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early morning*

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

(10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93’s Autopilot Turned Off; Alarms Sound Edit

Based on information from the plane’s flight data recorder, the National Transportation Safety Board will later determine that Flight 93’s autopilot is turned off at “about 10:00,” and remains off for the flight’s final minutes. [1][2] Phil Bradshaw, whose wife is an attendant on Flight 93, will later hear the plane’s cockpit voice recording. Being a pilot himself, he recognizes on it the sound of the alarm that goes off when the autopilot is disconnected. [NEWS AND RECORD (PIEDMONT TRIAD, NC), 9/11/2002] CNN’s Kelli Arena will hear the recording during the 2006 Zacarias Moussaoui trial and will report that, shortly after this alarm sounds, “Another alarm goes off.” [CNN, 4/12/2006] According to journalist and author Jere Longman, as well as the alarm set off when the autopilot was disconnected, another alarm “would have sounded because the plane was traveling at five hundred seventy-five miles an hour in the final minutes, far exceeding the design limits of four hundred twenty-five miles an hour below twenty thousand feet and two hundred eighty-seven miles an hour below ten thousand feet.” [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 208] So presumably this is the second alarm described by Arena.

(10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Langley Pilots Hear Warning that Planes Could Be Shot Down; Ordered to Protect the White HouseEdit

The pilots that took off from Langley Air Force Base (see (9:25 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001) hear a warning over radio that errant aircraft will be shot down, and receive an instruction from the Secret Service to protect the White House. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222-223]

The three Langley fighter jets have now reached the Baltimore-Washington area. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222] The pilots hear over their radios that the FAA has ordered all civilian aircraft to land. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001] (The FAA issued this instruction at around 9:45 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 29] )

The three pilots are all on different radio frequencies, but are able to communicate between themselves on their auxiliary frequency. According to Lynn Spencer , one of them, Captain Craig Borgstrom , hears a message over the emergency radio frequency that is in response to the FAA’s recent order: “Attention all aircraft! Attention all aircraft! You are ordered to land at the nearest suitable airport. All aircraft must land immediately. Violators will be shot down.” The source of this message is unstated. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 66; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222-223] (Author Leslie Filson will describe the Langley pilots hearing what is apparently a separate but similar message later on, some time after 10:42 a.m. (see 10:05 a.m.-11:05 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 82] )

Around the time Borgstrom hears this, Major Dean Eckmann , the lead Langley pilot, is on the radio with the FAA’s Washington Center . A Secret Service agent has arrived there and wants to talk to him. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 68; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222-223] Eckmann then receives a garbled message over his radio, which is difficult to make out. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/15/2001] The message is, “Protect the house.” Eckmann will later recall, “I took it to mean protect the White House.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 68] He notifies the two other pilots—Borgstrom and Major Brad Derrig —of this message. He tells them, “I think I just talked to the Secret Service, but I’m not sure.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/15/2001]

According to Spencer, this message means that, “Unknown to NEADS”, Eckmann has been “given shootdown authority directly from the Secret Service, bypassing the military chain of command.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 223] But Borgstrom and Derrig will later say they “never received explicit orders to fire on incoming planes perceived to be hostile.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/15/2001] Borgstrom radios NEADS weapons director Steve Citino and asks for specific instructions about what to do (see 10:07 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 223] According to the 9/11 Commission, NEADS will only learn that NORAD has been given clearance to shoot down threatening aircraft at 10:31 a.m., and even then it does not pass this order along to the fighter pilots under its command (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42-43]

10:00 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Transponder Gives Brief Signal Edit

The transponder for Flight 93 briefly turns back on. The plane is at 7,000 feet. The transponder stays on until about 10:03 a.m. It is unclear why the transponder signal briefly returns. [3][GUARDIAN, 10/17/2001; MSNBC, 9/11/2002]

(10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Alert Fighters at Tyndall Air Base Do Not Launch to Escort Air Force One Edit

Logo of the 148th Fighter Wing. [Source: Air National Guard] Although the White House has requested a fighter escort for Air Force One (see 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001), fighter jets that are kept on alert at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida reportedly fail to launch in order to accompany the president’s plane after it takes off from Sarasota, Florida (see (9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 87; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 38]

Fighters on 'Battle Stations' but Not Launched - The 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard has a full time active duty detachment at Tyndall Air Force Base, near Panama City. [FILSON, 1999; US AIR FORCE, 2004; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 8/21/2005] This unit serves as one of NORAD’s seven “alert” sites around the US, which all have a pair of fighter jets on the runway, armed, fueled, and ready to take off within minutes if called upon. [AIRMAN, 12/1999; AIR FORCE MAGAZINE, 2/2002; BERGEN RECORD, 12/5/2003] But, according to the 1st Air Force’s book about 9/11, although NORAD’s Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS) puts the alert jets at Tyndall on “battle stations,” it does not launch them. The jets’ pilots sit “in their cockpits awaiting word to go, but Air Force One moved so quickly they were never scrambled.” Instead, F-16s from Ellington Field in Texas are scrambled, and escort Air Force One to Barksdale Air Force Base (see (After 9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (11:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 87] However, in a 2002 interview, Major General Larry Arnold, the commanding general of NORAD’s Continental US Region, will claim that after NORAD is told “just to follow the president” on Air Force One, it “scrambled available airplanes from Tyndall and then from Ellington in Houston, Texas. The Ellington F-16s chased Air Force One and landed with the president at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.” [CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 1/2002]

Other Alert Fighters in Florida Not Launched - NORAD also keeps two fighters on alert at Homestead Air Reserve Base, near Miami, Florida, but it is unclear whether these are scrambled after Air Force One, and apparently they never accompany the president’s plane (see (10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Philip Melanson, an expert on the Secret Service, will later comment: “I can’t imagine by what glitch the protection was not provided to Air Force One as soon as it took off. I would have thought there’d be something in place whereby one phone call from the head of the security detail would get the fighters in the air immediately.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 87; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004] Entity Tags: Southeast Air Defense Sector, Larry Arnold, 148th Fighter Wing Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush

10:00 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Hijackers Respond to Passenger RevoltEdit

According to the 9/11 Commission, the hijacker pilot of Flight 93, presumably Ziad Jarrah, has been rolling the plane sharply to the left and right in an attempt to prevent passengers from reaching the cockpit. At this time, he stabilizes the plane and asks another hijacker, “Is that it? Shall we finish it off?” Another voice answers, “No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off.” The pilot starts pitching the nose of the airplane up and down. A few seconds later a passenger’s voice can be heard saying, “In the cockpit. If we don’t we’ll die!” Another voice says, “Roll it!” which some speculate could be a reference to pushing a foot cart into the cockpit door. By 10:01, the pilot stops the pitching and says, “Allah o akbar! Allah o akbar!” (“God is great”), then asks, “Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?” Another hijacker responds, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 7/22/2004; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 7/23/2004] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Fighters Possibly Scrambled from Florida Air Base toward Air Force One, but Apparently Do Not Reach It

