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early morning*

morning* 6am-7am* 7am-8am* 8am-8:30am* 8:30am - 8:40am* 8:40 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.* 8:45 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.* 8:50 a.m.* |9am-10am 10:00-10:10* 10:05-10:10* 11am-midday* afternoon

9:35Edit

(9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Otis Pilot Says He Would Shoot Down a Hijacked Aircraft Edit

In answer to a question from a weapons controller at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), one of the pilots that took off in response to Flight 11 confirms that he would be willing to shoot down a hijacked aircraft. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153] Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander, has already checked that his section heads and weapons technicians are prepared to order the shooting down of a civilian aircraft (see (9:19 a.m.) September 11, 2001). At 9:32, after NEADS received a report of a hijacked plane approaching Washington (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001), Major James Anderson asked Nasypany what would happen if they located that aircraft, saying, “Are we gonna shoot him down if they got passengers on board?” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Duffy Says He Would Shoot down a Plane - Nasypany wants to be sure that his pilots are willing to follow a shootdown order, should one be issued. He therefore directs his weapons controller who is dealing with the fighter jets launched from Otis Air National Guard Base (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) to check this. The weapons controller radios Otis pilot Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy and tells him, “If we get another hijack track, you’re going to be ordered to shoot it down.” He then asks, “Do you have a problem with that?” Somewhat startled by the question, Duffy replies, “No—no problem with that.” He reportedly thinks to himself, “If I have a problem with that order, I am in the wrong seat.” According to author Lynn Spencer, Duffy is “doing what he’s been trained to do.… [I]f he gets a legal, lawful order to take out an airliner, then that’s what he’s going to do. He knows every other fighter pilot would do the same.” Duffy and the other Otis pilot that launched with him, Major Daniel Nash, are “confident no plane will get past them: they’ll do what it takes, and follow any order, to protect New York.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153] Duffy will later tell the Boston Globe: “[P]eople have said, ‘Would you have done it [i.e. shot down a hostile airliner]?’ Absolutely, that’s my job.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11/2005] No Shootdown Order Issued - However, according to the 9/11 Commission, NEADS personnel will only learn that NORAD has been cleared to shoot down threatening aircraft at 10:31 a.m. (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42] And, according to most accounts, the two Otis pilots never receive an order from the military to shoot down an airliner (see (After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CAPE COD TIMES, 8/21/2002; BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11/2005] Duffy and Nash will also be contacted by a civilian air traffic controller regarding the possibility of shooting down a hijacked aircraft (see (9:59 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [BBC, 9/1/2002] Entity Tags: Daniel Nash, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Kevin Nasypany, Timothy Duffy Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

9:35 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Center and NEADS Decide to Send Home Fighter Jets on Training Edit

The traffic management unit (TMU) at Boston Center calls NEADS to ask whether military planes out on training should be sent home. Boston Center asks, “The military aircraft that are in the air right now, we’re wondering if we should tell them to return to base if they’re just on training missions, or what you guys suggest?” NEADS replies, “No, they’re actually on the active air for the DO [director of operations] out there,” but adds, “We did send the ones home in 105 that were on the training mission.” This is presumably a reference to some fighters from Otis Air National Guard Base that were training in “Whiskey 105,” which is military training airspace southeast of Long Island [see 1]. Boston Center mentions that there are other military aircraft still airborne for training, and asks, “In general, anybody that’s training?” After consulting with colleagues, the member of staff at NEADS tells Boston, “Yes, go ahead and send them home.” . [1] NEADS was involved in a major training exercise this morning, though this was reportedly canceled shortly after the second WTC tower was hit [see 2].. [2]

(9:35 a.m.-11:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Unloads Missiles and Prepares Jets to Fly, but First Planes Launch with Guns Only Edit

Weapons being driven across Andrews Air Force Base to the flight line on September 11. [Source: Corensa Brooks / District of Columbia Air National Guard] Munitions workers with the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) unload bullets and missiles from storage sheds, and work toward getting fighter jets armed to launch in response to the attacks, but even by 10:42 a.m., when two pilots take off, no jets have been armed with missiles. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78, 82] Ordered to Prepare Jets - The munitions crew with the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, has been ordered to uncrate missiles and bring them across the base, while the unit’s maintenance officer has been told to prepare fighters for take off (see (Shortly After 9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 78; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 157] According to author Lynn Spencer, the unit’s “war-reserve missiles… are never touched, but are kept operational and in minimal numbers for non-alert wings like the DC Guard to allow for contingencies such as this.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 156] Commander Anticipated Order - Colonel Don Mozley, the commander of the 113th Logistics Group, had been anticipating the order to get jets armed and ready to fly, and so has already instructed his weapons officer to “break out the AIM-9s and start building them up.” The missiles need to be transported across the base from its far side, which will take time. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] Missiles Unloaded onto Trailer - The munitions crew unloads bullets and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles from storage sheds onto a flatbed trailer. Senior Master Sergeant David Bowman, the 113th Wing munitions supervisor, will later recall: “There were six of us there and we had 28 missiles to unload, and they each have three components. And if you drop one, you can’t use it anymore. We were doing it as fast as we could, because for all we knew the terrorists were getting ready to hit us.” Another officer will say the crew prepares the missiles “really fast,” but “we didn’t do it unsafely.” 45 Minutes to Get Missiles across Base - However, the trailer that carries the missiles has a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and needs a security escort. It takes 45 minutes before the weapons crew has brought missiles across the base to the flight line, where aircraft park. Usually it takes much longer—three hours—to bring weapons from the storage sheds and load them onto fighter jets, according to two senior officers with the unit. Once the missiles have been carried across the base, it takes “no more than 10 minutes” to load each one onto an aircraft, according to one of those officers. Jets Loaded with Ammo after Exercise - The arming of the fighter jets is apparently speeded up because one of the munitions staff had thought to load the jets with ammunition after members of the 113th Wing recently came back from a training exercise. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78, 84; RASMUSSEN, 9/18/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 157] Three days earlier, members of the wing returned to Andrews after spending two weeks in Nevada for the “Red Flag” exercise (see Late August-September 8, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 156] Master Sergeant Joseph Proctor, one of the unit’s “weapons guys,” had decided to take a load crew and put some ammunition in the jets brought back from Nevada, as these were empty following the exercise. According to Captain Brandon Rasmussen, a pilot with the unit, Proctor’s reason for doing this was so “they wouldn’t be in a rush on Tuesday morning [i.e. September 11],” and “he was thinking local flying and just to help us out a little bit.” Rasmussen will later thank Proctor because of the benefit his actions have on the unit’s response to the attacks, telling him, “If you hadn’t have done that we’d been dead in the water.” [RASMUSSEN, 9/18/2003] Jets Not Fully Armed at 10:42 - Yet in spite of actions like these, even by 10:42 a.m. on September 11, two F-16s that take off from Andrews have not yet been armed with missiles (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 82] Chief Master Sergeant Roy Belknap, the 113th Wing production superintendent, will later recall: “We had two air-to-air birds on the ramp… that already had ammo in them. We launched those first two with only hot guns. By then, we had missiles rolling up, so we loaded those other two airplanes while the pilots were sitting in the cockpit.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] Those aircraft, the first jets to take off with missiles as well as guns, will launch at 11:11 a.m. (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 84; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] Entity Tags: District of Columbia Air National Guard, Don Mozley, David Bowman, Roy Belknap Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

9:35 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Attendant Warns United Airlines about Hijacking; Information Passed on to United’s Crisis CenterEdit

An unknown flight attendant on Flight 93, later determined to be Sandy Bradshaw, calls the United Airlines maintenance facility in San Francisco, and reports that her plane has been hijacked. The San Francisco number is one that flight crews know to call if they need to report mechanical problems, obtain advice on troubleshooting, or request maintenance while in flight. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 40 ; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI, A/K/A SHAQIL, A/K/A ABU KHALID AL SAHRAWI, DEFENDANT., 4/11/2006 ] Bradshaw makes her call from the rear of Flight 93, using an Airfone. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] A United Airlines maintenance employee initially answers the call. Shortly thereafter, it is taken over by a manager at the facility. Bradshaw reports that hijackers are in the cabin of her plane behind the first-class curtain, and also in the cockpit. They have pulled a knife, have killed a flight attendant, and have announced they have a bomb on board. The manager will later describe Bradshaw as being “shockingly calm” during the conversation. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 40 ; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI, A/K/A SHAQIL, A/K/A ABU KHALID AL SAHRAWI, DEFENDANT., 4/11/2006 ] Bradshaw’s call lasts just under six minutes. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] The manager reports the emergency to his supervisor, who passes the information to the crisis center at United Airlines’ headquarters, outside Chicago. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 40 ] After about 9:45-9:50, “everyone” in the crisis center will know “that a flight attendant on board” Flight 93 has “called the mechanics desk to report that one hijacker had a bomb strapped on and another was holding a knife on the crew.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 43 ] The manager at the San Francisco maintenance facility instructs the Airfone operator to try and reestablish contact with the plane, but the effort is unsuccessful. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 40 ] At 9:50, Bradshaw will make another call from Flight 93, this time to her husband (see 9:50 a.m. September 11, 2001). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 12 ] Entity Tags: United Airlines, Sandy Bradshaw Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Contractors Evacuate Pentagon Just before It Is Hit A contract crew has been installing furniture in the southwest perimeter of the Pentagon. Construction workers are currently doing the final touching up, after more than three years of renovation work on this area of the building, and some Defense Department employees are already moving into their new office spaces. But the wife of one crew member phones her husband after seeing footage of the attacks in New York on CNN and says she feels he is in danger at the Pentagon. Hearing of the attacks, the crew leader instructs his 23 workers to abandon what they are doing and evacuate. Moments later, as they are crossing the parking lot, they see the airliner crash into the exact area of the Pentagon they had just left. [GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE, 5/1/2002; FRENI, 2003, PP. 43-44] There is no evidence that anyone else in the Pentagon evacuates the building before it is struck (see Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001] Another report, which appears to be describing the same incident, says the construction crew evacuates for a different reason: to discuss security with a customer in the parking lot. [PENTAGRAM, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Pentagon Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Pentagon

After 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001: Military Liaisons at FAA Command Center Said to Be Informed of Flight 93 HijackingEdit

Military officers at the FAA’s Command Center are informed of the hijacking of Flight 93, according to the FAA’s National Operations Manager Ben Sliney. If such notification is given, it is presumably shortly after the Command Center learns of the hijacking (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Sliney will later tell the 9/11 Commission: “Available to us at the Command Center of course is the military cell, which was our liaison with the military services. They were present at all of the events that occurred on 9/11.” He will add, “The normal protocols for the events that were transpiring then—that is to say hijacked aircraft, which requires a notification to NORAD—those, at least I was given to understand, were made promptly—the notifications on each hijack.” The FAA’s acting Deputy Administrator Monte Belger will add: “[T]here were military people on duty at the FAA Command Center, as Mr. Sliney said. They were participating in what was going on. There were military people in the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization in a situation room. They were participating in what was going on.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] If the cell is notified, it is unclear what, if anything, the military liaison officers—Colonel John Czabaranek, Lieutenant Colonel Michael-Anne Cherry, and Major Kevin Bridges (see (Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001)—at the Command Center do with the information about Flight 93’s hijacking. The 9/11 Commission will say that the first notification to the military about Flight 93 comes at 10:07 a.m. (see 10:05 a.m.-10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Monte Belger, Kevin Bridges, John Czabaranek, Ben Sliney, Michael-Anne Cherry Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

