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Main article: September 11

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

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Atlantic City Non-Alert Military Unit Goes to Wartime Posture Edit

The 177th Fighter Wing, a military unit based at the Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey, raises its threat protection level to a wartime posture, and, though it is no longer part of NORAD’s alert mission, starts preparing to launch its aircraft with live missiles. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 120-122]

Commander Orders Increased Threat Condition - Lt. Col. Brian Webster, who is the acting wing commander for the 177th Fighter Wing, was at home when he learned of the attacks on the World Trade Center. After watching the second attack live on television, he rushes out to drive to the base. Webster calls the command post there on his cell phone and gives the order, “Raise the base’s threat protection level to Charlie!” Threatcon Charlie is a wartime posture, and will mean various security measures are activated in preparation for a possible attack. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 120-121]

Command Post Brought Online - For many years, up to 1998 (see May 19, 1997), the 177th FW was part of NORAD’s alert force. It kept two fully armed F-16s on constant alert, and was responsible for providing air sovereignty of the mid-Atlantic, between Long Island, New York, and the Virginia Capes. [NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS, 1999 ; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 10/29/2001; BERGEN RECORD, 12/5/2003] But since the unit was removed from the NORAD alert mission, its command post has been used just once a month for training. It is now coming to life, though, as personnel switch on the lights, and turn on computers and monitors. The workers increase their pace after hearing an announcement about the transition to Threatcon Charlie. A master sergeant busily calls members of staff and orders them to report to base.

Webster Wants Live Missiles on Aircraft - When Webster arrives, he instructs the operations support flight commander to replace practice missiles and munitions on the unit’s fighter jets with live ones. The missiles are not stored by the aircraft, so this will take some time. Webster also orders, “Get me authenticators.” An authenticator is a piece of paper given to pilots with a code in a series of letters on it, and which is only valid for a 24-hour period. If a pilot receives an order to fire, he must ask for an authentication code. If this doesn’t match the code on his authenticator, he cannot legally comply with the order. NORAD’s alert sites receive authenticators each month, but as it is no longer part of the alert mission, Atlantic City has none.

Weapons Chief Uncertain - According to author Lynn Spencer, Webster’s orders are unprecedented at a non-alert fighter wing of the Air National Guard. “Air National Guard jets don’t simply fly around the United States with live missiles. Guardsmen train to fight wars overseas, not to fly armed combat over the United States.” The weapons chief with the 177th FW is unenthusiastic, and asks to have a word with Webster. But Webster tells him abruptly, “Just do it!” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 121-122] Within two hours, the first fighters will take off from the Atlantic City unit. These had been preparing for a training mission at the time of the attacks in New York (see (Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CODE ONE MAGAZINE, 10/2002]

(Between 9:10 a.m. and 9:23 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS Wants Third Jet Launched from Langley, Meaning Unit Will Have No Supervisor of FlyingEdit

The operations manager,Craig Borgstrom, with the unit at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, that is involved in NORAD’s air defense mission is instructed to prepare to launch three F-16s from the base, even though the unit only keeps two such jets on “alert.” [1][CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 4/16/2002; [2]

Captain Craig Borgstrom is the operations manager of a detachment at Langley from the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Fighter Wing. In the event of an order to scramble the unit’s two alert F-16s, he would serve as the supervisor of flying (SOF), responsible for informing the pilots about their mission. [3] The unit has just received the signal to put its alert jets on “battle stations,” with the pilots in the cockpits but the engines turned off [see 1].[4] [5]

After briefing one of the two alert pilots, Borgstrom is called by the crew chief to answer a phone call from someone at NEADS who wants to speak to him. In an urgent voice, the caller asks Borgstrom, “How many airplanes can you get airborne?” Borgstrom answers, “I have two F-16s at battle stations right now,” but the caller snaps: “That’s not what I asked! How many total aircraft can you launch?” Although Borgstrom is not on alert duty, he is an F-16 pilot. He responds: “Well, the only other pilot here is me—I can fly. I can give you three!” The caller instructs him: “Suit up and go fly! We need all of you at battle stations!” [6][LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 65; CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 4/16/2002; [2]

According to Lynn Spencer, this order

“is almost unthinkable. If [Borgstrom] goes up, there will be no supervisor of flying. During a scramble, it is the SOF’s responsibility to monitor the jets—to work with local controllers to ensure priority handling and to make sure that the pilots are receiving lawful launch orders. The SOF stays in close communication with NEADS to get any and all information about the mission to pass on to his pilots, and assesses weather, airfield status, and spare alert aircraft status in case of an abort by one of the primary fighters. If Borgy flies, there not only will be no SOF, there will be no officer left at the detachment!”


Borgstrom heads out to inform others of the instruction. He speaks to one of the alert pilots, Major Dean Eckmann, telling him, “They want us to launch all planes and all pilots if we get scrambled!” According to Spencer, this request “doesn’t make any sense to Eckmann,” and his initial response is ”What?” But “he’s a military officer and he’ll follow orders,” and points Borgstrom to the unit’s third F-16, which is not kept on alert and is therefore unarmed. Borgstrom instructs the crew chief to arm the fighter’s gun; this will be the only ammunition he has when he takes off.

After fetching his harness and helmet, he places a phone call to the commander of the 119th Fighter Wing, at the wing’s home in Fargo, North Dakota. Borgstrom is uncomfortable with the unprecedented situation he is in and feels compelled to notify his immediate higher-ups. He tells the commander: “Sir, they’re launching all three of us. I don’t know what’s going on, but there’s no ops supervision here at all!” The commander knows what has happened in New York from news reports, and so is aware of the situation. He tells Borgstrom: “Go! Our thoughts are with you. Godspeed.” Borgstrom then hangs up the phone and runs to his jet. [7]The three Langley jets will receive a scramble order at 9:24 a.m. [see 2] and are airborne by 9:30 a.m. [see 3].[8]

Between 9:10 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. September 11, 2001: United Airlines Dispatch Manager Speaks with Counterpart at American Airlines; Suspects Second Crash Was Flight 175Edit

The United Airlines dispatch operations manager speaks with the American Airlines dispatch operations manager, and they discuss the two plane crashes in New York. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25 ] Mike Barber, the United dispatch manager, is at the airline’s System Operations Control (SOC) center, just outside Chicago, while Craig Parfitt, the American dispatch manager, is at that airline’s SOC center in Fort Worth, Texas. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001] At 9:10, United Airlines is aware a second aircraft has hit the World Trade Center, but it does not realize this is one of its own flights. During their call, Parfitt says to Barber he believes both the aircraft that hit the WTC belonged to American Airlines. (At 9:08 a.m., officials at American Airlines’ SOC mistakenly concluded the second aircraft to hit the WTC might have been Flight 77 (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001).) But Barber says he is increasingly “confident” that the second plane was United Airlines Flight 175. “In slow motion and enlarged images of the second impact on CNN, he could see that the airplane did not have the shiny metallic color of American jets.” By 9:20, according to the 9/11 Commission, although Barber believes the second crashed plane was Flight 175, the identity of this aircraft is “still unconfirmed.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 25-26 ] Entity Tags: Craig Parfitt, Mike Barber Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

9:10 a.m. September 11, 2001: Port Authority Tells La Guardia Airport WTC Crashes Are Criminal Acts Edit

According to released transcripts, a caller from the Port Authority police desk tells a La Guardia Airport control tower employee that, “they are considering [the crashes into the WTC] a criminal act.” The control tower employee replies, “We believe that, and we are holding all aircraft on the ground.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/29/2003] La Guardia is one of two major New York City airports, and the Port Authority patrol both the WTC and the city’s airports. Entity Tags: La Guardia Airport, New York Port Authority Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events


(Between 9:10 a.m. and 9:22 a.m.) September 11, 2001: United Airlines Operations Center Sends Message to Flight 93 Co-Pilot, Receives No ReplyEdit

Melodie Homer. [Source: Jim Varhegyi] The United Airlines Operations Center at JFK Airport in New York sends a text message to LeRoy Homer, the co-pilot of Flight 93, but receives no response from him. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 37 ] At 9:10, Melodie Homer, the wife of LeRoy Homer, contacts the operations center after seeing the second plane hitting the World Trade Center on television. Knowing her husband is flying, she requests that a message be sent to him, stating, “Your wife just wants to make sure you’re okay.” [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/19/2001; LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 78; NEW YORK OBSERVER, 2/15/2004; DISCOVERY CHANNEL, 2005] Melodie is told, “If you want to hang on, we’ll get a message back in a couple of minutes.” According to journalist and author Jere Longman, after no response is received, a second text message is sent. Although Melodie Homer’s message is later determined to have been received by the flight, there is still no reply. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 81-82] However, the 9/11 Commission will only describe one message—not two—being sent to Homer, which it says happens at 9:22. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 456; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 37 ] The hijacking of Flight 93 is believed to take place at 9:28 (see (9:28 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 11] A text message sent by an airline dispatcher to Flight 93’s pilot Jason Dahl shortly before the hijacking will receive a response from him three minutes later (see 9:23 a.m.-9:26 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 37-38 ]

