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(Between 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001: Condoleezza Rice Speaks to British Ambassador; Wonders If Iraq Involved in 9/11[]

During a phone call with Christopher Meyer, the British ambassador to the United States, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice suggests the possibility of Iraqi complicity in the attacks on New York and Washington. Following the strike on the Pentagon, Meyer held an emergency meeting of his staff at the British Embassy. He then calls Rice to offer condolences and support. He asks her who does she think was responsible for the attacks? In his 2005 memoirs, Meyer will recall: “The names al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden were already in circulation. She said that the early evidence suggested that it was them. But there could also be a connection with Iraq. That would need investigating.” [BBC RADIO 4, 2002 ; MEYER, 2005, PP. 188 AND 190] However, in a 2007 interview, he will suggest Rice might have made this reference to possible Iraqi complicity in a later call, saying, “I think it was in the same conversation [I had with Rice on the morning of September 11], or it may have been the next one we had very soon after, she said, ‘Well, one thing we need to look into is to see whether Iraq’s had anything to do with this.’” [PBS FRONTLINE, 12/20/2007] Entity Tags: Christopher Meyer, Condoleezza Rice Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

(10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Commander Wants Fighters Launched in Response to Aircraft Approaching Washington, Supposedly Flight 93 Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, wants his fighter jets to intercept a suspicious aircraft coming down the Potomac River toward the capital, which is apparently thought to be Flight 93, although that plane has already crashed (see (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 79-81; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] Numerous Suspicious Aircraft - According to the Washington Post, the DCANG has learned there are “about a half-dozen suspicious aircraft in the air across the country, among them hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, on a path toward Washington.” Wherley will add: “Nobody knew it had crashed. We just knew there was an airplane out there that could be coming to Washington. We knew the threat was real.” Fighters Launched due to False Report - The first three DCANG fighters to take off in response to the attacks are ordered to go after this alleged inbound aircraft. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002] Lieutenant Colonel Phil Thompson, the chief of safety for the DC Air National Guard, will later recall: “We had something coming down the Potomac at low altitude. Brigadier General Wherley is standing here, and we’ve got the tower with the Secret Service agent, and they want us to launch anything we’ve got. And the general said, ‘Do it.’” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81] DCANG pilot Billy Hutchison, who takes off at 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001), will describe, “There was an aircraft coming down the Potomac that they needed me in the air for” that had to “be prevented from reaching the DC area.” He is told this aircraft is “coming from Pennsylvania.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] And pilot Marc Sasseville, who, along with Heather Penney Garcia, takes off at 10:42 a.m. (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001), later says: “We all realized we were looking for an airliner—a big airplane. That was Flight 93; the track looked like it was headed toward DC at that time.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Incorrect Report Comes from Secret Service - According to Major David McNulty, the senior intelligence officer of the DCANG, his understanding is that “the information about the plane coming down the river” came from the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] FAA personnel are also receiving similar information from the Secret Service. At 10:32, an FAA employee tells John White, a manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, “Secret Service is reporting one unknown eight miles out, flying inbound.” Two minutes later, this employee says they are “[t]rying to tell [the] Secret Service about [Flight] 93,” because the Secret Service is “a little bit behind, still getting reports.” They then tell White, “Secret Service is saying the aircraft they are talking is coming up the Potomac right now.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Fire and rescue workers are evacuated away from the Pentagon site around this time, in response to a report from the FBI of a hijacked aircraft flying toward Washington (see (10:15 a.m.-10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). This may be the same alleged plane that the DCANG and FAA learn of. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A30; FIRE ENGINEERING, 11/2002] Aircraft Supposedly a Helicopter - The incoming aircraft is apparently a false alarm. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] After searching for it, Hutchison will be instructed to fly back toward Washington because, he will say, “the plane had been lost.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] According to a 9/11 Commission memorandum, “FAA tapes and transcripts” reveal the aircraft to be “an Army National Guard helicopter based out of Davison Field, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which had become isolated in Maryland as events unfolded and which wanted to return to its home field.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] Secret Service Thinks Plane Crashed at Camp David - However, at 10:36, the FAA employee relays that the “Secret Service is saying they believe United 93 hit Camp David.” Seconds later, they add that the Secret Service is “confirming that UA 93 did go into Camp David.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Even President Bush is given an incorrect report of a plane going down near Camp David around this time (see (10:37 a.m.-11:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 108] So this erroneous information may be what leads to Hutchison being informed that the aircraft he was sent after has been lost. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, David Wherley, Billy Hutchison, Phil Thompson, David McNulty, John White, Marc Sasseville, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Heather Penney Garcia, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(After 10:28 a.m.-12:00 pm.) September 11, 2001: Giuliani Establishes Temporary Headquarters

Bernard Kerik. [Source: Publicity photo] After leaving 75 Barclay Street (see (9:50 a.m.-10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001), Mayor Giuliani and the group accompanying him search for somewhere to establish a new temporary headquarters. Soon after the North Tower’s collapse, they break into a vacant firehouse at the corner of Houston Street and Sixth Avenue. Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who is part of the group, wants the location kept secret. He gives out the order, “Okay, we’re going to establish a command center [here]. We’re not going to let anybody know. I don’t want it over the radio. We don’t know what’s happening. We don’t want them [presumably meaning the attackers] to know where we’re all going to be.” Giuliani is able to find a phone, and speaks with New York Governor George Pataki, the White House, and the Defense Department. At around 10:57, he speaks to the television channel New York 1 and offers a message of reassurance to the people of New York City. [FINK AND MATHIAS, 2002, PP. 108; GIULIANI, 2002, PP. 15-16; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/19/2004; BARRETT AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 13] Deciding that they need to be somewhere larger and more secure, Kerik suggests they move to the Police Academy on East 20th Street. [KERIK, 2001, PP. 342] Thus, Giuliani’s group—which now numbers more than twenty people plus a press contingent—gets into cars and drives to the academy, arriving around midday. [GIULIANI, 2002, PP. 18-19; BARRETT AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 13] This will remain as the city’s command center for several days, until it is replaced later in the week by a larger space at Pier 92 on the Hudson River. [CENTER FOR BIOSECURITY, 2/3/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/19/2004] Entity Tags: Bernard Kerik, Rudolph (“Rudy”) Giuliani Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Missing Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Finally Enters NMCC Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, missing for at least 30 minutes, finally enters the NMCC, where the military’s response to the 9/11 attacks is being coordinated. [CNN, 9/4/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Rumsfeld later claims that he only started to gain a situational awareness of what was happening after arriving at the NMCC. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Rumsfeld was in his office only 200 feet away from the NMCC until the Pentagon crash at 9:37 a.m. (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). His activities during this period are unclear. He went outside to the Flight 77 crash site and then stayed somewhere else in the Pentagon until his arrival at the NMCC. Brigadier General Montague Winfield later says, “For 30 minutes we couldn’t find him. And just as we began to worry, he walked into the door of the [NMCC].” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Winfield himself apparently only shows up at the NMCC around 10:30 a.m. as well. Entity Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, National Military Command Center, Montague Winfield Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Donald Rumsfeld, Key Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Medevac Helicopter Provides Scare for Bunkered Vice President Cheney and Others Vice President Cheney and others in the White House bunker are given a report of another airplane heading toward Washington. Cheney’s Chief of Staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, later states, “We learn that a plane is five miles out and has dropped below 500 feet and can’t be found; it’s missing.” Believing they only have a minute or two before the plane crashes into Washington, Cheney orders fighters to engage the plane, saying, “Take it out.” However, reports that this is another hijacking are mistaken. It is learned later that day that a Medevac helicopter five miles away was mistaken for a hijacked plane. [NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Dick Cheney

