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Can Anyone Explain Madeline Amy Sweeney's Phone Call from Flight 11?

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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 05:53 AM
Original message
Can Anyone Explain Madeline Amy Sweeney's Phone Call from Flight 11?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1556096.stm

"According to the FBI transcript, part of which was published in the Los Angeles Times, Madeline Amy Sweeney described how hijackers stabbed passengers and then diverted the plane.

Flight attendant Madeline Amy Sweeney
A US official praised Ms Sweeney's ability to keep calm and describe the crisis as it unfolded but the mother-of-two's words ended in horror and disbelief.

When Ms Sweeney came on the phone to ground staff in Boston it was to report that a hijack was in progress.

Four attackers had cut the throat of a passenger in business class and stabbed two others, she said.

Three of the hijackers had been sitting in business class themselves and one spoke very good English.

Composure

As Ms Sweeney was giving their seat numbers, they reached the cockpit and it was then, as the plane suddenly changed course, that she spoke her last reported words:

"I see water and buildings. Oh my God! Oh my God!"
"

Leaving aside conflicts of Sweeney' call with Betty Ong's call from flight 11, there is a major problem here concerning the time-line of this phone call made by Sweeney. She claims that shortly after the hijackers gained access to the cockpit, the plane quickly changed direction and started rapidly descending towards the WTC - causing her to say: "I see water and buildings. Oh my God! Oh my God!" These were her last words, and, as the transcript of this call clearly demonstrates, everything happened in quick succession. Thus she is saying that the hijackers entered the cockpit when Flight 11 was somewhere near Manhattan, over the Hudson River, within sight of the NY skyline.

The problem is, if the hijackers had not entered the cockpit earlier, over Albany, why did the plane deviate from its charted course, 150 miles north of NYC? Furthermore, why did investigators conclude, that the flight was taken over by hijackers just 15 minutes after takeoff and not just a few minutes before it hit tower 1? How can this call be real? But if it is not real, why was it made?

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John Doe II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. Very good
queston, indeed!
Also that the hijackers entered the cockpit just moments before she sees buildings. This corresponds to nothing that is known about the hijack of this flight.
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. LARED, Vincent Vega Lives, gbwarming, AZCAT-- anyone?
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AZCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. Why do you expect/want me to comment on this?
:shrug:
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. Three other oddities about Sweeney's call
1) Sweeney gave out seats where hijackers were from but they were the wrong seats!
2) Betty Ong, another attendent on flight 11, makes a big deal about the hijackers spraying mace or pepper spray or some other gas-- how could Sweeney see the seats of the hijackers but not notice the gas/spray?
3) Sweeney is an experienced flight attendent but doesn't recognize he Manhattan skyline? Just buildings and water?

Was Sweeney really on flight 11?
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. This report is wrong about the timeline.
Too many events are telescoped into that account of those last few minutes.

Timeline of Flight 11, from the 9/11 Commission Report:

7:59 Plane took off
8:14 Last routine communication - first unanswered communication
8:19 Ong contacts AA
8:22 Sweeney's first attempted call
8:25 Hijackers use ACC channel in attempt to talk to passengers (note: this means the hijackers were in the cockpit)
8:25 Sweeney's second call
8:26 Ong reports erratic flying (hijackers in cockpit)
8:27 Flight 11 turns south
8:29 Sweeney's third call
8:31 Sweeney's fourth call - lasts to 8:44
8:38 Ong: flying erratically again; Sweeney: hijackers had gained access to cockpit, plane in rapid descent
8:44 Loss of contact with Ong; Sweeney reports a rapid descent - asked to look out window, reports that they are way too low, sees buildings and water "Oh my God" phone call ends
8:46 Flight 11 crashes into North Tower

As you can see, the hijackers were into the cockpit some time before 8:25, not right before the crash. At 8:38, Sweeney is reporting that the hijackers had gained access to the cockpit, and it sounds to me she's reporting the fact, not the time of the event. It's a full six minutes later that the call ends and two minutes after that when the crash occurs.

So you must remove the idea of all of that happening within a minute or so from your deliberations. That is not what really happened.
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Aaaah, Boloboffin. Thanks for answering the call.
Edited on Sat Mar-19-05 05:48 PM by spooked911
This is what the article says:
"As Ms Sweeney was giving their seat numbers, they reached the cockpit and it was then, as the plane suddenly changed course, that she spoke her last reported words:

"I see water and buildings. Oh my God! Oh my God!""

I suppose we could argue about what the writer means by "it was then", but in the context of the sentence, it sounds as though the plane suddenly changed course as soon as they reached cockpit.

In either case it is clear that something is wrong here. The sudden change in course of flight 11 happened MUCH earlier than right before 8:44am. And you also need to explain the other odditites of her call:
1) Sweeney gave out seats where hijackers were from but they were the wrong seats!
2) Betty Ong, another attendent on flight 11, makes a big deal about the hijackers spraying mace or pepper spray or some other gas-- how could Sweeney see the seats of the hijackers but not notice or be affected by the gas/spray?
3) Sweeney is an experienced flight attendent but doesn't recognize he Manhattan skyline? Just buildings and water?
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RedSock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. primary source
you should go to the most primary source -- i.e., whatever we know of the transcript, assuming none of the tape is publicly available.

reading a newspaper writer's summary of it is not going to give you as accurate a picture. it's merely his/her description (perhaps edited for space, or by an editor later on) of what we can read ourselves.

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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Yes, I would love to see a transcript. Know where I can get one?
Granted the account in the story may be off somewhat, but still, it seems fairly clear in what they are saying: see identifies the hijackers' seats, we know this is the third call, the plane changes course, very soon after she says oh my god, etc.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. The article is wrong.
It wouldn't be the first time that an article got the facts wrong.

1. We're making an assumption here - that the hijackers actually sat in the seats that they bought tickets for. Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn't.

9/11 Commission Report: While Atta had been selected by CAPPS in Portland,three members of his hijacking teamSuqami,Wail al Shehri,and Waleed al Shehriwere selected in Boston.Their selection affected only the handling of their checked bags,not their screening at the checkpoint. All five men cleared the checkpoint and made their way to the gate for American 11.Atta,Omari,and Suqami took their seats in business class (seats 8D, 8G, and 10B, respectively).The Shehri brothers had adjacent seats in row 2 (Wail in 2A,Waleed in 2B),in the firstclass cabin.

Later:

9/11 Commission Report: At 8:38, Ong told Gonzalez that the plane was flying erratically again. Around this time Sweeney told Woodward that the hijackers were Middle Easterners,naming three of their seat numbers.