(Between 9:10 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: South Tower Employee Sees No Inferno on 78th Floor Edit

Brian Clark, the executive vice president of brokerage firm Euro Brokers Wikipedia, was on the 84th floor of the South Tower, where his firm’s offices are, when Flight 175 crashed into it. He had headed out, going down Stairway A, which is the only staircase in the tower that remains intact from top to bottom, and was soon joined by Stanley Praimnath, who also works in the South Tower. They reach a point that Clark later guesses to have been around the 77th or 78th floor, where the stairway walls are cracked, allowing them to look through. This would be around the lower end of the floors where the plane impacted. However, Clark sees no large fire. He later says,

“[Y]ou could look through the cracks and see flames. They were just quietly licking up, not a roaring inferno. And there was some smoke there, but again I think the stairs were pressurized, pushing the air out so we had less smoke in the stairway than you might imagine.”
[9]


This apparently contradicts later claims that the tower was subjected to “extreme fires” prior to its collapse. [10]

Firefighter Orio Palmer Wikipedia will make it up to this level of the tower later on, and also report only finding small fires there [see 4]. Clark and Praimnath continue down the stairs and make it out just minutes before the collapse. They are two of only four people who were at or above the impact zone after Flight 175 hit, who are able to escape from the South Tower. [11] A further 14 people are able to get out of the building from its 78th floor, which is the lower part of the crash zone. [12]

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Vice President Cheney Apparently Goes to White House Bunker; Other Accounts Have Him Moving Locations LaterEdit

According to counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke and others, Vice President Dick Cheney goes from his White House office to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), a bunker below the East Wing of the White House, at about this time. There is no video link between response centers in the East and West Wings, but a secure telephone line is used instead. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002; CLARKE, 2004, PP. 3-4] Cheney Leaves Office 'Just after 9 a.m.' - One eyewitness, David Bohrer, a White House photographer, will say Cheney leaves for the PEOC just after 9:00 a.m. [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] White House adviser Karl Rove, who is with the president in Florida, will appear to corroborate this account, later telling NBC News that when Bush tries phoning Cheney at around 9:16 a.m., he is unable to contact him because “the vice president was being… grabbed by a Secret Service agent and moved to the bunker” (see (9:16 a.m.-9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] And Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta will say that when he arrives at the PEOC, at around 9:20-9:27, Cheney is already there (see (Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; ACADEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT, 6/3/2006]

Cheney Leaves Office 'Just before 9:36' - However, there is a second account claiming that Cheney does not leave his office until sometime after 9:30 a.m. (The 9/11 Commission will say he is evacuated “just before 9:36.”) In this account, Secret Service agents burst into Cheney’s office. They carry him under his arms—nearly lifting him off the ground—and propel him down the steps into the White House basement and through a long tunnel toward the underground bunker. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001; NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; BBC, 9/1/2002; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] According to journalist and author Stephen Hayes, it takes “Less than a minute” for the Secret Service agents to escort Cheney from his office down to the secure tunnel leading to the PEOC. [HAYES, 2007, PP. 335] Although its specifications are highly classified, two sources will tell journalist and author Barton Gellman that the PEOC is located two floors below ground. [GELLMAN, 2008, PP. 420]

Arrives at PEOC 'Shortly before 10:00' - Despite admitting that there “is conflicting evidence about when the vice president arrived” in the PEOC, the 9/11 Commission will conclude that the “vice president arrived in the room shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 40] In addition to the eyewitness accounts of Clarke, Mineta, and Bohrer, several accounts will claim that Cheney is in the bunker when he is told Flight 77 is 50 miles away from Washington, at about 9:26 a.m. (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001). This further supports the claims of Cheney going to the PEOC earlier on, rather than after 9:30.

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

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(Between 9:10 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Wife Unable to Contact Flight 93 Passenger Tom Burnett on His Cell Phone Edit

At her home in San Ramon, California, Deena Burnett has seen the television coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Her husband, Tom Burnett, is due home from a business trip to New York later in the day. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 106] However, he has switched from his original flight to the earlier Flight 93, and has not called ahead to notify her of this. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 9/17/2001] Deena is expecting Tom to head home some time later this morning, but, concerned in case he finished his business early and took an earlier flight, she tries calling his cell phone. He does not answer. She later recalls, “This was not cause for immediate concern, because if he was on a flight already, use of cell phones was forbidden.” [BURNETT AND GIOMBETTI, 2006, PP. 60-61] Minutes later, though, he makes the first in a series of calls to her from Flight 93, apparently using his cell phone (see 9:27 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/11/2001 ] Entity Tags: Tom Burnett, Deena Burnett Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Washington Flight Control Sees Unidentified Plane, Apparently Fails to Notify FAA or NORADEdit

Washington flight control notices a new eastbound plane entering its radar with no radio contact and no transponder identification. They do not realize it is Flight 77. They are aware of the hijackings and crashes of Flights 11 and 175, yet they apparently fail to notify anyone about the unidentified plane. [NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Another report says they never notice it, and it is only noticed when it enters radar coverage of Washington’s Dulles International Airport at 9:24 a.m. (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 11/3/2001] Entity Tags: North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Richard Clarke Directs Crisis Response through Video Conference with Top Officials Edit

in a template Around this time, according to his own account, Richard Clarke reaches the Secure Video Conferencing Center just off the main floor of the Situation Room in the West Wing of the White House. From there, he directs the response to the 9/11 attacks and stays in contact with other top officials through video links. Clarke claims that on video he can see Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Wikipedia Director George Tenet, FBI Wikipedia Director Robert Mueller, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson Wikipedia (filling in for the traveling Attorney General John Ashcroft Wikipedia), Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage Wikipedia (filling in for the traveling Secretary of State Colin Powell), and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers (filling in for the traveling Chairman Henry Shelton Wikipedia).

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is with Clarke, but she lets him run the crisis response, deferring to his longer experience on terrorism matters. Clarke is also told by an aide, “We’re on the line with NORAD Wikipedia, on an air threat conference call.” [13][14]

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, logs indicate that Clarke’s video teleconference only begins at 9:25 a.m. [see 5], which is later than Clarke suggests, and CIA Wikipedia and FAA representatives only join it at 9:40 a.m. [15]

Other accounts claim that, rather than being involved in Clarke’s teleconference at this time, Donald Rumsfeld is still in his office waiting for his intelligence briefing [see 6], and Richard Myers is in a meeting on Capitol Hill [see 7].[16][17]

The 9/11 Commission claims that, “While important,” Clarke’s conference has “no immediate effect on the emergency defense efforts.” [18] Yet, as the Washington Post puts it, “everyone seems to agree” Clarke is the chief crisis manager on 9/11.[19] Even Clarke’s later opponent, National Security Adviser Rice, calls him 9/11’s “crisis management guy.” [20]The conference is where the government’s emergency defense efforts are concentrated.

Soon After 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001: Mistaken Report of Flight 77 Crash Causes Confusion Edit

When Indianapolis flight control reported the loss of contact with Flight 77 to the FAA’s Great Lakes Regional Operations Center (see 9:09 a.m. September 11, 2001), an employee at an FAA flight service station (which particular one is unspecified) picks up on the communication and mistakenly calls the Ashland, Kentucky police to report a confirmed crash. Indianapolis controllers had noted the last known position of Flight 77 as being near the Ohio-Kentucky border, so this becomes part of the employee’s report. Indianapolis Center personnel, suspecting that Flight 77 may have crashed, subsequently contact the same police office, requesting information on any crashes. (An FAA report describes them contacting the West Virginia State Police at about 9:15 a.m. Ashland, though in Kentucky, is only a few miles out of West Virginia, so this may be referring the same incident.) Using the flight service station report as an actual accident, the police mistakenly confirm the crash, even though it never actually happened. A state helicopter is even dispatched to the plane’s last known coordinates, but there is nothing there. Time is lost in all the confusion. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; FRENI, 2003, PP. 29] It is not until about 9:20 a.m., when Indianapolis Center learns there are other hijacked aircraft in the system (see (9:20 a.m.-9:21 a.m.) September 11, 2001), that it will start to doubt its initial assumption that Flight 77 crashed. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 32 ] However, the report of a downed plane persists. Shortly before 10 a.m., Dale Watson, counterterrorism chief at the FBI, will say to counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke over a video teleconference, “We have a report of a large jet crashed in Kentucky, near the Ohio line.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 13] According to USA Today, “The reports are so serious that [FAA Administrator Jane] Garvey notifies the White House that there has been another crash. Only later does she learn the reports are erroneous.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Entity Tags: Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

