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Good scope?NoN Timeline?NoN wikified?NoN 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

8:30 a.m.Edit

(8:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Some US Leaders Are Scattered; Others in Washington Edit

Just prior to learning about the 9/11 attacks, top US leaders are scattered across the country and overseas:

Others are in Washington, DC Wikipedia:

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Army Base Near Pentagon Holds Terrorist Attack Exercise Edit

At Fort Belvoir, an army base 12 miles south of the Pentagon, Lt. Col. Mark R. Lindon is conducting a “garrison control exercise” when the 9/11 attacks begin. The object of this exercise is to “test the security at the base in case of a terrorist attack.” Lindon later says, “I was out checking on the exercise and heard about the World Trade Center on my car radio. As soon as it was established that this was no accident, we went to a complete security mode.”

Staff Sgt. Mark Williams of the Military District of Washington Engineer Company at Fort Belvoir also later says: “Ironically, we were conducting classes about rescue techniques when we were told of the planes hitting the World Trade Center.” Williams’ team is one of the first response groups to arrive at the site of the Pentagon crash and one of the first to enter the building following the attack. [12] A previous MASCAL (mass casualty) training exercise was held at Fort Belvoir a little over two months earlier [see 1] It was “designed to enhance the first ready response in dealing with the effects of a terrorist incident involving an explosion.” [13] Located at Fort Belvoir is Davison Army Airfield, from where UH-1 Wikipedia “Huey” and UH-60 Wikipedia Black Hawk helicopters fly. Davison’s mission includes maintaining “a readiness posture in support of contingency plans,” and providing “aviation support for the White House, US government officials, Department of Defense, Department of the Army, and other government agencies.” [14]

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Several Senior Members of FAA Staff Away From Base When Attacks Begin 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

A number of key senior FAA personnel happen to be away from their usual bases this morning, at the time of the attacks. Bill Peacock, the FAA director of air traffic services, is in New Orleans Wikipedia for a meeting with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association Wikipedia. Among his many duties, Peacock is “the ultimate manager of all the air traffic controllers in the country’s system.” He will be transported from New Orleans later in the day in an FAA business jet, one of the few aircraft permitted to fly, and only arrive at FAA headquarters shortly after 5:00 p.m.[15]

Jack Kies Wikipedia, the FAA’s manager of tactical operations, is in Nashua, New Hampshire for a meeting with representatives of the Canadian air traffic control organization. [16]Consequently Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations, has to take his place in charge of the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia.[17]

Tony Ferrante Wikipedia, the manager of the FAA’s air traffic investigation arm, is in Chicago Wikipedia to testify at a hearing. He will become frustrated later in the day about being stuck there, knowing he should he at his post in Washington gathering forensic data on the hijackings and crashes. [18]

Rick Hostetler Wikipedia, a member of the FAA’s planning and procedures organization, is at the dentist’s in Waldorf, Maryland when the attacks begin. His job includes acting as the FAA’s primary air traffic liaison for the Secret Service, the US Special Operations Command, and the Pentagon. After seeing the second WTC tower hit live on television, reportedly while sitting in the dentist’s chair, he will quickly set out for his duty station at the FAA Command Center. But due to the heavy traffic, his journey will take hours and the attacks will be over by the time he gets there. [19]

Mike Canavan, the director of the FAA’s Office of Civil Aviation Security, is visiting the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He will only make it back to Washington in the evening, on a special Army flight. [20][21] As part of his job, Canavan is the FAA’s hijack coordinator, responsible for requesting military assistance in the event of a hijacking [see 2]. [22]

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey is in a breakfast meeting at the Department of Transportation, in Washington, DC. She will quickly relocate to FAA headquarters soon after the first attack [see 3]. [23]

Whether the absence of these senior personnel impairs the FAA’s ability to respond to the attacks is unknown.


8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Firefighters Who Later Respond to Pentagon Attack Are Attending Antiterrorism TrainingEdit

At the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Training Academy, firefighters are taking part in what is described as a “counterterrorism class” or “antiterrorism exercises.” This is in preparation for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which are scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, at the end of this month. Numerous individuals who will later respond to the attack on the Pentagon are in attendance. These include some firefighters with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) at Reagan National Airport.[24]

Captain Scott McKay of the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) is also reportedly “attending a counterterrorism class with the FBI in the District [of Columbia].” . [25] And other ACFD personnel are reportedly “engaged in meetings in the District of Columbia, preparing for the upcoming International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference.” . [26]

FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs, who is the regular FBI liaison to the fire services and routinely cross-trains with regional departments, is at the Fire Academy, “training firefighters in counterterrorism tactics.” Combs serves on the FBI’s National Capital Response Squad (NCRS), an antiterrorism rapid response unit. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 76] Members of the NCRS will be notified and recalled after the second WTC crash, and Combs will subsequently head to the Pentagon after hearing of the attack there, arriving at 9:49 a.m. . [27]

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Preparations Underway for IMF/World Bank Meeting in Washington, DC Edit

Preparations are already underway for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which are scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on September 29-30, 2001. Many of the agencies that will be involved in the emergency response to the Pentagon attack, including the Arlington County Fire Department, are engaged in preparations for the IMF/World Bank event (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). . [28] The meetings have been designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). . [29] The Secret Service is in charge of security for NSSEs. [30] The FBI and FEMA also have key roles. [CSO MAGAZINE, 9/2004; SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE, 1/11/2005] There are questions about how preparations for an NSSE might have affected security around Washington. When preparing for such an event, the Secret Service carries out “a tremendous amount of advance planning and coordination in the areas of venue and motorcade route security, communications, credentialing, and training.” It conducts a “variety of training initiatives,” including “simulated attacks and medical emergencies, inter-agency tabletop exercises, and field exercises.” . [31] According to former FBI Director Louis Freeh , in 2000 and 2001 the use of airplanes by terrorists in suicide missions is “part of the planning” for NSSEs. [32] Also, the Secret Service is mandated to create capabilities for achieving “airspace security” over NSSEs. [33]But whether it has such capabilities already in place around Washington is unknown. Though there are only about four or five NSSEs each year, preparations also happen to be underway in New York for another possible NSSE (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). . [34] The IMF/World Bank event will be cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks. [CBS NEWS, 9/17/2001]

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Preparations Underway at Pentagon for President Bush’s Arrival Later in the Day Edit

Fire truck parked outside the Pentagon. [Source: Jon Culberson]

Preparations are underway at the Pentagon heliport, located about 150 feet from the west side of the building, for the expected arrival of President Bush at around midday. Bush had left from the Pentagon the previous day for his visit to Florida. He occasionally uses the Pentagon heliport rather than the White House grounds when going by helicopter to and from Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 64] The White House grounds are unavailable because the annual congressional picnic is scheduled to take place there this afternoon. The White House hosts this event for members of Congress and select staffers; around 1,200 guests are due to attend, until the attacks lead to it being canceled. [35] Three firefighters from the fire department at nearby Fort Myer had arrived at the Pentagon at around 7:30 a.m. to man the fire station next to the heliport. [NEWSWEEK, 9/28/2001; JEMS, 4/2002, PP. 22 ; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 65] One of them, Alan Wallace, decides to pull the fire truck out of the fire station and place it in a position more accessible to the heliport landing pad. [FIRST DUE NEWS, 4/17/2003] The truck is equipped with the special chemical foam used in fighting jet fuel fires. [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 65] Wallace parks it about 15 feet from the Pentagon’s west wall, facing towards the landing pad. Wallace later recalls that, with many vehicles—belonging to the Secret Service and other agencies—expected to be around for the president’s arrival, “I wanted the crash truck out of the station and parked in a good location, for easy access to the heliport in case of an emergency.” [FIRST DUE NEWS, 4/17/2003] When the Pentagon is hit at 9:37, the aircraft will crash into an area of the building next to the heliport (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). [36]

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Preparations Underway in New York for UN General Assembly Edit

Preparations are underway in New York City for the upcoming meeting of the United Nations General Assembly Wikipedia.[37] The Secret Service has an additional 100 employees in the city for this event. [38][39] Four communications soldiers from the 1108th Signal Brigade are also temporarily assigned to New York to support the Secret Service. [40]

Presumably, the specific event being prepared for is the General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, scheduled for September 24 to October 5, which President Bush is due to address on September 24. [41]

For example, one report says Secret Service Officer Craig Miller is in New York today “to do advance security work for President Bush’s then upcoming visit to the United Nations General Assembly.” [42] The General Assembly is designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). [43]

Since 1998, the National Security Council Wikipedia has been authorized to designate important upcoming events as NSSEs [see 4], which puts the Secret Service in charge of the planning and implementation of security. [44]

It is unclear whether the UN General Assembly received NSSE status prior to 9/11, or is later designated as an NSSE due to the attacks. However, the UN’s previous ‘Millennium Summit Wikipedia’ in New York in September 2000 was an NSSE. [45][46]

And in 2003, Secret Service Director Ralph Basham states: “Each year, the UNGA [United Nations General Assembly] is a manpower and resource intensive effort for the Secret Service.” [47] So it seems likely that it was designated as an NSSE before 9/11. There are questions about how preparations for an NSSE could have affected security in New York. The Secret Service says it conducts a “tremendous amount of advance planning and coordination” for NSSEs, involving a “variety of training initiatives,” which include, “simulated attacks and medical emergencies.” [48][49]

Furthermore, former FBI Director Louis Freeh will later tell the 9/11 Commission that in 2000 and 2001, the use of airplanes by terrorists in suicide missions “was part of the planning” for NSSEs. [50][51] Whether any such preparations are taking place in New York on or around 9/11 is unknown. The Secret Service is also mandated to create capabilities for achieving “airspace security” over NSSEs, which include “air interdiction teams” used to detect and identify aircraft that violate the restricted airspace above the event.[52][53] Again, whether such capabilities are already available in New York in advance of the UN General Assembly is unknown. Even though only four or five events per year are designated as NSSEs, preparations are also underway in the Washington, DC Wikipedia area for a separate NSSE [see 5]. [54][55] The UN General Assembly’s gathering of world leaders will be cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks but is rescheduled for November.[56][57]

(8:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Navy Commander Describes Need for ‘Seminal’ Terrorist Event Edit

At the CIA headquarters in [[Langley, Virginia], three senior CIA officers—John Russack, Don Kerr, and Charlie Allen—are having breakfast with Navy Commander Kirk Lippold. Lippold was the commanding officer of the USS Cole when it was attacked in Yemen the previous year. The men’s discussion is focused on terrorism. Lippold is upset that the American public still does not recognize the threat it poses, and says that it will take a “seminal event” to awaken them to the problem. Following the breakfast, Lippold heads to the Counterterrorist Center at CIA headquarters for some briefings. Just minutes later, after the WTC is hit, Charlie Allen will contact Lippold and tell him, “The seminal event just happened.” [58]

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: US Military Holding ‘Practice Armageddon’ Nationwide Training Exercise Edit

Offutt Air Force Base control tower during Global Guardian 1998. [Source: Jeffery S. Viano]


