cell phone calls


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cell phone calls

Stefan
Stefan

Feb 11 2006, 06:16 PM #1

there is an argument that instead of individual cellphones, the passengers could have used phones from the aircraft. Some planes are equipped with phones on every row, in the back of the seats. Those can be used during the flight.

So it is irrelevant that cellphones dont work at this altitude, although certainly true?
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Jacx
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Feb 11 2006, 06:29 PM #2

I haven't thought of that. If they were made by a airline phone, it is possible that the calls were real.
The important questions are the ones with no answers.
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Jerzee
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Feb 11 2006, 10:07 PM #3

I don't believe calls could be made from the planes but In regards to the cell phone calls, the phones on the seats doesn't add up eith becuase the government cited cell phone bills as evidence.

But do take a look at this article of news.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/12/ ... rchStories

And

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TRAVEL/09/29/bt ... index.html

Take particular notice of.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/12/ ... rchStories

Where it states.

CBS Tech Analyst Larry Magid notes that neither laptops accessing the Internet nor a cell phone on airplanes communicate directly with the ground. The airplane would have to be equipped with its own satellite system that relays the calls or Internet connections to ground stations.

I also a while back saw an article that stated the technology for making calls in-flight was in development and didn't exist yet and probably would until 2008 AND that was from a MSM news site.
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Jerzee
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Feb 11 2006, 10:25 PM #4

Oh here it is

http://www.qualcomm.com/press/releases/ ... light.html

If cell phones were capable of this on 911 why would QualComm have to invent a way to do it years after 911.
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seiya
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Feb 12 2006, 07:59 AM #5

How would all those people be able to make phone calls if they were being hijacked? I highly doubt a highjacker would allow its victims to make phone calls as they please.
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Gecko
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Feb 12 2006, 10:28 PM #6

Contrary to what is stated in the documentary, it is quite possible to make cell phone calls from airliner cruising altitude. I know someone who owns a pressurized private aircraft, and he occasionally makes cell phone calls from 25 thousand feet. The key is to make the call over a rural area, and not an urban area. This is because:

- Over rural areas the phone does not suffer interference from other phones, therefore base station can hear its distant weak signal; and

- Over rural areas each cell site covers a wide geographic region, so even at aircraft cruising speed the cell-site handoffs do not occur to fast for the cellular system to keep up.

As for why companies such as Qualcomm might want to test in-air calls only recently, I think the problem is the perception of product quality. If calls from in flight are unreliable and low quality then companies won't want to suggest that they are possible or supported, for risk of ending up with angry customers who think their product or service sucks.

Anyway, the documentary itself is excellent, but the particular evidence of the supposed impossibility of cell phone calls from Fliht 93 is unfortunately not valid.

-- Gecko
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FireEyes
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Feb 13 2006, 03:01 PM #7

Hi,

Just watched the documentary and I found the "cell phone calls" section to be completely wrong. I work for a company that is writing a research document on mobile phones on planes.

Firstly it is very possible for you to make and receive phone calls using your cellular phone whilst in a plane.

Why have Qualcomm and others developed technology to enable phone calls in planes? If you use your phone on a plane you are breaking the law, and putting the safety of other passengers at risk. Mobile phones when nearing low network coverage start to consume more power to boost the signal. Using this extra power exceeds what is permitted on a plane and can create interference, and in turn put the plane at risk. In order to prevent this Qualcomm and others have developed a base station that works within the plane and then directs the calls via satellite. Qualcomm make money from the calls!

From what I have learnt about the flights made on this horrific day, they dropped to a lower altitude in order to escape radar. This would have made it even easier for the calls to be made.

Another point you make - the calls kept dropping. This would be expected because you are moving between different base stations on the ground. At that speed it is hard for base stations to transfers calls to each other seamlessly without dropping the call.

