September 14, 2001
Two aircraft nearby when jet crashed in Pa.
By PAUL M. KRAWZAK
Copley Washington correspondent
SHANKSVILLE, Pa. — Until late Thursday, federal officials had no explanation for local reports that a second aircraft was seen in the
skies when a United Airlines jet crashed here Tuesday.
But at the end of the day, they revealed that two aircraft were within 25 miles of the site at the time.
The sight of a plane high above the crash site had led some to speculate that it could have been a military aircraft tailing the
hijacked jetliner, or even a fighter that shot the jet out of the sky.
But FBI special agent Bill Crowley, who confirmed that two aircraft were in the area when the Boeing 757 crashed, said military jets
did not shoot the doomed plane.
“Unequivocally, there is no military involvement in the plane going down,” he said.