As the 9/11 attacks are taking place, a large military training exercise called Global Guardian is said to be “in full swing.” It has been going on since the previous week. [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/10/2002] Global Guardian is an annual exercise sponsored by US Strategic Command (Stratcom) in cooperation with US Space Command and NORAD. One military author defines Stratcom as “the single US military command responsible for the day-to-day readiness of America’s nuclear forces.” [ARKIN, 2005, PP. 59] Global Guardian is a global readiness exercise involving all Stratcom forces and aims to test Stratcom’s ability to fight a nuclear war. It is one of many “practice Armageddons” that the US military routinely stages. [BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, 11/1/1997; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/21/2002; OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/10/2002] It links with a number of other military exercises, including Crown Vigilance (an Air Combat Command exercise), Apollo Guardian (a US Space Command exercise), and NORAD exercises Vigilant Guardian and Amalgam Warrior [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 5/1997; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 10/10/2002]

Global Guardian is both a command post and field training exercise, and is based around a fictitious scenario designed to test the ability of Stratcom and its component forces to deter a military attack against the US. Hundreds of military personnel are involved. [US CONGRESS, N.D.; COLLINS CENTER UPDATE, 12/1999 ; TIMES-PICAYUNE, 9/8/2002] According to a 1998 Internet article by the British American Security Information Council—an independent research organization—Global Guardian is held in October or November each year. [KRISTENSEN, 10/1998] In his book “Code Names,” NBC News military analyst William Arkin dates this exercise for October 22-31, 2001. [ARKIN, 2005, PP. 379] And a military newspaper reported in March 2001 that Global Guardian was scheduled for October 2001. [SPACE OBSERVER, 3/23/2001, PP. 2 ] If this is correct, then some time after March, the exercise must have been rescheduled for early September. Furthermore, there may be another important facet to Global Guardian. A 1998 Defense Department newsletter reported that for several years Stratcom had been incorporating a computer network attack (CNA) into Global Guardian. The attack involved Stratcom “red team” members and other organizations acting as enemy agents, and included attempts to penetrate the Command using the Internet and a “bad” insider who had access to a key command and control system. The attackers “war dialed” the phones to tie them up and sent faxes to numerous fax machines throughout the Command. They also claimed they were able to shut down Stratcom’s systems. Reportedly, Stratcom planned to increase the level of computer network attack in future Global Guardian exercises. [IANEWSLETTER, 6/1998 ] It is not currently known if a computer attack was incorporated into Global Guardian in 2001 or what its possible effects on the country’s air defense system would have been if such an attack was part of the exercise. 

8:30 a.m.-8:40 a.m. September 11, 2001: Managers at FAA Command Center Learn of Flight 11 Hijacking, but Continue with Staff Meeting Edit

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Managers at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, learn of the apparent hijacking of Flight 11, but continue with a meeting they are in for several minutes, until being notified that one of the plane’s flight attendants may have been stabbed.

The daily staff meeting among all the department heads at the Command Center begins at 8:30 a.m. Ben Sliney, who is on his first day as national operations manager there, has just been informed of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11 [see 6]. He begins the meeting by announcing news of the hijacking to the other managers, but then continues with his normal briefing, about the outlook for the coming day’s operations. Sliney is interrupted, apparently at around 8:40 a.m., when a supervisor(either Tom Paccione or Mike Artis[59] enters the conference room and whispers to him that the situation with the hijacking has deteriorated: American Airlines has just called, reporting that a flight attendant on the plane may have been stabbed.

Deciding he should be on the center’s operations floor rather than in the meeting, Sliney announces to the other managers:

"Look, this hijack situation has seriously escalated and I need to get back to the floor. There is an unconfirmed report indicating that a flight attendant may have been stabbed.”

He then excuses himself. The meeting is quickly broken up before the first World Trade Center crash occurs at 8:46 a.m. The managers then head to their posts. Despite the “intuitive nature of this group of people,” none of them will initially consider the first WTC crash to be connected to the hijacking they have been informed of. According to Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations at the Command Center, “something that seemed so bizarre as flying a hijacked plane full of people into a skyscraper didn’t seem possible.” [60][61] [62]

(8:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: American Airlines Vice President Informed of Hijacking, But Unable to Contact Company President Edit

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Gerard Arpey Wikipedia, American Airlines Wikipedia’ executive vice president for operations, is in his office at the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. During a routine call to the airline’s nearby System Operations Control (SOC), he learns from manager Joe Burdepelly that Flight 11 may have been hijacked.

Burdepelly tells Arpey that another manager, Craig Marquis, is in contact with Betty Ong on the hijacked flight. Arpey learns that Ong said two other attendants have been stabbed, that two or three passengers are in the cockpit, and more. Arpey then tries, unsuccessfully, to contact American Airlines’ president Don Carty Wikipedia to inform him of the situation. He leaves a message for him to call back as soon as possible. Carty has not arrived at his office yet, meaning Arpey is the effective head of American Airlines during the early phase of the crisis. Arpey then sets out to the SOC, which is located about a mile from headquarters, and will arrive there some time between 8:35 and 8:40 a.m.[63][64] At some point before Flight 11 crashes, he is told about the strange hijacker transmissions coming from this plane[see 7].[65]

===8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Hijack Coordinator Responsible for Contacting Military is Out of Contact===  

Protocols in place on 9/11 state that if the FAA requests the military to go after an airplane, “the escort service will be requested by the FAA hijack coordinator by direct contact with the National Military Command Center (NMCC).” [66] Acting FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger Wikipedia states essentially the same thing to the 9/11 Commission,

“The official protocol on that day was for the FAA headquarters, primarily through the hijack coordinator… to request assistance from the NMCC if there was a need for [Defense Department] assistance.” [67]


However, the hijack coordinator, FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security Director Mike Canavan, is in Puerto Rico and claims to have missed out on “everything that transpired that day.” The 9/11 Commission did not ask him if he had delegated that task to anyone else while he was gone. [68][69]



Monte Belger will later say simply that “an FAA security person” runs the “hijack net” open communication system during 9/11. [70]  

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Rookie in Command of the NMCC Edit

Captain Charles Leidig. [Source: US Navy]

Captain Charles Leidig, the deputy for Command Center operations at the NMCC, takes over temporarily from Brigadier General Montague Winfield and is effectively in charge of NMCC during the 9/11 crisis. Winfield had requested the previous day that Leidig stand in for him on September 11. Leidig had started his role as Deputy for Command Center Operations two months earlier and had qualified to stand in for Winfield just the previous month. Leidig remains in charge from a few minutes before the 9/11 crisis begins until about 10:30 a.m., after the last hijacked plane crashes. He presides over an important crisis response teleconference that has a very slow start, not even beginning until 9:39 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]

(8:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Bin Laden Said to Be Listening to Radio for News of Attacks Edit

New Yorker magazine will later report that bin Laden, al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri, and some of their followers evacuated their residences in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and fled into the nearby mountains. By the time the attacks start, they are listening to an Arabic radio station reporting about the 9/11 attacks as they happen. [NEW YORKER, 9/9/2002] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri

8:32Edit

8:32 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Headquarters Informed of Flight 11 Hijacking, but Does Not Contact the Pentagon to Request Assistance Edit

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Four minutes after it is informed of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11[see 8], the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, passes on word of the hijacking to the operations center at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC. The headquarters is apparently already aware of the hijacking, as the duty officer who speaks with the Command Center responds that security personnel at the headquarters have just been discussing it on a conference call with the FAA’s New England regional office.[71][72]

According to the 9/11 Commission, “FAA headquarters is ultimately responsible for the management of the national airspace system,” and the operations center there “receives notifications of incidents, including accidents and hijackings.” FAA headquarters has a hijack coordinator, who is “the director of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security or his or her designate.” Procedures require that, if a hijacking is confirmed, the hijack coordinator on duty is

“to contact the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) and to ask for a military escort aircraft to follow the flight, report anything unusual, and aid search and rescue in the event of an emergency.”

Yet, the Commission will state, although “FAA headquarters began to follow the hijack protocol,” it does “not contact the NMCC to request a fighter escort.”[73] Mike Canavan, who would normally be the FAA’s hijack coordinator, is away in Puerto Rico this morning, and it is unclear who—if anyone—is standing in for him in this critical role [see 9].. [74][75]

  1. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  2. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  3. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; GIESEMANN, 2008, PP. 19-40]
  4. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  5. [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002]
  6. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  7. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  8. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  9. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  10. [US CONGRESS, 9/20/2001]
  11. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1]
  12. . [CONNECTION NEWSPAPERS, 9/5/2002]
  13. . [MDW NEWS SERVICE, 7/5/2001]
  14. . [PENTAGRAM, 5/7/1999; MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON, 8/2000]
  15. .  [FRENI, 2003, PP. 12 AND 70]
  16. .  [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65-66]
  17. .  [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 5/18/2006]
  18. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 7, 19 AND 47-48]
  19. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 27, 47 AND 90]
  20. . 
  21. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003]
  22. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17, Page 18
  23. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 62-63]
  24. [CBS NEWS, 9/17/2001; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 69 AND 78]
  25. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/20/2001]
  26. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A4]
  27. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. C45 AND 1-1]
  28. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/6/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A-4; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/19/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 314]
  29. [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/18/2001; EUROMONEY, 9/1/2001]
  30. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  31. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  32. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004]
  33. . [US CONGRESS, 3/30/2000]
  34. [US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 11/8/2004]
  35. [SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE, 9/11/2001; SCHEIB AND FRIEDMAN, 2007, PP. 254-255; HAYES, 2007, PP. 344]
  36. [USA TODAY, 9/12/2001; AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/7/2006]
  37. .  [US CONGRESS, 4/23/2002]
  38. . 
  39. [PCCW NEWSLETTER, 3/2006]
  40. . [FORT DETRICK STANDARD, 10/18/2001]
  41. . [REUTERS, 9/12/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/29/2001]
  42. . [AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, 2/2002; UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 4/29/2002 ]
  43. . [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/10/2001; US CONGRESS, 7/9/2002; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003]
  44. . [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  45. . 
  46. [US DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, 2000, PP. 177 ; US CONGRESS, 6/29/2000; WHITE HOUSE, 1/10/2002]
  47. . [US CONGRESS, 5/1/2003]
  48. . 
  49. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  50. . 
  51. [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004]
  52. . 
  53. [US CONGRESS, 3/30/2000; SECURITY MANAGEMENT, 2/2002]
  54. . 
  55. [US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 11/8/2004]
  56. . 
  57. [CBS NEWS, 9/19/2001; BBC, 11/10/2001; GUARDIAN, 11/10/2001]
  58. [TENET, 2007, PP. 162-163]
  59. http://www.scribd.com/doc/17053258/T8-B2-FAA-Command-Center-Ben-Sliney-Fdr-52104-MFR-717
  60. "Crisis at Herndon: 11 Airplanes Astray". AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY. 12/17/2001. 
  61. Pamela Freni Wikipedia (2003). "Ground Stop: An Inside Look at the Federal Aviation Administration on September 11, 2001". p. 63. 
  62. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 1 AND 19-21
  63. 9/11 COMMISSION (1/27/2004). 
  64. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 12
  65. USA TODAY. 8/13/2002. 
  66. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 11/3/1998]
  67. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  68. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  69. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17
  70. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  71. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  72. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  73. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 16, Page 17 , Page 18 , Page 19
  74. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  75. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17