If you have any further questions then please ask - but I suggest you research this particular topic further.
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Cypher
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Feb 13 2006, 06:32 PM #8

Gecko @ Feb 12 2006, 10:28 PM wrote:Contrary to what is stated in the documentary, it is quite possible to make cell phone calls from airliner cruising altitude.  I know someone who owns a pressurized private aircraft, and he occasionally makes cell phone calls from 25 thousand feet. 
The communications suites on board private aircraft do not use conventional cellphone reception. Ask your friend, as I am sure that he will be able to explain what equipment he uses to get a signal at that altitude. It is definitely not the same technology dealt with in Dylan's documentary.

A little homework on the mathematics & nature of cellphone networks verifies the total impossibility of making regular cellphone calls at any sort of altitude in a commercial aircraft. Here's why:

Cellphone networks operate with each cell covering about 10 square miles (26 square kilometers), with the transmitter in the centre of the cell. Using the formula: Area = pi r squared:

10 miles = 3.14 x (r x r) , therefore giving a radius of approximately 1.784 miles. In other words, the range of the transmitter is therefore slightly greater than 1.784 miles. Let's call it 2 miles for the sake of argument.

There are 5,280 feet in a mile, therefore 2 miles = 10,560 feet. Since no signal is transmitted beyond that range, normal cellphone reception at higher altitudes is clearly not possible.

Further to this, it's widely-known that cellphones do not receive the signal as effectively in a car, due to it being a metal tube. This phenomenon also holds in aircraft - another type of metal tube. The effective range of cellphone transmitters is therefore closer to a theoretical maximum of approximately 7,000 feet.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to test this recently, over a total of 10 take-offs and landings at various airports, using 3 different cellphones. 6,500 feet was indeed the maximum altitude at which any reception was possible - and this only on one occasion. Signal reception became impossible between 2,000 - 5,000 feet on the other 9 occasions, with all 3 cellphones losing signal almost simultaneously. I generally regained signal only 2 minutes before touchdown / lost signal within 2 minutes of takeoff - in other words, very low altitude indeed.

I hope this explanation helps :)
Cypher
It is the leaders of the country who determine the policy & it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, & denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism & exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
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Captious
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Feb 14 2006, 01:59 PM #10

"Further to this, it's widely-known that cellphones do not receive the signal as effectively in a car"

While I don't know much at all about cellphones I am confused by this statement. I've never had my reception suffer while driving nor have I seen the meter drop for signal while driving except when I say, go through a tunnel, or to the missle of nowhere towards where there is no service. Do the cellphones do something in order to compensate for the inefficiency? How does this work?
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Cypher
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Feb 14 2006, 03:36 PM #11

Captious @ Feb 14 2006, 01:59 PM wrote:
While I don't know much at all about cellphones I am confused by this statement. I've never had my reception suffer while driving nor have I seen the meter drop for signal while driving except when I say, go through a tunnel, or to the missle of nowhere towards where there is no service. Do the cellphones do something in order to compensate for the inefficiency? How does this work?
Do you use a handsfree car kit with an external aerial? Vans & other vehicles with a lot of metal & little glass cause more of a problem than cars with a lot of glass - the metal acts as shielding, blocking the signal reception - a problem in an aircraft, with relatively few windows. You may have noticed that buildings also block signal on the ground - especially old, solid stone ones - & it can be necessary to move close to a window before you get good reception again. Anything solid will block the signal, & metal provides pretty good shielding.

I've attached a Copernic search result, looking for the keywords "cellphone reception car", which gives a pretty good overview of the extent of the shielding issue.
It is the leaders of the country who determine the policy & it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, & denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism & exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
~H Goering
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Captious
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Feb 14 2006, 03:45 PM #12

"Do you use a handsfree car kit with an external aerial?"

Nope. I don't have one. I use it the same way I would use it anywhere else. I drive a Crown Victoria. My mother has the same model phone as me and also experiences no problems in her van.

I understand the concept of it being blocked. In example where I work, which is in the center of a building and has no windows the reception is often bad. Calls drop often. However I've never noticed this problem in a vehicle nor had problems contacting my drivers via cell phone. (I'm a dispatcher.) So the car bit threw me as I've never found that to be the case.
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Potentiality
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Feb 18 2006, 01:44 AM #13

This point especially is troubling and has promoted a sub discussion on another board.