An F-15 Eagle from the 125th Fighter Wing. [Source: Shaun Withers / US Air Force] Fighter jets belonging to a military unit in Jacksonville, Florida, launch to escort Air Force One after it takes off from Sarasota, Florida (see (9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001), some accounts will later indicate. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] However, other accounts will indicate that these jets, if launched, never reach the president’s plane. [CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 1/2002; CBS NEWS, 9/10/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 255] Fighters Reportedly Launched - The New York Times will report that at 10:41 a.m., Air Force One is “headed toward Jacksonville to meet jets scrambled to give the presidential jet its own air cover.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001] And, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph, after Air Force One climbs to 40,000 feet, it is “joined by an escort of F-16 fighters from a base near Jacksonville.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] These reports are presumably referring to jets belonging to the 125th Fighter Wing, a unit of the Florida Air National Guard located at Jacksonville International Airport. The wing keeps two F-15s on alert at Homestead Air Reserve Base, near Miami, ready for immediate takeoff, as part of NORAD’s air sovereignty mission. [AIRMAN, 12/1999; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 8/21/2005; FLORIDA AIR NATIONAL GUARD, 2009] Fighters Likely Launched from Homestead - If 125th Fighter Wing jets are scrambled to accompany Air Force One, it appears they would be the unit’s F-15s on alert at Homestead, rather than its fighters at Jacksonville Airport. Major Charles Chambers, who is at the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon, will state within a week of the attacks, “Fighters had been scrambled from Homestead [Air Reserve Base] and were escorting Air Force One westward.” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 9/2001] In contrast, at Jacksonville International Airport, according to a 2007 report in the Florida Times-Union, “Within hours of the 2001 terrorist attacks, the wing’s aircraft were sitting on a JIA runway ready for the order to scramble.” [FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/15/2007] And an account published by the Florida Air National Guard will only say, “On Sept. 11, 2001, several loaded F-15 aircraft lined Runway 13/31 [at Jacksonville Airport] for the first time in history.” [EAGLE'S EYE, 2007 ] Fighters Apparently Do Not Reach Air Force One - Most accounts will contradict Chambers’ claim that, if indeed 125th Fighter Wing jets are scrambled toward the president’s plane, they are subsequently “escorting Air Force One westward.” According to the 1st Air Force’s book about 9/11, it is in fact “[f]our F-16s from the 147th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard,” that accompany Air Force One “from the panhandle of Florida to Barksdale Air Force Base.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 87] CBS News will report that the first fighters to reach Air Force One are two F-16s from the 147th Fighter Wing (see (11:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CBS NEWS, 9/10/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 255] And Major General Larry Arnold, the commanding general of NORAD’s Continental US Region, will only say that 147th Fighter Wing F-16s “chased Air Force One and landed with the president at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana,” making no mention of any 125th Fighter Wing jets being scrambled. [CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 1/2002] At NORAD’s other alert site in Florida besides Homestead—a unit at Tyndall Air Force Base—the two alert fighters are put on “battle stations,” but apparently do not take off to escort Air Force One (see (10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 87] Entity Tags: Larry Arnold, 125th Fighter Wing, Charles Chambers Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush

(Between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush and Vice President Cheney Said to Confer on Shootdown Orders; 9/11 Commission Later Doubts Their Account

Dick Cheney talking to Condoleezza Rice. [Source: David Bohrer / White House] (click image to enlarge) According to the 9/11 Commission, Vice President Dick Cheney is told that the Air Force is trying to establish a combat air patrol (CAP) over Washington. Cheney, who is in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House, then calls President Bush on Air Force One to discuss the rules of engagement for this CAP. Cheney later tells the 9/11 Commission that he’d felt “it did no good to establish the CAP unless the pilots had instructions on whether they were authorized to shoot if the plane would not divert.” He recalls that “the president signed off on that concept.” Bush will recall this phone call and emphasize to the 9/11 Commission that, during it, he had authorized the shootdown of hijacked aircraft. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who is in the PEOC with Cheney, will tell the Commission she recalls hearing Cheney inform the president: “Sir, the CAPs are up. Sir, they’re going to want to know what to do.” Then she hears Cheney say, “Yes sir.” However, as the Commission will later note, “Among the sources that reflect other important events that morning there is no documentary evidence for this call, although the relevant sources are incomplete” (see (Mid 2004)). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 40-41] Reportedly, some members of the Commission’s staff will not believe this call between Bush and Cheney ever took place. [NEWSWEEK, 6/20/2004] Cheney phones Bush at 10:18 (see 10:18 a.m.-10:20 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to the 9/11 Commission, it is in fact during that call that Bush authorizes the military to shoot down threatening aircraft. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 41] Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Day of 9/11 Events, All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, George Bush, Dick Cheney

(10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Returns to the Pentagon; Speaks to President Bush and Temporarily Joins White House Teleconference Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld returns from the Pentagon crash site “by shortly before or after 10:00 a.m.” Then he has “one or more calls in my office, one of which was with the president,” according to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/23/2004] The commission later concludes that Rumsfeld’s call with President Bush has little impact: “No one can recall any content beyond a general request to alert forces.” The possibility of shooting down hijacked planes is not mentioned. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Rumsfeld then goes to the Executive Support Center (ESC) located near his office, arriving there at around 10:15 a.m. In the ESC already are Stephen Cambone, Rumsfeld’s closest aide, Larry Di Rita, Rumsfeld’s personal chief of staff, and Victoria Clarke, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. Rumsfeld had instructed Di Rita and Clarke to go to the ESC and wait for him there when they’d come to his office soon after the second WTC tower was hit at 9:03 A.M. (see (After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Presently, Rumsfeld gives them their first confirmation that a plane hit the Pentagon, saying, “I’m quite sure it was a plane and I’m pretty sure it’s a large plane.” According to Clarke, he pulls out a yellow legal pad and writes down three categories, “by which his thinking would be organized the rest of the day: what we needed to do immediately, what would have to be underway quickly, and what the military response would be.” [CLARKE, 2006, PP. 221-222; COCKBURN, 2007, PP. 5-6] The Executive Support Center has secure video facilities, and while there, Rumsfeld participates in the White House video teleconference. This is the video conference that counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke claims Rumsfeld is a part of much of the morning (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Then at around 10:30 a.m., he moves on to the National Military Command Center NMCC, located next door to the ESC (see (10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/23/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 43-44] Those in the NMCC are apparently unaware of Rumsfeld’s whereabouts during the half-hour from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Brigadier General Montague Winfield later recalls, “For 30 minutes we couldn’t find him. And just as we began to worry, he walked into the door of the [NMCC].” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: National Military Command Center, Stephen A. Cambone, Victoria Clarke, Richard A. Clarke, George W. Bush, Larry DiRita, Donald Rumsfeld, Executive Support Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon

(10:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.) September 11, 2001: Members of Congress at Police Headquarters Poorly Informed, Receive Few Details about Security SituationEdit

Members of Congress who are assembled at the headquarters of the Capitol Police in Washington, DC receive regular briefings from police officers, but these reveal little more than what is being reported in the news. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001] After being evacuated from the Capitol building, many members of Congress go to the Capitol Police headquarters, located a block and a half away (see (9:55 a.m. and After) September 11, 2001). [DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 110-112] Throughout the day, several hundred of them go there, though some Congressional leaders are moved to a secure bunker outside Washington around late morning or early afternoon (see (Between Late Morning and Early Afternoon) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; CNN, 9/11/2002] According to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D), the police headquarters becomes “Congress’s central command center for the rest of the day.” [DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 112] But, CNN will report, “In a place where power means knowing things, nobody knew very much.” Deputy Chief James Rohan of the Capitol Police later describes, “There was somebody [at the headquarters] had brought out a little four inch black and white TV with just an antenna stick on it, plugged it in, and they were getting all their information from the networks from this tiny little TV.” [CNN, 9/11/2002] The Senate and House members at the headquarters receive hourly briefings from Capitol Police officers. But, according to the Washington Post, “lawmakers privately described the sessions as ‘rudimentary,’ offering few details beyond published reports.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001] According to Daschle, who is among those moved to the secure bunker outside Washington, members of Congress who remain at the police headquarters spend the day “crammed into several conference rooms and offices, working the telephones and watching the TV monitors for developing news,” though he gives no specific details of what they do. [DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 112] Late in the afternoon, about 50 of them speak by phone with the Congressional leaders at the secure bunker (see (5:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001), and during the evening, many of them will join the leaders on the steps of the Capitol building for a press conference (see 7:24 p.m. September 11, 2001).

(Between 10:00 a.m. and 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Vice President Bush Supposedly Speaks with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about Shootdown Procedure, but Accounts ConflictEdit

According to some accounts, just after President Bush authorizes the military to shoot down threatening aircraft, he speaks with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about this. According to the Washington Post, Bush gave the shootdown authorization after taking off on Air Force One (see (Shortly After 9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). He then talks “to Rumsfeld to clarify the procedures military pilots should follow in trying to force an unresponsive plane to the ground before opening fire on it. First, pilots would seek to make radio contact with the other plane and tell the pilot to land at a specific location. If that failed, the pilots were to use visual signals. These included having the fighters fly in front of the other plane. If the plane continued heading toward what was seen as a significant target with apparently hostile intent, the US pilot would have the authority to shoot it down.” [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] Journalist and author Bill Sammon gives a similar account, saying that, having spoken with Cheney soon after Air Force One took off, Bush “then explained the shootdown order to Donald Rumsfeld, who was at the still-burning Pentagon.” [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 102] The 9/11 Commission concurs that the “president apparently spoke to Secretary Rumsfeld for the first time… shortly after 10:00.” However, contradicting earlier accounts, it says, “No one can recall the content of this conversation, but it was a brief call in which the subject of shootdown authority was not discussed” (see (10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to the Commission, furthermore, the phone call between Bush and Cheney where the president gives the shootdown authorization is not until 10:18 (see 10:18 a.m.-10:20 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 41 AND 43] Bush’s senior adviser Karl Rove, who is on Air Force One with him, also says this critical call occurs “at about 10:20,” and adds that, after it, Bush reports that he has just talked to Rumsfeld as well as Cheney. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] Rumsfeld will indicate he first learns that shootdown authorization has been given from Cheney rather than Bush, telling the 9/11 Commission that the vice president “informed me of the president’s authorization to shoot down hostile aircraft” over the air threat conference call. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/23/2004] The conversation he is referring to does not occur until 10:39 (see 10:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 43] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld

(10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Counterterrorist Center Does Not Evacuate with Rest of CIA HeadquartersEdit

Counterterrorist Center logo. [Source: CIA] At around 10 a.m., following reports that several aircraft were not responding to communications and could be heading toward Washington, CIA Director George Tenet orders the evacuation of the CIA headquarters building in Langley, Virginia (see (9:50 a.m.-10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). However, Cofer Black, the director of the Counterterrorist Center (CTC), is unhappy about this and tells Tenet, “Sir, we’re going to have to exempt CTC from this because we need to have our people working the computers.” The CTC, according to the Los Angeles Times, is “the nerve center for the CIA’s effort to disrupt and deter terrorist groups and their state sponsors.” About 200 employees are currently working in it. Eight of them are in the Global Response Center on the sixth floor of the building, monitoring the latest intelligence on terrorism throughout the world. The rest are in a windowless facility low down in the building. When Tenet points out that the Global Response Center staff will be at risk, Black responds, “They have the key function to play in a crisis like this. This is exactly why we have the Global Response Center.” When Tenet points out, “They could die,” Black replies, “Well, sir, then they’re just going to have to die.” After pausing, Tenet agrees, “You’re absolutely right.” Tenet later says, “Now that we were under attack, the Counterterrorist Center, with its vast data banks and sophisticated communications systems, was more vital than ever. Even as we were discussing going or staying, CTC was sending out a global alert to our stations around the world, ordering them to go to their liaison services and agents to collect every shred of information they could lay their hands on.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/12/2001; WOODWARD, 2002, PP. 8-9; TENET, 2007, PP. 164-165] Entity Tags: Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency, George J. Tenet, Cofer Black Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(Between 9:59 a.m. and 10:28 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Firefighters Do Not Hear Any Message to Evacuate North TowerEdit

Someone falling from the WTC. Well over 50 jumped or fell from the North Tower, none from the South Tower. [Source: Associated Press] At some point between the collapse of the two WTC towers, it is claimed that fire chiefs order the firefighters to come down. It has not been reported exactly who issued this order or when. Witnesses claim that scores of firefighters, unaware of the danger, were resting on lower floors in the minutes before the second tower collapsed. “Some firefighters who managed to get out said they had no idea the other building had already fallen, and said that they thought that few of those who perished knew.” At least 121 firefighters in the remaining tower die. The Fire Department blames a faulty radio repeater. However, the Port Authority claims later transcripts of radio communications show the repeaters worked. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/9/2002] Entity Tags: New York Port Authority Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, World Trade Center

