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8:24 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Air Traffic Controllers Hear Flight 11 Hijacker Say, ‘We Have Some Planes,’ but Uncertain of Origin of Transmission Edit

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Because the talkback button on Flight 11 has been activated, Boston Center air traffic controllers can hear a hijacker on board say to the passengers: “We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you’ll be OK. We are returning to the airport.” [1][2]

Air traffic controller Pete Zalewski recognizes this as a foreign, Middle Eastern-sounding voice, but does not make out the specific words “we have some planes.” He responds, “Who’s trying to call me?” Seconds later, in the next transmission, the hijacker continues: “Nobody move. Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves you’ll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.”[3][4][5]

Bill Peacock, the FAA director of air traffic services, later claims, “We didn’t know where the transmission came from, what was said and who said it.” David Canoles, the FAA’s manager of air traffic evaluations and investigations, adds: “The broadcast wasn’t attributed to a flight. Nobody gave a flight number.”[6] Similarly, an early FAA report will state that both these transmissions came from “an unknown origin.” [7]

Zalewski asks for an assistant to help listen to the transmissions coming from the plane, and puts its frequency on speakers so others at Boston Center can hear. Because Zalewski didn’t understand the initial hijacker communication from Flight 11, Terry Biggio,the manager of Boston Center instructs Bob Jones, [8] the center’s quality assurance specialist to “pull the tape” of the transmission, listen to it carefully, and then report back. They do this, and by about 9:03 a.m. Terry Biggio will report having deciphered what was said in the first hijacker transmission [see 1][4][5]

Fellow Boston controller Don Jeffroy also hears the tape of the hijacker transmissions, though he doesn’t state at what time. He says: “I heard exactly what Pete [Zalewski] heard. And we had to actually listen to it a couple of times just to make sure that we were hearing what we heard.” [9] At some point, Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, gets word of the “We have some planes” message, and later says the phrase haunts him all morning. American Airlines Executive Vice President for Operations Gerard Arpey Wikipedia is also informed of the “strange transmissions from Flight 11” at some point prior to when it crashes at 8:46 a.m. [10] Boston Center will receive a third transmission from Flight 11 about ten minutes later [see 2].

8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Center Starts Notifying Chain of Command 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 [1]

Boston Center begins notifying the chain of command that a suspected hijacking of Flight 11 is in progress. Those notified include the center’s own facility manager, the FAA’s New England Regional Operations Center (ROC) in Burlington, Massachusetts Wikipedia, and the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia [see 3][11][12]

According to the 9/11 Commission, this is consistent with FAA protocol:

“From interviews of controllers at various FAA centers, we learned that an air traffic controller’s first response to an aircraft incident is to notify a supervisor, who then notifies the traffic management unit and the operations manager in charge. The FAA center next notifies the appropriate regional operations center (ROC), which in turn contacts FAA headquarters.”[13]


But according to Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Command Center, “the protocol was in place that the center that reported the hijacking would notify the military.… I go back to 1964, where I began my air traffic career, and they have always followed the same protocol.” [14]

Yet Boston Center supposedly will not contact NORAD Wikipedia about Flight 11 until about 12 minutes later [see 4]. Already about ten minutes have passed since controllers first noticed a loss of contact with Flight 11[see 5]. Boston reportedly also contacts several other air traffic control centers about the suspected hijacking at this time [see 6]

8:28 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Informed of Flight 11 Hijacking, Establishes Teleconference between Air Traffic Control Centers Edit

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Boston Center calls the FAA Command Center and says it believes Flight 11 has been hijacked and is heading toward the New York Center’s airspace. The Command Center immediately establishes a teleconference between the Boston, New York, and Cleveland Center air traffic control centers, so Boston can help the other centers understand what is happening, in case Flight 11 should enter their airspace. Minutes later, in line with the standard hijacking protocol, the Command Center will pass on word of the suspected hijacking to the FAA’s Washington headquarters [see 7][15][16][17]

Tom Paccione[18]a supervisor at the Command Center, promptly passes on the news of the possible hijacking to Ben Sliney, who is on his first day as the national operations manager there. The supervisor says the plane in question is “American Flight 11—a 767 out of Boston for Los Angeles.” According to author Lynn Spencer, “Sliney flashes back to the routine for dealing with hijackings from the days when they were more common.” The procedure is to

"[k]eep other aircraft away from the errant plane. Give the pilots what they need. The plane will land somewhere, passengers will be traded for fuel, and difficult negotiations with authorities will begin. The incident should resolve itself peacefully, although the ones in the Middle East, he recalls, often had a more violent outcome.”

Apparently not expecting anything worse to happen, Sliney continues to the conference room for the daily 8:30 staff meeting there [see 8]

The FAA Command Center is located in Herndon, Virginia, 25 miles from Washington, DC. According to Spencer, it

“is a communications powerhouse, modeled after NASA’s Mission Control. The operations floor is 50 feet wide and 120 feet long, packed with tiered rows of computer stations, and at the front, seven enormous display screens show flight trajectories and weather patterns.”


The center has nearly 50 specialists working around the clock, planning and monitoring the flow of air traffic over the United States. These specialists work with airlines and air traffic control facilities to fix congestion problems and deal with weather systems. [19]

===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).” [20] 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.” [21]


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. [22][23]



Monte Belger will later say simply that “an FAA security person” runs the “hijack net” open communication system during 9/11. [24]  

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 9], 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.[25][26]

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.”[27] 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 10].. [28][29]

  1. "Probe reconstructs horror, calculated attacks on planes". BOSTON GLOBE. 11/23/2001. 
  2. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  3. NEW YORK TIMES. 10/16/2001. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/16/national/16PLAN.html. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 9/11 COMMISSION (6/17/2004). "Improvising a Homeland Defense". 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The skies over America". MSNBC. 9/9/2006. 
  6. WASHINGTON TIMES. 9/11/2002. http://web.archive.org/web/20020916222620/www.washtimes.com/september11/americans.htm. 
  7. FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (9/17/2001). http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB165/faa7.pdf. 
  8. http://www.scribd.com/doc/17150626/T8-B3-Boston-Center-Terry-Biggio-Fdr-92203-2-MFR-and-2-Sets-Handwritten-Notes-749
  9. "America remembers: Air traffic controllers describe how events unfolded as they saw them on September 11th". MSNBC. 9/11/2002. 
  10. USA TODAY. 8/13/2002. http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2002-08-12-clearskies_x.htm. 
  11. "Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events". FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION. 9/17/2001. 
  12. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  13. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 458
  14. 9/11 COMMISSION (6/17/2004). 
  15. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  16. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  17. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... pp 21
  18. http://www.scribd.com/doc/15877913/FO-B6-Public-Hearing-61704-2-of-2-Fdr-Tab-618-Ben-Sliney-Bio-MFR-Written-Testimony-Testimony-Request
  19. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 1 AND 19-20
  20. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 11/3/1998]
  21. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  22. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  23. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17
  24. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  25. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  26. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  27. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 16, Page 17 , Page 18 , Page 19
  28. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  29. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17

(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.” [1][2]

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. [3][4] 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.” [1]

Shortly into the call, Powell passes the phone on to Lieutenant Colonel Dawne Deskins [see 11]. 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.” [5][6] [7][8]

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.” [9]

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. [6]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.”[10] 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.[11][12]

The 8:40 time will be widely reported in the media prior to the 9/11 Commission’s 2004 report.[13][14][15][16] 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.[1][3] 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 12], 16 minutes after Flight 11’s transponder signal was lost [see 13], and 24 minutes after the plane’s pilots made their last radio contact [see 14][17] 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 15]. [1][18]

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

NORAD commander Larry Arnold. [Source: US Air Force] NORAD gives the command to scramble fighters after Flight 11 after receiving Boston’s call (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). 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.” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 56; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] 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 (8.46 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002] 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. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 50-52] 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. Entity Tags: Mike Jellinek, Robert Marr, Dawne Deskins, Larry Arnold, Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(8:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Ben Sliney Begins Responding to Hijacking Edit

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At the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, the national operations manager, Ben Sliney, learns more details of the hijacking of Flight 11, and becomes involved with the emergency response to it.[19]

Tom Paccione informed Sliney of the suspected hijacking at just before 8:30 [see 16]. Soon after, a supervisor (either Paccione or Mike Artis interrupted a meeting Sliney was in, to tell him American Airlines Wikipedia had called to report the deteriorating situation on Flight 11 [see 17].

Sliney heads to the center’s operations floor, where he is given further details of the call from American Airlines, including information about Betty Ong’s phone call from Flight 11[see 18]. He is told the plane’s transponder has been switched off [see 19], which means no flight data is showing on the screens of air traffic controllers, and the latest information from the FAA’s Boston Center is that Flight 11 has turned south, and is now 35 miles north of New York City. On one of the large screens at the front of the Command Center that shows flight trajectories, Sliney can see that the track for Flight 11 is in “ghost.” This means that, because no transponder data is being received, the computer is displaying track information based on previously stored track data.

Sliney instructs his staff to contact facilities along the path the flight appears to be on, to find if anyone is in contact with it or tracking it. [20] He will later recall, “I figured we’d try to get the people on the ground, the towers in the area, the police departments, anyone we could get to give us information on where this flight was.” [21]

Sliney then requests a teleconference between the FAA’s Boston Center, New York Center, and FAA headquarters in Washington, so they can share information about the flight in real time. [19]

The Command Center has already initiated a teleconference between the Boston, New York, and Cleveland Centers, immediately after it was notified of the suspected Flight 11 hijacking. [22] However, Sliney apparently does not request military assistance. According to Lynn Spencer, “The higher echelons at headquarters in Washington will make the determination as to the necessity of military assistance in dealing with the hijacking.” [19]

(8:48 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Pentagon Command Center Workers Apparently Learn of WTC Attack from TV, Think It Is an AccidentEdit

In the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at the Pentagon, personnel apparently become aware of the first attack on the World Trade Center from watching the reports on television. According to Steve Hahn, an operations officer there, “We monitor the television networks in the center, and along with the rest of America we saw the smoke pouring from the tower.” Dan Mangino, who is also an operations officer at the NMCC, says, “At first, we thought it was a terrible accident.” [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/7/2006] The 9/11 Commission later says, “Most federal agencies learned about the crash in New York from CNN.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 35] Whether the NMCC was already aware that a hijacking was underway is unclear. According to military instructions, the NMCC is “the focal point within Department of Defense for providing assistance” in response to hijackings in US airspace, and is supposed to be “notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA.” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 6/1/2001 ] Boston Air Traffic Control Center started notifying the chain of command of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11 more than 20 minutes earlier (see 8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001). And at 8:32, the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon informed FAA headquarters of the possible hijacking (see 8:28 a.m. September 11, 2001). Yet, according to the 9/11 Commission, although the “FAA headquarters began to follow the hijack protocol,” it “did not contact the NMCC to request a fighter escort.” Supposedly, the first that the military learned of the hijacking was when Boston Air Traffic Control Center contacted NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) about it, at around 8:37 a.m. (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The earliest time mentioned by the 9/11 Commission that the NMCC learns of the Flight 11 hijacking is 9 a.m. (see 9:00 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 19-20 AND 35] Entity Tags: Steve Hahn, Dan Mangino, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 8:48 a.m.) September 11, 2001: United Airlines Learns Crashed Plane Belonged to American Airlines, but Director Unable to Contact Corporate Officials about This Apparently, managers at United Airlines’ System Operations Control (SOC) center, just outside Chicago, are unaware of any unfolding emergency until they see CNN reporting the burning World Trade Center (see 8:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). “Within minutes,” the air traffic control coordinator at United Airlines’ headquarters, located next to the SOC, calls an official at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center to confirm that the plane that just hit the WTC was not one of United’s aircraft. The FAA official tells him the plane had been a hijacked American Airlines 757. Soon afterwards, the air traffic control coordinator briefs Bill Roy and Mike Barber—the director and the dispatch manager at United’s SOC—on this information from the FAA. Barber then tries notifying United’s top corporate officials about it. However, he is unable to because the airline’s pager system is not working. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 21-22 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Roy, Mike Barber, United Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(8:50 a.m.-Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Director of Operations of the Joint Staff Does Not Go to NMCC after Learning of WTC Crash; Keeps Dental Appointment InsteadEdit