Cooperative Research: She gives him the seat locations of three hijackers: 9D, 9G, and 10B. She says they are all of Middle Eastern descent, and one speaks English very well.

2A, 2B, 8D, 9G, 10B are the seats listed on the AP graphic at CR. I don't think this split row midplane info is right. The Commission says that the midplane seats were together, and so did Sweeney (though they disagreed on rows).

So all this "wrong seat number" business is really about whether Atta and Omari sat in row 8 or 9. I'm inclined to say that the 9/11 Commission report is correct about Atta and Omari buying tickets for 8D and 8G. They could after all look at the records. Betty Sweeney could still be right, because she was looking at them in the beginning of the flight - A and O could have sat in the wrong seats. (The AP graphic is evidence that no one was sitting around them there, and no one would have complained about A and O being in their seats). If not, then Ms. Sweeney called the wrong row number under duress.

Again we find much ado about easily explained discrepancies.

2. Nothing about Sweeney reporting the seats numbers requires her to be in the area where the pepper spray was sprayed while doing so.

3. Is it beyond your imagination to surmise that Sweeney's "Oh my God, oh my God" WAS her recognizing the Manhattan skyline and their eventual destination?
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Good points except #2-- of course she would know about the gas
If she saw where the hijackers were seated. Ong said there was gas up front where the hijackers were, Sweeney would have to know about the gas if she saw where the hijackers were seated.

Moreover, Sweeney described the hijackers stabbing passengers and according to some accounts a bomb. So she would describe all this but not the gas or spray? She could describe the hijackers in detail but leave out the key detail that they used gas or pepper spray?

I don't buy it. Something is fishy.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Misunderstood your question
Edited on Sat Mar-19-05 10:49 PM by boloboffin
You view Sweeney's failure to report Mace as suspicious. What do you think her omission points to?
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. Well that is a tough question, but I would have to wonder if Sweeney and
Ong were on the same flight.

Woody Box's analysis suggest there were two flight 11's. Perhaps Ong was on one, Sweeney on the other.

Or that Sweeney's call was faked. Her water and buildings comment seems somewhat fake to me as well. I don't know why her call would be faked.

I just find it hard to believe she would give so many details about the hijackers but leave out the fact that they used gas. Plus there are other conflicts with Ong's call.
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Look at this LA Times article
http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/81671112.html?MAC=6... (fee required)

" It is unclear from the phone account where Sweeney was when she was talking to the ground manager or what type of phone she used. But even as she was relating details about the hijackers, the men were storming the front of the plane and "had just gained access to the cockpit."

Then, she told Woodward, the plane suddenly changed direction and began to descend rapidly.

"At that very point, Sweeney tried to contact the cockpit but did not get a response," according to the investigative report. The pilot reportedly also was trying to alert authorities of the situation by surreptitiously clicking his radio transmission button.

Woodward then asked Sweeney whether she knew her location.

The chilling reply: "I see water and buildings. Oh my God! Oh my God!"

At that point, according to the report, the conversation ended.

Officials at American Airlines said information about the phone call was turned over to the FBI, but they refused to discuss details. "The FBI has told us not to discuss anything," said airline spokesman John Hotard. Officials at the FBI also declined to discuss the call."

According to the 9/11 commission report, Sweeney ID'ed the seat numbers of thehijackers at 8:38 or so.
"At 8:38, Ong told Gonzalez that the plane was flying erratically again. Around this time Sweeney told Woodward that the hijackers were Middle East- er ners, naming three of their seat numbers."

Now from the LA Times article, which is refers to a FBI transcript,
"But even as she was relating details about the hijackers, the men were storming the front of the plane and "had just gained access to the cockpit.""

Clearly the hijackers gain access to the cockpit AFTER 8:38am.

So why did the plane change course and its trasponder go off much earlier?

Something is not adding up.
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RedSock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. 25 minutes?
Clearly the hijackers gain access to the cockpit AFTER 8:38am.
So why did the plane change course and its trasponder go off much earlier?
***********

If so, the pilots were still in the cockpit at the plane's controls for *25 minutes* after the plane began going off course/not following ATC instructions. ... 25 MINUTES -- and no distress signal at all (that we know of). Yeah, I'd say that's odd.

(spooked, love your blog btw.)

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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Yes, it is very odd. isn't it.
And thanks. I appreciate the compliment.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. After 8:38?
How do you explain the message from the hijackers that was broadcast over the ACC channel at 8:25?

Obviously the hijackers were in the cockpit much earlier than 8:38. Since the flight stopped responding to ACC messages at 8:14, that's the time the hijacking began (Flight 11 had been responding within six seconds until they stopped at 8:14). Ong reported at 8:19 that the cockpit wasn't answering her.

One of the things that Sweeney reports in her longest call (which started at 8:31) is that there was a bomb in the cockpit. Why would she say that if the hijackers weren't in there?

So once again, the article that you're relying on is wrong. The hijackers didn't "just" gain access after 8:38 - they'd been in there since probably the beginning of the hijacking.

A thought for a final rush: at 8:38, they were six minutes from impact. At that point, I'd speculate, the hijackers finally killed the pilot and took complete control of the plane. It's then that more erratic flying is reported, and the steep descent is mentioned. Perhaps any hijackers outside the cockpit rushed in to help dispose of the crew and take their front row seats, and it's that stampede that Sweeney interpreted as "just gaining access to the cockpit".

But as further facts bear out, it's clear that they were in there all along.
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yes, but her call clearly says they entered the cockpit late.
The only explanation is that one hijacker gained access to the cockpit earlier by threats with a (fake?) bomb.

But surely if there was only one hijacker there, one of the pilots could have punched in the hijack code into the transponder. That didn't happen though.

So it is still weird.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. No, it didn't
Sweeney's longest call started at 8:22. In the first few minutes she had told Woodward that a bomb was in the cockpit.

About 8:38, she told Woodward that the hijackers had gained access to the cockpit and she didn't know how. Not that they had "just" gained access, but that they were in there and she didn't know how.

Sweeney couldn't have said at the end of her call that the hijackers were "just" gaining access to the cockpit, because she'd already told Woodward twice that the hijackers were already in there. The news report got the facts wrong.

I don't understand how you can say that the accounts of Ong's call and Sweeney's call differ so greatly. Your biggest "conflict" is that Sweeney doesn't mention Mace being sprayed. That's not a conflict. It's just something she didn't mention. If she had said no Mace had been sprayed, then that would be a conflict. But she didn't say anything about it either way, as far as we know. She did get out a lot of information while trying to take care of her passengers.

What would help is having a transcript of both calls. That's something we both recognize. However, nobody here knows of any released transcript of Sweeney's call (which apparently wasn't recorded - only Woodward's notes of the call remain as a record).