(After 10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Gate Agent Has Singled Out Boarding Passes of Suspicious Flight 93 Passengers

Terri Rizzuto. [Source: ReclaimingTheSky.com] A United Airlines manager finds that a gate agent has already singled out boarding passes belonging to four suspicious passengers who were on Flight 93. Terri Rizzuto is the United Airlines station manager at Newark Airport, from where Flight 93 departed. Some time after hearing that this plane has crashed, she speaks on the phone with the FBI, which is requesting the plane’s manifest and its Passenger Name Record (PNR). After arranging permission to release these, she goes to Gate 17, from where she knows Flight 93 departed, wanting to talk to her staff there. When she arrives, a supervisor hands her four boarding passes. The supervisor tells her they are “The men, who did this maybe,” and points her toward one of the gate agents who had boarded the passengers onto the flight. When Rizzuto asks the gate agent, “How do you know?” he replies: “They were too well-dressed. Too well-dressed for that early in the morning. And their muscles rippled below their suits.… [A]nd their eyes.” [MURPHY, 2006, PP. 71-73] However, this report of men with rippling muscles contradicts the 9/11 Commission’s description of the so-called “muscle” hijackers (i.e. the non-pilot hijackers) on the four targeted planes: They “were not physically imposing,” with the majority of them being “slender in build.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/16/2004] Entity Tags: Terri Rizzuto Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, FBI 9/11 Investigation

10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001: Military and Law Enforcement Flights Resume The FAA allows “military and law enforcement flights to resume (and some flights that the FAA can’t reveal that were already airborne).” All civilian, military, and law enforcement flights were ordered at 9:26 a.m. to land as soon as reasonably possible. [TIME, 9/14/2001] Civilian flights remain banned until September 13. Note that the C-130 cargo plane that witnessed the Flight 77 crash (see 9.36 a.m. September 11, 2001) and which came upon the Flight 93 crash site (see 10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001) right after it had crashed was apparently not subject to the grounding order issued about an hour earlier. Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001: NORAD Passes on Shootdown Order to Its Air Defense Sectors The Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR) issues a message to its three air defense sectors—including the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS)—stating that Vice President Dick Cheney has authorized it to shoot down suspicious aircraft. Order Sent over Computer Chat System - About 15 minutes earlier, a military officer at the White House relayed to the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) that Cheney had confirmed that fighter jets were cleared to engage an inbound aircraft if they could verify that the aircraft was hijacked (see 10:14 a.m.-10:19 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to the 9/11 Commission, “It is not clear how [this] shootdown order was communicated within NORAD.” However, Major General Larry Arnold, the CONR commander, now instructs his staff to broadcast a message over a NORAD computer chat system, passing on Cheney’s authorization. The message states, “10:31 Vice president has cleared to us to intercept tracks of interest and shoot them down if they do not respond, per CONR CC [General Arnold].” The message is received at CONR’s three air defense sectors: the Western, Southeast, and Northeast. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 240] Arnold Could Issue Shootdown Order Himself - Arnold, who is at the CONR air operations center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, will later comment, “I have the authority in case of an emergency to declare a target hostile and shoot it down under an emergency condition… but it was comforting to know we legally had the authority from the president of the United States.” [FILSON, 2002; CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 1/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 75-76] The 10:31 chat message is the first notification personnel on the NEADS operations floor receive of the shootdown order. These personnel are reportedly confused over the order and do not pass it on to fighter pilots under their command (see 10:32 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42-43; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 47 ] Entity Tags: Continental US NORAD Region, Southeast Air Defense Sector, Western Air Defense Sector, Larry Arnold, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Works on Rules of Engagement for Fighter Pilots, Too Late to Be of Any Use After he finally arrives at the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon (see (10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001), Donald Rumsfeld’s primary concern, according to the 9/11 Commission, is “ensuring that the [military fighter] pilots [have] a clear understanding of their rules of engagement.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] Rumsfeld later recalls, “It was clear they needed rules of engagement telling them what they should and should not do. They needed clarity. And there were no rules of engagement on the books for this first-time situation where civilian aircraft were seized and were being used as missiles.” By this time, the president has supposedly already given authorization for the military to shoot down hijacked aircraft (see (Between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and Dick Cheney informs Rumsfeld of this over the air threat conference at 10:39 (see 10:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). Rumsfeld says that, “Throughout the course of the day,” along with acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers, he “returned to further refine those rules.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/23/2004] As journalist Andrew Cockburn will later remark though, Rumsfeld’s work on the rules of engagement “was an irrelevant exercise for he did not complete and issue them until 1:00 p.m., hours after the last hijacker had died.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 465; COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 7] Entity Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Donald Rumsfeld