Before 9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001: Officials Claim NORAD Is Monitoring Flight 93 According to one account given by NEADS Commander Robert Marr, some time before around 9:36 when it changes direction, while it is still flying west, Flight 93 is being monitored by NEADS. Marr describes how, “We don’t have fighters that way and we think [Flight 93 is] headed toward Detroit or Chicago.” He says he contacts a base in the area “so they [can] head off 93 at the pass.” Not only does NORAD know about the flight, but also, according to NORAD Commander Larry Arnold, “We watched the 93 track as it meandered around the Ohio-Pennsylvania area and started to turn south toward DC.” (This change of direction occurs around 9:36 a.m.) [FILSON, 2003] This account completely contradicts the 9/11 Commission’s later claim that NEADS is first notified about Flight 93 at 10:07 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Robert Marr, Larry Arnold, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(Between 9:35 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NORAD Commander Spends 45 Minutes Driving to Operations CenterEdit

In the middle of the 9/11 attacks, General Ralph Eberhart, the commander of NORAD, drives from his NORAD headquarters office at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado to the NORAD operations center in Cheyenne Mountain, about a dozen miles away. The journey reportedly takes him 45 minutes and en route he loses a cell phone call with Vice President Cheney. The reason he makes this journey is unknown, though it is reported that there are superior communications capabilities available at Cheyenne Mountain. [GAZETTE (COLORADO SPRINGS), 6/16/2006; DENVER POST, 7/28/2006; WASHINGTON POST, 7/29/2006] The exact times when Eberhart departs Peterson AFB and arrives at Cheyenne Mountain are unclear. General Richard Myers says that Eberhart phones him from Peterson either just before or just after the Pentagon is hit, which suggests that Eberhart heads out some time between 9:35 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. [ARMED FORCES RADIO AND TELEVISION SERVICE, 10/17/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Eberhart tells the 9/11 Commission that when he arrives at the NORAD operations center, the order to shoot down hijacked aircraft has already been passed down NORAD’s chain of command. According to the commission’s timeline, this would indicate he arrives after 10:31 a.m. (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42] Yet other reports state that the massive blast doors to Cheyenne Mountain are shut at around 10:15 a.m. (see 10:15 a.m. September 11, 2001), which suggests that Eberhart arrives earlier. Entity Tags: Ralph Eberhart Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Silent Flight 93 Climbs and Drops; NORAD Still Not Notified Edit

When Flight 93 is over Youngstown, Ohio, Stacey Taylor and other Cleveland flight controllers see it rapidly climb 6,000 feet above its assigned altitude of 35,000 feet and then rapidly descend. The plane drops so quickly toward Cleveland that the flight controllers worry they might be the target. Other accounts say the climb occurs around 9:35 a.m. Controllers continue to try to contact the plane but still get no response. [GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Stacey Taylor, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

9:36Edit

(9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Cleveland Flight Control Wants NORAD Notified; FAA Command Center Says People Are Working on It

FAA’€™s Cleveland Center. [Source: ABC News] According to the 9/11 Commission, at about this time Cleveland flight control specifically asks the FAA Command Center whether someone has requested the military to launch fighters toward Flight 93. Cleveland offers to contact a nearby military base. The Command Center replies that FAA personnel well above them in the chain of command have to make that decision and are working on the issue. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Cleveland overheard a hijacker say there was a “bomb on board” at 9:32 a.m. and passed the message to FAA higher ups (see (9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to John Werth, the Cleveland controller handling Flight 93, “Within three or four minutes, probably, of when [the hijacking] happened, I asked if the military was advised yet. Had anybody called the military? They said, ‘don’t worry. That’s been taken care of,’ which I think to them, meant they had called the command center in Washington.” [CBS NEWS, 9/10/2006] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, John Werth, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001: Airline Dispatchers Learn Flight 93 Is Heading for Washington, Offer It Assistance United Airlines flight dispatcher Ed Ballinger is informed that Flight 93, which he is responsible for monitoring, is heading for Washington, DC. At the United Airlines System Operations Control (SOC) center, near Chicago, dispatch manager Mike Barber tells Ballinger that Flight 93 is “off track, heading for DC.” The aircraft has just reversed course (see (9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and, having learned that it is not responding to FAA communications (see (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001), officials at United Airlines headquarters now believe it has been hijacked. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 456; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 41 ] Also at this time, a United dispatcher who is assisting Ballinger sends a text message to Flight 93, asking, “How’s the wx[?]” (what this means is unclear), and, “Can dispatch be of any assistance?” No response is received. [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 41 ] Entity Tags: Ed Ballinger, Mike Barber Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001: Report of Airliner Approaching White House Sets off ‘Frenzy’ at NEADS Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, calls NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) to report a low-flying airliner he has spotted six miles southeast of the White House. He can offer no details regarding its identity. The plane is reportedly Flight 77, but as it has its transponder turned off, no one realizes this at the time. The news of the plane “sets off a frenzy.” Major Kevin Nasypany orders Major James Fox, head of the NEADS weapons team, “Get your fighters there as soon as possible!” Staff Sergeant William Huckabone says, “Ma’am, we are going AFIO [emergency military control of the fighters] right now with Quit 2-5 [the Langley Air Force Base fighters]” (see 9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001), and adds, “They are going direct Washington.” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] The Langley fighters will arrive over Washington some time around 10 a.m. (see (Between 9:49 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: William Huckabone, James Fox, Kevin Nasypany, Colin Scoggins, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Takes Control of Washington Airspace, Directs Langley Fighters toward White House NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) declares “AFIO” (Authorization for Interceptor Operations) for Washington airspace, giving the military authority over the FAA for that airspace, and directs the fighter jets launched from Langley Air Force Base (see (9:25 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001) toward the White House. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113, 150] Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, has just called to report an unidentified aircraft closing in on Washington, DC, which is currently six miles southeast of the White House (see 9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001). Nasypany Declares AFIO - Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander, is unaware that the F-16s he scrambled from Langley Air Force Base are heading out to sea rather than going north toward the Baltimore area (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). He therefore orders Major James Fox, the leader of the NEADS weapons team, to direct the Langley jets toward the White House, telling him: “I got an aircraft six miles east of the White House! Get your fighters there as soon as possible!” Fox asks, “Do you want us to declare AFIO?” Nasypany replies, “Take [the Langley fighters] and run ‘em to the White House,” and adds, “I want AFIO right now!” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 150] Declaring AFIO gives the military emergency authority to enter FAA-controlled airspace without permission, and means that NORAD assumes responsibility for ensuring that its fighter jets see and avoid all aircraft in that airspace. NEADS has already declared AFIO for New York airspace (see (9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 2/19/2004, PP. 4-12-1 - 4-12-2; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] Now it does the same for Washington airspace. Fox tells the members of his weapons team: “We’re going direct [to] DC with my guys. Tell Giant Killer that we’re going AFIO!” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 150] (“Giant Killer” is the call sign for the Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility in Virginia Beach, Virginia—the Navy air traffic control agency that handles all over-water military operations. [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/10/1997; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 143] ) NEADS Unable to Contact Langley Jets - Master Sergeant Steve Citino, the NEADS weapons director, tries calling Langley pilot Major Dean Eckmann to inform him of the AFIO declaration, but receives no response. According to author Lynn Spencer, the Langley jets are not yet in NEADS’s radio range. Meanwhile, NEADS Staff Sergeant William Huckabone calls Giant Killer and notifies it: “Ma’am, we are going AFIO right now with Quit 2-5 [the Langley fighters]. They are going direct [to] Washington.” But the controller only offers modest reassurance that the Langley jets will be given the appropriate clearance to enter Washington airspace, responding, “We’re handing ‘em off to [the FAA’s Washington] Center right now.” Huckabone retorts: “Ma’am, we need that expedited right now! We need to contact them on 234.6.… Do you understand?” NEADS Reaches Langley Jets - As soon as the Langley jets enter radio range, Citino makes contact with pilot Craig Borgstrom and instructs him, “Squawk quad-sevens and head 010!” This means the pilots should dial the code for AFIO—7777—into their planes’ transponders. Borgstrom radios fellow pilot Eckmann and passes on this instruction. According to Spencer: “The declaration of AFIO startles Eckmann. He has never, in all his years of flying, received such an order. He’s only heard about it and, to him, it means no less than the start of World War III.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 150-151] At 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon is hit, the Langley jets have flown nearly 60 miles out over the ocean and are 150 miles from Washington (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 27; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 151] Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector, Kevin Nasypany, James Fox, Craig Borgstrom, Dean Eckmann, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, William Huckabone, Steve Citino Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93


9.36 a.m. September 11, 2001: Military Cargo Plane Asked to Identify Flight 77 Edit

in a template This article has been assessed as havingUnknown importance.

Good scope?NoN Timeline? +YesY wikified? +YesY red links < 10?NoN all red links fixed?NoN referenced?NoN Illustrated?NoN Googled and added info? NoN Checked 9/11 records archives? NoN Checked Wikinews? NoN Checked Wikisource? NoN

Washington Reagan National Airport air traffic control instructs a military C-130 Wikipedia cargo plane that has just departed Andrews Air Force Base to intercept Flight 77 and identify it.[3][4]

Remarkably, this C-130 is the same C-130 that will be 17 miles from Flight 93 when it later crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside [see 3]. [5] [6]The pilot, Lt. Col. Steve O’Brien, will claim that he took off around 9:30 a.m., planning to return to Minnesota Wikipedia after dropping supplies off in the Caribbean. He will describe his close encounter:

“When air traffic control asked me if we had him (Flight 77) in sight, I told him that was an understatement—by then, he had pretty much filled our windscreen. Then he made a pretty aggressive turn so he was moving right in front of us, a mile and a half, two miles away. I said we had him in sight, then the controller asked me what kind of plane it was. That caught us up, because normally they have all that information. The controller didn’t seem to know anything.”

