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WCPO.com's Flight 93 Story

I thought it was time to set the record straight on a website error that's gotten out of hand.

I've been getting calls and e-mails for several years, all from folks who have seen my byline on a story (Plane Lands In Cleveland; Bomb Feared Aboard) about Flight 93, the plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001.

The story in question, an Associated Press bulletin, was posted on WCPO.com during the morning of September 11, 2001. The story stated that Flight 93 landed in Cleveland. This was not true.

Once the AP issued a retraction a few minutes later, we removed the link.

There were two problems:

1)I only removed the link TO the story. We did not remove the story itself. This was my error probably due to the busy nature of the day - I was the only person updating the website until about noon that day, and things were crazier than they’d ever been.

2) The byline was incorrect. In my haste, I pasted the “Reported by: 9News Staff” byline from a previous story, but this was actually an Associated Press story.

Sometime in 2003 I received an e-mail inquiring about the story. I quickly removed the story, and wrote back to the person, thanking them for the heads up about the incorrect story.

Things didn't stop there.

Messages and phone calls started coming in about "Why did the government make me remove the story?" As is the nature of the net, folks had gotten a hold of the old story and posted it on their own blogs, fueling even more interest in the situation.

So, for everyone who is still wondering about this story, here are some frequently asked questions. I'm hoping this clears everything up once and for all!


1. Where did the original story come from?
The story was an Associated Press bulletin that came across the news wires. Associated Press is a news service that many news organizations subscribe to for non-local news. The idea is that a local news organization can’t possibly have reporters everywhere in the world, so for that reason, we publish stories written by Associated Press journalists.

2. So you didn’t report the story yourself?
No, I work at the website in Cincinnati. I generally do not do any reporting out in the field. Also, I was not in Cleveland, nor does WCPO-TV have a Cleveland-based reporter. If you’re not familiar with the geography of Ohio, Cleveland is a good four hours away from us.

There were two problems:

1) I only removed the link TO the story. We did not remove the story itself. This was my error probably due to the busy nature of the day - I was the only person updating the website until about noon that day, and things were crazier than they’d ever been.

2) The byline was incorrect. In my haste, I pasted the “Reported by: 9News Staff” byline from a previous story, but this was actually an Associated Press story.

3. Why didn’t you remove the problem story page from the outset?
My mistake, that’s why. I removed the link TO the story, but didn’t remove the actual story. Then, the story page was indexed by the major search engines. I didn’t even know the story hadn’t been removed until after I was contacted by a member of the public.

4. Why DID you remove the page?
Because it was in error.

5. Why did you create this FAQ page? Isn’t that just fueling the fire?
I’ve been getting a ton of phone calls and e-mails about this recently and answering everyone would make it hard for me to get my day job – running the website – accomplished. Also, unlike the old media paradigm, which is “ignore it and it’ll go away,” the Internet means a two-way conversation with our website users. So, in the interest of media transparency, this is my attempt to clear the air.


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Nice CYA job for Bush, Liz. How much did the administration give you to scrub the story? Must have been satisfactory.

Thanks for posting this. I wish all media outlets would be as transparent about the errors behind the so-called "evidence" for 9-11 conspiracy theories, as exemplified in Dylan Avery's "Loose Change 911".

Now if we could just get Pacifica Radio to clarify what was actually reported (or not) concerning the supposed warning to San Francisco mayor Willie Brown from Condoleeza Rice. No such story can be found in their archive, but neither has Pacifica officially responded to the numerous citations on the internet of their supposed story.

Of course, for some you are now part of the conspiracy - unbelievable! The ironic part of all this is that these demonstrably false conspiracy theories only play into the Bush administration's hands by discrediting legitimate criticism. I'm as appaled by the Bush administration as anyone else, but get over it, people - Osama bin Laden handed the US administration all the excuse they needed. Now we are all stuck with consequences.

Ms. Foreman,

are you aware of the fact that Peter Jennings (ABC) reported at about 11 am on 9/11/01 that they had received a call from Michael White, then Cleveland Mayor? And that White told them that an unknown United Plane with a suspected bomb scare had just landed and was sitting on the runway?

This airplane was certainly not Delta Flight 1989, the other alleged emergency landing.

Please read "The Cleveland Airport Mystery":


Woody Box

Interesting how a cover up works. Interesting how the cover up has to keep covering up long after the fact. Interesting how first hand accounts always turn into misrepresentations and later rhetoric becomes easily accepted as facts. Long live the sheep, welcome to the New World Order.

I don't blame Liz for her retraction, I understand that there are some very spooky people out there trying to hush up the people by any means necessary. However, the Associated Press needs to be questioned as to why they are the ones who first retracted the story- Liz was just doing her job as a reporter- whenever the AP posts a story, and reporters grab it for their station, they have to pull it if the AP says to do so. Why did the AP pull the story so fast? I think someone made a big oops and realized that they just about blew PNAC's cover.