Here's what we have of Ong's call:

http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/911-ong-tape.htm

Here's an important section of Ong's call:

Our No. 5, our first-class passenger, er, our first-class galley flight attendant and our purser have been stabbed. And we can't get into the cockpit. The door won't open.

....

Q: Can anybody get up to the cockpit? Can anyone get up to the cockpit?

A: We can't even get into the cockpit. We don't know who's up there.


What Ong says is that though it was difficult to breathe in business, people could make it through up to the cockpit door, and were trying to get in but couldn't. No doubt the mace wouldn't allow anyone to stay up front for any extended period of time. The flight attendants were braving the Mace, though, to help guide the rest of the passengers back to coach. While up there, they tried the doors of the cockpit with no luck.

In other words, the hijackers crowded into the cockpit and locked the door behind them. Not only did they get in early, but they all got in early.
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. No shit!......that's 7 people in the cockpit!
5 hijackers + 2 wounded/dead pilots = 7 people!

Not sure they could all squeeze into such a tight little spot..........



How did Atta manage to fly that thing with so many people in that cockpit?
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. ITS A VERY BIG COCKPIT WITH 3 JUMPSEATS...N/T
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. O.K!

Hi Flyarm.......

Do you know what is the maximum amount of people that a 767 cockpit could hold?

Thanks.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Let's...
find out.

2 in the front seats.

3 in the jumpseats.

2 in the aisleway.

So that's at least seven.
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Oh no you don't.........

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION,

"FAA" Hearing: June 30, 1999

There are two(jumpseats) on Boeing 767 aircraft.

http://nwp.natca.net/Administration/Documents/LMR/Arbit... .

....and Bolo, before you try any bullshit wordsmithery....the above is refering explicitly to the jumpseats in the cockpit....

So that AA11 cockpit must have sure been crowded......
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Oh yes I do...
Correction:

2 in the front seats

2 standing behind the front seats

2 in the jumpseat

1 in the aisle.



Seven.

Not saying it wasn't crowded. Just saying it's clear from Betty Ong's recorded call that all the hijackers were in the cockpit when she started talking to people on the ground.
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-24-05 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. The Danny Lewin Factor.............

Sure is strange............

That whilst Danny was defending the flight attendent at the cockpit door from those hijackers..............

That neither Betty or Madeline(or any of the other flight attendents) managed to get onto the phone to warn Oganowski and McGuiness in that AA11 cockpit.........
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-24-05 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Betty and Madeline were in coach
The flight attendents in first class were busy getting murdered.

And what makes you think that Daniel Lewin got farther than two steps from his seat?
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-05 03:17 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. Be On The LookOut........

Bolo asks.....
And what makes you think that Daniel Lewin got farther than two steps from his seat?

Well..........

The FBI and Lewin's brother for a start........

"I wasn't surprised to hear from the FBI that Danny fought. I was sure that this is what he would do," Yonatan, his younger brother, said. "Danny didn't sit quietly. From what we heard from the Americans, the hijackers attacked one of the stewardesses and Danny rose to protect her and prevent them from entering the cockpit.
http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=13560

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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-05 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Nice article.
What in that statement you quoted makes you think that Daniel Lewin was able to reach the cockpit and fight the hijackers there? Because it only says that Lewin "rose to protect her". It doesn't say that he made it to the cockpit; in fact, it says the very opposite:

That battle in the business section ended quickly. Lewin was overcome and bled to death on the floor. Two additional flight attendants were knifed and the captain was murdered. The hijackers were already inside the cockpit. They announced to the passengers to remain quiet in their seats.

Or at least they tried to announce this to the passengers. They were actually broadcasting over the ATC channel.

So tell me, 9B, when you linked to that article to show that Lewin made it to the cockpit, had you read the paragraph that said the fight took place in business class, where Lewin was seated and which was separated from the cockpit by first class?
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. You are too predictable Bolo...........
Bolo........

Perhaps you would care to take up your denial with the Israelis.......

The FBI contacted the Lewin family and offered them a simulation of the events on the doomed flight based on the testimony of stewardess Amy Sweeney in a phone call she made during the attack.


Danny was on his way to a meeting in Los Angeles last September when four of the passengers seated next to him in Business Class on American Airlines Flight #11 suddenly attacked a stewardess and attempted to take control of the cockpit. Danny struggled with the hijackers, TRYING TO BLOCK THEM FROM ENTERING THE COCKPIT AREA.

Danny's brother, Yonatan, says the family is comforted by Danny's final act of bravery: "I wasn't surprised to hear from the FBI that Danny fought the hijackers. I imagined that's what he'd do. Danny wouldn't sit quietly. From what we heard from the Americans, the hijackers attacked one of the stewardesses. Danny got up to protect her and block them from entering the cockpit.

http://web.israelinsider.com/bin/en.jsp?enPage=ArticleP... ^l1426&enZone=Culture&enVersion=0&.


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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-05 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. Really?
Since the account you offer in this latest article came from the Lewin family via the FBI, I don't understand why you think I should take it up with the Israelis. Perhaps you could elaborate on that.

Let me put this slowly so there's no misunderstanding:

a) There were 3 hijackers in business class. The Lewins got that wrong.

b) Lewin was in business class, on the left side. Two of the hijackers were just ahead of him (in either rows 8 or 9, midplane) and one was seated directly behind him.

c) The hijackers got up and attacked a stewardess.

Now let's think about this. Two guys stand up and out of nowhere attack the flight attendant. Where do you think they're headed? The restroom? Of course they're headed for the cockpit.

d) Lewin then gets up to protect the attendant and block them from entering the cockpit. He can do that right there in business class, if he can stop them there.

e) However, there's also a hijacker behind him, who can take him from behind. Lewin falls dead or fatally injured on the floor, right there in business class, which is where his body is reported to be by both Ong and Sweeney.

Nothing that you have brought here backs up your assertation that Lewin made it to the cockpit door. It's all still entirely consistent with a brief struggle in business class.
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. Wrong.

Bolo......

Who said Lewin's body was in Business class?

You really do need to read your beloved 9/11 Ommission report.....

Sweeney calmly reported on her line that the plane had been hijacked,A MAN IN FIRST CLASS had his throat slashed....
9/11 Commission Report.
Page6.

The real question is did either Ong or Sweeney mention the injured passenger by name or seat number?

How do we know that they were refering to Lewin?

Oh yeah........that Memo featuring the gun shot.....

You and the official story you believe in are in a real fucking mess.....



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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Okay then.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 03:17 PM by boloboffin
You've convinced me. Daniel Lewin could have been up near the cockpit. I don't see any problem reconciling Ong's story and Sweeney's here - Ong was talking about where he sat, and Sweeney about where he fell. He could have been up at the cockpit door, and he could also have fell in first class somewhere. I'm wrong, and you're probably right on that point.

(Note to Christophera: see how that works?)

Now, back to the original point. You said while this fight was going on, Ong and Sweeney could have alerted the cockpit. Yet you've not provided any evidence on how long the fight must have happened, and why you think Ong and Sweeney were even aware of what was going on in first class while it was happening.

How do we know that they were refering to Lewin? Well, to be honest, we don't, as far as I know. I've not seen a transcript of either call that refers to the knifed passenger's seat number. Have you?

PS: I believe the link you provided in the "Powerful Documentary Movie" thread explains the Israeli comment pretty well. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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seatnineb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-03-05 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. So how is the 9/11 Ommission Report

.......so certain that it was Lewin who was killed?

Also.......

You had 9 flight attendents onboard AA11.

2 of which were killed in 1st/Buissiness class.

That leaves 7 flight attendents.

What you say about Ong and Sweeney not being aware of a problem at the front of the plane could be correct.

But that still leaves a grand total of 5 other attendents who were also unaware of what was going on in 1st /Buisiness class.....

That means 5 other attendents who may have had the opportunity to warn the pilots of AA11 whilst the hijackers were trying to get into the cockpit.






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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-25-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
35. Do they have their own bathroom in there too?
I've always wanted to know that.
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John Doe II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
40. When did Sweeney talk about hijackers storming the cockpit?
Bolo, you write:
Sweeney's longest call started at 8:22. In the first few minutes she had told Woodward that a bomb was in the cockpit.
and
Sweeney couldn't have said at the end of her call that the hijackers were "just" gaining access to the cockpit, because she'd already told Woodward twice that the hijackers were already in there. The news report got the facts wrong.

How do you know when she said that?
Studying the Commission Report I only find:

Starting at 8:22,Amy Sweeney attempted by airphone to contact the American Airlines flight services office at Logan,which managed the scheduling and operation of flight attendants.

and

Also at 8:25, and again at 8:29, Amy Sweeney got through to the American Flight Services Office in Boston but was cut off after she reported someone was hurt aboard the flight. Three minutes later, Sweeney was reconnected to the office and began relaying updates to the manager, Michael Woodward.

So apparently only in her phone call begining at 8:32 could she have said anything about the hijackers storming the cockpit.
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
16. There is also one OTHER strange thing about Sweeney's call
Edited on Sun Mar-20-05 10:50 AM by spooked911
which is that she clearly says passengers were stabbed BEFORE the hijackers entered the cockpit.

If we assume this is true, then there should have screaming or alarms set off-- why on earth wouldn't the pilots have been alerted that there were hijackers and secured the door? Or at least they could have alerted ground control of the commotion. But that didn't happen.

As I noted in a reply to Boloboffin in this thread, the only thing I can figure is that one hijacker snuck up to the cockpit with a fake bomb, got in the door, and then made threats to the pilots to make them go to NYC. The other hijackers may have been creating a commotion in the main cabin at this time. Perhaps they later went to the cockpit and killed the pilot and the hijacker pilot took over then.

The only thing wrong with this scenario is that initially you have a single hijacker against two pilots (unless the hijacker got very lucky and killed or knocked out one pilot first). Surely one of the pilots could have alerted ground control to the hijacker or at least pressed the hijack code in the transponder if there was only one hijacker there. Also are we to believe that this single hijacker was able to get the pilot turn off the transponder? How would the hijacker even know if was off? Couldn't the pilot punch in the hijack code and say that he turned it off?

While this single hijacker scenario is possible, the main problem with Sweeney's call is that it completely diverges from what Betty Ong says about the hijacking-- most suspiciously the lack of mention about the hijackers using gas or pepper spray, but also about the sequence of the hijacking. Ong says the plane was flying erraticly at 8:26am, long before Sweeney says the other hijackers entered the cockpit. Why would the plane be flying erratically unless the hijacker pilot was flying or there was a struggle in the cockpit? But how could a single hijacker gain access to the controls over two pilots or win a struggle with two pilots? It simply doesn't make sense.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
18. Here's the Telegraph's version from 09/21/01
Last words from Flight 11: 'I can see water and buildings. Oh my God!'
By Philip Delves Broughton in New York
(Filed: 21/09/2001)

"This plane has been hijacked," said Ms Sweeney, sounding as composed as if she was offering coffee or tea. Two flight attendants, whom she identified by their crew numbers, had been stabbed. "A hijacker also cut the throat of a business-class passenger, and he appears to be dead," she said.

In the wreckage of the plane that crashed outside Pittsburgh, allegedly on its way to attack Washington, stewardesses' bodies were found with their hands bound behind their backs.

Mounting evidence indicates that the hijackers moved swiftly soon after take-off, murdering a few passengers to terrify the others, threatening the crew with knives, then herding all those aboard away from the cockpit.

In the wreckage of the plane that crashed outside Pittsburgh, allegedly on its way to attack Washington, stewardesses' bodies were found with their hands bound behind their backs.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20...


Doesn't it seem odd that these reports came out of England rather than the US? Especially the one in the Telegraph, since they were a propaganda outlet for folks like Richard Perle?



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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Wow-- that is really odd that I never heard of the stewardesses hands
being tied up on flight 93.

But on the other hand, I wonder how accurate that is. According to "Among the Heroes" the flight 93 book by Jere Longman, people were horribly smashed up when the plane crashed and they only found something like one-fourth of the body parts of people that should have been on the plane. So how could they even recognize the stewardesses hands tied behind their backs? It's possible they could have of course, but they make it sound much more tidier than it must have been.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. I missed that little tidbit too
when I originally read this story.

BTW: Has anyone ever seen any pics that show wreckage from Flight 93? I've seen the pit and there is nothing there. Not unless you're flying into a swamp in FL, there's visable wreckage


Here's another account, that the media went on to ignore. I guess it would have made the airlines libel, if it got out that they had let someone get on board a plane with a bomb?



Harrowing final phone calls

13 September, 2001

<snip>

Mark Bingham, 31, who was on Flight 93 which crashed near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, rang his mother minutes before the impact.

Alice Hoglan broke down as she told reporters: "He said: 'I want you to know that I love you very much and I'm calling from the plane.

"He said: 'I'm in the air. I'm calling on the air phone of the airplane. We've been taken over, there are three men that say they have a bomb.'

<snip>


An unnamed passenger on the same flight locked himself in one of the plane's lavatories and called 911.