9:11 a.m. September 11, 2001: Global Guardian Military Exercise Paused, but Apparently Not Yet Terminated The US Strategic Command (Stratcom) orders that its Global Guardian exercise be put on pause at this time, according to a 2006 article in The Bombardier, the newspaper for Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. [BOMBARDIER, 9/8/2006 ] Global Guardian is an annual exercise sponsored by Stratcom, which has its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The exercise tests Stratcom’s ability to fight a nuclear war (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 4/27/2005] Many aircraft and personnel at Barksdale, as well as other military bases, are involved in it (see 8:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). [TIMES-PICAYUNE, 9/8/2002] Global Guardian will be formally terminated at 10:44 a.m., according to The Bombardier (see (10:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001), although other reports will say it is canceled earlier on, possibly after the second World Trade Center tower is hit at 9:03 a.m. [OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 2/27/2002; OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 9/8/2002; BOMBARDIER, 9/8/2006 ] Entity Tags: Global Guardian, US Strategic Command Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Training Exercises

(9:12 a.m.-11:57 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS and NORAD Experiencing Communications Problems Tape recordings of the operations floor at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) in Rome, New York indicate that both NEADS and NORAD are experiencing significant problems communicating with other agencies:

At 9:12 a.m., a member of staff at NEADS tells another military agency over the phone: “We’re trying to reach the military coordinator. We’re having a difficult time.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001] 
At 9:22 a.m., a women at NEADS calls what is apparently an American Airlines office in New York, to ask about a report NEADS has received that Flight 11 is still airborne and headed towards Washington (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001). After being given a phone number she needs to call for more information, the woman at NEADS replies: “[D]o me a favor and have them call us? We cannot call out for some reason.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001] 
At around 10:31 a.m., someone from the 1st Fighter Wing, which is the host unit at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, calls NEADS. During the conversation, they mention, “I tried to get a hold of NORAD… and their lines are all busy.” NEADS replies, “Yeah, I can believe it,” and adds, “Right now the circuits are so busy.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001] 
Around 11:50 a.m., someone with the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing is on the phone to NEADS. They mention, “We’re having a tough time getting hold of you guys.” NEADS responds, “We’re having problems with our phone lines as well.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001] 
At 11:57 a.m., a member of staff at NEADS complains: “They turned off all the goddamned lines to the outside.… No, local. So you can’t make outside phone calls.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001]

Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector, North American Aerospace Defense Command Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS Takes Control of New York Airspace NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) declares “AFIO” (Authorization for Interceptor Operations) for New York airspace, which gives the military authority over the FAA for that airspace, and will enable the fighter jets launched from Otis Air National Guard Base in response to Flight 11 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001) to head toward the city. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] For the last few minutes, the two Otis fighters have been kept in a “holding pattern” in military airspace over the Atlantic Ocean (see 9:09 a.m.-9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001), and NEADS has been unable to get permission from the FAA for them to enter the civilian airspace over New York. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 111-112] Marr Wants AFIO - According to author Lynn Spencer, Colonel Robert Marr, the NEADS battle commander, now “decides that he is done waiting for FAA approval for his fighters to enter New York airspace.… He will play his ace card. There is one method for the military to override the FAA’s authority over the airspace, and it is called AFIO.” The declaration of AFIO will give the military “emergency authority to enter FAA-controlled airspace without permission.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] According to an FAA document, “Upon declaring ‘AFIO,’ NORAD assumes responsibility for [interceptor fighter jets] seeing and avoiding all known aircraft and ensuring safe intercept conduct.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 2/19/2004, PP. 4-12-1 - 4-12-2] Nasypany Directed to Declare AFIO - Marr, who is in the NEADS battle cab, speaks over a direct phone line to Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS mission crew commander, who is on the operations floor there. He orders him to declare AFIO for New York airspace and to immediately move the Otis fighters over the city. Nasypany then calls out across the operations floor to the weapons team, “Okay, we’re declaring AFIO at this time.” The directive is relayed immediately to the two Otis pilots, who will then leave their holding pattern and head toward Manhattan (see 9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Robert Marr, Kevin Nasypany Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight 77 Attendant Calls Parents and Confirms Hijacking, but Accounts Are Contradictory

Renee May. [Source: Family photo] Renee May, a flight attendant on Flight 77, calls her parents in Las Vegas and reports her plane has been hijacked. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] According to author Tom Murphy, May previously tried calling the American Airlines flight services office at Washington’s Reagan National Airport, but all the lines there were busy. [MURPHY, 2006, PP. 56-57] However, a summary of the phone calls made from the four hijacked planes that is presented at the 2006 Zacarias Moussaoui trial will make no mention of this earlier call. May’s first attempt at calling her parents, at 9:11 a.m., had not connected, but her second attempt a minute later is successful, and the call lasts for two-and-a-half minutes. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] According to reports shortly after 9/11 in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, May makes her call using a cell phone. [LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/13/2001; LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/15/2001] But at the Moussaoui trial it will be claimed she uses an Airfone. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 7 ] According to most accounts, including that of the 9/11 Commission, she speaks to her mother, Nancy May. [LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/13/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 7 ] But according to Murphy, she speaks with her father, Ronald May. [MURPHY, 2006, PP. 57] Renee reports that her plane is being hijacked. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 ] Although it will be officially claimed that there are five hijackers on Flight 77, she says six individuals have taken over the plane (see Between 9:12 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/27/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 2-3 AND 9] Renee says the hijackers have moved people to the rear of the aircraft, though it is unclear whether she is referring to all of the passengers or just the flight’s crew. She tells her parent (either her mother or father, depending on the account) to call American Airlines and inform it of the hijacking. She gives three numbers in Northern Virginia to call. Before the time Flight 77 crashes, Renee May’s mother (or her father, according to Murphy) is able to contact an American Airlines employee at Reagan National Airport and pass on what their daughter has reported (see (Between 9:15 a.m. and 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 ; MURPHY, 2006, PP. 57] Entity Tags: Ronald May, Nancy May, Renee May Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001: Port Authority Asks New York Airports about Hijacked Planes, Airports Know Little A Port Authority police officer calls a flight controller at La Guardia Airport in New York City. The officer asks, “They are inquiring whether or not you can call Kennedy’s tower, because they can’t get through, and inquire whether or not they had any contact with these aircrafts.” The flight controller responds, “At this time, we do not think that anyone in the FAA had any contact with them.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/30/2003] “Kennedy” is a reference to John F. Kennedy Airport, another major airport in New York City. Port Authority police, who patrol both the WTC and the airports, seek information from the controllers about the hijackers. However, the controllers are unable to offer any news. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/30/2003] Entity Tags: La Guardia Airport, Federal Aviation Administration, New York Port Authority, John F. Kennedy Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001: Otis Jets Leave Holding Pattern and Head for New York The two F-15s launched from Otis Air National Guard Base in response to Flight 11 finally exit their “holding pattern” off the Long Island coast, and fly directly toward New York. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 26 ] According to the 9/11 Commission, the two fighters had been sent to the military-controlled airspace over the Atlantic Ocean because they lacked a target, and so have been flying in this area for the last few minutes (see 9:09 a.m.-9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001). They are currently about 115 miles from the city. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20 AND 24] Visibility is extremely clear and Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy, one of the two Otis pilots, will later recall that he can see the World Trade Center towers burning in the distance. He has just called NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and asked: “What do you want me to do next? What do you need from me right this second?” [CAPE COD TIMES, 8/21/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 63] NEADS Takes Control of Airspace - At NEADS, battle commander Colonel Robert Marr had lost patience waiting for approval from the FAA to send the Otis jets to New York, and so has just declared “AFIO” (Authorization for Interceptor Operations) for New York airspace, which gives the military authority to enter that airspace without permission (see (9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113] Therefore, a couple of minutes after Duffy made his inquiry, NEADS weapons controller Major Steve Hedrick gets back to him to relay the AFIO directive. Hedrick instructs Duffy: “Proceed direct to Manhattan and set up combat air patrol. NORAD has taken over control of the airspace.” Duffy confirms, “Okay, got that.” Fighters Request Lower Altitude Clearance - Duffy, who is currently flying at 20,000 feet, immediately requests clearance from the FAA to fly at lower altitude. He calls its New York Center and identifies himself with his military call sign, saying, “Panta 4-5 needs to go direct to New York City and I need lower [altitude]… right now.” The controller gives him a heading and clears him to descend to 18,000 feet. After the two Otis jets exit military airspace at 9:13, they descend to 18,000 feet and Duffy asks the New York Center controller again for lower altitude clearance. He is given permission to descend to 16,000 feet, and upon further requests is allowed to go down to 11,000 feet. Finally, Duffy insists, “Guys, I need all the way to the surface!” and the controller replies: “Roger. Panta 4-5 is clear all altitudes.” “They just gave us the airspace,” Duffy will later recall. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 63; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 113-114] Conflicting Times - According to the 9/11 Commission, the two Otis fighters will arrive over Manhattan at 9:25 (see 9:25 a.m. September 11, 2001), but numerous witnesses on the ground there will later recall only noticing fighters overhead after 10:00 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 24] Entity Tags: Daniel Nash, New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Northeast Air Defense Sector, Timothy Duffy, Steve Hedrick Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