O’Brien reports that the plane is either a 757 or 767 and its silver fuselage means it is probably an American Airlines Wikipedia plane. “They told us to turn and follow that aircraft—in 20 plus years of flying, I’ve never been asked to do something like that.”[6]

O’Brien and his crew, Maj. Robert Schumacher Wikipedia and flight engineer Master Sgt. Jeffrey Rosenthal Wikipedia, are unaware of the attacks in New York. Schumacher will say that, after being directed to follow Flight 77, he first thought that the plane was having technical difficulties, “that the pilots were really just trying to fly the airplane, and get it on the ground safely.” After the impact, O’Brien tunes in to a news broadcast, but is surprised to hear about a second crash in New York, not at the Pentagon. He will recall: “The first thing we heard on there was ‘We’re now hearing about a second airplane hitting the World Trade Center.’ That was not what we were expecting to hear. We were expecting to hear about an airplane impacting the Pentagon… and the light goes on, and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, the nation’s under attack!’” [7] The 9/11 Commission will report that O’Brien specifically identifies the hijacked plane as a Boeing 757 Wikipedia. Seconds after impact, he reports to the Washington tower, “Looks like that aircraft crashed into the Pentagon, sir.” [8]

(9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Reverses Course Edit

Having followed a seemingly normal course until now, after reaching the Cleveland area, Flight 93 suddenly makes a sharp turn to the south. It then makes another turn back eastward, cutting through West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle before re-entering Pennsylvania. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001; PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/13/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 41 ] Having thus turned 180 degrees, it now heads toward Washington, DC. [CNN, 9/13/2001] Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Cleveland Center Receives Numerous Bomb Threats Concerning Planes Edit

According to a book about the FAA’s response to the 9/11 attacks, Cleveland Center air traffic controllers follow Flight 93 as it turns south and reverses course (see (9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001). But, “bomb threats called in concerning four other planes focused their attention onto what they believed to be more critical maneuvers.” [FRENI, 2003, PP. 40] One of these four planes is presumably Delta Flight 1989, which is mistakenly thought to be hijacked and to have a bomb aboard (see (9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WKYC, 9/11/2006] The identities of the other three planes are unknown. By this time, Cleveland Center has already overheard a radio transmission from Flight 93 stating, “We have a bomb on board” (see (9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and has acknowledged this, reporting, “United 93 may have a bomb on board,” so it seems unlikely that other threatened aircraft would be regarded as “more critical maneuvers.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Several Witnesses See Helicopter near the Pentagon Edit

An unnamed senior Air Force officer will tell a CNN reporter minutes later that, just prior to the Pentagon being hit, he is outside the building and sees what appears to be a US military helicopter circling the Pentagon. He will say it disappears behind the building where the helicopter landing pad is, and then he sees an explosion. [CNN, 9/11/2001] Jennifer Reichert, who is stuck in traffic on Route 27 in front of the Pentagon, will also later recall seeing a helicopter just before the Pentagon is hit, describing: “A helicopter takes off from the heliport at the Pentagon. Minutes—maybe seconds—later, I hear it: American Airlines Flight 77 screams toward the Pentagon. The explosion [of the crash] shakes my car.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/5/2002] Captain William Durm, the commander of the Pentagon’s Triservice Dental Clinic, will head to the building’s center courtyard shortly after it is hit. Someone there tells him a helicopter has hit the other side of the building. [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 11] The Guardian reports one witness claiming that the explosion that occurs when the Pentagon is hit blows up a helicopter circling overhead. [GUARDIAN, 9/12/2001] No other witnesses are known to report seeing this helicopter. However, some early news reports will suggest a helicopter crashed into the Pentagon. [POYNTER INSTITUTE, 9/11/2001; THOMAS CROSBIE MEDIA, 9/11/2001] One report claims that “one aircraft and a helicopter have crashed into the Pentagon.” [AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION, 9/11/2001] Vice President Dick Cheney will later tell NBC’s Meet the Press that “the first reports on the Pentagon attack suggested a helicopter” hit it. [MEET THE PRESS, 9/16/2001] Interestingly, New York Times columnist William Safire will report that, at approximately this time, Cheney is told that either another plane or “a helicopter loaded with explosives” is heading for the White House. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Pentagon, William Safire, Jennifer Reichert, William Durm Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Pentagon


(Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Rumsfeld Said to Make Eerie Predictions, but Witness Who Gives Account Is Long Gone Edit

Representative Christopher Cox later claims he is still meeting with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. They are still discussing missile defense, apparently completely oblivious of the approaching Flight 77. Watching television coverage from New York City, Rumsfeld says to Cox, “Believe me, this isn’t over yet. There’s going to be another attack, and it could be us.” According to the Daily Telegraph, Flight 77 hits the building “moments later.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] In another telling, Cox claims that Rumsfeld says, “If we remain vulnerable to missile attack, a terrorist group or rogue state that demonstrates the capacity to strike the US or its allies from long range could have the power to hold our entire country hostage to nuclear or other blackmail. And let me tell you, I’ve been around the block a few times. There will be another event.” Rumsfeld repeats that sentence for emphasis. According to Cox, “Within minutes of that utterance, Rumsfeld’s words proved tragically prophetic.” Cox also claims, “I escaped just minutes before the building was hit.” [OFFICE OF REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTOPHER COX, 9/11/2001] However, Rumsfeld claims that this meeting with Cox ended before the second WTC crash, which occurred at 9:03 a.m. Cox himself said that after being told of the WTC, “[Rumsfeld] sped off, as did I.” Cox says he immediately headed to his car, making it impossible for him to still be in the Pentagon “just minutes before” it is hit. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001] Another account puts Rumsfeld’s “I’ve been around the block a few times. There will be another event” comment two minutes before the first WTC crash at 8:46 a.m., when Rumsfeld reportedly makes other predictive comments. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Christopher Cox, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon

GeneralEdit

(9:36 a.m.-10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001: United Airlines Crisis Center Watches Flight 93 on Radar until It CrashesEdit

At the United Airlines crisis center, at its headquarters outside Chicago, staff members watch Flight 93’s radar track until the plane crashes. United Airlines’ senior management has started to gather in the theater-like crisis center, a room that resembles NASA’s Mission Control. Although the airline still has hundreds of flights in the air, officials have highlighted only Flight 93’s path on the large Aircraft Situation Display screen. Even after the plane’s transponder has been switched off (see (9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001), the flight can still be tracked, but officials can no longer determine its altitude. They watch as the plane’s speed fluctuates wildly while it heads toward Washington. Hank Krakowski, United Airlines’ director of flight operations, will later recall: “We knew what was going on. We could see the airplane headed toward the capital. We were wondering whether the military was going to intervene or not.” Those in the crisis center see Flight 93’s radar track stop moving at the time it crashes. A dispatcher determines the latitude and longitude of its last position and reports that it was south of Johnstown in Pennsylvania, about 120 miles from Washington. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 77-78 AND 214; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Hank Krakowski, United Airlines Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93===

(Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Fire Department Responds to Alarm from USA Today ‘Twin Towers’ Building, near Pentagon Edit

The ‘Twin Towers’ USA Today building in Rosslyn, Virginia. [Source: Monday Properties] Arlington County firefighters are dispatched in response to a fire alarm at the USA Today building, located just a few miles down the road from the Pentagon, though whether there is actually a fire there is unclear. [USA TODAY, 9/13/2001; MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008] The USA Today complex, in the Rosslyn area, includes the two tallest high-rise buildings in the county, which are in fact known as the “Twin Towers.” [WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7/2001; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 9] The building’s managers had been worried that the complex could be a terrorist target, and called the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center (ECC), asking if they should evacuate (see (9:04 a.m.-9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to Assistant Chief James Schwartz of the Arlington County Fire Department, “Shortly after that, we had a fire response for alarm bells at the USA Today building.” Schwartz is dispatched to the building, but before he leaves his office, word is received about the Pentagon attack, so he heads to the Pentagon instead. [MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 48-49] Fire Chief Believes Alarm Activated to Facilitate Evacuation - Schwartz will later reflect, “I’ve always suspected that people who were evacuating [the USA Today building] decided that they would pull the fire alarm in order to get everybody out of the building, and that initiated a response on our part.” [MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008] However, according to USA Today spokesman Steve Anderson, who is at the complex, employees of USA Today and its parent company Gannett only begin evacuating the building after the Pentagon attack occurs. Westfield Realty, the company that owns the building, asks all the tenants to evacuate at about 11:00 a.m., but most will already have left by then. [WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/11/2001; WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/14/2001] Report Apparently Describes Same Incident - The alarm at the USA Today building may be the same incident as is later described in the Arlington County After-Action Report on the emergency response to the Pentagon attack. The report states that, “just one minute before the Pentagon crash,” several fire and medical units are dispatched “to an apartment fire at 1003 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn” (see (Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A9] The address of the USA Today complex is reported as being “1000 and 1110 Wilson Blvd.,” suggesting this is the same building as where the “apartment fire” is reported to be. [WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7/2001] The first engine to arrive in response to the apartment fire reports that it is already out. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A9] News Reports of Fire - In the aftermath of the attack on the Pentagon, news reports will—apparently incorrectly—describe a fire at the USA Today building. At 9:46 a.m., local radio station WTOP will report, “We’re hearing from a caller who says she is eyewitness to another hit here in town; the USA Today building may also be on fire in addition to the Pentagon.” [BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 8/26/2002] The Washington Post will describe, “The USA Today building in Rosslyn was supposedly enveloped in smoke.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2001] But the Associated Press states that “Radio reports about an explosion at the USA Today building in Rosslyn were false.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001] Entity Tags: USA Today building, Arlington County Fire Department, James Schwartz Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: E-mail Informs Pentagon Staff that Alert Level Is Still ‘Normal’

Peter Murphy. [Source: Gerry J. Gilmore] Peter Murphy, the counsel to the commandant of the Marine Corps, is in his office on the fourth floor of the Pentagon’s outer E Ring, watching the CNN coverage of the attacks in New York. Having seen what happened, Murphy had asked Robert Hogue, his deputy counsel, to check with their administrative clerk, Corporal Timothy Garofola, on the current security status of the Pentagon. Yet despite what has happened in New York, Garofola has reportedly “just received an e-mail from the security manager to all Department of Defense employees that the threat condition remained ‘Normal.’” Garofola passes this information to Hogue. As Hogue is stepping into Murphy’s office to relay the message to him, there is a tremendous explosion as the Pentagon is hit. [LEATHERNECK, 11/2001; WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/11/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 8/3/2003] Reportedly, John Pugrud—the deputy chief of the Defense Protective Service, which guards the Pentagon—is finally about to pass on an instruction to raise the threat level at this time, when the Pentagon is hit (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 152] The aircraft crashes two floors below and just yards to the right of Murphy’s office. Fortunately, neither he nor any of the men with him are hurt, and they all manage to make it safely outside. [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 8/16/2002] Entity Tags: US Department of Defense, Timothy Garofola, Peter Murphy, Robert Hogue Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

Shortly Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: FBI Works from ‘Script’ at Dulles Airport; Not Asking about Hijackers Edit

Shortly before Flight 77 hits the Pentagon, Washington’s Dulles Airport, from where it had departed, is “locked down” by the FAA, and many FBI and INS agents arrive, but their behavior is considered odd. Ed Nelson, a security manager at the airport, thinks something is not “adding up,” due to the unusual questions his employees are being asked: “They were not asking about the hijackers—they were focusing on what my screeners might have done wrong. It was as if they were working off a script.” FBI agents will later confirm this, and an FBI supervisor will say: “The orders came from headquarters through the local Washington-area FBI field offices and the Joint Task Force on Terrorism. The teams of agents were told to ‘get the screeners to admit they had violated FAA recommended procedures.’” [TRENTO AND TRENTO, 2006, PP. 36] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ed Nelson Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, FBI 9/11 Investigation

Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Pentagon Clinic Has Crisis Equipment Ready Due to Inventory

Major Lorie Brown. [Source: US Medicine] The DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic inside the Pentagon has its equipment for dealing with mass casualty (MASCAL) incidents out of storage this morning, because staff members are doing an inventory. Major Lorie Brown, the chief nurse, will need to initiate the clinic’s MASCAL disaster plan after the Pentagon is hit at 9:37 a.m. (see Soon after 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). She later says, “So there were many pieces that just fell into place and worked so well on that day. It was just fortuitous. It was just amazing that way that things kind of happened the way they did.” [NURSING SPECTRUM, 9/24/2001; OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 7] Entity Tags: DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(Between 9:36 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Passenger’s Wife Deena Burnett Calls FBI, according to One AccountEdit

