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Thoughts on 9/11

You need to hear the interview with Phillip Marshall, the airplane pilot who mysteriously shot his family and himself according to the official story after promising on this interview below that he could dedicate his life to bringing the truth of what happened on September 11, 2001 to the courts.

There was so many things that Phillip Marshall said in this interview that impressed me but one thing really stuck out and its the fact that he reports that the hijackers were Saudis and they were allowed in the U.S. and trained to fly planes here by other Saudi government officials on CIA property. This is plausible and I would like to share with many of you in the United States of Amnesia as Gore Vidal used to call it how this could be plausible by getting into the history of the relationship between the United States government and the Saudi royal family who are not true royalty by the way, but established royals with the help of the British government in the early twentieth century. So please keep in mind that the Saudi royal family are no more royal and no more direct descendants of the prophet Mohammed than you and I are.

In the 1930s, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, was advised by British expatriate St. John Philby. A former British intelligence operative who “went native,” Philby represented King Saud in negotiations with foreign suitors eager to explore for oil beneath the shifting sands. The wily Briton soon realized that the Americans were showing more interest than were the British, and so he helped negotiate Saudi Arabia’s first oil contract with a premier American company, Standard Oil of California (SoCal), one of the spinoffs of the John D. Rockefeller’s original Standard Oil Company.

Philby advised the king to give SoCal a sixty-year exclusive contract for exploration and extraction along the shores of the Persian Gulf. It didnt hurt the company’s standing that it was quietly compensating Philby on the side. In 1938, SoCal struck oil in commercial quantities. Shipments abroad commenced the next year.

World War II firmly established oil as the preeminent strategic resource, and the United States and the Soviet Union as the world’s two superpowers.

In February 1945, Abdul Aziz met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on board the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal, and the two cemented what would become one of the most consequential agreements in world history: the trade-off of oil for security.

This led to the establishment of a U.S. training mission in Saudi and the onset of a long-term U.S. military aid program, one that continues to this day. As part of that assistance, the United States helped create the modern Saudi army as well as the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), a rival organization responsible for internal security and protection of the royal family.

The allure of the seemingly unlimited Saudi petroleum deposits beckoned increasingly as the limits of domestic U.S. oil production became apparent. Moreover, the United States increasingly looked like a good bet as protector of the Saudi royal house, especially after the humiliation of the British and French in the 1956 Suez Canal crisis. The Eisenhower Doctrine of 1957 led to a deepening of North America’s commitment to the Saudis.

The rise of the nationalist Gamal Abdel Nasser and his dalliance with the Soviets, coupled with fears of rebellion in Saudi Arabia, led to U.S. military support of Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni Civil War (1962-1970). President Kennedy was the first to order U.S. troops into the kingdom, during the Yemeni crisis.

But the outright defense of Gulf states by the U.S. military would soon end. In response to growing public distaste  for North American military entanglements in the developing world, the Nixon Doctrine (1969) declared that the United States would no longer bear the main responsibility for the defense of Gulf states. Rather than sending troops to protect developing countries, the Nixon administration sent billions of dollars’ worth of equipment. This led to the even greater U.S. military investment in Saudi Arabia. During this time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was charged with constructing a new headquarters for SANG.

As the Saudis became cognizant of the full extent of their riches, they took steps to gradually get control of them, and especially the revenue they produced. The vehicle for this was Aramco, which was SoCal’s postwar consortium that included Texaco, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of New York, and later, as a nationalized Saudi-controlled concern, Saudi Aramco, the world’s richest oil company.

The turning point came during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, in which the Nixon administration tilted decisively in support of Israel, after which Saudi Arabia nationalized its oil deposits. In response the United States turned to new ways of maintaining the relationship, and in the process retain access to Saudi oil supplies on favorable terms. Mostly, this meant a kind of mutually beneficial shotgun marriage between the two highly dissimilar cultures, which brought more military dependence and increased financial and personal ties.