"4. Why DID you remove the page?
Because it was in error."

Okay. WHY was it in error? Which facts? The article is filled with specific information and precise details. Did someone lie or did someone tell the truth?

These responses are typical tin foil mad hatter stuff. The report was incorrect. Get over it.

Not every event in the world is connected to a global conspiracy. These conspiracy nuts spew their garbage all over the place and make the rest of us liberals, who want to get to the real truth, a bad name.

The only path to truth is paved with facts, not suppositions, not rumors, and certainly not made-up spewage.

If we are going to have an invetigation re-opened on the events of 9/11, it certainly is not going to happen talking about global conspiracies everywhere.

Thanks for your good work, Liz.

"Gen. Arnold Nemeyer" writes above: "Okay. WHY was it in error? Which facts?"

Which part of "The story stated that Flight 93 landed in Cleveland. This was not true." do you not understand?

Ms. Foreman, thank you for the clarification. Much appreciated by those of us not wearing tinfoil hats.

Posted by hmm: "Did someone lie or did someone tell the truth?"

Why does it have to be one or the other? Do mistakes not exist in your world?

From what I've read, the bomb scare and possible hijacking parts are true. It was merely the stated flight that was wrong.


This is very bad. The media is trying to retract what actually happened.


I find it very funny that you don't bring up what the MAYOR said that day. Do you REALLY think in this day and age that
making a mistake on the FLight # and Airline Name would be made when it involves 100s of people who could potentially die? NO F'ing way. They would rather just not say those details at all rather than be potentially wrong.
Also, You say that you incorrectly posted the byline. This is BS. You go on to admit you get ALL types of stories from the AP! SO why in this most important case of which life and death is at stake would you change the Byline to "Reported by 9News Staff"?????? F this.

In the the world of news, a retraction corrects the record.

You have not offered a retraction. You have only explained why you decided to remove the story.


You said that the byline was wrong, and it was actually an AP story. Can you supply the link to that original AP story? I've had no luck searching their site. I've also attempted a Google search, and turned up empty. Or could you provide the AP headline?

As was requested by Michael Carlucci - do you have the name of the AP contact that originated the story? That would appear to be the one with the details on what happened. Seems strange that they would post that a plane (United 93) was on the ground - and then say ... oops ... sorry we were wrong.


Why is it when sensational news stories that support conspiracy theory comes out the source is considered very credible, but when the same story is retracted because of error the same source becomes suspect ?

buncha kooks.


I'm sorry you got caught in the middle of this inconsistency in the official 9/11 story, but if you look at the crash site in Shanksville, PA you'll notice a nice 20-30 foot hole, but no plane? You see, the mayor of Cleveland and especially the CEO of United are quite specific as to the planes' identities (both 93 and 175). And the CEO is talking from a time-standpoint before any of his planes (93 and 175!)has flown into buildings or crashed into the ground yet. And, of course, these two plane were part of the 9/11 attacks to take place later that morning! You can see how this smells to high heaven.

Anyway, the truth will come out sooner or later, and I think you will become famous like the Watergate security guard who broke the Watergate story by finding tape attached to a door lock, preventing the door from locking shut!

You conspiracy theorits.... you obviously haven't heard the cockpit voice recordings, have you?

What is wrong with you people? Don't any of you remember how frentic and chaotic that morning was? And that was just for the bystanders watching the events as they happened. I could not imagine how busy Liz was that morning. Give it a break - we were attacked - ALLAH AKBAR - and the responsible parties are on THAT side, not ours.


God Bless America!

Nah, it's all true. Charlie Sheen says so. He figured it out right after he snorted a line of Coke off that hooker's *ss.

there is so much disinformation to confuse the people. in case you missed the original article, here it is:

Plane Lands In Cleveland; Bomb Feared Aboard

Reported by: 9News Staff
Web produced by: Liz Foreman
9/11/01 11:43:57 AM

A Boeing 767 out of Boston made an emergency landing Tuesday at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport due to concerns that it may have a bomb aboard, said Mayor Michael R. White.

White said the plane had been moved to a secure area of the airport, and was evacuated.

United identified the plane as Flight 93. The airline did say how many people were aboard the flight.

United said it was also "deeply concerned" about another flight, Flight 175, a Boeing 767, which was bound from Boston to Los Angeles.

On behalf of the airline CEO James Goodwin said: "The thoughts of everyone at United are with the passengers and crew of these flights. Our prayers are also with everyone on the ground who may have been involved.

"United is working with all the relevant authorities, including the FBI, to obtain further information on these flights," he said.

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