According to journalist and author Jere Longman, after her husband Tom Burnett has called her a second time from the hijacked Flight 93 (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001), Deena Burnett calls the FBI again. She had previously spoken with an FBI agent after she’d called 911 following her first call from her husband (see 9:31 a.m.-9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Longman provides no details of what is said during this second call to the FBI. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 110-111] Deena Burnett’s account, presented in her own 2006 book, will make no mention of any call to the FBI at this time. She only says that at this time she speaks by phone with her husband’s two sisters and his parents. According to her 2006 account, Deena will not speak to the FBI a second time until around 10:00 a.m., after Tom has made his fourth and final call to her from Flight 93 (see (Shortly After 9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [BURNETT AND GIOMBETTI, 2006, PP. 64-65 AND 68-69] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Deena Burnett Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Sheer Coincidence Brings Emergency Rescue near to Pentagon; Bomb Disposal Unit Also on Its Way before Attack In response to an emergency 911 telephone call, the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center dispatches several units to deal with an apartment fire at 1003 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn, Virginia—within the vicinity of the Pentagon. Because this fire is in a high-rise building, nine different fire and medical service units are dispatched. However, the first engine crew to arrive radios to the other units that the fire has gone out. Consequently, by “sheer coincidence,” at the time when the Pentagon is hit, there are a significant number of available fire and medical service units already on the road nearby. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A9; FIRE ENGINEERING, 11/2002] Assistant Chief James Schwartz of the Arlington County Fire Department will later recall that, around this time, firefighters are dispatched in response to an alarm at the high-rise USA Today complex in Rosslyn (see (Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The address of the complex is 1000 and 1110 Wilson Boulevard, suggesting this is in fact the same incident as the “apartment fire” at 1003 Wilson Boulevard. [WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7/2001; MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU, 2008] Furthermore, apparently around this same time, soldiers from a bomb ordnance disposal unit at Fort Belvoir, 12 miles south of the Pentagon, are on their way to do a sweep of the Pentagon heliport, ready for the expected arrival of the president there at around midday (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 64-65] Entity Tags: Arlington County Emergency Communications Center, James Schwartz Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 77 Disappears from Radar Washington flight controllers are watching Flight 77’s radar blip. Just before radar contact is lost, FAA headquarters is told: “The aircraft is circling. It’s turning away from the White House.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Then the blip disappears (see 9:34 a.m.- 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). Its last known position is six miles from the Pentagon and four miles from the White House. The plane is said to be traveling at around 500 mph, or a mile every seven seconds. [CBS NEWS, 9/21/2001; NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE, 1/25/2002; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

(9:36 a.m.-10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Military Claims It Is Tracking Flight 93 and Ready to Shoot It Down; 9/11 Commission Says Otherwise Edit

According to the later claims of several senior officials, the US military is tracking Flight 93 as it heads east and is ready to shoot it down if necessary.

According to Brigadier General Montague Winfield, the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) has “received the report from the FAA that Flight 93 had turned off its transponder, had turned, and was now heading towards Washington, DC.” Winfield will add, “The decision was made to try to go intercept Flight 93.” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002]

General Richard Myers, the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will write that in the NMCC, “We learned that there was apparently a fourth hijacked aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93 out of Newark, bound nonstop for San Francisco. Like the other planes, it had switched off its transponder, making it much harder if not impossible to track on ground radar.” [MYERS, 2009, PP. 152]

Major General Larry Arnold, the commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region, will say, “I was personally anxious to see what 93 was going to do, and our intent was to intercept it.” Three fighters have taken off from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia (see (9:25 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to Arnold, “we launched the aircraft out of Langley to put them over top of Washington, DC, not in response to American Airline 77, but really to put them in position in case United 93 were to head that way.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] He says, “as we discussed it in the conference call, we decided not to move fighters toward 93 until it was closer because there could have been other aircraft coming in,” but adds, “I had every intention of shooting down United 93 if it continued to progress toward Washington, DC… whether we had authority or not.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 73]

Colonel Robert Marr, the battle commander at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), is reportedly “focused on United Flight 93, headed straight toward Washington.” He will concur with Arnold, saying: “United Airlines Flight 93 would not have hit Washington, DC. He would have been engaged and shot down before he got there.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 73] Marr and Arnold will both say they were tracking Flight 93 even earlier on, while it was still heading west (see Before 9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001).

Yet, contradicting these claims, the 9/11 Commission will conclude that the military only learns about Flight 93 around the time it crashes. It says the NMCC learns of the hijacking at 10:03 a.m. (see 10:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). Based upon official records, including recordings of the NEADS operations floor, it says NEADS never follows Flight 93 on radar and is first alerted to it at 10:07 a.m. (see 10:05 a.m.-10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 30-31, 34 AND 42; WASHINGTON POST, 4/30/2006; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006]


(9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Reagan Airport Control Tower Notified about Approaching Aircraft, Possibly for First TimeEdit

An air traffic controller in the tower at Reagan National Airport. [Source: Rob Ballenger / NPR] An air traffic controller in the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Washington’s Reagan National Airport calls the airport’s control tower and alerts it to an unidentified aircraft that is approaching and heading in the direction of the White House. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 145-146, 158] The TRACON was recently contacted by controllers at Washington Dulles International Airport and notified of this aircraft, which is later determined to be Flight 77 (see (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ] TRACON controllers have watched it on radar as it traveled almost 10 miles south of the airport, and then turned back toward Washington. TRACON Calls Tower - A controller in the TRACON now phones Chris Stephenson, the supervisor in the Reagan Airport control tower, and says to him, “See in the sky, five miles west of you?” Stephenson thinks he has identified the target the controller is referring to on his radar screen, but it is the wrong one. The controller clarifies: “No! The ‘LOOK’ tag! See the ‘LOOK’ tag? It’s a 757! Do you see anything out there?” Stephenson then looks out of the window and can see the plane, now less than a mile away, coming in fast. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 158] He sees it turning to the right and descending. [USA TODAY, 8/11/2002] A tour group from FAA headquarters is currently looking around the tower, and Stephenson promptly orders its members to “get out” of there (see (9:32 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Time of First Notification Unclear - According to author Lynn Spencer, Stephenson was unaware of the approaching aircraft prior to this call from the TRACON. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 157-158] But USA Today will claim he received a call at “[a]bout 9:30” from the Secret Service, telling him an unidentified aircraft was speeding toward Washington (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/11/2002] Furthermore, after the Reagan TRACON was alerted to the aircraft, departure controller Dan Creedon quickly attached a data box to its radar track with the word “LOOK” in it, which would allow other controllers—including those in the control tower—to quickly spot it and track it on their screens. Why Stephenson had not noticed this is unclear. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 145-146] Entity Tags: Chris Stephenson, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

Shortly Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Army Airfield near Pentagon Ordered to Recall Its Aircraft The air traffic control tower at an Army airfield near the Pentagon receives a call from someone at Washington’s Reagan National Airport—presumably an air traffic controller—who instructs it to recall all its aircraft. [US ARMY CENTER FOR MILITARY HISTORY, 11/14/2001 ] Davison Army Airfield is at Fort Belvoir, 12 miles south of the Pentagon. The 12th Aviation Battalion, which is the Military District of Washington’s aviation support unit, is stationed there. This includes three helicopter companies that fly UH-1 “Huey” and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. [MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON, 8/2000] Airfield Told to Land All Aircraft 'Very Quickly' - According to a supervisor of air traffic control at Davison Airfield who is currently in the airfield’s control tower, shortly before the time when the Pentagon is hit a controller at his facility receives the call from Reagan Airport telling them to recall all their air traffic. The supervisor, who will say that the caller is “going crazy,” takes over the call. The caller then tells him to “recall all your traffic. Just make sure that everybody lands.… [H]e was like, telling us, everybody that you got outside, bring them in and land them quickly, very quickly.” The supervisor tells him, “Give me a reason and I’ll do it,” but the caller responds, “I can’t tell you the reason, but you need to do this.” [US ARMY CENTER FOR MILITARY HISTORY, 11/14/2001 ] (At around 9:32 a.m., according to the 9/11 Commission, Washington’s Dulles Airport notified Reagan Airport of a “radar target tracking eastbound at a high rate of speed” toward Washington (see 9:32 a.m. September 11, 2001), so it is plausible that this is what has prompted Reagan Airport to call the Davison control tower. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ] ) Davison Airfield Recalls Its Aircraft - After the caller hangs up, the supervisor at Davison Airfield instructs the air traffic controller at his facility to “tell everybody to come in.” The controller then starts “recalling everybody that just departed,” and the supervisor approves “for them to make it straight in, the helicopters to land straight in without using the regular traffic pattern.” The control tower recalls its aircraft individually, rather than putting out a single broadcast telling all aircraft to return to the airfield. The supervisor will recall: “[E]verybody was coming in. And at that time when everybody was coming in… I was like thinking, why? Why do they want to recall everybody? That means that something is going on.” While the control tower is still recalling its aircraft, the supervisor looks out of a window to the northeast, and notices a large black cloud of smoke in the area of the Pentagon, the result of the attack there. [US ARMY CENTER FOR MILITARY HISTORY, 11/14/2001 ] It is unclear what aircraft from Davison Airfield are airborne and recalled to base. But a 12th Aviation Battalion helicopter and its crew that are always on standby for “contingency” missions have been away this morning, conducting a traffic survey (see Early Morning September 11, 2001). They are presumably recalled at this time, if not beforehand. [ARMY CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY, 11/14/2001 ] Entity Tags: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 12th Aviation Battalion, Davison Army Airfield Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Pentagon

(Shortly After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Officer Receives Call from Secret Service at White House, Requesting Armed Fighters The District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, receives a call from the Secret Service at its White House Joint Operations Center (JOC), requesting armed fighter jets over the capital. JOC Calls DC Air National Guard - Major Daniel Caine is the supervisor of flying with the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard at Andrews, and is currently at the operations desk, where a Secret Service agent recently called him and asked if the DCANG could launch fighters. The agent then told Caine to stand by and said someone else would call (see (Shortly After 9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Now the phone rings, and Caine answers it. The caller, from the JOC, asks for armed fighter jets over Washington. Caine is unsure how the JOC has got the operations desk phone number. He will later speculate that it got it from Secret Service agent Kenneth Beauchamp, who he’d contacted earlier on (see (Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Caine Possibly Hears Cheney in Background - The name of the caller is unstated. However, Caine believes he can hear Vice President Dick Cheney’s voice in the background. He will tell author Lesley Filson: “I could hear plain as day the vice president talking in the background. That’s basically where we got the execute order. It was ‘VFR [visual flight rules] direct.’” He will later tell the 9/11 Commission that he “thought, but would not swear to it, that he heard the vice president’s voice in the background.” Caine Learns of Pentagon Attack - Around this time, Caine learns that the Pentagon has been hit. Even though the Pentagon is just 10 miles from Andrews Air Force Base, he will later recall that he only learns of the attack from news reports, and “no other source.” The result of learning this, according to Caine, is that “the intensity level increased even more.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76, 78; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] Commander Arrives, Takes over Call - At some point during Caine’s call with the JOC, apparently soon after the Pentagon attack, Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the DC Air National Guard, finally arrives at the headquarters of the 121st Fighter Squadron, where Caine and his colleagues are (see (Shortly After 9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (The 121st Fighter Squadron is part of the 113th Wing of the DCANG.) At this time, Caine has a phone to each ear. He passes the phone with the call from the JOC to Wherley, saying, “Boss… here, you take this one!” He passes the other to Lieutenant Colonel Phil Thompson, the chief of safety for the 113th Wing. Caine has decided he is going to fly, and so Thompson will be replacing him as the unit’s supervisor of flying. Caine then goes to join the other pilots that are suiting up, ready to take off in their jets. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 78-79; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184] Caine will take off from Andrews at 11:11 a.m. (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 84; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] Entity Tags: District of Columbia Air National Guard, Daniel Caine, Phil Thompson, David Wherley, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Otis Pilots Reportedly Never Receive Shootdown Order, though One Account Suggests OtherwiseEdit