(Shortly After 9:59 a.m.-12:10 p.m.) September 11, 2001: Security Officer Heads into WTC 7 and Gets Trapped in Building A security officer for one of the businesses in Building 7 of the World Trade Center (WTC 7) goes up WTC 7 and subsequently becomes trapped on its seventh floor. [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 109-110 ; NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 11/2008, PP. 298-299 ] Although most people were evacuated from the building around the time the South Tower was hit, if not earlier (see (9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001), after the South Tower collapses at 9:59 a.m. the security officer heads up to a floor in the 40s in WTC 7, reportedly to check that all his personnel have left. (The name of the company he works for is unstated.) He is initially accompanied by a police officer, but at around the 10th floor this officer has difficulty breathing, and so goes back down and exits the building. When the North Tower collapses at 10:28 a.m., WTC 7 shakes and the stairwell goes dark. The security officer, who has reached the 30th floor by this time, heads back down the stairs. When he reaches the 23rd floor, where the headquarters of New York’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is located, he opens the door to check for any members of staff that might still be there, but finds the area filled with smoke. (The OEM was evacuated at about 9:30 a.m., if not earlier (see (Soon After 8:46 a.m.-9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001).) He then continues down to the seventh floor, where he has to stop because he is unable to see or breathe. He is able to break a window, and calls for help. [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 11/2008, PP. 298-299 ] At around 12:10 to 12:15 p.m., firefighters will enter the building and rescue the security officer, escorting him down the stairs and out of the building. They will also rescue two men who are trapped on the eighth floor (see 12:10 p.m.-12:15 p.m. September 11, 2001). [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 6/2004 ; NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 110 ] Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, World Trade Center

Shortly After 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001: Fire Department Expert on Building Collapses Thinks Bombs Caused South Tower to Come Down

Ray Downey. [Source: Unknown] When the WTC’s South Tower collapses, Father John Delendick—one of New York Fire Department’s chaplains—runs down a ramp to the garages below the nearby World Financial Center, to escape the dust cloud. He speaks there with Fire Chief Ray Downey, and asks him if the jet fuel from the plane had blown up, causing the collapse. [CITY OF NEW YORK, 12/6/2001] Downey is in fact a renowned expert on building collapses. Robert Ingram, a battalion chief in the New York Fire Department later refers to him as “the premiere collapse expert in the country.” [US CONGRESS. SENATE. COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, 10/11/2001 ] 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer calls Downey a “very, very respected expert on building collapse.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/18/2004] And Fire Chief Mike Antonucci, who is a best friend of Downey’s, says he “was probably the most knowledgeable person on building collapses there was. That was his [hobby], to study building collapses—what affected the engineering of buildings, how they [would] weaken and how he could respond and stay safe.” [INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN, 9/7/2006] In response to Delendick’s question, Downey replies that, “at that point he thought there were bombs up there because [the collapse] was too even.” [CITY OF NEW YORK, 12/6/2001] Earlier on, Downey told other fire chiefs responding at the WTC that he was worried about “explosive devices” in the Twin Towers “that could hurt the firemen” (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). He is killed when the North Tower collapses at 10:28 a.m. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/9/2005] Entity Tags: Ray Downey, John Delendick Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, World Trade Center

(Between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Astronauts Record Devastation in New York from Space Station

Space view of New York on 9/11/01 [Source: NASA] The commander of the International Space Station, Frank Culbertson, is informed of the 9/11 attacks by NASA’s ground control. The station is orbiting the earth at a distance of about 300 miles. In addition to Culbertson, the station is manned by two Russian cosmonauts, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin. Culbertson quickly determines that the station will soon fly over New England. He positions himself with video and photographic equipment to record what he can see from space. One of his pictures, apparently taken after the collapse of both towers, shows a plume of smoke rising tens of miles into the sky. Vladimir Dezhurov will later take part in a televised debate during which he will apparently express skepticism about the US government’s version of the attacks (see September 12, 2008). [NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA), 9/12/2001; CNN, 10/15/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 11/27/2001; GUARDIAN, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Frank Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov, Mikhail Tyurin Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(Between 10:00-10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Cell Call Listeners Hear Silence, Strange Sounds

Potential pilots Don Greene and Andrew Garcia. [Source: Family photos] During this time, there apparently are no calls from Flight 93. Several cell phones that are left on record only silence. For instance, although Todd Beamer does not hang up, nothing more is heard after he puts down the phone, suggesting things are quiet in the back of the plane. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 218] The only exception is Richard Makely, who listens to Jeremy Glick’s open phone line after Glick goes to attack the hijackers. A reporter summarizes Makely explaining that, “The silence last[s] two minutes, then there [is] screaming. More silence, followed by more screams. Finally, there [is] a mechanical sound, followed by nothing.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 9/17/2001] The second silence lasts between 60 and 90 seconds. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 219] Near the end of the cockpit voice recording, loud wind sounds can be heard. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 270-271; CNN, 4/19/2002] “Sources claim the last thing heard on the cockpit voice recorder is the sound of wind—suggesting the plane had been holed.” [MIRROR, 9/12/2002] There was at least one passenger, Don Greene, who was a professional pilot. Another passenger, Andrew Garcia, was a former flight controller. [NEWSWEEK, 9/22/2001; PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 10/28/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/31/2002] Entity Tags: Andrew Garcia, Jeremy Glick, Don Greene, Richard Makely, Todd Beamer Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(After 9:59 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Richard Clarke Orders Securing of Buildings, Harbors, and Borders Some time after the first WTC tower collapse, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke orders all landmark buildings and all federal buildings in the US evacuated. He also orders all harbors and borders closed. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 14-15] The Sears Tower in Chicago begins evacuation around 10:02 a.m. Other prominent buildings are slower to evacuate. [OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/11/2001] Entity Tags: Sears Tower, Richard A. Clarke Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Richard Clarke

After 9:59 a.m. September 11, 2001: New York Deputy Mayor Develops and Implements Emergency Strategy

