The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 3, 2011

Flight 93 crash site video surfaces

SHANKSVILLE — As the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, a video shot just minutes after the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 has surfaced.

While the video does not show the moment of impact, it clearly shows a mushroom cloud rising from the site of the crash at an abandoned strip mine near Shanksville.

The voice of Berlin resident Dave Berkebile, now deceased, can be heard speaking calmly in the background.

“This is the remains of an airplane crash over on Lambertsville Road,” he said. “Probably a terrorist bomb on board that blew up.”

Berkebile said the crash “shook the heck out of the house ... A great, big, black cloud just mushroomed right up into the air.”

Then he added: “I wonder if there is anything left of Lambertsville.”

Donna Glessner, who is collecting oral histories for the National Park Service, saw the video and said she believes it is the earliest known video of the crash.

“I thought it was just a very important historic piece,” she said.

“No one else has a video of that smoke cloud.”At the time of the crash, Berkebile and his wife, Cathy, lived on Blue Bird Road.

Although he passed away in February, his wife, who has since moved out of the state, spoke about events that day.She said a video camera was kept at easy access to shoot vistas from their home, which was situated on 40 acres.

“My family lives in the city,” she said. “They had never seen the mountains. Up there on my mountain are the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Also snowstorms.

“So I kept the video camera all charged up so I could go out and shoot anything gorgeous to show my family.”

Berkebile said their initial thought when they heard the explosion was that it was dynamite.

Although the distance between their home and the crash site is 8 miles by road, it is just 21/2 miles by air and Berkebile said they had an unobstructed view of the skies above the crash site.

“Everything was totally visible and he had the presence of mind to grab (the video camera) and go running out the door with it.”

To read this story in its entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 17, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads