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Profile: Bob Blair

Bob Blair was a participant or observer in the following events:

Numerous eyewitnesses see and hear Flight 93 just before it crashes in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
bullet Terry Butler, in Stoystown, sees the plane come out of the clouds, low to the ground. He will later recall: “It was moving like you wouldn’t believe. Next thing I knew, it makes a heck of a sharp right-hand turn.” The plane then appears to be trying to climb to clear a ridge, but it continues to turn to the right and then veers behind a ridge. About a second later it crashes. [St. Petersburg Times, 9/12/2001]
Witnesses Hear the Plane's Engines -
bullet Laura Temyer of Hooversville will recall: “I didn’t see the plane but I heard the plane’s engine. Then I heard a loud thump that echoed off the hills and then I heard the plane’s engine. I heard two more loud thumps and didn’t hear the plane’s engine any more after that.” [Philadelphia Daily News, 11/15/2001]
bullet Charles Sturtz, who lives a half-mile from the crash site, will recall seeing the plane heading southeast with its engines running. No smoke can be seen. “It was really roaring, you know, like it was trying to go someplace, I guess,” he will say. [WPXI 11 (Pittsburgh), 9/13/2001]
bullet Michael Merringer, who is two miles from the crash site, will describe, “I heard the engine gun two different times and then I heard a loud bang.” [Associated Press, 9/12/2001]
bullet Tim Lensbouer, who is 300 yards away from the crash site, will recall, “I heard it for 10 or 15 seconds and it sounded like it was going full bore.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/12/2001]
Witnesses See the Plane Flying Upside Down -
bullet Rob Kimmel, who is several miles from the crash site, sees Flight 93 flying overhead, banking hard to the right. It is 200 feet or less off the ground as it crests a hill to the southeast. “I saw the top of the plane, not the bottom,” he will say. [Longman, 2002, pp. 210-211]
bullet Eric Peterson of Lambertsville sees the plane flying overhead unusually low. It seems to be turning end-over-end as it drops out of sight behind a tree line. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/12/2001]
bullet Bob Blair of Stoystown sees the plane spiraling and flying upside down, not much higher than the treetops, before crashing. [Daily American, 9/12/2001]
Plane Is Heard Making Strange Sounds -
bullet An unnamed witness hears two loud bangs before he sees the plane take a downward turn of nearly 90 degrees. [News Channel 5 (Cleveland), 9/11/2001]
bullet Tom Fritz, who is about a quarter-mile from the crash site, hears a sound that “wasn’t quite right,” he will recall, and looks up into the sky. The plane “dropped all of a sudden, like a stone,” going “so fast that you couldn’t even make out what color it was,” he will say. [St. Petersburg Times, 9/12/2001]
bullet Lee Purbaugh, who works at a scrapyard overlooking the crash site, will describe seeing the plane crashing, saying: “There was an incredibly loud rumbling sound and there it was, right there, right above my head—maybe 50 feet up.… I saw it rock from side to side then, suddenly, it dipped and dived, nose first, with a huge explosion, into the ground. I knew immediately that no one could possibly have survived.” [Independent, 8/13/2002]
Plane Is Seen Making a Sudden Plunge -
bullet Linda Shepley hears a loud bang and sees the plane bank to the side. [ABC News, 9/11/2001] She sees the plane wobbling right and left, at a low altitude of roughly 2,500 feet, when suddenly the right wing dips straight down and the plane plunges into the earth. She will say she has an unobstructed view of Flight 93’s final two minutes. [Philadelphia Daily News, 11/15/2001]
bullet Kelly Leverknight in Stonycreek Township will recall: “There was no smoke, it just went straight down. I saw the belly of the plane.” The plane is heading east and sounds like it is flying low. [Daily American, 9/12/2001; St. Petersburg Times, 9/12/2001]
bullet Tim Thornsberg, who is working in a strip mine near the crash site, will recall: “It came in low over the trees and started wobbling. Then it just rolled over and was flying upside down for a few seconds… and then it kind of stalled and did a nose dive over the trees.” [WPXI 11 (Pittsburgh), 9/13/2001]
Some people will claim that these witness accounts support the idea that Flight 93 was hit by a missile. [Philadelphia Daily News, 11/15/2001] Leverknight, whose home is a couple of miles from the Flight 93 crash site, will note that planes flying over Shanksville are nothing unusual because the area is a “military flight corridor.” [Daily American, 9/12/2001]

Entity Tags: Eric Peterson, Bob Blair, Charles Sturtz, Kelly Leverknight, Linda Shepley, Rob Kimmel, Laura Temyer, Tom Fritz, Michael Merringer, Tim Thornsberg, Terry Butler, Lee Purbaugh, Tim Lensbouer

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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