According to most accounts, the two fighter jets launched from Otis Air National Guard Base in response to the hijacked Flight 11 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) never receive an order from the military to shoot down hostile aircraft. However, one account will suggest otherwise. [CAPE COD TIMES, 8/21/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 70; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42-44; BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11/2005] According to the 9/11 Commission, personnel at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) learn that NORAD has been cleared to shoot down threatening aircraft at 10:31 a.m., but they do not pass this order on to the fighter pilots (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). The only order conveyed to the pilots is to “ID type and tail” of hostile aircraft. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42-43] In 2005, the Boston Globe will report that the two Otis pilots, Major Daniel Nash and Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Duffy, “stressed that they never had orders to shoot down any of the [hijacked] planes.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11/2005] However, in October 2002, Duffy will tell author Leslie Filson that, while flying over Manhattan, he and Nash “were given clearance to kill over their radio frequencies, but to this day aren’t sure who gave that order. Was it NEADS or a civilian air traffic controller?” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 70, 89] At around 9:35 a.m., NEADS radioed Duffy to check he would be prepared to shoot down a hijacked aircraft (see (9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153] And at some point, a civilian air traffic controller tells the two Otis pilots that if another plane is hijacked, it will have to be shot down (see (9:59 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CAPE COD TIMES, 8/21/2002] Entity Tags: Timothy Duffy, Daniel Nash, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

Shortly Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Navy Intelligence Unit at Pentagon Learns of Third Hijacked Plane Approaching Washington

Dan Shanower. [Source: Family photo / Associated Press] Petty Officer Jason Lhuillier is on duty at the Chief of Naval Operations Intelligence Plot (CNO-IP). This small intelligence unit is located within the Navy Command Center at the Pentagon, on the first floor of the building’s southwest face. Since learning of the second plane hitting the WTC, he and his colleagues have been trying to build the intelligence picture, liaising with such agencies as the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Shortly before the Pentagon is struck, Lhuillier receives a phone call from the National Military Joint Intelligence Center (NMJIC). [WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 1/20/2002; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/11/2002] Like the National Military Command Center (NMCC), the NMJIC is located in the Joint Staff area of the Pentagon. It constantly monitors worldwide developments for any looming crises that might require US involvement. [JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, N.D.; WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/25/1997] The caller informs Lhuillier, “We’ve got indications of another aircraft that’s been hijacked. It’s heading out to DC.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/11/2002] The caller may possibly be referring to the same incorrect report that was received by the NMCC at around 9:30 a.m., that Flight 11 is still airborne and heading toward Washington (see (9:29 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 37] Lhuillier then interrupts a meeting between Commander Dan Shanower, who is in charge of the CNO-IP, and six others, to tell them about this third plane. Commander David Radi, an aide to Admiral William Fallon, the vice chief of naval operations, is in his Pentagon office about 100 yards from the CNO-IP. He has also heard fragmentary reports about another hijacked plane heading towards Washington, and that fighter jets are being scrambled. He calls the CNO-IP for more information, but is only told, “We’re working on it.” Radi later recalls that he’d wondered where the plane might be heading: “I’m thinking to myself, ‘Well, the Pentagon, the White House or the Capitol.’” Within minutes, the Pentagon is struck. The CNO-IP will be destroyed in the impact, and seven people working in it will be killed. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/20/2002; ARLINGTON COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT, 2/21/2002; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: National Military Joint Intelligence Center, David Radi, Jason Lhuillier, Dan Shanower Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Pentagon

(Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Chief of Pentagon Defense Protective Service Instructs Deputy to Raise Alert Level

John Jester. [Source: The Pentagon Channel] John Jester, the chief of the Defense Protective Service (DPS), which guards the Pentagon, finally gives the instruction to raise the Pentagon’s state of alert, though only by one level. Jester had been in his office on the fourth floor of the Pentagon when he learned of the attacks in New York (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). He had reviewed contingency plans and procedures for increasing security with DPS Major James Phillips, and then headed to the office of David O. “Doc” Cooke, the head of the Washington Headquarters Services. Jester next goes to the office of his immediate supervisor Paul Haselbush, the director of real estate and facilities. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 151-152] Jester will recall that Haselbush asks him: “What if a plane were to come here? It’s just a thought that people have had. What if it were to occur here?” Jester replies: “Hopefully it is not going to happen here. What can you do to defend a building against a plane?” [MURPHY, 2002, PP. 244] According to the Defense Department’s own book about the Pentagon attack, before returning to his office Jester meets with his deputy, John Pugrud, and directs him to notify the DPS Communications Center to raise the Terrorist Force Protection Condition. This ranges from Normal up through four higher levels, Alpha to Delta. But Jester only instructs that it be raised one level, from Normal to Alpha, which means a general threat of possible terrorist activity exists that requires enhanced security. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 152] It requires spot-inspections of vehicles and increased police patrols. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001] In one account, Jester will recall having instructed Pugrud to increase the threat level earlier, before he’d headed to Cooke’s office. [MURPHY, 2002, PP. 244] But other evidence is consistent with him giving this instruction at the later time, minutes before the Pentagon attack. For example, Marine Corporal Timothy Garofola reportedly receives an e-mail shortly before the Pentagon is struck, informing all Defense Department employees that the threat condition remains at Normal (see (Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [LEATHERNECK, 11/2001] And Pugrud is reportedly trying to phone the DPS Communications Center about raising the threat level at the very time the Pentagon is hit (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 152] Entity Tags: Paul Haselbush, John Jester, John Pugrud Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Government Departments in Washington Not Evacuated Prior to Pentagon Attack Government buildings in Washington, DC, are not evacuated prior to the attack on the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. As CNN will describe, even after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the FAA’s warning to the military of a hijacked aircraft apparently heading toward Washington (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001), “the federal government failed to make any move to evacuate the White House, Capitol, State Department, or the Pentagon.” [CNN, 9/16/2001] Although a slow evacuation of the White House begins around 9:20 a.m. (see (9:22 a.m.) September 11, 2001), it is not until 9:45 that the Secret Service orders people to run from there (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CNN, 9/11/2001; CNN, 9/12/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Other government buildings, including the Capitol (see 9:48 a.m. September 11, 2001), the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Supreme Court, will not be evacuated until between 9:45 and 10:45 a.m. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 9/14/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 8/15/2002] Robert Bonner, who was recently nominated as Commissioner of Customs, will later estimate that he was evacuated from the Treasury Department at “about 9:35 a.m.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/26/2004; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 9/20/2004] But other accounts say the Treasury Department is not evacuated until after the Pentagon attack. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; REUTERS, 9/11/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 9/11/2002] Furthermore, journalist and author Robert Draper will describe that, even after the State and Treasury departments have been evacuated: “no agents thought to take charge of the Commerce Department, which housed 5,000 employees. Eventually, Secretary [of Commerce] Don Evans got tired of waiting for orders and had someone drive him to his home in McLean, where he sat for hours until he finally made contact with the Secret Service.” [DRAPER, 2007, PP. 143] According to CNN, prior to the Pentagon attack, “neither the FAA, NORAD, nor any other federal government organ made any effort to evacuate the buildings in Washington. Officials at the Pentagon said that no mechanism existed within the US government to notify various departments and agencies under such circumstances [as occur on 9/11].” [CNN, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Pentagon, US Supreme Court, Robert Bonner, US Department of Commerce, US Department of Justice, Federal Aviation Administration, US Department of the Treasury, US Department of State, White House, US Capitol building, Donald L. Evans Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93, Pentagon


(Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Washington, DC, Area Hospital Alerted to Approaching Plane; Activates Disaster Plan

Dr. Thomas Mayer. [Source: Studer Group] The air traffic control tower at Washington Dulles International Airport notifies Inova Fairfax Hospital—the largest hospital in Northern Virginia—that a hijacked aircraft is missing. It passes this information to Dr. Thomas Mayer, the chair of the hospital’s emergency department. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 117] At around 9:32 a.m., air traffic controllers at the FAA’s terminal control facility at Dulles had “observed a primary radar target,” later determined to be Flight 77, “tracking eastbound at a high rate of speed” (see 9:32 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 25; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ] Mayer will later recall: “We knew that something was headed towards the national capital area. We didn’t know where. But we knew we needed to get ready. So we immediately went on disaster planning mode.” [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 117] The Arlington County After-Action Report indicates the hospital in fact initiates its disaster plan earlier than Mayer suggests, stating: “Inova Fairfax Hospital activated its disaster plan following reports of the World Trade Center attacks. Subsequently, the hospital received emergency notification of a missing airliner from the Washington Dulles International Airport tower.” The hospital cancels elective surgeries until 6:00 p.m. and makes eight trauma teams available within 20 minutes. The regular emergency room is relocated to an alternate site, and nearly 100 nurses and doctors prepare to respond in the event of an attack in the Washington Metropolitan Area. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. B3] Due to the strategic importance of the region, Inova Fairfax and the other hospitals and clinics in the Washington area are particularly well prepared for mass casualty incidents. They regularly conduct drills to practice for chemical or biological attacks. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 115] Entity Tags: Thomas Mayer, Inova Fairfax Hospital Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Pentagon Not Evacuated Prior to Being Hit Before the Pentagon is hit, no steps are taken to alert or evacuate the building’s 20,000 employees. Even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top aides are reportedly unaware of a rogue plane heading toward Washington prior to the attack there. [ABC NEWS, 9/16/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 429] Pentagon spokesman Glenn Flood will later try to explain why the Pentagon is not evacuated at this time, saying: “To call for a general evacuation, at that point, it would have been just guessing. We evacuate when we know something is a real threat to us.” He says that an evacuation could have put employees at risk by moving them outside the protection provided by the building’s walls. Another Pentagon spokesman, Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski, will add, “The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way.” [NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001] Yet, as early as 9:21, the FAA warned the military of a hijacked aircraft heading toward Washington (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The National Military Command Center (NMCC), located inside the Pentagon, was aware of this hijacked aircraft by 9:30, according to the 9/11 Commission (see (9:29 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 26 AND 37; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 429] The New York Times will in fact report that, since shortly before 9:00 a.m., “military officials in [the NMCC] were urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001] The order to evacuate will only go out over the Pentagon’s public address system shortly after the building is hit. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 137-138] The Defense Protective Service, which guards the Pentagon, does not order that the building’s threat level be raised until the time when it is hit (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 151-152] Entity Tags: Vic Warzinski, Glenn Flood, Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(9:36 a.m.-9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Emergency Workers See and Promptly Report Low-Flying Flight 77 Approaching the Pentagon and Crashing

Sergeant William Lagasse. [Source: Citizen Investigation Team] Several police officers and firefighters see the low-flying Flight 77 as it approaches the Pentagon and crashes. They quickly report this to their own agencies or to the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center (ECC), which is the focal point of all police and fire 911 calls for the county. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 66]