Scott Fry. [Source: NATO] Vice Admiral Scott Fry, a top official at the Pentagon with important responsibilities, goes to a dental appointment and only becomes involved with the response to the attacks after the second crash in New York. [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 4-6] Fry is the director of operations of the Joint Staff, a post he has held since 1998. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 9/23/1998; STARS AND STRIPES, 10/4/2001] In this position, he is responsible for running the National Military Command Center (NMCC)—“the Pentagon’s highly secure nerve center”—and the Executive Support Center (ESC)—a suite of rooms at the Pentagon “where the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other senior officials would meet to discuss urgent matters.” [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 5-6] He is due to leave shortly for Italy, where he is to take up an important Navy command. [DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 9/4/2001; STARS AND STRIPES, 10/4/2001; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 4-5] Fry is anxious to go to the dentist before leaving for Italy. As he is about to leave his office for a 9:00 a.m. appointment, his executive assistant draws his attention to the television coverage of the first attack in New York. Reportedly believing the crash was “probably just a freak accident,” instead of heading to the NMCC or the ESC, Fry continues to the clinic (which is presumably within the Pentagon), and is in the dentist’s chair when the second attack occurs. His assistant then calls him on his cell phone to alert him to this. Fry reportedly concludes: “One airplane hitting a skyscraper, that was damned suspicious. But two… there was no doubt about it. It had to be a terrorist attack.” He promptly cancels his appointment and hurries to the NMCC. From there, he goes upstairs to the ESC, where a group is already assembling (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). In the ESC, a “video teleconference link could connect them to the White House, the State Department, the CIA, and military commanders throughout the world.” There, Fry discusses events in New York with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s aide Stephen Cambone. But, reportedly, what the men know is “not much, except what they could see on TV.” [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 4-6] Only a few months previously, on June 1, 2001, a new Defense Department directive on dealing with domestic hijackings was issued under Fry’s signature (see June 1, 2001). [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 6/1/2001 ] Entity Tags: National Military Command Center, Scott Fry, Executive Support Center, Stephen A. Cambone Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 8:51 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Pentagon Command Center Possibly Knows Flight 77 Is Hijacked, yet NEADS Not Notified An article in the New York Times will later suggest that officials in the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) promptly become aware of the problems with Flight 77, long before NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) is alerted to the flight. The article will state, “During the hour or so that American Airlines Flight 77 [is] under the control of hijackers, up to the moment it struck the west side of the Pentagon, military officials in [the NMCC are] urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001] This appears consistent with what would be expected under normal procedures. According to the FAA’s acting Deputy Administrator Monte Belger: “Prior to 9/11, FAA’s traditional communication channel with the military during a crisis had been through the National Military Command Center (NMCC). They were always included in the communication net that was used to manage a hijack incident.” He will say that, since the FAA does not have direct dedicated communication links with NORAD, in a hijack scenario the NMCC has “the responsibility to coordinate [the Defense Department]‘s response to requests from the FAA or the FBI.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] NEADS reportedly is not alerted to Flight 77 until significantly later: at 9:24 a.m. by some accounts (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001), or, according to other accounts, at 9:34 a.m., when it only learns that Flight 77 is missing (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector, National Military Command Center, Monte Belger Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

8:56 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 77’s Transponder Signal Disappears, yet NEADS Is Not Alerted Flight 77’s transponder is turned off, meaning that the aircraft’s speed, altitude, and flight information are no longer visible on radar displays at the FAA’s Indianapolis Center. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, 2/19/2002 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9] The Indianapolis Center air traffic controller in charge of Flight 77 watched the plane go off course and head southwest before its data disappeared from his radar screen. He looks for primary radar signals along the aircraft’s projected flight path as well as in the airspace where it had started to turn, but cannot find it. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] He tries contacting the plane repeatedly, saying “American 77, Indy,” and: “American 77, Indy, radio check. How do you read?” But there is no response. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001] NEADS Not Contacted - US News and World Report will later comment, “[E]xperts say that an airliner making a 180-degree turn followed by a transponder turnoff should have been a red flag to controllers.” It will quote Robert Cauble, a 20-year veteran of Navy air traffic control, who says: “The fact that the transponder went off, they should have picked up on that immediately. Everyone should have been on alert about what was going on.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 10/8/2001] Yet the Indianapolis Center supposedly does not notify NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS). According to the 9/11 Commission, NEADS will only learn that Flight 77 is missing at 9:34 a.m. (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 26-27] Controller Thinks Plane Suffered Mechanical Failure - While several air traffic control centers were reportedly informed of the Flight 11 hijacking as early as 8:25 a.m. (see 8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001), according to the 9/11 Commission, the controller handling Flight 77 does not realize other aircraft have been hijacked, and he is unaware of the situation in New York. He mistakenly assumes Flight 77 has experienced an electrical or mechanical failure. [GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] After he informs other Indianapolis Center personnel of the developing situation, they will clear all other aircraft from the plane’s westerly route so their safety will not be affected if Flight 77 is still flying along its original path but unable to be heard. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 29; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 460; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 30 ] Airline and Possibly Pentagon Learn of Flight 77 Problems - While NEADS is not alerted about the errant aircraft, a controller at the Indianapolis Center will contact American Airlines at 8:58 to inform it that contact has been lost with Flight 77 (see 8:58 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 30 ] And an article in the New York Times will indicate that the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) promptly becomes aware of the problems with Flight 77 (see (Shortly After 8:51 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001] Entity Tags: Robert Cauble, Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:00 a.m. September 11, 2001: Pentagon Command Center Learns of Flight 11 Hijacking, But Does Not Discuss Scrambling Fighters The deputy director of operations and his assistant in the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) have been notifying senior Pentagon officials of the first WTC tower being hit. At around 9 a.m., the senior NMCC operations officer contacts the Operations Center at FAA headquarters asking for information, and is informed of the hijacking of Flight 11. This is the earliest time mentioned by the 9/11 Commission Report that the NMCC learns of this hijacking. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 35] Yet, according to military instructions, the NMCC is supposed to be “the focal point within Department of Defense for providing assistance” in response to hijackings in US airspace. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 6/1/2001 ] Apparently, during the call, the FAA Operations Center does not connect the plane crashing into the WTC with the hijacked Flight 11, which it claims is still airborne: The relevant entry in the NMCC operations officer’s log will state, “9:00 NMCC called FAA, briefed of explosion at WTC possibly from aircraft crash. Also, hijacking of American Flight 11 from Boston to LA, now enroute to Kennedy [International Airport in New York City].” Nor is there any discussion about launching fighter jets. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 35 AND 462] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:01 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA’s New York Center Tells FAA Command Center about Flight 175 Hijack In a conference call, Peter Mulligan, a manager at the FAA’s New York Center, tells the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia: “We have several situations going here. It’s escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us.” [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 15 ] This is apparently a reference to the hijacking of Flight 175. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 22] Manager Gives No Details of Aircraft - Mulligan does not initially give any details of the hijacked aircraft, such as its flight number, position, or heading, but soon leaves the phone to inform his military liaison of the hijack (see 9:01 a.m.-9:02 a.m. September 11, 2001). After about one minute, Mulligan comes back on the phone, says that the liaison has been notified, and adds: “We’re involved in something else. We have other aircraft that may have a similar situation going on here.” Again, he provides no detailed information about the second hijacked plane, whose number does not appear to be communicated to the FAA’s Command Center before it crashes. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 16-18 ] 9/11 Commission Confused - According to the transcript of the 9/11 Commission hearing at which a recording of the teleconference is played, it is the Herndon Command Center that says, “We’re involved with something else, we have other aircraft that may have a similar situation going on here.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] This version, which indicates the Command Center already knows about the hijacking of Flight 175 when Mulligan passes on the notification, is subsequently picked up by some media. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; AMERICAN RADIOWORKS, 9/2/2004; CBC, 9/12/2006] However, this will be altered in the Commission’s final report, which attributes the “We’re involved with something else” statement to Mulligan. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 22] The transcript of the call on which this section of the report is based indicates that the statement is actually made by Mulligan and that the 9/11 Commission is therefore only correcting an initial error it made at the hearing in its final report. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 18 ] Entity Tags: New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Peter Mulligan, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Learns of Hijackers’ ‘We Have Some Planes’ Communication At the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, manager John White learns of the communication apparently made by a hijacker on Flight 11, stating “We have some planes” (see 8:24 a.m. September 11, 2001), and quickly notifies the national operations manager of this. Terry Biggio, the operations manager at the FAA’s Boston Center, is relaying all the information he has about Flight 11 to the Command Center’s teleconference. In the conference room at the Command Center, White is listening in. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 79-80] Because the air traffic controller monitoring Flight 11 had not understood the “We have some planes” hijacker communication, the Boston Center’s quality assurance specialist had been instructed to “pull the tape” of the transmission, listen to it carefully, and then report back. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 19] Having learned that the specialist has deciphered the transmission, Biggio now relays the details of it over the teleconference. Seconds later, those at the Command Center see Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower of the World Trade live on CNN. White promptly dispatches a manager to pass on the details of the transmission to Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the Command Center (see 9:06 a.m. and After September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 79-80] The FAA’s New England regional office also learns of the “We have some planes” communication at this time (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 23 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Ben Sliney, John White, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Terry Biggio Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Military Officers at FAA Command Center Contact NMCC about Response to Attacks Two officers in the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC)—a small office at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, manned by military reservists—contact the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at the Pentagon, to ask about military assistance in response to the terrorist attacks. [US AIR FORCE, 9/11/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 4/14/2004] Military Leaders 'in a Meeting to Determine Their Response' - Apparently shortly after the south World Trade Center tower is hit at 9:03 a.m., Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the Command Center, asks the ATSC for a military response to the ongoing events (see 9:06 a.m. and After September 11, 2001). Therefore, Lieutenant Colonel Michael-Anne Cherry, one of the three officers on duty in the ATSC, calls the NMCC. However, according to a chronology of the ATSC’s actions on this day, Cherry is told that “senior leaders” at the NMCC are “in a meeting to determine their response” to the attacks, and will call back. Second Officer Calls NMCC, Told Fighters Have Been Launched - Then, at around 9:08 a.m., Sliney talks to another of the officers on duty in the ATSC, Colonel John Czabaranek, and asks if fighter jets have been launched toward New York. [US AIR FORCE, 9/11/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 4/14/2004] Two F-15s have already taken off from Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, toward the New York area (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001), but, according to the 9/11 Commission, “Lacking a target,” these fighters have been “vectored toward military-controlled airspace off the Long Island coast” (see (8:53 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] In response to Sliney’s inquiry, Czabaranek calls the NMCC. The NMCC indicates that it is aware of the request for fighter support, and says aircraft have been scrambled from Otis Air Base. Czabaranek passes this information on to Sliney, telling him that fighters are en route. ATSC's Secure Phones Initially Not Working - According to the chronology of the ATSC’s actions, the unit’s secure phones do not work for an incoming call from the NMCC that is apparently made shortly after 9:03 a.m. The ATSC’s keys for its secure phones are recalibrated, and the phones then “worked fine.” [US AIR FORCE, 9/11/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 4/14/2004] Entity Tags: National Military Command Center, John Czabaranek, Michael-Anne Cherry, Air Traffic Services Cell, Ben Sliney