Dispatchers who answered the phone said he repeatedly said: "We are being hijacked, we are being hijacked, this is not a hoax."

"He heard some sort of explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane and we lost contact with him," said Westmoreland dispatcher Glenn Cramer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1543466.stm


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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-05 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. you have your facts a bit wrong!!
here is the best article i have seen of a timeline of 9/11 and Amy Sweeney..i have to print it all as it is out of print..i hope thats ok with du rules...if its deleted please pm me i will send you the article..

Amy was my co-worker...she was as were all of the flight attendants that day..true heros!! Although that fact was overlooked by the * administration!! because of their coverup on UAL flt 93..they made only a few passengers hero's for their own incompetance and their coverup. Although this says there was no tape recording of Amy Sweeneys conversation with Mike Woodward..i have a hard time believing that, as all supervisors phones had recordings..American is tape recording crazy..but i have to take this at its word..but this is the closest of any thing i have seen or heard to what i was told immediately after 9/11 to what really took place. Gail Sheehy did an excellent job of reporting on this. Although many facts are not included in this..for security reasons, and for those reasons i will not elaborate.

from :
fly... a 33yr flight attendant American Airlines..ny based.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxmods this is out of print...and no longer avail ..that is why i am posting entire piece...

The New York Observer
June 18, 2004 (6/21/04 edition)
9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks
by Gail Sheehy


Despite having boarded her train at 5 a.m. that morning in Washington, D.C., Rosemary Dillards linen jacket was still creaseless, her carriage professional and crisp, as she walked down the train platform at Princeton Junction on the morning of June 4.

Ms. Dillard dared to hope that the F.B.I. would clarify the timeline in the mystifying story of Sept. 11, 2001.

The briefing in New Jersey two weeks ago, attended by about 130 family members of victims, had been arranged by the F.B.I. Previously unavailable calls from passengers and crew were to be played for families of victims of the four infamous flights that were turned into missiles by terrorists.

Who knew what, and when? And what did the airlines and federal officials do about it? These were the burning questions on the minds of many family members who have begged the commission to help connect the dots. This week, when the 9/11 commission wraps up its public hearings, families had been promised that the final report would be titled "9-11: The Timeline." But at the last minute the commission switched the subject to "9-11: The Plot," focusing on the hijackers success in foiling every layer of the nations defenses, up to and including the airlines.

For Ms. Dillard, the tapes scheduled to be played in Princeton this June morning were especially important: She herself had acted as the American Airlines base manager at Reagan National Airport on the morning of Sept. 11. She had been responsible for three D.C.-area airports, including Dulles. For the last two and a half years, she has been haunted by the fact that American Airlines Flight 77 took off from Dulles Airport that morning, with her blessing.

Her husband was a passenger on that flight.

The cab on the way to the hearing at the Radisson Hotel was quiet. Asked if she was part of a lawsuit being filed by the roughly 115 families against American and United Airlines and an alphabet soup of government agencies, she demurred.

"Thats a very sore subject," she said. She hoped, in hearing tapes of conversations between flight crews and authorities on the ground, to find out why, when flight controllers in Boston suspected a hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11 as early as 8:13 a.m., neither her company nor the Federal Aviation Administration notified her to warn the crew of American Airlines Flight 77 of the terrorist threat in the skies when the plane took off at 8:20 a.m. By 8:24 a.m., flight controllers were certain that Flight 11 had been overrun.

But neither the tapes and cell-phone recordings Ms. Dillard heard that afternoon, nor the PowerPoint presentation that took the families systematically through all four flights with neat timelines and bland conclusions, helped her to connect the dots. She fled the hearing early, deeply upset.

Those present were told that the material they were hearing is evidence in the governments case against Zacarias Moussaoui, the once-alleged 20th hijacker, and in order not to compromise the case, it mustnt be disclosed. They signed nondisclosure agreements and were not permitted to take notes. Civil attorneys and the media were barred. F.B.I. agents filled the halls of the hotel and took any camera or recording equipment before people were admitted to the ballroom. Those who left the three-and-a-half-hour session to relieve themselves were accompanied into rest rooms by agents.

The families heard a tape that has just now surfaced. Recorded by American Airlines at its headquarters in Fort Worth, Tex., even as the first hijacked airliner, Flight 11, was being taken over, the tape shows the airlines top management was made aware beginning at about 8:21 a.m.25 minutes before the impact of the first plane into the World Trade Centers north towerthat a group of men described as Middle Eastern had stabbed two flight attendants, clouded the forward cabin with pepper spray or Mace, menaced crew and passengers with what looked like a bomb, and stormed the cockpit in a violent takeover of the gigantic bird.

Despite all the high secrecy surrounding the briefing, a half-dozen different family members were so horrified by voice evidence of the airlines disregard for the fate of their pilots, crew and passengers that they found ways to reveal some of what they heard on those tapes, and also what they felt. To them, the tapes appeared to show that the first instinct of American and United Airlines, as management learned of the gathering horror aboard their passenger planes on Sept. 11, was to cover up.

The response of Americans management on duty, as revealed on the tape produced at the meeting, was recalled by persons in attendance:

"Dont spread this around. Keep it close."

"Keep it quiet."

"Lets keep this among ourselves. What else can we find out from our own sources about whats going on?"

"It was disgusting," said the parent of one of the victims, herself a veteran flight attendant for United Airlines. "The very first response was cover-up, when they should have been broadcasting this information all over the place."

That instinct to hold back information, some of the families believe, may have helped to allow the third hijacked plane to crash into the Pentagon and contributed to the doom of a fourth flight, United Flight 93. The United dispatcher was told by his superiors: Dont tell pilots why we want them to land. The F.B.I. and the F.A.A. have also held back or, in one case, destroyed evidence in the governments possession that would tell a very different story of how the nations guardians failed to prepare or protect Americans from the most devastating of terrorist attacks on the homeland.

"Flight 77 should never have taken off," Ms. Dillard said through clenched teeth.

Voices of the dead on cell

phones aroused gut-wrenching feelings. Passengers who called from both American Flight 11 and United Flight 175 talked about believing the hijackers were piloting the aircraft, and reported wildly erratic flying patterns.

Voices of crew members, calmly disseminating specifics to airline managers on the ground, pointed out how much was known minutes and even an hour and a half before the last of the jumbo jets had met its diabolic finish.