8:33 a.m. September 11, 2001: Betty Ong Reports Death of Flight 11 Passenger Edit

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In her emergency phone call from Flight 11, Betty Ong reports that someone on the plane might have been killed. The 9/11 Commission says this is “the first indication of a fatality on board.” A minute later, Nydia Gonzalez, an American Airlines supervisor who is receiving Ong’s call, relays the details to American Airlines manager Craig Marquis: “They think they might have a fatality on the flight. One of our passengers, possibly on 9B, Levin or Lewis, might have been fatally stabbed.” She is presumably referring to Daniel Lewin, who was killed at around 8:20 a.m. [see 10]. Ong had briefly referred to a stabbing earlier on, saying, “Somebody’s stabbed in business class” [see 11]. Whether she was referring to Lewin on that occasion, or to the stabbing of a flight attendant or another passenger, is unknown.[1]

8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Air Traffic Control Center Calls FAA Facility at Otis Air Base Edit

Boston Center contacts the FAA’s Cape Cod facility, located on Otis Air National Guard Base at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and requests that it inform the military about the problems with Flight 11. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] Otis Air Base is one of NORAD’s seven alert sites in the continental United States, which keeps two armed fighter jets ready for immediate takeoff. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 17]

Boston Center supervisor Daniel Bueno calls the tower at Otis. According to Lynn Spencer, Bueno “knows it’s not standard operating procedure to call the military directly—that’s supposed to be done by FAA headquarters.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 22] Indeed, according to the 9/11 Commission, by trying to contact the base this way, through the FAA’s Cape Cod facility, “Boston Center did not follow the protocol in seeking military assistance through the prescribed chain of command.” [2] But Bueno has “checked the FAA regulation manual, and in the back under section FAAO 7610.4J, Appendix 16, it states that fighters can be launched directly at FAA request, so he is going to make that happen. He may not be FAA headquarters, but he is FAA!” [3]

Bueno speaks to a manager at the FAA Cape Cod facility. He says Flight 11 has lost its identification signal and appears to be headed toward Manhattan; it looks like a possible hijacking. He asks the manager to contact Otis Air National Guard Base, so as to get fighters airborne to tail Flight 11. [4] But the manager tells Bueno that he must follow the protocol, which is to contact NEADS. The manager says: “You’ve got to go through the proper channels. They’re the only ones with the authority to initiate a scramble order.” Following this call, the manager will contact the operations center at Otis Air Base to let it know that it might soon be receiving a call from NEADS [see 12]. [5]

The two alert pilots at Otis Air Base will later criticize Bueno’s actions. One of them, Major Daniel Nash, will complain: “It sounds like the FAA didn’t have their [act] together at all when they were calling the [Otis] tower.… To me, it sounded like there was someone who didn’t know what they were doing.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11/2005] Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy, the other alert pilot, will later comment: “It didn’t happen the way it was supposed to.… We were the ones who were contacted right away and knew about it before the air defense sector.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50] Entity Tags: Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Daniel Nash, Cape Terminal Radar Approach Control, Daniel Bueno, Timothy Duffy Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11

(8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Calls Atlantic City Military Unit to Request Fighters; Outcome of Call Unclear Edit

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 in a template

Apparently around 8:34 a.m., Boston Center attempts to contact an Atlantic City, New Jersey, military unit, to have it send fighters after Flight 11. However, the outcome of this call, and whether it is even answered, is unclear. [6]

Atlantic City International Airport Wikipedia is the home of the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard Wikipedia, which flies F-16 fighter jets. The 177th FW was part of NORAD’s alert force for many years, and kept two F-16s constantly on alert, ready to scramble when requested. But in October 1998, as a result of Pentagon cutbacks, it lost its scramble-ready status and began converting to a general-purpose F-16 mission [see 13]. . [7]

The outcome of Boston Center’s attempt at contacting the Atlantic City unit is unclear. The 9/11 Commission will only state, “The center… tried to contact a former alert site in Atlantic City, unaware it had been phased out.”[6] NEADS will also try contacting the unit minutes later, but its call will not be answered [see 14].[8]

The Bergen Record will later comment that, with the removal of the Atlantic City fighters from NORAD’s alert mission, “the Pentagon left what seems to be a yawning gap in the midsection of its air defenses on the East Coast—a gap with New York City at the center.” . [9] Around this time, two F-16s from the 177th FW are away from base performing a training mission, and are just minutes from New York City, but the pilots are unaware of the unfolding crisis [see 15].

(8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Traffic Controller Takes over Monitoring Flight 11, but Is Unaware It Is Hijacked Edit

in a template Source:[2]

By 8:34 a.m., Flight 11 has entered airspace managed by Boston Center air traffic controller John Hartling. [10][11]

Although Boston controller Pete Zalewski, who was managing Flight 11, concluded the plane was hijacked almost ten minutes earlier [see 16], at the time the blip for Flight 11 appears on Hartling’s radar screen, Hartling is unaware that a hijacking is taking place. According to Lynn Spencer, the reason is that

"The concentration required for the job is so intense that controllers operate on a need-to-know basis. They don’t need to know what’s happening in other controllers’ sectors unless it might affect their own airspace, and distractions are rigorously kept to a minimum.”


Tom Roberts, another Boston Center controller, has just been relieved from duty for a scheduled coffee break, and comes over to Hartling’s desk. Referring to Flight 11’s radar track, he tells Hartling,

“This—this aircraft, we believe, is hijacked, and he’s last reported at 29,000 feet.”

However, Hartling is incredulous. He will later recall that when Roberts says the plane is hijacked,

“I didn’t believe him.”

This is because

“I didn’t think that that stuff would happen anymore, especially in this country.”

Hartling continues tracking Flight 11 as it heads toward New York. Although its transponder has been turned off [see 17], he can tell that, at almost 600 mph, it is flying far faster than the 450 mph it should be moving at. [10][12]

  1. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  2. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  3. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; GIESEMANN, 2008, PP. 19-40]
  4. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  5. [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002]
  6. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  7. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  8. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  9. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  10. [US CONGRESS, 9/20/2001]
  11. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1]
  12. . [CONNECTION NEWSPAPERS, 9/5/2002]
  13. . [MDW NEWS SERVICE, 7/5/2001]
  14. . [PENTAGRAM, 5/7/1999; MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON, 8/2000]
  15. .  [FRENI, 2003, PP. 12 AND 70]
  16. .  [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65-66]
  17. .  [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 5/18/2006]
  18. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 7, 19 AND 47-48]
  19. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 27, 47 AND 90]
  20. . 
  21. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003]
  22. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17, Page 18
  23. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 62-63]
  24. [CBS NEWS, 9/17/2001; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 69 AND 78]
  25. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/20/2001]
  26. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A4]
  27. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. C45 AND 1-1]
  28. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/6/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A-4; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/19/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 314]
  29. [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/18/2001; EUROMONEY, 9/1/2001]
  30. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  31. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  32. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004]
  33. . [US CONGRESS, 3/30/2000]
  34. [US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 11/8/2004]
  35. [SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE, 9/11/2001; SCHEIB AND FRIEDMAN, 2007, PP. 254-255; HAYES, 2007, PP. 344]
  36. [USA TODAY, 9/12/2001; AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/7/2006]
  37. .  [US CONGRESS, 4/23/2002]
  38. . 
  39. [PCCW NEWSLETTER, 3/2006]
  40. . [FORT DETRICK STANDARD, 10/18/2001]
  41. . [REUTERS, 9/12/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/29/2001]
  42. . [AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, 2/2002; UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 4/29/2002 ]
  43. . [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/10/2001; US CONGRESS, 7/9/2002; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003]
  44. . [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  45. . 
  46. [US DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, 2000, PP. 177 ; US CONGRESS, 6/29/2000; WHITE HOUSE, 1/10/2002]
  47. . [US CONGRESS, 5/1/2003]
  48. . 
  49. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  50. . 
  51. [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004]
  52. . 
  53. [US CONGRESS, 3/30/2000; SECURITY MANAGEMENT, 2/2002]
  54. . 
  55. [US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 11/8/2004]
  56. . 
  57. [CBS NEWS, 9/19/2001; BBC, 11/10/2001; GUARDIAN, 11/10/2001]
  58. [TENET, 2007, PP. 162-163]
  59. http://www.scribd.com/doc/17053258/T8-B2-FAA-Command-Center-Ben-Sliney-Fdr-52104-MFR-717
  60. "Crisis at Herndon: 11 Airplanes Astray". AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY. 12/17/2001. 
  61. Pamela Freni Wikipedia (2003). "Ground Stop: An Inside Look at the Federal Aviation Administration on September 11, 2001". p. 63. 
  62. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 1 AND 19-21
  63. 9/11 COMMISSION (1/27/2004). 
  64. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 12
  65. USA TODAY. 8/13/2002. 
  66. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 11/3/1998]
  67. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  68. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  69. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17
  70. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  71. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  72. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  73. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 16, Page 17 , Page 18 , Page 19
  74. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  75. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17

(8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Flight Control Hears Hijacker Announcement Edit

Flight controllers hear a hijacker on Flight 11 say to the passengers: “Nobody move, please, we are going back to the airport. Don’t try to make any stupid moves.” . [13] This is the third hijacker transmission from Flight 11 heard by Boston Center. Following the previous two transmissions, controller Pete Zalewski had put the plane’s frequency on speakers so that others at the center could hear [see 1]. This is therefore the first time some of them hear the hijacker’s voice. One controller says out loud, “That is really scary.” . [14]

(8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Military Liaison Makes His First Call to NEADS, Though 9/11 Commission Does Not Mention It Edit

in a template

Source:[3]

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at Boston Center, claims he makes his first call to NEADS regarding Flight 11. He later recalls that he informs NEADS that the aircraft is “20 [miles] south of Albany, heading south at a high rate of speed, 600 knots.” [15] Flight 11 was over Albany at 8:26 [see 2].[16]

At such a high speed, it would have reached 20 miles south of there around 8:28. However, Scoggins says he is quite certain he only arrives on the floor at Boston Center at around 8:35. He says that although he’d later tried to write up a chronology of events, he “couldn’t get a timeline that made any sense.” Furthermore, Scoggins claims that even before he’d arrived, Joseph Cooper, a Boston Center air traffic management specialist, had already phoned NEADS about the hijacking. [17]The 9/11 Commission Report makes no mention of either call. It says “the first notification received by the military—at any level—that American 11 had been hijacked” is when Boston Center calls NEADS just before 8:38 a.m. [see 3].[6]