9:05 a.m. September 11, 2001: Air Space Closed over New York Area

Bruce Barrett. [Source: H. Darr Beiser / USA Today] The FAA’s New York Center declares “air traffic control zero” (“ATC zero”), which means that all air traffic is prevented from departing from, arriving at, or traveling through the center’s airspace until further notice. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; FRENI, 2003, PP. 18; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24 ] According to author Lynn Spencer: “ATC zero is designed for situations in which an air traffic facility is completely incapable of handling aircraft due to a massive computer failure, power outage, or even a large enough weather system. The declaration pushes all their aircraft onto neighboring sectors, and any new airplanes from adjacent sectors are turned back, at the sector boundaries if necessary.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 68] The decision to declare ATC zero is made after the second plane hits the World Trade Center, confirming that the US is under terrorist attack. There are currently hundreds of aircraft in the skies around New York and the western Atlantic that the New York Center is responsible for. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/12/2002] Bruce Barrett, a senior manager at the New York Center, announces, “We’re declaring ATC zero,” and Mike McCormick, the center’s air traffic control manager, approves the order. Several of the managers there then start informing air traffic controllers of the decision. Unprecedented Order - USA Today will report that this decision is unprecedented: “Controllers had gone to ‘air traffic control zero’ before, but only when their radar shut down or their radio transmitters went silent. The planes kept flying then, and controllers in other centers guided them. This time, ATC zero means something far more drastic. It means emptying the skies—something that has never been attempted. And not just the skies over Manhattan. Controllers must clear the air from southern New England to Maryland, from Long Island to central Pennsylvania—every mile of the region they control.… Controllers from Cleveland to Corpus Christi must reroute jets headed to the region and put some in holding patterns.” Accounts Conflict over Whether Center Seeks Permission - According to USA Today, McCormick and Barrett declare ATC zero without first seeking permission from higher-ups, because a “call to Washington could take minutes, and they aren’t sure they have that long.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] But according to Lynn Spencer, a New York Center supervisor has already requested ATC zero in a call to the FAA’s Herndon Command Center. Ben Sliney, the Command Center’s national operations manager, assured the supervisor, “You take care of matters in your center and we will provide all the assistance necessary by stopping any further aircraft from entering your airspace.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 68] Entity Tags: Ben Sliney, New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Lynn Spencer, Bruce Barrett, Mike McCormick Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:06 a.m. and After September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Ben Sliney Responds to Second Crash, Declares New York ‘Ground Stop’ At the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, national operations manager Ben Sliney responds to the second plane hitting the World Trade Center and orders a “first-tier ground stop” to prevent aircraft from departing, arriving at, or flying through the airspace of the FAA’s New York Center. Like many others at the Command Center, Sliney has just seen Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower of the WTC live on CNN. A manager at the center then reports to him the news just received over the Command Center’s teleconference, about the sinister radio transmissions that have been deciphered by the Boston Center, stating “We have some planes” (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to author Lynn Spencer, “The words take on a sickening significance” to Sliney “after what he has just observed.” Sliney Orders 'First-Tier Ground Stop' - Sliney orders across the room, “Give me a first-tier ground stop!” According to Spencer, “The order stops all aircraft departing, arriving, or flying through New York Center’s airspace, effectively closing down the nation’s busiest skies.” At 9:06 a.m., an advisory is sent out to every air traffic control facility in the nation, and the skies above New York are now officially closed. Numerous flights that are in the air or preparing to take off are given “holding instructions.” Meanwhile, the large screen at the front of the room in the Command Center displays the footage of Flight 175 hitting the WTC as it is shown repeatedly on CNN. According to Spencer: “[I]t becomes sickeningly obvious to all watching that the plane was a large commercial airliner. And it was no accident.” [AOPA PILOT, 11/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 80-81] Around this same time, the FAA’s New York Center takes action similar to that of the Command Center, declaring “air traffic control zero,” which prevents all air traffic from departing, arriving at, or traveling through its airspace (see 9:05 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24 ] And at around 9:25 a.m., the Command Center will order a “nationwide ground stop,” which prevents any aircraft from taking off in the entire United States (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ] Sliney Expands Teleconference - Also in response to the second WTC crash, Sliney decides that he needs to expand the Command Center’s teleconference (see (Between 8:48 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001) so as to include the secretary of transportation. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] It is expanded to include the secretary of transportation’s office, FAA headquarters, and other agencies. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] It is unclear whether Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta participates himself, as he is told to go to the White House around this time, and subsequently heads there (see (9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Military Liaison Unable to Help - Sliney also seeks out the military liaison at the Command Center to get more information about what is going on. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Presumably this officer is one of the three members of the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC) there (see (Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002] But, according to Spencer, it is “clear that the lieutenant colonel’s job has nothing to do with NORAD or the air defense interceptors. He is military, but his job duties at the Command Center are focused on military airspace usage. He has no place in the military chain of command that is relevant this morning.” Sliney therefore “can only assume that people much higher up than both of them are dealing with the military response. The fighters must be on their way.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Entity Tags: Ben Sliney, Norman Mineta, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Services Cell Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:07 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Informs All Air Traffic Facilities of First Hijacking According to a book about the Federal Aviation Administration’s response on 9/11, the FAA Command Center sends a message to all the nation’s air traffic facilities at this time, announcing the first hijacking. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 59] This would be two minutes after it had been informed that the Flight 11 hijackers had announced, “we have [some] planes” (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). Yet according to the 9/11 Commission, Indianapolis Center, which handles Flight 77, only learns that there are other hijacked aircraft “By 9:20” (see (9:20 a.m.-9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23-24] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:09 a.m.-9:10 a.m. September 11, 2001: Boston Center Controllers Give Cockpit Security Alert to All Their AircraftEdit

Terry Biggio, the operations manager at the FAA’s Boston Center, instructs the air traffic controllers at his center to contact all aircraft in the center’s airspace by radio and inform them of the events taking place in New York. He tells the controllers to also advise the aircraft to heighten their cockpit security in light of these events. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25 ] According to author Lynn Spencer, previously “No transmission of that kind has ever been made on air traffic control frequencies.” Controller Jim Ekins is the first to act. He announces over all the radio frequencies in the sector: “All aircraft! Due to recent events that have unfolded in the Boston sector, you are advised to increase cockpit security. Allow no entry to your cockpit!” According to Spencer, other controllers nearby overhear and realize: “Yes! That’s exactly what we need to tell them!” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 98] The Boston Center air traffic controllers then immediately execute Biggio’s order, and give the warning to their aircraft. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25 ] However, Spencer will write: “Communications with controllers are [usually] as dry as they come, and to many pilots this announcement is so out of their realm of understanding, training, and experience that it simply doesn’t make sense. It actually agitates some, who cannot help but view it as some new kind of ‘FAA bureaucratic bullsh_t.’” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 99] Boston Center will subsequently ask the FAA’s Herndon Command Center to issue a similar cockpit security alert nationwide, but the Command Center apparently will not act on this request (see (9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23] United Airlines will issue a company-wide order at 9:21 for its dispatchers to warn their flights to secure their cockpits (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 455] Entity Tags: Terry Biggio, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Jim Ekins Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Requests Information on Unusual Flight Activity, Receives Numerous Reports

The FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia. [Source: Federal Aviation Administration] Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, puts the word out that he wants all air traffic control facilities around the US to inform him of anything unusual that occurs with the flights they are handling. In response, news of suspicious activity quickly starts coming in to the Command Center. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 125-126] Command Center Calls Field Facilities - Sliney wants air traffic control facilities to notify him of anything out of the ordinary, such as a radar target disappearing from the radar scope, loss of communication with an aircraft, or an aircraft making an unauthorized change of course. He also wants to know immediately of any glitches that occur, even if these are common, everyday problems, such as a flight deviating from its course, missing a frequency change, overlooking a radio call, or getting a transponder code wrong. The center’s controllers at each regional desk therefore start calling their field facilities, and ask them to report any unusual occurrences. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/22/2003 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 125] The Command Center has telecommunications lines to all the major air traffic control facilities in the US, which enables it to reach out to those facilities and establish the big picture about aircraft activity. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64] 'More and More' Responses Received - Following the call for information, numerous reports of suspicious activity are received from the air traffic control facilities. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 125-126] Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations at the Command Center, will later recall, “[W]e started getting more and more calls about bomb threats, about aircraft that we had lost communication or radar identification with.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] Center Lists Suspect Aircraft - Sliney wants a list compiled of the reportedly suspicious aircraft. A dry-erase board is set up in the middle of the room. On it a manager keeps track of the reports that are coming in, writing down where each suspect aircraft was last seen, who was working it, where the flight originated, and where it is going. Another person contacts the field facilities to follow up on the reports. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/22/2003 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 126] Two Dozen Suspicious Flights - Author Pamela Freni will later describe, “[F]or the next several hours the call signs and status” of every suspicious aircraft will be recorded. Command Center personnel call “airline operations centers, trying to determine any crises on each flight. Only when each plane landed or was found safe did its identification information disappear from the board. Upward to two dozen were listed at one time, but ultimately the number was whittled to 11 highly suspicious cases” (see (9:09 a.m. and After) September 11, 2001). “Nine of those airplanes would land safely. Two of them—AA 77 and UA 93—would not.” [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64-65] Entity Tags: Linda Schuessler, Ben Sliney, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:14 a.m. September 11, 2001: Indianapolis Center Receives Confirmation of Flight 11 Hijacking, but Apparently Does Not Suspect Flight 77 Is Hijacked An air traffic controller at the FAA’s Indianapolis Center, which was monitoring Flight 77 when it disappeared from radar (see 8:56 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (8:56 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001), receives confirmation from American Airlines that Flight 11 was hijacked, but apparently still does not suspect that the missing Flight 77 may also have been hijacked. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] The controller, a sector radar associate at the Indianapolis Center, called the American Airlines dispatch office in Texas five minutes earlier, and was informed by dispatcher Jim McDonnell that Flight 11 had been hijacked and that two planes had hit the World Trade Center (see 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 106] He now calls the dispatch office and again speaks with McDonnell. After introducing himself, he asks, “American 11, you guys said he departed off of, uh, New York?” McDonnell replies, “Boston.” The controller continues, “Boston, he was going to LA, and it was a hijacked airplane?” McDonnell confirms, “Yes.” The controller asks, “And you, have you heard anything from American 77?” McDonnell replies, “No,” and then adds, “I talked to a winder in the center up there, and I gave them the information I got.” (What McDonnell is referring to here is unclear.) The controller thanks McDonnell, and the call ends. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001] Despite receiving this information from American Airlines, according to the 9/11 Commission it is not until about 9:20 that the Indianapolis Center begins to doubt its initial assumption that Flight 77 has crashed, and discusses this concern with the FAA’s Herndon Command Center (see (9:20 a.m.-9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 32 ] Entity Tags: Jim McDonnell, American Airlines, Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Asked to Issue Nationwide Cockpit Security Alert, but Does Not Act on Request At “approximately 9:15 a.m.,” according to the 9/11 Commission, Daniel Bueno, a supervisor at the FAA’s Boston Center, asks the FAA’s Herndon Command Center to contact all the FAA centers nationwide and instruct them to issue an alert, informing all airborne aircraft of the events unfolding in New York and advising them to heighten their cockpit security. Boston Center air traffic controllers have recently issued a similar alert to all aircraft in their airspace (see 9:09 a.m.-9:10 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25-26 ] However, the 9/11 Commission will conclude, “We have found no evidence to suggest that the Command Center acted on this request or issued any type of cockpit security alert.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23] According to author Lynn Spencer, “The request never makes it to Ben Sliney,” the national operations manager at the Command Center. “Tragically, it is lost in the confusion and never gets past the staff person monitoring Sliney’s desk as events rapidly spiral out of control.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 99] But Ellen King, a Command Center manager, offers a different explanation. She will tell the 9/11 Commission that the FAA culture and mindset on 9/11 are such that the FAA “would never have relayed this message directly to all pilots.… [T]he FAA would pass situational awareness to the airline company representatives who, in turn, would determine if such action was necessary.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 26 AND 92 ] Entity Tags: Daniel Bueno, Ellen King, Federal Aviation Administration, Ben Sliney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:16 a.m.-9:18 a.m. September 11, 2001: American Airlines Contacts FAA; Thinks Flight 77 May Have Hit the WTC Bill Halleck, an American Airlines air traffic control specialist at the airline’s System Operations Control (SOC) in Fort Worth, Texas, phones an official at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, to ask about the status of New York City air traffic. During their two-and-a-half minute conversation, Halleck says American thinks Flight 11 crashed into the WTC, and says that Flight 77 is “missing.” Presently, he receives an update from someone else at SOC, indicating that Flight 77 may also have crashed into the WTC (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). He wonders how it could have gotten to New York, but updates the FAA official on this news. The FAA official replies that the second WTC crash may not have been Flight 77 because “we have another call sign” for that incident. The FAA Command Center is currently uncertain of the identity of either of the planes that hit the Twin Towers, and provides no further information. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 AND 94 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Halleck, American Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:19 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Concerned about Delta Flight 1989, Wants It to Increase Cockpit Security The FAA’s New England regional office calls the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, and asks it to tell Cleveland Center to contact Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 and advise it to use extra cockpit security. The reason the New England regional office makes this request is unclear. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 10] As the 9/11 Commission will describe, apparently in response to the request, “[A]t 9:19 the FAA… Command Center in Herndon ordered controllers to send a cockpit warning to Delta 1989 because, like American 11 and United 175, it was a transcontinental flight departing Boston’s Logan Airport.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 455] Minutes earlier, the FAA’s Boston Center asked the Command Center to contact the nation’s FAA centers and instruct them to tell all airborne aircraft to increase their cockpit security (see (9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The Command Center’s instruction to air traffic controllers about Delta 1989 is apparently an exception, as the 9/11 Commission will say it found “no evidence to suggest that the Command Center acted on this request.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 23; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25-26 ] Delta 1989 will subsequently be mistakenly reported as having been hijacked (see (9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:20 a.m.-9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA’s Indianapolis Center Finally Aware of National Crisis; Discusses Flight 77 Concerns with Command Center According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA’s Indianapolis Center, which was monitoring Flight 77 when it disappeared from radar (see 8:56 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (8:56 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001), has learned by 9:20 a.m. that there are “other hijacked aircraft,” and begins “to doubt its initial assumption that American 77 had crashed.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] In fact, a transcript of air traffic controller communications will show that the Indianapolis Center was informed of the Flight 11 hijacking, and that two planes had hit the World Trade Center, at 9:09 a.m. (see 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001); five minutes later, it received confirmation of the Flight 11 hijacking (see 9:14 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001] And television networks have been covering the crashes in New York since as early as 8:48 a.m. (see 8:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). [BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 16-17] Other Facilities Notified - The manager at the Indianapolis Center now discusses the concern that Flight 77 may not have crashed with the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia. This discussion prompts the Command Center to notify some FAA field facilities that Flight 77 is lost. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 32 ] Also at around 9:20, the Indianapolis Center operations manager contacts the FAA’s Chicago Center. He advises its operations manager of his concern that Flight 77 may have been hijacked, and says to be on the lookout, based on the events that have occurred in New York. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] By 9:21, according to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA “Command Center, some FAA field facilities, and American Airlines had started to search for American 77. They feared it had been hijacked.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24-25] Entity Tags: Chicago flight control, Federal Aviation Administration, Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, American Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Administrator Frustrated that Military Is Not Involved in Teleconference