Saudi Arabia would become–and remains today–the leading recipient of U.S. arms and military services, far exceeding Israel and all other U.S. allies. Much of this assistance goes to SANG rather than the army, and therefore is intended specifically to protect and sustain the Saudi royal family. This is where after giving you a brief history of the U.S. government relationship to Saudi Arabia, I begin to make the connection with what Phillip Marshall was saying. The U.S. military assistance extended to pilot training. Previously, the United States had concentrated on training its own aircrews for operations over Saudi Arabia. Now it was equipping and training the Saudi Royal Air Force to operate Saudi aircraft–planes that had been purchased from the United States. So I believe that these 9/11 hijackers were perhaps not only CIA assets but Saudi Royal Air Force pilots. Saudi Royal Air Force pilots were trained to fly combat aircraft designed to fly at twice the speed of sound, they had to be since they had purchased Lockheed’s new F-104 Sarfighter which was designed to do just that.

Also, the ability for government people of Saudi Arabia to enter and exit the United States with ease is demonstrated in the United States hosting of Saudi princes and other Saudi scions in North American universities, fostering deep personal ties as well as inculcating North American-style values and perspectives on such topics as economics and investing, the Keynesian way I imagine.

One aspect of this deepening bond was the increasing frequency with which Saudi princes came to the United States for education and military training. The latter was a crucial aspect of the effort to protect the royal family from kingdom intrigues and plots and to reinforce Saudi dependence on the U.S. military. For example, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, a grandson of the late king Abdul Aziz, was at Perrin Air Force Base near Sherman, Texas, in the Dallas area, being trained as a fighter pilot on the F-102.

Access to the world’s most expensive toys–North American high-performance aircraft, and even spacecraft–was a significant attraction to the Saudi princes. Bandar’s father, the longtime Saudi defense secretary Prince Sultan, was training in Houston at NASA and became the first foreign national to fly on the North American Space Shuttle in 1985.

So after providing all this information which shows how it is not far fetched to say that these Saudis who hijacked our airlines on 9/11 could have easily been Saudi Royal Air Force pilots and could just as easily have been trained right here in the United States. What I dont know is the details of why did they do it? They were not jihadists by any stretch of the imagination so there are still a lot of unanswered questions that need to be answered and I encourage you to continue to ask them and do you own investigations and putting together the puzzle as they seem fit to you and together we will expose the nonsense we were told via the official story and bring justice to the families of those who died on that tragic day thirteen years ago.



What if Ron Paul Had Danced The Mambo Live on TV? Would He Have Won?

I am of the humble opinion that if former Congressman Ron Paul had danced the mambo with his wife live on television he would have won the 2012 presidential elections. I know image should not be everything, but unfortunately, I know too well that Ron Paul for many urban youth came off as someone from the rural South who wanted to go back to the good old days. I know that this is not who Ron Paul is, but maybe if he would have danced the mambo with his wife live on television he probably would have captured the attention of many Latinos who didn’t even bother to look his way. Sometimes you have to jazz things up a bit. Talking about the Founding Fathers and the Constitution all day can put people to sleep and while I support all those things, sometimes people need a break. I understand that Dr. Paul is visiting college campuses these days and relating to a lot of youth, unfortunately, I have yet to hear of Dr. Paul visiting a campus anywhere near a major city such as the one I live in. So perhaps Dr. Paul should dance the mambo live on television, its never too late and its music from his era. Listen to the wonderful sounds of Tito Puente below.

Now you might think or say something foolish like “white men dont dance mambo” and you would be one hundred percent wrong. Many “whites” danced the mambo in the 1950s, from Italians to Jews to African-Americans, the mambo was the hottest scene in places like New York City. Not to mention that many great mambo and other latin music greats were white men, Larry Harlow, who as a young Jewish kid in Brooklyn was forced to take piano lessons took his talents and became one of the hottest pianists in the Latin music scene for many decades. Enjoy the scenes below of people of all races, yes many white men and women of all ethnic groups gyrating their hips the way God intended for them to do. So I believe if Ron Paul would dance the mambo with his wife on national television, many more people would be open to learning about Austrian economics and libertarian ideals. Enjoy!