However, a report by ABC News is more consistent with Scoggins’ claims, indicating that Boston Center contacts NEADS about the hijacking earlier, at around 8:31.[18] (Boston Center also contacts the FAA’s Cape Cod facility at 8:34 and requests that it notify the military about Flight 11 [see 4]. Apparently around the same time, it tries contacting a military unit at Atlantic City [see 5].) Scoggins says he makes “about 40 phone calls to NEADS” in total on this day. [15] NEADS Commander Robert Marr later comments that Scoggins “deserves a lot of credit because he was about the only one that was feeding us information. I don’t know exactly where he got it. But he was feeding us information as much as he could.” [19]

(8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush’s Motorcade Leaves for Elementary School Edit

George W. Bush’s motorcade leaves the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, bound for the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida.[20]The president had gotten into his Cadillac limousine after “much shaking of hands and posing for pictures and saying pleasant things to local VIPs who had been invited to the Colony to see him off.” [21][SAMMON, 2002, PP. 38] According to the official schedule, the president is supposed to leave the resort at 8:30 a.m.[22]

While some accounts say he leaves on time, according to Washington Times Wikipedia reporter Bill Sammon Wikipedia, who is traveling with the president on this day, Bush’s limousine does not set off until 8:39.[23]

If Sammon’s time is correct then this is unusual, as Bush has a reputation for being very punctual.. [24] His unpaid education adviser Sandy Kress in fact says that, prior to this day, “I’ve never known [the president] to be late.” [25] With Bush in town, the police have shut down traffic in both directions along the nine-mile journey to the school, “leaving the roads utterly deserted for Bush’s long motorcade, which barreled along at 40 mph, running red lights with impunity.”[26]

8:35 a.m.-8:36 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Supervisor Confirms Details of Slightly Misnamed HijackerEdit

in a template[4]

Nydia Gonzalez, a supervisor at the American Airlines Southeastern Reservations Office, is one of the American employees receiving the emergency phone call from Flight 11 attendant Betty Ong [see 6]. At this time, she confirms the details of a report by Ong, regarding the identity of one of the plane’s hijackers:

“He’s the one that’s in the—he’s in the cockpit. Okay you said Tom Sukani? Okay—Okay and he was in 10B. Okay, okay, so he’s one of the persons that are in the cockpit. And as far as weapons, all they have are just knives?”

“Tom Sukani” is presumably a mistaken reference to hijacker Satam Al Suqami. Gonzalez is continuously relaying details of Ong’s call to Craig Marquis, a manager at the American Airlines operations center in Fort Worth [see 7]. At 8:36 a.m., Marquis receives Gonzalez’s report about the hijacker Ong referred to as “Tom Sukani.” He then initiates a “lockout” procedure for Flight 11 [see 8].[27]

Template:(Shortly After 8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Otis Control Tower Calls Otis Operations Center with Details of Hijacking

(8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Sweeney Continues to Provide Flight 11 Updates Edit

Flight attendant Amy Sweeney continues to describe what is happening onboard Flight 11 to Michael Woodward at Logan Airport. At some point prior to this, she explains that flight attendants are giving injured people oxygen. They have made an announcement over the PA system asking if there is a doctor or nurse on board. Sweeney is calling from the rear of the coach section. She explains that the passengers in coach, separated by curtains from the violence in first class, are calm, believing that there is some type of medical emergency at the front of the plane. Then, at this time, the plane suddenly lurches, tilting all the way to one side, then becomes horizontal again. Then she says it begins a rapid descent. She tries to contact the cockpit again, but still gets no response. [ABC NEWS, 7/18/2002; NEW YORK OBSERVER, 2/15/2004] Entity Tags: Michael Woodward, Madeline (“Amy”) Sweeney Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

8:36 a.m.-8:38 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Conducts ‘Lockout’ of Flight 11 Edit

in a template Craig Marquis, a manager at the American Airlines System Operations Control (SOC) in Fort Worth, Texas, initiates actions to “lockout” Flight 11. This procedure, as the 9/11 Commission Report later describes,

“acknowledges an emergency on the flight and isolates information so that the case can be managed by top leadership at the airlines in a way that protects information from being altered or released, and also protects the identities of the passengers and crew.”

Within two minutes, American Airlines Wikipedia has completed the lockout. Marquis realized Flight 11 was an emergency situation almost immediately after 8:21 a.m., when he began receiving details of flight attendant Betty Ong’s phone call from it [see 7]. [28][29]

8:36 a.m. September 11, 2001: Fighters Launch from Base near Washington for Training Mission over North Carolina; Don’t Return until Attacks Ended Edit

Three F-16 fighter jets take off from Andrews Air Force Base, which is 10 miles from Washington, DC, and fly to North Carolina for a routine training mission, meaning they will be about 200 miles away from base when the attacks in New York take place. . [30] The jets belong to the 121st Fighter Squadron , part of the 113th Wing of the District of Columbia Air National Guard, which is based at Andrews. . [31] They are piloted by Major Billy Hutchison , Eric Haagenson , and Lou Campbell . Haagenson and Campbell are less experienced, junior pilots. Hutchison is flying with them because most of the pilots with his unit are on leave, having just returned from the “Red Flag” training exercise in Nevada [see 9].

Jets Heading to Range to 'Drop Some Bombs' - The three F-16s are going to train for a surface attack. [32] Hutchison will later recall: “We had gone up to [the gunnery range in] Dare County, North Carolina, to drop some bombs and hit a refueling tanker and come on back. It was going to be an uneventful day.” . [33] The range is located 207 miles from Andrews Air Force Base. . [34]The jets are scheduled to arrive back at Andrews at 10:45 a.m. . [35]

September 11 a 'Light Flying Day' - Because members of the 113th Wing have just returned from the Red Flag exercise, September 11 is a “light flying day.” According to Major David McNulty , the senior intelligence officer of the 113th Wing, the unit would normally have launched eight jets—“an eight-ship”—for this training mission. But as only seven pilots and a few planes are available, a “three-ship” has been launched instead. [36]The three F-16s heading out for the training mission will not arrive back at Andrews until between 10:14 a.m. and 10:36 a.m., by which time the terrorist attacks will already be over [see 10].[37] 

8:37 a.m.-8:38 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Reports that Flight 11 Is a Confirmed Hijacking Edit

in a template

American Airlines Wikipedia manager Craig Marquis is talking to Nydia Gonzalez, who in turn is talking to flight attendant Betty Ong on Flight 11.

Marquis tells Gonzalez,

“We contacted air traffic control, they are going to handle this as a confirmed hijacking. So they’re moving all the traffic out of this aircraft’s way.… He turned his transponder off, so we don’t have a definitive altitude for him. We’re just going by… They seem to think that they have him on a primary radar. They seem to think that he is descending.”[38]


Boston air traffic control had in fact begun notifying its chain of command that Flight 11 was a suspected hijacking at around 8:25 [see 11]

8:37 a.m.-8:38 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Attendants Ong and Sweeney Report Plane Maneuvers and Other Details Edit

On Flight 11 , flight attendant Betty Ong reports that all the first class passengers have been moved back to the coach section, leaving the first class cabin empty. She also says the plane is flying erratically again. [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 13 ] Another flight attendant, Amy Sweeney , reports that the plane has begun a rapid descent. [ABC NEWS, 7/18/2002] She also says that the hijackers are Middle Easterners. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 7/23/2004]

8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 175 Pilots Asked to Look for Flight 11 Edit

in a template


Flight controllers[who?] ask the United Airlines Flight 175 pilots to look for a lost American Airlines plane 10 miles to the south. They respond that they can see it. They are told to keep away from it. [39][40] Apparently, Flight 175 is not told Flight 11 has been hijacked. Flight 175 itself is hijacked a few minutes later [see 12]

(8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Notifies NEADS of Hijacking, against Normal Procedures; Accounts Conflict over TimingEdit

Source:http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a837noradnotified#a837noradnotified

in a template Boston Center calls NEADS to alert it to the suspected hijacking of Flight 11. According to the 9/11 Commission, this is “the first notification received by the military—at any level—that American 11 had been hijacked.” [6][41]

The call is made by Joseph Cooper, an air traffic controller at the Boston Center, and answered by Jeremy Powell, a technical sergeant on the NEADS operations floor. [42][43] Beginning the call, Cooper says:

“Hi. Boston Center TMU [traffic management unit], we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.”

Powell replies,

“Is this real-world or exercise?”

Cooper answers,

“No, this is not an exercise, not a test.” [6]

Shortly into the call, Powell passes the phone on to Lieutenant Colonel Dawne Deskins [see 13]. Deskins identifies herself to Cooper, and he tells her, “We have a hijacked aircraft and I need you to get some sort of fighters out here to help us out.” [44][18] [45][46]

The 1st Air Force’s official history of the response to the 9/11 attacks will later suggest that Boston Center is not following normal procedures when it makes this call to NEADS. It states:

“If normal procedures had taken place… Powell probably wouldn’t have taken that phone call. Normally, the FAA would have contacted officials at the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center who would have contacted the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The secretary of defense Wikipedia would have had to approve the use of military assets to assist in a hijacking, always considered a law enforcement issue.”

The only explanation it gives for this departure from protocol is that “nothing was normal on Sept. 11, 2001, and many say the traditional chain of command went by the wayside to get the job done.” [47]

There will be some conflict between different accounts, as to when this vital call from Boston Center to NEADS occurs. An ABC News documentary will indicate it is made as early as 8:31 a.m. [18]Another ABC News Wikipedia report will state, “Shortly after 8:30 a.m., behind the scenes, word of a possible hijacking [reaches] various stations of NORAD.”[48] NEADS logs indicate the call occurs at 8:40 a.m., and NORAD will report this as the time of the call in a press release on September 18, 2001.[16][49]

The 8:40 time will be widely reported in the media prior to the 9/11 Commission’s 2004 report.[50][51][52][53] But tape recordings of the NEADS operations floor that are referred to in the 9/11 Commission Report place the call at 8:37 and 52 seconds.[6][42] If the 8:37 a.m. time is correct, this would mean that air traffic controllers have failed to successfully notify the military until approximately 12 minutes after they became certain that Flight 11 had been hijacked [see 14], 16 minutes after Flight 11’s transponder signal was lost [see 15], and 24 minutes after the plane’s pilots made their last radio contact [see 16][54] At 8:34, the Boston Center tried contacting the military through the FAA’s Cape Cod facility, which is located on Otis Air National Guard Base, but was told that it needed to call NEADS [see 4]. [6][55]

Shortly After 8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Otis Commander Phones NEADS for Authorization to Launch Fighters Edit

Following a call from Boston Center to the the FAA’s Cape Cod facility reporting the possible hijacking of Flight 11 (see 8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001), and a subsequent call from the Cape Cod facility to Otis Air National Guard Base (see (8:36 a.m.-8:41) September 11, 2001), Lt. Col. Jon Treacy , commander of the 101st Fighter Squadron at Otis, phones NEADS to report the FAA’s request for help and get authorization to launch fighters. By now though, the FAA has already gotten through to NEADS itself, and reported the hijacking (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50] 

(8:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Military Liaison Updates NEADS on Flight 11 Edit