Monte Belger [Source: FAA] At 9:20 a.m. (or earlier, according to some accounts), the FAA set up a hijacking teleconference with several agencies (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). FAA records indicate that the National Military Command Center within the Pentagon was included in the communication network “no later than 9:20 a.m.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ] Yet at some point later in the morning, Acting FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger becomes aware that the military is not involved in the teleconference in any meaningful way. Presumably referring to tape recordings of the FAA headquarters, 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick will later say to Belger, “We heard some rather colorful language came from your mouth at that point.” The absence of the NMCC from the teleconference is unusual. Belger says, “I’ve lived through dozens of hijackings in my 30-year FAA career… and [the NMCC] were always there. They were always on the net, and were always listening in with everybody else.” He adds, “The most frustrating after-the-fact scenario for me to understand is to explain… the communication link on that morning between the FAA operations center and the NMCC.… I know how it’s supposed to work, but… it’s still a little frustrating for me to understand how it actually did work on that day.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 36] Entity Tags: Monte Belger, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 9:22 a.m. and 9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Airline Managers Join Teleconference but Receive No Guidance; Timing Unclear Managers from American Airlines and United Airlines are added by the FAA to a teleconference, but they receive no guidance from top government officials on what to do. According to author Lynn Spencer, at some point after the second aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the executives from the two airlines are “quickly on the phone to FAA headquarters and the FAA Command Center.” They are brought into “a conference call that has now been set up with Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House. The airline executives inform the secretary that they are each dealing with additional aircraft that they are unable to contact. They seek guidance, but there is none.… The nation is under attack, but there is no plan in place, and no guidance is forthcoming from the top as the crisis escalates.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 109] The time when the airline executives join the teleconference is unclear. In Spencer’s account, she places it after United Airlines dispatchers have warned their aircraft to secure their cockpits (see (Shortly After 9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would mean some time after 9:21. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 37 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 109] But Spencer also says that, when the executives join the conference, the “president is still reading to children in a Florida school room” (see (9:06 a.m.-9:16 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would be roughly between 9:05 and 9:15. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 38-39; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 109] If Norman Mineta is already participating in the teleconference when the airline executives join it, the time would have to be after around 9:20, which is when Mineta later says he arrived at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House (see (Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] And Cheney, who Spencer also says is participating in the teleconference when the executives join it, arrives at the PEOC as late as 9:58, according to the 9/11 Commission, although other accounts indicate he arrives there much earlier than this (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 40] According to the Wall Street Journal, American Airlines president Don Carty and United Airlines CEO Jim Goodwin are talking on the phone with Mineta (presumably over the conference call) about five minutes before the FAA shuts down all US airspace (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would mean they are participating in the teleconference by around 9:40 a.m. [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Don Carty, United Airlines, Norman Mineta, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, American Airlines, Jim Goodwin Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:25 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Finally Tells FAA Headquarters about Flight 77 According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA Command Center advises FAA headquarters that American 77 is lost in Indianapolis flight control’s airspace, that Indianapolis has no primary radar track, and is looking for the aircraft. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] When exactly the Command Center first learned that Flight 77 was lost is unclear. The earliest time reported by the 9/11 Commission is when an American Airlines employee mentioned it when calling the center at 9:16 a.m. (see 9:16 a.m.-9:18 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] American Airlines headquarters was notified of the loss of contact with Flight 77 before 9:00 a.m. (see 8:58 a.m. September 11, 2001), but had mistakenly thought this was the aircraft that hit the second WTC tower minutes later (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, American Airlines Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Rookie FAA Manager Bans All Take Offs Nationwide, Including Most Military Flights? Mineta Asserts He Issues Order Minutes Later

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey. [Source: FAA] Time magazine later reports that Jane Garvey, head of the FAA, “almost certainly after getting an okay from the White House, initiate[s] a national ground stop, which forbids takeoffs and requires planes in the air to get down as soon as is reasonable. The order, which has never been implemented since flying was invented in 1903, applie[s] to virtually every single kind of machine that can takeoff—civilian, military, or law enforcement.” Military and law enforcement flights are allowed to resume at 10:31 a.m. (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001) A limited number of military flights—the FAA will not reveal details—are allowed to fly during this ban. [TIME, 9/14/2001] Garvey later calls it “a national ground stop… that prevented any aircraft from taking off.” [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001] Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta later says he was the one to give the order: “As soon as I was aware of the nature and scale of the attack, I called from the White House to order the air traffic system to land all aircraft, immediately and without exception.” [US CONGRESS. SENATE. COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE AND TRANSPORTATION, 9/20/2001] According to Mineta, “At approximately 9:45… I gave the FAA the final order for all civil aircraft to land at the nearest airport as soon as possible.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] At the time, 4,452 planes are flying in the continental US. A later account states that Ben Sliney, the FAA’s National Operations Manager, makes the decision without consulting his superiors, like Jane Garvey, first. It would be remarkable if Sliney was the one to make the decision, because 9/11 is Sliney’s first day on the job as National Operations Manager, “the chess master of the air traffic system.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] When he accepted the job a couple of months earlier, he had asked, “What is the limit of my authority?” The man who had promoted him replied, “Unlimited.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Yet another account, by Linda Schuessler, manager of tactical operations at the FAA Command Center where Sliney was located, says, “… it was done collaboratively… All these decisions were corporate decisions. It wasn’t one person who said, ‘Yes, this has got to get done.’” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 12/17/2001] About 500 planes land in the next 20 minutes, and then much more urgent orders to land are issued at 9:45 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [TIME, 9/14/2001; US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2002; NEWSDAY, 9/10/2002] Entity Tags: Jane Garvey, Ben Sliney, Norman Mineta, Federal Aviation Administration, Linda Schuessler Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Cleveland Center Controllers Mistakenly Think Delta 1989 Is Hijacked

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767, the same kind of aircraft as Delta 1989. [Source: Public domain] The FAA’s Cleveland Center incorrectly concludes that Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 has been hijacked, but accounts will conflict over how it comes to this conclusion. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 167] Delta 1989, a Boeing 767, is currently in the sector of airspace being monitored by Cleveland Center air traffic controller John Werth. [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/2/2003 ; USA TODAY, 9/11/2008] It is flying west over Pennsylvania, approaching the Ohio border, and is about 25 miles behind Flight 93. FBI agents suspected Delta 1989 might be the next plane to be hijacked and called the Cleveland Center after the second attack on the World Trade Center, with the warning to watch this flight (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] A supervisor at the center told Werth to keep an eye on the flight because, as Werth will later recall, “he was a suspected hijacking because he had taken off from Boston at approximately the same time as” the first two hijacked aircraft, Flights 11 and 175. [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/1/2003 ; USA TODAY, 9/11/2008] Controllers Hear Suspicious Communications - When, at 9:28, Werth hears the sound of screaming (subsequently determined to have come from Flight 93) over the radio (see (9:28 a.m.) September 11, 2001), he is unsure which of seven or eight possible aircraft it is coming from. The radio frequency is put on the speaker so other controllers can hear it, and they subsequently make out the words, “get out of here.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/1/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 11, 28] Controllers Think Delta 1989 Is Hijacked - According to USA Today, when Cleveland Center controllers then hear a voice with a heavy accent over the radio, saying “Ladies and gentlemen: Here the captain.… We have a bomb on board” (see (9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001), they mistakenly think it is coming from Delta 1989, not Flight 93. They suspect the flight has been hijacked, and start informing their chain of command. “Officials at Cleveland Center rush word to Washington: Hijackers have another flight. At the Federal Aviation Administration’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, Delta Flight 1989 joins a growing list of suspicious jets.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 12] Werth Decides Hijacked Aircraft Is Flight 93 - Werth then calls all of the aircraft in his sector, and Flight 93 is the only one that does not respond. He also sees Flight 93 go into a quick descent and then come back up again. Werth therefore concludes that it is Flight 93, not Delta 1989, that has been hijacked, and instructs his supervisor to “tell Washington” of this. [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/1/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 10/2/2003 ] However, events in the following minutes will cause Cleveland Center controllers to remain suspicious of Delta 1989 (see (Shortly After 9:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:45 a.m. September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 10/2/2003 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 168; USA TODAY, 9/11/2008] Book Gives Alternative Account - In a book published in 2008, author Lynn Spencer will give a different explanation for why Cleveland Center becomes suspicious of Delta 1989. According to her account, after hearing a later radio transmission where a hijacker again says “There is a bomb on board” (see (9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001), Werth begins to hand off his flights to other controllers so he can devote his full attention to Flight 93. “In the distraction of the emergency, the crew of Delta 1989 misses the hand-off to the new frequency. The new sector controller for Delta 1989 calls out to the plane several times and gets no response.” As a result, “News travels fast,” and “Soon, word on the FAA’s open teleconference call is that a fifth aircraft is out of radio contact: Delta 1989… is added to the list of suspect aircraft.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 167] At 9:39 a.m., even though it is not responsible for handling Delta 1989, the FAA’s Boston Center will call NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and incorrectly tell it that Delta 1989 is another possible hijack (see 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Entity Tags: John Werth, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:29 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Pentagon Command Center Begins High Level Conference Call Edit

The National Miilitary Command Center, inside the Pentagon. [Source: National Military Command Center] Captain Charles Leidig is temporarily in command of the National Military Command Center (NMCC), “the military’s worldwide nerve center.” In response to the attacks on the World Trade Center, he convenes a conference call. [CNN, 9/4/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ] Telephone links are established between the NMCC located inside the Pentagon (but on the opposite side of the building from where the explosion will happen), Canada’s equivalent Command Center, Strategic Command, theater commanders, and federal emergency-response agencies. At one time or another, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, key military officers, leaders of the FAA and NORAD, the White House, and Air Force One are heard on the open line. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] NORAD command director Captain Michael Jellinek claims this call was initiated “at once” after the second WTC tower was hit. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/3/2002] However, the 9/11 Commission concludes it starts at 9:29 a.m. According to the commission, it begins as an all-purpose “significant event” conference. But at 9:30, Leidig states that it has just been confirmed that Flight 11 is still airborne and is heading toward Washington, DC. (This incorrect information apparently arose minutes earlier during a conference call between FAA centers (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001).) In response to this erroneous report, the significant event conference is ended at around 9:34. It then resumes at about 9:37 as an air threat conference call, which lasts for more than eight hours. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 37] This is broadcast over a loudspeaker inside the NMCC. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 8/31/2003] Brigadier General Montague Winfield, who later takes over from Leidig in charge of the NMCC, says, “All of the governmental agencies that were involved in any activity going on in the United States at that point, were in that conference.” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] The call continues right through the Pentagon explosion; the impact is not felt within the NMCC. [CNN, 9/4/2002] However, despite being in the Pentagon when it is hit, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld doesn’t enter the NMCC or participate in the call until 10:30 a.m. (see (10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Mike Jellinek, Montague Winfield, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, George W. Bush, National Military Command Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Charles Leidig, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Hijacker Tells Passengers Bomb Is Onboard; Air Traffic Controller Overhears At the FAA’s Cleveland Center, an air traffic controller hears a transmission, presumably made by Flight 93 hijacker-pilot Ziad Jarrah, stating: “Ladies and gentlemen: Here the captain, please sit down, keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board. So, sit.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 12; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 39 ] As the 9/11 Commission later notes, “Like [Mohamed] Atta on Flight 11, Jarrah apparently did not know how to operate the communication radios; thus his attempts to communicate with the passengers were broadcast on the [air traffic control] channel.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 98 ] While this communication is assumed to have come from Flight 93, an early FAA report states that it came “from an unknown origin.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] According to Newsweek, just prior to the communication, Cleveland Center controllers heard the sound of screaming from the flight. [NEWSWEEK, 9/22/2001] The 9/11 Commission states that, around the time of the transmission, the plane’s cockpit voice recording indicates “that a woman, most likely a flight attendant, was being held captive in the cockpit. She struggled with one of the hijackers who killed or otherwise silenced her.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 12; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 39 ] Though the Cleveland air traffic controller understands the hijacker’s communication, he responds to it: “Calling Cleveland Center, you’re unreadable. Say again, slowly.” He also notifies his supervisor who passes the information up the chain of command, and the FAA’s Command Center is subsequently informed, “United 93 may have a bomb on board.” At 9:34 the Command Center will relay this information to FAA headquarters (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28] Entity Tags: Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, 9/11 Commission, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA’s Headquarters Notified There Might Be a Bomb Onboard Flight 93; NORAD Not Notified According to the 9/11 Commission, word of Flight 93’s hijacking reaches FAA headquarters. By this time, headquarters has established an open line of communication with the FAA Command Center at Herndon, Virginia. It had instructed the center to poll all flight control centers about suspect aircraft. So, at this time, the Command Center passes on Cleveland’s message: “United 93 may have a bomb on board.” The FAA headquarters apparently does not forward this information to the military, despite having the responsibility for doing so. Ben Sliney, the FAA’s national operations manager at its Herndon Command Center, will later recount, “I do know that all the information was being relayed to headquarters and, at least as far as we were concerned, it should have been. We thought it had been given to the military at each juncture.” The Command Center continually updates FAA headquarters on Flight 93 until it crashes. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; CBC, 9/12/2006] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Ben Sliney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

