Flight 175 hijacked

September 11, 2001, at approximately 8:42 AM, United Airlines Flight 175 was hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists, armed with knives and box cutters, and later flown into 2 World Trade Center (South Tower). The plane departed from Logan International Airport in Boston, at. 8.14 heading for Los Angeles International Airport. The five terrorists were Hamza al-Ghamdi, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, Marwan al-Shehhi, Fayez Banihammad, and Mohand al-Shehri.

Below, we investigate various conspiracy theory claims related to the hijacking of Flight 175.


A “stand down” order was issued, not to shoot down the planes

A “stand down” order was issued which meant that the U.S. Airforce was not to shoot down the hijacked planes.



Air Defense was warned 20 minutes earlier

The background for the claim is that there appears to be sources that point at 8:43am, e.g., the TV station CNN and NORAD itself, while the 9-11 Commission report points to 09:03am.



Passenger manifests are not evidence of the persons having been on board

Jeppe Severin, representative and spokesperson for the Danish Truth Movement, claims that there is no evidence that Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Hani Hanjour, who the forensic investigation named as three of the suicide pilots, were on the three planes Flight 11, Flight 175, and Flight 77. Since those three terrorists from al Qaeda appeared on the passenger manifests for the three planes, it must mean that passenger manifests are not evidence that the persons have been on board.



The hijackers are still alive

The claim originates from an article on BBC’s website on September 23, 2001. The claim is indirectly used to claim that there were not any hijackers on board the four planes but that the planes were remotely controlled instead.



The hijackers were too incompetent to fly planes

Thus, they could not have flown the planes as described in the official account.



The National Operations Manager is lying about the air defense

The claim is used to support the overall claim that the terror attack on September 11, 2001, was a so-called inside job, where leading employees in various government agencies, specifically the American aviation authorities and the American Air Force, should have been involved in a conspiracy or, at least, in covering up who was in the conspiracy.



The passengers could not make phone calls

The claim stems primarily from A. K. Dewdney, a Canadian writer. He claims that cell phones in 2001 did not work above a certain altitude and that there were so many technical problems using them at lower altitudes that it must be considered impossible that the passengers on the hijacked planes could make calls to their relatives and other people.



The planes were remotely controlled

The planes were supposedly not hijacked but overtaken electronically from a secret command center and directed to their intented targets.



United Airways pilot Buck Rogers lies about cockpit doors

The claim is used to support the claim that the terror attack was a so-called inside job, where top level members of the Federal Aviation Administration and the American Air Force were involved in the conspiracy or, at least, covered for those who were behind.