Testing… testing… I was Wrong…

I was wrong to post the email I did without more in depth checking of the story. It has been an interesting evolution, to say the least…

Discounting the threats and the emails calling me a racist, it has opened my eyes to the fact there are people out there who are hard over in BOTH directions, and are not willing to be reasonable…

For something that I posted for the warning content, as one who flys frequently and AM concerned about not only MY safety; but those others who fly day after day, both as crew and as passengers; it took on a life of it’s own.

Do I think something happened on that aborted flight? Yes… Maybe not what was portrayed in the infamous email, but I do believe ‘something’ happened. Will we ever hear the truth? I don’t know…

Here are various links sent by a number of folks and the two links that started me down this trail:

The KHOU report-


The Chaplain’s comments-


The other links…

The AJC article-


Snopes- Which originally had nothing, then started as a two line entry, and now shows as a mixture rather than false…


The AirTran recapitulation-


And finally, this from today’s Marietta Daily Journal-


Did I learn anything? Oh HELL yes… Will I ever post something like this again? If I can personally confirm it, YES; if I can’t no I won’t…

For those media folks that contacted me, I gave the same information to everyone that I had…

I also learned a large number of my readers were willing to stick by me, and stood up for me, not only in the comments, but in personal emails to me. For that I thank each and every one of you. Some of my readers also spent their own time doing research and back checking for me, thanks too for that!!!

I was counselled more than once to not allow anonymous comments, and yes I did delete a couple of the more foul and abusive ones; but I chose not to block them, believing everybody has a right to be heard. Interestingly enough, many of the anons came from left of center, always calling the post a lie, but without any proof…

One thing I AM thankful for is that we live in a free country where this kind of discussion (both positive AND negative) can occur without interference from the government.

That is all.


Testing… testing… I was Wrong… — 43 Comments

  1. Here’s the thing… Imagine a world where whatever the main stream media reported was accepted as fact.

    That’s what existed before the Internet. And we know the media makes mistakes, fabricates and out right lies on a regular basis.

    I’d much rather have bloggers post things that later turn out to be untrue than have to rely on the MSM for all my news.

    My philosophy is POST EVERYTHING and let the chips fall where they may. Fact check it all. As long as incorrect info gets corrected then all is good.

    There is nothing wrong with being wrong, we don’t progress as a society without people who are willing to make mistakes.

  2. THANK YOU, I usually don’t post in all caps but…….. Many thanks for keeping your mind open (the most effective weapon ever devised)and allowing this forum to play out.Best wishe in the future and I hope to meet you half way some day. Now excuse me I have to go knead my bread.

  3. I’m with Alan on this one – the important thing is that information is getting out and circulated, and it can be vetted as we go along. Just like art, the news about what is going on in our world is too important to be left to the so-called professionals. Keep doing what you’re doing. I’m proud you’re my friend.

  4. With all due respect phlegmfatale the important thing in my mind is that these original accounts by Texas Tedd and the chaplain were simply not credible to any clear thinking individual.They remind me of the Saturday matinee adventure serial movies I attended in the forties, Where a space traveler would open the door of a space ship from the outside while traveling at four thousand mph and enter without an airlock or a space suit.It is always possible that a conspiracy theory is correct but if you hang your conspiracy theory on a fairy tale this weak, trust me no, and I mean no serious person is going to listen to you. By the way,I am an experienced home builder by trade a “professional”if you will. would you rather trust the building of your home to me or your uncle Ned the blogger.Same with brain surgery you get the idea.

  5. Thanks for the support folks… I am NOT afraid to admit I was wrong, those that know me know I pride myself on honesty and integrity.

  6. Whether something appears credible or not is often in the eye and experiences of the reader. I’ve seen some truly strange, far-fetched, unimaginable stuff that even I wouldn’t have believed had someone else told me about it instead of being there, seeing it for myself.

    *Anything* is possible and people don’t always behave “properly” and in a manner that makes sense.

    The validity of any claim is something we have to make our minds up on individually.

    Like PhlegmFatale, I am, and always will be proud, to have NFO as a friend.

  7. Very well done, NFO!! There are some mainstream outlets that could take a lesson. Like you, I’m sure *something* happened that was out-of-the-ordinary.

  8. Well, since you were wrong, then I was wrong, because I ran with this story from your blog! Ah well, it happens.

    Takes a man of character to admit when they got something wrong.

    That would be you.

    Long Live the Republic, Old NFO.