10:32 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Personnel Confused over Meaning of Shootdown Order, Do Not Pass It on to Fighters Personnel on the operations floor at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) are confused over the nature and effect of an order they have received, which states that the military can shoot down aircraft that do not respond to its directions, and they do not pass this order on to fighter pilots under their command. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42-43; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 47 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 240-241; FARMER, 2009, PP. 228-229] NEADS has just received a message over the NORAD computer chat system from Larry Arnold, the commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), stating that Vice President Dick Cheney has authorized NORAD to shoot down suspicious aircraft (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42] Weapons Director Alerted to Order - Major Steve Ovens sees the chat message and alerts Major James Fox, the leader of the NEADS weapons team, to it. Ovens says: “We need to read this. Region commander has declared that we can shoot down tracks that do not respond to our direction. Okay?” Fox replies, “Okay,” but Ovens is unconvinced that he has understood Arnold’s message, so he says again, “The region commander has declared that we can shoot down aircraft that do not respond to our directions, okay?” Fox replies, “Copy that.” NEADS Director Opposes Order - Ovens continues, “So if you’re trying to divert somebody and he won’t divert…” but Fox says, “DO [the director of operations] is saying no.” According to author Lynn Spencer, Fox means that Colonel Lanny McNeely, the NEADS director of operations, is indicating “no.” McNeely has “understood that the battle staff wanted to keep shootdown authority in the [NEADS] battle cab. The commanders were not prepared to pass such authorizations to airborne fighters.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 240-241] However, a 9/11 Commission memorandum will state that McNeely is away from NEADS on this day, in Texas, and no one is currently sitting in the director of operations position. [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/30/2003 ] According to John Farmer, the senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, Fox is instead referring to Colonel Robert Marr, the NEADS battle commander, saying “no,” not McNeely. [FARMER, 2009, PP. 229] Fox Agrees to Pass on Order to Commander - Ovens responds: “No? It came over the chat.… You got a conflict on that direction?” Fox replies, “Right now, no, but…” Showing Fox the chat message, Ovens says: “Okay. You read that from the vice president, right? Vice president has cleared…” Fox reads the message out loud, saying, “Vice president has cleared us to intercept traffic and shoot them down if they do not respond, per CONR CC.” Finally, he says, “Okay, I will pass it to MCC,” meaning Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander. [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 241] NEADS Does Not Pass on Order to Pilots - NEADS personnel will later express to the 9/11 Commission their “considerable confusion over the nature and effect” of this shootdown order, and explain why they fail to pass it on to the fighter jets from Otis Air National Guard Base (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) and Langley Air Force Base (see 9:24 a.m. September 11, 2001) that are under their command. Nasypany and Fox indicate to the Commission that “they did not pass the order to the fighters circling Washington and New York because they were unsure how the pilots would, or should, proceed with this guidance.” Consequently, “while leaders in Washington believed that the fighters above them had been instructed to ‘take out’ hostile aircraft, the only orders actually conveyed to the pilots were to ‘ID type and tail.’” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 43; FARMER, 2009, PP. 229] Entity Tags: Lanny McNeely, James Fox, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Kevin Nasypany, Robert Marr, Steve Ovens Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

Between 10:32 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. September 11, 2001: Russian President Calls the White House Russian President Vladimir Putin phones the White House, wanting to speak with the US president. With Bush not there, Condoleezza Rice takes the call. Putin tells her that the Russians are voluntarily standing down a military exercise they are conducting, as a gesture of solidarity with the United States. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] The Russian exercise began on September 10 in the Russian arctic and North Pacific oceans, and was scheduled to last until September 14. [NORAD, 9/9/2001; WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/11/2001] It involved Russian bombers staging a mock attack against NATO planes that are supposedly planning an assault on Russia. [BBC, 2001, PP. 161] Subsequently, Putin manages to talk to Bush while he is aboard Air Force One (see (After 11:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

10:32 a.m. September 11, 2001: Cheney Warns Bush of Apparent Threat to Air Force One; Official Account Murky, Disbelieved by Many Vice President Cheney reportedly calls President Bush and tells him of a threat to Air Force One and that it will take 40-90 minutes to get a protective fighter escort in place. Later, many will express doubt about the existence of this threat. For instance, Representative Martin Meehan (D) says, “I don’t buy the notion Air Force One was a target. That’s just PR, that’s just spin.” [WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/8/2002] A later account will call the threat “completely untrue,” and say Cheney probably made the story up. A well-informed, anonymous Washington official says, “It did two things for [Cheney]. It reinforced his argument that the president should stay out of town, and it gave George W. an excellent reason for doing so.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] In 2004, the Wall Street Journal will investigate the alleged threat and report two differing accounts of this episode, one from White House spokesman Dan Bartlett, and the other from the office of Vice-President Cheney. No Actual Threat - Bartlett will say there had not been any actual threat, but that word of a threat results from confusion in the White House bunker, as multiple conversations go on simultaneously. Many of these exchanges apparently relate to rumors that turn out to be false, such as reports of attacks on the president’s ranch in Texas and the State Department. Bartlett will say, “Somebody was using the word ‘angel,’ [a code word for Air Force One and] that got interpreted as a threat based on the word ‘angel.’” Cheney's Account Changes - The vice president’s office will say it still could not rule out that a threat to Air Force One actually had been made. Cheney initially says word of the threat had been passed to him by Secret Service agents, but two former senior Secret Service agents on duty that day will deny their agency played any role in receiving or passing on the threat. An official in Cheney’s office will then say that Cheney was mistaken and that he had received word of the threat from “a uniformed military person” manning the underground bunker. Apparently, nobody knows the identity of this person. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/22/2004 ] Entity Tags: Martin Meehan, George W. Bush, Dan Bartlett, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush, Dick Cheney

(Shortly After 10:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Controller Passes on Shootdown Authorization to Toledo Fighters, Because NEADS Cannot Reach Them The FAA’s Cleveland Center has to authorize two Ohio Air National Guard fighter jets to shoot down threatening aircraft, because NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) is unable to communicate directly with those jets and give them the authorization itself. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 241-242] The two F-16s, which belong to the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard, took off from Toledo Express Airport at 10:17 a.m. (see 10:17 a.m. September 11, 2001). [TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001; WTOL, 9/11/2006] NEADS Unable to Contact Fighters - NEADS has just received a message, informing it that Vice President Dick Cheney has authorized NORAD to shoot down suspicious aircraft (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42] A weapons officer wants to pass this important information to the two 180th FW fighter pilots. However, since the jets took off, NEADS has been unable to bring them up on their UHF frequency, and so the weapons officer has had to communicate with them indirectly, via the FAA’s Cleveland Center. He now phones the Cleveland Center and asks it to pass on the new rules of engagement to the 180th FW pilots. Controller Passes on Shootdown Authorization - A Cleveland Center air traffic controller then radios one of those pilots, Scott Reed, and asks him, “Sting 1-1 [Reed’s call sign], Cleveland Center, do you know what your ROE is?” Reed is surprised to hear a civilian controller use the military acronym for “rules of engagement.” He responds, “Sting 1-1, no.” The controller asks, “Would you like to know?” and then tells Reed, “Sting 1-1, if you have a non-military aircraft moving toward a population center, you are clear to engage.” Reed says, “Cleveland Center, Sting 1-1, please confirm ROE.” The controller responds, “Sting 1-1, if the airplane you are vectored against does not comply with your instructions, you are cleared to engage.” According to author Lynn Spencer, Reed “is shocked; he’s just been given clearance—from a civilian controller—to shoot down a commercial airliner.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 241-242] The two 180th FW jets never receive any subsequent orders to engage specific aircraft. According to NEADS battle commander, Colonel Robert Marr, the pilots “never had a track close enough that they were directed to engage. [But] if a valid direction had come from the appropriate level to engage a target, or shoot down a target at some time, they could have done that.” [TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001] Though it notifies the 180th FW jets, NEADS fails to pass on the shootdown authorization to the fighters from Otis Air National Guard Base and Langley Air Force Base that are under its command (see 10:32 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 43; FARMER, 2009, PP. 229] Entity Tags: Robert Marr, Northeast Air Defense Sector, 180th Fighter Wing, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Scott Reed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Again Calls DC Air National Guard and Requests Fighters A Secret Service agent at the White House calls the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, and asks it to launch fighter jets immediately. According to author Lynn Spencer, a report has been received at the White House from the FAA “that there are three planes unaccounted for,” and the Secret Service has therefore determined “it needs fighters up now.” It calls the DCANG to request these jets. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 236] Apparently around the same time, the DCANG receives a call from someone else at the White House—presumably another Secret Service agent—declaring the Washington area “a free-fire zone.” Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville, one of the DCANG pilots, will later comment, “That meant we were given authority to use force, if the situation required it, in defense of the nation’s capital, its property, and people.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] Between 10:38 a.m. and 11:11 a.m., five DCANG fighter jets will take off from Andrews to defend Washington (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001, 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001, and 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] The Secret Service contacted the DCANG several times earlier on, requesting that it launch fighters (see (Shortly After 9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001, (Shortly After 9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001, and (Shortly After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 465] Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the DC Air National Guard, has been on the phone with Secret Service agents at the White House, who have told him his jets should “turn away any airplane that attempts to fly within 20 miles of the Washington area,” and the pilots can use “whatever force is necessary” to prevent another aircraft hitting a building (see (10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (Between 10:16 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 218] Entity Tags: Marc Sasseville, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Secret Service Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Unarmed Fighters Find Target Is Just US Military Aircraft

