Fourteen days from now marks the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. All of us remember that day, where we were and how it unfolded. We watched the planes intentionally driven into the Twin Towers. We watched the burn, the people running and then we watched them topple to the ground. The focus is usually on NYC as that is where most of the horrific footage came out of and where the attacks began. This post, however, will focus on the other two hijackings – United Airlines Flight 93 and American Airlines Flight 77.
United Airlines Flight 93
43 Souls on board Perished
- 8:42 am: United Airlines flight 93 takes off after a 40 minute delay from Newark International Airport with 7 crew members and 37 passengers – including 4 hijackers.
- 9:16 am: FAA informs NORAD that United Airlines flight 93 may have been hijacked.
- 9:28 am: United 93 acknowledged a transmission from an FAA center controller. This was the last normal contact the FAA had with United 93.
- 9:29 am: A Cleveland Center controller and pilots of aircraft in the vicinity heard “a radio transmission of unintelligible sounds of possible screaming or a struggle from an unknown origin…” The controller responded, seconds later: “Somebody call Cleveland?”
- 9:30 am: Six minutes after receiving their orders from the defense sector, code-named Huntress, three F-16’s were airborne, according to the Norad timeline.
- 9:32 A third radio transmission came over the frequency: “Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board.”
- 9:35 am: Flight 93 files a new flight plan, reverses course and heads towards Washington D.C.
- 9:39 am: Transmission from Flight 93 Hijacker Ziad Jarrah – “Uh, is the captain. Would like you all to remain seated. There is a bomb on board and are going back to the airport, and to have our demands [unintelligible]. Please remain quiet.”
- 9:41 am: Transponder signal from United flight 93 ceases and radar contact is lost.
- 9:42 Command Center learned from television news reports that a plane had struck the Pentagon. The Command Center’s national operations manager, Ben Sliney, ordered all FAA facilities to instruct all airborne aircraft to land at the nearest airport.
- 9:58 am: Todd Beamer’s last call ends and fight begins. All cell calls from 93 end at about that time.
- 10:02 am: After a review of radar tapes, a radar signal is detected near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
- 10:04 am: Johnstown-Cambria County Airport reports the plane is 15 miles south ad coming fast.
- 10:06 am: Flight 93 Crashes near Shanksville, 124 miles from Washington D.C. 15 to 20 minutes away at 500mph. 7 to 10 minutes from D.C. at 1000mph. Remember, F-16 top speed is 1800mph and we had 3 F-16’s aloft at 9:30am.
The Passengers mounted a counter-attack on the Jihadists who had hijacked their flight, led by Todd Beamer. Due to their bravery and courage, it is very likely they saved the intended target in Washington, D.C. from the same fate the Twin Towers met. Flight 93 has a National Memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. There is also a related Memorial website. It has been surrounded by some controversy as to the design of it. I, myself, find the original design to be no coincidence. Heavy criticism and an outpouring of complaints flooded Paul Murdoch Designs and the National Park Services until a redesign was issued.
Now let us remember Flight 77 and look a it’s timeline. To me, this flight gets ignored a lot in stories about 9/11. It had 58 passgengers and 6 crew members on board. Unlike Flight 93, it reached its intended target, murdering another 125 people as it penetrated three rings deep at the Pentagon. Click here for image galleries and more timeline information for both The Pentagon and Shanksville.
American Airlines Flight 77
59 Souls on board Perished
125 Perish in The Pentagon
- 8:20 American 77 departs Dulles; 6 crew and 58 passengers – 5 of them Hijackers. Not long into the Flight, Indianapolis Air Control took over monitoring of the flight.
- 8:50 The Indianapolis controller instructed the aircraft to climb, and American 77 acknowledged. This was the last transmission from American 77.
- 8:54 American 77 began deviating from its flight plan.
- 8:56 American 77 turned off its transponder and disappeared from Indianapolis radar.
- 9:00 – 9:09: Indianapolis notified the FAA they had lost the aircraft, that it was possibly downed and ontacted Air Force Search and Rescue at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and told them to look out for it.
- 9:20 Indianapolis Center learned that there were other hijacked aircraft in the system, and began to doubt their initial assumption that American 77 had crashed.
- 9:23 The Mission Crew Commander at NEADS orders the deployment of fighters from Langley AFB toward Washington.
- 9:30 Langley AFB fighters were directed to the Baltimore area to intercept the American 11 flight that was reportedly heading toward Washington. There had been confusion as to which flights were missing at this point – flight 77 had been traveling undetected for 36 minutes due to lack of communication between FAA radar and Indianapolis Center.
- 9:34 NEADS contacted the FAA’s Washington Center to ask about American 11. During that conversation, a manager informed NEADS, “We’re looking — we also lost American 77.” This was the first notice to the military that Flight 77, and not Flight 11, was missing.
- 9:37: The National Guard C-130H pilot reported to Washington Tower, “looks like that aircraft crashed into the Pentagon, sir.”
Nine Muslim Jihadists boarded those planes on September 11th. Flight 93 had a four man team whereas Flight 77 had five. The FBI website lists Flight 93 and Flight 77’s hijackers along with their faces. Their rather normal looking photos are that much more unnerving given their actions on that day. Interesting factoid on how the identities of these hijackers came to see light of day was that Mohamed Atta’s luggage, which did not make it onto American Airlines Flight 11, contained papers that revealed the identity of all 19 hijackers. The History Channel did a series called 9-11: Inside The Hamburg Cell, for anyone interested in knowing more about these Al Qaeda Jihadists.
While those particular terrorists are dead and gone, others have taken their place and continue to wage a second stealth jihad on us. That stealth Jihad that I speak of is the Ground Zero Victory Mosque. This September 11th, if you are able, please consider attending the 9/11 Freedom Rally at Ground Zero.
Remember the murdered.
Remember the Truth.