  9. Well, it took much too long and it was full of whining and rationalizations, but at least it’s some kind of admission of wrongdoing.

    Lesson for the future: It’s not up to the people who question a wildly unlikely account to prove that it’s not true. It’s up to the one making the outrageous charges — charges that not only were not supported by a single person on the flight but which were directly contradicted by every other eyewitness– to back up what he says instead of running and hiding. This is how it’s done among grownups, professionals and people of honor. I know you really want to think of yourself as a person of integrity, NFO, but so far the evidence of that isn’t here, and this post unfortunately digs you deeper. Too bad, because you had a chance to make it right and blew it.

  10. Anon @4:46 After the ref blows the whistle you lose points for piling on.It’s not sporting.Old NFO did all he needed to do and more.Although I am his polar opposite on the political spectrum,I respect him for his willingness to own his part in this.He didn’t make up this story just passed it on. Did it fit his agenda? Ya, what good is a blog if you can’t use it to push an agenda? Would I have published this e-mail? No,it doesn’t advance my agenda.If this fiasco had reached a wider audience, you can be sure the blowback against it most certainly would have advanced my agenda and hurt his. That doesn’t matter This episode is history, we agree to disagree, and I for one will continue to work for my vision of a better America. Peace

  11. “v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy”

    (In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth)

  12. As I recall your original post, you, from the beginning, said you didn’t have anything solid other than information from folks you consider creditable. The possibility is so serious it needs to be explored. Your post, and the whole blogsphere, shines light in dark corners and reminds spin masters their efforts will be examined. Thank you for your service.

  13. Well, I come for the stories and read for the correction of my mind’s angle of view – you remain one of my most pleasant correspondents. Sometimes you are just printing a story – that it matters to you and to your audience makes it worth the sharing, not all the books in the non-fiction section support science or religion but they do wake one’s wonder. Keep on keeping on, one day you will have enough time and we will meet, I will thank you again.

  14. I’m with Alan and the others, who think like him, on this one. I would rather hear about it sooner and find out it is wrong, then not hear about it at all and find out the hard way. Stay safe out there, it’s still a wicked world we live in.

  15. with all due respect, the other jimmyolson, I am not suggesting anyone go to an amateur for the construction of a home, for the repair of a delicate piece of a machinery or for brain surgery. I AM stating that in some areas, the so-called professionals are not the best or most reliable sources. I disagree that it’s harmful to discuss this story, credible or not.

  16. I think you did the right thing by posting the story – even if you personally couldn’t confirm it.

    You stated (as I remember) your doubts about its veracity in your original post and that should be enough for people to read it with an open mind and do their own research and thinking.

    I think it is good that different stories / ideas / emails / are posted in this evironment – they get people thinking and that’s never a bad thing (in my book).

    Keep up the good work.

  17. One of the things that separates us from the left, particularly the MSM and other gasbags out there is our willingness to admit an error. My husband and I just posted an apology yesterday on http://www.zionbeckons.blogspot.com/ about Obama’s hand over the heart thing at Arlington. Turns out they were playing Hail to the Thief—oops—Chief and he didn’t need to have his hand over his heart. There is an appalling amount of false information out there and remaining circumspect in the face of it is a huge challenge for bloggers.

    Cecil and I appreciate your honesty and integrity, and understand fully what you’re up against. To the unforgivers: go back to your left wing dumpsters. There’s nothing for you here.



  18. OLDNFO, kudos to you on your retraction.

    I think everyone here should think about how easy it is to get sucked into believing an urban legend, especially when it’s a story that plays into our own biases. This had some classic examples of how a legend starts.

    1. After the initial news reports, there is no outrage from the other passengers/flight personnel and then a WEEK afterward, an email starts to circulate. A WEEK. If I was on a plane and it went down like the email alleged, do you think I would wait a week? Do you think a personal email to acquaintances would be the method I used to blow the whistle, rathering than calling the FBI? BIG RED WARNING FLAG. A tip for our friends on the Right, email is the traditional vector for crazy, fake stuff. Because it’s private it’s harder to know that some crazy fake stuff is circulating and so the press doesn’t know about it, which means it harder to check. Crazy, fake, stuff can circulate for weeks without a skeptical eye and if it doesn’t surface, it can’t be debunked. Email is first place you choose to go, if you had a false story to promote, it’s much better than a blog post. And the classic crazy-fake-stuff email is a first-person account. If you want examples, search on snopes for the exact phrase
    [Collected via e-mail,