After 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001: Military Liaisons at FAA Command Center Said to Be Informed of Flight 93 Hijacking Military officers at the FAA’s Command Center are informed of the hijacking of Flight 93, according to the FAA’s National Operations Manager Ben Sliney. If such notification is given, it is presumably shortly after the Command Center learns of the hijacking (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Sliney will later tell the 9/11 Commission: “Available to us at the Command Center of course is the military cell, which was our liaison with the military services. They were present at all of the events that occurred on 9/11.” He will add, “The normal protocols for the events that were transpiring then—that is to say hijacked aircraft, which requires a notification to NORAD—those, at least I was given to understand, were made promptly—the notifications on each hijack.” The FAA’s acting Deputy Administrator Monte Belger will add: “[T]here were military people on duty at the FAA Command Center, as Mr. Sliney said. They were participating in what was going on. There were military people in the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization in a situation room. They were participating in what was going on.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] If the cell is notified, it is unclear what, if anything, the military liaison officers—Colonel John Czabaranek, Lieutenant Colonel Michael-Anne Cherry, and Major Kevin Bridges (see (Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001)—at the Command Center do with the information about Flight 93’s hijacking. The 9/11 Commission will say that the first notification to the military about Flight 93 comes at 10:07 a.m. (see 10:05 a.m.-10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Monte Belger, Kevin Bridges, John Czabaranek, Ben Sliney, Michael-Anne Cherry Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Before 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Government Departments in Washington Not Evacuated Prior to Pentagon Attack Government buildings in Washington, DC, are not evacuated prior to the attack on the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. As CNN will describe, even after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the FAA’s warning to the military of a hijacked aircraft apparently heading toward Washington (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001), “the federal government failed to make any move to evacuate the White House, Capitol, State Department, or the Pentagon.” [CNN, 9/16/2001] Although a slow evacuation of the White House begins around 9:20 a.m. (see (9:22 a.m.) September 11, 2001), it is not until 9:45 that the Secret Service orders people to run from there (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CNN, 9/11/2001; CNN, 9/12/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Other government buildings, including the Capitol (see 9:48 a.m. September 11, 2001), the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Supreme Court, will not be evacuated until between 9:45 and 10:45 a.m. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 9/14/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 8/15/2002] Robert Bonner, who was recently nominated as Commissioner of Customs, will later estimate that he was evacuated from the Treasury Department at “about 9:35 a.m.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/26/2004; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 9/20/2004] But other accounts say the Treasury Department is not evacuated until after the Pentagon attack. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; REUTERS, 9/11/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 9/11/2002] Furthermore, journalist and author Robert Draper will describe that, even after the State and Treasury departments have been evacuated: “no agents thought to take charge of the Commerce Department, which housed 5,000 employees. Eventually, Secretary [of Commerce] Don Evans got tired of waiting for orders and had someone drive him to his home in McLean, where he sat for hours until he finally made contact with the Secret Service.” [DRAPER, 2007, PP. 143] According to CNN, prior to the Pentagon attack, “neither the FAA, NORAD, nor any other federal government organ made any effort to evacuate the buildings in Washington. Officials at the Pentagon said that no mechanism existed within the US government to notify various departments and agencies under such circumstances [as occur on 9/11].” [CNN, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Pentagon, US Supreme Court, Robert Bonner, US Department of Commerce, US Department of Justice, Federal Aviation Administration, US Department of the Treasury, US Department of State, White House, US Capitol building, Donald L. Evans Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Shortly After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Officer in Pentagon Command Center Only Learns from TV that Pentagon Has Been Hit The Pentagon’s National Military Command Center (NMCC) is located on the other side of the building to where it is hit. Therefore, when the attack on the Pentagon occurs, those inside it supposedly do not feel the impact. [CNN, 9/4/2002] According to Newsweek, the NMCC has been called “the primary nerve system” of the Pentagon, from where “commanders can monitor and communicate with American forces around the world.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/28/2001] A military instruction for dealing with hijacked aircraft describes it as “the focal point within Department of Defense for providing assistance” in response to hijackings. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 6/1/2001 ] But supposedly NMCC personnel do not initially realize the Pentagon has been attacked. Steve Hahn, an operations officer at the center, later says, “I didn’t know [the Pentagon had been hit] until I heard the news report on television.” [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/7/2006] Yet an article in the New York Times later claims, “During the hour or so that American Airlines Flight 77 was under the control of hijackers, up to the moment it struck the west side of the Pentagon, military officials in [the NMCC] were urgently talking to law enforcement and air traffic control officials about what to do” (see (Shortly After 8:51 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001] Furthermore, at about 8:50 a.m. according to the FAA, or 9:20 a.m. according to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA had established several phone bridges linking key players, including the NMCC (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001) (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The FAA states that it shares “real-time information on the phone bridges,” which includes “actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 36] Why NMCC personnel do not therefore know immediately that the Pentagon has been hit is unclear. Also around this time, Officer Aubrey Davis of the Pentagon police is outside Donald Rumsfeld’s office. He hears what he later describes as “an incredibly loud ‘boom,’” when the Pentagon is struck (see 9:38 a.m. September 11, 2001). Yet no mention is made of anyone in the NMCC hearing this “boom,” even though the center is located only around 200 feet from where Davis is standing. [WBZ RADIO 1030 (BOSTON), 9/15/2001; COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 1] Dan Mangino, an operations officer in the NMCC, went out earlier to withdraw some money from a cash machine (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001), and rushes back to the center after the Pentagon is hit. He finds the people in it are very calm. He says, “There was no panic, no raised voices. We train for emergencies all the time, and that training took over.” [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/7/2006] Entity Tags: Steve Hahn, National Military Command Center, Dan Mangino Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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

Stacia Rountree. [Source: Vanity Fair] Colin Scoggins, the military liaison at the FAA’s Boston Center, contacts NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and incorrectly notifies it that another aircraft, Delta Air Lines Flight 1989, is a possible hijacking. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Boston Center previously called NEADS at 9:27 and said that Delta 1989 was missing (see 9:27 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] NEADS Technicians Respond - At NEADS, Stacia Rountree, the ID technician who takes Scoggins’s call, announces to her colleagues: “Delta ‘89, that’s the hijack. They think it’s possible hijack.… South of Cleveland.” The plane’s transponder is still on, and she adds, “We have a code on him now.” Rountree’s team leader, Master Sergeant Maureen Dooley, instructs: “Pick it up! Find it!” The NEADS technicians quickly locate Delta 1989 on their radar screens, just south of Toledo, Ohio, and start alerting other FAA centers to it. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 177] NEADS mission crew commander Major Kevin Nasypany will be notified by his staff of the suspected hijacking at about 9:41 or 9:42 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/22/2004 ] NEADS never loses track of Delta 1989. It will follow it on radar as it reverses course over Toledo, heads east, and then lands in Cleveland (see (10:18 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28] It will order Air National Guard fighter jets from Selfridge and Toledo to intercept the flight (see (9:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 178-179] But it will soon learn that Delta 1989 is not in fact hijacked. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28] Cleveland Center, Not Boston, Handling Delta 1989 - Although Boston Center notifies NEADS of the suspected hijacking, Delta 1989 is in fact being handled by the FAA’s Cleveland Center. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 10-12] Cleveland Center air traffic controllers suspected that Delta 1989 had been hijacked at around 9:30 a.m. (see (9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001), but apparently only informed the FAA’s Command Center, and not NEADS, of this. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] To explain why Boston Center alerts NEADS to the flight, the 9/11 Commission will later comment that, “Remembering the ‘we have some planes’ remark” (see 8:24 a.m. September 11, 2001), the Boston Center simply “guessed that Delta 1989 might also be hijacked.” Similar to First Two Hijacked Planes - Like Flights 11 and 175, the two aircraft that have crashed into the World Trade Center (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001 and 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001), Delta 1989 took off from Boston’s Logan Airport. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 27-28] According to the New York Times, it left there at about the same time as Flights 11 and 175 did, meaning around 8:00 to 8:15 a.m. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/18/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 32] Like those two aircraft, it is a Boeing 767. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 27-28] But, unlike those flights, its transponder has not been turned off, and so it is still transmitting a beacon code. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] It is unclear what Delta 1989’s intended destination is. According to some accounts, like Flights 11 and 175 were, it is bound for Los Angeles. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/18/2001; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 9/24/2007; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 167] Other accounts will say that its destination is Las Vegas. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Personnel at NEADS are apparently informed that Las Vegas is the intended destination. Around this time, one member of staff there tells her colleagues that the flight is “supposed to go to Vegas.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001] One of Numerous Incorrect Reports - The 9/11 Commission will comment: “During the course of the morning, there were multiple erroneous reports of hijacked aircraft (see (9:09 a.m. and After) September 11, 2001). The report of American 11 heading south was the first (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001); Delta 1989 was the second.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 28] Entity Tags: Maureen Dooley, Stacia Rountree, Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center, Colin Scoggins, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Kevin Nasypany Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Identifies Ten Possible Hijacked Planes Newark, New Jersey, air traffic controller Bob Varcadipane is talking on the phone with the FAA Command Center. He is told that the Command Center is still suspicious of at least ten planes for one reason or another, all possible hijackings. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bob Varcadipane Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:41 a.m.-9:48 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Notifies FAA Headquarters about Flight 93 Problems The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, provides updates to FAA headquarters in Washington, DC, about the problems with Flight 93. At 9:41 a.m., John White, a manager at the Command Center, is talking to Doug Davis, the special assistant for technical operations in air traffic services at FAA headquarters. White says that Flight 93 has reversed course from its intended flight path (see (9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001), its transponder signal has been lost (see (9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and it is now descending and heading east. From 9:42 a.m., one of the Command Center managers (exactly who is unstated) gives the headquarters several updates on Flight 93’s progress and location. At 9:46 a.m., White tells Jeff Griffith, the FAA’s deputy director of air traffic, that Flight 93 is “29 minutes out of Washington, DC, and tracking toward us.” Two minutes later, in another conversation with Griffith, White confirms that Flight 93 has reversed course and is heading toward Washington. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 10/21/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 43-44 ] Entity Tags: Doug Davis, Federal Aviation Administration, Jeff Griffith, John White Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:44 a.m.-9:51 a.m. September 11, 2001: Pittsburgh Airport Control Tower Evacuated due to Concerns over Approaching Flight 93 The air traffic control tower at Pittsburgh International Airport is evacuated, because of concerns that Flight 93, which is heading in the direction of the airport, could crash into it. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/23/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002, PP. 11-13 ; LANCASTER NEW ERA, 11/3/2006] Cleveland Center Notifies Pittsburgh Tower - At 9:44 a.m., an air traffic controller at the FAA’s Cleveland Center calls the Pittsburgh Airport control tower and notifies it of the loss of radio contact with Flight 93, and the loss of a secondary radar return from that aircraft (see (9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The Cleveland Center controller also says Flight 93 has made an unanticipated turn (see (9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and its flight path will take it close to Pittsburgh Airport, if not directly over it. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002, PP. 11-12 ] The controller at the Pittsburgh tower who answers the call, apparently Paul Delfine, begins tracking Flight 93’s primary target on radar, and calls over his operations supervisor, Mal Fuller. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; LANCASTER NEW ERA, 11/3/2006] Supervisor Orders Evacuation - Delfine points to a plane—which Fuller only later learns is Flight 93—on a radar scope. He tells Fuller it was hijacked over Cleveland, and controllers don’t know where it is heading. Fuller will later recall: “In two sweeps of the radar, I could tell it was going very fast. It was headed directly for the control tower.” Fuller is aware of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and, at 9:49, gives the order, “Evacuate the facility.” [PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/23/2001; LANCASTER NEW ERA, 11/3/2006] By 9:51, the facility has been evacuated. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] However, one controller refuses to leave his post and remains in the tower. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 193-194] Employees Do Not See Flight 93 Overhead - Some of the evacuated employees are so upset that they immediately head home. Others mill around in a parking lot. Fuller will later guess that Flight 93 passed directly overhead as he was heading outside, but he assumes it was too high for anyone to see it. He will recall: “We watched and watched and watched. We never saw anything.” [LANCASTER NEW ERA, 11/3/2006] Controllers Return to Facility - Minutes after evacuating, at 9:56 a small number of tower controllers will volunteer to return to their facility. Once back inside, they find that Flight 93’s track is no longer visible on their radar screens. At 10:05 a.m., tower personnel will contact the FAA’s Herndon Command Center to explain why they evacuated. They say they did so because there had been an aircraft, thought to be Flight 93, which appeared to be on a collision course with the tower, and this aircraft allegedly had a bomb on board. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002, PP. 12-13 ] Around the time the Pittsburgh Airport control tower evacuates, while Flight 93 is heading east, NEADS battle commander Colonel Robert Marr hears that the FAA’s Cleveland Center is being evacuated (see (Between 9:45 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 73] Entity Tags: Paul Delfine, Pittsburgh International Airport, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Mal Fuller Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:49 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Suggests Launching Fighters in Response to Flight 93; FAA Headquarters Unable to Request Them