Skeptical About The Founding Fathers? Maybe You Should Be

Former Congressman Ron Paul was the guy for me for the 2012 presidential elections, but unfortunately he did not win. Ron believes in limited government but admits that those ideas are not original. The idea of living in a free society under a strictly limited government, was the original spirit which gave birth to North America. “We owe our Founding Fathers a tremendous debt of gratitude.” says Congressman Paul. “They created a society based on the radical idea that the purpose of government was to protect the rights of the individual, preexisting rights granted by God rather than the state. For the first time in human history, a government was designed to serve the individual, rather than vice versa. This triumph of the individual over the claims of the state, the King, the collective, or society represents a great gift to humanity. The principle of a servant government is the ideal that made America the greatest nation on earth.” While I agree with these ideas I am not sure that the Founding Fathers agreed with them wholeheartedly.

I recently read a good book that you can purchase to the right of this article called The Renegade History of the United States written by Dr. Thaddeus Russell where he outlines that many of the Founding Fathers hated the fact that people in this country loved to drink and in the Philadelphia area there were plenty of saloons and whore houses. Benjamin Franklin and William Penn did everything in their power to change that behavior using their government powers. Dr. Russell argues that since its inception the United States was always run by moralist type of characters such as the Founding Fathers who wanted to change peoples behavior. With the freed slaves it was all about them behaving more white if they were going to be free. Add to the that the history that many immigrant groups have had to go through in order to become accepted as whites: Jews, Irish and Italians to name a few and it makes you wonder if being accepted for your ethnic background and lifestyle was ever respected by the Founders because certainly if they did, that energy was not left behind. I venture to guess that they did not because United States history has always been mired in a puritanical history of how one should and should not be, included with that was race.

For example, there was always this debate about the biological claims that Italians from southern Italy were Black or at least of African descent according to Dr. Russell. In Venezuela there are plenty of very dark skinned southern Italians and yet it has never been an issue in that country, but when southern Italians immigrated to the United States it became an issue.  I also believe that Italians like many other ethnic groups in the United States have gone through a phase of “blanquizando” or “whitening” of their ethnic genealogy even if its on a subconscious level and a differentiation between them and the African-American community. Just take a look at the history of animosity between Italian-Americans and African-Americans in the city of Philadelphia. There was a time when a Black man walking through South Philly or even Bensonhurst, Brooklyn was asking to get assaulted. Yet what we dont learn from school but we do learn from Dr. Russell in his book is that Sicilians and Blacks coexisted together in the neighborhoods of Chicago in the early twentieth century.

I believe I may be digressing a bit from my original point of this essay which is to ask the question: at what point in the history of the United States did the government not regulate our personal lives? Was it during Prohibition when it was mostly Italians who were thumbing their nose up at the government and were unwilling to live up to the standards of “good” North Americans?

I am not dismissing or neglecting that there was some wisdom in the writing of the Constitution and I do believe in the ideals proposed by Dr. Ron Paul, but what I am saying is that we may be giving way too much credit to the Founders. I believe we should accept the Constitution as the document that guides our nation which it should be but is totally ignored by our fascist government. I dont believe that North America is prosperous and free because of the Founding Fathers. I agree with Dr. Russell in saying that I believe our country has been prosperous and free through immigrant groups such as Italians thumbing their nose up at the government and via free market principles that we have more successfully practiced in the past than we do now.

What Is The Austrian School?

The Austrian School, which was born officially with Carl Menger’s 1871 book Principles of Economics, offers its own distinct price theory, its monopoly theory, its capital theory, and its own business-cycle theory.

Carl Menger

It is solidly realistic, and grounded in the individual actor and his decisions and preferences. It seeks to understand real-world prices, not the prices of a long-run equilibrium that can never exist except in the minds of economists.

It was Austrian economists who predicted and properly interpreted the Great Depression, the dot-com crash and the Panic of 2008. The point of the Austrian School is that no competing system can do a better job than the market. Only actors on the market can allocate resources in a non-arbitrary way, because only on the market can someone evaluate a course of action according to the economizing principle of profit and loss. This is what the Austrian economists call economic calculation. This is the reason why economist Ludwig von Mises explained in 1920 that socialism could not work.