A KC-10 air tanker. [Source: Jerry Morrison / US Air Force] Two unarmed fighter jets intercept a suspicious target flying in from the east, which turns out to simply be some US military aircraft returning from Europe, and which are unaware of the attacks on America. Pilots Dennis Doonan and Joe McGrady took off from Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, after NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) ordered the base to launch all its available aircraft (see (Shortly After 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). However, their F-15s had not yet been armed. Fighters Directed toward Target - The weapons controller the two pilots are communicating with instructs them, “Fly 090 for 100 to intercept,” meaning they are to fly east for 100 miles. Knowing his plane is unarmed, McGrady is concerned that he might have to take out their target by crashing into it. To his relief, when he gets near it, he discovers the target is a convoy of five US military aircraft: a KC-10 tanker and four A-10 jets. These aircraft are on their way back to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, from the Azores, off Portugal. Because the aircraft are out of radio range of US controllers, they are unaware of the catastrophic events taking place in America. Fighters Sent toward Boston - Doonan and McGrady radio the A-10 flight lead with diversion instructions. They are then instructed to fly to Boston to establish a combat air patrol over the city. Doonan decides that the KC-10 in the convoy can assist them with refueling once they are over Boston, and radios its pilot with instructions to accompany him. The pilot asks, “What’s going on?” Doonan gives no details, only replying, “It’s serious sh_t and you’re coming with us.” [BRUCE VITTNER, 2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 245-247] Entity Tags: Dennis Doonan, Joe McGrady Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(10:37 a.m.-11:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Plane Incorrectly Reported to Have Crashed at Camp David The press incorrectly reports that an airliner has crashed on or near Camp David. [DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 3/2002] Camp David is the presidential retreat, located about 70 miles north of Washington, DC, in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. [FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS, 10/2/2000; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 7/30/2007] On Air Force One, at 10:37, White House chief of staff Andrew Card relays to the president the incorrect report of the crash. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 108] At around 11:09, CBS News reports that “a plane apparently has crashed at or near Camp David.” [BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 8/26/2002] An early article by Forbes states, “There are reports of a fourth airliner [having] been brought down near Camp David… by US military fighters.” [FORBES, 9/11/2001] And an early report by the Northwestern Chronicle similarly states, “Air Force officials say an airliner has been forced down by F-16 fighter jets near Camp David.” [NORTHWESTERN CHRONICLE, 9/11/2001] Theresa Hahn, the catering manager for a restaurant in the Camp David area, hears the erroneous report. She subsequently describes, “Lots of fire trucks were on the road and no one can get up there.” But J. Mel Poole, the Catoctin Mountain Park superintendent, states there has been “no crash at Camp David.” [DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001] At some point, the FAA calls the military to confirm the crash, and is reassured that no crash occurred at Camp David. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 42] The actual Flight 93 crash site is about 85 miles northwest of Camp David. [PBS, 9/11/2001] The Secret Service reportedly tells the White House that Flight 93 may have been on a course for Camp David. [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/11/2001] And, following a military briefing, Representative James Moran (D-VA) tells reporters that Flight 93 was apparently heading for Camp David. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/12/2001] (However, the 9/11 Commission will later state that its intended target was either the White House or the Capitol building. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 14] ) The source of the incorrect report of the Camp David crash is unclear. However, when the FAA’s Washington Center first informed NEADS that Flight 93 had crashed, at 10:15, it simply reported that it had gone down “somewhere up northeast of Camp David” (see 10:15 a.m. September 11, 2001), so this may have created some of the confusion. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] There are also numerous false reports of terrorist attacks having taken place in Washington, DC around this time (see (Between 9:50-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Some commentators make the connection that the 9/11 attacks come 23 years after the signing of the Camp David accords—a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt—on September 17, 1978. [FORBES, 9/11/2001; VILLAGE VOICE, 9/11/2001; DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001] WCBS reports, “[T]here is speculation that perhaps, perhaps, this may be in retaliation for those accords.” [BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 8/26/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, J. Mel Poole, Andrew Card, James Moran, Theresa Hahn, Secret Service Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush

(10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Fighter Recalled from Training Takes Off to Defend Washington