Between 9:12 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight Attendant Describes Six Hijackers on Flight 77 In a phone call from Flight 77, flight attendant Renee May describes six hijackers on her plane, yet official accounts will state there are only five. May is able to call her parents from Flight 77 to report that her plane has been hijacked (see (9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001). She says six individuals have carried out the hijacking. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 ] Yet, despite this, the official claim put forward by the FBI and later the 9/11 Commission will be that there are five hijackers—not six—on this flight. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/27/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 27 ] Apparently, the only other person to make a phone call from Flight 77 is passenger Barbara Olson, who reaches her husband (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CNN, 9/12/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004 ] But Olson does not appear to make any reference to the number of hijackers on the plane. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/11/2001 ; CNN, 9/14/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9] Entity Tags: Ronald May, Renee May, Nancy May Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

9:13 a.m. September 11, 2001: Jet Fuel in South Tower Burns Up Edit

The jet fuel that spilled from Flight 175 when it hit the South Tower (see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001) has mostly burned up by this time. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which later investigates the collapses, will say the “initial jet fuel fires themselves lasted at most a few minutes.” [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 183 ] Engineering professor Forman Williams will say the jet fuel “burned for maybe 10 minutes.” [POPULAR MECHANICS, 3/2005] Flight 175, a Boeing 767, had a capacity of 23,980 gallons, but was only carrying about 9,100 gallons of fuel when it hit the WTC. NIST will estimate that less than 1,500 gallons were consumed in a fireball inside the tower and 910 to 2,275 gallons were consumed in the fireballs outside the building. Approximately 6,100 gallons therefore splashed onto the office furnishings and started fires on various floors. However, after the jet fuel is used up, office fires burn until the building collapses. NIST will calculate that there were about four pounds per square foot of combustibles in the office space, or about 60 tons per floor. Offices in the WTC actually had fewer combustibles than other similar spaces due to the small number of interior walls and limited bookshelf space. NIST will later find that only three of sixteen perimeter columns it recovers reached a temperature of 250°C and neither of the two core columns it retrieves reached this temperature. NIST will also find that none of the samples it acquires reached a temperature above 600°C (see August 27, 2003). While steel does not melt until its temperature is about 1,600°C, it may begin to lose significant strength at over 500°C. [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 29, 38, 42, 77 ] The jet fuel also burned up in the North Tower about 10 minutes after it was hit (see 8:57 a.m. September 11, 2001). When a group of firefighters reach the bottom impact floor in the South Tower just before collapse, they only find two isolated fires (see 9:52 a.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: World Trade Center, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Forman Williams Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, WTC Investigation, World Trade Center

(Before 9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Arab Private Pilot Keeps Trying to Enter Washington Airspace An air traffic controller at Washington’s Reagan National Airport struggles with an Arab-sounding private pilot who keeps veering into Washington airspace. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 144-145] Reagan National Airport is less than one mile from the Pentagon, and just a few miles from the White House and the Capitol building. [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/3/2001] The airspace around it and much of Washington is designated class B airspace, which means no one is supposed to fly there without a working transponder and permission from an air traffic controller. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001] Eric Cole, a controller in Reagan Airport’s air traffic control tower, is continually being bothered by the pilot, who has an Arab accent and is flying a banner tow airplane. Cole repeatedly directs the pilot, “Go further south!” The pilot replies, “Okay, I’m going further south,” but does not do so. He keeps infringing the Washington airspace and asking to get closer to the city. Banner tow airplanes are almost unheard of in this area, and Cole cannot understand why the pilot is being so persistent, almost argumentative. Finally, Cole yells at him: “No, you’re not going further south! I can see that you’re not going further south!” Shortly after 9:06 a.m., the control tower receives the instruction to secure the airspace around Washington and turn away all non-airliner aircraft (see Shortly After 9:06 a.m. September 11, 2001). The controllers are then able to order the annoying banner tow pilot out of their airspace for good. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 144-145] Entity Tags: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Eric Cole Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Transportation Secretary Mineta Arrives at White House and Is Briefed by Richard ClarkeEdit

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta Wikipedia, who saw the second plane hitting the WTC on television while at the Department of Transportation, had been called to the White House [see 8]. When he arrives there, as he later recalls, he sees “People… coming out of the White House, pouring out of the Executive Office Building, running over towards Lafayette Park Wikipedia.” As he enters the White House, Mineta is told he has to be briefed by Richard Clarke. He goes to the Situation Room where Clarke talks to him for four or five minutes, briefly informing him of what is going on. Clarke instructs him, “You have to get over to the Presidential Emergency Operation Center to be with the vice president.” The Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) is the bunker located below the White House. As Mineta does not know where it is, a Secret Service agent leads him to it. He will arrive there around 9:20-9:27, according to his own recollections [see 9].[21][22]

(9:15 a.m.-9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Otis Air Base Prepares Fighters to Launch, Recalls Jets out on Training MissionEdit

[1]

Following the second attack on the World Trade Center, Otis Air National Guard Base prepares all its available fighter jets to take off, and recalls six of its jets that are out on a training mission. [23] The base has already launched its two F-15s that are kept on alert, in response to the hijacking of Flight 11 [see 10].[24]

Jeff Isch, the weapons supervisor for the 102nd Fighter Wing, which is based at Otis, will later recall, “As soon as that second tower was hit, we all started to scramble to action.” [25] However, author Lynn Spencer indicates that the base does not begin preparing jets to launch until about 10 to 15 minutes later. She will write that the aircraft maintenance squadron officer, whose job is to get aircraft ready for combat, has been awaiting orders since the time of the second crash. Then, “Less than 15 minutes after the second impact into the World Trade Center, the order came.” An officer from the base’s battle cab gives him the instruction, “Listen, I want you to generate as many airframes [i.e. fighter jets] as you can!” Immediately, the aircraft maintenance squadron officer starts directing all available workers to the flight line (the parking and servicing area for aircraft) to prepare the base’s available F-15s for combat. [26] Jeff Isch’s crew hurries to fix the jets with live weapons. Some are fitted with newer missiles that are rarely pulled out. [27]According to Boston Magazine, “Jets undergoing maintenance [are] rushed back into service, fitted out for combat instead of training.” [28]

Six Otis fighters are away on an ordinary training mission and need to be brought back to base immediately. These jets have just arrived in Whiskey 105, which is military training airspace over the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Long Island. It was in fact reportedly to this airspace that the two F-15s launched in response to Flight 11 were directed [see 11]. The six jets receive a call from a civilian air traffic controller at Boston Center. The controller says, “You guys need to get back to base.” Marty Richard, one of the fighter pilots, then radios the Otis squadron operations center, and is instructed, “Get back here as soon as you can.” Richard tells the other pilots, “It sounds like we’re at war,” and they then head back to base. [see 12] Around this time, Sgt McCain, a member of staff at NEADS tells a colleague[who?] that these six jets are being recalled to Otis for “possible use, so we’ve got more aircraft [on] standby.” [29] The jets arrive back at Otis Air Base around 20 minutes later. As they taxi in, the pilots receive an instruction over their radios from squadron commander Lt. Col. Jon Treacy, who tells them, “Cock your jets for alert!” They have never received such an order before. It means that, instead of parking and shutting down their aircraft, they must prepare them to be scrambled from the flight line, with all of the instruments, controls, and switches set ready for immediate takeoff orders. After doing as instructed, the pilots head into the operations building to find out what is happening. They gather around the television in the break room, and stare in amazement at the coverage of the attacks. [see 13] The first F-15s to subsequently take off from Otis will launch some time shortly after 10:20 a.m. [see 14]. [30]

(Between 9:15 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Head Tells Richard Clarke-Led Videoconference that Flight 11 and 175 Were Hijacked Edit