Arlington County Police Department Corporal Barry Foust is stopped at traffic lights less than two miles from the Pentagon, and spots the aircraft flying low, then sees a plume of smoke. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 13] He immediately calls the ECC and calmly reports: “I think we just had an airplane crash east of here. Must be in the District area.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/17/2001 ; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/18/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. C6] 
Police Motorcycle Officer Richard Cox is standing near a diner less than a mile from the Pentagon. Hearing a sudden roar, he turns and reportedly sees the plane “directly overhead… no more than a hundred feet off the ground.” [VOGEL, 2007, PP. 427] He calls the ECC and reports, “It’s an American Airlines plane headed eastbound over the [Columbia] Pike, possibly headed for the Pentagon.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/17/2001 ; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/18/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. C6] 
Fire Captain Steve McCoy and his crew are traveling north on Interstate 395 in ACFD Engine 101, for a training session in Crystal City. McCoy reportedly sees “a commercial airliner in steep descent, banking sharply to its right before disappearing beyond the horizon,” followed by “a tremendous explosion” and “a massive plume of smoke and fire.” He immediately radioes ECC and reports, “We got a plane down, it looks like in the Crystal City area by the 14th Street Bridge.” Being aware of the attacks on the World Trade Center, he advises that the FBI should be notified, as this is a possible terrorist attack. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A4; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 66] 
Officer Mark Bright of the Defense Protective Service (DPS)—the Pentagon’s police force—is manning the security booth at the Pentagon’s Mall entrance, when he hears a loud noise. He will recall: “I saw the plane at the Navy Annex area [a few hundred yards from the Pentagon]. I knew it was going to strike the building because it was very, very low—at the height of the street lights.” As soon as he sees it hit the Pentagon he radioes in his report of the attack, and then speeds in his police cruiser to the crash site, becoming the first officer there. [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/24/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 10/25/2001; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 152] 
Sergeant William Lagasse, also a member of the DPS, is filling up his patrol car at a gas station near the Pentagon. He recalls that he sees an “American Airlines 757… approximately 100 feet above the ground level, maybe 60 feet in front of me.” He watches the plane crash into the Pentagon. His first reaction is to call the DPS Communications Center and state, “An aircraft has just flown into the side of the building.” He then grabs his medical bag and dashes to the crash scene. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/25/2001; LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, 12/4/2001] 
Alan Wallace and Mark Skipper of the Fort Myer Fire Department are manning the fire station by the Pentagon heliport, and are outside checking their truck. Wallace glances up and sees the plane coming at them, and the two men then dive for cover (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). Wallace promptly radioes the fire department headquarters at Fort Myer, and reports that an airliner has hit the west side of the Pentagon. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 65] 

Partly due to these calls, many emergency responders quickly learn of the crash and are able to arrive at the Pentagon within minutes of it (see 9:40 a.m.-9:43 a.m. September 11, 2001). [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 66] Some fire and rescue units from Arlington County and elsewhere also respond—self-dispatching from stations or diverting from other destinations—after hearing Captain McCoy’s radio message to the ECC. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A4] Entity Tags: Barry Foust, Arlington County Emergency Communications Center, William Lagasse, Alan Wallace, Richard Cox, Steve McCoy, Mark Bright, Mark Skipper Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Pentagon


(9:36 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS Personnel See Aircraft Disappear over Washington on Radar At NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), members of staff spot the radar track for an aircraft—later reported to be Flight 77—flying over Washington, DC and approaching the White House. [NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE, 1/25/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 65; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 151] Around this time, Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, has called NEADS to report an unidentified aircraft six miles southeast of the White House (see 9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001). [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Deskins Sees Aircraft Circling and Disappear - Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins has noticed a suspicious track on the radar scope. She will later recall: “I had the scope focused in on the DC area and got blips of this aircraft that appeared to be going in a turn around DC. It was going fast for where it was located and I remember looking at the guy next to me and saying, ’What is that?’” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 65] Tracker Spots Aircraft - One of the tracker technicians also thinks he has spotted the aircraft on radar, just a few miles south of the White House and heading north, but then loses it. He calls out: “Right here, right here, right here! I got him. I got him!” NEADS mission crew commander Major Kevin Nasypany says, “Get me coordinates!” and then picks up the phone to quickly brief Colonel Robert Marr in the NEADS battle cab. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 151] Entity Tags: Dawne Deskins, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Kevin Nasypany, Robert Marr Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

(Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Airborne Command Post Launched from near Washington An E-4B National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) takes off from an unspecified airfield outside of Washington, DC. The aircraft, which is carrying civilian and military officials, is launched in order to participate in a pre-scheduled military exercise. This would be Global Guardian, which is being conducted on this day by the US Strategic Command (Stratcom) to test its ability to fight a nuclear war (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). E-4Bs are a militarized version of a Boeing 747. They serve as an airborne command center that could be used by the president, vice president, and Joint Chiefs of Staff, in order to execute war plans and coordinate government operations during a national emergency. Two other such planes are also participating in Global Guardian on this day (see Before 9:00 a.m. September 11, 2001). For the exercise, the E-4B launched from outside Washington is supposed to be using and testing its sophisticated technology and communications equipment. According to journalist and author Dan Verton, the aircraft has “only just taken off” at the time the Pentagon is hit (at 9:37 a.m.). Verton will say it is then “immediately ordered to cease the military exercise it was conducting and prepare to become the actual National Airborne Operations Center.” [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; VERTON, 2003, PP. 143-144] (Global Guardian was reportedly put on pause at 9:11 a.m. (see 9:11 a.m. September 11, 2001), but it is not formally terminated until 10:44 a.m. (see (10:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [BOMBARDIER, 9/8/2006 ] ) Minutes after the Pentagon attack, an unidentified four-engine jet plane will be seen circling above the White House (see (9:41 a.m.-9:42 a.m.) September 11, 2001). CNN will later suggest this is an E-4B, so it is possible it is the plane launched from the airfield outside Washington that Verton describes. [CNN, 9/12/2007] Air traffic control tapes will reveal that an E-4B takes off from Andrews Air Force Base, 10 miles from Washington, at 9:43 a.m., several minutes after the Pentagon is hit (see 9:43 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; FARMER, 2009, PP. 206] Whether that aircraft is the one participating in Global Guardian that is described by Verton, or another E-4B, is unclear. Entity Tags: Global Guardian, E-4B National Airborne Operations Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Training Exercises

(Shortly After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Otis Jets Refueled by Tanker out for Training Mission

A KC-135 Stratotanker. [Source: Boeing] The two F-15 fighter jets launched from Otis Air National Guard Base in response to Flight 11 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) are finally able to refuel, after they request to rendezvous with a tanker plane that was scheduled to refuel Otis jets out on training missions this morning. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153] By around 9:35 a.m., according to author Lynn Spencer, the two Otis jets are running increasingly low on fuel and need to find a fuel tanker right away. For about the last 25 minutes, technicians at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) have been searching for a tanker (see (9:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001), but the two Otis pilots have apparently not heard back from them about this. Now one of these pilots, Major Daniel Nash, has come up with a solution. Prior to being put on alert duty, he had been acting as the scheduling officer at Otis, and therefore knows that a training mission that Otis jets were scheduled to fly today called for refueling. Consequently, there is a KC-135 tanker plane from Bangor, Maine, that should be available. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 112 AND 152-153] This is presumably one of the eight KC-135s that are attached to the 101st Air Refueling Wing, which is based at Bangor International Airport. [PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, 9/13/2001] It had been scheduled to rendezvous with the Otis fighters on their training mission about 20 minutes from now in “Whiskey 105,” the military training airspace just south of Long Island, where Nash and his fellow Otis pilot Timothy Duffy had earlier been flying in a “holding pattern” (see 9:09 a.m.-9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001). The KC-135 should be on its way there now. Nash calls Duffy and tells him, “[W]e have a tanker scheduled for the training missions this morning off the coast in 105.” Duffy then calls NEADS and requests that the KC-135 orbit at 20,000 feet above New York’s JFK International Airport. Minutes later, NEADS has coordinated with Bangor to borrow the tanker, and the two Otis jets are able to take turns refueling. [GRANT AND THOMPSON, 10/6/2006, PP. 4 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153] According to the 9/11 Commission, the two Otis jets first arrived over Manhattan at 9:25 a.m. (see 9:25 a.m. September 11, 2001), but accounts of most witnesses on the ground indicate they do not arrive there until after 10:00 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] Entity Tags: Daniel Nash, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Timothy Duffy, 101st Air Refueling Wing Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Training Exercises


Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Army Base near Pentagon Holding Air Field Fire Fighting Training At the Education Center at Fort Myer, an army base 1.5 miles northwest of the Pentagon, the base’s firefighters are undertaking training variously described as “an airport rescue firefighters class”; “an aircraft crash refresher class”; “a week-long class on Air Field Fire Fighting”; and a “training exercise in airport emergency operations.” Despite hearing of the first WTC crash during a break, with no access to a TV, the class simply continues with its training. According to Bruce Surette, who is attending the session: “We had heard some radio transmissions from some other units in Arlington about how they thought they had a plane down here or a plane down there. So you’re thinking, ‘Hey this could be real.’ But it really didn’t strike home as being real until our guy came on the radio and said where the plane crash was.” The Fort Myer firefighters then immediately head for the Pentagon, arriving there at 9:40 a.m., only three minutes after it is hit, and participate in the firefighting and rescue effort there. The fire station at the Pentagon heliport is actually operated by the Fort Myer Fire Department, and is manned on the morning of 9/11 by three Fort Myer firefighters who have already undertaken the airfield firefighting training. [MDW NEWS SERVICE, 10/4/2001; PENTAGRAM, 11/2/2001; JEMS, 4/2002 ; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002; FIRST DUE NEWS, 4/17/2003] The Fort Myer military community, which includes Fort Myer and Fort Lesley J. McNair—another army base, just two miles east of the Pentagon—was scheduled to hold a “force protection exercise” the week after 9/11. However this has been cancelled, so just prior to the attacks the morning of September 11, “some of its participants [are] breathing a sigh of relief.” [PENTAGRAM, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Fort Myer, Pentagon Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon, Training Exercises

9:37Edit

Main article: September 11 2001 9:37

GeneralEdit

(9:37 a.m.-10:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Some Flight 93 Passengers and Crew Able to Remain Calm Despite HijackingEdit

Lyz Glick. [Source: NBC] In phone calls made from Flight 93, some passengers and crew members sound as if they are able to keep surprisingly calm, despite the crisis: Passenger Jeremy Glick calls his wife, Lyz, at 9:37. She later recalls, “He was so calm, the plane sounded so calm, that if I hadn’t seen what was going on on the TV, I wouldn’t have believed it.” She says, “I was surprised by how calm it seemed in the background. I didn’t hear any screaming. I didn’t hear any noises. I didn’t hear any commotion.” [BERGEN RECORD, 10/5/2001; MSNBC, 9/11/2006] Passenger Lauren Grandcolas calls her husband, Jack, at 9:39, and leaves a message on the answering machine. According to journalist and author Jere Longman, “It sounded to Jack as if she were driving home from the grocery store or ordering a pizza.” Jack Grandcolas later says, “She sounded calm.” He describes, “There is absolutely no background noise on her message. You can’t hear people screaming or yelling or crying. It’s very calm, the whole cabin, the background, there’s really very little sound.” [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 128; KATE SOLOMON, 2006; WASHINGTON POST, 4/26/2006] Passenger Mark Bingham speaks on the phone with his mother and aunt, reportedly from around 9:42. His aunt finds him sounding “calm, matter-of-fact.” His mother later recalls, “His voice was calm. He seemed very much composed, even though I know he must have been under terrible duress.” She also says the background discussion between passengers, about taking back the plane, sounds like a “calm boardroom meeting.” [CNN, 9/12/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 129-130; CNN, 4/21/2006] Passenger Honor Elizabeth Wainio speaks with her stepmother, Esther Heymann, from around 9:54. Heymann later tells CNN that Wainio “really was remarkably calm throughout our whole conversation.” (However, according to Jere Longman, although she speaks calmly, Wainio’s breathing is “shallow, as if she were hyperventilating.”) When her stepdaughter is not talking, Heymann reportedly cannot “hear another person. She could not hear any conversation or crying or yelling or whimpering. Nothing.” [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 168 AND 171-172; CNN, 2/18/2006]

Flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw calls her husband at 9:50. He later says, “She sounded calm, but like her adrenaline was really going.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 10/21/2001] At 9:58, flight attendant CeeCee Lyles phones her husband. He later says, “She was surprisingly calm,” considering the screaming he heard in the background. Her relatives attribute her calmness to her police training (she is a former police officer). [LYLES, 9/11/2001; DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/17/2001; INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY, 4/18/2002] Longman later writes, “I heard tapes of a couple of the phone calls made from [Flight 93] and was struck by the absence of panic in the voices.” [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. XI]

(After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FBI Confiscates Film of Pentagon Crash Edit

An employee at a gas station located across the street from the Pentagon servicing military personnel later says the station’s security cameras should have recorded the moment of impact. However, he says, “I’ve never seen what the pictures looked like. The FBI was here within minutes and took the film.” [RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 12/11/2001] A security camera atop a hotel close to the Pentagon also records the impact. Hotel employees watch the film several times before the FBI confiscates the video. [WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/21/2001] The Justice Department will refuse to release the footage, claiming that if they did it might provide intelligence to someone who would want to harm the US, but some Pentagon officials say they see no national security value to the video. [CNN, 3/7/2002] The gas station footage and video taken from one nearby hotel, the Doubletree, will eventually be released in 2006, but do not show much (see September 13, 2006-Early December 2006). Reporter Sandra Jontz, who is evacuated from the Pentagon some time after it is hit, notices a Department of Transportation camera that monitors traffic backups pointed towards the crash site. [BULL AND ERMAN, 2002, PP. 281] As of the end of 2006, the footage from this camera has not been released. Entity Tags: Sandra Jontz, Pentagon, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Emergency Responders Experience Communications Problems at Pentagon

Firefighters and other rescuers at the Pentagon crash site. [Source: US Department of Defense] Emergency responders and others at the Pentagon experience serious problems with communications following the attack there. These difficulties last for several hours. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. 12-13; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 114] According to a federally funded report on the emergency response to the Pentagon attack, communications systems had been busy “even before American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.” But when the crash occurs, “all area communications [seem] simultaneously overwhelmed.” [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A34] The Defense Department’s book about the Pentagon attack later describes, “Almost immediately radio traffic gridlocked, land lines were unavailable, and cellular telephone networks became so overloaded that for a time Pentagon officials and employees as well as some emergency responders could not call outside.” [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 114] This leads to significant problems: “Firefighters calling the [Arlington County Emergency Communications Center] couldn’t get through. Relatives of Pentagon workers found cellular and land lines jammed.” [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A34] The DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic at the Pentagon and the Rader Clinic at nearby Fort Myer are unable to establish reliable communications. Reportedly, “Hospitals and clinics could not be informed about the flow of casualties, and perhaps more damaging, communication between the fire and rescue and the emergency medical elements on-site was severely impaired.” [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 114] Officer Aubrey Davis of the Pentagon police heads to the crash site with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld immediately after the Pentagon is hit. He receives frantic pleas over his radio, regarding Rumsfeld’s whereabouts. But, as Davis later recalls, “the system was overloaded, everyone on the frequency was talking, everything jumbled, so I couldn’t get through and they went on asking” (see (9:38 a.m.-10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 1-2] Cellular and landline telephone communications remain “virtually unreliable or inaccessible during the first few hours of the response.” But later on, in the afternoon, Verizon technicians and Secret Service technical staff install portable cellular towers at the Pentagon, and this significantly increases cell phone access. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. C36] Communications problems are experienced not just around the Pentagon but also in the broader Washington area, with some senior government officials being affected (see (After 8:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [VERTON, 2003, PP. 149] Entity Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic, Arlington County Emergency Communications Center, Pentagon, US Department of Defense, Aubrey Davis, Rader Clinic Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff Initially Unaware a Plane Has Hit Pentagon; Head to Operations Center

James Roche. [Source: United States Air Force] Secretary of the Air Force James Roche is in his office on the fourth floor of the Pentagon, along with Air Force Chief of Staff John Jumper. [CNN, 10/10/2001; AIRMAN, 10/2002] Both men had learned of the first attack on the WTC and seen the second attack live on television during a staff meeting in the Air Force Council conference room (see (9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND NEWS SERVICE, 9/5/2002; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 136] They do not feel the impact when the Pentagon is hit at 9:37, being on the opposite side of the building to the crash. [CNN, 10/10/2001; MIDLAND REPORTER-TELEGRAM, 4/2/2002] They are initially unaware that a plane has hit the place. Reportedly, “for those first minutes and hours of confusion, rumors circulated about a bomb hitting the Pentagon.” Tim Green, the assistant executive to the Air Force chief of staff who is responsible for securing Jumper, will later recall: “It was amazing, from inside the building, how little we knew about what actually went on. People outside of the building… probably knew more about what happened from the news than I did.” Roche and Jumper, accompanied by Green, head down to the Air Force Operations Center. [MIDLAND REPORTER-TELEGRAM, 4/2/2002; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 136] The Operations Center is located in the basement of the Pentagon’s C Ring. In it, the Crisis Action Team (CAT) is carrying out emergency operations for the Air Force. [SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE, 12/2001] Roche later recalls, “Once in our crisis action center, we found out that the building had been hit by an aircraft.” [CNN, 10/10/2001] Entity Tags: John P. Jumper, Tim Green, James G. Roche Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

Shortly After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Some Pentagon Medical Workers Initially Think Evacuation Is Part of a Drill

Paul Carlton Jr. [Source: Publicity photo] A number of medical workers at the US Army’s DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic (DTHC) initially believe the evacuation in response to the Pentagon attack is part of a training exercise. The DTHC is located in the basement on the east side of the Pentagon, more than 1,000 feet from where the building was hit, and therefore many of the people there did not feel or hear the impact when the attack occurred. [NURSING SPECTRUM, 9/24/2001; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 107-108; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 57-58]

After being told to get out of the clinic, Captain Jennifer Glidewell leaves along with Sergeant Matthew Rosenberg. According to Glidewell, they are “thinking fire drill.” They head for the Pentagon’s center courtyard where they see an injured man running and screaming, with his face burnt and the skin hanging off. According to authors Patrick Creed and Rick Newman, Glidewell initially thinks this is “the best moulage job she had ever seen. Moulage was the makeup medical practitioners put on mock patients during exercises, to simulate injuries.” When she realizes the injuries are genuine, she grabs her radio and yells into it: “This is not a drill! This is real!” [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 19; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 57-58] 
Sergeant Mark Maxey Davis will recall, “I just thought [the evacuation] was a routine fire drill or something like that.” [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 69] 
Dr. Veena Railan describes: “I was not very sure what was happening, what was going on at that time. Maybe this is a drill because of what happened in New York.” [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 125] 
Staff Sergeant Keith Pernell recalls, “We just thought it was a regular fire drill.” [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 111] 
US Air Force Surgeon General Paul Carlton Jr. is accompanying a team of medics from the DTHC to the center courtyard. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 109] He will recall that a young sergeant with him is “under the impression that this crash was yet another exercise.” Carlton tells him, “I think this one’s for real, my friend.” [MURPHY, 2002, PP. 222] 
Captain Liza Lindenberg later describes, “Not until we went out the door did I see these plumes of smoke and thought, this is definitely not a drill.” [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 85] 
Major Bridget Larew remains at the clinic to help an injured victim. Soon, she will recall, “our medical teams were starting to come back in the building, realizing that this was not a drill and that they needed to be here with us to get supplies and stuff.” [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 83] 

A factor that may have contributed to this confusion is that personnel from the DTHC have participated in at least two training exercises during the previous 12 months based around the scenario of a plane crashing into the Pentagon (see October 24-26, 2000 and May 2001). [MDW NEWS SERVICE, 11/3/2000; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. B17; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 107] In response to the attack, the clinic’s workers will be involved with the emergency response, performing triage and treatment at the Pentagon. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. B1] Entity Tags: Keith Pernell, DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic, Veena Railan, Bridget Larew, Matt Rosenberg, Paul Carlton, Jennifer Glidewell, Liza Lindenberg, Mark Maxey Davis Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon, Training Exercises

(Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Force Liaison Joins FAA Teleconference, Later than FAA ClaimsEdit

The US Air Force liaison to the FAA joins a teleconference that has been established by the FAA shortly after the time of the Pentagon attack, according to her own later recollections, although an FAA statement will claim she joined it significantly earlier. [9][10]

The Air Force liaison, Colonel Sheryl Atkins, will recall that she arrived at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC, around five to 10 minutes after the first attack in New York [see 4], and went to her fourth-floor office there. She will describe:

“Everybody was there around the TV. We watched the events unfold. At first, we were kind of hanging back and saying, you know, ‘there’s something awful going on with the air traffic system.‘… But at a certain point, not too long after that, it became obvious that, you know, something really strange is going on.”


Shortly after 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon is hit, Atkins hears CNN reporting a bomb may have gone off at the Pentagon. She will recall that she then heads up to the 10th floor of the headquarters building along with Sabra Kaulia, the program director for air traffic airspace management, and goes to the air traffic situation room, where David Canoles, the FAA’s manager of air traffic evaluations and investigations, is participating in a teleconference.[11] [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/26/2004; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 8/31/2006 ] According to a 2003 statement provided by the FAA, the FAA established this teleconference with several other agencies “[w]ithin minutes” of the first attack in New York [see 5].[12] [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003]

Atkins will say she is then “in and out” of the air traffic situation room throughout the morning. She does not speak with any of the military representatives at the White House, but does work directly with Steve Nolte, the airspace manager at NORAD, and also communicates with Lieutenant Colonel Michael-Anne Cherry, who is at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, to exchange information. [13][9/11 COMMISSION, 3/26/2004]

In a 2003 statement it provides to the 9/11 Commission the FAA will say Atkins joined the teleconference significantly earlier than she claims. According to the statement, the "US Air Force liaison to the FAA [i.e. Atkins] immediately joined the FAA headquarters phone bridge” that was set up minutes after the first attack in New York, “and established contact with NORAD on a separate line.”[14] [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003]

As well as Atkins, who represents the Air Force, liaisons representing the other three military services within the Department of Defense work at FAA headquarters. However, Atkins is the only military liaison currently there. The Navy and Marine Corps liaisons will arrive at FAA headquarters at around 10:30 a.m. and join Atkins on the building’s 10th floor, from where they help establish and maintain critical communications channels between the Defense Department and the FAA. The Army liaison will not arrive at FAA headquarters until the following day. [15][FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/26/2004]