Billy Hutchison. [Source: Family photo] The first fighter jet to launch from Andrews Air Force Base, 10 miles southeast of Washington, takes off in response to the attacks. [GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 11/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] The F-16 belongs to the 121st Fighter Squadron, which is part of the 113th Wing of the District of Columbia Air National Guard, and is piloted by Major Billy Hutchison. It is one of three F-16s that were flying on a training mission in North Carolina, over 200 miles from Andrews (see 8:36 a.m. September 11, 2001), and which have finally been recalled to the base (see (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (9:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 5/12/2005] Although the three jets met with a refueling plane, they did not fill their tanks up completely. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 216-217] Hutchison’s aircraft is the only one of them with enough fuel remaining to take off again immediately, though he only has 2,800 pounds, which is equivalent to one-eighth of a tank in a car. His jet has no missiles, and only training ammunition. Pilot Takes Off, Instructed to Protect Washington - Immediately after landing at Andrews at 10:36 a.m., Hutchison takes off again at the instruction of Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the DC Air National Guard. He is instructed “to intercept an aircraft coming toward DC and prevent it from reaching DC,” he will later recall. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 79-81; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] According to author Lynn Spencer, Lieutenant Colonel Phil Thompson, the supervisor of flying (SOF) at Andrews, tells Hutchison to “use whatever force is necessary to prevent [the aircraft] from getting to DC.” Thompson adds: “You are weapons free. Do you understand?” “Weapons free” means the decision to shoot at a target now rests solely with Hutchison. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 219] However, according to the 9/11 Commission, the “weapons free” instruction goes out to other pilots that launch from Andrews at 10:42 and after, but apparently not to Hutchison. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] Thompson will tell Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine simply that he instructs Hutchison “to ‘do exactly what [air traffic control] asks you to do.’ Primarily, he was to go ID [identify] that unknown [aircraft] that everybody was so excited about” (see (10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] Hutchison takes off “without afterburner to conserve fuel, go across the White House over the Georgetown area and continue northwest up the Potomac,” he will recall (see 10:39 a.m.-10:45 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81] Conflicting Timelines - Conflicting times will later be given for when Hutchison takes off from Andrews. The pilots with the 121st Fighter Squadron will admit that their own recollection of the morning’s timeline “is fuzzy.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] According to 113th Wing operations desk records, Hutchison takes off at 10:33 a.m. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81, 89] Based on an interview with David Wherley, the 9/11 Commission states he is airborne at 10:38 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44, 465] Recordings of air traffic controller transmissions confirm this time. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] But in her 2008 book Touching History, Lynn Spencer will claim Hutchison took off significantly earlier, some time after 9:50 but before Flight 93 crashed (which was just after 10:00 a.m.). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 216-220] (However, she will later amend her claim, saying instead, “Radio data indicates that Hutchison’s flight did not depart from Andrews… until just after 10:35.” [LYNN SPENCER, 2008] ) Two more fighters will take off from Andrews at 10:42 a.m. (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001) and another two take off at 11:11 a.m. (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). Due to his plane’s limited fuel, Hutchison will only be airborne for about 10 minutes, and he lands back at Andrews at 10:47 a.m. (see 10:47 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] One Jet Landed Already - The first of the three F-16s to return from the training mission over North Carolina landed at Andrews at 10:14 a.m., but did not take off again to defend Washington (see 10:14 a.m. September 11, 2001). The other F-16, piloted by Lou Campbell, landed with Hutchison’s jet at 10:36 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] The 113th Wing is not part of NORAD’s air sovereignty force and, according to the 1st Air Force’s book about 9/11, does not have an alert mission. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76] According to Phil Thompson, “We’ve never been an air defense unit,” but “We practice scrambles, we know how to do intercepts and other things.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] Entity Tags: Andrews Air Force Base, Billy Hutchison, Lou Campbell, 121st Fighter Squadron, David Wherley, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Phil Thompson Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

10:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: Vice President Cheney Brings Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Up to Date, but Errs about Pilot Knowledge of Shootdown Order Vice President Dick Cheney tries to bring Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld up to date over the National Military Command Center’s (NMCC) conference call (see (9:29 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001), as Rumsfeld arrived at the NMCC just minutes earlier (see (10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Cheney explains that he has given authorization for hijacked planes to be shot down and that this has been passed on to the fighter pilots. Rumsfeld asks, “So we’ve got a couple of aircraft up there that have those instructions at the present time?” Cheney replies: “That is correct. And it’s my understanding they’ve already taken a couple of aircraft out.” Then Rumsfeld says: “We can’t confirm that. We’re told that one aircraft is down but we do not have a pilot report that they did it.” Cheney is incorrect about his authorization having reached the pilots (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld

10:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Closes All US Airports The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, issues a formal Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), closing all operations at all US airports. [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; HARRALD ET AL., 7/15/2002 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

