present this special tribute to the heroes who gave their lives to save others."
The Discovery Channel. Sunday, September 11, 2005, 2100 EDT
QUESTIONS TO THE PRODUCER:
A: The Flight That Fought
Back incorporates the best possible research available, including actual voice recordings from passengers and crew members;
information from the official 9/11 Commission Report; eyewitness accounts; and interviews with family members, some of whom
describe what they heard in actual conversations with people on board the flight.
Q: Will new information be
A: With a compassionate commitment
to painting the most accurate picture of what happened aboard Flight 93, we were given unprecedented access to recordings
that have never before been aired on television. This film is one of the first ever created that is dedicated specifically
to retelling the story of Flight 93's fallen heroes, presenting a rare opportunity to share such unrevealed details regarding
the last moments of the fateful flight. In order to present the most accurate depiction possible, we conducted in-depth research,
exhausted all resources, and uncovered rarely heard eyewitness accounts. Also, for the first time, we learn more about Ziad
Jarrah, one of Flight 93's hijackers, by interviewing those who trained him to fight and fly.
Q: What makes this film unique?
A: The Flight That Fought
Back draws on all available research to chronicle how 40 strangers diagnosed the terrorists' scheme, devised a plan to
respond, and stopped the deadly plot — all in just 30 minutes. This groundbreaking documentary is a comprehensive, judicious
and emotionally insightful account of Flight 93's story, featuring the widest range of interviews with family members yet
assembled, including many whose stories have never before been told. The majority of this documentary's content is based on
personal stories from family members and direct witnesses, illustrated by dramatic reconstructions of the moments leading
up to the crash. Some family members also share their personal beliefs about how their loved ones might have spent their last
Q: What is your response to
conspiracy theorists and those who claim Flight 93 was actually shot down?
A: The Flight That Fought
Back utilizes all information available and personal firsthand anecdotes from September 11. There is overwhelming evidence
that Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pa., as a result of the intervention of the passengers and crew aboard, and not because
of any military action.
First, there are several eyewitnesses on the ground and in the air who state
that the plane tipped wildly from side to side and then dove, intact, into the ground. There are no eyewitnesses who report
seeing fighter jets anywhere nearby. A white plane that was seen by some eyewitnesses in the vicinity was later identified
by the FBI as a Falcon jet that was on its way to Johnstown, a city farther north. It had been authorized to descend from
37,000 feet to locate Flight 93. It was not a military jet.
The only military plane in the vicinity of the crash site was an unarmed
C-130 cargo plane. This had been originally scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., to identify the third
plane hijacked on 9/11, American Airlines Flight 77, before it struck the Pentagon. The cargo plane was returning to Minnesota
before Flight 93 crashed and was flying at 24,000 feet about 17 miles from the crash site.
Second, crash investigators have stated that debris at the site in Shanksville
was not consistent with that of a plane that had been shot down. A terrorist bomb or a military missile would have caused
a midair explosion, exponentially expanding the debris field.
Third, the 9/11 Commission Report makes clear that the order given to shoot
down planes approaching Washington, D.C., came almost half an hour after Flight 93 had crashed.
Last, those who have heard the cockpit voice recordings state that the terrorists
can be heard debating how to respond to the passenger uprising and whether or not to crash the plane early. Extracts to this
effect also appear in the 9/11 Commission report.
Q: How can we really know
what happened on Flight 93?
A: We may never know exactly
what happened on Flight 93, but through telling the story of Flight 93's heroes, we provide a closer and more detailed look
than ever before. This film is based on the best research available to re-create the minute-by-minute battle inside Flight
93, blending evidence from the cockpit voice recorders with interviews of family and friends and their very personal reflections
on how their loved ones would have reacted to the situation.