Colin Scoggins , the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center , makes a brief phone call to NEADS to see if it has been able to find any further information about Flight 11 . [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 32-33] Boston Center has just alerted NEADS to the hijacking of Flight 11 (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] Scoggins asks the ID technician who answers his call, “Have you identified the radar target for American 11?” The ID tech says they are still searching for it. Scoggins then tells her that Flight 11 is “50 miles south of Albany,” but, according to author Lynn Spencer , this information “won’t be of much help to NEADS Surveillance,” because “[t]heir monochromic displays aren’t even capable of showing the outline of states, much less those of cities like Albany or New York.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 33] (However, despite this supposed inadequate capability, NEADS is reportedly able to spot Flight 11 shortly before it crashes into the World Trade Center (see 8:45 a.m.-8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001), locating its radar track “going down the Hudson Valley, straight in from the north toward New York.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 56] ) As NEADS has no new information to offer him, Scoggins quickly ends the call. According to Spencer’s account, this is the first time Scoggins calls NEADS this morning, after arriving at the Boston Center minutes earlier (see (8:25 a.m.-8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 33] But according to a description Scoggins gives to author David Ray Griffin in 2007, it appears that this is his second call, after an initial call at around 8:35 (see (8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Scoggins will tell Griffin that he first called NEADS to inform it that Flight 11 was “20 [miles] south of Albany heading south at a high rate of speed, 600 knots,” and then he makes “another call at 50 [miles] south of Albany.” [GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 47] 

(8:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS Sergeant Passes on News of Hijacking to Colleagues Edit

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At NEADS, Jeremy Powell, the technical sergeant who has been notified of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11 passes on this news to colleagues of his on the NEADS operations floor.[56]

Boston Center has just called NEADS to report “a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York,” and has requested that fighter jets be launched in response [see 17].[57] Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Powell, who answers this call, reportedly “bolts up and turns toward the ID section behind him on the ops floor.” He says, “We’ve got a hijack going on!”

Master Sergeant Maureen Dooley, the leader of the ID section, mistakenly thinks this is part of the day’s training exercise [see 18] and tells the other members of her team: “We have a hijack going on. Get your checklists. The exercise is on.” But Powell then clarifies: “No, you don’t understand. We have a no-shit hijack!” Sitting next to Dooley is Master Sergeant Joe McCain, the NEADS mission crew commander technician, who gets on the paging system and calls for the mission crew commander (MCC), Major Kevin Nasypany, to come to the operations floor immediately. Nasypany is in charge of the operations floor and needs to know if anything important is happening. He arrives moments later and learns of the hijacking. [42][58]

(8:38 a.m.-8:43 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NORAD Personnel Mistake Hijacking for Part of an Exercise Edit

Major Kevin Nasypany. [Source: CBC] When the FAA’s Boston Center first contacts NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) to notify it of the hijacking of Flight 11 (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001), personnel there initially mistake the hijacking for a simulation as part of an exercise.

Lieutenant Colonel Dawne Deskins, mission crew chief for the Vigilant Guardian exercise currently taking place (see (6:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001), will later say that initially she and everybody else at NEADS think the call from Boston Center is part of Vigilant Guardian. [NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE, 1/25/2002] Although most of the personnel on the NEADS operations floor have no idea what the day’s exercise is supposed to entail, most previous major NORAD exercises included a hijack scenario. [USA TODAY, 4/18/2004; UTICA OBSERVER-DISPATCH, 8/5/2004] The day’s exercise is in fact scheduled to include a simulated hijacking later on. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] 
Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander, had helped design the day’s exercise. Thinking the reported hijacking is part of it, he actually says out loud, “The hijack’s not supposed to be for another hour.” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] 
In the ID section, at the back right corner of the NEADS operations floor, technicians Stacia Rountree, Shelley Watson, and Maureen Dooley react to the news. Dooley, the leader of the ID section, tells the other members of her team: “We have a hijack going on. Get your checklists. The exercise is on” (see (8:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Rountree asks, “Is that real-world?” Dooley confirms, “Real-world hijack.” Watson says, “Cool!” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 25] 
When NEADS Commander Robert Marr sees his personnel reacting to the news of the hijacking (see (8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001), he reportedly thinks the day’s exercise “is kicking off with a lively, unexpected twist.” Even when a colleague informs him, “It’s a hijacking, and this is real life, not part of the exercise,” Marr thinks: “This is an interesting start to the exercise. This ‘real-world’ mixed in with today’s simex [simulated exercise] will keep [my staff members] on their toes.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 26] 
Major General Larry Arnold, who is at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, also later says that when he first hears of the hijacking, in the minutes after NEADS is alerted to it, “The first thing that went through my mind was, is this part of the exercise? Is this some kind of a screw-up?” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] According to author Lynn Spencer: “Even as NORAD’s commander for the continental United States, Arnold is not privy to everything concerning the exercise. The simex is meant to test commanders also, to make sure that their war machine is operating as it should.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 38] 
At 8:43 a.m., Major James Fox, the leader of the NEADS weapons team, comments, “I’ve never seen so much real-world stuff happen during an exercise.” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006]

Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector, Shelley Watson, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Stacia Rountree, Robert Marr, Maureen Dooley, Vigilant Guardian, Kevin Nasypany, Dawne Deskins, Larry Arnold, James Fox Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11, Training Exercises

Shortly After 8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Staff Unable to Locate Hijacked Planes on Radar ScreensEdit

in a template

Members of staff at NEADS have difficulty locating Flight 11 and other aircraft on their radar screens.

Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins of NEADS will say that when the FAA first calls and reports the first hijacking [see 19], “He [FAA] gave me the latitude and longitude of that track… [but] there was nothing there.” [59][FOX NEWS, 9/8/2002]

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, later recalls:

"I was giving NEADS accurate location information on at least five instances where AA 11 was, yet they could never identify him.… I originally gave them an F/R/D, which is a fix/radial/distance from a known location; they could not identify the target. They requested latitude/longitudes, which I gave them; they still could not identify the AA 11.… I gave them 20 [miles] south of Albany heading south at a high rate of speed, 600 knots, then another call at 50 south of Albany.”

[60][GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 47]

Master Sergeant Kevin Foster and Staff Sergeant Mark Rose, also working at NEADS this morning, later complain about their inability to locate the hijacked planes. After being informed of the first hijacking, reportedly:

“As they had practiced countless times before, the NEADS team quickly began searching their [radar] screens for the plane. Because they had been informed its transponder was off, they knew to look for a tiny dash instead of the usual dot. But radar systems also use such lines to indicate weather patterns, so NEADS personnel began urgently clicking their computer cursors on each stray line to see if information indicating an aircraft would appear.”
Yet, after receiving further calls indicating more hijackings, “the inability to find the hijacked planes on the radar, despite their best efforts, was difficult.” According to Foster, “We were trying to find the tracks, and not being able to was very frustrating.” [61][UTICA OBSERVER-DISPATCH, 8/5/2004] 


NEADS Staff Sergeant Larry Thornton will recall:

“Once we were called by the FAA, we could find split-second hits on what we thought we were looking for. But the area was so congested and it was incredibly difficult to find. We were looking for little dash marks in a pile of clutter and a pile of aircraft on a two-dimensional scope.”
Each fluorescent green pulsating dot on their radar scopes represents an airplane, and there are thousands currently airborne, especially over the busy northeast US. [62][FILSON, 2003, PP. 56]

(8:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Pilot Stops Activating Talk Back Button Edit

The talkback button on Flight 11, which has been periodically activated since around 8:14 a.m., stops around this time. Some have suggested that this indicates that the hijackers replace pilot John Ogonowski at this time. [63][CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 9/13/2001; MSNBC, 9/15/2001]

(Between 8:30 a.m. and 8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Boston Center Supervisor Alerts Otis Air Base Tower to Flight 11, Requests Fighters Edit

Daniel Bueno, a supervisor at Boston Center, calls the air traffic control tower at Otis Air National Guard Base Wikipedia to alert it to the problems with Flight 11 and request military assistance. [64][65] Otis Air Base is one of NORAD’s seven alert sites in the continental United States, which keeps two armed fighter jets ready for immediate takeoff. [66]

Bueno calls the control tower at Otis even though, according to Lynn Spencer, he “knows it’s not standard operating procedure to call the military directly—that’s supposed to be done by FAA headquarters.” But he has “checked the FAA regulation manual, and in the back under section FAAO 7610.4J, Appendix 16, it states that fighters can be launched directly at FAA request, so he is going to make that happen. He may not be FAA headquarters, but he is FAA!” [67]

Bueno tells Tim Spence,the controller at the Otis tower, that Flight 11 has lost its identification signal and appears to be headed toward Manhattan; it looks like a possible hijacking, and fighter jets are needed, fast. [68] But the controller tells Bueno that he must follow the protocol, which is to contact NEADS. The controller says: “You’ve got to go through the proper channels. They’re the only ones with the authority to initiate a scramble order.” [67] Bueno asks the controller for the telephone number for NEADS. [69] Following this call, the tower controller will contact the Otis Air Base operations desk, to let it know that it might be receiving a call from NEADS [see 20].[70]

The two alert pilots at Otis Air Base will later criticize Bueno for calling the base directly. One of them, Major Daniel Nash, will complain: “It sounds like the FAA didn’t have their [act] together at all when they were calling the [Otis] tower.… To me, it sounded like there was someone who didn’t know what they were doing.” [71] Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Duffy, the other alert pilot, will comment: “It didn’t happen the way it was supposed to.… We were the ones who were contacted right away and knew about it before the air defense sector.” [72]

Bueno also calls the FAA’s Cape Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), which is located on Otis Air Base, at 8:34 a.m. and requests that fighters be launched from Otis [see 21].[73] Whether he makes that call before or after he calls the Otis tower is unstated. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, “the first notification received by the military—at any level—that American 11 had been hijacked” is when Boston Center calls NEADS just before 8:38 a.m.[see 22]. [6] If that is correct, it would indicate that Bueno calls the Otis tower after he calls the Cape TRACON.

(Between 8:31 a.m. and 8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Otis Air Base Tower Controller Contacts Base’s Operations Desk with Details of Hijacking Edit

After being informed of the possible hijacking of Flight 11, an air traffic controller in the control tower at Otis Air National Guard Base calls the base’s operations desk to let it know that it might be receiving a call from NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 27-28] Daniel Bueno, a supervisor at the FAA’s Boston Center, has just called the control tower at Otis Air Base, at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, alerting it to the problems with Flight 11 and requesting military assistance. The controller who took the call told Bueno he needed to call NEADS in order to get fighter jets launched (see (Between 8:30 a.m. and 8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 47; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 22]

Tower Controller Calls Operations Desk - According to author Lynn Spencer, the tower controller subsequently “figures a call [to Otis Air Base] will be coming from NEADS soon and a scramble order is likely. He knows the fighter pilots will appreciate the heads-up.” He therefore calls the Otis Air Base operations desk. According to Spencer, the phone is answered by Master Sergeant Mark Rose, who is the superintendent of aviation management, in charge of flight records and currency for the pilots of the 102nd Fighter Wing. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 27] But according to the 102nd Fighter Wing’s own history of the 9/11 attacks, the call is answered by a Technical Sergeant “Margie Woody.” [102ND FIGHTER WING, 2001] Controller Confuses Superintendent - Rose (or Woody, if the wing’s account is correct) is initially confused by the call. The tower controller does not identify himself or say where he is calling from, but instead begins by asking, “What do you have available?” As Spencer will describe, “For all [Rose] knows, this could be a wrong number or a crank call,” so rather than giving information about the base, Rose responds, “What are you talking about?” The controller then identifies himself and explains that he has just received a report about a hijacking. Rose realizes he needs to pass the call on to someone more appropriate.