10:39 a.m.-10:45 a.m. September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Jet Searches Unsuccessfully for Approaching Aircraft, then Inspects Pentagon Having taken off after returning from a training mission, a pilot with the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) flies two loops up the Potomac River, reversing course near Georgetown and the Pentagon, but is unable to locate a suspicious approaching aircraft, and heads back to base less than 10 minutes after launching. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 219-221] No Rules of Engagement - Major Billy Hutchison, a pilot with the 121st Fighter Squadron of the DCANG, had landed back at Andrews Air Force Base, 10 miles from Washington, but was ordered to take off again immediately (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] His plane has no missiles, and only training ammunition, and he has been given no specific rules of engagement other than being told to identify an aircraft that is coming down the river. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Because the DCANG is not in the communication and command loops of NORAD or its Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), Hutchison is unaware that three fighter jets NEADS ordered into the air from Langley Air Force Base (see 9:24 a.m. September 11, 2001) are also flying over Washington, albeit at a much higher altitude than he is. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] Controller Directs Hutchison - Hutchison calls the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Washington’s Reagan National Airport. He says, “Bully 1 [his call sign] is looking for a contact.” Victor Padgett, the operations supervisor at the TRACON, replies, “We have an intercept for you northwest of here and coming down the Potomac.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 219] Hutchison knows he is meant to be searching for a civilian aircraft, and will later recall that he is told it is coming from Pennsylvania. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] In order to conserve fuel and gain airspeed, he flies low over the White House and Georgetown, reportedly staying between 500 and 1,000 feet above ground level. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 219] After Padgett gives him details of the approaching aircraft’s location, Hutchison spots it on his jet’s radar screen, but it quickly disappears. The aircraft reappears a minute later, but then both Hutchison and Padgett lose sight of it. Aircraft Claimed to Be Flight 93 - Some accounts will suggest the approaching aircraft is thought to be Flight 93 (see (10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001), even though that plane has already crashed (see (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 219-221] Hutchison will later recall that the TRACON at Reagan Airport is “frantic with what they seem to think are aircraft coming their way.… There is another aircraft, and it’s United Flight 93. They… apparently have been given information that it’s coming their way.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81] Major David McNulty, the senior intelligence officer of the DCANG, will recall, “[I]t wasn’t until later that they realized the plane [coming down the river] might be UAL 93.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] However, John Farmer, John Azzarello, and Miles Kara, who are all staff members of the 9/11 Commission, subsequently rebut this claim. They will write: “[R]adar records of the day [of 9/11] indicate that Major Hutchison did not take off until more than a half-hour after United 93 had crashed near Shanksville, PA, and a good 20 minutes after the wreckage had been located. He could not have seen United 93 on his scope, and could not have intercepted it.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2008] Told to Investigate Other Aircraft - After the aircraft disappears off Hutchison’s radar screen, Dan Creedon, an air traffic controller at the TRACON at Reagan Airport, is concerned about planes and helicopters that are taking off and landing across Washington, and tells Hutchison, “We have more contacts!” Hutchison confirms that he will investigate the targets Creedon alerts him to, but he keeps losing them among the ground clutter on his radar screen. According to author Lynn Spencer, “The flights are too close to the surface and, from what he can see, appear to be mostly helicopters flying medevac from the Pentagon.” Flies over the Pentagon - Hutchison, who’d noticed the burning Pentagon before he landed at Andrews Air Force Base (see (9:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001), then decides he should investigate it. He descends and flies a steep turn over the Pentagon. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 234-235] He will later recall: “I circled at a couple of hundred feet at the most just to, one, investigate, and two, give the people on the ground some semblance of security of an American fighter coming by. And apparently it changed the mood for a lot of people when they saw that” (see (10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Running out of Fuel - By now, Hutchison is almost out of fuel. He will recall, “After that point, I’m emergency fuel, the lowest I’ve ever been in an F-16, and tell [the FAA’s] Washington Center I must leave, and they say I’m cleared to return to base and that two more aircraft are coming out of Andrews.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81-82] Hutchison will land at Andrews at 10:47 a.m. (see 10:47 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] Entity Tags: Victor Padgett, Dan Creedon, Billy Hutchison, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Pentagon, 121st Fighter Squadron, John Farmer, Miles Kara, David McNulty, John Azzarello, District of Columbia Air National Guard Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(10:40 a.m.-11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Rumsfeld Refuses to Leave Military Command Center, against Established Emergency Plan Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refuses to leave the Pentagon, despite the smoke leaking into the National Military Command Center (NMCC) where he is currently working, the danger of a second attack on the Pentagon, and a White House request to begin implementing Continuity of Government (COG) measures. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 132] After being out of touch with his colleagues at the Pentagon since the time of the attack there (see (9:38 a.m.-10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001), Rumsfeld finally entered the NMCC at around 10:30 a.m. (see (10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 43-44; COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 2-6] It is now noticed that smoke is seeping into the center. With people beginning to cough, aides suggest Rumsfeld should leave the building, but he is uninterested in their advice. Even when they warn that the smoke might be toxic, he still ignores them. Rumsfeld’s deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, tells him he should leave the Pentagon. But Rumsfeld instead orders Wolfowitz to leave the NMCC and fly to Site R, the alternate command center outside Washington (see (11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to journalist and author Steve Vogel, this is “contrary to the established Continuity of Government plan, which called for the secretary of defense to relocate to the alternate command center.… The secretary figured the 45 minutes to an hour it would take to evacuate to Site R would leave him out of touch for too long.” Rumsfeld will later explain: “That’s life. That’s what deputies are for.” [VOGEL, 2007, PP. 441] Entity Tags: Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Donald Rumsfeld

(10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: First Fighter Seen Arriving over the Pentagon

Mike Walter. [Source: CNN] According to a number of witnesses on the ground, a US Air Force F-16 flies low over the Pentagon at this time; apparently becoming the first fighter to arrive over the scene of the third attack. [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 10/11/2001; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 130-131] Firefighters and other emergency responders at the Pentagon recently evacuated away from the crash site, due to reports of another supposedly hijacked aircraft flying toward Washington (see (10:15 a.m.-10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A30]

Steve Carter, the assistant building manager, is in the Pentagon’s center courtyard, expecting this plane to hit the building. He then sees an F-16 zoom “low and fast over the courtyard.” [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 130] 
On Washington Boulevard, where many fire and rescue personnel relocated during the evacuation, cheers go up when the F-16 flies over. Firefighter Mike Smith shouts out: “Thank God that guy’s there! Where has he been?” [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 130-131] 
Lieutenant Commander Dale Rielage will recall that an “arriving combat air patrol F-16 thundered overhead” after the alleged second hijacked plane was said to be approaching the Pentagon. [FIRE ENGINEERING, 11/1/2002] 
John Jester, the chief of the Defense Protective Service, which guards the Pentagon, says that, following the evacuation, “It wasn’t until an F-15 fighter jet crossed in the sky that we realized the danger had passed.” [MURPHY, 2002, PP. 246-247] 
USA Today reporter Mike Walter, who has been at the Pentagon since the attack there, recalls that, after the evacuation, an “F-16 came screaming by the Pentagon, and people cheered.” [PEOPLE, 9/24/2001] 
Staff Sergeant Edwin Rotger Jr. will also describe seeing fighters arriving over the Pentagon at this time. However, he says there are two of them, not one. [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 49] 
According to the New York Times, “witnesses, including a reporter for the New York Times who was headed toward the building, did not see any [fighter jets over the Pentagon] until closer to 11 [o’clock].” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001] 

According to some accounts, the fighter that flies over the Pentagon at this time is Major Billy Hutchison’s F-16 from Andrews Air Force Base (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 235] Hutchison will recall, “I circled at a couple of hundred feet at the most just to, one, investigate, and two, give the people on the ground some semblance of security of an American fighter coming by” (see 10:39 a.m.-10:45 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81-82] However, some accounts contradict this. Major Dean Eckmann, from Langley Air Force Base, suggests his F-16 is the first to fly over the Pentagon, and this was at some time shortly after 9:45 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). He will say: “I heard stories that people went back in [the Pentagon] after seeing me fly over to help others out.… Now they knew they were safe.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 66] Other accounts similarly suggest that the first fighter jet (or jets) arrived over the Pentagon significantly earlier than is described by the witnesses on the ground, between 9:49 and 10:00 a.m. (see (Between 9:49 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CNN, 9/17/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 34 ] Entity Tags: Edwin Rotger Jr., Dale Rielage, Dean Eckmann, John Jester, Mike Walter, Steve Carter, Billy Hutchison, Mike Smith Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