Doug Davis. [Source: Federal Aviation Administration] John White, a manager at the FAA’s Command Center, suggests to Doug Davis, the special assistant for technical operations in air traffic services at FAA headquarters, that fighter jets should be launched in response to Flight 93. However, FAA headquarters is apparently unable to act on this suggestion. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 10/21/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 29; CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 9/10/2006] In the last few minutes, the Command Center has warned headquarters that Flight 93 is “29 minutes out of Washington” and approaching the city (see 9:41 a.m.-9:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 44 ] Command Center Asks about Launching Fighters - Davis now tells White, “They’re pulling Jeff [Griffith, the FAA’s deputy director of air traffic] away to go talk about United 93.” White asks, “Uh, do we want to think, uh, about scrambling aircraft?” Davis replies, “Oh, God, I don’t know.” White says, “Uh, that’s a decision somebody’s gonna have to make probably in the next 10 minutes.” However, Davis only responds, “Uh, ya know everybody just left the room.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 10/21/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 29] This conversation takes place 13 minutes after the FAA’s Cleveland Center asked the Command Center whether anyone had asked the military to launch fighter jets to intercept Flight 93 (see (9:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 40 ] Person Who Could Request Fighters Is Unavailable - Apparently there is only one person at FAA headquarters who is authorized to request military assistance, and Ben Sliney, the Command Center’s national operations manager, is told that no one can find him. Sliney will later recount: “I said something like, ‘That’s incredible. There’s only one person. There must be someone designated or someone who will assume the responsibility of issuing an order, you know.’ We were becoming frustrated in our attempts to get some information. What was the military response?” [CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 9/10/2006] This lack of response to Flight 93 contrasts with the FAA’s earlier reaction to Flight 11, when Boston Center air traffic controllers contacted NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) themselves (see (8:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and even called military bases directly (see 8:34 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (8:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20] Entity Tags: Ben Sliney, John White, Doug Davis, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:53 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Headquarters Still Only Talking About Telling NORAD of Flight 93 Hijack According to the 9/11 Commission, FAA headquarters informs the FAA Command Center that the deputy director for air traffic services is talking to Deputy Administrator Monte Belger about scrambling aircraft after Flight 93. Yet in interviews with the commission, neither Belger nor the deputy director recall this discussion, and Belger subsequently e-mails the commission saying he does not believe the conversation took place. However, tape recordings reveal a staff person from headquarters at this time telling the Command Center, “Peter’s talking to Monte now about scrambling.” FAA headquarters is also informed that the flight is 20 miles northwest of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 461] When questioned about this, Belger will point out that there are military people on duty at the FAA Command Center and in a situation room at the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, and that they are participating in what is going on. In addition, Belger will later tell the commission that he thought the NMCC was on the hijack net and would therefore have received notification on this channel at the same time as all other agencies. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Incredibly, FAA headquarters has known since 9:34 A.M. about hijackers talking about a bomb on board the flight, and more evidence has since been passed on confirming a hijacking in progress. Still, reportedly, no one tells NORAD anything about the plane. Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Monte Belger Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 9:55 a.m. and 10:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Myers Finally Enters NMCC; Prior Whereabouts Disputed Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers enters the National Military Command Center (NMCC) within the Pentagon, though exactly when this happens remains unclear. According to his own statements, he was on Capitol Hill, in the offices of Senator Max Cleland (D), from just before 9:00 a.m. until around the time the Pentagon was hit. He’d then headed back to the Pentagon (see Shortly Before 9:00 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [ARMED FORCES RADIO AND TELEVISION SERVICE, 10/17/2001; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, 6/29/2006] According to the 9/11 Commission, Myers joins the air threat conference call from the NMCC at “shortly before 10:00.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 38] But the American Forces Press Service reports that he arrives at the NMCC “about 15 minutes” before Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (who arrives around 10:30), meaning at about 10:15 a.m. [AMERICAN FORCES PRESS SERVICE, 9/8/2006] Rumsfeld claims that, as he enters the NMCC, Myers has “just returned from Capitol Hill.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/23/2004] Max Cleland concurs that Myers was with him on Capitol Hill until around the time of the Pentagon attack. [CNN, 11/20/2001; ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/16/2003] But counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke claims that Myers has been taking part in a video conference since shortly after the second attack on the WTC, and has been visible on the Pentagon screen (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:28 a.m. September 11, 2001), thereby implying Myers has been at the Pentagon all along. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 3 AND 5] Myers tells the 9/11 Commission, “After I reached the National Military Command Center (NMCC), I asked questions to determine where Secretary Rumsfeld was, how the FAA was handling airborne flights, and the status of fighters prepared to intercept any hijacked aircraft inbound to Washington.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004 ] Entity Tags: Richard B. Myers, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001: Local Pilot Sees Flight 93 Rocking Back and Forth

Bill Wright. [Source: WTAE-TV] Bill Wright is piloting a small plane when an air traffic controller asks him to look around outside his window, according to his later claims. Wright sees Flight 93 three miles away—close enough that he can see the United Airlines colors. Air traffic control asks him the plane’s altitude, and then commands him to get away from the plane and land immediately. Wright sees the plane rock back and forth three or four times before he flies from the area. He will later say, “That’s one of the first things that went through my mind when they told us to get as far away from it as fast as we could—that either they were expecting it to blow up or they were going to shoot it down, but that’s pure speculation.” [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/19/2001] According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA Command Center tells FAA headquarters that a nearby plane has seen Flight 93 “waving his wings.” The Commission will say, “The aircraft had witnessed the radical gyrations in what we believe was the hijackers’ effort to defeat the passenger assault.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] This presumably is a reference to Wright. Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Bill Wright Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: NMCC Learns of Flight 93 Hijacking, NORAD Still Not Told According to the 9/11 Commission, the NMCC learns about the Flight 93 hijacking at this time. Since the FAA has not yet been patched in to the NMCC’s conference call, the news comes from the White House. The White House learned about it from the Secret Service, and the Secret Service learned about it from the FAA. NORAD apparently is still unaware. Four minutes later, a NORAD representative on the conference call states, “NORAD has no indication of a hijack heading to Washington, D.C., at this time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:05 a.m.-10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Alerted to Flight 93, Reportedly for the First Time The military liaison at the FAA’s Cleveland Center calls NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and alerts it to the hijacked Flight 93. According to the 9/11 Commission, this is the first notification NEADS receives about Flight 93, but it comes too late, since the plane has already crashed (see (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 30; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 46 ] 'Bomb on Board' Flight 93 - At 10:05 a.m., the military liaison at the Cleveland Center, who is unaware that Flight 93 has just crashed, calls NEADS to inform it that Flight 93 is heading toward Washington, DC. Even though communicating with NEADS is not one of his responsibilities, he wants to make sure it is in the loop. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 224] At NEADS, the call is answered by Tech Sergeant Shelley Watson. Shortly into the call, at 10:07, the military liaison tells her: “We got a United 93 out here. Are you aware of that?” He continues, “That has a bomb on board.” Watson asks: “A bomb on board? And this is confirmed? You have a mode three [beacon code], sir?” The military liaison replies, “No, we lost his transponder” (see (9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The news about Flight 93 is shouted out to Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander. Nasypany responds: “Gimme the call sign. Gimme the whole nine yards.… Let’s get some info, real quick. They got a bomb?” Liaison Wants Fighters Sent toward Flight 93 - The military liaison continues, asking Watson if NEADS scrambled fighter jets in response to Delta 1989, an aircraft that was mistakenly reported as having been hijacked (see (9:28 a.m.-9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). Watson replies: “We did. Out of Selfridge and Toledo” (see (9:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001), and says these jets are airborne. When the military liaison asks if the fighters can be directed to where Flight 93 is, Watson asks him if the Cleveland Center has latitude and longitude coordinates for this aircraft. The military liaison replies that he has not got this information available right now. All he knows is that Flight 93 has “got a confirmed bomb on board… and right now, his last known position was in the Westmoreland area.… Which is… in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] NEADS Searches on Radar - The news of a bomb on board Flight 93 spreads quickly at NEADS, and personnel there search for the aircraft’s primary return on their radar screens. But because the plane has already crashed, they will be unable to locate it. NEADS will only learn that Flight 93 has crashed at 10:15 a.m., during a call with the FAA’s Washington Center (see 10:15 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 30-31] FAA Failed to Notify Military Earlier - The Cleveland Center’s notification to NEADS about Flight 93 comes 39 minutes after the plane was hijacked (see (9:28 a.m.) September 11, 2001) and 33 minutes after FAA headquarters was alerted to the hijacking (see 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 11, 28] At the time NEADS is alerted to Flight 93, NORAD is similarly uninformed about this aircraft, according to the 9/11 Commission. The Commission will state, “At 10:07, its representative on the air threat conference call stated that NORAD had ‘no indication of a hijack heading to DC at this time.’” According to the Commission, the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at the Pentagon learned about the Flight 93 hijacking slightly earlier on, at 10:03 a.m. (see 10:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). However, the NMCC was notified by the White House, not the FAA. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42] A former senior FAA executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, will later try to explain why it takes the FAA so long to alert NEADS to Flight 93. He will say, “Our whole procedures prior to 9/11 were that you turned everything [regarding a hijacking] over to the FBI.” [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Yet military instructions contradict this, stating, “In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA.” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 7/31/1997 ; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 6/1/2001 ] NORAD Commanders Claim Earlier Awareness of Flight 93 - Two senior NORAD officials will contradict the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion, and claim they were aware of Flight 93 well before it crashed (see Before 9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (9:36 a.m.-10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 68, 71-73] Colonel Robert Marr, the NEADS battle commander, will tell the Commission that, while the flight was still airborne, “his focus was on UAL 93, which was circling over Chicago,” and he “distinctly remembers watching the flight UAL 93 come west, and turn over Cleveland.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 10/27/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 1/23/2004 ] Major General Larry Arnold, the commander of the Continental US NORAD Region, will recall, “[W]e watched the [Flight] 93 track as it meandered around the Ohio-Pennsylvania area and started to turn south toward DC.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 71] Entity Tags: Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Kevin Nasypany, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Shelley Watson Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Before 10:07 a.m. September 11, 2001: Military Liaison Learns of Hijacking of Flight 93 The military liaison at the FAA’s Cleveland Center is informed that Flight 93 has been hijacked and is given information about its location. It is unclear when the liaison first receives this information, but it must happen before 10:07, as he telephones NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) at this time to pass on the information (see 10:05 a.m.-10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 30] Military liaison officers at the FAA’s Command Center are also said to be informed of the hijacking of Flight 93 (see After 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