American Airlines officials had to know there was nothing traditional about this hijacking, because two of their flight attendants, Madeline (Amy) Sweeney and Betty Ong, were calmly and bravely transmitting the most illuminating details anyone has yet heard. Ms. Ongs tape was played in a public commission hearing in January, prompting family members to demand that the F.B.I. honor their rights under the Victims Assistance Act to hear any and all calls made from the stricken planes that day. Ms. Sweeneys name was cited only in passing at that earlier hearing. And when the president and chief executive of American Airlines, Gerard Arpey, testified, he never mentioned Ms. Sweeney or the cache of information she had provided American Airlines officials so early in the unfolding disaster.

Since then, Mike Sweeney, her widowed husband, has been troubled by the disconnect between the airlines ignoring of his wifes efforts, and the fact that the F.B.I. awarded her its highest civilian honor. He was first informed about the new tape two weeks previously by the U.S. attorneys office in Virginia. David Novak, an assistant U.S. attorney involved in prosecuting the Moussaoui case, told Mr. Sweeney that the existence of the tape was news to him and offered him a private hearing.

"I was shocked that Im finding out, almost three years later, there was a tape with information given by my wife that was very crucial to the happenings of 9/11," Mr. Sweeney told me. "Suddenly it miraculously appears and falls into the hands of F.B.I.? Why and how and for what reason was it suppressed? Why did it surface now? Is there information on that tape that is of concern to other law-enforcement agencies?"

The gut-churning question that has kept the widowed father of two young children on edge for so long is this: "When and how was this information about the hijackers used? Were Amys last moments put to the best use to protect and save others?"

Now he believes the answer is no.

From the beginning, the commission has been plagued with questions of where evidence exists about what happened with the flights on Sept. 11. This tape is a case in point.

"We, the prosecution team and the F.B.I. agents that have been assigned to assist us, were not aware of that tape," Mr. Novak told me. He says he only learned of it two weeks ago while he was briefing 9/11 commissioners on what he knows about the two hijacked American flights. He believes the commission got the tape from the airline.

"Now, does Mike have a reason to have heartburn about this?" he asks rhetorically. "Absolutelyas any other victim would, if they learned of something after two and a half years. Were trying to figure out why we didnt know about this before. Is it American Airlines fault? I dont know. Is it the way they produced it? I dont know. Is it an F.B.I. fault? I dont know."

Mr. Novak suggested a possible explanation for the airlines personnel to hold the horrific information tightly: "I think they were trying not to get other people unduly alarmed so they could deal with the situation at hand." But he says he is not going to defend or attack airline personnel. "Thats not my job. Our job is to try to convict Moussaoui. We view this as a giant murder case."

He confirmed that the Justice Department only revealed to the families what in its judgment were the "relevant" tapes. The F.B.I. is holding back other recordings from some of the flights as evidence in prosecuting its criminal trial. It is the way the F.B.I. has always done business: zealously guarding information to make its case retrospectively, rather than sharing information with other law-enforcement agencies to improve the countrys defensive posture proactively. For example, tapes considered "relevant" to the families didnt include the cockpit voice recorder or the flight-data recorder from Flight 93, the final casualty.

On the American Airlines tape played at the meeting, a voice is heard relaying to the airlines headquarters the blow-by-blow account by Ms. Sweeney of mayhem aboard Flight 11. The flight attendant had gone face to face with the hijackers, and reported they had shown her what appeared to be a bomb, with red and yellow wires. The young blond mother of two had secreted herself in the next-to-last passenger row and used an AirFone card, given to her by another flight attendant, Sara Low, to call the airlines flight-services office at Bostons Logan airport.

"This is Amy Sweeney," she reported. "Im on Flight 11this plane has been hijacked." She was disconnected. She called back: "Listen to me, and listen to me very carefully." Within seconds, her befuddled respondent was replaced by a voice she knew.

"Amy, this is Michael Woodward."

The American Airlines flight-service manager had been friends with Ms. Sweeney for a decade and didnt have to waste time verifying that this wasnt a hoax. Ms. Sweeney repeated, "Michael, this plane has been hijacked."

Since there was no tape machine in his office, Woodward began repeating the flight attendants alarming account to a colleague, Nancy Wyatt, the supervisor of pursers at Logan. On another phone, Ms. Wyatt was simultaneously transmitting Ms. Sweeneys words to the airlines Fort Worth headquarters. It was that relayed account that was played for the families.

"In Fort Worth, two managers in S.O.C. were sitting beside each other and hearing it," says one former American Airlines employee who heard the tape. "They were both saying, Do not pass this along. Lets keep it right here. Keep it among the five of us."

The two managers names were given in testimony to the 9/11 commission by Mr. Arpey, then executive vice president of operations, who described himself as "directly involved in Americans emergency-response efforts and other operational decisions made as the terrible events of Sept. 11 unfolded." Joe Burdepelly, one of the S.O.C. managers, told Mr. Arpey at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time that they had a possible hijacking on Flight 11. Mr. Burdepelly also said that the S.O.C. manager on duty, Craig Marquis, was in contact with Ms. Ong. Mr. Arpey related that from Ms. Ong, he and the S.O.C. managers had learned by 8:30 a.m. "that two or three passengers were in the cockpit, and that our pilots were not responding to intercom calls from the flight attendants. After talking with S.O.C.," Mr. Arpey testified, "I then called Don Carty, the president and C.E.O. of American Airlines, at that time," who was not available. Mr. Arpey then drove to the S.O.C. facility, arriving, he says, between 8:35 and 8:40 a.m. Eastern time.

Mr. Arpey testified that by 8:40 a.m. they knew one of the passengers had been stabbed, possibly fatally, although this news was transmitted by Ms. Sweeney at least 15 minutes earlier. "We were also receiving information from the F.A.A. that, instead of heading west on its intended flight path, Flight 11 was headed south. We believed that Flight 11 might be headed for the New York area. Our pilots were not responding to air traffic control or company radio calls, and the aircraft transponder had been turned off."

Mr. Arpeys account revealed that the American Airlines executives had attempted to monitor the progress of Flight 11 via communications with the F.A.A. and their traffic-control officials. "As far as we knew, the rest of our airline was operating normally at this point," he said.

But Flight 11 had missed its first mark at 8:13 a.m., when, shortly after controllers asked the pilot to climb to 35,000 feet, the transponder stopped transmitting the electronic signal that identifies exact location and altitude. Air traffic manager Glenn Michael later said, "We considered it at that time to be a possible hijacking."

At 8:14 a.m., F.A.A. flight controllers in Boston began hearing an extraordinary radio transmission from the cockpit of Flight 11 that should have set off alarm bells. Before their F.A.A. superiors forbade them to talk to anyone, two of the controllers told the Christian Science Monitor on Sept. 11 that the captain of Flight 11, John Ogonowski, was surreptitiously triggering a "push-to-talk" button on the aircrafts yoke most of the way to New York. When controllers picked up the voices of men speaking in Arabic and heavily accented English, they knew something was terribly wrong. More than one F.A.A. controller heard an ominous statement by a terrorist in the background saying, "We have more planes. We have other planes."