    2. Then we have the pastor’s PDF. It also came via email and was posted on http://espositosmusings.files.wordpress.com on Nov 26, copyrighted by the way, because all innocent witness immediately copyright their eyewtiness accounts. Then he got interviewed on the radio in Tennesee on Dec 4. Did he try to call the FBI, FAA, the Houston Chronicle? No, he typed up a copyrighted PDF and emailed it. His PDF indicates he believes he prevented the men from enacting their terrorism through prayer. These more red flags for me. Also, even if he telling the 100% truth he is what the courts would call a hearsay witness. He didn’t witness 13 Arabic men dancing and singing and making shooting gestures. Someone told him they did. No one on the plane has said this happened. So, again if he is telling the truth, he was lied to. Or told a false rumor which must have been flying because as the airline points out, unless you are an eyeball witness, there’s no way to know what is going on at the back of a plane, if you’re in the front.

    We are denigrating the MSM, but the Atlanta-Constituion Journal located, not just someone who was on the plane, but an EYEBALL witness. And you read her account, YES, something did happen on that plane, but nothing to do with terrorism. However, most people on the plane didn’t know exactly what was going on. The eyewitness claims the air stewardess didn’t handle the situation well, when it clear that the man didn’t speak English and miscommunication caused fear throughout the cabin. Think about it, there’s a foreigner on the plane and having an incident with the stewardess regarding a device. What would be the first thought, in your head? Would it be correct though?

  19. I almost hate to stick my head up out of the dumpster to respond granny but I feel I learned a lot by following the link here from balloon juice. I for one am willing and eager to hear from all my fellow Americans helps me keep an open mind. Having said that, I will be blunt, I would not trust some of the people responding on this thread with babysitting my children, let alone be PIC in any aircraft I was in. Peace

  20. Hat tip to KevinNYC as best poster on this thread. Honorable mention to the wag who posted “there’s too much fabric here for this to be a doily” i nearly wet my pants.

  21. We also need to be aware how fake rumors and myths can easily spread on a plane. People are anxious when flying, even before 9/11 this was true. When there is fear and anxiety, fake rumors take hold much easier.

    When the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, crowds flocked to walk over it and it the tallest thing they had ever seen and walking on the roadway was the highest they had have been. A week later, on Memorial Day, it was also crowded when an incident happened. what happened was a woman tripped and 12 people died. How did they die? When the woman tripped someone shouted the bridge was collasping and there was mass panic and a stampede where twelve people were trampled.

    Also think about this with plane. If there was a dry terrorist run on this plane with anywhere near what Petruna or Robinson has described taking place, do you think 60 of the original passengers would have stayed on plane if they thought a dozen terrorist were on the plane with them? Some passengers left, but over 80% stayed on. They flew to Houston and it was tiny news story the next day and a non-story for over a week.

  22. Here is what the woman who says she saw it all is claiming according to the ajc. (Yes, we can treat here skeptically too, but her version stands up with the vast majority of passengers not leaving the flight.)

    But the woman sitting behind the man said it wasn’t a phone at all, and feels the entire incident was the result of poor communication.

    “He was not talking on a cell phone, it was a camera,” said Nancy Deveikis of Marietta. “He was looking at pictures.”

    A flight attendant asked the man twice to turn off the device, Deveikis said. But it was clear the man did not speak English, she said. Although the man was traveling with others, the rest of the group was seated throughout the plane.

    When the man did not respond to the flight attendant, she took the camera from him, Deveikis said. Deveikis, who presented ajc.com with her boarding pass for the flight, said she watched the exchange from directly behind the man in seat 28A and the female flight attendant.

    “She grabbed it from his hand and basically said I’ll be holding this until you get off the plane,”Deveikis said.


    Another flight attendant, Deveikis said, was in tears as she left the plane following the incident. A new crew later returned to fly the plane, she said
    Deveikis said she remembers the original members of the group reboarding.

    Deveikis, who often flies to Houston for business, chose to remain on the flight. She said the man with the camera and his entire group reboarded the plane. The whole incident, which scared other passengers who weren’t clear what was happening, could have easily been avoided.

    “Just one flight attendant snowed everyone into believing she had an irate passenger,” Deveikis said.