10:08 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Informed that Flight 93 Has Crashed, Confirms Crash Nine Minutes Later According to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA Command Center reports to FAA headquarters at this time that Flight 93 has crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. “It hit the ground. That’s what they’re speculating, that’s speculation only.” The Command Center confirms that Flight 93 crashed at 10:17 a.m. [GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:17 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA out of the Loop; Finally Joins NMCC Teleconference The FAA finally joins an emergency teleconference being conducted by the National Military Command Center (NMCC) at the Pentagon. The NMCC has been holding this teleconference since 9:29 a.m. It began as a “significant event” conference, but after eight minutes continued as an air threat conference call (see (9:29 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Yet, according to the 9/11 Commission, the FAA has not been included in it until this time, because operators have had “equipment problems and difficulty finding secure phone numbers.” NORAD asked three times before 10:03 a.m., when the last hijacked plane crashed, to confirm the presence of FAA on the teleconference, to provide an update on hijackings, but without success. Furthermore, the FAA representative who now joins the teleconference has “no familiarity with or responsibility for hijackings, no access to decisionmakers, and none of the information available to senior FAA officials.” The highest level Defense Department officials rely on this teleconference to coordinate with their counterparts at the FAA. As a result of the FAA’s absence from it, the leaders of NORAD and the FAA have effectively been out of contact with each other. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 37-38] General Richard Myers, the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will later write that the lack of communication with the FAA has contributed to confusion at the NMCC over the flight numbers of the aircraft that were hijacked. However, according to Myers, the NMCC could not contact the FAA over ordinary phone lines because “[t]errorists who could hijack aircraft so readily could probably also eavesdrop on unsecured phone lines.” [MYERS, 2009, PP. 153] Entity Tags: US Department of Defense, Richard B. Myers, Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA’s Boston Center Declares ‘ATC Zero’ Managers at the FAA’s Boston Center declare “air traffic control zero” (“ATC zero”), which completely shuts down the center’s airspace, after a report is received of a possible airborne threat to their facility. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/20/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 243] The Boston Center in Nashua, New Hampshire, has received a call from the FAA’s New England regional office, informing it that an unidentified aircraft is heading its way. In response, the center’s managers immediately order the evacuation of the facility (see (Shortly After 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). At the same time, they make the declaration of ATC zero. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 243] The declaration of ATC zero means aircraft are not permitted to depart from, arrive at, or travel through the center’s airspace until further notice. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24 ] According to author Lynn Spencer, ATC zero means all the aircraft a center is handling are pushed “onto neighboring sectors, and any new airplanes from adjacent sectors are turned back, at the sector boundaries if necessary.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 68] Although the exact time the managers declare ATC zero at is unclear, the Boston Center notifies the FAA’s Herndon Command Center of the declaration at 10:35 a.m. At 11:41 a.m., the ATC zero alert at the Boston Center is canceled. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] The FAA’s New York Center declared ATC zero at 9:05 a.m. (see 9:05 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 24 ] Entity Tags: Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Commander Wants Fighters Launched in Response to Aircraft Approaching Washington, Supposedly Flight 93 Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, wants his fighter jets to intercept a suspicious aircraft coming down the Potomac River toward the capital, which is apparently thought to be Flight 93, although that plane has already crashed (see (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 79-81; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] Numerous Suspicious Aircraft - According to the Washington Post, the DCANG has learned there are “about a half-dozen suspicious aircraft in the air across the country, among them hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, on a path toward Washington.” Wherley will add: “Nobody knew it had crashed. We just knew there was an airplane out there that could be coming to Washington. We knew the threat was real.” Fighters Launched due to False Report - The first three DCANG fighters to take off in response to the attacks are ordered to go after this alleged inbound aircraft. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002] Lieutenant Colonel Phil Thompson, the chief of safety for the DC Air National Guard, will later recall: “We had something coming down the Potomac at low altitude. Brigadier General Wherley is standing here, and we’ve got the tower with the Secret Service agent, and they want us to launch anything we’ve got. And the general said, ‘Do it.’” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81] DCANG pilot Billy Hutchison, who takes off at 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001), will describe, “There was an aircraft coming down the Potomac that they needed me in the air for” that had to “be prevented from reaching the DC area.” He is told this aircraft is “coming from Pennsylvania.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] And pilot Marc Sasseville, who, along with Heather Penney Garcia, takes off at 10:42 a.m. (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001), later says: “We all realized we were looking for an airliner—a big airplane. That was Flight 93; the track looked like it was headed toward DC at that time.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Incorrect Report Comes from Secret Service - According to Major David McNulty, the senior intelligence officer of the DCANG, his understanding is that “the information about the plane coming down the river” came from the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] FAA personnel are also receiving similar information from the Secret Service. At 10:32, an FAA employee tells John White, a manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, “Secret Service is reporting one unknown eight miles out, flying inbound.” Two minutes later, this employee says they are “[t]rying to tell [the] Secret Service about [Flight] 93,” because the Secret Service is “a little bit behind, still getting reports.” They then tell White, “Secret Service is saying the aircraft they are talking is coming up the Potomac right now.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Fire and rescue workers are evacuated away from the Pentagon site around this time, in response to a report from the FBI of a hijacked aircraft flying toward Washington (see (10:15 a.m.-10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). This may be the same alleged plane that the DCANG and FAA learn of. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A30; FIRE ENGINEERING, 11/2002] Aircraft Supposedly a Helicopter - The incoming aircraft is apparently a false alarm. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] After searching for it, Hutchison will be instructed to fly back toward Washington because, he will say, “the plane had been lost.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] According to a 9/11 Commission memorandum, “FAA tapes and transcripts” reveal the aircraft to be “an Army National Guard helicopter based out of Davison Field, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which had become isolated in Maryland as events unfolded and which wanted to return to its home field.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] Secret Service Thinks Plane Crashed at Camp David - However, at 10:36, the FAA employee relays that the “Secret Service is saying they believe United 93 hit Camp David.” Seconds later, they add that the Secret Service is “confirming that UA 93 did go into Camp David.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Even President Bush is given an incorrect report of a plane going down near Camp David around this time (see (10:37 a.m.-11:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 108] So this erroneous information may be what leads to Hutchison being informed that the aircraft he was sent after has been lost. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, David Wherley, Billy Hutchison, Phil Thompson, David McNulty, John White, Marc Sasseville, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Heather Penney Garcia, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:39 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Closes All US Airports The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, issues a formal Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), closing all operations at all US airports. [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; HARRALD ET AL., 7/15/2002 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:40 a.m. September 11, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft Ignores FAA Order for His Plane to Land The plane carrying Attorney General John Ashcroft is ordered to land by the FAA’s Cleveland Center, but Ashcroft is intent on reaching Washington, DC, and instructs his pilot to ignore the order. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 117; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 258] Ashcroft learned of the attacks in New York while flying to Milwaukee in a small government jet, and immediately wanted to return to Washington, but his plane needed to land first in Milwaukee to refuel (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). Even though the FAA had issued a nationwide ground stop to prevent aircraft from taking off, Ashcroft then insisted that his plane leave Milwaukee to fly back to Washington (see After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). FAA Manager Furious, Wants Plane to Land - When Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, hears about Ashcroft’s plane defying the ground stop order, he is livid. He immediately calls the FAA’s Cleveland Center and tells it to order the plane to land. An air traffic controller at the Cleveland Center then issues this order to Ashcroft’s plane. [NEWSWEEK, 3/10/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257-258] David Clemmer, the plane’s pilot, tells Ashcroft, “They’re instructing me to land outside of Detroit,” but Ashcroft tells him, “No, keep going.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 117] Controller Reports that Plane Is Not Complying - According to a 2002 FAA report, Ashcroft then requests that his plane be allowed to immediately return to Washington, and he receives permission to do so. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] But author Lynn Spencer will give a different account, saying that Clemmer “chooses to ignore the controller and continues toward Washington.” The Cleveland Center controller then informs the FAA Command Center that the pilot of Ashcroft’s plane is not responding and not complying. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 258] Ashcroft’s plane will subsequently be redirected toward Richmond, Virginia, and is threatened with being shot down if it does not land (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [DAILY RECORD (GLASGOW), 9/29/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 118] Entity Tags: John Ashcroft, David Clemmer, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center, Ben Sliney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: All Flights over US Soil Complying with Controllers The FAA Command Center is told that all the flights over the United States are accounted for and pilots are complying with controllers. There are 923 planes still in the air over the US. Every commercial flight in US airspace—about a quarter of the planes still in the air—is within 40 miles of its destination. Others are still over the oceans, and many are heading toward Canada. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Command Center Further Increases Its Security Additional measures are taken to increase the level of security at the FAA Command Center in Herndon, Virginia. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65] After the second attack on the World Trade Center, the Command Center’s doors were locked, and all non-FAA personnel were ordered to leave the premises immediately (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FRENI, 2003, PP. 64; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 81] Linda Schuessler, the deputy director of system operations, is still concerned about the security of the center, and calls the building owner to request additional protection. Soon, armed guards are stationed at all entrances and roaming the floor there. The exact time when this happens is unstated. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 65] It is unclear whether the increase in security is a general precaution, or is in response to specific threats against the Command Center. Entity Tags: Linda Schuessler, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

11:06 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Advisory Officially Suspends Operations in US Airspace The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, sends out an advisory that suspends operations in the national airspace system, requiring all aircraft to land and prohibiting aircraft from taking off from all airports. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/15/2002] At 9:26 a.m., the FAA ordered a national ground stop that prevented any aircraft from taking off (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and at 9:45 a.m. it instructed all airborne aircraft to land at the nearest airport (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001] According to a 2002 FAA report, “With this advisory, the shutdown of the air traffic system en masse had officially begun.” The advisory states: “Due to extraordinary circumstances and for reasons of safety. Attention all aircraft operators. By order of the Federal Aviation Command Center all airports/airdromes are not authorized for landing and takeoff. All traffic including airborne aircraft are encouraged to land shortly, including all helicopter traffic. Aircraft involved in firefighting in the Northwest US are excluded. Please read this notice over the emergency frequencies, and VOR [VHF omnidirectional range] voice.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft’s Plane Diverted to Richmond, Threatened with Being Shot DownEdit

The plane carrying Attorney General John Ashcroft, which is heading toward Washington, DC, is threatened with being shot down by the military if it does not land, and is diverted to Richmond, Virginia. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 258] Even though the FAA had issued a national ground stop preventing aircraft from taking off (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001), Ashcroft insisted that his plane take off and fly back to Washington after it landed in Milwaukee to refuel (see After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001). And though the FAA has been instructing all aircraft to land at the nearest airport (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001), Ashcroft told his pilot to ignore an order to land near Detroit, and instead continue toward Washington (see 10:40 a.m. September 11, 2001). [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 117; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257-258] Fighters Intercept Ashcroft's Plane - When Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, hears that Ashcroft’s pilot is refusing to land, he notifies NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS). As a result, two F-16 fighter jets from a nearby Air National Guard base intercept Ashcroft’s plane, but they remain out of sight and undetected by its pilot. The F-16s’ pilots report to NEADS that the errant plane is a private corporate jet without any markings, which is heading for Washington and does not seem to have any intention of landing. Sliney Wants Plane 'out of My Sky' - Ashcroft’s pilot, David Clemmer, has started broadcasting a message “in the blind,” meaning it is not intended for any specific air traffic controller, stating that the attorney general is on the plane and they are returning to Washington. The F-16 pilots notify NEADS of this, but when a NEADS officer then tells Sliney about the message, Sliney asks, “Can you guarantee me that it is indeed John Ashcroft on that plane?” The officer replies, “No sir, we cannot,” and so Sliney demands, “Then get him out of my sky!” NEADS issues the order to the two F-16 pilots that if the plane will not land voluntarily, then they must take it down. The F-16 flight lead calls the FAA’s Washington Center and arranges for one of its controllers to call the plane’s pilot and tell him that if he does not divert and land, his plane will be shot down. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 258] Pilot Warned Plane Could Be Shot Down - The Washington Center controller tells Clemmer, “Land your plane immediately, or risk getting shot down by the US Air Force.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/24/2001] Clemmer relays this warning to Ashcroft, telling him: “Sir, there’s a shootdown order. If we get any closer to Washington, they might blow us out of the sky.” [ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 118] Clemmer also turns to an FBI agent who has been assigned to guard Ashcroft, and says, “Well, Larry, we’re in deep kimchi here, and basically, all the rules you and I know are out the window.” He tells air traffic controllers that he is carrying the attorney general, but is worried that this information won’t get through to military commanders who control the airspace around Washington. [NEWSWEEK, 9/24/2001] Clemmer will later recall: “We didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize our safety or the safety of the [attorney general]. I know I didn’t want to get shot down either.” Plane Diverted to Richmond - According to some accounts, Ashcroft finally relents, and, at the insistence of the FAA, his plane is diverted to Richmond. Ashcroft will later recall, “It was a real negotiation [with the FAA].” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001; NEWSWEEK, 3/10/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 258] However, according to a 2002 FAA report, Ashcroft’s plane is diverted to Richmond “due to air traffic requests for the release of medevac aircraft in the Washington, DC, area.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] As the plane flies toward Richmond, Clemmer negotiates getting a fighter escort for it. Ashcroft will persist in his desire to reach Washington, and his plane will eventually be cleared to land in the capital (see 11:27 a.m. September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 272] Entity Tags: John Ashcroft, Northeast Air Defense Sector, David Clemmer, Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center, Ben Sliney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