Apparently, none of this crucial information was transmitted to other American pilots already airbornenotably Flight 77 out of Dulles, which took off at 8:20 a.m. only to be redirected to its target, the Pentagonor to other airlines with planes in harms way: Uniteds Flight 173, which took off at 8:14 a.m. from Boston, or Uniteds Flight 93, whose "wheels-up" was recorded at 8:42 a.m.

"You would have thought Americans S.O.C. would have grounded everything," says Ms. Dillard. "They were in the lead spot, theyre in Texasthey had control over the whole system. They could have stopped it. Everybody should have been grounded."

Ms. Dillard had to learn about the two planes crashing into the World Trade Center from the screams of waiting passengers in the next-door Admirals Club who were watching TV. "We all rushed back to our offices to wait for go-dos from headquarters," she recalls. But headquarters personnel never contacted Ms. Dillard, the Washington base manager, to inform her that Flight 77 was in trouble. They had lost radio contact with the plane out of Dulles at 8:50 a.m. More than 45 minutes later, her assistant gave Ms. Dillard an even more devastating piece of news.

"Theres a plane that hit the Pentagon. Our crew was on it."

"Was that 77?" Ms. Dillard asked.

"I think so," her assistant said.

"Are you sure it was 77?" Ms. Dillard pressed. "Cause I just took Eddie over to Dulles," Ms. Dillard said numbly, referring to her husband. "Eddies on that plane."

She looked at the crew list. Her heart sank. "I knew one of the ladies very well," she later remembered, "and she had kids, and the other two who were married, and another one was pregnant. It was horrible."

One of Americans top corporate executives directly in the line of authority that day was Jane Allen, then vice president of in-flight services, in charge of the companys 24,000 flight attendants and management and operations at 22 bases. She was Ms. Dillards top boss. But Ms. Dillard never heard from her until after Flight 77 had plowed into the Pentagon. Reached at United Airlines corporate headquarters in Chicago, where Ms. Allen now works, she was asked to confirm the names of participants in the Sept. 11 phone call and why the decision was made to hold back that information.

"I really dont know what I could possibly add to all the hurt," she said.

But was it too much information, or too little, that was hurtful?

"I really am not interested in helping or participating," Ms. Allen said, putting down the phone.

"This has been the attitude all the way along," Ms. Dillard observed. "Everybody was keeping it hush-hush."

The failure to trumpet vital news

from calls placed from the first hijacked flight throughout the system and into the highest circles of government leaves families wondering whether military jets could have intercepted American Airlines Flight 77 in time to keep it from diving into the Pentagon and killing 184 more people. That suicide mission ended in triumph for the terrorists more than 50 minutes after the first American jetliner hit the World Trade Center. Suppose American Airlines had warned all its pilots and crew of what their families were able to see and hear from the media?

The information hold-back may have arisen from lack of experience, or from the inability to register the enormity of the terrorists destructive plans, or it may have been a visceral desire to protect the airlines from liability. The airlines make much of the fact that the "common strategy" for civil aircraft crews before 9/11 was to react passively to hijackings"to refrain from trying to overpower or negotiate with hijackers, to land the aircraft as soon as possible, to communicate with authorities, and to try delaying tactics."

This strategy was based on the assumption that the hijackers would want to be flown safely to an airport of their choice to make their demands.

But that defense of the airlines actions is belied by the fact that the F.A.A., which was in contact with American Airlines and other traffic-control centers, heard the tip-off from terrorists in Flight 11s cockpit"We have planes, more planes"and thus knew before the first crash of a possible multiple hijacking and the use of planes as weapons.

To this writers knowledge, there has been no public mention of the Flight 11 pilots narrative since the news report on Sept. 12, 2001. When Peg Ogonowski, the pilots wife, asked American Airlines to let her listen to that tape, she never heard back.

Mike Low had been quite upbeat

going into the meeting. He had just learned that his 28-year-old daughter Sara, another crew member on Flight 11, had not been incapacitated by the Mace the terrorists sprayed in the front cabin. The F.B.I. had notified him that Sara had given Ms. Sweeney her fathers calling card, which allowed the 32-year-old mother of two to pretend to be a passenger and use an AirFone to call Logan Airport and relay the vital information.

"Im a very old-fashioned and simple small-town person," Mr. Low had told me beforehand. He owns and operates a concrete and asphalt business in Batesville, Ark. "I want to believe our government, even after all the mishaps, is doing everything they possibly can."

Coming out of the hearing, he was a different man.

"I find it alarming that the airline and the F.A.A. would want to hold something as horrific as a hijacking among a few people," he said, "when bells and whistles should have been going off in all categories of responsibility."

Agents had allowed families to talk informally with them after the meeting, and Mr. Low had some very frank questions for an F.A.A. representative.

"The warning from F.A.A. in the summer of 2001 was supposedly given to all the airlines on CD-ROMs," he said. "Where did those warnings go? To flight crews? I have never had any indication that any pilot or flight attendant heard those warnings."

He added that the F.A.A. man had nothing to tell him.

"Id been with American for 29 years," Ms. Dillard said with embittered pride. "My job was supervision over all the flight attendants who flew out of National, Baltimore or Dulles. In the summer of 2001, we had absolutely no warnings about any threats of hijackings or terrorism, from the airline or from the F.A.A."

Alice Hoglans face was ashen when she emerged from the meeting. The mother of one of the brave, doomed passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, Mark Bingham, a gay rugby player, Ms. Hoglan now knew even more vividly what her son had kept from her when he had called. Along with Todd Beamer and other brave passengers, he had helped lead a passenger revolt aboard Flight 93, which was heading toward Washington and either Congress or the White House.

"It was excruciating," she said, her lips biting off the few upbeat words she could muster. "Im just very grateful that the people on Flight 93, the heroes who were able to act, died on their feet and doing the very best they could to preserve lives on the ground."

Ms. Hoglan, who worked 29 years as a flight attendant for United, the airline on which her son was killed, was still flying for United in the summer of 2001. She had come to the hearing neatly dressed in a gray suit, her eyes bright in anticipation of deeper understanding. Afterwards, her wispy silver hair looked like it had been raked through in frustration. Her eyes blazed with reignited anguish and sank back into a mothers face that could only be described as ravaged. She is among the 115 families who rejected the financial buyout by the federal Victims Compensation Fund in order to preserve her right to sue the airlines and government agencies who failed to warn or protect Americans from the third terrorist bombing on our homeland.