Ludwig von Mises

Under socialism as traditionally understood, the State owned the means of production. Now if the State already owns all those things, then no buying and selling of them takes place. Without buying and selling, in turn, there is no process by which prices can arise. And without prices for capital goods, central planners cannot allocate resources rationally. They cannot know whether a particular production process should use ten units of plastic and nine units of lumber, or ten units of lumber and nine units of plastic. Without market prices by which to compare in-commensurable goods like lumber and plastic, they cannot know how urgently demanded each input is in alternative lines of production. Multiply this problem by the nearly infinite set of possible combinations of productive factors, and you see the impossible situation the central planning board faces.

Even the non-socialist State has a calculation problem. Since it operates without a profit-and-loss feedback mechanism, it has no way of knowing whether it has allocated resources in accordance with consumer preferences and in a least-cost manner. For example, lets take a look at the State’s production of MRAPs, which stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected. It is an armored vehicle built and used by the United States government and now they are also providing these vehicles for local police forces. Each vehicle costs about half a million dollars to produce and there is no consumer market for them which is why they are so expensive because the State has no way of knowing whether it has allocated its resources in a cost-effective manner and since the money was stolen from you and me via taxation they don’t really care.



So what you see is that the State’s decisions regarding what to produce and where, in what quantities and using which methods are completely blind from the point of view of social economizing, meaning the process by which we obtain higher-valued ends with lower-valued means. Hence, if we want to ensure that resources are not squandered or spent arbitrarily such as on the ugly monstrosity of a vehicle you see above, we must keep them out of the hands of the State.

So the Austrian School of economics teaches us that certain courses of action are more desirable from the standpoint of human welfare than others. We also learn that the State’s allocation decisions cannot be socially economizing. We learn that the desires of consumers are best served by the free price system, which directs production decisions up and down the capital structure in accordance with society’s demands. And we learn from the Austrian School that the State’s interference with money, the commodity that forms one-half of every non-barter exchange, gives rise to the devastation of the boom-bust business cycle.

I hope this helps with introducing you to Austrian economics and it is my hope it did not scare you off as that was not my intention. I am a young student of the Austrian School myself so I am learning along with you, but I promise you that the Austrian School of economics is based in reality and so you will be able to get it soon.

For more detailed information than this author can provide you here please visit the Ludwig von Mises Institute and become a member.

Internment Camps: U.S. Government Field Manual

When you watch these videos about the internment camps that the United States government has prepared for us, please keep in mind the following quote from the book Fascism and Capitalism by a great leader of liberty named Lew Rockwell (2013):

“In the fight against fascism, there is no reason to be despairing. We must continue to fight with every bit of confidence that the future belongs to us and not them. Their world is falling apart. Ours is just being built. Their world is based on bankrupt ideologies. Ours is rooted in the truth about freedom and reality. Their world can only look back to the glory days. Ours looks forward to the future we are building for ourselves. Their world is rooted in the corpse of the nation-state. Our world draws on the energies and creativity of all peoples in the world, united in the great and noble project of creating a prospering civilization through peaceful human cooperation. Its true that they have the biggest guns. But big guns have not assured permanent victory in Iraq or Afghanistan–or any other places on the planet” (p. 26).

Furious About Ferguson? Work to Free Shaneen Allen

By William Norman Grigg
Pro Libertate Blog
August 21, 2014
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Whatever we eventually learn about what happened in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, Michael Brown is beyond mortal help. The same is not true of Shaneen Allen, a 27-year-old working mother of two and robbery victim who faces an eleven-year prison term for the supposed offense of carrying a legally licensed firearm.

Like the late Mr. Brown, Allen – a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — is an African-American. She has no criminal record, and her case is untainted by allegations that she had committed a violent crime.

In planning to take the case to trial this October, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain is committing what could be construed as a race-specific violation of due process by seeking prison time: As we will shortly see, a white Pennsylvania resident who committed the same “offense” was given a pre-indictment plea deal involving two years of non-supervised probation. McClain’s proposed “deal” for Allen would have included a mandatory three and a half year prison sentence.