11:27 a.m. September 11, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft’s Plane Met by Fighter Jet to Escort It into Washington

One of the FAA’s Cessna Citation V jet planes. [Source: Unknown] Although it was recently redirected toward Richmond, Virginia, the plane carrying Attorney General John Ashcroft tries again to head to Washington, DC, and a military fighter jet arrives to escort it into the capital. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; ASHCROFT, 2006, PP. 118] Ashcroft’s plane, a small government Cessna jet, has been trying to return to Washington after an engagement in Milwaukee was aborted due to the terrorist attacks (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). Ashcroft has ignored requests to land, and so his plane has been threatened with being shot down by the military and diverted to Richmond (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [NEWSWEEK, 9/24/2001; NEWSWEEK, 3/10/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257-258] Pilot Persuaded to Head toward Washington - However, Ashcroft still wants to reach Washington. He therefore calls the Justice Department command center for assistance. Then, according to author Lynn Spencer, “With some high-level coordination,” one of the protective agents on Ashcroft’s plane “convinced the pilot to try once again to enter the city.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 272] The pilot, David Clemmer, negotiates to have fighter jets escort the plane into Washington. [NEWSWEEK, 9/24/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/28/2001] Controller Requests Fighter Escort - The FAA’s Washington Center consequently calls the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Washington’s Reagan National Airport. The Washington Center controller says: “Hey, we’ve got November 4 out here. He wants to land at [Reagan Airport]. There’s some concern and they want a fighter escort.” TRACON controller Dan Creedon recognizes the plane’s N-number (specifically, N4) as belonging to one of the FAA’s jet aircraft, and confirms, “Yeah, November 4 is based out of Washington.” He then calls District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) pilot Major Daniel Caine, who recently launched from Andrews Air Force Base to defend Washington (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001), and tells him of the plane requesting a fighter escort. When Caine asks who is on it, Creedon replies: “I don’t know. My assumption is FAA-1 or DOT-1,” meaning FAA Administrator Jane Garvey or Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. DCANG Pilot Gets Langley Jets to Provide Escort - Caine says the jets launched from Langley Air Force Base (see (9:25 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001) that are defending Washington (see (Between 9:49 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001) will handle this. He forwards Creedon’s request to Major Dean Eckmann, the lead pilot from Langley. Eckmann responds that the inbound plane “can have one” of his fighters. He then directs his wingman, Major Brad Derrig, to intercept it. [9/11 COMMISSION, 12/1/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 12/1/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 272-273] While Ashcroft’s plane is waiting for Derrig’s fighter to arrive, it is put in a holding pattern outside of Washington. [9/11 COMMISSION, 12/17/2003 ] Ashcroft’s plane will be escorted to Reagan Airport, but the time it lands at is unclear (see (12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [NEWSWEEK, 9/24/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 453] Entity Tags: John Ashcroft, Dean Eckmann, Brad Derrig, Daniel Caine, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, US Department of Justice, Dan Creedon, David Clemmer, Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly Before 12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Learns of Korean Airlines Flight Mistakenly Believed Hijacked The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, is informed that a Korean Airlines plane is a possible hijacking, although the aircraft is in fact fine. [CNN, 8/14/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 256-257] Korean Airlines Flight 85, a Boeing 747 with 215 people on board, is on its way from Seoul, South Korea, to New York. It is heading for a refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska, and is currently several hundred miles west of Alaska, over the North Pacific. Pilots Sent Message Signifying Hijacking - The alarm has been raised by ARINC, a Maryland company that airlines pay to transmit text messages to and from their planes. In response to the morning’s terrorist attacks, the company had begun scanning every communication it had transmitted on this day, in a search for other hijacked aircraft. It found a message sent by the pilots of Flight 85 to the Korean Airlines headquarters at 11:08 a.m. that included the letters “HJK,” which is the code signaling a hijacking. ARINC officials are concerned the message was a coded plea for help, and so alert the FAA to it. In response to this notification, the FAA informs air traffic controllers in Anchorage of the suspicious flight, and alerts NORAD to it (see (12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/12/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257] Reason for Message Unclear - The reason the Flight 85 pilots used the code for a hijacking in their ARINC message when their plane is not hijacked is unclear. Korean Airlines administrator Michael Lim will suggest the “HJK” code was intended as a question rather than a warning, but this was unclear in the message because pilots are unable to type question marks into ARINC messages. [ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, 9/8/2002] David Greenberg, the Korean Airlines operations chief, will say the pilots’ message was “innocent, part of a routine discussion on where to divert the flight after airspace in the United States had been closed.” He will add that the pilots used the hijack code “to refer to the hijackings that day.” [USA TODAY, 8/12/2002] Author Lynn Spencer will similarly suggest that the crew of Flight 85 had “simply been trying to relay to controllers their awareness of the hijackings on the East Coast.” She will add: “It was an odd idea for the pilots to have, and contrary to their training. But for whatever reason—perhaps because of some language or communication barrier, or some training failure—they made a very dangerous bad call.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 279] Flight 85 Redirected to Canada - At 1:24 p.m., the pilots of Flight 85 will set their plane’s transponder to indicate that the flight has been hijacked (see 1:24 p.m. September 11, 2001). The plane will be directed away from Anchorage (see (Shortly After 1:24 p.m.) September 11, 2001) and escorted by fighter jets to Whitehorse Airport in Canada, where it lands at 2:54 p.m. (see 2:54 p.m. September 11, 2001). Only then will officials be able to confirm that the aircraft has not been hijacked (see September 12, 2001). [CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 9/12/2001; YUKON GOVERNMENT, 11/13/2001, PP. 16, 18 ; USA TODAY, 8/12/2002] Entity Tags: ARINC, Federal Aviation Administration, David Greenberg, Michael Lim, North American Aerospace Defense Command Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

afternoonEdit

12:16 p.m. September 11, 2001: US Airspace Cleared of All Civilian Aircraft Edit

US airspace is clear of all civilian air traffic, with the exception of a small number of law enforcement and emergency operations aircraft. Otherwise, only military aircraft are airborne. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/18/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 4/15/2002; USA TODAY, 8/12/2002] The FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, announces that the airspace has been successfully shut down. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 269] At 9:26 a.m., the Command Center ordered a national ground stop that prevented any aircraft from taking off (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and at 9:45 a.m. it ordered FAA facilities to instruct all aircraft to land at the nearest airport (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Since then, about 4,500 commercial and general aviation aircraft have landed without incident. This is the first time ever that all civilian aircraft in the United States have been grounded. [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 29] Author Pamela Freni will later comment that this clearing of the skies was “a tremendous feat accomplished by a huge team that had never even practiced this part of the game before.” Frank Hatfield, the air traffic division manager for the FAA’s eastern region, will comment: “What we did on September 11 was done amazingly well. It was almost like World War II, the way the airplanes were handled.” [FRENI, 2003, PP. 69] At 12:30 p.m., the FAA will report that there are 50 flights in US airspace, but none of them are reporting any problems. [CNN, 9/12/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Frank Hatfield Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1:24 p.m. September 11, 2001: Further Suspicions Raised about Korean Airlines Flight When Pilots Switch Transponder to Hijack CodeEdit

Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center. [Source: FAA] The pilots of a Korean Airlines passenger jet that is due to land in the US and is considered a possible hijacking, switch their plane’s transponder to transmit the code signaling a hijacking, even though the plane has not been hijacked. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 277-278] Korean Airlines Flight 85 is a Boeing 747 bound from Seoul, South Korea, to New York, and which is currently heading for a refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska. For reasons that are unclear, the plane’s pilots included the code signaling a hijacking in a text message they sent to their airline at 11:08 a.m. The FAA was notified of this and alerted controllers at its Anchorage Center to the suspicious flight (see (Shortly Before 12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). The FAA also alerted NORAD, which launched fighter jets to follow the aircraft (see (12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, 9/29/2001; USA TODAY, 8/12/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 257] Pilots Send Signal Indicating a Hijacking - Flight 85 entered the Anchorage Center’s airspace at around 1:00 p.m. The air traffic controller there who is handling the flight queried the pilots to determine whether their plane had been hijacked. He used a code word when speaking to them, as a way of covertly asking if the plane was hijacked, in case the crew was unable to speak openly over the radio. However the pilots offered no reassurance that their plane was secure. Instead, at 1:24 p.m., they switch the plane’s transponder (a device that sends information about an aircraft to controllers’ radar screens) to “7500”: the universal code that means a plane has been hijacked. This action sets off “a frenzy of activity,” according to USA Today. Within minutes, Alaska’s governor orders the evacuation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, as well as the evacuation of federal buildings and all large hotels in Anchorage. FAA Wants Flight to Remain on Current Course - However, officials at the FAA’s Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, are unconvinced that Flight 85 has been hijacked, and advise the Anchorage Center controllers not to redirect it. The Command Center is in contact with Korean Airlines headquarters, which is emphatically stating it has received no indication that Flight 85 is in trouble. Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the Command Center, urges the Anchorage Center controllers to keep seeking clarification from Flight 85’s pilots about the status of their aircraft. [USA TODAY, 8/12/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 277-278] But NORAD will instruct the controllers to direct the plane away from Anchorage (see (Shortly After 1:24 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, 9/8/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 278] Flight 85 will continue transmitting the hijack code from its transponder until it lands in Canada at 2:54 p.m. (see 2:54 p.m. September 11, 2001). Only then will officials be able to confirm that the flight has not been hijacked (see September 12, 2001). Reason for False Alarm Unclear - No clear explanation will be given as to why the pilots of Flight 85 switch their transponder to the hijacking code. In August 2002, USA Today will state: “To this day, no one is certain why the pilots issued the alert.… The Korean pilots may have misinterpreted the controller’s comments as an order to reset the transponder.” [USA TODAY, 8/12/2002; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 278-279] Korean Airlines officials will say the pilot of Flight 85 believed that controllers at the Anchorage Center were directing him to send out the hijack signal. Administrator Michael Lim will say: “Our captain was following their instruction. They even told the captain to transmit code 7500, hijack code. Our captain, who realized how serious it is, they were just following instructions.” However, the airline will refuse to make available a tape recording of conversations between the pilot and its officials on the ground in Anchorage. [ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS, 9/29/2001] Entity Tags: Ben Sliney, Federal Aviation Administration, Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center, Korean Airlines, Michael Lim Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

3:30 p.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Manager Sliney Announces that All Flights Inbound to US Have Landed Edit

Ben Sliney, the national operations manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, announces that the last of the aircraft inbound to the United States has landed. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 279] At 10:21 a.m., the FAA ordered the diversion of all international flights inbound to the US (see 10:21 a.m. September 11, 2001). Most flights that were close to US shores then headed for Canada, while other flights headed back to the airports they had come from. [TIME, 9/14/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/21/2002 ] In total, 239 diverted aircraft have landed at Canadian airports. Most of them had been heading to the US from Europe. [NAV CANADA, 7/22/2005] Entity Tags: Ben Sliney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

  1. "Probe reconstructs horror, calculated attacks on planes". BOSTON GLOBE. 11/23/2001. 
  2. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  3. NEW YORK TIMES. 10/16/2001. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/16/national/16PLAN.html. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 9/11 COMMISSION (6/17/2004). "Improvising a Homeland Defense". 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The skies over America". MSNBC. 9/9/2006. 
  6. WASHINGTON TIMES. 9/11/2002. http://web.archive.org/web/20020916222620/www.washtimes.com/september11/americans.htm. 
  7. FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (9/17/2001). http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB165/faa7.pdf. 
  8. http://www.scribd.com/doc/17150626/T8-B3-Boston-Center-Terry-Biggio-Fdr-92203-2-MFR-and-2-Sets-Handwritten-Notes-749
  9. "America remembers: Air traffic controllers describe how events unfolded as they saw them on September 11th". MSNBC. 9/11/2002. 
  10. USA TODAY. 8/13/2002. http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2002-08-12-clearskies_x.htm. 
  11. "Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events". FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION. 9/17/2001. 
  12. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  13. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 458
  14. 9/11 COMMISSION (6/17/2004). 
  15. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  16. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  17. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... pp 21
  18. http://www.scribd.com/doc/15877913/FO-B6-Public-Hearing-61704-2-of-2-Fdr-Tab-618-Ben-Sliney-Bio-MFR-Written-Testimony-Testimony-Request
  19. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 1 AND 19-20
  20. . [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 11/3/1998]
  21. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  22. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  23. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17
  24. . [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004]
  25. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 19
  26. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 11
  27. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 16, Page 17 , Page 18 , Page 19
  28. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003;
  29. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 17

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