Rudy Washington. [Source: Congress of Racial Equality] After being caught in the dust plume when the WTC’s South Tower collapses at 9:59, Rudy Washington, who is one of Rudolph Giuliani’s deputy mayors, heads to City Hall, where he coordinates the city’s emergency response to the attacks. He is in contact with New York Governor George Pataki, high-ranking New York Police Department officers, and Navy Admiral Robert Natter, the commander of the US Atlantic Fleet (see (Shortly After 9:59 a.m.) September 11, 2001). He orders the closing of bridges. (Though, according to some accounts, the New York Port Authority ordered all bridges to be closed earlier on, at 9:21 (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001).) As New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch later describes, Washington also finds “heavy machinery to get downtown for the cleanup and got the Navy to guard against a seaborne attack. He evacuated City Hall, which shook like crazy when the second tower fell. He gathered people who could give medical help, gave the order to find lights that could be used at Ground Zero and worked out new phone communications, since power was being lost. Accompanied by city engineers, he went into the streets around the fallen towers, testing the ground to make sure it would hold when the heavy equipment came in.” Washington’s efforts at developing an emergency strategy are reportedly aided by what he learned at an anti-terrorist training session chaired by counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke and held at the WTC, in preparation for the millennium celebration (see (Late 1999)). Stanley Crouch later credits Rudy Washington with having “ran New York for the first few hours after the attack during a period when Giuliani was thought to have been killed inside the first building that went down.” [NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 5/20/2004] During the initial hours following the attacks, between around 9:50 a.m. and midday, Mayor Giuliani is moving around between a series of temporary command posts (see (9:50 a.m.-10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (After 10:28 a.m.-12:00 pm.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Rudy Washington, Robert Natter, New York City Police Department, George E. Pataki, Rudolph (“Rudy”) Giuliani Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Cell Phones Not Working in New York City Throughout the day of 9/11 and after, members of the public in New York City experience significant communications problems, particularly with cell phones. “In the aftermath [of the attacks], and for several days afterwards, cellular phone services were either not working or were severely overloaded.” [SATNEWS, 10/19/2001] As Time magazine reports, “Lines formed, at least 20 people long, at all pay phones, because cell phones were not working.” [TIME, 9/14/2001] (Reportedly, though, the 911 system is not disrupted.) Later accounts will suggest that an increased volume of phone calls being made in response to the attacks may have overloaded networks. Within minutes of the first attack, according to the New York Times, there were “tens of millions of [phone] calls—many from worried relatives and friends—that threatened to clog the system.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/20/2001] The call volume of Verizon Communications, which has its main regional switching station across the street from the World Trade Center, reaches twice its normal daily rate of 115 million calls in New York City. “And although it remained operational, the wireless network experienced massive congestion that prevented most calls from getting through. During the peak of the chaos, Verizon experienced nearly 100 percent more traffic than normal on its nationwide wireless network.” [VERTON, 2003, PP. 148] Some of the communications problems in the New York area are later attributed to physical damage to the infrastructure. A report by the Mineta Transportation Institute will summarize, “The collapse of the World Trade Center towers knocked out Verizon’s switching center in Lower Manhattan and severely damaged the infrastructure for cellular telephones. Telephone communications for NYPD Command and Control was also destroyed in the attack. As a consequence, cell phone service was subsequently overloaded. NYC Transit lost a key portion of its fiber-optic network in one tunnel.” [JENKINS AND EDWARDS-WINSLOW, 9/2003, PP. 33] Similar communication problems are also experienced around Washington, DC, and some top government officials are affected (see (After 8:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001). According to one government official, the nation was “deaf, dumb, and blind” for much of the day. [VERTON, 2003, PP. 151] Entity Tags: Verizon Communications, Verizon Wireless Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Vice President Cheney Assembles Legal Team for Expanding Presidential PowerEdit

David Addington. [Source: David Bohrer / White House] According to an in-depth examination by the Washington Post, within hours of the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney begins working to secure additional powers for the White House. Cheney had plans in place to begin acquiring these powers for the executive branch before the attacks, but had not begun to execute them. Gathering the Team - David Addington, Cheney’s general counsel and legal adviser, had been walking home after having to leave the now-evacuated Eisenhower Executive Office Building. He receives a message from the White House telling him to turn around, because the vice president needs him. After Addington joins Cheney in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the East Wing of the White House, the pair reportedly begin “contemplating the founding question of the legal revolution to come: What extraordinary powers will the president need for his response?” Later in the day, Addington connects by secure video with Timothy Flanigan, the deputy White House counsel, who is in the White House Situation Room. John Yoo, the deputy chief of the Office of Legal Counsel, is also patched in from the Justice Department’s command center. White House counsel Alberto Gonzales joins them later. This forms the core legal team that Cheney will oversee after the terrorist attacks. Associate White House counsel Bradford Berenson will later recall: “Addington, Flanigan and Gonzales were really a triumvirate. [Yoo] was a supporting player.” Addington dominates the group. Gonzales is there primarily because of his relationship with President Bush. He is not, Yoo will later recall, “a law-of-war expert and [doesn’t] have very developed views.” Along with these allies, Cheney will provide what the Washington Post calls “the rationale and political muscle to drive far-reaching legal changes through the White House, the Justice Department, and the Pentagon,” which will free the president to fight the war on terror, “as he saw fit.” Drafting the AUMF - The team begins drafting the document that will become the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF—see October 10, 2002) passed by Congress for the assault on Afghanistan. In the words of the group, the president is authorized “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.” Extraordinarily Broad Language - The language is extraordinarily broad; Yoo will later explain that they chose such sweeping language because “this war was so different, you can’t predict what might come up.” The AUMF draft is the first of numerous attempts to secure broad powers for the presidency, most justified by the 9/11 attacks. The Washington Post will later report, “In fact, the triumvirate knew very well what would come next: the interception—without a warrant—of communications to and from the United States” (see September 25, 2001). [CNN, 9/11/2001; CNN, 9/12/2001; UNGER, 2007, PP. 220-221; WASHINGTON POST, 6/24/2007] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, John C. Yoo, Timothy E. Flanigan, Craig Unger, Bradford Berenson, David S. Addington, Alberto R. Gonzales Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline, Civil Liberties Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Dick Cheney

(Shortly After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Condoleezza Rice Has Diplomatic Cable Sent Out Stating that US Government Is Still Functioning At the instruction of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage sends a cable out around the world saying the US government is still functioning. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 9/8/2006] Having recently arrived at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House (see (Shortly Before 9:59 a.m.) September 11, 2001), the first thing that occurs to Rice, she will later say, is that it is important to get a cable out to all diplomatic posts around the world, to say the United States government has “not been decapitated by this attack.… I thought to myself, we need to let everybody know that we’re still up and running.” [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] She therefore tells her deputy, Stephen Hadley, to call Armitage at the State Department, and urge him to send a cable to all overseas posts with this message. [BBC RADIO 4, 8/1/2002 ; BUMILLER, 2007, PP. XVI] Entity Tags: Stephen J. Hadley, Richard Armitage, Condoleezza Rice Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FBI Immediately Identifies Hijackers on Dulles Security Video Shortly after arriving at Washington’s Dulles Airport, from which Flight 77 took off, the FBI confiscates a security tape from a checkpoint through which the hijackers passed before boarding the plane. Airport security manager Ed Nelson will later say: “They pulled the tape right away.… They brought me to look at it. They went right to the first hijacker on the tape and identified him. They knew who the hijackers were out of hundreds of people going through the checkpoints. They would go ‘roll and stop it’ and showed me each of the hijackers.… It boggles my mind that they had already had the hijackers identified.… Both metal detectors were open at that time, and lots of traffic was moving through. So picking people out is hard.… I wanted to know how they had that kind of information. So fast. It didn’t make sense to me.” [TRENTO AND TRENTO, 2006, PP. 37] Some of the hijackers are identified on the passenger manifests around this time (see (9:59 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and this knowledge is disseminated in the US intelligence community (see (After 10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Ed Nelson, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Hani Hanjour, Other 9/11 Hijackers, All Day of 9/11 Events, FBI 9/11 Investigation

