Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Flight Number of one of the Airliners Hijacked by Terrorists Tells a Story of Destruction when Changed Into a Particular Microsoft Font-Fiction

Summary of eRumor:
An email says that the flight number of one of the airliners hijacked by terrorists on September 11 is "Q33NY". If you highlight that flight number in Microsoft Word and change the font to one called "Wingdings", you'll see a graphical representation of the hijacking including an airliner, the twin towers, death, and the Star of David.

The Truth:
This is a hoax, but judging from the emails we're getting, people want something about it to be true.

It is built upon the previously known fact that "NYC" has corresponding symbols in Wingdings that seem to have destructive meaning too.

"Q33NY" is not associated in any way with any of the hijacked airliners. It is not one of the flight numbers. It is not the tail (registration) number of any of the airplanes (we have the actual tail numbers below), and was not a designation on radar that day, and is not the identity of the subway tunnel leading to the airport or the World Trade Center. It's not one of the gate numbers. With few exceptions, all civilian aircraft in the U.S. have a tail number that begins with "N". has searched the FAA database that includes all airliners and found no airplane with Q33NY or any that begin with "Q" at all.

There's been a bit of mischief with this eRumor along the way. The original version is the one we have below. It clearly stated it was referring to the "flight number." It was easily demonstrated, however, that was not a flight number of any of the hijacked jets. Other versions started circulating that said it was the "tail number" or the "registration number." More recently, some versions are making the rounds that claim it was the gate number.

Here is the information about each flight:

...American Airlines flight #11.
Took off from Boston destined for Los Angeles.
Struck the World Trade Center.
The tail # was N334AA.
...United Airlines flight #175.
Took off from Boston destined for Los Angeles.
Struck the World Trade Center.
The tail # was N612UA.
...American Airlines flight #77.
Took off from Dulles near Washington D.C. destined for Los Angeles.
Struck the Pentagon.
The aircraft tail # was N644AA.
...United Airlines flight #93.
Took off from Newark destined for San Francisco.
Crashed in Pennsylvania was flight #93.
The tail # was N591UA.

The "Wingdings" font in Microsoft Word is one that is a collection of symbols rather than letters. It is true that if you use "Q33NY" in Windings, you'll get the sequence of symbols suggested but it's irrelevant.

A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

Here is something really strange:

1. Did you know that a flight number from one of the planes that hit one of the

two towers was Q33NY

2. copy that flight number into MS Word

3. Enlarge the font size to 26

4. Change the font to Wingdings