Richard Clarke begins a crisis response video conference by asking FAA Administrator Jane Garvey what she knows. Garvey replies: “The two aircraft that went in [to the WTC] were American flight 11, a 767, and United 175, also a 767. Hijacked.” She says that she has put a hold on all takeoffs and landings in New York and Washington, then states, “We have reports of eleven aircraft off course or out of communications.” Clarke and Garvey discuss the feasibility of canceling all takeoffs nationally, and grounding all planes in the air. Garvey says it is possible, but will take time. [31][CLARKE, 2004, PP. 4-5]

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: American Airlines Orders Its Flights to Land Immediately Edit

American Airlines orders all of its airborne flights to land at the nearest airport. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 ] Managers at the American Airlines System Operations Control (SOC) center in Fort Worth, Texas have learned of the second plane hitting the World Trade Center. Initially, they mistakenly believed this second plane was American Airlines Flight 77 (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). Gerard Arpey, the airline’s executive vice president for operations, conferred with other operational managers, and they all agreed that the airline needed to land its aircraft immediately. American Airlines’ president Don Carty then arrives at the SOC and also agrees, telling Arpey, “Do it.” So, at about 9:15, the airline orders all its planes to land at the nearest suitable airport. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004] This is the first time an airline has ever ordered all its planes to land. [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] The FAA will give out a similar order to all its facilities about 30 minutes later (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 29] Around that time, United Airlines will also order its aircraft to land (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004] American Airlines ordered a ground stop earlier on that prevented any new takeoffs of its aircraft (see Between 9:00 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 30-31 ] Most of its domestic flights will have landed by about 11:50 a.m., though it will take longer to ground its international and trans-Pacific flights. [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004] Entity Tags: Gerard Arpey, American Airlines, Don Carty Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

(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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: American Airlines Increases Security and Activates Crash Teams After American Airlines confirms that two aircraft have hit the World Trade Center, one of its managers calls for the activation of the airline’s crash teams, which are trained to deal with accidents and the families of crash victims. The airline also begins increasing security at its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and other major stations. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 108] American Airlines has not yet confirmed that its Flight 11 was the first plane to hit the WTC (see (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001), but its officials have initially concluded, mistakenly, that the second aircraft to hit the WTC might have been its Flight 77 (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 16 AND 30 ] Entity Tags: American Airlines Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Intelligence Officer Unable to Obtain Information on Crisis

David McNulty. [Source: Air National Guard] An intelligence officer with the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, 10 miles outside Washington, is unable to obtain further information about the attacks from other agencies, and instead has to make do with what he can learn from television reports. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155-156] Having learned of the two attacks in New York, Major David McNulty, the senior intelligence officer of the 113th Wing of the DCANG, checks the SIPRNET—the Department of Defense’s classified version of the Internet—for pertinent information, but apparently without success. He phones anyone he can think of who might be able to provide information, including the Air Combat Command Intelligence Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, the 609th Air Intelligence Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, the FBI field office in Washington, and the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center. Yet, as he will later recall, the agencies have “nothing to report.” Even his call to the FBI is “a fruitless effort.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155-156] McNulty will say, “I even called the National Security Agency 24-hour information desk and they knew nothing more than I did.” He adds, “We were all getting our information from CNN.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79] According to Knight Ridder, “Air defense around Washington, DC, is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews Air Force Base.” [KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/11/2001] However, author Lynn Spencer will claim that because the DCANG “is a general purpose F-16 unit, no one is specifically tasked with keeping the squadron informed.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 156] Entity Tags: Air Combat Command Intelligence Squadron, David McNulty, District of Columbia Air National Guard, 609th Air Intelligence Squadron, National Security Agency, FBI Washington Field Office, Secret Service Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

(Between 9:15 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001: New York City Workers Hear Explosions in WTC 7

Barry Jennings [Source: Public domain] Barry Jennings, a City Housing Authority worker, and Michael Hess, New York’s corporation counsel, hear unexplained explosions inside World Trade Center Building 7, where they become trapped. [UPN 9, 9/11/2001; BBC, 7/6/2008] The two men went up to the emergency command center on the 23rd floor of WTC 7 after the first attack occurred (see (Shortly Before 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; INDEPENDENT, 9/13/2001] At some point, the power goes out in the building. They then start walking down the stairs to get out. According to Hess, when the two men get down to the eighth floor, “there was an explosion and we’ve been trapped on the eighth floor with smoke, thick smoke, all around us, for about an hour and a half.” [UPN 9, 9/11/2001] Jennings will also recall hearing explosions. He will say: “I made it to the sixth floor and there was an explosion. The explosion was beneath me.” [DYLAN AVERY, 2007] He will add, “[T]he staircase that I was standing on just gave way,” and, “Then we made it back to the eighth floor, I heard some more explosions.” [BBC, 7/6/2008] Jennings says to Hess: “This is it; we’re dead. We’re not gonna make it out of here.” [PENN STATE PUBLIC BROADCASTING, 3/1/2002] The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will claim the two men head down the stairs after 9:59, when the first collapse occurs, and then become trapped around the time the second tower collapses, at 10:28. [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 109-110 ] But according to the London Independent, they start heading down the stairs after the second attack at 9:03, which suggests the explosions begin earlier on. [INDEPENDENT, 9/13/2001] Jennings will confirm this, saying that when he hears the first explosion, “Both [of the Twin Towers] were still standing,” meaning it occurs before 9:59. He says: “I was trapped in there when both [Twin Towers] came down.… All this time I’m hearing explosions.” [DYLAN AVERY, 2007] The cause of the explosions is unclear. Later on, firefighters will rescue Hess and Jennings from the building (see 12:10 p.m.-12:15 p.m. September 11, 2001). [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 109-110 ] Entity Tags: Barry Jennings, Michael Hess Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, World Trade Center

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Richard Clarke Takes Charge of Video Conference; Condoleezza Rice Says She Is Heading to PEOCEdit

According to Richard Clarke, around this time, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice says she is going down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House to be with Vice President Dick Cheney. Clarke is currently convening a video teleconference with top officials from the Secure Video Conferencing Center, just off the main floor of the Situation Room [see 15]. Rice has just walked in with her deputy, Stephen Hadley. Clarke asks her, “Do you want to chair this as a principals meeting?” [32][CLARKE, 2004, PP. 2-4] (A “principals meeting” includes the principals of the National Security Council, but not the president. [33][BUMILLER, 2007, PP. 141] ) Rice declines, allowing Clarke to run the conference. Clarke will recall that Rice says to him: “You’re going to need some decisions quickly. I’m going to the PEOC to be with the vice president. Tell us what you need.” Clarke replies, “What I need is an open line to Cheney and you.” Clarke then turns to his White House Fellow Wikipedia, Army Major Mike Fenzel, and instructs him to “go with Condi to the PEOC and open a secure line to me. I’ll relay the decisions we need to you.” [34][CLARKE, 2004, PP. 3-4] However, according to her own later recollections, Rice does not head down from the Situation Room to the PEOC until later, at some time shortly after the Pentagon is hit [see 16].[35][36]

(Between 9:15 a.m. and 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Parent of Flight Attendant Informs American Airlines of Daughter’s Call from Flight 77Edit

Toni Knisley. [Source: ReclaimingTheSky.com] At some time before the Pentagon is hit, one of the parents of flight attendant Renee May call an American Airlines employee at Reagan National Airport just outside Washington, DC, and report that their daughter has contacted them from Flight 77, which has been hijacked. May called her parents at 9:12 a.m., reported that her plane was being hijacked, and asked them to pass this information on to American Airlines (see (9:12 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 31 ] The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that it is May’s mother, Nancy May, who makes the call to American Airlines. [LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/13/2001] This claim is repeated at the 2006 Zacarias Moussaoui trial. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 7 ] But according to author Tom Murphy, it is her father, Ronald May, who makes the call. [MURPHY, 2006, PP. 57] The parent describes the information provided by their daughter, including her flight number and her phone number on board the plane. According to the 9/11 Commission, the American Airlines employee initially thinks May’s mother (who the Commission indicates makes the call) is talking about the aircraft that crashed into the World Trade Center. But Nancy May repeats that she is referring to Flight 77, which is still in the air. (The error could possibly be because, by 9:08 a.m., officials at American Airlines’ System Operations Control in Texas mistakenly concluded that the second aircraft to hit the World Trade Center may have been Flight 77 (see 9:08 a.m. September 11, 2001).) [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 30-31 ] The employee, a secretary, then passes on the information about May’s call to Toni Knisley, a flight service manager at the airport. Knisley rushes to her office and enters May’s employee number into the computer to call up her schedule. This shows she was booked on Flight 77, Washington Dulles Airport to Los Angeles, scheduled to depart at 8:10 a.m. Knisley tries to log onto the flight to view its status, but the information is blocked, so she cannot see if it is still flying or where it is. [MURPHY, 2006, PP. 56-57] (It is possible the information is blocked as a result of American Airlines having already initiated “lockout” procedures to protect information about Flight 77 (see 9:05 a.m. September 11, 2001).)