Pilot Informed of Hijacking - Pilot Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Duffy, who is the director of operations for the 102nd Fighter Wing, is standing next to Rose by the operations desk. Rose tells him, “Duff, you got a phone call,” and then says the caller is “Otis tower—something about an apparent hijacking under way: American 11, a 767, out of Boston and headed for California.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 27-28] Duffy will later recall his response to this news: “As soon as we heard there was something about a hijacking we got moving.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50] On his handheld radio he calls Major Daniel Nash, who along with Duffy is an “alert” pilot on duty at this time, and instructs him to suit up ready for any scramble call. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 28] The two pilots will run to the nearby locker room, put on their G-suits and helmets, and then head out toward their jets (see (8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CAPE COD TIMES, 8/21/2002; BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11/2005] Meanwhile, a commander at Otis will phone NEADS to report the FAA’s request for military assistance (see Shortly After 8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001).

Call Is Not 'the First Notification Received by the Military' - The exact time the tower controller calls the operations desk at is unclear. Duffy will later guess that the call occurs “at about 8:30, 8:35.” [FILSON, 10/22/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 50] But according to the 9/11 Commission Report, “the first notification received by the military—at any level—that American 11 had been hijacked” is when the FAA’s Boston Center calls NEADS just before 8:38 a.m. (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] According to the102nd Fighter Wing’s history of the 9/11 attacks, the call to the operations desk is made at 8:38 a.m. [102ND FIGHTER WING, 2001] Bueno also called the FAA’s Cape Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), which is located on Otis Air Base, at 8:34 a.m., to request that fighters be launched from Otis (see 8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001), and in response, the TRACON contacts the Otis tower and operations desk (see (8:36 a.m.-8:41) September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 9/22/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 9/30/2003 ]

8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Boston Center Supervisor Calls FAA Facility at Otis Air Base, Requests Fighters Edit

This article has been assessed as havingUnknown importance.

Good scope?NoN Timeline? +YesY wikified?NoN 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 Daniel Bueno, a supervisor at Boston Center, contacts the FAA’s Cape Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), located on Otis Air National Guard Base Wikipedia, to alert it to the possible hijacking of Flight 11 and request that it arrange for military assistance in response.[74]

After his call is initially answered by an air traffic controller[who?] at the Cape TRACON, Bueno is quickly passed on to Tim Spence, an operational supervisor at the facility. Bueno says, “I have a situation with American 11, a possible hijack.” He adds that Flight 11 “departed Boston, going to LAX [Los Angeles International Airport]. Right now he’s south of Albany.” He says, “I’d like to scramble some fighters to go tail him.” Spence replies that he will contact Otis Air Base about the situation, and tells Bueno, “I’ll talk to these guys over here and see what we can do.” Bueno then adds that Flight 11 is currently airborne, is about 40 miles south of Albany, and is visible only on primary radar. [75] Bueno also calls the air traffic control tower at Otis Air Base around this time, to alert it to Flight 11 and request military assistance [see 23].[76] Whether he makes that call before or after he calls the Cape TRACON is unstated. Immediately after receiving the call from Bueno, Spence will call the Otis control tower to inform it of the situation, and he then calls the operations desk at Otis Air Base to let it know that it may be receiving orders (presumably from NEADS) soon [see 24].[77]

Bueno will say he decided to call the Cape TRACON based on his memory of a previous aircraft hijacking. [78] But according to the 9/11 Commission Report, by trying to get military assistance through the TRACON, the “Boston Center did not follow the protocol in seeking military assistance through the prescribed chain of command.” [79] Indeed, Bueno will tell the 9/11 Commission that he knows his call should instead be to NEADS, “but due to the urgency of the circumstance [he] called directly to the FAA contact point for Otis.”. [80] And Spence will tell the Commission that arranging for fighters to be scrambled in response to a hijacking “is not the typical responsibility of an operations supervisor with the FAA,” like himself. He will also say that it is “unusual for the [air traffic control] centers to contact TRACON for information. Normally the FAA receives the call from the military for a scramble, but this time it went the other way around, and then the official order came back down from the military.” . [81]

However, according to the 9/11 Commission, “Bueno gets high marks” from the Boston Center personnel it interviews, “for instinctively calling FAA traffic approach personnel at the location where he knew the fighters to be—Otis [Air National Guard Base].” Even Colin Scoggins, the Boston Center’s military liaison, “who knew that the call had to go to NEADS, did not fault Bueno for trying to call the Air Force wing directly through other FAA personnel.” [82]

(8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Traffic Controller Takes over Monitoring Flight 11, but Is Unaware It Is Hijacked Edit

in a template Source:[5]

By 8:34 a.m., Flight 11 has entered airspace managed by Boston Center air traffic controller John Hartling. [10][11]

Although Boston controller Pete Zalewski, who was managing Flight 11, concluded the plane was hijacked almost ten minutes earlier [see 16], at the time the blip for Flight 11 appears on Hartling’s radar screen, Hartling is unaware that a hijacking is taking place. According to Lynn Spencer, the reason is that

"The concentration required for the job is so intense that controllers operate on a need-to-know basis. They don’t need to know what’s happening in other controllers’ sectors unless it might affect their own airspace, and distractions are rigorously kept to a minimum.”


Tom Roberts, another Boston Center controller, has just been relieved from duty for a scheduled coffee break, and comes over to Hartling’s desk. Referring to Flight 11’s radar track, he tells Hartling,

“This—this aircraft, we believe, is hijacked, and he’s last reported at 29,000 feet.”

However, Hartling is incredulous. He will later recall that when Roberts says the plane is hijacked,

“I didn’t believe him.”

This is because

“I didn’t think that that stuff would happen anymore, especially in this country.”

Hartling continues tracking Flight 11 as it heads toward New York. Although its transponder has been turned off [see 17], he can tell that, at almost 600 mph, it is flying far faster than the 450 mph it should be moving at. [10][12]

  1. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  2. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  3. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; GIESEMANN, 2008, PP. 19-40]
  4. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  5. [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002]
  6. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  7. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  8. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  9. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002]
  10. [US CONGRESS, 9/20/2001]
  11. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1]
  12. . [CONNECTION NEWSPAPERS, 9/5/2002]
  13. . [MDW NEWS SERVICE, 7/5/2001]
  14. . [PENTAGRAM, 5/7/1999; MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON, 8/2000]
  15. .  [FRENI, 2003, PP. 12 AND 70]
  16. .  [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65-66]
  17. .  [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 5/18/2006]
  18. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 7, 19 AND 47-48]
  19. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 27, 47 AND 90]
  20. . 
  21. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003]
  22. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17, Page 18
  23. . [FRENI, 2003, PP. 62-63]
  24. [CBS NEWS, 9/17/2001; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 69 AND 78]
  25. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/20/2001]
  26. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A4]
  27. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. C45 AND 1-1]
  28. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/6/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A-4; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/19/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 314]
  29. [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/18/2001; EUROMONEY, 9/1/2001]
  30. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  31. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  32. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004]
  33. . [US CONGRESS, 3/30/2000]
  34. [US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 11/8/2004]
  35. [SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE, 9/11/2001; SCHEIB AND FRIEDMAN, 2007, PP. 254-255; HAYES, 2007, PP. 344]
  36. [USA TODAY, 9/12/2001; AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/7/2006]
  37. .  [US CONGRESS, 4/23/2002]
  38. . 
  39. [PCCW NEWSLETTER, 3/2006]
  40. . [FORT DETRICK STANDARD, 10/18/2001]
  41. . [REUTERS, 9/12/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/29/2001]
  42. . [AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, 2/2002; UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 4/29/2002 ]
  43. . [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/10/2001; US CONGRESS, 7/9/2002; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003]
  44. . [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  45. . 
  46. [US DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, 2000, PP. 177 ; US CONGRESS, 6/29/2000; WHITE HOUSE, 1/10/2002]
  47. . [US CONGRESS, 5/1/2003]
  48. . 
  49. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002]
  50. . 
  51. [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004]
  52. . 
  53. [US CONGRESS, 3/30/2000; SECURITY MANAGEMENT, 2/2002]
  54. . 
  55. [US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 11/8/2004]
  56. . 
  57. [CBS NEWS, 9/19/2001; BBC, 11/10/2001; GUARDIAN, 11/10/2001]
  58. [TENET, 2007, PP. 162-163]
  59. http://www.scribd.com/doc/17053258/T8-B2-FAA-Command-Center-Ben-Sliney-Fdr-52104-MFR-717
  60. "Crisis at Herndon: 11 Airplanes Astray". AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY. 12/17/2001. 
  61. Pamela Freni Wikipedia (2003). "Ground Stop: An Inside Look at the Federal Aviation Administration on September 11, 2001". p. 63. 
  62. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 1 AND 19-21
  63. 9/11 COMMISSION (1/27/2004). 
  64. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 12
  65. USA TODAY. 8/13/2002. 
  66. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 11/3/1998]
  67. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  68. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  69. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17
  70. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  71. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  72. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  73. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 16, Page 17 , Page 18 , Page 19
  74. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  75. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17


(8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Flight Control Hears Hijacker Announcement Edit

Flight controllers hear a hijacker on Flight 11 say to the passengers: “Nobody move, please, we are going back to the airport. Don’t try to make any stupid moves.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001; GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] This is the third hijacker transmission from Flight 11 heard by Boston Center. Following the previous two transmissions, controller Pete Zalewski had put the plane’s frequency on speakers so that others at the center could hear (see 8:24 a.m. September 11, 2001). This is therefore the first time some of them hear the hijacker’s voice. One controller says out loud, “That is really scary.” [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11

8:35 a.m.-8:36 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Supervisor Confirms Details of Slightly Misnamed HijackerEdit

Nydia Gonzalez, a supervisor at the American Airlines Southeastern Reservations Office, is one of the American employees receiving the emergency phone call from Flight 11 attendant Betty Ong (see 8:19 a.m. September 11, 2001). At this time, she confirms the details of a report by Ong, regarding the identity of one of the plane’s hijackers: “He’s the one that’s in the—he’s in the cockpit. Okay you said Tom Sukani? Okay—Okay and he was in 10B. Okay, okay, so he’s one of the persons that are in the cockpit. And as far as weapons, all they have are just knives?” “Tom Sukani” is presumably a mistaken reference to hijacker Satam Al Suqami. Gonzalez is continuously relaying details of Ong’s call to Craig Marquis, a manager at the American Airlines operations center in Fort Worth (see (8:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001). At 8:36 a.m., Marquis receives Gonzalez’s report about the hijacker Ong referred to as “Tom Sukani.” He then initiates a “lockout” procedure for Flight 11 (see 8:36 a.m.-8:38 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 12 ] Entity Tags: Betty Ong, Craig Marquis, American Airlines, Nydia Gonzalez Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Military Liaison Makes His First Call to NEADS, Though 9/11 Commission Does Not Mention It Edit