Allen, a medical professional who works two jobs, was victimized by a series of robberies. A concerned relative advised Allen to get a gun to protect herself and her two young children. She purchased a gun, completed a firearms safety course, and obtained official permission from the State of Pennsylvania to exercise her innate right to self-defense. However, she made the mistake of crossing the Delaware River into a different tax jurisdiction called New Jersey, where the ruling political clique is stingier in granting that supposed privilege, and refuses to recognize firearms licenses that are issued by their counterparts elsewhere in the country.

After being stopped by a revenue farmer for violating one of New Jersey’s myriad official restrictions on the right to travel, Allen made the tragic mistake of being entirely candid when asked if she had any weapons in her possession. Rather than being handed an extortion note (more commonly called a “traffic ticket”), she was abducted and charged the second-degree felony of “unlawful possession” of the means of self-defense.

The officer who carried out that abduction told the victim that she was being punished for her honesty. The same admission was made by the judge at her arraignment. Despite the fact that she clearly displayed no criminal intent, DA McClain refused to offer her entry into a diversionary program that would allow her to avoid prison.

McClain, it should be noted, is no stranger to clemency: He found it in what passes for his heart to allow NFL star Ray Rice, who was also accused of a felony, to enter the diversion program, thereby avoiding prison or even significant professional inconvenience.

Granted, Rice’s alleged offense was nothing as serious as carrying a licensed firearm: He committed the relatively venial infraction of beating a woman into unconsciousness in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.

Mercy is a gift reserved for the wealthy and powerful, which means that prison is for single black working mothers trying to protect their families, rather than millionaire celebrity entertainers who beat black women to a bloody pulp.

McClain, and his allies in the civilian disarmament lobby, might try to pretend that violating New Jersey’s incomparably wise and inspired firearms laws is an offense of such transcendent magnitude that the guilty simply must spend time in prison, even when those violations are committed by otherwise innocent people from out of state.

Assuming that this is the case, why is Shaneen Allen headed for prison, while her fellow Pennsylvania resident Todd Doering was allowed to go home on probation?

During a visit to New Jersey’s Logan Township in July 2010, Todd and his brother had the misfortune of attracting the attention of a group of plainclothes officers involved in a “Cops in Shops” sting operation at a convenience store.

The purpose of that operation – other than to give the largely idle police force in that tiny town something to do — was to harvest revenue by cracking down on underage drinking and violations of the city’s open container ordinance. One of the officers spotted Todd’s brother, who was sitting in the passenger seat, crack open a can of Twisted Tea.

“Without telling us what was happening, one of these guys reached into my car and grabbed my brother,” Todd related to Pro Libertate. “Within a few seconds there were police on both sides of my car. It was like they thought I had murdered somebody.”

As Shaneen Allen would do later, when the intruders demanded identification from Todd he informed them that he was carrying a licensed handgun – in his case, a Glock model 22. “The weapon was immediately secured for officer safety,” relates the police report. “Todd Doering was then removed from the vehicle and secure with handcuffs” – that is, he was kidnaped and shackled. His abductors “did note that when securing Todd Doering’s drivers [sic] license from his wallet … a Pennsylvania license to carry firearms.”

While in handcuffs and awaiting transport to jail, Todd “spontaneously uttered that the magazine for the weapon was in the glove box and that he believed that as long as the weapon and the ammunition were kept separate he could legally carry the gun.”

By volunteering that information, Todd merely allowed his captors to multiply their excuses for imprisoning him: He was charged with both “possession of a handgun without a permit” and “possession of hollow nose bullets” in the separate magazine.

Todd’s brother was cited for having an “open container of alcohol” and released. A short time later, Todd related to me, the charge against his brother was dismissed “because of a lack of probable cause.” This should have meant the collateral dismissal of Todd’s felony firearms charges. However, by that time he had been blackmailed into accepting a plea agreement – albeit for a deal much better than the one that would later be extended to Shaneen Allen.

In October 2010, the Gloucester County DA offered Todd two years of non-reporting probation and relatively modest fines, including a $25 monthly fee he paid for the privilege of reporting to a probation officer.