9:16 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 93 Reported Hijacked before Hijacking Supposedly Occurs, According to Some Accounts; One Hijacker May Have Snuck into Cockpit EarlyEdit

According to an early timeline laid out to CNN by unnamed but “informed defense officials,” the FAA informs NORAD at this time that Flight 93 may have been hijacked. [CNN, 9/17/2001] In public testimony before the 9/11 Commission in 2003, NORAD officials will similarly claim that the FAA first reports the possible hijacking of Flight 93 at this time. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Yet this is 12 minutes before the hijacking is meant to have occurred (see (9:28 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 38 ] One explanation is put forward that could possibly help explain the discrepancy: There are media reports that “investigators had determined from the cockpit voice recorder from United Airlines Flight 93… that one of the four hijackers had been invited into the cockpit area before the flight took off from Newark, New Jersey.” Cockpit voice recordings indicate that the pilots believed their guest was a colleague “and was thereby extended the typical airline courtesy of allowing any pilot from any airline to join a flight by sitting in the jumpseat, the folded over extra seat located inside the cockpit.” [FOX NEWS, 9/24/2001; HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE), 9/25/2001] This would be consistent with passenger phone calls from the plane, describing only three hijackers on Flight 93 (see (9:27 a.m.-10:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 120] However, the reports will not be confirmed. The 9/11 Commission Report will dismiss the claim that NORAD was alerted at 9:16, stating, “In public testimony before this Commission in May 2003, NORAD officials stated that at 9:16, NEADS received hijack notification of United 93 from the FAA. This statement was incorrect. There was no hijack to report at 9:16. United 93 was proceeding normally at that time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 34] No further explanations will be offered for the incorrect timelines. NORAD’s own initial timeline, released on September 18, 2001, will not give a time for when the FAA alerted it to Flight 93. It will only say that the FAA and its Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) “established a line of open communication discussing AA Flt 77 and UA Flt 93.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001] Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Day of 9/11 Events, All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 93

(9:16 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush Takes His Time Leaving Classroom Photo-OpEdit

Bush continues to read the goat story. [Source: Lions Gate Films] President Bush leaves the Sarasota classroom where he has been since about 9:03 a.m.(see 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). The children finish their lessons and put away their readers. [SARASOTA MAGAZINE, 9/19/2001] Bush advises the children to stay in school and be good citizens. [TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/1/2002; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/8/2002] He also tells the children, “Thank you all so very much for showing me your reading skills.” [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] One student also asks Bush a question, and Bush gives a quick response on his education policy. [NEW YORK POST, 9/12/2002] A reporter asks, “Mr. President, are you aware of the reports of the plane crash in New York? Is there any…” This question is interrupted by an aide who has come into the room, saying, “All right. Thank you. If everyone could please step outside.” Bush then says, “We’ll talk about it later.” [CBS NEWS, 9/11/2002] Bush then tells school principal Gwen Tose-Rigell, who is in the room, about the terror attacks and why he has to leave. [WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/7/2002] He then goes into an empty classroom next door and meets with his staff there. [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Bush’s program with the children was supposed to start at 9:00 a.m. and end 20 minutes later. [SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/16/2001] He leaves the classroom only a couple of minutes earlier than planned, if at all. The “goodbyes” and questions on the way out may have taken another minute or two. Entity Tags: Gwen Tose-Rigell, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77

(Between 9:16 a.m. and 9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Still Does Not Evacuate Bush From School, Allegedly at the President’s InsistenceEdit

Frank Brogan. [Source: Publicity photo] The Secret Service later tells the 9/11 Commission that while he is in the holding room at the Booker Elementary School (see (9:16 a.m.-9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001), they are “anxious to move the president to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] Yet according to Philip Melanson, who is an expert on the Secret Service, “With an unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible, which clearly is not a school.” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004] Bush himself later recalls that at this time, “[T]he Secret Service and the Mil Aide [military aide] was in the process of getting information about where the president ought to go. One thing for certain, I needed to get out of where I was.” [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 93] Yet he does not immediately leave the school, and will remain there to give a brief statement in its library (see 9:29 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to Frank Brogan, the lieutenant governor of Florida, who is also in the holding room at this time, the Secret Service tries to get the president to return to Air Force One immediately. But Bush refuses, saying he is “committed to staying on the ground long enough to write a statement about what was happening, read it to the nation and lead a moment of silence for the victims.” [UP ONLINE, 9/18/2003] Bush himself later says that while he is in the holding room, “I didn’t spend that much time about my own safety because I knew others were worried about that. What I was interested in is making sure that the response mechanism that was under my control was sharp and ready to go. And that meant defense, for starters.” [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 93] Yet he reportedly will not make any decisions about the response to the attacks until after 9:55 a.m. (see (Between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The 9/11 Commission later claims that, while Bush is in the holding room, “No one in the traveling party had any information… that other aircraft were hijacked or missing. Staff was in contact with the White House Situation Room, but as far as we could determine, no one with the president was in contact with the Pentagon.” [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39-41] In contrast to the Secret Service’s inaction in removing Bush from the school, Vice President Dick Cheney is reportedly “seized by the arms, legs and his belt and physically carried” out of his office by Secret Service agents around this time, in order to get him to the bunker below the White House. Cheney himself says the agents “hoisted me up and moved me very rapidly down the hallway, down some stairs” (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [NBC, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Frank Brogan, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush

(9:16 a.m.-9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush Works on Speech with Staff; Makes No Decisions

Bush in a holding room before giving his speech. Communications director Dan Bartlett points to the TV, and the clock reads 9:25. [Source: White House] After leaving the Booker Elementary School classroom, President Bush returns to an adjacent holding room where he is briefed by his staff, and gets his first look at the footage of the burning World Trade Center on a television that has been set up there. He instructs his press secretary, Ari Fleischer, to take notes to create an accurate accounting of events. According to some accounts, he speaks on the phone with Vice President Dick Cheney who is at the White House, and they both agree that terrorists are probably behind the attacks. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 92-93; DAILY MAIL, 9/8/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] But White House adviser Karl Rove, who is also in the holding room, later tells NBC News that Bush is unable to reach Cheney because the vice president is being moved from his office to the White House bunker at this time. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] The president speaks with New York Governor George Pataki and FBI Director Robert Mueller. Bush learns from Mueller that the planes that hit the WTC were commercial American aircraft, and at least one of them had apparently been hijacked after leaving Boston. According to some accounts, Bush also speaks with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice around this time. However, Rice herself will later suggest otherwise (see (Between 9:45 a.m. and 9:58 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 93-94; DAILY MAIL, 9/8/2002; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/8/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] Fleischer and White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett quickly draft a statement for the president to deliver in the school’s library, which Bush rewords, scribbling three sheets of notes. Bush will deliver this at 9:29 a.m. (see 9:29 a.m. September 11, 2001). While he works on the statement, Bush briefly glances at the unfolding horror on the television. Turning to his aides in the room, he declares, “We’re at war.” [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 94; ALBUQUERQUE TRIBUNE, 9/10/2002] According to the 9/11 Commission, the focus at the present time is on the president’s statement to the nation, and the only decision made by Bush’s traveling party is to return to Washington. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] Bush later claims he makes no major decisions in response to the crisis until after Air Force One takes off at around 9:55 a.m. (see (Shortly After 9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] Entity Tags: George E. Pataki, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Robert S. Mueller III, George W. Bush, Dan Bartlett, Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, Condoleezza Rice Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, George Bush, Dick Cheney

9:17 a.m. September 11, 2001: FAA Shuts Down All New York City Airports The FAA shuts down all New York City area airports. [CNN, 9/12/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/12/2001] A flight controller at La Guardia airport reports the taxiways, runways, and airspace are completely clear at 9:37 a.m.m [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/30/2003] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, La Guardia Airport Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

9:19 a.m. September 11, 2001: United Airlines Dispatcher Responsible for Flights 175 and 93 Begins Advising Pilots to ‘Beware of Cockpit Intrusion’Edit

