Flight 23 is a scarcely-mentioned flight on September 11th, 2001, which most Americans are entirely unaware of. This is much to the chagrin of this author, who notices far more conspiracy theories about 9/11 mentioned which completely omit Flight 23, in spite of the the extremely suspicious events surrounding the flight.
The flight number probably doesn’t sound familiar, and if you Google “Flight 23”, you’ll come with a search for the latest Michael Jordan shoes. Narrowing the search parameter to “Flight 23 9/11” or “Flight 23 September 11th” will yield results, though the content is shockingly devoid of any official government inquiry beyond a cursory “no comment.”
Why is Flight 23 so important regarding the events of September 11th? And, more importantly, why is it hardly mentioned by anyone at all, including conspiracy theorists?
Flight 23 is relatively unheard of, because it never took off. It was one of the many flights taxiing for takeoff that was ordered back to terminal after the 2nd plane struck the WTC.
As the plane was taxiing back to the gate, four Middle Eastern passengers seated in first class began arguing with the flight attendants, insisting that they “have to be on this plane,” asking suspicious questions and exhibiting unruly behavior. As the passengers disembarked the aircraft, the four bolted from the airport before law enforcement could apprehend them, in spite of security officials meeting the plane at the gate. Unclaimed baggage left behind contained fake IDs, a Quran, al-Qaeda instruction sheets, and box cutters.
Timmons confirmed that as the pilot grabbed the crash ax, she jumped from her seat and started barricading the cockpit door. From the other side of the barricade the cabin crew relayed their concern about four young Arab men in first-class who became agitated when the take-off was cancelled, and fled from the plane when it returned to the terminal. Box cutters and Al Qaeda documents were later found in their luggage.
Timmons, the pilot, and the rest of the crew were repeatedly questioned by the FBI, though the findings were never shared. The pilot concluded that Flight 23 would have been the next plane hijacked by terrorists if the airport shutdown order had been delayed.
Sounds eerily familiar to four other flights that day that ended in tragedy, doesn’t it?
ABC did the above recounting which included a History Channel summary and commentary from co-pilot Carol Timmons (who was later promoted to General of the Delaware Air National guard). And 911blogger.com (of all places) provided an excellent synopsis of the whole Flight 23 situation, and of what was never discussed by anyone within government or in any government inquiry about Flight 23, even 16 years after the fact:
- The names of first class and all other passengers on United flight 23
- The amount of people booked for United flight 23
- What exactly was found in the baggage of United flight 23
- The results of the FBI’s investigation into United flight 23
- Was surveillance footage from the airport checked and archived for suspect identification
- Were any names of passengers from flight 23 on FBI or other watch lists
- Why the 9/11 Commission Final Report did not mention United flight 23
- What were the details of the arrests on 9/13 at JFK at JFK airport
- What were the names of the people arrested on 9/13 at JFK airport
- What was found in the possession of those arrested on 9/13 at JFK airport
- What exactly did Joe Biden know about the arrests of 9/13 at JFK airport
So, why has there been no mention of Flight 23 in any major 9/11 commission report to this day? I see two distinct possibilities:
- The authorities let the men in question get away, for the purpose of tracking their communications and movements to gain intelligence, possibly to arrest them later on, or…
- The authorities were incompetent enough to have absolutely no idea who the men in question were, and are clueless on their whereabouts to this day. Four (or more) would-be hardened al-Qaeda trained hijackers slipped right through the hands of law enforcement, and are potentially still out there plotting attacks against this country.
No matter which of the two you conclude is the likely truth, it has now been 16 years since the 9/11 attacks. The federal government and the FBI owes it to the public to release what was recovered in the bags left behind that day, and conduct some public inquiry into what went on surrounding Flight 23, and why the men in question were able to get away. The American people should know who these men were (or are) and whether or not they are still around to pose a threat.
This far after the fact, there is no reason to continue classifying whatever information was gleaned from this incident, unless the state is simply doing so to mask its own incompetence. The tragic events of 9/11/2001 were perhaps a defining point in this country’s history. It is stunning that so many people don’t understand how close this country came to even further tragedy, and even more stunning how few people realize that a “fifth plane” could easily have been hijacked and weaponized. But the most stunning part of all is that our government appears more than willing to push the entire affair under the rug, denying the public information on would-be terrorists that it really ought to have.
The 9/11 “conspiracy” theorists weaken their already implausible theories even further by refusing to mention Flight 23. A more likely scenario than a masterful cover-up involving thousands of government employees is a bunch of morons in government using their authority to cover for their mistakes surrounding the events of 9/11.
It is far beyond time for our government to inform its citizens whether or not there are still four would-be hijackers residing in this country, silently preparing to conduct attacks against Americans when and where they least expect it.