10:40 a.m. September 11, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft Ignores FAA Order for His Plane to Land The plane carrying Attorney General John Ashcroft is ordered to land by the FAA’s Cleveland Center, but Ashcroft is intent on reaching Washington, DC, and instructs his pilot to ignore the order. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 117; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 258] Ashcroft learned of the attacks in New York while flying to Milwaukee in a small government jet, and immediately wanted to return to Washington, but his plane needed to land first in Milwaukee to refuel (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). Even though the FAA had issued a nationwide ground stop to prevent aircraft from taking off, Ashcroft then insisted that his plane leave Milwaukee to fly back to Washington (see After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). FAA Manager Furious, Wants Plane to Land - When Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, hears about Ashcroft’s plane defying the ground stop order, he is livid. He immediately calls the FAA’s Cleveland Center and tells it to order the plane to land. An air traffic controller at the Cleveland Center then issues this order to Ashcroft’s plane. [NEWSWEEK, 3/10/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257-258] David Clemmer, the plane’s pilot, tells Ashcroft, “They’re instructing me to land outside of Detroit,” but Ashcroft tells him, “No, keep going.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 117] Controller Reports that Plane Is Not Complying - According to a 2002 FAA report, Ashcroft then requests that his plane be allowed to immediately return to Washington, and he receives permission to do so. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] But author Lynn Spencer will give a different account, saying that Clemmer “chooses to ignore the controller and continues toward Washington.” The Cleveland Center controller then informs the FAA Command Center that the pilot of Ashcroft’s plane is not responding and not complying. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 258] Ashcroft’s plane will subsequently be redirected toward Richmond, Virginia, and is threatened with being shot down if it does not land (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [DAILY RECORD (GLASGOW), 9/29/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 118] Entity Tags: John Ashcroft, David Clemmer, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Ben Sliney Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001: Fighters Launched from Syracuse Air Base Two F-16 fighters take off from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, near Syracuse, NY. The fighters belong to the 174th Fighter Wing, a unit of the New York Air National Guard. A commander from Syracuse had called NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) offering to help earlier in the morning (see (After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Although at that time they’d promised: “Give me 30 minutes and I’ll have heat-seeker [missiles]. Give me an hour and I can give you slammers,” the fighters now launching have bullets but no missiles. [POST-STANDARD (SYRACUSE), 9/12/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002; POST-STANDARD (SYRACUSE), 10/18/2002] The Hancock pilots are ordered to “Identify all aircraft… Intercept them. Tell them to land. ‘Engage’ them if they [don’t].” [POST-STANDARD (SYRACUSE), 9/25/2001] Also at some time this morning, following the attacks, 174th FW officials form a command center to monitor the situation across the US. [POST-STANDARD (SYRACUSE), 9/11/2001; POST-STANDARD (SYRACUSE), 9/12/2001] A hundred of the 174th FW’s staff have spent the last month deployed to Saudi Arabia and are due back this afternoon. However, they are diverted to Canada and arrive back at the base later in the week (see Mid-August-September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: 174th Fighter Wing Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001: Two DC Air National Guard Fighters Take Off, but without Missiles

Heather Penney Garcia. [Source: ABC] Two F-16 fighter jets belonging to the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) take off from Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, but they have no missiles and only training bullets for their guns. The pilots are Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville and Lieutenant Heather Penney Garcia. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 82; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Possibly Given Shootdown Authorization - Before they headed to their jets, Sasseville and Penney Garcia were given a short briefing by Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the DC Air National Guard. Wherley will later recall telling Sasseville that he has “weapons free flight-lead control,” meaning he is responsible for deciding whether to fire on hostile aircraft (see (Between 9:40 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 82; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] But Sasseville will say he does not recall receiving any such rules of engagement until after he has taken off. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ] Jets Only Have Training Ammunition - The two pilots run out to their jets and climb into the cockpits. But their F-16s are armed only with “hot” guns and 511 rounds of non-explosive training practice (TP) ammunition. According to Sasseville: “They had two airplanes ready to go, and were putting missiles on numbers three and four. Maintenance wanted us to take the ones with missiles, but we didn’t have time to wait on those.” Rookie Pilot 'Never Scrambled Before' - Penney Garcia, who is a rookie pilot, will later say: “I’d never scrambled before, I’d never done this. I was screaming to the maintainers to pull the chocks, and the guys were pulling the pins to arm the guns. We were going without INS [inertial navigation system].” Sasseville and Penney Garcia are airborne about six minutes after reaching their jets. They are unaware that fighters launched from Langley Air Force Base are also flying over Washington, at around 20,000 feet (see (Between 9:49 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 82] Told to Look for Hijacked Plane - Over their radios, Sasseville and Penney Garcia receive instructions from their squadron to look for a hijacked aircraft approaching from the northwest and heading toward Georgetown (see (10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). But, Sasseville will later recall, “We didn’t know what we were looking for—how high he was coming, or low, or where he was going.” [VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] He will say, “I don’t have the whole picture, but have word from Washington National Approach that something is coming.” Pilot 'Making Things Up on the Fly' - The two jets will fly over Washington at low altitudes, around 5,000 or 6,000 feet. Sasseville will later say, “I didn’t want to get too low for a good radar angle, and not too high, so we could get somewhere fast.” He will admit that he is “making things up on the fly,” as he has no precedent to draw upon. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 82] Another DCANG pilot, Billy Hutchison, launched from Andrews four minutes before Sasseville and Penney Garcia take off, but he is airborne for less than 10 minutes (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 10:47 a.m. September 11, 2001). The next DCANG jets to take off, which will be armed with missiles, launch at 11:11 a.m. (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Entity Tags: Heather Penney Garcia, David Wherley, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base, 121st Fighter Squadron, Marc Sasseville Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Day of 9/11 Events, All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(10:42 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Status of Three Planes Unknown; False Rumors Persist of More Terrorist Activity Around this time (roughly), the FAA tells the White House that it still cannot account for three planes in addition to the four that have crashed. It takes the FAA another hour and a half to account for these three aircraft. [TIME, 9/14/2001] Vice President Cheney later says, “That’s what we started working off of, that list of six, and we could account for two of them in New York. The third one we didn’t know what had happened to. It turned out it had hit the Pentagon, but the first reports on the Pentagon attack suggested a helicopter and then later a private jet.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/17/2001] Amongst false rumors during the day are reports of a bomb aboard a United Airlines jet that just landed in Rockford, Illinois. “Another plane disappears from radar and might have crashed in Kentucky. The reports are so serious that [FAA head Jane] Garvey notifies the White House that there has been another crash. Only later does she learn the reports are erroneous.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Jane Garvey Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(10:43 a.m.) September 11, 2001: 9/11 Commission Report Describes Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Deciding to Put Military on High Alert; Time Conflicts with Other Accounts According to the 9/11 Commission, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld makes the decision to go to Defcon Three, the “highest alert for the nuclear arsenal in 30 years.” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] His decision is broadcast on the air threat conference call. Then, according to the Commission, “A minute later, Secretary Rumsfeld spoke to the Vice President, and he asked Rumsfeld to run the issue by the President. At 10:45 conferees were told to ‘hold off’ on Defcon 3, but a minute later the order was reinstated. Rumsfeld believed the matter was urgent and, having consulted [Defense Department] directives, concluded he had the authority to issue the order and would brief the President. Rumsfeld briefed the President on the decision at 11:15.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 326 AND 554] According to other accounts, the US military is put on high alert about 35 minutes earlier than the 9/11 Commission states (see (10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Donald Rumsfeld

