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September 17, 2005
An 'Irregularity' On Flight 17 (Update: Nothing But Us Birds)

See update below.

A tip came to several bloggers tonight about an alleged attack on a domestic flight in the US, one that had not yet been reported in the media. Little Green Footballs posted the first notice of the rumors earlier today, but Michelle Malkin has spoken with the airline involved, America West.

The tipster told us that a surface-to-air missile had been fired at a flight earlier this week (Thursday, as it turns out) coming out of New York, but had missed. The shot presumably came from the swamps of New Jersey nearby JFK. Phil Gee, an associate manager of media relations, told Michelle that the captain reported an "irregularity" but continued his flight uneventfully to Phoenix. The FBI interrogated all passengers and crew, but Gee would not say whether anyone reported seeing a missile.

"Nothing is confirmed," Michelle reports as his response.

America West denies one element of the tip, that it alerted its flight crews of the missile attack. The airline does say that the story may have spread via the use of an online forum for its crews, however. Based on the language in the tip, that may well have been what was meant.

Michelle continues to investigate this story. Stay tuned. If any other passengers or crew from Flight 17 surface, we'll post on it immediately.

UPDATE: Michelle has a source that reports this as a false alarm:

The sighting was reported near Colt's Neck, NJ, which is a major route south out of NY. FAA set up a small temporary flight restriction around the area while checking radar files. Turned out to be nothing more than birds, and [a] big game of "telephone."

That's a relief.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 17, 2005 11:03 PM

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» Possible Attack on US AW Flight 17 from The Strata-Sphere
There is nothing confirmed, but lots of rumors floating around the net of some kind of missile attack on a US domestic flight America West 17 out of New York City last Thursday. Michelle Malkin has the round up. I post this news to let people know o... [Read More]

Tracked on September 18, 2005 12:10 AM

» SAM Attack?... from Speed of Thought
Not sure what to make of this from LGF: Ive just received a credible tip from... [Read More]

Tracked on September 18, 2005 12:15 AM

» doWHAT? Possible missile attack on US airliner... from Garm Howling
via Michelle Malkin: I just got off the phone with Phil Gee, associate manager of media relations at America West, who promptly returned my late evening call. Here's what he told me: On Sept. 15 (Thursday), America West Flight 1... [Read More]

Tracked on September 18, 2005 12:26 AM

» Report of SAM Attack on America West Yesterday? from Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
Michelle Malkin has the low down on a reported SAM engagement with America West Flight 17, via Little Green Footballs. [Read More]

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» Surface to Air “Irregularity” Fired at Flight 17 from Independent Sources
Was a missile fired at Flight 17 as it left JFK? One would think that it is a simple question that would get a “yes” or “no” answer. Think again. When asked by blogger Michele Malkin, American West responded to the questi... [Read More]

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» SAM Missile Attack On America West Flight 17 Out Of JFK from Diggers Realm
Michelle Malkin and Little Green Footballs are reporting on word of a Surface to Air Missile attack on an America West flight out of JFK airport in New York City. Michelle has contacted the airline and talked to them about... [Read More]

Tracked on September 18, 2005 3:14 AM

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