Not sure if this was big news on an international scale, but here in New York pretty much everyone was talking about it.
From CNN.com: 'Furious' Obama orders review of NY plane flyover - CNN.com
If you believe the official explanation, you have been fooled. Please read on. I've quoted key pieces of the puzzle from the article.
"The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft, which functions as Air Force One when the president is aboard, was taking part in a classified, government-sanctioned photo shoot."
Because photo shoots always need to be hush hush. Any photographer can tell you that being able to keep a secret is an important part of his job. They will also tell you that being able to pilot an F-16 and simultaneously take snapshots is a big plus in this job market.
This explanation is a red herring. Put the pieces together and think about why the military would do this. Any ideas yet? I'll give you another clue.
"Two officials said the White House Military Office was trying to update its file photos of Air Force One."
The photo shoot had to be conducted in this manner because the plane becomes camera-shy when it's on the ground, is carrying the President on an already scheduled flight, or too far away from a glamorous backdrop.
Even our wasteful and antiquated government is aware of Photoshop and it's ability to create realistic images from existing footage to convey the appearance of a plane flying in front of a background of their choosing. To fly a gas guzzling plane for a few snapshots is too ill-conceived and wasteful even for the government. The plane HAD to physically be flying close to Manhattan to complete the objective of the real mission. Figuring it out yet?
"New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne said the department had been alerted about the flight "with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it."
They had to keep it secret or the joke would have been ruined for all of Manhattan's citizens. The flyover was planned for April Fool's day, but due to government inefficiency, the joke was executed a few weeks late.
Bloomberg himself said he would have tried to stop the flight had he known about it in advance. Asking the city for permission or advising public officials in advance would have raised su****ion early on, reducing the effectiveness of playing dumb after the mission was completed, and potentially compromising the classified nature of the mission. The fewer people who know the real reason for a mission, the better the secret will be kept. Military officials knew people would be upset, but it didn't matter to them, because they were doing this for a good reason - the means justified the ends.
"An Air Force source told CNN Tuesday that the White House Military Office planned a photo shoot over various Washington monuments next week but that it's now been cancelled."
The government wanted to showcase the celebrity plane's ability to go where no other 747 can - she glides through restricted airspace with panache and razzle-dazzle! Look at that sexy plane above the White House! Go USA!
Mant people have said that it seems unthinkably insensitive for the government to fly a big jet over the very place where thousands perished on September 11th. But they only think that because they were told it was for a photo shoot.
Many people asked, "How could they do this? Why would they fly a plane so low when the September 11th terrorist attacks occurred right here?"
WAKE THE HELL UP, PEOPLE!
That is EXACTLY why they did it.
The Pentagon has developed and is installing new defenses for protecting restricted airspace - custom designed technologies for NYC and Washington DC that will help prevent (or minimize damage from) another terrorist attack that uses a hijacked commercial aircraft.
Why now? Vulnerability concerns were renewed after a US Airways Airbus A320 did a belly landing in the Hudson River in January after losing both engines due to bird strikes.
This mission was a way to conduct a dress rehearsal of that system's effectiveness. It was convenient to use the President's plane - a Boeing 747 is a commonly used passenger aircraft, and it's location at Andrews Air Force Base made it easy to fly to New York and Washington D.C. It also would be an ideal aircraft for terrorists to hijack and crash into a poplulated area - it can carry hundreds of passengers on board and often operates on long-haul routes, so there would be plenty of lives lost on the plane and on the ground when all the fuel explodes on impact.
Obviously this is just my own personal theory, and it actually puts good faith in our government, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than an aerial photography exercise for file photos.
Regardless of whether I am right or wrong, I believe the whole story is not being told, and our mainstream media is incapable of putting the pieces together in order to tell the real story - you have to do that and figure things out yourself.