10:01 a.m.-10:15 a.m. September 11, 2001: Delta 1989 Pilot’s Failure to Use Standard Term in Communications Makes Controllers Suspicious Air traffic controllers at the Cleveland Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) remain suspicious of Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 as it is coming in to land at Cleveland Hopkins Airport, due to the pilot’s failure to use an important standard term in his communications with them. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/16/2001] A TRACON is an FAA facility that guides aircraft approaching or departing an airport. Flights coming in to land will subsequently be passed on to the airport’s air traffic control tower once they are within five miles of the airport and below 2,500 feet. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 3/24/2006] The Cleveland TRACON is in contact with Delta 1989 as it descends from 9,000 feet down to 3,000 feet. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/16/2001] Delta 1989, a Boeing 767 out of Boston, is mistakenly suspected of being hijacked (see 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001 and (Shortly After 9:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001) and has been instructed to land as soon as possible in Cleveland (see (9:42 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 27-28; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 167-168; USA TODAY, 9/11/2008] Pilot Does Not Use Term 'Heavy' - A detailed timeline provided by the Cleveland Airport control tower shortly after 9/11 will describe, “One anomaly that perpetuated concern by approach controllers in the face of constant information that there was nothing going on with [Delta 1989] was that the pilot never used the HEAVY designator in his communications.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/16/2001] The term “heavy” alerts controllers to provide extra spacing behind very large aircraft, which are above a certain weight, because these aircraft generate significant wake turbulence. [USA TODAY, 6/1/2005; USA TODAY, 5/22/2006] Controllers Skeptical of Delta 1989's Security - While the TRACON controllers use the “heavy” designator, “the pilot [of Delta 1989] did not respond with it.” The control tower’s timeline will state that, while this detail “may seem minor,” it “should not be overlooked. The use of HEAVY in the terminal environment is of the highest importance. Increased separation standards are required, and misapplication of separation standards can be disastrous. For pilots, not referring to a heavy aircraft as HEAVY is tantamount to calling a doctor ‘Mister.’” As a result, “This omission, along with all of the other information flying around, kept everyone alert and skeptical of the security of the flight.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Cleveland Terminal Radar Approach Control, Paul Werner Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001: Toledo Pilots Apparently Think Call from NEADS Is a JokeEdit

Pilots from the 180th Fighter Wing who are called to service on 9/11. [Source: WTOL] Two fighter pilots with a Toledo, Ohio, military unit that answer a call from NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), requesting assistance in response to the morning’s attacks, respond as if they think the call is a joke. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 178-179] The pilots belong to the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard, which is based at Toledo Express Airport. [GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 1/1/2002; WTOL, 9/11/2006] Pilot Puzzled by Call - When a weapons technician at NEADS contacts the Toledo unit, his call is answered by F-16 pilot Ed Rinke. The weapons technician says, “We need you to scramble two airplanes right now.” However, according to author Lynn Spencer, “to Rinke, the order makes no sense.” The Toledo unit “is not an alert squadron and does not report to NEADS.” Rinke is only a part-time pilot, and thinks someone more suitable should be taking the call. He shouts down the hall: “Hey, we’ve got a phone call at the duty desk. Some guy wants us to launch alert fighters!” Pilot Scott Reed responds: “What? We don’t do that!” Pushing the phone toward Reed, Rinke says: “You take it! It’s somebody on drugs.” Second Pilot Tells NEADS It Is Calling 'the Wrong People' - After Reed takes the phone, the weapons technician repeats his request, saying, “Major Reed, we need you to scramble two airplanes.” Yet Reed sounds as baffled as Rinke had been. He answers: “You’re calling Toledo, Ohio. Do you not understand who you’re calling here? Who are you trying to call, because you are obviously calling the wrong people. This is Toledo. We don’t have any alert birds. This is Toledo. Do you understand that?” Commander Takes Call, Orders Launch - Fortunately, the two pilots’ wing commander then takes over the call and responds to it more appropriately. Within minutes, according to Spencer, he will instruct Reed and Rinke to take off in two F-16s. Rinke reportedly thinks to himself, “Things must be really bad if NEADS is launching Toledo on an active air scramble!” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 178-179] The Toledo Blade will later comment, “Toledo’s response on Sept. 11 is believed to be the first time the unit has answered a call from the North American Aerospace Defense Command.” Two 180th Fighter Wing jets will take off from the Toledo unit at 10:17 a.m., but accounts will conflict over who the pilots are (see 10:17 a.m. September 11, 2001). [TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001; WTOL, 9/11/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 179] Entity Tags: 180th Fighter Wing, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Ed Rinke, Scott Reed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Some Aircraft Debris Visible Inside Pentagon