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, claims he makes his first call to NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) regarding Flight 11. He later recalls that he informs NEADS that the aircraft is “20 [miles] south of Albany, heading south at a high rate of speed, 600 knots.” [GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 43] Flight 11 was over Albany at 8:26 (see (8:26 a.m.-8:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] At such a high speed, it would have reached 20 miles south of there around 8:28. However, Scoggins says he is quite certain he only arrives on the floor at Boston Center at around 8:35. He says that although he’d later tried to write up a chronology of events, he “couldn’t get a timeline that made any sense.” Furthermore, Scoggins claims that even before he’d arrived, Joseph Cooper, a Boston Center air traffic management specialist, had already phoned NEADS about the hijacking. [GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 43 AND 335] The 9/11 Commission makes no mention of either call. It says “the first notification received by the military—at any level—that American 11 had been hijacked” is when Boston Center calls NEADS just before 8:38 a.m. (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] However, a report by ABC News is more consistent with Scoggins’ claims, indicating that Boston Center contacts NEADS about the hijacking earlier, at around 8:31. [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] (Boston Center also contacts the FAA’s Cape Cod facility at 8:34 and requests that it notify the military about Flight 11 (see 8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Apparently around the same time, it tries contacting a military unit at Atlantic City (see (8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001).) Scoggins says he makes “about 40 phone calls to NEADS” in total on this day. [GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 43] NEADS Commander Robert Marr later comments that Scoggins “deserves a lot of credit because he was about the only one that was feeding us information. I don’t know exactly where he got it. But he was feeding us information as much as he could.” [MICHAEL BRONNER, 2006] Entity Tags: Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Joseph Cooper, Colin Scoggins, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Robert Marr Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11

(8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Sweeney Continues to Provide Flight 11 Updates Flight attendant Amy Sweeney continues to describe what is happening onboard Flight 11 to Michael Woodward at Logan Airport. At some point prior to this, she explains that flight attendants are giving injured people oxygen. They have made an announcement over the PA system asking if there is a doctor or nurse on board. Sweeney is calling from the rear of the coach section. She explains that the passengers in coach, separated by curtains from the violence in first class, are calm, believing that there is some type of medical emergency at the front of the plane. Then, at this time, the plane suddenly lurches, tilting all the way to one side, then becomes horizontal again. Then she says it begins a rapid descent. She tries to contact the cockpit again, but still gets no response. [ABC NEWS, 7/18/2002; NEW YORK OBSERVER, 2/15/2004] Entity Tags: Michael Woodward, Madeline (“Amy”) Sweeney Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

8:36 a.m.-8:38 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Conducts ‘Lockout’ of Flight 11 Craig Marquis, a manager at the American Airlines System Operations Control (SOC) in Fort Worth, Texas, initiates actions to “lockout” Flight 11. This procedure, as the 9/11 Commission later describes, “acknowledges an emergency on the flight and isolates information so that the case can be managed by top leadership at the airlines in a way that protects information from being altered or released, and also protects the identities of the passengers and crew.” Within two minutes, American Airlines has completed the lockout. Marquis realized Flight 11 was an emergency situation almost immediately after 8:21 a.m., when he began receiving details of flight attendant Betty Ong’s phone call from it (see (8:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Since “lockout” is a standard procedure for airlines in safety and security incidents, it is unclear why he did not initiate it sooner. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 5; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 12-13 ] Entity Tags: Craig Marquis, American Airlines Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11


8:37 a.m.-8:38 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Reports that Flight 11 Is a Confirmed Hijacking Edit

American Airlines manager Craig Marquis is talking to Nydia Gonzalez, who in turn is talking to flight attendant Betty Ong on Flight 11. Marquis tells Gonzalez, “We contacted air traffic control, they are going to handle this as a confirmed hijacking. So they’re moving all the traffic out of this aircraft’s way.… He turned his transponder off, so we don’t have a definitive altitude for him. We’re just going by… They seem to think that they have him on a primary radar. They seem to think that he is descending.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004] Boston air traffic control had in fact begun notifying its chain of command that Flight 11 was a suspected hijacking at around 8:25 (see 8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Craig Marquis, Betty Ong, Nydia Gonzalez Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11

(8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Notifies NEADS of Hijacking, against Normal Procedures; Accounts Conflict over TimingEdit

Source:http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a837noradnotified#a837noradnotified

in a template Boston Center calls NEADS to alert it to the suspected hijacking of Flight 11. According to the 9/11 Commission, this is “the first notification received by the military—at any level—that American 11 had been hijacked.” [6][41]

The call is made by Joseph Cooper, an air traffic controller at the Boston Center, and answered by Jeremy Powell, a technical sergeant on the NEADS operations floor. [42][43] Beginning the call, Cooper says:

“Hi. Boston Center TMU [traffic management unit], we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.”

Powell replies,

“Is this real-world or exercise?”

Cooper answers,

“No, this is not an exercise, not a test.” [6]

Shortly into the call, Powell passes the phone on to Lieutenant Colonel Dawne Deskins [see 13]. Deskins identifies herself to Cooper, and he tells her, “We have a hijacked aircraft and I need you to get some sort of fighters out here to help us out.” [44][18] [45][46]

The 1st Air Force’s official history of the response to the 9/11 attacks will later suggest that Boston Center is not following normal procedures when it makes this call to NEADS. It states:

“If normal procedures had taken place… Powell probably wouldn’t have taken that phone call. Normally, the FAA would have contacted officials at the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center who would have contacted the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The secretary of defense Wikipedia would have had to approve the use of military assets to assist in a hijacking, always considered a law enforcement issue.”

The only explanation it gives for this departure from protocol is that “nothing was normal on Sept. 11, 2001, and many say the traditional chain of command went by the wayside to get the job done.” [47]

There will be some conflict between different accounts, as to when this vital call from Boston Center to NEADS occurs. An ABC News documentary will indicate it is made as early as 8:31 a.m. [18]Another ABC News Wikipedia report will state, “Shortly after 8:30 a.m., behind the scenes, word of a possible hijacking [reaches] various stations of NORAD.”[48] NEADS logs indicate the call occurs at 8:40 a.m., and NORAD will report this as the time of the call in a press release on September 18, 2001.[16][49]

The 8:40 time will be widely reported in the media prior to the 9/11 Commission’s 2004 report.[50][51][52][53] But tape recordings of the NEADS operations floor that are referred to in the 9/11 Commission Report place the call at 8:37 and 52 seconds.[6][42] If the 8:37 a.m. time is correct, this would mean that air traffic controllers have failed to successfully notify the military until approximately 12 minutes after they became certain that Flight 11 had been hijacked [see 14], 16 minutes after Flight 11’s transponder signal was lost [see 15], and 24 minutes after the plane’s pilots made their last radio contact [see 16][54] At 8:34, the Boston Center tried contacting the military through the FAA’s Cape Cod facility, which is located on Otis Air National Guard Base, but was told that it needed to call NEADS [see 4]. [6][55]

8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 175 Pilots Asked to Look for Flight 11 Edit

Flight controllers ask the United Airlines Flight 175 pilots to look for a lost American Airlines plane 10 miles to the south—a reference to Flight 11. They respond that they can see it. They are told to keep away from it. [GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Apparently, Flight 175 is not told Flight 11 has been hijacked. Flight 175 itself is hijacked a few minutes later (see 8:41 a.m.-8:42 a.m. September 11, 2001). Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 175, Flight AA 11

8:37 a.m.-8:38 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Attendants Ong and Sweeney Report Plane Maneuvers and Other Details Edit

On Flight 11, flight attendant Betty Ong reports that all the first class passengers have been moved back to the coach section, leaving the first class cabin empty. She also says the plane is flying erratically again. [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 13 ] Another flight attendant, Amy Sweeney, reports that the plane has begun a rapid descent. [ABC NEWS, 7/18/2002] She also says that the hijackers are Middle Easterners. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 7/23/2004] Entity Tags: Betty Ong, Madeline (“Amy”) Sweeney Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(8:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Boston Center Military Liaison Updates NEADS on Flight 11 Edit

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, makes a brief phone call to NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) to see if it has been able to find any further information about Flight 11. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 32-33] Boston Center has just alerted NEADS to the hijacking of Flight 11 (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] Scoggins asks the ID technician who answers his call, “Have you identified the radar target for American 11?” The ID tech says they are still searching for it. Scoggins then tells her that Flight 11 is “50 miles south of Albany,” but, according to author Lynn Spencer, this information “won’t be of much help to NEADS Surveillance,” because “[t]heir monochromic displays aren’t even capable of showing the outline of states, much less those of cities like Albany or New York.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 33] (However, despite this supposed inadequate capability, NEADS is reportedly able to spot Flight 11 shortly before it crashes into the World Trade Center (see 8:45 a.m.-8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001), locating its radar track “going down the Hudson Valley, straight in from the north toward New York.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 56] ) As NEADS has no new information to offer him, Scoggins quickly ends the call. According to Spencer’s account, this is the first time Scoggins calls NEADS this morning, after arriving at the Boston Center minutes earlier (see (8:25 a.m.-8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 33] But according to a description Scoggins gives to author David Ray Griffin in 2007, it appears that this is his second call, after an initial call at around 8:35 (see (8:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Scoggins will tell Griffin that he first called NEADS to inform it that Flight 11 was “20 [miles] south of Albany heading south at a high rate of speed, 600 knots,” and then he makes “another call at 50 [miles] south of Albany.” [GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 47]

Shortly After 8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Staff Unable to Locate Hijacked Planes on Radar ScreensEdit

in a template

Members of staff at NEADS have difficulty locating Flight 11 and other aircraft on their radar screens.

Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins of NEADS will say that when the FAA first calls and reports the first hijacking [see 19], “He [FAA] gave me the latitude and longitude of that track… [but] there was nothing there.” [59][FOX NEWS, 9/8/2002]

Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, later recalls:

"I was giving NEADS accurate location information on at least five instances where AA 11 was, yet they could never identify him.… I originally gave them an F/R/D, which is a fix/radial/distance from a known location; they could not identify the target. They requested latitude/longitudes, which I gave them; they still could not identify the AA 11.… I gave them 20 [miles] south of Albany heading south at a high rate of speed, 600 knots, then another call at 50 south of Albany.”