Shortly after he learns a second plane has hit the World Trade Center, United Airlines flight dispatcher Ed Ballinger takes the initiative to begin sending a warning message to the flights he is monitoring, including Flight 93 and Flight 175 (although this aircraft has already crashed). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 11; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 26 AND 37 ] Ballinger is responsible for monitoring United’s aircraft flying from the East Coast to the West Coast. He has 16 such flights he is in charge of. [CHICAGO DAILY HERALD, 4/14/2004] He sends out a text message to his airborne flights: “Beware any cockpit intrusion… Two aircraft in NY hit [World] Trade Center builds.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 11; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 26 ] Although United Airlines has suspected Flight 175 as being hijacked since around 9:00 a.m. (see Shortly Before 9:00 a.m. September 11, 2001), Ballinger is still responsible for multiple flights. (In contrast to United, American Airlines has a policy that flight dispatchers should only manage the hijacked flight, and be relieved of responsibility for their other flights.) [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 455-456] Ballinger’s warning is therefore sent out to his aircraft in groups, and will not be sent to Flight 93 until 9:23 a.m. (see 9:23 a.m.-9:26 a.m. September 11, 2001). Unaware that it was the second plane that hit the WTC, Ballinger will also send the message to Flight 175 (see 9:23 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 26 AND 37 ] Ballinger begins sending out these warnings two minutes before United Airlines instructs its dispatchers to warn their flights to secure their cockpit doors (see 9:21 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/27/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 455] According to the 9/11 Commission, his text message represents “the first occasion on 9/11 when either American or United sent out such a warning to their airborne aircraft.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 37 ] Ballinger will later recall: “As soon as I had a grasp of what was going on… I sent [the warning] out immediately. It was before [Transportation Secretary Norman] Mineta, and even before the airlines told us to alert the crews.” [CHICAGO DAILY HERALD, 4/14/2004] Entity Tags: Ed Ballinger Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight UA 175, Flight UA 93

(9:19 a.m.) September 11, 2001: NEADS Technicians Say They Are Willing to Order an Aircraft Shootdown Personnel on the operations floor at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) confirm to their mission crew commander (MCC) that they are prepared to issue an order to fighter pilots, telling them to fire on a commercial airliner. MCC Concerned about Possible Shootdown - Major Kevin Nasypany, the NEADS MCC, is concerned about what might happen next as the day’s crisis unfolds. He realizes he may need to order fighter jets under his command to shoot down an errant aircraft. He therefore starts walking up and down the operations floor, impatiently asking all his section heads and weapons technicians, “Are you prepared to follow an order to shoot down a civilian airliner?” All of them affirm that they will issue such an order if required to do so. Nasypany Confers with Marr - Satisfied with their answers, Nasypany gets on the phone to Colonel Robert Marr, who is in the NEADS battle cab, and asks him, “Have we already asked the questions?” What Nasypany means is, have they asked about getting authorization to take out a threatening aircraft? According to author Lynn Spencer, “Those authorizations, [Nasypany] knows, are going to have to come from the president himself, passed down from senior NORAD command in Colorado Springs.” Marr replies that Major General Larry Arnold, who is at the Continental US NORAD Region (CONR) headquarters in Florida, is seeking the necessary authorizations and is prepared to take any action required. Nasypany then briefs Marr on the armaments on board the fighters NEADS has had launched (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). He adds: “My recommendation, if we have to take anybody out, large aircraft, we use AIM-9s in the face. If need be.” He means that if there is another hijacking, the most effective way to bring the plane down would be to fire a missile into its nose. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 140-141] Pilots Do Not Receive Shootdown Authorization - At around 9:35 a.m., according to Spencer, a NEADS weapons controller will ask one of the pilots that launched in response to the first hijacking whether he would be willing to shoot down a hijacked aircraft (see (9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 153] According to the 9/11 Commission, however, NEADS personnel will only learn that NORAD has been cleared to shoot down threatening aircraft at 10:31 a.m., and even then they will not pass this order along to the fighter pilots (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42-43] Entity Tags: Robert Marr, Kevin Nasypany, Northeast Air Defense Sector Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Sets Up Ineffectual Hijacking Teleconference The FAA sets up a hijacking teleconference with several agencies, including the Defense Department. This is almost one hour after the FAA’s Boston flight control began notifying the chain of command (see 8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001) and notified other flight control centers about the first hijacking at 8:25 a.m. (see 8:25 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to the Acting FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger, this teleconference (called the “hijack net”) is “the fundamental primary source of information between the FAA, [Defense Department], FBI, Secret Service, and… other agencies.” Yet even after the delay in setting it up, FAA and Defense Department participants later claim it plays no role in coordinating the response to the hijackings. The 9/11 Commission says, “The NMCC [National Military Command Center inside the Pentagon] officer who participated told us that the call was monitored only periodically because the information was sporadic, it was of little value, and there were other important tasks. The FAA manager of the teleconference also remembered that the military participated only briefly before the Pentagon was hit.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 36] According to a statement provided by the FAA to the 9/11 Commission in 2003, this teleconference began significantly earlier—“[w]ithin minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center” (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Monte Belger, US Department of Defense, 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Day of 9/11 Events, All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Flight UA 93

(Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Transportation Secretary Mineta Reaches Bunker, Meets Vice President Cheney

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. [Source: US Department of Transportation] Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta arrives at the White House bunker—the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)—containing Vice President Dick Cheney and others. Mineta will tell NBC News that he arrives there at “probably about 9:27,” though he later says to the 9/11 Commission that he arrives at “about 9:20 a.m.” He also later recalls that Cheney is already there when he arrives. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004; ACADEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT, 6/3/2006] This supports accounts of Cheney reaching the bunker not long after the second WTC crash (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Questioned about this in 2007 by an activist group, Mineta will confirm that Cheney was “absolutely… already there” in the PEOC when he arrived, and that “This was before American Airlines [Flight 77] went into the Pentagon,” which happens at 9:37. Yet, while admitting there is “conflicting evidence about when the vice president arrived” in the PEOC, the 9/11 Commission will conclude that the “vice president arrived in the room shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58.” Mineta also later claims that when he arrives in the PEOC, Mrs. Lynne Cheney, the wife of the vice president, is already there. Yet the 9/11 Commission will claim she only arrives at the White House at 9:52 (see (9:52 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 40; 911TRUTHSEATTLE (.ORG), 6/26/2007] Once in the PEOC, Mineta establishes open phone lines with his office at the Department of Transportation and with the FAA Operations Center. [ACADEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT, 6/3/2006] Entity Tags: Lynne Cheney, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Norman Mineta Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Dick Cheney

(9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Barbara Olson Said to Call from Flight 77, but Account Is Full of Contradictions

Barbara Olson. [Source: Richard Eillis/ Getty Images] A passenger on Flight 77, Barbara Olson, calls her husband, Theodore (Ted) Olson, who is solicitor general at the Justice Department. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 7/23/2004] Ted Olson is in his Justice Department office watching news of the attacks on the World Trade Center on television when his wife calls. A few days later, he will recall: “She told me that she had been herded to the back of the plane. She mentioned that they had used knives and box cutters to hijack the plane. She mentioned that the pilot had announced that the plane had been hijacked.” [CNN, 9/14/2001] He tells her that two planes have hit the WTC. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/5/2002] Barbara Olson says she feels nobody is taking charge. [CNN, 9/12/2001] Ted Olson doesn’t know if she is near the pilots, but at one point she asks: “What shall I tell the pilot? What can I tell the pilot to do?” [CNN, 9/14/2001] Then the call is cut off without warning. [NEWSWEEK, 9/29/2001] Ted Olson's Recollections Vague - Ted Olson’s recollection of the call’s timing will be extremely vague. He will say the call “must have been 9:15 [a.m.] or 9:30 [a.m.]. Someone would have to reconstruct the time for me.” [CNN, 9/14/2001] Other accounts place the call around 9:25 a.m. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/14/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/21/2001] The call is said to last about a minute. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001] By some accounts, Ted Olson’s message to his wife, that planes have hit the WTC, comes later, in a second phone call. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/21/2001] According to one account, Barbara Olson calls her husband from inside a bathroom. [EVENING STANDARD, 9/12/2001] But in another, she is near a pilot, and in yet another she is near two pilots. [BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001] Conflicting Accounts of Type of Phone Used - Ted Olson’s accounts of how his wife makes her calls are also conflicting. Three days after 9/11, he will say: “I found out later that she was having, for some reason, to call collect and was having trouble getting through. You know how it is to get through to a government institution when you’re calling collect.” He says he doesn’t know what kind of phone she uses, but he has “assumed that it must have been on the airplane phone, and that she somehow didn’t have access to her credit cards. Otherwise, she would have used her cell phone and called me.” [HANNITY & COLMES, 9/14/2001] Why Barbara Olson would have needed access to her credit cards to call him on her cell phone is not explained. However, in another interview on the same day, Ted Olson will say his wife uses a cell phone and her call may be cut off “because the signals from cell phones coming from airplanes don’t work that well.” [CNN, 9/14/2001] Six months later, he will claim she calls collect, “using the phone in the passengers’ seats.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/5/2002] However, it is not possible to call on seatback phones, collect or otherwise, without a credit card, which would render making a collect call moot. Many other details in Ted Olson’s accounts are conflicting, and he will fault his memory and say he “tends to mix the two [calls from his wife] up because of the emotion of the events.” [CNN, 9/14/2001] Call Supposedly Made through Secretary - According to official reports, Barbara Olson is able to reach her husband through a secretary, Lori Lynn Keyton, twice, at around 9:15 a.m. The first call is collect and comes through a live operator, while the second is direct. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/11/2001 ; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/14/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/20/2004] Entity Tags: Barbara Olson, Lori Lynn Keyton, Theodore (“Ted”) Olson Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Day of 9/11 Events, All Day of 9/11 Events, Flight AA 77, Alleged Passenger Phone Calls