9:38Edit

Main article: September 11 9:38

GeneralEdit

9:39 a.m.-9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Begins Rapid Descent Despite Being Hundreds of Miles from Presumed Target At 9:39 a.m., after having maintained a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet for about two minutes, Flight 93 begins a rapid descent, going down at a rate of 4,000 feet per minute. At 9:46, it interrupts this, going up from 19,000 feet to 20,500 feet, but then resumes its descent at the slower rate of 1,300 feet per minute. At 9:59, it has reached an altitude of 5,000 feet. [NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, 2/19/2002 ] The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will later describe this as a “surprising element in the navigation of Flight 93,” since the aircraft begins its “rapid descent from cruise altitudes while still approximately 260 nautical miles [about 300 miles] from the (presumed) target.” [NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, 2/13/2002, PP. 3 ] The target of Flight 93 is later believed to be either the White House or the Capitol building. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 14] The NTSB will note that by the times Flights 11, 175, and 77 had descended below 5,000 feet, they were all within 10 nautical miles (11.5 miles) of their targets. “UAL 93, on the other hand, descended to 5,000 feet while still 135 [nautical miles] from Washington.” [NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, 2/13/2002 ] Entity Tags: National Transportation Safety Board Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93 9:39 a.m.-9:44 a.m. September 11, 2001: Passenger Lauren Grandcolas Phones Husband From Flight 93 and Leaves Message, but Accounts Are Contradictory

Lauren Grandcolas. [Source: Family photo / AP] At 9:39 a.m., Flight 93 passenger Lauren Grandcolas calls her husband in San Rafael, California, leaving him a 46-second message on the answering machine. [PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/28/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 42 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] Some reports state that she is using a cell phone. [HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/12/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/14/2001; USA TODAY, 9/25/2001] But the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says she uses an Airfone. [PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/28/2001] Her husband, Jack Grandcolas, later describes that she sounds “very, very calm.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/12/2001] According to some early reports, she says, “We have been hijacked,” and “They”—presumably meaning the hijackers—“are being kind.” [HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/12/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/14/2001; TIME, 9/16/2001] But in other accounts, she does not specify that her plane has been hijacked. She reportedly begins, “Honey, are you there? Jack, pick up sweetie. Okay, well I just wanted to tell you I love you. We’re having a little problem on the plane.” She continues, “I’m comfortable and I’m okay… for now. Just a little problem. So I just love you. Please tell my family I love them too. Bye, honey.” According to some accounts, Grandcolas then passes the phone to fellow passenger Elizabeth Wainio, who is sitting next to her, and tells her to call her family. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001; PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/28/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 128; MSNBC, 9/11/2006] The Wall Street Journal reports that Grandcolas’s voice can be heard at the end of her recorded message saying to another passenger, “Now you call your people.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/26/2005] Yet, according to a summary of passenger phone calls presented at the 2006 trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, this could not be the case, as Grandcolas tries to make a further seven calls over the following four minutes. These are apparently either unsuccessful or quickly disconnected, lasting between “0 seconds” and “7 seconds.” They appear to include four more attempts at calling her husband, and one attempt to call her sister Vaughn Lohec. According to the summary, Wainio does not make a phone call until later, at just before 9:54 a.m. The summary also claims that, although Wainio and Grandcolas had originally been assigned seats next to each other in row 11, they are now in different parts of the plane. While Wainio is in row 33, Grandcolas is now in row 23, and there is no passenger next to her who also makes a phone call. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] Entity Tags: Elizabeth Wainio, Lauren Grandcolas, Jack Grandcolas Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

9:39Edit

9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Is Wanted at Pentagon Teleconference but Cannot Be ReachedEdit

This picture of Rumsfeld (center), taken from the US Army website, is captioned, “Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld returns to Pentagon inner offices Tuesday morning after surveying the damage from the hijacked plane which crashed into the building moments before.” This contradicts his claim that he was helping victims for nearly an hour after the attack. However, there is video footage of Rumsfeld helping a person on a stretcher and it is not known when this picture is taken exactly. [Source: US Army] Captain Charles Leidig, a deputy who is temporarily in charge of the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC), is handling the NMCC’s crisis teleconference. He opens the call saying, “An air attack against North America may be in progress.” He mentions reports of a crash into the opposite side of the Pentagon, and requests that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld be added to the conference. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ] Rumsfeld has a crucial role to play in coordinating the military response to an attack on the US. According to journalist and author Andrew Cockburn, since the Cold War, “In an age when an enemy attack might allow only a few minutes for detection and reaction, control of American military power became vested in the National Command Authority, which consists of the president and the secretary of defense. Collectively, the NCA is the ultimate source of military orders, uniquely empowered, among other things, to order the use of nuclear weapons. In time of war, therefore, Rumsfeld was effectively the president’s partner, the direct link to the fighting forces, and all orders had to go through him. Such orders were supposed to be transmitted from… the National Military Command Center.” Cockburn adds that the NMCC is “the operational center for any and every crisis, from nuclear war to hijacked airliners.” Yet, rather than join the NMCC conference, Rumsfeld has already gone out of the Pentagon to see the crash site, without telling any of his command staff where he was going, and remains out of contact for some time (see Between 9:38 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. September 11, 2001). Therefore, a few minutes after Leidig makes his request, Rumsfeld’s office will report back that he is nowhere to be found. Cockburn concludes, “The chain of command was broken.” [COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 4-5; DEMOCRACY NOW!, 3/7/2007] It is unknown whether Rumsfeld has a cell phone or pager on him, and if so, why he cannot be reached. Entity Tags: Charles Leidig, Donald Rumsfeld, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon

9:39 a.m.-9:44 a.m. September 11, 2001: Media Reports Pentagon Explosion Television news reports describe an explosion and fire occurring at the Pentagon, but do not specify that a plane hit it:

Two seconds after 9:39 a.m., reporter Jim Miklaszewski states on NBC News: “I don’t want to alarm anybody right now, but apparently, there—it felt, just a few moments ago, like there was an explosion of some kind here at the Pentagon. We’re on the E-ring of the Pentagon. We have a window that faces out toward the Potomac, toward Kennedy Center. We haven’t been able to see or—or hear anything after the initial blast. I just stepped out in the hallway. Security guards were herding people out of the building, and I saw just a moment ago as I looked outside, a number of construction workers who have been working here, have taken flight. They’re running as far away from the building as they can right now. I—I hear no sirens going off in the building; I see no smoke, but the building shook for just a couple of seconds. The windows rattled and security personnel are doing what they can momentarily to clear this part of the building. Again, I have no idea whether it was part of the construction work, whether it was an accident or what is going on. We’re going to try to find those details and get them to you as soon as possible. But interestingly enough, one intelligence official here in the building said when he saw what appeared to be the coordinating attack on the World Trade Center, his advice was to stay away from the outside of the building today just in case.” [NBC, 9/11/2001] 
At 9:40, CNN coverage includes a banner stating, “Reports of fire at Pentagon.” [CNN, 9/11/2001] Three minutes later, CNN producer Chris Plant reports from the Pentagon, “It’s impossible for me to say… exactly what caused this. I did not hear an explosion but there is certainly a very, very significant fire in this enormous office building.” [CNN, 9/11/2001] 
At 9:42, ABC News reports smoke coming from somewhere behind the Old Executive Office Building, next to the White House. Two minutes later it reports a “fire confirmed at the Pentagon.” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2001] 
At 9:43, CBS News reports “smoke pouring out of the Pentagon,” but adds, “We don’t know whether this is the result of a bomb or whether it is yet another aircraft that has targeted a symbol of the United States’ power.” [CBS, 9/11/2001] 

However, no media outlets record video footage of the Pentagon crash, and the cause of the explosion remains unknown for some minutes afterward. The Associated Press is apparently the first source to report that a plane hit the Pentagon (see 9:43 a.m.-9:53 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Jim Miklaszewski, Pentagon Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Center Informs NEADS of Possible Hijacking of Delta 1989 Edit

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at Boston Center, contacts NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and incorrectly notifies it that another aircraft, Delta Air Lines Flight 1989, is a possible hijacking. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Boston Center previously called NEADS at 9:27 and said that Delta 1989 was missing (see 9:27 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003]

NEADS Technicians Respond - At NEADS, Stacia Rountree, the ID technician who takes Scoggins’s call, announces to her colleagues: “Delta ‘89, that’s the hijack. They think it’s possible hijack.… South of Cleveland.” The plane’s transponder is still on, and she adds, “We have a code on him now.” Rountree’s team leader, Master Sergeant Maureen Dooley, instructs: “Pick it up! Find it!” The NEADS technicians quickly locate Delta 1989 on their radar screens, just south of Toledo, Ohio, and start alerting other FAA centers to it. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 177] NEADS mission crew commander Major Kevin Nasypany will be notified by his staff of the suspected hijacking at about 9:41 or 9:42 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/22/2004 ] NEADS never loses track of Delta 1989. It will follow it on radar as it reverses course over Toledo, heads east, and then lands in Cleveland (see (10:18 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28] It will order Air National Guard fighter jets from Selfridge and Toledo to intercept the flight (see (9:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 178-179] But it will soon learn that Delta 1989 is not in fact hijacked. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28]

Cleveland Center, Not Boston, Handling Delta 1989 - Although Boston Center notifies NEADS of the suspected hijacking, Delta 1989 is in fact being handled by the FAA’s Cleveland Center. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 10-12] Cleveland Center air traffic controllers suspected that Delta 1989 had been hijacked at around 9:30 a.m. (see (9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001), but apparently only informed the FAA’s Command Center, and not NEADS, of this. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] To explain why Boston Center alerts NEADS to the flight, the 9/11 Commission will later comment that, “Remembering the ‘we have some planes’ remark” (see 8:24 a.m. September 11, 2001), the Boston Center simply “guessed that Delta 1989 might also be hijacked.”

Similar to First Two Hijacked Planes - Like Flights 11 and 175, the two aircraft that have crashed into the World Trade Center (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001 and 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001), Delta 1989 took off from Boston’s Logan Airport. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 27-28] According to the New York Times, it left there at about the same time as Flights 11 and 175 did, meaning around 8:00 to 8:15 a.m. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/18/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 32] Like those two aircraft, it is a Boeing 767. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 27-28] But, unlike those flights, its transponder has not been turned off, and so it is still transmitting a beacon code. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] It is unclear what Delta 1989’s intended destination is. According to some accounts, like Flights 11 and 175 were, it is bound for Los Angeles. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/18/2001; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 9/24/2007; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 167] Other accounts will say that its destination is Las Vegas. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Personnel at NEADS are apparently informed that Las Vegas is the intended destination. Around this time, one member of staff there tells her colleagues that the flight is “supposed to go to Vegas.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001] One of Numerous Incorrect Reports - The 9/11 Commission will comment: “During the course of the morning, there were multiple erroneous reports of hijacked aircraft (see (9:09 a.m. and After) September 11, 2001). The report of American 11 heading south was the first (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001); Delta 1989 was the second.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28]

(9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Hijacker Again Warns of Bomb on Board, Flight Controllers Again Overhear; NORAD Still Not Notified Edit

The Flight 93 hijackers (probably inadvertently) transmit over the radio: “Hi, this is the captain. We’d like you all to remain seated. There is a bomb on board. And we are going to turn back to the airport. And they had our demands, so please remain quiet.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 209; MSNBC, 9/3/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] The controller responds, “United 93, understand you have a bomb on board. Go ahead,” but there is no response. There was a very similar “bomb on board” warning from the same flight at 9:32 a.m. (see (9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The 9/11 Commission indicates that these are separate incidents. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Cleveland flight control apparently continues to wait for FAA superiors to notify NORAD. Earlier in the morning, Boston flight control directly contacted NORAD (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001) and local air force bases when they determined Flight 11 was hijacked. Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

Timeline linksEdit

September 8 September 9 September 10 September 11
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