Though our information above is helpful Cypher. The problem is you do not link to the source for your equations standings. Also, someone rightly pointed out this from wikipedia (yes wiki isnt 100% all the time, but you need to show some factual information, or data for the tower netwok in the area where Flight 93 was supposedly when the calls took place to show what the reception towers. Now do cell sites have less incoming or outgoing range? Meaning is the calls that took place couldnt have because the cellular phone itself couldnt reach a tower?

In short
. Each cell site has a range of .25 to 20 or more miles, but more typically .5 to 5 miles, and overlaps other cell sites.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_network
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Cypher
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Feb 18 2006, 03:45 AM #14

Potentiality @ Feb 18 2006, 01:44 AM wrote:The problem is you do not link to the source for your equations standings.
Thank you Potentiality - very good point. I'm afraid I forgot to include this "How Stuff Works" article, & here's another link to ArticleInsider also giving the figure of 10 square miles. I've now edited the former link into my original post as well - many thanks for pointing out my omission.
Potentiality wrote:Now do cell sites have less incoming or outgoing range?
Transmitters for new "3G" networks are much more powerful than the conventional "2G" / "2.5G" technology that was in place / undergoing initial testing in 2001. Here in the UK, there are several groups campaigning against the new "3G" network transmitters, due to the increased power output & associated health risks (I have no knowledge of whether these health risks are real or perceived). However, following the basic precepts of radio technology, this increase in power would certainly be indicative of increased range.

I found this article dated 7th Sept. 2004, which goes into some detail regarding the increase in range of one of the new 3G technologies:
3G UMTS article wrote:For a city with a population of 100,000, like Erlangen in Germany, a single site rented by E-Plus on a tall chimney will be sufficient to give the entire city UMTS coverage. By way of comparison, the conventional technology would require 14 UMTS base stations to provide the same coverage. A single UHS mounted on the 234-metre tall Rheinturm tower in Dusseldorf will replace no fewer than 40 conventional base stations.
I'm certain that the older technology in use at the time could not have extended beyond the range I gave above, & that the varying transmitter range figures now are due to the new technologies in play these days. When I first started looking into this subject over a year ago, the available data on transmitter range didn't extend to the upper limits that are now indicated, & explains why I haven't revised my calculations since then to include technologies which, to the best of my knowledge & investigations, were at best on the drawing board - but not undergoing testing at that time.
It is the leaders of the country who determine the policy & it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, & denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism & exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
~H Goering
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stealth
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Feb 18 2006, 03:50 AM #15

There were in fact Airphones on UA flights back in 2001, but all of these calls were said to be frome cell phones
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Joined: Feb 25 2006, 09:42 PM

Feb 25 2006, 09:49 PM #18

Well after 911 (2005) I noticed two ads in the Houston chronicle about 'new technology' and 'new services' that would allow people to make cell fone calls from jets, and so on.

ps. yes, i know it's not spelt `fone`
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HotDogBun
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Mar 1 2006, 08:22 AM #19

The hell with all that technical crap people.

"Mom, It's Mark Bingham"

I mean Christ... what more do you need? Unless this guy was adopted and made contact with his birth mother just before 9/11, this will always be the most compelling peice of evidence that the cell phone calls were fake or staged or somehow PHONY.
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brett
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Mar 1 2006, 08:31 PM #20

While I think this is a great video overall, I also have to disagree strongly with the cellphone coverage.

As FireEyes said, cell phones do work in airplanes, at least at low level (I'm a little suspicious of Gecko's comments that his friend can make calls with a regular cell phone at 25,000').

One of the things that has been mentioned over and over in news coverage is that Flight 93 was flying at extremely low altitude, dipping below radar, going as low as 500'. This is why they could make the calls. This is also why it was easy for them to crash the plane once they rushed the cockpit.