  23. The Other Jimmy Olson said: “With all due respect phlegmfatale the important thing in my mind is that these original accounts by Texas Tedd and the chaplain were simply not credible to any clear thinking individual.They remind me of the Saturday matinee adventure serial movies I attended in the forties”

    And before 9-11, who would believe that passengers would overpower terrorist hijackers to retake an airliner. Not a whole lot, yet the story reminds us about those same matinees.

    And Old NFO, don’t fret. People have been taken in by stories far more incredible than this one. You went with the best information at hand.

  24. “And Old NFO, don’t fret. People have been taken in by stories far more incredible than this one. You went with the best information at hand.”

    Well, no. Because this unusually incredible story confirms NFO’s particular worldview/bigotries, he went with the WORST information at hand: a story chock full of impossibilities (“knowing” from first class what the men were watching, claiming that he knew it was shot the night before, etc.) and huge improbabilities (yelling “infidel dog” like some character in a bad Tom Clancy novel, drawing attention to themselves when they’re doing a “dry run” for “terrorism,” a dick-swinging intervention with laughably bad dialogue, etc.). And when NFO posted this and for several days afterward, this story was not only unsupported by any other person, but directly contradicted by all parties who were actually there.

    This is the very definition of willfully going with bad information.

  25. Jeebus,Anon give it a rest.I have no doubt that oldNRO. has already come on his own to everything you posted. what do you want him to do? Speaking for myself it’s going to take several days for me to process everything I’ve learned. remember pearl harbor.

  26. TheOtherJimmy- Thanks for sticking up for me, but anon just won’t let it go… Seems like he/she likes to hide and throw rocks… Not really surprised, since the worst foul and abusive comments came from anon on the other post too…

    Probably the same troll

  27. I dunno, Old NFO, you’re being awfully patient – never knew SO MANY PEOPLE could all keep beating the same dead horse …………………

    Semper Fi’

  28. Hey Anon-How come you’re such chicken do do and can’t identify yourself? Oh, I forgot. You’re chicken do do.

    theotherjimmyolson-thank you

    War is hell, ain’t it? I often wonder why we don’t just go ahead and kill and eat each other. They do it in Chicago.

  29. Anonymous Troll – Yep, you solved the case. Old NFP only wrote this story because he’s RAAAAACISSSST!


  30. It’s amazing how those who are too cowardly to identify themselves at all feel the need to badger others about what they should and should not post.

    I posted link to the story with a disclaimer at the beginning. Simple. And, in spite of the falsehoods, it appears that something did happen on that plane. Irony: we might not have known about it if it weren’t for the guy with the fantasy life.

  31. old nfo – thank you for what you do here, and thanks you for your service to your country.

  32. In a Sue Happy Environment it was a set up these perps were looking for a Pheonix Imams Redux.

    The Airline is not commenting on the MD Anderson Hospital Chaplain or the CEO in the third row, tracked down by the Murietta GA Paper. AirTran are inferring everthing to the “Outed” Mr Petruna as a liar who was never on board; Mr. Petruna says he has his Boarding pass and that the airline is now lying. Somebody is lying.

    It seems from the CEO’s third row corroboration … that

    1) there was some kind of major Chaos on board
    2) there was belligerent coordination among the 11 or 13 Arabic Speakers on the plane
    3) it was bad enough the crew returned the plane to the terminal and some of the flight crew got off in tears
    4) AirTrans has been in full on Damage control from day one for their airline and not that interested in the passengers or flying public. They are naming names and calling names

    “AirTran Airways strictly prohibits discrimination of any kind. Even still, to my knowledge, the religious belief of the passengers in question is not known.

    Please reference the following page for more information:
    “http://www.insideairtran.com/?cat=21” “

    5) If you have a group of friends and don’t want stuff out there … don’t tell them. There is no such thing as a secret. Mr. Petruna is now well known.

    6) I advise all family friends and business associates to do the same as Mr. Petruna, the Crew and other 11 passengers who refused to fly on that plane, in a similar situation; Even if it requires starting your own ruckus with the offenders to get the plane to turn back to the terminal, And get yourself off the plane. Do NOT trust TSA or an Airline beauracracy to look out for your safety.

    That said … have fun flying this holiday season.

    December 9, 2009 1:35 PM

  33. Thank you for your retraction, you can bet you won’t see alot of that going from blog to blog no matter the topic.

    It is so easy to see why this caught fire so easily……….. already made up minds regarding the subject matter.

    This happens on the right, center and left and refusal to fact check, accept facts and make retractions just fuels it. Makes me want to take away the FORWARD option on e-mails.

    Not that it matters ……. I am impressed.