"Ive been learning a lot," said Ms. Hoglan. "During the summer of 2001, there were 12 directives sent by the F.A.A.which are now supposedly classifiednotifying the airlines of specific threats that terrorists were planning to hijack their aircrafts. The airlines apparently buried that information and didnt tell us."

A Freedom of Information Act request has confirmed that the F.A.A. sent a dozen warnings to the airlines between May and September of 2001. Those 35 pages of alerts are being exempted from public disclosure by a federal statute that covers "information that would be detrimental to the security of transportation if disclosed." Most rational people would say that the non-disclosure of the alerts was what was detrimental to the security of transportation on Sept. 11.

"The F.B.I. gathered the evidence, gave it to the F.A.A., the F.A.A. gave it to the airlines, and the airlines didnt tell us," Ms. Hoglan said. "I was a working flight attendant with United that summer, in 2001, and I never heard a thing. Im suing United Airlines, and Im very keen on the role of the flight attendants in Sept. 11."

The same lament was sounded by Ms. Ogonowski, who was also a senior working flight attendant in the summer of 2001, for American Airlines. She had crewed many times on the 767 that her husband piloted on the morning of Sept. 11. "Im an insider. There was no warning to be more vigilant. We were sitting ducks. My husband was such a big, commanding man, six feet tall. He didnt have a shot in hell. These people come in behind him, hes sitting low, forward, strapped inthe same with his co-pilot. No warning. If theyd been alerted to possibilities but people were complacent."

Ms. Ogonowski was legally required to exempt American Airlines from her lawsuit in order to accept workmens compensation from the company for her husbands death on the job. "But I never felt American was at fault," she said. "Our own C.I.A. and F.B.I. failed us. They should have been able to be more prepared, and warned us."

Some of the families of victims aboard Flight 93 were painfully reminded of the cockpit tape the F.B.I. allowed them to hear one year ago. That was the "Lets roll" flight, for which Beamer and the other passengers have been celebrated for their quick thinking and courageous confrontation with the terrorists.

"There was a lot of yelling by passengers, like youd hear in a huddle," one family member told me, requesting anonymity for fear of being thrown out of the suit against the airlines. "It sounded like, In the cockpit, in the cockpitif we dont get in there, well die! Then we heard crashing dishes. Then screaming among the terrorists, frightened screams, as if to say, You got me! Youre killing me!"

Some of the relatives are keen to find out why, at the peak of this struggle, the tape suddenly stops recording voices and all that is heard in the last 60 seconds or so is engine noise. Had the tape been tampered with? When I put their question to Mr. Novak, the lead prosecutor on Flight 93, he said curtly, "Im not going to comment on that, and neither should have they. They violated that nondisclosure agreement by telling you the contents of that cockpit voice recorder."

Why didnt United at least warn the pilots of Flight 93 to bar the cockpit door, some of the families wanted to know?

Ed Ballinger, the flight dispatcher for United Airlines that morning, was the last human being to talk to the cockpit of Flight 93. He had 16 flights taking off early that morning from the East Cost to the West Coast. When Uniteds Flight 175 began acting erratically and failed to respond to his warnings, he began banging out the same enigmatic message to all his planes: "Beware of cockpit intrusion."

Flight 93, the last of the hijacked planes, called him back and said "Hi, Ed. Confirmed."

Mr. Ballinger said he didnt wait for his superiors or for Transportation Secretary Norman Minetas decision to ground all flights. He sent out a Stop-Fly alert to all crews. But United dispatchers were instructed by their superiors not to tell the pilots why they were being instructed to land, he claims.

"One of the things that upset me was that they knew, 45 minutes before , that American Airlines had a problem. I put the story together myself ," Mr. Ballinger said. "Perhaps if I had the information sooner, I might have gotten the message to 93 to bar the door."

This week, when the 9/11 com-

mission holds its 12th and final hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, it will drill down on the excuses offered by the nations air defense network, NORAD, to explain why it failed utterly to order a protective cap of fighter jets over the nations capitol as soon as the world knew that the nation was under attack. Families will be listening carefully when the commission questions the head of NORADs Northeast Air Defense Sector, General Ralph E. Eberhart. NORAD had as long as 50 minutes to order fighter jets to intercept Flight 93 in its path toward Washington, D.C. But NORADs official timeline claims that F.A.A. notification to NORAD on Flight 93 is "not available." The public will hear further questioning of military officials all the way up to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, who wasnt notified until after the attack on the Pentagon.

So many unconnected dots, contradictions and implausible coincidences. Like the fact that NORAD was running an imaginary terrorist-attack drill called "Vigilant Guardian" on the same morning as the real-world attacks. At 8:40 a.m., when a sergeant at NORADs center in Rome, N.Y., notified his northeastern commander, Col. Robert Marr, of a possible hijacked airlinerAmerican Flight 11the colonel wondered aloud if it was part of the exercise. This same confusion was played out at the lower levels of the NORAD network.

Whats more, the decades-old procedure for a quick response by the nations air defense had been changed in June of 2001. Now, instead of NORADs military commanders being able to issue the command to launch fighter jets, approval had to be sought from the civilian Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. This change is extremely significant, because Mr. Rumsfeld claims to have been "out of the loop" nearly the entire morning of 9/11. He isnt on the record as having given any orders that morning. In fact, he didnt even go to the White House situation room; he had to walk to the window of his office in the Pentagon to see that the countrys military headquarters was in flames.

Mr. Rumsfeld claimed at a previous commission hearing that protection against attack inside the homeland was not his responsibility. It was, he said, "a law-enforcement issue."

Why, in that case, did he take onto himself the responsibility of approving NORADs deployment of fighter planes?

The families of the vanished bodies and unsettled souls of 9/11 are still waiting to have the dots connected. Until that happens, many continue to feel perforations in their hearts that even time will not heal.



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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-05 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. I'm not sure what facts you say are wrong-- this article does nothing
to contradict anything I have posted. You say AA might have a recording of Sweeney's call, if so, many people would be extremely interested in hearing it. I'm sorry you lost your friend and certainly I do not want to dishonor Sweeney.

Mostly I am curious about the timing of when the hijackers enetered the cockpit, as it seems to conflict with the idea that the airplane was cting hijacked much earlier.

I also wonder why Sweeney didn't say anything about the hijackers using gas. She seemed to be close to them, gave descriptions, etc. Wouldn't she know about the gas?

You said "Although many facts are not included in this..for security reasons, and for those reasons i will not elaborate."

What security reasons are you talking about at this point in time, three and a half years after the attacks? If you want to PM me about that, please do. I really want to know more.
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