Everything about Flight 93 certainly doesn't add up, but I don't think any of this "cell phones don't work" business is blowing any holes in the official story.

Also, the video specifically mentions phone calls lasting only a few seconds and then the caller calling back. This is to be expected when you're traveling so fast that your phone has to change cell towers several times. My phone drops calls occasionally when I change cell towers over a 20-min drive. It's amusing that you would mention this in the video as something suspicious when it makes perfect sense.

Cypher: You really aren't thinking about this logically.

First, just because cell networks assign towers to 10 square mile areas doesn't mean that a single tower will immediately drop signal once you get 1.784 miles away from it. That is obviously wrong. Still, even if you accept such a ridiuclous "mathematical" explanation, you can use the same math to prove that the calls could take place.

Mach 0.5 = 380 MPH
1/380 * 60 * 60 = 9.47 seconds per mile
9.47 * 1.784 * 2 = 33.8 seconds

So, traveling at Mach 0.5 at low level, it would take 33.8 seconds to traverse the coverage of a single cell phone tower. I just pulled Mach 0.5 out of thin air, but I think we can agree that it's definitely the high end of what speeds they might be traveling.

Even looking at the video itself, it is quite clear that making calls is possible at reasonably high altitude. From the physics911.net data in the video:

2000' = 75% success
4000' = 25% success
6000' = 17% success
8000' = 8% success (1 of 12 calls)

And honestly, how good do you think cell coverage is in London, Ontario, Canada?

Anyway, cell coverage at 2000' is reliable according to the video. The argument that cell phones would not work hinges upon the plane flying at over 10,000'. For the love of God, simply stating that "32,000 feet is cruising altitude for a commercial airliner" doesn't cut it.

Also, 3G isn't exactly "new technology." I think my AT&T Wireless (now Cingular) phone from 1999-2000 was a GSM phone that was considered 3G.

My father has been a pilot for 40 years. He flew in the military for 20 years, he was a captain for American Airlines for 20 years. He specifically flew Boeing 767s for 10 years. I've asked him to watch the video and tell me if there's anything else he thinks is invalid.

Anyway, my dad just flat out told me that cell phones work in airplanes at low level, and that everything he'd ever heard about Flight 93 said it was flying at low level.

But then you know that. You specifically say that you had success using your cell phone up to 6,500', and I haven't seen any claims that the calls on Flight 93 took place above that altitude.

Again, I'm in support of the video, and I agree with about 80% of what it says. As HotDugBun states, the absurdly suspicious guy who just happens to be using his last name when he calls his mom is plenty evidence to point to something fishy. I just think you're putting too much emphasis on irrelevant things like the cell phones.
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JointPlays
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Mar 17 2006, 10:32 AM #21

Hey.

I fell over the headtitle of one of the shows with MythBusters.

It was "Cell Phones on Planes"

Aired March 15. TV.COM/MythBusters

I still havent seen it myself, but thought i might share it with you.

You can download the episode here:

Episode 12 season 3


WWW.AGENDA911.DK
Danish site of truth.
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JointPlays
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Mar 18 2006, 02:38 AM #22

I just watched the episode myself.

I find one thing wrong with the show.

Its called "cell phones on planes" but do they talk about the actual making of a cell phone call on a plane??

NO!

I dont know how they got around that, but it smelled fishy to me.

Instead they argue that a cell phone could damage or confuse the instruments, causing the plane to crash, again without making an actual call aboard a flying plane.
Because - as they said - the law states that you cant take a cell phone on a commercial flight.

I think you have to see it for yourself.

(sry for the english)

Only my second language. :)


WWW.AGENDA911.DK
Danish site of truth.
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LeRoienJaune
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Mar 18 2006, 10:11 AM #23

Looking at WebFairy's listing of the calls, I had a few observations that are the first to incline me towards believing the matter:

2 phone calls for Flight 11, 3 for Flight 175, 2 for Flight 77, and 12 for flight 93.