(9:20 a.m.-9:42 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Firefighters Responding to Car Crash at Reagan Airport Quickly Respond to Pentagon Attack Shortly before the Pentagon is attacked, firefighters with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) respond to a multiple vehicle car crash at the upper level of Terminal B of Reagan National Airport, which is less than a mile from the Pentagon. Captain Michael Defina, the acting shift commander, has seen the World Trade Center attacks on television and, although the airport is not on alert, he later claims he has a feeling that Washington could be another terrorist target. Although the shift commander doesn’t usually respond to motor vehicle accidents, Defina accompanies the rescue engine and medic unit to the crash at Terminal B because, he says, “something didn’t sound right about it.” He then hears a “dull roar” when the Pentagon is struck, and turns to see smoke rising above it. [NFPA JOURNAL, 11/1/2001; JEMS, 4/2002 ] Fire Communications initially tells him that a Boeing 757 crashed off the end of Runway 1-19 at Reagan Airport. This report is soon corrected, and the MWAA is directed to respond to the Pentagon attack. It has substantial resources for this, including two foam units and two mass casualty units. MWAA has authority to automatically respond to plane crashes within 5 miles of Reagan Airport, so two of its heavy rescue units self-dispatch to the Pentagon. Its fire and medical units arrive at the crash site within 5 minutes of the attack. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A6-A7] The Airports Authority firefighters are able to set up directly in front of the impact hole, and their foam units knock down much of the fire within seven minutes of arriving. [NFPA JOURNAL, 11/1/2001] Entity Tags: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Michael Defina Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Pentagon

(After 9:19 a.m.) September 11, 2001: United Flight 23 Cancels Takeoff, Possibly Avoids Being Hijacked United Airlines Flight 23, a Boeing 767 bound from JFK International Airport in New York to Los Angeles, cancels its takeoff and may thus avoid becoming the morning’s fifth hijacked plane. It was scheduled to depart at 8:30 a.m., but was late in pushing back from the gate and is still waiting in line to take off. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/13/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2001] The plane’s pilots, Tom Mannello and Carol Timmons, have heard a report over their radio that a plane has flown into the World Trade Center. They then receive a text message from United Airlines dispatcher Ed Ballinger, which reportedly states: “We have gone to heightened security. Do not open cockpit doors. Secure the cockpit.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 102-103] This is presumably the message Ballinger sent out at 9:19 (see 9:19 a.m. September 11, 2001), though it seems to be more like a description of the message he sends out at 9:32 (see 9:32 a.m.-9:33 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 37 AND 39 ] Pilots Alarmed at Warning - Having never received a warning like this before, the pilots are alarmed. Timmons starts barricading the cockpit door with their suitcases while Mannello grabs the crash ax for protection. Mannello calls the plane’s lead flight attendant to inform her of the threat, and tells her not to open the cockpit door under any circumstances. Soon afterwards, she calls back and informs him: “We [the plane’s flight attendants] just think you should know this because we think it is unusual. We have four young Arab men sitting in first class this morning.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 103] (Other accounts will claim there are three or even six suspicious passengers on the flight. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/13/2001; CHICAGO DAILY HERALD, 4/14/2004] ) Mannello hasn’t been told what the reported threat is about or if it relates to Arabs, so simply thanks the attendant for the information. Minutes later, the pilots receive a radio message from ground control, announcing, “All aircraft, be advised that the airport is now closed.” A subsequent message announces the airport is being evacuated. Mannello decides to move his aircraft back to the terminal. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 103-104] Arab Passengers Become Aggressive - After the passengers are told their flight has been canceled, the Arab men become upset. They stand up and start urgently consulting with each other, and then refuse to return to their seats. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/13/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2001] One official will later describe: “These guys got belligerent, and said something like, ‘We’ve got to be on this plane.’ They expressed a desire to remain on the plane and resisted getting off.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/14/2001] According to the Associated Press, “The argument with a member of the flight crew became so heated that the crew member called airport security. But before security arrived, the men had vanished.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/13/2001] Evidence Indicates Plans for Hijacking Plane - Authorities will later check the men’s unclaimed baggage and find box-cutters, copies of the Koran, and al-Qaeda instruction sheets. [CHICAGO DAILY HERALD, 4/14/2004; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 105] In 2002, apparently referring to this incident, Lt. Gen. Ken Pennie, the deputy commander of NORAD, will state, “We suspect there might have been more than just the four aircraft involved” as targets for the 9/11 attacks. [GLOBE AND MAIL, 6/13/2002] The FBI will investigate this incident and go through the flight manifest to determine the names of the Arab men, who are believed to have had ticketed reservations. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/13/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/14/2001] Investigators will interview the plane’s crew nearly half a dozen times. But no information about the suspicious Arab passengers is ever released to the public. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 105] On September 14, it is reported that investigators believe at least one of these passengers was among a number of individuals taken into custody at JFK and La Guardia Airports the previous day (see September 13-14, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/14/2001] However, these detained individuals are soon cleared of any connection with the events of 9/11 and are released. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/14/2001] In 2004, Rep. Mark Kirk (R) will say the suspicious Flight 23 passengers were never found and are likely still at large. [CHICAGO DAILY HERALD, 4/14/2004] Entity Tags: Ed Ballinger, Tom Mannello, Carol Timmons, Mark Steven Kirk, Kenneth Pennie Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

  1. . 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP 118
  3. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story..... PP. 114, 116
  4. . 
  5. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 64; FILSON, 2003, PP. 55; 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 24
  6. . 
  7. Lynn Spencer (2008). Touching History:The Untold Story.....  PP. 118-119
  8. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 16
  9. {{subst:news}} [BBC, 3/7/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 5/26/2002; SUN, 9/6/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/18/2004]
  10. {{subst:news}}[NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2004]
  11. {{subst:news}}[CNN, 9/9/2002]
  12. {{subst:News}}[DWYER AND FLYNN, 2005, PP. 255]
  13. CLARKE (2004). p. 2-4. 
  14. AUSTRALIAN. 3/27/2004. 
  15. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 36, Page 462
  16. ARMED FORCES RADIO AND TELEVISION SERVICE. 10/17/2001. 
  17. CLARKE (2006). p. 218-219. 
  18. 9/11 Commission (6/17/2004). 
  19. WASHINGTON POST. 3/28/2004. 
  20. UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL. 4/9/2004. 
  21. . 
  22. [DAILY CALIFORNIAN, 3/18/2002; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; ACADEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT, 6/3/2006]
  23. [CAPE COD TIMES, 9/11/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155]
  24. [CAPE COD TIMES, 8/21/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 20]
  25. [CAPE COD TIMES, 9/8/2002]
  26. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155]
  27. [CAPE COD TIMES, 9/8/2002]
  28. [BOSTON MAGAZINE, 1/2002]
  29. [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/11/2001] http://www.scribd.com/doc/14142047/NYC-Box-3-Neadsconrnorad-Fdr-Transcript-Neads-Channel-2-Mcc-Upside-006
  30. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 245-246]
  31. . 
  32. . 
  33. . 
  34. . 
  35. . 
  36. [PBS FRONTLINE, 7/12/2002; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/11/2002; BUMILLER, 2007, PP. XIII]
  1. (see (9:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  2. (see 9:24 a.m. September 11, 2001)
  3. (see (9:25 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  4. (see 9:52 a.m. September 11, 2001)
  5. (see 9:25 a.m. September 11, 2001)
  6. (see (After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  7. (see (Shortly After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  8. (see (8:48 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  9. (see (Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  10. (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001)
  11. (see (8:53 a.m.-9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  12. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 58-59; CAPE COD TIMES, 9/11/2006; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155]
  13. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155]
  14. (see (Shortly After 10:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  15. (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001)
  16. (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001)

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