(10:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Global Guardian Exercise Formally Canceled The US Strategic Command (Stratcom) formally terminates its Global Guardian exercise at this time, according to a 2006 article in The Bombardier, the newspaper for Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Global Guardian was put on pause just over 90 minutes earlier, according to the same article (see 9:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [BOMBARDIER, 9/8/2006 ] However, other reports will suggest that Global Guardian was canceled significantly earlier than 10:44 a.m. One article in the Omaha World-Herald will state, “When the second World Trade Center tower was hit,” at 9:03 a.m., “the exercise was canceled, and the battle staff [at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska] moved to the real-world crisis.” [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/8/2002] But an earlier article in the World-Herald will say that military authorities canceled Global Guardian “after the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon,” suggesting some time after 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon was hit. [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002] An E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft that was involved in Global Guardian was reportedly only told to pull out of the exercise just after the Pentagon was hit (see (Shortly Before 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [VERTON, 2003, PP. 143-144] Even after Global Guardian is canceled, this plane and two other E-4Bs that are involved in the exercise will remain airborne. [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002] The annual Global Guardian exercise tests Stratcom’s ability to fight a nuclear war (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 4/27/2005] Entity Tags: Global Guardian, US Strategic Command Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Training Exercises

(10:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush Heads for Louisiana on Air Force One, Following Warning from Cheney and Rice

Bush’s travels on 9/11. [Source: Yvonne Vermillion/ MagicGrapix.com] After Vice President Dick Cheney had alerted the president to a possible threat to Air Force One (see 10:32 a.m. September 11, 2001), Bush and his aides had begun discussing whether to change directions. They are currently flying off the coast of South Carolina, about half way on their 900-mile journey from Florida back to Washington, DC. Bush had suggested diverting to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, but Cheney favored him heading to a military base, such as Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. At 10:41, Cheney had called the president again, telling him that both National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and himself agreed that Washington was no longer safe enough for Bush’s return. The president therefore gives the order for his plane to divert. Within minutes, Air Force One turns sharply to the left, and heads toward Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, Louisiana, a distance of about 800 miles away. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 106-109; WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush, Dick Cheney

10:45 a.m. September 11, 2001: Coroner Unable to Find Human Remains at Flight 93 Crash Site

Wallace Miller. [Source: Steve Mellon / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] Wallace Miller, the coroner of Somerset County, is one of the first people to arrive at the Flight 93 crash scene. However, he is surprised by the absence of human remains there. He later says, “If you didn’t know, you would have thought no one was on the plane. You would have thought they dropped them off somewhere.” [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 217] The only recognizable body part he sees is a piece of spinal cord with five vertebrae attached. He will later tell Australian newspaper The Age, “I’ve seen a lot of highway fatalities where there’s fragmentation. The interesting thing about this particular case is that I haven’t, to this day, 11 months later, seen any single drop of blood. Not a drop.” [AGE (MELBOURNE), 9/9/2002] Dave Fox, a former firefighter, also arrives early at the crash scene, but sees just three chunks of human tissue. He says, “You knew there were people there, but you couldn’t see them.” [PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/11/2002] Yet, in the following weeks, hundreds of searchers are able to find about 1,500 scorched human tissue samples, weighing less than 600 pounds—approximately eight percent of the total body mass on Flight 93. Months after 9/11, more remains are found in a secluded cabin, several hundred yards from the crash site. [WASHINGTON POST, 5/12/2002] Entity Tags: Dave Fox, Wallace Miller Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, FBI 9/11 Investigation

10:47 a.m. September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Jet Lands Back at Base, Less than 10 Minutes after Taking Off The first fighter jet that launched from Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, in response to the morning’s attacks lands at its base less than 10 minutes after taking off. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] The F-16, which is piloted by Major Billy Hutchison, was ordered to take off immediately after arriving back at Andrews from a training mission in North Carolina (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Hutchison has made two loops up the Potomac River, and flown over the burning Pentagon (see 10:39 a.m.-10:45 a.m. September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 235] His aircraft had only 2,800 pounds of fuel—equivalent to one-eighth of a tank in a car—remaining when he took off, and he’d subsequently noticed his fuel gauge pegged at the lowest level it can indicate, 400 pounds. He announced to the air traffic controller he was communicating with, “I’ve got to go.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 248] Hutchison will later recall that his plane is “on vapors” when he lands. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] By now, two more F-16s have taken off from Andrews (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 82; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Hutchison’s jet is refueled and loaded with weapons, and he will then take off again to defend Washington. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 249] Entity Tags: Billy Hutchison, Andrews Air Force Base Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(10:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Local Farmer Flies over Flight 93 Crash Site

James K. Will. [Source: WTAE-TV] After hearing a plane has crashed in his area, a farmer flies over the Flight 93 crash site to take photos of the wreckage. James K. Will, who is an aerial photographer as well as a farmer, had just landed his Cessna on a private airstrip at his farm in Berlin, Pennsylvania, after visiting nearby Altoona. His mother rushed out and told him there were reports of a plane having crashed near Shanksville. He’d grabbed his camera and set off in his plane for the site, to take photos of the wreckage. He later recalls that he circles the Flight 93 crash scene around 45 minutes after the crash occurred. He says, “I thought it was just an accident.” He is then intercepted by a state police helicopter, which escorts him to the Johnstown airport. He will be questioned and briefly detained there before being released. His plane will be searched and then released. [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/15/2001; PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/15/2001] At around 9:45 a.m., all FAA facilities had been ordered to instruct every aircraft to land at the nearest airport (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). About 20 minutes earlier, the FAA had initiated a nationwide ground stop, which prohibited takeoffs and required planes in the air to land as soon as reasonable (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [TIME, 9/14/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 25 AND 29] Entity Tags: James K. Will Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

10:53 a.m. September 11, 2001: New York Election Is Postponed New York’s primary elections, already in progress, are postponed. [CNN, 9/12/2001] Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(10:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Force One Takes Evasive Action from False Alarm

Colonel Mark Tillman in the cockpit of Air Force One. [Source: CBS News] Col. Mark Tillman, pilot of Air Force One, is told there is a threat to President Bush’s plane. Tillman has an armed guard placed at his cockpit door while the Secret Service double-checks the identity of everyone on board. Air traffic controllers warn that a suspect airliner is dead ahead, according to Tillman: “Coming out of Sarasota there was one call that said there was an airliner off our nose that they did not have contact with.” Tillman takes evasive action, pulling his plane high above normal traffic. [CBS NEWS, 9/11/2002] Reporters on board notice the rise in elevation. [SALON, 9/11/2001; DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/28/2002] The report is apparently a false alarm. Entity Tags: Secret Service, Mark Tillman Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush

Timeline links[]

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