For 11, 175, and 77, three explanations spring quickly to mind:
a: The people on the plane didn't have time
b: The people were pretty well under the control of the hijackers
c: the calls were faked

Faking calls for 2 or three people seems more probable than faking for 12.

We have 4 airphone calls (Wainio and Grandlucas shared a phone) from 93, 3 cell phone (Lyles and Bradshaw shared a cell phone- not definite, but can be inferred from the chronology and joint narrative) calls, and 1 call (DeLuca and Gronland shared a phone) is uncertain.

At most, we have 5 cell phone calls that were made from 93
We have 2 cell phone calls from 77
And 1-3 cell phone calls from 175

Cell phone calls from three planes. If what people are saying about speed and altitude are true, then the calls from 93 and 77 are more probable than from 175 (being at a higher altitude).

Of course, there is still the matter of the ultimate disposal of the passengers......I doubt that they were detained, or that any are still alive. More than any other flight I believe that the passengers of 93 really were on that plane, and really died....the earlier reason mentioned, about "leaving actual bodies for the FBI to confirm."

At this point the most cynical theory I am entertaining to Flight 93 is the possibility that it was a real commuter plane deliberately crashed purely for the sake of providing hard evidence.
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Static
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Mar 23 2006, 01:12 AM #25

Again, the cell phone story doesn't make sense. These 'terrorists' were skilled enough to coordinate a hijacking, allegedly take out three WTC towers (with exceptional precision) and a portion of the Pentagon(making extremely complex manuevers), yet they didn't order the passengers to surrender their cell phones? Cutting off communication is a critical step in any military operation, and I doubt they would have forgotten that.
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Vitamin J
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Mar 23 2006, 01:25 AM #26

the official report states that some calls were made in the kitchen or the lavetories which don't have airphones.

scientific tests have proven that cell phones aren't effective above 10,000 or so feet.
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Tincup
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Apr 6 2006, 05:16 PM #27

HotDogBun @ Mar 1 2006, 08:22 AM wrote: The hades with all that technical crap people.

"Mom, It's Mark Bingham"

I mean Christ... what more do you need? Unless this guy was adopted and made contact with his birth mother just before 9/11, this will always be the most compelling peice of evidence that the cell phone calls were fake or staged or somehow PHONY.
I'm with HotDogBun on this one. Who calls their mother and says "this is your son so and so" ? That statement alone caused me to doubt the validity of these "cell phone" calls.
The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.
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bluefordmustang
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Apr 6 2006, 06:23 PM #28

Tincup @ Apr 6 2006, 01:16 PM wrote:
HotDogBun @ Mar 1 2006, 08:22 AM wrote: The hades with all that technical crap people.

"Mom, It's Mark Bingham"

I mean Christ... what more do you need? Unless this guy was adopted and made contact with his birth mother just before 9/11, this will always be the most compelling peice of evidence that the cell phone calls were fake or staged or somehow PHONY.
I'm with HotDogBun on this one. Who calls their mother and says "this is your son so and so" ? That statement alone caused me to doubt the validity of these "cell phone" calls.
Count me here as well. I have never used my last name calling Ma. In fact I dont think Ive had to say who it was at all, she is my mother and she knows what I sound like.
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Ramone
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Apr 6 2006, 07:44 PM #29

technically speaking, airphones on planes are cell phones as they're are not connected to a land line.
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datars
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Apr 6 2006, 08:06 PM #30

HotDogBun @ Mar 1 2006, 01:22 AM wrote: The hades with all that technical crap people.

"Mom, It's Mark Bingham"

I mean Christ... what more do you need? Unless this guy was adopted and made contact with his birth mother just before 9/11, this will always be the most compelling peice of evidence that the cell phone calls were fake or staged or somehow PHONY.
That is a complete giveaway there that the cell phone calls are fake

Here's one of those so called calls made to his mother being interviewed on TV

Now this one just does not seem right, now listen to the mothers comments
Man calls mother from doomed plane
Mark Bingham, who was on United flight 93 that crashed outside Pittsburgh, called his mother in California before the plane went down (September 12)

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