It bears repeating that DA McClain wouldn’t so much as entertain the possibility of granting probation to Shaneen Allen.

“For most of 2011, the probation officer would visit me here, and he made it clear it was just a formality,” Todd recounted to me from his home in Landsdale, Pennsylvania. “He finally said, `Look, you don’t belong on probation; this shouldn’t have been done to you.’” In March 2012 Todd was granted early discharge from probation. But he remains unjustly tainted as a convicted felon.

“My attorney and I have filled out all the paperwork to request a pardon, which includes ten letters of endorsement and recommendation,” he explains. “It’s been sitting on Governor Christie’s desk.”

Currently working as a welder and recently married, Todd’s employment circumstances are stable. This is fortunate, given that his felony conviction – although patently unjust – would make it exceptionally difficult to find another good job, even if the ravaged economy were producing them. Until and unless he receives a pardon, Todd cannot legally own firearms, either for recreation or self-defense.

“My family spent a lot of time outdoors when I was growing up, and now I can’t even own a shotgun,” he laments. “I’m not permitted to buy any kind of firearm, or be in possession of one – despite the fact that I followed all of the rules and never did anything to harm anybody else.”

Todd is commendably outraged over the treatment inflicted on Shaneen Allen, and concerned about the prospect of her going to prison – leaving her kids without their mother.

“I’ve been trying to contact her attorney, and tell him about my case, which has to be considered a precedent,” Todd explained to me. “My attorney advised me not to go to the media, but what is being done to that poor lady is unconscionable. I’m trying to undo the damage that was done to me, but at least I’m not spending years in prison. They want to take this woman away from her children for doing something that no reasonable person would consider a crime.”

“When law and morality contradict each other,” wrote Frederic Bastiat, “the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.” Shaneen Allen has never broken the law in any sense; the edict that she ignorantly violated has no moral validity. Her case offers infuriating, albeit redundant, proof of the maxim that the only thing governments “make” are criminals out of innocent people, and corpses out of living human beings.

Since the eruption of Ferguson, Missouri, it has become commonplace for people to say that the revelation of the contemporary police state in all its malignant glory has wrought a measure of redemption out of the violent death of Michael Brown. While not minimizing in any way the necessity of learning why Brown was killed, those who are consumed with a laudable zeal for justice should direct at least some of their energy into the effort to prevent the unwarranted imprisonment of Shaneen Allen.

A legal defense fund has been established on behalf of Shaneen Allen.

The Folly of Flight

Recently, I had the opportunity to engage in a brief email exchange with first pilot Patrick Smith of and author of Cockpit Confidentials which you can purchase to the right of this article. Mr. Smith shared with me his frustrations as a first officer with the way Hollywood depicted the relationship between the captain potrayed by Denzel Washington in the movie Flight ahd his first officer. I did understand intellectually that in this modern era a  flight crew is made up of employees who are on equal footing with each other. Captains dont boss first officers around and it hasnt been that way since the 1960s where airlines like Pan-Am used to hire military personnel. Since the 1970s a first officer can most certainly question the decision of the captain as they are coworkers and are trained to work as a team. But I still didnt get why Mr. Smith seemed a bit edgy about the Hollywood depiction and so I decided to research the airplane crash of United Flight 232 in 1989 and then when I watched the movie Flight again, thats when I got it and saw how absurd the crash scene is and I could, for the first time, really see things through the eyes of a first officer like Patrick Smith.

As you can see in the scene above, the first officer keeps referring to “Whip” as “sir”, this is not how pilots relate to each other. Unless, the captain is a really old man, I got the sense from Mr. Smith that pilots just refer to each other by their first names. Also, how did “Whip” come to the conclusion that they lost hydraulics? Also, as someone who has worked in the airlines post-9/11 it was my understanding that the flight attendants do not just hang out in the cockpit during flight. You see Denzel just barking orders at his first pilot, to shut off an engine, put out a fire, etc. This is not how it works in the airline business. Lets take a look at a real airline crash that is similar to what supposedly happened to “Southjet 227” in the movie Flight.

