The story of the JetBlue flight from New York that got diverted to an emergency landing in Texas is especially scary since it was grounded after the captain flipped out and needed to be subdued by passengers. But what, exactly, the captain said seems to be in dispute based on press reports.
After the Las Vegas-bound flight landed safely in Amarillo, the passengers started talking to news outlets about what they'd seen and heard and, as you can imagine, the quotes from those on the plane read something like a game of telephone.
The captain seems to have said something about the Middle East, terrorism, and prayer. "Iraq, al-Qaida, terrorism, we’re all going down," one passenger, New Yorker Gabriel Schonzeit, told the Amarillo Globe News he heard the captain shouting. Similarly, Grant F. Heppes told Gothamist he heard the captain shout "Iran! Iraq! Pray to God with me!" The prayer quote sounds similar to what Las Vegas resident Tiffany Lee told the New York Post, saying she heard the captain yell, "Say your prayers."
Then there were some differing accounts about the captain's possible mention of a bomb. Lee told the Post that "Someone next to me said he was saying something about bombs." USA Today reported that "Heidi Karg tells CNN ... she heard the man she thinks was the captain shout the word 'bomb.' " In an update, USA Today relayed another passenger, Tom Murphy, telling CNN that "flight attendants tried to take the pilot to the back of the plane, but he broke free and ran to the front, threatening to blow up the plane and saying there was a bomb on board."
There's video of the freak-out, but it still doesn't tell the whole story about what this captain said.
The Airbus A320 has a capacity of 150 people, which is about how many versions of this easy-to-remember but difficult-to-repeat story we'll probably eventually hear.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.