[60][GRIFFIN, 2007, PP. 47]

Master Sergeant Kevin Foster and Staff Sergeant Mark Rose, also working at NEADS this morning, later complain about their inability to locate the hijacked planes. After being informed of the first hijacking, reportedly:

“As they had practiced countless times before, the NEADS team quickly began searching their [radar] screens for the plane. Because they had been informed its transponder was off, they knew to look for a tiny dash instead of the usual dot. But radar systems also use such lines to indicate weather patterns, so NEADS personnel began urgently clicking their computer cursors on each stray line to see if information indicating an aircraft would appear.”
Yet, after receiving further calls indicating more hijackings, “the inability to find the hijacked planes on the radar, despite their best efforts, was difficult.” According to Foster, “We were trying to find the tracks, and not being able to was very frustrating.” [61][UTICA OBSERVER-DISPATCH, 8/5/2004] 


NEADS Staff Sergeant Larry Thornton will recall:

“Once we were called by the FAA, we could find split-second hits on what we thought we were looking for. But the area was so congested and it was incredibly difficult to find. We were looking for little dash marks in a pile of clutter and a pile of aircraft on a two-dimensional scope.”
Each fluorescent green pulsating dot on their radar scopes represents an airplane, and there are thousands currently airborne, especially over the busy northeast US. [62][FILSON, 2003, PP. 56]

Shortly After 8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Otis Commander Phones NEADS for Authorization to Launch Fighters Edit

Following a call from the FAA’s Boston Center to the the FAA’s Cape Cod facility reporting the possible hijacking of Flight 11 (see 8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001), and a subsequent call from the Cape Cod facility to Otis Air National Guard Base (see (8:36 a.m.-8:41) September 11, 2001), Lt. Col. Jon Treacy, commander of the 101st Fighter Squadron at Otis, phones NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) to report the FAA’s request for help and get authorization to launch fighters. By now though, the FAA has already gotten through to NEADS itself, and reported the hijacking (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50] Entity Tags: Otis Air National Guard Base, Federal Aviation Administration, Jon Treacy, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11

(8:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Pilot Stops Activating Talk Back Button The talkback button on Flight 11, which has been periodically activated since around 8:14 a.m., stops around this time. Some have suggested that this indicates that the hijackers replace pilot John Ogonowski at this time. [CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 9/13/2001; MSNBC, 9/15/2001] Entity Tags: John Ogonowski Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11


8:38 a.m. and After September 11, 2001: NEADS Technicians Try Locating Flight 11, but Reportedly Hindered by Outdated Equipment Technicians at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) try frantically to locate Flight 11 on their radar scopes, but are supposedly hindered by their outdated equipment. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 31-32] NEADS has just been alerted to the hijacking of Flight 11 (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] Its technicians realize they need to find the location of the hijacked plane quickly, so that the weapons team will be able to pass this information on to any fighter jets that are launched after it. Locating Flight 11 Is a 'Grueling Process' - Author Lynn Spencer will later explain: “To identify American 11, the surveillance and ID techs must go through a grueling process. Their radar scopes are filled with hundreds of radar returns not just from aircraft but from weather systems, ground interference, and what’s called anomalous propagation—false returns caused by conditions in the atmosphere, or by such obstructions as flocks of birds. The technicians must first determine which radar data on their screens is for aircraft, which they do by monitoring its movement, which is distinctive for planes. The technician must observe for at least 36 seconds to a minute just to confirm that a blip is in fact an aircraft track. The tech must attach what’s called a tactical display number to it, which tells the computer to start tracking and identifying the target. If the target is in fact a plane, then over a period of 12-20 seconds, the computer will start to generate information on the track: heading, speed, altitude, latitude, longitude, and the identifying information being transmitted by the transponder.” However, Flight 11’s transponder has been switched off (see (Between 8:13 a.m. and 8:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Therefore, “With the hundreds of pieces of radar data filling their screens, and little information as to the location of the flight,” the task of locating it “is daunting.” Radar Equipment Supposedly Unsuitable - Spencer will suggest that trying to locate Flight 11 is made more difficult because the radar equipment at NEADS is outdated and unsuited to the task at hand. She writes: “[T]he NEADS radar equipment is different from that used by air traffic controllers. It’s much older, developed in the 1970s and brought into use by NEADS in the early 1980s. The system was designed to monitor the shoreline for incoming high-altitude threats: missiles coming from across the ocean. Slow and cumbersome, and not nearly as user friendly as more modern equipment, the NEADS monochromic radar displays are not designed to take internal FAA radar data or to identify radar tracks originating from inside the United States. The system offers little, if any, such low-level coverage over the country.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 31-32] Several of the NEADS personnel will later complain of their inability to locate Flight 11 on their scopes (see Shortly After 8:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). But Master Sergeant Joe McCain, the mission crew commander technician at NEADS, believes he has located Flight 11 on the radar screen just before it crashes into the World Trade Center (see 8:45 a.m.-8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 11

(After 8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NORAD Scramble Order Moves Through Official and Unofficial Channels Edit

NORAD gives the command to scramble fighters after Flight 11 after receiving Boston’s call [see 25]. Lieutenant Colonel Dawne Deskins at NEADS tells Colonel Robert Marr, head of NEADS, “I have FAA on the phone, the shout line, Boston [flight control]. They said they have a hijacked aircraft.” Marr then calls Major General Larry Arnold at the Continental US NORAD Region (CONR) headquarters at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Arnold is just coming out of a teleconference with the NORAD staff, and is handed a note informing him of the possible hijacking, and relaying Marr’s request that he call him immediately. He goes downstairs and picks up the phone, and Marr tells him, “Boss, I need to scramble [fighters at] Otis [Air National Guard Base].” Arnold recalls, “I said go ahead and scramble them, and we’ll get the authorities later.” Arnold then calls the operations deputy at NORAD’s Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado headquarters to report. The operations deputy tells him, “Yeah, we’ll work this with the National Military Command Center. Go ahead and scramble the aircraft.” [83] Upon receiving this authorization from Larry Arnold, NEADS orders the scramble and then calls Canadian Captain Mike Jellinek at NORAD’s operations center in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, in order to get NORAD commander in chief approval for it [see 26].[84]Yet, according to the 1st Air Force’s own book about 9/11, the “sector commander [at NEADS] would have authority to scramble the airplanes.” Military controllers at NEADS are only a hot line call away from the pilots on immediate alert. [85] Why NEADS calls the CONR headquarters at Tyndall, then NORAD’s Colorado operations center, to get authorization to launch fighters after Flight 11, is unclear.


8:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Flies Over Nuclear Power Station Edit

While flying south along the Hudson River, Flight 11 passes almost directly over the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY, about 30 miles north of New York City. . [86] The New Yorker will later comment, “An attack on a nuclear power plant would seem to fulfill, almost perfectly, al-Qaeda’s objective of using America’s technology against it,” and the New York Times will report, “Everyone within at least a 50-mile radius would be in danger if something terrible happened at Indian Point. That 50-mile radius contains more than 7 percent of the entire population of the United States—20 million people.” . [87] Mohamed Atta supposedly earlier considered targeting a nuclear facility on 9/11, but the other suicide pilots did not like the idea (see Between July 9 and July 16, 2001).

(8:38 a.m.-8:52 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS Calls NORAD Public Affairs Officer Edit

Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins of NEADS twice calls Major Don Arias, the 1st Air Force and Continental United States NORAD Region public affairs officer, who is at the 1st Air Force public affairs office at Tyndall Air Force, Florida. She first calls him after NEADS is informed of the hijacking of Flight 11 [see 27]. She says that NEADS has “a hijacked plane—no, not the simulation—likely heading for JFK [International Airport in New York City].” . [88] The “simulation” refers to a NORAD air defense exercise, presumably Vigilant Guardian, that Arias is involved in. Deskins informs him that fighters are going to be launched after the aircraft. Arias then starts working on a public statement about the incident, but soon after sees the smoking WTC tower on CNN. He says that he thinks, “Wow, I bet that’s the hijacked plane.” . [89] Minutes after the crash, Deskins calls Arias again and tells him, “We think the aircraft that just hit the World Trade Center was American Airlines Flight 11.” According to Deskins, Arias responds, “Oh, God. My brother works in the World Trade Center.”. [90] Arias will quickly contact his brother [see 28].

8:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Flies Over Nuclear Power StationEdit

While flying south along the Hudson River Wikipedia, Flight 11 passes almost directly over the Indian Point nuclear power plant Wikipedia in Buchanan, NY, about 30 miles north of New York City.[91]

The New Yorker will later comment, “An attack on a nuclear power plant would seem to fulfill, almost perfectly, al-Qaeda’s objective of using America’s technology against it,” and the New York Times will report, “Everyone within at least a 50-mile radius would be in danger if something terrible happened at Indian Point. That 50-mile radius contains more than 7 percent of the entire population of the United States—20 million people.” [92]

Mohamed Atta supposedly earlier considered targeting a nuclear facility on 9/11, but the other suicide pilots did not like the idea [see 29].


8:40 a.m.Edit

Main article: September 11 8:40 a.m.

8:50 a.mEdit

Main article: September 11 8:50 a.m.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 8, Page 12
  2. Page 20
  3. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 22]
  4. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 47; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 12 ]
  5. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 22 AND 27]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 20
  7. [GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 10/29/2001; BERGEN RECORD, 12/5/2003]
  8. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... 34
  9. [[[BERGEN RECORD]], 12/5/2003]
  10. 10.0 10.1 "America remembers:Air traffic controllers describe how events unfolded as they saw them on September 11th". MSNBC. 9/11/2002. 
  11. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  12. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 22-24
  13. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001; GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  14. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002]
  15. 15.0 15.1 David Ray Griffin (2007). "Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An answer to Popular Mechanics and other defenders of the official conspiracy theory". p. 43. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (9/17/2001). "Statement of Air Traffic Hijack Events". 
  17. David Ray Griffin (2007). "Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An answer to Popular Mechanics and other defenders of the official conspiracy theory". p. 43,335. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Peter Jennings Wikipedia (9/11/2002). "9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings". ABC NEWS. 
  19. Michael Bronner Wikipedia (2006). "Chasing planes: Witnesses to 9/11". 
  20. .  [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001]
  21. . 
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  25. . [KESSLER, 2004, PP. 137]
  26. . [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 38-39]
  27. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 12
  28. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 5
  29. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 12, Page 13
  30. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004]
  31. [DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AIR NATIONAL GUARD, 7/24/2001; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 10/21/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002]
  32. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ]
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  34. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002]
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  36. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ]
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  38. 9/11 Commission (1/27/2004). 
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  40. [GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
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  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 "9/11 Live: The NORAD tapes". VANITY FAIR. 8/1/2006. 
  43. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... 25
  44. NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE. 1/25/2002. 
  45. BAMFORD (2004). p. 8. 
  46. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... 26
  47. FILSON (2003). p. 51. 
  48. ABC NEWS. 9/14/2002. 
  49. NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND (9/18/2001). http://web.archive.org/web/20030809155434/http:/www.norad.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.news_rel_09_18_01. 
  50. ASSOCIATED PRESS. 8/21/2002. 
  51. BBC. 9/1/2002. 
  52. NEWSDAY. 9/10/2002. 
  53. CNN. 9/11/2002. 
  54. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  55. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... 22
  56. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... 25
  57. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 20
  58. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... p25-26 AND 40
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  60. . 
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  62. . 
  63. . 
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  67. 67.0 67.1 Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 22
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  69. . [102ND FIGHTER WING, 2001]
  70. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 27
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  73. .  [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 9/22/2003 ]
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  75. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 9/30/2003 ]
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  77. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 9/30/2003 ]
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