In 1989 United Airline Flight 232 was on its way to Chicago when there was a loud bang like an explosion. It was so loud, a couple of passengers thought it was a bomb. Flight 232 slewed hard to the right. It shuddered and shook violently and almost immediately climbed three hundred feet, as the tail dropped sharply.

So this is what happened next, keep in mind that the airplane in the movie Flight seems to be a McDonnell-Douglas MD-80, according to First Pilot Patrick Smith, author of Cockpit Confidential. In the real life crash of United Flight 232, the type of aircraft was a McDonnell-Douglass DC-10 which still required the use of a third crew member in the cockpit and that was the engineer. Dudley Dvorak was the name of the engineer on Flight 232 and after the explosion that was heard he radioed the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center in Farmington, Minnesota, saying, “We just lost number two engine, like to lower our altitude, please.”

While the First Officer, William Roy Records struggled with the controls, Captain Alfred Clair Haynes called for the checklist for shutting down the failed engine. Did you get that? The captain cant just say okay you shut down the failed engine, no he must call for a checklist to shut down the failed engine, in other words teamwork. Haynes asked Dvorak to read the checklist to him. The first item on the list said to close the throttle, but “this throttle would not go back,” Haynes said later. “That was the first indication that we had something more than a simple engine failure.” The second item on the list said to turn off the fuel supply to that engine. “The fuel lever would not move. It was binding.” Haynes realized that the number two engine, the one that was mounted through the tail, must have suffered some sort of physical damage. The crew as yet had no idea what happened, but Haynes felt a deep wave of concern surge through him. He knew that he was facing something far more serious than the loss of power to an engine. Events unfolded at lightning speed. Only a minute or so had elapsed since the explosion when Records said, “Al, I cant control the airplane.” Did you notice that? He called him “Al”, not “sir” like the actor playing the first officer in the movie Flight.

The DC-10 had stopped its climb and had begun descending and rolling to the right. Records was using the control wheel to try to steer, but the aircraft wasn’t responding. He was commanding the aircraft to turn left and to bring its nose up. The aircraft was doing the exact opposite. Haynes saw this dissonant image. It didn’t take a pilot to know that something was dreadfully wrong.

In the movie Flight they show “Whip” played by Denzel keeping his emotions under control and his first officer doing the exact opposite. In a real crash such as United Flight 232, all crew members were scared and in fact, First Officer Records later recalled the startled look on Captain Haynes’s face: “I think the picture was worth a thousand words when he looked over at me and saw what was going on.”

As the plane continued its roll, Haynes said, “I’ve got it,” taking hold of his own control wheel. Both Records and Haynes now struggled with the failing steering, while Dvorak watched his instrument panel. Something bizarre was happening. The gauges were showing the pressure and quantity of hydraulic fluid falling lower and lower. So did we catch anywhere in the Flight movie where Denzel saw pressure and quantity of hydraulic fluid falling for him to make the statement that they lost hydraulics?

Captain Haynes explains, “As the aircraft reached about 38 degrees of bank on its way toward rolling over on its back, we slammed the number one [left] throttle closed and firewalled the number three [right] throttle.”

Dudley Dvorak recalled the moment: “I looked forward, and we’re rolling to the right. I just said, ‘We’re rolling!’ And Al, in one quick movement, took his right hand off the yoke and swatted the number one engine back, and on the way back up, pushed the other engine up and was back on the yoke in just a matter of seconds.”

This is where the heroics that you see in the movie Flight actually take place in this real crash with Flight 232, where Captain Haynes did take it upon himself as a reflex reaction more than bravado, to steer the plane with the throttles, the crippled DC-10 would have rolled all the way over and spiraled into the ground, killing all on board. After a few agonizing seconds, “the right wing slowly came back up,” Haynes said. He had no idea what made him use the throttles. Nothing in his training would have suggested it. The DC-10 manual does briefly mention “the use of asymmetric thrust,” but Haynes had no memory of having read that entry. He responded automatically, as a reflex that has remained a mystery to him ever since that day. Now as Dvorak watched his instruments, he was horrified to see the pressure and quantity of fluid in all three hydraulic systems fall to zero.

I will leave you with the rest of the story from Captain Haynes himself below.