John McWethy. [Source: Steve Fenn / ABC] ABC News correspondent John McWethy was at the Pentagon at the time it was hit. [NEWSWEEK, 9/24/2001] At some later time, an army general he knows offers to take him in closer to the crash site. McWethy recalls: “I got in very close, got a look early on at the bad stuff. I could not, however, see any plane wreckage—it was well inside and had been, basically, vaporized.” [GILBERT ET AL., 2002, PP. 187] The following day, Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher will similarly tell reporters: “[T]here are some small pieces of aircraft visible from the interior during this firefighting operation… but not large sections. In other words, there’s no fuselage sections and that sort of thing.” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 9/12/2001] According to the Defense Department’s book about the Pentagon attack: “The front part of the relatively weak fuselage [of Flight 77] disintegrated, but the mid-section and tail-end continued moving for another fraction of a second.… The chain of destruction resulted in parts of the plane ending up inside the Pentagon in reverse of the order they had entered it, with the tail-end of the airliner penetrating the greatest distance into the building.” [GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 17] Navy Lt. Kevin Shaeffer reportedly sees a “chunk of the 757’s nose cone and front landing gear” in the service road between the Pentagon’s B and C Rings. [VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 9/9/2002] Other witnesses say they see a large airplane tire. [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 117-118; GOLDBERG ET AL., 2007, PP. 54] Army Staff Sgt. Mark Williams, whose search and rescue team enters the Pentagon less than four hours after the attack, recalls seeing “the scorched bodies of several airline passengers… still strapped into their seats” inside the building. [USA TODAY, 9/13/2001] Entity Tags: Mark Williams, Kevin Shaeffer, Edward Plaugher, John McWethy, Pentagon Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001: NEADS Calls Toledo Unit, Requests Fighter Jets NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) contacts an Air National Guard unit in Toledo, Ohio, and requests that it launch two fighter jets in response to the attacks. [WTOL, 9/11/2006; LYNN SPENCER, 2008; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 178] First Time that Unit Has Answered a NORAD Request - The 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard is based at Toledo Express Airport. It has 20 F-16 fighter jets and about three dozen pilots. [TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001] Its “primary mission” is “to provide combat ready F-16C and support units capable of deploying worldwide in minimum response time.” [180TH FIGHTER WING, 9/19/2001; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG.), 10/21/2001] The unit is not one of NORAD’s seven alert facilities around the US, and this is believed to be the first time it has ever answered a request for help from NORAD. [AIRMAN, 12/1999; TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001] Call due to Concern over Delta 1989 - According to author Lynn Spencer, a weapons technician at NEADS makes the call to the 180th FW due to concerns about Delta Air Lines Flight 1989, which is incorrectly thought to have been hijacked (see 9:39 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 177-178] NEADS has already contacted units in Minnesota and Michigan about this aircraft (see (Shortly After 9:41 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (9:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/23/2004 ; VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] The weapons technician calls the Toledo unit after Master Sergeant Joe McCain gives an update across the NEADS operations floor: “Delta [19]89! Hard right turn!” According to Spencer, the weapons technician knows the 180th FW is much better positioned than the Selfridge unit’s fighters are to reach Delta 1989. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 178] NORAD Commander Gives Different Explanation - But according to Larry Arnold, the commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region, the weapons technician’s call might also be in response to concerns over Flight 93. Arnold will say that NEADS calls the 180th FW “because we thought [Flight] 93 or Delta Flight 1989 might be headed toward Chicago.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 71] Two Toledo pilots who initially answer the call from NEADS appear to believe the call is a joke, but their wing commander then picks up the line and responds appropriately (see 10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 178-179] Unit Prepared for Crisis Like This - Although it is not one of NORAD’s alert facilities, Lt. Col. Gary Chudzinski, a former commander of the 180th FW, will later comment that the Toledo unit has always been aware that it could be alerted to crises such as the current one, “but you just don’t expect it.” According to General Paul Sullivan, who heads all Ohio Air National Guard units, the 180th FW’s pilots practice “air interception,” but a typical mission focuses on either a plane ferrying drugs or enemy fighters approaching America’s coasts. [AIRMAN, 12/1999; TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001] Two 180th FW jets will take off from the Toledo unit at 10:17 a.m. (see 10:17 a.m. September 11, 2001). [TOLEDO BLADE, 12/9/2001; WTOL, 9/11/2006] Entity Tags: Gary Chudzinski, Joe McCain, Larry Arnold, 180th Fighter Wing, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Paul Sullivan Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Plane Heading for Britain Appears Suspicious, Emits Strange Transponder Signals

Richard Dearlove. [Source: Daily Express] CIA Director George Tenet later recalls that, at some unspecified time during this day, a commercial passenger jet on its way to Britain behaves suspiciously, raising fears that al-Qaeda might have launched a two-continent attack. Aircraft are equipped with a device called a transponder, which transmits information to controllers on the ground, such as the plane’s flight number, altitude and speed. But this plane is emitting all kinds of “squawks,” with its transponder going off and on. Tenet calls Richard Dearlove, his counterpart at the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), to inform him of what is going on. Eventually, according to Tenet, the problem is resolved, and it turns out to have been caused simply by the transponder being faulty. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/17/2001; TENET, 2007, PP. 166] Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, Richard Dearlove Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

10:01 a.m. September 11, 2001: Passenger Andrew Garcia Calls Wife from Flight 93Edit

Dorothy Garcia. [Source: Darryl Bush / San Francisco Chronicle] Andrew Garcia, a passenger on Flight 93, makes a phone call to his wife, Dorothy Garcia, but is quickly cut off and does not call again. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 190-191; DISCOVERY CHANNEL, 2005] Garcia, a 62-year-old businessman from Portola Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area, calls his wife on his cell phone. He is only able to get out one word, her name “Dorothy.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/14/2001; SUN (SUNNYVALE), 9/26/2001; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 12/27/2001] According to Garcia’s son, the line then “got staticky and faded out.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Andrew Garcia, Dorothy Garcia Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(After 10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: United Airlines Tells FAA Flight 93 Is over Maryland, Says Military Will Be Informed United Airlines official Sandy Rogers calls Ellen King at the FAA’s Command Center to discuss Flight 93. The timing of the call is not known specifically, although it appears to be after the Pentagon was hit and could not be long after Flight 93 is thought to have crashed, which is shortly after 10:00 a.m. (see (10:03 a.m.-10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Rogers tells King that Flight 93 has been hijacked, and King responds, “Oh God… thank you,” indicating she was previously unaware of the hijacking. However, the FAA had been aware of the situation since a few minutes after the hijacking took place (see (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:34 a.m. September 11, 2001). Rogers also says: “It’s over Hagerstown now and you’re not aware of it. It’s heading toward Washington, DC, and we are under a threat of a hijacking on board and this flight is out of our control now heading toward Washington, DC.” Rogers states that United Airlines is “advising the military” about the plane and King also says that the FAA will do the same. [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 37-39 ] However, there are no other reports of Flight 93 ever being over Hagerstown, which is in Maryland. Flight 93 is said to crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and is thought never to reach Maryland. There will be some—apparently mistaken—reports that the plane is still airborne after it is thought to have crashed (see (Between 10:10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 10:10 a.m.-10:11 a.m. September 11, 2001), and this may be another such report. Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Ellen King, United Airlines, Sandy Rogers Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

10:02 a.m. September 11, 2001: Cockpit Voice Recording Ends Early? The cockpit voice recording of Flight 93 was recorded on a 30-minute reel, which means that the tape is continually overwritten and only the final 30 minutes of any flight would be recorded. The government later permits relatives to hear this tape. Apparently, the version of the tape played to the family members begins at 9:31 a.m. and runs for 31 minutes, ending one minute before, according to the government, the plane crashes. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 206-207; CNN, 4/19/2002] The New York Observer comments, “Some of the relatives are keen to find out why, at the peak of this struggle, the tape suddenly stops recording voices and all that is heard in the last 60 seconds or so is engine noise. Had the tape been tampered with?” [NEW YORK OBSERVER, 6/20/2004] Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

10:02 a.m. September 11, 2001: 9/11 Commission Later Details the Moments before Flight 93 Crash According to the 9/11 Commission, a Flight 93 hijacker says, “Pull it down! Pull it down!” The airplane rolls onto its back as one of the hijackers shouts, “Allah o akbar! Allah o akbar!” The commission comments, “The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them.” Presumably the plane crashes seconds later. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 7/23/2004] However, there are questions as to whether the voice recording actually ends at this time. Furthermore, there is a near complete disconnect between these quotes and the quotes given in previous accounts of what the cockpit recording revealed (see (9:57 a.m. and After) September 11, 2001). For instance, in other accounts, passenger voices saying, “Give it to me!,” “I’m injured,” and “Roll it up” or “Lift it up” are heard just before the recording ends. [OBSERVER, 12/2/2001; NEWSWEEK, 12/3/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 270-271; MSNBC, 7/30/2002; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/31/2002] Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

10:02 a.m. September 11, 2001: Secret Service Warns Vice President Cheney that Hijackers Are Headed Toward Washington Vice President Cheney and other leaders now in the White House bunker begin receiving reports from the Secret Service of a presumably hijacked aircraft heading toward Washington. The Secret Service is getting this information about Flight 93 through links to the FAA. However, they are looking at a projected path, not an actual radar return, so they do not realize that the plane crashes minutes later. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Dick Cheney

(Before 10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Witnesses See Flight 93 Rocking Wings as It Slowly Descends In the tiny town of Boswell, about ten miles north and slightly to the west of Flight 93’s crash site, Rodney Peterson and Brandon Leventry notice a passenger jet lumbering through the sky at about 2,000 feet. They realize such a big plane flying so low in that area is odd. They see the plane dip its wings sharply to the left, then to the right. The wings level off and the plane keeps flying south, continuing to descend slowly. Five minutes later, they hear news that the plane has crashed. Other witnesses also later describe the plane flying east-southeast, low, and wobbly. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/14/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 205-206] “Officials initially say that it looks like the plane was headed south when it hit the ground.” [NEWS CHANNEL 5 (CLEVELAND), 9/11/2001] Entity Tags: Brandon Leventry, Rodney Peterson Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

10:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: FBI/CIA Anti-Terrorist Task Force Away From Washington on Training Exercise in California NBC News reports that the FBI has been “operating a massive exercise from their hostage rescue unit. All of their top teams, about 50 personnel, helicopters, equipment, [have been] in Monterey, California for the last two days, scheduled to fly back today commercially. So all of those people are out of place.” [NBC 4, 9/11/2001] USA Today later adds that the day’s attacks are “so unexpected that a joint FBI/CIA anti-terrorist task force that specifically prepared for this type of disaster was on a training exercise in Monterey, Calif. As of late Tuesday, with airports closed around the country, the task force still hadn’t found a way to fly back to Washington.” [USA TODAY, 9/11/2001] NBC News concludes, “It’s fair to say, according to sources that we’ve talked to here at NBC, that the FBI rescue operations and other FBI operations are really in chaos right now, because they can’t reach their officials in New York, all of their phone lines are down. And now you’ve got all of their special experts on this stuck in Monterey, California.… So they are seriously out of pocket, and there is a real breakdown of the FBI anti-terror coordination team, which is of course the principal team that would lead any effort.” [NBC 4, 9/11/2001] The US politics website evote.com similarly concludes, “[J]ust as the worst terrorist act was being committed on American lives and property, the chief federal agency responsible for preventing such crimes was being AWOL.” [EVOTE [.COM], 9/11/2001] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Training Exercises

10:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: NMCC Learns of Flight 93 Hijacking, NORAD Still Not Told Edit

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Key Day of 9/11 Events

(10:03 a.m.-10:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Crashes; Seven-Minute Discrepancy on Exact Timing of Crash Exactly when Flight 93 crashes remains unclear. According to NORAD, Flight 93 crashes at 10:03 a.m. [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001] The 9/11 Commission gives an exact time of 11 seconds after 10:03 a.m. It will claim this “time is supported by evidence from the staff’s radar analysis, the flight data recorder, NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] analysis, and infrared satellite data.” It does note that “[t]he precise crash time has been the subject of some dispute.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] However, a seismic study authorized by the US Army and drafted by scientists Won-Young Kim and Gerald Baum to determine when the plane crashed will conclude that the crash happened at 10:06:05 a.m. [KIM AND BAUM, 2002 ; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 12/9/2002] The discrepancy is so puzzling that the Philadelphia Daily News will publish an article on the issue, titled “Three-Minute Discrepancy in Tape.” This notes that leading seismologists agree on the 10:06 a.m. time, give or take a couple of seconds. [PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/16/2002] The New York Observer will note that, in addition to the seismology study, “The FAA gives a crash time of 10:07 a.m. In addition, the New York Times, drawing on flight controllers in more than one FAA facility, put the time at 10:10 a.m. Up to a seven-minute discrepancy? In terms of an air disaster, seven minutes is close to an eternity. The way our nation has historically treated any airline tragedy is to pair up recordings from the cockpit and air traffic control and parse the timeline down to the hundredths of a second. However, as [former Inspector General of the Transportation Department] Mary Schiavo points out, ‘We don’t have an NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) investigation here, and they ordinarily dissect the timeline to the thousandth of a second.’” [NEW YORK OBSERVER, 2/15/2004] Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Mary Schiavo, 9/11 Commission, Won-Young Kim, Gerald R. Baum, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Just Before 10:06 a.m. September 11, 2001: Locals Hear a Missile Before Flight 93 Crashes? Several local people believe they hear a missile overhead just before Flight 93 goes down. Barry Lichty, a US Navy veteran and mayor of Indian Lake Borough (just to the east of where Flight 93 crashes), is watching television with his wife. He says he hears “a loud roar above the house that sounded like a missile.… Shortly thereafter, we heard an explosion and a tremor. My first reaction, as a former utility employee, was that maybe someone shot a missile into the substation.” He says Flight 93 “did not come over my house. I don’t know what we heard.” [KASHURBA, 2002, PP. 158-159] Joe Wilt, who lives a quarter-mile from the crash site, hears a “whistling like a missile, then a loud boom.” He says, “The first thing I thought it was, was a missile.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/12/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001] And Ernie Stuhl, the mayor of Shanksville, later says, “I know of two people - I will not mention names - that heard a missile. They both live very close, within a couple of hundred yards.… This one fellow’s served in Vietnam and he says he’s heard them, and he heard one that day.” [PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 11/18/2001] Officials will emphatically deny that Flight 93 was shot down, as some people later suggest (see September 14, 2001). [PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/14/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 264] However, a number of witnesses report seeing a small, white jet plane near the crash site, around the time Flight 93 reportedly goes down (see (Before and After 10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Barry Lichty, Joe Wilt Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

10:05Edit

Main article: September 11 10:05-10:10

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